Eric Sparrow is a fictional character skater who is Custom Skater's friend initially at the beginning of Tony Hawk's Underground. However, he eventually turns out to be the main villain of the game. He keeps his villain role throughout Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground.
Role in Tony Hawk's Underground
In Tony Hawk's Underground, Eric Sparrow is Custom Skater's best friend, the two live together in their hometown of New Jersey. At the start of the story, Eric tells Custom Skater that Chad Muska is going to be skating a demo in New Jersey. After the demo, Chad Muska starts driving around New Jersey and stopping at local skate spots to check out the local skaters in action. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to impress a pro, Custom Skater performs some tricks wherever Muska stops his car, and Muska compliments him and encourages Custom Skater to go down to Peralta's, the local skateshop, to get sponsored and then gives Custom Skater a new skateboard. Custom Skater then heads down to Peralta's and asks for the owner, Stacy Peralta, but is nowhere at the skate shop, and one of Stacy's "people" tells Custom Skater that if he wanted to get Stacy's attention, the Custom Skater would have to impress Stacy's "people". After Custom Skater impresses Stacy's "people", the skateshop is robbed by the Drug Dealers on Elm Street. Custom Skater then heads to the Drug Dealer's house on Elm Street to reclaim the skateshop's equipment. After Custom Skater reclaims the equipment, Eric feels that he should get revenge on the dealers and burns their car. After he burns the dealer's car, he is terrified that the drug dealers will find him so he mentions that his cousin has a place in New York (Manhattan) where they can stay. Custom Skater and Eric then retreat to Manhattan.
At Manhattan, Custom Skater is filmed skating all over the borough, just to get the attention of Peralta, a company which sponsors skateboarders. Peralta is impressed and agrees to offer Custom Skater and Eric a lift to Tampa, where the Tampa AM skateboarding competition is taking place.
Eric and Custom Skater arrive in Tampa in a car with a bumper sticker that offends the local police. Eric is arrested, and Custom Skater must bail him by doing favors for the police. Eric deliberately does not send in Custom Skater's application, so that there is less competition. Custom Skater impresses the locals and competition judges, and is allowed to compete. Custom Skater beats Eric, who throws his skateboard to the ground in frustration, and joins sponsor of choice (Birdhouse, Zero, Girl, Flip or Element) and travels to San Diego.
In San Diego, Eric meets with Custom Skater again, and is on the same sponsor team with Custom Skater. When Custom Skater and Eric both impress the team manager, they board a flight to Hawaii.
In Hawaii, Custom Skater searches for a spot that has been untouched by skaters. Custom Skater eventually finds the rooftop of a tall hotel, and calls Eric to film him skating on (and off of) it. Eric has Custom Skater do some combos, until when a police helicopter arrives, Eric insists Custom Skater that they should leave, but Custom Skater wants to seize the moment of this challenge, and performs a McTwist off of the hotel's roof, over the helicopter, and onto the rooftop of the adjacent building, with Eric capturing it on video camera. Eric and Custom Skater's team then travel to Vancouver.
In Vancouver, after Custom Skater is done doing some locals favors, he heads to Slam City Jam to attend their team's video premiere, after hurriedly finishing parts for it. To Custom Skater's surprise, shock, and anger, Eric had edited the filming of the rooftop jump to his own benefit. Todd immediately makes Eric a Pro, and presents him his own pro-model board. After confronting Eric, who couldn't care less about Custom Skater's plight, Custom Skater enters the Slam City Jam contest, and, despite still being an Amateur, he lies that he's a Pro and takes on a series of Pro competitions. The competition resolves into a one-on-one between Custom Skater and Eric. Custom Skater wins, and is declared a Pro by Todd. After Custom Skater designs his own deck and gains a shoe sponsor, the team decides to go to an international Pro skateboard demo in Moscow. While practicing for the demo, Custom Skater reconciles with Eric, and the two do a double-performance together.
In Moscow, Custom Skater follows a drunken Eric as he steals the keys to a Russian tank, and takes it on a joyride through the streets of Moscow. After attempting to stop it, Custom Skater loses control, and the tank crashes into a building, and a large pile of rocks falls onto the entry hatch on the roof of the tank, trapping Custom Skater inside. Eric runs off, leaving Custom Skater to be arrested. The team then expels Custom Skater from the team, and leaves them stranded in Moscow. The American Embassy then bails out Custom Skater, but he can only get back to New Jersey by doing favors for locals.
