|Sonic the Hedgehog character|
|First appearance||Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)|
|Created by||Naoto Ohshima|
|Portrayed by||Jim Carrey|
|Full name||Ivo Robotnik|
|Relatives||Gerald Robotnik (grandfather)|
Maria Robotnik (cousin)
Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik[a] is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. His original character designer was Naoto Ohshima, who created him as part of many design choices for Sega's new mascot. After the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ohshima chose to use his previous egg-shaped character to create the antagonist of the 1991 video game Sonic the Hedgehog, making him the archenemy of the series' eponymous main character.
In the main line of video games, Dr. Eggman is a rotund mad scientist who plans to conquer the world to build his own Empire. While he has gone through several major and minor appearance changes throughout the series, his in-game designs retain several basic characteristics, such as his egg-shaped body, red-black-yellow clothing, bald head, a onesie, pince-nez sunglasses, and large mustache. Eggman commonly creates machines and robots, including a wide variety of Badniks. Notably in early games, he has also served as a recurring boss, appearing in almost every level piloting one of his created vehicles.
Eggman has appeared in almost every Sonic the Hedgehog video game since his first appearance in the 1991 title Sonic the Hedgehog and is also a prominent character in other media, including comics, novels, and cartoons. He made his cinematic debut in the 2020 film adaptation, portrayed by Jim Carrey. He has also been very well received by critics and fans alike, leading Eggman to become one of the most popular and recognizable villains in gaming history.
In 1990, Sega president Hayao Nakayama sought a flagship series to compete with Nintendo's Mario franchise along with a character to serve as a company mascot. Several character designs were submitted as part of a contest. Among the designs was an egg-shaped man wearing pajamas who resembled U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, drawn by Naoto Ohshima. According to Ohshima, the resemblance to Roosevelt was unintentional, saying he was influenced by a variety of characters. Retrospective sources have indicated Ohshima based the character on Humpty Dumpty and Mario.:301 The Roosevelt lookalike did not win the contest; rather, another Ohshima character, a hedgehog named Mr. Needlemouse—later renamed Sonic—prevailed. As development of the Sega Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog progressed, however, programmer Yuji Naka and the rest of Sonic Team thought the rejected design was excellent and deserved inclusion in the game. Since the character could not be the protagonist, the team retooled him into the game's main antagonist.
In developing Eggman, Sonic Team characterized him as Sonic's opposite. Eggman was designed to represent themes of "machinery" and "development" to play on the then-growing debate between developers and environmentalists, and as a symbol for humanity who views nature as dirty, and roads and buildings as clean.:301 His name references the Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus". Though the character was always named Doctor Eggman in Japan, Sega of America changed his name to Doctor Ivo Robotnik when localizing Sonic the Hedgehog. In a 2016 interview with Game Informer, Takashi Iizuka revealed Sega of America did this without consulting the development team:
They just kind of went off and did it. It became super popular and everyone in the West kind of learned about the character as Robotnik. That went on through the "classic" series in the Genesis/Mega Drive era, but as far as the developers are concerned... we really didn't want to have anyone in the [Sonic] universe with two names. To us, he's Eggman, but in the rest of the world he's called Robotnik. We wanted to unify that into one name moving forward. This is something I actually did in the Sonic Adventure series. I made it so that we understand the character's name is Robotnik, but his nickname is Eggman, and as far as everyone is concerned in the world now, we're just going to call him Eggman as his official name.— Takashi Iizuka
Eggman's design has been changed several times. His original design portrayed the character as a bald, round man wearing pince-nez sunglasses, a red coat with a yellow collar, a bushy mustache, and black pants with two white buttons. This rotund design was influenced by Ohshima's hope he would be easy for children to draw; Eggman was also based on people Ohshima considered "nerdy, socially awkward, tinker-type with glasses, a mustache and a fat belly".:301 Sonic Team's Yuji Uekawa redesigned Eggman and other series characters for Sonic Adventure in 1998. Eggman's updated design adds goggles to his head and gives him a detailed red lab coat. For the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game, Eggman was redesigned further, being made slimmer and more realistic to better suit the game's updated environment.
