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|Dr. Ivo Robotnik/Dr. Eggman|
|First seen: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)|
|Height: 185cm (6')|
|Weight: 128kg (281lbs)|
|Created by: Naoto Ohshima|
- "Robotnik" redirects here. For other characters featuring the surname, please see Gerald Robotnik (Dr. Eggman's grandfather) or Maria Robotnik (Dr. Eggman's cousin).
Dr. Eggman (ドクター・エッグマン or Dr. エッグマン) in Japan, also known as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, is the main antagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series of games and related media. Introduced along with Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, he has been featured in nearly every Sonic title since.
Eggman is a genius mad scientist, usually attempting to take over the world (or at least parts of it) with an army of robots, mythical creatures or by obtaining the Chaos Emeralds. He was created by Naoto Ohshima.
- 1 Character conception
- 2 Naming
- 3 Redesigns
- 4 In video games
- 5 In other media
- 5.1 Westernized game localization
- 5.2 Sonic the Hedgehog (manga)
- 5.3 Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
- 5.4 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)
- 5.5 Sonic the Hedgehog (Troll Associates book)
- 5.6 Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
- 5.7 Sonic the Comic
- 5.8 Sonic the Hedgehog (anime)
- 5.9 Sonic Underground
- 5.10 Sonic X
- 6 Miscellaneous
- 7 Theme songs
- 8 Voice actors
- 9 References
The origins of Dr. Eggman date back to the internal competition within Sega which saw Naoto Ohshima invent eventual winner, Sonic the Hedgehog. Ohshima had created several designs, including a roundish, mustached man in pajamas bearing a striking resemblance to the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. While the character didn't succeed as Sega's mascot, Sega's AM8 division (which would eventually christen itself "Sonic Team") chose to retain the design, repurposing him as a villain to be used in the game.
Early concept art for Sonic the Hedgehog suggests a bee-like Eggman was planned as one of many enemies in the game, but as development progressed, characters were dropped and Eggman was elevated to the primary antagonist. Eggman's final design was simplified from his earliest sketch, losing the bulky look of his pajamas and gaining a color scheme of red, black and yellow, to differentiate him from Sonic and place an emphasis on the subtle nature/technology dynamic the two represented. His design was also simplified to allow young children to be able to draw him easily.
When originally conceived, Sonic's nemesis was given a large, rounded design roughly shaped like an egg, and so was appropriately named "Dr. Eggman". In overseas markets however, the official name was changed to "Dr. Ivo Robotnik" (usually shortened to just "Dr. Robotnik) by Dean Sitton, emphasising his desire to make mechanical creations out of Sonic's friends.
The Robotnik name stuck, and became entrenched in Western Sonic lore (even appearing in the title of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine), however his association with eggs did not. The Sonic the Hedgehog Bible blames a rotten egg for his creation, and early comics in the United Kingdom see the character talk with egg-based puns, despite no longer being referred to as the "egg man". References to eggs also made it past Sega's localisation - Wing Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 uses Eggman's short-lived EGG logo, and his space station is called the "Death Egg".
Japan did not start recognising the "Robotnik" (ロボトニック) name until Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons were localised, as well as the level Robotnik Winter Zone in Sonic Triple Trouble. References to Robotnik in the US-made Sonic Spinball were also not completely supressed, meaning unlike most localisation changes in the series, both regions were vaguely aware that the character had two different names.
As a recognition of this localisation dilemma, Sonic Adventure attempted to bridge the gap, suggesting (in the English translation) that "Eggman" was a nickname for Dr. Robotnik used by Sonic and friends. In Sonic Adventure 2, the character was happy to call himself Dr. Eggman (complete with theme song), but both translations make reference to his grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, solidifying both names in the official continuity. Future games, however, would refer to him only as Dr. Eggman in all markets for the next several years.
Despite this, the Robotnik name continued to be used in officially licensed comics, and re-releases of Mean Bean Machine meant the Robotnik name never went away. The 2011 release of Sonic Generations brought the Robotnik name back to refer to the "classic" design in English speaking territories. The 2020 film also chooses to use the Robotnik name for Jim Carrey's character.
For reasons unclear, Dr. Eggman has varied more in his design than any other character in the Sonic series. No sooner was the first game released, Sega of America began tweaking the look of their newly named "Dr. Robotnik" character, making him visibly more angry in artwork than what was ever witnessed in Japan. While Eggman wore dark glasses, Robotnik had big black eyes - a possible misinterpretation of the original sprites that carried through across games and media.
Sega of America settled on angrier versions of the traditional Eggman look until 1993, when it commissioned two Sonic cartoons by DiC at the height of the hedgehog's popularity. As a result of this process, two new designs of Robotnik were produced, but while the version seen in the story-driven Sonic the Hedgehog TV series saw use in the subsequent comic adaption by Archie comics, it was the design created by Milton Knight for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog that was adopted as an official look for the character, appearing in Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and across 90s merchandise.
