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The Black Arms[2] (ブラックアームズ[3] Burakku Āmuzu?) are creatures that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Recognizable by their black and red skin, they were a violent and hive-minded race of extraterrestrial beings created and led by Black Doom[3] who traversed space in the Black Comet. Fifty years after the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog, they invaded earth to conquer the planet but were opposed by Shadow and his allies.

The Black Arms were now assumed to be endangered, with the sole exception of Shadow being the last member of their species as a hybrid, after he chose to go against his own kind and destroyed the Black Comet using the Eclipse Cannon, as was its original purpose.

Description[]

Anatomy[]

There were numerous breeds of Black Arms, most of which being similar to various earthly creatures, including humans, non-anthropomorphic birds, and massive worms. Overall, all of these breeds possessed common features, such as two completely yellow eyes, and their trademark jet black and crimson skin.[4]

During infancy, the Black Arms underwent a larval phase, during which they were known as Death Leeches, before maturing into soldiers.[5]

Characteristics and culture[]

The Black Arms were a very violent species. Overall, they formed a massive army, which was completely controlled by their creator and leader, Black Doom.[2]

The bird appears to have held a prominent position in the culture of the Black Arms, whose temples in Glyphic Canyon and Sky Troops have a distinct shape like this animal[6] and were treated as their holy ground.[7]

Powers and abilities[]

The Black Arms were easily a very powerful legion; in mere minutes after their invasion of earth, they were able to strike at least six cities around the planet and cause major damage and casualties.[8] They also boasted very advanced technology for at least thousands of years; amongst their various creations are ancient floating temples, Air Saucers, a comet, and weapons of various types that include a paralyzing gas.[9] Nevertheless, individually, the Black Arms were noted to not be as tough as they appeared.[10]

As Death Leeches, the Black Arms were defenseless, but upon maturing, they would gain unique abilities determined by their breed; for example, the Black Warriors could wield weapons and board vehicles, the Black Assassins gained the apparent power of teleportation, and the Black Wings could fly. Some of the most powerful Black Arms were the Black Oaks, whose massive size and sheer strength made them the core of the aliens' army.[11] By far the strongest Black Arms was Black Doom himself, who created the entire legion[3] and held powers such as telepathy and control over his offspring's minds. Shadow the Hedgehog, a Black Arm/hedgehog hybrid, is known as the "Ultimate Life Form" and possesses super speed, superhuman strength, the ability to use chaos powers, and many other skills.

History[]

Past[]

The Black Arms were created by Black Doom,[3] who would serve as their leader for thousands of years.

Over 2,000 years ago, the Black Arms built a floating temple and transported it to earth to terrorize the local population, though their effects on the planet's history are not known.[12]

Dolphin 2015-09-05 20-30-44-906

Black Doom and Gerald Robotnik overseeing the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

Fifty years ago, the Black Arms' Black Comet passed by earth, but the Comet's weak velocity made them unable to enter the planet's atmosphere without using the Chaos Emeralds to warp the Comet there using Chaos Control. Luckily, Black Doom was contacted by Professor Gerald Robotnik, who needed help to complete Project Shadow. The two then made a deal: Doom would provide the professor a sample of his DNA for the project, and Robotnik would have his creation bring the alien the seven Chaos Emeralds the next time the Black Comet returned in fifty years.[13] Robotnik eventually discovered Black Doom's real plans to destroy the planet and so developed the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet and the Black Arms with it upon their return. Eventually, with the aid of Doom's DNA, Gerald created the Ultimate Life Form: Shadow the Hedgehog. However, the government came to regard the professor's research as too dangerous. As such, G.U.N. enacted an operation where they invaded the ARK and began exterminating everyone related to Project Shadow, with the goal of detaining Robotnik and contributing the subsequent shutdown of the colony to an accident.[14] During the attack, Robotnik's granddaughter, Maria Robotnik, was killed while sending Shadow down to earth. Afterwards, Gerald was detained and brought to Prison Island to continue his work on the black hedgehog, who had been found by the military and put into stasis on Prison Island, under military control. Unable to cope with the loss of Maria, he went insane and brainwashed Shadow into enacting the destruction of the world when he awoke. Not long after, the professor was executed when G.U.N. began fearing his retaliation.

