Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

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Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Sat May 09, 2015 1:42 pm

I've been studying 06 story very carefully and after long considerations I think I have the theory that covers all the plot holes; it explains how time travel works, why no one used it more often, why only main characters remained in "End of the World" and even how Elise could hold that blue emerald for all these years

1 What about Ian's explanation?
I don't know if Sega gave it to him or did he created that explanation on him own, however his 'four timelines' theory doesn't make any sense. Why would Mephiles send Silver to the past? Iblis is already free. Besides, if Silver going back in time changes 1 timeline into timeline 2, and Sonic with Elise changed 3 into 4, who caused change between 2 and 3? There is no time traveler who would change events.


2 Ok, how time travel works?
There are two basic theories how time travel works, I call them "crossroads" and "detour".
"Crossroads" is the idea you seen in "Back to the Future", "Zelda: Ocarina of Time" or "Sonic CD". The future can be changed. Your want a cookie, but your brother already ate it? You go back in time and eat it first. That created two timelines, 'hungry you' and 'hungry brother'. Whenever first timeline still exists or gets erased depends o the fiction.
"Detour" is theory from "Harry Potter", "Gargoyles" or "Rise of Lyric". Future is set in stone. If you go back for that cookie then either your action will actually cause your brother to eat that cookie or (rarely) make no effect.
And yes, I know that it doesn't make sense. There should be 'timeline prime' in which there was no time travel and you ate a cookie, but there isn't. "Detour" suggest that time travel already happened before you decided to go back in time, so your action A causes you to take action B, which will cause action A. Cause and result change places. Still, many famous stories use it, so who am I to judge?

With that knowledge you can see that time travel in 06 fits perfectly into 'detour' category. Egg Carrier crashes (action A), which causes Sonic to go back in time to save Elise (B), which causes Egg Carrier to crash. Or Shadow seals Mephiles, which allows him to release him later, which causes him to go back and seal him in a first place. There is more examples, but you get a drill.

3 But why heroes don't even try to change past?
That depends from each hedgehog.
Sonic doesn't have a good reason to risk messing with time. He does it only as a last resort, like when Elise died or when he was stuck in future.
Silver has no choice, time travel is the only way to save his future. However after his team-up with Shadow two things happen.
1 He has no ideas how to stop Iblis in the past ('kill Sonic' isn't an option anymore)
2 He learns how to stop him in a future; by sealing him in a person.
Lastly Shadow could easily call Sonic, use Chaos Control and stop himself from releasing Mephiles. Who knows, maybe he even considered it. But from all main heroes he's most aware how time travel works; first he saw Omega in the past (event A) which caused Rouge to send him there (event B), and then learned how Mephiles was sealed. With those two examples of 'detour' he might've guessed how it works and that this plan wouldn't work anyway.

4 Fine, explain Mephiles actions.
This one is mostly a guess, based more on loose evidence. I think that Mephiles
1 knows how time travel works (so he knows that future is unchangeable and everything is destined to happen)
2 HOWEVER, he's also destined to do them. That's why he can't just go into the future and fuse with Iblis: he must release him from Elise first.
3 he also PARTIALLY knows the future (either by some extra power we don't know about or by simply looking into the future newspapers), but not all of it; he knew that Sonic's death will free Iblis, but he thought that Silver will do this.

That's why he tries to convince Shadow into joining him: he plays 'self fulfilling prophecy'. Shadow would become evil and humanity would turn against him.
He also probably knew that Silver will show up in a past, so he decided to cause to help him do it and manipulate Silver into killing Sonic. Then Silver would cause his own future (instead his actions had no effect).

5 You're theory has one giant hole: future WAS changed! Sonic erased Solaris from existence, remember?
Yes, but when that happens? After Solarist started to 'destroy time itself'. My guess is that with world damaged on psychical level, rules of psychics (and time) can be damaged to and work differently.

