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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.

  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    IIRC, the S4E2 plot stated that Little Planet was approaching Sonic's world as the story began. So it probably would have eventually entered its atmosphere if Eggman hadn't captured it and turned it into his new Death Egg.

    When it's not within the planet's atmosphere, it likely orbits in space. This is consistent with the SCD manual, which describes it as "a small, yet beautiful star" that comes to the sky above Never Lake once a year, implying that most of the time it looks like a star in space. This also implies that it orbits the sun rather than the Earth, otherwise the manual would have called it a moon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
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  2. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I’m not sure why but, having never consciously thought about it, I always assumed it’s cycle of appearance and disappearance for a month every year was the planet phasing in and out of sync with Earth’s time, due to the power of the Time Stones and being the miracle planet. I think this is probably because of the ambiguity of the ending in terms of exactly what Little Planet doing. I doubt we as players are meant to think on it too much but the visuals of both of CD’s endings could be interpreted a few ways, either supporting or conflicting with the idea of Little Planet “phasing”.
     
  3. shilz

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    Never really thought about it but Sonic CD and Lost World do share the unfortunate worldbuilding... failure?... That is not actually showing what regularly inhabits their settings. There's supposed to be some kind of life on Little Planet, right? And then we're told by secondhand word of God that Zeti are supposed to exist beyond just the 6 we've been stuck with... But the only real signs of life are some incidental environmental showcases and the presumably foreign animals that get brought to either place.
     
  4. Pengi

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    The Little Planet's animals would be native to it. Eggman doesn't use them for his robots in Sonic CD, but he does scare them away with Metal Sonic holograms.
     
  5. shilz

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    Right. I forgot the seed thing.
     
  6. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    - So now that the new Tailstube is out I feel like it’s worth asking, What did Eggman mean by GUN being "put in their place"? Were they destroyed? If so Were they reformed after Forces? It would be a shame for them to be disbanded forever off screen

    - That's to be revealed, I guess. Point is: everyone was asking where was GUN during the Eggman war and the answer is he beat them. To what degree? We don't know, but at least we have some answer now.

     
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  7. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Oi Raphael, I did the maths for you: I have done this with some specifications in mind:

    1. I will be looking at the smallest timeframes possible, where any vague timeframes are noted I will check the definition and assume the smallest number based on this.
    2. I will take the levels skylines as evidence of time passing where it is clear. I will note any instances where it is unclear and possibly may be an extra day, but will otherwise not count it as inconclusive and seeking the shortest length of time possible.
    3. I will only address the mainline games for this instance, though I am perfectly happy to proceed back to the portables.

    Now, let's proceed:

    Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive)
    Takes place over the course of two days and a single night: evidenced when night occurs for Star Light Zone.

    Min. Length: 2 days, 1 night.


    Sonic the Hedgehog CD
    Time travel makes gauging this one tricky, but if we assume linearity overall, and time travel running on San Dimas time, it takes place over three days and two nights: Nights are Tidal Tempest Zone and Stardust Speedway.

    No indication of relation between titles in the manual, so unknown length of time.

    Min. Length: 3 days, 2 nights.


    Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)
    Takes place over the course of two days and one night: night is Casino Night Zone. There may be a further night, Metropolis Zone, depending on how you interpret Oil Ocean's sky, but minimum of two days, one night.

    Manual does not have any details about time between games, but does mention a few days pass between Sonic landing and his noticing Tails following him: few, a small number of. A later afternoon has Tails find the tornado, this leads into the game itself: no time frame, but it doesn't say he finds it that afternoon nor the following day, so outside the couple window.


    Few could be three to five days, assuming minimal times but including the unknown time frame between Sonic noticing and Tails discovering the Tornado, which has no time frame, only one afternoon, perhaps the manual story takes place over a week: three days for Sonic to notice Tails, four more for Tails to find the Tornado one afternoon.

    Min. Length of story: 1 week, 2 days, 1 night.
    Min. Length of game: 2 days, 1 night.


    Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
    Takes place over the course of two days, one night: Carnival Night Zone is the night. Another night might occur while the cast are underground during Sandopolis Zone and Lava Reef Zone, depending on how you take the sky of Sandopolis Zone Act 1, but can not confirm.

