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In Defence of Infinite


Plasme
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Ever since Sonic Forces came out,  I've seen nothing but ridicule for Infinite. The melodramatic delivery of his lines, his over the top back story, his theme song, It's pretty easy to mock him. However, I think that there are some positive aspects of his character and they seem to be ignored by the fanbase.

- I like that he's loyal to Eggman, but not just a mindless pawn. I'm pretty sure everyone was expecting him to betray Eggman and fulfil his role as monster of the week, but I was pleasantly surprised to see he didn't go the path of Chaos, Iblis or the others. He clearly considers himself superior to Eggman, but sees the advantage of working together with Eggman. I think it's an interesting dynamic for a side-villain which hasn't been explored in Sonic before. A villain who has delusions of grandeur but is somewhat pragmatic about it.

- He actually has a backstory. I know a lot of people take this piss out of his backstory, especially with his over the top "I'm not weak" lines. But I think a lot of the problem here is the English voice direction, because it comes across as much more convincing and powerful in Japanese. And while his back story isn't handled particularly well, I think it's an improvement over villains such as the Deadly Six, Mephilles and Iblis who basically had no motivation. Maybe not a high bar, but definitely a great improvement on what came before. 

I also think his backstory is somewhat interesting. The idea that he was treated badly by Shadow and it's the fault of the heroes (even though Shadow is an antihero, he's on the side of the 'good guys') that he turned evil is interesting. Not handled well, but it has potential. I find it more interesting than Chaos because it's actually linked to the core cast, rather than the mistakes of the Echidna race who we don't really know.

And maybe it's just me, but I find his descent into madness out of an insecurity of his own abilities quite interesting and relatable. 

- He has a cool design and he's quite well voice acted.

- I think his abilities are interesting, especially the way they changed the levels (such as Metropolis) mid-run and actually affected gameplay. Something you can't say about other Sonic villains except Perfect Chaos.

He also seemed like a genuinely threatening villain in Forces, which is something we haven't really seen since...Shadow in SA2? And while I think it's total bollocks how he got defeated, I think he could be handled much better in subsequent games.

Essentially, I think Forces had a really good template for him and...massively squandered his character. I find him much more interesting than villains such as Zavok, who have been thrusted into every Sonic spin off recently. 

I dunno, I just think he's an underappreciated character and there's real potential to make something interesting out of him.

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On 1/18/2019 at 3:21 PM, Plasme said:

And while his back story isn't handled particularly well, I think it's an improvement over villains such as the Deadly Six, Mephilles and Iblis who basically had no motivation. Maybe not a high bar, but definitely a great improvement on what came before. 

 

I mean, most of them did. It just wasn't particularly emphasized.

On 1/18/2019 at 3:21 PM, Plasme said:

 

- I think his abilities are interesting, especially the way they changed the levels (such as Metropolis) mid-run and actually affected gameplay. Something you can't say about other Sonic villains except Perfect Chaos.

Most of the Zeti are more involved with the levels in the 3DS version.

Also, Eggman.

On 1/18/2019 at 3:21 PM, Plasme said:

 

Essentially, I think Forces had a really good template for him and...massively squandered his character

You can say that about almost anything in that game, to be honest.

 

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I definitely think Infinite is a pretty awesome villain and he actually looks/acts like a villain. The cheesy, silly, overly dramatic parts of his backstory could've been done better for sure, but for what we got... it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I can have fun with Infinite as a legitimate villain and as a cheesy 'edgelord' at different times OR even at the same time, just like I can with Shadow - I like it when they're more serious and when they're more silly.

I hope Sega/Sonic Team keep him around and do more with him, because I personally see so much potential with his character. And the English voice acting they got for him was genuinely good, well-acted, and menacing - he SOUNDED like a proper villain in a video game/anime/what have you.

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Yeah nah I still can't see him as anything other than an embarrassing clown of a character.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

- I like that he's loyal to Eggman, but not just a mindless pawn. I'm pretty sure everyone was expecting him to betray Eggman and fulfil his role as monster of the week, but I was pleasantly surprised to see he didn't go the path of Chaos, Iblis or the others. He clearly considers himself superior to Eggman, but sees the advantage of working together with Eggman. I think it's an interesting dynamic for a side-villain which hasn't been explored in Sonic before. A villain who has delusions of grandeur but is somewhat pragmatic about it.

I'm as tired of villain betrayals as anyone, but Infinite's "loyalty" doesn't actually go anywhere interesting. He and Eggman hardly interact in any meaningful way across the entire game and he never really does anything out of loyalty, he just...doesn't rebel.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

- He actually has a backstory. I know a lot of people take this piss out of his backstory, especially with his over the top "I'm not weak" lines. But I think a lot of the problem here is the English voice direction, because it comes across as much more convincing and powerful in Japanese. And while his back story isn't handled particularly well, I think it's an improvement over villains such as the Deadly Six, Mephilles and Iblis who basically had no motivation. Maybe not a high bar, but definitely a great improvement on what came before. 

