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)
    28.8%
  2. I hate it

    22 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

    8 vote(s)
    12.1%
  4. Doesn't matter either way

    17 vote(s)
    25.8%
  1. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

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    I never denied that (I've even said the exact same thing), nor did I mean to imply that every Japanese-made fictional work applies this "loose continuity" concept, just that it's not an issue if continuity isn't emphasized - for instance, Mario and Zelda (and that Zelda timeline thing was something they had to figure out after they made all those games without thinking too hard about where each one fits in), all I'm saying is that that's what SEGA has been doing with Sonic since 2008-ish. Don't hurt the messenger? Believe me, I'd rather have the Adventure-era style of actual continuity, I just don't see the point in trying to interpret the Roger-era Sonic games in the same manner when it's clear that they're not by design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  2. SuperSonicRider

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    I was trying to think of a way to sum this up shortly but this is perfect

    Also wanna point out my take that the "new" (i.e. Gens/Mania/Forces) classic Sonic being from another dimension/timeline/world (as pointed out earlier in the thread, sometimes works of fiction tend to use these words interchangeably) now doesn't mean that everything before Adventure doesn't happen to modern Sonic, which I think seems to be the one of the main hangups? It just means a new future is set for the classic Sonic that was pulled into Generations. Time travel in fiction inevitably gets pretty silly and messy, so I get why people dislike this.

    However, I'm kind of indifferent to it, and find that the way SEGA did this actually makes enough sense. The only thing is they never explicitly spell it out this way, but if modern Sonic is still familiar with the likes of Metal Sonic, Green Hill, and the Death Egg in modern games, then it's sort of implied that the classic stuff - except for Mania - still happens to him? I would guess that they probably set things up this way so that if they decide to make new classic Sonic games, they don't have to be bound by being prequels to Sonic Adventure and the rest of the modern games, which is what Sonic 4 tried to do
     
  3. big smile

    big smile

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    I think it's all relative. I've noticed that these days there's a certain fondness for the Adventure Era storytelling. But back in the day, the Classic & Adventure games were often regarded as a hot mess, especially the Shadow arc. And never mind continuity between games, SA2 was regularly roasted for not being able to keep continuity straight within a single game.

    I think now because we've had all the simplified storytelling of Sonic Colours and beyond, we can take a sense of pride that despite their flaws, at least the Classic/Adventure games had some passion and ambition in their storytelling.

    To be fair the different dimensions only happened twice (out of 26 seasons) and they established the different dimensions were in the same universe. And the first time, the separate dimension was done with good intentions. But yeah, "stupid show for stupid kids" does seem to underpin a lot of the thinking, which unfortunately seems to be the direction with the Sonic stories in the newer games.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  4. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Never said you did, just lamenting that Modern SEGA can't seem to do what SEGA did years ago.

    It's what's been suggested to be happening with that book. They removed the Classic Era stuff entirely and started with Sonic Adventure, which coupled with the Generations recap saying Classic Sonic was an alternate dimensional counterpart implies that the Classic Era did not happen.

    Easy fix they could have done: recap the events but use Modern Sonic artwork. But they didn't.

    Indeed. Which means they're going to keep using that thought process and no one's going to stop them, and the games will get worse and worse as time goes on. Shorter levels: can't let the kids get too tired with them. Easier gameplay, can't let the kids get frustrated with the controls. Etcetc.
     
  5. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    Honestly, I would argue this until I was blue in the face and I do still think there's some truth to it - SEGA don't care that much about continuity.

    I will say, however, that David The Lurker's writings on the subject have actually swayed me a bit. I'm far more tolerant of the idea now and I do think this is one of those things that can be explained.

    "Another world" or "dimensions" can be used to refer to time and, as pointed out by Black Hole and myself several posts back, this has actually been the case before in this very series and to me, that feels conclusive enough. We can keep saying Classic is 'past' Sonic from some indeterminate point depending on his appearance.
     
  6. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    So in Generations Eggman found a godlike being that controls time, travels back in time to meet himself, Sonic and Tails from the past, he recognizes these three guys as being who they are supposed to be (including himself), but after he was defeated and escaped the white space he discovers that they are not from the past, but from another dimension. Thus Classic Eggman, Classic Sonic and Classic Tails from this other dimension look exactly how Eggman, Sonic and Tails used to look in the past, and they face eachother on the same places, with the same enemies, but they are not the same guys.
     
