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Awoo.

Oh, you look familiar, sir


Cortez

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So, I've just completed Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time and one thing that stood out about the game to me was the crazy character designs, no two species of character look even remotely similar and even characters of the same species differentiate greatly from eachother (Ratchet and Alister for example).

It made me think about the piss poor character designs we have to put up with the Sonic franchise, and it seems nearly every character is based off of another one, sharing nearly identical physical proportions with a few changes made to make them look 'original'.

Let's take alook shall we?

Characters based on Sonic: Knuckles, Amy, Rouge, Shadow, Metal Sonic, Tikal, Jet, Wave, Espio, Silver, Blaze, Shade

Characters based on Tails: Cream, Charmy, Marine

Characters based on Big: Vector, Storm

Characters based on Eggman: Eggman Nega, Captain Whiskers

There are probably more, I've just forgotten them due to them being so forgettable...

It's a shame that they've gotten into this routine of basing all new characters on the physicology of existing ones since SA2, Adventure's new characters (Big, Gamma) were really original compared to anything the franchise had given us before but then Big's design was exploited as the basis for many more 'new original characters'.

Though, I don't understand why their character designs are like this anyway, I know it's not canon but AoStH showed that not all animals have to be based off of Sonic or a similar character to fit in, though with SO MANY characters looking like they do it'll be nigh impossible to introduce an original looking character without them looking horribly out of place.

What do you think?

(and yes I'm aware Vector was designed long before Big, but Modern Vector is essentially green Big with a crocodile jaw)

Edit: Dammit, my topic descriptions are always too long xD

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Yeah if they probably make the characters look out of place from the Sonic Universe then maybe a person not familiar with Sonic and the gang might think that that character is from a different world from Sonic all together. Or maybe they could step out of the box and make it work. So I guess giving them that certain "look" familiar in the the Sonic Universe would compliment it nicely.

Edited by autumnseed
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Yeah if they probably make the characters look out of place from the Sonic Universe then maybe a person not familar with Sonic and the gang might think that that character is from a different world from Sonic all together. Or maybe they could step out of the box and make it work. So I guess giving them that certain "look" familar in the the Sonic Universe would compliment it nicely.

Perhaps, but when practically every new character is based off of Sonic or someone else it starts to get incredibly dull, it seems that the only thing that separates certain characters is the colourscheme, hairstyle and whether they have tits or not.

Like I said, AoStH (and to a lesser extent SatAM and much lesser extent Underground) proved that original character designs can work alongside the typical Sobic design, it doesn't need to look exactly the same as Sonic to be a Sonic character...

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I think Vector is shorter than Big and Omega is taller. Anyway I wouldn't say they are based on him. They looks too different to even be based on the siz or anything. :-/

I don't find it a bad thing that the characters are based on one. The characters look different enough (even Shadow), so its fine.

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Characters based on Big: Vector, Storm

Shouldn't that be characters based on Vector since Vector came before Big? Or would Vector's old appearance not count.

Also I do see it as odd how alot of the characters look the same, to the point of some sharing movement animations in Sonic 3 and Knuckles and the Sonic Advance series. It would be a bit late to change some of the designs to look more unique though without there being some complaints. It would be nice to have some more unique characters though as long as they don't look out of place.

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Perhaps, but when practically every new character is based off of Sonic or someone else it starts to get incredibly dull, it seems that the only thing that separates certain characters is the colourscheme, hairstyle and whether they have tits or not.

Like I said, AoStH (and to a lesser extent SatAM and much lesser extent Underground) proved that original character designs can work alongside the typical Sobic design, it doesn't need to look exactly the same as Sonic to be a Sonic character...

Well yeah now that I'm thinking about it, it does get dull as well yes. Stepping out of the box to try something new can freshen things up.

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Shouldn't that be characters based on Vector since Vector came before Big? Or would Vector's old appearance not count.

Well Vector's old design was tall and lanky whereas his appearance is incredibly similar to Big's (big body, long arms, short legs).

I don't find it a bad thing that the characters are based on one. The characters look different enough (even Shadow), so its fine.
Not really, considering from a design point of view Shadow is quite litterally black Sonic with flipped spikes and hoverboots...

