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What Could Have Been Different: The Classic Era

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Hello everybody! So we here at Free Scribes have a brand new series of Forum Topics, you can thank The Red Stranger for that (with some help from yours truly XP)

Welcome to What Could Have Been Different, think of this as a flip side of WWYDD, where we ask what would have been different if certain things went a another way, think of this as a What If Topic of sorts. We each ask a question proposing an alternate possibility and then we each answer how we think it would have played out, then after that we ask another question and go on from there. So sit back and enjoy as we see what happens when the characters and worlds we know take a different turn, and try to answer what the end results would be.

So for the first question, What if Shadow stayed dead after Sonic Adventure 2?

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18 hours ago, Mike Arcade said:

Hello everybody! So we here at Free Scribes have a brand new series of Forum Topics, you can thank The Red Stranger for that (with some help from yours truly XP)

Welcome to What Could Have Been Different, think of this as a flip side of WWYDD, where we ask what would have been different if certain things went a another way, think of this as a What If Topic of sorts. We each ask a question proposing an alternate possibility and then we each answer how we think it would have played out, then after that we ask another question and go on from there. So sit back and enjoy as we see what happens when the characters and worlds we know take a different turn, and try to answer what the end results would be.

So for the first question, What if Shadow stayed dead after Sonic Adventure 2?


best case scenario: sonic heroes has less characters to juggle, shadow the hedgehog never happens, and sonic 06 doesnt have to shoehorn shadows plot for the sake of edge and focuses on better writing.

(i'll wait a week or so before I ask my own question, got a few ideas of my own honestly and wanna see what other people think of them.)

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It would probably be in full 3d.  The Saturn was Sega's first attempt to use 3d, so if Sega was going after Sonic's Rush gameplay, than they probably would have just used it in 3d instead of incorporating 2d elements in the game.  I haven't played the games, so I am not sure if this would ruin the games or make them better.

As for Mike's question, if Shadow did die in Sonic Adventure 2, I doubt we would have the storyline of the next three games (which are often seen as mediocore/poor quality games).  We also would probably have less division in the Sonic community as there would be less Shadow fans trying to look down on the classic Sonic fans.  Shadow has been a pretty controversial character: most people that adore him hate Sonic and the rest of his gaming history while those who are loyal to the older Sonic titles tend to hate Shadow.  I like Shadow, but like Knuckles, he needs to be able to fit into the storyline of the game: Shadow's inclusion stressed more of an earthlike Mobius, and played more focus on human characters instead of Mobians.  I find this a con, but many would see this as a pro.  Also, Shadow's death would have been more appropiate to his mysterious past and the storyline of Sonic Adventure 2: bringing him back to be cloned?  Ouch.  If you are going to bring back Shadow, try doing a better attempt at it rather than amnesia (a very overused trope).  Also, I think we would probably see less of Knuckles being a jock jerk and more of his mysterious rival/guardian if Shadow didn't come back: Shadow pretty much took Knuckles' previous position as the mysterious rival.

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35 minutes ago, TheRedAuthar said:
20 hours ago, F07E said:

well its pretty much been a week, so I gots me a question to ask: what if the sonic rush duology was released for the sega saturn?

I don't understand the question.

basically imagine if you will that both sonic rush and subsequently sonic rush adventure were released as they were on the saturn as launch titles for that particular generation of consoles (minus 1 or 2 aspects of the obvius peripheral gimmicks) instead of the nintendo DS many years later, what would theoretically be the outcome on the series following their release and how would it impact the sonic franchise of today.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/11/2016 at 0:22 AM, TheRedAuthar said:

Ah.  In that case:

Character-wise - Blaze and Marine would have probably become more iconic and use like Shadow and Rouge.  Blaze would have also likely replaced Big in Heroes on team Rose as she'd be available at that time.  Cream would also have joined the cast earlier so she probably would have become a series staple, putting herself into the comics earlier as well as likely having a Boom equivalent.  

Gameplay - If these happened before Adventure, they'd likely have taken a larger role in defining 3D sonic titles.   We'd probably get more games that are sidescrolling adventures but with 3D visuals (so 2.5D or the like).  

Quality - It's Sega.  They'd like likely still butcher it somehow.

