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What is your favorite Sonic story?


Shikushi
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Not sure if this kind of topic exists, but I decided to make this one anyway. So I was just thinking: What Sonic story do you prefer? (And by story I don't mean a fanfic) I like the simple stories of the Mega Drive days, and I really like Sonic Adventure, because it tells the story form many perspectives, like how Eggman sounds more menacing in Tails' story than Sonic's for example. But I'd like to know what you people think!

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Eggman doesn't sound as menacing as in Tails' story.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCZfTAEDOhA

 

^ ...this isn't menacing?

 

But anyway, I love SA1's and Unleashed's stories for the amount of depth that is included throughout them and there is things happening nearly all the time, whether it add to the main plot or the citizens going about their lives. The woman from Shamar who travels across the globe and eventually stays in Adabat comes to mind. Unleashed also did a good job at showing Sonic's snarky side along with his badass side and made Eggman both menacing and comedic.

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Stories that are competently-told with no obvious plot point(s) skipped-over, remaining true to the series' established tone i.e It's 'just right', not exclusively oriented at kids with intelligence-insulting 'humor', not mega-dark with pretentious, serious business aspects that end up being narmtastic. Character interactions should be expanded-upon. I for one would like to see fascinating interactions between characters not seen before yet which fit-in with the plot.

 

Sonic should be characterized correctly a 'la Sonic Storybook series with no silly exaggerations of his character and without being morphed into an outright jerkass, Eggman should be a magnificent bastard, capable of some heinous things and capable of out-doing Sonic on occasion with his comedic and kiddish aspects still preserved, Monster of the week was a plotline that went stale years ago so no more of that. Tails should be Sonic's right hand, competent yet still with little boy-like traits, Sonic should treat him like a complete equal yet may sometimes get slightly annoyed with some of his traits i.e Speaks too much just like brothers do, Knuckles should also be competent and not the buttmonkey he's been made out to be (His awkwardness is a good point to exploit though).

 

If you mean outright favourite story then it's SatSR's, simple as.

 

It delved into Sonic's psyche arguably better than Unleashed did and the plot points were genuinely fascinating. Yeah, you know everything is going to turn out right by the end of the game because it's Sonic innit? But it's the way it gets to that point that's so good.

 

It has so many aspects that factor into what makes a Sonic story great in my view. Intriguing and well-developed character dynamics (Sonic's interactions with many of the other characters, Shahra and Sinbad in particular), a measure of tension (Sonic's mortality haunting him and the race against time to save his life, the race to stop the Ifrit before it burns away the world), a diabolically clever villain with tremendous power and a certain degree of intrigue about him (Erazor, his devious plan, his backstory, his relationship with Shahra) and a plotline that holds my attention from start to finish despite the basic outline (Gathering the World Rings) because there's depth to it beyond that basic plot.

You're only two cutscenes into the game when, as a result of a selfless action, Sonic is given a life or death ultimatum. Erazor establishes complete control of Sonic right from the get go only in the second cutscene into the game and has him on the edge, even holding complete sway over his very fate and he has an obviously profound emotional influence on Shahra. He's a calculating and opportunistic villain who knew what he had to do and got right to it. He knew that as a denizen of the book, he didn't have the ability to touch the rings or access their power without sacrifice so he malevolently manipulates two other characters to play right into his hands and accomplish most of his plan for him. And it works. Only two very well written-in plot points ultimately thwart him.

 

Please tell me, why doesn't this guy get the praise he deserves? Why are villains like Mephiles, a complete idiot, coward and unoriginal dreck of a character, put on a higher pedestal than him?

 

Things get even more interesting when the Yellow World Ring is attained and Shahra divulges the mythology that surrounds the Rings and what is required to tap into their power. Sonic is momentarily concerned over the implication that he's intended to be a sacrifice and that he's pretty much got a <a data-ipb="nomediaparse" data-cke-saved-href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton" s_fork"="">Morton's fork on his hands but remains confident that his abilities are more than adequate to get him through anything. Yeah, maybe a bit unrealistic but again, that is the eternally confident optimist that Sonic always has been shining through.

Both Genie and Hedgehog continue to attain World Rings come hell or high water including the problem with the Ifrit, being unable to lay so much as a homing attack on it because both it and Sonic are of the same elemental alignment, Sonic having to make up for this issue by weakening the Ifrit's fire alignment by dousing it with water. Pretty clever plot point that intelligently lengthens the story.

From then on, whenever they obtain World Rings, Sonic gives some interesting commentary on their powers. The one that sticks out is the cutscene when he gets the White World Ring

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAUL3PmbKMk

He reflects on the power that the Ring holds (Desire) and muses over what constitutes desire, such as aspiration or greed and ambition. It leads him to wonder about what it is that Erazor wants by getting the Rings if they contain power that can be used to attain happiness or misfortune. Of course by this point in the story, Sonic does not know what the Rings are supposed to be used for (He knows nothing about that door that opens when all of the Rings are put into it yet) or what exactly Erazor wants by sacrificing him. It's a cutscene that shows that Sonic is more introspective than you'd be inclined to think. It adds a sense of intrigue.

Later on, you get the impression that Sonic is very in touch with his mortality and despite his earlier-shown confidence, is now perceptibly concerned about his curse. This concern is shown earlier when he asks Shahra if she can remove his arrow just after they get the Green Ring but it seems to come up again when he collapses to his knees before Night Palace's gate, clearly affected by the curse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw97k-eypVA&feature=plcp

Jason nailed that nervous laugh smile.png Even when he's clearly suffering, his only real concern is not worrying Shahra and apologeticness for unintentionally making her feel guilty. He even tries to cheer her up by reminding her about their promise. Call this kind of attitude very goody two-shoes-esque and even maybe a tad maudlin but screw that, this cutscene shows that Sonic has a lot of heart and the way his friendship with Shahra develops throughout the game gives this cutscene quite a bit of gravity.

