|Tony Hawk's character|
|First appearance||Tony Hawk's Underground |
|Last appearance||Tony Hawk's Proving Ground |
|Voiced by||Benjamin Diskin|
Eric Sparrow is a fictional character in the Tony Hawk's series of video games. Debuting in Tony Hawk's Underground, he serves as the game's main antagonist. He returns as a secondary antagonist in Underground 2, 2: Remix and Proving Ground, and has a minor appearance in Project 8.
An aspiring skateboarder, Eric betrays his best friend to turn professional and gain money and fame in Underground. In later entries, he is usually shown as an arrogant, yet largely inept, professional skateboarder. While he was not widely covered upon the initial release of the games, he was later recognized as one of the greatest and most hated villains in the history of video games.
The aim of Underground's story mode was to create a dramatic and relatable narrative. Thus, the developers designed the original characters, including Eric, to captivate the player and immerse them into the storyline. Xalavier Nleson Jr. noted that while the game's graphics and facial animations are rudimentary, a great amount of detail is put into Sparrow's facial expressions, as if to emphasize his treacherous nature.
While Sparrow is usually a non-player character, it is possible to unlock him as a playable character in Underground, Underground 2, 2: Remix, and Proving Ground via cheat codes or if certain conditions are met, where he can be used in all modes except story mode. In all of his appearances, he is voiced by Benjamin Diskin.
Fictional character biography
In Underground, Sparrow starts out as the best friend of the player character. With both characters aspiring to become professional skateboarders, Eric advises the protagonist to impress Chad Muska in order to raise Stacy Peralta's attention and get signed to his team. During their quest, Sparrow sets a drug dealer's car on fire and forces the pair to flee to Manhattan.
After they make it to a contest in Tampa, Florida, Eric gets arrested and bailed out by the player character. However, he deliberately fails to send in the protagonist's application to eliminate him from the contest. Nevertheless, the player character enters the contest and defeats an enraged Eric. Both end up signing for the same team and are sent to Hawai'i to film a video. Here, Sparrow steals the video tape of the player character's spectacular stunt over a police helicopter and passes the footage off as his own, earning him immediate fame and the status of a pro skater. The furious player character then defeats Eric in a contest at the Slam City Jam, and thus becomes a pro as well.
Still on the same team, a drunken Eric takes a Russian army tank on a joyride through Moscow, and blames the ensuing crash on the player character, who is subsequently expelled from the team and left in Russian custody. After he returns to New Jersey, he challenges Eric, now a rich and successful professional skateboarder, to a final contest for the unedited footage of the helicopter stunt, which he wins.
Underground 2, 2: Remix
In Underground 2 and 2: Remix, Eric, along with the player character, is part of the group of skateboarders kidnapped by Tony Hawk and Bam Margera to take part in their "World Destruction Tour". Competing for the opposing "Team Bam" for most of the contest, except for Berlin, where he has to swap teams with the player character, Eric is largely shown as the most inept member of his team.
When the tour arrives in Australia, both he and the protagonist score the fewest points on their respective teams, which are tied. To decide a winner, both have to humiliate a filmmaker selling illegal footage of the tour. Eric merely steals his clothes, which enrages Margera to the point he hands the clothes to the player character to outdo Eric. After the challenge, Eric is eliminated from his team and left behind with no money to return home.
Project 8, Proving Ground
While he cannot be encountered in Project 8, he appears on the leaderboards of the game's campaign mode, constantly changing positions. He returns as an antagonist in Proving Ground, having relocated to Baltimore. He engages in an argument with the player character, who he regards an inferior skater, until their fight is broken off by Bob Burnquist.
Throughout the episode, the player character defeats him in several local skateboarding competitions, until they have a final standoff in Eric's homepark in Lansdowne. Desperate, Sparrow challenges the player character to a last competition with his car on the line, which he also loses. In a post-credits scene, Eric is shown lamenting the player character's success, only to be berated by Burnquist.