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10 Redemptive Readings of Sonic's Useless Friends [top ten]
 
A strange thing has happened with Waluigi over the years. He started out basically hated by the entire Nintendo community. He was the butt of jokes about how useless he was. How lazy he was. How nobody cared about him. How he wasnít a real character, but a lazy pun brought to life just to give Wario a doubles partner in Mario Tennis.


What, you thought Iíd start with Sonic? Waaaaaaaaaa!

I never had a strong opinion about Waluigi in those days, but I did consider him a lazy product of necessity, with a design that looked maybe a bit too much like the Peculiar Purple Pie Man of Porcupine Peak. It would have been more interesting to me, in the Gamecube days, to see Wart or Mouser show up to play tennis with Wario than to simply invert Luigi.

But a funny thing happened over time. Waluigi went from a generally hated character, to an ironically beloved character to a genuinely beloved character. Today, the most in-demand missing Smash character is Waluigi. And that demand seems legitimate, not a joke that got out of hand. There are literally people who consider it a grave injustice that the Other Purple One isnít in Smash.

Who would have thought?

To some degree I think our own T-Bun may be responsible for at least some of this transformation. His wacky devotion to Waluigi in ďBrawl in the FamilyĒ certainly turned my personal opinion around. But I also think, to some degree, it was inevitable. If a character hangs around long enough, they start to become familiar. And in becoming familiar they stop being considered so useless.

See where Iím going with this, now?

Sonic the Hedgehog is notorious for being surrounded by dipshit friends who serve no purpose other than to distract from the Blue Blur himself. I have to admit, as an OG Classic Era Sonic fan, thatís how I tend to view any character from this series not named Sonic, Eggman, Tails or Knuckles.

Over the last few months, since taking my daughter to see the movie, Iíve been diving back into Sonic the Hedgehog after a couple of decades away. Itís been eye-opening - and not always in good ways. (And Iím not talking about the depravity on Deviant Art, which Iíve happily avoided.)

Say, did you know that the embarrassing middle-era of Sonicís career is actually more beloved by the existing Sonic community than both the 90s classics and the recent Boost games that have generally been better received by critics? Well, itís true. These guys love them some butt-rock and titty bats in their Sonic games and they kinda hate all of us who donít. To them, Shadow the Hedgehog isnít some kind of bad joke. They think heís a beloved character whose appeal rivals Sonic himself. They fault newer games like Colors and Generations for not being dark enough. Theyíre mad that they donít get to play as Cream the Rabbit much anymore.

For a guy like me, hanging out with Sonic fans is like spin-dashing through one of Eggmanís wacky funhouses. I recognize some of the shapes, but everything is day-glo, outsized and distorted. Iím not seeing what I expect to see.

But Iíll say this. Some of these 00s-era Sonic fans have a point. While Iím not exactly dying to start playing as Charmy the Bee in a mainline Sonic game, Iíve now had enough exposure to these side characters that Iím starting to develop a fondness for them.

So, what Iíd like to do here is, uh, open my heart to some of these characters. Theyíll never compete with Sonic for my affection, but a lot of them have been around as long as Waluigi. Some familiarity is starting to seep in. Itís time I gave some of these dorkwads a chance.

So, I present, 10 Redemptive Readings of Sonicís Useless Friends. Maybe we can live and learn to love them together.
Posted: 06/30/20, 01:47:52  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 21:17:00
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Charmy the Bee


Pros:
-Slots into that Ďnaive kidí spot that Tails left open as he transformed into Donatello
-A bee thatís the size of a hedgehog? Iím cool with it.
-Can probably make like a metric shit-ton of honey (note to self: look into that)

Con:
-Heís the Wesley Crusher of the Sonic Universe
-Completely breaks the one game where you get to play as him

Charmy the Bee could never carry a game by himself, not even during the ďSonicsploitationĒ bonanza of the early 90s when Bubsy the Bobcat and Aero the Acrobat got to headline games.

And yet, heís still pretty lovable.

