Sonic the Hedgehog (2006 video game)

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"...insufficient."
Shadow the Hedgehog

Princess Elise of Soleanna is the key to the "Flames of Disaster," which Dr. Eggman wants to combine with the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds to rule through all time. Just happening to be around town, Sonic the Hedgehog must protect Elise from Eggman and, with his friends, foil the mad doctor's scheme. Meanwhile, a telekinetic hedgehog from the future aptly named Silver (even though he looks like he's actually white) and a cat named Blaze come to the present to prevent their Bad Future by destroying the "Iblis Trigger." Elsewhere, Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat must contend with Mephiles the Dark, who wants to activate the Iblis Trigger.

Released near the end of 2006 for the Xbox 360, and then a few months later for the PlayStation 3, Sonic the Hedgehog was an attempt by Sega to undo the Polygon Ceiling that the series had been struggling with for some time, such as camera issues and occasionally wonky controls and physics.

However, by forcing the game out for a Christmas release and developing it for two advanced, brand-new consoles, what we got instead was a very Obvious Beta that not only failed to address the flaws the franchise was hit with in the 3D realm, but actually accentuated them. The controls were slipperier than ever, the camera was even more offensive, the Havok physics engine was clearly implemented for the sake of having a physics engine, and the loading times were some of the worst to ever hit a console game -- and that's not even mentioning the tangled web that was the plot. To add insult to injury, this was the title that marked the Hedgehog's 15th anniversary, and somehow, after spending an extra six months working on a PlayStation 3 port, they somehow managed to make it even worse without fixing any of the previous version's issues.

With Sonic being a certified Long Running Cash Cow Franchise, however, the game still sold well enough to be inducted into the Xbox's Platinum Hits line. Even to this day, you may sometimes find, hiding in some obscure corner of the Internet, a few valiant defenders of the game. Your Mileage May Vary as to whether the game is playable, outright broken, or if nothing else had some good ideas going -- but the one thing most people agree on is that most of the ideas were not implemented well, and that they alone were insufficient to save the game.

This was the nadir of Sonic's career, but Sega, luckily, realized it; they have all but disavowed the game and have made sure to produce, by general reception's consensus, steadily better games since. And if nothing else, even the Broken Base can agree that things can't get any worse for the series than they did with Sonic '06. However the game is still canon, as games such as Sonic Generations have demonstrated.

