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Born and raised on Angel Island, he is the guardian of the Master Emerald. He excels at mid-air gliding and climbing.


— Description, Sonic Mania manual[2]

Knuckles the Echidna (ナックルズ・ザ・エキドゥナ Nakkuruzu za Ekiduna?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic echidna and Knuckles the Echidna's counterpart from another dimension set in the recent past. The last descendant of the ancient Echidnas, Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald, a powerful ancient relic which is his solemn duty to protect from anyone seeking to abuse it, and lives alone on Angel Island.[3]

Appearance

Knuckles looks the same as Modern Knuckles before the time of the Chaos incident. He is an anthropomorphic echidna with red fur that covers most of his body, peach skin on his muzzle, a white crescent-shaped patch of fur on his chest, and black eyes. He also has seven dreadlock-like spines on his head and a medium-sized tail.

For attire, Knuckles wears red and yellow shoes, each with green cuffs and a gray, sextuple-bolted plate on top. He also wears white, mitten-like gloves with sock-like cuffs and two spiked knuckles on each hand.

History

Games

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Angel Island received an unwanted visit by Dr. Eggman when the Death Egg crash-landed on the island. To buy himself time to rebuild the Death Egg, Eggman tricked Knuckles into believing that Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower were going to steal the Master Emerald. Enraged, Knuckles clashed with the duo all over the island after their arrival. Some time after making the Death Egg crash once again, Sonic and Tails managed to convince Knuckles about Eggman's true nature, especially after the evil scientist stole the Master Emerald for himself. Sonic and Tails subsequently managed to destroy the Death Egg and return the Master Emerald to Knuckles.

Later, Angel Island was attacked once again, this time because of a horde of Badniks that were led by a robotic doppelgänger of Sonic and an Egg-Robo. Fortunately, Knuckles was able to fend them off whlist clashing against the Egg-Robo multiple times. Eventually, however, the echidna learned that the villains were in the possession of the Master Emerald. Luckily, with last minute help from Sonic, Knuckles was able to return the Emerald to its rightful place.

Sonic Mania

In Sonic Mania, sometime after Sonic and Tails saved Angel Island, Knuckles was relaxing on his island when he heard a loud noise. As it turned out, five Egg-Robos serving Dr. Eggman, called the Hard Boiled Heavies, had excavated the island in search of a mysterious gemstone called the Phantom Ruby. Knuckles prepared to fight them but the robots knocked him out, activating the ruby and transporting the echidna away. Knuckles ended up in Green Hill Zone, along with Sonic, Tails and the Egg-Robos. Having been upgraded by the Phantom Ruby, the Hard Boiled Heavies retreated with the ruby, leaving Knuckles and co. to chase them down.

Knuckles before fighting the Heavy King, from Sonic Mania.

The trio was eventually attacked by Dr. Eggman and his Death Egg Robot. Even so, they managed to defeat Eggman, causing him to fall into a hole. Following Eggman, Knuckles and his friends saw Eggman take the Phantom Ruby from the Hard Boiled Heavies, who had begun to disobey him. Once Eggman obtained the ruby, Knuckles, Sonic and Tails got sent to Chemical Plant Zone by the gem's power. Not set back by their displacement, Knuckles and his allies continued their pursuit of Eggman, occasionally clashing with the Hard Boiled Heavies and other foes along the way. Whenever they caught up to Eggman however, the doctor either gave them the slip or sent them away with the Phantom Ruby. During the adventure, Knuckles also kept the leader of the Hard Boiled Heavies, the Heavy King, from trying to steal the Master Emerald when the echidna got separated from his friends. Afterward, he caught up with his friends again.

Along the way, Knuckles, Sonic and Tails found out that Dr. Eggman had captured Little Planet. There, Eggman and the Hard Boiled Heavies housed a new base of operations: the Titanic Monarch. Eventually, the trio made their way to the heart of the robotic area where they faced Eggman in his Phantom Egg mech and four of the newly upgraded Phantom Heavies. Despite the odds, Knuckles and co. managed to defeat Eggman, resulting in the breakdown of the Titanic Monarch. While Knuckles and Tails managed to escape Little Planet, Sonic and Eggman were transported to another dimension. Soon after, Little Planet was freed from its chain once again, and Knuckles and Tails smiled upon seeing a star constellation of Sonic appear in the sky as the planet vanished.

