Official Announcement: Sonic Forces me to Question My Own Judgement

Long title, but I couldn’t resist. Anyhow, I’ve mentioned a few times before that the general theme of Sonic Forces is very similar to my own ideas for this story, which scares me. I’m getting a little tired of using the words “wait and see.” Well, I waited until today, and I saw. New Sonic Forces footage has been released from E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), with more likely to come. This new footage, seen below, actually has me a heck of a lot more excited for the game than I already was, but it also makes me even more scared than ever.

The very first thing you do as Sonic is to go look for Shadow (I think)! It’s so obvious, and it’s so amazing! Story implications for this game just went through the roof! After Sonic Boom, I was really afraid for what they would do with Shadow should he ever reappear in the canon, but now it’s clear that they’re putting him in what is perhaps the exact role I would want to see. But, while nothing absolutely shockingly new happened in this footage (except maybe Silver, but that was already leaked), it put a lot of things in perspective. It is now clear that “Join the Resistance” isn’t just an arbitrary tagline. There is very clearly a larger resistance force at work than just Sonics and the Hero (or is it Avatar now?), especially given the appearance of “Soldier” during the Hero gameplay, suggesting that the forces go beyond even Sonic’s group of friends (a step above what I had planned for at least the first season, so kudos to Sonic Team for that).

Point is, this is turning out a lot closer to what I have than what I was expecting. But it’s not time to abandon ship just yet. Currently, we are finishing up the “Birth of Blacklight” arc. Next up is the “Dawn of Chaos” arc (I’ll give you one guess at the character it introduces). After that was a planned arc which does not have a solidified name yet, which would tie up loose ends and set the stage for Crisis of Chaos. The concept for that…well, let’s just call it “Shadow Forces.” It’s not exactly the same setup as Sonic Forces, but it’s very similar. Sonic becomes incapacitated, and Eggman (as well as another foe) begin taking over the world, with little to stand in their way. Tails manages to recruit Shadow to fight back, then GUN manages to recruit both of them to form a team of generals, composed of all (or most, anyways) of Sonic’s friends. What ensues is a war, including tactics of diversion and defense very similar to those described by the characters in this new gameplay footage. I can no longer ignore these similarities. That’s why I’ve decided to hold back on writing this arc altogether, until I witness the story of Forces for myself, beginning to end. November is quite a ways away. I’ll continue releasing the next two arcs as normal, but after that there will be a long break while I figure this out. I purposefully left room in the timeline for more games to happen between Sonic Lost World and Speed of Time, but I never expected something so heavy on lore after what we’ve been getting over the past 10 years or so. Worst case scenario, Sonic Forces completely obliterates any semblance of canon that my story ever had, and I’ll have to make a spectacular decanonizing special episode very soon into Season 1. That would likely mean that the events of Sonic Forces would be ignored for this upcoming arc, and it would proceed as normal. Best case scenario (which probably isn’t happening at this point because of Silver), everything about Forces falls perfectly into place, stepping on none of my metaphorical toes, in which case I might even be able to convert what I have into a Forces sequel (or at least tie-in).

Speaking of Silver, I give about a 95% chance that I’ll have to start doing some retconning (assuming that I accept Forces as canon to the Chaos Project universe). That would mean literally going back and changing the content of those episodes, and making a note on this website of what was changed. I did what I did with Silver because I assumed he would almost certainly never appear in an important role in a canon Sonic game ever again. Because of that assumption, I constructed the story in a way that does not allow for him to appear between then and 06. But now, he does. Of course, I feel like chances are relatively high (maybe 40% as of now) that this game will end with a giant reset button ala Sonic 06, self-decanonizing the entire contents of the game, including any interactions with Silver. I’m not sure why they would want to do that after the way people complained about 06, but then again, how else would they explain such a rapid removal of Eggman’s influence over 99% of the world? Of course, there are plenty of magic explanations out there, but a time reset would certainly be the easiest and cleanest. One last thing of note is the “Soldier” mentioned earlier. In my story, I have so far inferred and intend to elaborate on the fact that Shadow was one of the only animoids involved with GUN. Of course, there are others, such as Rouge, but the point being made was that it is an occupation dominated by humans. Mr. Soldier was definitely not a human. This doesn’t exactly contradict my story, but I’d say it deserves an explanation. Mr. Soldier may end up with a real name and a character-of-the-week appearance in the Chaos Project. Of course, he might not have been GUN at all, but I’d say the helmet was pretty reminiscent. I’d actually be a little upset if they decided that they should include a military that isn’t GUN. It exists for a reason. But, I suppose Mr. Soldier could be an average joe who only became a soldier when he joined Sonic’s forces, sort of like the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars. I’d be okay with that, but I still really hope they don’t ignore the existence of GUN in this game. It’d be a big waste and a disappointment.

