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

    19 vote(s)
    26.0%
  2. I hate it

    26 vote(s)
    35.6%
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

    9 vote(s)
    12.3%
  4. Doesn't matter either way

    19 vote(s)
    26.0%
  1. big smile

    big smile

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    About the character's different appearances in Sonic Adventure and the classic games: There was an interview with Yojiro Ogawa who directed Mega Collection Plus and he was asked about why the box had modern Sonic even though the games were classic Sonic. He explained that they use the same designs for consistency and to avoid confusing people.

    So up until they did the classic dimension split, there was no in-universe explanation for Sonic & Co changing their look. They always looked the same way.

    Iizuka's made similar comments about the Chaos Emeralds changing their appearance. They might look different, but they are the same stones.

    The White Space bit was just a gag. I don’t think we're supposed to overthink it about how they got out. Two men with IQs of 300 would have worked something out. I doubt Sonic Team put any more thought into it than that.

    I sent in that question and even framed it so it would focus on the story, but Iizuka went for the boring real-world explanation. It was actually the second time I sent the question, as the first one got the reference to the Super Emeralds edited out, so Iizuka just replied saying all the emeralds are the same.

    The question was later brought up in this interview, and at least Hoshino tried to vaguely ground the disappearance in the story, by suggesting that they had mysteriously disappeared. But yeah, Iizuka's response is a good example of how they don’t put in as much thought into this stuff as we do.

    An interesting difference is that DC comics will at least say a change has happened. But with Sonic, it's more vague. Like if you didn’t follow Iizuka's interviews, you wouldn't know that the modern games had been changed to be put into two worlds.

    We know that Sonic Team are divided on a lot of the story aspects, so I wonder if the vagueness is to give them wiggle room if they later change their minds.

    Whenever a major change like this happens, it can take fan bases a long time to accept it. Back in the day, when SA2 used Robotnik, most of the fandom were adamant that it wasn't Eggman's surname. They came up with explanations about how Eggman was Geralds grandson from his mother's side. It's only 5 years later when Naka said an interview "U wrong fan boyz" (not an exact quote) that people accepted it.

    I am a fan of Power Rangers. For the first 18 years, all the 18 seasons took place in one dimension. But then (around the time of Sonic Colors funnily enough) the writers got lazy and started putting them in different dimensions (even for gag endings). At first the Ranger fandom would come up with reasons as to how the word "dimension" doesn't mean "dimension" and explaining it all away, but it started happening so much on the show that fans just accepted it. Originally the Power Rangers could only travel during dimensions during times of great emergency, but now they pop around more easily than using Skype and the civilians of different dimensions know about each other and their histories and it's all just accepted even though it's dumb.

    With Sonic we've only had Forces refer to the classic dimension (well Runners did as well but no one played that). As more games do it, I think it will be easier for people to accept it (until ST change their minds and it all changes again!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  2. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Actually, it resulted in me dropping the series after watching them since the day I was born (almost literally, I apparently watched the screen when it was on after I was brought home). I dislike stupid changes and refuse to blindly accept them.
     
  3. big smile

    big smile

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    Well, you got out just in time, because it's been 10 years of suck since then (and now it's rumored to be going animated....)

    But I suppose that's the nice way of Iizukia's approach: because it's so vague, you can treat the games however, you want. For example, there's nothing explicitly mentioned in-game, so you could totally tie all the games together into a single timeline. You couldn't do that with most of these other franchises that make these major changes.
     
  4. Wildcat

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    I agree making them separate dimensions is dumb. If they wanted to use the alternate dimensions thing they should have create an actual alternate Sonic world where things are actually different in appearance and events. Something legitimately “bizarro” in contrast to our Sonic.

    Simply taking Classic Sonic and his events and making them an alternate dimension is not enough and just takes away from Modern Sonic’s history. The only real difference is the Classic characters are cuter and shorter. Otherwise their lives are pretty much the same.

    In my mind Classic Sonic will always be the same character and Modern is just older. I mentioned that in another thread.

    However I do think it’s probably something that can be easily ignored. Generations treated them as 1 character and in the case of Forces/Mania you can easily go with your own explanation, right? Illusions, time travel, something.

