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Black Doom, leader of the Black Arms

In the Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games by Sega, the Black Arms are an alien race (most likely) led by Black Doom. They appear in the game Shadow the Hedgehog, where they invaded Earth for search of the seven Chaos Emeralds, and are battled by the game's main character Shadow the Hedgehog, along with other characters. They are commonly referred to as "the black creatures", "black aliens" or even "terrorists" as the inhabitants of Earth do not know their real name.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

Shadow the Hedgehog

The Black Arms are out to collect the Chaos Emeralds so that they can use Chaos Control to teleport their Black Comet to the Earth's surface, where it digs into the planet and releases a toxic gas that paralyzes all life (except those with Black Arms DNA). It is unknown what the Black Arms plan to do with Earth after conquering it. One theory is that since the Black Arms use humans as food for their larvae, they would have turned Earth into a massive breeding ground, possibly using it as a point from which to launch further invasions.

The Black Arms launch a surprise invasion of Earth in the beginning of Shadow the Hedgehog, and destroy everything in their way while searching for the Chaos Emeralds. They are immediately opposed by the heroic Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends, the military organization GUN bent on protecting the planet, and even Doctor Eggman, who is usually the antagonist in the Sonic games (although he only opposes them because he can't rule the world if the Black Arms destroy it). Throughout the game, the player controls Shadow the Hedgehog, and can choose whether to help the Black Arms with their invasion, or to defend the Earth along with the other characters.

No matter what the player chooses to do, the game has a "final ending", where Black Doom obtains the Chaos Emeralds and warps the Black Comet to the planet's surface. Shadow opposes the Black Arms, becoming Super Shadow and defeating Devil Doom, a powerful mutated form of Black Doom. He then proceeds to use Chaos Control to send the Black Comet into space again, where he blasts it with the Eclipse Cannon on the Space Colony ARK, destroying it along with the brunt of the Black Arms residing inside it.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)

The Black Arms were introduced briefly in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book when Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles traveled to Argentium, home of the Bem aliens. Their mission is to retrieve Tails' parents, who had been trapped on "Wheel World" for some time, and their transportation was provided by the magic of Merlin Prower, Tails' uncle. The planet was in ruins and in the sky were ships from the Xorda, another evil race. Sonic immediately recognized them, but couldn't recognize the ships they were fighting. Tails' parents, Amadeus and Rosemary Prower, tell Sonic that the ships belong to the Black Arms before they are returned to Mobius.

It was eventually revealed that the Black Arms and their leader Black Doom played a big part in Shadow's creation, very similar to their video game counterparts. However, while Black Doom wanted to use Shadow as his greatest weapon, Professor Gerald intended for Shadow to become the ultimate protector of Mobius. With the war between the Black Arms and the Xorda still going on, it remains to be seen when or if the Black Arms will appear again and invade Mobius. If they do, their intentions are probably the same as in the games; to enslave all life on the planet and use the Mobians as an "energy source." This may also be the reason for their attempted invasion of Wheel World.

Black Doom

Main article: Black Doom

Black Doom is the evil overlord of the Black Arms, and the only one with the ability to speak (or at least, English/Japanese). He has three eyes and seems to float above the ground, wearing a worn cloak with metal ornaments (giving him the appearance of a priest). He helped Gerald Robotnik create Shadow the Hedgehog, by using his own blood. He has lived for at least 2000 years, and planned to use the human beings as an "energy source", possibly food for his larvae. He was eventually defeated by Shadow. Black Doom can separate from one of his eyes, transforming it into a tentacled entity known as Doom's Eye that serves to do his bidding.

Black Arms

Members of the alien arms that invade Earth under Black Doom's command. They will attack Shadow, even if Shadow attempts to complete one of Black Doom's missions. The following is a list of creatures in the Black Arms army.

Common Black Arms are humanoid, though larger and more muscular than humans, and lack any kind of clothing or fur. Their skin is seen as somewhat leathery in the detailed official CG artwork, and is a dark grayish green color with red highlights on their limbs and back of their heads (despite Black Doom stating that they have "jet black and crimson skin".) Black Arms have three thick fingers and two toes. Both fingers and toes have large claws, and there is another claw sticking out of their heels. Black Arms have small heads compared to their bodies, with glowing yellow eyes that lack pupils or eyelids, and they completely lack mouths as well.

Black Warrior

Death Leeches

The Death Leeches are described by Black Doom as the Black Arms' offspring. They are pulsating red-purple blobs with three horns and one eye in the middle of their bodies. They are capable of sticking to walls, and are implied to be blood suckers. They don't have much endurance, and can be killed with one hit, regardless of the weapon.

Black Warriors

The Black Warriors are the most common Black Arms aliens in the game. They are roughly human sized (just a little bigger than most GUN soldiers) and carry different Black Arm weapons (lasers, swords, shields, etc.). It takes two shots from most weapons to kill them.

