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My name is Arthur. Bow down before your king. With the greatest of knights at my command and with the power of this scabbard, I shall rule these lands.


— King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight

King Arthur (アーサー王 Āsā-ō?), also known as the Black Knight (黒の騎士 Kuro no kishi?), is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He was a being from the World of Camelot and was a magical illusion created by Merlin for the purpose of becoming a benevolent ruler over England. Under the guiding hand of his creator, Arthur achieved his purpose and became a legend. When he obtained the scabbard of Excalibur, however, he was corrupted by its power and became an evil tyrant who enslaved his kingdom. His reign of terror came to an end when Sonic the Hedgehog was called into the World of Camelot and slew him. Sonic himself was later hinted by Caliburn to be the true king.

Appearance[]

As the Black Knight, Arthur was a tall man, encased in an imposing suit of dark golden armor, with dark red linings and brighter golden decals, giving him a formidable and menacing presence. The armor is also designed with sharp edges, such as his pauldrons, gauntlets, fauld, sabatons, and poleyns, each lined with detailed engravings, along with a pink gem in his chest. His helmet covers his entire head, topped with a crown-like structure, align with three pink gems, and leaving only slits for his eyes that glow a bright yellow.

He also wore a long, flowing dark red cape from his shoulders, line with details that glowed pink, adding to his majestic and foreboding appearance.

History[]

Past[]

Merlin the Kidnapper

Merlin with the infant Arthur, from Sonic and the Black Knight.

Long ago, Arthur was created by the wizard Merlin as an illusionary Knight of the Underworld, for the purpose of bringing peace and a just rule to the kingdom as its monarch. Apparently using King Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine as surrogate parents, Merlin used his trickery to have this couple conceive the child. Against the monarchs' wishes, the newborn Arthur was taken away by the wizard and given to Sir Ector to be raised.[2]

While as a young boy, Arthur came across the sacred sword Caliburn which was embedded in a stone and could only be pulled out by, as Merlin had claimed, the true King of England. Where all others failed, Arthur successfully pulled out Caliburn, making him the ruler of the kingdom.[3] Over time, Arthur proved himself to be a wise and just king, making him praised by all, and he gathered a powerful group of noble knights under his service, named the Knights of the Round Table. For some time, King Arthur led his kingdom into an era of peace and prosperity.

One sword to end it all

Arthur receiving Excalibur from Nimue, from Sonic and the Black Knight.

During his youth, Arthur broke his own sword. Guided by Merlin, he went to a lake in the Deep Woods where he found the legendary sword Excalibur. Using a boat, he sailed out into the lake where Nimue bestowed Excalibur and its scabbard to Arthur as he had proven himself worthy to wield them. Using Excalibur, Arthur was able to save his kingdom countless times.[4]

With the scabbard of Excalibur's magic, Arthur became an immortal being. However, the mystical forces of the scabbard and power bewitched and corrupted the new monarch,[5] turning him into a power-hungry tyrant and was renamed the Black Knight. At some point, he lost Excalibur when it was corrupted by his evil, but gained a new sword called Deathcalibur. Using his dark magic, Arthur began summoning the Knights of the Underworld to do his bidding and began plunging his kingdom into turbulence and chaos. He nevertheless proved to still have strong relations with the Knights of the Round Table despite his change, and they still chose to serve him as well.

Sonic and the Black Knight[]

In Sonic and the Black Knight, Arthur was chasing after the granddaughter of his creator and Royal Wizard, Merlina the Wizard, for unknown reasons. Using Deathcalibur, Arthur summoned the Knights of the Underworld to trap her, but as Arthur approached her, Merlina used her own magic to summon Sonic the Hedgehog to their world. After Sonic dispatched Arthur's minions, Arthur prepared to battle the hedgehog, but Merlina teleported them both away before the battle could begin. Not distraught by his enemies' escape, Arthur met up with Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Sir Percival and ordered them to seek out Sonic and Merlina and slay them on sight, while he chased after them himself.

After Sonic obtained Caliburn, Arthur finally caught up with Sonic and Merlina and fought Sonic but as Sonic lacked both resources and skills, and as the scabbard of Excalibur had made Arthur immortal, Arthur decided to leave after deeming Sonic "a fool of a knight" who is not worth slaying. Much later, the two of them met a second time at Avalon, when Sonic sought out Arthur to stop him once and for all. Arthur dryly remarked that Sonic had only somewhat improved his impersonation of a knight, but this time he was determined to kill Sonic in a duel.

After a more heated duel, Arthur was knocked off his horse, but told Sonic that he could not win because of his immortality. However, as Arthur called upon the scabbard's power, Sonic used the sacred swords he gained from the Knights of the Round Table to nullify the scabbard's power. Arthur stood up in disbelief of what was happening, and was defeated when Sonic attacked him one last time.

After being bested by Sonic, Arthur faded away, leaving nothing but the scabbard. When Sonic brought the scabbard to Merlina, she revealed that King Arthur was never there, just an illusion created by Merlin, and it was merely part of her plan to acquire the scabbard of Excalibur for her own ends.

Legacy[]

After the battle with the Dark Queen, Caliburn revealed that as his status as a legendary sacred sword, his duty is to decide who was fit for the crown, thus making Sonic the one worthy to be King Arthur.

