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Tails: between success and disservice of the character

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Tails having reasonable fears is fine.

Tails cowering in the face of common Badniks in Forces is not.

This kid's taken down armies of Badniks and fought Eggman - both alone and with Sonic's help. He stopped Witchcart and Great Battle Kukku all by himself. He stood up to GUN's forces and the Black Arms as well.

It is ridiculous that he'd be paralyzed with fear from a tiny squadron of common grunt robots. I don't have a problem with Tails being afraid, but when it's incongruent with his character - as it was in Forces - it's bad writing. 

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I've been thinking lately about how, with some honestly pretty minor rewrites (considering how much of a non-factor Classic Sonic was) Tails could have been playable in the 2D levels instead of Classic Sonic in Forces. lol

Ultimately I feel the problem doesn't have to do with cowardice. Heck Luigi isn't a coward per se, he's capable of feeling fear unlike Mario but he'll always eventually leap into the fray. Tails is the same way in personality, however after SA2 they've seemed to decided that he isn't an active fighter most of the time, especially if Sonic isn't around. So he'll stand in between some civilians and badniks and, yes, wince when they're approaching, but he was presumably in that situation willingly and didn't try running away or anything.

It's extremely weird they went back on how SA1 made a point that he can be just as capable as Sonic without Sonic needing to be around. I'd even argue it was probably an immediate change of mind, because the mech in SA2 almost feels like a wacky workaround. It's bizarre because it really does only seem to apply to him. Just look at some of the final cutscenes in Forces and how they show off basically the entire cast taking part in the battle, it clearly doesn't have to do with being playable or not when it comes to anyone else, it's just...him.

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2 minutes ago, Celestia said:

 

It's extremely weird they went back on how SA1 made a point that he can be just as capable as Sonic without Sonic needing to be around. I'd even argue it was probably an immediate change of mind, because the mech in SA2 almost feels like a wacky workaround. It's really bizarre because it really does only seem to apply to him. Just look at some of the final cutscenes in Forces and how they show off basically the entire cast taking part in the battle, it clearly doesn't have to do with being playable or not when it comes to anyone else, it's just...him.

Could be because he's generally had a dubious moveset to call his own.

And/or they just forgot to show him fighting. 

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I mean, he has the tail spin move that was reasonably consistent in games in the early/mid 00s. It'd have been funny/cool seeing him tripping and knocking around the Ruby illusion villains like that.

You could also just have him do spin attacks but that's one of those things where everyone being able to do it is just a gameplay thing, which is fine imo but it'd be more fun if just everyone could do it. Sonic would sue if he wasn't such a nice guy.

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2 minutes ago, Celestia said:

I mean, he has the tail spin move that was reasonably consistent in games in the early/mid 00s. It'd have been funny/cool seeing him tripping and knocking around the Ruby illusion villains like that for a second or two or something.

Yeah, that was the only thing I could think of from Adventure 1. Did he have it in other games?

Plus, it probably would've been funny.

3 minutes ago, Celestia said:

 

You could also just have him do spin attacks but that's one of those things where everyone being able to do it is just a gameplay thing, which is fine imo but it'd be more fun if just everyone could do it. Sonic would sue if he wasn't such a nice guy.

Uh, I know someone disbarred it, but I don't think the Spin has to be segregated to him.

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He could do it in the Advance games, and some of his attacks in Sonic Battle. I think he can do it in the Chao Gardens in SA2 as well. EDIT: Oh yeah, it's his attack when using a second controller in Shadow's game too. That was it's last appearance. You can see why people were very confused about it's absence in '06.

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29 minutes ago, Celestia said:

I've been thinking lately about how, with some honestly pretty minor rewrites (considering how much of a non-factor Classic Sonic was) Tails could have been playable in the 2D levels instead of Classic Sonic in Forces. lol

Ultimately I feel the problem doesn't have to do with cowardice. Heck Luigi isn't a coward per se, he's capable of feeling fear unlike Mario but he'll always eventually leap into the fray. Tails is the same way in personality, however after SA2 they've seemed to decided that he isn't an active fighter most of the time, especially if Sonic isn't around. So he'll stand in between some civilians and badniks and, yes, wince when they're approaching, but he was presumably in that situation willingly and didn't try running away or anything.

It's extremely weird they went back on how SA1 made a point that he can be just as capable as Sonic without Sonic needing to be around. I'd even argue it was probably an immediate change of mind, because the mech in SA2 almost feels like a wacky workaround. It's bizarre because it really does only seem to apply to him. Just look at some of the final cutscenes in Forces and how they show off basically the entire cast taking part in the battle, it clearly doesn't have to do with being playable or not when it comes to anyone else, it's just...him.

This is what particularly sticks out as weird to me. 

Tails is, quite literally, the ''only'' character who does not actively participate in combat regardless of the circumstances; Charmy does, but not Tails. 

 

Its just another weird ass mandate from Sega I bet that makes no fucking sense to anybody but them. 

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4 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

This is what particularly sticks out as weird to me. 

