Sonic has been described as being "like the wind"; a drifter that is always on the move and is noted for being free-spirited and adventurous. He values freedom above all else and lives his life according to his own rules rather than the standards of those around him and without concern for what others think, and enjoys nothing more than traveling the world. Endowed with a strong passion for life, he is always moving forward to look for his next challenge, making his life a never-ending series of adventures. Because of his need for freedom, Sonic loathes the idea of being constrained, such as in Sonic Adventure 2 where he could not stand being held up in a tiny cell.
Sonic is most of the time easy-going, cool and care-free. However, he is often impatient, hates boredom and has a short temper. Because of his impulsive nature, Sonic can be reckless and quick to act before thinking, throwing himself into trouble without a second thought and regardless of other's warnings. Nevertheless, he is honest and always keeps his promises.
Sonic's personality is a juxtaposition of kindness and ferocity. He is extremely benevolent, driven by his own strong sense of justice and fair play, and firmly stands for freedom, but he is never the one to rest in the face of injustice or oppression. He hates all evil, exploding with anger when witnessing it, and will do all he can to snuff it out, throwing his life on the line without hesitation. However, he usually sees his heroics as an opportunity to have fun, making him a thrill-seeker. In times of crisis though, he is aggressive and focuses intensely on the task at hand as if his personality has undergone an astonishing change. At the same time, Sonic has a big and gentle heart and is fully committed to help out and protect those in all kinds of trouble at any time, even if his actions will have ill consequences.
Sonic has a lot of self-confidence and possesses a large ego to match it, making him sassy, quick-witted, cocky and sometimes overconfident. Possessing a narcissistic tongue, he often jokes around to light the mood, but will also take any opportunity to taunt his opponents. Despite this, he can be quite the gentleman when he wants to and be modest with fancy titles. Following his free-spirited nature, Sonic never dwells on the past or allows his loses or hurtful experiences to weight him down. Instead, he chooses to live in the present and always looks forward to his next adventure, while holding no regrets for whatever has transpired. Also, Sonic is incredibly strong of character and will: no matter the situation, he never doubts himself and will never give up no matter what. It is only in the moments of greatest loss that his macho and carefree appearance falls away.
Sonic is extremely loyal to his friends and will risk his life for them without any due consideration. While he can leave them hanging or even endanger them due to his fast-paced nature, and at times acts rude, Sonic never has any intention of making his friends unhappy and values them above all else. Equally, Sonic is always willing to accept help from his friends if offered, and will show great trust in them, though he is not above making mistrusting assumptions of them.
Regardless of the countless foes he has faced, Sonic rarely considers them true enemies, and instead tends to admire them for how powerful some of them are and how much fun they have given to him. Likewise, Sonic is shown to have a remarkable capacity to forgive, forgiving Silver and working with him after he had tried to kill him twice.
Despite his outward demeanor, Sonic has shown to be much more insightful than he usually lets on, capable of seeing things others would have overlooked and can as well give valuable and comforting advice that drastically changes the outlook of others, such as Elise, Merlina and Blaze. This insight, combined with a charismatic personality, allows Sonic to get along with virtually anyone he meets even if at one point they were his enemies.
Sonic has a fondness of the beauty of nature and he stands as a protector of it. He appreciates scenic views in Sonic Colors and showed anger and rage when he found out that Eggman was polluting Planet Wisp's beautiful environment. In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic is also shown to have a fondness for locations that are filled with flowers, trees and other kinds of plants.
Sonic has been shown to enjoy music, but seems to have an special interest in rock music. Furthermore, it is displayed in Sonic Rush that Sonic also enjoys break dancing which is reflected in his Trick Actions. His battle moves in Sonic Battle are also based on break dancing, as mentioned in the attack descriptions. He also breakdances in numerous games usually when he is victorious.
Powers and abilities
Sonic's greatest strength is his running speed, with the ability to instantly accelerate to and run at speeds exceeding that of Mach 1, which is at the blistering speed of about 760 mph. He is renowned the world over as "the fastest thing alive" and is even noted to be the fastest being in the universe. Additionally, he is able to run backwards at full speed just as well as forwards. Due to such speed, he is able to scale right up vertical surfaces and ceilings, run right over water and even cause the ground to explode in his wake.
