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Would the characters work better as one time appearances?


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A lot of people, including myself, nag a lot about Sonic's friends. It seems like Sega and Sonic Team can have a lot of trouble, finding new roles for them and keeping their personalities and backstory consistent after their debut games and also a lot of fans really seem to like Sonic's friends in their first game appearance way more. Shadow for example is mostly beloved by a lot of people because of his tragic backstory in SA2, but not really that much afterwords, especially how he is portrait in Boom and to some certain extent in Forces. Same goes with Blaze. A lot of us remember her more as the cool heroine from another dimension and not as the very silent sidekick of Silver.

Also Knuckles, one of the three main heroes of the Sonic series, is a very inconsistent character. In one game, he is the lonely guardian of the Angel Islands, the heavens of Sonic's world, than in the next game he is an idiot almost at the same levels as Patrick Star and in the next one he is the super serious leader of the last freedom fighters. 

Their for, would the Sonic cast worked better, if it was just Sonic and Eggman (and maybe Tails, Orbot and Cubot as the only recurring characters) and all of the others would just be one time guest characters? I would say, for me personally, that this is actually a direction I wish Sonic Team went with. A lot of the one time characters like Chip, Merlina and Shahra were kept in my memories as actually pretty good and likable characters. They had one time to shine and all of them did actually a really good job at it. I remember them as good and interesting characters, while with the others I have no real clue, what kind of role they now have in the Sonic universe. Most of them, like Rouge, Omega and Team Chaotix just feel like background decoration and others like Silver and Shadow are just their to please older fans. 

The huge Sonic cast feels at this point really unnecessary. Sorry to be so harsh, but if Forces showed me anything, than that almost all of the recurring characters from previous games have absolutely no right be exist anymore after their debut. Their is just no place for them in the story anymore. I think it would be better, if we just have a very small cast of Sonic, (maybe Tails), Eggman (and maybe with Orbot and Cubot) and a new character or a bunch of new characters for just one game, like Sonic Team did with Chip and Prof. Pickles in Unleashed. 

I mean, this would also mean, that you guys can get more new characters from Sonic Team. You guys told me here on Stadium that you just love new characters. You always get very existed when a new character is announced. Look how popular Tangle already is and we know almost nothing about her.

What do you think? 

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Yes, Sonic, Tails and Eggman should be the absolute minimum in my opinion.

Knuckles should have been S&K/S3&K only character as well as the rest of cast. Or they could be in some new game, but being actually useful and that was (almost ?) never fulfilled.

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I personally like having the cast that we currently have, but I wish they would contribute more to the plot.

Shadow was awesome in SA2, and he is, hands down, my favorite character introduction in the entire series. The way they executed his character was brilliant and is what made me love the character in the first place. The way he's handled these days is... a bit of an insult. I hope I'm not the only person who thinks his character arc should've ended after his (supposed) death in SA2. I thought that was the perfect redemption for him. I was disappointed when he returned in Heroes, despite loving the character so much.

Silver is another good example of a one-time only character appearance, despite him being my favorite character in the series. He honestly serves no purpose being in Sonic's stories other than to cater to fans who love him (yes, yes, I know, I've said he's my favorite character countless times, but I still feel like he's either under-utilized or just completely pointless). Silver has a small important role in Forces, taking on Infinite, but they could've easily given that role to another character. His appearance isn't explained in-game, only in the prequel comic (which is fine, I guess; it was fun to see him and Knuckles interact!).

I don't see a problem with Knuckles being reoccurring, but the fact that he's a GUARDIAN of a super important artifact in the series is... a problem. Unless the Master Emerald is being stolen again, he really doesn't have any reason to move from his spot. Plus, he's more of a solitary guy, anyway. I can't see him being sociable with the other characters as much as he has been in recent games, especially Forces (though, the circumstances were different considering the plot, so that point is probably moot).

...erm, I rambled long enough. Point is, I don't mind having these characters in stories if it means they can do something. But the fact that their backstories are more of one-time situations, there definitely is an issue with their appearance in the recent games.



 

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Eh, perhaps some of them. Shadow, Big, and Silver are the main ones that comes to mind, with Knuckles being a mixed example. 

Though I'd like to make the distinction that there's absolutely nothing wrong with some of the characters being reoccurring and in fact, we definitely need to have some to keep things interesting and varied--with a special emphasis on antagonistic characters(which incidentally is what many of these characters were originally). 

Really, the trick to making returning characters work is for the writers to remember what the characters are about and/or capable of and use them appropriately as per what would fit well with the story.  After all, Sonic is about the freedom to go wherever the wind carries him and much of the cast follows that mentality in some shape or form.

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2 minutes ago, JezMM said:

Tbh this concept, to me, just feels like another variation on the age-old "attempts at story in Sonic have been bad, so let's just nuke the entire concept and not have a story".

People like the existing characters and want to see Sonic Team try to make them interesting and relevant to the plots.  The issue is not that Sonic Team are trying and failing, it's that they're barely even trying.

To be entirely fair, they have tried in the past and were still met with scorn. So they just don't care anymore.

 

 

As for OP. Eh, while some characters would leave an impression (Shadow and Knuckles come to mind), others would just be up and forgotten about. I guess you could say some of the characters wouldn't be maligned and therefore less bloat to worry about, but Sonic Team themselves just don't seem to be too enthusiastic about the series anymore so we'd probably still end up where we are today, just that nobody would be complaining about the bloat of characters, and that's only a small issue in the grand scheme of things.

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Mario games are full of recurring characters and there's no problem. Why? Because:

1) Most of them only appear on certain games (Wario, the Koopalinks, Waluigi, etc).

2) Plots in Mario aren't unnecessarily complex. 

This sounds much better to me than removing actually cool characters like Knuckles or Shadow. The anime style of Sonic adventures, together with some inability from Sega to make it work, has ruined great characters like Knuckles (who was a villain first, another hero after, and some dumb who makes no sense as a guardian from there).

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It seems like the issue is more that many characters aren't really devised with an idea in mind of how exactly they would work if brought back; they're written for a single story and then brought back inappropriately.  If Sonic Team had written some of these characters with the idea in mind that they might return anyway, one likes to imagine it might be a more organic process.  If that were the case, though, we might criticise them for assuming or effectively demanding a character's popularity before they'd really been tested, so it's a difficult position, really.  Whether a character will be popular enough to return isn't something you can necessarily predict while writing.  But if it's a fair and natural problem to have, we can nonetheless say that Sonic Team hasn't been very good at justifying character returns narratively.

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As long as they didn't die I'm fine with them being brought back.

It's how they brought back that's important. I notice Sonic Team will develop a character relatively well once or twice and then just lose where to take them next after that.

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Well, it's been 7 years already with the focus put on Sonic, Tails, and Eggman only, with occasional appearances of Knuckles and Amy. It wouldn't hurt to see the extended cast more. I'm a bit sick of seeing just the main five characters around.  

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No. I like the cast we got and I want them to be more prominent in the games. 

3 hours ago, JezMM said:

Tbh this concept, to me, just feels like another variation on the age-old "attempts at story in Sonic have been bad, so let's just nuke the entire concept and not have a story".

People like the existing characters and want to see Sonic Team try to make them interesting and relevant to the plots.  The issue is not that Sonic Team are trying and failing, it's that they're barely even trying.

Which is why I jumped to the comics.

5 hours ago, Swing said:

The huge Sonic cast feels at this point really unnecessary. Sorry to be so harsh, but if Forces showed me anything, than that almost all of the recurring characters from previous games have absolutely no right be exist anymore after their debut. Their is just no place for them in the story anymore. I think it would be better, if we just have a very small cast of Sonic, (maybe Tails), Eggman (and maybe with Orbot and Cubot) and a new character or a bunch of new characters for just one game, like Sonic Team did with Chip and Prof. Pickles in Unleashed. 

 

If I got anything from Forces it's that the other characters could work if the team actually gave a damn. The reason I haven't bought a Sonic game in years was because I got bored of the small cast with everyone else not doing anything. Sonic, Tails and Eggman alone are not enough for me and I pray that the comics don't follow suit.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

As long as they didn't die I'm fine with them being brought back.

It's how they brought back that's important. I notice Sonic Team will develop a character relatively well once or twice and then just lose where to take them next after that.

Usually because they don't accommodate for that character beyond their first appearance. So they just half ass it and throw said character in just because regardless if they fit or not because they wanted an extra playable character.

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I think the core cast should be Sonic (the hero) & Tails (the sidekick) with Eggman (the villain) and Orbot & Cubot (the cronies), characters like Amy (comic relief) and Metal Sonic (the dragon) should be frequently recurring characters, and most other characters should be less frequently recurring.

Knuckles (the friendly rival) should only have a part when the Master Emerald is involved, and the Chaos Emeralds should bring that up for him now and then (examples include appearances in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Adventure, Adventure 2, Rivals, Advance 3)

Shadow should not have been brought back after his "death" in Adventure 2, his return ruined the awesome ending for his character. They could have addressed some of his past in flashbacks in a game where he could be made relevant again (including some last gameplay as the character).

Rouge and the Chaotix make good props to move a story along but should not be overused. I'm surprised Forces did not do more with the Chaotix's detective skills in finding out the secret to Infinite's power.

Most other characters should be one and done.

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I really don't get why people do not want Knuckles around. When was the last time in the main games we saw him guarding the Master Emerald? He's a main character anyway, and being one of Sonic's best buds (even though they don't like admitting it), he should be there. He hasn't fought Sonic in a long time either (and when he did in the past, it was usually because he had been tricked).

Their rivalry is more of a play between the two, they can tease and joke with each other, but in the end there's nothing really intense, and I honestly prefer seeing Knux going on adventures with his friends than just watching over a gem and do nothing else unless required by the game's plot.

Shadow and Metal, on the contrary, are much more interesting antagonists, considering they match and equal Sonic in every aspect, including his speed, and are the only ones who have come close to defeating him.

 

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15 minutes ago, FairPlay said:

I really don't get why people do not want Knuckles around. When was the last time in the main games we saw him guarding the Master Emerald? He's a main character anyway, and being one of Sonic's best buds (even though they don't like admitting it), he should be there. He hasn't fought Sonic in a long time either (and when he did in the past, it was usually because he had been tricked).

Their rivalry is more of a play between the two, they can tease and joke with each other, but in the end there's nothing really intense, and I honestly prefer seeing Knux going on adventures with his friends than just watching over a gem and do nothing else unless required by the game's plot.

Shadow and Metal, on the contrary, are much more interesting antagonists, considering they match and equal Sonic in every aspect, including his speed, and are the only ones who have come close to defeating him. Neither of them have shown a friendly attitude to Sonic, either.

 

After whining you actually said the reason.

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26 minutes ago, FairPlay said:

I really don't get why people do not want Knuckles around. When was the last time in the main games we saw him guarding the Master Emerald? He's a main character anyway, and being one of Sonic's best buds (even though they don't like admitting it), he should be there. He hasn't fought Sonic in a long time either (and when he did in the past, it was usually because he had been tricked).

Their rivalry is more of a play between the two, they can tease and joke with each other, but in the end there's nothing really intense, and I honestly prefer seeing Knux going on adventures with his friends than just watching over a gem and do nothing else unless required by the game's plot.

Shadow and Metal, on the contrary, are much more interesting antagonists, considering they match and equal Sonic in every aspect, including his speed, and are the only ones who have come close to defeating him.

 

Its not so much whether Knuckles should be around or not, but rather whenever he is, he's usually doing things on his own and when he is teaming up with Sonic, he's not accomplishing much. 

He spends most of Sonic Adventure off on his own quest while Sonic & Tails are off stopping Eggman, and in Sonic Adventure 2, he's not even apart of the main plot until roughly halfway into the story. And even then, his subplot is by far the least relevant of all of the ongoing subplots.