6 You mentioned that you know why only main cast appear in this void?
At first I was going to just say 'plot convenience' and ignore it, but then I noticed: Elise is special because Iblis was sealed in her. Everyone else has one common trait: they are time travelers. Team Sonic and Dark did this to escape from the future, SIlver at the beginning of his story.
And Amy and Eggman? They passed this test waaaay back in Sonic CD. Sure, we never seen them doing that, but someone had to install those machines in the past and I doubt Metal has enough skills to do so.
But then again, 'plot convenience' sound good too.

7 So what's with Elise's emerald?
This is a fun one: we know that Sonic and Elise went back in time and erased this game from existence. But how much did they changed? We don't know how far they went, it could be 10 years, it could been hundreds. Butterfly effect could change a lot.
So I believe that there are two major timelines.
Timeline 1 (Sonic 1991) in which all games happened, except for Sonic 2006.
Timeline 2 (Sonic 2006) in which 06 definitely happened (and probably Sonic CD), but other might not.
Maybe other echidnas still exist, which would explain why Knuckles isn't guarding Master Emerald.
Maybe Maria was never killed, which would explain why Shadow works for G.U.N.
Definitely one Chaos Emerald was in Elise hands all this time, so Sonic never went Super before. That also explains why Shadow didn't tried to go Super solo to fight Solaris; he also never did that before.
So yes, 2006 timeline was first, but after Solaris was destroyed it was erased in favor of 1991timeline.

8 I still feel like you missed something.
Sigh, yes there is one plot hole that I haven't explained: Silver's future. How can exist future destroyed by Iblis, if Mephiles already fused with him into Solaris and they destroyed everything completely? I have two theories, but they aren't very convincing.
1 Mephiles didn't fused immediately with Iblis, he waited years for Silver (because he believed that Silver is necessary for his plan). It didn't looked like this, but remember that Mephiles starts destroying time. It could mess with time perception and bring time travelers from different moments in history.
But even if you buy that nonsense, there is easy counter argument: where is Blaze? If she sealed Iblis in her, then Mephiles can't fuse with him. If Mephiles screwed logic he was using so far and changed the future (by removing this event) then Blaze should still live and be with other time travelers.
2 This scenario suggest that timeline 2 (2006) didn't disappeared after Sonic and Elise went back in time.
Instead story went further; Solaris was defeated, but not killed (if Iblis can't be killed, how Solaris would). So the only thing to do was to split Solaris once more and seal Mephiles and Solaris in new prisons. It worked with Mephiles (make better scepter, bury it very deep. Easy), but not with Iblis (because sooner or later his princess prison will die of old age) and he finally burned the world, creating Silver's future.
You can argue that this can't be true; this timeline was erased when Elise blew up the flame. Well, maybe it did. However it kept going for a while, for future events with Silver to happen, since they are required for this story to happen.

Uff, I'm done. So what do you think? Good? bad? TL;DR? Yeah, I bet it's going to be the last one.
Last edited by MetalSkulkBane on Sat May 09, 2015 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby The KKM » Sat May 09, 2015 2:10 pm

I constantly regret not having fav'd a link to the Retro post that managed to glue everything together but the final story, but it made more sense than this one I'm afraid

it worked by shifting timelines, basically- the silver of timeline A travels back in time, causing timeline B, and keeps acting in that timeline while the native Silver of that timeline travels to timeline C, etc.

It eventually managed to cover everything, including the Chaos Emerald loop
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Sat May 09, 2015 2:24 pm

The KKM wrote:I constantly regret not having fav'd a link to the Retro post that managed to glue everything together but the final story, but it made more sense than this one I'm afraid

it worked by shifting timelines, basically- the silver of timeline A travels back in time, causing timeline B, and keeps acting in that timeline while the native Silver of that timeline travels to timeline C, etc.

It eventually managed to cover everything, including the Chaos Emerald loop


Well, I never seen it, so I can't say if you're right.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Mordum » Sat May 09, 2015 4:12 pm

The time travel rules don't matter.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Sat May 09, 2015 4:53 pm

Mordum wrote:The time travel rules don't matter.


