Classic era timeline, and your own interpretations

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Blastfrog, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Machenstein

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    No way, it's my canon!

    Just kidding, sure you can. It would be nice to see Triple Trouble revisited in some way. It's part of the reason I wish Fang would return.
     
  2. Dark Sonic

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    I always thought that Sonic Adventure 2 would have been great if Team Dark was Metal Sonic, Robotnik, and Fang instead of what we got.
     
  3. David The Lurker

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    oh man sonic the timeline

    Before I write anything about the storyline of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, I always feel I must point out that, when it comes to all of its many elements, the storyline ranks below pretty much everything else. Gameplay, level design, visual style...if none of that works, it doesn't matter if the game reveals all the secrets of SONIC'S SECRET PAST!!1! if it's a bad game. However, I'm pretty sure anyone who comes to Retro already knows this, so it doesn't hurt to occasionally nerd out about the timeline and nuances of Sonic canon. Lord knows I've done it on more than one occasion. That disclaimer is more for people who only care about mapping out Shadow's convoluted history.

    What's also important to point out is the fluidity that Sonic Team has for the timeline, which has also been mentioned prior in this thread. There's a reason that, way back when AAUK was working at Sega, he told everyone that Sonic and the Secret Rings wasn't canon, then was immediately contradicted when it was referenced in Sonic Generations. Really, it's just like how a comic book should be - you have over 75 years of history for Superman, go ahead and reference what you want, but don't feel like you must be a slave to the smallest details. Maintain the history, don't fret about the continuity. Weird to think about? Yes, but it's the only way for a franchise that has been around for decades and had multiple people involved to stay consistent.

    With all that said, let's jump into the classic timeline. Really, my opinions don't differ all that far from what other people have said.

    Sonic the Hedgehog --> Sonic CD --> Sonic 2 --> Sonic 3 & Knuckles

    oh man controversial statement. Sonic CD seems to be the one that's moved around the most, but one must remember that the team behind CD were developing a sequel to Sonic 1, just like the team to Sonic 2 were. The fact that Amy is at Little Planet but not in Sonic 2 or 3 is not really all that odd. She didn't follow Sonic to Never Lake, the tarot cards told her that she would have a "destined encounter" with him there. Which is what happened - she traveled to the Little Planet on her own, found Sonic, got kidnapped, and was a goal that Sonic needed to strive after to restore balance to the locale. Would Sonic have saved the Good Future if she wasn't there? Sure. Would he have fought Metal Sonic if she wasn't kidnapped? Probably. But the tarot cards did not lead her to Westside or Angel Island, and they certainly didn't lead her to seeing Sonic in Adventure. She was already living in Station Square when he came to vacation there.

    But what about Metal Sonic? Well, yes, the robotic Sonic that features in CD looks far more advanced than the ones featured in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. But, consider this. While Metal does have certain attacks he can use, the time Sonic and his metallic doppelganger face together is primarily a race. They never go head to head in a physical bout. Sonic doesn't try to jump on his head, instead he wants to prove to Eggman that no mechanical creation can best his natural speed. Sonic CD, more than any other classic game, focuses on the natural/industrial themes that are merely window dressing in the other titles. Metal's attacks are more to slow the real Sonic down, not to outright kill him (though that can happen if you're not careful). And what happens when Sonic wins? Metal self destructs by running into a wall. Which, well, shows he really isn't all that strong of a foe. Eggman sacrificed durability for speed, because the end game was for Eggman to kill Sonic himself with his death ray coming out of the bottom of his Eggmobile in Stardust Speedway. Eggman was hoping Sonic would be bested by his own creation, that the wall would fall (which Sonic wasn't expecting) and in the confusion not be able to avoid Eggman's direct attack.

