Comics, Humor

How Fleetway Played The Games, Part 2: Of Time Stones and Shrink Lasers

So we’re back with Sonic the Comic and it’s time for part 2 – Sonic CD!

So we’re back with Sonic the Comic and it’s time for part 2 – Sonic CD!

StC’s second game adaptation, the story spans 3 issues – well, technically five. Seeing as the first two issues of this 5-parter are just introducing the character of Amy to the audience via an unrelated storyline involving a robot pirate (don’t ask), we aren’t bothering with them and instead jump straight in to part 3 – with Sonic & Tails enjoying some downtime and playing…. a Mario title?

Oh, my bad, a MARXIO title. On what appears to be a Mega Drive II, no less. 3 electricians going up against some kind of deformed Bullet Bill? Just what was Sega licensing in this dimension? No time for 90s-era cheap shots at Nintendo however, as Johnny Lightfoot reports someone trying to reach the Freedom Fighters via a vid-phone – video for making phone calls? Madness. Turns out it’s Amy Rose, who is clearly panicked, screaming at the screen for Sonic to come quickly – she is at Never Lake, and…. a metal hand cuts into shot, disrupting the video feed. Johnny Lightfoot turns to Sonic saying that Amy’s transmitter has been smashed, but the hedgehog isn’t there. Instead, a note flutters down past Sonic’s discarded can of Coka branded cola (Pepsi being inferior, naturally), which the rabbit grasps.

It’s refreshing to see such a British phrase as “legging it” after so much Archie, isn’t it? Also, Sonic either seems to have an ability to break the 4th wall by knowing to put an asterisk in the letter for Megadroid to annotate, or just likes drawing them at random when he’s writing. Regardless, minutes later Sonic is burning through some countryside, which he notes was covered in forest not so long ago, until finally coming across – the Miracle Planet!

Seems the magical spheroid is covered with machinery, which isn’t its normal state of affairs – and for some reason a couple of rather large bonfires. OK, I get the story is called “Sonic the Terminator”, but why the need for the apocalyptic feel here, guys? It’s not like you’ve got an active resistance on the planet’s surface right now fighting a fleet of laser-totting hoverships, not to mention the fact those things must be several acres in size. Hades itself has smaller pyres. But I digress… the mountain to the right of the shot is yelling for Sonic. Turns out instead of rock somehow gaining the ability to use speech, it’s Amy: who has quite literally been put on a pedestal and can’t get down. After briefly grumbling about how he should have known (yes, Sonic, you should! She’s the only reason you came out here in the first place!), Sonic starts ascending the column by running up the side of it like he’s playing Pole-Axe.

Amy’s complimentary gushing isn’t very effective on Sonic, who joins her on top of the platform and gazes over at the Miracle Planet (yes, those of you yelling Little Planet right now, I can assure you Fleetway Sonic does not give 2 shits), and idly wonders why Robotnik has chained the planet to the surface and that “it somehow looks different”. Gee Sonic, whatever tipped you off? The 4 huge fire pits? The criss-cross metal that’s effectively turned the chained planetoid into a Borg Sphere? The Robotnik face where it’s anchored to the ground? Amy starts to explain Robotnik wants to turn the planet into a base for his evil operations but Sonic doesn’t really care all that much…

Yes folks, the passage of time and slight injection of oestrogen into the mix hasn’t kerbed the dickishness any – in fact, it’s worse, as we’ll see in a little bit. But I digress… Sonic’s question of Amy’s pedestal placing is suddenly answered, as the Metal Sonic everyone knows from Sonic CD pops up brandishing a large boulder, takes credit for the kidnapping, and promptly throws the boulder at Sonic.

A page then follows of Sonic jumping around and dodging rocks as the self-introduced Metallix continues to throw them at Sonic, until Sonic moves a little too slowly and a large one looms right in front of his face (stop that sniggering at the back!). Metallix breaks out an Arnie impression (the first of many in this arc), saying the termination of Sonic is 98% positive and rising – but Sonic bursts through the rock like he does in the opening of Sonic CD, retorting that the 2% is all he needs.

Sonic then proceeds to whack Metallix in the chest, but it seems that this wasn’t enough to stop him (you should have gone for a head-kick, Sonic! Worked on the last robot Sonic you came across well enough), as Metallix then starts firing chest lasers with Amy looking on rather helplessly. If only she had a crossbow…

Suddenly everything goes quiet and the mist begins to clear, and Amy notices a hedgehog shape beginning to walk towards her. Is it over? Don’t be silly, it’s only the first part of the story! Metallix stumbles towards Amy, chanting that it is time to proceed with termination, but just as he reaches her, his eyes begin to spiral (with no Chaos Emeralds anywhere in sight, no less) and he falls to the ground, with just enough time to exhale an extended “failuuuuurre” as he hits the dirt. Sonic meanwhile trundles towards Amy, asking who else she was expecting.

