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If you were in charge of the Sonic franchise

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This is interesting. A number of us do seem to agree that there needs to be some sort of cleansing but the differences in approach are obviously about how much of it to do. 

The only thing about a full on reboot that worries me are all the elements about the series that I do actually like possibly not even having a chance to exist anymore. I would much rather they have a proper chance to be explored and written more cleanly. However, that's where the problems come in. 

Does a reboot have to outright MEAN that Chaos and Professor Gerald and the Ark and whatever else don't exist anymore? It's hard because some of these stories, I would argue, don't really mess too much up just existing on their own. So much about what I love about the Prison Island sequence or the stuff with Gamma or any of that shit I could see coming to fruition just fine in a tightly knit, rebooted version of those games.

If it were me, I'd probably reboot it but made sure I just competently reused whatever elements I felt necessary to keep around in a different way. For example, you don't NEED to follow the story of Sonic Heroes to have a game that introduces the Chaotix Detective Agency, Omega, and have a plot that basically just amounts to "Metal Sonic has lost his goddamn mind. Stop him." 

All of that is so vague that you could basically write any story you wanted from it and it'd barely resemble what little story was in Heroes to begin with. 

I guess what I'm saying is, even if we don't keep the old stories, I'd at least made sure we kept some of the old elements and ideas. Those were never the issue for me. Often my anger towards the game's stories is how they'd come up with something interesting and waste it by doing something embarrassing, worthless, or confusing with it.

That'd be my approach if I were to go for the reboot idea.

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These backstories and overarching lore notes have never been obstacles to the series capacity to tell good stories. It is episodic and picks up a new concept every game. The second that the time and effort is sufficiently put in for good stories to start existing in the series, they will.

 

You don't need to write a bunch of exaggerated issues and out of universe justifications to tell us about your AU ideas. You can just tell us. Maybe it'll even sell me on why a reboot is desirable.

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

That's all well and good, but some characters - like Eggman and Amy - changed their clothes and hairstyle in such a way that we can't just chalk it up to detail.

Just assume Eggman and Amy canonically changed their outfits.

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14 minutes ago, Sean said:

I would introduce the Freedom Fighters into the games and watch the internet burn.

are people really against the idea of them showing up in the games that much? i mean personally i wouldn't go towards that for a major shake-up in regards to the mainline installments (though i agree with everyone saying that needs to happen), but i can see it working. given that sega loosens up a little, maybe they don't have to appear in a modern game, but rather a classic game? it helps that they're generally more associated with that era 

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You know what, I'd like to think I'd hold myself back from this, but I probably would do whatever I could to make sure the Chaotix were in every game too. 

Mostly like how they were in Shadow the Hedgehog, where they're not with the main cast, but are doing something important in the background, completely independent from the rest of them.

I love those guys. 

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4 minutes ago, Wraith said:

These backstories and overarching lore notes have never been obstacles to the series capacity to tell good stories. It is episodic and picks up a new concept every game. The second that the time and effort is sufficiently put in for good stories to start existing in the series, they will.

Writing good stories about new things is surely possible but I'd also like good stories about things that already exist and I don't think that's something the series is equipped to do at this point.

4 minutes ago, Wraith said:

You don't need to write a bunch of exaggerated issues and out of universe justifications to tell us about your AU ideas. You can just tell us. Maybe it'll even sell me on why a reboot is desirable.

I mean...I don't really have many? I've got some vague ideas about the direction I'd take things (and maybe I'll try to collect my thoughts and write them out later) but my interest isn't in pushing my own specific interpretation at this point.

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12 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

That's all well and good, but some characters - like Eggman and Amy - changed their clothes and hairstyle in such a way that we can't just chalk it up to detail.

The only difference between Modern and Classic Eggman is that he wears a jacket, goggles, and his mustache is a little unkempt...

Amy's the only one it'd even remotely matter for.

