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Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a Nintendo DS console role-playing game based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It was developed by Canadian RPG developer BioWare, which is now part of Electronic Arts (EA Games). The game was released in North America and Europe in September of 2008. It focuses on the events surrounding the kidnapping of Knuckles, and the disappearance of the Chaos Emeralds.
A preview of the game was featured in the February 2008 issue of the Nintendo Power magazine, giving details on the game features and confirming its name. It also confirmed that there will be 11 playable characters, but only 9 had been up to that point. The interview also stated that the game will feature areas from previous Sonic games ranging from Emerald Town from Sonic Battle to more classic fields such as Green Hill Zone, Central City, and Mystic Ruins, as well as new locations such as Blue Ridge Zone.
- This section provides a general gameplay overview. For more detailed information on combat and POW attacks, see Combat Statistics in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. For more detailed information on Chao in the game, see Chao in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
As with many RPGs, two main types of gameplay will appear: exploration, and combat. Exploration areas will see the character being controlled by tapping the stylus where the player wants the character to go, whilst action buttons will be used to traverse certain elements, such as loop-the-loops. Navigation will also require a certain character to be in the lead for progress to continue, taking advantage of that character's special ability, be it flying, climbing, or jumping large gaps. Puzzle elements will also feature, even allowing the party to break up to complete the task, such as pressing switches in various areas.
Combat gameplay will occur when enemies are walked into, shifting the view to a close-up for turn-based battles to occur. Standard attacks are available, whilst special attacks can be performed by rhythmically tapping the stylus. These will use up POW Points, in a manner similar to Magic Points in other RPGs. Examples of individual special attacks include Sonic's Axe Kick and Whirlwind, whilst some group-based special attacks will require certain characters in the party, such as the Blue Bomber, which requires Tails. After combat is complete, loot is available, ranging from items to character equipment - equippable in one of three slots (hands, feet and accessories) per character - whilst bonus points from building a level will boost one of four attributes per character: speed, attack, defense, and luck.
Characters are also able to collect and equip Chao, each with their own ability, to enhance a team member's status. These Chao are stored in the Chao Garden, and using the Wi-Fi link, players will be able to swap the Chao they have collected.. For the complete list of Chronicles Chao, see Chao in Sonic Chronicles.
Taking place some time after the main series, as revealed of the characters' talk about Sonic having left on a solo mission (the game was released after Unleashed on the same month), the story of Sonic Chronicles is split into two acts, which are further divided into several chapters. The first takes place in Sonic's world, with the team attempting to unravel the situation they are in, whilst also stopping the Master Emerald from being taken. The second act sees Sonic and the team traveling to another dimension, called the Twilight Cage, in order to stop a new threat to their own world.
The game opens by detailing Eggman's defeat some time ago, with Knuckles, Amy, and Sonic distracting the scientist while Tails sabotages Eggman's ship, the Egg Carrier, which falls to Eggman's base in Metropolis. Eggman was presumed dead. In the present, Sonic is on vacation when he receives a call from Tails, stating that Knuckles has been kidnapped. Traveling to Central City with Amy Rose to meet with Tails, they are escorted by Rouge the Bat to G.U.N. headquarters to meet the G.U.N. Commander. He informs them that they, along with the Chaotix, have been watching the Marauders for some time and have managed to locate their hideouts, but searching the hideouts for Knuckles proves fruitless. However, Tails manages to fix broken communicators found at each site, which allows them to pinpoint the location of the Marauders' base to the Mystic Ruins.
Traveling by Tails' Tornado plane to avoid the soldiers guarding the Ruins, they meet up with Big the Cat who helps them locate the base, where they find Knuckles escaping from some robots. Leaving the base, they find Angel Island gone. Back at Tails's workshop, Tails develops an Eggman Tracker to locate Eggman and find out his connection to these events. After searching around previous areas for a while, including running into Shadow, Tails assembles a set of Eggman's devices the group discovered along the way to disable a force field they had located in Green Hill during their search. Inside, they find Eggman, who claims to be a reformed character, revealing that he survived the crash of the Egg Carrier by anticipating his own defeat and making a robot that would rescue him and nurse him back to health. Eggman informs the team that Angel Island is being pulled to Metropolis, the location of the Marauders' main base.
Taking the Tornado once more to go to Blue Ridge Zone in order to enter Metropolis from there, they meet Shadow and join up in order to find E-123 Omega, whom Shadow was looking for, but are attacked in Metropolis by Shade and her Marauders. Shade reveals herself to be an Echidna of the Nocturnus Tribe, leaving Knuckles, supposedly the last of the Echidnas, shocked. After Sonic defeats her, she blocks the main pathway to Metropolis, but Eggman finds another route through a railway tunnel. Once there, Eggman tells them of a weapon in his lab that could help defeat the Marauders, provided he has the necessary parts. Dividing into two teams, one group, with Sonic and Knuckles, head to Angel Island to get the Master Emerald before the Marauders, and the other, led by Tails and Eggman, assists in making the weapon. Tails and his team develop a non-lethal weapon designed to return the Nocturnus to their unknown home. Meanwhile, Sonic's team infiltrates a Nocturnus airship headed for the island, but encounter problems when the enemy manages to disable the ship's weapon. Tails and Eggman use one of the remaining weapons in Metropolis to shoot down the surrounding ships to clear the way for Sonic, but accidentally shoot the ship on which their friends are on, sending them onto Angel Island. Once on the Island, Sonic and Knuckles confront the Nocturnus leader, the Grand Imperator Ix, who reveals his plot to take over the dimension.
