Mephiles the Dark (闇のメフィレス Yami no Mefiresu?) is one of the primary antagonists in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). He is the conscience, mind and will of the sun god Solaris. Mephiles was born during the Solaris Project when the experimentations on Solaris caused him to split into Mephiles and Iblis. Shortly after his birth, Mephiles was sealed inside the Scepter of Darkness by Shadow the Hedgehog, who had traveled back in time to learn about the Solaris Project. Ten years later, Mephiles was freed during a skirmish between Shadow, Rouge and Dr. Eggman where he was resurrected through Shadow's shade.
After his release, Mephiles orchestrated a plan that spanned over two hundred years to release Iblis from Princess Elise to rejoin with it. Along the way, Mephiles attempted fruitlessly to convince Shadow to join him, having taken a particular interest him. By manipulating several individuals across time, Mephiles was ultimately successful in his plan when he personally killed Sonic the Hedgehog. Mephiles then remerged with Iblis, remaking Solaris, and prepared to bring the end of time, but was defeated by Sonic, Shadow and Silver. Mephiles was then completely erased from the timeline when Elise and Sonic traveled back in time to before the Solaris Project and brought an end to Solaris.
Mephiles has three forms. His original form, which is also his base, is an amorphous mass of darkness. In his second form, Mephiles appeared almost identical to Shadow the Hedgehog, aside from having green eyes with slit pupils, no mouth (though his muzzle moves when he speaks, as if he does have a mouth), and the fact that everything that is red on Shadow is a pale powder blue on Mephiles. His third and most common form was a crystalline, anthropomorphic hedgehog with no visible mouth, nose, or feet. His eyes also change color in this form, gaining a red sclera and lighter green irises.
Mephiles was accidentally created during the Solaris Project, under the supervision of the Duke of Soleanna. In one of the Project's experiments, Solaris was split into two separate entities: Iblis, its raw power, and Mephiles, its cunning mind. As Mephiles was trying to escape the facility, he was sealed in the Scepter of Darkness by Shadow the Hedgehog, who had traveled through time by ten years before the events of the game.
In the intervening years, Doctor Eggman somehow acquired the Scepter of Darkness. In the present day, the Scepter was shattered during a struggle between Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge the Bat, and Mephiles was released. Mephiles absorbed Shadow's shadow, and transformed into a copy of Shadow; in doing so, he absorbed Shadow's powers as well. Realizing that Shadow did not know who Mephiles was (as Shadow had not yet traveled back in time to face Mephiles in the past), Mephiles transported Shadow and Rouge into the future.
Mephiles then sought to find the Chaos Emeralds in order to bring pain and despair to Princess Elise and release the "Flames of Disaster" (a.k.a. Iblis), who had been sealed inside Elise's soul until she cried. Mephiles intended to fuse with Iblis, reuniting them into a single entity, Solaris, their original persona.
To accomplish this, he traveled to the future and told Silver the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat that Sonic the Hedgehog was the cause of Iblis being released, which led to the destruction of their world. Therefore, Sonic was referred to as the "Iblis Trigger" by Silver and Blaze. He sent the two back in time, making them believe that killing Sonic in the present would save their future.
Along the way, as all three storylines progress, the three main characters discover how Mephiles was somehow involved in the incident which created the "Flames of Disaster", wielded by Princess Elise. Mephiles has a very pivotal role in all of the story-lines, throughout the course of the game. He has the most direct role in Shadow's story. He also has a major role in Silver's story, as he manipulates Silver and Blaze into attempting to kill Sonic so that he can finally fuse with Iblis. While he himself has a very minor role in Sonic's story, where he is only seen when Sonic, Knuckles the Echidna, and Miles "Tails" Prower are eavesdropping on his conversation with Silver and Blaze that ends with them time-traveling back to present-day Soleanna, his actions are still very much prevalent to Sonic's story, especially with his encounters with Silver.
