Knuckles the Echidna (ナックルズ・ザ・エキドゥナ Nakkuruzu za Ekiduna?) is a video game character and a hero of the Sonic the Hedgehog game series, as well as some spin-off games and comics. His first appearance was Sonic the Hedgehog 3, released in 1994 to introduce a new rival for Sonic, presented as an antagonist who was tricked by Dr. Eggman into fighting Sonic. Knuckles is a 16 year old red anthropomorphic echidna, who is both physically powerful and highly resilient. In most of the Sonic games, he has also had the abilities to climb ledges or walls, and also to glide in the air for short periods of time. He has a white crescent on his chest and four knuckles, two on each hand, which are actually sharp spikes. He is both a friend and a rival to Sonic.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 History
- 3 Characteristics
- 4 Robotic versions
- 5 Voice actors
- 6 Reception
- 7 Theme songs
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
Concept and creation
During conception of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the development team wanted to create a new rival for Sonic. The final design of Knuckles was the result of dozens of possible designs inspired by numerous different animals. The emphasis of the character was to break walls.
Ever since the character appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, he has been thought of as an "intimidator" because of his powerful abilities. The character was given a headlining role in the next game, Sonic & Knuckles, where fans had the opportunity to play as Knuckles for the very first time.
Knuckles was born and lives on Angel Island, which hovers in the sky due to the power of the Master Emerald. His duty is to guard the Master Emerald, and he is the last surviving member of the Echidna people who once inhabited the island.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Knuckles thought Sonic was attempting to steal the Master Emerald, and that the mad scientist, Doctor Eggman, was trying to protect it. However, Dr. Eggman had lied to Knuckles, and was planning to use the Emerald to repair his space station, the Death Egg. In Sonic & Knuckles, in the Hidden Palace Zone, Eggman's betrayal was revealed when Dr. Eggman stole the Master Emerald with a modified Egg-O-Matic and attacked Knuckles. Since then, Knuckles has repeatedly joined Sonic and Tails throughout their many adventures to help stop Dr. Eggman.
Aside from appearances in the main Sonic series, Knuckles featured prominently in Knuckles' Chaotix, a relatively unknown spin-off title developed for Sega 32X. The game also introduced Team Chaotix, a group of detectives.
In Sonic Adventure, the Master Emerald shatters when Dr. Eggman frees Chaos and Tikal's spirit from within it, causing Angel Island to fall. Knuckles' goal is to reassemble the Master Emerald from its shards. These levels are large, explorable areas in which players must hunt various Action Stages for three shards per stage.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles the Echidna is guarding the Master Emerald when Rouge the Bat attempts to steal it. In the middle of their argument, Dr. Eggman snatches the emerald. Knuckles then shatters it in order to prevent Dr. Eggman from using its power. Knuckles then sets off to find the pieces and restore the Master Emerald before Rouge the Bat. The gameplay is similar to the first Adventure title.
In other Sonic titles, he has been seen away from the Master Emerald at times, such as in Sonic Heroes, where Knuckles joins forces with Sonic and Tails, becoming the power member of Team Sonic.
Knuckles has appeared either as a playable character or in a supporting role in almost all Sonic titles, although not always with a particularly major role in the storyline. He did, however, have an important part to play in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood; a portion of the game's story centers around Knuckles being kidnapped by the Nocturnus Clan, as well as the story making connections to both his clan and the Nocturne.
He makes a cameo appearance in Sega Superstars Tennis in the Green Hill court, and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (in the unlockable Green Hill Zone stage where he, Tails, and Silver run/fly through the shuttle loop in the background).
Knuckles was confirmed to appear in the game Sonic Unleashed. However, he never made it to the final version. He is also a playable character in the Wii game Sonic & the Black Knight; portrayed as Sir Gawain of the Knights of the Round Table, where he brandishes two swords.
He appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, again as a Power character.
He also can be played in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with the Knuckles expansion pack.
Sonic the Comic
In Sonic the Comic, Knuckles is depicted as (at first) being the last of his kind, and bears the burden of guarding the Chaos Emeralds alone. When the Death Egg crashed on Angel Island, Knuckles was briefly tricked by Doctor Robotnik into believing Sonic was a dangerous villain who plotted to steal the island's Chaos Emeralds. The echidna thus allowed Robotnik to place his Badnik armies on the island and also construct a Launch Base Zone to rebuild his Death Egg, and assisted him in fighting Sonic and stealing Sonic's own six Chaos Emeralds so they could be combined with Knuckles' into one set of Emeralds. Knuckles, however, didn't trust Robotnik enough to tell him that he had the "missing" Grey Emerald which could control the others, and when Robotnik tried to absorb the Emeralds' power into himself, Knuckles used the Grey Emerald to defeat him.