Well, you're a real party pooper. 'time travel doesn't matter", 'all fiction never happen', what if care about those stuff and want to take them seriously?
(If you're just joking then I can't really tell)
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Joggoman » Sat May 09, 2015 5:03 pm

I've got the previous time you posted that theory, KKM.

http://www.bumbleking.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3737

As for MetalSkulkBane's theory, something I noticed right away is the inconsistency in time travel if you include Sonic CD. Granted, we don't know what time travel happened "canonically", but it would seem that Sonic and Eggman both have the capacity to change the future as they see fit, which would go against the detour theory.

I liked your explanation for why Mephiles goes through time travel shenanigans to fuse with Iblis, but I'm still not sure it explains why he acted through Silver. Surely killing Sonic himself would be the first thing he tried, rather than through a convoluted plan with a gun for hire? Then again, his plans rely entirely on the notion that Elise will cry upon Sonic's death. How does he know that she would cry? How does he know that the two happened to form a bond in such short a time? And if he does know for certain, why does he not know that he did the deed himself?

Ugh, there goes 06 making my brain rant again.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Mordum » Sat May 09, 2015 5:33 pm

MetalSkulkBane wrote:'all fiction never happen',


That was a joke.

'time travel doesn't matter",


This is a misquote, as time travel is obviously significant in a story centered around traveling through time.

A Sexually Attractive Man wrote:The time travel rules don't matter.


Sonic 06 is a story driven purely by emotion and emotional logic, with the story largely about what finally happens when these cosmically attuned Looney Tunes can do whatever they want. The actual method to the madness of the time travel, given the story's themes, is largely immaterial, and I have no problem in assuming that multiple, probably conflicting, time travel rules are occurring simultaneously. Sussing out those nitty gritty details, arguably, misses the greater point.

There IS such a thing about prioritizing in fiction.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Mavrickindigo » Sat May 09, 2015 9:28 pm

Japanese fiction is often more about themes and emotional things than straight up logic. So stuff tends to not make logical sense, but instead follows a thematic sense.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Sun May 10, 2015 6:53 am

Joggoman wrote:I've got the previous time you posted that theory, KKM.
http://www.bumbleking.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3737

That theory explains Silver's future, but in the end falls in same traps a Flynn's theory.
Just look at the 'original timeline'
1 Let's say I'm buying that half dead grampa managed to seal two demons, despite their army of monsters.
2 Then I buy that Shadow just stumbled onto Red Emerald
3 BUT where Sonic got Blue Emerald? If there was no Silver, no one gave it to Elise, so she didn't gave it to Sonic. He stumbled on it again?
4 Final nail in a coffin: WHY MEPHILES SENDS SILVER AND BLAZE TO THE PAST? Iblis is released, he won. It's not like he needs them to collect Chas Emeralds, he's able to do that on his own. He has eternity and no rivals. Why would he sent them to kill Sonic, he's no threat to him and Elise already cried on her own.

Joggoman wrote:As for MetalSkulkBane's theory, something I noticed right away is the inconsistency in time travel if you include Sonic CD. Granted, we don't know what time travel happened "canonically", but it would seem that Sonic and Eggman both have the capacity to change the future as they see fit, which would go against the detour theory.

I left that on purpose to see if anyone notices :D . Answer is simple: time travel with Time Stones works differently than time travel with Chaos Control. What would be even the point of Time Stones, if Chaos Emerald allow you to time travel too?

As for the other questions, yeah, it is baffling. There are only two explanations 1 That he's VERY convoluted master planner and he predicted everything INCLUDING that Silver won't kill Sonic (but that's still somehow part of the plan) or 2 that he partially knows the future. Maybe he found newspaper which talks how Sonic's death started end of the world and about silver hedgehog trying to kill him. That or he visits fortune teller :P

Mordum wrote:Sonic 06 is a story driven purely by emotion and emotional logic, with the story largely about what finally happens when these cosmically attuned Looney Tunes can do whatever they want. The actual method to the madness of the time travel, given the story's themes, is largely immaterial, and I have no problem in assuming that multiple, probably conflicting, time travel rules are occurring simultaneously. Sussing out those nitty gritty details, arguably, misses the greater point.

There IS such a thing about prioritizing in fiction.