Custom Skater returns home to New Jersey, only to find that Eric has many sponsors, a record label in the making, and now only skates for money. Eric reveals that he has been plotting to bring Custom Skater down from the very beginning, and that the money is all that matters in professional skateboarding. 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 Custom Skater and Stacy Peralta. The release of the video is very successful, and provokes Eric into challenging Custom Skater to a final skateboarding line in return for the unaltered Hawaii tape he refused to show at the Slam City Jam. After Custom Skater wins, he takes the tape and walks away from Eric, who curses angrily as he leaves.
On a second run-through of the game, there is an alternate ending. Instead of Custom Skater following Eric's line again, a deleted scene shows him flashing the tape at Custom Skater, but in a final frustrated move, Custom Skater elbows Eric in the jaw, snatches the tape, and walks away as Eric faints onto his car.
Role in Tony Hawk's Underground 2
In the second cutscene of the game, Eric finds himself, along with Custom Skater, Rodney Mullen, Mike Vallely, Chad Muska, Bob Burnquist, Eric Koston, Paulie Ryan, and Wee Man, sitting in a chair tied-up and barely concious.
After that, Eric is Team Bam for the rest of the game until the tour stops at Berlin, where the two teams swap Eric and the Custom Skater for one day. After they are finished in Berlin, the two teams swap again and Eric attempts some trick off a ledge, but ends up crashing into a Hot Dog vendor. If Kyoto is selected, Eric is standing on a mon behind a torii saying "I'm big in Japan," then falls off the gate, in which Mike V says "That is so disrespectful to their culture."
After that, the tour stops in Australia. The two teams are done in Australia, the Custom Skater is about to get eliminated due to causing Team Hawk being a bit short on points compared to Team Bam, but after the Custom Skater is about to be eliminated, Rodney Mullen realizes that they tallied the points wrong, so it was a draw, Eric didn't get enough points for his team. After they realize that it was a draw between both teams, a local Australian boy approaches Tony Hawk and asks him to sign an unofficial VHS movie titled "World Destruction Tour", produced and directed by Nigel Beaverhausen. The challenge was to see who could embarrass Nigel Beaverhausen the most. Eric steals Nigel's clothes thinking it will be enough to win the challenge. To which Bam berates him calling him an idiot and gives the clothes to the Custom Skater to embarrass Nigel. The Custom Skater then causes birds defecate on sunbathing women at the beach, and near construction workers, while dressed as Nigel, then leaving Eric nothing to contribute, Custom Skater wins and Eric loses, so Eric gets sent home. As he laments being unable to go home, Nigel falls and lands on top of him.
Role in Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
Eric returns in Tony Hawk's Proving Ground as a rival in career mode, he is first encountered when the player starts "Bob's Comp Episode" in Baltimore Inner Harbor, with the goal "Revert Manuals".
Once the player starts the "Revert Manuals" goal, a cutscene starts with Eric arriving on a Tony Hawk's Underground skateboard. Eric starts by calling out the Custom Skater and the two engage in an argument only to be stopped by Bob Burnquist. Throughout the career episode "Bob's Comp Episode", the Custom Skater is basically defeating Eric in skateboarding competitions, until the two settle their beef at a local competition in Baltimore Lansdowne. Bob Burnquist points out that Baltimore Lansdowne is Eric's local park, notifying the player that Eric has relocated from his home in New Jersey to Baltimore.
After the Custom Skater beats Eric in his own local skatepark, the Custom Skater defeats Eric again at Baltimore Inner Harbor, where they first met, at a skateboarding competition. After Eric's defeat, a cutscene is shown where Eric had to give up his car to the Custom Skater in result to his loss. Eric's car actually bears a resemblance to the car that he owned in Tony Hawk's Underground that appears at the ending cutscene where Eric confronts the Custom Skater about the Hawaii Tape that wasn't aired at the Slam City Jam.
Eric isn't heard from again until the player finishes Career Mode, where Eric is featured in a magazine interview ranting that the Custom Skater's sucess was still as not as great as his, with Bob Burnquist interrupting Eric and telling him to, "respect the kid that kills competition".
- Although he does not physically appear, Eric is on the rankings for the Project 8 skaters, changing postition constantly. He starts out at the bottom.
- Fans of the Tony Hawk game franchise cited Eric Sparrow as a "Most hated video game character"
- In the credits of Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Eric is mentioned by the news reporter, he's still recovering and is called "Butt Head".
- The green & yellow skate shoes that Eric Sparrow wears in both Tony Hawk Underground games could be somewhat Puma Suede inspired.
- Eric Sparrow's trait is wearing the left side of a long sleeve clothing tucked.
- Eric Sparrow also appeared in Neversoft logo of Tony Hawk's Underground (2003) as he gets grabbed and eaten by the sewer monster "T.H.U.D."
- In Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, his skateboard is the Tony Hawk's Underground logo.