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Video Game / Sonic Storybook Series
aka: Sonic And The Secret Rings

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The Sonic Storybook Series is a series of spinoffs to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, whose stories are modeled after classic literature, with Sonic and friends as main characters of the story.

The two entries in the series were released on Nintendo's Wii console:

  • Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007), based on 1001 Nights: Came about due to the time issues with attempting to port Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) for the Nintendo Wii, in time for launch.
  • Sonic and the Black Knight (2009), based on the legend of King Arthur.


Tropes present in both titles include:

  • Alternate Self: Several of Sonic's friends and foes appear as characters in the stories the games adapt.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Merlina calls Sonic to her world, she uses the same spell that Erazor did when summoning the Ifrit, albeit very slightly modified. It's quite weird, given that the spell in question roughly translates to "Satan Arrive!"
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Most the bosses in both games are technically this due to it being a rail-platformer. Of particular note is King Arthur. Ironically, he says to Sonic, "It looks like there's only one thing you're good at: Running away."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sonic's snarky attitude was more emphasized in both Storybook games than in his other game portrayals.
  • Mad Lib Fantasy Title: Both games. Sonic & The: insert fantasy title right here.
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  • Nitro Boost: The Speed Break/Soul Surge. It allows Sonic go across vast chasms in a short period of time with the help of fire rings and pearls filled with energy.
  • Ret-Canon: Sonic loving chili dogs was initially an element of the 90s Western canon (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Sonic Underground, and Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)). It was introduced into game canon in a Japanese manual for Advance 3, and Unleashed has chili dogs being one of the highest XP-granting food items (with Chip even saying it's something Sonic really likes), but Sonic and the Black Knight is the first time Sonic has been seen eating a chili dog on-screen in the games.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's Sonic the Hedgehog but with Tales of The Arabian Nights and magic rings and King Arthur and The Knights of The Round Table medival fantasy and sword action.
  • Taken for Granite: Gargoyles in Secret Rings and and fish-like Knights of the Underworld in Black Knight are capable of turning Sonic to stone. Oddly enough, it's instantly fatal in Black Knight without the Stone Brooch or Petrification immunity equipped, but is not fatal in Secret Rings — you just have to shake the Wii Remote to break free.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: All of the recurring series' characters. Sonic himself ends up playing a role of one of the characters, though he retains his own personality regardless. It's implied in Sonic and the Secret Rings that Sonic is standing in for Aladdin; in Sonic and the Black Knight, it's revealed in the ending that Sonic is the true King Arthur (the one fought earlier was a fake created by Merlin).
  • Villain of the Week: Both games feature unique one-shot villains in place of Dr. Eggman. Eggman only appears as a minor role in Sonic and the Secret Rings by proxy of his storybook counterpart King Shahryar, and he is completely absent from Sonic And The Black Knight.

Tropes exclusive to Secret Rings:

  • Adaptational Heroism: As the resident stand-in for King Shahryar, Dr. Eggman is not so much evil as a petty Jerkass, even serving as a minor ally to Sonic's quest at one point.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Genie of the Lamp is a villain in this game.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: It is an adaptation of 1001 Nights, after all.
  • Arrows on Fire: The curse Erazor places on Sonic takes the form of a flaming arrow embedded in his chest.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: All of the dinosaurs in Dinosaur Jungle possess horns and spikes, even the ones that are not supposed to have them. In the case of the Triceratops, it has an extra horn protruding from each cheek.
  • Asshole Victim: Erazor Djinn gets painfully humiliated by Sonic, sealed in his lamp forever, and then gets destroyed for good when his lamp is thrown into lava. After all the hell he put Sonic, Shahra, and the rest of the Arabian Nights through, he truly deserved that fate.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Darkspine Sonic.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: This was likely the reason why Shahra sacrificed herself for Sonic's sake and did not jump to Erazor's defense whilst he was dooming him to his eternal prison. Sonic was probably the first master who treated her with genuine kindness and concern, who didn't disrespect her or treat her like magical property who can fulfill his wildest dreams.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Erazor Djinn's transformed state, Alf Layla wa-Layla is part of the Arabic name for the 1001 Nights (Kitab Alf layla wa-layla). Given a bit of a Lampshade Hanging by Erazor during the transformation, as he shouts, "I AM the Arabian Nights!"
  • Bleak Level: Skeleton Dome.
