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Should Knuckles become an antagonist again?


A person, that exists

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Now that I think about it, Knuckles had an identity crisis since SA2, where he stopped being "Sonic's friendly rival" and kinda became "Sonic's second sidekick", while Shadow became Sonic's "Friendly rival". Then, in Sonic Heroes Knuckles stopped being the guardian of the master emerald, and lost his identity completely. So, maybe it's better to make Knuckles an antagonist, kinda like Boom Eggman, and make Eggman a little more menacing? After all, being a joke antagonist was Knuckles' thing since the very start.  

Whadda you think? 

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Knuckles was never really a villain or a rival. He was just a gullible doofus who'd occasionally punch Sonic in the face when he was tricked. He was only considered a "friendly rival" by circumstance (AKA writing reasons for him to be a boss fight), never due to any difference in the characters' ideology or spirit of competition or anything. In Boom he's actually closer to being a rival since he keeps engaging in petty arguments and struggles with Sonic.

Even then, making him a villain """again""" wouldn't do anything for the character. They just need to actually tie his personality into his backstory and give him real stuff to do.

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Nah. There's really no way to make Knuckles into a villain after all this time, and even if we were talking about a reboot...what's the angle? It's not as if Knuckles was ever evil; he was only ever trying to protect his island and his emerald, and only fought Sonic because he was tricked into thinking he was the bad guy. To make him into an actual villain you'd have to change things so radically he'd hardly even be recognizable.

It's a fair point that he's lost his identity and place in the series beyond just being sidekick #2, though. But to fix that, they've got to work with the elements that made him a likeable and functional character in the first place. Like, I think there's still space for Knuckles to be the "friendly rival" so long as they make Shadow into a more antagonistic rival; Sonic and Knuckles can butt heads sometimes but they're ultimately friends and trusted allies when shit gets real, while Sonic and Shadow have some level of respect for each other but they're not friendly and they work together due to circumstances rather than genuine trust.

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Eh, Knuckles being a "villain" is a very very simplified view of his circumstantial introduction. So no regardless.

Besides, he only really became Sonic's Friendly Rival in Heroes and still kinda is. It's just that they never have him do anything to follow through.

 

Meanwhile, Shadow was loosely Sonic's Rival in a more antagonistic sense and that too stopped being a thing after..., well, his own game. Pretty much any time it comes up again is more or less pigeonholing.

 

They just need to give Knuckles something to do again.

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2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

To make him into an actual villain you'd have to change things so radically he'd hardly even be recognizable.

Or you could just brainwash the git, like in Sonic Triple Trouble and make him stay that way for a line of spinoffs. Eggman's been toying around with mind control for like what, eight years now, so... Yeah, why not? 

2 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Besides, he only really became Sonic's Friendly Rival in Heroes and still kinda is. It's just that they never have him do anything to follow through.

Well, SA1 and S3K kinda played around with that concept too. Also, didn't Heroes make Knuckles "Sonic's dumb second sidekick"? From what I've played, Knuckles never mocks Sonic or says anything witty about him. If Heroes' Knuckles is a "Friendly rival", then Big the Cat is the main antagonist of the series)

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There wouldn't be a point. Plus, he was never really a villain to begin with. Antagonist in Sonic 3, sure. But not a villain.


Now, you could perhaps give him an antagonistic role, but there'd have to be a really, really good reason for him being an antagonist in a story. Giving him the 13th time Eggman tricked Knuckles isn't going to do much favor his character.

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Knuckles just needs an identity again period; like most of the secondary characters. Its been "Sonic and his various sidekicks" since Unleashed.

I liked how the early Archie mini-series for Knuckles referred to him as "Sonic's friendly nemesis." Like they could work together fine on the right terms; but otherwise they're just acquaintances that more often than not butt heads.

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2 minutes ago, A person, that exists said:

Well, SA1 kinda played around with that concept too. 

Did it? Knuckles was essentially doing his own thing throughout the game while dealing with the folly of his kind's past. He encounters Sonic once outside of the ending after having a seed of suspicious planted by Eggman, fights him after mistaking his Chaos Emerald for a Master Emerald Shard, and briefly partners up to fight Chaos 4 before going about his business.

