don't click here

Unpopular Sonic Opinions

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Londinium, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Member
    5,466
    444
    63
    Having never read Archie, no, I'm definitely not letting that influence my judgement.

    Shadow is (/was) used to be fairly calculated in his decision making. He wasn't just a "spur of the moment" kind of guy. Perhaps "level headed" wasn't the right phrase to use. But I definitely consider him to be the sort that thinks ahead. Always has a plan and knowd what he was going to do. That's why I don't see him lashing out against GUN as viable, and would sooner expect him to work with them. If he had and lingering grudges and ulterior motives, he wouldn't go ahead with GUN.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  2. Zephyr

    Zephyr

    Member
    3,156
    213
    43
    US
    The present GUN Commander also has every reason to hate GUN: from the flashback cutscenes in Shadow, Maria and Gerald were practically his family too, right?

    Whoever was leading GUN and ordered the attack on the ARK is clearly not the Commander anymore, given that someone who was a kid on the ARK at the time of the attack is now the Commander.
     
  3. sulphurmarketing

    sulphurmarketing

    Member
    93
    29
    18
    Ever since I was younger I've always thought of it as Amy's desire of maturing into a teenager along with the rest of the cast.
     
  4. Palas

    Palas

    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    470
    180
    43
    Not to mention Shadow is merely reaffirming the growth he already went through in SA2: determining your own destiny, not faulting the entire humanity for some people's actions etc. That is, Shadow is just saying "genocide is not ok". Shadow could have forgiven GUN and reevaluated their role in the world, but he never did. Not on screen anyway. So arguments in favour of his alledged further character growth are entirely speculative, whereas what we actually see is indeed very jarring.

    That said, here's a tangentially related unpopular opinion: I really like that Shadow uses guns, abstractly speaking. It's weird to see him do it, but as Sonic's rival, him being someone who runs as fast as Sonic, but still prefers to attack from a distance (be it with Chaos Spear or gunfire) is a lot more challenging for Sonic than Eggman (who will often attack from a distance, but is slow, thus always needing some way to push Sonic away) or Metal Sonic (who is functionally identical to Sonic, being faast and attacking head-on, in Sonic CD at least). And I prefer to have him using guns/technology in general than Chaos Emerald-related projectiles because we have other characters who can explore Mystical powers, but not many others who can use technology-based ones. So it fits a lot, thematically.

    I don't think it has ever worked that well in practice, as many will agree. But, you know. Ideally, it's a neat framework.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Taylor

    Taylor

    Member
    233
    80
    28
    Good points. I agree it works thematically, but for gameplay its more iffy. Guns work in Shadow the game: A lot of the missions require you to kill a ton of enemies to proceed, so guns complement Shadow's moveset well, since it's faster than homing attacking. But if Shadow as playable again, I (and I think most other people) would want him to play like in SA2, where the guns wouldn't really do much for him and there's not much incentive to commit mass slaughter :V
     
  6. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think the main thing to consider is that Sonic Team were clearly making it up without much thought put into it as they went along. Especially with Shadow. I don't think his character was ruined just because the game Shadow the Hedgehog was melodramatic and edgy. It was a significant reason for the degradation of his character but they also just had no idea what they were doing with him. So his motivations changed from game to game with little clear explanations.

    They have the wonky story of Shadow possibly being an android in Heroes, Eggman clarifying that he's actually the real Shadow in one voice line in the true ending of Shadow the Hedgehog, then not making clear in subsequent titles what his identity really was to players who weren't completionists. So a lot of players had no idea who this Shadow was and even those who did know had that infomation communicated in one voice line. It should have been a major cutscene with care and a proper payoff.

    But even beyond that, the ending of Heroes was just baffling. There's a major hint that something significant will happen with Shadow, Omega and Metal Sonic. It makes sense since they are all (presumed for Shadow) robots who turned against Eggman. But it never comes to fruition.

    [​IMG]

    God knows what that was all about. This is the kind of thing that would get ripped to shreds in today's continuity obsessed fandom but which no one really brings up against the 2000s games. A lot of fans like to think that the Sonic games in the 'Dark Age' had much more attention to detail in the worldbuilding than they actually did. There's loads of ways you can criticise them for disregarding plot points and setups in prior games.

    So to be honest, I don't think Sonic Team gave it much more thought. They wanted Shadow to be cool so they made him a secret agent. Honestly I think that's as far as their thinking went.

