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Life is always changing, and is never permanent. But our prosperity will never end.

— Knuckles Clan tribesman, Sonic Adventure

The Knuckles Clan,[3] also known as the Knuckles tribe[1] (ナックルズ族[4] Nakkuruzu zoku?) or simply the Knuckles (ナックルズ[5] Nakkaruzu?), is a group that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was an ancient clan of echidnas who inhabited what would become known as the Mystic Ruins approximately 3,000 years ago.[6] Originally a small political body, the Knuckles Clan would expand its borders under the leadership of Chief Pachacamac. After a period of warmongering however, the clan was nearly wiped out when they incurred the wrath of Chaos. Though remnants of the clan remained to safeguard the Master Emerald, the Knuckles Clan entered terminal decline over the centuries, with their last surviving descendant being Knuckles the Echidna, who serves as the Master Emerald's latest guardian.[3][6][7]


Characteristics and culture[]


Knuckles Clan members in comparison to Knuckles, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

As a clan, most of the members of the Knuckles Clan had pink-reddish fur, although there were certain members that had orange-peach or red fur instead. In terms of body decorations, the men of the Knuckles Clan sported white, intricate tattoos all over their bodies, especially on their heads, torsos and arms. In terms of attire, the men wore gloves similar to those worn by Knuckles. The men were also the only members of their clan to possess spiky protrusions/knuckles on their gloves, along with open sandals and blue bracelets on their ankles. In addition, some of the men wore golden necklaces with blue jewels embedded in them. The male chieftains would wear gloves, sandals and bracelets like the men as well, but with additional accessories, such as ornaments with feathers and more decorative bracelets.

Little is known about the common dress code for the clan's women. It is known from one of their representatives, Tikal, however, that they wore many ornaments and clothes rich with details. Gold necklaces, pendants and other ornaments were a common part of her attire. Other pieces of attire Tikal wore included a tank top, a patterned skirt and white bandages wrapped around her lower legs and dreadlocks. Like the men though, she also wore blue bracelets and sandals. Unlike the males though, Tikal wore five-fingered gloves.


The shrine of Knuckles' race, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

The snake evidently held a prominent position in the culture of the Knuckles Clan, who incorporated sculptures of this animal's head into their architecture of the shrine of Knuckles' race and pillars, but not in everyday folks' homes. Many of the doors inside and out of the shrine in particular were in the shape of a fanged snake's mouth, and a mechanism in Lost World was designed like a moving stone snake. All of these designs were very detailed, as well as the eyes of the snake-doors and entrance to the Altar of Emerald itself. The Knuckles Clan also possessed lore and knowledge about the power of the Chaos Emeralds and Master Emerald, which best came in the form of an ancient mantra that has been passed down across generations.[8]

The Knuckles Clan was a chiefdom in terms of political organization, with the ruler being determined by kinship and inherited between the ruling family's generations.[6] There was no democracy, and the chief had unlimited authority over their clan. Before the time of Pachacamac, the Knuckles Clan was a moderate tribe of mere fighting ruffians due to Grandma, who was of a politically moderate faction.[6] After Pachacamac rose to chiefdom however, the Knuckles Clan was transformed into a powerful warring force of warriors and bandits[6] who came to literally worship Pachacamac for the wealth and power he had given them.[9][9][10] However, the Knuckles Clan's era of prosperity under Pachacamac's rule made the clansmen arrogant,[10] eventually to the point that they forewent their old beliefs and sought to dominate the world with sacred powers for their own selfish reasons.[11] After their downfall at Chaos's wrath though, the Knuckles Clan was humbled and took up more righteous duties.[6]




The Knuckles Clan's village in its prime, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

It is not known when or how the Knuckles Clan was established. Approximately 3,000 years ago however,[6] the Knuckles Clan lived in a village that would become known as Mystic Ruins. This village housed a great shrine in its center and was located near the Altar of Emerald, which was occupied by Chaos, a Chao colony, and their sacred emeralds.

During that period, the Knuckles Clan was but one of several nations caught up in the rivalries between the local warlords.[6] Around that time, the clan was led by their chief, Grandma,[12] who was of a politically moderate faction and the mother of Pachacamac.[6] Under her leadership, the Knuckles Clan remained a small country of mere fighting ruffians.[6][12] Meanwhile, Pachacamac yearned to expand the borders of the Knuckles Clan's kingdom.[12] Regardless, Grandma's ways earned her the love of her granddaughter, Tikal, the daughter of Pachacamac.[12] Being well-versed in her clan's legends surrounding the Chao, the Master Emerald and the Chaos Emeralds, Grandma would pass that knowledge onto Tikal, including an old mantra. Grandma's teachings likewise instilled strong pacifistic beliefs in Tikal.[8]

Rise of the Knuckles Clan[]

Following the death of Grandma, Pachacamac made his move and took on the opportunity to lead his clan.[6][12] Under his leadership as chieftain, Pachacamac transformed the Knuckles Clan into a powerful warring force[6] with which he launched successful attacks on the surrounding countries, stealing and killing along the way.[13] In no time at all, the Knuckles Clan suppressed their rival kingdoms,[6] effectively giving Pachacamac and the Knuckles Clan dominion over everything within view from their country.[9] The Knuckles Clan's warmongering led to an era of prosperity for their country, expanding its size and wealth.[12][14] However, this was not enough for the Knuckles Clan, who dreamt of controlling the world.[11] Pachacamac in particular was not satisfied with merely suppressing neighboring countries.[6] Justifying that it was for the survival of his people,[13] Pachacamac sought to steal the Chaos Emeralds enshrined in the Altar of Emerald to further expand the Knuckles Clan's power.[6] However, all of the Knuckles Clan's attempts to steal the Chaos Emeralds were thwarted by a strange force.[6][14] As such, the Altar of Emerald remained the one area in the vicinity that Knuckles Clan could not take control of.[9]


Tikal trying in vain to change Pachacamac's mind, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

While the majority of the Knuckles Clan supported Pachacamac for the wealth and power his leadership had given them,[9][10] Tikal severely opposed her father's warmongering.[6][12][13] However, she was unable to change Pachacamac's mind when confronting him.[6][13]

Some time after, Tikal came across the Chao at the Altar of Emerald, where she encountered Chaos. Though Tikal was initially surprised to see Chaos, the two of them soon established a bond of friendship. Eventually coming to trust Tikal, Chaos guided her to the center of its altar. There, Tikal discovered the Master Emerald.[6] Soon after though, Pachacamac sought to invade the Altar of Emerald one more time and take the Chaos Emeralds.[6][15] Learning of her father's plan, Tikal warned Chaos of the coming attack. Unable to convince Chaos and the Chao to leave their altar however, Tikal attempted to persuade her father once more.[16]



The Knuckles Clan blocked by Tikal as they raid the Altar of Emerald, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

Despite Tikal's efforts, Pachacamac soon launched a violent attack on the Altar of Emerald with his fellow tribesmen from the Knuckles Clan, setting it ablaze. During their invasion however, Tikal and the native Chao stood in the clan's way. Pachacamac, however, ignored Tikal's pleas for a peaceful resolution and had his men trample over Tikal and the Chao. This profound act of indiscrimination incurred the wrath of Chaos, corrupting it with anger. In retaliation, Chaos transformed into Perfect Chaos using the negative energy of the Chaos Emeralds and annihilated Pachacamac and his men. Chaos proceeded to go on a rampage, laying waste to the Knuckles Clan civilization and wiped out nearly the whole clan overnight. Before Chaos could destroy the rest of the world though, Tikal used her ancient prayer in conjunction with the Master Emerald to seal Chaos inside of the Master Emerald along with her own soul and consciousness, sacrificing her body in the process.[6]

The Knuckles clan took a devastating blow from Chaos's attack, leaving their strength as a clan significantly weakened. With their arrogance behind them after this experience, the surviving members of the Knuckles Clan used the Master Emerald's power to suspend the Emeralds' altar area into the sky, creating Angel Island. There, the Knuckles Clan would live, bearing the duty of observing and protecting the Master Emerald, so that an incident with Chaos would never happen again. The clan also left murals and inscriptions in their destroyed temple to communicate this incident to future generations.[6]

Over the next three millennia, the Knuckles Clan apparently upheld their vow to protect the Master Emerald. However, they seemingly entered terminal decline over the years, eventually leaving them with only one descendant left to guard the Master Emerald: Knuckles the Echidna, named after the clan itself.[5][3][7] Nevertheless, the young echidna's own past was a mystery to him; he knew nothing of how he came to be, his ancestral roots, or even the details of the Master Emerald he was supposed to protect.[4][17] Despite this, he chose to remain on Angel Island and spent his life as the Emerald's guardian, never questioning it.[4][17]


Sonic Adventure[]

Perfect Chaos on a rampage

The destruction Perfect Chaos wrought upon Station Square as a consequence of the Knuckles Clan's actions, from Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.

In Sonic Adventure and its enhanced port Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, the Knuckles Clan's actions from 3,000 years ago came back to haunt the world when Dr. Robotnik learned about Chaos from a stone tablet made by the Knuckles Clan that he found while excavating the Mystic Ruins.[6] Hoping to harness Chaos' power for his own needs, the doctor undid Tikal's sacrifice by releasing Chaos from the Master Emerald and seeking to restore it to full power with the Chaos Emeralds. However, Chaos' heart was still hollow from anger due to the Knuckles Clan's attack on its altar, and so went along with Robotnik in hopes of regaining its full power and destroying the world as it intended.[6] However, Tikal's soul was unexpectedly freed from the Master Emerald as well when Robotnik released Chaos and sought to have Chaos resealed in the Master Emerald again. However, since she lacked a corporeal form to do this directly,[6] she instead appeared before Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies who were involved with Chaos or the Chaos Emeralds, assisting them and trying to make them do it on her behalf by showing them visions of the Knuckles Clan's past and their relation to Chaos, hoping that they would understand her intent.[6]

Ultimately, Chaos became Perfect Chaos and brought massive destruction upon Station Square in its rage. It was then that Tikal appeared before Sonic and opted to reseal Chaos again. However, knowing that it would not undo the anger in Chaos' heart, Sonic found another way: by becoming Super Sonic and defeating Perfect Chaos, Sonic neutralized the anger in Chaos' heart, finally ending the threat that the Knuckles Clan's actions had brought upon the world. After that, Tikal left with Chaos for places unknown.

Sonic Forces[]

SonicForces Comic StressTest P2 1508366310

An illusion of the Knuckles Clan on Angel Island, from Sonic Forces: Stress Test.

In Sonic Forces, months before the beginning of the War to Take Back the Planet, Dr. Eggman conducted a stress test of the Phantom Ruby by using it to create a physical illusion of the Knuckles Clan and their village on Angel Island. There, Knuckles and Silver were attacked by a Chaos Phantom Copy. However, the Knuckles Clan and its village vanished after the heroes beat the fake Chaos.[18]

Other game appearances[]

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood[]

Pachacamac and Ix

The Knuckles Clan and Nocturnus Clan at war, from Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.

In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, it was stated that over 4,000 years ago, the expanding borders of the Knuckles Clan's empire began pushing against those of the Nocturnus Clan, a rival echidna clan led by Imperator Ix. In a war of expansion, the two clans fought each other in a constant bloody conflict for supremacy, where neither side refused to yield.[19] The Knuckles Clan was ultimately pushed to its doom when the Nocturnus Clan began prosecuting the conflict by attacking with their prototype Gizoids.[20] This made Pachacamac believe that the Chaos Emeralds were their only hope and sought to steal them. This plan went awry as he and the other members of the clan were wiped out by Perfect Chaos after incurring the creature's wrath.[21]

When the Nocturnus Clan soon after disappeared into the Twilight Cage, the remnants of the Knuckles Clan were left to revive echidna society.[21] Its surviving members devoted themselves to protecting the Master Emerald to ensure a tragedy like the one brought by Chaos would never occur again. Over the centuries though, the Knuckles Clan went into terminal decline. In the present day, Knuckles the Echidna is its sole remaining member.[22]

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing[]

In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, the Knuckles Clan is referenced in Knuckles the Echidna's character profile.[7]

Sonic Racing[]

In Sonic Racing, the Knuckles Clan is mentioned in Knuckles the Echidna's character profile.[3]

In other media[]


Sonic X[]


The Knuckles Clan, from "A Chaotic Day".

In the Sonic X anime series, the Knuckles Clan was an ancient clan of echidna warriors from Sonic's world under the leadership of Pachacamac. Generations ago, they lived in what would become known as the Mystic Ruins. Seeking to expand their power, the Knuckles Clan sought to take the Chaos Emeralds from their sacred altar. In spite of the efforts from Pachacamac's daughter, Tikal, to find a peaceful resolution, the Knuckles Clan ended up launching a violent attack on the altar, only to end up incurring the wrath of Chaos, who seeming wiped out the Knuckles Clan in his fury.

