Angel Island (エンジェルアイランド Enjeru Airando?), also known as the Floating Island (浮遊島 Fuyūtō?), is a prominent location in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a landmass that floats high in the sky using the eternal energy of the Master Emerald; without it, the island will inevitably plummet from the sky. The island is inhabited by various Animals and is also the home of Knuckles the Echidna, who is the guardian of the Master Emerald and the only surviving member of the Knuckles Clan that once inhabited the island.
Concept and creation
The idea of a levitating island goes back at least as far as Nephelokokkygia ("Cloud Cuckoo Land"), the airborne city of birds from Aristophanes' play The Birds; another example is Laputa from Johnathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels.
Angel Island is likely to have been inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's interpretation of Laputa - a lost city, that is featured in his 1986 animated adventure film Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Similarities between Laputa and Angel Island include their dependency on a giant green gem to stay aloft, in Laputa this was called a Levistone. Many backgrounds for various Zones in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are heavily influenced by number of Laputa's locations and both games' story sequences bear strong similarities to many scenes from the film.
Angel Island is a large, floating island located in the skies, which floats thanks to the Master Emerald. If the Master Emerald is either shattered into pieces or removed from the island, Angel Island will fall down from the skies. However, the island is still buoyant enough to float on top of the sea without sinking. Despite this, the island is not able to counter forces pushing it downward, such as the extra weight of the Death Egg.
Angel Island has many diverse, yet natural environments, such as jungles, deserts, volcanos, underground cavern systems, and frozen mountains. Despite this, forests and mountains appear to be the most prominent features from an outside view. Other areas built by unspecified civilizations also appear, such as underwater temples, bases and urban areas.
Over 3.000 years ago, Angel Island was a part of the area that would become known as the Mystic Ruins. Within this area was the Altar of Emerald, which housed the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald, as well as a colony of Chao. This altar's grounds, along with its contents and inhabitants, were guarded by the Chao's guardian deity, Chaos. Boarding the Altar of Emerald's territory was the village of the Knuckles Clan. After becoming the Chief of his clan, Pachacamac began a period of warmongering. In his pursuit of power for his clan to ensure their survival, Pachacamac sought to steal the Chaos Emeralds, but all his attempts to rob the Altar of Emerald were thwarted by Chaos. During this period, Pachacamac's pacifistic daughter, Tikal, came across the Altar of Emerald where she won over the trust of the Chao and Chaos. As a result of that trust, Tikal was allowed inside the altar by Chaos. There, she found the Master Emerald and realized its connection to the Chaos Emeralds.
Eventually, Pachacamac planned one more attempt to raid the Altar of Emerald. Learning of her father's plan, Tikal warned Chaos of the coming attack. Unable to convince Chaos and the Chao to leave their altar however, Tikal attempted to persuade her father once more. Unfortunately, her efforts were for naught, as Pachacamac and his men eventually launched a violent attack on the altar. There, Tikal and the Chao tried to stop them. Not about to be persuaded, Pachacamac had his warriors trample over Tikal and the Chao. This profound act of indiscrimination incurred the wrath of Chaos, corrupting it with anger. In retaliation, Chaos transformed into Perfect Chaos with the Chaos Emeralds and annihilated Pachacamac and his men. Chaos proceeded to go on a rampage, laying waste to the Knuckles Clan civilization and wiped out nearly the whole clan overnight. Before Chaos could destroy the rest of the world in its blind rage though, Tikal used her ancient prayer in conjunction with the Master Emerald to seal Chaos inside of the Master Emerald along with herself. After that event, the Chaos Emeralds were lost. Following the attack, the surviving members of the Knuckles Clan suspended the Emeralds' altar area into the sky with the Master Emerald's power, creating Angel Island. Living there, the Knuckles Clan would bear the duty of observing and protecting the sealed Master Emerald, so that an incident like this could never happen again.
Over time, stories about Angel Island's creation arose. One legend in particular said that the island was once part of the main continent in ancient time and that the people with an extraordinary culture inhabited it. That civilization had built a peaceful and happy society using the energy of something they called "the Mighty Stone", but then a faction of dark-minded elders tried to steal the stone's energy. When they accidentally caused the energy to explode however, they ended up wiping out their civilization in a second. After some time had passed, a god then descended from the sky to the newly created "mystery island". The sky god then restored a part of the civilization to the island, and threw the "Mighty Stone" into the open sky.
