Video Game / Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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Sega and Sonic Team tried to go fast developing this game. And it shows.

"It's a bit surprising to see as big a name as Sonic go home with a mullet."
X-Play on their annual "Golden Mullets", one of the former video game equivalents to the Razzies.

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 commemorate the 15th anniversary of the titular franchise, expectations for the game were quite high; unfortunately, the finished product not only failed to live up to them, but quickly became infamous for being spectacularly buggy and lacking in quite a few departments.

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 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 remedy the Polygon Ceiling that the Sonic series had chronically struggled with, such as camera issues and occasionally wonky controls and physics. Alas, by rushing the game – which had no shortage of development issues to begin with (see the Trivia page for details) – out for a Christmas release on two advanced, brand-new consoles, what consumers got instead was a very Obvious Beta that not only failed to address these problems, but in many cases made them worse than ever. The controls were slipperier than ever, the camera was even more offensive, the loading times were some of the worst to ever hit a console game, and hundreds of glitches that should have been axed during playtesting were left intact in the finished game – and this is all to say nothing of the notoriously convoluted Idiot Plot.

With Sonic being a certified Long Running Cash Cow Franchise, the game sold well enough to be inducted into the Xbox 360's Platinum Hits line, despite its critical panning. And while nobody will ever call the game a masterpiece, there are quite a few defenders in the years after its release who feel the game is far from being the absolute disaster many make it out to benote . Most fans, however, agree that while the game may have 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:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: Aquatic Base.
  • A-Cup Angst: Blaze, according to the source material. Touched upon in an episode of DidYouKnowGaming. According to the bio in the game's script, "...she is bothered by her underendowed chest (comments on which will rouse her anger)."
  • 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.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: End of the World.
  • Always Save the Girl: Two gender-inverted examples.
    • Amy delivers this line to Silver following his attempt at killing Sonic:
    Amy: If I had to choose between the world and Sonic, I would choose Sonic!
    • Elise debates whether or not to destroy the time-destroying evil sun god Solaris if it means she'll never meet Sonic, and admits to him that she doesn't care what happens to the world. Thankfully, Sonic assures her that the world's more important.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Blaze at the end of Silver's story becomes victim to one - while the dialogue implies she is sealed into another dimension, she is absent from the final story entirely (despite Eggman's claim that Solaris is capable of affecting dimensions too), meaning she may have died in some way or another, taking Iblis with her.
  • 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. Also, Shadow closes his eyes and turns away in grief when he sees Sonic 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!"
  • The Artifact: Despite being the title character, Sonic himself is largely unimportant for much of the game, as while he's busy playing cat-and-mouse with Elise and Eggman, co-stars Shadow and Silver are the ones who confront the real mastermind, learn what he intends to do how he came to be and so on. He only stops being this after he dies, by which point his death is used as a catalyst to revive him in time for the final boss.
  • 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.
  • Auto-Save: Infamously, averted. The game prompts you to save after a level is completed, but not quests, mandatory or otherwise. Hope you remember to save after the three trials or you'll find out why.
  • 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.
  • Badass in Distress: Rouge is trapped in White Acropolis after acquiring the Scepter of Darkness. Shadow arrives to rescue her in the second act of the stage.
  • 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:
    • Sonic's entry in the beginning of his story is by destroying Eggman's robots and carrying Elise away from Eggman.
    • 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.
    • Later in the story, Silver would turn from attacker to rescuer as he jumps in to save Sonic from an army of robots, after he learned that Sonic isn't responsible for his future's destruction.
  • Big "NO!": Shadow and Silver exclaim this whenever they fall down a Bottomless Pit during gameplay.
    • A smaller 'No' is delivered by Knuckles, Sonic, Blaze and Shadow they die in levels by running out of rings. Other variations of this exist too. 'Not now' is said by Silver, 'Not like this' by Rouge and 'Oh no!' by Amy.
    • 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: These, unlike other video games, Sonic or otherwise, require their own inhumane loading screen.
  • 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, though Sonic Generations renders this questionable. On a slightly smaller scale, you'd be wise to forget Blaze was in this game with a completely different backstory.
  • 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.
  • Central Theme: A question often asked in this game is whether or not one person should suffer for the good of the world. Since Elise is used as a living seal for Iblis the world is safe from destruction, but she obviously suffers from it and has to force herself not to cry so as to not release the god through her tears. After being confronted about it by Amy, Silver wonders whether or not it's right to kill Sonic to save the future and later on in the story Silver is reluctant to seal Iblis inside of Blaze thus sending her into another dimension and out of his life even though doing so will keep the world safe. At the end of the game, when Elise has to blow out the Iblis Flame to stop it from ever existing, she is hesitant to do so since that will erase the meeting between her and Sonic. She even cries, "I don't care what happens to the world!" She has to choose between herself and everyone else.
  • 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.
  • 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 is similar to how Knuckles got tricked by Dr. Eggman several times in the series since his first appearance in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • Continuity Snarl: We've got a double whammy here.
    • Firstly, Blaze the Cat. In Sonic Rush (and several games afterward), she is firmly established as a princess from another dimension and guardian of the Sol Emeralds. In this game, however, she is instead from the future of Sonic's world, with nary a Sol Emerald in sight or word. The fact that Blaze seemingly seals herself in another dimension at the end of Silver's story could be seen as an "origin" for the dimension plotline, though this rases further questions (how she became princess, how the Reset Button didn't affect her, how Iblis has never been relevant et cetera). The fact that the game's manual and official website used her Rush origin regardless of what the game itself showed did NOT help, and neither did various nods to Blaze's '06 appearance in games where the princess backstory was otherwise her given one. Ultimately, Takashi Iizuka came out and confirmed that the "other dimension" backstory was Blaze's one, and this appearance was better off ignored.
    • Secondly, the blue Chaos Emerald. First of all, it lies in a Stable Time Loop, specifically the "object paradox" flavor. It starts with Elise having it at the start, throwing it to Sonic, Eggman obtaining it, Silver finding it, then giving it to a young Elise ten years in the past where she has it until the present day. This is enough of a headscratcher on its own, but you could Hand Wave it with "Chaos energy" if you really had to. The second problem is, this is supposedly the same blue emerald that exists in the overall Sonic canon; the emerald is never shown to have entered or exited the loop at any point, meaning that, logically, the finalés of several past Sonic games could not have happened. If the blue emerald remained with Elise and never left her at any point, how would Sonic and friends have gotten the Master Emerald back from Eggman? Or stopped the likes of Perfect Chaos (who also wouldn't have been able to become Perfect to begin with)? Or the Finalhazard, Metal Overlord or Devil Doom?
  • Cosmic Retcon: Pretty much the entire game's plot is eliminated with the time paradox created by killing Solaris.
  • 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.
  • Curbstomp Battle: In both of Sonic's face-offs with Silver, the latter gets the upper hand quite easily, only failing to get the killing blow due to an interference. Downplayed in Sonic's story. In the first battle, Sonic gets the upper hand until Silver pulls a cheap shot.
  • 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.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Silver's hovering is a big offender here. Unlike gliding, flying, or double jump abilities from other games (or indeed other characters in the same game) which recharge instantly upon landing on solid ground, Silver's requires you to stay on the ground while a glide meter gradually recharges. You'll probably forget this, and die many times because of it.
  • 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.
    • In Silver's story, Blaze (and apparently Silver, if her dialogue is any indication) suddenly gains the power to seal beings in alternate dimensions. This apparant ability never came up before, nor does it come up again in the final story.
  • Deuteragonist: Shadow and Silver considering that they spend most of their time fighting respectively against two halves of the main villain - Mephiles and Iblis.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Mephiles The Dark.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The cause of the Egg Carrier malfunction that (initially) kills Elise and frees Iblis is not explained at any point.
  • Disney Death: Sonic's death.
  • 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 G.U.N. sent him to rescue her and nothing else. Rouge then lampshades that it's always business with Shadow.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: With a game as infamous as this, it's hard not to think of Superman 64 when the first sidequest (and first action-oriented gameplay) 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.
    • Soleanna City sure does look a lot like Delfino Palaza.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Said by Shadow (minus the "You Idiot" bit) 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. Oddly enough, while being arch rivals, Sonic and Shadow don't fight each other in this game.
  • 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 Soleanna better than Silver does) but it really sounds flimsy.
  • Dull Surprise:
    • The range of expressions in the human characters is non-existent, and the full extent of the non-human characters' emotional expression is to slightly lower the eyelids to convey something resembling dismay.
    • Rouge's voice-acting stands out as being bereft of evident effort; the sound of her falling to her death is equivalent to that of someone mildly burning themselves on coffee.
  • 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).
