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Video Game / Sonic Forces

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"The war to take back the planet begins... Now."
Knuckles the Echidna

Sonic Forces is a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog title, released on November 7th, 2017 in the North America and Europe and November 9th, 2017 in Japan for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It is the second half of the franchise's 25th anniversary celebration (the other half being Sonic Mania).

After discovering the mysterious Phantom Ruby, Mad Scientist Dr. Eggman has gotten the closest he's ever been to a complete victory, as he has created a new threat known as "Infinite" and used him to defeat and capture Sonic and take over 99.9% of the planet in mere months. Despite Knuckles the Echidna leading the Resistance against Eggman, the scientist is very close to conquering the entire world. To that end, the only hope of saving the world lies in not only rescuing Sonic himself, but the aid of a second Sonic...

...and you, a rookie Resistance member.

While it was initially said to not be a sequel to Sonic Generations, it does take one concept from the earlier anniversary title — the return of Classic Sonic, joining his modern counterpart to counter a threat larger than anything they've faced before.

The gameplay of Forces is divided into 4 distinct styles, split between each of the three playable characters:

  • Modern Sonic features the return of the high-speed Unleashed and Colors-style action stages.
  • Classic Sonic features gameplay largely focused on 2D platforming stages, as was in Sonic Generations.
  • The Avatar, a custom-created character, features gameplay that serves as a hybrid of both Modern and Classic stages, featuring a blend of high-velocity action and platforming, as well as a heavy emphasis on combat utilizing Wispons, a gadget that harnesses the power of the Wisps to execute powerful attacks and manuevers.
  • Tag Team Mode combines Modern Sonic and the Avatar's gameplay. The player can use the Avatar's grappling hook and Wispons, as well as Sonic's boost and homing attack. This mode also features a new mechanic called Double Boost, which lasts longer than Sonic's regular boost ability and effortlessly tears through enemies and obstacles.

In addition to the base game, there's free Downloadable Content in the form of Episode Shadow, in which the player controls Shadow the Hedgehog through three remixed stages in a story mode set before the main plot, as well as having him playable in Modern Sonic's stages from the main game itself. There are also a series of four digital comics that flesh out the game's story.

The teaser trailer debuted at an event in late July 2016 and can be found here. The E3 trailer is shown here. The Launch Trailer is found here

A spinoff app called Sonic Forces: Speed Battle was soft-launched for the iOS in September 11th, 2017 and was eventually also released for Android devices some time afterwards in several countries with the world-wide release launched on November 16th, 2017. It's a track runner with a concept similar to Sonic Dash, where you race against your allies (and villains) around different parts of the world to collect "Phantom Ruby Prototype" fragments.

Forces was the last mainline game involving writers Ken Pontac and Warren Graff, who retired from the series after Team Sonic Racing. They worked in the game as part of the localization script, with the original Japanese script being written by Makoto Goya. Episode Shadow was instead helmed by longtime Sonic Team employee Eitaro Toyoda, the Sonic series' character supervisor from Sonic Free Riders onward, and the writer and artist behind the 2015-16 Sonic Comic.

Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) takes place directly after the events of the gamenote , and initially serves as a continuation of the story.

