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I've been thinking a good while about where exactly Sonic CD takes place in the entire Classic Sonic era of games. It's been officially declared (and fairly obvious) that Sonic CD never had an intended place in the entire scope of things, fitting that vague place between Sonic 1 and Sonic Adventure, which is now being detailed to take place somewhere between Sonic 1 and Sonic 4. But that's not really enough detail for me, you see! The way I've looked at it, there are generally 3 theories that can be adhered to, but only 2 of them are actually plausible. I want to address the non-plausible one before I start detailing the other 2 and give my thoughts on them. The Chronological Argument This argument states that Sonic CD takes place between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, in accordance to the date in which it was released. It seems simple enough, and is the only real reason that someone would pick this one. People will generally assume this as the most reasonable argument, but it quickly falls apart to these major points: Problems: 1. Sonic 2 directly leads into Sonic 3 If Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 weren't connected to each other in any way, this wouldn't be an issue. However even when you don't have the instruction manuals to lead you along, it's pretty obvious that right after the Death Egg falls from outer space in Sonic 2, it immediately crashes onto Angel Island, leading into the rest of the Death Egg Saga. If Little Planet shows up and Sonic CD happens inbetween, that means that Eggman is abandoning the whole Death Egg Project along with the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds to take this jarring detour for who knows how long. 2. Sonic still has the Chaos Emeralds At the end of Sonic 2, if you get the good (read: true) ending, Sonic will transform into Super Sonic to strike a pose, and Sonic and Tails fly off-screen supposedly to relax. When Sonic 3 starts up, after the duo are made aware of Angel Island's existence, Sonic turns into Super Sonic again to show off, only to have Knuckles knock him out of his Super form. As we can see, Sonic obviously still has the emeralds he collected from Sonic 2. If Sonic CD takes place between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, this creates a massive plothole: why wouldn't Sonic just use the Chaos Emeralds to get it all over and done with if he already had them in his possession? 3. Tails is absent With the exception of "SEE YOU NEXT GAME!" and the DA Garden, which will play a part in the other arguments, and his role as an unlockable bonus for the Taxman port, Tails is absolutely nowhere to be seen. This opens the same kind of plothole as the Chaos Emeralds: Tails usually follows Sonic everywhere he goes, so if Sonic CD comes after Sonic 2, where did he go? It's arguable that his absence is akin to that of Sonic 4: Episode 1's, where he was just in the background building a rocket for Sonic to reach the EGG Station, however I personally feel that this refutation alone isn't enough to undermine the other major points. If those aren't enough to deter one from latching onto the "Chronological Argument," then I'm not sure what else I can say. For those who didn't think that Sonic CD could take place between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, then I have 2 other plausible arguments to follow, and the main question to ask is this: Does Sonic CD take place... If Sonic CD can't take place after Sonic 2 and before Sonic 3, then it certainly can't take place between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Those titles directly lead into each other. They lock-on, for goodness sake! With this point made apparent, let's take a look at these two possible scenarios, which I have dubbed The Hardware/Tails Argument, and The Metal Sonic/Sonic 4 Argument. And without further ado... Basically, this argument dictates that because Sonic 2 and Sonic CD were developed simultaneously, that it's most logical that the Little Planet event takes place before the Death Egg Saga begins, which is also before Sonic ever met Tails, explaining his absence. Supporting Points: 1. Development History Even though Sonic 2 was released before Sonic CD, a whole year before it actually, the simple fact is that these games were being developed at the same time. Yuji Naka was working on Sonic 2 in America while Naoto Oshima was working on Sonic CD in Japan. The focus behind this point is that because these 2 games were so close together in development, that it's plausible for Sonic CD to have it's placement earlier in the timeline, especially since it's a self-contained adventure, and since Sonic 2 would have direct sequels that would make Sonic CD's inclusion after that game implausible. Think of it like this: Sonic 2 was released earlier, but Sonic CD gets the birthright. 2. See You Next Game! Now see, this is where Tails' absence would make perfect sense. Tails is not around because Sonic has not met him yet, simple as that. Add to that the Easter Egg teasing Tails' inclusion in the next game, which we can assume is Sonic 2 if we take this theory as legitimate, it's very possible that Sonic CD was meant to take place before Sonic 2 after all. Potential Problems: Metal Sonic's Design Metal Sonic as we see him nowadays is apparently the same model as Sonic CD's. This implies that Metal Sonic is the best one that Eggman has created, therefore making the implication that Eggman wouldn't have to go through other designs. But this isn't the case, as after Sonic CD, Mecha Sonic mk.I, aka Silver Sonic, is introduced. He's a bulky and clunky robotic Sonic that doesn't seem anywhere near as powerful or effective as Metal Sonic. The same goes for Mecha Sonic mk.II, otherwise known simply as Mecha Sonic, making his debut in Sonic & Knuckles. While he can use the Master Emerald's energy to power up, he still is never seen again, and Metal Sonic's model is once again used in favor of these succeeding models. It seems kind of odd for Eggman to make these different and less powerful robotic Sonic doppelgangers