The Chaos Emeralds (カオス エメラルド,Kaosu Emerarudo?) are seven fictional emeralds from the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. The Chaos Emeralds have mystical properties and abilities, and the holder of them all can use them for a large variety of things, such as transforming into a powerful "super form" and (as shown in Sonic the Hedgehog) raising the dead. Each emerald is composed of positive and negative charged materials which make them an everlasting source of energy and allow them to float in the air. All player characters that are capable of transforming only use the positive charged part of the Emeralds to do so, which is demonstrated by Sonic at the end of Sonic Adventure (except possibly Shadow, who has been shown using positive and negative energy in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Adventure 2 respectively). Sonic the Hedgehog is the only character seen with the ability to merge with the chaos emeralds when transforming into Super Sonic, shown in Sonic Unleashed and Super Smash Bros Brawl. After a super form is reached, the Emeralds discharge and send themselves across the world (or to Special Stages), and as such characters often collect them throughout the games. While they were more like "bonus" items in the early games of the series, the Chaos Emeralds became necessary plot devices in Sonic Adventure, and that trend has continued throughout the later 3D games.
The Chaos Emeralds' backstory are shrouded in mystery, and they are known to have existed for thousands of years, along with the larger Master Emerald. The games and comics have revealed that both the Echidna and Babylon civilizations that existed thousands of years prior to the games knew about the Chaos Emeralds, along with the Black Arms, who have visited Earth for at least 2000 years. The civilization that created Emerl over 4000 years prior to the games is also known to have been experimenting with the Chaos Emeralds. The Chaos Emeralds were named such by the remaining Echidnas due to their connection with Chaos, who destroyed their civilization.
According to Sonic Adventure, the ancient saying associated with the Chaos Emeralds and the larger Master Emerald is "The servers are the seven Chaos. Chaos is power. Power is enriched by the heart. The controller is the one that unifies the Chaos." The meaning of this saying is further clarified in Sonic Adventure 2 by the Master Emerald's power to neutralize the Chaos Emeralds, and in Sonic the Hedgehog where their ability is described as being able to "transform thoughts into power."
While the Chaos Emeralds can lie around basically anywhere, they can quite often be found in Special Stages (also known as "The Special Zone"), strange alternate dimensions. Even alone, their power is unmatched by anything else in the universe; except perhaps by the Master Emerald, which is just as powerful as all seven Chaos Emeralds, if not more.
The Chaos Emeralds in themselves are usually used for weapons of mass destruction (in Doctor Eggman's case), Chaos powers (normally the case with Shadow the Hedgehog), and letting people turn into their Super forms (pretty much everyone). The energy can also be given from one super form to another character to allow that person to achieve a super form of his own (for example, at the end of Sonic Heroes).
It is not known why the Chaos Emeralds need collecting at the beginning of every game (except, of course, for the purpose of game dynamics). One explanation is that after the Chaos Emeralds are used to their maximum strength, they repel each other and so end up in Special Stages (early games) or just the "four corners of the world" (later games), very much like the Dragon Balls from the Dragon Ball franchise.
However, there is one exception to this explanation. During the opening sequence for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (if you chose Sonic or Sonic & Tails as your character choice), Sonic is in possession of all seven of the Chaos Emeralds at the beginning. This is evident when he leaps off the Tornado and falls off-screen only to come racing across the ocean as Super Sonic before making his way onto Angel Island. There, Knuckles then steals the Chaos Emeralds and hides them from Sonic so that he has to search from scratch like all other games. Thus, another explanation could possibly be that Sonic himself hides them so their power won't fall into the wrong hands, and so all of them won't be in one group for "easy picking".
Because of the huge power emanating from each emerald, creating radars to track them are relatively simple (Rouge, Tails and Eggman all had one in Sonic Adventure 2, and Tails used one again in Sonic Riders). Each emerald is linked to each other, and as Tails describes, act like magnets attracting each other, allowing him to discover Eggman's location on the ARK. Knuckles and Shadow also seem to have the natural ability to sense an Emerald's power.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Throughout most of the early games, Doctor Eggman tries to get his hands on the Chaos Emeralds in order to fuel his doomsday weapons. The player can choose to collect the Emeralds in their Special Stages in order to unlock a "good ending", a super form, or both. The Chaos Emeralds have gained a more important part of the plot in later games.
