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Almar

What is it about Sonic that makes so many wish to disconnect him from non-Eggman humans?

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 2:20 AM, Tara said:

At least as far as the classic continuity goes, I feel that differentiating Sonic and friends as "anthropomorphic" animals as opposed to simply "animals" is where the interpretation goes awry.  I've always felt that aside from their particular characteristics and special powers, i.e. Sonic's speed, there's nothing really that sets Sonic apart from a normal animal.  His design being more human-like and detailed is to indicate his status to the player as an important character, but otherwise, the animal friends such as Flickies and those that appear in Eggman's robots are painted as being on an equal level to Sonic, rather than Sonic existing as an anthropomorphic, human-like animal in a world where these sort of things otherwise don't exist.  Thinking about it this way, it becomes less a matter of Sonic being an alien in his own world, and simply becomes an old-as-time story about human and animals being able to talk to each other, no different from the number of fairy tales and folklore of equal premises.

This does naturally create some contradictions, though, as does any work involving animals.  At some point, it creates a Goofy and Pluto conundrum.  But I feel that's not only unavoidable but also easy to ignore.

For that reason, Sonic doesn't seem "disconnected" from humans to me.  Just that there was never really any reason to show more humans aside from Eggman until Sonic Adventure.  Sonic is a woodland critter, canonically no different than any other (again, barring his speed) but is stylized for the sake of the audience, trying to protect his home from destruction, Eggman is a human intruder that's causing such destruction.  It's not a particularly new premise.

The best comparison I can make is probably Once Upon a Forest.  See the trailer below.

You'll notice the characters are stylized to look, talk, and move more like humans, but the story revolves them fulfilling distinctly animal like roles with humans being... well, very human.

Of course, again, I'm only referring to the classic continuity.  From SA2 onward, it seems they sort of strayed from this type of world.  So... whatever, I guess.

This was especially prominent in the Sonic Bible, and thus things like Martin Adams books and early Fleetway. Sonic Team's tried to solve this with a three-tier system of animals which comes off as five-tier; Humans, Mobians, Mobini, a nebulous category that would include stuff between the Mobini and normal animals, and lastly Mobini. Sonic's world as it stands now is more like say, the Berenstain Bears, with the animals merely as substitute humans in a simple world that is still unlike our own, but not enough to be interesting on its own.

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How about the simplest explanation: experience.

Between Shadow the Game, 06, Sonic X and most of Archie we had very little reason to likes humans. Unleashed is too little too late.

And frankly even next to Unleash human Sonic looks weird and short. It kinda destroys the immersion.

I was raised on SA1 and Sonic X, and I still don't fancy humans (even if I kinda liked few humans from X), so we can drop the "Genesis Purists" theory. If Sonic ever reboot I would be 100% for not including any humans.... if it wasn't for Shadow. IDK, I can't picture him being created by mobian scientists.

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18 minutes ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

If Sonic ever reboot I would be 100% for not including any humans....

But without humans, where would Eggman have come from? Guy's gotta originate from somewhere.

Unless you meant not including any humans literally - i.e., even Eggman would be gone, which honestly sounds like it'd be one of the biggest mistakes this franchise could make (and that's saying something).

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On the subject of Western Sonic canon and the limited appearance of humans, I think the plan for the SatAM cartoon (please correct me if I'm wrong) was to eventually reveal that Robotnik and Snively were the lone survivors in some sort of cosmic spaceship accident in the past; getting caught in a time warp would throw them far into the future where animals evolved into Mobians and all humans were extinct. 

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The Genesis games were on a series of secluded magical islands that eggman invades. They're like nothing else on Earth with surreal landscapes, a culture of talking cartoon animals, and an intrinsic link to the Chaos Emeralds that causes portals to their dimension and even whole planets to warp in and out wildly. After the first 3 adventures, they persue Eggman into human territory, and thats where we're at for a bit. 

Suddenly they retcon it to be on their own planet of surreal landscapes and chaos energy, so i can only headcannon the dots together in my head that the Chaos Emeralds originally warped major landforms to Earth, life cultivated there, Sonic and friends are born, then much later they somehow return to their home planet with Eggman obsessively following after them.

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One detail I have never seen anyone bring up is how out of all major western Sonic media from the 90s, AoStH was the one with the greatest number of human and human-looking characters.

As far as major characters go, we have Von Schlemmer, Lucas, Lucinda, Momma Robotnik, Katella, and Doctor Quark. Digging deeper gets us Mobius' World Leaders, Miss Saccharine, Snow Height, Five of the Seven Squatty Guys, Cinderella, Fairy Godfather, the Wise Old Hermit, Blackbeard, and Robotnik's various ancestors.

 

Sonic Christmas Blast, effectively a posthumous AoStH special, seems to have even fewer reservations about showing humans than the series proper. Santa Claus is the most obvious example, but the unnamed boy who tells Sonic about Robotnik Claus also comes to mind, given his screentime.

