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Videogame: Sonic Unleashed
Sonic the Werehog and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic is on a race against time to save the world... and himself!

Mad scientist Dr. Eggman has a new plan to Take Over the World: using the Chaos Emeralds to release a titanic abomination called Dark Gaia from its imprisonment, then building his new empire on the ensuing ruins.

Eggman is successfully able to capture Sonic, drain the Chaos Emeralds of their negative energy and use them to power a big honking laser beam that awakens Dark Gaia and shatters the world into seven pieces. However, this plan has an unintended side effect: caught at the source of the blast, Sonic is bathed in negative energy and develops an awkward case of lycanthropy.

Cursed into the form of a "Werehog" and cast down to Earth, Sonic must now do what he does best: foil Dr. Eggman by recharging the Chaos Emeralds and putting the world back together one continent at a time. Helping him is Chip, a small critter with amnesia and a mysterious connection to Dark Gaia.

Leaked and then officially announced in early 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation 2, Sonic Unleashed was hoped to be the game that would stab a jolt of life into the stagnated Sonic franchise, which suffered from hitting the Polygon Ceiling hard and had most recently put out the widely-criticized 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game. Thus, when the Werehog was subsequently leaked and then revealed, Internet Backdraft immediately ensued, with many fans and even professional sites basically screaming "WHAT THE EFF, SONIC TEAM". This carried over to many professional reviewers' opinions, some of whom gave the game even lower scores than its widely-panned predecessor. In contrast, the fans' general opinion is that Sonic's levels are much more along the lines of what a current-generation Sonic game should be like; you'd be hard-pressed to find such an opinion on the Werehog.

Oddly, it turned out that Unleashed was for all intents and purposes two games — the version released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was developed by Sonic Team while the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions were developed by handheld Sonic developer Dimps. While they all share the same story, similar gameplay mechanics, and level names, the actual design of the levels, as well as the way the player progresses from one to the next, is completely different between the two versions. The Wii and PS2 versions have many more Werehog levels, but to compensate each level is much shorter. There's also a 2D version for mobile phones by Gameloft.

Released in Japan as Sonic World Adventure.

This game exhibits examples of:

  • Action Commands: This game marked their introduction to the Sonic series. The two Tornado Defense missions are meant to get you used to the button inputs, and there are several points in each level where you input several buttons in a row to perform tricks and reach higher ground. They're also a fast and efficient way to instantly kill enemies in Werehog stages, as well as racking up points in said stages.
  • Action Game: The Werehog controls much like Action Games such as God of War.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Pickle.
  • All There in the Manual: It's never explained in-game exactly why Sonic transformed into the Werehog, but the instruction manual actually contains some insight into this. It turns out, when Eggman used the Chaos Emeralds to unseal Dark Gaia, Dark Gaia and the Emeralds became linked. Due to Sonic's close proximity to the Emeralds at the time, he absorbed some of Dark Gaia's energy. Since Dark Gaia is shown to only affect people at night, this is why Sonic only transforms when the sun goes down. This also explains why Dark Gaia absorbed some dark energy from Sonic to gain power, removing the Werehog transformation.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Eggmanland.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: The Chili Dogs that are obtainable from the Don Fachio Hot Dog Vendors upon successful completion of the missions they offer.
  • Art Evolution: Stemming from complaints about Sonic 06's copious uncanny valley, Unleashed brings a major overhaul to the series' art style, from realistically rendered worlds with cartoon anthropomorphic animals in them, to stylized backgrounds to better match the characters. The humans are a lot more stylized and cartoony than they were in previous games. Sonic himself also got a slight redesign, shortening his limbs and quills that create a look that bridges the gap between his classic and modern designs.
  • Aside Glance: Sonic and Chip both do this at some points.
    Sonic: Uh-oh, did I fall on him?
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Pretty obviously with the hubworlds. They're all obvious expies of real-world locations, and their names (and the names of the people in them) sound stereotypical of said locations, yet obviously don't mean anything.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The goal for boss battles.
