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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. Levi Church

    Levi Church

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    I can agree with that. With the current situation I just want to wait until details are made more clear before going into "what does Tails Adventure taking place after Sonic 3 mean for the timeline" because we could get an explanation as to how this works later through TailsTube or the IDW comics. I would rather talk about the lore of Sonic Rush Adventure at the moment while waiting for more clarification on the classic timeline.
     
  2. Plorpus

    Plorpus

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    As someone who comes here to find out and discuss what SEGA’s actual canon is and has found this thread to be almost unreadable in the past few months I agree with this
     
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  3. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I've created The Sonic the Hedgehog Headcanon Thread of Lore and Time Stones for future headcanon needs.

    Going to be honest, that's like shaking an eightball and getting "Ask Again Later" anyway.
     
  4. Only for viewing

    Only for viewing

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    with headcanons out of the way I can probably use this thread to ask this: do we even figure there is actually a timeline to Sonic games? seems to me that any point in games being canon is only ever used for the sake of metatextual or tongue in cheek references and not much else, barring games like Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, the Advance and Rush games (separately), Riders, etc
     
  5. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    There is a timeline going from Sonic Adventure onward, kinda. The Classic continuity was pretty much just the Mega Drive games plus Sonic the Hedgehog CD, but they're recently... "remaking" the Classic Era timeline to include every classic game, Game Gear and all. Then it got a mess after the Adventure Era's close.

    Basically the timeline we had solid details on was:
    Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive)
    Sonic the Hedgehog CD
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)
    Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4
    Sonic Adventure
    Sonic Adventure 2
    Sonic Advance 2
    Sonic Heroes
    Shadow the Hedgehog
    Sonic Battle
    Sonic Advance 3
    Everything after Sonic Advance 3 then gets a mess, plus a few errant games like Sonic Advance (it's after Sonic Adventure, but before Sonic Advance 2, so can be before or after Sonic Adventure 2). Mainline games only have:

    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Sonic Unleashed
    Sonic Colours
    Sonic Generations
    Sonic Lost World
    Sonic Forces

    Then you have Sonic Mania, which is now the past rather than an alternative universe as originally inferred from the development team.

    Sonic Rush and Sonic Rivals are also kind of at odds with Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) due to Blaze. The series does have to go:

    Sonic Rush
    Sonic Rush Adventure
    Sonic Rivals
    Sonic Rivals 2


    Since Robotnik remains under the assumption in both Sonic Rush games that Nega is a dimensional counterpart, not a descendant, and Sonic Rivals sees Nega attempt to remove Robotnik so I would doubt him working with Nega for Sonic Rush Adventure if Sonic Rivals took place prior. We also don't know where Sonic Rivals takes place, beyond post-Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), pre-Sonic Forces due to Silver's involvement, with pre-Sonic Colours if you use the DS version for stuff but that's headcanon details: consoles only as far as I can see.

    Basically, timeline's still in utter shambles outside the Adventure Era and I'm just waiting to see how SEGA messes it up further at this point. There's a slow assembly of details from Ian Flynn on what Classic game goes where with whatever story they're making up for it, if anyone else wants to add that.
     
  6. Starduster

    Starduster

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    It's hardly a shambles, it just hasn't been fully communicated to us yet.

    Sonic Origins -> 8-bit games, Sonic Spinball, Knuckles' Chaotix, Sonic the Fighters (undefined order) -> Sonic Mania -> Sonic Forces (Classic) -> Sonic Mania Adventures or Sonic Mania Plus (unconfirmed, maybe composite canon) -> Sonic 4 (probably) -> Sonic Adventure -> Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Pinball Party (undefined order) -> Sonic Adventure 2 -> Sonic Advance -> Sonic Advance 2 -> Sonic Heroes -> Sonic Battle -> Sonic Advance 3 -> Shadow the Hedgehog -> Sonic Rush, Sonic Riders, Sonic 06 (undefined order*) -> Sonic Rush Adventure -> Sonic Rivals** -> Sonic Rivals 2 -> Sonic Riders Zero Gravity -> Sonic and the Secret Rings -> Sonic Unleashed -> Sonic and the Black Knight -> Sonic Free Riders -> Sonic Colours*** -> Sonic Generations -> Sonic Lost World*** -> Sonic Forces (Modern) -> Sonic Frontiers

    *I think BlackHole's suggestion of 06 taking place before Rush makes enough sense with the idea that the Sol Emeralds took Blaze to Sonic's future before they met, though that comes with its own plot holes but I have been advocating for months now that things will inevitably need massaging in such a consolidation anyway so whatever. Besides, 06 is technically non-canon insofar as the events of the game have no persistent effect on the universe and it's probably best we don't think too hard about it.

