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Video Game: Sonic Chronicles

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008) is a RPG Spin-Off from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, developed by none other than BioWare. Unlike many other spin-off titles in the Sonic (which typically receive mixed to negative responses), Chronicles was greeted with very positive reviews, at least official ones.

A while after Eggman's latest defeat, the doctor is still missing in action, and is presumed dead. The peace doesn't last very long, though, as Sonic receives a call from Tails explaining that Knuckles has been kidnapped by a mysterious new group named the Marauders, who have also stolen all the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic then teams up with Tails, Amy, and Rouge in order to rescue Knuckles.

A sequel was announced, but nothing's been seen of it yet.

Tropes featured in the game:

  • Action Commands: During special skills, and non-damage dealing ones fail completely if you miss even one; see Useless Useful Spell, below.
  • Animated Actors: The credits are delivered by having Sonic, Tails and Omega Break The Fourth Wall to discuss the developers.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: After working together with Eggman, Tails seems to think of him less as an enemy and more as a fellow scientist, often commenting things like "Wow, I bet Eggman would love to see this!". If you call him out on it, he'll stop.
  • A Taste of Power: Sort of. Dr. Eggman has a lot of HP, a lot of PP and a ridiculously powerful and easy-to-execute special attack in Bombardment, as well as an instant kill attack against robots when used in conjunction with Tails. It's not a typical Taste of Power in that you don't start out with him, but he does leave the party about halfway through the game.
  • Badass: Knuckles, more so than most protrayals.
  • Badass in Distress: The game's plot kicks off by having Knuckles kidnapped by the Marauders after they overwhelm him and Tails in a fight. By the time the heroes track him down, he's already managed to break free.
  • But Thou Must: Averted. If you bring Cheese to Cream and she asks to join you, while if you say no she does ask multiple times, she does eventually give up.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Emerl was picked up from Sonic Battle, dusted off, and woven into the Nocturnus' history.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Word of Dante made the claim that this game is not canon in any way.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Swatbots from the SatAM cartoon.
    • According to Word of God, the entire game was a Canon Immigrant, specifically of Knuckles' Archie Comics miniseries, hence all of the uncanny parallels between Shade, Imperatore Ix, and the Nocturnus to the comics' Julie-Su, Finitevus, and the Dark Legion. Ironically this is the closest game you'll ever get based on the comics.
  • Can't Catch Up: Averted by giving earned experience points to everyone, whether they're in your party, back at the safehouse, and even the characters that haven't met you yet.
  • Can't Drop The Hero
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Colony Drop: Once again, Angel Island ends up falling when the Master Emerald is stolen. Unfortunately, it crashed onto a city this time.
  • Console Cameo: A Model 1 Sega Genesis can be seen alongside an Egg Robo in the Metropolis level, and in the Kron Colony level, a Sega Genesis controller can be seen hanging from a beam.
  • Continuity Nod: Several. The game is even helpful enough to provide you with a mini-encyclopedia on the previous Sonic games in one of the menus so you can get caught up on any of the relevant Backstory that you might not have played before or had forgotten about.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: The codex claims that Sonic teamed up with Shadow to stop Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2. The only time Sonic directly worked together with Shadow in that game was to take down the FinalHazard, which was after Eggman was placed in an Enemy Mine situation.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rouge
    • You can also have Sonic dabble in this, if you keep picking the "snarky" dialogue options. Not nearly as deadpan as Rouge, though.
  • Dialogue Tree: As Tails explains it, you usually can choose between getting through the conversation as fast as possible, being nice, being neutral, and being snarky and rude.
  • Dimension Lord: Imperator Ix
  • The Dragon(s): Scylla and Charyb.
  • Duel Boss: The final battle between Super Sonic and Imperator Ix.
    • Also, General Raxos.
  • The Empire: Ix certainly runs the Twilight Cage like one. His title is "Imperator" for crying out loud.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Super Sonic, as always.
  • Expy: Shade is pretty clearly an expy of Julie-Su, and the Nocturnus are expies of the Dark Legion.
    • There's even an expied area with the Twilight Cage. Bioware admittedly just took Archie's echidna history and adapted it to the games.
  • Evil Albino: Imperator Ix