Concept and creation
In April 1990, Sega commissioned its AM8 R&D department to create a character who would replace Alex Kidd as the company's mascot and compete against Nintendo's flagship character Mario. The idea of an egg-shaped character became the basis of the visual design for Eggman. In creating the "bad guy" for the Sonic series, the development team wanted a character who was "the opposite of Sonic"; a character who represented "machinery" and "development" to play on the then-growing debate between developers and environmentalists. The character was also designed to be easy for children to draw.
The English instruction manual for his debut game Sonic the Hedgehog described the character's full name as "Doctor Ivo Robotnik", while the Japanese version's instruction manual for the same game called him "Doctor Eggman". It was not until 1999's Sonic Adventure that the character was called both "Eggman" and "Robotnik" in the English version, with all following English releases to date referring to him as "Doctor Eggman". Yuji Naka has explained that "Robotnik" is the character's true last name while "Eggman" is a nickname taken after his shape. Since then, English language sources have listed his identity as Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik at least once, and has recognized both the first name Ivo and the last name Robotnik as recently as 2016 in the videogames and 2015 in social media.
No Japanese language video game has directly referred to the character as Robotnik, but less direct usages of the name have occurred, namely a brief appearance of the text "Robotnik Empire" in the background of a cutscene in Sonic Adventure 2 and the use of ロボトニック社 (Robotnik Corp.) as the name of his company in Sonic Riders. Eggman's in-game profile in the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II lists his real name as a mystery.
The name "Robotnik" has appeared in official Japanese media as the surname of two other characters, both featured in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic X and both relatives of Eggman: Eggman's cousin, Maria Robotnik[c] and their grandfather Gerald Robotnik.[d]
Although the surname "Robotnik" has been referenced in official Japanese language media, the given name "Ivo" has not.
Eggman is described as a certifiable genius with an IQ of 300. His fondness for machines has also made him a renowned authority on robotics. Ultimately, his goal is to conquer the world and create his ultimate "utopia", the Eggman Empire (alternatively known as the Robotnik Empire, Eggmanland, Robotnikland, or Robotropolis). He selfishly never gives up on this matter and does not care for others' opinions. He considers those who would interrupt his plans a prime threat. His abominable laughter and maniacal declarations contrast his self-professed softer side, describing himself as a gentleman. Although Sonic has always ruined his evil plans, Eggman begrudgingly holds a secret respect for his determination. Additionally while he is normally enemies with Sonic and his friends, Eggman has worked alongside them to combat greater threats such as when he works to stop the Space Colony ARK from crashing into the Earth in Sonic Adventure 2 or against rival villains such as the Marauders in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood though after these threats have been neutralized Eggman returns to being an enemy of Sonic.
Several voice actors have portrayed Eggman/Robotnik in his game appearances and other media. His first voice actor was Masaharu Satō, who portrayed him in the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog. In the Japanese game releases from 1998 to 2015, Eggman was voiced by Chikao Ōtsuka, who also voiced him in the Japanese version of Sonic X. Kotaro Nakamura assumed the role following Ōtsuka's death in January 2015, beginning with Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In English, the first voice actors to portray Robotnik were Jim Cummings and Long John Baldry in 1993, in the competing animated TV shows (Sonic the Hedgehog and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog). The third was Garry Chalk, in 1999's animated series Sonic Underground. The first voice actor to play him in a game was Deem Bristow, in Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast. He also went on to voice the role of Eggman in further games of the series, with his last performance in Sonic Advance 3 before his death in early 2005. Mike Pollock, who first voiced Eggman in the English dub of Sonic X, succeeded Bristow as the voice actor of Eggman in the games beginning with Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Rush in 2005. While it was announced that the rest of the cast would be replaced from Sonic Free Riders onward in 2010, Pollock retained his role as Doctor Eggman, making him the longest-serving voice actor to portray the character in English. Pollock reprises the role in the Sonic Boom animated series.