*Straightens his tie.*

As for sales.... This all depends on when they decided to release the material. If that bumbling ethnocentrist Nakayama pulled a Kalinski and stuck to SoA's razor-and-blades model of sales then this could have changed the history of the Saturn, and even could  have redeemed SEGA's chances in the console market. If they made these games early in its sales life you would see the 50%+ market share they won in 1994 transition more smoothly from the Genesis to the new console. Sega fans wanted cutting edge Sonic games for the expensive new Saturn and the 32x, they got a Knuckles Chatoix  and Sonic R...  Later however, no matter how good the games were, it would be too late. SEGA's hardware fetish was a pain on developers, and they just refused to enable them anymore by the mid-life on the Saturn and even into the time of the Dreamcast. Developers work hard and take time to program and design software and SEGA had been cheating them one to many times by shoveling out new consoles/console add-ons like the CD and the 32x while the Super Nintendo was still pumping out A-list games and holding back on such peripherals such as their Nintendo-playstation and then the Nintendo 64 DD  (which was probably not a wise long-term move, especially with siding with Philips).  Third party developers were jumping ship and software sales, which is the ultimate console killer. Consoles subsidize hardware by making money off software sales directly from in house games and licensing; both of these profit margins were seriously lacking for not just the Saturn, but the Megadrive, and the CD somewhat less before it. The potential of the hardware was never truly realized for any Sega console honestly other than the Genesis and Megadrive and developers had long seen the trend and were tired of it by 32x.  If done early, and only early these two games would cull the market share and garner the attention of third-party developers once more, which was the attempted heel-face-turn Sega tried during the Dreamcast era with Mark Cerni yet was too late thanks again to Nakayama just being a horrible man of both ethnics and business.  What would help even more would be if the 3D games actually came to fruition as well. Perhaps a 2.5d approach would have made for a better transition, brought in their recently claimed market share, summoned software developers, and perhaps saved SEGA from its downward turn. All it takes is a few good exclusives  to make a console sell well, look at Metal Gear 4 for the once struggling PlayStation 3 for example. If designed well and bundled like Sonic One, Rush could have been the Saturn's Metal Gear 4.

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Not to mention that Sega Saturn came out the very day it was announced in the US, which really hurt devs who had no idea it was coming nor was given time to port and make games for it's launch, which further hurt it. I mean at least the Dreamcast was more accessible to developers, could have saved their hardware market.

On 12/9/2016 at 11:44 PM, F07E said:

What if the sonic rush duology was released for the sega saturn?

That's a really interesting question, I mean both console and business wise as Stranger pointed out that could have changed everything for SEGA in general, story wise however it would equally change up everything in Sonic as well Lore wise. Think of it like this, Rush and Rush Adventure under this question would be Classic Era games, therefore a number of changes within the games themselves would be different to what we got for the DS games.

For one you wouldn't have Cream and her mother in the game, as she wasn't made for this game in mind but rather Heroes and then as a promo for it Advance 2. But Blaze's story does require to have a friend to keep her company and help develop her, and there's only one character that you wouldn't expect show up being her friend, Amy Rose. You see Blaze having a friend in the first place when she shows up is essential to her character arc in Rush 1, hence Cream not just being there for nothing, but since she doesn't exist and being around the same age as Amy in the Classic Era she would logically fill in that role rather then introducing another new character. That change alone sets in stone a new course for the series, you don't have Amy being suspicious of Blaze trying to steal "Her Sonic" like in the original.

Now then there's the aspect of Eggman Nega, would he still exist? I mean possibly, you could still have the plot with or without him either way, though with the Wastern Name Changing of the Classic Era he could have been named Neganik for all we know. XP

There is an aspect of game play, that being if it would have Boosting or not but either way it could work. Story wise however would Blaze be from Another World like she was in the original is all up for debate as well, but having the Sol Emeralds or Sol Stones possibly in this case would most likely happen. With all those key aspects covered the game could have played similar to how we remember it. Rush Adventure overall taking into account all that's been said would work just fine, you could even have Marine in it without there being any problems. Again though if Blaze has her own World can be up for debate and would still work if she's from Another World or just further away from other locals seen in previous games, though with Fang/Nack being from Another Dimension, the Special Stages/Special Zone according to the SoJ Manuel for Sonic Triple Trouble it could further explore that aspect of what lore Sega Sonic has. I'm going with that as the basis for this WCHBD question, as that also gives major changes to the series.

