Q&A and Farewell

blacklightlogo

[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…

Villain Chat! with Team Rocket

blacklightlogo

Previously, on the Pokémon Cosmic Quest Official Website

[Blacklight]: I heard that you guys were going to talk about Sonic, and I just had to make sure that you got all your facts straight.

[James]: Trust me, I won’t be wrong.

[Blacklight]: Prove it, blue boy.

[James]: (Taunting) Okay then. Obscure Sonic trivia it is. If you want to hear something really ridiculous, Mr. Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team, claims that Sonic takes place in-

[Blacklight]: (Gritting teeth) I swear, if you try to convince me that there are two different worlds…

[James]: I never said I was going to try to convince you. It’s little more than a ridiculous fan theory from someone who happens to matter.

[Blacklight]: Wait…so…you’re not one of those people who blindly believes everything a developer says just because they can abuse their power?

[James]: Of course not! The idea that Sonic splits his time between a human world and an animal world in different games is just plain silly!

[Blacklight]: Hey guys, wanna be on the show over on my website?

[Meowth]: As… tempting… as that offer sounds, we’re way too busy here for that.

[Blacklight]: Too bad, I need one more interview session. James, you grab Meowth. I’ll grab Jessie.

[James]: (Hesitates) Um… How about you just give me a chance to convince them to come of their own free will?

[Blacklight]: Aww, that’s less fun… But I’m holding you to that!

And now, the continuation…


[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: And here we are again! Welcome back to Villain Chat! Shadow, do you think you can do it right this time?

[Shadow]: I have no idea who these people are.

[Audience]: *booing*

[Blacklight]: Well I guess I’ll do it myself. I hope everyone’s prepared for trouble. Please give a warm welcome to our latest guests, Pokémon’s famous Team Rocket Trio, Jessie, Meowth, and my bro, James!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: So how are we all doing tonight?

[Jessie, James, and Meowth]: Who, what, when, where, why!?

[Shadow]: So they’re from Pokémon? No wonder…

[Blacklight]: Oh, come on, everyone knows Pokémon!

[Shadow]: I don’t watch children’s anime.

[Blacklight]: Yes, of course, you only watch the “mature” anime. Like Sonic X.

[Shadow]: That doesn’t count.

[Jessie]: First off, Pokémon is so much more than a kid’s show. Second, where in the world are we!?

[Blacklight]: You guys said you would be on the show, didn’t you? You didn’t lie to me, did you, James?

[James]: (sweating profusely)  … … … …

[Shadow]: We’re being held in a talk show against our will. Just go with it.

[Meowth]: A talk show! I’ll have you know, I’m the talk show host around these parts!

[Blacklight]: Uh, no no. Shadow and I are the only hosts here.

[Eggman]: And me!

[Blacklight and Shadow]: Get out of here, Eggman!

[Meowth]: Do you even know who I am? I’m Meowth, host of the world-famous talk show, Meow we’re Talking!

[Audience]: *booing*

[Jessie]: Hey! Cut that boo-track out! No one boos Team Rocket!

[Blacklight]: You guys are on my show, now. I make the rules. I don’t play the sound clips, though. Talk to the guy behind the camera about that.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

[James]: Guys… I think we should listen to him…

[Meowth]: Why?

[Blacklight]: You see that broken window over there? That’s what happened the first time Eggman didn’t play by the rules.

[Eggman]: (through window) I highly recommend following orders.

[Jessie and Meowth]: *gulps*

[Blacklight]: So, let’s get this interview started. The show’s called Villain Chat, so we’ll be talking a little bit about evil today. For each of you: what is the most evil thing you have ever done?

[Jessie]: Oh, that’s an easy one. I once robbed a town of all its beauty supplies. They were ugly for weeks.

[Shadow]: Tch.

[Jessie]: Oh, and you’ve done better?

[Blacklight]: Oh, Shadow once tried to crash a Space Colony into the planet, wiping out all life and destroying everything. And he’s the good guy here.

[Meowth]: That’s nothing. I once split a cookie with Jessie and James.

[Blacklight]: …And?

[Meowth] (smiles devilishly) And I took the biggest piece.

[Jessie]: I knew it!

[James]: You truly are an evil, evil Pokémon!

[Blacklight]: And what about you, James? What devilish secrets are you hiding?

[James]: (contemplates) Well… there was that time I stole a bottle cap from the twerps. They were storing it in a trash can for safe keeping.

[Blacklight]: *gasps* You collect bottle caps too!?

[Shadow]: I thought you said you watched their show. Wouldn’t you know that already?

[James]: (leaps up) Yes! They truly are my passion in life!

[Blacklight]: And they’re so shiny!

[James]: What’s your rarest cap?

[Blacklight]: Well, I still have the cap off of the limited edition 2001 10th Anniversary Chao Cola.

[James]: No way! Mine is a 1996 Soda Pop Red and Green Edition.

[Jessie]: (under breath) Oh boy, another nerd…

[Shadow]: (under breath) You have no idea…

[Meowth]: Weren’t we supposed to be talking about evil?

[Blacklight]: Shut up, we’re having a moment.