  • Award Bait Song: Dear My Friend by Brent Cash
  • Badass: Sonic, in both hedgehog and werehog forms. From phoenixes to super robots, nothing can stand against him for long.
  • Badass Mustache:
    • Most of the Don Fachio vendors have one, each one unique to the individual vendor.
    • Dr. Eggman still has it.
  • Batman Gambit: Dr. Eggman pulls an epic one against Super Sonic in the intro cutscene. He manipulates Sonic by leading him to the center of his earth shattering cannon and takes out his super form.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Egg Devil Ray is covered by this; only the Sonic Boost can break through.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Dr. Eggman and Dark Gaia.
  • Big Eater:
    • Chip. He lampshades both this and Bottomless Bladder: "I get hungry so easily! I wonder where it all goes..."
    • In one cutscene, Eggman downs an entire sub sandwich pretty much in the span of being offscreen for about two seconds.
  • Big Good: Light Gaia, AKA Chip.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Professor Pickle.
  • Block Puzzle: Occurs frequently in the Nighttime stages.
    • The entire point of the Shamar boss, Dark Guardian.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dark Gaia is defeated, Eggman's plans are foiled, the planet is put back to normal and Sonic is cured of his Werehog affliction, but Chip is sealed inside of the planet along with Dark Gaia leaving behind his bracelet.
  • Book Ends: The game starts with the end of one adventure and the beginning of a new one. It ends the exact same way.
  • Boss Banter: "You little... you little!"
  • Boss-Only Level: Savannah Citadel, a full level in the PS 360 version, is only used in the Wii and PS2 version for the Egg Beetle boss.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 version of the game, Sonic blatantly looks at the score panel for his overall rank on the end of mission results, and reacts accordingly. He also glances towards the screen a few times in cutscenes.
    • He does this in the Playstation 2/Wii version as well. If you play as the Werehog, however, whether he rejoices or turns around and slumps onto the floor in a brief hissyfit depends on your end of stage ranking.
    • In the first (or second, if you count the intro) cutscene, when he finds out Chip has amnesia, he basically does this:
    Sonic: Uh oh.
    (He turns to the camera)
    Sonic: Did I fall on him?
  • Camera Screw: The camera is actually pretty good at doing its job for the most part, until you reach balance beams, when the camera constantly swings around to get behind Sonic. Impatient players may find themselves suddenly falling off the beam, and, at worst, plummeting to their death.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: This game may be more lighthearted than previous entries, but the stakes are very clearly raised as the game reaches it's climax. Chip discovering his identity as Light Gaia in Adabat is the point when it stops being "Roadtrip between two friends" and treated like a world saving crisis.
  • Check Point Starvation: In the HD versions of the game, one mission involves getting to the end of Eggmanland, a Nintendo Hard stage that indeed is comparable to those of the old 8-bit games—without any usable checkpoints and with a time limit. It is also by far the longest stage in the game, considering the time limit is 45 minutes.
  • Citadel City: Savannah Citadel.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Amy Rose, though very much toned down in comparison to previous games.
  • Collision Damage: Averted. The enemies have to actually attack you to cause damage, with the exception of enemies that generate electricity.
  • Combat Medic: The Heal Masters.
  • Combat Tentacles: Dark Gaia has several of them, not that he uses them during the actual fight.
  • Concept Art Gallery: Unlocked piece by piece.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: An NPC, Wentos, in the PS3/360 version of the game, has a Chao puppet that helps him overcome his shyness and generally speaks for him while he is still too shy to interact with others.
  • Continuing Is Painful: As per tradition with most modern Sonic games, dying in a level resets your points, which can be a major blow if you're trying to rank well.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In his idle animation (at least in the Wii/Playstation 2 version), Sonic lies down a la Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and at the start of some levels in the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 version, he stretches his legs a la Sonic Advance 2.
    • Also, in the Wii/PS2 version, there's an NPC who compliments Sonic's eyes, then remarks "They don't change color, do they?" Could be a subtle Take That against people who complained about Sonic having green eyes from Sonic Adventure onward or merely a lampshading that Sonic's eyes do change colour - From green in his normal form, to red when he transforms into Super Sonic.
