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Humor in the Sonic series.


CrownSlayer’s Shadow

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This series has been in and out of drama, lighthearted, and serious plots. When I look at all the plots the series has been through, it seems as though the plot is either 2 dimensional (but effective) or 1 dimensional (and poor). I'm probably setting too high a standard here for making that claim, especially for what I'm going to suggest.

Humor is something I think every show, game, movie, book, and the likes can benefit from having a more unified audience that can enjoy it. Sure a show or game may have this target audience in mind, but adding this extra ingredient to this concoction could attract an extra part of another audience that probably wouldn't have cared for it otherwise. A general notion among many young people is that cool = serious, but not every fan young or old follows that creed. Some would want an extra spice to it as well. I know I do.

The Sonic series has a diverse audience. Some want a serious Sonic, others want a lighthearted Sonic, etc. But there's not a lot of good humor that makes you want to bust out laughing, or at least for me. I'm not expecting Sonic to be like Dane Cook or Katt Williams when it comes to comedy, but I'd like there to be something to ease the seriousness or to add spice to the lightheartedness of a story in the game.

SA1 was more lighthearted, but not exactly humorous. SA2 was really serious and conspiratorical, but also not exactly humorous. Heroes was just outright cheesy for a lot of people, while ShTH and Sonic 06 did a lousy job at trying to reinvigorate the SA2 vibe they did in the past. Unleashed is getting there, although many would say it is as close to being as cheesy as Heroes. Of course, this is just how I view it.

So I was thinking. Why not add some humor into the series? The kind that evokes laughter from the audience on purpose rather that do so unintentionally. For example:

Let's say Sonic is fighting Nack the Weasel/Fang the Sniper who was hired by Eggman to keep him occupied.

Sonic dodges Nack's line of fire as if he wasn't trying, while Nack is running and gunning just to show off.

After a while the two have a bit of a pause to catch their breath, or in Nack's case, to reload.

However, there is someone at a distance with a sniper rifle who was scoping them both out while they were fighting, and gets a bead on Nack in the middle of their pause. He fires a laser shot that stuns the weasel (because we wouldn't want to see someone bleed in this series, would we?) and knocks him out cold. Then we get a sight at the sniper himself, who turns out to be Shadow the Hedgehog whistling a carefree tune as if he doesn't give half a damn what he's done.

Shadow - 'Sniper?' Heh, my ass.

*looks at the audience*

Shadow [to the audience] - So I'm using a gun. Whoop-dee-doo! What'cha gonna do, whine about it? *teleports to Nack to restrain him*

Sonic - Shadow? Heh, long time since I've seen you use one of those. Where'd you get it? Eggman's scrapyard?

Shadow - I picked one up after I got done with Amy.

Sonic - WHAT?!

Shadow - Oh yeah, she was real nice. Had a reeall good chat about you and those "dates" you never promised her. For the worlds greatest hero, you sure do make the lousiest "promises" I've ever known.

Sonic - And this coming from the amnesiac who promised to "make the world better" by blowing it up. You're sure one to talk, Captain Drama.

*Laser misses Sonic*

Sonic - Hey!

Shadow - Oh I'm sorry Mr. Nuisance, my hand slipped. Unfortunately, I don't have time to play with you right now. Duty calls, you understand? Maybe I'll have another chat with Amy. I hear she's joined GUN.

Sonic - wait, whaddya mean she...

Shadow - Later, Blue. *vanishes*

Sonic [pauses, then looks at the audience] - Okay, so...what the hell just happened?

Okay, so that may not have been the best scene I could think up from the top of my head for funny. But it's not exactly serious. The scene starts off with two character's fighting, then one of the characters get's sniped out of nowhere by another character. The sniper looks at the audience knowing they're going to say something about him using guns, but gives the audience a shrug and a sarcastic "don't give a fuck" kind of response before going after the guy he sniped. Yadda yadda yadda, you get the picture. I know some of you won't like that kind of scenario because of Shadow sniping Nack and using a gun, but that's okay.

So, what are your thoughts on humor in the series?

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic
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I can recall a few instances where I laughed in Sonic Unleashed. Mainly Eggman related scenes. And I actually found one or two bits of Sonic Riders to be funny... other than that, Sonic has never made me do more than crack a few smiles. But I LOVE good humor, so Im all for it if it's done right.

It's too bad that it's such a fast paced series. Because I think the approach to humor in Metal Gear Solid ( especially 3 and 4 ) is perfect. I don't mean the toilet and risque humor, but how it shows up. Some good humor is lightly sprinkled over the main story...make one character look foolish or subtly break the fourth wall. Then, there are mountains of humorous sights and conversations that can be heard only under certain circumstances. To top it off, the developers create new hillarious cutscenes by adding to and eiting existing scenes as bonus content.

Sonic could get some good laughs just by subtly referencing all the fan outcry, like Super Paper Mario did for people who complained about the game.

