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.

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!

Villain Chat! with…Zavok?

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[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Welcome back, everyone! Without wasting any more time, let’s give a big hand to our next guest, my muscly old friend, the Zeti you won’t forget-i, it’s, Zavok!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Bowser]: Bwargh!

[Shadow]: Umm…Blacklight? That’s not Zavok.

[Blacklight]: What? Of course it’s Zavok. Just look at him. He’s got the spiked bracelets, and the horns, and he grows huge and breathes fireballs…

[Shadow]: That’s King Bowser. From the Super Mario series.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: Boss…?

[Mr. C] (offscreen) It’s…a bit hard to get ahold of Sonic villains on such short notice. I figured I’d get you the next best thing.

[Bowser]: Bwah ragh ragh!

[Blacklight]: I mean, I’m a fan of the Mario series, I just figured Zavok was trying out a new style. Well, as far as Sonic villains go, I suppose we could do worse.

[Bowser]: Bwargh?

[Shadow]: Still not a Sonic villain.

[Blacklight]: Of course he is! Haven’t you ever played Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games?

[Shadow]: You call that a Sonic game?

[Blacklight]: It’s a game published by SEGA with Sonic in the title. Doesn’t seem to take much else, with all the spinoffs out there… So anyways…how’re you doing tonight, Bowser?

[Bowser]: Bwargh!

[Blacklight]: What…what does that mean?

[Bowser]: Bwargh! Bwah ragh ragh!

[Blacklight]: Why are you just roaring? I know you’re capable of human speech, you spoke in Mario Sunshine.

[Bowser]: Bw–… Bwargh…

[Blacklight]: Well, we all have games we’d rather forget, now don’t we? Assuming…that’s what you said…

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(This has never been a problem before. Usually, people understand me just fine.)

[Blacklight]: Oh, subtitles! How convenient! Guess we can actually start the interview, then.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(I’m ready! Hit me with the toughest question you’ve got!)

[Blacklight]: I hear you get beat all the time by some old plumber guy. What’s that all about?

[Shadow]: Given that you died, you’re hardly one to make fun of losing to the hero.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(You clearly underestimate Mario. He may look like a weakling, but he could crumble a fortress with those powerful feet of his.)

[Blacklight]: Well, it helps to not rig said fortress to a self-destruct switch for him to step on.

[Bowser]: …

[Blacklight]: So, tell me a little bit about Zavok. You guys have met, right?

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(That’s right. We met at the Rio Olympics. At first, I was pretty mad that he ripped off my style, but he wears it well. I respect his strength.)

[Blacklight]: That reminds me. You guys had another Olympic outing this year, didn’t you? I didn’t play it. What’s it like?

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(You didn’t play it!? You’re a fan of Mario and Sonic, but you didn’t play the one rare game that has them both!?)

[Blacklight]: Yeah, I’ll stick to Smash Brothers. The Olympic Games always look like neat little party games, but I’m just not sure what I’d do with them after the first day. I don’t host a lot of parties. Certainly not a lot with guests who appreciate both Mario and Sonic.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Seems like this event could’ve been a pretty good opportunity. I would’ve played it with you…)

[Blacklight]: You don’t have a lot of friends back home, do you, Bowser?

[Bowser]: Bwargh…
(No…)

[Blacklight]: Regardless, I don’t think this event has the budget to fund a whole Nintendo Switch game. Hey boss, what’s our budget?

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

[Blacklight]: Exactly my point. You wanna play Sonic Forces instead? We already have that lying around, collecting dust.

[Bowser]: Bwargh…
(Not particularly…)

[Blacklight]: Oh, fine, we’ll just keep talking about your games, then. Personally, I was only thinking about buying into the 2020 Olympics because I wanted to see more of Shadow doing Gymnastics. Who knew he had such style and grace?

[Shadow]: …

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Ha! I performed far better in the Gymnastic events than he did!)

[Blacklight]: Ooh, is that a challenge I hear? Who needs the game when we can recreate it right here in person?

[Shadow]: I will not do gymnastics for your personal pleasure.

[Blacklight]: What if I award a gold medal to the winner?

[Shadow]: You don’t have the budget for a gold medal.

