Sonic the Hedgehog Timeline

So let’s get one thing straight. If there’s one thing that Sonic games don’t ever acknowledge, it’s the passage of time. Of course, it’s obvious that time at least has passed, with references to historical events such as the shut-down of the ARK, or the attack of Perfect Chaos. Then we have Sonic Generations, which not only shows Sonic’s birthday, but acknowledges Classic Sonic as a younger version of himself, confirming that he has aged over that period of time. But characters’ ages are another topic entirely. Point is, time does pass, and although that amount of time is subject to infinite speculation, the purpose of this page is to clearly identify the interpretation of that time passage which will be considered canon for the purposes of this story. I stress that this is only an interpretation, not in any way confirmed in the games, and subject to change if any clear proof on the contrary shows up. Also take note that there are plenty of Sonic games missing from this list. For now, only the absolute most core of the mainstream Sonic games (plus Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Mania because they’ve been irrefutably confirmed in the story) are listed.

As a result of the fact that time generally goes ignored in the games, that means that we also have no knowledge of how the calendar works in-universe. For the purpose of this timeline, the assumption is made that Sonic follows the same twelve-month calendar that most of us do. However, this also leaves the question of how, and from when, years are measured. Rather than making some arbitrary number, such as saying that the events of Sonic 1 took place in Sonic’s year 1991 or something like that, an entirely new year measurement is being created both in and out of universe. You may have noticed the use of the letters “BE” used within the story when showing the time. BE and AE refer to “Before the Eggman Empire” and “After the Eggman Empire” respectively, the transition between which conveniently happened on exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve, otherwise known as the Day of Earth’s Demise (the events of Crisis of Chaos). The year 1 BE ended on December 31st, exactly one year before that day, soon after the events of Speed of Time. The year 1 AE begins on January 1st, one year after Crisis of Chaos, which will likely be somewhere near the premiere of Season 2. This timeline measures on that same BE/AE calendar system. Be warned, as spoilers ensue.

Before Recorded History

Little is known of this history before history. The planet was controlled by a futuristic human society. It was at this time that the Lords of Chaos brought about the creation of the Chaos Emeralds through unknown means. Some time after, Zero the Hedgehog, the first animoid, was created, soon followed by many others.

After Zero’s escape, the world became consumed in what is known as the Chaos War, fought over the newly-created Emeralds. The war was so disastrous that it destroyed any semblance of society on the planet, as well as any trace of the history that came before it. Even the war itself slipped into legend and rumor, and was eventually forgotten. (As detailed during the events of Speed of Time)

Ancient History

Less than 10,000 years BE
Dark Gaia rose from the Earth and did battle with Light Gaia, in a period known as the time of awakening. All that was known about this battle was recorded in the Gaia Manuscripts. (As detailed during the events of Sonic Unleashed)

Thousands of years BE
The Echidna species, long broken into separate tribes, were at war with each other. One clan, led by Chief Pachacamac, controlled not only the Chaos Emeralds, but the Master Emerald as well. But when they attempted to use the power of these Emeralds against their enemies, they were suddenly attacked by Chaos, a creature who absorbed all seven Chaos Emeralds, and used their power to obliterate nearly the entire Echidna race, before being sealed away in the Master Emerald by Tikal. Though the following details are not entirely known, the landmass surrounding the Emerald shrine was subsequently lifted away from the surface of the planet, becoming what is now known as Angel Island. (As detailed during the events of Sonic Adventure)

Over 2,000 years BE
Black Doom, during one of the Black Comet’s earliest passages past Earth, began the construction of a fleet, disguised as ruins on the planet’s surface. (As detailed during the events of Shadow the Hedgehog (2005))

Recent History

~50 BE
Prof. Gerald Robotnik, with assistance from Black Doom, completed work on Project: Shadow, the Ultimate Life Form. Shortly after, the military raided the ARK in which Shadow and Gerald lived, executing all aware of Shadow’s existence. Shadow was sent on an escape pod to the surface of the planet, where he was discovered by Lt. Alfred Robotnik, Gerald’s son. Alfred was led to believe that Shadow was responsible for the deaths on the ARK. (As detailed during the events of Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog (2005), and Birth of Blacklight)

~40 BE
Lt. Alfred completed work on Project: Sunlight, an attempt to correct his father Gerald’s mistakes. Sunlight was killed soon afterwards. (As detailed during the events of Birth of Blacklight)

Unknown Amount of Time Later
Lt. Alfred discovers the Phantom Ruby. Fearing its power, he sends it to another dimension. (As detailed during the events of Sonic Forces Special 2)

June 23rd, 19 BE
Sonic the Hedgehog was born under unknown circumstances.