When the Sonic characters were revisited for production on Sonic Adventure, Dr. Eggman was initially left largely unscathed, receiving a similar batch of small alterations to that of Sonic, Miles "Tails" Prower, and Knuckles the Echidna. However, Yuji Uekawa, the man in charge of the redesign process, ultimately decided to drastically change the look of the character. While maintaining the red and black color scheme, his wardrobe was completely revamped, his egg-shaped body also becoming slightly less pronounced, giving him a more realistic proportion.
The 1998 design became the de facto look of Eggman for many years, however his appearance was (briefly) changed again with the release of the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog.
Angry "Western" Robotnik from the artwork of Sonic Spinball...
...was reworked (along with Sonic) for the 8-bit release to adopt Milton Knight's design.
The original unveiling of Dr. Eggman's redesign. From Sonic Adventure.
In video games
Origin of Dr. Eggman
The grandson of Professor Gerald Robotnik, Dr. Eggman was born as Ivo Robotnik. While much of his past remains a mystery, it is known that in his early years Eggman looked up to his grandfather, hoping to one day be as great a scientist as Gerald ever was. However, since Eggman's age is unknown, it can not be stated if he looked up to him because he knew his grandfather before the unfortunate incident that befell the Space Colony ARK, or only by stories that he heard from his family. Likewise, whether or not Eggman ever knew his terminally-ill cousin Maria and the importance she held for their grandfather is also unknown, an issue likely to never be addressed.
It was later on in life that Dr. Robotnik would meet his long-time rival and arch-nemesis Sonic the Hedgehog. It is unknown how long they knew each other before the events chronicled in Sonic the Hedgehog, but it is known that it was these occasions where Dr. Robotnik gained the nickname "Eggman" from Sonic. Instead of being angry, Robotnik decided to adopt the nickname as his own, calling himself "Dr. Eggman" and pasting the name on everything belonging to him, such as the Wing Fortress he used in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Embracing his Eggman persona, he tires endlessly to achieve his ultimate goal - the establishment of the Eggman Empire.
Personality and traits
Dr. Eggman is a male human, whose age is currently unknown. With a recorded IQ of 300 (though it may possibly be greater), he is one of the most intelligent beings on the planet Earth, as proven by his mastery in robotics and its related fields. While he could be anything, Dr. Eggman has set his sights on the highest prize of them all - global domination. Dreaming of the day he will be able to erect Eggmanland, Eggman tires endlessly at accomplishing this, though his plans are foiled time and again by the blue blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog.
Although he wants to rule the world, his desires are not for total destruction but instead to have the world focus on him and his image. This desire for recognition is not necessarily evil, but the ways he has gone about it can only be interpreted as such. Even with his IQ, he often acts childish, his need for attention and the desire to get his way paving the way for such behavior. Even so, Eggman is more than just a man with a dream, being described as a "romanticist, feminist, and self-professed gentleman." Above all, he is someone who does not give up easily, no matter how many setbacks he runs into or how many times Sonic and his many friends stop him.
Because of his obsession with ruling the world, it only makes sense that he would be obsessed with the seven items that could allow that to happen - the Chaos Emeralds. Ever since he learned that they were more than just legend, Eggman has tried endlessly to access the special stages they are often hiding in and claim them for himself. Although there have been times when he has been close to getting them all, never once has he succeeded in beating Sonic, making the Eggman Empire still nothing more than his vision of the future.
Although Eggman rarely goes up against Sonic without his trusty Eggmobile, the times he is outside of it has shown just how athletic he is. Though his physical appearance would suggest otherwise, Eggman is capable of sprinting at immense speeds, even almost able to outrun Sonic for a few seconds, although no faster than Sonic, but just as fast. Whether this means that the doctor is able to actually accelerate just as fast as Sonic or if he just happens to have luck on his side (Sonic being tired out from traversing an entire base or other such level) is unknown. Whatever the reason, it is always long enough for him to run into his latest weapon. Aside from this, the doctor's physical abilities are limited to those of normal humans, though he has proven to have an extremely resilient body, his luck running even deeper, able to survive time and again the destruction of his bases, air ships, and Eggmobiles.
Dr. Eggman, in his quest to take over the world, has also looked for allies outside of his own making. These allies are often creatures who existed in the distant past, sealed away because of their powers and the havoc they could cause. Since Sonic Adventure, Eggman has awoken and tried to control the likes of Perfect Chaos, Biolizard, Solaris, and Dark Gaia, every time the arrangement blowing up in his face. While anyone else would have learned to avoid such actions the first time around, Eggman's determination gives the impression he will continue looking toward ancient legends of otherworldly creatures as a tool to succeed.
