|First Appearance||Knuckles' Chaotix|
|Voiced by (English)|| Bill Corkery (Games) (2004)
David Wills (Anime) (Games) (2005-present)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Yuuki Masuda|
Espio the Chameleon is a pinkish purple, 16+-year-old, anthropomorphic chameleon, who is a disciplined ninja warrior. Espio's name is thought to either have come from the word "espionage", another word for spying, or to be a reference to the Spanish and Portuguese word "espío" (meaning literally "I spy").
In Espio's first appearance in Knuckles' Chaotix, the Japanese manual states that Espio, being a detective, goes to investigate the mysterious island that has emerged from the sea. He is the first unlocked character, and his abilities include walking on walls and ceilings, and uses his own Whirl Attack instead of the common Spin Attack.
Espio next appeared as one of eight playable fighters in the arcade game Sonic the Fighters. 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 spinning like a tornado and hitting enemies from afar with his long tongue.
In Sonic Heroes, 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 also turn invisible, throw large shuriken and stick to walls.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Espio appears with the Chaotix in the cutscene prior to the "Mad Matrix" stage, in which he and Shadow the Hedgehog somehow enter the cyberspace of Eggman's computer system. The player can then choose whether or not to help Espio retrieve encrypted data from the computer, with Espio being a partner character. He is also present for the following battle against Eggman.
In Sonic Rivals 2, after a very long absence, Espio returns as a playable character. On orders from Vector, he investigates the Chao disappearances and follows Silver the Hedgehog, who has hidden most of them. At first, they don't see eye-to-eye, but eventually they work together to save the world alongside the rest of the rivals and form a friendship in the end.
Espio appears in the cross-over game, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, although he presents himself as a referee.
In the Comics
In Sonic the Comic Espio is a not-so-friendly rival to Mighty and has an extremely short temper. The two of them will end up clashing and arguing who's the best on almost any subject, to the extent of demanding a defeated enemy says which of them had punched him the hardest.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic, Espio became friends with Knuckles like the other Chaotix, and joined the group some time prior to Knuckles' first meeting with Sonic. In Mobius: 25 Years Later, he has two daughters named Salma and Juanita. When the Chaotix were staying in Knothole to aid in the fight against Eggman, Espio went on a mission (with NICOLE) to investigate the state of Charmy's former home, the Golden Hive Colony. After discovering that there were no survivors present and that Eggman had turned the hive into another of his outposts, Espio had it destroyed. At roughly the same time as the wedding of Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot, Espio appeared to have been killed by Eggman after going on a solo mission into New Megaopolis. However, it was revealed in the next issue that he was not killed, but was teleported to the Egg Grape Chamber. During Eggman's destruction of Knothole, all of the other members of the Chaotix were teleported to the Egg Grape Chamber, but both the Chaotix and Espio were soon rescued by the efforts of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose, and were transported to New Mobotropolis.
Espio, unlike the majority of the Sonic characters, is very serious, calm, underrated and disciplined. He is seen as a ninja-typed character; his battle poses and shuriken stars support that portrayal. He is talented with computers, and plays the samisen as a hobby which makes him so bloody awesome. In Sonic Heroes, he plays the instrument in the Chaotix' Team Blast, "Chaotix Recital". According to the Japanese Chaotix game manual, Espio especially dislikes Dr. Eggman, although it's not stated precisely why. During a cut-scene in Sonic Heroes, the usually civil and soft-spoken chameleon even threatened the doctor's life. He is also able to see through Eggman's tricks very easily in Shadow the Hedgehog, and tells Shadow to destroy the villain.
Espio, being a chameleon, can render his skin to match the environment, which makes him completely invisible, unless he gets something on him, such as paint, that allows him to be seen (and he did get paint smeared on himself in Sonic X episode 59). He is quite skillful with shuriken, and is said to own the biggest collection of them known to man. Some of his shuriken are also modified to explode within a certain time once they make contact to a target, like small time bombs (also seen in Sonic X episode 59). He also can run quite fast, as he is the Chaotix speed member in Sonic Heroes. He can also perform the homing attack like the other speed members, and can create small tornadoes (known as "Leaf Swirl") while turning invisible. Due to being a chameleon, he can also stick to and walk on walls and ceilings, and can quickly extend his long tongue in order to damage enemies. He can perform the Spin Attack and Spin Jump, along with his own variations of them, the Whirl Attack and Whirl Dash (appeared in old games; he uses the spin versions in Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog). Espio can also charge forward destroying all enemies in his way, and, as mentioned above, throw over-sized shuriken, as well as kunai. In the Archie comic, Espio has been shown using his tongue as a grapple.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Mighty the Armadillo
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Rouge the Bat
- E-123 Omega
- Amy Rose
- Cream the Rabbit
- Big the Cat
- Cosmo the Seedrian
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Doctor Bob Bobble
- Heavy and Bomb
- Bark the Polarbear
- Bean the Dynamite
- Valdez the Chameleon (currently roboticized)
- Marine the Raccoon
Espio appeared with the Chaotix in the anime Sonic X. Along with Vector and Charmy, Espio played a minor role in season 2, only appearing in Episode 39 to help find Cream when Chaotix was hired by Vanilla, Cream's mother (though in the end, it is Sonic who unites the two). They play a larger role in Season 3, first appearing to bring Chris supplies from his parents. The second time Espio appears, he reluctantly helps Vector and Charmy help Tails get Cosmo, a girl he likes, to like him back, and after that appears with the others to help fight the Metarex. Espio states in his first appearance that he is the brains behind the Chaotix (To Which Charmy claims that he's "Super Full of Himself"), when in the Sonic Heroes instruction manual, Vector is stated to be the brains.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Espio is a bonafide hothead, which causes his friend Charmy to constantly remind him of his manners. It can be noted that this appearance has green eyes instead of golden ones.
Joining the Chaotix
Espio became friends with Knuckles like the other Chaotix, and joined the group some time prior to Knuckles' first meeting with Sonic. Espio The Chameleon is often quite reserved and his past is a mystery to all except maybe Knuckles. Nothing is known of Espio's past by anyone, but it seems that he lived a normal chameleon's life, until he met Knuckles. Espio joined the Chaotix when Dr. Ivo Robotnik's lackey Renfield T. Rodent had successfully captured the Knothole Freedom Fighters in the House of Mirrors section of Happy Land theme park. Knuckles the Echidna, requiring assistance to defeat Metal Sonic, enlisted the help of Espio along with the rest of the Chaotix. After the successful capture Renfield T. Rodent and forcing Robotnik to flee, Espio has remained loyal to the Chaotix ever since. (KCX)
The Valdez Enslavement
During the early reign of Dr. Eggman, the mad scientist managed captured Valdez - Espio's former mentor. The newly roboticized Valdez was used to torment Espio and capture the other Chameleons on Angel Island. He proceeded to use extortion and threats of roboticization to force Espio into leading Robotnik's troops to the hidden Chameleon colony. With little choice, Espio was eventually forced to trick and destroy Valdez. (KtE: #30, #31, #32)
While Sonic was gone for a year in outer space, Espio underwent extensive ninja training including the use of throwing knives and shurikens, non camouflaged stealth, and extensive combat training. When the Chaotix were staying in Knothole to aid in the fight against Eggman, Espio went on a mission (with NICOLE) to investigate the state of Charmy's former home, the Golden Hive Colony. After discovering that there were no survivors present and that Eggman had turned the hive into another of his outposts, Espio had it destroyed. At roughly the same time as the wedding of Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot, Espio infiltrated the heart of the Eggman Empire, and discovered the scope of Eggman's plans. He panicked and was cornered. Dr. Eggman hit him was some sort of green laser and Espio was sent to the Egg Grape Chambers. During Eggman's destruction of Knothole, all of the other members of the Chaotix were teleported to the Egg Grape Chamber, but he and the rest of the Knothole Mobians were quickly rescued however by Sonic, Knuckles, NICOLE, Tails and Amy Rose and were teleported to New Mobotropolis. Following this, Espio went with Knuckles and the rest of the Chaotix to help him overcome his guilt earned while he was Enerjak. (StH: #169, #174, #176, #186)
In Sonic the Comic, he is a friendly (or sometimes not so friendly) rival to Mighty and has an extremely short temper. Both of these incarnations of the character differ significantly from the Espio portrayed in the games and Sonic X.
- Sonic Heroes - present, Sonic X - Yuuki Masuda (Japan)
- Sonic Heroes - Bill Corkery (US)
- Shadow the Hedgehog - present, Sonic X - David Willis (US)