Classic Sonic: Return of Infinite
Published on May 21st, 2020 – Edited on November 22nd, 2020
So with the Mania’s success and Forces’s failure, it is no doubt about it that SEGA would be looking to appealing the classic fans. However, a simple rehash of the old games would not work a third time. At a certain point, people will become sick of it and want something original. Besides, there’s still a lot of potential in the Phantom Ruby and Infinite too, so it’d be cool if we could continue the saga.
This game will also retcon Sonic Mania Plus; Classic Sonic’s world should not be defined by JUST mania. I guess if you wanted to keep it canon, just say that Classic Sonic split into two after fighting the Phantom king, where one is now back where he started and one went into Forces’s world. Either way, it’d make for a much more compeling plot and it’d be cooler to have a completely new game take place after Forces instead of a DLC pack to the former game, so away it goes.
After the battle between Classic Sonic and the Phantom King in Sonic Mania, the Phantom Ruby got teleported to Modern Sonic’s dimension. Dr Eggman, who found it when it crashlanded near his workplace, started to research it and its properties. From Mania, we know that it could warp space and time, transporting its users to places of old. This Ruby was kept inside the Death Egg Robot, which was destroyed when it fought with Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic and the Custom Avatar. However, he instilled a clone of the Ruby into Infinite, a thief who lead the Jackel Squad. This clone can manipulate reality (such as in Stage 16 of Sonic Forces, where Infinite creates giant clones of himself throughout the stage, flipping gravity as our heros traverse) & create null space but depends on a energy source. While Infinite was fought by Modern Sonic and the Custom Avatar, he was never fully defeated but simply escaped.
After the events of Sonic Forces, we follow Classic Sonic being transported into Hidden Palace Zone, the home of the Master Emerald. Knuckles, in front of the Master Emerald, looks warn out from fighting the same evil that Classic Sonic knew was responsible for the corruption of Modern Sonic’s dimension. Tails has already been knocked out, being placed in Infinite’s red cube floating being him. Noticing Classic Sonic, Knuckles is set aside to follow a command his master (Modern Eggman) specifically told him to do and was frustrated when he did not do it; destroy Sonic. Thinking that this is Modern Sonic, vengence arises as he remembers how he separated from his master and the pain he felt when his Ruby became defunct (remember that it relies on a power source which was destroyed by Modern Sonic and the Avatar). Classic Sonic dodged the initial attack but was knocked out when he tried to charge up a spindash. Learning from his mistake in Forces, he sends all three of our heros into Null Space.
Yep, Null Space is our first level, not generic city or grass level. It seems much more original, plus it’s an element we could do better than forces since it’d be a full level and not a 2 second straight line. The powerup of choice here would be the Fire Shield. Anywho, a Phantom Infinite would be our first boss fight, but it would not be the 2nd infinite boss fight from forces. This infinite can not put a phantom in Null Space, so it’d be more of a 1 on 1 thing, similar to the Koopalings. Once you’ve defeated the rather easy boss fight, Null Space starts falling apart so Act 3 would be a
JoJo reference fast-pace level, where you have to quickly run to jump from platform to platform to get out of there.
Exiting Null Space places you in Metrocity Zone, similar to Metropolis from Sonic Forces. The stages main gimmick is the zip lines (from Mania’s green hill zone), elevators (from Sonic 3’s Death Egg Zone) and buildings to jump across. Egg Pawns are used as our stages main enemy, but the lightning shield can help you jump over them. After the mid-boss of Act 1, UFOs start invading the city. Act 2 is a mix between inside the UFO and outside the UFO, on the horizon sunset (the sun starts to set as you run through Act 1). While you run outdoors, Dr Robotnik can be spotted in his mech from the backgrounds. The boss of this zone is moved to be the entire focus point of Act 3, rather than just a simple boss at the end of Act 2 (hence why Act 2 ends with a goal pole). During the first half of Act 3, Dr Robotnik is chasing you similar to how he did on Sonic’s fight with Metal Sonic back in Stardust Speedway Zone. The boss is a tag team between Dr Robotnik and Metal Sonic, with Dr Robotnik being in his mech and metal attempting to sheild him. The way to defeat him is to knock Metal away from Dr Robotnik and jump onto the mech before Metal has the chance to come back. Once they are defeated, Robotnik tells our heroes he only helped Infinite due to being forced into doing so. Metal is sent with our heroes, joining them into Ghost Valley Zone.
Ghost Valley takes place during the night time, featuring Newtrons as our main badnik (which is easily defeatable by the Water Shield). The actual platforming of the level is filled with platforms similar to the Scales from Super Mario Maker 2, scrolling staircases and a maze-like structure. A fake Fang the Snipper would be the mid-boss, bearing behaviors similar to his fight in Sonic Triple Trouble rather than in Mania. In Act 2, clouds descends making the area foggy. The fog hides ghosts, which can randomly kill the momentum of the player. The way to clear up the fog would be to run across the light pole’s (take notes Sandopolis Act 2). Phantom Chaos 0 appears for the zone’s boss, making this the first modern enemy coming into the classic world. The way the boss fight would work would be similar to the one mod which adds a Chaos Boss Fight in Sonic Forces. In the background of the boss fight, you see that Amy Rose is locked behind Chaos’s cage, which is deformed when the boss is defeated. In fact, the entire area gets flooded once Chaos is defeated, blackening out all the latterns. Act 3 is mad dash out of the cloudy area into a nearby lava fortress, as the ghosts try to kill your momentum and keep you in the fog like Sonic.EXE.
Lava Fortress Zone is an indoor mansion with Lanterns, Swinging platforms (as opposed to floating in the Ghost House) and gates to climb on. Act 2 sees a clone of VVVVVV, where characters flip gravity every time they try to jump. The boss of the Zone would be the Heavy King, who causes Lava Waves to lift platforms. Act 3 is a rush out of the level, while flipping gravity making sure you don’t flip into a side with lava waves.
Jungle Tropics Zone sees swinging vines & water to run on as Chopper’s try to drag you down through this Jungle/Beach hybrid level. At the beginning of Act 1, it’s the afternoon. As you run through the stage, the sun starts to set. A giant mech squid rounds up Act 1 as the midboss of the level, challenging you to a race. By the time you defeat the squid, the sky has completely set into darkness. Act 2 starts off at the night, with a poison water gimmick. Similar to the Metal Virus, all the fish that enter the sea have turned evil and it’s your job to avoid touching it. The Zone’s boss is Dr Robotnik, who has officially teamed up with Infinite to destroy Team Sonic. Inside the caterpillar mech he’s in, you would find Mighty and Ray stuck at the last ball. Defeating the mech would unlock the duo, but also make the metal monkey’s in the level chase after you. Act 3 involves you running away from the monkeys behind you and the rising poisonous water as you swing from vine to vine. The Tornado ends up catching you, bringing you to Sky Chase Zone.
The only difference in this game’s Sky Chase Zone is that it isn’t as slow as the one in Sonic 2 and you’re heading towards Angel Island instead of Dr Robotnik’s ship. The stage ends with Infinite crashing the Tornado into Ice Cap Zone
Ice Cap Zone starts off with you in a pile of snow. The main gimmick here is the ice that you slip on and the constant icicles that falls from above. Act 2 has a lava explosion which transforms the Ice Cap into a freezeflame (which would make WillyMaker happy). The main gimmick here is the lava fall. Boss here is a phantom Dr Robotnik again in the Death Egg Robot. Act 3 has a snow-board section, just like the beginning of Act 1 of Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone in Sonic’s playthrough. The end sees you taking a large leap into Hidden Palace Zone, where you jump into the elevator taking you to Sky Sanctuary.
Similar of Knuckles’ playthrough of Sonic 3, Sky Sanctuary is the final zone of the game. The environment seems to take an Ancient Greece design, with Infinite Statues and wanted pictures for Eggman out in the distance. Bottomless Pits are rare but expected, and Act 1 carries the Zip Line mechanic from Metrocity Zone. Act 2 sees the Zone go up in flames, but the Fire Shield can help you with that. The zone’s boss would be Infinite, bearing a boss battle similar to the one from Sonic Forces with the custom Avatar. At this point, the place starts to collapse, and what happens next depends on whether you’ve collected the 7 chaos emeralds across the stage.
- Collecting all 7 chaos emeralds sees Infinite trying to flee, but you leep into the air, turn into Super Sonic and start chasing him through the sky. Defeating him here finally breaks the Phantom Ruby, absorbs infinite to a portal and you fleeing. Eventually, you can’t outrun it but the Tornado is there to save the day.
