Sonic Mania Adventures
Knuckles the Echidna is the Guardian of the Master Emerald, but ever since Dr. Eggman and Sonic first appeared on Angel Island, trouble has followed. Knuckles still doesn’t fully trust Sonic, so he’s been watching over the Emerald constantly to ensure nobody – robot or hedgehog – gets their hands on it. Now, just as Knuckles finds a safe location, a mysterious figure appears in the shadows…
- Dr. Eggman
- Heavy King (Fantasy)
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Metal Sonic
- Mighty the Armadillo (first appearance) (cameo)
- Ray the Flying Squirrel (first appearance)
- RhinoBot (x3)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Fantasy)
Deep inside the jungle on Angel Island, Knuckles is placing the Master Emerald down while he looks around suspiciously. Ever since Dr. Eggman and Sonic first appeared on Angel Island, trouble has followed. Knuckles still does not fully trust Sonic, so he has been watching over the Emerald constantly to ensure nobody – robot or hedgehog – gets their hands on it.
Taking a sigh of relief, Knuckles relaxes. A shadow then passes by and movements in the treetops are heard, bringing the echidna on alert. Thinking to himself, Knuckles suspects that it might be either Dr. Eggman, the Heavy King, or even Sonic who has come to steal the Master Emerald. Shaking himself out of it, Knuckles clings to the Master Emerald and looks around. Knuckles then tries covering the Master Emerald in palm tree leaves, but then notices something flying above the tree tops. This makes Knuckles angry, and he stands ready to defend the Master Emerald while looking around for trouble.
Immediately after, rustling in the bushes are heard, and out of them pops Ray the Flying Squirrel, befuddling Knuckles. Landing on the ground, Ray does a spin roll around Knuckles and the Master Emerald before popping gracefully up and giving Knuckles a friendly greeting. When Ray offers to shake his hand however, Knuckles pushes it slowly aside, being suspicious of Ray as he is. Giving Knuckles a nervous smile regardless, Ray pulls out a missing poster of Mighty the Armadillo and hopes that Knuckles has seen him. After looking closely at the poster however, Knuckles shakes his head and shrugs. While he does so however, he notices, much to his shock, that Ray is looking at the Master Emerald with fascination in his eyes. Before Ray can touch the Emerald, Knuckles grabs the confused flying squirrel and angrily throws him away, far above the treetops.
As Knuckles watches Ray glide away, he starts to hear twigs crack and engines revving. Getting into a defensive position around the Master Emerald while he looks around, Knuckles soon spots a trio of RhinoBots nearby, which reveal themselves to be behind the noises. Cracking his knuckles, Knuckles engages the Rhinobots and takes them out in a wild display of power. Just as Knuckles finishes up however, he sees, much to his shock and frustration, that the Master Emerald is gone. As he looks around for the massive gem, Knuckles spots the Tornado (which is being flown by a dark figure) dragging the Master Emerald, which is hooked to the Tornado by a chain, through the sky. Seeing the world "SONIC" on the side of the Tornado makes Knuckles believe that it is Sonic who has stolen the Master Emerald, and so he angrily begins running after the Tornado.
- Knuckles was still moving and protecting the Master Emerald as he was seen to be doing in "Sonic and Tails".
- Ray is revealed to be searching for Mighty the Armadillo. He would find him in "Mighty and Ray".
- Dr. Eggman manages to steal the Master Emerald, a plot he came up with in "Sonic and Tails".
- Knuckles goes after the Master Emerald. He would retrieve it in "Metal Mayhem".
- Metal Sonic detects the final Chaos Emerald. He would find it in "Mighty and Ray".
- This episode features several references and Easter eggs:
- This episode is titled after the "& Knuckles" Internet meme.
- It is also the third episode, making the title in full a nod to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.
- The chime that is heard when Knuckles sets down the Master Emerald originates from earlier Sonic games.
- Knuckles' thought bubbles shown in this episode may be a reference to the thought bubble he had in Lava Reef Zone in Sonic Mania before fighting the Heavy King.
- The sound effect that plays when Knuckles' first thought bubble has his suspects appear is the sound effect from Sonic Mania when players bounce on the Mega Mack in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2.
- Several expressions that Knuckles makes in this episode are based off of the style used for Knuckles in Tyson Hesse's fan comic, Sonic's Big Fat Adventure.
- The music that plays when Knuckles is putting down the Master Emerald and when he starts chasing Eggman in Sonic's plane are remixes of a snippet of "This Horizon", the title theme from Knuckles' Chaotix.
- The music that plays upon Ray's entrance is a remix of the opening tutorial music for SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
- Ray's greeting to Knuckles is the same one he gives Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in the official trailer for Sonic Mania Plus.
- Ray presents a "missing person" poster of Mighty, which is a nod and is based off of the "missing person" poster of the character that made a cameo in City Escape on the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.
- The sound effect that plays when Knuckles throws Ray away is the sound effect from Sonic Mania when the player earns a Continue.
- The music that plays when Knuckles fights the RhinoBots is a remix of Knuckles' character theme in Sonic & Knuckles.
- The uppercut that Knuckles performs on the final RhinoBot resembles the one he performed on Metal Sonic in Sonic: Mega Drive - The Next Level.
- The sound effect that plays when Knuckles sees the Master Emerald gone is the sound effect from Flying Battery Zone in Sonic Mania when the player opens doors.
- The way in which the Master Emerald is dragged alongside by a chain by the Tornado is a nod to Sonic's ending sequence in Sonic & Knuckles.
- The sound effect that plays when Knuckles' second thought bubble appears is the sound effect from Sonic Mania when the Heavy Magician hovers over distances.
- The compass that Metal Sonic brings up on his arm is identical in appearance to the one that appeared on Eggman's handheld when Tails viewed it in "Sonic and Tails". The map on the handheld device displays longitude and latitude numbers that allude to other things:
- On the bottom left section of the map, the numbers 19 92 11 and 24 can be seen. 24 November 1992 is the release date of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as its Debug Mode code.
- On the bottom right section of the map, the numbers 19 65 09 and 17 can be seen. 17 September 1965 is Yuji Naka's birthday, as well as the code for the Level Select in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- On the top right section of the map, the numbers 01 02 04 and 06 can be seen. This is a code to retrieve all the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- This episode is titled after the "& Knuckles" Internet meme.
- RhinoBot, a Badnik that did not previously appear in Sonic Mania, made an appearance in this episode.
- However, it appears as an enemy Sonic Mania Plus.
- This is the first episode where Sonic and Eggman are minor characters.
- of the many expressions that Knuckles made in this episode were made available on the SEGA Shop shortly after the episode's release. Later, of Knuckles thinking of his suspects were released on the website.