Present[]

During the Space Colony ARK incident, the infamous Dr. Eggman, the grandson of Gerald Robotnik himself, raided Prison Island and released Shadow as part of a plan to conquer the world upon hearing of the Ultimate Life Form on his grandfather's diary. The hedgehog/Black Arms hybrid then teamed up with the doctor and Rouge the Bat to find all seven Chaos Emeralds and use them to subjugate the world with the Eclipse Cannon. However, doing so caused Gerald's program to send the ARK into a collision course with earth, which would destroy the planet instantly. As such, the trio teamed up with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to stop this threat. Shadow would fight the Biolizard, the prototype of the Ultimate Life Form, when it stood on their way, and later teamed up with Sonic and used the seven Emeralds to defeat the creature, now transformed into the Finalhazard. Upon defeating this foe, the hedgehogs used Chaos Control to stop the ARK's collision course, thus saving the world. However, Shadow would fall to the earth in the aftermath, seemingly killing him in the process.

After this crisis, Eggman would discover that Shadow survived his fall and sent one of his robots to rescue him. Afterwards, he placed the black hedgehog in a stasis capsule in one of his bases. Eventually, the hedgehog/Black Arms hybrid was freed by Rouge and formed Team Dark with her and E-123 Omega, later embarking on an adventure that eventually led them to team up with Teams Sonic, Rose and Chaotix to stop Neo Metal Sonic. Afterwards, Shadow would be involved in an incident involving the ancient weapon Emerl.

Eventually, Black Doom and his fellow Black Arms would launch a full-scale invasion on earth with the intention of conquering the planet.[note 1] Immediately afterwards, they struck several cities around the world, causing heavy damage and casualties.[8] Soon after, Doom appeared before Shadow and had him find the seven Chaos Emeralds and hand them to him as Gerald had promised. The black hedgehog would thus embark on an adventure to get the gems, during which he seemingly aided the aliens at some points.[note 2] Upon finding all seven Emeralds, he was about to give them to Black Doom at the Black Comet, but Sonic and his friends asked him not to do so. Doom, however, took the jewels and used Chaos Control to warp the Comet down to earth, where he released a paralyzing gas to incapacitate Shadow and the others. Overcoming this dangerous gas, the black hedgehog set out to chase after Black Doom. However, he was crippled once again by the alien, this time by his mind control. Fortunately though, he overcame this setback again upon watching a video of Gerald revealing the Black Arms' true plans. Soon after, Shadow used the seven Chaos Emeralds to transform into Super Shadow and fight Black Doom, now transformed into Devil Doom. Following an epic battle, the hedgehog defeated the alien overlord and used the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet, thus defeating the Black Arms.

After this crisis, Shadow would continue to protect the Earth from Dr. Eggman and various threats that would arise in the near future.

Sonic X Shadow Generations[]

The Black Arms is set to make an appearance in Sonic X Shadow Generations in the "Shadow Generations" story. Through unknown means, Black Doom and the remains of the species reemerge and threaten to continue their plans of taking over the world, but will once again be opposed by Shadow.

Other game appearances[]

Sonic Rivals series[]

In Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2, apart from Shadow, various of the Black Arms appear as collectible cards.

Sonic Frontiers[]

In Sonic Frontiers, the Black Arms were mentioned by Dr. Eggman, while he was trapped in Cyber Space, about how them and other civilizations were predated by the Ancients.[15]

List of Black Arms[]

Weaponry[]

Weapon Description
Black Sword Large purple sword. Sometimes accompanied by a shield.
Dark Hammer Large blue hammer-like weapons used by some Black Arms Oaks.
Black Shield Small transparent shield that is very resistant to projectiles. Large stationary shields can be found on the Black Comet, but they are much weaker.
Light Shot Basic plasma machine gun pistol commonly used by Black Warriors.
Flash Shot Rapid-fire, double-barreled plasma guns that are a common sight among Black Arms.
Ring Shot Gun that shoots slow pink energy rings, similar to the shots from the Camerons in Sonic Heroes.
Splitter Broad gun that fires fast red energy discs. The shots act like laser shots as they can shoot through multiple enemies and bounce off walls.
Worm Shooter Weapon that locks onto targets, and fires small homing explosive worms at the targets. Used by Black Annelids.
Black Barrel Powerful bazooka-like weapon that fires exploding energy shots. The same technology is used in the Black Cannons. A more powerful variant of this weapon exists, different in color and slightly in shape.
Cell Cannon Powerful stationary alien turret that can be used to destroy things such as gunships. They have a Black Barrel on their tip, and fire the same shots. Once destroyed, they leave a Black Barrel for Shadow to pick up.
Refractor Laser rifle that fires red lasers that bounce off walls. All Black Assassins are armed with this weapon.
Heavy Shot Machine-gun rifle similar to the light shot, but larger, more powerful, and with a different sound effect. Seen in all three levels in the Black Comet.
Vacuum Pod Odd weapon that sucks objects into its muzzle and compresses them into small balls that can be fired at enemies, similar to Sonic's magic hand attack from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. It can also suck in rings without using up ammo. Enemies use this weapon by sucking shadow in to touch them. Flying enemies can not be sucked in, and neither can enemies too large. While stationary, it can be seen slowly breathing.
Organic bombs Purple explosives used by the Black Arms, the largest of which is the "city annihilator" bomb, which, when a number of them are placed strategically, can destroy an entire city.
Satellite Gun Large energy beams coming down from the sky. Most likely fired from warships or the Black Comet itself. There is also an unlockable weapon by the same name which launches down a laser strike from the sky directly on the targeted enemy, making it more of a remote than a weapon.
Biological weaponry Biological weapons used during Black Doom's assault. Upon entering the bloodstream of a non-Black Arms, cause total paralysis, though the effect is only temporary, as the main characters were infected with it, but managed to break free after a few minutes.

Vehicles[]

Air Saucer[]

Main article: Air Saucer

Air Saucers are one-man floating discs that can be used to cross hazardous surfaces, such as toxic liquid or lava. Upon analyzing one, E-123 Omega is astounded that they float without using either fuel or engine components.[16] They can be ridden by Shadow, and are sometimes used by Black Warriors and Black Assassins.

Black Tank[]

Main article: Black Tank
BlackTank

A Black Tank, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

The Black Tank is a vehicle that appears in the Lethal Highway stage and somewhat resembles a stealth bomber. The tank is surrounded by a shield that can withstand many attacks, and is able to summon bombs to destroy the roadway behind it.[17] Destroying it is the Hero mission on Lethal Highway and the best way to defeat it is using a rapid-fire weapon. The most effective weapons are the Shadow Rifle and the Gatling gun which can be obtained behind the five-key door, with the maximum of 40 ammo can easily take out the tank in below 10 seconds. Interestingly, Sonic claims that guns are ineffective against the Black Tank, (despite the fact that it is easily able to be taken down by guns, though he may have talking about when the shield was up).

Gunship[]

The Black Arms' Gunships[18] are large organic-looking battleships. They usually appear in the Black Comet, Final Haunt and The Last Way. Gunships are armed with a Black Cannon and can spawn enemies. The best way to attack these ships is to use nearby turrets or the Shadow Rifle.

Strongholds[]

Black Comet[]

Main article: Black Comet
Black Comet

The Black Comet, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

The Black Comet is a massive comet that passes by the earth every fifty years. It is the home and/or a mode of transportation for the Black Arms. The comet itself appears to be alive or techno-organic in nature, most notably when it was teleported to earth and seemed to take on a life of its own to dig into the surface. When inside, it is almost like being in the body of a living organism. There are pulsating growths and what appear to be tentacles, organs and throat-like halls and many organic sounds. For example, in the Japanese version of the game, when the tentacles are destroyed, a roar (very similar to the Biolizard's) can be heard. There is a vicious substance in the comet that only death leeches and worms can exist in. Even Black Doom continuously warns Shadow that "that toxic substance is fatal." The tentacle-like projections also appear to exist in the substance.

The last time the comet passed by earth, Black Doom made a pact with Gerald Robotnik in order to create the Ultimate Life form, Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow would help Gerald in his research and Black Doom in his quest to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds. Gerald, however, regretted making the deal and designed the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet when it returned. Fifty years later, as the Black Comet approached earth during the start of Shadow the Hedgehog, the aliens began the final phase of their mission to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds and enslave the humans. The Black Comet did not have enough speed to make it to earth's surface on its own, so Black Doom uses the power of the Chaos Emeralds to teleport the comet to earth. However, Black Doom's plans were foiled when Shadow teleported it back into space and used the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet and all of the Black Arms inside of it.

It is interesting to note that while the Pure Hero level Final Haunt, the Black Comet (predictably) is full of Black Arms, on the Semi-Dark final level Black Comet, it is full of Gun Robots, and there are fewer Black Arms present than in other stages.

Glyphic Canyon[]

Main article: Glyphic Canyon

Black Doom transported a long complex of temples to the Glyphic Canyon two thousand years prior to the games, which adds up from a scientific perspective as all the planets were lined up at zero point two thousand years ago. According to Black Doom, it is the Black Arm's holy ground. These bird-shaped ruins were sealed away and deactivated many years ago. In order to reawaken this temple, one must touch the five large green jewels within in it. "Reawakening" the temple makes it airborne, with the ability to fire large red laser beams. If one destroys the jewels after this, the temples lose their power and fall down to the earth again.

Activating the jewels for Black Doom is the Dark mission for Glyphic Canyon, while destroying them is the Hero mission for Sky Troops, where Dr. Eggman battles the flying ruins with his Eggman Fleet. The temple is automatically reawakened when Shadow reaches Sky Troops, regardless of whether or not he has personally touched the five jewels, suggesting that the "evil path" through Glyphic Canyon is the canon route, or that the Black Arms activate the jewels themselves if Shadow does not do it for them.

There are also large tornado-like whirlwinds and dust storms in the ruins, that according to Black Doom were set in motion to stop humans from accessing them.

In other media[]

Archie Comics[]

Black Doom

Black Doom, from Sonic the Hedgehog #171.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Black Arms and their leader Black Doom played a key part in Shadow's creation fifty years ago, very similar to their video game counterparts. However, while Black Doom wanted to use the black hedgehog as a weapon, Professor Gerald Robotnik intended for him to become the protector of Mobius. On their return trip to Mobius, the aliens got held back by a war with the Xorda, another alien race.

After the Super Genesis Wave re-wrote history, the Black Arms attacked Sonic's World, only to be defeated by Shadow. Unbeknownst to everyone, however, a secondary hive-mind named Black Death took over the alien army after Black Doom's demise. With a super-soldier named Eclipse the Darkling to oppose Shadow, Black Death led the last Black Arms to Sonic's World in the New Black Comet. Nevertheless, thanks to Team Dark and G.U.N.'s combined efforts, the new comet was destroyed and Black Death was killed, resulting in the demise of all of the Black Arms except Eclipse and some of his Dark Arms. Seeking to avenge his colleagues' deaths, Eclipse attempted to steal the Master Emerald from Angel Island to kill Shadow, but his plans ended in failure.

IDW Publishing[]

BlackArmsMention

Sonic mentioning the Black Arms' invasion, from Sonic the Hedgehog #6.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Black Arms are an alien race who once tried to invade the world. However, these invaders were fought off by the unified forces of Sonic the Hedgehog, his allies, and even Dr. Eggman and his empire.[19]

Trivia[]

Sonic2app 2016-05-27 23-46-53-067

The scene in Sonic Adventure 2 where the hint of the Black Arms is taken from (the vertical sentence in yellow at the bottom).

  • The Black Arms may have been hinted at as early as Sonic Adventure 2, in an English inscription seen on a wall just before Shadow is released by Dr. Eggman reading: "ASTRONOMERS ARE CONCLUDING THAT MONSTROUSBLACKS." The Black Arms (or at least a similar concept) may have been created at this point but ultimately went unused.
  • The Black Arms are commonly referred to as "the black creatures," "black aliens," or even "terrorists" by the inhabitants of earth, with only a few characters, including Tails and the President's Secretary, actually referring to them by name. Which is often taken out of context and is seen as racist.
  • These were the first characters in all of the game continuity that have shown blood. The next would be Dark Gaia as he transforms into Perfect Dark Gaia in Sonic Unleashed.
    • The Black Arms originally had red blood; in the final version it is green. Before the game's release, the ESRB created the "E10+" rating, so realistic blood and excessive swearing was removed in order to avoid a "T" rating.
Shadow reference

A banner with a flipped symbol of the Black Arms in Gothic Gardens, from Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice.

