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How do you preceive Eggman as a character ? what the best and worst portrayals for him ?

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Aside from the obvious (loud, haughty, arrogant, extravagant, short tempered) I've always seen Eggman as a character that despite Sonic defeating him, loves his job. He always struck me as that kind of character that boasts not only audibly but in his absurd creations. He's evil and he loves it.

Nothing really sold this better than in the original boost trilogy. Either it being his hammy declarations at Eggmanland, or him schilling the intergalactic attractions of his interstellar amusement park.

I'd say his worst is easily in Forces, as he didn't really do anything memorable. He wasn't particularly funny, and a lot of personality was stripped from his creations. I know you can say this about a lot of the cast/game but he just felt like he was there as an afterthought.

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A goofy character that is capable of being intimidating when he needs to be. I'm not sure what my favorite portrayal would be, probably Adventure 2 given you actually get to play as him, but his worst portrayal is easily Forces. He has practically no presence despite being responsible for TAKING OVER THE GOD DAMN WORLD. 

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Boy where to start to even begin to describe how I perceive Eggman. Well first some buzzwords I guess;

Narcissistic, vain, goofy, playful, childish

That's a way to start things off, but that is really more a matter of his personality but I always feel like Eggman probably describes himself better when you translate from the Japanese manuals (thanks to my younger brother) and he introduces himself as "Super Scientific Genius: Doctor Eggman" and proceeds to highlight his "latest greatest invention" or scheme. In other words, he's a total ham and I love him for it. Despite being a villain he is still in the role of an entertainer (to us the audience) and he relishes in his every appearance he gets. Seeing as Sonic is the star of the show bringing down Sonic isn't just a way to one up his rival but to demonstrate that he is top dog in everything. He is a glory hog and yet a showman ready to put on a show at the drop of a hat. He is an entertainer and an utterly delightful one, but also utterly frightening as a result.

If you ever really look around the fanbase you'll frequently find people calling Eggman out for his ineptitude, but he's really far from it despite his ridiculousness. In fact, his ridiculousness makes it hard to take him seriously which plays to Eggman's advantage. Depending on which side of the franchise you follow (Western/Japanese) then Eggman's accomplishments are usually more terrifying then one realizes. For example, in the West, Eggman is using animals to power his machines in his search for the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 1, while on the Japanese side he placed the inhabitants of South Island in his machines not to power them, but to force Sonic to have to hold back lest he risk hurting innocents. Eggman is a fairly manipulative in that way and that if one considers capturing almost all of the inhabitants of an island by his own means an accomplishment, it is one heck of an accomplishment. Of course Eggman has had many great accomplishments since, such as Building the Death Egg, conquering Little Planet, inadvertently destroying Station Square as planned by means of Perfect Chaos, reactivating the Eclipse Cannon, shattering the planet and harnessing Dark Gaia's energy (not to mention beating Sonic here by plan), and conquering and binding multiple planets to an amusement park made in his image. Further, he accomplishes all of this without being any less goofy (SA2 being debatable) and narcissistic than he's ever been. But despite these accomplishments, that same goofy narcissism makes it impossible to take him seriously which allows him to get as far along in his schemes as he does. he just doesn't appear as a threat despite how dangerous he actually is. To me, that makes him as subversive as Sonic himself, a hero by action, definitely anything but personality, or for Eggman swap hero with villain and you get the same thing.

So where do I find Eggman best represented? Well, that's easily the OVA (Japanese language track) as he is every bit as dangerous (his plan was genocide and environmental destruction on a catastrophic scale that was very feasible in world, plus he captured the president with no problems whatsoever) as he's ever been, every bit the genius (Hyper Metal Sonic) he's ever been, as manipulative (get's Sonic down to the World of Darkness so he can complete Hyper Metal Sonic) as he's ever been, and at no point is he anything but an over the top narcissistic goofy ham. As a result, the OVA (Adam and Eve plotline aside) is easily my favorite interpretation of Eggman and I'd love to see that used as the basis for his character going forward.

Ahem. To wrap up though and to keep it simple, Eggman is a goofy and narcissistic ham, and that is too his and our advantage as it makes the level of threat he poses difficult to believe and it allows him to be a showman who entertains us, the audience. So when I see people saying they want Eggman to be a more viable threat and appear as one, I say they need to reevaluate what makes Eggman work both as a villain and as an entertainer in a work of entertainment. Sure, he may not be everyone's cup of tea, but when used the way he is designed he is a very effective character narratively and entertainingly. At least, that's my thoughts on him.

