Shadow has a complicated past with clones/androids, and was willing to do everything to find out if he is the original one. Eventually, he let go of his past and finally moved on. Imagine how shocked Shadow was when he met Mephiles for the first time in Kingdom Valley, seeing a clone of himself yet again.
The Guards and civilians don't care for their princess' well-being if they are trolling the only one who could save her instead of downright helping them.
You know what makes this worse? When Elise gets kidnapped for the last time, both Sonic and Silver, in the middle of their quest to save Elise, must partake in a lengthy test to prove themselves worthy to save her. These tests, however, are pretty pointless and even redundant considering how many times they saved Elise. Well, by the time they finally get to Elise... the ship crashes and kills Elise, releasing Iblis. So not only are the guards and civilians apathetic for the Princess, they outright caused the end of the world because they'd rather have the heroes jump through arbitrary hoops than save Elise. They're pretty much Sonic's version of JarJar Binks.
What makes this realistic is that in real life, there are civilians that don't care for their monarchies either. Usually because either said royalties don't do anything or they're exceedingly big assholes. However, considering that they do stuff, perhaps they just have a bad reputation.
Shadow is shown in a Crucified Hero Shot by Mephiles. While the game's events reset, this future likely doesn't, meaning Shadow may very well end up betrayed by humanity in the future. And even worse, Shadow fully acknowledges that if the world turns against him, he is not afraid to kill them. And considering his attitude has been drifting back to his original incarnation recently, Shadow could very well end up becoming a villain by the time of a newer Sonic game.
Or at the very least, he could be easily be framed by an imposter, as ends up happening in Sonic Forces.
End of the World plays music that reflects the mental state of each of the characters. While all are major tear jerkers in at least some way, some have... pretty unnerving implications all-round in the pace and instrumentation. They in particular are, fittingly, very reminiscent of the Five Stages of Grief, especially for those closest to Sonic:
Knuckles' themenote Bargaininghas the least amount of revisions, though an eerie, funereal organ plays constantly alongside many, many drums. Knuckles has more at-stake here than everyone else. Not only are the Chaos Emeralds he's been charged with protecting in danger of being lost permanently to time itself, but one of the people Knuckles values most has been murdered. This is his last chance to right the wrongs that have been done. If he can't, then reality itself will end; and it will end because he couldn't live up to his duty as Guardian of the Emeralds. He's angry, sad and confused; the three worst traits to be approaching a problem with. But it's all he's got. And he'll dig to the depths of the Earth itself to save all of existence.... or die fighting back.
When you play through the Kingdom Valley level as Shadow, at one point you have to navigate around towers that are inexplicably toppling over. It was pointed out by an astute commenter on Retsupurae's playthrough that when you go through that same area as Silver, you're knocking over those towers yourself to get past them.
Clever, though Silver travels through Kingdom Valley much later than Shadow.
Can I make sense out of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)? Yes, I can — and very specifically, out of Elise's Damsel in Distress gig. Let's first point out that Royals Who Actually Do Something are very rare in modern-day Europe, with very little contribution to the ruling of a country or in its wars. Next, let's remember a certain son of Henry VIII who was so young when his father died and he was crowned king, that all of his power was used up by his advisors instead. Next, just like in England, all of that would be made obvious — she's just a figurehead. Also, Elise wouldn't need to learn any combat abilities because she'd actually be surrounded by guards instead. And finally, this game was meant to be 'Sonic in real life' — meaning that hypercompetence, which is not realistic, is a no. Add these together and you get this: Elise is captured so many times because 1) she's physically weak, 2) she has no power anyway, 3) she's been taken away from her guards by a single character, and 4) nobody expected her to be kidnapped anyway. In that way, it's a lot more understandable. - Umiyuri Papaeyra
This troper had a similar moment. At first, he was wondering why Silver trusted Mephiles. Then I realized that he spent his life in a post-apocolyptic wasteland, and as such did not have any predilections.- Derp Derp
Mephiles' plan is a complete mess, but here's a lot of facts: he can time travel, he is also probably omnipotent, so, he's interested in a lot of characters, said characters are shown to be friendly or will be friendly toward Sonic, but he tries hard to scatter them all over the place, why? It's shown that he can be a bit of a coward, attacking you while you're not looking, among other things, the reason they were scattered all over the place: He wanted Sonic and Elise to be alone, to make sure he could kill Sonic without any interruptions. What was a plan riddled with problems is still riddled with problems, but this arguably was Mephiles' real plan all along.