Black Oak

The Black Oaks are giant Black Arms soldiers. According to Doom's Eye, the Black Oaks are "heralded for their pure strength", and form the backbone of the Black Arms army. They have high endurance, are slow moving, and carry large swords, and, occasionally, alien rocket launchers and clubs. They take anywhere from two to seven shots to defeat.

Black Annelids

The Black Annelids are giant worms. They burrow underground and attack from beneath, using smaller worms that home in on their prey. According to Doom's Eye, the worms find their prey by detecting their target's vital signs. The most common Annelids are called Sand Worms. There are also Annelids unique to certain areas such as Death Worms and Gold Worms (see below for Gold Worms in Gold Annelids). They look somewhat identical to Sandworms from the Dune novel series. The Black Annelids share many characteristics of the Biolizard, such as the impregnable skin, coloring and texture, methods of attack, and sounds they make as they surface. Like the Oaks, it takes from two to seven hits for their destruction.

Gold Annelids

The Gold Annelids are stronger, golden Black Arm Annelids. They appear only on the stages The Last Way and Black Comet. They are stronger and faster than regular annelids and are harder to kill. Gold Annelids are invincible to some of the weaker weapons in the game.

Killer Plant

The Killer Plant is a giant moving plant lifeform, apparently mutated by the Black Arms as the aliens themselves do not have plants. It can breath fire and extend its branches. Once defeated, it will temporarily shrink into a harmless bud, but it will revive again if given enough time. No points are awarded for killing it.

Black Wing

The Black Wing is a small bat-like creature similar to Black Hawks. They have very little endurance and are often killed with one hit.

Black Hawk

Black Hawks

The Black Hawks' are small winged dragon-like creatures who are a lot stronger then the Black Wings. They are capable of firing blue energy waves and flying unhindered in space. In the case of some, when they are weakened, Shadow can ride on their backs.

Black Volts

Black Volts are Black Hawks that have gold armor plating and are equipped with Worm Shooters. Due to their armor, they have more endurance than normal Black Hawks. It is also possible that Black Volts are Black Hawk-shaped robots, due to the name "volt". This is however unlikely, as the Black Arms appear to focus on biological weaponry.

Black Assassins

The Black Assassins, also knows as Elite Soldiers, only appear in the Black Comet, Final Haunt and The Last Way stages set inside the Black Comet itself. They look like armored Black Arms Soldiers, can withstand many attacks and have the ability to disappear and reappear at will, possibly because they are using Chaos Control,because they, like Shadow are spawn of Black Doom, who is a master of using Chaos Control. They are all armed with Refractors.

Black Bull

The Black Bull is a powerful creature in the Black Arms. It resembles a cross between a giant maggot and a dragon. Due to its large blubbery body, its only weak spot is its single green eye. It can breathe fire and can produce Black Wings from its mouth. It appears as a boss after you complete the Lethal Highway and/or Death Ruins stages.

Like the GUN mech "Blue Falcon", the Black Bull may be named after an F-Zero racecar, namely the one owned by the racer "Black Shadow".

Shadow the Hedgehog

Main article: Shadow the Hedgehog

In theory, Shadow the Hedgehog is part Black Arms alien, having been created with Black Doom's blood. However, he's not a part of their army, rather a secret weapon, although he didn't know this fact himself until the final story in Shadow the Hedgehog.

Black Arms Weaponry

Weapon Description
Black Sword Big purple sword. Sometimes accompanied by a shield.
Dark Hammer Large blue club used by some Black Arm Oaks.
Black Shield Small transparent shield that is very resistant to projectiles. Large stationary shields can be found on the Black Comet, but they are much weaker.
Light Shot Basic plasma pistol used by most Black Arm infantry.
Flash Shot Plasma machinegun that are a common sight among Black Arms.
Ring Shot Gun that shoots slow pink energy rings, similar to the shots from the turtle enemies in Sonic Heroes.
Splitter Broad gun that fires fast red energy discs.
Worm Shooter Weapon that locks onto targets, and fires small homing explosive worms at them. They come in several different colors.
Black Barrel Powerful bazooka-like weapon that fires exploding energy shots. The same technology is used in the Black Cannons.
Black Cannon Powerful stationary alien cannon that can be used to destroy things such as ships. Once destroyed, they leave a Black Barrel for Shadow to pick up.
Refractor Laser rifle that fires red lasers that bounce off walls. All Black Assassins are armed with this weapon.
Heavy Shot Similar to the light shot, but larger, more powerful, and with a different sound effect. Seen in "Black Comet" and possibly the other two levels in the Black Comet.
Vacuum Pod Odd weapon that sucks objects into its muzzle and and compromises them into small balls that can be fired at enemies, similar to Sonic's magic hand attack from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
Bombs Purple explosives used by the Black Arms, the largest of which is the "city annihilator" bomb, which, when a number of them are placed strategically, can destroy an entire city.
Laser Large energy beams coming down from the sky. Most likely fired from warships or the Black Comet itself. Upon unlocking the "Satellite Laser" weaponry, Shadow himself can make similar lasers rain from the sky.
Biological weaponry Biological weapons used during Black Doom's assault. Some of these weapons are gases able to turn an individual good or evil. Others can, upon entering the bloodstream of a non-Black Arm, cause total paralysis, though the effect is only temporary, as the main characters were infected with it, but managed to break free after a few minutes.