    So why does Mecha Sonic look so much clunkier, so less advanced? He definitely has the feel of a prototype in Sonic 2, and had significant upgrades in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. I used to think "oh, Eggman must have just pulled out a prototype that he made before creating Metal Sonic and used that as a stopgap measure before confronting him in his mech," but now I think it could really be a prototype he created after Metal. Instead of focusing on a speed-based creation which failed spectacularly, he was experimenting with replicating another aspect of Sonic - his durability, his strength. After all, Sonic can best nearly all of Eggman's creations with a well-placed hit, and Mecha Sonic? Takes eight. Mecha isn't trying to run against Sonic, he is more concerned with combat. He looks so basic in Sonic 2 probably because Eggman was more concerned with building the Death Egg and collecting the Chaos Emeralds than he was with building another robot Sonic. Come time for Sonic 3, the Death Egg is already built, and Knuckles is there helping out with his schemes. He has more time to refine the design he was toying with in Sonic 2.

    If we take into account Sonic 4, then it's really a case of the strength-based robot Sonic failing twice, so Eggman goes back to his original design and decides to "upgrade" him to be more than just a robot that runs fast. The scene in Sonic 4 is already contradictory in the sense that Metal Sonic is in one piece while he was in many pieces at the end of Stardust Speedway, so really the scene is an afterthought using previously-available resources instead of being slavish to the plot of Sonic CD. Which can also apply to the Little Planet's use in Sonic 4 Episode II as a whole.

    So taking all of that into account, it makes far more sense for Sonic CD to be the second part of the classic games. Now, when it comes to the Game Gear games...well, the problem there is that most of them just don't fit into the overall narrative. They were created by a separate team, with separate goals, and didn't really pay that much attention to what Sonic Team was doing. When Aspect took over the portable franchise, they really didn't spend much time trying to emulate what the other games were doing. Yes, we had nods to Sonic CD with the peel-out, we had Knuckles show up in Sonic & Tails 2, but none of it really gels with the main games, at least storyline wise. Visually, yes, it all looks like something from the world of Sonic. If there was a bit more communication, then the games could have had stories that didn't blatantly contradict what was happening elsewhere.

    The biggest source of contention? The Chaos Emeralds. In the original Sonic, as well as the 8-bit version, there were only six. With the 16-bit Sonic 2, it's revealed there are seven, a number that remains consistent through the rest of the main series, even to this day. In every Game Gear game, both the pro and antagonists are still concerned with collecting only six. The storyline to the 8-bit Sonic 2, if we wanted a single canon, can not happen before the 16-bit Sonic 2. The Japanese manual explains how Sonic & Tails met, which was on West Side Island, and was only a couple of days before Eggman began his siege there. There's no room for Sonic & Tails to become friends and go back to South Island (Tails only discovers the Tornado exists minutes before Eggman shows up and talks about how he knew following Sonic around would lead him to the Chaos Emeralds, even though Sonic didn't even know the Emeralds were now on the island, the story really pushing the fact that coincidence is the order of the day), which means there's no time for Eggman to kidnap Tails, or even know he exists before the game happens.

    There is also no room for anything to happen between Sonic 2 and 3, the Japanese story stating that a few days pass between Tails seeing a "huge wave" in the ocean (Angel Island crashing) and picking up a strange reading on his newest invention, the Jewel Radar. Remember, at that point, Sonic has all seven Chaos Emeralds, so reading anything on his radar would send up red flags, and Eggman probably hasn't had time to leave Angel Island just to antagonize Sonic. He may be a childish evil genius, but if his grand plan was just thwarted, even he would spend a few days to regroup, especially if he's on an island of legend, needs to trick its guardian into thinking he's a good guy, begin repairs on the Death Egg, build up a new badnik army, and work on the Mecha Sonic project again. There's no time to go back to South Island and kidnap Tails. There's no point! Better for Sonic & Tails to think Eggman is out of commission while he works on his next grand scheme.