Story proceeds. They find the Purple Ring and Sonic admits that he'd been wondering about the connection between Shahra and Erazor and Shahra reluctantly reveals that Erazor seemingly became what he became from his written fate. This has the implication that Erazor is pitiable despite being utterly vile and unrepentant because he was basically dictated to be that way. It's also revealed that Erazor seemingly looks down on Shahra because she's "merely" a genie of the ring, implying that he despises her comparative weakness (As later stated by Erazor himself after he unintentionally kills her when he says "In the end, such is the fate of a mere genie of the ring", implying that weaklings deserve to die) or that he considers her lower than him just because she isn't a genie of the lamp.

It all comes to a head in the last story when Shahra reluctantly hands the rings to Erazor and Sonic uses his position as her master to demand that she do what she thinks is right. Torn between the two things she wants to do and magically contracted to obey Sonic, she collapses and Erazor gains the rings anyway. Of course to gain the true power of those rings, he has to slaughter their collector and so goes in for the kill on Sonic. Shahra, seemingly realizing that the right thing to do (As demanded by Sonic) is to intercept the attack and she throws an almighty wrench into Erazor's plan by becoming the wrong sacrifice. Of course, it's entirely possible that Shahra was motivated to sacrifice herself on Sonic's behalf because he took the bullet for her earlier and because he treated her with kindness.

This one action brings to fruition a series of believable events that work in Sonic's favor;

1 - Erazor is forcibly morphed into an incomplete monster as a result of not getting the right sacrifice. This prevents him from gaining the power required to cross between the world of the book and the real world.

2 - Sonic's emotional response to her demise has the effect of turning him into Darkspine, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with Alf Layla Wa-Layla. The transformation also negates Sonic's flame arrow.

3 - The sacrifice has the effect of making Erazor's disfigured lamp return to a usable form.

Darkspine kicks Erazor's ass in one of if not the most vicious boss fight in the entire series.

I've already stated about three times before why the ending to SatSR is the best Sonic game ending wink.png

I think that the story aspects fit together like a wonderous jigsaw. The Arabian Nights setting is very well utilized and extremely appealing, the characters are delightful and Erazor is one of the most evil and competent villains in the series and Sonic was characterized absolutely wonderfully. Shahra was a great character and you can tell clear as day that she never wanted to hurt Sonic and indeed feels genuine guilt and remorse for getting him involved. Her regret over the fact that she's leading Sonic on is even implied in certain cutscenes;

shahraworried-1.png

What I find additionally interesting about this games story is how it makes Sonic....more human, more realistic. It's hard to describe. He's in touch with his mortality, he experiences various emotions upon obtaining world rings and he's even doing as mundane a thing as sleeping and reading in the opening (Being sick and all, another human problem), quite different from every other Sonic game opening.

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I prefer competently written PLOTS, as in something that lives up to the story potential I know this series has and refuse to settle for anything less just because we've had a few missteps in the past; if anything that makes me want it more.

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Black Knight is very, VERY close, but I've gotta go with Sonic Unleashed. I love the inclusion of Chip, even though I will agree he does occasionally hog the spotlight from Tails, who gets downplayed in this game. That doesn't bother me, because a lot of the story is centered on the friendship between Sonic and Chip.This game shows that even when Sonic is turned into a werehog by the dark energy of Dark Gaia, he's too pure and good to be corrupted. Sonic is at his best here: he cracks jokes, he acts cocky in the opening, which leads to him being captured, and he's just an awesome guy all around. Eggman is also at his best here: he's the perfect mix of goofiness, while also harkening back to the slightly more serious Adventure era Eggman at the same time. We also get the always hilarious Professor Pickle, played to perfection by Dan Green. The ending is also my favorite in any Sonic game: the jaw dropping Super Sonic transformation, Dark Gaia's horrifying and disgusting mutation, and Chip fulfilling his duty by aiding Sonic in defeating the monster. We also get a great speech by Professor Pickle, and Chip tragically sealing himself inside the planet's core while saving Sonic's life a second time. We finally get a heartwarming scene of Sonic picking up Chip's bracelet before setting off for Adventure with Tails. All in all, amazing stuff.

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Black Knight is very, VERY close, but I've gotta go with Sonic Unleashed. I love the inclusion of Chip, even though I will agree he does occasionally hog the spotlight from Tails, who gets downplayed in this game. That doesn't bother me, because a lot of the story is centered on the friendship between Sonic and Chip.This game shows that even when Sonic is turned into a werehog by the dark energy of Dark Gaia, he's too pure and good to be corrupted. Sonic is at his best here: he cracks jokes, he acts cocky in the opening, which leads to him being captured, and he's just an awesome guy all around. Eggman is also at his best here: he's the perfect mix of goofiness, while also harkening back to the slightly more serious Adventure era Eggman at the same time. We also get the always hilarious Professor Pickle, played to perfection by Dan Green. The ending is also my favorite in any Sonic game: the jaw dropping Super Sonic transformation, Dark Gaia's horrifying and disgusting mutation, and Chip fulfilling his duty by aiding Sonic in defeating the monster. We also get a great speech by Professor Pickle, and Chip tragically sealing himself inside the planet's core while saving Sonic's life a second time. We finally get a heartwarming scene of Sonic picking up Chip's bracelet before setting off for Adventure with Tails. All in all, amazing stuff.

This.  Very much this.