    • Three NPC's from the Eggmanland hub world, the EF-MD1991, EF-DC1998, and EF-XB2006, reference the years of release and some of the consoles for Sonic 1, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • Convection Schmonvection: A good portion of Eggmanland takes place over lava, which Sonic seems to have no qualms about standing ten feet over.
  • Crate Expectations: There are some here and there, used for pressing switches and hurling at enemies.
  • Cut Song: The PS2 version misses out on both Savannah Citadel tracks, as well as the level and hub themes for Empire City. The 360/PS3 version doesn't include the full length Gaia Gate theme, which only appears in a very short cut-scene in the HD consoles version.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: If you've trained yourself to instinctively press the jump button in midair near an enemy, you may have to readjust yourself, since the homing attack was moved to share the same button as the boost in the PS3/Xbox 360 versions.
  • Dark Is Evil: Although Sonic has the same personality in his fierce looking werehog form, this is only because of his strong heart. All other characters influenced by Dark Gaia become either evil or depressed at night, although a few possessed citizens simply reverse their personalities, making laid-back, meek characters manic and cheerful instead.
  • Date Rape Averted: A G-rated version of this trope. Werehog Sonic stops Professor Pickle's possessed assistant from harassing Amy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Orbot takes every opportunity to snark at Eggman when things go wrong, much to Eggman's annoyance.
  • Demonic Possession: Some of the townsfolk become possessed by Dark Gaia at nighttime, either making them depressed, evil, or have some other personality unusual from their normal selves. You can perform 'exorcisms' on them by giving 'em a flash with your camera and then "expel Dark Gaia from their hearts" by defeating waves of Dark Gaia enemies who suddenly appear.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Along with the Hedgehog Engine, designed to make the lighting look as great as possible, Sonic Team also went to a lot of effort to make the animations look smooth. This included minor animations that didn't matter to the game but were pretty cool to be there in the first place. For example, when Sonic walks up to a set of stairs, he will put one leg onto the step in front of him. His idle animations even work with it.
    • The NPC characters in the hubs are also surprisingly well fleshed out, and have their own subplots an sidequests, some of which span over the entire globe (Hualin from Chun-Nan leaves her village to do something other than make meat buns for the rest of her life, Eric and his wife visit Chun-Nan after it gets restored, Samara from Shamar gets hopelessly lost looking for her home country, etc). If you care to, you can end up doing a whole lot of rather pointless things that amount to little in the overall plot, but still have self-contained meaning.
    • In Eggmanland on the PS3 and Xbox 360 version, if you attempt doing the second Werehog segment (the balance beam pipes) as the Hedgehog, the path to the next area will be blocked by a laser grid with an extra life in front of it.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: The Werehog is actually rewarded after missions based on how many orbs (Dark Gaia Force) he collects, much of which can be obtained from destroying random scenery.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Orbot snarks about how Eggman's plan is currently failing:
    Eggman: That was... err... all part of my plan! Part of the big picture! Where's the fun in having my plans succeed without any challenge?!
    Orbot: ...
  • Does Not Like Spam: Chip really dislikes spicy food and he and Sonic, of course, hates eating anything from Eggmanland. Curiously, Sonic's very low EXP gainage from (presumably nutritious) fish and seafood strongly implies that he hates both.
  • Double Jump: Sonic the Werehog.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Shown when you first actually meet Dark Gaia.
  • Dummied Out: The Wii/Playstation 2 version lost Empire City (and by correlation, the Skyscraper Scamper levels), all but one of the missions for Mazuri (the Egg Beetle boss, leaving out the Savannah Citadel levels), and quite a bit of the other missions.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Basically the result of Eggman's big laser in the opening - although unusually for this trope, all of the planet's continents are wholly intact, atmosphere and all, merely floating a mile or so higher above the planet's core than usual. In addition, while this trope usually entails killing everyone on the planet, here absolutely nobody is worse for the wear, still living peacefully on the surface; the only issue is some earthquakes here and there, and the gaps between the floating continents being difficult to surmount without air transport. Sonic's objective is to reverse this and set all the continents back down onto the planet's core.