    Manual is unclear on how long it takes the Death Egg to fall, only that when the manual begins discussing it, it's now beginning to.


    Windii translates this next part as a few, the official translation as many, may have to look into that, either way gonna use Windii here:


    Referring back to the prior few definition, between three to five days between the crash and Sonic and Tails realising what's happened. Manual later mentions:


    Just to make sure no confusion arises, Sonic & Knuckles' manual confirms it taking place in the same time frame, no possible delays:


    So assuming minimal times, three days between the crash and Sonic flying off to deal with Robotnik.

    Min. Length of story: 5 days, 4 nights.
    Min. Length of game: 2 days, 1 night.


    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
    Takes place over the course of 2 days, the night being (what else?) Casino Street Zone.

    Can't see the website or a manual to gather information from, mot the Steam Page says is the following:


    But this only shows it follows that. So can not discern as no information.

    Min. Length of game: 2 days, 1 night.


    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal

    Same as above as basically the same, takes place over the course of 2 days, the night being Casino Street Zone.

    Min. Length of game: 2 days, 1 night.


    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
    Takes place over the course of two days and a night, nights are Sylvania Castle Zone Act 2, Act 3 and White Park Zone.

    Apparently the game takes place directly after Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, though can't source this as, again, no manual or website. Considering Metal Sonic doesn't run into Sonic, nor does Robotnik seem to be mid-fight while reviving Metal Sonic, it can be assumed as one continuous series of events. Since Episode Metal sees Sonic and Tails fly past, and Sylvania Castle Act 1 is sunset, I assume that's the same day.

    Min. Length of game: 2 days, 1 night.
    Min. Length of story: 5 days, 4 nights.

    Extra Note: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II should be taking place at least 11 months after Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The Little Planet leaves at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, suggesting that the month has elapsed, while in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II it's arrived for it's month long visit.


    Sonic Adventure
    Takes place over the course of four days and four nights. Nights being the Chaos 0 boss fight (and Knuckles' opening cutscene), Casinopolis, Speed Highway and Final Egg in Sonic's campaign, and the Hot Shelter for Gamma, which takes place the following day. There may be a couple of extra days, however, which I will not but otherwise suggest take place within the days for minimum length:

    E-102 Gamma's opening level, which may take place prior to Sonic and Knuckles' openings at night, since the Egg Carrier takes off during: we don't know if Robotnik keeps returning to the Final Egg for refuelling and repairs, though.
    Super Sonic's story, which might take place another day following the conclusion of the plot. We don't see a day transition, though, so may take place when Sonic and Tails reconvene and talk at the end of their campaigns.

    The manuals don't appear to mention further days, but don't have an overall translation available.

    Min. Length of game: 4 days, 4 nights.


    Sonic Adventure 2
    Takes place over the course of three days and four nights. Fortunately, the game timestamps itself, so it gives us a pretty accurate timeframe.

    No given timeframe between the games, and no greater timeframes beyond the events of the ARK 50 years ago.

    Min. Length of game: 3 days, 4 nights.


    Sonic Heroes
    Takes place over the course of three days and two nights. Amusingly, Team Sonic's letter is actually missing a day: the letter says they have three days to stop Robotnik's new ultimate weapon, but after a single night, Casino Park, as they head down the Rail Canyon, Tails tells them they have 24 hours. They need a further night through Hang Castle to get to the Egg Fleet, which has launched at the end of Rail Canyon. Apparently, it took Tails and Knuckles a full day to track down Sonic...

    No indication of length between games.

    Min. Length of game: 3 days, 2 nights.


    Shadow the Hedgehog
    Takes place over the course of four nights and three days: the newspaper in the opening cutscene gives us this timeframe, saying the Black Comet is due in four days, which occurs in the Last Story, where a newspaper notes the Black Comets approach that evening, then turns to the evening sky. The sun appears to be setting in the opening cutscene, suggesting evening: Westopolis and the surrounding levels further this, so assumed has ended and evening in progress by the start of the game.

    No details of length of time of other games, but the Black Arms visited 2000 years ago and left ruins.