 

Unleashed has plenty of narrative flaws, don't get me wrong, but I think it has the most engaging plots of all the story-driven games.  It doesn't try too hard to be mature (a la ShTH, Sonic '06) and it doesn't try too hard to be quirky and humorous (a la Sonic Colors) - The dialogue is great, and the story sort of makes the concept of the Werehog work from a narrative standpoint.  Sort of.  I can understand the whole Frankenstein struggle of the fact that he now looks a hideous beast and his friends don't immediately recognize him, but really, aside from that, it doesn't hinder him.  The story should have revolved around some sort of some sort of weakness, something that genuinely damages both Sonic's physical abilities as well as his morale.  Unfortunately, I can't think of anything of that description aside from "slow down shoes" but we all know why that's a terrible idea. so for what they came up with, it isn't too bad.

 

The atmosphere in the game is just beautiful, by the way.  The locations, the way that the culture changes drastically at different times of the day, the way that the music changes during the day and night stages.  During the day, it's more fast-paced and action-oriented while in the night, it's generally more calm and soothing.  I know I'm going to be scorned for this, but I love that jazzy jingle that plays during the Werehog fights.  It's really atmospheric and really gives off a sense of melee.  It's a tad repetitive, sure, and the score probably could have benefited from a little bit less usage, but I like it.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the world they built Sonic around is incredible.  Even though I'm not a fan of the humans in the context of a Sonic game, the designs are charming in their own right.

 

Despite all the glaring narrative flaws that surface from time to time, I think the only thing that really breaks my enjoyment of the game's plot is the voice acting, but even that isn't nearly as bad as it had been in previous games.  I know "improved" is not synonymous with "good," but I was really invested in Jason Griffith's performance in this game.  The only thing that really bugged me is that he was there at all, really.  His acting was decent, for the most part, but just his presence brings to mind all the terrible performances he's delivered in the past.  Amy Palant's Tails is also a huge improvement.  It's not as scratchy as it had been before, but then I never really had too much of a problem with Palant.  I'd rather have her than William Corkery any day.

 

The best delivery comes from Eggman and the newer characters.  Like Chip.  You could argue his voice is grating and I won't disagree with you, but he really sold me as Chip.  Orbot and Cubot also make a great pair, but I've babbled about them as well as Eggman's delivery plenty of times in the past, so I'm just going to stop here.

 

All in all, I think Unleashed, while far from perfect, had the most engaging narrative of any Sonic game.  The story book games, on the other hand, have probably the best character development and writing.  So if they combined the strengths of each series, then I think it would make for a phenomenal story, or at the very least a very enjoyable one.

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I don't even know anymore... When  I was a kid it used to be Sonic Adventure 2 but now looking back on it... It was far too "serious"

 

Maybe Sonic Heroes but then again it went downhill through Shadow The Hedgehog by dragging on the adventure story. I guess It's like when you're younger you think you're being cool then you grow up and realise that it was over the top and silly.

 

Sonic Adventure was the most fun I ever had with a Sonic story, I realy loved the 6 characters and how they interacted. Though I think it would have been better if Big The Cat had died in a fire and not Gamma. Froggy?.....KABOOOOOM!!! biggrin.png

 

Sonic Colours  was kinda uplifting and somehow more fitting to a cartoonish blue hedgehog IMO... I'm quite interested to see what that new game will bring...What it called? I forgot the name but anyway It looks great! :D

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My favorite Sonic story is Adventure 1. The cutscenes and dialogue are hilariously bad of course, but the plot itself is nice enough. A fairly grand scale, good roles for all the characters, never obnoxiously dark and edgy until the srs bsns climax, and makes good use of the Sonic series lore, making it about the echidna civilization, the emeralds and all that good stuff. And Sonic fighting a god of destruction so powerful it even overtook Eggman was actually cool when they did it once. 

 

My second favorite is Colors. Because even though  the actual plot is nothing to write home about, I enjoyed watching the events play out. Corny jokes aside, Sonic and Tails had some good moments, and Eggman and his interactions with Orbot and Cubot are just fantastic. And the whole concept of Eggman's Interstellar Amusement Park was cool.

 

Honorable mention to Black Knight. Even though the second half got pretty messy I think it was cool that they tried to juxtapose Sonic with a world that completely counteracted his ideals. The ideas of chivalry, loyalty, etc contrasting with Sonic's "isn't there more to being a knight than just serving a king attitude" was pretty interesting.

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This.  Very much this.

 

Unleashed has plenty of narrative flaws, don't get me wrong, but I think it has the most engaging plots of all the story-driven games.  It doesn't try too hard to be mature (a la ShTH, Sonic '06) and it doesn't try too hard to be quirky and humorous (a la Sonic Colors) - The dialogue is great, and the story sort of makes the concept of the Werehog work from a narrative standpoint.  Sort of.  I can understand the whole Frankenstein struggle of the fact that he now looks a hideous beast and his friends don't immediately recognize him, but really, aside from that, it doesn't hinder him.  The story should have revolved around some sort of some sort of weakness, something that genuinely damages both Sonic's physical abilities as well as his morale.  Unfortunately, I can't think of anything of that description aside from "slow down shoes" but we all know why that's a terrible idea. so for what they came up with, it isn't too bad.

 

The atmosphere in the game is just beautiful, by the way.  The locations, the way that the culture changes drastically at different times of the day, the way that the music changes during the day and night stages.  During the day, it's more fast-paced and action-oriented while in the night, it's generally more calm and soothing.  I know I'm going to be scorned for this, but I love that jazzy jingle that plays during the Werehog fights.  It's really atmospheric and really gives off a sense of melee.  It's a tad repetitive, sure, and the score probably could have benefited from a little bit less usage, but I like it.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the world they built Sonic around is incredible.  Even though I'm not a fan of the humans in the context of a Sonic game, the designs are charming in their own right.

