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A Double Liveblog of Sonic Unleashed
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A Double Liveblog of Sonic Unleashed:

 1 Blueeyedrat, Sat, 31st Jul '10 10:38:40 AM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Introduction: I could think of a witty title here, but I won't.

Sonic Unleashed. Where to begin. For starters, it was released on November 18, 2008, for four consoles: the Wii, the XBox 360, the PS2, and the PS3. (Why am I liveblogging it now, nearly 2 years later? I'll get to that.) The game was made in two seperate versions— one for the 360 and PS3, and one for the Wii and PS2. This resulted in wide variations of level design, gameplay, and several other aspects. Both versions sold well, but their critical success is another story.

As for what spawned this LB? Well, my brother and I have both showed interest in getting Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Sometime back in... May, I believe, he went to the store to buy it. He couldn't find it, so he rented Unleashed instead. We played the game all week, and I eventually gave my opinions on each level in the "Chatterbox: Video Games" thread (around Page 10). Over time, the posts became a proto-LB. At some point, Freezair For A Limited Time asked me if I had ever considered livebloggening. To tell the truth, I had— however, I decided against it, as my summaries were somewhat concise, and since we wouldn't be keeping the game for long. Not to mention, I've never even done an LB before. I did get a small idea, though, and someone volunteered to help me with it— he'd already done an Unleashed LB, which was eventually "archived". Cut forward to today: still no luck in finding S&SASR, so we went and purchased Unleashed. Which means... it's time.


In this liveblog, I shall be playing through the Wii version of the game. Whether or not I go for 100% Completion is still to be determined. However, I won't be the only one here; Komodin will also be LBing, playing through the XBox 360 version. Expect a fair amount of comparison between the two games. With that in mind... IT BEGINS!

Blue Index (Wii)

Komodin Index (360)
  • Part 1: Windmill Isle Act 1 (Day)
  • Part 2: Windmill Isle Act 2 (Day); Windmill Isle Act 1 (Night)

edited 24th Oct '10 4:16:48 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
About time Komodin decided to wise fwom yo guay. Try not to fight too much, boys. Actually, wait, go ahead and fight, because that would be amusing.
 
 3 Ponicalica, Sat, 31st Jul '10 3:11:39 PM from facing Buttercup
Alright, this should be interesting. My only exposure to Unleashed is playing the first few levels of the 360 version(one of the Werehog mini-bosses got too exasperating/difficult for me) and the pokecapn et al. LP(which is also of the 360 version).
 4 Blueeyedrat, Sat, 31st Jul '10 4:04:14 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 1: Then...

CONSOLE: Activated. CONTROLLER: Charged. DISC: Inserted. ALL SYSTEMS READY. LAUNCH IN 3...

2...

1...

Upon booting up the game, we're met by the basic SEGA logo, followed by the Sonic Team logo. Why does everyone seem to hate Sonic Team? At least they try to make good games.

Now, the first difference you'll notice between the SD (Wii/PS2) and HD (360/PS3) versions; the opening cutscene here is played before the main menu, while in the HD version, it plays upon starting a new file.

Music: "Cutscene - Opening"; composed by Takahito Eguchi, performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. (First half here, second half here) This song is basically what you can expect for the rest of the soundtrack— sheer, unquestionable awesome.

As for the cutscene itself? Amazing. The animation in this game is nearly Pixar-quality, and this is the scene that best exemplifies it. We start off with a massive fleet of spaceships (must... not... reference... Star Wars...), under the control of everyone's favorite villain, Dr. Robotnik Dr. Eggman. The Doc looks over his mighty armada, laughing, when he looks over and goes "wait what—" Suddenly, there's our protagonist, Sonic. How he got on the ship, I don't really know, but whatever. Sonic plows his way through all of the robots only to be confronted by Eggman, piloting a badass mecha that will never be seen again in the game. After attempting a Macross Missile Massacre, he instead opts to grab the hedgehog with his bot's extendable arms. I would question the logic of this, but trying to blow him up first actually sounds like a logical plan. However, since this is the space level, Sonic should have all of the Chaos Emeralds right now. And it's lucky that we're going for the Good Ending here, because yes he does. Sonic proceeds to go Super, trash Eggman's mecha, and chase after him— laying waste to his fleet in the process.

So, Sonic (whose shoes are really shiny for some reason) finally has Eggbotnik cornered, and what does the Doctor do? He pulls a Wily and asks for forgiveness—
"Dr. Eggman: S-Sonic! I-I'm sorry! R-really! L-look, go easy on me! [He seems to stutter a lot, doesn't he?] I'll turn over a new leaf, I swear! Just give me a chance!"
Good ol' Sonic, Genre Blind as he is, responds with some witty banter—
"Sonic: Well, this is new. Showing remorse, Eggman? If you played nice, I wouldn't have to break all your toys."
OH HEY LOOK IT'S A TRAP WHO SAW THIS COMING. As Sonic has his energy drained, he cries out in pain. (by the way, that infamous Narm face? When I first saw that, it creeped the fuck outta me.) As it turns out, this was Eggman's plan all along. He uses the Chaos Emeralds to power a massive laser, which he then fires at the planet. (Insert obligatory Shoop-da-whoop reference here.) Bada-bing, bada-boom. The world slowly cracks apart, and OH HEY, there's a huge Eldritch Abomination sealed beneath us. Sleep well tonight, folks! Sonic gains a larger, more beastly appearance, which everyone will bitch about for some reason. Eggman mocks him about it ("That's a good look for you— festive!") and dumps Sonic (and the Chaos Emeralds) out of the airlock. As the hedgehog Werehog falls down to Earth, the Eldritch Abomination disperses across the globe, and we go to the title screen.

Music: "The World Adventure - Title Screen"; composed by Tomoya Ohtani.

Alright, time to actually start the game. I switch the control settings (my brother uses the Classic Controller; I use the Nunchuck), create a new file, and OH HEY another cutscene. Typical.

Music: "Cutscene - A New Journey"; composed by Tomoya Ohtani and Takahito Eguchi. No link, because the soundtrack rip that made its way onto Youtube omits the cutscene music.

So, Sonic is falling to the planet, when a barrier slows his fall. He regains consciousness, only for the barrier to vanish. Instant Slapstick! (I have a feeling that faceplants will become a Running Gag in the series, if they haven't already.) We're introduced to a small, winged... dog? Thing? Whatever he is, he seems to have no memory whatsoever. Sonic muses (via asking the audience) if it's because he fell on him, giving him head trauma and potentially causing a brain tumor that will kill him offscreen. Introductions are had, and then the sun rises, turning him into normal Sonic. On with the show, then.

Music: "Apotos - Day", composed by Fumie Kumatani. A rather nice hub theme.

A little bit of dialogue, and we go straight into the tutorial levels. Today's installment will be a double-header, since I'll put up a half-part later for the first level. Aren't you lucky?

edited 5th Aug '10 10:07:50 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
I was pleased to see they decided to go the cartoony direction for the art style, since it's a hell of a lot better than the Final Fantasy ripoff style that was Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

And it sounds like Eggman is being awesome as usual, though I am disappointed they had to pull the Eldritch Abomination card yet again.
 
 6 Blueeyedrat, Sat, 31st Jul '10 4:25:51 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 1.5: Let's Get This Show on the Road

Music: "Windmill Isle - Day"; composed by Tomoya Ohtani. I rather like most of the day music, and this is no exception.

So, on to the tutorial level. Basic stuff— jumping, drifting, boosting, and goddammit I already know this stuff. Now that that's finished, let's go to an actual level.


Day Stage 1 - Windmill Isle
Actually, Windmill Isle is a rather strange case, as there are two full acts— every other day stage only features one. Well, this is pretty simple as long as you have the hang of the controls. My first time through, it took a little while to learn the ropes, but over time, I mastered it. So I just blaze through and OH HEY there's an item there. Crap. I'll have to pick it up later. The rest of the stage was pretty uneventful, but I managed to score a nice S Rank.
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Moon Medals.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Movie 1, Document 3.


Cutscene time! Heh, Sonic can juggle. Some chit-chat, but then the little flying thing is suddenly drawn by the irresistible force of DAN GREEN delicious ice cream. "The whole world can come tumbling down, but they'll still line up for a taste!" I wouldn't say that too loudly, Dan Green Morshu Ice Cream Man. As it turns out, the little guy is rather fond of nachos chocolate, hence Sonic dubs him "Chip". Alright, I guess it's time to find somebody who knows the little bugger.

In Part 2, we'll explore Apotos a little, and deal with the rest of Windmill Isle. Stay tuned.

edited 5th Aug '10 10:08:12 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 7 Blueeyedrat, Sat, 31st Jul '10 9:40:38 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.
A quick note on my update plan— I intend to update daily for the first couple of weeks in August. (Why? Well, if everything adds up, then it'll be apparent soon enough.) After that, I may end up slowing it down a bit— I'm not sure how long this playthrough will actually be.

To pass the time, here's the full version of the game's main theme. (I don't think it appears in-game.)

"The World Adventure - Orchestral Theme"; composed by Tomoya Ohtani, orchestrated by Takahito Eguchi, performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

edited 5th Aug '10 10:10:32 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 8 Blueeyedrat, Sun, 1st Aug '10 2:36:50 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 2: It's All Greek to Me

I know; the pun is horrible. Alright, where did we leave off last time? Oh, that's right, we were just introduced to this game's equivalent of a hub— which is, essentially, a menu screen. You have various locations ("Bell Square", "Flower Street", etc.) What happens when you choose one? Well, let's start off at the "Windmill Coast Street". We meet... an old guy. He greets us, tells us a couple of things, and then we leave. That's pretty much these hub worlds in a nutshell. The HD version of the game is a completely different story, but we're stuck with this for now. We talk to some random dudes, and then go back to the old guy, who has some other crap to say. Mentions something about a 'shrine'. As it turns out, there's a "Sacred Shrine" on the far edge of town, and— oh, Chip found a stone with a sun on it. Good for him? Anyway, we enter the shrine and holy crap

Music: "Gaia Gate"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. I love this song; it's probably my favorite rendition of the main theme. Sadly, it's a Wasted Song in the HD version.

Welcome to the Gaia Gate, exclusive to the SD version. Most worlds have their own temple, and each one of them is absolutely beautiful. The Apotos gate features a large bell, and some various statues. It also happens to be the only shrine that's properly lit. (By the way, I'm typing this up as I go along. Sonic is currently asleep on the temple floor.) There's a room to the side, with various pedestals. Those will come into play later. Also in the temple are various smaller doors, which—
"Chip: Looks like this door won't open yet, Sonic! We need 33 total Sun Medals and 26 total Moon Medals. Come on, Sonic, let's go find more!"

...

...Shit.

After admiring the scenery for a little while, we notice that one of the doors (the one with a sun on it— must be a coincidence) happens to be glowing. Which means, we can open it. Why do they light up? Beats me. It trails off into a long hallway. Where does it lead?


Day Stage 1 - Windmill Isle (cont.)
  • "Go for the goal ring!"
This is that 'Act 2' I mentioned before. I rather like this level; it has plently of shortcuts and hidden pathways. There are also a bunch of items, if you know where to look. A quick tip, though— right before you leave the 2D section, boost. There's a line of robots right there who will stop you in your tracks. They are cheap. The end of the stage features a mini-boss, the Interceptor. He shows up a lot in the HD version, but only twice here. It's just avoid his (laughably predictable) attacks, attack him, lather, rinse, repeat. It's more of a time waster than anything else, and it does that job rather well.
  • RESULT: A Rank; two Moon Medals
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 4 & 32, Documents 17 & 20.
  • "Collect rings at top speed!"
After every day level, there are a few sub-missions. Each give you one medal upon completion, and they vary between time-attack, ring-collecting, etc.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: A tablet piece. We'll find out what it does later.


Music: "Cutscene - The First Night"; composed by Takahito Eguchi.

Another cutscene! The sun is setting on Apotos, but Chip is still amnesiac. The moment the sun passes the horizon, Sonic transforms back into the beastly thing we saw earlier. By the way, I find this line hilarious:
"Sonic: I just need to be careful who sees me like this."
Indeed you do, fluffy. The moment you're spotted, the Fan Dumb will be on you within seconds. But enough about that; back to the scene. We see the ice cream stand again, and it seems that Dan Green has AAAAAAAAAANGST. In his Wangsting, he knocks a cone of ice cream off of his cart. In a fantastic display of super-human reflexes, Were-Sonic decides to... stretch his arm over 10 feet and grab it. Yeah. He's also notably flippant about it, and just decides that "Hey, this could be useful. Somehow." Oh well; back to the hub.

Music: "Apotos - Night"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. Quite relaxing.

Just talking to the same people as earlier. One guy actually gave me a record (Soundtrack 33). How nice of him. Another dude had a tablet with a moon on it, and he mentioned that a "yellow fox" gave it to him. Oh, gee, I wonder who that sounds like? I suppose we'll find out next time.

edited 5th Aug '10 10:08:41 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 9 Komodin, Sun, 1st Aug '10 5:39:40 PM from Somewhere in Windy Hill Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
The Sonic Wiki Curator
Okay, since Blueeyedrat has already done the cutscenes given so far, I might as well just skip straight to:

Windmill Isle Act 1

A.K.A: A Sunrise Stroll Through The Hills Of Apotos

This level serves as a tutorial for Sonic the Hedgehog's gameplay. I must say, after over a year of ownership, the visuals of this level still impresses me with its beauty. Makes me wonder if the actual island of Mykonos looks anything like this.

Back on topic, the first area of this level is a rather straightforward run, with little in the way of actual obstacles. Along the way, Chip gives us various tips, some of which are rather obvious to the seasoned Sonic fan.

After a run through a loop, we're launched into the second area. We run up into a group of springs, the weird thingamabobs of the series that can launch you to higher places. After using to leap to the higher elevation, we come across the first hint of actual platforming. Hitting the nearby Question Ring (a Question Mark floating in the middle of a ring of small, rainbow-colored spheres), Chip gives us a... "helpful" hint.

Chip: That's a big step, huh? Maybe you can jump it with the A button

Yes, Chip, I do know how to jump. No need to remind me...

Anyway, jumping up to the next platform, we come across a huge group of pots with a Question Mark informing you that yes, you can do the Spin Attack in the game. Perhaps, this section was made in response to Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, which didn't have the standard Spin Attack as a technique.

Spin-Bouncing along the tops of the pots, we come across the "Homing Attack" challenge. This tutorial is actually somewhat important; unlike the other 3D Sonics, the Homing Attack is not initiated by pressing the jump button twice. Rather, it's by pressing the A button, then pressing the X button. It's a little jarring the first time around, but you'll get used to it after a while.

Using the Homing Attack on the spring, we're launched to a gtrind rail, where we're sent to the third area of the level. Passing through the Point Marker, we coming across our first enemies, the Egg Fighter. The Egg Fighters are the main line of Eggman's Badniks for this game, not unlike the Egg Pawns from Heroes and Shadow. The Egg Fighters even bear a close resemblance to them; perhaps that's why they're colored red in this level. This level's Egg Fighters are the basic grunts, with only a single punch as their attack. A Homing Attack can easily destroy them.

Wiping the floor with them causes a Pulley to activate. Using it sends us to the next area, complete with more Egg Fighters and a new enemy, the Aero Cannon. There are two variants of these enemies: the standard Blue Models, and the rarer Gold Models (which are basically the Gold Beetles of this game). To my understanding, these enemies are a lot bigger in the SD versions; close to the size of the Egg Fighters, in fact.  * Their main attack is a ball of energy, shot from their... well, cannon. Any means of offense will take them out.

Clearing house, we come across the final are, the "Quick Step" challenge. The Quick Step is one of the new abilities added to Sonic's arsenal for this game; this allows to quickly step over to the left and right of you while running. This is an essential skill, as this challenge shows. Here, you must run down a long, twisty bridge, while using the Quick Step to dodge the various Spike Traps laid a strewn throughout the pathway. For this level, it's quite easy, and the game gives you hints of where they'll be.

Reaching the end of the bridge, we're launched over to a corkscrew path, a staple in the Sonic series. Zooming through, we finally reach the Goal Ring. In this game, it's a giant ring with a red star in the center. Touching it, the game evaluates our score. For the daytime stages, the overall score is graded in four categories: Time, Rings Collected, Speed and Enemies Defeated. Like in the SD versions, Sonic and Chip will at the score as they're being graded.

For this runthrough, I've earned a B, with a score of 103, 989. Not too bad, but it could be better.

Pressing A shows us the Status screen. In this game, you can level up both forms of Sonic, obviously improving his abilities and all that RPG-related jazz. This screen will also show the number of medals you've collected so far. I'll elaborate on this at a later update. For Sonic the Hedgehog, you can upgrade his speed and Ring Energy bar. For the Werehog, you can upgrade the number of combat skills you can use, your strength, your lifebar, your Unleashed bar and the numbers of Shields you can use.

Note: For the purpose of this Liveblog (and because I like a challenge), I will not upgrade either Hedgehog or Werehog.

Moving on...

After skipping the cutscene, having already been covered by my fellow Liveblogger, we are now in the first hub world: Apotos.

Unlike the hubworlds of Sonic Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the hubs of this game are much smaller and concentrated. The hubs are split into two sections; right now, we are in the "Village". The Village (or the Country-Specific Equivalent Thereof) is where you can interact with the locale. Right now, I'm going to go through the village, searching for medals. Might as well shoot the breeze while I'm here.

Going over to DAN GREENthe Ice Cream Man, he has this to say:

Ice Cream Man: Hiya! So how'd you like my ice cream? Best you ever had, right?! Even if the planet were to crumble all around us, it'd still taste amazing!

Hey, you gotta respect a man who loves his work.

Moving on, we meet our next NPC: Sandra, an elderly woman. She has this to say to our colorful pair:

Sandra: Hello. Lovely weather we're having today, isn't it? Oh! And who's this little fellow here? Huh? Do I know him?

Huh? She seems interested in Chip. I wonder if she knows of Chip's ori-

No. I can't say I've seen him before. Perhaps someone else has.

Aw, pickles. Looking to the left, I spy my first Moon Medal in the game. Might as well pick up now; trust me, the reason why will be made apparent within a few updates.

Moving along, we meet Gregorios, who appears to be the game's equivalent of a priest. He has this to say:

Gregorios: Well, what have we here? Travelers? What a pleasant surprise. Hm? trying to figure out which way to go, hm? Not an easy choice.

Well, I wouldn't say that...

If you continue straight ahead, you will come to the Entrance Stage. I have an inkling that it leads to your future.

Now, we have a list of three option of what to say in response. Let's assume Sonic has a mild case of amnesia himself and don't know what the heck's an "Entrance Stage", shall we?

Sonic: An entrance what?

Surprised, Gregorios responds with:

Gregorios: An inquisitive response! It is good to have a curious mind. You see, the Entrance Stage is a gateway to... To what you'd call... Eh, it's a sort of hub where you may access several action stages. Gathering medals from all over the world will open new paths for you.

Now, we have two choices for Sonic to say. Let's assume Sonic has never seen a medal in his life and is curious as to what they are, shall we?

Sonic: What are medals?

Surprised again, Gregorios responds:

Gregorios: There are two kinds of medals in this world: sun and moon. Gathering sun medals increases the power of the sun within you. Gathering moon medals boosts the power of the moon within you. and increasing your power will... well... increase the number of action stages available to you! I could explain in more detail, but experience knows no substitute. May I suggest you go to the Entrance Stage and see for yourself?

Gladly. Moving along the Entrance Stage's... entrance, we meet two NPC's. One's a big, strappin' man (Lambros), the other's a small boy (Alexis). Talking to Lambros, he says:

Lambros: I haven't seen you in these parts before. Are you a tourist? Do I know who this little guy is?

Well, do you?

Nah, sorry. I've never seen him before.

Aw, pickles. Moving along to Alexis, he has this to say to us:

Alexis: This kid? Nope, I don't think I've seen him before.

Aw, he doesn't know Chip either. Maybe if we explain the situation...

For real?! He's lost his memory?! That's got to be tough.

Naw... really?

You can go all kinds of places from just up ahead. Who knows? Maybe that might jar something.

Good plan. Now, we can move along to the Entrance Stage. I'll go through the area once we've completed the act.

As Gregorios explained, the Entrance Stages are where you can actually get to the Action Stages. These areas are like a "sample" of what the Acts have to offer. These areas also contain Sun and Moon Medals. Since, as of now, only a small part of the Entrance Stage is available, we might as well go straight to the Act.

Entranceways to the Acts are symbolized by glowing, bronze panels. Within the glows shows the "Levels" of Medals I've collected. For Windmill Isle Act 1, the minimal level one can access it is Level 1, which I'm currently at right now. Moving over to the Entranceway, I'm shown the records for the level; it's blank right now. Selecting the level, we move on to Act 2...

Next time.

edited 1st Aug '10 5:45:34 PM by Komodin

 10 Blueeyedrat, Mon, 2nd Aug '10 3:12:30 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 3: Creature of the Night

Well, time to head back to the Gaia Gate. Strangely enough, Sonic reverts back to his normal form here, regardless of the time of day. This is Hand Waved somewhere, but I won't bother explaining it. Since we have our Moon Tablet, we can open the door and enter our first night level—

Music: "Windmill Isle - Night"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. Quite nice.

But first: more tutorials! Isn't that fantastic? Jumping, climbing, etc.

Music: "Werehog Battle Theme"; composed by Kenichi Tokoi. You'll be hearing this one a lot.

It's also here that we're introduced to combat— at the moment, Sonic's only got a basic three-hit combo (R-L-R or L-R-L), and the Were-Hammer (L+R). Later on, he'll learn some more tricks, but not nearly as much as in the HD version. Although technically, you'll see more here, since Komodin will be going for a Low Level Run and won't level up his Combat skill. In this game, levelling up is only for the Werehog, and it's automatic— any Dark Gaia Force (red orbs; your EXP for the game) collected during a level will accumulate, unlocking upgrades at various intervals. We also meet our basic enemy here: the Nightmare. To recap: goddammit I already know this stuff! Moving on!


Night Stage 1 - Windmill Isle
  • Act 1 - Moonlit Town
As opposed to the Day levels, the Night levels are actually split into full acts, with 3 Sun Medals each. As a result, there are about 30 more Sun Medals than there are Moon Medals. This is the starting level, which introduces us to a few more things: for starters, some new enemies— Frights (Personally, I like to call them "Magikarps", because they're small, round, (sometimes) red, and they flop around and don't do much. A few hits will dispose of them quickly.) and Killer Bees (*sigh*). We also encounter a new mechanic— a barrier, that requires you to collect three keys. (Sound familiar?) This also shows up frequently, but they're pretty easy to solve.
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals.
  • UPGRADES: Learned the "Were-Claw" (Dash+Attack).
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Movie 2, Illustration 23.
  • Act 2 - Moonsoaked Alleys
A couple of new mechanics here: there are switches and levers, which do... stuff, and various poles and ledges to climb on. By the way, I'd like to mention this game's ranking system. The Day ranks are simple enough to understand— less time, better rank, more medals. The Night ranks, however, are decided by three factors: Time (how fast you complete the level), Rings (how many rings you have), and Force (how much Dark Gaia Force you collect). For each criteria you meet, you get a medal. Meet all three, and it's an S Rank. It's theoretically possible to collect every single Sun Medal without gaining any rank higher than B.
  • RESULT: A Rank; two Sun Medals.
  • UPGRADES: Combo Level Up (longer combos; now I can do L-R-L-R-L or R-L-R-L-R).
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 30, 64, & 66, Movie 3
  • Act 3 - Hill Beneath Starry Skies
For being what is essentially a straight line, this level is actually rather intricate, with a bunch of secrets. The reason being, it's a wide straight line. The end of the level introduces us to the Deep Nightmare, which is a larger version of the regular mook. A fun fact: My first time playing through, this would have been the first level I S-Ranked, had I not neglected to collect one more ring. Today, I made damn sure to collect every ring I came across, and as a result:
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals.
  • UPGRADES: Learned the "Were-Wallop" (two or three-hit combo, then L+R).
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 26, 65, & 67; and another tablet fragment.


Time for some cutscenes!

Music: "Cutscene - Tails in Trouble!"; by Takahito Eguchi.

Well, our favorite fox has gotten himself into a slight jam. A notable difference between the two versions; this scene plays before the night level in the HD version, and you actually fight the enemies at the end. In the SD version, the giant enemy (the Titan) won't be appearing for a few more levels.

'''Music: "Cutscene - To Spagonia!"; by Takahito Eguchi. Actually quite lovely, if you get a chance to hear it.

We now cut to here, where Were-Sonic has dispatched the foes and Tails comes out for some friendly exposition. He mentions some dude named Professor Pickle, over at the university in our next destination: Spagonia.

Music: "The World Adventure - World Map"; by Tomoya Ohtani.

We leave off at the World Map. See ya next time!

edited 5th Aug '10 10:07:11 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 11 Blueeyedrat, Tue, 3rd Aug '10 2:54:25 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 4: The First of Many

...detours, that is.

