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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. RDNexus

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    How so, if you could explain?
     
  2. The KKM

    The KKM

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    Aaron Webber has success turning the brand around PR-wise on twitter. He got promoted to... frankly too lazy to check the exact title, but something of the sort of "General Brand Manager". In the years since, we start seeing people like Ian get a say in game stuff, the TailsTube concept be approved with all the retcons it entails, etc.

    No secret insider info here, just me pointing out that these things make sense to be connected. Someone from SoA PR got further control over the brand, knows that these other SoA-aligned people are popular with the fandom, so starts getting them opportunities to have a bigger say in things.

    Point being, Sega cared about this stuff then, and they still care about this stuff now, just the way the "care" is done has shifted, likely due to internal shifts in who gets the say over what.
     
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  3. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I never finished Sonic X (iirc we only got the first 4 volumes on DVD in the UK and this was at a time before little me was savvy enough to navigate the...less legal parts of the web) and this sounds absolutely bonkers lmao

    Okay let's narrow down this comparison. Spider-Man. Most popular Marvel character, sustains an eponymous brand in his own right, I think he's an entirely logical point of comparison. At different times there have been several concurrent Spider-Man books running at once. Not stuff like Miles Morales or Spider-Man 2099, mind, just focused on the Peter Parker of Earth-616. In 2018, we had The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man (which between themselves also hosted the story of Spider-Geddon, which no doubt had its own one-shot tie-ins), not to mention Spider-Man was involved in the War of the Worlds event and the 2018 run of Superior Spider-Man, and this is just the stuff I know about offhand (I am not an avid comic readers, by the standards that term would imply, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm unaware of a run that was also ongoing during this time or some other crossover event). That's 3 major Spider-Man appearances and a significant supporting role in one year in just one medium, and that's not even considering the background reading you'd have to do to get the context of War of the Worlds and Superior Spider-Man if you want to fully enjoy Peter's appearances in those stories, which then involves you getting into Thor and past Spider-Man stuff, etc.

    Sonic's entire franchise is nowhere near as spaghetti'd as a brand. Right now, you can own a considerable chunk of the Sonic series on PC or modern consoles (Origins, Mania, Colours Ultimate, Forces and soon Frontiers are just the ones that are available on all consoles, while Xbox has Fighters, Adventure, Adventure 2, 06, Unleashed, Sonic 4 and Generations thanks to backwards compatibility). Granted, there's some significant stuff missing and it's far from ideal that there's no real parity between what's available on which system but game preservation discussions fall outside the purviews of this thread. Meanwhile, on the IDW side, the comic's been running for around 4 years now and has just passed the 50 issue mark with three miniseries on the side, each spanning four issues. Disregarding the two most recent arcs and the most recent miniseries, everything has been collected into volumes as well, which are more cost effective and easier to manage for people just getting into the series and wanting to read what they've missed. My point is being a Sonic fan is pretty accessible to begin with. In terms of brand saturation, the series is nowhere near any kind of singularity point and I don't think there's any risk of that happening if we started connecting things a bit more.

    They don't, really. I know I kind of presented that in my example but that's very much something you can get away with in comics because it's a simple as a little yellow box in the top of the panel with flavour text explaining that sometime has passed since Sonic helped Surge get in touch with a therapist before travelling to the Starfall Islands with Tails and Amy. That's very easy to get away with in comics. Of course there's a lot of unknowns with Prime right now, but given series precedent, I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that it'll run for 12-24 episodes and tell a standalone story that requires no real prior experience with the brand (though said experience may add to one's viewing pleasure). It doesn't need to stop its story at any point to say "Hey this takes place after Forces and after Sonic put Surge in touch with a therapist but before he went to the Starfall Islands". These things can be snuck into the story subtly and naturally and can run on inference. Maybe Sonic left Chip's bangle in Tails' Workshop or the Tornado for safekeeping since he's always on the move and that shows up in the background of a shot. Maybe a new villain disguising themselves as folks Sonic knows reminds him of other shapeshifters he's faced off against in the past, which can be a reference to either Neo Metal Sonic or Mimic. I know we put a lot of emphasis on explicit sources in this thread, but Prime wouldn't really need to adhere to that. Not everything needs to be spelled out.

