Today we enter the arena once more as two more of Sega’s creations do battle while the world watches! Who can come out on top? Who (or what) can stand today at the end of the article and be declared the victor?
Today’s opponents come from two different genres, and at first glance may seem like two random characters thrown together much like when you name your children by throwing random Scrabble tiles against the wall. One is Mighty the Armadillo, the one who would be Sonic, from games like SegaSonic the Arcade and Knuckles Chaotix. The other is Peter the Phoenix, the one who never meets a priest, from his sole title Shining Force II.
Today’s battle is decided from the following categories. Here’s a rundown just to remind you, or to acquaint first time readers.
Background: Where did the participants come from? Would their backgrounds provide them with any distinct advantage?
Appearance: How intimidating would the characters actually be? Do their looks reveal what kind of opponent they’d be?
Abilities: What weapons or powers do the participants have at their disposal? Are they melee-based or long-ranged? Any special moves?
Speed: What some characters lack in power, they make up for in quickness.
Overall Power: How much damage do their special attacks do? Are they powerful enough to eliminate all enemies in sight or are they limited to a single foe?
And now, on to the fight!
Not much is ever explained about Mighty in his short-lived career. Once originally a prisoner along with fellow forgotten creature Ray the Flying Squirrel and a certain red and white striped shoe-wearing blue hero named Sonic The Hedgehog, Mighty escaped along with his new friends and eventually destroyed Dr. Robotnik’s island lair. He was then unseen for two years until he decided to take a vacation on carnival island, when he was again trapped by Robotnik. This time Knuckles was able to rescue him and eventually he became a charter member of the Chaoitix gang when Metal Sonic and Robotnik were defeated. Being a forgotten sidekick and all, that’s about all we ever got from Mighty. Sure, he’s had a bit more of a cocky attitude in the comics, becoming one of the series’ stronger characters, but in the sense of the games, he doesn’t have much to go with other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Peter has it different. Being a servant and subject of the god Volcanon, Peter pretty much has it made. Not only can he come and go as he pleases, he’s also a phoenix, which pretty much means he’ can never die! Peter happens to be visiting Granseal during a time of great duress, so instead of being greeted in a welcome way, he’s pretty much attacked on the spot, until Bowie and Sir Astral stop the mess and find out what Peter is. They go on to meet Volcanon to see if he can help Bowie and the Shining Force defeat the evil Zeon. Volcanon says that humans deserve there fate, and refuses to help. This angers Peter so much that he decides to join the Shining Force. Bowie now gains a walking buddy for the rest of the game, as Peter becomes one of the best members of the Force, and is a major factor of Bowie eventually defeating Zeon and restoring peace.
So, looking at that, I’d say Peter wins by a natural event when rocks and mud fall down a hill very fast.
At first glance, Peter is nothing to really look at. He may claim to be a phoenix, and Sir Astral may as well say “Damn, that a phoenix!,” but to anyone he looks like an overgrown featherless chicken, with a faint out line of reading glasses! Obviously, not much of a threat to the opposing forces of darkness.
Mighty meanwhile, is very much formidable at first glance, with his crimson shell pointing down to create that always mean-looking glare and his hands always ready for a fight. Even when he’s in the middle of charging his spin-dash, that big red ball flying down at you always strikes fear in the nerve center of whatever badnik you happen to be. The choice is obvious!
Ed– Wait a minute! What’s this?!
Peter has hit level twenty! He’s evolving!
Oh my god!
Look at that majestic form! That beautiful plumage! He’s even flying like a bird should, with full outward motion and grace, not vertically, but horizontally! That’s not a chicken after all! It’s a true and true phoenix! Look, the orcs and goblins have just run away! That’s how to make an appearance!
In a one on one fight, Mighty does have some real strength, if you remember to his small character building from the arcade game, he’s going to win a fist fight with plenty of opponents. And so what if Peter has those little wing things for arms? Mighty WAS the original model for Sonic, so he does have the speed and some air abilities to take on foes from the air as well. In fact, he’s the fastest of the entire Chaotix group, and has a wall jump, which makes climbing a faster task than even Knuckles can achieve. Overall, he’ll be a formidable opponent to Peter, despite what Peter has to offer.
Peter starts off with an attack call so powerful that it actually creates energy rings that can hurt opponents. Then, after his evolution to total bad-ass mode, he then decides to just gust wind over to this opponent, who is then blown away, or at least is hurt so bad from fast air he decides it’s not worth it and gives up. It’s not the easiest choice here, but one does need to be made. While Peter does face some flying opponents himself, he still chooses to blow little tornados around instead of doing much else of what Phoenix’s are known for. In a one-on-one fight, even with Peter’s regeneration powers, he still has to go down sometime, and Mighty’s speed and strength would probably just be enough to take down Peter long enough to be declared the winner, even if Peter would eventually burst into flames and reform in minutes.
Despite what may be known about armadillos and phoenixes in other stories, in the matter of Knuckles Chaotix and Shining Force II, we’ve got a real difference.
Like I mentioned earlier, Mighty is the fastest of any of the Chaotix bunch, and that’s saying a lot. He’s also a very early form of Sonic, who is the fastest thing alive! Mighty can be seen not only running through levels with the greatest of speed, but making boss battles all that much more simpler with his intense skills.
But we can’t call Peter a slouch either. His agility makes him one of the best of the Shining Force, and his speed increases his movement, so he’s always in the thick of battle. His abilities seem to end there though. When walking to and from objectives and other plot points, Peter pretty much stays in sync with his human partners, speed-wise. In a real fight, Peter would be able to stay in step with Mighty for the majority of battle, but in the end, Mighty’s land speed is JUST enough to really give him the win here.
When it all comes down to it, who is the more powerful? We are dealing with different definitions of power here. One is Mighty, who uses his strength to wall jump and his speed to become the greatest speed fiend in his game (because Sonic isn’t in it). He does have the ability to convert his entire body into a force strong enough to rip through almost any badnik thrown at him.
But compare that to Peter. While he may use wind blasts and little power blasts from his elite vocal chords, Peter may just seem like the loser here as well. Which would be true, except Peter has another type of power that isn’t he first thing you’d think of with fighting power. The power of immortality!
Peter will never die, and I don’t mean because he’s placed safely in video game history. He’s a phoenix! No matter how many times Mighty can attack strong enough to end the life of Peter, or at least hurt him very severely, Peter will come back! He is the ultimate force, and a money saver at that!
Winner: Peter the Phoenix (3-2)
Well, there we have it! In a squeaker Peter the Phoenix, your best friend through the second half of Sega’s epic RPG, has defeated Mighty the Armadillo, who while formidable, just doesn’t have enough to make it. Unfortunately, neither of these two had what it takes to even be seen again! The rest of the Chaotix group recently appeared in Sonic Heroes, with Mighty being mysteriously absent. Peter hasn’t even had a cameo in thirteen years! So as we leave today, let’s not remember who won in the end, but how sometimes some of the best available just fall through the cracks.