This revelation shocks Shade, who believed that Ix merely wanted to bring the Nocturnus Clan back to earth, for they had been sealed in the alternate dimension called the Twilight Cage during the Argus Event, in which all races who were taken to that dimension heard the word "Argus," and were banished there for being too dangerous. Ix's minions come close to defeating Sonic and his team, but as they are on the verge defeat, Tails and Eggman arrive to save them, using a teleporter under Metropolis to get to the Island. They use their non-lethal weapon to transport several of the Nocturnus back to the Twilight Cage. The team fights Ix, but he escapes and steals the Master Emerald (which is considerably smaller in this game), causing Angel Island to fall from the sky. Ix sends the heroes and Shade flying away. Knuckles saves Shade, as the island crashes into Metropolis. From there, the group witnesses Ix creating a wormhole which transports the Nocturnus back to their realm, ready to dominate. Tails and Eggman come up with a plan to follow him, deciding to build a vehicle that could cross into the alternate dimension. However, the collision with Angel Island knocks the city's power out. Sonic and a reformed Shade team up to restore the power, and also retrieve a Dimensional Buffer to help Tails.
The group leaves in the vehicle, dubbed the Cyclone, while Eggman remains behind, saying that he must make sure that they can return. However, as they leave, he reveals that he has a more sinister plot in mind for the heroes. Once in the Twilight Cage, the Cyclone crash lands on a rocky planet, the Kron Colony, after being damaged during the interdimensional trip. Tails suggests that they can power the ship up with a Chaos Emerald, and locates one on the colony. The team are confronted by the Kron, giant rock creatures who believe them to be Nocturnus spies. The Kron are gifted weapon makers, and were forced by Ix to create weapons and armor for his troops. The warehouse used by the Kron to produce these weapons is powered by a Chaos Emerald, and Sonic and team offer to liberate the colony from Ix's control. They manage to take the Emerald, and win the trust of the rock people, and travel onward. The Nocturnus homeworld of Nocturne is blocked off from the heroes, prompting them to visit the N'rrgal colony, home to the slug-like, energy-leeching N'rrgal people.
The N'rrgal suck all the energy from the Cyclone, but Tails discovers that another Chaos Emerald is located on the planet. The N'rrgal queen meets the team and tells them that the bitter rivals of the N'rrgal race, the Zoah, are in possession of a powerful weapon that they cannot risk confronting in battle. She offers their Chaos Emerald in return for the Zoah's weapon. Sonic and his team then head to the Zoah colony, where they must find and dispatch this "weapon." Upon talking to the Zoah leader, the team discovers that they are in allegiance to Ix, but only because he defeated the chief in single combat, and according to Zoah law, whoever defeats the leader can have any one favor from them, even the service of the entire race. Sonic challenges the leader to a battle, and frees the Zoah from their servitude. The leader gives them a Chaos Emerald, revealed to be the weapon given to them by Ix. The team realizes that Ix gave both the Zoah and N'rrgal Emeralds to keep the two races in check for his plans. Upon revealing this information to the leaders of the two races, they gain the trust of the Zoah and N'rrgal.
Tails finds two more Emeralds in the Voxai Colonies. The Voxai are a race at peace, capable of mental domination. However, the Overmind, a group of three Voxai who rule the colonies, have taken control, corrupting the minds of the citizens. The team meets Thebes, a citizen who has escaped the control of the Overmind. He tells them of the source of the Overmind's power, the Chaos Emeralds, with which they were able to dominate the minds of all the people in the Voxai colonies. Thebes leads them to a teleporter to take them to the second colony, which is guarded by a psychic field to block out trespassers. Once there, they confront the Overmind, and defeat them. Thebes becomes the new Voxai leader, and gives them the two Chaos Emeralds given by Ix. With the last two emeralds on Nocturne, the team gathers the leaders of the Kron, N'rrgal, Zoah, and Voxai to the Kron Colony, where they all team up and come up with a plan to invade Nocturne. The united races, led by Sonic and Team, launch an assault on the Nocturnus homeworld.
The Voxai find weaknesses in the force field around the planet, while the N'rrgal suck energy from it, while the Zoah launch a missile created by the Kron that can penetrate it. Sonic and his friends pass through the opening made by the united races, and encounter Charyb and Scylla, two Gizoids who wield the elements of water and fire, respectively, each with a Chaos Emerald. The group splits in two, Sonic and Tails leading one group and Knuckles and Shade leading the other. Knuckles is reluctant to kill Ix, believing that the Nocturnus can be saved, but promises not to let this belief interfere with the mission. The two teams lower the force field around Nocturne, allowing the forces from the other Twilight Cage races. Sonic's team destroys Charyb, while Knuckles' team kills Scylla, each winning a Chaos Emerald. Knuckles's team confronts Ix in his throne room, while Sonic's team comes in from a balcony to witness the fight. Sonic at first believes that Knuckles is betraying them, but is proven wrong when he watches them fight. Knuckles wins the fight, followed by Sonic fighting Ix, causing Ix to run. Sonic's team then gets a second chance to fight him, and also emerges victorious while Knuckles retrieves the Master Emerald. Ix uses the Nocturne to achieve a Super Transformation. Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic, and defeats him.
