Big the Cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Big the Cat
Sonic the Hedgehog character
Big the Cat Sonic Channel.gif
Big in official artwork
First appearance Sonic Adventure (1998)
Voiced by (English) Jon St. John (Sonic Adventure, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Heroes)
Pete Zarustica (Sonic X, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing)
Kyle Hebert (Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations)
Voiced by (Japanese) Shun Yashiro (Sonic Adventure)
Takashi Nagasako (Sonic Heroes, Sonic X)

Big the Cat (ビッグ・ザ・キャット Biggu za Kyatto?) is a fictional character in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games. He first appeared in the 1998 Dreamcast game Sonic Adventure, where he was placed to justify the presence of a fishing rod in the game, although he was conceived beforehand. Big is a large, purple anthropomorphic cat, who is depicted as—while unintelligent—sweet, easygoing, and physically strong.

In Sonic Adventure, Big's story involves fishing his frog friend, Froggy (カエルくん Kaeru-kun?, lit. "Frog"), out of various bodies of water after Froggy swallows a Chaos Emerald and part of the tail of Chaos, the game's antagonist. In Sonic Heroes, Big teams up with Amy Rose and Cream the Rabbit to search for Froggy and a lost Chao creature called Chocola. He is also a more minor playable character in other Sonic games like Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and a non-player character in titles such as the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors. Reflecting the story of Adventure, Big appears in the Sonic X anime and the Sonic the Hedgehog comics.

Big has been derided by the video game press and fanbase for his obesity, low intelligence, and uselessness within his games; he has appeared on several lists of the worst video game characters of all time and within the Sonic cast. Due to his poor reception and apparent uselessness, Sonic Team decided to remove him from any future games in 2012, although head Takashi Iizuka has since stated that a game starring Big is a possibility. Big has, however, made additional cameo appearances.

Conception and creation[edit]

Big first appeared in the 1998 Dreamcast game Sonic Adventure. Takashi Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team, stated in an interview that his team created Big because they had already implemented a fishing rod into the game with no context or use. Rumors persist that Big was created to capitalize on the Dreamcast's fishing peripheral, but Iizuka has insisted that Big was conceived before the peripheral was.[1] Big, along with fellow Sonic Adventure introduction E-102 Gamma, was not intended to play a large role in the game;[2] Sonic Team decided to change this setup come time for the sequel Sonic Adventure 2 and give every playable character roughly equal importance.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

Big is a purple, 18-year-old anthropomorphic cat.[3] He is large and overweight, standing 200 cm (6'9") tall and weighing 280 kg (617 lbs).[4] He is portrayed in-game and described via official materials as gentle and easygoing;[3] his speech, which has been described as somewhat incoherent, numb-mouthed,[5] and carefree, reflects his personality. His hobby is fishing and fish is his favorite food;[3][4] he always carries his favorite rod and fishing lure.[6] Big also spends much of his time eating and sleeping.[4] He lives in a hut in a serene location deep in the jungle of the "Mystic Ruins" area with Froggy,[6] a frog with whom he has been best friends for several years by the beginning of Sonic Adventure.[7]

While slow and relaxed, Big is strong. In the team-based platformer Sonic Heroes, he is of the Power character type on his team. As such, he can execute a variety of powerful team-based attacks, use martial arts moves, throw his teammates into the ground with enough force to damage all nearby enemies, and body-slam enemies beneath him.[8] His low intelligence renders him very resilient to hazards: in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, he is able to withstand deadly fog and other environmental hazards because he does not know they should be harmful;[9] the fog only makes him sneeze.[10]

Appearances[edit]

In video games[edit]

Sonic Generations Sonic Colors Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Sonic and the Secret Rings Sonic Heroes Sonic Adventure 2 Sonic Shuffle Sonic Adventure
Big fishes for Froggy, who grows a tail early in the game, in the Icecap level of Sonic Adventure. Big and this style of gameplay have been poorly received by critics.