-Until next time, remember, destiny lies before you.

EDIT: 10 steps forward and 1 step back! Take a look.

The preview image for the video alone tells you all you need to know. I was very wrong about the role of Shadow. I’m very fearful of character reversion, but, if we’re being honest, it’s small price to pay for a game with a dramatic, potentially deep and enriching story with continuity to the rest of the series. I won’t even go in to the thousand different theories running through my head. (By the way, Chaos looks gorgeous.)

Preview: Season 0, Episode 8

The hedgehogs have been banished to a place from which there seems no escape. They only have one hope left, the Chaos Emerald. Can they make it in time?

The hedgehogs have stopped. Steep, sharp, high-rising cliffs of ice rise high all around them. High on the top of the cliff directly in front of them, an opening deeper into the cave can be seen. Silver says, “I could probably get us up there. But it would take a while.”

Sonic steps forward. “No time. I’ll go, and bring back the Emerald as fast as I can.” Without waiting for a reply, Sonic runs straight for the wall in front of him. His momentum is enough to allow him to run up several steps. Just as he reaches his peak, he kicks off the wall and onto another, which he runs up for a few more steps. He continues this way, leaping from wall to wall, taking advantage of whatever foothold he can find, until he finally makes it into the opening at the top. He continues in at top speed, leaving his friends behind.

—–—

Sonic has reached a wide clearing in the very center of the glacier. The yellow Chaos Emerald lies in the center. “There it is.” He reaches down to pick it up.

Suddenly, his communicator goes off. “Sonic…I think this is it. This is the end.”

“Don’t say that Tails, I have the Emerald! We’re going to fix everything, right now!”

“I’ve taken shelter in the basement, the rifts seem to move slower through solid mass than they do through air. But they’ve made it all the way through. I’m surrounded on all sides. I only have a few minutes left, maybe less.” Sonic takes on renewed anger and determination at the words, but says nothing. “Sonic…I believe in you. You can fix this. If it’s possible to close the rifts, then it doesn’t matter if I get swallowed. It’ll be like it never happened.” He’s silent for another moment. “I was right. It was less. Sonic…good luck. I–” The message cuts to static.

“Tails? Tails? Tails!?” Static is the only response.

Sonic looks down to the Emerald he holds. He pushes it up slightly, and it begins to float into the air, orbiting around him. Six more Emeralds join it. He closes his eyes and clenches his outstretched hand into a fist. As his fist begins to shake, he begins to lift into the air. His quills raise up as if blown by an unseen wind, as his fur takes on a golden glow. The Emeralds around him orbit faster and faster, until Sonic’s eyes burst open, now a deep red color. “Chaos Control.” With those words, he disappears from the room.

Review: Season 0, Episode 6

Well, this is the first ever episode I’ve made to go over my expected word count limit of 5,000 with a total of 5,337 by the count of my word processing program. If it had gone on much longer, I probably would have just split it into two, but this entire arc already has way too many episodes. The funny thing is, I went into this episode unsure of whether or not I would have to include what will now be the first scene of the next episode, because this one wouldn’t be long enough.

Now, I feel like this episode overall was pretty self-explanatory, and I’ll leave it to you to guess at its implications for the Sonic universe. Everything that was vaguely hinted at in this episode will get a more thorough explanation at a later point in the series. Originally, this whole history with the experiments and the Chaos War was not intended to be explained until not just the final season, but the epilogue, which is years and years away at this point. But when the time came to make Zero, I decided that this would make the perfect backstory for him.

