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  1. How many cards do you have for Long Claw and the each of the others, individually? If it's over 300, they should be unlocked already. The vault makes an additional copy of every card you win, so whatever the number of cards is in the vault should match the number you actually won already.
  2. Whenever you win enough cards to unlock a character, they unlock automatically - the bonus cards that are held in the vault however are an extra you can optionally purchase and so don't count until you buy them, you can't get them any other way, and at the end of the season you get one final chance to buy them before the vault empties. Don't worry though, you're not losing anything per se - you still get every card you win in the races, the vault is only a bonus that would essentially double what you won; it's nice, but unnecessary.
  3. The Tails Vault is a fairly recent addition - it's basically there to give you the option of doubling your special cards.... if you're willing to pay 9.99. It's not a necessary feature though, I've only used it once (on a whim for movie Sonic, when it was an abnormally long event giving thousands of cards) and have managed to unlock all but one of the other characters without it. Special Character events are cycled through fairly regularly, so you'll get more chances to get Long Claw.
  4. They're obviously really branching out to get in as many characters as possible - at this rate we could end up with Emerl and Eggman! It'll be intersting to see if they'll ever finally do Infinite.... I get why they didn't put him in initially, as him being playable would break the 'logic' of the game plot, such as it is - but with so many crazy characters which have nothing to do with Forces crammed in now, they should be able to put him in without too much issue.
  5. I think a lot of the issues you're having are actually down to the game's one major weakness... connection issues. Any time one player has a connection problem, it seems to affect the entire game; many of the phenomenon you're describing (characters seemingly ignoring damage or going faster) occur when that happens. Characters can appear in places that they're actually not in 'reality', and if a player completely loses their connection, their character will become invincible and zoom at an incredible speed to the finish line. It can also occassionally cause the perspective shift error. I do also wonder if you're misinterpreting some of the things happening; that line of continuous lightning strikes for example is completely possible in that location assuming the player is high enough to get three at a time and fires them immediately in time to get three more from the next item box. I remember myself on certain maps being able to spam a near continuous stream of lightning thanks to the close placement of item boxes onto whomever was unfortunate enough to be behind me; the same goes for Long Claw wind traps, Big Lilypads, etc. I don't think there's any algorithm deliberately making you lose - it's just the chaotic nature of the game combined with the occasional connection issue, glitch and cheater. I've never had any significant problems or been 'cursed', and have enjoyed playing the game every day for years - if an algorithm were in place, it would strike everyone in a similar fashion, and I've had numerous streaks of continuous wins without any nefarious activity. Similarly, I can't see any evidence of false AI charactres that can't be explained by connectivity issues or the occasional cheater. It would take a hugely complex and expensive AI to monitor all the hundreds of thousands of gamers, determine which were winning, and have the sophistication to intervene during races in realtime in ways to harm the user; it would take a huge amount of resources to set that up for no logical business goal.
  6. Surprisingly not so much - some of their abilities are quite powerful (Shadow's Storm Cloud, Big's Lilytrap and Zazz's Star Trail) but they're not unbalanced. Probably the nastiest ability is actually Spring Cream's Hedge Maze - as well as covering all lanes, including making one impossible to jump over either, it dazes you if you get hit by it, so that for a short time afterwards you slow down if you change lanes. I must admit, for a random tie in mobile game, they seemed to actually put some effort in having it being quasi-related to the actual game, with each of your opponents being portrayed as Infinite illusions (that also explains away having multiple identical characters in the same race) which dissipate once you get to the Phantom Ruby. The random extra characters though, not so much, though at this point, and especially with the movie tie-ins, they're just for laughs (and I have no idea why they put Sky Sanctuary in it, that just seems.... completely out of nowhere).
  7. Apologies, I didn't spot your edit until now! For Long Claw, you can only get cards for her during specific events as she's a Special Character; this means she and the other specials are slower to unlock, but events for each of them do come around fairly frequently. Metal Sonic, Chaos, the Zeti and Shadow are all Super Rare characters - cards for them are few and far between. As you progress however, you tend to win an increasing amount of cards, so ou don't need to pay to get them, if you're patient. Regarding the different strengths of the characters - while some are arguably better than others, all are playable and capable of winning, and some get better as you progress. For example, characters with the power Lightning like Amy and Rouge seem underpowered to begin with as Lightning appears to be less useful than Fireball, Tornado and the like; when they reach higher levels however, Lightning becomes absolutely horrendous as you can spam three at a time in quick succession without having to aim them, and against targets behind you too (unlike fireball and tornado, which are useless if you're in first place). Overall, it's a fun little game - due to facing live players, each race is a real challenge despite level, with enough random factors from other players to make each race unique and challenging.
  8. Finally got Long Claw, I'm loving the beam of sunlight that dramatically shines down on her as the race starts! 😄 She seems a decent racer - her speed up / slow down drop bomb is really useful, right up until you get multiple Long Claws in the same race and everyone forgets whose is whose! I definitely think they made the right decision to have her flying rather than running, it would have looked weird with her design.
  9. I think to be honest it's a hang over from the old SEGA of America spawned Western Sonic canon. You have to remember that back then, most people didn't even realise that there was a plot outside of the Planet Mobius based Western version; the internet wasn't really a thing and thus the original Japanese plots simply weren't well known - I myself was a huge Sonic fan in the early to mid 90s and I had no clue then that such a thing even existed. The fact that pretty much every other Western Sonic continuity -animated, comic and print - had a variation of Mobius solidified this even more. For people growing up in this context, their long-seated original experience of Sonic's plot was of him living on a fantastic other planet populated by animal people, with Eggman the only human due to him being an interloper from another dimension/planet, and so from their perspective, Sonic seemingly suddenly being based on Earth in Sonic Adventure was completely out of left field and akin to a soft reboot. While the advent of the internet meant that most fans would discover the background behind it all and the fact that the Japanese plot was the original iteration of Sonic, there will still be those who simply preferred the old Western Sonic concept as that was the version of Sonic they grew up with, and are thus somewhat resistant to the Earth-based storylines.
  10. Oh absolutely - I was just suggesting to Splash that in the human-free world he was proposing, the anomalous appearance of a lone human scientist could be easily explained in this manner; at least two official Sonic continuities do in fact use this explanation for Robotnik's appearance on the planet Mobius.
  11. Just have him be an interloper - a mad scientist from another planet/dimension that somehow got stranded on Sonic's world; it also fits nicely with the original games environmental theme of technology vs nature, with someone outside of the natural balance coming in and trying to upset it.
  12. I don't think there's ever been an in-universe explanation given - it seems that's just the name they chose for their detective agency for some reason.
  13. Eggman does seem to have a ludicrously fast construction capability; from multiple space stations, to the Egg Fleet, to Eggman Land, or his Interstellar Amusement Park (which involved terraforming multiple planetoids), Eggman has always seemed to churn out factories, bases and machines at an unfeasibly high rate. One does wonder though why he would waste so many resources on an Amusement Park on an island no-one even knows exist - perhaps Eggman intended it to be Eggman Land once the Death Egg conquered the world?
  14. The main reason for keeping him alive is the morality of not executing Mr Tinker, who is essentially an entirely different benevolent personality, along with Sonic's reservations regarding killing a helpless being in cold blood, in contrast to Shadow's 'the ends justifies the means' black and white viewpoint. While Shadow killing Mr Tinker would have prevented the Metal Virus crisis.... so would Sonic snapping Eggman's neck while Eggman was standing around at the end of Sonic Adventure 2, or when he was vulnerable at the end of Sonic Heroes, or any other time Eggman was helpless, yet based on the games Sonic clearly would never do that. I'd argue therefore that Sonic's decision to spare Mr Tinker (albeit under watch) was in keeping with how he had dealt with Eggman previously. His decision to reactivate and let Metal Sonic run free however....
  15. The Nocturnus are alive, but they're currently locked in a war with the other Twilight Cage denizens, as per the last things we see of them in the game - until they resolve that conflict, they are unlikely to be able to turn their attention to more warp-belt incursions back into the real universe, and the longer the conflict takes, the less likely they are to return in any appreciable time frame due to the Twilight Cage's time dilation.
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