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Video Game: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Sonic The Hedgehog (referred to as "Sonic 2006" or simply "Sonic 06") was a game released near the end of 2006 for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, made to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the franchise.

Mad scientist Dr. Eggman has a new plan to Take Over the World: to capture Princess Elise, the ruler of the country of Soleanna and the MacGuffin Girl to the "Flames of Disaster", and combine her power with the seven Chaos Emeralds so he can rule over all time and space. Chronic Hero Sonic the Hedgehog just happens to be passing by and decides to rescue Princess Elise from the clutches of Dr. Eggman before he can release the Flames of Disaster upon the world.

Meanwhile, a telekinetic hedgehog from the future named Silver has travelled back in time with his best friend Blaze. His goal is to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and prevent his Bad Future by destroying "The Iblis Trigger", which he believes to be Sonic The Hedgehog. While this is happening, local Anti-Hero Shadow The Hedgehog must contend with a mysterious evil Doppelgänger calling itself "Mephiles The Dark", who seeks to activate "The Iblis Trigger" and plunge the future into despair.

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 by a team with half of it's usual manpower note  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, and the loading times were some of the worst to ever hit a console game, compounded with a particularly glaring case of the Idiot Plot. To add insult to injury, this was the title that marked the hedgehog's 15th anniversary, with the PlayStation 3 port (released six months later) failing to correct the game's numerous flaws in any significant way.

With Sonic being a certified Long Running Cash Cow Franchise, however, the game still sold well enough to be inducted into the Xbox 360's Platinum Hits line. And despite the critical panning, there are quite a bit of vocal fans defending it against all the criticism. The one thing most people agree on is that while this game had some potentially great ideas and concepts going for it, most of them were not implemented well, and that they alone were insufficient to save the game.

This game exhibits examples of:

  • 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.
  • Animation Bump: The opening cutscene and a few of the eye candy-reaping scenes have an insultingly better amount of quality than most of the game's flat and roughly outlined environments. Things as simple as Elise's stockings look more realistic in the bumped cutscenes, going from Tropicana orange to a light tint of peach.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The three stories - Sonic, Shadow, and Silver.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Eggman finds himself in mourning when he sees his blue arch-nemesis dead.
  • Apathetic Citizens/The Guards Must Be Crazy: 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:
    • In the future, Iblis pulls a Class 4 on the world, reducing it to lava-filled ruins.
    • At its revival, Solaris pulls a Class X-5, and intended to pull a Class Z.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Don't cry, no matter what happens"
    • "Just smile!"
  • Artificial Stupidity: The partners tend to constantly fall into pits and die.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: This exchange between Shadow and Rouge as they enter into a base:
    Shadow: Why does Eggman's base lead to an odd place like this?
    Rouge: How should I know? I just followed my orders and retrieved the item.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A series standard.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: How Sonic's part of the game begins.
  • Award Bait Song: Sweet Sweet Sweet 06 and My Destiny. And to a lesser extent, Dreams of an Absolution.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mephiles. He wants nothing more than all of existence to be vaporized.
  • Bad Future: Silver's future has been devastated by Iblis who was released due to the death of Elise in the present.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Although previous Sonic games starting with Sonic Adventure have the last story being a final boss fight with the main villain due to implied success in the villain's goals, Mephiles takes the cake as he murdered Sonic to make Elise cry, and then merges with the newly released Iblis alongside the Chaos Emeralds. Mephiles, as Solaris, manages to destroy the entire planet and severely damage the entire timestream shortly after merging with Iblis, with the timestream also dying shortly thereafter. It was only after Sonic was revived and Sonic, alongside Shadow and Silver in super forms, that Mephiles was stopped, and even then it was a Bittersweet Ending as they had to also reset the timeline so that Solaris, and by extension Mephiles and Iblis, never existed, and thus Elise and Sonic never met.
  • Back from the Dead: Sonic.
