For as long as I can remember, people have admired and loved Sonic the Hedgehog for his deep, compelling, and largely airtight lore. But, I have the great misfortune of being forced to point out that for all the grandeur and praise Sega receives (and deserves), they're not always perfect storytellers.
But that's the job of games journalists like me. To present the truth no matter how ugly it might be.
So, with apologies to those whose world's will be shaken by the revelations, let's look at all the ways Sonic Team and Sega have really screwed up Sonic the Hedgehogs lore.
Sonic Forces: Where did Shadow come from?
Lets start with an easy one since I'm sure many of you aren't as experienced diving deep into Sonic lore the way I am. In Sonic Forces, the Blue Blur and his team of anthropomorphized friends have to beat back Eggman and save the world from destruction once again. Fair enough, but among all his friends is the always-popular-for-some-reason Shadow the Hedgehog, now a staple of the cast. That's not a problem in itself, but Shadows origin story has always been very consistent: he's an artificial lifeform created on Space Colony ARK, by Eggman's grandfather Gerald Robotnick. A space station run and operated by humans.
But where are all the humans in Sonic Forces?!
Not once do we see GUN, the human military force, or even another non-furry standing on two legs. Considering we've never seen so many furries in the earlier Sonic stories, we can assume this is a different planet (its geography is very different from the globe we saw in Sonic Unleashed) but if the humans weren't around to make Shadow, where did he come from?!
Hey, speaking of Shadow
Shadow the Hedgehog: How did Eggman survive being killed?
The Shadow the Hedgehog games whole deal other than being garbage was that you could progress through the story any number of ways depending on which objective you complete in your playthrough. Which is a cool idea, and would make for a fantastic game, if it weren't burdened with all the sucking. But anyway. Play it aggressively neutral enough and you face off against Eggman and another one of his underwhelming robots. You beat him, take all the emeralds, then you friggen' kill the dude. Just break his goddamn neck.
But what makes it weird is that if this is your last alternative ending, you unlock the ability to play the true ending. And in the true ending, Eggman isn't dead. He just sort of un-dies. Whats up with that? They don't even do a hand-wave and say he was a robot or a clone or something. He's just there. Offering his unrequited support because hey, it would be kind of hypocritical not to forgive and forget the murder attempt for all the times he tried to do the same, right?
Hey speaking of Eggman
Sonic the Hedgehog 1: How does Sonic save the animals?
Okay, so, according to the Sonic the Hedgehog wiki, which is where Ive spent waaaay too much time in preparation for this article, Eggman's robots otherwise known as Batniks are fueled by life energy, which is why they need some kind of small animal inside them to function. Clearly he doesn't need small animals to power his robots, a lot of his later machines are fueled by something else, but I can buy into him choosing to use small animals because he's a dick. But what I don't get is how Sonic a hero who defeats enemies exclusively through crushing attacks is able to safely extract them from the machine each time he destroys them.
I mean, the typical attack is a jump but that would crush the poor suckers into a paste. Maybe if he ran into them so fast they would cut in two, but then you'd be cutting through the animal as well. He could destroy a different part of the robot and make it explode, but then you're just making an animal blow up. Its stupid. There's no logical way he can do it save stopping in his tracks and prying the machines open.
And that's not to mention all the times he just runs past the machines and leaves them unmolested. Not very heroic of you Sonic. I bet that bird is feeling pretty crappy you didnt rescue him just cuz you gotta go fast, Sonic. Nice. Glad were rooting for you.
Hey speaking of Eggman's army
Sonic Heroes: How did Metal Sonic do anything?
So the whole surprise ending of Sonic Heroes was that Eggman was actually a captive the whole time and the real enemy was Liquid Metal Sonic, who was pretending to be him. Okay, fine. In that game, Eggman tries to rescue himself using Team Chaotic, but decides to test their skills first by having them do crap like hunting crabs on the beach, which is definitely how I'd judge any would-be-rescuers if I was held captive against my will. But I digress, they're the ones who let him go and discover the truth.
