Jump to content
Rowl

Did the series already reached its limit?

Recommended Posts

And with the limit, I mean the way they tell the story of the series. This is actually a question I only know have thought up. The Sonic series kinda already told stories, where Sonic fought the biggest threat and had the darkest scenario. For example Mephilis. This guy was probably the most dangerous opponent the heroes ever faced. This guy is their version of the devil and when he transforms himself into his ultimate form, he becomes literally the god of space and time and has the power to whip out everything they ever existed. Plus he was so far the only villain, that managed to actually kill Sonic, something no one so far has done. Because of how much of a threat he was, other villains that came after Mephilis, like The Deadly Six, Lyric, Infinite and I even dare say Dark Gaia, feel all really less threatening and come off more as joke villains compare to him.

Same also with the ultimate dark scenario. They already did this in Forces. Eggman finally won and took over the world. And people even thought that Sonic was killed. Eggman was 99% close to his goal. Every other evil plan of his that will come after Forces will sound and feel very harmless compared to his achievements in Forces.

I personally wonder, how they will top that all in the future. A lot of these plots sound more like they will fit for the end of the Sonic series. The last goodbye. 

What do you guys think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Narrative escalation is what you're talking about, and no, I don't think so, not in any way that it's meaningful. The series has so little regard for continuity and every single story it's ever told has been either so sparse or so clumsily-written that nothing is ever so high-stakes that it feels like it invalidates any lower-stakes debacles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not at all, there's more than narratives that being big and bad , and there's more to being a threat than being big and bad. I think that's why infinite failed. A character who would have been much better used with his powerset as a guy manipulating people behind the scenes and showing you the negative feelings they may harbor towards each other forced to be a giant villain.

So no we haven't reached the limit, the people coming up with the scenaro's need to grow the stories they are trying to tell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Water God destroying a city, A Space Station crashing into the planet, An Alien invasion, A Time god disrupting space time, An Ancient God who destroys the world all the time...

The series has reached no limit, they've just backpedaled on escalation.

I would personally say this is a good thing, since it got old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think so, no. There's so much to explore in Sonic's universe (even though the new threat is usually a new character of McGuffin) that there's probably always going to be some degree of raised stakes.

Like Shady said, this series doesn't really care that much about continuity anyway. Most Sonic plots are fairly self-contained with only a few outliers that have references to older games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lack of continuity doesn't really factor into whether a plot is enjoyable or not, because even if Sonic and friends don't remember any of the last times they took on a Lovecraftian horror, we do, and many of us got bored of it.  Of course, many of us have also gotten bored of Eggman having the mega-weapon Sonic needs to take down, so where something comes from doesn't necessarily make it less stale compared to something that came from elsewhere.

So in some sense, it's accurate to say the series can't go any higher, but I don't think that means it has to go down again.  Rather, what the series should do is go sideways, so-to-speak.  Give us something new.  Not bigger, and to be fair it can even be smaller and still succeed, but something that hasn't been explored before in a Sonic game, or at least not well.  Here are some ideas:

*Sonic gets a fan who considers him a role-model, and has a lot of the same outlook and abilities...but it comes out that the fan also has some differences.  The same commitment to living life as a free-spirit who follows his own ideals of justice, but his ideals of justice actually clash with Sonic's and this creates friction.  Sonic has always been able to play the hero because there's an unambiguously evil villain to stop; a story where it's more ambiguous who's right could be a nice change of pace.

*Eggman succeeds in gaining control of a territory with a twist, he's actually gotten good at ruling and thus a lot of his subjects respect him, and the global community treats his country as legitimate.  Sonic thinks he's up to something, so it's up to him to approach this delicately and craftily to ensure that nothing bad happens.

*Sonic is enlisted to train a bunch of aspiring heroes, and the plot is first about him helping them pull through, after which they return the favor once they toughen up.

*Sonic is transported to another dimension inexplicably, and his quest is to figure out just what's going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stakes actually have more impact the more personal they are. The collapse of space and time can only hold so much weight even when you suspend your disbelief at the fact that Sonic will certainly come out on top. A world and a cast worth loving being put in danger is enough to get a rise out of the player, whether the stakes are big or small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wraith said:

Stakes actually have more impact the more personal they are. The collapse of space and time can only hold so much weight even when you suspend your disbelief at the fact that Sonic will certainly come out on top. A world and a cast worth loving being put in danger is enough to get a rise out of the player, whether the stakes are big or small.

Yeah, this.  Ultimately the ambiguity of whether Sonic will win is up to the player doing well, but if gameplay is all that matters then how high the stakes are is irrelevant anyway.  Sonic can face the same huge, difficult villain whether the villain is trying to conquer the world or steal his beer or force him to make out with Shadow on camera to make DeviantArt pictures, and the gameplay won't change.

Of course, Sega favors plots where the world is in trouble.  But they could do well to show more than tell.   This is what separates DIC's freedom fighters cartoon from Sonic Forces; the scenario is similar but the cartoon goes much further to acquaint us with both the heroes and villains, showing that their ambitions and ideal worlds are very different and irreconcilable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Forces seriously bit off way more than it could reasonably chew and then some.

3 hours ago, StaticMania said:

 

The series has reached no limit, they've just backpedaled on escalation.

I would personally say this is a good thing, since it got old.

Yeah, that's pretty much what put this series where it is: it kept trying to make things bigger & darker, which resulted in them hitting rock bottom and most recently, arguably spending their Cupe de Grace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Forces can take a potentially epic story on paper and water it down to something that’s anticlimactic in execution, I doubt there a limit.

