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The Sonic the Hedgehog Continuity Thread of Love and Timelines

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by dredd, Jul 6, 2020.

Where do you stand on the split timeline?

  1. Makes sense

    32 vote(s)
  2. I hate it

    65 vote(s)
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

    20 vote(s)
  4. Doesn't matter either way

    58 vote(s)
  1. dredd


    Mod Edit:

    Hey there.

    I figured since a topic about Sonic continuity started right after a topic about Sonic continuity ended, might be smart to merge them together and just have a topic about Sonic continuity. The first thread posed the question of "How would you fix Sonic's continuity?" which naturally delved into the discussion about continuity in general, if it was fine or if it was not. The second, which was specifically about the idea of a timeline split, also delves into areas of broader canon and continuity. So, figure'd instead of eventually getting more and more threads about very specific bits, there should be one broad thread?

    Deep discussion on what Sonic continuity is naturally brings in aspects of all sides, so. Yeah. It's fine don't worry about it. This is Retro, king of the mega threads.

    Original post below...


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2020
  2. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Improving my art and studying Japanese
    As an Adventure fanboy, methink the obvious option is to keep everything up to Shadow and uncanonize the rest:V. I know the writing in Shadow isn’t the best but it as some cool moments overall and the alien backstory doesn’t bother me too much.
    At least get rid of Colours onward, that shit blows.
  3. big smile

    big smile

    Sonic Team pretty much have fixed the continuity: Starting with Colours, every game is it's own self-contained story with a few past reference easter eggs for the long term fans, which means going forwards there's going to be less cross-game continuity issues.

    Classic and Modern have been split into separate dimensions and Modern has been further split into Earth and "Animal" worlds. This might not be what fans want but it does clear up some of the issues of the past.

    Then they also addressed a lot of the problem plot issues in Runners. Sure, there's still some messy bits, but most of those are from past titles which are over a decade old by now. It's only the hardcore fans that still care about why StF has 8 emeralds or if Sonic CD comes before or after Sonic 3.

    The real problem is that the stories of new games aren't very good. Starting with Colours, the stories have become simplified (probably to answer the criticisms of past stories being too convoluted). But they still give Eggman grand schemes which don't fit with the simplified storytelling.

    Often the game will start with Eggman doing something that presents high-risk danger. The story is then put on pause while the characters spend most of the interlevel cutscenes cracking jokes or trying to set up some conflict drama that is solved before it goes anywhere. And then at the final battle, everything is suddenly rushed to a resolution.

    They can't have it both ways. If they want simple stories, they need to tone down the setup. If they want to dramatic step-ups, then these need to play out over the course of the game.
  4. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    Honestly, canon is not as much a mess as people tend to make it out to be. There's a great Twitter account called @DailySonicLore (check him out, he's great!) that's made me realize that lore is still present and consistent in the franchise despite possible indications to the contrary. As such, I wouldn't change a thing.

    I am curious though, what retcons and inconsistencies are you seeing Dredd? Might be useful if we talked about them.
  5. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

    happy! :D Member
    Many a game.
    Of all the games, I would sweep under the rug only ShTH, because that game kinda ruined Shadow's personality and his backstory. Sonic 06 self-destructed, so whatever.
    So now we're left with the Modern (Sonic 1 through Forces) and Classic (Sonic 1 through Mania Adventures, with SA1 in the distant future) continuity, which are both sort of consistent with themselves. I'd leave that as it is.
  6. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    What is there to fix, exactly? The modern continuity for the most part follows the order of release (I put Sonic CD between 1 and 2, and Sonic 4 goes after 3K but before Adventure 1) and only seems to include console games. The classic continuity goes 1->CD->2->3K->Generations->Mania (Mania Mode)->Forces->Mania (Encore Mode). The problem people run into is trying to fit in the handheld and arcade games into the mix. Sega never seemed to reference any of them in the console games, so it's easy to write them off as non-canon spinoff fodder.
  7. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    Just ignore anything that doesn't run on a plain Mega Drive / Genesis, add Sonic Triple Trouble, and call it a day.
  8. RDNexus


    I stand for a reboot of the timeline, not just the franchise.
    Check ALL the games that had some degree of continuity to them, work on character backgrounds and plot locations & settings, and work a new, more concise and stable timeline from there.
    Is it that hard to achieve such a feat? xD

    I have two examples of that: Mortal Kombat and Crash Bandicoot.
    One of them remade the classic trilogy and is now ready to advance in that continuity.
    The other rebooted the continuity and tried to make it better from there. I think it worked.

    I think it's kinda clear what's the continuity line for "Classic" & "Modern" Sonic.
    Still, I'm still not happy with it's current look, hence yearning for a decent-to-good reboot.
  9. Josh


    It's easy: Just retcon everything that happened after I stopped being a kid. The stories became far less engaging and mature at that exact point, and they started trying to MAKE Sonic cool instead of just letting him be cool.
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  10. dredd


    Well, there's that part in Forces where Classic Sonic went from being from the past to another dimension.
  11. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    That can easily be explained by both a timeline split and the possibility of a mistranslation. Timelines a dimensions are somewhat inaccurately used interchangeably in fiction, but for all intents and purposes both can be true. I think a more general word was used in the Japanese script, but someone else would have to confirm.
  12. MarkeyJester


    A D V A N C E Resident Jester
    I think it's a little late to be rebooting or fixing anything, you've got too many fans of every corner.