  • 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: Some of the enemies can occasionally shield themselves this way from attacks that would otherwise stun them.
  • 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 Ensemble: Dr. Eggman for Sonic, Mephiles for Shadow, Iblis for Silver, and Solaris (the complete form of Mephiles and Iblis) for the Last Episode.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In his first two confrontations with Silver, Sonic is ultimately incapacitated and at Silver's mercy, only for one of his allies (first Amy, then Shadow) to arrive just in time and distract Silver long enough for Sonic to get away.
  • Big "NO!": Shadow and Silver exclaim this whenever they fall 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.
  • Blackout Basement: Lighting up purple gems help provide light in Flame Core.
  • 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 Remix: Eggman and Mephiles' boss themes remix their respective Leitmotifs.
  • Boss Subtitles
  • Bottomless Pits: A number in the game, some in very inconvenient and/or inexplicable places.
  • Bullfight Boss: Egg Cerberus, the first boss in both Sonic's and Shadow's story.
  • Bridal Carry: Sonic is frequently shown carrying Elise in this manner.
  • 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. Likely justified, since Elise was using the Chaos Emeralds at the time.
  • Camera Screw: Easily the most dangerous thing in the game, combined with the buggy level geometry. The camera won't focus on Iblis despite the fact that Iblis has very huge telegraphs for his attacks that you need to be able to see, certain vertices will cause the camera to instantly flip to the other side of you, resulting in a nauseating experience wherein your hedgehog runs back and forth over the vertex, and there are several "scripted" spring sequences where the camera points at a platform instead of the next spring in the line.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The game's ending erases the storyline from the Sonic canon.
  • Captain Obvious: Downright full of them—at points, the script may as well have been written in tribute to Rejected.
  • Character Title: Same as the first game.
  • Check Point Starvation: The End of the World, which only provides them after each individual character segment. But if you game over, it's back to start.
  • 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.
  • Complete Immortality: Iblis literally cannot die, as he instantly regenerates from any wounds he suffers. The only way to completely destroy him is is to make it so he never even existed.
  • Complexity Addiction: Mephiles' entire scheme to become Solaris again becomes especially jarring when you see what he really needed to do: either torture Elise himself (which might be counterproductive, not that the game is willing to confirm this), or failing that just kick back and let Sonic do all the work and then shoot Sonic. Nothing he does with Shadow or Silver really seems to matter, since he really was just one simple task away from making Elise cry and releasing Iblis.
  • Continuity Nod: Several in regards to the past 3D Sonic games.
    • Parts of Sonic Adventure's whale chase and snowboard level are replicated in Wave Ocean and White Acropolis, respectively.
    • Green Forest's slingshot-esque vine makes a reappearance in Sonic's Tropical Jungle.
    • The Egg Carrier in this game is essentially a fancier, redder upgrade to the Adventure Egg Carrier. Similarly, the Egg Wyvern seems to take a few cues from the Egg Viper in terms of battle strategy.
    • Notably the last game in the series to continue the Chao In Space billboard Running Gag, at least until Sonic Generations.
    • Tails' line "Whoa! My head's spinning!" when he's running a large loop returns from Sonic Heroes.
    • Silver being tricked by Mephiles into thinking that Sonic was the bad guy was the same way how Knuckles was tricked by Dr. Eggman.
  • 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 "So that blue hedgehog's the Iblis trigger?" after Mephiles shows him the "Iblis Trigger," as if she knows who Sonic is already, making this even more confusing.
    • And now a Sega executive has stated in an interview that Sonic '06 is not Blaze's backstory, and to disregard it completely.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Pretty much the entire game's plot is eliminated with the time paradox created by killing Solaris.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: See Complexity Addiction.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Flame Core, Crisis City and the final scene where Sonic and Elise unsuccessfully escape an exploding Egg Carrier only for a particularly large explosion to end up shooting him and Elise up to safety.
