Review: Season 2, Episode 3

I’m trying to figure out exactly how the planning process for this episode went. I want to say it was among the earliest episode ideas I’ve ever had, but then I’m not sure this even resembles that original idea anymore. I don’t even fully remember what that original idea was. Here’s what I do know. Just as I did back with “In Too Deep,” I have once again taken two entirely disparate episode ideas, slapped them together, and called it a day. I’m beginning to have second thoughts about my “A-plot, B-plot” plans. An episode in which Sonic and Amy check up on the Little Planet and watch over it until it disappears was definitely an early idea as well, but it never had anything to with Tails and Charmy’s mission. The plan was for the missing space in the Little Planet plot to filled by flashbacks to Sonic CD, where I would just straight up retell the story of the game, only with actual dialogue added in. In a way, I was kind of excited about doing something like that. I was thinking about making an entire “Unspoken” subseries in that vein, retelling the classic stories as if they were modern. But when I got to thinking about what that would entail…I just couldn’t do it. Of all the classic games, CD is probably the one that is most…thorough about its visual storytelling. It isn’t intensely visual in the way that 3&K is with its storytelling, there’s just a bit less of a story to tell, so it gets it all done. I realized that, in the case of CD, there just isn’t really anything significant that dialogue could add, so I’d be wasting everyone’s time by adding it. But I still felt like the regular appearance of the Little Planet was something that needed to be addressed, so I was left with only half of a functional episode. I decided that using it as a B-plot for another episode was my best bet. I chose the Charmy and Tails plot to stick it to, not necessarily because they meshed well or because it needed that extra content. I really just did it because it was the only way I could get it to fit. Both of these plots needed to happen this season. The CD plot needed to happen on the last day of December, and this Tails-focused episode needed to happen early on so that it wouldn’t be closely condensed with other Tails episodes this season. Thankfully, I had Metal Sonic to tie the two together. The general idea was that you were supposed to expect Metal Sonic to show up in the Sonic and Amy plot, so it would be an even bigger surprise when he shows up for Tails instead. I’m not sure that I managed to pull that off quite right, though. I spent so much more time on the Tails plot, it probably would’ve seemed odd if it was the other one that became important in the end. The general pacing was also really off for similar reasons. If the Tails and Charmy episode had stood on its own, they probably would’ve spent quite a bit more time in the other Rebel camp, and perhaps the rock slide would’ve even happened while they were there instead of before, adding an extra bit of action/drama in the right place. Instead, that ended up being the easiest place to trim the fat, so to speak, so the important part where they meet these other Rebels ended up happening awkwardly more than halfway through the episode, even more awkwardly suddenly interrupting the standard back-and-forth between the two plots that had been going. Oh well.

On that note, let’s talk about those other Rebels. They won’t be becoming main characters, but they will be appearing again in the future. Now that our Rebellion has been fighting on their own for a year, I thought this would be the ideal time to show that they aren’t really alone in the world. When it comes to seeking a better world, no one is really alone. The individual characters, of course, also served individual functions. I wanted Captain Fox to be someone you can imagine Tails easily looking up to, maybe like an older, more mature, Fox version of Sonic. I even considered giving him a little Hedgehog sidekick, but that didn’t seem very relevant. Anyways, I wanted you to be a bit surprised when they came close to bumping heads. The reasons why will be explored in the future. And then, of course, there’s Katherine and Charmy. I suppose I have to back up a bit to Charmy, first. For the same reason that I made Amy into the official counselor of the Rebellion, I spent a long time thinking about how I can give Charmy something important to do. Technically speaking, I can see why it may not seem necessary. The Chaotix work very well when treated collectively as one character, so it almost seems silly to break them apart and analyze them individually. But delving deep into character growth is one of the primary reasons that this story exists. So I could’ve left Charmy as a static, unchanging joke of a character, or I could show him growing up just like everybody else. The choice seemed obvious to me.

The leap from detective to doctor might not be so obvious. But…what do we really know about Charmy’s personality? I mean, he’s loud, he’s hyperactive, he’s childlike…so basically, he’s a child. But he’s not 6 anymore, it’s been 5 years, so he’s 11. He’s getting to the point where most children would start putting some more serious thought into what they want to do with their lives. And there is one other thing we know about him. He loves flowers. He loves nature. He loves living things. Seems like a prime candidate for a healer to me. (Also he’s a healer in SEGA Heroes, RIP.) More importantly…I kind of needed a doctor. I have been keenly aware of the fact that every new medical feat pulled off by Tails, a thirteen year old mechanic, has been more unbelievable than the last. I certainly could’ve introduced an OC to do the job, but…the way I see it, the canon cast always takes precedence, and I saw this as an opportunity to really build on Charmy’s character in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I needed him to be able to accomplish something as a character that no one else could do, and this seemed like the most viable option. So this is what I decided on. (Still working on something to do for Cream, though. She’s officially taken the spot of most useless character.)

So anyways, I needed a doctor, I decided on Charmy, and for reasons I can’t talk about yet, I need him to have embraced that role full-force by the end of the season. So I needed to construct an episode that would push him hard into that decision. The mildly traumatic experience of patching up Tails, so closely followed by validation from an authority figure in the form of Katherine, was intended to do just that in the most reasonable way I could think of. And that’s that.

