Hello! This page is intended to replace the confusing “Concept Guide” page that will soon be removed from this website. The idea here is to clearly set out all of the information established throughout the long course of this story, in a way which is condensed and comprehensible. If you ever come across something while reading the story and think, “What? Since when was that a thing?” then you could benefit by referring to this page. This page is absolutely thorough, covering every episode in the series, so if you can’t find something in here, that must mean it’s something that came from an actual Sonic game. (I’ve found this website to be quite helpful with those sorts of questions.) And of course, if you still have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com, or send me a PM.
Whether you’re looking for a refresher course on the series, looking to quickly catch up on episodes you missed, or even just looking for where in the series to start reading, this page should be a big help. If you’re looking for very specific ideas and concepts, I suggest jumping to the “Breakdown by Episode” section. If you’re thinking about reading the entire “Breakdown by Episode” section, I would advise just reading the actual story instead, because that section would make for a pretty lengthy read anyways. If you’re instead looking for the basic facts surrounding a general event from the series, then “Breakdown by Arc” would likely work best for you. “Synopsis” and “Breakdown by Season” may be more useful for determining what part of the series you want more detail on, or just remembering what the sequence of events was.
- Breakdown by Season
- Breakdown by Arc
- Breakdown by Episode
Chaos is the name of the game, quite literally. This series as a whole focuses on answering the big questions about the nature of Chaos as an energy source, and the Chaos Emeralds themselves. The first big answer to these questions comes in the Lords of Chaos. Scientifically, the Lords of Chaos are powerful extradimensional beings who have relatively little contact with Sonic’s world. However, many would see them more as gods. The only way that something from their Realm of Chaos can exist in Sonic’s world is in the shape of a gemstone, first seen in the Chaos Emeralds. It isn’t clear that the Lords of Chaos actively created the Chaos Emeralds, but they did have some sort of hand in it, and clearly regret doing so. Why do they regret it? That would be because of the Chaos War. When the Chaos Emeralds were created in the ancient past, there was a thriving, almost futuristic human society. But a war was fought over the Emeralds, a war so catastrophic that all semblance of civilization was obliterated. But among all this destruction, something else emerged. A Hedgehog, gifted with the ability to naturally draw from the Flow of Chaos that channels through the Chaos Emeralds, who would become known as the Controller. Seeing a chance to make up for their mistake, the Lords of Chaos ensured that this ability would not be lost after the Controller’s lifetime. Instead, it would be passed on to a new individual, and upon their death, another, in an endless cycle of heritage. More than ten thousand years later, Sonic the Hedgehog was born.
As the series progresses, Sonic comes to learn more and more about his role as the Controller, and his connection to the Flow of Chaos. And the ultimate responsibility of this role, to protect and save the world from Darkness. And when Dr. Eggman successfully abuses the power of the Chaos Emeralds to take over the planet, that Darkness comes to be. And it’s up to Sonic to lead the fight against it, to gather the Emeralds one by one, no matter how long it takes.
Are you confused yet? Good! Because we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Breakdown by Season
This four-part introduction to the series throws you right into the middle of the story, where much has already been learned, yet is still hidden to you. It takes place on “The Day of Earth’s Demise,” the day in which Eggman successfully manages to conquer the planet. He does so using a device (which he calls “The Chaos Project”) to amplify the power output of the Chaos Emeralds, giving him the power to fuel unbelievably large armies sent all over the world at once, as well as three ultimately powerful mechs, the E-X series, used to distract Sonic and friends while the rest of the world invasion proceeds. For a more detailed description, look to “Breakdown by Arc” below.
Season 0: Chaos Rising
This double-length season isn’t like any of the others, taking place in the year before the above Premiere Event. This is broken down into distinct arcs, where each arc is meant to reflect what the story of a hypothetical Sonic video game could be, for a total of five arcs/games, plus two special episodes. The overarching purpose of this arc is really just to get from point A to point B, from the end of the most recent Sonic game (Lost World at the time writing began, but Forces by the time the season ends), to the point where all exposition is done with and the real story begins. That means that all the big revelations about Chaos and the Emeralds come over the course of this season.
