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It drops its spiked payload before losing altitude

— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia[1]

The Nebula[2] (ポトス[3] Potosu?) is an enemy that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a mass-produced Badnik model created by Dr. Eggman, which is capable of flight and dropping spiked balls on foes.


The classic Nebulas look like small green creatures hiding inside black, egg-shaped metal shells that they control by seemingly clutching a pair of control levers. It is unclear what these creatures fully look like, but they do have two cartoony black eyes, orange arms and faces, and wear white gloves. Each of their shells also have a hole on the bottom where a small cannon is equipped, and a yellow propeller on top of their shells.

In Sonic Lost World and several subsequent games, the Nebulas' design was slightly altered. Their metal shells became green and the creature hiding inside became black with cyan eyes. Due their size, the Nebulas' arms were also moved outside their protective shells, where they held control sticks in their hands.

In Sonic Forces, the Nebulas received a more modernized and militaristic design. These Nebulas were designed to resemble white-gray eggs with red-eyed black faces on their upper fronts, a wide propeller on their tops, and a small cannon on their bottoms.

Most of the time In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Nebulas are depicted with a red color scheme rather than their usual green color scheme.

Game appearances[]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2[]

Nebula sprite

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, its numerous ports and remasters, and the lock-on game Knuckles in Sonic 2, the Nebula[2] (ポトス[3] Potosu?) is an enemy. In this game, the player encounters them in Sky Chase Zone.

In gameplay, the Nebulas start out by hovering in one place, but will start to move up and above the player a little when they come close. They will similarly move down after the player passes them. If the player get below them, the Nebulas will start dropping small, flashing spiked balls, which inflict damage, on the player.

The Nebulas appear in different formations as the player progresses through Sky Chase Zone. The first Nebula the player meets is flying alone, but the rest will attack in groups of three to seven. The most general formation they use are three in row. Also, destroying a Nebula will release an Animal from inside it.

Sonic Rivals 2[]

SR2 card 71

The Nebula collectable card, from Sonic Rivals 2.

In Sonic Rivals 2, the Nebula made an appearance on the 71st collectible card in the game. To collect it, the player has to either get the high score in Blue Coast Zone Act 1 or unlock the Chao Detector in Blue Coast Zone.

Sonic Lost World[]


A group of Nebulas, from the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World.

In the Wii U version and PC version of Sonic Lost World, the Nebulas returned as enemies. In this game, they received a cartoony redesign. During the game, all of Dr. Eggman's Badniks, including the Nebulas, got hijacked by the Deadly Six after the group betrayed the Doctor.

In gameplay, the Nebulas float around in groups or chains, but they do not fire spike balls from their cannons, dropping bombs instead. In Tropical Coast Zone 3, Frozen Factory Zone 3 and Lava Mountain Zone 2, the Nebulas can be found hovering in one place, mostly for the purpose of allowing the player to use them to reach Grind Rails or cross over volatile minecarts. However, in Tropical Coast Zone ?, Nebulas hover upwards with some distance between them so that the player can pass in-between them or destroy them. Also, in Hidden World Zone 2, they suddenly appear from clouds in groups which the player has to avoid. In addition, when destroying a Nebula, an Animal will be released from inside it.

Sonic Forces[]


A Nebula, from Sonic Forces

In Sonic Forces, the Nebulas appear as enemies. In this game, they were completely redesigned, giving them modernized, militaristic looks to match Eggman's army. The player encounters them in Arsenal Pyramid, Luminous Forest, Aqua Road, Capital City, Metropolitan Highway, Null Space, Mortar Canyon, and Eggman's Facility.

In gameplay, the Nebulas both appear on their own and in groups while also hovering in stationary positions. In some stages, they do nothing, and in others, they drop bombs, similar to Sonic Lost World. Overall, they are weak enemies that are taken out with just one attack. They are also often arranged in midair so they form chains that the player can skip cross using the Homing Attack/Wire Attack.

Other game appearances[]

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure[]

Nebula Pocket Adventure

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, the Nebulas appear as enemies. In this game, they retain their look from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The player only encounters them in Sky Chase Zone.

In gameplay, the Nebulas behave and attack exactly like how they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They appear mostly in the same formations, even though these Badniks only appear in two or three rows. Also, when destroying a Nebula, an Animal will be released from inside it.

Sonic Jump Fever[]

In Sonic Jump Fever, the Nebulas appear as enemies. In this game, their Sonic the Hedgehog 2 design is reused. The player only encounters the Nebulas in Blue Sky Zone.

In gameplay, when Nebulas appear, they attack by dropping spike balls in intervals before eventually slamming themselves downwards. Both of these attacks will cause the player to fall below the screen to an instant death if they touch the playable character.

