Countdown to the 12th Doctor: #1

SonicDocs-h-prototyps

Along with the sketches of Mr. Needlemouse, the original set of Eggman drawings are one of the most important documents in Sega’s history. After all, a hero is only as good as its villain, and the proto-version of Eggman wasn’t even originally conceived as an antagonist. Without those initial drawings, I wouldn’t be writing this article at all. I feel obligated to devote the first segment of this series to this version of the character if just out of respect.

 

SonicDocs-n-proto

SonicDocs-Proto1

First Appearance: Circa 1990, Sega internal mascot contest
Noted Companions: Animal Pillow

As stated above, these are the earliest known sketches of our beloved Dr. Eggman, who probably wasn’t even a doctor at the time. There’s not too much that can be said in-depth about him at this early stage; the sketch was one of many that Sega employee (and eventual Sonic designer) Naoto Ōshima submitted as ideas for a new company mascot, and as such, the character never gained a lot of a background before getting reworked into Sonic’s foe.

In spite of this, I do believe there are certain characteristics that can be reasonably discerned. For example, I’d say that he might be a bit mischievous, based on the secondary sketches. He also comes off as a laid back sort of person, as it seems he wears his pajamas at all times and isn’t terribly concerned with his posture. It’s also noteworthy that, despite the Cheshire-like grin, his expression is surprisingly blank, suggesting that he may not have initially had the arrogance or wrath that he’d later be so pointedly characterized with.

What strikes me as the most interesting element is that pillow under his arm. It’s not merely a pillow; it’s a pillow that’s fashioned to resemble a cat (or something close to one). In addition to being able to say he was into pillow pets before they were cool, this may actually suggest that Proto-Eggman had an affinity for small animals, rather than the disdain he’d come to be known for later. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate twist to Sonic Generations~

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SonicDocs-n-robughnik

SonicDocs-Proto2

First Appearance: April 1994, Sonic the Hedgehog #12
Noted Companions: Himself

According to the old Archie comics, Robughnik (best name ever, btw) was the first true incarnation of Robotnik back in the prehistoric era. I suppose that suggests that there’s a Legend of Zelda-esque loop of history repeating itself in different forms, but I guess it’s not that odd. After all, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog did something similar with the Chaos Emerald arc.

While clearly primitive, Robughnik does manage to employ some degree of technology, even if it is limited to simple machines. The overall point of this character (aside from cheap laughs) is to set up the framework for the generations to follow, and I think he accomplishes that for a simple one-shot story. Even his lust for power and authority gets a hat tip, albeit in the form of talking to himself. It’s funny how several versions of the doctor harbor a lot of resentment of their companions, yet this one is actually pining for one.

It’s also worth noting that this is the only incarnation of Robotnik that sports a full beard. Doctor Who would be especially envious, as the presence of that much facial hair makes it even more clear that Robotnik is ginger.

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SonicDocs-n-teddy

SonicDocs-Proto3

First Appearance: October 27th, 1858
Noted Companions: Seth Bullock

I’d like to say that I included Teddy purely for a laugh, but the original Eggman concept really was based on him to a mild degree, so… WHY  NOT?

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SonicDocs-back

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Dr. Robotnik, Dr. Eggman, and whatever other forms of this character I managed to dig up for this thing are all © Sega one way or another, with lesser rights going to companies such as Archie, Fleetway, DiC, and whoever made that fan film. The inferences and summaries written throughout this piece are my own and my not be reproduced without my permission.

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About Leedzie

Leda "Leedzie" Clark is a writer and game designer with a sharp eye for detail and a kooky sense of humor. She's been a nerd as long as she can remember, and always seems to notice the wrong thing first in any given situation.

Posted on November 23, 2013, in Analysis, Books, Game Characters, Humor, Journalism, Retro Games, TV, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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