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Doctor Ivo Robotnik (ロボトニックRobotonikku?), also known by his alias Doctor Eggman (ドクター・エッグマンDokutā Egguman?),[2] is a video game character and the main antagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series created by Sega. Dr. Eggman is a rotund mad scientist with an IQ of 300, who plans to conquer the world in order to build his Eggman Empire, and is the archenemy of Sonic the Hedgehog. His original character designer was Naoto Ōshima, and while he has gone through several large appearance changes throughout the series, his in-game designs retain several basic characteristics, such as his egg-shaped body, red-black-yellow clothing, pince-nez sunglasses and large mustache. Most of the time, Dr. Eggman is portrayed as horribly immature: he tends to throw temper tantrums when he fails or is offended, despite his incredible intellect and skilled mind. He has appeared in almost every Sonic the Hedgehog video game since his first appearance in the 1991 title Sonic the Hedgehog, and is also a prominent character in other Sonic media, including comics, novels, animated TV series, and an Original video animation.

Concept and inspirationEdit

[1][2]Doctor Eggman's original design.

In April 1990, Sega commissioned its AM8 R&D department to create a character who would replace Alex Kidd as the company's mascot, as well as compete against Nintendo's flagship character, Mario. A caricature of Theodore Rooseveltwas among the proposed designs, and combined with the idea of an egg-shaped character, it eventually became the basis of the visual design for Dr. Robotnik/Eggman.[3] In creating the "bad guy" for the Sonic series, the development team wanted a character who was "the opposite of Sonic;" a character who represented "machinery" and "development" to play on the then-growing debate between developers and environmentalists.[4] The character was also designed to be easy for children to draw.[4]

The English instruction manual for his 1991 debut game Sonic the Hedgehog described the character's full name as "Doctor Ivo Robotnik",[5] while the original Japanese version's instruction manual for the same game called him "Doctor Eggman". It wasn't until 1999's Sonic Adventure that the character was called both "Doctor Robotnik" and "Doctor Eggman" in the English version,[2] with all following English releases to date referring to him as "Doctor Eggman". Yuji Naka has explained that "Robotnik" is the character's true last name while "Eggman" is a "common name taken after his shape.[6] The name may also be a reference to the Beatles' song I Am the Walrus; though aside the walrus motif of his original design, this was never directly confirmed. Since then, Sega of America has listed his identity as Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik at least once,[7] and has recognized the first name Ivo as recently as 2011.[8] Despite that, Sega of Japan does not acknowledge an official complete name; the Japanese Sonic Channel lists his full name as unknown,[9] and his in-game profile in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II lists his real name as a mystery.[10]

[edit]CharacteristicsEdit

Eggman is described as being a certifiable genius with an IQ of 300.[11][12][13] His fondness for machines has also made him a renowned authority on robotics.[1][11] Ultimately, his goal is to conquer the world and create his ultimate "utopia", Eggmanland (alternatively known as the Eggman Empire or Robotnikland or Robotropolis).[14] He selfishly never gives up on this matter, and does not care for others' opinions.[1][15] He considers those who would interrupt his plans a prime threat.[14] His abominable laughter and maniacal declarations contrast his self-professed softer side, as a romanticist, feminist, and gentleman.[12] Despite his intelligence, Eggman can be terribly immature, prone to childish emotional fits when he is not getting his way.[15] Although Sonic has always ruined his evil plans, Eggman begrudgingly holds a secret respect for his determination.[1][13]

[edit]Voice actor portrayalEdit

Several voice actors have portrayed Dr. Eggman in his game appearances, as well as in other media. The first voice actor for Eggman wasMasaharu Satō, who portrayed him in the arcade sega game Sonic the Hedgehog. In the Japanese game releases from 1998 onwards, Eggman is voiced by Chikao Ōtsuka, who also voices him in the Japanese version of Sonic X. From 1998-2004, Deem Bristow provided the English dub for Eggman in the video games;[16][unreliable source?] 4Kids employee Mike Pollock and voice of Eggman in the English dub of Sonic X was cast in the video game role shortly before Bristow's death from a heart attack in 2005. The first video game to star Mike Pollock was Shadow the Hedgehog, in which all of the regular voice actors were replaced with the 4Kids cast. While it was announced that the rest of the cast would be replaced fromSonic Colors onwards in 2010, Pollock retains his role as Doctor Eggman, now making him the longest serving voice actor to portray the character.[17]

In the Japanese game releases from 1998 onwards, Eggman is dubbed by Chikao Ōtsuka, who also voices him in the Japanese version of Sonic X. The only person besides Ōtsuka to portray Eggman in a Japanese production is Junpei Takiguchi, who provided Eggman's voice for the original video animation, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.[18][unreliable source?] Edwin Neal later provided the English dub.[19][unreliable source?]

