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Razule

Should Sonic the Hedgehog be a silent protagonist?

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I noticed that a common complaint about recent Sonic games is that Sonic himself is.. annoying. Not because of his green eyes or mile long spines, but because of his voice. Many times it's been likened to the voice of a nerd, or.. I dunno, that one annoying guy. You know the guy.. with that vaguely nasally voice. Basically either a dated 90s Xtreme radical kewl kid, a nerd, or Barney the Dinosaur. 

Personally I'm fine with Sonic's voice(s), but I'm aware that in order for Sonic to appeal more to a general audience, many things about this series' current trajectory are going to have to change. Just entertaining a concept, but maybe one of those is Sonic's voice? Maybe.. he should be mute, like Mario, Link, or (Jak 1) Jak?

This might work as an example:

 

Even if he's not talking, you can still pretty much tell what he's thinking. And the other characters around are the ones explaining the story.

Maybe not quite like in that video, but I think as long as Sonic still shows plenty of personality, he could work as a silent character.

What do you think of the idea of making Sonic mute?

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1 minute ago, Slashy said:

You're kind of stripping an iconic part of his character away from him.

What's iconic about Sonic is his attitude, not him having the ability to speak. He can show his attitude without speaking (especially since he didn't speak in full sentences in the games until Adventure barring some exceptions). He had a voice in the 90s cartoons and comics, but all video game characters spoke in their extended media.

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6 minutes ago, Razule said:

What's iconic about Sonic is his attitude, not him having the ability to speak. He can show his attitude without speaking (especially since he didn't speak in full sentences in the games until Adventure barring some exceptions). He had a voice in the 90s cartoons and comics, but all video game characters spoke in their extended media.

But that's limiting his ability to show off his attitude, it is what sets him apart from characters like Mario (who isn't even mute anymore!) It also limits how much story these games can tell, which I think is still a big appeal of the series.

If Sonic dialogue is memorable to the point that South Park references it, then maybe there is something worth keeping.

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I feel like a good middle ground can be struck with sonic and voice acting. If they were to stop just shoving voices into everything and only have the characters speak when there is a good meaning to it (like maybe making a small quip about the situation or some friendly banter) rather than having characters pointing out the obvious or needlessly drawing out a scene for something that we can see with our own eyes. Quite frankly, ever since watching ShayMay's spitball series I've been leaning a little bit more on the silent sonic side, I mean I love Sonic's voices throughout the series and I like the dialogue but there is something appealing about just letting his words speak through his actions rather than his mouth since sonic's pretty much designed around communicating his personality through his looks

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You know what would be cool? If someone made actual mute protagonist. As if he really us mute, not just talking giberish like Mario or Crash. And while everyone else is talking he must be expressive in every other way.

Anyway I think after having so many games and 5 cartoons (one still going), removing Sonic voice acting would be just weird. Also, it would mean loosing Mike Pollock and we can't have that. (and making only Sonic mute just doesn't work).

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I think I would be okay with that, I mean, characters can show their personality even without a voice, Sonic used to do that too, so my answer is... maybe. I definitely prefer him with a voice, especially since the series is doing stories, the main series at least, just please don't turn him into a very little to no personality like Mario and Link, It may work with those characters but it would ruin Sonic in my opinion. That said, I would LOVE if there was a big budget Mania sequel with mute cute-scenes (pun intended) like Sonic CD and Mania's opening.

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Meh. Sonic can express himself without words well enough, but I like it when he talks. Just because he can express himself visually doesn't mean you have to remove talking. 

If your problem is that his dialogue is lacking than that's more an issue of getting better writers rather than scrapping dialogue completely. Once again I ask, what is it with you people when something doesn't work perfectly and wanting to go to the opposite extreme of the spectrum? 

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3 hours ago, Depression Kong said:

Have any of you guys ever watched Samurai Jack?

Yeah.

That.

Great, now imagine whole Samurai Jack without a single line of dialogue.

Samurai Jack proves that good writer knows when the show should be silence, when to talk. There can be whole episode silent, but not whole show.

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Silent acting isn't bad, but more often than not people suggest making Sonic silent less for quality reasons and more as a cop out for the state of bad writing. Less of a character trait and more "I just hate hearing him talk" for whatever bizzare reason made some people think that's the best alternative.

It should also be noted that silent acting isn't a perfect solution to that and can risk problems in miscommunication or bad storytelling in itself. Without a voice to speak, you remove a dimension of storytelling that conveys information for the audience to understand what's going on or what a character is thinking--sure, there are work arounds by simply making a thought bubble of that, but there's still other forms of communication to both other characters and the audience that having a voice would be far more practical.

Like, for example, let's say Tails's was in danger and Sonic wanted to warn him in 5 seconds before it's too late. Wouldn't it be better and faster to shout "Tails! Look out!" than for him to be silent and use body language to warn him? Acting of any kind should be pragmatic and sensible than that.

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It sounds like an action that would only serve to piss a lot of people off and not fix anything crucial or important enough for the series to side-step any of the negative reviews and press that'll come it's way. You'll hear a bunch of snide comments from people about how great it is that he's shut up and that'll be about it.

Sonic's not annoying to me because he can talk or because of his voice. When the dribble coming out of his mouth is juvenile nonsense without any charm or wit, then it's an issue.

It always comes back to how things are written or localized for me. You can solve the problem by just not having him talk anymore but the act of giving up on a concept instead of working to fix the issues they've created is something I'm really tired of them doing.

It's like how they "resolved" the issue of the alternate playstyles by not allowing us to play as anyone other than Sonic and variations of Sonic. All it did was piss a lot of people off and it didn't save Lost World or Forces from any negative reviews or bad press. 

The focus should be on actually fixing your stuff. So fix it. 

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You know, Classic Sonic was silent in Generations and Forces and sure he's supposed to be different from Modern Sonic...but yeah, I don't really like that approach. 

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9 hours ago, Sephy said:

You know, Classic Sonic was silent in Generations and Forces and sure he's supposed to be different from Modern Sonic...but yeah, I don't really like that approach. 

I know. I find that very hypocritical cuz Classic Tails and Eggman can talk.

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On 12/8/2017 at 9:59 PM, Razule said:

 

 

Was kind of expecting this video to also make everyone else silent as well, but instead he just went around with people talking at him like he's gordan freeman.  It's not exactly the most complex story, Sonic's at least probably doesn't need any dialog at all.  

Thinking about it, Big's story takes on a completely different meaning.  

I can't help but be reminded of the comparison between the Stardust Crusaders OVA and anime, where the OVA tends to be fairly conservative with dialog, the anime seems characterized with an endless torrent of words.  Generations drew a similar comparison in a single cutscene, where classic sonic simply went after eggman, modern sonic was too busy talking.  I don't think Sonic is the one that needs to not talk, I think these games need to minimize dialog unless there's a point to it.  

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The problem is that whoever writes at Sonic Team doesn't understand that having a bunch of quirky one liners doesn't make you cool when you're not proving why Sonic's ego is so damn huge by having him DO THINGS.

This is something that not a single fucking Modern Sonic game has gotten right consistently ever. You can't just have Sonic bragging about how awesome he is and shit talking villians without giving that snark some kind of credibility.

As such Sonic's snark comes off as annoying and grating because the writers don't understand the difference between acting cool and being cool.

It's not enough to have Sonic say he can destroy 100 robots without finishing a breath, he needs to actually DO IT. 

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Sonic Unleashed's opening seems to do that thing you said...it's the only game where he's bashing bots in scene like a BASS.

Outside of Colors nothing but the occasional quip has Sonic said has really been boasting.

It's like one scene per game from Nex Gen onward where he destroys stuff in "style" I guess.

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Classic Sonic with a female VA is the way to go, IMO. Nancy Cartwright would work well for him. He's had a few female VAs over the years, like Keiko Utoku in Sonic CD and Youko Miyamoto in the Japanese dub of AoStH, and then there's Meg Inglima, Paula Arundell, Alexis Nagy, and supposedly Pamela Adlon.

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To be fair, I think that if Sonic will become silent, the series will loose a good chunk of it's personality. Think about it, Mario is a SP, Donkey Kong is a SP, Jak is a SP, etc. Sonic will just kinda get lost in the mix then. Also if "Silent" means "Making annoying noises Banjo-Kazooie/Rabbids style", then I'm double against it. 

To me a talkative Sonic is not a bad thing, unless the writing is awful, like in Lost World or Boom. 

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