The Great War is an event that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. It was a five-year conflict[note 1] that occurred in Mobius' recent history between the Overlanders and Mobians (primarily the Kingdom of Acorn). The conflict between the two distinct races goes back as far as the time of the Kingdom's first monarch Alexander. Although the Overlanders had the advantage of superior technology in the beginning of the Great War, the defection of Julian Kintobor and his knowledge of technology and Overlander tactics allowed the Mobians to gain a significant advantage. Eventually, due to Julian's help, the Mobians pushed back the Overlanders and won the Great War.
Roughly 1,000 years ago, prior to the formation of Mobotropolis, the Mobian Alexander realized that every species on the planet offered something unique that they could contribute to a single, large society. While trying to gather the various groups to form a single civilization, Alexander found that the Overlanders' aggressive tendencies would prove too great a risk to incorporate them into his community, and so they were excluded.
The Paladin incident
Since the creation of the Kingdom of Acorn, the Mobians had lived in peace and tranquility. Just outside the boundaries of the kingdom existed the mysterious Overlanders. Contact between the two species had been more or less benign since the creation of Mobotropolis. During the next king's rule, Theodore Acorn, a tragic accident befell his son, Emerson. While Emerson was making his way back to Mobotropolis with a group of other Mobians, he decided to take a detour and explore around the areas of Roundabout Creek. There, he met the Overlander Paladin, whose city was nearby just beyond the Badlands and had gone to do some target practice.
The two were enjoying each other's company, and Paladin decided to teach Emerson how to shoot a gun. Things took a turn for the worst when Paladin decided to target a bird, and Emerson jumped in the way hoping to prevent the bird's death. The shot killed Emerson, and as King Theodore came looking for his son, he saw Paladin running away into the forest. Instead of calling for vengeance, Alexander simply forbade contact between Mobians and Overlanders, as well as establishing a no-gun policy. Little did he know, his no-gun policy would gradually lead to a much larger misunderstanding.
King George's Folly and further escalation
The death of prince Emerson and Alexander's no-gun policy resulted in tensions between the two people. However, for centuries, conflicts remained as small skirmishes along to border and never escalated. The one exception was during the rule of George Acorn, who launched a brutal war against the Overland that later came to be known as "King George's Folly". However, the losses suffered by the Kingdom of Acorn were so great that George was stripped of power, and peace remained between the two nations until the time of Frederick Acorn. His eventual successor Sebastian Acorn managed to establish a peaceful relationship with the Overland, but as the Overland began squandering its resources the Kingdom became more desirable for conquest.
The Overlander scientist, Nate Morgan, had recently been exiled from his home in Megapolis, when his assistant Julian Kintobor caused one of Nate's studies to fail and endanger the society. When Nate was found in the wilderness by King Frederick and his entourage, the monarch accepted him into the Mobian society with open arms. Nate resumed the work on his previous failed study, which was to create a clean power source to replace fossil fuels. Eventually, Nate created the Power Rings, that acted as conduits for the mysterious Chaos Emerald King Frederick provided him with. Since the death of Emerson, the kingdom had remained in a pre-industrial state due to the Mobian belief in the preservation of nature. With this new power supply, Mobotropolis broke out of its pre-industrial state and echoed in a new golden age.
Some time later, Frederick's son, Maximillian Acorn, assumed the mantle of king. Unfortunately, not all were pleased with the onset of technology; namely the court wizard, Ixis Naugus. Aware that machines and science were replacing the need for his magical skills, the sorceror conspired to have Nate Morgan exiled from Mobotropolis. Although Naugus was unable to convince King Max of Nate's "treacherous nature," he formed an alliance with General Kodos Lion to vilify the Overlander.
A group of Mobian soldiers, led by Kodos, accompanied Nate on an environmental survey of the Great Forest. While they were doing so, Naugus used his magic to amplify the hatred and aggression of a nearby Overlander patrol, causing a fight to break out between the two groups. With Kodos and Nate the only two survivors, Kodos informed the king that Nate had provided the Overlanders with the location of the kingdom. Maximillian was stunned and reluctant to believe the tale-even when Naugus corroborated it-but the decision was taken out of his hands by Nate himself. Feeling he had caused enough trouble to both the Overlanders and Mobians, the scientist imposed self-exile on himself, and left the Kingdom.
With the conflict between Overlanders and Mobians growing ever stronger, Kodos intended to remove Naugus from the picture. Unfortunately for him, Naugus had already fled to the Zone of Silence, where he intended to hone his powers until the war ended. The best Kodos could do was seal off the Zone, preventing Naugus from returning to Mobius.
