Imperator Ix (ノウェム Nowemu?), also known as Pir'Oth Ix or simply Ix, is the main antagonist of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. He is an echidna and the leader the Nocturnus Clan. A megalomaniacal with a knack for techno-wizardry and Machiavellian politics, Ix orchestrated the theft of all seven Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald, in a scheme to break the Nocturnus Clan out of the Twilight Cage and conquer Sonic's world.
Ix has ruled the Nocturnus Clan echidnas "for as long as we can remember" (according to Shade in Chapter 6). Four thousand years ago, when the Nocturnus still lived on Sonic's world, it was Ix who incited the tribe to war against Knuckles' ancestors, the Knuckles Clan. Bloody warfare against Chief Pachacamac's warriors only ended when the Perfect Chaos cataclysm (recounted in Sonic Adventure) destroyed the Knuckles Clan, leaving Ix and the Nocturnus with no further obstacles on the road to complete conquest of the ancient world.
However, the Nocturnus Clan eventually fell victim to its own supernatural catastrophe: the Argus Event. Without warning or explanation, the entire civilization was uprooted from Sonic's world and cast into the Twilight Cage; a slow-time prison-dimension occupied by a host of fearsome alien races. Forced to adapt or die, Ix continued to lead the Nocturnus in the Cage's nightmaric environments, brokering strategic alliances and pitting his enemies against one another, as the Nocturnus society evolved in mere years from an ancient-era tribal civilization to a sinister technological empire. The echidnas were eventually able to subjugate or pacify their caged opponents, and turned their attentions to escape.
At the start of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Ix dispatches Procurator Shade and a large force of Nocturnus soldiers back to Sonic's world using the warp belt technology developed by the Nocturnus inside the Cage. The Imperator himself later comes to Angel Island, to personally capture the Master Emerald. After fighting Sonic and Knuckles to a standstill (and declaring Shade an insubordinate traitor), Ix uses the Master Emerald to open a wormhole, and retreats to the Twilight Cage with the Emeralds to prepare his invasion.
During the second half of the game, Sonic pursues Ix into the Cage and marshals the other imprisoned races against the Nocturnus. After the heroes fight their way to the throne room of the Nocturne citadel, defeating all guards present, Ix attempts to convince Knuckles to side with the Nocturnus echidnas - but to no avail. After fighting three consecutive battles, the Imperator remains unbroken. He uses either the Chaos Emeralds or the Master Emerald (the game is unclear on this point, as he even says that he's "using the very power of Nocturne itself!") to achieve his Super State. But after being defeated by Super Sonic, Ix still won't go down; and he teleports away as the Nocturne begins to fall apart. His eventual fate is unknown.
Ix is arrogant on a cosmic scale, considering those below him as "dust" or "worms", but has no qualms with getting his hands dirty if the situation necessitates it. Prolonged isolation in the Twilight Cage has driven him insane, instilling within him a power-mad desire to conquer Sonic's world instead of merely returning to it. He is a cruel and manipulative leader, ruling the races he has conquered through ruthlessness and cunning to keep them under control, even if they could end up annihilating themselves in the process. As the unquestioned leader of the Nocturnus, Ix demands complete loyalty from all his soldiers, swiftly punishing those who dare to so much as question him, such as Shade.
Powers and abilities
Ix is noted to be a very powerful individual, having been described as "powerful on a possibly cosmic scale," and is easily the strongest member of the Nocturnus Clan. His strength is so great that he defeated the previously undefeated General Raxos single-handedly and that the residents of the Twilight Cage consider facing his wrath an act of utter madness.
Classified as a techno-wizard, Ix is capable of projecting harmful energy in different ways such as beams, spheres and blasts, the strongest of which have enough power to engulf a large portion of Angel Island. He is also capable of levitation and can teleport, though the latter is mostly likely due to a warp belt. He has as well shown to have some proficiently in stick fighting. Additionally, he has the ability to harness chaos energy to empower himself.
The following is a list of POW moves Ix has in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood:
- Doom Orb: Ix shoots a green energy ball that, if not perfectly avoided, instantly KOs one member of the team.
- Power Blast: Ix shoots a green energy beam from his scepter.
- Dark Anomaly (ダークグラビティー Dākugurabiti?, lit. "Dark Gravity"): A move similar to Chaos Rift.
- Overload: Only used move as Imperator Ix, a higher-powered version of Dark Anomaly.
Being the mastermind behind many of the Nocturnus Clan's major strategies, Ix is quite intelligent and cunning. When Angel Island remained out of reach due to GUN, Ix pulled the island to him using the Chaos Emeralds' relationship the Master Emerald rather than launching a full-scale assault. Also, to escape the Twilight Cage without interference, Ix gave the Chaos Emeralds to races in the cage not fully enslaved, knowing that their thirsts for power would keep them occupied with each other.
Ix carries around a staff that he uses in combat. This staff is fully golden and completely straight with a hollow gear, which is missing a segment of it, as a head. In combat, Ix can use it as either a melee weapon or to channel energy, allowing him to argument his strikes or create energy attacks.
Like Sonic, Ix is able to initiate a super transformation to enter a Super State by harnessing large amounts of chaos energy. In this form, Ix's innate talents are vastly increased, allowing him fight on par with Super Sonic.
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In other media
Pir'Oth Ix appears in the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series and spin-offs. In the comics, Ix is the leader of the Nocturnus Clan, the advanced sciences caste of a group of echidna colonists from Albion. They settled in Soumerca, where Ix and the Nocturnus Clan remained behind and entered a territorial war against the Felidae and the Knuckles Clan, until Ix and his people were mysteriously trapped in the Twilight Cage. Inside this prison, Ix and the Nocturnus Clan managed to conquer the other alien race there and took over the entire dimension. Ix is currently researching the Twilight Cage to find the means of returning to Mobius and conquer it.
- Although it is never mentioned in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, "Pir'Oth Ix" is given in the title of his character information box on the game's official website.
- Ix's design is reminiscent of two other white-furred, technophilic echidnas from alternative Sonic continuities: Doctor Finitevus, from the Archie Comics, and Doctor Zachary, from Fleetway's Sonic the Comic. In fact, Ix may have been influenced by these characters, just as Shade may have been influenced by Julie-Su.
- There is a possibility that Ix is in fact, insane. As stated by Shade that he "has gone mad from his years in the Twilight Cage." The fact that he's insane could connect back to Dr. Finitevus from Archie, who is also insane; but he went insane from too much chaos energy.
- Unlike other members of the Nocturnus Clan, Ix does not disappear in a flash of light when he is defeated.