Over the the next three millennia, the Knuckles Clan seemingly remained on Angel Island and upheld their vow to protect the Master Emerald. However, the clan entered terminal decline over the years, eventually leaving them with only one descendant left to guard the Master Emerald: Knuckles the Echidna. Knuckles himself was born and raised alone on Angel Island, where he became friends with all of the island's Animals and the nature itself. However, Knuckles' own past was a mystery to him; he knew nothing of how he came to be, his ancestral roots, or even the details of the Master Emerald he was supposed to protect. Despite this, he chose to remain on Angel Island and spent his life as the Master Emerald's guardian, never questioning it.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Knuckles the Echidna was doing his usual duty of patrolling the Floating Island's altar. Much for his surprise however, the Chaos Emeralds in the altar started to shine and vibrate strongly before a bright flash erupted from them, knocking Knuckles out. In that moment, Dr. Robotnik's Death Egg crashed into the Floating Island after being heavily damaged by Sonic the Hedgehog during the West Side Island incident. The impact destroyed many of the Floating Island's mountains and forests, and pushed the island into the ocean, which created a large tsunami when the island hit the ocean. However, the Floating Island did not sink; instead, it simply floated slightly on the ocean as if nothing had happened. Robotnik, who had survived the fall of the Death Egg, was aware that the Chaos Emeralds were somewhere on the island. He also detected the energy of the island's Master Emerald, which he realized he could use to power the Death Egg and re-launch it into space. As such, he began capturing the local Animals and turning them into Badniks while re-modeling the Floating Island's environment into a more severe one using an environment-changing machine.
Meanwhile, Knuckles regained consciousness, only to discover that the altar had been partially destroyed and that the Chaos Emeralds were missing. He also found the Death Egg. This sight made Knuckles deduce that the Death Egg was from the legendary dragon described in the Chaos Emerald's altar, which stated that the Death Egg would bring disaster to the island. He subsequently began to look for the Chaos Emeralds across the island until he met Dr. Robotnik. The doctor, who learned about Knuckles' duty, told him that he was a kind scientist who was investigating the Death Egg. He also "warned" him about Sonic, who supposedly was an evil hedgehog trying to disrupt his investigations and steal the Master Emerald. Believing Robotnik, Knuckles teamed up with him to stop Sonic at all cost.
Some time later, Sonic and Tails arrived at the island in the Tornado to investigate the cause of a recent tidal wave. On the way, Sonic became Super Sonic and flew to the Floating Island, only to be forced out of his Super State by Knuckles with an ambush upon his arrival. Knuckles then stole the Chaos Emeralds and left to hide them around the island. Following this, Sonic and Tails began traveling across the island to stop Robotnik's attempt to re-launch the Death Egg. Shortly after their arrival, Robotnik had his Fire Breaths set Angel Island Zone's jungle ablaze. Despite this, Sonic and Tails pushed on. After overcoming Robotnik and his Egg Scorcher Mk III though, Knuckles triggered a trap that sent Sonic and Tails plummeting into Hydrocity Zone. Making their way through the underground temple, the duo was eventually sent into the clutches of Robotnik and his Egg Vortex by Knuckles. After overcoming Robotnik's contraption, Sonic and Tails were sent into Marble Garden Zone by a geyser. Overcoming Robotnik and his contraptions in this Zone, Sonic and Tails travelled to Carnival Night Zone, where Knuckles got in their way again. Regardless, Sonic and Tails survived his and Robotnik's ordeals in this Zone and made it to IceCap Zone using a Cannon. There, they beat Robotnik and his machines again before digging their way into Launch Base Zone, where the doctor was repairing the Death Egg. Knuckles and Robotnik tried repeatedly to stop them there, but to no avail.
Towards the end, Sonic and Tails tried using an Egg Mobile to reach the Death Egg, but Knuckles got in their way. Fortunately, some tremors got Knuckles out of the way, allowing Sonic and Tails to board the Death Egg as it took off. Robotnik then returned to defeat Sonic using excessive force with his machines. Sonic and Tails however, still defeated Robotnik, causing the Death Egg to plummet all the way down into Lava Reef Zone.
