! The Beginning of the World Thousands of years before the start of the series, the world was a very different place. The world contained a mix of magic and technology unprecidented compared to the overabundance of technology in modern times. Amongst all of the powerful beings in the world, the strongest were the Gods and those that were close to them. By far the strongest of the gods was Ultima, the god of power, whose strength surpassed that of the other seven deities combined. After suffering under Ultima's rules for so many years, the other seven gods decided to liberate the world from his control by putting aside their differences and working together to seal him away within the Star of Ultima, a strange formation in space which had existed since the beginning of time. After a confrontation, the seven gods successfully sealed Ultima away and the eighth god would eventually be all but forgotten by the people of the world. !The Age of the Seven Great Gods Not long after Ultima's downfall, the seven gods had a falling out and went their separate ways. Most notably was the developing threat of battle between the thunder god Ryujin and his old enemy, the god of darkness, Garland. Eventually, the tension between the two would result in all-out warfare between the two, with the other gods favouring Ryujin, but choosing not to be involved in what they considered pointless battles. Garland's most powerful ally during these times was the Demon-like being known as Omega. Around this time, an experiment was happening aboard a Ancient Space Colony to harness the power of the Light God by harnessing its power in a mortal form. The experiment ended in disaster when a Malfarez included some of the dark god's power in the experiment, resulting in the creation of the original Dark Digilight, who would become a reluctant ally of Garland in his fights with the thunder god. The experiment also ended up mutating Garland's follower into a being of Darkness, who was sealed away for thousands of years shortly afterwards. In addition, an Robotnik Ancestor of Dr Eggman stole the plans for the experiment and recreated it, resulting in the creation of the EGG Dark Digilight.
Eventually, the battles ended in Ryujin's victory, and Garland was left defeated. Through the power of the Talisman of Light and Darkness, Garland was split into two beings, a dark half which retained his name and personality, and a light half with a new name and no memories of who he truly was. Garland was later sealed away by Ryujin within an indestructible sealing jar, in which he would remain for many years. Omega was sent to the Dimension Between Worlds where he was meant to remain for all eternity, and the Dark Digilight was sealed away as well. Also around this time, a man named Thor made a deal with a god of death and gained the power of immortality, as well as the title of Soul Master in the following years.
With the threat of Garland over, the gods were able to rest for a long period of time. Eventually, a new threat came in the form of Obsidian, the god killer. Obsidian was able to successfully kill three of the great gods before being sealed away by Azrael, the god of light, at the cost of his own life. In the final years of the age of gods, a powerful demon lord used the combined powers of the three great rods created at the beginning of time to create the Demon Realm, a separate world occupying the same space as the existing world. The three rods were then split apart between three dimensions, with the Earth Rod remaining in the newly-dubbed World of Light, the Moon Rod being taken to the Demon Realm, and the Star Rod being sent to Dream Land. With the power of the Moon Rod, the demon lord then served for several thousand years as the first Demon king.
!The Ancient Echidna Tribes Many years after the age of gods had ended, settlers from the planet Mobius arrived on Earth and came to occupy the region known as the Southern Islands. Amongst these settlers were a tribe of Echidnas, who occupied an Angel Island. The island was powered by the Master Emerald, a large green jewel endowed with a nearly infinite amount of energy. In secret, a group of these echidnas, who were well known for their great magical prowess, attempted to harness the power of the emerald in an attempt to overtake their superiors and control the floating island. Due to the efforts of a traitor amongst the group, the echidnas were found out and trialed for their attempt at treason. The echidnas were outcast from the island, but using the power they had already taken from the emerald, managed to take a portion of the island with them as they plummeted to the sea below.
By chance, the echidnas had landed at the crash site of the ancient space station, which to them appeared to be as old as time itself. Using the knowledge they obtained from the space station as well as their own dark magic, the echidnas were able to create an entirely Dark Emerald from the energy of the old in an attempt to return their island to the sky. Their attempt failed, however, and this dark emerald was unable to help them with the continually decreasing resources available to them. Regardless, the dark echidnas remained on the island until at last their powers advanced to the point where they were finally able to reach beyond the sky...
Some time later, the floating island came to rest above a Mystic Ruins on the mainland and eventually returned to the ground below. Chaos Emeralds had come to rest in the shrine containing the Master Emerald, which had cancelled out its power and lowered the island from the sky. Several generations later, the floating island had become little more than a legend and the echidna tribe had split into various warring tribes occupying different parts of the land. The chief of one of these tribes, Pachacamac, decided to take the emeralds as a means of gaining an advantage over rival trives, despite the protesting of his daughter, Tikal. During the echidnas raid on the ancient shrine, the guardian of the emeralds, Chaos, used their power to transform and destroyed Pachacamac and his men, as well as most of the surrounding population. The angry guardian was only calmed when Tikal used her magic to seal Chaos, along with herself, within the Master Emerald.