When encountering Shadow again, Mephiles attempted to break Shadow's will to fight and join him (much like Black Doom had previously tried) by revealing that in the current future, the world and an unwilling E-123 Omega would turn against Shadow and imprison him in suspended animation (while keeping his hatred for Shadow a secret). Thus, he attempted to convince Shadow to join him, saying they would both get revenge on the world. However, Shadow proved immune to Mephiles' tactics, saying that he would determine his own destiny, leading to a battle between the two of them. Though Shadow took the upper-hand, Mephiles knocked him into a wall with an energy blast and incapacitated him when he lowers his guard, but Omega intervened and drove Mephiles off. Later, Omega met Mephiles again, who revealed to Omega that he was one that would imprison Shadow in the future, prompting the robot to shoot him with two mini-guns. Though stunned, Mephiles laughs and escapes from Omega before Shadow and Rouge arrive. As Shadow (along with Silver after Shadow foiled his second assassination attempt on Sonic) had traveled back into the past at that point, he learned of Mephiles' true nature (and Silver learned that Mephiles had lied about Sonic being the Iblis Trigger).
Shadow, Omega, and Rouge later meet Mephiles in a desert temple, though they are too late to stop him from getting the Chaos Emerald there. Again, Mephiles offers Shadow a chance to join him, but Shadow, knowing Mephiles' true intentions, flat-out refused the offer. Mephiles was fought again and lost. After his seeming defeat, however, Mephiles proved immune to being imprisoned in a new Scepter of Darkness that Shadow tried to use on him, saying that it wouldn't work on him anymore (he implies that the reason he was immune was due to his time traveling by ten years ago). Mephiles then uses two Chaos Emeralds to create an army of clones of himself. He then boasts to Shadow that he can't defeat him, and asks why he is even bothering to protect a world that will eventually turn against him. Shadow replies, "If the whole world decides to become my enemy, then I will fight like I always have!", then removes his Inhibitor Rings and destroys the entire army.
In the Last Story, Mephiles, having either escaped or simply survived the fight with Shadow, finds the purple Chaos Emerald. At this point, he (rather than progressing to the next scene) travels to the future to deceive Silver (this is not specified, but it would explain how he had the purple Chaos Emerald and the knowledge of Sonic at this point). Eventually, after Silver failed his mission, he uses it to warp to Sonic and Elise's location shortly after they escape Eggman's exploding Egg Carrier. He blinds them with the Emerald's powers, and projects an energy spear (dubbed the "Dark Chaos Lance") that impales Sonic from behind, killing him instantly. Elise cries over his death and, as a result, releases Iblis, allowing Mephiles to fuse with him and transform into Solaris (who is soon destroyed in the final battle against Shadow, Silver and a revived Sonic in their Super States).
It is also revealed in the Last Story that Mephiles' lie to Silver and Blaze about Sonic being the Iblis Trigger was partially true: Sonic is indeed the Iblis Trigger, but his death would not stop Iblis's resurrection; rather, his death would be the very event that would release Iblis from Elise's soul. The key to Iblis's freedom was an event that would cause Elise to become so consumed with despair and guilt that she would cry, as she had formed a very close friendship with Sonic.
Unlike most of the villains in the Sonic series, who are driven by a lust for power or revenge, Mephiles (according to Shadow) only seems to crave destruction. He is portrayed as a cold, manipulative, cruel, sadistic, and ruthless villain with no sense of compassion. He would do anything to accomplish his goals, even if it means taking innocent lives. Mephiles happens to take great pleasure and delight in hurting others and has been shown to have a very warped and twisted sense of humor, making him a very sadistic and psychotic individual. For example, he made it his sole mission to cause pain to Elise throughout the entire course of the game, and even broke out into a maniacal laughter after ending Sonic's life. This is also seen when he taunts Omega by telling him he would be reprogrammed to capture Shadow. Mephiles is also highly intelligent, capable of using and manipulating people to further his evil plans. This is shown when he preyed upon Silver's frustration and desire to save the world, by deceiving him into thinking that Sonic was responsible for the devastation of his future, knowing that killing Sonic would have done the exact opposite of what Silver was trying to achieve.