At the end of the first arc, Sonic finally learns that he is the Controller, the chosen wielder of the Chaos Emeralds who can protect the world from Darkness. Unsure of what that means for him, Sonic seeks a teacher, someone who can truly show him what it means to have that power. Failing to find a teacher in Shadow, Sonic later meets Chaos the Hedgehog, a Lord of Chaos accidentally given bodily form, who agrees to stay in Sonic’s world to teach him all he wishes to know. Along the way, Shadow goes through a journey of his own, abandoning his job at GUN to find his own path, meeting Blacklight, a poorly-conceived attempt to perfect Project: Shadow, and eventually coming to the same conclusion as Sonic—the desire to help the world through the power of Chaos—even joining him under the teaching of Chaos the Hedgehog.
Season 1: Dawn of Darkness
This first regular season features the establishment of the Rebellion against the Eggman Empire. While Sonic and friends adjust to life as fugitives, establishing a base camp in the Emerald Hill Zone, Eggman plans the means of combating them. He hires a mysterious figure, later revealed to be Fang the Sniper, to do whatever he deems necessary for eliminating the threat of the Rebellion. Fang’s answer is to form a team of his own, an Anti-Rebellion. His first recruit is Infinite. His second is Sly the Raccoon, former partner-in-crime to Rouge. Understanding the threat of this team, Sonic and Rouge plot a charade that only the two them know of, sending Rouge to work for the Anti-Rebellion as a double-agent. One more member joins the team—Discord, a Chao artificially mutated in the same manner that Chaos 0 once was. While the Anti-Rebellion works to disrupt the Rebellion by destroying their public reputation, Heavy King proposes his own plot to Eggman—a Death Egg larger than any previously built, with weapons capable of vaporizing a city of any size with uncanny precision. On the day the Death Egg is to be launched, Rouge discovers the plan, and risks her position to ferry its schematics back to the Rebellion—who are under attack by Discord. Though Rouge is mortally wounded, Discord is defeated, transformed back into a normal Chao, and the Rebellion uses the schematics she brought to take down the Death Egg without a moment to spare.
Breakdown by Arc
Crisis of Chaos:
While instructing Sonic and Shadow in meditation, Chaos the Hedgehog receives a terrifying vision of the future, of a world in ruins from the Darkness. Quickly moving to action to stop this future from occurring, the three split up, Sonic going after Eggman, Shadow going after Blacklight, and Chaos attempting to glean any further information that he can. Meanwhile, Eggman and Blacklight have already joined forces. Sonic’s pursuit leads him to Station Square, where he battles against an Artificial Perfect Chaos created by Eggman and powered by his “Chaos Project,” while Shadow’s leads him to a similar robotic replica of Devil Doom in Westopolis. The results of Chaos’ further meditations lead him to Grand Metropolis, where he comes across “Metalumis,” a robotic replica of a yet unknown villain whom Chaos seems to know personally. They are each victorious in their battles, and meet up in Grand Metropolis for one more battle, this time against a supercharged Blacklight. The battle wages for hours, leaving Eggman’s armies more than enough time to conquer the world. At the end of the battle, Chaos is defeated, presumed dead, and Sonic and Shadow barely escape with their lives. And there it was left, as we stepped back in time.