Sonic makes a typically pithy remark as we fade to silhouette, looks like all’s well that ends well – oh, right, this is a multi-parter, isn’t it.

So it seems Metallix is alive and kicking, as he grabs Amy to use as bait. The pink hedgehog’s complaints about being called things probably does have some merit to it – after all, she’s in love with Fleetway Sonic. We’ve seen how he treats Tails, who knows what he subjects an unwanted admirer to! Sonic wakes up just in time to see Metallix running off up the chains to the Miracle Planet, griping as he gets to his feet that Amy should rent herself out as a professional hostage (she was kidnapped in the previous 2 parts as well, I should note. Hey, at least later on down the line she can defend herself somewhat – she’s no Princess Peach, Sonic). The hedgehog promptly starts running off up the chain after the two of them, pondering why it always has to be HIM that rescues Amy. Well, that would be because she hasn’t started travelling through time and space with a floppy-haired canary to meet Tony Blair yet (don’t ask). Give her time, Sonic!

A fortnight of 90s-era children waiting impatiently for a conclusion later, we cut to the next issue, and Johnny Lightfoot, Porker Lewis and Tails, who somehow crammed themselves into the single-seater Tornado (and trust me, they must have. While I could potentially see Johnny clinging to the wings, Porker has next to no backbone for those sort of antics) to arrive at the base of the Miracle Planet’s anchor. They search frantically and exhaustively for the hedgehogs by standing in a single spot and gazing around a fairly small visible area, but can see no sign of them. Tails gazes up into the sky and states the obvious about how Miracle Planet should be green, asking what happened to it; but as Sonic isn’t here to berate him for speaking, Porker actually answers his question and fills in a bit of plot detail for us while he’s at it:

Yes, Miracle Planet only appears for a couple of days every month in their dimension. As far as I can recall the writers just tended to use it as a place to stick people for a while where they’d forcibly be on their own and/or isolated from Mobius for various plot-related reasons, after the device was introduced here – but I digress… While we’re on this panel though, I’d just like to ask why Porker feels the need to have a massive picture of Sonic’s face on the back of his jacket. All it does is attract attention – not exactly the best plan to have a large mugshot of the most wanted creature on the planet on your back when you’re an underground resistance group, is it? And why does only Porker wear one, not anyone else? If I were Sonic, I’d be slightly disturbed by this.

Back on the Miracle Planet, safely away from sexually confused pigs and their dubious choice in jackets, Sonic watches as the chain-link path back to Mobius disappears, conveniently leaving only the characters in Sonic CD on the planet’s surface. He gazes out at the machine-ridden planet, noting that only Robotnik could be behind this. Well, who else would it be? Grimer? However there’s no time to stand around looking heroic, Sonic, here comes Amy!

…wow. Not only does this count as being dickish, but borderline mysogenistic as well! Good going, Sonic, a new personal best. Amy wonders how Robotnik could possibly have done so much damage so quickly – the previous month there wasn’t a trace of any of the current buildup (presumably she either risks a trip over every month or she has a telescope or something. Whatever). Sonic is more concerned about the whereabouts of the robot, though Amy has other things on her mind, as Sonic rips his arm out of her grasp. How about a convenient distraction? Oh, I think I see one coming up.

Metallix blasts a large hole in the ground as the hedgehogs dodge out of the way, noting as he does so he won’t stop until Sonic is destroyed, no matter how much Sonic says pretty please. Sonic then just gives up at this point and promptly buggers off over the horizon, leaving Amy to her imminent demise and/or raping. “Oh golly” indeed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….just kidding, even Fleetway Sonic isn’t THAT big a dick. Though he does get a bit of condescending in as he saves Amy from Metallix’s no-good touching at the last moment.

Completely ignoring Sonic’s lesson on astrophysics, Metallix reveals that Sonic simply cannot win here – the planet itself is supplying the robot with energy, a limitless supply (presumably there’s an entropy-defying Duracell Macguffin under there somewhere), and no matter how much he tries attacking, every effort by Sonic is repulsed by Metallix, who now projects a 70% probability of Sonic’s termination (seems he’s learnt his lesson from last issue and is conserving his numbers a bit). Sonic then promptly trips over a cable and goes flying to the floor (seriously? He can run at the speed of sound, presumably avoiding obstacles in his path as he does so, but a power flex is enough to send him flying?), and Metallix proclaims a rise in probability to 90% as he flies overhead (oh, right. He can fly now, apparently). Amy begs Sonic to DO something, to which the hedgehog proclaims he’s open to suggestions as he does absolutely nothing, laid out sprawled on the floor. What we could use right now is a sudden plot twist…

Yup, that’ll do. Metallix smacks into the ground with a system failure and begins a reboot (insert your own joke about crashing operating systems here) as Sonic & Amy’s saviour is revealed to be… Sonic! But not just Sonic, oh no – a Mini-Sonic from the future, no less. Quite how being smaller gives him the power to actually DO damage to Metallix when not 2 minutes ago full-size Sonic was doing bugger all is anyone’s guess, but there you go. Mini-Me heads over to Amy & Sonic.

