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Video Game / Sonic Shuffle

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Better play your cards right.

Sonic Shuffle is a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed Party Game for the Sega Dreamcast that was released in November 2000. The game was done by Hudson Soft, the same company who Nintendo trusted with the Mario Party series as well as the creators of popular multiplayer games like Bomberman.

Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy are asleep one night when they all receive mysterious summons from Lumina Flowlight, a fairy. Sonic assumes that they are dreaming, and they are; as Lumina explains, she brought them here to save Maginaryworld.

The world of dreams is threatened by the existence of Void, an evil, lonely being who shattered the Precioustone that grants people's dreams. This action also imprisoned Illumina, the Goddess of Dreams, rendering her unable to fix things. After agreeing to help her out, Sonic and his friends set off to recover the pieces of the Precioustone and save everyone's dreams.

That, and play mini-games.

This game contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Big becomes one in a Mini-Event. He spots Froggy in the water and uses his fishing pole, but he instead reels in a Lumina's lost hat.
  • Alliterative Title: Sonic Shuffle.
  • Anvil on Head: Eggman's punishment to the player furthest from the Precioustone, causing the victim to lose half his/her rings.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Eggman's plans range from trying to kill everyone with lightning in Thor's Hammer... to shaking a random can of soda (out of five) to try and drench an unlucky player in Sonicola.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The AI is superhumanly smart and lucky most of the time, even on easy. They will stop going to the Precioustone to complete sidequests if the board gives them the opportunity, and are good at using teleporting squares and the roulette to their advantage.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Just a few examples, but they can be crucial to victory.
    • The one dumb thing AI players will constantly do is pick Eggman cards at critical moments.note 
    • If the number the AI chooses is larger than the number of spaces it takes to reach the Precioustone, they will turn around and go the opposite way no matter what.
    • On Hard Mode, the AI will often go to where the Precioustone will appear next rather than where it currently is. This makes them easier to deal with than on Easy Mode, where they go straight for the Precioustone that's out on the field.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The mini-game "Gargantua" has Eggman turning one character giant. Your defense? Pop guns.
  • Autocannibalism: If you have no other Force Jewels, the Carbuncle item, which eats them, will proceed to eat itself.
  • Back from the Dead: Gamma, who died in Sonic Adventure, is brought back "by the strange power of the dreams of Maginaryworld".
  • Big Bad: Void, who threatens Maginaryworld's existence, shattered the Precioustone, and sent monsters to guard its pieces.
  • Blackout Basement: The "Great Escape" mini-game involves the characters in a maze on a roof that is completely dark (save for a spotlight hovering over it). To get to an escape rocket, they must carefully navigate the maze, making sure not to fall into any pits that send them back to the start. There are four switches in the maze, that turn the light on when stepped on, and off when stepped off. This game is also timed; anyone who is still in the maze when time expires loses and is blown up when the roof explodes, while everyone who escapes wins automatically.
  • But Thou Must!: If you're not aware of Sonic's special move at all times (playing the same number on consecutive turns doubles the amount of spaces you can move), you can overshoot where you're trying to go, since with the double-move you must move the required double amount of spaces.
  • Button Mashing: Some of the mini-games revolved around this.
  • Calvin Ball: While it's obvious racing to the Precioustone is the main objective, the actual objective is to end the game with the most Emblems. You get one for every Precioustone claimed, another for winning the final mini game, yet another for completing the board's sidequest, and one more if you have the most rings. Gamespot and other reviewers complained that the game was hard to understand.
  • Card Battle Game: Cards are used both to move around and attack monsters.
  • Card Cycling: The deck is made of twenty-eight cards, one of which allows a player to exchange cards with another player.
  • Cel Shading: One of the few Sonic games to use it.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: Maginaryworld in general is very out there, even for a world of dreams. Mini-Events are especially bizarre, seeming to take place in pocket dimensions.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Regardless of the difficulty, the computer seems to hit exactly the right numbers and steal your best cards. Even when every player has a full deck, and they have the exact card they need, they'll steal it from you anyway.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Lumina and Void both do this, carrying on about their purpose and loneliness. Justified as they are part of the same being; they fuse to bring Illumina back. In fact, it was Illumina's own contemplating that planted the seed of doubt that started this whole mess.
