Submitted by: Ryan McNeilly
Tails. We all love to hate him really don’t we?
When Sonic The Hedgehog exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, people went nuts. Sonic was seen as the “cool” and “hip” video game mascot as opposed to Nintendo’s plumber. The “Hedgehog with Attitude” could do no wrong in these early days.
Sega thought it would be an awesome idea to give Sonic a sidekick. Sonic 2 on the Master System brought us the debut of Tails (or Fails as he is known in certain regions of the universe). Right off the bat, Sonic has to save Fails after Robotnik nabbed the little annoying fox. Straight away, the comparisons of Princess Peach and Tails are hard to miss.
Tail’s formal debut on the Mega Drive’s Sonic 2 sees the two-tailed fox follow is idol Sonic around the screen, collecting the rings Sonic may have missed or busting the bad guys that Sonic zoomed past. Basically Tails was there to do the crap Sonic couldn’t be annoyed with. While we players thought that Tails was programmed to be a little slower than Sonic, the blue hedgehog was simply running as fast as he possibly could to get away from the annoying little demon spawn.
Tails also owns a plane called the “Blue Tornado”. Why a flying fox needs a plane I do not know. It can’t be a need to transport Sonic around, because it has no passenger seat. Odd.
Another trait of Tail’s would be his high pitched voice (from the cartoons and later CD based Sonic games). Fails would sound like an irritating 8 year old. The urge to jump on his head must have been huge.
Realising that they seriously botched the character, Sega tried to make up for their shortcomings with Knuckles. Maybe trying too hard, Knuckles was red with spikes in his fist (Sega thought this was badass personified). Knuckles was so emotionally badass that he came across as a bit emo. Further down the line we had Shadow the Hedgehog, who was 100% emo. Both Knuckles and Shadow’s complex emotional characteristics and shortcomings can be traced back to the annoyance of Tails.
Sonic The Fighters was released in arcades in 1996 with hundreds of fans queuing around the block to be able to finally violently abuse Tails in a video game. Unfortunately, the release was not well received by fans. Still, you have to applaud Sega for trying to cash in on the Tails hate. Sega also tried to cash in on Tails hate earlier by releasing Sonic Drift, a handheld game where you could crash into Tails in hope that his Kart would explode. The same fans who once lined those arcades and bought Game Gears in order to play Sonic Drift can now be found on Youtube, uploading many “Tails Torture” videos where said fans attempt to kill Tails in Sonic 2 in the most unpleasant and horrific ways.
Then there is the legacy of the Tails Doll. The creepy Tails Doll made it’s debut in the equally horrific Sonic R. Tails Doll was a version of Fails created by Dr. Robotnik. Players were so unimpressed by this effort that they resorted to telling scary stories online about the evil doll. Often while playing as the Fails Doll, the song “Can You Feel the Sunshine?” plays over and over continuously, regardless of what race track one is playing on. In addition to the creepy soundtrack, the doll limply levitates through the tracks. Fans of the game created a number of Youtube Videos and an urban legend about a Tails Doll curse.
The most common rumors are of Tails Doll coming out of the screen when one plays the track Radiant Emerald and winning as Tails Doll after unlocking everything in the game, and of tagging characters in tag mode as Tails Doll. One person talks about locking yourself in a room and playing “Can You Feel the Sunshine” backwards in pitch blackness, while another tells all who will listen that he didn’t even beat the game, but flew into a rage at losing a match, tossed the disc into the microwave and looked in a few minutes later to find that the Tails Doll had taken its place. One thing is for sure though, all of this is utter rubbish. This stuff just goes to show the negative effect Tails has had on the world.
Yes fellow gamers, we would be better off if Tails never got kidnapped by Robotnik all those years ago.