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    Main Game 

This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Episode Shadow builds up Infinite as a personal enemy for Shadow, as he was responsible for fueling Infinite's Start of Darkness, but by the time of the main game, Infinite drops any animosity towards Shadow and turns his attention towards Sonic and the Avatar.
  • Action Commands: A Double Boost section is prefaced by Sonic and the Avatar charging up the boost, which is done by mashing the Boost button until the outer ring shrinks in size to reach the button's image. Strangely, not performing the command has no actual effect besides not playing the lyrics to "Fist Bump" in the Background Music and causing Sonic and the Avatar to stumble briefly before resuming the Double Boost like nothing happened.
  • Advertised Extra: The four returning villains, Metal Sonic, Chaos, Shadow, and Zavok, despite being shown prominently in the trailers, don't have much of an impact on the plot, which is more focused on Eggman and Infinite. Only Zavok and Metal get proper boss fights, but aren't acknowledged much outside of them. This is because all of them aren't the real ones; they're illusory constructs of Infinite's Phantom Ruby. The real Shadow has a somewhat important role in the plot, but Chaos gets next to nothing.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Most of the game's backstory is contained in the tie-in comics and the Episode Shadow DLC instead of the main story.
    • How Classic Sonic got into the Modern world is never explained in the story. You have to beat Sonic Mania in order to see the circumstances of his arrival into the game.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The English version had several changes made to its script to make the story seem darker, such as mentions of Sonic being tortured while captured by Eggman and Tails having "lost it" (in the Japanese version, they comment that Tails has simply gone missing.)
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end, Infinite and Eggman have been defeated; however, the damage they inflicted upon the world remains, causing The Resistance to focus their efforts on fixing the world. Meanwhile, the Avatar goes off on their own for their own adventure and Classic Sonic returns to his home dimension, but Modern Sonic believes he'll see the Avatar and Classic Sonic again.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Upon finishing a level, as well as most missions, you earn Wispons and various accessories for your Avatar character.
  • Another Dimension: As opposed to Generations, in which Classic Sonic is the same Sonic as Modern Sonic, but as his past self, Forces establishes that Classic Sonic crossed dimensions to reach the world where Forces takes place. Zigzagged in that this is the same Sonic that was Sonic's younger self in Generations, as both Modern Sonic and Tails recognize, but it seems perhaps he isn't exactly Sonic's younger self anymore, perhaps due to the Eggmans' previous timespace screwery.
  • Apocalypse How: Eggman and Infinite attempt to pull off extinction on a planetary scale, by dropping a construct of the sun onto the world. However, since it is a creation of the Phantom Ruby, the effects might only have been felt by the people perceiving the Phantom Ruby's illusion if it had been allowed to fall, leaving the physical planet intact.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Park Avenue and Sunset Heights involves racing through the streets and buildings, beating up Badniks as usual... Except set to the very conspicuous falling rubble tearing everything apart while Death Egg Robots destroy the city in the background. And it looks awesome.
  • The Artifact:
    • Just like Sonic Lost World, the Wisps' presence isn't commented and there's no explanation why they're still trapped in pods.note 
    • There were different plans for Infinite. Some of the dialogue he says in the game, and dialogue about him treat him as a robot created by Eggman rather than some mercenary that allied himself with the doctor. The end of his first boss fight has him saying that Sonic's abilities exceed his previous data, and one level has him saying that's where "Infinite was created". These weren't changed for the final game.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Phantom Ruby.
  • Art Shift: The game dials back the stylized art-style the previous game used, making locations feel more realistic.
  • Ascended Meme: Sanic T-Shirts are available for the Avatar as free downloadable content.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: In the Duo Tag Team missions, Sonic and the Avatar can do a massive boost through a long part of a stage, all to the chorus of "Fist Bump". In the stage "Null Space", it also plays during Sonic and the Avatar's blazing through Metropolis.
  • Award-Bait Song: "The Light of Hope."
  • Back from the Brink: After the first stage, Eggman conquers 99.9% of the world. It's up to the Resistance to take it back.
  • Badass in Distress: Sonic is defeated by the villains and taken aboard to the Death Egg, allowing Eggman to conquer the world. The Avatar infiltrates the Death Egg to rescue Sonic, and as soon as Sonic is free, he goes right back to kicking butts, starting with Zavok's.
  • Badass Normal: The Avatar character has no superhuman abilities or special powers, and as such, is one of the few heroic Sonic characters to use weapons.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Classic Sonic's first boss in Green Hill is a variant of the classic wrecking-ball bot... until Eggman gets serious and switches to the Egg Dragoon.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Late in the game, Eggman and Infinite use the power of the Phantom Ruby to banish Sonic and the Avatar to Null Space, a dimension of pure nothingness said to be inescapable. Eggman is absolutely astonished when Sonic and the Avatar successfully do so.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Eggman is the one who takes over the world, although Infinite is The Heavy and drives the plot more actively.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Eggman and Infinite are this in all but name. While Eggman is technically the boss, he likely knows full well that Infinite is far more powerful and could take over at any time if he wanted. Except that technically, Eggman is the true master of the Phantom Ruby and can take back its power whenever he wants, and he does precisely that in the endgame after Infinite has gotten his butt kicked one too many times.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Shadow defeating his clone, who was about to charge down Sonic.
    • Omega pulls this off in the final battle.
    • Subverted by the Avatar at the start of Null Space. Played straight in the second phase of the penultimate boss fight.
  • Boastful Rap: The rap parts of "Infinite" are this, promising a Curb-Stomp Battle to whoever dares to take him on.
    I am the tallest of mountains, and don't you ever forget it
    If you step in the ring, then you're gonna regret it!
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • The villains finally have Sonic in their clutches, but instead of killing him, they instead choose to imprison him aboard the Death Egg, which allows Sonic to eventually break out and stop them. Rouge mentions that Eggman wanted to show Sonic his completed empire before jettisoning him out into space. (In other words, they wanted to rub Sonic's failure in his face, then kill him.)
    • Infinite gets a moment of this after his first boss battle. After defeating Sonic, Infinite arrogantly deems him Not Worth Killing and leaves. Eggman later chews him out for doing so, correctly predicting that Sonic will continue to be a threat to their operations as long as he's still alive.
  • Bonus Stage: There are bonus stages that are shorter than the regular stages and usually center around a unique gimmick. They are unlocked by one of two ways — either by clearing every regular stage in a region, or by collecting a certain number of Red Star Rings.
  • Boss Banter: This time around, Eggman engages in some back-and-forth with Sonic and his friends during boss battles. Except the final boss battle, oddly enough.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Eggman shows no problem with chewing out or talking back to Infinite despite being his ultimate weapon and immensely powerful. Justified, as Eggman proves capable of disposing of the jackal whenever he pleases and using the Phantom Ruby himself, so he never had anything to fear from him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Blue and Violet Wisps, who haven't had an appearance since their debut in Sonic Colors, make their return in the form of Wispons.
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • Both Classic Sonic and the Avatar leave the group at the end — Classic Sonic back to the Mania universe and the Avatar to help other people.
    • Modern Sonic leaves the group as well at the end, obviously to continue traveling as a nomad, though he will return once he's needed again.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Silver's involvement. Due to his future being brought to ruin by Eggman, he went back to Sonic's time to help the Resistance. Although his role seems minor, he ultimately forces Infinite to drop the last synthetic Phantom Ruby prototype, allowing the Avatar to take it and spoil Eggman's plan to eliminate the Reisistance.
  • Call-Back:
  • Casino Park: The Mystic Jungle is an ancient ruin that Eggman has started converting into a casino.
  • Character Customization: The Avatar feature lets you create an original character to play as. Avatars come in 7 different animal varietiesnote , each with their own unique abilities and perks, and can be equipped with various accessories and gadgets known as "Wispons."
  • Character Development: The Avatar is the protagonist of the story. They start off as a scared soldier whose squad was killed off by Infinite, and during the story and thanks to Sonic's influence, they mature into a brave hero. Sonic, by comparison, is his usual self without a character arc, instead being the ideal hero of the Resistance.
  • Character Shilling: Forces presents Sonic as an idol, he's the only hero the villains takes seriously and a symbol of hope for his unnamed world. Apparently, during the six months fighting against Eggman's army and Infinite, nobody could do anything against the empire until Classic Sonic and the Rookie arrived and Sonic returned. Keep in mind that the Resistance has characters who were a threat to Eggman in the past (Shadow, who disappeared for six months for no in-story reason; Silver, who suffers The Worf Effect and can't fight Infinite), yet supposedly only Sonic could do anything against Infinite.
    Infinite, while talking to Shadow: Haha... Oh, this power before we even turned it! Just as I thought, it is unrivaled! Not even Sonic will be able to stand against me now! Hahahahaha!
    Tails during the Final Boss: Give it your all, Sonic! You'll always be our shining hope!
  • Clone Army: Using the Phantom Ruby, Infinite can create an endless amount of clones of whoever he chooses to fight for him. In particular, he uses clones of Shadow, Metal Sonic, Chaos, and Zavok. Infinite himself is added to the roster once Dr. Eggman takes control of the Phantom Ruby.
  • Co-Dragons: Eggman's team of villains, which include Shadow, Metal Sonic, Chaos, Zavok, and Infinite, a new villain with mysterious abilities. Subverted in that Infinite's the only one of them that's actually real and the others are just Phantom Ruby clones under Infinite's control. Even Metal Sonic isn't real, strangely.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Dr. Eggman subjected Sonic to this during the six months everyone thought he was dead. This is only the case in the English version, he was just held prisoner in the Japanese version.
  • Colony Drop: Eggman's plan that will make the Resistance "disappear" is to use the Phantom Ruby to create another Sun and drop it on the Resistance. The plan is thwarted when the Avatar uses a prototype Phantom Ruby to dispel it, since Eggman used up so much power to make it. The heroes don't give him enough time to create another.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The playable characters are distinguished on the World Map screen by their colors; Modern Sonic is blue, Classic is light-blue, and the Avatar is orange (in spite of the Avatar's own colors). In the Tag Team stages, Modern Sonic and the Avatar's colors are mixed half-and-half.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Wispon's main gimmick, as they draw their powers from the Wisps' Color Powers.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Before the Resistance find out that Shadow and the other villains working for Eggman are just physical illusions, each one is treated as a major threat on par with the original. But once hundreds of copies of Shadow, Zavok, Chaos, and Metal Sonic show up in the final battle, the heroes start beating them down by the dozens. The real Shadow in particular bashes through numerous copies of himself, even though they're stated to be just as powerful as the original. Though justified in Shadow's case, since this isn't the first time he's fought copies of himself.
