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Black Arms

From Sonic Retro

Revision as of 07:52, 20 September 2010 by Frozen Nitrogen (talk | contribs)
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The Black Arms are an evil alien race featured in Shadow the Hedgehog. The game's plot chiefly concerns their invasion of Sonic's world from the Black Comet, and the attempts of their leader, Black Doom, to corrupt Shadow the Hedgehog. At the end of the game the Black Comet is destroyed by the Eclipse Cannon and the aliens are apparently all killed.

Overview

Black Arms come in a variety of forms, including jelly-like larvae, humanoid soldiers, bat-like fliers and vast burrowing worms. Their ultimate goal in Shadow the Hedgehog seems to be the complete conquest and terraforming of the planet, with the human population to be at best enslaved and at worst used as a food source. To accomplish this end, the Black Arms seek out the seven Chaos Emeralds, to allow the Black Comet to pass through Earth's atmosphere via Chaos Control.

To secure the Chaos Emeralds and weaken the opposing G.U.N. army and Eggman's forces, the Black Arms plans are remarkably multifaceted. They deploy offensive forces to attack Earth's defenses directly; neutralize major cities, bases, and communications networks; collaborate with select humans (especially the late Dr. Gerald Robotnik), utilize weapons of mass destruction (such as the ARK's Eclipse Cannon); and even engage in quasi-religious propaganda. The pivotal piece in the success or failure of their designs, however, is whether they can convince Shadow to assist their cause.

The Black Arms appear to have green blood, although they originally had red blood before it was edited due to censorship reasons.

Black Arm Species

Black Warrior artwork.
Black Oak artwork.
Black Hawk artwork.

Larvae

The larvae are Black Doom's offspring, and seeing as how there are no (recognizable) female Black Arms, it is assumed that they reproduce asexually. They are blobs of flesh with spikes surrounding their one and only eye. Their small size makes them hard to see at hypersonic speeds and they can attach themselves to walls. Despite these slight advantages, any single attack will kill them

Black Warrior

Bipedal beings who are just slightly larger and hardier than your typical human, these are the most common of the Black Arms. They tend to carry weaponry ranging from swords to guns, but occasionally appear unarmed, in which case they lunge and claw at Shadow. The Black Warriors often guard cages and must be killed to move on. Require two Homing Attacks to vanquish.

Black Wings

Small bat-like creatures who attempt to dive into Shadow. Any single attack will kill them. Serve mainly as the Black Arms's mandatory Homing Attack stepping stone.

Black Hawk

Highly maneuverable bird-like creatures that fly about with ease. Certain members of their ilk fire blue energy waves in Shadow's direction. Others must be grounded, mounted, and flown through a bit of level in order to progress. Your steed will kick you off at a certain point, or you can do so prematurely by jumping.

Black Volt

Stronger forms of the Black Hawk with golden armor, all of which Shadow can ride. While flying through the skies, press an action button to fire off blue energy waves to clear the way of obstacles.

Black Oak

Giant Black Arms which carry swords, hammers and explosives launchers. They have have high HP and some can even negate damage from projectiles by blocking them with their hands.

Black Annelid

These worm creatures like to suddenly appear from the underground. They also like to lob smaller homing worms at Shadow, made possible by the fact that they've swallowed weapons called "Worm Shooters". Deplete its health and the big worm bursts in a pulpy explosion, allowing Shadow to acquire the weapon formerly in its gut.

Golden Annelid

Stronger annelids that drop Golden Worm Shooters. The Golden Worm Shooters have more worms inside them.

Black Assassin

These are heavily armored Black Warriors that carry powerful lasers called Refractors. They are commonly seen on Air Saucers and can teleport (possibly thanks to Chaos Control).

Killer Plant

Flowers similar to Piranha Plants from Super Mario Bros, they spit up fire when approached. After so many attacks from the player, they retreat into a bud for about ten seconds before blooming once again into fiery destruction. They can't be destroyed permanently.

