The War to Take Back the Planet is an event that appears in Sonic Forces. It was a global war that occurred in Earth's recent history between the Eggman Empire and the Resistance. The war lasted for a total of six months. Easily one of the largest, if not the largest, conflicts in recorded history, the war was fought over the control of the world after Dr. Eggman launched a campaign for world domination using a new power he had acquired.
After defeating Sonic the Hedgehog, the Eggman Empire began effectively spreading its influence across the globe. To liberate the world from the Eggman Empire's tyranny, the friends and allies of Sonic formed the Resistance and their own army. The ensuring conflict between the Resistance and the Eggman Army marked what became known as the War to Take Back the Planet. However, the Resistance could do little during the early stages of the war, and the Eggman Empire eventually took over more than 99% of the planet within months. It was first during the last days of the war when Sonic, along with new allies, joined the fight that the Resistance began pushing the Eggman Empire back, eventually winning the war altogether. In the aftermath, the Resistance set out to restore the world from the war.
The genesis of the War to Take back the Planet began when Dr. Eggman discovered the Phantom Ruby, a gemstone that allowed its wielder to produce virtual reality projections and create replicas as their beck and call. Soon after discovering the gem, the doctor had a run-in with the Jackal Squad. After defeating them, Eggman took a liking to the squad's captain and convinced him to become the leader of his Eggman Army.
Having seen the Phantom Ruby in action, Eggman went to Angel Island to test its powers. At the same time, Knuckles was visited by Silver, who had come to the present to prevent a calamity that would befall the world in the future. After experiencing Eggman's test on the island, which resulted in an illusion of Pachacamac's village from the past, along with a hostile Chaos, Knuckles and Silver took it as a sign that trouble was coming and headed to Earth to prepare for the coming war. Satisfied with the test, Eggman began analyzing the Phantom Ruby in his facility in Mystic Jungle, which he had the Jackal Squad guard. At that facility, Eggman produced a number of defective Phantom Ruby prototypes, which he used to experiment on. Eventually though, Eggman produced a final version of these prototypes.
A number of months before the War to Take Back the Planet began, Shadow the Hedgehog arrived at Eggman's facility to raid and destroy it. On his mission, Shadow annihilated the Jackal Squad and dealt their captain a humiliating defeat. Outraged at his own weakness, the captain abandoned his old identity and sought to obtain greater strength. This prompted the captain to let Eggman incorporate the final Phantom Ruby prototype into him, granting him the Ruby's powers. Eggman's own reasons for doing this was to make himself an instrument of destruction that would allow him to defeat Sonic the Hedgehog and expand his Eggman Empire across the globe. With the Phantom Ruby, Infinite (as the captain called himself from then on) gained the ability to create a limitless amount of replicas. Eggman thus had Infinite create replicas of Shadow, Zavok, Metal Sonic, and Chaos to bolster the Eggman Army with.
The beginning of the war
Eventually, Eggman made his move by attacking the City with the Eggman Army. When Sonic came to save the day, rescuing Tails and several civilians confronted by Eggman and a squad of his Egg Pawns, Infinite and his replica allies made their debut. Knowing nothing about the replicas, the public believed Infinite's replicas to be the real deal. Infinite and his replicas proceeded to defeat Sonic, who got imprisoned onboard the rebuilt Death Egg. The public however, was mislead to believe that Sonic had been killed in action by Infinite during the confrontation, shattering their hope of being saved from Eggman's latest plot for world domination once more.
With Sonic gone, the Eggman Army quickly spread its influence and took over, initiating a period of wars and chaos. However, many of Sonic's friends managed to escape Eggman's invasion. Seeking to continue the fight, these individuals formed a rag-tag army named the "Resistance", with Knuckles the Echidna as their commander, to push the Eggman Empire back and free the world from Eggman's encroaching tyranny.
At one point during the war, Team Chaotix helped fortify the City, which was being held by the Resistance. Its defenses were put to the test a few days later when Eggman attacked the City with an Eggman Army battalion. However, it was thanks to the Avatar, a rookie soldier serving the Resistance, that the Eggman Army retreated. The City was later attacked by Infinite, who wiped out the Resistance battalion defending it. The only survivor was the Avatar, whom Infinite allowed to leave after seeing them run away from him in fear. After that, the Avatar made it to the Resistance's headquarters.
As the months progressed, the Resistance proved unable to halt the Eggman Army's increasing influence, resulting in several places in the world and the outer space surrounding it falling under the influence of the Eggman Empire. In addition, paradisaical locations like Green Hill were destroyed by desertification and then industrialized to serve as a weapons depot, while industrial areas like Chemical Plant were expanded to other regions on the planet, serving as both a chemical factory and a spaceport. Meanwhile, Sonic was kept alive onboard the Death Egg; this was because Eggman wanted Sonic to see his world-spanning Eggman Empire upon its completion before banishing him into space, ensuring that, with Sonic gone for good, his friends and the Resistance would give into despair and surrender.
New and old allies join the fight
Six months after the War to Take Back the Planet had begun, over 99% of the planet had fallen under the Eggman Empire's dominion, leaving but a few isolated areas in the world under the Eggman Army's control. Worse yet, the Eggman Army had the world's population terrified, leaving very few willing to take up the fight against the Eggman Empire.
Eventually, the Eggman Army overcame the Resistance in Green Hill while Infinite had the Resistance soldiers on the run. Around that time however, just after the Avatar joined the Resistance's ranks, the Resistance's spy discovered that Sonic was alive onboard the Death Egg, prompting them to plan a rescue. After the Resistance stole a space shuttle from the Eggman Empire at the Chemical Plant's Spaceport to rescue Sonic with however, Eggman got wind of the Resistance's plan and moved Sonic's execution ahead of schedule. The Avatar and other Resistance troops were thus immediately sent to the Death Egg to rescue Sonic. There, the Avatar caused enough of a ruckus for Sonic to escape his cell, thereby allowing him to beat the Zavok replica coming for him and link up with the Avatar, who took Sonic back to Earth. There, Sonic joined the Resistance, giving them renewed hope, who quickly put him into the swing of things by sending him on a mission with the Avatar to destroy one of the Eggman Army's ammunition factories. In no time at all, Sonic and the Avatar ensured the factory's destruction, thereby improving the Resistance's chances for a successful attack on Eggman's HQ.
While the Resistance carried out their jailbreak, Tails, who operated on his own after witnessing Sonic's defeat by Infinite and his replicas, came across Classic Sonic, who had been brought to Tails' dimension by the Phantom Ruby, when the latter saved him from a Chaos replica after Tails was unable to restore a badly-damaged E-123 Omega. Reasoning that Classic Sonic was here to save the world, Tails joined up with him to end the war by going after Eggman, while also figuring out a way to get Classic Sonic home.
Warfare on a global scale
The Eggman Army soon struck back by attacking the local Resistance squads in Mystic Jungle with aerial bombardments, setting the Resistance back. During the attack, Infinite gathered the Phantom Ruby prototypes from Eggman's abandoned lab so they could not be used against him. While there, he had a brief scuffle with Sonic, who came to the Mystic Jungle to stop Infinite, and Silver. Although Infinite beat both of them, he let them live in the belief that they were not worth killing. Soon after this encounter, Tails and Classic Sonic found Eggman and Infinite in Green Hill while they were disposing of the Phantom Ruby prototypes. There, the heroes heard the villains mention a plan that would ensure the Eggman Empire's victory in the war. After the villains parted ways, Classic Sonic beat up Eggman, who managed to get away, although not before warning him and Tails that the Resistance would be erased in just three days.
Soon after, the Eggman Army broke into the City. With the Resistance's soldiers spent on an attack at Seaside Hill, the Avatar was sent to evacuate the City's civilians. Thanks to the Avatar's subsequent efforts, the Eggman Army was forced into retreat by the Resistance for the time being. In the meantime, after learning that Sonic was alive, Tails and Classic Sonic went to Mystic Jungle to find Sonic and tell him about Eggman's plan. Having detected Classic Sonic and Tails' life readings in Mystic Jungle, the Resistance sent the Avatar to investigate them. There, they found a Phantom Ruby prototype left behind by Infinite that he had dropped during his earlier scuffle with Silver, before finding Tails and Classic Sonic. These two were brought to the Resistance, allowing Tails to joyfully reunite with Sonic, where they then joined the group and informed them of Eggman's plan. In the meantime, the Resistance managed to free Mystic Jungle from the Eggman Empire's dominion.
