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After Sonic the Hedgehog managed to defeat Eggman in their previous encounter, the doctor disappeared. However, his robot forces remained and continued to attack without a leader. Among these robots were the Hoverbys. Eventually, the Hoverbys came under the control of Neo Metal Sonic, who made them and their fellow Badniks more cohesive. (StH: #1, #7)
A group of Hoverbys soon after attacked Sonic and Espio the Chameleon in a mountainous region, only to end up being destroyed by the two heroes. More Hoverbys would not long after try to attack an idyllic village, but Sonic and the Chaotix were able to stop them. (StH: #5)
The Hoverby is based on a butterfly. It has a purple metallic body with wide eyes, yellow feelers, a gray proboscis, and twin yellow rotary engines on its sides.
Basically, the Hoverby is a mindless and silent drone programmed to follow its leader's every command. As such, when left without a leader to follow, it becomes directionless and only able to cause harm by accident. Under a guiding force however, it is a cold and merciless machine who carries out their commands without question.
The Hoverbys are capable of flight thanks to the two engines on its sides.
- The Hoverby is based on the Hoverby Mk II badnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. More specifically, this design first appeared in Knuckles' Chaotix. Interestingly, this badnik shares its Japanese name, Pata-Bata, with another Badnik, Robot Butterfly, which first appeared in Sonic CD. Regardless, it was given the name Hoverby in Sonic the Hedehog issue #5.
- As their designs differ, it is possible that the original intention was to make one an upgrade of the other, or perhaps the "Mk II" was meant to point out that Robot Butterfly was unofficially retconned to be known as the first version of Hoverby. Still, Robot Butterfly would go on to appear in future games in the series, unlike Hoverby Mk II.