It is unknown how much faster Sonic can run beyond Mach 1. In Sonic Battle, it is stated that he can move several times the speed of sound and when facing Ultimate Emerl he was able to go at least ten rounds with him in less than thirty seconds. It has often been stated that Sonic can move at supersonic speed which ranges from 915-3,840 mph and he has even been called the "the world's fastest, hypersonic hedgehog" which is at a staggering speed ranging from 3,840-7,680 mph. As calculated by E-123 Omega, Sonic's speed keeps increasing and at its current rate it will exceed the speed of light. Sonic replied it was no challenge to him, suggesting he is able to move faster than light. It is also believed that Sonic can move faster while in spinball form than running. Utilizing moves like the Light Speed Attack and Light Speed Dash, Sonic can achieve light speed movements.
Sonic's speed does not seem to have certain weaknesses in that recklessness (the possibility of crashing into unintended targets) and "straight-line only" concepts are invoked, showing he has complete mastery over his speed. Sonic is additionally shown to be able to run in full tight circles, thus is not exposed to the impotency of only being able to run fast in straight lines. Should he be running at uncontrollable speeds, he can utilize the Drift to opportunely control his momentum and even crash into foes.
Aside from running, Sonic can apply his super speed for other abilities. He is able to heal himself by vibrating his body at supersonic speeds, launch shockwaves by spinning in his spinball form at high speeds and create barriers of super speed for a split second. Sonic can also set strong winds in motions with high-speed movements which he can use to attack opponents similar to aerokinesis.
Sonic has shown astounding feats of kineticism, precision and has reaction time to match his speed. He possesses incredible acrobatic skills and agility, alongside supernatural reflexes, making him able to avoid sizably voluminous and minuscule obstacles with precise jumps and delicate movements despite their incoming speed, alongside with double jumps and wall jumps. When launched into the air, he can also perform several airborne tricks before landing. He also has incredible jumping skills, allowing him to jump up to several hundred meters, even when carrying extra weight.
In terms of physical prowess, Sonic has often been noted for lacking overall physical strength by comparison. Nevertheless, Sonic has demonstrated a small degree of superhuman strength. He can push things several times bigger and heavier than himself, run without extra weight slowing down, and his various Spin Attacks are strong enough to cut through metal, gigantic boulders and burrow through the ground. However, it is debatable whether the latters power comes from his super speed, his super strength, or a combination of both. Most of Sonic's strength particularly lies in his legs, as demonstrated by his various fighting moves; in Sonic Adventure 2, he was able to topple the colossal Egg Golem with a single kick. This does not mean that Sonic's arms are not strong either; in Sonic the Hedgehog CD where Sonic exhibited enough strength to tear robots apart by hands and in Sonic and the Black Knight he could smash through a collapsed wall.
Sonic has several times demonstrated extreme resilience to damage. He can survive getting caught in the crossfire from all angles by Eggman's robots (which only knocked him out cold briefly) and can smash through several robots in a row with his fist without showing any sign of pain or injury. It is also worth noting that, for nearly all the battles Sonic has endured, he has never been crippled or displayed any serious injuries. Additionally, Sonic has several times been able to survive impacts from free-falls at extreme heights, bordering at the edge of space, only to shake it off when landing, and even withstand atmospheric entry unharmed.
Sonic possesses an indomitable force of will; in situations where most others would give up and resign themselves to defeat or imprisonment, and where he is severely outnumbered and out gunned, he never loses faith in himself and never surrenders. This character trait enables him to keep on fighting even when utterly exhausted or after taking an abnormal amount of physical punishment, and even withstand mind-controlling powers, like the corruptive influence of Dark Gaia as a Werehog and the Overmind' psychic powers, though in the latter's case he did have some protection. Even when possessed by the Ifrit, Sonic was arguably able to at least regain control for a few moments.
Sonic has also demonstrated the ability to harness the power of the Chaos Emerald for his own use. With a Chaos Emerald, Sonic can perform Chaos Powers, such as Chaos Control which lets him warp time and space, and occasionally gain a boost in power.
It is safe to say that Sonic is far stronger, faster and more skillful than he lets on, but his cocky overconfidence and reluctance to use his more potent skills usually keeps him from fighting at full strength. Only in truly bleak situations does he reveal his true power - his defeat of the near-all powerful Ultimate Emerl and the god-like Perfect Chaos in his base form are prime examples of this. In spite of his blocks though, Sonic ranks amongst the most powerful characters in the series.
