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batson

What finally broke me

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So I've been a Sonic fan ever since I was a little kid in the mid 90's. And it was during the early 2000's that I developed an interest in the idea of the Sonic video game canon. At the time, there was a lot of confusion among the fanbase regarding canon, especially in separating elements from the old western interpretation of Sonic from the original japanese interpretation. And then there was Sonic X. Nowadays you'll find practically nobody who considers the show to be canon to the game continuity but that was not the case back in the day. In those days, there was something of a schism in the fanbase regarding the shows canonicity to the games. I was firmly on the side that argued that the show existed as a completely separate canonical entity from the games.

Back in those days, I enjoyed being an a quest to learn about the "real" Sonic universe as presented by the video games, or the universe of "SEGASonic" as we called it. Of course, looking back I realize that a lot of the game canon even back in those days was up to interpretation, but nevertheless I very much enjoyed the fun of trying to deduce the "real" Sonic universe. And things continued on like that for years. I took part in all the now classical canonical debates; such as which spin-off's could be considered canon, or the befuddling question of how to make sense of Blaze the Cat being both from the Sol Dimension and from the Future (in other words almost existing as two separate characters). It was messy but it was fun.

But not too long ago, an idea was put forth that abruptly made me stopped caring about SEGA's official Sonic canon. After years of investment, this idea sucked the fun out of caring about the Sonic universe. And this idea is, that the classic games exists in a different dimension from the modern games. The classic games, in other words the games that made me start caring about Sonic in the first place, are no longer canon to the post-1998 series. Classic Sonic and Post-1998 Sonic exist in different worlds. Oh sure, supposedly "something similar" to the classic games happened even in the modern universe, but there is no way to tell exactly how much of them happened. Nowadays when I boot up Sonic 2 on my Mega Drive, SEGA wants me to accept that the Sonic I see on screen is a different character from the Sonic I see when I play Sonic Adventure. And I'm sorry, but that's just not something I can accept and still be invested in Sonic as a fictional universe. I can still enjoy the games as games, I mean they are still fun to play and all, but as a work of fiction, that's it for me. I'm done. The official SEGASonic canon is nowadays so messed up that it's no longer worth being invested in.

So that's it. After decades of devoted interest in the offical Sonic video game universe, I'm over and out. Maybe I'm being overtly sensitive, but nevertheless, there it is.

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1 hour ago, batson said:

Oh sure, supposedly "something similar" to the classic games happened even in the modern universe, but there is no way to tell exactly how much of them happened.

I mean, we know for a fact that some Classic events are exactly the same in the Modern dimension.

The events from the Sonic 2 manual is referenced in SA1.

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From the manual:

Quote

“Miles Prower” is a small fox. Miles has two tails. That is why the animals of the island call him “Tails.”
He was often bullied because of his two tails. But after seeing Sonic, who came to this island, Miles changed. He made up his mind.
“I want to become cool, too!” he said. And after that, Miles began following Sonic around throughout the day.

And even the part about him being bullied was mentioned in his dialogue in the Tokyo International Forum presentation and in Prerelease materials.

Fxgvtog.jpg

The events of Sonic CD and 3&K are straight up mentioned:

AWVS7Sm.jpg

Amy flashed back to CD events:

6AQHCJ5.jpg

And according to kurohaai, a  translator on Tumblr, Knuckles mentioned that the island had fallen before:

Quote

Knuckles’ opening dialogue also has a slight addition. Instead of simply stating that the island would fall to the ocean, I noticed that the Japanese version put an emphasize with the 「また 落ちる」or “falling again”. I believe this is a reference to the S3&K game as well (Angel Island has fallen before on the said game).

Sonic 4: Episode Metal even starts off with were CD left off with Metal Sonic still laying in defeat on Little Planet:

fhchn5c.jpg

The events are pretty much the same from what information we have presented here. Who's to say that there WERE any differences?

 

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I’m fairly sure that the dimension thing isn’t the intent to make the classic games non canon, but rather it’s a split timeline kind of thing. Everything happens from Sonic 1 to S3&K, but splits off with that, one timeline splitting to Adventure, while the other splits to Mania. Likely because they didn’t want another shit show like Sonic 4 in terms of canon.

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I've interpreted it as the same thing as the split timeline from Zelda where events are the samw in both instances up until a split(Generations). I don't like it there either, but I can accept it as long as the series goes back to focusing on individual stories and they tone it down with the time travel and the alternate dimensions and stuff going forward.

