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Theorizing about the Sonic's two world controversy [Games' lore discussion]


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User18091994

In November, Sega is going to release the Sonic Encyclo-speed-ia. A book that's going to deep dive into the games' universe lore, and it's going to provide the official timeline and tell which games are canon and which ones are not. 

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A listing for an official Sonic the Hedgehog Enclyclopedia appeared on Amazon, named Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. This is the first time ever in the Sonic series that an encyclopedia dedicated to the canon has been made.

Published by Dark Horse Books and written by Ian Flynn, this enclyclopedia will aim to explore the lore of the Games’ universe, take an in-depth look at the characters, settings, stories, and show what is canon.

"Celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary with a full-color hardcover historical retrospective that explores nearly every one of the blue speedster’s video game appearances!

Dive deep into the extensive lore and exhaustive detail of each game in Sonic’s ever-expanding universe–from the beloved SEGA Genesis to the most bleeding-edge video game consoles. This tome leaves no stone unturned, showcasing in-depth looks at the characters, settings, and stories from each exciting installment!

Dark Horse Books and SEGA present the Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-Speed-ia–a must-have volume for any fan of Sonic, young or old!"
- Dark Horse Books

Source: Tails Channel / Sonic Stadium

This book is being written by Ian Flynn, and it's basically the "Hyrule Historia" of Sonic the Hedgehog. For the ones who don't know, Hyrule Historia was a book released in 2011 in commemoration of the 25th of The Legend of Zelda and close to the release of Skyward Word on the Nintendo Wii. It provided the official timeline of the Zelda franchise and details filling the gaps and inconsistencies in the games. Before this book, the Zelda timeline was a mess and there were a lot of discussion about that in the community.

In addition to that, since 2010 at the Sonic Colors release, Takashi IIzuka said in many interviews that the stories of Sonic games happen in two different worlds: the human world and Sonic's world. However, it's not clear if this two world thing are two different civilizations living in the same planet, if they are actually two different planets altogether, or if they are two entirely new dimensions. A lot of people in the community didn't like this supposed recton because it contradicts the story of a lot of other past games like the Adventure series.

Considering all of that, t's very clear to me that the Encyclo-speed-ia is going to have a similar purpose in the Sonic's franchise. They are going to release a whole book about the series' lore, they will have to address some inconsistencies and bend the games together.

Some people are very passionate about discussing the lore of the franchise, but I don't have a problem with the concept of two worlds. It creates inconsistencies and a lot of unexplained things, mostly in the Adventure era games, but it also fixes a lot of other inconsistencies in the games' continuity, geography and art style, and everything could be explained if Sonic Team creates retcons in future games or in the encyclopedia. The lore is confusing with and without the two worlds concept. I don't know why people are so mad about that. To me, the funniest part about discussing the lore of a franchise is finding new good answers to explain and fix inconsistencies.

So, let's theorize how they could fix the inconsistencies.

Why the echidna are on earth in Sonic Adventure? What Angel Island is doing in the human's world?
imagem_2021-08-25_013901.png.fd23c0cf177a9a409646c386bc23633d.png

 

The human world and Sonic's world could have some kind of connection. If Sonic and the other characters can travel between both worlds, we can assume they aren't the first ones to be able to do that. Eggman is human, and he lives in the Sonic's world in a lot of games, for example.

Maybe the echidna tribe traveled from Sonic's world to Earth a long time ago, or maybe the anthropomorphic animals are actually from Earth long before the humans existed, and they colonized and move to the other world at some point in history.

Angel Island and the Master Emerald could have some kind of connection to Earth as well, and Angel Island could be able to move between the two worlds. If that were the case, I hope they are going to explain all these things.

Sonic Rush hits Sonic's world isn't inhabited by humans:

In the Rush series, we knew Blaze's world. According to the game's story, her world is a parallel dimension to Sonic. She is like the Sonic equivalent of this dimension, and the sol emerald are the equivalent of the chaos emerald. In Rush Adventure, we came to Blaze's world and the only human that appear in the game is the villain Eggman Nega. All the other NPCs and characters are anthropomorphic animals. If Blaze's dimension is a parallel world to Sonic's, it needs to be similar. The concept of parallel worlds are different realities that are similar but have slightly differences in the history, geographic and other aspects. So, if Blaze's world is inhabited mostly by anthropomorphic animals, so is the Sonic's world.