Mephiles also has nihilistic tendencies, as evidenced in his final fight against Shadow, where he asks why Shadow even bothers fighting at all, and why Shadow even bothers defending humanity when they will inevitably persecute him later. However, it seems that he has some manners, as he bowed to Shadow after taking his form, though this was most likely done as a mocking gesture.
It has also been speculated that Mephiles might also be somewhat of a coward, judging from several actions he displayed throughout the game:
- Instead of fighting Sonic face-to-face, he appears behind him without Sonic or Elise knowing, and proceeds to impale him from behind. In battle, the action of attacking from behind is usually an act of cowardice.
- In addition to this, he creates a distraction to keep either of them from noticing him while he proceeded to kill Sonic.
- During both boss fights, Mephiles hardly attacks on his own without aid, either by summoning shadows, or cloning himself to use as distractions. He uses the shadows in the first boss fight as shields, and increases the number of them when you get too close.
- During the boss fights, he waits to attack you until your back is turned.
- He also doesn't fight you directly until you expel him from Shadow's shadow.
- He managed to convince Silver and Blaze into attempting to kill Sonic before actually doing it himself, which would in turn release Iblis, though there was a much stronger form of Iblis already free in his time while he had a Chaos Emerald at hand.
- In the second boss fight, you cannot face him until you clear the floor of the seething shade covering it, having to use Chaos Boost to expel him.
- In the time ten years previous to the story that takes place, when Shadow corners the newly created Mephiles before sealing him away, Mephiles' voice sounds startled if not frightened before quickly shifting into his more recognizable tone as he makes a threat to Shadow.
Mephiles also seems to have a habit of waving his hands when he speaks, as he has been seen doing so in nearly all of his appearances. He ranges from holding his hands up high while making a declaration, to holding them out to the sides slightly or even in front of himself while making himself appear as an ally to Silver and Blaze. Mephiles also showed limited interest in people, taking particular interest in Shadow, Omega, Silver and Sonic, the latter only because he needed to kill him. Mephiles is shown to hold a particular hate for Shadow since it was he who sealed him in the Scepter of Darkness. This being said, Mephiles did not acknowledge Rouge, Blaze or Elise, whom he would have been aware of, while the rest of the game's cast did not know of him just as much as he did them.
Powers and Abilities
As noted above, he can take various forms by absorbing an individual's shadow, which resulted in his gaining his common form. Subtle differences are applied, however, such as a far darker shade of various colors, a pale complexion, and bestial green eyes. Besides actually taking on a form with someone's shadow, he also can grow stronger by absorbing shadows, especially if it comes from the same type of shadow as the being whose shadow he absorbed earlier outside of time. This is especially evident with his second encounter, where he managed to effortlessly escape imprisonment from another Scepter of Darkness due to his present self having gone back in time absorbing Shadow's shadow while the latter was sealing away Mephiles' past self.
Mephiles can manipulate and move through time with an ability similar to Chaos Control. Whether or not this was due to taking Shadow's form through his shadow or he had this power all along is debatable; however, being one half of the time god Solaris, the latter seems more probable. In addition, he has enough control over his abilities of time manipulation to separate pursuing enemies, as evidenced by how he managed to escape Omega and Shadow after their first fight in the future. His primary offensive technique is a massive sphere of black energy that is spawned from his hands that home in on their targets. He can also use the energy spheres to move himself and others through time. Since Mephiles absorbed Shadow's shadow, he also has the ability to actually be his shadow, as seen in the first boss fight against him. Furthermore, he can alter his physical form to sink into the ground and merge with the shadow of another. He can also manipulate shadows to create "clones" of himself, although they are warped and imperfect without the power of the Chaos Emeralds. He can also merge the clones together to make large shadow monsters. With two Emeralds, he can create an army of perfect clones. As seen in the "Showdown with Mephiles" cutscene, Mephiles can also blast opponents away by firing shockwaves of energy at them. Mephiles' final attack used before fusing with Iblis to become Solaris was a beam of energy (dubbed the "Dark Chaos Lance" by fans) that he extends from his right hand to kill Sonic.
