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Sonic the Hedgehog: Hero or Menace?!


Wraith

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These are just some of the incriminating images of world renowned hero Sonic the Hedgehog that have began to circulate the net and stir controversy on social media. The pictures depict the celebrity lashing out on allies and foes alike in what many consider uncharacteristic and unfitting conduct for the hero. Station square times tracked down several close allies for comment as to whether the images and associated aligations had any truth to them.

"These pictures are ridiculous!" Ally and self proclaimed girlfriend of the Hedgehog, Amy Rose, told reporters outside her apartment earlier this week. "You guys should stop bugging him and start finding the jerk who's making these!"

"Well yeah, he's always been a bit big headed if you ask me." Guardian of the master emerald and close friend rival  associate of Sonic, Knuckles the Echidna, told reporters yesterday afternoon on his floating island. "They sound just like him." This was only minutes after the Echidna attempted to smash the reporter's camera, thinking the device was "One of egghead's stupid robots out to get his emerald." His account is considered dubious by many with the Echidna's intelligence remaining a hot subject of debate in the "Sonic Community", a series of social media accounts and sites that follow his exploits.

"I mean, maybe he said these things." Arguably Sonic's closest ally and friend, Miles Tails Prower said in a statement to the press yesterday evening. "They kinda sound like him. but I don't think it matters. He always does the right thing."

Only one news outlet has managed to track Sonic himself down for comment. Empire City News reached out to the hedgehog after he was seen in the downtown area for comment. When asked if the allegations and quotes were true, he had this to say:

"Man, I don't know. I can't even remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Probably one of these." He then gestured to the chili-dog in his hand, smirking.

 


 

So Sonic's portrayal is something that changes a lot like a lot of things in the franchise. Sometimes he's a bit more hotheaded and dickish like in the Fleetway comics or the OVA and other times he's a bit more of a laid back, friendly type that's devoted to doing the right thing. Most times he's somewhere in between the two. 

When I was younger playing the classics I had perceived Sonic has being a bit more impulsive and having a bit of a mean streak, but that's not really the case in a lot of the 3D games. In games like Heroes, and Black Knight, he stays friendly in the worst of circumstances, doesn't have much of a smart mouth unless someone else starts it like Caliburn and always makes time to help out friends. I remember in Rush Adventure he ended up being the voice of reason a few times compared to how prone to jumping into things Marine and Blaze were which I thought was pretty weird.

I remember Sonic Lost World stirring up some debate because he's a bit more impulsive and more prone to shit talking his opponents, but I enjoyed that part of the game's story. I wouldn't mind if he was more like that going forward mixed with some more pro-activity on his part.

But what do you think? Do you like Sonic when he's more of an asshole or would you rather him be nicer?

 

 

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I grew up with StC Sonic, so naturally I have a pretty high level of tolerance for mean-streak Sonic.  As a hedgehog, I think it's not inappropriate for him to have what you might call a prickly or spiky personality, but more importantly I think it makes the character less generic as a protagonist rather than being yet another ordinary nice guy.

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Considering you chose my three favourite Sonics for those pictures...you can probably guess how I like my Sonic XP 

I've always thought Sonic was supposed to be a dick, even when I was small. I never was much of a Sonic fan until around when I got 13 when I got more invested. One of the first Sonic things I paid attention to was Sonic The Comic, so it basically gave me more fodder of Sonic being an arse, so that's how I always thought of him and it always seemed right to me. 

So yeah, I do like Sonic when he's got more dickish tendencies. I've talked multiple times on this forum about how much I like OVA Sonic, how he told Tails full stop shut up, and how he really refused to do anything he didn't feel right to. It's one of the places where you really see him follow only what he wants to do. Too bad it took very little convincing for him to go to Eggmanland. "Eggman's always lying" "Well what if he isn't lying this time?" "You're right, let's go." XP It just paints how I think Sonic should be more like all the time, very much a "I'm not just gonna go on some trek because you say something's wrong" person, he'd rather lay around and enjoy himself. 

Sonic in StC was completely his own thing, someone who would fake his death for a laugh, someone who would tell Tails he never liked the look of his face for a quick quip (which I still find hilarious), and someone who would lose his temper like what was shown in the picture, telling Porker basically to sod off after he quit. Sonic was honestly under a lot of stress at the time, as the world around him started to resemble SatAM's more and more under Robotnik's rule and one of his life-long friends and longest fighters on his side is just giving up!? Porker was having a breakdown after being stuck on the Miracle Planet for a whole month, god knows what the Metallix did to him, and this is Sonic's way of coping with it. I like it. It's realistic and could be how someone would react to something like this. And let's not forget he does apologize to him later too. It definitely is a very interesting version of the character, and like I said I find fitting. Even though I think this wouldn't fit very well into the games universe to have Sonic act this far, it's something that worked best for the world it was in.