Look how different Breezy looks to Sonic, yet she's still a hedgehog.

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Gerald certainly seems to be based off of Eggman in terms of design. Possibly justified since they are related and family resemblance plays into it.

There's also various one-shot robotic characters based on Eggman; Egg Robo, Egg Bot, Hopping Egg Vulcan, the Egg Pawns as a collective group, and much more.

Minor nitpick by the way: It's Captain Whisker. No "S" at the end.

Edited by Dr. Mechano
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I don't know who Breezey is so I can't say anything about him. But Shadow was supposed to be the typical evil twin guy so its obvious that he has to look like Sonic. I know he looks alot like Sonic, but he looks different enough, for me.

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I don't know who Breezey is so I can't say anything about him.

Her.

She was technically not actually a hedgehog. She was a robot. But yes, she was designed to look like a bona fide hedgehog (enough to fool Sonic), and yeah, she looked nothing like him in terms of design.

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I don't know who Breezey is so I can't say anything about him. But Shadow was supposed to be the typical evil twin guy so its obvious that he has to look like Sonic. I know he looks alot like Sonic, but he looks different enough, for me.

But not different enough for the masses of people who saw very clear news broadcast footage of him escaping a bank robbery.

If Eggman didn't wear them, I'd theorize that glasses didn't exist in the Sonic universe. Honestly, people.

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But not different enough for the masses of people who saw very clear news broadcast footage of him escaping a bank robbery.

If Eggman didn't wear them, I'd theorize that glasses didn't exist in the Sonic universe. Honestly, people.

I kinda see that as one of SA2's many fuckups, the idea that Shadow looked like Sonic was there, but Shadow looked too different for that footage so we can tell it's Shadow, but we also had to expect that others wouldn't be able to tell.

But yeah while I like Silver he looks too much like Sonic, Marine looks too much like Cream and Tails gone bizarrely wrong, etc. At least they all fit with one another though, it's not that jarring, except maybe Rouge, but most have surely got used to her now.

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I kinda see that as one of SA2's many fuckups, the idea that Shadow looked like Sonic was there, but Shadow looked too different for that footage so we can tell it's Shadow, but we also had to expect that others wouldn't be able to tell.

A problem that could easily be sidestepped if the news footage was vaguer, I guess.

To compare, Eggman mistook Shadow for Sonic for about two seconds before catching himself and realizing he made a mistake. That's a more realistic reaction to Shadow's appearance, as I've certainly mistaken similar-looking people for others in real life at first glance before realizing I made a mistake.

Ah well, I'm nitpicking.

Edited by Dr. Mechano
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Ah, now I checked who she is. lol, they seem to use that idea alot. Didn't they do the same thing with Tails with Fiona? xD

Breezie.jpg

And me and my cousin always thought it was funny that everyone in SA2 mistook Shadow for Sonic. Even Amy (Well, she did that with Silver, too). I mean, she can't even tell the person she loves and other hedgehogs apart? SEGA should make a scene of Amy hugging a mirror saying "SONIC! I finally got you!"

Edited by Marcello Claus
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Gerald certainly seems to be based off of Eggman in terms of design. Possibly justified since they are related and family resemblance plays into it.

Yeah, family relations did kinda justify that one, although why he was Eggman fat in ShTH is beyond me.

There's also various one-shot robotic characters based on Eggman; Egg Robo, Egg Bot, Hopping Egg Vulcan, the Egg Pawns as a collective group, and much more.
They weren't really fully fledged characters though, just narcissicistic enemies build in his likeness.
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To be honest, why wouldn't Metal Sonic and Shadow (who were both created to invoke the evil doppelganger feel) not be based off of Sonic's character design?

Well Metal Sonic can be forgiven seeing as how he was designed in the image of Sonic though is still creative in his own right.

Shadow has no excuse though, besides an ultimately irrelevant part of SA2's plot there was never any reason for Shadow to look like Sonic, especially as he wasn't even created in Sonic's image. It wouldn't be as bad if Shadow was more creative but like I've already said, taking Sonic and flipping his spines, giving him evil eyes and a different colour scheme just isn't really that creative at all.

