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Sonic 3 & Knuckles chronology and endings

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m (Alternative Sonic Endings: Actually, who the hell ballsed up my grammar? Lern 2 heptet, guy)
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While there is no single point in ''[[Sonic 3 & Knuckles]]'' that can be cited as definitive evidence of how and when the stories are linked, the game provides clues here and there which add up to a reasonable case. Let's review the evidence:
 
While there is no single point in ''[[Sonic 3 & Knuckles]]'' that can be cited as definitive evidence of how and when the stories are linked, the game provides clues here and there which add up to a reasonable case. Let's review the evidence:
  
===The Intro Sequence===
+
==The Intro Sequence==
The opening sequence of ''[[Sonic 3]]'' takes place "[[Sonic the Hedgehog 3 JP Manual|many days]]" after the ending of ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 2]]'' and Sonic's plummet from the [[Death Egg Zone|Death Egg]] - ''not'' immediatly succeeding it (note the lack of a booster on the plane in the ending of ''Sonic 2''). As Sonic and Tails go to investigate mysterious happenings out to sea in the [[Tornado]], Sonic transforms into [[Super Sonic]], jumps off the plane and tears over the ocean, onto the beach of [[Angel Island]], which has been pushed out of the sky by the weight of the crashed [[Death Egg]]. Knuckles punches out Sonic's [[Chaos Emeralds]] and the gameplay begins.
+
The opening sequence of ''[[Sonic 3]]'' takes place "[[Sonic the Hedgehog 3 JP Manual|many days]]" after the ending of ''[[Sonic the Hedgehog 2]]'' and Sonic's plummet from the [[Death Egg Zone|Death Egg]] - ''not'' immediately succeeding it (note the lack of a booster on the plane in the ending of ''Sonic 2''). As Sonic and Tails go to investigate mysterious happenings out to sea in the [[Tornado]], Sonic transforms into [[Super Sonic]], jumps off the plane and tears over the ocean, onto the beach of [[Angel Island]], which has been pushed out of the sky by the weight of the crashed [[Death Egg]]. Knuckles punches out Sonic's [[Chaos Emeralds]] and the gameplay begins.
  
<gallery perrow="5">
+
<gallery >
 
File:S2End.PNG
 
File:S2End.PNG
 
File:S3&K Opening.PNG
 
File:S3&K Opening.PNG
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File:S3&K AIZSea.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIZSea.PNG
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 +
 +
==Endings==
 +
According to the character played and the number of [[Chaos Emeralds]] and [[Super Emeralds]] collected, different endings can be triggered. Once the game is completed, the Level Icon for that save slot will change to a Character Icon, as seen in [[Sonic_3_%26_Knuckles_chronology_and_endings/Character_Icons|this table]].
  
 
===Hyper Sonic Ending===
 
===Hyper Sonic Ending===
In the "best" ending of Sonic's story, after beating [[Doomsday Zone]] with all the [[Super Emeralds]], [[Hyper Sonic]] shepherds the [[Master Emerald]] back down through the atmosphere, where he and the gem are picked up by [[Tails]] in the [[Tornado]]. They fly past [[Angel Island]], dropping the gem off and enabling the island to rise back into the sky as Knuckles looks on happily.
+
In the "best" ending of Sonic's story, after beating [[Doomsday Zone]] with all the [[Super Emeralds]], [[Hyper Sonic]] shepherds the [[Master Emerald]] back down through the atmosphere, where he and the gem are picked up by [[Tails]] in the [[Tornado]]. They fly past [[Angel Island]], dropping the gem off and enable the island to rise back into the sky as Knuckles looks on happily.
<gallery perrow="5">
+
<gallery >
 
File:Doomsday1stboss.PNG
 
File:Doomsday1stboss.PNG
 
File:S3&K SandTreturnME.PNG
 
File:S3&K SandTreturnME.PNG
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===Alternative Sonic Endings===
 