In the recent, prescient Sonic comics published by IDW - where Robotnik releases a metal virus that turns everyone exposed into robots - Charmy becomes that character in a zombie film who dies thinking he can save someone whoís already been infected. Itís an old trope, but I admire that they wrote Charmy with that kind of pure-hearted naÔvetť. They also werenít afraid to have him face the consequences of that decision. Speaking as a Mario fan on a Nintendo forum: Do you think Nintendo would ever let a writer get away with using Toad like that? I doubt it. So you gotta give it to SEGA (and Charmy) on this one.
 
Vector the Crocodile


Pros:
-I will always have time for a crocodile with headphones
-Leads a detective agency with the way past cool name ďChaotixĒ
-I canít get over this. Crocodile with headphones, guys.

Cons:
-Kind of a money grubbing dick, if Iím honest

Vector is the hard-boiled Sam Spade of the Sonic Universe. Heís seen it all and done it all (but, you know, in a way thatís appropriate for kids.) and heís got the perfect playlist to crank if he has to do it all again. His design and characterization are strong enough that he could absolutely star in his own series. If SEGA was still making consoles, I guarantee you weíd have some version of Rhythm Heaven starring Vector at this point.

You know I mentioned that comic where Charmy gets turned into a zombie robot? Well, Vectorís reaction to that is one of the better characterizations Iíve seen in a kidís comic. He refuses to abandon his friend, even though he was the very person (erÖ crocodile) who tried to stop Charmy from getting infected in the first place. The way he sticks by his friend with no excuses and the way he faces the inevitable consequences of that decision is like something out of a John Wayne movie. Iíve got nothing but mad respect for Vector at this point.
 
Espio the Chameleon


Pros
-Itís a pretty inspired decision to make the ninja character a chameleon
-Heís basically Ryu

Con
-Heís basically Ryu

So far, I havenít been able to detect a strong character hook for olí Espio. Iím sure thereís some run of the Archie comics that demonstrates his personality, but so far everything that I get about him is that heís your basic noble-hearted ninja. Thatís a stock character, especially in video games, but itís also a hard one to screw up.

Heís got a pretty good design, though I have to admit he feels a bit more like one of those early-90s Sonic knock-offs than some of the others. That said, I could easily imagine him starring in a pretty good game on his own. The ninja thing always works to some degree. So if heís kind of a filler character, heís not an unwelcome one.
 
Sticks the Badger


Pros
-Well, originality. Thereís certainly not a Dale Gribble in the Mario cast anywhere
-Nice to have a wacky female character

Con
-Her paranoia is kinda one-note, which seems to have been minimized on Sonic Boom after awhile
-Might be mentally ill, which makes laughing at her paranoia a bit problematic
-Not sure about that midriff


So Sticks is a parody of every opioid-addicted weirdo youíve ever met who thinks the government is tapping into their thoughts from their bases on Mars. Sticks probably votes Libertarian.

The thing I like most about her, apart from some of the individual gags, is that they never would have made this kind of off-beat character a woman 30 years ago. It used to be that female characters were 1) Rare, and 2) Devoid of strong characteristics. Or at least devoid of characteristics that werenít meant to model some ideal of femininity. Pauline. Peach. Daisy. Rosalina. None of them are as wild and weird as Sticks.

I sometimes call this the ďPrairie Dawn ProblemĒ after reading about the introduction of Prairie Dawn to the cast of Sesame Street. Isnít it odd that a show as progressive as Sesame Street didnít initially include a female muppet? Turns out they were kind of afraid to do it. And when they did introduce one, they were afraid to have her do anything that could be seen as silly or degrading, since she would naturally be a model for little girls. The result? A bloodless, unmemorable character who nobody cares that much about. (Sesame Street eventually got it right with Abby and Zoe, two girl characters introduced in the 90s who were allowed to make mistakes and be quirky goofs.)

This is an issue bigger than I can squeeze into a rundown of useless Sonic characters, but looking at the other female members of the Sonic cast, none of them are as wild as Sticks.
 
