- For other uses of the term, see Time Eater (disambiguation).
The Time Eater (タイム・イーター Taimu Ītā?) is an antagonist in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Initially an alien creature with dominion over time and space, the Time Eater was discovered by Dr. Eggman who used it in an attempt to conquer the world by erasing his past failures at the hands of Sonic the Hedgehog with the help of Classic Eggman. After inflicting incomprehensible damage to the universe, the Time Eater was used by the doctors to face Sonic's past and present selves in an attempt to erase Sonic completely, but was destroyed in the ensuing battle.
The Time Eater was a colossal entity that came in three forms: its primordial form, its incomplete modified form, and its complete modified form.
In its primordial form, the Time Eater was but a floating dark mass. This mass had a sinister glowing face in its middle, showing narrow eyes and a serrated mouth.
In its incomplete modified form, the Time Eater was a ghostly humanoid whose body seemed to be made up of purple smoke. It had no legs, a wide chest, and five-fingered hands with sharp claws. It also had a dark, low-set face with two horn-like protrusions on top of it, blue-glowing eyes, and a blue-glowing mouth with several sharp teeth. Lastly, it had various gears floating behind its back.
In its completed modified form, the Time Eater was a complex robotic being whose parts were constantly moving. It retained its incomplete form's facial expression and low-set face, except now it consisted of what could be described as a black mask. Its face had many pointed edges, including pointed edges that seemed to be its top row of teeth. It also had long ears/horns and a mechanical jaw with golden teeth and gears. Its upper body had two cockpits with purple-colored dome covers for the Egg Mobile to fit into, and had purple-glowing spikes all around it. Directly below its lower body, it had a purple-glowing orb held in place by golden claws attached to a thin spine. Its lower torso was an additional joint with purple-glowing bulbs surrounding its spine and golden frames surrounding its purple-glowing surfaces. It also had four arms (two on its upper body and two on its lower torso), each one thin with layers of golden gears and spinning disks along them, a purple-glowing spike near their elbows, and round hands with five golden fingers each and purple-glowing claws. Lastly, it had three sets of wings on its back, each one having golden gears at the joins and hexagonal-based energy fields as membranes.
The Time Eater was originally a supernatural being of unknown origin whose primordial form drifted through the space of Sonic's universe. Eventually, it was found by Dr. Eggman, Cubot and Orbot shortly after the destruction of the doctor's interstellar amusement park. Discovering the Time Eater's abilities, Eggman had the idea of using it to undo his numerous defeats at the hands of Sonic by erasing Sonic's history, thus changing his failed attempts for world conquest to successes. Taking the Time Eater with him, Eggman converted it into a cyborg-like machine that let him control it, though he needed help from someone as smart as himself to perfect the process. Even so, Eggman began using the Time Eater to interfere with history.
In Sonic Generations, the Time Eater appeared in another dimension during Eggman's time-faring journey where it caused Classic Sonic (this universe's native Sonic) to enter the White Space. Back in the mainstream universe, the Time Eater crashed a birthday party for Modern Sonic (the Sonic of the mainstream universe) where Eggman had it create Time Holes that scattered Sonic's friends throughout time to bait Sonic into his traps. In the process, the Time Eater knocked out Modern Sonic when he tried to stop it and took him to the White Space too.
The Time Eater reappeared in the aftermath of Classic Sonic victory's over the Death Egg Robot on the Death Egg where Eggman had it abduct his Classic self to help finish construction of its new mechanical form. With Classic Eggman agreeing to help, the two doctors teamed up to defeat the Sonics and complete the Time Eater. As the Time Eater went on more time travels, it passed through the White Space several times, during which it collided with a Chaos Emerald. When Modern Sonic later defeated the Egg Dragoon, the Time Eater appeared briefly and took Modern Eggman with it.
After the Time Eater had been perfected, both Classic and Modern Sonic arrived in its dimension, having teamed to stop it. It was then that Modern and Classic Eggman revealed themselves as the ones controlling the Time Eater. As they explained everything to the heroes, the doctors unveiled their endgame: to destroy both Sonics with the Time Eater and erase the Sonics from their timelines entirely. The Sonics tried engaging the Time Eater, but Modern Eggman ambushed them by launching the Time Eater's arm through a Time Hole, squashing the duo. As the Time Eater got ready to finish them off, however, Sonic's friends arrived and cheered them on, causing the Chaos Emeralds to emerge and transform the pair into Super Sonics. The Sonics then faced the Time Eater in another dimension and destroyed it, leaving both Eggmen stranded in the White Space and undoing all the Time Eater's actions.
As its unique nature implies, the Time Eater is more of a force than a living creature. Unlike most other supernatural beings Dr. Eggman has tried to harness, the Time Eater is seemingly devoid of sentience, independent thought and rebellious tendencies as it never once tried to betray the doctor. However, it still displays some traits of a living being, such as making growls and displaying dislikes of unfavorable objects.
