Hello Sonic Retro. Some of you probably know me as the guy who makes those stupidly detailed and obscure Sonic history videos, well... for the longest time I've really wanted to do retrospective and analysis videos on videogames and for the last 4 months I've been working on this... So whilst I know Geek Critique (Josh) and a few others have made individual threads of their work which has been justifiably well received. I'm not sure I've quite earnt the respect or notoriety to just drop my link and leave, so I'd like to make some margin of effort to briefly explain what I've done in this video and... well... why I think it matters. I've recently become very disillusioned with the state of a lot of Sonic game discussion and analysis, in fact, more or less every game at the moment has this problem with these 'analysis videos and discussion,' so many just feel like someone re-telling you the games events and dropping the odd "This is intriguing" or "This is really fun/clunky/a bit problematic," especially when it comes to youtube content. I feel that with a lot of content that's out there, you can predict what they'll say and the layout of the video before you even click on it. Whilst some of it is really good and clearly has a purpose, I feel a lot of what's out there isn't doing the games in question the full justice it could do... So I wanted to do my take very differently. I decided along with some good old literary and game development theory, I would also bring in actual scientific and medical journals that help explain why this game makes us respond to it the way we do. I'm not going to go into epic detail in this thread because... ... ... Fellas... I've spent the last 4 months working on this video... lol I would really appreciate if you at least watched a bit of it so I can pay some bills =p. But I decided to break down the argument/analysis into a few different questions. * How the game creates engagement, both from the story, narrative, game design and the level narrative/design, the hub world design and even the NPCs. * How the first boss in the game is the most important part of the game, how both the character designers and combat designers utilised their skills to make this fight work and teach the player without it being an obvious tutorial. * How does the gameplay compliment the characters and how this does or in some cases doesn't work as well for some as it does for others. * How do the upgrades change the way someone approaches the stages, and how the developers anticipated this and left clues and hints for players to pick up on, as well as how some later campaigns affect previous campaigns based on the use of upgrades to discover new areas. * The legacy of the game: This is essentially discussing that, whilst I think Adventure is a good title, I don't think as fans we're particularly good at explaining why. In a lot of modern games, they try to emulate the memorable spectacle, But adventure is more than that, in this part I explore examples and various evidence as to why this is. There's a few more things which popped up during my investigation but they were the core points I wanted to address. To give you some idea as to what you can expect... After the video went live, I was talking to Modder Speeps Highway and he basically asked me if I'd read the Japanese strategy guide, I said I hadn't, and he explained that there's a lot of backstory to the game in that book, which isn't explained in the game itself, such as how not all the echidnas died in the attack on Chaos, some modified their temple and others evacuated into the sky... And I pointed out that, I had no idea about that book, but I've more or less said the same thing, because the game itself actually does explain quite a lot of this within the stage Lost World. So the way Lost world is presented is that you see the stage from the Hub world, but it has a really clever subversion hook, initially you start at the bottom and 'drop down' into the stage, you think you're going to go up, but you actually descend. Then the stage starts to drop visual clues that there's more going on than you first think. The stage has a number of murals and markings depicting perfect chaos as well as several other imagery... But due to the flashback narratives, the Echidna's haven't encountered Chaos, yet their central monument in the present day is full of imagery depicting him... This alone presents a contradiction between narrative and the game design, but before you think it's a mistake, the stage also presents some other oddities. There's signs of irrigation, water is deliberately being manipulated., yes there are traps and hazards involving water, but the temple has clear evidence of it being managed in a no danger to life way. Another little oddity... The temple itself has ruins of smaller structures, suggesting there was actual life and society going on within the walls, such as people living or even business being conducted... These are... really odd things to find, why would a temple dedicated to the creature who wiped them out... have these things? Well if you've read the Japanese guide, you know the answer, but the game also explains this, I do discuss all the clues and evidence of this in the video quite early so please give it a watch. Another part of Lost World which helps with engagement and also acts as a nice allegory for the whole game, is the snake room. So this room, aside from being a... really annoying puzzle, is actually an allegory for the whole game. I'm pretty sure that you've all figured out that the 'snake' is supposed to be perfect chaos? But what you might not have realised is that your actions in this room mirror the actions of Eggman in Sonic's campaign. To escape this room, you have to do 2 actions. 1: Activate the coloured switches to turn on the door lights. 2: Activate the blue switches to raise the water level. So how is this an allegory? Well... Each of the coloured switches that you active, in order of how you encounter them, are the same colour as the chaos emeralds that Sonic sees Eggman feed chaos. The parallel to the narrative, as you 'active' the switches, the water rises/chaos becomes more powerful, whilst you get closer to the exit, with the now higher water level, the room becomes more dangerous, and this also matches the power of chaos, that he in turn will cause waters to rise and make things much more dangerous. I explain this a bit more eloquently in the video... But it's getting late here lol. The examples of using medical research to explain the games effect on us. Take Speed Highway as an example. Everybody says that this is the stage 'to go fast in', but... Windy Valley has steeper and in some cases, longer drops... However Speed Highway just feels faster... So I took a look at the design of that stage and realised that several inclusions by the developers create a number of optical illusions that trick our brains into thinking we're going faster than we actually are. For example, the road are equally spaced which mean as you rush past them at higher speeds, they blur and it creates a stroboscopic effect. (see 27:57 for the actual motion) This results in two distinct visual effects, the first, the shapes blur, it adds to the sense of speed, the 2nd is that the shapes appear to change their direction of travel. Our brains end up concluding 'we're going really really fast' even though we're not. Whereas Windy Valley doesn't have as many of these visual tricks in place, so the optical illusions don't occur, which is why it doesn't feel as fast and why everybody says 'Speed Highway' is faster. And then I found some medical journals that proved this is what was happening, the optical effects in speed highway trick our brains and create an illusion of 'speed' which is greater than what is presented from our temporal point in time and space at that particular moment (this is an actual quote from the paper), and if anyone actually goes and reads those and points out the obvious problem, I will respond to it. Another aspect of the video involves character analysis. SA1 allows all playable characters to undergo a journey that sees them grow in a manner than means they've changed for the better, except for one... But instead of just talking about the characters narrative, I wanted to explore how the gameplay for some characters compliments their narrative which allows us to strengthen our connection to them, but for some characters, this is done more successfully than others and I felt that Tails and Amy were two good characters to use to explore this phenomenon. In this video, I decided to compare Tails and Amy, since on a surface level, they both are similar in terms of their starting point, their journey and eventual conclusions, but from my stance, one is done better than the other. Anyway, like I said, I spent about... 4 months writing and editing the video, and I hope at least my efforts in this thread have at least got your interest because, I don't think I could have made this as a thread due to the fact so much media would be required to illustrate the points, so I hope I've done enough so that you don't consider this just to be drive-by post. I dunno, if you have any questions about my video and approach, please ask I'll endeavour to answer as quickly as possible. The argument isn't flawless, there are at least 2 obvious open goals, one of which involves one of my issues with Tails' campaign. But I hope you enjoy this.