Silver the Hedgehog
From Sonic Retro
Silver the Hedgehog (Japanese: シルバー・ザ・ヘッジホッグ, Shirubā za Hejjihoggu) is a recurring character in the Sonic the Hedgehog games and related media. Introduced to the Sonic series in the 15th anniversary Sonic the Hedgehog game in 2006, Silver comes from a hellish future several centuries hence, where Sonic's world has been consumed by the Flames of Disaster. The hedgehog has powerful psychokinetic abilities that enable him to survive in the harsh wasteland of Crisis City.
Silver's design, and specifically his psychokinetic abilities, were planned as a means of showcasing the capabilities of the powerful new physics engine being implemented in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The character went through over fifty potential designs , including being named "Venice" (after the Venice-like environs of Soleanna Castle Town) and as a mink rather than a hedgehog, before Silver's final look was settled upon.
Silver shares his height, weight, species, initials, gender, and Super State fur and eye color with Sonic and Shadow. Sonic Team member Shun Nakamura has stated in an interview on Sonic Channel that the similarities are very much intentional, especially in terms of Silver's name, so as to ensure that any games entitled Sonic, Shadow, or Silver would end up next to each other on game store shelves.
In SEGA's Sonic '06 game script spreadsheet file, there are character profiles written in corresponding English and Japanese that talk of their personalities and some of their origins. At the end of Silver's English profile, it says "(The below is all temporary) Essentially, think Trunks from Dragon Ball Z."
Silver the Hedgehog (Video Game Character)
Origin of Silver
In Sonic '06, Silver lives in a time at least 200 years ahead of Sonic's, where the world has been utterly decimated by Iblis, one of the component consciousnesses of Solaris. Along with his friend Blaze the Cat, Silver is engaged in a never-ending battle against the immortal fire demon, striking Iblis down whenever it manifests to try and at least limit the damage it causes.
At the end of Sonic '06, Solaris is defeated and an in-universe temporal paradox occurs when Princess Elise extinguishes the Flame of Hope, thereby averting the Day of Disaster. Silver's fate becomes confusing here, because his entire timeline is now apparently prevented from ever happening. Since Silver does turn up again in later games, he obviously hasn't been erased from time; but what his origin story is now, after the events of 06, is never addressed. In Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2 he still comes from "the future" (the same future as Eggman Nega and Onyx Island), but the actual nature of this future is only hazily specified. In Sonic Colours (DS), he tells Sonic and Tails that "The future's not all stone and buildings... [It's] a lot brighter than this. The sky is blue, and everybody's got a smile.". But in his Sonic Generations profile, we are told that "Silver is a hedgehog who has come from the future to change a ruined planet in his timeline".
Personality and Traits
Although his impressive powers make him a formidable fighter, Silver can often come across as naive and unsure of himself. In Sonic '06, his debut and most major role, Silver relies heavily on his friend Blaze the Cat for guidance and support - traits which allow him to be manipulated by Mephiles the Dark.
Nevertheless, Silver is committed to making the future he lives in a better and safer place, from prosecuting an endless fight against Iblis to diving into the past when the timeline is threatened. Much like Sonic and Ivo Robotnik, Silver has his own mad scientist archnemesis in the form of Dr. Eggman Nega.
Silver isn't as fast a runner as Sonic or Shadow, but has the ability to fly, at least in cutscenes, using his psychokinetic powers to lift himself. Players of Sonic '06 could use Silver's flight to warp quickly over short distances, and glide slowly over longer ones. Silver can also use the standard Homing Attack, Spin Attack, and Spin Dash in the Rivals games, as well as super transformation in 06. In Sonic Rivals 2, Silver's PK ability is shown to fade with overuse. If it runs out, he becomes physically drained to the point where he can hardly move. The issue is remedied by simply collecting large amounts of rings.
Appearances by Game
Silver appears in the following Sonic games:
In his debut game, Silver's story opens with him and Blaze pursuing Iblis through the flaming wasteland of Crisis City. Silver has been fighting against Iblis his whole life - so far, an entirely futile endeavour, as each time it is defeated, Iblis will simply rise up again, phoenix-like. Venting his frustrations after Iblis Phase 1, Silver and Blaze are given an intriguing proposition by a mysterious stranger; they can be sent into the past to kill the 'Iblis Trigger', the person who unleashed Iblis into the world on the Day of Disaster. Silver accepts, and he and Blaze are sent back in time as Mephiles' assassins.