Lost World Sonic was honestly one of the best versions of Sonic to ever be in the games, with awesome lines like the one in the picture, and the time when he was like "alright, I didn't need to hear your whole life story, a simple good to go would have been cool" to Tails' bragging. I particularly love that line, reminds me of something out of StC actually.

 

But yeah, how this all fits into the games. I do wish that Sonic did have more of the meanish tendencies, particularly the OVA one, where he would get annoyed, he would get angry at his friends even, but it quickly goes away and he forgets about it. His more skeptical "I'm not just gonna do this crap for you for no reason" thing would be welcome too in shades. I just like how it was about him doing what he wanted above everything else. There's gotta be something for him in it. If he's going on an adventure it's because he knows he'll have fun and that's above everything else. I honestly feel like, being a guy that moves at supersonic speeds and can do all sorts of feats, he wouldn't be extremely sympathetic to normal needs, you know what I mean? Everything at that level seems sorta normal to him, so I could imagine him not being very sensitive to a lot of more normal needs, not caring and moving on. He's also the sorta guy that doesn't really give much a crap unless the problem directly affects him, so there's that too. I get the feeling he'd make some fun of his friends, at least a bit more than is ever really seen in the games, all in good fun though.

While I don't want Sonic necessarily angry all the time (it's more a get real annoyed for a second and then chill), the more rough sorta thing I like. Just look at this picture and tell me this motherfucker isn't aggressive! 

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I could keep going on but yeah. Sonic's more interesting when he's more aggressive, but it's good not to overdo it since there are things that probably do go straight OOC, at least for SEGASonic's world. 

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I absolutely adore Sonic the Comic's depiction of Sonic, but at the same time I also adore the more cute and happy-go-lucky stylings of much of the old Japanese Sonic art (even as a character who was made for attitude, duuuudes) I think in the end I'd rather the latter style be the prominent one in the games, but bits and bobs of him being a dick (like in LW for instance) are an amusing change of pace. 

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8 hours ago, Josh said:

When I was younger playing the classics I had perceived Sonic has being a bit more impulsive and having a bit of a mean streak, but that's not really the case in a lot of the 3D games.

Good Gosh! I grew up with the Classics first and I always percieved Sonic to be a pure good guy who's just trying to do the right thing...now granted he did feel like he had an edge to him (especially compared to tails) but NOTHING topped knuckles for me...I always viewed him as a great rival before eventually/unfortunately finding out he wasn't really the villain...

I just find that weird how so many people can have different viewpoints on what's supposed to be the same character simply because he didn't over emote or talk a lot. (if at all)

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My favorite aspect of this matter was AoStH. He was sarcastic, and yeah a bit of a prick. It was hilarious to me as a kid. Sonic X added to his cynical side in a way. Still friendly but cynical. Actually thats how most hedgehogs are in real life. So it fits the gimmick

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I keep an open mind when it comes to characterization, but I'm absolutely not a fan of asshole-Sonic, primarily when his assholish attitude is excused. Way too callous and smug for my liking.

I'd be inclined to say I'm more a fan of a much friendlier Sonic, but that's not to say I don't want him to have any dickish moments at all, but that he not get away with it all the time. There are points when such an attitude can cross a line, and when he does I would like other characters to call him out so as to ground him more, making Sonic human and relatable with his emotions. Like if he were to fling a insult, someone would throw it right back in his face, but it's a kinda mutual liking that they'd expect that from each other while predominantly showing their friendlier aspects to each other. That I'm okay with.

An easier answer would be that I'd want a Sonic to sympathize and understand, and not be put off of as a character to like.

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"Get me pictures of Spider-man Sonic. Write the headline, 'Is Sonic the Hedgehog a hero or a menace!' On my desk yesterday or you're fired."

Anyway, the short, obvious, boring answer is that you need to find a comfortable way to balance him out most of the time. Often I hated the Archie incarnation of the character because at times he would just blurt out things on impulse that were mean or teasing in a way that didn't really come off as playful to me but rather just felt like pangs from the writer trying to put things in there that he felt were the kind of thing "hip and snarky" types like him would say. Often the narrative didn't treat these instances like flaws either. Most of the time they were either glorified or an excuse was offered to make it seem like it was okay. Whenever one of his friends is visibly angered or bothered by his remarks, whether he's serious or not, the justification was always something like "Oh but he does that to everyone so it's okay" or "He does it cause he likes you" or some bullshit. Fucking hated that shit. 