    Okay you know what that's on me. I've always had the privilege of not having such things being so ingrained in my psyche to that point and I apologise if I was insensitive in my remark. With regards to how that squares with the series' canon, I don't see it as being much different than the question of where G.U.N. was during Perfect Chaos' attack or the world splitting apart. G.U.N. is largely a pretty ineffective organisation (their only real contribution to an ongoing narrative iirc was in ShtH, Adventure 2 and 06 had their work done by what we now understand to be free agents on contract) and are pretty much written into or out of the story at will with justification coming afterwards. The ad-hoc explanation could be as simple as "they didn't know Eggman was up to his bullshit on the islands, as far as they knew he was off radar". Granted, I wouldn't be surprised if that's not a satisfying answer given your particular grievances with this issue and I apologise if I'm just digging myself deeper, I'll admit this isn't something I've come up against before.
     
  4. The KKM

    The KKM

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    It's alright, don't worry about it. It just frustrates me endlessly because you guys just aren't aware that there was a lot of explanations and internal logic that did exist, just weren't shown publicly- and something like TailsTube would've been the perfect place to do so. Instead it was used to throw away and retcon things, and was celebrated for it, because the fandom hated these concepts that they didn't understand- and they didn't understand only because they were told of them via 3rd party random hush hush interviews, rather than having them explained. It's endlessly needless and just immensely tiresome to me because it signals anything else that I might like can be retconned and thrown away- in that sense I sympathesise with Blackhole and Origins, it's just what he's happy got retconned away is already what I'm frustrated did rather than be explained lol. When you guys celebrate "two worlds" being dead but then complain about Origins, it feels to me like that tweet of "hahaha I'm having so much fun sowing winds ow what the fuck why am I reaping storms" lol
    That said it's of course unfair to blame anyone here- this is internal creative choices being made, informed by years of fandom discourse sure, but not blameable to anyone in specific

    With that said yeah, I'm not gonna be happy with the "islands" status quo, because it means any game GUN didn't intervene in (especially after, IRL, the concept was created) implies a lot about the world society that wasn't intended. It's a retcon, that means about 20 years of games implicitly or explicitly constructed on the logic of "there's humans, and Sonics and they don't interact and cross" now means something else entirely in terms of the world it presents. If they're all in the same world and it's not just a question of it being difficult to traverse worlds, why were there no sonics in Unleashed? Why do the continents not have animal people? I know I'm supposed to shut my brain off and not think about it but it just creates this apartheided world setting I hate, doubly so because it clearly wasn't the intention in the first place.
     
  5. BlackHole

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    They could, but that's not in the name. How often do you check the tagline for something?

    Meanwhile, how often do you think of the Super Mario Bros. series as taking place in the Donkey Kong world? Or vice versa, since the former is the bigger property? Both were born of the same game, I'm fairly certain some adverts brought up that Mario came from the Donkey Kong arcade game, but because either name isn't in the title, most people really don't think of the connection until directly raised to them.

    Indeed, but they're not having to coordinate with a TV studio, game studio and comic studio to make sure Sonic doesn't get knocked out for a month, turn up on an island for a fight, then awaken in the hospital having just recovered consciousness.

    My concern isn't that they can't do it within a single medium, I wouldn't mind if the cast get their own little spin-off series and most are at least recognisable enough to hold one (Big's Fishing Adventure, my love, I await you). My concern is that it's not just production of games they'll have to be keeping track of, as well as where Sonic or another character is at any given point. The example you gave, Spider-Man, only has to deal with comics and writers thereof. Now imagine them doing an animated series set in the same continuity, not an adaptation, but anything that happens in the series happens in the comic. Now also add a video game.

    They'll have to juggle two active, on-going series, as well as the events of a game, without stepping on people's toes. Imagine if there was a cartoon going on during the Metal Virus arc of the comic in the same world, at around the same time: done carefully, I'm sure it can work, but they'll have to monitor who's infected, what the comic is doing and what the animated series is doing, and if one resolves the situation, the other has to give a decent wrap-up in it's own right lest people feel conned: "Oh, this was resolved in the TV Series! Go watch that!" No, I paid <insert how ever much people pay for comic issues here>, I want my resolution here.

    Again, we'll just have to see though. I personally don't trust them after the plot kudzu of Sonic Forces, I'd say Ian Flynn might do good but he wrote Sonic Origins, I don't think I need to repeat my thoughts on that here, but we'll simply have to see in the end.
     
  6. Levi Church

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    Yeah I am very happy with the way the story is now. I like that SegaSonic is later in the timeline and Spinball is canon. I hope they don't change the timeline again after this but they probably will anyway.
     
  7. Beamer the Meep

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    I don't know if it was never the intention to separate humans and animals. The implications you're speaking of probably weren't even considered yes, but Naka is on record of the classic games with animals taking place on the 3 islands and humans living in the bigger cities. The problem arises because games like Unleashed & Forces were (presumably) under that two-world paradigm when they made the choices they did. From Adventure to 06 it wasn't that much of an issue because we were in very specific places, not world-spanning adventures.
     
  8. MastaSys

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    I always saw Sonic X's Eggman as the version of him that was displaced from human society very young due to his dialog on the SA2 arc, this being the reason why he's probably the chillest and less villainous version of the Doctor of them all. (I'm not that familiarized with Boom)

    But one thing I always wondered about the Doctor in the video games is, if the ARC incident was the main catalyst for his villainous acts, why did he just became notorious as an old man (as far as we know)? Why no as an young adult, he does have the genius to back it up.
     
  9. Beamer the Meep

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    Well to be fair, the idea of the shutdown of the Ark being the motivating factor of Eggan wanting to take over the world is headcanon. We can infer that it might be a reason, but it's never explicitly stated. If it was though, then who's to Say Eggman didn't learn the full truth until later in his life? We do know he nearly got a teaching degree but ended up on a path of world domination instead.
     
  10. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Again, it's difficult to say because we just don't know that much about Prime yet, but I don't see that happening. I don't think the idea here is that they want to tell any given story across the multimedia expanse, simply that adventure A happens in the games and adventure B in the comic book has non-diegetic text confirming its placement after adventure A, while adventure C has a small piece of dialogue or set dressing that confirms or at least strong implies that adventure A has come and gone by the of adventure C. And we don't need to see how exactly everything fits together in terms of one thing leading to a next because each story in the games doesn't necessarily lead into each other anyway - you can totally play Adventure 2 without having played Adventure and it still works. I certainly wouldn't argue for splitting a given story across the media unless it's heavily marketed and telegraphed going in (and even then I'd be iffy about it), I just think the potential for call and response between the strands in ways that gratify invested fans without burdening casuals is very enticing.

    And on the point of Origins (and the series in general), it's important to note (and I hope I've not contributed to a perception counter to this) that Ian is only one cog in the machine and likely isn't even the driving voice in what we're seeing unfold. From his various BumbleKast anecdotes, it's apparent that he's still subordinate to SEGA as a freelancer and he's by no means calling the shots. Even in today's episode, he implied that scenario planner is not something he has done for Sonic Frontiers and, as far as I can tell, his role with Frontiers as of now is still largely a script writer. It's important to remember that, while Ian is largely our only consistent source of information on these things (insofar as he's producing the podcast that can address questions about the writing of the series like 3 times per week), he is not the only hand on the wheel and he's been consistent in telling us that.
     
  11. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Ah, right. Then I might have actually known that and just forgotten, I did watch 53-to-wherever-I-stopped subbed - it's just been a long time. I have been wondering for a few years why he reverted, it must be a part of crossing the barrier now that a way between the two was opened (the original Chaos Control being a ground-zero mark?). Sonic would have done the same when he went back, only for him it was far less noticeable as it was a shorter stretch of time.
     
  12. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I think Sonic Unleashed was made before Iizuka was brought in and brought about the mandate. Naka's always maintained Sonic the Hedgehog is on Earth, and despite the claim Iizuka inherited Two Worlds from Naka, that's been proven false, so Two Worlds stems from Iizuka's era.

    So Sonic Unleashed should have G.U.N., but they are probably dealing with the massive chaos elsewhere that the crust of Earth splitting would cause.

    That's an issue with Sonic Origins really: Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive)'s manual has Sonic and Robotnik as having had run-ins before, so he's been a recurring problem for the world even before the first game.

    Indeed, you can also play Sonic Advance 3 without playing Sonic Battle. At the same time, it rather limits what the things can do, but then again half the Moon should be blown up, so...

    Indeed, that's fair, but he's the face and he said he wrote and planned the Sonic Origins cutscenes, so...

    We'll see, we'll see. Let's have the games come out and see what happens.
     
  13. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Funny you should mention that, because I did as a kid. Granted I read the manual in proximity to playing it (my memory is hazy on whether it was before or after) but as far as I recall it doesn't really say much beyond Gemerl being based on Emerl. It doesn't provide the context or significance of that in terms of who Emerl was to the characters, and yet the game still works as Eggman just having this new robot that interfaces with his machinery before going rogue and being fixed up by Tails to leave with Vanilla and Cream. Granted, it has the luxury of being one of the simpler Sonic games in terms of narrative in spite of its dialogue so mileage may vary with regards to how well such a setup would work in a mainline game today with all the presentation that entails, but I do think it services my wider point that almost every single Sonic game can be enjoyed in a standalone manner and be somebody's first entry. Hell, I the only two core games I can think of off the top of my head which don't adhere to this would be Sonic & Knuckles (does this even count as its own game anymore, really?), Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Generations, the latter of which ironically has one of the lightest plots in any Sonic game.
     
  14. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Because they're magical creatures in surreal places (remember, South Island swirls an moves through the ocean, flickies go through dimensional portals...). I think this official statement about mainlands belonging to humans and islands belonging to anthros breaks the magic more than anything. The Chaos Emeralds used to be a legend Eggman was looking for in a forgotten place, now Tails wins one as a trophy and Rouge steals one stored in G.U.N.'s vault (and not even now, since that's SA2).
     
  15. BlackHole

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    I mean, do they have jurisdiction there? It'd be like complaining that the US army isn't stopping the mob in New Zealand. Not to mention, would they even be aware? They're a military, not omniscient, they need to be informed about things, organise a counterattack and the blue hedgehog just stopped it, nevermind.

    As for the lack of Mobians in Human places and Humans in Mobian places, general preference? Or we just don't see Mobians in the very limited areas we interact with in Sonic Unleashed: one could be around at the corner shop for all we know, and the Humans aren't even vaguely surprised at Sonic, or any Mobian, even as far back as Sonic Adventure, so they're fully aware of them.
     
  16. raphael_fc

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    But was it?
     
  17. MastaSys

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    Actually, i don't remeber anything in Origins that would invalidate the fact that S1 is not the first encounter between Sonic and Eggman.

    Is Origins really a problem in that regard?
     
  18. BlackHole

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    SEGA are saying it's their first encounter, nothing in-game, but....
     
  19. raphael_fc

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    I stand by it.
     
  20. MastaSys

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    Ah so it's "Sonic 4 says Knuckles S3K happens at the same time as Sonic's S3K" mindless marketing material level. Easy to disprove and to ignore.