Speed of Time:
When unusual vortexes begin to form randomly throughout the world with unusual space-time properties, Sonic is recruited by a mysterious entity named Janice to rescue time itself from Chronos, a supposedly tyrannical Lord of Time. Along the way, he meets up with Silver, who doesn’t seem to remember him, and Zero, a Chaos-wielding Hedgehog from the distant past. Zero, it is later revealed, was not only the first ever Chaos wielder, but the also the first anthropomorphic animal, referred to as “animoid”. Together, Sonic, Silver, and Zero collect the Temporal Sapphires from throughout time, which Janice claims to be able to use to repair the flow of time. However, it is revealed that Janice was actually the apprentice to Chronos, and betrayed him after feeling underappreciated. Janice expresses the wish to use the Sapphires to destroy all of existing time, and recreate a new, perfect timeline. After revealing her plan, she casts off Chronos and the hedgehogs to a place where they could not interfere. But the Hedgehogs manage to find the last of the seven Chaos Emeralds, and use them to return to Janice, take back the Sapphires, and use both sets of gems together to repair the flow of time. In an odd vision brought on by contact with both sets of gems, Sonic meets with the Lords of Chaos, a chorus of mysterious voices, who inform him that he, like Silver and Zero, is a Controller, chosen to keep Balance in the world. When Sonic awakes, it seems almost as if none of it ever happened. Until Sonic realizes that he’s still in possession of a locket that was owned by Silver. Sonic resolves to start making a few changes in his life, saying that he knows where to start.
A mysterious hooded vigilante has appeared on the streets of Westopolis. And GUN thinks that he might have something to do with the disappearance of Shadow the Hedgehog. Hoping to improve relations with the world’s greatest hero, the GUN High Commander personally approaches Sonic about this issue. Sonic agrees to help find Shadow. But the streets of Westopolis have become a dangerous place since the invasion of the Black Arms, now run by a criminal mastermind by the name of Wolfric King. Meeting the Black Cloak for the first time, Sonic learns that it is his mission to put a stop to the crimes of King, by any means necessary. Undeterred, Sonic continues his investigation, meeting with Rouge along the way. The two become ever more entangled into Black Cloak’s mission, until Sonic and Black Cloak are unexpectedly captured by King, and Sonic watches as Black Cloak’s mask is removed, revealing the face of Shadow the Hedgehog underneath. Shadow had quit his position at GUN after somehow losing the ability to use Chaos Control, and thought that he could get it back by finding a new purpose, the defeat of King. However, this didn’t work. Sonic and Shadow manage to escape, and confront King directly. But Wolfric King, or as he is revealed to be, King the Wolf, has his own past. He was severely injured, and a loved one of his was killed, during the Black Arms invasion, as a result of Shadow’s careless destruction during that battle. With Rouge’s help, Shadow regains his control over Chaos and manages to defeat King, and, claiming the last of the seven Emeralds, he and Sonic move on to Eggman, who had secretly been working with King over the previous few days. Eggman’s mech, augmented with King technology, is defeated, but Eggman gets away. Shadow refuses to return to GUN and hangs up his vigilante cloak, and Sonic requests that Shadow teaches him what he knows about Chaos. Shadow again refuses, claiming to know little more of the matter than Sonic himself. Before Shadow leaves, Rouge gives him a file she found, one that describes a second Ultimate Life Form.
Birth of Blacklight:
Shadow sits down to read the file that Rouge gave him. It details “Project: Sunlight,” the attempt of Lt. Alfred Robotnik, son of Prof. Gerald, to perfect his father’s work, without the use of alien DNA. Alfred succeeded, but Sunlight was killed in an accident. However, Eggman meanwhile has obtained the very same file that Shadow reads from his dealings with King, and he becomes interested in his uncle’s work. Using a new machine he invented, he transports a Chaos Emerald backwards through time, which contains a message from him to Sunlight. In the past, Sunlight found the Emerald, and changed the course of history. Shadow is suddenly thrown into a new timeline, one where Sunlight has nearly destroyed the world, somehow protected from its changes by the Chaos Emerald he holds. With the help of the Sonic and Eggman of this new timeline, Shadow manages to go back in time to stop Sunlight. Shadow and Sunlight proceed into a sort of time-hopping game of tag, each one trying to convince the other to join their side. At the end of it all, Sunlight, under the new name of Blacklight, kidnaps Maria from the ARK, and takes her back to his own time. Thinking that Blacklight has crossed the line, Shadow resolves to put a stop to him by any means necessary. After a long and drawn out battle which nearly results in his own death, Shadow finally succeeds in rescuing his long-lost friend. However, by Maria’s own words, Shadow is convinced that Blacklight cannot be allowed to die. Instead, Lt. Alfred hides Blacklight away where he might never be found, putting the timeline back just the way it was. Shadow finally gets the chance to say goodbye to Maria, and resolves to be prepared when Blacklight is inevitably found and awoken.
