Miles Prower (マイルス・パウアー Mairusu Pauā?), more commonly known by his nickname Tails (テイルス Teirusu?), is a video game character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega. He is a significant main character after the title character Sonic, who is also his best friend. Tails also appears in his own spin-off series, in comic books, cartoons, as well as a feature film.
The name "Miles Prower" is a pun on "miles per hour", a reference to the famed speed of Sonic the Hedgehog. He is an 8 year-old fox with two tails, hence the nickname. He is known to be Sonic's sidekick and best friend, as well as a mechanical genius. He is able to use his two tails to propel himself into the air like a helicopter for a limited time. He debuted on October 16, 1992 with the release of the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2; the 16-bit version was released that November.
When he was first introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails' fur was orange. The color was changed to yellow-orange for Sonic Adventure, and later to 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 an official poll.
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, using "Miles" in as the character's real first name; "Tails" would be his nickname, giving the character the full name of Miles "Tails" Prower. The name "Miles Prower" is a pun on 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 was not 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 more yellow shade as opposed to the orange in his early appearances, and he gained 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 and cartoon 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 many 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, where he acts as a team medic.
Tails appears in 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 who helps players craft goods from the items Sonic collects.
He appears in all three games in the Mario & Sonic series and is also a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and its sequel. He also appears in Sonic Colors as a non-playable character.
Tails appears in Sonic Generations. In the game, he was celebrating Sonic's birthday along with all of Sonic's friends by setting up a party. When the Time Eater appears, it warps Sonic's friends through various time holes, sending Tails to Green Hill. After Sonic frees him, Tails meets his classic self, and concludes that they were traveling through time and space. They accompany both Sonics during the game. Near the end of the game, the two Sonics and two Tails find out that the Time Eater was controlled by the modern and classic incarnations of Doctor Eggman. Both Tails, along with all of Sonic's friends, helped motivate the two Sonics to defeat the Time Eater.
The feature to play as Tails was added to the 2011 enhanced port of Sonic CD, and he also appeared in the second episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 as well.
Tails was added as a playable character in the enhanced port of Sonic the Hedgehog released in 2013 for mobile devices. The port also has the option to play the "Sonic and Tails" mode as well.
Tails also appeared in Sonic Lost World. When he and Sonic were shot down while chasing Doctor Eggman in the Tornado, they end up facing a group of villains allied with Eggman, called the Deadly Six. They run into Eggman and notice him wielding a Cacophonic Conch to control the Deadly Six. Despite Tails' warnings, Sonic knocks away the conch, causing the Deadly Six to betray him. Eggman reluctantly teams up with Sonic and Tails to stop them. This causes numerous conflict between Tails and Eggman, and increases tension with his friendship with Sonic, since Sonic believes Eggman is their only hope in defeating the Deadly Six. Eventually, Tails gets captured in a trap intended for Sonic, and the Deadly Six plan to use this to their advantage by turning Tails into a robot. However, Tails manages to reprogram the computer that would control his mind. The seemingly-roboticized Tails confronts Sonic at the game's final stage, but by retaining his free will, he takes the Deadly Six by surprise and attacks them. Later on, after Sonic defeats Doctor Eggman at the game's climax, Sonic apologizes for doubting Tails. He forgave him, and they became friends again.
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. Tails has a fear of lightning.
Tails has been described as a mechanical prodigy who rivals Dr. Eggman, 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.Unlike Sonic, Tails has the ability to swim.
Reception to Tails has been generally positive. He 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 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 Levi Buchanan stated that the fan response to Tails' introduction was favorable, which led to further introductions such as Knuckles. Tails has been featured on many "Top Sidekicks" lists. Screwattack listed him as the greatest sidekick in gaming. Maximum PC listed him as one of their greatest sidekicks, WhatCulture listed Tails as the 10th greatest sidekick out of a field of 20, and Maxim listed him as the eighth most underrated sidekick.
However, 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. Cracked.com ranked him in Sonic 2 as the 14th most annoying video game characters in otherwise great video games, stating that his ambition far outweighed his abilities. GamesRadar listed him as number one on their list of cutsey characters they wanted to beat the crap out of, stating that while he started out as interesting, he led to the creation of other characters 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.