In Sonic Adventure, the Chaos Emeralds were collected by Eggman in order to feed Chaos, The guardian of the Chao and Emeralds, and that changed form every time it received one of the gems. With all seven, it became Perfect Chaos, and used up all of the negative energy in the Emeralds before dropping the unpowered and colorless emeralds onto the ground. Sonic then picked all seven up and used the positive energy to become Super Sonic and destroy Perfect Chaos. Also in the game, Tikal the Echidna states that "The 7 Emeralds can change our thoughts into power", and that the Master Emerald controls that power.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and Shadow had the ability to use the Chaos Emeralds to utilize "Chaos Control", an ability that alters time and space to teleport or freeze time. Interestingly, Sonic at one point uses the Chaos Control ability with a fake Emerald that had the same properties as a normal one, but less power.
In Sonic Heroes, the gameplay pays homage to classic elements, so it goes back to a way of collecting the Chaos Emeralds in special stages to unlock the Last Stage. In that stage, Sonic becomes Super Sonic, and allows Tails and Knuckles to use the Chaos Emerald energy to transform into imitations of their super forms, the only visual changes being two spheres of golden energy surrounding Tails and Knuckles.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Emeralds were found throughout the stages again (again, Special Stages weren't used), and Shadow collected all 7 by the end of the game, only to let them be stolen by the evil alien Black Doom, who used them to Chaos Control the Black Comet to Earth's surface. Shadow then got the Chaos Emeralds back and transformed into Super Shadow in order to destroy Black Doom and teleport the Black Comet into space to be destroyed by the Space Colony ARK's Eclipse Cannon, the cannon itself using the Chaos Emeralds as its power source.
In the 2006 game Sonic the Hedgehog , the Emeralds fully take on the power to "transform thoughts into power", just as the Master Emerald was said to be capable of doing in Sonic Adventure. These emeralds appear slightly smaller in size, and give off gleaming sparks of light of their respective colors, and are given the additional title of "miracle gems". In the time-frame of the game's events, Sonic and Shadow discover that Chaos Control performed in close range by two individuals at the same time with an Emerald each creates a rift in time and space, allowing each of them to mentally choose a desired place and time, with which they can reach by entering the rift. Princess Elise's father, the Duke of Soleanna, also proves in this game that animals and robots aren't the only ones able to access the power of the Emeralds, by using a single emerald to chant and seal the newly born Iblis into his daughter's soul, so long as she abstain from crying, with the only other stipulation being that the vessel must be of royalty. Mephiles succeeds in mass-producing duplicates of himself using two Emeralds, and showing Silver a fabricated vision of a smug-looking Sonic surrounded in flames, through the Emerald itself. Mephiles also somehow uses some sort of "shortcut" when he uses the single Emerald in his possession to warp all six of the other Emeralds to his location, possibly using the magnetic properties of the Emeralds, and uses their full power to begin his and Iblis' transformation into Solaris. Lastly, Elise, sharing the hopes and desires of the remaining cast (possibly even including Eggman) to bring Sonic back to the land of the living, uses all seven Chaos Emeralds to bring Sonic back to life, in the form of Super Sonic, who thanks Elise and shares his power with fellow hedgehogs Shadow and Silver.
In Sonic Riders, the first one to be seen was stolen by the Babylon Rogues but it is unknown which one was it. After that, the only time they are featured was as the entry fee for the World Grand Prix and when Jet 'won' the race and used the emeralds as Eggman instructed to raise the Babylon Garden from Sand Ruins.