Sonic & Knuckles
In Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Sonic and Tails were thrown into the air after causing the Death Egg to crash once more, but the wind carried them into Mushroom Hill Zone on the Floating Island. During their trip, Sonic saw the Death Egg crash into the island's volcano. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Dr. Robotnik would try to re-launch the largely intact Death Egg, Sonic planned to head out and destroy it for good with Tails. Before he could head out however, Sonic saw Knuckle appearing cautiously from a door hidden in the bushes and disappearing into the forest. After Knuckles was out of sight, Sonic investigated the door until he opened it, behind of which he discovered a shining Giant Ring. Curious, Sonic touched the Giant Ring, causing him to be transported to Hidden Palace Zone where he found the Master Emerald in its altar, a sight of which riddled Sonic with questions.
Returning to Mushroom Hill Zone, Sonic and Tails continued their adventure until Knuckles appeared and used a mechanism to blow them deeper into the Zone. When they later found and destroyed Robotnik's season-changing contraption, Sonic and Tails defeated Robotnik in his Jet Mobile. Immediately after, Robotnik and his Flying Battery flew by, prompting Sonic and Tails to board the latter. Onboard the ship, Sonic and Tails overcame Robotnik and his machines before jumping off the Flying Battery and into Sandopolis Zone. Finding a way into the underground from there, Sonic and Tails overcame Robotnik and his Egg Golem before falling into shaft that led them into Lava Reef Zone. As they were making their way out however, Sonic and Tails got forced deeper into the Zone's volcano by Knuckles, where the Death Egg reactivated the volcano. Despite this, Sonic and Tails overcame Robotnik's subsequent machines and found a way into Hidden Palace Zone. There, Sonic fought Knuckles in a direct fight. Upon being defeated however, Knuckles noticed that Robotnik was stealing the Master Emerald from its shrine with his Egg Mobile. Knuckles tried to stop Robotnik, but ended up getting electrocuted. Seeing how that he had been deceived, Knuckles led Sonic and Tails to Sky Sanctuary Zone to stop Robotnik. Upon arriving there however, the trio saw that Robotnik had already re-launched the Death Egg with the Master Emerald. Although he was able to help Sonic and Tails along, Knuckles was too exhausted to continue from there, so Sonic and Tails carried on without him. After overcoming Robotnik's Mecha Sonic, Sonic and Tails managed to board the Death Egg. Not long after, Sonic and Tails returned to the Floating Island with the Master Emerald, having destroyed the Death Egg and defeated Robotnik, thus allowing the Floating Island to rise into the sky again. With all said and done, Sonic and Tails left the Floating Island.
Not long after, Knuckles was relaxing in Mushroom Hill Zone until he got attacked by an EggRobo. Surviving the attack, Knuckles gave chase to the EggRobo as it escaped. After having chased it across the Floating Island, Knuckles' pursuit took him back to Sky Sanctuary Zone. There, he got caught by the EggRobo with an Egg Mobile and brought before Mecha Sonic, who had stolen the Master Emerald, thus leaving the Floating Island to slowly fall down from the sky. Fortunately, Knuckles got free just before Mecha Sonic could finish him with a Spin Attack, which ended up destroying the EggRobo. Knuckles proceeded to fight Mecha Sonic, who started using the Master Emerald to attain a Super State halfway into their battle. Regardless, Knuckles still beat Mecha Sonic. As Sky Sanctuary Zone collapsed around them however, Knuckles and the Master Emerald were rescued when Sonic came by and picked them up in the Tornado. Knuckles and the Master Emerald were then brought back to the Floating Island, thus allowing the Floating Island to float safely in the sky again.
In Sonic Adventure, its enhanced port Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut and its 2010 remake, Knuckles was falling asleep beside the Master Emerald at its altar in the middle of the night while lamenting the story of his life, unaware that the Egg Carrier was approaching Angel Island on a mission to free Chaos from the Master Emerald. Not long after, Knuckles awoke to find the Master Emerald shattered behind him, leading to the release of Chaos and Tikal's spirit form. Finding Chaos next to the Master Emerald's remains, Knuckles tried attacking it, only for Chaos to swap him aside and escape. Immediately after, Angel Island's ability to stay airborne faded due to the Master Emerald's absence, causing it to fall from the sky and land on the coastline of the Mystic Ruins. In order to get Angel Island floating again, Knuckles left his island to search for the Master Emerald's shards. The island's crash at the Mystic Ruins also confused the researchers and explorers about where the new "mountains" came from.