He got a bit better after the reboot. Didn't see too much that shot past the line I was comfortable with there.

On the flip side, there's something like his portrayal in Sonic X, which definitely went for a more "admirable hero" sort of thing. He was always laid back and cool with pretty much everything. He was always doing nice things for people but whenever he'd play around or tease someone it always came off like he was doing it in good fun and not in a manner that meant to be all that harmful... which I liked. However, now that I'm older, I can gather my thoughts well enough to realize that they dialed it back just a bit too much to the point where he does come off considerably bland at the end of the day. The fact that throughout most of the first season, he barely had any internal conflicts because he would always Superman his way through all of Eggman's shit didn't help. So obviously I like him a lot better because the dialed back qualities are the ones that I'd find the most annoying if done wrong but it still didn't hit that equilibrium I feel the character needed.

I'd probably go for the Lost World or Black Knight portrayal if I had to choose from any of the official media. Sonic actually had my sympathy in Lost World because the narrative actually tried to use the impulsive cocky nature of his bravado against him and pointed that out as an internal flaw within him. I absolutely love that scene where he kicks the conch away and gloats about it before everything turns to shit. The narrative didn't follow up on it in any meaningful way of course. The line where he says "I'm supposed to be the fastest but I was too slow to save my buddy" still makes no sense. The reason Tails got captured in that scene WAS because you acted too fast. Same reasoning still stands for why it's bad that you kicked the conch away. It'd be like if after he did that he said "Oh shit. I fucked up. I should have kicked it away quicker than I did."

The idea that the lesson he needed to learn was that he should slow down and take in the judgement of his partner a bit more would have been a good one had that been the focus. Instead Tails gets mad at Sonic for "trusting" Eggman over him and Sonic ends up apologizing for... "doubting" Tails when he didn't do either of those things. If Tails got mad it should have been for Sonic not stopping to listen to his input. That would have been a better handling of his character there. Tails also could have dealt with learning a lesson at the end of that story too but that's an entirely different topic.

Point is, both of them should have apologized at the end of Lost World but only one of them did and even then it was for the wrong reason. 

Sonic was at his best in Black Knight for me. He really did feel like he had that mixture of all the things that made him Sonic. The whole philosophy of not caring if he's seen as the "bad guy" for doing what he thinks is right and not really giving a shit if people call him bad for following his own morality seems like something he'd hold onto fondly and pass onto his buddy Tails for good measure without even really needing to teach him. And Tails would probably follow suit if his blatant disregard for the law when he broke into a Government sanctioned military base, started destroying all of their shit, and illegally broke his friend out of jail is to be taken into account. 

Not to mention, there's all those times where Sonic would simultaneously act like an irresponsible person while at the same time doing something responsible. Like when he went off to slay the dragon instead of finishing his quest on time for the sake of who he thought was a little girl who had lost her family. 

Characters like Sonic can be a bit of an odd thing to get right. For me, if you rely too much on one side of him he stands a chance at either being completely insufferable or a blank slate of balsa wood with nothing notable about him (like he was in Sonic 06. The dude never smiled and was all business. Like some kind of weird soldier. That's not Sonic).

Side note that has literally nothing to do with what I just typed up; it's still an eternal shame that there doesn't exist a reasonably affordable Rouge the Bat and E-123 Omega action figure. I keep staring at my figures and growling in anger because it feels so incomplete without them. Goddammit.

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I think Sonic X's problems had less to do with Sonic being too laid back and more him being almost a side-piece in his own show compared to Chris or someone else. I can't recall too many moments off the top of my head, mind you, but I felt that was more the fault of him not even getting enough attention except when they really had to else he would just be lounging in the sun or just simply running.

As long as he doesn't do anything assholish along the level of "Tails worships me" shit he did in Archie's House of Cards issue...which, then again, got him socked in the face for his assholish attitude by Tails, hilariously enough. Ironic how the one attitude he displayed that a lot of people loathe recieved exactly the kind of come-uppance I want him to have when he goes to far. XD

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1 hour ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

I think Sonic X's problems had less to do with Sonic being too laid back and more him being almost a side-piece in his own show compared to Chris or someone else. I can't recall too many moments off the top of my head, mind you, but I felt that was more the fault of him not even getting enough attention except when they really had to else he would just be lounging in the sun or just simply running.

