- For other uses of the term, see Time Eater (disambiguation).
The Time Eater (タイム・イーター Taimu Ītā?) is one of the main antagonists in Sonic Generations. Initially an alien creature with dominion over time and space, the Time Eater was discovered by Dr. Eggman who used it in an attempt to conquer the world by erasing his past failures at the hands of Sonic the Hedgehog with his past self's help. After inflicting incomprehensible damage to the universe, the Time Eater was used by the doctors to face Sonic's past and present self in an attempt to erase Sonic completely, but was destroyed in the ensuing battle.
The Time Eater was originally a supernatural being of unknown origin, whose primordial form drifted through the space of Sonic's universe. At some point after his defeat by Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman discovered the Time Eater while he, Cubot and Orbot were in space. Discovering the Time Eater's abilities, Eggman came up with the idea of using them to undo his numerous defeats at the hands of Sonic by erasing Sonic's history and thereby be victorious in the present. After taking the Time Eater with him, Dr. Eggman converted it into a cyborg-like machine that let him control it, though he needed help from someone as smart as himself to perfect the process. Still, even with the Time Eater incomplete, Dr. Eggman used it to travel through time and interfer with history.
In Sonic Generations, the Time Eater appeared in Green Hill Zone during Dr. Eggman's time-faring journey where it caused the area and Classic Sonic, Sonic's past self, to enter the White Space. Back in the present, the Time Eater appeared during a birthday party for Modern Sonic, Sonic's present self, where Eggman had it create series of Time Holes that scattered Sonic's friends throughout time to bait Sonic into Eggman's laid-out traps. In the process, the Time Eater knocked out Sonic when he tried to stop it and forced him into the White Space as well.
The Time Eater soon after reappeared in the aftermath of Classic Sonic victory's over the Death Egg Robot aboard the Death Egg to kidnap that era's Dr. Eggman. It turned out that the only person smart enough to help Eggman perfect the Time Eater was himself, so he decided kidnap a past incarnation of himself to aid him. After the Time Eater got away with Classic Eggman, the two doctor's gladly teamed up to defeat Sonic and help complete the Time Eater. As the Time Eater was used for more time travels, it passed through the White Space several times, during which it collided with a Chaos Emerald once. After Modern Sonic defeated the Egg Dragoon, the Time Eater briefly reappeared and took Modern Dr. Eggman with it.
After the Time Eater had been perfected, both Classic and Modern Sonic arrived in its dimension, having teamed to stop it. Both Modern and Classic Eggman then revealed themselves as the true pilots controlling the Time Eater to the heroes, where Modern Eggman explained his discovery of the Time Eater, his partnership with Classic Eggman and his plans to use the Time Eater to erase Sonic's actions from history and destroy both Sonics, thus erasing Sonic from the timeline entirely. Sure of their victory, the Sonics engaged the Time Eater, but Modern Eggman launched the Time Eater's arm into a Time Hole as it knocked back the Sonics, before its arm appeared behind the Sonics and squashed them. As the Time Eater got ready to finish them off, however, Sonic's friends arrived and cheered them on, causing the Chaos Emeralds to emerge and transform the pair into Super Sonic. The pair then faced the Time Eater in another dimension and destroyed it, leaving both Eggmen stranded in the White Space and undoing all the actions of the Time Eater.
Powers and abilities
The Time Eater possesses a vast mastery over space-time manipulation so advanced that can interfere with alternate timelines such as Crisis City, which is supposed to be removed from the original timeline. Its primary application for this skill is its ability to obliterate time and space, allowing it to erase events and places from history. Its signature skill however, is creating "Time Holes", spacial rifts that lead to any point across time and space, including alternate timelines and across different dimensions. It can also built up time energy to cast a seal resembling a watch interior which can slow down the time float without affecting itself. In the 3DS version of Sonic Generations, it can also form clock-shaped shields that can block even a Super Sonic Boost.
Despite its vast dominion over time and space, the Time Eater's temporal abilities are a double-edged sword; when moving through time, it literally tears space apart by removing places from their time, drains them of color and life, and sends them to the White Space, a strange world devoid of time. Living creatures put into this state experience it as "floating without a body in a black limbo." This process effectively damages the world and throws the universe into chaos, thereby bringing the end of the world and possibly reality itself, making the Time Eater one of the most dangerous beings in the series.
