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Mountaindewandsprite

Does the Master Emerald hinder Knuckles' potential as a character?

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We all know Knuckles is the dutiful guardian of the all powerful Master Emerald (which, for some reason, hasn't been relevant to the plot in long time), protecting it and Angel Island from outside threats. However, I can't help but feel it limits his potential. For starters, he's supposed to guard it 24/7, yet somehow has time to be a commander in the resistance as well as go on a multitude of adventures with Sonic and co. For this reason alone, I think the Master Emerald should be eliminated from the story. Knuckles could literally be doing anything else. Second, for him to (logically) be relevant in the story, something has to threaten the M.E. or Angel Island as a whole. In order to have Knuckles in multiple stories, we can't continue to reuse that storyline lest it becomes repetitive. So what do you think?

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Plenty of characters in this series have these sorts of restrictions and downsides to them narratively. Yet it seems Knuckles’s are the most likely to be ignored. I think that it’s how they treat the Emerald that hinders him AND the Emerald.  Heck, Rouge is notable as she’s fairly planktonic, able to potentially move about without reliance on GUN or Team Dark, able to simply be there for riches.

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It could work fine if they still had Knuckles keep the Master Emerald safe underground in the Hidden Palace. I assume that's how they explained him also doing treasure hunting at the time. No clue why the outdoor altar became the norm and why Knuckles would think its okay to leave it there.

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2 hours ago, Natie said:

It could work fine if they still had Knuckles keep the Master Emerald safe underground in the Hidden Palace. I assume that's how they explained him also doing treasure hunting at the time. No clue why the outdoor altar became the norm and why Knuckles would think its okay to leave it there.

It's not like the outside one is any safer, Eggman knows where the Hidden Palace Zone is. In fact in Sonic Mania Adventures it was explained that Knuckles was looking for a new place to hide the Master Emerald because the Hidden Palace Zone was no longer safe.

3 hours ago, Mountaindewandsprite said:

starters, he's supposed to guard it 24/7, yet somehow has time to be a commander in the resistance as well as go on a multitude of adventures with Sonic and co.

It was explained in Sonic Runners that Omochao and the animals of Angel Island guard the Master Emerald when Knuckles is away. They are so powerful together that they made Eggman retreat.
knucklesemeraldfinal2.thumb.jpg.8289a25b546e336dbd9a97a24f6b42d1.jpg

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It was never a hinderance when they were actually using it and telling stories involving it.

I’m surprised people who think Knuckles characterization has been suffering over the years keep thinking that the object he gets his title from is holding him back by not being involved over the same period of time.

Honestly, how do people still even make this correlation? It’s like saying Eggman using his technology is holding his potential.

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Knuckles involvement in a lot of the post Adventure games was generally because he came to recognize there was more at stake than just the Angel Island remaining aloft, especially in Shadow's game. The setup might not have been substantial or even existent at times, but Knuckles caring about the world shouldn't really be an issue.

 

Also, the Master Emerald being involved is kinda like Eggman getting supplanted or especially left out on steroids--hard to complain about it being overused when it hasn't been a pivotal thing in over 5 years.

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19 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

It was never a hinderance when they were actually using it and telling stories involving it.

I’m surprised people who think Knuckles characterization has been suffering over the years keep thinking that the object he gets his title from is holding him back by not being involved over the same period of time.

Honestly, how do people still even make this correlation? It’s like saying Eggman using his technology is holding his potential.

Let's not pretend like we haven't had a million topics about this; there are people who genuinely think it doesn't add any value to Knuckles` character. 

 

But I feel like we kind of misunderstood before; it wasn't the master emerald that was holding Knuckles back, just poor and lazy writing. The video games simply were not interested in doing anything interesting with it, and would just conveniently ignore it whenever they wanted to use Knuckles. It still happens too. 

That's really what it comes down to; the writers usually don't care, so they'll sweep it under the rug as they see fit. 

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23 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Let's not pretend like we haven't had a million topics about this; there are people who genuinely think it doesn't add any value to Knuckles` character. 

Because those same people never put any effort to actually try.

And looking back on those millions of topics, most of them at worst say it holds no value out of spite for those who actually do. It’s no different from how this fandom usually engages topics from whether Shadow as a character is needed, to the Sonic’s Shitty Friends Syndrome, up to the petty spats against the Freedom Fighters of recent—it’s the standard MO of making up excuses over why something is useless, and then ignoring any ideas that could even remotely prove otherwise.

