Page for August 27, 2003:


Commentary for September 10, 2018:

In 2004, I turned eighteen. For my birthday that year, I got a Nintendo Gamecube (which I am still the proud owner of!) with what was then the latest Sonic the Hedgehog game, Sonic Heroes. Back then, videogames still came with instruction booklets that often gave you a bit of information about the game setting and characters involved, and Sonic Heroes gave profiles for all twelve playable characters, plus Doctor Eggman. One thing that I always found very puzzling, however, was that Eggman was described as a "feminist". Given my experience as a lifelong Sonic fangirl, I've never been able to square that with the way he acts in pretty much any portrayal. There has never been anything at all to suggest that Eggman is interested in women's liberation or gender equality, and where his views on women and gender come up at all (most commonly in the comics by Archie), he's usually depicted as being fairly misogynistic.

And that's not surprising. As I've discussed in a previous commentary, Eggman is an entitled white guy who thinks he's the smartest man alive and wants to control everyone else. So, where in the world did the writers of that instruction booklet get the idea that Eggman was a feminist? As an actual feminist myself, I was rather offended by the notion.

Well, years later, I learned it was a translation error. Even though most other Sonic media comes from the United States, the Sonic games themselves mostly originate in Japan and that's where the stories and character profiles are initially written. Sonic, early on, was plagued with terrible dubs and bad translations, and Sonic Heroes was an especially big offender, with notorious lines of dialogue like, "Look at all those Eggman's robots!" and the instruction booklet wasn't free of this either. Apparently, it was meant to say "womaniser" or "misogynist", but got badly translated. Really badly translated.

In any case, I've always felt Eggman has a general disdain for everyone besides himself, but he holds an especially deep contempt for women, especially smart women who can beat him in a fight. Hence his reaction to being beaten (again) by Sally Acorn.

Talking of Sally, her father has been mentioned a couple of times already now, and it's clear that Doctor Eggman did something horrible to him in the past, at the time when he tried to take over the Westide Archapelago (i.e. the Islands). He's not around now, so I'll leave you to imagine the implications of that. However, I'd like to draw attention to the use of the first name Nigel. Sally's father was first depicted in the SatAM Sonic cartoon, but he was never actually named in it; he was always just "the King". When he first showed up in the Archie comics, he was called King Acorn initially, until a certain letigious writer coined the first name Maximillian -- King Max for short. Post-reboot, pretty much every idea that writer had contributed to the book got axed, so writer Ian Flynn dubbed Sally's father Nigel Acorn, evidently as a nod to Nigel Thornberry from The Wild Thornberry's, as both he and the King in SatAM Sonic had been voiced by Tim Curry. I did think about using the name Max, honestly, but I settled on Nigel in the end. After all, maybe I'll want to feature Max Gamble in a future story. Maybe.

I should also remind readers that in this world, Sally is not royalty and neither was her father.


Custom Sprite Credits

Doctor Eggman - sprites by Bethany Turner

Sally Acorn - sprites by Bethany Turner

Nack the Weasel - sprites by Bethany Turner

 


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