Knuckles the Echidna is a red-furred echidna who lives on the mysterious Floating Island. He is the Guardian of the island, charged with protecting the seven Chaos Emeralds. His dreadlocks allow him to glide for short periods and his spike-knuckled fists can punch through solid rock. Since he has lived most of his life alone, Knuckles can be rather gullible sometimes, though over the course of Sonic the Comic, he has actually become less trusting when it comes to strangers. He has recently been discovering several mysteries regarding his past following the arrival of Tikal on the Floating Island. He made his first appearance in the first Sonic Summer Special in Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds.
During STC's Chaos arc, it was revealed that Knuckles has been alive (in a sense) for over 8000 years. He was once commander of the echidna tribe's military forces during their war against the Drakon Empire. In STC-O's Vichama Special, it was revealed that the war was not going in the Echidnas' favour. Pochacamac - the Echidna chieftain - had devised a means for the Echidna race to somehow survive the war: by using the magical Guardian Stone to preserve the soul of their mightiest warrior: Knuckles. For the stone to work, however, a being from the spiritual plane must be willing to exist in the mortal realm. Unfortunately for the Echidnas, and perhaps all of Mobius, the only willing candidate was Vichama, the God of Death. With Vichama brought into the mortal world, Knuckles's essence was preserved within the Guardian Emerald, meaning that when he died, he would always be resurrected to continue guarding the Chaos Emeralds. Over the millennia, as the Floating Island's systems fell into disrepair, most of Knuckles's memories were lost. As such, he knows nothing of how or why his race disappeared (though the most likely possibility at this point is they were all wiped out during the Drakon war), only that they are to some day return to the island and that he must continue to stand guard over the Chaos Emeralds for the rest of his life.
Echidna Meets WorldKnuckles had been living in isolation for most of his lifetime(s) and the people of Mobius thought that the Floating Island was only a myth, so the echidna had little to no social skills or understanding of people. That all began to change after Knuckles made his first contact with Doctor Robotnik, whose Death Egg satellite had fallen from orbit and crashed on the island. When Knuckles investigated the crash site, he was greeted by Robotnik via Egg-Cam. The doctor asked where he was and who Knuckles was, and Knuckles answered truthfully and even told the doctor about the Chaos Emeralds keeping the island aloft. Robotnik saw this as a golden opportunity and told the naive Echidna that he was a benevolent inventor trying to make Mobius safe from the wrath of the villainous Sonic the Hedgehog. Knuckles took all of this at face value, allowing the doctor to establish a base on the island so he could repair the Death Egg and offered his services as a bodyguard should any of the doctor's enemies come looking for him. Not long after this, Sonic and Tails came to the Floating Island in search of Robotnik, but Knuckles had been fooled into thinking that they had come to steal the Chaos Emeralds. When the heroes arrived, Knuckles attacked them and duelled against Sonic. Whilst they fought, Tails took off in his bi-plane and managed to capture Robotnik. Sonic and Tails escaped the island with their quarry and returned to their hidden base, but Knuckles had been implanted with a tracking device that homed in on a small signal beacon that Robotnik had planted in his tooth. This lead Knuckles right to Sonic's doorstep and he broke into the base and freed Robotnik. The two took Sonic's Chaos Emeralds and headed back to the Floating Island, but were pursued by Sonic and Tails. The heroes followed their quarry to the Temple of Chaos, where Robotnik re-integrated the twelve Chaos Emeralds into six again, and then absorbed the Chaos radiation into his own body. It was at this point that Knuckles realised that Robotnik had been playing him all along, but the echidna had been spinning a lie of his own: he had said that the Grey Emerald - the Control Emerald - had been lost many years ago. In truth, Knuckles had it all along. With the Control Emerald, Knuckles stripped Robotnik of his powers and sent him back to Mobius. He and Sonic made an uneasy truce and even came to aid the Freedom Fighters in reconciliation for helping Robotnik find their hidden base.
Defending the Floating Island
Ever since the Death Egg had crashed on the Floating Island, Mobius's inhabitants have become aware of the island's existence, much to Knuckles's chagrin. He not only had to deal with Sonic's frequent visits interfering with the Death Egg's restoration, but also the likes of the Marxio Bros. - who had built the Carnival Night Zone on the island to attract Mobian tourists - and the sky pirate Captain Plunder, who sought to steal the island's many treasures. It soon became apparent that Knuckles would no longer be able to live in solitude, a fact that he repeatedly blames Sonic for.
