The Hover Unit is a vehicle that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series. It is a mass-produced multipurpose hovercraft employed by the forces of Dr. Robotnik. They serve as the main means of transportation for ordinary Swat-Bots, who use them to patrol Robotropolis or aid Dr. Robotnik on the battlefield. Occasionally, the Freedom Fighters have also managed to capture some Hover Units for themselves.
There have been several variations of the Hover Unit, though they maintain key similarities. Their primary design is of a bulbous egg-shaped hovercraft. They are green on the upper half and blue on the lower half. Each Hover Unit also has one wide glass window on the front and two smaller ones on the sides. There is also a searchlight under the windows and a laser cannon mounted on top of it. Each Hover Unit also features two hatches on both sides near the rear of the craft through which one can enter the Hover Unit (some models also featuring an alternate roof hatch and loading ramp on the underside). There are two seats for a pilot and co-pilot at the front of the craft, with a control panel in front of the seats, and the cabin can be modified to suit the needs of the mission being performed at the time.
Early on, the Hover Unit looked more similar to flying police cars. They were larger, more flatten and mainly gray in color, except for the maroon glass and red light on the roof.
Features and abilities
In addition to being capable of flight, the Hover Units can shoot lasers from one or more of the laser cannons mounted on the exterior of the crafts.
The Hover Units are equipped with various sensors when patrolling Robotropolis, such as searchlights and infra-red sensors for detecting the heat signatures of organic intruders (though these could be confused by emissions from power stations within the city). The Hover Units are also shown being capable of flying in space and surviving planetary re-entry.
Some Hover Units patrolling Robotropolis eventually detected Sonic and Tails. They started chasing after them, but the heroes managed to escape into a nearby building, which only Swat-Bots could enter. A Hover Unit was later used by Swat-Bots to transport Cat to a prison facility in Robotropolis. Later, some Swat-Bots used a Hover Unit to patrol the area around Robotropolis's Swat-Bot factory. Eventually, the Hover Unit's infra-red scanners detected something, but the Swat-Bots ignored this, believing that what it had detected came from the factory. Dr. Robotnik later sent a single Hover Unit after Sonic when he rescued his Sallybot, all in order to convince Sonic that he had saved the real Sally. Later, Sonic, Bunnie and Rotor destroyed a Hover Unit that attacked them in Robotropolis by pulling its chassis off its hull with a hooked rope. Soon after, Rotor and Bunnie got one Hover Unit to stop by throwing a stone in its path. When the Swat-Bot then got out of the Hover Unit to investigate, Bunnie tied their legs up and seized the Hover Unit with Rotor. The heroes proceeded to use the Hover Unit to destroy the Swat-Bot factory and then escape from the Hover Units that were sent after them. A group of Hover Units later chased after Sonic and Sally, who fled from them on a Hover Pad. During the chase, the Hover Units drove the heroes into the subway, where they could no longer follow them. Later, the Swat-Bots tried using Hover Units to catch the Knothole Freedom Fighters when they fled from the Crystal Mine, but to no avail.
Dr. Robotnik later used a Hover Unit to get to the Forbidden Zone and meet with Lazaar's Guardian. Later, Sonic snuck into Robotnik's headquarters by grabbing onto the bottom of the chassis of a Hover Unit that flew into Robotnik's headquarters. Once he was inside, Sonic let go of the Hover Unit. Later, Hover Units would patrol the areas around Robotropolis's power plant. Later, several colorful Hover Units took part in a race that Dr. Robotnik had organized in Robotropolis in order to lure Sonic out of hiding and destroy him. During the race, the Hover Units tried to shoot down Sonic or crush him. Some of them were destroyed however when they collided with a wall and exploded. Eventually, Sonic managed to outrun them so much that they did not pose a threat to him. Swat-Bots later had a Hover Tank on standby while supervising the Shredder's work in the Great Forest. However, this Hover Tank was destroyed by the Shredder by mistake thanks to Sonic, but the Swat-Bots managed to evacuate it in time. Later, another Hover Tank would patrol the streets of Robotropolis while Antoine snuck into the city with a Power Ring. Later, some Swat-Bots used the Hover Units to fly to the last place that the Sonic Radar had detected Sonic to confirm that Sonic had been destroyed by the Sonic Radar. Afterward, they transported Antoine to the Roboticizer in at Hover Unit. Some time after, Sonic and Rotor used a Hover Unit onboard the Sky Spy to return safely to Mobius. Though the Hover Unit crashed when they reached Knothole Village, Sonic and Rotor survived. A Swat-Bot later used a Hover Unit to fly to the traffic control center in Robotropolis. There, it pressed some buttons before flying off in its Hover Unit again.