  7. big smile

    big smile

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    Are you talking about the World of Sonic book? I haven't read the full book, but from what I have seen, it's super vague. It does say Classic Sonic comes from a different dimension, but I think it's too vague for it to confirm or deny that the events of Sonic 1 - K did or didn’t happen in the modern Sonic timeline.
     
  8. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    Even with the whole "another dimension" thing, I think the events of Sonic 1-K did happen in the modern Sonic timeline.

    Sonic Adventure makes reference to Sonic CD and Sonic 3K. If Sonic 3K happened, so Sonic 2 did as well.
    In Generations Sonic is familiar to Green Hill, which is from Sonic 1. Modern Tails knows Chemical Plant and also Sky Sanctuary, as he says "places and enemies from our past".

    Even if Tails and Eggman were wrong in Generations about time travel, these games happened.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  9. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I am. It starts with Sonic Adventure and makes no reference to the classic games.

    Honestly, I don't even know why they've split the Classic Era off. Like, what benefit does it give? Piss off the fans and ruin what precious little continuity you had in the first place?

    So, basically, Sonic Generations is about time travel. We get literally nothing to indicate anything about an Alternate Dimension, and the one person who would know, Robotnik, uses time terms.
     
  10. Linkabel

    Linkabel

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    I'm still wondering how Classic Tails made it to White Space in the first place? Considering we never see him get sent to it. :colbert:

    This whole subject is always a hard one in fandoms because there's always a disconnect between what fans think/speculate and what's really happening behind the scenes with the creators.

    I remember there was a Sonic stream where someone asks Tyson why CD wasn't on the elevator part of one of the trailers.

    And we didn't exactly get a clear answer, but the answer we got did make people speculate if there was something funny going on with CD.

    But that's where the disconnect happens. Is there a lore issue/mandate on why CD wasn't on the elevator, or were Tyson/Aaron just having fun with a production process where perhaps they just decided not to put it there because they just felt like not doing it?

    But that stream made me think if there is something lore wise going on with CD. Technically there are several Sonics in that adventure:

    A Sonic that goes into Little Planet.
    Several Sonics that are running throughout time.
    A Sonic that comes back from Little Planet.

    And the loop needs to keep continuing in order for Sonic to return. I hope this makes sense, but that story is happening but not happening at the same time. If we were on Never Lake we would see Sonic run into Little Planet and then immediately see an explosion and see Sonic return with Amy.

    It's really self contained because of its time traveling aspect.

    But is that the reason why CD wasn't on the elevator? The most likely answer is no. For all I know maybe they just went with the Genesis games because those are the games people recognize the most.

    And at the end of the day the elevator or the warp rings from the opening had nothing to do with the game's story.

    But it's both fun and frustrating to speculate as a fan on why these things happen.

    I bet once people the people that are in charge right now of Sonic Team or Sonic pillar leave or retired from the franchise new people are going to come with their new lore and story ideas.

    And the fans during that era are going to be speculating/debating about those new ideas and how it makes sense that Shadow is Sonic's dad.

    :ruby:
     
  11. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    CD wasn't on the elevator because it is artistically more pleasable to show 1-2-3-K-M than 1-CD-2-3-K-M or 1-2-3-K-CD-M.
     
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  12. Linkabel

    Linkabel

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    It is true that it's more clean that way, but my point was how fans started speculating on why it wasn't on the elevator when the trailer dropped, and that the answer we got didn't stop me or other people to speculate further.
     
  13. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Oh, sorry, I was so dumb I didn't notice that. [/sarcasm]
    Understand it? Yes. Have the necessary resources at hand to put something into action? Unless they used their clothing and sunglasses...
    And this is the goddamn issue, they made a gag as if it was harmless when the implications of being stuck there are so big. They don't want to think? Ok, then don't get surprised when someone else does and shows the level of shit you're doing. Of course, It's an anniversary game and can get a pass, but, then again, don't include it in the canon for Forces.