===Alternative Sonic Endings===
However, if Sonic has ''not'' collected all the [[Super Emeralds]], one of two possible alternate endings play, depending on his [[Chaos Emerald]] count. If Sonic has incomplete heptets of either the [[Chaos Emeralds]] or [[Super Emeralds]], the game ends after the [[Great Eggman Robo]] and chase scene in [[Death Egg Zone (S&K)|Death Egg Zone]]. Sonic loses the Master Emerald while falling through the stratosphere, and the final fade-to-black shows [[Robotnik]] chuckling beside the Master.
+
However, if Sonic has ''not'' collected all the [[Super Emeralds]], one of two possible alternate endings play, depending on his [[Chaos Emerald]] count. If Sonic has incomplete heptets of Chaos or Super Emeralds, the game ends after the [[Great Eggman Robo]] and chase scene in [[Death Egg Zone (S&K)|Death Egg Zone]]. Sonic loses the Master Emerald while falling through the stratosphere, and the final fade-to-black shows [[Robotnik]] chuckling beside the Master Emerald.
 
+
<gallery >
However, if Sonic has ''exactly'' seven Chaos Emeralds (either by collecting them when playing ''[[Sonic and Knuckles]]'' on its own, or by never going into a [[Giant Ring]] and the [[Emerald Shrine]] in a docked ''[[S3&K]]''), then he enters [[Doomsday Zone]] as [[Super Sonic]], eventually returning the Master Emerald to Angel Island as in the Hyper Sonic ending. Now the final sequence shows an [[Eggrobo]] rising out of a pile of wreckage (of ''other'' Eggrobos). The implication seems to be that this is the robot which goes on to fight Knuckles in the [[echidna]]'s playthrough.
+
<gallery perrow="4">
+
 
File:DEZBoss3.PNG
 
File:DEZBoss3.PNG
 
File:S3&K MEstratosphere.PNG
 
File:S3&K MEstratosphere.PNG
 
File:S3&K AngelIslandSea.PNG
 
File:S3&K AngelIslandSea.PNG
File:S3&K BadEnd.PNG
+
File:S3&K BadEnd.PNG</gallery>
File:Doomsday.png
+
On the other hand, if Sonic has ''exactly'' seven Chaos Emeralds, then he enters [[Doomsday Zone]] as [[Super Sonic]], eventually returning the Master Emerald to Angel Island as in the Hyper Sonic ending. Now the final sequence shows an [[Eggrobo]] rising out of a pile of wreckage (of ''other'' Eggrobos). The implication seems to be that this is the robot which goes on to fight Knuckles in the [[echidna]]'s playthrough.
 +
<gallery >File:Doomsday.png
 
File:S3&K SandTreturnME.PNG
 
File:S3&K SandTreturnME.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIRise.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIRise.PNG
Line 41: Line 43:
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
===Knuckles After Sonic?===
+
==Knuckles After Sonic?==
If Knuckles' Eggrobo opponent only rises up after Sonic's end sequence, this indicates Knuckles' playthrough might take place after Sonic's. There are a few other tidbits in the game which indicate this to be the case, as we see below. In [[Sandopolis Zone]] Act 2, the [[Hyudoro|Hyudoro ghosts]] are accidentally freed from an [[Egg Capsule]] during Sonic's playthrough; when Knuckles gets to the same point, the pod is already cracked open. Combine this with the Death Egg's absence in the roof of either [[Lava Reef Zone|Lava Reef]] or [[Hidden Palace Zone (S&K)|Hidden Palace Zone]], and it seems that Knuckles' playthrough must occur at least after the battlestation launched (witnessed in Sonic's [[Sky Sanctuary Zone]]).
+
If Knuckles' Eggrobo opponent only rises up after Sonic's end sequence, this indicates Knuckles' playthrough might take place after Sonic's. There are a few other tidbits in the game which indicate this to be the case, as we see below. In [[Sandopolis Zone]] Act 2, the [[Hyudoro|Hyudoro ghosts]] are accidentally freed from an [[Egg Capsule]] during Sonic's playthrough; when Knuckles gets to the same point, the pod is already cracked open. Combine this with the Death Egg's absence in the roof of either [[Lava Reef Zone|Lava Reef]] or [[Hidden Palace Zone (S&K)|Hidden Palace Zone]], and it seems that Knuckles' playthrough must occur at least after the battlestation launched (witnessed in Sonic's [[Sky Sanctuary Zone]]). More circumstantial evidence lies in the fact that [[Mecha Sonic (Sky Sanctuary Zone Boss)|the fight between Sonic and Mecha Sonic]], combined with the disruption of the passing Death Egg, seemed to destroy much of Sky Sanctuary. When Knuckles arrives, his level is conspicuously smaller, the implication being that this is the only piece of the floating ruins ''left''. Interestingly, the Death Egg's appearance in Lava Reef's first act is considerably less noticable than in its second act, as noted in the gallery below.
  
