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So I made this Ultimate Timeline Form of the games from 1991 to 2018


raphaelfc
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I made these images, which are quite long, but they fit everything (I think). It would be very confusing to write the timelines here, so I made the images.

https://imgur.com/a/qEEo6JY

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Here's the deal. I tried to establish clear criteria to define what is canon and what is not. A game is not canon if:

•    It is a misrepresentation. This is when a game portrays characters in a completely different way than they should be, playing unthinkable roles. Example: Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car (1991).
•    It is a puzzle/educational game. These are games made to teach mathematical operations, tile matching, etc., very common in the 1990s. Example: Sonic's Schoolhouse (1996).
•    It is a crossover. This is when characters of the Sonic franchise team up with characters of other franchises in a game. Example: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011).
•    It does not have a plot. It is not possible to consider that the plot of a game is part of the canon if the game has no plot at all. Example: Sonic Drift (1994).
•    It belongs to another universe. Although it is a game that may possess all the characteristics of a canonical game, it is set in a separate universe. Thus, it can be canonical for that universe, but not for the main one. Example: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (2014).

Additionally, the following condition has been added to consider that a game does not belong in the canon. A game is not canon either if:

•    It was not originally released for console or PC. Several games were released for mobile, arcade or electronic toys and, if they were relevant to the canon, they should have been released for console right away. Example: Sonic Jump (2012).

The only exception is SegaSonic the Hedgehog (1993), referenced in the Sonic Mania Plus (2018) booklet, which says that when Might and Ray last saw Sonic they were escaping from Eggman Island.

At the same time, a game can be "canon" and be part of a timeline that no longer exists. The most famous case is Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008) might be the case as well.

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I know that Sonic Team makes games with Infinite inconsistencies and Forces us to accept them. But I focused on a list of alleged inconsistencies in order to be able to make these timelines. Here they are:

•    There are three sequels for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994), all involving Metal Sonic. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal (2012), Metal Sonic has remained unconscious on Little Planet since his defeat on the Sonic the Hedgehog CD (1993). In Sonic Mania (2017), Eggman finds Metal Sonic's location on Little Planet during the battle in Press Garden. In Knuckles' Chaotix (1995), Eggman had to recover the Metal Sonic CPU, as his body had been destroyed.
•    After Sonic in Sonic Generations (2011) asked Tails if Green Hill looked familiar, Tails said "not to me". This is a reference to the fact that Tails has never been to Green Hill, since he did not participate in the events of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). However, in Sonic Mania (2017) he goes to Green Hill. Not only that; all Master System / Game Gear games in which Tails participates in the events are located on South Island and it is difficult not to know Green Hill in this case.
•    In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) (1992), Sonic and Tails are already friends and live on South Island, when Tails is kidnapped by Eggman. But Sonic only met Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) (1992) on West Side Island and there is no time for this adventure to take place before the end of Sonic the Hedghog 3 & Knuckles (1994) – what would make this games a fourth sequel to Sonic the Hedghog 3 & Knuckles (1994).
•    In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal (2012), Metal Sonic was rescued in the bad future of Stardust Speedway. It was to be expected that Sonic had managed to make the good future. The same bad future can be seen in Sonic Generations (2011), although in this case perhaps it was the influence of the Time Eater.
•    In Sonic Generations (2011), Sonic from the Classic Era was seen as the past of Sonic from the Modern Era. However, in Sonic Forces (2017) he is seen as a Sonic from another dimension.
•    In Knuckles' Chaotix (1995), Vector, Espio and Charmy were captured by Dr. Eggman. In Sonic Heroes (2003), Charmy has never heard of Dr. Eggman.
•    In Sonic Rush (2005), Eggman Nega is seen as Eggman's counterpart in Sol Dimension and they are allies. In Sonic Rivals (2006), Eggman Nega is a descendant of Eggman in the distant future and is his enemy. In Sonic Rush Adventure (2007), they are allies again. In Sonic Rivals 2 (2007) they are enemies again.
•    After Silver changes the events in Sonic Rivals 2 (2007), he says in Sonic Colors (DS) (2010) that his future is good and happy. But in Sonic Forces (2017), Silver had to travel to the present to warn about his chaotic future. And Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008) is another game in which Eggman has apparently conquered the world. On the other hand, in Sonic Generations (2011) Modern Eggman claims that he never managed to defeat Sonic, and in Sonic Rivals (2006) Eggman Nega came from the future stating that Eggman disgraced the lineage because of his failures. 
•    In Sonic Rush (2005), Sonic and Blaze met. In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic and Blaze met again as if it were the first time and Blaze lived in Silver's future.