It was not long before the Eggman Army attacked the Resistance with an army of Death Egg Robot sentinels and the Shadow replica in the City again. Coming to everyone's rescue, Sonic confronted the Shadow replica while the Resistance kept the Death Egg Robot sentinels in check. It was then that the real Shadow showed up and took out his replica. Joining the Resistance, Shadow informed the group of the Eggman Army's usage of replicas through Infinite's Phantom Ruby prototype.
Learning that Eggman's HQ in Metropolis was undermanned, the Resistance launched a full-scale attack on Metropolis, called "Operation Big Wave", in an attempt to win the war. However, the attack got thwarted when Infinite used his powers to plunge the Resistance's army into chaos. Suffering huge casualties, the Resistance was forced to withdraw from Metropolis. In the aftermath, the Avatar had a brief fight with Infinite when they came across him. In the end, the Avatar survived the confrontation when Infinite left on a whim, choosing to let the Resistance live since their fates were sealed in two days' time.
Target: The Phantom Ruby
After their defeat in Metropolis, the Resistance found it necessary to uncover the secrets of the Phantom Ruby. Discovering a lead on the Ruby in Eggman's database at the Chemical Plant, Tails and Classic Sonic went there to check it out. In the meantime, a suped-up Metal Sonic replica surfaced in the City, along with Death Egg Robot sentinels. However, Sonic and the Avatar were able to stop them. This allowed the Resistance to remove the Eggman Army from power in the City completely.
Returning to the Resistance with info on the Phantom Ruby in tow, Tails revealed that the Ruby required an incredible amount of energy, which only the Death Egg could provide, to work. As such, the Resistance's next objective became to destroy the Death Egg. To accomplish this, the Resistance first had the Avatar create a distraction at Guardian Rock to divert the Eggman Army's attention, resulting in the Avatar taking down the Death Crab; in the process of accomplishing this, they also ensured that Green Hill got freed from the Eggman Empire by the Resistance. With the Eggman Army distracted, Sonic invaded the Network Terminal and used its computers to shut down the Death Egg's weapons systems; Sonic's efforts likewise ensured that the Resistance was able to capture the Chemical Plant. Classic Sonic subsequently invaded the defenseless Death Egg to destroy it from within. Although the Death Egg was soon brought back online under auxiliary power, Classic Sonic still accomplished his mission. The Death Egg's destruction also liberated outer space from Eggman's influence. After that, Eggman and Infinite retreated to Metropolis to re-mobilize their forces.
Believing they had rendered the Phantom Ruby powerless, the Resistance launched a second attack on Metropolis so they could capture Eggman and win the war. While covered by the Resistance's fleet, Sonic and Tails located Eggman, only for Infinite to appear with his powers intact and banish both Sonic and the Avatar to Null Space when the Avatar tried to rescue Sonic from the vortex. It was then revealed that the Phantom Ruby had a backup power supply underneath the Eggman Empire Fortress. Using their combined powers however, Sonic and the Avatar were able to return to Metropolis, just as the Resistance's fleet had the Eggman Army and Eggman Fleet in Metropolis on the ropes. In the end, Eggman and his forces withdrew from Metropolis, giving the Resistance control over Eggman's capital.
The decisive battle for the planet
Having less than an hour left before Eggman's endgame is put into effect, the Resistance launched an attack at the Eggman Empire Fortress, the last remaining stronghold and heart of the Eggman Empire, in an attempt to reach and stop the Phantom Ruby's power source. There, hundreds of replicas of Shadow, Zavok, Chaos and Metal Sonic faced the Resistance's ground troops while the Eggman Fleet engaged the Resistance's fleet in the sky. During the battle, E-123 Omega came to the Resistance's aid when Infinite attacked them. Tired of the opposition, Infinite decided to put Eggman's endgame into effect immediately by creating a virtual sun over the planet to drop on the Resistance, intending to wipe them all out in a single stroke. However, the sun was undone by the Avatar with the Phantom Ruby prototype they had found, giving the Resistance another chance to finish the Eggman Army.