The early television cartoon incarnations of Doctor Robotnik have been voiced by three different actors. In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik is voiced by British blues singer Long John Baldry,[20][unreliable source?] who coincidentally died the same year as Deem Bristow from a severe chest infection. Robotnik was voiced by Jim Cummings in the ABC Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon,[21][unreliable source?] and by Gary Chalk (who also voiced Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) in Sonic Underground.[22][unreliable source?] The voice actor for Eggman has yet to be announced for the post-production computer animated movie Wreck-It Ralph.

[edit]In video gamesEdit

In the majority of video games set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, Eggman has served as the main antagonist. Most of the Sonic video games that were released before 1998, the year in which Sonic Adventure was released in Japan, featured Eggman as the final boss that the player fights at the end of the game. Eggman also appears as a boss who the player must confront at the end of almost every level in most of the 2D Sonic games, and in Sonic 3D. In each game in which he makes multiple appearances as a boss, Eggman fights the player using a different machine each time he appears. In most of the 2D Sonic games, the player had to hit Eggman eight times in order to defeat him and move on to the next level or next boss. In most three-dimensional Sonic games since the release of Sonic Adventure in 1998, Eggman may serve as a boss at one or more points in the game, although he usually does not serve as the final boss. Many of the final bosses in these more recent Sonic games were former allies of Eggman who then betrayed him, while others were a third party that had no connection with Eggman whatsoever. Eggman has often formed temporary alliances with Sonic and others to help them defeat these foes.

Dr. Eggman debuted in the 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis platform game Sonic the Hedgehog, where he attempted to collect the six Chaos Emeralds and hoped to turn all of the helpless animals inhabiting South Island into robots under his control, Sonic manages to defeat Eggman and returns peace to South Island.

He returned in the immediate sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, where he once again sought the Chaos Emeralds, of which there were now seven in order to create the Death Egg, a huge, orbital space station in order to achieve world domination. He attacked West Side Island, turning its animals into robots . He was intercepted by Sonic and his friend Tails who saved the animals and retrieved the Chaos Emeralds before the evil scientist. Sonic raided the Death Egg, defeating Robotnik again and sending the Death Egg crashing back to Earth.

In 1993's Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Eggman, along with his latest creation, Metal Sonic, travels to Little Planet in search of magical gems called Time Stones that have the power to control the passage of time. In both endings, Eggman is seen flying away with a Time Stone, but is shot down by a rock thrown by Sonic.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles (both released in 1994), following the events in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Eggman's Death Egg crash-lands onto Angel Island, causing critical damage to the ship. While repairing the space station, Eggman meets Knuckles the Echidna, whom he tricks into thinking Sonic and Tails are villains after the powerful Master Emerald that Knuckles protects with his life. In truth, Eggman intends to steel the Master Emerald in order to power the Dealth Egg. Knuckles steals the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic and hinders the hedgehog throughout his journey. But Eggman is again defeated when Sonic rushes to the Launch Base Zone and prevents the Death Egg from re-launching. Eggman manages to steal the Master Emerald during a fight between Sonic and Knuckles and gets the Death Egg into space once again. With help from now-friend Knuckles, Sonic is able to chase the madman into space and Sonic completely destroys the Death Egg. Eggman makes one last chance to escape with the Master Emerald, but is defeated by Hyper Sonic, and his ambition once again thwarted.

Other two-dimensional games released before 1998 that Eggman appeared in include Sonic Chaos, Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Sonic Blast, and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, as well as the 8-bit renditions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

In Sonic Adventure, Eggman learns of a legendary monster trapped in the Master Emerald, Chaos, and seeks out the Master Emerald. Upon finding it, he shatters it, freeing Chaos in the process. Eggman's goal is to control Chaos and obtain the Chaos Emeralds, which he can feed to Chaos so that it transforms into its most powerful form, using its destructive powers to conquer the world. However Chaos turns against him and intends to collect the Choas Emeralds for itself. Towards the end, Eggman teams up with the heros to defeat Chaos from destroying the world.[23] Like other characters in the series, Eggman was redesigned.

