Archie Sonic Universe Issue 88 is the eighty-eighth issue of the Archie Sonic Universe comic series.
Tougher than leather, it’s Knuckles in “Shattered” Part Two: The mysteries deepen and the suspense builds! Amy and Rouge fight for their lives! Omega is out of commission! And Knuckles is lead deep into the heart of the Hidden Palace Zone by the new Echidna, Nixus! But is this strange newcomer everything he seems to be? Featuring cover art by Sonic comics legend Tracy Yardley and an “& Knuckles” variant by the delightful Diana Skelly!
Amy and Rouge are still trapped inbetween the large emerald shards. Rouge is unable to reach her ear comm in order to contact the others for help. Amy decides to smash their way out with her Piko Piko Hammer and does so quickly once they sense something big heading their way.
Meanwhile, Knuckles and Shadow are face-to-face with Nixus the Echidna, much to Knuckles' surprise as he believed he was the last. According to Nixus he had been separated from Angel Island and had been looking for a way back ever since. He believed that the Master Emerald shards were his ticket home. Shadow does not believe Nixus, thinking that it was too convenient to run into someone in a place so remote, who is also looking for the shards. Knuckles did not like Shadow's tone and began comparing this with Shadow's relation with Eclipse but stopped as it was a touchy subject.
Shadow then tries to contact Amy and Rouge to no avail. The girls manage to escape the emerald prison while dodging lasers fired by Omega. Shadow requests that the three of them go and help the girls but Nixus did not want to risk running into an ambush or damaging the Master Emerald shards. Shadow decides to go by himself while Nixus led Knuckles to a hidden, but safe, place where the the Master Emerald could be reassembled and later catch up to the others.
Nixus tells Knuckles about the history of Trolls as he had apparently lived with them. The trolls mostly lived in a land called Pancardina. The Hidden Palace Zone they were in was one of the many mines the trolls accessed. Here, they would use the emeralds that they mined to increase their powers and their crystalline technology brought a new age of "prosperity and order" to the world. However, a powerful being completely destroyed Pancardina into smaller islands, injuring many inhabitants. Knuckles asks if the Chaos Emeralds had any involvement with this but Nixus tells him that the trolls believed that they were terrors to the world and instead, the trolls used the power of Ixis. Ixis was sealed away by chaotic forces, shaping the universe later on. Knuckles tells Nixus to calm down as the latter seemed to be very interested in Ixis, to which Nixus replies that he just appreciates the history.
They arrive at an organ and Nixus presses a few keys. It opens up a secret stairwell which the boys walk down. They arrive in a small room and Knuckles requests for Nixus to give him the remaining shards so that he could reassemble the Master Emerald. Instead, Nixus traps Knuckles inside crystals and takes Knuckles' shards for himself. Nixus then reveals himself as Walter Naugus, cackling away. Meanwhile, Amy and Rouge find it difficult to break the crystals on Omega. Shadow arrives and puts Omega down. Amy suddenly senses that Knuckles is in trouble and wants to go off and help him. Shadow throws a Chaos Spear at Omega and the trio runs off to find Knuckles. According to Amy, she deduces that Walter Naugus was behind it all as he liked using Crystalline Magic and shape-shifting in order to get what he desires.
Naugus reveals to Knuckles that he overheard Rouge's comment on Knuckles being the last echidna and used this to his advantage in order to tell Knuckles what he wanted a little easier. Naugus also lets the echidna know that he had taken care of Amy and Rouge and he had made Omega his new minion. Naugus then proceeds to assemble the Master Emerald to regain full control of his powers. However, the emeralds do not come together as planned, leaving Knuckles to laugh at his failure and lack of experience dealing with emeralds. This provokes Naugus to attempt to control Knuckles' mind to tell him the secret to assembling the secrets of the emerald. Instead, Knuckles breaks out of his crystalline prison and tries to attack the troll wizard. Before the Knuckles is able to land a hit, Naugus reminds him that his friends were still in trouble. Distracted by this thought, Knuckles is hit out of the secret room and seals it with crystals. Unable to break the crystals, Knuckles goes off to save Amy and Team Dark.
When Knuckles climbs out of the stairwell, he is immediately found by Amy, Rouge and Shadow. He expresses his annoyance at the thought of being tricked once again and asks for Omega's help to break through the crystals. However, Omega was currently crystallized and when Shadow informs Knuckles about this, they are shot at by none other than the robot himself.
After managing to break out of their emerald prison, Amy and Rouge discover that it was so durable due to the fact that the emeralds were actually rock sugar candy. This angers Rouge, so she curses Naugus, who seen walking off saying "Such is my evil..."
- Knuckles hands his Master Emerald shards over to Nixus, who then reveals himself to be Walter Naugus.
- The heroes are attacked by Crystal Omega.
Cameos and References
- The name of the variant cover is a reference to the Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: an extended version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 that could only be accessed by attaching the cartrigde to a copy of Sonic & Knuckles using the latter's famous "lock-on" feature. The "& Knuckles" part of the title has become a meme among Sonic fans.
- The variant cover depicts the cutscene that occurs at the end of Angel Island Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- Sonic Universe Issue 88 at Sonic News Network