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Fan Attitudes to Eggman

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42 minutes ago, A crocodile said:

Tom and Jerry are masters of dismemberment and torture, doing unspeakably horrible acts to one another constantly. Within the universe this is the main conflict and the parameters of the universe in question create the required amount of seriousness. They suffer things that would kill a normal organism but always come out of it with a comedic scream or all crusty and black with angry eyes. It is these parameters that make Tom and Jerry a comedy and not a dark survivor work or something. Their fights are extremely intense within the context of the universe but it always comes out funny due to how the universe works. 

Dr. Eggman in the Mega Drive games is a eccentric scientist who powers robots with flowers and rabbits and usually is grinning wildly. This is extremely silly to the audience but in-universe he is a large threat. He wants the whole world to admire him and he'll do whatever it takes to get there. He looks very silly but to Sonic's world at whole he is dangerous. Sonic doesn't take him very seriously either but that's how Sonic rolls. AoStH takes this to the most extreme level with Robotnik trying to destroy cities and all sorts of destructive and murderous plans which in-universe makes him very dangerous and evil but he is portrayed as ten levels of ridiculous because the universe is a humorous one. SatAM is the other way, with Robotnik's plans having explicitly very serious implications since that's how the universe works and so actions we think of as dark are portrayed as dark as that is how the universe works. 

Every piece of fiction has a set number of parameters for how actions are interpreted within it and how the audience interprets them. Dark universes will take what we think of as dark and play them as dark to the audience while cartoons will take what we think of as dark and make it humorous top the audience as it is comedically inclined. The implications of actions varies from world to world both in universe and how the audience will take them. That's why fiction is so varied. 

I think this post helps put things into context. The thing with Sonic... more precisely, Modern Sonic, is that there were never any set parameters since this particular interpretation of the franchise experienced quite the tonal shifts between games, some of which were pretty drastic, like from SA2 to Heroes and then to StH. Even to this very day the issue persists with how Forces felt like an attempt to go back to a more SA2-styled storytelling that was even hailed for being written in Japan during development.

Sometimes I get the feeling that young fans, particularly those who are exposed to anime, are the ones that ask for the Sonic franchise to be turned into something else that panders to their interests and preferences... and the same can be said about characters because they focus more on how they want them to be (like when people say "make Eggman more threatening", ignoring that in-universe, almost every character consider him to be exactly that: a threat) and refuse to accept the way the characters are meant to be. It's almost like asking for Wile E. Coyote to be more competent or evil without realizing how said changes would alter the formula of the show.

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2 minutes ago, Skull Leader said:

I think this post helps put things into context. The thing with Sonic... more precisely, Modern Sonic, is that there were never any set parameters since this particular interpretation of the franchise experienced quite the tonal shifts between games, some of which were pretty drastic, like from SA2 to Heroes and then to StH. Even to this very day the issue persists with how Forces felt like an attempt to go back to a more SA2-styled storytelling that was even hailed for being written in Japan during development.

Sometimes I get the feeling that young fans, particularly those who are exposed to anime, are the ones that ask for the Sonic franchise to be turned into something else that panders to their interests and preferences... and the same can be said about characters because they focus more on how they want them to be (like when people say "make Eggman more threatening", ignoring that in-universe, almost every character consider him to be exactly that: a threat) and refuse to accept the way the characters are meant to be. It's almost like asking for Wile E. Coyote to be more competent or evil without realizing how said changes would alter the formula of the show.

What? No!.... Tonal shift has nothing to do with that, since Sonic 1, Eggman was never a Wily E. Coyote, he is a villain that wants to take over the world, put his face everywhere, and make everyone his slaves, again, he is silly, but so is Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy VI. Eggman is just less of a psycho and more of a goofball.

Also just saying right now I don't want Eggman to be something that he isn't, I'm perfectly fine with how he is in games like the classics, Mania or the modern games (With exception of Forces....), but really? We are supposed to think that he is a Looney Tunes villain? Nah, the series was and still is action adventure to beginning to end. Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry is slapstick comedy.

