Echidnas (ハリモグラ科) in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, are anthropomorphic, dreadlocked animals with long quills hanging from around their head which stand out from the other humanoid animals. In every continuity in which the location exists, the echidnas are the native inhabitants of Angel Island.
The Echidna race was split into two warring clans, the Knuckles Clan and the Nocturnus Clan. The Nocturnus Clan was more technologically advanced (and was later documented as the "Fourth Great Civilization"), possessing powerful combat robots named Gizoids. Desperate to defeat the Nocturnus, Pachacamac, the chief of the Knuckles Tribe, ordered a raid on the Master Emerald altar in an attempt to gain the power of the Chaos Emeralds. The altar was also home to the small, lovable, and mysterious creatures known as the Chao, who were trampled in the raid. This caused Chaos, the Emeralds' guardian, to go berserk and eradicate much of the Knuckles Tribe. Tikal, Pachacamac's pacifist daughter, used her grandmother's special prayer to plead with the Master Emerald to stop the enraged Chaos. Subsequently, the Emerald absorbed Tikal and Chaos and sealed them into itself, and its energy continued to expand into the surrounding area as well as much of the Knuckles Tribe's territory, causing the landmass to rise into the sky.
The Nocturnus Clan were unable to take full advantage of the Knuckles Tribe's weakness, however, as they soon mysteriously disappeared before completely colonizing the entire planet, brought into the Twilight Cage apparently by the being known as Argus. Only Emerl, their most powerful Gizoid, was left behind.
The surviving Knuckles Tribe Echidnas named their new airborne home Angel Island, and vowed to guard the Master Emerald and keep it out of harm's way in order to ensure that Chaos would never be released. They apparently tried rebuilding their civilization on the island, as it is filled with ruins from a city, a complicated water system, and pyramids. They also built the Hidden Palace, a new altar for the Master Emerald situated deep inside a volcano, and the Sky Sanctuary, a group of ruins hovering above the island itself. Several thousand years later, Knuckles the Echidna becomes the last living descendant of the Knuckles Tribe, protecting the Master Emerald with his life.
The Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna comics published by Archie Comics, contrary to most of the storylines, features the Echidna race as alive and well. They are depicted as Mobius' most technologically sophisticated race. Their lack of appearance during the early game tie-ins is explained in the later comic series, stating that all of the Echidnas, bar Knuckles and the Brotherhood of Guardians were transported to another zone temporarily. Their return was caused when Dr. Robotnik fired his Ultimate Annihilator and disrupted the zones. The Echidnas are traditionally found in one of two locations: Angel Island or their original homeland, the hidden island of Albion.
The society in Echidnaopolis exists as a theocracy, having a Mitre (a spiritual leader) holding the most power. Below him is the Echidna Council and its elected members. Since the Dark Legions numerous attempts to take over the city, the level of technology has substantially grown, despite their apparent dislike of technology and their ban on it. Sabre, a member of the Brotherhood, justifies this by saying this is only to allow an "even playing field" with the Dark Legion. The Dark Legion, by contrast, is a technocratic society, whose use of technology is on par with Robotnik's.
According to Echidna culture, when a female Echidna reaches the age of sixteen, she is introduced to society as a young lady, similar to the tradition of the debutante ball..
An Echidna sixth sense called the Soultouch allows Echidnas to identify their soulmates. However, the Soultouch apparently isn't perfect, as Knuckles' parents Locke and Lara-Le recognized each other through it, but later divorced with her remarrying. The only other couples confirmed to have had the Soultouch are Knuckles' great-grandfather Athair and his wife Crystal-La, though it can be presumed that all other Echidna couples featured in the comics have also felt it..
Since the dawn of species, the Echidnas migrated over the Albion landbridge, thus developing distinctive knowledge. A cave in upper Mercia, known as Necropolis, might have been the first place the Echidna race ever evolved.
The original homeland of the Echidnas, Albion is an island located near Mercia. The city was establish millennia before any of the other Mobian species had even evolved beyond the stone age. For many years, the Echidnas lived there in contentment, choosing a policy of isolationism due to their obvious superiority. However, there were those among them who were adventurous, and two groups departed, the one founding what is currently Echidnaopolis, the other forming a tribal colony near Mercia. The latter was eventually wiped out by Chaos when their leader, Pachacamac (in the Archie comics universe, his name in was also Knuckles, which was who the current guardian was named after), attempted to use the Chaos Emeralds to destroy their enemies, the Cat Tribe.
Albion is home to Councilor Gala-Na, a female Echidna who seems to be very self righteous. In the past, she has used Albion's facilities in attempts to disassemble Mercia's Roboticized High Sheriff and to forcibly extract the super powers of Chaos Knuckles. As a result, Albion has become alienated from the rest of Mobius.