 

Despite all the glaring narrative flaws that surface from time to time, I think the only thing that really breaks my enjoyment of the game's plot is the voice acting, but even that isn't nearly as bad as it had been in previous games.  I know "improved" is not synonymous with "good," but I was really invested in Jason Griffith's performance in this game.  The only thing that really bugged me is that he was there at all, really.  His acting was decent, for the most part, but just his presence brings to mind all the terrible performances he's delivered in the past.  Amy Palant's Tails is also a huge improvement.  It's not as scratchy as it had been before, but then I never really had too much of a problem with Palant.  I'd rather have her than William Corkery any day.

 

The best delivery comes from Eggman and the newer characters.  Like Chip.  You could argue his voice is grating and I won't disagree with you, but he really sold me as Chip.  Orbot and Cubot also make a great pair, but I've babbled about them as well as Eggman's delivery plenty of times in the past, so I'm just going to stop here.

 

All in all, I think Unleashed, while far from perfect, had the most engaging narrative of any Sonic game.  The story book games, on the other hand, have probably the best character development and writing.  So if they combined the strengths of each series, then I think it would make for a phenomenal story, or at the very least a very enjoyable one.

This, for me pretty much, unleashed had an awesome story and probably some of the most engaging plot ever and its the game that in my opinion has some of the best VA'ing ever.

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Black Knight would win over Secret Rings for me story-wise if aspects of the second half/end of the story weren't vague.

 

Sonic's the real king? Arthur's been struck-down by his son Mordred and departs for Avalon? Gawain and Lancelot fall out?

 

Where was the story going with this? Do these premonitions of Merlina's imply a civil war leading to the realm's downfall? If so, why does she need to apply the scabbard's power to the land itself? Who's going to be the king considering Sonic seemingly abandoned his duty?

 

That said, I still have a great respect for SatBK's story overall as it used character's mannerisms and actions to steer itself very well such as the plot point with the crying child and the circumstances that led to Sonic's Excalibur transformation and not only that, as Chili said, it facilitated an amazing portrayal of Sonic because he's been dumped into a world that has expectations completely contrary to his take on heroism. The plot and dialogue monopolized on this, which is what makes it such a generally well thought-out and told story. And better yet, Sonic is always kept extremely in-character with no exaggerations at all.

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I'm gonna cheat and go outside the games.

 

My favourite story would have to be to overarching plot of STC. It managed to have a decent mix of humour and darkness not to mention arguably the most interesting and layered version of Sonic we've had so far.

The earlier issues which seen the metallix saga and Sonic's eventual rise and overthrowing of Robotnik were just awesome but the series continued to be strong right up to the end with the Adventure arc that closed the series brilliantly.

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I really liked Sonic 3 & Knuckles' story. It was all very subtly told, got its point across, and managed to feel like a grand adventure all at the same time. I really appreciated that.

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Well, if I had to make a top five (going from oldest to most recent), I'd choose these games.

 

So to start off, I'll just say that I've never been quite as bothered about stories and pinpoint-characterisation as most here. That's not to say I don't have my own personal desires - ideally a mix between the examples I'm about to list would be pretty much perfect for me - but overall, it's not something I'm going to lose sleep over, because as long as it's not overly convoluted or - for lack of a better phrase - up it's own arse, and the characters are at least reasonably in-character, then nine times out of ten that'll do for me, since gameplay and character chemistry have always been my two biggest priorities. That's not me having lower standards or anything, that's simply how I feel. In short, I'm not overly bothered either way.

 

Anyways, let's get started.

 

Sonic CD: I know this one might not count since it's less about actual story and more about the in-game touches, but I thought they were close enough when it comes to this game.

 

So the plot itself is relatively simple. Sonic wants to take a trip to the Little Planet, gets cockblocked by Robotnik, sics Metal Sonic to capture Amy, Sonic goes and rescues her whilst taking back the Little Planet one step at a time. Simple. Fun.

 

But because of the way the levels work, there's so much to think about. The Presents, Pasts, Bad Futures and Good Futures all contrast for one world each, putting various interpretations and settings up to offer. Seeing the contrast between the dark, dystopian Bad Futures and the pristine, relaxing Good Futures is somewhat dazzling. (The Good Futures, by the way, still have technology, proving that the Sonic series has always been one of the best in regards to the Green Aesop routine. This is a big deal for me since I'm a goofy bastard who enjoys it when that trope is done well, and since that's always been one of the aspects that make Sonic the Hedgehog as a franchise to me... well, you can imagine that I'd respect this detail a lot.)

 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: The end of the Death Egg Saga couldn't have been more perfect if it tried.

 

You get to explore a new, ancient land in the hopes of stopping Robotnik from relaunching his Death Star ripoff, all the while getting that meddling echidna off your back, so that's two concepts in one already. Robotnik seems even more determined to finish you here than he was in Sonic 1 and 2, what with piloting more bosses, creating mini-bosses, and executing a bunch of incredibly callous acts like starting a forest fire, pulling an airship bombardment, destroying the Marble Garden ruins, and indirectly setting off the Lava Reef volcano. And all that's before he pulls the greatest betrayal exit stage ever seen by violently electrocuting his presumably fingerless pawn and then casually pissing off with the Master Emerald as if nothing happened. And of course, you then have Knuckles' sort of epilogue story after that.

