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Guardian of the all-powerful Master Emerald and sole survivor of his tribe, Knuckles the Echidna is as strong as Sonic is fast, the immovable object to Sonic's unstoppable force.
He can be quite short-tempered and gullible, but he ultimately believes there is good in everyone and is even willing to leave his post on Angel Island if his strength is needed elsewhere.
He's red, he has spikes, he has a cool deep voice, and sometimes he wears a cowboy hat! He's basically Sonic's friendly shounen battle rival, and it's awesome.
I also think he is very, very cool and I wish I could give him a lil smooch, but alas, he is not real.