Merlina the Wizard (魔導師マリーナ Madōshi Marīna?, lit. "Mage Marina") is the main antagonist of Sonic and the Black Knight. She is a unique member of the townspeople from the world of Camelot and the granddaughter of the legendary wizard Merlin. An exceptional and talented young wizard, Merlina serves the Royal Court as the Royal Wizard of Camelot.
When Merlina learned that only ruin and warfare awaited her kingdom in the future, she sought to prevent this by seizing the scabbard of Excalibur from the corrupted King Arthur to make her world eternal. For this, she called Sonic the Hedgehog to her world and sent him on a quest to retrieve the scabbard. When Sonic succeeded, Merlina attempted her plan, but was stopped and redeemed by Sonic before her actions could destroy the kingdom.
Following in her grandfather's footsteps, Merlina became the Royal Wizard of Camelot where she served the Royal Court. At some point, Merlina learning of her world's grim fate, which ran deeper that "the depths of the underworld". This gave Merlina a somewhat nihilistic perspective, making her occasionally question what the purpose of life is since everything is destined to die. Guided by her desire to protect the kingdom of her grandfather, Merlina became committed to making the kingdom eternal and preserve its beauty by gaining the scabbard of Excalibur.
Sonic and the Black Knight
During the game's opening sequence, Merlina is being pursued by King Arthur and the Knights of the Underworld. The young wizard uses a summoning ritual to warp a "brave knight, swift as the wind" into the Arthurian world and Sonic promptly appeared. After the hedgehog dispatches the demon knights, Merlina stops him from attacking King Arthur immediately, and instead conjures a magical cyclone to teleport them away to the shores of Misty Lake.
After Sonic acquires Caliburn, Merlina explains that she cannot accompany them on their journey; as the Royal Wizard, she would attract unwanted attention from the residents of the kingdom. Merlina instead remains in hiding, while Sonic wanders around the world of Camelot to complete his knighthood training. After Sonic defeated Sir Percival, Merlina appears to meet him, having witnessed all of the events Sonic partook in and praised Sonic for his knighthood progress and then informed him that King Arthur is located at Avalon. When the hedgehog goes to battle King Arthur for the final time in Faraway Avalon, Merlina is finally tracked down by the Knights of the Round Table in Camelot Castle. The Blue Blur arrives back just in time to intervene and gave Merlina the Excalibur's scabbard, which then enables her to carry out her plans.
Merlina reveals that she had, all this time, been planning a double-cross. Summoning Sonic to the kingdom was not a scheme to defeat King Arthur and bring peace and liberty to the land, but rather to take the power of Excalibur's scabbard for herself. Having foreseen the future of the storybook realm, Merlina realized that the Grand Kingdom was doomed to end in ruin and warfare—and is determined to stop these events from coming to pass, interpreting her grandfather's dream of a kingdom that lasts forever literally. The wizard intends to apply the scabbard's power of immortality to the realm itself by placing Grand Kingdom under a kind of magical stasis, fueled by the dark forces from the Underworld. As the castle falls apart around them, Sonic and the Knights flee through Knight's Passage. In order to save the kingdom, the former lieutenants of King Arthur agree to work with Sonic and Nimue to halt the Dark Queen's magic by activating four sacred stones. Sir Lancelot rushes to Shrouded Forest, Sir Gawain to Great Megalith, Sir Percival to The Cauldron, and Sonic to Dragon's Lair.
Nimue's plan is, however, ineffective in halting the spread of Merlina's magic. Sonic and Caliburn head back to the castle to face Merlina in Dark Hollow (now transformed into the Dark Queen), where she explains her intentions. Enraged and disgusted, Sonic turns a deaf ear to Merlina's words and attacks her, but only suffers a severe beating. After being bisected by the crazed sorceress, Caliburn fuses with the other sacred swords of the Knights of the Round Table to become Excalibur–simultaneously encasing Sonic in a suit of gold armor: Excalibur Sonic and engages Merlina in a final battle.
After her defeat, Merlina returns to normal, but continues to lament the fate of her world. Sonic hands her a flower and comforts her, proclaiming the anarchic wisdom that while every world has to come to an end, they just have to live their lives to the fullest until that day comes. Reminiscing about her grandfather, Merlina takes the Blue Blur's words to heart. Though her reaction is not seen, she is also present when Caliburn reveals that Sonic is the one and true King Arthur.