~10 BE
Researchers in Soleana began the Solaris Project, an attempt to unlock the secrets of time-travel through the study of the Flame of Hope. A failed experiment led to the death of a majority of the research team, including the Duke of Soleana himself. The Flame of Hope was split into the spirits of Iblis and Mephiles, the former of which was sealed within his daughter Elise, and the latter in a mysterious device known as the Scepter of Darkness. (As detailed during the events of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006))

Modern Day

Early Summer, 4 BE
Dr. Eggman begins imprisoning animals to power an army of robots, when his plan is noticed by Sonic the Hedgehog in the Green Hill Zone. Sonic successfully frees the animals and prevents Eggman from collecting the six Chaos Emeralds. (As seen in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991))

Mid Autumn, 4 BE
Eggman discovers the lost seventh Chaos Emerald, and creates the Death Egg as part of a new plot. Sonic and newfound friend Tails infiltrate and disable the Death Egg. (As seen in Sonic 2)

Late Autumn, 4 BE
Sonic discovers the crashed Death Egg on Angel Island, where he comes into conflict with Knuckles the Echidna, the guardian of the Master Emerald, who has been fooled by Eggman. Sonic and Knuckles eventually destroy the Death Egg, and prevent the theft of the Master Emerald. (As seen in Sonic 3 & Knuckles)

December, 4 BE
The Little Planet appears over Never Lake. Eggman attempts to take advantage of the Planet’s time-warping properties. Eggman’s new Metal Sonic kidnaps Amy Rose, but Sonic alone rescues Amy, defeats Metal Sonic, and saves the future of the Little Planet. (As seen in Sonic CD)

Mid Winter, 4 BE
In another dimension, the Phantom Ruby appears beneath the ground of Angel Island. Five elite Egg Robos are transformed into the Hard Boiled Heavies, and in the ensuing battle over the Ruby, the Sonic of that dimension is transported along with the Ruby through time and between dimensions to Late Winter, 1 BE. (As seen in Sonic Mania)

Late Spring, 3 BE
The Chaos creature is released from the Master Emerald, as well as the spirit of Tikal. With the help of Tikal, Sonic manages to calm Chaos, after its near-complete destruction of Station Square. (As seen in Sonic Adventure)

Early Summer, 3 BE
Eggman discovers the existence of Project: Shadow, and awakens the hedgehog. Sonic and Shadow stop the ARK from falling into the planet, before Shadow himself falls from the edge of space, presumed dead. (As seen in Sonic Adventure 2)

Late Summer, 3 BE
Shadow the Hedgehog is discovered hidden deep within an Eggman base, with total amnesia. He, Sonic, and others, destroy the newly-constructed Egg Fleet, and defeat the upgraded Metal Sonic. (As seen in Sonic Heroes)

Early Autumn, 3 BE
The semicentennial Fire in the Sky Festival celebrating the 50 year return of the Black Comet is interrupted by the invasion of aliens who would later become known as the Black Arms. Their leader, as well as the comet itself, are destroyed by Shadow. (As seen in Shadow the Hedgehog (2005))

Early Winter, 3 BE
Sonic pays a visit to Soleana. Any actions of historical note are erased from history, as well as all historical events pertaining to Solaris and the Flame of Hope. The fate of the Duke of Soleana is unknown. (As seen in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006))

Late Winter, 2 BE
Eggman deploys a weapon to shatter the surface of the Earth, prematurely releasing both Light and Dark Gaia. Sonic and Light Gaia restore the planet and defeat Eggman and Dark Gaia. (As seen in Sonic Unleashed)

Mid Spring, 2 BE
Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park is destroyed by Sonic soon before its intended opening. The aliens called Wisps supposedly leave Earth. (As seen in Sonic Colors)

June, 2 BE
Sonic celebrates his 17th Birthday, with all of his friends. Something else might have happened, but memories of that period seem to be a little jumbled. (As seen in Sonic Generations?)

Mid Summer, 2 BE
Eggman invades the Lost Hex, attempting to take control of the native Zeti creatures. All are defeated by Sonic. (As seen in Sonic Lost World)

Late Summer, 2 BE – Late Winter, 1 BE
Eggman discovers the Phantom Ruby and uses it to create Infinite. The First Great Eggman War is fought over the ensuing six months. In the end, Sonic and the Resistance defeat Infinite, Eggman, and the Phantom Ruby itself. (As seen in Sonic Forces and Sonic Forces Special 2)

December, 1 BE
Janice, apprentice to the lord of time, attempts to destroy and recreate all of time by seizing the Temporal Sapphires. She is thwarted by Sonic, Silver, and Zero. (As seen in Speed of Time)

Mid March, 0 BE
Wolfric King’s criminal organization in Westopolis is taken down by Shadow in the guise of the vigilante Black Cloak, with the help of G.U.N. and Sonic. (As seen in Black Cloak)

Late March, 0 BE
Eggman’s attempts at time-travel result in a serious alteration of the timeline, eventually fixed by Shadow. As a result, Sunlight’s life is spared in the past, leaving him trapped in Null Space through the present, under the new name of Blacklight. (As seen in Birth of Blacklight)

June, 0 BE
Sonic meets Chaos the Hedgehog, and begins learning from him. Together, they defeat the banished Lord of Chaos called Lumis. (As seen in Dawn of Chaos)

October-November, 0 BE
Blacklight escapes from Null Space along with the Phantom Ruby, and with the help of Eggman, takes on the title of Infinite. The Second Great Eggman War ensues. In the end, Blacklight abandons all traces of Infinite, controls Eggmanland, and is severely injured in some way. (As seen in Sonic Forces Special 1 and Forces of Chaos)

New Year’s, 0 BE/AE
With Sonic and Shadow distracted by Blacklight, Eggman’s army successfully conquers the world, in an event known as the day of Earth’s demise. (As seen in Crisis of Chaos)