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Is there good reason anymore to have 2 Sonic designs?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by High Fidelity, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Endgame


    Formerly The Growler Member
    As other people have said, Ninja Turtles used their different versions and made Turtles Forever out of it.

    Granted, the designs weren't too radically different, but the latest film (Out of the Shadows) and cartoon versions (Rise of the Ninja Turtles - especially with Raphael, much like Boom's Knuckles) are certainly a huge contrast to the original lot.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  2. Yes, this is what I was trying to get at. I didn't make it clear in my original post, my bad.

    I have no problem with various designs so much (even though I think the classic design is the only design Sega should use), it's what you said about dimensions/timelines that is potentially confusing for new younger fans.

    Pretty sure Sega must be aware of the situation, but can't really do much in the way of homogenizing without pissing off either the classic or modern fans.
  3. Taylor


    As been stated before, a lot of franchises have concurrent designs like that. I don't think it's a big deal. Treating them as entirely different universes is a little odd but who cares about continuity in Sonic?
  4. A huge part of Sonic's mainstream appeal is the nostalgia factor, especially since kids who grew up with the Adventure/Modern games are now adults, and a lot of us who grew up with the Classic games are parents. The average person doesn't see Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic, Boom Sonic, and Movie Sonic as four separate things, they see them as one character depicted in different ways. Just like how Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny evolved over time, the same is true about Sonic.

    Introducing a "new" design that combines elements of all previous designs, while also vaulting those previous designs, would be a huge risk unless they can guarantee that the new design would be universally beloved and the media that introduces this new design (new game, tv show, comic, etc) is a massive hit. Sonic Boom was a huge disaster - the designs were criticized by fans and non-fans alike, the games were either broken/unfinished messes at worst or mediocre platformers at best, the show was the only redeeming part of it largely because of the clever writing. At the moment the movie seems to be the best bet for a "new" design becoming the center of the franchise, since everyone loves the design and the movie's been a massive hit all over the world.

    The trademark issue also plays into it, in the US in order to hold a trademark on something (name, design, slogan, etc) the company has to be actively using it. I'll try to keep this brief and simple so forgive me if its not the best explanation, but trademark and copyright are two separate things with separate rules. As long as a person/company is actively using their trademark then they own it forever, but copyright only lasts around 100 years whether you use it or not. Disney has successfully lobbied the US government to shape copyright law to benefit them, specifically with regard to Mickey Mouse. There's been discussion over the years over the copyright status of Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, and whether or not it's in the public domain. Should Steamboat Willie fall into the public domain (which it will in 2024), not only will the short itself be public domain, but any elements introduced in the short will also be public domain, including Mickey himself. There's long been an argument that Steamboat Willie has always been public domain, since Disney goofed up the copyright notice on the short itself, but nobody wants to challenge Disney on that.

    Now that 2024 is right around the corner and with Disney not having attempted to lobby the government to extend copyright further, its safe to assume Steamboat Willie and the character Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain. However, it should be noted that only the Mickey Mouse introduced in Steamboat Willie will be public domain, any elements of the character introduced in later cartoons will still be protected until those cartoons enter the public domain. Disney has long planned for this, and in the 90's they started selling merchandise of the different versions of Mickey over the years as a means to keep their trademarks active. Had they not done this, it would've been legal for anyone to sell merchandise once Mickey entered the public domain, but because they're using their trademarks they're able to protect themselves. So for Sega, while they own the copyright on Sonic until 2086, they might want to pay attention to how Disney handles Mickey Mouse. They seem to have an idea about what they're doing.
  5. Pengi


    This is also standard - Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Gundam etc.

    The only difference is that Sega contradicted themselves between Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces. Not the first time they've changed a story detail on the fly, and not the only video game company to do so.
  6. Frostav


    I would not like the modern designs to disappear totally--there are characters for whom I think the modern designs are a lot better (Tails and Amy being the premier examples), but I feel that maybe the two designs could be fused into one, as in that one really popular Hesse art showcasing a sort of "modernized Classic Sonic" I've seen a lot.

