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Politics in a Sonic game


NoirSuede
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While I was having my mid-life crisis on whether I should start making Sonic fan-fics, I wondered, can Sonic plots in the games have more politicking and intrigue against multiple groups and Eggman in it instead of just Eggman being the main villain ?

Edited by NoirSuede
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There's no reason why military actions and political consequences can't be a backdrop to a Sonic story, like in SA2. For example, Winter Soldier isn't less of a quality superhero film just because it's also a mild political thriller that raises questions about surveillance and pre-emptive warfare. However, if you're going to have long scenes of human figures discussing budget allocations, then you should just write an original political novel.

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Are you guys forgetting that early Sonic games, TV shows, and comics were inherently environmentalist in nature?  Social and political statements can and have been done in a way that makes sense in the context of Sonic.  So suffice it to say, yes,  I think it could work with competent writing.  SA2's corrupt military plot isn't totally out there for a Sonic game, but I don't feel it has to shift tonality as the game did in order to achieve that end.

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Because it's intresting ??? 

With all due respect, that's exactly what George Lucas thought and look what happened with Star Wars. It can work, but only if it's very brief and not too detailed. It's needs to be straight to the point, and it cannot really be delved into too much without it dragging. 

Use it as a story element sure, but not a defining one. 

Edited by The Dog
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With all due respect, that's exactly what George Lucas thought and look what happened with Star Wars. 

It's excessive and unnecessary cherrypicking there to use a single negative example against such a broad concept as "I want to do x because It's interesting to mix ideas in media."

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You could really make anything work as long as you actually modify it to fit the tone and context of a Sonic game. Games like SA2 and Shadow the Hedgehog didn't really do this which is why there it's so goddamn jarring to see, but on the flip side games like Mario managed to take a concept like the Mafia existing in that happy go lucky world and make it work. It's not impossible, it just takes some careful thought on how to execute it.

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SA2 worked fine, in part due to it not overplaying the political aspects of the story, and even tying the new elements to a preexisting character by introducing Gerald as Eggman's grandfather. Then Shadow the Hedgehog came along and tried to use similar themes, but it felt a lot more hamfisted, melodramatic, and forced. 2K6's story involved a lot of shady government antics and ancient evils too, and it was also pretty terrible.

So, yeah, it can work. But two out of the three times they tried it, it didn't. And now that it's a decade later and the overall tone of the series has shifted, I feel it would be more out of place than ever today. (Well, except for that Sonic Boom episode where Knuckles became the mayor. That counts as a political story, I suppose.)

Edited by Dr. Mechano
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I think it's less about "Can Sonic and politics mix together?", as Tara pointed out that Sonic already had an environmentalist message, and more about "In what context of politics should Sonic be put into these days?", considering many of those environmentalist messages that Sonic had in the 90's are either platitudes or regressive these days. Pontaff, with the sensibilities of a 4channer/tumblrite, have reduced politics in Sonic games to direction-less easy2swallow memes, which is insulting to say the least.

So yeah, politics should work fine with Sonic. Just think without the box when considering writing it well. 

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SA2 worked fine, in part due to it not overplaying the political aspects of the story, and even tying the new elements to a preexisting character by introducing Gerald as Eggman's grandfather. Then Shadow the Hedgehog came along and tried to use similar themes, but it felt a lot more hamfisted, melodramatic, and forced. 2K6's story involved a lot of shady government antics and ancient evils too, and it was also pretty terrible.

So, yeah, it can work. But two out of the three times they tried it, it didn't. And now that it's a decade later and the overall tone of the series has shifted, I feel it would be more out of place than ever today. (Well, except for that Sonic Boom episode where Knuckles became the mayor. That counts as a political story, I suppose.)

Considering the more Pixar/Dreamworks-esque approach (and notice when I say "approach" I don't mean "successfully nails it with flawless accuracy") the recent series has, I don't think that political messages are too far beyond what the series is capable of even in its current tonality.  It would just be presented in a more lighthearted fashion a la Wall-E.  The problem being that they're probably a little bit hesitant to do that in fear of garnering negative criticism for having, you know, conflict.  Playing it safe, I suppose.

Edited by Tara
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The problem being that they're probably a little bit hesitant to do that in fear of garnering negative criticism for having, you know, conflict.  Playing it safe, I suppose.

Every game has had conflict, though. It's just very straightforward conflict. "Eggman/The Deadly Six/Lyric/whoever is doing something bad, so go stop them!" still counts as conflict, however simple it may be. Hey, Lost World even shook things up by having conflict between the heroes (and temporary ally Eggman) in addition to the villainous threat. It's not a political conflict, but it is an interpersonal one that plays as a backdrop to the larger game plot.

Of course, the writers have been really vague about human activity in the series since Unleashed, so political/military/etc. action may be on an embargo of some kind for the time being. As someone who actually liked Gerald (as well as the cartoony humans of Unleashed), I'd be all for seeing human NPCs again, but I get the feeling we won't for some time, simply because they're associated with poorly-received games (even if their presence isn't why those games were poorly received).

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An abundance of absolutes. Lack of nuances. Blunt approach. And yet pretending it has actual substance picked up with surgical precision.

Eh, I disagree honestly.

I thought Lost World had nuance at least. Eggman had some light moral ambiguity (the most we've seen since SA2), and even when the game was over, it wasn't totally clear whether he was acting the entire time or if his moments of kindness toward Sonic and Tails were at least somewhat sincere. Even Sonic admitted, "I can't figure you out" in regards to the guy saving them one moment and cackling about destroying them the next.

Yeah, he went right back to fighting them in the end, but technically he didn't betray anyone. He agreed to work with Sonic until the Zeti were defeated and, at the time he unleashed his awesome final boss robot, that condition had been met. In his own Eggmany way, he totally honored their agreement, and then immediately went back to antagonizing them in time for the game's finale. Honestly, I think Lost World had the most nuanced portrayal of Dr. Eggman in about a decade, and Pontac and Graff are entirely to thank for it.

Oh, and there was the whole friendship conflict with Sonic and Tails. That was a thing too, I suppose.

Edited by Dr. Mechano
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