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MetalSkulkBane

Knuckles as Guardian of ME

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When talking how Sega stopped caring about lore, on of prime examples is "Knuckles doesn't guard Master Emerald anymore". And while it is obvious plothole, I do find it almost impossible to fix.

I mean, Sonic 3 & SA1 plot resolved around ME, SA2 basically cheated to include the darn thing and Heroes just gave up, Knuckles leave Angel Island when he feels like. Even Flynn just said "yeah, during Forces Knuckles just left Master Emerald, unprotected. Just like that".

So is there any way to write stories about Knuckles without involving ME every single time? I have few solutions, but none of them perfect..

1) Just ignore the topic
obviously it doesn't' work well
2) Knuckles has (or rather "should be given") some magical way to instantly teleport home.
Convenient, but reeks of "deux ex machina"
3) He keeps it in his pocket(?), like during climax of SA2
That's the closest to logical solution, but still means Knuckles drags sacred treasure on dangerous adventures. And SA1 proved mobian pockets suck badly.
4) He has someone take over, maybe Chaos or only logical choice.
While in theory I do like idea that Chaos pops out to protect ME, he clearly didn't do it in the past (SA2). Besides, wouldn't the make Chaos real Guardian and Knuckles a part-time helper? And other candidate is too awesome to ever become canon.

Anyone has better ones?

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7 minutes ago, pppp said:

My solution would be none of the above you mentioned and only have Knuckles in the game when it makes sense for him to be in it.

That leaves like him with 3 games. 8 if I want to be generous. (not counting All Star Racing, Boom etc).

You must really not like Knuckles XD

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Just involve the artifact in the plot, maybe have it stolen or broken and presto, Knuckles is involved.

Or he could just carry it around with him, which he can do pretty easily.

....in a long "fanfic universe" I'm planning, I have a weird solution to it. Chaos becomes reunited with a piece of himself that was taken away from him in ancient times, causing him to not need Tikal to be stable anymore. So he spits Tikal out of the M.E so she can join Knuckles as another guardian . Then Tikal and Knuckles get to take turns guarding it.

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I think it's fairly safe to assume that Knuckles just leaves it when there's no major threat it. In S3K and SA1, he's not experienced much of the outside world before and dedicates his entire life to playing guard-duty on Angel Island. In SA2, the whole plot about Angel Island falling into the sea without the Master Emerald to keep it afloat is conveniently never brought up but he's still protecting the Master Emerald itself from falling into the hands of both Rouge and Eggman. The only other games to use it as a major plot point are Chronicles, Rivals and Rivals 2. It also appeared in Runners I think? Don't really remember tbh.

Everything is played totally straight in Chronicles, no curveballs or plot holes surrounding it. But of course Chronicles status in the canon is dubious at best and can just be ignored.

In the Rivals series, it's a bit more interesting. Nega turns the Master Emerald into a card in the future, and Eggman explains that the Master Emerald exists in a transcendent timeline. As a result, the Master Emerald in the past disappears and Onyx Island mysteriously appears in the ocean in the present. Onyx Island is actually Angel Island from the future and... well none of it really makes much sense. The important thing to gather here is that it's Knuckles' driving force in the story. In Rivals 2, it's never explained how it goes missing but Rouge "helps" him to look for it with her Emerald detector. Only it turns out that the Master Emerald was actually inside the detector all along. Did Rouge steal it and use to to locate the Chaos Emeralds? It's a messy plot, but it's only intended to be silly anyway.

Personally, I think that tying Knuckles to the Master Emerald and Angel Island is just too limiting on the plot and Knuckles' inclusion therein. Yes, that was his original role in the series, but it's been established that Knuckles is going help save the world and defeat Eggman whenever he crops up, and we've never been presented with another recurring threat to the Emerald. Rouge? She's just as interested in the Chaos Emeralds, and is more of an ally to the good guys. And what exactly happens is Angel Island falls into the sea? Well... the surf is up for a little while and that's just about it for the damage it does. 

I'm not going to deny that the plot surrounding the Master Emerald isn't messy, because it absolutely is. But I guess I just don't care. If Eggman or anyone is threatening the world, Knuckles will probably be joining the fight to save it. This was the case in Heroes, ShTH and Forces. Forces gets a special mention for the prequel comic which specifically establishes Eggman's disinterest in the Master Emerald this time around, leaving Knuckles totally free to lead the resistance with Rouge then working as one of his spies. Don't get me wrong, the line of thinking is a dumb plothole in itself. There's a teeny amount of effort to explain it all though.. Generations also has Eggman missing ever since the end of Colours and Rouge also in attendance of Sonic's birthday party. 