So, with all that in mind let's peek into what would have happened with the series as a whole after the Classic Era with all this in mind. With Blaze in the Classic Era there is no doubt in my mind that she would have played a part in SA1, possibly looking for information regarding her Sol Stones or some such reason, perhaps her race or whatever kingdom she's a princess to was what the echidna's were fighting perhaps? ;)
You know raise some questions to the lore and play a part in the story, maybe Eggman did something and she's trying to get back at him, could be a number of things.

I'm not sure if she would play a role in Adventure 2 or if SA2 would be the same as it once was but if it's similar to what we remember I doubt she'd play a role other then an Extra Character for the Multiplayer. In Heroes however I think she would have been a part of Team Dark, rather then Shadow, perhaps their ending would hint at a possible revival for Shadow for a new game? Who knows, at least it would be better paced then the game we got. Perhaps rather then a Shadow game we'd get a solo Blaze game instead, I mean I'd like that, and then we can follow it up to Sonic 06 which I think would be a completely different beast all together. One that could possibly give out some answers regarding The Special Zone/Another World and the Emeralds/Stones, a revived Shadow maybe, some resolutions, new threats, romance even? I mean having Amy be Blaze's good friend would cause some conflicts regarding her own hero crush on Sonic, that's not even getting into further character reactions and development, personally with Blaze in the series I think it could possibly make a Sega Sonic Series that can build up a more story driven narrative as Blaze's concepts leave that possibility open.

Afterwards it's all up for debate on how the series would go, but I think if we take this lore wise in mind along with Stranger's idea on how things would have turned out we'd have a much stronger, better Sonic and SEGA overall. That's the power of Blaze the Cat! xD

I'll make another post soon here regarding my thoughts on Shadow Staying Dead and how that would go game wise and lore wise. Followed by a new question, so stay tuned.

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7 hours ago, Wulfsbane said:

Given the time to fully develop (this including Yuji Naka staying and not splitting the team in half), would Sonic '06 be received better or would the plot issues still weigh the game down? Also, how much does the game change if Elise was replaced by Sally?

That's a really good question, the game play could have been a lot more better, optimally I'd say it would run like a slightly stiffer SA2 at least. That's depending on even if the game play was finalized. We would have had extras like how those Gems that give Sonic Extra Powers would work properly, and we might have gotten a playable Super Sonic and an extra character with Metal Sonic as well, which the game files allude to. Overall, if the game was completed as intended which could have been a mix between Adventure with mild elements of Unleashed I'd say the game would have a mixed reception overall. I say that because of not only of the budding bias of the series with journalist but also due to the story in of itself, which is a mess no matter how you frame it. Even if the game play was pretty good the VA and script would still be horrible, you'd have to literally rework the entire plot of the game and the game itself in order for it to be a good to great game. If untouched it would still weigh the game down, the game is about Sonic's offhanded romance with a human princess while everyone else is trying to deal with the real threats. Granted Eggman is no slouch but still, it's just crazy that SEGA let this story pass so easily without any revision.

Now when it comes to Sally replacing Elise, that all depends on what kind of Sally we get. Will she be just like Elise personality wise, or be similar to the one we know of in SatAM, either way we'd be dealing with a Sally we're not familiar with. I mean being a fellow Mobian DOES help, I do feel that it could be written a lot better with her in mind. If anything this could have been the introduction to her and the Freedom Fighters as characters dealing with Eggman attacking all the while Sally trying to keep at bay Iblis within her. It would be like a light adaption of SatAM in some regards, though with not as much weight that it had compared to the original. I'm not saying that this would be bad, but it seems like a SEGA thing for them to do, at least then it could be a movement to the right direction in that case. However I do want to stress that Blaze SHOULDN'T be in Sonic 06, she was already established in Rush and it didn't make sense to have her in there, Elise or Sally either way it makes no sense. Unless there's some crazy decedent plot twist, but that would be a bit too crazy. 

Though If I may say, the only way it would make sense to have Blaze in Sonic 06 would be if she replaced Eilse or Sally, which actually would be a better fit then even Sally maybe as at least Blaze is called a Princess in the Rush Manual I believe and has established Fire Powers. Overall Elise would need to be replaced or redesigned as a Mobian of sorts and then the script itself would have to be rewritten to fit a lot better, the game just needed a major Revision before it was developed.