In video games
In the majority of video games set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, Robotnik/Eggman has served as the main antagonist. Most of the Sonic games released before Sonic Adventure featured him as the final boss that the player fights at the end of the game. Robotnik also appears as a boss who the player must confront at the end of almost every level in most of the 2D Sonic games, and in Sonic 3D. In each game in which he makes multiple appearances as a boss, Eggman fights the player using a different machine each time he appears. In most of the 2D Sonic games, the player had to hit Robotnik eight times in order to defeat him and move on to the next level or next boss. In most 3D Sonic games since the release of Sonic Adventure in 1998, Eggman may serve as a boss at one or more points in the game, although he usually does not serve as the final boss. Many of the final bosses in these more recent Sonic games were former allies of Eggman who then betrayed him, while others were a third party that had no connection with Eggman whatsoever. Eggman has often formed temporary alliances with Sonic and others to help them defeat these foes.
Dr. Eggman (referred to by his full name Dr. Ivo Robotnik in the Western instruction manual) debuted in the 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis platform game Sonic the Hedgehog, where he attempted to collect the six Chaos Emeralds and hoped to turn all of the helpless animals inhabiting South Island into robots under his control. Sonic manages to defeat Robotnik and returns peace to South Island.
Robotnik returned in Sonic 2, where he once again sought the Chaos Emeralds to create the Death Egg, a huge, orbital space station that bears his appearance, in order to achieve world domination. He attacked West Side Island, turning its animals into robots. He was intercepted by Sonic and his friend Tails, who saved the animals and retrieved the Chaos Emeralds before the evil scientist. Sonic raided the Death Egg, defeating Robotnik again and sending the Death Egg crashing back to Earth.
Robotnik, along with his latest creation, Metal Sonic, travels to Little Planet in search of magical gems called Time Stones that have the power to control the passage of time in Sonic CD. In the bad ending, Robotnik is seen flying away with a Time Stone, but is shot down by a rock thrown by Sonic.
Following the events of Sonic 2, the Death Egg crash-lands onto Angel Island, causing critical damage to the ship. While repairing the space station, Robotnik meets an echidna named Knuckles, who he tricks into thinking Sonic and Tails are villains after the powerful Master Emerald that Knuckles protects with his life in Sonic 3. Knuckles steals the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic and constantly interferes with Sonic's fight. Robotnik is able to launch the Death Egg, but it fails to get into orbit before Sonic sends it crashing back down into the Lava Reef Zone.
Robotnik later reveals his true plan to Knuckles after stealing the Master Emerald during a fight between Sonic and Knuckles and gets the Death Egg into space once again in Sonic & Knuckles. With help from now-ally Knuckles, Sonic is able to chase the madman into space and completely destroy the Death Egg. Robotnik makes one last chance to escape with the Master Emerald, but Super/Hyper Sonic defeats him.
Robotnik learns of a legendary monster trapped in the Master Emerald named Chaos, and seeks out the Master Emerald in Sonic Adventure. Upon finding it, he shatters it, freeing Chaos in the process. Robotnik's goal is to control Chaos and obtain the Chaos Emeralds, which he can feed to Chaos so that it transforms into its most powerful form, using its destructive powers to destroy the fictitious city of Station Square in order to build his own "Robotnikland". However, Chaos turns against him and intends to collect the Chaos Emeralds for itself. Towards the end, Robotnik teams up with the heroes to defeat Chaos. Like other characters in the series, Robotnik was redesigned for this game; here he calls himself "Robotnik", with Sonic and friends calling him "Eggman" as a nickname.
Sonic Adventure 2 marks the doctor's first appearance as a playable character, as well as the first game where he is primarily referred to (and refers to himself) as "Eggman" in all regions. Eggman revives the antihero Shadow the Hedgehog from dormancy. Shadow, knowing Eggman's desire to rule the world, agrees to help him by using the Eclipse Cannon aboard Space Colony ARK. In the last story, Eggman aids Sonic in trying to stop a fail-safe put in place by his grandfather, Prof. Gerald Robotnik, which set the colony on a crash course with Earth.