Back to the topic I originally started with, the other Rebels were all named in theme, just as Jackal Squad was previously. This time, the characters were named after…drum roll please…Star Trek characters! We have Captain James (Kirk) and Leonard (McCoy) of the original USS Enterprise, and then we have Katherine (Janeway) and Harry (Kim) of Voyager. Why did I choose Star Trek names? Entirely arbitrary! Sort of. Just like last time. I was debating the name of Captain James the Fox right up until the moment I introduced him. I knew that I wanted to refer to him as Captain Fox, but the first name was up for grabs. Even though the names ended up being inspired by Star Trek, the designs definitely weren’t. That honor goes to Nintendo’s Star Fox series. Captain Fox was loosely inspired by the titular Fox McCloud, and Katherine was similarly based on a character named Krystal. I was originally thinking about playing off of that and calling them Kloud the Fox and Christa the Wolf or something like that, but after the weirdness that ended up happening with Sly, I decided I’d be better off distancing myself a bit with the names. James McCloud is also a Star Fox character, and while I would like to call that a coincidence, it probably was that fact that got me thinking about the possibility of my character being Captain James and referencing Star Trek.

Once that was set in stone, it was intended to be a one-time deal, but then when I got around to naming Katherine, I decided I wanted them to have standard nicknames for each other, and I also wanted to keep the “K” sound, which led me pretty quickly to Katie as a nickname. I could’ve gone for something different as the real name, like Katelyn or something, but the connection from Katherine to Star Trek was too good to pass up as a running theme. Then I needed a couple of throwaway names, and Harry the Rabbit (Hare) and Leonard (Leo) the Lion came pretty naturally.

These kinds of standard “human” names aren’t generally common for Sonic characters, so why did I put so much thought into them for this? Well, it ties back into a theme for the episode as a whole. After all the crazy fantasy weirdness of the last three episodes, with spirits descending from the heavens, space stations falling out of the sky, and some of the most complicated time travel I’ve ever experienced, I really wanted to dial this one back to a very “human” level. This is an episode about people. People getting into arguments, talking about their feelings and their interests, getting hurt because of their own mistakes and moving on because it’s all they can do. The other Rebels were meant to be a reflection of that. While our Rebellion is practically a band of superheroes who typically have superhero problems, the other Rebels are just a bunch of regular guys who happen to be fighting for a cause. This contrast will continue to be explored in the future.

Speaking of the future, what has Metal Sonic done with Tails!? To learn that, you’ll just have to stay tuned…

-And until then, remember to live and learn every day!

S2 E3: Miles to Go

For the first time in a year, a chronologically new episode of The Chaos Project has arrived! It’s finally time to learn what happened after Metal Sonic was released. Read the episode right here!

With Metal Sonic on the loose, the world is a more dangerous place than ever. But for this world, the Rebellion must keep on fighting. What is Metal Sonic’s true plan? Can he be stopped?

Please note that, with the slight reorganization of episodes now that Green Light Riders has been moved up to its correct chronological position, links on the website may be slightly inaccurate for a while until I get around to fixing all of them.

Preview: Season 2, Episode 3

Yes, that’s right. We’re skipping from 1 to 3. 2 was posted almost exactly a year ago, as the Team Sonic Racing special episode. (It wasn’t supposed to take this long to catch up…) Regardless, here is the preview.

“Hey, is this it?”

Charmy and Tails both stop. They’ve arrived at a thin valley between two peaks on either side of them. Beyond the valley is a wide crater-like depression in the ground, completely surrounded on all sides by similar peaks, making this the only clear entrance to the area. “Yeah, this is definitely it. There should be a system of volcanic caves that all open near the top here. We should go check out–”

Charmy shoots him an intense glare.

Tails innocently finishes, “…just one of them, not gonna spend all day here. If its size and depth are adequate for shelter, then that’ll be it. It’ll make this place just about perfect for a rebel base.”

“Look out!” Charmy suddenly dives into Tails, tackling them both to the floor as a bolt of energy sails over their heads. Tails lets out a cry of pain. The first shot is followed by dozens of others, a continuous stream of laser fire striking against the rock they’ve taken cover behind. Charmy panics, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”

Tails answers through gritted teeth, “It’s fine, I’m fine.” He looks out at some of the stray laser bolts that strike the ground behind them. “That looks like Eggman weaponry. What are Eggman’s robots doing here?”

“Could it be a trap?”

“I don’t know, maybe.”

“Well what do we do!?”

“I don’t know, let me think!” Tails cautiously tries to peek his head over the rock, but is forced to retreat back down before he can see anything. “We definitely won’t make it out if we run for it. And there’s too many to try and fight.” He reaches up to tap his communicator. “Sonic, we–” He frustratedly taps it a few more times. “Busted. Must’ve broken in the fall.”

“What other options do we have?”

Struck by an idea, Tails pulls off his pack. “Just one.” He pulls out a shiny white med kit. “Closest thing we have to a white flag.”

 

Review: Season 2, Episode 1

Meant to post this a while ago. Oh well, here it is.

