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Shark Jumping and the Chaos Emeralds


Badnik Zero
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The emeralds have limitless power, and that's a cool idea, but it also means they're a bit TOO influential in Sonic's world. Just about every major catastrophe in the Sonic timeline is caused by these gems. They can be used to destroy the world, save the world, and power enormous monsters and space cannons. They have so much history that's revealed with each game. It seems like as the series progresses, a bar is raised on what the emeralds let you do, storywise. Seems like time travel would be the ceiling with this, but who knows what could come next. Have the Chaos Emeralds jumped the shark?

Think about the first game. The emeralds are a bonus item that make flowers grow in the Green Hill Zone, the good ending. Next they effect gameplay with Super Sonic. Starting in S3&K they get a storyline. There's a Master Emerald with a guardian of ancient tradition. In SA we find out the emeralds effected Knuckles' ancestors, have to do with gods, and now both Sonic and Chaos can transform simultaneously. Chaos control is introduced. We can time travel with emeralds. Even revive the dying.

Negative transformations like the Werehog is territory that hasn't been explored much, at least with the heroes. The basic "stop Robotnik from getting the emeralds" storyline is good. But the story is taking the emeralds to ridiculous lengths, even for a gem with infinite power. I'm for creative use of the emeralds, but does anyone think it's too much for this aspect of the series? We've collected other items, like Time Stones, Chaos Rings, or World Rings. Even Sol Emeralds. Similar items like the Triforce in the Zelda series have remained the same. Maybe the series should but the brakes on the emeralds, at least for a little?

Edited by Badnikz
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I agree that the emeralds have become over used. Definitely. And when it's not the emeralds, it's always "seven _______" ...World Rings, Chaos Rings, Time Stones, Sol Emeralds, ect. I remember when you didn't know what the Chaos Emeralds even were unless you read in the instruction manual or completed all the special stages.

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You're correct. It seems the emeralds have taken dominance as the key items in nearly every single Sonic game. I personally think it's quite creative that they're coming up with many different uses however. It's more interesting that way, it does make you scratch your head a bit, but still, keeps the gamers on their toes.

Makes me wish I had a chaos emerald. I'd be doing all sorts of crazy off the wall shit.

-Iceman

Edited by Iceman Etika
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It seems to me that they shouldn't have introduced cosmic forces into the equation. For some reason, I don't like the idea of theology being introduced into Sonic's world, but they keep piling it on with seemingly every game.

It really changes the tone of the story when you replace "Sonic versus the comical evil genius" with "Sonic versus Galactus".

I also don't like the emeralds having a specific purpose. Unleashed implied that true purpose of the Emeralds was to restore planet when Galactus Dark Gaia broke it.

Really, I think they should be limited to the status of "Unpredictable Power Source".

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I'm kind of torn on this...on the one hand it does sort of stretch my willing belief that damn near every civilization that's ever existed has managed to get their hands on the emeralds, but then again it makes sense that legendary objects of immense power that actually do exist would be sought after and, when one civilization dies, would be taken up by another (especially since they seem to get around pretty well on their own, showing up wherever Sonic and the rest happen to be at the time). Plus it's more convenient than creating new mystical artifacts for every game...though they still tend to do that, or something like it...

It seems to me that they shouldn't have introduced cosmic forces into the equation. For some reason, I don't like the idea of theology being introduced into Sonic's world, but they keep piling it on with seemingly every game.
A lot of that stuff turns out to be more down-to-earth than it first seems, tho'. Chaos was just a mutated chao, Solaris was man-made, the Babylon Rogues were actually aliens, the Gaias...well, okay, there's not a whole lot I can do with that...

I also don't like the emeralds having a specific purpose. Unleashed implied that true purpose of the Emeralds was to restore planet when Galactus Dark Gaia broke it.
I dunno, I think it's possible to argue against that. It's entirely possible that a previous incarnation of Light Gaia (or whoever built them) made the temples to use the emeralds (in the same way every other civilization has made use of them), rather than the emeralds existing to be used in the temples. The whole thing is pretty hazy, with only fragments for us to pick through, I don't think there's enough to get a solid answer by (and to be honest I'm not even sure the writers would have bothered to commit to one idea or the other either).