7 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Likely because they didn’t want another shit show like Sonic 4 in terms of canon.

They don't care about the canon. They just wanted to seperate the brands because gamers are picky

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But if the classic games are still intended to have happened in the modern timeline, than you are the makers of the IDW comic forbidden from ever featuring anything from the classic games?

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I wonder if the reason Classic Sonic is now considered to be from another dimension is because he's on a different timeline starting with Mania (because of Generations) so they think it wouldn't make sense to call him Sonic from the past if Classic Sonic is no longer living Modern Sonic's past.

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16 minutes ago, Ivo-goji said:

I just completely ignore the idea that there's more than one Sonic in any sense at all, because I hate it.

That's what I try to do. But, in the immortal words of Silver the Hedgehog "it's no use". I just can't let it go. Like I said, it completely ruins the Sonic franchise as a work of fiction worth being invested in. I can still enjoy Sonic as purely a game series, but I just can't muster up any kind of excitement for the world that they take place in anymore. And the sad part about that is that, like I said, I've spent decades pondering the Sonic universe. For God's sake, a lot of members on this board were toddlers back in like 2003 when I debated with people on how to interpret the cutcenes in Sonic Adventure and how they differ between character's perspectives. And I dunno, somehow the fact that something I've been doing for so long suddenly becomes completely disinteresting to me because of one lousy corporate decision on SEGA's part just makes me really frustrated. It's such an anti-climax to such a long road.

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1 hour ago, Adamabba said:

I wonder if the reason Classic Sonic is now considered to be from another dimension is because he's on a different timeline starting with Mania (because of Generations) so they think it wouldn't make sense to call him Sonic from the past if Classic Sonic is no longer living Modern Sonic's past.

That’s what we’ve all pretty much assumed. The problem is Sega don’t seem to have any intention of establishing that fact within any narrative.

In a competent version of Forces’ story, the fact that classic Sonic now seems to be following a different history from his “present day” counterpart would have come up, with it eventually being discovered by the characters that a timeline split has happened.

Instead, Tails and Eggman just suddenly *know* that classic Sonic is from another dimension, implying that Sega straight up just want to retcon the “past Sonic” thing from Generations.

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The idea of a 'split' doesn't even make sense in the context of Generations.  Nothing the classic era characters experienced in that game effected their subsequent actions.  Like, they were plucked out of time during Sonic 2, and S3&K and CD still happened, with no evident change.  There's nothing that happened to Eggman to make him discover the Phantom Ruby in one timeline and not in the other.

The retcon directly ignores the plot of Generations and acts like a totally different set of events took place instead.

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1 hour ago, ComeAsYouAre said:

I agree that the whole "Two Sonics" thing was a result of SEGA's typical "Burn everything down if the critics pan a game" mentality , it hurt the franchise a lot

And given the Adventure fans and “BALDY MCNOSEHAIR”, there will eventually be Three Sonics atop various temporary Sonics like Boom or the Movie and Pseudo-Sonics like IDW or social media. 

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Sonic Team, SEGA, Iizuka, whoever has honestly stopped caring for any narrative sense for quite a while. Whether that's pressure from Classic fans and reviewers, pitiful sales of current titles, or the somewhat recent turn on the Adventure titles from some fans (while still being treasured by the other, kinda pulling a John Cena there) -- maybe all of it. At this point, they're just throwing things against the wall and seeing what happens.

I dunno, Sonic has felt very shallow for the longest of time. Shallow since at least Colors. It has all the coating of things to enjoy but none of the depth or understanding. Plotwise, that's evident in both Lost World and Forces. Gameplay, I feel like boosting is just a crutch for Sonic and since Lost World failed pretty badly, they had a panic attack and went back on it.

Either case, there's no heart put into these titles. "Things happen but they don't," that's really the best way I can describe Sonic plots. Hell, maybe Sonic gameplay.

Personally, I checked out a little bit after my knee-jerk reaction to Generations faded. Second round, there was really nothing special about it.

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4 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Likely because they didn’t want another shit show like Sonic 4 in terms of canon.

I'd say less a fiasco in terms of canon and more a fiasco in terms of marketing, something analogous to what @Wraith said. Promoting another classic Sonic project but doing so in a way so that doesn't remind people of the last attempt of revisiting the roots. Obviously this could had been done without creating alternate timelines or dimensions or whatever out of thin air; but ST PR has made a point of telling people about the different Sonics people want and how they aim to accomplish that for a while now, so I guess this is in line with that.