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It's an interesting theory, even if it's not a perfect match with my own headcannon.

I don't personally like the idea that every game from Sonic Adventure onward takes place in a timeline where Sonic failed to save Little Planet, regardless of how much sense that makes. Well done though!

A few thing I'd like to mention though: Sonic Drift does have a story, it's just that the manual for it has never been properly translated yet. From what I can gather from Google Translate, it seems the story is about everybody getting ready for a race. Perhaps the Sonic Drift games take place after Sonic R, where Eggman has given up trying to takeover the world and is now only concerned with beating Sonic in a race? Or perhaps they are all racing for the Chaos Emeralds again, the cups are named after their colors after all. I didn't see Sonic Spinball or Sonic the Fighters/Championship anywhere, I guess you didn't include them due to both games having more then 7 Chaos Emeralds? I could see why you might not think Sonic Spinball takes place in the game's universe, but I don't think it can exactly take place in the cartoons or comics either. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is the only one I can see possibly working. Sonic the Fighters/Championship was intended to have a console port for the Sega Saturn, but it was cancelled because according to Yojiro Ogawa, the game was too difficult to remake for the Saturn. If you change your mind, Sonic the Fighters/Championship might make the most sense to include in the Bad Future since Espio is the only one of the Chaotix that recognizes Eggman in Sonic Heroes. I also always took the image at the end of Tails's story in Sonic Adventure to imply that he fixed the Tornado then, but the image could have just as likely happened before the Tornado was shot down.

I also think 8-bit Sonic 1 is a unique adventure and not simply a retelling or alternate telling of the first game.

The Sonic the Hedgehog Technical Files, kind of the internal series bible for Sonic in Japan, mentions that Sonic fought Eggman on South Island twice. Eggman mentions how angry he is that Sonic keeps beating him in the Japanese manual for the 16-bit version of Sonic 1, while this detail is absent in the 8-bit version. The Technical Files also mention Eggman vows revenge on Sonic after losing for the first time, which better gels with Eggman's anger of losing to Sonic in the 16-bit manual then the 8-bit manual where he mentions no such thing.

Plus, the 8-bit version of Sonic 1 begins with Eggman simply trying to attack Sonic with his Eggmobile, no fancy checker balls, drills or lazers yet. I interpret this as Eggman not being too familiar with Sonic yet, and if we want to even go further with this theory, the Roller badnik in Spring Yard Zone bears a resemblance to Sonic in both appearance and abilities, almost serving as a prototype to the Sonic robots that Eggman would eventually make. The Roller badnik is not in the 8-bit version of the game, leaving the possibility open that Eggman based the badnik on Sonic after previously encountering him.

Because of all this, I believe it's possible the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 1 is a prequel to the Mega Drive/Genesis version of the game. At least it is in my headcannon.

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9 hours ago, Plumbers_Helper said:

It's an interesting theory, even if it's not a perfect match with my own headcannon.

I don't personally like the idea that every game from Sonic Adventure onward takes place in a timeline where Sonic failed to save Little Planet, regardless of how much sense that makes. Well done though!

A few thing I'd like to mention though: Sonic Drift does have a story, it's just that the manual for it has never been properly translated yet. From what I can gather from Google Translate, it seems the story is about everybody getting ready for a race. Perhaps the Sonic Drift games take place after Sonic R, where Eggman has given up trying to takeover the world and is now only concerned with beating Sonic in a race? Or perhaps they are all racing for the Chaos Emeralds again, the cups are named after their colors after all. I didn't see Sonic Spinball or Sonic the Fighters/Championship anywhere, I guess you didn't include them due to both games having more then 7 Chaos Emeralds? I could see why you might not think Sonic Spinball takes place in the game's universe, but I don't think it can exactly take place in the cartoons or comics either. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is the only one I can see possibly working. Sonic the Fighters/Championship was intended to have a console port for the Sega Saturn, but it was cancelled because according to Yojiro Ogawa, the game was too difficult to remake for the Saturn. If you change your mind, Sonic the Fighters/Championship might make the most sense to include in the Bad Future since Espio is the only one of the Chaotix that recognizes Eggman in Sonic Heroes. I also always took the image at the end of Tails's story in Sonic Adventure to imply that he fixed the Tornado then, but the image could have just as likely happened before the Tornado was shot down.

I also think 8-bit Sonic 1 is a unique adventure and not simply a retelling or alternate telling of the first game.

The Sonic the Hedgehog Technical Files, kind of the internal series bible for Sonic in Japan, mentions that Sonic fought Eggman on South Island twice. Eggman mentions how angry he is that Sonic keeps beating him in the Japanese manual for the 16-bit version of Sonic 1, while this detail is absent in the 8-bit version. The Technical Files also mention Eggman vows revenge on Sonic after losing for the first time, which better gels with Eggman's anger of losing to Sonic in the 16-bit manual then the 8-bit manual where he mentions no such thing.

Plus, the 8-bit version of Sonic 1 begins with Eggman simply trying to attack Sonic with his Eggmobile, no fancy checker balls, drills or lazers yet. I interpret this as Eggman not being too familiar with Sonic yet, and if we want to even go further with this theory, the Roller badnik in Spring Yard Zone bears a resemblance to Sonic in both appearance and abilities, almost serving as a prototype to the Sonic robots that Eggman would eventually make. The Roller badnik is not in the 8-bit version of the game, leaving the possibility open that Eggman based the badnik on Sonic after previously encountering him.

Because of all this, I believe it's possible the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 1 is a prequel to the Mega Drive/Genesis version of the game. At least it is in my headcannon.

"t's an interesting theory, even if it's not a perfect match with my own headcannon.

I don't personally like the idea that every game from Sonic Adventure onward takes place in a timeline where Sonic failed to save Little Planet, regardless of how much sense that makes. Well done though!"

Thank you! It is indeed POSSIBLE to make Sonic Adventure come from the good future. For that, it would be necessary that Knuckles Chaotix be transferred to after Sonic Mania. I didn't do that because this setup would make Sonic 4 "kind of lost" in the bad future, without leading to any game afterwards. So it would be coherent to decanonize the bad future, but I didn't think it was likely that Sonic 4 would stop being canonical in Sega's mind. I was also reluctant to put the bad future as the "most important", but it seemed to fit better.

"Sonic Drift does have a story"

I personally don't think it can be considered a story. It seems to me that they just decided to run and that's it. In any case, I would place it next to the other Game Gear games, in the timeline that died.

"Sonic the Fighters/Championship was intended to have a console port for the Sega Saturn, but it was cancelled because according to Yojiro Ogawa, the game was too difficult to remake for the Saturn. "

Yeah I heard that. I am grateful that he did not receive a port for Sega Saturn, so that I could exclude him from the timelines haha
I couldn't justify the existence of 8 Chaos Emeralds. The theory that one of them was fake does not make sense, as Tails designed the rocket specifically requiring 8 Chaos Emeralds - why would he do that if there were only 7?

"I also think 8-bit Sonic 1 is a unique adventure and not simply a retelling or alternate telling of the first game."

This criterion I think I did not make very clear in the text. I have adopted that "equal" games released for different consoles are always considered the same game and both are canonical simultaneously. Like Sonic Colors Wii and DS. So for me both Sonic 1 are the same game (at least in my opinion, anyway). But this is not the case with the two Sonic 2, because they are completely different.

 

#1- CLASSIC ERA TIMELINE (2).png

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4 hours ago, Styx_Linoone said:

Your hypothesis seems to only cover the Classic Era before Adventure, but regardless it's a pretty interesting read. I'm curious to see where later entries, such as Forces and TSR fit into this timeline.

Good Job though.

They are covered. Forces is the last game (so far) in the Modern Era. It is the third image.

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