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Why did Sega decide to jettison the design/persona of "Classic Sonic" for the 3D era? and other Q's

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by DesertWarrior, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. DesertWarrior

    DesertWarrior

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    Outside of Sonic World in Sonic Jam, I don't believe Classic Sonic, as the 1990s version of the character has been called, has ever been seen in 3D outside of the leaks of the cancelled Sonic X-Treme. Instead, Sonic became taller, thinner, with green eyes and much less of a 'tude.

    Any reason why Sega decided to almost totally change the character for the 3D era? Why was Classic Sonic never given a chance up at the 3D bat outside of Jam?

    Also, are there any 3D fangames which feature Classic Sonic?
     
  2. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I may be just speaking from nothing, but I recall a couple points

    - They felt Sonic was losing steam and felt a redesign was in order to make Sonic remain cool and relevant.
    - green eyes was based on Sonic looking at a lot of green environments
    - the soles of the shoes were changed to gray to make them stand out in 3D. The taller bodies came about for similar reasons.

    I forget the potential reason for the longer spikes though.
     
  3. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I suggest reading the Sonic Adventure Wikipedia article, because it discusses the redesign. Also, partially because I wrote it.
     
  5. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    >Wikipedia
     
  6. Powpuck

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    I think there's a confluence of reason the changes were made. For one in the Sonic World mini game in Sonic Jam, Sonic's spines elongate for his "running fast"/"spring bounce" animations illustrated here:



    My inference is that ST were unsatisfied with the effect and decided to have his spines permanently long (presumably on account it looks "fast"). The limbs followed after so they could be better seen underneath his shaggier mop.

    The green eyes--disregarding the dubious "green fields" explanation--is to show off the fidelity provided by the power of the mighty DreamCast. Green was chosen, I suspect, because Sonic is already made of all the tradition primary colors blue, red & yellow; green being the honorary fourth primary color (once you notice this, you'll see this everywhere from game controller to little kids' toys, etc., etc., etc.)
     
  7. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    The “green fields” explanation isn’t “dubious”; Yuji Uekawa said he chose to color Sonic’s eyes green as a subtle reference to GHZ.
     
  8. Powpuck

    Powpuck

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    Yes, thanks, I know it's sourced to him. It comes across as post hoc regardless.
     
  9. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Actually, it's the very opposite...
    Source

    There you go. They redesigned him because they were unhappy with the cute and cuddly image he had gained and wanted to bring back his attitude.
     
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  10. big smile

    big smile

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    Can't you feel the sunshine?
     
  11. Frostav

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    Sonic was redesigned because many many long-running characters get redesigned. That's it. Even Mario has gotten a few redesigns. Honestly, if Sonic had remained the highly-respect franchise it was in the 90's to this day I'm pretty sure no one would even care about the redesign. The sole reason Sonic haters love to harp on how much they hate the modern Sonic style is just because they hate post-Adventure Sonic games and blame the redesign as part of why they're supposedly bad.
     
  12. Josh

    Josh

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    Hi. That's not the only reason people dislike the modern design, and I know that, because I disliked it from the beginning. I'm the furthest thing from a Sonic hater, but I had a strong negative reaction to the SA redesign from the first time I saw it in 1998. I loved SA1 and SA2 otherwise, but was arguing as early as 2002 that the Adventure games were probably a separate canon from the classics, because ESPECIALLY as of SA2, there were just too many differences to reconcile. And with the possible exception of 06, I _really_ think it's a stretch to claim that anyone argues the character design is a major reason the post-Adventure games are bad.

    As for why people wanted the old design back, it was a combination of things. The slew of poorly-received games certainly did a lot to bring down the reputation of ol' green eyes, but I think Sonic 4 was probably the real turning point. It was announced by showing us a silhouette of the logo, and given that it was freaking _called_ "Sonic the Hedgehog 4" and we'd just gotten a new NES-style Mega Man, everything seemed to be pointing to the old Genesis/Mega Drive design making a comeback.

    When Sonic 4 instead came out like THAT, it was the 10-ton weight that broke the camel's back.
     
  13. Sir_mihael

    Sir_mihael

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    I always assumed Classic Sonic was slowly evolving over time to become taller and sleeker anyway. Hell, the Sonic R promo renders almost look like a black-eyed Modern Sonic to me more than the current Classic Sonic renders.

    Of course, Uekawa's designs really thrust a new Sonic onto us for the sake of shaking things up, but honestly I felt like things were naturally going in that direction anyway. Adventure just gave it more of a push.

