Countdown to the 12th Doctor: #9
It may seem odd that Eggman’s current design is actually the #9 instead of #11, but this progression is based on first appearances. For that reason, even though we still see several of these incarnations today, they’re not the most “recent” in terms of the countdown. Modern Eggman’s design debuted well over 10 years ago, and that’s plenty of time for new faces to crop up.
First Appearance: 12/23/98, Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)
Noted Companions: Shadow, Rouge, Orbot, Cubot
There’s so much that can be said about Eggman nowadays. In a way I feel like he’s finally hit his stride, and the personality that was always wobbling along has finally been solidified into one of the best villains in the world of gaming. He’s just as insidious as his predecessors, but not so much so that he lacks a sense of humor. As a matter of fact, the modern era’s Eggman has been known to be downright jovial.
Over the years, Eggman’s creations have gotten more and more impressive, and these days he has a considerably low margin of error. His machines generally work exactly the way they’re intended to, and it’s merely Sonic’s unpredictability that causes his plans to fail — if they fail at all. The days of Eggman coming off as incompetent are long behind him. He’s now seen as brilliant, detail-oriented, and exceptionally efficient.
But if there’s one thing he’s not, it’s inconspicuous. Every incarnation of Eggman has had some degree of arrogance, and putting his face on his creations has been a habit for a long time. However, SA Eggman takes this practice to a whole new level. His face and his name is on everything he touches, usually more than once. In order to be unaware that Eggman is causing mischief in your area, you’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind. This incarnation is they very embodiment of eccentricity, and damn proud of it.
Unfortunately, with his arrogance has come overconfidence. SA Eggman seems to have developed a bad habit in recent years of researching god-like entities and turning them loose, sometimes to further his ambitions and sometimes as an unexpected consequence. This invariably turns out to be a much bigger bite than he can chew and spirals wildly out of control. We can perhaps forgive the first time, but Eggman’s pulled this stunt twice. Or three times. Or… Okay six, HE’S DONE IT SIX TIMES GEEZ.
Over the years, Eggman has become progressively more social, forming alliances that he might never have taken on in the past. Metal Sonic intermittently pops up again, but after his betrayal in Sonic Heroes, Eggman tends to keep him at arm’s length. Instead, he’s come to favor company with a bit more personality, and not purely limited to robots. Shadow and Rouge aren’t necessarily constant companions, but Eggman does frequently trust them enough to work alongside them on a semi-regular basis.
Which is all well and good until you get a bad ending in Shadow the Hedgehog. More recently, Eggman has created another pair of assistants to help out and keep him company: Orbot and Cubot. These two creations are by far the sassiest companions Eggman has ever built, and luckily, they appear to balance Eggman’s personality rather than aggrivate him.
First Apperance: 4/6/03, Sonic X (cartoon) #1, “Enter the Supersonic Hero!”*
Noted Companions: Decoe, Bocoe, Bokkun
Although this version is very close to the one seen in the games, there are still several personality differences. For lack of a better description, X Eggman is calmer than his counterparts. While he is still extremely eccentric, it’s mostly for the sake of showing off. when you get down to it, he just really enjoys putting on a good show.
Short of the Kintobor group, this Eggman is the least violent of all of the incarnations. He isn’t out to actually hurt anyone, and will in fact chastise others if he believes they’ve gone too far. Yes, he still builds giant robots and weapons of mass destruction, but in his case it’s more about intimidation and coercion; he not only shies away from causing actual harm, but he gets upset when others do it as well — even if it’s his own enemies that are in danger. X Eggman seems to view his conquest in more of a sporting manner, and should he succeed, he inherits the world as his grand prize. In that sense, Sonic isn’t so much his enemy as he is a racquetball partner. As far as he’s concerned, if people would just cooperate and let him do his thing, everyone would be happier.
Of course, the fact that he’s honorable doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s nice. X Eggman can still be a massive prick if his temper is tested, and he’s at least as verbally abusive to his companions as any of his other versions. Decoe and Bocoe, his assistants, tend to see the biggest brunt of Eggman’s outbursts, but they still receive vaguely more favor than Bokkun, Eggman’s messenger. Bokkun, like Coconuts before him, continually strives for Eggman’s praise but only gets mixed results at best.
*”Chaos Control Freaks” in English.
First Appearance: December 2002, Sonic the Hedgehog #118*
Noted Companions: Snively, Mecha, A.D.A.M., Dr. Wily
After an encounter with some aliens (don’t ask), Robo-Robotnik found himself transformed into an organic life form again, which was something he did not want and angrily demanded to have reversed. Unfortunately for him, the process came with a hitch: He could never be re-roboticized. I’m not sure why, something to do with aliens.
