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New characters: Should they stay or should they go?

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- Orbot and Cubot are fine. I'm not too sure why they'd "need" to go. It does feel a bit weird to hear them be referred to as new when Colors came out in 2010 and it's 2019 now. It's been almost a decade. 

- The Deadly Six aren't really doing any harm by staying around either. At least in theory.  If they're handled in a weird way, there's times where they'll infuriate people when they show up. Like, Zavok being in Forces saw some pot shots being taken at him but it didn't infuriate anybody. Him being in Team Sonic Racing certainly did. Tons of Youtube videos sprung up about it. Why? Because he got in despite the fact that the rest of the Chaotix and Cream didn't. Perhaps it wouldn't have mattered if people liked or cared about him but no one took the time to make sure people liked or cared about him... so let's PUSH him as hard as we fucking can anyway. I'm sure if we do it enough times, the fans will just accept it like they did with Silver eventually. 

- I don't care about Infinite.

- It's kind of hard to see any of these characters as "in the way" because the fact of the matter is that they're all villains. You typically don't have to worry about playing as villains in mainstream games so they don't take up any potential character slots. They, at most, serve as potential bosses and provide different avenues for villainy within the series. The game series doesn't have a large amount of recurring villains like it does with the heroes.

That's why I'm against adding any new, mainstays to the cast of heroes. Which is why I'm not too jazzed about the idea of Sticks coming in.

I like her enough but I can't help but feel that the last thing we need is another hero. Maybe if she were a tertiary NPC character. Or retooled so that she was a villain.

 

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Yeah obviously Sticks doesn't need to be prominent like in Boom, we have dozens of heroes and don't need more, I just think she is a deserving character, better than most of those heroes who are written as generic most of the time. I also agree that the cast doesn't need to be in every game which is why I'm okay with Blaze not being in Forces which was already too crowdy.

Orbot and Cubot are better than most lackeys IMO, so... Plus they fill in the role that can't be filled by other characters, however they are just for comic relief, as I said. Yeah the Zeti really have no potential though. Shame, I liked the idea of a group of villains, but they aren't even used as a team anymore.

And I rewatched both Lost World and Forces cutscenes, SLW still is the worst piece of crap Pontaff has written, as if they wrote it with their feet. Forces is definitely an improvement for various reasons, even compared to the shitty Colors and Generations: Less cutscenes than Lost World, but still, a more serious tone but still with jokes, better use of the cast, an interesting premise, a proper dark villain and maybe a bit more depth. The result is still just barely decent but I'll take it honestly. 

Characters aren't annoying like in Lost World, they are nice and heroic, they actually do stuff and fight. I'm gonna go there and even defend Infinite, I do really think he has potential, even tying his backstory with Shadow was interesting, and yeah "I'm not weak" and that shitty was stupid, some middle school brawl, it's dumb I know, but still better than the absurdly tragic backstory of Shadow. Sonic is for kids and teens, isn't he? So it fits. Actually, Arrow did the same backstory for his season 6-7 big bad, a Mafia Boss who was bullied as a kid, now THAT was dumb, for its show I thought it was ridiculous, because it's meant to be darker, for Sonic not so much.

Infinite suffers from the "edgy wannabe" syndrome, but I'll take his potential. If written better, he could be a decent villain. However Forces was his time and chance, now that it's done, I'm not sure more could be done with him. They are likely gonna try new villains. Shame though, it's wasted potential.

I even think he's somewhat popular in the fandom, people want him in TSR instead of Zavok, they want him in the comics. They want to see more of him.

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13 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

- Orbot and Cubot are fine. I'm not too sure why they'd "need" to go. It does feel a bit weird to hear them be referred to as new when Colors came out in 2010 and it's 2019 now. It's been almost a decade. 

- The Deadly Six aren't really doing any harm by staying around either. At least in theory.  If they're handled in a weird way, there's times where they'll infuriate people when they show up. Like, Zavok being in Forces saw some pot shots being taken at him but it didn't infuriate anybody. Him being in Team Sonic Racing certainly did. Tons of Youtube videos sprung up about it. Why? Because he got in despite the fact that the rest of the Chaotix and Cream didn't. Perhaps it wouldn't have mattered if people liked or cared about him but no one took the time to make sure people liked or cared about him... so let's PUSH him as hard as we fucking can anyway. I'm sure if we do it enough times, the fans will just accept it like they did with Silver eventually. 

- I don't care about Infinite.

- It's kind of hard to see any of these characters as "in the way" because the fact of the matter is that they're all villains. You typically don't have to worry about playing as villains in mainstream games so they don't take up any potential character slots. They, at most, serve as potential bosses and provide different avenues for villainy within the series. The game series doesn't have a large amount of recurring villains like it does with the heroes.

That's why I'm against adding any new, mainstays to the cast of heroes. Which is why I'm not too jazzed about the idea of Sticks coming in.

I like her enough but I can't help but feel that the last thing we need is another hero. Maybe if she were a tertiary NPC character. Or retooled so that she was a villain.

 

The thing is that Silver was salvaged by his awesome Generations boss battle, his fun gameplay in Black Knight, and how he was written in Archie. Zavok so far has none of that going for him. It is unlikely that he will get any of that. Given that Flynn simply minimized their presence  when they appeared, and Sega’s mandates have become even harsher after the end of Archie and Boom, I don’t think it is likely the comics can save him. The resurgence in other playable characters is a very slow one, that also is targeting only the popular characters. It is also clear that this isn’t an immediate save for the game (RoL, etc), so I don’t think they would bother. Given how cheap Izuka and his followers are, I don’t think a good battle against him would be profitable given how many people hate him. Zavok’s goose has been cooked, and it is unlikely people will ever stop hating him. They never really stopped disliking Omochao, right? 

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Sad enough is the fact that Zavok seems to be the most pushed one out of the newcomers. Orbot and Cubot too but Zavok was a boss in Forces and is playable in TSR so...

While Zazz and Sticks haven't been seen recently, they were pushed a lot during the Wii U and mobile era up to 2017. Infinite... Unclear for now, he could be a one-off because honestly he seems pretty much dead in his last Forces scene. Or Sega plans more for him, who knows?

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Maybe, maybe not... hard to say. Maybe they use Zavok so much because they already have a render of him and that is why they use him so much. Either that or they really see him as the next Silver of the series. 

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8 minutes ago, Rowl said:

Maybe, maybe not... hard to say. Maybe the use Zavok so much because they already have a render of him at that is why they use him so much. Either that or they really see him as the next Silver of the series. 

It does sorta smell of that yes, but they need to understand that Lost World alone isn't really enough to go on for why Zavok is badass or whatever.

Again, Silver had his own full story in 06 and both Rivals games to establish and flex his character amongst six of the pre-established cast, while Zavok is a villain of a game that had five other Zeti(plus Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and the Shapebots) to share the spotlight with(and only 1-3 of whom truly showed much of anything about his character) and then just shows up as a playable character in spinoffs of minimal story or character material.

He had a few select moments sprinkled in there, sure, but there needs to be more.

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2 hours ago, DabigRG said:

It does sorta smell of that yes, but they need to understand that Lost World alone isn't really enough to go on for why Zavok is badass or whatever.

Again, Silver had his own full story in 06 and both Rivals games to establish and flex his character amongst six of the pre-established cast, while Zavok is a villain of a game that had five other Zeti(plus Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and the Shapebots) to share the spotlight with(and only 1-3 of whom truly showed much of anything about his character) and then just shows up as a playable character in spinoffs of minimal story or character material.

He had a few select moments sprinkled in there, sure, but there needs to be more.

It took a decade for Omochao to become tolerated, and even then, his appearances were less frequent in that era than those of Zavok, and usually less important. There may also be a bit of nostalgia going on for him as well. (Plus he was an okay weapon in SA2 and Shadow)

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8 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

It took a decade for Omochao to become tolerated, and even then, his appearances were less frequent in that era than those of Zavok, and usually less important. There may also be a bit of nostalgia going on for him as well. (Plus he was an okay weapon in SA2 and Shadow)

Not quite sure how that's piggybacking of what I was getting at, but okay.

 

Also, am I the only one who sorta found the hate for Omochao rather silly?

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5 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Not quite sure how that's piggybacking of what I was getting at, but okay.

 

Also, am I the only one who sorta found the hate for Omochao rather silly?

What I meant is that the use of Zavok over the years is closer to Omochao than that of Silver, and how Omochao took far longer longer to be accepted than Silver.

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Just now, Miragnarok said:

What I meant is that the use of Zavok over the years is closer to Omochao than that of Silver, and how Omochao took far longer longer to be accepted than Silver.

The difference being Omochao was almost always a sidepiece that provided instructions and/or commentary, while Zavok is supposed to be a major recurring villain in his own right.

Yeah, he was sorta secondary to Eggman and arguably his own group presentation-wise, but we're actually meant to care.

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3 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

The difference being Omochao was almost always a sidepiece that provided instructions and/or commentary, while Zavok is supposed to be a major recurring villain in his own right.

Yeah, he was sorta secondary to Eggman and arguably his own group presentation-wise, but we're actually meant to care.

What I meant is that Zavok has never had significant story relevance nor has improved in writing over his appearances. Silver has been improved over time, Zavok hasn’t. 

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5 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

What I meant is that Zavok has never had significant story relevance nor has improved in writing over his appearances. Silver has been improved over time, Zavok hasn’t. 

That's true.

That's what I thought I said to begin with, but hey, who's payin attention.

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8 hours ago, Jack the Shadow said:

While Zazz and Sticks haven't been seen recently, they were pushed a lot during the Wii U and mobile era up to 2017. Infinite... Unclear for now, he could be a one-off because honestly he seems pretty much dead in his last Forces scene. Or Sega plans more for him, who knows?

Who knows. Aside from the IDW comics, Forces hasn't had any nod or recognition from anyone over there since it came out. Mania got a re-release with Mania Plus, got an entire collection of cartoons on the Youtube, had yet another cartoon happen in December that introduced Amy, and to this day still has that accolades poster for Mania as the first thing you see on their official twitter.

Forces came and died when it jumped off that cliff at the ending cutscene of the game back in 2017. Infinite's not even in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. Zavok and Zazz are. I guess the logic is that they're being illusioned into the races with the Phantom Ruby but he can make clones of himself. They're not even concerned with advertising it in their latest racing game by shoving Infinite in there. They sure as shit aren't trying to advertise for Lost World on the goddamn Wii U by putting Zavok in his place either. They wanted this red dude to stay around, clearly.

Zavok's gotta be the brainchild of someone important over there or something. Maybe nobody who had a hand in creating Infinite, did it because they wanted to but because they felt a villain like that was what the fanbase wanted. It would fit with the overall mentality Forces seems to have where they just tossed everything and the kitchen sink in there, regardless of whether or not it clashed, so that they could make everyone asking for different things happy. 

Classic Sonic, wisps, darker stories, but also light-hearted stories, Eggman as the main villain, but as a dark and edgy villain, vocal tracks are back with one that's about friendship but another that's all edgy and metal, fan-character-creation, nostalgic villains (that aren't really there), nostalgic locations (that show up so often they aren't nostalgic anymore), a ton of Sonic's friends (treated better than in Generations but still not ideal)...

Maybe they just don't want to think about Forces anymore.   

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Yeah Forces was basically a fan service fest trying to please everyone with shitty execution. Every decision in the game smells like they wanted to cram everything into one title, and they ignored quality and gameplay. It's a nice interactive movie.

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9 hours ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

They sure as shit aren't trying to advertise for Lost World on the goddamn Wii U by putting Zavok in his place either. They wanted this red dude to stay around, clearly.

Zavok's gotta be the brainchild of someone important over there or something. Maybe nobody who had a hand in creating Infinite, did it because they wanted to but because they felt a villain like that was what the fanbase wanted. It would fit with the overall mentality Forces seems to have where they just tossed everything and the kitchen sink in there, regardless of whether or not it clashed, so that they could make everyone asking for different things happy. 

Classic Sonic, wisps, darker stories, but also light-hearted stories, Eggman as the main villain, but as a dark and edgy villain, vocal tracks are back with one that's about friendship but another that's all edgy and metal, fan-character-creation, nostalgic villains (that aren't really there), nostalgic locations (that show up so often they aren't nostalgic anymore), a ton of Sonic's friends (treated better than in Generations but still not ideal)...

Maybe they just don't want to think about Forces anymore.   

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!

Pretty much.

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By the way, I was partly wrong about Infinite there. Literally, just now, I got a package in the mail and it was the Infinite, Zavok, and Sonic action figure pack I ordered. So he DOES have a toy. Though, it's telling that Zavok is also here still. 

Having these figures to collect is the ultimate irony. Little kid me would have been over the moon to have just a single figure of Sonic and now I've got like 4 of them at an age where I don't play with toys anymore. 

I had to pretend the Pokemon toys were Sonic characters. God help me if I ever lost one temporarily. 

"NO! Totodile is Sonic, Charmander is Knuckles, and the Typhlosion is Shadow. I can't use the Quilava until I find him. I've already wired my brain so that this is the case. I CAN'T DO IT ANY OTHER WAY!"

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26 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

By the way, I was partly wrong about Infinite there. Literally, just now, I got a package in the mail and it was the Infinite, Zavok, and Sonic action figure pack I ordered. So he DOES have a toy. Though, it's telling that Zavok is also here still. 

 

That seems like merchandise for Forces specifically, though.

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48 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

By the way, I was partly wrong about Infinite there. Literally, just now, I got a package in the mail and it was the Infinite, Zavok, and Sonic action figure pack I ordered. So he DOES have a toy. Though, it's telling that Zavok is also here still. 

Having these figures to collect is the ultimate irony. Little kid me would have been over the moon to have just a single figure of Sonic and now I've got like 4 of them at an age where I don't play with toys anymore. 

I had to pretend the Pokemon toys were Sonic characters. God help me if I ever lost one temporarily. 

"NO! Totodile is Sonic, Charmander is Knuckles, and the Typhlosion is Shadow. I can't use the Quilava until I find him. I've already wired my brain so that this is the case. I CAN'T DO IT ANY OTHER WAY!"

