Jump to content
Awoo.

Story Tone


Dr. Mechano

Recommended Posts

The Sonic series has had many writers over the years, and almost none of them are consistent with one another. There's no really consistent "feel" to the Sonic series, and as such, it fluctuates a lot. This topic, I hope, will look at different sides of a tonal spectrum for the games' plots- Plots which are lighthearted, idealistic, and humorous versus plots which are dark, cynical, and serious.

Granted, these are extremes- There have been many plots in the series that have taken aspects from both sides of the spectrum and made them work to great acclaim. Still, I'd like to look at both extremes in detail, and offer my own commentary on my preferences therein. So let's begin!

Now, keep in mind, that "Light" and "Dark" qualifiers refer more to story tone, and aren't strictly synonymous for "good" and "evil" respectively. While morality does play into story tone, there are other aspects- Humor (or lack thereof), stylistic presentation, etc. all play into this.

Heroes And Their Moral Stance

How "good" should the heroes be, in regards to people who don't necessarily deserve their help? Is a hero someone who defends only good people, or are they willing to protect all life, even the lives of villains? In the Sonic series, this varies a bit.

"Light" Heroes

Of course, in Sonic Adventure, Sonic attempts not to destroy Chaos, but to calm the monster down... by attacking it. From a plot perspective, though, this works well enough, and shows a peaceful solution to the problem at hand.

Tails and Eggman share a friendly moment in Sonic Adventure 2's ending, showing a sense of mutual respect between the two. I like this, as it seems to show that there's no ill will from the hero here.

At the end of Sonic Heroes, despite all the trouble Metal Sonic caused, Sonic offers a friendly challenge instead of an angry retort, which I found interesting. He's also rather nice to Eggman prior to the battle, offering a reassuring "Just leave it to me, Doc."

Sonic defends Eggman's life in Sonic Rush, claiming that Blaze's intent to "destroy" him is too harsh.

And while it's kind of a generic example, the heroes usually are rather trusting of Eggman when facing another foe, and are even willing to engage in friendly banter, showing that usually, the heroes don't begrudge him.

"Dark" Heroes

In both Sonic Rush games, Blaze expresses vengeful, murderous rage at the Eggmen. She explicitly says she plans to "destroy" Dr. Eggman in Sonic Rush (Which Sonic calls harsh to be fair, but I'll get to his dark moment later).

Shadow the Hedgehog's noncanonical endings where he kills Eggman could be mentioned- Granted, in the semi-heroic mission, Shadow doesn't kill Eggman, and instead tells him to leave, but "neutral" Shadow sees murder as a legitimate choice. And taking someone's life really seems like more of an exclusively "dark" action to me.

Sonic, who usually values life, tauntingly says to Eggman in 2K6- "This ship is about to crash! Too bad, Eggman!" Okay, given the time travel plot, he knows that Eggman and Elise would otherwise die in the Egg Carrier crash, so rescuing only Elise, and even taunting Eggman's impending doom with a "Too bad!" seemed uncharacteristically harsh of Sonic, especially since he said Blaze's intent to kill Eggman was "harsh" by his very wording in Sonic Rush, a game released only a year earlier.

One of Omega's life-long goals is Eggman's demise, and he's also technically considered a hero.

And of course, the heroes launch what the official website called a "preemptive strike" on Dr. Eggman in Sonic Chronicles, apparently killing him, and later hope he didn't survive the crash. The heroes tried to kill Eggman, when he wasn't even doing anything. Of course, I question the canon status of Chronicles for many reasons, but this is definitely worth mentioning.

A slight "What the hell, hero?" moment occurred with Knuckles in Shadow the Hedgehog, who angrily chases Eggman during the game's ending, despite the fact that he hadn't done anything wrong to provoke such a response. I chalk it up to bad writing.

Analysis/My Thoughts

I definitely prefer the heroes, or at least Sonic and his immediate sidekicks, to be more on the "light" side of the spectrum. It feels jarring and out of place to see the heroes actively wish for an enemy's death, or to deliberately attempt to cause the same. When I think of Sonic, I think of the archetypal hero who values all life, even the life of a villain.

And usually, that's how Sonic is. 2K6 and Chronicles are anomalies, and I hope not to see any more of the same.

Granted, Sonic has killed "giant monster" villains before, but these (Biolizard, Dark Gaia, etc.) are truly irredeemable foes without even the slightest hint of good to them. I guess that's a little bit easier to accept- Characters like Eggman or Metal Sonic are a little deeper, and more sympathetic, than these big behemoths of doom, and should be treated accordingly, I feel.

Dr. Eggman

Unsurprisingly, El Gran Gordo is going to devote an entire section of this analysis to his favorite character, Dr. Eggman.

