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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 164 was the one hundred and sixty-fourth issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
The cataclysmic conclusion of this epic tale finds a fallen hero and a hidden villain revealed! Can Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles stand up to the combined forces of mystical Ixis Naugus, megalomaniac Mammath Mogul, and the world's most evil science geek, Robotnik? The most shocking story development since Sonic #50's death of Princess Sally!
- "The Darkest Storm" - Part Three ("Downburst")
Anonymous opens by stating what he has managed to accomplish thus far: causing the Arachne to activate the Sword of Acorns in the Egg Grape Chamber, casting the Egg Grapes into the Zone of Silence and killing the Ancient Walkers, freeing both Mammoth Mogul and Ixis Naugus, and the two villains joining forces. Reporting their current engagement with Sonic and his allies, he remarks that "everything is going according to plan." At the battle, Sonic banters briefly with both Fiona and Sally before suggesting to Elias that that they try to retrieve the Acorn artifacts. The two go to confront Mogul, who swings at them with the Sword of Acorns but then has the Crown snatched from his head by Sonic. He then places it on Elias, who believes that his birthright will restore it to his control, only for the two to be electrocuted by its tainted power. Mogul calls the artifact back to him, remarking that Elias had no chance of reclaiming the Source of All from him without being connected to them at the time they were forged. He is then confronted by Sir Connery, who recites his charge from the Ancient Walkers to cleanse Mobius of evil magicians. Though he'd belived the task done with the death of Damocles the Elder and others before him, he states that he now has one more task.
Sonic encourages Connery, planning to work with him against Mogul, only for the Mammoth to conjure up a hand of earth to hold Sonic and prevent him from interfering as Mogul and Sir Connery duel. Mogul claims that Connery is helpless against him without the Ancient Walkers, only for Connery to retort that he holds the Walkers with him in his final act. He reveals that they gave him his Sword of Light so that he could destroy evil, and after a brief clash of blades informs Elias that he must destroy the royal artifacts. Sir Connery then declares himself Paladin of the Ancient Walkers, Bringer of the Light and Enemy of the Darkness, prompting Mogul to remark scathingly that Mogul is usually insulted for such verbosity. Then, activating the power of the Sword of Light, Connery strikes to Mogul's dismay, destroying the Sword and Crown of Acorns with Sonic's encouragement. The heroes are then horrified as Connery's body dissolves into smoke, leaving his armor and Sword to fall to the ground as Merlin explains that Sir Connery used his own life force to destroy the Source of All.
The fallen Mogul is assisted by Naugus and the Destructix, raging over his defeat and the loss of his empowering artifacts. Sonic and the other heroes then confront him, furious over Connery's loss and determined to defeat him, while Mogul is determined to continue the fight. Both are then interrupted by the sudden arrival of Robotnik in the Egg Hawk as he and the Egg Fleet open fire, driving the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix to cover and forcing the villains together. The fleet then attacks with teleportation beams, capturing Mogul's force as Robotnik laughs triumphantly and Anonymous declares that Phase Three is complete. Sonic braces for another battle, but Robotnik then informs Sonic that he hasn't come for Sonic, identifying Mogul and Naugus as the greater threats and mourning Mecha's loss as a result of their actions. Sonic then asks if he destroyed them, and Robotnik reveals that he has actually taken them captive with his teleportation technology. He then informs Sonic that his Egg Fleet has the power to wipe Sonic off the map, but that he intends to crush the Freedom Fighters on his own terms. Sonic attempts to engage him, but is too weary from the battle to be in top form, and is forced to watch along with his friends as the tyrant and his forces depart.
Some time later, Anonymous reports that his hope was that Sonic would be killed in the massive battle, but that every other aspect of his plan has been completed. In Knothole Sonic, Tails, Merlin, Elias, Sally, and Knuckles gather at Sir Connery's newly erected gravestone, Elias mourning how much of his father's old kingdom has been lost. Merlin then comforts him with the knowledge that Sir Connery died protecting the Kingdom and Mobius, while Knuckles promises to protect Mobius in Connery's stead to repay the Paladin for saving him so long ago. Elias then questions how he can reform the court when Connery's life was too high a price to pay, infuriating Sonic. He then states that he knows Connery wouldn't have given up had Sonic perished, and that he has no intention of giving up and thus besmirching Connery's death, and questions if Elias is going to do so by giving up on the Kingdom. Shedding tears briefly, the King holds the Sword of Light aloft, promising to honor Connery's memory and keep his sword in remembrance of his courage and as a commitment to emulate it. Sonic then compliments Elias on the speech, given that he came to the throne after trying to avoid his heritage for so long. Sally then takes Elias away to get some rest, leaving Merlin and the others to speak.