Whoops, forgot to add what I consider his worst appearance.

...

It's really hard to choose just one as I consider anytime his narcissistic goofiness is removed from him results in a disservice to the character, the narrative, and the audience, but if I really have to choose I'd probably go with SatAM (please SatAM defenders don't take this an affront, it's just my opinion). If there is any version of Eggman that is completely devoid of the narcissistic goofiness that makes Eggman enjoyable to me it is that iteration. He could not possibly be more far removed from what he was in the games that SatAM was based on and is part of the reason I never cared for SatAM as a kid. People like to say that kids aren't smart enough to tell the difference but this was a case of black and white or even wet or dry. When you play the game and then look at SatAM there is no connection beyond a badly drawn Sonic and Tails (badly colored in Tails' case as well). The fact that outside of his color scheme there is nothing connecting "Robotnik" and Eggman and there is nothing visually beyond Sonic and Tails connecting the games and SatAM is a major failure. Making it worse, the disconnect in question only works by using the SatAM "Robotnik" imagery to sell the radically different setting from the games in the first place. So, while SatAM fans love him, as an interpretation of Eggman (which he is) he is simply the absolute worse to me as he is nearly the antithesis of what Eggman is supposed to be; a narcissistic goof who's threat is hidden by that playfulness.

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He's a showman, an entertainer as Fan J put it, and a primary trait of his character design is "deceitfulness". This is seen in how he's glasses and mustache conceal his face until key moments. I think he's at his best when walking the line between competent and cartoonish. The bright colors and welcoming grin are supposed to put you off balance.  I like when his genius is actually called upon or when he shows some form of personal morality, twisted or otherwise. SA2's Robotnik for instance didn't gloat when he blew up Sonic capsule but instead expressed pride in his adversary and regret at killing him off. One way I like to look at Sonic and Robotnik is like Batman and the Joker fighting on opposite sides. Sonic embodies chaos and makes use of his immediate surrounds, while Robotnik has a limitless industry at his beck and call.

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He's a mad scientist. Brilliant but twisted, eccentric, narcissistic, flamboyant, convinced he's the hero of his own story. And his best portrayals are always the ones that lean into that, the ones that get the absurdity of the character and go big with it. The argument that we need an Eggman who's intimidating or cruel or who can be "taken seriously" doesn't work for me; it just seems designed to suck all the fun out of the character. Even as a goofy weirdo he's smart enough to be dangerous, and when his plans fall apart they tend to do so in a way that's even more catastrophic because he's an unstable madman constantly fooling with forces beyond his control. And Eggman's been one of the most consistently fun and likeable characters in the series because he's been allowed to be so expressive and vibrant and have such a range of emotions instead of being pigeonholed as a "serious" villain.

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He's an immature attention hound, but a dangerous next-to-sociopathic one. He has enough vague moralities to make him near about likeable at times, but for the large part he's a psychotic man child who wants the world to be about him and doesn't care how he makes that happen.

Even worse in spite of all this he's talented, he can make all sorts of deranged and fearsome creations, even if that's hidden beneath his egotistical and not-always-well-thought-out execution.

I actually think Boom Eggman, in spite of the over-the-top tongue in cheek nature, was one interpretation to well fit him. It focuses more on the pitiful bumbling traits of Eggman, to the point that his childish attention seeking verges on him wanting friends out of his enemies, though truthfully I think even that fits Eggman, since he's egomaniacal enough to demand attention and company and clownish enough to get a bit pathetic about it (you can often tell the difference with an Eggman lackey and Robotnik lackey, while Eggman is also abusive, he tends to have at least some genuine, if still somewhat selfish attachment to them, he needs groupies). His rivalry with Sonic has always been a bit obsessive after all, and it's more than just from hatred and revenge. Add to that even in Boom, Eggman is not stupid, his inventions are still brilliant just not always well thought out in execution making flash over substance (again like games Eggman) and he maintains that fact that within his being buffoonish at face value he can still be manipulative and dangerous when not taken seriously. Eggman after all is extremely competitive, and not just in a persistent villain sort of way.

