It can be difficult to play the part of the red-headed step-child; the one who gets the short end of the stick, the one left out of plans, and/or the one who swells inside their own isolation. Unfortunately for our excessively large-handed friend, Knuckles the Echidna, he somehow was left with this role. As Sega continued to pump out Sonic games, the appearance of Knuckles was restricted to short cameos in cut scenes. Knuckles should take a few lessons from Marky Mark because “like a peacock, you gotta let me fly” (even though technically Knuckles is a spiny anteater). After being around for nearly 20 years, Sega has constructed a kick-ass backstory on Knuckles, which could make for some mighty fine storylines.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Knuckles and his status, he is the current guardian of the Master Emerald and the last remaining member of the Knuckles Clan. Off of those two concepts, I could smell the stench of disaster a mile away. The Master Emerald is an ancient relic that stabilizes the Chaotic Emeralds. These emeralds come to a total of seven and grant mystical powers. So, if protecting a gem that regulates the rest of these chaotic energies wasn’t rough enough, Knuckles is haunted by being the last of his tribe. The opposing clan, the Nocturnus Clan, created a prototype named Gizoids that nearly ran the Knuckles Clan to the brink of extinction.
As we continue into the potential of a Knuckles solo game, we’re going to blend these two pieces together with a dash of Shadow. Shadow is another character who hasn’t received quite as much attention lately, especially when you consider the name he made for himself in Sonic Adventures 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog. For far too long Shadow has gone without being rightfully placed as the main villain, and a clash between Knuckles and Shadow would surely bring a crowd. Shadow would manage his way into this title by his ruthlessness to wreak havoc, and the only thing standing between Shadow and his dream come true is the Master Emerald.
The beginning of the game would begin with Shadow shattering the Master Emerald, allowing his Chaotic Emeralds to be activated for their individual powers. In order to restore life to normal, Knuckles must locate the scattered chunks of emerald, but Shadow has prepared for Knuckles uptaking and has devised an army of the machinery that laid waste to the Knuckles Clan, the Gizoids. Arrogance persuades Knuckles into remaining isolated during this crisis, since the Master Emerald was his responsibility. To make matters worse, Shadow is mocking his heritage by recruiting the Gizoids in attempt to leave Knuckles with the same fate his tribe faced.
Knuckles will have to encounter Shadow using these Chaos Emeralds as he searches for the remnants of the Master Emerald. Not only would having to face Shadow with Chaos Emeralds be an interesting challenge, but after Knuckles defeats Shadow, he inherits the power of these emeralds to give the gameplay some exciting combat skills. In the final face off between Knuckles and Shadow, Knuckles will wield all seven of the Chaos Emeralds to fight against Shadow and the legion of Gizoids he has designed.
With Sonic Boom attempting to refurbish the classic franchise, the opportunity to have a Knuckles title is more attainable by the reintroduction to these revised characters. Coming out exclusively for the Wii U, the development of the Knuckles game would be able to direct their attention to heightening the gameplay through the various Wii U features. Whether it’s to do with motion control, voice commands, or options on the gamepad screen, Sega will have the time to shape the Wii U’s features around Knuckles’ powers and abilities.
Now, I’m not saying I’m predicting that Sega plans to release a solo Knuckles title, but there’s no time like the present, especially when you consider the revised Sonic team. Knuckles is a fan favorite and unfortunately hasn’t seen a whole lot of action. Although, Sonic Boom plans on having Knuckles as a pivotal character in the game. If all goes well and the kids remember the charm of the red echidna, the chances of a Knuckles game may be brighter than ever before.