    [​IMG]

    Badass GUN agent Shadow.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  7. That's a lot of the 2000's games in a nutshell. There's actually it a whole lot connecting them together so fans probably just filled in the blanks with their own headcanons and went from there.

    Like the fanon that Shadow is based on the Angel Island mural is basically accepted as fact despite it not being stated at all in the games, and people act like its weird you point that out and attribute it as an intentional case of "Show don't Tell".

    The same Sonic Team that spawned the whole Blaze and Eggman Nega debacle.


    But its whatever, people are gonna believe what they wanna believe.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. Felik

    Felik

    Member
    1,736
    10
    18
    Regarding recent discussion of vegetarianism in Sonic ;)
     
  9. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

    The Voice Maestro Member
    430
    365
    63
    Cyber City
    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    My main thing with the G.U.N. problem is a realist one. Because fans like to come up with explanations for how Shadow can learn to forgive G.U.N. for their atrocities, even if said atrocities happened barely a year ago. But without getting political: how often do we advocate for that sort of thing in real life? How often do we forgive militaries, governments, politicians, or celebrities for the horrible things they did, even if it was 200 years ago? Even if they've claimed to have changed their ways? How often do we call those who advocate for "moving on" to be bootlickers, or Uncle Tom's?

    It's hard, if not impossible to understand how fictional characters think when they do such things, because it simply isn't how people behave in real life. It's not a thing, and it's debatable whether it should be a thing. I don't like that JRPG trope where the mid-game villain joins the party and is all buddy-buddy with them after he spent so many years committing mass murder, including the protagonist's parents. Would any of YOU be ok with that? When you're a child, your innocence and naivety doesn't see anything wrong with it. But once you're an adult, such things start to become irritating.

    Keep in mind that G.U.N. is a private military. This was retconned later, but when SA2 was made, they were explicitly implied, if not outright stated, to be entirely separate from the President and whatever government the President operates. Even in Shadow 05, it's implied that even though the President is informed of war updates, he has little-to-no oversight of their actions, when in theory he should be the Commander-in-chief. Despite him having a photo of Shadow on his desk and calling him a hero, G.U.N. are still out to kill Shadow and move against his wishes because the Commander is a dick and has complete authority. G.U.N. is the kind of group that in other media, would be killing millions "to save billions". They embody that popular late 90s obsession with the dangers of the military-industrial complex seen not just in TV shows like Star Trek, but in games like Final Fantasy VII, Half-Life, and Metal Gear Solid. The type of group that does the shadiest, most immoral Black Ops experiments behind the scenes...as seen in SA2.

    Even if we assume that, after a month or so, G.U.N. was entirely reformed and nationalized, and they're completely different and not like those other shady organizations, that's only assumed. It's not even implied: every part of that would have to be off-screen and it's never brought up. And if they're not that kind of organization anymore, why call them G.U.N.?
     
  10. Taylor

    Taylor

    Member
    233
    80
    28
    It's kinda hard to talk about this subject without bringing in political comparisons, and that's exactly why GUN should've never been brought into the franchise to begin with, lol

    You can just have Shadow be a clone of Sonic or something, why they felt to add in all this strange baggage of government conspiracies and paramilitaries is beyond me
     
  11. Well one, that's already Metal's schtick, so redundancy. And two, its also much less interesting and generic.

    I don't know why everyone's go to rewrite for Shadow is to strip him of the things that actually make him standout in favor of something way more standard.
     
  12. BlueSkiesAM2

    BlueSkiesAM2

    Member
    495
    242
    43
    Denmark
    The easy way around this is not calling people bootlickers or Uncle Toms lol.

    I mean, I think the aftermath of WW1 leading into WW2 has taught the world that it’s probably best to forgive and forget. Japanese people probably have some sense of this ingrained into them from history. The Japanese had to deal with getting nuked by the US, the US had to deal with the Japanese surprise attack Pearl Harbor, and now they’re very close. And everyone let Germany continue being a thing lol. I mean the US and UK are probably each other’s closest allies and they started off with a bit of a ruck.

    So I think it’s more realistic than you’re making it out to be. It’s likely that whoever ordered what happened in the Ark isn’t around, the guy who fired the shot isn’t around, so it’s largely irrational to blame the organization when it’s ultimately the result of individuals’ actions.
     
  13. Taylor

    Taylor

    Member
    233
    80
    28
    That's kinda the rub with Shadow, he was literally designed to be "Evil Sonic". His very existence will always be slurping from Metal Sonic's milkshake, because Metal Sonic was also meant to be "Evil Sonic". Metal Sonic even did the whole "giving your life for humanity" thing in the OVA.