Red Fruit

Crimson, stationary, spiky plant-like objects that serve to punish hedgehogs who zip around recklessly. Red Fruits tend to be found wherever there are Black Arms afoot, and according to Black Doom are symbols of the Black Arms' victorious conquests. They are also apparently poisonous, which may be why Shadow takes damage whenever he runs into them. Fortunately, Red Fruits are very fragile; any attack will cause them to splatter.

Similar growths appear dangling in Black Doom's fleet in Sky Troops and in the terraformed jungle landscape of Death Ruins.

Black Tank

Exclusively appearing in the stage Lethal Highway, the Black Tank is a roving artifact of apparent value to Black Doom. In the heroic mission of Lethal Highway, Shadow is charged with destroying the tank before it escapes the city. Doing so with the small firearms dropped from defeated enemies is a tedious labor, but special weapons, especially the Shadow Rifle, will slice through the Black Tank like Swiss cheese.

The Black Tank has a shield which protects it's fragile hull. Short-circuit it with sufficient ammunition and the Black Tank is essentially defenseless. The Black Tank will travel at a rather quick pace down the highway, and will materialize just in front of Shadow if our hedgehog anti-hero had to take a significant detour. Although the Black Tank has no offensive capabilities to speak of, it is still harmful to touch.

Black Bull

See main article: Black Bull

A gigantic flying Black Arm, this colossus has bat-like wings, a single cyclopedian eye, and spews fire from its maw. Black Bull's blubbery body is impervious to damage, the only weak point being its eye. The boss appears twice in Shadow the Hedgehog; first in Lethal Highway (fought with Sonic) and then in Death Ruins (fought with Rouge).

In the boss battle following Lethal Highway, Black Bull can be defeated quickly by taking out the Black Wings and Black Warriors which accompany it until Shadow has charged up his Chaos Control meter. During boss battles, Chaos Control stops time and weapon ammunition does not deplete in timestop. So by deploying Chaos Control when Black Bull's eye is vulnerable and using a gun with a good rate of fire, Shadow can fire lethal damage at the boss over the course of a single chronometric intermission.

Shadow the Hedgehog

As it turns out, Shadow is at least partly a descendant of Black Doom himself. Here's the full story...

Project Shadow, headed by Dr. Gerald Robotnik, was not progressing smoothly. In the course of Gerald and his colleagues' research, they had only managed to create one relatively simple and increasingly disobedient prototypal artificial lifeform. Furthermore, time was not on their side; Maria Robotnik, the original inspiration for Gerald's involvement in the immortality project, was still stricken with degenerative NIDS, and the military was growing more and more wary of the project's results. Gerald needed a breakthrough, and Black Doom was more than happy to provide it.

During one of the Black Comet's 50-year rendezvous with Earth, Black Doom contacted Gerald and struck a deal with the struggling scientist: Black Doom would donate some of his seemingly immortal blood to aid the manufacture of a new artificial lifeform, and Gerald would lend the fruits of his labor to Black Doom fifty years in the future to assist with the Black Arms's search for the Chaos Emeralds. Black Doom's contributions were critical to Project Shadow's success; Both Black Doom and Gerald were present when Shadow the Hedgehog was successfully synthesized in Gerald's lab. Also witness to the event was the young boy who would grow up to be the G.U.N. Commander. He would associate the subsequent G.U.N. raid on the ARK resulting in the death of his family and friends with Black Doom and especially Shadow, carrying a pronounced hatred for the alien/hedgehog hybrid into his latter years.

Realizing that the bargain made with Black Doom was a mistake, Gerald Robotnik planned to use the Eclipse Cannon and Shadow's Chaos Control ability to shatter the Black Comet when the Black Arms returned to wreck havok on Earth fifty years later. Unfortunately, G.U.N. conducted their infamous raid aboard the ARK shortly afterward, killing numerous researchers and Maria Robotnik, imprisoning Gerald and Shadow at Prison Island, and sealing Project Shadow's prototype deep within the ARK. Distraught by the death of his granddaughter, Gerald went insane and repurposed Shadow and the Eclipse Cannon into the instruments of humanity's demise, leading to the events of Sonic Adventure 2.