    **Canon introduction of Silver

    ***This is probably some kind of composite canon since we've seen elements of each version of the game pop up in subsequent titles, but I don't believe we have hard confirmation on this.

    There we are. That's largely release order, discounting the confirmed non-canon games (Pocket Adventure and Chronicles) and the fluff spinoffs. I may have unintentionally fudged some dates here and there due to misremembering and I wouldn't be surprised if I've forgotten some obscure gem like Shadow the Hedgehog 2: Return to Hot Topic, but I digress. My point is, once you get past Adventure, the chronology largely follows release order outside of some explicit and implicit exceptions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  7. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    Such a clusterfuck... Dear Goodness...
    Oh well, no complaints from me again.

    @Starduster, you forgot the ** on the list?
    It's nowhere to be seen... ^^"
     
  8. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Silver doesn't exist. It's time to move on, Sonic Retro.

    It's Rivals. Fixed now.
     
  9. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    While 'release order unless shown/stated otherwise' makes sense, have we actually received any explicit mention of where Shuffle, Pinball Party, Advance 1, the Riders games, and the Storybook games take place?

    Also, did Ian confirm that Fighters is canon and I missed it?
     
  10. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Nope. It's all educated guesswork. So headcanon, really.
     
  11. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Both the classic and modern games referenced each other, and not just in a tongue in cheek way.

    Classic: Besides the obvious S2>S3K, Sonic 2 8-bit and Sonic Chaos both end with Eggman escaping, setting up for the next game. The Death Egg II in Sonic the Fighters is obviously a reference to the first one. Then there are the references in the Japanese manuals that never left Japan:
    - Chaotix references references the Floating Island, the Master Emerald, and even the Master Emerald Pillar from the S3 manual
    - Sonic Labyrinth references Tails' adventure in Tails' Skypatrol
    - Tails' Adventure is stated to be set before Tails and Sonic first met in Sonic 2

    Modern: Many of the 2000s games built on top of the previous lore and continuity. Sonic Battle referenced Gerald Robotnik and expanded on Chaos Emerald lore. Advance 3 was a follow-up to Battle. Heroes, Shadow and Battle all continued Shadow's character arc. Rush Adventure was a direct sequel to Rush. Sonic 06 was going to have ties to Rush, but executive meddling resulted in these getting scrapped, and likely led to the mess we have with Blaze now. Many modern games also referenced classic games, most blatantly SA1. Concept art for SA1 even seems to imply that originally the Chaos Emeralds and Master Emerald were going to be still in Hidden Palace.
     
  12. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Honestly, the only definitive placements we have are the mainlines.

    Oh, we can say a game goes somewhere, but SEGA have not said they do. Let's list the Mainlines:

    Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive)
    Sonic the Hedgehog CD
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)
    Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4
    Sonic Adventure
    Sonic Adventure 2
    Sonic Heroes
    Shadow the Hedgehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Sonic Unleashed
    Sonic Colours
    Sonic Generations
    Sonic Lost World
    Sonic Forces


    Now, let's try and place some of the extra games. The Sonic Advance Trilogy should do nicely.

    Sonic Advance:
    Consists of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy fighting Robotnik. Simple adventure, but no context clues to let us definitively place it, but should come post-Sonic Adventure, right?

    Sonic Advance 2:
    The introduction of Cream the Rabbit, who is part of Team Rose in Sonic Heroes, so it must come before Sonic Heroes, post Sonic Adventure. So somewhere within this realm:

    Sonic Adventure
    Sonic Adventure 2
    Sonic Heroes


    So it could also be before Sonic Adventure 2. I recall it being a fun argument that just because a character isn't present in a story doesn't mean they haven't been introduced, so Knuckles' absence in the Game Gear games does not suggest he wasn't introduced by the time they occurred. We don't know.

    Sonic Advance 3:
    Must come after Sonic Battle, as it directly ties to the events of that game. Alright, let's quickly place Sonic Battle down.

    Sonic Battle:
    Shadow is an active entity, seeking to destroy Emerl, and knows who Maria is, so it must come post-Shadow the Hedgehog. Alright then, so it must be somewhere in this region:

    Shadow the Hedgehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Sonic Unleashed
    Sonic Colours
    Sonic Generations
    Sonic Lost World
    Sonic Forces


    Unfortunately, much like the Game Gear games that have been placed long after the games they released with, we can't assume a placement beyond what we know they simply can't take place before.

    But Shadow was a G.U.N. Agent, right? Except that's been revconned out, he never was according to Iizuka and he's just a Vegeta-lite now, so it's not like we can use his status as a G.U.N. Agent either: he was acting as an independent in Sonic Battle, and that is continued outside of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Not sure how Solaris affect that course of events, but hey, Iizuka is the leader, yey. And the key figure, Emerl/G-Merl, has not turned up again, so we can not impose a limit based on that either.

    We can not assume anything, really. We can not say Sonic Advance 2 takes place just before Sonic Heroes, because we don't have evidence Sonic Adventure 2 has taken place before Sonic Advance 2.

    I could use the art-style argument commonly used here as well were I so inclined: that the art-style does not reflect anything in-universe and the cast have simply always looked like that, even during the Classic Era, to place Sonic Advance in the Classic Era or around it. This would also free up Sonic Advance 2 to be a while before Sonic Adventure, with an argument toward Cream's cameo in Sonic Adventure DX if so inclined: remember, the cast have not aged a year, even when a literal birthday party happened in Sonic Generations and the Little Planet, something that only appears once a year, has appeared twice minimum. Sonic was, is, and will be 15.

    Any timeline is going to be headcanon until SEGA confirms everything. The timeline is up in the air, unless you can explain why any game takes place after X but BEFORE Y specifically, it's a headcanon based on your own research. And considering SEGA have rewritten the canon for Sonic Origins, we can't even say that, because they can rewrite the canon for any game now.

    And before someone decides to say "but they won't", do remember that they allegedly replaced Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 on the timeline with Sonic X, which would also remove Sonic Heroes from the continuity, or at least Team Dark's story as Shadow's story in Season 3 would be completely incompatible with that game. This is assuming the 4chan leak to be correct, of course, but the point stands that they can, and no one batted an eye before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  13. Pengi

    Pengi

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    It can mostly be tracked by which characters show up and which events are referenced, though the latter is less frequent.

    I've made some notes next to several games. Please keep in mind that "after" and "before" don't mean immediately after or immediately before, unless stated. Sonic Free Riders, for example, has to take place after Sonic Heroes (because Shadow is in Free Riders, and he was revived in Sonic Heroes), but how long after is unspecified, so in theory it could take place after Sonic Unleashed.

    CLASSIC SERIES

    Main series:
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog CD
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (Sonic & Tails' story, then Knuckles' story)

    According to Ian Flynn, the above games, featured in Sonic Origins, are considered the earliest Sonic adventures, with all other games taking place afterwards.

    Game Gear series:
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos
    Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
    Sonic Blast

    Sonic Drift series:
    Sonic Drift
    Sonic Drift 2

    Others:
    SegaSonic the Hedgehog (before Sonic Mania)
    Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
    Chaotix
    Tails' Sky Patrol
    Tails Adventures
    Sonic Labyrinth
    Sonic the Fighters
    Sonic 3D
    Sonic R
    Sonic Generations [Classic Sonic's perspective] (before Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces [Classic Sonic's perspective])
    Sonic Mania [Mania Mode] (after SegaSonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Generations [Classic Sonic's perspective])
    Sonic Forces [Classic Sonic's perspective] (immediately after Sonic Mania [Mania Mode])
    Sonic Mania [Encore Mode and/or Sonic Mania Adventures] (immediately after Sonic Forces [Classic Sonic's perspective])

    In July 2022, Ian Flynn said that SegaSonic the Hedgehog takes place sometime after Sonic R, Sonic R takes place sometime after Sonic 3D, Sonic 3D takes place sometime after Spinball, and Spinball takes place sometime after Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This information hasn't shown up in anything official yet though.

    The Japanese manuals subtly imply that Tails' Sky Patrol and Sonic Labyrinth happen around the same time.

    The Japanese Tails Adventures manual says that it takes place before Tails met Sonic. The American manual says that Tails already knows Sonic. Sonic Origins' animations imply that Tails flew for the first time when he met Sonic.