When Dr. Robotnik eventually repaired the Death Egg, he sent his Metallix Mark 2 to steal the Master Emerald. Knuckles and Sonic attempted to stop the robot, but Knuckles was knocked out. Metallix was destroyed by Super Sonic, who then made a move against Knuckles after the echidna regained conciousness. Luckily, Sonic turned back to normal before he completely pulverized Knuckles. Unfortunate for the two, the Master Emerald had been teleported to the Death Egg, allowing Robotnik to launch the terrible flying fortress. Knuckles helped Sonic to board the ship before returning to the Floating Island, using the remaining Chaos Emeralds to power the ancient technologies installed throughout the island. With the island effectively turned into a flying fortress itself, Knuckles steered his home toward the Death Egg, unleashing a barrage of energy blasts that tore through the vessel's armoured hull. With each blast, however, the island's energy reserves were drained, hastening its descent toward Mobius. Luckily, Sonic had reclaimed the Master Emerald and the Death Egg had been destroyed, the heroes were victorious. During the battle, Robotnik had made it abundantly clear that he intended to destroy the Emerald Hill Zone, prompting Sonic to request one last favour from Knuckles: to allow the Emerald Hill folk to emmigrate to the Floating Island. Knuckles agreed and lowered the island to the shores of Emerald Hill, and so the zone's residents evacuated their homes and took refuge in the Mushroom Hill Zone, where they would remain hidden until Robotnik's empire fell.
New DiscoveriesShortly after the Emerald Hill migration, Knuckles began to explore parts of the Floating Island that he had yet to visit. This led to several new discoveries and meetings: he discovered an ancient Portal Ring that led to the Special Zone, which in turn led to Knuckles's first encounters with the Chaotix Crew, the Omni-Viewer, Nack the Weasel and the Brotherhood of Metallix. Later, during the construction of the Mushroom Hill village, Knuckles discovered Tails venturing into the Nameless Zone and followed him, believing that the fox was being kidnapped. Whilst in the Nameless Zone, Knuckles learned all about Tails' origins and helped him to save the Enchanter Kings from the clutches of Trogg, and he did all of this with the Nameless folk believing that he was Sonic.
No Longer Alone
The Emerald Hill folk were not the only newcomers to the Floating Island. Porker Lewis - one of Sonic's teammates - would later leave the Freedom Fighters and take up residence in the Mushroom Hill Zone and help Knuckles with restoring many of the island's run-down systems. Of greater surprise to Knuckles, however, was the discovery of an ancient Guardian Robot and the echidna scientist, Doctor Zachary. Overjoyed to finally meet another of his race, it never occurred to Knuckles that Zachary might be evil. It was this naivety that led to the Guardian - which was being controlled by Zachary remotely - destroying the Master Emerald and destabilising the Floating Island's levitation. When Knuckles realised that Zachary had played him for a fool (just as Robotnik had once done), he fought back against Zachary, who piloted the Guardian robot in battle against the red echidna. Knuckles was able to decapitate the robot and sent Zachary hurtling down to Mobius's surface on the robot's damaged wings. Zachary would survive his fall and later return to the Floating Island to take his revenge. With the Master Emerald destroyed, the severed head of Zachary's robot would serve as a temporary power source for the island until Knuckles could retrieve a new gem from the ancient Emerald Mines. His efforts were impeded by the Spirit Of The Herd, who blamed Knuckles's people for the extinction of his entire race. Knuckles was able to reason with the spirit (or threaten him, rather) and was allowed to take a new emerald to replace the lost Master Emerald.