After Dr. Finitevus was transformed into his current state after he tried to drain the powers of Chaos Knuckles, the fearful council of Albion voted to have him euthanized due to his violent behavior and new Chaos powers. However, their attempt failed, and the doctor escaped using his Warp Ring invention. Later, Finitevus sabotaged Albion's defenses and led an Eggman Empire strike force into the city, resulting in Albion's entire population being captured and killed in Dr. Eggman's Egg Grapes. The burning husk of Albion was left abandoned until the surviving Echidnas of Echidnaopolis were relocated there by the fourth Enerjak, leaving them to slowly rebuild their shattered society with Lara-Le as the Matriarch.
About three days after Operation: Genesis, it was taken over by Eggman's Dark Egg Legion, headed by Lien-Da, who were battling against a resistance force lead by Remington. While Team Fighters were distracted with Metal Knuckles and the Dark Egg Legion, the Death Egg Mk. II escaped. However, during the fight with Metal Knuckles, Tails accidentally overloaded the nearby security system, sending a giant electrical wave, knocking out everyone on the island. While everyone was unconscious, Thrash came to the island and sent all Echidnas (with the exception of Knuckles, as he was not on the island at the time, and a small handful of of other Echidnas who were also not on the island) to unknown parts; most likely to a different world entirely.
The only city on Angel Island, Echidnaopolis was founded centuries ago by travelers from Albion in the country of Downunda. They remained there for many years, until the city was threatened by the White Comet. Knuckles' scientist ancestors Byron and his wife Angel-La (Dimitri and Edmund's parents) used the energies of 12 Chaos Emeralds to lift the city and part of the surrounding landscape into the sky, leading to the creation of Floating Island, which was later renamed after the scientist Angel-La. Part of the population left before the city was raised, wanting to go back to Albion (see Lost Tribe below).
The society on Echidnaopolis suffered another, much larger schism of its population over 600 years ago, which stemmed from the decision of the Echidna Council (particularly Menthor, the High Councilor at the time) to deny Dimitri and Edmund's plan to restore Angel Island to its original site on Mobius. When Dimitri took matters into his own hand and attempted to use the Chaos Syphon to drain the power of the Chaos Emeralds so the Island would slowly descend onto Mobius, the power was sapped into him. Despite the immense power he obtained, he was defeated by his brother Edmund, with assistance from the fire ants. Because the use of technology nearly resulted in the destruction of their civilization, the Echidna Council then deemed technology banned. However, Dimitri's son, Menniker decided to follow in his father's footsteps. He created the Dark Legion-a technocratic group of Echidnas loyal to Dimitri's cause of restoring the Island to Mobius, as well as maintaining technology in their society-which became a warring faction with the rest of the society. Since then, both the Dark Legion and the rest of the Echidnas in Echidnaopolis have been in conflict. Recently however, Dimitri attempted to end the long-standing grudge between the two societies and bring them together. This seemingly failed when Lien-Da took control of the Dark Legion. 
During his brief solo campaign after his escape from the ruins of Mt. Fate, Enerjak used his powers to create a city called Nekronopolis upon the site where Echidnaopolis originally stood. It was meant to be the capital of his new empire, but instead was the battleground where he faced Knuckles in a brutal hand-to-hand contest. When Enerjak was launched into space aboard his citadel, courtesy of Locke the Echidna and the Chaotix, the rest of the city disappeared. The citadel itself has either similarly vanished or remains in orbit above Mobius, due to Enerjak having been brought back to Mobius by Mammoth Mogul.
Angel Island's second city first appears in Light Mobius. The gateway city of Portal functions as Angel Island's chief link of commerce and travel with the mainland continents of Mobius. King Sonic is found here by Tails and Lara-Su following the alteration of the timestream.
Albion Knights of Aurora
An order of knights dedicated to the Mobian goddess Aurora, the Albion Knights' name indicates that they were based in the Echidnas' native city. Much of their exploits are unknown, but the Albion Knights are known to have crushed the Order of Ixis in their efforts to secure world domination, leaving only a few survivors: Mammoth Mogul and the three sorcerers who would later merge to become Ixis Naugus.
Brotherhood of Guardians
Echidna Security Team
Known more simply as the EST, the Echidna Security Team is essentially the police force of the city of Echidnaopolis. Presumably formed some time after the city's founding, it was led in modern times by Constable Remington. Its members served as something of a counter-army to both the Dark Legion and the Dingos, at least until the latter force formed an alliance with Dr. Robotnik. The EST was presumably disbanded after that, with its members winding up in prison camps.
