How Does Sonic’s World Work? TailsTube’s First Episode Finally Gives an Answer

If you hadn’t caught it, the official Sonic YouTube channel teased bringing the Sonic Vtuber models stateside in the form of a Tails “streaming” series, TailsTube. The first episode premiered today, and it came with some answers to a longstanding question in the modern franchise.

Tails lays out the nature of how Sonic & co. are able to hang out with both human people and anthropomorphic animals. The world represented in the games contains a number of major continents (such as the ones featured in Sonic Unleashed) and many, many smaller islands (like West Side Island, which Tails reminds the audience he’s from). It’s also stated that the human people and animal people settle in different places:

Folks like us [Sonic Forces screenshot of core cast and avatars] usually live on these kind of islands, while people like this [Sonic Unleashed sketches of townsfolk] live in the bigger countries.

TailsTube, 2:00

This pushes against previous theories and statements that the anthropomorphic animal characters live on an entirely different world from the human characters that appear from Sonic Adventure through Sonic Unleashed (though it doesn’t give clear guidance on the split between “modern” and “classic” Sonic quite yet).

It should come as no surprise that the show itself was workshopped by Jasmine Hernandez (production manager), Tyson Hesse (animator), Ian Flynn (writer), Mike Cisneros (licensing manager), and Aaron Webber (strategy, studio/community relations), given the amount of direct detail given to a long-standing fan question.

Though the whole unified world thing was the biggest bombshell, the video contained several other questions and references to savor:

  • Q&A immediately kicks off with a SATAM reference: Sonic gives his old chestnut, “Let’s do it to it.”
  • The checkerboards and loop-de-loops in the landscape are naturally occurring formations, as far as Sonic and Tails know.
  • Why does Sonic use a racecar? “Because it’s cool.”
  • Neither Sonic nor Tails know the origins of the Chaos Emeralds, nor does Sonic always have a consistent way to find them. It’s also unclear if Tails can become Super Tails outside of the Classic series, given his reaction to Sonic discussing his Super Sonic form. (I’m sure some will argue times when Tails has gone super haven’t been canonical versions of those stories, but trust me when I say I’m not the person to spend that time and energy convincing.)
  • What’s Sonic’s relationship to Amy? Well, she “is just a really good friend.” Tails reacts with skepticism.
  • One message sent by a “viewer” uses a Tangle the Lemur avatar. So hey, not saying the IDW comics will play a role in the games, but they’re at least fair game to reference beyond the mobile game!
  • Among the little details on Tails’ Mac-like desktop, the screen looks like his handheld Miles Electric computer seen from Sonic Unleashed onwards, complete with handle. It runs on chaOS with a little Omochao icon, and Sonic-styled parody icons of major applications in the tray (as well as a Chao transfer terminal).
  • Icons on his desktop include his Tails Heal card from Sonic Battle, and folders titled “Extreme Gear Concepts,” “Tornado 3,” and “Chao Dinner Recipes.”
  • There’s some unknown person in the lineup of human characters. The rest are directly taken from existing Sonic Unleashed concept art; however, this woman does not appear in that game, and is drawn in a slightly different art style than the Unleashed concept art characters. In a Twitter reply, Flynn alludes to knowing who she is, but doesn’t provide any other context.

If the Sonic marketing staff wanted to ensure people would continue following this YouTube series, they sure did start strong, between confirming vague bits of the Sonic brand bible and seeding small mysteries into it. The video was a brief and cute delight, even to a cold, jaded, fan like myself who long abandoned any interest or concern about the concept of “canon.” And through its run, I think we can all hope for an answer to the biggest Sonic mystery of them all: which characters did they actually see fit to invest Vtuber models and voice acting time for?

Thanks to Josiahblaze for the Ian Flynn tweet, and site writer nuckles87 for additional research.

