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Moral Event Horizon / Sonic the Hedgehog

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Despite being known for its usual colorful characters and lighthearted tone, the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has had more than a few villains perform a full-speed Boost across the Moral Event Horizon.

The main Sonic the Hedgehog games:

  • Did you fail to collect all the Chaos Emeralds at the end of the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2? If so, then Tails will be held prisoner indefinitely by Dr. Robotnik, where he will presumably be killed, or worse. Definitely not something we'd expect from the Robotnik we know from the games.
    • Robotnik's entire schtick is doing horrible things to the happy critters of the forest, that's why all the machines Sonic destroys pop, and then critters escape the wreckage. Capturing Tails is only worse because Robotnik does all that other stuff without having a personal vendetta against his victims; God only knows what he'd do to his nemesis' only living friend.
  • Tikal's father Pachacamac crosses it in Sonic Adventure. Through the flashbacks, we are told that he wanted to use the Master Emerald to turn his city into a utopia. To get it, he storms the Emerald shrine with his soldiers, slaughtering the Chao there and attacking Tikal when she tries to stop him. He ends up getting himself and his men killed by Chaos by doing this, but also corrupts Chaos, causing him to become bitter and filled with hatred towards all life. It's pretty heavily implied that he's actually doing all this to use the Master Emerald as a weapon and build a Great Echidna Empire.
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  • In Sonic Battle, Eggman makes Emerl go berserk at the end of the game, even though Emerl was nice to him and thanked him for waking him up. And how does he do it? By destroying several stars.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog:
    • Black Doom claims that he's trying to save humanity. How, you ask? By paralyzing the planet with nerve gas from his comet so that his spawn can eat their way through the biosphere and practically reduce all of humanity to cattle for them to farm and consume at their leisure, that's how.
    • Shadow himself has multiple potential crossings (all are likely non-canon) depending on which path you take:
      • On the "Pure Dark" path, Shadow puts his current total of five Chaos Emeralds into the Eclipse Cannon and uses it to completely destroy a city. Even if, unbeknownst to him, the government successfully evacuated it in time, it shows how far Shadow has fallen.
      • As the "Dark" mission of the Air Fleet stage ("Semi-Dark" path), Shadow deliberately tries to kill the fleeing president, who is previously shown to be almost comically upstanding; on top of having a great deal of respect for both Shadow and Sonic.
      • In the "Neutral" and "Semi-Dark: Hero" endings, he decides to kill everyone's favorite eggheaded scientist and take over the entire Eggman Empire for himself.
      • In the "Pure Dark: Dark" ending, he defeats Sonic and Diablon, and with both the power of the Chaos Emeralds and his mind poisoned by both Black Doom and what he assumes to be Professor Gerald's last wishes, prepares to destroy the entire planet with everyone on it. Shadow's insane laughter only barely shows how far he's fallen, and making it worse, not even Black Doom wanted that to happen.
      • The "Pure Dark: Hero" ending isn't much better, with him biding his time and betraying Black Doom, then giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to his partial creator. He takes over the Black Arms, and vows to conquer the universe with the power of the Chaos Emeralds.
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  • Mephiles the Dark commits horrible acts very often, attempting to cause pain and suffering on Elise to release Iblis. After attempting — but failing both times — to trick Silver into killing Sonic and convince Shadow to turn on humanity by showing him false visions of the future, he eventually cuts to the chase and murders Sonic himself in a truly sadistic manner, proceeding to mockingly laugh at her despair afterward to get her to cry and thus break the seal on Iblis. He goes far beyond the Moral Event Horizon afterward when he merges with Iblis to become Solaris and destroy all of space and time, for no other reason than that he simply enjoys destruction.
  • In Sonic and the Secret Rings, 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.
  • In Sonic Lost World, the Deadly Six cross it when they activate Eggman's Extractor to drain the world completely of its energy, which would have destroyed it outright if they hadn't been stopped.
  • Sonic Forces:
    • Infinite clearly crosses the MEH through joyfully murdering the resistance against the Eggman Empire, including the Avatar's teammates.
    • If Eggman didn't already cross it by conquering the world with Infinite's power, forcing Sonic to watch and trying to trap the hedgehog in the Phantom Ruby's Null Space prison dimension forever, he definitely crossed it by using the Phantom Ruby to create a virtual sun to drop onto the planet and burn the entire Resistance to ashes.

