Sonic Heroes is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released at the end of 2003. It's notable for being the first Sonic game to have Multi Platform release on all three consoles after Sega quit making consoles (prior to this, Sonic stuck to the Nintendo GameCube with several rereleases of older games and the Game Boy Advance for the 2D Sonic Advance trilogy) as well as the first original 3D Sonic game after Sonic Adventure 2. Its primary gameplay gimmick is teamwork, and as such the story focuses on four teams of three: Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose, and Team Chaotix. Each team has a Speed, Power, and Flight character with an associated formation. Each formation can be immediately switched with the press of a button.Team Sonic consists of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. They get a letter from Dr. Eggman in which the evil doctor boasts that he has created the ultimate weapon to take over the world, and tells the trio that they have three days to stop him from launching it. The secondary levels involve Team Sonic going through the level in a short timelimit.Team Dark consists of Shadow, Rouge, and the new character E-123 Omega. All three are after Eggman, but for different reasons. Rouge wants Eggman's secret treasure, Shadow is currently amnesiac after being frozen in suspended animation and wants answers from Eggman, and Omega wants to kill the doctor for demoting him to secret base security. Team Dark has the hardest levels and most enemies. The secondary level requires Team Dark to destroy all of Eggman's robots.Team Rose consists of Amy, Cream — with her Chao friend Cheese — and Mr. Big. Big must once again find his missing pal Froggy, Cream wants to reunite Cheese with his brother Chocola, and Amy, of course, wants to track down Sonic, who has apparently kidnapped Froggy and Chocola. Team Rose has the easiest and shortest levels and the secondary level involves them collecting 200 rings.Team Chaotix consists of Espio, Charmy, and Vector. They are a group of detectives who are tasked with various missions from an unknown client that communicates with them via walkie-talkie. Vector and Charmy are eager to fulfill their client's tasks as they are promised a hefty cash reward; although skeptical, Espio is forced to join his comrades. The secondary level is a harder version of the original mission.The game's reviews were rather mixed, but mostly positive, with the GameCube version getting the highest overall scores, and the PlayStation 2 version getting the lowest. Fans and critics alike praised all of the callbacks to previous games and the return of Special Stages, but criticized the requirement of team-ups, the lighthearted storyline, and retaining some of the 3D problems of Sonic Adventure.Was later followed up by a semi-sequel called Shadow the Hedgehog that wrapped up several of the loose threads in Team Dark's storyline.A teamwork gimmick would also be used in Sonic Advance 3, but with a team of two instead of three and the ability to choose different character combinations.
This game provides examples of:
Actually a Doombot: Eggman, after you crash his Albatross. Once your back is turned, though, the robot melts and reforms into Metal Sonic.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Metal Sonic, the real villain of the game, has gained a personality over the years, and was disillusioned by never being able to fulfill his purpose of defeating Sonic; in a surprisingly astute move, he mutinies by locking up Eggman, taking over his empire and impersonating him, as well as secretly copying the data of the heroes to become all powerful. However, its clear that he's not only a cold-blooded egotist, but also literally insane, as he believes he is the real Sonic, and Sonic is his "loathsome copy!"
All Your Powers Combined: Metal Sonic spends the game scanning the heroes and gaining their powers: Sonic's speed, Tails's flight, Knuckles's strength, Shadow's Chaos powers, and (by way of proxies that have been in contact with him) Chaos's shapeshifting ability, manifested through metal instead of water.
Bag of Spilling: Each time you start a new zone, all your levels reset to zero.
Another rather egregious example is in the final level, when you press a self destruct switch to detonate the ship you are currently on, Tails will say "Wonder why it self destructed?" when in the original Japanese script, he said "Why did he put a self destruct switch there?"
Bottomless Pits: Lots of them are present in the game, to the point where almost every single level after Power Plant is some level suspended high in the air.
Costume Copycat: Metal Sonic disguising as Eggman through the entire game, while the real one is locked up and gives orders to Team Chaotix.
Also, presumably the "Sonic" seen in the newspaper article that kicked off Team Rose's quest was also Metal Sonic in disguise.
Cut and Paste Environments: All the Teams go through the exact same levels at the exact same times and fight Metal Sonic disguised as Eggman in the exact same fights. While there are enough differences in the actual levels, the storyline is a giant Contrived Coincidence.