Not long after, Sonic and Tails travelled to Angel Island's Icecap in search of a Chaos Emerald. After traversing the mountains and escaping an avalanche, the duo found the green Chaos Emerald and brought it back to the Mystic Ruins. In the meantime, Knuckles returned to Angle Island, his search for Master Emerald shards taking him to Angel Island's Red Mountain. There, he found three shards before taking his search off the island. Not long after, Big visited Angel Island as well during his search for Froggy, whom he found in Icecap, only to lose him again and prompting Big to search elsewhere. Knuckles soon after returned to Angel Island with a multitude of shards that he returned to the Master Emerald's remains. As Knuckles discovered that the Master Emerald was still missing a few pieces though, the Master Emerald showed him that the remaining ones were on the Egg Carrier. As Knuckles wondered where he could find the vessel, E-102 Gamma appeared on Angel Island, whom Knuckles followed to the Egg Carrier. Soon after, Sonic's pursuit of the Egg Carrier led him to Angel Island, his chase eventually taking him to a mountain peak in Red Mountain. Just as Sonic thought he could not follow the Egg Carrier any further though, Tails appeared in the Tornado 2 and gave him a lift. Gamma soon after returned to Angel Island in search of E-104 Epsilon, whom he found in Red Mountain and subsequently destroyed. Afterward, Gamma left for the Egg Carrier. Soon after, Knuckles returned to Angel Island with the Master Emerald's last shards and six of the Chaos Emeralds. Upon finishing the Master Emerald's restoration, Angel Island took flight once more and Knuckles was at peace again.
Not long afterwards, Angel Island fell down from the sky and landed on the Mystic Ruins' coast once, possibly due to the Chaos Emeralds' presence on the island. As Knuckles thought about consulting Sonic however, Dr. Eggman and Chaos appeared on Angel Island, with the latter taking Knuckles out and stealing his Chaos Emeralds. Soon after, Sonic and Tails came to Angel Island to investigate its fall, where they found Knuckles and Eggman. Recovering from Chaos' beating, Eggman left in his Egg Mobile to get revenge on Chaos. Meanwhile, Knuckles urged Sonic and Tails to keep Chaos from getting the last Chaos Emerald. Before they could out however, Sonic was given a vision of the past by Tikal. Fortunately, Sonic quickly came back to his senses and headed out with Tails.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2, its enhanced port Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and its 2012 remaster, the Master Emerald was stolen from Angel Island once more, this time by Rouge the Bat, prompting Knuckles to head out and retrieve it.
Sonic Advance series
In Sonic Advance, Dr. Eggman came to Angel Island's Angel Island Zone during his quest to establish the Eggman Empire by finding the Chaos Emeralds and turning Animals into Badniks. However, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy came to Angel Island Zone too, where they freed the captive Animals. At the end, Eggman had his creation, Mecha Knuckles, battle the heroes, but it was defeated. Eggman then fled from Angel Island Zone, with Sonic and his crew following his trail.
Sonic Advance 2
In Sonic Advance 2, while on their quest to foil Dr. Eggman latest attempt to establish his Eggman Empire, Sonic, Tails, Cream and Cheese came to Angel Island. There, they made their way through the island's Sky Canyon, before coming under attack by Knuckles, who had been tricked by Eggman into fighting Sonic and his crew, in the Egg Saucer. After being defeated though, an embarrassed Knuckles got chided by Sonic, who promptly took off afterwards. Wanting payback at Eggman himself, Knuckles joined Sonic on his adventure.
Sonic Advance 3
In Sonic Advance 3, when Dr. Eggman used Chaos Control to divide the world into seven pockets of reality, Angel Island ended up in Chaos Angel. When Sonic and his crew later made it to Angel Island's Altar Emerald in an effort to use the Master Emerald to restore the world to normal, they got intercepted by Gemerl. Though they defeated Gemerl and made to to the Altar of Emerald, they were attacked by Eggman and Gemerl in the Hyper Eggrobo upon their arrival. Regardless, the heroes still defeated the villains and used the Master Emerald to restore the world. However, as Eggman and Gemerl fled, Gemerl started to malfunction, prompting him to attack Sonic and take the seven Chaos Emeralds he had, which he used to become Ultimate Gemerl. Ultimate Gemerl then betrayed Eggman and left to cause havoc, but Sonic used the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic and defeated Ultimate Gemerl with Eggman's aid. After the battle, Sonic woke up on Angel Island, where he was welcomed home by his friends. With their adventure over, Sonic, Tails, Amy, Cream and Cheese left Angel Island while Knuckles remained behind to watch the Master Emerald as its guardian.