The war begins
As Mobians and Overlanders grew more suspicious of each other, they began sending scouts to determine the nature of their "enemies". When a scout from each side met each other, however, neither one wanted to engage in combat. After talking for a while, the pair decided they would return to their respective lands and inform their people that war would be futile. Alas, the pair was discovered by Kodos and his soldiers. Refusing to accept the likely coexistence of Mobian and Overlander, Kodos executed both scouts, and had their bodies delivered to their respective side with the message, "This is what happens to all who oppose us". Convinced that they were dealing with savages, both sides prepared for battle, resulting in the start of the Great War.
Due to their superior technology and violent tendencies, the Overlander forces managed to capture the capital city of Mobotropolis by the year 3220.
The Queen Alicia incident
At some point the Mobians managed to push the Overlanders out of their capital city. However, by 3221,[note 2] Overlander troops were still within mortar and shelling range of Mobotropolis. As the city came under siege, King Max decided to send his infant son Elias and wife Alicia to the safety of Angel Island where they would remain safe from the clutches of the Overlanders should the city fall. The two members of the royal family were placed under the care of Ian St. John, Colonel Sommersby, and a few other soldiers, and were dispatched via airship to Angel Island.
As their craft flew over the Floating Island, it was shot down by Overlander scout ships. The Brotherhood of Guardians arrived on the scene first, finding a seriously wounded Queen Alicia and her infant son amongst the wreckage as the sole survivors of the crash. The Brotherhood's team leader, Sabre, informed the Overlanders that everyone had died in the crash. Due to the Echidnas' non-involvement in the war and overall neutrality, the Overlanders took Sabre's word and departed. Shortly afterwards, the dying Queen was taken back to Haven and put in cryo-sleep until a cure could be found for her wounds, while Elias was looked after and raised by the Echidnas.
Arrival of Julian Kintobor
After being sentenced to imprisonment for testing new weapons on his own people, Overlander scientist (and Nate Morgan's former apprentice) Julian Kintobor was rescued in the Badlands by the hedgehog brothers Charles and Jules during his attempted escape. Julian was able to win the trust of King Max, particularly since Max felt responsible for Nate Morgan's self-exile and wanted to rectify this by trusting the newly arrived Overlander. Additionally, the Overlanders were directly attacking Mobotropolis, making the king all the more desperate for a solution to the war. Julian managed to gain status in the kingdom when he knocked Kodos unconscious and threw him into the Zone of Silence, and convinced them Kodos had died when meddling with one of Naugus' left behind tools. Julian convinced the Mobians that unless they defeated the Overlanders, their enemies would not rest until they wiped them out. With his knowledge of the Overlander tactics, Julian was appointed the new Warlord to replace the presumed-dead Kodos.
Battles and skirmishes
As the Overlanders continued their shelling of Mobotropolis, many of its citizens and troops, suffering from wounds and shell-shock and weary from constant battle, were sent into the bunkers beneath the city where the women and children were waiting in sanctuary. Two of the female soldiers, Bernadette and Cocoa, were chosen as guides due to their superior eyesight, and led a group of soldiers through the massive sewer network, including Jules and Charles. Eventually, the group found themselves behind enemy lines. Using the element of surprise, the Mobian troops emerged and began attacked the startled Overlanders. It was at this point that Amadeus Prower received a wound to his left eye. The Overlander's leader, Colin Kintobor, realized defeat was imminent and retreated into the same sewer systems the Mobians emerged from, managing to escape capture, while the rest of the Overlanders' attacking forces were defeated.
Prior to the discovery of Sir Charles' Roboticizer, Warlord Julian's schemes to take over the kingdom involved using an army of cyborgs. After capturing and experimenting on the citizens of the neutral village of Leung West, Julian managed to create one successful cyborg - Monkey Khan. Although he was disappointed only one test subject had survived receiving cybernetic implants, Julian decided to test his sole warrior on a group of attacking Overlanders. After Monkey Khan attacked them and single-handedly destroying their tank, the Overlander troops retreated. Julian was impressed by Monkey Khan's success, but was forced to permanently confine him after Khan attempted to mutiny.
When the infamous Mobian historian Kirby disappeared and was presumed to have been captured by the Overlanders, a team – composed of the now-married Jules and Bernadette Hedgehog, Charles, Sherman Walrus and Amadeus Prower – was dispatched to discover what his fate was. Following a lead about Kirby's whereabouts, the team soon found themselves chasing an Overlander. In their chase, however, Jules got careless and was received a mortal wound to the head by the Overlander. The Overlander was soon taken out by an enraged Bernadette and Jules was brought back through the Badlands to Mobotropolis. Jules' wound proved too severe to be healed, though his life was saved by his brother Charles' recently developed means of roboticization.