  • Combination Attack:
    • The Double Boost, usable in Tag Team stages, has Sonic and the Avatar team up to blaze a trail through the stage.
    • The Triple Boost used in the final boss, comprised of Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar performing a turbo aerial dash against the Death Egg Robot.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A four-part comic released by Sonic Team and Ian Flynn, serving as a prequel to Forces:
    • "Moment of Truth" features the Chaotix and a custom character, and mostly serves as world-building.
    • "Stress Test" features Knuckles and Silver, and explains some of the lore.
    • "Looming Shadow" features Team Dark, Dr. Eggman, and Infinite, serving as a warm-up for the "Episode Shadow" DLC.
    • Lastly, "Rise of Infinite" features Infinite and Dr. Eggman, revealing how Eggman got the Phantom Ruby and Infinite joining the doctor's side.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of the Avatar classes has different abilities.
    • Hedgehog: Rings dropped upon getting hit linger longer.
    • Wolf: Automatically attracts nearby rings.
    • Rabbit: Longer Mercy Invincibility after getting hit.
    • Cat: Always keeps one ring after taking damage.
    • Dog: Starts with five rings after dying.
    • Bear: Stronger Homing Attack that blows enemies away.
    • Bird: Possesses a Double Jump.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Sunset Heights level features Sonic finding a character who's waiting at the end of the level, similar to some levels in Sonic Unleashed (such as finding Yasmine).
    • Classic Sonic is still able to use the Drop Dash from Sonic Mania.
    • Inside the Death Egg, a bunch of Red Eyes can be seen in the background. (Red Eye is the first mid-boss in Death Egg Zone from Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the mid-boss of Titanic Monarch Zone from Sonic Mania.)
    • The design of the ghost T-shirt for the Avatar is identical to the various ghost-related signs seen in Aquatic Mine from Sonic Adventure 2.
    • This isn't the first time Eggman has hid one mecha actually holding the MacGuffin of the game inside a bigger one.
  • Cosmetic Award: You earn clothing parts for your Avatar when finishing a level.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: This is how the fight with Zavok ends.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Eggman has learned from his past mistakes and came prepared this time: he created multiple power sources for the Phantom Ruby just in case its primary one, the Death Egg, was destroyed (because the heroes destroying his power sources for his ultimate weapons always happens), had some form of contingency to effortlessly dispose of Infinite should the need arise, had a backup superweapon mecha prepared in the event Infinite fell, and a second superweapon mecha hidden inside his first superweapon mecha just in case it was destroyed.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Infinite slaying the Avatar's friends and letting them leave after his initial attack on them is what allowed the Avatar to become the main thorn in his side later in the game.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Shadow effortlessly defeating and callously insulting Infinite and his fire team is what caused him to allow Eggman to experiment on him with the Phantom Ruby and become the threat he is in the game.
  • Crisis Crossover: The reappearance of Classic Sonic has shades of this, given the circumstances.
    "When things look their darkest, even heroes need a helping hand."
  • Crossover: The Pre-Order bonus includes Beat's glasses and outfit, NiGHTS' hat and outfit, AiAi's ears and shirt, Joker's mask and costume, and Amitie's hat as customization options for the Avatar.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Infinite and the returning villains hand Sonic his ass in the beginning, and the former is shown to do the same to various other characters.
  • Cutscene Boss: Shadow and Chaos are fought and taken out in a cutscene by the real Shadow and Classic Sonic, respectively. Chaos in particular takes this to its ultimate conclusion, as no actual model data of Chaos exists ingame, literally making it a cutscene boss.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The only time that Infinite is remotely capable of standing a chance against Sonic is in his introductory scene in the first cutscene. The non-playable cast get this even worse, pretty much unable to do anything without Sonic, Sonic, and the Avatar's help.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Dr. Eggman's Death Egg robots, massive Badniks that tower over buildings and can fire Frickin' Laser Beams from their eyes.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game takes place in a full scale war. Infinite brings the edge to the storyline.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist:
    • There are no lives in the game; dying simply brings you back to the last checkpoint. However, dying is a detriment to your rank, and the game compensates for your infinite retries by, with the exception of Hedgehog-type Avatars or Normal difficulty turned on, making you unable to collect the rings you drop when hit, which is all of them.
    • Averted with the SOS missions. Die once and you fail.
  • Decapitated Army: Once Sonic is beaten, Eggman easily rolls over the rest of the planet and takes it over.
  • Demoted Boss: The Death Egg Robot (specifically the gigantic version from Sonic 3 & Knuckles) has been turned into mass-produced Giant Mooks for Eggman. However, they seem considerably weaker than the original, and Sonic and the Avatar manage to destroy one in one hit. Justified, as Sonic is much stronger than he was back then, and unlike the Giant Death Egg Robot, these aren't powered by the Master Emerald.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Infinite is an Ax-Crazy Sadist and megalomaniac. This makes him dangerous, but it also seriously inhibits his rational thinking. He makes serious tactical errors both due to being preoccupied sating his sadism and his ego blinding him to actual threats to him, even when Eggman is able to see them. As a result, he effectively screws over his and Eggman's big plan and sets up his own defeat, at which point Eggman disposes of him on the spot.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Drill Wispon. If you don't know how to properly use it, chances are it'll end with your death very often. If you do know how to, you can utterly destroy levels in a fraction of the time it would take with any other weapon.
  • Difficulty Levels: An easy mode of the game allows the player to lose only 20 rings per hit instead of all of them and to collect their fallen rings, but caps their ring count to 100, harming their overall score (the player gets points for getting rings, but not the ring bonus at the end). The game will also not record your score for online leaderboards in the mode. Forces also labels the easy mode as "Normal", with a blurb saying it's for players new to Sonic, and the experienced mode as "Hard", advising players who have played Sonic to choose that difficulty.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Quite literally in the boss fight against the Egg Dragoon — as it seems to have lost 10% of its combat capacity, Eggman resorts to throwing blocks of checker-board dirt from Green Hill's soil at the player, sometimes mixed in with mines.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: The heroes manage to stop Eggman's "sun drop" plan and defeat Infinite. However, Eggman uses what little energy the Phantom Ruby has to create another army of villains and power a miniature Death Egg Robot in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Resistance.
  • Double Jump:
    • Returning from Sonic Colors is Modern Sonic's double jump.
    • Bird-type Avatars can also double jump.
    • In the Tag Team Stages, all Avatars can double jump, possibly due to Sonic's influence.
  • Downer Beginning: Eggman defeats Sonic and takes over the world less than 10 minutes into the game.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Pre-order DLC in the form of costumes for the Avatar based on various SEGA and Atlus properties.
    • Episode Shadow, which focuses on Shadow and adds new levels to the game, as well as the option to play as Shadow in Modern Sonic stages.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Cube Wispon takes the form of a small hammer. It creates a huge shockwave when attacking that turns enemies around you into Blue Cubes, which can then be broken with a second shockwave to create Rings.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Several pieces of exposition were cut from the English release.
    • When the Avatar accidentally disables Infinite's illusions thanks to the Prototype, Infinite is confused by this and yet seems to shrug it off out of sheer arrogance to the point of sparing the Avatar. However, in the Japanese dialogue, he actually considers the possibility of this, and his mercy makes more sense with an earlier piece of exposition that got removed in English. The Phantom Ruby Prototypes are so unstable that they typically only work once. Even if the Avatar managed what they did, Infinite had no real reason to suspect it would happen again given the precedent.
    • A minor example, but while Sonic was said to have been tortured for months while in Eggman's captivity, he shows no signs of psychological trauma and is his usual wise-cracking self when he finds an opening for escape. This is because there is no mention of torture in the Japanese version.
    • Similarly, Tails was said to have "lost it" when Sonic was presumably killed, but when the game cuts to him a little later, he seems perfectly fine, unless him calling out for a presumably dead Sonic was supposed to be a sign of his insanity, but even still after Classic Sonic enters the scene, he seems perfectly fine for the rest of the game. In the Japanese version, there was no mention of Tails going insane, he just went missing.
    • Classic Sonic is referred to as the "Sonic from another world", rather than another dimension. This is more similar to how Silver also refers to his time as another world.
    • During the cutscene leading to Eggman's boss fight, Eggman yells "I don't have time for this!"... before entering the boss fight. In the original Japanese, he says "How dare you? You'll pay!" and then the fight starts. After the fight is over, Tails remarks "Yeah, we did it!", even though he does nothing in the fight. In the original, he says "you did it, Sonic!"
  • Dub-Induced Plotline Change: The dialogue differences between the Japanese text and English localization indicate the English being indecisive between Darker and Edgier or Lighter and Softer. Tails simply went missing and Sonic's fate was left unconfirmed in Japanese, whereas the English version has everyone assume Sonic was Killed Off for Real and Tails "lost it". The English version also has Knuckles mention Eggman torturing Sonic for months, whereas the Japanese has no such dialogue. On the other hand, Infinite's god complex and lines were toned down in English, Sonic had a lot more casual jokes inserted into his dialogue, and two minor expletives (Sonic calling Infinite a masked prick and Infinite mentioning Hell when attempting to drop a sun on the Resistance) were completely omitted. Even minor bits of extra exposition, like for Null Space or Infinite briefly considering the Avatar to be holding a Phantom Ruby prototype, and several cases of Foreshadowing, were omitted in the English text.
  • Eaten Alive: Luminous Forest has a giant snake appear as a quick-time event. Failing has it eat Sonic and you die. If you succeed, it eats Sonic anyway, and he lives regardless of whether you succeed or fail the resulting QTE.
  • Enemy Mine: Shadow, Chaos, and Zavok rejoin Eggman's bid of conquest. Except they don't, as they are Phantom illusions. The real Shadow is still on the heroes' side.
  • Energy Weapon: The most basic arm used by soldiers of The Resistance, which might be the Cyan Laser Wispon.
  • Eviler than Thou: Infinite more or less tells Eggman he feels he's this to the Doctor at one point. After Infinite's defeat, he's warped away and Tails tracks Infinite's Phantom Ruby… directly to Eggman's Phantom Ruby-powered final mecha. Eggman then reveals that he never intended for Infinite to be his end goal, and had a personal mecha set to use the Phantom Ruby himself and is just as good if not better than Infinite at using it.
  • Evil Knockoff: The returning villains are all "virtual reality constructs" of Infinite. Zavok fades away after losing to Sonic and Shadow defeats his own copy. Despite being fakes, they have the same personalities and powers as the originals.
  • Evil Overlooker: In the promo image seen on this page, Dr. Eggman, Infinite, and Metal Sonic are seen at the top, looking down on the heroes, with Eggman spreading his arms out in a dramatic fashion for good measure.
  • Experience Booster: Completing a daily mission earns you a 30-minute experience multiplier. Completing daily missions on consecutive days increases the multiplier.
