Jump to content

STC's convoluted time travel story


Recommended Posts

This is to talk about the Sonic The Comic adaption of Sonic CD, in focus issues 27-28 which are known for their interesting spin on the time travel concept introduced in CD, and also because it's so messed up, so much so that Richard Elson in communication with Nigel Kitching when creating this story thought there were large issues with it. 

Alright, I'll start with the setting here. Sonic, after getting a message from Amy Rose concerning Metallix kidnapping her sets off to the Never Lake. When there he meets Metallix for the first time, they have a brawl that is partially inspired by the Sonic CD intro, before Metallix takes Amy up to the Little Planet (called the Miracle Planet in this continuity) and Sonic gives chase up the famed enormous chain. When he gets there, him and Metallix have a number of small squabbles. Metallix says that it is impossible for Sonic to win against him as the machinery on the Miracle Planet is powering him with limitless energy and that he is essentially invincible. Sonic himself notes the situation is getting out of hand at this point. So everything here is pretty easy to follow, but now things are gonna get perhaps deceptively confusing. 


Another Sonic shows up, notably smaller than the Sonic we are following. The other Sonic, who says he's from the future, forces present Sonic into the beam from Metallic Madness act 2, making him smaller like his other counterpart. The other Sonic then presents the Time Stone (looking like an actual stone here) to present Sonic and tells him to run. When present Sonic asks him what to do, past Sonic basically says figure it out for yourself. 


So present Sonic runs at an incredible velocity, thus being blasted into the past (sort of combining both elements of CD's time travel, using both the time stone and having to reach a huge speed without one) and into a lush grassland with no machinery, basically following the basic plot of CD well here. He notes smoke in the distance and runs towards it, finding a robot generator (although looking a lot more zany here), figures out that it much have grown to cover the entire Miracle Planet in the future, and starts to mess with it, going inside of it (conceding he had to have shrunk to fit inside the machine, how he could have just come up with this so fastly seems a little far fetched to me but whatever) and so he takes out the Time Stone, making the robot generator collapse and stop functioning.



So future saved, right? Nah. 

Sonic, now goes into the future using the time stone again and ends up back in the bad future with the machinery and everything, along with past (techincally future) Sonic and Amy noting how the situation is getting out of hand, just like before. Then the exchange between both Sonics happen again, and future Sonic (confusingly coming from the past) gives him the Time Stone, and "present Sonic" legs it back to the past. 


But how could this be possible?? Sonic in the past just destroyed the machine, so how could he go to the future for it to still be there, along with a functioning metallix?? Wouldn't the future be completely different now? The "present Sonic" shouldn't exist! 

Well, the easiest answer to this is that, when future Sonic goes to the past and destroys the machine, he's changing the future of his timeline so that none of this ever happened. So when he goes to the future, he's actually going to an alternate timeline where the future is messed up still, and he gives the Time Stone to the present Sonic there, so then that present Sonic can go to the past, change his own timeline, then go into another alternate timeline future to tell present Sonic again about the Time Stone. This means that the initial "future Sonic" that we meet himself is from an alternate timeline. This means that this creates an infinite time-loop of Sonics coming in from alternate timelines to help other Sonics since they technically can't go to their own future since they changed that one. 

So then we follow the future Sonic after he tells the present Sonic of this timeline to leg it, and we see time restore itself. This must happen in every single timeline resultantly, but we are of course only following this specific timeline. So we get to see Sonic change timelines once to have two exchanges with himself to restore the planet, but like I said this is happening infinitely in an infinite amount of timelines.

My question is: where or how did this chain start? How could Sonic find the Time Stone initially? He had to have met his future self to get it, as we see every time! He also had to go in that beam to even fit in the machine! Honestly for that part I don't have an answer. The story is reliant on a infinite time-loop that wasn't meant for deep thinking and only is there to indulge itself. 

But there is still another problem with this story. When order is restored, Metallix disappears, as he was never built in this revised timeline, as we remember that Metallix is reliant on the machinery of the Little Planet to function.


But when time is restored, they're still on the Little Planet.


This is simply not possible. Metallix obviously existed before Sonic went to the Miracle Planet, in fact that's the whole bloody reason of going there. And if we really want to go back, Metallix is being built and tested all the way back to issue 24. So technically, none of those issues should have happened in this restored timeline. And this isn't even going into the implications it has for the future. 

Tell me what you think of all this stuff, and if anything I said didn't make sense. This story wasn't really made for thinking this deep, but it was fun. Time travel is a fucking mess. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, this story still confuses me.

Even following the standard rules of time travel, it just seems weird for Sonic to change the past only after getting the idea from his future self. How'd he figure it out the first time, and why did he need to tell his past self what to do instead of just letting him figure it out himself like he was (Is? Will be?) destined to? Argh, my head... And although I find the idea of defeating Metallix via time paradox really awesome, it just raises further questions. Sonic told Metallix he made sure the robot was never created before it vanishes, yet Sonic remembers fighting him in later issues. In fact, the next Metallix (The one based on Mecha Sonic who stole the Master Emerald in Sonic & Knuckles) tells Sonic he's going to avenge his older brother.

Then again, time travel is a completely illogical concept in and of itself, so there's bound to be some plot holes no matter how careful the writers are. Still, this was a pretty cool story, and it set the stage for the Brotherhood of Half-My-Usernamesake!

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Forte-Metallix said:

Even following the standard rules of time travel, it just seems weird for Sonic to change the past only after getting the idea from his future self. How'd he figure it out the first time, and why did he need to tell his past self what to do instead of just letting him figure it out himself like he was (Is? Will be?) destined to? Argh, my head...

This is still the thing that I question. The whole thing is an infinite time loop that seems to have no beginning or end, it's only that specific timelines have their run through it, and we follow one of the timelines through the process. I asked myself where did Sonic get to the past/ find the timestone in the first place, and how would he have figured out that he needed to shrink to fit in the machine? That's still very confusing. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seems like a pretty standard time-travel situation, though?  Normal model, single timeline with changes to the future possible.  Paradoxical loops of this sort are the bread-and-butter of time-travel fiction.  There doesn't have to be a "first time" so long as the combination of events is possible according to the behaviour of the characters involved; time will settle on a stable and self-maintaining version of events.  The only real non-standard issue I can see is Sonic changing the past and then returning to the same future he came from, and even then you can argue that the effects of the change to the past couldn't fully take effect until their cause had been established.

The bit about Metallix never being built seems like a continuity error rather than a time-travel logic error.  It can probably be handwaved by saying that he was partially built or pieces of him were manufactured on the Miracle Planet.

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Gosh this is gonna seem bizarre to what is essentially necroposting but I just remembered this topic and I can't help but put my own two cents into it, so pardon me for this.

Now I LOVE STC and I have read pretty much all the issues a few times (though sadly not as much as Archie Sonic :/ ), I can admit though that Sonic Terminator is a crazy story but still it's a great one. Now I know that some people may not like Time Travel stories and hey that's fine, a poor time travel story is a headache to go through unless it's like the Back to the Future Trilogy, which is a good example on how to do a Time Travel Story. Honestly I always thought Sonic Terminator is a pretty good Time Travel story despite it being a bit of a head spinner.

Why so? Well for one you have that surreal yet beautiful artwork Richard Elson and the witty writing of Nigel Kitching, honestly almost every issue of STC is a treat, not all of them but I'm getting off track. How it's structured when it starts off is just fine, rather it just about takes place right after the story Pirates of the Mystic Cave (Which I also highly recommend) which I find as a plus and yet a sort of minus. Rather half of the 4 Part Story is mainly about the Freedom Fighters dealing with Captain Plunder and his crew after they help out taking down a Robotnik Airship. They end up knowing where the Chaos Emeralds are and...well I'll say this as to not spoil it for you guys, it's rather hilarious how that part of the story turns out. Honestly the first two parts probably should have just been apart of the previous story line if you ask me, still it's action packed and pretty funny, I can't really hate that it has nothing to do with part 3 and 4 which is where the story really kicks off.

Part 3 is where we find Amy kidnapped by a certain Metallic Hedgehog with her last known location being Never Lake, Sonic legs it to find her and the new Robotic Miracle/Little Planet (Which looks like a Metallic Apokolaps from DC Comics, honestly I just noticed this typing it out, pretty subtle actually unlike a certain other Sonic Comic Writer). We finally get formally introduced to...Metallix the Metal Sonic! After a fight that lasts throughout the issue Metallix brings Amy along to the Miracle Planet. As ShroomZed noted this is where we get our Stable Time Loop.

Really didn't mean to make this a mini review of sorts for this story line so I'll just get straight to the point, I actually think this is a great story, not the most well paced out story considering part 1 and 2 but it ties itself well enough. The only snafu is the effects of the Time Loop, which honestly keeps itself self contained except regarding Metallix. Obviously this isn't much of a spoiler but he's not the last Metallix you'll see in STC, not by a LONG SHOT. This is just speculation on my end but when we see Robotnik and Grimer in the beginning of Part 1 we don't exactly know nor is it stated where they are. They could have been on Miracle Planet and made this version of Metallix on there, hence why he vanishes when the story ends. Actually I can kind of back this up as Metallix says the tech that made him made Miracle Planet into a Metal World. It would make sense if they built this particular Model on the Little Planet then left and had Metallix lure Sonic into a trap, honestly if that's the case it's rather brilliant as for how small the planet is, there wouldn't really be anywhere for Sonic to hide. Had Sonic not ended finding the Time Stone in an unseen timeline he'd probably be dead.

Honestly that's the only line where I could coordinate how Metallix is tied to the Miracle Planet, so that's my answer on why he vanished. As for why Sonic and Amy got stuck on the planet if they had no reason to go there? Well I always assumed that Miracle Planet had it's own time frame while not effecting Mobius should you time travel on the Miracle Planet, leaving everything else that happened on Mobius rather straightforward.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed this odd mini-review and speculation from me, you know i couldn't find an STC topic around here so I gotta ask is there one here besides this specific topic? Kinda figured this would go in an STC Topic if there was one, just wondering.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember this story, it was pretty fun. One of my fav from STC.

Anyway, I roll my eyes every time people complain about time travel not making sense. Doctor Who is probably most popular sci-fi show ever, yet it's rules of time travel are confusing and regularly broken. Time travel really often doesn't make, but if you stop nitpicking on that story still can be fun.

Still, that story here isn't completely without any logic. There are 2 most popular ideas how time travel works: I called them "Crossroads" and "Detour"

Crossroads is simple: you go back, change things, go to the future, future is different. Like in "Back to the Future" or Sonic CD. There are two futures: original and new.

Detour means that time travel already happened. Did someone eat your cookie? Go back in time, eat it first and UPS, it was you who ate your cookie. Fiction likes it because it's a simple twist. Used in 3rd Harry Potter, Rise of Lyric, Gargoyles cartoon and Doctor Who (sometimes, when they feel like it). There is only one future: new. The original never existed (hence I call it Detour).

Obviously "Detour" doesn't really make sense (like explained in the first post) however this idea is so popularized that it wouldn't be fair to complain on STC, when they just inspired themselves by other stories.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.