X Eggman was pretty good too, though there was maybe an over focus on his redeeming qualities later on, and like a lot of anime, it felt like Eggman was becoming a mere chess piece to a formula. Eggman HAS to be driven by his own larger than life character.

I can kinda see where SatAm Robotnik betrays that depth, because, while he does have SOME odd moments of comical narcissism, he seems far less the show off than Eggman. He demands no audience and his final plan involves having no one else sapient but himself (he has Snively to boast and vent out frustrations towards, but even him he ultimately found dispensable). I can see an Eggman that maybe is truly evil and has no genuine empathy for anyone but himself, but I don't see Eggman as someone who could stand being solitary, he needs others to talk about how awesome he is to.

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Worst is easy one: Sonic Underground version.

Not goofy, not scary, not active, not memorable. He was somewhat competent and had like 2 funny lines (He made and auction and declared that anyone who won't participate will be considered conspirator with Freedom Fighters) though whole show. Only worse can be Pontaf (Colors, Lost World) or Boom if you really hate seeing Eggman as pathetic loser.

I will always say that Archie (or let's be real: Flynn) version of character is most interesting, balancing funny and cruel. I especially like his Preboot version as he actually evolved. First he was evil dictator, then he got lonely and made himself robot kids, then both kids died (one betraying him), so Eggman replace void with his live with army of people he doesn't trust and playing game of manipulation and back-stabbery instead. Fascinating.

I have soft spot for X version. He was fun, energetic and surprisingly competent. I keep hearing complains that he was too soft, but that was his consistent characterization (maybe except SA1&2 adaptations). Besides, calling him 'soft' after Boom seems quaint.

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The "deceit" nature is a good point. Eggy's whole shtick is that he's in a permanent state of wackiness but manages to be a real genius and real threat despite that.

I don't think barring him from ever having a single series moment or any amount of depth is the right way to put it, but the series always has a precarious balance between something that's engaging and something that's stupid. The fact is that basically no Sonic game is ever written quite well enough to fully utilize it is more what needs fixing than saying NO SONIC ISN'T ALLOWED TO BE THAT GO FUCK YOURSELF FOR EVER SUGGESTING THIS SERIES BE DIFFERENT, if you get what I'm saying. 

I think comic Eggman is great, he's a complete dork who sits around playing video games and just builds giant amusement parks for fun, except oh wait, those games are actually the targeting system on his robots, and that park is designed to murder anyone who steps into it. He gets angry, he poses a real threat, but he's not treated like he isn't also a cheesy villain from a cheesy 90's mascot platformer. There's a couple moments that he does stuff that's really fucked up, and it's not taken with any farcical sense, but most of the time it's Sonic the hedgehog being treated as what the series is.

Most of the time in the games Eggman is the best written and acted character, but that's usually by virtue of everyone else being worse. I like him in Adventure 2 and Unleashed, other times he's usually a little bland.

The worst version of Eggman is 06 by far. He doesn't do anything in the story, he doesn't have any memorable, characterisic, or even really relevant dialogue, they didn't let Pollock ham it up, and his character design is fucking gross. Every character in that game is about as bland and devoid of personality as the game itself and Eggman got the worst of it. I disagree that Pontaff Eggman is the worst, by most accounts he is the single best-handled character in all of their games (Forces' own story failed to utilize him, but what he got was okay).

Other than that, while Boom Eggman is a different approach, that's fine in an alternate continuity, and he absolutely steals the show whenever he's on-screen (he competes for this position with Knuckles). He's a doofy sitcom antagonist who just fucks with people for attention and is completely pathetic on his own, and barely even qualifies as a villain half the time so much as an annoying neighbor, and he's hilarious. He's a lot like a more sane version of the Ice King, without all the dementia stuff.

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23 minutes ago, Shaddy the Zaphod said:

The "deceit" nature is a good point. Eggy's whole shtick is that he's in a permanent state of wackiness but manages to be a real genius and real threat despite that.

I don't think barring him from ever having a single series moment or any amount of depth is the right way to put it, but the series always has a precarious balance between something that's engaging and something that's stupid. The fact is that basically no Sonic game is ever written quite well enough to fully utilize it is more what needs fixing than saying NO SONIC ISN'T ALLOWED TO BE THAT GO FUCK YOURSELF FOR EVER SUGGESTING THIS SERIES BE DIFFERENT, if you get what I'm saying. 