Sonic Mania Plus

In Sonic Mania Plus, after Sonic made his return from his latest adventure in another dimension, Knuckles teamed up with Sonic, Tails, Mighty and Ray to keep the Hard Boiled Heavies from harnessing the Phantom Ruby again.

The group was eventually attacked by Dr. Eggman and his Death Egg Robot. Even so, they managed to defeat Eggman, causing him to fall into a hole. Following Eggman, Knuckles and his friends saw Eggman take the Phantom Ruby from the Hard Boiled Heaves, who again refused to obey him. Once Eggman obtained the ruby, the heroes got sent to Chemical Plant Zone by the gem's power. Not set back by their displacement, the group continued their pursuit of Eggman, occasionally clashing with the Hard Boiled Heavies and other old foes along the way. Whenever they caught up to Eggman however, the doctor either gave them the slip or sent them away with the Phantom Ruby.

Eventually, Knuckles and his allies found out that Dr. Eggman had seized Little Planet once again. There, he and the Hard Boiled Heavies had rebuilt the Titanic Monarch. Eventually, the heroic group made their way to the heart of the rebuilt Titanic Monarch where they faced Eggman in his Phantom Egg mech and four of the recently re-upgraded Phantom Heavies. Despite the odds, Knuckles and his friends managed to defeat Eggman, resulting in the Phantom Ruby creating a rift that began devouring the Titanic Monarch. Assuming their Super States with the aid of the Chaos Emeralds however, Knuckles and his group escaped the rift, whereas Eggman got swallowed by it. Afterward, the gang closed off their adventure with a trip to an ice cream parlor, only for the Heavy King to make an appearance and surprise them with a sundae.

Sonic Mania Adventures

Knuckles carrying the Master Emerald, from "Sonic and Tails".

Around the time of Sonic's return, Knuckles took the Master Emerald from its shrine and began bringing it elsewhere.[4] His reason for doing so was to keep the Master Emerald safe after all the trouble that had showed up since Sonic and Eggman's arrival on Angel Island.[5]

Just as he had found a safe place for the gem, Knuckles heard someone nearby, and thought it was Eggman, the Heavy King, or even Sonic coming to take the Master Emerald. However, the stranger turned out to just be Ray the Flying Squirrel, who was looking for Mighty the Armadillo. Just as Knuckles informed Ray that he had not seen Mighty however, he threw Ray away for trying to touch the Master Emerald. Three RhinoBots soon after showed up, which Knuckles destroyed. However, he then saw that the Master Emerald had been stolen while he was occupied. Spotting then the Tornado dragging the Master Emerald through the sky, Knuckles assumed Sonic had stolen the Master Emerald, and began chasing the biplane.[5] Knuckles soon after spotted Sonic and Tails heading towards a foreign Eggman base on his island and began chasing after them.[6]

Upon reaching Dr. Eggman's base, Knuckles immediately prevented Metal Sonic from harnessing the power of the Master Emerald by punching both him and Dr. Eggman into the distance. Having successfully retrieved the Emerald, Knuckles walked off, ignorant of Sonic, Tails, Mighty and Ray, who stared at him.[7]

Personality

Unlike his modern counterpart, who has become more sociable and friendly over the years, Knuckles is a hotheaded recluse who has not had much contact with the outside world or other people and prefers peace and solitude. He is very loyal to his duty as guardian of the Master Emerald, and its safety is his primary concern. He is very serious about his task and when something is amiss on his island while he scrupulously patrols it, he goes to investigate.[3] When he is focused on protecting the Master Emerald, he stays uninterested and irrelevant (bordering on ignorant) about the unrelated matters surrounding him.[7] His temper can sometimes get the best of him, making him run into situations head-first without thinking. Knuckles can also be quite gullible, but he is capable of learning from his mistakes. However, if he is convinced that the Master Emerald is safe, Knuckles is willing to take a break or help his friends.

As a result of all the trouble that has appeared on his island after Sonic and Eggman arrived, Knuckles has become increasingly more determined to keep the Master Emerald safe, bordering on paranoia; when Ray tried to touch the Master Emerald out of curiosity, Knuckles responded by grabbing Ray and throwing him away.[5]

Powers and abilities

Knuckles piercing through a RhinoBot with ease, from "& Knuckles".

Knuckles' trademark ability is his superhuman strength. Having been noted to possess unmatched strength,[3] his strength seems to lie in his upper body, particularly in his arms and fists, which pack enough power to let him send Eggman and Metal Sonic flying a great distances with a single punch,[6] punch through solid walls,[3] and destroy various Badniks with no effort using only his fists.[5] He also has high endurance and is fast enough to run at speeds greater than Mach 1, which is at the blistering speed of about 768 mph.[8]

Knuckles climbing on a wall, from Sonic Mania.

