Angel Island (formerly called and also known as the Floating Island) is an island floating high in the air. It was first introduced in the video game Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
The island is the home of the Master Emerald, which keeps the island suspended in the sky. The emerald is protected by Knuckles the Echidna, an inhabitant of the Island, and only surviving member of an old society that once inhabited the island. In some continuities, there is a selection of Chaos Emeralds on the island itself.
In the gamesEdit
Several thousand years prior to the games, Angel Island was part of the Echidna city now known as Mystic Ruins. It was the location of the shrine containing the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds, but when their chief, Pachacamac, tried to steal the Chaos Emeralds, he injured the Chao and Tikal. This caused Chaos, the guardian of the Chao to appear and use the seven Chaos Emeralds to transform into Perfect Chaos and destroy most of the Echidnas. The peaceful Echidna Tikal managed to seal Chaos inside the Master Emerald, but without the Chaos Emeralds neutralizing the Master Emerald's power, the energy surged through the island, making it float high into the air and taking the surviving Echidnas with it. The Echidnas then tried to rebuild their shattered civilization on the island, but at the time of the games, Knuckles the Echidna is the only surviving inhabitant of the island. This past event with Chaos may be what caused the Chaos Emeralds to be discovered by the rest of the world after scattering.
The idea of a levitating island goes back at least as far as Nephelokokkygia ("Cloud Cuckoo Land"), the airborne city of birds from Aristophanes' play The Birds; another example is Laputa from Johnathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels. The Angel Island is likely to have been inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's interpretation of Laputa - a lost city, like a flying Atlantis - seen in his animated movie Castle in the Sky. Similarities between Laputa and Angel Island include their dependency on a giant green gem to stay aloft, in Laputa this was called a Levistone.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower destroyed Dr. Eggman's large space station, the Death Egg. After entering the atmosphere, the Death Egg crashed onto Angel Island, pressing it down into the ocean. While repairing it, Eggman met Knuckles, and managed to trick the Echidna that Sonic was coming to steal his Master Emerald. (The original manual accidentally stated it was Knuckles' Chaos Emeralds that were used to trick him. This apparent second set of Emeralds is still some source of confusion among fans). In the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic and Tails arrive at the island looking for Eggman. Knuckles attacks them and steals their Chaos Emeralds, and hides the gems in Special Zones. Sonic and Tails continue through the island and eventually board the re-launched, and fully repaired Death Egg, which then crashes into a volcanic crater at the end.
In Sonic & Knuckles, the continuance of "Sonic 3", Sonic and Tails travel to the crater, where they discover the Hidden Palace Zone, and battle Knuckles there. After Knuckles is defeated, the three hear some ruckus further away in the palace, and they run off. Sonic and Tails discover the Master Emerald, and Knuckles discovers that Eggman is stealing it. Knuckles tries to stop him, but he gets electrocuted. Sonic and Tails try to help, but Eggman gets away with the Master Emerald, and the Death Egg is relaunched with an added power boost from the Master Emerald. Knuckles, after regaining consciousness, takes Sonic and Tails to a special room with a teleportation device that sends them to an ancient floating city. There, the trio try to go together, but Knuckles is too tired from his fight with Sonic & Tails and from being electrocuted by Eggman. So he stays behind, while Sonic & Tails infiltrate and destroy the Death Egg. Once the Death Egg is destroyed, they return the Master Emerald to Knuckles, and fly away as the island goes airborne again.
In Knuckles' story of the game, the Master Emerald is stolen again by Mecha Sonic II and EggRobo, and the floating island starts wobbling. Knuckles goes through the island and eventually clashes with an Emerald-powered Mecha Sonic II. After defeating him, the area they were on begins to crumble, but Knuckles and the Master Emerald are saved by Sonic.
- Angel Island Zone, a tropical paradise filled with lakes. The jungle is subjected to a firestorm halfway through the first Act.
- Hydrocity Zone, an underwater city.
- Marble Garden Zone, ancient ruins prone to earthquakes.
- Carnival Night Zone, a theme park area with multiple colours and bumpers.