Hmm, that's true. There are many stories that focus more on feels than logic, and 06 can be considered to be one of them.

Still, I'm one of those guys who like to over think fictional stories :)
(To some degree of course. That's still franchise about talking blue hedgehog.)
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Mordum » Sun May 10, 2015 7:58 am

MetalSkulkBane wrote:Hmm, that's true. There are many stories that focus more on feels than logic, and 06 can be considered to be one of them.

Still, I'm one of those guys who like to over think fictional stories :)
(To some degree of course. That's still franchise about talking blue hedgehog.)


I'm all for overthinking, and you're obviously entitled to discuss whatever you want about 06, but (if you don't mind me shpieling and whining) so much of what's come to disappoint me about people who discuss this sort of stuff is the fact that they think SO AGGRESSIVELY LITERALLY that you never really get comments beyond the worldbuilding of things that're, by their own admission...

That's still franchise about talking blue hedgehog.)


People admit this stuff is silly and goofy, yet treat it with scrutiny?

I dunno. I never cared about the actual logic of 06's time travel. I have trouble understanding why someone would. I actually prefer to outright interpret the game as having completely incompatible and contradictory time travel rules just to emphasize the emotional prioritizing of the story, due to the subjective nature of magic and the religious nature of the Chaos Emeralds as miracle catalysts. The Chaos Emeralds have no real rules but their own, and are inherently subject to the resolution needed for a crisis at a given moment. I like the idea of Chaos Control as a really personal, instinctual, primal version of ontological manipulation that the user might not even realize doesn't even really follow any rules beyond the ones he or she thinks he needs to follow. THAT'S far more interesting an idea to me, on an emotional and thematic level, than whether or not the rigid literalism of someone's rubric is knocked and fitted point for point.

It's like the LGBT thread. I remember watching Legend of Korra and really liking how bloodbending was used as a callback to emphasize Noatak's insecurity and desire for godhood, and how LOK as a whole was an action comedy about a world whose theological advancement had equaled its technological, secular advancement, and what it's like to save the world when godhood is only a step away for enterprising individuals. What it means to define yourself by your cosmic destiny in a world that figured out how to manufacture its own if you're clever enough. Mortal and God blurring together.

And then you go online and it's just a bunch of basement dwellers screaming "LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE" like mentally disabled walruses.

We exist in a culture that does not, even remotely, care about actually deciphering context, but rather applying raw data to completely unrelated and often subjective rubrics pretending to be objective. I have an entire ramble about how fanfiction culture (and its indirect descendent, TV Tropes culture) has basically ANNIHILATED discussion about genre fiction and has birthed an entire generation of writers who, should they become professionals, will do absolutely nothing but dumb down what's already been wittled down into an excessively stupid media environment, but that's another thread. To actually see someone insist a writer did not care about his setting because he used what tools he found appropriate for his emotional, thematic message would've been beyond heartbreaking except for the fact that I already know...that's writing now. Sorry, Gilgamesh, you punching a drought doesn't make sense so your entire message about valuing the immortality of your deeds doesn't matter. Artemidorus had no way of knowing about the conspiracy, so why take Brutus and Cassisus's descent with any heart? Animals and humans aren't biologically compatible, so obviously we're cursed with thousands of "terribly written" Zeus myths.

And again, none of this is me necessarily pointing a finger and saying "STOP QUESTIONING THE TIME TRAVEL." But I always thought the obsession over the time travel ruined the conversation about whether or not the story had any merit at its core. I mean, you have people claiming the story "retconned" itself, because we've become so conditioned to literal thinking vis a vis superhero comic books attempting to regulate their canon that the idea any sort of time reversal might have had some thematic meaning just does not occur to people, because unfortunately the loudest and most passionate fans tend to be the most simplistic, becoming angry the exact moment a story isn't about walking from A to B.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Sun May 10, 2015 9:59 am

Mordum wrote:
MetalSkulkBane wrote:Hmm, that's true. There are many stories that focus more on feels than logic, and 06 can be considered to be one of them.

Still, I'm one of those guys who like to over think fictional stories :)
(To some degree of course. That's still franchise about talking blue hedgehog.)