Eggman creates a series of battle ships called the Egg Fleet, which he plans to use to take over the world in 3 days in Sonic Heroes. He is once again the main antagonist, but it is discovered that he was betrayed and captured by his own creation Metal Sonic, who disguised himself as Eggman, and had taken control of the Egg Fleet for his own plan for world domination.
Eggman is an opportunist who tries to gather the Chaos Emeralds in the middle of the Black Arms' invasion of Earth in Shadow the Hedgehog. He ends up sending his robots to help stop the alien menace in the end. As Shadow interrogates Eggman for information regarding his past, he is met with taunts from Eggman, who claims that Shadow is one of his androids. In some of the game's possible endings, Shadow accepts being an android and seemingly kills Eggman. However, in the true ending during Shadow's fight with Black Doom, Eggman admits that he was lying about everything he said about Shadow; he had used one of his robots to rescue Shadow from his apparent death, despite not giving further explanation how Shadow lost his memories.
Eggman kidnaps Princess Elise of Soleanna, who harbors the Flames of Disaster within her, in order to control time in the 2006 game of Sonic the Hedgehog. Once again, he is forced to assist the heroes during the last act, much like previous games. In this game, he was given a realistic human appearance; this new look for Eggman has not been used since, as his physical appearance was back to what it looked like in Sonic Adventure in his later appearances.
Eggman appeared in Sonic Rush and Adventure, where he is once again the main antagonist, alongside a parallel version of himself called Eggman Nega. Eggman also appeared in Sonic Rivals 1 and 2, with Eggman Nega appearing as the main villain. Eggman is also a playable character in the Sonic RPG, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
Eggman is one of the main antagonists in the game, along with Dark Gaia in Sonic Unleashed. Eggman tricks (Super) Sonic into a trap and uses his energy (of the Chaos Emeralds) to power a gigantic laser cannon, which fires into the Earth and shatters it into pieces, freeing the beast contained within: Dark Gaia. He spends most of the game collecting Dark Gaia's power as well as fighting Sonic with various machines, and much like the original games, flies off in his Egg Mobile when defeated. Unlike many previous games, Eggman actually assumes control of his plans at the end of Sonic Unleashed by creating Eggmanland and makes no effort to join forces with Sonic to stop his own plans once they have spiraled out of control. Still, Eggman suffers a defeat when he gives Dark Gaia a single order and is shot into the atmosphere by the creature.
In the first episode of Sonic 4 (set between Sonic 3 & Knuckles as well as Sonic Adventure), Sonic goes traveling on his own, not knowing Eggman survived the destruction of the Death Egg in Sonic & Knuckles. The doctor remakes his old badniks, and improves them to destroy his old rival once and for all. Eggman is the main boss in this game and its direct follow-up, the second episode of Sonic 4.
In Sonic Colors, Eggman claims to be seeking forgiveness for his past transgressions, and attempts to make amends by opening up a theme park within the Earth's orbit . However, it becomes clear that the park is merely a front for Eggman's true intentions, which involve harnessing the energies of the alien Wisps for his own use; specifically, a mind-control cannon which he plans to use to take over the universe. Unlike most 3D Sonic games, Eggman is the final boss, piloting an Eggmobile protected by the Nega-Wisp Armor/Egg Nega-Wisp. After his defeat, he ends up being sucked into his theme park which has transformed into a black hole when the negative energy backfires, consuming the entire park. After the credits, Eggman is seen out in space inside the Eggmobile along with his two robot assistants Orbot and Cubot stating he has his revenge plan laid out.
