Dr. Robotnik is a baddie hailing all the way back to the era of Sega Genesis vs. Super Nintendo. It’s kind amazing how committed both companies were to their rivalry, with Nintendo boastful “now you’re playing with power” ad line and Sega’s overt “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” tag line. These two giants were out to get each other and it even carried through into some of their games. Well, into Sega’s games at least. This is perhaps why we got such a curious villain for Sonic. Dr. Robotnik isn’t just some big monster for Sonic to confront, but apparently an actual genius of a mad scientist. Thing is though, his schemes don’t really fit that kind of description, and his possessing a high intellect kind makes his numerous losses to a fast, blue rat all the more ridiculous. I suppose that’s why we like him though.
According to the lore (because of course there’s Sonic lore), Dr. Robotnik (aka Dr. Eggman or even just Eggman) apparently has an IQ around 300. That should put him in the upper-most echelons of intelligence, yet he really doesn’t act like it. For all his technical genius, the man just cannot seem to put proper plan together. He also never as far ahead of Sonic and friends as he should. In fact, I can think of only one time where he really got one over on his old nemesis, and even then he couldn’t manage final victory.
Disasters like Sonic Boom aside, Eggman is at his goofiest in the Genesis/Sega CD era games. He can construct all kinds of technical marvels, yet usually confronts Sonic with rather goofy creations: a car, a wrecking ball, a submarine, a piston, an immobile statue, and all of them made both without strong defenses. You’d think he’d at least start magic things that can withstand a decent high-speed impact, but I guess not. Actually, maybe he just enjoys showing-off all his crazy creations to Sonic more than he does achieving his goals. It certainly would explain a lot.
Seriously, the man even goes so far as to make a whole city for himself in Sonic Unleashed, and then he goes even further in Sonic Colors when he makes a planet-sized amusement park just because he can! Yeah, he’s definitely just a super smart guy who enjoys making crazy things. If he didn’t have such a huge need to be seen as “great”, then perhaps he could put his energy into making some truly incredible things. Well, a bad guy has gotta bad guy right?
Even the man’s darkest, most ruthless incarnation doesn’t seem to actually want what he claims to want. In Sonic Adventure 2, he goes so far as to blow-up half of the moon in order to threaten the world into capitulating to him. He even tries his best to kill Sonic in order to finally get him out of the way, and yet he’s not able to finally follow through with his plan in the end. Instead, he helps the rest of the characters save the world from the Final Hazard and is shown reflecting on his actions in the aftermath. For all his posturing, Dr. Ivo Robotnik isn’t actually evil, he’s just a very smart guy seeking the recognition of the world…and routinely going about it in the worst (craziest) possible way.
We wouldn’t have him any other way though, would we? A ridiculous, in-your-face hero needs an equally ridiculous villain, and Eggman certainly is ridiculous. The Sonic series is still going strong, so it’s probably only a matter of time until we see something even crazier from him. I don’t know about you all, but I’m looking forward to it!
What do you think of Dr. Eggman? Which iteration of his is your favorite? Let us know below and stick around for more Silly Scoundrels!
Lede image by The Duck of Indeed