With ears that could put Will Smith’s to shame & called Arekkusu Kiddo in Japan. This little guy was brought up to be Mario’s adversary! To represent Sega, as their mascot. He did manage to be novelised & comics made of him.
As the 1980’s passed he wasn’t deemed up to the job, so Sega dumped him for Sonic instead..
That said in true hero style, he wasn’t completly down & out. He did & still does pop up in Cameos though-out Sega’s games from time to time..