I’ve already brought up a couple of episodes which were among the earliest concepts I ever came up with, but I’m pretty sure this one has officially taken first place in that area. (Although that spot will be taken again very soon.) Following the very earliest plans for what will eventually become the finale, and a few related ideas for Season 0 and Crisis of Chaos, this was perhaps my very first idea for what comes in between. “If this is war is such a problem, why didn’t travel back in time and fix it the first chance they got?” I knew that if I was going to turn this into a series, that question would need to be answered. The way I saw it, there were only two possible options. Either they physically couldn’t, or they realized they shouldn’t. That had to get an episode either way. Either I had to come up with some sort of crazy, universe-bending excuse that would prevent me from ever using time travel for any reason throughout the remainder of the series (which admittedly could’ve made for a halfway decent episode on it’s own, if I’d really put some thought into it), or, I could come up with a time travel plot so ridiculously convoluted and deeply disturbing that no one involved would ever try anything like it again. The second option sounded like the far more interesting of the two, and was the far less restrictive. Certainly, Sonic and Shadow would never want to try time travel again, but now, if I ever need them to, they still can.

I was generally intending to leave it up in the air exactly when this episode would have to take place, but it became obvious pretty quickly that it wouldn’t make sense for them to do it if they didn’t do it as soon as they possibly could—the moment they obtained their second Emerald. That actually turned out to be a huge contributing factor towards the decision to do the Rouge-focused story arc for Season 1. I…to be totally honest…was actually legitimately planning on killing off Rouge. Maybe. Maybe not till a bit later. I don’t know. But I figured that the death of a main character would be the absolute best possible justification for attempting to fix things through time travel. It seemed like the, uhh…anime thing to do. And that’s not an insult, mind you. But anyways, I eventually decided a couple of things. One, I didn’t have the gall to kill off a canon character so early in the game. And two, this episode would be the most powerful if the timeline were brought back exactly the way it was—actually having Rouge die, and then be magically brought back because of accidental butterfly-effect would cheapen the effect. So, I settled for a nod to that scrapped concept, and a near-death into medical miracle. Besides, I still have at least a couple of plans for Rouge yet to come. And hey, maybe there were some unintended side-effects of injecting her with Chao blood that I haven’t come up with yet.

So, back on track, I had a framework in mind for an episode where they would try time travel and fail miserably, but that still left the question of content. Going back to Crisis of Chaos was really the only choice for time travel destination, given the context, and, believe it or not, I actually wrote the original Crisis of Chaos scene, where Sonic leaves Eggman alone in hangar bay, with the idea in mind that a time traveller from the future would eventually show up right at that moment. Fulfilling that plan was immensely satisfying. But that was only a small piece. What situation could possibly be traumatic enough to make a person like Sonic completely disavow the miracle cure-all that is time travel? I figured I’d have to go as traumatic as it gets by having him witness his own death. I originally had a slightly more gruesome death in mind, but I decided to dial it back just a bit. Still a PG story, after all. That change required introducing a new concept in a very odd way. Blacklight being able to drain life through physical contact was teased at the end of the 50th episode special, but I was not intending that to become relevant any time soon. But I thought that dropping the reader into the middle of what seems like it could have easily been the finale of a Season that never happened, with plot points and a history completely foreign, would not only be an interesting twist, but might also help the reader identify a little better with the completely nonsensically overwhelming nature of Sonic’s experiences, and so better understand why Sonic makes a rule against time travel in the end.

That was the first half. Actually, I originally had this in mind as a two-parter that would break as the Future Sonic appears, but I decided against that…mostly because this Season is crammed a little bit full, and didn’t really need the filler. I figured keeping it all focused and fast-paced would help avoid confusion, anyways, which is important for an episode like this. But anyways, why Future Sonic? Well, the whole, “go back in time, change the future for the worse, realize your mistake and fix it” plot certainly served my purposes, but on it’s own, it felt a bit…predictable. And, as you ought to know by now, an episode with a halfway decent plot but no character relevance just isn’t enough for me. I wanted something more, at very least, an extra layer of complexity that would really get the characters thinking hard about what’s going on. In other words, I needed to layer up the anti-time travel excuses. Sonic failing once was certainly traumatic. But him realizing that he would be destined to fail over and over again, countless dozens or hundreds of times, could completely transform his view of what is or isn’t possible. That’s basically the gist of it. Of course, that wasn’t twisty enough for me, so I decided that I had to make things even more complicated with the “kill your past self” suggestion. The idea there was to add an element of distrust—and if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? Actually, I meant for Future Sonic to be the antagonist. The intention was for Present Sonic to be so overwhelmed by what’s going on that he would, at first, give in to the self-killing plan, but in the moment, would realize that he couldn’t go through with it, suddenly making an enemy of Future Sonic who will not allow this to go wrong. Seeing himself driven to that madness was supposed to be the nail in the coffin for the establishment of the no time travel rule. But I just…couldn’t justify getting our Sonic to agree to murder, even if it is only himself that he’s killing. Meanwhile, Shadow ended up being right smack in the middle of a character arc that, while seeming obvious given the episodes that needed to lead up to this one, I did not realize would be happening during the early planning phases for the episode. I certainly couldn’t ignore what he was going through, but my original plans for the episode really only had him there out of the necessity of a second Chaos-Controller. So, a lot of relatively last-minute changes resulted. I had it in mind that an interaction with Chaos had potential for an interesting story to tell, and when it came down to it, I decided that Shadow needed it more. If this had turned out to be a two-parter that focuses on Sonic as originally planned, I probably would’ve included a subplot about Sonic wanting to try to save Chaos, or bring him back to the present with them, but, once again, I settled for a quick nod to that scrapped concept instead.