Published by

GX

A podcaster since 2008, GX originally founded The Spindash podcast, until joining Sonic Stadium's monthly Sonic Talk. He currently co-hosts the show and runs weekly streams on Stadium's Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/sonicstadium

10 Comments

  1. Glad Sega has finaly confirmed what Flynn ‘hinted’ to us last year.

    Also yeah, I wanna know who that purple haired woman is.

  2. Separating human countries from the talking animal islands really helps with world-building and solves several canon issues. I really enjoyed the many references to Sonic Unleashed and the short nod to SATAM.

  3. So what we’ve learned is that Sonic & friends aren’t weird superheroes or science experiments or aliens (except for Shadow who is all of those), they’re just segregated minorities. Yay?

    I kid, but honestly I kind of preferred when I thought it was just inconsistent continuity as to whether humans or animal people lived on Sonic’s world. While this answers some questions it raises a lot more weird ones. If this is the new canon I hope in the next few games we see at least a smattering of both types of “people” actually intermingling even if it’s only a couple minor npcs of one type when the vast majority is the other type.

    1. I NEVER want to see the two types intermingle. It’ll look completely ridiculous, just like every hipster imaginable taking selfies and doing parkour in GHZ.

      But f**k what we think/want, isn’t that right Iizuka?

  4. Meh. I was hoping Sega just retconned humans besides Dr. Eggman. I never liked there being human characters (other than Dr. Eggman, of course). It is awkward and out of place. There has never been another human character in the series since Unleashed and I hope it stays that way (in all media – games, comics, and such). Human characters are boring. I want there to only be animals.

    1. Eggman being the only human would make Eggman “awkward and out of place”. I still don’t understand the push-back humans in Sonic get. Other than 2006 humans, those were definitely out of place.

  5. I was actually okay with two worlds, it worked out well for me once I did some thinking on it. Who knows? Maybe the humans of Adventure, Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06 exist on Earth, while the humans we saw first and last in Unleashed are native to Sonic’s world? Though seeing footage of Adventure as part of Sonic’s world does make a major wrinkle to that idea…

    I too enjoyed the video though, had a lot of nice nods, and the one about whether Amy is Sonic’s sister or girlfriend may have been a nod to Sonic Underground, given Sonia’s colors and all.

    Now I eagerly await to see what they say on Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic’s differences. Hopefully they go with what Forces established, as that works the best, with Classic Sonic’s adventures having been experienced by Modern Sonic in his world with some differences up to a point. After all, if Mania happened in Modern Sonic’s history, how come no one remembers the Phantom Ruby and how Eggman got sucked into a portal in the encore portion? How the heck did the cast gain colored irises? Why does Modern Eggman differ so much from Classic Eggman if they’re the same person in every way, just that Classic Eggman is the younger version of Eggman? Why do Vector and Espio look so drastically different? Why does Amy look so different? For that matter, where’s Modern Mighty and Modern Ray? Modern Bark? Modern Bean? Modern Fang? Given Sega’s statement that those five are Classic exclusive, and we won’t be seeing their modern counterparts any time soon, I would expect that Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic do indeed exist in two different universes. It also would easily explain the differences in their appearances. Time will tell though…

  6. What I’m thrilled is that ol’ Dr. E’s not the only human on Sonic’s world. From what I’ve seen, humans on Sonic’s world treat anthropomorphic animal characters like any other human. Any people I draw as caricatures whether human or anthropomorphic animal are to be treated as any human. Like when Walt Disney forbids Mickey to eat cheese, (except on a pizza or a sandwich?), but they never listen after Disney died. Even Carl Banks wanted to include humans in his Donald Duck comics, like they did in the cartoons. Even they were on “Quack Pack”.

  7. I stopped caring about Sega giving official lore info after the moon showed up intact in Shadow the Hedgehog. I choose to follow the lore my own way.

    In any case, what’s up with that artwork of Cream yanking Tails’ tail?? I guess she stopped caring about manners after she was denied entry in TSR.

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