Sega Team characterisation - But Why Dr Robotnik? - July 27, 2003
Submitted by: Swifthom
Subject: Expanding upon the most evil man in a fictional history, Dr Robotnik, this is your life....

This is my second Editorial, following up on the success of my first on in which I expanded Amy Rose as far as I could sticking to the SegaSonic boundary, I've decided to go for my next favourite character in Sonic universe. I already mentioned you can't beat Sonic, but my next favorite above Amy Rose has to be the original man I loved to hate, the big bad all bellowing Eggman himself, Dr. Robotnik, or Eggman, I'm never sure which it is these days.

Strange, I'm told the Japanese originally called Robotnik Eggman, and I'm also told that in SA2 when he named himself Eggman the Japanese called him Robotnik! Well, aside from this interesting piece of information, which shall we call him? For the due course of this editorial at least, except when I am discussing the name, it will be Robotnik, I grew up with that and I personally prefer it.


He's been in pretty much as many games as Sonic has, he's lived through every one of them despite how it looks. He's been shot at, blown up, flung through space, crash landed more ships than he can count, summoned demons, pursued the truth, discovered fraud, exposed corrupt governments, set up his own to replace it, chatted with the president, kept up with the fashion, fought against Perfect Chaos, been to other dimensions, survived falling into molten volcanoes, found lost islands and constructed giant space weapons. He's a regular action man is our very own Dr Ivo Robotnik, isn't it wonderful to know that all the evil in the world is in capable hands. And why are we glad? Well, without the badniks would the Sonic Universe be anything like it is today? No, Sonic would be nothing, he would be a hero with no nemesis. Not to say there wouldn't anyone to fight, Void appeared in Shuffle, Chaos could of accidentally been freed in an accident with the ME. But the badniks, Metal Sonic, the bosses, the robots, the traps, 98% of them are tribute to one man's genius. We owe so much to him. He's the man we love to hate. Or do we?

An initial nemesis set out on Sonic 1, Dr. Ivo Robotnik was setting out to take over the world, he succeeds pretty much but is then defeated by a small rodent called Sonic. Robotnik is searching for the Chaos Emeralds, which will give him power, but Sonic gets them first and chucks him out of power. Okay, those are the facts, we have a first image. He's a fat man, he relies on technology, so far he's the only human we've seen. He has a lot of technology at his disposal, and enough time and resources to build a large fortress. He also has the means to capture innocent animals and make them his servants by controlling them with robotic coatings. Also, rule number one, we saw him escaping, (in the Megadrive/Genesis version at least.) He flew away in a damaged transport thingy, and so we know he'll be back. So, Robotnik is extremely durable, he'll keep coming back, with a vengeance.

Sonic 2, Sonic has a sidekick to help him out of tight situations, and to fly his plane. In the 2 versions of the game, you can see that his plans are bigger and better than before. In one he holds Tails hostage knowing Sonic will attempt a rescue, in another he builds a super weapon. He has a go at making a crude robot that is as strong as Sonic, and has his own super battle armour. He's stronger than before, he has his aims more set out, he has a weapon, a base, a city, a flying fortress, an army as large as you can imagine, he's out to get it. The Death Egg, a super weapon is testament to his amazing dreams, it makes you wonder how he built it all. And when Sonic does come, he has the Chaos Emeralds. Can you see a pattern, Sonic wins because he got the Chaos Emeralds first. As you can see, Robotnik notices this and adapts suitably.

The Chaos Emeralds aside, what else can Robotnik use to take power? Looking into legends, he discovers that the mysterious Little Planet is due to appear shortly, and when it does, he goes straight there to make it his. And this time, if Sonic does come, he has improved on the earlier Sonic robot, he has Metal Sonic! A true peace of engineering, as fast as the blue blur and with its own high intelligence. Once Sonic does come, he sends Metal out to kidnap someone close to Sonic, unlucky Amy (you shouldn't of been there at that moment in time), and bring her back to lure Sonic into a trap. Sonic does so, but Robotnik is so convinced of his own superior creation that when the two get so fast and Sonic somehow wins, he torches Metal Sonic by accident, because he had been convinced Metal would of won. His ultimate creation lost, his hostage safe, he retreats to his base where Sonic bests him in combat with the Time Stones and undoes the damage to the Little Planet Robotnik has done. Robotnik flees, Sonic blows up the escape craft, it looks like Robotnik's dead. We saw the explosion, but there wasn't a body! So he survives and returns his thoughts to the past.