 

It's big enough, but also simple enough. The best scenario in my opinion. And despite there not being any words spoken throughout the entire game, the scenes and setpieces in the game are always fun to go back to. You really feel like a superhero after you've completed the Death Egg and Doomsday Zones. It's just a lovely plot alltogether.

 

Sonic Adventure: I used to be a bit 50/50 on this one, but nowadays - partly thanks to my friend - I've started to respect it more. Unlike it's sequel, which I personally felt was the catalyst for a few certain types of games in hindsight, this one felt for the most part like a true Sonic experience to me. It's got Badniks, it's got the colourful worlds... And while it did introduce a certain plot stigma that would later go on to be used many, many times, in this instance I didn't mind it because... well, maybe this is just me being crazy, but because of his backstory, I always viewed Chaos as a King Kong/Godzilla-When-He's Not-Evil-type as opposed to the likes of Iblis and Dark Gaia, and as such I saw the finale as more a legitimate and sympathetic Rage Against the Master scenario more than "Haha I'm more evil than you pfffft".

 

As for the other characters... Well they have their own importance no matter how great or small, so that's nice, especially in Tails' and Gamma's cases (dealing with confidence issues and elaborating on the creation and possible suffering of Robotnik's robots, respectively). And Tikal? She's on my top ten list of Sonic characters for a reason.

 

Sonic Rush Adventure: The storyline in Rush wasn't too bad either, but in this game, we got to have a look inside Blaze's own world for ourselves. It was surprisingly full of australians for some reason, but that worked out well in the end. You're also fighting pirate robots throughout the entire game - backed up by a unsubtle but nonetheless wonderful Ganondorf/Wily situation - which automatically makes it cool for me. We also get to delve a little more into Blaze the Character, seeing more of her insecurities and fears, not to mention a bit of eventual development for newcomer Marine as well (and yes, I'm still upset to this day that she hasn't returned since). It's a simplistic but grand adventure across the seas, and that's A-OK with me.

 

Sonic Colours: Yeah. Go on. Laugh.

 

I'm well aware of the reasons why this isn't as well-regarded as, say, Unleashed or the Storybook series by a lot of folk on these parts in terms of characterisation and presentation. Yes, there's a few plot elements that would have been interesting to delve into more. Yes, Sonic & Tails and the tone in general was more AoStH-ish than usual. Yes, it was very vague compared to the past 3D games in terms of the overall deal.

 

But in all honestly, call me easily pleased... but I don't really care about those points enough for it to actually ruin my enjoyment.

 

For starters, there's the premise itself: After the whole blowing up the planet (again) deal didn't work out, Robotnik's basically done the exact opposite thing this time and made an Intersteller Amusement Park out of mechanized planets that he's conquered, and captured and basically getting ready to kind of sort of ensue kid-friendly genocide on the peaceful Wisp aliens. Already this tickles my fancy, because not only is the whole setup very CD-esque (right down to the Green Aesop being played up once again), but the Intersteller Amusement Park in itself is one of my favourite plot settings ever in a videogame (incidentally, while it might be too early too say, the Lost Hex is shaping up to be another top one). The Nega Wisp deal is one of my favourite plot devices, because it shows that despite what certain games and manuals would want you to believe, Robotnik is every bit as bad as the likes of Pachacamac and Black Doom. (Indeed, the whole thing is actually very similar to Black Doom's way with humans... only I find this to be even worse since Robotnik doesn't even have a major grudge against the Wisps, and the Wisps themselves are adorable and haven't done anything to him.) I also tend to get a few Pleasure Island from Pinocchio vibes, from both the Nega Wisps and the park in general.

 

Secondly, no monsters. No giant monsters in sight. Well, unless you count the DS version, though I don't mind the concept of a Mother Wisp in itself... Instead of that overdone setup - one that I grew very tired of by that point - seeing the doctor welcome his more traditional roots once more was fantastic for an Eggman fan like myself. I felt his presence throughout the game via both his park and his public announcements. I saw what he and he alone was doing. Not what he was doing with the assistance of some beast, what the man himself was doing with his mechanical contraptions. And then there's the climax, which - while a lot of other people might disagree - I felt completely immersed in that climax and subsequent final battle with him. Call me shallow or fanboyish all you want, but you do not know how giddy I was when I saw the Nega-Wisp Armor (of course, that didn't beat how giddy I was when I found out about his relation to the Time Eater... hey, it might have been obvious to everyone else, but as a very paranoid and easily jittery person, that was a big deal to me). Far more satisfying for me than any Final Fantasy demon that just roars a lot.

 

Then, there's Sonic and Tails... and they're actually acting like brothers from other mothers. None of that "Long time no see!" business, no, just those two having fun and occasionally taking the piss out of each other. Again, I know the characterisation in this game is divided for others, but I was completely fine with it. Yes, even Sonic's crap jokes. In fact, that was even better, since Tails would usually backtalk him for it, and as an avid Tails fan and avid Not-Sonic fan, seeing the former finally get to put the latter in his place filled me with glee, because I'm a child in mind, if you haven't guessed.

 

But the whole thing, like those four other examples I listed, was a plot that I could get completely into. Everything. The settings used, the evil scheme, Sonic and Tails' palling around, new (and good) expies of Scratch and Grounder... It's what makes me happy. And while I may be alone on that viewpoint... It's something that I don't see myself changing anytime soon.

Edited by Dr. Crusher
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I have two favorite stories, and I like both for opposite reasons (though both are related to the same character).

 

Sonic Adventure 2

 

I should preface this by first talking about this game's predecessors. I love the classic games, and I loved SA1, but in those games, Dr. Eggman was characterized as little more than a cackling madman with no depth explored beyond his desire to kill Sonic and take over the world. Even Adventure, which gave the man dialog, usually just had him laughing diabolically or shouting threats for most of the game, a natural extension of his classic personality.

 

Then SA2 came along, and right from the beginning there was something notably different about Dr. Eggman. And that difference was that he had a far more realistic - dare I say, far more human - range of emotions. Sure, he could be as boisterous and flamboyant as he always was, but he could also be contemplative, calculating, and perhaps even sentimental at times. I'd argue that SA2 was the first game to portray Eggman as a person and not just a living obstacle for Sonic to foil, and I found that to be incredibly cool.

 

His interactions with his allies (traitorous though they were) shed some particularly interesting insight onto his character. Eggman's relationship with Shadow and Rouge - while primarily a villainous alliance - is still the closest thing we've seen to a "friendship" in his life; Rather than ordering them around as he did his robots, he treated them as almost-equals. It was an interesting relationship that we really haven't seen since (arguably Eggman Nega fits the bill too, but we didn't get to see them interact quite as much).

 

Of course, Eggman's backstory opened up a whole new element of depth for the character. Prior to SA2, we knew nothing about Dr. Eggman's past or family; So to learn that he had a grandfather whom he admired, and that to get a faint glimpse at his childhood, was a really interesting development. That somber moment aboard the ARK where he shares his misgivings about Gerald's descent into madness, questioning his childhood adoration of his grandfather, was one of the most heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable moments we've ever seen from the doctor (and even Tails's badly-written response couldn't ruin it).

 

SA2 is, of course, good for a number of other, non-Eggman aspects. But to me, what the game did for Eggman's character will always be one of the most important developments in the entire franchise.

 

 

Next up, Sonic Colors:

 

Eggman is Sonic's archenemy. You might not know that from the 3D games, though, which tend to favor giant monsters, traitorous robots, and space aliens in lieu of everyone's favorite mustached madman. Indeed, the 3D games tend to portray Dr. Eggman as a seondary villain or an occasionally friendly rival to Sonic, and while I certainly don't dislike that portrayal altogether, Eggman reclaiming his role as the main antagonist in a 3D title was long overdue.

 

And Eggman's return to the villainous spotlight went big. The entire game takes place in his narcissistic, colorfully decked-out base. He constantly heckles you and throws out a barrage of witty one-liners. We get several scenes that are literally just Eggman and his robots hanging out (a tradition I was happy to see continued from Unleashed). And of course, the big, bad, climactic boss fight against Eggman, rather than another one-shot cosmic horror. The game was practically a love letter to Eggman fans, and I was very happy with it.

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Well, if I had to make a top five (going from oldest to most recent), I'd choose these games.

 

So to start off, I'll just say that I've never been quite as bothered about stories and pinpoint-characterisation as most here. That's not to say I don't have my own personal desires - ideally a mix between the examples I'm about to list would be pretty much perfect for me - but overall, it's not something I'm going to lose sleep over, because as long as it's not overly convoluted or - for lack of a better phrase - up it's own arse, and the characters are at least reasonably in-character, then nine times out of ten that'll do for me, since gameplay and character chemistry have always been my two biggest priorities. That's not me having lower standards or anything, that's simply how I feel. In short, I'm not overly bothered either way.

 

Anyways, let's get started.

 

Sonic CD: I know this one might not count since it's less about actual story and more about the in-game touches, but I thought they were close enough when it comes to this game.

 

So the plot itself is relatively simple. Sonic wants to take a trip to the Little Planet, gets cockblocked by Robotnik, sics Metal Sonic to capture Amy, Sonic goes and rescues her whilst taking back the Little Planet one step at a time. Simple. Fun.

 

But because of the way the levels work, there's so much to think about. The Presents, Pasts, Bad Futures and Good Futures all contrast for one world each, putting various interpretations and settings up to offer. Seeing the contrast between the dark, dystopian Bad Futures and the pristine, relaxing Good Futures is somewhat dazzling. (The Good Futures, by the way, still have technology, proving that the Sonic series has always been one of the best in regards to the Green Aesop routine. This is a big deal for me since I'm a goofy bastard who enjoys it when that trope is done well, and since that's always been one of the aspects that make Sonic the Hedgehog as a franchise to me... well, you can imagine that I'd respect this detail a lot.)

 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: The end of the Death Egg Saga couldn't have been more perfect if it tried.

 

You get to explore a new, ancient land in the hopes of stopping Robotnik from relaunching his Death Star ripoff, all the while getting that meddling echidna off your back, so that's two concepts in one already. Robotnik seems even more determined to finish you here than he was in Sonic 1 and 2, what with piloting more bosses, creating mini-bosses, and executing a bunch of incredibly callous acts like starting a forest fire, pulling an airship bombardment, destroying the Marble Garden ruins, and indirectly setting off the Lava Reef volcano. And all that's before he pulls the greatest betrayal exit stage ever seen by violently electrocuting his presumably fingerless pawn and then casually pissing off with the Master Emerald as if nothing happened. And of course, you then have Knuckles' sort of epilogue story after that.

 

It's big enough, but also simple enough. The best scenario in my opinion. And despite there not being any words spoken throughout the entire game, the scenes and setpieces in the game are always fun to go back to. You really feel like a superhero after you've completed the Death Egg and Doomsday Zones. It's just a lovely plot alltogether.

You pretty much just tackled exactly why I love the 2D games in a nutshell.  While many other games at the time were experimenting with story by way of still frames partnered with long walls of text, Sonic games were already ahead of their time by having the story take place during the action with subtlety and charm, making use of every available element at their disposal to set the mood.  It's probably the earliest game that I can think of whereby you had context and purpose without the need for several minutes of lengthy exposition.  It was theatrical for the time, but not in such way that it detracted from the gameplay.