    • Messages announcing the unlock of stories and missions for the Amigo characters (and Metal Sonic!) are in the data, indicating such features were planned.
  • 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. Note a stoic "Circumstances have changed" is the nearest he gets to an apology for trying to murder him in cold blood twice.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Aquatic Base, which in itself 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.
  • Epic Riff: The game's theme song, "His World", features one, and it's sure put to good use (see Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack below).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evil Laugh: Mephiles has a big one when he kills Sonic.
  • 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.
  • Flat Character: Sonic and Blaze are among the biggest offenders of this in this game. Sonic rarely shows his trademark attitude, and the flaws and quirks that Blaze has in the Sonic Rush Series are completely missing, in favor of her playing the role of a Cool Big Sis to Silver.
  • 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.
    • Even the first time going through Wave Ocean ends up feeling like filler. Sonic chases after Eggman, can't reach him, and then just heads back to Soleanna.
  • Fine, You Can Just Wait Here, Alone: Knuckles says this to Rouge when she made a small complaint 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.
  • Foreshadowing: In the very first cutscene there's a close-up of Elise's eyes as she stares at the fire of the torch she holds. Notice how her eyes don't blink nor lacrimate: it is later revealed that she's the host of Iblis, AKA the Flame of Disaster, and she knows that if she ever cries the beast will be released from her body.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: You have the main plot with Sonic trying to save the Princess and defeat Eggman, Silver the Hedgehog trying to prevent Iblis from being released in the past, and Shadow the Hedgehog dealing with both Eggman's machines and the threat of Mephiles the Dark, who has his own agenda in the grand scheme of things. All of these plots intertwine with each other at different points and have their own subplots to go with them. To say the least, the plot is very convoluted and hard to follow.
  • For the Evulz: As pointed out by Shadow, Mephiles' end goal is nothing but wanton mass destruction.
  • Friendship Moment: Shadow and Rouge have this exchange after Shadow learns that Omega would eventually be forced to imprison him in the future, due to Iblis being released.
    Rouge: Even if you believe that the whole world will be against you... know that I'll always remain by your side. Remember that.
    Shadow: ...I will.
  • Fungus Humongous: Seen in jungle levels.
  • Fusion Dance: Solaris is reborn through the fusion of Mephiles and Iblis.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Sonic does this when he watches the Egg Carrier crash with Elise and Dr. Eggman on board, crying out "ELIIIISE!"
  • 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. Sometimes even that is not an option, seeing that you're infinitely flying off into space.
    • 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.
    • In cutscenes, Silver is capable of shooting energy blasts, flying at high speeds, and can grab enemies without needing to stun them. He can't do any of this while the player is controlling him.
  • 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
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Shadow does this a couple of scenes. One example being the scene where he points to Sonic while objecting that it would be insufficient to use Chaos Control with one Emerald to return to the present.
  • Go Through Me: Amy, defending Sonic from Silver.
  • Graffiti Town: Crisis City.
  • 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 Can't Look!" Gesture: Shadow of all characters shuts his eyes and looks away silently when he finds out Sonic had died
  • Identical Stranger: 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. In Shadow's story we find out why, he based that form on Shadow's shadow.
  • 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.
  • Italians Talk With Hands: Soleanna is based on Venice, and most of the townspeople gesticulate wildly.
  • 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.
  • Just in Time: When Silver was about to kill Sonic, both Amy and Shadow intervened and saved his life two separate times.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Shadow in the end of his story. Despite Mephiles' attempts to convince him that humanity will turn against him, Shadow declares to fight like he always has no matter what.
  • 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.
  • Leave Him to Me:
    • Amy says this when she saves Sonic from Silver the first time.
    • Not said directly, but when Shadow saves Sonic the second time, he glances back at Sonic which does give him the message that he will take care of Silver.
  • 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.
    • This was generally caused by the whole map being loaded rather than a section of it for many cutscenes.
  • Locomotive Level: Radical Train.
  • Lost in Translation: Blaze's surprise at hearing that the Iblis Trigger is a "blue hedgehog" stems from the fact that the Japanese word for blue, aoi, can also mean naive or inexperienced — like Silver.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The physics engine is not consistent. Randomly clipping through the ground, getting trapped on loop-de-loops, and all sorts of other bugs suddenly killing the player is extremely common, almost making the game Platform Hell.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Mercy Invincibility: The game does have it, but the implementation was one of the many aspects of the game that didn't get all the kinks worked out. One the one hand, sometimes it's so ludicrously generous that it will throw you an impromptu Breather Level. On the other hand, it's so short-lasting as to be essentially useless in the Mach Speed sections and, most infamously, Silver's attacks override the invincibility that you're supposed to get after he damages you.