Journey Around The World
A short time after his encounter with Zachary, Knuckles was approached by Captain Plunder who asked the echidna to help board the Ghost Ship of Tantaragor in order to find and steal a precious magical idol. In return, Plunder offered to give Knuckles a chest full of documents related to the Floating Island. Eager to learn whatever he could about his people's history, Knuckles agreed to help the pirate. Plunder's crew managed to find the ghost ship and boarded it, but they were attacked by three spectral creatures called the Tantaror, who attempted to capture and enslave them all. Knuckles accidentally activated the idol, which teleported them to Captain Plunder's shack in Scourge Bay. As he had promised, Plunder gave Knuckles the treasure chest containing the Floating Island documents, but Knuckles refused to give him the Tantaragor Idol. The pirate queen Zorabel was in agreement with Knuckles, thinking that the idol would bring nothing but trouble. She was correct in her suspicions, as she discovered when Plunder's shack disappeared from Scourge Bay, teleported to the Tantaror's home dimension by their spiritual leader Ekkletos. Ekkletos claimed that the idol had been stolen by three criminals from his dimension, who were rounding up slaves from other worlds to build a temple dedicated to their evil god. Knuckles offered to help Ekkletos capture the three heretics if he allowed the pirates and the heretics' slaves to go free. Ekkletos agreed and Knuckles was transported back to the Tantaragor ghost ship so he could save the captured Mobians. His mission succeeded and the heretics were delivered to Ekkletos, and Knuckles, the Mobians and Plunder's crew were all returned to Mobius. Zorabel allowed Knuckles to take Plunder's chest and return home, however, Knuckles was stranded on Mobius.
Knuckles was allowed to take a boat out of Scourge Bay and cross the Mobian Channel, but his boat was attacked and destroyed by the marauding crab pirate, Captain Claw. Claw terrorized all sailors traversing the channel and took special interest in Knuckles due to the high bounty that Robotnik had put on his head. He attacked Knuckles with his Octonaught mecha and brought down several rocky pillars trying to get to Knuckles. This resulted in a pillar collapsing on the Octonaught, damaging it heavily. With his vessel reduced to little more than a raft, Claw was forced to help Knuckles cross the channel. Luckily, Knuckles' chest of documents survived the ordeal and he was able to drag it into a rural village. He took shelter at an inn called The Green Man, unaware that he was being watched. Later that night, Knuckles awoke to the sound of screaming, and noticed a young sheep woman being tied up and taken away somewhere by the townsfolk. Knuckles came to the girl's rescue and the pair retreated to a barn on the outskirts of town, where the girl revealed that the townsfolk had all joined a weird cult dedicated to a moon goddess and that she was to be sacrificed to ensure a good harvest. The two decided to rest at the barn, the girl taking first watch while Knuckles slept. When he awoke, he found that the girl had sold him out to the cultists. They captured him and planned to sacrifice him to the Moon Goddess by burning him inside a spherical cage. Knuckles managed to escape by rolling the cage of the sacrificial pyre and downhill, where it smashed against some rocks, freeing him. He had noticed that the lead cultist, Mesmer, was carrying a peculiar staff which he raised whenever he commanded the villagers, leading Knuckles to believe that they were under some kind of mind control. He attacked Mesmer and shattered the gem on his staff, snapping the villagers out of their hypnotic trance. When he questioned Mesmer about why he was brainwashing people, his questions were answered by Dr. Robotnik, who had been disguised as The Green Man's landlord. Robotnik revealed to Knuckles that he wanted to use Mesmer's hypnotic talents to brainwash the entire planet's population. At that moment, Knuckles was tempted to attack Robotnik and possibly kill him, but instead he walked away.After his ordeal with Mesmer, Knuckles continued on his journey, headed for the Metropolis Zone in order to find transport to the Floating Island. As he made his way across the Great Mobian Prairie, he was almost trampled to death by a herd of stampeding Apterix. After that narrow escape, he was captured by a group of wranglers from Backwater. They took him back to town and had him locked up, but he was soon released by the town's sheriff after Deputy Krouch Jr. allowed a lynch mob to try and hang him. Krouch Jr. was sent running back to his father and the sheriff appointed Knuckles as his new deputy. Knuckles began investigating the circumstances behind the Apterix wrangler Rooster's brush with death, and tracked down one of Boss Krouch's associates, Chito. After starting a barroom brawl, Knuckles cornered Chito and made him confess that he and Krouch were working to kill Rooster so that Krouch would continue to hold the monopoly on Apterix meat. Disguising himself as Chito and lying in the shadows, Knuckles caught up to Boss Krouch and managed to trick him into confessing his attempt on Rooster's life. Krouch tried to run but Knuckles cornered him. Krouch then threatened to throw a vial full of a chemical compound into the ravine where Rooster was camping; the chemical would drive the Apterix herd crazy and send them on a stampede. The ledge Krouch was standing on gave way and he fell into the ravine, his vial smashed in the fall. The Apterix herd charged and Krouch was killed. Rooster had made it out alive and in gratitude, he offered Knuckles his riding pterodactyl.