  • In Gothic Gardens in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, a flipped version of the Black Arms' symbol appears in some banners, but it is unknown whether this means the Black Arms themselves exist in the Sonic Boom World.
  • The Black Arms' symbol has been associated with Shadow himself in various spin-off media.

Notes[]

  1. While Gerald Robotnik claims that the Black Arms plan to the destroy the earth in the English version, he says that they want to conquer the world in the Japanese version.
  2. At one point in Shadow the Hedgehog's Expert Mode, Cream thanks Shadow for saving her. This is something that can be done in Cryptic Castle, which is acceeded after helping the Black Arms in either Digital Circuit or Glyphic Canyon. As such, it can be assumed that Shadow teamed up with the aliens during at least the early phases of their invasion.

References[]

  1. Kazuyuki Hoshino (January 22, 2021). Kazuyuki Hoshino on Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved on January 22, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shadow the Hedgehog (Nintendo GameCube) United States instruction booklet, pg. 8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Shadow the Hedgehog (Nintendo GameCube) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 6.
  4. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Westopolis. "Black Doom (through Doom's Eye): Our race is marked by jet black and crimson skin. Just like you..."
  5. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Lethal Highway. "Black Doom (through Doom's Eye): Those [the Death Leeches] are our larvae, which mature into fine soldiers... Protect them."
  6. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Glyphic Canyon. "Knuckles: This temple looks pretty odd. It has a bird-like shape to it."
  7. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Sky Troops. "Black Doom (through Doom's Eye): Do not defile our holy ground! You do not want to incur my wrath!"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Cutscene: After Westopolis. "GUN Captain: The black aliens have hit six major cities around the world, and every city is reporting significant damage and casualties."
  9. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Last Story. "Black Doom: A special weapon... this gas, once released is quickly absorbed into your blood stream. In a moment, total paralysis will hit your nervous system. The end is near, now. Hahahahaha..."
  10. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Glyphic Canyon. "Knuckles: Not as tough as they look, are they?"
  11. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Cosmic Fall. "Black Doom (through Doom's Eye): Our giants, heralded for their pure strength form the core of our army!"
  12. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Cutscene: Before Sky Troops. "Shadow: I bet no one expected this baby could fly. / Black Doom: I transported this flying brilliant fortress to this planet over 2000 years ago. It's magnificent! The perfect killing machine... ready to impose terror in unimaginable ways."
  13. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Last Story. "Black Doom: The comet's velocity isn't powerful enough to pass through another planet's atmosphere. The Emeralds amplify the space-time control powers of Chaos Control. We need them to charge to full power. It's the perfect plan. That's why I needed the professor to help me... [...] The professor was in development of the ultimate life force but he needed my help. So we made a deal... I helped him and he promised to deliver me the SEVEN Chaos Emeralds. That's how you were created, Shadow. You would help us do both!"
  14. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/level: Last Story. "Gerald (video): Shadow, my son. If you're listening to this then the worst has happened... you need to know the truth. The government plans to shut down this research facility. The government plans to cease all of our research... and imprison all who know about you. I made a terrible mistake, Shadow. It's all my fault... making contact with that comet. In 50 years, the Black Comet will return... they plan to harness its powers to destroy this planet! The only way to stop them... was to develop a way to use the very power they intended to use against them. Shadow... it's up to YOU and only YOU can stop them! I developed the Eclipse Cannon... It's the only weapon that can destroy that Black Comet. Shadow, you are the only hope... to save mankind as we know it. The future of this planet depends on... YOU!"
  15. Sonic Team (November 8, 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: View Fish-o-pedia Menu. "Egg Memo 7: Who were the Ancients? They predate any civilization by a wide margin. The echidnas? Pffft. The Black Arms? Please. The Babylonians? Hardly! And yet they didn't seem to influence the world beyond these three piddly islands. Why? What stopped them from conquering the world?"
  16. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. "Omega: Object airborne without use of thrust or engine components. Does not compute."
  17. Sega Studio USA (November 15, 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. "Sonic: Dropping bombs while running away? I've heard about road rage but give me a break."
  18. Kaizen Media Group (November 22, 2005). "Enemies". Shadow the Hedgehog: Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. pp. 90. ISBN 978-0761551959.
  19. Sonic the Hedgehog #6, "The Fate of Dr. Eggman, Part 2"

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