  • 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.
  • Motif Merger: Mephiles has a sinister-sounding piano leitmotif (with a techno remix as his boss fight music). Iblis is accompanied by a bombastic, orchestral score. When the two fuse together to form the True Final Boss Solaris, the phase 1 boss music is Mephiles' leitmotif, performed by Iblis' bombastic orchestra.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Silver goes through this when he sees the Duke of Soleanna sealing Iblis inside Elise, realizing that Sonic isn't the Iblis Trigger.
  • 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, and Blaze and/or (judging from the dialogue) Silver demonstrate the ability to seal others/themselves into different fuggin' dimensions.
    • Shadow's ability to tap into his full potential by taking off his Inhibitor Rings was previously seen in Sonic X, but never so much as hinted at in the games.
  • 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.
  • Not So Stoic: During the last story when everyone finds out that Sonic was killed by Mephlies, Shadow can't look at Sonic's body, even unfolding his arms sadly in the process.
  • Number of the Beast: Solaris's initial form has 6 horns, 6 fingers, and 6 stones behind his back. Making 666.
  • Obvious Beta: The game was rushed for the Christmas season, and it shows. Not quite at the same level as the likes of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, but nevertheless an egregious example of this trope for a big-name company like Sega. 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 is only used for two levels (when Sonic is carrying Elise) since the skill for Sonic that was supposed to use the meter was never implemented.
      • The various gems are supposed to drain that energy when used, but they don't, making them very exploitable.
    • There are far too many other glitches to count, but let's just say that it's more or less impossible to play through the game without finding a ton of them.
  • 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.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Blaze is a master of this, with one example being her joining Silver in going to Kingdom Valley, being absent in the cutscene following and the level itself, then suddenly appearing from nowhere just in time to see the Egg Carrier crash. There's also an earlier point where she seemingly accompanies Silver to Radical Train, only to disappear from both it and Aquatic Base, then reappearing back in Soleanna after Silver returns.
    • Humorously averted for the sections of the game where party members follow you around (e.g, some of the Soleanna hub levels). Regardless of how far away you get from them, your party never teleports to you, instead attempting to follow your path. However, their movement AI is both slow and hilariously bad, so in trying to do so they often dive straight into bottomless pits that you easily avoided. The game still plays their death sound clips when this occurs, regardless of how far away you are at the time. This often results in an anguished 'Noooo!' coming from offscreen as your partner's pathfinding leads them headfirst into a canal 100 yards behind you.
  • 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.
  • Out of Focus: Sonic. Being that this is the 15th anniversary of the franchise, he plays the least relevant role of all three protagonists. He never even figures out who the Big Bad is, or what he's even planning. He's more occupied with rescuing Princess Elise repeatedly.
  • 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.
  • Plot Hole: This game is practically Swiss cheese with the amount of plot holes it has, but just one example involves Blaze asking Silver what he saw after returning from the past with Shadow. The problem? Blaze wasn't around to see Silver going back in time with Shadow as she suddenly disappears shortly before Silver begins Radical Train!
  • Plotline Death: Sonic the Hedgehog himself, in the Last Episode.
  • Pose of Supplication: After witnessing Elise's death, Sonic drops to his knees in despair (before he goes back in time to the point before the Egg Carrier's takeoff).
  • 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. A more minor example then most times, but Sonic and Shadow are still rivals and they team up to locate chaos emeralds in the future, so this also counts.
  • 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, Mephiles 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.
  • Satellite Character: Notably, Blaze is downgraded to being one to Silver, obstensively as a sister figure of sorts. In fact, no one else (not even Mephiles or Sonic) ever acknowledges her presence, directly or otherwise! So little attention is paid to Blaze that, combined with her repeated vanishing, you could conclude that she is a figment of Silver's imagination and her presence would make just as much sense as ever.
  • Say My Name:
    • Sonic calls out Elise's name after the Egg Carrier explodes.
    • Then Knuckles shouts Sonic's name when he sees him dead before his and the others' eyes. Amy does this too, but with more emotion.
    • Tails also calls out for Sonic when he dies with no rings, a Call Back to Sonic Adventure 2
  • 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: 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.