Knuckles is too good a character to limited by the plot in this way. Ever since his inception in S3K and later appearance in SA1, he's become a staple of the series as one of the three main good guys alongside Sonic and Tails. He's too key and too established to just be forgotten about. 

4 minutes ago, Sonario said:

Just involve the artifact in the plot, maybe have it stonlen or broken and presto, Knuckles is involved.

If every game involved the Master Emerald being stolen or broken, it would get pretty stale pretty fast. Not to mention it would feel shoehorned. SA2 barely manages to get away with it already.

41 minutes ago, pppp said:

My solution would be none of the above you mentioned and only have Knuckles in the game when it makes sense for him to be in it.

He's saving the world from a bigger threat alongside the likes of Sonic and everyone else. Not a perfect solution, but it's workable. 

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17 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

I think it's fairly safe to assume that Knuckles just leaves it when there's no major threat it. In S3K and SA1, he's not experienced much of the outside world before and dedicates his entire life to playing guard-duty on Angel Island. In SA2, the whole plot about Angel Island falling into the sea without the Master Emerald to keep it afloat is conveniently never brought up but he's still protecting the Master Emerald itself from falling into the hands of both Rouge and Eggman. The only other games to use it as a major plot point are Chronicles, Rivals and Rivals 2. It also appeared in Runners I think? Don't really remember tbh.

Everything is played totally straight in Chronicles, no curveballs or plot holes surrounding it. But of course Chronicles status in the canon is dubious at best and can just be ignored.

In the Rivals series, it's a bit more interesting. Nega turns the Master Emerald into a card in the future, and Eggman explains that the Master Emerald exists in a transcendent timeline. As a result, the Master Emerald in the past disappears and Onyx Island mysteriously appears in the ocean in the present. Onyx Island is actually Angel Island from the future and... well none of it really makes much sense. The important thing to gather here is that it's Knuckles' driving force in the story. In Rivals 2, it's never explained how it goes missing but Rouge "helps" him to look for it with her Emerald detector. Only it turns out that the Master Emerald was actually inside the detector all along. Did Rouge steal it and use to to locate the Chaos Emeralds? It's a messy plot, but it's only intended to be silly anyway.

Personally, I think that tying Knuckles to the Master Emerald and Angel Island is just too limiting on the plot and Knuckles' inclusion therein. Yes, that was his original role in the series, but it's been established that Knuckles is going help save the world and defeat Eggman whenever he crops up, and we've never been presented with another recurring threat to the Emerald. Rouge? She's just as interested in the Chaos Emeralds, and is more of an ally to the good guys. And what exactly happens is Angel Island falls into the sea? Well... the surf is up for a little while and that's just about it for the damage it does. 

I'm not going to deny that the plot surrounding the Master Emerald isn't messy, because it absolutely is. But I guess I just don't care. If Eggman or anyone is threatening the world, Knuckles will probably be joining the fight to save it. This was the case in Heroes, ShTH and Forces. Forces gets a special mention for the prequel comic which specifically establishes Eggman's disinterest in the Master Emerald this time around, leaving Knuckles totally free to lead the resistance with Rouge then working as one of his spies. Don't get me wrong, the line of thinking is a dumb plothole in itself. There's a teeny amount of effort to explain it all though.. Generations also has Eggman missing ever since the end of Colours and Rouge also in attendance of Sonic's birthday party. 

Knuckles is too good a character to limited by the plot in this way. Ever since his inception in S3K and later appearance in SA1, he's become a staple of the series as one of the three main good guys alongside Sonic and Tails. He's too key and too established to just be forgotten about. 

If every game involved the Master Emerald being stolen or broken, it would get pretty stale pretty fast. Not to mention it would feel shoehorned. SA2 barely manages to get away with it already.

He's saving the world from a bigger threat alongside the likes of Sonic and everyone else. Not a perfect solution, but it's workable. 

While I do agree that Knuckles has become a staple of the series and a character we love to see whenever we can, completely removing the guardian aspect of him would rob him of a large part of his character, even if that part feels unnecessary or played up too much sometimes. It's like taking away Amy's infatuation of Sonic or taking away Tails' affinity for machines.

Though I suppose you don't need to directly involve the M.E in every single story either. You could just have Knuckles allude to it or say something about going to check on it later, but have him focused on the bigger problem. While he is super protective of the Emerald and dedicated to his duty, he's also a hero who would definitely jump into the fray to save the world and help his friends, as seen by Heroes where he went along with Tails and Sonic to thwart Eggman's plan, despite having to be away from his duty to do so.