Knuckles spent the next few months destroying every trace of Robotnik's influence on Angel Island, including the entire Carnival Night Zone, and assisted Sonic both when his secret base came under attack by a Badnik army and when Robotnik established a base in the Ice Cap Zone. Finally, the two heroes teamed up to destroy the Death Egg before it could launch, which they failed to do. In addition, Knuckles had also failed to stop Robotnik's Metallix from stealing the Master Emerald to power the Death Egg. While Sonic fought to retrieve the Emerald, Knuckles used ancient echidna technology to pilot Angel Island and open fire on the Death Egg with Chaos Energy blasts, finally downing the craft. With the Master Emerald returned, Knuckles owed a debt to Sonic and, despite preferring privacy, agreed to hide the entire population of Emerald Hill Zone in the Mushroom Hill Zone to keep them safe from Robotnik's wrath.
In the story The Homecoming, Knuckles discovered that an elderly, white-furred echidna named Dr. Zachary had appeared on the island. Initially he claimed to be the first echidna to return to Mobius and that he was being pursued by a dangerous robot. It turned out Zachary was evil and using the robot (in reality an ancient echidna Guardian Robot) as his minion. He had the robot destroy the Master Emerald and absorb its power, intending to attack Mobius with it, but Knuckles stopped him, using the robot's head as a brief substitute Emerald. Knuckles then created a new Master Emerald from the echidna's Sacred Emerald Mines, which existed in a graveyard haunted by the ghosts of the Kohenyu (a race of Styracosaurus' who were unwittingly hunted to extinction by the echidnas) and he had to take responsibility for their death.
He was roped into helping Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates launch a heist on an alien galleon, in return for a chest of ancient echidna documents that could help him with the island's ancient computer systems. Knuckles trekked across Mobius with the chest, fighting the occasional villain as he went, before finally returning to the island to battle Robotnik as well as a cyborg Zachary's attempt to turn the Emerald Hill refugees into an organic computer. Robotnik was then overthrown, and the refugees returned home.
Knuckles spent his days with Porker Lewis trying to uncover the mysteries of his lost people, occasionally being drawn into battle. He left the island to save lives from the environmental collapse of Mobius, when Robotnik tried to drain the planet's life force. Soon after that, the Floating Island came under attack by the terrifying Chaos creature and Knuckles was forced to scatter the Emeralds across Mobius, dooming the island in the process. He was left distraught and had to be forcibly evacuated from the island, and joined up with the Freedom Fighters to stop Chaos and retrieve the Emeralds.
Knuckles is also one of the few to know of Tails' legendary status in the Nameless Zone, a fact he became aware of when he followed Tails through a portal mistakenly believing the young fox was being kidnapped. The Nameless Zone residents came to the conclusion that Knuckles was actually Sonic, whom Tails had claimed was his sidekick. Far from blowing Tails' cover, Knuckles was delighted to meet people who didn't worship his rival and played along, assisting him in defeating the terrifying Trogg once and for all.
The last storyline revealed Knuckles had lived in the ancient past, acting as a warrior and leader for the echidnas against the Drakon Empire. It is presumed by Sonic that Knuckles was placed in suspended animation for unknown reasons and lost his memory.
His design in the comic is different to that of the game universe: the green and yellow of his shoes are inverted and his white crescent birthmark is a white/silver medallion in the comic series.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics, Knuckles is the eighteenth guardian of the Floating Island, and a member of the Brotherhood of Guardians, a secret society that defends the island. He lives on the planet Mobius on the flying landmass known as Angel Island. He is supported by the Chaotix, and often works together with Sonic the Hedgehog and the Freedom Fighters.
While currently in the series, Knuckles' situation is closer to his other incarnations, being the last of his kind and stuck on the island, during most of the comics, this has not always been the case.
When he was first introduced he was a lone defender of the island, Knuckles was recently abandoned by his father, Locke; he was later iconically tricked by Robotnik into believing that Sonic and Tails were on their way to steal the Chaos Emerald (not actually the Master Emerald at that point) and its powers. After a short melee, Robotnik blatantly betrayed Knuckles, causing him to join Sonic in a begrudging team-up, which eventually grew into a strong friendship.
Not too long after that, he formed the Chaotix along with Vector, out of the few refugee inhabitants on Angel Island at the time and would leave the island to their care if he ever had to leave. The Chaotix at the time were Knuckles the Echidna, Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon, Mighty the Armadillo, Charmy Bee, Heavy, and Bomb, but later saw the addition of Ray the Flying Squirrel, Julie-Su the Echidna, and Saffron Bee (Charmy's betrothed), while Heavy and Bomb departed and later joined the King's Secret Service, and even later were recaptured by Eggman and reprogrammed as mindless drones.
In his own series, Knuckles has faced many threats to the island, among them are Enerjak (who Knuckles would later become himself), a living embodiment of Chaos Control, the Dark Legion (an ancient band of banished echidna who worship taboo technology and cybernetic implants), and Robotnik/Eggman himself.