  • Body Horror: The horrifyingly painful transformation Erazor goes through when he absorbs the World Rings.
  • Bookends: Sonic's first and last wishes are for handkerchiefs.
  • Bottomless Pits: Levitated Ruin appears to consist of mostly this, but it's actually pretty hard to fall off due to invisible walls. Oh, you can lose rings alright...
  • The Cameo: Big the Cat can be spotted in all of the levels in the game. To trigger his appearance, you have to stand still in a specific spot on the level for a couple of seconds. You also get a page of his diary whenever you do so.
  • Catching Some Z's: Sonic's snoring is subtitled as Z's.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The item Shahra gives Sonic after gaining the World Ring in Levitated Ruin turns out to be Erazor's lamp, which he turns on him in the ending.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Although neither are depicted as weak, both Alf Layla Wa Layla and Darkspine Sonic are this in the grand scheme due to neither of them actually utilizing all of the World Rings properly. Erazor tries to use them without actually having done the ritual correctly and ends up malformed and grotesque. Darkspine Sonic, on the other hand, was formed using only the rings of Rage, Hatred, and Sorrow combined with Shahara's residual power. While Sonic is able to pull it off well enough to get the job done, Erazor almost immediately goes into Super-Power Meltdown.
    Sonic: You're just some... incomplete monster...
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Darkspine Sonic, the form Sonic takes after unintentionally absorbing the World Rings of Sadness, Rage, and Hatred. Whilst his appearance gives off vibes of great evil (Purple-Indigo color scheme, No Mouth, blank pupil-less Glowing Eyes of Doom), this definitely isn't the case regarding his personality and actions. Whilst undoubtedly vicious, Darkspine acts entirely in the interests of the Arabian Nights and even seems to be insecure as he begs for Shahra's power and calls out to her during the battle against Alf Layla Wa-Layla. He's just focused all that negative emotion squarely on Erazor's head.
  • Defiant to the End: Erazor's attitude even as he is being sucked into his lamp for eternity is to try and talk Shahra into stopping Sonic, and he even insults Sonic by calling him a dirty rat. He even boasts about how the world belongs to him.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Shahra dies in Sonic's arms after taking the bullet for him. She gets better.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Sonic will not be addressed as 'Master'.
  • Eternal Engine: Evil Foundry.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Darkspine Sonic does this to Alf Layla wa-Layla after seeing his only companion in the entire game get temporarily killed. He beats the crap out of Alf Layla furiously with his bare hands.
  • Evil Laugh: When Erazor is bragging to Sonic about how he is immortal and can't be truly defeated, he gives a straight "Mua ha ha ha ha!" laugh before he finds out that Sonic is holding his lamp.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Sonic wishes for Erazor to be sealed in the lamp for the rest of time, and then he drops the lamp into the furnace. It's unknown whether the lamp survived or not — or if it took Erazor with it if it didn't.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The fight against Alf-Layla-wa-Layla takes place in a giant black void. Considering that at this point, all but the last few pages of the Arabian Nights have been sucked dry, this makes sense.
  • Fire of Comfort: Sonic's (Presumed) house has a pretty comfortable-looking fireplace.
  • Fog Feet: Shahra appears like this for most of the opening cutscene.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Pirate Storm.
  • Gender Flip: The Genie of the Ring is female in this game. Both genies in the original Aladdin story are male.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Erazor and Shahra are the genies of the Lamp and Ring, respectively, from Aladdin. However, Erazor ain't no Robin Williams Disney Genie, that's for sure.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Darkspine Sonic's entire attitude when it comes to fighting Alf Layla Wa-Layla. Not only does he look like Shadow with his quills down, not only does he kick a giant blue ball of Arabian Nights back at his opponent, not only does he pummel the transformed Djinn in the protruding heart with his bare hands, but he does not wear gloves.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: King Solomon's eyes appear like this.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Sonic painfully inflicting wishes upon Erazor, as well as sealing him away in his lamp forever, would come off as chilling (especially in comparison to his treatment of Chaos) if Erazor hadn't been established as a truly evil being throughout the game.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Happens at the beginning with Shara trying to wake up Sonic. Give the poor guy credit, though; it was 2:55 in the morning!
  • Guttural Growler: Darkspine Sonic has a very sinister angry growl of a voice.