The removal of the seven emeralds from the shrine caused the island to begin flaoting once more, taking the surviving echindas along with it. The survivors dubbed the emeralds the Chaos Emeralds and declared that their guardian had been the god of destruction. They swore to continue guarding the Master Emerald containing the creature to prevent such an event from ever happening again. Amongst the echidna survivors were prophets, who foresaw the return of Chaos as well as the one who would finally defeat him, a glowing hedgehog with spiked up quills, and recorded their predictions in the island's Hidden Palace. Eventually, the island, now known as Angel Island, came to rest over the sea once more anfd the Chaos Emeralds were scattered throughout the Southern Islands.
!The Space Colony ARK In an effort to improve the technology of the world and expand humanity's reach into space, a space colony was constructed by the government as an advanced research station to be used both for the betterment of mankind as well as advanced military weaponry. The residents of the colony comprised mainly of the world's most brilliant scientists and their families as well as specially selected government agents to supervise the ongoing research. One such scientist, the brilliant Gerald Robotnik, at first refused the offer to work aboard the colony, but later agreed after discovering that his granddaugther, Maria, had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Gerald brought Maria onto the ARK along with him and, finally giving in to the government's requests, attempted to discover not only the cure to Maria's disease but also the secrets of immortality by creating an immortal "ultimate lifeform". Due to the project's seemingly impossible nature, the workers aboard the ARK began to refer to it as "Project Shadow", which became the project's official name at Gerald's request.
Robotnik first began by experimenting on lizards due to their inherent regenerative properties. The first prototype of the ultimate lifeform was the Biolizard, which grew to an unprecedented size and lacked the intelligence to properly control its power, being more like an animal than a person. Due to the danger it posed to the ARK's inhabitants, it was sealed away deep inside the cannon's core, one of the control rooms for one of Gerald's other inventions, the Eclipse Cannon. Gerald based his next prototype on murals in ancient ruins that had been discovered on Earth, which depecited a spiky-quilled hedgehog fighting a large reptillian monster. He also used these murals as a basis for his next creations, the Artificial Chaos, which were meant to serve as guardians for the ARK. During this time, Gerald also discovered the Emerl, a robotic being from ancient times capable of mimicing attacks. The Gizoid's power of mimicry ultimately resulted in disaster once it mimiced some of the super weapons being developed aboard the ARK and used their power to destroy a large portion of the space colony. Nevertheless, Gerald continued to modify the Gizoid, attempting to give it a "heart", just as he wished for the ultimate lifeform to possess.
The The Pretender was created as a new being entirely, and was created with the help of the dark being Malfarez, who had been released from his prison at the time. Due to the dark nature of the powers Malfarez possessed, as well as Gerald's attempt to include the Gizoid's mimicry ability in the prototype's powers, this new prototype was unstable and destructive in nature. The prototype was ultimately sealed in one of the ARK's cryogenic tubes, and ejected into space. Due to the long amount of time without reported progress from Gerald, as well as the rumours of his repeated failures being spread, the government became uneasy and demanded a report of progress on Shadow, or threatened to shut the project down. In response, Gerald sent the powerful Gizoid down to Earth to be experimented on by the government, in an attempt to buy time to finish his more important project.
After much work, the finished result of the project was finally created int he form of Shadow the Hedghehog, a powerful and unaging being capable of using the full power of Chaos Control. Shadow befriended Maria, who spoke to him about what life on the world below was like and told him how she and her grandfather wished to protect it. Not long after, Guardian Units of Nations, the Guardian Units of Nations, stormed the ARK, discovering that Project Shadow had already been completed in secret. During the ensuing chaos, Maria was shot by one of the soldiers, but not before ejecting Shadow into space in a cryogenic tube. Heartbroken by the death of Maria, Gerald reprogrammed the Eclipse Cannon as well as the ARK itself in an attempt to get revenge on humanity by destroying the Earth. Gerald was eventually captured and sentenced to be executed, but not before speaking his final words in a video which would later be played at the moment of the Eclipse Cannon's complete activation. The Biolizard, which had killed many during the raid on the ARK was sealed away even deeper within the cannon's core and the tube containing Shadow was later discovered and placed in storage in a G.U.N. base on Prison Island. The ARK itself was ultimately shut down and disguised to appear as a mere space rock, with information on the events that transpired there being declared top secret by the government.