Books and comics[]

Archie Comics[]


The Knuckles Clan, from Sonic Super Special Magazine #2.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Knuckles Clan was comprised of echidnas from a warrior caste in the old Albion society. They were a part of the Second Downunda Colony effort that originally settled on Soumerca. The land was already claimed by the Felidae of the País Misterioso.

Led by Pachacamac, the Knuckles Clan opted to stay and fight with support of an advanced sciences caste, the Nocturnus Clan. The two clans were left behind by the other science castes. However, shortly after dedicating themselves to the fight, a rift opened between the two leaders. Pachacamac took a more rustic approach, naming himself "chief" of his clan, and waged war on both the Felidae and the Nocturnus Clan. Overwhelmed, Pachacamac looked to harness the power of the Chaos Emeralds sustaining the local Chao Garden. Pachacamac ignored the warnings of his daughter, Tikal, and seized the gems by force. His ruthlessness awoke the anger of Chaos, who lashed put. The Knuckles Clan was destroyed in a matter of hours.

There were a few ruins on the Knuckles Clan's settlement that told their grim conquest, but the only living testament to their existence was a Guardian named after them: Knuckles the Echidna.

After the Super Genesis Wave re-wrote history, the Knuckles Clan's history became virtually identical to that of its game counterpart.

Sonic the Comic[]

Main article: Echidna Empire

Members of the Echidna Empire, from Sonic the Comic #180. Art by Richard Elson.

In the Sonic the Comic series and its spin-offs published by Fleetway Editions, the Knuckles Clan is referred to as the Echidna Empire. In this media, they were an empire that ruled Mobius over 8,000 years ago. However, when the Drakon Empire arrived on Mobius, they took over the echidnas' sacred Emerald Mines to find Emeralds to contain an artificial energy source called Chaos energy. Using the echidnas' sacred emeralds, the Chaos Emeralds were created. To keep the Drakons from using the Chaos Emeralds to conquer the galaxy, Pochacamac, leader of the Echidna Empire, and his men recaptured the Chaos Emeralds, sparking a conflict with the Drakons. Ultimately, the conflict for the Chaos Emeralds led to the Great War.

After the Great War, all the echidnas from its empire had somehow vanished from Mobius, with the exception of Knuckles, a member of the ancient echidnas who had somehow survived until the present day and become the guardian of the Chaos Emeralds, and Dr. Zachary.


  • The Knuckles Clan is very similar to many Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Aztecs, the Mayas and the Toltecs. Their city also has a step pyramid temple surrounded by mountains lost in the jungle and their attire is similar to the Aztecs and the Mayas. A serpent entity seen around Mystic Ruins also appears to hold some form of importance to the Knuckles Clan, just like Quetzalcoatl in the Aztecs' culture and Kukulkan in the Mayas' culture.
    • This is rooted in the fact that the team behind the development of Sonic Adventure took most of the concept for the game from South America.
  • The Japanese manual for Knuckles' Chaotix mentions a legendary civilization that once existed on Angel Island. This civilization made use of Giant Rings until it was wiped out by the runaway "power stone" in the distant past. The Newtrogic High Zone is also said to have been a part of this civilization.[23] Whether this civilization is the Knuckles Clan or not is unverified.