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3 minutes ago, Sonario said:

While I do agree that Knuckles has become a staple of the series and a character we love to see whenever we can, completely removing the guardian aspect of him would rob him of a large part of his character, even if that part feels unnecessary or played up too much sometimes. It's like taking away Amy's infatuation of Sonic or taking away Tails' affinity for machines.

Though I supposed you don't need to directly involve the M.E in every single story either. You could just have Knuckles allude to it or say something about going to check on it later, but have him focused on the bigger problem. While he is super protective of the Emerald and dedicated to his duty, he's also a hero who would definitely jump into the fray to save the world and help his friends, as seen by Heroes where he went along with Tails and Sonic to thwart Eggman's plan, despite having to be away from his duty to do so.

I'm not advocating removing the guardian aspect from his his story and character. It's just a really, really limiting plot point. I don't think the Master Emerald and Angel Island need to be such commonly repeating elements in the story in order for Knuckles to show up. And likewise I don't think that it would be good to limit Knuckles' appearances to the few occasions that Angel Island and the Master Emerald show up either. The most sensible solution to me seems to be the one that SEGA already roll with; Knuckles protects it from danger when there is danger, but most of the time it's pretty safe just off by its todd and Knuckles is free to help save the world from other threats that come along.

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I don't care honestly, it's just a plot that limits Knuckles, he can't appear anywhere because he has to guard the ME. Why? It's part of his character, but I also want him to be on adventures with Sonic and friends.

I'd rather write out Angel Island and the Master Emerald for good. Take the comics for example, outside of the first few issues, Knuckles never leaves the island anymore, it's so annoying, he will not fight, join his friends for the fate of the world, he's obsessed with the Master Emerald.

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Eh I just agree with hey if there hasn’t been any dangerous activity in a little bit then it’s fine to leave the island for a little and then when everything’s done whether good or bad he returns back to angel island. If something is seriously threatening his friends or a universal disaster is happening then he’ll leave angel island obviously.

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This is kind of one of those Morton's fork scenarios;

Whether you like it or not. Knuckles' character is intrinsically linked to the Master Emerald as it is directly tied to his role as its guardian. When you downplay that element, Knuckles simply isn't as interesting as a character tbh. All of his roles without it just have him be the third wheel along with Sonic and Tails, and just play comic relief. That's not exactly what I'd call a good use of the character.

But as @Blue Blood mentioned, Knuckles is simply too iconic and ingrained in the series for him to make sparse appearances tying them only to his guardian role.

This is pretty symptomatic of a lot of characters in this series; once their stories have finished and resolved, there's little reason to keep them around beyond fan popularity, so Sega just throws them into whatever game with no respect to the character's history and personality. I don't really know how you can fix that either.

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I look at it this way.

Knuckles protects the Master Emerald and Angel Island, sure.

But when the whole world is in danger, that means Angel Island - and by extension the Master Emerald - is also in danger.

So global crises that don't directly involve the Master Emerald do still justify Knuckles getting involved.

That said, in the past decade, I'm pretty sure the only game to even feature the Master Emerald as part of its plot at all was Sonic Mania. Sonic Team themselves haven't touched the thing in about a decade, so it's high time the dusted the old rock off for a new game.

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Knuckles is one of the few characters in the series to really have a clear personal goal beyond generic do-goodery. As difficult as it can be to work with it, I can't imagine that cutting it, ignoring it, or trivializing it will do the character any good. That doesn't mean that every game needs to focus on the emerald or the island to justify him showing up, I can buy "the world is in danger so I need to guard proactively" some of the time, but it shouldn't be the excuse all of the time. They need to figure out ways of working him into the story that flow properly from his character and not simply have him appear out of nowhere because he's expected to appear, even if that means he might not have a role in every game.

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The thing about the Master Emerald, aside from it's amazing size and power, is that it's a part of Knuckles legacy as well as his home. I'm honestly not sure where the idea that he's protecting it from falling into the wrong hands actually came about game-wise, but that logical extension doesn't have to offset that he genuinely cares about it even though he once questioned why he's been entrusted to all of it. Connected to all of it.

Generally speaking now, there's little to nothing threatening it for a large span of time and he's grown to have connections with the rest of the world. I reiterated a few weeks ago that it would've been neat to see him transition from "I only want to protect my heritage on my own" to "the world is everyone's home friend or foe." Would've also the Master Emerald's drop-off in importance less sudden and given him a more satisfying arc across the games.