In Sonic Rush Adventure it is suggested by Blaze that the chaos emeralds have a mind of their own. They appear in her dimension for no indicated reason and one must race Johnny for the chaos emeralds
The Emeralds did not appear in Sonic and the Secret Rings; instead they were replaced by the seven World Rings which instead of containing positive and negative energy each one contained one emotion that make ups the stories. The emotions are Prayers, Rage, Sadness, Hatred, Joy, Pleasure and Wishes. Each ring was collected by Sonic, but as his life was meant to be the sacrifice to gain full control, Shahra gave her life to save his which resulted in him using the Rage, Hatred and Sadness to become Darkspine Sonic.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, the emeralds are stolen one-by-one by the lost clan of echidnas known as the Nocturnus (who are often referred to as "the Marauders") in order to use their magnetic relationship with the Master Emerald to attract the Master Emerald & Angel Island itself to their base of operations. The Chaos Emeralds later are taken by Ix into the Twilight Cage, and distributed amongst the Kron (to power their factory), the Zoah (as a power-source for a secret weapon to use against the N'rrgal), the N'rrgal (as a weapon against the Zoah), the VoxaiOvermind, and Ix's two Gizoid prefects, Scylla and Charyb. At the end of the game, the emeralds are all brought back together and Sonic uses them to become Super Sonic and battle a Master Emerald-empowered Ix.
In Sonic Unleashed, after being caught by an early design of Eggman's "Egg Dragoon", Sonic summons the power of the Chaos Emeralds and becomes Super Sonic to destroy Eggman's fortress. However, Eggman traps Super Sonic in a machine which removes the emeralds from him, reversing his super transformation and drains the emeralds of all of their power in order to power his laser weapon designed to awaken and release Dark Gaia from the planet. From there, the emeralds are left completely black and powerless, and are taken by Sonic and Light Gaia to the seven sacred shrines on different parts of the planet. The emeralds' powers are restored one-by-one, and the seven continents are put back into place as each emerald is restored. At the end of the game, while inside each of the shrines, Light Gaia asks the Chaos Emeralds to bring the shrines to him, and the emeralds, as well as the shrines, appear inside the core of the planet, with the shrines combining together to build the Gaia Colossus, which Light Gaia controls via his own power. The Chaos Emeralds are lastly used by Sonic to become Super Sonic.
The Super Emeralds are a set of 7 Emeralds that transformed from the Chaos Emeralds with the help of the Master Emerald (although some believe that the Super Emeralds are separate from the Chaos Emeralds as shown by collecting 7 Chaos Emeralds and not entering the Special Stages an eighth time). The Emeralds made their appearance in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It may be possible that the Master Emerald transferred half of its power into the 7 Chaos Emeralds, there by turning them into the 7 Super Emeralds. These giant Emeralds are grey, and Sonic and company have to step on them and play through new Special Stages (taken from Sonic and Knuckles) to light them up to their original colors. Getting all the Super Emeralds (from both games) makes the Master Emerald glow, and enables Sonic to transform into Hyper Sonic, Tails to transform into Super Tails, and Knuckles to transform into Hyper Knuckles. These "Hyper" forms are improvements over the usual "Super" forms, with increased speed and power, along with powerful new abilities.
The Super Emeralds have not been seen since. However, some speculate that the emeralds in Sonic Adventure, at the Master Emerald shrine in Tikal's time period, are indeed the Super Emeralds. Their size are roughly the same size as Sonic or Knuckles, while in the present the Chaos Emeralds are about the size of their hands. This has not been made official. however the sizes aren't likely important, seeing how in one scene of Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles holds the Master Emerald in his hand (he likely has the ability to shrink it).
A theory to the sizes are that the farther away the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald are from the shrine, the smaller they become, and the closer to the shrine they are, the bigger they become. This theory, however, could be false as seen in the last story of Sonic Adventure, Knuckles talks to himself, questioning why Angel Island has fallen though the Master Emerald is restored. In that scene, the player can see the Chaos Emeralds are laid around the Master Emerald in the shrine but haven't increased in size at all. Perhaps it needs all 7 emeralds for have change shape, Has Knuckles only brought Six of the emeralds in the adventure, but this is unlikely, since if the player doesn't collect all emeralds in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the emeralds that player have collected still transform into Super Emeralds, unless if the emerald are too close to the Master Emerald they don't change shape, and it only change if they a bit far from the Master Emerald.
It is possible to create synthetic Chaos Emeralds with the same wavelength and properties as the originals, but with less power. This has been proven by Tails in Sonic Adventure 2 and by both Tails and the Metarex in Sonic X. However, the Metarex-made Emeralds seem to phase out after use, becoming fragile and useless.