It must be noted that while Eggman has tried time and again to defeat Sonic, often in acts that could potentially kill him, the doctor does not necessarily hate the hedgehog, almost looking fondly at their rivalry. This doesn't mean that Eggman enjoys losing; it merely hints that he might not know what to do with himself if he succeeded in taking over the world.
Being the robotics genius that he is, Dr. Eggman is not only defined by his personality but by his many creations. Perhaps the most widely recognizable of these would be his Eggmobile. Also known as simply "Eggman's Mobile," this hovercraft has been seen in nearly every Sonic the Hedgehog game, piloted by the elusive doctor. The mobile is often used as the center for the many boss encounters that occur in the Sonic games, with wildly different attachments used in an effort to defeat Sonic, "Tails," and the rest. When inevitably defeated, Eggman uses the same pod to make a hasty getaway, preparing for the next encounter he'll have with his rival.
When not fighting against Sonic himself, Dr. Eggman has developed numerous robot enemies to do the fighting for him. Their functions are wide and varied, ranging from being simple guards used to defend his bases to those that seek out the Chaos Emeralds. At their heart, however, they have been built to help conquer the many zones of the planet, in the process aiming their sites at Sonic the Hedgehog in a bid to attack. The earliest of his robot army, sometimes called badniks, had designs based on real animals, each with Eggman's own twist. Most of these early enemies were powered by the animals that resided where Eggman's latest base was, though some robots were powered by alternate sources. The enemies on the Little Planet, for example, were powered by flowers, and those found the game Chaotix were powered by gray versions of the most common Sonic item of all, rings. While modern members of Eggman's army have been built to function without any such power source, he still uses animals from time to time.
The Sky Sanctuary of Sonic & Knuckles was the first place where Eggrobo, an enemy built in the image of Dr. Eggman himself, was introduced. While still part of his standard robot army, Eggrobo was designed to be the strongest of the fleet, with speed and power comparable to his most famous creation, Metal Sonic. While they were unable to stop Sonic and "Tails" at the end of the Death Egg saga, they were used as the inspiration for Eggman's future robot enemies, which eventually phased out the unique animal-based fleet he had been using up to this point. The first line of robots based from this mold, the E-100 series, were introduced in Sonic Adventure. Armed with advanced weaponry, they were meant to carry out missions his other creations were unable to, but the most successful of these, E-102 Gamma, turned on his master and destroyed his early brethren. The final of the line, E-123 Omega, was also given a staring role in Sonic Heroes, but only seven of the implied twenty-four have been featured in the games thus far. Sonic Heroes also saw the introduction of the Egg Pawns, based on the Eggrobo design but meant to fill the role of the early robots that had by now been phased out.
As mentioned before, though Eggman has had many robots and other creations at his disposal, his most famous would have to be Metal Sonic. Designed to be the hedgehog's equal, Metal is one of Eggman's most advanced robots, and subsequently been used more than once to try and finish off Sonic the Hedgehog, although Metal Sonic has never been able to stop his living counterpart. There have also been other such creations based on Eggman's other foes, such as Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll, and even less advanced robots like the Mecha series - Mecha Sonic and Mecha Knuckles - but none have been used with such fervor as Metal Sonic. Also, while not part of either the Metal or Mecha series, Eggman did create a fleet of robots based on Shadow the Hedgehog, first unveiled in Sonic Heroes but featured in the Shadow the Hedgehog game. As one final note, the enemy robot that may be his inspiration for Metal Sonic, Mecha Sonic, and the rest is Arma (also known as Roller), an Armadillo-based enemy from the Spring Yard Zone who shares Sonic's hue and his spin ability. Though extremely primitive compared to his later outings, it can be considered Eggman's first attempt at creating a robotic duplicate of his adversary.
On top of all of this, Eggman has also had numerous flying fortresses and bases that he's used during the course of the games. Among his many bases are Scrap Brain from the first Sonic the Hedgehog, Metropolis from Sonic 2, Launch Base of Sonic 3, Final Egg from Sonic Adventure, and the Pyramid Base of Sonic Adventure 2. While the most famous of his flying fortresses is the Death Egg featured in Sonic 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, he has built others including the Wing Fortress from Sonic 2, Flying Battery used in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and the Egg Carrier featured in Sonic Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. It must also be noted that he briefly was able to create a portion of his fabled dream land, Eggmanland, during the events of Sonic Unleashed, but it was swiftly destroyed as many of his other bases and creations have in the past, his vision returning to just a dream.
This was taken a step further in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 when he was redesigned once more to match the realistic humans in the game. However, this even more extreme redesign was only used once, the Sonic Adventure design returning in later console releases such as Sonic Unleashed.
In other media
As has been the case with Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman's origin has been changed countless times when adapted into other media, with varying degrees of success.
