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

    30 vote(s)
    18.4%
  2. I hate it

    63 vote(s)
    38.7%
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

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

    51 vote(s)
    31.3%
  1. Noah Copeland

    Noah Copeland

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    If we are talking purely hypothetical, I'd say reboot and starting fresh really is the best way. Too many loose ends and baggage.
    Tell each story one by one and have a plan and way-out for characters. There seem to be a lot of Sonic characters that gets introduced in a game, have their arch completed by the end of said game, and then just appear in the next game without any real purpose.

    Take my boy Knuckles for example. Dude was introduced as a guardian of the Master Emerald. In early stories like S3&K, SA1, SA2, they had to inert the Master Emerald in order to get Knuckles involved the story. But from Heroes on, no one knows or cares where the Master Emerald is. xD

    I found this old Sonic paperback book from 1995 written by Michael Teitelbaum on eBay. It re-tells the events of Sonic 3&K. It has a good solution for Knuckles imo.
    In this book, Angel Island is constantly dimension hopping and only appears in our dimensions every few years. At the end, the Master Emerald is stolen back from Eggman and returned but Knuckles is off the island when it dimensions hops again, leaving Knuckles stuck in Sonic's dimension. This gives an actual reason for Knuckles to start participating in stories without having to involve the ME, cause it's stuck in some other dimension somewhere!

    Just an example, but stuff like. Simple but effective ways to keep the continuity going but without getting to messy.
     
  2. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    I'm thinking humans prefer the nice, safe urbanized areas, whereas anthros prefer the more surreal areas. But anthros still occasionally visit the cities for trade and tourism.

    I like that a lot. And it totally makes sense to me that the various Emeralds can dimension-hop. I personally interpret the Special Stages as pocket dimensions created by the individual Emeralds to protect themselves in an "only the worthy shall obtain my power" kind of way. Unfortunately Eggman isn't attempting to harness their power directly, but rather force them to power technology, thus bypassing that defense.
     
  3. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    And thank you for alerting me to this twitters existence.
     
  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    How should they fix the Sonic canon? It's simple.

    Sega hires Ken Penders. Then every character will become an echidna with a strong resemblance to Knuckles and no writer will be allowed to change a single thing without facing Penders' wrath. Everything will have a neat, consistent status quo with no issues.
     
  5. The Claw

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    A general policy I follow is to disregard events after Sonic Adventure 2. It wrapped up the central plot thread of Eggman taking over the world, I can't bring myself to care about their conflict if it's through undoing his character development.
     
  6. big smile

    big smile

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    Years ago, Iizuka used to take questions on Facebook. (Before anyone tries, he doesn't do this anymore).

    Here is what I asked him about the planets:

    Aaron Webber (Community manager of Sega of America) stated that the Sonic games are set on two separate planets. Is that true?
    Yes

    Thanks! What's the name of the two planets?
    there are no name yet.

    How does Sonic travel between the two planets. Does he use a spaceship or a teleportation gate? Thanks!
    nobody knows...

    --
    During the development stages of Sonic 1, Sonic clearly lived in the human world as he had a human girlfriend. But then that was all tossed away at the request of SoA. There was this interview with Naka from 2010 where he hinted that the games were originally set on Earth but on human-free islands.

    There was another interview with Shiro Maekawa who joined Sonic Team with SA1 and was the main story writer for nearly all the games between SA2 to Sonic Riders ZG. He explains that he didn’t think much of the classic Sonic stories and so decided to take Sonic in a new direction.

    So it wouldn't surprise me if Sonic Team were split over to have Sonic in the human world. When SoA nixed the human girlfriend, they probably decided to keep it vague. When Shiro joined, he embraced the human stuff. But then when Iizuka returned with Sonic Colours he probably wanted to do away with the humans and so came up with the two world concept so he could run the series as he saw fit without getting bogged down by the past. He's talked in the past about how with Colors he wanted to shrink the cast, so having two worlds probably also gives him room to that without having to explain where Shadow etal went.
     
  7. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Honestly, this thread is giving me more headaches than the misguided continuity of the games themselves. The only thing that really matters is the team involved in making the games is constantly changing and so do decisions about everything in them, including plot and lore but not limiting to them, and that happens and has happened through a long time span where the real world itself and the games industry in particular have changed so much it's natural for them to live on a daily basis and add some past stuff for the older fans because they're still there despite not being the main target demographics.

    As I see it, it's up to each one to choose what they want to keep present and what not. I personally disregard even SA1 because I never liked the monster inside the emerald or the shoehorned tamagotchis. I liked, however, the "new Sonic" from SA2 onwards even if it fucked everything prior because it was an evident new proposal that worked by itself even if the writing was bad, it was a logical business choice for that time. I'm not fond of recent games being each one his own because I like some sort of continuity (which doesn't need to stay forever, a bunch of games is OK), but even that is nice on itself because you can buy the game that appeals to you and ignore the other ones without losing anything in the process.