But I find it very appropriate in this instance, as Eggman- the central villain of the Sonic franchise- has been up and down this spectrum of lighthearted and dark portrayals, even if we limit our analysis strictly to the game series. As the main antagonist, and as a major developed character on his own, Dr. Eggman's portrayal in the series is an integral component of the storyline.

"Light" Eggman

Eggman has got to be the most heroic villain I've ever seen.

When things get their worst, Eggman is usually the one to bring everyone together, organizing everyone to combat the latest world-destroying crisis that he may or may not have inadvertently unleashed on the planet.

Eggman is a rather pleasant fellow for a would-be dictator, as he usually treats Sonic and his friends in a rather respectful manner, even as he attempts to crush them with his latest mech. It would appear that his rivalry with Sonic is nothing personal, and indeed, he doesn't even seem to dislike the guy- Simply, Sonic's an obstacle in his way, and despite his respect for him, he'll remove him accordingly. (Granted, as I elaborate later, this doubles as a Dark aspect.)

Eggman's morality aside, however, Eggman's personality is usually presented very likable and fun-loving. He's usually very humorous and bombastic, and this is one of the few aspects that doesn't change from game to game- Nearly every appearance keeps this as a constant, and it really doesn't fluctuate much.

As for Eggman's goals, I would place them in the lighthearted category- The man wants to create a world to feed his ego, a land in his own image where he's showered with praise and attention. The plan is very campy and silly, and I love it.

"Dark" Eggman

Eggman's body count in the games is probably zero, but it's not for lack of trying. Eggman has attempted to obliterate individuals, cities, and- we assume- even an entire country. With Shadow and Rouge as accomplices, he did blow up Prison Island... Which seemed to be defended solely by robots, so I'm not sure if that killed anyone or not.

The point is, however, that Eggman- as a supervillain- has no qualms against rampant destruction if it proves to be beneficial to his conquest of the world later. And while, as I mentioned before, he respects and perhaps even likes Sonic as a person, he won't hold back from blasting him into oblivion if given the opportunity.

Truly, the darkest thing about Eggman is not his goal, but rather the means through which he's willing to go to reach said goal. And really, I don't expect this to ever change.

Analysis/My Thoughts

Eggman is a complicated character, with aspects of good to accent his blatantly evil status as a villain. I'm not arguing against this, and actually feel that this duality makes him interesting. However, the ultimate question is this: Which "side" of Eggman should be the strongest?

Is Eggman a misunderstood and confused extremist whose shortsightedness leads him to do evil things? Or is he a truly selfish and evil man who just happens to have the occasional show of conscience? The short answer to both questions is "Yes", as the series has inconsistently portrayed him in both lights. So the better question would be, which should Eggman be? There's obviously no "right" answer for this, but I'd like to offer my personal preference on the subject.

A bit of an idealist myself, I shamelessly prefer the former description, that Eggman's good side is the more prominent side of his character, despite being a villain (Or anti-villain, as I'd call him). Eggman is such a likable and endearing character, and because of this, I like to think that deep down he's basically a good person. Granted, I got into the series with Sonic Adventure 2, where I feel this ideal was expressed the strongest, ending with Eggman regrettably pondering over Gerald's treachery, and sharing an honest emotional moment with one of his greatest enemies- A moment, I like to think, of friendship... However brief it was.

I'm not discrediting his evilness, however- To be an effective antagonist, Eggman's willingness to kill gives his personality an interesting dissonance. He's a playful, peppy, and even somewhat lovable character who expresses hints of a redeeming side on occasion... But he's still trying to conquer the world, and to do that nonviolently is kind of impossible.

For the sake of story tone, though, I'd prefer Eggman never succeed at actually killing anyone. Morally, attempted murder is just as bad as murder, but... In a series like this, I think it would jarringly darken Eggman's character to have him actually kill someone. It's fine to see him endanger the lives of others, both recklessly and intentionally, as long as everyone's alright in the end. As long as no one dies, in a series like this, the heroes have no real reason to feel overtly vengeful against him, and can continue their somewhat "casual" relationship with the deranged doctor.

This, I feel, is a good balance for Eggman.

Storyline

One final element I'd like to touch upon is the plot itself. There are lighthearted storylines, and there are also dark storylines. I would like to clarify that I don't consider dark synonymous with "deep"- I believe a complex and well thought-out story can be any tone, and that lighthearted yet complex stories can exist.

"Light" Stories

I consider the Genesis games, American marketing disregarded, to be rather lighthearted and colorful romps through happy-go-lucky worlds. The plots were simple, yet memorable and fun.