It’s become so obvious at this point that it’s predictable.

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Well considering how every game post Heroes has managed to include knuckles without so much as even paying lip service to the Master Emerald (heck, Lost World and Forces haven't even mentioned the Chaos Emeralds. Despite both having playable Super Sonic. 🤔), I'd say not really.

Besides this might be a case where we're better off not knowing. We wanted to know how the Classic and Modern games took place in the same world and we got the whole "Two Worlds" BS for our troubles. Sonic's just a few handwave/retcons like that away from turning into Kingdom Hearts.

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To say the Master Emerald should be eliminated from canon, and Knuckles' duty to it along with it is to say Knuckles should be eliminated from it. It is the cornerstone of his character, and to ask it be removed to justify stringing him along into stories without explanation is lazy and untimately shows very little actual apreciation for the actual integrity of the character.

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Honestly, this problem wouldn't be there if they didn't do so many "the gang's altogether" and sometimes "biggest battle for our world yet" stories back to back for years.

Things like Riders and Lost World sorta duck this since they're spinoffs and/or start In Medias Res with gaps between them anyway, but we had so many other games whether justified(Advance, Shadow, Forces) or not(Heroes, Rush, 06) across an entire era that they played a part in diluting the importance of his character by extension.

The lack of satisfying character development/motivation has been something of a long running problem as well.

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Knuckles doesn't necessarily need to be in every story is what I have to say to it. If he's a limited character, you don't change his character, you use or create characters that can fit the narrative you want to shape.

Let's analyze how Knuckles has been used:

-In Sonic 3, Knuckles is on home territory and knows shortcuts and can set traps, and has only one mindset which is to stop threats to the master emerald. This is his initial character, and all he needs to be is clever, powerful, and focused on his ultimate duty.

-In Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, he's still remaining on emerald protection duty. It feels somewhat shoehorned into Adventure 2 and his subplot suffers for it, but for Adventure 1 it's done well as the master emerald is integral to the overall plot.

Starting with Heroes, they gave up. He's just...there, with no real explanation why. He's given basically no attention whatsoever and it destroys his established character.

After that, they did use him! Where it made sense. Unleashed skipped him (though honestly, he could had surely had a place in the plot considering the chaos emerald restoration goal), the storybook series gave him a cartoony drop in replacement, and generations he basically cameo'd.

Honestly, I think he's doing fine just considering those games. Keep him up on his island until he has a good reason to come down. He can be "put on a bus" until he's fresh or needed for a good point in the story, not there as a cheerleader. I think the solution isn't necessarily to remove knuckle's purpose, but to expand it logically for flexibility. Ideas:

-Reveal the master emerald's integrity is reliant on the chaos emeralds and you can safely place him in whenever Eggman is involved anyways.

-Sonic is now a chosen one entity of chaos, Knuckles needs to go bail him out if he's in danger since he's part of his agenda too because of this.

-Knuckles discovers a reason to go exploring that is more important to him than protecting the emerald. He'd check up on it frequently, but you could give him his own solo outing that only crosses paths with Sonic as he discovers some sort of truth about himself, etc. It could be the master emerald itself that gives him the quest, honestly.

-The master emerald is irreparably destroyed. He's now on a megaquest to go and make a new one, and theres currently no chaos emeralds. That should give him a reason to go adventuring with Sonic for a game or two at least. He still has his endgoal, but it doesn't keep him tied down as much since you can logically keep him at it for longer, and it would be able to impact the story more since the master emerald being gone would be a massive change to Sonic.

The only major exceptions I can see to Knuckles either skipping an adventure or having no reason to be there are 06 and Forces. Which, well, I say we can safely ignore those and just write better stories in the future.

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Agree with many other on here that its not a hindrance, just terribly handled for the longest time. (I wonder if Iizuka even remembers it exists lol.)

On 10/5/2020 at 7:55 PM, DabigRG said:

Honestly, this problem wouldn't be there if they didn't do so many "the gang's altogether" and sometimes "biggest battle for our world yet" stories back to back for years.

The lack of satisfying character development/motivation has been something of a long running problem as well.

Something I liked about Sonic Battle on GBA was that the game was pretty chill most of the time, with the world-threatening stuff only happening at the very end. Because of that we got to see characters kind of mill around and go about their daily routines; like Sonic just running around, Tails inventing gadgets, Amy "boxer-cising," Knuckles training with others, Rouge going on missions for the President, etc. etc.

Not to mention all the fun character interactions during said chill-period. We got to see characters be more than one dimensional good guys. What a concept! /sarcasm

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I like the idea that was used in one of the later Sonic Universe comic arcs. Knuckles used the emerald structures from the Hidden Palace (the Sonic 2 one under Mystic Cave) as decoys. The real ME is still above ground, but only he can sense which one is real. He would just need to switch them around in order to keep thieves (and Rouge) guessing. 

 

This freed him up for adventuring.

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15 hours ago, Austroid said:

 

Something I liked about Sonic Battle on GBA was that the game was pretty chill most of the time, with the world-threatening stuff only happening at the very end. Because of that we got to see characters kind of mill around and go about their daily routines; like Sonic just running around, Tails inventing gadgets, Amy "boxer-cising," Knuckles training with others, Rouge going on missions for the President, etc. etc.

Not to mention all the fun character interactions during said chill-period. We got to see characters be more than one dimensional good guys. What a concept! /sarcasm

I regret never getting to play that game. The Cream & Amy sparring sessions, Eggman apparently selling old robot parts, and Rouge owning a nightclub (for some reason) are both good little nuggets of down to earth time that we could really use more of nowadays.

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On 10/7/2020 at 7:10 PM, DabigRG said:

I regret never getting to play that game. The Cream & Amy sparring sessions, Eggman apparently selling old robot parts, and Rouge owning a nightclub (for some reason) are both good little nuggets of down to earth time that we could really use more of nowadays.

Yeah, its terribly overlooked now and many seemed to write it off as "a Smash clone" back when it released. But I recall much younger me having a fun time seeing all the little interactions and such between the actual gameplay. Heck, I remember having just fun running around the map lol. 

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Is Knux being Guardian of the Floating Island & Master Emerald even canon anymore in the new comics? 

Aside from the Knuckles Archie Comics, Sonic The Hedgehog Archie Comics, and Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (SEGA Genesis) I don’t recollect Knux being referred to Guardian anywhere.  in Sonic 3 its by association, Mecha Sonic uses the Master Emerald in the boss battle,  so via the Archie Comics that delve into the mythos you assume Sonic 3 supports Knux as Guardian, but there is no mention in the game Knuckles is the Guardian of the Floating Island. 

In the Adventure Games and Sonic The Movie (Anime) Knux is more of a treasure hunter akin to Indiana Jones. 

To my knowlrdge only the Archie Comics are definitively outspoken that Knuckles is The Guardian of the Floating Island. Therefore, it stands to reason that if there are different roles of Knux in the Mobius Sagas, he doesn’t have to be strapped to his duty as Guardian, since the plethora of tales don’t mention him being a guardian.   

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8 minutes ago, Titan Mecha Sonic said:

In the Adventure Games and Sonic The Movie (Anime) Knux is more of a treasure hunter akin to Indiana Jones. 

Both Adventures have Knuckles looking for shards of the Master Emerald to repair it. Because he's its guardian.

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@Titan Mecha SonicI have no idea where you getting your info.

Knuckles guards Master Emerald in IDW

Knuckles guards Master Emerald in last issues of Archie Comics.
Including Mega Drive.

Knuckles guards Master Emerald in Forces tie-in Comics.

Lego games, official description, he's pretty much always guarding Master Emerald... except the actual games.

On 9/27/2020 at 8:40 PM, BadBehavior said:

Besides this might be a case where we're better off not knowing. We wanted to know how the Classic and Modern games took place in the same world and we got the whole "Two Worlds" BS for our troubles.

Sweet Chaos, I'm convinced. Let's go with "Don't ask, don't tell" rule.

I prefer sticking Knuckles to be a Guardian AND keep appearing in games with no explanation, over Sega giving us answer that ruins everything.

And maybe it it for the best. People want Knuckles to appear a lot AND to be Guardian. If we can accept that Eggman never goes to jail, we might as well  accept that Knuckles keeps taking breaks.

Yeah, I think this is best option,

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