    Unless both versions keep crossing over (cause then it’s like...ok that’s a lot of paradox fuel even for fan explanation) Im not sure what the games could do to force us into accepting them as different dimensions. That might be how they see it, for now at least, but what’s really stopping us from continuing to think of it as all 1 thing?

    Am I missing something concrete? I’ve played all the mainline games and others of course.
     
  5. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Well again, the Japanese story only says he's from another world, and Rivals 2 establishes that different time periodss are called worlds. But the intent is still definitely dimension split.
     
  6. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Did we travel through time somehow or space maybe? Member
    Can we pleeease stop talking about time travel/different dimensions/et cetera? No? Uh ok...

    Sonic has fans of all ages. I think we can all agree on that. This is part of the reason why it's so difficult to determine what's canon and what's not. It always depends on whom you're talking to. '90s kids were still too young to bother about such things as canon, lore and whatnot and simply saw him as Sega's cool new mascot, while others were already completely immersed into fan culture. A high percentage of young fans didn't even know such things existed! What does that mean? There are multiple ways to enjoy the Sonic fandom, and that's perfectly OK. Believe whatever you want.
     
  7. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    ...*looks up at the title of the thread:*
    Opinions on The Split Timeline Theory

    It's... it's kind of the point of the thread?

    Even then, my points are that the continuity can be kept intact without sacrificing anything. It's not like we need deep lore, all we need is for the games to not contradict one another. And there are people that look into things like that, as you said, there are multiple ways people enjoy the Sonic fandom. Am I wrong to enjoy reading about the lore and backstory, but get annoyed when said lore is forced into a nosedive suddenly and for literally no reason?
     
  8. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Did we travel through time somehow or space maybe? Member
    Understood, sorry. :eyebrow:
     
  9. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

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    I’ve said this sort of thing before and no one seems to agree but I’ll say it again: You guys are thinking about the “timeline” far more seriously than SEGA themselves think about it. There’s no timeline - it’s intentionally vague because SEGA themselves haven’t defined it. They just do things like “hey let’s depict Sonic in an anthros-only world in the next game!!” and not think about any implications it would have on the “canon”.

    I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with SEGA’s choice to de-emphasize the continuity after Sonic 06, I’m just saying you guys are trying to find explanations for things that weren’t ever intended to be explained to begin with.
     
  10. Starduster

    Starduster

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    This series doesn’t need a split timeline. Zelda ended up with one because the world presented in the games ended up radically different with three mutually exclusive outcomes. There’s nothing logistically stopping there being a linear path from Sonic 1 to Sonic Forces.

    Doctor Who has already solved this problem by saying “the timelines are out of sync” whenever more than one of the Doctor or Master/Missy are together. While there are fragments lingering in the subconscious in general the events are only retained by the most present version so the audience can witness the full story from their perspective.

    There’s nothing stopping the Sonic series from using this hand wave in order to have infinite adventures between Sonic 4 and Sonic Adventure with Mania being one of them. The designs honestly don’t matter to much in this regard because we all accept that they’re visual representations and can suspend our disbelief given the context and medium of Sonic. As has been stated, split timelines hinder more than they help.
     
  11. BlackHole

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    Considering the mainlines are actually very easy to figure out, I'd say the continuity was fairly good.

    Sonic the Hedgehog: first game.
    Sonic the Hedgehog CD: was stated to be between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2: introduces the Death Egg.
    Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: concludes the Death Egg plot.
    Sonic Adventure: directly references the Little Planet and Angel Island 'crises'.
    Sonic Adventure 2: directly references the events in Station Square.
    Sonic Heroes: brings Shadow back from the ending of Sonic Adventure 2.
    Shadow the Hedgehog: continues Shadow's amnesia plot from Sonic Heroes.
    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): Shadow works for G.U.N., which if I recall correctly the G.U.N. Commander offers in the Shadow the Hedgehog Hard Mode. I may be mistaken, but it otherwise continues his plot from that game.
    Sonic Unleashed: No continuity ties, but doesn't interfere with the continuity of the prior games. Humans exist, Shadow the Hedgehog is referenced as a potential answer in a quiz, etc.