Despite not having received any known training in martial arts, the many years of battles Sonic has been through has made him a powerful and skilled fighter, and a profound user of hand-to-hand combat, being able to go up against others with far more experience. It has also been noted by people, such as Blaze and Shadow, that Sonic's combat skills are always improving; in the different versions of Sonic Generations, Sonic was able to beat the Egg Emperor and Perfect Chaos on his own where he previously required additional support and power.
In battle, Sonic mainly tend to use his legs and fast footwork to attack his opponents as his greatest strengths lies in his legs, though his is also shown to use his arms in battle as well. In hand-to-hand combat, Sonic makes use of his greater speed to deliver fast strikes to his opponents, allowing him to either deliver several strikes in a split second or strike foes with increased force. For stronger physical strikes, he tends to perform Spin Attacks, Spin Dashes and Homing Attacks.
Sonic's Back-Grab in Super Smash Bros. Brawl has him backflip backwards (while holding the opponent), land on the ground, and kick the opponent at a decent knockback. His forward smash consists of Sonic swinging his arm around for a short time and then releasing a charged punch (which might resemble his buzzsaw type attacks, and resembles his wind-up punch from Sonic the Fighters). This attack is one of his most powerful smash attacks in terms of knockback. Also as a nod to his footwork, Sonic also at times like in Sonic Battle, applies some forms of Capoeira to his combative footwork, especially in his Sonic Flare attack.
Even though he does not prefer to use weapons in combat (mainly dissing firearms as said in Shadow the Hedgehog), Sonic is shown to greatly excel in swordsmanship as seen in Sonic and the Black Knight. Even after just picked up a sword, Sonic was able to slay a dragon with swordplay and after receiving formal training from Caliburn, Sonic becomes capable of going up against and defeating several members of the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur himself. By applying his speed to his swordplay, Sonic can make quick and swift slashes and as well become a buzzsaw with his sword by spinning. He also has basic knowledge of how to use a Piko Piko Hammer to fight as seen in Sonic Advance 3.
Techniques and moves
Many of Sonic's fighting moves are variations on the tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection. His primary offensive maneuver is the basic Spin Attack where he curls into a spiky ball when in motion that can damage, destroy, mow down, or burrow through many obstacles or foes. Through the series, he has expanded on this basic attack, which includes the Spin Dash where Sonic shoots himself forward as an acceleration roll at full speed while mowing down enemies and obstacles, the Spin Jump where he curls into a ball in midair to attack opponent by landing on them, and the Homing Attack where Sonic dashes in midair toward a target. The latter has he developed further with the Focused Homing Attack which can hit more targets and with greater force. He also several leg-based attacks, like the Slide, Foot Sweep and Flying Kick.
One of Sonic's less used signature moves is the Super Peel Out, or Figure 8 Dash, where he stays pivoted in one place and his legs move fast enough to create the illusion of an infinity symbol (more correctly a Möbius strip) beneath him. He holds this and then blasts forward, allowing Sonic to push himself out at extremely fast speeds. Another rare technique is the Blue Tornado where Sonic jumps into the air and creates a whirlwind by circling a particular spot at high speeds which can throw his opponents into the air or blow away armor and weapons. Sonic Wind is when Sonic creates a cyclone of blue swirling winds and fires it at the opponent. Sonic is also able to use the Light Speed Dash and Light Speed Attack which allows him to achieve light speed movements for either exploration or combat.
One of Sonic's newest signature moves is the Sonic Boost, a technique which increases his speed further, where he envelopes himself in blue aura and turn himself into a projectile, allowing him to destroys any enemy caught in his path. He does not even need to have contact with the ground in order to execute the move and can use it to temporarily fly immense distances through midair.He can perform multiple jumps in water as it was shown in Sonic Colors.
It is assumed that Sonic can control the strength or hardness of his quills. They appear to be extremely hard like buzzsaw blades when he is in spinball form, capable of shredding through several layers of reinforced steel to just about anything with enough speed. When he is not in spinball form, they appear soft and flimsy like rubber. In Sonic Heroes, his quills (and body) are durable enough to slice through battleships without even moving at the speed of sound. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he can temporarily increase the durability of his quills to hit opponents in his Up Throw. In this move, he throws up an enemy, goes into a push-up type pose, and flares up and hardens his quills for the enemy to land on. In Sonic and the Secret Rings, during Dinosaur Jungle, Sonic mentions that his quills can also sense danger, before being attacked by a dinosaur.
