Power Rings are powerful golden bands which contain a vast amount of energy. Power Rings are natural bi-products of Chaos Emeralds, though they do not contain the limitless power the Chaos Emeralds do. Power Rings were artificially created by the brilliant Overlander scientist Nate Morgan as a clean alternative to fossil fuels to protect Mobius' environment. After his banishment from his home city when his original tests failed, the Mobian Sir Charles Hedgehog aided him in mass producing Power Rings to be used by the Kingdom of Acorn. Following this, the city of Mobotropolis entered a new Golden Age as the Power Rings had brought their kingdom out of the medival ages. Since then, Power Rings have been used not only as power supplies for technology, but also as a means to increase the power and capabilities of certain individuals such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna. In rare cases they have bestowed knowledge and even wishes in addition to power.
Created by Nate Morgan
Years before the Great War, Nate Morgan was the head of a team of underground scientists in the city of Megapolis which were studying to create a clean alternative for the fossil fuels that had been polluting the Overlander cities for years. One of the science team members, Julian Kintobor, sabotaged the calibrations of one of the early prototypes and encouraged the unsuspecting Nate to go ahead with the test. Due to Julian's tampering, the test resulted in a massive explosion, which would later cause Nate to be banished from Overlander territory forever. (StH: #65)
While wandering in exile, Nate Morgan was located by the current monarch of the Kingdom of Acorn—Frederick Acorn. The king offered his hand of friendship and brought Nate back to the kingdom where he became very close with the royal family. Finally, using the energies within a Chaos Emerald, Nate was able to properly test and perfect the Power Ring and create it as a new energy source. Following this, the Kingdom of Acorn, which had remained as a pre-industrial state for centuries due to the Mobians wishing to preserve nature, rebuilt Mobotropolis as a post-industrial city booming with technology run on the energy of the Power Rings. (StH: #65)
After a plot by Kodos and Ixis Naugus to have Nate banished from the kingdom, Nate imposed self-exile, feeling he had brought too much trouble to both the Overlanders and Mobians. Realizing the technology of the Power Rings could be used for evil if Kodos or Naugus got their hands on it, Nate brought the sole Ring Forge with him when he left. While wandering through the Great Forest, Nate stumbled upon a hollow stump and decided to bury the Ring Forge beneath a nearby lake. This was what produced the Power Rings used by Sonic and the Knothole Freedom Fighters in Knothole years later during their war against Dr. Ivo Robotnik. (StH: #65)
Use by Mobians
During their war against the despot Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the Power Rings aided the Knothole Freedom Fighters by providing their main fighter Sonic to increase his speed and other capabilities. After finding himself in an alternate zone, Sonic discovered that by collecting fifty power rings and seven Chaos Emeralds he could achieve a super transformation of himself called Super Sonic. In this form, Sonic was virtually invulnerable and his powers were dramatically increased. In his Super Sonic form, Sonic managed to make short work of Universalamander. (StH: #4)
When Sonic gathered his One Billionth Power Ring he was transported to a unique zone where he found himself face to face with the Ancient Walkers. The ancient gods felt that Sonic gathering one billion rings was a milestone worth rewarding. Thus, after putting Sonic through a series of tests, the Ancient Walkers empowered Sonic's One Billionth Power Ring with more energy than any other. When trying to find the location of the Crown of Acorns, Sonic used a ring in an attempt to gain more knowledge.(StH: #35, #42)
Since then, Power Rings have been used for numerous purposes. Dr. Ivo Robotnik gathered and used a large number of them from the Power Ring Grotto to power his massive aerial weapon known as the Death Egg. The Freedom Fighters also used the immense magical powers of the power rings to stop the process of King Max's crystallization, though the Power Rings merely slowed down the process. (SQM: #1, #2, #3, SvK)
Power Rings have also been successfully employed by beings other than Sonic or Robotnik's machines. Both Jules and Bernadette Hedgehog had wedding bands fashioned out of Power Rings and housed on their arms when both were still Robians. This allowed them both to retain their free will after Robo-Robotnik regained control of all the other Robians, similarly to what had occurred with Mecha Sonic. Nate Morgan kept a ring hidden in his glasses as a last resort should he find himself in danger. Nate also created the powerful Ring of Acorns using a Super Emerald. (StH: #66, #67 #73, #75)
When used by someone pure of heart, a Power Ring can temporarily enhance an individual's natural abilities for a short period of time. Antoine D'Coolette demonstrated this facet of the rings when he used one to cut through a pursuing Eggbot with his sword in a single swing. (SSS: #1)
Monkey Khan made use of a Power Ring he found in a trench shortly after release from the crypt he was sealed in by Princess Sally Acorn and made a crown out of it which greatly increased his own powers and enabled him to summon lightning. A sorceress known as the Iron Queen, also used Power Rings to amplify her spell-casting enough to bewitch Monkey Khan and make him fight Sonic and Tails during their pursuit of Naugus. A year later, Monkey Khan would need another Power Ring to restore his mind when the Iron Queen once again took control of him via Magitek. Sonic retrieved one for him through the Lake of Rings within New Mobotropolis. Naugus himself also attempted to amplify his abilities to new heights using Nate's massive storage of rings, but Sonic and Tails took a share of the power to stop him, using up all the rings present. (StH: #55, #60, #66, #204)
After being mortally wounded by an Auto Automaton posing as Tommy Turtle, Jules was saved when Sonic used a ring he acquired from the Lake of Rings nearby and wished for it to heal his father. Following the creation of New Mobotropolis, NICOLE began using excess power from the city to generate Power Rings from the new Lake of Rings she had created. Dr. Eggman would also use Power Rings in the construction of the Death Egg Mark 2, similar to how his predecessor had employed them in the original flying fortress. This rendered it immune to magical attacks and held it together despite it taking massive amounts of damage. (StH: #136, #225, #231, CSE)
Moebius Power Rings
The alternate world of Moebius also has Power Rings, but they are much rarer than those on Mobius, and their origin is unknown. Additionally, the Power Rings on Moebius can have dangerous side effects when used. An example of this is Rosy the Rascal, who used a Power Ring to increase her age. She succeeded, but as a result lost her sanity, becoming a psychotic being obsessed with destruction, notably that of Scourge the Hedgehog. (CSE)
- Power Rings are an element originally taken from the Sonic the Hedgehog video games, though their role in the comics is closer to that of their depiction in the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series.