Sonic Forces hints the two worlds:

Sonic Forces featured a world map that doesn't have any similarities with the Earth world map of Sonic Unleashed. According to the lead art director of Sonic Forces, Yoshitaka Miura, the game was artistically designed to look like an alien world different from Earth, and he put a misterious alien language in the buildings and billboards of stages such as Sunset Heights.

imagem_2021-08-25_021107.png.5e7e69ad3aca25982a0bcc8d094c47ac.png

 

The Lost Hex from Sonic Lost World is located in the sky of the Sonic's world

I think the Lost Hex isn't located on Earth because of the cartoony art style. Also, the deadly six always appear in the IDW series that happens in the anthropomorphic animals' world. That makes me believe that the Lost Hex is closer to the Sonic's world than it's from the Earth.

The two world thing is no more?

Ian Flynn said in a more recent episode of the same podcast that we don't need to worry about the two worlds concept anymore. He said we can't say why yet, though. Some people are speculating that maybe he created a different retcon that replaced the two world concepts entirely now that he is involved in the Sonic Encyclo-Speed-Ia. We will only know when the book comes out.

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The two world concept was an overblown concern to me in the first place.

For starters, Iizuka claimed this idea was considered as far back as Adventure, so it's not an entirely new thing that drives its wedge into canon. Sonic X is to me a clear example of this as well. Two, there is barely a canon in the first place, in that SEGA and Sonic Team will choose to ignore or add ideas as they see fit. Where's South, Westside, and Angel Island in Unleashed, for example? There's no Station Square either. Not a hint or a mention. Might as well have been an entirely different world.

In terms of working within the world, I easily saw it as there being a "human world" and a "animal / esoteric world" divided by borders and demographics, and to my knowledge that has never been explicitly violated. Games features humans never feature animals besides Sonic and co. or their more impossible settings. Forces is the first game to state that there is an actual civilization of anthro people just like Sonic and his friends, and still has no humans.

Even if it's literally two different worlds, that's not too ridiculous since crossing worlds is an established thing.

It doesn't really matter.

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It's kinda funny to me how much it blew up. Like it's a dumb idea yeah but it also never once actually mattered to any story ever.

Like Colors-Forces it was never important to the plot what world it was on anyway. It's basically a piece of trivia that got blown way out of proportion. 

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Zoomzeta

Yeah that. Honestly, I chalk a lot of the issues with this thing to an overall lack of clarity on the part of SEGA on how it all works, or whether this was always how it was meant to be or not, since none of the games thus far have really explored this in detail. The only explicit case where this specific theory has been displayed was with Sonic X as far as I am aware.

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User18091994

In my opinion, Iizuka made up the two-worlds concept as an excuse to develop games without humans. During that time, there was still a lot of people complaining about humans and Sonic games. Every Sonic game that had humans, had controversy surrounding it. So, it was the only option they had. It doesn't make sense because it contradicts a lot of past Sonic games.

On 8/28/2021 at 1:13 AM, Zoomzeta said:

Yeah that. Honestly, I chalk a lot of the issues with this thing to an overall lack of clarity on the part of SEGA on how it all works, or whether this was always how it was meant to be or not, since none of the games thus far have really explored this in detail. The only explicit case where this specific theory has been displayed was with Sonic X as far as I am aware.

Yeah, this retcon could work if they really clarify how the Sonic's world work. I hope we'll have an answer when the book comes out.

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Zoomzeta
15 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

In my opinion, Iizuka made up the two-worlds concept as an excuse to develop games without humans. During that time, there was still a lot of people complaining about humans and Sonic games. Every Sonic game that had humans, had controversy surrounding it. So, it was the only option they had. It doesn't make sense because it contradicts a lot of past Sonic games.

Yeah, this retcon could work if they really clarify how the Sonic's world work. I hope we'll have an answer when the book comes out.

Let's hope so.

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Diogenes

If they wanted to make games without humans they could've just made games without humans. Set the games somewhere where they are not, y'know, like an Eggman-built space station, or a timeless void, or a lost planetoid.

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User18091994
1 minute ago, Diogenes said:

If they wanted to make games without humans they could've just made games without humans. Set the games somewhere where they are not, y'know, like an Eggman-built space station, or a timeless void, or a lost planetoid.

This would limit how they could explore Sonic's world in the games. Probably, at that time, Sega believed that people wouldn't ask for these elements to come back in the future. Let's be real, the Sonic fan base is weird and schizophrenic. People change their minds about what they like in the Sonic series all the time. 10 years ago, Sonic Colors was treated like it was the best 3D Sonic ever made and Sonic Unleashed was treated like garbage. Nowadays, people say Colors is weak and one of the worst games, and Sonic Unleashed is beloved and treated like a masterpiece.

Part of the reason why the Sonic's lore is so fluid and inconsistent is the fan base's fault.

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Diogenes
3 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

This would limit how they could explore Sonic's world in the games.

No it wouldn't. They always just create whatever new places they feel like. If they don't want humans, create places without humans.

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4 hours ago, Raphael Martins said:

In my opinion, Iizuka made up the two-worlds concept as an excuse to develop games without humans. During that time, there was still a lot of people complaining about humans and Sonic games. Every Sonic game that had humans, had controversy surrounding it. So, it was the only option they had. It doesn't make sense because it contradicts a lot of past Sonic games.

On that point, according to Flynn it would be more something that was started from sometimes during the Naka era, and that Iizuka inherited it and simply talked about it. So we don't know really where it comes from exactly. So seems that it's older than just when it was said. As Diogenes said, if it was only that they wouldn't have human in games… They could have just had no human in games, like with Colors, Generations and Lost World. TBH even for Forces, they could have decided to just have Forces without human, and letting us wounder why.

And it doesn't contradict other games that much. With the exception of SA's echidna, tbh it's kinda a non subject, nothing that can't be explained by someone.

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User18091994
11 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

On that point, according to Flynn it would be more something that was started from sometimes during the Naka era, and that Iizuka inherited it and simply talked about it. So we don't know really where it comes from exactly. So seems that it's older than just when it was said. As Diogenes said, if it was only that they wouldn't have human in games… They could have just had no human in games, like with Colors, Generations and Lost World. TBH even for Forces, they could have decided to just have Forces without human, and letting us wounder why.

And it doesn't contradict other games that much. With the exception of SA's echidna, tbh it's kinda a non subject, nothing that can't be explained by someone.

Yes, it contradicts older games. Talking about Forces:

1 - In Sonic Forces we have a world map with a totally different geography compared to the world map of Sonic Unleashed

2 - There's no mention to human countries, civilizations and institutions. That doesn't make any sense because Eggman took over the whole world

3 - In Sonic Unleashed we traveled through the whole world and don't meet a single furry country or civilization. How could this be the same planet as Forces?

4 - Green Hill Zone is part of the Sonic Forces world, supposedly the furries' home planet, however, Green Hill is also in the world map of Sonic Adventure 2. How can Green Hill be in two different planets at the same time?

5 - In Sonic Adventure 2, when Eggman broke the moon, we have a cutscene showing people from all over the world. It doesn't show any furry country or civilization, too.

6 - Angel Island is in the furries' home planet in some games and in the IDW comics series, but it's also in the human world in some other games like Sonic Adventure

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

Yes, it contradicts older games. Talking about Forces:

1 - In Sonic Forces we have a world map with a totally different geography compared to the world map of Sonic Unleashed

2 - There's no mention to human countries, civilizations and institutions. That doesn't make any sense because Eggman took over the whole world

3 - In Sonic Unleashed we traveled through the whole world and don't meet a single furry country or civilization. How could this be the same planet as Forces?

4 - Green Hill Zone is part of the Sonic Forces world, supposedly the furries' home planet, however, Green Hill is also in the world map of Sonic Adventure 2. How can Green Hill be in two different planets at the same time?

5 - In Sonic Adventure 2, when Eggman broke the moon, we have a cutscene showing people from all over the world. It doesn't show any furry country or civilization, too.

