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The Chaos Emeralds aren't omg anymore.


Cortez

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To be honest, the peak of the Chaos Emerald flanderisation was around Shadow and 06, when they were just lying around in random places (In Shadow you find 2 in the first stage). Since then they've been more conservative. In Unleashed it was assumed that Sonic still had all the emeralds from his previous adventure, and then they became a loose plot element to help restore the planet.

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Update: ignore the previous version of this post, I thought of something.

I think an important thing is that we should stop using Super Sonic for the final boss. Out of recent games, Colors is the only one that comes to my mind, which doesn't do this. Why? Because by now it's become expected. "Collect all emerals, go super, defeat boss". That contributes to what you said, in making the emeralds lesser as a whole.

It worked for the Adventure games, because it was new. But now the system should be ditched.

Edited by Homem
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The Chaos Emeralds are supposed to be rare and nearly impossible to locate, mainly because they were originally located in another dimension.

What hurts their awe factor is that the emeralds are a plot point in nearly every game. In the more reserved 2D platformers, you get them in Special Stages and not much is said about them, with the exception of the Rush games. In the more story-driven games, they are almost always integral with progression: Sonic and friends need them to travel through time in Sonic '06, the emeralds were necessary to power the Eclipse Cannon in Sonic Adventure 2, and so on and so forth.

There isn't much that can be done besides making them less of a plot point and more rare in other games. Sonic Colors made them a bonus object rather than a plot point, which is a good start, but I don't know if anything can be done beyond that. I'm not sure, really.

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I think the fact that they are pretty much Deus Ex Machina is actually why they don't deserve any respect.

I can't help but feel magical gems that have the power to do literally fucking anything you want them to (stop time, raise the dead, enable time travel, give Emerl a personality, power a giant laser to destroy the world, be Big's lucky charm ect.) should be taken a little more seriously than they have been lately :/

I mean, that's exactly it. It can do anything. So are you having problems with giant robots? Chaos Emeralds. Giant monsters? Chaos emeralds. Ancient Gods of the Apocalypse who can destroy the very fabric of space and time? Chaos Emeralds. So it's pretty natural that they should go "oh my we're out of fuel for my Tornado gimme a Chaos Emerald already".

I know what they should use nowadays instead of Chaos Emeralds. They should use these.

DragonBalls.jpg

That's a way to go, really. See, the thing about the Dragon Balls that keeps their awe factor is that if you have two problems, you can't solve them both. You have to choose one. That, and it's always a big deal when Shen Long appears because he's just that amazing. Making the Chaos Emeralds less of a "well just grab them and finish the game already" thing would be great. Or, as Sonic Adventure did, give some depth to their nature. Chaos Emeralds, Chaos, Unlimited Power that can go to any direction and can even go wild etc.

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I think the chaos emeralds have become redundant as a plot device other than making Sonic go super to beat the final monster boss, i mean Sonic has evolved so much since his past skirmishes, being able to beat Perfect Chaos without becoming Super Sonic in Generations backs my claim.

The emeralds haven't even been considered plot devices for the last couple of games, just extras that gives us access to Super Sonic on a whim, besides isn't Sonic the owner of the Chaos Emeralds anyway? ever since they collected them he's been main user and tends to call them to his aid only and when he needs them.

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Yes. The emeralds have basically been stripped of their mystery and wonder due to being so common.

To some extent I think this is unavoidable in a long-running series; unless they were to simply stop using them, the longer the series the more often they appear, thus they'd naturally become more familiar and less mysterious. But they're just used so often and treated with so little deference that you kind of expect the characters are just going to trip over one some day.

One thing I liked about Rush Adventure is that they added back a bit of mystery to them. There was some talk that they might be sentient in some sense, that they were cooperating with the Sol emeralds to bring Sonic and Tails to Blaze's dimension to save it from the Eggmen and then allowing them to go back. That's vague but interesting.