The Chaos Emeralds were originally guarded by Chaos, a Chao that had mutated due to contact with the Chaos Emeralds, and that protected both the Emerald Shrine and the other Chao that lived there. Knuckles guards them as well as the Master Emerald.
Tikal found Chaos and the Chao in her ancient Echidna family. She loved them and cared for them, but her father found out about them and wanted the power of the Emeralds for himself. He attacked the Emerald Shrine and tried to steal the gems, but Chaos absorbed the power of the Emeralds, became Perfect Chaos, and destroyed the Echidnas. Tikal appealed to the Master Emerald to seal Chaos away inside it, sealing her own spirit in the process. The Chao lived on and bred, however.
This is the point at which the Echidnas took over in protecting the Emeralds. Knuckles is the Echidna that protects them in the time of the current Sonic the Hedgehog timeline, and also the only Echidna left according to the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 manual (in the Sonic Team storyline, other continuities like the American Sonic comics have more echidnas in existence).
Angel Island was not afloat in the time of Tikal, but was instead located in the ocean near the Echidna city (now Mystic Ruins). It's possible the Floating Island was created when Perfect Chaos arose before Tikal sealed him which there is evidence of in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 manual. If this is true, the reason it does float high in the sky is most likely in order to protect the Emerald from invaders who might try to steal it (like Dr. Eggman eventually did).
Another reason for the fact that the Angel island floats, could be that the Master Emerald's energy causes the island to rises high above the surface. During the time of Tikal's life the Chaos Emeralds canceled out the Master Emeralds effects and after Chaos used the Emeralds to become Perfect Chaos, the lifting effect of the Master Emerald started (although it is not shown in Sonic Adventure). This is extremely likely, given that Sonic needed to retrieve the Master Emerald so the island could rise and that the island began to sink and wobble in the sky after the Master Emerald was stolen again by an Eggrobo in Sonic & Knuckles.
Strangely, when the Chaos Emeralds become Super Emeralds in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which happens during the story of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, the island still floats in the air. The question is, why does it float if the Super Emeralds are in the same chamber as the Master Emerald? This may be true because the Master Emerald can cancel the Chaos Emeralds, or enhance them to make Super Emeralds. This may mean that the Master Emerald provides power for the Chaos Emeralds, and can be made to stop their power or maximize their power in close range.
In the arcade game Sonic the Fighters, in order to travel to the Death Egg II, the player must collect all the Chaos Emeralds. Each character held an Emerald in the "story mode", and to get another one from a different character, they must be defeated in a fight. However, instead of the traditional seven Emeralds, there are eight. The widely accepted reason for this is because there are eight fighters, and so Sonic Team added another Chaos Emerald. Some fans believe that this eighth Emerald is fake, but it is usually treated as a gameplay device rather than a significant plot element. There is also the possibility that the eighth Emerald is in fact the Master Emerald because it was obtained by Knuckles, but that can't be, because it was red, and the Master Emerald is green.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, after accessing the Sound Test and entering a code, the player has access to a secret, and very difficult, 8th special stage. Upon completion, this stage yields the gray Emerald. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, after accessing the Sound Test, two unused Special Stages could be accessed (one Chaos Emerald stage, with the same layout as the one in Sonic 3, but with different colored panels, and one Super Emerald Stage). They unlocked a "golden" Emerald (instead of the gray one as in Sonic the Hedgehog 3). After that, the player goes on to the Angel Island stage. This eighth Emerald is simply a glitch.
In the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the six Emeralds were blue, yellow, red, green, pink and gray. A seventh, purple Emerald then appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the pink Emerald was replaced with cyan one, and the yellow Emerald became orange. It was colored yellow again in Sonic Adventure, and the colors of the Emeralds have remained constant ever since, as (in Sonic Advance/Sonic Rush order) red, blue, yellow, green, white, cyan, and purple. The white Emerald often appears gray, and Sonic R had both a yellow and an orange Emerald instead of a blue/cyan one (the Chaos Emerald was blue in the racing course it was found in, but the screen after the race shows it as cyan). In Sonic X, the Emerald colors were: Dark Blue, Light Blue, Yellow, Purple, Red, White and Green.
