Sonic the Werehog (ソニック・ザ・ウェアホッグ Sonikku za Weahoggu?), or just the Werehog (ウェアホッグ Weahoggu?) for short, is a transformation that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. A bestial, werewolf-like form of Sonic the Hedgehog, this extreme physical transformation was created when Sonic accidentally absorbed a dose of Dark Gaia's energy, although the transformation itself would only be triggered by nighttime and remain active until daytime. After using it on a number of occasions, Sonic lost this form permanently when Dark Gaia reclaimed the energy that caused the transformation.
In this form, Sonic loses his speed in exchange for incredible strength and stretchable arms. He also gains a bit more feral and bestial behavior as a Werehog, including a deeper and more growling voice, a tendency to roar and howl, occasional quadrupedal movement patterns, and a shorter temper. Even when Sonic turns into this form, though, his heart is (almost) no different than usual.
Concept and creation
Early art of the Werehog was made by the lead character designer for Sonic Unleashed, Shinkichi Tanahashi, who Sega gave the concepts "ferocious" and "werewolf" to base the Werehog on. When starting out the design process, Tanahashi based the Werehog on the overall concept of Sonic transforming into a beast at night due to a curse, as the story involving Sonic's Werehog transformation had yet to be finalized at that point, and that Sonic transforming due to a curse was derived from stories of cursed men becoming monsters at night.
Because the Werehog was supposed to attack with his claws, Tanahashi removed Sonic's gloves from his design early on. The Werehog was still meant to be Sonic though, so Tanahashi decided to keep Sonic's iconic shoes for the design, but changed them to be spiky in order to make them look more wild. He then changed Sonic's general form into something more strong-looking. His shoulders and head in particular are connected by a single line, and his chest was made much more broad, giving his body the appearance of an inverse triangle. The final design, he said, was a "silly design"; it was made when he was getting started with the Werehog, which was based on that of a Yeti.
In this form, Sonic resembles a werewolf and gains increased muscular density and weight. He grows slightly larger, with a broader torso, a longer muzzle, larger hands, and longer, more muscular arms. Additionally, his fingernails become claw-like, his mouth becomes much larger, and his teeth become fangs; two of which always protrude even when his mouth is closed. Likewise, his ears become more curved and thin, and his lips become black. His once peach skin is now a pale blue, while his fur grows into a lush, heavy, dark blue coat. He also gains fur in places he normally does not, such as on his arms and chest. Traits of white fur also appear on his wrists, the end of his quills, and on his chest. While his eyes remain green, they become a lot more angled, with more prominent brows, and they are almost never interconnected.
For attire, Sonic loses his white gloves, exposing his hands, and the cuffs of his shoes become slightly frilled in the back. His now dark red shoes have gray metal strips that have three spikes on the surface, and the bottom of each sole is covered with eighteen small metal spikes.
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version and Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, when Super Sonic was caught in the Chaos Energy Cannon by Dr. Eggman, he had the Chaos Emeralds stripped from him, returning him to normal. Eggman then reversed the polarity of the Emeralds and used a negative chaos energy blast with the Chaos Energy Cannon to awaken Dark Gaia and split the earth apart. However, due to his proximity to the Chaos Emerald as the dark energy was expelled, a part of Dark Gaia's energy infected Sonic. This caused him to transform into Sonic the Werehog for the first time. Shortly after his transformation, Sonic was rejected from the Chaos Energy Cannon's space station and plummeted down to earth with the powerless Chaos Emeralds. Along the way, Sonic's fall was temporarily broken by a mysterious power, although he still fell head-first into Windmill Isle. There, he found an unconscious Chip, who made Sonic aware of his new form. Regardless, once Sonic learned that Chip suffered from amnesia and could not recall who he was, Sonic agreed to help him regain his memories. Soon after, the sun came up, and Sonic returned to normal. However, Sonic eventually assumed his Werehog form again during the following nightfall, making him understand the nature of his transformation. He also discovered his form's ability to stretch his arms when he grabbed an ice cream cone that Chip dropped. Sonic the Werehog soon after saved Tails from some of Dark Gaia's Minions, before heading to Spagonia to find Professor Pickle. Tracking the professor to Eggman's base near Mazuri, Sonic the Werehog, Tails, and Chip broke Pickle out of Eggman's captivity and returned to Spagonia where Pickle presented them with a plan of action to repair the planet and stop Dark Gaia with: find the Gaia Temples and insert the Chaos Emeralds into them, which would heal both the Chaos Emeralds and the planet. At the same time, Sonic sought for a cure to his Werehog condition. After globetrotting for a while, Sonic the Werehog and Chip returned to Spagonia, only to be found by Amy. However, Amy did not recognize Sonic as a Werehog, and thus left them. Seeing Amy not recognize him (which was not made better by Chip's commentary), made Sonic feel down about his condition. Regardless, Sonic pressed on, and eventually helped Amy when she got entangled with people possessed by Dark Gaia. After exorcising the people, Sonic could not face Amy and left before she could talk to him. However, he eventually came clean to her.