Black Arms Vehicles

Air Saucers

One-manned floating discs that can be used to cross hazardous surfaces, such as toxic water. Upon analyzing one, E-123 Omega is astounded that it floats without using either fuel or engine components.

Black Tank

A Black Arms vehicle that appears in the Lethal Highway stage and somewhat resembles a stealth bomber. The tank is surrounded by a shield that can withstand many attacks, but it is oddly enough unarmed, meaning that it is possibly not a tank but simply some kind of armored troop transport, or perhaps an Escape Pod for the Black Arms.

Destroying it is the Hero mission on Lethal Highway and the best way to defeat it is using a rapid-fire weapon, preferably from the Black Arms.


Large organic-looking battleships. They appear in large rooms in the Black Comet, Final Haunt and the Last Way stages, set inside the Black Comet. Gunships are armed with a Black Cannon and can spawn enemies. The best way to attack these ships is to use nearby cannons or the shadow rifle.

Black Arms Strongholds

Black Comet

The Black Comet is a comet that passes by the Earth every 50 years. It is the home and/or a mode of transport for the Black Arms. It may be what remains of a destroyed planet which the Black Arms resided on, which would explain why they want Earth. The comet itself appears to be alive or techno-organic in nature, most notably when it was teleported to Earth and seemed to take on a life of its own and dig into the surface. When inside, it is almost like being in the body of a living organism. There are pulsating growths and what appear to be tentacles, organs and throat-like halls and many organic sounds such as in the Japanese version of the game, when the tentacles are destroyed, a roaring (vey similar to the Biolizard's) can be heard. There is a vicious substance in the comet that only death leeches and worms can exist in. Even Black doom continuously warns Shadow that "that toxic substance is fatal". The tentacle-like projections also appear to exist in the substance.

The last time the comet passed by Earth, Black Doom made a pact with Gerald Robotnik in order to create the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow would help Gerald in his research and would help Black Doom in his quest to collect the 7 Chaos Emeralds. Gerald, however, designs the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet when it returns. 50 years later, as the Black Comet approaches Earth during the start of Shadow the Hedgehog, the aliens begin the final phase of their mission to collect the 7 Chaos Emeralds and enslave the humans. The Black Comet does not have enough speed to make it to Earth's surface on its own, so Black Doom uses the power of the Chaos Emeralds to teleport the comet to Earth. However, Black Doom's plans are foiled when Shadow teleports it back out into space and uses the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet and all of the Black Arms inside of it.

Glyphic Canyon

Black Doom transported a long complex of temples to the Glyphic Canyon 2000 years prior to the games (notably, from a scientific perspective, all the planets were lined up at zero point 2000 years ago). According to Black Doom, it is the Black Arm's holy ground. These bird-shaped ruins were sealed away and deactivated many years ago. In order to reawaken this temple, one must touch the five large jewels within in it. "Reawakening" the temple makes it airborne, with the various pieces being held together with red laser-looking beams. If one destroys the jewels after this, the temples lose their power and fall down to the earth again.

Activating the jewels for Black Doom is the Dark mission for the "Glyphic Canyon" stage, while destroying them is the Hero mission for the "Sky Troops" stage, where Dr. Eggman battles the flying ruins with his Eggman Fleet. The temple is automatically reawakened when Shadow reaches Sky Troops, regardless of whether or not he has personally touched the five jewels, suggesting that the "evil path" through Glyphic Canyon is the canon route, or that the Black Arms activate the jewels themselves if Shadow doesn't do it for them.

Black Doom states that "the ruins have awaited the advent of our master" which has created debates over if or if not Black Doom has a master, but, considering the fact that he has a habit of talking in the third person, and considering he refers to the Black Arms to Shadow as "Our brethren", he is likely referring to himself. He also refers to ARK as "our precious home" which means an error occured and he was supposed to say "your", or he talks in third person, or perhaps ARK is in the previous orbital location of the Black Comet... There are also large tornado-like whirlwinds and dust storms in the ruins, that according to Black Doom were set in motion to stop humans from accessing them.



  • Although they have no actual role in the game, several of the Black Arms appear as collectable cards in Sonic Rivals. The cards are "Black Oak", "Black Warrior", "Black Hawk" and "Black Bull", along with three cards depicting Black Doom's various forms.
  • The Black Arms are currently the only aliens to appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series, as well as the most evil aliens in any form of the Sonic franchise, though the Xorda could be a close second in the Archie Comics continuity.

See also

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