Tropes used in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006 video game) include:
  • Accentuate the Negative: No one is calling this game a masterpiece, (Well...) but most people tend to view it as the most awful game in the entire history of existence. Even when it first came out it managed to receive a few (mildly) positive reviews (Game Informer gave it a 6.0 out of 10 for example - and they hated Shadow the Hedgehog), but due to its reputation, it's become one of the most despised games ever, even beating out Big Rigs Over the Road Racing as Worst Game Of The Decade.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Egg Carrier mkII, which looks more like a scaled-up fighter-style vehicle in this than the bulky flying base from Sonic Adventure.
  • Anyone Can Die: Let's see the death count for this game; Duke Soleanna, his fellow researchers, Princess Elise and Dr. Eggman (Until Sonic goes back in time to avert the disaster that kills them), and even Sonic himself in the last episode.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Apparently, it's a better usage of the Soleanna city guards' time to concoct inane "figure out who our Captain is!" puzzles for Sonic to solve rather than, y'know, searching for the captured princess they're supposed to protect. As far as Soleanna's police force is concerned, it's entirely up to Sonic to save their princess. For extra idiocy, the Captain in the aforementioned puzzle? He's the one who gives you the mission in the first place, that is, the one you talk to first.
  • Apocalypse How: And how! Solaris definitely tried to pull a class Z on us.
    • Iblis managed to pull something between Class 2 and 4.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Don't cry, no matter what happens"
    • "Smile!"
  • Artificial Stupidity: The partners tend to fall and constantly die.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A few bosses.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: How Sonic's part of the game begins.
  • Bad Future: Silver's future has been devastated by Iblis who was released due to the death of Elise in the present.
  • Bald of Evil: The removal of Eggman's goggles played up his chrome-dome.
  • Barrier Maiden: Elise and Blaze take turns being Iblis' living seal.
  • Beehive Barrier: One of the enemies can shield itself that way from Silver.
  • Behind the Black: A cutscene has Eggman literally hiding Elise there, pulling her on-camera from just off to the side after a wide shot showing only him, and nothing she could be hiding behind.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Eggman for Sonic, Mephiles for Shadow, and Iblis for Silver. And Solaris (the complete form of Mephiles and Iblis) for the Last Episode.
  • Big No: Shadow lets out one that sounds like "NUUUOOOOAAAAGGHHHH!!!" whenever he falls down a Bottomless Pit during gameplay. Elise also delivers one as a Skyward Scream during a cutscene in the Last Episode when Mephiles kills Sonic. Silver also lets one out when he falls into Bottomless Pits.
  • Blackout Basement: Lighting up purple gems to see in a fiery world.
  • Bloodless Carnage: When Mephiles stabs Sonic through the abdomen from behind, there's not one speck of blood to be seen during or after.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with Soleanna's Festival of Light.
  • Boss Subtitles
  • Bottomless Pits: A number in the game, some in very inconvenient places and some in ridiculous places.
  • Bullfight Boss: One of the first bosses you encounter.
  • But You Screw One Goat! Kiss One Hedgehog!: An impliedly dead hedgehog, to be exact.
  • Came Back Strong: The controversial kiss from Princess Elise not only revives Sonic from dead-but-not-really-death, but also transforms him into Super Sonic for the final boss.
  • Camera Screw
  • Canon Discontinuity: The game's ending erases it from the Sonic canon. In a stunning move for this fanbase, nobody complained.
  • Captain Obvious: Many, many examples are in this game.
    • "The whole city's on fire!"
    • "That tornado's carrying a car!"
    • "Lava shoots up from that fiery ground!"
    • "I can't catch lasers with my telekinesis."
    • "The instability of time caused this time-space rift."
  • Character Title: Like the first game.
  • Check Point Starvation: The End of the World.
  • Cherry Blossoms: They foreshadow Sonic's death in the Last Episode.
  • Christmas Rushed: It was rushed into production for a Christmas release to mark it as the 15th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Wave Ocean features a whale chase a la Emerald Coast from the first Sonic Adventure. The Egg Carrier '06 is a fancier, redder upgrade to the Adventure Egg Carrier.
    • Tails' line "Whoa! My head's spinning!" when he's running a large loop returns from Sonic Heroes.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Blaze the Cat. A common fan theory is that Blaze's world in the Rush games is merely the "good" future, while the Blaze in this game is from the "bad" future. This doesn't hold very much ground, since Sonic Rush Adventure went into further detail about the nature of Blaze's dimension. The game explains that Blaze's world is bound parallel to Sonic's via the "Power of the Stars" contained within the Jeweled Scepter. It's pretty clear that it's intended to be more than merely the future of Sonic's universe.
    • Silver's ending does mention that Blaze sealed herself in another dimension in an attempt to rid her and Silver's future of Iblis, which may explain why she was in another dimension in Sonic Rush.
    • She does make note of Sonic when Silver says "A blue hedgehog" after Mephiles shows him the "Iblis Trigger," as if she knows who Sonic is already, making this even more confusing.
  • Complexity Addiction: Mephiles' entire scheme to become Solaris again. It's even more insulting because all he needed to do was one simple task in order to make Elise cry and release Iblis, and he seems averse to the idea of just killing her outright.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Pretty much the entire game's plot is eliminated with the Solaris-killing time paradox.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Flame Core, Crisis City and the final scene where Sonic and Elise are fleeing an exploding Egg Carrier and he can't quite reach the ledge but a large explosion manages to shoot him and Elise up to safety.
  • Crate Expectations: Generic cubic crates with stars on the sides, for that matter. Some are wooden, some are metal, some are explosive and a few of them release electric shockwaves.
  • Cue the Sun: After Iblis' defeat at the end of Silver's story.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Shadow's intro, as well as the rest of the game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Given the fact that the main villain, Mephiles, is a demonic psychopath who is trying to eradicate time itself, and one of the main characters comes from a post-apocalyptic future, and Sonic actually dies in this game, it's pretty evident that this title is among the darkest in the series.
  • Death Is Cheap: Sonic's death. He was revived one level later.
  • Decapitated Army: Certain groups of Mooks have palette-swapped "commanders"; if Sonic kills the commander, everyone else dies instantly, presumably due to a spontaneous lethal power vacuum.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Elise feeling "Sonic's presence in the wind" saves reality.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Mephiles The Dark.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Said by Shadow when Rouge tries to retrieve the Chaos Emerald in Flame Core.
  • Downloadable Content: Very Hard missions for each zone (most of which are vastly different, such as doing dusty Desert sans Elise), a Boss Rush for each team and a Team Attack Amigo stage that spans short snippets from each stage (played with Tails, Blaze and Omega). The funny part? It's all remarkably decent, considering the game.
  • Dull Surprise
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Aquatic Base, which in it self doubles as Abandoned Laboratory and a Shout-Out to Phantasy Star Online Episode II.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Iblis, Mephiles and Solaris.
  • Escort Mission: Several short and almost random ones. Sonic has to protect a woman named Anna because she knows "a secret". Silver has to protect another woman and later Shadow has to protect a man in a Lord. Technically these all allow the player to move onto the next level. All of them are simple enough; the people in question don't run towards the enemies and cower and hide until the next section has been cleared.
  • Eternal Engine: Aquatic Base.
  • Evil Laugh: Mephiles has a big one when he kills Sonic.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Any vehicle that Shadow drives. The Armed Buggies respond to flipping over by exploding. If you take the Hovercraft over a ramp, it can explode upon landing in the water (and it's not like the developers weren't expecting players to use this ramp, considering that it had boost-pads at the top). And the Bike in the "Radical Train" section can explode for no visible reason whatsoever.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: There are far, far more things in the environment that will damage you than things that won't. Enemies spawn out of nowhere, random elements of the levels will blast down on you without any warning, and sometimes it seems the level geometry itself is trying to throw you into the perpetual bottomless pits. This is exemplified in Sonic's Mach Speed sections, where brushing up against anything -- fences on the side of the road, the smallest rock, robots that spawn right in front of you with barely any time to react -- will send Sonic spiraling along the ground.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Happens at the ending cinematic of Sonic's part of the story.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Solaris.