Powers and abilities
The Time Eater is a very powerful being, capable of taking on two Super State users at once. In its modified state, the Time Eater has demonstrated immense super strength; even in its incomplete form, it easily knocked Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic unconscious with a single hit. After being completed, the Time Eater was able to effortlessly repel both Classic and Modern Sonic's and knock them out using brute force alone (Eggman even admitted he was holding back the Time Eater's strength) and even briefly immobilize Super Sonic in its grasp. It is as well capable of flight at high speed, even when compared to Super State users, but is ultimately not as fast as Super Sonic.
The Time Eater can form yellow homing shots in its hands that can track the opponent and fire them in several rows. It can also perform a move called the "Warping arm attack" where it detaches its arms and sends them through Time Holes to attack the foe from across space and time, allowing it to strike opponent from afar and at select points in the future, making this move ideal for ambushes and impossible to predict.
The Time Eater is capable of energy projection, allowing it to fire small purple orbs that can immobilize the opponent, form a large, vortex-like laser, manipulate objects in a manner similar to telekinesis or fire up to three small green lasers as seen in the 3DS version. Its arguably most powerful attack though is the Sun Burst where it summons a miniature sun and fires it at the opponent. This attack is so powerful that it requires the power of two Super Sonics to repel it.
The Time Eater possesses a vast mastery over space-time manipulation so advanced that can interfere with alternate timelines such as Crisis City or Stardust Speedway's bad future, both of which are supposed to be removed from the original timeline. Its primary application of this skill is its ability to obliterate time and space, allowing it to erase events and places from history. Its signature skill however, is creating "Time Holes", spatial rifts that lead to different points across time and space, including alternate timelines and across different dimensions. It can also built up time energy to cast a seal resembling a watch interior which can slow down the time float without affecting itself. In the 3DS version of Sonic Generations, it can also form clock-shaped shields that can block even a Super Sonic Boost.
Despite its vast dominion over time and space, the Time Eater's temporal abilities are a double-edged sword; when moving through time, it literally tears space apart by removing places from their time, drains them of color and life, and sends them to the White Space, a strange world devoid of time. Living creatures put into this state experience it as "floating without a body in a black limbo." This process effectively damages the world and throws the universe into chaos, which can bring the end of the world and possibly reality itself, making the Time Eater one of the most dangerous beings in the series.
- Amy Rose
- Blaze the Cat
- Classic Sonic
- Classic Tails
- Cream the Rabbit
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Rouge the Bat
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Silver the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Team Chaotix
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Time Eater's first appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog #230 as part of the comic's adaptation of Sonic Generations. Since this took place in alternate reality, the events did not completely happen in the comic's main timeline.
During the Worlds Collide crossover, the Time Eater came into existence when Drs. Eggman and Wily rewrote the timeline with the Genesis Wave. Dr. Light also implied that, unlike in the games, Dr. Eggman failed to take control of the Time Eater and needed Sonic to save him. Following the reboot of the continuity due to the Super Genesis Wave, the Time Eater became a part of the new timeline, identical to its game counterpart.
In the Sonic the Hedgehog series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the Time Eater was one of the many means Dr. Eggman used to threaten the world with. However, it was stopped by Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The Time Eater is the only original boss in Sonic Generations since the rest are all re-imaginings of previous bosses.
- This is, to date, the only time Eggman has uncovered a mysterious creature that has not later grown out of his control and betrayed him.
- The Time Eater’s Battle theme repeats the Latin phrase “Dominus Tempus” which literally translates to “Master of Time” or “King of Time.”
- The scene in the boss trailer showing Time Eater confronting the two Sonics and Tails in Green Hill never happens in the game.
- The Time Eater bears resemblance to Solaris in the way that their weak point is a sphere at the center of its body, they can manipulate time, they are destroying the timeline, and they are so powerful that it took the effort of multiple Super States to defeat.
- The two Super Sonics destroyed the Time Eater in a similar way that Super Sonic and Burning Blaze finished off the Egg Salamander in Sonic Rush.
- In the 3DS version, they even switch of like this fight as well with one Sonic handling their respective Eggman.
- The Time Eater is one of the few final bosses who have been fought by more than one super character. The other ones that have this trait are Solaris, the Finalhazard, Metal Overlord, the Egg Salamander, and the Egg Wizard.
- The Time Eater bears a lot of similarity to the Corpus Clock, a real-life pendulum clock. Firstly, the Time Eater has clocks on itself. Secondly, they both have something to do with time. Thirdly, there is a grasshopper-like sculpture on it which is dubbed the "chronophage" (literally "time eater") which "eats away" at every second passing on the clock. Lastly, the clock has an irregular movement pattern which corresponds to the imperfect Time Eater's foggy appearance and imperfection.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: The Final Battle!. "Modern Eggman: After my most recent setback, I stumbled upon the primordial form of this unique creation. Which I discovered had amazing abilities even I have never been able to master. It could erase time and space! I then had the brilliant idea to use my discovery to undo my previous defeats! In order to perfect it, I needed the help of someone as smart as I am. The only person that smart... is me!"
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Abducted Friends.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Eggman Abducted.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: The Dark Monster and the Chaos Emerald.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Eggman Abducted.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: The Final Battle!.
- Sonic Team (4 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Trapped.
- Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3) European instruction manual, pg. 5. "Sonic's universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power comes into force, creating Time Holes which takes Sonic and his friends."