  • Faceship: As part of his domination of the world, Eggman rebuilds the Death Egg. However, it doesn't seem to serve as a superweapon this time (likely due to having the Phantom Ruby on his side), but as a prison, as Sonic is taken there after he's captured by Infinite. It's later said to somehow be a power source for the Phantom Ruby, but Eggman had back-ups just in case it got destroyed because Sonic and company always destroy the power sources of his machines.
  • Fake Longevity: Collecting all of the red rings is back. In addition, each level now has special numbered and silver rings to collect in subsequent runs, meaning all of the non-boss levels have to be cleared a minimum of three times (plus more for Time Attack challenges) as part of 100% Completion.
  • Fauxshadow: Promotional material and the game itself set Infinite up as the baddest thing ever and by all means The Starscream, and many of the characters consider him a greater threat than Eggman, but ultimately he never stops being his pawn.
  • Follow the Money: The Lightning Wispon enables you to zip along a trail of Rings in a similar fashion to the Light Dash when you use its Color Power.
  • Forced Transformation: The Blue Wisp's Wispon attack is a Ground Pound that transforms nearby enemies into Blue Cubes, which can then be transformed into Rings.
  • Foreshadowing: The game starts with Eggman talking wonders about his new invention that will allow him to take control of the world. The camera then frames the Phantom Ruby on Infinite's chest, and later in the game Eggman and Infinite go out looking for Phantom Ruby prototypes hinting the Phantom Ruby that Infinite has is not the real thing, but a prototype. The Final Boss is Eggman with the real Phantom Ruby.
    • A throwaway line from Tails before the final battle mentions that the real Phantom Ruby is invulnerable even after the reactor is destroyed and doesn't need a power supply. Sonic Mania's Encore Mode shows the Ruby itself A-okay even after Eggman's defeat.
  • Forgot About His Powers: There is an internal-logic problem in Forces regarding its use of characters. While the game suffers from not showing much of its story, meaning we don't know how the supporting cast handles the fight against Eggman's army besides the final cutscene, but even then, the characters show a severe lack of action regarding their powers.
  • Freudian Slip: Eggman offers three meals a day, nap time, and an underground prison ce- Erm, I mean a warm dormitory for any and all Resistance members that decide to capitulate!
  • From Bad to Worse: The story starts off with Eggman already conquering 99% of the world. The rest of the story is about trying to stop him from destroying every last bit of resistance against him.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    Shun Nakamura: "...Your avatar character starts off as a regular person and then goes on this amazing adventure with the two Sonics, and takes the world back from Doctor Eggman."
    • Played straight with Infinite. According to Episode Shadow and the tie-in comic, he was the leader of a band of jackal outlaws until he was hired by Eggman. Afterwards, he becomes Infinite after Eggman augments him with the Phantom Ruby.
  • Gameplay Grading: Continuing the trend started by Sonic Adventure 2, you're graded on your score at the end of the stage, up to a possible S Rank.
  • Genre Roulette:
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: It wouldn't be a Sonic game without at least one. And here, it's the battles against Metal Sonic and Infinite for the first and third time, with Sonic as well as the Avatar in one and a half of them chasing the boss down a hallway.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Death Crab is no ordinary crab bot, oh no. This bad boy is the size of a building, and maybe even more.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The giant snake at the end of Luminous Forest comes out of nowhere. It is dealt with extremely quickly, and only serves as a platform for the Infinite battle afterwards.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Avatar has a wrist-mounted grappling hook which they use to traverse the environment, as well as a weapon in the same vein as Modern Sonic's homing attack.
  • The Great Serpent: In the Luminous Jungle is home to enormous snake, that gets all riled up from the fireworks, and attacks Sonic; Sonic wins of course.
  • Green Aesop: At the end of the game, Sonic tells the other Resistance members and the viewer that they can't live in an illusion world forever, and they have to fix the issues within the real world.
  • Green Hill Zone: The original level reappears once again, this time being mixed into a rocky desert level. Aspects of the zone also appear in another level which is mostly a ruined city.
  • Growing with the Audience: After continuously adopting a more kid-friendly image around the time of Sonic Colors, Forces marks the series' second attempt at this after the first attempt starting with Sonic Adventure. The game involves an all-out war against Eggman and Infinite, and the destruction and pain it brings are presented in as much detail as it can get away with.
  • Guide Dang It!: A number of people have reported trouble with the boss fight against Zavok, as they instinctually jump when Zavok slams his giant Buzz Bomber against the floor. What you're supposed to do is not jump, as it will bounce Sonic high enough to reach Zavok.
  • Hailfire Peaks: This seems to be a design theme this time around:
  • Hate Sink: Infinite is one of the franchise's biggest (and most deplorable) examples. He is a Psychopathic Manchild with a nasty sadistic streak, and while he may appear to be a competent warlord at first, he's gradually revealed to be nothing but a superpowered bully whose lack of foresight and penchant for senseless violence cause Eggman's plans to fall apart.
  • Heroic BSoD: Tails loses it when he sees Sonic defeated, believing him along with the other members of The Resistance to be dead.
  • Hero of Another Story: No matter who you're playing as, you're part of a sizable army and in most missions other characters are also fighting at the same time, just in different parts of the battlefield, the characters totally swear.
  • Heroic Mime:
    • The Avatar never utters a word, only grunts and groans.
    • Likewise, Classic Sonic is never heard saying a word or two.
  • Hidden Depths: Knuckles is shown to be quite the inspirational leader.
  • Holding Hands: The team-up mechanics in the Duo Tag Team Stages involves Sonic and the Avatar holding on to each other, mostly during sections where the Avatar uses their grappling hook.
  • Hope Bringer: Sonic is stated to be as such in this game; early on, with Sonic missing in action and presumed dead after Infinite's attack, people all over are losing hope and falling into despair. During the Final Battle, Tails outright calls him this:
    Tails: Give it your all, Sonic! You'll always be our shining hope!
  • Humongous Mecha: Three giant Death Egg Robots are seen destroying Park Avenue. Unlike the model from Sonic Generations, these robots have a single eye that shoots lasers and tower over the city.
  • Hypocrite: Eggman chastises Infinite when told that he let Sonic live after defeating him, stating that the hedgehog is a HUGE concern, even with Infinite's massive advantage over him. Not only did Eggman leave Sonic alive for six months after beating him in the opening of the game, less than a minute after his lecture with Infinite, Classic Sonic confronts him, and Eggman declares that he doesn't have time to deal with this and leaves him be.
  • Idle Animation: Averted for Modern Sonic, who, unlike the two other playable characters, doesn't have a single one for some odd reason.
  • "I Am" Song: Infinite's theme is all about how awesome he is and how everyone who faces him will fall.
  • Immediate Sequel: To Sonic Mania, from Classic Sonic's perspective.
  • Infinite: Plays into the theme of the game, as it features an antagonist named "Infinite" as well as featuring Hoobastank (often stylized as h∞bastank) who sing the main theme of the game.
  • Informed Ability: Shadow explains that the copies created by the Phantom Ruby are just as powerful as the originals... shortly after taking out his own copy in one hit. The final battle has the copies taken out in droves.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • Tails is stated to have "lost it" after Sonic's supposed demise (actually capture). Next time we see him, he's no worse for wear except for maybe calling out for an already supposedly deceased Sonic to save him from Chaos. The line in the Japanese script was simply that he'd gone missing.
    • Sonic was allegedly tortured during his six months of captivity, but shows neither physical nor emotional repercussions from the experience.
    • When Eggman's Death Egg Robot takes control of the Phantom Ruby, Rogue claims that he has created several copies of Infinite alongside Metal Sonic, Chaos, Shadow and Zavok. Not a single Infinite copy is seen as the copies disappear after Eggman's defeat.
  • Just Between You and Me: Subverted. Tails asks what Eggman is planning in three days after Classic Sonic beats the Egg Dragoon, but Eggman merely says that he doesn't want to ruin the surprise and flees the scene without divulging anything critical.
  • Kill It with Fire: The standard attack for the Red Wisp's Wispon enables the Avatar to spew a long-ranged flamethrower in front of it that immediately demolishes bots and baddies.
  • La Résistance: Sonic's friends, including Amy, Knuckles, Tails, the Chaotix, Silver, Rouge, and the Avatar, are the main resistance battling against Eggman in their dimension.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: The announcer for Wisps from Sonic Colors is back, and shouts the name of the Color Power that corresponds to your Wispon when you collect the correct Wisp.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After Amy informs Sonic that his doppelganger, Metal Sonic, has been spotted near the city, Shadow will question if he is a Phantom Ruby replica, only for Sonic to question why would Eggman create a copy of something that already isn't real. This is not enough to answer the Plot Hole of where the real Metal Sonic is during the events of the game, but is something.
    Sonic: Why would they bother making a fake out of something that already isn't real? Couldn't they just build more?
  • The Leader: With Sonic presumed deceased and Tails traumatized over losing his best friend, Knuckles steps up as the commander of the Resistance. His headstrong personality and knack for daring plans kept the Resistance from falling apart before Sonic's return.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • At one point in the story, Infinite mentions that Sonic has beaten Eggman "for decades". This game marks the second half of Sonic's 25th anniversary. It is hyperbole in-universe, of course.
    • When both Sonics meet up, Modern Sonic says it's been generations since they've seen each other. Only counting main series titles, Classic Sonic's last interaction with Modern Sonic was Sonic Generations.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Knuckles falls into this due to his "Operation Big Wave" plan, which he freely admits to having thought up in a minute and a half. With Metropolis undermanned, Knuckles' plan to take the city amounts to nothing more than going in hard and fast, and just destroying Eggman's army. This bites him in the ass when Eggman sends Infinite in, who uses the Phantom Ruby's power to utterly decimate the Resistance.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Double time in Classic Sonic's Green Hill Zone, which starts off with the classic "wrecking ball"-style boss from the very first game. However, when sufficiently damaged, Eggman suddenly summons the Egg Dragoon for the latter half of the fight.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: If you fail an SOS mission, a tune reminiscent of the victory theme plays, before it quickly tapers out.
  • Lightning Lash: The Ivory Wispon allows the Avatar to attack multiple enemies with a massive electric whip.
  • Little Hero, Big War: Subverted. There's a resistance of all the Sonic mainstays and a Redshirt Army fighting against Eggman controlling the world established in promotional material, but they can barely accomplish anything at all beyond providing opportunities for Sonic and the Avatar to do anything important.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • Arsenal Pyramid has both an exterior theme and an interior theme. The exterior areas consist of a straight line with enemies to boost through, then a gentle right turn. Then, Sonic and the Avatar do a Double Boost, and "Fist Bump" plays the rest of the way into the pyramid.
    • Null Space has a full-length song for the region, of which only 22 seconds can be heard as Sonic talks to the Avatar and then, again, does a Double Boost to get out of the place, with "Fist Bump" playing for the rest of the stage.
    • Red Gate Bridge also has a full length song, although it can only be heard for about 5 seconds before a Death Egg sentinel attacks, changing the song to an atmospheric orchestra track, before being taken straight to the Metal Sonic boss where his own theme plays.