Westernized game localization
While the original Japanese storyline chose to make Eggman's background simple, the westernized story spearheaded by Sega of America decided to make the villain of the Sonic series an evil mastermind not of his own choosing, but by a cruel twist of fate. As depicted in the promotional comic written by Francis Mao, the character who would be known as Dr. Robotnik was once named Dr. Ovi Kintobor, a kind and friendly scientist who worked in secret in his underground laboratory. Working diligently on his latest invention called the Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor, it was a device meant to absorb all the evil in the world in the six Chaos Emeralds housed in its center, thousands of rings keeping the entire machine in check. The friendly doctor may have worked alone for ages if not for the appearance of an unexpected visitor - Sonic the Hedgehog. Being the man he was, Kintobor welcomed the hedgehog, and showed him around his lab, telling him of the R.O.C.C. and the Chaos Emeralds, and how they were the key to capturing the very essence of evil.
Time went on, and Sonic, who was depicted as being brown, became the subject of one of Kintobor's experiments. Wanting to see just how fast the hedgehog could run, he put him on a supersonic treadmill to record his speeds. As it would, the treadmill was unable to handle Sonic's top speeds, resulting in an explosion that would transform Sonic into his classic blue hue. This also prompted Kintobor to create the red and white frictionless shoes that Sonic would wear from then on.
This relative peace was not to last, for one day while working over the R.O.C.C. trying to keep it stable, Kintobor asked Sonic to get him a soda pop and a hardboiled egg. Sonic got it in a flash, but due to the doctor's clumsiness, he spilled the drink, causing the R.O.C.C. to overload and all the evil to enter Kintobor. He was promptly transformed into his exact opposite, which was even reflected in his name. No longer was he Dr. Ovi Kintobor, but instead Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the most evil being on the planet Mobius.
Being Dr. Eggman's first non-game related appearance, the manga Sonic the Hedgehog published by Shogaku Yonensei features the villainous doctor not obsessing over the Chaos Emeralds as a way to take over the world, but Sonic the Hedgehog himself. Aware of the legend of Sonic and how he seems to have existed for quite a while, Eggman wants to learn to harness the powers of the hedgehog and use them for his own nefarious deeds. Through a moment of spying, Eggman discovers there is some slight connection between the family of Nicky and Sonic, though he is oblivious to the fact that Nicky and Sonic are one and the same. Because of this, many of his plans either involve the area in which Nicky lives, or the capturing and similar endangerment of Nicky's family and friends, including his little sister Anita and his girlfriend Amy Rose.
While previous and future incarnations of the villain Dr. Robotnik would lean toward humor, the version present in the Saturday morning series Sonic the Hedgehog produced by DiC Entertainment was the polar opposite of this concept. By the time the series began, Dr. Robotnik has already ruled the planet for a decade, nearly all living things having been subjugated to the Roboticization process. Only small pockets of resistance exist on the planet, the one he cares most about being the band led by Princess Sally Acorn of Knothole Village. The reason for this is not because it is led by the daughter of the king he overthrew, but of Sonic the Hedgehog, the speedy blue force that has been able to resist and escape the dictator's every move. Robotnik's obsession with Sonic has caused most of his attention to focus on luring out and getting rid of his greatest foe, sometimes neglecting to think about the consequences of his actions, even if he is warned by his nephew Snively that his rash attacks on the mere hint of Sonic being nearby could threaten his other operations.
The second season of the series went on to explain how Robotnik was able to ascend to power, once briefly being an understudy of the wizard Naugus, who was the discoverer of "The Void." Seeing the possibilities of such a locale, Robotnik betrayed the wizard, sending him into "The Void" and sealing him within. With Naugus gone, Robotnik (who was known only as Julian at this point) went on to become the War Minister for the House of Acorn during the Great War. Though the details of the war are never mentioned, he uses his position to secure his army of SWATbots, and when the war is over and the King declares for the army to be decommissioned, Robotnik turns on the House of Acorn and swiftly takes over the planet, using the robotocizer technology he stole from Sir Charles Hedgehog, Sonic's "Uncle Chuck."
While the show never speaks on the earlier days of Robotnik, Ben Hurst, the head writer of the show, says the backstory they worked with was that Robotnik was from Earth's future but Mobius' past, and in the year 2200 attempted to take over the space colony he was living in. Inadvertently destroying it instead, Robotnik and Snively narrowly escape with their lives, and are sent into the distant future where they return to Earth, only to find it has become Mobius. Thinking that he is superior to the animals that now inhabit the planet, he sets about to conquer it in any way he can.
It should also be noted that Dr. Robotnik's design in the show is heavily based on the design made by Milton Knight for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, as the two animated series were developed at the same time by DiC.