In Sonic Adventure, Big wakes up in his hut to see that Froggy has swallowed Big's lucky charm, a Chaos Emerald,[11] and grown a tail.[12] Froggy hops off,[7] and Big chases him through a number of levels. Each time, Big must find Froggy in a body of water and fish him out, only for Froggy to hop away. At the last of these, Big finally catches Froggy, but E-102 Gamma steals the creature and leaves.[13] Determined to rescue his friend, Big finds Doctor Eggman's airship, the Egg Carrier, and boards it.[14] He quickly finds Froggy in a water tank and catches him.[15] He meets Tikal the Echidna, who tells Big of the significance of his Chaos Emerald: it controls the other seven.[16] When Big reaches the deck of the Egg Carrier in hopes of escaping,[17] Chaos absorbs Froggy to reach a more powerful form, since Froggy is still possessed by Chaos' tail.[18] Since Chaos' body is permeable, transparent, and filled with liquid, Big is able to fish Froggy out of Chaos.[19] Satisfied that he has done his part to help defeat Chaos, Big departs the Egg Carrier using Tails' airplane, the Tornado 2,[20] but it crashes near Big's house due to a lack of proper landing gear.[21]

In his second playable appearance in Sonic Heroes, Big teams up with his friends Amy Rose and Cream the Rabbit as the "power" character in their trio.[3][8] Big, Amy, and Cream look for Froggy and for Chocola Chao, a Chao who is the brother of Cream's Chao Cheese.[22] They travel through several stages and eventually reach the Egg Fleet, another of Eggman's aircraft. They find a mecha piloted by a clone of Eggman;[23] when they conquer it, the clone dissolves into a puddle of liquid, out of which Chocola and Froggy rise.[24] Big, Amy, and Cream go on to help the other playable characters defeat the game's true antagonist, Metal Sonic, who it turns out locked Eggman away in his own ship.[25]

Big is a playable character in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.[9] Sonic and Tails find him after using Tails' first Tornado plane to escape from soldiers;[26] he helps them locate the base of the Marauders.[27] He also has a sidequest involving finding Froggy's friend Norton.[28] Big is useful for fishing enemies out of ponds and for his hardy nature in the face of harsh environments.[9]

In the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, Big shows up several times, though he is not playable. He follows Froggy, who has escaped yet again, into the Aquarium Park section of Eggman's "Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park." He meets Sonic and Tails and explains his problem;[29] Sonic agrees to help and takes on a mission,[30] but Froggy does not turn up.[31] Big later meets Amy, who is trying to find Sonic, and they continue their searches together. Eventually, they do find Sonic, as well as Tails.[32] Amy encourages Sonic to complete a mission;[33] when he does, Amy offers to throw a picnic and Big eagerly participates.[34] Froggy's location and well-being are left ambiguous.

Big is also a playable character in the racing title Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, where his special move involves Froggy growing massively and stomping other racers.[35] In the party game Sonic Shuffle, Big is also playable; he can use Froggy to move extra spaces if the player gets a die roll of six, and can throw boulders as his special attack.[36] Big has made a cameo in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

In other media[edit]

Big plays a minor role in the anime series Sonic X, which ran from 2003 to 2006. He is the first character to appear in the series; the first episode, "Chaos Control Freaks", shows him sleeping by a river with Froggy.[37] As one story arc is based on Sonic Adventure, Big plays a role similar to his from the game.[38]

Big is a recurring character in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. In this canon, he starts out living in the jungle with Froggy as a social outcast. Froggy exhibits transformation similar to that in Sonic Adventure, but E-102 Gamma steals him right there.[39] Unwilling to give up, Big searches around the lake near the Mystic Ruins, when the Egg Carrier rises up from underneath him, placing him aboard the vessel. Big searches for Froggy until he finds him stuck inside Chaos, then retrieves him. He escapes with Sonic's plane, the Tornado, and crash-lands, being knocked unconscious by the impact. When he comes to, he finds Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles beside him and introduces himself.[40] He helps them and the other Freedom Fighters battle Chaos and a metallic Sonic doppelganger. Sally Acorn asks him if he wants to join them, but he declines and returns home.[41]

Big's next major appearance in the comics comes when he invites Sonic to meet with him and the Felidae clan to search together for a gemstone known as the Ancient Onyx. Big finds he is not on good terms with the Felidae, as they threaten him and Sonic with spears. Sonic explains to Queen Hathor, the leader of the Felidae, why they are there, and she lets them go under the expectation that they will find the Ancient Onyx. Before they can leave, however, the Wolf Pack gang shows up,[42] and Hathor accuses Big of being a member of it. To dispel this accusation, Big stands between Hathor and the Wolf Pack's leader, Lupe, so that they cannot fight. Under Sonic's direction, they all leave for the Mystic Ruins, where Big uses his massive strength to defeat Drago Wolf, who is holding Sally captive. Sally proposes a peace agreement between the Felidae and Wolf Pack, and Big and Sonic become members of the latter group.[43] After the second Genesis wave, Big becomes a part of the Freedom Fighters, fighting alongside Amy Rose and Cream the Rabbit (as Team Rose), rescueing the citizens of both New Mobotropolis and Station Square, later teaming up with Rotor to help him figuring out what is going on with the planet, while the remaining Freedom Fighters try to find the Gaia Temples.

Reception and impact[edit]

Big's reception by critics has been strongly negative, generally focusing on his obesity, low intelligence, and uselessness within games he has appeared in. Cheat Code Central's Angelo D'Argenio criticized Big's lack of purpose in Sonic Adventure and listed his only defining characteristics as "fat" and "likes frog",[44] while Jem Roberts of the British Official Dreamcast Magazine was more neutral on Big's gameplay and compared the character to Homer Simpson.[45] Dustin Legarie of Destructoid decried his portrayal as a "mentally handicapped imbecile" and his incoherent voice acting in Sonic Adventure.[5] Staff at Xbox World singled him out as the worst character in Sonic Heroes, "unlike all the other Sonic characters who are REAL," and strongly wished he had not been placed in the game.[46] In contrast, Lucas M. Thomas of IGN felt that "really, you have to love Big the Cat", writing about Sonic Chronicles.[47]

Big has been ranked on numerous lists of the worst video game characters of all time and within the Sonic series. He reached the top 8 in a tournament voted on by the readership of 1UP.com of the worst video game characters ever.[48] He also appeared on an unranked list by D'Argenio of the 10 lamest game characters, which singled him out as the most "stupid and useless" character in the series.[44] Within the Sonic series, he has been ranked as the worst character by Jim Sterling of GamesRadar[49] and Thomas East of Official Nintendo Magazine.[50]

Big's poor reception and lack of perceived use to the franchise caused Sonic Team in 2012 to decide not to place him in any more games.[51] D'Argenio praised this decision, calling it "good sense" among a slew of Sonic games of declining quality.[44] Nintendo Power writer Steve Thomason had stated years earlier, in the magazine's preview of Sonic and the Secret Rings, that Big was not in the game and commended this move, although Big did make it in via a cameo.[52] In contrast, however, Iizuka stated in 2013 that Sonic Team had gotten numerous questions about creating new games starring characters other than Sonic, like Shadow, and felt that a fishing game starring Big was "a possibility" and "a nice idea."[53]

Big's likeness has been used in various merchandise, like plush toys.[54] He was also featured in a McDonald's promotion between December 3 and December 27, 2004. One of eight handheld dedicated consoles packaged with Happy Meals featured Big recreationally fishing.[55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Betker, Gerjet (July 20, 2011). "Die Sonic-Fans nie wieder enttäuschen!" (in German). Gamers Global. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b IGN Staff (June 4, 2001). "Interview With Sonic Adventure 2 Director Takashi Iizuka". IGN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sonic Heroes (GameCube) instruction manual, p. 11.
  4. ^ a b c ビッグ・ザ・キャット (in Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Legarie, Dustin (September 27, 2010). "Review: Sonic Adventure (XBLA)". Destructoid. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) instruction manual, p. 30.
  7. ^ a b Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: Something's not right. We've always been friends... for years. 
  8. ^ a b Sonic Heroes (GameCube) instruction manual, pp. 20–21.
  9. ^ a b c Bozon (May 16, 2008). "Hands-on Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". IGN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  10. ^ BioWare (September 30, 2008). "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". Sega. Big: Oh, that? That's the sneezy fog! It makes me sneeze. 
  11. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: Hey, wait a minute! You swallowed my lucky charm! 
  12. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: What's up with the tail? 
  13. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: Give me my friend back! I'm beggin' ya, please! 
  14. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: This place doesn't look familiar to me at all. 
  15. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: We're together again at last, heh? 
  16. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Tikal: Could this be the Emerald that controls the 7 Chaos? 
  17. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Eggman: So! I see you're trying to escape! I'm right on time. 
  18. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Eggman: Once you get your tail, you'll be complete and ultra strong. 
  19. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: Careful Froggy! Don't worry. We'll get ya back! 
  20. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Big: Huh... er... what? Hey, maybe we could use this? 
  21. ^ Sonic Team (September 9, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Sega. Tails: Look! It's the Tornado 2! 
  22. ^ Sonic Team USA (January 5, 2004). "Sonic Heroes". Sega. Amy: Hey you guys, cheer up! You know we'll find them. 
  23. ^ Sonic Team USA (January 5, 2004). "Sonic Heroes". Sega. Amy: Mustache monkey! You took Chocola and Froggy. 
  24. ^ Sonic Team USA (January 5, 2004). "Sonic Heroes". Sega. Big: Froggy! 
  25. ^ Sonic Team USA (January 5, 2004). "Sonic Heroes". Sega. Eggman: Aaaa... If only we had the 7 Chaos Emeralds! 
  26. ^ BioWare (September 30, 2008). "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". Sega. Tails: What are you doing here, Big? 
  27. ^ BioWare (September 30, 2008). "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". Sega. Amy: Sonic, Big is an old friend of mine. I think we should bring him along! 
  28. ^ BioWare (September 30, 2008). "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". Sega. Big: Norton's still out there, Sonic. We have to find him! 
  29. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Sonic: Hey Big! You come all the way up here looking for your pal? 
  30. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Sonic: All right. I'll go take care of it for you. 
  31. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Sonic: Sorry, Big. I didn't see Froggy in there. 
  32. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Amy: I know you're worried, Big, but you're supposed to be helping me find--. 
  33. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Amy: Now, we're tired from searching. Entertain us, Sonic! 
  34. ^ Dimps (November 16, 2010). "Sonic Colors". Sega. Big: Sniff sniff... That does smell good. Can I join the picnic? 
  35. ^ Harris, Craig (February 18, 2010). "Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Hands-on". IGN. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  36. ^ Sonic Shuffle instruction manual, p. 23.
  37. ^ "Chaos Control Freaks". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 1. April 6, 2003.
  38. ^ "The Beginning of Disaster". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 27. October 5, 2003.
  39. ^ "Swallowing Trouble" Sonic the Hedgehog 80 (March 2000), Archie Comics
  40. ^ "Menace to Society" Sonic the Hedgehog 83 (June 2000), Archie Comics
  41. ^ Karl Bollers, Ken Penders (w), Ron Lim (a). "Super Sonic Special: Sonic Adventure" Sonic the Hedgehog SSS13 (March 2000), Archie Comics
  42. ^ Ian Flynn (w), Steven Butler (a). "Reigning Cats and Dogs, Part One" Sonic the Hedgehog 213 (May 2010), Archie Comics
  43. ^ Ian Flynn (w), Steven Butler (a). "Reigning Cats and Dogs, Part One" Sonic the Hedgehog 214 (June 2010), Archie Comics
  44. ^ a b c D'Argenio, Angelo (March 19, 2012). "Top 10 Lamest Video Game Characters". Cheat Code Central. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  45. ^ Roberts, Jem (September 1999). "Sonic Adventure". Official Dreamcast Magazine (1): p. 56. 
  46. ^ "Sonic Heroes". Xbox World (Future Publishing) (2): p. 35. January 2004. 
  47. ^ Thomas, Lucas M. (July 17, 2008). "E3 2008: Hands-on Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". IGN. Archived from the original on March 20, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  48. ^ 1UP Staff. "Least Popular Character Tournament". 1UP.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  49. ^ Sterling, Jim. "The 10 worst Sonic friends". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  50. ^ "The best and worst Sonic characters". Official Nintendo Magazine. May 29, 2013. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  51. ^ Sonic Talk #9: Sonic 4 Episode II After Party (YouTube). SegaBits (user SEGABits) – interview with Ken Balough of Sega. 2012. Event occurs at 2:01:14. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  52. ^ Thomason, Steve. "New Blue". Nintendo Power (V213): 32–36. 
  53. ^ "Sonic Lost World". Official Nintendo Magazine (Future plc) (94): pp. 48–49. October 2013. That’s a nice idea! At Summer of Sonic a lot of people were asking if we might feature characters like Shadow, or if there was any possibility of spin-offs. The focus isn’t on taking characters and building around them, but on the game itself. Obviously, if there was a game in which we could use the characters in the best way, we might consider it. For Big the Cat, if it’s a fishing game, it’s a possibility. 
  54. ^ Sonic Talk #9: Sonic 4 Episode II After Party (2:00:23)
  55. ^ "McDonald's and SEGA Reveal Details of New Happy Meal Promotion Featuring Sonic and 'Search for the Silver Game'". GameZone. December 2, 2004. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]