  • Hate Sink: Erazor Djinn is a power-hungry, unempathetic, and purely self-serving douchebag who has nothing remotely sympathetic or likable going for him (aside from a Freudian Excuse of being mistreated in the past, which in no way justifies his current behavior), and he acts extremely arrogant and haughty towards everyone around him. He treats Shahra like dirt and after her sacrifice, he has the gall to mock her as being weak. And to say nothing of how he puts Sonic's life on the line to further his own ends, and talks down to him and insults him as being a rat. You won't so much as shed a tear for him when Sonic seals him in the lamp forever and destroys it.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Plays whenever Time Break is used.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shahra dies saving Sonic from being killed by Erazor. Fortunately, she gets better.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Sonic really doesn't like it when Erazor calls him a rat.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Sonic is literally on fire throughout pretty much the entirety of the game due to the Flame Arrow sticking out of his chest.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Erazor Djinn's ultimate plan to get control of the seven World Rings involved sacrificing Sonic, who he had coerced into collecting the rings using a life-draining curse, as he can't use their true power as long as their collector is alive. When Shahra takes the bullet for Sonic, Erazor decides to settle for Shahra's sacrifice instead. This bites him in the ass; not only does he become a deformed Eldritch Abomination without full mastery of the Rings, but a rip-roaringly pissed Sonic steals three of the Rings from him, using them to power up and rip Erazor a new one.
  • Insistent Terminology: Justified: Sonic is most certainly not a rat, regardless of what Erazor might say. This turns into an epic Shut Up, Hannibal! when he's sealing Erazor away.
    Erazor: I cannot be denied by this filthy rat! Whyyyyyyyyy?
    Sonic: (flips open the lamp to let Erazor in) I told you, I'm not a rat! (closes lamp and raises tip, revealing flame on the end) I'm a HEDGEHOG. (blows out flame)
  • Instant Waking Skills: Sonic in the opening cutscene, though the shock of seeing Shahra for the first time may have contributed to his sudden wakefulness.
  • Jackass Genie: Erazor Djinn. However, as shown by what happens to him when Sonic forces him to grant his wishes, he can't seem to act against the spirit of the wishes or twist them into something worse.
  • Justified Tutorial: Almost all of the "Lost Prologue" missions.
  • Kick the Dog: Erazor's mocking of Shahra as a "mere Genie of the Ring" moments after murdering her.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sonic inflicting painful and humiliating wishes onto Erazor Djinn and then sealing him in his lamp forever and destroying it. In any other context, this would be shockingly cruel for Sonicnote , but in this case, Erazor was just that evil of a person and it is absolutely understandable that he had this fate.
  • Large Ham: Erazor. And what a ham it is.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Evil Foundry.
  • Levels Take Flight: Levitated Ruin is set on a flock of rukhs. The stage gets its name because they carry the ruins of small cities on their backs.
  • Light Is Not Good: Alf Layla wa-Laylanote  was formed by Erazor absorbing the World Rings of Prayer, Joy, Pleasure, and Wishes.
  • Literal Genie: Shahra is actually this, as shown by Sonic's first and third wish.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Justified: the one who gathers the World Rings is the one who needs to be sacrificed for someone to get control over them, so Erazor had to have someone else gather them for him. When he sacrifices Shahra by mistake, it results in an incomplete transformation.
  • Magic Carpet: Used by Sonic and Shahra in several cutscenes, as well as in one part of Night Palace's first mission.
  • Marked Change: Darkspine Sonic.
  • Meaningful Echo: Sonic's last wish of handkerchiefs for Shahra is a throwback to his very first wish.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The World Rings.
  • Morton's Fork: Basically, no matter what Sonic does, he'll lose. Either he gives the World Rings to Erazor hoping to have his flame arrow removed whilst juggling with the idea that Erazor will use him as a sacrifice to gain true control of the Rings, or he doesn't and the flame arrow kills him anyway. Lucky that Shahra threw a wrench into his works via self-sacrifice, preventing Erazor from gaining true control of the World Rings and bringing about a series of events that ultimately worked in Sonic's favor.
  • Mundane Wish: Sonic's first wish after being asked what he wants by Shahra? Handkerchiefs. Though to be fair, he was in desperate need of some at the time because of a sneezing fit caused by a cold he had come down with a day before.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling/Spider-Sense: In the first mission of Dinosaur Jungle, Sonic remarks that his quills are starting to "tingle" before a T-rex smashes through a rock wall to attack him.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Genie of the Lamp is named "Erazor" and the Genie of the Ring is named "Shahra". They are unnamed in the original Aladdin.
