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The Death Egg (デスエッグ Desu Eggu?) is a massive orbital fortress, constructed by Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. It is the first and most famous of Eggman's space stations. It is a massive spherical space station and resembles the face of Doctor Eggman, with concave eye-sockets and a mustache rendered in kilometers of vacuum-hardened plasma-steel. Hosting some of the Doctor's most deadly creations of all time, this vast stronghold serves as the scientist's final base in the early Sega Genesis-era games.
The whole plot of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles is driven by Sonic and Tails' efforts to destroy the original version of this space station and preventing the mad scientist from using the Chaos Emeralds to power it. Robotnik's greatest work is, however, robust stuff - over the course of those three games, the Death Egg survives a fall from space and a failed launch, and still makes it back into orbit eventually. Although the original battle station is destroyed during Sonic & Knuckles' Death Egg Zone, Dr. Robotnik has created new iterations of the facility in later games.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The first appearance of the Death Egg was as the eleventh and final stage of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. After Wing Fortress Zone's destruction and hitching a ride to space aboard Robotnik's fleeing rocket, Sonic makes his way inside the battle station and battles Mecha Sonic and then Robotnik himself in the Death Egg Robot. There are no rings in the zone.
After defeating Robotnik, the Death Egg begins to self-destruct and Sonic escapes by hurling himself out of an airlock into space. Sonic survives (either by being caught by Tails on the Tornado or, if the player has all 7 Chaos Emeralds, by turning into Super Sonic and flying to safety) and the Death Egg plummets back to Earth. In the Christian-West iOS version of the game, collecting all 7 Chaos Emeralds will show the Death Egg on a collision course with Angel Island (clearly intended to foreshadow Sonic the Hedgehog 3).
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the Death Egg crashes on the floating Angel Island, forcing it into the ocean. In an attempt to repair the Death Egg, Robotnik tricks local guardian of the Master Emerald, Knuckles, into collecting the Chaos Emeralds (currently in the possession of Sonic and Tails) for him, to use them to power the ship. Robotnik and Knuckles then team up to defeat Sonic, but the hedgehog repeatedly evades Knuckles' traps and defeats Robotnik's boss machines. According to the story in the Japanese manual, Knuckles, shortly before meeting the doctor, found the Death Egg in the lake in the aftermath of the crash (which caused the Master Emerald to teleport away), and speculated it might have been the egg of a legendary dragon inscribed on the Master Emerald altar that was rumored to bring about the end of the world.
Robotnik attempts to re-launch the Death Egg, having constructed a Launch Base around the crash site. Rocket engines were seen attached to the Death Egg during its launch, which apparently helped it with its launch. These engines were presumably jettisoned when it reached a high enough altitude. However, Sonic makes it onto the Death Egg as it rises and defeats Robotnik in multiple boss machines (including the Big Arm), sending the Death Egg falling back to the island.
Sonic & Knuckles
In Sonic & Knuckles, after its failed launch from the Launch Base on Angel Island, the Death Egg crashes back onto a volcano on the island, over the Lava Reef Zone. In a last ditch-effort to fix the Death Egg, Robotnik steals the Master Emerald from Knuckles, making Knuckles realize at last that Robotnik is the real villain and that Sonic and Tails are trying to help. Knuckles shows Sonic to a teleportation device that takes him to the Sky Sanctuary Zone. As Sonic makes his way up the floating, crumbling ruins, the Death Egg rises in the distance, releasing numerous Eggrobos that Sonic must get past. Finally, Sonic leaps onto the rising Death Egg from a tall pillar that disintegrates beneath him even as he climbs it.
Inside the Death Egg, Sonic navigates a horrendous zone full of rocket launchers, electrical hazards, and Badniks. Instead of a single mini-boss, as in the rest of the game (except Flying Battery), Sonic has to face two. Firstly Red Eye, then after act two, the Death Ball, controlled by the doctor himself, who stands out of harm's way, controlling his latest contraption with a control board of sorts.
