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Dragon Ball References in Sonic 2: Citations?

#1 User is offline Zephyr 

Posted 25 February 2019 - 02:13 PM

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Discussions elsewhere regarding Dragon Ball homages in Sonic compelled me to do some fact checking. The Wiki here states:

Quote

Meanwhile, the seven Chaos Emeralds and the introduction of Super Sonic were homages to the well-known Chinese fable The Golden Warrior and its then-current interpretation being published in Japan, Dragon Ball

Nevermind that Dragon Ball is loosely based on Journey to the West (and that there is no such "well-known Chinese fable" called "The Golden Warrior", as far as I can tell), there's no actual source listed for the connection between the number of Chaos Emeralds and the number of Dragon Balls. As long as I've been engaged in the fandom online, that connection has been regarded as conventional wisdom. But Google yields no source, and Wikipedia's page for Sonic 2 (where I'm sure I initially read about the connection) doesn't even mention Dragon Ball.

In short: is there an existing citation for the number of Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 2 being increased to 7 as a deliberate nod to the 7 Dragon Balls (that's simply slipped under the radar all this time), or is that speculation that has transformed into "conventional wisdom"?
This post has been edited by Zephyr: 25 February 2019 - 02:27 PM

#2 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 25 February 2019 - 03:14 PM

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Super Sonic is a Dragon Ball reference (and I'm fairly sure was confirmed as such... somewhere). The wiki really needs to be pumped up with references for this sort of thing - like that "Sonic 3 special stages are inspired by King Kai's planet" quote that came up a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure why they went up to 7. Perhaps it's because 8 can represent every state and we like powers of 2 in computing.

#3 User is offline Dolphman 

Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:35 PM

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I never saw the Chaos Emeralds being a reference to the Dragon Balls. For one thing, they don't summon a dragon that grants wishes, but give the user a super form.
And the majority of the super forms in the games avoid being yellow as well. It makes sense for Sonic because blue inverts to yellow. (Shadow's is more vanilla white and Silver's is bone white)

#4 User is offline Hitlersaurus Christ 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:16 AM

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Super Sonic was definitely a Super Saiyan reference but I can't remember what interview it was stated in. I don't think the chaos emeralds were, though maybe the choice of having seven from Sonic 2 onwards was.

#5 User is offline TheJart 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 03:20 AM

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Naka did state that the sonic 3 special stages were based off King Kais world in Z. And we know the Death Egg is very obvious a homage to Star Wars. And according to the DB wiki, the chapter Goku turns into a super sayian was in March of 1991, which would have been way too late to add into sonic one, and was very well probably thought up during sonic 2s development as a way to give a purpose to the emeralds.

#6 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:58 AM

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I always assumed that the Emeralds being increased to 7 in S2 was just done for consistency, as it explains why you could go Super in Sonic 2 but not 1. Same reason they didn't let Tails go Super with the non-upgraded Emeralds in S3K.
This post has been edited by Blue Spikeball: 26 February 2019 - 08:02 AM

#7 User is offline BlackHole 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 08:57 AM

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And then threw that out the window and made hedgehogs the only ones able to go Super....

Regardless, Super Sonic definitely seems to be a Dragon Ball reference. For one thing, Sonic gets more muscular with the transformation in 2, and in 3K he gains green eyes (later changed to red), which is what the Super Saiyan eye colour was depicted as, animé-wise.

Posted Image
Posted Image
This post has been edited by BlackHole: 26 February 2019 - 08:57 AM

#8 User is offline Powpuck 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:59 AM

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Sonic CD also bumped up its macguffin count to seven (one of several maybe-coincidences shared between the two's developments), though of course Time Stones do not endow anything besides Good Futures by fiat. I think there may have been some drive to up the ante, and Sonic 2 having seven was just convenient post hoc explanation for why Sonic 1 had no Super mode. Perhaps Sonic 1 was supposed to have 7, but a seventh Special Stage was cut for balancing or deadline reasons.

For one thing, Sonic's name is derived from sound (literally its adjective form), and this informed another aspect of the seminal game: a music band. The Emeralds could therefore be reasonably inferred as being the seven notes in the diatonic scale.

#9 User is offline Yash 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:15 AM

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View PostPowpuck, on 26 February 2019 - 09:59 AM, said:

Sonic CD also bumped up its macguffin count to seven (one of several maybe-coincidences shared between the two's developments), though of course Time Stones do not endow anything besides Good Futures by fiat. I think there may have been some drive to up the ante, and Sonic 2 having seven was just convenient post hoc explanation for why Sonic 1 had no Super mode. Perhaps Sonic 1 was supposed to have 7, but a seventh Special Stage was cut for balancing or deadline reasons.

For one thing, Sonic's name is derived from sound (literally its adjective form), and this informed another aspect of the seminal game: a music band. The Emeralds could therefore be reasonably inferred as being the seven notes in the diatonic scale.

