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Princess Sally Acorn

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Sally.jpg
Princess Sally Acorn, as seen in SatAM
First seen: Sonic the Hedgehog ¼ (1992)
Species: Squirrel (Sonic the Hedgehog Bible, Sonic the Comic, and several UK-published books)
Squirrel/Chipmunk Hybrid (Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) until issue #252)
Fox/Squirrel Hybrid (SatAM)
Chipmunk (Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) since issue #252)
Gender: Female
Age: 16 (SatAM and Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) since issue #252)
17 (Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) until issue #252)

Sally Acorn is the name of several different fictional anthropomorphic characters seen in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Initially conceived by Sega of America as a localised English name for Ricky, Sally quickly transformed into her own character in both North American and British pieces of Sonic media, most of which were developed separately from one another. This resulted in the Sonic franchise having multiple, wildly different characters concurrently sharing the Sally Acorn name across different pieces of media.

DiC's Sonic the Hedgehog animated series (SatAM) and Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, which was based on SatAM, depicted Sally as a princess, a leading figure of the Freedom Fighters and both a close ally and occasional love interest of Sonic the Hedgehog's. Characterised by her tactical mind and drive to solve problems using logic, she is perhaps the most recognised iteration of Sally, even having a cameo appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.

After the cancellations of SatAM and Sonic the Comic in 1994 and 2002 respectively, Archie's comic series remained the last piece of official Sonic media to feature Sally as a character up until its cancellation in 2017. Not a single version of Sally has made an official appearance since.

Character conception

When brought to the west, the rescued animals in Sonic the Hedgehog were given localised names and a backstory, as outlined by the Sonic the Hedgehog Bible. Of these, the character Ricky became known as "Sally Acorn", with his gender being changed to female in the process. As such, when DiC were designing their Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, they chose to base the female lead on Sally.

DiC appears to have toyed with a "princess" character from an early stage, possibly as a love interest for Sonic, or as someone to be captured by Robotnik, fulfilling the damsel in distress cliché. In earlier versions of the concept, a "Princess Acorn" character, with an entirely different design to the finished product, is shown being ready to take on Robotnik as part of a "freedom team". However, in one piece of concept art titled A Hero's Reward!, Sonic is seen attempting to kiss "Princess Acorn", but she tricks him into kissing a fish instead. This implies that Sonic's romantic feelings for her were initially planned to be one-sided, as opposed to the final series' mutual attraction. This concept of a male character having unrequited feelings for the Princess was presumably repurposed into the character of Antoine (who is lacking an equivalent character in most of DiC's early concepts). Other designs also suggest that Princess Sally was set to be a human character at one point.

As work on SatAM continued, Sally's design kept changing. The storyboards for an earlier version of the series' intro depict Sally with a design much closer to Ricky, although the eventual animation cels for this intro show that her character design has changed once again. Here she's seen in full color, having a pink-and-peach body, brown hair, blue boots as well as black eyes. This design can be seen in the pilot episode of SatAM, "Heads or Tails", although her eyes in it were changed to be blue. In her final design for SatAM, she was given an almost total makeover. This redesign gave her slightly more humanoid proportions, more pronounced cheek fluff as well as a pompadour hair style. Her body's colors were changed to brown and tan while her hair was made red. This design was slightly altered for SatAM's second season, as she was given a blue vest and more pronounced pupils.

Interestingly, Heads or Tails was actually the last season one episode to be broadcast during SatAM's original run on ABC, meaning that viewers of the series were already familiar with Sally's finalised design as they were first introduced to her earlier, pink design.

The Archie Comics series has had three different designs for Sally - the very first being a blonde-haired, red variant of her SatAM pilot design, seen in issue #¼. This design was given the proper colors from Heads or Tails by the very next issue, albeit with black instead of brown hair. This change was explained in-universe by Sally dying her hair. This design was used up until issue #16, when she was changed into her final SatAM design. This design would last up until issue #247, and experienced some minor alterations (such as her receiving the vest and pupils from SatAM season two, as well as going through several different hair styles) along the way. After the comic series' world and fictional history was completely altered by an event known as the Super Genesis Wave, Sally, along with most of the comic's characters that didn't originate from the Sonic games, was given a redesign. Her outfit was altered to include black shorts as well as a black crop top underneath her vest, and she was given white gloves alongside blue bracelets that can transform into several different weapons. Her proportions were altered to closer match those of characters from the Sonic games and a stripe of red fur going from her hair down to her tail was added to her back. This design made its debut in issue #252 and was used until the comic series' cancellation.