The history of Dr. Eggman in the Sonic the Hedgehog series by Archie can be confusing to the novice, his current incarnation deeply rooted in the early days of the series. Currently there have been two main antagonists with the Dr. Robotnik name, sometimes referred to as "Robotnik I" and "Robotnik II."
Dr. Robotnik I
"Robotnik I" was born Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo. His parents were from separate parts of the planet Mobius, one being part of the Overlanders tribe, the other from the surviving humans living in Station Square. Growing up with the Overlanders, he began plotting his rise to power early on, sabotaging anyone who stood in his way. One of these early causalities was his mentor, Nate Morgan, who Julian conspired to have banished. With Nate gone, Julian worked within the Overlanders military operations, constructing sophisticated technology used in their war with the Kingdom of Acorn.
However, it was soon discovered that Julian had been using living Overlanders to test his war machines, and the Minister of Justice, his brother Colin Kintobor, tried and convicted him of his crimes. Sentenced to imprisonment, Julian managed to escape and disappeared into the Badlands, where he was discovered by Jules and Sir Charles, Sonic the Hedgehog's father and Uncle Chuck, respectively. Taking him back to King Maximillian Acorn, Julian was welcomed with open arms once he promised to help them defeat his own people. He briefly allied himself with then-warlord Kodos, who wanted to overthrow the kingdom and throw the King into the Zone of Silence, but Julian used this knowledge to instead banish Kodos, positioning himself as the new warlord of the Acorn army.
Eventually, the House of Acorn was able to win the Great War, and Julian found himself in exactly the position he wanted. While he told King Acorn he would assume the mantle of Minister of Science, he instead set into motion his own takeover of the kingdom. In the twilight days of the war, Julian had discovered that Sir Charles had been working on a machine that could turn living tissue into robotic parts, in an attempt to save lives that would otherwise be lost. The first to undergo the process of Roboticization was Sonic's father, Jules, but because of sabotage by Julian, Jules became nothing more than an android who only listened to the Overlander. Jules wife Bernie was the next to undergo the process, and it was only a matter of time before he used the machine as the tool to roboticize the citizens of Mobotropolis, seizing the kingdom using his SWATbot army and sending the king into the Zone of Silence. With this act Julian Kintobor changed his name to Dr. Ivo Robotnik, and transformed the capital into Robotropolis, with only a few of its citizens able to escape from his conquest.
While he was able to overtake Mobotropolis as he did in the Saturday morning series that inspired the comic, he never had as tight a grip on the planet as his counterpart. It was shown later on that many areas of Mobius still had unroboticized beings, and these places were ruled by sub-bosses such as the Iron Queen. Also, in the earlier issues of the series, while Sonic and the Freedom Fighters fought Robotnik in an effort to save Mobius, his earlier schemes against those who dared to fight him were more comical in nature, his personality closer to the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Robotnik than the Saturday morning alternative his design was based on. It was only as the series progressed that he began to act more like an evil dictator and less as a comical villain.
Dr. Robotnik's rule finally ended in issue #50, the culmination of the "Endgame" story arc. During one final confrontation with Sonic, Robotnik attempts to set off his "Ultimate Annihilator," blind to the fact that his nephew Snively had sabotaged the machine. While Sonic was able to escape, Dr. Robotnik's particles were scattered, putting an end to the conflict that had been the focus of the series.
Dr. Robotnik II
After the defeat of Dr. Robotnik, the Freedom Fighters set about to rebuild Mobius, and the next few issues dealt less with action and more with restoration. However, in the build-up to issue #75, a mysterious being known only as "Anonymous" began interfering with the planet, its origins traced back to a series of satellites orbiting it. When the Freedom Fighters went up to investigate, they found themselves face to face with Robo-Robotnik, an alternate version of their own Robotnik from a parallel universe.
Back in issue #19 of the series, Sonic the Hedgehog and the rest of the Knothole gang were met by a version of Sonic who was half-roboticized. This version of Sonic explained that he was from a universe that was similar to theirs, except his Robotnik was able to capture the core Freedom Fighters, forcing them to undergo the roboticization process but only transforming one side of their body. Instead of putting a stop to the resisting force, however, this physical change turned the Freedom Fighters into an unstoppable force that maintained their free will. When their version of Robotnik realized the folly of his plan and that his upheaval was imminent, he forced himself to undergo his own Roboticization process, and began a quest to find the pieces of the "Giant Borg," a device that would help him not only take over his own Mobius, but countless others. With the combined might of numerous Sonic's, Robo-Robotnik was defeated, and thought completely destroyed.
