Welcome one and all to the second instalment of “The Theory Files”. I hope you all enjoyed the first part where I looked at how gifted you are in the original Pokémon games, if you haven’t seen it then I suggest you check it out. In this instalment we’ll look at just who Sonic’s sidekick, Tails, really is.
Tails, or should I say ‘Miles Prower’… really Sega? Miles Prower… miles per hour… Anyway, Tails the fox is incredibly smart with an unusually high IQ especially for an 8-year-old, and this is what helped him become a master engineer at such a young age. However, this intelligence mixed with his genetic abnormality that lead to him being born with 2 tails meant that much of his early life he was a target for school ground bullies, and that’s about all we know about him. To me this seems strange considering the amount of thought in the backstories of some of the characters. Just look at Knuckles for example; we know he was born and raised on Angel Island as the last of his clan, charged with protecting the Chaos Emeralds, and due to his life of solitude he became one with the animals and with the nature of the island. Doesn’t it seem strange then for someone who is essentially a main character to have such little information revealed about their history? Maybe the reason is much simpler than you may think; because he doesn’t want anyone to know.
So anyone who knows the Sonic games will know that most levels in the early games ended with you jumping on what was essentially a large metal cage to set free a number of different animals, and destroying most of the robotic enemies in the game also released an animal trapped inside each one. So is it so hard to imagine that Tails was once one of these trapped animals and that Robotnik had planned to use Tails as one of his robots? And Robotnik may (constantly) underestimate Sonic, but he is still a smart man. Not many of us would be able to build our own robot, let alone what can only be described as an army of them of varying shapes and sizes over the years. Where am I going with this, I hear you ask? Well, maybe he noticed there was something special in Tails, possibly because they had both been bullied at a young age and have a sort of connection. Ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? It’s basically when a hostage starts to have feelings towards their captor; perhaps Tails sees Robotnik as a sort of father figure. A number of different things could have happened at this point, but they all ultimately ended in Robotnik taking him under his wing and teaching him.
The evidence is apparent in a number of the early games; the first time we are introduced to Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 we know little about him. As previously stated, he just sort of appears out of the blue, but what we do know is that Tails does have the ability to fly an aeroplane. Where would an 8-year-old learn how to fly? I know that their reality isn’t the same as ours, but I don’t imagine that there are child flight schools in Emerald Hill Zone somehow. So who could have taught him this ability? Doctor Robotnik, of course. He has numerous ships and flight pods that he has used throughout the many games to fight against Sonic and his companions, so it’s entirely possible that he was the one to teach him this and maybe even the one to build Tails’ plane due to his love of ‘old machines’.
While we are on the subject of Tails’ plane, early on in Sonic 3D the Tornado gets damaged and it’s up to Tails to get it back up and running for us to use later on in the adventure. Now, you would expect Tails to need all manner of technical parts and equipment to fix his plane, but he asks only for one thing, a Chaos Emerald. Now, you probably never paid it any thought at the time, but no one, and I mean no one, knows how to harness the power of the Chaos Emeralds, let alone build with them. That is, of course, except Robotnik. Even Knuckles who, if you remember, devoted his life to protecting the Chaos Emeralds, hasn’t got the faintest clue of how to utilize them in that sort of way.
So we know that Robotnik over the years has tried to create his own ‘Sonic’ with varying success. Both Mecha Sonic and more importantly Metal Sonic are easily able to go toe to toe with the real Sonic, matching his speed, movements, and attacks with little degrees of separation. How is it that Robotnik would be able to get such accurate data on Sonic when he spends so little time around him? Simple, he doesn’t need to because Tails is relaying the information directly to him. Now, consider this. If you have 2 enemies who seem to be a constant thorn in your side and you have the knowledge and resources to build a robot to match them exactly, then surely you would make a robot to match each of them. The only robot we ever see to resemble Tails is in Sonic R where Robotnik himself is a playable character. In this game Robitnik can throw a Tails doll as a weapon. Now, doesn’t it seem strange that this appears in the game at all? For continuity, wouldn’t he throw a Sonic doll or any of his other creations for that matter? Was even Sonic starting to become suspicious of the relationship between his best friend and arch nemesis?
Now, I know that by this point you will be saying, “But Luke, Tails has helped Sonic a number of times against Robotnik!”, which is, of course, true, but it could be part of a larger plan. Look at it this way, when playing chess, you would gladly sacrifice your pawns to take out a stronger knight or queen. While I’m not saying Robotnik is using himself as a pawn, he could well be purposely losing these battles against Tails and Sonic in order to win the war. Or maybe, just maybe, Robotnik IS the pawn and Tails is the mastermind behind everything!