At one point an ancient city of echidna, called Echidnapolis, that had been existing on Angel Island, although on an alternate planet, phased back into existence. He was reunited with his mother and people and for a long time was not only the guardian of the Master Emerald, but the city as well. The city has since been totally destroyed and the echidna population sent plummeting, leaving Knuckles the last remaining echidna on Angel Island save for Julie-Su; the rest of the echidna have taken refuge in a recently decimated holy land on the surface of Mobius, Knuckles' mother, stepfather, and little brother, Mace, among them.
During most of his travels, Knuckles was watched over carefully by his forefathers, the Brotherhood of Guardians, from their secret base on the island; called "Haven", among them was his father Locke. They have recently all been eliminated.
Knuckles now struggles with internal conflict as he tries to defend Angel Island and aid the Freedom Fighters at the same time.
Another transformation that occurs to Knuckles in this series, besides Enerjak, is his ultimate form Chaos Knuckles, first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog comic #88. When Knuckles transforms into Chaos Knuckles he has the complete ability to access his Chaos powers, which as surprising as may be is more powerful than any other wielder of the Chaos Force can generate.
In addition to Chaos Knuckles' enhanced physical abilities, energy blasts, and teleportation abilities, he can also travel through time, communicate with present or past guardians whether they are dead or alive, and warp reality to shape matter. It was most likely that these powers were used when he became the second Enerjak.
Knuckles appeared in four episodes of the cartoon Sonic Underground. Friend or Foe echoes the usual storyline of his initial meetings with Sonic, as he is tricked by Dr. Robotnik's cohorts and goes after Sonic and his siblings. In keeping with the constantly reenacted scenario, Knuckles came to realize that he had been tricked, and teamed up with Sonic and his siblings (Sonia and Manic the Hedgehog) to save the Floating Island. Afterwards, Knuckles revealed that he had met the siblings' mother, Queen Aleena, who left a message stating that Knuckles would be the first of many allies to join with them against Robotnik.
Later, Sonic and the others returned to the Floating Island in the Chaos Emerald Crisis trilogy of episodes, seeking Knuckles' help against another Robotnik plot, a giant flying fortress powered by a Chaos Emerald. Knuckles agreed to help, but received a dire warning from his great-grandfather Athair that his leaving the Floating Island could lead to disaster. Regardless, Knuckles helped the Hedgehogs onto the fortress, only to learn that Robotnik's lackeys had turned on him and stolen the Emerald. Going to Athair, the four learned that they had to align with Robotnik to keep the Chaos Emerald-which had split in half-from releasing so much energy that Mobius itself would be destroyed. The siblings refused, so Knuckles took the matter into his own hands. Making a deal with Robotnik, he unwillingly agreed to lead Sonic and the others into a trap in exchange for Robotnik's help, so long as Robotnik promised not to put any of the three through Roboticization. True to form, Robotnik betrayed Knuckles, but Knuckles was able to turn the tables and free his friends. Forging a new alliance with Robotnik, they recovered the Emerald, which Knuckles was then given charge over. He was offered the position of a Freedom Fighter, but was forced to decline because of his duties to take care of the Chaos Emeralds on the Floating Island. It is also possible he has feelings for Sonia.
Sonic Underground ended before the plots could be resolved, and so Knuckles appeared in four episodes. Knuckles was voiced by Ian James Corlett.
He appears in all three seasons of Sonic X, and he has a very short temper despite being slightly more stubborn than in the games. Most often, he sulks and shows much impatience, even after joining the crew of a spaceship called "The Blue Typhoon", which is piloted by Tails. Knuckles was forced on the ship because Sonic stole the Master Emerald. Knuckles is the only one who can use the power of the Master Emerald, and the gang needed the power for the ship to fly, so he had to be on the ship. Sonic and Knuckles are usually friends, but can sometimes fight. He is probably at his most gullible in the series, and often proves to be clueless. On board The Blue Typhoon, he continues guarding the Master Emerald (its power source), which he also polishes.
Official profiles have said that, as the last survivor of his clan, The Knuckles Clan, Knuckles lived most of his life in seclusion on Angel Island, an island floating in the air; as such he is something of a loner. His inexperience with off-islanders leaves him very honest, and also gullible. Knuckles is shy around girls; while some official sources claim that Rouge the Bat has a secret crush on Knuckles that she would never admit to. Although he is cool and determined in battle; his short temper gives rise to situations in which Knuckles, often instigated by the trickery of Dr. Eggman, begins fighting Sonic the Hedgehog. Additionally, Knuckles has been tasked all his life as being the Guardian of the Master Emerald, as only descendants of his tribe are capable of controlling it. If Sonic exemplifies the wind, then Knuckles is the mountain: stern and anchored to his duty. Although they started as antagonists, Knuckles sees Sonic as a friend. He finds Sonic's adventurous lifestyle enviable and considers him a rival. He is also described as hating strong light. Various literature from the early games list his favorite food as being fruit, or to be more specific, grapes.