  • Cool Train: The Riot Train starts off as a runaway steam locomotive, but once the Precioustone is restored, it becomes a silver, winged, flying train.
  • Damsel in Distress: Illumina, the Goddess of Dreams, is imprisoned with the Precioustone's absence.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In Versus Mode, the "Sonic Darts" mini-game involves players throwing darts at a dartboard with a picture of Eggman in the middle. Since it is a play order mini-game, the player who gets closest to the center gets to move around the board first.
  • Deconstructed Trope: For Dark Is Evil. The entire conflict happens in the first place because Void represents darkness, ergo, Lumina assumes he must be evil. Many of her monologues demonize Void, speculating he's the result of the evil in humanity's heart as the common fantasy trope goes, but as it turns out, Void is just a lost soul wanting to find the missing piece of his heart. This is also one of the rare games where beating the Final Boss doesn't resolve the core conflict, and it takes Sonic and friends telling Lumina to accept Void as he is to ultimately heal Maginaryworld. Because, as it turns out, Lumina and Void are one in the same, and Lumina was projecting her own insecurities onto her dark side. Once they embrace each other, they return to being the whole being Illumina.
  • Developer's Foresight: The final Nature Zone Precioustone must be unlocked with one of four keys, and Riot Train's final Precioustone must be reached by stepping on a certain space. Attempting to use a Preciousite to skip the paths will cause the Jewel to fail.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Sonic and his friends defeat Void's monster form by dropping rocks on his head.
    • Void imprisoned the goddess Illumina when he shattered the Precioustone.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The main Precioustone and its pieces have been shattered and must be put back together.
  • Draw Extra Cards:
    • Speederalds are special Forcejewels that allow the player who uses them to draw more than one card either when they move across the board or fight monsters in card battles. The standard Speederald allows the player to draw two cards, the Hi-Speederald allows the player to draw three, the Turbo Speederald allows the player to draw four, and the Max Speederald allows the player to draw five.
    • In Battle Mode, Tails and Knuckles' special moves allow them to draw two extra cards after selecting the Special card.
  • Dream Land: Maginaryworld is a world made of dreams that can only be accessed while dreaming. The dreams themselves come from different dimensions, such as Sonic's world.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Amy, Tails, and Knuckles can move across exclusive spaces, creating shortcuts.
    • The Preciousite Force Jewel. If you draw a 1, you jump straight to the stone.
  • Dunking the Bomb: The "Bomb Relay" mini-game involves teams of two racing to see who can toss their bomb into the lake before it explodes.
  • Easter Egg: Playing on Christmas Eve will replace Lumina with NiGHTS.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Void's monster form. Its head is its chest, and it has multiple eyes poking out of it.
  • Enemy Mine: Some mini-games revolve around all four players working in cooperation.
  • Evil Is Petty: Eggman has no real reason to be in Maginaryworld and doesn't appear in-story, but he messes with Sonic and friends on the boards and in minigames anyway. One of his evil schemes? "Sonicola", in which he shakes a can of soda and jams it into a vending machine. As pokecapn and crew find out, it is possible for this to fail. He also appears in several Mini-Events to rob you of your Rings.
  • Exposition Fairy: Lumina is a fairy who tells the others about the situation and the boards.
  • Expy: Lumina's design is based off of the Sega character NiGHTS, who is a fairy-like being that lives in a dream world and works to protect good dreams.
  • Fake Shemp: While Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Dr. Eggman all received new dialogue, Big and Gamma exclusively reuse dialogue samples from Adventure.
  • Fight Like a Card Player: Cards are used both to move around and attack monsters.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Amy's special in battle always does 5 damage.
  • Foreshadowing: The scene in the intro fmv of Illumina disappearing into a ball of light that Lumina and Void emerge from foreshadows the fact that Lumina and Void are both part of what makes up Illumina. When they reform, the visuals even look nearly the same as the intro but in reverse.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Illumina does have hair, but you can only see it for a split second.
  • Funnel Cloud Journey: The "Twister" mini-game involves Sonic and his friends being carried through a tornado, all the while collecting rings and avoiding debris.