While pursuing Sonic across Soleanna, Silver suffers a crisis of conscience at his mission, but Blaze manages to convince him that pre-emptive murder is the right answer. However, a Chaos Control accident during a fight against Shadow sends Silver and the Ultimate Lifeform further back in time to the Solaris Project, where they discover the truth behind Mephiles' identity. His illusions dispelled, Silver goes on to team up with Sonic in order to save Princess Elise on the Egg Carrier, and fight a final battle against Iblis Phase 3, where he loses Blaze.
After Mephiles' plan succeeds anyway, Silver helps gather up the Chaos Emeralds needed to resuscitate Sonic at the End of the World - finding the grey Emerald in Dusty Desert. Along with Super Sonic and Super Shadow, Super Silver helps defeat Solaris and reset the timeline.
Silver's gameplay in Sonic '06 uses his psychokinesis in a number of offensive and defensive ways. The most common use of the ability is taking hold of and moving objects such as boxes, enemies, and even other characters. Silver can either set such objects down, throw them one by one, or throw them all at once. The number of objects Silver can hold at once is generally limited by the amount of energy in the PK meter displayed onscreen. Other uses of Silver's PK include paralyzing enemies and rivals (enabling him to hold and throw them), firing stun waves, temporarily confusing opponents by scrambling their controls, and even manipulating surrounding environments.
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Silver plays no part in the plot of Sonic and the Secret Rings, but he can be unlocked for multiplayer Party Mode by collecting a number of Fire Souls.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
As in Secret Rings, Silver plays no part in the game's plot, but is unlocked for free races and multiplayer after clearing the Babylon story. Unlike the Speed Type Sonic and Shadow, Silver's floating psychic abilities make him a Fly Type racer.
Although the Solaris paradox at the end of Sonic '06 might have been expected to destroy his entire timeline, Silver is reintroduced to the series in Sonic Rivals. Silver has again traveled back in time, this time to stop Eggman Nega from altering history on Onyx Island. Unfortunately for Silver, the travel to the past seems to have left him with amnesia, so it is only as the story progresses that he remembers his mission to stop Nega from abusing the power of his card-transforming camera. After a series of competitions with Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles, and Metal Sonic, Silver finally fights Nega, who's machine backfires and turns him into a card. Silver is last seen saying that he will find and restore the other items Nega has turned into cards before returning to the future. Whether Silver completes this mission is never revealed.
Sonic Rivals 2
In the second installment of the Rivals series, Eggman Nega manages to escape from his card prison into the present time, where he attempts to unleash an interdimensional beast called the Ifrit upon the world. To set things right, Silver travels to the present once again to stop Nega from releasing the Ifrit. Here the hedgehog forms an unlikely alliance with Espio the Chameleon. Although Vector initially suspected Silver of being responsible for the recent spate of Chao disappearances, Espio and Silver team up to prevent the real culprit, Nega, from sacrificing the captured Chao to the Ifrit.
Along the way Silver encounters many friends and foes including Team Sonic, Shadow, Rouge, and Metal Sonic. All eight of them end up in the Ifrit's home dimension, Chaotic Inferno Zone, to fight the fiery creature. Silver decides to leave Eggman Nega trapped under rubble in the hellish dimension at the end of the game.
Sonic Free Riders
Just as in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Silver plays no part in the main story in the game, and is simply an extra racer. He is unlocked by clearing all four main stories. Silver defaults to the "goofy" stance, and while he is primarily a Flight Type, he can be equipped with any Skill Type the player chooses. His Psychic Wave gear sports a completely new look; now being black and silver instead of the original purple.
Sonic Colours (DS)
The Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colours sees Sonic find many of his friends exploring Dr. Eggman's Amazing Interstellar Amusement Park. Silver, along with Blaze the Cat, is found in Sweet Mountain, where he's disparaging the Doctor's kitschy vision of the future as one which contains too much masonry. The psychokinetic hedgehog simply directs Sonic and Tails to a couple of mission stages, and chases away Orbot and Cubot with Blaze's help. Why Silver is even here in the present again is not addressed; perhaps he even simply stuck around after his last adventure.
Sonic Generations (HD)
Whereas Blaze the Cat manages to find her way to Sonic's birthday party in spite of the time-space difficulties involved, it seems that Silver does not. He is, however, snapped up as the Time Eater rampages through history. Though Silver recognises Sonic, he suspects the blue hedgehog might be an illusion sent by the aforementioend chronological monstrosity, and so he is understandably reluctant to just hand over his Chaos Emerald. This leads to the rival battle against Silver on the smashed causeway of Crisis City. As the two Sonics battles Time Eater as the game's final boss, Silver is more supportive, joining the rest of the cast in cheering the Sonics on. In the end sequence, Silver is returned to Sonic's party, despite not having been there beforehand – a fate he shares with Shadow.
Silver in Other Media