Sonic then faces off against a giant mech named Kyodai Eggman Robo. This giant robot looks like an Eggrobo for the most part, except for its staggering size; its eye is as big as Sonic! Sonic destroys the Robo's hands, then defeats it by attacking its Master Emerald power source inside its chest. Defeating Kyodai Eggman Robo causes Eggman to flee with the Master Emerald (while explosions on mech have started to affect to Death Egg) with Sonic in hot pursuit. Sonic manages to transform to Super form and start the space chase with Eggman in The Doomsday Zone, as the Death Egg has gotten completely destroyed.
Sonic Drift 2
The Death Egg is the setting of the final racecourse in Sonic Drift 2 for the Sega Game Gear. This stage, constructed on the surface of the space station, is the sixth track of the Blue Grand Prix (Blue being the hardest of the three available tournaments), coming after Milky Way (at the end of course player can see to coming across Death Egg), and also serves as the venue for the Final GP, a two-car battle around just this one course. The race has three laps and the winner gets a Chaos Emerald.
In Sonic Battle, another Death Egg makes a brief appearance at the end, although it is just a small arena for the game's final bosses, Doctor Robotnik himself and then a berserk Emerl. The arena is completely open, and requires strong attacks to compensate for the lack of shelter.
This incarnation of the satellite is equipped with the Final Egg Blaster, a powerful laser capable of destroying stars or planets.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and its sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, there is a track called Egg Hangar that is a DLC course (for the former) based in the Death Egg. Ristar also makes a cameo appearance on the first game.
The Death Egg returns in Sonic Generations and can be seen in the background of Sky Sanctuary. Like in the original zone of Sonic & Knuckles, Eggrobos come out of it at the beginning of classic Sonic's act. The Death Egg can also be seen before the Death Egg Robot boss fight, which takes place in the timeline of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
The Death Egg has slightly different appearance in Sonic Generations, mainly the large smile on its "face".
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed
Other Space Stations
Although they are not named "Death Egg", several of Robotnik's other orbital facilities are clearly designed along the same lines as the original station. See the main articles for more details on:
- Silver Castle Zone, which looks a lot like the Death Egg when falling in the ending, is the final zone in Sonic Blast.
- Egg Utopia, from Sonic Advance 2.
- Dead Line, from Sonic Rush.
- E.G.G. Station Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
Related Space Stations
Death Egg II
Sonic the Fighters features the appearance of the Death Egg II. Sonic and friends have a tournament to see who gets to fly up to it and destroy it. The player's character of choice flies up and has a fight with Metal Sonic, followed by Robotnik. After defeating the scientist, the Death Egg II explodes, and the game ends. The central sphere seems to have an Eggrobo face rather than a Robotnik face, and bears quite a resemblance to the Death Star from Star Wars.
Space Colony ARK
While Doctor Eggman may have been taking inspiration from his initial space station in designing the cosmic fortresses mentioned above, it seems that even the first Death Egg wasn't entirely his own idea. In Sonic Adventure 2 Space Colony ARK , an orbital research facility built over 50 years ago by Ivo's grandfather is introduced. The designer was Professor Gerald Robotnik. The ARK is fairly similar to the Death Egg(s), with the exception that the actual structure is a hemisphere as opposed to the Death Egg's full sphere. On the 'face' of the ARK lies a super-weapon named the Eclipse Cannon, which, when viewed from below, makes the space station resemble Professor Robotnik's face in the same manner as the Death Egg resembles his grandson.
Death Egg Mk.II
The Death Egg casts a shadow throughout the entire story of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Though a similar space station appears as the final location of Episode I, the true Death Egg makes a comeback in the later half of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II as the Death Egg Mk. II. This new Death Egg appears as a mechanized version of Little Planet -- Literally, the entire station is built around it! While it retains many characteristics of its predecessor, the Death Egg Mk. II is still under construction and still very much incomplete. It can be seen in the Act 3's night background of Sylvania Castle Zone as well as White Park Zone. The Death Egg Mk. II is shown to have a fleet of smaller, mass-produced stations which resemble the E.G.G. Station Zone.
