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Pontac's a cool guy :) This was really interesting to listen to.

 

Orbot and Cubot almost got the shaft because Eggman doesn't need robot lackey's!? Good God SEGA, that would have been a really asinine decision sleep.png It's really awesome to know that Ken and Warren fought to keep them in the series.

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Pontac's a cool guy smile.png This was really interesting to listen to.

 

Orbot and Cubot almost got the shaft because Eggman doesn't need robot lackey's!? Good God SEGA, that would have been a really asinine decision sleep.png It's really awesome to know that Ken and Warren fought to keep them in the series.

 

I like Orbot and Cubot. But I dunno. While Orbot was brilliant in Unleashed as SA-55, he's a different character entirely in Colours and I don't know quite what Cubot brings to the table either. So if they were to just disappear from the series... hm, I don't know how bothered I'd be.

 

For the sake of reference, here's all the relevant parts of the interview (expect many typos):

 

Roger: Um. Mr Pontac, we noticed you were often hired to write for many shows. How do you get the feel of a show?

Pontac: Ah, typically we're given a, Show Bible and some scripts. We read them to observe the characters and I think I'm just a great study when it comes to that.

Roger: I guess you are! How did you get involved with SEGA and the Sonic the Hedgehog series?

Pontac: Oh! Interesting story... We were doing a game for Happy Tree Friends and I was in a meeting room, with various executives and producers, and I didn't even realise that my cousin worked at SEGA. I didn't even know that he was my cousin! We didn't know each other- we never met. And so we're introduced, and the names don't click. About a week later, he's having dinner with another cousin who knows both of us and he 'tu-tu-tu-tu' realised: "I'm related to this guy". One thing led to another. I worked on a Happy Tree Friends game, I worked on MadWorld and then I worked on Sonic.

Roger: Yes... Ah, you worked often with a person called Warren Graff, can you tell me how he affects your writing style?

Pontac: Warren GRAAAFF! Don't you- Actually Warren is a great guy. He's really funny. He knows more cultural references than anybody I know, and just has them memorised. And we met on Happy Tree Friends. Another funny story- he was my neighbour.

Roger: In Sonic Colours and Sonic Lost World, we got a sense that there are a lot of ideas and storylines going on, but it seems to... weaken in the end. Did SEGA kinda mess with the script a bit?

Pontac: Well, in Colours they had the entire- even the script- they had the entire plotline kinda figured out. And I do think it kind of happened abruptly and we had some other ideas on where we wanted it to go... but ya know know, we worked with what we had and I think there are some really funny moments in it. In Lost World... yeah, if the ending seems a little abrupt it is entirely on Warren and I because that was the first time in a Sonic story that we were able to come up with the idea and write the script from beginning to end. I think maybe we just kinda took the easy way out and ran out of time. Um... yeah... I just... we just... I'm not sure.

Roger: When you had to write for Sonic for the first time, which incarnation of the previous Sonic inspired you the most? Or was it jst your own thing?

Pontac: It was pretty much our own thing, and I'm sure there are certain Sonic fans who'll be outraged by this, but you know I'm not a Sonic fan. Particularly. I mean, I don't hate Sonic but I don't play the games. I don't know the history. And there is a small but very vocal group of fans that are not happy at all with some of the tings Warren and I have done. But we think it's true to what is being asked of us not only by our producers, who we need to answer to, but by a majority of the fans based on questions that the producers have been asking and things that they've agreed to.

Roger: Sure. Well, at least the two robots are very popular.

Pontac: Yeah! The two robots are great. I love them.

Mack: Cubot and Orbot.

Pontac: Cutbot and Orbot, yes. They almost got cut from the series.

Roger: Really?

Pontac: Yeah. There were some questions from one of the groups of producers that um... they were really funny. They were great, but Eggman wouldn't have that kind of relationship with a pair of robots, and obviously we ended up winning that argument because even if he doesn't or didn't have that, you can have it now if it's really funny and works.

Roger: Ahh, interesting stuff. As you said, there's a very strong vocal group, some fans who want the Sonic Adventure-styled stories back. Are you interested in bringing some of Sonic's friends into the story, or is that a no-no by SEGA?

