You know, it’s almost hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since SonicQuest: The Death Egg Saga was originally published. Coming out right at the tail end of the Golden Age of the Archie series, it promised to give the readers everything they were asking for, a fun little detour as the main series began to amp itself up for “Endgame,” the four part storyline that also is seeing its fifteenth anniversary this year. Causing far more controversy than the writers were intending, Endgame was designed to be the final chapter of the comic book if it was to see cancellation in the wake of the Saturday morning series ending, and although the series instead continued to be published (and still thrives to this day), it was certainly the end of an era. SonicQuest, though it has its faults, still exists in that pre-Endgame state of mind, surely assisted by the writing style of Mike Gallagher. In fact, there is only one more game adaptation before “Endgame” would change everything…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Picking up where we left off yesterday, we continue with SonicQuest: The Death Egg Saga, the pseudo-adaptation of Sonic 2, 3 & Knuckles, even though we already had adaptations of the latter two. So let’s find out what the heck’ll happen next.
Even though it’s easy to forget, the classic games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series did indeed have a storyline. Of the core five titles from the early 90’s, one single invention from the mind of Dr. Eggman dictated the actions Sonic, “Tails” and Knuckles would be a part of over the course of twenty five levels. I am talking, of course, of the Death Egg. Though clearly a Star Wars reference in both style and name, the giant space station (even if it was only in space for roughly ten minutes) was the centerpiece of the action that went on in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. So great was its importance that the station would return in numerous spin-off titles, such as Sonic the Fighters, Sonic Drift 2, and Sonic Battle. Heck, it was even meant to be in Sonic X-treme at one point, although we all know what happened there.
So it was head-scratching to think that Archie‘s previous adaptations of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles completely neglected the use of the Death Egg. Even if the writers hadn’t been able to finish the game themselves, it was mentioned more than once in the instruction manuals for all three games it appeared in. So what did we get instead? Some random ship that wasn’t much bigger than Dr. Robotnik, and a half-baked scheme that turned the bottom of the Floating Island into a death trap. Not exactly the stuff of legends. Even the Fleetway adaptations of those games used the Death Egg, so for us American fans, all we could do was write in and complain to the Archie staff that they had completely forgotten to use one of the most awesome things in the game.
Finally, Archie succumbed to the pressure, and decided to use it, adapting portions of Sonic 2, 3 and Knuckles and introducing the Death Egg into the pages of the comic. And when they did, they did it in a big way. It wasn’t just a random issue of the main series. It wasn’t even a 48-page special that had to share print time with back-up stories about Knuckles the Echidna. It was given the royal treatment. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you SonicQuest: The Death Egg Saga.