Despite Adventure's somewhat tragic backstory, I'd say it too was a mostly lighthearted game. Sure, echidnas were killed and Station Square was flooded, but... The game hardly takes this seriously, especially the latter bit. "All's well that ends well!" Says Tails, among the flooded wreckage of what used to be Station Square.

Ignoring Metal Sonic's angsty tirade at the end, Sonic Heroes was pretty lighthearted too. However, I will say I found the game to be poorly written, and a bad example of the lighthearted style that I usually love so much.

The Riders games have a comical flair to them as well- And even though sometimes I think they really tried too hard for some of the jokes, it was charming in its own hammy way.

A great recent example is Sonic Unleashed. A befuddled old absentminded professor, a snarky robot assistant, and colorful comedic NPCs were humorous and memorable additions to the Sonic world. This is to say nothing of Eggman Land, a giant amusement park of destruction in Eggman's own image.

"Dark" Stories

Sonic Adventure 2 was arguably the first "dark" story of the series, and despite my love of the lighthearted, I have to say that I liked it. I liked it because, while it was dark, it still had that optimistic, idealistic feeling all over the place. Yes, themes of murder and vengeance abound, but by the end, the overriding message was one of determination and hope, as the heroes and villains banded together to save the world, and even just... sorta hang out, and talk to each other once it was all over. SA2 was, to me, the way "dark" plots should be handled- A nice mixture of light to balance an overall dark plotline.

Hoooo, boy. Then we have Shadow the Hedgehog. While Sonic Heroes was a gross exaggeration of the lighthearted style, Shadow was the same for the dark, gritty style. Everything about the game's image screamed "Trying too hard", as its putrid colors, dramatic use of minor swearing, and guns graced this "EXTREEEEME!" entry to the Sonic series.

2K6 was less overdone than Shadow, but was still quite narmy in my opinion. Elise's backstory, Mephiles's rather generic role as the central antagonist, and the surreal and out-of-place attempt at "realism" just felt very forced to me, albeit less so than Shadow was.

Chronicles was arguably well-written, but it took so many creative liberties I'd almost like to consider it a separate canon. But I won't get into a debate on that here.

Analysis/My Thoughts

Like I said, I prefer lighthearted stories, but I'm not opposed to dark aspects in the least. I thought SA2 was brilliant, and so far the only example of a "dark" Sonic story that still managed to keep that upbeat Sonic flair I like so much.

Conclusion

My ideal for the series is probably heavy on the "light" story aspects in most regards. I like idealistic heroes, sympathetic villains, and lighthearted plots, so it should come as no surprise that I prefer the games that deliver these elements.

Arguably, the Sonic X comic is my ideal canon, as it has all of these, all the time- But as this is about the games, I'll stick to discussing those.

Since the games fluctuate as often as they do, I don't expect we'll ever see the series "stabilize" or decide on one consistent story tone to stick with. I expect it will always swing back and forth, with varying degrees of each extreme. Still, when it comes to your personal desire for Sonic plots, what do you want?

And it doesn't have to be limited to the elements I brought up- Surely there are other aspects of the Sonic storyline that could be scrutinized even further in terms of this stuff, so by all means discuss!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another Sonic Adventure 2 would be my ideal also. I'd cite Secret Rings and Black Knight as the closest they've come to this since. Secret Rings had a very tragic backstory, but was mostly lighthearted, very cleverly hinting at Erazor and Shahra's relationship throughout, and even after, thanks to the brilliant ending song. Black Knight had a very serious finale, but the overall tone was stupidly upbeat, with Sonic and Caliburn's hilarious banter and a "crowning music of awesome" moment when Sonic agrees to go save the villagers from the dragon (not to mention the ending and post-credits sequence).

Failing that, I'll settle for an Unleashed lighthearted-until-the-end macguffin plot, as long as it's as beautifully as presented as Unleashed was.

Characters, including Eggman... I pretty much agree with your analysis.

Edited by JezMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the tone of the Mega Drive games and the first Sonic Adventure best. They mostly had a feeling of fun, excitment and attitude. The latter thanks almost entirey to the music; the Mega Drive games had some awsome techno-beats that sounded a lot "cooler" than your average Mario-ish music found in most other platformers at the time, and Adventure, like many of the Sonic games to follow, was filled with sweet ass rock and guitar solos, something that was new for a platform game at the time and pretty much still is something that only the Sonic series have used to the same extent. But even though the games were mostly lighthearted, they were still able to come of as dead serious when it was due; namely during the final boss fights. Since Eggman hadn't yet been shown to be a lovable goofball during the 16-bit era, it was actually possible to percieve him as a genuine threat, and that's how he came of during the final boss fights, when the boss-music changed to something a lot heavier than what we had heard previously in the game, and there was a feeling that if Sonic didn't stop him now, the world was doomed. And of course, in Sonic Adventure, there was the marvelous twist-ending of Eggman's pet beast turning against him and attempting to destroy the world that Eggman had merely wished to take control of. After years and years and years of Sega doing that exact same story over and over and over again, it might be hard realize just how cool and how serious that secnario came of as in 1999, but, well, it did.

