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How would YOU rewrite Sonic Forces?


J.R.

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Alright don't beat around the bush. We all know that the Sonic Forces is either one or THE worst Sonic story of all.

I won't even get started, it is just slimey and gross and a joke compared to the story of games like SA1 or 2.

I always think of ways Forces could do better. Which is sad due to the extreme levels of hype Sonic Forces got. So you, how would you rewrite Forces. 

I won't be surprised if it your answers will be as long as an entire college essay.

Sonic Forces Nintendo Switch SF-77004-9 - Best Buy

 

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It's been a while since when I played Forces, so I don't remember all the details, but my take would be this:

-I wouldn't change Infinite and Shadow's part, just write it better to make it less cringe-worty.

-I would tell about Silver's future, ruined again, and the fact that he returned to Sonic's timeline because his psychokinetic powers somehow are the only thing that can fight off Infinite's illusions, even if just partially. He would be the one telling to the resistence about the illusions in the first place.

-During the fight with Infinite, Silver would break the Phantom Ruby on his chest and a fragment would fall into the grass; Infinite would notice the crack only later in the game, and the rookie would find the lost fragment of the ruby instead of a prototype. Said fragment would be later studied by Tails and he would build a device that can break the effect of the phantom ruby by causing an interference. The rookie is still the only one who can use the power of the fragment because when he found it, it was still charged with energy and by touching it he created a bond with it, so the device has to be activated by him.

-Prototypes would be cut from the story completely, they make no sense.

-Knuckles would still be the leader of the resistence, but Tails would be in place of Amy, organizing all the things and planning strategies. The two would often have contrasting opinions where Knuckles usually pushes more for action and batttles, while Tails prefers planning more and waiting for the right moment. The operation big wave would be the result of Knuckles not listening to Tails and then learning from the error.

-Tails would not become depressed, instead he would grow stronger. The fact that Sonic is not with them anymore changed him: he wanted to be like Sonic, now that Sonic is not there anymore, he feels the responsibility of being the next hero, like him... he's still insecure and scared, but he still pushes himself into doing things because "this is what Sonic would have done".

-Amy would be upset about Sonic being missing, and since she "feels" he's still alive, she would go out all alone searching for him regardless of the danger. She's the one who gets attacked by Chaos and saved by Classic Sonic.

-I would show Sonic being tortured, though the tortures would be like putting him into a room full of traps similar to the final boss of Sonic 1 (both versions). Even though he manages to destroy the traps all the times, they would still come back next time because they are illusions. I would later use this as an exploit to justify Sonic being stronger (not failing to Infinite anymore) after he manages to escape from the Death Egg: Eggman had fun with "torturing" him, but it ended up being a training instead.

-I would reduce the Chaotix, Omega and other characters' roles to just cameos (part of the army) because they really are unnecessary to the storytelling. The part of damaged Omega, tails being unable to fix him, and them him being fixed without explanation would just be cut all together.

-I would let Tails explain that the illusions aren't really just illusions, but temporary parallel universes which overlap with reality, that's why they hurt for real to persons who are absorbed into them; this is also stressing the time-space structure and might eventually cause the whole universe to collapse (it especially becomes a real danger near the end when they overload the ruby in order to generate the sun), but Eggman doesn't care of the risks. Classic Sonic would be Sonic from a different timeline/past instead of dimension, and his presence would be explained as an effect of the time-space damages caused by the ruby; as the ruby gets destroyed completely, he disappears back to his time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a few things in an older thread that were meant to tidy up what story was there that I can dig up.

I know some of it involved remnants of Sonic's torture by Zavok, Cream being present during Classic's introduction, and I think a Chaos boss fight.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I believe Sonic Forces was a bunch of good ideas that were implemented poorly. 
 

Starting off, Silver is pretty pointless except to lose to Infinite, so just leave him out - Knuckles would play the part of not just Resistance leader but also its biggest gun in Sonic’s absence, and would do just fine jobbing to Infinite with barely a change to animation since he can glide. Jokes can be made that no one outside the core cast knows him so he is not as inspiring as Sonic. 
 

Knuckles may be the self-appointed leader of the Resistance, but everyone looks to Amy as the de facto leader as she makes a more competent leader for more jokes. 
 

Scale back the time table - 6 months is too much, drop it to some number of weeks without even using a number. Put the text describing Eggman’s conquering of most of the world over a still image of Infinite and Eggman’s robots marching thru destruction if there are not enough resources for more than that. 
 

Turn Eggman torturing Sonic into a joke, it turns out the “torture” is something harmless - like endless videos of Eggman gloating over his continuing victories. Although the heroes still agonize over their speculations of what horrible things are being done to set it up. 
 

Infinite needs some changes but is mostly ok. Cosmetically, although his one-eyed helmet creates unease in viewers as was intended (people like symmetry and are disturbed by the lack of it), it is also very nonfunctional - his entire right side is a blind spot. Either lose the one-eyed helmet so he has one eye with a smaller blind spot or give him both eyes with a two-eyed helmet.
 

Also make more back story to Infinite to explain his fear of weakness that drives him. And I hate when villains leave the hero defeated without attempting to finish them - so change his leaving Sonic defeated but alive after the snake battle to his bored and half-assed attempt to finish Sonic being thwarted by a distraction by the Chaotix - an invisible Espio hurls some ninja weapons while Vector carries Sonic away. His convo with Eggman afterward is still pretty much the same (except drop reference to Sonic beating Eggman for “decades” - Sonic is not even more than one decade old at 15). It actually makes some sense for Infinite to just leave the Avatar alive but defeated as an insignificant bug, so I’m ok with those, but for Sonic, simply being bored and making a half-assed attempt at finishing him would keep the same character build-up even if it’s thwarted.

Make Classic Sonic more important. Hold off the return of Modern Sonic and have Classic Sonic’s sudden unexplained appearance in Ghost Town inspires people’s hope again. Later, Tails begins to understand the Phantom Ruby better because of Classic Sonic. 

Controversially, I’d keep Tails’s meltdown - but explain it better. Many official Tails profiles says his greatest goal is to help his friends, which makes that time in Adventure 2 when Sonic asked him to do something for the very first time a defining moment in Tails’s character arc. So, Tails’s desire to be someone his friends - and most importantly Sonic - can rely on is perhaps the most important aspect of his personality - failing in this regard can send him spiraling downward. Then, when Sonic asks for Tails’s help with the first Infinite fight, and his attempt to help fails, the reaction of having a breakdown makes sense. However, he must say things that tie his breakdown into the events of SA2 and the profiles to better explain his mental state. For example, instead of whining that he is not “smart enough” to fix Omega, he bemoans that he is failing another friend.
 

Furthermore, it should take more time to fully pull Tails out of his depression - Classic Sonic’s sudden appearance should put some hope back into him but it should take more than that. I’d have Classic Sonic provide nudges to coax Tails to regain his confidence when he displays a lack of it - this also puts more significance on Classic Sonic to go with the above stuff. 
 

There’s probably more that I’d change but can’t think of right now. I really want to change how there are two non-speaking characters (Classic and Avatar) but I’m not sure how. 

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Remove Classic Sonic, edgelord69 and any reference to the stupid not-chaos-emerald. Remove Original Character Do Not Steal as well, as it scuppers the plot due to the self-insert having absolutely zero personality. Get rid of super edgy references to torture and whatnot, and just have Sonic imprisoned a la SA2 aboard Eggman's magic space fleet and in need of rescue. Rescue using Tails and Knuckles. Then just standard Sonic fair of wrecking Eggman's shit, getting to his base and defeating final boss.

Simplify and remove this annoying crutch of Classic Sonic.

In reality I would have just binned the game, because garbage plot aside, it was a garbage game. Took Unleashed and Colours and Generations gameplay and made it more automated, linear and boring. Don't care how long it took to make, or how much money was wasted in its development. Straight in the bin.

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I don't have a full story concept in mind, but I've always felt, if they wanted to tell a story about your original character fighting the edgiest boy alive, they should've leaned into that. Go full Coldsteel with Infinite, make him the bad fan character, the selfish roleplayer, the edgy self-aggrandizing lone wolf with all the superpowers almost literally warping reality to put himself in the center to everyone else's detriment. Start off portraying him as his theoretical creator/player would want, but as the heroes push back have him start to break down, reveal his confidence as a facade, have him lash out like a child when he doesn't get what he wants, show how his attitude not only hurts the people around him but himself as well. And conversely, make the avatar character into a healthier type of fan character/roleplayer, one who can work with others both in-universe (cooperating with the other characters and building actual bonds) and on the meta level (their "player" not trying to twist everything to be about them, respecting the other "roleplayers" and the lore of the setting), and add some scenes to make the comparison clear.

And like these aren't even entirely radical changes, a lot of this stuff is already in the game, it's just not arranged to make much of a point out of it.

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  • 2 months later...

Here’s how I’d rewrite Sonic Forces part 1

The opening cutscene is quite different, it takes inspiration from the prequel comic where Eggman finds the phantom ruby outside his doorstep but he remember’s tampering with it in the past because of sonic mania. He picks it up and sees his dreams of Eggmanland so he thinks that maybe he can finally bring down sonic. Until the jackal squad and their leader infinite storm in to raid Eggman’s base, but Eggman uses the ruby to show infinite his darkest desires and to bring the world into ruin. Becoming fed up with the world they live in, the jackal squad joins the Eggman empire.

Sonic dashes his way over to sunset heights hearing from Tails that Eggman is planning an invasion.  Except the level isn’t green hill zone but demolished with sand. It could a new location probably something like wasteland hill zone. Badniks surround tails and a few civilians but tails is prepared to face them and Eggman, then sonic speeds in and defeats all the badniks sonic proceeds to fight Eggman but then Shadow appears out of nowhere, then metal sonic and chaos and to sonic’s shock Mephiles the Dark. (the hedgehog from his dream’s) and then a new face appeared, a jackal with a familiar ruby on his chest.sonic attempts to attack him but the jackal going by the name of infinite creates some portals that make sonic go in the same direction. Tails is confused so he tries to scan infinite, but nothing he finds makes sense. Sonic defeats metal, chaos and Mephiles but refuses to fight shadow but then infinite uses the power of the phantom ruby to turn metal sonic into Neo metal sonic chaos into perfect chaos Mephiles into Solaris and shadow into super shadow sonic gets out the chaos emeralds and becomes super sonic he defeats them again while he fights shadow he asks him why he’s working with Eggman shadow says nothing meanwhile Tails is fighting the other jackal squad members suddenly infinite creates multiple chaos emeralds and all the three villains become super and they easily overpower sonic they all knock him out of the sky sonic tries to get back up but passes out tails grabs out a magnet takes the chaos emeralds with him and runs away Eggman had officially conquered the world.

that’s all for now let me know if you want more.

 

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I don't hate Sonic Forces's story or anything, although Tails's portrayal kind of annoys me and it certainly could've been better. Anyway, a rewrite...

There's about five different angles I can think about taking a rewrite, one would be the least changing, just the game as-is with a couple of script alterations, like removing the weird localization things of saying Sonic's been tortured or Tails has "lost it", as well as having an actual, animated cutscene somewhere in the middle of the game (maybe around Operation Big Wave) where Knuckles is explaining something while Tails and Rouge are tinkering with Omega to remind you he's supposed to be in this game rather than having him only be at the beginning and end. Then, also just lean more into Infinite being a dude who wants to live out his power fantasies without any regard for anything else like logical philosophy or other people's lives, while the Avatar has power and they use it for protecting others and maybe a big of fun, but not nearly as much as Infinite. Coldsteel Infinite versus healthier fan who cares about things, as said above by Diogenes.

Taking all of that and then also addressing a couple other complaints people have (Tails and Classic Sonic), the other ways I can think of to take the game are dropping Classic Sonic for Shadow, Silver, or Omega as the third central character, Omega being reactivated, Silver appearing from the future or Shadow just showing up to save Tails from Chaos 0. As ridiculous as it is I'd keep Tails's fear, then emphasizing the fact Tails feels useless because he's unable to conquer his fears this time even though he'd already bested them once, with Shadow/Silver/Omega helping him out by telling him in their own ways that being strong doesn't mean not being afraid or worrying about your friends but you need to be able to act for their sakes or whatever. In Shadow and Omega's cases they probably struggle a bit to find the words to tell Tails this while Silver ends up considering his own situation of constantly time travelling back to make a perfect future before eventually deciding to stay in the present or something so we can stop using inconsistent time-travel mechanics to drag him back for every game we want to put him in, thus their character arc and Tails's can be stretched on longer than a single cutscene.

The fifth and final option I can think of is to just drop the third character entirely and focus on Sonic & the Avatar's perspectives. With less moving parts everyone can be together at almost all times so the non-playable-characters can still get more focus, finding out Eggman's plans from that one time Tails & Classic Sonic spied on him can be given to Shadow & Rouge, without Classic Sonic or anyone else to rely on Tails either remains a strong figure in the Resistance or his fears are discussed with Sonic directly, who tells him he felt similarly being locked away for however long unable to help stop Eggman, but it's important to accept your past failures so you can move on and not make those mistakes again. After all, Tails has learned to stand up against Eggman and Chaos before, he can do it again.

I'm not a writer, at least not a good one, but I think these ideas are fair.

Oh, also, no matter what make the Zavok mirage not talk, that was so weirdly inconsistent with everything else about Infinite's Phantom Ruby-made army that it's easily my biggest problem with the game. Fixing that alone would probably be good enough for me.

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Ok, here we go!

1- I would maintain Shadow VS Infinite story, but at least show the elimination of the Jackal Squad, the franchise already did mass murder without showing blood in other games (Both Adventures for exemple with the Knuckles Clan and the Prison Island bombing), that's the only change in that part, I love the POV of Infinite when he gets his ass kicked.

2- Not putting any Resistence Army like it was. Avatar should go alone to rescue Sonic or at least with some intel character like Tails backing him up. One of the biggest problems with the meta era is that most of the characters are away from their core. Knuckles shouldn't be the "leader" of the resistance, he should be a alone warrior fighting Eggman's force by his own. Tails should have be the positive one trying to find a way to rescue Sonic. Amy the emotional value of the story like she always was, strong but open-hearted.

3- Sonic's torture is a BIG loss of chance. At least show him beated like in the battle agaisnt E-99 in the anime. It's important to see that the hero is not invencible, he gets bruised and still find the courage to fight.

4- COMPLETELY REMOVE CLASSIC SONIC!! Tails's development should be together with Sonic and Avatar. Not Mute-Sonic.

5- Chaos Emeralds man. They literally put a world scale war without anyone literally running for some of the universe's most powerfull items!!!

6- Ok, that is my polemical opinion. The confront doesn't have the same weight without the humans. I know Shadow The Hedgehog is a game that a lot of people hate, but this game got a good war vibe in some stages, the first one already show us this. This is something that shouldn't be hard to a japanese franchiese, mix the unrealistic with the realistic and create a good vibe. A true military in some of the stages and a realistic city would put the vibe of the game in the right direction. Also, drop the "two worlds", it bombs the great world building of the series.

7- Backing up the no resistance part that I said. Put Sonic and co helping in the middle of a confrontation and not as a part of some army, again like Shadow The Hedgehog did. Operation Big wave would be way cooler if that was a military invasion agaisnt Eggman's HQ and Sonic just showed up to aid in the fight, not sent. The G.U.N commander would give more weight to the story instead of beaver with a mustache in the conversations in the middle of the stage. I also think that Metropolis should be done darker.

8- The final war is a BIG problem. In the "climax" of the story the sun idea was super awesome, but this alone. The scene would be heavier with the humans and the G.U.N participating, but the true problem of this scene is the animation, that should be the scene were the staff should have worked more.

9- The last change. Infinite comming back, oh yeah,  TRUE LAST BOSS!!! That is what this game is missing. Some cool Super Sonic battle to end this game with a golden key (I don't know if people say this outside my country).

End: I think that most of those things would be in the game if the game was released until 2009. The story of Sonic Forces doesn't know if is a pré or after meta era game and that kills most of the chances. Good ideas holded back by ignoring the characters original personalities, nostalgia bait and the tactic of making Sonic more acessible for the general public like Mario.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, taking recent information into account, I say I would try to give extra insight into how the world as a whole is dealing with Eggman taking control of most of the world, specifically the larger continent populated by mostly humans and the several of the islands where the islanders mostly inhabit. 

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Was adding infinite and classic Sonic really necessary? Classic Sonic didnt really add much of substance to the story and Infinite was just an obligatory obstacle that could have been almost any villain or rival we currently have. Why not have Eggman form tentative alliances with some of those characters? goodness knows they need screentime. What if he tries to use the Phantom Ruby to attempt manipulating characters like Shadow and Knuckles against Sonic? Or uses it to incriminate and turn the people against the titular hero? This could explain part of why the avatar character was important because Sonic was in a situation where a lot of common people and even his allies might have turned against him and he couldn't save the day alone.

I'd keep avatar but they need to be more than just a blank slate character that does hand gestures. Give them optional personality presets, customizable abilities, chances to talk and build friendships with the characters mend problems within the cast that maybe Eggman created, and use them as a way for us to get to better know the cast of characters we have. I felt like the whole point of the avatar should have been for the player to explore choices and gameplay options but SEGA only thought as far as "gimmicky avatar generator" with them.

 

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I'm not a great writer, honestly.

But I am miffed that Sonic got captured and then camera faded to black, for, how long was it? Six months? While Eggman took over the world.

That ordeal was just blacked out, flew by in a matter of seconds.

Nix classic Sonic, nix Buddy, give us a moment to play as Sonic's friends while Sonic is captivity. Have Sonic's friends bust him out.

(I'm not sure I'm keen on Eggman keeping Sonic alive, or having clone-Zavok fetch Sonic and drag him to the air-lock, just shoot the guy. That said, I have tried to write, stuff like that gets a bit fudged sometimes. "Story gotta story")

Oh and there's no clone-zavok. Infinite has reality-warping powers and can copy characters?  How about giving us copies of the heroes? Evil ones. Using them to incriminate and possibly to attempt to psych characters out; people aren't going to want to punch their friend.  Make the illusory worlds more nightmarish, too.

 

 

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