Ari eventually flew a damaged Hover Unit into a swamp, where he began to flee from Swat-Bots. During this time, Sonic and Sally were gathering some parts for the new De-Roboticizer from a destroyed Hover Unit when they found a Magnetic Field Generator in it. Later, Antoine almost dropped the remains of the destroyed Hover Unit on Sally, but Sonic saved her. Some time after, Ari used a Hover Unit in the Fortress to get to Robotropolis. Sally and Dulcy followed him though, hitting the Hover Unit and managing to stick to it in the process. This way, they were able to reach Robotropolis with Ari. The Hover Units' history was later slightly altered when Sonic and Sally went back in time in an attempt to stop Dr. Robotnik from coming into power. In this new timeline, as Sonic ran through Mobotropolis with a younger version of himself, he noticed the Hover Units passing through the streets, which worried him. After Robotnik seized power over Mobotropolis, several Hover Unit would attack Sabina and a young Dulcy, pinning them against a wall. Sonic, however, came to the rescue by producing a whirlwind that sucked in the Hover Units. Later, a large group of Hover Unit was sent to stop Sonic and Sally from destroying the Destroyer. However, Sabina appeared, who used her air blast to knock the Hover Units into the Destroyer, thereby destroying the Destroyer itself. Later, the remaining Hover Units came with Dr. Robotnik to catch Sonic and Sally, who had fled with the younger versions of the Knothole Freedom Fighters. Back in the present, two Hover Units were later sent to catch Dulcy, who was flying over the Great Plain. With Dulcy stuck in a trance, she did not notice the Hover Unit tying her up with ropes. However, Sonic and Sally came to Ducly's aid by cutting off the ropes and waking her from her trance. Dulcy then lost the Hover Unit by creating a smokescreen that disorientated them.
A group of Hover Units later accompanied Dr. Robotnik to the Great Unknown to stop Sonic from releasing Naugus from the Void. Here, the Hover Unit began to shoot at Sonic. Soon after, they cut off his escape route with their lasers when he tried to run away from a portal sucking him into the Void. After Sonic fell into the Void, the Hover Units were ordered to wait and destroy anyone trying to get out. Soon after, Sonic ran out of the Void, along with the King, who turned out to be a disguised Naugus. The Hover Unit tried to shoot down Sonic, but to no avail. Eventually, the Hover Units retreated together with Dr. Robotnik. Some time after, Sonic used his sneakers' antigravity function to stick to the bottom of a Hover Unit, thus allowing him to ride it to his Uncle Chuck's hideout in Robotropolis. Later, one Hover Unit was assigned to defend a Fuel Tanker convoy carrying fuel to the Doomsday Machine. When Sonic arrived, the Hover Unit and the Swat-Bots started chasing Sonic, but they eventually had to return to guarding the convoy, which was being sabotaged by Sally, Bunnie and Antoine. However, the heroes managed to escape thanks to Sonic. Back in Knothole Village, Rotor showed Sally and Bunnie a Hover Unit he had found in the Great Swamp and since repaired. Sally and Bunnie used this vehicle to get to the Doomsday Machine's construction site and download the Doomsday Machine's plans from there. When the girls discovered that Robotnik was about to find Uncle Chuck though, they flew the Hover Unit to Robotropolis. After landing there, they met Sonic and Dulcy. Later, they took Sonic and Chuck, who had escaped from Robotnik's headquarters, to Chuck's new hideout in the Hover Unit. After saying goodbye to Chuck there, Sonic left with his friends in the Hover Unit. Polo and Dirk later used a Hover Unit during the Freedom Fighters' attack on the Doomsday Machine. During the attack, they dropped parachute dummies from their Hover Unit as a diversion. They soon after landed on the surface of the Doomsday Machine, but were spotted by the Hover Units guarding the area and were arrested. When the Doomsday Machine was then being destroyed by Sonic and Sally with the Deep Power Stones, Ari, Lupe, Polo and Dirk fled the area in some Hover Units.