While versions of Sally akin to DiC's depiction of her were featured in a lot of western merchandise and promotional material for the Sonic games, her only video game appearance is a cameo role in the US-produced Sonic Spinball. While she was initially planned to appear in Sega Technical Institute's scrapped Sonic-16 and Sonic Mars games, neither ever came to fruition due to Yuji Naka not liking Sonic-16's pitch[1], while all elements relating to the DiC cartoons were eventually cut from Sonic Mars as it evolved into Sonic X-treme. However, in the instruction manual of Sonic the Hedgehog CD's US release, Amy Rose is erroneously referred to as "Princess Sally", although still described to be a "young hedgehog".

DiC's Sally was prominently featured as a mascot for Sega World Sydney in Australia, appearing as a character in two separate live shows as well as being depicted on statues displayed at the park. Sega World Sydney was also one of the few places which was known to sell official Sally memorabilia.

Sally was also featured in a non-speaking role in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's 1996 Christmas special, Sonic Christmas Blast, which aired three years after the show had been cancelled. Here Sally has her final SatAM design, but with a pink colour scheme similar to the pilot. This was the last time the character ever appeared on television outside of reruns.

Gallery

Personality and traits

Sally is a very intelligent and resourceful member of the Knothole Freedom Fighters. While Sonic was the leader of the group, Sally certainly helped organize the team and kept the group together. Tails looked up to her as if she was his aunt. She and Sonic would often bicker and argue with each other over what was the best solution to problems, but they would find a way to compromise by the end. She was always motivated to take back Mobotropolis from Dr. Robotnik and find her father.

In the Archie comic series, Sally would play a more active role in the action against Dr. Eggman's forces. She believed the only way to defeat him is by playing things smart and combining the talents of all the other Freedom Fighters. She also taught Bunnie Rabbot a few martial arts moves.[2] She would gain Ring-Blades after the Super Genesis Wave hit.

Relationships

Though Sally loves her kingdom's people first and foremost, she has also become notorious for being involved in several love triangles throughout the comic's history. In the pre-Super Genesis Wave universe, however, her true love is ultimately Sonic the Hedgehog. She can always rely on him for both emotional support and physical support during their missions, and despite their infamous breakup, the two remained friends and eventually reunited.

Sonic, however, hasn't been her only suitor. At various points in the Archie comic's history, she's been flirted with by various characters, most notably Geoffrey St. John, Monkey Khan and Antoine D' Coolette. Geoffrey is perhaps the most infamous of the three, as he directly competed with Sonic for Sally's affection early in the comic. He accompanied her in the Princess Sally miniseries, and upon Sally's presumed death in the Endgame arc, Geoffrey furiously hunted Sonic down after he was blamed for her death. She also entered a short-lived relationship with Monkey Khan later on in the comic, though after realizing the qualities she liked in him were because of his similarities to Sonic, the two amiably split up. Antoine vied for her love early in the series, but this was very one-sized - Sally consistently rejected him, though the two settled for being friends later. Sally also experienced some jealousy for Mina Mongoose, who was also romantically interested in Sonic.

Sally's life isn't entirely determined by who she loves, however. Her best friend is her AI companion, Nicole. Sally often brings Nicole on missions with her, and the AI also acts as a trusted confidant. They even switched bodies with each other - a mark of true friends - and after Nicole was inspired to create a body of her own, the two only grew closer. In the post-Super Genesis Wave universe, the two are even implied to be in a romantic relationship, though this was not confirmed in the series proper.[3]. Sally is also good friends with Bunnie Rabbot, who acts as the princess' hairdresser - Sally was even the maid of honor at Bunnie's wedding.

Other members of her circle of friends include Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, and Lupe the Wolf.