So then you have games like Sonic Heroes where he is a main character from start to finish, but he's not doing much. But Heroes` sucks plotwise anyway. And after that, he's not really relevant anymore. Doesn't do crap in Generations aside from talk. He's a minor supporting character in Lost World, despite being the leader of the resistance, doesn't do much either in Forces.

 

Basically, they basically treat Knuckles like every other supporting character nowadays. That is to say, he's wholly secondary to whatever Sonic & Tails are doing. So him being one of Sonic's friends seems to have been nixed.

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I find it funny how Mario's extended cast appears more often, is slowly being incorporated into his main series, and is becoming known for resurrecting obscurer characters from its history - and yet Sonic's cast's lifespan is routinely questioned.

I agree the cast needs to be used effectively, but depending on the game I think all of the regular tertiary cast has the potential to contribute in one way or another. I think the cast is too diverse to keep doing this "everybody or nobody" design they adopted since Heroes basically.

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1 hour ago, Darth InVaders said:

I think the core cast should be Sonic (the hero) & Tails (the sidekick) with Eggman (the villain) and Orbot & Cubot (the cronies), characters like Amy (comic relief) and Metal Sonic (the dragon) should be frequently recurring characters, and most other characters should be less frequently recurring.

Knuckles (the friendly rival) should only have a part when the Master Emerald is involved, and the Chaos Emeralds should bring that up for him now and then (examples include appearances in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Adventure, Adventure 2, Rivals, Advance 3)

Shadow should not have been brought back after his "death" in Adventure 2, his return ruined the awesome ending for his character. They could have addressed some of his past in flashbacks in a game where he could be made relevant again (including some last gameplay as the character).

Rouge and the Chaotix make good props to move a story along but should not be overused. I'm surprised Forces did not do more with the Chaotix's detective skills in finding out the secret to Infinite's power.

Most other characters should be one and done.

I can agree on just about everything except Knuckles and Metal.

Knuckles is unfortunately the example people tend to default to on this topic when he's actually one of the more flexible characters when it truly comes to the issue. Yes, being the Guardian of Master Emerald means he actually has something important to do when he's offscreen compared to other characters, but for better or worse, I feel like there's a little too much emphasis on that aspect--he's also a treasure hunter,a heroic neutral, and a headbutting buddy of Sonic's after all. Given that Angel Island has been shown/implied to periodically travel around the worlds, the Master Emerald is hypothetically seldom too far away from him for comfort and it's really easy to just handwave away why he's gotten comfortable leaving it in a serialized way. This is probably part of the reason why the comics and to an extent Sonic X tended to get better mileage out of his character.

Metal is only something of an exception because he's a specific robot created by Eggman rather than a true character in his own right. Like most of the debated characters, he was created for the purpose of a single game--to kidnap Amy as an opportunity to draw in Sonic and possibly travel through time to help Eggman with [whatever] his plan [was]. It's telling that all but 4 of the games he reappeared in were basically throwbacks(one of which more or less explaining why this is so) and multiplayer appearances. And there have been multiple robot Sonics over the years--he only got to show up the most because of his popularity and slightly bigger role.

 

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Honestly, the fact that a character is written badly is the fault of the writers, and not necessarily the character's fault. 

Also, wouldn't the whole "One-day character" thing even further EXPAND the "problem" that is Sonic having a large cast? Like, sure, if Sega wouldn't be able to use Knuckles or Shadow, so they'll create ANOTHER CHARACTER for the same role, and then this character will become just a mere cheerleader, like in Generations.

Not to mention that having the same characters written well into the gameplay and/or story isn't necessarily a bad thing: it just has to be done well. 

As for the "Sonic and Eggman like in the classics" argument... There's literally only one game in the series where there's only Sonic and Eggman, and that's Sonic 1. Every other classic Sonic game introduced in new characters like there was no tomorrow. Heck, most of the Modern characters are just slightly redesigned versions of the Classic ones.

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Bad writing doesn't mean bad or even unnecessary characters, it means bad writing. Because if forces is a barometer , everyone including sonic is unnecessary.

Along with that, I like the characters, well most of em, so... I would rather have them around. More often than not, personally 

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