In reality, he was able to save his consciousness, transferring it into a satellite back in his home reality and waited for the perfect time to strike. During his grand unveiling in issue #75, he explains that he was able to finally defeat his own version of Sonic, but was unsatisfied, and decided to attack the universe that had thwarted him before. While the Freedom Fighters were able to destroy his robot body, he pulled the same trick once again, and transferred his consciousness into a body made in the design of Dr. Eggman from the Sonic Adventure games. As time passed, he dropped the Robotnik moniker entirely, calling himself Dr. Eggman. While for a time he upgraded his body to possess the ability to roboticize people at his very touch, this disappeared when he was finally turned back into flesh and blood through the intervention of the Bem alien race. Once again human, Dr. Eggman continued his assault against Sonic the Hedgehog, his personality shifting closer to the games depiction with each passing issue.
The two Robotnik's have met three times in the course of the series, the first being in the previously mentioned issue #19. The second was in issue #22, when Robo-Robotnik saved Robotnik from certain death in the previous issue. The third and final time the duo met was in issue #108, where Dr. Eggman is able to briefly put Dr. Robotnik's particles back together after the events of issue #50, the two working together in the hopes to trick the Freedom Fighters. While their final team-up resulted in a loss for both of them, the door to the original Dr. Robotnik's return has been left open.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Troll Associates book)
Taking elements from the Saturday morning series and the Archie comic book, the children's novel Sonic the Hedgehog gives Robotnik a very clear, yet puzzling origin. Being an orphan, Robotnik is taken in by Charles Hedgehog, who is called Uncle Chuck by the other orphan he is taking care of, Sonic the Hedgehog. Even though they grew up together, Sonic and Robotnik never got along, the future dictator more interested in building robots rather than having fun.
Often stealing parts from Uncle Chuck's belongings, things take a turn for the worse when he steals the steering components from Uncle Chuck's tractor, right before Chuck gets on it to take it to the neighbors. The result of Uncle Chuck losing control of the tractor puts both he and Robotnik trapped between it and a tree, and Sonic is forced to rescue them. Its only later that Uncle Chuck finds out that it was Robotnik's fault, and in an effort to punish him sets off the child's wrath. Years later, Uncle Chuck is one of the first victims of Robotnik's takeover and subsequent roboticization, although Sonic is able to save his uncle by the first novel's end. Unlike the material it is sourced from, it is never explained how Robotnik gathered his power or how he learned the secrets of roboticization.
This origin story was also used in the original Archie mini-series, but presented as an imaginary story; a bad dream that Sonic is thankful never actually happened.
The Robotnik featured in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is never given as clear an origin as in the other DiC Entertainment series, instead being presented as the classic villain who wants to rule the world. As emphasized by his supporting cast Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts, his three main badniks, he doesn't nearly take himself as seriously as his Saturday morning counterpart. His desire to rule the world is not just a blind one, however. So excited is he over the fact he exists, Dr. Robotnik looks upon the world wondering how everyone else could not be as excited as he over his existence, wanting to rule to have everyone celebrate his nature.
While Dr. Robotnik calls himself the ruler of Mobius, it is very much in his own mind, and is never able to extend his influence beyond his own fortress. Each time he tries, he is thwarted by Sonic the Hedgehog, which spawns his trademark phrase he speaks at the end of each episode, "I hate that hedgehog!" Slightly jealous of Sonic, he is confounded by Mobius' unending praise for the hedgehog, his desire for wanting to be loved and adored driving him to greater heights of villainy, waiting for the day the world will embrace him as their true leader and inspiration. He is portrayed very much as a comical foe, more so than any other version of Dr Robotnik/Dr. Eggman, his persona fitting into the world of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
While his past is never fully explored, there are some instances in which parts are revealed, often just for the point of that one episode. The episode "Best Hedgehog" tells of how Robotnik, an overweight, acne-ridden teenager, had a crush on a girl named Lucinda in his high school. While he tries to win her affections, she is instead attracted to another man named Lucas. Robotnik tries to win her by attacking Lucas with one of his early inventions, but he fails, and once he becomes the Robotnik he is in the show, holds Lucas captive for decades until Sonic is able to free him.
Robotnik also has family in the show, his mother appearing a handful of times during the run. While she looks like Robotnik in a dress, mustache and all, Dr. Robotnik is afraid of her far more than anything else, and tries desperately to hide her away in the Mobius asylum. Robotnik also makes his own robotic son, Robotnik Junior, who looks like a younger version of Robotnik. Unfortunately for him, his son defects to the Freedom Fighters.
Important to note is that Dr. Robotnik, as he is depicted in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, was designed by cartoonist Milton Knight. His redesign of Robotnik was done to ensure that the doctor would be "animation's sexiest fat man!".
Sonic the Comic, the U.K. series published by Fleetway, used the Westernized origin story as their background, having Dr. Ovi Kintobor accidentally transform into the evil Dr. Robotnik. However, instead of having soda play a part, Kintobor trips over a cable while holding a rotten egg, causing the transformation. While Kintobor's consciousness still existed in digitized form as a computer, the villainous Robotnik soon began his plans for world domination.
