Did I change my destiny? Did I keep our promise?
— Shahra, Sonic and the Secret Rings
Shahra (シャーラ Shāra?), also known as the Genie of the Ring, is one of the main characters in Sonic and the Secret Rings. She is a special, eager young genie from the world of the Arabian Nights who enlists the help of Sonic in stopping the Erazor Djinn.
At the beginning of the game, she comes to Sonic seeking his aid. She explains that the stories of the Arabian Nights are disappearing as a result of the work of the Erazor Djinn and asks for his help, saying "Only you, the blue hedgehog, can do it." Once he accepts, he becomes her "master" and helps to guide him through the world of the Arabian Nights.
In the game, she grants Sonic special abilities and bonuses to aid Sonic in his quest. She appears to have a strong relationship with Erazor. She has a habit of calling Sonic "Master" (she's likely used to calling whoever possesses the ring her master like a genie normally would), even though he prefers her to just call him by his name. While she does have high magic power, she seems to be unable to undo the works of any of the Erazor Djinn's magic, such as the cursed flaming arrow that he embeds in Sonic's chest. It is hinted that she and the Erazor Djinn were once in love or were friends, but when Shahra tells Sonic in the Last Chapter, "I just want to be back with him!", the former seems most likely.
In the end of the story, she is revealed as having a partnership of sorts with Erazor. However, she does not believe this is the "right path" when Sonic wishes for her to, "Do what you truly think is right!" When Erazor attempts to sacrifice Sonic, she saves him, sacrificing her own life. Rather than passing on though, Shahra's spirit melded with Sonic and aided him in his final confrontation with Erazor. She is later brought back to life with Sonic's first wish on the Erazor Djinn's lamp. After Sonic's last wish (that Erazor spend eternity in his lamp) is granted, Shahra cries, overcome with grief at both her betrayal of Sonic and the loss of a possibly close friend. Sonic, in an act of compassion, wishes for a mountain of handkerchiefs so that she can cry as long as she needs to, which was a reference to the beginning of the story.
Powers and abilities
As the genie of the ring, Shahra possesses magical abilities that allow her to grant the wishes of her master. However, she is restricted to only granting simple wishes, such as making a mountain of handkerchiefs appear, calling forth magical carpets, or taking someone into the world of the Arabian Nights. She is also unable to undo the working of Erazor Djinn's magic, as it is on a completely different level.
In the beginning of the game, Shahra asks Sonic for help, so that he can save her world from the evil Erazor Djinn, Sonic agrees but he can only go in the book on one condition; he has to wear a ring so that she can grant his wishes. Throughout the game she constantly calls Sonic "Master", but Sonic, with modesty, tells her to call him by his name. Erazor Djinn attempts to cast a curse on Shahra for disobeying him, she is however protected by Sonic, hence resulting in Sonic bearing the curse - a flame on his chest which will cause him to die when it wears out in time. Having her friend to bear the curse, Shahra apologizes for getting Sonic involved, Sonic however promises her that he will keep her smiling in the end of the situation not as her master but as a friend, they both crossed their pinkies together as a symbol of "promise". Shahra however shakily doubts the promise, in fear of the Erazor Djinn.
Shahra also appears to be hiding from Sonic on several occasions and is unable to answer Sonic when he questions about the Erazor Djinn or the Seven World Rings.
In the end, she could not keep the promise and forces herself to obey the Erazor, Sonic in great shock questions her and commands her to choose what she thinks is truly right, however it causes Shahra to faint. Erazor made his attempt to kill Sonic in the process until Shahra grabbed Sonic causing her to die instead. In the end, after defeating Erazor, Sonic forces Erazor Djinn to grant a wish to bring Shahra back to life. When Sonic goes back to his world, Shahra speaks to herself and thanks Sonic for helping her world.
It seems that Shahra and Erazor Djinn have known each other for a long time, though the nature of their relationship was not clearly known. Sonic was suspicious of their relationship but persisted to keep a strong trust in Shahra by not forcing her to confess the truth. Thinking she had no other choice, she forces herself to break her promise with Sonic and therefore re-unite with the Erazor Djinn after his second offer despite being aware it was a wrong decision. Even though the Erazor Djinn is controlling of Shahra's emotions and would even curse her if she would not obey him, her 'love' for Erazor Djinn sustains and even cries when he was cursed back into the lamp despite his misdeeds. Therefore, it can be assumed that the two were lovers in the past.
- "Do not be alarmed, I am Shahra, the Genie of the Ring." - Shahra introducing herself to Sonic.
- "What!? You've got to be kidding me! It's the best told story of the Arabian Nights...or at least the second best." - Shahra when Sonic tells her he's never read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.
- "Please, be serious!" - Shahra when Sonic wished for a handkerchief.
- "O Master, what is thy wish?" - Shahra when Sonic calls her from her Ring.
- "Sonic, can't you swim?" - Shahra teasing Sonic because he can't swim.
- "You're gonna lose! Increase the Soul Gauge by moving the Wii Remote." - Shahra when Darkspine Sonic is not using enough power in his fight with Alf Layla wa-Layla.
- "And so, the legendary blue hedgehog, having saved the World of the Arabian Nights ran endlessly, until he found his way back into his own world. Along the way, he had many adventures. But those are stories for another time. Thank you, Sonic the Hedgehog, the legendary Hedgehog." - Shahra's last words in the end of Sonic and the Secret rings.
- Shahra's name suggests she is based on the 1001 Nights character Scheherazade.
- Shahra's way of appearing as a ball of light in the stages is very similar to Tikal did in Sonic Adventure.
- In Sonic Rivals 2, one of the cards showing Shahra is referred as "Shanhra", a possible typo.
- Shahra's appearance seems to have passed on to Merlina the Wizard from Sonic and the Black Knight. While they are both Sonic's friends, Sonic had to battle Merlina as the final boss when Sonic never fought Shahra at all (Sonic trying to talk Shahra out of giving Erazor Djinn the rings wasn't an actual "fight", more like a psychological struggle).
- Shahra is the eighth Sonic character who has died in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The first and second were E-101 Beta and E-102 Gamma in Sonic Adventure, the third was Maria Robotnik in Sonic Adventure 2, the fourth was Gerald Robotnik in Sonic Adventure 2, the fifth was Dr. Eggman in some of the possible endings of Shadow the Hedgehog, the sixth is the Duke of Soleanna in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and the seventh is Sonic himself in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- Shahra was brought back to life by Sonic's first wish on Erazor. According to the original Arabian Nights, the Genie of the Lamp cannot do that. It is possible that Sonic wished that first because the Arabian Nights weren't restored yet, so he took the opportunity to make the wish for Shahra.
- Shahra is currently the only Storybook Series character who has appeared in Sonic's world (Merlina was able to bring Sonic into her story with a spell).
- In the original story of Aladdin, the evil sorcerer who tricked Aladdin gives him a ring with a genie in it. This may be where the idea for Shahra came from.