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Sega's Secret Sonic Bible that we'll probably never see "TO MARS!"


Badnik Mechanic
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LindseyWalker

Maybe I'm unusual, but I think Pontac and Graff are really good writers. As in, writing the dialogue. The dialogue in Colours and Lost World could be cheesy but on the whole the games' dialogue are very well written and there are even some parts of the script that virtually all fans liked, such as the PA Announcements in Colours.

I have issues with the plots, but these very well might not be Pontac and Graff's fault.

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The characterization has been fucking everywhere for this series; Sonic has ranged from barely emoting beyond a stoic glare to constantly berating how amazing he is, Tails has ranged from being a naive worshiper to Sonic to being a smartass like Sonic, Knuckles has ranged from being serious about his job to leaving it for the smallest indiscretions.

How anyone can claim that one portrayal is more "in-character" than another is beyond me, when at this point its all come down to people's own interpretations and what they're willing to accept. This really isn't as objective as people think it is.

 

Unless I see Sonic turn orange and start spouting lyrics from Chris Brown's latest albums, I'm gonna say that every portrayal of him has been "in-character" for the most part. If you prefer how he's written in one game to another, fine that's coolio, I guess. 

Fair enough, replace all my complaints of Lost World's Tails being "out of character" with "far too much of a smartass, petty, idiotic little shit of a character for a protagonist that I'm supposed to care about" and same complaints pretty much apply.

 

EDIT: Reading it back immediately after posting this feels a little sharply worded towards you in particular, don't mean it that way, just get grumpy about Tails in this game coz he used to be cute =C  Sonic OVA is my personal ideal Tails characterisation

Edited by JezMM
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That's not what happened at all. He acted rashly again, Tails took the metaphorical bullet for him, then he bemoaned his inability to save Tails in spite of his speed.

I rewatched the scene and you're mostly right, but if anyone was acting rash in that scene it was Tails.  Sonic spotted the trap and called out to Tails, but Sonic himself didn't do anything to cause the issue.  Rest of my post still stands anyway, I just found that scene incredibly awkward.  It's like all the standalone scenes in Lost World come from different versions of the story where each time the overarching themes of what the characters were meant to be learning were different.

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Yeah I didn't have any issue with the current writers until Lost World, and it was almost purely Tails' portrayal that bothered me.  He's not even OoC compared to the previous writers' work, he's OoC compared to the current writers' own work in Colours and Generations.

Wait...what?

One of Tails' baseline character traits is that he is humble and sweet. It's consistently mentioned in his profiles and is very often a mainstay of his in-game portrayals. These are traits that have been highly consistent over the series.

Then SLW comes along and ignores both of those traits all for the sake of a conflict ball obviously incorporated for the sake of adding tension to the narrative because, you know, fuck consistency if you want to add drama! to the plot. Tails becomes insulting towards Eggman, starts bitching at Sonic for supposedly not trusting him and is suddenly fixated with his utility to Sonic despite it being established numerous times before that Sonic has often acknowledged his technical abilities and that he's not hungry for glory and despite the fact that any grievance towards the team up on Tails' part was not hinted at one iota prior.

And no, there was never any sort of believable character development that made this sudden turn in characterization the least bit believable.

 

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Wait...what?

One of Tails' baseline character traits is that he is humble and sweet. It's consistently mentioned in his profiles and is very often a mainstay of his in-game portrayals. These are traits that have been highly consistent over the series.

Then SLW comes along and ignores both of those traits all for the sake of a conflict ball obviously incorporated for the sake of adding tension to the narrative because, you know, fuck consistency if you want to add drama! to the plot. Tails becomes insulting towards Eggman, starts bitching at Sonic for supposedly not trusting him and is suddenly fixated with his utility to Sonic despite it being established numerous times before that Sonic has often acknowledged his technical abilities and that he's not hungry for glory and despite the fact that any grievance towards the team up on Tails' part was not hinted at one iota prior.

And no, there was never any sort of believable character development that made this sudden turn in characterization the least bit believable.