  • Nintendo Hard: The later missions are all insanely hard, and mostly consist of the Avoid the Pearls/No Damage/X Ring Chain variety with crazy obstacles. They're optional, though.
  • Oh, Crap!: Erazor when he realizes that Sonic has his lamp and thus can force him to grant him three wishes.
  • One-Winged Angel: Erazor has a rare not-quite-according-to-plan version happen to himself when he absorbs the World rings.
  • Open Sesame: Sonic tries uttering this at the World Ring door. It doesn't work.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Erazor meant to shoot Shahra with the flame arrow, but Sonic took the bullet and was inflicted with a life-draining curse. Using it to his advantage, Erazor coerces Sonic into gathering the World Rings for him in exchange for having it removed.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Shahra, Erazor, and the other Djinn.
  • Painful Transformation: Judging by the sounds of Sonic and Erazor's screams mid-transformation, as well as the straight-up Body Horror Erazor experiences, achieving the World Rings' version of a Super Mode is not a pleasant experience. (Granted, neither of them were using the World Rings' power correctly, due to Shahra interfering in the ritual to activate their power.)
  • Perfect Health: Sonic's cold seems to disappear after the first cutscene.
  • Pinky Swear: Sonic does this with Shahra, promising that he'll have her smiling by the end of their adventure.
  • Portal Book
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Darkspine Sonic has quite long, downward-pointing quills.
  • The Power of Hate: One of the World Rings Darkspine Sonic used to transform was the Green one, which contains hatred. Therefore, Darkspine is effectively powered by hatred. Considering Erazor just murdered Shahra, Sonic's got plenty of that.
  • Punny Name: Erazor Djinn, who uses a giant straight razor as a sword.
    • Erazor = Eraser; he wants to erase the stories of the Arabian Nights.
  • Prehistoria: Dinosaur Jungle.
  • Roc Birds: The Rukhs double as a sky-based sort of Turtle Island in that a civilization had been built on the backs of a flock of Rukhs in the past, each of them carrying roughly a city block's worth. Appropriately, they are found only in the stage known as Levitated Ruin.
  • RPG Elements
  • Save Both Worlds: The point of the plot. If the Erazor Djinn successfully gets the World Rings, he'll be able to destroy the Arabian Nights and escape into Sonic's world to wreak havoc there.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Erazor was sealed inside his lamp by King Solomon some time before the story starts. He manages to escape after granting the wishes of one thousand people, just to cause even more mayhem. Sonic manages to reseal him inside his lamp and finish him off once and for all.
  • Series Continuity Error: A completely self-contained example. In one scene, Sonic says he is the only one who can touch the World Rings, and he bets he can do so because he is not from the world of the Arabian Nights. Except that earlier, Sinbad said the pirates stole the World Ring he uses that control the storms, meaning Sonic's reasoning don't really hold much weight.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Sand Oasis.
  • Ship Tease: A bit between Sinbad and Shahra in The Secret Rings as she and Sonic attempt to free him from his captivity. He chuckles nervously around her.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, and Allosaurus all appear in "Dinosaur Jungle".
  • Super Mode: Darkspine Sonic, a result of Sonic absorbing the green, red, and purple World Rings to fight the mutated Erazor.
  • Taking the Bullet: Used twice throughout the story:
    • After the initial Lost Prologue missions, where Sonic takes a flaming arrow to the chest for Shahra.
    • Right before the final fight, where Shahra takes a fatal blow from Erazor's sword to protect Sonic.
  • Targeted Hedgehog Sacrifice: As the one who collected all seven World Rings, Sonic was meant to be sacrificed for Erazor to gain control over them. When he kills Shahra instead, he does get their power, but he's stated in-game as being incomplete.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Erazor when Sonic is permanently sealing him inside his lamp.
    Erazor: "Shahra, I know you're there! Please, stop him! We can start over, the two of us! I swear! I swear it! The world is mine! I cannot be denied by that filthy rat! Whyyyyy?!"
  • Voice of the Legion: When Erazor Djinn uses the World Rings to transform into Alf-Layla wa-Layla, he speaks in a more high-pitched and distorted voice.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the final boss, the flaming arrow on Sonic's chest just disappears without explanation. Presumably, absorbing the power of three of the World Rings and effectively becoming a limited Reality Warper just took care of the problem.