Plus I can pretty much guarantee that the whole thing will be completely ignored by any game that isn't Unleashed 2, so it doesn't really amount to much anyway.

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I dunno, I think it's possible to argue against that. It's entirely possible that a previous incarnation of Light Gaia (or whoever built them) made the temples to use the emeralds (in the same way every other civilization has made use of them), rather than the emeralds existing to be used in the temples. The whole thing is pretty hazy, with only fragments for us to pick through, I don't think there's enough to get a solid answer by (and to be honest I'm not even sure the writers would have bothered to commit to one idea or the other either).

I'd be ok with the temples using the Emeralds, but the temples also restored the emeralds as well :\

E: two more things: I lump aliens in with the other tone changing factors I listed (Just look what they did to Dragonball), and I think that the Solaris project was actually meant to harness Solaris, not create it. That game's story was pretty hard to follow, so I could be wrong.

Edited by Phos
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I think I'm one of the few people who actually LIKES what they're doing with the emeralds. Granted, I think that time travel is a bit much (you can't just god mode the world if you have an emerald...), but the idea of the Emeralds being limitless power sources involved greatly in the formation of cultures just brings so much depth to Sonic's world. To make their power so legendary that they're associated with gods and all that...I think it's cool, but then I also love mythology. I WOULD prefer it though if they'd leave all of the higher purposes of the Emeralds and things like that just to the Echinda race.

I support them being simply infinite power sources, but the games have just built on how they've affected the world around them. I don't QUITE see it as jumping the shark.

I suppose that the problem comes down to how overused they are now. In the original games, they were optional extras (unless you wanted the good ending) and weren't so central to the plotline. Now, every plot somehow revolves around the Chaos Emeralds and every plot device is related to them. If you're gonna use them that often they stop becoming special, so they have to add more and more power and innovations to them to keep the Emeralds, well, special.

I also don't like the emeralds having a specific purpose. Unleashed implied that true purpose of the Emeralds was to restore planet when Galactus Dark Gaia broke it.

Really, I think they should be limited to the status of "Unpredictable Power Source".

Hmm, it could just be because I haven't rewatched all the cutscenes since beating the game the first time (haven't found the videos yet!), but I think you could easily work around that because I don't like the idea of the Emeralds having a specific purpose either. One COULD argue that due to how Eggman used the Emeralds to split the planet apart, therefore draining them, that was the only reason why they needed to take them to the temples. Maybe in the ending the emeralds weren't TRULY necessary to form the Gaia Colossus...they just made it easier?

Actually that theory doesn't hold a heck of a lot of water. Here's an alternate one - the Gaias were created due to the influence of the Emeralds' power somehow, and so of COURSE they'd be related then...

On the other side, I also like Diogenes' theory - as to how the temples then restored the Emeralds, maybe Light Gaia using the Emeralds would have drained them, so it was needed to also develop a way to restore their energy. The only question would be where the energy would come from...Light Gaia itself, perhaps?

On a slightly off topic note: I always wondered, I KNOW Shadow put the past behind him, but still, why didn't he go back in time to save Maria in Sonic '06? Considering you can now do that, and all...

Edited by Extryn
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I do think they're being a bit overused. However Unleashed probably made it seem worse than it is, by being the latest in the series and also being a "collect 7 magical mcguffins" storyline in which not much happens in the way of plot twists. I don't have a problem with that, but it'd be nice if we could have a game where the chaos emeralds are just sort of all over for most of the time like SA, SA2 and 06, or even better, for a real change of pace, not involved.

On a slightly off topic note: I always wondered, I KNOW Shadow put the past behind him, but still, why didn't he go back in time to save Maria in Sonic '06? Considering you can now do that, and all...