While the battle raged on, Sonic went after Infinite, with the Resistance's fleet providing him and his allies with cover for as long as they were able to before being forced into retreat by the Eggman Fleet. During the subsequent showdown between Sonic and Infinite, the Avatar came to Sonic’s aid and helped him defeat Infinite for good. With Infinite's Phantom Ruby moving underground towards its reactor however, the Resistance began looking for a way into the fortress. After Classic Sonic found a secret passage, Sonic and the Avatar used it to enter the fortress and destroy the backup power reactor for the Phantom Ruby. However, Eggman had anticipated this, and thus had the original Phantom Ruby incorporated into his Death Egg Robot, allowing him to bolster the Eggman Army by creating thousands of replicas for it. Just as Eggman made his appearance in the Death Egg Robot to crush the Resistance however, Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar joined forces and confronted the Death Egg Robot, which they managed to destroy after a long battle. With its destruction, the Eggman Army lost all its replicas, rendering it defunct, leaving the Resistance as the victors of the War to Take Back the Planet.
With the Phantom Ruby gone, Classic Sonic was returned to his dimension in the aftermath of the war. Recognizing also that the world had been left in a terrible mess from the war and Dr. Eggman's operations, the Resistance's members set out to restore the world to its former glory. It was not long after that the Resistance, having served its purpose, was disbanded by Knuckles now that the war was over. Even so, the ordeals that Sonic's friends had been through as a part of the Resistance had forged a new sense of unity between them. At the end of it all, Sonic and the Avatar also went their own ways in search of new adventures as their friends and the Resistance's forces began the long road of rebuilding and restoring the world to a lush, beautiful state again from the ruin Eggman left it in.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing, the War to Take Back the Planet is referred to as the Eggman War. In this media, the Eggman War played out in a fashion similar to its game counterpart, but with extra elements added to it. The entire comic series also begins approximately a month after the Eggman War's conclusion.
- At the end of the aftermath cutscene, Classic Sonic actually reappears next to Tails with the resistance group. However, it cannot be seen without hacking because the cutscene fades out before it is shown.
- Sonic Forces - Launch Trailer (1:31). YouTube. Sega (6 November 2017). Retrieved on 10 January 2017. “Knuckles the Echidna: The War to Take Back the Planet begins... Now!”
- Sonic Forces: Rise of Infinite, "Rise of Infinite"
- Sonic Forces: Stress Test, "Stress Test"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Eggman's Facility. "Dr. Eggman: Unbelievable ! He's getting deeper and deeper into the facility! That computer running analysis in the core is invaluable!"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Eggman's Facility. "Dr. Eggman: Ugh. At least the analysis of the stone was completed yesterday, but... No, I still can't let this facility be destroyed! Is there ANYONE left out there!?"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Eggman's Facility. "Dr. Eggman: Rrrrrgh! I went to great pains to get the best mercenaries around and he STILL totally wrecked the Defense Squad! SHADDDOOWWRRRGH!"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Eggman's Facility. "Dr. Eggman: We've got an intruder! Shadow has entered the facility! Defense Squad Jackal has already been completely annihilated! All available troops, intercept that blasted hedgehog by any means necessary!"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Green Hill: Green Hill. "Infinite: And with that, the disposal of the Phantom Ruby prototypes is complete. / Dr. Eggman: It was a defective model. It could only record the DNA of the one that triggered it. / Infinite: Only a being with my strength of will could ever activate it. / Dr. Eggman: It doesn't matter now with the lab locked down in Mystic Jungle."
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Tails: Eggman experimented with lots of prototypes, and then incorporated the final version into Infinite."