EDIT: Oh wait, i just have to give a special mention to Tails ending in SA while im at it. Eggman have never seemed more dangerous and evil than he did when he first tried to nuke Station Square, and after failing to do that, proclaimed in a dead serious tone that he was going to make "minced meat" of of Tails (and the fact the Tails happens to be an adorable little fox puppy just makes the scenario even darker). Oh, and Gammas ending, i got to mention Gammas ending; dead serious as well, and also by far the most emotional ending ever in a Sonic game.

So yeah, in short, they should have the games be mostly lighthearted fun but build up the tension untill the big climax comes and everything turns serious and gives the player a kind of feeling that says "okay, this is it; the fate of the universe depends on me now! Okay Eggman/Chaos/other bad guy, show me what you got!".

Edited by batson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt this series is far more towards the lighter end than the darker. My ideal is probably somewhere around SA and Unleashed. It's mostly along the same lines as Sonic's personality; he's an upbeat, fun-loving guy, and he's doing it as much because it's fun as to help people. Unleashed's opening is probably the best example of that we've had; it's basically equivalent to the last level of a game, and Sonic's still having fun messing with Eggman and his robots. Even after he becomes Super Sonic, even after he transforms into the werehog, it never turns into "this is serious, stop having fun".

Though at the same time it's still got to have some depth to it, and be able to hold off the "fun" for the sake of saying something else. The story can still build up to a climax and the characters can still develop; it doesn't have to be just "Sonic fights Eggman, the end".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, where the heroes are concerned, I think a mixture is best. That way we get variety in the characters'...well, characters.

Of course Sonic will always be there to keep them from going to far.

One thing I have to disagree with is what you said about Knuckles at the end of Shadow. Knuckles chacing after SOnic is justified by his character. Unlike Sonic he doesn't see all Eggman's plots as a big game. And as such wouldn't be as willing as Sonic to just let Eggman walk away from a situation like that. As to why he didn't do it in previous games well in Sonic Adventure 2 Eggman had helped them narrowly escape the destruction of the Earth. and in Sonic Heroes he was preoccupied by Rouge.

If anything it's more of a "What the hell, hero" moment for the characters to just let Eggman walk away considering Eggman is a constant cause for havoc and anarchy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sonic, who usually values life, tauntingly says to Eggman in 2K6- "This ship is about to crash! Too bad, Eggman!" Okay, given the time travel plot, he knows that Eggman and Elise would otherwise die in the Egg Carrier crash, so rescuing only Elise, and even taunting Eggman's impending doom with a "Too bad!" seemed uncharacteristically harsh of Sonic, especially since he said Blaze's intent to kill Eggman was "harsh" by his very wording in Sonic Rush, a game released only a year earlier.

I've never interpreted this scene as Sonic taunting Eggman about his death; to me it was more like "too bad for your ship!" or "too bad for your plan!".

After all, Eggman still had his Eggmobile, which he uses in the battle just after this scene, so he could have escaped easily and Sonic probably knew that. Yes, Eggman and Elise did supposedly die during the crash in another timeline, but this actually doesn't make much sense, since Eggman had the time to get into his Eggmobile and fight Sonic, so without Sonic's interference, there's no reason he didn't have the time to escape.

In any case, I don't think that Sonic thought Eggman would die (besides, he didn't).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on what you're looking for, when you get right down to it.

Sonic games that contain a storyline, I feel, should be deep, but not too deep. Sonic Adventure 2 was my favorite story in the entire series, and I owe it to good writing. The plot was dark, but then you threw in a snarky hedgehog, a lovable fox, a tough echidna, an angsty hedgehog, a comical villain and a greedy bat, to create a unique feel to the overall experience. When I play Sonic Adventure 2, I almost always have to watch some cutscenes, because the story just seems so prefect. The subject matter was serious enough, without being over the top.

However, there are those out there who don't want any story, or want very little in it. These people who want their games to be like the classics wouldn't agree with anything we would have to say on story. Truth be told, you could place the original Sonic Genesis game in an arcade machine and replace the continues with tokens, and it would fit right in. Arcade games have little-to-no story, and I feel this is another side of the Sonic series that shouldn't be ignored. For games like these, the story, if any, should be generally light-hearted. Blue hedgehog and two-tailed fox fight silly villain. And somewhere in there are the Chaos Emeralds.

