Eggman learns the fate of Knuckles in a world without him, and realizes the magnitude of his impact...
"The only difference is that she's dead."
Eggman stomped his foot. "That's it. I'm sick of this! Let me plummet to my death already!"
"Sorry, cousin, but I have to show you two more things."
He beat his fist in the air. "I don't want to see! I've seen enough!"
"I didn't want to get shot in front of my best friend, but hey, we can't always get what we want."
Eggman looked down. God, he thought, what a child I've been... Miles is more mature than I am.
"Look, here comes Knuckles."
Dr. Robotnik looked up, fully expecting to see an unrecognizable red monotreme. He was surprised by how familiar Knuckles looked as he approached... There was no monsterous look on his severe face, no evil glint in those violet eyes. There was only a very familiar despair-the same drooping of the facial features, the same teary sheen in the eyes, that Eggman saw in the mirror every morning. The strong Echidna that Eggman was used to seeing looked considerably less so... and was clearly much thinner than in Robotnik's native world.
"He looks like hell."
"He feels it. The death of the only woman he ever cared about was his fault. What if Enkidu had killed the prostitute, and never met Gilgamesh?"
Knuckles knelt down by the flower and poured some water on it, muttering an apology in a language that Dr. Eggman didn't know. A single tear fell down the guardian's face, dripping onto the delicate petals of the flower he would never save.
"My God... and this is my fault?"
"Sonic saved Knuckles from himself. You were the reason they met."
"The horrible treatment Knuckles got from you... emphasized in him a need for humanity. A need to be respectful and merciful. Something this Knuckles never learned. It was only hearing her scream as she fell to her death that made him realize it here."
The doctor shuddered. "So what now?"
"He'll learn from his mistake. He'll be guarded but kind to all who come to the island in the future... more than reluctant to both help and harm them. But it will be relatively easy to gain his trust, with you having never fooled him before. Knuckles is still gullible."
"I don't like where this is going, Maria."
"When a famous GUN pilot, Metal Cheetah, finds this Island, he will be politely turned away. When a young scientist comes to the island seeking to research ancient Echidna civilization, and their religious beliefs about the emerald, he will be met a with a cold welcome, and will stay long enough to warm Knuckles up to him."
"So Knuckles gets a real friend?"
"Just great. Until his scientist buddy stabs him in his sleep."
Eggman shook his head. "So..."
"He and Rouge get to stay together until the end of the world, right where Knuckles is standing now."
"That's... satisfying, in a sad sort of way."
"Which brings me to my next point..."