The Picky (ピッキー Pikkī?) is a creature that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a race of small pig Animals inhabiting various regions all over Sonic's world, and are close friends of Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies. They are perpetually targeted by Dr. Eggman who seeks to use them as energy sources for his Badnik army and often imprisons them in Capsules for later use.
The typical Picky resembles a rotund domestic pig slightly less than half a meter tall. However, they are remarkably humanoid in anatomy, even standing on two legs. They have light pink skin and possess large round heads with two large grey eyes (originally black), triangular ears, and small stubby snouts. Other features include relatively small torsos, arms, stubby legs with long feet and two cloven for toes, and a short coiled tail each.
In the original Sonic the Hedgehog game's illustrations and the artwork produced for the SegaSonic the Hedgehog 1993 Calendar and 1994 Calendar, the Pickies have four digits on each hand, while Sonic the Hedgehog 2's illustrations and all subsequent games depict them with five digits on each hand.
Characteristics and culture
Like real-life pigs, the Pickies can only speak in a language consisting of oinks. Although recognized as animal life, Pickies are remarkably intelligent and sociable, being capable of understanding normal language and establishing their own Animal communities. All Pickies are generally good-hearted, helpful, friendly and playful, but their small stature leaves them rather defenseless on their own. They also have great respect and appreciation for nature, choosing to live in complete harmony with it.
Pickies inhabit various natural environments like forests all around earth, like the lustrous South Island, and even its unusual satellites like the Lost Hex, where they have established their own small villages, more often than not with other Animal species.
Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
The Pickies first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit). The Pickies were amongst the Animals on South Island whom Sonic went to rescue after Dr. Robotnik captured them and used them to power his Badnik army - all as a part of a plot to collect the Chaos Emeralds. They can be found in Spring Yard Zone and Star Light Zone where they pop out of destroyed Badniks or opened Capsules. The Pickies also appear in the ending cinematic where they celebrate Sonic's victory in the Green Hill Zone.
Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit)
In Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), the Pickies were some of Sonic's Animal friends on South Island whom he went to rescue after Dr. Robotnik captured them and used them to power his Badniks - all as a part of a plot to collect the Chaos Emeralds. Here, they appear from the opened Capsule at the end of Bridge Zone Act 3.
Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld
In Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld, Picky appeared along with Sonic, Tails, Amy and other Animals. He can be seen in the background among Gameworld testing equipment. In the mini-games, a toy version of Picky can be seen inside a machine in the Toy Drop game. An icon of him is also visible inside a slot machine in the Concentration game.
In the American credits of the game, Picky is labeled with his Japanese name ("Picky") instead of his western name during that time.
Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, a Picky appears alongside several Animals in the game's perfect ending if the player has cleared Chaotic Space Zone, where they celebrate Sonic's victory over Dr. Robotnik.
In Sonic Advance, a Picky makes a cameo in the ending cinematic after clearing the Moon Zone. There, the Picky, alongside with Tails, Knuckles, Amy and other Animals, awaited Sonic's return from the moon.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
In the Wii version and Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. They can be seen amongst the audience during different events, where they cheer on the competitors.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
In the Wii version and Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. In these games, the Pickies reappear as members of the audience that watch the different events from the sidelines while cheering for the participants.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
In the Wii version and Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. In these titles, the Pickies once again resume their role as spectators in the various events, watching and cheering for the competitors from the background.
In the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, a badge of a Picky with the other Animals in the game can also be obtained from the Badge machine.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. In this game, they once again reprise their roles as spectators. They can be seen in the background of various events, where they cheer for the competitors.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In the Wii U version, Nintendo 3DS version, and arcade version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. In all three of these editions of the game, they once again appear as cheering spectators in the audience during different events.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
In the Nintendo Switch version and arcade version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Pickies appear as non-playable characters. In these titles, the Pickies mainly serve once again as members of the audience where they cheer on the playable characters, both in the 2020 events and the 1964 2D Events.
In the Nintendo Switch version of the game, Pickies also appear as participants in the Marathon event. During this event, the Pickies will serve as obstacles along the running route. Colliding with one will briefly slow down the playable character and slightly drain their stamina. A Picky also plays a role in the story mode. In this mode, while inside the Tokyo '64 gaming system, Dr. Eggman hired a Picky to impersonate him in a taxi (although the Picky never got paid) in order to mislead Sonic, who was chasing him. When Sonic caught up to the Picky however, the Picky would mention a location to Sonic and Mario that gave them an idea of where they could find the real Eggman.