only to go back to the more first Metal Sonic design. How It Can Be Addressed: Eggman is Flustered This seems like an arbitrary cop-out, but it may be the best solution if you want Sonic CD to take place before Sonic 2. Sonic 4: Episode 2's story implies that Metal Sonic was left damaged and inoperable on Little Planet when it disappeared, meaning that Eggman didn't have the ability to repair or work on Metal Sonic. After he starts making the Death Egg, Sonic is soon approaching and Eggman has to put together a powerful robot to keep Sonic occupied while he readies the Death Egg Robot. This would explain the bulky and inefficient appearance of Silver Sonic, and why he's so easy for Sonic to destroy. When Sonic defeats him, it's all over for Silver Sonic, there are no scraps left. Eggman is simply too occupied with the Death Egg Project to put serious effort into designing a better designed robot Sonic, so we get weird and clunky results such as what we see in Silver Sonic. Enter Sonic & Knuckles, where the famous Mecha Sonic makes his one and only debut. He seems to have more resilience, as Sonic alone isn't able to finish him off, and it's Knuckles who is the one to deal the final blow. But even so, Mecha Sonic still isn't able to handle all the damage and is eventually destroyed, despite absorbing some of the Master Emerald's power. To summarize, We see chunky robot Sonics instead of the sleek and deadly Metal Sonic after Sonic CD because Metal disappears after CD, Eggman has to focus on the Death Egg and isn't putting his all into the Sonic doppelgangers. I think that's a plausible reconciliation. But say that this isn't enough, and you find the change in Metal Sonic's design to be too jarring. That's why we have... This argument puts forth the idea that because of Metal Sonic's sleek design and Sonic CD's role in the entirety of Sonic 4, that Sonic CD takes place after the Death Egg Saga and before the Sonic 4 Saga. This theory has just as many pros and cons as the Hardware/Tails Argument, so it's equally plausible. Here are the main points: Supporting Points: 1. Metal Sonic's Design The progression of Silver Sonic to Mecha Sonic and finally to Metal Sonic seems logical. Defeat after defeat, Eggman keeps refining the abilities of his line of robotic Sonics until he finally comes up with Metal Sonic. This eliminates the convoluted reasoning of Eggman being too focused on the Death Egg Project to worry about improving his robot Sonics. Besides, this would imply that he lost all of his collected data. A good robotic engineer wouldn't forget to save his blueprints! That is unless they were destroyed by Sonic along with the Death Egg, but I digress... 2. Sonic CD Is A Direct Prologue SEGA has kept no secrets of their intention to make Sonic CD the prologue to the Sonic 4 Saga, and it makes sense to place it directly before said Saga. This isn't exactly the strongest argument, but if we accept Sonic CD as taking place after the Death Egg Saga and as a direct lead into the whole Sonic 4 Saga, then things seem more streamlined and understandable. Potential Problems: Tails is MIA One of the supporting points for the Hardware/Tails Argument is Tails' absence, making the claim that Sonic hadn't met Tails yet, due to his tendency to follow Sonic everywhere, especially at this point in his character development. Now after the Death Egg Saga, it can only be assumed that Sonic and Tails' bond is even stronger. If this is the case, then where is he? His inclusion as an unlockable character in the Taxman port is a thought, but since it wasn't included in the original game, it can't be used as an excuse, nor can "SEE YOU NEXT GAME," as Tails is totally absent from the first episode of Sonic 4, not that an Easter Egg should dictate canon, but it's worth noting. How It Can Be Addressed: Tails is Skypatrolin' While Tails Skypatrol isn't considered to be canon, the idea of Tails going on his own adventure or going on vacation could be a possible fix. The idea of making Tails Skypatrol canon just for the sake of explaining his absence in Sonic CD and Sonic 4: Episode 1, only to work "behind the shadows" to build Sonic a rocket seems like a stretch. But to be fair, it's not that much more of a stretch than Eggman misplacing his original Metal Sonic blueprints. Because of both argument's potential problems and potential fixes, they are both equally viable as candidate for official canon. In my honest opinion, I feel that Sonic CD takes place before Sonic 2. My reasoning is because in the time it takes for the Little Planet to return to Sonic's world, the entire Death Egg Saga would have happened. However, it's just as fair to assume that the time between Sonic CD and Sonic 4: Episode 2 in the opposing theory is just as long as it would take the Death Egg Saga to run it's course. Chalk this one up to personal preference. But what do you all think? Do you think there's another potential place for Sonic CD, or are these 3 2 good enough to pick from? Have I made any mistakes here, and is there anything that needs fixing? Please discuss! Hopefully we can get a step closer to molding the Classic Timeline a little more clearly.
Does this bum anyone else out as much as me? I was really wanting to play more of the sequel to my favorite Sonic game on the 20th anniversary... And I thought someone said it was coming "very soon" recently. Then again... I think I was the only one looking more forward to episode 2 than generations.
Yep, You read right, Sonic Team is completely revving up for episode 2! Ken Balough has announced the inclusion of a new physics engine, the first being hated by the fanbase. Not to mention the beautiful graphics to boot!( Type this into your browser:/Sonic-the-Hedgehog-4-Episode-2/news/Sonic-4-Episode-2-Revealed-16168.html) They may have finally made it into acceptance with this one! And although episode 3 and maybe 4 are still undoubtedly there on the horizon, ready to yet again improve, lets enjoy and relish the glory of this one first! Post your thoughts in the comments. Love it? Hate it? Want to worship it? Want to banish it to hell? Let's hear you speak your minds.