  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Team . Character Introduction: Hero/ characters for 2P battle. Sega. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved on 30 November 2014. "Tikal - She is the daughter of the ancient Knuckles tribe's leader, Pachacamac, who was in Sonic Adventure. She is a caring person, and everyone loves her, however, she sometimes opposes her father's ways. She moves very quickly and is a proud warrior of this tribe."
  2. Sonic City. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved on 3 April 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Sega, Hardlight (19 September 2019). Sonic Racing. IOS. Sega. Area/level: Knuckles the Echidna: Driver info. "Last descendant of the Knuckles Clan and protector of the Master Emerald."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sonic Channel (Japanese). Characters: Knuckles. Sega. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved on 3 July 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "KNUCKLES THE ECHIDNA" (in Japanese). Sonic Adventure Stylebook. p. 32. "ナックルズというのは一族の名称であったが、残された最後のひとりとしてその名が名前になっているようだ。 [Knuckles was the name of the clan, but it seems that the last remaining member is named after them.]"
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 "カオスエメラルド伝説" (in Japanese). ソニックアドベンチャー ナビゲーションガイド. SoftBank. 16 March 1999. pp. 156–158. ISBN 978-4797308624.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Sumo Digital (23 February 2010). Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. PlayStation 3. Sega. "Knuckles the Echidna's profile card: Knuckles the guardian of the Master Emerald, which gives Angel Island its power to float in the sky. He is the last of the Echidnas - the island's native people. His name comes from his powerful fists, which allow him to punch through rock and make him a skilled burrower and climber. He can also use his dreadlocks to glide for short distances.".
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Tails' story). "Tikal: The servers are the 7 Chaos Emeralds. Hello there, friend. How are you? / ... / Tikal: Huh? It's something my grandmother taught me. I never to forget it. It goes like this... 'The servers are the 7 Chaos. Chaos is power... Power enriched by the heart. The controller is the one that unifies the Chaos.' But I'm still not sure what it all means. But the number the same as the number of Emeralds there are."
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles' story). "Knuckles Clan tribesman: Our Chief is Pachacamac. He's awesome! He controls everything around here, except the altar..."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Tails' story). "Knuckles Clan tribesman: Our Chief is Pachacamac. He's fearless. Brave. Bold. With him, we can never lose. We owe everything to Pachacamac."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles' story). "Knuckles Clan tribesman: Scared power? No way. I don't believe it. We're going in to get those stones! Then we can rule the world!"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Tails' story). "Knuckles Clan tribesman: The Chief's daughter loved her grandmother so much. The country was a lot smaller back when Grandma was alive. But the Chief wanted to expand his kingdom. After Grandma's death, he made his move... He did well. He quickly took over the surrounding areas. But his daughter didn't like what he'd done..."
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles' story). "Tikal: Father! Please don't! / Pachacamac: Tikal, the 7 Emeralds are essential to our survival. It is for the good of all our people. / Tikal: How can I make you understand? Attacking other countries, stealing and killing...can't be the right path to peace. No one has the right to take their holy grounds. I beg you father!"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Amy's story). "Knuckles Clan tribesman: We made a lotta money with our power. But whenever we tried to get the Emeralds, some strange force always stopped us."
  15. Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Gamma's story). "Tikal: Now my father is trying to take their sacred home."
  16. Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Mystic Ruins (Knuckles' story). "Tikal: I beg of you. Hear me now. My father is coming here soon. And I fear what may happen. You must take everyone away from here! Oh please! So, are you saying you can't leave this place? I understand... Let me talk to my father again! There must be a better way to do this. Don't worry, my friends. I won't let you down. I must do something... quickly."
  17. 17.0 17.1 Sonic Team (9 September 1999). Sonic Adventure. Dreamcast. Sega. Area/Level: Opening sequence (Knuckles' story). "Knuckles: As far back as I can remember, I've been living here, on this dark island... Always guarding the Master Emerald from anything that can harm it. I don't know why I was given this job... Why it was my fate... Destined to be here...forever!"
  18. Sonic Forces: Stress Test, "Stress Test"
  19. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (Nintendo DS) United States instruction booklet, pg. 4. "4,000 years ago, the two rival clans of the planet's dominant Echidnas race had been blessed with centuries of peace, albeit strained, but such days were to be short-lived. The expanding borders of the Knuckles' Clan empire and the Nocturnus Clan empire were pushing against each other, and neither side was intent on yielding."
  20. BioWare (25 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Nocturne. "Ix: With our prototype Gizoids, we forced our rivals, the clan of mighty Pachacamac to its doom."
  21. 21.0 21.1 BioWare (25 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Codex. "The Knuckles Clan - The mystic Knuckles Clan lived in what is now known as Mystic Ruins. Their chief, Pachacamac, tried to steal the Chaos Emeralds, which unexpectedly unleashed Perfect Chaos and virtually wiped out the entire clan. It is believed that this move was born out of desperation in the face of his clan's destruction at the hands of a rival clan. Almost immediately after Perfect Chaos nearly wiped out the Knuckles Clan, the Nocturnus Clan mysteriously disappeared, leaving the remnants of the Knuckles Clan to revive echidna society."
  22. BioWare (25 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Codex. "The Knuckles Clan - Knuckles the Echidna is the only surviving member of the Knuckles Clan. The rest of his people died out in the centuries since Pachacamac's disaster."
  23. Chaotix (32X) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.

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