[Shadow]: Maybe you should just ask the next question.

[Blacklight]: Fine, fine. Next question. If each of you were a Sonic character, what species would you be, and what powers would you have?

[James]: Oh, you want my self-insert OC? I would be Howl the Wolf. As the name implies, I strike terror into my opponents with my hyper howl. Not only am I handsome, I’m one of the world’s most feared and successful thieves.

[Meowth]: Are you sure that’s a self-insert?

[Blacklight]: Do you think you can do better, Meowth?

[Meowth]: Well, obviously I’d be a cat. Not a cat like Big, but like Blaze. I guess that means fire powers and all.

[Blacklight]: Fire? Didn’t see that one coming. Wouldn’t you rather have, like, luck powers or something?

[Meowth]: Sure, I’ll take that too!

[Blacklight]: And that leaves Jessie.

[Jessie]: Um… wouldn’t I just be Jessie the Hedgehog, or something?

[Meowth]: You certainly have the hair for it…

[James]: Come on Jessie, put more effort into it! Be creative! You can do anything you want! Not to mention, a hedgehog is the least creative animal you could pick.

[Blacklight]: Yeah, there are too many hedgehog characters on the internet already!

[Shadow]: …

[Jessie]: *shrugs*

[Blacklight]: Fine, be that way. What about you, Shadow?

[Shadow]: …

[Blacklight]: Tsk, tsk, tsk. Another hedgehog? I expected better of you, Shadow. I suppose that’s all for that, then. And I believe we have time for one more question. So. I hear you guys are making a game. I want in.

[Meowth]: That’s not a question…

[Blacklight]: Yep. It’s a demand.

[James]: Blacklight… buddy… the thing is… we’re not making a game…

[Blacklight]: What!? Of course you are! Did you not take control of Pokémon Sol Version when you took the website?

[James]: Oh yeah… forgot about that… Well… how do I put this…?

[Jessie]: We’re not in the business of making crossovers!

[Blacklight]: Who says it has to be a crossover? I can just be a normal, average, everyday character!

[Meowth]: You? Normal?

[Shadow]: Wouldn’t you rather be in a Sonic game? Where your important backstory can actually matter?

[Blacklight]: I’d love to. Unfortunately, SEGA isn’t hiring OC’s at the moment. Trust me, I checked.

[Shadow]: What about a fan game?

[Blacklight]: Wait…is that a thing?

[James]: Sure it is! Just like there’s Pokémon ones! They can be a little… unsavory at times… but I’m sure you could find one to your liking.

[Blacklight]: Boss…?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I’m not making you a fan game.

[Blacklight]: You suuuuuuure?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) *sighs* Let’s just take this one year at a time, please.

[Blacklight]: So, is me being in Sol Version still on the table?

[James]: I’ll tell you what, we’ll name an NPC after you.

[Blacklight]: D’awww, you’d do that for me? You’re a great bro, you know that?

[James]: *extends fist*

[Blacklight]: *fist bumps gleefully* Wait, wait, now I need to do something for you. *reaches back* I want you to have this, bro.

[James]: No way! A Chao Cola bottle cap!? These aren’t even available in my world!

[Shadow]: (on laptop) Hey, did you mean to leave Wobbuffet alone with your Breath of the Wild account?

[Jessie]: What!? No! I don’t want that blue blob getting me more lost than I already am! Wait, how do you know?

[Shadow]: It’s streaming the game on your website. I didn’t know you could do that with a tree branch…

[Meowth]: We better get back and put a stop to this.

[Blacklight]: Well, our time’s just about up, anyways. See you later, bro!

[James]: Wait, how do we-

[Blacklight]: Chaos Control!

[Shadow]: (still on laptop)

[Blacklight]: Care to…sign us off, Shadow?

[Shadow]: Not really.

[Blacklight]: You enjoy taking my fun away, don’t you?

[Shadow]: Not really.

[Blacklight]: Ugh, fine. If you have questions for Team Rocket, or anyone else who’s appeared on the show today, leave them in the comments below!

Blacklight Answers the Hard Questions

blacklightlogo

[Blacklight]: Alright, this’ll be a rapid-fire one. Shadow, are you all ready with the questions?

[Shadow]: I don’t understand the point of this.

[Blacklight]: These are questions that Sonic fans have been asking for years! Who better to answer them than someone who actually lives in that universe?

[Shadow]: I don’t see this going very well…

[Blacklight]: Well that’s your opinion! Hit me with the first question!

[Shadow]: Question 1: “Why can we see the entire moon when half of it was destroyed in Sonic Adventure 2?”

[Blacklight]: There is no moon. The moon is a hoax. It’s just a set piece. Next!

[Shadow]: Question 2: “Where does Sonic keep all of his rings?”

[Blacklight]: You don’t want to know.

[Shadow]: Question 3: “What do Sonic’s hands look like under his gloves?”

[Blacklight]: You thought those were gloves? Those are just his hands.

[Shadow]: Question 4: “Which story path is canon in Shadow the Hedgehog?”

[Blacklight]: It’s the one that leads to the secret twelfth ending, where Shadow learns that he’s actually a figment of Sonic’s imagination.