    From a business point of view for SEGA, I think a reboot could be financially viable, even if somewhat unpopular, companies do it with films because it makes money, not necessarily because it's good (not implying it cannot be good by the way).
  13. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    DBZ rules: Future Trunks going back in time created an alternate timeline, separate from his own, but still close enough to travel between them. Classic Sonic getting sucked through time by the Time Eater did the same.
  14. Taylor


    By not caring. If a story needs a rigidly consistent continuity to work then it's probably a story not meant for the Sonic games. As long as the broad strokes are kept consistent it'll be fine (eg doesn't matter where chaos emeralds come from as long as they're kept as powerful artifacts)
  15. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I know a way to fix it: some Sonic fan becomes president of Sega and invests more money than advisable to look for the best people to be in charge of the franchise and puts them to work on good games at every level so we don't worry again about plotholes because the continuity the games need is in general quality, not some "fix" they could ruin later as well. Since what I just said is almost impossible, I see no possible fix; you know, Sonic Boom, as an alternate timeline, was some sort of reboot, and look at what happened.
  16. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    Not caring about continuity only goes so far if new Sonic games still insist that one exists, despite what they have being in contradiction of what came before. You cannot both insist on having episodic plots as in the Mario games, but then draw on past stories, locations, and character (arcs) that people are expected to know going in. I guess you can, but it just makes your writing look extremely half-assed and present your scribes as people who could not care less to pick one lane and stay there.

    If they really insist on having some sort of stable continuity then some extensive cleanup needs to be done. If not a total continuity sweep/reboot, some major broad strokes on what is (still) considered canon and what isn’t would have to be applied as well as some substantial retcons to have things make more sense. Either that or you just elect to blow up the continuity you have and insist there isn’t one; and whatever previous games that do follow on past games should not be taken seriously.

    Personally while I’m not a major stickler about canon (you can count me as among those who only focuses on the mainline console games; I really don’t bother with factoring the spinoff or handheld stuff into the canon), I still do prefer Sonic games following on each other than not. There’s probably more than a few changes I would make but the biggest one for me would be to eliminate things like “two worlds” and “only male hedgehogs can go super”. Policies like that which feel like solutions to problems that don’t actually exist. Arbitrary enforcements that needlessly complicate things and aren’t even demonstrated in the actual games themselves. The whole idea of segregating the Genesis/Millennium designs of Sonic and co. into different timelines and dimensions can get stuffed too for similar reasons. I really don’t believe different aesthetics for Sonic games is something that needs a canon explanation.
  17. LockOnTommy11


    In order to ‘fix’ the continuity, it has to be agreed as to what the continuity actually is.

    When that’s agreed, I think it will be found that the continuity doesn’t require any sort of fixing, it just needs to be continually fleshed out in a meaningful way to make the current games feel like more congruent with what came before - I’m really talking about the 3D titles.

    What SEGA should really do is ditch the classic and modern Sonic divergence, and make streamlines games going forward from Forces that can either be 2D or 3D without having to worry about timeline placement. There was a time when there were classic style games (Sonic Advance) alongside 3D games (Sonic Heroes) without the need to to separate the two in to distinct timelines or characters. If this were to happen, Sonic should be redesigned to be a perfect mix of classic and modern - slick but a little chubby still.
  18. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    I feel like there is one (cynical) advantage to the classic/modern split: People like me, who still love classic but are just fed up with what modern has been doing, can ignore the modern universe and just stick to the classic verse. Or at least cherry-pick the parts of modern that I still enjoy, like Adventure 1 and Generations, and dump the rest.
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  19. Frostav


    Everything past Heroes is retconned out of existence. Blaze and Silver remain, but now Blaze is actually from another dimension like she was supposed to be and Silver is just another inhabitant of the "main" world.

    The classic games took place in the same world. There was just a timeskip in between Mania (which now happens before SA1 and after S3&K) and SA1. This timeskip is several years in length--enough to justify why Sonic looks so different come SA1 (he got older) but also to provide a nice little buffer for any potential Mania sequels.

    Shadow is indeed a clone of the original made by Eggman, but has come to peace with that and no longer feels shackled to the legacy of the "real" Shadow, and now is mostly just a free agent. Also he doesn't work for GUN because that's REALLY DUMB GOD DAMMIT

    Infinite exists, but now as a trouble-making hoodlum-turned-mercenary for Eggman. Really, Eggman having a mobian ally (or at least business partner) is a good idea that I'm surprised not even the comics used that often. All of the weird emo shit is gone.

    That's a start.
  20. khabastos


    I also think the Classic and Modern split is a good idea. It would be a perfect solution if Sonic Team ditched the Classic elements from newer games. Remove the 2D sections, remove the Green Hills and Chemical Plants, etc. Make them truly feel like different universes.

    I don't care too much about canon. Shadow's alien origin is the dumbest thing for me and I don't need it to be retconned because it has virtually no impact on Shadow's character in Forces, for example. However, I do think a reboot would be a nice way to repurpose characters like Knuckles and Silver, which are fan favorites and can contribute a lot to the stories but have backstories that make it nonsensical for them to be there.

    I can make peace with their solution of self-contained games, though.