Given the shifting focus to Shadow, turning Future Shadow into the true antagonist seemed like the natural way to go. I decided to keep the suggested mistrust of Future Sonic as a sort red herring instead. Anyways, Shadow seeing himself go so bad felt like a very sensible reason for him to finally start making his way towards becoming a nice person again. But wait! Shadow was a total jerk in the Team Sonic Racing special! Umm…oops. My goal in doing that was to show how much crazy stuff was going to happen in the Season finale, and I did not even consider the fact that I might be stepping on my own toes for this episode. But that turned out to be a beautiful inspiration. The idea of Past, Present, Future, and Original Sonic and Shadow all existing during the same moment in time was crazy enough, but mixing and matching them for who goes home in the end was exactly the sort of embracing of the insanity that I wanted out of this episode. Having Past Shadow suddenly confronted with two diametrically opposed versions of his future self was an obvious place to go from there, and fits in so unbelievably well with the central theme of his character. And…I suppose that just about covers the important points.

So, what does this episode mean for the rest of the season? Well…not much actually. This was as much a part three to last season’s finale as it was anything else. I like the idea of connecting one Season to the next so directly. (Little bit of inspiration from Star Trek there, which liked to have two-part episodes split up as the finale of one season and the premiere of the next.) But anyways, there was a little bit of effort made in a few places. One of my goals for Season 2 is to have emotions expressed a little more physically, and a little less verbally. Show, don’t tell, you know? I feel like that tends to be one of my bigger shortcomings as a writer, trying a little too hard to explain what people are feeling. Having Sonic give Tails an actual hug was a big step in that direction. That really shouldn’t feel like such a weird thing to do, but it did anyways. I guess I’m just worried people might interpret it the wrong way? Next episode probably isn’t going to help that either… Regardless, I do want to sell that brotherly bond between Sonic and Tails a bit harder this season. Let’s just say, it’ll become pretty important. I didn’t exactly embrace it for this episode, but I believe I’ve also mentioned that I hope to go a little more in the direction of an A-plot B-plot for more episodes in the coming season. Hopefully, that’ll allow me to do a little more exploring of the world and characters without mandating that additional dramatic plots be attached to all of them. I don’t know, I’ll see how it goes.

-And until then, remember to live and learn every day!

Review: The Blacklight Takeover

Phew, finally, don’t have to worry about maintaining my own ridiculous canon anymore. It’s time to review the story I wrote in which I was a character filming and talking to other characters who know that they are characters in another story that I film and direct in this story but write in real life. Isn’t comedy so much fun?

It’s difficult to think of exactly what to talk about here, as the whole event was very self-aware, and pretty thoroughly covered its own reason for existing. Have to give a big thank you, of course, to Yuni Oha, not only for briefly hosting my shenanigans on his site, but for actually role-playing the crossover posts on both of our sites with me. Seriously, those posts were made completely spontaneously, practically no pre-planning at all, we just sat down and starting role-playing to see where it would take us. And, you know, he was also the person who encouraged me to run this event in the first place, I was very hesitant about how much work it would take. I also wrote a Fire Emblem themed post for him, so that was fun.

So why did I put this whole thing together? Well…I like Blacklight, in case that wasn’t obvious. I couldn’t have ever asked for a better foil to Shadow’s character (and I didn’t ask, I just made him, so I guess I’d be concerned if that wasn’t the case…), and he’s just fun to write for. I was very sad that I had to kill him off. Sure characters like Zero and Chaos were nice and all, they served their purpose, but I don’t love them the way I love Blacklight. But I often feel like my purpose in creating that character isn’t always fully understood. I’ve even received a review on The Chaos Project suggesting that the reviewer outright disapproved of his design. And I get it. He looks like a standard, low-effort, edgy Shadow recolor OC, ridiculous rainbow color palette and all…because technically, that’s exactly what he is. I wanted an excuse to explain why it was intentionally done that way…and I wanted to show why it works. Of course, only ten people ended up seeing that explanation, but…eh. It was some good fun either way. But anyways, I also just wanted an excuse to use Blacklight again.

The recurring joke about Blacklight’s contract had one element that I was intending to mention, but never really came up. Blacklight was supposed to mention that, as a contracted main character, he is required to appear onscreen at least once each season. He got the 50th episode special in Season 1, and the premiere in Season 2. I can’t keep these cameos of a dead character up forever, though. That’s why I consider this event to be something of a test run. Come Season 3, I’m thinking that I may want to make an entire spin-off story out of Villain Chat, thus fulfilling Blacklight’s nonexistant contract. We’ll see how it goes. There was also meant to be a joke about Blacklight’s phone that I’m thinking I’ll save for said hypothetical story…

Making commentary on the state of the Sonic franchise was fun as well, of course. I share my opinions all the time here on the website, but dissecting it all in a humorous way was a nice change of pace. One of the reasons I was motivated to make this event at all is because I wanted to make this sort of commentary on Sonic Boom at some point, but I feel like the Boom franchise will officially become completely irrelevant once the next Sonic game hits the spotlight, which will be happening very soon. I also made commentary on the Sonic fanbase itself, which I usually tend to avoid, but I think I expressed all my opinions in that area pretty clearly. If your character looks a lot like another Sonic character, that’s fine in my opinion, as long as your character has its own identity. Just draw it yourself. And unless you love your drawing—unless there’s nothing about it you would change—hold off on publishing it to the internet. Keep practicing until you honestly believe you can’t make it any better, and even then don’t stop practicing. That’s how I got up to the level of making respectable replicas of the official artstyle. Seriously, look at where I started…

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“Nova” vs. Shadow, circa 2010

…compared to how I progressed after one year…

Nova

“Official” Nova art, June of 2011

…compared to how I progressed ten years later (admittedly with a 5-ish year break).

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Blacklight Takeover logo, circa last month (technically I made the Shadow art this was based on in August of 2019)

I did it, and you can do it too. If you’re into that kind of thing.

Usually, I like to distance myself from my characters in terms of viewpoint and opinion. But that was definitely not the case during this whole thing. Generally speaking, “Mr. C” always represented me, but then Blacklight was like the little fun-loving devil talking into my left ear, and Shadow was the logical angel on my right. Whenever Shadow made a curt skeptical remark, that was me saying, “I’m perfectly aware of how ridiculous this all is. I’m aware of every single one of my logical inconsistencies and jokes that aren’t likely to go over well.” But Blacklight was there to say, “I don’t care, I think it’s funny.” That goes for Shadow’s prediction of viewership turnout as well. I was perfectly aware that no one was actually going to show up for this thing. (Even though I did reach out to a few of my reviewers to request help, who never actually came. No hard feelings though, I made it work.) I was really hoping for at least one question, though. One question that wasn’t seeded by an alt account from Yuni, anyways. Regardless, even though I was constantly touting that Q&A session I was supposed to be leading up to, I didn’t do this just for that live interaction. I did it for history. And for marketing. I want everyone who comes to this website over the next year and beyond to see that this happened and think, “Wow, that looks like fun. Maybe I should come back to see if they do it again next year.” And even if that doesn’t happen, I hope I could make at least one person out there laugh (besides Yuni, but making him laugh was nice too). My angel and my devil both agree on that.

Oh, yeah, and I guess I wrote a song. That’s a thing…that happened…and it was kind of fun, even if I cringe every time I hear it. Even back when I was a kid ten years ago making “Nova the Hedgehog” (pictured above), I liked for all my fan characters to have theme songs, because that’s just how Sonic works. And “Madness Inside” is actually a direct reinterpretation of “My Name is Nova” (great song title, I know). I was actually only able to remember the first verse and chorus, but that was plenty. I suppose I might as well share the old lyrics, since I’m already sharing cringy stuff anyways. To the same tune…

It started fifty years ago…

And it put on quite a show!

I was created to destroy…

And they used me like a toy!

[Chorus]

My name is Nova, I’m the Ultimate Life Form and my time is now!

Yep, that’s it. That’s all I remembered. Possibly all I ever wrote. The old chorus became what is now the buildup to the chorus, and the new chorus was created from scratch. Note the differing backstories (fifty years instead of forty, and created for very different reasons), hence why I had to rewrite all of the lyrics. But I actually did manage to cram in an even bigger reference in the final product, as “Madness Inside” refers to “A super nova” where the old song said “My name is Nova.” So that was fun. Looking back, while the old lyrics are completely ridiculous, I actually do prefer the old rhyme scheme. The “oh” and “oi” sounds just have a better impact than the “art” and “i” sounds that I ended up using. I would’ve used it the old way if I could, but it just didn’t work. What else can I say about the new song specifically? I crammed in as many references to Shadow songs as I possibly could, to reflect Blacklight’s jealousy, and also the fact that he actually quoted most of those song titles over the course of his life. There was an “All Hail Shadow” that was missed because it was part of the rap portion that I cut out. Why did I write a rap? Because this song was meant to be a bunch of ridiculous fun, and I could totally imagine Blacklight springing at the chance to roast Shadow in a rap battle that Shadow doesn’t even participate in. Why did I cut the rap? Partly for time, partly for sanity, just like Mr. C said. As mediocre as my singing was, I can promise that my rapping is worse. When I sing “Live and Learn,” it sounds pretty okay. But you do not want to hear me trying to sing “Infinite.”I think the rap lyrics of Blacklight’s theme had a pretty good rhythm and flow going, I just don’t trust myself to sing them.  In other news, the very first words to come out of Blacklight’s mouth upon being born, “This feels weird” was intended to be referenced by the opening of the song, “This feeling deep inside my heart.” So…maybe I’ll put out the full version of the song some day. Maybe I’ll actually compose a midi backtrack for it so you don’t have to sit through the cringy acapella next time. I’m still not as skilled in that area as I would like, and it would be one heck of a time sink.

So will there be another Blacklight Takeover next year? I hope so. But we’ll have to see how everything goes.

-And until then…embrace the madness inside.

Q&A and Farewell

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[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Thank you, everyone, thank you. This truly has been a life-changing experience. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And so, without further ado, let’s hear it, Shadow! What’s the final tally?

[Shadow]: There’s only one question here.

[Blacklight]: W…w…one?

[Shadow]: Yes, as in, this is the only one.

[Blacklight]: No, no, that can’t be right! The website stats right here tell me that at least…uh…uh…twelve different people visited the site today!

[Shadow]: Huh. Twelve. That’s a lot more than the three I predicted.

[Blacklight]: Well why didn’t they ask us any questions!?

[Shadow]: Probably because most of them got here by accident…

[Blacklight]: Well…what’s the question, then?

