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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. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Not to derail this thread into another characterization debate, but you don't need different VAs to notice the changes in characterizations. As someone who generally prefers his games in their original language, I play Sonic games with the Japanese voices. That's how I first experienced Colors*, and I still found Sonic and Tails to be very different characters from previous games. And even before the VA changes took place, fans started noting characterization shifts like Knuckles post-SA2.

    * I didn't learn that the game's story had been done by western writers Ken Pontac and Warren Graff (making the English script the original) until after playing it
     
  2. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    Fair enough, if you have different writers you're going to have some variance in how a character is portrayed. I still don't think that justifies a "Dreamcast Sonic" though.

    Maybe this deserves its own topic. Apologies for veering into this territory for a continuity topic.
     
  3. ChaddyFantome

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    I don't see how? Nothing I've seen thus far suggests we are meant to view it as anything but a split as a result of Generations.
    no one was making a distinction between Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic as "separate characters" back then to begin with. Heck, people weren't even doing so until Forces. This seems flimsy.
     
  4. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Did...you forget Generations?
     
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  5. Josh

    Josh

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    ...but that's what the whole "green eyes" controversy was all about, and we were screaming about that two years before Generations. :P

    The whole idea of "classic" Sonic being something distinct from "modern" Sonic came out of the fandom ages before Generations was even announced. Even the nomenclature came from us. Bringing back Classic Sonic in Generations and making those dreams come true, so to speak, was meant as an anniversary gift for Sonic diehards, because it was what the loudest, most passionate fans on the internet at the time wanted. :P
     
  6. ChaddyFantome

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    Come on now, you are being obtuse.
    People were whining about a design change, not a perceived different character as a canonical entity
    ....I assure you I am well acquainted with the Sonic 4 incident as well as most of the history of the fandom in general. I don't see why it's relevant to the discussion.

    I think my point might have flown over your head, friend. People still considered it "the past version" of Sonic as opposed to some separate entity all together when Generations was the talk of the town.
     
  7. It was more than just green eyes or graphical aesthetic, but a radical shift in how Sonic was portrayed and how he handled post-Adventure. The distinction between simply Sonic and Adventure (really Adventure 2) Sonic was definitely prevalent in the community well before Generations or even Sonic the Portable... I mean 4.

    The design is the most immediately obvious, especially beginning in Adventure 2 and DX, but Sonic's moveset is what really made him stand apart as a unique iteration/character from the Mega Drive and Saturn days. I still jumped and rolled on/through badniks on the first DC entry, but that was soon overshadowed by incessant homing attacks, sliding, and light-dashing.
     
  8. ChaddyFantome

    ChaddyFantome

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    .....Again, I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the discussion.
    We are talking about the perception around Sonic as an entity and individual in the continuity.
     
  9. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Nothing flew over my head. You just refuse to see that people have, in fact, considered Classic and Modern separate entities for over a decade. That's called "denial", pal.
     
  10. ChaddyFantome

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    I don't know where this hostility is coming from, but I stand firm that my point is being missed here. Whether or not some people considered "Classic" and "Modern" styles to be seperate things is completely irrelevant to whether or not people viewed Sonic himself as a character as 2 separate characters in 2 separate and disconnected continuities, which prior to Forces has really never been a thing I've ever seen asserted. It's easy to see based on simple observation that the series just continued on as it ever did and the shift in design was just that as far as the continuity was ever concerned. I mean, Metal Sonic's entire motivation in Heroes is built on plot point of his past defeats, all of which even happen before Adventure.
     
  11. You can even observe the schism or divide beginning in Adventure 2, aside from aesthetics and gameplay, in how the story effectively re-introduces the cast and no longer references the past. Even the general theme of the game shifts from rodent and occasional pals against indrustial madmen to preserve the environment, to band of shonen heroes in the human world full stop fighting against government tyranny as well as the eccentric egghead. They still all revolved around saving the world, but the theme certainly shifted away from pro-environmentalism to a much more basic team of heroes (and anti-heroes) against militarization.
     
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  12. Blue Spikeball

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    ChaddyFantome is talking about Sonic the character, not the games' styles. Prior to Forces, people didn't think of Classic Sonic as a separate person, but as the current Sonic's past self, as (surprise surprise) that's how Generations presented him. And before Gens, people talked about the two Sonics in terms of designs, not as separate people, as again, the various games presented themselves as the same universe and continuity.
     
  13. I'm saying that beginning with Adventure 2, Sonic was presented as a new character. New abilities, new motivations, and existing in a significantly different setting than even the game before it. Heroes even doubles down on this by re-introducing the Chaotix, who shouldn't need reintroduction if the continuity was the same as the classics.
     
  14. Blue Spikeball

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    You may view it like that, but SA2 wasn't officially presented as a reboot or reimagining.
     
