Knuckles’s search for the Master Emerald is initially rooted in vengeance but ends with good intentions, which is the opposite of Thanos’s story.
Knuckles The Echidna, from Sonic The Hedgehog 2, has a story arc that acts as a reverse of Thanos’s plan in Avengers: Infinity War. Much like Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for Sega Genesis, Sonic 2 also introduces Miles Tails, Sonic’s two-tailed, flying sidekick. Together they fight against Dr. Robotnik to prevent his acquisition of the Master Emerald guarded by Longclaw until her death. The Master Emerald contains the six Chaos Emeralds, and anyone who acquires it is granted unfathomable power unmatched by any other entity in the universe. Robotnik is not the only one after the Master Emerald, though. Knuckles also has his eyes on it with the hopes of vindictively avenging his now eradicated species. Now, with Dr. Robotnik on a mission of total world domination, and Knuckles packing a punch for anyone who stands in his way, Sonic and Tails must find the Master Emerald on Earth to prevent its massive power from getting into the wrong hands.
The plot is fairly similar to another blockbuster hit from 2018: Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos, after experiencing the devastating results of overpopulation, concludes that the world would benefit from half of its population disappearing. To achieve this “endgame,” he searches for the six Infinity Stones to power the Infinity Gauntlet, which would give him the power to wipe out half of the world’s population; all Thanos has to do is snap a finger. Much likes Sonic, Tails, and eventually Knuckles, the Avengers must strategize and figure out a way to fight against Thanos before he obtains the power he desires from the Infinity Gauntlet and depletes the world by half.
Thanos wants Infinity Stones, and Knuckles wants Chaos Emeralds, but while both Thanos and Knuckles start with a chip on their shoulder, Thanos chooses to spin that chip into a positive outlook while Knuckles is simply out for revenge. As both of their stories progress, their intentions and goals eventually shift. Knuckles eventually disregards his plan to get revenge and decides to join forces with whom he initially deemed as enemies. Once Knuckles gets the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds. Thanos, on the other hand, disregards his mission to rid the world of overpopulation and instead wants to get revenge on anyone who dares go against him once he gets the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity Stones. Essentially, Knuckles’ story reverses Thanos’ plan in Infinity War.
Thanos begins his quest for the Infinity Gauntlet with what he believes to be a noble cause. He believes he is willing to accept a harsh reality that no one else can. By eliminating half of all living things in the universe, he is actually working toward the greater good, contrary to popular opinion. Once Thanos acquires the Infinity Gauntlet and the six Infinity Stones, he easily has the power to accomplish his goal, but he no longer cares about the greater good of the world and instead only wants to get revenge on The Avengers and anyone who takes the opposing side.
Knuckles, on the other hand, proudly and angrily boasts about his plan to get revenge on everyone who is not an echidna. At first, his rage is blind and vindictive, but as the story progresses, he sees through Robotnik’s disloyalty and appreciates Sonic’s altruism. Knuckles starts as the vengeful villain but ends as a hero alongside Sonic and Tails. Eventually, he scraps his plans of revenge and teams up with the forces he initially wants to eliminate to protect the Master Emerald for the greater good. Thanos starts as a hero looking out for his version of the greater good but ends as a vengeful villain.
While Thanos’s actions are deemed reprehensible by most, Thanos himself at least has principles on which he bases those actions. He truly believes that he is doing the world a service by terminating half of its population. It isn’t until he obtains the Infinity Gauntlet that his actions are more rooted in violence and hatred. Knuckles, however, is fueled by violence and hatred at first, and it isn’t until he experiences the Master Emerald that he decides to heroically fight for the greater good. By the end of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic reverses the plan that Thanos formulates in Avengers: Infinity War.
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