Knuckles is physically one of the strongest characters of the Sonic series, if not, as some official sources claim, the strongest. His brute strength is often depicted as equivalent to that of Sonic's speed. His extraordinary physical strength enables him to perform feats such as shattering boulders with his fists. Additionally, he is a master of martial arts with a specialty in punching. He uses Spin Attacks like Sonic, which are variations on the tendency for echidnas to roll into tight spiny balls for protection. Knuckles can also breast stroke to swim in water. By trapping air under his dreadlocks, Knuckles can glide for short distances. Knuckles is also a proficient burrower, and can use the spikes on his eponymous knuckles to climb walls.
Two robotic versions of Knuckles have appeared (similar to Metal Sonic); Metal Knuckles in Sonic R, as an unlockable character, and Mecha Knuckles in Sonic Advance, as a boss. The robotic Knuckles in Sonic Advance looks exactly like Knuckles, only with a pinker hue and yellow gloves at first, and has virtually every move Knuckles has. After being struck a few times, his "armor" will fall off, revealing a metallic echidna with glowing red eyes underneath. In this "form", the robot is faster and can fire homing missiles from its mouth.
In the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics, the Freedom Fighters were once forced to roboticize Knuckles to combat a roboticized version of Sonic, and the robotic Knuckles was dubbed "Mecha Knuckles". After a drawn out battle, both combatants were eventually restored to normal.
Two different actors have provided the voice for Knuckles in his cartoon appearances. His first voice actor was Ian James Corlett for Sonic Underground (1999-2000), and then switched to Dan Green who voiced Knuckles for the Sonic X anime.
- In Sonic Underground (1999-2000), he was voiced by Ian James Corlett.
- In Sonic X (2003), he is voiced by Dan Green.
Video games (US)
- In Sonic Adventure (1999), he was voiced by Michael McGaharn.
- In Sonic Shuffle (2000), he was voiced by Ryan Drummond.
- From Sonic Adventure 2 (2001), through Sonic Advance 3 (2004), he was voiced by Scott Dreier.
- From Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) to Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing (2010), he was voiced by Dan Green.
- As of Sonic Colors, his voice actor will be replaced. His replacement has yet to be announced.
According to IGN, fans "seemed legitimately happy" with the addition of the character of Knuckles, who was popular enough to get marquee billing in Sonic & Knuckles, but the writer felt that characters that came after him were going "overboard." IGN's Colin Moriarty singled out the introduction of both Knuckles and Tails as when the series became "iffy" and listed them and all other characters in the series, sans Sonic and Robotnik, as being 2nd most in need to "die" on his top 10 list. According to official Sonic Team polls, Knuckles is the fourth most popular character in the series, following behind Tails, Shadow, and Sonic. Screwattack listed Knuckles number 18 on their list of 'Top 20 Manliest Men'. One of their resons was that 'he punches walls to climb them'.
The Sonic the Hedgehog video games have featured several theme songs for the character. Most of the tracks are attributed to the rap genre of music.
Sonic Adventure - "Unknown from M.E." - Marlon Saunders, Dread Fox
Sonic Adventure 2 - "Unknown from M.E." - Hunnid-P, Marlon Saunders
Sonic Heroes - "We Can" - Ted Poley, Tony Harnell
Notes and references
- "Sonic Channel". Retrieved 2007-01-08.[dead link]
- Bioware. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. (Sega). Nintendo DS. Level/area: Codex.
- "Sonic's Creator - Yuji Naka". Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "Secrets of Sonic Team: Interview with Roger Hector, former Director of Sega Technical Institute". Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Sonic Central interview: Yuji Naka on Sonic's Past, Present, Future". Retrieved 2008-07-07.
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- "Sonic City". Retrieved 2008-03-04.[dead link]
- Sega (2001). Sonic Adventure 2 instruction manual, pp. 10
- Sega (1997). Sonic Jam, Sega Saturn. Sonic World's Character Profiles (in English)
- "Sonic Central/about/characters/Rouge". Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- Sega of America. "Sonic's official character profile from Sega of America". Sega of America. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Sega (2001). Sonic Adventure instruction manual, pp. 22
- "Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!". GameSpy.com. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Sega (2004). Sonic Advance 3 instruction manual, pp. 12-13
- Sega (2003). Sonic Heroes instruction manual, pp. 7
- Sega (1994). Sonic the Hedgehog 3 instruction manual, pp. 6
- Sega (1994). Sonic & Knuckles instruction manual, pp. 7
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- ソニックチャンネル/イベント/ソニック キャラクター 人気投票 結果発表！
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