Because Shadow shares physiology with Black Doom, he possesses many of the abilities of the alien leader. Both are seemingly immortal and can utilize Chaos Control (it is not seen if Black Doom can utilize similar techniques, such as Chaos Spear, or if Shadow can utilize all of the techniques Black Doom displays in battle). While Shadow's Black Arms blood apparently renders him immune to the paralysis gas emitted from the Black Comet, it is said to render him under the control of Black Doom if necessary, though after being shown an inspirational film of Gerald and Maria Robotnik revealing his true purpose, Shadow breaks free from Black Doom's direct manipulation.

Because the Black Comet was destroyed by Shadow and the Eclipse Cannon at the conclusion of Shadow the Hedgehog, and because it is unknown if any Black Arms survive on Earth or anywhere else, it may be assumed that Shadow the Hedgehog remains the sole descendant of the Black Arms.

Black Comet

See main article: Black Comet

The Black Comet is the home of the Black Arms, and passes by Planet Earth every fifty years. Fifty years after Shadow's birth, it returns, starting the war between GUN, Dr. Eggman and the Black Arms. It is investigated three times in the game. In the Action Stage Black Comet, Shadow travels through the Comet and must either destroy the GUN troops or proceed to the worldlet's interior. In Final Haunt, Sonic and Shadow race across the surface and must find Black Doom. Alternatively, Shadow can flip some switches, which protects the Black Comet from any and all outsiders. And in the level The Last Way, Shadow races against the clock through the depths of the Black Comet. Eventually, it is completely destroyed by the Eclipse Cannon, wiping out the Black Arm race.


Characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series
Recurring characters
Heroes Sonic (Super, Hyper, Darkspine, the Werehog, Excalibur) | Tails (Super) | Knuckles (Super, Hyper) | Amy Rose | Cream | Big | Blaze (Burning) | Silver (Super) | Sticks
Anti-heroes/Neutrals Shadow (Super) | Rouge | Espio | Charmy | Vector | Mighty (Super) | Ray (Super) | E-102 Gamma | E-123 Omega | Jet | Wave | Storm
Villains Dr. Eggman | Metal Sonic (Rocket, Neo, 3.0) | Fang | Chaos (Perfect) | E-Series | ZERO | Eggman Nega | Orbot | Cubot | Deadly Six (Zavok, Zazz, Zomom, Master Zik, Zeena, Zor)
Teams Sonic/Heroes | Rose | Dark | Chaotix | Babylon
Other Animals (Flicky) | Froggy | Chao (Hero, Dark) | Tikal | Pachacamac | Omochao | Gerald & Maria Robotnik | President | Cheese | Chocola | Vanilla | G.U.N. Commander | Wisps
One-off characters
Heroes Emerl | Marine | Lumina Flowlight | Chip | Shahra | Knights of the Round Table | Caliburn | Yacker | Avatar
Anti-heroes/Neutrals Bean | Bark | Shade | Merlina
Villains Witchcart | Battle Kukku Army (15th, 16th, Dr. Fukurokov) | Tails Doll | Metal Knuckles | E-101 Beta | Void | Biolizard | G-merl | Black Doom | Shugo-hei | Iblis | Mephiles | Solaris | Erazor Djinn | Captain Whisker | Johnny | Master Core: ABIS | Ix (Super) | Dark Gaia | King Arthur | Hard Boiled Heavies | Infinite
Other Illumina | Elise | Duke of Soleanna | Coconut Crew | Vikings | Professor Pickle | Wentos | Don Fachio | Dodon Pa | Heavy and Bomb | Tiara Boobowski | Honey