Blaze the Cat


Pros:
-Sheís practically a female version of Sonic with some cool fire powers
-A strong female character without feeling forced or labored over
-Cool design

Cons:
-Backstory is a little convoluted, and maybe a bit too much like Sonic in parts
-Sheís aÖ princess? Really, guys? We couldnít get away from that old chestnut for once?

Blaze is another character kind of like Espio where I havenít completely wrapped my head around what makes her tick, yet. She first popped up in the Sonic Rush games, which I havenít scooped up from the bargain bin. That said, sheís made some pretty epic appearances in the recent IDW comic books (for example, at one point they break into three teams - Team 1, Sonic/Knuckles/Shadow; Team 2, Everyone Else; Team 3, JUST BLAZE THE CAT SHOOTING FIREBALLS!)

She also comes from an alternate universe with her own cosmology of side characters and villains. Honestly, of anyone on this list, Blaze seems like the most appropriate character for SEGA to launch a side series with in 2020. Seems cool enough to me.
 
Rouge the Bat


Pros:
-Thereís room in Sonic for a neutrally aligned femme fatale
-Shadow the Hedgehog needs a friend

Cons:
-I mean, just look at her. Sheesh.

Thereís no way around the obvious: Rouge is an anthropomorphic bat with a pair of human knockers. Sheís a titty bat. Someone at SEGA thought having a titty bat was a good idea. In fact, multiple people at SEGA must have signed off on this. Iím certain there are thousands of boys out there (and probably some girls) who first sexually imprinted on Rouge the Bat. They have my sympathy. I donít know what to tell you if titty bats are what youíre into.

Itís a shame her design is so distracting because Rouge is actually a fairly well-conceptualized character. Sheís basically Black Widow meets a sexy version of Wario (assuming thatís not just Wario for you). Sheís an upper-class, greedy thief, but sheís also someone who isnít aligned with either the heroes or the villains, who will typically decide to do the right thing in the end. And while the tits are embarrassing, they do underline something about her character - thatís sheís willing to manipulate to get what she wants. I donít love Rouge - Iíd absolutely get rid of the cleavage - but I think she fills a good storytelling niche.
 
Silver the Hedgehog


Pros:
-Kind of a sweetheart do-gooder
-Telekinetic powers are new for the series

Cons:
-Showed up in Sonic í06, the game that turned the series into a laughing stock
-Alternate future backstory was played out already by then (in fact, combined with his powers, makes Silver look like an early 90s X-Men reject)
-Not the best character design
-The world didnít need another fightiní hedgehog after Sonic and Shadow

Silver comes with a long list of cons, as you can see. I was probably more skeptical of Silver than any individual on this list that didn't come with weird human breasts. So I've been surprised to learn what a kind, good-hearted dude Silver turned out to be. He's a lonely character from a dystopian future, but because of that experience he seems to be defined by his gratitude. He knows how bad things can be and he chooses to appreciate the little things. There are resonances of everything from PTSD to the philosophy of optimism baked into his character.

The current cliffhanger to the comics suggest that Silver might be the key to success for the heroes in their fight against the metal virus. I typically don't like Sonic media taking too much attention away from Sonic, but in this case I think they've got an opportunity to do something compelling with Silver. I wouldn't have thought this six months ago, but I'm cool with it.
 
Cream the Rabbit


Pros:
-Kind hearted and decent without being irritating
-Flies with her rabbit ears, which is ridiculous
-Good design overall

Cons:
-Probably not the best name for a character if youíre trying to discourage horny furries from rallying around your series

Cream the Rabbit is the Pollyanna of the Sonic series. Sheís a fundamentally good kid who sees the best in every situation. This should make her insufferable, but in my experience sheís endearing. Sonic sure seems to think so. In the IDW comics heís adopted her as a kind of protege, which led to this funny exchange Sonic had with some random teenagers:



The comics have been pretty good about using Cream as an optimistic character without turning her into an annoying plot-armored Mary Sue. In fact, during the metal virus outbreak, Creamís fate is one of the best handled parts of the story and demonstrates that, while optimism is a positive trait, it doesnít make you invincible. As a Nintendo fan, I can't really imagine that kind of story being told with one of our friends from the Mushroom Kingdom.
 
Shadow the Hedgehog


Pros:
-Well, heís pretty rad looking, especially with the red accents on the back
-The ax crazy version of him in the Sonic Boom cartoon series talks like Clint Eastwood, which brings back shades of the 1987 version of Casey Jones from TMNT

Cons:
-Sonic with guns is a dopey idea
-Probably the single biggest excuse for butt-rock cheese-metal in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe

Iím trying to be positive here, but I donít really get the Shadow the Hedgehog thing. He comes from a time when Sonic stories were needlessly convoluted (Heís created in a lab as the ďultimate lifeformĒ, which turns out to be a giant talking hedgehog on speed skates for some reason). He also comes out of that ďdark version of the heroĒ trope that every fantasy series eventually ass-pulls. So if you like Venom, Bane, Dark Samus, Shadowlink, Killmonger, Magneto, Bass, The Master, Dark Pit, Sabretooth, or Moriarty himself, then you gotta accept that thereís fertile ground for storytelling with a dark version of the hero.

He got his own game, which is kind of a totem of 2000s Sonic excess. Personally, I think Shadow is best in smaller doses. Heís exceedingly popular among Adventure-era Sonic fans, probably because he has a dynamic story arc in Adventure 2. He plays a similar role as Rouge - by being unaligned with either the heroes or the villains. For my part, I think the "dark version of the hero" trope exists for a reason. There are are great stories to be told with Shadow. I admit I havenít read too many, though.
 
Amy Rose


Pros:
-The primary female protagonist in the series who is, at least nowadays, highly capable
-Has a great character design
-Carries around a badass enormous hammer and actually clobbers bad guys with it

Cons:
-In the early days was written as a heartsick stalker of Sonic, which is a joke that gets old fast and eventually just made her look pathetic
-A little boring. In the more modern versions of her in Sonic Boom and IDW sheís started to drift into that Prairie Dawn category I mentioned earlier.

It may surprise some of you, but Amy Rose was introduced in just the third Sonic game, Sonic CD. So sheís an OG and the original female protagonist. When I made my list of important characters up top, I debated which side of the line to put Amy on. Eventually I reasoned that you could mention Sonic, Eggman, Tails or Knuckles to anyone at a Comic-Con and most of them could easily identify who youíre talking about. Mention Amy Rose and youíd probably have to find a Sonic fan.

One thing you can say for the Sonic series is that they arenít hurting for good female characters. Cream, Blaze, Tangle, Whisper, Sally, Tikal, Bunnie, Sticks, VanillaÖ even Rouge to some degree. So itís a bit of a shame that they started off with a lovesick fangirl. The good news is that theyíve modulated her recently, giving her a lot more potential than before. In the comics sheís the de facto leader of the rebuilding effort after Eggman took over the world. She still loves Sonic, but isnít defining her life by him. In Sonic Boom, Amy is a bit of an obsessive control freak. There are some shades entering into this initially one-note character.

Ultimately I like Amy Rose. She doesnít need a simple hook (The Brains! The Goof! The Leader! Cool but Crude!) to be a good character. What I hope is that they keep developing her motivations and improving her over time. And that she keeps getting to clobber things with her big ass Piko hammer.
 
Anyway, I think my conclusion from digging into the greater Sonic cosmology is that I was wrong to think these characters were useless. Most of them have at least some basic potential. What SEGA really needs is a series like Mario Kart or Smash that could put these characters in the public eye a bit more. I donít really want to see future mainline Sonic games devoted to Espio the Chameleon any more than I want Mario games to start sharing time with Waluigi. But there are definitely other ways - comics, spin-offs games, cartoons - where theyíd be a welcome presence.