Sonic Runners series[]

Sonic Runners[]

Nebula Runners gameplay

A Nebula, from Sonic Runners.

In Sonic Runners, the Nebulas appear as enemies. In this game, they retained their design from Sonic Lost World. They are also some of the more common foes encountered in the Power Type characters' stages. In gameplay, they do not fire spike balls from their cannons. Instead, they appear either separately or in groups. Some are also stationary while others move around.

The player can destroy the Nebulas with any move or offensive power-up in the playable characters' arsenal. When destroyed, a Nebula will grant the player 100 points.

Nebulas in Sonic Runners come in three types. Aside from the regular Nebulas, there are golden ones which grant 300 points when defeated, and silver ones that grant 200 points when eliminated and which only Color Powers, Invincible and the Power Type characters' dash attack can defeat. All three variations also contain Animals that are released when they are destroyed. The Nebulas also appear as part of several episodes' narrative, which features them being defeated time and time again by Team Sonic.

Sonic Runners Adventure[]

Nebula Runners Adventure

A Nebula, from Sonic Runners Adventure.

In Sonic Runners Adventure, the Nebulas appear as enemies. In this game, they retain their design from Sonic Lost World. The player encounters them in Sky Sanctuary.

In gameplay, some Nebulas slowly fly towards the player, much like how they did in the previous title. Other simply hover in place. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020[]


Nebulas, from Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In the Nintendo Switch version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Nebulas appear as enemies in the "Tokyo Sky Flight" mini-game. Here, they have their sprite-based appearance from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. During the "Tokyo Sky Flight" mini-game, Nebulas either float in stationary positions or move directly up and down, all while dropping mines from their bottoms when the playable characters approach from below. Regardless of their behavior, the Nebulas are easily destroyed with two gunshots from the Tornado.

Some Nebulas come equipped with Bumper shields that can protect them from the Tornado's gunshots. However, they can be knocked away with the Tornado's shockwave attack. Also, upon destroying a Nebula, the player receives 100 points.

Sonic Speed Simulator[]

Nebulas appear as enemies in Sonic Speed Simulator's Tornado Assault, where they keep their Sonic Lost World design, and behave in the same manner as Nebulas from past Sonic games.


While built to serve as work drones, Nebulas possess a degree of sentience and personality traits. These traits include showing fear and stress moments before being destroyed.[4]

Powers and abilities[]

The Nebulas are capable of flight using their propellers, and can deploy spiked balls or bombs from a cannon on their underside. Aside from these abilities, the Nebula Badniks are relatively harmless.

In other media[]

Books and comics[]

Sonic the Comic[]

Nebula the Comic

Tails fighting a Nebula, from Sonic the Comic #132. Art by Carl Flint and John M. Burns.

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Nebulas were standard flying units in Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. During the comic's run, Nebula Badniks demonstrated the ability to aim their projectiles at their target rather than simply dropping them. Robotnik used the Nebulas for countless attacks on various Zone until his downfall from an electromagnetic pulse which disabled all his Nebulas, although they would be revived over time.

Archie Comics[]

Main article: Nebula (Archie)

A Nebula, from Sonic the Hedgehog #289.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Nebulas is a line of Badniks in Dr. Eggman's Badnik Horde. Since the early days of Eggman's tyranny, they been plaguing the Freedom Fighters and other heroes.

IDW Publshing[]


A Nebula, from Sonic the Hedgehog #16.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, several Nebulas, along with many other Badniks worked together to give Dr. Eggman a nice birthday by trying to destroy Sonic for him. However, they were ordered to return to base by Eggman before they could commence their attack.[5]

In the present, a Nebula onboard the Faceship would hand the ship's microphone over to Eggman as the Faceship came over Windmill Village.[6]

Later on, several Nebulas would attack Team Dark when they infiltrated the Eggperial City. However, the Nebulas were easily destroyed by the group.[4]


  • The Nebulas are the only enemies in Sky Chase Zone that do not reappear in Sky Fortress Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
  • Nebula's Japanese name "Potosu", comes from "poto-poto", a Japanese onomatopoeia meaning to trickle down in thick drops.
  • The Nebula's design that originated from Sonic Lost World is similar to a cross between the Orbinauts and the Mushmeanie Badniks, even though the top of the eyes are obscured by the top dome of the head.
    • The eyes of the Nebulas are also located towards the top instead of towards the bottom, which is common trait of Mushmeanies.








  1. Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 25. ISBN 978-1506719276.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 52-53.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic the Hedgehog #58, "Urban Warfare, Part 2"
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, "Dr. Eggman's Birthday"
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog #16, "Infection"
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