- Icecap Zone, a frozen mountain rife with caverns.
- Launch Base Zone, a fortified construction site for the Death Egg.
- Mushroom Hill Zone, a huge mushroom forest.
- Flying Battery Zone, one of Robotnik's flying bases.
- Sandopolis Zone, an Egypt-like desert area with a ghost-filled pyramid.
- Lava Reef Zone, a subterranean region deep within a volcano with an ocean of magma.
- Hidden Palace Zone, an ancient temple of the Echidnas where the Master Emerald is hidden.
- Sky Sanctuary Zone, ancient ruins that somehow float above the island, accessible via teleports in the Hidden Palace. It is demolished after Sonic & Knuckles.
2-player Race Mode
- Azure Lake, a crystal clear lake in a forest.
- Balloon Park, a circus like place much like Carnival Night.
- Desert Palace, an oasis in the desert.
- Chrome Gadget, a high-tech Eggman-looking place.
- Endless Mine, an old dark mine.
In Sonic Adventure, Knuckles story begins with him lamenting his destiny next to the Master Emerald, when it is suddenly shattered, revealing Chaos (and also, secretly, a strange red orb form of Tikal). Knuckles attacks Chaos, but is swiftly defeated, and Chaos melts away. Due to the pieces of the Master Emerald flying away everywhere, the island crashes into the Mystic Ruins below, confusing everybody about where the Ruin's new "mountains" came from. Knuckles goes on a quest to find the all the pieces, which he eventually does at the end of his story, nearly destroying Chaos in the process. In the game's "Final" story (Super Sonic), the island falls again due to Chaos and Tikal not taking their rightful places back in the Master Emerald. Later, Eggman crashes on the grounded Angel Island in his floating pod, after Chaos had betrayed and attacked him. Chaos then steals the six Chaos Emeralds Knuckles brought to the shrine after previously defeating him.
- Angel Island Adventure Field, an area part of the Mystic Ruins Adventure Field. Going through a windy cave in Mystic Ruins leads a long cave tunnel inside Angel Island, which leads to IceCap and a large open area where the Master Emerald shrine and a path to Red Mountain are located.
- Ice Cap, the same arctic mountain as the one in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It can be assumed that Cream dropped the ice stone, the key to the portal to this world, in the city alley after finding it while flying around the newly grounded Angel Island.
- Red Mountain, a volcanic mountain. Possibly the same as Lava Reef from Sonic & Knuckles. If this is true, this is the first time that Sonic and his friends got to explore the exterior of the volcano.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Rouge the Bat steals the Master Emerald, which is shattered by Knuckles himself due to Eggman trying to steal it while Knuckles and Rouge were arguing. Rouge is furious, but Knuckles explains he did it as a emergency measure as only he can put it back together. It is unknown if the desert area that the Master Emerald is seen in during the first cutscene is located on the Angel Island, or if Rouge had taken the Master Emerald with her, and that Knuckles had chased her to the current location. The "Wild Canyon" stage may also be located on the island, as there are several Echidna murals on it, and the lyrics to the music (which is assumed to be Knuckles' thoughts), contains "I've gotta protect this place, I'll do it for my race".
In Sonic Advance, Angel Island is simply a stage in itself. It is filled with ancient ruins and some sand, and the boss is a robotic Knuckles.
In Sonic Advance 2, a floating island assumed to be Angel Island is seen on the stage select map. Upon selecting the island, the player enters the "Sky Canyon" stage, which is seemingly set on a cloudy, canyon-filled mountain. When you first finish the level in story mode as Sonic, the boss is Knuckles himself, who has been tricked by Eggman.
In Sonic Battle, Knuckles lives on a mountain known as "Holy Summit", an area that resembles the Sonic Adventure Adventure Field. Some ruins and the Master Emerald's altar is nearby, and Chaos can be fought on the "Crater" of the mountain. While it is possible that this is indeed Angel Island, it is unknown why it would be part of the mainland again.