In Sonic Jump, Angel Island was visited by Dr. Eggman, who intended to get the last of the seven Chaos Emeralds from Knuckles. When the two met, Knuckles refused to hand the Emerald over, but then Sonic showed up, much to Knuckles' dismay. However, this also distracted Knuckles, allowing Eggman to steal his Chaos Emerald. Sonic proceeded to ask Eggman what he wanted to use the seven Chaos Emeralds for, to which Eggman gloated that he was planning to use them to power a Brainwash Beam that would let him take control of the world, before taking his leave. Sonic and Knuckles then began accusing each other at being the one at fault for letting Eggman get the last Chaos Emerald until Tails broke up their argument. Sonic would then ask Tails of where they could find Eggman, to which Tails explained that Eggman would need to be in outer space in order for his Brainwash Beam to encompass the world Tails continued saying that Eggman may have a space station in South America with a rocket there to go into space with, prompting the trio to head to South America.
In Sonic Rivals, while on Angel Island, Knuckles saw the Master Emerald disappear from right in front of him. This was the doing of Eggman Nega, who used a special camera to turn the Master Emerald into a card in his time, which, due to the Master Emerald's nature as a temporal singularity, caused it to vanish from all time frames. As such, Knuckles left Angel Island to find the Master Emerald. Meanwhile, Eggman used the Master Emerald's card to bring the Angel Island from his time, where it is known as "Onyx Island", to the present era.
Eggman Nega's scheme eventually drew Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow and Silver to Onyx Island. After traveling across the island, the quartet defeated Eggman Nega. In the aftermath, Knuckles recovered the Master Emerald and planned to use it to sent Onyx Island back to the future.
In Sonic Generations, as a side-effect of the Time Eater's time-traveling, parts of Angel Island from somewhere across spacetime got transported to White Space where they were drained of color and life.
After ending up in White Space, Classic and Modern Sonic separately paid a visit to Angel Island's regions in that dimension. By speeding through these areas, the Sonics were able to fix space, thereby restoring Angel Island's sections from their lifeless states. When the Time Eater later got destroyed, Angel Island's parts were seemingly return to their rightful places in the timeline.
In Sonic Forces, Knuckles was on Angel Island, resting next to the Master Emerald, until Silver appeared at the Altar of Emerald to warn him about trouble of some sort from the future that involved Dr. Eggman. However, the two soon noticed that the island around them had suddenly disappeared, and in its place was a solid illusion of the ancient village of Pachacamac, a product of the stress test of the Phantom Ruby's powers that Dr. Eggman was conducting nearby. Immediately after, Knuckles and Silver were attacked by a Chaos Phantom Copy, prompting them to fight it. Just as they defeated it though, the Chaos Phantom Copy disappeared, along with Pachacamac's village. Knuckles then went along with Silver to warn the rest those on earth that danger was approaching while Eggman watched with glee, satisfied that his test on Angel Island worked.
Team Sonic Racing
Other game appearances
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013)
In the 2013 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Floating Island makes a brief appearance in the new good ending of the game, which is seen if all the Chaos Emeralds are collected. In this ending, the Death Egg is shown approaching the Floating Island, and then the aftermath of the crash is shown, revealing Dr. Robotnik's survival. He immediately throws a childish temper tantrum in front of his wrecked Death Egg Robot, as Knuckles' eyes slowly reveal themselves from within the bushes and ominously stare at the doctor.
Sonic Pinball Party
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Angel Island was left on its own over the Mystic Ruins when Knuckles got kidnapped by the Nocturnus Clan. In response to the threat the Nocturnus Clan posed, GUN posted soldiers in the Mystic Ruins to watch over Angel Island. Meanwhile, the Nocturnus Clan needed the Master Emerald, which was on Angel Island, for their plans to permanently escape the Twilight Cage. However, instead of attacking Angel Island with legions of soldiers underneath it, as GUN was waiting for them there, the Nocturnus Clan used the Chaos Emeralds to draw Angel Island to their turf in Metropolis.