 

Of course, some things still don't make sense unless you read the manual, but hey, it was 1993 and 1994 respectively, so you couldn't have everything.

 

 

Sonic Adventure: I used to be a bit 50/50 on this one, but nowadays - partly thanks to my friend - I've started to respect it more. Unlike it's sequel, which I personally felt was the catalyst for a few certain types of games in hindsight, this one felt for the most part like a true Sonic experience to me. It's got Badniks, it's got the colourful worlds... And while it did introduce a certain plot stigma that would later go on to be used many, many times, in this instance I didn't mind it because... well, maybe this is just me being crazy, but because of his backstory, I always viewed Chaos as a King Kong/Godzilla-When-He's Not-Evil-type as opposed to the likes of Iblis and Dark Gaia, and as such I saw the finale as more a legitimate and sympathetic Rage Against the Master scenario more than "Haha I'm more evil than you pfffft".

 

As for the other characters... Well they have their own importance no matter how great or small, so that's nice, especially in Tails' and Gamma's cases (dealing with confidence issues and elaborating on the creation and possible suffering of Robotnik's robots, respectively). And Tikal? She's on my top ten list of Sonic characters for a reason.

I was just discussing Gamma's arc with my BFF a bit ago.  I think Gamma's story is a lot more complex and tragic than what it appears on the surface.  It's sort of agonizing to think that your entire existence is justified by the suffering of another.  Not only that, but the way that Gamma has to fight his brothers, after already disheartening them by becoming a favorite of Robotnik, shows how heavy his burden is.  His whole struggle is about understanding the value of life and coming to terms with the fact that he can't ethically exist in a world that thrives against his very creation.  It may not have been executed perfectly, but it's some surprisingly heavy stuff, and perhaps a little too grim for a Sonic game?  I'm not really sure how to feel about it, but it's an interesting spectacle.

 

Also, I agree that they need to stop making the final bosses monsters.  SA1 did it right for the reasons you stated, and I'll contest that Unleashed did it right because Dark Gaia's monstrous form was meant to contrast with Chip's on every conceivable level.  The Biolizard, the Time Eater, and things like that, however, are a little redundant.

 

 

Sonic Rush Adventure: The storyline in Rush wasn't too bad either, but in this game, we got to have a look inside Blaze's own world for ourselves. It was surprisingly full of australians for some reason, but that worked out well in the end. You're also fighting pirate robots throughout the entire game - backed up by a unsubtle but nonetheless wonderful Ganondorf/Wily situation - which automatically makes it cool for me. We also get to delve a little more into Blaze the Character, seeing more of her insecurities and fears, not to mention a bit of eventual development for newcomer Marine as well (and yes, I'm still upset to this day that she hasn't returned since). It's a simplistic but grand adventure across the seas, and that's A-OK with me.

Just wanted to say I think that the Australians in SRA are probably only in that part of Blaze's world.  I'm sure just as Earth does, Blaze's dimension has all different geographies and all different sorts of people.  I'm more interested to know why it seems that koalas have become the dominant species though.  Are there humans aside from Eggman Nega there?  Do the humans have the same intelligence as the koalas or are they the koalas of the Negaverse?  These questions demand answers!

 

Also, I enjoyed Colors' plot overall, but I feel that the cutscenes had very little consequence.  They felt like the short joke break after the gameplay.  There were no revelations of any sort in the gameplay.  We knew Eggman was planning something evil, so we stopped it.  We didn't need the shtick with the translator device.  We didn't need the whole Tails getting his mind controlled subplot that went absolutely nowhere.  Overall, the quality to me feels like that of a filler episode of a Saturday morning cartoon... which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I loved it!  But I wouldn't make it the standard.

Edited by Akito
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I'm more interested to know why it seems that koalas have become the dominant species though.  Are there humans aside from Eggman Nega there?  Do the humans have the same intelligence as the koalas or are they the koalas of the Negaverse?  These questions demand answers!

The koalas were only from one small island though. Hardly dominant.

 

Also Nega's not even from the Sol Dimension btw.

 

I do like the Rush series' stories mostly because of Blaze, her development and her world. Even if it did mean we got some bad characters out of it (HINT: Marine's not one of them).

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The koalas were only from one small island though. Hardly dominant.

But even then, you'd expect to see more of a diversity.  I mean, there are other types of bears (I think?) but still.

 

Also Nega's not even from the Sol Dimension btw.

I must have missed that piece of exposition.

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I have&nbsp;two favorite stories, and I like both for opposite reasons (though both are related to the same character).

&nbsp;

Sonic Adventure 2

&nbsp;

I should preface this by first talking about this game's predecessors. I love the classic games, and I loved SA1, but in those games, Dr. Eggman was characterized as little more than a cackling madman with no depth explored beyond his desire to kill Sonic and take over the world. Even Adventure, which gave the man dialog, usually just had him laughing diabolically or shouting threats for most of the game, a natural extension of his classic personality.

&nbsp;

Then SA2 came along, and&nbsp;right from the beginning there was something&nbsp;notably different about Dr. Eggman. And that difference was that he had a far more realistic - dare I say, far more&nbsp;human&nbsp;- range of emotions. Sure, he could be as boisterous and flamboyant as he always was, but he could also be contemplative, calculating, and perhaps even sentimental at times. I'd argue that SA2 was the first game to portray Eggman as a&nbsp;person&nbsp;and not just a living obstacle for Sonic to foil, and I found that to be incredibly cool.