History

Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)

In the second American Sonic cartoon, Sally is a member of the Freedom Fighters. She is the love interest of Sonic the Hedgehog, much to the dismay of the young royal guard, Antoine. She is a caretaker for Tails, Sonic's surrogate younger brother, and a good friend of Bunnie Rabbot. She also has a pocket computer containing an advanced program named NICOLE. Sally's goal, along with the rest of the Freedom Fighters, is to defeat Doctor Robotnik and free her father, King Acorn. She and Sonic once traveled back in time to stop Robotnik before he took over Mobotropolis but were unsuccessful.[4][5] As the series progressed, Sally learned her father was trapped in the Void with the wizard Naugus. If he tries to leave the void, his body will turn to crystal, meaning he and Sally couldn't be reunited for good.[6] Eventually, she and Sonic got to take down Dr. Robotnik with the energy of the Deep Power Stones.[7]

Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball

Sally, Rotor, Bunnie and Muttski were trapped in Dr. Robotnik's Veg-O-Fortress on Mt. Mobius. Sonic had to free them by playing some pinball in the Bonus Stage.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Golden Books)

When Sonic accused the other Freedom Fighters of stealing his shoes, Sally decided to abandon him and took the others out to find Uncle Chuck, Muttski and her father without his help. Her plan backfired as Dr. Robotnik captured them and they needed Sonic's help to stop him.[8] Dr. Robotnik set a trap at Mud Lake to make each one of the Freedom Fighters think they had a secret admirer waiting for them there, but Sally saw right through it once she saw freedom was misspelled in the message.[9] When Dr. Robotnik started building a wall around the Great Forest, Sally came up with a plan to use Rotor's giant magnet to trap the Swatbots onto the wall.[10]

Sonic the Comic

In Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, Sally was initially depicted as a small, non-anthropomorphic squirrel akin to Ricky who resided in the Green Hill Zone, but was eventually developed into a much taller, anthropomorphic character who wears clothes and works a job as a news reporter.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Troll Associates)

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Sonic the Hedgehog (Virgin Books)

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Sonic the Hedgehog (Fantail)

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Sonic the Hedgehog (Ladybird)

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Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

Princess Sally appears as a named but non-speaking character in Sonic Christmas Blast. For a second year in a row, Sonic and Sally agree not to buy each other Christmas presents. However, feeling guilty that Sally did in fact give him gifts the previous Christmas (including a special ring), Sonic sets out to buy her "two stores full" of presents from Robotropolis.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

Pre-Super Genesis Wave

In the American Sonic comics, Sally is currently about 17 years old (according to Ken Penders), and is the daughter of King Maximillian Acorn and Queen Alicia Acorn. She is also the younger sister of Elias Acorn, sister in law to Elias' wife Meg and aunt of Alexis Acorn, the child of Meg and Elias. Her family ruled over all Mobians and their respective territories for many generations. Their official dynasty ended shortly after the Great War, when which the treacherous warlord Dr. Julian Kintobor (an overlander defector) staged a coup d'etat, usurping the Acorn throne.

A young Sally, of only five years, was hidden from Robotnik's grasp and sent to live in the protected village of Knothole within the heart of the Great Forest. Sally grew up to lead a band of ragtag rebel militiamen from Knothole starting at age 10, living with her friends, her governess Rosie, and her mentor Julayla. Early on in the fight, princess Sally would lose her mentor Julayla, but through the long period of fighting lying ahead of her, Sally would rely on her deceased mentor for strength to lead the Freedom Fighters. The goal of the Freedom Fighters would be to oust their oppressive ruler. In relatively close proximity to Robotropolis, they carried out numerous guerrilla attacks against Robotnik, constantly striving for his overthrow.

The Freedom Fighters inevitably rescued Sally's father from the Zone Of Silence. Although he was in a crystallized state, it was a momentous step towards the return of their kingdom. Finding the former Princess a definite threat to his reign, Robotnik devised an elaborate assassination plot, nearly taking the now 15 year old rebel leader's life. His "Endgame" scheme, however was foiled by the rebellion, leading to his death. Not long after, Sally fully recovered from her assassination attempt.

