(If there's a more appropriate place for this, please move it there)
Hello, I'm a writer and want to get critiques of my work. Not too long ago I concieved of what could be the greatest (Or worst, depending on how you look at it) Sonic the Hedgehog game ever. I know I went too far with it, but please bare with me, and be brutally honest, lying doesn't accomplish anything.
Here is my orginal note outline for Sonic Black and Blue:
Ugh…I guess I should just start with an introduction, explaining my overall plan.
First, let me say that Story and Characterization are the main points I want with this, not just to make a finely balanced speed oriented image manipulation. I figure the more technical producers could handle that, I’m here mainly as a Story-teller, though I do believe Script & Game play need to coincide, like peas & carrots or hate & marriage, so I’ll do my best to craft an excellent story within an excellent game.
Well, first I have to mention that our two main characters, Sonic and Shadow, should have center stage and the entire story has to ride on their shoulders. I don’t mean to completely extricate the others (Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Eggman) but that all the characterizations should be hinged on the protagonists’ interactions with them. I also think it would interesting to see such characters that normally don’t speak with on another (Shadow and Knuckles, Sonic and Rouge) would make great moments that could resonant through (dare I say?) Sonic history.
One thing I’ve always considered that made the Sonic characters work (Even since I was too little to put words to it) was the sexual tension between the characters. I don’t mean that everybody was extremely pent-up, or anything like that, but that Amy was after Sonic even though he didn’t want her, the triangle between Shadow, Rouge and Knuckles, Tails being too immature to wind up with Cream, ect. Whether this tension was intentional or just my pubescent mind applying some of my favorite characters to what thoughts were pervading my subconscious, the fact is there is an immense amount of interesting artwork you can find on the web relating to this perception in a more…unsubtle way.
What I also intend is for this to be a somewhat mature story. I don’t mean to make it R-rated, or even so complex only adults or even teenagers alone could understand it, but I don’t want it to be a stupid cartoon filled with Chili dogs and stupid one-liners about surfing or anything else of that insufferable nature. I feel that Sonic Adventure 2 grasped that concept, it having a somewhat mature story-line filled with love, death, sacrifice, ect., though it did still retain a bit of the “cartoonish” element that Sonic can never truly escape from. (I mean, how seriously can you take a talking hedgehog with McDonald’s arches for eyes?) Never the less, I believe death should play into the story, with one or more important characters having kicked the bucket, either through sacrifice or having been lost when they should’ve escaped.
This leads me to my biggest decision: Killing Rouge the Bat. I understand that Rouge is a fairly popular character, who does provide that “sexy” element the others are missing, but I think that her main role is to be the potential love interest for Shadow (Or Knuckles, as I mentioned above) and here, her death would further that bond. My plan is to have her killed in a flash back that Shadow is obsessed with; mirroring the obsession he had with Maria. In Maria’s case, however, she was more of a sister to him, while Rouge is a lover, forcing him to seek revenge on the man who killed her. I understand that this would seem to be just a rehash of the earlier Maria concept, so I think it should be perfectly open to change, and at this early stage it’s just a device to fuel Shadow’s dark character.
If the full page above still leaves you vague on what to expect for the plot, I think the rest of my report should clear it up. Do forgive me for this, because I didn’t want to sound redundant when describing various characters and how they tie in to the story.
Sonic: Sonic is not like his contemporary, Mario, in that he can be defined: He has a personality that can be instantly associated with him, namely that of a drifter who likes to party though life, as where Mario is just an archetypal hero, saving the archetypal princess from the archetypal villain.
Sonic is free, trying not to be tied down by insufferable personalities like Amy’s, not even compromising on his closest friends, like Knuckles or even Tails. Sonic’s main goal in life is to have fun, often saving the world in pursuit of that aim. He doesn’t get lonely, or even yearns for love, caught up in his own love of adventure, though if one of his friends were in danger, he’d risk his life in a heartbeat to save them. He doesn’t have a house, running from one wilderness to the next, sleeping at night and managing to procure food for himself.
I think having Sonic fight an organic enemy, like a man or even another anthropomorphic animal could accentuate the dualality of Shadow’s ruthlessness, (Which I’ll get to in just a moment) and his own easy-going lifestyle. I think the theme of Sonic’s morality could be explored, though not in some extremely in-depth, Batman-esque examination of human nature, just answering what he thinks of killing and surviving. Does Sonic believe in these methods to attain his goals? Is he disgusted with them? Is this material too dark for our fun-loving hero? I think it might be, though he did swear in the infamous Shadow the Hedgehog catastrophe.