Back to the collapse of the Death Egg, proving once again he isn't unstoppable (but that's good isn't it), gives him a wonderful chance to display his trickery. Well, we all knew he was dastardly and evil and stuff, but it isn't until Sonic 3 that we find he is also competent at lying and cheating for himself. He tricks Knuckles into becoming his own mercenary out to kill Sonic and reclaim the emeralds for him. Following on from the Death Egg Sonic and Tails arrive and Knuckles steals the emeralds, and hides them in the special zone. (Maybe that was a mistake, did he order Knuckles to hide them or did Knuckles not trust him enough to hand them over???) Whilst his master plan unfolds, Knuckles and Sonic battle it out while he gets enough time to re-launch the Death Egg. He's missing for most the game it's true, but he is behind everything that happens, and it all plays out wonderfully. And Sonic thought he'd won when he saw that big round black sphere of technological genius crash, how wrong can you get.

Knuckles is still convinced by Robotnik's efforts, and Sonic has been flung to the heart of the island. Robotnik knows he needs a new power source, but by chance and good luck (Robotnik is lucky! He has luck on his side), he has access to a new power source. Unfortunately, if he takes it, he'll loose Knuckles. So he completes repairs on the Death Egg, and waits until he has to take the Master Emerald. Knuckles doesn't realize the truth until after he and Sonic have had the final battle, and by then it's too late. Robotnik's planning skills are untouched, it's a pity that Knuckles knows of a handy transporter to get Sonic to Sky Sanctuary and onto the Death Egg. Oh well, he can't plan for everything, but he had some backups, robots, another battle armour, he was prepared for Sonic, but not as well as he could of been. Sonic smashes up the security, and takes the Master Emerald, the Death Egg is this time completely destroyed, and Robotnik flees in an escape pod, which is also destroyed. Is this the end for the not so good Doc? We hope not.

Nothing major happens in Sonic and Tails games (Sonic Chaos and Triple Trouble), except he does manage to get the emeralds and squanders them in lab accidents. So he finally gets what he wants and loses them. This isn't good doctor, not good at all. Similarly, nothing happens in Sonic R except it is proven that his transport is fast but has no control. Nothing happens in Labyrinth either that sheds any light on this glowing personality.

Some time later, in Sonic 3D, he wants another shot. Without anything as powerful as the Death Egg, he's content to start with a small island no one will notice. He chose this island for two reasons, abundant life to use as a new army, and he knows the Chaos Emeralds are here. If he can get all the emeralds, then even Sonic won't be able to stop him. Sadly, this dream is short lived, as Sonic gets them first.



Sonic Adventure fleshed out every character, not just Robotnik. Because what we've seen before has been pretty dull right, all of it what we can interpret from his actions, now things get interesting as the EGGMAN TALKS! Much, much later, Sonic Adventure comes along. Robotnik spent his time well, the Egg Carrier is every bit as deadly as the Death Egg and he has 2 of them. He also has the aid of a mystical ancient monster he has studied and intends to free. He manipulates the entire world to do his bidding, he sends the E100 series to retrieve Chaos' missing tail, he gets all the emeralds, he tricks Sonic to collecting emeralds for him, he sets Knuckles and Sonic on each other, he creates panic in Station Square. It all goes wrong though, when Chaos 6 just isn't powerful enough to defeat Sonic. A terrible miscalculation there Doctor, you really should watch that. So with the Egg Carrier falling apart and Chaos seemingly defeated, he retreats to his base in the Mystic Ruins and waits for Sonic to come to him for the final battle, where even he canít defeat the hedgehog.
Also worth noticing is the fact, heís no longer the only human around. For the first time, we see several cultures that we never knew about in Sonics world, we go inside them and explore them. Robotnik isnít the only human; heís one of many, only heís one who has decided to become a dictator. And in response to the fact heís not the only human, he has become fashionable. I mean, he used to just be a blob of fat sitting amongst his machines in a red coat and black trousers. No, now heís amongst other humans, he goes trendy. He makes an outfit suitable for a mad professor, he is vain. (This is retrospection here, but you have to admit he does change his clothing in time with the arrival of others.) He later in SA2 uses goggles as a fashion accessory, taking them on and off regularly, on his head, off his head, he brims his moustache with pride.
Also, the nickname Eggman is introduced here, he seems to hate it at the moment, but later on he eventually re-names himself to it. Will get back to the Eggman controversy later.

After the final battle, we also get to see another aspect of his personality, he is a moaner. He sulks in the Mystic Ruins alone complaining about Sonic and the unfairness of it all, he isnít happy and heís not afraid to let it be known. And when Chaos comes and knocks him out, he is taken by surprise and defeated easily. So he relies upon technology, he has no fighting power of his own? Wrong, Chaos also takes out Knuckles who as we know has more fight than anyone else in him. And as soon as Robotnik wakes up, heís off to get even with Chaos, he goes right to where he stored his weapons, gets the biggest one and flies right to Station Square to do the job himself. Bold and Brash, if not entirely plausible, he looses immediately, watches in the safety to ensure Sonic defeats Chaos, then leaves to plot and plan for another day. Heís durable alright, still going strong.


Breaking into a GUN base, Guns blazing (gettit?) and smashing everything in sight comes as easily to Dr. Robotnik as anything. He doesnít mind the havoc, and unlike what you could assume before he doesnít mind being in the thick of things. SA2 gives you some insight into the string pulling Robotnik has to so to manage each game, and proves he isnít as out of it as you might think. He is confident that this time he will win, ever the optimist, and already has his plans laid. Sadly, they go wrong when he meets Shadow, but he adjusts quickly and agrees to go with Shadow, quick thinker Doctor, you were designed to be an underdog. On the way he pop in to have a go at the Master Emerald, and gets it smashed. What was the point you wonder? Well, I canít see any, but it was on his way so why not have a go at the Master Emerald. He goes to the ark, and meets Rouge and Shadow, and the trio is formed. Now hereís the odd bit, you would expect him to be the master villain, and quite rightly to, and he is, but only because Rouge isnít a villain and Shadow is following other peoples orders. Although Robotnik acts likes heís in control, he talks tough and plans their attack of Prison Island, for anyone watching unconnected can see Shadow and Rouge are both using him to get their own objectives. They are letting him think he is in control, when he quite obviously isnít. So, is Robotnik deluded as well as mad? Now, there is evidence to support both yes and no. The answer is probably that Shadow and Rouge are better manipulators than he is, despite the fact he has already proven he can manipulate someone several times even after they catch on.

Picking back up the change, he now calls himself Eggman, not Robotnik. Well considering we find out he has an entire family of Robotnikís, maybe heís trying to distance himself from them. This could hold out true, Eggman could cover up the fact he doesnít want the President and GUN to connect him with Gerald Robotnik, so he names himself Eggman to cover it up. And at the end of the game, well, he discovered exactly how mad Gerald is, he even tried to kill him, he is ashamed of the man who used to be his hero. So, he forgets Robotnik (when Gerald was his hero he used to call himself Robotnik), who is no longer his hero, and becomes the new and improved Eggman. This is only a theory by the way, Iím trying to explain various inconsistencies between SA1 and 2.

Eager to blow up the moon is Robotnik, quite casually threatening the president, and when his threats fall on death ears, quite angrily does he begin to smash everything in sight. Heís sulking again, this seems to be quite a personality fault; maybe he should get anger management. Yet he recovers as soon as Rouge tells him sheís located the last emerald, and he begins to lay orders again. He directs Rouge and Shadow, seemingly taking control for a while, yet Sonic and co break in and another of his genius inventions fail to stop them. He gets angry and begins shouting bad words at the damaged robots that turns on him, hmm; he definitely needs anger management therapy.

He sits sulking until Sonic and co arrive on the Ark, Rouge asks him for the password and he gives them without considering what sheís looking for. Back to earlier, he has tested the Eclipse Cannon and agreed to do everything Shadow wanted, he doesnít pause to consider this deal is too good for him and Shadow gets nothing out of it. And neither does Rouge for that matter, she doesnít act like she wants the world, or gems really, sheís playing with him and heís too angry/wound-up/pre-occupied to notice. Yet when he goes of to confront Sonic and the gang acting all tough and heroic, like this is a last stand. He pushes Shadow aside and marches into the teleporter, eager for battle. So why oh why does all he do is kidnap Amy Rose???? Oh well, his plan works, he gets Tails and then Sonic, and then almost kills Sonic, who is saved once again by the power of the Chaos Emeralds (remember earlier).
He can predict Sonic and crew with ease, yet was incompetent with Rouge and Shadow, giving them both exactly what they wanted. Maybe he knew they were using him, not likely, otherwise things would of turned out differently. Oh well, what do they say, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, and heís much more in control when dealing with Sonic and the gang. When he kills Sonic, he allows a moment of respect for his nemesis, the rodent is finally gone, he respects his enemy. But then he is quick to return to business, guns out, with the surviving Amy and Tails. Sadly, his bravado fails him, but when Tails and Amy are distracted he sneaks of with the emerald. Sneaky, sneaky, Robotnik is a competent sneak. Is there no end to this mans talents?
Yet you canít blame him when the Eclipse Cannon fails, Rouge was double crossing him, why not Shadow? What does surprise is that he doesnít act surprised when he finds out that 1) Rouge is an agent 2) Shadow is an agent 3) Sonic is still alive. The first 2 if he knew earlier, then he has had a death wish for the entire game, and the third should of shocked him at least. And you also get to see a pivotal moment. He is proud of his granddad's achievements, Gerald Robotnik was a great scientist, yet something went wrong. He doesnít want to die, he teams up with his own enemies to save the world. He didnít use the Eclipse Cannon earlier because he doesnít want to kill everyone, he isnít that mad, he wants everything, and if one way doesnít work then rather than go for nothing he will retreat a few steps.