  • Fusion Dance: Lumina and Void do this to bring back Illumina.
  • Game of Chicken: In the "Egg and the Chicken" mini-game, the four players are standing under basketball hoops that Eggman tosses bombs into. The player who stands under their hoop the longest without getting blown up by their bomb wins, while any player who runs away too soon or gets blown up gets sucked up by Eggman.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Illumina can't help save Maginaryworld due to her imprisonment, so she requires Sonic's help.
  • Green Aesop: The Nature Zone's plants and trees are dying because of odd machinery and structures. Clearing the board destroys the machines and makes a huge, beautiful tree grow.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: In the "Bomb Relay" mini-game, teams of two do this with their bomb on their way to the lake to defuse it before it explodes.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The first board, Emerald Coast, is a mashup of Palmtree Panic and Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Accident mini-games on the Fire Bird take place on top of the plane, and so do battles on that board.
  • Holiday Mode: Playing on Christmas Eve will replace Lumina with NiGHTS.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Playing as different characters in Story Mode reveals different parts of the game's story, as well as more characterization for Sonic and his friends.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: One mini-game is entitled "Jump the Snake", where the four characters all jump over a snake in a temple like a jump rope, trying not to get knocked off the platform by it. The last player standing wins.
  • Jungle Japes: The third board, Nature Zone, is a huge jungle that's slowly dying due to Void.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Two unlockable characters, Big the Cat and Chao, have special moves that, while not overly powerful, can be quite useful. Big's special move lets him draw a 6 and stop anywhere within the number, which is useful for precise movement, and Chao has a battle ability that stops it from taking damage during an enemy's turn and losing a turn as a result.
  • Levels Take Flight: The second board, Fire Bird, takes place on a giant mechanical bird which is actually The Phoenix.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: The "Over the Rainbow" mini-game involves Sonic and his friends hopping across lily pads by pressing the right button before time runs out.
  • Literal Split Personality: Lumina and Void are in fact Illumina herself, who was split in half after touching the Precioustone. Lumina represents Illumina's positive emotions and sense of duty, while Void represents her negative emotions and contemplative nature.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • Present throughout the game, thought not to the extent of, say, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The load times themselves are not that long but they happen frequently, since disc access is required anytime gameplay is moved off the board map. The loading screens had pretty pictures, as well as hints that explained what the various forcejewels do.
    • The final map, 4th Dimension Space, takes longer to load than the others since it's very graphic-intensive.
  • Locomotive Level: The fourth board, Riot Train, is set on a runaway train.
  • Losing Horns: If the Eggman card is drawn, a downward series of electronic notes play.
  • Low Clearance: A board-specific mini-game on Fire Bird is called "Sky Bridge". In this mini-game, Sonic and his friends are standing on top of the titular phoenix-turned-airship as it flies under low bridges. They can jump to collect the airborne rings, but must duck to pass under the low bridges. If they don't duck fast enough, then they get knocked off the ship and eliminated from the mini-game. If all four characters get knocked off the ship before the time limit runs out, then the mini-game is over. The airborne rings aren't worth dying for, so if you stay ducked the whole time, you'll be guaranteed to win 20 rings as a bonus.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Some of the Mini-Games, such as Sonicola, Egg In Space and Psychic Sonic. In team-based Mini-Games, this trope could come into play depending on how cooperative your AI teammate is. Some Mini-Events can only be completed by certain characters, as well.
  • Magic Music: One Mini Event has Eggman playing a tune that makes you fall asleep for your next turn on the board. The only one who can avoid it is Gamma, who is a robot.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The mini-game "Gargantua" begins with Eggman doing this to one of the four players.
  • Meaningful Name: Lumina Flowlight is a light fairy, while Void is a being of darkness.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Precioustones and the Force Jewels.
  • Mini Game Game: The Mini-Games and Mini-Events are the main attraction.
