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Fang the Sniper
Sonic the Hedgehog series
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Fang, as seen in Sonic the Fighters
First appearance Sonic Triple Trouble (aka Sonic & Tails 2)
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Species Wolf (Part weasel part wolf in America)

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Fang the Sniper (ファング・ザ・スナイパー Fangu za Sunaipā?), also known as Nack the Weasel, is a fictional character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games. He is a purple anthropomorphic half-wolf half-weasel hybrid (only a weasel in the American and European versions of the games) that first appeared in the Game Gear video game Sonic Triple Trouble (alternatively known as Sonic & Tails 2 in Japan) as a treasure hunter in search of the Chaos Emeralds.

The character was originally conceived as Fang the Sniper, the name by which he was known in the Japanese Sonic games, but this was changed for American and European releases to "Jet the Sniper"[citation needed], until eventually Sega settled for "Nack the Weasel". This name was used in Sonic Triple Trouble and the comic books he also appears in, but all manuals to the games released after Sonic Triple Trouble have called him "Fang", regardless of language.

Character

File:Sonic Triple Trouble Fang.gif

Fang the Sniper in Sonic Triple Trouble

Fang is a treasure hunter. He is just described as a weasel in the Western manuals of Sonic Triple Trouble, but is also called a half-wolf in Japan. According to the Japanese manual of Sonic Drift 2, Fang is actually from another dimension; the mysterious Special Zone. Manuals mention that he is obsessed with valuables, jewels and money, and has interests in beautiful women[citation needed]. He wears a large, brown stetson, brown and white boots, and brown gloves with metal plates on them. The reason that he is known as "Fang" is because his left canine tooth is much larger than the other, which makes it his trademark. His long, pointy tail can be used to bounce on or to attack his foes.

Originally his signature weapon was going to be a silver magnum, but Sega eventually nixed the idea due to maturity issues [citation needed]. Instead he uses a cork-firing popgun in Sonic the Fighters. He also has his own airbike called the Marvelous Queen that he uses to fly around in. Despite the fact that he is one of the lesser known Sonic characters, Fang has a devoted fanbase[citation needed] and remains popular in both the U.S. and Japan. He was also the first Sonic character to have a gun, which may have been the reason of his disappearance from the games. However, since the release of Shadow the Hedgehog, in which Shadow uses guns, many fans have speculated whether or not Fang may return in future games.

Unlike most other Sonic characters, Fang has four fingers, not five, though no explanation for this is given.

Game appearances

To date, Fang has appeared in only three Sonic games, the first being Sonic Triple Trouble (Sonic and Tails 2 in Japan). In this game, he is one of three enemies opposed to Sonic in the race for the Chaos Emeralds (together with Knuckles the Echidna and Dr. Robotnik). Contrary to Knuckles, however, who is simply misguided by Robotnik into fighting Sonic, Fang is purely motivated by his greed. At the end of each Special Stage, Sonic (or Tails) must fight Fang for control over the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic Triple Trouble is the only game to call him "Nack".

In Sonic Drift 2 Fang the Sniper is one of the seven playable racers in the game. He rides a kart called the "Marvelous Queen", and while Fang has good acceleration, he has poor handling. He has the ability to toss oil balls that cause whoever hits them to slip out of control. According to the Japanese manual, Fang hails from an alternate dimension, which is a backstory not unlike that of Blaze the Cat.

Fang also made a cameo in Tails Adventures. An item with his symbol would increase the player's chances of finding Rings.

Fang's last appearance and only 3D appearance to date was in Sonic the Fighters (the U.S. arcade version was titled Sonic Championship, but all versions of Sonic Gems Collection use the original title), where he attacks quickly and fiercely with his popgun and tail. He is the sixth opponent in the "story mode" and his arena is Casino Night, a casino area that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

All of these games were included in Sonic Gems Collection, and several pictures of Fang appeared in the game's "museum". Fang was also originally set to appear in Sega Saturn's Sonic X-Treme as a boss character; however, the game was eventually scrapped after several months of development turmoil. Fang appeared in a recent character poll by Sonic Team,[1] but it is unknown how many votes he received.

Comic book appearances

Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

Note: Due to the fact that Fang is referred to as Nack in both comic series, he is referred to as Nack in this section.

File:Sonic122.jpg

Nack the Weasel on the cover of #122 of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog

In the Archie-published Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Nack has a sister named Nic, which seems to be a play on his translated name, Nack. He is also depicted as having a bit of an Australian accent, along with his three weasel "brothers".

His first appearance is in the Sonic Triple Trouble adaptation special. In the story, Robotnik had designed a machine to harness the power of a Chaos Emerald. His "sidekick", Crabmeat, accidentally set the machine wrong causing it to overload and break the Emerald in two. This made a new "zone" (alternate reality) and Robotnik hired Nack to stop Sonic from retrieving the Emerald pieces.

His next big case was to capture Sonic, which led to Sonic's robotizisation. Sonic was charged with treason after he was returned to normal, but escaped custody to hunt Nack down. He was found in the Bottom of the Barrel Bar 'n' Grill and later captured.

Later, he and his sister were charged with capturing the Chaos-charged Knuckles the Echidna. After succeeding and collecting their payment, they were not heard from for some time.

Nack then appeared with a group of nameless weasels who planned to kidnap Princess Sally Acorn and collect a ransom from her parents, but Sally escaped by tricking Nack into thinking that she would join his group, and then kneeing Nack in the groin. He tried to get revenge by killing the princess, but was thwarted when Mina Mongoose took the bullet for the princess.

Nack managed to get away and was offered a job in Station Square by an unnamed client who wanted to know about the Master Emerald of Angel Island. Rouge the Bat overheard their conversation and flew to the island herself. It is unknown if Nack actually took the job or not. Nack later made an attempt at assassinating Mina Mongoose, because Eggman could not stand her music. He later gave in to one of Sally Acorn's threats and got thrown in jail.

When the Destructix (a group consisting of Drago Wolf and a few others) got thrown in jail after an embarrassing defeat by the Freedom Fighters, Nack started taunting them. Shortly after that, Mammoth Mogul freed the Destructix from jail, and Nack escaped during the chaos, hinting that he was going to poison his former gang of weasels before he left, as he "didn't need the competition". He later appeared conducting reconaissance to verify claims of an auction of the Master Emerald being held by Rouge the Bat, only to be caught in a sting operation by the Freedom Fighters, resulting in him being imprisoned yet again. The only consolation he might have had was that several other villains-Mogul, Ixis Naugus, Bark the Polar Bear, and Bean the Dynamite-were also tricked and captured.

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Nack the Weasel in Sonic the Comic

Sonic the Comic

In Sonic the Comic, Nack used to be a member of the Chaotix Crew, but betrayed them to the Brotherhood of Metallix for money. The Metallix then betrayed him in turn, but he'd come prepared with a neural disruptor gun. He was however blasted in the back before he could use it (Knuckles later took and used it instead), and spent the next few months in a prison hospital. He broke out and appeared sporadically throughout the comic, working solely for financial gain either through mercenary work or robbing banks/ancient treasures, and he twice battled the Chaotix.

His character was said to be a scientific genius, as shown with his development of the neural disruptor and knowledge of how to hack the Omni-Viewer, with the main focus in the comic being on his use of shrinking objects. He first used a shrink ray in order to shrink down echidna treasures in the Sandopolis Zone so he could more easily steal them & then re-expand them before hopefully selling them on. He later developed gas cartridges that let him shrink and grow objects, people and even himself. He used this several times for combat purposes but on both occasions he was defeated.

He finally teamed up with Robotnik's loyal lackey Grimer, developing a belt-like device that could shrink people down to sub-molecular levels. It is never officially stated why he did this, but it is assumed he was paid, or promised payment, by Grimer. Using this, he and Grimer intended to retrieve Robotnik (who had been shrunken to these levels and was presumed dead); in the process, they came across the sub-molecular, mystical world of Shanazar. Nack would eventually help Robotnik not only return to Mobius but also merge it with Shanazar in the process, after which he was never seen again. Oddly, after having such a crucial role in starting the Shanazar run of stories, Nack never really had much of a role in those stories. Nigel Kitching, as revealed on the sonicthecomic Yahoo group, revealed that he originally planned to have Sonic chase after Nack through Shanazar so he could use his belt device to return to Mobius, but he was fired off the comic before that could happen (he was rehired by a later editor).

In the unofficial online continuation of Sonic the Comic, Nack reappeared going on a crime spree across the city, with Tails hot on his trail. After constantly remaining one step ahead of the cops and also nearly killing Tails with a bomb, Nack was finally brought down when Tails caused his getaway plane to crash into a river. Though no body was found, he was presumed dead. In actuality, he survived. After vowing revenge on Tails, he decided to lay low for awhile.

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Trivia

  • Sonic HQ features an article in which Nack's character would have later become a lackey of Mammoth Mogul, seeking out Emeralds in the territory of the Iron Queen.[2]
  • Fang the Sniper is briefly mentioned in a DVD-ROM flash comic that came with Sonic and the Secret Rings.

References

In addition to information taken from the Sonic the Hedgehog games themselves, content from the instruction booklets of the U.S. and Japanese versions of the games were also used as references for this article.

External links

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