- Crowning Music of Awesome: Are you surprised?
- Vindicated by History: More and more people have warmed up to these games, Black Knight especially. Some even think that Black Knight was the last good Sonic story before Sonic Colors onward took the series in a more comedic direction.
Sonic and the Secret Rings:
- Angst? What Angst?: Not a big example, but due to the bad controls is it hard to get out of the winged jars, and Sonic takes it astonishingly well. Doesn't say a word.
- Complete Monster: Erazor Djinn is a malevolent genie with aspirations of godhood and world domination. Having been forced to grant the wishes of 1,000 people as punishment for his crimes prior to the game, Erazor harbored a hatred for the creator of the Arabian Nights and sought to escape that storybook world. To that end, Erazor began to destroy and absorb the pages of the book to grow in power. When Shahra brings Sonic into the storybook to stop him, Erazor uses his Flame of Judgment curse to force Sonic into finding the Seven World Rings for him before the flame kills Sonic. He also commits other attrocites such as attempting to assassinate King Shahryar, summoning the Ifrit demon to burn the remaining pages of the book, and condemning King Solomon to life as an undead skeleton. When Sonic confronts Erazor at his palace, Erazor reveals his intention was to sacrifice Sonic to gain control of the Seven World Rings and reshape the world in his image. His attempt to kill Sonic is thwarted when Shahra takes the hit for Sonic. Erazor is unmoved by her sacrifice, calling her weak. Self-absorbed, and with the cruelty to match his ego, Erazor's transformation into Alf-Wayla-Wa-Layla only reflected the evil within his heart.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Darkspine Sonic from the final battle is a very popular form, similarly to Dark Super Sonic.
- Game-Breaker: The Aegis Slider skill. This skill renders you invincible during sliding, which allows you to bypass entire sections of levels without taking damage. Pair this with any of the Skimmer skills, and entire levels become cakewalks.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: From the PC compilation of Sonic 3 & Knuckles came the Sonic screensavers. One of them featured◊ a genie lamp. Then, over 10 years later...
- Memetic Mutation: Evil Foundry's music. All together now: "WHO'S GONNA ROCK THE PLACE?! PLACE?! PLACE?!"
- Moral Event Horizon: Erazor crosses it when he manipulates Shara's feelings for him to get the World Rings, and then scoffs at her death when she takes a hit intended for Sonic.
- Most Wonderful Sound: The sound Pearls make when they are collected.
- Narm: Erazor Djinn's voice acting is...not very good, to say the least. Its most egregious during the final cutscene, where it sounds like he's drunk half the time.
- Nightmare Fuel: Erazor's very gruesome and agonizing-sounding transformation into Alf-Layla-Wa-Layla. Also, the appearance of Alf-Layla-Wa-Layla in general. Sonic himself lampshades it:
Sonic: This is awful. You're just some incomplete monster...
- Nightmare Retardant: Alf-Layla-Wa-Layla may look scary, but the voice work for him just kills the scare factor. It tries to make him sound booming and powerful, but it just sounds like he inhaled a tank of helium, which has the unintended effect of making him sound like a petulant man child. Just try to listen to him say "The stories of this world are MINE!" without laughing.
- That One Level: Dinosaur Jungle - Mission 10: "Get the Pterosaur Egg!". You must find four dinosaur eggs scattered throughout a small course and take them to their nests. One problem: each egg belongs in a specific nest and the eggs' locations are all randomized. Combine all this with controls that are more tuned for going forwards than anything related to exploration, and you got a mission that will wear out its welcome in no time flat.
- The Woobie: Sonic. He has to deal with a magical flame arrow jutting out of his heart which continually saps his energy as a result of his selflessness, has a time limit to fulfill the request of retrieving the World Rings or the curse will kill him, experiences fatigue from the curse occasionally, has to juggle with the idea that he'll be killed whether he does it or not, and then is faced by Shahra's death and his rather painful-looking forced transformation into Darkspine Sonic. On top of that, the poor guy is suffering with a cold throughout the game as well.