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I love humor in the Sonic series. It used to be subtle but no less funny for it, like Sonic giving Tails the biggest Captain Obvious look ever when the fox asks him if he saw the Egg Carrier transform. To this day I still LOL at that, it's amusing and shows Sonic's exasperation with his lil bro XD Which is something rarely shown.

I really like Unleashed's brand of cartoony-funny as well as the way the story didn't completely take itself seriously except near the end. What I find quite interesting about Unleashed is that they went quite the distance to instill humor if the unlockable Sonic and Chip vids were something to go by.

I'm personally a big fan of breaking the fourth wall and it adds a weird yet appealing aspect to Sonic's character when he shows awareness of his audience. Incidences of fourth wall breaking like him asking the audience if it was him who fell on top of Chip as well as him blatantly obviously looking at a score tally that should realistically be invisible to him at the end of levels are just appealing to me XD.

Oh, and I wish they continue to use the

running gag. I'm just a sucker for running gags.
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Humour can definitely work in Sonic games, as long as it's done properly.

Some of the stuff from Sonic Heroes was just overly cheesy and cringeworthy at times, but the Eggman scenes with SA-55 in Unleashed were pure hilarity. Making Eggman the comical villain is great, because he's not just a mad evil scientist - he's a lovable mad evil scientist.

As for Sonic himself, I'm fine with the odd bit of wisecracking, again as long as it isn't over the top. The "giant talking egg" (Adventure) and "oversized letter-opener" (Black Knight) lines spring to mind as good examples of humour from Sonic.

Oh, and of course:

I'm not a rat - I'm a HEDGEHAWWWWWWG!!!

:P

Edited by MK Skillz
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We've got some humor in the series. I liked Chip's cartoon gags in Unleashed, like the Chun-nan dumpling short. He had some amusing lines for Sonic fans when you fed him, like asking if Sonic can even see anything while he's running. The visual humor in Night of the Werehog was great too. They should work the cartoon humor more often, it fits. I second Verte's love for faceplanting Sonic. You can find humor in character interaction too. Knuckles and Rouge's bickering in SA2 is great to me. My favorite moment in SA1 is in the final chapter, where Sonic goes into one of those Tikal flashbacks while Chaos is on the loose. Tails goes "Are you okay?" and Sonic says "I guess I was on a snooze cruise." And Tails is all like (O_____O) because Sonic is napping.

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What, no mention of Amy yet? Whenever Amy gets pissed off and starts flailing at things with a giant toy hammer, I fuckin' LOL every time. Okay, that's a bit more of a Sonic X thing than a game thing, but I still welcomed its inclusion in Sonic's ending of Riders. Speaking of Riders, the facial expressions overall were hilarious where not simply pleasant to look at, and the way people react to being hit by a lvl3 attack is goddamned priceless - honestly, I'm torn as to whether I like Amy flattening people into a pancake or Tails zapping people until they turn black better.

And although I usually hate Big with a goddamned passion, he had some simply hilarious moments in Chronicles, usually in the form of breaking up a serious conversation with something... well, completely random. Wish I remembered what it was he said exactly though.

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I find that Sega's best stories are ones that have a rather epic storyline that also adds a little slap-stick cartoon humer(i.e. Unleashed). I also find that when done right humoris diolouge and even some puns can be pulled off in a way that gives the viewer a good chucle but doesn't distract him from the main plot(i.e. the conversations between Caliburn and Sonic in Black Knight). and if you ask me that should make up the bulk of Sonic game's plots, with maby a serios and

SA2-"ish" every now & then.

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Who would have guessed that a bunch of cartoon characters have the capacity to be funny?

But seriously, there needs to be some more funny business in these games. Chip, eh, he came off as kind of dumb to me most of the time in Unleashed itself, a lot of the humor in that game seemed pretty forced. It also didn't help that they kept using that "scrambling" sound effect and could never seem to time it right.

Edit: and I just imagined a scenario where a character who hasn't shown up since pre SA2 asks Shadow who he is. Shadow spends like 1:30 seconds explaining his origin story, with the other character looking progressively more and more confused. I guess you could end it with him saying that he's "kind of like Vegeda".

Edited by Phos
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So while I would like to see some darker humor from the franchise, I'm probably in the minority. XD

And what would be classified as dark humor?

The type of humor I would like this series to emulate would be that of mishaps, sarcasm/jokes, insane tactics that work, and the likes, but dark humor is something I have yet to see.

As long as it intends to make you laugh and enjoy the scenes, and succeeds I might add, I think the Sonic series is allowed free reign on all that is funny so long as it is appropriate for the series.

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You know that moment in Sonic Adventure when the Egg Carrier transforms? Afterwards, Tails says something like "Sonic, did you see that?" and Sonic doesn't say a word, but looks at Tails as if to say "yes Tails, I'm standing on the same Egg Carrier as you are, of course I fucking saw it".