The fact that Mephiles already knew Shadow in the present before he went back in time shows that the Sonic series (at least for this game) goes by the logic of one set timeline. If Shadow was going to return to the past to save Maria and be successful, it would have already happened. In a set, straight timeline, the fact that Maria died proves that should Shadow attempt to go back and save her, he'd be doomed to fail.

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The only thing I don't like is the time travel. I mean, if you can time travel with one emerald, why does Eggman need/want all seven. He could just go back in time and correct all his mistakes! And Time travel is messy bussniness anyway so I think it's best if the Sonic series just stayed as far from it as possible!

I think what needs to be emphasised is that not everyone can use the emeralds. Maybe that would make them a bit less of "Ultimate Stones of power, get 'em, you've won".

Also, I think it would be better if characters can't use them all the time. I like the idea of Sonic trying to use the emeralds and it doesn't work. Maybe they could have emotions or thoughts. Where the emerald might be low on power, or have power surges. I dunno; just throwing ideas around!

The Chaos Emeralds are fine; SEGA just need to come up with some more exiting uses for them.

Edited by The Word Tamer
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The fact that the Chaos Emeralds aren't really explained in detail leaves room for interpretation... and according to the way I view it, it seems quite logical that they would be involved in almost every catastrophic event.

For one thing, the Chaos Emeralds exist in a way that they extend beyond Sonic's world itself, as their counterparts exist also as World Rings, Time Stones, Sol Emeralds, etc... Different objects across different planes of existence, but in essence they are one and the same, which is why it is dangerous for the Chaos Emeralds and the Sol Emeralds to be kept in the same world unless the bearer knows what they are doing. They also have inexplicable powers that seem related to what is magical or unreal, such as emotions in Secret Rings or time control in Sonic CD.

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Being so powerful, there would likely be many different ways in which they have fit into the myths and legends of Sonic's world. The Gaia split resulted in tearing the world apart, so the Light Gaia used the emeralds, which represented the powers of the world, to suppress Dark Gaia. Over time, the few survivors of each clash would pass the legend down to various cultures which would erect temples to keep the emeralds safe.

At another point in time, war would probably break out over the world and the emeralds would one-by-one come into the possession of the echidna tribe who bore the Master Emerald. Ancient tradition caused them to show reverence to the gems for the power they contained, but when a warlike chief would violate the power, Chaos who would probably be identified as the spirit of the emeralds unleashed his wrath.

In Sonic's time, the advancement of science led some scientists (most notably Eggman) to believe they can harness the energy of the emeralds, leading to several conflicts in which the emeralds were vied for as means to power man-made inventions (or fox-made, as it were). Although less direct, the threat was still present because the Chaos Emeralds DID have enough destructive power to make the wrong person invincible.

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It seems to me that they shouldn't have introduced cosmic forces into the equation. For some reason, I don't like the idea of theology being introduced into Sonic's world, but they keep piling it on with seemingly every game.

Fantasy doesn't need to become theology unless you try to hard to explain it... However, I personally like the idea of mythos in Sonic's world. It seems to add greater significance to Sonic's position in defending the emeralds from Robotnik and echoes the theme of his defense of the helpless animals from the evil scientist. Furthermore, a mythology permits them to use story elements for gameplay purposes without trying too hard to explain them away and offers a good counter to the science-fiction aspect of Robotnik's quest for power.

As for Chaos, I've never liked the idea of it simply being a mutated chao. Firstly, it does not entirely rule out other-worldly existences in relation to the emeralds because the Master Emerald was treated like a sentient being in SA and both Sonic 06 and Sonic Unleashed involve mythological elements. Secondly, I always have, and always will prefer the more direct fantasy-based explanation of something than some contrivance to have it make sense in the real world. I like Shadow better as a questionable project to find immortality than as the artificial son of an alien... I like Chaos better as an unexplained spirit of the emeralds than a simple monster chao... I like Sonic and co. better as isolated remnants of an ancient civilization of anthropomorphic animals than as mutations caused by odd experiments from Robotnik...

--

I once crafted a mythology for the emeralds taking cues from Middle-earth where a paradise was ruined by corruption and the ancient powers remained in the forms of gems.

The world was once a paradise where magical, emotional, and spiritual elements were infused into ever part of its being. Chaos was part of a god-like race and made the mistake of trying to control these elements by trying to forge nine gems that contained their power. Realizing that they could not be controlled, he halted his progress, but a selfish usurper was not so careful and tried to finish where Chaos left off. The elements were divided into the emeralds and extracted from the world, leaving the would-be ruler the sole possessor of the world's magic. Chaos blamed himself and tried to fight him back, in the process being turned into a water serpent by the emeralds. During the destruction, the princess and rightful heir to the throne was killed and Chaos hid the seven lesser gems and contained his spirit within the eighth... the ninth he gave to the princess's closest family as an heirloom, later to be adorned by the princess Tikal.

Backstory, whether mythological or contrived realistic explanation should never be necessary. The mythology I crafted fit my interpretation of Sonic's world and my corresponding fanfiction, but people may not care for Sonic as a fantastic story and prefer the more gritty world of GUN and aliens... I don't want to have any sci-fi explanation for the emeralds shoved down my throat, and neither should any mythology be shoved down their throat, and as long as Sonic's world is somewhere in between Fantasy and Sci-fi... things are always better off unexplained.

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I like the Chaos Emeralds and their enigmatic power, but the problem is that they don't really feel so special anymore. Remember at the beginning of Sonic Adventure, Tails showed Sonic a Chaos Emerald and Sonic was like "WOOAAH! A Chaos Emerald!" Now, they act as if natural law bending talismans are something you just find lying around on every street corner.

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Chaos Emeralds should be more elusive....it always seems like they're in such easy grasp to characters nowadays.

They're fine...but I definitely agree that they've become less exciting than they used to be. The Chaos Emeralds have become less about gameplay and more about story...

I mean, a little story is fine...but...it's just so overdone. Put them back in Special Stages, I REALLY liked the idea in S3&K where, after you got all the Chaos Emeralds, you could toss them in Hidden Palace, and then the Big Rings became giant warp zones to a mystical hub that you could use to transform them...

Put the Chaos Emeralds in their own alternate subspace type of world, that you have to actually WORK to get, and maybe give a little bonus power for each one you get...first Chaos Emerald you can do a Chaos Control for a limited amount of time, maybe different Chaos powers aside from the basic warp, like one Emerald lets you warp, another lets you freeze time, another lets you reveal hidden paths to find cache's of Ring Boxes or Lives, another gives you special move _____...

A little more functionality couldn't hurt, is all.

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About the time traveling in Sonic 2006, I think the character using the Chaos Emeralds to time travel can determine how much effect it has. Shadow has stronger Chaos powers than Sonic or Silver, so he was able to return to the present with Sonic from hundreds of years in the future, and ten years back with Silver. Sonic and Silver aren't quite as powerful in that regard, and they only traveled back twelve hours or so. I don't think there's any specific reference to the characters' powers, but it might explain it (granted, Sonic and Silver only needed to go back that much, but eh). Someone with enough power might be able to travel even farther through time, but that kind of power is obviously quite rare. It does make sense that the Chaos Emeralds could produce time travel, though, since they do contain powers relating to time and space.

I would most certainly like to see a game without the Chaos Emeralds. I'm intent on originality; thus, I'm quite tired of the recurring "Dr. Eggman tries to activate this ancient monster/power source with the Chaos Emeralds and then it goes crazy and tries to destroy the world so Sonic powers up with the Chaos Emeralds and beats it" storylines. I actually liked a lot of the elements in Unleashed that weren't related to the story; lack of characters, single storyline, etc. (not that I dislike lots of characters and multiple stories, but it was a nice change of pace)

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I do kinda agree about the Chaos Emeralds losing their charm, and be more about the plot/story than gameplay. The emeralds have been so easy to find like a Where's Waldo? for 3 year olds, and do not provide much depth to the story. The whole concept about the Chaos Emerald used only for mere treasure hunts for Sonic and co, and only play the vital role until the end has been getting old fast. I would like the Chaos Emeralds to be more difficult to find, unable to unlock S.Sonic in every level, and be less Deus Ex Machina-ish.