  • Lost in Translation: Oddly subverted. The English translation adds a line not present in any other translation about Sonic being tortured while aboard the Death Egg.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: We're occasionally told that the rest of the Resistance is up to things, but bar a very small amount of the cutscenes, all they seem to do that's relevant to the plot is stand around and talk. The two Sonics, the Avatar, and to a lesser extent Shadow, meanwhile, do just about everything worth mentioning, and in fact, before the total-rookie Avatar joined, there was no sign of Sonic, the Resistance was fighting a desperately losing battle, and people were rapidly losing hope. He gets busted off of the Death Egg prison early on, Classic Sonic appears to save Tails in the nick of time, and from there it's not a very long game for something centered around retaking 99.9% of the planet.
  • Masked Villains, Unmasked Heroes: The game pits the heroic, unmasked faction consisting of Sonic and his friends against Infinite, a villain who wears a silver mask.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Plot details render it initially unclear just what the Phantom Ruby is, and what Tails discovers leads it to seemingly be that it was just a synthetic gem that had been created by Modern Eggman all along, and that the Phantom Ruby in Mania was a Prototype that got lost. Episode Shadow and the prequel comics eventually clear this up, and the original Phantom Ruby is indeed real — Eggman found it in the desert where his base was located and studied it to incorporate into his plans, creating various Prototypes. One of them warped into Mania's dimension, setting into motion that game's events.
  • Meet Your Early-Installment Weirdness: Once again, Classic Sonic joins up with his modern counterpart. Unlike in Generations, this Classic Sonic actually comes from the Sonic Mania universe.
  • Mission Control: Sonic's friends serve this role again, as they did in Sonic Generations.
  • Musical Nod:
    • At times, the last bit of the Faded Hills music sounds like Splash Hill Act 1.
    • In the cutscene where Classic Sonic appears, an orchestral version of the title theme from Sonic Mania plays.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Classic Sonic appears in the trailer, he strikes a pose that matches artwork found in the History of Sonic the Hedgehog book and the pose Sonic strikes at the end of Sonic Mania.
    • The trailer for the Switch release shows that Classic Sonic has changed his action style to be more Sonic CD-based, as he spins as he hits springs, and when he hits full speed, his feet move in the Super Peel-Out style.
    • The Avatar has a grapple mechanic akin to the Enerbeams from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
      • Boom Sonic's scarf, gloves, and shoes are also customization options for the Avatar.
    • Sonic Forces is taking the interpretation of a dystopian future (or a Bad Present in this case), filled with robots and hellfire just like the bad ending of Knuckles Chaotix.
    • Infinite kicking Sonic's back hearkens back to Shadow kicking Silver in the back, as well as Shadow himself pulling this off to his illusion, albeit in the face.
    • Similarly, Shadow's attack chain when he beats up Infinite in Episode Shadow is taken directly from the title sequence video of his own game.
    • When Sonic meets his Classic self again, he notes that it's been "generations" since he's seen him.
    • The achievements are absolutely brimming with references.
  • Never Say "Die": Zigzagged; especially with Infinite. However, he manages to be no less intimidating whenever he plays it straight or subverts it.
    Infinite: "Are you willing to fight and die here?"
    Infinite: "I will teach you fear, then pain, and then...well, at least the fear and pain will end."
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Infinite dropping one of the Phantom Ruby prototypes in his fight with Silver, which blows up in their face monumentally. As Eggman had Infinite destroy the only other prototypes, Infinite's carelessness effectively ruined their entire plan.
  • Nitro Boost:
    • As with the current string of mainline Sonic games, boosting returns for Modern Sonic. However, Forces uses the Sonic Colors iteration of the Boost mechanic in which Sonic collects White Wisps to fill the Boost Gauge. Classic Sonic is also seen using the Boost in the teaser.
    • There is also the exclusive "Double Boost" move, utilized by both Modern Sonic and the Avatar character.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The final boss is called a Death Egg Robot... despite it looking nothing like a Death Egg Robot, especially not during the final phase (which is more akin to the Nega-Wisp Armor). The fight doesn't even take place on the Death Egg, which was in the game earlier! Unless it was constructed aboard the Death Egg, about the only accurate part of the name is "Robot".
  • Not Quite Flight:
    • The Burst Wispon's Color Power enables the Avatar to create explosions underneath their feet to propel them through the air by using a Red Wisp.
    • Shadow's boost animation consists of him hovering about a foot above the ground as he propels himself forward with his rocket skates.
  • Not Worth Killing: Infinite says this to Sonic after their first encounter following Modern Sonic's return from captivity. This displeases Eggman, however, who questions why he did that.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Eggman's army might be fodder for Sonic and company, but it's still a highly advanced army led by a group of supervillains (or rather one with the ability to spawn them). With their failure to stop him, the world falls in months.
  • Ominous Cube: Infinite's Hard Light illusions often take the shape of a swirling mass of black and orange cubes, always accompanied by a distinctive Drone of Dread.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Infinite has a glitchy particle effect around him, and the music video for his theme is also glitching all over the place. Metal and Chaos are glitching too, but less so. This is explained as they are a combination of Hard Light constructs and the Your Mind Makes It Real powers of the Phantom Ruby.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Infinite and Eggman's plan is to destroy the world and rebuild it from the ashes in their image. They intend to use the Phantom Ruby to create a phantom sun and drop it on the world.
    Infinite: "We move forward with the plan?"
    Eggman: "Of course! When it's complete, the Resistance will be erased. The world will be nothing but ashes, from which a glorious Eggman Empire will rise!"
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Seen on the game's cover. The red wolf from the trailer's color scheme is changed to green to better match Sonic, and a mysterious blue light is seen behind the bottommost three characters.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Sonic is presumed dead by Tails and the Resistance after losing to Infinite and the villains.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Though played straight as usual, the Avatar actually zigzags this trope. The default male Avatar only wears gloves and shoes, while the female Avatar wears a bodysuit. However, the wide variety of clothing and cosmetics makes it entirely possible to fully dress a male avatar, and the unlockable body tattoos have the strange quirk of replacing the female Avatar's bodysuit completely, allowing you to fully undress her with the help of a fur pattern tattoo.
  • Pinball Scoring: Scores in this game approach the massive quantities as that of Sonic Colors, with most S-Ranks requiring around 1 million points. Though the scale is lower, Sonic Forces plays this trope straighter than Sonic Colors, as whereas Colors has ludicrously high scores because of a lot of small bonuses for even minor actions building up, Sonic Forces scores are actually inflated.
  • Play Every Day: Each day you can complete a mission to receive an experience multiplier. Completing missions on consecutive days increases the multiplier.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: Some of Classic Sonic's bosses will toss rocks at him, which he'll have to attack to bounce back to its attacker. The Death Egg Robot plays this straighter than the Egg Dragoon, as Sonic can repeatedly bounce the same rock back and forth.
  • Poor Communication Kills: This actually bites Eggman in the ass. Once Sonic's escaped from the Death Egg, he wants Sonic dead with no questions asked so the blue blur doesn't inevitably muck up his plans yet again. Infinite on the other hand, in all of his smug superiority, spares not only Sonic but the Avatar as well despite having their number on the wall in their encounters by deeming them Not Worth Killing despite Eggman's orders. Not only does Eggman call Infinite out on this, but this costs them the war, as Sonic recoups enough to hand Infinite his butt on a platter and the Avatar's Phantom Ruby prototype destroys Eggman's plans gloriously.
  • Press X to Not Die: Certain Avatar stages and the Tag Team stages feature this. A few are mandatory for certain bosses.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Tails can't make sense of Infinite's power due to his analyzer getting messed up by his readings.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: In contrast to many of his earlier robots, which tended towards red, yellow, and light gray, here Eggman's mechs veer towards black, deep red, and dark grey. Infinite himself also uses these colors.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Tails treats Classic Sonic like a surrogate Sonic after believing Modern Sonic is dead.
  • Retcon: In Sonic Generations, Classic Sonic was simply Sonic's past self. In this game, this was changed to him being from an alternate universe. According to Word of Saint Paul, this is because Sega of Japan mandated that Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic be separated characters altogether rather than from different times.
  • Retraux: The music used in Classic Sonic's stages use synthesizers that are very similar to those of the Sega Genesis, in contrast to Generations (which had music that was remixed with electronic and techno beats) and Mania (which had New Jack Swing and Dance music in the style of Sonic CD).
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: The Avatar is this. According to Word of God, they're just a normal person who ended up dragged into all this by Eggman's takeover. They end up playing an integral part in saving the world.
  • Rolling Attack: The Drop Dash from Sonic Mania is available for Classic Sonic.
  • Sand Is Water: Literally in this game's version of Green Hill Zone, which replaces the iconic waterfalls with quicksand thanks to Eggman's rule and his industries.
  • Sand Worm: The giant worm creatures from the deserts of Lost Hex have found a new home in desertified Green Hill. One of them appears in the background of Lost Valley, burrowing and resurfacing in the sand while following Sonic around.
  • Scenery Gorn: Eggman's rule leads to things like streets filled with robots and Green Hill Zone's waterfalls being replaced with sand.
  • Secondary Fire: Aside from their main attack, Wispons also allow the limited use of abilities that help to traverse stages in different ways, but only in designated spots, as the Avatar needs to find a Wisp Capsule that contains the breed of wisp needed to fill the gauge of the Wispon.
  • Send in the Clones: The final battle consists of Eggman using the Phantom Ruby to create armies consisting of Zavok, Chaos, Metal Sonic, and Shadownote  to attack the Resistance while Eggman fights Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar.
  • Sequel Hook: Possibly implied, as Silver states that The Resistance is still needed to repair the damage Infinite and Eggman inflicted upon the world and Modern Sonic believes he'll see the Avatar and Classic Sonic again, who went separate ways. Also, the whereabouts of Infinite, Eggman, and the Phantom Ruby are unrevealed.
  • Series Continuity Error: Green Hill is one of Sonic's favorite places to hang out, but he doesn't remember it in Sonic Generations.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • Averted. Eggman takes over the world, thanks to the Phantom Ruby and the absence of Sonic himself. But despite one member of the Resistance being a bona fide time traveler, the heroes don't manage to stop Eggman's world conquest from ever happening. Instead, they have to restore the world the hard way, by rebuilding what was destroyed one step at a time.
    • Played subtly. In this game, Silver (as shown in the prequels) came back to stop the world from being brought to ruin. He actually succeeds without even realizing it by knocking the Phantom Ruby Prototype off of Infinite during their fight, which is ultimately what allows the heroes to stop Eggman's virtual sun plan. So without even him realizing it, Silver managed to do what he came back to do.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some of the customization options for the Avatar are references to other franchises. For example, the eyewear pieces include a Scouter and Kamina's shades. Of all things, even Doomguy's helmet is available to wear.