As long as he doesn't do anything assholish along the level of "Tails worships me" shit he did in Archie's House of Cards issue...which, then again, got him socked in the face for his assholish attitude by Tails, hilariously enough. Ironic how the one attitude he displayed that a lot of people loathe recieved exactly the kind of come-uppance I want him to have when he goes to far. XD

I definitely do agree that's part of it too. The aloof mystique of having someone appear at certain times was THE thing that got me to absolutely love a character but it's not something that I feel was necessary to try with Sonic. Often he'd be lounging about somewhere or he'd take until the end of the episode to make his appearance. Sometimes that'd be good for a specific situation but when it's the most I can recall about the first chunk of your episodes it's a bit of a problem since the shows named after him and he's supposed to be the main character.

Knuckles was the kind of character I loved seeing them do that with. As a kid watching Sonic X it was the coolest thing. Knuckles wouldn't show up that often so when he did I deemed it a "Knuckles episode" and one I had to pay attention to because he only shows up for important things (like baseball). That kind of Knuckles doesn't really exist anymore of course; the kind that jumps to grab the ladder hanging off the edge of the Tornado only to let go and go off on his lonesome because "That's Knuckles, he does things HIS way". 

The Chaotix took that role for me in Season 3 since Knuckles was actually with the main cast that time around. And Rouge was a little bit like that too. Her allegiance was mostly to herself so she'd find herself with Eggman, then with Shadow, then by herself, and then with the heroes. I love those kinds of characters.

But yeah, probably not the best idea to do that with the hero. 

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Amazing how Sonic X does justice to almost everyone except Sonic, even Knuckles.

Although I do recall at least the earlier episodes giving Sonic more spotlight and making him interesting before they casted him off as a bit of a layabout. At any rate, just another example of not getting the character just right.

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I think Secret Rings onward (and yes, this includes the Pontac and Graff games) have probably my ideal interpretation of Sonic's personality.  I like him to be easy-going and that he's a bit of a dork, doesn't take himself too seriously, and always tries to do the right thing.  The mountain of handkerchiefs line, for example, was super corny, but it had so much heart that I can't help but love it.  It's the kind of personality I picture when I look at things like the Sonic the Screensaver pictures, which is my preferred aesthetic and tonality for the series.

Of course, I'm not saying this interpretation couldn't stand to improved.  I'd like to see him put in more situations where his strengths and weaknesses (not just physical, but mental, emotional, relational, etc.) are allowed to stand out a little more.  Maybe Sonic is good at saving the world, but he's not good at talking about romance.  Maybe there are some friends he has a harder time treating respectfully than others.  Maybe there are friends that have problems respecting him the same way they might others.  Things of that nature.

I guess I don't have a problem with some of the more blunt interpretations of Sonic, either, though.  I do like SA1's Sonic for all his self-perceived coolness and attitude, and SatAM for all its faults does a pretty good job balancing the many different facets of Sonic's emotional spectrum.  Bearing in mind, I didn't grow up with Sonic the Comic, but I was never particularly huge on Fleetway's take on the character (or the lore or mythos, for that matter).  It was just too far in that direction than I care about in the context of Sonic, I suppose.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Man I really gotta make these posts when these topics come out, but I can't let this one go till I have my own say on it.

So the title on here had me suggesting that it was about if Sonic's actions (in certain continuities) while having relatively good intentions caused only good results or possible damage [hence Hero or Menace], but apparently that's not this sort of topic so we'll just go with the flow. XP

Seems like this only boils down to two different types of Sonic, a more friendlier relaxed Blue Streak or a more sharper, quick witted Blue Blur.

Honestly I perfer the latter as seen in STC myself although the OVA one has shades of this, yet I do enjoy a more chill Sonic as in from say the Games or SatAM in some regards. However that would be a gross simplification on these Sonics as every incarnation of the character while having some similarities are very different. For one there's the context of the world Sonic is born in, does he come from a Free World where you can travel freely or a world under Robotnik's rule?

Saying the Sonic of AoSTH and SatAM are the same is completely wrong, the one from AoSTH is believe it or not much more responsible as he takes care of Tails in that show like an older brother and at times surrogate father to the point I'd say he's the most Paragon Sonic we have.

SatAM Sonic is tied as my favorite incarnation right next to the one from STC, he's youthful and snarky, sometimes irresponsible yet knows there are real risks if he messes up. SatAM points out a Sonic that is a kid who grew up in a harsher world that his friends are trying to take back, he's got a family in Uncle Chuck and the Freedom Fighters and that makes him the deepest incarnation we've ever had right next to STC Sonic (Though our SatAM friend here comes slightly more ahead).