[Blacklight]: What about a cardboard medal with gold paint?

[Shadow]: No.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(What, are you scared to face me!? Worried you can’t out-handstand a one-ton fire-breathing turtle!? I will destroy you!)

[Blacklight]: No, he’s just being a buzzkill. As per usual. Wait, how do you ride a horse for the Equestrian events if you weigh that much?

[Shadow]: You shouldn’t demean yourself for him.

[Blacklight]: Fine, fine, no live competition, then. Keep disappointing our fans, why don’t you? Let’s move on to our next question. How do I get in on the next Olympics? I want to prove my superiority to Shadow in front of the entire world.

[Shadow]: Tch.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Well, it would help to be in an actual Sonic game, first.)

[Blacklight]: Yeah, sure, let me just call up SEGA and ask them if they’re hiring OCs for the next Sonic game. But I was thinking…if I were to become one of Bowser’s minions…

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(My minions don’t tend to get invited to the Olympics.)

[Blacklight]: Good point. Maybe I ought to rethink this… I just really want to be in a game.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Also, if you were to become a minion, you would be required by contract to throw yourself to Mario’s mercy. It’s not a very good gig.)

[Blacklight]: Okay, okay, I’ll stay out of your army if you think it’s that bad…

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(I’m just being honest. We villains have to look out for each other.)

[Blacklight]: Really? I heard you and Eggman don’t get along very well.

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(Eggman!? Is that wretched scientist here!?)

[Eggman]: (offscreen) Uh, no no, Eggman definitely isn’t here hiding out and waiting for his chance to make another cameo…

[Bowser]: Bwargh!
(I will destroy you!)

[Blacklight]: Bowser, no, that couch is flammable–

Technical Difficulties

[Blacklight]: (in front of flaming couch) If you have any questions for Bowser, or any of our other guests today, don’t forget to leave them in the comments below!

Villain Chat! with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik

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[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Thank you, thank you, and welcome back to Villain Chat! Now, while we’ll be doing a lot more than just this little talk show today, I thought I’d keep the theme going for now. So let’s kick things right off by introducing our next guest! Shadow, would you like to do the honors?

[Shadow]: It’s Eggman.

[Blacklight]: Oh, come on, you can do better than that! Put a little pizzazz into it! *clears throat* Our next guest, though notoriously difficult to get ahold of for interviews—

[Shadow]: He knocked on our door and begged on his hands and knees to be on the show.

[Blacklight]: *clears throat more forcefully* Our legendary guest has been duking it out as a Sonic villain for near-on thirty years now! He plays by his own rules and conquers the world with his own tools, he is the egg-shaped man with the master plan, the one, the only, Mustache Junior!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Eggman]: Just call me Eggman.

[Blacklight]: Now, you guys remember the rules, right? I don’t want to hear about any sort of Empire versus Rebellion stuff. This is a war-free zone.

[Eggman]: But of course.

[Shadow]: Whatever.

[Blacklight]: Great! So how’re you doing tonight, MJ?

[Eggman]: Quite well, thank you for asking. Always happy for a chance to address my many adoring fans.

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Well then, let’s get started. Your name has become practically synonymous with the word “evil.” What’s it like, being one of the most famous fictional villains of all time?

[Eggman]: Oh, please, you flatter me. I just do what any good villain would do.

[Shadow]: You mean, mindlessly pursuing the destruction of your adversary without any concern for the fact that you’ve abandoned all other dreams and ideals within your life, unaware that you’ll be left with a meaningless existence if you should ever succeed?

[Eggman]: Ha! If only you knew my true motives… Heh heh heh…

[Blacklight]: Ooh, nice villainous chuckle. I need to work on mine. Whenever I try, I always end up breaking out into complete hysteria.

[Eggman]: Nothing wrong with that. It’s important to take ownership of your own evil laugh.

[Blacklight]: Good point. Ah ha ha ha ha!

[Eggman]: Oh ho ho!

[Blacklight]: AH HA HA HA HA!!

[Eggman]: OH HO HO!!

[Shadow]: What am I doing here…?

[Blacklight]: Oh, don’t be such a sourpuss. Your evil laugh isn’t so bad, you know.