SCB2.jpg.52939b16860678992c04dcfc00da47de.jpg

The scene with Robotnik posing as a mall Santa has a crowd seemingly populated entirely by human children.

SCB3.jpg.6c207ac4db4af9780edd6f2467e6e1b7.jpg

SCB4.jpg.55f48c667a12d91c7de55997b52de1f4.jpg

I understand that SatAM and Archie had more elaborate worldbuilding that probably left a bigger impact on the minds of most fans, but for a fanbase that loves deep cuts as much as this one, I'm surprised AoStH's humans get ignored or downplayed whenever the topic of human Sonic characters comes up.

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17 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

How about the simplest explanation: experience.

Between Shadow the Game, 06, Sonic X and most of Archie we had very little reason to likes humans. Unleashed is too little too late.

And frankly even next to Unleash human Sonic looks weird and short. It kinda destroys the immersion.

I was raised on SA1 and Sonic X, and I still don't fancy humans (even if I kinda liked few humans from X), so we can drop the "Genesis Purists" theory. If Sonic ever reboot I would be 100% for not including any humans.... if it wasn't for Shadow. IDK, I can't picture him being created by mobian scientists.

A hedgehog not being as big as a human destroys immersion???

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On 10/22/2019 at 7:51 PM, Tracker_TD said:

...and making them animals would help somehow? That's more down to how they're written than anything. It's not like making them anthros in Forces did much - they were arguably even more generic there. At least Unleashed's humans had character.

It wouldn't necessarily help, but it would certainly make me happy.

On 10/22/2019 at 9:20 PM, Myst said:

I really don't like Sonic living in an anthro world. It just makes Sonic seem really infantile and for furries.

You got a problem with furries?

On 10/25/2019 at 3:29 PM, Dr. Mechano said:

But without humans, where would Eggman have come from? Guy's gotta originate from somewhere.

Who says Eggman would be a human?

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1 hour ago, Splash the Otter said:

Who says Eggman would be a human?

I mean, it's kinda right there in his name: Eggman.

I feel like changing Eggman's species would necessitate a dramatic change to his design as to make him unrecognizable. Part of his iconic look - which has persisted through all iterations of the character - is that he's a big bald guy with a mustache. Hard to pull that off with a character covered in fur.

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See, I never had a problem with Sonic and his animal friends coexisting with actual humans. It's when the humans get photo realistic where I have to give a hard no to. But when people become so adverse to any human being in a Sonic game no matter how they're designed because "They were never there to begin with" is when I scratch my head.

You see, in the classics, Eggman is the one that's the crazy human villain that's going out of his way to these weird uncharted magical islands coming to mess SONIC and friends shit up. As for the rest of the humans? Well, they're clearly sane and minding their own business in their side of the world where the city takes place.

Sonic's an animal, so of course the starting scene in the games are typically going to be set in a ever-green like environment with no humans around (They're clearly up-right standing individuals if Eggman is anything to go by, so why would they ever be seen in a place like Green Hill Zone, which takes place on a drifting island, to begin with when they can be in the city with technology?). Did that stop places like Star light Zone, Spring Yard Zone, Casino Night Zone, etc and etc from existing? No. Why? Because there's more to the world these characters are set on than just the typical animal like setting. Sonic in Sonic 1 is literally chasing down Eggman from an animal like environment to several thriving man-made environments on that same planet from beginning to end of that game. You can see it all for yourself as you're playing if you pay attention to the backgrounds..... and Eggman, being human himself and all, clearly had to come from 2 somebodies that aren't animals... But for some reason, these ideas and the story telling through game play just didn't click with some people.

I've seen some people act like Sonic Adventure was this weird turning point dealing with that, when really, I'd say this was what the series had envisioned itself all along but finally had a gaming console with the necessary power to flesh out ideas like that. 

You see, Sonic in Sonic Adventure, being the speedy drifter that he is, came to Eggman's / human territory aka Station Square this time around instead of the reverse where Eggman went to the magical islands for the emeralds before SA. It just so happened that Chaos did his shenanigans at the city side of the world where Sonic just so happened to be at that point in time... So yea. The humans were always there. It just wasn't necessary to show them off in the Genesis era because it just wasn't needed then from a game play standpoint, but the idea of them existing was always there. Hell, in SA, they still go out of their to show that the only type of people going to these forest-y Sonic like environments are archaeologist and adventurers. Mystic Ruins is a tourist attraction and isn't popping with human activity like Station Square is and takes a literal train ride far away from the city to get there which pretty much falls in line with the classics. Hell, Even Sonic Adventure 2 shows that Green Hill Zone still takes place on a far away drifting island with no people around.

So I never really understood why humans getting involved is such an outlandish idea. I kinda want to say it's because those same people who grew up with the 90's tv shows where humans weren't really prevalent other than Eggman, so they stuck with that idea until they saw the Dreamcast games and up come up and just went "Uhhh... wtf is this 2 legged suit and tied individual?". But that's just my hunch tho.

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For me at least Sonic has never been the problem it's more to do with how Humans have been done in certain games like in  SA1 , Shadow The Hedgehog and especially '06. Just really half-arsed and little or no-substance to them coupled with the fact that those games took themselves way to serious.

The Humans in Unleashed were much much better , easier to listen to and almost-Pixar like.

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6 hours ago, Eurisko said:

Just really half-arsed and little or no-substance to them coupled with the fact that those games took themselves way to serious.

That seems like it's just an NPC problem.

Nothing to do with them being human, just being there is enough. If you want them to be memorable or have a "point" in existing, that's just wanting better world-building/writing.

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Do any of the ones objecting to scores of nameless humans in one world alongside Sonic with no attempts to address it play or watch anything else made by Japan? Do I have to point out Final Fantasy which has turtlemen and ratladies and catmen and bunnygirls all be in the same worlds as humans?

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7 hours ago, Almar said:

Do any of the ones objecting to scores of nameless humans in one world alongside Sonic with no attempts to address it play or watch anything else made by Japan? Do I have to point out Final Fantasy which has turtlemen and ratladies and catmen and bunnygirls all be in the same worlds as humans?

No you don't have to because I only counted one person in this topic who said they didn't like humans in the series

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On 10/27/2019 at 8:49 PM, Dr. Mechano said:

I mean, it's kinda right there in his name: Eggman.

All that signifies is that he's male.

On 10/27/2019 at 8:49 PM, Dr. Mechano said:

I feel like changing Eggman's species would necessitate a dramatic change to his design as to make him unrecognizable. Part of his iconic look - which has persisted through all iterations of the character - is that he's a big bald guy with a mustache. Hard to pull that off with a character covered in fur.

I actually have a design that I think looks good. It was meant to be for a hypothetical "new Eggman", but I think it could work for Robotnik himself.

Eggfox.png

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If he don't have the 'stache,

it belongs in the trash.

 

Not saying your art or design is bad in and of itself; It could totally work as an original character. But it's just extremely unfitting for Eggman. Even way-the-hell off-model takes on the character like SatAM Robotnik and even the live-action film Robotnik never cut out his mustache. I really do think that it's as integral to Eggman's design as Sonic's spines, Tails's tails, or Knuckles' dreadlocks. Without it, he's just not him.

And - connecting this to the topic at hand here - I'm not sure how that'd go if he was already a hair-covered animal. Yeah, there have been cases of "normal hair on top of fur" like the mustachioed Uncle Chuck, but I also think that - even if you found a way to keep the mustache with an animal design - Eggman being bald is also extremely iconic of his appearance. It's what gives him an egg-head, you know? It'd be really hard to tie these design elements - which I honestly consider essential for Eggman - into an animal character.

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I desire for them both to co-exist with one another. There are plenty of reasons why.

The fact that Eggman is a human. The fact that humans are animals as well. The fact that so long as they're cartoonish and stylized, they won't clash with the established world at all. Its easy to argue for.

I've heard as a rebuttal to pointing out that Eggman is a human that he doesn't count because he exists to represent deforestation and industrialization bringing harm to the animals of Sonic's planet. So apparently, to that guy, humans are allowed so long as they're a metaphor for something. Seems like a strange arbitrary rule to have but I guess its no stranger than mandating all the males be naked.

Eggman can definitely still represent that without being the only human. 

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You should have countered that SatAM isn't the games and there is plenty of technology that doesn't come from Eggman in the Genesis Era.

It's just an example of how there are those who are more drawn to either the Western spins on Sonic or their own headcanons influenced on them than the Sonic that was designed by Naka and Co.

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14 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

If he don't have the 'stache,

it belongs in the trash.

 

Not saying your art or design is bad in and of itself; It could totally work as an original character. But it's just extremely unfitting for Eggman. Even way-the-hell off-model takes on the character like SatAM Robotnik and even the live-action film Robotnik never cut out his mustache. I really do think that it's as integral to Eggman's design as Sonic's spines, Tails's tails, or Knuckles' dreadlocks. Without it, he's just not him.

And - connecting this to the topic at hand here - I'm not sure how that'd go if he was already a hair-covered animal. Yeah, there have been cases of "normal hair on top of fur" like the mustachioed Uncle Chuck, but I also think that - even if you found a way to keep the mustache with an animal design - Eggman being bald is also extremely iconic of his appearance. It's what gives him an egg-head, you know? It'd be really hard to tie these design elements - which I honestly consider essential for Eggman - into an animal character.

I don't think his mustache or baldness are that integral to his design. The red jacket is what I notice first and foremost.

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