WhooÖ I think this puts the cap on the ďget reacquainted with Sonic the HedgehogĒ phase of my life. Haven't really gotten out of the house much since the Sonic movie dropped. I think Iíll go turn on the news and see whatís going on...

OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE YOU ALL DONE?

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Posted: 06/30/20, 01:47:52  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 21:17:00
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Ok. Paging Nate. Tell me where I'm wrong, compadre.
Posted: 06/30/20, 01:59:20
CHARMY
In Charmy's defense, there's not much to break in Knuckles Chaotix...the game is so lifeless and barren, you might as well sleepwalk through it and enjoy the weird colors and sounds.

VECTOR
I miss the wiry old Vector design from Chaotix. Even buff, he's not especially offensive.

ESPIO
Yeah he's a ninja, that's about it. Works fine, I guess. Always thought it was weird how he spun tornado-style instead of somersault-style like everyone else, for seemingly no reason.

BLAZE
I liked her when she was introduced in Sonic Rush. Don't really know what she's been up to since then. She's basically a hybrid of Sonic (super speed, main hero of her universe?) and Knuckles (a bit serious, PROTECT THE EMERALDS), with a pretty good design.
See above re: spinning, though she at least shoots fire which...makes it better somehow?

ROUGE
Yeah shame about the titty bat. She's otherwise one of the series' better characters, maybe. She's in the top-heavy. I MEAN top-half. I MEAN top-less.
kriswright said:
Iím certain there are thousands of boys out there (and probably some girls) who first sexually imprinted on Rouge the Bat.
And one NHL goalie! (Shadow's on the other side)

SILVER
I don't think I've actually ever played a game with Silver in it. He's 420 friendly, though, so that's cool.

CREAM
She's the cute bunny character who's cute, and attacks with a Chao friend named Cheese. So she's got some things going for her. It seems she's also the only Sonic character with a parent, which raises QUESTIONS. She and/or her mom also adopts the final boss evil robot guy of Sonic Advance 3 at the end, which is fun.

SHADOW
He has that one funny line in Sonic Boom I can't remember, and this amazing comic page, so that excuses all his downsides.

AMY
The best version of Amy is the one from the Sonic Mania Adventures Holiday Special, with the one from the Team Sonic Racing cartoon finishing in second. (I looooooove these cartoons so much)


I really don't hate any of Sonic's useless side characters (at least the ones here). They're just sort of...useless. Most of the time. I am glad you're raising your daughter right though, and more importantly using her as your cover to purchase and enjoy Sonic comics.
Posted: 06/30/20, 03:13:28  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 03:15:54
Ooh, it's lovely to have another @kriswright Top 10 again! I greatly enjoyed reading this summation of Sonic's Useless Friends, and appreciate the shout out.

How canonical are the comics anyway? I notice most of the cool things you mention about a lot of these guys are directly related to the non-gaming side of things. Although to be fair, I did kinda like Shadow in SA2 (but not afterward)...
Posted: 06/30/20, 04:37:58
@TriforceBun The comics are their own canon. Well, canons: there's at least three different long-running Sonic comic series from different companies with their own casts of supplemental original characters, plotlines, and so forth.

Archie -- The most well-known and longest-running, originally based on the cartoon with Sally Acorn and all those characters (or vice versa? Can't remember). Eventually these comics started adapting a whole bunch of the video games, essentially retelling the stories of games like Sonic Adventure / SA2 / Sonic Heroes while including the Archie-original characters (I think). The Archie comics got extremely weird and convoluted, with spinoff series (Sally, Knuckles, etc.) and even reboots within itself if I remember right. This is also the series that had a few lengthy crossovers with Mega Man, who had his own well-received Archie comic series for a few years. The Archie comics were finally canceled in like 2017 or so, and replaced with...

IDW -- I don't know much about these, but I think they pull most of the characters from the video games, plus a few originals, and just do all-new stories.