While early issues featured Robotnik in his classic game design and his dialogue full of egg puns, issue #8 of the series not only explained the origin in the pages of the comic but began a turn of events that would dictate the tone for the series, with Dr. Robotnik sending Sonic and and some of his closest friends forward in time. While only displaced by six months, it is more than enough time for Robotnik to succeed in taking over Mobius, forcing Sonic to become more than just the foil to his schemes, but the leader of the Freedom Fighters.
As the comic continued, Robotnik's personality began to shift away from a more humorous style and toward that of his Saturday morning counterpart. This was even reflected in his change of clothing, shunning his simple dress for the more menacing style of that Dr. Robotnik. It was issue #21 that Robotnik decided he needed to not only change his clothing, but his entire body, and encased himself in an egg, emerging as the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog styled Robotnik. He kept this form for the rest of the series, although he did change his clothes one final time in the Sonic Adventure adaptation, putting on the jacket his game counterpart had adopted.
Though created by the Chaos Emeralds, Robotnik was always on the lookout for the gems, them having been hidden by Sonic shortly after his transformation into the evil dictator. Though always looking to reclaim the six (and to discover the lost seventh gray emerald that would control the rest), each time he became close to possessing them they were pulled out of his reach, eventually all seven becoming guarded by Knuckles the Echidna on the Floating Island. As the series progressed, Dr. Robotnik was met with failure after failure, losing his empire in issue #100 and unable to ever gain it back. While there were times in the comic that he almost achieved godhood, he was always thwarted by Sonic and the Freedom Fighters, which affected him to the point of immense depression. His faithful assistant, Grimer, not wanting to stand by and watch his master wither away, decided to unleash Chaos, a fear-based water creature, in the hopes of defeating Sonic and reclaiming Mobius. While at first it looks as though Robotnik is reinspired by these events, in actuality he cares for nothing anymore, and wants to end it all, even if it means the planet goes down with him.
One last thing to note is that during the course of the series, the Metal Sonic-based Metallix went back in time to prevent the creation of Robotnik, as in an alternate timeline they still existed because it was Robotnik's assistant Grimer who designed them, Robotnik only adding a self-destruct mechanism. Because of this, Sonic was forced to go back in time and make sure that Kintobor would trip over the wire and cause his transformation, thereby creating his greatest foe.
Sonic the Hedgehog (anime)
Produced under the supervision of Sonic Team, the two part OVA featured a Dr. Eggman who was closer to his game counterpart compared to any that had come before. While he is the ruler of Eggmanland, it is a city that is below where most of the inhabitants of Planet Freedom live, built on the outskirts of what was once New York City. He is both cunning and charismatic, yet still childish, easily falling for the whims of the President's daughter, Sara.
While Sonic doesn't necessarily believe Eggman's story about Eggmanland being overtaken by Black Eggman, he and Miles "Tails" Prower venture into the heart of Eggman's empire, prepared to save the world from whatever may get in their way. It doesn't take long for Sonic's suspicions to be confirmed that Eggman was involved from the beginning, the entire expenditure merely a ploy to allow his latest creation Hyper Metal Sonic to be complete, the robot needing Sonic's life data to become fully operational. While Eggman wishes to rule as his game counterpart, he has no qualms with what he plans to do with Hyper Metal Sonic - destroy that which keeps the Land of the Sky afloat, leaving only the Land of Darkness and Eggman's empire.
Also, throughout the anime, it is revealed that Eggman is not holding the President's daughter hostage to have a bargaining chip to let his plans go into motion, but because he is enamored with her. He fully intends on marrying Sara once Planet Freedom's Land of the Sky shatters, and have a fleet of children with her.
The final of the three DiC Entertainment Sonic productions, Sonic Underground once again returns to the Dr. Robotnik design from the previous show, Sonic the Hedgehog. While his origin is also similar in the sense that Robotnik overthrew the original ruler of the planet, the ruling monarch at the time was Queen Aleena Hedgehog, mother of Sonic and his two siblings, Sonia and Manic the Hedgehog. Although he does overthrow her, she is able to escape, and protect her children from his grasp. Hiding her three children with separate foster parents, Dr. Robotnik takes the opportunity of the missing monarchy to secure his place as the ruler of Mobius. While he does have the capability to roboticize anyone, the mad dictator restrains himself from transforming every living thing on the planet, choosing only to make examples of those who oppose him. Along with his sidekicks, the bounty hunters Sleet and Dingo, Robotnik spends his time making sure he is the undisputed ruler of Mobius, continually seeking out Queen Aleena and her three children, most of all Sonic, to make sure the prophecy of his downfall never comes to pass.