[Shadow]: That’s false.

[Blacklight]: Prove it.

[Shadow]: No thanks. Question 5: “What happened to Eggman’s appearance in Sonic ’06?”

[Blacklight]: One word. Diet and exercise.

[Shadow]: Question 6: “Where is–…” Oh, dear… “Where is that FOURTH Chaos Emerald?”

[Blacklight]: We’re still searching for it to this day.

[Shadow]: …Question 7: “Is Sonic Rivals canon? Is Sonic Spinball canon? Is Tails’ Adventure canon?” It…goes on for a while.

[Blacklight]: Yes, yes, and yes! Everything is canon! Sonic All Stars Racing is canon, Sonic’s Schoolhouse is canon, Sonic’s appearance in Pac Man is canon! What don’t you people understand about this!?

[Shadow]: Didn’t you write these questions?

[Blacklight]: Shut up and ask the next one.

[Shadow]: Question 8: “How did Sonic get his powers?”

[Blacklight]: Too much coffee.

[Shadow]: Question 9: “What exactly is the Lost Hex?”

[Blacklight]: It’s a lost hex, duh.

[Shadow]: Question 10: “How can Blaze be from the Future and the Sol Dimension?”

[Blacklight]: Well, according to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, time and space are actually one conglomerated concept known as time-space. If we look to M-theory, a subset of string theory, more specifically, superstring theory, we know that there are in fact 11 dimensions of space-time. There is no distinguishing between the spatial and temporal dimensions. To our simple three-dimensional perspective, 11-dimensional space can take on a multitude of interpretations, including other dimensional worlds coexisting within the same confines of space and time we live in. Given the duality of space-time, this other spatial dimension, which one might call another world, can also be referred to as another temporal dimension, which one might call the future. The equivalence of space and time means that these two very different concepts are in fact one and the same. The future is another world, another world is the future.

[Shadow]: …

[Blacklight]: What’s that look for? I said I was going to answer the questions, didn’t I?

[Shadow]: Right…well, that’s all of them.

[Blacklight]: Over so soon? That’s alright, I suppose. But what hard questions would you have wanted me to answer? Tell us in the comments below! Make sure to get those questions in in time for the Q&A session at the end of the day!

Villain Chat! with…Zavok?

blacklightlogo

[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!

Come Join the Eggman Empire!

[Shadow]: Posting an outdated propaganda video, Eggman?

[Eggman]: What, I didn’t have time to put anything new together when I learned that Blacklight was away on that other website.

[Shadow]: He’s not going to be happy about this…

Caught on Camera: Blacklight’s Phone Call

blacklightlogo

[Blacklight]: Hello? Hello, yes?

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Yes, I’d like to purchase some evil ham*, please.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Yes, I know it’s sold out, but this is very important.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Because I’m a celebrity!

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: My name is Blacklight. I’m the Ultimate Life Form.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Never heard of me!? I’m hosting a talk show right now! Right this second!

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: No, I should not be getting back to that, this is much more important!

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Make my own?

[Phone]: … … … … … … … … … … … …

[Blacklight]: Liquid paper? That doesn’t sound safe for consumption…

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Yes, I suppose that would make it more evil.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Look, how about you just get your boss, and tell him that this is a special request from Blacklight? He’ll know who I am.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Dr. Eggman. The guy who makes the evil ham.

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Mike Pollock? No, his name is Ivo Robotnik. From Sonic Boom. At least, I think that’s still his name in that universe…

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Oh, so you’re the celebrity now, Mr. Pollock? Well why haven’t I heard of you?

[Phone]: … … …

[Blacklight]: Fine! I don’t want your stupid ham anyways! *hangs up* The nerve of some people…

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

[Blacklight]: Did someone say my name?


*Yes, evil ham is a real trademarked thing. You’re welcome. https://www.itsamike.com/shop/evilham 

Villain Chat! with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik

blacklightlogo

[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!!!!

Villain Chat! with Shadow the Hedgehog

blacklightlogo

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Yeah, that’s right, you’re excited. Avid Chaos Project fans may remember that hosting a late-night Villain Chat talk show has always been my dream in life.

[Shadow]: Always? It was only brought up offhandedly in the 50th Episode Special that retconned the premiere, and even that took place almost six months after your chronological introduction to the current events of the story.

[Blacklight]: Nah ah ah. I’m the one asking questions here. We’re kicking off today’s festivities by interviewing the second most popular character in the entire Sonic canon, Shadow the Hedgehog.

[Shadow]: Your show is called Villain Chat. Why would I be your first choice to interview?

[Blacklight]: That brings us to our first question of the night! Shadow, tell me, how does it feel to be branded as a villain by the very people who created you?

[Shadow]: I…don’t follow.

[Blacklight]: I speak of our parent companies, SEGA and Sonic Team, of course.

[Shadow]: I still don’t follow.

[Blacklight]: Well, just look at your presentation in any recent Sonic game. Take Sonic Boom, for instance. In that world, Shadow the Hedgehog exists as nothing more than an obstacle, an angry jerkwad who hates Sonic and hates friendship because…reasons.