Dawn of Chaos:
As a result of Shadow’s meddling, the future has changed. To correct this error, the Lords of Chaos attempt to intervene, sending an envoy to Sonic’s world to assist him in the coming battle. On a starry night, Sonic and Tails discover an odd gem dubbed the Chaos Moonstone, sealed within a meteorite. Something else emerged from the meteorite as well, an odd sort of liquid light which would copy Eggman’s human form and call itself Lumis, before being captured by Eggman. Tails’ experiments on the Moonstone accidentally result in the creation of a new living creature; Chaos the Hedgehog. Seeming to act on instinct alone, this creature runs wild, escaping from Tails’ lab and causing havoc through the Mystic Ruins and Station Square. With the help of Amy, Sonic tracks Chaos down to find an Eggman base, where they all end up captured. Tails calls on Knuckles’ help to rescue them, along with Lumis. While Tails and Amy slowly begin to reason with Chaos, Lumis steals the Master Emerald from Sonic and Knuckles, stating his desire to perform a Ritual that would shift the Balance of the world. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and newly-civilized Chaos race against Eggman and Lumis for the remainder of the Chaos Emeralds, and lose. Left with no other choice, Sonic volunteers himself to Eggman and Lumis, since he as the Controller is needed to begin the Ritual, while the rest try to sneak back into the base another way. Sonic is forced to begin the Ritual, but manages to get the Chaos Emeralds back, and, with the help of Knuckles and the Master Emerald, use them along with the power of Chaos himself to defeat Lumis and end the Ritual. Having had a backup plan, Eggman activates a device he’d planted on Chaos that let him take control of him, along with the Dark power source that was used for the Ritual. However, Sonic manages to get through to Chaos, overcoming the device, and promises to learn from Chaos as a teacher, thus putting an end to Eggman’s scheme. Then they all celebrate Sonic’s Birthday together.
Forces of Chaos:
Where was it that Blacklight was hidden again? Well, Null Space, duh. And after the events of Sonic Forces, Infinite discovered him there, enraged at seeing the duplicate of Shadow’s face. But Blacklight managed to steal the Phantom Ruby from Infinite, and used it to escape, though he was spit out considerably later due to the time-warping effects of Null Space. He arrives in the modern day, where Eggman happily greets this new potential partner after his latest failure with Lumis. Blacklight agrees to become the new Infinite, and help Eggman take over the world. When Sonic arrives to stop him before the invasion begins, he is overwhelmed by the Phantom Ruby’s power, and trapped in a Virtual Reality, leaving him unconscious in the real world for several weeks. In the meantime, Eggman and Blacklight begin their conquest. In the hopes of finding someone who can save the world in Sonic’s place, Tails seeks out Shadow, and, one by one, they begin to reform a new Resistance. Blacklight becomes bored with Eggman, and splits off from the Empire to conquer the world for himself, leaving a war on two fronts for Shadow and the rest. Even the Jackal who was called Infinite joins the group, willing to do anything to get his Ruby back, revealing that he was able to escape Null Space due to damage that the Ruby sustained during Blacklight’s battle with Sonic. The group joins with GUN, better equipped to fight a war, while Eggman meanwhile discovers the Hard Boiled Heavies, and forces them to join his army. In a battle for Central City, Heavy King, equipped with a Phantom Ruby Prototype, reveals himself to be the same Egg Robo who faced off against Knuckles in the events of Sonic & Knuckles. The Rookie, another member of the new Resistance, now going by the name of Hero, becomes trapped in a Virtual Reality after losing a battle of his own. There, he meets Sonic, who gives him the encouragement he needs to escape. Leaving the still-trapped Sonic in the care of a “friendly local,” Chaos the Hedgehog joins the team as well. Meanwhile, the Hard Boiled Heavies attempt to escape Eggman’s control by attacking him with the Titanic Monarch, brought over from their world. They are impressed by Eggman’s near-effortless display of shutting down the Monarch remotely, and agree to work with Eggman willingly henceforward. They begin the process of retrofitting the Monarch with the largest Phantom Ruby Prototype ever made, making it even more powerful. As the tide of the battle slowly turns in the favor of the new Resistance, they decide to wage one last great battle that should take out the armies of Blacklight and Eggman at the same time, before the damage caused to the Phantom Ruby can cause it to consume the multiverse. Blacklight is defeated, and Hero destroys the Phantom Ruby. Infinite, in a rage, fails to kill him for it, while Blacklight, removed from the Ruby’s influence, agrees to join Shadow’s team in the mutual effort to take down Eggman.
