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Chaos Emeralds

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So there has been a drought of interesting things to talk about, at least related to Sonic.

In light of this, I thought of something interesting to discuss; a topic which I don't believe has had its own dedicated thread, so I made one.

 

The Chaos Emeralds have always intrigued me, as they are objects, which despite being the focus, or having a significant role in the series, have never really be explained or been given any background information on. At least as far as the games are concerned. Now I believe the lack of concrete information is a good thing, as it adds to the mystery, however, there has literally been hardly anything.

Not that the story-telling in Sonic games has ever been stellar, but surely giving bits and pieces of info, or even just subtle hints at a much bigger picture would be worthwhile. So far SA1 with its Echidna tribe thing (even though the Master Emerald was the real focus), SA2 with Tails' fake emerald and the artifical emerald altar and Unleashed with the restoring the world/chaos emeralds through Gaia Temples have actually hinted at anything. Sadly in all three cases its left hanging and doesn't actually go anywhere because it would be tangential to the plot.

In terms of the games, it would be nice to have a persistant subplot (at least in the games where they play a role in the story) and provide some extra filling to the Sonic Universe's internal mythos. Potentially have contradictory information to further add to mystery. Maybe Proffessor Gerald studied them and believed them to be a scientific phenomina. Maybe some collectible scriptures or murals in stages indicate a more spiritual origin. I dunno.

 

In any case, I feel there's lots to be talked about regarding this issue....

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What bugs me over the Chaos Emeralds is how they've simply become "collect us to win" gimmicks and haven't really been used as a decent plot device since S3&K & Adventure/2 Sonic always just...wins when he goes Super, and he's so common now that when I play a game, I expect to become some incarnation of a super to beat the big bad boss, I do believe Colours is the only game to surprise me during end game in a long, loooooong time.

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What bugs me over the Chaos Emeralds is how they've simply become "collect us to win" gimmicks and haven't really been used as a decent plot device since S3&K & Adventure/2 Sonic always just...wins when he goes Super, and he's so common now that when I play a game, I expect to become some incarnation of a super to beat the big bad boss, I do believe Colours is the only game to surprise me during end game in a long, loooooong time.

 

This is true, they've lost significance and impact these days. Especially given that they're just casually lying around or some shit. Shadow and 06 were the worst examples of this.

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Probably the odd one out here, but I like Chaos Emeralds used in the plot rather than being collected in the special stages. I've never really liked the special stages (Heroes is probably the worst offender; I've never tried Sonic 2's), and I find them to be interesting when used in games like Sonic 3 and Knuckles or SA1/SA2. While I don't like them being a simple tactic to win and all, I do like them to be integrated well into a story.

 

EDIT: That said, Super Sonic final bosses should be used sparingly, otherwise...they kinda lose the surprise and the interest.

Edited by Burnt Ash

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I still firmly believe that Rush and Rush Adventure made some very intriguing points about the Emeralds.

 

In Rush, they're talked about as if they have polarity akin to the north and south poles on a magnet and how the way they interact with the Sol Emerald can cause explosive results. This is hinted at again in Rush Adventure in which Tails is amazed at how 'cooperative' the Sol and Chaos Emeralds are behaving despite being used together to create the craft that he and Sonic use to go home. He even speculates that the emeralds are being cooperative because they want to be used to his and Sonic's benefit, hinting at some form of conciousness.

 

Interestingly again, Eggman even states in Rush that the reason as to why the dimension is relatively stable is because Sonic is around, hinting that Sonic has some measure of control over the Emerald's powers which prevents the world's dimension destabilizing so rapidly. Sonic himself even elaborates on this to an extent when in the ending, he strongly implies that because he can control the emeralds, there's every possibility that he and Blaze can meet again.

 

SRA also has Blaze speculate if Sonic as brought to her dimension for a reason, hinting that it was the will of the emeralds. The whole cause of him being sucked into Blaze's dimension in the first place was due to him and Tails looking for an odd signal in the Tornado. Who knows if said signal was generated by the implied-to-be-concious emeralds?