 

Why the "Wait... what?"  This is exactly what I was complaining about lol, I agree entirely.  I was saying I didn't dislike the current writers until Lost World because it was only in Lost World that they screwed up Tails, which was bizarre when the same writers were responsible for his perfectly fine portrayal in Colours and Generations.

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Why the "Wait... what?"  This is exactly what I was complaining about lol, I agree entirely.  I was saying I didn't dislike the current writers until Lost World because it was only in Lost World that they screwed up Tails, which was bizarre when the same writers were responsible for his perfectly fine portrayal in Colours and Generations.

Nevermind, your later post came when I was writing my reply and I didn't notice it.

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Oh yeah, the conversation has moved on from this a bit, but I too interpreted the Mars thing the same as Diogenes.

Also, when making a game, you have to choose to either set it in Sonic's world (without people) or on "Earth" (with people.) Mobius is an official thing in Sonic's universe, but it is not the name of the world itself. It's actually the Sonic universe's equivalent to Mars.

The real world:

We live on Earth, the next planet along is Mars.

Earth-like world in Sonic:

Sonic and the humans live on an alternative version of Earth just referred to as "Sonic's World", the next planet along is currently unnamed if there even is one

Fantasy-like world in Sonic:

Sonic lives on a surreal planet quite different to Earth just referred to as "Sonic's World", the next planet along is named Mobius, but we know nothing of it.  The text above directly states that "Mobius" is not the name of Sonic's planet, so fantasy-like world is not the Earth-like world's "Mars".

Actually just realised the above quote says "Sonic Universe's", not one world or the other.  So Mobius could exist as the next planet along in the earth-like world too.

 

Two worlds thing is still dumb though so who cares

Edited by JezMM
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It honestly seems like a big part of the problem - for Pontac and Graff, and maybe for previous writers as well - is not having an editor or maybe some kind of continuity overseer (and that can be for internal continuity as well as series continuity) to check that what they're writing actually holds together, doesn't contradict either itself or any other recent developments in the series, and that it's actually well-written.  Why did nobody catch that "look at all those Eggman's robots!" nonsense in Heroes?  Why did nobody ask what the heck was going on with Blaze and Nega's backstories in only the second games to feature either of those characters?  I'm not going to attempt to pass comment on the characterisation of Colours and Lost World because frankly that is much more subjective and equally frankly I didn't find either very interesting, but it's clearly a sticking point for a lot of people - why did nobody see this coming?  I find a lot of these issues, outdated though many of them may be, very strange when Sega polices Archie so strictly.

Although I do seem to recall Pontac or Graff saying that Lost World's script had to be rushed out in not very much time, which explains a lot, and which also... well, again, it's all on Sega.  Let's not forget that recent admission that their games have often focussed on deadlines at the expense of quality - and suddenly the whole previous paragraph makes sense.  You've turned in your first draft, that's great, here you go Marza Animation!  One does not get the impression that there is any kind of script editor, and indeed I just looked at the SLW credits on Retro and I don't see anything that fits the bill, anyone on writing other than the three (two English, one Japanese) writers.  And I do think that all of it is on Sega; if there's a continuity problem with what Pontac and Graff are writing, or a characterisation problem, or even if it's just not very good, there should be somebody vetting it, with an eye for form as well as function.  (I keep on thinking of that really awkward reference Eggman made to "Sonic's world" in Colours and how it feels like somebody just highlighted "Earth" or maybe "Mobius" and typed over it with the accepted term without caring a jot about how it actually read in context.  Ditto "those Eggman's robots," really.)

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Fair enough, replace all my complaints of Lost World's Tails being "out of character" with "far too much of a smartass, petty, idiotic little shit of a character for a protagonist that I'm supposed to care about" and same complaints pretty much apply.

 

EDIT: Reading it back immediately after posting this feels a little sharply worded towards you in particular, don't mean it that way, just get grumpy about Tails in this game coz he used to be cute =C  Sonic OVA is my personal ideal Tails characterisation

I never said it was good characterization, I'll still maintain he was being a fuckhead as well. 