Eggman/Robotnik appears in both his classic and modern designs where in a plot twist it is discovered that he is the main antagonist of the game in Sonic Generations. After his defeat in Sonic Colors, while in space, Eggman comes across a being known as the Time Eater; after somehow converting it into robotic form, he attempts to use its time powers to reverse all of his past defeats at the hands of Sonic. By using the Time Eater, however, he causes rifts in time to open, bringing Sonic, Tails and himself to meet their classic counterparts. Eggman works together with his past self, Robotnik/Classic Eggman, to attempt to vanquish Sonic once and for all. They serve as the Classic Era, the Modern Era, and the final bosses during the game. Each fights with a different mech: Robotnik with the Death Egg Robot from Sonic 2/in the handheld version, he used the Big Arm mech from Sonic 3, Eggman/Modern Robotnik with a redesigned Egg Dragoon from Sonic Unleashed/in the handheld version, he used the Egg Emperor from Sonic Heroes, and together with the Time Eater. Unfortunately for the duo, the Time Eater is defeated when both Classic and Modern Sonic become Super Sonic. In the post-credits scene, both doctors wind up stranded in White Space with no apparent way out, leading Robotnik to suggest obtaining their teaching degrees once they escape. Eggman agrees to this as he mentions that he "always enjoyed telling people what to do", although it is unknown if this was a joke or they were serious.
Eggman travels to a world called the Lost Hex, as part of a scheme to use an energy extractor to harness some of the world's energy in Sonic Lost World. Along the way, he takes control of a group of villains called the Deadly Six, using a Cacophonic Conch to control them. When Sonic hastily knocks away the conch, the Deadly Six betray him by using their ability to manipulate magnetic fields to turn Eggman's robots against him. With this turn of events, he is forced to work together with Sonic and Tails, as the Deadly Six plan to use his extractor to drain all of the world's energy to increase their power. However, in the final stage, Eggman ultimately overshadows the antagonistic role of the Deadly Six and is fought as the final boss of the game, by using the energy gathered by the extractor to power a giant mech, so he can rule whatever remained of the world. After Sonic defeated him, when Eggman tried to get away, he found that his jetpack was sabotaged by Sonic, and thus falls to Earth. In the post-credits cutscene, Eggman was shown to have survived his fall by landing on a soft spot of dirt. His servants Orbot and Cubot dig him out, but not before a rabbit chews off half of his moustache.
In Sonic Mania (Plus) (set between Sonic (3) & Knuckles and Sonic 4: Ep. 1), Robotnik/Classic Eggman detects a signal on Angel Island, revealed to be a gem with mysterious powers, the Phantom Ruby. Robotnik elite Eggrobo squad, the Hard Boiled Heavies, is mutated by it and transports Team Sonic to zones they visited in the past. Robotnik uses the Phantom Ruby to turn the Little Planet from Sonic CD into a high tech base, but Team Sonic catches up with him and destroy his creation. If all 7 Emeralds are gathered, the Heavy King will try to take the gem from its creator, but Super Sonic takes it away from them and is sucked in a portal along with it.
In Sonic Forces, Eggman/Modern Robotnik captures a bandit who tried to raid his base and turns him into the new villain Infinite, powered by the recently-located Phantom Ruby. Eggman uses the illusions created by his most recent ally to create mass destruction and scare the world's population into submission. During this time, he manages to defeat Sonic and keep him as a prisoner. Sonic breaks free and rejoins with his friends six months later, forming a coalition to overthrow Eggman's rule.
In Sonic Spinball, a pinball-themed game, Robotnik seizes Mount Mobius and turns it into a mechanical base called the "Veg-O-Fortress", setting up an elaborate pinball mechanism to keep the Chaos Emeralds safe. After the Veg-O-Machine is destroyed, Mount Mobius begins to crumble, and once the final boss is defeated, the doctor falls into the mountain which sinks into the ocean.
Robotnik has also appeared in "2.5D" isometric platformers; in Sonic Labyrinth, he secretly replaces Sonic's famous red shoes with the new "Slow-Down Boots," which take away his ability to jump or run fast, and in Sonic 3D Blast, he turns innocent Flickies into robots in yet another search for the Chaos Emeralds.
Robotnik/Eggman is also a playable character in such games as Sonic Drift, R, Adventure 2, Riders as well as its sequels Zero Gravity, Free Riders, SEGA Superstars Tennis, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Team Sonic Racing. Eggman made a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U as a trophy. He appeared as a playable character in all of the Mario & Sonic titles, and as the 2 main villains (alongside Bowser) in the Adventure/Story Mode of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics for Nintendo DS, London 2012 Olympics for Nintendo 3DS, and Tokyo 2020 Olympics for Nintendo Switch. Eggman also appears in the crossover title Lego Dimensions as part of the Sonic level pack, in which he attempts to use the game's Keystone Devices to conquer multiple dimensions and defeat Sonic; a haunted parade balloon based on Eggman also appears as a boss in the game's Ghostbusters 2016 story pack.