The character of Robotnik also has a bit more emphasis on maintaining some form of the old order, leaving the nobility of the planet alone for the most part, as long as they pay him tribute and allow him to be the ruler. This alone shows that he is not as strict a dictator as in the Saturday morning series, and is slightly more interested in being adored by the public.
The second, and for the moment last, animated series produced under the supervision of Sonic Team, Sonic X keeps Dr. Eggman close to his gaming counterpart, desiring the Chaos Emeralds and going head to head with Sonic the Hedgehog. Although he had already succeeded in getting the seven Chaos Emeralds in the beginning of the first episode, the machine that he has them connected to causes Chaos Control to occur, transporting the main cast and those nearby to an alternate dimension, and to planet Earth.
Discovering himself in unfamiliar territory, Eggman immediately begins the same tricks that he started on their home planet, causing chaos and confusion in the heart of Station Square. Assisted by his robot assistants Bocoe and Decoe, the mad doctor begins looking for the Chaos Emeralds in a very monster-of-the-week fashion, sending one of his E-Series robots at random each episode. His plans later evolve, however, after his next successful attempt at gathering the seven Chaos Emeralds, kidnapping Chris Thorndyke and attempting to defeat Sonic on this strange new world once and for all. Though he is thwarted by Super Sonic, the events of this mid-season finale lay out the more sophisticated plans of Eggman to come into motion, the series adapting Sonic Adventure and Adventure 2 with some slight alterations. Among them is the revelation that the planet Earth Sonic and the gang were transported to in the first episode is actually the planet Eggman was born on, the information being revealed when Eggman learns of his grandfather having lived and worked on "Project Shadow" for this planet's government. Somehow being transported to Sonic's world, the knowledge refuses to deter the genius scientist from his lofty goals of conquest.
All in all, however, Eggman seems to treat his encounters with Sonic not strictly as fights over the planet, but more akin to the friendly rivalry aspects that are hinted at in the games. Though there can be moments quite intense where Eggman wants nothing more than to destroy Sonic, more often than not he just wants to prove himself the better person. This reasoning for why Eggman does what he does is expanded further on in the comic series based on the show. Published by Archie Comics, a handful of issues feature Dr. Eggman taking on the moniker of wrestling sensation El Gran Gordo, a persona that allows Eggman to enjoy not only the sensation of winning, but also of being adored by the masses.
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- Although never confirmed, it is speculated that Dr. Eggman's name was inspired by The Beatles' classic tune "I Am the Walrus." The song featuring the lyrics "I am the egg man/They are the egg men/I am the Walrus/Goo goo g'joob." Also, Eggman's theme in the later games ("E.G.G.M.A.N") makes references to I Am the Walrus, especially the line "I am the Eggman. It's what I am". It is also because of this possible connection that Sega of America may have wanted to change Dr. Eggman's name, in the fear of being sued by The Beatles' label Apple for copyright infringement.
- A potential macrocycle inhibitor of the gene Sonic hedgehog was discovered by a Harvard University research team, who decided to name it "Robotnikinin." They felt that since the original had been named after the video game character, they should "adhere to the convention" and name the newly discovered compound after his archenemy.
Boss themes and other various pieces of music can also be considered as themes for Dr. Eggman, although not marked explicitly as such.
- Masaharu Satou (SegaSonic the Hedgehog)
- Long John Baldry (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog)
- Jim Cummings (Sonic the Hedgehog, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (pilot))
- Ginzo Matsuo (Sonic the Hedgehog - Japanese)
- Gary Chalk (Sonic Underground)
- Junpei Takiguchi (Sonic the Hedgehog (Anime) - Japanese)
- Edwin Neal (Sonic the Hedgehog (Anime) - English)
- Chikao Otsuka (Japanese game voice (1998-2014) plus Sonic X)
- Deem Bristow (English game voice (1998-2004))
- Mike Pollock (English game voice (2005-present) plus Sonic X and Sonic Boom)
- Kotaro Nakamura (Japanese game voice (2016-present))
- Marc Bretonnière (French game voice (2011-present) plus Sonic X and Sonic Boom)
- Hartmut Neugebauer (German game voice (2011-2017) plus Sonic X and Sonic Boom)
- Johannes Oliver Hamm (German game voice (2019-present))
- Francesc Belda (Spanish game voice (2011-present) plus Sonic Boom)
- Aldo Stella (Italian game voice (2011-present))
- Jim Carrey (Sonic the Hedgehog (film))
- http://sonic.sega.jp/SonicChannel/character/eggman.html (archived: 2019-05-26 14:50)
- www.sega.com/features/allsonic/creator/naka04.html (archived: 1997-06-05 17:23)
- File:SonicBibleDraft2 Document.pdf, page 12
- File:SonicHeroes GC US manual.pdf, page 16