Tenukie Chaud is one of the most iconic bosses of the Sonic Wings series. However, it originates from the earlier Video System game Rabio Lepus. It appears as a stage boss in Rabio Lepus, but it is always a major boss in the Sonic Wings games.
Despite its cute appearance, Tenukie is identified as ferocious and a mercenary, which may explain why it has worked with both Yohmaoh and Fata Morgana. Tenukie calls itself 宇宙一の暴れん坊, which can be translated as a rowdy/hooligan/"bad boy" of outer space/the universe. It is also known as 千の仮面を持つ男, "the man with 1000 masks" because of its ability to change faces.
Although the name "Tenukie" is written in katakana (テヌキー) in official Sonic Wings materials, the word 手抜き--meaning cutting corners, skimping, or being intentionally negligent--is pronounced the same way. 手抜き is also a type of move in the Japanese game called "go"; when a player "tenukis," s/he ignores the opponent's last move to make a move somewhere else on the board. Therefore, Tenukie's name could mean that it takes shortcuts, is negligent, or jumps around. (Although they are pronounced similarly, there is no connection between テヌキー and たぬき, the tanuki or "raccoon dog" famous in Japanese lore.) The meaning of Tenukie's second name "Chaudo" or "Chaud" (チャウド) is unclear, although "chaud" means "hot" in French.
In all games, Tenukie has a round body with a white sheet draped over it. Its normal face consists of heavy black eye brows, round black eyes, a small mouth, and blushing cheeks. In contrast to Tenukie's appearance in Sonic Wings, its eyes are smaller and it has a nose in Rabio Lepus. However, in all games, Tenukie's face changes expressions and features frequently, particularly when it attacks. Oddly enough, Tenukie is very polite in the one instance it has printed dialogue in the games (see below). It also is one of few characters with spoken lines outside of Sonic Wings Assault, and it received its own mix track, "Dead Shimotagana Radio MIX," on the Sonic Wings 3 Soundtrack.
Tenukie Chaudo strongly resembles a teru teru bozu (てるてる坊主) a traditional Japanese doll used to wish for sun or rain depending on how it is hung.
Stage 3 of the first Parodius shmup featured a boss named Tenuki Tenuki Bozu. As the original Rabio Lepus was released in 1987 and Parodius in 1988, Tenukie Chaudo pre-dates Tenuki Tenuki Bozu. It is unknown whether Tenuki Tenuki Bozu was meant as a parody of Tenukie, since generally, Parodius only references other Konami games.
Tenuki Tenuki Bozu differs from both versions of Tenukie Chaud in that it hangs from a rope like a true teru teru bozu. Tenuki Tenuki Bozu's face is drawn in a style known as henohenomoheji, in which a human face is drawn using hirigana. Henohenomoheji are often used for the faces of scarecrows and teru teru bozu. Like Tenukie, Tenuki Tenuki Bozu changes its face during its attacks, although all of its facial expressions are composed of hirigana.
Tenuki Tenuki Bozu attacks by sending out small ghosts called Kotenuki ("little Tenuki"). Tenukie Chaudo uses this same method of attack in Sonic Wings 3 as part of the Tenukie Chaudo Osaru Station sub-boss, and one of its ghostlings has a henohenomoheji face like Tenuki Tenuki Bozu's, perhaps as a reference back to Parodius.
Stage: Stage 6 (Asteroid) in Rabio Lepus; Stage 2, boss 2 (Asteroid) in Rabio Lepus Special
In Tenukie's first appearance, it is a minor boss at the end of the swamp-like area of the Asteroid. It is accompanied by Kame-Chargers, mechanical turtle enemies who also appear elsewhere throughout the game. Tenukie's attacks are simple: it shoots small fireballs and rushes the player. The Kame-Chargers also rush at the player after emerging from the swamp waters. Tenukie has only four different facial expressions, which change when it is attacked or defeated. If Tenukie is not defeated within a certain period of time, it will drift off the left side of the screen, and the player can continue to the next level.
Tenukie's body is longer in Rabio Lepus than it will be in the later Sonic Wings games; however the artwork included in the Rabio Lepus Special manual shows Tenukie as looking nearly identical to how it appears in Sonic Wings 2. Tenukie's sheet is also a brighter white in Rabio Lepus Special than in the original Rabio Lepus game.