Pontac: I wouldn't say it's a no-no by SEGA. Do you mean as playable characters or in the cutscenes?

Roger: In cutscenes, yes.

Pontac: I'm happy to bring everybody into the party. I think it would be cool to not even have Tails, ya know, for like... have him just be captured and let him have his own little mini-story some and have Sonic team up with one or two of the other characters. That would be really fun.

Roger: So when you had to write Sonic Generations' Shadow you didn't go for the negative/neutral "Eh Bob the Squirrel? Whatever".

Pontac: I don't think there are any characters in Sonic that I dislike... nope. I'd be happy to write for any of them.

Roger: That's great.

Alex: There was some hype about Sonic Adventure 3 right now, so I was wondering if you'd be interest in, for example, writing something more like Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 with a bigger and more serious story.

Pontac: Well, I'd love to write bigger stories, but I'm not familiar with the Sonic Adventures that you're talking about.

Alex: Oh, you're not?

Pontac: No, like I said, I didn't come into this being a Sonic fan. [i went to websites, so I became aware of it]. It gives us his character of course, and we properly knew what he was about, but I know nothing about his history or anything, so I kinda went to Wikipedia and watched some cutscenes from various games on Youtube. But yeah, I don't really know the chronology. [it was like with Happy Tree Friends. We don't know the episodes as well as the fans editing the Wikipedia page already do, making sure we already killed them.]

Roger: One final Sonic question... Deadly Six... Did you make that up? Or did SEGA?

Pontac: Deadly Six? Ah, no. They made it up. They definitely wanted those characters in the game. They have a lot of input on what the characters are like, how the acted... Warren and I also had input in all of that, and obviously we put words in their mouths.

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I like Orbot and Cubot. But I dunno. While Orbot was brilliant in Unleashed as SA-55, he's a different character entirely in Colours and I don't know quite what Cubot brings to the table either. So if they were to just disappear from the series... hm, I don't know how bothered I'd be.

 

For the sake of reference, he's all the relevant parts of the interview (expect many typos):

 

Just finished the interview anyways. Not too shabby though Blue.

 

Pontac's explanation for the ending of Lost World does make sense though, as there wasn't too much payoff for all of its build up. More time definitely would have benefited the story. Maybe they could have had the opportunity to make Knuckles and Amy a little more relevant or fix the problems of the plot in general.

 

But that does get me thinking. In terms of the certain producers suggesting Orbot & Cubot get the ax, what made them think that Eggman wouldn't really have the sort of relationship the three share with robots? He gave his Egg Pawns and Egg Fighters personalities didn't he?

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I think they meant that Eggman probably wouldn't treat anybody with any sort of decency.

 

I think it's more that his robots are purely supposed to be tools, not people. Just look at Metal Sonic. He's a weapon and nothing more to Eggman.

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Historically, Eggman has never really worked with anyone unless the world was at stake, and even in those odd cases (such as SA2) where he forms a partnership with others, he's not exactly nice to them, either. So to have 2 bumbling lackeys with distinct personalities for Eggman to work with while never once mangling them into scrap metal and even opting to fix them when they're broken is a bit of a shift for Eggman.

 

Now, it's a good shift, mind you. Orbot and Cubot (so glad they didn't get cut) are fantastic additions to the series and accentuate Eggman's "affable behavior" with a few henchmen to bounce his silliness off of. Eggman has always been somewhat of a silly villain, but honestly, until recently (as of Unleashed, that is) he's been rather dry, and his goofiness was mostly implied. Naming things after eggs and having a comically large mustache... and being fat, I guess, was about the norm. In the Adventure games... he was quite a buzz-kill. Evil, yes, but not quite likable. I like newer Eggman better, and Orbot and Cubot really help bring that out of him. Even SA-55 did a good job of that in Unleashed. Having characters to bounce his personality off of is very helpful to showing believable character traits.

