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Scritch the Cat

At this point, what is keeping other characters from being playable in the main modern Sonic games?

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Making the Classic stuff The Past turned alternate dimension is basically there to allow more creative freedom in future we installments.

 

The problem is that SonicTeam generally don't want to use the other Classic characters without a meaningful update and yet they kept using Classic imagery after Generations. They need to make the sequestering more solid.

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

Making the Classic stuff The Past turned alternate dimension is basically there to allow more creative freedom in future we installments.

 

The problem is that SonicTeam generally don't want to use the other Classic characters without a meaningful update and yet they kept using Classic imagery after Generations. They need to make the sequestering more solid.

My guess would be the boundaries are more there to regulate companies they outsource Classic Sonic to.  It won’t stop them from throwing Classic stuff in Modern games.

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

I do have to consider if characters like Silver or even Cream wouldn't really make the transition between the two game styles.

It's not even down to game style, but aesthetics. We have 2D games with the modern characters just fine. Heck, Blaze is a modern character and she came from a 2D game. It's more down to body structure (the classic character are rounder, shorter, even chubbier). I wouldn't call that a huuuuge issue, but it exists. I'm fully aware that the fans had a work around this by designing their own classic versions of Shadow, Silver and co. But it's still kind of uncanny.

59 minutes ago, G-Force said:

That's not complicated, that's just tongue in cheek.  Sonic & company's past selves are literally just their old character designs.  That is technically exactly what they used to look like.  That's the joke.  It's like if Mickey Mouse pulled out an expired driver's license, and the picture turned out to be him from Steamboat Willie.  It's not supposed to be taken super seriously.

It wasn't well told then. I can see, say, The Simpsons doing this joke (I'm pretty sure they had more than once actually), but not Sonic. Sonic never played with this kind of humour. I mean, yeah, sure, they are from the past because Generations was remembering the main games and events from the past because it was an anniversary game after all. They didn't put much thought in the story. We were not even supposed to take Gens as part of the main canon at one time. Classic Sonic was a one time only thing just for the 20th anniversary, as stated many times by Iizuka back then.

They obviously backpedaled on that and retconnected Classic Sonic in Forces for God knows why. Maybe Sonic Team thinks that by refering to Classic Sonic in Forces as coming from another dimension, they're keeping with their word, because hey, "-That's not the Sonic from Generations, this is another! The one from 2011? That one will never return!". Now that is cheeky.

 

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24 minutes ago, Jango said:

It's not even down to game style, but aesthetics. We have 2D games with the modern characters just fine. Heck, Blaze is a modern character and she came from a 2D game. It's more down to body structure (the classic character are rounder, shorter, even chubbier). I wouldn't call that a huuuuge issue, but it exists. I'm fully aware that the fans had a work around this by designing their own classic versions of Shadow, Silver and co. But it's still kind of uncanny.

It wasn't well told then. I can see, say, The Simpsons doing this joke (I'm pretty sure they had more than once actually), but not Sonic. Sonic never played with this kind of humour. I mean, yeah, sure, they are from the past because Generations was remembering the main games and events from the past because it was an anniversary game after all. They didn't put much thought in the story. We were not even supposed to take Gens as part of the main canon at one time. Classic Sonic was a one time only thing just for the 20th anniversary, as stated many times by Iizuka back then.

They obviously backpedaled on that and retconnected Classic Sonic in Forces for God knows why. Maybe Sonic Team thinks that by refering to Classic Sonic in Forces as coming from another dimension, they're keeping with their word, because hey, "-That's not the Sonic from Generations, this is another! The one from 2011? That one will never return!". Now that is cheeky.

 

The cynic in me believes Classic Sonic is only in Sonic Forces at all to tie it to Sonic Mania and increase sales.

 

Edit: Thanks for the catch, Jango.

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You mean Forces? Yeah, I do believe 110% in this. They put him there the way they could, which was like ass. They thought that making this stupid tie in with Mania would promote or even elevate Forces. What a shot in the foot that strategy was. People only realized how worse Forces was compared to Mania, especially the 2D Sonic gameplay 🤦‍♂️

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58 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

My guess would be the boundaries are more there to regulate companies they outsource Classic Sonic to.  

Essentially.

58 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

It won’t stop them from throwing Classic stuff in Modern games.

Yeah, well, maybe they need to start regulating that too.

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4 hours ago, G-Force said:

That's not complicated, that's just tongue in cheek.  Sonic & company's past selves are literally just their old character designs.  That is technically exactly what they used to look like.  That's the joke.  It's like if Mickey Mouse pulled out an expired driver's license, and the picture turned out to be him from Steamboat Willie.  It's not supposed to be taken super seriously.

And then Sonic Forces came along, said "Sonic from another dimension," and now we're divvying up the whole franchise like a huge ass divorce settlement.  It's so stupid.

Case in Point: Adventure Fans are increasingly hungry to tear the Adventure era away from the current games because they dislike Sonic constantly spouting awful jokes, and Forces gave them the incentive to do so. Also, the temporary eras like Boom and Movie, while other tie-ins like the IDW comic and Penguin books are not considered to be eras.

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The division between "Classic" and "Modern" is just the same thing that got us Two-World: Sonic Team would rather just segregate and sweep under a rug rather than sit down and make a solid tapestry of fitting it all together.

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8 hours ago, Kuzu said:

The crowd of people who bitched about Sonic's friends are probably non-existent now. That was a big complaint in the mid to late 2000's, but since then, people simply moved on.

Nowadays either people don't care or are screaming their heads off for them to be playable

No, that same crowd is still around. There’s just a lot more entertainment out there than before for them to invest in than just Sonic, but ask the same question and you’re likely to get the similar responses now as back then.

If anything, they’re just not using gameplay as an excuse, but it’s still the same favoritism toward certain cast or just outright spite at work that extends even to non-game Sonic media.

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29 minutes ago, Almar said:

The division between "Classic" and "Modern" is just the same thing that got us Two-World: Sonic Team would rather just segregate and sweep under a rug rather than sit down and make a solid tapestry of fitting it all together.

It's never going to fit together, though. The series has spent most of its existence reinventing itself to one degree or another and unless you're satisfied with the pre-two-worlds-revelation assumption that everything just happens together, don't think about it too much, there's no real way to unify everything the series has tried to be.

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Except none of what Sonic Team has done about said problem has actually adressed it. I've seen enough pointing out how Two-Worlds doesn't work at all with any of the games before Unleashed (which mind you are still treated as "canonical" rather than just rebooted away) and that Classic Sonic requires you to ignore Generation's very ending and bits like a kid in Adventure One mentioning Little Planet..

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1 hour ago, Almar said:

The division between "Classic" and "Modern" is just the same thing that got us Two-World: Sonic Team would rather just segregate and sweep under a rug rather than sit down and make a solid tapestry of fitting it all together.

Not to mention that two of the games made after the Adventure era don’t take place on Earth.  Or whatever SEGA wants to call it.

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Like I said, Two-Worlds at most only remotely works if you treat Unleashed as a full blown reboot with every game before it never happening since the series has too much "crossing over" between humans and funny animals beforehand (even in games like the Storybook ones see Merlina looking seriously like human).

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8 minutes ago, Almar said:

Except none of what Sonic Team has done about said problem has actually adressed it. I've seen enough pointing out how Two-Worlds doesn't work at all with any of the games before Unleashed (which mind you are still treated as "canonical" rather than just rebooted away) and that Classic Sonic requires you to ignore Generation's very ending and bits like a kid in Adventure One mentioning Little Planet..

A possible way to explain away the apparent contradiction between whether Classic Sonic is the past or another dimension is to assume the the theory that time can fight against paradoxes by splitting timelines when one is disrupted, hence Classic Sonic WAS Sonic’s you get self, but due to the time travel in Sonic Generations, his timeline was changed; now he will not go on to become Modern Sonic.

Of course, possible doesn’t mean SEGA’s writers are nearly smart enough to think of that.

30 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

It's never going to fit together, though. The series has spent most of its existence reinventing itself to one degree or another and unless you're satisfied with the pre-two-worlds-revelation assumption that everything just happens together, don't think about it too much, there's no real way to unify everything the series has tried to be.

You SAY that, but I’ve noticed that DC and Marvel at least sometimes have a field day with how much multifaceted stuff is crammed into them.  What gets used in a given story depends on what they’re going for, creating the sorts of potential plot holes that How It Should Have Ended loves to mock, but there’s still potential to have a really fun time when weird elements get together. (I.e. Into the Spiderverse.)

I think the Sonic series could do that if only they were willing to give it more gas than they usually do.  It’s not like they don’t acknowledge things in their past; their frequently do it for comedic effect.  But it’s almost all surface-level.  A game that digs deeper could really work well.

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8 minutes ago, Almar said:

Like I said, Two-Worlds at most only remotely works if you treat Unleashed as a full blown reboot with every game before it never happening since the series has too much "crossing over" between humans and funny animals beforehand (even in games like the Storybook ones see Merlina looking seriously like human).

It's almost as if most writers are human and elves are humans with more slender, pointy features.

Also Eggman.

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20 minutes ago, Almar said:

Except none of what Sonic Team has done about said problem has actually adressed it. I've seen enough pointing out how Two-Worlds doesn't work at all with any of the games before Unleashed (which mind you are still treated as "canonical" rather than just rebooted away) and that Classic Sonic requires you to ignore Generation's very ending and bits like a kid in Adventure One mentioning Little Planet..

I never said either two worlds or the classic/modern split are good solutions. The problem is that there really aren't any good solutions, at least as far as I can see; either they do nothing and leave the series a confused mess, they try to split things to at least have coherent branches going forward even if the past is a mess, or they reboot the series and toss the whole mess out in favor of something (hopefully) better and hope fans go along with it.

12 minutes ago, Almar said:

Like I said, Two-Worlds at most only remotely works if you treat Unleashed as a full blown reboot with every game before it never happening since the series has too much "crossing over" between humans and funny animals beforehand (even in games like the Storybook ones see Merlina looking seriously like human).

I think you're overstating it a bit. I think most of the two worlds issues could be solved just by stating that cross-world travel is maybe uncommon but not unheard of. The ancient echidnas? A tribe jumped worlds at some point and established a civilization in the human world. Shadow being created in the human world? Gerald researched ancient civilizations, like the echidnas, so he knew about Sonic-style anthros, and potentially could've jumped worlds at some point himself. This probably wouldn't solve every last issue but you don't need to tear down the entire continuity because of it.

And Merlina is just about the least problematic part of all this, given that she's from a magical storybook world that's separate from the whole two worlds bit.

12 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

I think the Sonic series could do that if only they were willing to give it more gas than they usually do.  It’s not like they don’t acknowledge things in their past; their frequently do it for comedic effect.  But it’s almost all surface-level.  A game that digs deeper could really work well.

"Almost all surface level" is this series in a nutshell. I don't think there's much to dig into.

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18 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

It's almost as if most writers are human and elves are humans with more slender, pointy features.

Also Eggman.

The art showing Camelot's history shows Arthur as human looking too even if he was created by Merlin. And yeah, "Eggman" was there in Secret Rings yeah.

7 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

I think you're overstating it a bit. I think most of the two worlds issues could be solved just by stating that cross-world travel is maybe uncommon but not unheard of. The ancient echidnas? A tribe jumped worlds at some point and established a civilization in the human world. Shadow being created in the human world? Gerald researched ancient civilizations, like the echidnas, so he knew about Sonic-style anthros, and potentially could've jumped worlds at some point himself. This probably wouldn't solve every last issue but you don't need to tear down the entire continuity because of it.

And Merlina is just about the least problematic part of all this, given that she's from a magical storybook world that's separate from the whole two worlds bit.

And how did that tribe do the world jumping? None of Truth of 50 Years Ago mentions world travel either (of course it's already been retconned since it says Shadow's immortality comes from Chaos Drives).

Also, whether it's Merlina or or Shahra or Sultan Eggman the point is that an in-universe fairy tale has funny animals and humans or humanlike beings share one world as if it's an easy enough notion.

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1 hour ago, Almar said:

The division between "Classic" and "Modern" is just the same thing that got us Two-World: Sonic Team would rather just segregate and sweep under a rug rather than sit down and make a solid tapestry of fitting it all together.

This effectively makes Three worlds. Once the Adventure split inevitably happens, there will be Four, but still effectively three, as the human world is barely ever used anymore. 

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I see discussion hasn't changed much since I was last here. They brought back Mighty and Ray for Mania, it just depends on if they think they can make them work and if people will actually care enough that they're worth selling their game on their inclusion.

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2 minutes ago, Almar said:

And how did that tribe do the world jumping? None of Truth of 50 Years Ago mentions world travel either (of course it's already been retconned since it says Shadow's immortality comes from Chaos Drives).

Does it matter? Just throw some technobabble at it. The chaos emeralds opened a portal near the echidnas because why not. Gerald built a gateway but there was just no reason to mention it in any material we've seen. These things aren't the point, no more than how the echidna civilization originally came about in a one-world continuity, or where Gerald sourced the hedgehog DNA for Shadow in a one-world continuity.

2 minutes ago, Almar said:

Also, whether it's Merlina or or Shahra or Sultan Eggman the point is that an in-universe fairy tale has funny animals and humans or humanlike beings share one world as if it's an easy enough notion.

I always figured the storybook worlds were kind of malleable; the characters don't look like Sonic's friends because they objectively are like that, but because of Sonic's influence on the worlds.

Regardless I still don't see how this is any kind of concern? A world in a book can be whatever it was written to be regardless of what outside reality is like. And even with the two worlds, humans and anthros share the human world, just not equally or by default.

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All two worlds really mean is we'll replace the bad adventure human npcs with the bad forces animal npcs. Honestly, two worlds is only bad because it's a hard rule and not just like a game development thing.

Don't worry, Gerald Robotnik will still have done research on every single beast in the series, I don't think that'll change.

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9 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I don't think they are non existant. I don't think they ever mattered. Kinda

So here's my thought process right.

06 happened, put a sour taste in folks mouths, folks were screaming and meming about friends, but in all honesty while this is anecdotal I was a kid in school when that game came out. While people agreed the game was all types of ass, no one I interacted with around my age group was calling for the removal of friends and the adventure era elements. These were adults older fans who grew up with the older games and wanted a " return to form" they weren't all adults. But a lot of them were particularly the game reviewers and folks like the Grumps and shit.

So Sega thinks that appealing to these would help sonic get back into gear, and it didn't help. Sales over time went down, even with good games and especially with not good ones and the removal of friends didn't actually help the real issues with these games. So  then like mania happens, and those folks come out of the wood work, praise it buy it and are now gone. Because they got the thing they wanted. They mattered, they just largely mattered to a very specific type of the brand and they very much exist. They were just never relevant to the 3d portion largely.

What makes this worse is that sega has effectively alienated a the kids then, and then them as adults now and newer kids trying to appeal to an increasingly aging group of individuals that just wanted 1 thing, and only bought that thing and left.

And this is the other part of it. That's true. But so many people both story and gameplay people are gone. Not just adventure era people, modern era people are gone. That isn't to say new people can't learn, but like there used to be a bunch of people who had some understanding of what people liked, and iizuka regularly displays that he does not understand. 

They have to be confused. They bet the horse on these people. They bet the hedgehog on these people, and the people didn't give a shit. They only gave a crap about the 1 thing they wanted. They aren't buying a 3d sonic now that potential new 2d game exist. They weren't ever really buying it. The people who were fell off because you alienated them for a decade + . They must be confused, I would love to see the conversation of them coming upon that realization.

I have seen it. All types of games and just stuff in general. It isn't the thing they grew up with so they don't like the vibe. It sounds vein and childish but unfortunately a lot of people operate that way. They see different shit and go ew.

While such old-fashioned Sonic fans as you described do exist, if Sonic Mania did anything of note with them it was proving that they probably aren't really as fickle as SEGA thought.  It had Tails and Knuckles playable, it played like a Genesis Sonic game, it worked, mechanically.  These sorts of things are not mutually exclusive.  While there are going to be people who have a preference between 2D and 3D Sonic, for a variety of reasons, nothing about 2D Sonic rules out playing as characters who aren't Sonic.  Likewise, nothing about 3D Sonic necessitates a character playing like Big the Cat. 

After major buzzkills like fishing and Security Hall, there were likely many people who, if forced to pick a lesser evil between a game where you couldn't play as Tails and Knuckles but you also didn't have to do crap like that, or a game where you could play as Tails and Knuckles but you did, likely would have chosen to sacrifice Tails and Knuckles alongside the other characters who weren't Sonic.  That's a fine opinion, though I don't know if I share it, but the truth is things should have never have been that binary.  They didn't have any model to work with in how they could make Big the Cat fun, but the same can't be said about Tails and Knuckles.  The truth also seems to be that Sonic games will always pad themselves out with some gimmick or other, often one that that feels at odds with speed.  That is essentially because, when the character moves so much faster than other game mascots, they need to pad it out to keep the game from being short. 

Likely none of the these padding methods made before or since were as widely hated as Big the Cat's fishing; some may even be less hated than other characters, but when you stop and think about it, Sonic when he becomes the Werehog, or a flying saucer, or a drill, or a rocket, or buzzsaw, etc, is another character, for all intents and purposes.  So is Classic Sonic.  Seeing as by now it seems self-evident that we're never going to get a Sonic game free from some sorts of things that will be controversial to some sorts of people, the supposed gameplay reason for not playing as anyone but Sonic is irrelevant anyway.  On a reputational level, all that has really been accomplished by yanking the supporting cast out of the firing line is making Sonic himself into a popular punching bag, as now he spends a fair portion of his gameplay not feeling like Sonic.  In fact, if they decided to pad the game out by making Tails and Knuckles playable, mechanically akin to how they played in old 2D games, and made them mandatory to 100% the game, more of it would end up feeling like an idealized Sonic game than if they padded it out with slow-paced right-angle-filled 2D platforming segments and/or Wisp-powered minigames. 

This is something they no longer have any excuse to ignore in light of Sonic Mania and the fast-paced mobile games, and hopefully they aren't.  Frankly it should have been obvious so long as there was anyone left at SEGA who remembered the Genesis Sonic games, but the difference between then and now is that now we've had a chance to measure SEGA's brand of recapturing that glory, by removing most characters, making Sonic chibi and making terrain checkered, against Taxman's brand of recapturing it, by bringing back solid physics, momentum, level structure like the Genesis games had, and making every character fun--and Taxman's brand won.  Easily.

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2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Does it matter?

Yes?

Because otherwise, had this Two Worlds never been a thing, Almar wouldn’t have asked that question to begin with.

That’s what happens when you tell and don’t show, and is the problem people have with it when originally this was hardly even a thing. They didn’t need technobabble requiring gateways they didn’t even see or hear about because they could at least accept it as part of one world as it was already shown to them prior.

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3 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

All two worlds really mean is we'll replace the bad adventure human npcs with the bad forces animal npcs. Honestly, two worlds is only bad because it's a hard rule and not just like a game development thing.

Don't worry, Gerald Robotnik will still have done research on every single beast in the series, I don't think that'll change.

Eh...

I think we are getting to that point.

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This two-worlds thing... I Iike to think it works like DBZ. It is Earth... Just not our Earth. There are regular humans and anthropomorphic creatures in Sonic's Earth. There's locations that resemble our Earth, like Empire City (New York City, US), Apotos (Mykonos, Greece), and who can forget City Escape, which is just San Francisco US?

 It works almost as a parody.

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