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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 272 is the two hundredth and seventy-second issue of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series.
"A Ray of Hope": As Sonic and the Freedom Fighters continue their journey to save the shattered planet, Sonic and Chip journey to Apotos to uncover the secrets of the Gaia Gate! Meanwhile, Knuckles and the Freedom Fighters take on a TITANIC challenge of their own! Does Sonic have a hope in saving the world? Will battle tear the freedom fighters apart first? Find out the answers to these and more exciting questions as our heroes journey to the much-awaited crossover event of the year—WORLDS UNITE! Featuring new cover art from Edwin Huang (Uncanny Skullkickers) and a crazy-new Metal Sonic game art variant provided by Sega!
- A Ray of Hope
In Apotos, Sonic and Antoine D'Coolette do battle with a group of Badniks while Chip looks on. The two Freedom Fighters handily dispatch the robots and free their Mobini batteries, much to Chip's excitement. Antoine comments on the large number of Badniks, and Sonic remarks that there were a number of them present right before he ran into Silver the Hedgehog again. Intrigued, Antoine wonders when this occurred, and Sonic replies that it was just after they'd accomplished a different mission. Hearing the pair talk about what they've accomplished depresses Chip, who feels that he's failing to do his part to help the world as Light Gaia. However, Sonic gives him a quick pep talk that gets his spirits up, and he then sees something even more exciting: an ice cream stand. At the same time, Knuckles the Echidna is explaining to the other Freedom Fighters how the Master Emerald was shattered, and how his search for it led to his involvement in the Chaos Emerald Championship. After briefly bringing up her defeat at his hands during the contest, Amy suggests a way to possibly speed up the hunt for the Emerald shards: using the Mystic Melody technique she learned in Meropis.
Using the Melody, Amy detects a nearby Emerald, and she and Knuckles hit upon a plan to find the rest of the shards by working together. Rotor has objections, however, as Amy's Mystic Melody is also their greatest asset in the ongoing hunt for the Gaia Temples. The others remind him that they have a responsibility to save Angel Island as well, and he responds that they'll have to come up with something so that they can help Knuckles and continue their quest. Unbeknownst to him, Sonic's party has found an answer in the form of the sage Gregorios, who contacted them previously. Leading them to a hidden chamber beneath Apotos, Gregorios reveals to them the Gaia Gate, an ancient structure with the ability to teleport them to the inner chamber of any Gaia Temple without locating the actual structures. The only catch is that this can only be accomplished through the use of the Gaia Keys, magical artifacts that are scattered across the world. However, Gregorios is aware of the identities of the holders of the keys, and provides the heroes with a list in recognition of the danger the world is in.
Leaving Gregorios, Sonic transforms into the Werehog again as the sun sets, a change he hopes will end with the planet's restoration as Chip hopes his memories will return. Unfortunately, the trio then run into trouble as a force of Dark Gaia's Minions materializes with the coming of night. The beleaguered heroes attempt to contact Rotor using a MilesElectric, only to be joined by Knuckles, Amy, and Bunnie on a hunt for the Master Emerald shard. A Dark Gaia Titan then appears at the head of their enemies, and the heroes engage it only to discover that the missing shard is lodged in its torso. Antoine manages to dislodge the shard, and Amy and Knuckles then team up to take it down. Upon learning of Gregorios' information, Amy and Knuckles realize that they are now free to pursue the Master Emerald shards, though a crestfallen Sonic is ribbed by Knuckles over the idea of Amy leaving to travel with him. Back on the Sky Patrol, Rotor gets an unexpected call from Rouge the Bat, who informs him that a G.U.N. unit has discovered another Chaos Emerald in the Crystal Desert Zone. Unfortunately, Metal Sonic has also discovered the unit, and is cleared by Dr. Eggman to attack while his master proceeds to his next target of conquest: the Lost Hex.
The Freedom Fighters are surprised to find themselves in the Off Panel, and realizing that the intended joke for the issue has gone awry they resort to calling upon Mama Robotnik.
- Sonic, Antoine and Chip arrive in Apotos for a scouting mission and meet Gregorios, who shows them around Apotos' Gaia Gate.
- The heroes learn of the sun and moon Gaia Keys, which will allow them to access the Gaia Temples via the gate.
- Knuckles reveals the state of Angel Island and the Master Emerald to the rest of the Knothole Freedom Fighters.
- Knuckles recovers another Master Emerald shard embedded inside the body if a Gaia Titan.
- Amy decides to assist Knuckles on his shard search using her Mystic Melody ability.
- Rouge contacts the Sky Patrol and tips Rotor off on a Chaos Emerald discovered in the Crystal Desert Zone.
- Eggman finds and prepares to invade the Lost Hex. (This event doesn't occur in the post-Worlds Unite version of the story)
- Metal Sonic approaches the Crystal Desert Zone.
- This issue takes place before Sonic Universe #75, despite not being released until after the latter.
- According to Ian Flynn, the events of this issue still occur in the continuity after the events of the Worlds Unite crossover is self-retconned, the only exception being the scene in which Eggman approaches the Lost Hex, as the Doctor decides after the retcon that he'd hold off on the invasion for a while.
Cameos and References
- The ice cream vendor who serves Chip his ice cream sundae is the same vendor who appeared in Sonic Unleashed, where he served the same purpose.
- "Ray of Hope" occurs between "Into the Unknown" (FCBD: #9) and "Fury" (SU: #75), and not long after the end of "Spark of Life" (SU: #71-#74).
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