 

One could argue that he's lost a bit of his villainous edge in the process, but I don't think it needs to be a clear trade-off; you can balance quirkiness with maliciousness quite easily. Take a look at the Joker - in many interpretations, he's a rather whimsical and silly looking character, but he does things so twisted and evil, you easily forget how goofy his name and demeanor are and you take him seriously. I feel that the same should be applied to Eggman: a silly looking and affable villain with a goofy name, even has a few bumbling henchmen for comedy relief, but the evil things he does, the crimes he commits, and his sociopathic goals and mindset make him to be more threatening of a villain than a number of other video game baddies. The only thing is that we've been focusing on his goofy side a bit more as of late, and I wouldn't mind a better balance. 

 

As for them only getting a small briefing on the series' history, I'm a little bit disappointed about it, but at the same time I can't really blame them for not taking it as seriously as we would; the canon is a grand mess from the post-Adventure games up. Even Sonic CD doesn't know where it's supposed to be, so I can give Ken and Warren a free pass for not diving too deep into the franchises' history. I like to think they're a little more "in-the-know" than they actually are, but clearly they have some catching up to do... but honestly it probably would have been much more problematic for them, and could have made things worse. And bear in mind, for a pair who aren't particularly fans of Sonic or enriched in the series' history, they did a pretty bang-up job; and if the rushed ending and lack of proper backstories in Lost World was because of time constraints as opposed to them just being bad writers, then I can easily forgive them for the poor climax.

 

Regardless, they're doing a really great job, especially given their background (or lack thereof) with the series' canon. I hope that interview inspires them to do a little more research, at least. A few nods to the Adventure games would be neat. 

 

I just hope they don't break their minds when trying to figure out what happened with the moon and the whole Blaze/Nega/Silver kerfuffle.

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I'm a bit confused about this part.

 

I'm happy to bring everybody into the party. I think it would be cool to not even have Tails, ya know, for like... have him just be captured and let him have his own little mini-story some and have Sonic team up with one or two of the other characters. That would be really fun.

So... just have him as a side storyline? No interaction with Sonic? It seems like there are multiple contradictions in this entire statement. "I'm happy to bring everybody into the party" but "I think it would be cool to not even have Tails". What?

I'm still annoyed they haven't taken the time to look into the history of the franchise. And Orbot and Cubot are just sorta there for me, if they disappeared next game I wouldn't really give a crap

This. Neglecting to look into the history of the franchise is a nice way to introduce or exacerbate Continuity Snarl. Dumb.

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I'm a bit confused about this part.

 

So... just have him as a side storyline? No interaction with Sonic? It seems like there are multiple contradictions in this entire statement. "I'm happy to bring everybody into the party" but "I think it would be cool to not even have Tails". What?

This. Neglecting to look into the history of the franchise is a nice way to introduce or exacerbate Continuity Snarl. Dumb.

I think Ken Pontac means he'd be happy to have Sonic interact with different characters instead of just having Tails as his only companion for the whole game.

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Pretty much - basically he was answering the question of including other characters and giving another character their own story; meaning that Tails is separated from Sonic, so while Sonic is teaming up with some other friends, Tails is off on his own adventure.

 

 

This. Neglecting to look into the history of the franchise is a nice way to introduce or exacerbate Continuity Snarl. Dumb.

 

While it opens up the possibility, at what point (aside from Generations' little Crisis City screw up) did the writers contradict or invalidate what happened in the past? They're just not referencing it, is all. What happened between the Adventures saga and Unleashed isn't really relevant to the Wisps, Lost Hex or the Deadly Six. It'd be like Eggman randomly shouting "REMEMBER THE DEATH EGG? I LIKED THE DEATH EGG! REMEMBER CHAOS AND MY GRANDFATHER? THOSE THINGS HAPPENED!" It.. it doesn't really matter right now.

 

And if you want an example that Sonic Team still cares somewhat about continuity, Sonic 4: Episode II (I really don't care if any of you hate the game) referenced Sonic CD and Sonic 3 a fair bit story-wise.

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Pretty much - basically he was answering the question of including other characters and giving another character their own story; meaning that Tails is separated from Sonic, so while Sonic is teaming up with some other friends, Tails is off on his own adventure.