Fleetway -- A publisher exclusive to the UK which created its own Sonic canon, called Sonic The Comic, that ran almost as long as the Archie line. I've seen people praise this series as pretty neat in its own right, despite being just as big a departure from the games as the Archie series.
Posted: 06/30/20, 06:49:22
@TriforceBun

Weeeeeeeeeeeelllll... the comics are a complicated subject. Sit down here by the fire, little T-Bun, and I'll tell you a story of the biggest, most terrifying monster you've ever heard of...

No, not the Werehog from Sonic Unleashed. I'm talking about Ken Penders.

I'll back up a bit and start by answering your question: The current run of comics are published by IDW. They're written by a guy named Ian Flynn and he's on about issue 28 right now. They're wrapping up their second major story arc and pretty much all of the references I made to comics in this article come from that run of 28 issues. These stories are aimed for a pre-teen youth audience for sure - think something like Adventure Time or the recent My Little Pony series for demographic and tone. Maybe just a year or two older, since it happily traffics in horror tropes to some degree. But that's pretty much the sweet spot for Sonic. If you were a 10 year old, this might be your favorite book (my maturity level is about 10, so of course I love it, too).

As far as canon goes, it's anyone's guess since there have been no new Sonic games since this series launched. The games are clearly canon to the comics universe, with explicit references to the events of Lost World and Forces. In fact, the first story arc is a direct, explicit sequel to Sonic Forces (and it is significantly better written, too). It's not clear if the next game will borrow from the comics in any way, though. (Unlikely, since Sonic Team has always done their own thing. But a few comic specific characters have recently appeared in a smartphone app.) If you're a fan of the MCU, it's about like the situation Agents of SHIELD is in: They react directly to events happening in the major continuity, but there's not a lot of referencing back the other direction (yet!).

NOW... before the IDW series was launched there was a previous Sonic series published by Archie. The history of the Archie Sonic series is one of the more interesting topics in comic book history. It starts basically as a cheapo kids comic book that was a tie-in to a cheapo Sonic cartoon show. I've read the first couple of years of these to my 5 year old daughter and they're a little sloppy. But they're also a cheerful little kid's comic. The worst puns you'll ever read in your life!

Where it gets interesting is that, over time, these comics started to get injected with more and more lore. And not just minor stuff. Like literally a bunch of crazy-ass Jack Kirby style backstory that's complicated as fuck. I haven't read much of that stuff because I'm not actually THAT interested in Sonic the Hedgehog. But the surprise is: That sloppy little kid's comic ran for over 25 years!

How?

How on Earth?

I mean, there were tons of 90s kids properties that were popular back then that had spin off comics. But there was no 25 year run of Marsupilami in comic form. Why Sonic? Well, it's partly because a guy named Ken Penders came in early on and started taking the lore really seriously when no one else gave a damn. Archie didn't care what he was doing. SEGA let him do whatever he wanted because they weren't really paying attention to it anyway. So he wrote all these crazy-ass stories about Echidna civilizations and furry romance... just wild, weird stuff. And it found and kept an audience for years on end.

None of that shit was ever remotely considered canon.

Now, I've only sampled some of his work and I don't think he's any kind of great writer. He's certainly no genius. He was kind of the right guy at the right time. But where he becomes the bad guy for a lot of people is that, when his relationship with Archie soured, he sued them and, through a series of screw ups by Archie (who were apparently employing Jughead as their lawyer) got control of all of the characters he created over his near 15 year stewardship of the series. Archie was forced to reboot the entire continuity, cutting out all of Penders' influence. The fans of his work were devastated. All these characters they'd grown to love were just ripped out of the universe, their stories never completed.

The series lasted for a few years after that but eventually SEGA started to pay attention. I gotta imagine the meeting at Sonic Team went something like: "They've been doing WHAT to Sonic in the comics? And for how long? 25 years? Yeah, well, that's clearly gotta stop." They took the licensed from Archie and apparently have far more oversight now.

I've given a very capsule version here, but if you're interested in dumb corporate drama at a minor kids publisher (and who isn't) it's worth looking into just for the story alone.

