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Eric Sparrow

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Eric Sparrow

Eric Sparrow is a fictional skater and the hidden main antagonist in the 2003 video game, Tony Hawk's Underground. He serves as a friend who turns into an enemy, feeding off the player's success.

He later appears in Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, in a secondary role as a cocky pro skater.

Role in Tony Hawk's Underground

Eric Sparrow first appears as the Custom Skater's friend, and the two live in New Jersey. In the start of the story, Eric alerts the Custom Skater that Chad Muska is going to be skating a demo in New Jersey, before getting the skater to recover his board after it was stolen and broken apart by drug dealers. At the demo, Eric shows fascination with Muska's success and then skates with the player. Later on, after the skater recovers a stolen board from the drug dealers for Shawn, a local, Eric appears and sets the dealers car on fire as revenge. After the player talks with Stacy Peralta to get a sponsership, Eric warns the skater that the dealers have discovered him setting fire to their car and are coming after him. As they try to get a train to Manhatten to escape the dealers, Eric is ultimately kidnapped by them, and after an intense pursuit, the player manages to rescue Eric and escape on the train.

Arriving in Manhatten, Eric helps film the skater's tricks. After a heated confrontation with local skaters, where Eric insults them, the skater strikes a deal where the locals film the two perform at their favorite spots. Eric eventually films the skater performing tricks over a burning taxi, which provides a video to get a sufficient sponsership from Peralta, allowing the two to head to the Tampa Am.

Upon arriving in Tampa, they get in trouble with the police when Eric insults them, and the skater must free him by doing favors for the police. Once released, Eric proceeds to take revenge by having the player destroy the reelection signs for the city's mayor before eluding the cops in one of their cars. The two head towards the Tampa Am, where it is revealed that Eric only signed himself up while "accidentally" forgetting to do the same for the skater, and Eric enters as the skater is kept out. Luckily, the player manages to impresses Tony Hawk himself, who puts in a good word, allowing the skater to enter. The player wins the tournement and gets an offer from several sponsers, much to Eric's chagrin.

In San Diego, Eric gets recruited by the same sponser and put onto the skater's team, lead by their manager, Todd. Eric meets with the Custom Skater again, still somewhat irritated over his loss in Tampa. When the Custom Skater and Eric both impress the team manager, they board on a flight to Hawaii.

In Hawaii, the Custom Skater tells Eric about a secret spot untouched by skaters and Eric offers to help film it. The spot turns out to be the top of a tall hotel, which gives Eric some worries, but he films the skater there anyways. Eventually a police helicopter shows up, prompting Eric to suggest running away. However, the player just has Eric film him/her pulling a McTwist over the helicopter and onto an adjacent hotel. An astounded Eric then regroups with the player and runs from the police, excited over their new footage.

In Vancouver, after the Custom Skater is done doing some local favors, the Custom Skater heads go to Slam City Jam to view his/her team's video premiere, after hurriedly finishing parts for it. However, Eric had edited the filming of the rooftop jump to his benefit, much to the skater's surprise. Todd immediately makes Eric a Pro, and presents him his own pro-model board. The player angrily confronts Eric, who couldn't care less about the his/her plight, the skater enters the Slam City Jam contest and, despite still being an Amateur, the player lies that he/she is a Pro and takes on a series of Pro competitions. The competition resolves into a one-on-one between the Custom Skater and Eric. The Custom Skater wins, and is declared a Pro by Todd. After the Custom Skater designs his/her own deck and gaining a shoe sponsor, the team decides to go to an international Pro skateboard demo in Moscow.

In Moscow, while practicing for the demo, the Eric decides to reconcile with the player to regain his/her trust, and the two perform a double performance together. Eventually, Eric gets drunk and he steals the keys to a Russian tank, taking it on a ride through Moscow. Despite the skater attempting to stop him, the tank loses control and crashes into a building, leaving the Custom Skater to become trapped in the tank under a pile of rubble. Eric runs off and blames the skater for the incident, leaving the player to be sent to jail. Eric and the team then leave the Custom Skater stranded in Moscow.

With help from the American embassy and Russian locals, the Custom Skater gets back to New Jersey, only to find that Eric has many sponsors, has a record label in the making, and now only skateboards for money. Eric reveals that he has been plotting to bring the Custom Skater down from the very beginning, and that the money is all that matters in professional skateboarding. The Custom Skater resolves to show Eric how wrong he is by making a "soul skating" video; a collection of pure skateboarding exhibitions featuring a team of the best professional skateboarders selected by the Custom Skater and Stacy Peralta. The release of the video is very successful, and in response, Eric tries to buy the player out. However, not interested in the money and fed up with Eric's betrayals and selfish, deceitful behavior, the player declares their friendship over and proceeds to walk off with Peralta. However, Eric suddenly shows the unedited Hawaii tape that he refused to let air, challenging the Custom Skater to a last skateboarding line for its return. After winnings, the Custom Skater takes the tape and walks away from Eric, who curses maniacally as you leave.

On a second run-through of the game, there is an alternate ending. Instead of the Custom Skater following Eric's line again, a cut scene shows him flashing the tape at the Custom Skater, but in a final frustrated move, the Custom Skater punches Eric in the jaw, grabs the tape, and walks away as Eric faints onto his car.

Personality and Skills

Eric displays a very sarcastic and rather arrogant personality through out the game. He consistently throws taunts and insults at others and is very willing to use any means necessary to rise to the top, even betray his friends cause damage to others property, maybe even inflict harm on others as well.

Initially, he shows himself to be rather helpful and laid back, though also a bit paranoid. He helps the player with tasks and filming tricks, displaying a somewhat friendly demeanor. However, this is merely a facade to hide his true nature, that of a incredibly vain, selfish, deceptive, conniving oppurtunist. He is very callous towards others' problems and is only concerned with his own self interests. Slowly, these traits start to show up, such as when the skater wins tha Tampa AM, rather than be happy for his friend's success, he throws his skateboard on the ground in irritation, and then keeps that attitude when they meet again in San Diego. He is very greedy, as he refuses to skate for some kids unless he gets $5,000 dollars in his hand, believing money to be the only real benifit of proffessional skateboarding. He is also extremely arrogant as he sees himself as an expert skateboarder with no equal and berates others with sneering taunts.

He is shown to be a skilled skateboarder who can perform excellent tricks and lines, able to crush any competition in tournaments, with the exception of the skater.

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