There isn't much that can be done besides making them less of a plot point and more rare in other games. Sonic Colors made them a bonus object rather than a plot point, which is a good start, but I don't know if anything can be done beyond that. I'm not sure, really.
I don't think simply using them less is going to have much effect at this point. They've already become common; not seeing them for a while isn't going to make them mysterious again, any more than not seeing a rake for most of the year is going to turn it into a shocking wonder-tool come fall. They are still the same known quantity no matter how long you wait between uses.
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I always prefer it when you get a chaos emerald in a special stage, rather than a random location in a level, or in a custscene. The emeralds are suppose to be mysterious-from another dimension, and difficult to obtain. The idea of the special stage is that you have to work hard to get them. Makes sense to me.

We have already seen the emeralds bring Sonic back from the dead and help restore a broken planet. I mean, how else can they be used? I have to admit that it annoyed me that there was no explanation as to why Sonic had to collect the emeralds again in Sonic 4 Ep2, after he had already got them by the end of Ep1, but then that is Sonic 4.

Edited by NightwingFox
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actually that comment earlier about the dragon balls could be used with the chaos emeralds, In sonic adventure, they explained that Chaos 0 absorbed the 'evil' power from them, allowing sonic to still use the good side, but perhaps a new villain could completely absorb and drain the chaos emeralds. That would also give the master emerald (plus Knuckles) a part in the plot, due to the M.E being the controller of the chaos, and knuckles in that sense being controller of the M.E.

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I always prefer it when you get a chaos emerald in a special stage, rather than a random location in a level, or in a custscene. The emeralds are suppose to be mysterious-from another dimension, and difficult to obtain. The idea of the special stage is that you have to work hard to get them. Makes sense to me.

We have already seen the emeralds bring Sonic back from the dead and help restore a broken planet. I mean, how else can they be used? I have to admit that it annoyed me that there was no explanation as to why Sonic had to collect the emeralds again in Sonic 4 Ep2, after he had already got them by the end of Ep1, but then that is Sonic 4.

I agree. I liked the special stage approach much more, where they were harder to get and were optional. Automatically have Sonic collect the Emeralds just by clearing the stages and progressing through the levels with E ranks cheapens them, IMO.

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Let's be fair guys, the Dragon Balls became irrelevant too after the focus shifted to fighting in DBZ. After the Sonic Adventure the stories began to grow and expand, and the Chaos Emeralds became more plot relevant as a result, before they were just side macguffins that were more of a bonus more than anything else.

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They're too much of a deus ex machina, is there anything that they can't do?

It would help if there were a littlemore continuity surrounding them. Are they from a different dimension? From the Gaia Temples? From Angel Island? Are there six? Seven? Eight? Hundreds?

If they're so rare how can they always be so easily found? If Sonic and Co have them how does Eggman get his hands on them time and time again? How did gun get some in shadow?

They need to sort out a definitive continuity for the emeralds and go on from there. I'd also like to see a couple of games without them. They shouldn't be the default fix of every adventure they go on.

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I agree. I liked the special stage approach much more, where they were harder to get and were optional. Automatically have Sonic collect the Emeralds just by clearing the stages and progressing through the levels with E ranks cheapens them, IMO.

True, but nobody wants to spend ungodly amounts of time on special stage 7 before they can finish the game.

The problem with the Chaos Emeralds is that they are Dues Ex Machinas, but honestly there's really nothing else you could do with them. Before the best they did was give Sonic a super form, and even that's worn out it's awe factor. The best they could do is probably quietly push them to the side, and use other plot elements.

Edited by Popo
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Nowadays we have a Royal Jewelry at our hands. I'll give you guys an example of how the Chaos Emeralds could be more intriguing.

Make a game that tells you that you can beat it by getting either the Chaos Emerald or the Time Stones (or the Sol Emeralds if you feel like it). Make all of them a one-use before they vanish again.

I don't really care what the problem in question is. I don't know, Eggman has kidnapped Amy and/or took over the world and/or built a really huge machine that will take over the world for him. That's not important.