With Julian's knowledge of Overlander tactics, and his development of new technologies and machines, the Mobians were finally able to go on the offensive. Eventually they pushed the Overlanders away from Mobotropolis.
The Great War came to an abrupt end after Julian arranged for Charlemagne, the Overlord of the Overlander people to face off against King Max in a sword duel. The purpose of this was to essentially have one of his primary enemies removed and place him in a better position to persue his plans of global domination after the war's end. In the event the Overlord won, Julian planned to take command and lead the Mobians to constant war with the Overlanders, wearing both sides down. If King Max won, the Overlanders would be forced to surrender, as agreed by both combatants. King Max won the duel, but instead of killing the Overlord, he spared his life and allowed Charlemagne to leave, telling him to honor his word. As per the agreement, the Overlord surrendered, and the Great War came to an end.
Despite the outcome of the duel nearly thwarting Julian's plans, the discovery of Sir Charles Hedgehog's roboticizer enabled him to proceed with his plans. Not long after their victory over the Overlanders, King Max was preparing to announce the dismantling of the War Ministry and promote Julian to the position of Minister of Science. Before his announcement could be made however, Julian, now calling himself Dr. Ivo Robotnik, launched a full scale coup d'état and overthrew the Acorn Monarchy. He banished King Max to the Zone of Silence, and began roboticizing the population of Mobotropolis.
Having lost to the "inferior" Mobians, a few Overlanders were racked with shame. Overlord Charlemagne disappeared, never to be heard from again, while some decided to leave the planet. Led by Julian's brother Colin Kintobor, a group of Overlanders took off on board two spaceships to look for a new planet to call their own. This prevented these Overlanders from falling under the rule of Robotnik, as the tyrannical ruler sent his legions of SWATbots to their main city of Megapolis following his takeover of Mobotropolis.
After failing to find a suitable new planet over the course of eleven years, and with their supplies running low, the Overlanders eventually returned to Mobius. At this point, Dr. Eggman had replaced the now-deceased Dr. Ivo Robotnik (formerly Julian Kintobor) and convinced the Overlanders to stay in Robotropolis. When it was discovered Eggman was secretly allowing them to succumb to toxic radiation poisoning, the surviving seventy families from the star trek left and integrated with their human counterparts in Station Square.
- The Great War is based on the conflict briefly mentioned in the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series.
- Ian Flynn has confirmed that the Great War did not occur in the post-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
- The year of the Great War's beginning's and end were determined through dialogue and the SEGA data files. Sonic was said to have been born during the "early days of the Great War". Tails' data file states he was born five years later, as did other dialogue throughout the comics. Tails was born the day of Robotnik's coup, which began shortly after the war's end. Thus, the conflict lasted from 3220 - 3225.
- The date of Elias and Alicia's escape was taken from Sonic the Hedgehog #73, where Elias said that he had been away from Knothole for fifteen years. The year he made this statement was 3236, making the year he was sent away 3221.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #71, "In the Beginning..."
- Sonic the Hedgehog #72, "Tales of the Great War Part One: The Shot Heard 'Round the World!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #73, "Tales of the Great War Part 2: The Big Bad One"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Acorn Lineage"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Mobius Timeline Act 12: In the Name of the Overland"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #65, "The Fellowship of the Rings"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Mobius Timeline Act 13: Tales of the Great War"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #64, "On the Majesty's Secret Service Part 4: The Mission"
- Knuckles the Echidna #20, "The Forbidden Zone Part Two of Three: Once upon a Time in Mobotropolis"
- Knuckles the Echidna #21, "The Forbidden Zone Part Three of Three: The Many Facets of the Truth"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #50, "The Big Goodbye"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #72, "I, Robotnik!"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #74, "Tales of the Great War Part III: Enter... Robotnik"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #76, "Tales of the Great War Part Four: Another Point of View"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #86, "Against the Haunted Past Part One"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #77, "Tales of the Great War Part 5: For Better or Worse..."
- Sonic the Hedgehog #78, "Tales of the Great War Part 6: What Really Happened"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #43, "The Dream Zone"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia, "Mobius Timeline Act 14: War's End"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #94, "New Order"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #92, "The Wrath of Khan"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #93, "Crime 'n Punishment"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #105, "You Say You Want a Revelation?"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #106, "Crouching Hedgehog, Hidden Dragon"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #107, "Crouching Hedgehog, Hidden Dragon Part Two"
- Ian Flynn on Twitter. Twitter (28 December 2015). Retrieved on 29 December 2015. “Alexander Soerensen: Sorry to bother you, but did the "Great War" happen in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline? / Ian Flynn: Nope.”