6 - Angel Island is in the furries' home planet in some games and in the IDW comics series, but it's also in the human world in some other games like Sonic Adventure

 

 

Eggman took over the animal world in forces, which is why the geography doesn't match Sonic Unleashed and the game doesn't contain references to prior entries aside from the classic era.. The only major running contradiction is Angel Island.

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User18091994
31 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Eggman took over the animal world in forces, which is why the geography doesn't match Sonic Unleashed and the game doesn't contain references to prior entries aside from the classic era.. The only major running contradiction is Angel Island.

Nope. Chaos is in the game, he was the villain of Sonic Adventure. The game also references Sonic Generations that had references to every Sonic mainline game ever released.

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1 minute ago, Raphael Martins said:

Nope. Chaos is in the game, he was the villain of Sonic Adventure. The game also references Sonic Generations that had references to every Sonic mainline game ever released.

I don't see how chaos and classic Sonic showing up runs contradictory to 2 worlds.

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User18091994
13 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I don't see how chaos and classic Sonic showing up runs contradictory to 2 worlds.

You said the game doesn't contain references to prior entries aside from the classic era. This is not true, because if Chaos appears, that means Sonic Adventure happened and if they reference Sonic Generations, that means every other mainline entry in the franchise also happened.

And how can you explain Green Hill being located on both Sonic's World and Earth?

imagem_2021-08-30_161914.png.cf0a6b5933f3c605cc85ad77699f73b6.png


 

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It have contradiction, of course. But they certainly aren't important enough for them to really care that much more than what universe they want to depict. (and your own message shows that one-world would also have contradictions). Contradiction and small stuff are less important than the "big pictures" of what they want to depict. And that's more what can change one-world and two-world.

Oh, and wanting to appease the fan.

1 hour ago, Raphael Martins said:

Yes, it contradicts older games. Talking about Forces:

1 - In Sonic Forces we have a world map with a totally different geography compared to the world map of Sonic Unleashed

2 - There's no mention to human countries, civilizations and institutions. That doesn't make any sense because Eggman took over the whole world

3 - In Sonic Unleashed we traveled through the whole world and don't meet a single furry country or civilization. How could this be the same planet as Forces?

4 - Green Hill Zone is part of the Sonic Forces world, supposedly the furries' home planet, however, Green Hill is also in the world map of Sonic Adventure 2. How can Green Hill be in two different planets at the same time?

5 - In Sonic Adventure 2, when Eggman broke the moon, we have a cutscene showing people from all over the world. It doesn't show any furry country or civilization, too.

6 - Angel Island is in the furries' home planet in some games and in the IDW comics series, but it's also in the human world in some other games like Sonic Adventure

1 - Maps aren't canon. Sonic will certainly never have a canon real geography. They don't care about it, certainly as TBH it would cause more problem that it's worth.

2, 3 and 5 are solved by two-world, but they could simply say if they prefer one-world that we were in other place during those games. That's not a big deal, they have better things to do. Or that maps aren't meant to be taken directly.

4 - GHZ in SA2 isn't really something meant to be canon. It's mostly a nice reference.

6 - That's a magical island, they can simply not care if they don't think it's worth the hassle.

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In fairness to the Green Hill in SA2 thing, it's an unlockable cameo in an anniversary title from well before the series started marketing its goodwill on remembering the good ol' days. It's probably not meant to be seen as "canon."

"Two worlds" is a more recent development that we don't know how or if it actually had any bearing other that Sonic Team trying to find a way to explain why they didn't want to use humans anymore beyond "06 and Unleashed got bad reviews so we're paring as much back as possible in terms of world building."

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25 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

You said the game doesn't contain references to prior entries aside from the classic era. This is not true, because if Chaos appears, that means Sonic Adventure happened and if they reference Sonic Generations, that means every other mainline entry in the franchise also happened.

And how can you explain Green Hill being located on both Sonic's World and Earth?

imagem_2021-08-30_161914.png.cf0a6b5933f3c605cc85ad77699f73b6.png


 

Green Hill in SA2 is a cameo and probably not meant to be taken that seriously. The original games had it placed on South Island and it's not like the other zones are on SA2's map.

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User18091994
2 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

It have contradiction, of course. But they certainly aren't important enough for them to really care that much more than what universe they want to depict. (and your own message shows that one-world would also have contradictions). Contradiction and small stuff are less important than the "big pictures" of what they want to depict. And that's more what can change one-world and two-world.

There are contradictions they will have to explain on this book, not matter how approach they will decide to keep (one or two worlds). I'm not against the two worlds concept, but they will have to explain and clarify a lot of things. There are a lot of inconsistencies, gaps and holes between the games that they will have to fill fot the two worlds concept to make sense.

How Sonic and the other characters travel between the two worlds? Why haven't the two worlds ever been mentioned in the games before? Why the humans doesn't seem surprised when they see Sonic and the other furries in Sonic Adventure and other games that have humans?

In addition, there's no source to support the two worlds concept have existed since the Yuji Naka era, there are interviews of Naka saying the humans live in the continents while the furries live in islands. The first time we saw the two worlds concept was on Sonic X.

Again, I'm not against the concept because everything could be explained if they add some retcons, but you can't deny that the current status of the lore is inconsistent with a lot of questions to be answered. If they were able to fix all this issues, I will have nothing to complain about.

2 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

1 - Maps aren't canon. Sonic will certainly never have a canon real geography. They don't care about it, certainly as TBH it would cause more problem that it's worth.

2, 3 and 5 are solved by two-world, but they could simply say if they prefer one-world that we were in other place during those games. That's not a big deal, they have better things to do. Or that maps aren't meant to be taken directly.

4 - GHZ in SA2 isn't really something meant to be canon. It's mostly a nice reference.

6 - That's a magical island, they can simply not care if they don't think it's worth the hassle.

1 - They never said anything about the maps not being canon. This your head canon and you cannot claim this is true without a official confirmation

2, 3 and 5 - Yes, could be explained by the two worlds, but it needs to be better clarified and exposed

4 - Again, there's no confirmation about that, and Green Hill and other supposed locations from Sonic's world also appeared on Earth in other games like the Advanced series, Sonic Battle, etc. It's very clear that most of this games weren't developed with the two worlds concepts in mind. This isn't something that couldn't be fixed, but they are inconsistencies

6 - A magical world or a fictional universe still needs to be consistent and have coherent rules about how things work in this fictional reality.

2 hours ago, Zaysho said:

In fairness to the Green Hill in SA2 thing, it's an unlockable cameo in an anniversary title from well before the series started marketing its goodwill on remembering the good ol' days. It's probably not meant to be seen as "canon."

"Two worlds" is a more recent development that we don't know how or if it actually had any bearing other that Sonic Team trying to find a way to explain why they didn't want to use humans anymore beyond "06 and Unleashed got bad reviews so we're paring as much back as possible in terms of world building."

 

2 hours ago, Wraith said:

Green Hill in SA2 is a cameo and probably not meant to be taken that seriously. The original games had it placed on South Island and it's not like the other zones are on SA2's map.

Yeah, but there's no oficial confirmation about that, and as I said before, there are other locations that appeared and both worlds in games like the Advanced series, Sonic Battle, etc. Even Sonic Chronicles, this one probably isn't canon, but again, there's no oficial confirmation about any of this.

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Diogenes
48 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

Why haven't the two worlds ever been mentioned in the games before?

Because there's been no need to. It's never been directly relevant to any story they've ever told; none of the games treat it as the characters travelling there for the first time or jumping between worlds mid-story, they simply are where they are.

50 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

1 - They never said anything about the maps not being canon. This your head canon and you cannot claim this is true without a official confirmation

The world maps have never been consistent. ShtH shows a clearly modified-from-Earth map in GUN headquarters, which is completely different from Unleashed's world map, despite that these should be the same planet whether we're talking about one world or two worlds.

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User18091994
2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

Because there's been no need to. It's never been directly relevant to any story they've ever told; none of the games treat it as the characters travelling there for the first time or jumping between worlds mid-story, they simply are where they are.

Nope, there's definitely the need to explain this. It's not because Sonic Team never addressed this issue that it's not a issue.

2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

The world maps have never been consistent. ShtH shows a clearly modified-from-Earth map in GUN headquarters, which is completely different from Unleashed's world map, despite that these should be the same planet whether we're talking about one world or two worlds.

The world map not being consistent doesn't prove anything. There are a lot of other inconsistencies. The moon has never being consistent as well. On Sonic Heroes the moon doesn't look broken, the game happened cronologically right after Sonic Adventure 2 that Eggman broke the moon. The moon also isn't broken in the opening of Shadow the Hedgehog. Are you saying the moon isn't relevant to the story? The moon that Eggman broken in a huge moment of Sonic Adventure 2?

This argument doesn't make any sense. You are just making up weak excuses for the problems in the series continuity.

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Diogenes
Just now, Raphael Martins said:

Nope, there's definitely the need to explain this. It's not because Sonic Team never addressed this issue that it's not a issue.

What story would be made better by explaining it?

Just now, Raphael Martins said:

The world map not being consistent doesn't prove anything. There are a lot of other inconsistencies.

Right, because they don't really care about these kinds of things. Inconsistent world maps between Unleashed and Forces mean nothing because the world maps have never been consistent because they don't care about keeping them consistent because it doesn't matter.

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User18091994

[EDIT: I'm sorry, I didn't know what happened, I think it was a bug with my post.]

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What story would be made better by explaining it?

Well, most of them. The only stories that this wouldn't make a difference would be Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations and Lost World and the storybooks because of the places these stories are set.

The Adventure series: we would know why there aren't more furries besides Sonic and the other characters in this universe.

Sonic Forces: we would know why the humans disappeared and now every NPC is furry.
 

Quote

Right, because they don't really care about these kinds of things. Inconsistent world maps between Unleashed and Forces mean nothing because the world maps have never been consistent because they don't care about keeping them consistent because it doesn't matter.

It's not because they don't care that it's not an issue. This is not an argument. As I said before, a lot of other things are inconsistent as well, such as the moon.




 

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Dr. Mechano

"Two worlds" just doesn't mesh with the established series prior to that idea.

Throughout the classic games, we've seen evidence of other humans besides Eggman. Human hieroglyphs and statues in various zones, Witchcart, etc.

In the modern games, we've seen traditional "Sonic's world"-type levels on the same planet as humans and human activity. Sonic Rush has wacky zones you'd expect to see in a classic-era game, but also has a GUN base. Sonic Battle has Emerald Town - with its checkered ground and cliffsides (where Tails lives, no less) - right next to the human-populated Central City, which later appeared in Shadow the Hedgehog. And of course, the ancient echidna architecture all over the Mystic Ruins - including parts of it that aren't the fallen Angel Island.

The worlds were always presented as one in the same until around 2010. Now, if you're fine with them just instituting a retcon and accepting the previous inconsistencies as simply no longer canon or otherwise ignorable, that's fine. But I find that to be a really unsatisfying direction for the series to go. The old games were clearly written with a single planet in mind, and this change makes a ton of stuff from those games not make any sense anymore.

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Diogenes
28 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

Well, most of them. The only stories that this wouldn't make a difference would be Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations and Lost World and the storybooks because of the places these stories are set.

The Adventure series: we would know why there aren't more furries besides Sonic and the other characters in this universe.

Sonic Forces: we would know why the humans disappeared and now every NPC is furry.

Neither of these things have anything to do with those games' stories. SA isn't about the population statistics of Station Square, it's about Sonic stopping Eggman's latest evil scheme, it's about Tails gaining some self confidence, it's about Gamma rebelling to "save" his brothers, it's about Chaos mourning his fellow chao and taking his pain out on the world, and so on. Stopping to explain that Sonic and everyone else jumped into a wormhole and ended up on a different planet would've just been clutter.

28 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

It's not because they don't care that it's not an issue. This is not an argument. As I said before, a lot of other things are inconsistent as well, such as the moon.

And a lot of those other things don't matter either. The moon is absolutely not relevant to Heroes or ShtH, all events would proceed exactly the same if they had showed it broken. All that showing it broken would have achieved is pleasing a small number of detail-obsessed fans and confusing anyone who hadn't played SA2. You can work yourself up over it being "an issue" but it's not going to change that Sonic Team simply doesn't care, that they will likely never provide you with an explanation, satisfying or otherwise.

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