Continuing their adventure, Sonic the Werehog and Chip eventually found Chun-nan's Gaia Temple. There, they saved Zonshen, and Sonic defeated the Dark Gaia-possessed Dark Gaia Phoenix. Afterward, the duo restored their second Chaos Emerald and second continent, before saying goodbye to the restored phoenix. Later, upon finding the fourth Gaia Temple near Holoska, Sonic the Werehog defeated Dark Moray and restored the fourth Chaos Emerald and its associated continent with Chip's aid. Afterward, Sonic the Werehog and Chip went to Shamar, where Sonic the Werehog defeated Dark Guardian. In the aftermath, he and Chip restored the fifth Chaos Emerald and the fifth continent. When Chip later regained his memories and told Sonic that he was Light Gaia, Sonic turned into Sonic the Werehog again as nighttime arrived. He believed that it was Chip's influence that kept him from going bonkers like other people possessed by Dark Gaia, but Chip revealed that it was Sonic's own will that kept him pure, even with his Werehog condition. Afterward, Sonic promised Chip to help him finish the job of sealing Dark Gaia up once more. After restoring the final Chaos Emerald in Eggmanland's Gaia Temple, however, Sonic the Werehog and Chip were attacked by Eggman and his Egg Dragoon. After a heated battle that led to the core of the planet, Sonic the Werehog defeated the Egg Dragoon. However, Dark Gaia then appeared and knocked Eggman away before targeting Sonic and Chip. Sensing that Sonic had the last fragments of its power inside him, Dark Gaia forcefully extracted it from Sonic, thereby depriving the hedgehog of his Werehog form permanently.
In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Werehog is only playable in the nighttime versions of the Town Stages, Action Stages, and Entrance Stages. In the Action Stages, Sonic the Werehog's objective is the same as Sonic's daytime objective: reaching the Goal within a time limit. However, Sonic the Werehog himself is much slower than Sonic's daytime form. In return, he can jump (albeit without entering a Spin Jump), Double Jump, and move faster by Dashing. He can also pick up and manipulate certain enemies and objects with the Grab technique. Depending on Sonic the Werehog's Skill level, he can perform a variety of attacks on enemies while holding them. Additionally, a number of gimmicks, like Hanging Ledges and poles, can be grabbed onto by Sonic the Werehog, thus enabling him to climb or swing to an otherwise inaccessible area. Also, when confronted by enemies, Sonic the Werehog can damage them with a number of hand-to-hand combat techniques via attack combos. Attack combos can be initiated with / // /. Starting an attack combo with / leads to circular attacks, which generally do damage in a wider area around Sonic. Starting an attack combo with / leads to straight attacks which generally do heavier damage to enemies in front of Sonic. Once a combo is started with / // /, the player can combine /, /, /, and / as they please to execute different moves. The player can also hold down / // / to build up a charged attack (once upgraded). Sonic the Werehog can also perform Critical Attacks on certain weakened opponents. Outside of attack combos, the player can also guard against attacks and initiate the Unleashed Mode to make Sonic the Werehog temporarily stronger and invulnerable. In addition, in the majority of the game's environments, Sonic the Werehog relies on a Life Gauge that determines the maximum amount of damage he can take, the Unleashed Gauge that determines his usage of Unleashed Mode, and a Shield Gauge that determines how much damage his guard technique can negate. Also, as Experience is allotted, the player can upgrade Sonic the Werehog's "Combat" (number of Skill available), "Strength" (attack power), "Life" (size of his Life Gauge), "Unleash" (size of his Unleashed Gauge) and "Shield" (size of his Shield Gauge) parameters.
