- This issue's second story continues in Archie Tails Miniseries Issue 1.
|Sonic the Hedgehog #29|
Steel Belted Sally
The Freedom Fighters' worst nightmare is realized: Sally is roboticized! With a plan gone horribly wrong and Dr. Robotnik using the princess to capture the rest of the Freedom Fighters, is there anyone left who can burn up Ivo's victory?
Tails has fallen in love with Fiona the Fox, but his new sweetheart may not be what she seems!
The story begins with a short review about how dragons used to roam Mobius, until Dr. Robotnik roboticized all of them, including a dragon named Sabina. However, Sabina's daughter, Dulcy the Dragon, was able to escape. Years later, Dulcy, now grown-up, has joined the Knothole Freedom Fighters in their quest to rid of Robotnik's dictatorship. Back in the present, a SWATbot hovercraft in hot pursuit of Sonic and Dulcy. Dulcy does a quick dive, causing the ship to crash into a cliff. They land beside the wreckage, as Sonic wants to check it for anything salvagable. He begins to search the ship, finding an odd machine near the destroyed SWATbot pilot. Meanwhile, in Robotropolis in his headquarters, Robotnik complains about the absence of the craft. Snively says it has crashed, leading to Robotnik getting upset as that craft was carrying a de-roboticizer. He says to self-destruct the craft to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, but he is too late as Sonic has already left the craft. He and Dulcy then depart the area to return to Knothole Village with their new-found technology. Back in Knothole, Rotor has finished analyzing the device and has concluded that the machine is, indeed, a de-roboticizer. Unfortunately, the machine has only energy enough left for one de-robotization. Sally votes to use the machine on Bunnie Rabbot to revert her back to full flesh and blood. On the other hand, Bunnie, herself, suggests using it to turn one of them into a robot, causing Antoine to believe she's a spy from Robotnik. He tries to restrain her, but Sally realizes that Bunnie meant they could use it as a part of a plan to turn one of themselves into a robot saboteur to help bring down Robotnik and then the de-robotizer to undo the process. So much does she understand Bunnie's idea that Sally says that she should be the one to go. A few days later, on the outskirts of Robotropolis, the Freedom Fighters group up to prepare to send Sally into the city. Rotor puts a Neuro-Overrider behind Sally's ear that should let her keep her free-will after being roboticized. After saying good-bye to the Freedom Fighters, Sally purposely runs in front of a group of SWATbots nearby.
On the battlefield, Sally evades the laser fire from the SWATbots, in an attempt to make her capture look legit. She calls out for help and trips over a rock. This slow down gives the SWATbots the time to surround her and take her into custody. The others watch helplessly as Sally is hauled off, screaming for help.
Sally is taken straight to Robotnik, who promptly roboticizes her. Snively remarks that while being transformed, the neuro-overrider, had fallen off, revealing to Robotnik that the Freedom Fighters tried tricking him again. With the roboticization process complete, the robotic Sally awaits its instructions. Robotnik quickly gives Sally, now Mecha Sally, her first command. Meanwhile, the Freedom Fighters are waiting for her arrival in Robotropolis, near a secret tunnel entrance to Robotnik's lair. Sonic enters the sewer tunnel, ready to go distract the SWATbots, giving time for Sally to return to them for de-roboticization. Meanwhile, Tails says how much he misses Sally, just as she arrives...
Sonic finishes distracting the SWATbots with his super speed and rushes back down so he can surprise the others by reaching Knothole before them, but returns to the secret entrance to see the Freedom Fighters at gunpoint with a roboticizer by Sally, and Robotnik and Snively standing to the side.
With Sonic and the Freedom Fighters captured, to prevent any mess-ups, Robotnik destroys the neuro-overrider in front of Sonic. Snively then says the only reason they have not roboticized the others is because they want the de-roboticizer back. Sonic refuses, stating that he "traded it in for a picture of Robuttnik... never know when I'll have to blow my nose!" Snively chuckles at first, but orders the group hauled off for roboticization. While being led away, Sonic quietly asks Rotor where they hid the de-roboticizer, and he says back in Knothole, to which Sonic remembers Dulcy has it.
Meanwhile, Dulcy flies around Robotropolis, worrying because the Freedom Fighters are late getting back and the lack of activity in the area. When peaking in a window of the main building, she's horrified to see all of the Freedom Fighters about to be roboticized, placed in individual tubes and unable to escape. Robotnik has decided to forget about retrieving the de-roboticizer due to his imminent success, and has Sally ready to press the button to activate the roboticizer. With the de-roboticizer in hand, Dulcy bursts through the window, so Robotnik orders Sally to quickly Roboticize them before it is too late. Sonic tries convincing her not to do Sally not to do it, causing a brief conflict of orders in the programming. She ultimately decides to obey Robotnik, as Dulcy attempts to use the de-roboticizer. Her attempts work and Sally is returned to normal.