Great, small problem: how come Metal Sonic was able to take over Eggmans army? I mean, all he did was look like Eggman and sound like him, but hes made of liquid so he couldn't have the same DNA or fingerprint or anything like that. Does that mean Eggman just employs no cybersecurity? Does he use a password to command his army, or does he just shout? Or were they all staging a coup because of his incompetence and they agreed to work with Metal Sonic? But that would make even less since because these robots have proven many times not to have any wills of their own.
Get your crap together Sega. I want a novelization explaining the details of Eggman's cybersecurity detail and I know I'm not the only one.
Hey speaking of the Mean Bean Machine...
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine: How are you helping anyone?
In DRMBM, you play Has Bean, a small robot bean who has to save all his fellow beans from Dr. Robotnik's aforementioned machine in order to both protect his people and prevent the good doctor from robbing the world of fun and music for reasons? Because he's a dick. Fine.
But to defeat Eggman, you're still using the machine, and sacrificing your own people. You and your enemy are doing the exact same thing when you play, so either you're both freeing the beans in which case, great, you're not needed or you're both killing them to power the machine. So its less of a rescue and more of a tryout. Its disgusting. The whole thing falls apart the moment you even give it a cursory thought.
Also, if its a mean bean machine, does that mean the machine is mean? Or the beans are mean?
Speaking of of being mean
Sonic Adventure 2 and beyond: what's with the moon?
A pivotal moment of the plot of Sonic Adventure 2 is when Eggman, to show off the immense power of the Eclipse Cannon, blows up a chunk of the moon and threatens to blow up earth if all the governments dont surrender to him immediately. Way to absolutely destroy the tides in order to make a point, Eggman, but we've already established you're a dick so fine, the oceans are ruined.
Fans have, for a long time, made a big deal of the fact that in later entries in the series, the moon is whole again, and hypnotized that everyone rotated the moon so that the full side would be facing the earth again. Takashi Iizuka even confirmed it. Great. So its not a mystery, right?
WRONG. Because there are other problems with the moon. In Sonic Heroes, the moon is orange and has a skull on it. In Sonic Advance 3, there's another, small moon that orbits the main moon, which we never see again. And in Sonic the Hedgehog #1, we see a plain crescent moon: but there are stars visible in the darkened section between the tips, implying that the moon is cut in half, which means that canonically Sonic Adventure 2 has to take place before the first Sonic the Hedgehog! That or the moon was always cut in half?! Or they un-rotated it later?!
Sega, I'm so done with this. And I'm not even halfway through with my list. We havent even touched:
Sonic and the Black Knight: the irony that Sonic would fight to end a world when his own series wont.
Sonic Adventure: how do normal people gamble? Do they have to curl up into balls and throw themselves into giant pinball machines? Are there giant pinballs that they have to use, and if so, why doesn't Sonic use them too?
Sonic CD: Why didn't Eggman turn off his death laser to avoid killing Metal Sonic?
Sonic Adventure 2: How did the military confuse Sonic and Shadow when they look like very different Hedgehogs? Are they hedgehog racist because they cant tell them apart? Or are they hedgehog progressive because they don't see color?
How are people supposed to drive if every road seems to have a loop-de-loop on it somewhere?!
How does he keep losing the emeralds if they make him invincible?
How is Knuckles still alive if an Echidna's lifespan is 16 years?
Who finances Eggman? Or, alternatively, how does he finance himself?
How come Tails and Knuckles can move as fast as Sonic and are yet seen as inferior?
But look: Ive written about a lot of important subjects in my op-eds, and none of them compare in either magnitude or importance as today's. I know what you're thinking, "Pocru, you missed April 1st by about two weeks, what the hell are you doing". But let me tell you, this is no joke. This is no prank. I'm 100% serious about this very serious issue, and if you have a drop of serious blood in your serious veins, then you'll agree that this exposure of a once-worshiped icon may well be my magnum opus. The thing that very well may be my longest-lasting legacy on this great green earth. And if I'm fortunate, one day I'll get the chance to do it again. When the world is at peace, and we know no war.
But for now, this is all the heartbreak I can stand.