Certain games have used their own unique colors for the emeralds - in Sonic Spinball, they are all blue, while in Sonic Battle, they are all green. In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series by Archie Comics, green is the color of most Chaos Emeralds. Special zones sometimes house Emeralds that are white (see Super Sonic vs. Hyper Knuckles, February 1996), a black Emerald served as a prison for Chaos 0 (see Sonic the Hedgehog #80) and mention is made of a red Emerald on an alien home world (see Sonic the Hedgehog #126). In the UK's Sonic the Comic series, the emeralds are blue, yellow, red, green, orange, grey and purple. In Sonic Heroes Team Dark's Special Attack involved stopping time with Chaos Control, even if you have not collected any emeralds. This is apparently a fake emerald, and it looks slightly like tinted glass. It should be noted that the emeralds have separate names. These are: the emerald emerald, the ruby emerald, the sapphire emerald, the topaz emerald, the amber emerald, the diamond emerald,and the amethyst emerald.
In the UK's Sonic the Comic, the history of the Emeralds is expanded considerably, though some points contradict the storyline of the games. These events were not related chronologically, but this document shall list them as such.
The story of the Chaos Emeralds begins in Mobius' distant past, during the war between the Echidna race and the Drakon Empire. Seeking vessels for their unstable, newly developed Chaos Energy, the Drakons raided the Echidnas' sacred emerald mines, and infused seven emeralds with Chaos Energy. The Echidnas were able to steal the seven emeralds back and capture a Drakon prosecutor, but exposure to the emeralds mutated the captive into a monstrous creature known as Chaos. Draining away some of the Emeralds' power, the Echidna elder Pachacamac was able to weaken Chaos, who was defeated and sealed away by the Echidnas.
Events which followed remain lost to history - Knuckles, appointed guardian of the so-dubbed "Chaos Emeralds", was apparently sealed into some form of suspended animation for unknown reasons and the Echidna race mysteriously vanished. At an unspecified point, six of the Emeralds were divided into twelve, while the seventh, the Grey Emerald, was able to control the energies of the others. One set of six Chaos Emeralds (plus the Grey Emerald) remained in a temple on the Floating Island, keeping it airborne, and these Emeralds were the ones that Knuckles vigilantly guarded after his stasis ended. The other set of six were sent to Mobius and scattered. Over time, they lost their individual colours and turned uniformly green (although this may have been due to the tampering of Kintobor, see below).
When the kindly scientist Doctor Ovi Kintobor began his plan to rid Mobius of all evil, he sought out a vessel that could contain such power. He located the six Mobian emeralds, which were highly suited to containing such energy, and planned to transfer into them the negative energy he had collected using his Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor (ROCC), a machine that utilised golden rings as a main component. Requiring the legendary Grey Emerald - the "control Emerald" - to stabilize the transfer, Kintobor and his friend, Sonic the Hedgehog, searched for one to no avail. Eventually, Kintobor believed that he had developed a way to transfer the energy without the seventh emerald using the ROCC - but just before he was about to do so, he became distracted by a rotten egg and tripped on a cable, slamming the ROCC's control panel with his egg-laden hand. The resulting explosion and Chaos Energy transformed him into Doctor Ivo Robotnik.
The explosion of the ROCC warped the Chaos Emeralds back to the other dimensional Special Zone and restored them to their original colours (although they were occasionally, incorrectly depicted as green even after this). Robotnik possessed no memory from his time as Kintobor, but nevertheless knew of the Chaos Emeralds and coveted their power for himself. Luckily, Sonic managed to recover them before Robotnik was able to get his hands on them. Sonic brought them to Kintobor's underground lab for his brainy friend Porker Lewis to monitor. However, it was discovered that when the Emeralds were brought together outside of certain stabilising conditions (such as in extreme cold, the presence of Golden Rings, or in the temple on the Floating Island), they would generate and radiate energy, building to a chain reaction. They were once again warped back to the Special Zone, but this time Sonic was struck by the full blast of chaos energy and transformed into the berserker Super Sonic for the first time.