    The timeline is fairly straight forward until the Modern Era, that's when the problems arise. It's not so much SEGA didn't care as much as modern SEGA don't care. Whenever I see people saying things like "Oh, SEGA have never cared" all I can think is "No, they did have a baseline interest before 2010. You're the one not interested in it."

    And the latter is fine, you don't have to be interested nor care. Just stop acting like SEGA were doing things like putting Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles on a different plane of existence to Sonic Adventure since the start: it's quite clear the series did have a consistent continuity before Iizuka's reign stepped in and now we've got three worlds that no one is sure what the hell is what.
     
  12. Chaos Rush

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    I’m not sure if your post was directed at me or not, but since I did state that SEGA doesn’t care about the timeline, I should’ve specified that I meant after Sonic 06, which I did actually mention in my post:
    Anyhow I definitely agree that there was a clearly defined timeline all the way up to Sonic 06, but I’m also saying that after that it’s intentionally very loosely defined, and they themselves don’t have explanations for the contradictions in the continuity. And should they have to? If they want to depict Sonic in a more Mario-style approach where the near non-existent continuity is limited to one-liner references to past games, then more power to them. Just make the games good, continuity or not.
     
  13. BlackHole

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    Loosely defined being "we're going to make it absolutely clear Sonic Mania is an alternate universe through the manual, Sonic Forces referring to dimensional barriers breaking when Classic Sonic shows up, and release a book stating that Classic Sonic in Sonic Generations was from an alternate universe."

    Edit: Sorry, my apologies was cut out for some reason: Sorry, I misread your post. I had mistakenly thought you were saying SEGA never cared.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  14. Chaos Rush

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    Directly contradicting the previous (or two) games ago sounds pretty loosely defined to me. My whole point was that they adjust things as they see fit without caring about whether or not it contradicts what was previously established, so that they can tell the story that they wanted to tell for that particular game.
     
  15. BlackHole

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    That just sounds like no continuity to me, or forcing a change that actually affects the entire series.
     
  16. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Chaos emeralds: each island has its own emeralds.
    Classic Sonic: was from the past in Generations, but the act of Classic Sonic being in Generations means he's no longer the same as Modern Sonic, therefore from a different dimension when he reappears in Forces.
    Book that disagrees: don't give a shit.
     
  17. BlackHole

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    The book that disagrees got the information directly from SEGA, so...
     
  18. I really couldn't care about a timeline. I just want the games to be good :)

    If anything, trying to work one out collectively between all the games hurts the series, imo.
     
  19. Chaos Rush

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    Well yeah, that’s the whole point I’m trying to make. There’s “no continuity” in the sense that it doesn’t align with the average western fan’s interpretation of the concept of continuity, if that makes sense.

    I’ve seen a similar discussion come up with other series, don’t quote me on this but basically it seems that Western fans concept of “continuity” is very different from Japanese fans, as Western fans view of it is heavily influenced from Silver age Marvel/DC comics, as this single long ongoing thing where everything has to fit in perfectly and if a contradiction is found it needs to be immediately explained, while Japanese fans and game creators don’t view it like that and instead it’s a more loose concept, and doing things like depicting a character in a world that contradicts rules established in a previous work isn’t a huge issue because each new work is almost like a soft-reboot in a way. (And doing these “soft-reboots” doesn’t mean they’re forbidden to do occasional one-liners referencing/retconning something from a previous work)
     
  20. BlackHole

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    And yet, the Classic > Adventure Eras had one perfectly fine.

    The reason I dropped Power Rangers when they shifted to different universes for each time is because when I see a bad idea being used, I conclude that some idiot has gotten into power and is altering things on a whim, so I don't stick around to watch these bad ideas will play out. Apparently, I dodged a bullet with Power Rangers.

    Considering doing the same with Sonic the Hedgehog. These were the first games I ever played and completed, I'm not going to watch someone who doesn't care beyond "well the kids buy it!" tank the series through bad ideas because "the kids will buy it!"