  • Music Is Eighth Notes: When Chao sings as an attack, eighth notes float from his head.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: You can take cards from any player, but you can only see what your cards are when you hover over them. In spite of this, computer players know exactly what cards you have, and can/will steal the right cards from you even if they already have one they need.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The villain, Void.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The crocodile escape minigame is almost impossible to do with human hands.
    • Same for the "stop the train" mini-game in Riot Train.
    • Even on Easy, the AI is harder than in most party games.
    • The mini-game 'Psychic Sonic'. You practically do have to be psychic to select the right card before the computer.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Most of the characters' voice samples outside of cutscenes are recycled from Sonic Adventure, particularly for the unlockable characters.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite being classified as a Force Jewel, Carbuncle is a fairy that eats them. And itself, if it's already eaten all of your Force Jewels.
  • Not My Driver: Aquatic variant for two of the possible outcomes of the boat Mini-Event with the third being a subversion. Void sends you back to the last space you were on, Eggman steals rings from you and Lumina steers you closer to the Precioustone.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: After a while, Lumina doubts her purpose in life and asks if she's all alone, even lampshading that she's acting like Void.
  • 100% Completion: Getting all the pictures, mini games, mini events, and unlockable characters.
  • One-Winged Angel: Void becomes a huge monster at the end of the game.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Lumina is a fairy, and Void may be one as well.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Amy's line after they arrive in Maginary World: "Forget about Sonic! Just look at my clothes!" This was a dub addition. In the original Japanese, she just complains about her clothes being dirty.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: It being a party game notwithstanding, the plot is very atypical for a Sonic game. Instead of the Shōnen action stories the series is known for, this story is more emotion-driven and focused on dreams akin to a Shoujo anime or NiGHTS into Dreams…, with many comparing it to a Magical Girl series.
  • Oxygen Meter: Spend 5 turns underwater in Emerald Coast without landing on an air bubble space or surfacing and you drown, losing a turn.
  • Palmtree Panic: Emerald Coast, though it's partially frozen over.
  • Party Game: Up to four players can join in the fun.
  • The Phoenix: The Fire Bird turns out to be a phoenix locked inside an airplane.
  • Player Elimination: Much like the Mario Party series that inspired it, this game features several mini-games where the player can end up eliminated. Depending on the type of mini-game, they can continue until either the last player remains or the time limit runs out.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Eggman messes around with the heroes on the boards and is an opponent in some minigames, but has no relevance to the story whatsoever and is not even in the story.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Carbuncle item (which is one of the punishments the Eggman card hands out) eats other Force Jewels in your possession.
  • Pop Quiz: One of the most common Mini Events is a quiz show hosted by Eggman. Get his question right (it should be easy) and you get 30 rings. Get it wrong, and he forces you to stay on the space for your next turn.
  • Press X to Die: If you pick the Eggman card in a battle, you instantly lose.
  • Press X to Not Die: The mini-game 'Over the Rainbow' is this. Press the wrong button or run out of time, and you're eliminated.
  • Random Event:
    • 'Accident' mini games. Mini Events are randomized, too, as are the Force Jewels you collect.
    • As are the random board events, like saving a trapped dolphin in Emerald Coast.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: Maginaryworld and its physics are very loose at best, particularly in mini-games and on the final board.
  • Rock Theme Naming: Many of the Force Jewels. Preciousite, Carbuncle, and Barrier Amber are just a few.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Void turns out to represent negative emotions, which are necessary for positive emotions and dreams to exist.
  • Scenery Porn: Maginaryworld's lands are pretty, as are some of the Mini-Events.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Some of the Mini-Events work out like this; a hooded boatman or priest can either be Illumina, Void, or Eggman, each with different responses (You're either moved closer to the next Preciousstone, sent back to the space you started that turn on, or lose Rings, respectively.)
  • Sea Hurtchin: In the "Ring Tide" mini-game, sea urchins wash up on the shore, and the players must avoid running into them while trying to collect rings and forcejewels, as they lose rings if they run into the sea urchins.
  • Secret Character: Four; they are Gamma, Big the Cat, a Chao, and Super Sonic.
  • Shout-Out: The Eggman Quiz Mini Event has Eggman hosting a trivia game show, and whenever you enter it, he asks you, "So, you want to be a billionaire, eh?"