    That means the 8-bit version of Sonic 2 could happen no earlier than after Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which means that Sonic (a traveler by nature) just lives on South Island, Tails now lives there too, and Eggman only cares about six emeralds instead of seven. Come time for Sonic Chaos, it's still six, and they are somehow linked to South Island, the manual stating it's the resting place of the Emeralds (even though they've now been on three islands), and hinting that because Eggman gained one, it's somehow thrown everything out of balance and causing South Island to sink into the sea. Triple Trouble, you have Knuckles show up again and has the same antagonistic relationship with Sonic, even though he should know Eggman is bad and Sonic is good. When Eggman tricks Knuckles in Sonic Adventure, he's trying to make Knuckles think that Sonic is collecting the shards of the Master Emerald, something Knuckles has a hard time swallowing until the sees Sonic with the green Chaos Emerald and jumps to conclusions, which after a brief fight and conversation is sorted out. What would Knuckles be trying to do in Triple Trouble? Why would he be on South Island and not Angel Island, caring about the Chaos Emeralds which weren't really a concern for him anymore?

    You could try and say "oh, well obviously Knuckles went back to get the Chaos Emeralds because he thought he should guard them with the Master Emerald," which he kinda does in Sonic Adventure. But Sonic doesn't really care if he is guarding them or not. The only reason people want Triple Trouble to be canon is because of Fang the Sniper, since otherwise he isn't part of the story. Unless you want to consider Sonic the Fighters to be part of canon, even though it has eight emeralds in that game, unless the eighth emerald is the Master Emerald, which means it's the most impractical space ship ever built. Oh, side note: the Japanese manual to Triple Trouble points out Fang and Eggman aren't working together. So there's that.

    It requires way too much fiddling for the Game Gear games to work with the 16-bit titles, which means it's way easier for them to be their own separate thing. The only one that could work is Tails Adventures, and that's only because it's a Tails solo game that is stated to happen before he meets Sonic. And maybe the Drift games, which would let you have Fang in the main canon.

    SegaSonic the Hedgehog, that could take place before or after the first Sonic game. For the person who said it must be before because Sonic is running away, that doesn't work all that well. Sonic takes on Eggman head on, sure, but if some huge robotic creation is there trying to swallow him whole, he's not going to run inside head first, especially if he's with two friends who aren't all that well versed in combat. Or Sonic would try to run around and attack it from another angle, or some such thing. Chaotix? Takes place a couple months after Sonic & Knuckles. Everything involving the Master Emerald and the Chaos Emeralds (which is another post entirely, and one I'm sure I've talked about before on here many years ago) causes part of the Echidna homeland to rise from the depths of the oceans, still having its own secrets. Eggman lands there before Knuckles can explore it, and the other members of the Chaotix arrive for their own personal reasons. They are never an official team, and only decide to sometime between the 32X game and Heroes. And you can ignore Charmy, because there's no way the average person doesn't know who Dr. Eggman is in Heroes after he BLEW UP HALF THE MOON in the previous game.

    So including my personal preference of not wanting a Sonic game to take place before the original...

    Tails Adventures --> Sonic the Hedgehog --> SegaSonic the Hedgehog --> Sonic CD --> Sonic 2 --> Sonic 3 & Knuckles --> Knuckles' Story --> Sonic 4 Ep. 1 & 2 --> Chaotix --> Flickies' Island --> Sonic the Fighters --> Sonic R --> Sonic Pocket Adventure --> Sonic Adventure

    I could go on past Adventure, but this post is already long enough without trying to dissect Shadow's backstory or figuring out where the Advance games slip in to the main titles or understand the madness of Eggman Nega. So yeah, there you go. Oh, and Spinball can't work. It's tied too deeply into the western cartoons to really work as part of the games canon.
     
  4. LockOnTommy11

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    I agree with this ^ My own thinking is pretty similar in terms of logic and game placement, and I also placed the games in the same timeline on the first page, minus SEGASonic and Tails Adventure, which I forgot entirely.
     
  5. qwertysonic

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    Do we know the model numbers for any of the mecha sonic models? That would clear it up once and for all. Sonic the Fighters uses Rocket Metal (Mecha Sonic Model No.29)Do we know what version any of the others are?
     