[Shadow]: Different world. Why does it matter?

[Blacklight]: Is it really different? Regardless of whether you look at the games or the TV show, Sonic Boom presents its cast of characters as if they’re people with a long history that you should be intimately familiar with. Most of its jokes downright depend on that frame of reference. For example, the often-repeated joke of presenting the fighting between Sonic and Eggman as if it’s an office job is only funny if you assume that it isn’t the norm, and it’s only abnormal if you include the context of the canon games. And that brings us to Shadow. Shadow, like everyone else, is introduced as if you already know exactly who he is and what he should be doing. So naturally, he immediately attempts to destroy Sonic, because that’s totally in-character.

[Shadow]: Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that the people who made Sonic Boom had very little idea of what Sonic is supposed to be. It’s as if they took one look at the original version of me and said, “Oh, that must be an evil version of Sonic.” That was never really in question. To answer your question, everything about Sonic Boom makes me feel disappointed, and this is no different.

[Blacklight]: Okay, so let’s ignore Sonic Boom, then. Instead, we turn our attention to Sonic Generations, your only significant role in the decade that came between Sonic ’06 and Sonic Forces. In Generations, you attempted to kill Sonic to stop him from acquiring the Chaos Emerald, because…reasons.

[Shadow]: That game depicted me as a rival, not a villain.

[Blacklight]: *clears throat* “I don’t know where we are, nor do I care. This is where I finish you, Sonic.”

[Shadow]: That…doesn’t make me a villain…

[Blacklight]: Right, because you were totally redeemed by that heroic and heartfelt speech you gave at the end of the game. Roll the clip!

[Shadow]: …I blame the game’s poor writing and lack of direction.

[Blacklight]: Yeah, that tends to be a running theme when it comes to Sonic games these days. But wherever you place the blame, it shows just the same that the people making these games seem to have absolutely no idea what Shadow the Hedgehog is supposed to be.

[Shadow]: Well, at least they started getting back on track with Sonic Forces. That game finally gave me a large enough spotlight to prove that I’m still the same person I always was.

[Blacklight]: Did it? Did it really? Sonic Forces has become notorious for its poor handling of villains, and you’re right there in that group. You’re placed on Infinite’s team in the game and all of its promotional material, and yet there’s no greater mystery surrounding that fact than there is about any of the other Replicas. Of all people, Knuckles is the only person who seems to show any legitimate concern over what’s going on. Sonic is upset by it, but it certainly doesn’t seem to surprise him much.

[Shadow]: Sonic wouldn’t be upset by it if he thought it was normal, which means that I’m clearly not thought of as a villain. The running theory they give is that I was being controlled.

[Blacklight]: True. But that isn’t the only issue. We also have Episode Shadow.

[Shadow]: The best thing to happen to the Sonic franchise in twelve years.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. You may have been the protagonist of Episode Shadow, but that doesn’t make you the hero.

[Shadow]: Coordinated attacks against Eggman’s facilities to prevent a war, plus a dramatic escape of Infinite’s most powerful Virtual prison, doesn’t sound heroic enough to you?

[Blacklight]: Well, A for effort, but…uhh…Episode Shadow shows unapologetically that your reckless behavior and total lack of empathy are responsible for instigating a war that resulted in millions of deaths.

[Shadow]: …

[Blacklight]: You don’t have to fight the hero to be a villain. And it’d be one thing if you finished what you started, but no. Instead, you seemed to disappear from the face of the Earth for six months of war, for…reasons. Finally, you return…to deliver a few lines of exposition. That’s it. That’s Shadow the Hedgehog’s role in Sonic Forces. Starting a war, then sitting back and watching while other people fight it. In fact, by the sounds of it, you’re not just a villain. You’re a master manipulator, sewing chaos in the world and never getting blamed for it.

[Shadow]: I’m a monster…

[Blacklight]: It’s okay, buddy. You’re among friends.

[Audience]: *awwww*

[Blacklight]: So, now that we know how you really feel, let’s look back on some happier times with our next question.

[Shadow]: How long is this going to go on for?

[Blacklight]: As long as I feel like it. But trust me, I think you’ll like this question. You…have a LOT of theme songs.

[Shadow]: That’s true.

[Blacklight]: (reading from list) Let’s see here… We have “Throw it All Away” from Sonic Adventure 2, “This Machine” from Sonic Heroes…

[Shadow]: That’s Team Dark’s theme, not just mine.

[Blacklight]: Technically, yes, but it’s sung from your perspective, and repeats the words “Chaos Control” more than a few times.

[Shadow]: True.

[Blacklight]: Anyways, then we have a whopping six songs from the Shadow the Hedgehog game, from “I Am…All of Me” to “Never Turn Back,” and finally a repeat of “All Hail Shadow” for Sonic ’06. You’re already making me jealous here. But there’s also some extra vocal themes associated with you in Sonic Adventure 2, “Rhythm and Balance,” “Supporting Me,” “For True Story,” “Live and Learn” to some degree, and…”The Supernatural?” I don’t even remember that one…

[Shadow]: The theme of the Final Rush level. Lyrics were a bit hard to hear.