    In regards to Mania, it's not a classic Sonic game for me, not just because it was tainted by its link with forces, but also because there are design decisions for that game that I don't like and never were that way in the old games, and, plot-wise, doesn't make much sense to me, even Chaos is a better plot choice for me, and I just said I didn't like that.

    I think something Sonic Team needs (whoever that tag refers to) is 100% freedom from the past and the fandom to do just what they think could work, even if it's shit, because at least it would be an honest proposal from their heart and not some random crap put together after the fear fandom causes them.

    Sorry for the rant, but I needed to throw it out.
     
  8. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I feel similarly about Mania. I think most of the level design is great, but there's a lot Mania got wrong in my opinion, so I'll never understand why so many people say it's "the best classic Sonic game." It isn't better than the classics, and it certainly doesn't resemble the classics in some respects.

    As for the story and continuity issues, I think soft-rebooting the series to basically ignore most stuff from after Heroes is a good bet. Characters like Blaze and Silver can still exist, and don't necessarily need to be reintroduced. The only reason for starting after Heroes is that Shadow can be included without having to bring him back to life again. Essentially, future games would continue on normally, but no wisps, no deadly six, etc.
     
  9. khabastos

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    What exactly did Mania get wrong? All I can think of is the abundance of "automated" spectacle sessions, mainly in Studiopolis and Flying Battery. The levels are a lot bigger, though, so I never found that to be an issue. I did have a problem with the story, which includes its tie-in with Forces.
     
  10. Palas

    Palas

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    To be fair, Mania is a classic game that knows it's a classic game. In its self-consciousness, some level design choices were made as such obvious lampshading to the classic formula that it takes away from the gameplay's fluidity. This is what generates the automated spectacle sessions, but also the super attractive monitors in the middle of these same sequences. Instead of building your own path using these elements, you kind of have to choose between the automated sequence and stopping completely to get a 1Up. This is especially prevalent in Studiopolis Act 2. It doesn't bother me that much, but I guess it's something that happens.

    (Also Titanic Monarch is underwhelming, there's little sense of progression and the fire shield should burn all bridges and not just specific ones but these are just my pet peeves)
     
  11. Dek Rollins

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    Some of Mania's aesthetic choices for one thing. Sonic's looking up animation is a good example of how the game portrays Sonic as a "cute" character. The level environments (the four of them) look kind of weird to me, and don't seem as much like real places compared to the classic games.

    Titanic Monarch is definitely underwhelming, and is kind of tedious. The whole game is a bit underwhelming to me, honestly. The inclusion of so many zones from the originals, regardless of any new or rearranged gimmicks, almost makes the experience of playing the game sort of... boring. It doesn't feel like a grand adventure.

    For context, I felt this way basically as soon as I played the game. Waiting for the PC release killed most of my hype, which had already been fading since I learned the game would be 70% classic zones. I don't always talk so cynically about Mania, because there was a lot of good stuff in it. But after having a couple of years to reflect on it, I'm left with an incredible lack of desire to revisit Mania without waiting a good while between playing.
     
  12. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    I didn't say I don't like Mania, I just say that it doesn't feel exactly a classic to me, and not the best for sure, but that's another question. I'll use fan games for what I'm referring to: Sonic After The Sequel is miles better than Sonic Axiom, far more enjoyable as a game, but Sonic Axiom feels a lot more classic to me, brings that warm feeling back to me in every aspect (bugs and unpolishing aside, of course). Same goes with Mania: is a great classic Sonic game at base, but a lot of things break the classic spirit for me, to the point that I still prefer Sonic CD over it because CD at least feels really special on concept and true to the classic spirit even if the resulting game's quality isn't the best and is of course worse than Mania on a lot of points. S3K still reigns at the top.
     
  13. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    The special stage theme for Mania is named Dimension Heist... :V

    Sonic is meant to be cute. His original promotional artworks made him cute but angry. I think that fits his aesthetic far more than...whatever bland shit modern Sonic has for him at present. Does he even have a governing aesthetic these days? At least in the Adventure -> Heroes days, you could go "yeah, he's trying to evoke 2000s X-games/urban/street culture". You can't do that now.

    Titanic Monarch is a disappointment in that the levels are far too fucking long, and that there isn't really a sense of progression in them until you suddenly reach the end. And, most importantly, that you don't fight the giant robot. I was hoping so badly to fight the giant robot, like an escalation of one of S3&K's many final bosses.

    -

    I feel that Mania's "automated" sections are...just like S3&K's? S3&K had many*, plus also a dearth of "run or die" sections, which in hindsight is kind of weird in how ubiquitous they are, because they didn't come up a lot in the prior games. Was pretty happy Mania didn't use very many of them, if at all come to think of it.

    *Hydrocity Act 2, Marble Garden Act 1, both endings for Carnival Night Zone's acts, Ice Cap Act 2 is pretty much entirely this, Launch Base both acts, Flying Battery Zone act 2, Death Egg zone both acts (the light tube segments are especially long and annoying); not to mention any gimmicks that do take time for spectacle that I didn't include in this.
     
  14. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    I think the main problem is probably that it's not as straightforward as the classic trilogy. And I have to agree, certain things don't look right. For example, Sonic's spines have odd shading. But I let it slide because everything else looks GREAT. I'm a huge fan of Studiopolis and co.
     
  15. kyasarintsu

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    I think Mania played better than the originals in pretty much every way—I'm not going to go in-depth here but I'll just say that I find it a good mix of 2's speed with 3&K's breadth, with a lot less of the annoyance I find in the latter game's sprawling, ant tunnel design.
    The presentation of the story, however, was a sore spot for me. It lacked explanation. Too many cutscenes consisted of characters standing around like idiots and being warped away yet again. Despite the consistent presence of the Phantom Ruby the game was hard to take seriously because of the basic cutscenes where barely anything happens. Tension could barely be contained when they play many things for jokes and use those stupid miniboss and Heavies tracks that always make me wince when they start up.
    I don't actually mind the idea of reality being warped with disconnected areas of the world being mixed and matched—having a proper map to display all the locations morphed and distorted, like the World of Light has, would have been really cool. The map doesn't have to be something you navigate as you play the game but just something to show your progress like the 8-bit Sonic 1 had, with a second function as a level select like SA2's level select map. I'd rather have unrelated areas be put beside each other with Phantom Ruby magic than have to get warped or flung from place to place.
    I think people vastly understate the presence of automated, autoscrolling, and one-way segments in 3&K. I don't like the spinning tops in MGZ, the elevators in FBZ, the repeated slides in ICZ, the light tubes in DEZ, the rising sand and bungee segments in SPZ (the latter thankfully always skippable), and all the elevators and tubes in LBZ. There's probably more that's not coming to me right now (it's 6:46 in the morning and I still haven't slept) but god, there's a lot of moments in this game that just make me groan and wish I were playing something where I'm more consistently engaged. These aren't all purely automated, as my button inputs still work, but I'll just screw myself if I dare do anything else, especially with those damn tops.
    I think Mania's automation/autoscrolling was mostly fine. Except for HCZ's bubbles and MSZ's plane segment, I wouldn't call any of them excessive or even annoying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  16. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Well, I really didn't want to derail this into discussing Mania, and I know there's too much automation in 3K, it's the worst thing in that game, but I'm more worried about how a lot of bosses make you play the waiting game in Mania, something that also happens with the lotto gimmick in studiopolis, for example. The 4-way act from titanic monarch isn't a classic structure either, but I don't have much problem with the zone itself.

    Either way, it's evident what I said when I mentioned that game: some people see it as really a classic, some people not that much, both in mechanics and plot. Worrying about continuity at this point is a bit pointless when a recent classic-style entry of a 30 year old franchise does show discrepancies with its origins.
     
  17. Palas

    Palas

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    Which is high-key the reason why &K is superior in this department.
     
  18. Josh

    Josh

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    The pose is literally based on concept art that predates Sonic 1.

    [​IMG]

    That doesn't mean Sonic is JUST a cute character. The ability to juxtapose cute, cartoony poses with badass coolness and determination was present even in the earliest concepts:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  19. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    I'm well aware of all that. But that doesn't change the fact that in all of the original games, Sonic's expression didn't change when you look up. They put a reference in the game where it doesn't belong IMO.

    Anyway, about the level and gameplay elements compared to 3&K, I should note that I wholeheartedly like Sonic 1 and 2 more than 3&K.
     
  20. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    I think I'd release a Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclopedia, documenting the canon of the games specifically and detailing things the older games couldn't completely demonstrate, with small comic stories adding to the lore and filling in plot holes.

    (I'd also make clear the two 'worlds' are simply the 'Mobians' and Humans keeping to themselves with little crossover between them, and the two 'dimensions' are simply different points on the same timeline. Turns out the localisation of Sonic Forces changed a few things: Sonic was never tortured, for instance...)

    Might try my hand at writing a fan version of it, as I doubt SEGA would take the idea on due to the continuity heavy nature of such a book.