Now make three alternative endings - one for beating the game without any complete set of jewels, one for beating it with the Chaos Emeralds and one for beating it with the Time Stones. All of them are bittersweet. So if you beat the game without any of them, you save the present, but a particularly painful past event remains undone (like, say, someone getting killed or something) and the future remains doubtful. With the Time Stones, you get a really sweet ending of Sonic rewriting the past and saving the present, but letting Eggman escape in the future. With the Chaos Emeralds, the past stays shitty, but the present and the future are saved in a cinematographic fashion.

This can bring even character development to Sonic, showing opposite sides of him ("I love my friends and can't stand bad something happening even if it means letting the villain go since there's no much point in defeating him but not saving who I want to save" vs. "what is done is done and we must always look forwards"); it can give the Chaos Emeralds the distaste of not fixing everything, which is EXACTLY an awe factor - the spectator will tend to see it as a redeemer, so it will carry emotional package.

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Even with their wow! factor gone, I do respect the series for never actually giving the Chaos Emeralds an origin. Yeah, pretty much every single ancient civilisation in the world used the Emeralds as the power-source of choice for their technology and/or entities of doom, but none of them claim credit for making the damned things.

Although it gets a little silly when the Nocturnal clan are making Chaos Emerald compatible fighting robots at the same time that the Chaos Emeralds are enshrined in Chaos's altar.

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Nowadays we have a Royal Jewelry at our hands. I'll give you guys an example of how the Chaos Emeralds could be more intriguing.

Make a game that tells you that you can beat it by getting either the Chaos Emerald or the Time Stones (or the Sol Emeralds if you feel like it). Make all of them a one-use before they vanish again.

I don't really care what the problem in question is. I don't know, Eggman has kidnapped Amy and/or took over the world and/or built a really huge machine that will take over the world for him. That's not important.

Now make three alternative endings - one for beating the game without any complete set of jewels, one for beating it with the Chaos Emeralds and one for beating it with the Time Stones. All of them are bittersweet. So if you beat the game without any of them, you save the present, but a particularly painful past event remains undone (like, say, someone getting killed or something) and the future remains doubtful. With the Time Stones, you get a really sweet ending of Sonic rewriting the past and saving the present, but letting Eggman escape in the future. With the Chaos Emeralds, the past stays shitty, but the present and the future are saved in a cinematographic fashion.

This can bring even character development to Sonic, showing opposite sides of him ("I love my friends and can't stand bad something happening even if it means letting the villain go since there's no much point in defeating him but not saving who I want to save" vs. "what is done is done and we must always look forwards"); it can give the Chaos Emeralds the distaste of not fixing everything, which is EXACTLY an awe factor - the spectator will tend to see it as a redeemer, so it will carry emotional package.

That is brilliant. A bittersweet ending that features choice would be mostly new for the series, as well as giving the game a good story. And there is more replay value. Great idea.

I wouldn't go as far as killing someone, though. If it's exaggerated we may get the same shit as we got in 2006 - trying too hard to be dramatic.

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Nowadays we have a Royal Jewelry at our hands. I'll give you guys an example of how the Chaos Emeralds could be more intriguing.

Make a game that tells you that you can beat it by getting either the Chaos Emerald or the Time Stones (or the Sol Emeralds if you feel like it). Make all of them a one-use before they vanish again.

I don't really care what the problem in question is. I don't know, Eggman has kidnapped Amy and/or took over the world and/or built a really huge machine that will take over the world for him. That's not important.

Now make three alternative endings - one for beating the game without any complete set of jewels, one for beating it with the Chaos Emeralds and one for beating it with the Time Stones. All of them are bittersweet. So if you beat the game without any of them, you save the present, but a particularly painful past event remains undone (like, say, someone getting killed or something) and the future remains doubtful. With the Time Stones, you get a really sweet ending of Sonic rewriting the past and saving the present, but letting Eggman escape in the future. With the Chaos Emeralds, the past stays shitty, but the present and the future are saved in a cinematographic fashion.

This can bring even character development to Sonic, showing opposite sides of him ("I love my friends and can't stand bad something happening even if it means letting the villain go since there's no much point in defeating him but not saving who I want to save" vs. "what is done is done and we must always look forwards"); it can give the Chaos Emeralds the distaste of not fixing everything, which is EXACTLY an awe factor - the spectator will tend to see it as a redeemer, so it will carry emotional package.

