Which Sonic Games are Mainline?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Swiftbix, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Swiftbix

    Swiftbix

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    Something I’ve been interested in knowing for a long time is which Sonic games are part of the main series. I don’t remember Sega ever displaying a definitive list of games, and there are certain games I don’t think everyone agrees on (looking at you, 3D Blast, Shadow, and the Storybook games) so I thought I’d get some opinions from here. Here’s what I’d consider mainline:
    Sonic 1
    Sonic 2
    Sonic CD
    Sonic 3&K
    Sonic Adventure
    Sonic Adventure 2
    Sonic Heroes
    Shadow the Hedgehog
    Sonic 06
    Sonic Unleashed
    Sonic 4
    Sonic Colors
    Sonic Generations
    Sonic Lost World
    Sonic Mania
    Sonic Forces
    So yeah, what do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  2. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    How are we defining "mainline"?
     
  3. Josh

    Josh

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    The list in the OP is my list, except mine includes Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (unfortunate as it is, with that name, it could be a strategy boating sim, and it'd still be mainline), but doesn't have Shadow.

    A mainline game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series has to star Sonic the Hedgehog. Shadow is never included in official rundowns of the series' history. And even the game's press release called it:

    Anyway, this is how I define it:

    [​IMG]

    The "Storybook Series" term is an official designation, which makes it easy to consider them a duo of spin-offs.
     
  4. Swiftbix

    Swiftbix

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    First of all, thanks for mentioning Sonic 4. I was originally going to add it to the OP but forgot about it (ironic, huh). Now I’ve gone back to edit it in.

    Second of all, that’s a pretty interesting press release for Shadow. My reasoning for putting Shadow as a mainline game was because it ended a storyline that started in Adventure 2 and it was marketed as the next big game from Sonic Team (it had the big name developers on it too unlike the Storybook games). But let’s be real, you’re reasoning on this one probably trumps mine.
     
  5. _Sidle

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    • Including the well known Dimps handheld games (Advance Trilogy + Rush Duology) makes enough sense, as they were developed very closely with their respective console games, and debuted a few characters early (intentionally with Cream, possibly unintentionally with Blaze).
    • Battle is on veeeery thin ice as it's not a platformer like everything else on the list. However, it was developed (seemingly exclusively???) by Sonic Team, had some sort of communication with early Heroes development (something about Chaos and Gamma being the one thing I remember), and having Gemerl in Advance 3 be a send up to those events in Battle... ShTH is in similar status (plot/gameplay connecting with previous/future games), but is a far easier shoe-in due to all 3D Sonics of the era being a little odd next to each other. If the Babylon Rogues ever show up in a more normal game, I'd definitely add the Riders Trilogy in here.
      • Following that train of thought, SegaSonic, GameGear games, and Fighters could maybe be lumped into that list now that Classic is it's own thing and using those charas, but that feels rather flimsy the more it sits in my mind.
    • Sonic 4 is weird... I've never really felt it to be a proper mainline, even amongst Dimps's previous output. Maybe the episodic nature, maybe the miniscule size amongst other games... ? Something is juuuust off enough about it for me to delist it.
    Retro keeps on crashing and deleting what else I've typed, so I guess this is all I get to sayyyy
     
  6. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Nope, Shadow was identified as a spinoff by the official Sonic Team site.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  7. BadBehavior

    BadBehavior

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    Honestly its hard for me to see Mania as a main series entry. Whether thats because its not made by Sonic Team or because its such an aggressive throwback to the classics that it outright lifts entire levels from them (even ones they shouldn't have like Oil Ocean)

    Idk if we're going by gameplay then maybe Rush/Rush Adventure are mainline games and Lost World is the spinoff, considering that gameplay style was dropped harder than a lead weight.
     
  8. Swiftbix

    Swiftbix

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    Good to know, but I didn’t say that it was marketed as a main series game, just as a major title (no different than Secret Rings back then) if you get what I mean:
    Also, if possible, could you please link where they stated it was a spin-off? I’d assume you’re talking about Sonic Channel.
    Yeah, Retro has been having a lot of server errors recently for me too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  9. Blue Spikeball

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    Here you go:
    http://sonic.sega.jp/20th/history/
    Machine translation:
     
  10. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    S1-3K, Adventure, Adventure 2, Heroes, '06, Unleashed, Colours, Generations, Lost World, Forces.

    Everything else is a spinoff or side game in some form, even the ones that are better than half the games on this list.
     
  11. gold lightning

    gold lightning

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    [​IMG]
    runs
     
  12. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    The games that are mainline are those that fit the criteria of a mainline game after you define it.
     
  13. Swiftbix

    Swiftbix

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    Thanks for this! I was always of the opinion that Shadow was a main series game, but you and Josh helped me learn something new lol
     
  14. Graxer

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    Surely Mania is mainline if Sonic Forces is, as Mania leads into Forces from Classic Sonic's perspective?
     
  15. Yet we just established that even though Shadow the Hedgehog has direct connections to other mainline games, it's still considered a spinoff.
     
  16. RDNexus

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    Despite being officially treated as a spin-off, I'll keep Shadow The Hedgehog in my canon lineup.
    It's the resolution of Shadow's saga and connects to 06 by showing Shadow as a G.U.N. agent.
     
  17. Josh

    Josh

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    "Is this part of the main series?" is a different question than, "Is this canonical?" For instance, Mega Man X is a spinoff of the classic Mega Man series, but it's still part of the same continuity. Wario Land is a spin-off of the Mario series that continues the story that began in Six Golden Coins, but that doesn't mean it's mainline.

    (This isn't directed at anyone in particular, by the way! I just often get comments on my videos from people who argue that something is mainline purely because it's canon. But "mainline" is a lot like "eras:" They're ultimately pretty meaningless. The mainline/canon is whatever Sega wants it to be at any particular point. I just think this stuff is fun to think about!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  18. raphael_fc

    raphael_fc

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    Spin-off and non-canon are two different things. A spin-off game, movie, book, can be canon and still be a spin-off. Canon is about overall arc, spin-off is about particular focus.
     
  19. Swiftbix

    Swiftbix

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    Could anyone who’s skilled at research find out for certain if the Advance games, the Rush games, or Mania, are mainline games? I believe that the latter is, but not the formers.
     
  20. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Well again, what counts as "mainline" is pretty subjective here, so how is anyone supposed to research it without a framework for what "mainline" means to you?