[Blacklight]: Yeah, whatever. That’s fourteen songs! Fourteen! How in blazes do you keep track of them all!?

[Shadow]: Categorizing by game and/or level certainly helps.

[Blacklight]: That was a rhetorical question. The real question is…of all these songs, which do you feel most accurately depicts you? Which of these songs is the essence of Shadow the Hedgehog?

[Shadow]: Well…that’s a difficult question to answer. Each song serves its own purpose. Sometimes, I’m a lost soul. Sometimes, I’m fighting for my ideals. Sometimes, I’m simply the coolest.

[Blacklight]: So what, you have a song for each mood? For each day of the week!? Some of us don’t even get one theme song, you privileged little—

[Audience]: *gasps*

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Language!

[Blacklight]: Sorry…what I meant to say was…even the newest of those songs is fifteen years old now. So which one would you say has still…retained its value, so to speak? Which one has the most staying power, which one aged the best?

[Shadow]: Well…”Live and Learn” is a classic…but it’s not quite personal enough. As fond as I am of “All Hail Shadow,” I suppose I’d have to say that “Never Turn Back” is the one that still works best for the place I’m at right now.

[Blacklight]: Ah, I see. Least favorite?

[Shadow]: You want me to choose a least favorite of my precious children?

[Blacklight]: …

[Mr. C]: …

[Audience]: …

[Blacklight]: Who are you and what have you done with the real Shadow?

[Shadow]: I was trying to be funny…

[Blacklight]: Well you’re terrible at it. Just answer the question.

[Shadow]: Fine. I’d have to go with “Almost Dead,” the theme of the Dark ending in my game. It’s noisy, it’s repetitive, and it has very little meaning beyond “being ambivalent,” which is kind of strange, since you’d think it would be about pure evil. Basically, it’s a standard heavy metal song.

[Blacklight]: Are you saying that you don’t like heavy metal? You certainly seem like the type who would.

[Shadow]: You’re talking about the wrong Shadow. Try asking the one from Sonic Boom. You might get a different answer.

[Blacklight]: Oh, I see. You’re trying to tie this whole piece together by making commentary about the harm of judging a person by appearance without understanding who that person really is.

[Shadow]: No, I just don’t like heavy metal.

[Blacklight]: Ah, to each his own, I suppose. And I’m gonna have to stop you there. Villain Chat! will be right back after a quick word from our sponsors. But before we leave, don’t forget! We’ll be doing a special Q&A session at the end of the day to answer all of your burning questions! What would you have asked Shadow in this interview? Tell us in the comments below, or shoot a message our way! Be right back!

Review: Sonic Movie Special

(This is the review for the tie-in special published on the same day the movie came out. For the review of the movie itself, please see the previous post.)

I actually won a pair of early screening tickets to see the Sonic movie in San Francisco two weeks before it came out. Unfortunately…San Francisco is a bit too far of a drive for me to make right now. So I had to pass up that opportunity. (Believe me, I was jealous of Sonic that entire movie for that exact reason.) But for one fleeting moment, I was indescribably excited, not just for the novelty of seeing a movie before anybody else can, but because I could’ve used that information to write an absolutely perfect tie-in episode with zero dodging of unknown plot points and zero contradictions. That’s always the hardest part about making these specials. The more closely I can tie the episode into its source, the more relevant and interesting the episode can be—but the less I know about the source, the less accurately I’m able to do that. In my original Sonic Forces special, I had to dodge the question of whether or not Sonic even knows who Infinite is, because we knew that little about the game’s plot. Technically speaking, that was much less of an issue here. With dozens upon dozens of trailers and preview clips available, and a much more straightforward, predictable plot to begin with, I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that I could’ve predicted the entire movie on a moment-to-moment basis with roughly 90% accuracy. But that last 10% was still bothering me immensely. If I just had that last 10%, I could’ve written a completely different episode, one that dives deep into the lore and events the movie may have glossed over, without any worry of contradiction. But unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the early screening, and so I had to play it safe.

Was that really Teen Sonic’s home Green Hill Zone that the episode took place in? Dodged that question, because I figured the odds were high that that place was somehow destroyed or taken over, that being the reason why Teen Sonic had to leave in the first place. Does Teen Sonic know what a Chaos Emerald is? Dodged that question, because I figured the odds were high that they would be teased in the movie in some way, which would most likely preclude Sonic from knowing about them beforehand. (Technically, I’m still in a bit of a pickle there, since we have no clue what any potential sequels might bring.) Did our Sonic even end up remembering the events of this episode? Dodged that question too, even though it seems pretty irrelevant to the movie, because if our Sonic remembers, then Teen Sonic would remember as well, and there was no telling how many countless tiny contradictions that might’ve caused. (In fact, there’s a chance it did—he never says it directly, but Teen Sonic certainly implies in the movie that he hasn’t had a friend since Longclaw—and I giving him a new best friend in our Sonic flies pretty harshly in the face of that.) Does Sonic know who wants his powers, or why? Dodged that. Do those individuals belong specifically to this world, or is he being chased across worlds? Dodged that. Who the heck is Longclaw? Dodged that, too. (Admittedly, I mistakenly had our Sonic call her a “guy,” but Sonic knew little enough at that point in time that it was probably justified.)