      • There are some more traditional exploits, including a glitch that can be used fairly early on in Sonics and Silvers stories to skip right past to the credits. Although doing that for Sonic too early means you'll never unlock Shadow...
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: Other then Sonic and Elise, we also get some couples that have been made popular by this game. Silver/Blaze and Silver/Amy come to mind. Shadow/Rouge gets some good attention too, especially with this part.
    Rouge: (After hearing that Omega seals Shadow away in the future) It's... it's so unfair. Shadow's always here to defend the world.
    (Later)
    Rouge: (As Shadow starts walking off.) Shadow.... Even if you believe that the whole world will turn against you... know that I'll always remain by your side. (She looks away somewhat shyly) Remember that.
    Shadow: (Stops walking) ...I will.
  • Shout-Out: The music from "Town Mission 4" sounds strikingly similar to "Flashman's Theme" from Mega Man 2.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shadow uses this 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!"
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: White Acropolis.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Unofficially the game is often referred 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: 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.
    • Silver was created specifically to make use of the physics engine. It didn't work out well.
  • Temple of Doom: Dusty Desert.
  • Tennis Boss: Silver's battles with Iblis and the Egg Genesis.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Many pieces from this game's soundtrack are variations of "His World", the main theme, though there is still plenty of original music as well.
  • There Was a Door: Shadow breaks into Eggman's train through the ceiling. Eggman, without turning around, tells him, "Wouldn't the door have been easier?"
  • 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: Central to the plot.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Shadow's story depends on a You Already Changed the Past Stable Time Loop (Mephiles breaking out of the Scepter of Darkness in the present is the direct cause of Shadow traveling to the past and sealing Mephiles in the first place). Meanwhile, in the Future, Sonic directly contradicts this by traveling from the Bad Future to the present and successfully Set Right What Once Went Wrong (by preventing the death that was a direct cause of the Bad Future). And due to his interactions with both Shadow and Sonic, Silver's story uses both sets of time-travel rules, depending on the scene. If there hadn't been a Reset Button Ending, the temporal paradoxes probably would have caused the whole plot to erase itself anyway.
  • True Companions: Team Dark showcases this in the Wave Ocean scene. Rouge, for the most part, tells Shadow she will stand by his side no matter what.
  • 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.
  • The Unfought: As far as character battles is concerned, Sonic and Shadow had their respective battles against Silver in their stories while Silver fought both of them in his story, making this the first time that Sonic and Shadow didn't fight since their meeting in the story was a Rivals Team Up situation.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can hurt the citizens of Soleanna, forcing them to stumble around briefly.
  • Villain Ball: Mephiles clutches onto this with white knuckles. His ultimate goal is to fuse with Iblis, yet despite his ability to time travel at will and nothing in the game claiming he can't fuse with Iblis in the future, the idea seemingly never comes up in his head as he instead decides to go down the "make Elise cry" path. Yet despite the many ways Mephiles could pull that off with his powers (torture her, push her down stairs, cutting up some onions under her eyes), he elects to trick a hedgehog from the future into killing someone Elise bonds with over the course of a few days. He also manually searches for the Chaos Emeralds, when the Last Story shows that he can warp them all to him at will as long as he has even one... which he gave to Silver when in the future and right next to Iblis, giving up a chance to just merge right then without any input by the heroes whatsoever. Even when all is said and done and he finally becomes Solaris, he scatters the Chaos Emeralds instead of keeping them, allowing the heroes to find them and revive Sonic, ultimately leading to him being Ret Gone!
  • 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.
  • Wham Episode: Mephiles kills Sonic, causing Elise to cry and unleash Solaris, thus resulting in The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Wham Line: Omega's confession to Shadow after clearing Wave Ocean:
    Omega: Shadow. The one who defeats and seals you into the future... is me.
  • 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.
    • The first case Silver failed was because he insisted on smacking Sonic around first while giving a lengthy cursing speech rather than just crushing him when he clearly had the upper hand, giving Amy time to intervene. He tries to act more quickly the second time, but still gets a bit too showy, leading to Shadow getting in the way. Then again, the latter's Speed does match up to Sonic's.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In one section, Shadow has to fly a hang glider while being attacked. The Mercy Invincibility is so generous and the section so short that it's entirely possible to get through without touching the controller.
  • 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 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: Tails paraphrases the trope name after Sonic's Wave Ocean: "It looks like the Princess was moved to another location." And it happens again several times throughout the game.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/SonicTheHedgehog2006