So it depends on the kind of game. The mainstream 3D platformers should have a tone like SA2. The handheld classic-like titles deserve more of a lighthearted feel, with little story. A prefect example is actually one of them, Sonic Advance 3. I feel that the Storybook Series needs to keep what it has, and add more of a mystical feel to it, a feel not unlike Sonic Adventure 1. For the Riders series, I believe it should have an edgy tone, with some humor to spare. (but then again, I don't think the Riders series needs a storyline, however the tone of the environment should be the same as I have described)

I never want to see anything as campy as Sonic Heroes, or anything as dark as Shadow the Hedgehog again. I'm sure I'm not alone on this one.

At any rate, that's my 2 cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Sonic games have a light tone, but are capable of getting dark when the mood calls for it. I'll go back to the classics for some proof of this, though it's been toned down in the new games.

Sonic almost always starts in the green zone, because he's a little island animal. But his struggle is epic, and that's where it ends. The final levels always had a dark or creepy tone, like Scrap Brain which is a factory full of sharp objects under an orange sky. This boss theme is undeniably dark, and the bad future zones of Sonic CD are pretty doom and gloomy. Metal Sonic burns down cities in the bad ending of Chaotix. And let's not forget the Death Egg, which of course was named for the Death Star. Of course the series is about blue hedgehogs, but there are dark themes (but not necessarily serious, because the game never invites you to treat it like anything but fantasy) all over the final chapter of the games. For a "lighthearted" series, things get pretty dangerous.

As for your Eggman interpretation, I disagree mostly with the Chronicles part. Sonic and friends fight Eggman time after time, and even though Sonic is against hitting him while he's down, they aren't friendly. Eggman is a gentleman at heart. I could see him saying things like "Well played, Sonic", as if he was enjoying a grand game of chess, but I don't think they're very friendly besides the hero-villain dynamic. They might admire the other's skill, but nothing more.

Notice how their initial encounters in games always go something like "No, it's Eggman again!" He's a pest to Sonic and friends. He also has a habit of surviving, which is why he's allowed to go down in a burning ship, like Team Rocket blasting off. You're not supposed to think that Team Rocket will splatter on impact, because it's cartoon logic. Admittedly they played Eggman's disappearance up for his playable reveal in chapter 4, but I think the supporting characters' fear of Eggman is a theme that runs through the game, contrasting with Sonic's whimsical attitude about everything. Also keep in mind that Tails forms a friendship with Eggman later in the game. They didn't want him dead as much as they wanted to enjoy life without a supervillain around.

Eggman's allowed to be "dead" because death isn't real in the series, just like we know Sonic wouldn't have died in '06. That's part of the light side of the series. Citizens probably died when Station Square was flooded, but we're never shown bodies in the water.

Edited by Badnikz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And let's not forget the Death Egg, which of course was named for the Death Star.

Arguably this falls on both sides of the spectrum- It's a very real, very dangerous threat.

And it's also a blatant Star Wars parody, right down to the design. This makes it very humorous, just because it's such an overt and recognizable reference. It gives Eggman a maniacal sense of humor, fashioning his giant weapon of destruction after a famous movie reference in this manner.

Had the Death Egg been some nondescript space station with another name and design, perhaps it would have been firmly cemented on the "dark" side of things, but as it stands, its inherent goofiness gives it a lighthearted feel, no matter how dangerous it's supposed to be. And I'm not calling that bad by any means.

Actually, I'd love it if Eggman launched more monumental schemes that also doubled as goofy sendoffs to movies/comics/etc. It'd be a creative way to make him a threatening main antagonist while still keeping that bombastic, wacky sense of humor he's so known for intact.

Edited by El Gran Gordo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on what you're looking for, when you get right down to it.

Sonic games that contain a storyline, I feel, should be deep, but not too deep. Sonic Adventure 2 was my favorite story in the entire series, and I owe it to good writing. The plot was dark, but then you threw in a snarky hedgehog, a lovable fox, a tough echidna, an angsty hedgehog, a comical villain and a greedy bat, to create a unique feel to the overall experience. When I play Sonic Adventure 2, I almost always have to watch some cutscenes, because the story just seems so prefect. The subject matter was serious enough, without being over the top.

I also thought Sonic Adventure 2 had the best plot, the way it was done and stuff. It was quite dark and sad, but there were alot of light hearted momens too. I'd love to see another Sonic game done this way in the future.