That's the kind of thing I want to see more of in Sonic, plus a little dash of cheesy-but-subtle Metal Gear/Smash Bros. humour.

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All I can say is, play Mother 3. Now put that humor into a Sonic game.

Badniks bickering with one another like the Pigmasks in Chapter 2? Or poorly done disguises that work anyways like in Chapter 4? Hullucinating heroes thinking a trash pit is a hotspring? Eggman treating the battle like a game like Porky and Mini Porky? Silly dances, frogs driving tiny cars, cows in long restroom lines? ...I think a lot of that would work awesomely. Just keep out the crossdressing beefcakes.

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I'm a complete sucker for humour in the series. Captain Obvious & Lieutenant Sarcasm moments are always funny, and witty one-liners and Unleashed/Night of the Werehog style stuff gets a thumbs up too. Add a touch of random insanity and a blue hedgehog and you're set :-D

Also, the face-planting gag. Every time I see that bit at the start of Black Knight, I collapse laughing. Every freaking time xD

And although I usually hate Big with a goddamned passion, he had some simply hilarious moments in Chronicles, usually in the form of breaking up a serious conversation with something... well, completely random. Wish I remembered what it was he said exactly though.

The only one that comes to mind is the conversation with everyone going 'What do we do? D:' followed by 'We could give Big some ice-cream! :-D' Simple, but effective xP

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Also, the face-planting gag. Every time I see that bit at the start of Black Knight, I collapse laughing. Every freaking time xD

Is it just me or did they actually spare Sonic the faceplant in

He comes very veerrryyy close to faceplanting but ultimately corrects himself in the nick of time at 0:08. My guess is that they made this so to keep Sonic's badassery in that scene intact but still hints towards his problem with floors. Secret Rings seems to have been the only recent game that spared Sonic the faceplant and also seems to have lampshaded it.
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I think Sonic Unleashed had some wonderful laughs in it, but most came from the three hidden "Sonic & Chip in..." cutscenes that featured absolutely no dialogue, but rather physical comedy (biting frozen chocolate, fighting over meat buns and getting slaughtered by coconuts). In fact, much of the character of that game came from the little physical touches, like Chip looking around in awe during the Town Stages if you stayed still for a while.

Sonic the Hedgehog had absolutely no humour for me whatsoever. It was more of a drama than an adventure. S'okay, I guess, but... well...

In the wake of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing there might be a bigger emphasis on humour in the future. Here's a game that feeds off those little character moments and gains a truckload of laughs from them. Perhaps even Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode One might deliver a chuckle or two... anybody know what Sonic'll do when you keep him still? The classic lie-down and sleep? Or perhaps something a little more 21st Century?

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I think Sonic Unleashed had some wonderful laughs in it, but most came from the three hidden "Sonic & Chip in..." cutscenes that featured absolutely no dialogue, but rather physical comedy (biting frozen chocolate, fighting over meat buns and getting slaughtered by coconuts). In fact, much of the character of that game came from the little physical touches, like Chip looking around in awe during the Town Stages if you stayed still for a while.

This.

I really liked the humor in the Sonic and Chip hidden cutscenes in Sonic Unleashed, and I also thought Sonic Riders had some great humor too, so I'd like to see more humor like that in the next Sonic games.

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It is interesting that there's absolutely no dialogue in those moments.

Remember the good ol' days when Sonic didn't say a word? I know Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode One is getting a rough ride at the moment, but I hate to say it... this could be the masterstroke we've been waiting for, from Sonic Team, for so long.

Not to bash anything past with Sonic in it, don't worry! :D

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Is it just me or did they actually spare Sonic the faceplant in

He comes very veerrryyy close to faceplanting but ultimately corrects himself in the nick of time at 0:08. My guess is that they made this so to keep Sonic's badassery in that scene intact but still hints towards his problem with floors. Secret Rings seems to have been the only recent game that spared Sonic the faceplant and also seems to have lampshaded it.

I see what you mean - even in a scene that looks as if it was made for the sake of being badass, I can't think why you'd actually choose to land with your face half an inch off slamming into the ground with great force xD Sonic and his inability to land on his feet when falling seems to've be the gag of choice since Adventure xP

I'd also love to see a version of that with him actually faceplanting. Big, awe-inspiring shot of the moon, hero flies into the scene... and proceeds to screw up the landing quite epically xD

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It is interesting that there's absolutely no dialogue in those moments.

Remember the good ol' days when Sonic didn't say a word? I know Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode One is getting a rough ride at the moment, but I hate to say it... this could be the masterstroke we've been waiting for, from Sonic Team, for so long.

Not to bash anything past with Sonic in it, don't worry! :D

Speaking of Sonic 4, if Sonic Team do use the same narrative charm as Unleashed's shorts and Night of the Werehog, they're pretty much set for awesome cutscenes.

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