After a pit-stop in the Emerald Hill Zone to feed his pterodactyl (and happening to help out with Tekno the Canary with expanding her workshop), Knuckles finally arrived at the Metropolis Zone, where he found a group of environmental protesters being harassed by Robotnik's Troopers. He decided to intervene and was assisted by the witch Ebony in dispatching the Badniks. After the struggle, Knuckles learned that the citizens were trying to protect the last remaining acres of parkland in the city. The trees in the park turned out to be sentient, talking trees called Fauna, and they urged the people to leave before Robotnik's forces returned. It was then that the sorcerer Omen - another of Robotnik's hired goons - arrived with a pair of armour-clad gorillas to destroy the forest and arrest Ebony and her friend Pyjamas. A fight ensued, and one of the Armourillas fired a rocket that destroyed the Great Elder Tree. The Fauna became angry at the loss of their elder and began to grow at a remarkable rate. They threatened to wipe out all 'flesh creatures' on Mobius, but Knuckles convinced them that the Elder Tree would not have wanted them to resort to violence. The trees agreed and released Knuckles and the others, warning them never to return to their forest again. After parting ways with Ebony and Pyjamas, Knuckles left the Metropolis Zone and carried on toward the Floating Island.
Return To The Floating Island
After a long journey filled with adventures, Knuckles finally returned home. When he landed, he found that the Mushroom Hill Zone was deserted with no clue as to what happened to the Emerald Hill folk. He investigated the Emerald Chamber, finding Porker in hiding. The two tried to contact Sonic (who was trapped in the Special Zone at that time) but they were cut off by the sudden arrival of Dr. Robotnik and Dr. Zachary. After Zachary had narrowly survived his fall from the island, Robotnik's troops had found him and the doctor revived him using state-of-the-art cybernetics technology. In return, Zachary told Robotnik where the Emerald Hill folk were hiding. Knuckles and Porker were taken to an egg-shaped building by Zachary and his army of re-programmed Guardian robots. There, Robotnik revealed his most diabolical creation yet: a biological computer that utilized living brains for its functions. All the Emerald Hill folk had been hooked up to it and once it was activated, they would spend the rest of their lives suffering. Knuckles tried to escape capture and stop Robotnik from activating the computer. Luckily, he stalled the doctor long enough. At that moment, the Omni-Viewer had transported the Black Asteroid to Mobius, which exploded and unleashed a worldwide electromagnetic pulse. The pulse disabled all electrical devices on the planet, including the Biological Computer and the software that Zachary used to control the Guardian robots (although it did not seem to affect Zachary's cyborg components). When Zachary confronted Knuckles, their fight was interrupted by the arrival of Sonic, who helped Knuckles defeat him by knocking him into a pit. Zachary escaped capture by fleeing into one of the Floating Island's underground tunnels. With Zachary and his robots out of the way, Knuckles and Sonic freed the Emerald Hill folk and captured Robotnik.
Post Final VictoryWith the fall of RBR, the Emerald Hill folk were safe from Robotnik's wrath and were allowed to return to the Emerald Hill Zone. With the exception of Porker, Knuckles now had the Floating Island to himself again. Life became quiet for Knuckles again... for the most part. He found himself on another adventure in the Special Zone with Porker, he helped Sonic defeat a Chaos-powered Robotnik, and prevented a group of thieves from plundering the Floating Island's treasures. He later found himself dragged into the struggle for Mobius's very survival when Robotnik and The Plax attempted to destroy the planet and during the Chaos crisis when he was forced to jettison the Chaos Emeralds and sink the island to stop Chaos from consuming the emeralds.