    Random Trivia: people think it's a plothole that the Black Arms didn't simply collect the Chaos Emeralds 2000 years ago, but consider: there was a barrier the Echidna could not pass, and then Chaos...

    Anyway:
    Min. Length of game: 3 days, 4 nights.


    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Time Travel makes this tricky. However, based on what I can see on as linear a timeline in the present world as possible, the game takes place over three days and two nights:

    • Silver and Blaze arrive on the day prior to the ceremony
    • Sonic arrives that night and protects Princess Elise, though she's kidnapped, while Shadow assault Robotnik's White Acropolis Base, which explains why Robotnik doesn't confront Shadow, he's busy assaulting Soleanna at the time.
    • The next day arrives, Sonic chases and manages to retrieve Elise: Silver fights Sonic, resulting in Robotnik recapturing Elise.
    • That night, Sonic chases Robotnik to the White Acropolis, with Silver in pursuit. Silver can't find them, as they've been sent to the future, so doubles back.
    • Sonic and friends return the next day and chase the Radical Train: the rest of the events proceed throughout the third day.
    A G.U.N. soldier mentions Shadow took a test a while ago, but nothing definitive (Japanese original: English translation changed this to years, causing confusion), suggesting a good amount of time has passed since Shadow the Hedgehog, but nothing to gauge with.

    Min. Length of game: 3 days, 2 nights.


    Sonic Unleashed
    This one was a tricky one, as you have control over the days in-game. However, using two speedruns to see the absolute most efficient route, the minimum length of time this game would take is ten days and ten nights, plus one for the ending credits.

    The bulk of the adventure takes place over a week: starting at night (evidenced by the Werehog in the opening plus Sonic falling into the shadowed half of the Earth), the final stage before Eggmanland, the second Tornado Defence game, shows Sonic in the day time at the start. Based on the amount of needed transitions in a glitchless Eggmanland Speedrun, this single level takes place over three days.

    That is one Hell of an amusement park...

    Of course, this is guesswork based on optimised routes and the assumption of no rest or minimal rest, so may not be completely accurate, but this is my finding.

    Min. Length of game: 10 days, 10 nights.
    Min. Length of story: 11 days, 10 nights.


    Sonic Colours
    Takes place over the course of a single day: Sonic and Tails sneak in the day prior to the opening day, the planet does not appear to darken for night, and when the Wisps drop him off, it's still day. As I'm assuming as little time as possible, this would have it take place over a single day as a result.

    Min. Length of game: 1 day


    Sonic Generations
    Time travel involved, so tricky, but as it's a void of time and both Sonics are turned to where they are, I will assume the amount of time 'passed' is however long the party lasts. As no change in sky colour, assuming a single day, if that.

    Min. Length of game: 1 day


    Sonic Lost World
    Takes place over the course of four days and three nights: the sun sets as you fight Zazz in Windy Hill Zone Act 4, a second night follows during Frozen Factory Zone Acts 2 and 3, then a third night during Silent Forest Zone Acts 2 and 3.

    No details on prior games to assess how long since.

    Min. Length of game: 4 days, 3 nights


    Sonic Forces
    Hohohooooooboy, this one...

    Gameplay wise, the bulk of the game takes place over the course of five days and four nights:

    Day 1 sees the cast hijack a shuttle from the Chemical Plant and Classic Sonic appear:
    Stages 2 and 3

    Night 1 sees the gang retrieve Sonic from the Death Egg and Egg Gate, evidenced by the blacked out planet with the sun on the other side, and Stage 3 prior being a sunset.
    Stages 4, 5 and 6.

    Day 2 just sees Sonic and the Rookie assault the Egg Pyramid.
    Stage 7.

    Night 2 sees Sonic pass through the Luminous Forest as it's carpet bombed and fight Infinite once more.
    Stages 8 and 9.

    Day 3
    Classic Sonic passes through Green Hill and fights Robotnik, who threatens that in three days he will wipe everyone out. The Rookie travels through Park Avenue at sunset.
    Stages 10, 11 and 12.

    Night 3
    Classic Sonic and the Rookie investigate the Mystic Forest.
    Stages 13 and 14.