An interesting idea. I would say that let's not over complicate things. I mean, one set of chaos emeralds is enough. The only game that gave you the chance to collect two sets of emeralds is of course S3&K (as far as I am aware), which just happened to work extremely well for that game.

If the Time Stones were brought back, then they could be used in other ways. Like for example, the ability to slow down time. So you move at normal speed whilst your enemies seem a lot slow. Or the ability to travel through time without needing time travel posts like in Sonic CD. The chaos emeralds giving you different abilities (other than the standard Super forms) could be a good move.

Edited by NightwingFox
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The Chaos Emeralds turning into something not enough to get the spotlight was kind of unavoidable in the long run, little if not anything could be done about it. But here's an idea; why not expand their powers and have it be the focus of a game's plot; like what TTYD did with the Crystal Stars?

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It's funny that the first game that gave the full number of Chaos Emeralds and the possibility of turning Super Sonic actually didn't really involve the Emeralds at all. Complete Sonic 2 with all of them or none, and either way Sonic destroys the Death Egg, saves the world, and escapes fine and dandy.

I think the Sonic 4 episodes actually have the right idea about including the Chaos Emeralds but making them completely optional.* You'll get the good ending and the complete story either way.**

* Insert obligatory Sonic 4 didn't have any right ideas comment here.

** Insert Sonic 4's ending and story sucked comment here.

'course, for a story where the Chaos Emeralds are specifically involved in the plot, I like Palas's idea.

Edited by Grumpy Old Guy
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I've been saying this for years, and really welcomed Unleashed and Colours' approach to them. But even Unleashed had a problem. Somehow, the Emeralds seem to be tied to absolutely every historical event. Off the top of my head... the Echidna's tried to steal them and set Chaos on a rampage, they were needed to fire the eclipse cannon, Shadow needed them to fix his memory, Emerl had to absorb them all to fully awaken, Mephiles needed them to join with Iblis, Black Doom was promised them, they needed to be placed in these temples across the world to fix the planet, they worked with Jet's key to make Babylon Garden rise from the ground... erm, I'm sure there's plenty more too.

In addition to being overused for the sake of a Super Sonic final boss, they're simply a really cheap plot point. I really, really don't care about them anymore.

Little Planet recently made a shitty reappearance sans Time Stones, and we've had other one-off plot elements that don't involve the Emeralds at all. Like the Wisps and Flickies. It would be really, really cool if SEGA would get into the habit of bringing back old elements every so often and having new ones that don't disappear after one game.

Edited by Blue Blood
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The Chaos Emeralds are a bit of an artifact really, that always needs to appear seemingly (aside from CD, which has it's own replacements/knock offs). Kind of like the Metroids in the Metroid series actually, they keep coming up with more and more bizarre ways to justify calling it Metroid.

The Emeralds aren't that bad in that aspect (because the series is called Sonic and is about Sonic first and foremost, while Metroid is about Samus and her many encounters with the titular creatures), but their reliance is just overdone. I did like it in Unleashed where the twist was that you had them but they were drained. Colours was good too because they weren't required for the final boss, and not having a Super Sonic final boss was good for a change as most of the ones in the 3D games I don't enjoy pretty much at all.

It does show how far we came when in SA1 Sonic was like "holy shit a Chaos Emerald", while in Shadow you find two in the first level, and it's just like "here's your obligatory Chaos Emerald stuff".

Edited by Semi-colon e
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But even Unleashed had a problem. Somehow, the Emeralds seem to be tied to absolutely every historical event.
I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, given the right context. The idea that these gems have existed throughout history, and are part of nearly every great civilization and every great tragedy, is kind of interesting. They're a force that drives the world, along with the intent and nature of the people who wield them.

The problem, I think, is that the series doesn't treat them like that, it doesn't acknowledge all the ancient civilizations that have been created or ruined by their contact with the emeralds. They are just the magic doohickeys that you need to collect to turn gold and beat the bad guy.

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