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South Island (サウスアイランド,Sausu Airando?) is a location that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is an island that is known to be a treasure trove of gems and ancient ruins, that supposedly shifts along the water due to some connection to the Chaos Emeralds.
South Island is a piece of land that floats over a rich ocean. Given the fact that the island cannot be found on any map, it is very likely that it changes its location very often and therefore has no fixed point, though it has been shown on one occasion that is is located eastwards of West Side Island and westwards of Angel Island.
Described as a peaceful and beautiful island, South Island is a paradise blessed with abundant nature. Its fauna is mainly composed of non-antropomorphic Animals. Its flora, however, is much more diverse and abstract; one area in particular holds many kinds of flowers that move, almost as if they were dancing, alongside tall palm trees with spiked coconuts. Topographically, South Island's terrain quickly elevates from south to north, with the southern regions being plateau-like and very low in elevation compared to the northern areas, which hold massive mountains, humid jungles, and huge waterfalls. The island also has a lake that flows from the northern mountains to the south east of the island; noticeably, this lake has somewhat of an archipelago, with many tall islets found on it. Despite its abundance in nature, South Island also holds many artificial territories, which include largemetropolises. Additionally, it is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, with severallocations holding temples.
Many legends claim that South Island has had connections with the Chaos Emeralds since ancient times, though the accuracy of such affirmations cannot be guaranteed. Such legends also say that the island creates many distortions that cause the Emeralds to exist. As a result, if at least one Emerald gets stolen, South Island will eventually sink into the sea unless all the Chaos Emeralds are recovered.
Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)
In Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) and its numerous ports and remasters, the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik arrived on South Island with his army to get the Chaos Emeralds spoken of in the legends surrounding the island to power out his empire with. Setting up a huge fortress on the corner of South Island, Robotnik intended to find the Emeralds, even if he had to tear the whole island up.
As the local Animals on South Island started to mysteriously disappear,Sonic the Hedgehog rushed to the island upon learning of Robotnik's operations. There, he encountered the doctor, who revealed that he was kidnapping the Animals in order to use them to power his Badniks. To stop Robotnik, Sonic embarked on a journey across South Island to secure the Chaos Emeralds. As he traveled through the various Zones on the island, Sonic was able to gather the six Emeralds, defeat Robotnik in several encounters, and free the Animals from the Badniks. Eventually, Sonic infiltrated Scrap Brain Zone, Robotnik's stronghold, where he triumphed over Robotnik's final weapon. As Robotnik attempted to escape however, Sonic made his escape craft crash with the doctor in it.
With South Island saved, Sonic went back to Green Hill Zone, where he reunited with the various Animals as they celebrated his victory over Robotnik. Amidst this, the Chaos Emeralds' power filled the Zone with flowers.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), Dr. Robotnik returned and kidnapped all South Island's inhabitants, along with Miles "Tails" Prower, demanding a ransom of six Chaos Emeralds to return them. Upon discovering this, Sonic went out to stop Robotnik once again. After Sonic successfully defeated Robotnik on the island, Tails was freed from the doctor's captivity.
In Sonic Chaos, Robotnik stole one of the Chaos Emeralds on South Island. As a result, the rest of the Emeralds became unbalanced, causing South Island to slowly sink into the ocean. However, Sonic and Tails managed to recover all the Emeralds and save the island after defeating Robotnik.
In Sonic the Fighters, a section of South Island was used as a fighting arena for a fighting tournament. The arena was set on a small island plateau, in an area that looked mostly like Green Hill Zone, and served as the home field for Knuckles the Echidna. The victor of the fighting tournament fought their first round here in order to earn the right to use the Lunar Fox for a mission to destroy the Death Egg II.
In Sonic Blast, Robotnik's latest floating base, the Silver Castle, threatened South Island, so Sonic and Knuckles resolved to take it down. After gathering all the missing Emerald Shards, the duo was able to make the Silver Castle crash into the ocean.
After ending up in White Space, Modern Sonic paid a visit to Green Hill. By speeding through Green Hill, Sonic was able to fix space, thereby restoring Green Hill from its lifeless state. When the Time Eater later got destroyed, Green Hill was seemingly return to its rightful place in the timeline on South Island.
Sonic Runners Adventure
In Sonic Runners Adventure, South Island was the location Sonic traveled to after hearing from Tails that Dr. Eggman was causing trouble there. After finding Tails, Sonic put a stop to Eggman's plans on the island before following Eggman off the island.
In Sonic Forces, South Island's Green Hill, as well as the locations within it, got changed for the worse by Dr. Eggman's industrial projects. Because of Eggman, the area would undergo heavy desertification, causing Sandworms to infest the area.
Shortly before the War to Take Back the Planet, Sonic took a trip through Green Hill before being called in to defend the City. When Eggman later seized control over the globe, he conquered South Island as well. However, thanks to the efforts of the Resistance, the Eggman Army eventually withdrew from the area.
Sonic Battle features Green Hill as an unlockable arena unrelated to Story Mode. Emerald Town's landscape greatly resembles Green Hill, but whether or not it takes place on the island is not confirmed.
After learning of the Marauders' uprising, Sonic returned to South Island where he teamed up with his old friends to uncover the mystery of the Marauders and find the missing Knuckles. After searching much of the island, Team Sonic found Knuckles in Mystic Ruins. Believing Eggman to be a part of this crisis too, the group tracked Eggman to his hideout in Green Hill Zone. When Eggman revealed that he was against the Marauders as well, he teamed up with Sonic and co. for their assault on the Marauders' base in Metropolis.
In Sonic Forces, one can see on the world map that Green Hill covers a significant part of the island, leaving no room for the other zones depicted in other Sonic games. However, this is likely due to presentation reasons and is not intended to be an accurate map of Sonic's world, much like how the continents in Sonic Unleashed do not match up with world maps from previous games.
↑Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "Sonic The Hedgehog (16-bit)". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-1506719276. "Dr. Eggman: A mad genius who seeks to conquer the world with his machines! He's the reason all those adorable little animals have been crammed into robots. He seeks out the Chaos Emeralds to power out his ever-growing mechanical empire."