Great news – Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel have been announced for Sonic Mania Plus! Break out those chilli dogs and rejoice in the streets.
Less sarcastically, this might be confusing news to some people. I’ve been a Sonic fan since the mid 90s and I had a great time playing Sonic Mania when it came out on the PlayStation last year. When Sega announced that it would be offering a physical release in July 2018, I was muchly pleased. I mean, I’m probably not going to buy it(!) but I thought they’d made a canny move. I know a lot of people who will be glad to invest in such a shiny offering.
However, what confused me was the introduction of two “new” characters – Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. They were announced as if they were the features I’d been waiting for all my life, and I was like, yayyyyy-huuhhhmmmmm? Should I know these people?? I’ve been playing Sonic for decades and I’m fairly sure I’ve never seen an armadillo or a squirrel – not even in Sonic Heroes, which seemed to feature every Sonic character that’s ever existed, even for a fleeting moment on the back of an envelope on an intern’s desk in Tokyo.
If, like me, you’re somewhat in the dark, then fear not. I have raided the deepest corners of the internet and I am delighted to say that I can now confirm the true identity of Mighty the Armadillo.
Mighty’s game appearances
Okay, so – do you remember SegaSonic the Hedgehog that released in Japan in 1993? You astound me. It was an arcade game that focused on the characters of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who had been kidnapped by Doctor Eggman and taken to the ominously-named Eggman Island. Sonic comes to rescue them – naturally – and the trio join forces as they battle their way towards Eggman Tower in an attempt to bring an end to the mechanical machinations.
So there we are. Other game appearances include Knuckles’ Chaotix which was released on the Sega 32X in 1995, and a mysterious inclusion on a ‘missing’ poster in the City Escape level of Sonic Generations. Mysteriously, the poster lists Mighty as having been missing since 1993, which is crazy given that he OBVIOUSLY appeared in Knuckles’ Chaotix two years after this, as well as making a cameo appearance as a swinging ornament chain on the windshield in Gale Racer in 1994. Pfff.
But what do we know of Mighty’s temperament? Well, according to the Sonic Wikia, Mighty is something of a pacifist who is averse to violence of any kind. Despite this, he does boast an array of fighting abilities which he will deploy only as a last resort.
This is something I can identify with. Like Mighty, I am a guru of the death arts. I could take down a Middle Eastern dictator with my thumb. I just choose not to.
However, unlike me, Mighty the Armadillo is a bit of a travel-a-holic, and wants nothing more than to visit all of the places in the world – that is, when he’s not forest bathing or spending time in nature.
And what of those aforementioned fighting abilities? Mighty can apparently curl himself into a cutting disc and burrow through hard surfaces, as well as move like greased lightning, spin attack, and jump between walls with dexterous precision. Also, if you look closely at the Sonic Mania Plus trailer, you will see that Mighty possesses the enviable ability to power-slam into sharp objects from altitude. Not bad for an armadillo!
Is all this enough to convince you to purchase Sonic Mania Plus when it releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam on July 17th? Obviously, there are number of other interesting features that might persuade you to invest… I may do a separate post on those. And if you have any memories of prior game experiences with Mighty – or even his friend Ray – let me know in the comments below.
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