The Story so Far…

Welcome to the first of my articles where I discuss my crazy theories regarding certain convoluted storylines and attempt to make sense of things.

I’m kicking things off today by talking about the least popular of Sonic the Hedgehog’s outings – Sonic 2006

First, some backstory. Sonic 06 was released supposedly to commemorate Sonic’s fifteenth anniversary. It was supposed to be his first HD outing. Unfortunately, it was rushed out for Christmas release. The end result was a game that was reasonably pretty to look at, but also confusing, poorly paced and glitchy to the point of being nigh-unplayable – the music is awesome, though :).
Examples of the legendarily poor gameplay can be found all over the net, including an infamous Let’s Play by PokeCap’n and friends. But I’m here to talk about the story.

Part of the problem is that the story is told from three different perspectives. The gameplay first allows you to play as Sonic, then opens up Shadow’s storyline, and then Silver’s. When you have completed all three, the ‘Last Story’ opens up, allowing access to the ending. Thing is, unlike in Sonic Adventure, none of the storylines make sense in isolation. Each of the three main characters only offer a part of the story – there are various events in Sonic’s storyline that only make a whit of sense if you’ve played the other two. In fact, as far as I can tell, the most logical order for the gameplay to have actually gone in would have been Shadow -> Silver -> Sonic. But of course, Sonic’s name is on the front of the box, so we can’t have that *rollseyes*.

The story also involves time travel. This messes things up even further. I’ve tried as best I can to separate things out into chronological order, but time travel is always tricky, so bare with me.

Original Timeline (No Time-Travel)

A moronic experiment on the island kingdom of Soleanna involving an attempt to use a Physical God as a power supply goes awry (gasp.) and blows everything up. Killing the King of Soleanna and sundering the god, Solaris, into two parts, Mephiles and Iblis. Mephiles is sealed into the Sceptre of Darkness and Iblis is sealed within Princess Elise, the king’s daughter. For some reason, the condition under which Iblis can be released is if Elise cries, leading to her getting a truly fucked-up upbringing where she is forbidden to cry. Ever.
Yikes.

Ten years later, Sonic arrives in Soleanna for their annual fire festival. Robotnik/Eggman (No, I’m not getting into that argument. I call him both pretty much interchangeably, I don’t care which one is ‘correct’.) shows up to kidnap Elise, since he’s heard about aforementioned stupid experiment and that there’s some kind of sleeping ‘Ultimate Power’ within Elise.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. In order for this timeline to make sense, we have to assume two things. 1) Sonic failed to save Elise and she ended up dead, either by Robotnik’s own hand or through a failed escape attempt. 2) Iblis is released when Elise dies. Which means either Elise’s Dad was hoping someone would have a better answer before Elise died in 60 years or so (presuming a full, healthy life) or else the Iblis seal would be passed down through the royal bloodline, so Elise’s death before she had passed the seal to her offspring would break the seal and release Iblis.

Iblis is released and begins the ‘flames of disaster’ which devastate the planet. Shadow’s mission to retrieve the Sceptre of Darkness was at the same time Sonic was trying to save Elise, so we can safely assume that the Sceptre was destroyed and Mephiles took on Shadow’s form as he does in the main gameplay storyline.

Here, we do run into a bit of a problem – Mephiles’ goal is to reunite with Iblis to become Solaris once more.. since Iblis is released, why doesn’t he just go ahead and recombine right there? My theory is that Mephiles had to recombine at pretty much the moment Iblis is released, otherwise Iblis would rapidly become to powerful and individual for Mephiles to properly merge with – Mephiles is definitely a manipulative, power-hungry character, so do doubt his perspective would be that he was gaining the power of Iblis, and he’d definitely want to be the dominating influence, not just subsumed into Iblis’ violent, animalistic personality.

So, in order to set things up in his own favour, Mephiles manipulates a young telekinetic hedgehog called Silver into going back in time, claiming that Sonic is ‘The Iblis Trigger’ and therefore killing him will stop the Flames of Disaster from ever taking place. My guess here is that Mephiles was simply using Silver as a patsy to cause a distraction and keep Sonic and Shadow busy so Past!Mephiles would be at the right time and place to be there when Iblis was released.

Next question, how does Mephiles teach Silver how to time travel? There is mention of Solaris being the god of ‘Light and Time’. Since Iblis seems to represent Light (via the medium of fire) it makes sense that Mephiles would represent Time, though it seems like Iblis got the lion’s share of the raw power when they were split. So Mephiles imbues Silver with the ability to use Chaos Control – the power of space-time manipulation. Unless of course Silver’s powers are Chaos-derived, in which case, he may have had the power already, which might explain why Mephiles picked him in the first place.

Here’s where it starts getting tricky, hold on tight…

Time Travel V. 1.0 – Silver goes back in time

Under the impression that Sonic is the one who will instigate the ‘Flames of Disaster’, Silver goes back in time to just after Elise’s (first) kidnapping (this is also after Past!Mephiles was released by Shadow. This will be important later). He attempts to chase down Sonic for the purposes of killing him, but runs into Amy. Amy and Silver hang out a bit and becomes friends. I kind of get the impression that growing up in a post-apocalyptic future means Silver doesn’t have many friends (though we know he’s BFFs with Blaze the Cat) and hasn’t really had much time to just shoot the breeze, so its not surprising he’s getting a bit distracted.
Anyway, Sonic shows up on his way to try and rescue Elise, Silver remembers his mission and fights Sonic, though Amy gets in the way and prevents Silver from landing the killing blow. Sonic escapes and resumes his pursuit of Eggman and Elise. Silver follows. Silver catches up with Sonic as Sonic is trying to follow the train Robotnik has boarded, Silver tries to attack Sonic once more, but is interrupted by Shadow.
Shadow had been trying to chase down Mephiles, and had found out that Eggman was also after Mephiles. Apparently feeling in a good mood, Shadow fights Silver to give Sonic enough time to track down Eggman. Shadow kicks Silver’s arse, ending with the awesome and hilarious ‘Chaos Boot-to-the-head’ manoeuvre. (No, really. See it here).
The two of them try to use Chaos Control simultaneously, open up a warp in space-time. Shadow suggests they use it to get the real truth by going back to the stupid experiment ten years prior. Silver agrees.

Time Travel V. 1.5 – Shadow and Silver Do the Time Warp Again

Still with me so far? Good.
Shadow and Silver arrive in the past just in time to see the experiment go all pear-shaped and blow the hell up, thus releasing Iblis and Mephiles and exposing Silver to the truth of Mephiles’ identity and agenda. Shadow uses the Sceptre of Darkness to seal Mephiles, while Silver watches as Elise is made the vessel of Iblis learning that that Iblis can only be sealed within a living soul. Silver and Shadow then return to the present, Silver now realising the truth and filled with a determination to help Sonic save Elise, and hopefully thus prevent the Flames of Disaster. Unfortunately, they all arrive too late, just as the Egg Carrier containing Elise and Robotnik blows up. Silver tells Sonic that Sonic can use Chaos Control to time travel and save Elise. In gratitude, Sonic gives Silver a Chaos Emerald to enable Silver to return to his own timeline.
Silver returns to the future, where he and Blaze confront Iblis and defeat him. Silver attempts to seal Iblis away inside himself, but it doesn’t work. Blaze says she would make a more suitable vessel, and sacrifices herself, sealing herself and Iblis away in another dimension.

Time Travel V. 2.0 – Sonic Changes the Future…Sorta

Sonic takes Silver’s advice, using Chaos Control to time travel to just before the Egg Carrier blows up and manages to save Elise, thus preventing the original timeline.
Meanwhile, Shadow has spent most of the story tracking down Mephiles, who when you look hard enough, is pretty much responsible for most of the mess. This culminates with a big confrontation, Mephiles first trying to recruit Shadow, then insulting him when he refuses the offer. Removing his limiters, Shadow manages to defeat Mephiles and send him scuttling away.
In the midst of running the hell away, Mephiles comes across Sonic and Elise, and either realising his chance or just because he’s feeling particularly vindictive, he throws a Dark Chaos Spear at an unprepared Sonic, killing him instantly. Elise, overcome that her rescuer and new friend has been brutally slaughtered (This is my interpretation of it. shut up.) does the one thing she was never supposed to – she weeps.
Mephiles gives the most epic Evil Laugh ever as Iblis is released, at last allowing him to recombine with his other half.

Time Travel V. ?.?? – Everything Goes to Hell in a Handbasket

Solaris, the god of light and Time is Whole at Last, and also really, really Pissed Off. Solaris starts destroying causality, causing the barriers between timelines to begin breaking down. The Main Cast, protected by the Chaos Emeralds (I guess) meet up in a timeless void. Everyone sees Elise cradling Sonic’s lifeless body, and all hope seems lost. Silver refuses to give up, suggesting that they all team up and use the power of the Emeralds to fight Solaris, but Shadow says that without Sonic, it would be hopeless.
Elise, through some kind of mystical bullshit, senses that there is still a chance, and Silver says that they can use the power of the Chaos Emeralds to restore Sonic to life… somehow. Then, in a scene that has beautiful music but makes no goddamn sense, everyone bows their head and… prays or something and then… and then…

Oh god. I wasn’t going to mention this, but it’s just so cringeworthy I just have to. Because here is where the game loses its damn mind entirely and decides it’s a Disney movie in reverse, since the Princess kisses Sonic back to life.

A human. Kissing a hedgehog. Back to life.

As someone commented on this once, ‘Bestiality and Necrophilia in one fell smooch. Stay classy, Sega.’ sigh.

Moving swiftly on, Sonic goes super, shares the Chaos power with Shadow and Silver and they go and kick Solaris’ arse, and since they are at this point outside of time and space they effectively prevent Solaris (and therefore, Iblis and Mephiles) from ever existing and therefore wipe out most of the events of the game.

Indeed, the game ends how it began, with Sonic showing up at the Soleanna Fire Festival, though this time there’s no Robotnik and no definite sign that Elise or Sonic remember what happened.

Phew. Okay, almost done, just a few more points to cover:

1. People who have played the game (or watched a full play through) will notice that I left out where Sonic, Shadow and co went to the devastated future. This is mostly since that entire segment of the game has no plot relevance whatsoever. I’m serious. All we learn from that section is that Iblis is bad, mmkay, which, y’know, we could have guessed just by looking at him. There’s also some stuff about Shadow being blamed for… uh… it isn’t really clear, possibly whatever it is Mephiles did? Anyway, its pointless.

2. What in the Chaotic Hell happened to Blaze when the timeline re-set? Is she still in the other dimension? Is Iblis still sealed within her? There is some speculation that the other dimension is the same one Sonic Rush is set in… but if that’s the case, why didn’t she know who Sonic was in the first Sonic Rush game? I’ve got no real answers for this one, which is maddening.

3. Sonic isn’t the Protagonist.
Yes, I know his name is on the cover and he’s the ‘Hero’ of the story, but hero and protagonist are not always synonymous. Sonic does nothing actually proactive in this game. Based on my summary above, it actually looks like Silver is the real protagonist. Sonic, meanwhile, just bumbles around, tries to (repeatedly) rescue the princess, gets killed and then kissed back to life. Hm.
There are even arguments that could be made for Shadow being the protagonist, too. Since the main villain of the piece is clearly Mephiles, and Shadow spends the most time out of anyone trying to chase him down and stop him (after first being responsible for his release in the first place), it’s also Shadow who suggests travelling back to the original experiment to discover the truth – hell, the Crush40 version of the ‘His World’ theme song sounds much more like it’s talking about Shadow than Sonic.

4. There’s another problem with the time travel plotline in that the aqua-blue Chaos Emerald seems to be stuck in a stable time-loop during the game, but frankly it makes my head hurt trying to untagle it all, so I think i’m just gonna leave it here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave me comments with your thoughts or alternate interpretations.

Skyblaze

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