Cycle of Hurting: Team Chaotix inverts this with the way their Team Blast works. The Team Blast gauge is filled by killing enemies and collecting rings, and with every enemy Team Chaotix kills with their Team Blast, they collect a few rings. If you are in a place or boss battle with enough enemies, it's possible to pull off consecutive Team Blasts.
Excuse Plot: In contrast to the previous Sonic Adventure games, Heroes deliberately aimed for a much more simplistic plot with the general conflict, in order to serve as a "jump-on" point for newcomers to the series. The only exception is Team Dark's story, due to the subplot involving Shadow.
When Team Chaotix is about to fight the Robot Storm at the Mystic Mansion, Vector calls "Eggman" a mustache moron, before asking his client if he's the real deal (they had earlier defeated a fake). The client takes an odd amount of offense to Vector's remark before stopping himself. It's later revealed that their client was Eggman all along.
In the scene where Team Dark defeats Eggman at Sky Canyon, because of their finding a destroyed Shadow robot, and later a large collection of Shadow robots in stasis, people had been speculating that the Shadow they discovered in the beginning of the game may have been a robot., however, the same scene as their discovery of the destroyed Shadow bot had Metal Sonic stating that the Ultimate Life Form's data has been successfully copied, implying that yes, the Shadow Rouge discovered is indeed the real Shadow.
In Hang Castle, an Eggman statue becomes a Metal Sonic statue when the castle flips upside down.
Furry Confusion: Vector is an anthropomorphic crocodile. Lost Jungle includes a giant non-anthropomorphic alligator as a hazard. Team Chaotix takes an alternate route through the level, so the twain never meet.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In a sense. During Team Dark's Chaos Inferno Team Blast, Shadow reaches into Omega's chassis and pulls out the green Chaos Emerald to perform Chaos Control (whether the Emerald served as a power source for Omega or the robot was simply safeguarding it is unknown, although, given subsequent games, the latter is more likely). However, you still have to collect that particular Emerald via the Special Stages (with any of the four teams). Later on, during the Last Episode where the teams reveal that they've been collecting all of the Chaos Emeralds separately, Omega is still in possession of the green Emerald, implying that he still had it all along.
Heavily Armored Mook: The Egg Hammers, which can only be destroyed by the power character. In Mystic Mansion and Final Fortress, there is an Armored variant that wears a Roman-styled helmet that shields its only weak point.
Furry Ladder: Any of the four teams can assume this position at any time, in order for the "fly" type characters to take the lead.
Let's You and Him Fight: Tons of it. Let's put it this way: all the teams are technically on the same side, but they continually fight each other for petty reasons and misunderstandings throughout the game anyways. This is especially noticeable with Team Dark, who kept attacking people just in case their opponents might have saved the day before they could for their own reasons.
Levels Take Flight: Egg Fleet and Final Fortress. The former involves the player hopping from airship to airship as they gradually tear through Eggman's aerial armada before landing on his flagship.
Limit Break: Hitting enough enemies and doing enough actions increases the power meter that allows you to use a Team Blast.
Loud of War: Team Chaotix's blast uses their horrible singing to cause the robots in their radius to explode.
Marathon Level: Almost every stage in the game is pretty long, but most notable are Power Plant and Mystic Mansion, the latter of which is That One Level.
Final Fortress, too, but that's to be expected from the last non-boss level.
Mystic Mansion from the Chaotix's story has you trying to extinguish all the torches in the level with Espio's whirlwind... for some reason. If you miss one you have to search through the whole level from the beginning. A clean speed run of the level, skipping enemies, without having to backtrack for a missed torch, will take upwards of 10 minutes.
Multi Platform: The fact that the game was being released for all three of the then-current gen consoles was a major selling point. The PS2 version is generally considered a Porting Disaster due to things such as clipping and inferior framerate.
The optional Super Hard Mode, which is ironically less difficult than the requirement for unlocking it: All A-Ranks.
Even the Hero stages (which is what a lot of newcomers are going to play automatically, this being a Sonic game) are rather difficult when they rely mostly on rails. The broken camera and controls brought over from the Sonic Adventure series aren't really helping, either.
Inverted with Team Rose stages, being designed for novice players. They are shorter versions of Team Hero stages with less enemies and traps and weaker bosses. In addition, Team Rose can only lose a special stage key by dying (the other teams can lose them just by taking damage) and have a Purposefully Overpowered Team Blast.
Not Me This Time: Throughout the story, all of the teams pursue Eggman when he unleashes the Egg Fleet to conquer the world. However, it is later revealed in the endings that not only is Eggman, for once, not responsible for the world domination plan, but in fact he was locked up by the one actually responsible: Metal Sonic.
Precision F-Strike: Downplayed, but still significant: In the English dub, Amy Rose occasionally blasphemes. It's not much, but it pushes the envelope for something G-rated.
Purposefully Overpowered: Team Rose's Team Blast, to make their gameplay even more beginner-friendly. In addition to destroying all nearby enemies (like all Team Blasts), it levels up all three characters and gives them a shield and an invincibility power-up.
There Can Only Be One: Metal Sonic's desire to beat Sonicprogressed into a full-on insanity in this game as he believed himself to be the real Sonic (all the while still acknowledging that he was built with the purpose of defeating Sonic) with lines like, "No long time no see, Sonic, my loathsome copy!" and "I am the real Sonic!" To a lesser extent, Shadow's identity crisis is further compounded when he discovers a broken robotic copy of himself, although he doesn't say anything about it and it is instead Rouge and Omega who briefly muse about the development at endgame.
The beginning of Team Sonic's story when they get the "invitation" from Doctor Eggman. He starts the letter off by exclaiming, "Guess WHAT, Sonic Heroes?!"
The ending when Metal Overlord reverts back to Metal Sonic.
Metal Sonic: "It's no use... but why can't I defeat you?"
Sonic: "Because we're Sonic Heroes."
Tomato in the Mirror: In Team Dark's ending, Rouge and Omega discover a room full of robo-duplicates of Shadow aboard the Final Fortress in tubes that looked suspiciously like the one the playable Shadow was kept in in their opening cutscene. This casts doubt on whether or not the Shadow that joined them on their quest was the real Shadow or just a robot, but Eggman reveals in the final battle of Shadow the Hedgehog that he is the real Shadow, whom Eggman recovered after Sonic Adventure 2.
Inverted with Metal Sonic. He's become so insane, he deluded himself into believing he is the real Sonic, and that Sonic is his copy!
The Unfought: Dr. Eggman appears to be the Big Bad throughout most of the game, but the player gets a bait & switch when they discover that it was actually Metal Sonic impersonating him and that Metal Sonic's the true villain of the game.
Neo Metal Sonic is also never fought before he transforms.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The characters find a statue of Dr. Eggman at Hang Castle. They comment on it. Then they flip the level over, revealing a statue of Metal Sonic. Not a single word is said about it.
Variable Mix: Hang Castle has two different versions depending on the stage's orientation, while Mystic Mansion progresses through different parts as you go from one area to another.
"Guooooo! Why! I had it all! I am the ultimate overlord, Metal Sonic! I am the real Sonic!"
Villain Song/The Villain Sucks Song: Depending on how one interpret the lyrics, "What I'm Made Of," the theme of the (True)Final Boss is either Metal Sonic telling Sonic about his maddening motive to finally defeat him and prove his worth or Sonic's Badass Boast to Metal, daring him to try and copy his power and see how that works out for him.
Visible Invisibility: Espio can be turned invisible to the other characters - or at least, the enemies.
Walking Spoiler: Metal Sonic, natch (notice how all of the entries on this page pertaining to the character and all related plot threads are spoiler tagged), although it's largely in It Was His Sled territory among most fans.
Wall Jump: Sonic, Shadow, and Espio can perform the Triangle Jump, which is this in a nutshell. Espio's, uniquely, allows him to stay on the wall for an indefinite amount of time.
Wave Motion Gun: Final Fortress has several of these. Towards the end of the stage for both Team Sonic and Team Dark, you have to avoid twelve of them, side by side, while rail grinding, followed by a much bigger cannon that you have to switch to flying formation to avoid.
We Can Rule Together: Of a sort. More like, "I can rule, and you can benefit," but mostly an attempt to get out of skinflinting the Chaotix.