In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Werehog is only playable in the Night Stages and all Gaia Gates except for the main room of Apotos' Gaia Gate. In the Night Stages, the objective of Sonic the Werehog is to reach the Goal Ring within a limited time, much like in Sonic's daytime Stages. However, in these levels, Sonic the Werehog is much slower than Sonic's regular form. In exchange, he can jump (without it turning into a Spin Jump), Double Jump, and move faster with the Dash technique. Also, when encountering enemies, Sonic the Werehog can inflict damage on them with the following attacks:
|Right-Handed Attack||Shake Wii Remote|
|Left-Handed Attack||Shake Nunchuk|
|Two-Handed Attack||Shake Wii Remote + Nunchuk||+|
By alternating between the aforementioned right and left attacks, Sonic the Werehog can normally execute a variety of attack Combos. However, the player can also use the same attack option to achieve the same effect. The player can also perform the Dash Attack, pick up and throw certain enemies and objects with the Grab technique, protect Sonic from attacks with the Guard technique, and initiate the Unleashed Mode to increase Sonic the Werehog's attack power and lower the damage he would otherwise receive. With the Grab technique in particular, Sonic the Werehog can also climb Vertical Poles, swing on Horizontal Poles and Swinging Poles, and traverse Hanging Ledges. In addition, in the game's environments, Sonic the Werehog relies on a Vitality Gauge that determines the maximum amount of damage he can take and the Unleashed Gauge that determines his usage of Unleashed Mode. Also, as red orbs are allotted in gameplay, the player can upgrade Sonic the Werehog's "Vitality," "Combat," and "Attack Power Rank" parameters, as well as his number of skills, on the Orb Result screen.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Sonic the Werehog makes a small cameo appearance during the game's ending credits. Also, in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, the Werehog makes a small cameo appearance on a bonus artwork in the Collection Room.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Sonic the Werehog does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume based on Sonic the Werehog can be unlocked in the game by placing first 25 times in Single Event Mode, after which Espio will send the player the costume in the mail.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Sonic the Werehog does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume based on Sonic the Werehog can be unlocked in the game by scoring four points in one end of the Curling event.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Sonic the Werehog does not appear in person. However, a Mii costume set based on Sonic the Werehog can be unlocked in the game. However, it must be collected in two separate parts, each with their own stat changes.
In Sonic Dash, Sonic the Werehog is featured as one of the playable characters. In this game, he can be unlocked while participating in the "Fright Night" event.
|Image||Unlocking Requirement||Upgrade Profile|
|Collect 4 Halloween items
(18 October 2021 - 2 November 2021)
(Day 3 reward)
||As a result of Dr. Eggman's trap, Sonic turns into the Werehog after dark! He is incredibly strong, and has extendable arms.||Available on Premium Roulette.|
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, Sonic the Werehog is one of the playable characters, who was added to the game's roster in the version 3.10.3 update. He has the following gameplay characteristics:
|Dark Blast||Feral Dash||Storm Cloud|
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sonic the Werehog appears as a Support Spirit with the following characteristics:
|Enemy Fighter(s)||Enemy Power||Stage||Battle conditions|
|Wolf||4,200||Luigi's Mansion||Rule(s): Move Speed ↓; Attack Power ↑; Hazard: Fog
|Sonic the Werehog||Attack||★★ (Advanced)||"Knight of the Wind"||
|796||1||Physical Attack ↑|
Powers and abilities
As the Werehog, Sonic loses his trademark ability to move at super speed. In exchange, he receives an increase in muscular density that grants him overwhelming physical strength. His powerful arms in particular have enough strength to throw and topple creatures as large as a Titan and the Dark Gaia Phoenix, pick up and swing around enemies, and smash open metal vaults with a single punch. Nonetheless, he retains his lightning-fast reflexes and agility, being perfectly capable of performing various aerial stunts during interactions and Critical Attacks on Dark Gaia's Minions and reacting accordingly to Dark Guardian's near-instantaneous movements. Sonic is likewise very durable as the Werehog, being able to survive being hammered into the ground by Dark Guardian's hammer and still retain consciousness. He can also achieve above-average running speed by dashing on all fours.
In addition to the above, Sonic the Werehog also has the ability to stretch his arms at will. His maximum stretching limit is unknown though. Sonic mainly uses this ability to attack and grab enemies from a distance and build momentum for his attacks. He can even enlarge his arms, hands and feet to increase the power of his attacks. Outside combat, Sonic can also use this ability to move around by grabbing targets from a distance and easily swinging or jumping from pole to pole. In addition, Sonic the Werehog possesses sharp claws that can cut through solid rock and Badnik armor. Combining these abilities, Sonic can utilize a moveset of ferocious combat techniques that make up for his lack of speed.
