NICOLE has grown envious of Sally and her organic body over the years. On occasion, she has taken holographic form, becoming able to walk, touch, and interact in ways that she is unable to normally.
History (Pre-Super Genesis Wave)
NICOLE is from a possible future, designed and created by Rotor and sent back in time by Queen Sally and King Sonic (an ontological paradox). Because she was from the future, NICOLE is designed with a firewall to prevent the Freedom Fighters from learning about the future, which the present day Rotor attempts to crack without success. Also noted is the fact that the future Rotor created her as a request from Queen Sally, whose own version of NICOLE had been destroyed in the final battle with Robotnik.
Having been sent from the future, NICOLE helped the Freedom Fighters in their various missions and became a vital member of the team. However, that role changes after a chemical accident causes NICOLE and Sally to switch bodies for a temporary period, allowing NICOLE to discover what it feels like to be a true living being. After the effects reverse themselves, NICOLE attempts to create an organic body in the form of a lynx, but is forced to turn off the program before long, as it consumes too much power. She continues to use her Mobian form as an on-screen icon.
NICOLE, among other characters with robotic parts, is invaded with Eggman's nanites. They appear to have an intelligence-gathering purpose, as they can transmit all data they acquire directly to Eggman, and were used by A.D.A.M. to take control of her and all the other characters infected by them. though the effects on NICOLE didn't seem to be any worse than disabling her while she attempted to purge the nanites from her system. She later assisted Shadow the Hedgehog in reading the information on a disk that served as the diary of Professor Gerald Robotnik. Shadow, with Sonic by his side, was transmitted into the disk's database to meet NICOLE in her holographic form. In addition to developing a personality, NICOLE has also become friendly to other members of the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix. This was shown during Espio the Chameleon's infiltration of the fallen Golden Hive Colony on behalf of his friend Charmy Bee. NICOLE, his only "companion", assisted him in downloading information from Dr. Robotnik's computer database.
During the attack on Knothole, NICOLE was buried in the rubble of Freedom Fighter HQ and thus not captured along with most of the Freedom Fighters. She then helped Sonic rescue all those captive in the Egg Grapes by teleporting them to the redesigned Nanite City, which she has dubbed New Mobotropolis. This served as an added bonus to NICOLE, as the holo-matrices set up throughout the city allowed her to maintain her holographic form at all times. NICOLE has also apparently become the artificial intelligence in control of the city's defenses, which unfortunately forces her to deactivate her holographic form in order to provide more power to the shields. With Robotnik defeated for the time being after the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix destroyed his Egg Beater battle armor, NICOLE found a new set of problems on the inside: Tails' parents Amadeus and Rosemary Prower contending with Sally's brother Elias Acorn. The Prowers' quest for reform and Elias' determination not to let the monarchy be dissolved brought the Kingdom to the edge of civil war, until NICOLE helped Sally stop a duel between Elias and Amadeus. She then looked on as Sally mediated a peaceful settlement between the two, bringing the Kingdom of Acorn a new form of government in the process.
NICOLE then worked with Sally to try and contact allies against the threat of Enerjak, an old enemy of Knuckles the Echidna's who had been brought back thanks to the Dark Legion scientist Dr. Finitevus. Sending a probe to Angel Island, she watched with Sally, Knuckles' girlfriend Julie-Su, and Dimitri the Echidna—the original Enerjak—as the Dingo Regime was toppled, the Dark Legion restored to their normal Echidna forms, and all the Echidnas were sent to the city of Albion. However, Enerjak objected to her spying and crushed her probe, and then demonstrated his sheer power by passing right through New Mobotropolis' defensive shield. She was then treated to a disturbing rhetoric of Knuckles' vision for the future, one that involved eradicating all technology on Mobius—even that which had given her life. Of all the Freedom Fighters, NICOLE suffered the worst in the ensuing battle, as the conflicting energies of both Enerjak and the arriving Shadow wrought tremendous damage on the city and by extension her virtual body. While at the time she had trouble maintaining her form, she was eventually able to restore the city.
Later, NICOLE attempted to stop Sonic and Ash the Mongoose from apparent theft of the grey Chaos Emerald; because the lives of Tails, Mighty and Mina were in danger (thanks to Mammoth Mogul, they were being used as leverage), they weren't able to explain their actions immediately. When the emerald was given to Mogul, he dismissed Nicole with a wave of his hand. She was not damaged; rather, he simply stopped her from manifesting until he left.
During the invasion of the Suppression Squad, NICOLE had managed to keep the goal post leading to Moebius open until Boomer manually shut them down, trapping Sonic and Scourge.