    • In the trailer for the Custom Hero, the grappling hook and the way they use it against the robots is very reminiscent of Spider-Man's web shooters. They even activate it in a similar manner to how Spidey does.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Orbot and Cubot return, but get very little lines and screen time, with one joke between the two. They pop up in only four cutscenes and aren't present during the final battle.
  • Sole Survivor: The Avatar, because Infinite wanted them to suffer, so he spared them.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: For a game about a war between Dr. Eggman and The Resistance, the soundtrack is very lighthearted and pop sounding. This doubles as Lyrical Dissonance as much of the lyrics fit the game's mood.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Phantom Ruby's power is regularly used by Eggman and Infinite to trounce the heroes, whether it be the core cast or the unnamed Resistance armies. Only by using a synthetic Phantom Ruby prototype are the heroes able to turn the tide.
  • Skewed Priorities: Infinite decides to, with Eggman's help, use the Phantom Ruby's power to become a borderline Omnicidal Reality Warper pretty much entirely because Shadow had the audacity to call him "weak" after defeating him...
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: In addition to some of Classic Sonic's bosses throwing rocks at him that he can bounce right back, Zavok fights Modern Sonic atop a large Buzz Bomber and sits too high for Sonic to reach. He'd remain untouchable if Zavok could resist the urge to directly sting Sonic with the Buzz Bomber, tipping the platform Sonic is standing on and providing Sonic the vertical momentum he needs to reach Zavok.
  • Tag Team:
    • During Avatar stages, you can have a rental Avatar accompany you, and you can switch between them and your Avatar with the press of a button.
    • Some stages have Sonic and the Avatar team up, using their respective strengths to get to the goal.
  • Take Over the World: Eggman managed to conquer most of it after Sonic is defeated by the villains and taken aboard to the Death Egg, leaving no opposition strong enough that is present or interested enough to stop Eggman.
  • Team Spirit: The Tag Team Stages features the Avatar working with Sonic on the field, allowing them to combine their abilities and perform new moves such as Double Boost.
  • Techno: In comparison to previous games, which focused largely on lighthearted and ambient music, Forces takes a hard U-turn stylistically and prominently features techno music in its levels, with added vocals for the Avatar.
  • Tentacled Terror: Both forms of the Death Egg Robot prominently feature robotic tentacles, giving them a very creepy look. Its final form has many more tentacles than the first for maximum cephalopod-esque creepiness.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The game's main theme, "Fist Bump", plays whenever Sonic and the Avatar perform a Double Boost in a Tag Team Stage.
  • This Cannot Be!: Eggman is shocked to see Sonic and the Avatar getting out of the Null Space.
    Eggman: What!? It can't be! It's impossible to get out of the Phantom Ruby's null space!
    Sonic: Maybe by myself, but I had a little help from my friend. Something you wouldn't understand, since you don't have any friends!
  • This Is a Drill: The Drill Wispon allows you to pierce through the enemies horizontally.
  • Three-Point Landing: Modern Sonic does one at the beginning of the announcement trailer.
  • Time-Limit Boss: If you take too long while battling Metal Sonic or Infinite for the final time, then he will escape and the player will be overtaken by a wave of red cubes.
  • Time Skip: The main plot takes place six months after Eggman's conquest of the planet.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: An interview has the developers saying such. All we know is that this "someone" is not going to be Tails. The two closest instances we see are Classic Sonic, who disappears upon returning to the dimension he came from, and Infinite, who meets his Uncertain Doom.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Classic Sonic's shown to have mastered the Sonic Boost in this game. It's never used in gameplay, but he breaks it out to contribute to the Triple Boost to finish Eggman's final mech.
    • On the other hand, Eggman's taken one as well, seeing as he's finally conquered the world and all. Also, having a way to instantly neutralize Infinite in case he decides to rebel is certainly an improvement, considering the many times Eggman has been betrayed by his powerful ally of the time in the past.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The launch trailer shows Shadow on the good side in the later events.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • Infinite is last seen being teleported away after his third boss fight. Tails tracks his Phantom Ruby underground, leading directly to Eggman's final mecha powered by it, with Infinite nowhere to be seen. Exactly what Eggman did to him isn't clear.
    • Eggman's last appearance in the story is in the cutscene right before the final boss fight, where he's shown piloting his Death Egg Robot, taunting the heroes. Unusually, he is completely silent during the actual boss fight, and inside the Death Egg Robot is another robot which is fought during the last phase of the fight, which later explodes upon defeat. It's unclear which robot Eggman was even piloting, or even where he went after the fight, as he makes no appearance. He appears in the next game no worse for the wear, but his lack of fanfare or presence during the final boss fight is quite abnormal for the normally bombastic Eggman.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Infinite does this constantly through the game, thinking himself so powerful that he can just easily brush aside anyone who goes against him. It costs him dearly, as he ends up letting the Avatar live during a previous attack, who would be instrumental in bringing him down. A prototype ruby he was holding ends up in the heroes' possession that foils Eggman's inital endgame, and he doesn't kill Sonic when he has the chance after their 2nd encounter, allowing him to get around his power and defeat him. Subverted with Eggman, however, despite Infinite mocking him for his previous defeats, as Eggman has long since learned from them. To wit, he has a backup generator for the Ruby when the Death Egg is destroyed, and even when the heroes destroy that, he has another emergency power source for a last-ditch attack on the Resistance, even through he has to overtax the Ruby's power to keep the edge. He also takes Infinite out of the picture when he's beaten, and could have effortlessly done so whenever he wanted to, largely to make sure he doesn't turn against him, as previous attempts to control a powerful source have never ended well.
  • Unexplained Recovery: E-123 Omega lies in an unconscious state with Tails lamenting that he's unable to fix Omega, then Omega wasn't seen until the final battle, where he is fine.
  • Unfinished Business: Classic Sonic's returned to the Modern world hot in pursuit of the Phantom Ruby, to finish what was started with it back in Mania. ...Trouble is, the Phantom Ruby emerged on the other side of the dimensional rift a good half-year before him, so it's already done its damage by the time he arrives.
  • Villains Never Lie: Eggman warns Tails and Classic Sonic that he will crush the Resistance in three days, and Tails relays this information to the rest of his group. Everyone takes this at face value and plans based on that timeframe, and indeed, Eggman makes his big move exactly three days from his warning, even though he had no reason to wait that long.
  • Villain Song: The new villain Infinite has his own, intimidating song, with the lyrics largely gloating about how powerful he is, and how he will destroy anyone who stands in his way.
  • Villain Team-Up: Shadow, Metal Sonic, Zavok, and Chaos have allied to do battle with the Sonics along with new villainous face Infinite. Actually subverted; they're illusory copies created by the Phantom Ruby.
  • Villain World: Seems to be the gist, given Eggman's massive reach in this reality and how there is a resistance trying to unseat his iron grip.
  • Violation of Common Sense: How can the Avatar even run at high-speed with scuba flippers when they're obviously one of the worst choices for moving on land???
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You can dress your Avatar in a variety of headgear, footwear, clothes, bodysuits, and gloves.
  • Visual Pun: The Egg Pawns are now sleeker, silver metal, and somewhat of a vertical oval shape, making their names Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: According to a Game Informer preview, Sonic's supporting cast keeps in touch with him and his classic counterpart via radio.
  • Voodoo Shark: The Phantom Ruby's alleged reality-warping properties in Mania turn out to be "realistic" illusions. This calls into question how it was able to transform the five EggRobos into the Hard-Boiled Heavies and how it was able to teleport the cast around the various Zones, assuming those instances were real to begin with. However, the stone also was able to transport Classic Sonic between dimensions and send Modern Sonic and the Avatar into the null void, so presumably it also has genuine dimension-warping capabilities. Eggman may have simply chosen to focus on the "virtual reality" aspect for his plan while neglecting its other capabilities.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: Players can choose a Wispon for their Avatar before starting a level, including:
    • Burst: Shoots a jet of flames forward and can be used to perform aerial jumps.
    • Lightning: Creates an electric whip and lets the user fly along a string of rings.
    • Cube: Turns enemies into cubes for easy destruction and creates footholds.
    • Asteroid: Locks onto multiple enemies for projectile attacks and grants temporary invincibility while attracting items.
    • Drill: Lunges forward and burrows through solid surfaces.
    • Hover: Blows enemies away with shockwaves and creates a balloon to float upwards.
    • Void: Destroys enemies with a black hole and teleports the user across vast distances.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Oddly enough there's no humans in this game save for Eggman. What characters we do see are all anthropomorphic animals. This is rather weird considering the story focuses on Eggman taking over the world and Team Dark still working together when they're suppose to be under the employ of GUN, a very human run organization, who likewise never get a mention.
    • What became of Infinite and Eggman after their final defeats is unknown, as well as the fate of the original Phantom Ruby.
  • White and Red and Eerie All Over:
    • The iconic Egg Pawns are redesigned to be much more menacing this time around, featuring simple white bodies with glowing red eyes or visors. While their previous incarnations were more akin to Adorable Evil Minions, here they are portrayed as unfeeling, militaristic automatons with no comedic traits whatsoever.
    • While Infinite himself does not count for this trope (he has some white fur, but his color scheme is predominantly black, red, and gray), the second boss battle against him qualifies. It takes place in a pristine white steel area, which contrasts with his red energy attacks.
    • The Death Egg Robot's final form is white with red claws and joints. It's very unnerving partially because it has robotic tentacles, and also because Eggman uses the mystical Phantom Ruby to its full extent while piloting the robot, creating an eerie, dark battlefield for the robot to stand out against.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Infinite's trailer contains a scene of him wiping the floor with Sonic.
    • Chaos Zero also goes down in a quick spin attack from Classic Sonic when it attacks Tails, while the other Infinite illusions require full boss battles - besides the Shadow illusion, who may also suffer from the effect in this case too.
  • World of Funny Animals: Forces is the first main series game (that is, not counting the Sonic Boom subseries) to show nameless anthropomorphic animals outside of the core cast. This reverses a certain convention regarding Sonic's world: while previous games such as Adventure and Unleashed established a general populace of humans with the core cast of anthros inexplicably living among them, Forces establishes a general populace of anthros, with Eggman inexplicably living among them.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Given that Sonic is allowed to speak in boss battles this time around, it's inevitable that he'll throw the Boss Banter back at them in every fight he's involved in.
  • You Have Failed Me: While not said, after being defeated by Sonic and the Avatar, Infinite is teleported away against his will. Tails tracks his Phantom Ruby underground... leading directly to Eggman's final mecha powered by the Phantom Ruby, with Infinite nowhere to be seen, implying that Eggman disposed of him for his failures.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Revealed to be the actual power of the Phantom Ruby: it creates illusions that feel real to the victim's brain, causing injuries taken in the illusion to occur to the victim in reality.