This became a turning point for Robo-Robotnik — now an organic Eggman — and was perhaps the first step in his full descent into madness. As evil as he’d already been in the first place, the deroboticization only intensified his deep-seeded abhorrence for living organisms, perhaps as a way to vent his inability to change himself. Eggman tackled his endeavors with an unmatched level of zeal, coming up with machines and schemes so grand in scale that he’s very nearly succeeded in completely wiping out all life on more than one occasion.
Of course, now trapped in an organic body, it wasn’t long before Archie Eggman began to suffer some of the potential setbacks of such a state — namely, mental illness. Unable to regulate his emotions the way he once had, Eggman’s obsession with destroying his enemies literally pushed him over the edge and “broke” him, as Snively put it. If you’ll excuse the pun, Eggman cracked, and spent an unspecified period of time in a padded room under Snively’s supervision.
Interestingly enough, despite his unbridled hatred of seemingly everyone, Archie’s Eggman still sought out companionship. During a period of Snively’s absence, Eggman constructed two ‘children’ for himself: Mecha (also known simply as “M”), an android bodyguard, and A.D.A.M. (Autonomous Digital Assault Microbe), an AI to run his computer systems. It’s possible that this was also a method of venting his desires to once again become robotic. The ‘family’ ties were short-lived, however, as A.D.A.M. began scheming behind Eggman’s back and tricked him into destroying Mecha, soon after which A.D.A.M. was defeated. Following the loss of his creations, Eggman eventually accepted Snively as his assistant once more.
Just recently, Eggman became acquainted with Dr. Wily from the Mega Man comic series. In the beginning, the two were amazingly close friends; in fact, Eggman exhibited a level of trust and camaraderie that had previously been unheard of for him. As the pair’s plans unfolded, however, their disagreements formed a rift in their friendship, and it wasn’t long before the two stabbed each other in the back.
*While technically the mantle of “Eggman” was taken on by Robo-Robotnik back in issue #75, this article is using the point in which he was changed back to organic as the threshold between identities.
First Appearance: 11/15/05, Sonic Rush
Noted Companions: Eggman
It’s still not completely clear if Eggman Nega — or Neggman, as I call him — is an inter-dimensional counterpart to the Eggman we know and love (as stated in the Sonic Rush games) or if he’s one of Eggman’s distant descendents (as noted in the Sonic Rivals games). Sega seems to have difficulty keeping their story straight on this, so for the purposes of this entry, it’s best to not think about it too deeply.
Neggman is an interesting specimen, because while he captures the modern Eggman’s look and poise, he also retains a lot of elements from past incarnations as well. He has a costume closer to classic Eggman’s style and has the eerily gentle method of speaking that SatAM Robotnik is often known for. While his behavior is calm and cordial, not unlike the Kintobors, he’s also teeming with as much raw rancor as Robo-Robotnik. Neggman is practically an amalgam of one major incarnation from several eras of the character’s existence.
It could be argued that Eggman is actually Neggman’s companion, given that they’ve worked together four different times, but their relationship seems tenuous at best. Although the two have teamed up before, Neggman has in fact captured and impersonated his counterpart on two separate occasions, which suggests that the relationship may be one-sided. Neggman seems to be pretty hell-bent on destroying everything, including himself, and it’s hard to keep a companion in that quest when said companion wants to continue existing.
First Appearance: 2/20/07, Sonic and the Secret Rings
Noted Companions: N/A
Despite the wildly different name from the other incarnations, this version of our beloved doctor is still easily recognizable. As far as dimensional alternates go, Shahryar is probably the one that SA Eggman would envy the most. He doesn’t have to fight for world domination, because in his case, he already has it. Shahryar is the king of the world of the Arabian Nights, and is responsible for the book’s creation in the first place.
Shahryar may not share Eggman’s lust for conquest, but he does have a lot of the same personality traits. More than anything, Shahryar demands respect, and has little tolerance for those that fail to show it. After all, he not only has the highest authority in the land, but he was born into that authority and has never known life without it. Those that don’t show him the proper respects are quickly sought after by the guards (or in Sonic’s case, the guards would have come if there’d been any left). If the world’s technology were at a point where he could have robots as well, Eggman would have a field day trying to take this version’s place.
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.
Posted on November 23, 2013, in Analysis, Books, Game Characters, Humor, Journalism, TV, Video Games and tagged Archie comics, Doctor Who, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, Eggman, Robotnik, Sonic Adventure, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Rush, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic X. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.