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9 minutes ago, jdubbam said:

are people really against the idea of them showing up in the games that much? i mean personally i wouldn't go towards that for a major shake-up in regards to the mainline installments (though i agree with everyone saying that needs to happen), but i can see it working. given that sega loosens up a little, maybe they don't have to appear in a modern game, but rather a classic game? it helps that they're generally more associated with that era 

I'm not against them appearing, but I'm not really sure what they'd add.

I feel like they'd necessarily have to be something other than "freedom fighters" considering Eggman doesn't (usually) already rule the world in the games.

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I'm not exactly for the Freedom Fighters appearing in the games myself BUT if I were given no choice but to include them, I'd probably make them G.U.N soldiers.

Seems like it would fit the theme of who they were without changing how Sonic himself operates as a free spirit.

My biggest problem with them and the old Archie comics was all about how Sonic was thethered to a group of people and loyal to an entire kingdom when one of my favorite things about the series is kind of how everyone has their own thing going on. Which is also why I didn't like how Forces just lazily strung everyone together with its "Resistence".

But making them soldiers would help give that more Sonic-like face to GUN that it desperately needs more of. More animal soldiers and weird monstrosities like that freakin truck. Make GUN weird like everything else.

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I'd travel back in time and hire mid-90's Treasure to do the bosses and put like, Manabu Namiki or the Thunder Force IV guys on soundtrack duties.

Sorted

(And I'd make sure we kept getting good-ass Classic games but that's kind of a given) 

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Franken-Mike said:

But making them soldiers would help give that more Sonic-like face to GUN that it desperately needs more of. More animal soldiers and weird monstrosities like that freakin truck. Make GUN weird like everything else.

now this would be a fun way to integrate them. i imagine that these incarnations would share more animosity towards sonic and vice versa, but probably on the lighter side. plus g.u.n. really hasn't had a presence for a long time which is a shame because they have so much untapped potential as a story/setting element

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

The freedom fighters are not cops

I'm only speaking as someone who isn't a fan of them. They felt like cops/soldiers to their kingdom to me what with putting villains under arrest and having prison cells for them and what not.

That's how it felt to me.

However, if integrating them that way would just make fans of them mad, then I'd just leave them out of it. 

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There's probably a lot of things I could say, but I feel like there's only one that actually matters - make momentum a constant.

No, I don't say that as if to suggest "momentum should be constant because Sonic is all about speed amirite guis", rather something more to the effect of "momentum is a force that should be constantly at work, separate from any other mechanic in the game". I don't give a flying fuck what style of speed or momentum you follow, whether it be rolling, boosting, grinding or just outright flying - there is no circumstance in which your speed should drop abruptly just for the act of jumping. This along with Homing Attacks drawing you to a complete stop have now been an issue for the majority of Sonic's lifespan, and Sonic Team have simply gotten worse at it over time, to the point that they can't even be trusted with re-introducing the one style it was done right in anymore. This shouldn't be a controversial statement to make. All the speed in the world doesn't matter if Sonic is constantly going to be a stop-and-go experience for utterly ludicrous and bullshit reasons.

Most of the other stuff I can say are just bullet points, really. Make level design not a straight line. Obliterate the narrative/gameplay barrier and tell a story through playing it rather than segregating it to post-level cutscenes. Have a playable roster that's more than just Sonic and Other Sonic. Stop reinventing the wheel every other game so the good of what's already there can be polished into something great. Again, I could elaborate further on any one of those points, but I feel like they're all ultimately pointless if momentum as a concept doesn't fucking function right even on a basic level.

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1 hour ago, Blacklightning said:

Most of the other stuff I can say are just bullet points, really. Make level design not a straight line. Obliterate the narrative/gameplay barrier and tell a story through playing it rather than segregating it to post-level cutscenes. Have a playable roster that's more than just Sonic and Other Sonic. Stop reinventing the wheel every other game so the good of what's already there can be polished into something great. Again, I could elaborate further on any one of those points, but I feel like they're all ultimately pointless if momentum as a concept doesn't fucking function right even on a basic level.

This is all stuff that that desperately needs to make a comeback but I think the bolded part is something that's seldom ever talked about.