The only game to feature Robotnik as the central character is the 1993 puzzle game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, in which Robotnik's Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's version, along with his numerous badnik bounty hunters seen in the first episode of the same show, attempts to rid all the fun and music on the planet Mobius by kidnapping the citizens of one insignificant town and turning them into robots. Despite the fact that he is the title character, he is still the villain and is the final boss.
Sonic and the Black Knight is the only game in the entire Sonic franchise series in which Eggman does not make a physical appearance or receive mention. However, the game makes small references to the character, including a collectible item bearing his emblem, an in-game mission featuring his robots as enemies, and unlockable fan art of the character.
In other media
Doctor Eggman, under the "Robotnik" moniker, appeared as the main antagonist of two Sonic the Hedgehog animated television series that premiered in 1993. His appearance in the syndicated weekday series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was designed by cartoonist Milton Knight, and his voice was provided by blues musician Long John Baldry. In the Saturday morning ABC series Sonic the Hedgehog, he was given the first name "Julian" and was voiced by Jim Cummings. Robotnik also served as the main antagonist of the 1999 series Sonic Underground, in which he is voiced by Garry Chalk.
In the 2-part episode Sonic the Hedgehog OVA, Robotnik (or "Eggman" in the original) tells Sonic that he has been banished from "Eggmanland" ("Robotropolis" in the ADV dub) by a metallic doppelgänger of himself called "Black Eggman" ("Metal Robotnik" in the ADV dub). It is later revealed that the mecha was piloted by Robotnik/Eggman himself, in a scheme to lure Sonic into his base and copy his DNA for his new Hyper Metal Sonic robot. Eggman/Robotnik was voiced by Junpei Takiguchi in the Japanese version and by Edwin Neal in the English dub.
In Sonic X, Dr. Eggman (which he is usually referred to as in this series, though his real last name in-universe is Robotnik as in the games), along with other Sonic characters, including Sonic himself, are accidentally transported from their own world, to Earth. In the second season it is revealed that Professor Gerald Robotnik is his grandfather. In the final season, Eggman returns to his universe and reluctantly joins forces with Sonic and his friends to fight the new menace called the Metarex. This incarnation is voiced by Chikao Ōtsuka in the Japanese version, and by Mike Pollock in the English dub.
Dr. Eggman appears as the primary antagonist of the Sonic Boom animated series, with Mike Pollock reprising his voice role. Eggman's physical appearance was the most drastically changed of the cast, now appearing to have a buff upper body and wearing a militaristic uniform, as well as having a fully brown and smoother mustache. He also appears to be less serious than his mainstream counterpart.
Dr. Eggman makes a brief appearance in the anime Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls. In the middle of the Sega Hard Girls' first exam in the game Border Break, Eggman hacks into the game world and begins to wreak havoc until Sonic appears. He leads Sonic and the girls on a chase through several Sonic the Hedgehog games until they finally defeat him using an invincibility power-up. He later appears in the final episode to wish the girls farewell at their graduation.
When the first Sonic the Hedgehog title was released in 1991, Sega of America developed an origin for Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Robotnik which diverged from the back-stories created in Japan by Sonic Team. In this back-story, set on the planet Mobius, Dr. Ivo Robotnik was originally a benevolent scientist named Dr. Ovi Kintobor ("Ivo Robotnik" with each name spelled backwards; also, "ovi" is the Latin prefix meaning "egg"), a friend to Sonic who helped to develop the hedgehog's super-speed. Kintobor was transformed into Robotnik by a laboratory accident involving the Chaos Emeralds and a rotten egg, becoming his own evil opposite, who frequently used egg-related puns in his dialogue. This story was first featured in a 14-page promotional comic book published by Sega in the United States, written by Francis Mao, that was designed to promote the game, but would go on to greater fame in the United Kingdom, where it would be used by the vast majority of local publications, including the guidebook Stay Sonic, a series of novels from Virgin Books, and Fleetway Publications' Sonic the Comic, which was published from 1993 until 2002. In Sonic the Comic, Dr. Robotnik was dictator of planet Mobius for most of the comic's first 100 issues, while Sonic also had access to an AI computer program based on the personality of Dr. Kintobor. Initially, Robotnik's appearance in Sonic the Comic matched that of the video games, but from issue #22 onwards the comic adopted his design from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series.