Silver went back in time because Mephiles told him about the "Iblis Trigger," the one who would release Iblis and turn the world into the one that Silver and Blaze are familiar with. Mephiles even showed him who the Iblis Trigger was: Sonic. Obviously, Sonic would never release Iblis, but Silver doesn't know that. Later, you find out that Iblis was sealed in Elise, and that he'd be released if Elise ever cried. By the end of the game, Elise has fallen in love with Sonic, and when Mephiles kills him, Elise starts to cry and ends up releasing Iblis. Mephiles had been telling Silver the truth about the Trigger all along; Sonic did release Iblis... by dying.
Here's a hypothetical example for you all. Let's say you have a teenager who wants to write a fanfic. The obvious traits of such a work become evident: he makes himself the lead character, and includes his friends as supporting characters. They all have a grand absurd adventure, complete with some absurd exaggerated powers, fighting robots and demons, travelling through time, and little thought is left to the dialogue, which takes a pretty big hit. The story ends, as typical, with the main character being uplifted as a sort of messiah, getting raised from a glorified death, getting the girl, and all that. So you have a very strange, twisted, plothole-ridden story that appeals mostly to this particular guy, nobody else. Simple enough. Now assume further that said fanfic writer has a best friend who's good with computers. He decides to make a fangame out of the fanfic. He's pretty good, he makes something really shiny out of the story ... however, it proves to be a poorly-designed glitchfest. It's riddled with bottomless pits, very problematic controls, and falling-through-walls-and-floors glitches. Coupled with a poor excuse for a story, you have a pitiful excuse for a game, largely because it was the work of a couple of inexperienced fans of the series. You also now have a valid explanation of the phenomenon that is Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)! If you view the story as something that SONIC HIMSELF imagined (and put Tails as a programmer - the kit's a genius, but most of his stuff has glitches), then it makes far more sense than if the absurd plot ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Could it be that one of the most ridiculed games in history was deliberately a parody of fanfics and fangames, and that the world misunderstood the point? Think about that. - Lilly Jade
Well, I would argue that most of Tails's gadgets work exceedingly well — he built a working transforming mech/plane, after all, among other things. Admittedly, he may not be such a good videogame programmer, and it would be rather similar to the one programmer being commissioned to make the Atari E.T. game. Still, this Alternative Character Interpretation is among the best this troper has ever seen. Kudos.
Need I remind you that said plane originally had NO LANDING GEAR? I rest my case.
It did have landing gear. Tails just overlooked the fact that the landing gear was completely unusable in the Tornado's secondary form thanks to wings that projected well below the fuselage. He's an excellent inventor... but not so good a designer.
That, and Tails is sort of clumsy. SA2? Who was it that accidentally told Eggman about the Fake Chaos Emerald? Case dismissed.
Except that Sonic doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would spend his time writing stories and turning them into video games.
Well, no, but who's Sonic's biggest fan? Amy Rose. She strikes me as the kind of person who'd write terrible fanfic. Although it falls down when you wonder why she didn't write herself in as the princess. Unless Elise IS a Mary Sue for Amy and the Amy in-game is just their plausible deniability. Also, there's that bit towards the end where you choose either Amy or Elise, I'd guess "canon" has him choosing Amy in this case.
Also, if this is a parody of fanfics and fangames, Elise could very well be a parody of the Relationship Sue. Which still fits Amy's perspective; OF COURSE she'll write herself as Sonic's girlfriend. Still, did she have to imagine a human character for the role?
Here's something to make this even better: regardless of who wrote the fic, Elise could be seen as a parody of the fangirls who, well, fangirl obsessively over Sonic (and wouldn't be very "useful" in the universe proper). They have to exist in Mobius as well. note Why Shadow wasn't the, err, "victim" of that parody can be explained (apart from Amy's intentions) by Sonic probably having better publicity — and thus more fans — in Mobius proper.