With his plans foiled, Robotnik tries activating the roboticizer himself, knocking a dazed Sally out of the way. Dulcy take a deep breath and engulfs the console in a flame, melting it before he can activate it. Dulcy then turns her attention to Robotnik and Snively, blowing fire at them, causing them to run from the area. With the two gone, Sally goes over to the roboticization tubes and frees everybody.
Back in Knothole, despite celebration, Sally is disappointed that she could not get the job done, but Sonic tries to cheer her up, as Robotnik could not get his job done. Dulcy then chimes in that "That's why I fired him!"
Growing Pains - Part Two
After a recap of Tails using the Sea Fox, then getting caught in a trap set up by Robotnik using a robot duplicate of Fiona Fox, named Auto-Fiona, we come to Tails in the process of being roboticized in an inescapable chamber. Tails shrieks as the Roboticizer is activated, but Robotnik is suddenly surprised as the shrieks from Tails and the roboticizer's engine stop. He bends down to look at what could be wrong. Then suddenly, the roboticizer blows up in his face, and Tails jumps out revealing that he clogged the machine filters with the fur from his twin tails, causing it to explode.
Just as Tails is about to beat up Robotnik, Auto-Fiona slugs Tails straight in the face with a wooden club. Robotnik exclaims that his Fiona Auto Automaton is programmed to defend him to the death, as Tails lies injured and surprised on the ground. Auto-Fiona tries smacking Tails with her club, but Tails jumps out of the way - only to be caught by one of Robotniks robotic palmtrees that starts to squeeze on him. Everything on the island is automated. When Robotnik thinks he has him, Tails uproots the plant using his tails for lift, and then bashes Robotnik with it once he is free, sending him rolling down the sand and into the water. As Tails proclaims the evil Robotnik has done, Auto-Fiona pounces on him and sends them tumbling in a cloud of smoke down into the sea. Auto-Fiona has no problem beating up Tails, but he is still too infatuated with her to defend himself. With the battle raging, Robotnik decides to escape.
Tails attempts to swim for his Sea Fox, but Auto-Fiona begins dunking his head under the water, while he tries to convince her she still loves him. By the third drowning attempt, however, the water rusts her joints solid, freezing her in her place. Tails mourns over Auto-Fiona, crying about Robotnik creating a perfect woman, but forgetting to waterproof her. He brings her up to shore and sets her up against a rock as a monument, as he says he'll make Robotnik repair her. Robotnik laughs at him, flying away in his Eggmobile.
Tails begins to pick up all of the litter left on the ground by Robotnik, but discovers a list of supplies being sent to a satellite operation in Downunda. As he is about to contact Sally, he realizes doing the mission could show he is as capable as the rest of the Freedom Fighters. As he rides off, the rusted Fiona begins shedding tears as Tails dives off in the Sea Fox.
- Dulcy joins the Freedom Fighters following her sojourn from Vesuvio.
- Sally is roboticized, becoming Mecha Sally, but then returns to normal.
- Dulcy exhibits her fire breath once before she is exiled from Vesuvio and punished with the flame-inhibiting gold ring (revealed over one hundred issues later).
- Tails finds Robotnik's list of supplies, thereby discovering the existence of his sub-boss "Crocbot" in Downunda, and starts his quest leading up to the three issue Tails Miniseries.
- Robotnik refers to the Fiona robot as the leftover Sally duplicate from the Princess Sally mini series, but this is retconned as the robot duplicate of the real Fiona Fox that was created in the Prison camp where Sonic, Mighty, Ray and Fiona were taken to.
- Robotnik's eggmobile with the ball and chain attachment, shown in Growing Pains, is a reference to the first boss in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).
- This issue is the first time that Sally was roboticised, the second time was in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 230.
- This is the first time a main character is successfully roboticized (excluding Uncle Chuck), which would later be reused as a plot device in Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 39.
- Where in continuity the first story falls is left somewhat vague, because of the presence of Tails in the story. Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 27 featured a full-issue story that leads directly into Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 28. The first story of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 28 leads directly into its "Tails" back-up strip (made evident by Sonic's opening statement in the story). This back up strip leads directly into the back up strip of this issue. Because Tails is present in the lead story of Steel-Belted Sally, it must take place either before Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 27 or after Growing Pains - Part Two (setting it just prior to Archie Tails Miniseries Issue 1.