I think comic Eggman is great, he's a complete dork who sits around playing video games and just builds giant amusement parks for fun, except oh wait, those games are actually the targeting system on his robots, and that park is designed to murder anyone who steps into it. He gets angry, he poses a real threat, but he's not treated like he isn't also a cheesy villain from a cheesy 90's mascot platformer. There's a couple moments that he does stuff that's really fucked up, and it's not taken with any farcical sense, but most of the time it's Sonic the hedgehog being treated as what the series is.

Most of the time in the games Eggman is the best written and acted character, but that's usually by virtue of everyone else being worse. I like him in Adventure 2 and Unleashed, other times he's usually a little bland.

The worst version of Eggman is 06 by far. He doesn't do anything in the story, he doesn't have any memorable, characterisic, or even really relevant dialogue, they didn't let Pollock ham it up, and his character design is fucking gross. Every character in that game is about as bland and devoid of personality as the game itself and Eggman got the worst of it. I disagree that Pontaff Eggman is the worst, by most accounts he is the single best-handled character in all of their games (Forces' own story failed to utilize him, but what he got was okay).

Other than that, while Boom Eggman is a different approach, that's fine in an alternate continuity, and he absolutely steals the show whenever he's on-screen (he competes for this position with Knuckles). He's a doofy sitcom antagonist who just fucks with people for attention and is completely pathetic on his own, and barely even qualifies as a villain half the time so much as an annoying neighbor, and he's hilarious. He's a lot like a more sane version of the Ice King, without all the dementia stuff.

2018-10-07.thumb.png.2963f08f2c033039b5025ffb98c53e76.png

This proves that Mike himself figured it out from the dialog. And apparently he is right that it would be inappropriate in 06. But seriously, the cutscenes in 06 were better than Forces. Not by much, but they showed more interaction with the characters.

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His Archie version is the best portrayal, truly evil. I hope he will be like that  too in IDW.

https://pre00.deviantart.net/d8ee/th/pre/f/2014/051/7/6/dr_eggman_motivational_poster_by_scurvyhedgehog-d77aafm.png

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I agree with most people in that I like the egoistical, manchild, evil-and-he-love-it, clownesque Eggman. For me, Eggman have to totally steal the show, because he *is* a showman. So that's why my favourite Eggman is modern Eggman (from Unleashed onward). His plan are still dangerous and murderous, but he has a wacky flair and a manchild attitude that make him awesome and way more funny. (I just feel that they should make Orbot and Cubot more competent while keeping the wacky banters).

I'm less a big fan of him between Heroes and 2006, where I felt he really was underutilized.

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11 hours ago, superman43 said:

This proves that Mike himself figured it out from the dialog. And apparently he is right that it would be inappropriate in 06. But seriously, the cutscenes in 06 were better than Forces. Not by much, but they showed more interaction with the characters.

They definitely weren't actually, but either way it was the wrong decision to tone down the performance in 06, no matter whose decision it was. That only makes the character more lifeless than the design and terrible animation did already.

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I'm not sure what I can particularly add in terms of what everyone else said. Eggman is a complex character despite being from this series. He's like a giant child given the keys to a monster truck if said child had also built the truck. Part of his inherit goofiness is the fact that Eggman can act quite childish and throw a fit if something doesn't go his way, the same way he can hit the opposite direction and be intimidating. 

He's a trickster, a evil genius, a goofy character, a mad character, a con-man, a showman. He is Eggman. That's why I love the guy as a villain, he's just so insanely fun to see on screen. He's the guy who can take the most silly shit and somehow make it threatening or intimidating, or he can do the opposite and make something legitimately forceful seem goofy. 

I think that's the hidden charm about Eggman, the guy is a bombastic egotist who is filled with flaws and let's his flaws drive him, and despite all of that, he has the most insane amount of fun while doing it. Every time he does something, you can tell it's an Eggman move because despite the flaws in his plans, he's having the time of his life doing it. Life is one big game for him to enjoy, he's the hero while Sonic is the world's greatest hard mode. 