Not that it really matters to the Japanese canon, but fwiw the pre-release American storyline stuff mentioned that Kintobor had six Chaos Emeralds and was searching for a seventh. So at least in the early Western canon, there were always seven, with an explanation for why Sonic 1 only had six.

#10 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:45 AM

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View PostPowpuck, on 26 February 2019 - 09:59 AM, said:

Sonic CD also bumped up its macguffin count to seven (one of several maybe-coincidences shared between the two's developments), though of course Time Stones do not endow anything besides Good Futures by fiat. I think there may have been some drive to up the ante, and Sonic 2 having seven was just convenient post hoc explanation for why Sonic 1 had no Super mode. Perhaps Sonic 1 was supposed to have 7, but a seventh Special Stage was cut for balancing or deadline reasons.

I could see them that being the case, removing the last Emerald after they couldn't implement a 7th special stage. Come to think of it, S3 had 8 special stages. I guess it's generally assumed that the final one was created as a secret extra stage, but what if they were originally going to introduce another Emerald in S3, just like S2 did before? They may have intended to make it so that collecting 8 Emeralds allowed for a more powerful Super form (ie: Hyper Sonic, or something akin to it), or made it possible for Tails to go Super. Or, alternatively, the Master Emerald would have served as the 8th Emerald gameplay-wise, allowing for these forms. But when they decided to split the game, they opted to save the new forms for the locked-on game, either due to time constraints preventing their implementation in S3, or because they realized they would to serve as an incentive for buying both games and connecting them. So the 8th Emerald idea got reworked into the Super Emeralds (also serving as an excuse for using both the S3 and S&K special stages in S3K), and the 8th special stage went unused.
This post has been edited by Blue Spikeball: 26 February 2019 - 11:13 AM

#11 User is offline Zephyr 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 11:35 AM

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A 2005 interview from a French magazine appears to have some indirect confirmation on the Super Sonic/Super Saiyan connection:

Quote

Mag: Have you recieved comments from Akira Toriyama about Super Sonic? Why can he transform almost automatically?

Naka: Oh…(smile) we didn't recieve comments from him. And if Sonic got this power, it's a question of mastery.


And yeah, since it was mentioned: a 2001(?) interview has Naka confirm that 3K's Special Stages are based on Kaio's (King Kai's) planet:

Quote

—Do you have any interesting stories about the Sonic sequels for the Megadrive?

Naka: The ball-shaped 3D special stage from Sonic 3/S&K was actually inspired by King Kai's little planet from Dragon Ball Z, which I am a fan of.


#12 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:48 PM

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View PostZephyr, on 26 February 2019 - 11:35 AM, said:

a French magazine

Oh yes this is another thing of note - Dragon Ball Z wasn't airing in English speaking territories until the late 1990s, so interviewers weren't likely to ask that question in 1992/1993 when the idea was fresh (hands up who saw Super Sonic before Super Saiyans).

But in France, Dragon Ball Z was certainly airing and was popular (I'm seeing December 1990 as the start of syndication). Spain too? It's difficult to tell sometimes.
This post has been edited by Black Squirrel: 26 February 2019 - 12:49 PM

#13 User is offline HP Zoner 

Posted 26 February 2019 - 05:35 PM

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I don't think this is intentional, but I do find it funny that the good ending in Sonic 1 8-bit is basically Sonic summoning Shenron to get rid of the pollution in South Island. The Emeralds even disappear in the sky after they do their thing.

#14 User is offline Adamis 

Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:09 AM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 26 February 2019 - 12:48 PM, said:

View PostZephyr, on 26 February 2019 - 11:35 AM, said:

a French magazine

Oh yes this is another thing of note - Dragon Ball Z wasn't airing in English speaking territories until the late 1990s, so interviewers weren't likely to ask that question in 1992/1993 when the idea was fresh (hands up who saw Super Sonic before Super Saiyans).

But in France, Dragon Ball Z was certainly airing and was popular (I'm seeing December 1990 as the start of syndication). Spain too? It's difficult to tell sometimes.


To be precise, Dragon Ball first aired in France on March 2nd, 1988 in "Club Dorothée" on TF1 channel, and DB/Z/GT have been very successful ever since.

#15 User is offline Knucklez 

Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:18 PM

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The games are full of references... with Super Sonic and the Death Egg being the most notable and blatantly obvious.

I don't know how many of you are Studio Ghibli fans but Sky Sanctuary is a complete rip-off of Laputa from Castle in the Sky from start to finish, even down to the destruction of it after Mecha Sonic is defeated by Sonic, and then with Knuckles retrieving the Master Emerald. When I first watched the movie, I couldn't help but laugh at how unoriginal Sonic 3K was and here I was all this time thinking everything else copied Sonic. Haha gotta love it though.

EDIT:

I also wanted to add that even the EggRobos being the only things occupying Sky Sanctuary is very reminiscent of the Laputa Robots.
This post has been edited by Knucklez: 28 February 2019 - 04:24 PM

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