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Infinite: I am Infinite. You say you do not know me, and yet I remember you so very well. To you, it was simply another in a long lost of Eggman bases you tore down without a second thought."
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Infinite: That day, I gave up my own unsightly face. And I let go of the old me, the one that was so weak, so that I could become stronger. And then, at last... I obtained the power. The power to make all yield to my will. I... was... REBORN!"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces (Episode Shadow). Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Dr. Eggman: Sonic. How I hate him. And all of that loathing has been focused into this invincible instrument of destruction. Every defeat. Every humiliation at the Hedgehog's hands will be returned a thousandfold by my unstoppable creation. This is my dream come true. With this invention, I can expand the Eggman Empire across the globe, and conquer the world!"
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Shadow: Infinite can create virtual reality projections. They have mass and form, but no heart or soul. / Sonic: Virtual reality? So all those familiar faces that were a part of Eggman's army... / Shadow: Replicas. The problem is, they may not be real, but their powers are as formidable as the originals. According to Rouge, Infinite can create unlimited numbers of them."
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Vector: Hey, I hate to butt in on your important meeting, but we're under attack! Shadow is tearing through our troops! We need reinforcements! / Sonic: Shadow... The last time I saw him he was fighting for Eggman. / Knuckles: That doesn't make sense. Why would Shadow help the enemy?"
- アジトはレジスタンスの (Japanese). Famitsu. Enterbrain, Tokuma. October 2017. p. 58.
- Sonic Forces: Moment of Truth, "Moment of Truth"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Espio: We're been hoping for a miracle these past six months, but I'm afraid we have to make our own miracle."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Vector: Eggman's army is unstoppable! Without Sonic, the people are losing hope and giving into despair."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Silver: Eggman's army has everyone terrified. If we want the people to rally, we have to show them that strength doesn't just come from numbers."
- Sonic Team (November 7, 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. "Knuckles: Eggman's forces have chewed through our defenses at Green Hill, and the resistance in the city is reporting that whatever it is that finished Sonic... Sorry, I'm still not used to saying that. Whatever it is has them running in fear."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Knuckles: And here's the bad news. Our intel indicates Eggman's got a weapons factory in Green Hill, pumping out munitions for his war effort. / Silver: A factory? We can't take out Eggman's home base in Metropolis if he's got a factory supplying him."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Level/Area: World Map. "Tails: If we defeat Eggman, this war will be over. And if we can figure out the secret to his power, maybe we can get you home."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Amy: Eggman's army has broken through! They're in the city. We need to get these people out of here!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Level/Area: World Map. "Espio: We've engaged enemy forces at Seaside Hill. We can't spare anyone!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Park Avenue. "Knuckles: Update from HQ! The enemy is on the run! / Espio: Mission complete. Well done everyone!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Sunset Heights. "Vector: What the heck!? A whole army of Death Egg Robots? / Charmy: Oh no! There are so many of them! / Silver: Hurry, Sonic! We can keep them in check, but not for long."
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: World Map. "Knuckles the Echidna: Okay, let's heads straight for Eggman's HQ! Time to save the world, people!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Capital City. "Soldier: This is Eagle Squad! We've caught in enemy crossfire! / Soldier: Snake Squad requesting reinforcements! / Soldier: This is Fox Squad! We' can't hold out much more! / Amy Rose: 80% of our forces have been wiped out! And we've lost contact with the rest!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Death Egg: Death Egg. "Knuckles: Hey, the defense system's still up! I thought we shut it down. / Tails: They probably switched over to auxiliary power.
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Metropolitan Highway. "Knuckles: If we can capture Eggman, we win. Find out where he is at, Sonic!
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Metropolitan Highway. "Rouge: We'll provide as much cover as we can.
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Null Space. "Sonic: How is the battle going? / Amy: We've got them on the ropes. If our fleet can keep the upper hand, we should have things under control soon.
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Iron Fortress. "Tails: The Phantom Ruby signal is moving underground!"
- Sonic Team (7 November 2017). Sonic Forces. Nintendo Switch. Sega. Area/Level: Final Judgment. "Tails: The Phantom Ruby signal is headed for the reactor."