Breakdown by Episode (Under construction)
Crisis of Chaos Part 1:
Sonic, Shadow, and newly-introduced Chaos the Hedgehog meditate in a dim, secluded shack, with a Chaos Emerald on the floor in front of them. He seems to be teaching them a lesson, regarding “entering the Flow of Chaos”. He explains that success is only possible through patience and focus, calling Sonic by the name Controller for the first time. At some point, he had also explained that the Flow of Chaos would appear as a representation of one’s own light and darkness. Sonic successfully follows Chaos’ instruction, and enters the Flow of Chaos, seeing much light about himself. He even continues to look into his future, finding that it seems to cut off rather suddenly. Meanwhile, Shadow has successfully done the same. What he sees is a continuous fluctuation between light and darkness. But eventually, it gives way to light. During the process, he also has a flashback to a lesson from Professor Gerald, who explained to him that Chaos energy flows through the universe in a sort of network, where the Chaos Emeralds serve as nodes. Chaos also enters the Flow. He moves above himself to view the energies of the entire world, where he finds that darkness is spreading rampantly, foretelling the world’s destruction. Concerned by this, he informs Sonic and Shadow. They agree to split up and find the cause of the darkness. Before they do, Sonic thanks Chaos for everything he’s done.
Meanwhile at Eggmanland, Eggman approaches newly-introduced Blacklight with a proposition. Blacklight nearly kills Eggman, with a power that’s never been seen before, which he calls Chaos Frost. But he decides against it, and gives Eggman a friendly greeting instead, mentioning that at some point in the past, he removed Eggman from power and now legally controls Eggmanland. After a moment to recover, Eggman makes his proposition, claiming to have a device, called “The Chaos Project,” which can amplify the power of each Chaos Emerald tenfold, wanting to combine his five with Blacklight’s one for maximum usage, and assuring that that sort of power would be more than enough to power Blacklight’s Super Form. At the implication that he would have the chance to destroy Shadow, Blacklight agrees only to a demonstration. After they leave for Eggman’s base, it is revealed that Blacklight has been spying on Shadow, having a wall full of screens displaying images and even live footage of him.
Crisis of Chaos Part 2:
Blacklight is satisfied with Eggman’s demonstration, and agrees to become the General of his army. Eggman shows Blacklight three incredibly large robots which are obscured from view. Blacklight claims to recognize one, but not the rest, and Eggman comments that he must’ve done his research on Shadow. Eggman continues to show that he has much larger robot army than anything he’s ever created before. Blacklight lets slip that he might intend to betray Eggman.
Sonic finds Tails in his lab and wakes him up, wanting his help to find Eggman. They locate an airship where he’s likely based, and fly to it in a sleek new combat model of the Tornado. After a brief dogfight, they crash-land on Eggman’s airship, and find him inside. Eggman offers Sonic a chance to surrender himself and his Emerald, making the promise to stop all machine-making for good if he agrees. He even assures Sonic that he’ll be set free in short time, and none of his friends will have to be involved. He also threatens to unleash his strange-looking machine on Station Square down below if Sonic refuses, in addition to the armies that are already beginning their invasions around the world. Sonic recognizes the machine, one of Eggman’s big three that were shown to Blacklight. Sonic refuses, Eggman drops the machine, and Sonic and Tails let Eggman go, diving after the machine instead.