Sonic’s levels take place during the day, his blue fur melding into a blue sky in the background, and they mainly focus on trying to hunt down Dr. Eggman, picking up various other characters on the way. (Tails, Knuckles, Amy, ect.) and focus mainly on running around the classic sets of stages: Green foothills, Lush Jungles, Desserts, maybe even an aquatic mine, and of course a laboratory for Dr. Robotnik, or whatever environments that you can suggest.
Let’s not make Sonic’s dialogue completely awful. He can still yack about things like surfing and make stupid jokes that would put an eight-year-old to shame, but I think he should also spout the wisdom of being a drifter, or his determination to take Eggman down. Something along the lines, “Well, we’ve got two options: 1) we stop Eggman and have a heck of a time doing it, or 2) we sit on our butts and lose the freedom to suck on Chili dogs outside the Tasty Freeze.”
Shadow: Now, with Shadow I think we could get dark and brooding, going into those corners of Sonic’s world that have been neglected, things like uncompromising revenge and murder.
My initial concept is to model him after Clint Eastwood characters, like Dirty Harry or like pyscopathic comic book characters, such as Rorshach, from the Watchmen. He couldn’t be as intense as these characters, though he could have elements of them, being “Uncompromising,” and caring more about Justice than the law. In short, I think he works best as a noir-type vigilante.
I would like to reintroduce the gun concept from Shadow, though have it handled properly and use more “realistic” guns, not the oversized toys from the fore-runner. I see the obvious problem with this, trying to market guns to kids, and I don’t see a way around that obstacle. (Though I do think kids would just eat it up) Nevertheless, I intend for this proposal that the gun element remains, serving to further show Shadow’s dark demeanor.
Shadow is just what I described above: A vengeance-fueled vigilante, Hell-bent on revenge for Rouge’s death, having forsaken all of his friends to reach these aims, whatever the cost. He shoots people and intimidates them, maybe even tortures them to get the information he desires. My graphic imagination placed him breaking bones and dangling people off buildings for these purposes, though I know these won’t go over well on the final product. I think adding that much more of an edge, even if we dilute it for the masses, should help define Shadow that much more.
Even though I said having Shadow converse with other characters, I don’t think the other characters should participate in his missions, reserved for cut-scenes only. Shadow could dismiss them with a simple, “I work alone,” or something to that effect; He doesn’t want to grow too close to anyone, for the memories they evoke and the pain those memories bring. I do think a cut-scene where he and Knuckles discuss Rouge would be interesting, exploring the triangle that evolved between them.
All of Shadow’s levels take place at night, involving rain-slicked cityscapes, evoking images of a noir-style movie. His enemies aren’t just robots who were sent after him by Eggman, but also GUN soldiers, (As will be made apparent once I delve into the actual story) and gangsters from the Mafia characters I intend to incorporate. He can use homing attacks, and properly lock on to whoever he wishes to shoot, though I don’t think the shooting should be too graphic (No blood, please)
Of course we can have him travel into the dessert as the story progresses, and we can change the environments, (Like have him walk into a casino for the obligatory gambling stage, or even one of the mobsters’ mansions, something to those affects)
Lastly, his dialogue should be composed of serious monologues, maybe interspersed with a cynical remark to mirror Sonic’s cheesy wit.
The other players
Tails: Tails should be just a fun-loving as Sonic, though more tied down to what he’s doing. His dialogue should consist of Technical jargon, stupid quotes to accompany Sonic’s, and should indicated to be a competent side-kick. There’s a reason people make those jokes about him being a girl…or various other things, and we need to diminish that stereotype.
Knuckles: Knuckles should be portrayed as being older than the others, his years having made him wise to their stupid ways. He often rolls his eyes and shakes his head at their comments, and sprouts bits of wisdom that help the others along their path. He can get hot-headed though, but I don’t think it will play too much into the story.
Dr. Robotnik: His usual, arrogant self, though he rarely speaks in the third person, and is more of a realist on his world domination goals, not merely supposing he would win because it was his plan.
Dr. Jaggara: This is my New character, unseen for most of the story (Except in flash backs, and of course, the end) and the man responsible for killing Rouge. This man is the main focus of Shadow’s story, as the object of his revenge. Dr. Eggman is jealous of him, as he is slowly becoming the game’s main villain, which should lead to the climax.