  • Working Through the Cold: Sonic has a cold at the beginning of the story, but it doesn't stop him from going on an adventure to save the Arabian Nights storybook.
  • The Worsening Curse Mark: The size of the flame on Sonic's chest is directly proportionate to how much time he has left until it extinguishes along with his life force. Near the end of the game, it is tiny.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Two words: Speed Break.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Sonic's predicament upon being struck by the flame arrow.

Tropes exclusive to Black Knight:

  • 100% Heroism Rating: Successfully completing missions will cause Sonic to gather a number of followers proportional to how well he does in the mission (each mission has a specific total number of followers you can collect).
  • Absentee Actor: One of the few Sonic games in which Eggman does not appear in any capacity.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: "There's nothing Excalibur can't cut through."
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Knight's Passage.
  • Adaptational Badass: Well, only by comparison. While they were very strong, this game ups the Knights of the Round Table by giving them the abilities of Sonic's friends, giving Lancelot Chaos powers, Percival pyrokinesis, and Galahad telekinesis.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Lady Of the Lake.
  • Adaptational Villainy: King Arthur of all people. Although justified in that he was corrupted in the game's storyline.
  • Adapted Out: There are no Sonic characters cast as Arthur's wife Guinevere or Morgan le Fay.
  • An Aesop: As Sonic puts it, "there's more to life than just serving a king." Also, verything has to end eventually, and it's better to have lived a good life with no regrets than to be stuck in an unending circle of monotony.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Sir Gawain proclaims a knight who fails their king is unfit to live, Sonic asks him "Isn't there more to being a knight than just serving a king?"
  • Artifact of Doom: The scabbard of Excalibur has a remarkable habit of serving as The Corrupter. After receiving it from Nimue, King Arthur became a power-hungry tyrant. Merlina's efforts to depose the king were actually to take the scabbard for herself.
  • Artistic License – History: Thanks to a Critical Research Failure—while the game talks a great deal about the western warrior code called chivalry, after a while it becomes apparent that the game has it confused with the Japanese warrior code bushido. In particular, Sir Gawain is so humiliated by losing his boss fight that he tries to commit seppuku; one wonders when Arthur-dono imposed this penalty.note 
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning
  • A World Half Full: Seems to be Sonic's main argument against Merlina's freezing Camelot. The kingdom may be destined to fall someday, but good people can and do make a difference.
  • BFS: King Arthur's sword, the Deathcalibur, which is actually produced by the Scabbard of Excalibur itself.
    • The final boss, Merlina/The Dark Queen, has four gargantuan swords used to fight Sonic. They're gargantuan Deathcaliburs.
    • Whilst Sonic, Gawain, Percival, and Lancelot's swords are normal-sized, they're still longer than the characters are tall. Excalibur is even bigger.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Camelot Castle, Knight's Passage and Faraway Avalon.
  • Big "NO!": Sonic does this when Caliburn is bisected by the Dark Queen.
    • And when he loses his chili dog at the beginning.
  • Black Knight:
    • Sir Lancelot wears dark gunmetal-grey armor to go with his black-furred body.
    • King Arthur himself as the titular "Black Knight," although it's actually a very dark shade of gold.
    • Dark Queen Merlina's battle form is a giant blue-and-black-armored spectral King Arthur. When she Turns Red, the armor goes completely black.
  • Blade Brake: All the player characters can do this.
  • The Cameo: Silver and Jet also have Round Table alternates, but they only appear in multiplayer.
  • Cavalier Consumption: Sonic seems more interested in eating his Chili Dog(s) than taking Arthur and his Mooks seriously.
  • Chest Monster: In various levels, the red chests (which usually contain loot) can suddenly transform into hostile, sharp-teeth monsters that flee when you get close.
  • Clueless Aesop: The game talks a lot about chivalry and heroics, but it doesn't do a very good job of it.
    • Both the beginning and end of the game make note of the fact that, as an enemy of the king and then someone trying to save the kingdom, Sonic is abandoning the role of "hero", which Sonic doesn't mind, but the game then neglects to explain what that actually means, especially in the context of King Arthur being an obvious Evil Overlord. Worse, the game has a mechanic allowing Sonic to earn a 100% Heroism Rating, regardless of which Sonic will still accept the role of "bad guy" with a shrug during the Final Battle.
    • Multiple characters talk about what it means to be a knight, but outside of one or two claims about what specific actions a knight should do, nobody articulates a coherent ethic of chivalry or whether anyone is failing to uphold it. Indeed, as per Artistic License – History above, the game also accidentally confuses chivalry with bushido.
  • Continuity Nod: Black Knight has a few instances in the levels where Sonic talks about past experiences that something reminds him of.
  • Crush Blush: Percival (Blaze) blushes lightly after Caliburn says "Save the hugs and kisses for later" towards her and Sonic.
  • Dark Reprise: With Me, the Dark Queen's battle theme, is both this and a Boss Remix for Merlina's Leitmotif.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Lancelot is, in Sonic's world, Shadow. He acts as a somewhat condescending, but honorable foe, and joins Sonic after the Disc-One Final Boss.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Caliburn.
    Caliburn: ...Onward, young knave!
    Sonic: Stop calling me "knave"!! I'm Sonic the Hedgehog!
    Caliburn: Very well, then. I shall call you Knave the Hedgehog.
    • Sonic has this part of his personality turned up a few notches, too.
    Lancelot: Will you abandon your sword and flee?
    Sonic: Sounds good to me!
  • Dragons Versus Knights: Fittingly, the first and penultimate boss is a winged dragon, each protecting a magical sword Sonic needs to complete his quest of knighthood and save Camelot from dark magic.
  • Driven to Suicide: Knuckles/Gawain, after losing to Sonic in a duel. Sonic confiscates his sword before he can go through with it.
  • Dual Wielding: Knuckles/Gawain employs two swords at all times.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The game is often commended for demonstrating Sonic's personality very well.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As the Queen of the Underworld, Merlina dons a dark green, purple, and gold Pimped-Out Dress rather than her usual pink colour scheme.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Downplayed but still present between King Arthur and Merlina. One has become Drunk on the Dark Side and terrorizing the kingdom he's supposed to rule with monsters from the Underworld. The other wants to stop him... but only so that she can get her hands on the scabbard with which to enact her own scheme to make the kingdom eternal to prevent its eventual destruction, which as a consequence warps the land with dark magic and releases the armies of the Underworld as well.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: Subverted: It seems that the two are separate swords at first, but then it's revealed that Caliburn (which Sonic has been carrying around for the entire game) is actually the true Excalibur.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The game rolls the credits after you defeat King Arthur, but the game is nowhere close to over.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: Dark Hollow.
  • Fish out of Water: Sonic has no idea how to wield a blade or how to behave chivalrously and must learn as he progresses through the story.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Merlina takes a moment early on in the game to pick a small flower and quietly muse to herself the futility of their blooming when they're destined to wither, though upon noticing Sonic staring at her she quickly brushes it off. This shows the core of her villainy and her desire to find a way to stop this end from happening to Camelot.
    • Only with all of the sacred swords together can Sonic nullify King Arthur's scabbard-induced immortality. This is because the swords contain the power of and are actually derived from Excalibur itself, which is the magical Absurdly Sharp Blade that can penetrate the defense of the scabbard.
    • Caliburn’s own name is a clue to indicate that he is the true Excalibur, because in real-life, “Caliburn” is what the sword was originally called before European authors changed it to Excalibur”.
    • At the beginning of the game, when Sonic pulls Caliburn out of the stone, it’s an obvious reference to King Arthur pulling out the sword in the stone. And at the end of the game, Sonic is revealed to be the true King Arthur.
  • Gender Flip: Sir Percival is flipped to female, due to his role being occupied by Blaze the Cat.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Merlina's corrupt alter ego, the Dark Queen.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Merlina's dress and hair when she becomes the Dark Queen.
  • Green Hill Zone: Misty Lake, Titanic Plain, and Great Megalith.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Living in a world that continues without end, at the risk of disrupting natural order, isn't a great way for one to live their life, and they should instead make the most out of their time before the end comes.
  • Harmless Freezing: Characters don't take damage from being frozen, they are merely immobilized until they break free.
  • Humble Hero: Surprisingly, Sonic reveals himself to be this in the end. When trying to comfort Merlina about the end of Camelot, he tells her to live life to the fullest in the time left, but admits that's just his perspective. This is consistent with his Image Song, It Doesn't Matter, where he admits he can't tell what's wrong or right.
