Sonic Riders and its sequel Zero Gravity, introduced to us the Babylon Rogues. They seemed to be descendants of Babylon, but outside of that fact, the games made them out to be descendants of aliens.
But other Sonic games, such as Secret Rings, Sonic 2006, Sonic Rivals 2, and to some extent Sonic Unleashed; provide other mythical beasts of destruction. All of which can be tied back to the real history of Babylon.
So what would happen if the Babylon Rouges were to be a part of actual lore? They would then have indirect influence over the events of the other games mentioned.
What will follow, is an essay that will research Babylonian lore, the Bible and it's Apocrypha, a bit of Nordic mythology, and the Apocalypse itself, all while tying into the Sonic universe.
According to Sonic Riders, the Babylonians resided in the Babylon Garden. In the Japanese version, the location goes by it's actual name The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the gardens were constructed like a tiered theater and used ingenious methods to pump water from the Euphrates River to keep the abundant plant life sustained.
It is said that it was built by King Nebechezzar II for his wife Aymits because she longed for the plants of her homeland. The gardens also had a massive temple, the Etemenaki, built for their patron deity Marduk. Since they ordered everything by 7; a divine number in most religions; the temple was also known as The Temple of the Seven Lights. These seven lights represent the seven known Heavenly Bodies at the time; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Sun and Moon.
There are also seven Chaos Emeralds...
This temple was so massive, that it later inspired the story of the Tower of Babel. The reasons this tower was constructed was not for worship of God, but for worship of man. It was to be the crowning achievement of Babylon.
God was angered by this, and caused them all to speak different languages, therefore the tower could not be finished, and the people scattered. This is why some say that Babylon was the cradle of all civilizations on earth.
Some Kabalistic mystics believed that this tower was able to fly by use of magic or technological innovation, and was once for a holy purpose but misused to try and conquer the world. This could've been the inspiration for the engine that powered Babylon Garden in Zero Gravity, and to some extent, the Extreme Gear.
This mass emigration seemed to be accurate, though the circumstances might not be so divine. The Babylonians were driven to exile by the takeover of Alexander the Great. Elements of Babylonian religion and ritual can be found in practaly every other religion of the world. Some customs have even been adopted into modern society, rather we're religious or not.
The Book of Genesis says that Noah's great-grandson Nimrod founded Babylon, and became the first world dictator. Babylon was a superpower at the time, and everyone there spoke one language until the incident with the Tower took that away.
He and his wife touted their child as the son of God centuries before Jesus, and their religious rituals would lay the foundation for others to follow, some even finding use in Satanic religions. Celibacy was enforced, which led to rampant homosexuality amongst the priests. The Christians would later condemn these practices as Pagan and the works of the devil.
So prolific was the Babylonian religion, that it was noted in the Bible by the Apostle John, that he was amazed that such an intricate religion could exist since the dawn of time.
Sonic Riders also mentions that the Babylonians committed a crime that angered the gods, and their civilization was buried in the desert sands.
It could be that this crime that angered the gods was the Babylonians sacking the city of Jerusalem. This resulted in the destruction of the Great Temple, which the land now houses the Islamic temple The Dome of the Rock, said to contain a rock that holds the world together.
More on that later.
The Babylonians were lost to the desert sands. After Alexander the Great returned from other conquests, he noted that no progress had been made on restoration of the Etemenaki, and ordered it leveled. Soon after, Alexander was killed, and many failed attempts at restoration by others followed. The ruins were then destroyed by an earthquake in 1st century BC.
The Babylonians also had a part in the Arabian mythology of genies, magic lamps, and flying carpets. Sonic even remarks in the companion DVD to Sonic and the Secret Rings that the Babylon Rogues would fit right in 1001 Arabian Nights.
We know of Arabian Nights from stories like The Gift of the Magi, and the ever popular Aladdin. But what most don't know is that the genies of Arabian lore also play a part in Islamic religion.
Genies were known as Djinn. Some were good spirits that guarded homes and brought fortune. Others were mischief makers, and caused relationship strife. All were made of a magical, smokeless fire. And when they took human guise, their glowing eyes gave them away. They parallel the Angels of Christian belief.
One Djinn was the Ifrit, which Sonic fought in both Sonic Rivals 2 and Sonic and the Secret Rings.
The most well known Djinn in Islam, parallels the fall of Lucifer in Christianity. He felt that he shouldn't have to prostrate before Adam, because Adam was clay and he was fire. This act of pride led him to be banished to earth as a Shaytaan. This word sounds like Satan, which is what Lucifer becomes.
But this Djinn wasn't named Lucifer. He was named...Iblees.
Ibliss, the lava monster that Silver and Blaze fought in the nightmare future of Sonic 2006, is clearly a reference to this. Ibliss even looked a bit like popular conceptions of the Christian devil Satan.
Iblees was doomed to walk the earth until the end times, when the second coming of Mohammed will punish him and his followers. Much like Jesus' second coming will bring about Armageddon.
Mohammed was said to have ascended to Paradise in the very spot where the rock within The Dome of the Rock sits. So this would mean that the end times would possibly occur from the spot. And what better way to usher in the end times than with the cycle of Light Gaia and Dark Gaia?
Scientists believe that life on earth has been almost completely destroyed at least five times before, due to various natural and cosmic events. Some even speculate that it might happen again in 2012, when the sun will appear to align with the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
So people seem to think Armageddon will happen in 2012. Christian belief states that 7 trumpets will be blown, and 7 bowls poured, each bringing a new disaster. When the first four of the Seven Seals are broken, the Four Horsemen will arrive and usher in Satan himself.
7 seems to be a divine number that can also bring chaos. Revelation was written as a series of 7 letters to 7 priests. 7 plagues were sent upon Egypt by Moses. The Babylonians ordered everything in 7. 7 seals, 7 bowls, 7 trumpets, 7 orders of Heaven.
So it would seem that this dual natured number could be the Chaos Emeralds. They are the objects of worship and the bringers of chaos, whether from their power or the ones who seek to misuse it. Tails even stated in Sonic Rush Adventure that the Emeralds may even be self aware, allowing those who are good to properly use their power without consequence.
The power of the Emeralds to bend time, space, and other seemingly impossible feats, all seem to be tied to some magical, supernatural, or cosmic force. The Emeralds were said to have fallen from space millions of years ago, and helped forge the first religions. This could explain the significance of the number 7.
So the Emeralds play a part in Dark Gaia rising to destroy the world, and Light Gaia to restore it oncer again, much like the last five times. Dark Gaia could rise from The Dome of the Rock, which would break the world apart much like in Sonic Unleashed.
Dark Gaia could be from the Nordic legend of Jormangandr, a massive dragon that could wrap around the earth and dwelled in the oceans. This serpent was the nemesis of the thunder god Thor, and in a final battle, Thor will die from the noxious fumes emitted from Jormangandr's severed head. This death will start Raganarok, which is the Nordic version of entropy, the death of the universe.
Dark Gaia could also be to some extent, the dragon mentioned in the story Bel and the Dragon.
This Bible Apocrypha mentions an expanded story of The Book of Daniel. He challenged King Nebechanzzar to let him disprove their idols as false, and his God as true. After scattering ashes on the floor of a temple, he disproved their idol Bel as a ruse by the priests, showing the footprints of them and their families as they stole the food.
Daniel was then challenged to disprove a great dragon. This dragon wasn't an idol, but treated as a god. Daniel was said to have fed it cakes made from pitch, fat, and hair; which caused the dragon to burst open. Other accounts repot of nails hidden in straw, camel skins filled with hot coals, or even Alexander the Great slaying the dragon by feeding it poison and tar.
In any case, this got Daniel sent to the lions, where his faith protected him.
This dragon was unnamed, and nothing else was ever spoken about it. This story parallels the Babylonian Creation Myth, where Marduk slew his mother Tiamat by using the four winds to burst her open.
Tiamat was a draconic water goddess, the goddess of the sea. She was also known as the goddess of primordial chaos, in which chaos is Greek for the nothingness that existed before creation.
So Dark Gaia could in effect be Tiamat. Super Sonic did cause it to burst open.
And chaos being the nothingness before creation could mean that the Chaos Emeralds don't stand for chaos of the disaster sort, but for the chaos they existed in before creation. The Emeralds could predate Light and Dark Gaia, and perhaps predate time itself.
The 7 Emeralds could also be some part of Babylonian lore. Not only could they represent the seven lights, but could possibly represent the Mesopotamian belief of The 7 Who Decree Fate.
These gods were omnipotent and omnipresent, yet they had restrictions on their power. They could not control destiny, nor could they rule the land of the dead. They could control the way destiny would occur, though, with the most aggressive god winning the decision.
The seven Gods are: Anu, who is the grandfather of the gods. He is the lord of Heaven as well as Heaven itself. Some find links to the Mormon god Eloheim.
Enili, the god of wind, is the first born son of Anu and Ki. Heaven and earth used to exist together, until he separated them. He was to have Ninilli as his bride, but had sex with another woman before his bride was ready. He was condemned for this rape, but Ninilli seemed to forgive him. He is considered the father god, and three of his sons are of the 7 members.
Enki is the god of wisdom, cleverness, magic, fertility, and invention. All these aspects stem from him being the god of fresh water. He is son of An and half brother to Enili, his mother being Apsu, goddess of the deep. He defeated Kur and became lord of the Underworld before giving the spot to Ereshkigal.
Ninursag is goddess of earth, the Sumerian mother goddess. She was more of a goddess of civilization and farming, as those are what Sumerian's believed kept men civilized. She is also consort of Enki.
Naan is the moon god who rides in the sky in a boat. He seduced Ningal, lady of the reeds. Sumerian's saw the tides as Naan caressing her. He was the inspiration for the Muslim god Allah.
Utu the sun god, was a god of prophecy. He is the son of Naan. He tried to be friends with mankind, offering a glimpse of what the others had in store for them. This ties back to the alignment of 2012. He also brought law and dealt justice in the Underworld.
Inanna is sister to Utu, and associated with owls, war, and wisdom. She was a liberated and loose woman. She could be an inspiration to the Roman goddess Pallas, who was also of wisdom and war.
So, going by the colors in the original game:
Mercury - Cyan Emerald - Enki (as both were associated with fertility)
Venus - Pink Emerald - Ninursag (mother goddess)
Mars - Red Emerald - Inanna (war)
Saturn - Green Emerald - Enili (both symbolize strength)
Sun - Yellow Emerald - Utu
Moon - White Emerald - Naan
Then in Sonic 2, the 7th Emerald came to be:
Juipter - Purple Emerald - Anu (Juipter being the Roman god of gods, and purple is sometimes associated with royal)
There's also the Babylonian creation myth itself. Apsu the freshwater god and Tiamat the salt water goddess, begat Lahmu and Lahamu the silt islands. They then begat Anshar the sky father and Kishar the earth mother. Apsu and Tiamat also had a vizier in Mummu, who represented technological knowledge and abstract concept. These 7 are considered the primordial gods, but Tiamat did give birth to numerous other gods.
Marduk later inherits the power of Enili throughout changes in mythology, and slews his mother Tiamat in an epic battle, her body forming the heavens and the earth.
So if this is the case, Babylonian lore has been the basis for Sonic's adventures since the beginning of the series. See what I mean about aspects of their religion making their way into our everyday lives?