Sonic Unleashed got it just right! Well, almost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disliked Unleashed's tone because it was a comedy (and not a very good one). Just because something is lighthearted doens't mean it have to try to be funny. Just look at the classic Sonic games, or the classic Mario games. Mario is actually an even better example of this than Sonic because the Mario games were even more lighthearted than Sonic's, and also had a very "childlike" aestetics. But even so, they didn't always tried to be funny in the way that Unleashed did.

That's also one of the things that made me like Mario Galaxy's tone a lot more than Mario Sunshines: In Galaxy, it felt like the makers of the game wanted the player to get a feeling of beauty and awe from Mario's wonderfull, magical world, whereas in Sunshine, Mario's world just came of as something silly.

So yeah, upcoming Sonic games can keep the bright and cheery feel of Unleashed, but drop most of the silly stuff, cause i do not want to see the Sonic series become a flat out comedy in the style of Banjo and Kazooe or something. Jokes here and there are fine, i think the Adventure games handled the balance between funny and serious very well, but Unleashed just went to far by inserting jokes in almost every single cutscene, and it almost felt like the jokes were more important than the story. Sonic was never ment to be a comdey, and it shouldn't become one, and that's final. Hmpf!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shadow the Hedgehog's noncanonical endings where he kills Eggman could be mentioned- Granted, in the semi-heroic mission, Shadow doesn't kill Eggman, and instead tells him to leave, but "neutral" Shadow sees murder as a legitimate choice. And taking someone's life really seems like more of an exclusively "dark" action to me.

Interesting thing to note, is that in Sonic 06, both Shadow and Eggman appear to have a mutual respect for one another, even before Eggman attacks them with his robots before the release of Mephiles ''Its been a while my dear Rouge and of course Shadow''. Additionally, when Shadow ''doesn't use the door to Eggman train'' there once again appears to be mutual respect between the two with the way the speak toone another and Eggman gladly giving his advice, while Shadow accepts. Not to mention the fact that Shadow is one of the only characters that refers to Eggman as ''The Doctor/Doctor/Dr Eggman (emphasis on Doctor) unlikeother characters who mainly refer to him as just Eggman or worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting thing to note, is that in Sonic 06, both Shadow and Eggman appear to have a mutual respect for one another, even before Eggman attacks them with his robots before the release of Mephiles ''Its been a while my dear Rouge and of course Shadow''. Additionally, when Shadow ''doesn't use the door to Eggman train'' there once again appears to be mutual respect between the two with the way the speak toone another and Eggman gladly giving his advice, while Shadow accepts. Not to mention the fact that Shadow is one of the only characters that refers to Eggman as ''The Doctor/Doctor/Dr Eggman (emphasis on Doctor) unlikeother characters who mainly refer to him as just Eggman or worse.

Yeah, and lets not forget that in Shadow the hedgehog, when Shadow runs into Eggman (or, strictly speaking, one of Eggmans flying monitor thingies, but whatever) Eggman is all like "Hey, Shadow, feel like helpin' me out here ol' buddy?", like he actually expects to get aid from Shadow just because he asks for it. This makes it seem that at least from Eggmans point of view, the two are hardly enemies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally speaking, Shadow is a very respectful character, and he never outright insults anyone about their skills. He merely prefers to socialise with those whom he needs for his current goals.

Of course, Rouge and Omega are his closest allies, but I think it's a case of, he'd never ask for them to help, nor thank them - but he is thankful when they do.

It's these positives attributes that make me like Shadow, despite the quiet brooding type being not of much interest of me. It also helps that I enjoyed his game (having said that, Shadow is at his best story-wise in SA2 and 2006).

Edited by JezMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, and lets not forget that in Shadow the hedgehog, when Shadow runs into Eggman (or, strictly speaking, one of Eggmans flying monitor thingies, but whatever) Eggman is all like "Hey, Shadow, feel like helpin' me out here ol' buddy?", like he actually expects to get aid from Shadow just because he asks for it. This makes it seem that at least from Eggmans point of view, the two are hardly enemies.

Well currently, looking at the recorded data from my new project (Shadow the Hedgehog: Robotnik phrase codec) there are two ways to look at the relationship between black hedgehog and mad scientist.

Shadow is being used as a pawn in the mad doctor's dirty work. The game itself tries to convey that feeling with all sides; to note, the fight where you meet the Egg Breaker after Cryptic Castle. Robotnik used Shadow to activate his castle's defenses, and afterward, attacked him over the possession of a Chaos Emerald. Basically he became possessive over a material object due to his lofty dreams of an utopia.

However, looking at the phrases within the level Cryptic Castle, Robotnik also shows the utmost concern for his Grandfather's creation. The fact might be that he knows that Shadow is one of the few living relics from his Grandfather's scientific hands, and this could play on his internal feelings a bit, as well. The other part could come from that Robotnik does have respect and admiration for a creature who tested their strength against his machines (See: Sonic) and also has a fondness to do no extreme ill-will against someone in a moral standpoint ( No mindless destruction, which is below Eggman standards, unless he snaps as seen in Sonic Adventure 1 where he launched a dud nuclear rocket into the heart of Station Square.) Though Robotnik could have his own mission grind to an end if Shadow dies during the heat of battle, the tones he conveys in the multitudinous phrases indicate otherwise the concern for the furry critter. (in which we have Mike Pollock's sublime voice acting to thank for that.)

For instance, he tells Shadow on many points not to fall (Don't fall!) with an urgency in his grunt, or even worry (Don't get burned now!) Other times, however he barks out commands like a drill sergeant to an inanimate object (Do this. Do that. Go up. Use that balloon, ect.)

He does shower praise upon Shadow, another thing to note (Ohohoho! Good eyes! Way to go, boy!) with glee and excitement crackling in his bubbling voice. The one thing to point out most is that with manchild glee, Robotnik sees Shadow (and the other characters) as a playmate. One needlessly needs to remember that even though Ivo can be a manipulator (see poor Knuckles) he embodies a child-like spirit, and views everything as a type of game, the problem is whether he acknowledges that said game in the heat of the battle can have deadly results on physical terms. He expects his traps to be foiled, but to be faced with actual mortal results might play on his conscious in the long run.

For instance in Circus Park, Robotnik goads Shadow to play in the many carnival games more so than going on with the actual mission itself which is to eradicate and flush the G.U.N. troops from his "base". Even being detached from the actual action with a computer screen implanted into an orbiting satellite between him and the hedgehog's side, Robotnik still cries with enthusiastic ardor and screaming "What a rush!" when traversing the glide coasters next to Shadow, showing that Robotnik while even looking out for his own safety or being cooped up somewhere because of something, he would prefer real action to static environments for a thrill factor.

The glaring mortal moment for Robotnik's morality is at the end of Shadow where expects it to be his final minutes in life, he croaks out a confession, telling Shadow that he indeed used a robot to save his life when he fell back to the planet. If Robotnik truly hated the hedgehog, he would have let him fall to his own demise, but once again, a spark of consciousness shone through. Again like many times before, he probably saw the fun portion of the "game" end and decided to be serious when things got rough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good thread, I think this needed to be touched on.

I imagine Sonic was just a dude with no direction in life but looking for justice and doing his best to maintain peace. Along comes Robotnik, who threatens everything that's precious to him, so he takes the initiative to save the day. He becomes something more then just the cool dude in town. And that is- a hero.

Sonic realizes that he can be an icon for the world, and have some kicks, too (something he may never truly grow out of). So he tries to do the right thing in every situation. I think his story tone is based upon who he wants to be. He can be deep and reflectant on himself and thus that's a gateway onto a good, deep, and fun story. Sure, every story has a dark side and lighthearted moments, but it's just as I tell my sister time and time again. With Sonic, a story can be too dark, or it can be too cheesy, everytime I write one of my Mario and Sonic comics, it's finding the balance between the two. An in between so that we can use "dark" to analyze justice and "silly" to not take "dark" to a non-kid audience level. Sure I've made my mistakes, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna give up.

Edited by Eli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should reflect once again about the Sonic Chronicles intro. You keep bringing this up time after time, but I don't see what's wrong with it at all. They may have done a "preemptive strike," but it doesn't mean Eggman wasn't planning anything, and its quite clear that he was planning on conquering the world again just like he had done many times before. The only difference this time is that Sonic and Co. found out about it BEFORE he was able to make his attack. What's the difference between Eggman making a preemptive strike without prior warning, or Sonic and Co. doing so? Especially if they know that he's plotting something?

Whether Chronicles is canon or not, it doesn't matter (though I personally do think it will be recognized as canon, just as future events).

As far as references to the characters "willing" to allow Eggman to die in Sonic '06 and Sonic Chronicles, I don't see why they wouldn't. By this time Eggman had made repeated attempts to conquer the world. And there's a difference between "letting" someone die, as opposed to killing someone directly. Its like a common phrase brought up. "I won't kill you, but I won't save you, either." I suppose you're forgetting the fact that Sonic and Co. have NEVER saved Eggman in the past, either, whenever one of machines has blown up around him. In that sense they still "leave Eggman to die," but later found out he survived. It's the same damn thing.

You can argue about Shadow killing Eggman in certain endings, but I don't really see it that way, frankly. How would a single hit kill him, for one? However, it is different in this case because it is a direct attack, as opposed to simply "leaving" Eggman for dead as is the case in other titles.