Sonic Adventure 2 marks Eggman's first appearance as a playable character in the game. Eggman revives the antihero Shadow the Hedgehog from dormancy. Shadow, knowing Eggman's desire to rule the world, agrees to help him by using the Eclipse Cannon aboard Space Colony ARK. In the last story, Eggman aids Sonic in trying to stop a fail-safe put in place by his grandfather,Gerald Robotnik, which set the colony on a crash course with Earth.[24]

In Sonic Heroes, Eggman creates a series a battle ships called the Egg Fleet which he plans to take over the world in 3 days. He is believed to be the main antagonist for the most of the game, but it is discovered that he was captured by his own creation, Metal Sonic, who disguised himself as Eggman as part of a larger evil plan.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, Eggman is an opportunist who tries to gather the Chaos Emeralds in the middle of the alien invasion. He ends up sending his robots to help stop the alien menace in the end. As Shadow interrogates Eggman for information regarding his past, he is met with taunts from Eggman, who claims that Shadow is one of his androids.[25] In some of the possible endings, Shadow accepts being an android and seemingly kills Eggman. However, in the true ending during Shadow's fight with Black Doom, Eggman admits that he was lying.[26]

In the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game, Dr. Eggman (who had a realistic human appearance) kidnaps the princess of Soleanna, who harbors the Flames of Disaster within her, in order to control time. Once again, he is forced to assist the heroes during the last act, much like previous games.

Eggman also appears in Sonic and the Secret Rings as Shahryār of Persia. Here, his physical appearance has been changed back to his Adventure look.[27]

Eggman appeared in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, where he is once again the main antagonist, alongside a parallel version of himself called Eggman Nega. He is also a playable character in the Sonic RPG, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.

In Sonic Unleashed, Dr. Eggman is one of the two main antagonists in the game, along with Dark Gaia. Eggman tricks Super Sonic into a trap and uses his energy to power a giant laser cannon, which fires into the Earth and shatters it into pieces, freeing the beast contained within; Dark Gaia. He spends most of the game collecting Dark Gaia's power as well as fighting Sonic with various machines, and much like the original games, flies off in his Egg Mobile when defeated. Unlike many previous games, Eggman actually assumes control of his plans at the end of Sonic Unleashedby creating Eggmanland and makes no effort to join forces with Sonic to stop his own plans once they have spiraled out of control. Still, Eggman suffers a defeat when he gives Dark Gaia a single order and is shot into the atmosphere by the creature.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I (set between Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure), Sonic goes traveling on his own, not knowing Eggman survived the destruction of the Death Egg in Sonic and Knuckles. The doctor remakes his old Badniks, and improves them to destroy his old rival once and for all. Eggman is the main boss in this game and its direct follow-up,Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

In Sonic Colors, Eggman claims to be seeking forgiveness for his past transgressions, and attempts to make amends by opening up a theme park within the Earth's orbit. However, it becomes clear that the park is merely a front for Eggman's true intentions, which involve harnessing the energies of the alien Wisps for his own use; specifically, a mind-control cannon which he plans to use in order to take over the universe. Unlike most 3-dimensional Sonic games, Eggman is the final boss, piloting an Eggmobile protected by the Egg Nega-Wisp. After his defeat, he ends up being sucked into his theme park which has transformed into a black hole when the negative energy backfires, consuming the entire park. After the credits, Dr. Eggman is seen out in space inside the Eggmobile along with his two robot assistants Orbot and Cubot stating he has his revenge plan laid out.