The Time Eater is a very powerful being, capable of taking on two Super State users at once. In its modified state, the Time Eater has demonstrated immense super strength; even in its incomplete form, it easily knocked Sonic unconscious with a single hit. After being completed, the Time Eater was able to effortlessly repel both Classic and Modern Sonic's and knock them out using brute force alone (Eggman even admitted he was holding back the Time Eater's strength) and even briefly immobilize Super Sonic in its grasp. It is as well capable of flight at high speed, even when compared to Super State users, but is ultimately not as fast as Super Sonic.
The Time Eater can form yellow homing shots in its hands that can track the opponent and fire them in several rows. It can also perform a move called the "Warping Arm Attack" where it separates up to two of its arms from its body and sends them through Time Holes to attack the foe. Not only does this allow the Time Eater to bring its arms into the vicinity of the opponent, but it can also select a specific point in the future for it to appear, making this move impossible to predict.
The Time Eater is capable of energy projection, allowing it to fire small purple orbs that can immobilize the opponent, form a large, vortex-like laser, manipulate objects in a manner similar to telekinesis or fire up to three small green lasers as seen in the 3DS version. Its arguably most powerful attack though is the Sun Burst where it summons a giant fireball in the background and fires it at the opponent. This attack is so powerful that it requires the power of two Super Sonics to repel it.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Time Eater's first appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog #230 as part of the comic's adaptation of Sonic Generations. Since this took place in alternate reality, the events did not completely happen in the comic's main timeline.
During the Worlds Collide crossover, the Time Eater came into existence when Drs. Eggman and Wily rewrote the timeline with the Genesis Wave. Following the reboot of the continuity due to the Super Genesis Wave, the Time Eater became a part of the new timeline.
When facing the Time Eater, the player has control of both Classic and Modern Super Sonic (most of the boss battle is done in 3D style). The wormhole is cluttered with several ruin objects from Sonic's history, sometimes slowing Sonic down when he needs to boost. These obstacles can be destroyed with the partner attack. The battle begins with the two chasing Time Eater through a time wormhole, trying to maintain a distance from them. Its most used attack is a wave of homing missiles, aimed for whatever Sonic the player is in control of. But this attack is fairly easy to avoid as it is not very fast and Sonic does not lose rings when he is hit.
It sometimes dives out of the wormhole and into the outer void surrounding it. At this time, the player can switch to Classic Super Sonic's version of the final boss by pressing /, pushing the two hedgehogs outside as well and shifting the camera to 2D. Another of the monster's attacks include warping its upper arms off its body and launching them through special rifts to attack Sonic. But the player can move Sonic away before the hand tries to swat them.
To defeat the Time Eater, the player must boost Sonic into the core of the beast, signaled by a lock-on target when in range. When the core is cracked from the impact, rings begin spewing out and can be collected through boost. After the first two hits, the Time Eater loses its lower body limbs, replaced by black misty smoke. It also has a new attack, a giant laser that charges before firing, which can only be dodged by switching Sonics at the last second. Also, the Time Eater can affect the flow of time and slow down time around both Sonics, letting it build a huge wave of Homing Shots before time returns to normal speed. Also, it can shoot out a purple orb that will immobilize one of the Sonics, making a partner attack or switching impossible until the captured Sonic is freed.
Once Time Eater's core has been hit three times, it unleashes its final attack. It launches a giant flaming fireball towards them that is too big to avoid. The only way to counter this is to for the player to press both "L1" and "R1" or "LB" and "RB" buttons at the same time to combine both Super Sonic's powers, bursting through and striking at Time Eater's core for the final blow. Do this and the game's storyline is completed.
In the hard mode version of this battle, it is harder to catch up to the Time Eater, there are more obstacles to avoid, and the Time Eater can shoot out three waves of Homing Shots instead of one if given enough distance. Plus, it takes longer to strike the core with the last attack.
Nintendo 3DS version
In the 3DS version, the battle is fought differently. The player cannot switch at will between Classic and Modern Super Sonic, and the Time Eater takes eight hits to defeat instead of four. The player also starts with 100 rings.
At the start, the player is in control of Classic Super Sonic. Much like the console version, here, the player must avoid its attacks, which include homing missiles and a sweeping arm attack. After the player manages to avoid these attacks, Classic Super Sonic can homing attack the Time Eater's core.
