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Do you think the Sonic series is kind of sexist?


SnooPigu
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I think what makes that situation with Sally so much worse than Amber is that Sally has been with Sonic the whole time fighting this war, she's a leader and (before Elias grew a sack) was the next in line to lead a COUNTRY so it just seem wildly out of character of her trying to force Sonic to ignore his responsibility and duty just to be with her.

I know she was dealing with the trauma of Sonic being dead for a year (though tbh how she acted also seemed wildly out of character regarding that because even after a year she was still a depressed mess still waiting by Sonic's grave for him to come back when I think she's a lot stronger than that) but it still doesn't excuse it 

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Yea, I'm talking more about the feelings and attitudes as opposed to the actions but I do agree.

 

Ironically, its one of the many reasons I feel like Sonic and Sally don't really work long term in a relationship. Their lifestyles are just too different to reconcile.

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6 minutes ago, Soniman said:

I think what makes that situation with Sally so much worse than Amber is that Sally has been with Sonic the whole time fighting this war, she's a leader and (before Elias grew a sack) was the next in line to lead a COUNTRY so it just seem wildly out of character of her trying to force Sonic to ignore his responsibility and duty just to be with her.

Ken Penders had this propensity for inserting hackneyed relationship drama for its own sake rather than it because it'd actually make sense in the broader context of the story.

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6 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

Ken Penders had this propensity for inserting hackneyed relationship drama for its own sake rather than it because it'd actually make sense in the broader context of the story.

I always hear conflicting arguments on whether this was Penders or Bollers but the awful writing for females was so rampant during that era of the Comic (rip Mina) I'll lay the blame at both their feet really 

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Yea, no sense in pointing fingers, they were both responsible for all of that bullshit. I'm not gonna say Ian Flynn hasn't had his own fair share of issues when it comes to writing females, but in general I get the feeling he has much more respect for them and their contributions than Penders or Bollers ever did. 

Just the way Penders portrayed the whole relationship between Locke and his wife and it really makes you wonder what kind of upbringing did he have to write things like that and think "Yea, this is totally fine" 

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39 minutes ago, Soniman said:

I always hear conflicting arguments on whether this was Penders or Bollers but the awful writing for females was so rampant during that era of the Comic (rip Mina) I'll lay the blame at both their feet really 

I don't know where she got the info but ThanksKenPenders pins a lot of the love triangle stuff on editor Justin Gabrie. It'd certainly make sense considering how not into it Bollers felt and how Romy Chacon (who might have been Gabrie) really pushed in a few of their stories. 

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22 hours ago, Kuzu said:

To be honest, I wish they'd just go and accept that not everyone is going to like every character and that's ok. You've gone on record saying you don't like Shadow at all, and there are plenty of other people who don't like him or Amy, but it hasn't really damaged their placing in the series all that much before.

While it's true that not every character has to be likable to every person, if a character is supposedly one of the protagonists it seems wrong to give that character traits that many would declare objectively negative.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Amy's big flaw as a character is (or was) that her personality is (or was) tied to an agenda; one that not only will never be achieved but that our titular hero vocally opposes. 

Giving heroes agendas can be hard to pull off under certain conditions.  It's generally easy and in fact even common in stories that are meant to stand alone, with definitive beginnings and endings, because after the hero reaches the goal those don't burden writers with the question "So what now?"  But if a story is meant to be part of an ongoing series, answering "so what now" is a constant burden, so heroes in video game series tend not to have agendas.  They can have things they enjoy and value, but they don't typically aspire to gain or become something different.  For such aspirations to be enjoyable to read/watch/play, they must be both admirable and actually attained at some point instead of just perpetually teased and denied. 

So the writers of such stories as don't have any definite ending tend to get around this issue in a very effective way: They give the villain(s) all the aspirations and the heroes merely work to prevent them from attaining them; people don't care that Eggman's goals are immoral or that he never succeeds, because they're here to see Sonic thwart him.  Putting a hero up against something obviously bad is a good way to make people root for a hero even if that hero isn't a very fleshed out character. 

Amy's big flaw in the Adventure era was that she was at odds with Sonic and for Sonic to succeed, Amy had to fail; thus people who rooted for Sonic could hardly root for Amy.  And even if Sonic's personality isn't relatable to all viewers, many people can share horror stories about stalkers.