In Sonic Generations, Eggman appears in both his modern design and his original design. After his defeat in Sonic Colors, while in space, Eggman comes across a being known as the Time Eater and, after somehow converting it into robotic form, attempts to use its time powers to reverse all of his past defeats at the hands of Sonic. By using the Time Eater, however, he causes rifts in time to open, bringing Sonic, Tails and Himself to meet their classic counterparts. Eggman works together with his past self to attempt to vanquish Sonic once and for all. During the game, they serve as the Classic Era, Modern Era, and final bosses. Each fights with a different mech: Classic Eggman with the Death Egg Robot from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Modern Eggman with a redesigned Egg Dragoon from Sonic Unleashed, and together with the Time Eater. Unfortunately for the duo, the Time Eater is defeated when both Classic and Modern Sonic become Super and, in a post-credits cutscene, both doctors wind up stranded in White Space with no apparent way out, leading Classic Eggman to suggest obtaining their teaching degrees once they escape. Modern Eggman agrees to this as he mentions that he "always enjoyed telling people what to do", although it is unknown if this was a joke or if they were serious.

In Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, a pinball-themed game, Dr. Robotnik seizes Mount Mobius and turns it into a mechanical base, setting up an elaborate pinball mechanism to keep the Chaos Emeralds safe.

Eggman has also appeared in "2.5D" isometric platformers; in Sonic Labyrinth, he secretly replaces Sonic's famous red shoes with the new "Slow-Down Boots," which take away his ability to jump or run fast, and in Sonic 3D, he turns innocent Flickies into robots in yet another search for the Chaos Emeralds.

Dr. Eggman is also a playable character in such games as Sonic Drift, Sonic R, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Riders and its sequel Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Sega Superstars Tennis, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Eggman appears as a playable character in the crossover game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Dr. Eggman made a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a trophy. He appeared as a playable character in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, also as one of the two main villains (alongside Bowser) in the game's Adventure Mode (DS version only). Eggman and Bowser plan to make their own Olympic Winter Games by kidnapping the Snow Spirits. In the game's climax, the two villains act as the final bosses. Eggman also returns as a playable character in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games whereas in the Nintendo 3DS version, he and Bowser return as the main villains in the story.

The only game as of yet to feature Dr. Robotnik as the central character is the 1993 game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, a Puyo Puyo Tsu clone in which AoSTH's version of Robotnik, along with numerous bounty hunters seen in the first episode of the same show, attempts to rid all the fun and music on the planet Mobius by kidnapping the citizens of one insignificant town and turning them into robots. Despite the fact that he is the title character, he is still the villain and is the final boss.

Sonic and the Black Knight is the only game in the entire Sonic franchise in which Dr. Eggman does not make an appearance and was not even mentioned. Despite this, one of the collectible items in the game, the Joker Card, has his logo on it, and the Legacy mission had his robots as enemies.

[edit]In other mediaEdit

[3][4]Dr. Robotnik as he appears in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (seen in the episode "Robotnik Jr.")

There have been four animated television series featuring Dr. Robotnik. The first was Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog where he was voiced by Long John Baldry.[28][unreliable source?] Dr. Ivo Robotnik's appearance in this series was designed by cartoonist Milton Knight.[29][30] Robotnik was the series' main antagonist, being portrayed as a villain who sought to rule the planet Mobius for no reason other than the fact that he appeared to be motivated by the act of being evil. While the threat he posed to Sonic the Hedgehog and Mobius varied from episode to episode, he was generally portrayed as incompetent and immature, with a tendency to mistreat his dim-witted Badnik sidekicks Scratch and Grounder, and utter the catchphrase "I hate that hedgehog!"

In the animated series Sonic the Hedgehog, Jim Cummings voiced Dr. Robotnik (whose real name was Julian, which was original to this series). The cartoon depicted Robotnik as a heartless sadist, fiercely temperamental, and an incredibly competent dictator, maintaining totalitarian control over most of the planet Mobius.

Sonic Underground featured Robotnik in a style similar to the previous Sonic the Hedgehog animated series, but much more lightheartedly; he maintains less control and he is far more bumbling. He was voiced by Gary Chalk.

In the two-episode OVA film Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Eggman tells Sonic that he has been banished from Robotropolis (Eggmanland in the Japanese release) by a metallic doppelgänger of himself called Metal Robotnik (Black Eggman in the Japanese release). It is later revealed that the mecha was piloted by Eggman himself, in a scheme to lure Sonic into his base and copy his DNA for his new Hyper Metal Sonic robot. Eggman was voiced by Junpei Takiguchi in the Japanese version, and by Edwin Neal in the English dub.[31][unreliable source?]