4 minutes ago, A person, that exists said:

Well,  S3K kinda played around with that concept too. 

You mean Sonic 3 and Knuckles? That's the only time they were explicitly enemies until the final 3 levels and that was their first meeting.

2 minutes ago, A person, that exists said:

Also, didn't Heroes make Knuckles "Sonic's dumb second sidekick"? From what I've played, Knuckles never mocks Sonic or says anything witty about him. If Heroes' Knuckles is a "Friendly rival", then Big the Cat is the main antagonist of the series)

Not dumb, but yes. It's also the first [3d] game where he explicitly shows his boisterous humor in getting one over on Sonic, even if it's only in a few cutscenes. It wouldn't be until Generations that he'd show that attitude again.

 

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1 minute ago, A person, that exists said:

Or you could just brainwash the git, like in Sonic Triple Trouble and make him stay that way for a line of spinoffs. Eggman's been toying around with mind control for like what, eight years now, so... Yeah, why not?

Brainwashing's pretty fuckin' cheap. Unless you're very careful and deliberate in how you go about it, you're likely to just end up effectively erasing or suppressing the actual character and having some new, probably poorly written character hijack their body. It's insulting to fans of the character and boring to everyone else.

And probably almost no one even wants Knuckles to be evil anyway, so what's the point?

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I think he was more of an antagonist than a true villain, and even then he did not fought Sonic on purpose, but rather it was mostly because Robotnik had tricked him to do so, otherwise they would remain on good terms, being described by Sega as a "good friend" even back then, though neither of them would ever admit it. Their relationship was a bit more rocky than with Tails due to their different personalities but both knew they could rely and trust each other pretty well, their rivalry being mostly playful between the two.

Shadow, on the other hand, is Sonic's equal, and unlike Knuckles, he's not deceived into attacking Sonic and they are not friends or buddies, only teaming up when the situation requires it.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't really recall when Knuckles was ever Sonic's rival. Plus, they don't really share any common traits, so it's other than stuff like completing some objective (not more-or less time-based) or maybe defeating enemies, there is not much they can compete at against on meaningful terms.

I see them more as two friends. And if we go with his main defined role (Adventure, etc), he'd be more like a distant friend that minds his own business mostly.

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They did seem to classify Knuckles as a rival once upon a time. Of course by the 00s he was more of a "former" rival than anything, even if he and Sonic butted heads occasionally.

Honestly I think it's possible to write new scenarios where they fight or have some sort of conflict. The main thing I don't see them drudging back up again is Knuckles being tricked into it though, since for as much as they tend to regress characters, they haven't reused that particular plot point in a very long time.

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Knuckles was never truly evil to start with. To make him a straight up bad guy would require rewriting his entire character in such a way that he doesn't even fit the most basic interpretation.

Yeah, Knuckles was an antagonist, but given he was tricked into that by Eggman, even there, he at least thought he was doing the right thing.

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6 hours ago, A person, that exists said:

Now that I think about it, Knuckles had an identity crisis since SA2, where he stopped being "Sonic's friendly rival" and kinda became "Sonic's second sidekick", while Shadow became Sonic's "Friendly rival". Then, in Sonic Heroes Knuckles stopped being the guardian of the master emerald, and lost his identity completely.

I would argue that Knuckles has had an identity crisis since SA1, where he stopped being Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds. At least... he stopped seeming to care about them as much. It's a little unclear because he spends the game indifferent to them but then gathers them into his possession at the end of his story.

The entire framework of his introduction in Sonic 3 is that Eggman tricks him into thinking Sonic wants to steal the Chaos Emeralds himself, and Knuckles believes this because Sonic indeed has all seven emeralds at the start of the game!

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3_manuals

It's a shame Sonic Mania didn't reintroduce this concept, especially since it's a different dimension and thus wouldn't have messed with current canon.

4 hours ago, FlameStream said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't really recall when Knuckles was ever Sonic's rival.

Knuckles was Sonic's friendly rival from 1994 through the end of the classic era. There were only spin-off and third-party games in that time, but Knuckles traveled to all kinds of different adventures and had an emphasis on competing with Sonic (e.g. the Sonic R manual explanation for why he's racing).

The tvtropes article for Red Oni, Blue Oni feels particularly relevant: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RedOniBlueOni

The idea of Knuckles having to stay on Angel Island to guard the Master Emerald was an invention of the Dreamcast Era. His depiction in Sonic Heroes was much closer to his original incarnations.

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1 hour ago, Eurisko said:

I think they've made him a bit too goofy in recent years to make it believable.

I didn't say that he should be the second Black Doom. Quite the opposite, actually.

6 hours ago, A person, that exists said:

So, maybe it's better to make Knuckles a joke villain, kinda like Boom Eggman

Make him a dumb show-off, who strives to become better than Sonic and constantly tries to make him fail for no reason other then feeling better about himself. Kinda like Pokémon's team Rocket. Or, if all modern villains have to have a backstory, then just say that Sonic got fed up with his shit and kicked him out of the team. That'd fit Colors-era Modern/Boom Sonic perfectly. 

So, while Robotnik/Shadow/Monster of the Week is the REAL villain, Knuckles is kinda the Dave the Intern/Wario-a comic-relief Saturday morning cartoon villain.

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34 minutes ago, A person, that exists said:

I didn't say that he should be the second Black Doom. Quite the opposite, actually.

Make him a dumb show-off, who strives to become better than Sonic and constantly tries to make him fail for no reason other then feeling better about himself. Kinda like Pokémon's team Rocket. Or, if all modern villains have to have a backstory, then just say that Sonic got fed up with his shit and kicked him out of the team. That'd fit Colors-era Modern/Boom Sonic perfectly. 

So, while Robotnik/Shadow/Monster of the Week is the REAL villain, Knuckles is kinda the Dave the Intern/Wario-a comic-relief Saturday morning cartoon villain.

I think Infinite the Jackal has strong potential for this sort of thing.

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Not really. Knuckles works best as a friendly rival.

But if they do one day go this route, make it a one time thing. Like, something so serious happens that makes knuckles turn heel, or make sonic and friends think he's turned heel, only to find out that he was helping all along, like a double agent plot or something.

Or like replace him with a perfect copy robot and the real knuckles doesn't show up until the end to reveal the fake.

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10 hours ago, A person, that exists said:

Now that I think about it, Knuckles had an identity crisis since SA2, where he stopped being "Sonic's friendly rival" and kinda became "Sonic's second sidekick", while Shadow became Sonic's "Friendly rival". Then, in Sonic Heroes Knuckles stopped being the guardian of the master emerald, and lost his identity completely. So, maybe it's better to make Knuckles a joke villain, kinda like Boom Eggman, and make Eggman a little more menacing? After all, being a joke villain was Knuckles' thing since the very start.  

Whadda you think? 

Shadow is not a friendsly rival, he's his arch rival and main morally contrast nemesis next to Eggman.

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The Archie adaptation of Sonic the Fighters did a good job reestablishing Sonic and Knuckles's rivalry by giving them an excuse to fight over the Chaos Emerald, as did Sonic Megadrive by having their egos clash so often. The games should try and put them in more situations like this, ones where they make it a competition between each other to beat Eggman, which I guess Sonic Rivals sort of did, just not as charming.

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As a sorta 'friendly fight', like Proto Man in Megaman ...7 I think? Sure, would be fun.

As being mind-controlled? A bit overused plot device, but go ahead.

As being tricked? Please, never again.

As an actual evil villain? That's just stupid, regressive and ultimately pointless.

As two good guys, doing what they think is right, can't agree with the view of the other, ala Civil War? That would require competent writer. In fact, it already happened in Archie Comics, "Total Eclipse" arc. Not everyone liked it, but I thought it was absolutely perfect setup, just could use better resolution.

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

As an actual evil villain? That's just stupid, regressive and ultimately pointless.

Well, not really "Evil", more "Mean-spirited towards everyone". Ya know, the guy who constantly snatches the emeralds from both Eggman and Sonic and then teams up with them whenever he feels like it. 

Because, let's be real, turning Knuckles into "Sonic's masochistic punching bag buddy" would just be ridiculous and stupid. If people wanna beat up Knuckles so badly, then maybe it's better to give them a reason, rather then "Oh, Sonic, I didn't feel utterly humiliated for twenty minutes, can you please stroke your ego by beating me up?". 

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