Ancient Relic Zone is a feature that appeared in the Sonic the Poster Mag 2006. The page was a behind-the-scenes look at stories that didn't appear in Sonic the Comic Online or were tweaked in their final versions. The feature is split up into different story arcs, each featuring on either Tails, Sonic the Hedgehog, "The Wandering Sentinel" and The Syndicate.
The Original Tails Story Arc
Just Like Old Crimes was the first Tails story in STC-O and is the first story to feature in this article. Originally produced in April 2000, much of the story was scrapped when the plan to include four strips every issue was reduced to two (at first). Although the plan was to still have some sort of "battle" between Tails and Nack the Weasel, the 3-part story would presumably not see them meet at all. Perhaps Nack would have staged a mass escape from the Metropolis Zone prison, only to stage many small raids elsewhere in the city. One of his targets may have been a refrigeration unit if the Chaos Emeralds were still scattered. At the end, Nack would probably escape with his loot and Tails thinks he's won after dealing with the rioting prisoners (with help from the police).
Tails' next 3-part story would have been The Flood, an adventure in the Aquatic Ruin Zone. Archaeologists are in the area when a flood barrier breaks and two of them are trapped. Since the police can't get in, Tails goes to the rescue but finds himself losing confidence as the Zone crumbles around him. Tails would manage to save one of the archaeologists, but he would blame the hero when his friend drowns in the flood, something Tails agrees with. A complete story called Twilight would follow and would be a Hero of Mobius-style retrospective, showing Tails dealing with his grief. Amy Rose may have featured here.
After this, Tails' adventures would take him to the Nameless Zone. Although the fox would eventually go there in Journey to the Crossroads, the original plan would see a beleaguered Tails help in the diplomatic goings-on with Roubal, but would learn his father has a terminal illness and euthanasia may play a part. Back on Mobius, the only person who knows where Tails has gone is Nack, who may have bugged him in the Metropolis Zone. He may have even tried selling information to the Freedom Fighters!
Sonic 188-190 Plot Proposal
The plot overview was that Sonic would arrive on Flickies' Island to discover a boat there, presuming Grimer has returned to his own base. Instead, it's Big the Cat and Buddy, hunting down information on the former Drakon outpost. Grimer has been monitoring the bugged Kintobor Computer and sends Death-Trap to the island to chase down Sonic. The article goes on to go into details on the major characters, such as Death-Trap, with tension being played up between Kalus and Prank. Other plans were to show Big's nice side, attempting to tell Buddy right and wrong and enhance his fishing abilities. Grimer is said to have come to the conclusion that he'll have to take over Mobius himself and kill Sonic to bring Robotnik out of his lunacy. Sonic will be alone against his enemies with no way of getting home. Finally, more areas of Flickies' Island were set to be featured, such as the icy and lava regions.
Reynolds also included individual plot synopses for the 3-parter. The Hunt Is On starts with Kintobor informing Sonic about the boat, so the hedgehog goes to investigate without telling his friends. In the Rusty Ruin Zone, Buddy is trying to use the Mobius Ring to head back to Drak and find a Prosecutor suit before turning back into Chaos. Buddy realises that they may be able to use Sonic's speed to break open the door blocking all of this. The next story, Thrill of the Hunt, would see the chase continue with Sonic and Death-Trap unaware that anyone else is here. Buddy gets Big to block all but one passageway but Big is too slow and the hunt continues. They later argue when Buddy attempts to cut a rope bridge. As Sonic returns to the base, Big reluctantly bashes him over the head and Death-Trap arrive.
Finally, In For The Kill sees Big realise what's going on and rescues Sonic from a vine trap. The door is blown open and Buddy tries to work out how to use the Ring. Prank tries to tortue Sonic with a spider infestation but the hedgehog is rescued by Big as Death-Trap argue. Big and Sonic row away with Buddy hiding in his backpack.
Thousands of years ago, an Echidna tired of the Great War betrayed his people to the Drakon Empire, hoping to reach some kind of resolution. The Drakons were revealed as treacherous and the echidna attempted to return to his people. With the traitor unable to outright escape his enemies, his soul was trapped inside a Sentinel robot, making him unacceptable to his family. The Sentinel still fled, taking with him a large ship of Sentinels which is soul could flow into. He became a fugitive, as long as there were still Sentinels on Mobius. Over the centuries, he continued to make amends and helped Knuckles the Echidna on a number of occasions. Maybe if he could convince Knuckles of his betrayal, the spell could be lifted and he would be free. Before that, he faces persecution from Sonic and acts as an antagonist.
The Syndicate was originally a team created before the events of Sonic Adventure 2, so didn't include the characters of Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat. Grimer was slated to be behind it all, armed with his Egg Carrier and some yes-men to do his bidding. Grimer first hires Doctor Zachary so he can complete his revenge. Zac then brings three echidna criminals out of stasis. Further characters are listed as "Type B" (who later became Vichama), "Type C" who is seen to be a gangster, while "Type D" is a power-crazed manipulator". Doctor Robotnik also makes an appearance, but, like in the finished story, would just end up firing his cannons.
The article was largely accepted as a good piece and Boomers in the Message Zone appreciated the insight. Surprisingly, the biggest critic of the feature was Ed Reynolds, his pitches being the ones featured. Work from Mike Corker and Dave Bulmer was not featured.