Also known as the Forgotten Tribe, they are a group of Echidnas who fled Echidnaopolis when a white comet threatened the Echidna civilization of Downunda centuries ago. Led by a radical called Arakkis, they choose to find the fabled lost city of Albion, while the Echidnas of Echidnaopolis used the Chaos Emeralds to lift up a portion of landmass that would later be known as Angel Island. Knuckles' Great Grandfather Athair served as the Tribe's last "Mitre" and with the help of Knuckles the Tribe finally reached Albion.
The entire Lost Tribe was killed by the Egg Grapes when Albion was destroyed by the Eggman Empire, leaving Mari-An the sole survivor of the tribe.
8000 years in the past, the ancient Echidnas had established a technologically advanced civilisation (hunting the Kohenyu dinosaur species to extinction in the process) based in Megopolis City. This would be lost when the alien Drakon Empire invaded, looting the Echidna's sacred emerald mines and using the emeralds within as a source for their unstable Chaos Energy, intending to manufacture thousands of Chaos Emeralds and conquer the universe with them. Only seven were created, at which point the Echidnas under Pochacamac [sic] stole them; the Great War between Echidna and Drakon broke out soon after.
In the present day, the Echidnas have all disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them. The Floating Island is covered with crumbling ruins - Megapolis, a few Zones such as Sandopolis, the ancient portals to the Special Zone (known to the Echidnas as the Nightmare Country) and the Emerald Chamber, where the Chaos Emeralds reside. The main relics of this time are the Emeralds, the ancient Guardian Robots, and the ancient computer systems that control the path of the Floating Island, maintain its forcefield, and in times of real danger can fire energy blasts at enemy aircraft.
Knuckles is one of the only two living Echidnas; originally he lived as a warrior in the ancient past, fighting against the Drakons, but through means unknown he lives in the present as the Guardian of the Chaos Emeralds and has no memory of his past or his lost people (Sonic theorizes that Knuckles somehow ended up frozen in suspended animation and lost his memory). The other surviving Echidna is Doctor Zachary, an evil and aged cyborg misanthrope who wants to destroy the Floating Island and Mobius, and his origins are unclear.
The unofficial online continuation Sonic The Comic - Online! expanded Echidna lore. The ancient Echidna princess and mystic Tikal was brought to the present, though she lost her memories, and it was revealed that the Emerald Hill Zone gained its name from the fact shards of the Chaos Emeralds were hidden in a bunker there by the Echidnas during the War. It also introduced Vichama, a seemingly powerful and murderous Echidna; in actual fact, the Echidna was just a vessel possessed by a spirit calling itself the God of Death, who killed hundreds in the ancient past before it was imprisoned. Vichama recently left his vessel and Tikal has had a vision that he will return to the Floating Island.
Abandoned plot ideas as to where the Echidna race went was supposed to reveal them to be brought back as slaves by the Drakon Empire.
In the cartoon series Sonic Underground, two specimens of the Echidna race are known to exist: Knuckles and his great-grandfather Athair. It is unknown what has happened to the rest of the species, as the show did not go in depth on the situation. However, judging by the almost legendary status of Knuckles among Mobians, it is likely that the rest of the species is either extinct or lives in a hidden location. That said, in one episode Knuckles is shown giving orders to unknown persons manning anti-aircraft guns, and it was never explained who they were (though it's possible it was a form of computer system).
The anime series Sonic X follows the plot of Sonic Adventure, with Knuckles and Tikal as the only Echidnas remaining, while the rest have been destroyed by Chaos. The only major difference is that the ancient Echidna civilization came from Sonic's homeworld and that the ruins were transported via Chaos Control in episode 26, instead of them being on Earth all along like in the games.
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Shade the Echidna
- Brotherhood of Guardians
- Dark Legion
- Dr. Finitevus
- Doctor Zachary
- Most echidnas seem to have color hues in the same range from being red, orange, red-orange, orange-red and even pink. However in the Archie Comics some echidnas can range up to an a yellow or a purple color hue.
- Chaos Knuckles has a green color hue.
- Some also some seem to go in a white-gray color hue.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Described in Knuckles the Echidna #12
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #108
- ↑ Described in Knuckles the Echidna #23
- ↑ Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #132
- ↑ Described in Knuckles the Echidna #27
- ↑ Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #82
- ↑ Described in Knuckles the Echidna
- ↑ Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #139
- ↑ Described in Sonic's Friendly Nemesis Knuckles
- ↑ Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #166
- ↑ Described in Sonic the Hedgehog #163
- Echidna at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia