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)
    24.7%
  2. I hate it

    28 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

    9 vote(s)
    11.7%
  4. Doesn't matter either way

    21 vote(s)
    27.3%
  1. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    It's weird that we know two other planets that Sonic visits (Earth and Mobius) but don't know the name of the planet Sonic lives in.
     
  2. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Probably because of how haphazard an approach it is to the world, can't let the kids be confused in case Sonic visits Earth, after they talked about the Planet Speed.
     
  3. Josh

    Josh

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    Dude, lore was all the online fandom ever talked about in the 90s. I can think of... maybe two sites focused exclusively on the games, and absolutely DOZENS obsessed with SatAM. And heck, even the game-centric sites were dedicated more to examining the Japanese canon (SegaSonic, as we called it back then, to differentiate it from what we saw as the "default" Sonic of SatAM) than examining the gameplay.

    But at the end of the decade, two things started to reshape the fandom:

    1) Sonic Adventure didn't JUST not incorporate anything from SatAM, it abandoned almost every element of western canon. Like big smile said, this was a HUGE source of controversy and consternation at the time, because it was so fundamental to the way the series had always been presented. Yes, I know Sonic Adventure was a direct continuation of Japanese canon, and we knew it then too, but perception is reality, and that's kind of how many fans perceived it at the time. Imagine if Sonic Boom retconned everything else out of existence, and that's just what Sonic _was_ from then on.

    Now, you might expect that a good chunk of the fandom that cared about Sonic for the lore and characters would be able to accept that things had changed, and get invested in this new paradigm the same way they had the old one. And I'm sure they would have, but the in-game stories just weren't very engaging. They had their moments, but the consensus was usually that they were written exclusively to target "the kiddies," and there wasn't a whole lot of depth for older fans to sink their teeth into.

    Like Overlord said, it wasn't that Genesis-era fans didn't want a story, it was that Sonic games never figured out how to TELL stories.

    (And heck, they still haven't! It's still a little mind-boggling to see younger fans proclaim that Sonic game stories "stopped" being good at some point, when the consensus in the fandom never saw them as consistently good in the first place. This is probably a case where we have more common ground than we think. Nearly every fan can at least agree that things aren't where they should be. Instead of arguing about whether the stories were EVER good, let's just push for better ones going forward, yeah?)

    2) Simon Wai found the Sonic 2 Beta, and formed a community of more technically-minded people who wanted to understand everything that made the Genesis classics tick. That community would eventually become THIS one, Sonic Retro!

    So it wasn't that older fans didn't care about the lore, they cared as much as anyone. But Sonic Team abandoned the lore they identified with, and told increasingly awful stories so full of plot holes, awkward dialogue, and off-kilter characterization, that few fans over a certain age could take them seriously or get invested in them. Eventually, the very idea of storytelling in Sonic games was a poisoned concept, and a lot of these fans either came to focus more on the gameplay, or just fell out of the fandom entirely.

    The online community that remained wasn't satisfied with Sega's output either, but they were more concerned with whether the game PLAYED like Sonic than whether Sonic ACTED like Sonic. While Sega was off firing bullets into its own brand, they were teaching themselves coding, making fangames, creating hacks, and becoming ever-more nostalgic for this "original" version of Sonic, his world, and his gameplay that Sega seemed totally uninterested in pursuing in this era. (And eventually, some of them would make Sonic Mania!)

    I am, of course, speaking quite generally here. There were SOME teen and 20-something fans in the mid 2000s (and I still know a few!) who enjoyed the characters and stories of the Adventure games, but it was always a position more associated with "the kiddies." And since SWS2B/Retro was so squarely focused on the mechanics, they still make up the bulk of the "oldbie" crowd here, thus the perception.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  4. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    I grew up playing Sonic games, ever since the Game Gear. But mostly, the Mega Drive main series. And Sonic JAM & R xD
    I watched a bit of AoStH and hardly remembered the first thing about SatAM until I delved deep into the series, years ago.
    I also never read any of the comics, and I believe to have spared myself from that, since I don't quite like their continuities.
    Despite all their faults (piling up ever since Heroes), to me, the games are the only continuity relevant to keep exploring.
    So, no, I don't see myself in that community that crazed for years over the western continuity, but I rather like this place.
     
  5. The KKM

    The KKM

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    Jesus fucking christ this thread is starting to get infuriating

    1. TSR uses Earth because they just needed a generic texture for the planet and it's faster to use that than to create and approve a whole new planet for one bit. It's as relevant and important as Shadow the Hedgehog's GUN map or Unleashed's world map (which don't match each other, incidentally!). At the point you're trying to force these things to matter just to ensure you can say "official canon wrong" for whatever personal reason, you're going to have to explain as well why Sonic grew taller by 06 then shorter by Unleashed. What's that, doesn't matter because it's an art choice? YEAH

    2. Mobius is a separate planet, as a result of Japanese localisation. Doesn't matter why, just matters that's the status quo. Doesn't matter it won't be acknowledged, just that it exists and thus by existing means Mobius can't be used as a different thing.

    3. We're repeatedly told for a decade now that the two worlds connect by giant rings that're bumping about. Nothing about connecting to Blaze world, nothing about anything else. It's Sonic's World and Human World.

    4. Classic Sonic is a separate brand. For marketing and branding purposes, he's in effect a whole different setting and world. I suggested the alt timeline as an explanation if you really need something, because it's the obvious one, but obviously the only real reason is a metaliteral one. If this confuses you, wouldn't want to see you try and process something like Epic Mickey.

    5. Sonic is 15, was 15, will be 15. Doesn't matter if six months passed in Forces or what time in other games. He's established as 15 in Adventure and will be 15 until they decide otherwise, because he doesn't age, because he's a cartoon hedgehog. Forces even mentions him and Eggman have fought for decades, because he's a cartoon and cartoons tend to end up mashing in-universe and metaliterary contexts (again, vide Epic Mickey). Lupin the IIIrd looking the exact same age in the present or in the flashbacks in the Detective Conan crossover. He had a birthday in Generations, and went from 15 to 15. Classic Sonic is a younger him, and is 15. If that last one really mashes your head in, imagine he's months younger rather than years younger.

    6. Shadow's story with the two worlds setting is the same as before, just add an unseen scene of Gerald crossing a portal or something. The idea literally is "characters just cross these portals connecting these two worlds like if it were crossing a street".

    A lot of this really boils down to "look, they're screaming at you over and over that the setting is cartoon adventures and a lot of these details not only don't matter but are seen as detrimental, stop trying to look for every single bit that doesn't work because at that point you're being the guy watching Gundam and going "yeah but the humanoid form for armoured vehicles is too expensive for real warfare", please"

    EDIT: Please understand, my frustration here is you're going in circles over and over and over and over and over and over and over again trying to disprove something that's just plain not there to be disproven. At this point you're not criticising the games for doing a bad job of a plot, you're complaining they're not doing a plot they're not interested in doing at all in the first place. You're getting closer to the kind of people that'd complain with each new Mario game "but where's Brooklyn?" ignoring how Nintendo very clearly doesn't want to use that setting. You're demanding blood from a rock.

    Sonic wants a loose-continuity fable-like setting. Approach it on those grounds and criticise it on those grounds, you'll have a much easier time and much less of a constant over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-again repetition than if you keep insisting "but why aren't you something else entirely".
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
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  6. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Or they could have just shown the rocket flying out of the upper atmosphere. Less work creating a curved, blue and glowing thing at the bottom of the screen than to draw a planet, think Doomsday Zone background-esque.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not arguing its validity, just pointing out there were far more easier options than drawing a planet.

    The new canon is wrong. While the appearance has changed, it was still Earth. Now we're having to split up the series and explain why Humans in Sonic Adventure know about the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog CD when, according to Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, that was on Sonic's World. The series had a continuity before Iizuka became Head of Sonic Team, even if design elements would change. My apologies for actually liking said continuity.

    Alright. Honestly, I don't count Sonic Spinball as game-canon: I view it more as an adventure from the Sonic the Hedgehog (Cartoon) universe, same as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is as adventure from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog universe.

    Using it in reference to Sonic's World is because it's less to type than that, and that it was once Sonic's World in some canon once. Nothing more.

    If you're referring to how they removed it from Sonic Adventure onwards, that's me just pointing out how, if the Two Worlds were the canon at that point in time, as it has been claimed, they had a perfectly viable Two Worlds canon they could have used as a stepping point. Remove the name Mobius, mention in the manual that Sonic is exploring "this new world", and boom, perfectly explained Two Worlds canon from that point, with the Westerners simply assuming "that old world" is Mobius.

    It was an easy fix if it existed, but it didn't.

    Actually, that sounds like they bootstrapped it from Sonic 3D: Flickies Island, with the rings on Flicky Island. I wonder if that's where they got it from...

    Regardless, we have not. People who ask during interviews are told that, yes, but it's never been so much as hinted at in the games, which is where most people actually get their information from. Sonic the Hedgehog CD is set between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as revealed in an interview: you still have people trying to figure out where it goes.

    Sidenote, it's interesting how it's not Chaos Control, as established with Sonic X, that they're saying sent them over, if such is the case. I'm not sure how accurate that 4Chan thing is, then, about Sonic X being canon, if it's just randomly floating giant rings that somehow transport everyone over to the events of the world the game is set in instead. The only shared aspect is, well, the two worlds aspect.

    Not my fault if Iizuka set it up as a younger Sonic in Sonic Generations, and now SEGA are turning it into an entirely separate dimension, Sonic Generations retconned into it as well. Again, sorry for enjoying the continuity before Iizuka, I'm no longer trying to fit the Iizuka era in at least: less headaches.

    Classic Sonic was 15-16.
    [​IMG]
    It's not like the ages have been consistent anyway. Amy grew 4 years from Sonic the Hedgehog CD to Sonic Adventure, Sonic regressed 3 years from the original concept. Actually, Sonic Jam essentially contains the BETA Sonic Adventure, doesn't it? I wonder if that is a factor...

    Which kind of renders the entire point of separating them moot, if there's enough crossover it's essentially one world and not commented upon. What, did Humans just not bother colonising this new world they have easy access to, enough to send a military fleet over, during the Age of Colonisation? Humans would have been all over that, do we not remember the Americas, "the new world"?

    Incidentally, we don't need Gerald crossing the portal. The Knuckles Tribe is established to be on Earth, and since he was developing the Artificial Chaos, it could simply be the ruins from Sonic Adventure he visited and found the Gizoid.

    Don't worry, though. I'm not going to bootstrap Iizuka's Canon into the Original Canon, I'm opting to just ignore it and move on. Sonic and Robotnik had their big confrontation in Eggmanland during Sonic Unleashed, I'm fine with ending it there and letting Iizuka give us such wonderful, gameplay-focused titles as Sonic Lost World and Sonic Forces.
     
  7. The KKM

    The KKM

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    Maybe once we've had sources like Ian Flynn talk about things explicitly, we consider them above 4chan?
     
  8. Zephyr

    Zephyr

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    Sonic's continuity might seem like a mess, but I think there are three clear timelines we can infer, after we untangle a couple of puzzles that result from the devs naturally not caring about things that don't matter. Some preliminary assumptions I'm going to make:

    1. Sonic Lies About His Age
    I don't care what the man writes in his bio, or what it says on his driver's license.

    2. Sonic 1 Happens in 1991 - Sonic Adventure Happens in 1998
    Any piece of art is a product of its time, but these wear their period influences on their sleeves like few other Sonic games do, in my mind.

    3. Elise Cries in 2020
    A Chaos Emerald has been in Elise's hands for 10 years. The characters haven't seen each other in a long time. Characters are generally taller and lankier since we've last seen them. Everything is going to shit this year.

    With these bits out of the way, let's go through the events of the timeline(s) in order, so we can see how the two child timelines emanate from the parent timeline.

    ORIGINAL TIMELINE:
    1991 - Sonic 1 happens
    1992 - The Death Egg Saga happens
    1993 - Korn debuts with their demo tape "Neidermayer's Mind", creating Nu Metal
    1993 - Sonic Pocket Adventure happens; Sonic and Eggman begin to change in appearance
    1993 - Sonic CD happens, as Amy later remembers it
    1997 - Limp Bizkit releases their debut single, "Counterfeit"
    1998 - Nu Metal has now hit the mainstream; Sonic Adventure happens
    2001 - Sonic Adventure 2 happens
    200X - Sonic Heroes happens
    200X - Shadow the Hedgehog happens
    2010 - Elise acquires the Chaos Emerald
    2020 - Elise cries, causing the end of the world
    2070 - Silver notes that shit sucks

    After Elise cries, Sonic and his friends defeat Solaris, which creates a timeline where there's no Long Time with No Sees.

    IBLIS IS CANCELLED TIMELINE:
    2006 - Sonic Rivals happens
    2008 - Sonic Unleashed happens
    2010 - Sonic Colors happens
    2011 - Sonic Generations happens
    20XX - Sonic Lost World happens
    20XX - Sonic Forces happens

    During Sonic Generations, Korn's existence before 1993 is somehow prevented, which creates a timeline where Sonic and co. never change designs.

    KORN IS CANCELLED TIMELINE:
    199X - Sonic Generations happens; something causes Korn to disband before releasing anything
    1993 - Sonic CD happens, as we played it
    1996 - Knuckles Chaotix happens
    XXXX - Sonic Mania happens
    XXXX - Sonic Forces happens
    XXXX - Sonic Mania Plus happens

    This means that we've been seeing the events of a timeline that we didn't even realize was Chronologically The Third Created, since 1993, saw its birth in 2011, and finally got to see it move forward a smidge in 2017.
     
  9. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    Has Ian Flynn ever said Sonic X is canon? I'm unsure, I've not seen many of his interviews.

    I'm not disputing Iizuka's Canon consisting of Sonic X and the games produced under his Sonic Team leadership, but it makes little sense: Sonic X was focused around Sonic and Company being locked on Earth and Notbius following them into it. If there's giant rings floating around so commonly, then they wouldn't have needed to build the machine to send them back: just find one of those. Not to mention the Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog clashes.

    Then again, we're talking about someone who couldn't keep a story consistent between two games literally tying into one another, so...
     
  10. The KKM

    The KKM

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    JFC the point is no one, other than a 4chan post, said "Sonic X is canon", and with the context of what everyone else, more reliable than "4chan anon", said, it's obvious what the post meant was "the two worlds are canon", not "Sonic X in and of itself is canon"

    Like, what the fuck. How is this not obvious, why are you overfocusing on this, and HOW are you managing to then use it to shit even more on the games? "HUH HUH THEY CAN'T EVEN KEEP CONSISTENT THAT SONIC X IS CANON" IT WAS A 4CHAN POST THAT SAID IT'S CANON
     
  11. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    Are we even certain this is true? You said before that his age was documented as 18 by STI, which could very well be a decision made by Sega of America without involvement from Sonic Team. Unless we have something saying otherwise.
     
  12. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I did not know. I just said "I haven't seen many of Flynn's interviews" and your post read like you were sarcastically implying he had somewhere.

    Because I like Sonic, I like lore and world-building, and I'm Aspergic so I get hyperfocused on things I like.

    Yeah, it's in the Sonic Original Story from SEGA of Japan, documented on here:
    http://info.sonicretro.org/Original_Story#:~:text=From Sonic Retro,by the Sega Technical Institute.

    STI translated it, but I don't think they'd alter details: they have their own bible for that.
     
  13. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Discussion around this topic turned asinine 20 pages ago. I really don't get what's left to discuss anymore at this point.
     
  14. TheSignal.jpg
    (stole this from here)
     
  15. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I'd put together a timeline that would flawlessly prove Sonic Forces happened before Sonic 2 if I wanted to waste precious time doing so. Doing such acrobatics would be a lot more fun than fixing official work, and it would still be better.
     
  16. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I kind of want to see that now. Show off your acrobatics!
     
  17. Pengi

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    Sega's evolving take on the brand's fiction, all the big and small changes made over the years, is definitely something worth discussing and documenting. It's relevant in the same way sprite changes from one game to another are relevant.

    Repetitive, angry, page long screeds about said sprite changes is where the discussion falls apart. How dare they change the shade of blue. How dare they.
     
  18. Prototype

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    I'm eagerly awaiting the next piece of media which gives Sonic blue arms, but the arms are a different shade of blue than the rest of the body.
     
  19. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I said I don't want to waste time with that, but I'll give you some cues on that statement:

    1) Non-JP manual says Robotnik has taken over the world, or is about getting there (I don't remember, and don't want to check now).
    2) If you see S2 DEZ as a half-broken place instead of a half-made one, and the final boss as the sole remaining mech of Doc's army, you get a chance to write that timeline.
    3) Robotnik later tricks Knuckles by saying Sonic was his ally all the time he was supposed to be held prisoner. Knuckles believes it.
    4) "Classic" Sonic would be in fact from another dimension, as "Modern" is here S2 Sonic.

    That's what comes from the top of my head, not bad for a random example of silly arranging of a timeline.
     
  20. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    [​IMG]
    The monsters!
    Indeed, nice incorporation of the damaged Death Egg sprite in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.