  • Evil Overlord: Imperator Ix
  • Evil Versus Evil- The backstory gives us the tyrannical, fascist dictator Imperator Ix vs the selfish, greedy and poor parent Pachacamac.
  • Fastball Special: Rather common in Sonic's special attacks.
    • Played completely straight with his combined special with Amy
  • Final Exam Boss: The last battle with Ix tests to see how good you are with the Action Commands. And the one right before it checks your skill at the fleeing/catch-the-fleeing-enemies minigame.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fragile Speedster: Sonic, naturally. Also, Rouge.
  • Genre Savvy: Rouge, to an extent.
  • Glass Cannon: Shade.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Ix
  • Good Feels Good: Surprisingly, Eggman discovers running and jumping and do-gooding is fun. Or does he?
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Tails constantly reminding you to save your game. You can tell him to stop doing that, though.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Shade the Echidna
    • In the backstory, it's shown that all of the Twilight Cage races were conquerors of some sort. When the Argus Event took them to the Twilight Cage, the Nocturnus conquered them and cruelly dominated them all. This had the somewhat positive effect of causing the other races to have a Heel Realization, since they saw the pain of being dominated.
  • Hive Mind: The Voxai.
  • Hypocrite: Imperator Ix accuses the other Twilight Cage races of being evil conquerors bent on controlling everything. This apparently makes it excusable for him to be an evil conqueror bent on controlling everything.
  • Jack of All Stats: Amy.
  • Knight Templar: Though Shade believes she is doing good and merely helping her kind reach home, she is willing to follow through with Ix's rather brutal strategies of doing so without question. She does not flicker an eyelid at his squad invading innocent civilians or brutally ambushing Sonic and Knuckles until Ix blurts out his true goals of world domination, that is.
    • A Hannibal Lecture by Ix later in the game suggests him to be a Knight Templar himself, claiming he intends to make the world a better place by conquering it of course.
    • Near the end of the game, Knuckles confesses that he's worried Sonic might be this towards the Nocturnus Clan, leading Knuckles to give Ix a Last-Second Chance before Sonic can get there.
  • Leaked Experience: Notable in that party members don't actually level up from it until you put them back in the party for the purpose of distributing extra stat and skill points.
  • Left Hanging: Cliff Hanger aside, what's the deal with the "Argus events" that sucked all the races into the Twilight Cage?
  • Lightning Bruiser: Shadow.
  • Lost Forever: Due to the multiple Points Of No Return, almost everything. Most notably, both Optional Party Members and a lot of rings.
  • Mass Teleportation: Any civilization that ended up in the Twilight Cage.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Eggman's usual brand as well as the Gizoids.
  • Mighty Glacier: Omega and Knuckles.
  • Mythology Gag: Sort of. The game uses a lot of plot threads that Sega discarded or forgot about, especially from Sonic Battle. And then there's plenty of actual franchise references.
  • New Game+: Characters join your party at the same level they were at the end of the game. You're given the freedom to reassign all of their points used to boost their special abilities (except Sonic, since he technically never joins the party), allowing you to play around with new strategies. For some odd reason, although Chao Eggs regenerate, allowing you to collect any rare ones that you may have missed last time, rings don't, which means you have to depend on selling items back to the shops in order to make any more money.
  • Noble Demon: Shade pre-Heel-Face Turn.
  • No Ending: Combined with Sequel Hook. The game ends with Sonic and friends learning that Eggman has taken over the world. And then they thank Bioware for being awesome.
  • Obvious Beta: SEGA's contract with Bioware had just expired and they shifted their efforts to Dragon Age: Origins. As such, the game was released in a late beta stage, resulting in a bare-bones RPG with no sidequests. One of the most noticeable problems is the music and sound effects: most areas use placeholder Midi-format music of VERY low quality and pretty much all sound effects in battle are placeholder noises.
  • Odd Friendship - During Eggman's stint as a member of your party, he and Tails strike up a friendship.
  • One-Hit Kill: Spartoi, a special Chao, allows for a random chance to oneshot an opponent regardless of armor when the character he's with attacks.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Built on the "Shedinja" model. Super Sonic and Super Imperator Ix both do massive damage with each blow, but if they don't take out their opponent in one turn (by not executing the Action Commands perfectly for Sonic, or by the player screwing up enough Action Commands for Ix), their health regenerates and they have to start over.
  • Operation Jealousy: Amy claims to have a new boyfriend named Dexter. He's never seen, and depending on dialogue choices, Sonic suspects she's making him up. If you're nice to Amy throughout the game, she eventually admits that she made him up.
  • Optional Party Member: Cream and Omega, both of which can be Lost Forever.
  • Point of No Return: Multiple. Whatever you do, make absolutely sure you follow Eggman's advice and don't go into Metropolis unless you're sure you've got everything you need. Also, make sure to get everything in Metropolis before trying to recapture the Master Emerald. And after that, get everything in Metropolis Ground Zero before finishing the chapter, and then make sure you have everything from the Twilight Cage before starting chapter 10.
  • Precursors: Someone lived in the Twilight Cage before anyone else did, and Nestor calls them this.
  • Randomly Drops: Chao are obtained at random each time you get an egg. You could get all the best ones right off the bat or end up with crappy ones throughout the course of the game. Somewhat helped by the ability to trade chao with friends.
    • However, the randomness of the chao can be exploited by saving before checking the egg. Different chao are hatched every time you load the same save and check the egg.
  • Required Party Member: Often, especially when the team splits up.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: The names of two locations as well as two robot guardians.
  • Shout-Out: A few to the SatAM cartoon (Swatbots), and the resident Robotic Psychopath calls a character "meatbag..."
    • And speaking of Star Wars:
      Eggman: Inter-dimensional travel isn't like dusting crops, boy!
    • One of the sidequests in Chapter Three has you retrieve a man's prized stapler. The stapler in question is bright red.
    • The whole concept of a still-living echidna race, exiled to the Twilight Cage, sounds like what the Archie Comics did with their echidna race first.
    • One of Sonic's POW moves is called "Blue Bomber".
    • Imperator Ix is one to Dune, where the planet Ix was a major developer of high technology.
    • The final battle between Super Sonic and Ix is reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z.
  • Snake Talk: The N'rrgal Colony.
  • Space Pirate: In a sidequest, with Talk Like a Pirate epically mocked by Rouge.
  • Spoiler Opening: If one looks carefully enough there is a brief gameplay clip in the introduction movie featuring Shade unmasked and curiously in an area that CAN'T be accessed after you unlock her.
  • Spoony Bard: While Rouge is certainly one of the most entertaining characters, she's not very good aside from her very valuable steal ability and the team moves.
    • If you get the secret characters, Tails and Knuckles turn into these.
  • Squishy Wizard: Tails and Cream, to an extent.
  • Stock Subtitle: "Chronicles".
  • Stone Wall: Big.
  • There Is Another: There's an entire clan of echidnas that were exiled to the Twilight Cage long ago.
  • Timmy in a Well: Parodied in a side quest. Timothy technically is in a well, but is a grown man and doesn't need saving; maintaining the well is his job.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sonic. Especially when the more snarky dialogue choices are taken.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Done twice, in Chapters in 5 and 10.
  • Used To Be More Social: Some of Sonic's friends were a bit resentful towards Sonic because he didn't keep in contact with them for two years after the defeat of Eggman.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Several special skills are completely useless if you don't input every single action command perfectly. If you didn't, congratulations, you just lost a turn and a bunch of PP.
    • There is a Chao that will automatically grant you perfect results... too bad it takes a while to get.
  • Verbal Tic: Like Yoda, the Kron speak.
  • Villain Ball: Way to announce your plans for world conquest right in front of your lieutenant who believed you wanted to simply return to Earth, Ix.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Shade knows what she does under Ix is wrong, but views it as necessary to escape the Cage. Once she realizes Ix was using the Nocturnus to fuel his bid for conquest, she promptly defects from him.
  • What Could Have Been: This game is an Obvious Beta - the one we have now is a very stripped down version of what was originally planned. Hackers have discovered that the opening cutscene was to be A LOT longer and have an actual battle. The music would probably be actually good instead of strangely retro soundly. But no! All of this is likely the result of Bioware being bought by Electronic Arts roughly a year before the game released, and Bioware completed enough of the game to fulfill their contract to Sega so that they could concentrate on Dragon Age: Origins.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: The Twilight Cage. Oh boy, does this come back to bite our heroes by the time they get back...

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alternative title(s): Sonic Chronicles
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