Darkspine Sonic (ダークスパインソニック Dākusupain Sonikku?), or just Darkspine for short, is a transformation that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is the form Sonic the Hedgehog can achieve by absorbing the World Rings of rage, sadness and hatred. In this form, Sonic is slightly more violent and aggressive due to the influence of the World Rings' sealed feelings. During the decisive battle with Erazor Djinn, Sonic unwillingly assumed this form and defeated Alf Layla wa-Layla, thus saving the world of the Arabian Nights.
In this form, Sonic's fur and arms become a deep indigo color, and his skin turns pale white. He also gains a single, thick white stripe around his feet, and some more near his elbows, as well as a pair of much thinner white stripes that go up his forehead and down his upper middle quill, and a secondary pair of stripes on his lower middle quill. In addition, Sonic's pupils and irises disappear entirely. His eyes also become slightly more angular in shape, and his quills hang lower than usual. In terms of attire, Sonic loses his trademark gloves and shoes and instead gains four glowing golden rings around his wrists and ankles. His voice also undergoes a slight change: becoming much gruffer, but maintaining its normal pitch. He is also constantly enveloped in a large, flaming, orange aura.
Sonic Storybook Series
Sonic and the Secret Rings
In Sonic and the Secret Rings, after witnessing Erazor Djinn absorb the seven World Rings, Sonic saw Erazor mutate into the incomplete Alf Layla wa-Layla, as the requirement for controlling the World Rings were not met. As Alf Layla wa-Layla announced his desire to remake the world of the Arabian Nights in his image, the Red World Ring, Purple World Ring and Green World Ring erupted from his body and were absorbed by Sonic, causing him to turn into Darkspine Sonic following a painful transformation. Asking the deceased Shahra to lend him her power, Darkspine Sonic engaged Alf Layla wa-Layla in his own distorted realm. During their ensuing, brutal battle, Darkspine Sonic managed to literally beat the seven World Rings' power out of Alf Layla wa-Layla, thus making him revert back to normal. In the aftermath, Darkspine Sonic reverted Alf Layla wa-Layla's realm, and himself, back to normal too.
In this game, Darkspine Sonic is only playable during the "Last Chapter" Mission in Night Palace. When beginning the fight, Darkspine Sonic will have zero Rings in his possession, although the player can pick up Rings throughout the Mission. In exchange, Sonic can maintain this form without sustainment from the Rings in his possession, and his Ring count will not be decreasing over time like Super Sonic's.
In gameplay, Darkspine Sonic takes damage like he would normally during any other Mission, meaning that the player will lose Rings each time Darkspine Sonic takes a hit. If Darkspine Sonic takes a hit without any Rings on him, the player will have to start the Mission over. In return, the number of Rings the player can carry and the size of the Soul Gauge have been increased to their maximum. Also, by shaking the Wii Remote, Darkspine Sonic will perform a mid-air Spin Attack that recharges his Soul Gauge without the need to collect Pearls. He also retains the ability to perform the Time Break and Speed Break.
Sonic and the Black Knight
In Sonic and the Black Knight, Darkspine Sonic makes a cameo appearance on one of the fan arts posted in the game.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Powers and abilities
As Darkspine Sonic, Sonic has increased physical strength, enough to send Alf Layla wa-Layla's strongest attack back at him with brute force alone. He also possesses the power of flight, increased speed, and the ability to manipulate three elements in total, namely flame, darkness and wind. His pyrokinetic abilities in particular allow him to create and control fire. In combat, he can create concentrated flames on his hands and feet to create destructive force behind his attacks and form miniature, yet powerful explosions of flames.
Darkspine Sonic has also demonstrated a profound and brutal form of hand-to-hand combat, being capable of delivering powerful kicks and punches in rapid succession. He is also able to perform Time Break and Speed Break without relying on the magic of Shahra's Ring, and he can generate the necessary amount of soul energy he needs for these moves, himself.
Being infused with some of the World Rings' power, which are what keep the world of the Arabian Nights together, Darkspine Sonic can warp the reality of the world of the Arabian Nights to a degree: with one gesture, Sonic could revert Erazor Djinn's realm back to normal while also expelling the World Rings' power from his body.
- "We've got to... stop him! Shahra... Please! Lend me your... POWER!"
- —Darkspine Sonic before the final battle, Sonic and the Secret Rings
- Darkspine Sonic is one of three transformations Sonic has undergone that were unintentional, the other two being Sonic the Werehog and Excalibur Sonic.
- Darkspine Sonic can be considered the second form of Sonic that was not attained using Chaos Emeralds.
- It is possible that Darkspine Sonic is an incomplete transformation, as he only used three of the seven World Rings.
- It is believed that Darkspine Sonic's pyrokinetic powers were inspired both by the fact that the original title of the game was intended to be Sonic Wildfire and the recurring use of fire based techniques by Sonic in-game.
- When transforming, Sonic was shown to be in pain, making this the first time that Sonic has ever dealt with negative side effects whilst undergoing a transformation.
- This is the first form in which Sonic has neither gloves nor shoes.
- Sega (13 November 2011). Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: London Party. "Shy Guy: Do you know what Sonic becomes when he transforms into Darkspine Sonic? / ... / Shy Guy: Darkspine Sonic uses the powers of flame, wind, and darkness."
- Sonic Team (2 March 2007). Sonic and the Secret Rings. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Special Book, Chapter 9. "Alf Layla wa-Layla Appears description: A sad scene, Darkspine Sonic appears and gets ready for the final showdown!"