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December 10, 2009 in
Despite the description title of this topic, this isn't about the amount of playable characters in any given game. I wish to start a conversation about the vastly large universe that the games have created for us, and whether or not you think we have too much detail or not enough.
The planet that Sonic lives on is huge, and is obviously very similar to our own Earth, but there are many key differences, including the advancement of technology in certain countries, but only some of them! If you were to travel from Chun-nan to Future City, there's no way you'd think you're in the same time era at all! How can a planet where giant star ships used to colonize humanity exist while people in Mazuri are still living in mud huts? The planet is that diverse!
There's also a sense of the supernatural in these games, not just with the Chaos Emeralds, but also with this talk of Babylonian genies, Erazor Djinns, and of course the mighty Super Sonic conspiracy.
Aliens also use their planet as a pit-stop to leave super-intelligent birds, black aliens (no racism intended) and quite possibly the Chaos Emeralds themselves!
It's also apparent that the world is inhabited mostly by human beings, and yet they seem totally comfortable about a blue talking super-powered hedgehog fighting off a maniacal genius with a massive mustache.
The Sonic series have touched on culture, technology, the supernatural, aliens, mythology, artificial life, ancient history, and beyond!
And yet, there are still so many questions that need to be answered. Where did the creatures that we come to know as Sonic characters come from? Why are they different than the other small animals and Flickies, how come there seems to be so few of them, and why are the humans used to seeing them around? Why has technology advanced in some countries, and not in others? How old is their planet? How often are aliens in contact with this planet? Are there other Sonic-like animals that we have yet to see?
There's so much to answer, but, what if we don't want that?
What if the Sonic games stopped developing their universe, and in fact, even started going backwards and retconned half of the continuity and the world they have developed? What kind of world would we have? Would things be better unexplained, or would the series suffer because of a lack of understanding?
Dec 10 2009
Dec 12 2009
The animal Sonic characters I just take for granted, though I would love a more consistant and steadily developed world (Unleashed is a good starting point - if they could keep the country names in circulation here and there, that'd be great).
As for characters, I love the cast, though I'm never bothered by new or one-shot characters. I do think they owe it to the existing characters though to use them where possible in new plots.
If there's one thing I'd want Sega to expand upon, it'd be to have more antrho characters like Sonic in their everyday world. For a world where no one takes a second glance at the likes of Sonic, Vector, etc. there has to be other anthros just like them, rather, they'd have to be commonplace in the world, which irks me why we NEVER see any anthros other than the main cast and the occasional Flicky.
It's apparent that they were prevalent in the ancient times, as there were entire clans and civilizations of them...
I like to think that the islands where Sonic's original adventures took place (South Island, West Side Island, Angel Island, Never Lake, etc) were where all the anthromorphs lived, and Sonic and his friends were just the only ones who cared to leave the area for adventure. It's like how a majority of a certain race live in one country, and you'll on occasion see one person of that race in another (ie, a Pakistanian in Korea or something)
But really though, this is beyond race, we're talking species here. Were the Sonic characters mutated? Are they aliens? I'm beginning to think the latter, as that was how the Babylon Rogues were explained.
We can dwell on this until the Werehogs come home, but in the end we'll have to wait for SEGA to give us these explanations.
Doesn't mean it isn't fun to think and speculate!
Well, I wouldn't want them explaining too much. Sonic isn't a "smart" series. It doesn't rely on established rules to shape elements of the story; it's more inclined to throw out details and just run off and do something fun, just because it's fun. And I think that's an advantage; it keeps the series fast and lighthearted, like its namesake, instead of getting bogged down in the details.
But at the same time, it does kind of bug me how some things just seem...detached. The absence of NPC furries/anthros/mobians (damn, now I'm all self-conscious of what I call them...), for one. And it bugs me that they seem to throw away locations the instant a game is finished...Mario's fluid enough to get away with it, but Sonic's got too much continuity...I mean, where are Green Hill, Station Square, Soleanna, and Angel Island on Unleashed's map? When things get noticeable like this, it'd be nice if they took the time to tie up some loose ends and smooth things out a bit.
And I do like having some rules. SA set up a basic explanation for how the emeralds work (good/bad emotions go in, equivalent energy comes out), and this has come into play in later games (ShtH's hero/dark meters, Unleashed's focus on light and dark, maybe a bit in SatSR with the World Rings containing emotions). There's also the storybook games, having roles filled by parallel versions of Sonic's friends, as well as there being parallel Shahra/Merlinas. Stuff like this doesn't restrict the series, but it adds some consistency, some overarching framework that helps tie the games together.
As far as retconning out large chunks of the series in the name of simplicity? I don't like it. For one, I don't think the series has done anything so horrible and unshakable that we need to take the cosmic hacksaw to it. Even if '06 hadn't written itself out of existence, the series would've just ignored it and gone off on its own thing anyway. And I don't believe that less is always more; hacking away at the timeline just to try to regain some lost "simplicity" is most likely just stubborn nostalgia talking.
Why has technology advanced in some countries, and not in others?
At least for the time being, the cast is big enough as it is. Sure, some tertiary characters like the hub characters in Unleashed are fine, but if they're going to be a major part of the story, they may as well use the characters we know and love, or at least try to better develop the characters we just... know.
As wierd and at times rather stupid the plots of the new games get I don't think we should just pretend everything they touched on and developed never happend. For example, as much as I would have prefered they left Shadow alone after SA2, they didn't and I just have to let it go.
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