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What if Sonic learned to swim?


Diogenes
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Since the dawn of time the series, Sonic has had all the swimming ability of a brick. It's something we accept without question; either he sinks to the bottom and continues from there, or simply dies as if he fell into a pit, and that's just how it is.

But what if that changed? What if they made a Sonic game where water didn't mean instant death or trudging along the bottom? It certainly wouldn't be the most absurd change they've made to the gameplay, what with the swords, werehogs, and psychic powers of recent days. Plus, real hedgehogs can swim just fine, and with the kind of leg strength Sonic has, there should be no physical reason why he can't.

Personally, I'm not sure what I'd think of it (which is largely why I'm making this topic). It's interesting to imagine Sonic tearing through the water like a torpedo, but would it really be that much more fun than running down there? There's also the issue of having to switch from running on land to swimming in water...as it is now, Sonic still plays the same underwater as he does above it, but swimming would be a complete change in controls and gameplay. Even if they do come up with fun swimming gameplay, the transition might ruin the flow...

So what do you guys think?

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I wouldn't like it. Typically platforming characters bounce when they swim, like a single button to stroke in this or that direction. That would slow Sonic down and create an entirely different underwater dynamic, instead of just being platforming underwater. The water was deadly in the Sonic series for taking most of your speed, which required you to adjust your jumping skills accordingly. Paddling just seems too simple compared. Anyways, Tails is the doggy paddling character, since he moves underwater like he flies above ground. Sonic being underwater with his feet on the floor is one of the gameplay quirks that shouldn't change IMO.

An item or level gimmick that allowed Sonic to move like this temporarily would be kind of cool, however.

Edited by Badnikz
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Why not have Sonic underwater play like Spyro did? Have one button to boost through the water (in a spindash for awesome effect) and another to swim gently, and use the control stick to change direction. Wouldn't it be awesome to have Sonic dashing through the surface of the water at super speed, angle up and shoot out of the water several feet into that air, pure dolphin style, or twist through an underwater corridor?

To bad he can't swim properly, it'd be pretty awesome.

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I'd like to keep water as Sonic's primary weakness, as much for the sake of character as anything else. It's nice to see a hero with incredible abilities but also something that they fail hardcore at.

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I wouldn't like it. Typically platforming characters bounce when they swim, like a single button to stroke in this or that direction. That would slow Sonic down and create an entirely different underwater dynamic, instead of just being platforming underwater.
True, but that certainly isn't the only way the swimming could be done, either. Virgo's suggestion of something similar to Spyro seems plausible, and I was thinking something along the lines of Ristar with a spin attack.
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I'd like to keep water as Sonic's primary weakness, as much for the sake of character as anything else. It's nice to see a hero with incredible abilities but also something that they fail hardcore at.

Those are my sentiments exactly, if he doesn't have something he fails at then he's almost in a sense "perfect" and therefore rather boring as a result.

Plus, who doesn't love those underwater levels anyway? :D

Edited by Leon K Fox
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I don't think he should learn how to swim, because the whole idea of him not being able to was to give him some kind of weakness, but I do think he should have different capabilities in the water that make him different and more fun to play, as opposed to the original games where when submerged, Sonic was only a downgrade of his dry self. That's not to say the water levels of the originals weren't great- they were, and they were very engrossing because of the added pressure that was put on you. I just think Sonic should be able to gain some new abilities when underwater.

What if he had added jump-height, or was able to slow his descent and/or lateral movement by flailing his arms and legs so you could more precisely land on platforms? These are just things randomly coming off of the top of my head, but something along these lines would be really nice to see.

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All I think we need is what Sonic Unleashed did, run on the surface of the water at super speed, but if you're in circumstances where you can't and you sink, then you're running/plodding along the bottom, catching air bubbles etc etc. The under water levels have worked time and time again, and running on the water worked in Unleashed and other 2D games.

...I could've made that easier just by saying do what Hydrocity Zone did but...oh well :P.

However if I ever see Sonic swim properly, I would want it to be because of something he's using, underwater jetpack or something I don't know.

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I would say that I'm most upset with the games that don't let OTHER character swim. When you can run across water that's great and if you stop running you fall, but not all oceans are 40,000 feet deep game designers. Can't you create a device like a dolphin that swims you back to shore to start over again?...Or like in 06 where Tails, Rouge, and Knuckles die if they fall in the water. I mean really, too lazy to create animation to let them float in the water?

Best swim vs. no swim animation was in Sonic Advanced 3. Knuckles would tread water when he hit the surface, and then swim through the water like he was gliding in air. Same goes with Tails, where he'd doggy paddle until he reached the surface. Cream was given an ability to float on the water with a inner tube, and Sonic was given an air bubble.

Edited by Annie-Mae
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Best swim vs. no swim animation was in Sonic Adventure 3. Knuckles would tread water when he hit the surface, and then swim through the water like he was gliding in air. Same goes with Tails, where he'd doggy paddle until he reached the surface. Cream was given an ability to float on the water with a inner tube, and Sonic was given an air bubble.