[Shadow]: Let’s see here. Ninja100 asks…Shadow, how do you feel about your fan base? Do you like them, resent them, or what?

[Blacklight]: Are you kidding me!? Our only question is for Shadow!? Even the Team Rocket website gave me more attention!

[Shadow]: Well, I’ll just go ahead and answer, then. Personally, I don’t like to put people in boxes. Not the figurative kind, anyways.

[Blacklight]: Shadow…was that a joke?

[Shadow]: Don’t act so surprised. Anyways, just because a person calls themselves a “Shadow fan” doesn’t mean that they’re automatically cool or annoying. Of course, some people like me for the wrong reasons, as Blacklight has unfortunately already brought up. I have a special list for such people.

[Blacklight]: And since you so rudely failed to ask me, I’ll answer anyways. My fanbase is garbage, because they didn’t ask me any questions for the Q&A.

[Shadow]: Don’t you think that’s a bit presumptuous? I mean, maybe your fans just didn’t get here in time. This did all happen a bit suddenly.

[Blacklight]: Shadow, your optimistic attitude is starting to scare me.

[Shadow]: Well it doesn’t take much to do that.

[Eggman]: *clears throat*

[Blacklight]: Can I help you?

[Eggman]: We’re ready to answer our questions!

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Yeah, let’s hear ’em! I’m ready for anything!)

[Blacklight]: Sorry, guys. No questions. Show’s over.

[Eggman]: What!?

[Bowser]: Awwww…

[Shadow]: This is the moment everyone’s been waiting for. Surely you can do something while we’re all here.

[Blacklight]: Oh, right, I almost forgot about the backup plan! Everyone get ready, ’cause we’re about to start the real main event of the night!

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Well what is it!?)

[Blacklight]: It’s time for the big Blacklight Takeover Finale Special Guest Star Death Match!

[Eggman]: Death match?

[Blacklight]: Team Rocket couldn’t attend, but that still leaves us with a battle to the death between Shadow, Eggman, Bowser, and Movie Sonic!

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(I’m ready! Bring it on, losers!)

[Eggman]: I’m not sure this is such a good idea…

[Shadow]: I don’t think we have the insurance to cover a death match.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) We don’t have insurance.

[Blacklight]: Everyone take your places! This will be a true contest of— Wait, where’s Movie Sonic?

[Teen Sonic]: That’s him, Tom! The guy who threw me out a window!

[Tom Wachowski]: Freeze, GHPD! I’m placing you under arrest for aggravated assault!

[Blacklight]: (walking towards Tom) Please, I’m sure this is some sort of big misunder— *shot with tranquilizer dart* (losing consciousness) I… …plead the… …fourth Chaos Emerald… *collapses on floor*

[Tom Wachowski]: (cuffing Blacklight) You have the right to remain silent.

[Teen Sonic]: Critical enough for you?

[Bowser]: Bwargh?
(What exactly is happening here?)

[Teen Sonic]: Now let’s blow this popsicle stand and go home, eh, Tom?

*Sonic and Tom exit, carrying Blacklight with them*

[Shadow]: I…think the show just ended.

[Bowser]: Bwargh.
(Welp, guess I’m going home then. What a waste of time.)
*exits*

[Eggman]: Will you be going home as well, Shadow?

[Shadow]: No…someone needs to go bail him out of jail.

[Eggman]: For someone who can’t even tolerate him, you sure are a good friend to him.

[Shadow]: One day, he’ll realize that his rash actions have consequences. But apparently, not today.

[Eggman]: You know, this whole “war-free zone” thing was actually pretty fun. We should do this again sometime. *pats Shadow on the back*

[Shadow]: If you don’t get out of here before the cameras cut, the death match might be back on.

[Eggman]: (sweating) Understood, leaving now. *exits*

[Shadow]: (to camera) And for all twelve of you who came to watch…thank you. The thought of making even one person laugh…I’m sure that made this all worth it for him. And for me. (looking up) Chaos Control!

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I guess I’ll clean this all up myself, then…

Blacklight’s Totally Legitimate and Definitely Official Theme Song Finale

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[Blacklight]: My moment of triumph…and no one here to share it with…

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I’ll share it with you.

[Blacklight]: You don’t count…

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I’m sure Shadow’s watching from home, at least. What do you think he brought the laptop for?

[Blacklight]: Actually, he left his laptop on the chair over there.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Oh… Well…would you like to tell the audience what this is about?

[Blacklight]: Sure… *clears throat* Because Shadow won’t let me steal any existing songs out there, I now have— wait…am I reading this cue card right?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Yep.

[Blacklight]: …I now have a theme song that was written and performed exclusively for me, which is about to make its world debut right here and right now. Inspired by the best of Magna-Fi and Crush 40, this song is called…”Madness Inside…”

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Surprise.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Wow. That was even more terrible than I imagined it. I guess that’s what happens when a guy with no musical talent tries to write and perform a song within 24 hours.

[Blacklight]: This…is…GREAT! A completely original song made for me and no one else! I thought you might’ve just dug up something for me, but you actually made this!

[Shadow]: Well, original is relative. There were definitely a few riffs taken straight from “Live and Learn” and “All Hail Shadow,” and the lyrics were pretty far on the cliché side.

[Blacklight]: Shadow! You came back!

[Shadow]: I came back to get my laptop. Why was it acapella?