Eggman: "He eats dimensions for lunch!"

  • Fake Difficulty:
    • Silver throwing you just to catch you, giving him a one-hit kill.
    • There is at least one of those spring things that will throw you right into a bottomless pit if you don't hit it just right.
    • In the last Rouge level, there's a structure far off in the distance that looks like you can go to it. You can, but you fall right through.
    • Remember grinding on rails in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes and how easy it was to jump to an adjacent rail? Doesn't work in this one, rendering several rings and power-ups pretty much unobtainable.
    • In the last Silver level, all sand is quicksand, even in places where all logic suggests it would be harmless.
  • Falling Into His Arms: At one point, Elise jumps out of the Eggmobile and Sonic catches her in the nick of time.
  • Flash Back: Most of them are about times when Elise was young and Duke was alive.
  • Fireballs: Iblis' minions like to fire these.
  • Five-Bad Band: Though none of the antagonists really worked together, they still fit the roles normally applying to this trope.
  • Five-Man Band: Each of the stories belonging to the Hedgehog's point-of-view sort of have these, even though they ultimately focus on the main playable character.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: When characters get teleported through time, they'll always end up in proximity of where they need to go.
  • Fungus Humongous: Seen in jungle levels.
  • Fusion Dance: Solaris is reborn through the fusion of Mephiles and Iblis.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The hedgehogs will occasionally enter a scripted sequence and miss. You can tell the QA team wasn't getting paid a whole lot when the player can die during a portion they're not even in control of.
  • Game Mod: The game is written entirely in the Lua programming language, making the entire code accessible by hackers and the modding potential huge for a console-exclusive game. Before interest died out, a few modders successfully swapped characters around and modified Sonic's running and jumping speed.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The shops have equipment for Silver, despite the fact that he won't exist for another 200 years.
  • Go Through Me: Amy, defending Sonic from Silver.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Any conversation between Shadow and Mephiles. They get cheesy lines, but they act the hell out of them--and the bombastic orchestral music backing them makes everything dramatic.
  • Have We Met Yet?: When Shadow first meets Mephiles after the latter is released from the Scepter of Darkness, Mephiles is already familiar with him. Later on, Shadow travels back in time to the Solaris Project disaster and finds himself sealing Mephiles into the Scepter, prompting Mephiles to memorize him.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Sonic vs Silver and Shadow vs Silver battles.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits
  • Hellish Pupils: Mephiles, especially in his crystalline form.
  • Hero Antagonist: Silver to Sonic.
  • The Hero Dies: Sonic temporarily dies in the Last Episode.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A rare non-death example. Blaze seals Iblis inside herself, then seals herself in another world. Immediately before she did become the sacrifice, Silver was trying to do the same thing, only to find that he wasn't an acceptable vessel.
  • Hub Level: Soleanna.
  • Indy Escape: In Sonic's White Acropolis stage, you have to escape a giant snowball at one point.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Princess Elise admits as much in a cutscene late in Sonic's story, and expresses relief that Sonic's adventure has allowed her to be "just myself... a girl."
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: Found in Radical Train levels, constantly changing direction for some reason.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Your average roadblocks in Soleanna.
  • Interspecies Romance: Princess Elise, a realistic looking human, and Sonic, a cartoon hedgehog.
  • Invisible Wall: In Soleanna, especially during missions.
  • Irony: Despite being the title character, Sonic has absolutely little effect on the plot.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Townsfolk have quite a lot sidequests to offer. However, each comes complete with its own set of four ten-second-long loading screens.
  • It's Up to You: AI partners won't do anything more than follow you. They won't attack nearby enemies, they'll jump as little as possible (leading to several falls down bottomless pits screaming annoying death cries, only to reappear a few seconds later), and they don't even have animations on the stage results screen.
  • Jungle Japes: Tropical Jungle.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Mephiles, due to having no sympathetic excuse for his actions or any comedic quirks, and simply doing evil because it's fun for him, and also being one of the first villains in the entire franchise to actually murder a canonical character.
  • Knights and Knaves: The "find the captain" game you play early on; all the police officers will give you hints, but at least one is lying (hint: It's the guy who tells you to find the captain in the first place, better known as "the captain, sending you on a wild goose chase").
  • Large Ham: Dan Green as Mephiles, and Jason Griffith as Shadow.
  • Last Ditch Move: After defeating it, the Egg Genesis pulls this in an attempt to land on the player.
  • Leitmotif: Sonic has "His World," Shadow has "All Hail Shadow," and Silver has "Dreams of an Absolution". The Big Bads have their own leitmotifs as well, with Eggman's being carried over to Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors.
  • Lens Flare: Most notably seen when Elise jumps out of the Eggmobile.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Flame Core.
  • Light Is Not Good: Solaris is supposed to be a god of light and time. He's also completely insane.
  • Literal Split Personality: An accident ten years ago caused Solaris to split into two entities: Mephiles and Iblis. In the Last Episode, they recombine for the True Final Boss.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: A good chunk of the game is spent waiting 15-30 seconds at a time staring at a blank loading screen. Incidentally, the rather dull loading screen from this game is the trope's page image.