  15. I feel like some of you are looking at this from the wrong perspective.

    The longer a series goes on, the chances in characterization are going to occur. Its literally unavoidable unless writers are in constant communication with each other. Just ask any comic book fan how often personality and motives change whenever there's a new writer. That doesn't suddenly mean each writer's interpretation is suddenly a new character altogether.
     
  16. Well even if it wasn't stated at the release of any of the Adventure games, we now know that Iizuka does view that Sonic as a different character...
     
  17. Unless you got a source on this, you're kind of talking out of your ass.


    As far as the series is concerned, Sonic is the same character as he's been since 1998 in terms of Modern.


    Classic is a whole different can of worms.
     
  18. ...uh what? That's precisely the divide this thread is about. I don't buy into the Adventure era Sonic is different than the Sonic in Forces deal. The only relatively similar division I see is that Adventure one could be viewed as Classic with a different paint job, while Adventure 2 starts the modern line.
     
  19. There's no divide between Adventure and Adventure 2.

    The divide is between Classic pre-Adventure and post-Adventure.
     
  20. ChaddyFantome

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    I'll bite.
    I think this is incredibly silly. Nothing in SA2 treats these characters as "new characters" nor does the game actually take the time to "reintroduce" them whatsoever. Sonic's story starts with him jumping out of a helicopter. No introduction. Tails starts by flying to go get Sonic. No introduction. Amy starts already there and Tails commenting on how she is here"again". No introduction. Knuckles is here with the master Emerald, which the game doesn't even explain what it is outside of its supposed power to stop the chaos emeralds, gems the game also doesn't tell us exactly what they are, his role as guardian isn't explained or introduced, it's just assumed. Eggman's relationship with the heroes is also just assumed, as eggman mistakes Shadow for Sonic trying to "spoil his plans once again".... I could go on, but the mere assertion is quite frankly absurd. The game even has several plot points specifically built on the idea that this is a sequel to SA1 such as the presence of the shrine in the cannon's core, the emerald Tails gets for saving station square, Tails' mech actually having legs so it can land after it transforms unlike the Tornado 2 in SA1. The game does not in any capacity treat itself as a fresh start to anything, but a new chapter in a series of adventures these characters have undergone.
    Where to start.... Well to begin with... I'm going to get into how in my personal opinion, I feel some people tend to overplay the actual importance of the nature vs technology elements in the story of the classics, (not to mention doing so at the expense of other themes that were prevalent such as freedom vs authoritarianism, self actualization vs stagnation, independence vs companionship, etc) when really outside of Sonic CD (which was quite frankly an obscure oddity that few even knew until the mid to late 2000s thanks to the internet), it never had a particularly profuse element to play in the story of the games or even the surrounding media at the time save for I supposed SatAM.
    Sonic 1 may be something one can more squarely look at in this lens, but as early as Sonic 2 on Genesis (which like for me myself was the first game in the series for a large majority as far as I'm aware), it was a hero and his sidekick fighting a villain that seeked world domination with his space station/super weapon.
    The environmental elements very much took a back seat here where Sonic 1 progressively had the levels become more artificial as the player progressed, Sonic 2 is pretty inconsistent about it, having the second level be a chemical plant and the next be a flooded ruin, the next be a casino, the next 2 being a mountain and cave and the next 2 after that being an oil rig and a steampunk factory-esque establishment, with no real direct causal theming in regards of morality to the zones at all (Casino park is laid back, chill and relaxing, while Mystic cave is dangerous hazardous and foreboding). You have things like Sonic himself owning a biplane and Tails piloting it, showing its really not been so profuse a sticking point about the series that they felt the need to be black and white about it.
    Point is even by Sonic 2, the games were very clearly, while not necessarily shedding this element of theming all together, putting it on the back burner to instead focus on action and adventure. The locations being exciting to visit and experience became more important than their theming in regards to environmentalism. The characters aren't "trying to save the environment from an industrial madman" they are trying to stop a tyrant from building a super weapon and using it to take over the world, and said core premise carried over into the sequel...quite litterally. By the Saturn era, those themes of Environmentalism might as well not even exist. Metal duplicates (and a doll) exist of the gang in R, but Amy rides a car. Levels are just levels and no strong message about environmentalism exists within them. Sonic The Fighters need not even be stressed in regards to this. Both these games were very clearly more focused on "Eggman has a new evil plot and needs to be stopped" with themes of the characters growing through their experiences as the man themes here, and when examining the prominent themes in the game like friendship, personal growth and self determination, it becomes a lot more clear the games were much more focused on other things than the environmental dilemma.