- Failing to collect the 7 chaos emeralds shows the place crumbling, you escaping into the tornado as Infinite laughs at you from behind.
This game will have 7 playable characters, two more from Sonic Mania Plus. As you progress in the game, you will unlock more characters, but feel free to play those characters in earlier stages once you’ve unlocked them to find the other routes you could take. Also, each character now gets an additional move.
- Sonic’s drop dash returns from Sonic Mania, but the Super Peel Out from Sonic CD makes a return. Sonic is unlocked from the very start.
- Tails now has an upwards flight that has more power, but doesn’t have much horizontal movement possibilities and dies out quicker. It’s also a momentum killer.
- Knuckles can now has a spin attack while running, only losing slight momentum compared to Fan Game’s punch moves. The glide can now be jumped out of, allowing you to defend yourself when you go to the ground. However, when trying to cling onto walls, staying on the wall for too long would wear knuckles out and he’ll start to slip.
- Metal Sonic has a homing attack but using it not near an ememy would work the same way it works in Sonic 4, as opposed to the way Sonic homing attacks in Sonic 06, Unleashed, Colors & Generations.
- Amy Rose would have a moveset similar to the one she had in Sonic Advance, and is unlocked after Ghost Valley Zone.
- Mighty’s armadillo shell can now have an insta-shield, similar to Sonic’s from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
- Ray now has a spin attack which propells him into the air, similar to SM3DW’s move.
As we can see, it would be a 7 zone’d game with 3 acts each. The first act would be the main theme, the second act would be a remix and the third act would be a autorunner stage, similar to the Mock Speed sections from 06.
Instead of having multiple campaigns, you’d be able to select your character before every zone. I don’t see the need to have the character per save file. Of course, once you have a character, you stick to that character for that zone. No switching in-between.
In Sonic Adventure, you have treasure hunting, racing, fishing, shooting, etc..not really consistent. I plan to go the Sonic 3 & Knuckles style, where they have the same gameplay except they each have their own routes.
Sonic Mania’s bonus games didn’t really feel like bonuses. We first had the Blue Spheres which unlocked tokens, but they don’t benefit the main campaign itself. Sonic Mania Plus’s Bonus Game was a pinball machine, but didn’t have any skill and the visual style was inconsistent with the main games. Also, if you knew how to time things right, you could stay there forever. Instead, we’ll port over the bonus games from Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles, which has rewards you could benefit from in the main campaign and uses the main game’s engine.
In classic sonic games, the special stages are a bit too different than the main game.
- In sonic 1, you were curled up into a ball and had to go through many different prisms to get the chaos emerald
- In sonic 3D Blast (Saturn), Sonic 2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic 4: Episode 2, Sonic Colors DS & Sonic Generations 3DS, you had to go through a half pipe to attempt to dodge bombs (while hoping that Tails isn’t annoying) and collect enough rings to advance through 3 sections. No, I’m not calling all of those games classic games. I’m trying to show how overused the half-pipe is.
- In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, you are on a circle trying to collect blue spheres.
- In Sonic Mania, they finally have a fully functional 3D engine for their special stages
Yeah, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m saying it stray’s away way too much. In my opinion, Special Stages should be, you know, Special Stages and not Special Mini-Games.
Instead, it would be much more fun if it were an extension of the current game structure. Maybe a race between you and Infinite to get the chaos emerald first while traversing a gauntlet of platforms?
Sonic Mania’s art style worked because the games focus was “let’s look at past content and make it the best it could be”. We’ve gotten a really nice evolution for Sonic and Friends of the Sonic 2 artstyle, a classic look. The 32x art style also makes sense because it was supposed to try and match if a 2D Saturn game was made. However, for this new game with new zones, I feel like it’s time we got an art style that didn’t have a new color every pixel, and that’s where Sonic Uprising comes in. Looking at Mighty the Armadillo alone should tell you how much of a modern take on a classic art style this feels like.
Overall, what I am trying to say is that a new Classic Sonic game could be original and still include a Phantom ruby while not being a cash grab, nostalgia panderer and a slap to the face for the series. Many people on Twitter hate Classic Sonic, but honestly, does it really matter? Sonic Team wants to make it so that 3D is Modern while 2D is Classic, and again; this is Infinite going into Classic’s world and a sequel to Forces. All we know, is that it’d be the sequel Forces wishes it could be.