  6. Pengi

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    The early Sonic games were quite inconsistent with their own lore - especially when you had scenarios like Sonic meeting Knuckles for the first time in both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Tails 2/Sonic Triple Trouble, and the number and history of the Chaos Emeralds changing from game to game. It seems like Sonic Team disregards all the ones they didn't work on directly - only the stories of Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles and CD have been referenced from Sonic Adventure onwards. Iizuka openly said that they were reintroducing Vector, Charmy and Espio as new characters in Sonic Heroes. The original Chaotix was the only non-Sonic Team game that actively attempted to tie into the lore established by the main titles - if that game wasn't regarded as canon, I doubt they consider any of the others to be canon either.

    Furthermore, Sonic Generations established that Sonic, Eggman and co "grew into" their modern designs, from their classic designs. In that case, no "classic design" games can take place after Sonic 4, which set itself up as Metal Sonic's second story after Sonic CD. So no Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic the Fighters, Sonic Drift 2 or Sonic R, which all featured Metal Sonic working for Classic Eggman.

    Of course, a few games can still fit into the pre-Sonic 4 timeline without a problem - SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Tails Adventures, Tails' Sky Patrol and Sonic 3D, for example.
     
  7. DigitalDuck

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    I always see this point brought up, and it's quite frankly crap. The reason Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic look markedly different is that so us, the audience/players, can tell the difference between the two. They are the same character, it should be assumed that Sonic has always looked like he does now.

    There's further evidence to that effect when none of the other characters see a difference (except a slight weight gain in Classic Sonic).
     
  8. big smile

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    I think the Game Gear games are a separate continuity for the following reasons:

    • The GG games only seem to have six emeralds. there isn't a 7th Emerald.
    • Most of the stories are set on South Island
    • It's said if the Emeralds leave South Island, it will sink. This doesn't happen in the main series.
    • S&T2 mentions that Knuckles is a stranger, so this is the first time they meet in that universe.
    • Iizuka didn't want them in Sonic Generations.


    Bean, Bark and Fang were in Sonic Generations as wanted posters (using their Fighters artwork for the first two), so presumably Fighters is a part of the story line.

    Charmy came from the Sonic comic (as did Amy). Apparently all those comic characters were designed by Sonic Team (which explains why Amy was in Sonic CD). So, Sonic Team seem okay with using characters from other mediums, so long as they were involved with their creation. Also, the "new" Heroes Chaotix characters make lots of references to past games (Espio being a ninja in StF, the name "Chaotix").

    It's only really the Game Gear games that cause the inconsistencies. The main games are fairly consistent, with the big exception being the Chaos Emerald locations (although seeing as they move around all the time, it's not too much of an issue).
     
  9. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Sonic the Comic did this thing where it was established that there were actually 2 sets of Chaos Emeralds - 6 on the Floating Island and 6 back on the surface - with a 7th grey emerald acting as a controller for both sets (this was before S&K was released). Adopting this for the games would solve alot of problems ;)/>
     
  10. BlackHole

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    To be fair, they were the same 6, just split into 2 sets. I think that was an attempt to keep the Drakon Empire from getting their hands on the fully powered Emeralds...

    Anyway, I recall reading one 'translation' where that apparently was the case:

     
  11. DigitalDuck

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    I was under the impression that each island had its own set of emeralds. Most have seven, South Island has six, wherever Fighters is set has eight.
     
  12. BlackHole

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  13. DigitalDuck

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  14. BlackHole

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    Neither is Sonic and the Secret Rings, and theeen...

    Besides, Sonic 4 isn't going to finish the whole Death Egg II situation, may as well make use of Sonic the Fighters and have that be the conclusion: Little Planet comes back around with the Death Egg shell, Robotnik builds on it since this is the guy who has built the Death Egg without being noticed until he announced it, pretty sure he can continue building and adding modules to it without anyone noticing until he attacks the planet. Sonic goes to deal with it, Robotnik blows it up with the Little Planet just to spite Sonic.
     
