Feature

The 10 Worst Characters In Sonic History

by Brian Shea on May 16, 2015 at 12:30 PM

The Sonic Cycle is a meme that has been used by fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise to explain the excitement and eventual disappointment many feel during the lead-up to a new game in the franchise. While Sonic Boom effectively skipped much of the Sonic Cycle by giving fans doubts from the get-go with poorly-received character designs, the moment the excitement starts floundering, according to the Sonic Cycle, is when new characters outside of the core group are announced.

Let me start off by saying that there are many characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog games that I absolutely love. I've grown up playing the Sonic games from Genesis all the way up to Xbox 360 and Wii U, and spent a lot of time with these characters. Sonic was as cool as I thought anthropomorphic characters could get, and I always loved his partnership with Tails. Knuckles and Metal Sonic are arguably the best character additions in franchise history, and facing off against Dr. Robotnik (NOT Eggman) never gets old. Speaking of facing off against awesome enemies, I still can't shake how much I loved Chaos in Sonic Adventure, and how bummed I am that the series has moved away from the less goofy tone that the character brought with it. I also really like most of the Chaotix team, even if the best ones – Mighty and Espio – are underutilized.

Unfortunately, there have been many more misses than hits when it comes to the new characters being introduced in the more recent games. Check out my picks for the worst characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and sound off about which ones you hate the most in the comments below.

Silver the Hedgehog
First Appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) 

I'm not entirely certain if Silver is actually a bad character or just a tragic victim of circumstance. Appearing in arguably the worst game in the series, he's infamous for his boss fight where you'll be hearing "It's no use! Take this!" over and over until you finally defeat him. On the surface, he's actually a pretty cool concept: a time traveling hedgehog with the ability to use telekinetic powers. It should have opened up some incredible gameplay sequences, but unfortunately, he was thrown right into the fire of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and his character took a massive hit as a result.

Sticks
First Appearance:
Sonic Boom 

Like Silver, Sticks may very well be another victim of timing and circumstance. Her energetic nature is actually fine by me given her feral background, but her odd behavior and awful schemes landed her on this list. The odd thing is that while she was added to the core team alongside Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy in the Sonic Boom universe, thanks to the weird redesigns of the characters, Sticks may actually be my favorite character model in Sonic Boom. Still, she doesn't match up to the other characters in the line-up, and as a result, she is underwhelming and, at times, annoying.

Cream the Rabbit
First Appearance:
Sonic Advance 2 

Cream's appearances aren't necessarily imposing, as much as they are almost always unnecessary. I've never been playing a Sonic game and thought "I wish Cream was here to help out!" Admittedly, her politeness can be a breath of fresh air when you look at how aggressive and boorish most of the other characters are, but when the most memorable part of your character is that you have a Chao called Cheese as your sidekick, it's a surefire way to land on a list such as this.

Shadow the Hedgehog
First Appearance:
Sonic Adventure 2 

I'll fully admit that I was a fan of Shadow the Hedgehog when he first hit the scene. In my youth, I thought it was a cool concept to have a rival hedgehog to Sonic who could not only match his speed, but also double down on his attitude. Unfortunately, Shadow's story arc played out too similarly to Knuckles' in his debut games, only it wasn't as well done. In addition, Shadow's brooding "tortured soul" personality wore on a lot of fans quickly, dropping much of the cool factor that Sonic Team was going for with his creation. The moment I think the world turned on Shadow, however, was when he got his own game, Shadow the Hedgehog, which ended up being just awful.

Rouge the Bat
First Appearance:
Sonic Adventure 2 

While Rouge's personality is fine, her character design is the first thing that stands out to me. Lots of weird choices for how they went about creating Rouge stick out, but in all honesty, her concept as a rival to Knuckles isn't a terrible one. Sadly, she entered the fray during a time when Knuckles' missions were the annoying treasure hunt quests of the Sonic Adventure series, which ended up making many fans turn on Rouge from the get-go. She is one of the few characters that has actually gotten better as time has gone on, but that isn't enough to completely save her.

On the next page, we tackle the five worst characters in series history!

 

Omochao
First Appearance: Sonic Adventure 

Sent as a messenger of how to play the game, Omochao is somehow more annoying than if the developers just made us do a tutorial. Rarely dispensing useful knowledge, Omochao is made even worse by the fact that he stands as a reminder of the awesome Chao Garden mini-games that Sonic Team gave us in the Sonic Adventure games, then took away, never to be seen again. Despite the Chaos being largely absent from that point on, the annoying, robotic Chao somehow was the one to carry on through the series.

 

Zazz
First Appearance:
Sonic Lost World 

Another kind of cool concept that was poorly executed was the Deadly Six in Sonic Lost World. Storylines that have two rivals banding together to fight a more powerful common foe can often be pretty entertaining, but most of the characters in the Deadly Six fell flat. Within gameplay, Zazz serves as the introduction to this motley crew, and everything from his hyperactivity to his bewildered monologues while you're playing through his level feel like nails on a chalkboard. Zazz is a bad character, but he's more a symbol for yet another idea with a ton of potential that just didn't come to fruition the way it should have.

Charmy Bee
First Appearance:
Knuckles' Chaotix 

I know I've called a few different characters on this list annoying, but Charmy Bee might just be the king of that castle. The only one of the Chaotix to make this list, Charmy has too much pep in his step and way too much energy for even the cast of Sonic. He's also is in possession of one of the more immature personalities in the series, which makes his energetic disposition that much more grating. I know that the Sonic series has been trying to appeal more to the younger demographic lately, which likely explains Charmy's appearance in more games than any other member of the Chaotix team, but when you see Mighty the Armadillo, Vector the Crocodile, and Espio the Chameleon continually on the sidelines, it makes Charmy's constant presence even more insufferable.

Big the Cat
First Appearance:
Sonic Adventure 

Anyone who has played Sonic Adventure knows well the pain of playing the Big the Cat levels. What could have served as a strong way to break up the speedy onslaught of Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails, ended up being the boring and frustrating fishing expedition story that absolutely zero Sonic fans asked for. By the time you wrap up his story in Sonic Adventure, you're certain that you never want to hear the word "Froggy" ever again. The worst part is that, unlike some of the other characters on this list, Big the Cat has pushed through the overwhelmingly negative reception and has continued to appear in subsequent games. At least the other characters on this list who have done the same thing provide some interesting gameplay.

Princess Elise
First Appearance:
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) 

Who thought this would be a good idea? I get that Sonic 2006 was supposed to give the franchise a more serious tone (something I think the team should consider trying again in the future), but why did they make the human princess kiss the hedgehog? You can have a human princess in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. You can even have her needing to be rescued (sure, it's a little hackneyed, but we'll give you that). What you shouldn't do, is have the human princess kiss an animal in a romantic display. That should have been a red flag the moment a member of Sonic Team pitched that idea. Sure, that scene was far from the worst part of Sonic 2006, but I think it was that moment that I realized how far the series had strayed from what I fell in love with as a child. The Elise and Sonic romance remains one of the most bizarre and unfortunate moments in series history.