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Sonic 3 and S&K or Sonic 3&K


Icecoldfrieza
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As many of you know, some story elements are different depending on whether or not you lock on Sonic 3 to S&K. My question to you is, which is the true (or dare I say, canon) story? Here are all the story differences between the versions that I can think of.

Sonic 3 and S&K by themselves:

- The Death Egg explodes after completing Launch Base.

- The emeralds in the Hidden Palace are discolored and without power, even if Sonic is in possession of all the Chaos Emeralds.

- Eggrobo bombs Mushroom Hill in Knuckles' story, setting his game into motion.

- Even with all the Chaos Emeralds in the end of Knuckles' story, he does not turn Super when Sonic catches him with the Tornado. This is consistent with his lack of a Super form in later games.

- When Sonic's story is completed with all of the Chaos Emeralds and after the credits have ended, Eggrobo is shown rising from the debris of the robot Sonic destroyed in The Doomsday Zone, leading into Knuckles' story.

- Tails does not appear in S&K until the end, and it is not explained why he was not with Sonic after the events at Launch Base. It can be assumed that playing as Sonic and Tails together is the true story in Sonic 3, as evidenced by Tails appearing at the end of Marble Garden and the beginning of Carnival Night even when playing as Sonic alone.

Sonic 3&K:

- The Death Egg does not explode after completing Launch Base, but instead falls back to Angel Island.

- There is a cutscene at the beginning of Mushroom Hill showing Knuckles hiding a warp ring to the Hidden Palace. This cutscene is chronicled in the Japanese manual for S&K. The manual does not mention that you need to lock on Sonic 3 with S&K in order to see it.

- Entering said warp ring, Sonic (or Tails) releases the Chaos Emeralds into the altar. According to the Japanese Sonic Mega Collection strategy guide, the Master Emerald powered up the Chaos Emeralds, turning them into Super Emeralds (It was never said if this was permanent or temporary, but in order for it to fit in with future games, it must have been temporary).

- Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles, and Super Tails exist. Not much more to say about that.

- The Master Emerald glows after powering up the Chaos Emeralds into Super Emeralds.

- Eggrobo is not shown starting his battle with Knuckles. Knuckles simply starts off his quest on Angel Island (Zone).

- If you complete Sonic's story with all the Super Emeralds, there is a cutscene right before the credits showing Knuckles seeing Sonic and Tails off. The notable thing being that the Master Emerald is outside with him. The Master Emerald has always been placed outside from that point in the series on.

- Knuckles turns Hyper at the end of his story if you complete it with all the Super Emeralds.

- The post-credits scene is the same for all characters if the Super Emeralds are obtained.

Feel free to add to this list if you can think of anything else. Based on what you know about the story differences, which version would you say is the true version? Here are my thoughts. I believe that S3&K is the real deal. The emeralds simply reverted back to their original state after they were removed from the Hidden Palace altar (They had to have been removed in order to be used in any game afterwards).

On one hand, The Super Emeralds and Hyper forms are never referenced again. On the other hand, the Time Stones and Darkspine/Excalibur Sonic have not been referenced outside of their respective games either. Just because something is not referenced does not necessarily mean it did not ever exist in the series. What do you guys think?

Edited by Icecoldfrieza
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They were originally intended to be one game. S3&K is the closest living relative of that original vision, so I say go with that. I will admit that things go a bit squishy as a result of the split, mostly in terms of the Super Emeralds. But there's nothing that actually breaks, just a few elements that have been quietly shuffled into the background since then.

Since we're talking about S3&K's story, there's one thing that's been bugging me about it recently. We know that Flying Battery was supposed to come between Carnival Night and Ice Cap (the cannon launches him up to the airship, then when he busts out he uses the door as a snowboard). Going with that, Mushroom Hill seems...out of place. Launch Base, and everything from Sandopolis on, all feel like late-game levels; the difficulty's kicked up a notch and you need to keep your eyes open if you want to stay alive. But Mushroom Hill is actually a pretty easy level, with few dangerous traps. Even if they did rework the level when it became the first level of S&K rather than the 8th of Sonic 3, I can't imagine it being comparable to the levels that bookend it. And narratively, the endgame also flows a lot tighter if Mushroom Hill isn't there; the Death Egg fails to make it into space in Launch Base, Sonic and Tails fall into Sandopolis, which takes them to Lava Reef where they find the crashed Death Egg and the entrance to Hidden Palace, and so on. Mushroom Hill just seems like a pointless detour, especially since the Super Emerald idea wouldn't have existed at this point. The level transitions also fit better without it; it makes sense to fall into Sandopolis from Launch Base (or Flying Battery), but how would we get from a lush, moist jungle to an arid desert? Certainly they couldn't have us believe Sandopolis is just below that cliff at the end of Mushroom Hill...plus, the only intro to Knuckles' story starts off in Mushroom Hill, and even though it's only in S&K, the events (but not the location) fit with the S3&K version (so far as Eggrobo is the villain and not Eggman).

It's all circumstantial (and the physical evidence even seems to contradict it, as the Sonic 3 level select has Flying Battery in its old spot but Mushroom "Valley" in its usual position), but it makes me think Mushroom Hill may have come much earlier in the game, before they decided to split it and rearrange it into two separate games.

- If you complete Sonic's story with all the Super Emeralds, there is a cutscene right before the credits showing Knuckles seeing Sonic and Tails off. The notable thing being that the Master Emerald is outside with him. The Master Emerald has always been placed outside from that point in the series on.
This is actually a very good point that I don't think many people have picked up on. Knuckles didn't arbitrarily relocate the emerald from the Hidden Palace to the ruined shrine; Eggman removed it, it was returned to AIZ, and then moved from there to the ruined shrine (which may be very close to where it was dropped off).
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It seems possible to me that Ice Cap didn't always directly proceed Launch Base Zone. Considering it's original name, it seems to make sense to me for it to come between Ice Cap and Launch Base. It's kind of funny to go directly from a snowy location directly to a big lake.

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Was Mushroom Hill one of the levels hidden in Sonic 3?

Depends on what you mean by "hidden".

Sonic 3 & Knuckles takes the cake on this one. What Sonic 3 originally was compared to what it was supposed to be should be obvious. After all, Naka could have taken the story however he wanted to as he was finishing up on Sonic & Knuckles, and it needs to be considered that he consciously chose the direction the game went, and that the final product is what his ultimate idea was. It actually does not take that much working in the storyline to fit the Super Emeralds and Hyper characters in. I have explained it before, but I can explain it again if anyone is interested.

Edited by BaronSFel001
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My theory is that the Chaos Emeralds can only be empowered by the Master Emerald in the Hidden Palace, since that is the only place we have seen that was designed for such a purpose. That can explain why we haven't seen the Super Emeralds since then.

That still leaves the question of where West Side Island's Chaos Emeralds come in.

We are drifting into a Chaos Emerald discussion, which I hope is not off-topic, because I find it to be one of the most fascinating aspects of the Sonic universe.

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It's kind of funny to go directly from a snowy location directly to a big lake.

Sonic levels are all about strange transitions. I mean, in Sonic 1 you went straight from a construction yard to an underground temple. I think it's a good thing, for what it's worth; if we didn't, the transitions would be more tedious; I'd rather not have an extra zone just for Sonic to cross the Tundra.
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It was mentioned here already, but the Hyper Modes (Sonic and Knuckles) can be written off as a one time occurrence, akin to Darkspine Sonic.

The Super Modes are slightly different, depending on how you view some later instances. While Knuckles is confirmed to be able to transform on his own merits, he has not had sole possession of all of the Chaos Emeralds since S3K. However, he's still powered up once, thanks to Sonic's ability to put anyone in Super Mode. Granted, your mileage may vary, depending on your definition of "Super Mode" but still, it's there.

Tails on the other hand needs aid regardless.

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I'm aware that the original storyline consisted of multiple sets of Chaos Emeralds, but I don't believe there is a story problem with the emeralds that Sonic obtained from West Side Island, even going by the "one set of emeralds" rule that Sonic Adventure established. It can work like this: Eggman tells Knuckles that Spnic is already in possession of the legendary Chaos Emeralds, and tricks him into believing that Sonic is out to steal the Master Emerald (not Angel Island's Chaos Emeralds like the manual says, as there can't be a separate set on it according to the storyline of the modern games). Knuckles steals them, then Sonic gets them back, and the whole Super Emerald storyline starts.

That's the way I imagine it at least, your theory may (and likely will) differ.

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I'm aware that the original storyline consisted of multiple sets of Chaos Emeralds, but I don't believe there is a story problem with the emeralds that Sonic obtained from West Side Island, even going by the "one set of emeralds" rule that Sonic Adventure established. It can work like this: Eggman tells Knuckles that Spnic is already in possession of the legendary Chaos Emeralds, and tricks him into believing that Sonic is out to steal the Master Emerald (not Angel Island's Chaos Emeralds like the manual says, as there can't be a separate set on it according to the storyline of the modern games). Knuckles steals them, then Sonic gets them back, and the whole Super Emerald storyline starts.

That's the way I imagine it at least, your theory may (and likely will) differ.

Yeah, my theory does differ: after first taking a deep look at the matter years ago, I concluded that the majority of the evidence favors mutliple sets of Emeralds in the same universe (with Angel Island's 7 being the most powerful due to their direct ties with the Master Emerald). The thing about my idea is that it makes everything work together as far as storyline is concerned, even the 8-bit games, without changing the individual storylines themselves. You would be amazed what interpretations you come up with if you take a "complementary instead of contradictory" approach. On the other hand, the result is somewhat complicated, and while I could explain it, it would probably tax the patience of whoever I try to explain it to. Another problem is that I can only work up to Sonic Advance 3 - things get fuzzy after Sonic Rush.

