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The Needle Flappers look very similar to the Flapper, possessing the round torso, black undercarriage, dome-shaped head, the airplane-like wings instead of arms, the two turbines on their backs, the pointy nose, and the flight visors instead of eyes. However, unlike the typical Flapper, the Needle Flappers are ultra violet instead of orange-red with red joints, and they occasionally have four red-glowing gray spikes protruding from them.
The Needle Flappers made their first appearance in Sonic Heroes as enemies. In this game, they can only be found in Lost Jungle.
In gameplay, Needle Flappers have few hit points and float in a fixed position in midair. When they spot the playable characters, a speech balloon containing an exclamation point will appear above the Needle Flappers. As their main form of attack, the Needle Flappers will periodically protrude and retract spikes from their torsos. While their spikes are deployed, the playable characters cannot touch the Needle Flappers without taking damage, even when hitting them with attacks like the Homing Attack, Fire Dunk or Thunder Shoot. Often, this skill enables the Needle Flappers to intercept attacks before they connect with them. However, their spikes do not make them invulnerable to damage, as it is possible for some of the player's attack to touch them by chance, even while their spikes are out.
Because they float in midair, the Needle Flappers typically float outside the reach of most of the player's attacks. The easiest way to destroy them is by using Thunder Shoot (while their spikes are retracted) to knock them out of the sky, leaving them open to any attack. If Thunder Shoot is leveled up to at least Level 2 however, then it may be enough to destroy a Needle Flapper in one shot. Also, upon their destruction, they grant the player 100 points.
Powers and abilities
The Needle Flappers are all capable of flight using the jetpacks on their backs. They are also equipped with deadly spikes that they can protrude at will to skewer opponents too close to them.
↑"Chapter 1" (in Japanese). ソニックヒーローズ最強攻略ガイド. Shogakukan. February 2004. p. 33. ISBN 978-4091061522.