Neutralising The Neutralising Notion

The 'neutralisation notion' is a popular fan theory that explains how Angel Island originally separated from the Mystic Ruins. It suggests that as the Chaos Emeralds are able to neutralise the Master Emerald, when Chaos attacked the Echidnas and separated the Emeralds from the alter, the Master Emerald's energies activated, causing Angel Island to rise in the sky. However, the notion is actually contradicted in three ways - by the strategy guide story and in both the past and present scenes of Sonic Adventure.

Contradictions in the Strategy Guide

According to the first Sonic Adventure strategy guide story, after Chaos attacked, the Echidnas crafted murals depicting the event. One of these murals is in the Lost World, which is located in the temple in the Mystic Ruins. The temple itself is actually the former central building of the Echidna city:

Past Present
01.JPG 02.JPG

Therefore, if the neutralisation notion were true, the Echidnas would not have been able to construct this mural and return back to the floating Angel Island.

Contradictions in the past flashbacks

Most of the flashbacks take place before Chaos attacks. The exceptions are those in Super Sonic's story and the final flashbacks of Sonic’s and Knuckles’ games, all of which are set after the attack. This is evident from the fact that the Chaos Emeralds are separated from the Master Emerald.

The Emeralds are not at the alter

Despite this separation, the area still appears to be connected to the mainland, as the surrounding lake has not drained (the lake does not exist at the alter in the present):


This observation itself appears to be contradicted by the lack of map screen access and the inability to enter to the Echidna city. However, as will now be shown, these factors possess little relevance when explored more fully.

Before Chaos attacks in the DX version of Sonic Adventure, the map can be accessed and shows the shrine connected to the mainland. As the map cannot be accessed in the post-Chaos attack flashbacks, it may suggest that the altar area has separated and is floating. However, as there are lots of places in Sonic Adventure DX where the map cannot be accessed, the lack of access can be viewed as a simple oversight on the developer's part.

The Echidna city can be easily entered from the altar in all other flashbacks, but not in the post-Chaos attack flashbacks, which again may indicate that the area is no longer attached to the mainland.


However, this is unlikely for three reasons. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the water that surrounds the shrine can still be seen.

Secondly, in the opening cut scene of Knuckles' story, floating mists can be observed on the island when it is in the air. These mists are not present in the post-Emerald separation flashbacks, which suggest that it is not floating.

Thirdly, when the Emeralds are removed during Chaos' attack, no movement occurs in the shrine area. If the area had separated, then it would have been logical to show the island rising up when the Emeralds were removed.

Contradictions in the past flashbacks

The present scenes also contradict the neutralisation theory. At the start of Super Sonic's story, when Angel Island is shown falling back to the ground, Knuckles states:
“Maybe… those Chaos Emeralds… that I brought back with me… have something to do with what's going on around here”:


This line could be read as a strong validation to the neutralisation notion. However, such a reading ignores two factors. Firstly, characters are frequently depicted conveying thoughts that are not indications of reality. This is most vividly demonstrated in Sonic Adventure 2, when Amy sees Shadow and states, “Sonic I thought I would never see you again”. This line cannot be taken as an indication that Shadow is actually Sonic - it is simply conveying her perception of events.

Secondly, Knuckles' line is probably uttered to link Super Sonic's Adventure to the end of Knuckles' game. In the ending of Knuckles' story, Knuckles is never shown collecting the Chaos Emeralds from Egg carrier.

No indication is given that Knuckles collected the Emeralds

Without this utterance, the player would become confused as to how the Chaos Emeralds appeared on the Master Emerald shrine.

Thirdly, Knuckles is not actually stating that the Chaos Emeralds are causing the Island to fall but is suggesting that they may be involved with the “something” that is causing the event. A clue to this “something” is shown in Knuckles' adventure. In the final cut scene, a shooting star is present in the sky:


The only other time a shooting star is shown is in the opening of Big's adventure before Froggy becomes possessed by Chaos' tail:


Knuckles is the last person to come in contact with Chaos before 'it' appears in Super Sonic's story. Therefore, it is possible that when Knuckles takes the Chaos Emeralds to Angel Island, Chaos sends 'its' tail to bring the island to the ground making it easier to steal the jewels. Although this is only speculation, it does not contradict with the strategy guide story or past flashbacks.

Contradictions in the present flashbacks

If the Chaos Emeralds were responsible for from preventing the Master Emerald from making Angel Island float in the past, then they should also have this effect in the present. However, there are three instances where this is not the case.

The first is when Knuckles restores the Master Emerald at the end of his Adventure. The Egg Carrier is shown exploding when Knuckles leaves for Angel Island. There is nothing to suggest that Knuckles returned to the vessel after it landed in the sea and, therefore, he must have had possession of the Chaos Emeralds before restoring the Master Emerald. If the Emeralds were capable of neutralising the Master Emerald, then Angel Island would not have been able to float when its power source was restored.

The second instance is in Super Sonic's Adventure. After Chaos removes the Chaos Emeralds, much time passes yet the island still remains on the ground:


This contradicts with Knuckles' ending in Sonic Adventure and the good endings of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as the island is shown to always rise immediately after the Master Emerald has been restored. Hence, it can be concluded the in Super Sonic's story, the island remained on the ground even though the Chaos Emeralds were no longer near the Master Emerald.

More recently in Sonic Advance 3, the final cut-scene of the Master Emerald being used to reverse the effects of Chaos Control still plays even if the player has brought all 7 Emeralds to the alter area. This further suggests that the Chaos Emeralds possesses no neutralising effect. It could be argued that this cut-scene is not a part of the story line, as it doesn't play if Sonic has collected all the Chaos Emeralds. However, the cut-scene is the only part of the story that explains how the effects of Chaos Control were reversed, and as it does not contradict with Super Sonic's, it can be considered to be valid.

Based on a points raised here, it seems impossible that the neutralisation notion is valid. It is interesting to note that the past flashbacks stop exactly at the point when Chaos attacks the altar. In Super Sonic's adventure, upon seeing Perfect Chaos destroy Station Square, Tikal mentions that 'it' has done this before. (This previous action appears to be depicted in the mural of the Lost World). This suggests that the flashbacks shown are not the full story of what happened 3000 years ago. The legends in the Sonic 3 back-story describe the events that occurred after the echidnas attacked the Master Emerald area. Perhaps this information is a truer indication of how Angel Island separated from the mainland.


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