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Not that the story-telling in Sonic games has ever been stellar, but surely giving bits and pieces of info, or even just subtle hints at a much bigger picture would be worthwhile. 

Hinting at a bigger picture would require them to have one. It's pretty clear that they never plan beyond the current game. The only time they tried (Heroes), they ended up pretty much ignoring it when it was time to cash in (ShtH). It would require a radical shift in how they handle this series to do something like that.

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In SA2 the Chaos Emeralds are integrated into the story, but I find it silly how these magical powerful gems (that only 7 exist of) end up in the hands of so many people to build devices that are powered by the full set or are just said to casually own one.

 

My main examples are....

 

Eclipse Cannon - SA2 - The machine is powered by all 7 Chaos Emeralds? It is said in the manuscript that when a person collects all 7 Emeralds they're wishes are realized, so if the Chaos Emeralds have the power to grant wishes, why didn't Gerald wish for Maria to get better? Rather than build a cannon powered by them to decimate the planet to punish everyone for taking Maria and his research away from him?

 

Elise - 06 - Randomly always had the Blue Emerald since a child? Since when? This is impossible when you factor Sonic Adventure into this when Sonic had all 7 Emeralds to become Super Sonic to take down Perfect Chaos.

 

Emerald Temples - Unleashed - Funny how people built shrines dedicated to restoring the Emeralds energy to them when in reality Sonic was never part of Earth to begin with, so Chaos Emeralds shouldn't really pose any form of existence in the human world, but this is mere speculation since SEGA never did explain where Sonic and his friends came from.

 

If you ask me, the Chaos Emeralds proper potential to shine through a new story involving them is heavily overshadowed because of SEGA only using them to make Sonic go Super to beat the final boss.

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I kinda liked how Eggman managed to fu** Sonic even with the power of the Emeralds. Making them blank and currently useless was pretty epic. What is weird tho, is that Sonic didn't changed for bad, like Chaos did in SA1.

 

I prefer the idea of the CE be collected via SS, but still have some interaction with the plot, kinda like S3&K and Heroes did. This may sound like 'classic' talk, but I don't like to obtain the Emeralds by just advancing in the story, the Special Stages adds a good extra challenge to the game for me.

Edited by Undead Jango

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Hinting at a bigger picture would require them to have one. It's pretty clear that they never plan beyond the current game. The only time they tried (Heroes), they ended up pretty much ignoring it when it was time to cash in (ShtH). It would require a radical shift in how they handle this series to do something like that.

 

Well, there are lots of things that would require a radical shift in how they handle the series.....namely the gameplay. But you know all about that.

 

Still its something interesting to think about. There was a time when I used to think that Sonic Team were trying (and failing) to actually create some kind of continuity, if not some kind of cohesive universe. Of course that all went to the shitter due to bad executrion and after Unleashed was badly received, Sonic Team ran and hid in their shells when it came to narrative. Though Colours too had some plot, the stuff that would imply something 'more' was seemingly removed or simply left unexplored.

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Eclipse Cannon - SA2 - The machine is powered by all 7 Chaos Emeralds? It is said in the manuscript that when a person collects all 7 Emeralds they're wishes are realized, so if the Chaos Emeralds have the power to grant wishes, why didn't Gerald wish for Maria to get better?

Because they are not literally the dragon balls. Also I'm pretty sure Gerald never had all 7 emeralds.

Emerald Temples - Unleashed - Funny how people built shrines dedicated to restoring the Emeralds energy to them when in reality Sonic was never part of Earth to begin with,

Yes he waaaaas. Sonic is from Earth, Sonic X isn't true, Sonic and friends never moved to a new planet, they've always been here.

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Because they are not literally the dragon balls. Also I'm pretty sure Gerald never had all 7 emeralds.