After reclaiming the Emeralds yet again from the Special Zone, Sonic hid them in the North Cave in the Frozen Zone where the sub-zero temperatures rendered them inactive and prevented the spatial warp. They were briefly stolen by Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates, but before they could heat up they absorbed the pirates' negative energy and turned them into easily-beaten hippies.
In order to keep a closer eye on the gems, Sonic kept them in a refrigerated box at his Emerald Hill Zone headquarters. Robotnik, meanwhile, had encountered the awakened Knuckles and brought the echidna into his service by claiming that Sonic had stolen the emeralds from him. Allowing himself to be captured by Sonic's Freedom Fighters, Robotnik was able to lead Knuckles straight to their headquarters and steal the Emeralds. Knuckles reintegrated the two sets of six into one, with the help of one of Robotnik's devices that took the place of the Grey Emerald. Robotnik then turned on Knuckles, using the device to absorb the Chaos Energy into himself, but Knuckles revealed that he'd secretly had the Grey Emerald all along and he used it to stop Robotnik.
The seven Emeralds were returned to the Hidden Palace Zone on the Floating Island, where they steadily regenerated into their original size. The green Emerald was restored to its status as the Master Emerald, which Robotnik then stole to use as the power core for his new Death Egg; Sonic managed to get it back. The emeralds were able to subsequently remain safe on the Floating Island and allowed Knuckles to generate a protective force field around it, although they were still the cause of some trouble when Sonic was accidentally exposed to them and transformed into an even more deranged, demonic version of Super Sonic.
When the Drakon Empire made contact with Mobius once more, Emperor Ko-Dorr, head of the House of War, secretly entered into a partnership with Robotnik in order to reclaim the Chaos Emeralds and use it to fuel a coup against the other Houses. As part of a double-cross, Robotnik had his assistant, Grimer, apparently defect to the Drakons and inform them of the Emeralds' whereabouts; the Drakon's disabled all of the Floating Island's defenses and defenders, allowing Robotnik (after Grimer had the Drakon's suddenly teleported away) to teleport in and finally seize control of all the power of the Emeralds. At first, the power seemed too much for his body to contain and he was transformed into a crystalline statue, but this soon proved to be merely a chrysalis stage as his form adapted to the energies it now contained. With the power of the reality-warping chaos energy in his control, Robotnik altered history and subjected Sonic to a series of challenges, until the hero baited him into restoring Knuckles to help him. With the echidna's aid, Robotnik was defeated and the chaos energy drained from his body - but it appeared that he could now no longer exist substantially without it, as its removal caused him to shrink into a sub-atomic state.
The emeralds were consequently left largely unmolested, aside from a brief abortive attempt by a gang of thieves working with the Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe to steal them; unlike most villains, they knew the Emerald's were too dangerous to mess around with and just wanted to sell them.
Robotnik himself, restored to normal, subsequently suffered a string of defeats which plunged him into a suicidal depression. Desperate to break his master out of this dark state, Grimer unleashed the Chaos creature (which had formerly been discovered by Robotnik). Raging out of Grimer's control, Chaos headed for the Floating Island, intended to absorb the Chaos Emeralds into itself, but before it could get further than the blue emerald Knuckles jettisoned the remaining Emeralds to the four corners of Mobius. Without the emeralds' power, the Floating Island crashed to Mobius and sank into the ocean. Doctor Robotnik gathered the emeralds to draw Chaos and the Freedom Fighters to his fortress, that they might all die together along with Mobius; Sonic returned to the present just in time to witness Chaos absorbing the remaining emeralds and becoming the monstrous "Perfect Chaos". Following the creature's defeat, the Emerald's were once again in the Freedom Fighter's hands.
Additionally, at one point, a black emerald was shown to be used by a group of shadow creatures in another dimension as a means of gaining access to Mobius. Its relationship to the Chaos Emeralds, if any, went unexplained.
The online fan-made continuation of Sonic the Comic (viewed by some as an "unofficially official" continuation due to its endorsement by some of the creators of STC) has added a little more to the history of the Chaos Emeralds. Although not explaining how the emeralds were divided into two sets or how the second set came to be on Mobius, the comic has shown them to have been found by Kintobor amongst a cache of abandoned technology left over from the Drakon-Echidna war in the Emerald Hill Zone. It also revealed Chaos Energy could be used for storing computer data and splicing genetics. The Emeralds were briefly stolen by the evil Syndicate, and destroyed the entire Special Zone by absorbing the Chaos Energy that it was made of.
In Archie'sSonic the Hedgehog (comics), Chaos Emeralds are much more numerous than they are in other continuities; in reality, there are far more than just seven. They are also connected to the "Power Rings", which are produced by harnessing the energy of the emeralds. This continuity explains a more scientific origin than a conventional mystical one found in other sonic continuities. It was revealed in a recent storyline that the Emeralds were the product of the Xorda (the aliens that transformed Earth into Mobius) gene bombs. Specifically they were formed by the absorption of the Xorda gene bombs' massive energy release into underground beryl deposits.
In addition, there is the existence of rare 'Super Emeralds'. The origins of these can also be attributed to the Xorda-induced cataclysm albeit these Emeralds are the product of much more concentrated energy absorbed into the beryl material. What's more, there's another level of existence known as "the Chaos Force", which is tied to the Chaos Emeralds and has been tapped into by the "Guardians of the Floating Island", Knuckles' ancestors - one theory is that the Xorda gene bombs allowed the energies of the Chaos Force to spill out into this plane and take the form of Chaos Emeralds or more canonically, the Chaos Force was only recently discovered and its existence made aware to the inhabitants of Earth/Mobius. There is also a special Black Chaos Emerald that served as the containment vessel for Chaos and Tikal. Mammoth Mogul's own Chaos Emerald was used in a similar manner to temporarily imprison him.
While on an alien world, Sonic discovered a batch of red colored emeralds (officially designated outside of the storyline by the editor as "Chaos Rubies"), which rather than transform him into Super Sonic, created a mad, power-crazed Super Sonic that was independent of Sonic's body (similar to Fleetway's normal Super Sonic). No such explanation has been offered as to the origins of these particular types of Emeralds though the catalyst for their existence can be alluded to a possible previous altercation with the Xorda or perhaps the idea that certain cataclysms of immense energy combined with certain minerals can follow the same suite as Earth/Mobius' Chaos Emeralds.
It was revealed by A.D.A.M. that there were many Chaos Emeralds scattered across the universe, in his plot to use Shadow and Tails to retrieve them. A.D.A.M. later succeeds in collecting all the Chaos Emeralds of the universe. While Sonic transforms into Super Sonic as a distraction, Super Shadow and Turbo Tails send all the Chaos Emeralds to the Zone of Silence. There, the Zone's new ruler Feist fused all of them into seven differently colored jewels, similar to the Chaos Emeralds in the games.
The Chaos Emeralds made an appearance in DiC's cartoon series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog in a four-part story called "Quest for The Chaos Emeralds", but they are very different from the game versions. There are only four, and instead of different colours they are all different shapes. They have no guardian, but the Emeralds are hidden in time instead of a certain place. Each Emerald focuses on a different power:
Invisibility: This made the holder invisible, and at first seems to be invisible itself. However, the invisibility can be negated if the holder is covered in substances such as sand or flour. Buried on an island in the time of pirates.
Invincibility/Invulnerability: This granted invincibility, but it is more complicated than simply holding it. To trigger its powers permanently, its first holder must become king. As its title suggests, the holder becomes completely immune to physical harm, as well as becoming quite muscular and gaining superhuman strength. Interestingly enough, Tails is able to access its power despite not being king. Guarded by Merlynx the Magician in the Middle Ages.
Immortality: This granted immortality to the holder. This is not simply an inability to die of old age or natural causes; any injuries that the holder suffers immediately heal within seconds to minutes; in a way, this eliminates the need for the Emerald of Invincibility. Resided with Robotnikhotep, Robotnik's mummified ancestor, in a Mobius parallel of Ancient Egypt.
Power of Life:' Possibly the most powerful one, this had the power to grant life to inanimate objects, resurrect the dead, and (presumably) take life away from the living. Inside a volcano crater in Prehistoric times and guarded by a volcano deity who would only exchange it for a sacrifice.
Robotnik forced a scientist, Professor Caninestein, to build him a time machine to grab the Emeralds and become Supreme High Robotnik (possibly Robotnik's super form). In this form, he could rule the universe. Unfortunately for him, the scientist granted Sonic and Tails the duty of making sure he does not get them. Assisted by Caninestein's various time-travel devices (sneakers, surfboard, skateboard) and the locals from each time area (some were parodies of real historical figures or even Sonic's own ancestors) Sonic and Tails foiled Robotnik's first attempts at the first three Emeralds, facing many life-threatening situations on the way.
But Robotnik tried again and succeeded, using all four emeralds to transform into a form he dubbed "Supreme High Robotnik". Supreme High Robotnik almost killed the duo by sending them into the Big Bang (represented by a giant stick of dynamite which would bring the universe forth once it explodes), but they managed to escape, and Sonic formed an idea. Completely ignoring the rules of paradox, the duo managed to gather their past selves (who, as keen-eyed viewers will notice, are all shown using the skateboard instead of the devices they used previously) after they left each time area. Five Sonics and five Tails went back to the present time where Supreme High Robotnik was still wreaking havoc. The team that now consisted of ten all worked together to steal back the Emeralds and return them to their original places.
The AoStH episode "Fast and Easy" featured a fifth Chaos Emerald which is supposedly the most powerful - it does not focus on a specific attribute, so it is more like the game version. This emerald is of a brilliant cut and, unlike the other Chaos Emeralds, is fashioned into a ring. Its power is apparently dormant until it is plugged into a pedestal in the "Secret Zone", and then it is seemingly capable of doing anything. Robotnik intended to use this power to terrorize the world with floods, but his plans were thwarted when a thief called Easy Eddie stole it from him. After Sonic had realized what exactly was going on and the magnitude of the problem, the ring was pried from Eddie's finger. However, the thief stole it again and bargained with Robotnik, but it was a trick and Robotnik gained the ring. But as always, Sonic messes up Robotnik's plans by stealing the ring from the pedestal, and subsequently throwing it into the sea. As for Easy Eddie, he managed to escape from Robotnik and give up being a thief.
Another of DiC's Sonic adaptations had Chaos Emeralds in it, but very little is known about them. Like in the games, they are a source of incredible power but the exact number of them in existence in unknown. Knuckles guards one Emerald on the floating island, and Robotnik tried to steal it and frame Sonic for it. Of course, it failed in a way very similar to the Archie story.
In a three part episode towards the end of the series' run, Dr. Robotnik managed to acquire another Chaos Emerald and used it to power his enormous indestructible fortress, the Fortress of Altitude. However, he lost the Emerald to his lackeys Sleet and Dingo, who stole it in their own pursuit of power. When Dingo attempted to go solo, the Emerald broke, and threatened to destroy Mobius with waves of Chaos.
Forced to work together with Robotnik, Knuckles and the royal siblings located the fragmented Emerald. However, when Sleet attempted to contain it by placing it within Dingo-transformed into a safe-it reacted with Dingo's mutation abilities. Becoming a giant, shape-shifting monster, Dingo threatened to destroy all of Mobius before he was brought down. The shattered Emerald was then placed within a special canister by Knuckles and taken to the Floating Island.
In Sonic X, the Chaos Emeralds echoed their role in the games as objects that were sought after by all parties. However, the series also introduced a new concept: Chaos Emeralds reacting to each other. In the anime, whenever Chaos Emeralds were brought together without being given time to adapt to each other's presence, they would release immense quantities of energy. When all seven were present, this resulted in an automatic gigantic Chaos Control. Also, all seven being in one place results in them releases energy that pushes them away from each-other. This is likely the anime's way of creating an explanation as to why the Chaos Emeralds end up scattering, as opposed to when in the video games they just seem to mysteriously scatter for no reason. While that's generally why they scatter in Sonic X, at the start of the final season Sonic actually did have seven emeralds, and he scattered across the galaxy them to keep Dark Oak from taking them from him (Dark Oak was too powerful for Sonic to defeat even when he was in his Super Form). Later in the same season, the Emeralds are scattered again by a gravity warp created during a battle between Super Sonic and Super Shadow.