That’s kind of what I mean.
I want a continuity where Naugus used to be a kind scientist (Boobowski) but was somehow driven insane, turning him into the creepy wizard.
Basically, Ice King from Adventure Time.
VILLAIN ROLL CALL: Scratch & Grounder, Eggsman, Metal Sonk, Naugus, Fang, Shade, Thunderbolt, Eden (maybe? maybe not?) (original char me and @Wraith came up with), Bokkun
Kind of a collection of villains I would use if I made a Sonic thing.
So the majority of fans here and in general prob aren't an old shit, and thus don't remember the day that Sega 'died'.
Not literally, of course, but the day in March 2001 where the demons caught up to them. After a conga line of massive mistakes from one of the most iconic companies in the video game industry, Sega dropped out of the console race, waving it's flag of defeat to the Playstation 2, leaving room for Microsoft to take it's spot. Sega then spent the better half of the following decade trying to frantically feed a bleeding pocket with it's security band-aid of hardware sales ripped clean off.
Then they were eaten by Sammy Holdings (a massive Japanese gambling-centric business matterhorn), which while surveying their arcade / pachinko side left the console-savvy side out to fend for itself. Sega's existence as a now third party entity in that side of the world pushed them into a desperate claw to maintain relevancy and hold dominion on the world with a rapid-fire overclock of it's many franchises (particularly the one with that idiot in it); sending them (as well as themselves) in a downward spiral that ruined both's reputation. The past decade has been a company attempting to understand again why they were loved, with some hit or miss results, varying from grand success to horrible misfire.
But honestly.. did it have to happen this way?
I mean, yeah sure. After all, this was their fault. Deciding to make two consoles simultaneously in the dawn of the 5th generation (and then committing to neither), Sega had thrown their trustworthiness in the tank. And while regaining it was going good for the first year or so of the Dreamcast's trek, Sony walks in with a DVD player, backwards compatibility, a good reputation AND Electronic Arts not being pissed at the graphics card they decided to go with (nice one blowing what could've been your biggest ally on favoritism for your cousins at Toshiba, guys). Dreamgis was heading for an early grave without even doing anything necessarily wrong.
BUT COULD IT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED??
I mean.. maybe. Remember Billy over there?
No not him.
Ah, there he is.
Microsoft wanted to enter the videos game industry, and by jove did they try! They made a thing we call an Xbox, even though they didn't want to call it that necessarily at first (it's a box that runs DirectX. GEDDIT?). Yeah, so Microsoft wanted to enter the games industry after realizing their bed-buddy Sega (whom they helped program the DC's OS for and also made friendly with via Sega PC ports in the 90s of Genesis and Saturn games) was jumping ship. So, heavily inspired by the Dreamcast, Microsoft went out to make their own Dreamcast with blackjack and hookers, and thus the Xbox was born.
While this led to some relatively high success and they remain in the industry today, Microsoft has a problem of it's own. The company from the get-go struggled to have an identity in the gaming industry (or at least one without a negative connotation), and thus was always seen from the grand majority as the inferior product. Microsoft's desperate attempts to gain an identity even led it's own bouts of infamy, what with their lack of understanding how to market to Japan (and eventually giving up), fumbled attempts to own/operate various studios (coughBUNGIEcoughRAREcoughETC), poor understanding of how to deliver hardware (selling the OG Xbox at a huge loss, the circuitboard failure that was the Duke Controller, the 360 Red Ring of Death, the whole forced Kinect thing with the One), amongst other things that make them look kinda poopy.
Even with their greatest success, the Xbox 360, they came in third place to the PS3 and the Wii; and the Xbox One as we know it is about to be outran by the Nintendo Switch (a console that came out four years afterward). Microsoft keeps making new consoles because they are infact very popular with the normies, but in the circle it markets to they are considered the 'boring' option, the blatant corporate husk, the one you laugh out of the room if it's not playing Halo.
Great controllers, though.
BUT COULD IT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED??
You see although MS saw their opportunity and gunned for it before even thinking too hard about it, Sega and Microsoft were actually in talks around the release of the OG Xbox to make it backwards compatible with the Sega Dreamcast, and Sega would've handled all marketing in the eastern side of the world for Xbox under their own label. This sounds good, right? Well it apparently fell through because Sega and MS were really bullheaded about wanting to use each of their own online service plans and, with neither budging, the plan fell through.
Idiots. Well at the very least Sega went to make exclusives for it. Ever wondered why Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta are the two dopest fucking games you'll never play? Yeah, nice.
ANYWAYS. THIS IS ALREADY A LONG POST. Here's the pitch:
What if Sega and Microsoft weren't dumb and just kept it going?
Congrats Microsoft, you are now in the video game industry. You also have the (then) quality-associated name of Sega's software as your main weapon. The console is already built, you just have to back it up and help push the company forward. Meanwhile, your company can still try to make it's own game studio and maybe scoop up some companies (still get Bungie, we need Halo on consoles..) without feeling so desperate that you try to buy Donkey Kong and then realize you can't so you buy Banjo. Amongst doing other dumb shit.
Here's a peek into that timeline.
2001: SEGA MAKES A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
The verdict is out. Everyone saw it coming. It ached in everyone's hearts, and Sega had to admit it..
The controller needed a revision. So they did that!
After surveying fans for feedback, Sega updated their controller with improved ergonomics, return of the classic d-pad and additions of a right stick, as well as C&Z buttons (mirroring L&R functions on older Dreamcast games, but serving as the black & white buttons on the Xbox controller post it's release). These changes put the controller on the same playing field as it's competitors (the PS2 and the Gamecube), and would've become the standard Sega controller until 2005 with the release of SEGA360 (where they drop the VMU slots, go wireless and C&Z buttons become LB&RB).
At E3 2001, Microsoft announces it's new unprecedented partnership with Sega (which is full of shit but oh well) with a new Microsoft-made kit: THE XPANSION UNIT.
Released August-Sept 2001, it is an budget expansion kit that improves system performance and gives the console a hard drive (if I revised the image, I'd probably realistically make it the lower end 2-4gb HDD. 6th gen didn't NEED the 8 gigs the premium Xboxs had lol). Probably would've also come with an ethernet adapter as an upgrade from broadband, and sold for a hunnid or so.
However, if you are just getting into that rad as fuck Dreamcast wave, Microsoft has got you covered too! BEHOLD.
INTRODUCING the DREAMCAST X, a new model with the hard drive and extra functions built into the system, rocking a nice navy-blueish-black-ish on green color scheme and boldly launching that Chrimbus with a Microsoft-owned pack-in title they're calling "Halo: Combat Evolved". In 2003, a budget model Dreamcast (titled DREAMCAST S) would've hit shelves and come packaged with Billy Hatcher or Super Monkey Ball or something. You know. For the kids.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?
Well, the Sega Dreamcast manages to make roughly the combined numbers of it's original run + all the income of the OG Xbox's run, selling... a rough 60+ mil units? It's no PS2, but with Microsoft and Sega's symbiotic relationship at play the company has made the brand stronger than ever and revitalized Sega's stride. Now Sega's once-scattered third-party material is now in one place (though maybe a tad different due to butterfly effect and all), and that extends to Sonic. The poor bastard isn't getting ultra milked in this timeline because poppy doesn't need his dollar so he isn't forcing his boy to work in the steel mill every day for 12 hours a day running on stale bread!! Wow! SA3 is real and it's here! The series never had a meltdown! Though it probably still did dumb shit! Woah!
As for the far future of the company, well, let's be real. Sega probably manages to fuck up like nobody's business because they're Sega. The company still probably drops out of the race in the following ten or more years! Maybe Microsoft just consumes Sega whole and runs them dry! Maybe Sega just becomes a soulless husk that only feigns it's glory da-- hey wait they did that in our timeline too.
WHAT HAVE WE GOT TO LOSE??!?!
Anyways, thank you for reading this post. I guess if you wanted to contribute, you can discuss whether or not you think this would've been a good timeline, or what else you think could've been done. There's a lot to discuss, and a lot of places you could jump in the timeline and save everything!
After all, you could erase the 32X and that might alone save the company. You could have where Sega and Sony decided to team up for the Play-Saturn-Station after all instead of SoJ's boss looking at Sony, going "no we can do better" and then immediately shitting the bed and spoiling the dinner! WHO KNOWS! Give it a whirl!
And most importantly, (click play to reveal my request)
I'm loving it already. Scorbunny is looking to be a favourite within the anime as well.
Also, there's flashback scenes from when Ash first met Pikachu within the trailer, so it's possible those will come up pretty early in the actual series.
Like I said in my status update, a narrative-based Sonic and Angry Birds crossover would be perfect.
Eggman makes badniks powered by little animals, including the bird-like Flickies. The pigs love eggs and hate birds. The plot writes itself.
Only thing I can think of is a Knuckles arc of some kind.
Which would be really funny. There's the usual comic book text box "THIS TAKES PLACE DURING THE EVENTS OF THE ZOMBOT CRISIS" and then the story starts and Knuckles is completely oblivious to all that, in middle of a relatively mundane problem of some kind on his good ol' island.