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S3&k
The Sonic 3 & Knuckles story arc is a Sonic the Comic adaptation based on the video game Sonic 3 & Knuckles, itself a combination of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Running from Issue 33 to Issue 53, the adaptation is extremely faithful, following much of the game's story and levels.

Staff

Story

Enter Knuckles

The relaunch of Doctor Robotnik's new Death Egg has gone wrong. The spaceship has fallen out of orbit and has plummeted down onto the mystical Floating Island and crashed in the Icecap Zone. Guardian Knuckles the Echidna investigates, following a remote camera to the trapped body of Robotnik, who warns him that his foe, Sonic the Hedgehog, wants to steal his Chaos Emeralds.

News reaches Mobius of the Death Egg's plight, but only the Freedom Fighters contemplate that it could have landed on the Floating Island. Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails fly up and find the island, landing on the Marble Garden Zone. A series of local traps, as well as the appearance of a Badnik, confirms that Robotnik is up to something. When the dictator makes an appearance, the heroes soon learn that he is protected by the island's guardian, who he has tricked into thinking Sonic is the villain. A large scrap erupts between Sonic and Knuckles, with Tails preparing his plane. The fight winds down and Tails reappears, flying over Robotnik and capturing him in a net.

Tails takes Robotnik back to Kintobor's Laboratory for questioning, but Porker Lewis is less than successful when asking Robotnik about new Badnik models. From within his cell, Robotnik is eventually rescued by Knuckles digging through the ground and grabs Porker from behind bars. In exchange for Porker's safety, Robotnik demands Sonic's Chaos Emeralds and reveals that Knuckles followed him here thanks to an implant in his brain tuned to a tracking device in Robotnik's teeth. Robotnik and Knuckles head back to the Floating Island in an Egg-o-Matic, but the biplane is in hot pursuit, Sonic forcing them to crash-land with a Spin Attack. Another fight begins between Sonic and Knuckles, but the echidna distracts him by summoning giant stone hands. Knuckles and Robotnik are free to enter the Temple of Chaos, where Robotnik combines the twelve Emeralds and absorbs their power. Robotnik uses his new abilities to turn Tails into glass, but Knuckles removes his energy by using the hidden Grey Emerald.

Now knowing where Sonic's base is, Robotnik returns in a Squeeze Tag Machine, accompanied by drilling Badniks. The Freedom Fighters begin to evacuate, but Robotnik arrives before Porker can return the Kintobor Computer to its Power Ring. Sonic and Johnny Lightfoot buy him some time, but the doctor has soon sealed off all the exits. An angered Robotnik contacts Grimer, who reveals that Knuckles broke into the Launch Base Zone but has now been killed. In reality, Knuckles has ordered Grimer to say this. Robotnik then breaks into the control room. The situation looks bleak until Knuckles bursts through the roof and helps Sonic break the mecha. The heroes now have to fight the horde of Badniks while Robotnik escapes. Knuckles later returns home while the Freedom Fighters begin life as Bob Beaky's Travelling Circus.

Death Egg repairs

Robotnik has not yet given up on relaunching his Death Egg. Whilst it is being repaired, he sets up an Eggloo in the Icecap Zone and uses Inter-Zone technology to send Penguinator Badniks to the Hill Top Zone. Sonic uses the portal and teams up with Knuckles to rid the island of Robotnik again. As repairs continue, a thruster is to be transported across the Emerald Valley Bridge. Sonic heads there alone to plant mines, but is accosted by a Special Badnik Service Trooper. It looks bleak, but Amy Rose and Johnny arrive in the plane in time to rescue him. Using her keen bow skills, Amy fires an arrow at the mines, blowing up the thruster and bridge. Nevertheless, another thruster soon finds its way to the Death Egg and Grimer runs one last simulation, proving that the Death Egg is capable of wiping out the Emerald Hill Zone.

Disaster

Keen to remove the Death Egg from the island altogether, Sonic journeys to the Sandopolis Zone and teams up with Knuckles once more. Unfortunately, their mission is impeded by the appearance of Captain Plunder, who plans to loot the Lost Pyramid of Sandopolis. After an altercation with the Stone Guardian, Sonic and Knuckles follow the Sky Pirates into the pyramid but are unable to stop them stealing the gold. Fortunately, the unreliable lighting system cuts out and the Sandopolis Ghosts scare them into dropping their booty and fleeing the pyramid empty-handed. Inside, Knuckles punches a seal that sees sand flow into the pyramid with the goal being to sink it. Fortunately, a hidden passage allows them to escape first.

The path leads them straight into the Lava Reef Zone, where the heroes see the Death Egg parked on the volcano. They're then welcomed by dozens of EggRobo Badniks with Robotnik's voice. Sonic tries to smash all the Badniks separately, but Knuckles simply uses a collection of lava to destroy them all at once. A nasty thought entering his mind, Knuckles takes Sonic to the Hidden Palace and notes that the door to the Emerald Chamber has been kicked down. The Master Emerald has been taken, so the island may crash down to Mobius in a few hours. While Robotnik celebrates, Sonic is left amazed that the Emerald has been taken by a Metallix, believing to have already destroyed it. The metal Sonic invites them to the Sky Sanctuary Zone, where a powered-up Metallix instantly knocks out Knuckles and punches Sonic to the Master Emerald, where he becomes Super Sonic. The raging hedgehog easily destroys Metallix and almost kills Knuckles before he regains his senses. Unfortunately, without Emerald power (the Emerald has been teleported away, the Sky Sanctuary is falling apart. Worse still, the Death Egg has launched...

As the Zone crumbles to nothing, Sonic leaps on Knuckles' back and they begin to glide away. They soon have to face a gang of EggRobos, but Sonic uses them to bounce his way into the Death Egg. Knuckles glides back down to the island, so Sonic is left to fight the security Spikebonkers himself. Sitting in an ancient chamber, Knuckles has discovered how to pilot the Floating Island, beginning to steer it in the Death Egg's direction. Back on the Death Egg, Sonic has been captured and taken to the control room, where Robotnik is about to destroy the Emerald Hill Zone. Before Grimer can press 'fire', the Death Egg is attacked by the Floating Island, so the weapons are turned on Knuckles instead. Using the attack as a distraction, Sonic steals the Master Emerald but another shockwave sees them both plummet out of the window.

It seems all over for the Death Egg, but Sonic is falling back to Mobius and an EggRobo has retrieved the Master Emerald. Sonic steals an EggRobo gun and shoots the thief, watching as the Emerald lands on the island. He ten steals a jetpack from another Eggrobo and heads back to the island. Before he can get the Emerald back to Knuckles, Robotnik arrives in another mech. Fed up, Sonic tears it apart and accidentally punches Robotnik off the island, his boosters fortunately giving him a somewhat safe landing. In exchange for the Emerald, Sonic requests that Knuckles let the evacuated Emerald Hill folk hide out in the Mushroom Hill Zone.

Stories

The complete story Beware Predicto! may also count, due to its appearance in Mushroom Hill and continuing directly on from Disaster!.

Timeline

The previous story arc was the Sonic CD story arc. The next one is the Brotherhood of Metallix arc.

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