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: One random event involves Eggman playing a tune to the player who triggered it, causing them to fall asleep on their next turn. If Gamma triggers it however, he won't waste time listening to it and blasts Eggman away instead since robots can't fall asleep.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Amy is the only female playable character.
  • Soda Can Shakeup: The "Sonicola" mini-game involves Dr. Eggman shaking up a can of soda and hiding it in a vending machine, then hiding behind a bush when Sonic and his friends come to it. There are four players, but five cans of soda, meaning either one player will be unlucky enough to take the shaken can and get squirted by it, or all four players will get non-shaken cans and Eggman's plan will be foiled.
  • Spin-Off: This isn't a main Sonic game.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Lumina and Void are both parts of Illumina; fusing brings her back.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening movie, which is played before the title screen, shows Illumina disappearing into a flash of light, which Lumina and Void emerge from. Guess what's revealed at the end?
  • Squashed Flat: In the mini-game "Gargantua", the goal of the giant character is to do this to the other three players. Any player who is stepped on will appear this way for the remainder of the mini-game.
  • Starfish Aliens: The creatures guarding the Precioustone pieces resemble alien sea life, particularly the crab-like one.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: One of the possible outcomes of the slot machine Mini-Event is the slot machine exploding. The player who triggered this loses a turn.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In some minigames touching or landing in water will spell your doom.
  • Trainstopping: The end of the board minigame for Riot Train has everyone stopping a train with the power of button mashing.
  • Trampled Underfoot:
    • One of the 1 Vs. 3 mini-games is "Eggbot's Attack!". In this mini-game, one player controls the titular giant robot, while the other three run from it. Any player unfortunate enough not to dodge the Eggbot's feet will end up Squashed Flat by them, and if this happens to all three players before time runs out, the player controlling the Eggbot will win.
    • Another 1 Vs. 3 mini-game is "Gargantua", where one player is turned into a giant. The other three players, armed with guns, have to shoot the giant until his/her health is fully depleted, but if the giant gets close to them, he/she can step on them, squashing them flat. If this happens to all three players, the giant will win.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: 4th Dimension Space has no real floor, letting you walk upside down, sideways, and diagonally in space.
  • Troll: The AI will often choose your cards just to mess with you, even if they have a card of the same number.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn what Sonic's dream is despite learning everyone else's when asked by Illumina.
  • Whammy: The Eggman card will cause him to do something bad to the user (unless you land on the golden space, in which case he'll give all the players Swap Jewels). This can range from losing a turn to losing all your rings to getting taken to a random space to to having all your cards turned into additional Eggman cards to having all the spaces on the board covered with question marks. In a battle, it makes you automatically lose.
  • The Wild West:
    • Riot Train has several Wild West elements. The enemy monsters are a gunman who shoots, a cowgirl who whips, and a horse and open wagon who charges at you, should you lose to any of them in battle. Also, the "Ring Lasso" mini-game that takes place on that board involves Sonic and his friends lassoing bags of rings and forcejewels from passing freight cars by pressing specific buttons. The mini-game even has a western Leitmotif as the background music.
    • There's also the "Sonic Gun Slinger" mini-game, which takes place at a saloon, and has the same western leitmotif as the background music. Sonic and his friends, who are all dressed in cowboy hats, must shoot the gunslinger targets, whilst avoiding shooting the lady targets. There's also an Eggman target, which takes more than one hit to kill and can shoot back.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Void. He has no idea what he's done wrong or even why he exists, and feels tormented by Sonic and friends wishing to stop him. He also kickstarted the whole plot in the first place and turns into a terrifying monster at the climax.
  • The Wrong Way on the Escalator: One of the 1 Vs. 3 mini-games is "Wrong Way Climb". In this mini-game, one player is standing at the top of a down escalator, guarding a treasure of 30 rings, while the other three players are at the bottom of the escalator and trying to make their way to the top by repeatedly tapping the A button within the time limit.


Video Example(s):


Sonic Shuffle - Sonicola

In the "Sonicola" mini-game, Dr. Eggman shakes up a can of soda, then hides it in a vending machine. Sonic and his friends have to be careful not to take the shaken can, lest it squirt one of them in the face.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SodaCanShakeup

Media sources: