Tails (character)

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Miles "Tails" Prower
Sonic the Hedgehog character
Sonicchannel tails cg.png
Miles "Tails" Prower as he appears in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
First game Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)
Created by Yasushi Yamaguchi
Designed by Yasushi Yamaguchi (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
Yuji Uekawa (Sonic Adventure)
Voiced by (English) Video Games
Corey Bringas (1999-2001)
Connor Bringas (2001-2003)
William Corkery (2004)
Amy Palant (2005-2010)
Kate Higgins (2010-2013)
Colleen Villard (2014-present)
Cartoons
Christopher Welch (AoStH)
Bradley Pierce (SatAM)
Chris Turner (Christmas Blast)
Colleen Villard (Sonic Boom)
Anime
Lainie Fraiser (Sonic OVA)
Amy Palant (Sonic X)
Voiced by (Japanese) Video Games
Kazuki Hayashi (1998)
Atsuki Murata (2001)
Ryō Hirohashi (2002-present)
Takuto Yoshinaga (Classic Tails in Sonic Generations)
Cartoons
Nariko Fujieda (AoStH, SatAM)
Anime
Hekiru Shiina (OVA)
Ryō Hirohashi (Sonic X)

Miles Prower (マイルス・パウアー Mairusu Pauā?), more commonly known by his nickname Tails (テイルス Teirusu?), is a video game character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega. He is a significant main character after the title character Sonic, who is also his best friend. Tails also appears in his own spin-off series, in comic books, cartoons, as well as a feature film.

The name "Miles Prower" is a pun on "miles per hour", a reference to the famed speed of Sonic the Hedgehog. He is an 8-year-old[1] fox with two tails,[2] hence the nickname. He is known to be Sonic's sidekick and best friend,[2] as well as a mechanical genius.[2] He is able to use his two tails to propel himself into the air like a helicopter for a limited time.[2] He debuted on October 16, 1992 with the release of the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2; the 16-bit version was released that November.

When he was first introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails' fur was orange. The color was changed to yellow-orange for Sonic Adventure, and later to light yellow for Sonic Heroes. In 1993 and 1995, he starred in his own games: Tails and the Music Maker for the Pico; Tails Adventure, and Tails' Skypatrol for the Game Gear. Tails is the third most popular character of the series, behind Sonic and Shadow, according to an official poll.[3]

Concept and creation[edit]

Yasushi Yamaguchi, originally the main artist and zone designer for Sega's Sonic Team, designed Tails for an internal competition for a sidekick to the speedy hedgehog. The character was meant to hold a "deep admiration for Sonic."[4] His entry won, but Sonic Team decided to change his character's name from "Miles" to "Tails".

Yamaguchi ended up with a compromise, using "Miles" in as the character's real first name; "Tails" would be his nickname, giving the character the full name of Miles "Tails" Prower. The name "Miles Prower" is a pun on the phrase "miles per hour".

The character debuted as Sonic's tag-along partner in the franchise's second game, and has remained an important player since. However the character's uniqueness was not established until Sonic the Hedgehog 3 when players were given the power to control his flying.[5]

Tails was redesigned (along with all of the other Sonic characters) by Yuji Uekawa for Sonic Adventure. His fur changed color to a more yellow shade as opposed to the orange in his early appearances, and he gained blue irises.

In the American Sonic comic book, along with the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, he was originally brown, but the comic artists and cartoon artists eventually decided to change this to match his in-game appearance.

Characteristics[edit]

The character of Tails is portrayed as a very sweet-natured[6] and humble fox;[7] who, before he met Sonic, used to be picked on because of his twin tails.[1] As a long time friend,[6] he admires Sonic[8] and dreams of being just like him.[9] Though he lacks courage,[1] he wants to prove he can be counted on.[10] He loves mint candy,[11] tinkering with machines, and flying mechas.[1] Tails has a fear of lightning.[11]

Tails has been described as a mechanical prodigy who rivals Dr. Eggman, however he has yet to realize his full potential.[8] Additionally, by spinning his two tails like a helicopter rotor, he has the unique ability to push himself through the air[6] to catch up with Sonic. However, when he takes to flight, he tires quickly.[6] Unlike Sonic, Tails has the ability to swim. Like Sonic, he can transforms into Super Tails, but he requires Super Emeralds to transform.[12]

Video games[edit]

Tails' second appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis.
Sonic Boom (2014 video game) Sonic Lost World Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II Sonic CD Sonic Generations Sonic Colors Sonic Free Riders Sonic and the Black Knight Sonic Unleashed Sonic Rivals 2 Sonic and the Secret Rings Sonic the Hedgehog (2006 video game) Shadow the Hedgehog (video game) Sonic Advance 3 Sonic Heroes Sonic Advance 2 Sonic Advance Sonic Adventure 2 Sonic Shuffle Sonic Pocket Adventure Sonic Adventure Sonic R Sonic the Fighters Tails Adventure Tails' Skypatrol Tails and the Music Maker Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Sonic Chaos Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Tails debuted in Sonic 2 (1992) for the Sega Master System before being made playable in the Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, playing the part of Sonic's sidekick. He was a playable character from the second controller and could be chosen as player one for the main game. Sonic Chaos (1993), on the Game Gear/Master System was the second game where the player could control Tails and the first time the player could control his flight.

Tails made his third major appearance in the 1994 game, Sonic 3, with the ability to pick up Sonic and use his tails to fly him to other areas, rotating his tails like a helicopter. He also gained the ability to swim under water, something Sonic has never been able to do.

Tails has also starred in games without Sonic, such as Tails' Skypatrol, which is a side-scrolling score attack like game for the Game Gear released exclusively in Japan. This was followed by Tails Adventures later the same year, which is a Metroid-esque platformer with RPG elements.[13] Tails is also the star of Tails and the Music Maker for the Sega Pico.

In later games, Tails had roles that require unique modes of play including Sonic Adventure, where he appears as one of the six playable characters.[14] His gameplay is based around standard platforming stages, but the goal of each stage is to get to the Chaos Emerald before Sonic, or to the missile dud in the final race against Eggman. In Sonic Adventure 2, he is featured in third-person shooting segments, seated in his "Cyclone" mech.[15] These stages, along with Dr. Eggman's shooting levels in the same game, were very similar to the E-102 Gamma levels of Sonic Adventure.

Tails also appeared either as a playable character or in a supporting role in many later Sonic titles and still often resumes his role flying other characters around, such as in Sonic Heroes, where Tails appears on Team Sonic as their flight-type character, being capable of carrying both Sonic and Knuckles the Echidna.[16] He also appears as an 'amigo' character in the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game.

Tails is seen in the background of Green Hill Zone along with Silver the Hedgehog and Knuckles in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and also appears as a trophy. He is the third character the player unlocks in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, where he acts as a team medic.

Tails appears in Sonic Unleashed, where he helps Sonic restore the shattered planet, largely by flying Sonic from continent to continent in the game.[17]

Tails takes a supporting role in Sonic and the Black Knight, portrayed as a local blacksmith who helps players craft goods from the items Sonic collects.

He appears as a playable character in all of the Mario & Sonic titles, as well as in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and its sequel. He also appears in Sonic Colors as a non-playable character.

In Sonic Generations, Tails celebrates Sonic's birthday along with his friends by setting up a party. But when the Time Eater appears, it warps them through various time holes, sending Tails to Green Hill. After Sonic frees him, Tails meets his classic self, and concludes that they were traveling through time and space. They accompany both Sonics throughout the game, later discovering that the Time Eater was controlled by the modern and classic incarnations of Eggman. Both Tails, along with all of Sonic's friends, help motivate the two Sonics to defeat the Time Eater.

The feature to play as Tails was added to the 2011 enhanced port of Sonic CD, and he also appeared in the second episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 as well.

Tails was added as a playable character in the enhanced port of Sonic the Hedgehog released in 2013 for mobile devices. The port also has the option to play the "Sonic and Tails" mode as well.

In Sonic Lost World, when Tails and Sonic were shot down while chasing Doctor Eggman in the Tornado, they end up facing a group of villains allied with Eggman, called the Deadly Six. They run into Eggman and notice him wielding a Cacophonic Conch to control the Deadly Six. Despite Tails' warnings, Sonic knocks away the conch, causing the Deadly Six to betray him. Eggman reluctantly teams up with Sonic and Tails to stop them. This causes numerous conflict between Tails and Eggman, and increases tension with his friendship with Sonic, since Sonic believes Eggman is their only hope in defeating the Deadly Six. Eventually, Tails gets captured in a trap intended for Sonic, and the Deadly Six plan to use this to their advantage by turning Tails into a robot. However, Tails manages to reprogram the computer that would control his mind. The seemingly-roboticized Tails confronts Sonic at the game's final stage, but by retaining his free will, he takes the Deadly Six by surprise and attacks them. Later on, after Sonic defeats Doctor Eggman at the game's climax, Sonic apologizes Tails for doubting him. Tails forgives him and the two return home.

Tails will appear as one of the four playable characters in the upcoming Sonic Boom.

In other media[edit]

Tails has appeared in four cartoon shows: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog the anime Sonic X, and the upcoming Sonic Boom. He has also appeared in several Sonic series of comic books and a feature film.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog[edit]

In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, he is supposedly significantly younger than in the games; he is "only 4 and a half," while in the games, he is eight years old. As with the game canon, his real name is Miles Prower. However, his fur is brown in the cartoon as opposed to orange in the games. Sonic's relationship with Tails is quite close in this series. Before Tails met Sonic, he was apparently an orphan who thought he was a bird because of his ability to fly; it was his being kicked from a nest that introduced the two and led to Miles receiving his nickname "Tails".[18]

While Tails is indeed useful to Sonic in many situations, he can be a hindrance. Because he is very young and cannot defend himself, he is incredibly susceptible to being kidnapped by Robotnik and used as bait for Sonic. Sonic appears to know of this flaw and does his best to protect him, but his protection methods are often the reason why Tails gets kidnapped in the first place.[19] He also hates his real name and does not want anyone to know about it, a fact that Sonic occasionally exploits to blackmail him out of danger.

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series[edit]

Tails' role in the Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon had him in a supporting role, quite low-key compared to the games and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series. He had an inherently clever nature and high intellect, but was too combat inexperienced to be a Freedom Fighter. Instead, he was simply another inhabitant of the refugee village called Knothole, where the Freedom Fighters operated from. Tails is also Princess Sally Acorn's protégé, and was in training to become a Freedom Fighter in season 1. He became a member of the Freedom Fighters near the end of Season 2, after finally proving himself capable. His first full role was in the pilot episode, however, as he went tagging along with on a dangerous mission with Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie[edit]

In the two episode OVA Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Sonic and Tails were occasionally shown to be at odds with one another but were still best friends as in all other Sonic media. The two reluctantly agreed to help Dr Robotnik outwit Metal Robotnik, who kicked Robotnik out of the city of Robotropolis, and deactivate the Robot Generator which will otherwise explode at sunrise. However, it was all a ruse by Robotnik in order to kidnap the president and his daughter Sara, a strange cat girl, and activate Metal Sonic. With the assistance of Knuckles, the trio prevailed in rescuing them both and in a climatic showdown, Metal Sonic was ultimately destroyed and melted in a pool of lava.

Sonic the Hedgehog (comic)[edit]

In the Archie Comics-produced comic series, Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails is the son of Rosemary and Amadeus Prower; Sonic was present at the time of Tails' birth, and the two immediately bonded. After being separated from them by Dr. Robotnik, he grows up in Knothole Village with Sonic the Hedgehog and the other Freedom Fighters. He joins the Freedom Fighters, though he is unable to work in some of the more dangerous missions; when he does work in them, he mostly serves to pilot the group's escape vehicle and stays on board during that time. He eventually leaves on an adventure where he learns from Athair that he is the "Chosen One," a great hero that will bring about "The Great Harmony." He eventually becomes the target of Mammoth Mogul, and the two do battle on various occasions. After Robotnik is overthrown, Tails begins living with Sonic and his parents.

Tails later completes part of the Great Harmony by sealing away the Chaos Emeralds in a special dimension after being captured by A.D.A.M.. Sonic begins dating Fiona Fox, Tails' crush, which causes a rift between them. When the two return Tails' parents to Mobius, the rift widens when the two get involved in a political schism started by Amadeus, Tails supporting his father and Sonic remaining loyal to the House of Acorn. Eventually, after an argument, the two reconcile after Sonic apologizes and explains that he had dated Fiona in the hopes that it would help Tails get over his feelings for her. He later helps in the fight against his fellow Freedom Fighters anti-counterparts once again. He then helped in the recent battle against Dr. Eggman, which results in Eggman descending into complete insanity.

Sonic the Comic[edit]

Tails also appears in the British Sonic the Comic, published by Fleetway.[20] Here, he first met Sonic when the latter saved him from drowning in a swamp. In this series Tails was older than his other incarnations, and was frequently the butt of many of Sonic's cruel jokes, most often being called "pixel brain". He is initially portrayed as a bit of a push-over, who constantly allows Sonic to insult him, gets flustered in dangerous situations, and had a significant inferiority complex. As time went on, Tails became more competent and heroic. On occasion he would return to his home land 'The Nameless Zone' where he would get a suit of silver armour and a short sword. When the comic began adapting Sonic Adventure, Tails' eyes remained brown while Knuckles and Sonic had their eyes changed to match their in-game counterparts.

Sonic X[edit]

Throughout most of the anime series Sonic X, Tails mirrors his game role in various stories and game adaptations, though he often plays a smaller role in the series due to the presence of Chris Thorndyke. He quickly befriends fellow inventor Chuck Thorndyke, who built the X-Tornado jet with him. In a tournament for a Chaos Emerald, Tails shows that he is stronger than he looks, but is defeated by Rouge the Bat when she kisses him.

In the third season, Tails is the captain of the Blue Typhoon, and over the series develops leadership skills. Tails has a crush on Cosmo, a plant-like female alien introduced during this season. Cosmo starts to show signs of affection towards Tails as the season progresses. Their relationship is confirmed when they fall into a love trap placed by Amy that was meant to catch Sonic. He emotionally broke down in tears at the conclusion when Cosmo asked him to kill her to defeat the Metarex, but kept one of the seeds she released.

Sonic Boom[edit]

In October 2013, Sega announced a new CG-animated television series called Sonic Boom, to be released in the fall of 2014.[21] The series, along with an accompanying video game, was officially unveiled in February 2014, with Tails playing a major role in the series alongside Sonic, Knuckles, and Amy.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Reception to Tails has been generally positive. He was awarded "Best New Character" in Electronic Gaming Monthly's 1992 video game awards, stating "not only is he as cute as Sonic, but he actually serves a major purpose in the game."[23] IGN editor Lucas M. Thompson listed Tails as one of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters who should be in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, citing his importance in the series and his abilities.[24] IGN editor Levi Buchanan stated that the fan response to Tails' introduction was favorable, which led to further introductions such as Knuckles.[25] Unlike most Sonic characters, Tails has received consistently positive opinions from the Sonic fanbase over the years.[26]

Tails is remembered for symbolizing sidekicks and two-player gameplay in the 1990s,[22] and as helping Sonic 2 become the second highest-selling game for the Genesis through allowing a second player to join the game.[27] He has been featured on many "Top Sidekicks" lists. ScrewAttack listed him as the greatest sidekick in gaming.[28] Additionally, ScrewAttack's web series Death Battle determined that he would win in a fight against Mario's sidekick Luigi, due to his ability to fly and his extremely high IQ.[29] Maximum PC listed him as their third greatest sidekick,[30] WhatCulture listed Tails as the 10th greatest sidekick out of a field of 20,[22] Machinima.com ranked him fifth,[31] and Maxim listed him as the eighth most underrated sidekick.[32] Dorkly listed him as the greatest sidekick in gaming.[33] Ranking him as the sixth greatest, Mashable stated that Tails "pretty much embodies the definition of 'sidekick'".[34] Sonic and Tails were together ranked as IGN's ninth greatest gaming duo.[26]

However, IGN staff writer Levi Buchanan stated that when Sega noticed the popularity of Tails, and later, Knuckles, they "just kept stuffing new faces and names into the game, pulling attention away from their hero."[25] GameDaily listed the "annoying sidekick" in their top 25 video game archetypes list, citing Tails as an example of this.[35] Cracked ranked him in Sonic 2 as the 14th most annoying video game characters in otherwise great video games, stating that his ambition far outweighed his abilities.[36] GamesRadar listed him as number one on their list of cutsey characters they wanted to beat up, stating that while he started out as interesting, he led to the creation of other characters who "choked the life out the franchise." They cited him being a "know it all" in later games as to why they hate him so much.[37] Official Nintendo Magazine listed him as the second best Sonic character.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sonic Team. "Tails's official character profile". Sega of Japan. Retrieved 28 Jul 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008). In-game description of the "Tails" trophy.
  3. ^ Sonic Channel. "Official Popularity Poll results" (in Japanese). 
  4. ^ "Sonic's Creator - Yuji Naka". Archived from the original on 1997-06-05. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  5. ^ "Smash It Up! - Sonic Team". October 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ a b c d Sega (1999). Sonic Adventure instruction manual, pp. 20
  7. ^ Sega (2004). Sonic Heroes instruction manual, pp. 7
  8. ^ a b Sega (2001). Sonic Adventure 2 instruction manual, pp. 8
  9. ^ Sega (2001). Sonic Advance 2 instruction manual, pp. 4
  10. ^ Sega of America. "Tails's official character profile from Sega of America". Sega of America. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  11. ^ a b Sega (1997). Sonic Jam, Sega Saturn. Sonic World's Character Profiles (in English)
  12. ^ Sega (2001). Sonic Advance instruction manual, pp. 9
  13. ^ "Play Tails Adventure on Great Games Experiment". Retrieved 2011-12-16. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Sega of America". Sega.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  15. ^ "SONIC ADVENTURE 2". Sonicteam.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  16. ^ "at". Toughteam.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  17. ^ "Sonic Unleashed E3 2008 Stage Show Demo". GameSpot.com. 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  18. ^ 16th episode, "Tails' New Home"
  19. ^ Sonic Jam Art Gallery Character Profiles - Located within the game
  20. ^ "Sonic the Comic # 79". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  21. ^ Kellie (2 October 2013). "Sonic Boom (Working Title) – A New Animated Series Coming Fall 2014". SEGA Blog. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c "20 Top Video Game Sidekicks Of All Time". Whatculture.com. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  23. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1993. p. 20. 
  24. ^ Lucas M. Thomas. "Smash It Up! - Sonic Team - Wii Feature at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  25. ^ a b Buchanan, Levi (February 2009). "Where Did Sonic Go Wrong?". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  26. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas M. (June 5, 2013). "Top 25 Gaming Duos". IGN. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ Workman, Robert (March 12, 2014). "15 Greatest Moments in Sonic the Hedgehog History". Prima Games. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Top 10 Sidekicks". ScrewAttack.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  29. ^ "Luigi vs. Tails - DEATH BATTLE". ScrewAttack.com. ScrewAttack Entertainment LLC. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Thanks Buddy!: 25 of Gaming's Greatest Sidekicks". Maximum PC. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  31. ^ Machinima.com (2010). Top 10 Best Buddies in Gaming (YouTube). Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  32. ^ Tweet. "The 10 Most Underrated Sidekicks Ever". Maxim. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  33. ^ "The Dorklyst: The 7 Best and 7 Worst Sidekicks in Videogame History". Dorkly. June 7, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  34. ^ "The 15 Greatest Video Game Sidekicks of All Time". Mashable. November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  35. ^ McElroy, Griffin (2011-12-09). "Joystiq". Gamedaily.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  36. ^ "The 15 Most Annoying Video Game Characters (From Otherwise Great Games)". Cracked. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  37. ^ "Top 7... Cutesy Characters We Want to Beat the Crap Out of". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  38. ^ "Nintendo Feature: The best and worst Sonic characters". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 

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