---

Honestly I'm really stunned Sonic Team still attempt to crib together some sort of canon for Sonic games nowadays because they don't even try to link them together in any meaningful sense. If you're going to commit to some sort of overreaching table of events, then the least you can do is to stop putting up less than half of the effort needed to coherently weld it together. They might as well pull a Mario and just pretend no continuity exists at all with the way things are going.

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4 hours ago, Wraith said:

I've interpreted it as the same thing as the split timeline from Zelda where events are the samw in both instances up until a split(Generations). I don't like it there either, but I can accept it as long as the series goes back to focusing on individual stories and they tone it down with the time travel and the alternate dimensions and stuff going forward.

Yeah like the split is weird, but the restrictions given to Ian Flynn in the comic recently seem to have more effect on canon than the split. I mean yeah the split is kinda weird. But It seems to be implied that angel island can't leave animal planet according to sega. Which does... a lot more for " Wait this doesn't make sense story wise " than a weird split timeline because of ....

4 hours ago, Wraith said:

They don't care about the canon. They just wanted to seperate the brands because gamers are picky

Yeah. The want to appeal to seperate demo's. Something they should have started doing... a while ago.

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They simultaneously don't care and care too much about the story.

They don't care about making it make sense, but boy howdy do they care about enforcing their arbitrary mandates on every single aspect of the franchise now, up to outright forbidding so-called "classic characters" from appearing in "modern" games or comics. It's stifling a lot of potential creativity. Sonic has a wealth of characters and settings to draw from, but now they're forever locked behind the "classic embargo" and aren't allowed to appear outside of works set in the classic era.

I miss when we had one single timeline on one single planet. Classic was the past of the modern games, and the world was just a place where both humans and animals happened to live; Station Square and South Island were just part of the same world. It was simpler and easier to follow, and made the Sonic world feel way more cohesive.

Now we have two timelines, and one of those timelines is arbitrarily split into two planets. I just can't get invested in something this needlessly convoluted.

I'll still play the occasional good games when they come along, like the next Mania game, but I'm way past over caring about Sonic as a body of fiction.

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On 9/25/2019 at 5:14 PM, batson said:

But not too long ago, an idea was put forth that abruptly made me stopped caring about SEGA's official Sonic canon. After years of investment, this idea sucked the fun out of caring about the Sonic universe. And this idea is, that the classic games exists in a different dimension from the modern games.

Basically, I think that the current Modern timeline state is "imagine that Sonic had green eyes during the classic games" (basically like the Sonic Adventure cutscenes). I think this is as far as the two dimensions are different atm.

Maybe that some "obscure for the larger public" classic game aren't considered canon, but even that I'm not sure, with SEGA being sometime somewhat random with canonicity.

 

TBH, I think that the goal isn't to separate the classic games from the post98 games (especially as in Forces they reused locations and elements from those games, so sure they are canon), but to separate the classic and the modern DESIGNS (and the brands).

For a long time, I think they considering it not as an in-story change of how Sonic looks, but as a simple different way of how he is shown. For a long time, as far as SEGA was concerned, Classic Sonic wasn't even a "younger Sonic", it was just that the game happened to have this design (that's why Sonic 4 used Modern design, or that all cutscene of the Past in Sonic Adventure used the Modern design.). That's also why Flynn had never got any trouble to show the events of the Classic games in his stories post-SGW, while he couldn't always show the Classic Design : because of that. Another way of saying it was that for them "Classic Sonic" wasn't "canon" and was just a representation.

It only really changed with Generations, and I think it's a bit because of the fanbase, as we were the one making "canon" the Classic design. As Generations, Classic Sonic became officially the past appearence of Sonic (so not just how it happened to look in the game, but how he "really looked" in Universe)… and I'm not sure that what they wanted. And I think that the "two dimensions" stuff is a way to :

- go back to the pre-Generations status quo where "canon-wise" (as far as a "canon" is possible for Sonic…), Sonic always looked like Sonic

- have two brands to try to market more nostalgia-related product.
 

Long story short, I think that the current situation of the modern timeline is basically how Sonic was before Generations, were the games are still canon, but with Classic Sonic not being a "younger Sonic" instory.

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I feel you.