Sonic has proven himself as a world-class Extreme Gear rider. On an Extreme Gear, he can move even faster than he can run and go head-to-head with the best Extreme Gear riders the world has to offer, namely Jet the Hawk. Sonic seemingly has a natural talent for Extreme Gear riding, as he quickly grasped the controls on his first try and can perform several advanced techniques despite being self-taught. After the events of Sonic Free Riders, Sonic can be considered the best Extreme Gear rider in the world, as he was able to beat Metal Sonic in a race, who at that point possessed all the data and skills of the world's best Extreme Gear riders.
In Sonic Generations, Sonic is shown to transfer his speed throughout various parts of his body (which may explain why he is able to boost in midair from a stationary position, negating certain physics), and on the second act of Planet Wisp, Sonic can even transfer to objects, as he can force a coal-carrying platform to speed up its movement by using his pure speed to make it go faster, and overtake other platforms (as well as crash into and break them).
By using all seven Chaos Emeralds, Sonic can enter a Super State, transforming him into Super Sonic. Easily his most frequent transformation, Super Sonic is Sonic's ultimate form. In this state, all of Sonic's abilities far surpasses his normal ones and he is as well able to fly and is nearly invulnerable. However, this transformation consumes a lot of energy and requires Rings to be maintained.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, by using the power of the seven Super Emeralds, Sonic can achieve an extended and more powerful form of Super Sonic, called Hyper Sonic. This form basically shares the same abilities and traits as Super Sonic, except they are all more powerful
In Sonic and the Secret Rings, by harnessing the World Rings of rage, hatred, and sadness, Sonic can become Darkspine Sonic, a form powered by his emotions at Shahra's death. In this state, Sonic can fly, has greater strength, unlimited use of the Soul Gauge powers and pyrokinetic abilities. Because of the intense emotions sealed inside the World Rings that Sonic uses to transform, however, he becomes slightly darker and more violent.
In Sonic and the Black Knight Sonic is able to transform into Excalibur Sonic by using the power of the four sacred swords. This form grants him a strong golden armor with a red cape, the ability to fly, greater strength and the power to wield the legendary sacred sword, Excalibur.
Sonic the Werehog
In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic unwillingly gains the power to turn into a werewolf-like version of himself named Sonic the Werehog at night time by absorbing the energies from Dark Gaia. In this state, he loses his trademark speed, but still retains his lightning reflexes and agility. He also gains super strength, the ability to stretch his arms, and limited energy manipulation. While Sonic's strong will prevents him from going bonkers like other people affected by Dark Gaia, he does gain some minor feral behavior. He permanently lost this transformation after his battle with Dark Gaia.
Color power transformations
By harness different variants of Hyper-go-on from Wisps, Sonic can use certain Color Powers to transform into a specific form, such as a drill, a laser or even a fireball, with the Color Power depending on the type of Wisp. The Color Power forms used by Sonic so far include the Cyan Laser, Yellow Drill, Blue Cube, Green Hover, Pink Spikes, Purple Frenzy, Violet Void, Orange Rocket, Red Burst, Indigo Asteroid, Magenta Rhythm, Crimson Eagle, Ivory Lightning, Gray Quake and Black Bomb. However, these transformations require a steady supply of Hyper-go-on to be maintained.
Sonic is incapable of swimming and sinks like a stone in water, which may be due to aquaphobia (Sonic has been stated to believe that if he falls in water, he will be trapped and no one would be able to get him out), though he does not demonstrate that fear very often. A slight exception being in Super Smash Bros. Brawl where he is able swim very briefly before drowning (although it is more of flopping around like a fish rather than actually swimming). In some games Sonic can bypass water while running across its surface, while in others he can survive extended periods underwater by breathing air bubbles, in most 3D games however he drowns instantly on contact with water.
Sonic usually avoids water and in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Sonic is the only character to wear a life-preserver.
Yuji Naka has also stated that if Sonic does not sleep for eight hours during the night, it would spoil his running.