[Blacklight]: Well, I have to assume it’s because a certain someone was too untalented to play an actual guitar, and too lazy to put together a halfway decent midi.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) So much for appreciation…

[Blacklight]: Hey, didn’t we talk about giving yourself a little credit? You embarrassed yourself in front of the entire world, just for me. That takes a lot of courage, you know?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Thanks…?

[Blacklight]: But did you not have the time to at least put the lyrics in the video? Your voice is so high and whispery that it’s impossible to understand you.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I didn’t have time for a lot of things. There was supposed to be a guitar solo, and a brief rap, but constraints on my time and sanity alike prevented me from implementing them.

[Blacklight]: You wrote me a rap? I didn’t know you could rap.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I can’t. Hence, the sanity part.

[Shadow]: I don’t need to hear this.

[Blacklight]: Shadow, wait! I’m sorry, okay? I’m really, really sorry. I took you for granted, but I need you! The Blacklight Takeover wouldn’t have been possible without you! You complete me!

[Shadow]: Going in the wrong direction here…

[Blacklight]: And if you stay for the Q&A, you can make fun of me as much as you want, I promise!

[Shadow]: Better.

[Blacklight]: Does that mean you’ll stay?

[Shadow]: … … …Alright. I’ll stay.

[Blacklight]: Yippee! Ooh, and you should sign us off, too!

[Shadow]: Oh, fine. Coming up next is our Q&A session, and that will be right on the hour. So make sure you get your questions in as soon as possible if you want them to be answered.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Just don’t ask me about the song. I’d rather it be forgotten…

Villain Chat! with Movie Sonic

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[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: That’s right! Welcome back, everyone to the final installment of Villain Chat for the night!

[Audience]: *awww*

[Blacklight]: Yes, I know, we all wish the fun could last forever, but what fun is it really if it doesn’t go fast? And speaking of a need to proceed at high speed, our final guest of the night knows a thing or two about going fast. Shadow, why don’t you–…

[Blacklight]: Oh…right. Well then, without further delay, let me introduce you all to the most hideous monstrosity ever put out by the Sonic franchise, the nightmare that haunts our every waking moments, it’s, Movie Sonic!

[Audience]: *booing*

[Teen Sonic]: Uhh…meow?

[Blacklight]: Wait…who’re you supposed to be?

[Teen Sonic]: The…guy you just introduced? I’m Sonic. From the Sonic movie.

[Blacklight]: No no, that can’t be right. Movie Sonic has, you know, spindly hedgehog fingers, and human teeth. You’re downright handsome.

[Teen Sonic]: Uhh…thanks? I think you’re looking for the guy who had the role before me, he…ran into some hard times.

[Blacklight]: No kidding. Are you saying that he…didn’t end up being in the movie?

[Teen Sonic]: Are you saying that you didn’t watch the movie? Or…any of the dozens of trailers I was in?

[Blacklight]: Yes, I’ve literally been living under a rock. But that’s not important right now. I had all these interview questions prepared for the other guy, what am I supposed to do now?

[Teen Sonic]: You could…interview me instead?

[Blacklight]: Okay. How does it feel being the most hated thing to come out of the Sonic franchise in its thirty year history of having one of the most hateful fanbases on the planet?

[Teen Sonic]: I…see your point. But there’s gotta be some questions in there I can answer, I mean, I did play the same character in the same movie.

[Blacklight]: Well, let’s see here…ah, here we go! I auditioned for your part as well. Why do you think you got it when I didn’t?

[Teen Sonic]: Because…you…don’t look like Sonic?

[Backlight]: And the other guy did?

[Teen Sonic]: I mean…no, but…he tried?

[Blacklight]: You know, this is why I only deal with villains. Your optimism sickens me.

[Teen Sonic]: Uhh…sorry?

[Blacklight]: No! Don’t be sorry! Be critical! Bash me at every turn! (sobbing) I need a foil!

[Teen Sonic]: Oh yeah, wasn’t Shadow the Hedgehog supposed to be here? I was looking forward to meeting him…

[Blacklight]: Get out.

[Teen Sonic]: Huh?

[Blacklight]: I said get out before I throw you out the window!

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) No, not again—

Technical Difficulties

[Teen Sonic]: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

*crash*

Setting Sail with Shipping

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Excerpt from:

Blacklight’s Totally Awesome Espio x Amy Drabble Fanfic

Espio stared into the great globes of Amy’s eyes, and in that moment, he knew that they were perfect for one another. He began to—

[Shadow]: What are you doing?

[Blacklight]: Writing a shipping fanfic.

[Shadow]: Why?

[Blacklight]: Because literally everyone does it.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) That’s a lie.

[Blacklight]: Oh, I’ll deal with you in a minute.

[Shadow]: Espio…and Amy? Those characters have barely ever interacted in the canon. What in the world would give you the idea that they’re in love?

[Blacklight]: Oh, my poor, innocent Shadow. When it comes to shipping, there are three rules that always hold true.
Rule #1: If two characters show animosity towards one another, that means they are hiding their true feelings for each other, and are actually in love.
Rule #2: If two characters are good friends and spend a lot of time together, that means that they’re actually in love.
Rule #3: If two characters have never met before, that’s because it’s obvious that they would fall in love the moment they meet.

[Shadow]: So…basically…every pair of fictional characters in history?

[Blacklight]: Now you’re getting it!