Mephiles appears to be immortal, surviving every fight he takes part in, and whenever he is beaten he seems to just shift into his base form. Whether or not he is capable of feeling pain is unknown; although he reacts to taking damage during his boss battles with Shadow, he merely stood and allowed himself to be shot multiple times when confronting Omega at Wave Ocean. Indeed, when defeated by Shadow a second time, he also declared himself to be immortal, and invincible.
Since he is the mind and will of Solaris, Mephiles also happens to be very intelligent. This is shown in his ability as a skilled manipulator, being able to easily manipulate Silver and Blaze into nearly getting his desired result. He is also shown to have adept knowledge on using modern technology, as evidence by knowing exactly which files in Dr. Eggman's computer to use when trying to persuade Silver to assassinate Sonic. This is most likely due to his apparently endless lifespan and time travel power allowing him to study the world around him for as long as he needs to.
Mephiles has also demonstrated the curious ability to, with one Chaos Emerald in his possession, warp the other six Emeralds to his location instantly, which he did after the Flames of Disaster were released from Elise and before reuniting with Iblis. Presumably, he utilized the Chaos Emeralds' magnetic properties to pull this off.
Mephiles also was capable of creating and commanding various monsters, as evidenced by the various monsters that appeared. Unlike Iblis, however, he cannot create them when he was sealed up.
Mephiles Phase One
Mephiles battles Shadow after the latter refused his offer to join him. For the most part, Mephiles hides in Shadow's shadow, commanding his shadow clones to attack the black hedgehog. The shadow clones grab on to Shadow, then detonate a few seconds after enough have grabbed on. Shadow can avoid damage, however, if he is in the middle of using Chaos Attack when they explode. To draw Mephiles out, Shadow must defeat shadow clones to fill the energy gauge. Each clone takes one hit to kill. They don't all have to be defeated, just enough to fill the energy gauge. Once the energy gauge is completely filled, activate Shadow's Chaos Boost ability to draw Mephiles into the open. After that, the battle becomes more straightforward. Mephiles will mainly keep his distance from Shadow, attacking him with large energy blasts. He may also command his shadow clones to "dance" around him, creating a large shield to protect him. But otherwise, dodge his attacks and attack until he is defeated.
It seems that Shadow is nearing victory, but Mephiles gains the upper hand, knocking him away with an energy blast. He then proceeds to finish Shadow off, but is interrupted by Omega, who is here to support Shadow. For this battle, the player takes control of Omega. Mephiles will now hide among his shadow clones to confuse the player. He still retains his energy blast attack, but can now fire smaller energy blasts. Use Omega's Omega shot to attack Mephiles. To make the fight easier, hold down the button to lock on to multiple enemies, then release to fire.
Mephiles Phase Two
Mephiles now fights Shadow as the final boss of the latter's story. Mephiles' tactics are the same as the first battle, albeit with some changes. Mephiles will float in the middle of the arena, waving his hands to command his shadow clones to dive into the floor. You cannot harm Mephiles at this point, so take the opportunity to collect rings, but be careful of the shadow clones diving into the arena or you will be hit. Once his clones have jumped in, Mephiles himself will dive in (if you are too close to where he will dive in, you will take damage). Mephiles then will summon giant shadow monsters, made of numerous shadows. These giant shadows attack by slamming the ground to create shock-waves, and firing a large laser from their mouths. Despite their size, they can be defeated with a few good hits to the head. The player must defeat each giant shadow to fill the energy gauge. Once the energy gauge is filled, activate Chaos Boost to return the shadow floor to normal and draw Mephiles into the open. The fight is largely the same as the first, except that Mephiles has two new attacks in his arsenal. He can now create perfect clones of himself, each with an energy blast. The player must find the real Mephiles before they all fire their energy blasts. When desperate, Mephiles will spiral upward, leaving clones of himself and then firing an energy blast from above. To reach Mephiles, use a homing attack on each clone until you reach Mephiles.
