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)
    24.4%
  2. I hate it

    29 vote(s)
    37.2%
  3. It's alternate dimensions, not split timelines

    9 vote(s)
    11.5%
  4. Doesn't matter either way

    21 vote(s)
    26.9%
  1. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    852
    142
    43
    I don't know. This seems to have been a conscious effort for consistency by the devs, especially considering that like you said, they never bothered with such consistency regarding the continents before. The textures in Colors don't seem to have been recycled either.
     
  2. Josh

    Josh

    Oldbie
    1,731
    351
    63
    USA
    [​IMG]

    I really don't mind the concept at all. But like most things about... uh, so many aspects of the series going back at least 20 years, where it runs into problems is in the execution. I can't pretend to be in Naka and Iizuka's head, and it wouldn't be right to take their words at more than face value. But from the perspective of my fandom, "two worlds" comes across like an out-of-universe explanation, rather than something intrinsic to Sonic's setting. Broadly, it's justifying why Sonic's world went from looking like this...

    [​IMG]

    To looking like this:

    [​IMG]

    And then back to this:

    [​IMG]

    Now, from an out-of-universe perspective, this is obvious. Bright, colorful, cartoony, stylized environments thrived in 16-bit, and that creativity was core to Sonic's appeal. By the time the Dreamcast rolled around, an adolescent industry was obsessed with realism as the ultimate indication of "good graphics," and (Heroes aside) 3D Sonic games stayed on the cutting edge by following suit. But by the late 2000s, the idea that "real is brown" was worn enough that it had become a meme, and the perception was that Sonic had been so poisoned by overwrought attempts at "seriousness," so the series reverted to the more distinct visual style it originally pioneered. Simple! It didn't really need an explanation.

    But we got one anyway, and again, I don't hate the concept. I find complicated meta-narrative elements that weave through the legacy of a series endlessly compelling, and I'm happy to live with this one. There can be two worlds, sure, that's as good an explanation as any. But here's another oddity about it...

    The first time we ever heard of "two worlds" in any capacity, it was used as Sonic X's explanation for where all these humans suddenly came from. It reconciled the setting of the Genesis classics and the cartoony anthropomorphic characters with the more realistic, grounded, contemporary setting of the Adventure games. And when I was a younger, angrier Josh who still got unhealthily emotionally invested in this stuff, I kind of resented Sonic X for that, because in MY mind, Adventure and beyond was simply a separate universe, and THAT explained all the changes. (This was admittedly a more natural conclusion to reach before games like Advance and Heroes came out, haha.)

    But as it is NOW, both "two worlds" and "two dimensions" are canon, and if this seems convoluted, it might be because they're both trying to justify the SAME THING, but they're pulling in different directions: Two worlds integrates Classic Sonic's setting into the post-modern games. Taken on its own, this would indicate that despite their different settings, Sonic 2 happened in the same continuity as Sonic Adventure 2.

    However, "another dimension" separates the classic characters from their modern counterparts, indicating that no, actually, Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure 2 are NOT in the same continuity after all!

    It's ridiculously silly that we have BOTH of these at-odds canonical explanations at the same time, it's SO DUMB, and man, I love this series.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  3. Pengi

    Pengi

    Member
    1,192
    139
    43
    They don't look all that consistent to me. But none of it's particularly relevant. There's been no statement on how similar or different the geography of the two worlds are.
     
  4. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    It is literally the same planet, the pre-render just makes it look different due to higher 'quality'.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We're clearly seeing the Apotos/Spagonia and Mazuri Continents.
     
  5. Starduster

    Starduster

    The next stage of evolution for himbos Member
    78
    8
    8
    Britain
    Art...always art...
    @BlackHole
    Just wondering where you got the map in the middle from here? I've no doubt it's an official texture but I'd like to be able to take a look at it for myself in context because if this was created specifically for Colours then this is important for being a rather notable point of consistency.[​IMG]
     
  6. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    Texture Resource, it's the globe Robotnik has spinning in Tropical Resort.
    (Found the larger texture, actually)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. big smile

    big smile

    Oldbie
    753
    21
    18
    All this evidence just means the two world concept has been sloppily implemented.

    We see this all the time with Sonic. Sonic CD takes place before Sonic 2, yet the robot Sonic in Sonic CD is more advanced (the devs were aware of this contradiction, but let it exist anyway, probably because it was too late to fix it). Sonic 1 tells us that legends say the 6 chaos emeralds were sleeping on South Island. But in Sonic 2, the legends say the 7 emeralds were sleeping on Westside Island. This doesn't mean there are two sets of emeralds, it's just sloppy writing.

    Plus, when Iizuka is asked questions about the two world concepts, such as how characters move between the worlds, his answer is "no one knows". This suggests the two world concept is supposed to be vague by design. For whatever reason, Sonic Team felt the need to explain why different games depict different styles of levels and so the two world concept was born. They don’t want to explore it, so it hasn't been fleshed out. Any evidence that disproves it, is just a result of the concept not being fleshed out. It doesn't invalidate a concept that Iizuka has been consistently talking about for the last decade.

    It's a bit like there's evidence to explain why Princess Sally is part of the game world. We see her in Sonic Spinball. Sonic never shows a romantic interest in characters like Amy or Elise, so it's obviously because he's heart is taken by Sally. Granted, we haven't seen Sally since Spinball, but perhaps after her imprisonment in the pinball machine, she decided to stay out of the action as her duty to her subjects is too important. After all, Sonic 2006 shows how seriously royalty takes their duty. The king put his daughter in a position where she couldn't cry...

    This sort of theorizing is cool and fun. But at the end of the day, Sally isn't part of the game world. And while a fan can take this evidence as proof of Sally's involvement, it's not what's in Sonic Team's mind.

    It's the same with the two world thing. It's fun to explore and theorize the idea of one world. And I've definitely found all the evidence you posted to be fascinating.
    But there isn't any evidence to disprove the two worlds concept, because we know what Sonic Team's opinion for the last decade has been. The evidence against it just proves that's been sloppily implemented.
     
  8. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    For the Metal Sonics, I figured the Mecha Sonics of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were prototypes Robotnik was throwing at Sonic, as he hadn't gotten around to implementing the CPUs of Metal Sonic into the spare body. (Yes, I still maintain the Game Gear games as canon lore).

    For the sleeping legends, they all do let Sonic travel to the Special Stage, so I take it as the legend more meaning "access the Special Stages here", since the Chaos Emeralds aren't actually on the islands.

    Again, I'm getting the impression he's misspoken or been mistranslated. I've asked for the interviews where he's said the two worlds were different planets to check, just to be sure.

    Oh, I don't think Sonic Spinball is canon to the games, but to SatAM.

    Indeed, but hey, lets us go with the One World Scenario until they get their crap together.

    It is all interesting, though. This is why I'm considering setting up a Discord Server dedicated toward looking at the lore and backgrounds like this, like my friends The Legend of Zelda server.
     
  9. big smile

    big smile

    Oldbie
    753
    21
    18
    Because he's mentioned it so many times, even in English, I doubt he's been mistranslated.

    That's kind of my point. You have to do theorizing to make Metal Sonic/Emeralds to work, just like you do with the two worlds theory.
    Mecha Sonic being a prototype or the legends referring to access isn't mentioned in-game (or in the manuals).
    If you don’t do the theorizing, then Metal Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds are invalid concepts because the different games contradict each other.
    It's the same with the two worlds. It needs theorizing to work, otherwise, it will come across as invalid, even though we know it's a concept that's considered valid by the devs.

    That's again kind of my point. You can find evidence to make Sally game canon, but that evidence is not what the devs are going for.
    It's the same with their only being one world. There's evidence for it and it's fun to explore, but it's not what the devs are going for.

    Absolutely. Really had a lot of fun reading this thread.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    852
    142
    43
    Just throwing this out there but... Is it really Sonic Team's opinion, or just Iizuka's, though? He may be the head of Sonic Team, but that doesn't mean that every single view of his automatically canon. There's still the matter of whether the idea has actually been implemented in canon or not. Didn't Yuji Naka still think of Madonna as Sonic's girlfriend by the time Sonic CD was in development? Doesn't mean that she was Sonic's girlfriend in canon.
     
  11. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    Actually...
    [​IMG]
    This is the background of the Death Egg in Sonic Generations. Notice a familiar land outline? Hi there Florida.

    The file name? "bsd_sky_yy1_earth_df"

    So to recap:
    Sonic Unleashed: uses a heavily fictionalised Earth.
    Sonic Colours: uses the same Earth as above.
    Sonic Generations: uses the Earth straight up.
    Team Sonic Racing: also uses the Earth straight up.

    Sonic Generations' Earth is also the Classic Era, aka Young Sonic (when the game was made). Which lends itself to the Sonic Adventure reference, where the Death Egg's events were mentioned by a Human NPC (the Angel Island incident).
     
  12. big smile

    big smile

    Oldbie
    753
    21
    18
    Did he say that? Sound's interesting, if you have a link to it please share.

    But also, there's a difference between Naka considering a scrapped concept as being part of his feelings, and Sonic Team producing what's effectively a series bible which states things like the two worlds being canon and the classic dimension being canon and insisting that licensors follow this bible.

    I'm pretty sure Shadow the hedgehog depicts a stylized earth too (but it's been a decade since I played it).

    But also, Sonic Team are very inconsistent in how they reuse their assets, so while it's interesting it doesn't prove anything...
    Sonic battle has all green Emeralds and Sonic Jump has a black emerald, but they don’t prove anything either.
     
  13. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    Yeah, not sure why they only used green Emeralds. Was a palette swap that difficult?

    They are different colours in-universe, though. Tails says he can reunite the Emerald Shards if they get all of the same coloured shards, if I recall correctly.

    Also, yes, Shadow the Hedgehog uses a fictionalised Earth Map in G.U.N. HQ, and Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity have an Earth map as well.
     
