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- "Fly high above the clouds with Knuckles and the Chaotix in The Great Chaos Caper: Part One! Knuckles the Echidna has been tasked by a mysterious force to fix the shattered planet – but when the Dark Gaia monsters emerge from the word's core, our hero finds himself in a fight for his very life! Luckily the ever-adventuring Chaotix are around to lend a hand, hired by Princess Sally to gather the all-important Chaos Emeralds. But wait, who's that lurking in the dark?"
The Great Chaos Caper Part One: On the Hunt
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Jim Amash
- Letters: Jack Morelli
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Assistant Editor: Vincent Lovallo
- Editor - Executive Director of Editorial: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special thanks to: Anthony Gaccione and the CHARACTER BUSINESS and LICENSING DEPARTMENT of SEGA CORPORATION
The issue starts with Knuckles shocked at the fact that his island is tilted sideways, and looks around to see all of the chaos of the Shattered World Crisis at zero hour. He shows confusion at the shattered world, and is further shocked to see Chaos jumping out of the Master Emerald. An unknown spirit speaks with Knuckles about the events, and reveals that the planet shattering isn't completely unnatural, but the way it is shouldn't be happening. The spirit also reveals that a spirit is supposed to help in this situation, but is quite weak at the moment, possibly too weak to help.
Knuckles decides to find the spirit, but goes to the Launch Base Zone to find someone to take care of the Master Emerald while he's gone. When he gets there, he finds Relic the Pika and Fixit working on an ancient computer. Relic says she can't get any connection, since Eggman overwrote the data as soon as they landed here. She asks Knuckles about Angel Island falling into the sea again, but Knuckles says that it is only tilting. Knuckles hesitantly asks Relic if she and Fixit would guard the Master Emerald while he was gone. Relic is surprised at this request, but accepts.
Knuckles glides into the Pumpkin Hill Zone where he pays his respects to a nearby grave, at the same time thinking about his mission; he is a treasure hunter, but finding a spirit would probably be the same thing. However, he is soon surrounded by monsters rising from the underground. He begins to attack them, but is outnumbered and buried by many of the monsters. Help arrives in the form of Charmy Bee and Espio the Chameleon, who kick the monsters out of the way and help Knuckles out of the pile. Vector the Crocodile comes with two monsters in his hands, only to get attacked by them. Knuckles helps him out and everyone defeats the monsters, which disintegrate into the ground.
Knuckles thanks the Chaotix and Vector asks him what he was doing here all alone in the Pumpkin Hill Zone. He tells them about his mission to find an unknown spirit. Espio asks him about the Master Emerald, and Knuckles says that he has left it under the care of Relic, remarking that the Chaotix haven't met her yet. Vector makes fun of him, but quickly goes quiet when Knuckles starts to get angry. He then asks the Chaotix what they were doing here, and Vector reveals that they were hired by Sally to find a Chaos Emerald. Espio asks Knuckles if he could team up with the Chaotix to find the Emerald, since he is more of a 'seasoned treasure hunter' than the others. Knuckles thinks that finding the Emerald will let him know more about the mysterious spirit.
He starts detecting the Emerald and notes that it is moving, much to the shock of Vector and Charmy. Knuckles says that it is heading south, at which the Chaotix start moving. Vector gives Charmy and Espio a Sling Ring each. Knuckles asks why they are running, and Espio reveals that Eggman is also dealing with the Shattered World Crisis and has hired a bunch of assistants to track down the Emeralds for him. Knuckles vows to get the Emeralds first. Charmy comments on how scary the place is, and Knuckles says that the place is actually populated by ghosts, which Charmy refuses to believe. But Knuckles mentions further that there are ghosts in the Sandopolis Zone, causing Charmy to drop one of the Sling Rings in panic and fly off. Knuckles catches Espio and Vector and the two bicker about the Sling Rings. Knuckles tell them to stop bickering, since they now have to find Charmy. They stop by a cliff and start climbing.
Vector blames Knuckles for joking about ghosts to Charmy, but Knuckles says he wasn't kidding and tells the two that there really are ghosts in the areas. Espio and Vector give concerned looks. Knuckles tells them to keep climbing, after reminding them that he would help them find the Emerald. They continue climbing to the top, when Knuckles criticizes Espio for being scared of ghosts, despite him being a Ninja. Espio says he's not afraid, and hears Charmy, who is hiding in one of the pumpkins. Vector scolds him for dropping them into a bottomless abyss, and Charmy apologizes. Charmy still has a fear of ghosts, and Knuckles convinces him not to be afraid, since he had beaten a bunch of monsters a few minutes ago and faced Metal Overlord, as well as several of Eggman's Badniks. This makes Charmy gain his confidence back.
