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Should Sonic have stayed home in Lost World?


Blazey Firekitty

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Obviously Sonic is more important to the gameplay than Tails since he's the only playable character, but the story seems to portray Tails as the real hero while Sonic is a liability.  He's less clever and determined than in previous games, and doesn't seem to offer much besides fighting the villains physically, which Tails is able to do anyway. Even when Tails is captured, he winds up rescuing himself with no need for Sonic. The moral of the game seems to be that not only was Eggman not needed to beat the Zeti, but Sonic wasn't either, and Sonic shouldn't have been so greedy and foolish as to steal Tails' thunder.

...I'm not sure how much of this I actually believe. If this sounds weird, it's because I still don't really get what Pontac and Graff were going for.

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Considering saving animals is his calling in life and his obsession with action, it'd be out of character for him to sit an adventure out.

What makes Sonic and Tails work as a duo is that each of them does things the other can't, and their skill sets complement each other. Sonic has the speed, brawn, and experience, and Tails has the gadgets, intellect, and superior mobility.

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Sonic makes a couple of mistakes over the course of the game, but that doesn't make him a liability any more than Tails getting upset makes him one. Characters are allowed to be flawed and make mistakes, and Sonic still does the bulk of the work bopping robots, freeing animals, and fighting off the Deadly Six, to an extent that I don't think Tails could manage on his own.

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We all should've stayed home.

Regardless, you're reading the game's text from an omnipresent perspective which is inherently biased to seeing and predicting a character's actions ahead of time. It would've been impossible for Sonic to have foreseen the consequences of his presence and actions and make a decision based off of that, and even then had he made the decision we don't know how an alternate version would've played out anyway. Maybe Cubot does something dumb and loses the conch, or maybe the Deadly Six realize that they can just take advantage of Eggman's cockiness and snap his neck to destroy the conch. In hindsight, yes, the impact of Sonic's actions is relatively minimal on the game a la 06, but asking whether he should've bothered as a result of your own foreknowledge as an audience member is a flawed way of parsing the game's story.

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2 minutes ago, Nepenthe said:

We all should've stayed home.

Regardless, you're reading the game's text from an omnipresent perspective which is inherently biased to seeing and predicting a character's actions ahead of time. It would've been impossible for Sonic to have foreseen the consequences of his presence and actions and make a decision based off of that, and even then had he made the decision we don't know how an alternate version would've played out anyway. Maybe Cubot does something dumb and loses the conch, or maybe the Deadly Six realize that they can just take advantage of Eggman's cockiness and snap his neck to destroy the conch. In hindsight, yes, the impact of Sonic's actions is relatively minimal on the game a la 06, but asking whether he should've bothered as a result of your own foreknowledge as an audience member is a flawed way of parsing the game's story.

*implying Eggman has a neck* ;)

Joking aside, I really appreciate your analysis. I guess it's kind of the "Don't go in that room you idiot, the killer is in there!" effect, sometimes it is oddly easy for me to forget characters in a story don't have all the knowledge an omniscient viewer would.

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10 hours ago, Blazey Firekitty said:

 He's less clever and determined than in previous games,

Hmm, what did Sonic do to make you question his determination?

Sonic had the same drive to save the day as he always had. He didn't stop when the Deadly 6 opposed him at every corner. He didn't stop when Tails got captured because of his brash behavior and he didn't even stop when the world beneath him was wasting away to nothing and he lost contact with Amy.

While it wasn't as visible as getting beat to a pulp and standing back up a la Black Knight, he faced a ton of adversity in Lost World. More than he would over the course of a typical adventure, but his determination never faltered. He might have moped for a second, but he never let it get in the way of pushing forward, and in the next scene you could bet he was back on the trail to achieving the best possible outcome.

 

Did you see something I didn't?

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11 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Hmm, what did Sonic do to make you question his determination?

Sonic had the same drive to save the day as he always had. He didn't stop when the Deadly 6 opposed him at every corner. He didn't stop when Tails got captured because of his brash behavior and he didn't even stop when the world beneath him was wasting away to nothing and he lost contact with Amy.

While it wasn't as visible as getting beat to a pulp and standing back up a la Black Knight, he faced a ton of adversity in Lost World. More than he would over the course of a typical adventure, but his determination never faltered. He might have moped for a second, but he never let it get in the way of pushing forward, and in the next scene you could bet he was back on the trail to achieving the best possible outcome.

 

Did you see something I didn't?

In hindsight, the opening post I made was pretty awful. I figured at the time that I didn't want to make a potentially overlong and pretentious post about Lost World, so I went too far in the other direction and just kind of poured my naked id into a post that looks way too confrontational and clickbaity, and states a bunch of wild assumptions as fact. I apologize if the post that started this thread sounded overly douchey.

