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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I sprite
Franchise Sonic the Hedgehog
First appearance Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis) (1992)
Latest appearance Sonic the Hedgehog 5th Anniversary Edition (2023)
Variant of Badnik (specifically Crabmeat)

Shellcracker is a crab-based Badnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. They are a larger successor to Crabmeat,[1] and have first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis.

Physical appearance[edit]

Shellcrackers are based on red fiddler crab. They each have a red and white carapace with a white abdomen, two pair of white legs and a pair of eye stalks with large yellow eyes. Shellcrackers also have two different-sized red claws. Their right claw is tremendous and has three spikes adorning the upper joint, as well as having the ability to extend over a limited range, while the left one is much smaller. For the original models, the left claw was connected to the Shellcrakers' body with four orbs.

The Shellcrackers' design in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I received a few changes changes. Here, they have blue feet joints and the lower section of their claws are yellow on the outside and grey inside.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)[edit]

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and its reissues, their name is spelled Shellcraker. They are encountered in Metropolis Zone. Here, Shellcrakers walk back and forth slowly, while also blocking the narrow paths to the High-speed elevator. They can attack with punches by extending their spiked claws out at the playable character in a straigth line when they get nearby, before retracting them. The player can destroy these Badniks by Spin Jumping on them from above or behind, but they have to be very precise with their aim; their large claws often block their hits from the front. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure[edit]

In Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Shellcrackers appear in Gigantic Angel Zone. They behave and attack in the same manner as they did previously in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Also, upon their destruction, they release an Animal.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I[edit]

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Shellcrackers appear in Mad Gear Zone. Despite their upgraded design, Shellcrackers behave like they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The Shellcracker's claw attack is also now easier to predict, as it raises its left claw before thrusting its right one.

In other media[edit]

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)[edit]

Shellcrackers, from issue 229 of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic series

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, the Shellcrackers were parts of Dr. Eggman's Badnik Horde who were guarding the Metropolis Zone during Operation: Clean Sweep. After the Super Genesis Wave rebooted the timeline, Shellcrackers became nearly identical to their game counterparts. In this reality, they are Badniks under the command of the Metropolis Egg Army.

Shellcrackers first appeared in the Sonic the Hedgehog issue 229 story "Genesis Part Four: Reset," where a group of them guard the Metropolis Zone when Sonic successfully tried to get past them during his mission to get to the core of Dr. Eggman's base.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog issue 255 story "Countdown to Chaos Part Three: The Rabbot," a Shellcracker guarding the Metropolis Zone faced Sonic and Bunnie D'Coolette when the duo tried stealing the city's shield generator. After Sonic destroyed the Shellcracker, Bunnie used its remaining claw to take down several Egg Soldiers.

Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW Publishing)[edit]

Two Shellcrackers in Sonic the Hedgehog #51

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, the Shellcrackers are Badniks created by Dr. Eggman. Their past is virtually identical to their game counterparts', up until after the events of Sonic Forces.

Shellcrackers first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog #51, where they attempted to defeat Sonic while he was traversing a crumbling building. Unfortunately for the Shellcrackers, Sonic would easily destroy them.

Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Convergence[edit]

In the Sonic Frontiers prequel comic Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Convergence, a group of Shellcrackers along with Crabmeats are found attacking Amy Rose on a tropical island with "Dr. Eggman" piloting a large Shellcracker-like mech as well. The mech along with the Shellcrackers and Crabmeats, were destroyed by Amy, Sonic and Tails.

Despite appearing in this comic, Shellcrackers are never seen in the actual Sonic Frontiers.


  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I website: "Hailing originally from Metropolis Zone, Shellcracker has returned to make Sonic lose as many rings as possible, if not finish him off entirely. Watch out as this Badnik's main weapon is a quick-moving claw that packs a serious punch!"


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カニパンチ
Kani Panchi
Crab Punch



  1. ^ Stay Sonic page 41