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Thin line between Sonic-world and Sonic-game


MetalSkulkBane
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Green Hill Zone | Sonic Wiki | Fandom

Green Hill. It's a iconic area in Sonic world, even if it's specific location is weirdly inconsistent. Regardless, I think we all agree it exists, it's somewhere there. With flowers and totems, waterfalls and stuff.

But it's also iconic ZONE, with checkpoints,  springs, rings, extra life boxes.

So my question is, where do you think the line is? When you're playing Sonic games (heck, most games) how much of it you assume is  'canon' to world reality and how much of it is gameplay necessity?

Personally I think there isn't any guideline other than just common sense, like water exists, extra life doesn't. And things like Badniks, NPC or rings do exists, but aren't placed in such video-gamey patterns. But regarding Sonic there are few elements I would consider gray area. Such as:
- rings subcatergories (like red rings or 10-ring boxes)
- floating platforms
- springs
- power-ups such as elemental shields or upgrades in Sonic 06
- Artstyle of Lost Hex*
- and many things I can't probably think of right now

*let me explain this one. Some time ago I had theories why Lost Hex is so artificial looking, but many people just said it was artistic choice, not weirder Eggman in Sonic 06. I don't find this comparison to be satisfying,  but that's just my interpretation where Line from our topic is.

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I'd like to think stuff like the power-up monitors, springs, and floating platforms exist, but they're never really seen or acknowledged in cutscenes. Neither are rings for the most part, but they apparently do in some form we never see.

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9 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

*let me explain this one. Some time ago I had theories why Lost Hex is so artificial looking, but many people just said it was artistic choice, not weirder Eggman in Sonic 06. I don't find this comparison to be satisfying,  but that's just my interpretation where Line from our topic is.

For this one, I feel it could go either way. Lost Hex is certainly that surreal in that floating islands are uncommon on Sonic's world, but the scenes on Sonic's world in Lost World have equally surreal trees and such, a style which we would later see in Forces too.

For that reason, I think it's plausible to say that either it's an art style thing, or Sonic's world just has a mixture of realistic scenery and surreal scenery depending on the region.  If the latter is the case then Lost Hex needs no explaination - it's really no stranger than many locations on Sonic's world.

 

Anyway, I agree with your general assessment that many gameplay elements in the games are probably canon to a degree but not to the exact degree that we see them represented in gameplay, and that gameplay is always only a rough adaptation of the narrative events that transpire (for the clearest example, see Sonic Riders, where often running away from pursuing robots or travelling to a destination is represented as a standard 3 lap race around a circuit).

I think floating platforms do exist in Sonic's world and they're an accepted part of reality. If we wanted an explanation, perhaps they are powered by rings stuck inside them, going hand-in-hand with theories about rings containing trace amounts of the same surreal energy that allows chaos emeralds to do wonderous things and the master emerald to keep an entire island floating in the air.

Capsules and power-ups could be explained as field supplies that Eggman has deployed for his robots to use against Sonic, but Sonic always gets to them first.  Boosters and springs are a bit trickier to come up with a narrative justification for.

This is all kind of just-for-fun though. It's fun to try and come up with narrative justifications for as many elements as we can, but I don't lose sleep over those that we can't.

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10 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

So my question is, where do you think the line is? When you're playing Sonic games (heck, most games) how much of it you assume is  'canon' to world reality and how much of it is gameplay necessity?

Honestly I try not to think about it too much. I could call some things just gameplay (item boxes, checkpoints), I could call some things real (spikes, loops), but then there are some things I can't really place.

Like, springs. Springs have no reason to be in all the places they show up. Developed areas, sure, it's fine to have springs in Spring Yard, but why Green Hill? They're clearly artificial, I can't see them as something naturally occurring in Sonic's world like loops or floating platforms. But since they're really only useful to Sonic (outside of the rare cases where they're traps), I can't buy that Eggman/his robots put them there the way I can with spikes, and there's not really anyone else who could believably be responsible for them.

But then they're too "physical" to treat them as purely a gameplay element; they're not serving some symbolic purpose like powerups (Sonic doesn't "really" get temporary extra-fast sneakers, he just finds it in himself to run faster for a bit) or a meta purpose like checkpoints (lives aren't "real", Sonic doesn't "really" die, it's just the game's way of giving you multiple attempts to play out the story of Sonic beating Eggman and saving the world). They're just one of the many things Sonic interacts with as a means of making it through the level; to say it's not really there is like saying conveyor belts and zip lines aren't really there.

So I don't know what the fuck a spring is and thinking about it too much gives me a headache.

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Interesting thread idea!

As far as I'm concerned:

Rings, enemies, wacky landforms, signposts (Eggman's territory markers that Sonic vandalizes, not the ones that fall from the sky), Chaos Emeralds, zone names, special zones, capsules - All cannon

 

Springs, powerup monitors (used to think they belonged to Eggman, bit it makes so sense for him to since they're tailored to Sonic), giant pinball and casino attractions that only Sonic can use with his body, Goal Rings, those hoops in and signs in the boost games, looping human highways and several level gimmicks that are jungle gym items just floating there - Not cannon

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You know I kinda wish Mobians could  stop being humans with funny heads and could just be, you know, their own race. Like imagine every Mobian can curl into ball and springs are just very fast elevators that are commonly used.
But then again, I guess the more special mobians are, the less special Sonic would be....fine, compromise. Futuristic city using those rockets from SA1 as fast travel method.

Also, I used to think that elemental shield were echidnas technology (since they only appear in Sonic 3 and games like Generations/Mania), but that's far reaching.

Also, personally I'm not big fan of floating platforms as canon. I do realize that loops are equally weird and only exist for Sonic sake, but at least they are Sonic concept. You look at them and think "this is Sonic's world", you look at floating platform and think "this isn't real world, just video game".

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