Knuckles is an experienced swimmer, with sharp reflexes and acrobatic skills, and is well-versed in movements involving his hands. Noted to excel at climbing,[2] Knuckles is able to stick to almost any kind of surface with ease and scale it, thanks to the spikes on his gloves. Said to excel at gliding too,[2] by stretching his arms and legs outwards while airborne, Knuckles can catch the air under his dreadlock-like spines to let him ride on air currents for a short distance. In addition, Knuckles is quite resistant, having survived falls from great heights, even after being knocked out, only to recover a few seconds afterward unscathed.

Knuckles is also able to perform the Spin Attack, a technique where he curls into a concussive ball or cutting disk and directs himself at his targets. With it, Knuckles can shred or burrow through just about any substance given enough speed. Adept in its usage, Knuckles can utilize several variants of the Spin Attack for different maneuvers, including the Spin Dash and the Spin Jump.

Super Knuckles

Super KnucklesMania.gif

With the seven Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles is able to attain a Super State known as Super Knuckles. In this state, all of Knuckles' abilities far surpass his normal ones. In addition, he is able to fly and is virtually invulnerable. However, this transformation consumes a lot of energy and requires Rings to be maintained.

Relationships

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is a good friend of Knuckles even though they are both polar opposites; while Sonic is carefree and cheerful with life, Knuckles prefers to be alone and isolated from others. The two first met during the Angel Island incident, where Knuckles was forced to collaborate with Sonic to stop Dr. Eggman. However, he only did this because the doctor had stolen the Master Emerald from him. Even after this, Knuckles still does not fully trust Sonic, occasionally seeing him as a thief who only intends to steal the Master Emerald; when he heard noises near him while guarding the Master Emerald, Knuckles came to think of Sonic. When the gem was eventually stolen and he saw that the Tornado was carrying it, Knuckles instantly concluded that the hedgehog was responsible for the theft.[5] Despite later seeing that Sonic was heading to Eggman's fortress with nothing, Knuckles angrily cursed the hedgehog from afar.[6]

Regardless, Knuckles still considers Sonic an ally.[3] He came to ally himself with him by being transported by the Phantom Ruby and celebrated with him their victory at the Mirage Saloon Zone after the second Phantom Ruby incident.

Dr. Eggman

Dr. Eggman is an enemy to Knuckles. Ever since he saw him steal the Master Emerald, the echidna has seen the doctor as the primary threat to the Emerald. In fact, this image has not gotten out of his head; when he saw that the Heavy King was trying to steal the giant gem, Knuckles instantly remembered when Eggman had stolen it, and when he heard suspicious noises near him while guarding the Master Emerald, he thought of the doctor.[5]

Friends/allies

Enemies

In other media

IDW Publishing

Knuckles the Echidna, from Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, Knuckles is Knuckles the Echidna's counterpart from another dimension set in the recent past. Like his counterpart, he resides on Angel Island where he guards the Master Emerald, and is an ally of Sonic the Hedgehog. His past is virtually identical to his game counterpart's, up until after the events of Sonic Mania.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jonod (3 November 2014). A Not so Little Look at: Sonic The Hedgehog 2014 Classic Style Guide. Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved on 29 January 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sonic Mania English instruction manual, "Characters."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Sega. "Characters". Sonic Mania Introduction Manual. Sega. p. 2. "Knuckles is the last descendent of the ancient Echidnas. He lives alone on the floating Angel Island, kept in the sky by the Master Emerald, which he guards. Knuckles has unmatched strength, and can even punch through solid walls. Following the defeat of Dr. Eggman's previous scheme, Knuckles considers Sonic an ally. When Knuckles spots something amiss on the island, he goes to investigate."
  4. Hesse, Tyson (30 April 2018). "Sonic and Tails". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 2. YouTube.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Hesse, Tyson (31 May 2018). "& Knuckles". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 3. YouTube.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Hesse, Tyson (22 June 2018). "Mighty and Ray". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 4. YouTube.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hesse, Tyson (17 July 2018). "Metal Mayhem". Sonic Mania Adventures. Season 1. Episode 5. YouTube.
  8. Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, Tantalus Media (15 August 2017). Sonic Mania. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Special Stage.

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