I mean, collecting items so they could be only used to defeat the last boss, as said, is getting old and should be able to do more in gameplay. I have an idea, might not be a good one though. For an ex. in some future game: Sonic need to obtain jems, but these jems contain Elemental Spirits/Guardians or something of the like that give him powers that help him on his adventure, such as he gains a special fighting abilities, jump higher or whatnot. After collecting them all, he faces the final boss using the abilities he gains from all the jems, no going super or other transformations.

Yeah, not the best example, but something to that effect where the magical items do more to help the main char.

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I do agree that the Chaos Emeralds have lost their charm nowadays. I liked it at first how they were these mystical gems that where almost impossible to locate. They kept that idea up until, I think, Shadow the Hedgehog, and to me once they became like a gem that you could easily find, the emeralds just lost their value.

As far as things you can do with them, I do like some of the ideas that they came up with, but some of them just suck. I really don't like the idea of time travel. When Chaos Control was first introduced, I loved it! I loved the idea of warping where you wanted to go, or just slow the flow of time all together. But as soon as they introduced time travel to Chaos Control, I felt like it became a bit too manipulative. Had an issue a few days ago? Just go back in time and fix it so it never happened. It also left a lot of theoretical questions that just made my head hurt. Such as: "Doesn't this qualify as a Paradox?" "If I went back in time to the day before the accident, then doesn't that mean there's another Sonic running around the area?"

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Em I the only one here who remembers that Black Knight DOES NOT involves the emerald or any sort of collecting? (mind you, 2/3 of the weapons were already in the grasp of the player before knowing you needed them), and the Secret Rings were an extra in Black Knight, therefore there IS a story without having to transform with X object, or actually needing them...

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Em I the only one here who remembers that Black Knight DOES NOT involves the emerald or any sort of collecting? (mind you, 2/3 of the weapons were already in the grasp of the player before knowing you needed them), and the Secret Rings were an extra in Black Knight, therefore there IS a story without having to transform with X object, or actually needing them...

I was pretty surprised by that. I heard it speculated that Sonic might have to collect "the seven holy grails" at one point. I almost believed it. :blink:

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Em I the only one here who remembers that Black Knight DOES NOT involves the emerald or any sort of collecting? (mind you, 2/3 of the weapons were already in the grasp of the player before knowing you needed them), and the Secret Rings were an extra in Black Knight, therefore there IS a story without having to transform with X object, or actually needing them...

This isn't fully true. Say as you might that you only need to collect sacred swords (by progressing through the story) to become Excalibur Sonic, that can be countered with the fact that the same is done in Unleashed (replace sacred swords with Emeralds).

However, it is nice that the swords aren't nearly as powerful and "game-breaking" as the Chaos Emeralds, just like the meteorites in Zero Gravity.

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After I found out that the Chaos Emeralds could revive people from the dead (see Sonic 06), I knew then that they just weren't special anymore and had definitely lost their charm. Now they're just something used to carry the plot along and to turn Sonic or some other character into their Super form. As per usual... -__- I don't care about the Time Stones, World Rings etc. much either, 'cos they're mostly one-offs anyway.

I miss the Special Stages too. Now they only ever appear in the handheld games. 'Tis sad really, because again, it doesn't make them special and/or powerful.

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Seven Holy Grails? Surely you jest!!! :lol: , you made my day Blazey XD

Most honored to be of service. ;)

I miss the Special Stages too. Now they only ever appear in the handheld games. 'Tis sad really, because again, it doesn't make them special and/or powerful.

Yeah, I think the last time we had special stages was in Rush with those Sonic 2 homage stages.

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