As Nocturne begins to fall, and is nearly destroyed, the team escapes to the Cyclone and heads back to Earth. Once back in Metropolis, they find Eggman waiting for them with a rebuilt empire, who immediately attempts to shoot them down. The game ends with Sonic, Tails and Omega rambling about the makers of the game, and the team about to confront the new Eggman Empire, with the words "THE END?" on the screen, ending the game with a cliff hanger.
The following characters have been confirmed to be in the game.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Amy Rose
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Rouge the Bat
- E-123 Omega (optional)
- Cream the Rabbit (optional)
- Big the Cat
- Doctor Eggman (Temporary)
- Shade the Echidna
- Guardian Units of Nations
- Vector the Crocodile
- Nocturnus Tribe / Dark Brotherhood
- The Zoah
- The Kron 
- EggRobo (Cameo)
During February 2008, Sega announced that it would be giving fans the opportunity to vote on the name of a hostile alien race that would appear within the game. From March 4th, fans were invited to vote on Sega Europe's Sonic portal Sonic City for their preferred name. The winning entry in the contest was announced as The Zoah, a reference to the town in Panzer Dragoon Saga. The name was suggested as a potential name initially by the Sega fan blog Sega Nerds.
Members of the Sonic Chronicles team also update members of the public on their progress and views on the game about every two weeks on the Sonic City Blognik.
Archie Comics has made an adaption of Sonic Chronicles titled "Invaders from Beyond", featuring the kidnapping of Knuckles. The short strip only covers the beginning of the story, and ends by urging readers to buy Sonic Chronicles to find out "what happens next".
As Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood ended on a cliffhanger after the heroes returned from the Twilight Cage, there is a great deal of expectation amongst fans that a sequel is planned. Although no official announcements about the prospective game's development have been publicised, Dorian Kieken (The Dark Brotherhood's Associate Producer) has stated that ideas for the storyline of a sequel are already being discussed.
- Team Rose is mistakenly called Team Amy in the game.
- Vector is the only member from Team Chaotix who appears (via textbox, Chapter 2)
- Surprisingly, no voices were recorded for the character's dialogue. However, grunts are used for being attacked, and BioWare took fan input in the creation of the game.
- Some of the artwork used in the in-game is artwork from Sonic X.
- Notably, while Swatbots identical to the ones in SatAM and Eggman's Metropolis appears in the game, there are no Freedom Fighters. As well, Station Square returns, but Chris does not appear.
- Blue Ridge Zone, like Station Square, is actually a real-world location.
- Strangely, in the game's intro, Shade the Echidna is shown in the Mystic Ruins. This is not possible in the main game, because the player cannot return to the Mystic Ruins after they unlock Shade. This is likely a beta screen shot.
- The POW move "Blue Bomber" may be a reference to Fleetway's Sonic the Comic.
- This game includes a lot of references to past Sonic features, such as Green Hill Zone (haven't been there in awile not counting Super Smash Bros. Brawl), the first version of the Tornado( was changed to the Tornado-2 after Sonic Adventure with the exception of Sonic Rush Adventure), SWATbots(from the old SatAM cartoon and Archie comics) Eggman calling himself Robotnik (his original English name, which dropped off when the Japanese one of Eggman began to be used), going back to Robotnik's city Megaopolis (gone to only in Sonic 2), the appearance of the original EggRobo (the enemy for Sky Sanctuary level in Sonic & Knuckles and unlockable character in Sonic Racers) and a SEGA Genesis (the first system Sonic was on).
- This game is the first to have roboticization (albeit in a side mission) for nearly a decade.
- This game may be one of the first to implement elements from the Archie Comics to the game series for the following reasons:
- The appearance of the SWATbots
- A group of evil echidnas locked in another dimension (Nocturnus Tribe=Dark Legion)
- A female echidna from said group that defects from it (Shade the Echidna=Julie-Su the Echidna)
- The villain is an albino echidna (Pir'Oth Ix=Doctor Finitevus)
- The concept of Roboticization (though briefly mentioned in the plot of the game)
- This is the first Sonic game since Sonic R to have one of the emeralds appear in a different colour like orange and pink.
- On the FAQ on the website for the English version, Vector is called "Vector the alligator."
- The Japanese version has been released, but the official Japanese website is not yet complete.
- Though the strategy guide confirms five Viral Chao, only Stugs has been confirmed and allowed for use.
- This is also the first game to feature Chao interactivity since Sega Superstars and the first to feature actual Chao collecting.
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- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
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- ↑ 2008-30-09, Sonic Chronicles 2 - Story Already Being Written. Sonic Stadium. Accessed on 2008-01-10