I love Amy’s expression in this panel. Putting aside the sudden appearance of the very conveniently placed shrinking beam, she’s just staring at it deep in thought, almost as if she’s trying to think up what she can do now there are two Sonics available. However before she can vocalise anything, Future Sonic orders Present into the laser. Sonic’s quick remark about midgets doesn’t go unpunished, as his future self shoves him into the beam (does this count as being a dick to himself?), and Present Sonic shrinks down to the size of his future counterpart. Future finally explains what the rock is he’s been holding while doing all this.

Present takes the magic rock and notes that he should get this done before Metallix recovers, but he’s a little on the late side says Future, as in the background behind them a massive Metallix looms, now at 100% efficiency with his reboot completed (amazing what turning something off and on again will do). And the aforementioned 90s kids have nightmares for the next 2 weeks, of a giant evil metal Sonic with demonic red glowing eyes, electricity sparking inside them. Best dig out those night-lights, boys and girls!

The thrilling conclusion begins where we left off, with Classic & Modern Sonic facing off against a new enemy – oh, sorry, that’s Sonic Generations. No, here Amy is shrinking away (ho ho, I kill me) from the sparking and fuming Metallix, as the 2 mini-Sonics get into battle poses. Future tells Present to run, the Time Stone will take him into the past – it’s powered by high speed? Well isn’t that very convenient for a character whose main trait is running fast (yes I realise this is true to how the time travel in Sonic CD works, but this is still rather convenient, don’t you think?). Present yells back to Future as he runs off, asking what he’s supposed to do – Future just tells him he’ll “figure it out”, which is rather unhelpful but actually helps keep the time-line consistent (though more on this point a little later), so apparently Sonic knows of and follows the Temporal Prime Directive. He runs faster and faster, noticing nothing at first but stars begin to appear and the hedgehog time warps.

One airline sickbag later, Sonic appears in the past – and the Time Stone is now gone, having somehow disappeared. Shrugging off his only way back to the present a bit too nonchalantly (presumably because he knows he’ll get back later?), Sonic decides that though he has no idea what to do next, the smoke that he can see off in the distance is probably a good bet, and comes across some kind of mini-factory.

Sonic realises the machine must have grown to cover the entire planet in the future (begging the question of why no-one noticed it before this month, but I digress…), and spotting an opening on the machine, also realises that he must have had to have been shrunk down to fit inside the machine (how could he possibly have known this?!). Fridge-logic aside, he hops inside the construction, and spotting a light inside, sees the Time Stone hovering inside a room of the machine – and grabs it, legging it out of the pipework as he does so. Presumably the machine found the Stone somewhere in the past era and the Stone Sonic brought back disappeared off to somewhere else in the past (as it’s the only way for this story to work temporally). The Time Stone apparently has a secondary ability beyond giving sound-breaking hedgehogs time travel powers, they can seemingly also detect temporal paradoxes.

Remember kids, science is for nerds! Try out for track & field events today! Anyway, Sonic runs off back into the time vortex again with his newly stolen Time Stone, noting as he does so that there’s no guarantee he’ll get back to where he started this whole trek, but that he has little choice. Fortunately he does come out back where he started – well, a little before. And this time he still has the Time Stone, which decided to stick around this time. Presumably it read the script and knew where to go.

What follows next smacks of lazy artist – the entire 6th page from the previous part is reprinted again verbatim, the idea presumably being this time we’re supposed to read it from the point of view of Future (now Present) Sonic, rather than Present (now Past) Sonic. This does smack more than a bit of story padding. Bad creators, no biscuit! The next 3 panels are also repeats of the same dialogue from the 7th page of the last part, but at least this time they’re actually re-drawn from different angles (an aside (I said I’d come back to this!): at this point, Present gives Past the Time Stone as before and explains what it’s called, what it is and how it works – how did he know this during the first loop? TIME PARADOX!). Past Sonic flees the scene as Present wonders why everything is still the same despite his visit to Miracle Planet’s past, but then the planetoid finally begins to change. Causality it seems followed Sonic back through the vortex (or something. To quote an authority on the subject, “I hate temporal mechanics”), and started from there onwards. Sonic begins to grow back to full size, because as he realises, the shrink ray never existed to make him smaller (why was it built in the first place, even in the game? It serves no purpose for Robotnik) – but more importantly, something else also never existed! Metallix fades out with some clichéd robot error phrases as Sonic does his best Phoenix Wright pose, pointing at the badnik.

