Countdown to the 12th Doctor: #3

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The name “Kintobor” is exactly what it looks and sounds like: It’s a backwards version of Robotnik. These versions of the doctor are those that have not crossed the threshold into evil (although that does await a couple of them in the future). They have no interest in fighting short of self-defense, and they work to better the world through their skills and technologies. This group’s look is one of the most unique, as not only is Kintobor’s appearance typically removed from Eggman/Robotnik’s, but furthermore the four of them don’t really resemble one another, either.

 

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First Appearance: 9/4/93, Sonic the Comic #8
Noted Companions: Sonic

Along with the other incarnations of this group, Kintobor is kind, generous, and hopes to use his intellect to remove as much evil from the world as possible. He’s also very tall and thin, notoriously setting unrealistic body image standards for egg-mutated super villains everywhere.

Ovi Kintobor is a particularly tragic character, in my opinion. Like one of his counterparts, he too goes on to become Robotnik, but with a twist hidden in the background. At first glance, it seems to be the result of an unfortunate accident: Kintobor, rotten egg in hand (don’t ask), trips over some cables while approaching his consoles and scrambles his Chaos Emerald machine, resulting in an explosion of chaos and transforming him into the egg-obsessed maniac we know today.

However, later in the series, the Brotherhood of Metallix attempt to go back in time and prevent Robotnik from ever coming to be in order to prevent him from ever being able to defeat them. As a result, Sonic finds himself forced to cause Kintobor’s accident himself in order to ensure that the Brotherhood is ultimately destroyed. It’s even more heart-breaking when one considers that Kintobor and Sonic were close friends in this continuity. Kintobor is the ultimate victim of circumstance.

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First Appearance: Autumn 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog Promotional Comic
Noted Companions: Sonic

Although this version of Kintobor suffers nearly identical circumstances as the Fleetway incarnation (given the latter is based on the former), I find him especially noteworthy because he’s the farthest removed of any other design, within this group or otherwise. He wears clothes that any given man might wear and his features look the least like a caricature. He could probably pass for an off-brand Dr. Wily if you really tried.

Like the previous version, this Kintobor is also shown to have a friendship with Sonic, but the ties don’t appear to be as deep this time around. Maybe it’s just me, but I get the impression that they’d only known each other a relatively short amount of time before the accident occurred — and yes, it’s really an accident this time. Kintobor knocks his drink onto the console while he’s working, which fries the circuits and gives him a nice, crispy jolt, no tripping necessary.

Because he starts out looking so normal, I find his transformation into Robotnik to be even more drastic than that of Ovi. His design essentially snaps all the way from one end of the spectrum to the other, which allows the audience to feel the shock of the result despite the fact that they barely know the character. It may not have the same emotional pull as its eventual successor, but it’s still strong enough to make an impact.

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First Appearance: October 2008, Sonic the Hedgehog #193*
Noted Companions: Buns

While this incarnation is just as sweet and giving as the others, I find Ivo Kintobor to have an additional quality: Fatigue. When I read him, he strikes me as someone that’s getting tired after having had to constantly deal with his world’s perils for so long. Ivo stands out from his likenesses because he’s the one person that has no hand in the evils of his zone — but he’s definitely feeling the brunt of them. He’s working desperately to maintain some form of safety for himself and the inhabitants he can rescue, and in many cases he’s had to learn on the fly. That would be difficult enough for someone well-versed in military strategy or defensive combat, but Ivo Kintobor has nothing like that in his background. He’s just a veterinarian; his life was turned upside down as much as everyone else’s.

His situation is also the most desperate. In addition to having to maintain the shield that protects him and the other innocent inhabitants, he’s taken on the burden of looking after Buns and trying to cure her. The circumstances have become so dire that Ivo’s now looking to other zones for solutions, hoping to find medicines or techniques that aren’t available in his world. That sort of responsibility would wear out anyone, let alone someone that just wanted to take care of animals. It may only be a matter of time before his stamina gives out and he just simply can’t do it anymore.

*Ivo Kintobor’s first appearance was technically in Sonic the Hedgehog #11 (March ’94), but he had a different design at the time, which was later retconned to the one shown in #193.

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First Appearance: January 2000, Sonic Super Special #12
Noted Companions: N/A

While this version does share many traits with the other doctors on this page, such as his kind nature and selflessness in his efforts to help others, J. Kintobor contrasts sharply by simultaneously sharing numerous traits with various Robotniks as well. For example, J. is the only incarnation among the “good” versions to hold any sort of position of power, as he’s the ruler of his own city. He also seems to be the only one of the good doctors interested in studying chaos and robotics for the sake of studying them, whereas the rest focus their attention on public welfare and eradicating chaos energies.

Aside from Ivo Kintobor’s brief first appearance, J. Kintobor stands apart as the only pacifistic version of Robotnik that shares the massive girth. (One other large but good Robotnik exists, but he’s leading a rebellion.) It also seems that, in addition to lacking any close companions, this incarnation is the most disconnected from normal interpersonal behavior. The prime example of this is that he never even asked Sonic’s name before sending him off to battle super monsters in a giant robot. It only occurred to him to ask after the situation was resolved, and only because he’d modeled another giant robot after the “stranger” that’d retrieved a Chaos Emerald half for him — and he was too late to even get an answer, as by then Sonic was gone.

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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, TV, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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