Sonic the Werehog is also capable of harnessing the energies of Dark Gaia for different applications. He mainly applies it in his combat techniques to empower his attacks, put up a force-field when guarding, and harness excess Dark Gaia Force. Gathering up enough of the aforementioned energy allows Sonic to enter the Unleashed Mode, a temporary state that increases his strength and durability.
By harnessing different variants of Hyper-go-on from Wisps, Sonic the Werehog can use specific Color Powers to transform into a certain form, such as a drill, a laser or even a planet, each one possessing its own unique abilities. So far, Sonic the Werehog has been able to transform into the Cyan Laser, Yellow Drill and Indigo Asteroid. However, these transformations require a steady supply of Hyper-go-on to be maintained.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Werehog's first appeared in the In Another Time, In Another Place reality, where Sonic got turned into the Werehog after falling into one of Dr. Eggman's traps.
In the Prime Zone, the Werehog appeared shortly after Sonic the Hedgehog came into contact with some concentrated Dark Gaia energy. Each time under extreme stress following that, Sonic would start to transform into the Werehog, only for it to subdue. When caught by the Soumerca Egg Army however, Sonic finally turned into Werehog and briefly lost control. After receiving training from Moss the Sloth though, Sonic gained control over his Werehog form, which would return during nighttime and revert at dawn from then on. Sonic later lost this transformation permanently when Dark Gaia reabsorbed the Dark Gaia energy Sonic had ingested.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by IDW Publishing, Sonic the Werehog makes an appearance. This form's history is identical to its game counterpart's, up until after the events of Sonic Forces.
- "You've really... gone and done it this time, Eggman."
- —Sonic the Werehog after being transformed for the first time, Sonic Unleashed
- "I'm fine... I just need to be careful who sees me like this."
- —Sonic the Werehog after the second time he transforms, Sonic Unleashed
- Sonic the Werehog is based on the mythical Werewolf.
- Despite the term "Werehog" being a portmanteau of "werewolf" and "hedgehog," it is actually a misnomer. The word "werewolf" is the modern English continuation of a late Old English "wer(e)wulf," a compound of were "man" (cognate with Gothic wair, Latin vir) and wulf "wolf"; cognate with Middle Dutch weerwolf, Old High German werwolf. The term is literally "man-wolf," a man who becomes a wolf. Consequently, the term "Werehog" would literally mean "man-hog," an inaccurate term that would imply a man who becomes a hog rather than a hedgehog who becomes a wolf.
- Oddly, when turning back to normal, Sonic's gloves repair themselves. In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, Chip will even acknowledge this if the player feeds him enough food by asking, "Where do you put your gloves at night?"
- In the game, Lambros notes Sonic as being "shorter and stouter than before." However, Sonic grows almost a whole foot taller in his Werehog form, from 100cm (3'3") to 125cm (4'1").
- Sonic the Werehog's ability to stretch and extend his arms is a trait that several of Dark Gaia's Minions possess, especially the Nightmare variant. This might be due to Dark Gaia's energy being the source of both Sonic the Werehog's and Dark Gaia's Minions' powers.
- Sonic the Werehog is the second of Sonic's transformations to have a profile on Sonic Channel, the first one being Super Sonic.
- In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, if a player would press the jump button just as he grabs a ledge, the Werehog would perform a Spin Jump similar to Sonic's.
- This also happens when releasing a horizontal pole, grabbing an enemy while in midair, and jumping while sliding down a slippery path.
- In 2009 a Sonic costume pack for Little Big Planet was released with a Werehog costume along with the Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman costumes.
- Sonic fought the Egg Dragoon as the Werehog at night. But moments later, when Dark Gaia becomes Perfect Dark Gaia, Amy states, "It was broad daylight a minute ago!", implying that it had been day for several hours. Amy was in Shamar, which is east of Eggmanland on the map screen, so it was at least sunrise in Eggmanland. If this is so, Sonic probably should not have fought the Egg Dragoon at night.
- Granted, he was far underground and away from the sun.
- In the opening of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Werehog's fangs are noticeably sharp, defined, and smooth. However, for the rest of the game, his fangs appear shorter and more in line with the rest of his teeth.
- 『発売3日前☆ ウェアホッグの秘密をハミだし！(前編)』 (Japanese). Sega (16 February 2009). Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.
- Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Werehog. Sega. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
- Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) United States instruction booklet, pg. 6.
- Bloom, Ryan (21 February 2009). Concept Art Unleashed. TSSZ News. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009.
- 『発売2日前☆ ウェアホッグの秘密をハミだし！(後編)』 (Japanese). Sega (17 February 2009). Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.
- Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) United States instruction booklet, pg. 2.