Miles Prower (マイルス・パウアー, Mairusu Pauā?), better known by his nickname Tails (テイルス, Teirusu?), is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games, comics, animated series and film released by Sega.
The name "Miles Prower" is a pun on "miles per hour", a reference to the famed speed of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an eight-year old fox with two tails, hence the nickname. He is known to be Sonic's sidekick and a mechanic. He is able to use his two tails to propel himself into the air like a helicopter for a limited time. His debut was in October 16, 1992, introduced in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2; the 16-bit version was released that November.
During his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, his fur was an orange color. The color was changed to yellow-orange for Sonic Adventure, and light-yellow for Sonic Heroes. In 1993 and 1995, he starred in his own games, Tails and the Music Maker for the Pico, Tails Adventure, and Tails' Skypatrol for the Game Gear. Tails is the third most popular character of the series, behind Sonic and Shadow, according to official polls.
Concept and creation
Yasushi Yamaguchi, originally the main artist and zone designer for Sega's Sonic Team, designed Tails for an internal competition for a sidekick to the speedy hedgehog. The character was meant to hold a "deep admiration for Sonic."His entry won, but Sonic Team decided to change his character's name from "Miles" to "Tails."
Yamaguchi ended up with a compromise. He sneaked the name "Miles" in as his legal name; "Tails" would be his nickname, ending up with the full name of Miles "Tails" Prower which is a pun of the phrase "miles per hour".
The character debuted as Sonic's tag-along partner in the franchise's second game, and has remained an important player since. However the character's uniqueness wasn't established until Sonic the Hedgehog 3 when players were given the power to control his flying.
Tails was redesigned (along with all of the other Sonic characters) by Yuji Uekawa for Sonic Adventure. His fur changed color to a slightly orange shade of yellow, and he gained visible sparkling blue irises.
In the American Sonic comic book, along with the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, he was originally brown, but the comic artists eventually decided to change this to match his in-game appearance.
Tails was first seen in Sonic 2 (1992) for the Sega Master System. He was first made playable in the Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, playing the part of Sonic's sidekick. He was a playable character from the second controller and could be chosen as player one for the main game. Sonic Chaos (1993), on the Game Gear/Master System was the second game where the player could control Tails, and the first time the player could control his flight.
Tails made his third major appearance in 1994 when Sonic 3 was released, this time acquiring the ability to pick up Sonic and use his tails to fly him to other areas, rotating his tails like a helicopter. He also gained the ability to swim under water, something Sonic has never been able to do.
Tails has also starred in games without Sonic. His first solo game was Tails' Skypatrol, which is a side-scrolling score attack like game for the Game Gear released exclusively in Japan. This was followed by Tails Adventures later the same year, which is a Metroid-esque platformer with RPG elements. Tails is also the star of Tails and the Music Maker for the Sega Pico.
In later games, Tails has had roles that require unique modes of play. For example, in Sonic Adventure, Tails is one of the six playable characters and his gameplay is standard platforming stages, but the goal of each stage is to get to the Chaos Emerald before Sonic, or to the missile dud in the final race against Dr. Robotnik.
In the sequel to Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, he is featured in third-person shooting segments, seated in his "Cyclone" mech. This third-person shooter style of play, along with Dr. Eggman's shooting levels in the same game, were very similar to the E-102 Gamma levels of Sonic Adventure.
Tails has appeared either as a playable character or in a supporting role in almost all later Sonic titles. He still often resumes his role flying other characters around, such as in Sonic Heroes, where Tails appears on Team Sonic as their flight-type character, being capable of carrying both Sonic and Knuckles. He also appears as an 'amigo' character in Sonic's story during the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game.
Tails is seen in the background of Green Hill Zone along with Silver the Hedgehog and Knuckles in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and also appears as a trophy. He is the third character the player unlocks in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
Tails appears in the latest game Sonic Unleashed, where he helps Sonic restore the shattered planet, largely by flying Sonic from continent to continent in the game.
Tails takes a supporting role in Sonic and the Black Knight, portrayed as a local blacksmith. He'll help you craft goods from the items Sonic collects.
He appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, and is also a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in which he drives a small yellow plane. He is set to appear in Sonic Colors.
Comic, music, film and TV show appearances
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, he is supposedly significantly younger than in the games; he is "only 4 and a half," while in the games, he is eight years old. As with the game canon, his real name is Miles Prower. However, his fur is brown in the cartoon as opposed to orange in the games. Sonic's relationship with Tails is quite close in this series. Before Tails met Sonic, he was apparently an orphan who thought he was a bird because of his ability to fly; it was his being kicked from a nest that introduced the two and led to Miles receiving his nickname "Tails".
While Tails is indeed useful to Sonic in many situations, he can be a hindrance. Because he is very young and cannot defend himself, he is incredibly susceptible to being kidnapped by Robotnik and used as bait for Sonic. Sonic appears to know of this flaw and does his best to protect him, but his protection methods are often the reason why Tails gets kidnapped in the first place. Like Sonic, his favorite food is chili dogs, but apparently Tails likes extra cheese on his (in the anime and games, his favorite food is mint candy). He also hates his real name and does not want anyone to know about it, a fact that Sonic occasionally exploits to blackmail him out of danger.
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV show)
Tails' role in the Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon had him in a supporting role, quite low-key compared to the games and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series. Here he was just another inhabitant of the village where the Freedom Fighters lived, and Princess Sally Acorn's protégé. According to the series dialogue, he is 5 years old in this adaptation because he had a birthday after "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog".
He became a full "member" of the Freedom Fighters near the end of Season 2. In the canceled Season 3, it was rumored that his relationship with Sonic would draw closer to that of the video games. But before that he was just a junior member of them and barely went on missions except in the pilot he got a full role but again not counted as a Freedom fighter.
Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie
In the OVA film Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Sonic and Tails were occasionally shown to be at odds with one another but were still best friends as in all other Sonic media. The two reluctantly agreed to help Dr Robotnik outwit Metal Robotnik, who kicked Robotnik out of the city of Robotropolis, and deactivate the Robot Generator which will otherwise explode at sunrise. However, it was all a ruse by Robotnik in order to kidnap the president and his daughter Sara, a strange cat girl, and activate Metal Sonic. With the assistance of Knuckles, the duo prevailed in rescuing them both and in a climatic showdown, Metal Sonic was ultimately destroyed and melted in a pool of lava.
Sonic the Hedgehog (comic)
Tails is the son of Rosemary and Amadeus Prower; Sonic was present at the time of Tails' birth, and the two immediately bonded. After being separated from them by Dr. Robotnik, he grows up in Knothole Village with Sonic the Hedgehog and the other Freedom Fighters. He joins the Freedom Fighters, though he is unable to work in some of the more dangerous missions; when he does work in them, he mostly serves to pilot the group's escape vehicle and stays on board during that time. He eventually leaves on an adventure where he learns from Athair that he is the "Chosen One," a great hero that will bring about "The Great Harmony." He eventually becomes the target of Mammoth Mogul, and the two do battle on various occasions. After Robotnik is overthrown, Tails begins living with Sonic and his parents.
Tails later completes part of the Great Harmony by sealing away the Chaos Emeralds in a special dimension after being captured by A.D.A.M.. Sonic begins dating Fiona Fox, Tails' crush, which causes a rift between them. When the two return Tails' parents to Mobius, the rift widens when the two get involved in a political schism started by Amadeus, Tails supporting his father and Sonic remaining loyal to the House of Acorn. Eventually, after an argument, the two reconcile after Sonic apologizes and explains that he had dated Fiona in the hopes that it would help Tails get over his feelings for her. He later helps in the fight against his fellow Freedom Fighters anti counterparts once again. He also helped in the recent battle against Dr. Eggman, which results in Eggman descending into complete insanity.
In the possible future of Mobius: 25 Years Later, it is revealed that Sonic and Tails had a falling out three years before the sub-series begins, and are no longer on speaking terms. In this time line, Tails has married Mina Mongoose and had two children (a son and a daughter who resemble himself and Mina, respectively), and is currently living on the continent of Downunda (the Mobius equivalent to Australia). When Sonic travels back in time to avert the possible end of all existence and alters history so that Shadow rules the planet in a ruthless, despotic manner, Tails senses that something is wrong and goes to lengths to keep his memories and those of his family intact, and later, along with Knuckles' daughter, Lara-Su, finds Sonic living on the streets of Portal. Sonic, wanting to repair their friendship if he couldn't undo the damage he had already done, apologizes for letting things get so bad between them, and Tails forgives him. He later assists Sonic in overthrowing Shadow.
Sonic the Comic
Tails also appears in the British Sonic the Comic, published by Fleetway. Here, he first met Sonic when the latter saved him from drowning in a swamp. In this series Tails was older than his other incarnations, and was frequently the butt of many of Sonic's cruel jokes, most often being called "pixel brain". He is initially portrayed as a bit of a push-over, who constantly allows Sonic to insult him, gets flustered in dangerous situations, and had a significant inferiority complex. As time went on, Tails became more competent and heroic. On occasion he would return to his home land 'The Nameless Zone' where he would get a suit of silver armour and a short sword. When the comic began adapting Sonic Adventure, Tails' eyes remained brown while Knuckles and Sonic had their eyes changed to match their in-game counterparts.
Throughout most of the anime series Sonic X, Tails mirrors his game role in various stories and game adaptations, though he often plays a smaller role in the series due to the presence of Chris Thorndyke. He quickly befriends fellow inventor Chuck Thorndyke, who built the X-Tornado jet with him.
In the third season of Sonic X, Tails is the captain of the Blue Typhoon, and over the series develops leadership. Tails has a crush on Cosmo, a plant-like female alien introduced during this season. Cosmo starts to show signs of affection towards Tails as the season progresses. Their relationship is confirmed when they fall into a love trap placed by Amy to catch Sonic. He broke down emotionally at the conclusion when Cosmo asked him to kill her to defeat the Metarex, but kept one of the seeds she released which sprouted.
The character of Tails is portrayed as a very sweet-natured and humble fox; who, before he met Sonic, used to be picked on because of his twin tails. As a long time friend, he admires Sonic and dreams of being just like him.Though he lacks courage, he wants to prove he can be counted on. He loves mint candy, tinkering with machines, and flying mechas, in sonic colors it's revealed he speaks binary fluently. Tails has a fear of thunder.
Tails has been described as a mechanical prodigy who rivals Dr. Robotnik, however he has yet to realize his full potential. Additionally, by spinning his two tails like a helicopter rotor, he has the unique ability to push himself through the air to catch up with Sonic. However, when he takes to flight, he tires quickly. Tails is also able to swim.
Tails was awarded "Best New Character" in Electronic Gaming Monthly's 1992 video game awards, stating "not only is he as cute as Sonic, but he actually serves a major purpose in the game." IGN staff writer Levi Buchanan stated that when Sega noticed the popularity of Tails, and later, Knuckles, they "just kept stuffing new faces and names into the game, pulling attention away from their hero." GameDaily listed the "annoying sidekick" in their top 25 video game archetypes list, citing Tails as an example of this. They state that while he sounds like a girl, he was a welcome addition to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Cracked.com ranked him the 14th most annoying video game characters in otherwise great video games, stating that his ambition far outweighed his abilities. GamesRadar listed him as one of the characters they wanted to beat the crap out of, stating that while he started out as interesting, he became a terrible sidekick who "choked the life out the franchise." They cited him being a "know it all" in later games as to why they hate him so much. IGN editor Lucas M. Thompson listed Tails as one of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters who should be in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, citing his importance in the series and his abilities. IGN editor Colin Moriarty listed Tails, along with all other characters in the series besides Sonic and Dr. Robotnik, second on the top 10 list of video game characters who should die. He cited the introduction of Tails and Knuckles as the time when the series became "iffy". However, IGN editor Levi Buchanan stated that the fan response to Tails' introduction was favorable, which led to further introductions such as Knuckles.
- Although many fans thinks Tails is a female, he is actually a male, not a female.