    MODERN SERIES

    The modern Sonic series takes place after the Classic Sonic series. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 takes place before Sonic Adventure. The main series and each sub-series take place in release order, but how they intersect with each other can be ambiguous.

    Main series:

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
    Sonic Adventure
    Sonic Adventure 2
    Sonic Heroes
    Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
    Sonic Unleashed
    Sonic Colors
    Sonic Generations*
    Sonic Lost World
    Sonic Forces
    Sonic Frontiers

    *Sonic Generations is Dr. Eggman's next appearance after his defeat in Sonic Colors. Therefore no games featuring Dr. Eggman take place between Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. The only games that don't feature Dr. Eggman are Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight.

    Advance series:
    Sonic Advance
    Sonic Advance 2 (before Sonic Heroes)
    Sonic Advance 3 (after Sonic Heroes and Sonic Battle)

    Rush series:
    Sonic Rush (after Sonic Advance 2, presumably after Sonic Advance 3, before Sonic Generations)
    Sonic Rush Adventure (before Sonic Colors DS version)

    Rivals series:
    Sonic Rivals (after Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), before Sonic Colors DS version, before Sonic Generations)
    Sonic Rivals 2

    Riders series:
    Sonic Riders
    Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
    Sonic Free Riders (after Sonic Heroes)

    Storybook series:
    Sonic and the Secret Rings (before Sonic Generations)
    Sonic and the Black Knight (after Sonic Rush)

    Others:
    Sonic Shuffle
    Sonic Pinball Party
    Sonic Battle (after Sonic Heroes, before Sonic Advance 3)
    Shadow the Hedgehog (after Sonic Heroes, before Sonic the Hedgehog (2006))
    Team Sonic Racing (after Sonic Lost World)

    Non-canon:
    According to Ian Flynn, the following games are non-canon.

    Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
    Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
    Sonic Runners
    Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  14. Plorpus

    Plorpus

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    I think part of what they’re doing behind the scenes right now is making a proper timeline, and I’m not sure if they’ve even decided on the whole thing yet. We only know the rough basics of parts of it from the Bumblekast, but while Ian is involved in meetings for it he’s just one of many and isn’t a part of Sega, hence his comments usually including “as far as I understand it” and such. I don’t know if they’ll ever publically release a complete timeline so they can have some leeway if necessary, especially because no matter what they do some fans will be pissed off.
    Also, Ian has been careful not to say that the two timelines thing has been officially scrapped, only saying that the classic games take place in the past. It’s possible that means that most of them happened in the main timeline too, but the classic branch of the franchise going forward is still a timeline split after Generations.
     
  15. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Going largely by release order, compensating for information which suggests otherwise when required is hardly headcanon, it’s just Occam’s razor.
     
  16. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    We don't know the split is after Sonic Generations.

    It's educated guesswork, but headcanon none-the-less, unless you want to reveal you work for SEGA and are the authority who is placing these in the timeline?
     
  17. big smile

    big smile

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    Sonic Runners being deemed non-canon surprises me as it explains a lot of loose ends over the years, and doesn’t really contradict anything. It almost felt like Sonic Team’s love letter to the continuity.
     
  18. Levi Church

    Levi Church

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    Mobile games in general are not considered canon, and Sonic Runners hasn't been playable officially for years now.
     
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  19. Big Smile. Sonic Runner had Mephiles so I'm thinking that might be sprcifically why they decided to axe it. Too many non canon elements they didn't want to bother reconciling.

    Oh, and I had some thoughts about the timeline I'll probably post tomorrow.
     
  20. big smile

    big smile

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    Mephiles is not part of the Runners story. That’s like saying Rivals is non canon because it has a Mephiles trading card. In fact, apart from Chip appearing in a birthday episode, there aren’t any non canon elements in the Runners story.

    Most mobile games don’t have extensive stories written by Sonic Team nor do they try to explain all the loose ends in the main series. The platform shouldn’t make a difference especially when Sonic has handheld and arcade games in its canon.

    Although I do agree that lack of availability is probably the reason why they’ve dropped it. Which is a silly reason. Because a big chunk of the Sonic back catalogue is no longer playable officially. Unless you track down old hardware or use unofficial emulation. Which isn’t that different then tracking down the Runners Revival.