Knuckles continues to sense the Emerald going downwards, with Espio wondering what is down there in the abyss. Knuckles says that a mining network is located there, but he says it was abandoned under serious circumstances, being careful enough not to scare Charmy again. Vector wonders why Eggman's armies are heading further down. Charmy jokes that they have 'lowlives', annoying Vector while Charmy laughs at his joke. Suddenly, they are attacked by bombs and lasers. The gang dodge them and Knuckles asks anyone to see who their attackers are. Vector says it's their competition, and the Chaotix get into a fighting position.
The competition turns out to be none other than the Hooligans. Nack tells the Chaotix to 'run along now before someone gets hurt'.
- Badnik Horde (mentioned)
- Metal Overlord (mentioned)
- Chaos (first appearance)
- Chaotix (first appearance)
- Dark Gaia Creatures (first appearance)
- Dr. Eggman (mentioned)
- Fixit the Robot (first appearance)
- Freedom Fighters (mentioned)
- Sally Acorn (mentioned)
- Hooligans (first appearance)
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Mighty the Armadillo (mentioned)
- Ray the Flying Squirrel (mentioned)
- Relic the Pika (first appearance)
- Tikal (voice)
- Prime Zone
- Marvelous Queen (first appearance)
- Relic states that she was on Angel Island when it last fell into the ocean after losing its ability to float. Curiously, the footnote states this as being during Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, even though the island was never seen to have fallen during that game. However, considering the Master Emerald was shattered in that game as it was in Sonic Adventure, it can at least be assumed the island fell off-screen.
- The Sling Rings used by the Chaotix in this issue are similar to the Ring Power in Knuckles' Chaotix.
- When Knuckles convinces Charmy not to be afraid of ghosts, he says "I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!" which is a reference to Ghostbusters.
- Nack's insult for Knuckles "Chuckles", is a possible reference to the infamous line "Unlike Sonic I don't chuckle" from Knuckles' theme "Unknown from M.E." in Sonic Adventure 2.
In the Pumpkin Hill Zone, Charmy is bugging Knuckles for a jack o' lantern. Knuckles tries to say that he does not even know how to make one, but this does not persuade Charmy from continuing to demand one. Knuckles thus punches a hole in a nearby pumpkin and hands it over to Charmy, asking if he is satisfied. Charmy shows that he is, as Knuckles' fist imprint looks like a kitty.
- Fixit: Madam Relic! Guardian Knuckles is present!
- Knuckles: I told you to knock it off with the formalities, Fixit. What's wrong, Relic?
- Relic: What's wrong? What's wrong?! The planet's gone to pieces and I can't contact anyone on the surface through this blasted useless-and-yet-still-frustratingly-intriguing ancient interface!
- Knuckles: ...I need your help watching over the Master Emerald...
- Relic: Are you quite serious?!
- Knuckles: Y-Yeah. Maybe for a day or two. I'm needed elsewhere and I don't have the time to hunt down anyone else.
- Relic: Ah, so I'm your last resort. Lovely back-handed compliment.
- Knuckles: N-No! I didn't mean it like...
- Relic: Oh, shush--I know what you meant.
- Vector: The world-famous Freedom Fighters hired us to pick up their slack!
- Charmy: Pffft! Bwa-ha-ha! Yeah, right! Sally asked us to help save the world and Vector begged for a royal hand-out!
- Vector: We're still negotiating the terms of the contract!
- Charmy: Ah ha ha! Like whether or not you get mayo on your reward sandwich? Hahaha!
- Knuckles: Anyone see what it is? Eggman? A Badnik Horde?
- Vector: Worse. Our competition.
- Nack: Lookie who it is! The "Moronix"! Guest-starring "Chuckles"! Run along now, before somebody gets hurt!
- The background of the regular cover is actually Mushroom Hill Zone from Sonic & Knuckles.
- Preview versions of both covers incorrectly referred to the arc as "The Great Chaotix Caper". This was corrected on the final covers.
Interior page artwork