The comic tie-in contains the following tropes:

  • The Cameo: Sally and Bunnie appears in a picture next to Knuckles in Rouge's office in Issue Three: Looming Shadow.
  • Deal with the Devil: Issue Four: Rise of Infinite reveals exactly who Infinite once was: he was the leader of a band of thieves before Eggman offered him and his band the chance to work for him.
  • Doomed by Canon: Given Omega's state in the main game, Shadow fails to help Omega and changes sidesnote .
  • Face–Heel Turn: Issue Two: Stress Test details how Chaos initially got roped into all this — no thanks to Eggman using the Phantom Ruby to provoke him into a fit of rage. But before anything else can be revealed, he's instantly teleported away.note 
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The rookie in Issue One: Moment of Truth laments this, but keeps flubbing up helping the Chaotix when Eggman's forces come to invade the town. He is able to gain their praise after shooting down the lead ship when they're too preoccupied to do so, causing Eggman to retreat.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In Issue Three: Looming Shadow, Team Dark was supposed to use stealth to infiltrate Eggman’s base, but Omega decides to abandon that strategy and goes in head-first and guns-blazing, much to Rouge's annoyance.
  • Mythology Gag: In Issue Four: Rise of Infinite, among the names that Cubot suggests for the Phantom Ruby are the "Anarchy Beryl", which Orbot says is "too derivative", and the "Precious Stone", which Orbot says is "[from the] wrong game".
  • Prequel: All four issues are set before the events of the main game.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Silver arrives to warn Knuckles that something has changed in the past during Issue Two: Stress Test, something that "brings the world to ruin".
  • Wham Episode: In Issue Two: Stress Test, Silver arrives back in time to warn Knuckles that something is going wrong in the past, just as Angel Island suddenly shifts around them into Pachacamac Village from the past (complete with the echidna tribe). What's more, Chaos suddenly emerges and attacks Knuckles and Silver, but they manage to fight him off. Chaos suddenly vanishes along with the village, much to Knuckles' confusion, and the two set out to find out what's going on. Neither of them are aware that Eggman has been watching everything from above and is holding the Phantom Ruby, having just tested out its power and gloating that he won't even need the Master Emerald anymore now that he has control over it.
  • The Worf Effect: Issue Three: Looming Shadow contains a scene of Infinite wiping the floor with Omega.