  • Lull Destruction: Captain Obvious is here because Sega wanted the characters to say something during each level, no matter how pointless or obvious it was.
  • MacGuffin Girl: Princess Elise.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mephiles.
  • Milestone Celebration: One of the very rare cases where such a thing went horribly, horribly wrong. In fact, many regard this trope as a major culprit for the game's rushed quality.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: There is at least one talking animation with ridiculously over the top hand gestures.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Characters use the Chaos Emeralds to purposes that are never seen again, including Time Travel and interdimensional transportation. Also, Amy is somehow able to turn invisible.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Mephiles.
  • No Mouth: Mephiles.
  • Number of the Beast: Solaris's initial form has 6 horns, 6 fingers, and 6 stones behind his back. Making 666.
  • Obvious Beta: Not quite at the same level as Big Rigs Over the Road Racing, but still a blatant example from a big-name company who really should know better.
  • Obviously Evil: Mephiles the Dark.
  • Obvious Trap: Tails says that it's most definitely a trap when Eggman wants to meet Sonic so he could give him a chaos emerald.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Heard when fighting with Solaris.
  • One-Woman Wail: Features prominently in the music for Kingdom Valley.
  • Palette Swap: Orange and more powerful purple varieties of Iblis minions.
  • Palmtree Panic: Wave Ocean.
  • Perpetual Molt: Eagles in Kindgom Valley seem to scatter feathers constantly.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Elise's dress, with the feather trim.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Sonic. He has his own "storyline", but it's Silver and Shadow that actually do the plot related stuff - Sonic doesn't even meet Mephiles directly. Sonic has more relevance in the Last Story than in his own, where he is suddenly important almost randomly.
  • Plot Hole: The issue with the blue Chaos Emerald.
  • Plotline Death: Sonic the Hedgehog himself, in the Last Episode.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Amy can inexplicably turn invisible in this game.
  • Power Limiter: As with Sonic X, the rings around Shadow's wrists -- he removes them in his episode's ending in order to take on the army of Mephiles clones.
  • Power Trio: Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles), Team Silver (Silver, Blaze and Amy), and Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, and E-123 Omega). Also, Sonic, Shadow and Silver when they go super to stop Solaris.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Let's. Get. MOVING!"
  • Quicksand Sucks: One entire desert level has every sand area as a giant bottomless sand pit, most notably in Shadow's play of Dusty Desert which requires you to navigate tricky terrain in a hovercraft and one wrong move will send you to your death.
  • Real Is Brown: Most of the time, the game is dominated by its "realistic" look.
  • Recurring Riff: "His World" motifs in various songs.
  • Recycled Title: As this was intended as a rebirth of the series.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Iblis is destructive and completely mindless. Mephiles is calm, cunning, and manipulative. They are two halves of the Eldritch Abomination known as Solaris.
  • Reset Button Ending
  • The Rival: Mephiles, to Shadow.
  • Roar Before Beating: Iblis and Egg Cerberus.
  • Ruins for Ruins Sake: Kingdom Valley. While the presence of the ruins is explained in-story (they're the old castle, abandoned after the Solaris Incident ten years ago), they still don't make any sense as buildings that the royal family would live or hold court in.
  • San Dimas Time
  • Sand Is Water: Dusty Desert.
  • Say My Name: Sonic yells "Eliiiiise!" after the Egg Carrier explodes.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The game just puts easier and harder levels at random in each of the 3 campaigns.
  • Scratch Damage: Vulcan Cannon fire will only take away one ring at a time and won't cause knockback, while missiles or actively touching an enemy makes you lose all your rings.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Iblis. He can be released by killing his host, or making the host cry. Mephiles as well: he was sealed into the Scepter of Darkness by Shadow the Hedgehog himself.
  • Sealed Inside a Person Shaped Can: Iblis is sealed inside Elise and later Blaze.
  • Send in the Clones: Shadow's story ends with Shadow, Rouge and Omega surrounded by Mephiles clones. The intro to the Last Episode reveals Shadow made short work of them.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong / Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Both Sonic and Silver are trying to set the present right and avert Silver's Bad Future. Silver, Unwitting Pawn that he is, nearly ends up causing this future instead.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Several levels don't actually have much point to them other than simply forcing the characters to go through every one. Generally, if the characters return to Soleanna after completing a level, they haven't accomplished much unless that was their goal in the first place (i.e., traveling back in time from the future). For example, Sonic doesn't even catch up to the Egg Carrier after Wave Ocean; Tails simply tells him "We've lost it. Let's go back to town and get some more information!"
  • Shifting Sand Land: Dusty Desert.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal:

Mephiles the Dark: It's futile. The world will betray you. Why fight at all? Why risk your life for those who will persecute you later?
Shadow the Hedgehog: If the world chooses to become my enemy... I will fight like I always have!

Notes

  1. Even though the game is designed to run at 60 frames per second, so you usually can't even see it.
  2. An important step towards having a day-night cycle, though Sega abandoned that