Sonic questions who they will look to for a deus ex machina without the Ancient Walkers, prompting Knuckles to suggest learning more about Aurora. Tails reminds them that Athair is still active, which Merlin agrees to before remarking "And I have a few connections." The younger heroes then agree that so long as they work together they can handle anything, and the four then head off to get some food. Back in New Megaopolis, Robotnik is observing Mogul and his minions in the Egg Grapes, with A.D.A.M. reporting that Mogul is shielding himself and the others from the effects of the device. Robotnik dismisses it, figuring that Mogul and his men will be destroyed regardless of resistance. He also takes comfort in the fact that though he lost several thousand Mobians to the Zone of Silence, his new prisoners help to make up for them, and the fusion of the Void and the Zone of Silence will make the energy harvested from them easier to make use of. He then declares that once he has that power at his disposal, he will destroy Knothole, before going off to sleep. A.D.A.M. then reveals that he was responsible for killing the Ancient Walkers and bringing about the Source of All's destruction, making Robotnik the greatest power on Mobius. He then promises to destroy Robotnik and Sonic as well, and that Robotnik will soon realize "that A.D.A.M. Determines Anonymous' Movements".
- "Sonic Riders" - Part Two
A battered Sonic enters Freedom HQ and startles Knuckles and Tails, who are both surprised by his condition. Knuckles is immediately angry and eager to go after the guilty party, whom Sonic reveals are Robotnik's latest minions, the Babylon Rogues. Knuckles is then amused as Sonic admits that their boards gave them incredible speed, and promises to help even the odds, though Sonic is at a loss as to how they can accomplish this. Tails then reveals that he has been constructing his own air boards to help the Freedom Fighters keep up with Sonic in the field. Sonic compliments his work, and Tails points out that though the boards are prototypes they are all functional. Sonic then reveals that the Babylon Rogues will be attacking Knothole the following day.
As the Rogues fly towards Knothole, Storm questions if Jet thinks Sonic will appear to stop them. Jet is confident that the three of them hurt Sonic enough so that he won't be able to interfere, but all three are then surprised by blurs of speed. Sonic and his two friends then park their air boards and cockily confront their enemies, and an infuriated Jet promises to wreck Knothole for their imitation. The six Mobians begin racing through the Great Forest, and Knuckles and Storm begin grappling and realize that they have nearly equal strength. Wave then confronts Tails and admits to being impressed by his flying ability, but then angers him by insulting his boards. Jet and Sonic continue to confront each other, and Sonic tells Jet that if he wants to trash Knothole, he'll have to beat them there.
- Sir Connery: I am Sir Connery! Paladin of the Ancient Walkers! Bringer of the Light and Enemy of the Darkness!
- Mammoth Mogul: And they chastise me for my verbosity...
- Sir Connery: (his last words) I SMITE THEE! (destroys the remaining Source Of All relics with his sword)
- Mogul: NO!
- Ixis Naugus: Master--?
- Mammoth Mogul: Rrgh! This means nothing...nothing!
- Sonic: Nothing?! We lost a life just to take away your toys! That's giving too much!
- Mogul: This day may be weary with the toil of battle, but it is not over! I still command incredible power!
- Dr. Eggman: (suddenly appears in his Egg Fleet) What a coincidence! So do I. Fire at will!
- Sonic: They flew in on air boards that were...
- Knuckles: Yeah?
- Sonic: Well...they were...
- Knuckles: Yeah?
- Sonic:...really fast.
- Sir Connery sacrifices himself to destroy the corrupted Source of All.
- Mogul, Naugus, the Arachne and the Destructix are all captured and imprisoned in Egg Grape Chambers.
- A.D.A.M. is revealed to be Anonymous.
- The Babylon Rogues battle Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails, leading into the events of the Sonic Riders game.
- This issue's cover is the last part of a three-part full image.
- The silhouette of Anonymous was deliberately made to look like the original Dr. Robotnik, as writer Romy Chacron planned to reveal Anonymous as a revived Robotnik. However, as that never came about, the silhouette was used as a red herring.
- Damocles the Elder was spelled Domoleces in this issue.
- The second story of this issue is a comic tie-in to the video game Sonic Riders.
- "Sonic Rider - Part Two" was originally slated to be reprinted in Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Vol. 2: Rivals, as noted by a footnote in Sonic Universe Vol. 5: The Tails Adventure. The story does not appear in the final version of the book.
- Despite being seen after the fight, Charmy and Saffron are not seen participating in the battle.
- In the "Special Thanks" credits, "Sonic Team" is written as "Team Sonic".
- The title for "Sonic Riders - Part Two" is completely absent.
This issue has been reprinted in the following places:
- "The Darkest Storm - Part Three (Downburst)" was printed in Sonic Saga Series Vol. 1: Darkest Storm
- "Sonic Riders - Part Two" was printed along with Part One in Sonic: The Games - Modern
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