  • Easter Egg/Freeze-Frame Bonus/Console Cameo:
  • Easy Amnesia: Chip.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Dark Gaia is far and away the most monstrous and horrifying creature in the series, along with having the power to back up its menacing appearance.
  • Enemy Summoner: Big Mothers and Fright Masters.
  • Eskimo Land: Holoska.
  • Essence Drop: Enemies and objects contain bits of blue light which are dropped when they're destroyed or killed. These fill up the Unleashed Meter.
  • Exposition Fairy: Chip, wings included.
  • Extra Eyes: Initially, Dark Gaia has three green eyes and two small glowing eyes. When it transforms after having green eyes destroyed, it opens up seven more. That makes twelve eyes in total.
  • Eye Scream: This is how Perfect Dark Gaia was defeated: a Super Sonic to the eye.
  • Fan Remake: As a Game Mod for Sonic Generations, which ports over the levels of the day stages only and addressing much of the complaints about the original (no Padding, no Trial-and-Error Gameplay, better controls, etc.)
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Every continent in the game is a blatant Expy of a real-world location. To list them all:
  • Feet-First Introduction: This is how the Werehog is introduced to Chip as Sonic was holding him upside down whilst he was awakening from unconsciousness.
  • Fetch Quest: Bringing the various souvenirs to Pickle. Fortunately, these quests are optional.
  • Fireballs: Fire masters fire these.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Possibly unintentional, but the Werehog bosses— Dark Gaia Phoenix (Fire), Dark Moray (Ice), and Dark Guardian (can summon Lightning). There's also the Egg Dragoon, which attacks with all three elements.
  • Floating Platforms
  • Flunky Boss: Dark Guardian, Egg Dragoon and a few others.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The boost does this to everything that isn't either razor-sharp or explosive. In fact, many running sections consist of using the boost to knock enemies into other enemies.
  • Food Porn: The designers seemed to have a bit of a fixation on making beautifully rendered, realistic food alongside the cartoony characters.
  • Free-Fall Fight: Fight against Egg Dragoon.
  • Fundamentally Funny Fruit: The Dureek food item. Which are obviously the Sonic world equivalent of the Durian fruit. The inventory even describes them as the "King of fruits" and in a reference to their inspiration's love it or hate it reputation in the real world, also suggests that you "try it and see". Chip can't make up his mind about how he feels about them after being fed one but Sonic seems to absolutely love them going by the extremely high EXP value he gains from just one.
  • Funny Background Event: During some cutscenes, while Sonic is talking to someone, Chip is doing something in the background, like swimming in the air, and only contributes to conversations when food comes up.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Miles "Tails" Prower.
  • Giant Golem Hands Save Lives: The Gaia Colossus saves an unconscious Sonic in his giant hand. Justified in that Chip slowed Sonic's descent before catching him.
  • Gimmick Level: All the non-story non-DLC acts are based around some kind of gimmick:
    • Windmill Isle: Grind Rails
    • Rooftop Run: Homing Attack precision
    • Cool Edge: Boosting across water
    • Dragon Road: Directional Launchers
    • Arid Sands: QTE Pads
    • Skyscraper Scamper: Narrow pathways
    • Jungle Joyride: Air Boost
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The eyes of Dark Gaia's incomplete form.
  • The Goomba: Rexes in the Nighttime stages.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: You have to collect medals, save people from spiritual possession, and gain powerup items to advance in the stages in the PS3/Xbox 360 version. This is simplified in the Wii/Playstation 2 version, where you only need to beat the stages and required missions and talk to the right people.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Can be used on any night level enemy that isn't a Dark Titan or Big Mother. The flavour text for the Rex enemies even suggests trying this.