  14. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    852
    142
    43
    The quote should be here, albeit in French:
    http://www.sega-mag.com/forum/sujet...s+de+Sonic+vu+par+ses+createurs-1915-67-1.htm

    It was referenced by this thread, btw. That's where I got that link from.

    Do we know if the Sonic devs follow that series bible too, or if it's only for licensors?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  15. big smile

    big smile

    Oldbie
    753
    21
    18
    It's a bit hard to make out, but I think he was saying he was surprised to see Amy, because she was nothing like the luscious human that Sonic would flirt with. But of course, Amy isn't Sonic's girlfriend, she just a girl that chases after Sonic much to his annoyance. So of course, Amy wouldn't look like the type of woman Sonic would go after, because that's the point.

    Well, they must do because from Colours onwards, they started talking about "Sonic's world". And then with Runners, they began treating Classic Sonic as a separate character (rather than Sonic from the past). But at the same time, I think the vagueness is deliberate because they like to change their mind and so probably want the wiggle room to do so.
     
  16. BlackHole

    BlackHole

    You're going to need MORE than help. Member
    3,611
    100
    43
    England
    Sprites for Cybernetic Outbreak
    So I did a bit of digging and looked at the Sonic Worlds depicted in full:

    Sonic Adventure 2 - Earth
    [​IMG]

    Shadow the Hedgehog - Earth (Altered)
    [​IMG]

    Sonic Riders - Earth
    [​IMG]

    Sonic Unleashed - Earth (Altered)
    [​IMG]

    Sonic Colours - Earth (Sonic Unleashed)
    [​IMG]

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Unknown Planet (doesn't appear to be Earth)
    Episode I:
    [​IMG]

    Episode II:
    [​IMG]

    Sonic Generations - Earth (even in the file name: 'bsd_sky_yy1_earth_df')
    [​IMG]

    Team Sonic Racing - Earth
    [​IMG]

    I dunno about you guys, but the thus far mostly Earth planets depicted through the series gives me the impression the planet is Earth. Really, the only oddity is Sonic the Hedgehog 4. And that's Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

    What do you guys think?

    Edit: Also, anyone know how to rip textures from games? I want to get a closer look at the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 planets, see if there's some coherency and Earth-like continents at all.
     
  17. James Smith

    James Smith

    Member
    29
    1
    3
    I really love how they actually keep using earth while sometimes they stylized it like in Shadow or Unleashed.
     
  18. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Member
    913
    154
    43
    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot

    You just explained exactly the problem with the two worlds thing: There's no evidence of it in the games, so it makes it feel like something Iizuka just made up himself that the rest of the team refuses to agree with, and refuses to put in the games. If Iizuka really wants us to believe in this two worlds crap, he needs to show us that. Show travel between the two worlds. Show the actual mechanic of how it's done. Show how regularly it happens. Is there trade of goods? Explain your goddamn world, Iizuka.

    You know, that would be a good thing to ask at one of those SWSX panels. "If Sonic's world and the human world are really separate, why do you refuse to show that in the games?"
     
  19. Starduster

    Starduster

    The next stage of evolution for himbos Member
    78
    8
    8
    Britain
    Art...always art...
    That or we lob our own hand crafted Sonic dolls at the panel until he capitulates to our demands. :V
     
  20. Pengi

    Pengi

    Member
    1,192
    139
    43
    It certainly looks like the Colours background artist used some reference from Unleashed (2D? 3D?) and either intentionally or unintentionally ended up with something a bit different. The "Mazuri" continent is stretched out and distorted compared to the Unleashed version. One person could look at the similarities and say it's proof that they're the same, another could look at the differences and say it's proof that they're different. Either way, making an argument from it is tilting at windmills. We've never been told whether the two planets are supposed to have similar landmass, it's unlikely to be something they ever put thought into, it's unlikely they ever expected anyone to compare the two, and the planet looks completely different in Sonic Forces (and Shadow, and Riders) anyway.

    I'm not so sure about that. From a Japanese player's perspective at the time of Sonic 2's release it would be natural to assume that South Island's Chaos Emeralds are different from Westside Island's. Then Sonic 3 had the Floating Island's 7 Chaos Emeralds that Knuckles was guardian of. Even in Sonic 3D, the Chaos Emeralds were were laying dormant on Flicky Island according to legend. From the Japanese side of Sega, I'm not sure when it was first established that there was only one single set of Chaos Emeralds. (Sonic Jam had 8 possible emerald colours in its Special Stage mode results screen - a yellow emerald for Sonic 1/2 and an orange emerald for Sonic 3/S&K.)

    He's publically stated that this is how the story operates in several interviews over the past 10 years, it's been confirmed that this has rule has been in the internal Sonic Bibles since at least 2012 and it's been confirmed that IDW were explicitly told to follow this rule. Yoshitaka Miura also stated that Sonic Forces didn't take place on a human world, on the game's official website.

    何気なくプレイしていると気にも止めないかもしれませんが、ソニック含めキャラクターたちが住む世界は、現実の人間世界ではないので背景に英語などのいわゆる「文字」を使用していません。