In Sonic Advance 3, Eggman uses Chaos Control to split the world in seven pieces. The seventh piece is "Chaos Angel", a large amount of floating ruins set in a semi-apocalyptical theme. The ruins are assumed to be part of Angel Island, as the boss of Chaos Angel is fought right at the Master Emerald altar.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Angel Island disappears from its normal location over Mystic Ruins; it is revealed that the leader of the villainous Marauders, Ix, was using the Chaos Emeralds to tow the Island over to his base in Metropolis with the intent on invading it and stealing the Master Emerald. Angel Island is notably small in this game, just a spit of land with a pyramid-like ruin and Echidna statues. There are no mountains on this version of Angel Island.
In other mediaEdit
Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)Edit
The Sonic the Hedgehog comics have a more developed storyline on Angel Island. According to history, the Island was once a part of the continent of Downunda, and home to the Echidna city of Echidnaopolis. However, a massive body known as the White Comet came towards the area on a collision course. In order to save themselves, the Echidnas used 12 Chaos Emeralds to raise their city and a portion of the surrounding area into the sky, thus creating the Floating Island and the Great Crater. The Island was renamed Angel Island after the Echidna Angel-La, mother of Edmund the first guardian. According to a map in the first Knuckles mini-series, there is also a place called Angel Island within the island itself, which was meant to explain an apparent naming discrepancy between the names "Angel Island" in Sonic 3 and "Floating Island" in the comic at the time. However, the discrepancy in the number of emeralds (one in the comic compared to the seven in the video games) was not addressed for much longer, in issue 56 where the "Master Emerald" was introduced into the continuity.
Angel Island serves as the battleground between the Brotherhood of Guardians and its allies against the Dark Legion. The battle has raged for centuries, beginning after Dark Legion leader Dimitri absorbed the energies of eleven of the Island's original emeralds and became Enerjak. After Enerjak's defeat, Dimitri's son Menniker founded the Dark Legion in opposition to technology bans, resulting in the Legion becoming a sort of technocratic cult. The battles have had many catastrophic effects, and the island was rendered uninhabitable for a time in response to a nuclear attack by the Dark Legion. In order to protect the citizens, the Guardian of that period transported the city of Echidnaopolis into another zone.
The Island is also home to the Dingoes, a race who by-and-large despise their Echidna neighbors. This has led to them being minor antagonists in the series. (This is a nod to the relationship between real-world dingoes and echidnas, in which dingoes are efficient echidna hunters.) Eventually, this led to the Dingoes siding with Dr. Robotnik, taking over Angel Island before being defeated by the joint efforts of the Chaotix and the Dark Legion. The Dingoes continued to menace the island, but eventually found themsleves facing a new adversary in the form of the Destructix. Because of their efforts, the group of escaped criminals earned their leader, Dr. Finitevus, the position as Angel Island's caretaker from Locke. Dr. Finitevus soon changed the face of Angel Island by brainwashing Knuckles the Echidna into becoming a new Enerjak. The Dark Legion, formerly involved in civil war, briefly reunified to face this threat, only to be stripped of their cyborg implants. Those who were glad for the change, as well as the surviving inhabitants of Echidnaopolis, were transported to the abandoned island of Albion to build a new life for themselves; the remainder later moved to Megaopolis under the command of Dr. Eggman. Enerjak then stripped the Dingoes of all technoloy and banished them to Sandopolis, executing their leader Kage Von Stryker and destroying their city Cavem Canus at the same time. Later, Enerjak's battle with Super Sonic resulted in the Master Emerald Shrine becoming a separate island floating near to the main body of Angel Island. Following Enerjak's defeat, the Dingoes began making their way back towards the center of the island, while no other intelligent races were known to remain.
Sonic the Comic (Fleetway)Edit
In the Fleetway-published Sonic the Comic continuity, Angel Island remains largely the same. However, it is never referred to as 'Angel Island'; instead, the comic uses the name 'Floating Island'.