I think downright my most favourite portrayal of him is Ian Flynn's Archie era. Way past the try-hard edgelord of SatAM Robotnik and past Penders' contrived and confusing Robo-Robotnik nonsense. This Eggman encapsulated everything I love about the character. He's a legitimately intimidating and threatening character in this era, but the best part is he does that by being Eggman. Like, one of the key examples being when he attacks Knothole and kidnaps everyone to use as organic batteries for his machines. He kicks the crap out of Sonic, but what does he do instead of blabbing on about why Sonic failed and how he's gonna rule the world and blablabla. No, he acts like the biggest bully you've ever seen and begins laughing at Sonic's failed love life of all things. That is a perfect Eggman move, instead of the grander scope, he just immediately jumps into the personal and even petty digs towards Sonic because at that point, he just wants a reaction out of him. He literally wants Sonic to be him for once and get pissed off at the wise-cracks, and it works. 

That's not even mentioning his goofy moments leading into Scrambled. The best two I can think of is where he walks up to the residents of a city to demand the location of the Iron Queen, getting ready to declare a hunting game and everything, only for them to immediately tell him with a straight face, causing Eggman to turn away huffing that they aren't any fun while ordering his robots to legionize them still. Even better is the end of Scrambled where he captures Snively and does nothing but lock him up and mock him, as if he was taunting someone who lost in a fighting game or something while letting the Iron Queen remain with a Snively robot for the express purpose of having someone to challenge him. 

Even the post reboot era has some really good moments, this image especially being a perfect idea of his more childish side:

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Worst portrayal for me is easily Underground. A worse version of SatAM Robotnik without any of the intimidation or coolness that came from that version and in all honesty - being pretty pathetic when he's running around trying to impress rich people who already fear him by marrying into the royal family, despite the fact Robotnik already controls the world.

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Best: SATAM

He was downright creepy and truly villainous.  I wish the games followed this version of him more.

Worst: 06

Just kidding about this one but seriously who thought this was a good idea:

Image result for dr eggman sonic 06

Because it wasn't

Real Worst: AoStH

I love the show, but Mama Robotnik was more villainous than he ever was

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I've viewed Eggman as a [more] sadistic Willy Wonka in recent years. Whimsical and odd, yet also unassuming and potentially dangerous.

wonkaegg2.PNG.0a10756c515ab24e9d65f0d8d160b189.PNG

                                                                                                         Separated at birth?

Much like Wonka, Eggman has a very theatrical way of presenting himself. Whether it be a grand reveal of the Death Egg from underground, or a worldwide broadcast warning the earth of the ARK's power by blasting the moon; he's a showman who enjoys being in the spotlight. (One has to wonder what kind of crazy candy Eggman would come up with lol)

-As for best portrayal I'd still say SA2. He was at his most menacing, but you could still see his goofy side through things like the altered Egyptian statues in his pyramid base.

-Worst (not counting the US cartoons) I'd have to say is Boom, if only because its just a lackluster portrayal overall. I don't like the idea of "normalizing" a villain for cheap laughs.

 

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Oh man, the character that I have routinely studied for character traits and have devoted the last two decades of my life to in that form. What makes THE definitive Eggman?

Well, not Forces, that's for damn sure. Eggman may have been slowly crawling into insanity (as that is the only excuse I COULD take over that whole ending,)  but there he happens through the sheer force of lazy writing to betray a key trait of his persona and that was an old phrase he said "What good is to destroy the world if I have nothing to rule over?" In Forces he was bland, dull and lacked any of the charm and delight that he usually brings to a game - I would recommend if you want to know Eggman is to ignore mostly what Forces brought to the table (Eggman is not a creature of simplicity, of black and whites, he is as complex as his genius.)

My advice about knowing if you have a well written Eggman is if he steals the show from the rest of the characters, even if the game or thing he is in happens to be subpar - he's always a shimmering keystone that holds up a wall.

Ivo does differ from incarnation to incarnation with his temperament and goals, but there have been a few cut terms you can plaster on him to make sure that you have the proper skeleton of the good doctor: Arrogant, Egotistical, Scheming, Eccentric, Brilliant, Flamboyant, Ostentatious, Skillful, Mischievous, Childish. Chances are if you have these key amino acids in his genome your Eggman will turn out well developed, and from there you can build on that.

 

cyeP9AF.jpg

Figure A: A grouping of schemers party hardy. Also this team is probably a reference to Trickster's bonus episode where Metal Sonic trains with Waluigi to get his traits. After all that games takes place before this one.