As for story tone, I'd have to say that I definitely prefer SA2 to all others. Sonic Unleashed was close, but I think the cartoony characters kinda ruin it, and it does have too much of an emphasis on humor. I'm not saying the games -can't- have humor, but Unleashed takes it a bit too far.

And of course, Shadow the Hedgehog is a bit too far in the opposite direction. I won't say the same about Sonic '06, as I thought the tone was only slightly darker than that of SA2, though we didn't really need the "realistic" look to the characters (not that I minded it...).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to be focusing more on humor. I just find it to be a bit excessive. Mixing a little bit of humor within a good wrap-around plot overall is how I think it should be, and SA2 did include a number of humorous parts. Unleashed seems to concentrate on it a little too much, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sonic games that contain a storyline, I feel, should be deep, but not too deep. Sonic Adventure 2 was my favorite story in the entire series, and I owe it to good writing. The plot was dark, but then you threw in a snarky hedgehog, a lovable fox, a tough echidna, an angsty hedgehog, a comical villain and a greedy bat, to create a unique feel to the overall experience. When I play Sonic Adventure 2, I almost always have to watch some cutscenes, because the story just seems so prefect. The subject matter was serious enough, without being over the top.

I couldn't agree with you more.

As much as I enjoy the extreme fluffy-ness of Unleashed, I must say I wish it were just a tad more serious. I liked the silly humor and all, but it was a bit much. You have to have an equal balance. Also, as much as I love Unleashed, and I really love it, it feels kinda like Sonic Adventure with Werehog. Or is that just me? o.o

Sonic Adventure 2 had a great balance. It was pretty damn serious and used various dark themes such as death, suicide, and angst. However it still had wonderful humor. Amy searching for Sonic and Tails being exasperated at looking for him again, Sonic and Knuckles going at it when they were piloting the space shuttle, and of course... Sonic's wonderful rant about bad airline service right before you enter City Escape.

Now Shadow the Hedgehog was so "dark" and "deep" (or rather it tried to be) that you couldn't take it seriously. I know I didn't. And not only is that totally to them trying WAY TOO HARD ("DAMN!" "DAMN!" "DAMN!", need I say more =P), but there were also too many plots. I didn't want a hero, neutral, and dark. I just wanted Shadow to be a badass, and bad gameplay really made me see the game as a joke.

I think besides SA2 one of the best storylines was E-102 Gamma's. I could take it seriously. It was kind of fluffy (saving your robot counterparts, yeah that is fluffy!) but it was very deep. I think I cried. Or a little tearing up at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hardly discriminating; There has been a range of tones and elements which all have the potential to be very entertaining and additive in their own right, and thus I don't see any particular tone as right or wrong for the series. Unleashed and SA2's stories may be fun to watch for far different reasons, but the intrinsic value I've established on the actual tone of each is the same because they're ultimately dependent upon how well the narrative as a whole is written and intertwined with the actual gameplay. So just give me good writing and cutscenes that help further the importance of the game's objectives, and I'll be a happy camper regardless of whether Sonic is slitting his wrists or vomiting rainbows. xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of what I liked about SA2 was the way that the story was dark, but the hero was not. Sonic gets framed for a crime, abducted by a tremendous military force and confined (apparently without trial) to a remote maximum security prison. Most people would be confused at this. Sonic isn't. He just cracks a few one-liners and escapes, as though this sort of thing happens to him every day. Even at the very end, when the world is literally minutes away from destruction at the hands of the eclipse cannon, what does he say? "What you see is what you get! Just a guy who loves adventure!"

Awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of what I liked about SA2 was the way that the story was dark, but the hero was not. Sonic gets framed for a crime, abducted by a tremendous military force and confined (apparently without trial) to a remote maximum security prison. Most people would be confused at this. Sonic isn't. He just cracks a few one-liners and escapes, as though this sort of thing happens to him every day. Even at the very end, when the world is literally minutes away from destruction at the hands of the eclipse cannon, what does he say? "What you see is what you get! Just a guy who loves adventure!"

Awesome.

But yet there is to notice that the story was so hard-focused upon everything (and everybody) else that the only really optimistic character in the game is pushed aside by the likes of Shadow the Attentionhungryhog, Rouge's whoring around with both the government and Eggman, Tails' melodramatic "I must help Sonic cuz he's in danger but I also must be independent oh I must fight in vengence for his death OMG" with Amy the annoying tagalong, Knuckles bein' down in Pumpkin Hill I got to find my lost peice yo, big lizards, Chaos Control and Robotnik family revalations. Sonic's involvement was really only 10% of the game when it should be 90%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.