After beating Metal Sonic in Sky Fortress Zone, Eggman ditches his damaged airship and decides to retreat to his new space station with Metal Sonic while Sonic and Tails following them in an escape pod. Inside Death Egg Mk. II Sonic once again races his doppelganger only this time with Tails by his side. The duo then confronts Robotnik in the heart of the Death Egg, facing his latest creation. Upon being defeated, the new Death Egg begins to suffer massive internal damage and can be seen shutting down in space. Luckily, Sonic and Tails manage to escape at the last moment crashing down to Earth in the doctor's escape pods.
Appearances in Other Media
Sonic the Comic
The Death Egg appears in the UK Sonic the Comic, which remained mostly true to the game portrayal, apart from specifying the Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 space-stations as separate entities (a necessary plot device, as the total destruction of the Sonic 2 iteration had been shown in some detail within the comics). Also, the Death Egg's impact did not cause the Floating Island to splashdown into the sea.
The station's back-story is the same as that which appears in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the events of which occurred some time before the first issue of the series. The events of the game are alluded to in Sonic the Comic #27, "Part 2: A Tale of Tails". In particular, the Mecha Sonic and Robotnik mech are known to have existed on the satellite. After Sonic defeated Robotnik in this game, the space station was abandoned.
Some time later, the Death Egg's orbit began to degrade and the Kintobor Computer projected that it would crash in the Emerald Hill Zone. Sonic and Tails returned to the space station, which was in a state of great disrepair. They also encountered a heavily damaged (but still functional) Mecha Sonic, which Sonic destroyed by kicking off its head. Sonic was able to pilot the Death Egg to crash in the ocean, and the two escaped in an escape pod. 
Eventually, Robotnik constructed a new space station, called the Death Egg II, but it fell out of orbit on its first flight (while Robotnik was still aboard) and landed in the Ice Cap Zone on the Floating Island. The crash site was discovered by Knuckles the Echidna, whom Robotnik tricked into believing that he was a humble scientist and that Sonic was the true threat.  Knuckles allowed Robotnik to set up his Launch Base Zone on the Floating Island, but after discovering Robotnik's true nature , he sought to destroy the base, the Death Egg and everything else Robotnik had brought to the island. 
Nevertheless, Robotnik continued to rebuild the Death Egg, even transporting a new thruster from his bases on Mobius.  This new version of the Death Egg was also able to hover at relatively low altitudes over Mobius, and was equipped with Death Rays in its eyes. 
When the repairs were complete, Robotnik sent Metallix to steal the Master Emerald for him to use as a power source.  Although Metallix was destroyed by Super Sonic, it nevertheless succeeded in delivering the Master Emerald, allowing the launch to proceed.  Robotnik planned to use the ultimate weapon to destroy the Emerald Hill Zone. In an attempt to stop him and recover the Master Emerald, Sonic infiltrated the Death Egg, destroying an army of EggRobos and smashing in through a window. Meanwhile, Knuckles activated the Floating Island's ancient control systems, using its limited remaining Chaos Energy to pilot the Floating Island towards the Death Egg,  and then fire a succession of powerful energy blasts into the space station's hull. These attacks crippled the station, and gave Sonic the distraction he needed to recover the Emerald, thereby also depriving the Death Egg of its power source.  The Death Egg, utterly finished, plummeted back down to the surface of Mobius, although Robotnik and his armies were able to escape. 
The Death Egg was a massive airborne weapon created by Dr. Ivo Robotnik in 3235. Its differences from the games in shape are that the Death Egg is actually shaped more like an egg than a sphere, and its function is acting as a mass-roboticizer, capable of converting all life on Mobius. Although it successfully made it airborne, the Death Egg met with destruction when Tails set it to self-destruct while Robotnik was distracted battling Sonic. 