So...I'll go ahead and take the time now to at least reconsider what exactly bothers me about Lost World Sonic, and at least make it so that it looks like there's some kind of method to my madness. Everything I say in the rest of this post is either highly subjective and some of it may even be objectively wrong, but it's meant to be less of an argument and more of a better thought out explanation of my personal feelings.

I now believe I was wrong to state that Sonic wasn't determined, since he never fully gave up, he just got really depressed. So, I guess I'm more confused about the source of his determination seeming to change than outright disappearing.

Sonic from Adventure to Black Knight(Ignoring the weird non-canon Mass Effect style morality choices in Chronicles) seemed like a free spirit in the truest sense.  Not that he wasn't still impulsive and didn't make mistakes, but he generally reacted to failure in a way that only involved minimal guilt. The only time I can remember Sonic reacting to his own mistakes with the degree of negativity that he does in Lost World was that one time Elise had straight up died and he hadn't considered time traveling to save her.

To elaborate...the "Old" Modern Sonic that existed for about ten years came across as a chaotic character who was changing his approach to solving problems constantly, but still was trying to follow a specific consistent moral code. He seemed very concerned about living up to that code, but not so much about offending those would disagree with what he was doing. "It doesn't matter who is wrong or right," and "I don't mind being the bad guy sometimes." Not that I think of Sonic as some kind of sociopath who doesn't feel bad when he hurts people's feelings. When he's fighting Merlina in Black Knight, he tells her that her feelings are selfish and that he doesn't need to empathize with them, but he goes back on that after defeating her. He makes it clear that he won't let her have her way, but at the same time shows her compassion after she's no longer a threat.

I didn't really feel like Sonic's philosophy was "I can be a jerk whenever I want" but "I will do whatever it takes to promote freedom and help people, even I look like a jerk sometimes." He seemed like someone who was at peace with who he was, and only had to deal with relatively low amounts of insecurity because of that. The Werehog seemed to show that even when Sonic was at his most moody he was still pretty much just peacefully going with the flow, because he knew that success and failure, happiness and sadness go in cycles and just kind of has a zen attitude towards that sort of thing.

I miss this kind of Sonic, but I can see why he'd get boring for some people.  A lot of people got sick of ten years of a sort of happy go lucky Goku-esque Sonic, and wanted him to show more obviously flaws. I can understand that, especially after a decade of the same thing, but from a personal standpoint I never really thought showing major flaws was something game Sonic needed to. Being interesting in a majorly flawed way and struggling with lots of insecurities seemed more like the job of the supporting cast, whom, in my eyes at least, Sonic was meant to help develop by bringing out the best in them. The main example of this in my head was Blaze. I'll get back to her in a bit.

Lost World Sonic...I have to admit that I was underselling his achievements. He was really courageous, and never fully stopped trying to accomplish what he was doing. But the source of that courage seems to be different. It's not being a free spirit anymore, or having some sort of simple common sense wisdom about how the world works, or having a personal code. It's massive, blatantly obvious guilt, concern about what others will think of him if he fails. It'd duty. It's obligation. It's the crushing weight of the world on his shoulders, the curse of great responsibility coming with great power.

And again, I can get why people would prefer this more flawed Sonic who's much harder on himself. Maybe they find this kind of internal struggle more compelling than some randomly helpful wandering vagabond. But it's this...odd, sudden, and very prominent change, even if I don't feel like it's my place to say it's "wrong." Maybe I'm overstating how much Lost World Sonic actually hates himself, but it's still kind of jarring when it gets to the point where Sonic is standing in front of what he thinks is a robot Tails, and Zor makes a quip about Sonic is stealing his shtick as the self harming guy.

To me Sonic feels less like Sonic in Lost World and more like, well, Blaze. He hasn't totally turned into her, he's still making quips and wisecracks, but now the bravado doesn't feel like just how he is, but some kind of defense mechanism to cover up how fragile and vulnerable he is.

But I mean...fragile and vulnerable can work. Maybe people who like Lost World Sonic like him for the same reasons I like Blaze. "It's my responsibility!" The constant fear of failure, of the pointing fingers of everyone you failed to save. It's just that...that wasn't who Sonic was, at least in my eyes. It's like he's manifesting new flaws by developing backwards from the guy who encouraged Blaze to be herself and not worry so much about "I'm going to fail and then everyone will blame me and they'll all be right."

So...that's I feel. Maybe I don't have a logical case, and maybe it's all irrational. And admittedly, though I used Blaze as my main metaphor for what Lost World Sonic comes across as, it's not like guilt ridden Sonic hasn't been explored in a lot of the Western cartoons and comics. But whether I make sense or not...I never meant to force my opinion on everyone else, and again, I'm truly sorry if that looked like what I was doing.

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1 hour ago, RJDodger said:

Yes. So should Tails. And Eggman. And the Deadly Six. Lets just pretend that game didn't happen.

We don't even do that to Sonic 06 (despite it technically not happening in-universe).

IF anything, Lost World should be another example of how one should do something better than what was delivered. 

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