The Floating Island was initially a myth to the people of Mobius, only known through old stories and the shadows it sometimes cast on clouds as it passed. As in the games continuity, Knuckles lived alone on the island for as long as he could remember, with only ruins and ancient texts to help him understand his long-departed people, the Ancient Echidnas. The Island was able to fly by the power of its six Chaos Emeralds (which had long ago been separated from the six that were eventually used by Doctor Ovi Kintobor in his ROCC), which Knuckles solemnly guarded.
However, everything changed when Doctor Robotnik's second Death Egg crashed in the Ice Cap Zone. Robotnik tricked Knuckles into becoming his bodyguard by claiming that Sonic and his Freedom Fighters sought to steal the Chaos Emeralds. Robotnik constructed a Launch Base in which he began repairs on his Death Egg, and populated the Island with his badniks and Troopers. He also made the existence of the Island public knowledge among the people of Mobius.
Knuckles and Robotnik managed to steal Sonic's six Chaos Emeralds, and re-join them with the six already on the Floating Island. Robotnik attempted to betray Knuckles and take the Emerald power for himself, but unsuccessfully, and Knuckles kept the Emeralds with him on the Floating Island, safe in their shrine. Over time, the now-whole Chaos Emeralds regenerated into much larger gems, becoming powerful enough to protect the entire island in an energy barrier.
After discovering Robotnik's true nature, Knuckles set out to eradicate any trace of the evil doctor from the island. When he discovered that Robotnik's cronies the Marxio Bros. had set up the Carnival Night Zone on one end of the island, he was briefly convinced that they were not affiliated with Robotnik, and he allowed them to stay after they offered to let him use the park's revenue to fix up the Island's ancient monuments. However, he soon discovered the ruse, leading him to separate the Zone, and the entire edge of the Island, from the main landmass via one punch to a faultline, sending it plummeting to the planet below.
Sonic and Knuckles teamed up in an attempt to prevent the launch of Robotnik's Death Egg, but they were too late. The Master Emerald was stolen from the Hidden Palace by Metallix, and then used by Robotnik to power the Death Egg. While Sonic infiltrated the Death Egg, Knuckles consulted the ancient texts to activate the Island's ancient technology. He was able to use the island's propulsion system to move the entire island towards the Death Egg, then cripple the Death Egg with devastating energy weapons. (It is assumed that these weapons were built by the ancient echidnas for use in their war against the Drakon Empire, although this is not made clear.)
In exchange for recovering the Master Emerald, Sonic asked Knuckles for a favour. In particular, he requested the Knuckles provide a safe haven for the Emerald Hill Folk, to protect them from Robotnik's wrath. Knuckles agreed, and the entire population of the Emerald Hill Zone was moved to the Floating Island's Mushroom Hill Zone, to be protected by the island's force field. After a lengthy time away from the island, Knuckles returned to find that Robotnik was back again, this time linking the populace of the Floating Island to a machine that would use their brain-power to fuel Robotnik's computers. This plan was quashed by Sonic, Knuckles and the Omni-Viewer, and Robotnik was defeated once more.
During the last arc of the comic, the Chaos Creature attacked the Emerald Chamber and managed to absorb the Blue Chaos Emerald. To stop the creature, Knuckles had no choice but to scatter the other gems to the four corners of Mobius, thus removing the island's buoyancy and sending it crashing into the ocean below, where it sunk.
One of the first stories for the STC-Online continuation of the comic involved the recovery of the Floating Island from the bottom of the Mobian Channel.
In Sonic X, a Sonic anime series, Angel Island mostly mirrors its role in the games, with some differences. The island is originally part of Sonic's home planet, but is transported to Earth via Chaos Control later in the series. The island and its Master Emerald then play a role in the anime when it mirrors the stories from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, before being sent back to its original planet.
In the second series, Angel Island is revealed to be the location of the Planet Egg, which is the planet's life source. The egg is stolen, and as a result, the planet starts to wither.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Subspace Emissary mode has an area known as the Isle of Ancients. In the last part of the level, "Outside the Ancient Ruins", the Island has a similar appearance to Angel Island if one looks into the background. This may as well be based on Angel Island, since there is also a factory on the Isle of the Ancients in SSBB, like the Launch Base Zone on Angel Island.
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