Hover Tanks are Hover Units improved with additional armor on the sides and two seats on the roof for Swat-Bots that can operate the Hover Tank's laser cannon. The Hover Tank is designed to fly at heights lower than those achieved by a regular Hover Unit. They are only seen in "Hooked on Sonics", where one is trampled over by the Shredder. Another Hover Tank later patrolled Robotropolis when Antoine snuck into the city with a Power Ring.
Mega Muck Unit
The Mega Muck Units are alternate versions of the Hover Units with red color schemes, more elongated designs and with cannons equipped on the front. They are designed to fire Mega Muck, which is a very sticky substance that can immobilize opponents. Mega Muck Units serve mainly as more the effective means of defending Robotropolis from Sonic's attacks, as Mega Muck is ideal for negating Sonic's speed, immobilizing him, and preventing him from escaping.
Robotnik's hovercraft is the personal Hover Unit and means of transport for Dr. Robotnik or Snively. Basically an improved Hover Unit, it is red on the top and black on the bottom. It has also two laser cannons mounted on the top, as well as many other unique features, such as a force-field generator and a cloaking function. Sometimes it is used by Robotnik and/or Snively as their escape pod when their plans backfire. Other times, it is used to spearhead a fleet of flying Swat-Bots or Stealthbots.
Small Hover Unit
An unnamed Hover Unit model that resembles a cross between a Swat-Bot and a Hover Unit. It is much smaller than regular Hover Units. It also possesses a red color scheme with gray drawbars and a chassis. It can fly, but it does not have any weapons.
It first appeared in "Sonic Conversion", where it was repaired by a roboticized Sir Charles, who used it to transport the kidnapped Tails and Antoine to Robotropolis. Sonic later told them to hide inside this Hover Unit model when the Shriek-Bot arrived. It also appeared in "Blast to the Past, Part 1", where it was used by a Swat-Bot commander to reach the courtyard of the royal palace in Mobotropolis, where Dr. Robotnik's coup was about to begin.
Swat-Bot-Hover Unit hybrid
A Swat-Bot-Hover Unit hybrid that is simply referred to as a "Swat-Bot". It appears in green or orange colorations. It is basically a terrestrial version of the Hover Unit that is used for repairs and maintenance throughout Robotropolis. It employs a series of hovering platforms that allow it to reach its destination almost as fast as the Hover Units.
In vehicle mode, this model relies on four wheels for mobility, but it can shift into a bipedal mode, with the axles forming arms and legs, and the tires serving as ankle and wrist joints. It also has laser cannons and flashlights built into its fingers. This vehicle can be piloted or operate independently. Though its cockpit is similarly to its flight-bound brethren, it is only large enough to accommodate a single mobian driver. This model also possesses a laser cannon on the underside as opposed to the roof like the Hover Units.
In other media
- Allee, Pat; Hurst, Ben (25 September 1993). "Sonic and Sally". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 2. ABC.
- Villaire, David (6 November 1993). "Harmonic Sonic". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 8. ABC.
- Janson, Len (11 December 1993). "Heads or Tails". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 13. ABC.
- Janson, Len (18 September 1993). "Sonic Boom". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 1. ABC.
- Villaire, David (2 October 1993). "Ultra Sonic". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 3. ABC.
- Dennis, Jules (16 October 1993). "Super Sonic". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 5. ABC.
- Janson, Len (23 October 1993). "Sonic Racer". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 6. ABC.
- Rogel, Randy (30 October 1993). "Hooked on Sonics". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 7. ABC.
- Uitz, Matt (20 November 1993). "Warp Sonic". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 10. ABC.
- Allee, Pat; Hurst, Ben (10 September 1994). "Game Guy". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 15. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (1 October 1994). "Blast to the Past, Part 1". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 17. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (8 October 1994). "Blast to the Past, Part 2". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 18. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (22 October 1994). "Dulcy". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 20. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (29 October 1994). "The Void". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 21. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (26 November 1994). "Spyhog". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 25. ABC.
- Hurst, Ben (3 December 1994). "The Doomsday Project". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 26. ABC.
- Santopadre, Frank (13 November 1993). "Sonic's Nightmare". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 9. ABC.
- Kuch, Kayte; Scarborough, Sheryl (4 December 1993). "Sonic Past Cool". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 12. ABC.
- Allee, Pat; Hurst, Ben (17 September 1994). "Sonic Conversion". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 2. Episode 14. ABC.