If you WANT an excellent portrayal comparison to Eggman, I (and apparently Sega and Nintendo) have always compared and contrasted him to his Mushroom Kingdom doppelgangers of Wario and Waluigi in the Olympic series (Bowser may have the haughty arrogance and egotism down but he's been far too brutish and short tempered in contrast, and in most cases a little...slow.) Outside of the egotism, brash tomfoolery and attention hogging Wario seems to have a bit of Eggman's rare crude humor (farts, farts and ass smacking) and ambitious drive while Waluigi seems to wiggle in as Eggman's equal and occasional foil in the series (both have a penchant for mechanics, both are adverse to overcome obstacles and stubborn, and considered the brainy ones of their series. P.S. Waluigi is the only character to have a higher skillset than Eggman in the Olympic series BTW.) All three characters can be dastardly dangerous in their own right with that goofiness as a deceptive cover, something to let your guard down over; Eggman being a bit more of a historically darker villain in comparison to the anti-villains of the other two (though Waluigi has been suspect as having far more sinister motives from Wario time to time.)

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Seen above: Team Tricksters. No that is the legitimate title for them in this series. It seems Sega cannot decide between Shadow or Metal Sonic for this team as they always seem the odd man out.

Outside of that series, Eggman may just be the skeleton of the mad scientist archetype with theatricality BUT he is far beyond that as well being perhaps one of the most relatable characters in the series due to his perseverance over adversity and grey morals. In some incarnations and I have noticed, he has this evil humanitarian streak as well like a eccentric, more goofy Lex Luthor. Eggman WANTS to uncover the answers of the mysteries of life and still has that drive influenced by his grandfather but instead of using that to benefit humanity 100% he selfishly utilizes most of it to his own goals, he wants to be rebellious but also establish an empire to produce order in his life (possibly the order that was missing from the government who gunned down his grandfather.) He wants to create a utopia of equality but only under his heel - Eggman is full of these little delicate grey morals, these contrasts that provide a blurry duality and that's why he is so damn good as a character when you get down to the underbelly. Yes he can be cruel, but he has limits to that nefariousness; Eggman is as in his own terms a very complicated man wrapped up in the threads of his own self-appointed loftiness of godhood.

Poor attempts to characterize Robotnik as this fully iron fisted dictator do not tend to pay nary an attention to any of the positive quirks which make him more human, instead morphing him into something cold and foreboding as one of his many creations - that's what the polite eeriness of Eggman-Nega is for, hence the term Eggman NEGATIVE. The scary thing about him is not a lazy predictable monster of Grimdark like the gorilla Robotnik of SatAM, but the man who we can chug beers and play video games with; a person whom we can hold a mirror up to ourselves and want to relate to. A level of deception where it seems that this ingenious man tends to build buffoonish war machines into designs of adorable animals but somehow they work - on one hand we expect this pretty villainous package from him wrapped nicely in a bow relying too much on conditioning through tropes, but on the other we feel deceived that someone who has this delightful and humorous yet relatable nature could establish something so wicked.

That is a good Robotnik; the man who makes us self-reflect in our own hidden darkness and question our motives. He is humanity and the human attempt to fly too close to the sun in entitlement, striving to be a god. When his wings melt, he gets burned but devises another plan to shoot to the stars again and again.

If anything, Eggman perfects and represents the negative and positive aspects of the cunning ambition of the human spirit, humanity's aspirations and its delusions of loftiness.

 

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To me, Eggman is all about control. That’s why he uses robots, and when he doesn’t, he always makes sure he has a means to control who or whatever he’s relying on. Of all the creatures in the world, the carefree Sonic is the most out of his control, and I think that’s what truly gets under his skin the most. Metal Sonic is his coping mechanism. 

Has this been explored at all? No. One could argue that my interpretation is wrong, even. But that’s how Eggman strikes me. 

The game that comes closest to capturing all this might actually be Lost World. 

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No interpretation is wrong, just different and there is nothing wrong with that. That said, you actually aren't the first person I've seen define Eggman by his need to have control. I wish I could remember where it was I saw it so I could link you to it, though I'm afraid it might have been on the old SEGA forums so I wouldn't be able to link it anyway. That said, even in the OVA Eggman is trying to have total control to an extent with the idea of repopulating the world in his image.

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