The Death Egg's development began some time in mid-3235. Production of the super weapon fell behind schedule when Robotropolis was struck by a massive earthquake. Shortly afterwards however Robotnik ensured that his SWATbot work force picked up the pace and completed the Death Egg on schedule. Following the Mecha Sonic fiasco, the Death Egg was ready to ascend into the sky. Dr. Robotnik left his nephew Snively in charge of the city's reconstruction efforts (the city was almost completely destroyed when Mecha Sonic and Mecha Knuckles smashed into it causing a mini nuclear blast) while he personally oversaw the Death Egg's launch. 
Later, when Robotnik was destroyed, Dr. Eggman went into hiding for the past many issues of the comic book series, but it was revealed that he was working on the latest Death Egg in issue 224. It was all part of his plan to defeat Sonic. 
- tIn one of the two Japanese commercials with traditional animation for the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, featured Sonic flying a space shuttle and directly firing to the Eggman-looking space station which a couple of seconds later explodes. It is possible that this space station could be later used as a basis of Death Egg. The commercial can be viewed in Sonic Jam.
- The Death Egg is an obvious reference to the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's giant planet-destroying battle station from the Star Wars movies (specifically A New Hope and Return of the Jedi). Unlike the Death Egg, the much larger and better-equipped Death Stars had colossal amounts of weaponry, including a single superlaser capable of destroying an entire planet.
- The Death Egg Mark II, likewise, is a reference to the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, down to it being constructed in close proximity to a forested planet (in this case, Little Planet), was much larger than its predecessor and possessing a generator around one part of the ship that was implied to be not completed yet.
- When Knuckles attacked Sonic in Lava Reef Zone, the next act shows Sonic on a platform with the Death Egg in the background where its eyes light up and the whole place becomes covered in a white flash. When everything becomes visible again the whole volcano is shown to be mildly active again, with pieces of the Zone becoming fragile and floating among the Lava and effectively making the Boss fight with Robotnik more difficult.
- The Death Egg is seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 from the outside only once, as it is illustrated at the emblem which was featured at the level select.
- In Sonic X, an object called the Egg Moon resembles the Death Egg, except it's only half mechanical and it doesn't have Doctor Eggman's face.
- In Sonic Battle, the new Death Egg has been equipped with a Final Egg Blaster, which was used to destroy stars, but when Emerl uses it, he was going to use the laser to destroy the planet. This further shows how the Death Egg is based off of Star Wars' Death Star, which had a laser that could destroy a planet.
- When Dr. Eggman uses his All-Star Move in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, he gets surrounded by a red force field that resembles the Death Egg.
- ↑ http://www.sonicthehedgehog4.com/us/ “Sonic embarks on a new mission through West Side Island in an effort to free his friends and ensure Robotnik does not obtain the 7 Chaos emeralds to fuel the Death Egg.”
- ↑ The Death Egg plummets all the way from orbit to the Floating Island after the end of Sonic 2
- ↑ End of Launch Base Zone, Sonic 3
- ↑ Sky Sanctuary Zone, Sonic & Knuckles
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #6, "Attack on the Death Egg"
- ↑ Sonic the Summer Special (1994), "Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds", and Sonic the Comic #33, "Enter Knuckles, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #36, "Power of the Chaos Emeralds, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #37, "Robotnik's Revenge, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #43, "Badniks Bridge, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #45, "Day of the Death Egg"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #49, "Count Down to Disaster, Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #50, "Count Down to Disaster, Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #51, "Disaster! Part 1"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #52, "Disaster! Part 2"
- ↑ Sonic the Comic #53, "Disaster! Part 3"
- ↑ Text reproduced from Mobius Encyclopaedia under the terms of the GFDL.
- ↑ See Archie Sonic the Hedgehog #37; Sonic Mecha Madness #1, SonicQuest Miniseries #1
- ↑ Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 224 - Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 230
- Death Egg at Mobius Encyclopedia, the Archie Sonic wiki