    Honestly: Had Sonic remained a well-respected series with consistent high reviews as he was in the 90's, no one would really care about the modern designs. It is literally only because of Sonic's tarnished reputation that people act as if the modern designs are some sin against character design.

    Like no one cares about Link changing design each Zelda game, sometimes dramatically as in the shift from LTTP > OoT > WW (yes I know people complained about WW at first but now people love its style), for instance.
  7. I think the standard Modern designs should stay (they've been used far longer than the Classic designs at this point), but Sega/Sonic Team should start offering the alternate designs (Classic, Boom, Movie, etc.) as skins/costumes as unlockable bonuses/extras or DLC. Kinda like various Spider-Man games and the Batman Arkham games.

    I also agree that splitting modern and classic into different dimensions/timelines is really dumb, and I don't really like how they're treating Classic Sonic as a separate character from Modern. I also don't like the dumb rules they have where characters from one dimension can't appear in another, and that Classic has to be mute just because he didn't talk in the games of that era (which in itself is false, since he briefly talks in Sonic CD; he's also talked in the backstories in the Genesis/Mega Drive instruction manuals). I also hate the stupid '2 worlds' retcon, which serves literally no purpose other than making things even more complicated than they are already.

    SEGA and Sonic Team are just being unreasonably dumb about this whole situation, and it just goes to show just how little they care about the characters, world, and lore of the series that was established in the 90s and early 2000s.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  8. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    THANK YOU! That is something I feel like should've happened a long time ago. Fans would go nuts over that. Imagine if it was like Mario Odyssey, where you could have a sort of dressing room and mix/match different parts? It'd be sublime. I could finally play as '06 Sonic with the Werehog's shoes and Boom Sonic's sports tape/scarf.

    I also think something similar should be done with character abilities; imagine if you could swap the boost with the spin dash, or toggle the bounce on and off. Hell, if you're some insane Sonic 1 purist, you could turn off everything so it's just Sonic, a roll, a jump, and momentum...
  9. Yeah, exactly. They already have the foundation for something like that with Forces' character customization options for the Avatar, and both Secret Rings and Generations let you customize Sonic's abilities to some degree, so I don't see why not do something like that for future games.

    The Kingdom Hearts games (particularly KH1, 2, and 3), let you customize the abilities of the main character, Sora, giving you a list of different abilities you can 'install' or 'uninstall', which can totally change the flow of combat to some degree, and some of those abilities extend even to character movement (such as double jumping, air dashing, dodge-rolling, gliding in the air, etc.). Something like that being applied to Sonic could be pretty interesting.
  10. Pengi


    There was always a bit of a line in the sand between Sonic Adventure and everything that came before. The emerald shrine changed, characters' ages changed, the old extended cast was dropped, Knuckles and Tails' Super forms were dropped, the Super Emeralds were dropped, the Master Emerald's powers were redefined, Flickies stopped talking, and Vector, Charmy and Espio were drastically changed, throwing Chaotix 32X out of continuity completely.
  11. I'd say most of those changes were inconsequential and could be hand-waved. Most Sonic fans probably haven't played Sonic Jam, the Super Emeralds can just be seen as a bonus for locking on Sonic 3 with Sonic & Knuckles, to give the player incentive to go through 2 sets of Special Stages, and most people never played Chaotix anyway (and SEGA seems to want to pretend the game doesn't exist for some reason, as it never got re-released). For Flickies, I just assumed they spoke their own 'bird' language, and Sonic could just understand them. That's just headcanon on my part, though. As far as I can tell, Sonic Team wasn't really consistent with the lore during the Classic era (6 Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 1, 7 in Sonic 2, 8 in Sonic the Fighters; the Emeralds kept changing colors, etc.) and didn't start to clearly define things until Sonic Adventure.