Also, from 1993 to 2017, Archie Comics published a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. The series is in a sense, a very loose continuation of ABC's Sonic the Hedgehog animated cartoon; as well as a mad scientist, Robotnik is a portrayed as a dictator who took control of Sonic's hometown during a coup d'etat. At the height of this conflict, Robotnik died during a final confrontation with Sonic, only later to be replaced by another Robotnik from a parallel world, becoming the same Dr. Eggman from the video games. In later years, the plot of the comic changed to incorporate elements from the video games, with Robotnik being replaced by his more traditional video game counterpart.
However, due to legal disputes with former writer Ken Penders, Archie Comics eventually cancelled the comic and ended their partnership with Sega. Sega later announced a partnership with IDW Publishing, intending to launch a brand new comic book, separate from the Archie comic. The IDW comic is depicted taking place after Sonic Forces, where Dr. Eggman had been flung into a village following his final battle with Sonic, having sustained amnesia as a result. Having become friendly and innovative, Eggman even reinforces the cell he was kept in. Deeming him a new man, the mayor releases him, where he takes up the name "Mr. Tinker", as their residential handyman. When Sonic finally locates him, he is skeptical of his nemesis' supposed change of heart, but after seeing Mr. Tinker protect the children from the Badnik horde, is convinced of his reformation, even defending him from Shadow the Hedgehog who planned to execute him. Mr. Tinker reveals that his new "Eggmanland" is simply a small amusement park for the children, and Sonic thus allows him to remain in the village. It's revealed that the mysterious figure directing the Eggman Empire is in fact his second in command Metal Sonic, who has been upgraded into his Neo form from Sonic Heroes once more. Neo Metal Sonic plans to retrieve Eggman so that he may resume command of his Empire, unaware of Mr. Tinker.
Eggman makes multiple cameo appearances in the 2012 Disney movie, Wreck-It Ralph. The film is set in an arcade and depicts many video game characters living inside the arcade machines. In the movie itself, Eggman appears in his current design from the "Modern" Sonic games, both in person as a member of the villain support group "Bad-Anon", and as a caricature picture on the Celebrity Wall of Tapper's, a bar located inside the arcade machine of Tapper. In the ending credits of the film, Eggman appears in a brief pixel-art styled scene, using his in-game design from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Eggman also makes a cameo appearance in the sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Robotnik/Eggman appears in the theatrical Sonic the Hedgehog film released by Paramount Pictures in 2020, with Jim Carrey portraying a live-action version of the character. In the film, he is depicted as a twisted scientist hired by the United States Department of Defense to hunt down Sonic after he caused a power outage across the Pacific Northwest, receiving the moniker "Eggman" from Sonic for his robots' egg shape. Robotnik uses one of Sonic's quills to power up his machines to match Sonic's speed and plots to use Sonic's power to dominate the world, but is eventually defeated by Sonic and his human friend, Tom Wachowski, and is sent to a planet filled with mushrooms. On the planet, he shaves his head and grows out his mustache, further resembling his game counterpart, as he plots his revenge against Sonic.
