|“||Evil must die! Beware my ninja power!||„|
|~ Espio before battling the Egg Emperor in Sonic Heroes|
Espio the Chameleon is a character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is a serious character, and a martial artist. He is Silver's best friend.
Espio first appeared in Knuckles' Chaotix for the Sega 32X. In the English manual, he is described as the hot-headed friend of Knuckles the Echidna (the surprisingly sophisticated Charmy Bee is said to keep him from losing his temper), and is visiting "Carnival Island" when Dr. Robotnik attacks it. The Japanese manual states that Espio, a detective, went to investigate the mysterious island that emerged from the sea.
In both cases, he is attacked by Dr. Robotnik and Metal Sonic who try to capture him. Knuckles saves him from the two, and Espio automatically becomes his partner character for the training stage. After this, Espio can be chosen in the Combi Catcher prior to stages. Espio can walk on walls and ceilings, and uses his own Whirl Attack instead of the common Spin Attack.
Sonic the Fighters
Espio appears as one of eight playable fighters in the arcade game Sonic the Fighters (Sonic Championship in Japan). In the story, Espio is one of the eight characters who try to collect the eight Chaos Emeralds in order to travel into space and destroy Eggman's Death Egg II. Espio is the fourth character to fight in story mode, and his stage is Mushroom Hill, a part of Angel Island that appeared in Sonic & Knuckles.
In the game, Espio is a medium-strong fighter, and his special abilities include using his Whirl Attack and attacking with his long tongue.
In Sonic Heroes, Espio, Vector and Charmy have formed a detective agency (previously, only Espio was described as "a detective"). They are contacted by an anonymous client via a walkie-talkie that was delivered to them. Espio does not entirely trust the voice, but Vector and Charmy had accepted the assignment after they get promised a reward of money, with Espio tagging along anyway after Vector reminds him of their policy to never turn down work that pays. In the game, Espio is the speed member of Team Chaotix, meaning he can run quicker than the others, and creates small whirlwinds for various purposes. Unlike the speed members of the other three teams, Espio can turn invisible, throw large shurikens (ninja stars) and stick to walls indefinitely. He and the other two also have a run-in with Team Dark and Team Rose, the former due to Rouge believing them to be after Eggman's treasure and their likewise believing that Team Dark are affiliated with Eggman, and the latter due to a misunderstanding that causes Cream to think they had abducted Chocola the Chao after Espio tells her to give Cheese over to him.
At the end of their story, the client is rescued from Eggman's base, and turns out to be Dr. Eggman himself, to Espio's surprise. Eggman reveals that he had been betrayed and captured by the evil Neo Metal Sonic, who has gathered everyone's data and then transforms into Metal Madness shortly after. Team Chaotix had the Chaos Emeralds throughout the game, with Espio holding the red one. Team Chaotix then stalls Metal Madness in order to buy time for Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to turn into their Super States. At the end of the game, Eggman tries to sneak away, but the Chaotix chase after him to collect their promised reward.
Shadow the Hedgehog
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Espio and the Chaotix were working on a big case, one which details they did not share with outsiders.
As a part of their investigation, the Chaotix went to Dr. Eggman's base where Espio tried hacking Eggman's computer despite data retrieval not being his specialty. While Espio was being pestered to hurry by his team however, Shadow arrived. Convinced to help them, Shadow opened a portal to the Mad Matrix which Espio followed Shadow through upon Vector's order to get the info they sought from the database. Inside cyberspace, Espio requested Shadow's aid for his mission.
In the Hero scenario where Shadow helps Espio, the two came across Eggman in his Egg Breaker who fed Shadow with lies about his past. However, Espio convinced Shadow to focus on beating Eggman and provided support for him in the following battle.
In the last story, the Chaotix had arrived on the Space Colony ARK, where Espio was chosen to hack the ARK's main computer to recover some data. As the team put pressure on Espio about the urgency of his work though, Charmy lost his patience and rammed the computer. This resulted in the Chaotix getting access to a video by Gerald Robotnik which played all around the world and gave Shadow the determination to defeat the Black Arms once and for all.
Sonic Rivals 2
In Sonic Rivals 2, Espio was sent on a mission by Vector to gather evidence on Silver the Hedgehog whom had been accused of kidnapping Chao. When Espio found Silver though, the hedgehog noticed him. Failing to provide a decent cover for himself, Espio simply ran away from him. However, this called the attention of Metal Sonic nearby, whom Espio had to escape from as well, which culminated in a race between them.
Espio soon tracked Silver down again and introduced himself, but before he could question Silver, Dr. Eggman Nega appeared, initially disguised as Dr. Eggman but Silver called his bluff. Although confused, Espio worked with Silver to destroy Eggman Nega's Egg Liner despite inference from Shadow and Metal Sonic. Afterwards, Espio returned to spying on Silver, although he started to question the hedgehog's intents. He later saw Sonic and Tails getting involved in the case as well and chased Tails down to try and get whatever info they had gather from him and dissuade the duo from interfering, but failed. Espio finally confronted Silver with the Chao kidnappings, to which Silver replied it was to save the world. Before Espio could get answers about that though, Eggman Nega attacked them with his Egg Crawler which he and Espio destroyed even as Sonic and Tails arrived on the scene.
After failing to follow Eggman Nega, Espio chose to believe in Silver's claims and promised to help him hide the Chao. They soon found Knuckles and Rouge with some Chao and they made a plan to distract them. To buy Silver time to get a Chao, Espio lured Rogue away with the Chaos Emerald she had just found. He soon agreed to a fight with Rouge over the ownership of the Emerald and the Chao, where Espio acquired the Chao despite losing the Emerald. Reuniting with Silver, the hedgehog revealed to Espio, since Espio had proven himself trustworthy, that Eggman Nega wanted to unleash a monster called the Ifrit on the world to destroy it. However, Eggman interrupted them with his Egg Dealer which the duo beat while contending with Knuckles and Rouge just as they arrived at the fight.
Soon after in another location, Espio had Silver elaborate that Eggman Nega wanted to feed the Chao to the Ifrit which would make the beast invisible. Seeing that Silver was exhausted though, Espio agreed to find some Rings to recharge him. Seeing Sonic and Tails were collecting them, Espio cut Sonic off and got away with some of his Rings which helped rejuvenate Silver. Just then though, Eggman Nega showed up with his Egg Bull while Sonic and Tails arrived to interrogate the doctor. In the end, the heroes beat the doctor.
Though Espio and Silver continued their hunt for Chao, Eggman Nega showed up to gloat that he already had enough Chao for the Ifrit and had hidden them in a secret room. Espio and Silver thus worked together to find the Chao, although Espio got slowed down by Rouge. Having failed to find the Chao, Espio reconvened with Silver, only to face Eggman Nega's Egg Phantom while contending with Shadow and Knuckles. Despite Espio and Silver emerging victorious, Eggman opened the portal to the Ifrit's dimension, but saw that his Chao had been freed by Sonic and Tails. As Eggman Nega summoned Metal Sonic 3.0 to awaken the Ifrit, Espio and Silver followed it into the portal to stop the robot. When they did though, they learned it was just a decoy and that the Ifrit had been awoken in the meantime. However, the portal started to close, so Espio and Silver kept the Ifrit from leaving its dimension and left Eggman Nega trapped in there with it.
Returning home, Espio thanked Silver for his help as they parted ways. Espio still ended up getting cited by Vector however, as he had failed to complete his original assignment.
Espio appears in the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, having been sent on a job with his team to investigate Eggman's theme park. Sonic and Tails run into him, as well as the other Chaotix, in Planet Wisp. The name "Espio" is also one of the default file names on the Wii version.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, Espio attended and helped prepare Sonic's surprise birthday party. As the party began, however, the Time Eater suddenly appeared and Espio was sucked into one of the Time Eater's Time Holes and ended up in the White Space, where he was turned into a statue due to the Time Eater's effects.
Eventually, Espio was returned to normal by Sonic and his younger self. When the Sonics confronted the Time Eater in the Center of Time, which the monster was revealed to be controlled by Dr. Eggman and his younger self, Espio arrived at the place with the others and cheered on both Sonics, allowing them both to transform into Super Sonic. When the Sonics defeated the Time Eater, Espio and the others were sent back to the time where Sonic's party who taking place. Resuming with the celebration, Espio later waved goodbye to the younger Sonic and Tails when they returned to their own time.
Espio joins the Resistance formed by Knuckles to stand against the Eggman Empire after it is presumed Sonic was killed by Eggman's new weapon, Infinite, when rescuing Tails and several civilians in the City. Espio is joined by Vector and Charmy for this. Though the Resistance finds itself with facing 99% of the planet under Eggman's control after six months of warfare, once Sonic is rescued from the rebuilt Death Egg, and joined by Classic Sonic the Hedgehog and a rookie Resistance member named the Avatar, the Resistance is able to defeat Infinite and Eggman and win the War to Take Back the Planet.
Espio is very serious, quiet, level-headed, intelligent, wise and disciplined, but also opinionated and somewhat arrogant at times. While a straight-laced detective and the voice of reason in the Chaotix Detective Agency, Espio's reserved demeanor hides a burning sense of justice and a refusal to let evil have its way. As such, Espio gives the impression of a rather ruthless demeanor when facing villains; when encountering Dr. Eggman in Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, the usual civil and soft-spoken chameleon would make threats at the doctor's life. Despite this fact, he is usually eager to find danger to flex and polish his ninja skills. He is seen as a ninja-based character; his battle poses and shuriken stars support that portrayal.
Powers and abilities
As a Speed Type, Espio possesses great super speeds. As demonstrated in Sonic Rivals 2, he can run at speeds compatible to Sonic and Shadow's and his swiftness is potent enough to let him fool his enemies by appearing in different spots almost instantaneously. While not shown to the same extention as Knuckles the Echidna, Espio has impressive physical strength, using sharp karate chops powerful enough to shatter obstacles and smash robots. Espio also has extreme acrobatic skills, doing complex and nimble jumps in midair and grind on rails with ease. Espio also has very impressive durability and endurance, seen as he is able to withstand Sonic's Homing Attacks indefinitely and keep fighting in Espio: Master of Camouflage.
Being a chameleon, Espio possesses a stealth camouflage trick that lets him change his colors scheme to his environment. His camouflage is so effective that he is rendered completely invisible to the naked eye and allows him to pass by unnoticed. Being a skilled ninja he is also a master of non-camouflaged stealth which combined with his camouflaging abilities makes him virtually undetectable. Espio also possesses an extremely keen sense of awareness of his surroundings on both the physical and empathic plane, detecting Team Dark nearby despite the group being out his field of vision and was even able to perceive the soul of the Time Eater.
Like a real lizard, Espio is able to climb along any surface and stick to them for an unprecedented amount of time. As seen in Sonic the Fighters, he also possesses a prehensile tongue which he can use as a short-range projectile attack in combat and as a grappling hook. Espio has also demonstrated the ability to harness chaos energy from the Chaos Emerald to enter Hyper Mode.
By his own accords, Espio is a powerful adversary as he says it would take no less than a "mighty foe" to do him in. Having undergone extensive ninja training, Espio is a master of ninjutsu, a form of material arts that employs stealth and trickery against foes. He is likewise a fierce foe in direct combat as he was able to match Rouge the Bat in battle, who has undergone similar forms of combat training and could fight Knuckles the Echidna to a standstill.
Techniques and moves
Though not a hedgehog, Espio is able to use the Spin Attack and the various techniques derived from it, where he curls tightly into a concussive ball while in locomotion to damage, mow down, or burrow through obstacles and foes. The Homing Attack allows Espio to dash in midair toward a target, the Spin Jump lets him curl into a ball and attack opponent by landing on them, and the Spin Dash lets him shoot himself forward as an acceleration roll at full speed while mowing down enemies and obstacles.
Espio's signatures moves are the ones that combine his ninja skills with his camouflage trick. The Leaf Swirl lets Espio combine his camouflage with a Ninja Leaf Swirl maneuver to create a tornado to blow opponents away while he disappears, his Chroma Camo maneuver hides himself completely from his enemies' perception while increasing his speed, and his Ninja Arts: Camouflage both hides himself completely from enemies' perception while he "warps" between places to disorient the enemy while attacking. Another ninja-based attack includes his Shuriken where he throws a shuriken star at foes.
As one of the founders of the Chaotix Detective Agency, Espio has a keen, analytical mind and experience in investigation and gathering intel. While also having experience in solving mysteries, he is not as skilled in that field as Vector. He also has some skill in hacking computers for data as seen in Shadow the Hedgehog, although he has admitted it is not his specialty.
Thanks to his ninja training, Espio is proficient with several forms of ninja-based weaponry. He is especially a master of throwing kunai, capable of striking targets with pin-point accuracy while only barely looking at them.
As a ninja Espio employs ninja-based weaponry, such as kunais and shuriken stars. He uses his shuriken stars for long-range offensive by throwing them at opponents and can do so in rapid succession. By attaching a rope on his kunai, he can also use as a grappling hook to swing between targets.
By harnessing different variants of Hyper-go-on from Wisps, Espio can use specific Color Powers to transform into a certain form, such as a drill, a laser or even a planet, each one possessing its own unique abilities. So far, Espio has been able to transform into the Cyan Laser, Yellow Drill and Indigo Asteroid. However, these transformations require a steady supply of Hyper-go-on to be maintained.
Espio's camouflaging ability, while practical, is not perfect. Its maintenance is tied to Espio's concentration, meaning it will falter should he lose focus due to things such as being blinded by light or sneezing. His stealth is not flawless either as Rouge the Bat was able to detect his movements thanks to her heightened sense of hearing.
Silver is Espio's best friend. The two first met each other in Sonic Rivals 2. Before they met, Espio was given an assignment by Vector to find out evidence that Silver was behind the kidnapping of several Chao. As such, Solver was a subject of doubt for Espio and didn't seem like a bad guy despite his actions. At first, Espio treated Silver like an enemy, but as he learned that Silver was working to save the world, he decided to follow his instincts and help him with his mission. During their adventure, the two of them built a good relationship as Espio proved his trustworthiness and helped Silver on many occasions. After finishing their mission, they became best friends and developed a brother-like relationship, and Silver frequently travels to past to visit his best friend Espio, along with his other friends.
The relationship between Espio and Shadow the Hedgehog has changed very much since their first meeting. In Sonic Heroes, they fought against each other without a question due to their assumption that the other was the enemy. However, they put their differences aside, and helped each other stop Metal Sonic and his plan to rule over world.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, their relationship is more friendly. Espio gladly thanked Shadow for opening the portal to Eggman's computer and after Eggman claimed that he created Shadow, Espio told him to not believe Eggman and aided him in his battle against the doctor. Overall, Espio has put more faith in Shadow since their meeting and the two appear allies in most regard.
- Silver the Hedgehog - Best Friend
- Team Chaotix - Teammates
- Team Sonic
- Team Dark - Enemies turned Allies
- Team Rose - Enemies turned Allies
- Mighty the Armadillo - Close Friend and Former Teammate
- The President
- Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik
- Metal Sonic
- Nack the Weasel
- Black Arms
- Eggman Nega
- Time Eater