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I don't really concur with your indictment, Prof. To pick one out: Charmy based off Tails? Come on. He's about half Tails' size and he's a bee. He's based off Tails insofar as he's young and he can fly. That's it.

What next, you're gonna complain about Zelda being a Link recolour because they're both Hylians?

Edited by Frozen Nitrogen
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I don't really concur with your indictment, Prof. To pick one out: Charmy based off Tails? Come on. He's about half Tails' size and he's a bee. He's based off Tails insofar as he's young and he can fly. That's it.

What next, you're gonna complain about Zelda being a Link recolour because they're both Hylians?

Charmy was abit of a bad example really, I should take him off the list really.

Though a take look at some of the other characters on those lists, they're certainly not recolours but they're based too closely on other characters to look original. That's not to say ALL characters in the franchise are made this way, Chaos is a perfect example of how a character can exist that doesn't conform to the typical structures of a Sonic character.

I'm trying to say that the majority of characters in the franchise are so stupidly unoriginal in terms of design that they may as well be fan characters.

What next, you're gonna complain about Zelda being a Link recolour because they're both Hylians?
Thats not really the same situation, Link and Zelda are both humans and aren't identical looking. But when you have hedgehogs who look nearly identical to hawks it's abit of a cause for concern.
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I'm trying to say that the majority of characters in the franchise are so stupidly unoriginal in terms of design that they may as well be fan characters.

I still don't follow. They've got ancient pacifist priestesses, streetsmart detective crocodiles, brooding Emerald guardians, transgenic experiments gone deadly wrong... how much more different do you want them to design the characters?

Your complaint seems to boil down to "All the characters are humanoid furries".

Well... yes.

It's the SONIC series.

EDIT:

Thats not really the same situation, Link and Zelda are both humans and aren't identical looking. But when you have hedgehogs who look nearly identical to hawks it's abit of a cause for concern.

You're saying Link and Zelda look LESS alike than Amy and Jet?

Cool story, bro.

Edited by Frozen Nitrogen
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I wouldn't say Vector and Storm's designs could be called 'based off Big'. Their only real similarities are in that they all have a rather stocky build, but Vector and Storm are a far cry from Big's fatness.

Come to think of it, Bark was the original 'chunky' character, wasn't he? I love his design, personally. I'd not say we've had many ripoff-type characters (although I'll admit there are a few). A lot of the so-called carbon copies I'd just chalk up to the character styles.

That said, Marine does bear almost too much of a resemblance to Cream.

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Shadow has no excuse though, besides an ultimately irrelevant part of SA2's plot there was never any reason for Shadow to look like Sonic, especially as he wasn't even created in Sonic's image. It wouldn't be as bad if Shadow was more creative but like I've already said, taking Sonic and flipping his spines, giving him evil eyes and a different colour scheme just isn't really that creative at all.

I can't remember exactly, but did Gerald base Shadow on a "prophecy" of Sonic of sorts like the Echidnas had in Hidden Palace in S&K?

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Nitrogen, I'm not comparing their roles or even taking them into consideration, I'm comparing their designs and their designs only.

Look at this way, all of the characters I listed as being based on Sonic can be made from this base:

Male_Sonic_Character_Base_by_BiancaTheHedgie.png

Now do you see what I mean?

And in answer to your Zelda comment, they're realistic humans so of course they're going to look similar but they're not exactly the same character with a different hairstyle and colour scheme.

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I'd say that at this point that kind of design is a characteristic that's pretty much ingrained in the series. I kind of like it, honestly: I'd much rather see characters based on that kind of design than the nightmarish juxtaposition of that style and a more generic Western style that was sometimes seen in Archie and SatAM. There's a risk of fancharacter-itis if people get lazy, but maintaining some variety in whatever new species are introduced should help with that. Not that we need many more characters anyway, apart from some furry background NPCs, and those would be doomed to follow Sonic's design for simplicity's sake.

...a bit of variation in size would be appreciated, though. Maybe a very tall, skinny character?

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