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4 minutes ago, JosepHenry said:

since Sonic 1, Eggman was never a Wily E. Coyote

An intelligent but somewhat bumbling character uses ridiculous devices that inevitably blow up in his face in his attempts to best his speedy animal opponent...

Yeah actually Eggman is incredibly Wile E. Coyote. His ambitions are bigger, obviously, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's supposed to be taken seriously; you could accurately say that Wile E. is trying to kill and eat another sentient being, which would be horrific in a realistic situation, but that's not how it's presented. It's pure slapstick comedy, where we all know the coyote is never going to actually win, and the worst that's ever going to happen is some embarrassing and painful (but ultimately harmless) karmic retribution enacted on him.

And I don't mean to say that Sonic is operating on exactly the same wavelength as the Road Runner cartoons; it is more of an action series, with the villain being the antagonist rather than the protagonist, and that Eggman is less often hoist by his own petard means that Sonic has to act to stop him compared to the coyote's failure being a fundamental constant of the series. But there is definitely a significant degree of similarity between the two, especially in the early games.

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Hello, I am an example of a fan of the first Dark Age of the series, but not the second. I personally believe that yes, Robotnik should be menacing. If he isn’t, he works a little better as a warm-up bad guy or patsy for another villain. This is one thing a game like Lost World gets wrong. The whole time I speculated there was a bigger villain lurking behind the parade of comical ones. A comical Eggman works fine, moreso in lower-stakes games, something which Colors got right. I never got why people don’t really want him to be too different from the likes of Grunty and Cortex. 

 

Let’s get this straight. Robotnik is, in my opinion, a SPECIESIST villain. Notice the difference in how he treats a human and Mobian prisoner. The Mobian (Amy, a 12-year-old!) is kept in a dank, cramped cell behind iron bars, the human is in a nice and clean cell with a glass window. He’s above starving and torturing a human, but he tortured a Mobian (sonic) for six months, and electrocuted Knuckles. Any Mobian, like the aforementioned Knuckles, who dared work under him, risked death. He’s shown in Forces to be more than willing to genocide the Mobians, but humans? The worst they get is subjugation as opposed to genocide. He reminds me of Christopher Columbus that way. 

 

I also grew grew up with all sorts of Sonic media including the games, the comics, and the dolls. Because I love the dolls so much; I figured anyone willing to harm such cuddly things was vile.  Sonic 2 Game Gear’s ending reinforces to me that this was a world where good people could die horrific and unjustified deaths, unlike Mario or SpongeBob or stuff like that. I always lumped this series more with BIONICLE, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Digimon, and the like, than Mario. Especially due to the comics and shows. I also used to kinda like a comical direction for the series for a bit, but Lost World soured me on that. 

 

His bouncing about in tone actually makes him more eerie, in that one minute he could be inept but the next slowly torturing you.  This could actually be made interesting.

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I don't think Eggman is the type that discriminates based on species. If anything, I'd dare to say that the good old doc is the most politically correct character in the whole franchises: he despises everyone else equally.

If he locked Amy and the little bird into a rusty old cell, it's because that was the only thing available at the moment. I'm pretty sure he would had done the same to Professor Pickles if not because how he moved to better equiped installations... Though that didn't mean that he would torture the old geezer by serving him half-assed sammiches, for such is the evil of Dr. Eggman.

The part of him getting upstaged by supposedly more "menacing", yet ultimately dull and uninteresting characters is IMO more something that has to do with Sonic Team being Sonic Team with their typical and questionable decisions rather than the doc not being up to cause some havok.

