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Was Knuckles A Bad Guy In The Sonic The Hedgehog Video Games?

Sonic the Hedgehog is a popular video game character and flagship animal for Sega. The company wanted to create a new character that could compete against Nintendo's burgeoning control of the home video game market, and their solution later became Sonic the Hedgehog, which embodied three core character aspects, namely cool, challenger, and history (via Polygon). Sonic has continued to be exceptionally popular even today, and there are currently 31 titles in the "Sonic" franchise proper, although the character has also shown up in crossovers like former rival Nintendo's "Super Smash Bros." brawler, which can bring up the Blue Blur's appearances to over 100.

As such, Sonic has had plenty of time to pick up new allies and enemies along the way. His first true ally was Tails, an energetic young fox with multiple tails and the ability to fly. Sonic's most constant enemy is Dr. Robotnik (or Dr. Eggman for the purists), but Sonic has also faced other foes in his pursuit of the Chaos Emeralds. With the "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" movie soon on the horizon, fans may be wondering if the character of Knuckles was a bad guy in the original video games because he certainly looks like he is going to be a foil in the upcoming big-screen adaptation.

Knuckles started off as a villain, but was later revealed to be a manipulated protagonist

Originally appearing in "Sonic The Hedgehog 3," Knuckles is the last surviving member of his clan of short-nosed echidna. His clan is tasked with protecting the Master Emerald, which is the proverbial "one-ring-to-rule-them-all" object that influences all other Chaos Emeralds in the series. The Chaos Emeralds have always been a source of contention between Sonic and Dr. Robotnik, with the latter pursuing them as a source of untold power with the abilities to shape the world as he sees fit. After the end of "Sonic The Hedgehog 2," Dr. Robotnik is defeated. However, he crash-lands on Angel Island, which is not only the home of Knuckles, but also the resting place of the aforementioned Master Emerald.

Using his wiles and quick thinking, Dr. Robotnik tricks Knuckles into believing that Sonic and Tails are actually after the Master Emerald for nefarious purposes, and he serves as a reoccurring antagonist throughout "Sonic 3." Eventually Dr. Robotnik's duplicity is revealed, and Knuckles understands that he has been manipulated, which leads directly into the next story and him being a playable character in the next game in the series, "Sonic and Knuckles." It seems this aspect of Knuckles' story will be directly lifted into "Sonic The Hedgehog 2," as the trailer for the movie definitely shows Knuckles throwing down against Sonic.