Let's take this one step further; My personal theory is that Eggman took a look at the exceptionally poor Sonic fanfics, and decided to adapt it into a game and hype it up to high heaven as if it was going to be a Game of the Year contender, just to completely screw over Sonic, and the entire fanbase, For the Evulz. Needless to say, he did quite a good job on it.
Mephiles seems a better candidate for the OC stand-in — just look at him! He's a recolor of a canon character, has almost godlike power (he's essentially half of a powerful, time-eating god), can overpower the hero, possesses a powerful, exotic "true form", and is literally darkness. note His name, if you didn't already know this, is Mephiles the Dark.
Mephiles isn't that powerful. He can time travel, duplicate himself, shoot energy beams, etc., but isn't all-powerful, seeing how Shadow could defeat him without using his Super form. Yes, he killed Sonic, but he did it through cunning tricks (distracting Sonic with an Emerald, then materializing behind him and shooting him in the back), not by overpowering him in combat. Mephiles is mostly the mind of Solaris; Iblis is the embodiment of the raw power.
This troper thinks that this theory just solved Sonic Forces. It explains a lot of things... Mostly Infinite.
Why does Silver trust MephilesThe Dark so easily? Well, Silver and Blaze live in a post-apocalyptic world, where there is no one left but them, presumably. They wouldn't be familiar with the Obviously Evil trope, and now that they see that they have a possibility to change their world, they take it.
Moreover, what's the cause of all Silver's problems? Iblis — a being of fire born from a sun god. There's a good chance that by Silver's time, light and fire have become strongly associated with negative, destructive forces. So, when someone calling themselves "the Dark" who has black and dark grey fur shows up, and offers to help Silver and Blaze get rid of Iblis, he immediately looks like a good guy. (This does raise questions about the fire-controlling Blaze, but the point still holds.)
Think about this: If you're going to survive in a world on fire, you'll want to have as many people on your side as possible, which would mean not doing something that would turn people against you. This is something that many characters in post-apocalyptic settings fail to internalize, but who's to say that nobody in Silver's future has? He never mentions having any enemies in his time other than Iblis and its minions, after all. As a result, it's likely that Silver and Blaze wouldn't see any reason to doubt someone who immediately seems like they want to help out the cause, especially since they're so young and so sick of fighting the same fight over and over again without any results that stick.
While they don't share the same VA, Mephiles and The Duke of Soleanna have similar voices. Why? Because Mephiles based his voice off of the Duke's.
Of all the things Mephiles is... A liar he is not. His choice of words had double meanings. Such as:
"Unless you complete your task, your future will remain the same." - By this, he means that should Silver do nothing, nothing changes, but what he means is that it changes for the worse if Silver does choose to kill Sonic, which is what Mephiles wants.
Leading Silver to believe Sonic is "The Iblis Trigger" - Sonic's death will trigger the events to release Iblis.
"You need to find the individual who has awakened Iblis." - He never says who it is who does so. Silver latches to the idea of "Iblis Trigger", but doesn't directly ask who is the real culprit. They found him all along and didn't ask to confrm it.
Telling Omega that he would turn against Shadow, and telling Shadow that the world would betray him — Mephiles can travel through time and the timelines touching them. It's a possible outcome somewhere, I'm sure, supported by the events in Shadow's game. He's merely stating a speculation that exists in a possible timeline.
"The answer is yes. And no." - In response to Shadow asking if he ruined the world they were currently in. Yes, he caused that. No, not him directly. Considering a future iteration of Mephiles exists in that future world, but at the time is currently in the present, while the present iteration is in the future... Present Mephiles has not caused the actions which lead to that yet, but Future Mephiles has already indeed done so. Basically "No, not yet, anyway."
Another possibility is that he was pointing to Iblis, his other half, as the one who ruined the world.
Why does Mephiles make a swift job of murdering Sonic in mere seconds?
Considering Mephiles came into existence through an explosion that murdered the majority of scientists responsible for his "birth", many of whom were visibly dying slowly from their wounds, and Mephiles was quick to flee the scene in fear while being tracked by Shadow... Perhaps Mephiles is subconciously unnerved by dragged-out deaths? Sonic was dead before he hit the ground, after all.