    Episode Shadow 

The DLC prequel contains the following examples:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: This episode focuses on Shadow, in which the player controls him through three stages in a story mode set before the main plot, as well as having him playable in Modern Sonic's stages.
  • Arc Words: I am not weak.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: For Infinite, Shadow's beatdown of him and Breaking Speech shaped much of his life and turned him into what he is now. For Shadow, it was just another mission and another raid on an Eggman facility. Predictably when Infinite confronts him to take revenge, Shadow doesn't even remember him.
  • Continuity Nod: The music for all of Shadow's stages and the level select screen are remixes of music from Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • Continuity Snarl: The first level tells the events of Omega's capture and defeat by Infinite during a recon mission, which is told in the third issue of Moment of Truth. However, Shadow is seen through the city stage as Omega is being defeated, while in the comic he is already in the desert heading to the base.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Way to go, Shadow. By beating the crud out of Infinite and not finishing him off, you drove him to serve as a guinea pig in Eggman's experiments with the Phantom Ruby, becoming a Master of Illusion capable of wiping the floor with Sonic the Hedgehog himself (and entire armies to boot!)
  • A Day in the Limelight: Shadow is playable through free DLC, marking this the first time he's been made playable in a main series game since Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)note .
  • Downloadable Content: This DLC focuses on Shadow and adds new levels to the game, as well as the option to play as Shadow in Modern Sonic stages in the main game.
  • Mind Screw: Almost everything that happens in Level 3, a Shadow travels through an aumented reality version of Green Hill Zone casted by Infinite.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Shadow taking out Infinite's entire squad and calling him "worthless" made Infinite vow to become stronger, setting up the entire game.
  • Origins Episode: This episode not only focuses on Shadow, but Infinite as well.
  • Prequel: This is set before the events of the main game, as well as the comics.
  • Promoted to Playable: Shadow the Hedgehog, the first time in a main series game since Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) where he's a playable character.
  • Slide Level: The Jungle Level is a series of water flumes you have to use to infiltrate Eggman's fortress. Mines share the waterways with you and need to be avoided, plus choosing the wrong routes can cause Shadow to miss collectibles, and you are quite capable of jumping the sides which can either shorten your route or kill you, depending on your aim.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: As it turns out Infinite's drive to serve as the vessel for the Phantom Ruby was to get back at Shadow for physically and verbally demolishing him and his squad. This whole mission is essentially Shadow (who doesn't even remember that day) trying to fight off one Mind Screw of a revenge ambush.

All alone, we will never be
The two of us, are holding the key
We see today, a world we couldn't see
Before I say goodbye to you
One more last fist bump...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Project Sonic 2017


Avatar Creator

In Sonic Forces, players are allowed to create their very own custom animal character, allowing a variety of options such as gender, species, head shape, body color, skin color, eye shape and color, voice clips and victory poses.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / CharacterCustomization

Media sources: