Knuckles has successfully crafted a new Master Emerald - however, this Chaos Emerald is empty and lifeless and incapable of sustaining the Floating Island - Knuckles is attempting to charge the Master Emerald by hooking it up to Doctor Zachary's Guardian Robot, which had drained the power out of the original Master Emerald, and transferring the Chaos energy back into the new jewel. Both the Master Emerald and the Guardian Robot are suspended with the other Chaos Emeralds in the anti-gravity field of the Emerald pit, and the transfer seems to be running smooth... but as Knuckles begins to inspect the connections, the Guardian Robot suddenly reactivates, blasting him with its energy beam!
The blast is incredibly deadly, gouging huge chunks out of the masonry of the Emerald Chamber, and Knuckles has no option but to flee and go to ground to avoid the withering onslaught. The barrage abates, but not to give Knuckles anything like respite - Knuckles realises with horror that the Guardian Robot is seeking to sever its energy drain, and is going to do that - by blasting the Chaos Emeralds!Knuckles knows that to try and charge at the robot directly across the open ground of the Emerald Chamber will get him vapourised, so he utilises his strong tunneling and climbing skills to burrow under, around, up, and over the Emerald Chamber, bursting out above the robot from the ceiling. Knuckles straddles the robot, and struggles to keep himself atop it as it bucks like a bull trying to shake him off, while Knuckles equally tries to swing its shots away from the Emeralds. Eventually, however, Knuckles loses his grip and is flung off. He tries to pick himself up, but the Guardian Robot has already zeroed in the kill...
...and the blast fizzles out. The energy transference is almost complete, and the power drain has exhausted the robot's batteries to the extent that it can no longer generate its death ray. The Guardian Robot announces that it will self-destruct due to the energy drain depleting it to nil (its speech surprising Knuckles, who believed the robots to be just dumb machines), which Knuckles halts by breaking the connections to the Master Emerald. The now-docile Guardian Robot can now hold a conversation with Knuckles, and it explains that it would not originally have followed Zachary's instructions if the Doctor had not reprogrammed it (the energy drain has now removed that command and the robot is reverting back to its original state). Knuckles is excited at these prospects - the Guardian Robot is a relic of the echidna civilisation, and Knuckles hopes to be able to utilise the machinery of the Emerald Chamber to inspect its memory banks and recover information about his people.
The only trouble is, the earlier fight has completely wrecked the Emerald Chamber...!
- Knuckles would retain the disembodied head of the Guardian Robot as an advisor, installing it in an alcove in the Emerald Chamber. Despite this seemingly permanent arrangement - and, indeed, Knuckles' determination to use the Robot's memory to explore his civilisation's past - the Guardian Robot would only ever make one more appearance, in Running Wild. It is assumed that it was either destroyed when Robotnik seized control of the Hidden Palace or else was eventually repaired and had its body restored to join the ranks of the other Guardian Robots.