I'm all for overthinking, and you're obviously entitled to discuss whatever you want about 06, but (if you don't mind me shpieling and whining) so much of what's come to disappoint me about people who discuss this sort of stuff is the fact that they think SO AGGRESSIVELY LITERALLY that you never really get comments beyond the worldbuilding of things that're, by their own admission...


Sorry if that felt aggressive, I didn't meant that. It suppose to emphasize the most important points. Do you think I should change their size?


As for your second argument, I get what you mean. I read your description of 06 storyline and it's really interesting vision. Maybe Sonic would be better franchise if it focused on 'feels' over 'logic'. Problem is that Sonic is a big franchise, with sequels. And that makes problems.

Take Sonic Adventure for example. It was my first Sonic game and I really liked the ending. Positive chaos energy, calming Chaos by beating him, that was all 'feels' and I liked it. And then Flynn wrote 184, where Sonic wants to "beat evil out of Knuckles". That doesn't make sense. And it isn't about feels, because Chaos was full of anger, Knuckles is just mind controlled. Suddenly 'feels' doesn't work when there is a sequel.
How about Chaos Emeralds? If they were about 'feels' then they could do whatever you want. But Chaos Emeralds are in almost every Sonic story, so writing would becomes really hard (or very easy, depending how you look at it). If they could grant wishes in one game, why wouldn't they do it in another?

Now, I'm not saying that big franchises can't be focused on 'feels'. But if someone reads ancient myths, they know that there is meaningful subtext. Very, veeeery few people playing Sonic games look for as deep context as yours. You must either
1 make story enjoyable for both crowds, those who look for 'logic' and those who look for 'feels' (Like Korra did. Honestly, I would never describe this show in a way you did it).
2 give audience a hint that story suppose to be deeper. Everyone knows that 'journey' is symbolic, but who think that about Sonic?
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Mordum » Sun May 10, 2015 12:21 pm

MetalSkulkBane wrote:Sorry if that felt aggressive, I didn't meant that. It suppose to emphasize the most important points. Do you think I should change their size?


Oh, no no! Just a general statement. You're fine.

(And besides, I tried to do more than whine and contribute to your thread. "The Chaos Emeralds work on purely subjective miracles that time travel in the exact way needed to at that time" is basically my official guess for how 06 works. If you want to talk about that more, and want me to stop being a dummy, we can absolutely do that! But the Chaos Emeralds are always described as miracle generators, it actually makes more sense that the time travel ISN'T consistent.)

Now, I'm not saying that big franchises can't be focused on 'feels'. But if someone reads ancient myths, they know that there is meaningful subtext. Very, veeeery few people playing Sonic games look for as deep context as yours. You must either
1 make story enjoyable for both crowds, those who look for 'logic' and those who look for 'feels' (Like Korra did. Honestly, I would never describe this show in a way you did it).
2 give audience a hint that story suppose to be deeper. Everyone knows that 'journey' is symbolic, but who think that about Sonic?


I feel like, for franchises like Sonic (where there isn't much subtext and it tends to be all maintext), it's a bit damaging to look at things so literally. I mean, I'd say the same thing about Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is my favorite story of all time, but it's pure schlock. And not exactly a heavy, symbolic subtext. It's pretty out and open about what it is. I'd never saw Sonic is Gilgamesh, but I don't think the apple fell too far from the tree either.

I don't think there's much wrong with letting a few plot points, of any given game, slide as long as the full thing comes together for the story it's trying to tell and the point it's trying to make. It's one thing if there's a logical gap so immense that it UNDERMINES the themes of the story. That I totally understand. But I don't quite understand why people would, for Sonic of all things, get particularly antsy about the details.

The thing about being super into logic is that you tend to run into that with people who really like kidvid and franchises for children. They follow very similar, simple structures and it gives off this impression that you CAN have this simple rubric of "Oh, well OBVIOUSLY all stories follow these specific rules because all my favorite stories are Saturday morning monomyths." I liked that Sonic 06 got a little abstract and didn't sweat the details. It's not avant garde by any stretch, or even especially sophisticated, but I really did like how it set itself apart from the other Sonic stories.