    Completely agreed with this, due to both things. As I see it, Mania team didn't do it better than Iizuka team usually does. The illusion thing would allow for a lot better explanation than reality warping, and using both Mania and Generations as a reference to why the black-eyed shortie is in Forces and they know him is botching everything. My headcanon says the ruby in Mania is just a tool for illusions too because that not only makes more sense to allow it into the canon, but the alternative is so absurd I don't want it in a classic game. I don't mind having the Eggmen out of white space somehow, but it could have indeed a great plot device to make a direct sequel that links games, and linking to that game wouldn't have been that bad in this "loose continuity" things since it's not like that game added stuff to the lore other than the ignorable time eater and white space stuff.

    When people want the games to be loosely connected, they pull off a Final Fantasy and use common elements on every game without interfering with the plots of previous games. First games in that franchise also used a loosely similar world map, so we could accept it was the same world in a different time or timeline without thinking it much more. And there's probably more examples we could put here

    tl;dr: What I won't never accept is bottom of the barrel continuity, be it loose or not. If you want to do that, go write some Tom & Jerry or the Simpsons, continuity is not required in that kind of shows.
     
  14. Crappy Blue Luigi

    Crappy Blue Luigi

    mighty is my son. thanks Member
    The obvious answer is that no game after Generations is canon because Eggman never found a way out of White Space.
     
  15. Pengi

    Pengi

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    The Classic Series games aren't necessarily hard canon to the Modern Series universe. However, the flashbacks and background lore established in the Modern Series universe would still be canon, until we are told otherwise.

    Modern Sonic has had adventures with Tails and Knuckles in the past. He rescued Amy from Metal Sonic on Little Planet. He saved Angel Island and destroyed the Death Egg. These are all canon because they have been shown or referenced in core Modern Sonic games.

    Did Sonic ever collect the Super Emeralds and become Hyper Sonic? Probably not. Does the Hidden Palace altar exist on Angel Island? Unknown. Was Amy 8 when she was kidnapped by Metal Sonic? No. Does Sonic have a friend named Mighty the Armadillo? No. These aspects now apply to the Classic Sonic universe.

    On the other end of the spectrum, people would theorise that Gerald's children changed their surname to Kintobor after his reputation was ruined. Then when the ROCC exploded...

    The Robotnik name is an interesting one though. Iizuka has talked about how they used the Adventure games to transition the name from Robotnik to Eggman, and since then they only call him Eggman. I think the last time the Robotnik name was used in-game was Sonic Chronicles, and before that probably Sonic Riders (Robotnik Corp.). Even as early as Sonic Battle, Eggman's grandfather was only being referred to as "Professor Gerald", a trend that continues into Sonic Channel's profiles and comics. Speaking of which, Eggman's own profile on Sonic Channel says that his real name is unknown! (Which aligns with Ohshima's thoughts on the matter.)

    Maybe with the success of the movie the pendulum will swing back a little. But it goes to show how fluid the series is with its rules.

    Agreed. Before this there was Knuckles (does he guard 7 Chaos Emeralds, the Master Emerald or both?), the Super Emeralds, aged up Amy Rose, the rebooted Team Chaotix, Eggman Nega's backstory change and so on.

    In the Mario fandom people are slowly getting used to the idea that the Koopalings are no longer Bowser's children. ("Shigeru Miyamoto: Our current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children. Bowser's only child is Bowser Jr., and we do not know who the mother is.")

    I think Sonic Team takes a similar approach of "This is the current story. The story used to be a bit different, but now we're going forward with this version.".

    I think I saw this somewhere before. Would anyone happen to have a screenshot or video clip?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  16. Sai Start Marker

    Sai Start Marker

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    I only like the "split/alternate timeline" thing as a way of keeping good games (1, CD, 2, 3, Mania) away from bad games (everything else). So, somewhere between "makes sense" and "it doesn't matter", I suppose.
     
  17. big smile

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    What's really weird is Eggaman Nega. In Rivals, he wants revenge on Eggman because Eggman has ruined the family name of Eggman with all his failures. Does this mean Robotnik isn't their surname?

    To be fair, a part of the problem is how vague Sonic Team are with these changes. The Super Emeralds are dropped, but have they been erased from S3K? It's not clear (especially with Hoshino's comments). Chaotix don’t know Eggman in Sonic Heroes, but Espio does, and Vector knows about Knuckles punches, so was their past erased (It's been cleared up with Iizukia's newer comments about Mighty only existing in Classic word, but back in the day it was a question mark). And then with Eggman Nega: Rush 1 came out first, where EN was from another dimension. Next was Rivals 1, where he's from the future. But then in Rush Adventure, he's back to another dimension. And then Rivals 2 came out last, where he's from the future again. Looking back we can theorise that the Rush games come first, but back in the day, it wasn't clear at all.

    It's his character profile:
    The Genesis-era Sonic, who collaborates with the modern Sonic in Sonic Generations.

    Here in Runners, it sounds like he's a separate character (Although it is vague), but in Generations, they didn’t phrase him like that.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply you were dumb.

    Eggman doesn't strike me as the type of person who wouldn't have some pocket tech on him. But also, white space contains fragments of the past. Granted, we didn’t see any fragments in the gag clip, but there must have been something somewhere (even after Sonic fixed time), so it's not like they had nothing to use to escape.
     
  18. Pengi

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    It struck me as odd at first too. But if Eggman has completely abandoned his birth name, it makes sense that he would pass the Eggman name onto a son, rather than Robotnik. His ego wouldn't allow otherwise!

    Amy and Espio don't acknowledge each other either, even though they were in the same fighting tournament. She certainly doesn't recognise Vector as the keyboardist in Sonic's band, which was still a little bit of a quasi-canon thing for a while. The biggest thing, I think, was that the trio's new characterisations and status quo didn't really align with what was in the Chaotix game manual. The idea of the Master Emerald pillar was completely dropped too.

    It must have been even more confusing in Japan, where the Rivals games weren't even released, and yet the descendant story became the canonical one used on Sonic Channel. Although I suppose that aspect of Eggman Nega would have been used in some of the Olympic games as well. It's definitely in the 2012 3DS edition: "Tails: He's Eggman's descendant from the distant future. Either way, he's bad news. He came back in time to make trouble, but I thought Sonic and Blaze stopped him for good..."
     
  19. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I was wondering when this was going to come up. The key distinction is Mario has always played fast and loose with any semblance of continuity outside of the RPGs. All of the Mario games are conceived and put out as standalone adventures. Even Galaxy 2, being a sequel to the original, basically just retold the story as an excuse to explore new gameplay mechanics. By and large Mario as a series has never been about building up a world, instead using the world and its aesthetics as set dressing for the playgrounds the devs crafted. Sure, certain characters and conventions will stick around if they prove popular and explorable, but any mainline Mario game could be the first one.

    Contrast this with Sonic, who's had an ongoing story since day one. Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog and even Sonic Generations all have story elements that require players to be familiar with the games that preceded them to fully contextualise said elements. This is why chopping and changing the continuity doesn't work anywhere near as cleanly as in Mario and as result is so poorly received. I think part of the reason the various comics have been successful is due to the world that has been codified since the early days that has allowed those books to tell serialised stories, something the main Mario games would never do.

    For Iizuka and co. the whimsically change things just to remove alleged obstacles makes things like Shadow's 5 game character arc feel cheaper as a result when he ends up being written as a pastiche of Vegeta from Generations onwards (which is a despairingly reductive and inaccurate take on his character). At the end of the day, I don't want Sonic to be Mario. I want Sonic to be Sonic. I want to see things from the past come back in context and to see payoffs for things we once thought long-forgotten. One of the reasons I'm so fond of Gemerl and was so happy to see him show up in the IDW comic is because he had an arc in Sonic Advance 3 that has been expanded upon in a satisfying way. I want to see the stories of these characters continue. To treat the series continuity as something that's inconsequential is a huge step away from that and, if it weren't for the existence of the comic, would significantly reduce my interest in this series outside of games like Mania.
     
  20. big smile

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    I forget about that. I think from memory, the 2009 DS game was the first M&S game to have a story. I remember there's a scene where Blaze and Silver act like partners even though Blaze says she's from another dimension and Silver says he's from the future. I think Eggman Nega is also introduced as being from the future too. It was very confusing at the time, and it still doesn't make full sense now (without a lot of theorizing).

    Back in that period, all the games seemed to be part of a future/dimension arc, but it ended when Shiro Maekawa left. So I wonder what he had planned...