    Day 4
    Sonic passes through Sunset Heights, ironically at sunrise. The Rookie travels through Metropolis and fights Infinite.
    Stages 15, 16 and 17. Possibly Stages 18 and 19.

    Night 4
    Unclear when this occurs, but most likely Stages 18 and 19, where Classic Sonic goes through the Chemical Plant (sky obscured so can not verify) and when Sonic and the Rookie fight Metal Sonic at dawn/sunset. Otherwise, cast must rest up for the next day.
    Possibly Stages 18 and 19.

    Day 5
    Robotnik's deadline is reached during the final push. Rest of the game takes place on this date.
    Stages 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.

    Furthermore, Sonic adds a day via the opening level, Green Hill Zone, and Episode Shadow adds a further day and night, during Shadow's first fight with Infinite and his night assault on Robotnik's base prior to that.

    Now here comes the fun part: there are several large skips in the story throughout this game.

    There's the commonly known six months after Sonic's defeat and capture. Episode Shadow adds a further month before, when Shadow and Omega first encounter Infinite (masked, anyway), and it jumps further back by several months: it is unclear how long, but it's longer than a couple of months at least.

    Assuming minimal timeframes, I'd note this as 3 months. Thus, 10 months pass over the course of the story. There's a part in the levels where Rouge notes three months have passed since Omega was defeated, but that's just illusionary, Shadow is still one month prior to Robotnik taking over.

    No mention of timeframes regarding other games, so nothing further to add to that.

    So:

    Min. Length of game: 7 days, 5 nights
    Min. Length of story: 10 months, 7 days, 5 nights.

    So the total length of time the series has taken place over the course of at least:

    21 months, 44 days and 36 nights.

    You might think the maths is off, but I've included Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Episode Metal into the overall 11 months between Sonic the Hedgehog CD and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, due to that being a measurable time frame where all those events take place within, unlike Sonic Forces' events which take place around said time skips.

    tl;dr for those not willing to go through my paragraphs of research, Sonic's adventures have taken place over the course of 21 months, 44 days and 36 nights. This is for the mainline titles only and is generally assuming as small a timeframe as possible, without any length of time between the games unless otherwise noted.

    I don't think they'll add more, but I can look to checked the side games and add those to the overall amount of time. But I figured I'd advise you of the mainline series length of time to show how long Sonic and Robotnik have been fighting thus far.

    Also, no wonder Sonic's sleeping half the time: he keeps pulling all-nighters to stop Robotnik...
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  8. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Doesn't Sonic 1 take place over the course of a day?

    About S3K, I get the impression that Launch Base is supposed to show a similar progression. 1st act being daytime, 2nd act being evening (purple sky), and finally nighttime arriving during the boss, with the sky darkening. Although S3K screws that up in Sonic and Tails' campaign by leaving the boss' last phase out.
     
  9. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    Did you actually say "Oi"?

    That was very good. Though it looked like most of the hard work didn't matter that much in the end, since 21 months are counted for only 2 games while the rest of them occupies 2 months at most - and considering several durations were speculated, the length of these other games could be disregarded.

    Rounding the calculations, we have 1 year from Sonic 1 to Sonic 4, a few months from Sonic Adventure to Sonic Lost World, and almost 1 year during the whole Forces - 2 years in total. Sonic had a birthday at some point between Sonic 3K and Sonic 4, and another during Generations.
     
  10. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    The outside sky of Scrap Brain Zone is orange, and the Green Hill Zone cutscene is day, so I'd say two days.

    Oh, no, that's morning, but the Death Egg reaches the upper atmosphere before crashing down again. Even Sonic the Hedgehog 3, standalone, has the sky turn back to blue as you fall. But reasonable assessment.



    It still gives us a base estimate on all the games if needed for whatever reason. Really, the only one that is speculation is Sonic Unleashed, the rest have active time changing in-game to back it up.

    Or was aboard the Death Egg for his second one during Sonic Forces.

    Yes, yes I did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  11. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I think it's over a 24-hour period - it ends at roughly the same time it started the previous day.

    Alternatively, a day passes between e.g. Seaside Hill and Grand Metropolis. You noted that these are minimums - there could be more time between levels unaccounted for.
     
  12. Roller

    Roller

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    Impressive stuff, thanks for doing that tally.

    I think it's folly to take the hourglasses in Eggmanland as literal day changes, though. It's intentionally smogged over and artificially lit so nobody can tell what time it is, fuelled with Dark Gaia energy, that's a direct part of the final gauntlet's design. That's one twilight at most, with the boss gauntlet following that of course being night to morning. It barely changes the total because of the ridiculous spans attached to Forces alone, but.
     
  13. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Possible, though that would still put it at two days and a night (say, 2pm the first day, and returns 2pm the second, as an example).

    Indeed, that's a possibility, or between the opening and Seaside Hill.

    The hourglasses are also used in the hub world for the same purpose. Since I don't see Sonic getting hosed with Dark Gaia Energy, I'm assuming it's the sun setting as Sonic travels the level. An alternative take would be the Dark Gaia Energy levels are fluctuating, but as it's an hourglass used and they're established to be changing the day to night and vice versa, I'm going to maintain the logic from the hubs and assume days are passing in the hellscape.

    Yeah, I've no idea why they've attached full months to Sonic Forces. And that's the minimum, it could be around a year and two months, if we go the opposite way for the Several Months...
     
  14. Starduster

    Starduster

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    The hourglasses are artificial game elements that do not change the time by natural means. Perhaps it's possible that, if they exist within canon, they simply affect the lunar cycle and such? At any rate, I don't see how time can pass either way if they are canon since what'd be the point of them if you still need time to pass after activating them? Not sure if I'm adequately conveying my point here, but what I'm trying to say is that perhaps the hourglasses have no actual bearing on the amount of time it takes for Unleashed to unfold.
     
  15. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    They are most certainly a gameplay mechanic that only exist for the player.

    I don't mean the hourglasses are there, as much as they represent the time reaching that point in-universe, basically, or Sonic otherwise waiting for that point in time. It's fine if you might suggest another reason or method for the change, but as they're using the hourglasses, that's what I'm assuming based on all other instances of their use..

    And it's not like we've not had time periods take shorter than their live counterparts: I don't think it takes us 24 hours to reach the Final Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive).
     
  16. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Ah, I see. I misinterpreted your argument as time passing as a result of the hourglasses as opposed to the hourglasses being a representation of that process. At any rate, given Eggman has (at least some) control of Dark Gaia and built Eggmanland using its power, I think there's a valid case to be made that it has a uniquely strange atmosphere that makes the time of day nigh indiscernible and may be able to induce transformations into the Werehog. It would be very much in line with Eggman to screw with Sonic by forcing him to switch back and forth like that.
     
  17. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    That's fair, but I'm going with what I see in the game, and the game has the time passage hourglasses.

    It would've been interesting had they programmed a room that filled with purple gas and you emerge as the Werehog, and Sonic 'purifies' later on for the Hedgehog stages, but alas...
     
  18. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    I might be miscalculating, but no?
    I mean, his "first" birthday (read: his first birthday during the events of all games, not when he was 1 year old) must have happened sometime between Sonic 1 and Sonic 4, because that took a whole year. Of course, assuming Little Planet always appears at the same month, which is more likely.
    And he had another birthday during Generations, which cannot be the same birthday above because Generations happens after Sonic 4. Generations can't be his first birthday.
    Am I missing something?
     
  19. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Me misspeaking, I meant or on the Death Egg for his third one. Actually, using Sonic Generations as a center point...

    Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive) is at least 1 year and 1 day before Sonic Generations. Sonic Forces' bulk takes place at least 10 months and 4 days after. Sonic's about due for another birthday celebration...

    I wonder if I'll have to use the same glitchless speedrun assessment I did for Sonic Unleashed for Sonic Frontiers...

    Also, if you want me to do the other games, should I cover them by subseries or just "Game Gear Portables", "Adventure Era Portables" and "Sidegames"?
     
  20. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    The portables (Advance series, Rivals series, Rush series, etc) would be nice, even if they fall into the "doesn't matter that much, it's still around 2 years". Just throw them together with the mainline games.

    About the Game Gear games, arcade games and mobiles games, you do only if you have enough fun doing it (which I know you do). But we barely know if they are canon, or if they are canon in the same timeline.