[Shadow]: I do not have an evil laugh.

[Blacklight]: Don’t you? Roll the clip!

[Eggman]: Ooh, that’s a pretty good one, Shadow.

[Shadow]: Why do you have these clips pre-prepared? And WHY IS IT STILL PLAYING!?

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: It goes on for over ten minutes. And I have a wall full of these clips at home. I’ve been spying on you, remember?

[Shadow]: How could I forget…?

[Eggman]: Well, you should probably shut off that clip, now. I might get nightmares if it keeps up much longer…

[Blacklight]: Fine, fine. So let’s move on to our next question, then. As will become the tradition here on Villain Chat, I’d like to talk a little bit about the most recent episode of The Chaos Project. (Better pause what you’re doing and read it now, if you haven’t already.) In this case, that would be the Premiere episode of Season 2, featuring—spoiler alert!—the triumphant return of yours truly.

[Shadow]: For five minutes in an alternate timeline.

[Blacklight]: (gritting teeth) It still counts!

[Eggman]: I had quite a substantial role in this episode as well.

[Blacklight]: Exactly what I was getting ready to ask you about. A spotlight for Eggman has been rather rare in The Chaos Project. How’d it feel to finally stretch your legs again?

[Eggman]: Oh, it was so much more than that. Throughout the show, I’ve always been relegated this dark and serious emperor-of-the-world role, which certainly looks good on me, but it never really lets me show off my fun, humorous side. But for once, in this episode, the situation was so dark and depressing without my influence that I was actually able to provide some comic relief. And relieving it certainly was.

[Shadow]: I also got to drag you, bound and gagged, through the dirt. That was pretty fun.

[Eggman]: Well, sometimes a bit of humiliation is necessary to strike the right comedic balance.

[Blacklight]: Just don’t humiliate yourself too much. You don’t want to end up like Boom Eggman.

[Eggman]: Hey, don’t be so hard on the guy. Have you tried his evil ham?

[Blacklight]: Wait…are you saying that’s an actual thing? Like, that I can buy?

[Eggman]: Well, I believe it’s sold out now, but yes.

[Blacklight]: Hold on, I need to make a phone call.

[Shadow]: Wait, don’t…leave me alone with him…

[Eggman]: So…guess it’s just you and me now, eh, Shadow old buddy?

[Shadow]: …

[Eggman]: So…why don’t you talk about your role in the episode?

[Shadow]: Oh. Well…this episode was certainly a very interesting one for me. Getting to work with Chaos again is always a pleasure, and for this one scene, they actually put three of me all in the same room. One of them was the hero, one of them was the villain, and the third had no idea what was going on. It was fun, but it was also very meaningful. I think it has the potential to take my character into some pretty interesting directions.

[Eggman]: I see. You should ask me a question, now.

[Shadow]: Okay, umm…

[Eggman]: Go on.

[Shadow]: No, I got nothing.

[Eggman]: Blacklight is right. You really are no fun.

[Blacklight]: Did someone say my name?

[Shadow and Eggman]: AHH!!

[Blacklight]: Why, yes, I would love to talk about my role in the episode. During my brief time on screen, I managed to show off a godly level of power never seen previously in Sonic history, wiping out all life on the face of the Earth. Then I manipulated Sonic and Shadow into fighting each other, killed them both anyways, and killed Eggman for good measure.

[Eggman]: Oh yeah. That part wasn’t as much fun…

[Shadow]: And suddenly, I don’t feel like such a monster anymore.

[Blacklight]: Welp, that’s all the time we have for this segment! MJ will have to be leaving now, but he’ll be back for our Q&A session at the end of the day! Don’t forget to leave your questions for him in the comments below!

[Eggman]: Leaving!? But I barely got to answer any questions!

[Blacklight]: Goodbye, Doctor.

[Eggman]: B-but I can stay and co-host with you guys! I can—

[Blacklight]: I said, goodbye, Doctor!