In the 2D Events and inside the Tokyo '64 during the Nintendo Switch version's story mode in particular, the Pickies possess their 16-bit sprite appearance from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and its extension Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal, the Pickies reprised their roles from the first main titles. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the Pickies and other Animals were this time captured by Dr. Eggman to power a new and improved Badnik army that Eggman sought to defeat Sonic with. The Pickies can be found in Casino Street Zone where they pop out of destroyed Badniks or the opened Capsule after the boss Act.
At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal, the Pickies see Sonic and Tails off with the other Animals as the duo leaves in the Tornado, but are then scared away by Metal Sonic when he arrives, only to see Sonic leave.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, the Pickies reprised their roles from the first main titles by being battery components for Dr. Eggman's Badniks. They can be found in Oil Desert Zone where they pop out of destroyed Badniks or the opened Capsule after the boss Act.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Pickies appeared alongside other Animals in the Challenge Acts Rescue the Animals! and Rescue the Animals 2!. In these Acts, the player must free a set number of Animals (Pickies included) from Capsules before reaching the Goal Plate. A statue of a Picky and the other Animals can also be unlocked in the Statue Room.
Sonic Jump (2012)
In Sonic Jump (2012), Picky appeared along with several other Animals. In this game, Dr. Eggman kidnapped them and took them away in the prison units of his the Egg Mobile, while Sonic and the others tried to stop them.
In gameplay, the player will encounter a cage with some Pickies after reaching the end of each Boss Act. Touching these cages will set the Pickies inside free.
In Sonic Dash, Picky makes an appearance in the version 4.0.2 update. In the game, players are able to collect them by destroying Badniks once the Mushroom Hill Zone is unlocked, and can then use them to rebuild that Zone. Shadow and Metal Sonic also have an affinity bonus towards the Pickies, which will double the amount of Pickies saved while playing.
Sonic Lost World
In the Wii U version, PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, the Pickies and other Animals are shown to inhabit the Lost Hex. During the events of the game, Dr. Eggman, with the assistance of the Deadly Six, resumed kidnapping Animals, the Pickies being among them, to create a new Badnik army. The few Animals and a single Picky that managed to evade capture remained with Knuckles and Amy while Sonic and Tails went out to save their friends, during which they had fun at the expense of Knuckles.
The Pickies and the other Animals serve as collectible content used to progress with the game in the Wii U/PC version. Once the players have collected a set amount of Animals, they gain access to the fourth Zone in each World. They player can collect Pickies by defeating Badniks, opening smaller Capsules in the Zones, and opening the larger Capsules at the end of most Zones. Pickies and other Animals can also be collected from Circus tents. The Pickies can be found in the following places (depending on the version of the game):
|Wii U/PC||Nintendo 3DS|
|Windy Hill Zone 1, 2 and 3; Desert Ruins Zone 2; Tropical Coast Zone 2 and 4; Frozen Factory Zone 1 and 3; Silent Forest Zone 1 and 2; Sky Road Zone 2; Lava Mountain Zone 3||Desert Ruins; Silent Forest|
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Excluding the trophy, the Picky also occasionally makes a cameo appearance in the background of the Windy Hill Zone.
Sonic Runners series
In Sonic Runners, the Pickies played supporting roles to the main cast in the storyline. In this game, most individual Pickies are referred to as "Picky". Over the course of the game, Team Sonic comes across the Pickies several times, whom they usually save from Dr. Eggman and/or his lackeys. Occasionally, the Pickies will also ask the team for help solving different problems, whether it be either Eggman-related trouble or more personal issues. Sometimes though, the Pickies will help Team Sonic as well, usually by providing information or handling smaller tasks.
In gameplay, Pickies will pop out of destroyed Badniks and bounce a little further down the path before falling behind the player. If the player grabs them as they pass by, the player will build up their Combo and earn 2,500 bonus points on the result screen for each Picky.
Sonic Runners Adventure
In Sonic Runners Adventure, the Pickies reprised their roles as power sources for Dr. Eggman's Badniks. In gameplay, Pickies will pop out of destroyed Badniks in any stage and then bounce out of the player's sight.
In gameplay, the Pickies pop out of destroyed Badniks or the opened Capsule at the end of the second Act of the Zones they appear in. In version 1.03 of Sonic Mania and the versions prior to it, the Pickies can only be found in Titanic Monarch Zone. In version 1.05.0713 of Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus, on the other hand, the Pickies appear in both Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 and Titanic Monarch Zone.
When the Metal Sonic Projector at the end of Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 is destroyed, a few Pickies will occasionally appear until they are chased off by Metal Sonic. Also, during the ending of the "& Knuckles" mode in Sonic Mania, a Picky can be seen listening to Knuckles' retelling of the game's events.
In Sonic Forces, Pickies can be found inside Capsules in blue SOS Mission at random. The objective of these missions is to rescue the Pickies and the other prisoners in the Capsule using either Sonic, Classic Sonic, the Avatar or Shadow. After the Pickies and the other prisoners have been freed from their Capsule, the player has to complete their stage to complete the SOS Mission.
In other media
In the Sonic X anime series and its comic series published by Archie Comics, the Pickies are an animal species native to Sonic's world. Several of them got sent to Earth by Chaos Control, but they were returned home not long afterwards.
Books and comics
Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic
Picky, along with other animal friends, appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic manga. He appears in few panels in first and third stories. In Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 2's story "Clash!! South Island" Sonic frees him from being Caterkiller badnik. Picky then starts tell Sonic that he saw Ricky and Cucky also becoming badniks. After hearing this Sonic start his rescue mission.
Sonic the Comic
In the Sonic the Comic comic series and its spin-offs published by Fleetway Editions, Picky is named Porker Lewis. In this media, he was a founding member of the Freedom Fighters and a technical genius. After a mission involving the Brotherhood of Metallix, during which he was held prisoner on the Miracle Planet for a month, Porker suffered a nervous breakdown and left the team. He subsequently moved to the Floating Island and helped Knuckles the Echidna fix the island's ancient Echidna technology.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Pickies are an animal species native to Sonic's world. Like in the games, they are being used by the Eggman Empire to power its Badniks.
- "I love beating Dr. Robotnik!"
- —Picky, Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld
In the early days of the Sonic series, when all the Animals were renamed by Sega of America in the Sonic Bible, Picky was defined as a male and was renamed Pig in the bible's first draft for the western media. He was later renamed Porker Lewis in the bible's second draft. According to the bibles, Porker Lewis comes from a large family like the other animals (which was intended to explain the appearance of multiple identical Pickies in the games) and helped raise an orphaned Sonic.
It is said in the first draft of the Sonic Bible that Porker Lewis introduced Sonic to the delights of wallowing in mud, but it was later changed in the second draft for the bible, where it is said that he taught Sonic how to fear fire.
- Inside the game data of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Picky has unused sprites for use in the Death Egg Zone. Due to the lack of enemies in the zone, Picky is nowhere to be seen.
- However, Picky does appear normally in the new additional credits sequence featured in 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the port for Nintendo 3DS.
- A character illustration of Picky was created for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It can be seen in the 1994 book, Sega TV Game Genga Gallery, and in the Character House of Sonic Jam.
- Picky was presumably created by Naoto Ōshima, the character designer on the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- His early western name, Porker Lewis, is likely parodying the popular comedy character Parker Lewis, from the series Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
- In DiC's early pitch for the Sonic the Hedgehog television series, Porker Lewis was featured in a cast picture as part of the "Freedom Team". He was large with wild hair and wore a leather jacket and sunglasses.
- Porker Lewis may be the inspiration for the Sonic the Hedgehog television series and Archie Comics' pig character, Hamlin, although the characters' personalities in their respective comics are total opposites.
- When Picky was originally featured on his own card in Sonic the Hedgehog Online Trading Cards, he was erroneously named Cookie. Pocky on his own card, was misnamed Picky.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 11.
- Sonic Team (25 February 2015). Sonic Runners. iOS. Sega. Area/Level: Episode 11-1. "Tails: Hey, Omochao, could you ask these guys where they were when Eggman's minions captured them? / Animals: (chatter chirp) / Omochao: They say their village is just east of here, and Eggman built a base right next to it!"
- Sonic Team (25 February 2015). Sonic Runners. iOS. Sega. Area/Level: Episode 14-1. "Knuckles: Yeah. This factory closes now. The Animals need to be living in harmony with nature again!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 10-13.
- Sonic The Hedgehog 4. Sega. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved on 26 January 2015.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 4.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft I (page 11). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "Sonic's main buddies are Rabbit, Squirrel, Pig, Flicky the Duck, Penguin, Chicken, and Seal. Each comes from a large family, each is playful and friendly."
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (page 15). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "Sonic's main buddies are Johnny Lightfoot, Sally Acorn, Porker Lewis, Chirps, Tux, Flicky the Blue Bird, and Joe Sushi. Each comes from a large family, and each is playful and friendly."
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft I (page 6). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "Orphaned at an early age, Sonic grows up in the forest of the Green Hill Zone and fall in with a clan of rambunctious animal friends. His friends teach him all the tricks they know"
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (page 9). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "Orphaned at an early age, Sonic grows up in the forest of the Green Hill Zone and fall in with a clan of rambunctious animal friends. His friends teach him all the tricks they know."
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft I (page 6). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "...and Pig introduces him to the delights of wallowing in the mud."
- Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (page 9). nemesis.hacking-cult.org. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "...and Porker Lewis (the pig) teaches him to fear fire."