The cowboy-attired Knuckles the Echidna is going to make an appearance in SEGA HARDlight’s mobile games, alongside Rouge the Bat in a new Sonic Heroes-inspired outfit.
The developers announced Monday afternoon that the two newly stylized characters will make their first appearance in Sonic Dash, followed by Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.
The designs are expected to be brand new, but it will take inspiration from previous Sonic media.
Knuckles’ attire was inspired by his designs in the 1996 animated film Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. It is popularly known by fans as “Treasure Hunter Knuckles” or “Cowboy Knuckles”, and it featured the echidna donning a large, stylized, high-crown hat, often associated with cowboys.
Rouge’s attire was inspired by her designs in Sonic Heroes, according to SEGA HARDlight concept artist Rebecca Thompson.
“I always get really excited/nervous when characters I designed get added to the games, but these two are extra special to me and I cannot WAIT for people to see the (non-datamined) renders,” said Thompson, who worked with character artist Zoey Smith to adapt the designs for the mobile games.
I didn’t design a certain accessory Knuckles is wearing there…I just thought the fans would want to see it make a comeback.Rebecca Thompson, SEGA HARDlight
Many Sonic the Hedgehog fans on Twitter were surprised and shocked by the news.
You’ve made me so happy, thank you. I’ve been waiting for the hat to make a comeback for who knows how long.— Kennie (@KennieAdventure) August 10, 2020
NO WAY HARDLIGHT, YOU ARE NOT DOING WHAT I THINK YOU’RE DOING!!! pic.twitter.com/7Vkb9wSH1G— Glitch TYR17 (@ZTyr17) August 10, 2020
he returns pic.twitter.com/e5jAuV1LxT— BirthdayJam & Earl (@toejamandearl) August 10, 2020
Release dates are to be announced.