Personality[]

Prior to his corruption, King Arthur was noted to be a wise, loyal, and just ruler, as well as an honorable knight of great virtues. He also cared greatly for his kingdom and its inhabitants, having willingly saved it on countless occasions. However, after being given the Scabbard of Excalibur, Arthur's personality underwent a drastic change. Mad with power, Arthur became an evil and merciless tyrant, enslaving and imprisoning his own people, attempting to murder those who opposed him, and plunging his kingdom into darkness, all without a hint of remorse. King Arthur was incredibly arrogant. Confident in his superiority, Arthur acted very disrespectfully to his enemies, constantly deriding them as fools, weaklings, and not worth his time, even showing willingness to withdraw from a battle with opponents he deemed unworthy. Arthur was also a hypocrite, as he mockingly said that Sonic is only good at running away, despite the fact that during both his fights with the hedgehog, he spends most of the fight running away from Sonic. Despite his arrogance, Arthur would show some respect to his foes if they impressed him, admitting to Sonic that his swordsmanship seemed to have improved a bit during their second battle. Like all people from the World of Camelot, King Arthur speaks in Medieval English, saying old-fashioned words and phrases such as “slay” and “give chase”.

Powers and abilities[]

King Arthur is capable of continuously projecting red and black energy balls from his hands. He is also a very skilled swordsman, with Caliburn claiming that he is a better fighter than any of the Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur also rode a magic horse which was apparently summoned by his power, as it vanished after Arthur was defeated by Sonic.

Weapons[]

King Arthur was armed with a magic sword, Deathcalibur, which aside from being used for sword fighting, could create portals to the Underworld by slicing the air, allowing him to summon the Knights of the Underworld to use as minions. Deathcalibur could also open portals for teleportation from one place to another, such as creating a small portal to stick his arm through to attack enemies from a distance. Arthur could also fire purple lightning bolts from Deathcalibur and could fire three lightning bolts at once, though its lighting bolts were not very powerful, only stunning Sonic for a few seconds if they hit him instead of harming him. Arthur also possessed the Scabbard of Excalibur, which made him immortal and invulnerable as long as he possessed it.

Relationships[]

Knights of the Round Table[]

Sonic the Hedgehog[]

Allies[]

Enemies[]

In other media[]

Books and comics[]

Archie Comics[]

Main article: King Arthur (Archie)
Arthur29

King Arthur, from Sonic the Hedgehog #197.

King Arthur appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics. He is the king of Camelot and makes his sole appearance in the adaptation of Sonic and the Black Knight 's opening cinematic.[6]

In this continuity, he is a being from another Zone connected to the ‘In Another Time, In Another Place’ reality in the multiverse.

King Arthur was chasing down the royal wizard Merlina for unknown reasons. He summoned his Knights of the Underworld to surround her. In a desperate act, Merlina summoned Sonic the Hedgehog to aid her, who proceeded to wipe out Arthur's force. They retreated with Merlina's magic, and he flew to a nearby cliff. The King turned to addressing the rest of the Knights of the Round Table before giving chase himself. King Arthur seemed to know where Merlina the Wizard and her speedy, blue summon teleported off to.

Quotes[]

"Now, let us see the power of your so-called sacred sword."
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"Pursue me at your own peril, weakling."
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"You shall regret the day you ever raised your sword against me!"
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"It appears you are good at only one thing: running away."
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"I shall blast you into dust!"
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"You blue pest! Roar Deathcalibur!"
—King Arthur charging his Soul Surge, Sonic and the Black Knight
"Heh heh heh... I am immortal. You cannot defeat me!"
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"Those bring their swords to bear against me will regret it."
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight
"Your very presence offends the eye."
—King Arthur, Sonic and the Black Knight

Songs[]

  • King Arthur's theme song is "Fight the Knight" by Crush 40, which is used for the two boss fights Sonic has with him. In the first boss battle against him, the song is instrumental. The song in the second battle has lyrics.

Trivia[]

  • A black knight is a stock literary character, typically a villain. It is a knight who has no liege-lord or does not want to be identified and so does not bear any heraldic standards. Several black knights appeared in the tales of King Arthur.
  • Dragons are a key symbol of King Arthur.[7]
  • While he is the titular Black Knight, Arthur's armor is actually gold, albeit a very dark gold.
  • King Arthur is unlockable in battle mode by collecting the five books detailing the story of King Arthur during regular gameplay.
  • King Arthur is the only multiplayer character in Sonic and the Black Knight that is not a recurring Sonic character or at least a character who is portrayed as one. He is also the only one who is incapable of jumping as well as the slowest (even though all characters don't run in multiplayer mode).
  • Sonic's battle with King Arthur at Avalon may have referenced Arthur's end in the Arthurian legends where Arthur is taken after being mortally wounded by his son Mordred.

References[]

  1. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Gallery, Vault 5. "Knights of the Round Table - Lancelot is known as the strongest and Arthur's nephew Gawain as the greatest knight. Though brothers-in-arm, the two are rivals. And Sir Percival's quest is a legend in its own right."
  2. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Gallery, Vault 5. "Birth of Arthur - Born to King Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine, an enemy country's queen, with the help of Merlin's trickery. Against the King's wishes, Merlin took the newborn Arthur away and gave him to Sir Ector to raise."
  3. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Gallery, Vault 5. "Legendary Sword - Merlin placed the sword in the stone claiming that none but the true King could pull it out. None were able to pull the sword free except Arthur. That act made him the King of all England."
  4. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Gallery, Vault 5. "Excalibur - When Arthur broke his sword, Merlin guided him to the lake where he found a sword held aloft by fairy magic. Arthur went out in a small boat and claimed the sword. That sword was the legendary Excalibur, which Arthur used to save the kingdom countless times."
  5. Sonic and the Black Knight (Flash). Sega. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. "The legendary king and ruler of Camelot, King Arthur has been corrupted by mysterious forces and now rules as a tyrant over the tainted land. His enchanted sword has been transformed by this evil, becoming Deathcalibur. With his army of minions, he appears unstoppable until a certain blue hedgehog arrives."
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog #197, "Knight Time"
  7. Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/Level: Gallery, Vault 1. "Dragon - Mist Dragon and Earth Dragon. The dragon is a key symbol of King Arthur."
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