Infinite's backstory only makes him even more incomprehensible, though. Dude's supposed to be an experienced, accomplished mercenary, but he has a complete breakdown over losing one fight, and then this never comes through at all in the main game?

For all people want to rag on the D6, being greedy, power-hungry assholes is a pretty straightforward and comprehensible motive.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I also think his backstory is somewhat interesting. The idea that he was treated badly by Shadow and it's the fault of the heroes (even though Shadow is an antihero, he's on the side of the 'good guys') that he turned evil is interesting.

He was already a mercenary working for Eggman before Shadow kicked his ass. Whether that's enough to call him "evil" is debatable but it wasn't exactly the most dramatic of turns. And if you want to call it the heroes' fault (which is a stretch since it was all Shadow going lone wolf), well, what conclusion is there to draw from that? Don't fight bad guys because they might turn extra-evil? Or if you do, always go for the kill? It's an implication that leads nowhere.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

- He has a cool design

Eh. Some of his earlier designs had potential but he just looks like a goth in a dumb mask to me.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

- I think his abilities are interesting, especially the way they changed the levels (such as Metropolis) mid-run and actually affected gameplay. Something you can't say about other Sonic villains except Perfect Chaos.

Problem is that Avatar's Metropolis is the only part of the game where his powers are actually used in any remotely interesting way. Aside from that it's just throwing cubes at people so he can throw spike balls and cannons at them and making copy villains with basically no narrative purpose. It's an interesting ability on paper but the way they use it is a complete waste.

10 minutes ago, Plasme said:

He also seemed like a genuinely threatening villain in Forces, which is something we haven't really seen since...Shadow in SA2?

Threatening for what reason? Because he acts like a bad anime villain? Because he has a bunch of powers? I don't find Infinite "genuinely threatening", I find him eye-rolling. He's like an even less coherent version of what ShtH tried to do, just piling on as much "dark" and "badass" as possible without a shred of self awareness.

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39 minutes ago, Plasme said:

- He actually has a backstory. I know a lot of people take this piss out of his backstory, especially with his over the top "I'm not weak" lines. But I think a lot of the problem here is the English voice direction, because it comes across as much more convincing and powerful in Japanese. And while his back story isn't handled particularly well, I think it's an improvement over villains such as the Deadly Six, Mephilles and Iblis who basically had no motivation. Maybe not a high bar, but definitely a great improvement on what came before. 

I also think his backstory is somewhat interesting. The idea that he was treated badly by Shadow and it's the fault of the heroes (even though Shadow is an antihero, he's on the side of the 'good guys') that he turned evil is interesting. Not handled well, but it has potential. I find it more interesting than Chaos because it's actually linked to the core cast, rather than the mistakes of the Echidna race who we don't really know.

I'm going to really disagree hard with this, because in my honest opinion - Infinite's backstory is contrived, messy, over the top, and not particularly engaging. First things first, Infinite's backstory is messy and hard to follow, you can tell that SEGA didn't have a clue what they wanted to do with Infinite and changed sails mid-way through development, very likely after Episode Shadow became a thing.

Everything, let it be trailers, pre-launch material, or hell, the main game itself all stated that Infinite was a creation of Eggman from scratch, right down to the main conflict of the story - Sonic and the power of friendship or teamwork or whatever being used for a massive key point in why Infinite was "defeated". Later lines in the game says Infinite was manufactured inside of Eggman's factory all alone without anyone, and characters show pity towards this. This would've made sense in the narrative as well since technically, you create an OC similar to Eggman creating Infinite, and your OC gains their power through gadgets and teamwork, whilst Infinite needs to rely on an external power source.

This would also explain why the Phantom Ruby Prototypes were a thing, because if Infinite was a manufactured creation by Eggman, it makes sense he would need to keep testing how to integrate the ruby's unknown properties into Infinite from scratch, as opposed to the later mutation or experimentation or whatever Eggman did to Infinite in the final game.

On top of that, even taking his "official" backstory into account...I'm sorry, but no. It sucks. It absolutely sucks, and it's mocked for a very good reason. It is an absolute mess, and a completely weak excuse. What's worse is Infinite's backstory was literally gift-wrapped and yet SEGA STILL messed it up. Infinite's implied to have been the leader of a mercenary group for a long time, the game is based around teamwork and the power of friendship, and iirc, it's implied that Eggman was the one who wiped out his group and framed Shadow for it so he could get a test subject for the Phantom Ruby.

So, why is it that Infinite's motivation boils down to being a massive child who can't handle being called weak? That's really all it took for him to become a psychotic bully of a character, being called weak. As the Joker once coined the famous phrase...

Infinite's backstory is literally that the guy has such a shallow and sensitive ego that he can't handle getting his ass kicked and then being called weak. It makes literally no sense, and as I said above, they had a good backstory giftwrapped.

What if Infinite was agreeing to become Eggman's test subject so he could seek vengeance on Shadow and his friends? He believes Shadow wiped out his friends, so he wishes to do the same back to him, and furthermore remains loyal to Eggman due to Eggman granting him the power to get revenge. What if Infinite had some kind of code that meant he'd be hell-bent on doing what a client paid for?