Other Game Appearances
Sonic Rivals 2
Appearances in Other Media
Mephiles was later revealed to have appeared in the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series, though he has yet to appear in person. Mephiles' presence within the comics was first hinted by writter Ian Flynn who confirmed that the events of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) had occured in the comics, and he was later officially revealed in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia. In this media, Mephiles was born during an experiment that split his original being, Solaris, into himself and Iblis. He was later trapped by Shadow the Hedgehog, but was freed and sought to rejoin with Iblis and remake Solaris. He eventually succeed in his plan, but was stopped and erased from existence by Sonic the Hedgehog and Elise. An alternate version of Mephiles also appeared in the Sonic Universe series, as a prisoner in the Zone Jail.
Mephiles' name is derived from Mephistopheles, the demon from the legend of Faust, and possibly after Mephitis, the personification of the poisonous gases emitted from the ground in swamps and volcanic vapors.
Mephiles may also be inspired by the false prophet in the Book of Revelations of the Bible as he works in the shadows and manipulates the characters into doing things that would only further his own goals.
Silver's theme song, "Dreams of an Absolution", calls him a preacher who lies which could also be a reference to this.
- "AH HA HA HA HA! Oh, how ironic fate can be." Mephiles' first line in Shadow's story.
- "I thank you, Shadow the Hedgehog." - Mephiles introducing himself to Shadow after escaping the Scepter of Darkness.
- "I'm Mephiles, Mephiles the Dark! What, did you forget me?" - Mephiles walking towards Shadow.
- "What you gave to me, I now return to you! A one-way ticket to oblivion!" - Mephiles transporting Shadow and Rouge into the future.
- "Such foolishness... very well, let's see if you can entertain me." - Mephiles' battle opening in Phase 1.
- "I'm your shadow...you can't even touch me." -Mephiles whilst battling Shadow.
- "You're just a nuisance... robot." - Mephiles while battling E-123 Omega.
- "Drown in darkness!" - Mephiles phase 2 battling Shadow
- "Just as a flower comes from a seed, or a chicken comes from an egg, everything has an origin. You need to find the being originally responsible for this catastrophe." - Mephiles explaining how to alter the devastated future to Silver and Blaze.
- "With my help, you can...because I have the power to travel through time." - Mephiles explaining to Silver and Blaze he can "help" them change the future in Sonic Next Gen.
- "I was expecting you sooner, as you must know, you're already too late...but there is still time for you to change your mind...join me, Shadow. Let us teach this world a lesson, and rewrite the future..." - Mephiles offers Shadow again to join his side before the final battle in Sonic '06.
- "I'll make sure you regret this, Shadow the Hedgehog!" - Mephiles battle opening in Phase 2.
- "The 'I' of now absorbed your power through your shadow in the past. What may have worked 10 years ago, no longer does!" - Mephiles breaking free from the new Scepter of Darkness.
- "This just proves you were created to stop Shadow, the ultimate lifeform." - Mephiles to Omega after Omega shot him.
- "You may have been programmed by humanity, but what you did to Shadow in the future, that was your-" - Mephiles to Omega before Omega whipped out dual miniguns and forced him away.
- "Finally, the seal is broken! At long last, I'll be able to join with you! IBLIS!!!" - Mephiles when Iblis was freed.
- "Now, Chaos Emerald! It's time for the final curtain call!" - Mephiles using his Chaos Emerald to call the other Chaos Emeralds to him and join with Iblis.
- Mephiles is the only character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series and in any other Sonic-related media who has actually successfully killed Sonic.
- It can be assumed that Mephiles is physically very weak, as shown when Mephiles was overcome by two individuals and even has a bit of trouble regaining his balance after bouncing on the ground.
- When in his crystalline form, Mephiles' white "crest" appears somewhat in the shape of a bird, the animal that makes up the Solaris emblem.
- Dr. Eggman had shown an interest in capturing Mephiles. He tried to take the Scepter of Darkness, and later when Shadow asked Eggman who Mephiles was, he said he would tell him if Shadow brought Mephiles to him. It isn't stated why Eggman wanted to capture Mephiles, but based on his actions in the game, it can be guessed that he had hoped to harness Mephiles' powers to travel through time if he failed to do so with Iblis, or that he needed both Iblis and Mephiles to completely control time. This last possibility is the most likely, since the full Solaris is a being that exists throughout all of time, and Iblis does not appear to have any time travel powers.