  • Guide Dang It: In the Wii/PS2 version, unlocking the last Chun-nan day mission requires you to collect 150 secret items. And what's even worse, unlocking the last Adabat mission requires you to collect all of them!
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Hammerspace: Chip has one.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits
  • Helpful Mook: The Dark Bat enemies, which are harmless and give the Werehog something to hang on to. There are other variations, which follow another trope entirely. Then there are also fan enemies which can be used to kill enemies or solve a few simple puzzles.
    • Whenever a Thunder Ball shows up next to water, chances are the game's telling to toss it into water For Massive Damage.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chip/Light Gaia.
  • Heroic Willpower: The reason Sonic is able to stay in complete control of his Werehog form.
  • High Speed Battle: All of the Hedgehog bosses, as well as the Interceptor's appearances.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The Gaia Colossus. It's formed from all of the world's Gaia Temples, which are already pretty big.
    • A majority, if not all of Eggman's machines apply as well, mainly the Egg Dragoon.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Chip.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: All of the Day Bosses. And the Egg Dragoon too.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Most of the Werehog battles.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire Masters shoot fireballs that set Sonic aflame, and are covered in a fiery aura until doused. Sonic can do this to other enemies when he's holding an Egg Flame.
  • Lampshade Hanging
    "You underestimate the dangers of this land. How come you have gloves on but nothing else? You some kind of weirdo?"
    "Where do you stuff all the rings you pick up?! Don't they slow you down?"
  • Land Of Dragons: Chun-nan and everything about it.
  • Let's Play:
    • By the same group (Pokecapn, Kung-Fu Jesus, medibot, and IlluminatusVespucci) who did the infamous LP of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), plus MyNameIsKaz. Notable Crowning Moments Of Funny can be found in Medibot's (successful!) attempt to identify all 288 items the goons picked up during the playthrough, Kung-Fu Jesus successfully and accidentally predicting that someone was at his door, and Kaz's spot-on impersonation of Professor Pickle — skipped text and all. Also, their reaction to the final QTE against Perfect Dark Gaia, where they had to mash a button 60 times when the most they had to do before was 16.
    • A different playthrough was also done by NTom64 and FastestThingAlive.
  • Levels Take Flight: Tails transports Sonic on his biplane once more for the two Tornado Defense stages.
  • Lighter and Softer: Extra ironic considering Sonic's not-quite-Superpowered Evil Side and Dark Gaia being the single most terrifying Eldritch Abomination in the series to date, but Sonic Team still managed it somehow; Unleashed marks the point in the series where the 3D games started not to have such dark and serious plots.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sonic becomes one here, instead of being the usual Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon, since he only loses rings proportional to his ring count upon being hit (or down to the previous level, in the PS2's case) and keeps his speed and enough strength to destroy robots.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Averted; many side characters such as Knuckles and Shadow are absent.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: It's usually bearable, but it gets particularly bad when you have to switch between Hedgehog and Werehog modes for Eggmanland on the PS3 and Xbox 360 version, as the game has to load up a new Sonic and respective assets midstage every time you switch.note 
  • Loading Screen: In the HD versions (when switching between day and night), the Xbox 360 version focuses more on Sonic's transformation, whereas the PS3 verion has a medallion switching between it's sun and the moon sides.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Gaia Gate music in the 360/PS3 version, which only appears in one cutscene.
  • Lost Superweapon: The Gaia Temples are really pieces of the Gaia Colossus.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The game has shades of Lovecraft's works, especially the backstory behind Dark Gaia, but it has a little bit in common with classic mythological origin/apocalypse stories as well. Yes, there's a giant betentacled monstrosity that destroys the world when it wakes up from an eons-long power nap, but there's also a good entity that puts the world back together and sends Dark Gaia back into slumber.
  • Macguffin Escort Mission: Sonic's quest to deliver each of the seven depowered Chaos Emeralds to the seven Gaia Temples in order to repower them and restore the continents of the world.
  • Macross Missile Massacre/More Dakka: Eggman pulls this off in the intro movie, trying to catch Sonic.
  • Made of Explodium: One sled in Holoska's Cool Edge Act 1 Day stage explodes upon colliding with the side of an glacier. Sonic jumps out just in time.
    • The rollercoaster car Sonic rides in Eggmanland, with spontaneously explodes without warning in midair.
  • Magic Pants: Sonic's White Gloves rip off and his shoes change size and shape (and gain spikes) when he becomes the Werehog. They reappear and revert, respectively when he turns back.
  • Marathon Boss: Dark Gaia is every bit as powerful as it has been built up to be and stubbornly refuses to stay down.
  • Marathon Level: Eggmanland, a six-act (Wii/PS2) or hour-long (360/PS3) gauntlet through Eggman's main base.
    • All of the werehog levels are about three to four times as long as the day stages, and the day stages are already fairly long by speed level standards in the Sonic series (3-5 minutes). This is averted in the Wii/PS2 version, though at the cost of a greater number of them.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Sonic the Werehog can do this to some of the bigger mooks once he gets his elasticated hands on them.
  • Multi-Platform: Besides the Wii, Playstation 2, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, a version for the mobile phone, the gameplay of such will be more in tune to the Sonic Rush titles.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The Egg Dragoon fight, in which Eggman twice destroys the platform you're standing on.
  • Musical Nod: Jungle Joyride (Day) contains a section from the Sonic R song "Back In Time".
  • Nitro Boost: The Sonic Boost.
  • No Name Given:
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After supposedly getting overpowered with ease by Super Sonic, Eggman lures him into a trap and uses him as a power source to blow up the Earth after the hedgehog gets a bit too cocky with him.
  • One Hedgehog Army
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Averted, he loses rings rings proprtional to his ring count when he gets hit in this game, with 20 rings being the minimum amount lost. The PS2 version drops you to the previous level instead (60, 30, or 0 rings, if you had 90+, 60-90, and 30-60 respectively).
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Sonic the Werehog.
  • Painful Transformation: Though it's not as explicit or as inhuman-looking as most examples, it's implied that Sonic's under a lot of pain when turning into the Werehog. It becomes really noticeable in Night of the Werehog (the in-house short released to promote the game), because for the last few minutes Sonic's been smiling and messing around - only to stop in front of a window looking out to the full moon, where he breaks into uncontrollable shaking, nearly collapses and (once it's all over) howls horribly.
  • Pals with Jesus: Sonic's pals with Chip, a.k.a. Light Gaia.
  • Pause Scumming: Since the game doesn't hide the QTE prompts when you pause, if you pause every single time the moment a prompt shows up it gives you plenty of time to see it and hit the correct buttons. This is very helpful in the Tornado Defense stages.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Egg Shackles and the Egg Bursts sticks to Sonic and slowly takes rings away before (in the case of the Egg Burst) exploding.
  • Photo Montage: During Credits.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: The Dark Guardian, a boss, is this when compared the other bosses: It's tougher than a Big Mother or a Titan (Although way easier to beat than the latter). Can you believe it's barely any taller than a Deep Nightmare?
  • Pivotal Boss: Dark Moray, in either version.
  • Pop Quiz: In HD versions, some of the people in hub worlds can give you some of them.
  • Pressure Plate: In the Nighttime levels, they sometimes appear as a means to open up pathways.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • Jungle Joyride Act 1 and Eggmanland are chockful of this sort of quick time events.
    • The HD version's final boss gives us Press X 60 times To Not Die.
  • Pun: The hot dogs sold in Holoska? "Chilly" dogs.
    • One of Eggman's boss machines, Egg Devil Ray, is most probably called so because it attacks you with laser beams. However, the main unit happens to be shaped like an electric ray (as in, a fish). Good like realising this if you're not a native English speaker - or just happen to not know fish in general.
  • Puzzle Boss: Shamar's boss, Dark Guardian (at least in the PS3/360 version. The Wii/PS2's version is a straight-up brawl.)
  • Quad Damage: One of the powerups in nighttime stages boosts attack.
  • Ramen Slurp: Sonic is shown doing this in the photo montage in the credits.
  • Recurring Traveller: Salesman Wentos.
  • Respawning Enemies: Helpful Mooks tend to respawn when killed or destroyed.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: After some pretty bleak games in the era following Sonic Adventure 2, Unleashed sheds the darkness for a happier theme. The colors in the world and the art style are perkier and brighter than something like Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Break pots and stuff, get items.
  • Roar Before Beating: The Dark Moray roars before you actually battle it.
  • RPG Elements: The PS3/Xbox 360 version has them, where you can collect crystals to earn EXP, which you can then dump into various skills for both Hedgehog and Werehog to improve their abilities (with much more emphasis on the Werehog). The PS2 has a simplified version in the form of Dark Gaia Force, which automatically improves the Werehog's abilities at set intervals of Force collected.
  • Rubber Hog: Sonic's Werehog form has arms that can stretch.
  • Running on All Fours: Sonic the Werehog does this to move faster as his legs are too short to allow easy running in bipedal stance.
  • Satiating Sandwich: The Hero Sandwich food item, which provides a big 50 EXP when eaten by Sonic. They're amongst the best food items Sonic can eat in terms of EXP value.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Particularly daytime stages in Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, especially when you are in full motion. Nighttime ain't exactly ugly either.
    • Hell, even the Wii/PS2 version's quite a sight to see, particularly the Gaia Gates.
    • The intro of the game (in both versions) shows a lot of it as well.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Chip is a boy in the English version and genderless in the Japanese version.
  • Ship Tease: There's a bit of it for Sonic & Amy in this game; it starts with Sonic feeling upset when Amy doesn't even recognize him in his Werehog form(Ironic considering past instances) and is even reluctant to speak to her afterward. You can even agree to take her out on a date before you head off to Eggmanland.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Titans like to do that.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: During the final battle, the comical villain Dr. Eggman, following his defeat in the Egg Dragoon battle, is swatted out of the center of the Earth by the monstrous Dark Gaia.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Well, they're called Heal Masters and all you've got is your fists but you've got the idea. Heaven help you if one shows up with Titan backup. Your death will be slow and painful.
  • Shoryuken: Or more like Sho-Hog-ken and Sho-Claw-Ken.
  • Shout-Out: One of Werehog Sonic's moves is called the Sho-hog-ken.
    • According to the Directory, Yasmine cannot decide on a team name and had chosen "Full Mettle Shamalchemists" two weeks ago.
    • The final unlockable video (at least in the PS2/Wii version) is clearly based on a scene from Kung Fu Panda.
    • Also, the final battle in the Wii version appears to have a homage to Punch Out
  • Small Annoying Creature: Chip in the Wii version. He is much less so in the PS 360 version, since he only speaks up during gameplay if you walk into an assist icon, thus reducing the Stop Helping Me! quotient. His cutscene antics are actually pretty funny most of the time.
  • Smash Mook: The Titans.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: During the credits, "Endless Possibilities" (Sonic's theme; 90's pop rock) plays first, while "Dear My Friend" (Chip's theme; a slower, more somber song) plays second. The Wii/PS2 version's credits show various scenes from the game, in chronological order— thus, the first song plays while they show cutscenes from the beginning of the game, and the second song plays mainly during scenes from the last few levels. In short, the song about friendship plays while you see Dark Gaia turn into Perfect Dark Gaia.
  • The Spiny: Enemies covered in electricity cause Collision Damage. You can turn this on other enemies, too.
  • Stalactite Spite: Some icicles in the daytime stages for Holoska tend to fall when approaching them.
  • Stealth Insult: Orbot manages to sneak a few in, though he's usually more upfront with his snark.
    <clapping> "Your skills at self-aggrandizement are unparalleled."
    Eggman continues to laugh evilly for a few moments, before realizing what he said and smacking him.
  • Stylistic Suck: When you get an E rank, the rendition of the main theme that plays is hilariously awful.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted in the daytime stages, as long as you're running fast enough (see Walk on Water below). Nighttime stages aren't so lucky— the Werehog sinks like a rock.
    • Sonic the Werehog doesn't actually sink when he touches water; rather, he inexplicably drowns instantly as soon as his head touches water, and his body floats to the surface.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Right before the final room in Eggmanland, a group of canisters opposite the switch that opens the door conveniently provides all three power ups for you. Guess what's in the next room?
  • Symbol Swearing: Chip's reaction to eating the Canned Horror.
  • Theme Park Version: With the exception for Eggmanland, all the continents are thinly veiled analogues of real-world locations.
  • Theme Song Power Up: Endless Possibilities got a completely orchestrated remix for its Final Boss.
  • Throat Light: Dark Gaia, who has purple light emanating from deep within its throat.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sonic and his chili dogs, as well as Chip and his ubiquitous chocolate bars. Professor Pickle is also very particular about his cucumber sandwiches. Which double as a clever reference to his name, as pickles are made from cucumbers.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The last acts in the game, particularly Eggmanland, have no other way to win aside from dying tons of times and memorizing all the hazards by heart. The level designers were apparently aware of this, given that 1-up tokens (which mercifully respawn on death this time, unlike Sonic '06) are often located in front of checkpoints preceding some of the more frustrating sections.
  • True Final Boss: Averted; this is the first game in the series where the Super Sonic battle doesn't need to be unlocked with any extra effort.
  • Turns Red: All bosses begin fighting more desperately as you drain their health.
  • Twinkle In The Sky: This happens to Eggman in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version of the fight with Egg Dragoon, after Sonic rips and flings him out of the mech.
  • Twinkle Smile: In the PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360 version of the fight with Dark Gaia, Sonic does this right before destroying its third eye.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Tornado Defense Acts in the PS3/360 version.
  • Unmoving Plaid: It's very subtle, but in the PS 360 version, a static swirly vapor-like texture can be seen through Dark Gaia's creatures.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: All the anthropomorphic characters, but especially the Werehog. Most of the human characters don't seem to care much about a hairy monstrosity with spiky shoes and super stretchy arms.
  • Variable Mix: When Sonic uses his speed boost, the bass instruments of the background music almost disappear due to the air rushing by.
  • Verbed Title
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Enemies in Werehog stages don't actually fade until their death animation ends. Any attack interrupting that just resets the animation. Knowing that, one can spend as long as they wish keeping the poor abomination on the edge of life and death to rack up a combo.
    • You can attack citizens to your heart's content, and they'll react accordiglngly.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Eggman in the opening when Sonic goes Super...or at least it seems like he was, only to reveal he was just luring Sonic into his trap.
  • Vocal Evolution: Jason Griffith's Sonic is far more emotional and energetic than all of his prior roles as Sonic. Apparently, he took some voice training after Sonic 06.
  • Voice Grunting: Both versions have this outside of cutscenes.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Pretty much everywhere Sonic runs, he leaves a lot of debris of destroyed public property.
  • Walk on Water: Run, rather; this is required in several daytime stages. If you go any slower than top speed, Sonic will sink. This is taken to purely absurd levels in Cool Edge Act 2 and the Downloadable Content stage Dragon Road Act 5, which are composed almost entirely of water!
  • Wallet of Holding: Lampshaded after completing some ring trials: "Whoa! Where do you stuff all those rings? Don't they slow you down?"
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Unleashed marks when Eggman finally succeeds in creating his dream amusement park of Eggmanland. It is every bit as unforgiving as you would expect.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Said by Dr. Eggman halfway into the fight with the Egg Dragoon:
    "Stubborn little pincushion! Give up and die already!"
  • World Tour: The game uses obvious Theme Park Versions, but they're not fooling anyone. Besides, in Japan it's even named Sonic World Adventure!
  • Wreaking Havok: The Havok physics are much better implemented here than in the last 3D adventure. It's best shown in sections where some enemies fly in front of you while you're at top speed to try to laser you, and the best way to beat them is to knock other enemies into them.
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alternative title(s): Sonic World Adventure; Sonic Unleashed
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