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What are some missed opportunities in the Sonic franchise?

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On ‎12‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:49 AM, Scape said:

I just figured having 4 characters on one side and 3 on the other would be awkward

Considering the whole design decision gameplay-wise was to make the characters parallels to each other you'd pretty much have to make Amy play like Metal (Sonic with permanent shield abilities and minor hovering I'd guess) since her hammer gameplay had not yet become iconic/synonymous with her at that time. Honestly, I'm all for that as it would play into the mystical/magic aspect of her character (to anyone arguing magic she had a flying carpet as a stage in Sonic the Fighters and that thing is straight up magic) and would have been another gameplay style that was fast paced like Sonic and Shadow. Of course, now you have me wondering how different would Amy be today if something like that would have been explored back then.

On ‎12‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 9:35 AM, DabigRG said:

wasn't there a rumor about how he was originally supposed to be the one fighting the Biolizard?

Never heard that rumor myself, though I'm curious how it would have been implemented.

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13 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

 

Never heard that rumor myself, though I'm curious how it would have been implemented.

I imagine Eggman would've signaled him to their aid since Shadow wasn't planning on helping .

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7 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

I imagine Eggman would've signaled him to their aid since Shadow wasn't planning on helping .

Now you've got me imagining Super Sonic and Metal Sonic teamed up for the final boss battle 😅
Though strangely I can see that working better for Metal getting his lust for power in Heroes.

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3 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:

Now you've got me imagining Super Sonic and Metal Sonic teamed up for the final boss battle 😅

Huh.

Also, wasn't Shadow gonna be the final boss at one point?

3 minutes ago, Sonic Fan J said:


Though strangely I can see that working better for Metal getting his lust for power in Heroes.

Oh, good point.

Actually, wouldn't it be something if HE was the robot Eggman set to catch Shadow?

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3 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Also, wasn't Shadow gonna be the final boss at one point?

That I could have easily seen working with the way his story plays out.

4 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Actually, wouldn't it be something if HE was the robot Eggman set to catch Shadow?

Now you're talking about the possibility of cool little continuity nods that would have added a lot of depth to the Sonic Heroes story and explain why Metal would have known about Shadow. Since I can get behind that and even imagine Metal himself leaking Shadow's location to GUN resulting in Rouge finding him and getting him into the action to record his data live I'm definitely for that.

Boy does this franchise have a lot of missed opportunities 😅

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On 12/20/2018 at 8:23 AM, Gumbit said:

Missing opportunities is something fundamental in this franchise .

But only for the later games do fans eventually write them off as bad ideas either way. 

 

Lost Hex could have been explored in more detail, with moments to catch glimpses of what general life is like there. More glimpses of the planet’s fauna, ruins, and civilization. Why does the place, a far-off Lost realm, resemble Westside Island so much, right down to the large-scale casino area? Is there supposed to be a connection?  If so, this would have been a great opportunity to bring in the Hidden Palace once again. Just imagine breaking through the floor of Lava Mountain to find it, perhaps changing your loyalties from Eggman to the Zeti, two equally abhorrent parties.

 

Heck, the multi-morality system of Shadow could have worked here. Pick Eggman or the Zeti to side with! Obviously siding with neither would ultimately be the heroic choice. What were the Zeti going to do with all that energy, to begin with, and why is Eggman so cool with ruling a lifeless rock? A lot of websites suggest “destroy the world with it”, so were the Zeti going to obliterate the planet? Sonic should have also called Eggman out on his hypocrisy and disregard for life in the climax. Would a mention of Gerald or Nega to his face have ended things faster?  

Why were there a handful of utterly disjointed locales on the Hex? 

One day, I gotta do a review of this game and explain why it irks me so.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Lost Hex could have been explored in more detail, with moments to catch glimpses of what general life is like there. More glimpses of the planet’s fauna, ruins, and civilization. 

