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What are the Zones?


Guergy
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There is a question that has lingered in my mind for sometime concerning the Sonic universe but I could never find the answer to my inquiry. Just what exactly are the levels in the Sonic games known as the Zones supposed to be? Are they separate dimensions, areas of space or what? Granted, I am not at all well versed in physic, quantum physics, rocket science and I know only high school level astronomy but I want to know what exactly are these Zones in the Sonic Universe are.

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No need for the degree in rocket science, a "zone" is merely a specific designated area. Like bus zones, or a defensive zone.

Anticlimatic, right? Although "zones" are proposed as separate dimensions in the Archie comics...

Edited by Jake
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If you play Sonic 1 on the Game Gear, you'll notice that the "zones" are laid out on a map of South Island, so yeah, visual evidence that zones = specific designated areas. This carried through all of the Sonic games. Dimensional travel only came into play during Sonic CD when you'd go to the future or past versions of a zone, but like Sonic 1 on Game Gear you'll notice that there is a map of Little Planet showing all the zones to be locations.

picture2hag.png

Having said that, you could also say that that every stage in the 3D Sonic games are also Zones: City Escape Zone, White Jungle Zone, Rooftop Run Zone, Windmill Isle Zone, etc.

Edited by Doctor Eggman
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One possible solution I toyed with regarding the inconsistent geographical mess that is Green Hill Zone's location (given that what is apparently supposed to be the same place appears in clearly different locations from 8-bit Sonic 1 through Adventure 2 through Chronicles) could be that the term "Green Hill Zone" doesn't actually refer to a place, like "Manchester", but more to a landscape, like... I dunno, "tundra".

So in the same way that there's tundra in Siberia and Canada, you can say that there's "Green Hill Zone" both on South Island (8-bit S1) AND right next to Central City (for Chronicles). "Green Hill Zone" is just anywhere with those defining geophysical characteristics of loop-de-loops and chequered soil and palm trees; Zones refer more to climactic regions than to a specific place you can point to on a map. Which would mean there's no cartographic discontinuity at all!

[/Crazy Theory]

Edited by Frozen Nitrogen
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I don't think there's any quantum thinking involved in any of the zones, except maybe the Special Zone. They're areas, labeled by their defining features. Green Hill Zone has green hills, Metropolis Zone is some kind of a city/factory (or maybe a factory inside of a city), Pumpkin Hill Zone has wonderfully obnoxious rap music, ect.

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The zones in a Sonic game are just designated areas like Jake said. Sonic Team probably did that to be different. Super Mario Bros. 3 had Grass Land, Desert Land, etc. Sonic games have Green Hill Zone, Ice Cap Zone, etc. It's just another word for level really.

As for Green Hill Zone being in different locations in different games, that's just because Sega didn't think about where it should be located. Hell, I never gave it any thought until you mentioned it, Frozen. But I don't believe it's a term for a land mass, (although that is a pretty cool theory.) I think Green Hill is the name of a certain place, but Sega just wasn't consistent on keeping it in the same area. It would make their jobs pretty complicated if they did.

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I think Green Hill is the name of a certain place, but Sega just wasn't consistent on keeping it in the same area. It would make their jobs pretty complicated if they did.

But come on, how hard could it be to just remember that Green Hill Zone is an area on an island called South Island?

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The comics threw me a bit as a kid, because sometimes the zones acted like alternate dimensions. They were so different from Sonic's world in Knothole and it needed to be explained why. The Archie adaptation for Sonic CD says that Robotnik creates the Collision Chaos and Stardust Speedway zones, to lure Sonic into a trap.

But they're really just different areas of Sonic's world. Think about Angel Island and how that's really a place. Angel Island Zone is just the name of the stage. The more surreal the area though, the more you think it might be another world.

The word "zone" is pretty vague as it is, like "military zone" or especially in pop-culture "The Twilight Zone", and I think that last one especially makes us think of dimensions. The truth is that they're probably called zones just because it sounds cool. Like how in animes they call episodes different English names for no reason at all. Cowboy Bebop's "Sessions" was cool, and made sense with the music theme. But Serial Experiments Lain called them "Layers". Others are stranger. Who really knows why.

Edited by Badnikz
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But come on, how hard could it be to just remember that Green Hill Zone is an area on an island called South Island?

I don't know about Sonic Chronicles because I've yet to play it. As for Sonic Adventure 2, they just threw it somewhere on the map. Maybe that little island that Green Hill Zone is on is South Island. Although it is pretty small. But it's just an easter egg level that doesn't serve a purpose other than nostalgia anyway.

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This is my theory, there are I think 4 Zones in the Sonic Universe.

The Prime Zone

2 others (I don't recall what)

And the Special Zone

Each Zone is seperated in a super highway like thing gaurded by Zonic the Robocop.

And this ends My Theory.

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This is my theory, there are I think 4 Zones in the Sonic Universe.

The Prime Zone

2 others (I don't recall what)

And the Special Zone

Each Zone is seperated in a super highway like thing gaurded by Zonic the Robocop.

And this ends My Theory.

the "Zone" based on Sonic Underground and I think (Just a guess, I can't remember what Wikia said) probably AoSTH?

and don't forget, there's (Game Zone? It was never referanced, but it probably exists.)/The games which would take place in another zone based on them? (Like I said, I'm not sure this is true to the comics. Though it makes sence, right? Or did I miss something?)

EDIT: there's also (The X Zone? I dunno, just a guess.)/The Zone in wich Sonic X takes place?

And the name of that Highway is "The Cosmic Highway" IIRC.

--

So you see, EVERYTHING is Canon! XDDD

Edited by Dashing Blue
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The Zones are created by Chaos Emeralds, usually the tone and outcome of the zone is an indication of which Emerald it spawned from.

So.... what about the other zones where there are no chaos emeralds to find?

Also, we can say that the chaos emeralds created more then 1 zone if in most of the sonic games, we could find the same chaos emerald many other zones.

Not to mention that in S3&K, as an example, there was more then 1 chaos emerald in a zone like in mushroom hill.

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When I was a kid I saw it as this:

In Mario, they're called "Worlds", and in Sonic, they're called "Zones".

All other games called them "Levels". And that was that.

But they are just a tag really. I'd love to see the word "zone" return though.

"Emerald Coast Zone"

"City Escape Zone"

"Seaside Hill Zone"

"Westopolis Zone"

"Wave Ocean Zone"

"Windmill Isle Zone"

...Even these days, all the stages sound cooler with "zone" on the end.

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In the Adventure series, they seemed to try phasing in the term "action stage" in their place, though Sonic Heroes actually does refer to most of the levels as "zones" - just go into the sound test. Some of them don't have zone at the end of their names though, such as BINGO Highway or one of the casino stages. But there is "Seaside Hill Zone," et al.

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I think we can understand what a zone in a Sonic game is if we can imagine how would it be like if it was possible for us to have the Apotos map, for example, in Sonic Unleashed, and trace our route, like in SRA. Then, we would play the level in 2.5D through that same path.

The 2D Sonic Games must be the same. I know that in some boxarts, we see Sonic running through a narrow pathway, like he was on top of a wall. When I play a 2D game and imagine what would be like if I could look at the scenario through a 3D perspective, I imagine the player both walking through a narrow path, or a wide one. In some games, it makes more sense more one way than the other. When Sonic runs through a loop, that's narrow. When someone's in an airport of any kind of facilities, it may be a wide path, unless it's a hallway.

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