As the Nocturnus Clan and their leader, Imperator Ix, invaded Angel Island, Sonic and Knuckles made it to Angel Island with a portion of their allies by hijacking an airship from the Nocturnus Clan while Tails and Dr. Eggman provided them with some artillery support. On the island, the heroes found themselves outnumbered by the Nocturnus Clan, so Sonic called Tails to have his team bring them backup while they slowed down their enemies. When Sonic and Knuckles later made it to the Master Emerald's shrine, they found Ix and his lieutenant, Shade, trying to access the shrine. Finding them unworthy opponents, Ix unleashed his troops on Sonic and Knuckles' team. Determined to hold out until help arrived though, Sonic and his crew fought back until Tails and Eggman arrived with a weapon that sent the majority of the Nocturnus Clan soldiers back to the Twilight Cage. Stepping up to deal with the heroes himself, Ix fought Sonic and his team until he began losing his patience and proclaimed that they would not stop him from conquering the world. Shocked by Ix's motivation for escaping their prison, Shade spoke against this, as she only wanted her people freed. In response, Ix blew most of the heroes and Shade away from the shrine, leaving only Sonic behind. Sonic, however, was too late to stop Ix from taking the Master Emerald and teleporting away with it, which resulted in Angel Island falling down from the sky and crash into Metropolis. There, Sonic, his team and Shade regrouped and left the island to stop Ix's plans by pursuing him into the Twilight Cage.
Points of interest
- Altar Emerald
- Altar of Emerald
- Angel Island Zone
- Angel Island Zone (Sonic Advance)
- Azure Lake
- Balloon Park
- Carnival Night Zone
- Chrome Gadget
- Desert Palace
- Endless Mine
- Flying Battery Zone
- Hydrocity Zone
- IceCap Zone
- Launch Base Zone
- Lava Reef Zone
- Marble Garden Zone
- Mushroom Hill Zone
- Mystic Ruins
- Red Mountain
- Sandopolis Zone
- Sky Sanctuary
In other media
Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
In Sonic the Hedgehog television series, the Floating Island is a mystical island floating high above Mobius where the Time Stones are located. Discovered by Dulcy Sonic the Hedgehog and Sally came to the island to get the Time Stones and go back in time to stop Dr. Robotnik before he took over Mobius.
In Sonic Underground, Angel Island is referred to only as the Floating Island. In this media, it is kept aloft in the sky by a Chaos Emerald. The Sonic Underground once went to the Floating Island to look for their mother there, only for its guardian, Knuckles, to mistake them as thieves seeking the island's Chaos Emerald due to the machinations of Sleet and Dingo. After discovering that he had been lied to however, Knuckles teamed up with the Sonic Underground and preventing the duo from stealing the island's Chaos Emerald. Some time afterward, the Sonic Underground returned to the Floating Island and recruited Knuckles for their mission to stop Dr. Robotnik's Fortress of Altitude.
In the anime series Sonic X and its comic series published by Archie Comics, Angel Island mostly mirrors its role in the games, with some minor differences. In this media, its flight attributes are maintained by the Master Emerald.
Generations ago, the island was a part of the Mystic Ruins on Sonic's home world, but later got separated into an independent island following the Knuckles Clan's attack on the Altar of Emerald. In the present day, the island and its Master Emerald are guarded by Knuckles. However, Angel Island eventually got transported to Earth via Chaos Control in the aftermath of a battle between Super Sonic and the E-99 Eggsterminator. The island and its Master Emerald would subsequently play a role during the events involving Chaos and Shadow, before being sent back to its original world.
Angel Island was later revealed to be the location of the Planet Egg for Sonic's world. When the Planet Egg was stolen by the Metarex, the planet's flora started to wither until the Planet Egg was returned when the Metarex were defeated.
Books and comics
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Angel Island was first known as the Floating Island. It was created six hundred years ago when the scientists Jordann and Kayla-La discovered the White Comet about to hit the city of Echidnaopolis. With the aid of the Fire Ants and many Chaos Emeralds, lifted a massive of land from Downunda and into the sky.