Other media:

  • The Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog isn't anywhere near as terrifying as he is in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), yet many of Robotnik's plans involve at best enslavement for life or at worst mass murder of civilians. For example, in "Sonic Gets Thrashed", his entire scheme revolves around killing his own robotic creations and enslaving many Mobian citizens. If that wasn't bad enough, in "Hero of the Year," even after capturing Sonic, he still plans on drowning everyone who attended the ceremony for Sonic, just For the Evulz.
  • In Sonic Underground, Robotnik is mostly a buffoon and can be difficult to take seriously at times, but he firmly crossed this in "Tangled Webs" when he blackmails Cyrus with his father's life so the boy can spy for him on the Sonic underground, — and thus reveal the location of — Sanctuary, a hidden place of refuge for children and infants. So he could destroy it.
    Robotnik: When we find it, Sanctuary will become... Cemetery!
  • Sonic X:
    • Black Narcissus shows that he truly crosses the line when he captures and tortures Chris and Cosmo and uses them as bait to have the Metarex prototypes Silver and Gold test Sonic's speed, strength, and skills. This moment is what triggered Sonic's Unstoppable Rage and Superpowered Evil Side transformation, and this action was just enough for Narcissus to cross the horizon itself. Good thing Eggman and his followers came to help calm things down — after all, Even Evil Has Standards.
    Dr. Eggman: (to Black Narcissus) It's one thing to take them prisoner and threaten them, but when you actually hurt somebody, that's going too far!
    • Pale Bay Leaf crossed the line with what he did to Leon and several other anti-Metarex resistance pilots from Molly's home planet: embedding their bodies into the bases of trees and leaving them to weaken within there as a show of betraying them after promising them fame and fortune by inviting them to the side of the Metarex.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Drago Wolf is hated by nearly every fan of the comic, and for good reason. Turning traitor and joining Robotnik? Not nearly as bad as browbeating your abused girlfriend into killing the leader of the Freedom Fighters and framing the titular character for it.
      • To make her an even more sympathetic character, she had no idea what she was doing when she nearly killed Sally. Drago gave her a Sonic mask (to make Sonic look like the hero) that had circuitry in the eyes that turned everyone in view into a duplicate of Snively, Robotnik's right hand. So, to recap: he bullied her into committing murder (even of a villain), gave her a mask that made her confuse her leader with her supposed target, and causes Sonic to be framed on the side. Yeah, Drago's a bastard.
    • Robotnik himself — or rather "Eggman." He'd been spending most of his time since his return trying to re-establish himself as a credible arch-villain. Then along comes his Egg Grapes — a set of devices that drain the life force of Mobians to power his machinery. The process is fatal. Eggman re-killed off the echidna race with 'em. Charmy Bee was in one for less than a minute and his brain is still a bit scrambled. When the Grapes were introduced, his sidekick/robotic daughter asked why he would do this when there were many methods of power production that were much more effective. His response was that none of the other methods were "as fun."
      • The same goes for the original Robotnik, the man who once called himself Julian Kintobor. The man attempts to take over an Overlander city and ends up being rescued by Mobians. His response? Initiate a coup, roboticize countless Mobians and hold the planet in a death grip for ten years. Before his death at the hands of Sonic himself, he crosses it one last time by setting Sonic up for the death of Sally and proceeds to wipe Knothole off the face of the map (both get better).
    • Geoffery St. John. Grief-stricken by the death of his father, he learns of the trapped Ixis Naugus and starts conspiring in order to get revenge on those who led to his father's death. When the rescued King Acorn asked St. John to recruit people for his Secret Service, he purposely recruited people with less-than-friendly reputations for the sole purpose of pinning the blame on them should his Batman Gambit fall apart and he be revealed. In short order, he double-crosses Sonic, gives Naugus one of the Chaos Emeralds, and helps initiate a coup that would indirectly lead to the destruction of the Freedom Fighters.
    • Thrash the Devil. The last of the normal Mobian-type Tasmanian Devils as all of the others have gone extinct with time, replaced by the mindless Devil Dogs they are today because of scientific experiments performed by the Echidnas. He enacts probably one of the comic's worst cases of Disproportionate Retribution by exiling all echidnas except for Knuckles and Dr. Finitevus into another dimension, despite all of them, including Knuckles himself, having nothing to do with what happened to the Tasmanian Devils. What's worse, Charmy's wife, Saffron, is caught in the crossfire and tossed in, too! It's made very clear to the reader throughout that Thrash doesn't care who he has to hurt or murder to do it, as long as he gets what he wants. note 
      • However, this example is somewhat downplayed in that he does care for other people (as long as they're not echidnas, unfortunately) and is a Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than outright malevolent.
    • Metal Sonic was a non-sentient Elite Mook for most of the series, but was finally given sentience in Sonic Universe #50. This very first issue of him having a personality has him graphically murder Shard, one of the most heroic and likable characters in the comic, via suicide bombing. This only just happens after a fight that Metal Sonic started by threatening to murder a comatose hospital patient in his bed. Upon returning shortly after, Metal Sonic's only complaint about what he did in that issue was that he didn't get to kill Sonic.
    Eggman: Don't pout! You are now perfected! You now think as viciously as you attack. You are my undying, heartless weapon of misery and despair! How do you like that?
    Metal Sonic: Mission objective is acceptable. All will pay.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • Rise of Lyric may hype its titular villain as being on the irredeemable side of the line already, but it's the moment he responds to losing a game of Keep Away by taking control of Metal Sonic and using him to raze half of Slowpoke Isle that he makes it clear that all life besides himself is expendable to get what he wants. If that doesn't do it, demanding the Crystals from Sonic and his friends, and ordering his bots to shoot Sonic anyway when his demands are met, certainly will. To drive this last one home, Amy and the others turned the Crystals over, fully expecting him to shoot Sonic if they don't, and asked that he let Sonic go afterwards; that Lyric had his bots open fire anyway just for the sake of "unfinished business" shows that this snake is a total rat bastard.
    • In the show proper, Shadow backflips his way over the MEH in “Eggman: The Video Game”, where he decides to destroy the entire universe over being insulted by Sonic. He’s well aware of the destructive paradox having two Eggmen in the same place is, and is willing to activate this out of spite.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
    • Mimic already crossed it by helping Eggman kill the Diamond Cutters, traumatizing his former ally Whisper to her very core. It doesn't help he was on their side at first, ditched them only for selfish reasons, and completely glosses over how much it hurt his former ally when he sees what's become of her. Then to top it off, he nearly kills Tangle by sealing her inside an airtight safe to suffocate; taking full advantage of the lemur's claustrophobia to make her intended fate as torturous for her as possible.
    • Dr Eggman unleashing the Metal Virus, first on the village that kindly took him in, but then on Cream's village for no reason other than tick Sonic off, almost robotizing everyone and destroying the world.
    • Dr Starline walks towards the line several times, but "Chao Races and Badnik Bases" is where he crosses it for real. He brainwashes an 18-year-old woman into harming an 8-year-old boy, kidnaps them both with the intent of experimenting on them, and then tries to massacre hundreds of innocent people with an avalanche just to keep Sonic occupied.
    • Zeena crosses it when she takes control of Gemerl and forces him to unwillingly beat up Cream — who, for reference, is his close friend, already suffering badly from her beloved mother and pet Chao being turned into mindless monsters, and not to mention six years old — before trying to have him throw her into a horde of Zombots. She makes sure to drag the torture out, taking a sickening level of pleasure in doing so.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Robotnik crosses this line in the first act of the movie when he sadistically uses a Badnik drone to hold Tom at gunpoint for not fielding his questions, only narrowly failing to kill the man on the spot due to Sonic's intervention.

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