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
 
File:S3&K Sop Ghosts.PNG
 
File:S3&K Sop Ghosts.PNG
 
File:S3&K Sop KGhosts.PNG
 
File:S3&K Sop KGhosts.PNG
 +
File:LRZ1DeathEggSonic.png
 +
File:LRZ1DeathEggKnux.png
 
File:S3&K LR DE.PNG
 
File:S3&K LR DE.PNG
 
File:S3&K LR DE Kn.PNG
 
File:S3&K LR DE Kn.PNG
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</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
===Other Evidence===
+
==Other Evidence==
If we infer from the points above that Knuckles' story takes place after Sonic's "middle" ending - where the hedgehog had the seven [[Chaos Emeralds]] in the [[Doomsday Zone]], leading to the Eggrobo wreckage scene - then at the end of Sonic's story Knuckles got the [[Master Emerald]] back, and Angel Island began to rise out of the sea. Indeed, we see that the island is clearly up in the air during Knuckles' last boss, [[Super Mecha Sonic]]. Even in the ''[[Sonic 3]]'' parts of [[Knuckles]]' playthrough there are signs that Sonic's ''[[Sonic & Knuckles]]'' story has concluded; the ocean background from Sonic' [[Angel Island Zone]] is replaced with sky when playing as Knuckles, and the crashed Death Egg is gone from the [[Launch Base Zone]] Act 1 backdrop.
+
If we infer from the points above that Knuckles' story takes place after Sonic's "middle" ending - where the hedgehog had the seven [[Chaos Emeralds]] in the [[Doomsday Zone]], leading to the Eggrobo wreckage scene - then at the end of Sonic's story Knuckles got the [[Master Emerald]] back, and Angel Island began to rise out of the sea. Indeed, we see that the island is clearly up in the air during Knuckles' last boss, [[Super Mecha Sonic]]. Even in the ''[[Sonic 3]]'' parts of [[Knuckles]]' playthrough there are signs that Sonic's ''[[Sonic & Knuckles]]'' story has concluded; the ocean background from Sonic' [[Angel Island Zone]] is replaced with sky when playing as Knuckles, and the crashed Death Egg is gone from the [[Launch Base Zone]] Act 1 backdrop. Lastly, in Knuckles's Mushroom Hill Act 1, the entrance to the corridor that Knuckles closes in Sonic's story is open, indicating that someone was inside.
  
Another difference is in Sonic's story, Sonic defeats [[Mecha Sonic (Sky Sanctuary Zone Boss)|Mecha Sonic]], but the robot does not explode, he mearly looks shorted. Mecha later fights Knuckles, and after Knuckles beats him, THEN he explodes.  
+
An oddity is that Angel Island is not burned and charred until the [[Fire Breath]] encounter for both Sonic and Knuckles. However, there is no evidence that Knuckles' story takes place ''directly'' after Sonic's, and thus some time could have passed and the shrubbery could have regrown since Sonic's time on the Island. One thing to also note, however, is that at the end of Sonic's story, when we see Knuckles standing with the Master Emerald looking out at Sonic, the dreadlocked hero is standing in a jungle area seemingly identical to the once charred Angel Island Zone. It is possible, however, that Knuckles is simply in an area that wasn't burned...
  
More possible info from Sky Sanctuary include this. When Sonic went through Sky Sanctuary, the entire Zone was pretty much destroyed from Mecha Sonic's previous explosion. When Knuckles arrives... he is on the last surviving remnant of the ruins, which are promptly finished off by his battle with Super Mecha Sonic. This means they could NOT have happened at the same time, or else Knuckles would have alot more level to travel.
+
Another difference is in Sonic's story, Sonic defeats [[Mecha Sonic (Sky Sanctuary Zone Boss)|Mecha Sonic]], but the robot does not explode—he merely looks shorted. Mecha later fights Knuckles, and after Knuckles beats him, THEN he explodes (provided you have collected 7 Chaos Emeralds).  
  
<gallery perrow="5">
+
<gallery >
 
File:S3&K AIZSea.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIZSea.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIZNoSea.PNG
 
File:S3&K AIZNoSea.PNG
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File:Supermetalboss.png
 
File:Supermetalboss.png
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
A small oddity might be the presence of the [[Flying Battery Zone|Flying Battery]] in Knuckles' playthrough (with Robotnik instead of Eggrobo as a boss, to confuse matters further), despite the fact that the airship was seemingly damaged or destroyed in Sonic's story. The game staff have indicated that Robotnik's presence here is simply due to the fact that there was no available sprite for Eggrobo in the [[Hang Mobile]]'s cockpit.
+
A small oddity might be the presence of the [[Flying Battery Zone|Flying Battery]] in Knuckles' playthrough (with Robotnik instead of Eggrobo as a boss, to confuse matters further), despite the fact that the airship was seemingly damaged or destroyed in Sonic's story. The game staff have indicated that Robotnik's presence here is simply due to the fact that there was no available sprite for Eggrobo in the [[Hang Mobile]]'s cockpit.  
  
A bug also sometimes sees Knuckles fight Robotnik in [[Mushroom Hill Zone]].
+
As it seems, Flying Battery was originally to be placed between Sonic 3's [[Carnival Night Zone|Carnival Night]] and [[IceCap Zone|IceCap]]. As Knuckles uses a teleporter to go directly from the former to the latter, it is possible that in the original game plans Knuckles was not to have gone through Flying Battery at all. This would explain the lack of alternate routes made specially for Knuckles, and why there is no Eggrobo cockpit sprite: The developers at the time did not make one as Knuckles would not have fought that boss. Once the game was split, Flying Battery was added to prevent Knuckles's story in Sonic & Knuckles from being unusually short; if Flying Battery is excluded, Sonic & Knuckles alone only sees Knuckles going through Mushroom Hill, Sandopolis, Lava Reef (with no boss), Hidden Palace (which is just a pass through to the next zone), to the final encounter on the remaining land of Sky Sanctuary, essentially 3 full zones compared to Sonic's 6.
<gallery>
+
 
 +
A bug also sometimes sees Knuckles fight Robotnik in [[Mushroom Hill Zone]].<gallery>
 
File:Fbzboss.png
 
File:Fbzboss.png
 
File:KnucklesAgainstRobotnikInMHZ2.png
 
File:KnucklesAgainstRobotnikInMHZ2.png
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
===In Conclusion===
+
==In Conclusion==
 
It seems a reasonably safe conclusion, especially given the Lava Reef / Hidden Palace space station absences, that Knuckles' adventure occurs after Sonic and Tails have flown away from the island (although Sonic briefly returns with the Tornado to catch Knuckles in the ending).
 
It seems a reasonably safe conclusion, especially given the Lava Reef / Hidden Palace space station absences, that Knuckles' adventure occurs after Sonic and Tails have flown away from the island (although Sonic briefly returns with the Tornado to catch Knuckles in the ending).
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
Line 85: Line 90:
 
File:KnucklesEndingWithSonic.png
 
File:KnucklesEndingWithSonic.png
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 
+
<br clear="all">
<center><big><big><big>''Quod erat demonstrandum!''</big></big></big></center>
+
<center><big><big><big>[[File:S3&K-completed savestate.png]] &nbsp; ''Quod erat demonstrandum!'' &nbsp; [[File:S3&K-completed savestate.png]]</big></big></big></center>
  
  
 
{{Sonic3&KOmni}}
 
{{Sonic3&KOmni}}
 
[[Category:Stories]]
 
[[Category:Stories]]

Revision as of 22:47, 28 March 2012

Yes, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but which way round?

In Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and the combined Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the chronology of Sonic & Tails' story compared with Knuckles' is never spelled out explicitly. Does Knuckles' story, and his fight against Eggrobo, occur before, during, or after his confrontations with Sonic? How are the two routes through the game connected together?

While there is no single point in Sonic 3 & Knuckles that can be cited as definitive evidence of how and when the stories are linked, the game provides clues here and there which add up to a reasonable case. Let's review the evidence:

Contents

The Intro Sequence

The opening sequence of Sonic 3 takes place "many days" after the ending of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic's plummet from the Death Egg - not immediately succeeding it (note the lack of a booster on the plane in the ending of Sonic 2). As Sonic and Tails go to investigate mysterious happenings out to sea in the Tornado, Sonic transforms into Super Sonic, jumps off the plane and tears over the ocean, onto the beach of Angel Island, which has been pushed out of the sky by the weight of the crashed Death Egg. Knuckles punches out Sonic's Chaos Emeralds and the gameplay begins.

Endings

According to the character played and the number of Chaos Emeralds and Super Emeralds collected, different endings can be triggered. Once the game is completed, the Level Icon for that save slot will change to a Character Icon, as seen in this table.

Hyper Sonic Ending

In the "best" ending of Sonic's story, after beating Doomsday Zone with all the Super Emeralds, Hyper Sonic shepherds the Master Emerald back down through the atmosphere, where he and the gem are picked up by Tails in the Tornado. They fly past Angel Island, dropping the gem off and enable the island to rise back into the sky as Knuckles looks on happily.

Alternative Sonic Endings

However, if Sonic has not collected all the Super Emeralds, one of two possible alternate endings play, depending on his Chaos Emerald count. If Sonic has incomplete heptets of Chaos or Super Emeralds, the game ends after the Great Eggman Robo and chase scene in Death Egg Zone. Sonic loses the Master Emerald while falling through the stratosphere, and the final fade-to-black shows Robotnik chuckling beside the Master Emerald.

On the other hand, if Sonic has exactly seven Chaos Emeralds, then he enters Doomsday Zone as Super Sonic, eventually returning the Master Emerald to Angel Island as in the Hyper Sonic ending. Now the final sequence shows an Eggrobo rising out of a pile of wreckage (of other Eggrobos). The implication seems to be that this is the robot which goes on to fight Knuckles in the echidna's playthrough.

Knuckles After Sonic?

If Knuckles' Eggrobo opponent only rises up after Sonic's end sequence, this indicates Knuckles' playthrough might take place after Sonic's. There are a few other tidbits in the game which indicate this to be the case, as we see below. In Sandopolis Zone Act 2, the Hyudoro ghosts are accidentally freed from an Egg Capsule during Sonic's playthrough; when Knuckles gets to the same point, the pod is already cracked open. Combine this with the Death Egg's absence in the roof of either Lava Reef or Hidden Palace Zone, and it seems that Knuckles' playthrough must occur at least after the battlestation launched (witnessed in Sonic's Sky Sanctuary Zone). More circumstantial evidence lies in the fact that the fight between Sonic and Mecha Sonic, combined with the disruption of the passing Death Egg, seemed to destroy much of Sky Sanctuary. When Knuckles arrives, his level is conspicuously smaller, the implication being that this is the only piece of the floating ruins left. Interestingly, the Death Egg's appearance in Lava Reef's first act is considerably less noticable than in its second act, as noted in the gallery below.

Other Evidence

If we infer from the points above that Knuckles' story takes place after Sonic's "middle" ending - where the hedgehog had the seven Chaos Emeralds in the Doomsday Zone, leading to the Eggrobo wreckage scene - then at the end of Sonic's story Knuckles got the Master Emerald back, and Angel Island began to rise out of the sea. Indeed, we see that the island is clearly up in the air during Knuckles' last boss, Super Mecha Sonic. Even in the Sonic 3 parts of Knuckles' playthrough there are signs that Sonic's Sonic & Knuckles story has concluded; the ocean background from Sonic' Angel Island Zone is replaced with sky when playing as Knuckles, and the crashed Death Egg is gone from the Launch Base Zone Act 1 backdrop. Lastly, in Knuckles's Mushroom Hill Act 1, the entrance to the corridor that Knuckles closes in Sonic's story is open, indicating that someone was inside.

An oddity is that Angel Island is not burned and charred until the Fire Breath encounter for both Sonic and Knuckles. However, there is no evidence that Knuckles' story takes place directly after Sonic's, and thus some time could have passed and the shrubbery could have regrown since Sonic's time on the Island. One thing to also note, however, is that at the end of Sonic's story, when we see Knuckles standing with the Master Emerald looking out at Sonic, the dreadlocked hero is standing in a jungle area seemingly identical to the once charred Angel Island Zone. It is possible, however, that Knuckles is simply in an area that wasn't burned...

Another difference is in Sonic's story, Sonic defeats Mecha Sonic, but the robot does not explode—he merely looks shorted. Mecha later fights Knuckles, and after Knuckles beats him, THEN he explodes (provided you have collected 7 Chaos Emeralds).

A small oddity might be the presence of the Flying Battery in Knuckles' playthrough (with Robotnik instead of Eggrobo as a boss, to confuse matters further), despite the fact that the airship was seemingly damaged or destroyed in Sonic's story. The game staff have indicated that Robotnik's presence here is simply due to the fact that there was no available sprite for Eggrobo in the Hang Mobile's cockpit.

As it seems, Flying Battery was originally to be placed between Sonic 3's Carnival Night and IceCap. As Knuckles uses a teleporter to go directly from the former to the latter, it is possible that in the original game plans Knuckles was not to have gone through Flying Battery at all. This would explain the lack of alternate routes made specially for Knuckles, and why there is no Eggrobo cockpit sprite: The developers at the time did not make one as Knuckles would not have fought that boss. Once the game was split, Flying Battery was added to prevent Knuckles's story in Sonic & Knuckles from being unusually short; if Flying Battery is excluded, Sonic & Knuckles alone only sees Knuckles going through Mushroom Hill, Sandopolis, Lava Reef (with no boss), Hidden Palace (which is just a pass through to the next zone), to the final encounter on the remaining land of Sky Sanctuary, essentially 3 full zones compared to Sonic's 6.

A bug also sometimes sees Knuckles fight Robotnik in Mushroom Hill Zone.

In Conclusion

It seems a reasonably safe conclusion, especially given the Lava Reef / Hidden Palace space station absences, that Knuckles' adventure occurs after Sonic and Tails have flown away from the island (although Sonic briefly returns with the Tornado to catch Knuckles in the ending).


S3&K-completed savestate.png   Quod erat demonstrandum!   S3&K-completed savestate.png


1

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 + Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
S3k title.png

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