  • Crate Expectations: In addition to the star-labeled wooden and metal boxes from Sonic Adventure 2 onward, combustible and shockwave-inducing crates are also available for abuse. Even in the ruined world of the future there are crates.
  • Cue the Sun: After Iblis' defeat at the end of Silver's story.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: All of the hedgehogs' intros are guilty of this.
    • Sonic's intro shows him running so fast that he can create tornados. In game, his running speed is pretty abysmal and he has to buy an item that allows him to create the tornados.
    • Silver's intro shows him flying for a long period of time and being able to move really fast. In gameplay, he has the slowest running speed next to Amy, he can only fly for about 5 seconds (without using exploits, but even that only gets you about 7 extra seconds), and the closest thing to going fast is an item that you have to buy and even then Silver can only teleport up to about 5 feet.
      • Even in normal cutscenes, the game depicts Silver as capable of flying for as long and fast as he wants, firing energy balls and instantly telekinetically grabbing and throwing his foes. When you play him, you find that he flies very slowly for a short amount of time, must have something to grab to attack opponents and even the smallest of Mooks require stunning before being grabbed.
    • As for Shadow's intro, it depicts him running really fast (fast enough to cause robots to explode) and being able to teleport without chaos control. Gameplay wise, Shadow doesn't run as fast, can't teleport, and can't cause enemies to explode by running into them.
  • Darker and Edgier: Given the fact that the main villain, Mephiles, is a demonic psychopath who is trying to eradicate time itself (not to mention came exceptionally closer to succeeding in his goal than any of the other villains by severely damaging the time stream.), 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.
  • Dead Hand Shot: When Sonic dies.
  • Death Is Cheap: Sonic's death; he gets revived one level later.
  • Decapitated Army: Certain groups of Mooks may be tied to a bulkier member; if Sonic kills it, everyone else dies instantly, presumably due to a spontaneous lethal power vacuum.
  • Deus ex Machina: Elise feeling "Sonic's presence in the wind" ends up saving reality.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Mephiles The Dark.
  • Dispense With The Pleasantries: Rouge asks Shadow if he wants to know the object she's holding (the Scepter of Darkness). Shadow tells her that he was sent by G.U.N. to rescue her and nothing else. Rouge then tells Shadow that it's always business with him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: With a game as infamous as this, it's hard not to think of Superman 64 when first sidequests the player takes involves going through rings.
    • With its snowy climate, guard towers, searchlights, and large and imposing gates, White Acropolis sure does remind one of Shadow Moses Island.
    • Soleana City sure does look a lot like Delfino Palaza.
  • 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).
  • Driven to Suicide: After getting captured by Eggman yet again, Elise declares that she would rather die than be his prisoner again and promptly throws herself off the Egg Mobile. Luckily for her, Sonic just happens to be running by at that precise moment.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The game has Sonic & Shadow fight Silver at least once. Again, you can play either side of the same fight, according to which character's story mode you're playing.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Hits this game pretty hard. For starters, Sonic saves Elise at the very start of his story for, in his own words, "No special reason." Not ten minutes after Sonic whisks Elise away from Eggman's onslaught, she gets captured again and Sonic decides to rescue her for the duration of his story. Even after they just barely met without even exchanging a real conversation with one another.
    • In Silver's story, during his pursuit of the Iblis Trigger, Amy Rose runs up to him mistaking him for Sonic. After sorting out the misunderstanding and introducing themselves, Amy immediately drags Silver off to help look for Sonic (who Silver doesn't know is the Iblis Trigger). It doesn't take much for Amy to convince Silver to drop his mission of saving his timeline for a while to help her out first. Especially since, again, they just met. Silver tries to play it off to himself as trading favors (even as a tourist, Amy knows Soleana better than Silver does) but it really sounds flimsy.
  • Dull Surprise
  • Dummied Out: A number of features that were scrapped due to time or technical limits, some revived in later projects:
    • A power gem to allow the player to become Super Sonic in general play stages (revived for Sonic Colors).
    • A Day/Night feature (revived for Sonic Unleashed).
    • Whatever purpose the Medals of Soleanna served isn't known. The Medals for some reason weren't dummied out altogether, though, as you can still pick them up in stages and in the Hub World.
    • Based on the the manual, it appears Tails and Omega would have some limited Flight Meter, there would be Chaos Drives and something referred to as Light Cores for some sort of Level-Up Mechanics (also revived for Unleashed).
  • Easily Forgiven: Upon their third meeting, Sonic is naturally suspicious of Silver since Silver had previously nearly killed him twice, but as soon as he discovers that Silver intends to help him save Elise, Sonic promptly gives him a slap on the wrist and accepts his aid.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Mine: After Solaris comes into being and almost devours the universe, Eggman helps the rest of the heroes by advising them what to do as well as pinpointing the locations of the scattered Chaos Emeralds. Makes sense, as Eggman won't have much to rule if the universe is destroyed.
  • Escort Mission: Several short and almost random ones, some of which are required for the player to move on to the next level. All of them are simple enough; the people in question don't run towards the enemies, and instead 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, taking the Hovercraft over a ramp may cause it to explode upon landing (potentially leading to an entirely unpredictable death), and the Bike spontaneously explodes immediately after its fuel runs out.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: There are far, far more things in the environment that will damage you than things that won't. Enemies can spawn at any given area, random elements of the levels may crash 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 — the side of the road, environmental objects that would otherwise be perfectly harmless, 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.
    • 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.
    • In the last Shadow level, almost all sand is quicksand, even in places where all logic suggests it would be harmless.
    • In Flame Core, there are meteors that can hit you and then hit you immediately after you got hurt, causing you to lose a life. They are also really fast, hard to avoid, and they come at random times in random numbers. They can even hit you during scripted sequences.
  • Falling into His Arms: At one point, Elise jumps out of the Eggmobile and Sonic catches her in the nick of time.
  • Flashback: Most of them are about times when Elise was young and Duke was alive.
  • Filler: There's a spot in Sonic's story where you have to replay a chunk of Wave Ocean as Tails. This seemingly accomplishes nothing, and Sonic continues onward as if nothing happened.
  • Fine, You Can Just Wait Here Alone: Knuckles says this to Rouge when she expressed disdain about capturing the Chaos Emerald inside the volcano. She eventually goes along with the group, though.
  • Fireballs: Iblis' minions like to fire these.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Sonic and Silver after the latter found out the truth about Iblis. Also, to a lesser extent, Shadow and Silver.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: When characters get teleported through time, they'll always end up in proximity of where they need to go.
  • For the Evulz: As pointed out by Shadow, Mephiles' end goal is nothing but wanton mass destruction.
  • Fungus Humongous: Seen in jungle levels.
  • Fusion Dance: Solaris is reborn through the fusion of Mephiles and Iblis.
  • 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. A few modders successfully swapped characters around and modified Sonic's running and jumping speed, for instance.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Depending on their position beforehand, the hedgehogs can easily enter a scripted sequence only to end up flying off the expected route, often straight into a Bottomless Pit. This can prove especially problematic during Mach Speed sections.
    • Cycle of Hurting: During the fight with Silver, he can fling you around telekinetically. If you hit a wall and one of your rings flies into it, every time he picks you up, you'll collect the ring. Which means, since he'll constantly pick you up before you can recover from the throw (it's how his AI is programmed to finish you off), the game becomes trapped in an inescapable loop.
    • If you're caught by Silver in a certain spot, he'll fling you through the invisible wall and into an empty Hub World with no way to get back in the fight. The only way out is to kill yourself, or even better let Silver do it for you.
    • Playing as Sonic in Kingdom Valley, if you fall and try to hasten your death by bouncing, you can actually get stuck on small overhangs near the bottoms of the towers, forcing you to quit or restart the level from the beginning instead of just going back to the last checkpoint.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The shops have equipment for Silver, despite the fact that he won't exist for another 200 years.