A sprite for Tenukie Chaudo appears in the game data for the last stage of Turbo Force, suggesting that it may have been meant to appear as one of the game's final bosses. However, no evidence has been found to show that Tenukie actually ever appears during game play. Tenukie's Turbo Force sprite is the same as in Sonic Wings 2, except it has only a few facial expressions within the game data, instead of the fourteen it has in Sonic Wings 2.
Stage: Another Dimension
Tenukie is one of the final bosses for Sonic Wings 2, appearing much less frequently than Lar but far more often than Mambu. As in Rabio Lepus, Tenukie most often attacks by shooting fireballs in a variety of patterns. Besides attacking the player directly, Tenukie can also summon the Kame-Chargers from Rabio Lepus, which drop from the top of the screen onto the player. If the player shoots the Kame-Chargers, they turn into carrots which give bonus points when touched, mimicking the bonus-point carrots in Rabio Lepus.
As in Rabio Lepus, Tenukie's expression changes depending upon its pattern of attack; however, instead of just four expressions, it now has fourteen. When defeated, Tenukie cries "Shinde shimotagana!" (死んでしもたがな) which translates to "Oh no/dammit, I'm dead!" in the Kansai dialect . If the player does not defeat Tenukie quickly enough during the first run of the game, the game's "bad" ending depicts Tenukie destroying a major city. If Tenukie escapes after the second run of the game, an animation is shown of it making a grouchy face. In the Japanese version, this ending includes text which reads, "It looks like you did your best, but there's still more to come," followed by laughter. In the English version of the game, there is no text.
Tenukie is also visible in a cameo at the fairground in the America stage of Sonic Wings 2, along with Rabio and the other final bosses of Sonic Wings 2.
Stage: Deep Sea off the Bermuda
"Tenukie Chaudo is an enemy who first appeared in 'Rabio Lepus' (occupation: mercenary). It appeared as a final boss in 'Sonic Wings 2.' Now (laugh) it has united strongly with Osaru."
-Sonic Wings 3 Japanese strategy guide
Tenukie Chaudo appears as the sub-boss of Sonic Wings 3's final stage if the player chooses the path that leads to Bermuda. Here Tenukie does not fight on its own but is part of ボステヌキーチャウドおさるステーション (Tenukie Chaudo Osaru Station), along with Osaru and the Station Core from Sonic Wings. Tenukie performs most of the attacks; as in previous games, they vary according to its facial expression. Most often, the attacks include fireballs, but Tenukie also uses laser beams and can summon smaller six ghosts to attack the player (although the two small ghosts with sad faces are harmless). Tenukie does not attack in two modes: when it imitates Mao Mao and performs an E-Wave attack which freezes the Station, and when it sings to the accompaniment of Osaru's guitar in a parody of the characters Basara Nekki and Mylene Flare Jenius from Macross 7.
Tenukie also has a cameo as the cursor on the mode select menu of the Neo Geo version of Sonic Wings 3.
While Tenukie Chaudo is not a boss in Sonic Wings Special or Limited, it does have cameos in single-player mode endings of both games if the player is using Kowful. After defeating Lar, Kowful boasts that he came all the way to another dimension in search of a strong opponent, only to find weakness. Tenukie appears, challenges Kowful. . . and beats him up. Ironically, Tenukie is extremely polite, using a kanji several times which places a polite emphasis on its words. A rough translation of this scene is in the gallery below, along with the English version from Aero Fighters Special, in which Tenukie is much less polite.
Tenukie also appears a second time if the player defeats the purple sphere in Special or Osaru in Limited using Kowful. Kowful is again searching for a strong opponent, and when Tenukie returns, Kowful agrees to fight it. Tenukie triumphs once more, but this time, its appearance mimics the character Gouki/Akuma of the Street Fighter video game franchise: Tenukie wears Akuma's ponytail and the kanji 天 ("ten"), meaning "heaven," which Akuma bears in some poses. In this form, Tenukie is called ゴ◯キチャウド ("Gouki Chaudo") as a tribute to Gouki and is described as being possessed by the Satsui no Hado (殺意の波動) which possesses Gouki in Street Fighter.
Voice Samples Edit
- Tenukie's spoken lines in Sonic Wings 2