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The Legitimacy of Knuckles' Guardianship


andrewtuell1991

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In the ongoing thread about reveals from a supposed Sonic Bible, one of points brought up was only male hedgehogs are allowed a Super form.  A counterpoint to this some think it unfair to Knuckles to be the guardian of the Master Emerald but not allowed to have a Super transformation, which got me thinking.  While it's certainly true the Knuckles is the one who guards the Master Emerald, his role seems rather self-imposed.  If I'm not mistaken, the timeline of the Master Emerald, Echidna Clan, and other factor goes something like this (please correct me if I'm wrong on anything):

- The Master Emerald was created by some unknown gods to control the somehow already existence Chaos Emeralds should they fall in the wrong hands.  Who these gods are is currently unknown, it's been 20+ years since Sonic 3's JP manual first mentioned them and they haven't been elaborated on since (to my knowledge) and probably never will given the series current direction.

- A species known as Chao started living near the ME and one day one Chao was mutated into the being known as Chaos who started guarding the powerful stone.

- A neighboring tribe known as the Echidna tribe had lived near the ME for sometime and had become integrated into their culture and lore evidenced by Tikal and her grandmother knowing that "7 servers" chant.  The tribe had recently become a little warmonger-y and the ME was being eyed by the chief Pachacamac who one day stormed the ME alter against his daughter's wishes and slaughtering many Chao along the way.  This enraged Chaos who in turn slaughtered many of the Echidna and was sealed in the ME along with Tikal via the "7 servers" chant.

- A few Echidna obviously had to have survived for Knuckles' existence to make any sense and decided to guard the ME now that there was no angry water god guarding it.  What they did with the Master Emerald during the 4000 year gap is anyone's guess.

- 4000 years later, Knuckles takes over the role of ME guardian.  How he knows he's suppose to do this is anyone's guess.  Seriously, is it instinct?  Was there a second-to-the-last Echidna who instructed him?  Did someone leave a note behind?

 

It calls into question of the legitimacy of Knuckles' guardianship.  No matter how I look at it, the Echidnas were never the rightful owners of the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds.  as they were taken from a weaker tribe.  Therefore, no Echidna should be able to fully harness the power of the CEs since no Echidna in the games have really ever used them to any great extent aside from the 7 servers chant, and I see no reason why no one else couldn't learn that chant.

Of course, now it begs the question as to what history male hedgehogs have to the CEs/ME to be the only ones able to activate a Super transformation.  A question I don't think will ever receive an official answer.

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Finders keepers. He found it first, on his property, therefore it belongs to him.

I feel like sometimes fans overstate the importance of his position, at least in the gameverse. Personally I feel he's more a little-g guardian than a big-G Guardian. He's not some Chosen One with a divine mission, it's not even some kind of socially important position (at least not now, with all the other echidnas being dead and gone). He guards it because someone has to, to protect his island and to keep it out of evil's hands, and he's a tough enough dude to keep it safe (ignoring all the times he failed).

As far as Super forms go, under my interpretation of his role I don't think he would have any special claim to having one. That's not saying he can't have one, but it wouldn't come about simply because he's "the guardian". The way I view Super forms is taking Tikal's "thoughts into power" line very literally; Super forms are ultimately expressions of the user's will, they are the miracle of the user's burning shonen spirit turned into actual power. If he were written into the sort of drastic situation where he needed that miracle, then I would expect him to be able to transform at that time.

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We really know so, so little about the situation with the echidnas, Knuckles, and the Master Emerald. Like you mentioned, it's not even clear how Knuckles exists. If Chaos really slaughtered all the echidnas, how was Knuckles born? And if they didn't, why are echidnas still extinct aside from Knuckles?

Your perspective that the echidnas might not have actually been the legitimate owners of the Emeralds is an interesting proposition, but I don't know if we can really say for positive that they were stolen. We just don't know anything of the background. If they did once belong to another tribe, how did that tribe get their hands on them anyway? Who owned the emeralds originally? We don't even know how they came to exist.

But in my opinion, there must be something special between Knuckles and the Master Emerald, considering that he can command the Master Emerald's power. He can also detect chaos energy. One could make the argument that this is just because he spent a lot of time with the Emerald since childhood or something like that, though.

Your theory is an interesting one, but thanks to how underdeveloped the canon is, discussing this issue would probably come down to "my headcanon vs. yours"...

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I always originally thought that the Master Emerald, the Echidna tribe, and the Chaos lived in harmony, all coming into existence at about the same time, until Pachacamac decided they needed more power. There isn't a time when the Master Emerald wasn't with them if I recall correctly. The whole thing has just been glossed over so vaguely in Sonic Adventure. We don't really know if it was made after the emeralds, or if the Echidna tribe impeded on the Chaos' birthright, and so on.

Sonic Chronicles made some sense to the matter in my opinion, but that's non-canon so meh.

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Knuckles' opening and closing monologues in Adventure provide a little insight into where he stands in the grand scheme of things.

As far back as I can remember, I've been living here, on this dark island... Always guarding the Master Emerald from anything that could harm it. I don't know why I was given this job... Why it was my fate... Destined to be here... Forever!

I'll probably be on this floating island forever. Guarding the Master Emerald, again. I may not know the whole story behind this. But perhaps it's better that way. 

 The main points to take away here are in bold. Knuckles has been guarding the Master Emerald for as long as he can remember and has no idea why he has the job. Couple that with his implied resentment of the position (seen varying degrees in the Heroes manual,the lyrics of "Unknown from M.E.", and those of his SA2 level themes) and I think we can safely rule out any conscious decision to become guardian on Knuckles' part. As for me personally I always assumed that Knuckles was made guardian through a divine mandate or a sword in the stone/"wand chooses the wizard" type of deal where some higher power, be it the gods or the M.E. itself, selected Knuckles for the role.

At any rate Knuckles has some connection to the Emerald as evidenced by his ability to command it, detect its presence, and receive visions from it. I think it's safe to say that the Master Emerald recognizes him as its guardian, regardless of how he came into the role.

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  • 1 month later...

Knuckles' opening and closing monologues in Adventure provide a little insight into where he stands in the grand scheme of things.

 The main points to take away here are in bold. Knuckles has been guarding the Master Emerald for as long as he can remember and has no idea why he has the job. Couple that with his implied resentment of the position (seen varying degrees in the Heroes manual,the lyrics of "Unknown from M.E.", and those of his SA2 level themes) and I think we can safely rule out any conscious decision to become guardian on Knuckles' part. As for me personally I always assumed that Knuckles was made guardian through a divine mandate or a sword in the stone/"wand chooses the wizard" type of deal where some higher power, be it the gods or the M.E. itself, selected Knuckles for the role.

At any rate Knuckles has some connection to the Emerald as evidenced by his ability to command it, detect its presence, and receive visions from it. I think it's safe to say that the Master Emerald recognizes him as its guardian, regardless of how he came into the role.

"Why it was my fate... Destined to be here... Forever!"

 

This bit too lol. At any rate, your quotes were the first things I thought of when I started going through here haha.

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I always assumed it was just a cultural thing. After the Echidnas are killed by Chaos and whatnot, and the survivors end up in the Floating Island later, they just slowly decline in populational growth, until eventually a mommy echidna and a daddy echidna have a small echidna, and before they can do much more than teaching him the basics of language and the rites to protect the artifact they've protected as a family for centuries, they die, leaving Knuckles alone, protecting the Emerald because that's what his family did, not knowing much about the ancient Echidnas because all that became lost to time with the dwindling population.

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