But people super into kid's franchises are, paradoxically, way too detail oriented...when most of kid's stuff is really about not sweating those details.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Vampfox » Mon May 11, 2015 8:16 am

The whole thing falls apart when you realize that Mephiles could have just time traveled to the point where Elise died and Iblis was released and just fused with Iblis right then and there.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Mon May 11, 2015 9:52 am

Vampfox wrote:The whole thing falls apart when you realize that Mephiles could have just time traveled to the point where Elise died and Iblis was released and just fused with Iblis right then and there.


My theory explains that, look point 4.
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Re: Sonic 2006: Time Travel Explained

Postby Scruffy » Sun May 24, 2015 12:27 am

Gah, Sonic '06. This game drives me crazy - mostly trying to play it, but the plotholes in the script too. I'm not exactly looking forward to when I get up to it in my marathon. But regarding the time travel... all the alternate timeline possibilities give me a headache. My personal policy is to look at it from one of the two following viewpoints:

1. It never happened because of the ending, so why does it matter?
or
2. No alternate timelines - what happened is what always happened. This game was, as the Doctor would put it, a fixed point in time.

First of all, some background. Two of the best time travel movies of all time are Back to the Future and The Terminator, both of which approach how time travel works in very different ways. In Back to the Future, Marty is able to change the future by meeting his parents - when he returns to 1985 he finds his parents are now successful, in better shape and much happier, and even his siblings have cleaned up their act. The Terminator, on the other hand (this is only the first one, not the sequels), gives the message that you can't change the future. Kyle Reese goes back in time to save Sarah Connor and prepare her to raise her son John as the saviour of the future, and in doing so, actually conceives that same child with her.

So for Sonic '06, I like to keep things simple and believe that it's using The Terminator version of time travel - everything that happened is what always happened. The best example of this is when Sonic and Silver see the Egg Carrier blowing up and believe Elise has been killed. What they don't realise is that the future version of Sonic has already boarded the Egg Carrier and gotten Elise to safety in one of the coolest sequences of the whole game. If you look at it from this point of view, obviously there are always going to be a few plotholes. I haven't played the game in four years, but these are the ones I can think of:

- how could Elise have had the blue Chaos Emerald for ten years when Sonic and certain others have been using them to go super?
- if time is fixed, how could Sonic and Elise snuff out Solaris at the end of the game?
- just what in the name of all things good and sticky was Blaze doing in Silver's time rather than her own dimension? (actually, I think this is a plothole no matter whether you think the timelines shifted or not)

Two of those are... sort of easy enough to explain away. With the blue Chaos Emerald the easiest explanation is that she lost the Emerald at some point, at which point it wound up on South Island and was used by Sonic to defeat Dr. Robotnik (as he was called at the time). At some point after... whatever game came before '06... I think that was Rush? Or Riders? Anyway, some time after the Chaos Emeralds were used in that game, the blue one ended up back in Elise's possession. With Sonic and Elise blowing out Solaris at the end of the game, I agree with MetalSkulkBane's idea that time was shattered by the fully realised Solaris after Sonic's death. Whether it was Solaris who rewrote the rules or the trio of super-powered hedgehogs, the damage was extensive enough to allow Sonic and Elise to slip backwards through time and prevent the whole thing from ever happening.

That still leaves Blaze unaccounted for though, as well as the question of why she didn't return at the end of the story, since time was rewritten to stop her from merging with Iblis. This one is kind of iffy, but I like to believe that when she merged with Iblis and Silver used Chaos Control to throw her into another dimension that she wound up in the Sol Dimension, perhaps with an altered memory (not knowing a certain blue hedgehog, for instance, and not realising that her fire powers came from Iblis all along). Of course, that still doesn't explain how she got to Silver's world in the first place, which has to happen to create a stable time loop. It also doesn't explain why she's not summoned at the end of time like the rest of the cast. ...this is where my argument falls apart, 'cos I've got nothing other than, "A wizard did it." :P
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