The irony in the post though is that the modern timeline is essentially the evolution of the original timeline starting from S1. Sonic did all that stuff, somehow didn't age much, got taller, and his eyes turned green. Those details are irrelavant to the fact that all those stories happened in the modern timeline. You can consider that the Universe 1 sonic if you will. The fact that the stories aren't usually written well doesnt take away from the fact that "Modern Sonic" is the evolution of sonic on the original timeline. 

The "Modern Classic" sonic is Universe 2 and represents the actual split. Sonic is still pre-adventure in Mania, which follows S3K. 

 

To be honest I'm not super fond of Modern Classic, and I'm about as big a "classic era" fan as you'll find. Modern classic doesnt feel quite the same to me as the original did, at least how he was commonly portrayed in the west as well as the gameplay nuance. He feels like a reminder that SEGA remembers the surface level appeal of the character but has completely forgotten why playing the games became so addictive in the first place.

I didnt care that Sonic got 'a little' taller during his jump to 3D (although Sonic 06 was fairly offensive) or that he had green eyes then. I cared about the progressive loss of the gameplay identity and to a lesser extent the tone and art direction of the series. If Modern's gameplay was still on point, most of my issues with the series would go away instantly. 

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Well, Sonic Pocket Adventure actually had Eggman wear both his classic and modern outfits in the same game.

He wore the classic cape for the bulk of the game, then changed into the modern jacket at the end. One could make the argument that this game is the perfect "bridge" in the timeline for when things shifted to the modern designs, since we actually see one character "cross over" to their modern look in-game. 

SA1 kinda waffles around about the modern designs "always being" what the characters looked like, considering icons of the classic designs appear in the Sonic pinball game in Casinopolis, and Eggman's classic design is also used in the Hedgehog Hammer minigame.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Mechano said:

SA1 kinda waffles around about the modern designs "always being" what the characters looked like, considering icons of the classic designs appear in the Sonic pinball game in Casinopolis, and Eggman's classic design is also used in the Hedgehog Hammer minigame.

Always saw that as a convenience thing during development. The game just loads what ever the current character model is, regardless of whether you collected upgrades or not. Same reason they use Mystic Ruin as the backdrop instead of West Side Island.

I doubt Sonic was wearing the Crystal Ring when he met Tails.

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Ok, so, here's the thing.  I have a variety of opinions on different aspects of the Sonic franchise, and I have seen some posts in this topic that make me want to throw down and argue about some of them.  For the moment, though, I'm not gonna do that.  Instead, I'm gonna try to focus on batson's original post and express my own feelings about how the series has been going lately.

In recent years, the revelation of the "Classic/Modern" and the "Animal World/Human World" splits have been one of the single most agonizingly frustrating things I've ever seen come from the Sonic franchise.  I genuinely HATE those splits, and that should mean a lot coming from me.  Sonic Team has done A LOT of dumb crap over the years, and it's been very, very, verrrry hard for me to genuinely hate any of it.  Mostly because there always seemed to be something decent buried under the problems.  The Adventure shouldn't have tried to juggle so many gameplay styles, but they were definitely made with a lot more care and attention than most of what came after.  Heroes' team mechanic was a pretty cool idea, but four teams that were almost exactly the same was a huge waste of it.  Shadow's branching story concept was cool, too bad every branch was poorly written.  And so on and so forth.

In contrast to all of that, the franchise splits don't have any redeeming qualities, they only do one thing: murder possibilities.  There is no advantage to locking Classic characters like Mighty and Ray out of Modern games.  They could have easily spiced up Team Sonic Racing's roster, and that game sorely needed it.  Likewise, there's no benefit to locking Modern characters out of old-school style Sonic games.  I have what I think are some pretty good ideas for how characters like Shadow and Big could be implemented in a game like Mania, but those ideas will never see the light of day as long as the Modern/Classic split is still a thing. 

I have tons of ideas I'd love to throw around and discuss, actually, but I can't help but feel like it's pointless to actually talk about them because I know, for a fact, that they can't possibly happen right now.  That's the most frustrating thing of all to me, actually.

The Sonic franchise means a lot to me, so I really can't stop myself from keeping an eye on it and seeing what it's doing, which means I can't help but make myself frustrated.  The way I manage that frustration is by focusing on one particular fact. 

The Modern/Classic split and the Animal/Human split are just dumb ideas that Sonic Team came up with to pacify fans.  If Sonic Team can just choose to break their franchise into pieces, then there's no reason to think they can't choose to put it back together again later.  So I recognize that the splits are real, and are relevant right now, but doesn't mean they're permanent, and i have no problem telling anyone that these splits should be erased as soon as possible.

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