Remember than in the OVA, he was willing to wipe out all life on Freedom Planet just to later repopulate it (with some "assistance" from Sera) with a superior, more magnificent breed of babies that would be gifted with such a fine and masculine piece of facial hair as soon as they were born. Or how about Unleashed, where he cracks open the entire planet like an egg, releasing some god-demon monster thing that he would use to power his very own amusement park simply because he despises making lines just as much as sharing those attractions and rides with others.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Hello, I am an example of a fan of the first Dark Age if the series, but not the second. I personally believe that yes, Robotnik should be menacing. If he isn’t, he works a little better as a warm-up bad guy or patsy for another villain. This is one thing a game like Lost World gets wrong. The whole time I speculated there was a bigger villain lurking behind the parade of comical ones.  

 

Well, there was Zavok and partially Zik.

Also, to be fair, Eggman himself isn't really that comedic in Lost World--it's mainly Sonic, Cubot, and Zomom causing the wackiness in his scenes.

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You know what?

I've found the Eggman from Mania Adventures to be pretty eh. It's almost like Boom. While I don't really like a fully comedic and incompetent Eggman, I do accept it inside the Boom universe because the show is supposed to be some kind of weird comedy since the beginning though.

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5 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

Let’s get this straight. Robotnik is, in my opinion, a SPECIESIST villain. Notice the difference in how he treats a human and Mobian prisoner. The Mobian (Amy, a 12-year-old!) is kept in a dank, cramped cell behind iron bars, the human is in a nice and clean cell with a glass window. He’s above starving and torturing a human, but he tortured a Mobian (sonic) for six months, and electrocuted Knuckles. Any Mobian, like the aforementioned Knuckles, who dared work under him, risked death. He’s shown in Forces to be more than willing to genocide the Mobians, but humans? The worst they get is subjugation as opposed to genocide. He reminds me of Christopher Columbus that way.

I don't think we have enough examples of Robotnik having humans at his mercy (or Columbus having Spaniards at his mercy, for that matter).

Skull Leader helped me remember Professor Pickle as a prisoner in Unleashed. But when comparing him to Amy in CD or Adventure, there are just so many differences in circumstance... not least of which being they are different games from very different eras. In comparison, I'd argue that Robotnik treats Sonic Adventure Amy much more comfortably than Sonic CD Amy!

I'd also think his willingness to bomb Station Square shows a willingness to genocide humans.

Is there an example of a single game/show where he interacts with humans and mobians, but treats the humans much better? Maybe in Sonic X (which I've never watched)?

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Once upon a time, I wanted a pure menace of an evil man out of Eggman. But now, it's just unnecessary.

It works for SatAM, and Robotnik is great there in his own rights. But Eggman? The comical villain who is still very dangerous? Never could I see him reach levels of being so cruel to others.

 

Let me bring up a great example Eggman should definitely take from, his name is Dr. Nefarious. A big time robot villain from Ratchet and Clank, and still very humorous. He's obsessed with a soap opera which he plays audio excerpts of when he malfunctions. He plays video games in his spare time. He keeps screaming at his butler, Lawrence, and has his signature scream of "ANNIHILATE THEM!"

But that doesn't detract from the fact that he is incredibly dangerous, and everyone else in-universe treats him as such. He tried turning all organic people in the galaxy into robots, and even tried to get robots to kill anyone who was still organic. He tried to turn back time so that every heroic victory, no matter the hero, was undone, so that villains would always come out on top. He even tried to send a dwarf star into a a very explosive planet to blow up a solar system with billions of innocents in it.

So as humorous and fun as Dr. Nefarious is, he's still a force not to be taken lightly.

If Eggman was more like that, I'd enjoy that much more. Wacky and full of himself, but still a menace to the world nonetheless. Like SA2, I guess. Scratching his arse while watching the news and panicking over losing control of one of his goons one moment, blowing up half the moon and threatening to blow up all of Earth as well the next.

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5 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

I don't think we have enough examples of Robotnik having humans at his mercy (or Columbus having Spaniards at his mercy, for that matter).

Skull Leader helped me remember Professor Pickle as a prisoner in Unleashed. But when comparing him to Amy in CD or Adventure, there are just so many differences in circumstance... not least of which being they are different games from very different eras. In comparison, I'd argue that Robotnik treats Sonic Adventure Amy much more comfortably than Sonic CD Amy!

I'd also think his willingness to bomb Station Square shows a willingness to genocide humans.

Is there an example of a single game/show where he interacts with humans and mobians, but treats the humans much better? Maybe in Sonic X (which I've never watched)?

Eggman’s missile against the city was a last resort after losing his other assets. This isn’t like Forces, where he gleefully attacks Mobian victims with his devices.

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Come to think of it, what is technically the game where Eggman is the LEAST of a threat, not so much by scope as by nature?

8 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

This isn’t like Forces, where he allows his Mobian victims to be tortured and gleefully arranges to drop a sun on them.

Fixed.

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I like him better as a mix of serious and silly. I like seeing him have a transition of being threatening and hilarious, it really gives a vibe that he’s totally insane when he has a mix of both traits, kind of like The Joker.

I thought his portrayal in Sonic Unleashed was one of the best in the series. His plans and motifs were dastardly, yet he still had some funny lines and moments.

I thought Sonic Forces had it all wrong. They tried too hard to make him intimidating, yet lacked to show anything that made him a real threat. He just decided to try melting the world under the sun for no reason, despite already having the world under his control like he wanted.

I don’t recall laughing at Eggman at all in Sonic Forces. I couldn’t take Eggman seriously with how try hard and inconsistent he was.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Eggman’s missile against the city was a last resort after losing his other assets.

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

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2 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

Eggman’s missile against the city was a last resort after losing his other assets. This isn’t like Forces, where he gleefully attacks Mobian victims with his devices.

35 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

Heck, in the next game he was seconds away from destroying the entire United Federation with the Eclipse Cannon!

1 hour ago, SpongicX said:

I thought Sonic Forces had it all wrong. They tried too hard to make him intimidating, yet lacked to show anything that made him a real threat. He just decided to try melting the world under the sun for no reason, despite already having the world under his control like he wanted.

I don’t recall laughing at Eggman at all in Sonic Forces. I couldn’t take Eggman seriously with how try hard and inconsistent he was.

I don't know... he might not have done much maniacal laughter, but he had an awful lot of evil gloating moments which were pretty classic Eggman, particularly his final mech speech.

I'd argue that Eggman's threat in Forces came from a combination of Infinite's powers and the fact that he now has a whole empire behind him; he does also have the whole 'in 3 days I win!' mystery threat in the background, with the whole sun melting thing a way to take out the resistance in one fell stroke without destroying the world (as the illusion would only affect living creatures and things that can think, like Omega).

While it definitely could have been written and implemented significantly better, the Resistance does have quite a tough time gradually beating him back in increments.

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33 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

Ch'yeah, pretty much. 

In fact, I think the Egg Carrier was meant to help back up Perfect Chaos.

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38 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

Yeah, and the missile was the more desperate, blunt, last resort option.

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13 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

He’s above starving and torturing a human, but he tortured a Mobian (sonic) for six months, and electrocuted Knuckles.. 

 

But Sonic wasn’t tortured, that “torture” line wasn’t in the Japanese script.

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41 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

I thought you thought of him as being more or less like Plankton, right? 

 

But I agree leveling a city of his own kind to gain respect is pretty nasty, let alone blowing up a capital nation. But the Mobian city he attacked didn’t seem to have that much significance compared to the human cities he strikes. Honestly, his kidnapping of Vanilla and Cream seems closer to a hate crime than a major act of terrorism. They didn’t seem to be important persons, so why did he capture them? 

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14 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

They didn’t seem to be important persons, so why did he capture them? 

Cause they happened to be in the prairie, I guess.

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5 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Yes, his other assets, like Chaos, who he intended to use to...destroy Station Square.

Destroying a human-populated city was always the plan.

Was "Eggmanland" always planned to be a carnival, as of SA1? Or was it originally more like an Egg Empire with a weird English translation?

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8 hours ago, Polkadi said:

It works for SatAM, and Robotnik is great there in his own rights. But Eggman? The comical villain who is still very dangerous? Never could I see him reach levels of being so cruel to others.

Funny thing is, games!Eggman can be pretty cruel without even trying, since that comes not from him being a sadist, but with the way he simply doesn't care nor considers others (almost like how spoiled children can be cruel), which was best shown with the way he disposed of the E-series that failed to find Froggy. To him, he was simply relocating some pieces of hardware that failed to meet his expectation. To E-102 Gamma... it was the kind of traumatic thing that made a stormtrooper leave the First Order.

8 hours ago, Polkadi said:

It works for SatAM, and Robotnik is great there in his own rights. But Eggman? The comical villain who is still very dangerous? Never could I see him reach levels of being so cruel to others.

Funny thing is, games!Eggman can be pretty cruel without even trying, since that comes not from him being a sadist, but with the way he simply doesn't care nor considers others (almost like how spoiled children can be cruel), which was best shown with the way he disposed of the E-series that failed to find Froggy. To him, he was simply relocating some pieces of hardware that failed to meet his expectation. To E-102 Gamma... it was the kind of traumatic thing that made a stormtrooper leave the First Order.

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On 5/8/2018 at 11:25 AM, FFWF said:

...I now increasingly think that Sonic's story doesn't translate well from its abstract and cartoony origins in the jump to 3D and high production values.  Once you add dialogue and more developed storylines, it seems increasingly clear that the charm of the original collapses in the face of concessions to conventional storytelling.  Perhaps they should've taken the Mario route and remained silent.  Or at least tried to retain some consistency, rather than swiftly handing off the storytelling to writers who one can only presume were not big fans of Sonic but just couldn't break into anime.

There's something about this post that has really struck me, since I think I agree with your claim. 

Sonic, Eggman, and the world they inhabit is incredibly distinctive, and it should be incredibly clear that it is very easy to misinterpret the original style, either intentionally or unintentionally. I am starting to wonder if there is something about the original SoJ stuff that requires a degree of minimalism to work properly. What I mean by minimalism I think is avoiding trying to put these odd concepts into the box of "conventional storytelling", as you put it. 

Now I don't know if this is something as black and white as having dialogue or not, but it is true that a lot of the more complicated and developed storylines start to misconstrue the atmosphere of the Mega Drive games wildly, and Sonic and Eggman's positions start to feel different than what they are meant to be. Even the purposefully simpler ones like Colours and Lost World don't get it very right either.

It's not a game, but Man of the Year is one of the few times where you get a genuine Sonic vibe from it. The conflict there is strictly through the context of Sonic and Eggman's perspectives of each other and what they seek (although obviously it's mostly focusing on Eggman). We see Eggman's lunacy, Sonic's cockiness and it drives the actions of each other. The stakes are relatively very low there and the plot is simple as well which helps give it the Sonic vibe. This is something I'm going to have to think about. 

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To be fair, Sonic Adventure is almost nothing like the original games except for its music (and even that can be very different). The gameplay is completely different, the art style is far more realistic and the game's tone is far more serious and anime. I always saw Sonic Adventure has the hardest reboot the franchise has ever seen. And while I do really like Adventure, I think it's pretty self-evident that it was a huge step back from the original games.

As far as I'm concerned, the Eggman from Adventure is heavily based upon the Robotnik that was used in the American cartoons and merchandise. Because come to think about it, Eggman is hardly ever funny in the Adventure games aside from a few moments, while he's constantly ridiculous and silly in the classic games. 

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I don't know, accounting for technologial limitations Adventure One Eggman was damn silly. I'm convinced that any signs he was ever more "menacing" or "serious" than in the Genesis days really came more from Deem Bristow's voice-acting. He's even sent flying by Perfect Chaos.

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