Now, since I have a little bit of free space here, I’ve decided to explain something that I’ve been meaning to for quite a while. As I have mentioned before, Season 0 is composed of what, if matched to my original vision, would actually be video games, not a TV show like the rest of the series. As such, this Speed of Time arc actually has intended gameplay style and mechanics. Loosely resembling the style of Sonic 06, this game would have 3 initial stories, however each one has only one playable character each (Sonic, Zero, and Silver, though Tails, Amy, and Shadow would also be playable in 2-player mode only). Sonic’s story would be unlocked first, and other stories would be unlocked as you encounter their characters for the first time. There would also be a final story unlocked upon beating the other three (which we will be getting into over the next couple of episodes). Now, each character has their own play style, though it would be possible to go back and play old levels as any of the three characters. Sonic’s play style would pretty closely resemble the current accepted model of Sonic games, a high-speed 2D/3D hybrid, focusing on Boost and with parkour as an ability. Silver, breaking from his more traditional 06 style, would more closely resemble dungeon-crawling puzzle solving, making heavy use of Silver’s psychic abilities. Lastly, Zero’s play style might be described as a cross between how Sonic used to play in the Adventure era, and the Werehog portion of Sonic Unleashed, with maybe a little bit of Shadow in 06. A moderate-speed exploration/beat-em-up, in which you would be required to defeat large numbers of enemies in order to progress, and would gain experience and learn new abilities as time goes on. Some abilities, such as those relating to Time Control, would be locked to story progression.

As I said before, any character could play any level, which would be the primary method for unlocking secrets and collectibles. An area in Silver’s level, for example, might be blocked off by a psychic puzzle to solve. However, also nearby might be a cracked wall which Zero can break through, leading to a shortcut area through the level (full of enemies to defeat in Zero’s style), or there might be a long gap with a ramp that only Sonic can Boost over, or wall jump over, or a low wall which only Sonic can run up (leading to a 2D area in Sonic’s style). I guess that sums up all game mechanics that aren’t self-evident. I suppose I can mention that Zero fights more Bosses than anyone else, Sonic plays more levels, and Silver’s levels are far longer. I can also mention music. Obviously, I haven’t actually composed any music myself, but theoretically, Sonic’s theme music and stage music would be primarily orchestrated in the style of Sonic Unleashed and Lost World, Zero’s music would be primarily guitar in the style of the Adventure games, and Silver would be primarily techno/synth, only really comparable to the Classic Sonic levels of Sonic Generations. At some point, all of this information may end up on its own page for game ideas, but this is the only place to put it for now.

– And until next time, remember to live and learn every day!

Review: Cast by the Light Finale

Like the episode release itself, this post details both Part 10 and the Epilogue. Starting with the beginning, I warped time a little bit to have Shadow not finish his boss fight until after the next cutscene had started, just a little creative liberty to improve the story’s flow. Next, the Final Hazard fight was fairly standard, though I did have a lot of fun picking and choosing between the large number of random lines shouted at you throughout the original fight, and stringing them together in ways which seemed to show progression that didn’t originally exist. It is notable that Sonic’s line to Shadow after the fight “at this rate your Super Form won’t last,” was supposed to be said during the fight if you start to run out of rings as Shadow. I moved it over to help convey the same sense of drama at a more appropriate time. Also added to that scene was the flashback describing Shadow’s Inhibitor Rings. What those rings are supposed to be is never once mentioned in the original game, and Shadow isn’t even seen removing them, despite the fact that Sonic is holding one of them later. However, I believe it was Sonic 06 that first canonized them as specifically being Inhibitor Rings, in the final cutscene of his story after the fight with Mephiles. Anyways, I felt it very much needed to be retroactively added. The last change in that scene was an added event in which Sonic grudgingly chooses not to save Shadow. In the original, the possibility of Shadow’s being rescued is not even considered, despite the fact that there’s no specific reason why Sonic can’t have gone after him.

Next is the change that came to what was originally the credits sequence. Particularly the discussion between Tails and Eggman. In the original, Tails shouted, at random, in an almost creepy manner, “We all did it together!” He’s quite famous for that line, actually. That’s why I saw it as particularly necessary to fix. First, I changed his attitude and mannerisms in saying it, though I didn’t remove or change any of the specific words said. I had it suggested that Tails is uncomfortable with the subject of idolized figures not turning out to be what they seem, explaining why he so dramatically changed the subject. Why he would have such discomfort is something that will be explored later in The Chaos Project. Anyways, perhaps that change alone might have been enough, but I took it a step further. I had Tails continue to speak, in way which ties his original statement back into the original subject, despite his discomfort. “Together” matters because it means that Eggman doesn’t need to concern himself with the grandfather that he has surpassed through teamwork. And that’s all for Part 10!

As for the Epilogue, there’s not a whole lot to say for such a short scene. It was actually quite interesting writing for it, since characters in Sonic Heroes are a lot more active and expressive than they were in Sonic Adventure 2, making the whole sequence take a lot longer to describe than it would have if the scene were made for an older game. Even in the middle of dialogue, each character would be behaving in their own way, making it difficult to get all of the timing right. But I enjoyed the change of pace. There were a few liberties taken with how long it takes for Shadow to be fully revealed, since it wasn’t kept much of a secret in the original (seeing as you’ve already chosen him on the character select screen by the time the scene starts). Lastly, I added a line to Rouge’s reconciliation at the end, detailing her own motivations which I felt were missing when defining those of the other two. And that’s all! Cast by the Light is officially finished!

– So until next time, remember to live and learn every day! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to set the stage for a heroes parade!

Review: Cast by the Light Part 9

Originally, I was planning on releasing parts 9 and 10 together, but I realized that I needed a little more time to work on the Chaos Project. Instead, I wrote an Epilogue that I will be releasing alongside part 10. Anyways, the first change in this episode came in the very beginning. As Eggman becomes concerned with with the ARK’s falling, I felt the need to make sure it was specified that the Cannon’s exploding and the ARK’s falling were not related incidents. Otherwise, Sonic would be responsible for nearly destroying the entire planet. That would have been bad. The next change came with Eggman’s explanation of the imminent danger. I don’t remember exactly what the original said, but I remember feeling that there theoretically wouldn’t be as much of a problem with what he was explaining as what the rest of the dialogue in the game ends up suggesting.

There is one creative liberty I took, seeing as this is a story instead of a game. In the previous scene, it was inferred that the game cut to the level just before Eggman began explaining the plan. Instead of having him explain it again over the radio, I had each character’s instructions explained through a flashback that occurred as they were going through the stage, which obviously wouldn’t have been possible in the real game. Another small change came in the form of Eggman and Tails’ goal in getting to the Cannon’s Core. Originally, their target was to destroy two security doors. For what I hope are obvious reasons, that makes no sense. Maybe one door would make sense, since they need an entrance in the first place. But after this, everyone ends up going through the same place, making a second door a complete waste of time and effort. Instead, I had security locks described, machines which prevent access through the single necessary entrance to the liquid-flooded area. Lastly, I modified Amy’s friendship speech to Shadow slightly, since I felt the original “they’re basically good” line was a little bit too awkward. And that’s all for now. Coming next is the most fun I’ve ever had writing for a fight scene!

– Until then, remember to live and learn every day!
(Apparently, I can’t align text to the right anymore, so this little outro doesn’t look as pretty. Oh, well.)

Cast by the Light Part 9: Supporting Me

The action continues to rise in this newest part of Cast by the Light.

“I’m gonna be desperate… I’ll be losing you before long…” And this desperation could not be more true, as the explosive space colony hurdles towards the surface of the planet below, spelling the end of all life. The only way to save the planet is for Sonic, Tails Knuckles, Eggman, Rouge, and Shadow to all bind together in one final effort to stop the colony before it’s too late. But will Shadow really cooperate? Perhaps he wouldn’t, if he knew he were speeding towards his own demise…

Review: Cast by the Light Part 8

This is where the story actually got quite difficult. At this point, the Hero story and Dark story start to contradict each other. Before, there had been minor differences such as those about who won certain fights, but then they each had the same cutscene afterwards anyways, so it was easily fixable. But much larger difference started to show up here, which you almost wouldn’t notice playing the game casually. For example, in the Dark story, Eggman defeats Tails, takes the Emerald, and tells Shadow to deal with Sonic. But in the hero story, Sonic makes it back to the ARK, defeats Shadow, puts the fake Emerald into the Cannon, and makes it back to the outside of the Research Lab just as Tails defeats Eggman. Time wise, it just doesn’t match up. Then, of course, there’s the problem of which Emerald actually makes it into the Cannon (which will be given an in-universe explanation in the next part). In the Dark story, the Cannon doesn’t explode, it just fails to fire and then the colony starts falling. In all technicality, the Dark story actually makes more sense to be what really happened, since the Cannon is in working order and is fired in Shadow the Hedgehog. Problem is, that would make for a terrible story if Tails failed to beat Eggman and then Eggman accomplished exactly what he set out to do. So, Tails beat Eggman, but Eggman still stole what he thought was the real Emerald, which, in the only explanation I could come up with, Sonic used Chaos Control to swap with the real one (and I had to add a few seconds to the timestamp to allow Sonic time to do this in a scene that didn’t exist in the original). Sonic never actually went back to the Cannon himself, allowing the timelines to line up a bit better. The only change left was to have Eggman tell Shadow to deal with Sonic during his fight with Tails instead of after.

As for other changes, the first major one was to add a thought to Shadow’s meeting with Sonic after believing him to be dead. In the original, Shadow first says that he believes Sonic’s Emerald is real, but then almost immediately turns around and accuses that Sonic can’t possibly have used a fake to do what he did. So, I felt it necessary to add a thought in which Shadow specifically realizes that the Emerald isn’t real like he thought it was, allowing for a more smooth, entire thought process to be expressed. Lastly, after Shadow’s statement upon being defeated, I added one last thought, suggesting that Shadow was, at some point, informed by the Professor about a being equal in strength to his own, able to use Chaos Control. This was a lead-in to the Chaos Project, in which I will be exploring the many memories which Shadow has still failed to recall in the present. And that will be all until next time, a special double episode for the Final Story, in which Sonic Adventure 2 reaches its final climax.

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

Cast by the Light Part 8: For True Story

A little late again, the conclusion to the Hero and Dark stories is here at last.

Read it right here!

“Stars don’t twinkle, the moon doesn’t shine…” And the moon certainly can’t shine, now that half of it has been blown out of the sky. And up on the ARK, high in space, stars certainly don’t twinkle. Perhaps Shadow thinks of this as some metaphor for his own life as he begins the final conflict with his rival, while Tails and Eggman duel over the fate of Sonic, Amy, the final Chaos Emerald, and the world.

Review: Cast by the Light Parts 6 and 7

Another combination review for lack of content. In fact, Part 6 has almost nothing. Just the note that I added a little bit to either side of the scene where Knuckles opens the door, the later end of which because, as I mentioned in an earlier review, they don’t like showing people actually opening doors for some reason. As for the beginning of the scene, I just wanted to clearly demonstrate that Knuckles did beat King Boom Boo, without actually describing the reality-screwing physics of that fight. And that’s all for that! As for part 7, there was a little bit of dialogue right at the beginning I felt the need to alter. Even though Sonic, Tails, and Amy had clearly been walking through the ARK for quite some time since landing, and Knuckles had every reason to have separated from them immediately upon landing (if not sooner), the original script had Sonic behave as if he were only just realizing that Knuckles was no longer with them. Not only that, but Sonic had only just been talking as if Knuckles clearly weren’t there (at least, I assume he wouldn’t insult Knuckles in the third-person if he were standing right there). So altered it just a bit to convey more the sense that Sonic had been ranting about Knuckles ever since he left, and only just then got to the question of where he actually went. Besides that, I added a few thoughts and flashbacks for Sonic throughout the part. And that’s all!

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

Cat by the Light Part 7: E.G.G.M.A.N.

The plot thickens with this newest episode!

Here it is!

“I am the Eggman, with the master plan…” And as his plan continues to unfold, Sonic and friends realize they could be in the greatest danger they’ve ever faced. Will Sonic survive his trip to the ARK, and save the kidnapped Amy?