  • Gameplay Roulette: In a similar way to Sonic Adventure 2, the game rotates through playable characters within each story plus the final level.
    • Sonic-Tails-Knuckles-Silver
    • Shadow-Rouge-Omega-Silver
    • Silver-Blaze-Amy-Shadow-Sonic
  • Go Through Me: Amy, defending Sonic from Silver.
  • Guide Dang It: One of the criticisms of the game is that in some sections, there's no clear indication of what you're supposed to do or where to go. In some cases not even the official game guide is much help.
  • 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 Silver vs. Shadow, with the latter in each match emerging victorious regardless of the outcome of the fight.
  • 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 that, Silver was trying to do the same thing, only to find that he wasn't an acceptable vessel.
  • Hub Level: Soleanna.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Sonic doesn't notice that his arm is wounded (and, indeed, neither will the audience, because the texture for the wound doesn't exist) until Elise points it out and even when she does, he dismisses it as nothing before she tends to his injury.
  • 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." Considering she can't cry without destroying the world, we can't exactly blame her.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Reset Button Ending erases Iblis from the timeline; even though Iblis's existence was a pretty pivotal part of Elise's past — to the point of killing her father — she apparently went through the same ten years of that past with no change.
  • Indy Escape: In Sonic's White Acropolis stage, you have to escape a giant snowball towards the end of the snowboarding section. Blaze has the same section in Silver's story, only she just runs.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Found in Radical Train levels, which can switch directions on a whim.
  • Informed Flaw: Blaze claims that Silver is insecure when he's alone, yet we never see him display any insecurities when he's without her. In fact, he was portrayed as being extremely determined to fulfilling his mission. The only implication of this is when he meets Amy and he's basically dragged around by her to help her look for Sonic despite the fact he's there to save the world, so he's strong and determined until he suddenly isn't.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Any bridge with a Soleanna guard standing in front of it is most likely going to be accompanied with an invisible wall earlier on in the game.
    • Additionally, there's a small opening in a wall near the beginning of the game that's accompanied by an Invisible Wall, which you need to buy the Antigravity skill to pass through. Not through using the skill itself, but through its purchase.
  • Invisible Wall: In Soleanna, especially during missions.
  • 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 while they yell the same annoying death cries, only to reappear a few seconds later), and they don't even have their animations when on the stage results screen.
  • Jump Physics: May become significantly altered depending on where the jump began, which doesn't always guarantee a safe landing.
  • 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. He is also 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").
  • Lampshade Hanging: The "Sonic Faceplanting" Running Gag gets averted when Sonic, Tails and Knuckles arrive in the future. Sonic ends up this close to kissing the floor but he corrects himself just in time. Knuckles, however, does not.
  • 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," Silver has "Dreams of an Absolution" and Elise has "My Destiny". 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. Crisis City to an extent, but the lava doesn't feature in the gameplay other than to be bottomless pits.
  • Light Is Not Good: Solaris is supposed to be a god of light and time. It also happens to be an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The humans are rendered in a realistic style, while the animal cast are anthropomorphic, and their existence is treated as normal.
  • 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 10-20 seconds at a time staring at a blank loading screen. Incidentally, one of the rather dull loading screens from this game serves as 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.
    Sonic: "The whole city's on fire!"
  • MacGuffin Girl: Princess Elise.
  • Made of Explodium: Shadow's vehicles. After sustaining enough damage, they all explode.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mephiles.
  • Marathon Level: The End of the World featuring six of the characters with no check points.
  • Metaphorically True: Mephiles is telling the truth about Sonic being the Iblis Trigger. What he conveniently left out is that killing Sonic would cause Iblis' release, instead of preventing it.
  • 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 for purposes that are never seen again, including Time Travel and interdimensional transportation. Additionally, Amy's gameplay revolves around her turning invisible for no explained reason.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If one thinks about it for awhile, Mephiles' role as the villain may be entirely the fault of Shadow. When he and Silver went back to seal away Mephiles and Iblis respectively, it appeared that Mephiles was simply trying to escape the lab. However, Shadow pursued him anyway and sealed him in the Scepter of Darkness for ten years]]; long enough to make anyone go Ax-Crazy.
  • No Escape but Down: Elise jumps off the Eggmobile to escape from Eggman.
  • 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: Nowhere near the same level as the likes of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, but still a blatant example from a big-name company who really should know better. In fact, it is rumoured that the game was released in Alpha, as the beta wasn't stable enough.
    • There are even some features more characteristic of a pre-alpha production level, such as Tails "Dummy Ring Bomb" attack, which is clearly a placeholder animation for something that had not yet been developed. Also, an energy meter is displayed on the HUD when playing as Sonic, but it serves no purpose since the skill for Sonic that was supposed to use the meter was never implemented.
  • 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.
  • Off Model: Happens a lot with the CGI; pretty much every intro, midpoint, and outro scene of the three main stories is high-quality that looks like nothing else in the entire game, and every single other pre-rendered scene has the models more closely matching the rather bland in-game graphics with slight, if any, enhancements, slapped into high-detailed environments with a blatant contrast.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Heard when fighting with Solaris.
  • One-Woman Wail: Features prominently in the music for Kingdom Valley.
  • Only Six Faces: If you look closely at some of the townsfolk, a lot of them share the same face. It gets worse when you're in a group of people who all share the same face.
  • Palette Swap: Several different ones for the more dangerous versions of Eggman's robots, while stronger Iblis monsters all keep a dark purple skin as opposed to their regular orange bodies.
  • Palmtree Panic: Wave Ocean.
  • Perpetual Molt: Eagles in Kingdom 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, whereas Sonic doesn't even meet Mephiles directly. Sonic has more relevance in the Last Story, however.
  • 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!: In certain levels, Shadow says this: "Let's. Get. MOVING!"
  • Quicksand Sucks: One entire desert level has nearly every sand area as a giant bottomless sand pit, most notably in the beginning of Shadow's Dusty Desert which requires you to navigate tricky terrain in a hovercraft with little room for error.
  • Real Is Brown: Most of the time, the graphics are dominated by the game's "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.
  • Rivals Team Up: Shadow and Silver in the Aquatic Base level. Then Sonic and Silver in Kingdom Valley.
  • 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: Sort of. The characters treat Chaos Control — specifically, using Chaos Control to jump through centuries — as if it will jump them a fixed amount of time, rather than to whatever time they want. Nevermind that Chaos Control does not have this problem in the rest of the series. Beyond that, Mephilis is the closest thing to a proverbial San Dimas, since he's slowly but steadily getting more powerful as the three stories unfold.
  • Sand Is Water: Dusty Desert, complete with the same effect.
  • Say My Name: Sonic calls out Elise's name after the Egg Carrier explodes.
    • Then Knuckles calls out Sonic's name when he sees him dead before his and the others' eyes.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Due to Cut-and-Paste Environments, most of the stages in each route don't seem to follow any consistent pattern in difficulty.
  • 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.
    • This becomes deadlier because taking damage from the Vulcan Cannon does not render you temporarily invincible, and if you don't have enough rings to survive the round...
  • 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.
  • Sequence Breaking: The Sky Gem is this trope in item form. If thrown correctly, you can bypass a lot of the stage, as well as fly over invisible walls.
    • The Purple Gem is also incredibly helpful - it shrinks Sonic's model, but doesn't change how it calculates his jumps, giving him an infinite jump that will allow him to bypass huge chunks of levels.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The music from "Town Mission 4" sounds strikingly similar to "Flashman's Theme" from Mega Man 2.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Twice against Mephiles.
    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!"
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Unofficially the game is often refered to as Sonic 360, thanks to the Xbox 360 tech demo shown at E3 2005 which provided the first glimpse of the game. It was also known as Sonic Next/Sonic Next Gen before its formal reveal at E3 2006.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: White Acropolis.
  • Slow Motion Fall: Sonic gets one at the beginning of the final story.
  • The Slow Path/Write Back to the Future: Rouge tells Omega, in the present, to help Shadow, in the future, against Mephiles this way and gives him a Chaos Emerald to help him. Omega gets written back into the story when he travels back to the present with Shadow, along with the Chaos Emerald.
  • Someone Has to Die: The end of Silver's story has Blaze becoming the new vessel for Iblis and sealed in another dimension.
  • Spacetime Eater: Mephiles, as part of Solaris, plans to devour all of existence.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Be a strong leader who never cries in the face of adversity and trials... because otherwise, you'll release a demonic monstrosity that was sealed within you and tear apart the space-time continuum... wait, what?
  • Spiritual Successor: To Sonic Adventure.
  • Straw Nihilist: Mephiles.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Of the Bottomless Pit variety. In fact, water is so lethal in this game, it only takes depths up to the characters' waists to do them in.
  • Tech Demo Game: Sega attempted to shove every "next gen" feature they could think of into the game, such as motion blurnote , real-time shadowsnote  and a physics engine. Unfortunately, people weren't impressed so much as annoyed by the primitive lighting, broken physics and the massive slowdowns in Soleanna.
  • Tennis Boss: Silver's battles with Iblis and the Egg Genesis.
  • Temple of Doom: Dusty Desert.
  • Three-Point Landing: Generally when coming out of a portal when travelling through time. A notable example is when Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles go to the future. Sonic does a three point landing gracefully, while Tails and Knuckles are much less graceful.
  • Time Travel
  • True Love's Kiss: From Elise to Sonic, towards the end of the game.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: More abundant than in most other Sonic games, in that the player will frequently be switching characters (and thus playstyles) mid-level.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can hurt the citizens of Soleanna, forcing them to stumble around briefly.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • We Can Rule Together: Mephiles to Shadow.
  • Weird Currency: Rings can be used to buy stuff, like equipment for a hedgehog that won't even exist for two hundred years. Gameplay and Story Segregation, but still.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Silver in the beginning of the game. He legitimately wants to help the world have a better future that doesn't contain Iblis, but he goes about it the wrong way by trying to kill Sonic.
    • Also, Princess Elise's father. Like Eggman, he was trying to harness the power of a god (Solaris) for his own purposes. That being the case, a flashback implies that his main goal was simply to go back in time and save his deceased wife, as well as to give other people the chance to undo their mistakes. There's no indication that he had any malicious intentions.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Amy calls out Silver for attacking the "Iblis Trigger" (aka Sonic), convinced that he wouldn't do anything like what Silver suggests.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Mephiles's plot to have Silver kill Sonic fails, he decides to do it himself. It takes him all of about five seconds.
  • Wreaking Havok: Many examples, showing how wonky the physics engine was implemented. The most ostentatious display of such being Sonic's Mach Speed section in Crisis City, where you're being chased by a fire tornado as it flings cars in front of you, smacking into the concrete and spinning wildly into the sky in ways not physically possible.
  • You Look Familiar: Mephiles, who's very similar to Shadow in appearance, with grey streaks instead of red, and no visible mouth. Knuckles even acknowledges this in one cutscene and when Shadow confronts Silver, Silver mistakes him for Mephiles.
  • You Didn't Ask: Amy did not know for a long time that both Elise and Silver were actually following Sonic: She didn't ask Silver what the Iblis Trigger looked like and, while she did ask Elise what the person she was talking about looked like, she didn't give Elise enough time to answer her.
  • Your Size May Vary: In-game, even the children of Soleanna are visibly taller than Sonic, but in cutscenes, he stands only slightly shorter than Princess Elise, who herself seems of average height for a young lady her age.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: "It looks like the Princess was moved to another location."

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alternative title(s): Sonic2006; Sonic 06
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