  15. LockOnTommy11

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    I'm not convinced that there is only one set of emeralds. The Sonic 3 Western AND Japanese manuals both allude to another set of emeralds that Knuckles then thought Sonic had stolen. Funnily enough, the Super Emeralds make an appearance in the full game, but it's never really explained how they come to be and how they then disappear. Read the story below:

    His name, Knuckles the Echidna. But to inhabitants of the island, he is an echidna called "Knuckle." Born and raised on the island, all of nature and the animals who live in it are his friends. And that which protects his friends is none other than the Chaos Emerald's crystaline "Pillar."

    Suddenly something awoke.

    Just as he was verifying that that not one Chaos Emerald was out of place, the Chaos Emerald right before his eyes rose and a strange vibration started.

    Knuckles was confused by this phenomenon, which had never occurred before. In the blink of an eye, violent shaking occurred within the Chaos Emeralds. Then, as the shaking reached its climax, a "kiiiin" sound was heard along with a brilliant flash. The next thing Knuckles remembered was his own body, seeming to be lightly floating, and at that moment he was interrupted.

    When Knuckles regained consciousness, he found his body thrown outside of the altar. He slowly go up, and what entered his eyes as he looked around was the Chaos Emerald altar--partially destroyed. In a flurry, Knuckles flew into the altar. However, in place of the emerald that should have been there, were fragments left of what had disappeared...

    In a daze, Knuckles left the altar. He gazed off into the distance, powerless... it seemed like a peculiar thing had appeared around the lake. The sight of the giant, round, egg-like body that Knuckles beheld sent a shiver down his spine.

    "That big egg is the dragon in the legend's...."

    That egg appeared in the legend depicted in the Chaos Emerald altar--there was no doubt that it was the egg which would bring disaster to the island.

    Some days later, Knuckles was patrolling the altar of the island's seven Chaos Emeralds, but all traces of the Emeralds had vanished. While in his relentless investigation of the island, Knuckles encountered an unfamiliar man in the woods.

    The man called himself Dr. Eggman, and already knew Knuckles was the guardian of the Chaos Emeralds. He said to Knuckles:

    "I am a scientist who came here to stop (?) that egg. Uumu, since you are the Chaos Emeralds' guardian I knew I had to inform you. The truth is, there is an evil hedgehog named Sonic that has been interfering in my research, he is the one who has stolen this island's Chaos Emeralds."

    "The Chaos Emeralds were stolen....!"

    With Dr. Eggman's ingenious lies, Knuckles was very easily tricked. That is how Knuckles' challenge to Sonic was started.

    My guess is that their power is what the characters were able to obtain, and then a temporary physical (almost spirit-like) version powered up in their places. around the Master Emerald. As Sonic 3 & Knuckles alludes to Sonic fighting Eggman being a foreseen event to stop Doomsday, the whole ending and battle is biblical, with the forces of good helping Sonic fight the forces of evil.
     
  16. David The Lurker

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    Ah, that's an older translation of the manual. SamIAm (wherever he may be) went through it again, trying to be more accurate while sacrificing some of the style.

    For some reason, I doubt the Sonic the Comic authors had this piece of information, but perhaps it's just one of those things where great minds think alike? After all, Knuckles' motivations for stealing the Chaos Emeralds makes a bit more sense in the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. If Knuckles is guarding a set, and Sonic shows up with an identical set, there's no reason for Knuckles to think they're not the same Chaos Emeralds. In the confusion that is the Death Egg crashing on the island, Knuckles hides them in the one safe place he knows - the Hidden Palace Zone. But what does Sonic do during Sonic 3? He collects seven Chaos Emeralds by jumping into giant warp rings.

