Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 231 is the two hundred and thirty first issue in the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
The world is safe - but at a terrible cost. As Sonic tries to rally the Freedom Fighters, Dr. Eggman unleashes his Titan Metal Sonic on the city! Can our heroes salvage the fight, or is there just too much chaos to handle? Then, in "Haunted," the effects of "Genesis" bring back some old problems for Ixis Naugus.
- Lost in the Moment
Aboard the Death Egg Mark 2, the newly-roboticized Sally Acorn has Sonic the Hedgehog by the throat. They're in the wreckage of the Roboticizer chamber; NICOLE's handheld computer lies broken while a battered Dr. Eggmansits among the debris. He is nonetheless delighted, watching with amusement while Sonic pleads with Sally. The hedgehog begs the roboticized princess to snap out of it, not wanting to have to fight her, but she only stares back coldly, unresponsive. Physically pained but still smiling, Eggman gets to his feet and beckons Mecha Sally to follow him, saying it's time to "take out the trash."
They take an elevator into another portion of the Death Egg, Sonic still struggling in Mecha Sally's grip. While Eggman admits that it'd be more sensible to have her simply walk the two of them into an incinerator, he wants to be able to enjoy the situation. He orders Mecha Sally to throw Sonic out of a disposal chute; Sonic once again attempts to get through to Sally, but to no avail. She throws him outside among other debris, and Sonic falls from the Death Egg.
Eggman happily congratulates Mecha Sally, who, to his delight, replies that his word is law. Then, Eggman annouces to Snively via intercom that, regardless of the damage to the Death Egg, he wishes to mount a follow-up assault on New Mobotropolis. Snively begins to protest, but Eggman overrides him, saying that he's got a Chaos Emerald; even with the Death Egg's poor condition, he feels confident that they can destroy the city with ease. To his shock, however, Snively explains that they no longer have the Chaos Emerald; he's not sure what happened, but it's gone. He again reminds Eggman that when the roboticizer blew, it caused a lot of damage and that they're still low on power. Annoyed but seeing reason, Eggman instead orders a retreat, commanding that Projects "Titan" and "Deadly Cuddles" be launched to provide a distraction. He then orders Mecha Sally to follow him, musing that he wishes to come up with a better name for her.
Outside, Sonic is saved from his plunge by Miles "Tails" Prower, who catches him with his plane, the Tornado. Sonic is grateful but instructs Tails to return him to the Death Egg. Tails wants to know where Sally is, and Sonic replies that he couldn't save her, impatiently saying he'll explain on the way back to the Death Egg. Tails reluctantly complies. Irritated, Sonic wonders where Ixis Naugus is, as the wizard was supposed to have been helping them.Naugus, however, is back on the ground, stunned and disoriented, mumbling about a flash of white light. Suddenly, a massive red metallic object is dropped from the Death Egg, narrowly avoiding both the Tornado and the Freedom Fighter Special. It crashes into New Mobotropolis, destroying part of the outer wall and the Coliseum. Citizens flee in terror; while Big the Cat stands by protectively, Cream the Rabbit and her mother Vanilla huddle in fear. Cream, trembling, nonetheless tries to reassure her mother that the Freedom Fighters will protect them. From within the Coliseum, the object reveals itself to be the towering Titan Metal Sonic.
From above in the Freedom Fighter Special, Antoine D'Coolette reacts with shock upon seeing the massive robot. Bunnie "Rabbot" D'Coolette tells him to concentrate on flying the plane; she jumps out the back, using her rockets to fly down to confront the robotic monster. Meanwhile, the disoriented Ixis Naugus has somewhat recovered and has realized what's happening; refusing to let Robotnik destroy "his" kingdom before he can claim it, he also flies off to stop Titan Metal Sonic.
The robot crashes through the Coliseum, sending people running. Bunnie is less than pleased to see Naugus joining the fight, but the two attempt to work together, Bunnie firing her laser cannon and Naugus using fire magic. Naugus is swatted aside by the towering robot; landing on the ground and seemingly talking to himself, he announces that he'll prove that he's capable of stopping the menace. He fires a massive wave from his Chaos Emerald wand, engulfing Titan Metal Sonic -- and Bunnie. Bunnie screams as the crystalline magic washes over them both.
On the Death Egg, Snively reports to Eggman, noting that they've suddenly lost contact with Titan Metal Sonic. He suddenly notices Mecha Sally and is shocked to see that the roboticizer worked, and on the princess no less. Not paying him much mind, Eggman shouts orders to the flustered Dark Egg Legionaries manning the stations, telling them to put the engines on reserve power while diverting all other power to the Egg Annihilator Beam; the target is New Mobotropolis. Snively again protests, insisting that the Death Egg is not in optimal condition, but with Eggman's prompt, Mecha Sally roughly grabs Snively and orders him to obey.Outside, Sonic notices the base of the Death Egg glowing and wonders what other weapons it could possibly have. He gets his answer as a massive beam fires from the Death Egg, clipping both planes as it heads towards the city. From below, Naugus commands Titan Metal Sonic -- now converted to Naugus's magical crystal -- towards the outer wall of the city. The former robot blocks the laser, shattering in the process. As an explosion rips through the side of the Coliseum and chunks of crystal and debris runs down, Cream, despite her mother's protests, runs off; she saw Bunnie fall nearby. Bunnie lies near-unconscious on the ground; just before any of the crystaline debris can crush her, Cream (with the help of her Chao Cheese), manages to pull her to safety. Bunnie appears to be covered in magical green crystal; a fretful Vanilla checks her pulse and tells Big to help bring her to Dr. Quack. While Big picks up Bunnie, Cream goes to pick up Bunnie's crystallized hat, and notices something else in the debris; a strange doll. Thinking that someone must have dropped it in the confusion, Cream picks it up, sure its owner would want it back.
