Nicole is one of the main characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series. She is a highly advanced artificial intelligence program in the form of a handheld computer unit that serves as Sally's helpful companion and arguably best friend. Her database of knowledge, hacking skills and a number of included sensors make her a very valuable part of the Knothole Freedom Fighters in their fight against Dr. Robotnik.
Sometime before Dr. Robotnik's takeover, Sally's father, the king, inserted many programs into Nicole, some of which were time-locked so that Sally could not access information on certain subjects before she came of age.
During the Knothole Freedom Fighters' activities, Nicole served as Sally's most vital tool, enabling her to hack Robotnik's computers and find information on nearly any subject.
When Sally disappeared into the Void, Sonic tried to ask Nicole of Sally's whereabouts. However, because Nicole continuously used technological terms for her explanation, Sonic got frustrated and began shaking her violently, demanding an understandable answer. This caused circuitry damage to Nicole, and she adapted a manner of speech similar to Sonic himself. She continues speaking in this manner to Sonic for the rest of the series, which aggravated Sally.
Nicole's personality is logical and to-the-point, displaying an overall lack in real traits of a personality. She is also highly technical in her speech, frustrating Sonic with her constant technobabble. However, after Sonic violently shook her and caused circuitry damage on her, she adapted a manner of speaking similar to Sonic, using slang terms and expressed more emotions. Despite this, she was still rather emotionless although she does by the end of the series have more emotion and much more free will, commenting on how Sonic's nagging is stressing her out.
Powers and abilities
As a computer, Nicole possesses a variety of abilities, mostly lying in the field of interfacing with electronics and knowledge. She possesses an extensive database of information on nearly any subject, and is able to analyze and compute complex problems in a few seconds. She can also interface with other mechanical systems, allowing her to access and download information or even provide the Freedom Fighters with control over various unfriendly technologies, usually to download data from Robotnik's mainframe.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Nicole was originally an AI, created by Rotor in the future in order to aid the Knothole Freedom Fighters of the past in their war against Dr. Robotnik, and was based on their original Nicole that was destroyed in the final battle against Robotnik as well.
After the Super Genesis Wave, Nicole's backstory was re-written to having her mind be based on Nikki, the daughter of Dr. Ellidy, whom he lost after a failed attempt to save her life using his invention, the Digitizer. He then gave the AI to the daughter of King Nigel Acorn, Princess Sally as a parting gift, even though he intended to delete Nicole.
Production background and future plans
One of the plans head writer Ben Hurst had for the Sonic the Hedgehog television series was giving Nicole her own character arc elaborating on her past. Originally, she was a normal little girl and a child genius. She was best friends with Sally, partly because they were both highly intelligent. One day, Nicole met Bots who took her to Julian, who offered her to participate in a research project. Trusting, Nicole followed Julian into his lab where he connected Nicole to a machine and transferred her entire personality into a computer satellite, her small hand-held computer being an extension of the program orbiting the planet, leaving Nicole's organic body dead. His experiment complete, Julian informed Nicole that she would serve him, or he would shut her mind down. Robotnik gave a demonstration and Nicole likened the experience to dying.
However, Robotnik was unable to predict Nicole's sentience, which gave her total awareness and the ability to telepathically control anyone. Nicole soon realized that her living sentience combined with the power of a super computer and all the devices she could control, she had the power of a god. Nicole's heightened awareness let extrapolate her subsequent actions into the future and she saw that she would become corrupted and strip the world of free will, and create a hive society where everyone obeyed only her. Fearful of such loneliness, Nicole continued analyzing billions of future scenarios, but all ended up with the same results. In an intuitive flash, Nicole saw one way to keep her from interfering with the destiny of the world: by altering herself.
Having made a plan, Nicole created an unstoppable program and executed it on herself. First, the program made her alter Robotnik’s memory so he forgot she was ever created and made him give her portable unit to the King. The program then made Nicole will the King to give the same machine to Princess Sally, consoling her over the death of her friend Nicole. Once in her possession, Sally named the computer after her friend, oblivious to the fact they were one and the same. As Sally left Nicole in her room, Nicole's program went into its next phase which sealed away her human and emotional side and removed the knowledge that she could control others, making her nothing more than the computer seen in the show.
The only thing that could bring Nicole back was a threat to her satellite. And Nicole had created the program to pull her out with a built in mechanism to automatically turn her back to “computer” mode after the crisis had passed.
Nicole's true consciousness would eventually be jolted “awake” by Sonic’s annoying questions and she would share her tragic past with him. Nicole attempted to seal herself off again and erase this event, but Sonic convinced her to let him keep his memories before she reverted back to her computerized self. At some point, Nicole was to be restored to her former self, becoming a part of the Freedom Fighters.
- Nicole's English voice actor is the same as Sally's.
- Sally carries Nicole by attaching her to one of her boots.
- In the series' pilot episode "Heads or Tails", Sally used a large, bulky, yellow computer on wheels, which had the same voice and analytical traits as Nicole.