The Floating Island hosted many settlements, but the communities of note echidnas of Echidnaopolis and the Dingo Regime of Cave Canem. Tensions were high between the two due to the Dingo Regime often raiding their neighbors for technology. The breaking point came when the dingoes unleashed a nuclear strike. The attack was foiled, but the island was ruined by the nuclear fallout. Guardian Hawking used Dimitri's research to move the settlements into its own pocket zone while he and the Brotherhood of Guardians oversaw the cleanup of the island. It took a hundred years to return it to its natural splendor, but eventually almost all societies were returned to the island.
The Happyland Amusement Park was erected overnight by Dr. Ivo Robotnik as a plot to destroy the Knothole Freedom Fighters. The after-effects of the Ultimate Annihilator broke down the last of the pocket zones, destroying Cave Canem and returning Echidnaopolis to the island. The island was renamed "Angel Island" after Knuckles' distant ancestor Angel-La. Soon after, the Eggman Empire invaded the island and destroyed Echidnaopolis while establishing a new version of Cave Canem. The Dingo Regime briefly took control of the island only to have their city wiped out by the fourth Enerjak.
Following the events of Worlds Collide, Angel Island became nearly inextinguishable from its game counterpart. Having allowed Relic the Pika to stay on the island for research purposes, Knuckles temporarily left Angel Island to help with the Shattered World Crisis. However, after Eclipse the Darkling landed on Angel Island, Knuckles was forced to shatter the Master Emerald and scatter its pieces to keep it out of Eclipse and GUN's hands. Fortunately, Knuckles got the reassembled Master Emerald back to Angel Island just before the Shattered World Crisis ended and could destroy Angel Island.
Sonic the Comic
In the Sonic the Comic comic series and its spin-offs published by Fleetway Editions, Angel Island goes by the name of Floating Island. The island was able to fly by the power of its six Chaos Emeralds; however, if the Master Emerald is removed, the island will fall regardless. In this media, Knuckles has lived alone on the island for as long as he can remember, with only ruins and ancient texts to help him understand his long-departed people, the Echidna Empire.
Originally thought to be a myth, the Floating Island became a center point for many of Dr. Ivo Robotnik's operations after the doctor discovered the island, mainly the reconstruction of his Death Egg II. However, the island was firmly purged of his influence after Sonic and Knuckles destroyed the Death Egg II. Afterwards, the Floating Island would serve as a refuge for the Emerald Hill Folk until the end of Robotnik's tyranny. Regardless, the Floating Island would still be attacked by villains seeking its valuable contents, like Robotnik, the Drakon Empire and Ms Alpha's gang. During the last arc of the comic, Knuckles was forced to scatter the Chaos Emeralds to keep them from Chaos, making the Floating Island plummet into the sea where it sank.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, Angel Island is a location that houses the Master Emerald, protected by Knuckles. Its past is virtually identical to its game counterpart's up until after Sonic Forces.
The island was eventually taken over by Neo Metal Sonic during Knuckles' absence. However, thanks to the efforts of the Resistance, Angel Island was liberated and Knuckles returned to it to resume his duties as its guardian. Angel Island later became the last safe haven for the survivors of the Zombot apocalypse. There, the heroes worked together with Dr. Eggman to defeat the Deadly Six, who were controlling the Zombots, and rid the world of the Metal Virus. After that had been accomplished, Knuckles had everyone leave Angel Island.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Subspace Emissary mode has an area known as the Isle of Ancients. In the last part of the level, "Outside the Ancient Ruins," the island has a similar appearance to Angel Island if one looks into the background.
- Strangely, when the Master Emerald was shattered in Sonic Adventure 2, the fate of Angel Island is never mentioned. Given previous circumstances, it is likely to have returned to the surface until Knuckles was able to bring the Emerald back. Sonic Universe #63 appears to take this view, as it is mentioned that the island had fallen during the events that took place in the game.
- There are actually two real islands in the United States and Papua New Guinea, respectively, called "Angel Island."
- Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Opening sequence (Knuckles's story). "Knuckles: As far back as I can remember, I've been living here, on this dark island... Always guarding the Master Emerald from anything that can harm it. I don't know why I was given this job... Why it was my fate... Destined to be here...forever!"
- Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Egg Carrier (Knuckles' story). "Knuckles: Now... I must return to Angel Island and the Master Emerald."
- Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Knuckles. Sega. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 4.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 4.
- Sonic 3 <> Laputa Comparison. Sonic Research Zone.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-6.
- Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles's story). "Tikal: Father! Please don't! / Pachacamac: Tikal, the 7 Emeralds are essential to our survival. It is for the good of all our people. / Tikal: How can I make you understand? Attacking other countries, stealing and killing...can't be the right path to peace. No one has the right to take their holy grounds. I beg you father!"
- Sonic Team (19 October 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Big's story). "Tikal: So these are the 7 Emeralds... ?! Could it be? The servers are... the 7 Chaos Emeralds... Unified by one that is the controller... The 7 Chaos... The controller itself... Could this be the Emerald that controls the 7 Chaos?"
- Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles' story). "Tikal: I beg of you. Hear me now. My father is coming here soon. And I fear what may happen. You must take everyone away from here! Oh please! So, are you saying you can't leave this place? I understand... Let me talk to my father again! There must be a better way to do this. Don't worry, my friends. I won't let you down. I must do something...quickly."
- SEGA, SEGA HARDlight (19 September 2019). Sonic Racing. IOS. Sega. Area/Level: Knuckles the Echidna: Driver info. "Last descendant of the Knuckles Clan and protector of the Master Emerald."
- Sumo Digital (23 February 2010). Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. PlayStation 3. Sega. "Knuckles the Echidna's profile card: Knuckles the guardian of the Master Emerald, which gives Angel Island its power to float in the sky. He is the last of the Echidnas - the island's native people. His name comes from his powerful fists, which allow him to punch through rock and make him a skilled burrower and climber. He can also use his dreadlocks to glide for short distances.".
- Sega of America. Knuckles the Echidna. Sonic Characters. Sega. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005. Retrieved on 26 October 2017. "Knuckles was born alone on Angel Island, brought into this world to defend the Master Emerald. That is Knuckles' destiny and fate. If Sonic exemplifies the wind, then Knuckles is the mountain: stern and unmovable. Knuckles is quick to anger, but cool and determined in battle. Even though he considers Sonic his friend, the disposition of the Master Emerald is his ultimate concern. His determination to protect the gem from harm or ill use is set in stone and is unshakable. He is often envious of the adventurous lifestyle Sonic lives and the fame that has followed from Sonic's deeds, but Knuckles is well known in his own right, as a treasure hunter versed in the martial arts."
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 34-36.
- Sonic & Knuckles (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 12-13.
- Sonic Team (3 May 2002). Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/Level: Wild Canyon. "Knuckles: I'm Knuckles the Echidna. But you can call me Knuckles. Once again, the Master Emerald was stolen from Angel Island. The thief turns out to be this know-it-all bat girl of all things."
- Backbone Entertainment, Sega Studio USA (24 November 2006). Sonic Rivals. Sega. Area/Level: Sky Park Zone. "Knuckles: Hey, Eggman! How did you make the Master Emerald disappear from Angel Island?"
- Backbone Entertainment, Sega Studio USA (24 November 2006). Sonic Rivals. Sega. Area/Level: Death Yard Zone. "Eggman Nega: Fine! If you want to know so badly, I'll tell you! I turned the Master Emerald into a card using my camera by taking a picture of it from the future Angel Island. Since the Master Emerald is a unique object that exists across the time-space continuum... When the future emerald was turned into a card, its existence in all the time frames vanished as well. / Knuckles: So that's why the Master Emerald disappeared from right in front of me! / Eggman Nega: So you finally understand. Using the power of the Emerald, I brought all of Angel Island here, into this time frame."
- Sonic Forces: Stress Test, "Stress Test"
- Sonic Team (6 January 2004). Sonic Heroes. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Areal/Level: Frog Forest. "Knuckles: We have jungle mushrooms on my island, too...but not this huge."
- BioWare (30 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Central City. "Commander: We're not taking chances. We've posted soldiers in Mystic Ruins to watch over Angel Island."
- BioWare (30 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Metropolis Ground Zero. "Shade: Your military had set up around the base of the island. To conquer Angel Island, Ix needed to bring it to him. He used the Chaos Emeralds to draw the island over Metropolis, where we had set up our base. The plan was to assault the island on our turf, rather than attacking it with legions of soldiers underneath."