EDIT: Oh wow, Fuckhead is a legit word now, nice.

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Tails used to be my absolute favorite character for years, but his recent portrayal(s) have dulled him for me to the point where SLW actually has made him one of my most hated ones. I liked him in the past because he was like Sonic except he could fly, and now I can't even play as him and have to put up with his smug asshole bullshit in cutscenes.

*boots up Sonic CD 2011 and cries*

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Tails used to be my absolute favorite character for years, but his recent portrayal(s) have dulled him for me to the point where SLW actually has made him one of my most hated ones. I liked him in the past because he was like Sonic except he could fly, and now I can't even play as him and have to put up with his smug asshole bullshit in cutscenes.

*boots up Sonic CD 2011 and cries*

What if you could fly and still had to put up with his attitude?

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That's not what happened at all. He acted rashly again, Tails took the metaphorical bullet for him, then he bemoaned his inability to save Tails in spite of his speed.

No matter how many times I read this, I still can't help but be in awe of how incredibly stupid this makes Sonic look.

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Your Vest Friend

Maybe Tails is a snark smart ass in LW because of puberty? Have you guys ever thought about this?

He's perpetually eight, he can't hit puberty if he literally can't age. 

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I don't know man, why exactly he can't age? Sure is a design thing, but you can't expect anyone to believe that Tails from 90s is the same age of Tails from 2013.

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I like to think Tails just picked up a few of Sonic's worse tendencies by hanging around him so much.  Sonic's a nice guy and all, but he miiiight not be the greatest influence for the kid in more than a few ways.

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I don't know man, why exactly he can't age? Sure is a design thing, but you can't expect anyone to believe that Tails from 90s is the same age of Tails from 2013.

Yes you can, because unless you set up a story in your series where there's an established passage of time and a character's age matters, there's no reason to assume any cartoon character ages.

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Then again, I always found that dynamic very poor. Character is forever X age because he was created with that age and personality, and as a "cartoon", he don't age. Yeah. Age is somewhat cannon, as Sonic celebrated his anniversary. As Amy changed. As Shadow returned 50 years ago. Unless time and space in Sonic's world is only daytime and nightime passages... Even being a "genius", Tails will always be 8 years old, he can't learn, feel or do something different because he is forever a child. That's kinda odd.

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Character development is still a thing that can happen, it already has happened in previous games...this does not require a character to age, it only requires a character to emotionally mature.
 

A character's age is something the story must evolve around, otherwise it doesn't matter and really wouldn't add anything to the story they're trying to tell.

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Lord-Dreamerz

Honestly I never found it a confusing idea that characters don't often age in a long running cartoon style series... and unless the company makes it a point for it to happen... then they won't, especially when a creator has no plans on changing the characters visually...

 

It still surprises some people when I tell them Tails is still 8 years old... I've seen some people assume Sonic is 20 & Tails is 13, ETC now. And there's been some people not even wanting to believe me when I post them info from official pages.

 

PS: I kinda wish sometimes that Sega never would had given any exact ages on the characters like how Nintendo don't on the Mario characters if i remember right. They could had just gave general ideas... such as saying tails is a kid and stuff... that way it would never really matter.

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Your Vest Friend

I think Japanese Melee did claim that Mario was 26 years old. 

...Wait, how would Partners in Time work then?

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The best way to deal with the characters' ages is to completely ignore them.  I have a hard time imagining that the characters are or could ever be remotely comparable to humans of the same age they're supposed to be.

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I like to think Tails just picked up a few of Sonic's worse tendencies by hanging around him so much.  Sonic's a nice guy and all, but he miiiight not be the greatest influence for the kid in more than a few ways.

This would be okay if the story actually drew attention to it or did something with it, but it doesn't.  Tails is just a smarmy jerk in Lost World... because.  It doesn't serve or improve the story in any way because ultimately Tails' overconfidence in his ability to work machinery leads to no ill results other than a single self-contained cut-scene.

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