To wrap up - I felt comfortable referencing the comics in this article because SEGA hasn't really used the extended Sonic cast in a big way since Sonic '06 bombed. So the IDW comics seem like the best place to go for their characterization. I got these comics initially to read to my daughter, but I enjoyed them as much as she did.

EDIT: Oh, looks like Nate hit "post" before I did. Good work. He also mentioned Fleetway, too. I've never read them, but my impression is that they're culturally very UK-centered - out of that Beano school of comics. I don't know if there's anywhere you can read them in the US. They sound interesting, though.
Posted: 06/30/20, 07:12:25  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 08:27:33
Cream the rabbit sounds like one of those weird sex things that nobody actually does in real life.
Posted: 06/30/20, 09:13:22
Where is Big the Cat!?

@Hinph Ye... yeah. Nobody. Only WEIRDOS would do THAT, amirite. *looks around nervously*
Posted: 06/30/20, 19:52:19  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 19:53:36
@Zero

Ok...


A Redemptive Reading of Big the Cat



Pros:
-He may be a slow-thinking doofus, but he makes up for it in humility
-Adds a different play style to the games he's in
-Is fundamentally kind and good-hearted

Cons:
-He's the poster child for "Useless Sonic Friends"
-That different play style? Fishing!

Big the Cat is the closest the Sonic franchise gets to having a dumb hick character. On the one hand, Sonic doesn't seem like a series that needs some elements of Hee-Haw in it. On the other... well, there's no one else in the cast quite like Big the Cat, and that's saying something.

Speaking as a Southerner who likes to go fishing every now and then, it is odd how easy-going characters that are coded as being from the country tend to get treated as if they are useless morons. In some ways, Big really is a useless moron. He talks like a lobotomized Goofy. He spends all of Sonic Adventure, at the brink of the world being taken over by Robotnik and a giant water monster, cluelessly trying to get his pet frog back. But there's a case to be made that his innocence and humility is precisely what make him worthwhile. It's something different. The other characters are working together to accomplish big things, but that kind of thinking is beyond Big's abilities. Instead, he takes the other approach - the big hearted one. This is a series that can always use elements of heart to contrast with its many flavors of "Way Past Cool 90s X-treme". With his basic decency Big the Cat can be a welcome presence in a world like that.

Put it another way. Someone said to me that they like the idea of paranoid Sticks the Badger being friends with Big the Cat. They said that Big would probably listen to her rants, not understand a word of it, and then take her fishing to calm down. Like a good friend does. I like that concept and it only really works with Big.
Posted: 06/30/20, 21:04:01  - Edited by 
 on: 06/30/20, 21:13:27
Hey, I was five years old when I played Sonic Adventure, and it was the coolest thing ever. And then the sequel came out and there was an EVIL SONIC!? Mindblowing.

I was pretty hyped for Sonic Heroes when it got announced as the long-awaited follow-up to two of my favorite games ever. Team Chaotix looked badass. But then actually playing the game wasn't very fun, and I drifted away from Sonic after that...

I started reading the Archie comic around issue #120 I think. And read it until about issue #160. And I never had any idea what was happening.

As far as tragic minor characters in Nintendo games go:



Posted: 07/01/20, 02:20:49
Great article! I enjoyed reading it, but, honestly, I can only take your word for each characters merits and demerits.

This article is my Sonic friend Wiki.

Also, I always dug Waluigi. Ironically? Unironically? Who cares! First of all, his name actually fits the Japanese joke better, since "Warui" means bad. Second, he's proudly purple. Third, he's a tall, gangly monster at the net! Even though he was probably created to fill a requirement in a tennis game, he still stands as one of the more unique, memorable members of Mario's humanoid cast.

It's so easy to imagine his potential moveset in Smash as a representative of Mario Sports games. It would be something new, something comical, and something really stupid. That's win-win-win!

Also, a game starring Waluigi needs to be made. It could be anything, really. It could be everything.

Waluigi for Smash 2020!
Posted: 07/12/20, 20:58:32  - Edited by 
 on: 07/12/20, 20:59:15
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