Meanwhile, Blacklight is waiting for Shadow at Eggmanland. Shadow isn’t particularly surprised that Blacklight’s been spying on him. Blacklight ponders the possibility of renaming Eggmanland, asking his friend Shadow for suggestions. Shadow doesn’t have any of it. Blacklight complains that this is the second time Shadow has failed to give him good name suggestions, but realizes that he was happy with the way that turned out last time, and no longer wants Shadow’s help. At Shadow’s insistence, Blacklight reveals that he’s working with Eggman, and invites Shadow to join them in creating a new world order. But when he lets slip that one of Eggman’s big three is attacking Westopolis, Shadow leaves immediately. Blacklight comments after Shadow leaves how much he hates that guy.
In the Lost World, an ancient Echidna temple in the Mystic Ruins, Chaos meditates further, trying to learn anything he can. He comes into contact with a mysterious chorus of voices who he calls the “Lords of Chaos.” They inform him that point at which the future diverges into unknown direction will occur in Grand Metropolis. They continue to say that in order for Balance to be restored the soonest, Chaos himself must return to them. They also refer to Shadow as the “Outlier,” stating that he and Sonic must survive the coming battle, and cannot know what is to happen to Chaos. A tear in his eye, Chaos expresses the hope that Sonic will forgive him for concealing the truth, and apologizes for being unable to complete his training.
Crisis of Chaos Part 3:
In Westopolis, Shadow battles against one of Eggman’s big three, the E-4X Blackdevil, a robotic replica of Devil Doom. He mentions that all the work he did in the city has been undone. During the battle, Shadow is forced to remove his inhibitor rings, allowing him to execute a new ability, Chaos Shine. He also shows the new ability to finely manipulate the direction of his Chaos Spears, and cause them to detonate on impact. Shadow wins the battle, but loses consciousness from exertion, swearing to protect the world before he does.
In Grand Metropolis, Chaos battles against E-25X Metalumis, a robotic replica of an unknown enemy who Chaos knows personally. Chaos calls the robot a “cheap copy of a traitor,” but comments that he and Sonic together were barely able to defeat “Lumis” last time. He also mentions that the robot’s power source isn’t sustainable, and that universe will eventually take the power back. Showing resourcefulness and skill with Chaos powers, and also showing off, Chaos manages to defeat Metalumis, overexerting himself in an attempt to hold up a “Chaos Shield.”
And in Station Square, Sonic battles against E-1X Mechaos 7.0, an artificial Perfect Chaos. Before the battle begins, Sonic sends Tails off, telling him to contact everyone, and to prepare a hidden place for them to meet up, taking anything he can from his lab before destroying the rest. Tails reluctantly agrees.
Crisis of Chaos Part 4:
Shadow meets Chaos in Grand Metropolis, where they have some time to rest and recover. Chaos quickly instructs Shadow on how to draw directly from the Chaos Emerald in order to heal himself. While he does so, Chaos expresses disappointment that Shadow removed his inhibitor rings, explaining that doing so drains his energy do a dangerous level, and can likely result in his death if he continues. Shadow objects angrily that Chaos doesn’t really care, that he only thinks of him as an Outlier, something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of the universe. Chaos says that the opposite is true. That he’s learned that Shadow’s role as an Outlier will have great effect on the future, and more importantly, that he cares about him deeply. Shadow apologizes, explaining that he’s having trouble changing his bad habits of pushing others away. Sonic arrives, not much harmed by his own fight, only for all of them to find that Blacklight has been waiting for them there. He offers them all one last chance at peaceful settlement, saying that he doesn’t really care what Chaos does, as long as Sonic and Shadow each do as they have already been requested. They ask for a chance to consider the offer, and use that time to prepare for a fight. Chaos explains that Shadow, a heart of Darkness, and Sonic, a heart of Light, may be able to Balance each other, and create a new sort of power which might be able to compete against Blacklight. They do so, and Chaos joins them, revealing his true form to be nothing more than a rainbow-colored gemstone, which Sonic and Shadow are able to draw further power from. Blacklight appears to them in his Super Form, Black Night. They engage in a battle that lasts for hours. But Chaos eventually pulls them out, saying that they simply don’t have enough power to continue competing with Blacklight’s near-limitless supply. He convinces Sonic and Shadow to flee, while he holds Blacklight off as long as he can, creating an illusion that could make Blacklight think that Sonic and Shadow are still there. Sonic and Shadow watch as Chaos is defeated, presumed dead. Shadow barely manages to tear Sonic away in time.
