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Yes, I Can Feel the Sunshine: The Myth of the Tails Doll Dispelled

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It's evil. Its eyes are chillingly blank. It scares all who witness its physical form. Most of them never see much else again. Oh, and it's soft, cuddly, orange, and plushy. If you recognize this description, you know that "it" is the "Tails Doll," a mythical, demonic being that holds many gamers in its grip of fear.
For those who don't know, the Tails Doll is a hidden character in the video game "Sonic R," an installment in the "Sonic the Hedgehog" franchise created by SEGA Enterprises, SONICTEAM Corporation and Traveler's Tales Incorporated. Released for the SEGA Saturn in 1997, the PC in 1998 and 2004, and re-released as a part of "Sonic Gems Collection" for the Nintendo GameCube and the Playstation 2 in 2005, "Sonic R" was the only game that ever had the Tails Doll in it, though it wasn't the only game with the character on whom it is based (Miles "Tails" Prower, a genius fox with two tails who is Sonic the hedgehog's best friend). The Tails Doll looks somewhat different than its origin - it is, of course, a doll, and also has a red gem affixed to its forehead.
Supposedly, the curse of the Tails Doll is that if you beat "Sonic R" completely, the Tails Doll will jump out of your TV (or spontaneously appear) and kill you. "Sonic Gems Collection" was supposedly free of this curse, but there have been several accounts of the doll breaking out after tagging Sonic's alternate form, Super Sonic, in a tag match (alledgedly giving him the sould force strength to break the seal). Frequently, the song "Can You Feel the Sunshine," composed by Richard Jacques and sung by T.J. Davis as the theme of "Sonic R"'s "Resort Island" track) appears in accounts of the doll.
An immediate indicator of the Tails Doll being a myth is the sheer amount of contradictory records of encounters with it. The doll has killed people in several different ways, including: converting victims into new Tails Dolls; latching onto victims and pulling them into a PC where they become trapped in cyberspace; shoving game discs and stuffing down victims' throats; stabbing victims and then placing the murder weapon in their hands so it looks like a suicide; wiping victims off of the face of the earth so that only the eyewitness recalls them ever existing; and casting a spell on them which makes them blank, empty shells or servants of it. There are also conflicting methods of summoning the doll, sometimes going beyond or not even involving completion of "Sonic R." One person talks about locking yourself in a room and playing "Can You Feel the Sunshine" backwards in pitch blackness, while another tells all who will listen that he didn't even beat the game, but flew into a rage at losing a match, tossed the disc into the microwave and looked in a few minutes later to find that the Tails Doll had taken its place.
Another indicator of the Tails Doll as a false rumor appears by gathering facts and reaching a logical conclusion. The line of reasoning goes like this: the doll is a physical being (as it can do physical harm to humans) and is therefore composed of matter. "Sonic R" is on a disc, which is written with unchangeable data by a computer. Data is composed of information (on/off signals) which are converted directly to energy when read by a machine. There is no way known to man as of yet to convert matter to energy or vice versa without massive amounts of effort. "Sonic R" was never significantly understocked, meaning that production and assembly ran like it would to make other games, leaving no room for such effort. Therefore, for the Tails Doll to exist, it must: know of a fast and simple way to convert matter to energy; be able to put that method into computer code; be able to hack the computers that control and cause the creation of "Sonic R" and "Sonic Gems Collection;" be able to flit between Saturn consoles, GameCubes, Playstations and PCs which are not connected to the internet; be able to go through the surface of a TV screen without breaking it; and be able to turn the visuals that result from the reading of data into actual data, among other things. Another notable trait it must posess is the ability to move without any form of motor capability, which is another concept know to be impossible in the current reaches of human knowledge.
Yet another piece of evidence for the doll's non-existence is the is its stereotypical nature. You can find most key elements of Tails Doll stories in mainstream horror movies. Objects jumping out of TVs, a cursed piece of electronic entertainment, and mysterious, threatening phone calls (which do appear many a time in Tails Doll records) are all key elements of "The Ring." Being attacked for mastering a video game is the very premise of "Hellraiser: Hellworld." And evil children's toy (a classic example of perfect innocence corrupted) is the main character of "Child's Play." Evil that has supposedly been permanently sealed away has a very large role in "Jason X" (of the infamously extensive "Friday the Thirteenth" series).
Furthermore, all of the online videos of encounters with the Tails Doll could have quite easily been faked. The camera always goes black before one can actually see the doll, or a freeze frame of its concept art is shown, doctored so that the eyes flash. Indeed, some of the videos are so obviously fake that it's insulting to realize that their creators thought they could fool you by flashing a red LED light and screaming. All of the written stories could be counterfeit as well, for none of the witnesses tell readers what their real name is or the real names of other characters in their stories. They don't have the kind of emotional depth one would probably find in a real account of the doll (if someone's friends or family were killed, they probably wouldn't be talking about it so lightly, and might not even want to talk about their experience at all). If "Tails Doll" is searched on Google, the first match is the website "quackerandbowen.com," which has a large section dedicated to the gathering and archiving of Tails Doll stories (this site is the source for all of the written stories mentioned in this article; YouTube is the source for the videos). However, the only other things found on this site are humor and discussion forums. The site can probably not be trusted in its claim to truth, especially since some of the "eyewitnesses" tell of their own deaths and the Tails Doll section is listed under "For Your Amusement" on the site's homepage.
There are many possible esplanantions of the Tails Doll Myth. For example: on the website mentioned above, there is a story by "Inspector Todd," who claims to have discovered a cult that worships four gods, among them a being called the "Tails Doll," that is like its twin in name in every way not pertaining to electronics (appearence, intent, ect.). Assuming that this "Inspector" is telling the truth, then one could follow this string of ideas: "Tails" Prower could have actually been modelled after the god Inspector Todd is talking about, seeing as they are both gentle, fuzzy things on the outside but very powerful within. When "Sonic R" came around, the creators decided to throw in the original god into the character roster for fun (this claim has support in the fact that the Tails Doll is among the fastest and most powerful characters in the game). Then, an employee who knew of the god started the Tails Doll rumor just to see how far it would go. And, as a result, the more rational side of gamers is battling a wave of paranoia and fear from their less rational counterparts. You don't even have to assume that Inspecdtor Todd was right to explain the myth's origin. Like a man on WikiAnswers.com, you could simply say that someone thought the doll looked kind of evil when he unlocked it and started the rumor just for fun.
However it started, the Tails Doll is a ridiculous myth. It has very little possible basis in fact, and is too stereotypical to be believed in. It is just another fulfillment of one of the world's favorite pastimes: being scared, be it by horror movies, campfire stories, or just sleight of hand tricks. It is yet another way to encourage the paranoid to look over their shoulders every few seconds. If you take one step deepr into the rumor than the surface of creepy tales and videos, you will discover that you have found an urban legend that the Mythbusters wouldnt need a second to undermine.