Tails is, quite literally, the ''only'' character who does not actively participate in combat regardless of the circumstances; Charmy does, but not Tails. 

 

Its just another weird ass mandate from Sega I bet that makes no fucking sense to anybody but them. 

To be fair, Charmy has always been the most fight happy of the little kids.

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15 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

Its just another weird ass mandate from Sega I bet that makes no fucking sense to anybody but them. 

It makes sense to me, but I'm probably off mark for the reason why specifically.

If I haven't really brought this up before, I did mean to make note of Tails' combat status is only a game-play thing. Even if he should be as physically capable as at least Amy. But they won't show him fighting because reasons, Sonic X would show Cream fighting...but Tails can only be shown trying to and he doesn't actually because Shadow and Rouge.

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1 minute ago, StaticMania said:

The only people Tails was shown fighting physically (in Sonic X) were Shadow and Rouge.

Obviously he wasn't going to beat them, but he wouldn't land a hit either.

Oh. Wait, he never fought Eggman's robots?

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Just now, StaticMania said:

It's not like Eggman had any badniks in that show, they were all mid-boss tier or higher...and he doesn't really help fight those without the Tornado.

Oh yeah.

I mean there was the runaround with Bocoe,but that doesn't really count as a fight.

 

Eh, ultimately goes back into tiers and/or character speciation.

Oh, there was also Hawk.

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I guess it depends on how you define cowardly. I don't think he's cowardly but more in reasonable status. Not highly courageous or brave, but not cowardly....unless we count more on the later portrayal then yes I would say cowardly. Luigi is both the bravest and most cowardly character at the same time. He's practically scared of everything, but he still mans up and gets shit done. I don't know how you can be both more brave and cowardly at the same time. It's great and fascinating.

Not sure what the problem they have with him is. Maybe it'll turn around what with IDW, Mania, and Mania Adventures showing him being more competent. So purpose things will change. I don't have my hopes up but who knows.

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3 minutes ago, Celestia said:

I always think of that classic quote about how true bravery is being scared but doing something anyway, which is Luigi in a nutshell and seemed to be what they were going for with Tails in SA1.

I thought they were going for self-suffiency/independence.

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6 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

I thought they were going for self-suffiency/independence.

He's clearly terrified of having to fight Eggman himself in his final boss fight, but he does it anyway because he has to.

 

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There's also him immediately facing down Eggman in SA2 after Eggman launches Sonic to his death. 

Tails in Forces immediately goes into a despair that the other characters say is Tails going nuts, Tails in SA2 immediately rises to the occasion, and decides he's going to be strong to save Amy and fulfil Sonic's last wish to stop Eggman no matter what, and save the planet.

That's not even pointing out the fact that Sonic being knocked out by Eggman and co is a lot more ambiguous than seeing Sonic placed into an exploding capsule and sent out to a mocking death in front of his friends, only escaping via the power of chaos control, and then in Forces where Sonic is imprisoned for a few days/weeks, and then escaping due to Illusion Zavok being a complete idiot. 

Or we could also point out the fact that Tails practically had a hand in Sonic's near-death in SA2 was because he didn't have Sonic's poker face and he fell for Eggman's trick and revealed that the emerald Sonic was placing down for the ransom was a fake, confirming something that Eggman only lightly suspected and bluffed about. And even then, Tails stood his ground to fight Eggman as the planet hanged in the balance, while in Forces, in pretty much the same situation where Eggman was going to gain control of the planet, Tails did nothing, was afraid of a few mooks, and didn't even try to save Sonic. 

Like, screw fighting, or being scared, you'd think at the very least, Tails would've made some kind of effort to airlift Sonic out of there, even if Infinite quickly shot him back down. The level of character inconsistency here is absolutely ridiculous, not helped later by Tails immediately jumping back to smug rival when he and Classic meet Eggman in later levels. 

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33 minutes ago, Ryannumber1Scarer said:

Tails in Forces immediately goes into a despair that the other characters say is Tails going nuts, Tails in SA2 immediately rises to the occasion, and decides he's going to be strong to save Amy and fulfil Sonic's last wish to stop Eggman no matter what, and save the planet.

"Immediately", in this case, meaning at some unknown point across a several month span where his best friend is missing and possibly dead and Eggman has effectively taken over the world.

And it's not really fair to compare Tails in his mech vs Eggman in a functionally identical mech against Tails, unarmed, against 5 guys who just effortlessly beat the shit out of Sonic.

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I can fully believe Tails tried to do something but got knocked away Team Rocket style. Blasting off again, etc. Sorry this mental image is funnier to me than it should be.

They cut away right a few seconds after Sonic gets K.O'd, and the last few games have had a few cases of Tails leaping in to save Sonic from something or other, so it's not like that's not a thing. I know that's just headcanon in this particular case of course, but considering a consistent problem with the games (particularly starting with Unleashed/Colours) is there being a lot of noticeable gaps in the narrative...you kinda don't have a choice, unless you just completely write everything off forever, in which case I would not be making this post.

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