What's interesting is that, in addition to Zavok alluding to the idea that there are other Zeti once, Eggman threatens him and Zazz by claiming he'll burn their worlds. Worlds, being the keyword there.

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Why does the place, a far-off Lost realm, resemble Westside Island so much, right down to the large-scale casino area? Is there supposed to be a connection?  If so, this would have been a great opportunity to bring in the Hidden Palace once again.

 I mentioned this numerous times before, but there was something I read once that claimed the Lox Hex was made of various pieces that broke off from Sonic's World a long time ago. But I cannot, for the life of me, find where and what official sources I've checked only refers to it as the "Continent of Illusions."

 

Don't know about Hidden Palace being a thing in that game, though.

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Just imagine breaking through the floor of Lava Mountain to find it, perhaps changing your loyalties from Eggman to the Zeti, two equally abhorrent parties.

 

Heck, the multi-morality system of Shadow could have worked here. Pick Eggman or the Zeti to side with! Obviously siding with neither would ultimately be the heroic choice.

Mm...I mean, I guess it'd be a neat idea, but nah. Both ultimately needed to be stopped via shutting down(and ideally dismantling) the Extractor. 

 

Also, that would involve them changing the way the game works to, as you said, be more in line with Shadow and/or Chronicles in a way that most games can't be expected to do. Sonic is primarily a platformer, after all.

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

What were the Zeti going to do with all that energy, to begin with, and why is Eggman so cool with ruling a lifeless rock? A lot of websites suggest “destroy the world with it”, so were the Zeti going to obliterate the planet?

That's exactly what they were gonna let happen.

Zavok wanted a special way to get revenge on Eggman(you know, beyond just eating him) and using his own invention to destroy what they understood to be his world below was the perfect way to do it, especially since the Deadly Six would be able to become more powerful in the process.

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Sonic should have also called Eggman out on his hypocrisy and disregard for life in the climax. Would a mention of Gerald or Nega to his face have ended things faster?  

 

Yeah and doubtful. 

Looking back, Eggman's generally been a bit of one about that type of thing; he'll do whatever to the world as long as there's still one for his conquer and rule.

Bringing up Gerald might stun him for a moment, but he could always just repeat the distinction that he didn't want to destroy the world to begin with--just use some of it's energy to help him conquer it.

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

 

Why were there a handful of utterly disjointed locales on the Hex? 

 

Because it's a collective "world" unto itself.

 

1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

 

One day, I gotta do a review of this game and explain why it irks me so.

That'd be a more interesting use of some of your quibbling, yes.

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So one thing that stuck out to me even when they were first shown off was the idea that the Deadly Six were intentionally designed and written to actually be manageable characters that could potentially be brought back for recurring appearances.

  • They have relatively short statures in comparison to previous villains and  monsters of the week. Master Zik and Zor are the most obvious in this regard, as they manage to be considerably shorter than Sonic himself. But most tellingly is Zavok himself--buff and stock with particularly massive horns and an occasionally long coiling tail, he officially only comes up to 5'1. Only Zomom manages to just eclipse Eggman, which isn't much considering he's 90% slouching fat himself with practically no legs.
  • Their characterizations, while somewhat infamously archetypal if not stereotypical for the most part, are relatively grounded and simple to understand. This makes more in line with that of some of the recurring Sonic cast, with Espio being the best example I can think of. 
  • Their powersets and aesthetics have general motifs to them, though it's also possible some were probably an extension of the environment they were fought in: the proud  warrior Zavok can handblast and spit fireball like energy, generate lazers from his mouth, and can manifest his "full strength" by transforming into a giant, though he prefers to engage in [oddly non-martial arts based] fisticuffs; the sagely Master Zik has telekinesis(and by extension dendro kinesis & lachanikokinesis), as well as some form of ki-based hand blasts to use as preference(which I'll get to in a bit);  the gloomy Zor uses a dark energy style that's apparently considered taboo enough that the others refuse to use them and oddly the one Zeti shown to potentially control animals; on the other hand, crazy Zazz, fat Zomom and dolled Zeena's exact powers outside of physical combat are a bit dubious due to how they were sent out, but the latter show some ability to use their respective environments to their advantage.
  • This can even go as far as the fact that, at least going by the Japanese version, "The Deadly Six" isn't even their official group name--it's apparently one Eggman came up with himself, which would [further] justify why they never refer to themselves as such.  And given that the English version references this name in bios of their subsequent appearances, it's possible that this could be rationalize as them claiming the name for their own. 

Indeed, a number of things about their presentation in Lost World shows them with the premise of likely being in the "new" when it comes to Sonic's World proper.

However, there is one thing in particular that I want to highlight for the moment: their power levels. In addition to the powersets I mentioned above, an innate about the Zeti throughout the story is their seeming electromagnetic enhancement from machinery; as part of their enslavement into the Eggman Empire, most of them were given a specially made mech that helps to [further?] hone their abilities and/or appeals to their preference.

As both the story and game goes on, however, it becomes clear that some of the Zeti have an opportunistic desire to become more powerful and potentially improve capabilities without robots. While this exact purpose is sought out and capitalized on by Zavok while looking for attributes in Eggman to exploit, this can also be indirectly observed through the consecutive [Wii U] boss fights: each Zeti attacks Sonic using the mech as designed at first, but later decide to either use them in very forceful ways or scrap them entirely in favor of going more involved personally. And Master Zik notably doesn't even entertain machinery--he simply goes to "test" Sonic himself using giant fruit from his garden and then using Ki while trying to keep a distance from the hedgehog between planetoids, making his boss fight more physical dynamic than the others.

After the Zeti break free from Eggman's control thanks to Sonic's haste, Zavok allows the Extractor to go into overload to drain the world below of life, Master Zik comes up with the idea to turn Sonic(or later, Tails) into a robotic slave using what they've learned from Eggman, and the Zeti consume some of world's energy to make themselves stronger, which seems to allow Zazz & Zomom to unlock their Ki abilities, makes Zor seemingly impervious to direct damage, and makes some of the Zeti behave more viciously than before. While these details and their visuals were nice for adding a little bit more credence to the story, I feel like some of the actual boss fights should've been harder to help get the point across better; maybe give them more health and have the auto-homing attack be a little more conditional in places.

To wrap this up, there are a few questions that have been asked by a few people regarding this ambitious revenge scheme, the resulting move for more power, the attainment of a personal slave, and their [visibly] ambiguous fates at the end of the game that can be summed up in two words: now what? Assuming the Deadly Six are indeed still out there, what does the boost in power and any lingering Eggman Empire supplies mean for them? And more hypothetically, if the Zeti HAD succeeded in causing Eggman's destruction, destroying the defiant Sonic, controlling the cyborized Tails, and presumably wiped out all life on Sonic's World, what would they have done then? 

The answer is up in the air, but if I were to hazard a guess, it could've involved whatever purpose Master Zik created the Band for in the first place and/or even Eggman's one threat about burning the Zeti's "worlds."

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2 hours ago, DabigRG said:

Not to dip into that "should've stuck to the lore" bowl here, but why couldn't Green Hill in Forces have been Emerald Hill?

It could've been. But nobody really cares about Emerald Hill. We may all be getting sick of seeing GHZ, but it's still the Sonic level, the one every fan from dedicated to casual will recognize, and in the hands of better developers seeing it ruined should've been an effective gut punch.

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4 hours ago, DabigRG said:

Not to dip into that "should've stuck to the lore" bowl here, but why couldn't Green Hill in Forces have been Emerald Hill?

Would have worked because it’s in closer proximity to Chemical Plant, so no more “the spider crab robot runs across two entire islands to get to its target” going on.

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3 hours ago, Diogenes said:

It could've been. But nobody really cares about Emerald Hill. We may all be getting sick of seeing GHZ, but it's still the Sonic level, the one every fan from dedicated to casual will recognize, and in the hands of better developers seeing it ruined should've been an effective gut punch.

