From the depths of his deep, dark lair, Dr. Robotnik puts the final touches on his newest creation: A time machine. Taking the device for a test drive, the mad scientist arrives in Slide City in the recent past and manages to off both Sonic and Tails. Back in the present day, Sonic notices that he's slowly fading away and, seeing Robotnik warp into view, figures that the tubby doctor has something to do with his predicament. Sonic must pursue his target across several technicolor locales and find a way to reverse his condition before he disappears entirely.
Released in 2003 by Jamie Bailey and a large swath of Sonic fanbase using Multimedia Fusion, Sonic The Hedgehog: Time Attacked is a PC fangame inspired by a certain blue erinaceinae. In spite being over ten years old, the game is still impressive, thanks in part to its colorful graphics and innovative gameplay.
Sonic controls as you'd expect him to: Primary Fire makes him jump, Secondary Fire makes him Spin Dash (holding the button makes Sonic stick onto any grinding rails and banisters he happens to land upon), and the arrow keys make him move about. To progress the story, Sonic must reach the end of acts and defeat bosses.
What distinguishes Time Attacked from the competition are the extra objectives to be completed in most stages. There are hidden five coins to find in most acts, some of which are deviously concealed. There is also the unique linking system: Each time you collect a Ring, crack open a Monitor, bust a Badnik or smash up barriers, Sonic builds up one link (which is indicated in the HUD). These links can be stacked onto each other, with the ultimate goal of accumulating 100 links in most levels. However, failing to perform any action that grants you a link for more than a little while resets your link counter to zero, so you'd best be on your hedgehog feet. Collecting coins and links unlocks a plethora of extras.
Give this blast from the past a whirl and have fun!
Tropes existing in all parts of the space-time continuum
- Art Evolution: Much of the unlockable content showcases early levels from the game's development, complete with original graphics and physics. The overall experience gets markedly more refined as you play through levels created at a later date.
- Darker and Edgier: Robotnik kills Sonic and Tails near the beginning of the story. He begins by dropping a tied-up Tails from a multistory building, and then sics a pair of machine guns on a distraught and distracted Sonic.
- Difficulty Spike: Metal Hell is about the point at which the game takes off its kid's gloves.
- Karma Houdini: Robotnik. At the end of the story, he's left throwing a tantrum in the smothering ruins of his base with his time machine destroyed. It's rather cartoonish. Also, his fate pales in comparison to the deeds that he was considering and successfully carried out on Sonic and Tails in the story's initial timeline.
- Made of Explodium: The Badniks that are defeated in this game don't just break down in a puff of smoke. They literally burst towards the screen with a loud KA-BOOM!, often containing really goofy robot eyes in the scattered debris. It gives the game a nice, cheesy 3D effect.
- Minus World: A tiny and (probably) intentional one! One of the hidden coins in Metal Hell resides in an area that hasn't had the level's art assets applied to it yet. To get to it, you need to pass through a wall that in all other places is solid.
- Prequel: One of the unlockable rewards is Time Attacked: The Beginning. In this mode, you play a couple of levels as Dr. Robotnik, during which he winds up discovering and absconding with the time travel technology used in the main story.
- Prop Recycling: Surprisingly averted for the most part, given that the majority of fangames recycle a good deal of art originating from official titles. Aside from most enemy and item spites, nearly all the art is original.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Sonic resolves the major conflict by using Robotnik's time machine to travel back before the doctor has a chance to carry out his murderous agenda and then destroying the time machine that exists in that time.
- Shout-Out: A rather awesome one to a large portion of the online Sonic fandom circa 2003: The sprites that populate Slide City are all fan-made characters.
- There are also movie posters for Rush Hour 2 and the first Tomb Raider flick in Slide City's underground areas.
- A good chunk of the game's soundtrack are remixes of tunes from official Sonic games.
- One unlockable stage was created especially for the 2003 Sonic Amateur Games Expo. In this stage, Sonic is replaced as the playable character by the event's mascot, Spikes.
- Super Drowning Skills: In full force in Crystal Caverns. Well, what did you expect from a Sonic game?
- Video Game Settings: The levels in the game don't deviate from tried-and-true formulas so much.
- Slide City: Literally the First Town
- Lightspeed Park: A rather nonthreatening and colorful Wackyland
- Undisturbed Paradise: You couldn't get more Green Hill Zone than this
- Crystal Caverns: Underwater Ruins
- Metal Hell: A mix of Eternal Engine and Lethal Lava Land
- Time Base: Space Zone, on a giant space station
- World-Wrecking Wave: A time rift is gradually overwriting the Earth into a flaming wasteland on both the title screen and in the ending cutscene while Robotnik's time machine is overwriting the timelines.