Join the Discussion


This article has 30 comments. Post your own!

Solad_Toli said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm:
Where there's smoke there's fire. You must be a realist. I like realists, they are so grounded in facts that they oversee the greatest fact of all. There is more to the world than meets the eye. I, being one who believes in the supernatural, will agree that the accounts online are greatly fictitious, however, some hold an acorn of truth in them and we all know what acorn's become. I thank you for your analysis of the Tails Doll Legend and the insight it has given me. I only have f... (more »)
 
Peter Ramsey replied...
Sept. 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm :
True, I haven't taken into account the supernatural in my article. I am a Christian, so supernatural is a part of my everyday life, and I don't rule out the possibility of the doll being an actual demon. However, the odds are so unlikely that I choose not to believe it exists.
 
lockmuertos replied...
May 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm :

You know, only a person MOCKING christianity would actually say "I'm afraid of the tails doll because as a christian you have to accept the supernatural to some degree". Seriously.

Personally, I WANT a TAILS DOLL doll. With Claws. OH yes. And a voice chip inside with nothing programmed on it, and no battery. But i'll be eagerly awaiting the day that voice chip mysteriously has a message for me. :)

 
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Tylerd31 said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 1:17 am:
This really does calm my fears a little bit, but the only thing is that even this doesn't keep me from being scared when I see a picture, even if it is very clearly animated it would still scare me a little. But anyway, thanks for taking time to create this article. Like I said, it has calmed my fears.
 
30kingswood replied...
Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm :
I have seen "it".  Sorry if you don't believe me, but I did.  It was in my friends barn at night, through a window...  I ran back to the house and never went back to the exact spot...
 
pacman replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 12:48 am :
i some what believe you on that and i some what don't for the fact that it's just a doll that can't hurt you and plus scientists would have to have a higher technology to make somthing like that but that would be very scary
 
Superman87 replied...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 2:29 am :
The part about black-outs is true...
 
ima10yearold replied...
Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm :
imvery scared is itpossible it is real
 
Tails replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm :
Yeah, fears calmed for you, but I am still scared out of my socks. Help me. Gimme hope. I can't sleep. I can't stop looking over my shoulder. Everything scares me. Every noise, every single thing. I was in my basement once and my cousins snuck up behind me and went "BOO!" while I was busy thinking about TD, and I almost had a heart attack (and I'm only like, 12) so please. Help... me... give me some real proof! Oh, yeah, and I am really paranoid due to my class reading the ... (more »)
 
Kitt replied...
Jun. 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm :
Are you sure it wasn't a farm animal because
uh
you were looking into a barn at night, so.
 
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