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The Veg-O-Machine in Sonic Spinball, turning animals into robots.

Roboticization, or robotization, is the process established in Western Sonic the Hedgehog lore of turning living organisms into robots. The idea stems from the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, in which animals are turned into Badniks by Dr. Robotnik. Sonic and friends are then meant to subsequently free the animals by destroying said Badniks. While never an official term in the games, it was commonly used in the Archie Comics, Saturday-morning series and Sonic Underground. The games have vastly different takes on roboticization than other adaptations.


In the Japanese manual of Sonic the Hedgehog, it is explained that Dr. Eggman (Robotnik) has imprisoned Sonic's friends in robot shells in order to track down the Chaos EmeraldsMedia:Sonic1 MD JP manual.pdf[1]. In the West, however, Robotnik is loosely established as capturing animals in order to make robots, either to destroy Sonic and mechanise the planet MobiusMedia:SonicBibleDraft2 Document.pdf[2], or as the game's manual suggests, just because he's evilMedia:Sonic1 MD US manual.pdf[3].

Uncle Chuck being roboticized in the DiC Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon.

In most of the video games, the process of creating robots from animals is not named, however in the US television series produced by DiC (and the comic book series by Archie Comics) the process was known as "roboticization". Here, rather than just trapping animals in shells, the roboticization process causes flesh to turn into metal, essentially turning living beings into robots, robbed of their own free will and forced to serve Dr. Robotnik.

Several characters in the TV and comic book series are affected by the roboticization process, be it members of Sonic's family (such as Uncle Chuck who invented the device) or series regular Bunnie Rabbot who is partially roboticized. Much of the story involved stopping Robotnik and producing a de-roboticizer to undo the damage. Roboticization was also a focus in Sonic Underground, as well as other Western Sonic material, although Robotnik is usually depicted as more concerned with Badnik production - capturing the citizens of Mobius to use as "organic batteries" for his robot army.

In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik had a Robot Transmogrifier Ray which he used to turn people into robots similar to Roboticization.[4]

The Sonic the Hedgehog comic series by IDW Publishing follows a similar concept with the Metal Virus. Fauna that is roboticized by the virus become Zombots.

In the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes crossover episode with Sonic the Hedgehog, titled Let's Meet Sonic, K.O. is roboticized by Lord Boxman, becoming Metal K-0. The device that transformed K.O. into this new robotic form was not called a Roboticizer but Sonic says K.O. has been roboticized in the episode.


Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)

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Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

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Sonic Underground

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Game appearances

Roboticization is not thought to have ever been an official term when it was popularised by the TV shows and comics, and many later games see Robotnik or Eggman seek other methods of achieving his aims, such as waking ancient destructive creatures or producing planet-altering weaponry. Sonic the Hedgehog CD was one of the first games to not use captured animals as motivation, as the enemies in that game run on plants, and in Chaotix and Sonic Advance 3 Badniks were powered by Rings.

The term is, however, used in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, where Tails discusses it in Mystic Ruins (Chapter 3), after defeating a squad of "Robodillos".

Roboticization as a concept was, however, attempted by the Deadly Six in Sonic Lost World using the knowledge on how to make robots bestowed upon them by Eggman. They had intended to turn Sonic into a robot, but when Tails is captured instead, they used him for the process. However, thanks to Zavok and Zomom leaving him unattended, Tails was able to reprogram the machine he was tied to in order to merely look like he was roboticized, retaining his free will.