Other game appearances
During the "Windy Hill in Spring Event", Merlina came to earth where she was introduced to Team Sonic by Omochao. After Merlina greeted them, Omochao asked Team Sonic to give her a tour while promising that her powers would be of use to them, to which Team Sonic gladly accepted.
Merlina is a person who loved the kingdom her grandfather had helped create with all her heart; from the winds that made the meadows dance, to the flowers by the wayside, to the melodious songbirds. After learning of her world's grim fate, Merlina's love was shattered and turned into an indescribable, one-sided sadness and sorrow which ran deeper that "the depths of the underworld". This gave Merlina a somewhat nihilistic perspective, making her occasionally question what the purpose of life is since everything is destined to die. Guided by her desire to protect the kingdom of her grandfather, Merlina became solely committed to making her kingdom eternal and preserve its beauty. However, she let her intentions corrupt her, turning her into a well-intentioned extremist; to her, every crime was a necessary evil, any manipulation was an end that justified the means and the sacrifice of countless lives was for the greater good. When confronted, Merlina would try making others sympathize with her, only to blame them for not understanding upon being rejected. As hinted by Caliburn however, Merlina's plot was less about preserving the beauty of her world for noble causes and more of a selfish attempt on her part to escape her own sorrow.
To the people around her, Merlina would appear as a kind, yet strong and wise soul with a strong sense of compassion and every bit of good intention for her kingdom. When letting others know of her true motives though, she would show herself as calm, cold, and utterly ruthless in achieving her goals.
Unlike most other villains, whose ambitions are driven through a lust for power and recognition, Merlina did not consider herself evil in the same sense, as her schemes were motivated to protect what she cherished the most. As such, she would berate Sonic's attempts to stop her as selfish struggles which would doom them all. Following her defeat, Merlina realized from Sonic's advice that life's brilliance came from knowing there is an end to it, which is why they must live their lives to the fullest in the time they have, thus curing her of her sorrow. These factors make Merlina one of the most three-dimensional villains in the series.
Powers and abilities
Merlina is a talented wizard of incredible power, wielding a potent form of magic referred to as "High Ancient magic." With it, Merlina can teleport herself and others, age at least plants, and even summon people from other dimensions through rituals. As a testament to her magical prowess, she was able to single-handedly force Camelot Castle into collapse and raise a new castle in its stead at the same time.
Merlina is surprisingly fast and strong, catching Sonic the Hedgehog just as he took off at high speed and hold him in a stationary position while he was running. She also have some knowledge of swordsmanship as she could teach Sonic the basics of swordplay during their time at Misty Lake.
By harnessing the powers of the scabbard of Excalibur, Merlina can transform into the Dark Queen. In this state, her magic is greatly enhanced and she can control the forces of the Underworld. She can also fly, form barriers, and use her shadow for combat. Additionally, she can assume a spectral form which can project energy, create barriers and engage in swordplay.
Merlin is Merlina's grandfather, and she followed his footsteps to became the Royal Wizard of Camelot. When Merlina discovered world's grim fate, Merlina was guided by her desire to protect her grandfather's kingdom that she loved. After her defeat and being comforted by Sonic, Merlina reminiscing about Merlin.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Merlina summoned Sonic the Hedgehog to retrieve the scabbard of Excalibur in order to make the world of Camelot eternal. Believing that she was a damsel in distress, Sonic dispatches the Knights of the Underworld that were pursuing her, before facing King Arthur. However, Merlina stops him from attacking the King immediately, and instead teleports them away to the shores of Misty Lake. From there on, Merlina accompanies and guides Sonic before he acquires Caliburn, the sacred sword that has the power to defeat King Arthur. Before going to the Blacksmith, Sonic agrees that Merlina shall remain in hiding as she would be recognized in town, while he wanders around the kingdom with Caliburn to complete his knighthood training. After Sonic defeats the three Knights of the Round Table and retrieving the sacred swords, Merlina meets Sonic again and congratulates him for his knighthood progress. She then tells him where King Arthur is and that she will waiting at Camelot Castle. After Sonic defeating King Arthur, Merlina confesses the real King Arthur never existed and the Arthur that ruled was just an illusion created by her grandfather, and reveals her true intentions. Believing that Sonic did not understand her, Merlina combats Excalibur Sonic as the Dark Queen. After her defeat and returning to normal, Merlina was comforted by Sonic that while every world has to come to an end, they just have to live their lives to the fullest until that day comes. So, she takes his words to heart.
In other media
Books and comics
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, Merlina appeared in the comics' adaptation of Sonic and the Black Knight. In this media, she is a being from another Zone connected to the reality of the In Another Time, In Another Place reality.
Merlina has four songs, a slow piano theme for when Sonic speaks with her "Merlina's Theme", "With Me" when she is the Dark Queen (shared as the theme for Excalibur Sonic). "Merlina- Her Wicked Smile" for when she reveals her true intentions and "Merlina- The Queen Of The Underworld" for when she starts to fight Sonic.
- "My name is Merlina, the court wizard. I wish to preserve this world: the winds that makes the meadows dance, the flowers that bloom by the wayside, the melodious songbirds. Please, help me stop the evil king."
- —Merlina's introduction in Sonic and the Black Knight's Gallery
- "Ifaras zaras yezaras, Ifaris zaris yezarik. O brave knight, swift as the wind! Heed my call."
- —Merlina summoning Sonic.
- "Being from a distant world! Forgive my abrupt summons!"
- —Merlina greets Sonic.
- "Let me introduce myself, I am Merlina the Wizard."
- —Merlina introduces herself to Sonic.
- "The fate of our kingdom rests in your hands, do not fail us."
- —Merlina trusts Sonic with the fate of the Kingdom.
- "T-That was amazing! Defeating the Mist Dragon like it was nothing. The mark of a true knight..."
- —Merlina after witnessing Sonic's defeat over the Mist Dragon.
- "If you remove that sword and defeat King Arthur with it, you shall forever be the worst of knights, slayer of Kings."
- —Merlina warns Sonic of the consequences of his quest.
- "Your king was nothing more than an illusion my grandfather conjured up."
- —Merlina reveals who King Arthur really is to the Knights of the Round Table.
- "With this scabbard, I can erase my grandfather's greatest mistake."
- —Merlina reveals her intentions for the scabbard.
- "I shall make this kingdom eternal..."
- —Merlina, upon becoming the Dark Queen.
- Despite being related to Merlin, a prominent character in the real-world stories of King Arthur, Merlina is an original character created for the plot of Sonic and the Black Knight.
- Merlina bears a good resemblance to Shahra in appearance. They were also both Sonic's companions and additionally betrayed him, though he had forgiven them in their respective games' plots.
- When Merlina first summons Sonic, she uses the same incantation Erazor Djinn used to summon the Ifrit Golem in Sonic and the Secret Rings: "Ifalas zaras I e zaraq".
- Merlina is the first villain that Sonic faced who wanted to do good instead of evil, but she let her intentions corrupt her.
- Merlina's favorite flowers seems to be straw chrysanthemums, for every time she had a flower in her hand, it was always a chrysanthemum. In several European countries, these flowers symbolize death and grief. This fits in with Merlina's disappointment over the thought of her world coming to an end someday.
- In the opening sequence of Sonic and Black Knight, when Merlina is running from King Arthur, a symbol on the bottom of her dress has an extremely close resemblance to the guild seal within the Fable franchise.
- Merlina is the only female human-like companion to not die in the story she is in. Maria was killed on Space Colony ARK, Elise was killed when Eggman's Egg Carrier crashed (though Sonic prevents this from happening by going back in time) and Shahra died when she took the fatal blow for Sonic (though Sonic used his first wish to revive her). Ironically, she is the only one of them to use a tool for immortality.
- Merlina is the first female primary antagonist in the Sonic series that Sonic has faced, and the first main antagonist that reforms.
- She is also the first female final boss that Sonic has fought.
- Granddaughter of the legendary wizard Merlin, Merlina has followed in his footsteps and is the talented young Wizard, serving the Royal Court. However, now she's summoned Sonic into her storybook world so he can help her overthrow the corrupted king. - Sonic and the Black Knight Official US website.
- Sonic Runners
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Merlina] "This exceptional wizard served King Arthur. Rebelling against him, she summoned Sonic into the storybook world."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 1. [Underworld Queen] "Merlina, changed into the Queen of the Underworld, guided by her desire to protect the kingdom of her grandfather."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [The New King] "The Wizard's sadness at knowing the end of the story was cured by the hedgehog's golden light. Doesn't the brilliance of life come from knowing there is an end to the story? The new King, pure of heart, is set to make new legends."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area: Knight's Passage. "Caliburn: This is no doubt the effect of Merlina's High Ancient magic."