  • Immortality Inducer: The scabbard of Excalibur does this to whoever holds it. It seems to act as an advanced Healing Factor that fixes wounds in seconds while keeping the wielder alive regardless of damage. It's Merlina's goal to obtain it and grant the world itself the scabbard's blessing. The only thing that can nullify it is Excalibur itself, and by extension the four Sacred Swords when all are brought together.
  • Instant Armor: Excalibur Sonic gets this during his transformation.
  • Interface Spoiler: The pre-level menu has the name "Sonic" on the list, and with his big hedgehog head in a portrait beside it. At first, it can't be selected. Gee, I wonder if we'll eventually get to change characters by selecting his name.
  • Ironic Echo: At the beginning of the game before drawing Caliburn, Merlina tells Sonic that if he accepts this role and defeats King Arthur, there's a good chance he'll be seen as a king-slayer and no hero, to which Sonic replies "he doesn't mind being the bad guy." Come the final battle, and Sonic repeats the same sentiment as Dark Queen Merlina tries to call him out on trying to stop her plans for an eternal kingdom.
  • Kid Amid the Chaos: Played with. Sonic stumbles across a child weeping over her parents and fellow townspeople being kidnapped by a dragon, and decides to go clear up the mess himself. However, it turns out that the child is really Nimue in disguise, employing a Secret Test of Character to see what Sonic would do. He passes with flying colours.
  • Lava Surfing: In The Cauldron stage.
  • The Lost Woods: Deep Woods and Shrouded Forest.
  • Meaningful Name: Caliburn. The fact that his name sounds a lot like Excalibur isn’t a coincidence, because at the end of the game, it’s revealed that Excalibur is Caliburn’s true form. Also, "Caliburn" is what Excalibur was originally called in real-life before its name was altered in later versions of the Arthurian legends.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Several of the unlockable emblems in the Treasury can only be obtained through dishonorable acts or screwing up especially hard:
    • Despised One: Attack multiple townspeople in a single level.
    • Chicken: Repeatedly attack enemies from behind.
    • Weakling: Get hit by enemies several times.
    • Coward: Repeatedly commit dishonorable behavior.
    • Ruffian: Destroy a lot of property such as barrels or pots.
  • The Middle Ages: The game's setting is in a fantasy version of Medieval England.
  • Mono no Aware: What this game's twist on the King Arthur story ultimately boils down to. Merlina, knowing that the story will end with the kingdom in ruin, wishes to use her magic to make the kingdom eternal, but Sonic doesn't see the point in a world that lasts forever, and thinks instead that we should just let things be and live life to the fullest in the time we have.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The Royal Knights, particularly Lancelot. Gawain and Percival have more reservations, but Gawain has the strongest reaction to failing in his duties.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When you are on the character select screen right before starting a level in one-player mode, Sonic's thumbs-up pose looks very similar to his official render in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • Lancelot and Gawain employ instrumental versions of the classic "Throw It All Away" from Sonic Adventure 2 and "Unknown from M.E." from Sonic Adventure. The riff from SA's "It Doesn't Matter" kicks in right before Caliburn becomes Excalibur.
    • Whenever Sonic gets a one-star on any level, he'll dejectedly say, "Shoot, not my day", just like when he gets an E-Rank in Sonic Heroes.
  • No Sympathy: In the ending, Amy doesn't buy Sonic's reasons for why he missed out on their date because he was being sent to the Aruthurian times, and proceeds to chase him with her hammer.
  • Nominal Hero: Inverted. Sonic is essentially a nominal villain; Merlina warns him that setting out to defeat King Arthur and becoming a "king-slayer" is not the work of heroes and Sonic says "he doesn't mind being the bad guy", but this is never explored aside from a brief Ironic Echo during the final battle when Dark Queen Merlina tries to talk down at him and he repeats the sentiment. The fact that the game employs a 100% Heroism Rating mechanic also makes things strange.
  • Noob Bridge: The Will-O-Wisps are glowing blue orbs of energy that explode and can hurt you when hit. You're supposed to use the "kick" mechanic to kick them into things. Thing is, that mechanic is only really used twice in the main game, and those instances are easy to miss, so you might not even know you can when you find the Wisps much more often in the post-game.
  • Not Worth Killing: King Arthur's reaction to Sonic after their first fight.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sonic gets a big one when, at the very end of the game, Amy accuses him of forgetting their date and breaks out her hammer. Sonic promptly runs away, screaming for mercy.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: This games features two of them; The Mist Dragon and the Earth Dragon.
  • Palmtree Panic: Misty Lake.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Merlina.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Amy's dress as the Lady of the Lake.