Later, an invasion of New Mobotropolis by the Iron Dominion to take control of the city is stopped by NICOLE. NICOLE warns the Iron Dominion, the Iron King, the Iron Queen and Snively that they are trespassing. Iron Queen uses her technomagic to take control of NICOLE and she changes into Iron NICOLE. Iron NICOLE opens up the city to the Iron Dominion upon the Iron Queen's command and blocks the city from the outside world. Sonic, Tails, Sally and Monkey Khan use the Tornado to escape to Freedom HQ, in which Tails transports Sally and Sonic in the mainframe of the city in an attempt to take back control of NICOLE. The Iron Queen sees this and tries to stop them. Sonic attacking the Iron Queen is stopped by Iron NICOLE who has possessed abilities that easily matched Sonic's due to her control of the digital world. Sally uses her hacking skills to build a firewall around Iron NICOLE that would interrupt the Iron Queen's control in secret, while Sonic takes care of the Iron Queen herself. Sally succeeds in returning NICOLE back to normal, but NICOLE informs her that the Iron Dominion would be too strong to handle by themselves. NICOLE, at Sally's suggestion, decides to play as a double agent for the Freedom Fighters and turn New Mobotropolis' against the Iron Dominion when the time is right, and to also inform the group of the Iron Dominion's plans.
After Sonic, Sally, Tails, and Monkey Khan returned from the Dragon Kingdom, NICOLE exposed herself and started fighting the Iron Queen during the liberation of New Mobotropolis. During the fight the Iron Queen took control of a large number of Nanites and used them to craft a giant Dragon, though NICOLE managed to keep control of the rest of the city.
After the liberation of the city, NICOLE assisted Rotor by making him a combat suit. She receives massive amounts of suspicion following the Iron Dominion's occupation because of her role in the attack following the Iron Queen's brainwashing. NICOLE joins Sonic and Sally at a Mina Mongoose concert, altering her hologram's clothing to lay low to avoid frightening the crowd. When Mina's song turns out to be vocally anti-NICOLE and begins to incite the crowd, NICOLE runs away in tears.
NICOLE hides in an out of the way server room to cry and runs into Dimitri and Espio who both try to comfort her, expressing that she is now less a program and more a Mobian. She and Espio agree to help Dimitri confront Knuckles to ask for his forgiveness.
When Ixis Naugus arrives to claim the throne from King Acorn, NICOLE attempts to lock him and Geoffrey St John away in nanite prisons, but St John escapes using Ixis magic and Naugus uses his crystal magic to destroy NICOLE's nanites.
Upon realizing that her nanites were irreparably destroyed by Naugus's crystal magic, NICOLE is sent into a state of shock and told by Sally to lie low as the crowd considers going over to Naugus's side for protection from her.
During their attack on the Death Egg, NICOLE joins Sonic and Sally and attempts to deactivate Eggman's "World Roboticizer," but is unable to completely deactivate it, being forced to instead reroute the beam to the interior of the Death Egg, roboticizing Sally but saving Mobius. Sally tells her to transfer her consciousness to New Mobotropolis so she can survive the beam (Roboticizer beams destroying already robotic entities which they are fired on).
Following the battle on the Death Egg, NICOLE sequesters herself in Freedom HQ, acknowledging Sonic's request to display Naugus's removal of crystal magic from Bunnie's body, but not materializing or even speaking to him.
When Sonic interfaces directly with the computer NICOLE is housed in at Freedom HQ, she is still in shock and only speaks to him in text format. She expresses that the hand-held device destroyed on the Death Egg was her original body and stating that Sally, her best friend, was now gone.
When the Battle Bird Armada attacked New Mobotropolis, NICOLE attempted to protect the city with her force-field generators, but Wave the Swallow uses a device created by Doctor Fukukurov to disable the shield. Rotor and Tails approach NICOLE to ask her to fix the Tornado and rebuild Rotor's battlesuit and find her in the midst of a mental breakdown, agonizing over Sally's death and the city turning against her.
Under Elias's orders, NICOLE builds a "City Restore Point" program, allowing the city's nanites to rebuild the city even without her, before installing her consciousness into the Freedom HQ science lab.
Shortly after the destruction of New Mobotropolis by the armada, NICOLE is brought before the Council of Acorn, now presided over by King Naugus, to decide whether or not she will be exiled from the city. The council votes 6 to 1 in favor of exile, Rotor being the only councilor to stand up in her defense. Immediately following her exile, Rotor resigns from his position in protest.
NICOLE was sealed away in the Freedom HQ computer before the second Genesis Wave, unable to manifest a body or move freely without access to the city's computer mainframes.
History (Post-Super Genesis Wave)
After the Super Genesis Wave, Nicole was first seen with her original computer body back, projecting herself off of the screen.