Despite my fear of getting contradicted, there were plenty of risks that I chose to gamble on. I chose to establish concrete proof that Sonic spent some amount of time, however little, as a world-traveller, visiting many different worlds before finally ending up on movie-Earth. The trailers gave us no such evidence, instead suggesting on quite the contrary that Sonic went straight from Green Hill to Earth, and stayed there. If it weren’t for Baby Sonic, I probably wouldn’t have taken that risk. But getting that major piece of evidence that Sonic left his world at a very young age leaves lots and lots of time for him to do things offscreen in between. For all we knew prior to that, there might not have been any time at all—we might have seen, moment-for-moment, Sonic, as a teenager, leaving Green Hill, getting to Earth, and either getting stuck there or choosing to stay there right up until the inciting incident of the movie’s main plot. But—lucky me!—Sonic not only was given plenty of time where he could have been off Earth, but it was downright shown that he had a map of worlds to travel to, with multiple of them crossed off, all but confirming that he has been to them. (Interestingly enough, one of those worlds was denoted by a stylized Sun—could that have been representing the Sol Dimension, or “Sun World” as he called it…just like he called the other one “Mushroom World”? Then again, Sun World wasn’t crossed out, which would be an odd error for him to make if he had already decided against staying there—but then, if he had only decided that because there was too much water, and not because someone saw him using his powers, that might mean he decided to potentially try it again later—and yes, Eggman Nega saw his powers, but as I mentioned earlier, he may not necessarily remember that part. What was I talking about again? Oh, right gambles.)

Another gamble I took involved how Sonic uses those Rings. For one thing, I just assumed that’s what his little brown sack was for—got that one right. But then, I also had him put duct tape in there, which…now that I know where the sack came from, might seem a little bit disrespectful. Oh well, he needed to tape up that shoe somehow—another accurate prediction on my part, as a majority of pre-release clips showed him with his “canon” shoes, even though he didn’t actually have them yet (lucky me). But yeah, Rings. I made a pretty big stretch of the imagination by suggesting that he has no problem at all with just using as many rings as it takes to help his friend out. In fact, you might even call that a contradiction—in the movie, there’s a “for emergencies only” sign taped to the sack, not to mention the fact that I presented him as having very few of them, despite having very many in the movie. But then, right there at the beginning of the movie, Sonic uses up a Ring just for the heck of it, because he feels like getting a look at the Mushroom World. But anyways, I think I covered my bases there. Even though there was absolutely zero mention in the trailers or the movie of where the Rings actually come from, I went ahead and presented a means of having Sonic able to collect more of them. So, after the episode, he would’ve had plenty of time to tour around, find as many as he needs, and head back to Earth with more than he even knows what to do with—so in that way, I even provided an explanation for why Sonic was able to waste one so nonchalantly at the beginning. Lucky me! I just have to hope that future sequels don’t imply that…I don’t know, Sonic produces them from his body or something crazy like that. As long as the possibility is left open that Rings can somehow be found somewhere in the nature of some world, I think I’ll be fine. I figured that applying the rules of Special Stage Rings to them wouldn’t be too much of  a risk, anyways.

I did gamble a little bit with how Sonic’s powers work—I clearly didn’t catch on to the fact that they are so directly linked to his emotions, but I wouldn’t call that outright contradiction. But here’s something that was absolutely not intended to be a gamble—at the end of the episode I had Sonic absorb his powers directly back from Fang. I made that up, I swear! And yet, at the climax of the movie, an absolutely identical scene happened, where Sonic absorbed his powers back from Eggman. (Yes, I’m calling him Eggman, because that’s what Sonic ends up calling him. Same rules as the games.) So…lucky me, I guess!

So, what contradictions did I fail to avoid? I already mentioned calling Longclaw a guy, missing the mark on where Sonic’s powers come from, and…that might be it. Oh, right, I also said that Sonic isn’t prone to motion sickness, which was definitely contradicted in the movie. That’s definitely not one I was expecting, given that Sonic is, you know…fast? And the loop-de-loops? But you know, it was a funny joke, and…you could argue that Sonic was intentionally exaggerating when he said that, and the fact that he did get motion sickness might even be enough to say that I’m supporting the movie, rather than contradicting it.