In Sonic the Comic Online, the Floating Island was raised from the ocean and Knuckles returned home. He returned to find another echidna on the island - Tikal. Porker explained how Sonic met her in the past and Knuckles was eager to ask her about the fate of his people. Tikal was in no state to answer questions as she had fallen into a state of psychotic panic due to the time she spent trapped with Chaos. Ebony - against Knuckles's wishes - used her magic to erase Tikal's memories of her imprisonment with Chaos. Unfortunately, Tikal forgot almost everything about her past and was unable to provide Knuckles with the answers he craved.
After Tikal's arrival on the island, Rouge the Bat arrived to steal the Chaos Emeralds. Knuckles, Tikal and Big the Cat were unable to stop her, but the sly thief did not get away with her prize as the Chaos Emeralds became unstable due to being outside a cold environment and they warped back to the Special Zone. Knuckles would later accompany Sonic and the Chaotix on a mission to retrieve them, only to bear witness to the Syndicate's plan to destroy the Special Zone. Although they survived the Zone's destruction thanks to the Omni-Viewer, the Syndicate still had the emeralds. Knuckles journeyed to Flickies' Island to find their base of operations and there he met Shadow, a black hedgehog who possessed impressive control over Chaos energy. The two fought, but their battle was interrupted by Sonic. When the Syndicate's Death Carrier arose from beneath the island, Knuckles boarded the craft in search of the Chaos Emeralds and his old nemesis Dr. Zachary. He burst on to the bridge to find an unconscious Zachary, an insane, stupefied Robotnik and the dead body of another echidna. The Chaos Emeralds were all present and accounted for as well, so Knuckles took them and Zachary on to an escape pod and returned to the Floating Island, which at long last returned to the sky.
Although Knuckles had captured Dr. Zachary, the cyborg echidna was resilient to interrogation and mocked Knuckles' inability to stop him from destroying the Special Zone. Knuckles was overwhelmed with frustration and he took his anger out on Tikal, who attempted to warn him about Vichama - the God of Death. The time came when Vichama returned to the Floating Island, his temple appearing on the island as if out of nowhere. Knuckles and Tikal investigated the temple, Knuckles being drawn inside by the voices of the dead. Knuckles was about to touch the lantern in the centre of the temple, but hesitated at the last moment, thinking it was probably some kind of trick. He was right - Vichama was attempting to possess him, but found Tikal easier to control. She knocked Knuckles out and touched the lantern, releasing Vichama's true form and an army of tortured souls. Knuckles came to in time to witness the God of Death's ressurrection, then he and Tikal fled back to the Emerald Chamber with Vichama's dead minions in pursuit. Vichama was already there when they arrived and unleashed a blast of energy that instantly killed Knuckles.However, death was temporary to Knuckles. Upon his demise, all the Guardian Robots on the island responded by reporting to the Guardian Stone and enacting Emergency Program One. Tikal followed them and witnessed the creation of the Floating Island's new guardian... Knuckles. Upon his resurrection, Knuckles remembered how he survived all the millenia since the Drakon war: Pochacamac came up with a final solution to ensure the Echidnas' survival. He bound Knuckles's soul to the Guardian Stone, ensuring that Knuckles would always return to life when he died. However, for the spell to work, a willing being from the spiritual realm must come to the mortal plane, and so Pochacamac made a pact with Vichama, knowing full well that he couldn't be trusted. Knuckles realised that his and Vichama's eternal lives were intertwined, and so to end Vichama's threat, he shattered the Guardian Stone. Using one of its shards, he attacked Vichama directly and wounded him. With his immortality lost, Vichama's army of the dead turned on him and destroyed him forever. Of course, it also meant that Knuckles would not be revived the next time he died, and so he would guard the Chaos Emeralds for one last lifetime.
Knuckles VS. Doctor Zachary
After the ordeal with Vichama, Knuckles returned to interrogating Dr. Zachary. Zachary played on Knuckles' desperation and taunted him by saying that the other Echidnas weren't interested in returning to the island, that they had purposefully abandoned Knuckles. In his anger, Knuckles shattered the barrier keeping Zachary in his cell and the albino used this moment to escape. He comandeered a Guardian robot and stole the Master Emerald, taking it to Megopolis City and daring Knuckles to take it back. Knuckles arrived to find that Zachary had taken Tikal hostage. Zachary gave Knuckles a choice: save Tikal and Zachary destroys the Master Emerald (again), or save the Emerald and let Tikal die. Tikal had luckily remembered that Pochacamac was the one who designed the Guardian robots and figured that they were all programmed to obey her, so she commanded the robot to release her. Zachary was caught off-guard by this and Knuckles attacked, grabbing Zachary's arm cannon. Zachary disconnected his cybernetic arm and escaped Knuckles' grasp, activating his jet pack and fleeing the island. What Zachary was unaware of was that the entire incident was staged: Porker had installed a device inside the robot before Zachary broke out. This device would place a tracking implant in Zachary's bionic eye, so Knuckles could monitor his whereabouts.