Even then, it still possible to make something on a far lower scale of danger have an epic impact when you put something less general at stake—sure the world being in danger affects everyone, but there’s plenty more within the world that each individual character could place a high priority over aside from that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that the mentality people have nowadays? If so, it's no wonder DBZ feels so out of whack. Once you go past villains like Cell who claim they have enough power in the palms of their hands to blow away the entire solar system, how do you make people care about the constant upscaling?

You do what good story-telling does and make the conflict about the characters. A big conflict can be as big as it wants from a perspective of scale but it won't reach its truest potential if it's not tied, in some way, to the characters in a way that has a chance of developing or affecting them personally. The premise that Forces had would have been a good way to do a lot of that considering a war story typically has a better chance at being about the world and it's cast than not. As it stands, it definitely hasn't reached any sort of limit, because it didn't even really attempt to capitalize on that.

It can throw Gods and monsters at us all it wants but it's never gonna feel like the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood climax with it being as impersonal as it is.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the series's continuity was actually tightly-woven, had rock-solid links between each game - and, more importantly, if the power of the protagonists continued to scale upwards along with the power of the antagonists - then there might be a case for something like Solaris as the series's "upper limit".  But none of those points are true.  Sonic's strength lies in being a relative underdog, so even low-level threats are still as much of a threat to him as the various gods and demons the series should never have introduced in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, FFWF said:

If the series's continuity was actually tightly-woven, had rock-solid links between each game - and, more importantly, if the power of the protagonists continued to scale upwards along with the power of the antagonists - then there might be a case for something like Solaris as the series's "upper limit".  But none of those points are true.  Sonic's strength lies in being a relative underdog, so even low-level threats are still as much of a threat to him as the various gods and demons the series should never have introduced in the first place.

I don't think you should go that far; some cosmic entities like Chaos are more than welcome in my eyes.

The most important thing, though, is variety.  If a villain recurs, that villain must do something to stay fresh, or at least, have as light a touch as needed to avoid being annoying.  Again, these games hardly need a detailed plot, but if they're going to insist on having one, make it a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as narrative? nah not at all. You could have easily raised this argument 10 years ago and then then we got - in my opinion- one of the best and well written stories in Sonic Colours. I think the writing could be excellent again , just look at Sonic Boom , the banter between the characters in the show AND the games is excellent and the direction I feel they should go in for future instalments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megaman X and Zero series had ludicrous moments story-wise, but they didn't have many issues with their next villain power escalation. Considering Megaman and Sonic share similar themes as action focused games.

Regardless, Does it really matter? How much were the stakes when the game constantly hand over plot elements to you like candy, given the only thing you did was just clear stages and watch the next cutscene exposure?. Even sometimes the story told through cutscenes keep on going as a microverse apart from gameplay and even doesn't really need your input.

In those cases, the magnitude of the danger feels, at best, anecdotal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2019 at 5:51 AM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

Is that the mentality people have nowadays?

It's the mentality people have on the internet. Everything is about power levels and how strong things are and nothing else matters. Hence why people want everything to be "epic" and fight over who is stronger than who - for instance, all those internet threads about "who would beat who in a fight". Who cares?

It's also the trap Pokemon fell into where everything had to have a bigger scale because "it's better", but they reversed it a little bit after Gen 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Semi-colon e said:

It's the mentality people have on the internet. Everything is about power levels and how strong things are and nothing else matters. Hence why people want everything to be "epic" and fight over who is stronger than who - for instance, all those internet threads about "who would beat who in a fight". Who cares?

It's also the trap Pokemon fell into where everything had to have a bigger scale because "it's better", but they reversed it a little bit after Gen 4.

To be fair, they kinda had to

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2019 at 11:59 PM, Rowl said:

Because of how much of a threat he was, other villains that came after Mephilis, like The Deadly Six, Lyric, Infinite and I even dare say Dark Gaia, feel all really less threatening and come off more as joke villains compare to him.

I can assure you, general fanbase concensus is that Mephiles is one of the biggest joke villians the series has ever produced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also Iblis apparently being an Arabic name for Satan.

At any rate, part of the problem with writing all of these prophecized horrors is that this series is otherwise pretty hush-hush about its past and details about its world.  "Ancient" legends that get invented for one game and then never touched again just go on to reinforce that we're playing a video game, and not the latest entry in a saga.  Not that these games need to be that, but I feel that if they aren't, having an underlying mythology doesn't really work.

By contrast, just focusing on characters who actually come back can work, even if the series isn't paying attention to continuity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, StaticMania said:

His name, I guess.

 

6 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Also Iblis apparently being an Arabic name for Satan.

 

Oh. Right.

6 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

 

At any rate, part of the problem with writing all of these prophecized horrors is that this series is otherwise pretty hush-hush about its past and details about its world.  "Ancient" legends that get invented for one game and then never touched again just go on to reinforce that we're playing a video game, and not the latest entry in a saga.  Not that these games need to be that, but I feel that if they aren't, having an underlying mythology doesn't really work.

By contrast, just focusing on characters who actually come back can work, even if the series isn't paying attention to continuity.

Pretty much.

I kinda feels like they're trying to do that to an extent lately, but obviously still have to mix things up occasionally out of habit and sometimes expectation.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On February 16, 2019 at 6:57 PM, Diogenes said:

An action series doesn't need every threat to be bigger and scarier than the last. Power/threat level/however you want to phrase it isn't even necessarily a linear scale to start with, and it's only a small part of what makes up a story anyway.

This! Sonic does not need to follow the way shonen stories are told.

Something that could also help create new situations/stories is to rotate the character cast, especially after almost a decade of "Sonic and Tails vs Eggman" stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.