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Blacklight, no, don’t—

Technical Difficulties

[Eggman]: NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Review: Season 1, Episode 17

Man, where do I even begin here? I suppose it should be with another apology about the delay. I didn’t mean for this episode to take significantly longer than any other. But then I got Fire Em–…uh, I mean, generic-dudes-with-swords-fantasy-tactical-RPG-in-which-you-choose-between-three-different-houses game. I put something like 150 hours into that game without ever typing once. I’m sorry, it’s a good game, okay? The fact that it encourages 3+ full playthroughs doesn’t help either…but I’m still a Sonic fan, okay!? I’m not giving up on this!

*ahem* Seriously, sorry about that. But let’s talk about this episode! I wrote two-thirds of it about three months ago, and the rest in the last three days. Hope it didn’t feel too disjointed because of that, but…when you’re writing an episode that’s just one giant fight scene, it’s kind of hard to be disjointed.

In a lot of ways, this was meant to be a sort of Sonic Adventure celebration part 2. If all had gone well, it actually would’ve come out around the time of the American 20th anniversary…but, you know…whatever. But anyways, when I first planned to make that first Adventure special, it came inherently with this episode as a conclusion. Before I came up with that first episode, this one would likely not have been a two-parter. It would’ve just been a disjointed Rouge returns story in the first half (with much less drama) followed by the conclusion of the Death Egg story in the second half. It actually would’ve been a lot like the mid-season finale in that way. I didn’t much care for how the mid-season finale turned out. Or wait, maybe I didn’t even have the Death Egg in mind by that point… Yeah, looking over my old notes, the story of fake Big as resolved in the Adventure special was originally planned to be part of the Rouge-returning finale. Man, that would’ve been a boring finale. So everything works out!

I think I was in the middle of saying before…oh, that’s right. This as a second part to the special. My preliminary idea for the Adventure special was little more than “let’s find a way to bring back Chaos 0”. When that idea gave way to the Discord idea, I still had the thought of bringing back the real Chaos bouncing around in the back of my mind. What I was thinking at first was that Discord would, in the end, join Chaos in the Master Emerald (as Knuckles was trying to make happen) so that neither Chaos nor Discord would be alone in the universe. That was the original intended meaning of Tikal’s vague “Chaos…alone…you…”. But, as usual, it was my good brother Yuni Oha who recommended the possibility that Discord be somehow cured, so the Chao could become a sort of mascot for the Rebellion. I loved the idea of giving this episode a real lasting impact for the rest of the series, so I made it work. Of course, Yuni also highly recommended the use of Perfect Chaos and/or Discord, and I had to disappoint on that front. But who knows? It may happen someday. *wink wink*

I keep meaning to go here and getting sidetracked. Chaos himself. I loved the way that scene turned out. He was on-screen for all of five minutes, didn’t say a word, and yet had one of the most compelling character moments I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing in this show. Not gonna lie, I teared up a little bit when I wrote about him stroking the Chao’s head. Is it weird to cry about something you wrote? Anyways, my only real complaint about that scene is that, after all the buildup Discord got, it was completely upstaged by Chaos. Then again, Discord is staying on as a permanent character, and Chaos isn’t, so I had to treat Chaos right for his brief cameo.

That was most recent on my mind, but I suppose there is much else to talk about. Rouge, for example. Every last scene of hers was extremely complicated to write. I had to approach some very dark and mature concepts in a PG (K+) format. How do you talk about someone getting stabbed in a way that makes sense when you’re not allowed to show blood coming out of a person? (I don’t know if that’s actually the rule, but it’s the rule I’ve taken to. There can be blood, it just can’t be seen actively coming out of a body.) And that’s after she got tied to a chair and beaten, after Shadow tried to blow her up, after Infinite and Fang seemingly murdered one another (something obviously went wrong there). So is she dead now? I’d have to say, “probably”. But we’ll all have to wait and see. I suppose I should say the same about Sly.

This episode set up A LOT of future character arcs. Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Knuckles, and Cream all come to mind immediately. I guess that’s the point of a good finale, isn’t it? My point is, I guess…pay attention? I don’t know, I always worry that the hints of foreshadowing I drop go completely unnoticed if I don’t make them super duper obvious, like “hey, this is something that might happen later!”. At least this time, you’ve already had hints of the future character dynamics between Sonic, Shadow, and Tails through the Green Light Riders Season 2 preview. (Man, I published that in May! Now it’s December! I was supposed to be caught up by now!)

