"Countdown to Chaos" (誕生! スーパーソニック,Tanjō! Sūpāsonikku?, lit. "Birth! Super Sonic") is the twenty-sixth episode of the anime series, Sonic X, and the finale of Season 1/the halfway point of Series 1. It first aired on 28 September 2003 and 27 March 2004 in Japan and United States respectively.
After Eggman tricked Knuckles and Chris into giving him the 6 Chaos Emeralds, Chris was held hostage on the Egg Fort II as it took off and Sonic had to rescue him. The episode begins with Danny, Helen and Francis playing with a puppet toy of Next until they spot the gigantic fortress flying overhead. Then Sonic runs past while Lucky has just found the last Chaos Emerald. The President says that he hopes they're ready for Chaos Control and Tails, Chuck, Amy, Cream and Cheese use the X Tornado to also rescue Chris. When Eggman is just about to grab the Chaos Emerald, Sonic zooms to smash the machine and G.U.N. Beetles attack Eggman, but the Egg Shields block the missiles and he launches a Cannon on the ground and destroys the Beetles.
The impact causes Lucky to almost fall into the sea, but Sonic rescues him and gets the Chaos Emerald. Eggman, Decoe and Bocoe then transform the Egg Fort II into the E-99 Eggsterminator. Sonic then comes up with a plan to defeat the machine, using his speed. But Eggman uses the 6 Chaos Emeralds Knuckles and Chris gave him to enpower the Eggsterminator. The Eggsterminator then attacks Sonic and punches him into the building and Sonic pretends to be hurt, and then the Eggsterminator then goes out of control and continues to pound Sonic very hard, much to Eggman, Decoe and Bocoe's surprise. Then the X-Tornado arrives while Sonic is faking an injury, who is still willing to rescue Chris no matter what.
Eventually, the Eggsterminator continues to fight Sonic even though Eggman orders it to stop as he could not bear to see Sonic getting hurt anymore and then grabs a hold of the hedgehog drops him into the sea. Out of this tragic, Chris somewhat breaks free from his prison and grabs the Chaos Emeralds and Knuckles barges in to rescue Chris, but Rouge arrives first and rescues Chris. Then Chris accidentally drops the Emeralds into the sea, and Sonic finally puts his plan into action and transforms into Super Sonic. As the malfunctioned Eggsterminator attempts to beat up Super Sonic, the super-powered hedgehog halts off its attack and destroys the Eggsterminator. Chaos Control has began, but Chris tearfully desired that Sonic can't leave. Instead of Sonic being transported to his world, Angel Island arrives on Earth thus creating the setting of the following episodes based on Sonic Adventure. The episode ends with Sonic finding Chris and saying "Hey! Long time no see!".
This episode marks the debut of Super Sonic in the anime series.
This is the only episode to feature one eye-catch card as opposed to mainly two.
(Japanese version only) When Eggman fired the Egg Beam Cannon, it misses and then Eggman mentions he hates manga and comics and Bocoe mentions he hates anime as well. In addition, he wonders about good kids watching the episode would imitate all of Sonic's heroic deeds. Thus, all of this "breaks the fourth wall".
Later on, when Eggman is about to transform the Egg Fort 2 into E-99 Eggsterminator, he also engages with the viewers that if they missed it they would not be able to catch up with their classmates' discussion topics in school and tells them to not change the channel.
This episode shares its name with a comic story arc "Countdown to Chaos", starting with STH: #253