Huh? You meant 2, right? And... wait, Cream and Tails? When do they swim? Or... wait, oh, did you mean Sonic Advance 3?

Oh jeez. I'm confused.

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I think Sonic should learn how to swim for several reasons:

1. His original inability to swim was based off of an incorrect assumption by Yuji Naka that Hedgehog can't swim. They can, but they can't pull themselves out of water onto a shear edge, only onto a gradual back, and even this limitation is the result of their physiology, a limitation Sonic does not share. In fact, they're quills are hollow, which means Sonic should float like a cork.

2. Water segments suck. The slower pace doesn't add anything aside from suspense (from drowning) to the game, and Sonic has other sources of that. I've seen countless example of people citing Aquatic Ruin Zone as their favorite water level because you can skip going under water. Give Sonic the ability to swim, and you open up a whole new paradigm. I imagine someone like Sonic could start out treading water, accelerate, and then start running on it like how a hydrofoil lifts itself out of the water at high speeds.

3. The design feels dated.

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Actually I hate water levels but Hydrocity Zone was wonderful, and is a great example of water levels that I enjoy for once.

I wouldn't have cared either way, but since the 3D games, water had become bottomless pits. Learning how to swim would thankfully avoid that. Knuckles learned how to swim (albeit for one game), so I can't see how Sonic shouldn't.

Over the years, water in Sonic games had largely transformed from being a thorn in the ass to something the player should fear as much as death, which I hate. Conversely, being crushed by weights in SA1/2 doesn't kill you immediately, which boggles my mind.

Edited by Jake
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Actually I hate water levels but Hydrocity Zone was wonderful, and is a great example of water levels that I enjoy for once.

That's the thing about Hydrocity, it's a water level where you spend very little time underwater.

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You spend enough time underwater, which is important. That, and the visuals were great, which is why it's my favorite zone in Sonic 3.

I actually didn't like Aquatic Ruin Zone, even though it's possible to never touch the water at all.

Edited by Jake
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That's the thing about Hydrocity, it's a water level where you spend very little time underwater.

I think that's one of the reasons why a lot of people like that stage in particular. It doesn't force you into the water 99% of the level, and when you are in the water, you aren't trudged down by so many obstacles in your way.

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Didn't you hear, he can now! Mario taught him. Mario started Sonic off slowly in Mario/Sonic Olympics with floatys, then by the time Brawl came out Mario had Sonic swimming all on his own. In return Sonic is trying to show Mario how to spin dash.

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Either way, I feel that Sonic's inability to swim has always been an interesting part about him, so I'd hate to see it change.
I'd be more inclined to feel that way if it actually came up more often. I don't think it's ever been used as part of the story (kind of a shame they didn't work it into SA somehow, since it was about a monster made of water...) and since in the 3D games water's nothing more than a prettier looking death pit it doesn't even come up in the gameplay, at least not any more than with any other video game character with super drowning skills.
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If Sonic could swim, he'd have no major weakness. [/thread]

Edit: lol, new page

Edited by Guest
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If Sonic could swim, he'd have no major weakness. [/thread]

Video game characters don't benefit from specific weaknesses the same way Comic book characters do. In fact, they usually make the game more annoying. For example, imagine if someone were to make an open wold Green Lantern game, complete with the Green Lantern's famous weakness to yellow. You would be randomly depowered any time a taxi or school bus drives past.

In contrast, Ryu has no particular weaknesses. Look where that got him.

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Video game characters don't benefit from specific weaknesses the same way Comic book characters do. In fact, they usually make the game more annoying. For example, imagine if someone were to make an open wold Green Lantern game, complete with the Green Lantern's famous weakness to yellow. You would be randomly depowered any time a taxi or school bus drives past.

In contrast, Ryu has no particular weaknesses. Look where that got him.

I don't know. Sonic has the kind of ego where losing his major weakness would contribute to his stu-ishness as well as take away from special dynamics of his gameplay; if they were to make underwater playable again in 3D titles, swimming would take away from platforming and... well... swimming levels in general just suck. Frankly, I find that Sonic's inability to swim made his early water levels a lot more enjoyable than most.

And the Green Lantern is just an odd case really. If we were dealing with Superman, Kryptonite would be placed far more fairly than general yellow objects.

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Video game characters don't benefit from specific weaknesses the same way Comic book characters do. In fact, they usually make the game more annoying. For example, imagine if someone were to make an open wold Green Lantern game, complete with the Green Lantern's famous weakness to yellow. You would be randomly depowered any time a taxi or school bus drives past.

In contrast, Ryu has no particular weaknesses. Look where that got him.

When you think of the reason most video game characters can swim, it used to be because of hardware limitations and it just not being worth all the trouble.

And if characters have generally involved stories, they would benefit from some type of weakness, whether physical or emotional, for the basic reason of making them more believable and easier to relate to. Ryu is part of the Fighting genre which usually have paper thin stories, if any at all, leaving very little room for characters to have any sort of development outside of bios and character profiles.

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