STC Sonic can be hard to pinpoint down for some, despite his very sharp tongue he does still care about his friends yet throughout his frustration regarding Robotnik's creation and take over, Sonic deals with a lot of crazy stuff and for that he lashes out at others sometimes through snark or really rough humor, much like a kid who goes through a rough patch in his life. He is still a kid to a young man after all, and despite his insults at others at times, even his own friends his actions speak louder then words as he always does his best to save people and fight for others, to the point he can't even rest if there isn't a threat almost like a Hero Complex of sorts.

The Hedgehog of Sonic X on the other hand is completely different as he only does anything when it peaks his interest, I'll say this he's one of the worst incarnations ever tied right next to the Pre-Reboot Archie Sonic. He's completely lazy unless Eggman causes trouble which is almost the only thing that peaks his interest, otherwise he travels alone in his spare time or take naps. Sonic here is borderline Anti-Social I would say and only helps others out only when he has to, even then he plays around a bit too much sometimes (More so then Sega Sonic). Obviously it's because of that which caused pretty much every major event of that Series (being teleported to Earth, spreading the Emeralds throughout the Universe), you could argue Sonic's a catalyst of the entire series. I can't stand him and you'd be nuts to think he's a real hero, he's not. If anything he's a dangerous thrill seeker in Sonic X that ends up causing some of his friends pain, you know what I'm talking about.

Said Archie Sonic I mentioned above, tied for the worst. Only reason why that is because before Ian Flynn came along his character was established by less then stellar writers, even after though Ian rolled with his characterization and tried to make him grow a bit. I can give him props for that, but even then it's almost impossible to redeem him in my eyes. Let me put it this way, unlike any other Sonic this one right here made a huge misjudge of character, and it caused the lives of BILLIONS. Tossed in Space, EVE. It's not like he could have ever known that would happen but letting something that powerful go without any double take was beyond irresponsible. Even then he continued to make horrible mistakes and contradictions, heck House of Cards played on that and the consequences of his actions which made it a pretty good story. However he didn't learn his lesson by the time of At All Costs and before the first Genesis Wave it got Sally Killed. Even then during his first issues he got far too arrogant then he should have (thanks to two certain writers) and that pretty much set the foundation of a broken world until the reboot happened.

At least the Post-Reboot Archie Sonic actually had a decent head on his shoulders, he pretty much is a mirror image of his Sega Sonic counterpart, though due to that both however are an enigma that can't really be pinpointed down, not bad but not as good of a character as he could be. For me it seems like the Sonic of the Genesis Games had more of an attitude then by the time of SA1 chilled out more considerably, from SA1 onwards we have the mostly consistent Sonic of the Games we know. Not too much of a character sadly, but seems to be a rather relaxed guy who crosses anyone trying to mess things up for everyone else. I would like to know why though, and how a Free World Sonic ticks and works overall.

I have my preferences sure, but honestly no matter the story I just want a Sonic whose an actual character rather then some icon or timeless figure. I do think there is room for both a Calmer or Rougher Sonic as separate stories and I'd like that. It's not like we can't handle other continuities, Sonic Boom kinda proved that point yet we have had multiple others throughout the years. Is it that some of the fandom can't handle other incarnations of Sonic or don't want to, why would some feel that way? I'll say this I'm glad to see there are those out there that love to read and tap into those older canons such as SatAM and STC, I just wish that we could see more like those with a legit storyline. There is room for both Sega Sonic and Boom Sonic, there can be room for others to get to know, Mega Man had done so for YEARS and that also goes the same for Legend of Zelda.

Sonic the Hedgehog has one of the most vast continuities of any video game series with several different sources, it would be wonderful to see them all tapped into one day. 

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Sonic started off with the more meaner attitude, and to be honest I like that characterization more than the more nice guy Sonic that a lot of Modern games have. Sonic's 'tude was what made him different, and one of the reasons why he got so popular. Sure a lot of video game characters didn't exactly have personality back then, but nobody expected a mean blue hedgehog wearing shoes that runs faster than sound. He held that personality throughout the 90's and then when Sonic Adventure hit, he sort of lost it. I mean the "cool" guy factor was still there, but his edgier side vanished for the most part. I never really got why, but I guess it could be that whole trend in general got old. Not to say I dislike the more easier Sonic of today but his 90's character was more unique for a game character and defined him the best imo.

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