    How was the Master Emerald changed, though? I thought its power was supposed to control and neutralize the Chaos Emeralds while keeping Angel Island floating in the air?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  12. Pengi


    This happens in a lot of fandoms. All the retcons and lore changes from "before" are seen as an inherent part of the series' DNA, but any retcons and lore changes a fan experiences in real time are wrong.

    The fans at the time noticed the changes, and they were met with the same tempest in a teapot level of controversy.

    Neutralising the Chaos Emeralds is a retcon. Before Sonic Adventure, the Master Emerald was just a big powerful Chaos Emerald.
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  13. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    The best reason for having multiple Sonic designs is that we have multiple styles of Sonic games.

    If anything, using the same design for multiple different gameplay styles would be more confusing.
  14. MastaSys


    If Goku is allowed to have Small Goku and Big Goku designs, so can Sonic.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  15. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

    What they should do is have two separate series, a 2D one with classic Sonic and a 3D one with modern Sonic, and keep them separate except for very few occasions.

    Unfortunately it looks like we won’t be getting another 2D Sonic game (at least by the Mania team) because SEGA doesn’t want to green light a sequel for whatever reason, and the 3D main series has all but died.
  16. FollOw


    The sun sets forever over Black Water Park Oldbie
    Sorry guys there are now 3 sonics. Dont forget movie Sonic. I would not put it past Sega to make a new sonic game with that design.
  17. Where did you hear that? I would assume it's already in development
  18. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

    I didn’t say it’s dead, I said “all but dead”. I’m sure they’re working on the next 3D Sonic, and I’m fully expecting it to be another shovelware low-budget game.

    Now if you were talking about Sonic Mania, then ignore what I said.
  19. Azookara


    yup Member
    I've never understood why it had to be anything more than an art style.

    So yeah, I agree with the sentiment that them being two different characters with different canons is like nuclear level stupid on their behalf. Though to be fair I can't tell if they really even take the idea that seriously; that recent 'Sonic 101' video comes to mind with how it feels like they're already shifting gears from that thought. lol
  20. Chimera


    I'm not a furry. Tech Member
    Castlevania prettyness
    Classic Sonic is Lost Universe / Doreamon.

    Modern Sonic is Gurren Lagann / Kill la Kill.

    The character’s always taken after Anime in some form, but I argue those eras of Anime specifically are different NOT just visually, but thematicaly. You wouldnt tell the same kind of story in one with the other, it’d feel off / out of place. I remember people saying something closer to Classic Sonic’s design would have fit Lost World a whooole lot better, and I have to agree—except for the cutscenes, which was tonally off from the rest of the game’s artstyle and fit more with the modern blue blur.

    There’ll be some people who argue Sonic shouldn’t be dumb and edgy to begin with, but tbh that edge is kind of fun? If done right Sonic can be furry’s DMC because thats BASICALLY what they’re trying to do with the character.

    Except? imagine if that was the case with Classic Sonic’s design for everyone. With more cutesy, round proportions? I honestly think thatd be a way harder sell than with the lanky teenage artstyle. On the same note, all the modern character designs in the OVA would probably feel a bit out of place, same with Mania Adventures and other such stories. They really attempt to accomplish different things.

    so yeah nah I think splitting the character in 2 works if done right. They just uhhhhh dont do it right right now. Sonic appeals to a wide audience and thats kind of because he’s flexible, but part of that flexibility imo is *because* of the massive difference between pre-and-post SA2 sensibilities.

    (yes SA2 specifically; Adventure 1 on dreamcast serves as a good inbetween moment or even counterargument to my claims tbh. Has more a classic vibe to it while beginning to form the “modern” identity).

    Sidenote: my anime comparisons is a bit loaded and I realize that, because you could flip the script and point out Cowboy Bebop vs. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. What I’m trying to get at tho is a divide in priorities between “depth” and “flash,” mostly.