That's funny and cute

Though I remember in gen 4 they introduce a dark electric type who's final evo looked almost like shadow

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Orbot and Cubot: What do they actually contribute? Seriously, do they actually do anything other than undermine Eggman and eat up screen time for irrelevant jokes (Duuuuuuude)? I don't mind Eggman having lackeys but I'd rather they be fully capable and developed characters in their own right (e.g. Shadow and Rouge in SA2), or else accentuate Eggman's mania rather than distracting from it (I don't mind 5A-55 in Unleashed so much for this reason, he's more like Eggman's J.A.R.V.I.S.,  a somewhat snarky AI assistant who discusses things with Eggman instead of sitting off in the corner doing nothing of importance or actively getting in the way). What if, instead of Orbot and Cubot, we brought back Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll? Then, when Eggman gets pissed he uses Tails Doll as a punching bag, Metal Sonic and Metal Knuckles share a somewhat concerned glance, and Eggman continues to rant. You get the slapstick, you get the reaction shot, and you keep the focus squarely on Eggman where it belongs.

The Deadly Six: Setting aside their obnoxious personalities and questionable designs I just don't see much of anything to do with them. Even other villains who get trashed for being flat I can at least think of things I could expand on to create new stories and deepen their personalities. Compare:

Mephiles: One half of the sun god Solaris who was forcibly split in two by a lab accident, seeks to reunite with his other half. Manipulative and theatrical, with a particular taste for irony. Has power over time and darkness, his true form as Solaris rips reality a new one merely by existing.

Black Doom: Alien warlord who conquers planets for resources, in particular he seeks to use their inhabitants as a food source for his people. Hails from a martial culture, his conquest has ritualistic overtones hinting at a religious motivation as well as a practical one. As the Black Arms progenitor and hive mind he can create and control new members of his species, he's visited Earth multiple times in the past and hidden tools all across the planet in preparation for an invasion, he can detach his third eye and use it to observe things from afar.

Infinite: Mercenary hired by Eggman, volunteered to be fused with the Phantom Ruby after suffering a humiliating defeat. Sadistic and proud, he enjoys making his victims suffer but does genuinely care for his allies in Jackal Squad. With the power of the Phantom Ruby he can create illusions which can physically interact with people and can limit their effect to certain individuals.

The Deadly Six: Zeti from the Lost Hex. Individual personalities are Leader, Crazy, Depressed, Old, Fat, and Girl. Can repurpose Eggman's tech and do something with magnetic fields.

From a writer's perspective the Deadly Six give me nothing to work work with. Their personalities are flat, their powers are nothing that Eggman couldn't do with a machine, and Lost World gives me no context for what a Zeti is or why anyone should care to visit the Lost Hex to encounter them in the first place. Little Planet has the Time Stones, Angel Island has the Master Emerald, Babylon Garden has lost technology, but Lost Hex just exists with no history or apparent value. There's simply nothing to latch on to and expand upon and, while that does technically give carte blanche to fill in the blanks, I'd rather just create new characters from whole-cloth than try to salvage the D6.

Infinite: Unlike the Deadly Six Infinite is charismatic and his backstory and powers give me something to work with. Bring him on.

Sticks: I stand by what I said here:

 

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Maybe I'm dumb but perhaps I found the reason Sega thinks Zavok is popular? That video with all the cutscenes of Lost World online, it has 41 million views. Maybe this could explain it... ? Still, I think the comments are clear even there, everyone hated the Zeti, and the story was lazy and annoying.

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You know maybe Zavok and the rest of the Zeti could be effective if there were a plot in which they use their powers to take control of GUN’s technology. Now that would be a really good way to show just how damn dangerous they are, because now they’re using the technology of an organization that’s supposed to protect the world in order to harm it.

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One more thing: a serious issue in the Sonic series is the lack of females. Sure, the comics brought a lot of them into the mix and in action. But the games? Look at what we got right now: Amy, Blaze and Rouge. That's it. Cream is slowly fading away, Wave is a spin-off only character, Tikal is dead. The rest are one-offs. Could Sticks fit into this? Relegating her to Boom might be a big mistake, at this point, besides the fact that she's a cool concept and is more interesting than the boring Cream, she's not a generic/classic girly trope, nor a tomboy, she's more unique than that.

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3 hours ago, Johnny Boy said:

You know maybe Zavok and the rest of the Zeti could be effective if there were a plot in which they use their powers to take control of GUN’s technology. Now that would be a really good way to show just how damn dangerous they are, because now they’re using the technology of an organization that’s supposed to protect the world in order to harm it.

That would be an interesting setup actually: vicious, older, and electromagnetic cartoony youkai vs. realistic robot using and formerly corrupt modern military of humans.

What a contrast.

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