The player is automatically switched to Modern Super Sonic. Time Eater flies away from Sonic while launching attacks. The player must boost towards Time Eater. When Super Sonic is close enough, the Time Eater launches itself at Super Sonic, and the player must avoid this attack. When Super Sonic avoids the attack, a chance is given to attack the Time Eater's core by boosting or using a homing attack.
This is repeated another three times. In each round, the Time Eater adds a new attack (for Classic Super Sonic, a weak laser attack and a much stronger laser burst, and for Modern Super Sonic, a warping arm attack and a clock shield which he must boost through without hitting the clock face's spinning hands or its edges), as well as modifying its existing attacks (such as firing more homing shots, or moving faster with its warping arms).
On the eighth round, Time Eater and the two Super Sonics fall through a wormhole. To finish the battle, the player must boost towards Time Eater, streaking one last time through its core.
Missions (3DS version)
- Boss Showdown: Defeat Time Eater in 9:00.00!
- This is the only original boss in Sonic Generations since the rest are all re-imaginings of previous bosses.
- This is, to date, the only time Eggman has uncovered a mysterious creature that has not later grown out of his control and betrayed him.
- The scene in the boss trailer showing Time Eater confronting the two Sonics and Tails in Green Hill never happens in the game.
- In the console version, the Time Eater has four arms and three sets of wings, but in the handheld version, he has two arms and one set of wings.
- This is similar to the Time Eater in the console version after it takes two hits.
- In the console version, when using Modern Super Sonic, the fight takes place inside the wormhole, and Classic Sonic fights outside. In the 3DS version, the roles are reversed; Modern Sonic fights it outside and Classic Sonic fights inside.
- Every time Time Eater is damaged, the clock and the numerous cogs behind it begin to crumble and look distorted.
- The Time Eater bears resemblance to Solaris in the way that their weak point is a sphere at the center of its body, they can manipulate time, they are destroying the timeline, and they are so powerful that it took the effort of multiple super-powered characters to defeat.
- The two Super Sonics destroyed the Time Eater in a similar way that Super Sonic and Burning Blaze finished off the Egg Salamander in Sonic Rush.
- In the 3DS version, they even switch of like this fight as well with one Sonic handling their respective Eggman.
- The Time Eater is one of the few final bosses who have been fought by more than one super character. The other ones that have this trait are Solaris, the Finalhazard, the Egg Salamander and the Egg Wizard.
- In the Nintendo 3DS version of the fight, only one of the two Eggmen is controlling the Time Eater while it's facing one of the Sonics, as one of them says "Leave this one to me!" after the Time Eater gets hit. This is a reference to the final boss of Sonic Rush.
- During the boss battle, the player can see many remains and chunks from the previous levels floating around the main area where the Time Eater is fought, such as pieces of land from Green Hill and cars and the G.U.N. truck from City Escape. While they don't deal damage when touched, they can get in both Super Sonics' way during a boost and block them.
- Interestingly, the types of debris that are shown alternate between the phases of the battle: As the fight starts, totem poles and chunks of grass from Green Hill, pieces of pipes, silos of chemical substances and cranes from Chemical Plant and towers and warp points Sky Sanctuary are seen. After the first flash of light, cars and minibuses from Speed Highway, and the the truck from City Escape may be seen. Then, during the next phase, destroyed cars from Crisis City, the clock tower from Rooftop Run and ground chunks and machinery from Planet Wisp float around. Other than the fact that nothing is there from Seaside Hill, the debris shown goes from the Classic Era, to the Dreamcast Era, to the Modern Era.
- In this boss fight, Omochao does not give the player tips. Instead, Sonic's friends give hints during the fight.
- Interestingly, this is the only stage in the game where Classic Sonic can be used in 3D. While Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic flies next to you and you can shoot him in front of you. However, if you switch to Classic Sonic, you fly out of the main area and turn to a 2D perspective.
- In both versions of the fight, a Homing Attack icon appears when you get close to the core. Strangely, in the console version, you can not use a homing attack on the Time Eater, while you can in the 3DS Version.
- On the final strike against the Time Eater, if the player releases LB and RB/L1 and R1 while holding them, the music will return back to the battle of the Time Battle and eventually the player is greeted to face the final strike again soon.
- When finishing off the Time Eater with Classic Sonic (2D), the player can notice that the attack is simply a wall of fire as opposed to a large ball of fire when finishing with Modern Sonic (3D).
- The words sung in the Modern version of the Time Eater's battle music are "Dominus Tempus", roughly translated from Latin to "Master of Time"; fitting Time Eater's role in the game.