    If Sonic just naturally evolved, Garfield style, we'd have just had Modern Sonic without green eyes by now.
    (I have nothing to back any of this up, just felt that way!)
     
  14. TheInvisibleSun

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  15. Beltway

    Beltway

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    Redesigns that are small tweaks on the essential appearance (Mario has been remarkably consistent in his general depictions since Super Mario Bros. 3), or redesigns that are a noticeably different take on the source material (the "Donkey Kong" from the early arcade games vs. the "Donkey Kong" that's been in place since Donkey Kong Country, family tree arguments aside)? This is a question that people who bring up the "redesign" argument concerning Sonic usually don't prefer to clarify (and I know it because this argument cropped up ~a lot~ back as the Sonic 4 days).

    If you ask me, Sonic from Adventure and onwards has been more of the latter as opposed to the former, a shift in the art direction instead of an evolution of the core concept. (People actually argued back in the day that green eyes was always a part of [Super] Sonic from the very beginning and wasn't shown in sprites due to lack of technology, even though artwork and associated media of the era clearly demonstrated the opposite!) Talking about how Sonic's design has evolved over the years makes more sense to me if we're talking how the original Sonic has been depicted from Sonic 1 to Sonic CD to Sonic R to Mania. Or how the Sonic that's been in place since Adventure has changed from the first Adventure to Heroes to Unleashed to Generations.

    Adding to this, maybe it's also just possible that...just maybe...some people prefer the original design for Sonic more over what came afterwards?

    I've never disliked millennium Sonic and company's designs, there are even some variations of it I genuinely love (the Sonic Riders designs for one, namely with the cel-shaded versions in both the artwork and the Production IG opening) but I just prefer the original designs of the Genesis/Saturn era first and foremost. I was super happy to see Mania and its related ventures (Mania Adventures) bring that style for Sonic back after years of absence (and concerning Sonic 4, false teases); still happy that it has more prominence in general Sonic media nowadays (rather than silently existing strictly as retro merchandise as in the 2000s decade). And while I doubt we'll ever get to that point with the current Sonic Team I'd love to see that general designs get a legitimate shot in a 3D game someday*. Hot take I guess.

    (*On that note about 3D appearances for Genesis Sonic--it seems to be disliked nowadays, but I actually don't mind the 3D Classic Sonic model/design that's been used in Generations/Forces, his personality is the issue for me more than the appearance. But I wouldn't mind another take, especially so if it's something like the models Sonic Jam/R/Mania but with modern graphics.)
     
  16. Pengi

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    Satoshi Okano's Sega Saturn Magazine cover illustration also helped get the ball rolling on the redesign.

    https://twitter.com/okanotion/status/1123206727359389696

    https://twitter.com/okanotion/status/1169800748802035712

    He says he drew it in 1996, but people within the company didn't understand the meaning of "Kick It Jam!"

    Another bit of trivia: https://twitter.com/okanotion/status/1169261857246343171

    Okano isn't fluent in English, but it seems that he came up with the title "Sonic Jam" - before that they were calling it "Sonic Mania".
     
  17. SystemsReady

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    Uekawa's own classic Sonic art is even kind of a halfway point between Classic and what we got for Modern too. The longer, noodly limbs for instance. There's an illustration within the Sonic CD 20th Anniversary OST that has it.

    from the second tweet:

    Not just get the ball rolling, it sounded like someone went "let's just go with this" hahahahhaah

    Re: opinions on Modern Sonic, I hate the modern renders of the design and wish they could channel the energy of the original SA1 cover art. So much official Sonic art is so damn stiff and lifeless. How does he run when he seems like bending his limbs is so hard for him?

    Here's a new render of him from Sega:
    [​IMG]

    Here's one from Super-freaking-Smash Bros:
    [​IMG]

    His legs are even in a similar configuration but his whole pose is more dynamic and interesting, and also his mouth isn't this freakish, wobbly, overly deep crease that Sega insists on having in all of their renders of him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  18. Pengi

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    This illustration by Naoto Ohshima?
     
  19. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I feel like Sega should combine the current designs (classic and modern) to make something that'd appeal to both camps. Keep some things from the classic design (lighter fur, stouter appearance), but retain others from the modern (shoes, green eyes). This is a pretty good concept of a composite classic/modern design, combining the best of both worlds - although I don't agree with how it keeps the modern fur color. This Tyson Hesse art, which blends classic, modern, and Boom in one, is something I'd also be behind.
     
  20. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

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    "Modern fur color" isn't an accurate description. Sonic's color was never consistent in the classic era, and was frequently portrayed as a pure blue or even darker shades that resemble most modern Sonic palettes.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]