Considering Sonic is the only deliberate death he caused intentionally... And that at first he seemed like he'd rather someone else (Silver) do it for him, before taking over himself and ending it in less than a minute, with no visible wounds on Sonic at all... Perhaps Mephiles prefers not to have to take that option if he can help it?
It's true, Mephiles did slaughter Sonic with ease. But there wouldn't have been any point in Silver killing him early on — Elise would have been sad, but not enough to cry. Mephiles wanted Sonic and Elise to have a fun adventure together first... for Sonic to save her life a couple of times and teach her to run and smile. Then at the end, when everything seems like it's going to be okay, and Elise absolutely adores the guy... BAM! Mephy jumps in from nowhere and spikes Sonic. That was his intent all along.
Furthermore, sending Silver after Sonic has the side effect of giving Eggman constant opportunities to kidnap Elise, setting up more situations where Sonic rescues her. Maybe his entire plan was just to make sure she saw him as her Knight in Shining Armor and give them ample opportunity to start a Rescue Romance?
Why was Iblis not released when the Egg Carrier crashed, killing Dr. Eggman & Elise? Because according to how time travel works in this game, they never died in the first place. While Sonic, Silver, and Blaze (who came from nowhere) were mourning the loss of the Princess, the future Sonic had already traveled back in time, beaten the Egg-Wyvern, saved Elise, and is now guffawing out of shock with Elise on a grassy cliffside. After all, Shadow was meant to go back in time and seal up Mephiles despite him getting the motivation to do so only after these events happened in Mephiles' perspective.
That can't be; future records stated that Elise did die during the Egg Carrier crash. So the most likely explanation is that Iblis was released during the crash in the original timeline, but Sonic and Silver didn't stick around long enough to see the consequences before sending Sonic to the past in order to save Elise.
Alternatively, by the mere act of traveling back to the present, Sonic changed the future and guaranteed he would be saving Elise, because he was now fated to do so. And the future records were just a timeline where Sonic didn't come back, because he wasn't at the present.
When Sonic dies, everyone is mourning him, including Eggman and Shadow. We see Shadow shutting his eyes and looking away in guilt. Why? Because he realised that by leaving the captured Mephiles in the past, he had inadvertently killed his arch-rival. Sure, they are nearly always in a conflict about something, but Shadow would never want to go that far.
The three main Hedgehogs could be said to embody the past, present, and future respectively.
Silver - The future obviously. He comes from the future and his goals revolve around making sure his world is safe for future generations.
Shadow - The past. Created 50 or so years ago. Both Sonic Adventure 2 and his own solo game dealt with past events in the Sonic universe and how they connected to the present. His motivations in both games were also about the past.
Sonic - The present. Always about living in the moment and never regretting the past or worrying about the obstacles of the future.
I thought that was all but outright stated.
The infamous SonicXElise kiss at the end; let's ignore the fact that she's kissing a blue hedgehog who also happens to be near death and examine it from... another angle; specifically, the limitations on the Chaos Emeralds. The Emeralds might be able to do a lot of things, even allow time travel between two parties using Chaos Control, and can bring the dead back to life...but is that really as simple as we make it sound? Remember, the Chaos Emeralds are said to power all life, and all seven gives a being tremendous power, but there was no instance before or after the events of this game, canon or not, in which a character was brought back from the brink of death via the emeralds. Are they really powerful enough to bring back the dying or already deceased? Even if they could do it, it'd probably require a lot more power than they actually have. So, this begs the question: what if the kiss was somewhat necessary to revive him? What if the Chaos Emeralds' power had to be transferred from another being entirely, as a magical form of mouth-to-mouth? Or better yet, what if the emeralds merely transfer the giving party's life force into the receiver? The game actually kind of supports this theory; notice how Elise falls to her knees and nearly passes out after seeing that it worked. It's obvious that the kiss took a lot out of her; she even struggles a little with getting up, to which Sonic has to make sure she's still alright. Also, Elise is no stranger to holding an ancient power inside her; she was the vessel for Iblis for 10 years, so she had the least chance of dying in exchange for Sonic's life.
Then by that logic, Shadow or Silver could have used Chaos Control or something like that. Or some bullshit Power of Friendship thing, not a kiss. (I mean, there's reaching, and there's reaching with the romance thing)
Kissing a dead animal is just gross! What the hell was SEGA thinking!?
