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Don't question it, big guy! Just be thankful!


— Ray the Flying Squirrel, Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special

Ray the Flying Squirrel (レイ・ザ・フライングスクイレル Rei za Furaingu Sukuireru?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic flying squirrel who is Mighty the Armadillo's closest friend who is a master at gliding and can use his tail in many special ways to use in combat to protect his friends.

Concept and creation[]

Ray was designed by Manabu Kusunoki for the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog. Kusunoki reasoned that in order to control like Sonic, the new characters would need to be animals that could have the same proportions as Sonic. Additionally, since Sonic is a hedgehog, a relatively obscure animal, Kusunoki wanted his companions to be equally unusual. With this in mind, Kusunoki decided upon an armadillo and a flying squirrel.[2]

Appearance[]

Ray is an anthropomorphic flying squirrel with yellow fur and dark tan skin on his muzzle, inner ears and front torso. He has black eyes, a small tapered hair tuft at the top back of his head (making it appear somewhat teardrop-shaped), a furry skin membrane connecting his waist to his lower arms, small, perky triangular ears, a shiny, bulbous black nose and a long club-shaped tail.

For attire, Ray wears white gloves with large cuffs, and blue sneakers with white cuffs and soles. Each of his shoes also has two white straps that do not reach the soles. Originally, he instead wore red sneakers with a white buckle-strap, white sock-like cuffs and gray soles, almost identical to Sonic's shoes, but are a slightly darker shade of red.

History[]

SegaSonic the Hedgehog[]

In SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Ray was captured by Dr. Robotnik and imprisoned on Eggman Island where he was to be executed along with Mighty the Armadillo and Sonic the Hedgehog himself. Teaming up with Sonic and Mighty, Ray escaped his cell, only to be blown to the other side of the island with Sonic and Mighty by a geyser triggered by Robotnik. After that, the trio teamed up to escape the island. Avoiding the island's hazards and traps, the trio got to his tower where they confronted him. In response, Robotnik activated the tower's self-destruction sequence. However, the trio managed to escape the island before its destruction.

Sonic Mania Adventures[]

SMA3-11

Ray meets Knuckles, from "& Knuckles".

Arriving on Angel Island during his search for Mighty, Ray eventually came across Knuckles and his Master Emerald. After having his friendly greeting rejected, Ray showed Knuckles Mighty's missing person poster. Before he could see Knuckles give his response however, Ray's interest fell upon the Master Emerald. When he tried to touch it though, a paranoid Knuckles grabbed Ray and threw him away.

Undeterred, Ray continued his search for Mighty. During so, he was attacked by Metal Sonic. Cornered by the robot, Ray was luckily saved by Mighty. Mighty briefly incapacitated the robot and the duo happily reunited. This was cut short as Metal Sonic took Ray hostage. He then demanded for Mighty to hand over his Chaos Emerald in exchange for letting Ray go. Having no choice, Mighty gave the Metal Sonic his Emerald. The duo then watched Metal Sonic fly away despite Mighty's attempts to stop him. With Mighty's help, Ray did some reconnaissance on Metal Sonic, whom he saw fly towards a fortress while also seeing a blue hedgehog and a two-tailed fox head in that direction. He also saw an angry Knuckles giving chase to them. Ray informed Mighty of the direction they needed to head in and the duo went after Metal Sonic.

Having arrived at Dr. Robotnik's base, Ray and Mighty found an Emerald-powered Metal fighting Sonic and Tails. He and Mighty joined the duo in their fight against the robot but to no avail. Tails, however, managed to trap Metal Sonic and strip him of all the Chaos Emeralds. Robotnik then attempted to use the Master Emerald to empower Metal Sonic and finish the four heroes off, but both villains were stopped by Knuckles. With nothing else to do, Ray joined Sonic, Tails, and Mighty on a small picnic with chili dogs.

Sonic Mania Plus[]

In Sonic Mania Plus, Ray was captured by Dr. Eggman (who was originally known as "Robotnik"), and imprisoned together with who appeared to be Mighty in a capsule on Angel Island. Eventually, the Phantom Ruby showed up at their location, with Sonic arriving soon after. After the hedgehog freed Ray and Mighty from their capsule however, Mighty was revealed to be the Heavy Magician in disguise. The robot proceeded to take the Phantom Ruby and flee with it. Though Sonic and Ray gave chase, they were too late to stop the Heavy Magician from using the Phantom Ruby to revive the Hard Boiled Heavies who had been destroyed. The robots' resurrection also warped them all to Green Hill Zone. There, the revived Hard Boiled Heaves ran off with the Phantom Ruby. Ray subsequently teamed up with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and the real Mighty to search for the Phantom Ruby.

The group was eventually attacked by Eggman and his Death Egg Robot. Even so, they managed to defeat the doctor, causing him to fall into a hole. Following the villain, Ray and his friends saw him take the Phantom Ruby from the Hard Boiled Heavies, who refused to obey him. Once Eggman obtained the ruby, Ray and his group got sent to the Chemical Plant by the gem's power. Not set back by their displacement, the heroes continued their pursuit of Eggman, occasionally clashing with the Hard Boiled Heavies and other foes along the way. Whenever they caught up to Eggman however, the doctor either gave them the slip or sent them away with the Phantom Ruby.

Eventually, Ray and the others found out that Eggman had used the power of the Phantom Ruby to make Little Planet reappear in its mechanized state again. There, Eggman and the Hard Boiled Heavies had rebuilt their base of operations: the Titanic Monarch. Eventually, the heroic group made their way to the heart of the rebuilt Titanic Monarch where they faced Eggman in his Phantom Egg mech and four of the recently re-upgraded Phantom Heavies. Despite the odds, Ray and co. managed to defeat Eggman, resulting in the Phantom Ruby creating a rift that began devouring the Titanic Monarch. Assuming their Super States with the aid of the Chaos Emeralds however, Ray and his group escaped the rift, whereas Eggman got swallowed by it. Afterward, Ray and co. closed off their adventure with a trip to an ice cream parlor, only for the Heavy King to make an appearance and surprise them with a sundae.

Other game appearances[]

Sonic Generations[]

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Ray and Mighty make a cameo. In this game, they can be seen on some missing posters dotted throughout the City Escape. The poster mentions that they have been missing since 1993, referencing Ray's debut appearance in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Minecraft)[]

Ray and Mighty appear as skins in the Sonic the Hedgehog adventure map and skin pack for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. Their eyes are colored like the modern characters, with their Archie counterparts' eye colors.

Personality[]

Ray always tries to look on the bright side of life but is fairly timid compared to his bombastic friends. He glides via his patagium and can climb with his tail.


— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia

Ray is friendly, eager and very energetic.[3][4] What he lacks in raw strength, he makes up for with pure enthusiasm and excitement.[5] Although stressful situations can get him a bit teary-eyed, he is far from cowardly and will show no hesitation to head into danger when his friends are in a pinch. He is also quite resourceful.[6]

Ray loves adventure, and often glides to high places to get a view of the land below.[5] He is also shown to be highly curious (if not scatterbrained), as seen when he forgot that he was engaging with Knuckles after the Master Emerald caught his interest.[3] Though he is a little shy in regards to meeting new people, he is nonetheless helpful and possesses a strong sense of justice, being unwilling to leaving those in need without aid or letting villains to carry out their evil schemes.[6]

Powers and abilities[]

Ray is capable of running at speeds greater than Mach 1,[7] which is at the blistering speed of about 768 mph (1236 km/h), and keep up with even Sonic,[8] who can run at supersonic speeds[9] (which ranges from 915-3,840 mph). He is rather agile as well. Being a flying squirrel, he also has a prehensile tail that he is seen capitalizing as a third hand.

Ray can also perform the Spin Attack, Spin Jump and the Spin Dash, which are techniques where he curls into a concussive ball or cutting disk and directs himself at his targets. With them, Ray can shred or burrow through just about any substance given enough speed. Being a flying squirrel, he is also able to glide on the wind using his skin flaps.

Super Ray[]

Main article: Super Ray

With the seven Chaos Emeralds, Ray is able to attain a Super State known as Super Ray. In this state, all of Ray's abilities far surpass his normal ones. In addition, he is virtually invulnerable. However, this transformation consumes a lot of energy and requires Rings to be maintained.

Relationships[]

Mighty the Armadillo[]

MightRay

Ray and Mighty, from "Mighty and Ray".

You know, those two are basically, like, upgraded versions of you.


Knuckles the Echidna, TailsTube No. 5 (Remember When?)

Ray and Mighty the Armadillo are best friends[5][8] and they are inseparable, even outside of their quests. When Mighty got missing, Ray badly missed his presence, so he decided to go looking for him.[3][8] Ray is taken as a person quite dear to Mighty, so much so that he once surrendered a Chaos Emerald he had in his possession to Metal Sonic to save him.[8] Ray also supports Mighty in any of his decisions and always manages to cheer him up.

Miles "Tails" Prower[]

When Ray met Miles "Tails" Prower he was fascinated by the things he can do with his two tails, and they immediately became friends. The two often hang out to see what they can do with their tails as Tails was also surprised on his abilities.[10]Tails also mentions years later after the two lost contacts on how he loved hanging out with Ray showing the two's good friendship towards each other.

Amy Rose[]

Watch your tone, mister! Ray is just as compassionate and supportive as Tails! He's always sunny, and upbeat, and charming, and nice to be around! THE CARD WAS STILL RIGHT!


Amy defending Ray, from Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's 30th Anniversary Special
Amy defending Ray

Amy defending Ray from, Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's 30th Anniversary Special.

Ray cares for Amy Rose as a very good friend that will stand up for him even when others doubt him. When they first met Ray saved Amy from one of Bean's bombs and helped her look for the Chaos Emeralds.[6] In another incident, Amy and a Flicky were looking for people who are captured in capsules; while using her fortune cards it describes the next person as "compassionate and supportive." Amy assumes it's Tails but then the capsules reveal that it is Ray. Ray would start by explaining his story and ask for her help when the Flicky made a mean comment about him. Then Amy snaps at the bird saying how he is always sunny and upbeat.[11]

Friends/allies[]

Enemies[]

In other media[]

Books and comics[]

Archie Comics[]

Ray the Flying Squirrel Post-SGW Archie profile

Ray the Flying Squirrel, from Sonic the Hedgehog #264.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Ray is a close friend of Mighty the Armadillo, having met him while both were held prisoner by Dr. Ivo Robotnik. During an escape attempt, Ray ended up getting trapped in a time warp when he grabbed the prison's Power Gem. Years later, Mighty found and freed Ray, bringing him back to Angel Island where he joined the Chaotix. A loyal, if timid member, Ray helped his team face various foes on the island and then later Dr. Eggman alongside the Freedom Fighters. He later joined Mighty in his search for his sister.

As a result of reality getting rewritten by the Super Genesis Wave, Ray and Mighty became an adventuring duo under the tutelage of Moss the Sloth with ties to—but not membership in—the Chaotix or the Freedom Fighters.

IDW Publishing[]

Seasons of Chaos[]
IDWRay

Ray the Flying Squirrel, from Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special.

While training with Mighty in Spring Valley Zone by dodging the boulders he threw at him, Ray discovered Amy after she nearly got hit by a stray boulder. As Ray and Mighty went to check up on her, introductions were made between them. Learning soon after from Amy that Dr. Eggman was hunting the Chaos Emeralds again and that she needed help securing them, which she could locate with Tails' Emerald Radar, Ray and Mighty agreed to help Amy (and have another adventure along the way). Following Amy to Summer Falls Zone, the trio found the local Chaos Emerald when it landed on Mighty's head.

Just happy about their luck, Ray told a puzzled Mighty to not question it and continued towards the next Chaos Emerald with his team.

After arriving in Autumn Forest Zone, the trio found another Chaos Emerald in a tree, which Ray retrieved. However, the trio then encountered Fang, Bark and Bean, who were hunting the Chaos Emeralds too. As things came to blows between the teams, Ray would fight Bean, only to struggle against his bombardment of bombs. Eventually though, Ray threw one of Bean's bombs at Fang and Bark with his tail to defend Mighty.

The resulting explosion sent Amy flying. Though Ray caught Amy, he was quickly blown down by Bean. It was then that Metal Knuckles came by and escaped with the Chaos Emerald. As the group gave chase to Metal Knuckles, Ray and the others came across Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, who had Eggman cornered.

Eggman proceeded to explain that Heavy King had overthrown him and begun collecting the Chaos Emeralds to gain ultimate power and conquer the world. Hearing this, Ray joined forces with their gathered friends and enemies to stop Heavy King. The group subsequently went to Winter Caverns Zone, where they got to the entrance of Eggman's base, only to come under attack by Metal Sonic and Metal Knuckles. While Ray was defended from Metal Sonic by Mighty, Eggman managed to regain control of the Metals and have them team up with them.

After then entering the base, the group found Heavy King, who began battling them using the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds. Ultimately, Heavy King was defeated when Ray and the others took back the Chaos Emeralds while Sonic distracted Heavy King. Afterward, Ray and his allies departed the base and decided to share the Chaos Emeralds between them to keep Eggman from getting them. Taking the turquoise and white Chaos Emerald with them, Ray and Mighty departed to continue their training and adventures.[6]

Amy's New Hobby[]

While Ray and Mighty were passing by Amy's house, they got called back by Tails, who wanted them to see Amy's self-made comics. Seeing Amy's portrayal of themselves and their adventures in her comics, Ray and Mighty thought that they were funny in a good way, and so eagerly read more of them when Tails presented them. When Ray later saw Sonic arrive to see what the commotion was all about, Ray noticed Amy acting distraught for a while while Sonic took a look at her comics.[12]

Amy's 30th Anniversary Special[]

Ray explains Metal Sonic was targeting all of them. Mighty told him to run, but Metal caught up to him. He begs Amy to rescue him, and Amy says she will and anyone else Metal captured. Ray and Amy would go on to Market Harbor Zone where they would run into another Capsule and would be surrounded by Badniks. The Flicky using Amy's Piko Piko Hammer would free Bark the Polar Bear but he would be ambushed by Eggrobo, Amy and Ray would assist and the three would head to Eggman Island Zone where the rest of the capsules were. Bark would distract Metal Sonic while he and Amy freed everyone. Ray in the end would join Amy and friends in her picnic to celebrate their victory.[11]

Trivia[]

Shogaku Gonensei April 1992

Ray, Vector, Sharps, Mighty and others standing among Nicky's family and friends.

  • In the April 1992 issue of Shogaku Gonensei, Ray appeared alongside Mighty, Vector, Sharps and members of the Sonic the Hedgehog manga cast. His design matches that seen in Naoto Ohshima's concept artwork of "Sonic's Friends".[13]
  • According to an interview on Sonic Central, Sonic did not know the whereabouts of Ray, Bark the Polar Bear, Bean the Dynamite, Nack the Weasel, Chaos, or Tikal.[14]
  • Ray is the first Sonic character depicted with toes on his feet, which can be seen in one of his animations in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
  • Ray is one of the first Sonic characters to have a voice which was heard in SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
  • Ray made cameo appearance as a key chain along with Sonic and Mighty in the Sega game Gale Racer, the Sega Saturn version of Rad Mobile released in 1994.
  • During the early stages of Sonic Heroes, Ray was considered to be included as one of the playable characters on a team consisting of him, Mighty the Armadillo, and Metal Sonic.[15]
  • Ray is "a bit younger" than Mighty.[5]
  • According to Takashi Iizuka, Ray is considered to be part of the "Classic world" and the "Classic group of characters" and that he still exists in that world. He also added that there is a possibility of bringing him back in the future in some "Classic iteration".[16]
    • However, the Sonic the Hedgehog DLC that was released for the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft included "Modern" versions of Mighty and Ray.
    • Due to him being mentioned and shown by the modern cast in TailsTube #5 that rule may have been removed or lessened.

References[]

  1. Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "SegaSonic Arcade". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 18. ISBN 978-1506719276. "Ray the Flying Squirrel - Ray always tries to look on the bright side of life but is fairly timid compared to his bombastic friends. He glides via his patagium and can climb with his tail."
  2. The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 3. SMG Szczepaniak. 21 February 2018. p. 309. ISBN 978-0992926083. "Manabu Kusunoki: Yes, I designed the armadillo and flying squirrel characters. I did come up with backstories for them, but I can't recall them anymore. I do recall why I chose those two animals, though. In order for them to control just like Sonic did, they needed to be animals that could have the same proportions, with heads that were roughly half the size of the body. And since the game starred a hedgehog, which is a relatively obscure animal, I wanted his companions to be equally unusual."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hesse, Tyson (31 May 2018). "& Knuckles". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 3. YouTube.
  4. Sonic Mania Plus - Official Trailer. YouTube. Sega (25 April 2018). Retrieved on 25 April 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Webber, Aaron. The Art of Sonic Mania. Sega. p. 6. "Ray the Flying Squirrel is a bit younger than Mighty, but makes up for his lack of raw strength with pure enthusiasm and excitement. Ray loves adventure, and often glides to high places to get a view of the land below. He can use that same gliding technique to swoop down on unsuspecting robots!"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, "Seasons of Chaos"
  7. Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, Tantalus Media (17 July 2018). Sonic Mania Plus. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Special Stage.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Hesse, Tyson (22 June 2018). "Mighty and Ray". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 4. YouTube.
  9. Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3) European instruction booklet, pg. 5.
  10. TailsTube No. 5 (Remember When?)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's 30th Anniversary Special
  12. Sonic the Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2021, "Amy's New Hobby"
  13. knnosr on Twitter. Twitter (14 October 2020). Archived from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved on 15 October 2020.
  14. Sega of America . Sonic Q and A. Sega of America. Archived from the original on 13 June 2004. "Stephen F. (a.k.a Sonic's number 1 fan.): Will Ray the Flying Squirrel, Bean the Duck, Chaos, Nack, Tikal, and Bark reappear? P.S: COOL SITE!!! / Sonic: Actually, I don't know exactly where they are…but we do have some old faces from the past that will be with me in Sonic Heroes…make sure to check 'em out!"
  15. Shiro Maekawa on Twitter (Japanese) (26 April 2018). Retrieved on 5 May 2018.
  16. Shea, Brian (10 June 2017). More Burning Questions About The Sonic The Hedgehog Franchise Answered. GameInformer. Retrieved on 10 August 2017.
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