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Humans in Sonic

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Now generally speaking, most people are not fond of humans other than Doctor Eggman (Chris Thorndyke and Princess Elise come to mind and a lot of people don't even like Nega Eggman). Why do you think this is and how can it be fixed where other humans can be likable

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It's because whenever there are human characters they try too hard to make them "important" instead of making them fluid characters. Eggman is fine, he's the villain, he makes sense.

Chris Thorndyke was shoved in Sonic X, was forced to importance and was just generally a annoyance because of this. He was ridiculous and the reason why I don't like Sonic X that much.

I don't despise Elise but she's boring and had no real personality trait. She also wanted to date a hedgehog... enough said.

I'm not against humans in the series, I'm against they way they handle them. I don't think I'd be too keen seeing humans again in a major role just because of their track record. 

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4 minutes ago, rosedust said:

It's because whenever there are human characters they try too hard to make them "important" instead of making them fluid characters. Eggman is fine, he's the villain, he makes sense.

Chris Thorndyke was shoved in Sonic X, was forced to importance and was just generally a annoyance because of this. He was ridiculous and the reason why I don't like Sonic X that much.

I don't despise Elise but she's boring and had no real personality trait. She also wanted to date a hedgehog... enough said.

I'm not against humans in the series, I'm against they way they handle them. I don't think I'd be too keen seeing humans again in a major role just because of their track record. 

Are there humans that you do like?

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Just now, RedFox99 said:

Fans seemed to find her likable. How do you think an human character can be done right?

It's easy, just make them seem fluid. Elise and Chris both felt forced and didn't have notable personality traits that could make them interesting. Plus, they should really never be in a main protagonist role. People watch Sonic for anthropomorphic animals, after all. They should be like any other minor character and not overstep their boundaries.

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Professor Pickle tho.

In seriousness, humans are usually hated for two reasons:

Uncanny Valley (clashing with the cartoony Sonic cast).

Or having an overbearing relationship as well as lead role with Sonic which was pretty infamous in Elise and Chris's case which kinda gave people the wrong impression about them.

Relationship with Sonic aside, Elise isn't necessarily a terrible character at all, people just paint her that way because of that revival kiss.

Chris on the other hand is a very poorly written character, the show wants to potray him as this sad lonely kid with a sucky life....even though his life is already perfect.

He's rich, has actual friends at school, a smart grandpa, a maid and butler who take care of him, his parents who are famous do actually show up at times, and they want us to think his life is terrible? BS.

Did I mention he gets a little too clingy to Sonic? To the point where he's obsessed with him?

But I'm getting off hand, humans can be written well, there's not much else I can say since Rosedust hits the nail on the head.

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The existence of humans in the Sonic universe from day one is impossible to deny because of Eggman.  However, my own opinion is that humans should be used sparingly, as when you place more emphasis on humans, you detract from the story's quality as a Sonic narrative, as something that could only happen in the Sonic universe.  It seems to me that some games in the series got a little too preoccupied with human drama, almost looking as if the writers wanted to write a story about humans but were reluctantly forced to include anthros, and choosing to act as if Sonic and his friends are the only anthros in an entirely human world - which seems to me to be outside both the spirit and the sense of the original games.  Considering the way Eggman appears as a lone human in Sonic's world in the classics - some have, I believe, compared him to an alien invader, and I'd broadly agree with that - then I'm increasingly of the opinion that humans and anthros generally may not be particularly integrated, or at least not generally or largely integrated.  And I would come firmly down on the side of Sonic's games concerning themselves with the anthro side, reacting to rather than immersing themselves in human drama.  Perhaps there was potential for a fish-out-of-water tale of Sonic having to speed through human lands and dealing modern society exactly the same kind of sarcastic quips he usually reserves for Eggman, drawing a contrast to his own carefree existence.  (I'm approaching this with a mindset of "how would I have done this differently?" rather than "what is the status quo?," which is apparently that no anthros natively exist in most human territories but are completely unremarkable when they do pass through.  An odd arrangement.)

Fundamentally... I don't think Sonic games should plonk him in the middle of a human world without commenting on the incongruity.  And I think all humans, like Eggman, should be at least slightly exaggerated parodies of the real thing.  Sonic should be a dynamic and rebellious force in the human world, not just another face in the crowd.

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I mostly like the use of humans in the Sonic series, it's never particularly bothered me that in most Sonic games Sonic & pals seem to be the only anthro animals around. To me it always seemed like more of a western sensibility that Sonic *needs* to be surrounded by other animals for his existence to be justified while Japan has never seemed concerned with making anyone but the central characters cartoon animals. It looks like a way to make Sonic and cast stick out more, and seeing as Sonic's or anthros origin has never really been an important part of the series I'm not bothered. The earlier stuff for the Sonic series has be convinced that Sonic was sort of portrayed as this weird superhero guy who exists in a world ostensibly similar to our own surrounded by regular people, just a thought.

Whether there's a right way or a wrong way to use them is largely dependent on the context. Their useage in Sonic Adventure is alright, they're there to give life to what is pretty much a realistic looking city. I really like how they're used in Sonic Unleashed, being there to represent the different cultures and nations the game was trying to represent that would be incredibly awkward if done with animals. I do kinda feel like the overt usage of humans other than Eggman spits in the face of the "nature vs technology" theme they had going, seeing as Eggman was a suspiciously the lone human doing what humans do to nature in the real world in Sonic's fantasy environment but that hasn't been much of a thing since the classics anyway. And then again, the classics didn't feature too many characters anyway, so it could have been their intention all along to have more humans. They DID have Madonna at one point.

To make them good all you need to do is give them good personalities and a non intrusive role, the Unleashed humans were recieved very well due to their obvious personalities and their exaggerated designs in contrast to 06's realistic humans. Though, I think Unleashed's designs are are a bit too much and they should look towards a slightly more realistic anime style for the human characters, kinda like with the people's faces in Sonic Adventure. I would enjoy it if they looked towards 80s and 90s anime and manga for inspiration, as that is where most original Sonic designs pretty much came right out of.

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You guys make some good points. To be honest, I think a human character could work as a supporting character. Maybe said character could find it odd that he/she has to work with walking-talking animals.

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Excluding Dr.Eggman... humans are fine in Sonic only in side roles in my opinion. I don't play/watch Sonic media for humans.... If I wanted humans... well I have near infinite other media I could buy for that instead!

As background characters or very minor reoccurring characters they are fine however. Just keep them art style wise the same as the rest of the cast, there's no good reason for any human character to look more realistic then Robotnik himself.

In the games I would like to see towns for the animal people too, not just human towns all the time. Be cool as it'd show us cultures for both that exist.

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10 hours ago, Polkadi said:

Plus, it breathes life into the world, and opens up for story potential (including racial topics, if ST really wants to go for it). Sonic Forces looks to be doing this, but I don't think they will.

That could make for an interesting story.

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7 hours ago, FFWF said:

Perhaps there was potential for a fish-out-of-water tale of Sonic having to speed through human lands and dealing modern society exactly the same kind of sarcastic quips he usually reserves for Eggman, drawing a contrast to his own carefree existence.

I'd like to think that secret rings (and by extension black knight) did this concept well. And I say this from personal experience...

I grew up on CD, 3 and 3D Blast...it wasn't until years later that I played Secret Rings and the only other Sonic influence I had in between then was Sonic X.

Suffice it to say the older I got the less I liked Sonic X, for reasons which I hope are obvious to everyone now. The only reason it popped in my head while playing Secret Rings was due to shared voice actors. Besides that though, I didn't have any issues with Secret Rings story. Granted it wasn't as original or compeling as Sonic 3, but as far as lore goes its very harmless to what came before (cough Adventure cough). I was actually surprised that everytime Sonic bumped into a person...it wasn't a person. It was just a re-skin of one of sonic's friends. I honestly don't feel this was nessesary outside of a bit of fanservice, they could have used humans and it still would have worked!

Besides that though...I much perfer Sonic's original fantasy world than our real world (in the context of sonic of course). If your going to have humans, make it a fish out of water story or go all out with it like SA2 or 06. Otherwise it will feel like a waste of time and feel like they don't fit in the context of the story/themes of the game.

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18 minutes ago, Alienrun said:

I was actually surprised that everytime Sonic bumped into a person...it wasn't a person. It was just a re-skin of one of sonic's friends. I honestly don't feel this was nessesary outside of a bit of fanservice, they could have used humans and it still would have worked!

I have a feeling they didn't want fans to complain about Sonic being the only focus while the rest of the cast were not used.

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I actually quite like the use of Sonic's friends in the Storybook games.  It diminishes the sense of Sonic being in a story that really has nothing to do with his world (which is frankly true), and I feel it speaks to the way we can find comparisons to characters in stories in our own lives, or the way we filter a story through our own experiences.  Granted, I don't actually know much about the Storybook games, but I think it's good to keep Sonic's friends "out there," to ensure that they still play a role.

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Humans are fine. The best Sonic character is a human, after all.

We've had human characters I can't stand, like the painfully boring Elise, and we've had animal characters I can't stand, like the ever-morose Shadow the Hedgehog. So, I don't care what species a character is; Just make them well-written and likable. Whether they're a human, a hedgehog, a robot, or a talking purple moose, just make them a good character.

Though even with all that said, non-Eggman humans haven't appeared in this series since Sonic and the Black Knight, I'm pretty sure. And that was almost a decade ago. It's possible that Sega's just decided not to use them anymore.

 

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4 hours ago, FFWF said:

I actually quite like the use of Sonic's friends in the Storybook games.  It diminishes the sense of Sonic being in a story that really has nothing to do with his world (which is frankly true), and I feel it speaks to the way we can find comparisons to characters in stories in our own lives, or the way we filter a story through our own experiences.  Granted, I don't actually know much about the Storybook games, but I think it's good to keep Sonic's friends "out there," to ensure that they still play a role.

Imagine being told that your going to go meet Sinbad...you then run along a whole bunch of pirate ships as the level builds up, the closer you get the more exited you get...

...and then its just knuckles covered in piratey like robes... yeah!

Having familiar characters in the game helps get Sonic fans to buy the game in the first place, so I think that's why they did it. But when your actually running around in the world and want to get to know it more, I don't really think Sonic's friends are nessesary, we see them all the time, its a perfect opprotunity to have new characters shine and they decide not to.

It's not a big deal or anything, just always found it weird.

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I've dealt and talked about this kind of stuff before. Way back in the early days of Sonic there were these backgrounds in a UK CVG magazine, which showed animals in different stages in a spectrum of anthropomorphism. 

Quote

 

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There seem to be three different design templates for characters in this style: 

-The "animal buddy designs" who are just like how they are in the classics. No clothes, keep more faithful to actual animal proportions, and are relatively short and small. This includes the yellow cat guy I think. 

-The "Sonic-style anthro designs". These are split into two categories, the shorter ones like Sonic and Tails, and the taller ones like the blue hare and the purple monkey along with Vector. Have simpler body plans using spheroids and noodles, and wear basic clothing. 

-The miscellaneous ones. These are the rest that fit somewhere between the two, some having clothes like the raccoon and the yellow bird

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And this...fox looking dude? 

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And then there are the ones who are larger animals but remain more realistic like the bear and the elephant. These seem to be on a spectrum of body types, some having more realistic ones totally, and then ones like the fox who have more cartoony body types. 

 

I feel if they went with this sort of spectrum of designs the animal buddies and the anthro characters wouldn't look so jarring next to each other. 

 

Now this isn't directly dealing with the humans, but it deals with the jarring differences between the characters like Sonic and Tails next to the animal buddies, and this could probably be extended onto humans. There should be a spectrum of anthropomorphism and humans are just on the far end. 

Humans can probably be split up into certain types anyway. I like to imagine there are ones with weird simple shapes like Eggman (probably less common) and ones with relatively more realistic bodies. But they are there and I like to image they are purposefully not treated any differently from any of the animals. 

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9 minutes ago, ShroomZed said:

I've dealt and talked about this kind of stuff before. Way back in the early days of Sonic there were these backgrounds in a UK CVG magazine, which showed animals in different stages in a spectrum of anthropomorphism. 

Now this isn't directly dealing with the humans, but it deals with the jarring differences between the characters like Sonic and Tails next to the animal buddies, and this could probably be extended onto humans. There should be a spectrum of anthropomorphism and humans are just on the far end. 

Humans can probably be split up into certain types anyway. I like to imagine there are ones with weird simple shapes like Eggman (probably less common) and ones with relatively more realistic bodies. But they are there and I like to image they are purposefully not treated any differently from any of the animals. 

This makes me wonder if humans see Mobians as animals and not people.

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1 minute ago, RedFox99 said:

This makes me wonder if humans see Mobians as animals and not people.

One, no one is called a "Mobian" since this isn't Mobius. Secondly I think everyone treats each other equally, and they are all seen as basically the same as one another despite their different forms. 

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Just now, ShroomZed said:

One, no one is called a "Mobian" since this isn't Mobius. Secondly I think everyone treats each other equally, and they are all seen as basically the same as one another despite their different forms. 

Fair points. 

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