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The Emerald Shard (エメラルドのかけら,Emerarudo no Kake-ra?, lit. "Emerald Fragment"), also known as the Master Emerald Fragment, or simply the Emerald (エメラルド,Emerarudo?), is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a fragment of either a Chaos Emerald or the Master Emerald, created when the gems have been forced into shattering. Bringing them back together will reform their gestalt Emerald.
In Sonic Blast, a Chaos Emerald that Sonic had was accidentally hit by a laser from Dr. Robotnik, who tried to zap Sonic with a laser gun while he was sleeping. This caused the Emerald to shatter into five multi-colored Emerald Shards, which flew away. Sonic subsequently teamed up with Knuckles to find the shards and stop Robotnik.
In gameplay, the game's five Emerald Shards are found in the Special Stages that are accessed in the second Acts of the Zones. To get an Emerald Shard, the player must complete one of those Special Stages. Getting all five Emerald Shards does not modify gameplay, although it allows the player to get the good ending of the game, in which Sonic/Knuckles watches Robotnik's Silver Castle fall into the sea as he juggles the Emerald Shards with his left hand.
In the original Dreamcast version of the game, they are a very dark green and hard to see against some backgrounds, but in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, they are much more radiant and easier to see. When touching a shard, it will float up over Knuckles and disappear in a burst of sparkles.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2 and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Rouge and Knuckles were fighting over the Master Emerald. Dr. Eggman attempted to steal it, but Knuckles smashed it to prevent the theft, so he and Rouge began hunting down its Emerald Shards. In the majority of Knuckles and Rouge's Stages, the objective is to find all the Emerald Shards' present. Once again, the player has the Emerald Radar to pinpoint their locations. In the Treasure Hunt Races in the game's two-player mode, the Emeralds Shards are to be located by the players in a similar fashion.
The two treasure hunters eventually gathered all the shards, though after Knuckles saved Rouge's life, she returned her shards to Knuckles with reluctant gratitude, which let Knuckles reassemble the Master Emerald.
In Sonic Battle, Emerald Shards from both the Master Emerald and the Chaos Emeralds appeared. Many of the Chaos Emeralds were crushed by Dr. Eggman into five Emerald Shards and used to operate the E-121 Phi model robots. Once a Phi is destroyed, they drop their Emerald Shard and either break down or retreat. When five Emerald Shards of the same color are united, a Chaos Emerald can be created. Tails is the one who first discovered how Emerald Shards work and characters often visit him to have their Chaos Emerald reassembled. Chaos Gamma is also seen with an Emerald Shard which he absorbs to injure Shadow.
When Sonic tried to use the Master Emerald to neutralize the Chaos Emeralds inside of the out-of-control Emerl, Emerl smashed the Master Emerald into tiny pieces and the pieces were not seen for the remainder of the game, though it is highly likely they were recovered and reassembled. At the end of Emerl's story, Emerl exploded, smashing the Chaos Emeralds within him, turning them to Shards with Emerl's "soul" within them.
In Sonic Runners, the Emerald Shards appeared again as fragments of the Master Emerald called Master Emerald Fragments. When Dr. Eggman tried stealing the Master Emerald, Knuckles smashed it into several fragments which dispersed far and wide to keep it safe. Both Team Sonic and Eggman thus began tracking down the fragments. While Team Sonic found some without trouble, they sometimes had to fight Eggman and Metal Sonic for them. Eggman initially had the upper hand thanks to an Emerald Detector, but Team Sonic took it from him and used it to find the remaining shards and reassembled the Master Emerald.
Sonic Speed Simulator
In Sonic Speed Simulator, the Emerald Shards appeared again as fragments of the Master Emerald. This time, they are called Master Emerald Shards. Accordingly, the Emerald Shards were originally in Knuckles' possession, but by freeing Amy from her crystal prison during "Save Amy Event", it created a blast that scattered the Emerald Shards all over the worlds.
In gameplay, the Emerald Shards appear during the "Treasure Hunt Event". In terms of gameplay, they are similar to the pink crystals found in the "Save Amy Event". They spawn at random in all game's worlds. After spawning, the player will have three minutes to collect as many as possible before they disappear. Upon collecting 3000 of them, Sonic & Knuckles Trail is unlocked: it will also contribute to the unlocking of Treasure Hunter Knuckles as a playable character. The Emerald Shards also respawn every third minute.
If the player collects the required amount of Emerald Shards, they will not spawn anymore. However, players who do not have the required amount still have a chance to collect them.
In other media
In the Sonic Underground television series, when Dingo accidentally dropped a Chaos Emerald from a great height, it shattered in two. This resulted in the release of the chaos energy within, causing a great amount of disasters around Planet Mobius. Dingo's attempt to put the two shards back together only shocked him with the immense discharge, and Sleet's attempt to contain them inside a transformed Dingo only caused the latter to turn into a powerful mutant monster. Only a special canister can contain the loose chaos energy from tearing the planet apart.
In the Sonic X anime series, the Emerald Shards make a few appearances. In this media, the only Emerald Shards shown are the fragments of the Master Emerald.
The Emerald Shards first appeared during the Chaos Saga, where Eggman shattered the Master Emerald to free Chaos. As such, Knuckles went off on a search across the nearby areas on earth for the Emerald Shards to restore the Master Emerald. The Emerald Shards appeared again near the end of the Metarex Saga when the Master Emerald shattered after all its power was used to defeat Dark Oak.
↑ 4.04.1Sonic Team (25 June 2015). Sonic Runners. iOS. Sega. Area/Level: Episode 36: The Hunt for the Master Emerald 3. "Tails: According to the detector, there are two Master Emerald fragments still to be found... Which one shall we go after first, guys?"
↑Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Station Square. "Newsstand Saleswoman: Let's see if there's any news about last night. The paper says... A mysterious meteor shower was sighted. A shower of shiny, green meteors shooting to the north. It was so bright, you'd think you could reach out and touch it. How romantic!"