Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by charcoal, Nov 20, 2022.
Maybe we can just ask the Devs on twitter? I mean, someone more competent than me.
The storyline reason always seemed weird to be as 'solid reasoning' for this theory. Are we expecting that if they weren't playable the story would have been better? Or that Sonic stories are so solid in execution of meshing well with gameplay, that SA2 must have had some weird last minute changes because it doesn't make sense? -_-
For internal names, they give insight to development but not context. It's a bit too much reading into a simple naming decision made early on for me to truly believe it was the developer telling us years later that Tails wasn't meant to be playable. If Tails wasn't in the game at all, but the names were more generic like 'MechShooter', we'd be having a whole topic about how Tails was meant to be playable.
So while a nice theory, it often gets labeled as a fact or trivia. Which is more annoying than anything because it feels more click-bait than the actual trivia of the names of the playstyles are "SonicTheHedgehog", "KnucklesTheEchidna", and "EggWalker".
The part that’s strange to me is Tails’ walker. It only appears in this game, so it seems to me that it was created to match Eggman’s walker (which only appears in this game too, but better fits the character), which would suggest it was hastily created so Tails could share Eggman’s gameplay. But he’s in that walker almost every time he appears in the game, his boss fights would have to be designed around that, that doesn’t say “last minute” to me. That leads me to believe that Tails was always intended to be a copy of Eggman, but that he was always there. It’s probably as others said, Eggman was made and finished first to be the basis (maybe Sonic Team thought, if time constraints were too tight, they could cut Tails gameplay, so saved him for last), and Eggman made it into the trailer because he was done or closer to it.
If any of the “clone” characters weren’t originally playable, I’d be most inclined to believe Shadow. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was meant to just be a story character, and it was going to be a sudden twist when he was playable for the Biohazard. The only problem is that it would make the Hero and Dark sides imbalanced, and as others have also said, that dichotomy was also always there.
I think it's generally assumed that the similar stages would have been counterparts, and it would be your choices in the branching storyline that would decide which one you played.
The hero vs dark theme is believed to have been there since the beginning. Sonic would have been hero, Eggman would have been dark, and Knuckles would have been considered neutral or a wild card.
This is supported by the early SA2 logo, which had white sections, black sections, and a gray outline.
Come to think, hero/dark/neutral is another thing that was used in Shadow the Hedgehog.
It's possible Tails was always intended to serve as Eggman's "rival", even before it was decided to make him playable. So he would have piloted his mech in his boss battles when you played as Eggy.
You have to remember back then game development was much shorter than now, so that is entirely plausible. The entirety of the final version of Halo CE was made in a year and a half.
I definitely believe SA2 originally only had Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman as playable and I think it's even evidenced looking at the final game. The Knuckles and Eggman stages are significantly better designed than their counterparts (I actually like Eggman's stages but I despise Tails's, his has much cheaper enemy placement and general level design). Now imo Knuckles stages still suck to play but none of them compare to how lazy and awful Mad Space is.
With Shadow I do believe they may have all have originally been Sonic stages, which is plausible given Sonic was in those stages in pre-release footage.
Except Sonic's entire point of being there is to get to the Eclipse Canon chamber and shut it down, which he does not do. He destroys something outside of it instead.
It makes more sense that Shadow wins there like Eggman winning against Tails in their fight on Prison Island.
No, from the earlier cutscene where Sonic teleports in front of Knuckles, his plan is to get to the cannon so he can "slam dunk [the fake emerald] in there", which he wouldn't have been able to do if Shadow stopped him.
Building upon the Amy oddities brought up by @MainMemory, in the original Dreamcast version of the game she has unique sound effects and animations in multiplayer. No other bonus character does.
From 7:50. In the Dreamcast version of the game, all other bonus characters are mute and reuse their original chacters' intro and outro animations (Metal Sonic and Shadow). She also has her own special jump effect.
Which he does not do.
Am I misinterpreting something here? He wanted to get to the chamber and insert the fake emerald where all the other, actual emeralds are, which does not happen.
Because later Eggman puts in the last real emerald and the canon doesn't fire, presumably because Sonic has destroyed the outer part of it...somehow.
Here's a very rational question for those seriously questioning if Tails was supposed to not be playable:
WHY would he not be playable, but Sonic and Knuckles are?
And I'm not stating you can't be correct, but think about that question. To me, it's way off the beating path to exclude Tails. There's a precedence for including him as a playable character. This isn't Sonic '06 where they intentionally focus on three hedgehogs. This isn't recent games where they think we only want to play as Sonic. This isn't Sonic & Knuckles where they're attempting to highlight Knuckles in a significant way while leaving Tails as a character rewarded to those who lock-on with Sonic 3.