I mean, conceptually speaking, it being Green Hill could've been effective in the "Sand Hill" aspect had more weight and consistency in the game's story.

But since Classic ruins through it again, having it NOT be Green itself wouldn't have been as bad if they weren't gonna stick with the transformation premise.

48 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Would have worked because it’s in closer proximity to Chemical Plant, so no more “the spider crab robot runs across two entire islands to get to its target” going on.

Pretty much.

Although that actually sounds kinda badass.

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A few unlockable Easter Eggs for Sonic Mania:

 

* Max Control for Mighty (Wall Jump) plus expanded Max Control for Sonic (Homing Attack).  Maybe an option to have the Strike Dash for Sonic, too? Knuckles could have had a Max Control mode with the swimming and wall-climbing Spin Dash from the Advance series, as well.

* Mean Bean Machine sound effects for the Mean Bean Machine mode, rather than just the Puyo ones.

* The crowd SEGA chant. (Thankfully restored in a mod), and perhaps also the American SEGA shout. Or would the latter fit Modern better?

* An option to replace all use of the Eggman name with “Robotnik”

* Pulp Solstice Easter egg via sound test ala Proto Palace, ending with original Metal Sonic fight.

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2 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

* An option to replace all use of the Eggman name with “Robotnik”

Kind of curious how this would work as an Easter Egg since even in the classics everything that bore Eggman's name directly said Eggman regardless of his name outside of Japan. The graphics were never edited anywhere to replace it so it just seems a little off to me as an Easter Egg and more fan pandering to those who have never gotten over his original name replacing his international one. Maybe I'm just being unsympathetic though since I've always preferred Eggman and was actually glad when it replaced Robotnik internationally.

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I don't know if this is really a missed opportunity or just an idea that came to me, but I think it would've been kind of cool to see maybe some old places in Forces but modified with Eggman's takeover. Like, imagine a stage with Sonic visiting Soleanna but in ruins and all about Eggman, with all of his giant robots wrecking havoc in the background. Imagine statues and portraits of Elise haphazardly changed to look like Eggman, maybe with a slapped on mustache and some dollar store paint. Imagine fighting Eggman or one of his minions while they call him "His Highness" or something like that. Imagine Sonic man forced to change into Eggman man. 

Okay, maybe that last one was a joke, but I do think it would be cool to have revisited old places to see how Eggman changed them. Not every stage being a revisit, but just some of them as a cool throwback and to actually see how the world was after the takeover. That's something that I definitely feel is a missed opportunity. Eggman finally took over the world! Let's...barely show him it at all in a game where that was one of the main draws. Also, It could be other places than Soleanna. Maybe Station Square and the different countries in Unleashed on top of new stages to supplement them. And who knows, maybe after you liberate the areas, you could see old characters joining the fight and contributing to the army in some way. The whole "Join the Resistance" part of Forces would have been perfect for this.

Tying into that last part, I think Forces would have been cool as a bit similar to...Mass Effect 3. Okay, I know that sounds really stupid, but it's the closest thing I can think of to what I'm trying to describe. Imagine if the game was structured like this: After Eggman's takeover, Avatar is in a very small band of rebels in this one area (with maybe Tails being the leader)? After Avatar and Tails liberate the area and with the Avatar showing great power, they go to rescue Sonic. Then the game could have been Sonic and Avatar liberating one area at a time, freeing them from Eggman's controls. Along with that, they would also free a captured character who would either fight in the army or offer resources. There could also be other optional areas (maybe DLC areas or just optional and separate from the main story?) that, while not necessary, could maybe help in the final boss fight by making it a bit easier. After all the main story areas have been freed and the resistance has enough power, it could lead into the final battle with Eggman's army to finally free the world from his control.

I know there's glaring issues with this (the whole "two worlds" thing and the issue of canon), but I don't know...it sounds cool to me. I'm sick right now and on medication so maybe I'm just experiencing some kind of delusional high. What do you guys think?