In Sonic X Doctor Eggman (which he is usually referred to in this series, though his real last name in-universe is Robotnik as in the games),[32] along with other Sonic characters, including Sonic himself, are accidentally transported from their own world, to Earth. In the final season, Eggman returns to his universe and reluctantly joins forces with Sonic and his friends to fight the new menace called the Metarex. This incarnation is voiced by Chikao Ōtsuka in the Japanese version, and by Mike Pollock in the English dub.[33][unreliable source?]

When the first Sonic the Hedgehog title was released in 1991, Sega of America developed an origin for Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Robotnik which diverged from the back-stories created in Japan by Sonic Team.[34] In this back-story, set on the planet Mobius, Dr. Ivo Robotnik was originally a benevolent scientist named Dr. Ovi Kintobor ("Ivo Robotnik" with the names spelt backwards; also, "ovi" is the Latin prefix meaning "egg"), a friend to Sonic who helped to develop the hedgehog's super-speed. Kintobor was transformed into Dr. Robotnik after his experiment to eliminate all the evil in the world by absorbing it into the Chaos Emeralds went awry. In the United States, this storyline was featured in a 14-page promotional comic book written by Francis Mao and designed to promote the game.[35] The origin story was also adopted by Sega Europe, featuring in British publications such as the book Stay Sonic and later the comic Sonic the Comic, which was published from 1993 until 2002. In Sonic the Comic, Dr. Robotnik was dictator of planet Mobius for most of the comic's first 100 issues, while Sonic also had access to an AI computer program based on the personality of Dr. Kintobor. Initially, Robotnik's appearance in Sonic the Comic matched that of the video games, but from issue 22 onwards the comic adopted his design from theAdventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series.

Also in 1993, Archie Comics began publishing its Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. The series is in a sense, a very loose continuation of ABC's Sonic the Hedgehog animated cartoon; as well as a mad scientist, Robotnik is a portrayed as a dictator who took control of Sonic's hometown during a coup d'etat. In recent years, the plot of the comic has changed to incorporate elements from the video games, with Robotnik being replaced by his more traditional video game counterpart.

Eggman will also make a cameo appearance in the 2012 Disney movie, Wreck-It Ralph, as part of a villains support group. His design is unchanged from the current games.[36]

[edit]ReceptionEdit

The character has been well-received, going on to become one of the most well-known villains in gaming. GameDaily ranked him number one on their list of Top 25 Evil Masterminds of All Time article, stating "Out of all the evil masterminds in video games, none are more despicable, more cunning, or more menacing".[37] They also included him in their most persistent video game villains list and their craziest video game villains list.[38][39] In a later article, they listed the "evil mastermind" as one of the top 25 video game archetypes, using Robotnik as an example.[40] He was featured at number three in a "Reader's Choice" edition of GameSpot's "Top Ten Video Game Villains" article, which noted a massive complaint by fans at his exclusion from the original list.[41]Eggman was also named the 15th most diabolical video game villain of all time by PC World.[42] Game Informer notes that in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, "Eggman's villain ego shows some amusing tarnish after constant defeat at the hands of Sonic."[43] IGN listed him at number nine above Mario-series villain Bowser in their "Top 10 Most Memorable Villains" article, calling him "PETA's videogame public enemy number one",[44] and has also commented that his character is a "pretty clever riff on Teddy Roosevelt" that has added to the attraction of the series.[45] In 2010, IGN listed Dr. Robotnik 11th out of their "Top 100 Videogame Villans".[46] Nintendo Power listed Dr. Robotnik as their seventh favorite villain, also listing him as having one of the best mustaches.[47]

[edit]Cultural impactEdit

A potential macrocycle inhibitor of Sonic hedgehog discovered by a Harvard University research team was named "Robotnikinin" after the Dr. Robotnik character. The researchers felt that after Sonic hedgehog was named after the Sega video game character, they should "adhere to the convention" in naming the inhibiting compound after the character's archenemy.[48]

The band Intercontinental Music Lab included a song about Dr. Robotnik on their 2008 album, Superheroes of Science.[49] The power metal band Powerglove wrote a song called "So Sexy Robotnik" based on the boss theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and features snips from various other level tunes from the same game. It appears as the first track on their 2007 album "Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man".

[edit]See alsoEdit

[6] Sonic portal
[7] Fictional characters portal

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