Before we head off to Italy Spagonia, there are actually a few things I'd like to take care of in Apotos. For starters, there's that item I missed back in Part 1.5. Let's go pick it up, shall we? To be honest, it's not that hard to collect. I barely missed the S-Rank time, but it doesn't matter anyway— I already have all three medals.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustration 57.
Next up, there's a day mission we unlocked: "Reach the goal unscathed!" In this particular mission, you're pitted against the Interceptor, and you have to beat him without getting hit. He's pathetic as ever, and there are no items to collect, so it's an easy mission. Next up, there are more Night tutorial missions. Every time you unlock a new move, you also unlock a tutorial mission here. All you have to do is pull off the move in question, and you win. Technically, you don't even have to kill anything. But since we're here, I might as well explain each of 'em—
  • "Were-Claw"— This is a pretty decent move, as it can stun enemies. Stunned enemies can then be picked up and thrown around.
  • "Were-Wallop"— I suppose this one is good for combos, but I don't (intentionally) use it much.
  • Unleashed mode— this makes your basic moves more powerful, and changes some of your special moves. Learn to love it.
  • Bigger combos— The fifth hit in a combo varies— R+L+R+L+R ends with a one-two punch, while L+R+L+R+L finishes with a wide slash. Mix and match at your leisure.


Okay, fine, let's actually go to Spagonia.

Music: "Spagonia - Day"; by Kenichi Tokoi. This hub music just gets better and better, doesn't it?

The first few people know nothing about this "Professor Pickle" chap, so we go to a back alley and run into a young man, who appears to be the Prof's assistant. This would be a good time to mention that this is one of, if not the only NPC who doesn't have a name. Seriously, what's this guy called? Anyway, he tells us that he doesn't know where the professor is, either; instead, he leads us to the Pickle Lab to explain more.

Music: "Dr. Pickle's Laboratory"; not sure who composed it. I dislike this song, for a reason that will become apparent later.

OH HEY, it's a cutscene. So the assistant (voiced by Jason Griffith) explains that the professor has, in fact, been kidnapped.
"...and a whole pack of robots!"
So, Tails figures out that Dr. Eggman took the prof and his research, and is holding him in Mazuri. Wait, what? We have to leave already? We just got here!

...

...Fine. I guess next time, we're going to Mazuri.

edited 4th Aug '10 1:56:20 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 12 Nyperold, Tue, 3rd Aug '10 6:26:37 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
I'm sure they'll love the company.

 13 Blueeyedrat, Wed, 4th Aug '10 3:20:42 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 5: I Better Get Frequent-Flier Miles for This

This episode has been brought to you by three tracks exclusive to the HD version:
"Tornado - To Spagonia" & "Savannah Citadel - Night", both composed by Fumie Kumatani; "Savannah Citadel - Day", composed by Tomoya Ohtani.


Music: "Mazuri - Night"; by Fumie Kumatani. Rather peaceful.

It's the middle of the night, and there's nary a soul around. Gee, maybe it's because everyone's asleep? But hey, we found some sort of mysterious hole...

Music: "Cutscene - Same as Ever"; by Takahito Eguchi

OH HEY it's the Professor. Wow, that was eas— wait. I think I know why Eggman locked the prof up: in order to seal the almighty power of DAN GREEN. Anyway, we bust Professor Green out, and bring back some documents with us. By the way, I love this little exchange:
Chip: *pulls chocolate out of Hammerspace* Want some chocolate, Professor?
Pickle: Why, don't mind if I do! *takes bar*
Sonic and Tails (in background): *look at each other and shrug*

Music: "Cutscene - Gaia Manuscripts"; by Takahito Eguchi. I hate this song. It's a massive screw-up! There's a rather ambient little tune in the background; I have no problem with that. However, even in the frikkin' OST, it also has THIS layered on top of it! It doesn't match the mood, the tempo, nothing! But I've rambled long enough.

Hoo boy. Lots of exposition here. Gaia Manuscripts, ancient stuff, Dark Gaia, Chaos Emeralds, Gaia Temples, fixing the planet, blah blah blah. Did I mention we're already back in Spagonia? What, does the voice of Dan Green give Pickle the ability to teleport? In that case, what about the Ice Cream Man? But I digress.

So, we now have a way to repair the planet— restoring the Chaos Emeralds (which, in case I didn't explain properly you forgot, had their power drained by Eggman), via each of the Gaia Temples. This, in turn, will restore each continent. Somehow. Hopefully, nothing will have fallen off, and the oceans won't have completely drained by then.

So, where are the Gaia Temples? Well, I guess Dan Green Professor Pickle still has to decipher the Manuscripts, but he's already figured out there's a temple... back... in... Mazuri.

GAH!

edited 5th Aug '10 10:11:34 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 14 Blueeyedrat, Thu, 5th Aug '10 3:51:10 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 6: Oh Hey, We're Actually Doing Something

So, after going back and forth, we're right back where we started last time— heading off to Mazuri.

Music: "Mazuri - Day"; by Fumie Kumatani.

Another cutscene, already? Geez.

Music: "Cutscene - Eggman Again"; by Takahito Eguchi.

(I kinda like this cutscene. The people are animated really well, and they throw in a nice bit of humor to it.)
So, the Doc has all of the villagers cornered, with a line of robots... raising their arms up all scary-like. Or something. Anyway, Eggman's looking for information regarding the Mazuran (Mazurian? Mazurite?) Temple of Gaia. One of the young villagers seems to disagree, so he... chucks a rock at Eggman. Instant Slapstick!

Music: "Cutscene - Sonic Appears"; by Takahito Eguchi.

Just when the doctor is about to sic his robots on the villagers, Sonic appears. There's some not-so-friendly banter, and Eggman Exits Stage Left. Oh well; back to the hub.

Well, the villagers are useless once again, except for the village elder: he takes those two tablet fragments we collected back in Apotos, and fuses them to make a Planet Tablet. (An NPC who actually does something? I'm shocked.) Well, with that finished, we can now access the Mazuri Gaia Gate.

To be frank, I'm actually not sure what this particular gate is supposed to resemble— I just know that it still looks pretty. It's relatively dark (except for some torches here and there), so Sonic reverts to his Werehog form. Seriously, temple guys, get some proper lighting installed. There's a room with a bunch of pedestals, nearly identical to the one in Apotos. However, one of the pedestals is glowing— I wonder where that one will take me, considering I've only been to one other temple. Anyway, since we have our Planet Tablet (which has a star on it for some reason), we can access the only level door in Mazuri, and guess what?

Music: "Cutscene - The Egg Beetle"; by Takahito Eguchi.

Yep, it's time for a boss! This is the only daytime boss that has a cutscene beforehand, since it's the first one.


Music: ''Boss Battle - Day"; by Hideaki Kobayashi. Technically, you also hear this against the Interceptor, but I forgot to mention it.

Boss 1 - Egg Beetle
The Egg Beetle is a mech with a set of giant pincers, with a slot for the Egg-O-Matic. All of the Day bosses are fought while running, akin to Sonic Advance 2. In the first segment, he drops Weighted Companion Cubes at you, while the second is a 2D area where you have to dodge missiles. There's really no trick to beating him— just collect rings and boost that sucker to death. And for that, we get a single moon medal. Whoop de do.


Music: "Cutscene - Temple Activated!"; by Takahito Eguchi.

(A quick note— the scene preceding this is the only time in the HD version where the Gaia Gate music is played. Kind of a shame, really.) We finally find the first Gaia Temple, and head inside. There's a long hallway, with a pedestal at the end.
  1. Place Emerald in Pedestal.
  2. ???
  3. Profit!
As is turns out, this Emerald was the green one. But what's more interesting is what's happening outside:

Music: "Cutscene - Planet Pieces"; by— oh, you should know who does all of the cutscene music by now.

We are treated to a glorious scene of the "continent" (with both Apotos and Mazuri) descending back towards its proper place. (Technically, they should just be "pieces"— the world map shows Apotos and Spagonia on the same landmass, just with a massive crack between them.) Anyway... one down, and six to go. This could take a while.

We're then shown yet another short cutscene, where Tails (Riddle me this, fox: where have you been the whole time?) gives Sonic and Chip a replay of... the cutscene we just saw. Whatever... I guess next time, we'll have to go back to Spagonia (again?) to learn what our next destination is. See you then.

edited 5th Aug '10 6:20:41 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 15 Komodin, Thu, 5th Aug '10 9:26:01 PM from Somewhere in Windy Hill Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
The Sonic Wiki Curator
Okay, I apologize for the late update, but I had some important matters to attend to. Now that I'm free to play, how about we continue on to:

Windmill Isle Act 2

A.K.A: A Midday Jog Through The Islands Of Apotos

The first section is a winding jog through the streets of Apotos. At the starting area, there are various human NPC's chatting amongst each other and waving to Sonic as he goes by. I must say, it's a pretty nice touch for this level; it's a shame this will only be repeated once (as far as humans are concerned, anyway) in a certain desert stage. Ah well.

Along the way, I'm introduced to the Dash Rings. They are orange and rainbow-colored rings around twice as big as regular rings. When jumped or boosted into, Sonic will do a small aerial trick, giving you points and shooting you further down a path or another section you couldn't otherwise reach. Going through this Trick Rings shoots Sonic over to where the first (of three) Sun Medals is located. From here, I used the Boost Ramps to shoot over to another set of Trick Rings, earning me some extra points in the process.

From here, I come across two small pathways. One way leads to a trails of rings, followed by a Grind Rail; the other leads to a group of regular Egg Fighters just standing there around like idiots., Curious, I walked up to one of them and kicked them. This is where I first found out that they took out Collision Damage (for the most part) in this game. What a surprise.

Going back, I went down the path with the rings and boosted through the rest of the way. As I zoomed along, I noticed that they also brought back the wide springs from Sonic Heroes. Why, exactly, did they that back for this game, I don't know. After that, I landed in the middle of what appears to be a patio overlooking an ocean. Tables, potted plants and barrels were laid around this small area. Three Egg Fighters were guarding a Pulley. After disposing of them, the pulley became operational again. After pulling myself up, it was a hop and a skip away from reaching the first Point Marker.

They're just like the Point Markers from the Sonic Adventure titles and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) in that they're structured like gates, though they appear more like an actual mechanical object in this game. Going through, my speed when I crossed is calculated. Since I walked through for this run, my speed was 5 mph. What greeted me was a group of Spinners hovering over a large cliff-face separating me from the next island. Just like in Sonic Adventure, their initial game appearance, they're basically Homing Attack fodder. They come in two varieties: blue (Normal) and green (electric).

After using them as a "bridge" to cross over, I land in the middle of a small garden area, with plants and tables dotted around. With only one path ahead, I zoomed along, destroying everything (whether they were furniture or robots) in my path. Along the way, the camera perspective changes; before I knew it, I zoomed past the second Point Marker in 2D gameplay.

From here to the next Point marker, the gameplay is that of a 2D sidescroller, one of the main features for the daytime levels. This particular section went by rather quickly, with a couple points where sliding is required here and there.

After zooming past the third Point Marker, I leaped onto a Grind Rail. From there, I have to use a set of three grind Rails to grind over the vast ocean, with various Spikes laid across the rails here and there. After a Rail Corkscrew, I zoomed down a pathway built on top of a tall landmass high above the ocean over to the fourth Point Marker.

I'd stop and look at the simply gorgeous scenery that's made especially present right here, but with the timer present, coupled with that I've already wasted six minutes on this stage, I'll just zoom along. Maybe when I start hunting for medals, I'll bring the scenery to more attention.

Moving along, I leap up to another grinding area, this time with various gaps in the rails. Coupled with the various Spike Trap, I've lost more than a couple lives here when I first started playing this game. After this, I go through a Rail Loop over to the next island, past the fifth Point Marker in sidescroller gameplay.

This section is longer than the previous sidescroller section, with various enemies and obstacles in my way. After a few seconds of dashing, I'm sprung over to a couple platform floating before a Grind Rail. leaping across the platform, I found the second Moon Medal of the stage. Going back to the Grind Rail, I'm zoomed over to the Jump Selector. Introduced in Sonic Rivals 2, they can function as either a Spring (by pressing A) or a Boost Pad (by pressing X), depending on what direction the game wants you to go. For this one, I have to press X to continue on without hassle.

Doing that, I'm dashed over to a small platforming section. Here is where we meet the Fake Springs; springs with the Eggman logo embroidered on it instead of the star symbols. They're usually bad news, for they'll usually launch you into spikes, pitfalls or some other trap.

After that particular trap, the rest of the section was straightforward, with sliding obstacles, platforms and all that jazz. At the end, I come across the first Trick Jump Platform (i.e. QTE's) of the game. At this point, the QTE's are rather simple, with only a lower path and a loss at a chance to earn extra points. Later in the game, though, things will be different. Much different...

Anyway, for this run, the button prompts were Y, A and X. Solving this easy prompt earned me some points via rings. After the pulley ride, we're launched back into 3D gameplay. From here, it's a short jug to the sixth Point Marker.

From here, there are two paths to take. The left path leads to the third Sun Medals and some extra rings; the right path leads to nothing noteworthy. Being curious, I took the right path. Either path leads to a sliding hole, followed by a couple Pulleys. From there, I'm launched to the seventh Point Marker.

Following the Marker is a short platforming section to the next island, with the Spinners as obstacles. On the island, I'm boosted over to another sidescroller section. Other than a couple Jump Selectors, Egg Fighters and the like, it was a rather straightforward section. After that, I'm boosted over to another QTE Ramp. The prompts were as followed: B, A and A. The prompts launched me to a higher path. Following that was a straightforward run, grind and jump over to the Goal Ring.

For this run, I got a C, with an overall score of 59, 092. I took too long...

The following cutscene was also covered by my fellow liveblogger, so I'll just skip covering this one as well.

Now, we move on to... Sonic the Werehog. As most of you already know, the Werehog's gamep;ay is completely different from that of the Hedgehog. His gameplay is a mix between that of God of War, Prince of Persia, and Ristar; in a nutshell, a combat-focused platformer. Unlike the Hedgehog, the Werehog has no sidescroller sections at all; it's 3D all the way for Mr. Monster Guy. In the night, the Moon Medals in the hubs are replaced with Sun Medals, hidden in different places.

Speaking of medals, in the nighttime levels, there are more Sun Medals to collect (10) in any given stage than the Moon Medals (6). For the Hedgehog, there are more Moon Medals to collect in a given stage (7) than the Sun Medals (3). But enough about that for now, let's see what the night holds for the denizens of Apotos. If Dan Green the Ice Cream Man's reaction is an indicator, it could be quite interesting...

The Emo-Turned-Ice Cream Man has this to say:

Ice Cream Man: The planet's broken! It's all over!

You've just noticed that? Really?

There's no point in making ice cream anymore.

Wait, no! Where will I get my ice cream from now?! I sure hope there's a way to fix his case of the blues...

At any rate, let's go explore this are before we move on to the Action Stage. While we're here, let's look for the Sun Medals. But firstt, let's see what Gregorios has to say:

Gregorios: Hm? You look... Well, you present quite a frightening visage. Not that it matters.

Pardon?

With the world in a mess, the planet splitting... What really matters? Oh, who CARES?!

Whoa, what a change in attitude! From here, Sonic got three choices as to what to say:

"What's the matter?!";

"Are you all right?!"; and

"You got that right!"

Since this isn't the Sonic the Comic rendition of Sonic, let's go with a less smartassed response. Hmm... how about:

Sonic: What's the matter?!

In response, Gregorios says:

Gregorios: Oh nothing. That's just it. It just does not matter.

Hmm? When he said that, dark spirals emanated from him, same as with the Ice Cream Man. Rather suspicious...

As our conversation with Gregorios ended, a thin, elderly man (Lucas) walked by. Might as well talk to him to see if he's acting anything like Gregorios...

Lucas: A leisurely stroll at night like this isn't bad! Heh heh!

Well, at least there's one ray of sunshine around here. Let's see what Sandra has to say:

Sandra: Ooh, my, my, my!

Zuh?

A-Are you the gentlemen I met earlier today?

Well, uh, yeah, kinda. It's hard to explain...

I knew it! Yes, I remember your little friend.

Hey, someone recognizes them! About time!

Good evening to you both. How are you doing? Which reminds me...

Uh-oh... ?

I saw a two-tailed fox fly past, heading toward the Entrance Stage. He wouldn't be a friend of yours, would he? He was in a terrible hurry.

... Okay, change of plans. We're heading for the Entrance Stage, now.

Along the way to the Entrance Stage, we come across Lambros, standing near a house. Let's see what he has to say:

Lambros: Hey, pilgrim! How're things going? You look... shorter and stouter than before!

Really? I could have swore the Werehog was a bit bigger than the Hedgehog. Maybe it's because he slouches a lot?

Did you eat something funny?

Maybe a little bit of that fru-oh, right. To the Entrance Stage!

Right near the Entrance Stage, I spy an elderly couple (Eric & Anastasia). Let's see what they have to say regarding a certain two-tailed fox we all know and love/like/tolerate:

Eric: Did you see a two-tailed fox? He was right here just a minute ago.

Anastaia: Mnzts... Sssgrt!

Huh? She can't speak?

Eric: He had big, bushy tails swinging' all around. You can't miss him.

Um... thanks. Anyways... on to the Entrance Stage!

Unfortunately, just as in the daytime, certain areas have been blocked off for now. Fortunately, though, we can reach the area above the daytime stage marker, thanks to the Grab Ledges. Just press B to grab on to them, even from a long distance away!

Anyway, now that we're on the ledge, we come across our first Record.

Record 59: Stage Clear - the tune that plays whenever you beat a stage with a grade higher than E.

Since there is no other areas we can reach right now, we might as well enter...

Windmill Isle Act 1... Night

A.K.A: A Moonlit Stroll Through The Streets Of Apotos

Since the cutscene show prior to the start of the level has already been covered, let's just skip it.

We start in the middle of a square, just as Chip informs us that Tails has went along this path before us. Lucky dog fox...

Anyway, we start off with a rather paltry lists of skills:

  • Were-Hammer Y, Y, Y, Y
  • Double Kick Combo Y, X, X
  • Sho-hog-ken Y, Y, A
  • Wild Whirl X, X, X, X
  • Rolling Kick Combo X, Y, Y
  • Sho-claw-ken X, X, A
  • Flying Double-Punch Y, Y in the air.
  • Aerial Claw Slash X, X in the air.
  • Diving Bodypress A in the air.

Unfortunately, for the purposes of this Low Level Run, these will be the only moves we'll be able to use. Oh boy, will Eggmanland suck...

Anyway, first thing we gotta do is bust that door apart. Luckily, any attack will do.

As the Werehog, the rings has a different effect; here, it restore health. The Super Ring (slightly bigger ring with the number ten in the center, also present in the Hedgehog stages) heals ten times more so. A Full Life Ring (an even bigger ring with a blue star in the center) fully restores your health.

Going down the street, we encounte-

DA-DA-DADA-DA-DAAAAA-DAA!

... Yeah, Might as well get used to that song, because it will be blaring for every battle you get yourself in.  Well...

Anyway, the first enemies in the game are the Little Rexes, little dinosaur-like creature. Most of the enemies you'll be fighting as the Wertehog will be spawns of Dark Gaia, though the exceptions appears to be fueled by Dark Gaia energy as well. Any attack can kill them; preferably, I'd just grab them and "Bowser" them to death.

Anyway, after their deaths, Chip pops up, informing us of the dark, hazy balls of light that shoot out of their bodies. They're called Dark Gaia Force. Gathering them up fills your Unleashed Gauge (think the Kai-o-ken).

Moving along, we come across our second obstacle: another door. To break this gate, as it's set on stairs, you have to do an Aerial Attack (Moves 7-9). One of the steps is set high enough that you have to do a double jump (Just tap the A button twice).

Anyway, after the climb, I bust down the door to the right (with an overhead camera angle, showcasing some of the gorgeous scenery), revealing an area guarded by a group of Little Rexes, accompanied by our next enemy, the Nightmares. They are the basic grunts in the Werehog levels, just as the Egg Fighters are in the day. The way you attack them is a little different: after you take down half of their health, a flaming arrow will appear over their head. From there, you can go over and press B to perform a QTE Sequence. If you get the button prompts right, you'll killed them instantly, as well as earn some bonus points in the process. if you screw up, you'll lose health, while they gain some back. The closer their health is to the halfway, the faster the QTE prompt will be and the bigger bonus points you'll get if you don't screw up.

Anyway, after we've disposed the area of Nightmares and Little Rexes, we're formally introduced to the Chaos Orbs (they look more like diamond, though...). These yellow gems give you EXP, with which you can use to level up. As stated before, I will not use them at any point in this liveblog. Moving on, we're introduced to the Grab Ledges in-level. Just grab 'em with B to get to higher places.

From here, it's just a long sprint to the next obstacle, breaking wooden doors in our path. Along the way, we're informed of the use of the left or right triggers to dash faster. Quite useful, especially in the later levels. After a short sprint, we come across another door. This one, seeing as it's made of stone, can't be broken down with physical force. Luckily, a switch to open it is a couple steps back, obscured by potted plants.

Pressing it reveals our next area, an enclosed part of town guarded by Little Rexes and... the Egg Fighters. No, you can't just one-shot them like you would in the daytime; though they're still easy to defeat, you'll have to fight them the hard way: force.

You can either fight the army of foes... or you can just ignore them and head over to the Pull Lever and grab it with B. This will cause the platform above to activate hovering up and down. From there, I used the Grab Ledge to climb up the small building, jumped onto the platform, and jumped over to the other side of the building complex.

Near the "entranceway" of the building sits the Grab Pole. By grabbing them, you can either use them to climb up to higher elevations or slide them safely to a lower ledge. You can speed up the climbing process by tapping the grab button. Once at the top, it's just a short jog down the hill to another door. Though you can't break it down, seeing as it has a handle, you can force it open by tapping the grab button.

Once opened, yet another battle with the Rexes and the Nightmares. This battle can't be avoided, so you'll have to bust their heads open. After they're gone, the door to a new area will open. Entered, the door will close shut, preventing any chances of back tracking.

This area is just a short pathway leading to a small house, lined by shrubbery. Use the grab ledge to reach the roof. The roof leads to a wide field, filled to the brim with Rexes and Nightmares. You can either fight them or evade them. At the other side of the park lies another house. A couple jumps to the roof later, I come across a narrow pathway. By "narrow", I mean "tightrope-narrow". You'll have to use to cross over a deep pool of water. As the Werehog, you still can't swim worth a damn; you'll drown instantly if you fall in. You can always do bunny hops if you're having trouble crossing obstacles like this.

Once at the other side of the "death water", I come across a Egg Fighter skulking around in a small field. Once disposed of, I hit the Point Marker, at which time, five Little Frights appear before a stone door blocked by dark fire. They're basically hovering Rexes with Homing Attacks instead of headbutts. The best way to get rid of them is grab a pair of them and "Bowser" them at the other Frights. After killing the first five, five more Red Frights appear. They're just that: red Little Frights. Same procedure: grab 'em, Bowser 'em. Done and done. Destroying them finally disperses the Gaia Flame, revealing that the door is a Handle Door.

Forcing 'em open, I found myself in the middle of a cul-de-sac, guarded by Rexes, Nightmares and their leader, the Deep Nightmare. They're bigger, purpler and hardier than their normal counterparts, Unlike the regular Nightmares, they'll actually block your attacks; a strong punch combo will force their guard down. From there, they're disposed of in the same manner as the Nightmares.

After getting rid of them (because they'll just make the next part harder), I come across a stone door (labeled "Seaside Parlor") that can only be opened when the jewels are put back in their pedestals. One of the jewels, a red one is found nearby, behind a wooden door. The other, a green jewel, is hidden in the lefthand house furthest from the door.

After the jewels are replaced in their proper spots, the door opens. From there, it's just a short climb up the ledges before I found myself face-to-face with an Egg Fighter standing before a cliffface, with certain death via drowning awaiting those who slip and fall.

In order to cross over to the next island, I must use the tightwalks, Grab Ledges, Climb Poles and Swing Poles as well as the Darkbats, which are basically grabbing targets and can't even directly harm you. It wasn't as hard as it sound, thanks to the fact that you can hang onto the sides of the tightwalk and shimmy along it.

Once on solid ground on the other island, I came across an Egg Fighter guarding a Handle Door. This one had a shield, though it was nothing a punch combo couldn't break through. Once destroyed, I threw the door open and, after a short jog down a pathway, made it to the final Point Marker of the stage.

Standing before me was a door opened by a Lever. I checked the nearby object for anything valuable. From them, I found a Power Shield (doubles defense), a Super Claw (double attack power) and a Shield Charge (refills the Shield Gauge). I opened the door and found myself in the same area that Tails was in the cutscene.

The area was covered in Rexes and Nightmares. The spawns of Dark Gaia were led by the creature known as the Dark Titan, or just Titan for short. They're the miniboss enemies in the nighttime stages; as such, they are pretty tough. Even with all the powerups available on hand, they still put up a pretty tough fight. Taking them is just like with the Nightmares; as of this runthrough, though, I will be using the Action Command method to take these bad boys out.

After finally disposing of them, the Goal Ring appears.

The score for the Werehog stages is graded by Time, Rings Collected, Enemy Defeated (includes Bonus Points earned from QTE attacks), Combos Used and Various Environment Objects Crushed. For this run, I got an A, with a score of 226680.

Skipping the following cutscene, we move on to Tornado Defense Act 1...

Tomorrow, maybe...

edited 5th Aug '10 10:12:08 PM by Komodin

 16 Blueeyedrat, Thu, 5th Aug '10 10:05:23 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.
^ Dude. How can you remember all of this stuff? The only reason my descriptions are so short, is 'cause I have to think them up on the fly! Especially because I can't pause the cutscenes, and repeatedly pausing mid-level to type stuff would probably screw me up.

And, the higher-quality "Planetary Pieces" songs are on Youtube? Crap. Well, the playlist seems incomplete, but I'll try to link to the high-quality tracks whenever I can.

edited 5th Aug '10 10:10:06 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 17 Komodin, Thu, 5th Aug '10 10:20:30 PM from Somewhere in Windy Hill Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
The Sonic Wiki Curator
I've always had decent memory skills. That, and I do my liveblogging as I go through a given stage. Anyway...

Speaking of stages, after I'm done with the main story, I will liveblog all of the Downloadable Content Acts as well as the side-quests.

edited 5th Aug '10 10:21:00 PM by Komodin

 18 Blueeyedrat, Fri, 6th Aug '10 3:38:24 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 7: 2-4 Split

We seem to be travelling around a lot, aren't we? I mean, backtracking is fairly typical, but as a part of the story? Not quite as frequent. Anyway, let's go back to Spagonia.

And we're met with a cutscene... yay? Sonic's walking down the street around midnight, when he's ambushed by— oh, no. It's her. Everyone's favorite pink hedgehog, Amy Rose, jumps onto Sonic and... oh wait, she must have mistaken him for someone else. Like she usually does. Bitch. In a nice bit of Hidden Depths to Sonic's character, he almost feels rejected when Amy doesn't recognise him. And Chip's not much help; after some failed attempts to cheer Sonic up, he gives up and shrugs at the audience. "Oh hey Fourth Wall; I didn't see you there."

Music: "Spagonia - Night"; by Kenichi Tokoi. This one's really nice.

How about a quick stroll around Spagonia? Nothing really that interesting, except the Nameless Assistant seems to be slightly irritable tonight. Seriously, take a chill pill or something. We go to talk to the prof about it, and he informs us that we'll need to have an intervention for him, as he has fallen prey to the influence of drugs alchohol Dark Gaia. Apparently, the Eldritch Abomination gains power during the night, and can affect people's personalities. Since no one cares about the assistant, we'll put that on the back-burner for now. Afterward, we learn of two more Gaia Temples: one in Spagonia (we actually get to do somthing here?), and another in... Holoska. Where the hell is Holoska?

Upon returning to the World Map, it seems that the Spagonian populace has some more to say. I guess we might as well check it out. Checking the main street, we encounter two young kids. One of them actually gives me a Moon Tablet, saying that "his granddad gave it to him". Heh. Nice kid. The lady over at the bakery gives us a record (Soundtrack 39), the assistant's still moody, and... that's about it. I considered going to the Gaia Gate, but first, let's check out Holoska.

Music: "Holoska - Day"; by Fumie Kumatani. Out of all the hub themes, this one has to be my favorite. It's just so pretty...

So, this is the resident Slippy-Slidey Ice World. It's currently inhabited by a senile old man ("aren't you that seal we ate yesterday?"), a couple, and their young child. Apparently, the father is kind of a wimp, and his wife wants him to go over to the shrine. We agree to go in his stead, so she gives us a Sun Tablet, and— wait.

...We have two options, don't we? Crap. It looks like that's the case. Well, since we're at a fork in the road, I'm actually going to let you guys decide where I visit first: Spagonia (Night) or Holoska (Day). (Hopefully, I can get a decision by tomorrow afternoon, since that's when I usually do this stuff.)

edited 6th Aug '10 3:39:35 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
Holoska. Ice worlds are always interesting for the scenery at least.
 
 20 Blueeyedrat, Sat, 7th Aug '10 4:28:14 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 8: Hedgehogs On Ice

With a landslide avalanche victory of... one vote, we're taking on Holoska first. There's nothing to do in the hub for now, so we move on straight to the Gaia Gate. This particular gate is a temple coated in ice. There's just the faintest bit of light peeking in, and it provides a beautiful effect. But, since we've got our Sun Tablet, on with the show!

Music: "Cool Edge - Day"; by Tomoya Ohtani. It's all-around ~awesome~, and it has a kickin' bass line.

Well, there's actually a tutorial mission first. most stages introduce you to a new gimmick, although in the SD version, you have all of your abilities from the start. These are pretty redundant, as a result. This particular tutorial introduces us to the Stomp. Moving on...


Day Stage 2 - Cool Edge
  • Go for the goal ring
Welcome to your first Difficulty Spike of the game, folks. Windmill Isle is cake, but Cool Edge might kill you once or twice if you're out of practice. I have a feeling the lack of a Savannah Citadel level in between might have something to do with it. We start off on a bobsled (akin to the snowboarding in Adventure, etc.), which I still have trouble controlling effectively. Before the cliff, be sure to hit the boost pad, or else you'll go careening into the water below. Everything after that takes place in a massive icy cavern, which still looks amazing. Some giant icicles will fall from the ceiling, but they're just obstacles— there is one item, though, that can be tricky to get without aiming for it. All in all, this wasn't my best run. I'll have to go deal with that stuff later.
  • RESULT: B Rank; one Moon Medal.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 33 & 73
  • Collect rings at top speed
This one's simple— collect 150 rings. It starts you off at the 2D bobsled portion. A quick tip for item hunters— try to avoid some rings if you can, 'cause in a few cases, there will be items at the very end, and you might reach your goal beforehand otherwise. It doesn't seem to be the case here, though, so we go onward.
  • Don't break anything along the way
Ugh. I dislike this mission. My first time through, this is one of the early missions that gave me the most trouble. The trick here is that there's a bunch of ice here, and you have to reach the goal (within a 1:30 time limit) without touching any of it. Go too fast, and you're toast without lightning-fast reflexes. I'm pretty sure you're meant to use the Quick Step, but it doesn't work as well— Sonic keeps shifting back over and running into stuff anyway.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Another tablet fragment.


Well, I suppose that's all for now. Tomorrow, we take on the level you guys (and by that, I mean Cliché) didn't choose.

edited 7th Aug '10 4:31:36 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 21 Blueeyedrat, Sun, 8th Aug '10 4:09:09 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 9: Spagonian Escapades

So, let's recap what we've done in Spagonia thus far: We've gone there, done nothing and went straight to Mazuri; came back with the professor, and then went to Mazuri again; opened up a level, but decided to go to Holoska instead. Dammit, Spagonia, stop being such a tease. Can we actually do something here now?

As it turns out, yes. Now that we have a Moon Tablet, we can enter the Spagonian Gaia Gate; and my god. This particular temple resembles a cathedral, with stained glass and fountains everywhere. And it is amazing— this is, by far, my favorite of the Gaia Gates. Sadly, we have no time for sightseeing; it's time to enter the next night level:

Music: "Rooftop Run - Night"; by Tomoya Ohtani. Actually, Ohtani composed most of the day tracks, but this is the only night track he did.


Night Stage 2 - Rooftop Run
  • Act 1 - Alleys of Spagonia
This one's mostly linear. Go over here, do some platforming, beat stuff up, repeat. There are a bunch of items off the beaten path, though. We're also introduced to a new enemy— the Dark Bat. This level has two varieties: the basic version (completely harmless), and the Sniper version (Ugh). A few aerial attacks should do them in— once your Attack's leveled up enough, you can take them in one hit (CATHARSIS!) The last section of the level takes place over some rooftops, with some alleys below if you fall down. There's a bunch of stuff down in the alleys, but I couldn't be bothered to collect it right now.
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals
  • UPGRADES: Attack Level Up.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Document 1; Movie 4; Illustrations 15, 24 & 79
  • Act 2 - Jet Black Back Streets
Try saying that 5 times fast. Anyway, why are there spikes and buzzsaws in the middle of the road? Is the security here really that tight? Anyway, we're introduced here to the Dark Master— your basic wizard enemy. This one doesn't do anything special, but later "Master"s do. The end of this level features an obstacle course of sorts— this one took me a lot of tries to do my first time around. Admittedly, the camera doesn't help much. Today, I beat it in one attempt. Go me?
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals
  • UPGRADES: Learned the "Beatdown".
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 38 & 70; Movie 5
  • Act 3 - The Great Aqueduct
This is another stage that's linear, but not linear. It takes place atop a large wall, and it's fairly intricate— one item even requires you to backtrack all the way to the beginning of the stage. It's also somewhat precarious— the wall isn't very well maintained, so chunks of it have fallen off. Conviently, there are Dark Bats you can use to swing your way across. Oh, and that Dark Master I mentioned? Now we meet the Fright Master. It's surrounded by a squad of Magikarps Frights, and if you kill them all, it summons more. All in all, it's not hard to beat.
  • RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals
  • UPGRADES: A larger Unleashed gauge.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Movie 12; Illustration 20; another tablet fragment.


Oh, it looks like we've got a cutscene! And HEY! There's an awesome party going on. Oh wait, these people are possessed. Crap. The Nameless Assistant is flirting with Amy (which brings up some disturbing imagery, unless it's somehow a gender-flipped Take That to Sonic '06), and everyone's just acting weird. Chip takes a photo of the festivities, which somehow causes an exorcism to occur; and then—

A wild Nightmare attacked!
Sonic pressed random buttons!
The Nightmare was defeated! Sonic gained 30 XP.

...And repeat. No, really. It's set up as a mock-RPG battle. It's so convoluted, it's downright hilarious. After dispatching the Nightmares (Freaking Random Drops. Where's my Sword of Kings?), we're treated to another short cutscene, where everything is back to normal.
Assistant: What was I just doing? [You don't wanna know, kid.]
Amy realizes that the big, fluffy monster is indeed her Sonic (after he's already skedaddled), while Dan Green Professor Pickle arrives and sets the record straight.

We should go see the Prof about this, but we'll save that for next time.

edited 11th Aug '10 4:37:40 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 22 Blueeyedrat, Mon, 9th Aug '10 4:10:26 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 10: Let's Not Go to China

Well, we're still in Spagonia, where we go to the professor. Amy is also there, where she apologizes for not recognizing Sonic. Pickle informs us that he's made progress in discovering more temples— we now have a new destination: Chun-nan.

Music: "Chun-nan - Night"; by Kenichi Tokoi. Really pretty.

So, if the name didn't tip you off, Chun-nan is this game's Expy of China. And I guess our arrival here was well-timed, as this village is in trouble— the elder has vanished. Everyone's in an uproar (except for one chick, who gave me Soundtrack 41), and we agree to go find the man for them. We're putting a lot of people out of a job here, aren't we? By the way:
Useless NPC Shuifon: There's a holy shrine not far from here... What do you mean, "That again."?
So, it seems we have a Moon Tablet now. Hooray?

And Now For Something Completely Different. It's time for another detour— I'm going to go collect a few medals, and maybe some items while I'm at it. Why? Well, you'll see. First off, another pointless Werehog tutorial mission— this time, it's the Beatdown. It's pretty simple— pick up an enemy (they usually need to be stunned first, though), and then L+R. It's very satistying to watch. After that, we've got another extra mission in Windmill Isle (Day): "Time Attack! Race for the goal!" This one takes place in Act 2, and initially gives you 40 seconds— every checkpoint you pass gives you more time, though.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Soundtrack 13.
There's also a Time Attack mission in Holoska, which works basically the same way. I will admit; it's easy to miss one of the items here.
  • ITEMS OBTAINED: Documents 21 & 22.
...Which just leaves the matter of medals. If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go improve some ranks.

  • Cool Edge - Day - S Rank; two Moon Medals.
    • ITEMS OBTAINED: Document 9.
  • Windmill Isle - Day (2) - S Rank; one Moon Medal. Freaking Interceptor, wasting my time.
  • Windmill Isle - Night (Moonsoaked Alleys) - A Rank; one Sun Medal. This one's easy enough to S-Rank, but I only needed the Time medal, so I sped through the level.

I guess that's all I can do for now. My count currently stands at 28 Sun Medals and 23 Moon Medals. See you next time!

edited 9th Aug '10 4:12:59 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 23 Blueeyedrat, Tue, 10th Aug '10 4:28:11 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.

Part 11: Gaia Gate Interlude - Prelude to Puzzlement

Well, now you know what I was collectng all of the medals for. Perhaps you're curious as to what's actually behind all of those doors, strewn throughout the Gaia Gates? Well, it's about time we found out. I don't have many doors unlocked right now, but there's still plenty of stuff inside.


  • Apotos - Door 2
Open sesame! We go down a long corridor, into a large, spacious room. There's no sunlight in here, so we revert back to Werehog. There's a pole, so I jump and... miss completely. Don't worry— you won't lose any lives in here; you'll just respawn at the entrance, and everything will reset. Actually grabbing on, we climb up to the next platform and find our first item capsule (Soundtrack 31). Moving forward, there's a conveyor belt, moving way too fast for the Werehog; but what's this? There's a patch of sunlight shining from the ceiling. It's here that we're introduced to the main mechanic for these Gaia Gate puzzles: switching back and forth between Hedgehog and Werehog. Stepping in the patch of sun will revert you to normal Sonic, but only temporarily; you're given just enough time to do whatever you need to do. In this case, you need to run past the conveyor belt, nabbing Soundtrack 47 in the process, and landing safely on the other side. You can grab Soundtrack 4 as well, and that's everything in this particular room. All in all, it's a nice introduction— later temples and later puzzles will become more complex.
  • Mazuri - Door 1
The first step here consists of a small bit of platforming— jump across to reach the higher ledge. This gives you access to a switch (activating another platform) and another spotlight. Using Sonic to Lightspeed Dash (which we happen to know already), we reach another ledge, with Illustration 63. I was quick enough to reach the platform on the other side (via the lift we activated) and crawl under the fence to attain a 1-Up. These raise your maximum life count— now I can begin a stage with 3 extra lives, as opposed to 2. And believe me, they'll be very important later on.
  • Spagonia - Door 3
Well, it gives us Secret Mission 1 right off of the bat. Apparently, we unlocked a mission in Apotos. Anyway, this room has a unique puzzle: there are beams of light coming from the walls, and you're given metal crates to block them with. We collect Soundtrack 6, and place some more crates. The trick to this area is, you need to avoid the light— you can only lift these crates as the Werehog. This took me a few tries to figure out my first time through, but now I can solve it without a problem. We get another 1-Up for our troubles, but wait! There's more! Not placing a crate on the pressure switch (thus, not reversing the direction of the conveyor belt nets you Secret Mission 3, somewhere in Holoska. -sigh- I wish I could take these crates back out to the main area; what fun I could have.
  • Holoska - Door 3
Another item is given to us from the get-go; this time Soundtrack 5. We start out pretty simple:
  1. Revert to normal Sonic.
  2. Run across conveyor belt.
  3. ???
  4. Profit! (And by that, I mean collect another 1-Up. And I think I used this joke already.)
After this, you lift up the door (it can only be opened from this side, by the way) and grab the crate from the entrance. Upon doing so, it's only a matter of using it to reach the higher ledges, gaining yet another 1-Up (not that I'm complaining, mind you) and Soundtrack 14. And it seems we can bring the crate out this time! It doesn't accomplish anything, though.

And, well, that's all there is to it. We unlocked some stuff, increased our life count, et cetera, et cetera. I guess that's all for the Interlude. Maybe tomorrow, we'll actually do something interesting.

edited 10th Aug '10 4:28:24 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 24 Endark Culi, Tue, 10th Aug '10 5:05:05 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Welcome to Purgatory!
Hmm...go to Chun-nan, or try out the Secret Missions? On the one hand, the plot needs to progress eventually, and it'll give you a bunch of medals needed to unlock more temple doors. On the other, I've always been a completionist that likes to take care of sidequests before I forget about them. Plus, there's at least one part of the Chun-nan missions that I find to be frustrating, and I'd hate for that to ruin an otherwise fine playthrough.

But, in all honesty, it's your choice. I've rather like how these Liveblogs are going, and I doubt you'll disappoint no matter what you choose. Please keep up the wonderful work.
 25 Blueeyedrat, Tue, 10th Aug '10 5:33:33 PM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
YEEEEAH— no.
Well, I tend to deal with the side missions in bulk; I should get to them eventually. For now, I'll probably go for Chun-nan next.

And I'm glad you're liking it so far. waii

edited 10th Aug '10 10:27:25 PM by Blueeyedrat

"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
Total posts: 46
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