Finally think I’m running out of things to say. One interesting note is that this is actually one of the first planned two-parters that didn’t get split from one or need to get split into three. I planned on the separation between this episode and the next from the beginning. Trouble with that is that I knew I would be forcing myself to write an episode-long fight scene, which, as I’ve said in the past, is a major weakness of mine. The discouragement of making one fight last so long might be part of the reason I wasn’t more adamant about balancing my writing with my video game life. I could already tell by the time I stopped writing that this one foe with a very specific skillset was making for a very stagnant fight. Having to juggle so many different allies for the fight did keep things a little bit less predictable on one hand, but also added its own challenge on the other.

Although, quite possibly the hardest part of the episode was managing the logic behind Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, and how they would interact with Rouge, how and why they would leave the fight with Discord, and how it could make sense that they react in just the ways they needed to. It’s what I spent a vast majority of my break time thinking about. And even now, I think it all came out a little forced. Knuckles and Rouge really needed a proper reunion to demonstrate that Knuckles was able to trust her, but that simply didn’t fit. It didn’t make a lot of sense that Amy felt right about leaving the fight with Discord to check on Shadow, and even less that she didn’t say a word when she passed Knuckles. Sonic calmly accepting Knuckles’ plan didn’t make sense either, especially considering his reaction when Tikal voiced the same intent back in the finale of Sonic Adventure. But Discord needed to be close by for Knuckles’ plan to go through, and if Sonic were there with the intent to stop Knuckles, he easily could have. I had no sound justification for getting rid of Sonic in that moment, so having him accept the plan was the only option. I think it was all just a bit of a mess. A mess that did its job wonderfully, mind you. These conclusions for Rouge and Discord’s stories worked out just as I always pictured them, which is a rare accomplishment for me.

And I think I’ve been ranting on for long enough, so I suppose I’ll have to leave you until we meet again for part 2, the finale of season 1! (It’s been a long time coming.)

Preview: Season 1, Episode 17

It’s not a normal posting day, bu this news is too exciting not to share! The first part of the Season 1 finale is finally finished! And it’s coming soon! Real soon, like, this Saturday soon, I promise! In the meantime, please enjoy this preview!

“Retreat! Everyone, get out of here!” Sonic shouts his order from the rooftops of the Station Square Casino District.

On the streets below, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy fight their way out through a swarm of robots. Knuckles shouts up, “We’re pinned down! There’s too many of them!”

“Don’t worry, I’m coming!” Sonic prepares to leap down from the building. But he is stopped as a rock suddenly strikes the side of his head. “Ah! What the–!?” He looks down in the direction the projectile came from.

A small mob of human citizens has gathered. The one in front, presumably the same who threw the rock, shouts through cupped hands, “Get out of here, Rebels!” Another voice agrees, “Yeah, we don’t need your kind of help!” “Let us live in peace!” “Take your war somewhere else!” The shouts quickly meld into a frenzy.

Another rock flies past Sonic’s head as he ducks just in time. He takes his hand away from the spot he was hit before, showing a clear wound left behind. He looks down to the crowd with worry, with fear, ready to shout some sort of objection.

“Sonic!”

Remembering what’s important, he turns his back on the mob and leaps down onto the battlefield on the other side, planting a foot into the robot he lands on. A few quick spinning attacks take out what remains between him and his friends. He grabs an arm each of Knuckles and Amy, and nods his head for Tails to follow. He takes off, pulling them with him at high speed. The only opening in sight is a flight up stairs. They take it without hesitation.

The stairs open into the train station. More robots are at the ready on the upper level, and open fire at the appearance of the Rebels. They never slow down, opting instead to crash through the barred glass front doors into the street outside. They round the first corner in the road.

No matter how many turns they take, there are robots waiting on every corner. A few brave citizens even jeer at them through open windows above.

But one voice is different from the others. “Hey, in here!” A man stands holding open a door down the street, beckoning to them furiously. “Quickly, before they see you!”

Not having much other choice, Sonic and the others follow him in, and he shuts the door firmly behind them.

This is only the beginning. The beginning of Doomsday.

-Until then, remember to live and learn every day!

Review: Season 1, Episode 15

I’ve been waiting to make this episode for a long time. Well, technically half of this episode for longer than the other half. It was probably fairly easy to tell, but this was sort of like two incomplete episodes mashed together in order to save space and effort. But let’s be honest. Without Amy’s mystery, the episode would’ve been nothing but Tails and Shadow sitting in a pod and talking. And yet, without the brief bout of drama and action provided by the Shadow/Tails story, Amy’s mystery would’ve been little more than a glorified recap of the season. I felt that these ideas complemented each other well, which is why I wasn’t too concerned when I realized that the next episode, which was only fairly recently considered, would have to “replace” one of these two. And regardless, I am still heavily considering continuing with this idea of an A-plot and a B-plot for each episode, so it’s good that I keep getting chances to practice with it.

The idea out of these two that came earlier was the Shadow/Tails story. Even though the plot was technically a continuation of the relationship they began to form back in the Forces of Chaos arc of Season 0, that plot back then was actually inspired by the knowledge that this episode would eventually happen. This one came first. Why did I decide that I wanted Shadow and Tails to become good buddies? Well, I think Tails covered a lot of it. Tails likes Sonic because he’s cool, and to an impressionable pre-teen (as I was when Shadow became my favorite character) Shadow would easily be seen as basically a cooler version of Sonic. Why wouldn’t Tails like him? And, for spoiler-related story reasons, their friendship is going to become very important. But I knew it was something that couldn’t simply happen, Shadow and Tails are such fundamentally different characters that an episode would be required to justify how they first form a bond. This episode is what came to mind. It was largely inspired by an episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9, in which two similarly disparate characters, Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien, were forced together on a close-quarters mission, and inevitably ended up becoming best friends for the rest of the series. However, the concept of having them trapped together in a ship, leading to desperate measures of survival when it is destroyed, likely came more from an episode of Star Trek Voyager, which started the romantic relationship between characters Tom Paris and B’elanna Torres. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that part. Don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.

As for the Amy story, the idea came for it only recently, as I started counting on my fingers all of the characters who have had a spotlight this season, and realized that Amy was the only character left out entirely. Which also got me thinking that maybe females are a bit underrepresented in general in this series. I mean, Rouge is getting a spotlight role in this main premiere season of the show, so I don’t feel TOO bad about it. And a predominance of male characters is…not exactly out of the norm for the Sonic series in general. Regardless, that made me want to make sure that this Amy plot did good by this particular issue, so I started planning for something that would have her accomplish something important, something not in any way related to her relationship with Sonic. And I decided it was about time to reveal the full truth about Rouge. But…let’s be honest. As cheeky as I’ve been about it, the fact that Rouge has been a double agent was an obvious guess to make from the beginning, and I’ve only provided more evidence since then. And spending an entire episode leading up to Amy happening upon a fact that any reader could’ve guessed from the beginning felt somehow…anticlimactic. Certainly wouldn’t get across the point I intended of her solving an important problem. But since I wanted the information about Rouge to be confirmed either way, how about a fake out? Have Amy solve a true mystery, something completely unexpected even by the reader, and even accidentally find out about Rouge along the way. But what exactly did Amy solve? What was it she said? “She’s not on Eggman’s side.” If she wasn’t talking about Rouge, then what could she have meant? She had to be talking about someone. And Heavy Magician now appears to have been set free… What could that mean?

There was one other purpose to putting this episode at this time. I mentioned earlier that Amy’s story was sort of a glorified recap of the season, and that wasn’t unintentional. The season’s wrapping up, and it’s important that the reader remembers everything that’s led up to this point. That’s right! Only 3 episodes left in the season! (Man, if I’d kept last year’s pace this Summer, I could’ve actually started Season 2 before the Summer’s over. That would’ve been nice.) So, excluding the dark and serious two-part finale, there’s only one episode remaining. Naturally, how could it be anything else but a lighthearted comedy? I’m excited for what’s to come, and I hope you are as well!

-So until next time, remember to live and learn every day!