Bad Guys Anonymous

Moto Bug

Here we are at another edition of Bad Guys Anonymous. This weekly column investigates the random baddies from gaming’s heyday. The only quality that must be shared amongst these evil minions is that they must be the first opponents gamers encounter in the game.

This week’s target is none other than Moto Bug of Sonic the Hedgehog fame.

These single-wheeled ladybug robots with absurd exhaust pipes bolted to the sides of their metal bodies are relatively easy to defeat. As it stands with almost all first baddies in classic games, these dudes have to be simple to take down. It teaches players what hurts their character in the game, and what simple order of procedures they’ll need to utilize in order to advance.

You can jump over Moto Bug, jump on him or roll through him. Pretty much, Moto Bug is going to die unless you run directly into him without touching any other buttons. But, hey, if you do that, maybe you shouldn’t be playing video games in the first place.

I’m kidding! Of course I’ve been stupid enough to die at the metallic hands of Moto Bug. Stupid Moto Bug, such a jerk. With Sonic games, part of the learning curve involves figuring out that going fast isn’t the only way to beat the game. Most great Sonic players anticipate the enemies ahead and duck and spin in order to defeat them.

Moto Bug in Sonic GenerationsI’m not a great Sonic player, so Moto Bug and his evil Moto cohorts killed me often. Especially those darn Moto Monkeys in their Moto Trees with their Moto Coconuts. Man!

Moto Bug does make an appearance in future Sonic games. In fact, the Moto Bug that you see on the side is the one that appeared in Sonic Generations. In the original Sonic the Hedgehog, though, this ne’er-do-well only shows up in the Green Hill Zone. That’s it. Talk about an anonymous bad guy, right?

What’s interesting to me, however, is not the Moto Bug. In fact, the random enemy you encounter in the Sonic the Hedgehog games is always less interesting to me than something else. I always get excited about the poor creature that pops out of these robotic menaces.

With the first Sonic the Hedgehog, I always remember seeing a bird or a rabbit shoot out of metallic enemies. Of course, that only happened in the 16-bit version of the game.

The Moto Bug from the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog? No imprisoned animal popped from his robot innards.