Processing... processing... processing... Whoa, cool!
— MAIA, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
MAIA is a character who appears in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. She is a robot designed by Lyric the Last Ancient and was one of the MAIA units that operated Lyric's Weapon Facility. However, she rebelled against her creator and helped ensure Lyric's downfall one thousand years ago with the aid of Sonic and Tails.
MAIA is a spherical dark grey robot with a rounded, yet long and thin white plate that covers the middle of her front body and stretches far behind it, akin to a fin. This plate has Ancient runes on it and one large blue eye in the middle, along with a smaller lamp above and below it. She also has an oblong white and dark grey handle with lamps hovering on each side, two round black and blue lamps on the bottom of her body, and a ball on her rear. She also has a retractable antenna on one side.
After one thousand years, MAIA has slightly changed in appearance. In addition to her eye being dirty and seemingly cracked, her body is covered in rust and green moss. Most of her lights have also gone out.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
Long ago, MAIA was one of the MAIA units running Lyric's Weapon Facility, where Lyric the Last Ancient created an army of robots to destroy all organic life on earth. However, MAIA would go rogue and plot against her creator. She eventually met Sonic and Tails who had been sent from the future by MAIA's future self to get the map to the Chaos Crystals to stop Lyric in the future. Understanding the situation, MAIA had the duo clear a path to a Sentinel―the only weapon powerful enough to stop Lyric―in exchange for helping them. Once a Sentinel was secured, MAIA interfaced with it and lead Sonic and Tails to the map room, after which she trashed Lyric's facility and helped imprison Lyric.
One thousand years later and still active, MAIA met Knuckles and Amy while searching for Sonic at the Abandoned Research Facility, having learned of Lyric's return. Thanks to Knuckles' slip-up, MAIA found Sonic and Tails (who had yet to meet MAIA at that point) as they looked for a Crystal. MAIA thus instructed them to activate a time machine which they could use to find the map to the Crystals in the past (thereby leading to MAIA's first meeting with Sonic and Tails). As MAIA calibrated a time portal though, Shadow attacked, the fight taking him, Sonic and Tails through several time portals. Once Shadow was disposed into a portal leading to the near future, MAIA took Sonic and Tails to their intended location and presumably helped them get back later.
MAIA is an artificial intelligence, capable of independent decisions. While she uses a very robotic and computer-based speech pattern and follows protocols accordingly, she is remarkably life-like. Not only can she express both gratitude and closeness, but she can also give into peer pressure and say rather emotional quotes, albeit in a controlled manner. Though she sometimes require time to process inputs, she has shown noteworthy understanding of complex explanations.
MAIA appears to have a strong sense of justice for a Lyric robot, given how she went rogue on her own and rebelled against her creator to protect organic life forms, and stayed true to that goal even after a thousand years.
Powers and abilities
MAIA is able to levitate and can scan objects with her eye. Being a prime component in Lyric's operations, she can interface with any machine in the Abandoned Research Facility/Lyric's Weapon Facility, allowing her to take complete control of them.
- "Peer pressure acknowledged. Acquiescing in 3... 2... Blue hedgehog is neccessary to stop Lyric. Disclose hedgehog location immediately."
- —MAIA giving into peer pressure, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
- "Processing... that makes sense."
- —MAIA understanding the complexity of time paradoxes, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
- MAIA is the second of Lyric the Last Ancient's robots to go rogue and convert to good, the other being Q-N-C.
- In one cutscene, Q-N-C's dialogue suggests that MAIA is mass-produced.
- An unused character profile for MAIA in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric says that her name stands for "Manufacturing Artificial Intelligence Administrator" and that she is the boss program that runs Lyric's Weapon Facility.