Knothole was a settlement hidden deep within the Great Forest and thought to be over a thousand years old. To the Knothole Freedom Fighters, it was both their home and their main base of operations against Dr. Ivo Robotnik, as well as refuge for those escaping the war. Hidden within a tree-filled valley, Knothole and its network of caves proved hard for the doctor to locate, making its very location an important secret. Upon the return of King Maximillian Acorn, and the rise of Dr. Eggman, Knothole became the new home of the Kingdom of Acorn. However, in 3237 it was completely destroyed via aerial bombardment and its site is now called the Great Wastes.
Knothole was thought to have been occupied as long as a thousand years ago; early, simple tools and other remnants of old civilizations were said to have been found long ago. It eventually came to serve as a sort of nature retreat for the people of Mobotropolis; Theodore Acorn was even said to have retired there. (StH: #102)
Home of the Freedom Fighters
During the Great War, most of the children from Mobotropolis were sent to the sanctuary of Knothole Village. Maximillian Acorn also had hidden caches of supplies placed near the village. When Dr. Robotnik betrayed the royal family and took over Mobotropolis, many fled to Knothole. The Original Freedom Fighters set about organizing and constructing suitable homes and facilities for the refugees and used the village as their base of operations. Having largely grown up in Knothole, Sally Acorn, King Max's daughter, later based her own team there as well.
Robotnik made discovering its location one of his top priorities, as the Freedom Fighters acted as a thorn in his side for years. While some threats came close, the village remained a safe haven for over a decade after the fall of Mobotropolis. When Robotnik was defeated, most people left to rebuild Mobotropolis; Knothole, for a time, was largely populated by Robians, who felt unwelcome in the old city. (StH: #1, #142, #143)
Kingdom of Knothole
- See: Kingdom of Knothole
Following the arrival of Robo Robotnik to Mobius Prime and his recapture of Mobotropolis, the Mobian and Robian citizens once again fled to Knothole. Once there, King Max declared the formation of the Kingdom of Knothole to act as a safe haven for those opposed to the new Robotnik's tyranny. (StH: #78)
After Sonic's disappearance and presumed death as a result of the Xorda's attack on Mobius, Eggman formally declared war on both the Kingdom of Knothole and the Republic of Station Square. Knothole's location became known to the dictator, but over the course of a year, it became a bustling city and the new capital for the royal family. Forced to compete with Eggman's level of technology, Knothole featured a large amount of technology itself, including the Technolotree, the city's main means of global communication. (StH: #130)
Dr. Eggman, tired of years of minor engagements with the Freedom Fighters and repeated failures, decided to destroy his enemies once and for all. He deployed his entire Egg Fleet and effectively wiped out all of Knothole via aerial bombardment. The nearby Freedom HQ was heavily damaged as well. All but five citizens were captured and transported to the Egg Grape Chambers. However, the combined efforts of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and NICOLE resulted in their rescue. NICOLE then reprogrammed Eggman's weapons to transport all of the former Knothole residents not back to his Egg Grapes but to the nanite city, now known as New Mobotropolis. While Knothole was gone, everyone was safe. (StH: #175, #176, #177)
With everyone moved to the new city of New Mobotropolis, only Freedom HQ (which had been on the outskirts of Knothole and thus had not been directly bombed) was rebuilt. The ruined land between the HQ and the Great Forest would come to be called the Great Wastes. The area is now full of rubble, burnt trees and little grass; craters and scorch marks litter the area. When Mina Mongoose returned from her world tour, having missed the destruction of Knothole, she explored the ruins with Sonic, wanting to have a better sense of what had happened. In tribute, she wrote a song about the destruction and formed a new band, the Forget Me Knots, named in memory of the village. She was still taken aback upon seeing the damage firsthand, shocked to find that nothing remained. Amy Rose later lead Cream the Rabbit through the area on a search, the younger girl innocently commenting that it was a shame that Freedom HQ was in such an "ugly" location. Amy explained what had happened and tried to point out where her home had once stood, though she admitted it was hard to tell where anything had once stood with all the landmarks gone. (StH: #185, SU: #21)
The wastes later became the site of a battle between Metal Sonic v3.7 and Shard the Metal Sonic, who flew there after departing New Mobotropolis. After a lengthy struggle, Metal Sonic detonated its Power Gem core, destroying itself and causing substantial damage to Shard. The Secret Freedom Fighters were dispatched to recover their fallen comrade, while Metal Sonic was apparently salvaged and rebuilt into Metal Sonic v3.8 by Dr. Eggman.(SU: #50)
- Knothole's depiction often varied between issues:
- The design of the huts, the forest and local landmarks tended to be inconsistent
- Initially the Freedom Fighters were shown to live in underground caves. This was later consolidated into Knothole being a forest valley with an extensive limestone cavern system running beneath it.
- Knothole was often shown to have a hidden entrance: a tree stump leading to the "Great Oak Slide" which in turn led to either the forest valley below or into the cavern system itself. Later, this feature was adapted into the rebuilt Freedom HQ.