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Orbinaut first appeared at the Casino Night Zone. Robotnik unveiled it and immediately tested it by having it slam Sonic the Hedgehog with a spiked ball. When Sonic recovered, he used his spin attack to deflect two more spiked balls, sending them back. (StH: #1)
He would have several appearances shortly thereafter. When Tails was spotted near a company picnic, Orbinaut and Buzzbomber attacked, only for Tails to send a spiked ball back at Orbinaut. He also saw Robotnik show fear regarding a robot dentist. Oddly enough, rather than being in the Robo Hobo Jungle along with the rest of Robotnik's old Badniks, he was still around by the time Mecha Madness had backfired, informing Robotnik that Sonic was spotted in the badlands. He was also seen at Rusty's, where he and several others fought Sonic and Bunnie Rabbot (StH: #4, #9, #40, SSS: #15)
Misfit Badnik Island
When Sonic headed for Island of Misfit Badniks, he walked into a brawl with many badniks, Orbinaut among them. Orbinaut had the unenviable task of being a referee in a "Bighorn Challenge" between Sonic and Pseudo Sonic, which sank the island. Their plan for revenge, enlarging Pseudo Sonic, was waylaid by the Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters. Orbinaut saw them interfering, and took on P.B. Jellyfish, and lost. Big Fluke smashed the badniks, the island, and the enlarged Pseudo Sonic. (StH: #170, #185)
A small team of Orbinauts reappeared underwater in the Labyrinth Zone during Operation: Clean Sweep, where they attacked Sonic and his group. Making a hole in a wall, Sonic created a drain which sucked in him, Sally, Rotor, Antoine and the Orbinauts. Emerging from a waterfall, the Orbinauts and Antoine fell into the depths while the rest escaped. (StH: #227)
Orbinaut's abilities rely on its four spiked balls. Their spinning enables Orbinaut to float in the air, and they can be launched one by one at his foes.
- Orbinaut is based on the like named badnik from Sonic the Hedgehog. There were two versions present in the games. The blue version with orange maces (all light blue in Game Gear, and named Unidus in Japan), stupidly launches all 4 maces quickly, leaving itself vulnerable on all sides. It appears only in the Labyrinth Zone. The other variant (green in Genesis, orange in Game Gear) doesn't even attempt to attack, opting for invincibility. That version is only in the Star Light Zone (Genesis) and Sky Base Zone (Game Gear). A red variant with 4 fireballs (called Sol in America, and Gola in Japan) fights like the Labyrinth version, appearing in Hill Top Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis only). A black variant armed with ice chunks (called Star Pointer/ Icedus in America and Japan respectively) has similar attack patterns, appearing only in Ice Cap Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, while Orbinaut itself, now completely black (called Pola or Bola in Japan). fights like the green version, appearing in the Launch Base Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Orbinaut is also the basis for the spikier Unidus/Gola (black/red) units in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, the latter has versions that never launch it maces/fireballs. By contrast, Orbinaut was originally all purple, but by issue #40, Orbinaut was green with light orange maces.
- A couple of pinkish purple robots resembling him, oddly enough, appeared in a newly discovered Zone where Super Sonic and Hyper Knuckles fought. The robots were presumably destroyed when the zone exploded. (SVK)