Sonic and the Black Knight:
- 8.8: IGN's low score review. A lot of it has to do with accusations that the reviewer never actually completed the game, due to comments about the post-game being totally inaccurate.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Sonic stops Merlina's plan because he doesn't like the idea of a world that won't end. It's this because of how unclear it is. Though he could actually mean he doesn't like the idea of a world unable to change (and the fact said eternity would have monsters from the Underworld running unchecked through the land), the dialog makes it murky.
- Crowning Music of Awesome:
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- The Knights of the Round Table, aka Shadow, Knuckles, and Blaze. Along with having cool swords, armor, and chivalrous personalities, they have some very hammy dialogue. Helps they're all popular characters to begin with, and are later made playable, something rare in newer Sonic titles.
- Merlina as well. Being one of the few sympathetic villains and an excellent plot twist that leads into an awesome final battle, she's grown to be one of the most loved baddies in the franchise among those that have played the game.
- Evil Is Cool: Merlina, especially in her final form.
- Sir Lancelot with Ddraig Goch. First of all, Lancelot is locked into the "Knight" style, offering a balance of speed and power. With his ultimate weapon, the playable Lancelot suddenly gains the skillset of his rematch version. His regular (ground) swings unleash Chaos Spears that can destroy oncoming enemies and safely ruin their approaches. He's at his absolute fastest and still gains access to standard "Knight" skills. The true gamebreaking is his Soul Surge, an improved Chaos Punishment. You know how Lancelot teleports in front of targets and swings. With Ddraig Goch quipped, Lancelot will do Chaos Blast instead! His range suddenly increases tenfold, making it stupidly easy to rack up your hit count and clear out lanes. Combined with aforementioned "Knight" skills such as the one where he gains Soul Surge meter from simply running, it's possible to surge through stages with absolute ease. Lancelot's only weakness is his standard aerial attack, whose startup frames leave him very vulnerable.
- If Lancelot with his ultimate weapon can surge through stages, then Percival does it even better. She has the best Soul Surge in the game — almost every hit is registered as a Perfect Hit and thus refills a depleting Soul Surge meter — allowing her make mincemeat out of the more linear stages (like Great Megalith). To a lesser extent, her ground strikes as staggeringly fast and home in on targets. She's hampered by weak aerial attacks and awkward aerial mobility, despite being the only one to have a motion-cancelling double jump.
- He Really Can Act: Lancelot is considered to be Jason Griffith's best Shadow performance.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- One line from the main theme of Sonic CD, Sonic - You Can Do Anything, is "Excalibar - It's not that far". Here, Sonic gets Excalibur.
- There was one episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog called Hedgehog of the Hound Table in which Sonic went back to medieval times, becoming a knight while doing so.
- Narm: Sonic falling through the summoning portal with his two chili dogs and simply holding and eating them like there isn't a big deal. Granted, it's completely in-character, especially since this is the game that turned his Deadpan Snarker tendencies to the max, but just seeing him act so casually is so cheesy and absurd that it's one of the most cringe worthy moments of the whole game.
- Nightmare Fuel: One of a Fridge Horror variety, when Sonic realizes what Merlina means to do to Camelot and the world it lies within. As she demonstrates what she means by creating a kingdom that never ends, she demonstrates by bringing forth a healthy flower before his eyes. Sonic's confused, at first...until he realizes that's the dead flower she'd picked up days before, and then it hits him. Merlina thinks she's sparing the world destruction, but Sonic sees the reality: her actions would doom the world to a Ground Hog Day Loop Lotus-Eater Machine of cursed, inescapable madness-inducing immortality, with everyone staying exactly the same, forever. Nothing new can be born, nothing old can be remembered. The world has to be allowed to end at some point.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The game is generally considered to have improved on Secret Rings by a large margin. While the game is still on-rails, Sonic is now moved using the control stick, and motion controls are now limited to more intuitive sword strikes. Plus, the story is far more memorable and you have the option to play as other characters with their own abilities.
- Tear Jerker: The ending credits theme, Live Life. Performed by Crush 40.
- Special mention goes to Knight of the Wind (Accoustic Mix), which is a sorrowful take on the otherwise upbeat and action-packed main theme.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A variant. Lancelot gets a harder boss fight, but Gawain and Percival don't. While Percival's one fight does have a notable difficulty, Gawain's doesn't have such merits and could have benefited most from a "Gawain Returns".