Now, getting to the damn plot:
It all starts one bright, sunny day, with Sonic running around in the green open spaces. He sets out, plays through a level composed of the usual start-up, which culminates in him reaching Tails’ workshop, where they greet each other, reminiscing of past adventures. Sonic notices several old pictures on the wall, of the gang lounging around.
The story then cuts to Shadow, overlooking Station Square, (Or whatever city you pretend it to be, for my purposes it will be Station Square) and thinking back about a year, when him and Rouge were happy. He indicates that she’s gone, and dashes into the metropolis, battling his way along the streets, through GUN, robots, and gangsters. He reaches a mansion owned by a mob boss, and goes inside, fighting the man’s large body guard, and eventually killing the boss himself.
The story goes back to Sonic, having left Tails because his work was “too important” for him to follow Sonic’s free life style, though he promises to catch up later. Sonic runs through a level, perhaps a mine, or better yet a ruin, reaching Knuckles at the end, who’s digging around for some buried treasure, able to transport the Master Emerald for some reason. (I mean, it’s been done before) They fight some kind of rock monster, or a creature coinciding with the level released by Dr. Eggman, chasing after him as he escapes. They split up, hoping to cover more ground.
We head back to Shadow, who’s hitting the bars or casinos or whatever it is you can imagine, trying to get leads on the next Mob boss. The tale of Rouge and her demise continues to unfold as he fights his way through whatever it is, culminating in a three-way confrontation between the mob boss and the GUN soldiers, the officers trying to protect the man who’s in immediate danger. After the battle, there is an explosion revealing that Shadow escaped, leaving the soldiers to uncover the mob boss’ body.
Cut back to Sonic, who’s now in a Jungle or some such, and finds Amy. They have a dialogue, in which he comforts her about his abilities to save the world. They trek through the environment, eventually reaching Dr. Eggman at the end, who captures Amy and holds her hostage through the entire boss fight, though Sonic manages to rescue her as he flies away. They pursue him, Sonic reluctant to take Amy him with him.
Now again to Shadow, who runs into Knuckles during his manhunt. They have a dialogue about Shadow himself, discussing various topics and of course their mutual love for Rouge. Shadow concludes with “I work alone,” and goes into the actual level as such. I can tell by now Shadow’s levels are getting monotonous, and I hope that can be changed with each level, such as adding a properly done motorcycle, or a new type of weapon, or whatever. (These details can be sorted out with a more in-depth script) Shadow again hunts through the city for the mob boss, and reaches him at the end, through this time the man refused help from the army, and gets killed anyway. Before he reveals to Shadow where Dr. Eggman is.
To Sonic, who has now reached the dessert, zipping all about with Amy at his side. At the end they reach another fight with Eggman, deliberately too hard to actually play. A little ways into this impossible fight, Tails flies in with the tornado (And Knuckles in tow) aiding Sonic with the robot. They eventually defeat it, leading to an important cut-scene.
Dr. Eggman floats out of the wreckage (as the sun sets) and gloats over the heroes, though he’s been seemingly defeated. He talks of how wore-out they are, and about how this plays into some evil plan or other. In the midst of this gloating, Shadow appears, and knocks him out of his floating egg contraption, intimidating him in front of the others, demanding to know where Dr. Jaggara is. Eggman pleads innocent, and Shadow believes him, leaving the others to tie him up.
The sun goes down and twilight settles over the dessert, as Sonic and Shadow have a dialogue discussing the morality of each other’s actions, Shadow’s dark nature alienating him even more from Sonic’s noble intentions. I also think a dialogue between Knuckles, Tails and Amy, discussing her obsession over Sonic would be good to interject here too.
Suddenly, GUN attacks, the police force liberating Dr. Eggman from these heroes, taking him into their own custody. After a confrontation with the GUN commander, Shadow frees Dr. Eggman, suspecting he does know where Jaggara is, and can lead him to him. Shadow promises to cover everyone’s escape from the law, leading into a dessert level at night as Shadow races back towards the city.
The heroes discuss Dr. Eggman’s escape, eventually walking into an ice-land. They work their way toward Eggman’s outpost, where the mad scientist teleports everyone except Sonic to a base somewhere far away. Sonic runs off, determined to reach them.
Shadow is back in the city, though GUN knows exactly where he is. He races through their battlements, reaching the final mob boss, bringing him to the highest helicopter pad in the city, where he faces off with the gun commander one last time, destroying his combat robot, leading Shadow having to power to kill the man, though claiming he has no true quarrel with him, though he wouldn’t hesitate to kill him. The president then appears, intervening between them, pardoning Shadow amidst protests of the GUN commander. Shadow accepts the pardon, and disappears.
Getting to Sonic’s final level, Dr. Eggman has the heroes captured, and has used a mind control device on Tails, forcing him to fight Knuckles. (Amy just watches) Knuckles can’t fight Tails, because he realizes he’s too strong, and even his slightest blow might cripple Tails permanently. He takes the punishment Tails dishes out, eventually being wore down, waiting for Sonic to arrive. This final level should take place in a lab, maybe with various parts open outside. It should be timed, maybe with sounds of Kunckles’ and Tails’ fight broadcast over the base. Sonic eventually crashes through to Eggman’s control room, smashing the mind control device, freeing Tails, allowing Knuckles to recuperate in the corner. Sonic and Tails fight Eggman’s final robot, though they get pinned and Knuckles administers the final blow. They all share a happy moment as Eggman slinks away.
This would appear to be the ending, though I want to have a secret ending with Super Sonic and Super Shadow. I don’t know how this could be unlocked, or if it would just simply have been led into. I can’t say at this point, though I know it should start where the last one left off.
The heroes are celebrating, when Dr. Jaggara appears, revealing that Dr. Eggman has been helping him all along, and leading them into his trap. They are all taken prisoner, except Sonic who manages to escape, running out of the building in an attempt to get outside help, though he gets capture as he tried to escape. (This is a level, by the way)
Dr. Jaggara places Sonic in a giant hamster wheel, forcing him to run to power some contraption that keeps his fellows from being killed. (Perhaps retractable ropes over lava? All video games need lava) Dr. Eggman witnesses this, realizing that Jaggara could do what he never could: actually kill Sonic the hedgehog, and thereby become the ruler of the world. This does not sit well with Eggman, who makes an excuse to go outside.
Once outside the base, Eggman finds Shadow in a little apartment, and explains the situation to him. Shadow is uncharacteristically cool, revealing to Eggman about why he let him go back in the dessert. He says he will spare Eggman’s life, and save the others. He then reaches under his bed, and pulls out a .44 magnum, and slips on two Bandoliers, and tells Eggman to wait for him.
Eggman retreats to Jaggara’s base, while Shadow simply breaks into it, gunning down all who oppose him, reaching the end, where Dr. Jaggara is situated in front of a control console with Sonic and the others around him. Shadow shoots them all loose, firing at some of the electronics in the room, sending a spectacular show of sparks all about. He wounds Jaggara, delivering some great lines before finishing him off, though with his dying act the man activates his secret weapon, the seven Chaos emeralds energizing a creature in a capsule. The creature breaks out, revealing it to be Neo Metal Sonic, with some sort of electrical Aura around him. The others escape as Sonic and Shadow turn into their super-forms, breaking out and fighting the robot in some sort of dark, windy atmosphere. (Please note: Metal Sonic does NOT turn into some huge monster for them to fight, doesn’t alter an already perfect design in favor of something that could help with his conquest. His powers are sufficient to fight Sonic and Shadow) they duel, eventually crash landing to the ground, where Sonic and Metal fight it out on the ground to a near stand-still. Metal begins to countdown a self-destruct sequence as Shadow warps everybody away, them able to witness a large explosion in the distance. They momentarily wonder if Sonic made it out alive, Shadow assuring them he had. The blue blur soon appears, albeit with a few bruises and scrapes, but alright. He runs off into the sunrise (Or maybe flies with Tails, seeing as he was so beat up) eagerly awaiting his next adventure.
After the credits, a data transmission shown during Metal’s countdown reaches a computer, designs of one of his claws printing out.
Well, that’s my plot outline. I’ve devoted more thought to certain parts, as you can see, but if given the opportunity to flesh out the story I’m sure it would coalesce into a more coherent narrative. I also see several other under-used elements, such as how they gather the emeralds or more exposure to Dr. Jaggara, and of course more flash backs of Rouge’s demise.
Nothing in here is truly final, though. I’m perfectly willing to alter anything that you can suggest, though the main thing I want to see in the final product is Neo Metal Sonic at the end. I feel the design used in Sonic Heroes was excellent, even though it was only in the game for about thirty seconds.
So, that’s it. I think it would be a success, given the public’s love of the blue hedgehog, these badly reviewed games selling millions of copies to eager children the world over.
Before it can be filmed, drawn, acted or programed, it must be written.