I know I haven’t really said much about the episode itself yet, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot to say. It was a comedy—much more successful, I think, than my previous attempt with the Heavy Magician episode. I put a lot of effort into building up punchlines, and just having an actual comedic chemistry between these two characters. I’m a little bit disappointed in myself for trivializing Fang literally immediately after his dramatic character conclusion, but…I actually love Fang and Eggman Nega as a ridiculous comedic villain duo, and I hope to use them in that role again at some point in the future. Fang certainly wouldn’t have much else to do in this series otherwise. As for Eggman Nega…the thought actually occurred to me after I had already started writing this episode, and I was desperately trying to figure out a halfway decent conclusion to this otherwise relatively boring story about trying to clear the Special Stage. I realized that, now that I had a Riders special under my belt, Eggman Nega was literally the only Modern Sonic character that I had yet to reference in any way, shape, or form. (Unless you count the non-Zavok members of the Deadly Six, but I certainly don’t.) Anyways, given Nega’s role of travelling between dimensions, and his hatred of Sonic, he certainly seemed like the right fit for this episode. I was a little bit dubious about using Nega as a character before even properly using Blaze, but I didn’t want to let that get in the way of a good story. But still, him alone just didn’t quite feel right. I wanted to use the Special Stage story first and foremost, but Eggman Nega has zero association with that concept, so using him as the villain in that context would’ve been very strange. But then, who does have an association with the Special Stages? The answer was staring me in the face. Supposedly, it is canon in Sonic Triple Trouble that Fang actually lives in the Special Zone. I intentionally tried to avoid that weirdness, given that the canonicity of Special Stages is dubious to begin with, by simply offhandedly mentioning once or twice that Fang had to take “a long trip” to get to Eggman from where ever it is he came from. Throughout this series, I had definitely considered exploring the concept of Special Stages more than once—including an early prototype plot for the Dawn of Chaos arc, and again as a potential way to flesh out Fang’s character—but it always just felt too weird. Teen Sonic and his use of Warp Rings worked as a phenomenal bridge into that weirdness, finally allowing me to delve into it—and so, to include Fang as well. The rest practically wrote itself. And that’s the basic story of how this episode came to be.

-Too bad I wasn’t able to do any rock-connaissance on the movie.
(Okay, that was terrible, I’m sorry.)

Review: Season 1, Episode 18 (Finale)

Another kicker, this one was. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, the most important episodes are always the hardest to write, because everything needs to be absolutely perfect. As an episode…I’m a little bit hesitant to pass judgement on this one. I felt hyperaware during the writing process of how awkwardly paced this whole thing was, with lots of standing around and talking during what should have been intense and dramatic moments—it’s just hard to do otherwise when there are so many important things that need to be said—in addition to lots of sudden breaks between action sequences that were necessary in order to keep a wider view of events that doesn’t leave any one topic forgotten for too long. But as a conclusion to the season…I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. I was worried about the daunting task of topping part 1 in terms of drama, and while it did take some doing, I think that I at least accomplished that much.

Not everything turned out exactly how I envisioned it. I originally imagined that the raid on the Death Egg would take up a more solid chunk of the episode, as Shadow grudgingly worked together with Sonic to overcome the station swarming with traps and guards and lots of thing to blow up. In general, the big question mark surrounding whether or not Shadow is able to trust Sonic was intended to play a much larger role in the episode. But then I threw Knuckles into the mix. Right up until the day I wrote the conclusion of Part 1, my intention was for that to be the last that was seen of Fang—he shoots Knuckles, takes the Emeralds, turns them over off-screen, and that’s the end of it. I soon decided that it would be too unceremonious of an end for a character who is effectively the main villain of the Season, so I decided the easiest way to get him to a more proper conclusion without changing plans too much would be to throw him on the Death Egg. At the time that I made that decision, it was actually supposed to be Tails who went up along with Sonic and Shadow—Knuckles was intended to be put out of commission for this episode when he was shot. So I figured that Sonic would be the most reasonable candidate of the three to have one final fight with Fang, and then Tails could even have a nice little growth story where he shows that fighting Eggman on his own is no longer proof of anything, but instead is now simply what he expects of himself as a hero. There were a few obvious logical issues that came out of all that. While Fang has certainly mentioned his hatred for Sonic quite frequently, Sonic as a rival for him hasn’t really been built up at all—they only met face-to-face once this Season before these episodes, and they only exchanged a few words. Knuckles, meanwhile, was specifically being built up as a rival (pretty much just for the purpose of taking his hat in the end), so having that final confrontation not include Knuckles would just be strange. Meanwhile, Tails, the medical expert of the Rebellion, abandoning Rouge when it’s being clearly established that she’s dying wouldn’t make any sense at all. And even then, Tails’ growth isn’t really something that’s been focused on this Season, it’s been deferred to next, so having him on the Death Egg wouldn’t really accomplish much. And so, even though it required a lot of rearranging and rethinking of this episode, I chose to swap Tails out for Knuckles. I’m definitely happy with that decision. Though I do wonder if that’s part of the reason writing this episode ended up taking so much longer.

Oh! Right, I was in the middle of something. Adding Knuckles (and Fang, counting those as one complicated decision) meant significantly increasing the amount of time that would be spent on these big boss confrontations, and so the idea of a Death Egg filled with traps and guards became not only unnecessary in terms of balancing the amount of action, but would’ve basically just wasted time. And I figured a completely empty, abandoned Death Egg would’ve added a layer of mystery to hint at Eggman’s true intentions…although I see now that may not have been clear enough, besides the part where Sonic and Shadow overtly discussed it.

There is one thing that did turn out exactly as I’d envisioned it. The simple ending scene, where Shadow learns of Rouge’s condition, and lets out all of his emotions at once on Sonic…that was a scene planned nearly word for word since before I even knew what this season was going to be about. I believe I’ve mentioned previously that the idea of Rouge turning spy for the Rebellion was one of a huge slew of ideas that were all bouncing around before the seasonal structure of this series was solidified, back in the very early phases of Season 0. Analyzing the emotional consequences of various dramatic scenarios was how I first populated this hypothetical series with episode ideas—so naturally, the scenario of Rouge seemingly turning traitor had to come with the weight of how Shadow would respond. That series of ideas eventually led me here.

And did I mention that hat? Why, yes, it was meant to be a reference to the Sonic OVA, thank you for asking. With another Sonic movie coming up, I suppose that’s pretty good timing. In fact, there may have been a couple of new Sonic Movie references thrown into this episode, if you were paying attention. But, anyways, the hat. I admit it. The idea of bringing Fang into the series wasn’t particularly appealing to me…until I realized that I could have Knuckles steal his hat. Yes. That was what sold me on the idea. That was what drove me to write basically this entire season. I regret nothing, and also everything. Usually, I pride myself on remaining vehemently game-canon, and I often have to go out of my way in order to not reference something like the Archie Comics. But if you ask me, Knuckles with a treasure hunter’s hat is the single most memorable thing to come out of that entire movie, and I just couldn’t resist the reference once I’d thought of it.

I suppose I can get into more random stuff now. The “Death Egg Emperor” was a rather last-minute addition. In the early planning phases (back when Tails was still going to be the one to fight it) a simple, perhaps slightly upgraded Death Egg Robot was what I assumed would fill this role. When you bring back the Death Egg, putting a Death Egg Robot on it seems like the next logical step. It only occurred to me as I began writing this episode that Sonic Generations, Mania, and Forces had really gone to great lengths to…I guess, normalize the Death Egg Robot. I realized that it wouldn’t make much of an impact if it were just another one of those things. The plan wasn’t necessarily to “merge” the DER with the final boss of Sonic Heroes, the whole Egg Emperor thing was just…an unfortunate(?) result of the fact that this completely new step up from the DER needed to reflect Eggman’s status as Emperor.

There were plans to have an extended ending scene where everyone meets back up, celebrate their victory, ponder the nature of Eggman’s pre-planning, and so on, but I ended up merging that all into the Daily Log addendum, mostly just for time. The episode was very ready to end, and I didn’t see much reason to drag it on longer than it had to go. I also skipped out on a scene where Eggman would be seen in his base, complaining about how much he hates that hedgehog, but it was cut for similar reasons.

Probably the most last-minute thing of all was Knuckles’ role specifically in the climax. Obviously everything about his role in the episode was last-minute, put this part was actually something that didn’t even occur to me until I wrote the words “What can I do to help?” When Tails was the plan, Sonic’s response was still going to be the same “Wait in the safety bunker” answer, and it was supposed to be a bit more touching with Sonic trying to protect his little bro. But Tails, instead of doing as he was told, would’ve instead gone out searching for a shuttle (planned before I I decided to mention that there were no shuttles) and, when Sonic realized that he was marooned and requested help, Tails would’ve swooped in at the perfect time to pick him up. That whole “I think I might need a little help here” joke was honestly just a hold-out from that otherwise-scrapped plan. The Death Egg room built over the Master Emerald Altar, then, was entirely unplanned until I realized in that moment that I needed something for Knuckles to do that didn’t involve flying. But I figured it would make sense that Eggman would “preserve” that particular location when building over Angel Island, given that Prof. Gerald proved with his replica on the ARK that the structure has a functional significance. Knuckles bringing the Master Emerald back to the closest thing left to “home” worked wonderfully to connect back to a comment he made in part 1 (not intended to be related at the time), as did his conjoined role with the Controller as mentioned by Tikal. Eggman putting a throne for himself on top of the monument that symbolically represents the people he’s conquered was a nice little cherry on top. I’ll admit that part of the inspiration behind that room, and even the throne on top, hearkens back to an issue of the new IDW Sonic Comics, in which, on a mechanized Angel Island (I had that idea first, I swear), Neo Metal Sonic awaited Sonic and friends in a throne room built out of the very same altar. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a reference, just inspiration.

A question I was sort of asking myself by the end was…”Why did I split the Death Egg in half?” Something I originally had in mind was that the Death Egg would naturally start falling apart in that way as it fell through the atmosphere, forcing Sonic and Shadow to each take a separate half. But…for some reason, that just didn’t make sense to me. But the image of the two halves falling one after the other into the ocean, like a literal egg cracked open, was one that stuck with me even as my other plans changed.

Well, I think this has gone on just about long enough. So what’s next? Well, I’ll properly announce here and now that there will be a Sonic Movie Tie-In Special published on February 14th, the day of the movie’s release. After that, we move into Season 2. Season 1 was nice and all, but…for me, it was really just a proving grounds. From here, I start telling the stories that I’ve been anticipating since I first envisioned this series, stories that could only be told on top of the strong foundations that I’ve spent all this time building. Even though you’re probably not, I hope that you’re as excited as I am.

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