During the years to follow, Sally worked hard to reestablish her father's government, though she encountered a myriad of hardships along the way - including the arrival of an alternate reality Robotnik (Robo-Robotnik), who retook Mobotropolis. Despite his return, she presided over the newly established Kingdom of Knothole - though as her father regained control of his body and her long-lost brother Elias was discovered, Sally found herself with increasingly diminished authority. Sally was among the few individuals who could wield the Sword of Acorns, and in the absence of her boyfriend Sonic for one year, she led the Freedom Fighters against Dr. Eggman.

Eventually, her beloved Sonic returned, but though she wished for him to settle down with her, Sonic instead wished to continue the fight with Eggman. This lead to a rather infamous breakup scene between them in which Sally slapped Sonic in front of a crowd of people. In the aftermath of this, the two of them coped in different ways - Sonic by dating Fiona Fox and Sally by offering anonymous relationship advice to the people of Knothole with the help of her AI friend NICOLE. She also briefly swapped bodies with Nicole, which led to the AI creating an artificial body for herself - testing it one night by stargazing with Sally. At one point, Sally was also engaged to whom she though was Antoine, but who turned out to be his evil doppelganger Patch.

When Knothole Village was destroyed, Sally and the rest of her family moved to New Mobotropolis. There, her brother - now king - formed the Council of Acorn, which she often clashed with as the leader of the Freedom Fighters. Sally was present at the mission in which the Freedom Fighters finally (briefly) defeated Dr. Eggman. Not long after, the Iron Dominion took control of the Eggman Empire, and seized New Mobotropolis. As this happened, Sally ventured with Sonic, Tails and Monkey Khan to the Dragon Kingdom to craft a way to defeat them. This eventually succeeded, but the damage to the city's morale was done. Her friend Nicole was ousted out of fear, and her brother was dethroned as king by Ixis Naugus.

Eventually, Dr. Eggman launched his Genesis Wave, which reset the timeline to one in his favor - where he hoped to roboticize the entire planet's population. Luckily, Sonic was able to reverse it, and time was restored to a few minutes before its launch - but Sally was forced to reverse the Roboticizer on herself to stop Eggman from using it again. The new (and debatably improved) Mecha Sally was programmed as a loyal minion of Dr. Eggman, and one of the Freedom Fighters' most formidable foes - in both the physical and psychological sense. She was used constantly to attack Eggman's targets, including an assault on her own brother that lead to her friend Antoine being put into a coma. Eventually, her friends began to figure out a way to cure her roboticization, but were unable to before the Super Genesis Wave struck.

Post-Super Genesis Wave

In the universe established after the Super Genesis Wave reboot, Sally's role is mostly unchanged. She sports a new, somewhat more modest design, but she is still the princess of the Acorn Kingdom and she still leads the Freedom Fighters. Instead of living in Knothole Village, though, she now commands from the Sky Patrol, a flying ship created by Rotor Walrus. She is first seen having stolen crucial data from the Death Egg, which gives her team an upper hand against Dr. Eggman.

Sally is often seen leading operations parallel to Sonic's team, though she does join him on missions from time to time. On one occasion, she leads Tails, Antoine and Nicole to retrieve a Chaos Emerald in one of Eggman's mines. On another, she joins Nicole, along with Tails and Big the Cat, to meet up with Dr. Ellidy on Isolated Island, as well as to research his discovery of Red Star Rings. Here, she teams up with Nicole to defeat the malevolent virus Phage. Not all of her efforts go smoothly, though - at one point, she leads her team into a trap and nearly gets them killed.

During the Shattered World Crisis, Sally helps the Freedom Fighters restore the world using the Chaos Emerald. Unfortunately, one of her broadcasts was intercepted by Dr. Eggman, who launched a surprise attack on the brink of their victory. Though Dr. Eggman had captured and taken control of Light Gaia, Sally was able to get the group's bearings and plan a counterattack. The Freedom Fighters soon assaulted Eggmanland, with Sally's team attacking it directly to break Eggman's control of Dark Gaia's energy. Eventually, Dark Gaia would break this control on its own, leading to it reforming.