Knuckles has put his quest for knowledge to one side whilst the New Robotnik Empire attempts to conquer Mobius. Although initially reluctant to join in the fight, Knuckles was persuaded that the Floating Island is a likely fight and helped the rest of Mobius fight back. He mainly fights from his home, but has accompanied G.U.N. on a mission and personally wants to see Sonic brought to justice for his "crimes".
However, upon Porker discovering the site of a supposed "ultimate weapon", Knuckles briefly ended his participation in the war and went to investigate. His mission saw him enter an undiscovered cave in the Marble Garden Zone, littered with traps. The echidna was only able to avoid the majority of them thanks to warnings scratched into the walls by an unknown helper. He later found the skeleton belonging to his mystery friend, as well as the creature he tried to warn Knuckles about - the Gizoid.
In an apocalyptic future, the ancient Knuckles was the only one who remains on the desolate Floating Island, guarding over the three remaining Chaos Emeralds. He was utterly depressed, thinking his failure to look after them was the reason his people had not returned to the Island. As G.U.N. had need of the Emeralds to power their time portal, he was convinced to leave the island by the psychic Silver the Hedgehog just so he wouldn't die there As the island split in two and fell back to Mobius, he remarked that he felt a strange sense of peace. This wouldn't last as he soon came face to face with Iblis, who he recognised as Super Sonic. The old echidna made one last stand, calling the demonic hedgehog (who he addressed simply as Sonic) a cancer eating away at the world, just buying Silver enough time to make it through the time portal. Knuckles' ultimate fate will undoubtably depend on the success of Silver's mission.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Because of Robotnik's trickery, Sonic and Knuckles were initially enemies. Even though they became allies later on, they have never truly been friends. Knuckles finds Sonic's arrogance and ego to be extremely aggravating and fails to see how his friends can put up with him sometimes. He respects Sonic's abilities and his passion for freedom and justice, but you'd never hear him say it to Sonic's face.
The Freedom Fighters
Despite his dislike of Sonic, Knuckles is not so adversarial with the other Freedom Fighters and regards them as friends and allies. In tough situations, he can rely on any one of them to give him whatever assistance he requires, it's only Sonic he's reluctant to accept help from.
Knuckles was fooled by Robotnik once into thinking that the doctor was a kindly inventor who wanted to protect Mobius from the 'evil' Sonic the Hedgehog. He has since learned from that mistake and has regarded Robotnik and his associates as enemies ever since.
Being the only echidna on the Floating Island, Knuckles immediately let his guard down after he first met Zachary. The idea that Zachary might be dangerous never occurred to him and the albino's betrayal left an emotional wound that still pains Knuckles to this day. Ever since Zachary resurfaced after the Chaos crisis, Knuckles has learned to be on guard around him, though the elderly echidna has repeatedly tormented Knuckles by holding back secrets regarding the lost Echidna people and mocking the guardian for his failure to protect the Floating Island.
As the only other echidna living on the Floating Island, Tikal is a treasured companion to Knuckles (though there are no romantic feelings between them as of yet). At the same time, Tikal's presence on the island is frustrating to Knuckles because she may know things about their race that she is unable to talk about due to her memories being surpressed.
For a selection of images of Knuckles, see the Knuckles the Echidna gallery.
For a full list, see List of appearances by Knuckles the Echidna.
At first, Knuckles was resigned to appearing only in lead strips starring Sonic. Once his popularity was assured, he appeared in very little other than his own series, culminating in the almost continuous Knuckles' World Tour of Mobius. Knuckles has appeared in a few other Sonic stories, as well as two Tails strips and a Sonic's World complete story.
|Current Inhabitants: Knuckles the Echidna - Tikal - Porker Lewis - Guardian Robots|