Yes he waaaaas. Sonic is from Earth, Sonic X isn't true, Sonic and friends never moved to a new planet, they've always been here.

 

So Sonic and his friends are the only anthropomorphic animal on the entire Earth are they? Doesn't make sense.

 

I don't know, didn't Elise bring Sonic back to life with a wish when Sonic's friends collected all the Emeralds?

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Its never been explicitly stated that it is earth, but it may as well be.

 

The planet in the games? Yes it has.

 

Rouge even states in the exact same game (SA2) that the planet is Earth;

 

"The Space Colony ARK is currently approaching the Earth at an incredible velocity. It...probably...will impact Earth"

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I don't know, didn't Elise bring Sonic back to life with a wish when Sonic's friends collected all the Emeralds?

 

ARE YOU SAIYAN... IT WASN'T BECAUSE OF HER KISS? Because that would make it a bullshit plot!

Edited by Undead Jango

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I thought the Emeralds powers were confined to "Making miracles happen" and turning your thoughts into power? i.e Tikal asks the Emeralds to stop Chaos so they turn her thoughts into power and oblige by ripping her soul from her body and sealing Chaos, Elise thinks about restoring Sonic to life so they oblige her and restore Sonic's wandering soul to his body and presumably heal it so it's capable of sustaining life.

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The planet in the games? Yes it has.

 

Rouge even states in the exact same game (SA2) that the planet is Earth;

 

"The Space Colony ARK is currently approaching the Earth at an incredible velocity. It...probably...will impact Earth"

 

Yeah, I just remembered that. Bit silly of me to forget.

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I'd like to think of it as a parallel dimension earth as opposed to the actual earth.

Do you have the same reservations every time a fictional story takes place on Earth?

 

So Sonic and his friends are the only anthropomorphic animal on the entire Earth are they? Doesn't make sense.

That we don't see other anthros doesn't mean they don't exist. That's like saying, before Sonic 2, Tails didn't exist, and then when Sonic 2 happened, he spontaneously generated out of nothing.

I don't know, didn't Elise bring Sonic back to life with a wish when Sonic's friends collected all the Emeralds?

'06 is stupid. That aside, I could potentially buy into them performing miracles in extreme circumstances, but not simply being a genie that'll grant whatever you wish.

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Yeah but Sonic Adventure and Adventure 2 were set in more realistic zones, but when you jump to Heroes, no Earth I know has places some of those levels were set, I mean come on, and no vehicle could traverse the twisted roller coaster that is Radical Highway, I reckon Sonic isn't from Earth, but he is in a select few games, but others he's sort of stuck in his wacky, colourful, gravity defying world.

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Do you have the same reservations every time a fictional story takes place on Earth?

 

Not really.

I mean unless they literally call Empire City, New York or something, it just seems like a derivative charicature. I'm not opposed to it actually being Earth, I don't really care, but at the moment its basically just a fantasy world based on the Earth.

 

EDIT:

That and the fact that I personally believe that all the wacky crazy shit from the Classics, Heroes, Chaotix (which was the closest to surreal the franchise every got) etc. Take place on the same planet as SA1, SA2, Shadow, 06 and Unleashed.

Edited by Scar

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Yeah but Sonic Adventure and Adventure 2 were set in more realistic zones,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgbwGFe07hc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsY8r4GNtGU. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2OwYl9prOw.

no vehicle could traverse the twisted roller coaster that is Radical Highway,

Radical Highway is SA2, one of your supposed "more realistic" games, the ones where he is presumably on Earth.

The simple fact is that the series has straddled several different tones and interpretations of its setting throughout its history, but that doesn't change the fact that it's always taken place on the same planet.

I reckon Sonic isn't from Earth,

Wrong.

 

Not really.

I mean unless they literally call Empire City, New York or something, it just seems like a derivative charicature. I'm not opposed to it actually being Earth, I don't really care, but at the moment its basically just a fantasy world based on the Earth.