    That being said, you could distinguish the two. Since Shadow is an actual life form and not a robot, he could have the free will to rebel against his creators, which Metal Sonic can never do. This is assuming a hard reboot though, since obviously Sega has presented storylines where robots *can* rebel (hi Heroes). It could've worked for the live-action movies, for example. Yeah, SA1 had Gamma, but you could argue that was because he was powered by a living creature (which doesn't seem to be the case for Metal)

    Another possible take is that Shadow has nothing to do with Eggman, and is entirely the creation of the Black Arms. Earth's greatest defender is a hedgehog? Make a clone of him! Adjust the Black Arms to mesh better with the series' aesthetic and tone, and it could work.

    Finally, you could just use a modified version of Scourge the Hedgehog as Shadow, at least before shedding his villainy. I always liked him best out of the "Evil Sonics", since he really is an Evil Sonic, as opposed to a villain who just looks and fights like Sonic.
     
  14. At that point, you're just turning him into a different character. The whole thing with Shadow is the tragedy surrounding him and how that shaped his character. Removing that and you just have a different person altogether. Him being an "evil Sonic" is incidental.

    And even then, Shadow doesn't have to literally be a clone of Sonic to serve as a dark foil for him.

    Metal and Shadow are different in that Metal is an intentional clone made with a specific purpose of replacing the original. Metal's existence is defined by Sonic's.

    Shadow would still exist regardless if Sonic did or not. And regardless of their similarities, they're their own characters at the end of the day. Making him a clone puts him closer to Metal Sonic than he already is and removes that individuality I mentioned.
     
  15. charcoal

    charcoal

    Member
    611
    450
    63
    I don't get this statement, Shadow's in-depth backstory is exactly what makes him so unique and cool, he'd just be a lame as shit Metal 2.0 if he didn't have all of the baggage of government conspiracies and paramilitaries. It's exactly why he's one of, if not my favorite Sonic character.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  16. JaredAFX

    JaredAFX

    You telling me a shrimp fried this rice? Member
    873
    17
    18
    Florida
    Downloading megahertz
    I think that Shadow's compliance with G.U.N. in Shadow (if you decide to go that route in-game) and 06 is more a product of its time and a shallow, not-fleshed-out idea from Sonic Team than anything else. I think @DefinitiveDubs brings up a really good point that historical issues can be difficult to reconcile, but I also agree with the sentiment from @BlueSkiesAM2 that because those individuals who ordered the shot probably weren't around anymore that it was easier for Shadow to work with them. But my thing is that it just doesn't really make sense for Shadow to be working with G.U.N. at all. He's always come across as more of a free agent/hired gun to me than someone who complies with orders. In SA2 he was working with Eggman because he had his own motives, same thing in the Shadow game really (with the whole choose your own adventure thing). I just can't imagine there would be a real reason for Shadow to say "okay, I guess I'll work for this government agency now." Maybe you could come up with a plausible headcanon reasoning, like Rouge convincing him or something, I don't know. It just doesn't make sense to me.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  17. shilz

    shilz

    Member
    397
    87
    28
    getting my daily allowance of vitamin kk
    I've read that Shadow's Expert mode is supposed to be his training, not sure how true that part is, but in it is the more popular bit of trivia, The Commander gives his well wishes to Shadow, saying he's recently become a grandfather, and inviting him to dinner as a sort of offering to try and make amends.
    The fact that this is (easily) missable on top of the conflicting story of Shadow makes it difficult to follow Shadow's arc, but, assuming Shadow is still meant to inspire hope as a character, it still tracks, even if it's not "realistic" or "human" (in SA2 he was much, much worse than GUN ever was before He Got Better, like literally the tragedy so bad that GUN was trying to prevent it through their cover ups). And he did, after all, vow to put the past behind him.
    I don't think it's wrong for a series that is largely about coming back from tragedy or other negative emotions to have an optimism not seen in real life. By this logic, Tails should have warrants for his obstruction of justice based on all the damage he did breaking Sonic out of Prison Island and continuing to help him long after, even though Sonic would have probably been pardoned himself.
    I'm sorry real world militaries don't necessarily work like that, but I also don't think there's truly enough said about how GUN operates at any point in time to say that they can't, haven't, or won't change, or that the people operating it aren't working to better it in some way (which is how I've always perceived the motivation for The Commander climbing the ranks, with his reactions during the Black Arms invasion just being raw trauma that unfortunately comes out at a very wrong time.)

    And I know I just gave a whole explanation about why Dubs' perception is probably "wrong" in some sense but I don't think mine's all that great in some ways either, maybe a little more based on (different) factual statements from the games, but I'm applying just as much "good will" to them as Dubs is applying negativity, both of which are based on real-world perceptions, which isn't very helpful to anyone, but just the same process is probably why different writers led Shadow and GUN to different interpretations and points in their

    It's a shame we'll never get to know what actually happens at that dinner, assuming Shadow accepted the invitation.
     
  18. Taylor

    Taylor

    Member
    233
    80
    28
    What about a backstory makes a character cool? Because it gives context to their character arc. Shadow's character arc (at least in SA2) was that he was to cause destruction, but through love, realized he could be better than that. I don't think elements like government-endorsed child murder were needed to tell this story. With the suggestions I gave, you could put in a character that Shadow bonds with, giving him the love needed to be better, and keep the same points.

    What's funny is that even Sonic Team disagrees that the whole government corruption aspect was important to Shadow's character, considering that in Shadow's game, that aspect was heavily downplayed in favor of centering the aliens as the bad guys. The Eclipse Cannon, initially presented in SA2 as a force of evil and an example of Gerald's madness, is reframed in Shadow as being a force of good and what saves humanity from the aliens. This mutilation of Shadow's backstory is why I don't think it's that important to his character's appeal. Shadow's main appeal is he's "Sonic, but An Asshole", and the whole amnesia subplot, the quest to discover his increasingly convoluted backstory was just an excuse to keep him antagonistic a lot longer. As I said earlier, Shadow's own game doesn't actually say much about him as a character, because a lot of it is dedicated to exploring non-canon what-if concepts like "What if Shadow killed cops? Like, a bunch of them?" and "What if Shadow KILLED Sonic and Eggman"
     
  19. charcoal

    charcoal

    Member
    611
    450
    63
    That's a really, really weird question. I mean in my opinion his backstory kinda does make him a cool? Shadow's relationship with Maria and how he had that taken away from him and him learning to grow and develop from that is one of the biggest reasons I like him. It's a really good backstory that properly justifies why Shadow behaves the way he does instead of him just being weirdly unjustifiably edgy like your suggestions would make him (although some could argue SEGA has already done that with games like Forces but that's more on bad writing than anything).

    And I agree with you on that second bit! don't really like what ShTH did to his character and his backstory either! It's all unnecessary fluff that muddies up what was a really interesting character in SA2. Thankfully, they course corrected on that with 06 having much much better characterization and writing for him that (G.U.N. debacle aside) really does feel like a continuation and evolution of how he was in SA2

    And yeah, you can boil down Shadow's fundamental appeal to "Edgy Sonic", I do like him in major part because he is, in fact, "cool edgy and badass", but he would be a really lame character if that was all that was to him for the reasons I stated above. Him having the backstory he was given in SA2 is exactly what makes him such a great character to me. There's a good reason why Metal Sonic and Scourge are both relatively unpopular characters in the fandom compared to Shadow, they just plain aren't as interesting as Shadow is.
     
  20. The KKM

    The KKM

    Welcome to the nExt level Member
    2,269
    72
    28
    Portugal
    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog comic books
    We're forgetting GUN were the villains in SA2 itself. Like, not just the flashbacks, the current day. "The people who killed Maria 50 years ago are gone" does not justify "the people who're driving giant trucks chasing and wrongfully arresting Sonic and having kept up a cover-up of the crimes they committed to the point the President needs a secret agent to spy on them". Again, the first time we see them as anything like heroes is ShTH, where you need actual bloodsucking aliens to be the villains by comparison to justify GUN as a positive force- and even then we still see the Commander outright decide to attack Shadow too regardless of his actions.

    Forget the hindsight, think of it purely from the perspective of a story where Part 1 was SA2 and Part 2 was ShTH. Does it make any sense for our hero to join this force that's primarily been used as an antagonistic "necessary evil" at best for Part 3?

    Ironically it actually only does under the scenario that the fandom so vilifies- that Shadow's a freelance agent who works alone. I can accept him doing a job for GUN, especially since the job is to rescue Rouge- but the fandom wants him, Rouge, and Omega, as outright employees of GUN like in Archie, and that's where it starts to stink