    So you have this grand tale where Knuckles is constantly trying to mess with our heroes, but Sonic continues to collect the Emeralds. Knuckles? He never tries to steal any back. Yes, that has to do with the gameplay, as having Knuckles steal your Emeralds if you've collected six and then having to go back and get them again would be silly, but perhaps it's a case where Knuckles doesn't think Sonic has gotten any of them back? The first time we see Knuckles in the proper version of Mushroom Hill, he is being sneaky, making sure no one sees that he's returned from a mysterious locale which he visited through the pulsating giant ring. When Sonic goes to explore and jumps in, he is instantly transported not to a special stage, but the Hidden Palace. If Knuckles had just been there, then he saw the seven Chaos Emeralds he had stolen from Sonic in the same place he put them, and had no reason to think Sonic had stolen them back. Knuckles, therefore, is not present to witness what happens when Sonic steps in, where the Chaos Emeralds undergo a transformation into seven, much larger emeralds. Sonic has to jump on each to make them colorized, going through the process of restoring the Emeralds to their original state, going back into the Special Stages to have them be whole again.

    The fact Knuckles is said to have his own set of Emeralds in the instruction manual to Sonic 3 is a very deliberate piece of information, especially since the Master Emerald had to have been conceived of as well. Sonic Adventure even deals with this in a very subtle way. While there are only ever seven Chaos Emeralds, the ones in the past are different than the ones in the present. The seven in the unaltered shrine, perched high atop their pillars, are much larger than the ones seen anywhere else. Just like how the Chaos Emeralds have changed shape and size when reintroduced to the Hidden Palace shrine. Sonic Adventure also plays with the idea of there being two sides to the Emeralds. Super Sonic stops Perfect Chaos before things can be altered forever, but the drastic measures taken by Tikal? Could have created a separate set of Emeralds, with seven being scattered across the globe, and another seven being left on what would become Angel Island. That would be the status quo, the 14 Emeralds having the altered shape, until that prophesied encounter between Sonic and Eggman on the floating island.

    Well that's silly. And only because, hey, if there are more than seven emeralds, why doesn't Eggman just steal one from every island he visits?
     
  17. BlackHole

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    He does try. I recall reading that Mystic Cave Zone is him digging about for the Emeralds, though since it's from the English manuals, I'm not sure how canon it is:

    It's just a case of Sonic coming in and getting involved each time, which stops him before he can find any, if he would since he seems to be entirely unaware of the Special Stages.
     
  18. winterhell

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    They amplify each other only when they are from the same set.

    While the individual ones may have power on their own, it probably doesn't work very well for the same reasons Robotnik doesn't unleash several metal Sonics or Death Egg Robots at once. There are diminishing returns and compatibility issues. 2 Metal Sonics have the potential to bump into each other and friendly fire, not unlike in Knuckles's storyline in Sky Sanctuary.
     
  19. David The Lurker

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    Eh. With that same logic, why make a fleet of badniks? They might start attacking each other, best to only make one.

    It makes more sense if there is only one main set (the discrepancy being the extra set on Angel Island, which I already theorized above). Dr. Eggman doesn't go to West Side island because he knows there are additional sets of Chaos Emeralds, he follows Sonic because the doctor thinks following him will lead him back to the emeralds. The last Eggman knew, Sonic had the six in his possession, and might not have known that once they "fixed" the Green Hill Zone, they vanished. Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2? Yes, I know, not the classic era, but everyone is concerned with finding only seven emeralds. Emeralds that are scattered about different locations, not hidden in an alternate dimension accessible only from one island. And Sonic Adventure, Tails does say he's powering the Tornado II "with one of the seven Chaos Emeralds," implying there's only one set of seven, not multiple sets of six, seven and eight all over the place. Now, if he had said "one of the of the seven emeralds from Station Square" or something like that, then I could see it.
     
  20. DigitalDuck

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    Why doesn't he just use those forcefield things that hold Sonic in Wing Fortress and Flying Battery and leave him there, instead of blowing up the ship by trying to fire a massive laser at him?

    Because he's a moron.