There's no meaningful difference between Sonic's fictional Earth and any other fictional Earth. Edited by Diogenes

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The Chaos Emeralds (and even the Super Emeralds, or what they were ever called) were really intriguing in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the only Sonic game I used to play. There was running at high speed, collecting rings and power-ups, crushing enemies, liberating critters and defeating Dr. Robotnik/Eggman. However, the Chaos Emeralds were always so mysterious, and I loved that. You had to look for their "realm" and even overcome a challenge to find just one, as if it was a test to see if you were capable of harnessing their otherworldly power.

 

It becomes even more mysterious and intriguing when you are transferred to another mysterious realm where you may store and upgrade your precious gems to Super Emeralds, and then it even turns out you later arrive to that realm by foot! Super Emeralds do not seem to be used more these days though. Have they only been in that game?

 

There is also this Master Emerald, which I do not even know what is supposed to be. All I know is that it looks bigger, and that it must be stronger than Chaos Emeralds and even Super Emeralds. Well, as long as I have my Chaos Emeralds, I will be happy. Even if they may not play that big part in games, they really make me think back to Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the awesome reward of becoming an unstoppable force, and the great memories of looking for secret areas to hunt them down and overcome their challenges.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgbwGFe07hc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsY8r4GNtGU. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2OwYl9prOw.

Radical Highway is SA2, one of your supposed "more realistic" games, the ones where he is presumably on Earth.

 

Realistic in terms of population, Station Square and the like, the levels are just something fucking bizzare, But then again Adventure tried to bridge the gap between Sonic's fictional gyroscopic landscapes with a world more realistic whilst trying to keep the staples that made the Sonic series memorable, also adding Human populace, you can't expect me to believe that the world Sonic inhabits in SA/SA2 and so on is the very same world that has places like Green Hill Zone, Mystic Caves, Chemical Plant, Collision Chaos, Wacky Work Bench, Rail Canyon... I can go on for hours, It's simply not possible from a realistic viewpoint and in before "Videogame Logic."

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Realistic in terms of population, Station Square and the like,

What?

you can't expect me to believe that the world Sonic inhabits in SA/SA2 and so on is the very same world that has places like Green Hill Zone, Mystic Caves, Chemical Plant, Collision Chaos, Wacky Work Bench, Rail Canyon...

Well why the fuck not? What about GHZ is any less realistic than Emerald Coast or the first part of Windy Valley? What about Labyrinth is any less realistic than Lost World? What about Star Light is any less realistic than Speed Highway? Hell, S3&K and SA literally share a level: Ice Cap.

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Realistic in terms of population, Station Square and the like, the levels are just something fucking bizzare, But then again Adventure tried to bridge the gap between Sonic's fictional gyroscopic landscapes with a world more realistic whilst trying to keep the staples that made the Sonic series memorable, also adding Human populace, you can't expect me to believe that the world Sonic inhabits in SA/SA2 and so on is the very same world that has places like Green Hill Zone, Mystic Caves, Chemical Plant, Collision Chaos, Wacky Work Bench, Rail Canyon... I can go on for hours, It's simply not possible from a realistic viewpoint and in before "Videogame Logic."

 

It's more of an inconstancy honestly; after Sonic Adventure, the series shifted towards a slightly more realistic tone so everything pre-Adventure was more or less retconned which is why it seems so jarring. In short, the world of Sonic has a very inconsistent stucture when it comes to the world, it's either realistic or cartoony, it never really decides on one.

 

 

Anyway, the Chaos Emeralds...yeah, they've basically become just like the Dragon Balls in that they're pushed to the back of the action and just used as convenient Dues Ex Machinas. I mean it would help if we knew where they came from, and why they can do what they do, but Sega's never going to do that for the sake of just being able to use them in any situation. Basically, the Chaos Emeralds need more of a general use beyond their convenience for one game. Actually...how about we go into why Sonic is able to use them so easily? I mean what makes him(and Shadow) special enough to control this supposed Ultimate Power.

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