 

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2 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

I think it's fairly safe to assume that Knuckles just leaves it when there's no major threat it. In S3K and SA1, he's not experienced much of the outside world before and dedicates his entire life to playing guard-duty on Angel Island. In SA2, the whole plot about Angel Island falling into the sea without the Master Emerald to keep it afloat is conveniently never brought up but he's still protecting the Master Emerald itself from falling into the hands of both Rouge and Eggman. The only other games to use it as a major plot point are Chronicles, Rivals and Rivals 2. It also appeared in Runners I think? Don't really remember tbh.

Pretty much.

2 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

In Rivals 2, it's never explained how it goes missing but Rouge "helps" him to look for it with her Emerald detector. Only it turns out that the Master Emerald was actually inside the detector all along. Did Rouge steal it and use to to locate the Chaos Emeralds? It's a messy plot, but it's only intended to be silly anyway.

Wait...what...

2 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

Personally, I think that tying Knuckles to the Master Emerald and Angel Island is just too limiting on the plot and Knuckles' inclusion therein. Yes, that was his original role in the series, but it's been established that Knuckles is going help save the world and defeat Eggman whenever he crops up, and we've never been presented with another recurring threat to the Emerald. Rouge? She's just as interested in the Chaos Emeralds, and is more of an ally to the good guys. And what exactly happens is Angel Island falls into the sea? Well... the surf is up for a little while and that's just about it for the damage it does. 

Lol the plot?

2 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

I'm not going to deny that the plot surrounding the Master Emerald isn't messy, because it absolutely is. But I guess I just don't care. If Eggman or anyone is threatening the world, Knuckles will probably be joining the fight to save it. This was the case in Heroes, ShTH and Forces. 

He's saving the world from a bigger threat alongside the likes of Sonic and everyone else. Not a perfect solution, but it's workable. 

 

2 hours ago, Jack at Home said:

 

I'd rather write out Angel Island and the Master Emerald for good. Take the comics for example, outside of the first few issues, Knuckles never leaves the island anymore, it's so annoying, he will not fight, join his friends for the fate of the world, he's obsessed with the Master Emerald.

To be fair in IDW, it actually makes since in a rather human reaction.

He'd been away from it and home for months doing something important that he wasn't always comfortable doing, but needed to be done. Then as they were really starting to clean up, Neo Metal shows up to not only use it for his purposes, but takes Angel Island as a whole in the process.

When Knuckles sensed that this was happening, his homesickness was exacerbated into beating himself up for leaving it alone for so long that Neo getting it was child's play. So he was very involved in fighting him to take everything back and once he'd been defeated, Knuckles decided he wasn't leaving now that he has it back and wanted to return to his normal life since Eggman was effectively gone at that point.

The main reason he didn't get involved with the Metal Virus for so long was because he honestly didn't know.

41 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I look at it this way.

Knuckles protects the Master Emerald and Angel Island, sure.

But when the whole world is in danger, that means Angel Island - and by extension the Master Emerald - is also in danger.

So global crises that don't directly involve the Master Emerald do still justify Knuckles getting involved.

That said, in the past decade, I'm pretty sure the only game to even feature the Master Emerald as part of its plot at all was Sonic Mania. Sonic Team themselves haven't touched the thing in about a decade, so it's high time the dusted the old rock off for a new game.

That is very true. It's been so long that it'd be a breath of air at this point and it could even allow whatever villain targets it to both have a personal stake to wager this time around and also maybe even abuse it in a way that hasn't been done before.

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I feel like if you contextualized Knuckles' personal goals just a bit, you can get around this. 

You can't just say "oh well he helps because the world is in danger" because that strips of him of his personal agency; it makes him easier to use as a character, but you can argue that he wouldn't be as interesting.

You need to give Knuckles a goal that makes him adaptable, but also reflects on his character. Him just being a generic do-gooder doesn't accomplish that.

 

So instead of "Knuckles never leaves the island ever unless it involves him" or "Knuckles gets involved because why the fuck not". You can just be like..."Knuckles has expanded his worldviews and realizes that protecting the planet from Eggman is just as important protecting the island itself as well as viewing Sonic and co as his family that he must take care of"

 

So he can leave when there's shit going down and simply return, but keeping that personal agency for the character is important.

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3 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

That leaves like him with 3 games. 8 if I want to be generous. (not counting All Star Racing, Boom etc).

You must really not like Knuckles XD

That's not it at all, maybe I just want Knuckles not to be in every game at the expense of his character.

Why exactly do we need Knuckles in every game?

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1 minute ago, pppp said:

That's not it at all, maybe I just want Knuckles not to be in every game at the expense of his character.

Why exactly do we need Knuckles in every game?

Do people really need to justify why they want to see a character that they like?

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

I look at it this way.

Knuckles protects the Master Emerald and Angel Island, sure.

But when the whole world is in danger, that means Angel Island - and by extension the Master Emerald - is also in danger.

So global crises that don't directly involve the Master Emerald do still justify Knuckles getting involved.

This.

Plus, Angel Island is flying in the air. It is difficult to find because it is always moving, and is difficult to reach because it is high in the air. And, if Sonic 3 & Knuckles is any indication, the island is massive and heavily booby trapped.  Also, Knuckles clearly has to travel around his island even before he met Sonic, and probably had to leave the Master Emerald alone for long periods of time already.

Combined with the high level of confidence Knuckles has - especially with his ability to sense the Master Emerald, I can see his character taking a temporary leave from the Master Emerald - especially if it furthers his interests as Guardian (and even if its a short break).

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A scenario I can't help but think about when people bring this up is Eggman, before the events of any game with Knuckles in it, trying to steal the Master Emerald (eh, it might come in handy), only to fail...but Knuckles can't just let it go so he goes off to get involved with whatever is going on anyway.

In all seriousness, I remember after SA2 I really wanted them to address this, like a lot of fans obviously. I don't think it even needs a complicated explanation, Knuckles could literally hide the Emerald somewhere on the island (surely there are places other than Hidden Palace that Eggman wouldn't know about, etc.) Nowadays I don't really need that to be said on screen or whatever, but I think it wouldn't hurt either. Hell it's been long enough that they might as well actually use it in the plot again. I think they did in Runners at least, but that game had...almost everything?

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19 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Do people really need to justify why they want to see a character that they like?

But is it really worth it if you have to compromise what makes the character unique and interesting to do it?

Wouldn't keeping his appearances limited to when there's a good reason for them make those appearances all the more special?

This is how good writing works, you don't overuse characters so you don't trivialize their presence, that's why in TV Shows there are characters that are absent for long periods and only return when the plot requires their presence, it makes fans go "OMG it's him/her".

Knuckles is a lonely guardian type, he doesn't work like the others, he should only be involved when his island or emerald are at risk, which is why I didn't mind him being in Forces(One of the few things that game did right).

I will never understand why fans want a character present at all cost, even if we have to compromise the character to get that.

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6 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

No but just giving everybody what they want is probably not going to work out.

We're talking about one of the series' most iconic and recognizable characters. You can only keep him away for so long.

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Just now, Kuzu said:

We're talking about one of the series' most iconic and recognizable characters. You can only keep him away for so long.

I'm not saying he shouldn't appear regularly, just that he doesn't need to be involved in every game. Let him skip one or two so they can focus on other things, then bring him back for a game that can give him proper time and attention, rather than '06ing him into every story.

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2 minutes ago, pppp said:

But is it really worth it if you have to compromise what makes the character unique and interesting to do it?

Wouldn't keeping his appearances limited to when there's a good reason for them make those appearances all the more special?

This is how good writing works, you don't overuse characters so you don't trivialize their presence, that's why in TV Shows there are characters that are absent for long periods and only return when the plot requires their presence, it makes fans "OMG it's him/her".

Knuckles is a lonely guardian type, he doesn't work like the others, he should only be involved when his island or emerald are at risk, which is why I didn't mind him being in Forces(One of the few things that game did right).

I will never understand why fans want a character present at all cost, even if we have to compromise tha character to get that.

This isn't a tv series, its video game series. People like to play as Knuckles and wish to do so.

There's nothing complicated about this. It's like justifying cutting the roster in a fighting game for story related reasons. People who care less about the story are going to be pissed off because they can't use their favorite characters. That's exactly why fighting games never cut the roster unless its explicitly a reboot.

I get what you're saying, but we need to keep in mind that Sonic is still a video game series at the end of the day and isn't completely bound by the conventions of writing in a Television or comic series.

3 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

I'm not saying he shouldn't appear regularly, just that he doesn't need to be involved in every game. Let him skip one or two so they can focus on other things, then bring him back for a game that can give him proper time and attention, rather than '06ing him into every story.

He hasn't been playable character or had a major role where he's utilized well at all recently, so this excuse isn't even really valid now.

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3 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

He hasn't been playable character or had a major role where he's utilized well at all recently, so this excuse isn't even really valid now.

It's not an "excuse", it's a (vague) plan for how to use him better.

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