Amy runs over to congratulate Sonic now there’s nothing around them but lush green paradise, noting he’s both beaten the Metallix and saved the planet… “unbelievable!” Sonic for his part just notes that it’s not all good news – he’s saved Amy as well in the process. Way to verbally slap her in the face, Sonic!

The camera pulls out to a wide shot of the Miracle Planet with the chain leading to nowhere, as Amy hints that they’re going to be all alone for an entire month, just the two of them… you’d better sleep with a chastity belt on, Sonic!

And so ends StC’s adaption of Sonic CD. While the infamous chase scene isn’t in here, nor are any zones specifically named (though we do get general hints of a couple), we get shout-outs to the opening FMV scene, Time Stones, Metal Sonic (sorry, Metallix), destroying generators to make Good Futures, and of course saving the kidnapped damsel in Amy Rose. The writers even managed to think of a reason as to why Tails (an established games character by the time Sonic CD came out) wasn’t present, and kept the rest of the Freedom Fighters out of the way while they were at it, which personally I approve of simply as it adds to this arc’s game authenticity.

Of course, this one was just the warm up. Next time: Sonic 3 & Knuckles!

And while you’re waiting, there’s always Super Marxio World.

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16 Comments

  • Reply

    Nice write up!

    This was my favourite story arc, and reading this just makes me wanna re-read it.

  • Reply

    Have been waiting to see this covered. Always loved the arc, even despite Sonic’s dialogue. Along with the likes of Red Dwarf and Doctor Who, it was a great introduction to the idea of paradoxes and time loops for the young reader. Given that Tails would later start reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, I’m tempted to say that it might well be where they got some of the ideas.

    As you say, while the actual plot and zones aren’t really shown properly, it keeps some of the core ideas of the games and delivers something in the general spirit. Plus, it was a great introduction to the Metallix, and a precursor to an even more sinister-looking transformation for a planet… But that’s another story. :p

    • Reply

      Dude, the whole Metallix thing just screams Dalek. They even get an emperor Metallix.

      • Reply

        Haha, very true, and let’s not even get into the Cyberniks/Cybermen.

  • Reply

    HOLD IT!
    In other issues, Sonic is perfectly fine giving himself praises (which are occasionally racist towards creatures/people who are not blue enough), and in the Sonic 2 adaptation, even expressed a desire for people to make a big deal out of his latest heroic deed. But in here, Amy gives him 1 1/2 sentences of praise and he responds with “Give it a rest willya? (sic)”! This evidence totally contradicts the witness’ last issues!

    Does this mean Sonic is tsundere for- I just realized I don’t want the wrath of shippers upon me, so I’ll assume he’s just in a bad mood because of “Miracle Planet”‘s metal coating. Or Amy’s pinkness, being the blue supremist he is. Or her horrible, horrible hairstyle.

  • Reply

    Super Marxio World? FUCK YEAH

    Obviously they won’t play Super Marxio Galaxy because Genesis Does What Nintendon’t I mean the Wii didn’t exist.

  • Reply

    If anyone’s wondering why the Time Stones run on high speed, it’s because that technically, they run on the ultimate renewable source of jiggowatts. COUGHbadmoviereferenceCOUGH

  • Reply

    For the record, Johnny Lightfoot has one of those Sonic-branded jackets too, but in red.

    I think it was to say “hey these characters are good guys”, seeing as they weren’t really in the games.

  • Reply

    I loled at Super Marxio Bros 😀

  • Reply

    I wasn;t sure whether Johnny had one or not, I decided to err on the side of humour. Will note that for the future, though. =P

  • Reply

    That Tony Blair bit had me out of my seat and on the floor!

  • Reply

    …that Sonic looks terrible from behind XP

    • Reply

      That looks more like a blue pine tree than it looks like Sonic. Sonic the Pinetree, how amusing.

  • Reply

    I just realized that the Little Planet having four pits of fire may be a reference to Apokolips, the planet Darkseid comes from in the DC Comics pathos.

  • Reply

    Ah, the Marxio Brothers. They’re real in the series, aren’t they? Bad guys gone good later on.

    • Reply

      Yeah, I’ll be focusing on them a little more when we reach the Chaotix arc, but that’s a little way off yet.

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