Apart from what I said earlier about only focusing on a single character for each play style during the early stages of development, another possibility may be that they weren't sure what his gameplay style would be. They were clearly trying to come up with unique styles, and it's plausible that there would have been more than three.
Even if we assume Sonic didn't get into the chamber, it's possible he didn't have enough time for it after his battle with Shadow.
Because Sonic, Eggman and Knuckles fit the hero/dark/neutral alignments. Sonic is good, Eggman is evil, and Knuckles isn't directly part of their conflict, only concerned with protecting the Master Emerald.
I have a hard time believing they intended to go from six playable characters in the first game down to three in the sequel. Any exclusion of Tails in my mind is likely to have intended to be temporary.
But I like what someone said earlier... maybe a developer could clarify things.
I think if SA2 was really about Good/Neutral/Evil then the logo would not be a very obvious riff on the yin-yang symbol. Saying the outline around the two big colored quills is to represent Neutrality feels like a big reach...like, is the logo not supposed to have an outline?
Not to mention the "Neutral/Wild Card" interpretation doesn't really make sense for Knuckles in SA2. His priority is the master emerald but he's still obviously far more aligned with the heroes. That description would make more sense for Rouge, being a heroine infiltrating a villainous team.
Edit: Rouge in general kinda craps on the 3 character idea, imo. If Knuckles is supposed to be Neutral, then shouldn't he be fighting both sides? Why give him a villainous looking rival?
I think that's a stretch. The E3 trailer is full of "thing/opposite of thing", no third neutral option, it's all about dualities. Same with that logo, it's half and half, the circle with the 2 in it is split down the middle. The outline is just an outline.
I always thought by 'slam dunk it in there', he meant literally throwing the fake emerald into the cannon itself. As for the cannon not firing, isn't that because of Gerald's doomsday plan rather than the cannon being destroyed? It's literally followed up in the Last Story by that pre-recorded video of Gerald explaining his plan.
Both Knuckles and Rouge work as neutral/wild cards. Knuckles' aim is restoring the Master Emerald and only joins Sonic's team because it will help him get to Rouge. Even then, he leaves the team as soon as they reach space. He also had a history of helping both Eggman (thanks to his deceits) and Sonic.
Rouge "joins" Eggman's team midway in the story, but is actually a spy for the government. Even then, her dialogue makes it clear that she only cares about the paycheck.
By contrast Sonic and Tails are clear heroes, while Eggman and Shadow are clear villains.
SA2 had a much smaller dev team than SA1. It makes sense that they would pull back the scope a bit.
I can completely believe that it was originally just Sonic, Knuckles, Robotnik. There's your good / neutral / evil right there (as has been explained upthread). Shadow and Tails would have been around in the original plot from the start, and when they decided that actually, maybe Tails should be playable as a foe to Robotnik in a mech, and Shadow being the hedgehog already fits for Sonic... all we need to do is dream up a Knuckles-alike who's the opposite to him in some way. Knuckles protects a big gem, how about someone who steals them? Bingo, Rouge.
Rouge was conceived around the same time as Shadow, actually, so Blue Spikeball's theory of her being a Neutral Rival for Knuckles would better fit the time frame.
@Captain L I'm sure that was done to balance the teams, just like in Heroes. Eggman adopts E-102 Gamma's shooting gameplay using his new Egg Walker modification so it becomes necessary to make Tails his adversary by giving him a new Cyclone plane in walker form. Shadow was presumably envisioned early in development as a mysterious new antagonist that resembles Sonic while Rouge was presumably created last to counterbalance Knuckles as an evil treasure hunter. It could be a sign of the character being added in hastily but I think it's just better explained by Sonic Team having no better idea than to put Tails in a mech.
@saxman That's honestly the most obvious reason in my head, it makes no sense why Tails would be excluded for the first time in a mainline game, especially when he appears as a primary character and is relevant to the plot.
@Taylor Presumably the logo would have been made late in development when the team had already settled on the two storylines, it likely has no bearing on whether or not the game originally featured three or six characters. The first instance of the logo was in the Trial which was only seven months before release.
Honestly, my best guess is that the three-character idea may have been made early in development as a base for the gameplay styles. Sonic would have been made for running, Eggman shooting (adapted from E-102 Gamma), and Knuckles scavenging. Then the other characters would have been created or adapted to fit into these gameplay styles. As full development started, the story and stages would have been made. The trailer and screenshots shown at E3 2000 mention the dichotomy between good and evil but only show the three original characters since those were what the team were confident in showing during development.
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