[Shadow]: That can’t be true…

[Blacklight]: Of course it is! I’ve seen you shipped with almost every character in the Sonic cast! Rouge, Amy, Cream… *raises eyebrows* …Sonic.

[Shadow]: Ugh…

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) That’s enough, you need to stop this. In this studio, we respect the intentions of the creators. That means no pushing of a romantic relationship between two characters in any extent greater than that which has been explicitly shown in canon material.

[Blacklight]: What about between three characters?

[Shadow]: Good Lords…

[Blacklight]: Oh, I’m just referring to the little love triangle you’ve clearly been setting up between Rouge, Knuckles, and Shadow, boss.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) You’re imagining things.

[Blacklight]: And what about pairing a canon character with an OC?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Slightly more debatable. Regardless, I don’t believe a character should ever be created for the sole purpose of of a romantic pairing with another character. That’s just bad writing practice in general.

[Blacklight]: So where does that leave the thing you’ve been setting up between the Rookie and Infinite?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) For the love of… Look, it’s perfectly normal for people to show some degree of caring for one another without there being anything in romantic involved.

[Blacklight]: You are clearly forgetting about rule number 2. And number 1, in this instance.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) For the last time, I don’t have any shipping in The Chaos Project.

[Blacklight]: The weird tension you’ve clearly been setting up between myself and Shadow says otherwise.

[Shadow]: That’s it. I’m out. Done with this. *exits*

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) See what you’ve done? You’ve crossed a line.

[Blacklight]: Don’t worry, he’ll be back.

[Shadow]: (offscreen) And I’m not coming back!

[Blacklight]: Welp…maybe Shadow will come back to answer your questions if you leave them in the comments below!

The Trials and Tribulations of a Struggling Actor

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[Blacklight]: Shadow, I’d really appreciate it if you payed attention.

[Shadow]: (on laptop) Meh.

[Blacklight]: Shadow, I think there’s something you need to hear. *clears throat*
(singing) Here we are…all alone. Somethin’ weighs heavy in your tone—

[Shadow]: I just heard that song. I don’t need to hear it again.

[Blacklight]: So, are you just bored, or what?

[Shadow]: (on laptop) Yes.

[Blacklight]: I mean, you were at least pretending to have fun before. What’s the deal, bro?

[Shadow]: Bro? I thought James was your bro.

[Blacklight]: Dude, you know I mean that in a completely different way! You’re literally my brother! I would never replace you!

[Shadow]: Hmph.

[Blacklight]: You know, the jealous look really doesn’t suit you.

[Shadow]: I’m not “jealous.” I’ve just realized that I’m not serving any purpose here.

[Blacklight]: Not serving any purpose!? Shadow, I need you! Your down-to-earth cynicism is the perfect foil for my outrageous personality! We don’t have a show without that dynamic!

[Shadow]: Then why do you keep insisting that I lighten up?

[Blacklight]: Uhh…because it’s fun?

[Shadow]: …Whatever. *closes laptop* What’s the next segment?

[Blacklight]: I’m glad you asked! I’m sure many of you at home are wondering…”What exactly does a guy do with his time after he’s been killed off of his own reality show?”

[Shadow]: No, I don’t think anyone was wondering that.

[Blacklight]: Perfect, just like that! So anyways, I was wondering the same thing! Which is exactly why I took my talents to the road, and tried my hand at a few other acting jobs.

[Shadow]: Didn’t you say you weren’t an actor?

[Blacklight]: I wasn’t, but I still developed my acting talent by performing as myself. So anyways, here are a few clips of some other roles I tried out for!

Blacklight the Hedgehog, Auditioning for the Role of “Sonic the Hedgehog”

*Take 1*

[Blacklight]: I’m wet, I’m cold, there’s an apple on my head!

[Director]: Cut! It’s a fish, not an apple.

[Blacklight]: Don’t you think an apple would funnier? I’m sure the VFX team can edit that in.

*Take 2*

[Blacklight]: I’m wet, I’m cold, there’s a fish on my head! And clearly, I’m fast enough to wander aimlessly over every road in this country in a little over four hours, so I actually still don’t need you.

[Director]: Cut! This isn’t working. Besides, he’s even more terrifying than the old design…

—–—

Blacklight the Hedgehog, Auditioning for the Role of “The Joker”

*Take 1*

[Blacklight]: *dancing on the stairs*

[Director 1]: Hey, this guy’s pretty good.

[Director 2]: He even brought his own wig and facepaint.

[Blacklight]: Wig!? This is my natur— *trips and falls down the stairs*

—–—

Blacklight the Hedgehog, Auditioning for the Role of “The Mandalorian”

*Take 1*

[Blacklight]: *places down bounty puck* I can bring you in cold. Or I can bring you in hot. *winks*

[Mythrol]: *recoils backwards*

[Director]: Cut! That’s not— Wait, why aren’t you wearing the helmet!?

[Blacklight]: You think I could fit that thing on a head this big!?

[Blacklight]: I thought for sure I nailed that last one.

[Shadow]: What kind of auditions are these? That’s not how it actually works.

[Blacklight]: How would you know? You’ve never been to a real audition before.

[Shadow]: Apparently, neither have you.

[Blacklight]: Well, in the end, I decided that none of those roles were quite for me, so I went back to the set of The Chaos Project in the hopes of getting back on the show where I belong.

[Shadow]: And he hasn’t left since.