What if the reason Infinite keeps mocking friends or whatever else is that he can't deal with how his merc group got wiped out, and he doesn't want to get close to anyone again, preferring to rely on his own power? There was a backstory here that tied right into the themes of the game, and it got thrown out for some stupid "I'M NOT WEAK" garbage. I legitmately don't know how anyone can see that as a compelling backstory, especially for a major villain. It completely destroys any sense of threat that Infinite had, changing from a scary psychotic villain, to what might as well be a 10 year old with a bruised ego, and too much power. His backstory makes him just a completely pathetic joke. Someone who deals the most damage to Sonic's world, and kicks Sonic's ass, and what's his motivation? Oh, he couldn't handle losing a fight and being called a name. That's just downright lame.

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Well, what makes the Hard Boiled Heavies any better than other 2010s villains? They have an equally thin backstory (though it is entirely left possible Eggman made them that way on purpose), redeem themselves out of nowhere, have one-Dimensional quirky personalities, have unclear motives, etc. 

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5 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, what makes the Hard Boiled Heavies any better than other 2010s villains? They have an equally thin backstory (though it is entirely left possible Eggman made them that way on purpose), redeem themselves out of nowhere, have one-Dimensional quirky personalities, have unclear motives, etc. 

Who cares about the Hard Boiled Heavies? They're Classic characters! 

They're robots with fun designs and motifs. If you like em, good. If you don't, fuck it.

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14 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, what makes the Hard Boiled Heavies any better than other 2010s villains? They have an equally thin backstory (though it is entirely left possible Eggman made them that way on purpose), redeem themselves out of nowhere, have one-Dimensional quirky personalities, have unclear motives, etc. 

Even if the Hard Boiled Heavies did suck, that's not what this topic is about.

This topic is about Infinite. And Infinite sucks. 

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Infinite on paper seems like they were going for a subversion of the likes of Mephilies in the past. He seems absurdly powerful, but it's all just an illusion and instead of some internal tragedy or inherent evil nature driving forward he's really just a petty child who's sore about an assbeating took a shortcut to having the power he wanted and is now flexing. 

Like most things in new Sonic games though they don't flesh out this idea enough for most people to pick up on it. I'm fairly certain that was the team's intention with infinite when conceptualizing him but somewhere along the rushed, constantly outsourced development process somebody missed the memo or seriously pushing the idea was dropped or something. It's how I read Infinite, but they play him too straight for it to be the case for most people.  He comes off like a dollar store Mephilies and I understand why people wrote him off.

Because of how I've chosen to read him and the fact that I kinda dig his design I like him more than the Deadly Six, but that's not really saying anything at all. Overall it's just another misfire to add to the pile. I miss the likes of Chaos or Merlina. 

 

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On paper, Infinite is another thing about Forces that feels like a hard [over(?)]correction.

14 minutes ago, Wraith said:



Like most things in new Sonic games though they don't flesh out this idea enough for most people to pick up on it. I'm fairly certain that was the team's intention with infinite when conceptualizing him but somewhere along the rushed, constantly outsourced development process somebody missed the memo or seriously pushing the idea was dropped or something. 
 

Pretty sure it isn't fleshed out too much because that wasn't always the intent.

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23 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Yes that, the part where they're fun and likeable.

ONE-DIMENSIONAL quirky personalities. That’s the operating word. Although I agree they’re at least marginally better than the other 2010s villains. And this reminds me... does anyone still think villains like him or the Deadly Six, etc. still have potential? 

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5 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

ONE-DIMENSIONAL quirky personalities. That’s the operating word. Although I agree they’re at least marginally better than the other 2010s villains. And this reminds me... does anyone still think villains like him or the Deadly Six, etc. still have potential? 

Him who?

Deadly Six, yes.

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57 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, what makes the Hard Boiled Heavies any better than other 2010s villains?

 

16 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Although I agree they’re at least marginally better than the other 2010s villains.

Ummm...what? So what’s your argument in the first place?

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15 minutes ago, KHCast said:

 

Ummm...what? So what’s your argument in the first place?

That they’re just as pointless and one-Dimensional as Lyric in the end. But their execution was better with their good boss battles and designs.

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1 hour ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, what makes the Hard Boiled Heavies any better than other 2010s villains? They have an equally thin backstory (though it is entirely left possible Eggman made them that way on purpose), redeem themselves out of nowhere, have one-Dimensional quirky personalities, have unclear motives, etc. 

The fact that they aren't set up as some major, world-ending antagonist, aren't meant to be taken THAT seriously and do exactly what they were designed to do. Be one off, fun and quirky bad guys and nothing more.

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I don't think about the Heavies when I'm not playing Sonic Mania. I think their designs are great but that's about it. They're not set up as major players like Infinite, but all that does is lower my expectations. It doesn't do much for them as characters. 

They're just more robots for you to fight, which I guess is fine, but they don't stick out to me.

I'm not sure on what grounds the comparison is being made aside from the usual dumb classic versus modern tripe, so I'll just say I haven't fallen in love with a new sonic character in a long time regardless.

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