 

I'd love that, honestly. Perfect way to showcase Sonic and Knuckles' friendship after the latter just sitting on the sidelines for so long.

 

Back on topic, Newer Eggman is indeed good, but I'm actually gonna have to agree with Roger a little bit here. Sa-55 was a perfect counterpart for Eggman, as they actually did seem like partners. Despite the fact that it was very obvious who wore the pants, Sa - 55 was able to both highlight Eggman's brilliant mind and his more human side.

 

With Orbot and Cubot, they definitely help bring out Eggman's human side. But at the same time, they don't really feel like partners, but almost like a family. Eggman's the sane father, Orbot is the snarky but lazy elder sibling, and Cubot is his more energetic but comparatively speaking slower witted little brother. That in itself is all well and good, but I can somewhat see where Roger's coming from.

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This. Neglecting to look into the history of the franchise is a nice way to introduce or exacerbate Continuity Snarl. Dumb.

They're avoiding it by not bothering with the snarl that it already is.

Seriously, the last thing the series needs is writers who obsess over every little plot point of 20+ years of mediocre to poor writing. It's annoying enough when fans do it...

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They're avoiding it by not bothering with the snarl that it already is.

Seriously, the last thing the series needs is writers who obsess over every little plot point of 20+ years of mediocre to poor writing. It's annoying enough when fans do it...

 

Ah yes, because it was a total waste of time to do so, right? :\

 

I mean seriously, how dare anyone actually enjoy what we were given before since it was obviously such unsalvagable poop, lol.

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Well sorry for liking consistency in the series I follow, I guess?

 

I have no idea why it should annoy you, or anyone, that some people are bothered by inconsistent (and arguably bastardized) character portrayals, considering that the reason most people get invested in characters and stuff is because they like them for who/what they are. Besides, that kind of thing has been going on for much longer than just the past three games and I'm not able to say "all is forgiven!!" just because they were able to write a better script.

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Because for the first time in a long time I was actually pleasantly surprised by and interested in the characters, for actually having some amount of complexity to them, but it seems like most everyone else thinks it's terrible because they dared to do more than the bland one-note characterizations of previous games.

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I'm just kind of tired of everything before this being generalized as "one-note characterizations" whenever there were multiple different phases to how the characters were treated. 

 

And I'm not seeing 'most everyone else' think its terrible, theres a good few of us but not too terribly many. A decent lot of people have shown heavy interest in the new portrayals, when I myself find them sort of flat; and you find it the opposite. I'm not entirely sure how that works out, but from my perspective, can you really blame me for wanting them to take what was already established and do it right instead of just pretending it was a dry slate and starting all over?

 

Sure that may be peachy keen to you and some others, but I don't dig it at all.

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This has much less to do with that and more to do with how Sega is taking loads of fan reception for most stuff they do nowadays, meaning that whoever or whatever they decide to listen to gets more of what they want.

 

Sure we're just a small part of the fanbase, and I don't want to silence the people that are opposite of my opinion, but I want to debate it to the point where one (or both) ends come to an understanding. It's a message board after all. :P

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Im not gonna say I all the characters were outright bland (even if I do think some were) it's just that post-SA2 I couldn't give a single shit because before like..Unleashed they just became robots with no amount of soul to them whatsoever (in the main games).

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Im not gonna say I all the characters were outright bland (even if I do think some were) it's just that post-SA2 I couldn't give a single shit because before like..Unleashed they just became robots with no amount of soul to them whatsoever (in the main games).

 

If I ever gave the impression that I was defending post-SA2, then, I'm legitimately sorry LOL. I really didn't mean it. XD

 

Sonic (in Unleashed) is probably the only one from those games that I cared about much back then. I'm mostly talking Adventure-era, OVA (since that at least could count for Sonic and Tails since they're not much different from their SA1 counterparts) and whatever image Sega gave them all before they were given proper voices.

 

Sure, I guess you could say that those days are long gone and that will never come back, but eh. All that does is make me feel all down.

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