Outside the city, Tails airlifts Sonic and the two come across the downed Freedom Fighter Special. Fearful for the safety of their friends, they call out, and Amy Rose smashes open the plane's hatch with her Piko Piko Hammer. Landing, Sonic asks if anyone was injured, and a tired Amy replies that they seem to be okay, adding that Antoine did a good job of landing the damaged plane. Sonic explains that he and Tails had to abandon the Tornado. Nearby, Tails helps Antoine and Geoffrey St. John exit the plane. Satisfied that everyone is safe, Sonic announces that he's going back after the Death Egg. Amy is shocked, and Geoffrey angrily points out that they barely survived this battle, asking what could possible be so important -- and then he realizes that Sally's not present. Geoffrey demands to know where she is while Amy looks on, distraught, and Sonic clenches his fist. Tails, helping Antoine walk, explains that Sally succeeded in disabling the Death Egg's greatest weapon, but is only able to finish with, "...Eggman has her." Sonic bluntly announces that, even without the planes, he has to go back to the Death Egg and save Sally. Distressed, Amy grabs his hand as he tries to walk off, protesting that he's in no condition to fight. Noticing the damaged city wall, Geoffrey also tries to be reasonable, pointing out that the city's been attacked, but an angry Antoine shouts him down, telling him that after all that he's done recently, he's not one to try to help them. An exhausted Sonic still tries to insist he can keep going, but Amy and Tails, both upset, talk him down, saying they simply can't do any more right now. Sonic glares at the departing Death Egg, and then the five of them make their way towards the city.Walking through the hole in the city wall, the group witnesses massive destruction. As she looks at a crystallized nanite-tree and the debris littering the area, Amy is shocked, wondering why Nicole hasn't used her nanites to fix the damage. In the distance, chanting can be heard. Sonic notices with surprise that he can see real grass in patches under his feet. Cream suddenly runs towards the group, clutching the odd doll, and asks them to come quickly. The chanting is louder further in the city, praising "the king." Following Cream, the group finds Bunnie on the ground being examined by Dr. Quack; Antoine makes his way through the crowd of distressed onlookers, shocked at seeing his wife covered in crystal. Because of the magic involved, Dr. Quack isn't quite sure what to do, but he notes that Bunnie at least appears to be stable; he asks Big to carry her to the hospital, while he and Tails help Antoine walk. Distraught, Amy asks Vanilla what happened. Carrying Bunnie's crystallized jacket and hat, Vanilla says it's been "dreadful," mentioning the giant robot, the explosions, Bunnie being caught in the crossfire, "and now that... that awful wizard...!" Sonic and Amy realize with dawning horror that the cheering isn't for them; in front of Castle Acorn, Ixis Naugus stands atop the remains of the crystallized Titan Metal Sonic, holding his staff in victory as the crowd cheers him on for saving them.
During the moment in the main story where Ixis Nagus was lying on the ground and mumbling about a white light, his three predecessors, Agunus, Suguna, and Nusgau appear. They explain that during the events of Genesis, they have been set free from the confines of the back of his mind. Ixis Naugus questions them in confusion, to which they explain how they became Ixis Naugus in the first place: the three Ixis wizards battled each other to see who would rule the remaining order and their fighting lead to the three accidentally fusing. Naugus then tries to shove them aside, stating that he is superior to them in terms of magic. However, each of the three try to take over his body. They argue over which one would be fit to take over, until Naugus strikes the ground with his Chaos Emerald wand. Breathing heavily, he sees the Titan Metal Sonic attacking New Mobotropolis and flies toward the city, determined to stop it before it destroys the kingdom he wants to claim.
Cream is hosting a tea party with Cheese, along with their new guest Tails Doll, enjoying the fact they have someone else to join them for tea. Cheese gives the doll a strange look, only for it to quickly transform into a hideous monster to frighten him while Cream is looking for Tea Biscuits in her Tea Party Kit. The Doll turns back to normal before Cream notices. Seeing her now disturbed chao friend on the table, Cream scolds him for not being patient like their guest.
- Sonic: No... Sal...
- Mecha Sally: Hedgehog. Priority one.
- Sonic: C'mon, Sally... fight it! I know you're in there! Don't let the doc win this one! Please... don't make me fight you...
- Amy: Sonic... the cheering...
- Sonic: It's not for us.
- Due to the events of Genesis, the spirits within Naugus's mind are reawakened.
- The Death Egg loses its Chaos Emerald and retreats.
- Parts of New Mobotropolis are destroyed.
- The Tornado and the Freedom Fighter Special are destroyed.
- Cream finds one of Eggman's creations, mistaking it for a simple doll.
- Bunnie's robotic limbs are crystallized.
- Titan Metal Sonic is defeated.
- Naugus earns the city's praise by foiling two of the Death Egg's attacks.
- When the cover was first released with the solicit, Mecha Sally was silhouetted. This was done to avoid spoiling the fate of Sally after the Genesis arc, as the arc had not yet concluded when the solicit was released.
- The sequence where Mecha Sally throws Sonic out of the Death Egg was later paralled in #250 (Eggman himself even remarked on the similarities). This issue's cover was also parodied by the variant cover of #258.
- "Lost in the Moment" was reprinted in Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Vol. 2: Villains and Ultimate Collectuon.
- In France, "Lost in the Moment" was printed in Delcourt Sonic 3: Arrière Toute !
- In Germany, this issue was printed in Panini Sonic the Hedgehog #3
- In the United Kingdom, "Lost in the Moment" was printed in Pedigree's Sonic Interactive Annual