Why doesn't Amy react jealously when Elise has to kiss Sonic to resurrect him? Because she realises his life is more important than her own Clingy Jealous Girl tendencies.
And, you know, all of reality as she knew if was being torn apart at the time.
The Chaos Emeralds having the ability to resurrect Sonic seems like an asspull on the writers' part at first, but then if you look at the Japanese Sonic 1 storyline, it was established that they provide energy to all living things. The Golden Ending in that game also shows them causing flowers to grow in a flash in Green Hill. It was probably this property of theirs, coupled with the fact that Sonic's spirit was still lingering around (going by Elise's words) that was used to give restore Sonic's life.
Similarly, the ability to use two Emeralds to open time portals isn't that farfetched when you remember that Chaos Control was previously shown to be able to freeze time. The Emeralds have had the ability to manipulate the space-time continuum since Sonic Adventure 2 at the very least.
Okay, so Mephiles has just lost at the end of Shadow's story, but he breaks free from the Scepter of Darkness, and with the power of two Chaos Emeralds, he summons a whole army of himself and says, quote: "Surely you must realize now that you cannot hope to stop me with your...limited power." How does Shadow respond to this? By removing his Power Limiter!
Why does Iblis jump towards the purple glowing orbs during the Iblis Phase 2 battle? Not because he gets distracted by anything shiny like a magpie. Because they give off the same kind of energy as Mephiles (the purple mist is the same, and the orbs are found in dark areas, except the fight, where it's slightly lit in there; the purple mist resembles Mephiles' ooze form). He's drawn to anything that resembles Mephiles.
Silver and Amy's are both searching for Sonic (although neither is aware of that fact) but it actually goes much deeper than that: Amy is searching for an "old flame" in Sonic, who she wants to get together with, while Silver is searching for the Iblis Trigger who will release an "old flame" - the fire god Iblis.
Honestly, Elise's entire personality (or lack thereof) makes a lot of sense, if one thinks about it. Iblis has been sealed inside her since her childhood, with a seal so weak that it'll break if she cries... and she knows it. Consider the implications of this: She can't do anything that could cause her pain or injury, because it might make her cry. She can't have any real friends, because anything that hurts your friends hurts you too. She can't even grow attached to anyone, because anything happening to them could cause her pain, could cause her to cry. She can't do anything, because anything she does has a very real chance of destroying all of reality. She can't show emotions, she can't even have emotions. Elise does not know how to be a person. She's just a shell with a small child bottled up so very deep inside, essentially a walking corpse or statue. And then Sonic comes in. He saves her when she's kidnapped, and further, it's his carefree attitude that teaches her to actually live again. It seems like he isn't actually doing anything important, and his story is just Sonic & Elise faffing around (which, admittedly, it kinda is). But underneath that, Sonic helped her to open up and enjoy life for the first time since her father died, and how to feel & have emotions.
Furthermore, this actually explains why Elise had to be the one to revive Sonic, instead of Amy. All Squick aside, Sonic brought Elise back to life, so it's only fitting that Elise bring Sonic back to life.
...And, amusingly, this also helps explain why some of Elise's lines & emoting are so awkward, and why she has a breakdown in the Last Episode: She has the emotional maturity of a small child. She's forced herself to suppress her emotions for so long, that she never learned how to actually deal with them. She doesn't know how to act when she's hurt, or when she's scared, or when anything happens to her.
Silver and Blaze's relationship is a reflection of Mephiles and Iblis. Both duos include a hedgehog that can warp reality and a pyrokinetic. The hedgehog relies on his fiery ally to complete himself, to achieve stability. Mephiles attacks Silver's mind via manipulation, while Iblis attacks Blaze's body when she seals it away. They are all bent on changing the world (for better or for worse). Mephiles cheats the system to reunite with Iblis and become Solaris, while Silver learns to stand on his own and defeats Solaris without Blaze.
The advice Sonic gives to Elise ("Nothing starts until you take action") is basically the same thing that Blaze tells Silver when he's feeling downtrodden too ("If we don't take this chance, the future will remain exactly as it is").