Once Super Sonic began fighting Dark Gaia along with the Gaia Colossus, Sally and the rest of the Freedom Fighters could only watch from atop the crashed Sky Patrol. She was last seen with Sonic and the rest of her team on the Sky Patrol's roof, watching the sun rise.

Cancellation of Archie comics

After the cancellation of the Archie Sonic comics in 2017, the fate of Sally and the other Freedom Fighters was left uncertain. She does not appear in the IDW Sonic comic series, nor has she been referenced in any games outside of a cameo in Sonic Spinball. However, series director Morio Kishimoto has expressed some minor interest in reusing her[11], and she has been featured in the Sonic Forces prequel comic in a cameo.[12][13]. Whether this technically makes her canon to the Sonic game universe is up to interpretation.

Sally was intended to appear in multiple comic issues that were ultimately cancelled. She likely would have appeared in issue 292, as she appears on the cover. She also would have appeared in Sonic Universe 97, venturing with Amy and Cream to repair Nicole's damaged systems.

Other Sally Acorns

Throughout the American medias, numerous doppelgängers of Sally Acorn have appeared, namely created as robots by Dr. Robotnik for infiltration purposes.

Robo-Sally

The Sonic and Sally Robo-Sally, with the real Sally locked behind bars.

In the cartoon episode Sonic and Sally, Dr. Robotnik created a machine to duplicate Sally's complete physiology and most of her thought-patterns to infiltrate and locate Knothole Village. Along with being able to look exactly like Sally Acorn, it was equipped with a Mega Muck dispenser and an arm laser pistol. Although the clone was able to duplicate the complexity of a Mobian's mind, it didn't have all of Sally's memories, thus raising suspicion with Tails. When, on a mission in Robotropolis, the Robo-Sally didn't know Sonic and Sally's secret handshake, it was then that Robo-Sally's deception was revealed. Although Robo-Sally was able to stop Sonic for a short period of time, Bunnie Rabbot stepped in and helped. Then, using his speed, Sonic ran circles around the Robo-Sally, eventually immobilizing her from the confusion. The disabled Robo-Sally was used by Sonic to replace Sally, who was in a roboticizer, to save her. Robo-Sally made a brief appearance in Sonic's Nightmare, in both of Sonic's dreams, this time being the real Sally.

Voice Actors

References


Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) characters
Pre-Super Genesis Wave
Main Sonic the Hedgehog | Princess Sally Acorn | Miles "Tails" Prower (Turbo, Titan) | Rotor Walrus | Bunnie Rabbot | Antoine D' Coolette | NICOLE | Knuckles the Echidna | Dr. Robotnik
Recurring Geoffrey St. John | Ixis Naugus | Julie-Su | Mammoth Mogul | Mina Mongoose | Monkey Khan | Scourge the Hedgehog | Snively | Uncle Chuck | Shadow the Hedgehog | Dr. Finitevus
Others Harvey Who | Isabella Mongoose | Arthur Mongoose
Post-Super Genesis Wave
Main Sonic the Hedgehog (Werehog) | Princess Sally Acorn | Miles "Tails" Prower | Rotor Walrus | Bunnie Rabbot | Antoine D' Coolette | NICOLE | Knuckles the Echidna | Amy Rose | Dr. Eggman
Recurring Cream the Rabbit | Cheese | Big the Cat | Shadow the Hedgehog | Rouge the Bat | E-123 Omega | Vector the Crocodile | Espio the Chameleon | Charmy Bee | Silver the Hedgehog | Blaze the Cat | Metal Sonic (Neo) | Orbot | Cubot | Walter Naugus | Eclipse the Darkling
Others Uncle Chuck | Muttski | Black Death | Professor Pickle | Chip | Gemerl | Deadly Six (Zavok, Zazz, Zomom, Master Zik, Zeena, Zor) | Gold the Tenrec | Professor Von Schlemmer | Wendy Naugus
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series) characters
Main Sonic the Hedgehog | Princess Sally Acorn | Tails | Rotor Walrus | Bunnie Rabbot | Antoine D' Coolette | Dr. Robotnik | Snively
Recurring Cluck | Dulcy the Dragon | SWATbot | Uncle Chuck | NICOLE | Lupe | Ari Ram
Others Ixis Naugus | Muttski | Lazaar