So, with that absolute mammoth slog of a level behind you, it is finally time to take on the actual boss of the game. Dark Gaia is a massive, purple-tentacle monster that resides in the core of the planet, his evil influence seeping up into the world, making people far more aggressive and breeding terrifying monsters at nighttime. We get yet another overly-emotional scene of your buddy Chip realising who he really is and summoning all of the temples you’ve been restoring throughout the game. Turns out Chip is “Light Gaia”, the alternative being to Dark Gaia who is locked in an eternal conflict to maintain the balance of light and dark in the world.
Now controlling some sort of transformer-like monstrosity, you embark on your first of (hopefully) only three attacks on Dark Gaia. In what will only serve to make you think you’ve put the wrong game in, your foe will proceed to throw a set of molten craters at you. Honestly, you needn’t fear about this part; Dark Gaia will only throw three or four at a time and with only four major controls to master, it shouldn’t be too much of an ordeal to weave through these segments.
Once you’re close enough to the giant beast there is another quick time sequence to enjoy. Whilst you can take or leave some of the quick time sequences in this game, this one has to be put on a separate level entirely just for how annoying it is. The animations of Dark and Light Gaia are actually laughably bad and only look even worse when put next to the thrilling high-paced stuff the game has thrown up before now.
It is literally only now that we actually see Sonic. For someone who might absolutely loathed the nighttime Werehog stages of this game, the end is a chance to really bring everything together and bow out with a stunning finish. And to be fair to the game, Sonic’s temple runs across to Dark Gaia’s weak spots really are the only reason to stick with this hellish engagement.
So after a few of these sequences we’re introduced to Dark Gaia’s “perfect” form, which finally allows us some fun with super Sonic and his chaos emeralds. This is far and away the most enjoyable part of the finale and just begs the question: “why couldn’t we do this throughout?”
With one final mammoth quick time sequence will bring you to the end of the game! Another load of clunky, overly-emotional jargon from Chip in a final cinematic will leave Sonic with a special bracelet that we will literally never ever see again.
For most gamers, something like the Dark Gaia boss fight will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and an angry resentment towards what was already a hit or miss installment. For me however, it just makes me feel sad. In what should have been the brilliant finale of the game that revitalized the Sonic series, it’s just a missed opportunity.