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Two ********** in their standard position. When both of them touch the ground, it occasionally causes the game to crash.

********** (dubbed as Wechnia by fans) is a glitch character featured in Knuckles' Chaotix. He is a recolored version of Knuckles, with silver-white fur, red strands in his dreadlocks and red eyes. The character is referred in the hidden stage select menu as "**********". The term "Wechnia" (a portmanteau of "white" and "echidna") was coined by Sonic Cult webmaster PACHUKA.[1]

********** is the leftover data that would have belonged to Tails, who was originally meant to be playable in the game (since he is listed in the second slot of the level select after Mighty.[2]) This was later confirmed with the release of the 1207 Beta prototype, which contains a Tails life icon in the ROM.

Unlocking **********

To play as or have ********** as a partner, the player must go to the Options menu and select "Color Test". Three pairs of 00 should be surrounded by <>. The player must then hold and press until the first pair is 06, then release, hold, and press until the second pair is 0B. The player must release, hold, and press until the third pair is 11, then release and press once more. Three pairs of 04 should now be highlighted. The player must hold and press until the second 04 is 00, then release, press, and proceed to the main menu. The option "Stage Select" should now be below Options. The player should select it, then choose their character or combi as **********. The player will have **********, but once he touches the ground, the game will crash outside of certain levels. Even then, the game can crash if certain triggers occur, such as being damaged.

********** may have the appearance of Knuckles, but he utilizes Mighty's moveset. In the 1207 Beta prototype, ********** had the ability to fly rather than Mighty's wall kick. He would tire after a while exactly like Tails, and contained a similar palette consisting of colors suitable for him, such as shades of orange and red.

Trivia

  • If Sonic Mania is played in "& Knuckles" mode, reaching the end of the game without collecting the full set of Chaos Emeralds will cause the AI-controlled Knuckles to briefly flash into **********'s color scheme while the red strobe lights blanket the area once the boss is defeated.
  • Ian Flynn has stated on his podcast that the character of Dr. Starline from the IDW Publishing Sonic the Hedgehog comic series took direct inspiration from this glitch. Similaries include the shared white and red color palette, the platypus being a monotreme like the echidna, and Starline's name itself coming from the "line of stars" of the original glitch character.[3][4]

References

  1. Debug Mode sub-section's overview from Sonic Cult
  2. Secrets of Sonic Team - Debug and the Mysterious 'Wechina'
  3. BumbleKing Videos (2 November 2020). BumbleKast Q&A for November 2nd, 2020. Youtube. Retrieved on 30 November 2020. “Ian Flynn: And there’s that other famous palette glitch, the Wechidna[sic], also known as a line of stars, with his white and red palette, being a monotreme... Wonder if there’s any correlation or plans to be had there...”
  4. BumbleKing Videos (11 January 2021). BumbleKast Q&A for January 11th, 2021. Youtube. Retrieved on 12 January 2021. “Andrew D: Was Dr. Starline and his name based on the glitch character Wechnia and his in-game name ********** since it is basically a line of stars? / Ian Flynn: Yep, that's exactly it.”
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