At first, NICOLE displayed little to no form of sentience, having not been designed for that. As time went on, she became more lifelike, most notably developing a sense of humor. This is shown in her tendency to give Sonic little jolts of electricity when he tries to use her, and in her mocking smugness at Rotor's failure to breach the firewall set in place by his own future self. For all of that, she remains a loyal member of the Freedom Fighters, having helped save Sally and the others from fates such as Roboticization.
Following the accident in which she switched bodies with Sally, NICOLE underwent a major change in outlook. Having experienced the wonders of having an actual body, she began to desire one for herself. Sadly, her dreams did not seem likely to be realized in the near future, given that she doesn't have the power to maintain the body she created for herself. NICOLE remained hopeful, especially given that one of the things she experienced while in Sally's body was the love that her owner feels for Sonic despite their breakup. For at least a brief period after this incident, NICOLE even considered Sonic a "very attractive Hedgehog." In addition, NICOLE has become somewhat philosophical, having developed the opinion that Robotnik creates robots to replace the family that he lacks. Ultimately, she was able to sustain a full-time holographic being after Sonic and the rest of the Kingdom of Acorn were relocated to New Mobotropolis. As a result, she has become more confident in herself, even challenging Robotnik to his face after he was defeated in his first attack on the new city.
As Iron NICOLE, she is loyal to the Iron Queen and obeys her every command, no matter who else is hurt. She is also known to protect her master, in the case of stopping Sonic from attacking the Iron Queen. However, due to later actions taken by the Freedom Fighters, NICOLE regains control of herself and reverts back to her original personality.
After the Forget Me Knots concert, NICOLE found out of the general unease about her. After Sally's robotization she seems to be in depression about her best friend and can't even seem to do simple functions.
As a computer, NICOLE possesses a variety of abilities. In her handheld form, she can interface with other mechanical systems, allowing her to access and download information or even provide the Freedom Fighters with control over various unfriendly technologies. NICOLE's computer incarnation also comes equipped with a low power laser, which can be used to cut through metal.
In her holographic form, NICOLE has a range of other abilities. Like any real Mobian, she has fully functional limbs and the use of several senses—the latter may not include taste, since NICOLE's holographic self doesn't actually eat. However, she also retains many of her computer abilities, and it is quite possible that her Mobian form has attributes of speed or strength superior to those of a biological being. After taking control of Nanite City and reshaping it into New Mobotropolis, she becomes the control program for the computerized city, making her virtually omnipotent within the limited area. Her new abilities in this point, aside from being able to project her holographic body continuously, include control of all the energy shields and the power to teleport individuals from one area of the city to another, such as she did in re-imprisoning Mammoth Mogul, Ixis Naugus, Nack the Weasel, Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polar Bear. She also has the ability to almost immediately repair any damage sustained to the city and create new structures on a whim (e.g. causing a wall to form between Amadeus Prower and Elias Acorn to halt their duel), as well as direct control over devices created in the city such as spy probes, but these come at a cost as the destruction of such devices causes her pain. For all of her abilities, she refuses to put the New Mobotropolis nanites to use as a weapon.
As a newly created sentient artificial intelligence, NICOLE is still refining the emotions that true Mobians have. Because of this, she has not truly displayed any romantic feelings towards any characters. The one exception was during and shortly after her brief time in Sally's body, in which she briefly shared Sally's deep-if at the time unexpressed-feelings for Sonic. She was almost overcome by the emotions while still in Sally's body, and once back in her own body remarked to Sonic that he was "a very appealing hedgehog."
- NICOLE bears a resemblance to the tricorders seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation and serves a similar function, though she is more versatile. Sally has been shown carrying her via a retractable shoulder strap attached to NICOLE (à la the Star Trek: The Original Series' tricorders), though she was shown carrying her in a special pouch in a belt around her waist in issue #159 and on a clip attached to her boot in #225.
- Fans question whether NICOLE's Mobian lynx form was a bit of a joke, since NICOLE is a handheld computer, and the Atari "Lynx" was a handheld game system.
- In both the comics and the cartoon, NICOLE's size occasionally varies dramatically from one appearance to the next, being the size of a book and then appearing to be the size of present-day cellular phones, though it appears to be an artistic goof, as none of the characters have ever commented about this or given a canonical explanation for it.
- In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, there is a device called the Med Emitter which bares a striking resemblance to NICOLE's computer form.
- Sonic Archives Volume 5 featured a lost never before seen story which featured a different origin for NICOLE. In the story, Robotnik has restored the Universalamander robot to once again attack the Freedom Fighters. While trying to figure out a way to stop it, Sally pulls out a box shaped device called "NICOLE 7000", saying that she "ordered" it and "it just came yesterday". This unpublished story was in the early comedic style that the series had, before taking on a more serious tone similar to the Saturday morning cartoon. Thus, this introduction for NICOLE was little more then a simple joke with little regard for serious continuity.