  • Planet Heck: Molten Mine and The Cauldron.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Frickin' Marty Friedman from Megadeth does the guitar work for the final boss theme.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Sonic was fully willing to allow The Grand Kingdom to come to an end rather than allow Merlina to use her magic to make it eternal and plague it with the denizens of the Underworld. His quote pretty much sums this up:
    Sonic: "I don't mind playing the bad guy once in a while."
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The Molten Mine background music is a rearranged theme from the obscure shooter Black Dawn, which Tommy Tallarico previously worked on. The Great Megalith stage features another track from Black Dawn as its background music, and unlike Molten Mine, this wasn't a rearrangement.
  • Reverse Grip: How Shadow/Lancelot prefers to wield. Sonic also holds his own sword like this when grinding.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Arthur, both the fake and the genuine article, Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Save the Villain: Sonic to Percival, though calling her a villain is a bit of a stretch.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Implied with Merlina as the Queen of the Underworld. She looks pale, cold, and sad, as though she is becoming undead herself.
  • Ship Tease:
    • While initially startled into fleeing from the Lady of the Lake (Amy Rose's doppelganger), a few seconds into the conversation, he cozies right up to her until Caliburn tells him off.
    • It's not hard to see the cutscene in which Sonic saves Percival as one for Sonic/Blaze.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When the main villain claims Sonic could never understand their sorrow, Sonic simply retorts "Good, 'cause I don't ever want to know such one-sided sadness."
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Shrouded Forest.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Live Life, compared to most of Crush 40's typical hard rocking songs for the Sonic series, is a slow, optimistic rock ballad about living life to the fullest.
  • Stab the Sky: Sonic does this upon defeating King Arthur.
  • Status Effects: Paralysis will prevent Sonic from being able to move temporarily, poisoning will cause ring drainage, freezing has the same effect as paralysis except you have to break free of the ice, petrification equals instant death, and confusion will make Sonic occasionally hallucinate and see enemies as treasure boxes and vice-versa.
  • Stood Up: Apparently Sonic's adventure in Aruthurian times sidetracked him from going on a date with Amy.
    Amy: (After Sonic explained what happened) That's the lamest excuse ever! You just forgot about our date!
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Played with. Merlina is obviously this to Shahra from Secret Rings, and is made out to fill a similar role in the story. Then it turns out she's the game's main villain.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Happens literally at least four times in the game, as Sonic needs the sacred swords together in order to nullify the power of Arthur's scabbard.
  • Talking Weapon: And does it. Caliburn is amazingly egotistical.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sonic and Caliburn snark at each other a lot even when they team up.
  • Technicolor Toxin: When a character is poisoned, purple bubbles will appear around them.
  • True Blue Femininity: Amy/Nimue's dress.
  • Underground Level: Crystal Cave and Dragon's Lair.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can perform Acts of Chivalry by giving rings to the townspeople (provided that you have 20 to give) and in return (if you succeed on the Quick Time Events) said towns-person will give you an item. Doing this will also add to the Knight's Honor bonus.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: After seeing Amy as Lady Nimue, Sonic is initially terrified of being near her until he's reminded to respect Lady Nimue, at which point he grows more comfortable around her — something he's very rarely able to do around Amy.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can actually attack the innocent townspeople. However, doing so has a negative impact on your score and can saddle you with negative titles.
  • Villain Song: Played with: "With Me", the final boss theme, is sung from both the boss's perspective and the protagonist's perspective.
  • Warrior vs. Sorcerer: The final battle of the story is between Sonic and Dark Queen Merlina. Sonic is a Knight in Shining Armor who wields a sword, while Merlina is an Anti-Villain sorceress fighting to save her world.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Merlina turns out to be one. Her reasons for doing so are so sympathetic that Sonic doesn't hold any grudge against her after defeating her.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Sonic and Merlina take opposite views on this — Sonic would rather make the most of his time, while Merlina would rather not see Camelot face its eventual fall.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It's stated that King Arthur turned evil due to Excalibur's scabbard of immortality. Judging by all evidence, something similar happened to Merlina as well.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: No, King Arthur is not the Final Boss.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sonic And The Black Knight, Sonic And The Secret Rings


Erazor Djinn

He's reduced to begging Shahra to help him when he's being forcibly sealed into his lamp.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / AintTooProudToBeg

Media sources: