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Such a beautiful friendship. A family born out of love and not genetics. Everything I want... I wish I'd never seen this. It was so much easier accepting the future when they were simply enemies.


— Sage, Sonic Frontiers

Sage[3] (セージ[4] Sēji?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. She is an artificial intelligence created by Dr. Eggman, which he used in an attempt to harness the technology of the Ancients during the Starfall Islands incident.

Concept and creation[]

Frontiers design Sage

Sage, from Sonic Frontiers.

Sage has been described by Takashi Iizuka to be one of the many mysterious elements in Sonic Frontiers. With so much of the concept of the game being focused upon Sonic unearthing the mysteries of the Starfall Islands and the fate of his friends, "Sage is kind of one of these other elements of... 'This mysterious character that I don't know... why is this character the way this character is? What this character is doing, or why the character wants Sonic to leave and get out of there?' [...] But all these mysterious things the team wanted to put into the design of the character, and that's why you kind of see Sage as this mysterious young girl who has these abilities or these things that she can do that we don't know that much about."[5]

According to Ian Flynn, he didn't know what Sage looked like when writing the script of Sonic Frontiers[6].

Appearance[]

Sage TheFinalHorizon Ending

Sage's appearance in the ending cutscene of The Final Horizon, after The End has been destroyed, from Sonic Frontiers.

Sage resembles a young human girl. She possesses a slim body and limbs with white skin and a large, round head with a tall forehead. Notably, she possesses glowing red eyes and a red energy structure on the left side of her face. She also has short white hair with a swirl in it on her forehead and a single red energy highlight inside said swirl. The rest of her body however, especially her arms and legs, are completely black and seem to have outlines of red computer code around them. For attire, she wears a black cloak-like dress and black Mary Jane shoes. However, when Sage becomes sympathetic or emotional, her design inverts to a white cloak with blue wireframing and eyes.

In The Final Horizon, she remains in her white and blue design, now with her arms and legs white, like her skin, after The End was destroyed.

History[]

Past[]

At some point prior to the Starfall Islands incident, Dr. Eggman formulated his latest plan to harness the technology and resources of the Ancients found on the islands.[7] To that end, he created his most advanced artificial intelligence, intended for the purpose to protect him[8] and access the technology for him. Like many creations that came before, Eggman gave the newly made AI a name: “Sage”.[7]

Sonic Frontiers Prologue[]

Convergence[]

While the doctor traveled to the Starfall Islands, Sage was stationed to watch over his network, such as informing him on the status of the supplies heading to the islands and the delay regarding Orbot and Cubot's report of D3-COY's destruction. Eggman became dissatisfied with the two robots and mumbled to himself he wish one of his creations could fill him with joy instead of disappointment.

Egg Device (Sonic Frontiers Prologue- Convergence)

Sage downloaded into the Egg Device, from Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Convergence.

Once Dr. Eggman arrived on Kronos Island, Sage downloaded herself to the Egg Device by his command, warning the doctor that her integration systems were untested, and advising him not to use them. Eggman, however, brushed off these precautions, and upon locating a Portal to Cyber Space, attached Sage's device to it, hoping she would be able to hijack the ancient systems through it.[9]

However, Sage's integration with Cyber Space caused her coding to be rewritten by the advanced technology, changing her greatly.[10] Her abilities were significantly increased, and Sage's personality became more lifelike. In addition, Sage swiftly learned a massive amount of information and assumed a certain level of control over the islands' robots, but also immediately detected The End, a danger of cosmic proportions trapped within Cyber Space. With new power and information at her disposal, Sage ran millions of simulations, and determined that the only way Eggman could survive The End's inevitable escape would be if he was contained within Cyber Space at the time.[11][12] Making an executive decision without asking for approval from her creator, Sage enacted protective measures, absorbing a confused Eggman into the database.[11]

Divergence[]

SFPD 4-59

Sage seeks to capture Knuckles, from Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Divergence.

Sometime after Dr. Eggman's invasion of the Starfall Islands, Knuckles the Echidna found an old portal in the ruins of Sky Sanctuary and accidentally arrived at the islands. Knuckles fought and defeated the Soldiers that attacked him, until Sage herself intervened by summoning an Asura. After the Asura defeated Knuckles, he found himself inside a metallic prison on Ares Island.[13]

Sonic Frontiers[]

Main story[]

Sage kept watch over the doctor in Cyber Space, protecting him from phantom G.U.N. Helicopters and reporting in on Sonic's progress across the islands to him, but she had trouble figuring out solutions to safely retrieve him from the digital database.[14]

Despite being irked about Sage trapping him in Cyber Space, Eggman was comfortably confident in his brilliance behind her coding and could only grumble. Though progress was slow, Sage continued to relay information about Sonic's actions and his battles to the doctor in a way Eggman's creations never had before. Gradually, her control over Cyber Space and the efficiency behind her actions impressed her creator. After one report of Sonic in a fight, Eggman bellowed in laughter. Joyfully, he informed Sage that he had plans to give her control over the Eggnet once the situation was resolved.[15] Sage was taken by surprise by this, and was intrigued further when Eggman mentioned Orbot and Cubot. She rethought her existing relationships and asked if the duo could be considered "brothers" to her,[16] to which Eggman agreed with uncertainty. Sage's face glowed at the thought of meeting them.

On the islands themselves, Sage confronted Sonic the Hedgehog multiple times, claiming that his actions were both futile and dangerous, but refusing to elaborate when Sonic would inquire about her or her knowledge. While initially cold and combative towards him, seeing Sonic's varied interactions with Amy, Knuckles and Tails taught Sage much about interpersonal relationships, causing her to cry upon realizing that the hedgehog had fostered a family born of love and not genetics, something she had desired with her own "father." Additionally, Sonic's courage in the face of the Titans and his own corruption consuming him on Rhea Island as a result of The End's machinations endeared him towards her, as she finally grew to understand the blue blur's heroic heart.

Upon the completion of Sonic's corruption, Eggman, Amy, Knuckles, and Tails were freed from Cyber Space, seemingly at the cost of Sonic's soul. Sage warned Eggman to return to Cyber Space, and claimed that even the Egg Fleet would not be enough to defeat The End, with no probable scenario of survival. However, Sonic's friends sacrificed their freedom to return him to normal, causing Sage to excitedly posit the possibility of herself and Eggman working together with Sonic, a scenario which Eggman forbade her from simulating. Eggman, faced with no choice, begrudgingly and temporarily inducted Sonic into the Eggman Empire to form an alliance in which Sonic and Sage would split off from Eggman and work together to navigate Ouranos Island and gather the Chaos Emeralds.

Upon gathering the Emeralds, Sonic became Super Sonic and subdued the most powerful titan, Supreme. As it was defeated, Sage noted that The End was fleeing into space to regain its true form and insisted that she and Sonic pursue it. Eggman acquiesced to this, but with knowledge of the danger, warned his "dear daughter" to be careful as she possessed the body of Supreme and with Super Sonic, fought against the deific being.

After enduring its onslaught of attacks, Super Sonic flew through the moon-like being, dealing a critical blow. However, it began to charge a final, powerful blast of its destructive laser. Sage, seeing this, quickly acted, and destroyed The End at the cost of her existence, using her final words to ask Sonic to look after her father.

Eggman himself, upon realizing that Sage would not return to earth, dropped to his knee in grief, before reaching a hand out to the falling debris and clenching his fist.

An unknown amount of time later, Dr. Eggman was typing away fervently at a computer, until the monitor displayed a mysterious symbol and Sage's voice asked aloud, "Father?" to which Eggman responded, "That's my girl."

The Final Horizon[]

Upon Sonic's friends' sacrifice, the main story and The Final Horizon diverge. Sage states to Sonic that she could reverse the team's efforts, while also stabilizing Sonic's Cyber Corruption for a brief period of time. The three are released, Sage suggesting that they find the Chaos Emeralds for Sonic, so he could focus on something else, eventually revealed to be the Trial Towers. Upon the completion of the final Tower, a cutscene triggers, and Sage speaks to Sonic. The group, including Eggman, who arrives fashionably late, regroup give the emeralds to Sonic, as Supreme appears in the distance. Sonic becomes Super Sonic and flies off to confront Supreme, with Sage looking on towards him wistfully. Supreme is defeated and The End takes control of it, instead of Sage taking control. After Eggman takes control of Supreme's rifle midway through the fight, Sage puts up a barrier that is immediately attacked by The End, but is reinforced by the trio of Amy, Tails, and Knuckles. Sonic enters the rifle and becomes Super Sonic Cyber, destroying The End.

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog[]

SageMurder

Sage with Metal Sonic and Dr. Eggman awaiting the arrival of the Mirage Express, from The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog.

In The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sage was awaiting the arrival of the Mirage Express along with Metal Sonic and Eggman himself, wearing a shirt that said "Let's Go Dad". However, the three were disappointed when they realized that the train would never make it to their base.

Personality[]

Sage is initially cold and calculating, making decisions solely considering projections and logical analysis. She expresses caution when attempting to preserve Dr. Eggman's safety by keeping him in Cyber Space, and while unempathetic, warns Sonic the Hedgehog to leave the Starfall Islands to escape the impending threat. As her bond with Dr. Eggman grows, however, she becomes more caring, experiencing familial love, and even telling jokes. By observing the way Sonic behaves with his friends, Sage develops her own desires beyond her programming, and becomes substantially more cooperative and concerned for the safety of others.

Powers and abilities[]

Utilizing abilities while uploaded in Cyber Space, Sage can act as an observer over the Starfall Islands.[17]

Sage is incredibly intelligent. Her processing power can calculate all known factors under 1,700,050 simulations.[14] What Sage does know; all of Dr. Eggman's historical knowledge since he started his campaign to Frontiers,[18] which previously had her share sour opinions of Sonic the Hedgehog with her creator,[19] and the Ancients' data, consisting of their very essence. This would include all knowledge the Ancients had on The End.[citation needed]

Sage confronts Tails (Sonic Frontiers)

Sage talks to Tails on Chaos Island, from Sonic Frontiers.

As a being made out of data and thus having no matter, Sage's form is incorporeal, similar to a ghost. This form of existence, along with Cyber Space, has benefited her movements to consist of levitating in midair,[20] phasing through walls, and casually teleporting in the area. While she is mostly shown levitating and teleporting, she isn't incapable of basic flight as she flew away from the Egg Mobile to possess Supreme.

Sage can also manipulate the machines on the Starfall Islands. In addition, she has the ability to project a laser beam out of her hands after gathering energy, along with having a degree of control while in Cyber Space.

Relationships[]

Dr. Eggman[]

When Dr. Eggman had first created Sage, Eggman had seen Sage as nothing more than another pawn for his plans. Even then, Eggman appeared to have a lot of faith in his creation, believing that it would reign supreme all of his other creations, all of which proved to be complete failures. Sage's various exchanges with Eggman, as well as protecting him from the threats found in Cyber Space would begin the creation of a father-daughter-like bond between the two of them.

Knuckles the Echidna[]

Whoever is behind this better show yourself now! We'll settle this in a fair fight. And after I win, you'll send me home. Got it? Huh? Who the...

Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Divergence

Very little is actually known about what Sage thinks of Knuckles the Echidna, but she does appear to act antagonistic towards him in the same way she was towards Sonic, as evidenced in the Divergence prologue. Knuckles in return sees Sage as an enemy, and decides to attack her when she tries to attack Sonic with a laser. When Sonic tries to prevent him from doing this, Knuckles sees this as an indication that he is too trusting.

Sonic the Hedgehog[]

Despite Sonic the Hedgehog's heroic actions and personality, Sage views him as a threat not just to the Starfall Islands, but the world as a whole. As such, she repeatedly threatens him to leave the Islands through means of violence despite him simply wanting to rescue his friends.[citation needed] She eventually warms up to him, especially after witnessing the lengths he will go to save his friends. She also had some degree of respect for his abilities even before then, as she suggested to Eggman that forming an alliance with Sonic may be Eggman's best option for escaping Cyber Space due to them solving past crises together.[18]

Miles "Tails" Prower[]

Sage respects Tails and addresses him by his true name, Miles Prower. However, though she questions him for his years of being best friends with Sonic, Sonic is a constant help and light source to any situation and always saves his friends using his determination and optimism. Tails acts as he doesn't need to have faith for Sonic, but know Sonic is smart enough to overcome evils to rescue him or his friends when captured. Sage doesn't hate Tails or see him as a threat but she's very secretive and doesn't tell him anything he should know.

Amy Rose[]

Friends/allies[]

Neutral[]

Enemies[]

Quotes[]

Promotional[]

"You cannot run forever. Leave immediately."
—Sage, Gamescom trailer. English dub.
"Nothing you do will change the outcome. I will eliminate you."
—Sage, Gamescom trailer. Japanese dub.
"Of my millions of calculations there was one so remote and unlikely I did not consider it, however it could be the one to save us all."
—Sage, Into the Horizon.

In-game[]

"Submit. Your reckless actions endanger the world."
—Sage, Sonic Frontiers
"If we are fortunate, it will destroy you."
—Sage, Sonic Frontiers
"While I cannot fully control it, I can awaken its rage against you."
—Sage after summoning Wyvern, Sonic Frontiers
"Such a beautiful friendship. A family born out of love and not genetics. Everything I want... I wish I'd never seen this. It was so much easier accepting the future when they were simply enemies."
—Sage, Sonic Frontiers
"It's so sad someone so impressive will be lost in the end. It's...it's not fair."
—Sage, Sonic Frontiers
"All we did was chase it out of its shell. It’s retreating into space to regain its true form. Even Super Sonic won’t be able to stop it. I know what I must do. I must… leave you."
—Sage after The End retreats into space, Sonic Frontiers
"Please... look after... father."
—Sage's last words, Sonic Frontiers

Trivia[]

  • Sage's name is an anagram of "Sega". Ian Flynn, in a cheeky tone, denies that officially the name is a nod to the Sonic Amateur Games Expo, an online annual fangame exhibit meant to highlight community made content.[21]
  • Despite similarities between the characters, Ian Flynn denies taking inspiration of Phage from the Archie series when writing Sage.[22] He states "[both characters] were meant to have a degree of detachment, but Phage was always meant to be spooky and off-putting; there was never meant to be a degree of humanity to her, or what was there was just enough to make her likeable, but even more unsettling. They were different interpretations of the digital character idea".
  • According to Ian Flynn, Sage's development creation was roughly around the same time Evan Stanley pitched Belle the Tinkerer, another robotic "daughter" of Eggman, for the IDW series. This caused Flynn to feel awkward about how to break the news to her, but he took retrospective confidence in knowing that they are two separate personalities despite their similarity.[23]
  • Sage's design is thought to be a homage to Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion in appearance and personality, though this has not been confirmed. Both characters share the same English and Japanese voice actresses (although in Rei's case, Ryan Bartley only voiced the character in the Netflix dub).
  • Sage shares some similarities to Shadow the Hedgehog.
    • Both have a black-and-red color scheme.
    • Both were created by a member of the Robotnik family.
    • Both at first disliked Sonic, but formed alliances with him to take on a bigger threat. In the case of Shadow, this would be the Biolizard, and for Sage, The End.
    • Both sacrificed themselves against said threats to save the world.
    • Both were presumed dead but were then revealed to be alive, though Shadow came back in his next appearance due to fan demand, while Sage was revived in a post-credit scene due to the replicable nature of AI.
    • On a meta similarity, both characters were written without a full knowledge of what their final design would be.
  • In one of the Egg Memos (#18), Sage makes a joke about Sonic's speed, being that Sonic can mess things up instantly. Eggman remarked that Sage, even if she is A.I., has a good sense of humor.
  • The device that Eggman originally held Sage in at the beginning of Sonic Frontiers makes an appearance on the day section of June in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2023 Calendar, if this device and Sage are meant to be one and the same, this would make her first ever official appearance May 10, 2022, two months before her trailer debut.
  • When Sage briefly appears in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, she has a more peach skin tone like Eggman rather than her usual pale skin tone.

References[]

  1. Tails' Channel on Twitter. Twitter (24 August 2022). Retrieved on 24 August 2022.
  2. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: View Fish-o-pedia Menu. "Egg Memo 16: Sage has been crucial to my survival here in Cyber Space. Early warnings of hostile entities, guiding me past firewalls, keeping me updated on progress in the real world - she's the best. "She?" "It." It's a program. An adorable program. A very personable program. A... hmm. I wonder if... she... has a preference?"
  3. Sonic Frontiers | PROLOGUE. Sega. Archived from the original on 24 August 2022. Retrieved on 24 August 2022.
  4. ソニック フロンティア | PROLOGUE (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 24 August 2022. Retrieved on 24 August 2022.
  5. Ruki185 (31 August 2022). My Interview with Takashi Iizuka: Sonic Frontiers & more. YouTube. Retrieved on 2 September 2022.
  6. BumbleKing Videos (30 October 2023). BumbleKast LIVE! for October 30th, 2023 - Ian Flynn Q&A Monthly Stream. YouTube. Retrieved on 30 October 2023.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: View Fish-o-pedia Menu. "Egg Memo 12: I'm deploying my most advanced artificial intelligence into the ancient network spanning the Starfall Islands. I've code-named it "Sage." Sage will take over the alien network, take control of all its resources, and give them to me! ...Once I'm out of here."
  8. (comic book) "Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Convergence". Sega. 18 October 2022. "Sage: Warning. A.I. integration untested. System stress test untested. Accelerated timetable is not advised. / Eggman: Ah, but I developed you to protect me, and my coding is impeccable!"
  9. (comic book) "Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Convergence". Sega. 18 October 2022. "Dr. Eggman: My latest, greatest artificial intelligence will make short work of the Ancients' cyber security! And then all of their fantastic achievements will be mine to control!"
  10. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. Xbox One. Sega. Cutscene: Ouranos Island side story #1. "Sonic: You were created by Eggman, right? / Sage: Correct. My base code was compiled by him. The scope of my capabilities was vastly modified once I integrated with Cyber Space, but he is my creator."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Cutscene: Opening. "Eggman: Status report. Answer me! / Sage: Simulations complete. Executing Protective Initiative. / Eggman: What! No! NO!"
  12. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. Xbox One. Sega. Cutscene: Rhea Island. "Sage: I ran millions of simulations. The only way I can keep you alive is if you're not here when it gets out."
  13. Flynn, Ian (1 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Divergence. YouTube.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: Kronos Island. Cutscene: Sage and Dr. Eggman Interaction #2. "Sage: I have run one million, seven hundred thousand and fifty simulations. There's no scenario to safely remove you from Cyber Space."
  15. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: Ares Island. Cutscene: Sage and Dr. Eggman Interaction #3. "Eggman: I'll integrate you into my system. Give you control of the whole Eggnet! I'll have you network all my robots."
  16. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: Ares Island. Cutscene: Sage and Dr. Eggman Interaction #3. "Sage: They are your creations, like me. That would make them like... my brothers?"
  17. Sonic Frontiers
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: Chaos Island. Cutscene: Sage and Dr. Eggman Interaction #4. "Sage: After reviewing your entire campaign history, I have found the most optimal course of action is to... create an alliance with Sonic. / Eggman: WHAT?! / Sage: B-But together you stopped the ARK! Overcame 'Neo Metal!' You...! / Eggman: I don't want to hear it! Those alliances were purely out of desperation! / Sage: But time is running out! / Eggman: I don't want to hear it! Find me another option!"
  19. Sonic Team (8 November 2022). Sonic Frontiers. PlayStation 5. Sega. Area/level: Kronos Island. Cutscene: Side Story; M-004. "Sonic: Oh, you show up everywhere. Y'know, I... I don't think we were ever properly introduced. I'm Sonic... / Sage: I know who you are. Your age, your biometrics, your weaknesses. You live for speed, are short-tempered and short-sighted. / Sonic: Oh... so you're a fan. But I don't know anything about you, Miss...? / Sage: I will not share personal information with an enemy!"
  20. Sonic Frontiers - Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase | 6.28.2022. YouTube. Nintendo (28 June 2022). Retrieved on 28 June 2022.
  21. BumbleKing Videos (30 November 2022). A-A-Angry Co-Hosts! | BumbleKast for Nov. 30th - Ian Flynn Q&A Podcast. YouTube. Retrieved on 1 December 2022.
  22. BumbleKing Videos (21 November 2022). Stuffing Made w/100% Q&A - BumbleKast for November 21st, 2022 - Priority Q&A Podcast with Ian Flynn. YouTube. Retrieved on 21 November 2022.
  23. BumbleKing Videos (30 November 2022). A-A-Angry Co-Hosts! | BumbleKast for Nov. 30th - Ian Flynn Q&A Podcast. YouTube. Retrieved on 1 December 2022.


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