Reception and legacy
Reception to the character has been very positive, going on to become one of the most well-known villains in gaming. GameDaily ranked him number one on their list of Top 25 Evil Masterminds of All Time article, stating "Out of all the evil masterminds in video games, none are more despicable, more cunning, or more menacing". They also included him in their most persistent video game villains list and their craziest video game villains list. In a later article, they listed the "evil mastermind" as one of the top 25 video game archetypes, using Robotnik as an example. He was featured at number three in a "Reader's Choice" edition of GameSpot's "Top Ten Video Game Villains" article, which noted a massive complaint by fans at his exclusion from the original list. Eggman was also named the 15th most diabolical video game villain of all time by PC World. Game Informer notes that in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, "Eggman's villain ego shows some amusing tarnish after constant defeat at the hands of Sonic." IGN listed him at number nine above Mario-series villain Bowser in their "Top 10 Most Memorable Villains" article, calling him "PETA's videogame public enemy number one", and has also commented that his character is a "pretty clever riff on Teddy Roosevelt" that has added to the attraction of the series. In 2010, IGN listed Dr. Robotnik 11th out of their "Top 100 Videogame Villains". Nintendo Power listed Dr. Robotnik as their seventh favorite villain, also listing him as having one of the best mustaches.
A macrocyclic molecule discovered by a Harvard University research team to potentially inhibit the protein Sonic hedgehog was named "Robotnikinin" after the Dr. Robotnik character. The researchers felt that after Sonic hedgehog was named after the Sega video game character, they should "adhere to the convention" in naming the inhibiting compound after the character's archenemy.
The band Intercontinental Music Lab included a song about Dr. Robotnik on their 2008 album, Superheroes of Science. The power metal band Powerglove wrote a song called "So Sexy Robotnik" based on the boss theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and features snips from various other level tunes from the same game. It appears as the first track on their 2007 album "Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man".
- Doctor Eggman (Japanese: ドクター・エッグマン, Hepburn: Dokutā Egguman), real name Ivo Robotnik (Japanese: ロボトニック, Hepburn: Robotonikku)
- The name was given its katakana form, ロボトニック (Hepburn: Robotonikku).
- Maria Robotnik (Japanese: マリア・ロボトニック, Hepburn: Maria Robotonikku)
- Gerald Robotnik (Japanese: ジェラルド・ロボトニック, Hepburn: Jerarudo Robotonikku)
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- Doctor Robotnik: Oh, yes. It's just as the stone tablets predicted. Ha ha ha ha ha! His strength increases every time I give him a Chaos Emerald. With all seven Emeralds, he will be invincible and work for me! Together we'll destroy Station Square. And on its ruins I'll build Robotnikland. The ultimate city where I will rule it all. Come on, Chaos! Let's find another Emerald, shall we? Sega Sonic Adventure (in English) 1999-9-9 (US)
- Doctor Eggman: The core of the Eclipse Cannon is now highly reactive and explosive. This is because of the energy of the Chaos Emeralds if overpowering it. If the colony collides with Earth, it will shatter into pieces like my grandfather predicted! [...] There still may be time left. If we pull together, we might be able to get to the shortcut that leads to the core! Sega Sonic Adventure 2 (in English) 2001-6-19 (US)
- Shadow the Hedgehog: Yes, doctor, you will regret ever having created me. You're going straight to Hell! Eggman: Why you little... You're nothing but pieces of scrap metal! Once I'm done with you, you'll be thrown in the junkyard! Sega Shadow the Hedgehog (in English 2005-11-15 (US)
- Eggman: Shadow... can you hear me...? This might be the last chance I have to speak to you, so... What I said, about having created you... it was all a lie. Everyone thought you died during that horrible incident... but I rescued you, with one of my robots... You lost your memory, that's all... You really are the Ultimate Life Form my grandfather created! Sega Shadow the Hedgehog (in English 2005-11-15 (US)
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He continued to make records in the 1970s and 1980s, and increasingly became involved in making commercial voice-overs; he was also the voice of Dr Ivo Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and of KOMPLEX, in Bucky O'Hare, the children's cartoon series.
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Set on the planet known as Mobius, the show followed Sonic (voiced by Family Matters' own Jaleel White) and his band of talking animals—calling themselves the Knothole Freedom Fighters—as they fought against the evil Dr. Julian Robotnik (Jim Cummings), who seeks to rule Mobius via an army of mechanic servants.
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Years ago, the cruel Dr. Robotnik (voiced by Garry Chalk) seized control of Mobotropolis from its beloved ruler, Queen Aleena (Gail Webster).
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