The Gaia Phoenix is one of the few powerful spirits that reside on Sonic's World. As the protector of Chun-Nan, it had been guarding the local Gaia Temple from the Egg Clan Army, preventing them from claiming the area. The Gaia Key guardian, Zonshen, frequently visited the temple to take the care of the spirit and made offerings to it, establishing a friendship with the Gaia Phoenix. During the shattered world crisis, the phoenix was exposed to Dark Gaia essence, corrupting it and causing it to become berserk during the night. During these events, Zonshen encroached upon the Gaia Phoenix as it became the Dark Gaia Phoenix, where it took its former friend prisoner.
Sonic the Werehog and Chip infiltrated the temple to rescue Zonshen, but incur the fury of the corrupted Phoenix. As the Egg Clan descended upon the temple, Sonic is forced to battle the dark spirit, using water vases to weaken it into submission. After the Dark Gaia Phoenix's flames were quelled, Chip was able to purify the spirit back to its original state. With its return, the Gaia Phoenix resumed its protector role and incinerated the Egg Clan's base, forcing the Egg Clan into a retreat. (StH: #281, #282)
- The Gaia Phoenix is based on the boss "Dark Gaia Phoenix" from the video game Sonic Unleashed.