I love myself a nice cutscene but so much of them do feel needlessly independent from the gameplay a lot of the time. I'll never forget that awesome feeling of playing through the end of Unleashed, where the cutscene starts with the Egg Dragoon showing up and Eggman destroying the floor so that you fall down the large gorge. Then during the Egg Dragoon fight you finally finish the fall that started IN the cutscene by bursting through the bottom of Eggmanland and ending up in the center of the planet. Then after you beat the boss, the cutscene starts up with you still in the Earth's core after the robot was defeated from the gameplay segment. It was part of why that boss was so cool and made such a huge impact the way it originally did. The weird sections in the Generations version of the fight where you're randomly falling, this time without any of the original context, just completely missed the point.

I think one of the worst examples of the narrative/gameplay barrier thing is the end of Lost World. Sonic and Tails are in front of the energy machine and Eggman shows up behind them in his unnamed robot. Then the cutscene ends and the gameplay segment begins with Sonic randomly being shot out of a cannon and running on a walkway that wasn't there before. Then after you beat the boss, somehow, despite all the running, they magically end up back at the same place they were at the start of the other cutscene...?

Of course, other stuff like stage transitions and things happening in the backgrounds of the levels are a part of this too. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Franken-Mike said:

I'm not exactly for the Freedom Fighters appearing in the games myself BUT if I were given no choice but to include them, I'd probably make them G.U.N soldiers.

Seems like it would fit the theme of who they were without changing how Sonic himself operates as a free spirit.

My biggest problem with them and the old Archie comics was all about how Sonic was thethered to a group of people and loyal to an entire kingdom when one of my favorite things about the series is kind of how everyone has their own thing going on. Which is also why I didn't like how Forces just lazily strung everyone together with its "Resistence".

But making them soldiers would help give that more Sonic-like face to GUN that it desperately needs more of. More animal soldiers and weird monstrosities like that freakin truck. Make GUN weird like everything else.

Rivals to Team Dark? Sure! That's a good way to make that bunch work.

 

And also, I'd put the third split into motion, for a Dreamcast Era split. However, I'd make the barriers much less strict, allowing for spinoffs with content from all eras, as well as some characters being loaned between eras/brands here and there.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

That's all well and good, but some characters - like Eggman and Amy - changed their clothes and hairstyle in such a way that we can't just chalk it up to detail.

Sonic Pocket Adventure is - I think - the only game to use both designs for the same instance of the same character at different points in the game; Eggman spends most of the game in his classic outfit, then changes into his modern jacket at the end.

That's presuming in a 'rebooted' universe that there wouldn't be an explanation for them swapping outfits on occasion.

Maybe sometimes Eggman just feels like wearing his PJs to work. 

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5 hours ago, Dr. Franken-Mike said:

I'm only speaking as someone who isn't a fan of them. They felt like cops/soldiers to their kingdom to me what with putting villains under arrest and having prison cells for them and what not.

That's how it felt to me.

However, if integrating them that way would just make fans of them mad, then I'd just leave them out of it. 

I know theres this meme that the freedom fighters were restricting Sonic's freedom because he chose to stay with them to fight Eggman or whatever, but they were always far more like Sonic than they were different. 

GUN's thing in the games was being an exaggerated take on human authority complete with being comically corrupt. I'd argue that they're not supposed to have a face the audience can relate to attached for thematic reasons. 

On the flipside the freedom fighters were literally a resistance movement pushing back AGAINST authority that represented the underdog. I'd argue that they're incompatible if you wanted to preserve what they were actually about.

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If I were in charge of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise I would direct a game where the story leads to everyone dying and reincarnating in another dimension with vague memories of their previous lives that way it would start from scratch, there'd be no need for introductions, AND AND AND...all the fans could misuse the phrase "Jump the shark" to describe what a terrible idea that would be.

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57 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I know theres this meme that the freedom fighters were restricting Sonic's freedom because he chose to stay with them to fight Eggman or whatever, but they were always far more like Sonic than they were different. 

GUN's thing in the games was being an exaggerated take on human authority complete with being comically corrupt. I'd argue that they're not supposed to have a face the audience can relate to attached for thematic reasons. 

On the flipside the freedom fighters were literally a resistance movement pushing back AGAINST authority that represented the underdog. I'd argue that they're incompatible if you wanted to preserve what they were actually about.

I don't want to argue at all. I just wanted to offer an idea instead of just saying "I hate them so leave them out forever."

However, my perception of them isn't based off memes. I've read through all the comics past 160 and I've started over from scratch and have reached the 40s. This is what they feel like to me.

In the earlier issues they do have more of the resistence vibe but its still not the ideal picture of what I personally liked about Sonic and the cast as I knew them. Sonic was a guy who was mostly on his own or with Tails. Sometimes with Amy and Cream. Knuckles would get dragged along every now and again. For the most part though, I just felt the character was the kind of guy who didn't really do the kind of thing that the Freedom Fighters were doing which is why, despite managing to enjoy them fine, the comics could never 100% satisfy me the way they were.

In the later issues, their focus grew to be definitively more military-esque. There was so much emphasis on the kingdom, the council, arresting villains and putting them in prison, talk of treason, court systems, Sonic being knighted...

They stood for similar things but it definitely wasn't the kind of operation I felt Sonic himself would be apart of, personally.

I don't think making them GUN soldiers necessarily has to mean they have to abide by what GUN has been up to this point. I've been pushing for a complete and total revamp of what GUN is anyway. I suggested it under the assumption that there'd be more shades of gray within it. The idea of it being  a corrupt system that needs good people within it to carry it to a brighter future sounds like it'd work well enough. I don't really see why GUN can't have a face to it, in terms of characters both good and bad. I'd find that incredibly interesting.

All that said, this is just me explaining where I'm coming from. I don't feel strongly enough about this to argue over it so I'll leave well enough alone. I shouldn't have suggested it.

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6 hours ago, jdubbam said:

are people really against the idea of them showing up in the games that much?

Quite simply they just don't fit. Sneaky gorilla tactics are useless in world where best strategy is boosting into giant robot and seeing it explode. We don't do romance. Coward with a sword and fat walrus are quaint next to Ninja, Pyrokinetic and even little girl with OP chao. So what they add? More background characters for Forces games? Gee, we need that.
Unless franchise bend itself over to become more FF-friendly, they just don't add anything. Trying to do something beyond glorified cameo could be actually detrimental for them. In comparison Sticks have easier job to enter, since her whole thing is comedy. Just give her any job where she spits random comedy (like finding her in stages) and Boom, job done.

 

And everyone talks about reboot, so here's my though: Soft Reboot.

I always respected Marvel over DC, because they don't reboot every 5 minutes. You can clean up the embarrassing mess of the past, but then you make new mistakes and circle continues, or maybe you go to old continuity. Waste of time. Marvel Ultimate or DC 52 proved that reboot is a novelty and then someone messes up again.

And most importantly Sonic can do just fine with small cleaning. Nothing is fundamentally broken.
Just hire good writer, get your story straight and make a game that focus on that and just doesn't talk on awkward past like Black Doom. Look at Crash Racing game. They "Soft Rebooted" with Trilogy, but then added Crunch and bunch of other guys to Racing game. And it was better for it. Star Fox Zero felt it's so pure it couldn't have even Krystal and did people cheered? Nah, they mostly rolled they eyes on another retreat. And just think how Flynn takes all the past elements and makes them work. We hate Black Doom, but we love Eclipse. And if we reboot, there probably won't be Battle DX, who knows when Rouges come back?

Real Life doesn't have Reboot button. Don't throw throw away the past. Face it. Fix it. Build upon it. Or at very least, let it be. It's a past, it can't hurt you.

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2 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

More background characters for Forces games? Gee, we need that.

Why can't they be background characters in general?

Nunners, ya know, like the extra antrhos some fans want in the world. They wouldn't be playable, no one here would make them playable.

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