Mecha Sonic

        Dr. Robotnik has made many interesting and deadly robots, but my personal favorite has always been Mecha Sonic. Ever since Sonic The Hedgehog 2 he stood out as a more dangerous adversary, easily second to the doctor himself, and he only became more impressive in Sonic and Knuckles.
        Mecha Sonic is pretty much the prototype for the much more popular Metal Sonic, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are identical. The first iteration of Mecha Sonic appeared in the Death Egg Zone, as the semi-final boss. It’s a big change from the rest of the bosses, which are various vehicles for Robotnik. It has a grey color and is slightly bigger than Sonic himself.
        He is a bit more complicated than most of the other enemies in the game, and even worse, there are no rings in this level, meaning one hit and Sonic is down. As for his attacks, as you might expect, Mecha Sonic is based on Sonic in this regard as well, able to roll up and spin dash into his foe and jump like Sonic can. However, his attacks always happen in a certain pattern. He also prefaces his attacks by making a loud noise and his ‘quills’ will move on his back, basically charging up. This is a good time to hit him, of course.
        First, he will spin dash somewhat slowly across the room to the left, the spikes on him making him imperious to harm. Second, he will dash across the screen twice with the rockets on his feet. Though faster than the previous attacks, he can be harmed now, and the best way that I can deduce is to simply curl up to dash and stay in place, letting him run past and injure himself twice. The next attack is a tricky one- if you do not know it is coming, you’ll assume it is another spin dash and jump- right into it jumping as well. So you can dodge this by just standing still.
        He will spin dash left again, then right, then jump once more- with spikes coming out of him, preventing you from just standing still, meaning now you have move to dodge the spikes while still remaining in the middle of the arena to dodge the jump.
        From there he seems to repeat, but if you hit him with every chance you get, he will not repeat the pattern at all, as he can only take eight hits before he is destroyed. All in all, a complicated but quick fight.
        However, all of this changes with the robot’s next iteration. In Sonic and Knuckles Mecha Sonic returns, bigger and far more impressive in appearance. Whereas the last one looked like a grey metallic Sonic, this one looks more like a one-eyed combat robot with a vaguely Sonic look to it- much more clearly threatening. He also immediately shows himself to be more intelligent as well.
        He appears in the Sky Sanctuary Zone, the semi-final level for Sonic, and shows up firstly in Robotnik’s Egg Mobile, emulating some of the previous fights in the series. First he swings at Sonic with a giant ball and chain, like the first boss n the first game, which means you have to dodge it and strike from the two platforms in the area.
        He then takes the strategy of Robotnik in the Metropolis Zone from the second game, where he flies about and is protected by seven floating pods that rotate and protect him. When hit, one will come off and bounce around, forcing you to destroy it. Once all of them are gone, he will fly to one side of the screen and fires lasers at Sonic, until he gets that last hit on him.
        After all this, he will face Sonic himself, destroying a warp point Sonic needed to progress to keep him in place. All of this shows Mecha Sonic has the intelligence to not only pilot Robotnik’s vehicles, but has enough awareness to know what the warp point is and realize it is impeding his mission of stopping Sonic. While it’s hard to say how smart the previous Mecha Sonic is, given we have almost nothing to go on, he did leave himself open often, and attacks slowly, so we can make the assumption that he was a bit dimmer than this iteration.
        In any case, the battle with the new and improved Mecha Sonic begins for real. His attacks are, naturally, similar to before, but with much more impressive creativity added. He begins, as before, with a spin dash, but now he jumps and does so through the air before landing on the other side. Not as dangerous, but certainly flashy. Second, he jumps, hitting about the middle of the arena before bouncing offscreen and landing on the other side. He can also spin dash normally, though he precluded this with a jump and then spins up the side of the screen, then dashes back to where he started and drops, and then, still not done, he dashes, backwards, to the other side.
        He has a smaller span of time between attacks, and the added movement means it’s hard to tell when he is actually going to stop moving and it is safe to strike. However, he is vulnerable when he does the backwards dash, and when he unfolds from his spin dash, so it is worth a shot if you think you can keep up with him.
        Regardless, Sonic wins, and the ground beneath them starts to crumble as the Death Egg takes off. Sonic runs up a tower to reach it, while Mecha Sonic, weakened but not destroyed, falls with the rubble. However, as you might expect, that’s not the end of him.
        In Knuckles’ playthrough of the game, rather than trying to stop Robotnik, it takes place after Sonic’s adventure. He is instead hassled by the Egg Robo, who drops a bomb on him, sending Knuckles after him. The Egg Robo, like Mecha Sonic, seems smart enough to use Robotnik’s devices- and does so for every boss battle in Knuckles’ game, right until the end.
In the Sky Sanctuary Zone, the robot grabs Knuckles in a giant claw device and brings him over to a very much still functional Mecha Sonic, who spins dashes into Knuckles. So just to reiterate- these robots are sentient and intelligent enough to pilot Robotnik’s devices and trap their targets, and work together to see their mission done. Very impressive.
        Less impressive is that Knuckles escapes at the last second, and Mecha Sonic spin dashes right through Egg Robo, killing him. The battle then begins, same as before with Sonic, but even after being beaten twice, Mecha Sonic simply refuses to die. He boots back up again and dashes past Knuckles to the Master Emerald behind him, which produces tremendous energy. The robot jumps onto the emerald and starts absorbing that energy, meaning either Robotnik intended it to do so all along, which seems a tad bit unlikely, or that it thought up that plan on its own.
        Thus begins the battle against Super Mecha Sonic, where it uses that power to transform into a golden form akin to Sonic’s own with the Chaos Emeralds. And just like those, this form is completely invincible and capable of flight. The super robot will fly about above you for a bit, then will either swoop down on you, or fire out three energy blasts from his core in session. The latter attack, however, will drain the energy he gained, and he will fall from the sky, giving you a chance to hit him. Once he lands he will spin dash straight to the emerald, but he can be harmed while he is jumping up to it. The lightning surrounding him afterward will protect him.
        This continues, but after a few hits, he changes tactics. Rather than use up his power and retreat, he instead conserves his power by floating rather than outright flying, and instead of firing out aimed energy blasts, he will shoot out smaller ring-shaped blasts in all directions. Since he is conserving energy, he will not run out completely as before, but he will occasionally experience a power failure from the damage he has taken and revert back to normal, giving you a chance to hit him as he drops. However, it doesn’t last long- not even enough time for him to hit the ground. He quickly powers up again, making timing tricky. However, once he is taken down this time, he will be completely destroyed, never to return.
        So that’s Mecha Sonic. What started out as a clunky, predictable and slow mimicry of Sonic turned into a far more impressive and intelligent robot that could not only put up a good fight, but survive beatings from Sonic and Knuckles, and even then he still was resilient enough to hatch a quick plan to power up for another battle. Metal Sonic may be more popular, but Mecha Sonic will always be remembered by me as the superior model.

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