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Sonic Forces: a mixed-reviewed game that spun off the heels of Mania's smash-hit success. Love the gameplay, hate the gameplay, no matter what there is always room for improvement and the there is always something interesting that could be tweaked or changed. That said, there is one thing I'm sure we can agree on; the story was weak. *sounds of Infinite screaming are heard in the background* Well okay, the story had a few interesting ideas. But they're just...not used. At least, not used well enough. It makes you wonder...What Would You Do Differently? =====-----===== Okay! So, let's get this started with this question; "How Would You Handle the Returning Villain Characters?" Here's my answer to start it off. Well, first of all, they wouldn't be illusions from the OG villain used for nothing but to hype up the game, they'd actually be there. HOWEVER, they'd not necessarily be the villains from this timeline. I'd rather take a page from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon; in those games, a number of past Team Bosses return but they're not the ones from the previous games. Rather, they're from alternate timelines where they've already won, so the energies of their worlds can be used for Team Rainbow Rocket's own goals. Same sort of thing here; imagine if the Phantom Ruby did as Stealth and co actually set it up to do in Mania (that is, alter and add to reality) rather than the weaksauce McGuffin it became in Forces. So in this case, it'd have the power to pull alternates from timelines where they have already championed over Sonic. This would alter them juuuuuust enough to change the dynamic between them. Here's my suggestion for them separately; Metal Sonic: The obvious thing here would be, "Sonic dies at Stardust Speedway" but nah, too obvious. Again, it's the character winning, not Eggman. Instead, this Metal diverges during the climax of Heroes, where he manages to defeat every member of Team Sonic, then the rest of the teams too and even killing Eggman. Of course, now that everyone's wiped out and even his creator is gone, he doesn't actually know what to do anymore. He's now the real Sonic...in fact he's the only Sonic now, but that's all he ever bothered to plan for. Without a purpose, he sort of mills around looking for something else to do, until Infinite approaches him and proposes something; take down Sonic and serve Eggman all over again. Locked in his Neo form, Metal could take the form of anyone he wanted, which would serve Eggman well for sending moles into the Resistance. He likes Shadow, hates Zavok and gets along well with Chaos. Shadow: Ahh now this one IS a bit more obvious; he sides with Black Doom, lets Sonic and Co get eaten, then he kills Black Doom and leads the Black Arms himself. This is basically the setup to my own Travellerverse, but there's no Traveller and thus no-one to really take his new troops on. Result? A heavily mutated Shadow, leading troops he can't use, left ruling a world that's slowly dying from the Black Arm's influence. So when his troops find a portal in the middle of the city, he's straight down there and through it. He comes across Infinite and Neo Metal, and is asked if he wants to spread his influence to this new world too (under Eggman's rule, of course). He obliges. He is closer to what Shadow used to be before Sonic X made him the "EDGETM" archetype he's now known for; cocky, confident and more of a foil to Sonic - and the only one of the four able to match Sonic in pure speed. Likes Metal, hates Chaos and gets along with Zavok. Chaos: Well he wouldn't get taken out in a cutscene by Fanservice Sonic for one. Anyway, Chaos is a bit more...simple. Eggman makes him go Perfect Chaos, Perfect Chaos kills EVERYONE. End of the World. Gone. The sheer power used to do so reverts him to his 0 form, and breaks what remains of his mind in the process - he killed all the Chao, so...oops. He failed at avenging them so poorly he wiped them all out. And with even Tikal gone AWOL, he has nothing to keep him stable, and both his mental state and his body's powers deteriorate. By the time Infinite finds him, he's little more than a puddle. Eggman decides to revive him in a remote-controlled robotic suit (remote-controlled so he won't backstab Eggman) to serve as his muscle in this little team while using the negative energy of this universe to further power the Phantom Ruby. Chaos would be the most unstable, capable of very basic speech and is so far gone he doesn't even recognise Sonic anymore - but he knows for sure he wants to pound him into the dust. Likes Zavok, hates Shadow and gets along with Metal. Zavok: Bad Ending to Sonic Lost World. Again. This time Zavok decided to actually stay and watch Tails' not-roboticization (how on earth do you even spell that) so he knows for sure he is under his control. He sics him on Sonic and this time, Tails does manage to severely damage him. Blasting his legs off, Tailsbot drags Sonic to Zavok's feet and Zavok responds by putting Sonic in the best position to watch his world - and his friends - die slowly. Demoralised, Sonic does nothing as Zavok absorbs the last of the energy from his world and lets the remains just crumble. Zavok proceeds to use the energies to create a sort of successor to the Lost Hex, where Zeti can flourish and begin to plan how to conquer planets on an...intergalactic scale. So naturally, he jumps at the chance to get even more power from Infinite and Eggman and joins their crew without a second thought. Crass and sadistic, Zavok takes great pleasure from torturing Sonic in the six months Eggman has free reign of the world, though fascinated more than anything at Sonic's refusal to break despite the things he does to him. He knows full-well that Eggman plans to betray them at the most convenient time...and he's ready to backstab him in turn. Likes Chaos, hates Metal and gets along with Shadow. Well...that got rather dark. H-How would you try it?