On 12/3/2016 at 1:54 AM, Mike Arcade said:

What if Shadow stayed dead after Sonic Adventure 2?

The world would have been a better place. XP
All joking aside let's roll, I did say that I'd answer my own question here, so how would Sega Sonic go with Shadow staying dead? 

I asked this question because other characters like Tikal and Gamma have never returned despite being almost as popular when they came out for SA1, yet as much as I would have liked to see more Tikal and Gamma it wouldn't make sense as their story arcs much like Shadow was overall complete from their game debut. Now I had a feeling that he would come back one day, that day however came much sooner then I thought and much more anti-climatic. Heroes was overall cluttered as it not only brought back The Chaotix and Big, had Cream in a mainline game, gave Omega his first debut, but ALSO bring Shadow back. Bringing in Older Characters is purely fine, but Shadow himself had such a big finale that you'd think his revival would take up a whole game.Despite Iizuka wanting Shadow back, here's how the series could have been different had Shadow never came back.

Shadow died in SA2, but that doesn't mean Sonic Heroes wouldn't have happened, maybe it would be a bit more different but that's rather unclear. I do think it's funny that Red pointed out Mighty being a part of Team Dark as I thought the same thing, however the 3rd member of Team Dark could have been anyone really, Mighty, Fang, and even Metal Sonic could have been a good fit. Yes I know I said Metal Sonic, it could have kept people guessing on what would happen or this Heroes is much more different then we think it is. I would have liked to see what either Mighty or Fang could have brought in in the Adventure/Modern Era, while I don't think Mighty would be a replacement for Shadow I do think that he'd be trying to look for Ray in his part of the story. Maybe This Heroes would have come out a year later then the original perhaps? Either way I think it would be so that each team's gameplay would be much more diverse then what we got or even follow up on SA2's gameplay. That doesn't mean Team Dark's ending couldn't have been the same though with all those tubes with Shadow Clones because I do like that idea of Eggman trying to make a clone army of him, I mean THAT in of itself is a crazy plot line that should have been explored more then what we got with the Shadow Androids in ShTH.

That being said, what would follow up after This Heroes minus a Shadow? For one since This Heroes came out in let's say late 2003/early 2004 we wouldn't have a Shadow Game since we are sticking to Shadow as dead as Tikal and Gamma (No, Chaos Gamma doesn't count), maybe Shadow is an extra playable character in Battle Perhaps but not in the story mode, give the fans a false sense of hope. ;)
Maybe due to Shadow staying dead the Advance games and Rush would have been slightly different, can't be too sure on that. Either way it all accumulates to a more developed next gen game that both SEGA and Sonic Team had more time to do due to not wasting their time on a Shadow Game, with Rush and maybe another portable game there would be no need to split development for a Wii game, Secret Rings might not have ever happened. Instead they put all their focus on resolving plot lines from This Heroes in Sonic 06, or as what this game would be known as Sonic Adventure 3.

Yes I just went there, a game that could have a similar plotline to the 06 we know but with major changes on how the gameplay and script is. For one I think we'd have Character Stories set up in pairs, so you'd a Sonic & Tails story rather then just Sonic for example and would have much more streamlined game play similar to Adventure and Heroes. You'd have levels where you can play and switch off as both characters, or levels playing as one character separate from the other with the choice on what character you want to stick with throughout the game and story. You'd have the Story mode going through different duos that would each have their own reason for being in Soleanna, such as stopping Eggman, finding the Master Emerald, on a GUN Mission, Detective Work, Bounty or Treasure Hunting, and of course Time Travelling. For one Eggman would be using Shadow Clones, which would really mess with Sonic and everyone's heads, if Mephilis is in this then that would further bring along conflict. If Blaze is how we know her from Rush on the DS then she wouldn't appear, however as the theme of companionship is apart of this game Silver would have a companion. This other new character I like to think of is either a character created somehow much like Project Shadow by GUN/Eggman/Unknown Party or is a failed clone of Shadow that looks nothing like him and could be almost anything.