    But hey, sure. Let's put all that away and talk about Sonic Adventure 2 for a bit.
    I find it odd that this game is chosen for this as its at least as far as I can tell the first game since the Saturn where these themes come back in a meaningful way at all as opposed to the contrary.
    The nature versus technology is baked right into the fundamental dichotomy of SA2, with Sonic and Shadow being the natural hedgehog vs the artificially made one, and the game makes an active effort to explore this dichotomy of nature vs artificially. Shadow is very much a play on the "has science gone too far?" trope here, being in essence technology having advanced to a point it has created its own organic avatar to combat nature's hero in the form of Sonic. It's interesting to note that Shadow is an organic but artificial being, in comparison to something like Metal Sonic which is strictly a robot. It's easy to not think too hard about a robot and see it as strictly as a tool to be stopped. A toy if you will. But what happens when technology starts creating beings that are truly comparable to things in nature? What happens when technology out-natures nature?
    In the Classics, Eggman always built robots powered by animals, but an interesting thing about them is how he more often than not made them look like existing animals, creatures or beings. It gives the impression of a sort of "technology can create better versions of whatever nature does", as if Eggman and his technology as a whole seek not to simply stamp out nature, but replace it in an act of hubris.
    Shadow then is very much the end conclusion of that idea. Eggman finds out that his grandpa not only did just that, but on a level he himself could never hope to do. While Eggman could only use technology to replicate nature and create what he believed to be superior analogues, Gerald straight up created a artificial and genetically superior lifeform.
    This is of course reflected in how hard Sonic himself takes Shadow's presence in the story. People are confusing this artificial being for him. The fact this being is seemingly just like him but more powerful bothers and frustrates him and he seeks to settle the score. But he is tailing behind him every step of the way.
    The game starts in a city, and while the music is upbeat and cheerful, the scenario is Sonic being chased by the government with their robot forces to be detained. It's not a safe place for Sonic to be in, he needs to escape.
    The few mostly green and lush environments we see in the game are utterly demolished by Eggman and his gang. In other words, Nature is losing.

    SA2 I'd say as a goal, very much in touching these things in terms of subject matter is going for a bridging the gap between Technology and Nature and how both can learn from one another and support each other to grow, but with the main goal of challenging nature as opposed to the other way around. Its at the heart of the main factor at play in the story.
    By comparison, and no offense to the game, SA1's story is about an ancient water monster and the folly of people's greed (themes that would carry into and have a meaningful presence in the sequel but I digress). There's really no semblance of nature vs technology present whatsoever in the game. I suppose Chaos looks like it has mechanical things in it every time it nabs a chaos emerald but that's not really presented as Eggman's doing, and all those things go away for Perfect Chaos.

    While one can claim that this decision to explore those themes in the way in where Nature is not clearly presented as strictly good and the other bad, but merely actors in a conflict, even going as far as to have nature persistently browbeaten for most of the game to heighten the stakes, is a shift in theme (which, for reasons I already presented, I fundamentally disagree with), it is still ultimately an exploration of those concepts, in a way that the series hadn't done yet and that I'd argue the games were already leading up to, as opposed to a completely neglect or dropping of them all of a sudden as you seem to view it as.

    As for the bit about "government tyranny", I don't know where this is coming from? While yes GUN is presented as an ironfisted force in the games as a sort of "third player", the main conflict of the game really isn't about them or their ironfistedness. It's more of a hokey quirk that allows them to accomplish multiple functions for the world and the story, including and not limited to being a force both the heroes and villains can fight, allowing for more pronounced stakes as well as create the pretense for new enemy design types in contrast to Eggman's, which I personally find worth noting as Eggman has, as mentioned before been traditionally known to make Robots powered by animals, but also often looking like animals themselves. (It's interesting than that GUN are presented having robots that look like proper robots and are powered by Chaos drives, a non-organic power source, are also the ones that feared the Shadow as a being and had been "them going too far" while Eggman sought him out.) There are as well a multitude of other more minor things, but I digress. The story of the game isn't about how tyrannical GUN is and how they "need to be overthrown". I'm quite frankly stunned how someone can come away from the game with this perception. Its very much about Sonic stopping Eggman from taking over the world with a space station. You know... like Sonic 2 and by extension 3&K. The rest mostly just being extra layers and flavor. Layers and flavor that like i said before very much are an escalation and even resolution to existing themes.

    That was a fun ramble!

    Now with all of that said, what does any of this have to do with anything pertaining to the topic? xD
    Like, if Sonic was running around in aladdin with a different design...wait... if Sonic was running around in a nonsense dimension where there is a bunch of pastries floating about.....wait.....
    If Sonic were to go to the carebear dimension in the next game, and the story and its themes shifted to be more about the stuff you saw in carebears, what does any of that have to do with whether or not its meant to be viewed as a continuation of what came before as opposed to starting something new that's completely unrelated from a canonical standpoint or not? It..doesn't.
    I joked earlier about Aladdin and donut dimensions, but I was only half joking because Secret Rings and Lost World happened just as much after the events of previous games in the same continuity with the same character named Sonic who is a fast blue hedgehog.
    What one perceives as a shift or not is really not relevant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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