Sonic’s friends, all over the world, fail to fight back against the overwhelming numbers of Eggman’s robots, forcing them to flee one by one.
Eggman explains to Blacklight that there is a flaw in the Chaos Project, a sort of energy vacuum that takes power away from the user, just as Blacklight himself begins to feel unusually weak. While he’s distracted, Eggman shoots him in the back, presumably killing him. And with that, Eggman finally had singular control over the entire world.
Speed of Time Episodes
A Glitch in Time:
One year before Crisis of Chaos, Sonic and Tails are out trying to have fun in the snow. Sonic is acting a bit stranger than usual. They discover a strange vortex, a Space-Time Rift. Believing that Eggman may be responsible, they seek out and find a nearby Eggman base, finding a Chaos Emerald along the way. After defeating one of Eggman’s mechs with his first use of Chaos Control in a very long time, Sonic proceeds into a dungeon area of the base, where he finds a strange woman who claims to know why the Space-Time Rifts are forming. She explains that Chronos, the Lord of Time, is failing to hold time together, and needs to be defeated. Thinking that it sounds like fun, Sonic agrees to search time for the twelve Temporal Sapphires, telling Tails to stay behind. Meanwhile, Eggman notes that he and Sonic somehow have the same Chaos Emerald, and that Sonic is likely being tricked.
The woman, Janice, revealed to be an incorporeal being herself, presently living in a pocket outside of time called The Void, sends Sonic to the distant past, where he finds a post-apocalyptic city, not believing that it really is the past. Janice assures him that it is. In the city, Sonic finds another Hedgehog, Zero, who he mistakenly believes to be Chronos in disguise.
Several hours earlier, Zero was brooding outside of the city. He explains that what happened to the city was over a year ago, and claims it to be his fault for not stopping it from happening. He also has a Chaos Emerald, which appeared to him from a Space-Time Rift. When he hears a voice calling for help, he runs into the city. There, he finds trapped under rubble a little girl who bears a strong resemblance to Janice. In fact, she is Janice. Just like Sonic, she invites Zero to help in the search for Temporal Sapphires. She reveals that she was once the apprentice to Chronos. Zero has a flashback, to some sort of explosion that caused people to scream. Searching for the Sapphire, he has another flashback, this time to a streak through the sky that he was too late to chase, that hit the city. When Zero finally meets Sonic in the middle of the city, he thinks that Sonic is trying to take the power of the Sapphire for himself, so they fight over it. But before either of them are seriously injured, Janice manages to stop them, and call them back to The Void. Janice explains that she did recruit Sonic and Zero for the same mission, but didn’t intend for them to meet, having sent Sonic to Zero’s time by mistake. At their insistence, she introduces them to the third and final recruit, Silver the Hedgehog. But the moment Silver sees Zero, he attacks him.
Silver lives in the distant future of Neo Soleana City, a futuristic metropolis where everyone seems to be happy. Silver tells a legend of the Controller, a person who saved the world from Darkness a long time ago. Now, Silver is the Controller, though he isn’t really sure what that means. But, hearing a cry for help, he knows he must answer it, and so finds Janice in the form of an older woman, under attack by a large savage creature who she identifies as Chronos. In the ensuing battle, all three of them are thrown into a Space-Time Rift.