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but I don't believe there is a story problem with the emeralds that Sonic obtained from West Side Island, even going by the "one set of emeralds" rule that Sonic Adventure established.
If you have to make up a retcon, doesn't that prove that there is a problem? You don't need a solution if there's nothing to solve...

I have a bit of a theory regarding multiple emerald sets, though it doesn't do anything to help with S3&K. It seems like every significant ancient culture in Sonic's world has had contact with the Chaos Emeralds, and the classic games usually start with something like "oho! So the emeralds are on this island!", with some crazy legend attached. But, where is it that we usually find the emeralds? ...okay, fine most of the time they're just sitting around. But "officially", where are they most likely to be?

The special stages. Which, as we've seen, can be accessed in many different ways, from many different places. Maybe all these different civilizations didn't find different sets of emeralds, but different entrances to the same emeralds. South Island's movement distorts space, creating an entrance to the special stage. On West Side Island, they didn't seal the emeralds, they sealed the path to them...

Wait...the dead super emeralds. They're teleporters. Entrances to the special stage. Maybe that's what Knuckles had been guarding, 7 teleporters that link directly to the emeralds, not the actual physical emeralds...

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Depends on what you mean by "hidden".

I mean was Mushroom Hill one of the levels that was accessible in some way (be it music, or layouts or art, or even the whole level) that was hidden away in Sonic 3 alone.

Edited by Tornado
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Wait...the dead super emeralds. They're teleporters. Entrances to the special stage. Maybe that's what Knuckles had been guarding, 7 teleporters that link directly to the emeralds, not the actual physical emeralds...

I think you're on to something here...The legends concerning the emeralds on different islands may in fact have to do with the warp rings and star posts leading to the dimensions where the emeralds are hidden, not the emeralds themeselves. But I don't think that the emeralds in Hidden Palace are merely teleporters, though. There are warp rings all around the island, so what would be the point of having seven emerald shaped teleporters near the Master Emerald? I seems like the shrine is meant to hold the actual Chaos Emeralds.

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I think you're on to something here...The legends concerning the emeralds on different islands may in fact have to do with the warp rings and star posts leading to the dimensions where the emeralds are hidden, not the emeralds themeselves. But I don't think that the emeralds in Hidden Palace are merely teleporters, though. There are warp rings all around the island, so what would be the point of having seven emerald shaped teleporters near the Master Emerald? I seems like the shrine is meant to hold the actual Chaos Emeralds.

Maybe this is just me, but I was taken aback by the teleporter idea. As much as the accesses to Special Stages can be milked for all they are worth in order to keep with "always has been just 7 Emeralds, always will be," I find too many inconsistencies for comfort, particularly with the Chaos Emeralds found in the world proper for all modern mainstream games except Sonic Heroes, which all of a sudden brought back the Special Stage. It does seem that, either way, it is a question of what you will attribute to story elements and what you will chalk up as mere gameplay elements. There are two primary solutions: 1) stick with 7 Emeralds by any means necessary; 2) patch up the storyline as much as possible by acknowledgement of multiple sets of Chaos Emeralds (which will then have to be explained itself, particularly why 7 Emeralds have been acknowledged for so long). These sources, among others, convinced me how viable option #2 turns out to be:

http://archive.sonic-hq.net/newsite/fanfair/editorials/07-27-03B.php

http://www.sonic-jam.org/sissyz:chaos-emerald-changes

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This might be a little off topic, but in the backround on Launch Base Act 2, is that Sandopolis in the backround? I was playing Sonic 3 today and just noticed it...Perhaps Sandapolis was supposed to be a Zone between Ice Cap and Launch Base? Or maybe a level after Launch Base? Just a thought.

Edited by Kai Avalon
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This might be a little off topic, but in the backround on Launch Base Act 2, is that Sandopolis in the backround? I was playing Sonic 3 today and just noticed it...Perhaps Sandapolis was supposed to be a Zone between Ice Cap and Launch Base? Or maybe a level after Launch Base? Just a thought.

I wouldn't bank on it really, Sandopolis seems to literally be the centre of a desert with absolutely nothing around it. Afterwards maybe. But before. Naw.

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This might be a little off topic, but in the backround on Launch Base Act 2, is that Sandopolis in the backround? I was playing Sonic 3 today and just noticed it...Perhaps Sandapolis was supposed to be a Zone between Ice Cap and Launch Base? Or maybe a level after Launch Base? Just a thought.

No, Sandopolis was originally after Mushroom Valley, which was after Launch Base.

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