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Really, every story ever to give Sonic a speaking role has missed opportunities in it. If I had to start pointing at whole games being loaded with missed opportunities, I’d say everything after Heroes. All the plot threads and world building set up in the Adventure games were just... forgotten. Especially the world building, dear lord. How is it that Sonic Adventure showed us what the characters do in their free time, explored Sonic’s role in Tails’ life, showed us where Tails works and probably lives, and so forth, yet we’re 20 years on and have no new insight? To me that’s just insane. 

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I actually like your idea @TideKai. It's almost laid out more like Unleashed in a way by being a World Adventure (sorry for the pun 😅) and also makes me think a bit like CD where you actually get to see the effects of your efforts. And as much flak as ME3 gets I think this idea works a lot better than you give your currently medicated self credit for as it would also allow for the other cast members to do more than stand around and even set up side quests with them where they could be used both like in Generations (as glorified Wisps really but that's okay) and Shadow the Hedgehog as in level Amigo missions.

Yeah, I really like your idea @TideKai if you can't tell and now really feel like they wasted such a great premise with Forces.

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6 hours ago, Whatever the WhoCares said:

Really, every story ever to give Sonic a speaking role has missed opportunities in it. If I had to start pointing at whole games being loaded with missed opportunities, I’d say everything after Heroes. All the plot threads and world building set up in the Adventure games were just... forgotten. Especially the world building, dear lord. How is it that Sonic Adventure showed us what the characters do in their free time, explored Sonic’s role in Tails’ life, showed us where Tails works and probably lives, and so forth, yet we’re 20 years on and have no new insight? To me that’s just insane. 

I think that might partially be due to Adventure's conception; when it was put onto the ideas table, it was initially going to be an RPG, and that sort of story influence permeates throughout it. Mainline games after it have always been designed with action gaming in mind. 

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9 hours ago, TideKai said:

I don't know if this is really a missed opportunity or just an idea that came to me, but I think it would've been kind of cool to see maybe some old places in Forces but modified with Eggman's takeover. Like, imagine a stage with Sonic visiting Soleanna but in ruins and all about Eggman, with all of his giant robots wrecking havoc in the background. Imagine statues and portraits of Elise haphazardly changed to look like Eggman, maybe with a slapped on mustache and some dollar store paint. Imagine fighting Eggman or one of his minions while they call him "His Highness" or something like that. Imagine Sonic man forced to change into Eggman man. 

Okay, maybe that last one was a joke, but I do think it would be cool to have revisited old places to see how Eggman changed them. Not every stage being a revisit, but just some of them as a cool throwback and to actually see how the world was after the takeover. That's something that I definitely feel is a missed opportunity. Eggman finally took over the world! Let's...barely show him it at all in a game where that was one of the main draws. Also, It could be other places than Soleanna. Maybe Station Square and the different countries in Unleashed on top of new stages to supplement them. And who knows, maybe after you liberate the areas, you could see old characters joining the fight and contributing to the army in some way. The whole "Join the Resistance" part of Forces would have been perfect for this.

 

Yeah, that's where I was going with my point about Green Hill not being Emerald: Green Hill being chosen made sense in part because it's such iconic and memorable level in Sonic's History that was being warped into something it shouldn't be by the Zeti and the Phantom Ruby. But then the rest of the game doesn't keep to that and just has Classic go through Green Hill again

Again, Forces just bit off way more than it can chew. And apparently with legitimately little done for most of it.

3 hours ago, VEDJ-F said:

I think that might partially be due to Adventure's conception; when it was put onto the ideas table, it was initially going to be an RPG, and that sort of story influence permeates throughout it. Mainline games after it have always been designed with action gaming in mind. 

Really now? That's interesting and explains a fair bit.