On those notes, it's not surprising that many people despise Shadow despite him also being a very popular character, and in both cases it's because Shadow is not like many other Sonic characters.  Shadow was originally written to have a story arc, complete with aspirations and ending up different than he started.  It resonated with enough people that they demanded him to be brought back from the dead, but when this was done writers ran into exactly the wall I described above: When a character was conceived to tell a specific story that you've finished telling, then what more can you do with that character?  Even many people who still like Shadow would probably agree that Sonic games' writers never really found a satisfactory answer to that question.

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45 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

While it's true that not every character has to be likable to every person, if a character is supposedly one of the protagonists it seems wrong to give that character traits that many would declare objectively negative.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Amy's big flaw as a character is (or was) that her personality is (or was) tied to an agenda; one that not only will never be achieved but that our titular hero vocally opposes. 

Giving heroes agendas can be hard to pull off under certain conditions.  It's generally easy and in fact even common in stories that are meant to stand alone, with definitive beginnings and endings, because after the hero reaches the goal those don't burden writers with the question "So what now?"  But if a story is meant to be part of an ongoing series, answering "so what now" is a constant burden, so heroes in video game series tend not to have agendas.  They can have things they enjoy and value, but they don't typically aspire to gain or become something different.  For such aspirations to be enjoyable to read/watch/play, they must be both admirable and actually attained at some point instead of just perpetually teased and denied. 

So the writers of such stories as don't have any definite ending tend to get around this issue in a very effective way: They give the villain(s) all the aspirations and the heroes merely work to prevent them from attaining them; people don't care that Eggman's goals are immoral or that he never succeeds, because they're here to see Sonic thwart him.  Putting a hero up against something obviously bad is a good way to make people root for a hero even if that hero isn't a very fleshed out character. 

Amy's big flaw in the Adventure era was that she was at odds with Sonic and for Sonic to succeed, Amy had to fail; thus people who rooted for Sonic could hardly root for Amy.  And even if Sonic's personality isn't relatable to all viewers, many people can share horror stories about stalkers.

On those notes, it's not surprising that many people despise Shadow despite him also being a very popular character, and in both cases it's because Shadow is not like many other Sonic characters.  Shadow was originally written to have a story arc, complete with aspirations and ending up different than he started.  It resonated with enough people that they demanded him to be brought back from the dead, but when this was done writers ran into exactly the wall I described above: When a character was conceived to tell a specific story that you've finished telling, then what more can you do with that character?  Even many people who still like Shadow would probably agree that Sonic games' writers never really found a satisfactory answer to that question.

While I understand your logic and reasoning, I find it somewhat flawed. Having characters who have aimless and passive goals are good for ongoing storytelling, but it also makes it harder for the audience to actually care about what happens to the characters. Why would the audience care about a character who doesn't want anything? 

Like you said, people like seeing characters succeed at their goals because it makes them feel good. If the character has no goal beyond just stopping the villains, then where's the investment? Its why people gravitate towards villains, because they WANT something and are proactive in achieving it. 

The idea that it's wrong for Amy to want to be in a relationship with Sonic is faulty. Realistically yea, it's never going to happen, but that doesn't mean its wrong for her to have such a trait. Because without it, then it begs the question of what the hell does she contribute beyond just being another good guy? Same with Shadow, his goals and willingness to achieve them set him apart from every other Sonic character and its why he's still so popular to this day.

Conflict drives storytelling, and people get invested in it. If two characters have opposing goals or conflicting methods to achieve the same goal, then that's just potential for storytelling. 

I don't think there's anything objectively negative about the fact that Amy and Shadow have goals that sometimes conflict with Sonic's, I actually think its what sets them apart from the likes of Tails, who is pretty much always compliant with what Sonic is going to do. Or as opposed to nowadays, when everyone just has the same goals and their only purpose is to make Sonic look better. Everyone is Tails now basically, and its boring as shit. 

 

If the series is going to insist on trying to tell a story, then its going to need characters beyond just the villains to facilitate conflict. I'd argue that's a big reason why the storytelling is lackluster nowadays; instead of conflict being born from clashing personalities, and conflicting goals, everything is pretty much just "Eggman is doing a bad thing and we gotta stop him" and I'm not saying that you can't have good storytelling with that setup, but it also limits what you can do with the cast when everyone is on the same page and has the same goal. 

 

You don't have to like a character or even agree with their actions, just understand them. 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

While I understand your logic and reasoning, I find it somewhat flawed. Having characters who have aimless and passive goals are good for ongoing storytelling, but it also makes it harder for the audience to actually care about what happens to the characters. Why would the audience care about a character who doesn't want anything? 

Like you said, people like seeing characters succeed at their goals because it makes them feel good. If the character has no goal beyond just stopping the villains, then where's the investment? Its why people gravitate towards villains, because they WANT something and are proactive in achieving it. 

The idea that it's wrong for Amy to want to be in a relationship with Sonic is faulty. Realistically yea, it's never going to happen, but that doesn't mean its wrong for her to have such a trait. Because without it, then it begs the question of what the hell does she contribute beyond just being another good guy? Same with Shadow, his goals and willingness to achieve them set him apart from every other Sonic character and its why he's still so popular to this day.

Conflict drives storytelling, and people get invested in it. If two characters have opposing goals or conflicting methods to achieve the same goal, then that's just potential for storytelling. 

I don't think there's anything objectively negative about the fact that Amy and Shadow have goals that sometimes conflict with Sonic's, I actually think its what sets them apart from the likes of Tails, who is pretty much always compliant with what Sonic is going to do. Or as opposed to nowadays, when everyone just has the same goals and their only purpose is to make Sonic look better. Everyone is Tails now basically, and its boring as shit. 

 

If the series is going to insist on trying to tell a story, then its going to need characters beyond just the villains to facilitate conflict. I'd argue that's a big reason why the storytelling is lackluster nowadays; instead of conflict being born from clashing personalities, and conflicting goals, everything is pretty much just "Eggman is doing a bad thing and we gotta stop him" and I'm not saying that you can't have good storytelling with that setup, but it also limits what you can do with the cast when everyone is on the same page and has the same goal. 

 

You don't have to like a character or even agree with their actions, just understand them. 

Most of this can be answered by reminding everyone that while people love a good story, not as many love a mere attempt at a good story.  Actually succeeding at telling a good story requires more than just the inclusion of elements; it requires knowing how to use them well.

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While I understand your logic and reasoning, I find it somewhat flawed. Having characters who have aimless and passive goals are [sic] good for ongoing storytelling, but it also makes it harder for the audience to actually care about what happens to the characters. Why would the audience care about a character who doesn't want anything? 

Like you said, people like seeing characters succeed at their goals because it makes them feel good. If the character has no goal beyond just stopping the villains, then where's the investment? Its why people gravitate towards villains, because they WANT something and are proactive in achieving it. 

The thing is, when things like life and liberty are at stake, what you call "aimless and passive goals" are better recognized as "almost universally relatable goals".  Chances are most gamers don't have a crush on Sonic, so it's not exactly easy to put themselves in the shows of Amy, who does.  They may not be as obsessed with money as Vector is.  But if the plot is such that Amy, Vector, and almost everything else is just trying to avoid death, or at least, incarceration, then those personality quirks don't matter; the conflict imposed on them is what makes them likable to the audience.  Sure; in a deeper, more character-driven story a character's quirks would factor more into what conflicts a character gets in and how the character approaches them, but this series rarely makes any pretense of being that.

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The idea that it's wrong for Amy to want to be in a relationship with Sonic is faulty. Realistically yea, it's never going to happen, but that doesn't mean its wrong for her to have such a trait.

I agree, but the fact that she has a crush on Sonic isn't the problem.  The problem is that the crush is objectifying and she has no regard for mutual consent.  While audiences are happy to see the object of a protagonist's crush say yes, if the object of that crush repeatedly says no and the protagonist just refuses to accept that no means no, then many audiences will lose their sympathy quickly--and those who still sympathize with such a pushy character might need a reality check.  Persistence in achieving what one desires is admirable, but when it directly contradicts what someone else desires, it's not.  Especially in light of more and more stories of real-world sexual harassment coming to light, it's getting harder and harder to sympathize with the stalker version of Amy.  Or even find her funny.  Some things in fictional games are so obviously fictional you can just laugh them off, but others hit way too close to home.  As widely mocked a game as Shadow the Hedgehog is, there's a good reason people usually chortle at scenes like Shadow saying "Where's that damn fourth chaos emerald" but almost nobody laughs at the scene where a soldier shoots a terrified little girl in the face.  I don't demand that nobody laughs at stalker comedy, but if someone seriously can't see why many people find it a bit too real to be funny, then I question that person's level of empathy.

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Same with Shadow, his goals and willingness to achieve them set him apart from every other Sonic character and its why he's still so popular to this day.

Except that his goals change.  Again, whether people can admire am ambitious character depends on what those ambitions are and how much they come at the expense of their own.  A character who works hard to save you is relatable; a character who works hard to kill you is not.  Shadow has swung back and forth between the two a bit too often, and while he's mostly back in the zone of not wanting to asset himself at the expense of others, many fans feel it's best to keep him sidelined so as not to jeopardize that comfort zone.  Lots of people still like Shadow, but not many like his self-titled game.

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Conflict drives storytelling, and people get invested in it. If two characters have opposing goals or conflicting methods to achieve the same goal, then that's just potential for storytelling. 

I don't think there's anything objectively negative about the fact that Amy and Shadow have goals that sometimes conflict with Sonic's, I actually think its what sets them apart from the likes of Tails, who is pretty much always compliant with what Sonic is going to do. Or as opposed to nowadays, when everyone just has the same goals and their only purpose is to make Sonic look better. Everyone is Tails now basically, and its boring as shit.

If the series is going to insist on trying to tell a story, then its going to need characters beyond just the villains to facilitate conflict. I'd argue that's a big reason why the storytelling is lackluster nowadays; instead of conflict being born from clashing personalities, and conflicting goals, everything is pretty much just "Eggman is doing a bad thing and we gotta stop him" and I'm not saying that you can't have good storytelling with that setup, but it also limits what you can do with the cast when everyone is on the same page and has the same goal. 

As I said before, though, putting in a source of conflict beyond "Eggman is doing a bad thing and we gotta stop him" doesn't automatically make a story better.  It is absolutely possible to write good conflict based on something like a character who has a crush on you that you don't return, but I can't recall any time this series had such.  Having Sonic face other sources of conflict beyond just those a villain can provide doesn't mean much when he treats those sources of conflict the same as he'd treat those caused by a villain; that is, by running away or fighting.  It's really hard to validate Amy's existence when her main action is chasing after Sonic, because Sonic doesn't really need an excuse to run.  Sonic runs because he likes running and it's his most useful power.  Sonic actually having to fight Amy is maybe a bit more validating as the fight might feel quite different from a fight he'd do against a robot, but it's not likely to be too impressive since this series overall isn't about deep combat mechanics.  From a simple story standpoint, a conflict caused by a stalker might be better solved with intelligence and morals than with strength and speed, but again, they aren't really seeking to do that here.

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You don't have to like a character or even agree with their actions, just understand them. 

Well for what it's worth, I do understand Amy.  I have a working sex-drive; I know most people have working sex drives, and I also have an obsessive personality, so I know what it's like to be obsessed with hooking up with a specific other person.  For what it's worth, though, I also have the occasional desire to punch someone.  Sometimes I even relate to characters who want to rule the world, because the world is a messy place full of bad news that lets us down and things that seem unfair to us, so of course it'd feel pretty great to be able to force it to be more like we want.  I can relate to many sorts of characters and the urges they feel, but if they succumb to those urges in extremely dangerous ways and the story still treats them as heroes, I'm going to call bull.  I wouldn't if the writing made it clear that the writer regarded such things as obviously wrong, but if that isn't clearly conveyed then I'd rather they not put in things that necessitate conveying it.

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2 hours ago, Soniman said:

I always hear conflicting arguments on whether this was Penders or Bollers but the awful writing for females was so rampant during that era of the Comic (rip Mina) I'll lay the blame at both their feet really 

Sally and other Archie females like Julie Su felt like the result of them not knowing how to write compelling females besides love interests, and so just overcompensating by making them more outwardly 'action girl' archetypes, and using the generic 'positive discrimination trope where the girls were always conveyed as being level headed and competent (and often more boring) than the boys. The bigger issue there was that in both cases it was mostly superficial, and a lot of their likability issues stemmed from the often hypocritical or half assed way they went about their dynamics because again, they didn't know how to write them properly. That and they got pushed when straight men aren't very interesting as main characters. You take away Julie Su's romance with Knuckles and she's largely just 'female Knuckles with a slightly lower key temper', even in the Flynn era.  Guess which of those two elements got used the most with her. :P

I also think Sonic and Sally was a bad case of trying to make 'opposites attract' the whole appeal of them but without bothering to develop SOME mutuality. I think Sally's occasional hot blooded or hypocritical moments could have made for an engaging case of the two relating to each other at last, but it was never portrayed like that, again, because they were too insistent on establishing Sally as 'the sensible one'. Sure Sally apologised for the slap but we never really got that 'you know sometimes I can be just as reckless and hot headed as what I berate Sonic for being, maybe we're NOT totally different' at any point, because that would go against Sally being 'the cautious female' in her contract.They often didn't feel compatible and in some cases outright felt toxic because that side of them never meshed and led to badly written cases like the aforementioned slap that never really went anywhere and were just a bad blotch before reseting to the status quo.

I think this is why I find myself more comfortable with the SEGA females. They don't segregate them into this hierarchy much, they just let them have flaws and quirks like everyone else and base their actions on circumstance. Sure they're still sometimes stereotypical and being the games, not always greatly developed, but they're more individual and character driven. Blaze is a competent badass but it doesn't feel like that particular element of her straight DEFINES what she is, maybe why she feels more genuinely like one than the Archie girls. Hell Boom actually made Amy the voice of reason but still managed a fundamentally flawed funny element to her when it fit. This is what you should do for female characters, PERSONALITY to drive their characters, not superficial attempts at empowerment.

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2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Most of this can be answered by reminding everyone that while people love a good story, not as many love a mere attempt at a good story.  Actually succeeding at telling a good story requires more than just the inclusion of elements; it requires knowing how to use them well.

And you can't use them well if you just opt to remove them and strip everything down to its bare essentials. 

2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

The thing is, when things like life and liberty are at stake, what you call "aimless and passive goals" are better recognized as "almost universally relatable goals".  Chances are most gamers don't have a crush on Sonic, so it's not exactly easy to put themselves in the shows of Amy, who does.  They may not be as obsessed with money as Vector is.  But if the plot is such that Amy, Vector, and almost everything else is just trying to avoid death, or at least, incarceration, then those personality quirks don't matter; the conflict imposed on them is what makes them likable to the audience.  Sure; in a deeper, more character-driven story a character's quirks would factor more into what conflicts a character gets in and how the character approaches them, but this series rarely makes any pretense of being that.

The series has failed to make a compelling narrative ever since they decided to pare things down to just Eggman causing trouble with Sonic & Tails stopping him, so there's nothing relatable about that setup either beyond it being the most generic of goals to root for in a story. And some of the most well-regarded storylines in the franchise by the fanbase are driven by character-conflict; Amy and Shadow's journeys of self-discovery is exactly why they're regarded by their fans. Blaze, Silver, and even Sonic in Black Knight are all enhanced by the character-driven conflicts in all of them. When you have a series like Sonic, that has such a large case of varied personalities, the audience will generally be more invested when there's a goal for the characters to work towards. 

2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

I agree, but the fact that she has a crush on Sonic isn't the problem.  The problem is that the crush is objectifying and she has no regard for mutual consent.  While audiences are happy to see the object of a protagonist's crush say yes, if the object of that crush repeatedly says no and the protagonist just refuses to accept that no means no, then many audiences will lose their sympathy quickly--and those who still sympathize with such a pushy character might need a reality check.  Persistence in achieving what one desires is admirable, but when it directly contradicts what someone else desires, it's not.  Especially in light of more and more stories of real-world sexual harassment coming to light, it's getting harder and harder to sympathize with the stalker version of Amy.  Or even find her funny.  Some things in fictional games are so obviously fictional you can just laugh them off, but others hit way too close to home.  As widely mocked a game as Shadow the Hedgehog is, there's a good reason people usually chortle at scenes like Shadow saying "Where's that damn fourth chaos emerald" but almost nobody laughs at the scene where a soldier shoots a terrified little girl in the face.  I don't demand that nobody laughs at stalker comedy, but if someone seriously can't see why many people find it a bit too real to be funny, then I question that person's level of empathy.

I think we're reaching a little bit when comparing Amy to real life accounts of sexual assault; its made rather clear that Sonic considers Amy a friend, so the audience knows that he doesn't dislike her. The original concept was a flip on the traditional relationship between a hero and a heroine to be saved, where the hero was uninterested in the affections of the heroine. Amy helps Sonic and beyond a comedic moment when she flirts with him and makes him nervous, they're on the same page. Her worst moments are already commented on as such, so I don't feel that's enough of a reason of completely exercising her of any personality that's  not just another generic good guy. Its like Mechano said, they stripped her of her defining traits, but didn't replace it with anything else.

2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Except that his goals change.  Again, whether people can admire am ambitious character depends on what those ambitions are and how much they come at the expense of their own.  A character who works hard to save you is relatable; a character who works hard to kill you is not.  Shadow has swung back and forth between the two a bit too often, and while he's mostly back in the zone of not wanting to asset himself at the expense of others, many fans feel it's best to keep him sidelined so as not to jeopardize that comfort zone.  Lots of people still like Shadow, but not many like his self-titled game.

What people admire varies from person to person. Like I said, what matters is that the audience can understand the actions of the character, not whether they like them or not. Nobody really likes Knuckles fucking with Sonic all through Sonic 3, but we also know he was simply protecting his home and that he was being manipulated by Eggman, that's why nobody really holds it against him. 

While I agree that that they need to settle on a direction for Shadow's character, the foundation of Shadow's character has never really aligned with that of every other Sonic character. Its one of the main reasons he's polarizing. And even then, people found his insecurities and identity issues relatable even if they knew his actions were morally questionable, hence his classification as an Antihero. 

2 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

As I said before, though, putting in a source of conflict beyond "Eggman is doing a bad thing and we gotta stop him" doesn't automatically make a story better.  It is absolutely possible to write good conflict based on something like a character who has a crush on you that you don't return, but I can't recall any time this series had such.  Having Sonic face other sources of conflict beyond just those a villain can provide doesn't mean much when he treats those sources of conflict the same as he'd treat those caused by a villain; that is, by running away or fighting.  It's really hard to validate Amy's existence when her main action is chasing after Sonic, because Sonic doesn't really need an excuse to run.  Sonic runs because he likes running and it's his most useful power.  Sonic actually having to fight Amy is maybe a bit more validating as the fight might feel quite different from a fight he'd do against a robot, but it's not likely to be too impressive since this series overall isn't about deep combat mechanics.  From a simple story standpoint, a conflict caused by a stalker might be better solved with intelligence and morals than with strength and speed, but again, they aren't really seeking to do that here.

Then I'd say the problem is more with how Sonic's character is written than with Amy. You can absolutely have a storyline where Sonic and Amy have a heart to heart about their dynamic, but the writers no longer seem interested in exploring conflicts like that, so their dynamic is just left to stagnate. 

 

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In 2021, anyone who’s been on the Internet for half a year can prove that there are those with an interest in the Blue Blur.

Not gonna go into specifics, but let’s just say there’s 34 reasons as to why, if you get my drift. (And no, I won’t spell this one out...)

Hell, just ask Shadow over his legion of fangirls back in the day.

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Sonic has more female representation than most video game franchises. It’s done a lot, but it’s also not good enough. I like that we have this topic here while the Sonic subreddit is having a repulsive circlejerk.

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5 hours ago, KnuxDLX said:

Sonic has more female representation than most video game franchises.

This hasn't been true in at least 10 years, probably more. Kinda surprised I'm seeing this take still pop up in this thread as often as it is. I guess it's better than some of it's other 30+ year old peers but the gaming scene has changed a lot since Sonic debuted.

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12 hours ago, Wraith said:

This hasn't been true in at least 10 years, probably more. Kinda surprised I'm seeing this take still pop up in this thread as often as it is. I guess it's better than some of it's other 30+ year old peers but the gaming scene has changed a lot since Sonic debuted.

There is even the opposite; Full female cast. But I get that those tend to cater to a certain male demographic. 

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16 hours ago, Wraith said:

This hasn't been true in at least 10 years, probably more. Kinda surprised I'm seeing this take still pop up in this thread as often as it is. I guess it's better than some of it's other 30+ year old peers but the gaming scene has changed a lot since Sonic debuted.

There are some critical takes in here that analyze things I didn’t think twice about. I guess the last 10 years, the games, comics, TV shows, and certain elements of the fandom have undone a lot of the progress that I at least thought this series had made. 

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On 7/27/2021 at 2:09 PM, SnooPigu said:

Unless they can take out armies and demi gods by themselves, not really. Blaze maybe the only exception.

The sounds like a power creep and/or escalation problem more than anything.

 

Which it is, but still.

On 7/27/2021 at 9:08 PM, Zaysho said:

OP was banned because I basically ignored him for months and then realized today they are someone we've banned dozens of times already (this was a mind numbing process).

You all think I joke, but this has been going on for almost five years. Some people cannot take a hint lol

 

Anyway, I'm just skimming and others seem to be having a fine enough conversation so I'll probably leave this alone and let it fade off on its own.

Admittedly, I kinda them gave them the side eye after they mentioned how often Rouge is depicted in a particular way online earlier. Guess I know why now.

_-------------------------

 

I knew Zeena was gonna come up here. I just knew it.

Anyway, it's kind of a mixed bag. Sonic is very much a 90s property and that was when Girl Power was really starting to make the rounds, so most of the headlining female characters(particularly Sally and Tangle) tend to fudge with that notion. And yet, things like much on Preboot Archie and the English version of Lost World have induced a little too much in gender stereotypes that did little beyond hamstring what were otherwise effectual character types.

Looking strictly at the games, most of the recurring ones play around with said stereotypes in a way that usually reconstructs them back into just archetypical traits on otherwise rounded characters: Amy started as a joke character making fun of head over heels love interests for heroes, Rouge is Catwoman as with connections to the government, Blaze is a more troubled if rigid predecessor of Star Butterfly, Marine was ultimately annoying because the other heroes simply had more experience than her with no need to overblow their authority constantly, Shahra & Merlina were sympathetic traitors pretending to be helpful waifu companions, and Zeena was at least intended to be vain because she knows she's incredibly efficient. Funnily enough, Cream is the one that both plays things relatively straight and yet often comes off as subversive in the process.

That said, this thread does remind me of something another topic or conversation made me realize:  I feel like Amy is the only one truly affected by any supposed sexism. As I said, most of these characters are variations on female archetypes but nonetheless capable ones, while Amy had very often fallen into being "The Girl" of the cast: it's likely why she stuck around to be promoted to main character in the first place, she's usually defined as some variation of The Chick, she been the one most in need of rescue from day one, and she's been somewhat watered down in recent years in what is often seen as an attempt to make her more credible. The other girls might not be as core or popular as her, but they at least got to be conceived and introduced with more than their gender to carry them.

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On 7/29/2021 at 10:11 AM, Kaotic Kanine said:

I've said it a thousand times already, I'll say it a thousand times more: can we stop insisting Sonic Heroes was one of the worst portrayals of Amy, strictly because of that one stupid cutscene?

Heroes accentuated Amy's open crush on Sonic more than both Adventure games did but outside of that one cutscene it wasn't even remotely bad. Sonic was a motivation for Amy in Heroes, but the prime objective for her was finding Chocola and Froggy for her new friends and sought out Sonic in the beginning because he was implicated in their disappearance. After it became clear he had nothing to do with Chocola and Froggy, Amy shifted focus on finding those two with impressing Sonic (via defeating Eggman) being a bonus. And need I remind y'all that the one cutscene everyone keeps harping on is one of the four "team boss battles", in which all involved characters act OOC and overly hostile to facilitate the following boss fight (which indeed involves the two teams throwing the other off a building/into jungle water). Team Dark and Chaotix's equivalent cutscene has Rouge get insanely aggressive with and attack Team Chaotix for no reason. Chaotix vs Rose would see Espio threatening Cream to hand over Cheese, to which Cream became uncharacteristically violent towards the three. And Team Sonic vs Dark has Sonic call Shadow "stubborn and full of surprises" and then attack Shadow because "Hey! That's my line!". I really don't understand why Amy is singled out by everyone (including Ian Flynn himself) for her dialogue/actions in 'Team Sonic vs Rose' when it's no worse than Rouge, Espio, and Sonic's own dialogue/actions in their respective "team boss battle cutscenes". If you want to cite a game that had Amy at her very worst, point fingers at Battle or Rush! Heroes did Amy good outside of that single cutscene, which is part of a group of cutscenes that had everyone act like assholes. 

 

On 7/29/2021 at 12:56 PM, E-122-Psi said:

I feel there were FAR worse portrayals of both characters in that regard.

Concerning Amy, yeah Heroes was mostly good besides that one jerkass ball EVERYONE committed, though it does probably count as franchise original sin, with tons of other works flanderizing that quirk on that note. The Dimps games, Sonic X, even Flynn kept up 'psycho temper' Amy for a long while in Archie, something that wasn't even that prevalent in that moment in Heroes, which came off more like a playful spar provoked by her being clingy (compare to Rouge who just randomly goes into 'shoot on sight' mode when the Chaotix appear).

Granted I do think that while Heroes was mostly a good compromise of Amy's bubbly childishness while still becoming more of a leader, take charge type in her own right, it still shown a bit of a problem with her. Cream and Big had personal quests, but without her crush on Sonic, Amy was just kinda there for the ride helping out, sure she could lead, but she lacked the same personal investment. I think that's why the crush on Sonic still ended up seeming like a crutch for her, since, as mentioned, there isn't as much of a long term personal 'drive' for her besides it.

Boom did TRY with Amy, giving her more entrepreneur or 'team mom' traits and still keeping her energy and occasional temper there as moderated vices, being the 'everygirl' of sorts in role, she does work best in more 'slice of life' roles, but of course there's only so many of those you can put in the action packed games.

Granted she's arguably still better than a lot of other characters that are just 'hero agency' in terms of drive.

I saw this pop up the other day and honestly, I think the reason that gets so much attention is because it's easily the most memorable thing Amy does in Heroes.

Between her initial motivation obviously being looking for Sonic as usual, the helping Cream Cheese & Big being incidental to that, their first taken place in the manual rather than their actual opening cutscene, and how Dora the Explorer the dialogue kinda was for them, there just wasn't much else to get attached to for long.

Hell, I myself recall making a note to replay the game when a few people starting talking about Team Jubilee's relationship because I straight up didn't remember them interacting that much in spite of that being my first game that I would frequently revisit; it didn't help that I never played Battle, which honestly just pushed that debate home. Cream and Big evidently just had a lot more of a memorable presence and natural chemistry with each other than either had with Amy; which kinda applies with most of the former's dynamics, actually. She has, like, few moments of cheering them up or convincing them to not give up and yet that Hang Castle cutscene was more impactful for Big if anything.

So it sorta makes sense that the biggest takeaway regarding her in that game is "She's going all Stone Age on this bro, wtf!"

On 7/29/2021 at 1:16 PM, Wraith said:

Amy already had a lot comparative of shine as far as personal moment in the first couple of 3D games. I think it's fine if she's just a good friend that's propping up Cream sometimes. Might be a good avenue to give Cream more to do.

I mean that's effectively the reason the latter was conceived, so yeah.

On 7/29/2021 at 1:30 PM, Dr. Mechano said:

That was legitimately awful though.

Heck, the dialogue following that isn't much better. "What's more important to you, fighting Robotnik, or being with me?"

Everything about that entire situation was terrible. Hitting your significant other and then justifying it by lamenting that they'd dare find something in their life more important than "being with you" is unambiguously abusive behavior.

We can argue that it doesn't make Sally an irredeemable character, or that Ken Penders was mishandling her, or that Ian Flynn redeemed the character by writing her better later on, or a number of other things. That's fine and totally valid. But that moment was indeed awful and Sally should be viewed as being in the wrong there.

Actually, that was Karl Bollers and apparently Jeff Gabrie.

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