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The Ghost Ship

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The first glimpse of the titular ghost ship

The Ghost Ship is a 6-part Knuckles the Echidna story, beginning in Issue 74. The story reunites Knuckles and Captain Plunder for the first time since their original meeting. The story can be seen as the first story in the World Tour of Mobius story arc, showing Knuckles returning to the Floating Island with ancient documents.

Staff

Story

Captain Plunder and his crew are in mid-flight, searching for the Ghost Ship of Tantaragor. They manage to get a glimpse of it, but lightning strikes the main mast and the ship begins to fall. Luckily, they reach land sooner than expected when they come into contact with the Floating Island. Elsewhere on the island, Knuckles is trying to enlist Porker Lewis into fixing some ancient technology, but Porker doesn't understand it and Knuckles has no technical diagrams. Whilst marvelling at what the Emerald Hill Folk have done with the Mushroom Hill Zone and hoping Doctor Robotnik never finds them, a villager runs and tells Knuckles of a ship landing on the island. He leaves Porker at the village and investigates, only to find Plunder.

Later, Knuckles raises the Floating Island to its highest point yet and finds the ghost ship again. In exchange, Knuckles expects a trunk full of ancient documents from Plunder, but he doesn't have it with him. A zipline is attached to the ghost ship and the pirates head over on to it, with Knuckles in close pursuit. On board, they eventually find what they came for - The Tantaragor Idol. On picking it up, they all hear a scream from upstairs. On investigating, they find that the Tantaror have returned, along with Mobian slaves.

Plunder orders his pirates to attack the new enemies, but they are easily beaten. The crew try to flee on the zipline, but the Tantaror break the rope mid-escape. The others escape downstairs but are in hot pursuit. Climbing down a ladder into a vault, they are faced with dozens more slaves, obviously badly looked after. The Tantaror arrive but Plunder has worked out how to use the idol to its true purpose - a teleportation device. Knuckles and the pirates end up at Scourge Bay, home of the pirates.

In Plunder's shack, Knuckles is overjoyed to see the chest full of documents. Plunder is ready to transport Knuckles home with the idol when the echidna objects, saying he wants to rescue the slaves. A large brawl breaks out, which sees Plunder and Knuckles smash out of the window and into the path of Queen Zorabel, leader of the town. Before she can really force Plunder to get rid of the idol, it begins glowing by itself and Plunder's house is transported into another dimension.

The crowd now face Ekkletos, spiritual leader of the Tantaror. Ekkletos reveals he meant to transport the 'heretics', the slave masters on the ghost ship, instead of Knuckles and co. He tells the story of Orkym-Ro, an evil priest who died recently. The three believed he should be buried in a sacred monument and conscripted Mobian slaves to build one. Knuckles volunteers himself to go and help the slaves, so Ekkletos remotely uses the idol to teleport him out. Knuckles makes it to the slaves and right in front of the Tantaror.

Knuckles leaps into a fight, but he is swatted aside. One Tantaror then magically reaches through Knuckles' chest to grab the Idol, leaving him in great pain. The heretics attempt to teleport back to their own dimension, but the idol doesn't respond and the ship starts to break apart. The leader realises they are already there, and they turn to face a giant Ekkletos. He reveals that Knuckles was just a decoy so he could remotely operate the idol and transport everyone back. Promising a severe punishment for the heretics, Ekkletos teleports everyone back to Scourge Bay, minus the Idol. Angry that the Idol is gone, Plunder refuses to hand over the chest, but Zorabel has other ideas. Angry that she could've got killed, she hands Knuckles the documents and gets ready to "teach Plunder a lesson".

Trivia

  • In Part 1 of the story, Simpson is seen painting on an easel while holding out his thumb for perspective. In the second part, Simpson has finished the painting... which is of his thumb. He shows this painting to Filch, who smashes it over the cat's head.
  • There is often confusion as to the seemingly alternate usage of Tantaror and Tantaragor. It would seem that 'Tantaror' refers to the alien race, whilst 'Tantaragor' refers to this race's home dimension.
  • When sighting the idol, Simpson's eyes (following cartoon logic) pop out of their head - causing Knuckles to recoil in horror.

Reprint

This story was reprinted from Issue 167 to Issue 171.

Timeline

The previous Knuckles the Echidna story was New Master Emerald. 'The next story is Troubled Waters.

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