&nbsp;

His interactions with his allies (traitorous though they were) shed some particularly interesting insight onto his character. Eggman's relationship with Shadow and Rouge - while primarily a villainous alliance - is still the closest thing we've seen to a "friendship" in his life; Rather than ordering them around as he did his robots, he treated them as almost-equals. It was an interesting relationship that we really haven't seen since (arguably Eggman Nega fits the bill too, but we didn't get to see them interact quite as much).

&nbsp;

Of course, Eggman's backstory opened up a whole new element of depth for the character. Prior to SA2, we knew nothing about Dr. Eggman's past or family; So to learn that he had a grandfather whom he admired, and that to get a faint glimpse at his childhood, was a really interesting development. That somber moment aboard the ARK where he shares his misgivings about Gerald's descent into madness, questioning his childhood adoration of his grandfather, was one of the most heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable moments we've ever seen from the doctor (and even Tails's badly-written response couldn't ruin it).

&nbsp;

SA2 is, of course, good for a&nbsp;number of other, non-Eggman aspects. But to me, what the game did for Eggman's character will always be one of the most important developments in the entire franchise.

&nbsp;

Dianna_this.gif

&nbsp;

I freaking loved Eggman's antics in SA2. He was a threat from the start until very late into the story, his competence sets some awesome plot points in motion; Detecting the fake emerald and putting two and two together, holding two heroes hostage and luring Sonic right into his trap by making him believe he held all the aces and damn does he come close to succeeding in his goal. I don't believe that the story was all about Shadow manipulating Eggman. Granted he was but then Eggman was manipulating Shadow as well, it was a relationship of mutual utilitarianism.

&nbsp;

It's just dastardly how he orchestrates the blowing-up of Prison Island and it's really cool how Eggman always has his priorities dead straight.

&nbsp;

That said, Colours is far from my favourite story due to cutscenes dedicated more to 'humorous' lines than to actual plot development, dropped plot points ("You wanna know where Yacker went and how he returned? Too bad! Have a cutscene in which Sonic drones on and on to the point that you just wish he'd shut the fuck up instead!"), completely unfulfilled potential such as with the mind-controlled Tails plot point and Eggman not being satisfying as the final boss for once in quite a while because he's in no way well-utilized when it comes to direct antagonism.

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I liked Sonic adventure 2's story, and also SA1. I liked how in SA1 each character had their own perspective. for example, when knuckles meets with sonic after getting the last emerald off the egg carrier, Sonic is more of a jerk in Knuckles' story than in sonic's

  (between minute 1 and 2)

  (between minute 4:20 and 4:35)

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In terms of specific stories from the series that I liked and enjoyed, in no particular order:

 

 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles:

 

Ahh, the first real plot of the series that had a truly fleshed out conflict. It wasn't just a random assortment of levels you were going through, it truly was an adventure through Angel Island to stop Eggman. Level transitions really helped bring that to life, and slowly learning Eggman's presence on the island truly made the conflict palpable. Its probably one of the most fleshed out plots of the 16-bit era.

 

 

Sonic Adventure: 

 

It was a tough decision between this and it sequel, but I ultimately prefer this one. Not because the plot is necessarily better but because it does a far better job at fleshing out its cast. Each character has their own individual story arc to go through and each one explores that character's motivations pretty well, and they all come together for the last story in an amazing climax. While Team Sonic's stories are really the only ones tied to the main plotline, I still did like how this game handled other characters and expanded on their motivations.

 

 

Sonic Rush: 

 

I'm a little biased towards this one because I like it mainly because it introduced one of my favorite characters in Blaze. But I really did love how this game handled her debut and it shows why I feel Blaze is one of the better editions of the modern cast. You're introduced to this new character in Sonic's story and she runs off with a mysterious emerald being all mysterious and shit. Then as you play her side of the story, you learn more about her and why she's the way she is and how its affecting her personally. And everything ties together in a truly heartwarming ending.

 

Sonic Colors:

 

Despite how much criticism I may give to it, I truly did like Sonic Colors` story the first time through. Now I understand its not the most well written plot in the series, nor is it particularly deep or empathetic, or that intelligent, or truly a testament to the characters involved in exploring their motivations. I get all that, trust me. So why is Sonic Colors on this list? Because its honestly what I felt the series needed after so many games with such big stakes. Every 3D game had some scenario where the world would be doomed, and some giant demon you fought as the final boss. When the world is constantly in danger, it kinda loses its effect. Sonic Colors is a nice breather story after all of that; its just Sonic & Tails doing their daily routine of stopping Eggman. Because the plot isn't so heavy this time, we have a lot more character moments; Sonic & Tails finally acting like two bros on an adventure, Eggman just having a jolly good time with his schemes, and the very lax feeling of the game just makes me appreciate it in the midst of all of the "epic" battles. Do I feel it should be the standard the series should abide by? Certainly not, but there's nothing wrong with a simple, lighthearted adventure once in a while and Sonic Colors surely delivers on that.

 

 

Sonic & the Black Knight

 

Similar to Rush, I'm a little biased towards this one because Sonic is my #1 favorite character in the series, and damn does this game show off why. From the first scene he shows up in, to the very last cutscene; Sonic just establishes such a presence and steals whatever scene he's in. He's cocky, yet selfless. Irreverent yet humble, and despite not being from that time, he just sticks to his guns and makes his own path. Sonic may not be very dynamic as a character as he mostly stays the same throughout and nothing really changes him, but damn does his personality just scream fun and why I love watching him in that game.

 

 

 

To add on to what I said before, I guess I prefer more character driven plots; when the plot is dictated by the characters and their motivations instead of the events unfolding around them. I like it when they make those events happen and change things around them with their personalities. 

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