- Being that Mephiles took on Shadow's appearance by absorbing Shadow's shadow, it can be assumed that he could have taken on anyone's appearance if he was released into their shadow.
- Even though Mephiles appears to lack a visible mouth, the general area on his "muzzle" moves in and out as he speaks in a manner similar to an inflating balloon.
- When Mephiles is in the future, he has a purple Chaos Emerald, but later he doesn't have it or doesn't use it for some reason until the last story. However since he can travel through time, the actions he does throughout the game could be in any unspecified order.
- It should be noted that Mephiles may have first heard his name while Shadow trails after him during the Aquatic Base level, as Shadow declares "Mephiles! I won't let you escape!". Since Mephiles had not taken a name at the time, Shadow may have inadvertently given him the idea for it, and the rest may have come from his element and the Scepter itself.
- Many aspects of Mephiles, most notably his hateful connection to Shadow, his ability to make clones of himself, and his desire to flat out destroy existence in itself, bears several similarities to the Matrix villain Agent Smith. Also, his implied hatred of humanity mirrors Agent Smith's hatred of humanity. Shadow and Mephiles' final conversation in "Showdown with Mephiles" mirrors a similar conversation during the final fight between Neo and Agent Smith in "Matrix Revolutions".
- Though considered a key character to the plot of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, having been arguably the main villain, of 11 other key characters to the game, (all the playable characters, Eggman, Elise, excluding Solaris and Iblis), Mephiles interacted with only 3 of them directly (Omega, Shadow and Silver), was sighted for sure by Team Dark, Silver, and Blaze, glimpsed briefly by Team Sonic (who mistook him for a Shadow look-alike, and possibly never connected him to the events later). Amy and Eggman never meet him directly, and Mephiles never once directed his attention from Shadow, Omega, Silver, and to another extent, Elise and the task of killing Sonic to make her cry.
- Mephiles never directly spoke to any female characters he encountered.
- It's possible that Mephiles might have a low tolerance for aggravation, which can be seen when Shadow refused to join with him. The result of that was Mephiles changing form and during the following boss fight, as well as the followup one later, snippets of dialogue suggest a more aggressive side, in which he will growl and even make threats. However, being that both fights are paired against Shadow and only Shadow, it's also likely that due to Mephiles' hatred towards him, that this was merely a display of hostility.
- In his crystalline form, it's possible that his quills and ears, and for that matter, the rest of himself, is as pliable as it would be in his Shadow form, as several cutscenes show the quills bending and being influenced by movement, and in one scene, his ear twitches slightly.
- It is interesting to note that in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Shadow will bear a great resemblance to Mephiles after wiping-out on any skiing or snowboarding event.
- Mephiles is one of few enemies that can be a hard enemy to Shadow.
- It is unknown why Mephiles tried to go into the past to find Chaos Emeralds and trick Silver into killing Sonic instead of just using his purple Chaos Emerald to join with Iblis in the future. It could be because Iblis evolved so much he can't fuse with Mephiles, or to ensure that Sonic's death would still occur so that Iblis would continue to exist at this point in the future.
- In the brief cinematic in which Solaris's core is destroyed, a faint "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" can be heard in the background audio. The source of Solaris's death scream is almost certainly Mephiles as he is being disabled with Solaris's defeat.
- In the middle of the game, Mephiles travels to the present after being defeated by Shadow in the future. At this point, Mephiles is already in his Crystalline form. In Silver's Story, however, Mephiles is in the form he got after directly taking Shadow's shadow. This likely means he can change his form at will.
- Ian Flynn, current head writer for the Archie Comics, has expressed the opinion that Sega intended the Time Eater to be a sort of reborn Mephiles, some portion of him surviving the defeat of Solaris and the paradox that prevented his existence. However, no Sega statement is known to have been issued in response.