Silver wakes up on the Space Colony ARK, which is supposed to be destroyed in his time. He manages to defeat Chronos by throwing him out into space, before he disappears through another Rift. Using a Temporal Sapphire found on the ARK, Silver makes his own way to The Void, excited to meet two others like himself who might help him figure out what it means to be the Controller. The moment he sees Zero, he has a flashback to a time when he was a child, and was attacked by him. Enraged, Silver attacks first this time. Janice convinces him to stop, ensuring him that Zero is the first Controller, just as Silver is the last and Sonic is the greatest. Silver is shocked at hearing that he is the last, thinking that means the world is destined to end. Janice angrily tells all of them that she doesn’t intend to tell any of them about their futures. She locates a Sapphire for each of them to find, and sends them on their way. She tells Zero that because his connection to the natural energies of the universe is stronger than the others, he can use Time Control to open his own Rift to get there. Before Silver leaves, Sonic gives him a very confused greeting, explaining that they both should and should not know each other. When Silver doesn’t understand, he instead asks him how Blaze is doing. Silver doesn’t know who that is.
Sonic goes even further into the past than he did before, to bustling human city, where he is almost immediately attacked by some strange robots.
Zero goes to the heart of a jungle in Sonic’s recent past, where the Sapphire he is looking for is stolen by Eggman in his Classic outfit. Hunting him down, he encounters Amy Rose, with a similarly Classic appearance, who, of course, mistakes him for Sonic. She tells him about Robotnik, and agrees to help him get the Sapphire back. Zero has a flashback to another time when he heard the name Robotnik, a scientist who performed some very painful experiments on him. In the flashback, Zero agreed to keep subjecting himself to the experiments, so that Robotnik wouldn’t bring out Subject 009.
Once, Upon Many a Time
Sonic finds a Chaos Emerald, which Janice insists is a Temporal Sapphire.
Amy is kidnapped by Robotnik, and Zero abandons Janice’s mission in order to save her. He finds her in the dungeon of Robotnik’s jungle base, where they encounter Eggman piloting a mech, the Egg Justice. In the battle, Zero accidentally induces Time Control, causing time to slow all around him. But he fails when he tries to do it a second time. Amy manages to take the machine’s hammer, which turns out to be the origin of her famous piko piko hammer, and they beat Robotnik together. For his backup plan, Robtnik calls on Robo Sonic, a Metal Sonic robot that has only ever been seen in the background of Sonic Adventure. Robo Sonic, powered by a Temporal Sapphire, nearly gets the best of Zero, but Amy destroys it with just one swing of her hammer. In the aftermath, Zero admits to the urge to share everything with Amy, and tells her about his mission. Even though he never asks, Amy answers his unspoken question, saying that she can’t possibly go with him, because that would mean giving up on Sonic. On his way out, he advises her to relax and let her hair down if she wants to be noticed by Sonic, and in return she advises him on the importance of making friends. They promise to see each other again. Meanwhile, Robotnik is preparing to launch his jungle base, which turns out to be the first Egg Carrier. As he dons a more modern outfit, he tells E-101 Beta that he plans to start thinking bigger, and intends to be called Eggman henceforward.
Sonic returns to The Void and shows Janice the Emerald, and immediately begins to complain about all the mistakes she’s made thus far. Janice, tired of his insolence, agrees to fight him and put him in his place. Silver arrives just in time to see Sonic winning the fight. Seeing the wrong message, Silver attacks Sonic as a traitor. Just as silver is about to deliver the finishing blow, Zero comes in and holds him down, calming him enough to let everyone stop and explain. Sonic begins by boasting about how Janice challenged him and he won, making him the new leader of the team. Zero laughs at the notion. Janice continues to explain that Sonic is mostly correct. She reluctantly informs Sonic and Silver that she was Chronos’ apprentice, explaining why she has such a personal investment in the mission. She also explains that what Sonic found was an Emerald from a time before Chaos Emeralds existed, temporally displaced by the growing Space-Time Rifts. Realizing that they are dangerous left alone, and could be helpful in the coming fight, Janice permanently reassigns Sonic to collect any remaining displaced Emeralds. After Sonic leaves, Zero apologizes for grabbing Silver earlier, and states that he wants to be his friend. Silver says “Whatever.”