I say this because when it comes to a character like Omega, he builds off of a legacy of sorts with Gamma, being his successor. I think the same should have been done with Shadow not being like him in every way but having similar origins, but continuing his legacy and mystery that further builds on the lore of the series as a whole. Not only that but it can give Silver someone to interact with generally all throughout the game giving him an anchor to reality. The end result of This SA3 can be quite open ended, anything could have happened in this possible game and where it would go from there with a number of different themes that can point the series in a much better and focused direction, if we combine that with Wulfsbane proposal of having Sally replacing Elise then I'd say the series could be a lot better off. Such a game would be a juggling act but with more focused game play, a better script, and more time it could have been great. But Sega Sonic would be completely unrecognizable then what we ended up with and possibly for the better.

On a side note because I haven't mentioned them, that's not to say The Black Arms would have not made an appearance, in fact for This SA3 or perhaps the game after that they could have been the main antagonists.

UPDATE: "The Great and Mighty" Red Stranger in a skype call did debunk the whole "Shadow Clone" thing due to Eggman's own ideology regarding Eggman's affinity for machines, see this why we need think deeper regarding this series folks! Now that's not to say Eggman at somepoint found Shadow's Corpse and used some of it to make Shadow Cyborgs rather then Androids as he has used animals to power machines ala Badniks. I mean his corpse has to have some residual power after all. Though that does debunk Silver's Partner being a Failed Clone of Shadow, though from either GUN or and Unknown Party that could be possible.

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  • 10 months later...

Since the last post here was rather successful I figured I'd bring this topic back with a rather interesting thought, now considering the revival of sorts involving Classic Sonic with Sonic Mania and appearing in Sonic Forces I must wonder...

How do you think a Sonic Adventure 3 would fair today?

I ask this because some fans now more than ever would like a new entry, if this question is too broad then I'll ask another one.

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12 hours ago, Mike Arcade said:

How do you think a Sonic Adventure 3 would fair today?

Good question, glad you asked it.


  1. The story would likely focus on aspects of Sonic Adventure 2 in the same way SA2 focused on SA1's story; it's its own thing, but in some way, it connects to previous plot points (Chaos and the Master Emerald, for example).
  2. I'd set the story somewhere between where 06 was supposed to be and Unleashed; Unleashed's opening does at least hint that a massive adventure happened before the opening happens. It would also explain where the others may be (either resting or recovering from injury) and why Sonic just has the Chaos Emeralds on him from the start.
  3. To that end, perhaps Eggman would not be the main villain. He'd still be a massive part, but the role of Big Bad would be moved onto someone else. Perhaps not a new villain, to avoid creating just another Character of the Day. I kind of want to say Infinite when he still had his squad, maybe to better flesh him out and set up his motives to work with Eggman and kick Sonic around like a rag doll. But that probably shouldn't be so, because I feel like it'd just end up creating a massive plot hole. That way, Eggman would still be a threat, but still capable of kicking off the events of Sonic Unleashed - perhaps using the events of this game as a gambit to lure Sonic into his trap.
  4. And since it takes place so quickly after 06's retcon, perhaps there could be a subplot that the villain at hand could be causing fragments of the old timeline to end up in the new, second-reboot timeline (like how Crisis City ends up in Sonic Generations - perhaps this story could set that up).
  5. The story structure would be like Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic 06; a story mode for Team Sonic, one for another team (either Dark or Silver and Friends) and then a Final Story tying it up together.


  1. For Protagonists, we would have the classic three; Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, all playable with different but similar playstyles. Perhaps other characters could be playable for certain side-missions or one-off stages (like playing as Amy in a mission where she has to rescue Sonic from captivity, or something).
  2. Supporting cast would most likely be Team Dark and Team Rose - the former having more prominence than the latter. Silver may also be a part of it, but I'm not sure about that one.
  3. Antagonists would include Eggman and Orbot (or SA-55, classified as a prototype here) and maybe a prototype version of Cubot as well. As said above, another Big Bad would usurp Eggman and give Sonic the most trouble.
  4. As for new characters, it's hard to tell. It would be hard to insert new characters into the Unleashed timeframe, where the world is still mostly based on Earth. A new human character would tick everyone off and a new Mobian character would look a bit out of place. It would be a good place to reuse the Avatar system, but that would create a pothole - Forces makes it clear that it was the first time that a random guy joined the Sonic team.


  1. Gameplay would be a mix of Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Forces - similar 2D-to-3D gameplay as the Boost games, but with a few crucial differences between them to change it up just enough. The characters are as follows;
    1. RUNNER - Sonic: Straightforward running through the stage. Probably wouldn't be Boost as Forces proves that Sonic Team isn't quite that good at it after all. A return to Sonic Adventure style gameplay, but on the same 3D and 2D planes as the Boost games to streamline and simplify the gameplay. Upgrades would include a firey spin dash (to replace the Somersault from SA2), an upgraded Homing Attack, Light Ring Dash, maybe even Super Mode.
    2. GUNNER- Tails: A massively streamlined version of Gamma's gameplay, but without the time limit. Rather than being in a big mech, the player would be in a sort of exo-suit that allows them to move more freely and fluidly while still having access to the multi-hit launcher of previous games. Upgrades would include upgrading the single-shot Vulcan Cannon to a machine gun, shields, booster rockets and more.
    3. FIGHTER - Knuckles: REMOVE THE EMERALD HUNTING GAMEPLAY. That is and forever will be a pain in the backside. Instead, make them closer to the Werehog gameplay - move along the stage, beating up enemies (though in this case not every fight is mandatory), with certain Mini Boss enemies holding the Emerald Shards (or whatever will replace them). Perhaps outsource the gameplay to Platinum Games and make the stages dynamic and setpiece-driven - much like Forces' stages. Upgrades would include Shovel Claws, more moves to use, perhaps Health and Damage boosts, as well as maybe a projectile weapon.
    4. SHOOTER - ???: A First Person Shooter, albeit a rather basic one that takes inspiration from the older FPS gameplay - the player has a selection of weapons (Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle and so on) with unlimited ammo but the need to reload. These stages would not adhere to the time-based scoring and grading system and would be slower experiences, mainly to serve the story at the proper times.
  2. In a mix from the norm (And yet closer to Sonic 3&K), each level can be played with any playstyle - not only will certain paths through the level adhere to what character you're playing as, but certain parts of the stage can only be accessed by other characters with specific upgrades - a small amount of Metroidvania style gameplay in order to increase replayability and better place hidden items like Red Star Rings. However, the stage would need to be completed with the proper character first, mainly for story reasons.
  3. Bosses, however, WILL be character-specific unless other characters fight the same boss for story purposes. Rival Battles will likely be reserved for Runner characters only, while the other gameplay types will have more bosses in return.
  4. No Special Stages, the Emeralds will be collected as the story continues. Each one gives a certain item to the player, be it new moves or upgrades for each character playstyle, or perhaps opening certain bonus stages. Red Star Rings, rather than automatically unlocking content, can be used to buy either extra content or upgrades for characters - extra stages will be attained on the number of S-Ranks the player can attain.

That is just about all I have right now. It's all off the top of my head, so a lot of its missing details, but I think I still came up with something good. But please, prove me wrong in the replies below. Thank you. :)

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  • 1 month later...

So, this topic needs to get on track here and since this is about the Classic Era of Sonic games from before Sonic Adventure 1 I think I have a really interesting question for you guys here. You see Sonic 2 in one of it's original concepts was originally suppose to have Time Travel as seen in this Gallery here.


Where last year during an expo Yazuhara used some examples of the very early development of Sonic 2 regarding his discussion. What's known is that there was going to be a Time Machine in Sonic 2 that lead you throughout various points in the game to different time periods, which sounds like a stark contrast to how Sonic CD handled Time Travel. With that said no matter how it would have been handled it brings me to this question.

What if Sonic 2 was made with a Time Travel plot as first conceptualized and how would that have changed the series from then on? 

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  • 2 months later...

Okay once more it appears that my previous question on here was far too broad, but with the release of Sonic Mania Plus and the comeback of a certain, formerly missing duo my brain wrapped around a pair of questions involving them.

What if Mighty and Ray either stuck with the series throughout the present day or replaced Tails and Knuckles as main characters?

The first part of the question is rather obvious, the latter however is more along the lines of them becoming major character with Tails and Knuckles not getting as much spotlight minus they're debut games, or none at all if you want to go about it as that. Been meaning to ask this for awhile so I hope you guys can get something out of this interesting thought. :)

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