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10 hours ago, Whatever the WhoCares said:

Really, every story ever to give Sonic a speaking role has missed opportunities in it. If I had to start pointing at whole games being loaded with missed opportunities, I’d say everything after Heroes. All the plot threads and world building set up in the Adventure games were just... forgotten. Especially the world building, dear lord. How is it that Sonic Adventure showed us what the characters do in their free time, explored Sonic’s role in Tails’ life, showed us where Tails works and probably lives, and so forth, yet we’re 20 years on and have no new insight? To me that’s just insane. 

Things got even worse after Unleashed, though. Or maybe even starting with Unleashed, due to older characters just being missing entirely for some reason. By the time of Forces, they tried to return to having them back, but it’s clear they’ve forgotten how to use them over the ages. 

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17 hours ago, Sonic Fan J said:

I actually like your idea @TideKai. It's almost laid out more like Unleashed in a way by being a World Adventure (sorry for the pun 😅) and also makes me think a bit like CD where you actually get to see the effects of your efforts. And as much flak as ME3 gets I think this idea works a lot better than you give your currently medicated self credit for as it would also allow for the other cast members to do more than stand around and even set up side quests with them where they could be used both like in Generations (as glorified Wisps really but that's okay) and Shadow the Hedgehog as in level Amigo missions.

Yeah, I really like your idea @TideKai if you can't tell and now really feel like they wasted such a great premise with Forces.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your kind response! 

Yeah, I remember when the whole thing about uprising against the Eggman Army was first revealed about Forces, and I honestly thought that there were a ton of cool ways that they could've executed the concept and ME3 came to my mind. Even if ME3 is my least favorite game out of the ME series (especially the ending and how you originally had to go get points online to get the best possible ending since there WEREN'T ENOUGH IN THE BASE GAME AND AS A PLAYER WHO HAD IT ON XBOX YOU HAD TO PAY TO PLAY ONLINE AAARGHH), I still like the game and had a lot of fun with most of it. The whole thing of helping people out and getting resources as a result for a massive army to go into battle during a final fight was something that would've fit perfectly in Forces...instead of what we got.

I also really like your ideas too. I forgot about that part in CD and I think that would've been a cool feature to bring back. I also really like the thing with the characters. Maybe if could be something like the characters are either captured by Eggman or fighting their own battles in their own different parts of the world, and you have to help them free their area in order to unlock them for the resistance army. I really like your sidequest idea. Like you said, it helps them to feel like they're doing something other than just standing around and talking. And it'd be nice to see them do something. We have all these characters coming together for a giant revolution, why not go with that idea more? And maybe in the final battle, if you rescued them, they could help you somehow. If you don't save them, you can still go on fight and beat the game, but maybe it would be a little harder or take a longer while, or maybe you'd have to fight a few minions that the character would've taken care of instead.

I can see this idea also working with some other cast members too. Imagine after freeing Soleanna, Elise obviously wouldn't come fight in the battle but maybe she could offer Soleanna's military to come help you. Professor Pickle could maybe offer some research that would assist in the fight. The G.U.N Commander or even the President could offer some more military soldiers.

I know in the end this is just me talking out of my ass and it won't change anything about Forces, but I don't know...I just think these ideas are fun to think about, haha.

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2 minutes ago, TideKai said:

I know in the end this is just me talking out of my ass and it won't change anything about Forces, but I don't know...I just think these ideas are fun to think about, haha.

The cool thing about sharing ideas like this is even if it can't change what has already happened it does help us develop our own creative abilities which can always help us later in life. And in the case of Sonic and his missed opportunities, the potential that exists within them to tell and share ideas that for their own amazing stories is part of what I love about the franchise and makes interacting with the fans so rewarding. Sharing your ideas which hit the right notes for me is just an extra special treat, so getting to experience that is something wonderful in my opinion. thank you soo much for sharing as I love what you suggested.

The franchise may have a lot of missed opportunities but how those missed opportunities stimulate our imaginations is something spectacularly valuable to me. Now if only those missed opportunities weren't so frequently paired with everything being mishandled to some degree.

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