So this is a bit of a project in a project here.
To put it simply, I don't like Sonic Forces.
Like, at all. Just looking at cutscenes, there's so much wasted potential for what could've been the anniversary game that Sonic could've gotten. To be honest, when even LEGO Dimensions has a more engagaing and “anniversary celebration” type of story, *you have very much f$@%ed up. Royally.*
So, for this, my attempt is to make the Sonic Forces story we should've gotten from the beginning. One that (hopefully) can be put on the same level as SatAM, the best of Archie, Secret Rings and Black Knight.
For this bit, this is a part of my attempt at a retelling of Episode: Shadow. One idea that's not as explored as it should be (to me, anyway) is the idea of the Phantom Ruby; a device capable of creating vivid hallucinations and (apparently) tampering with reality itself. And when you have a character like Shadow, one who's entire arc in SA2 is built on premeditated, posthumous mental manipulation (By the man who created him, no less)... well, yeah, you see where I'm getting at with wasted potential
Anyway, here's some setup: Basically, Infinite has used illusions of Maria (again, SA2 spoilers and all, though I should be assuming you've played that lol) a couple times to screw up Shadow, and our beloved(?) anti-hero doesn't take that too well, as we join him during Infinite's third (and final) attempt, using Maria to try to prevent Shadow from killing Infinite in one of those what-you-are-in-the-dark-type things....
Well, as far as Infinite is concerned, anyway....
Shadow takes one more look at her; seeing the kind of look Maria would have in this sorta situation, an innocent face that would never realize what Shadow has seen... or done....
“Fool me once: shame on you...” Eyes closed, Shadow doesn't even hide his anger as he turns away from her.
“Fool me twice: shame on me....” He raises an open hand towards Maria, the three in the room realizing this time what's going on. All Maria can seemingly muster is a worried “Shadow?”
Under his breath, Shadow mutters the words “Forgive me....”, words intended for neither Infinite or Maria. Or, at least, the Maria standing next to him....
A small sliver of green lightning races to Maria, and thus through her.
In a long moment, her suspended body disappears, illustrated through traces of red cubes.
Shadow opens his eyelids, focus sent towards Infinite with furrowed brows. Infinite isn't too fazed. He doesn't even realize what he's done.
But we do, don't we? ;)
“Now, Shadow, what's this all about?” Infinite asked smugly, almost teasing. “I don't think Maria would allow you ever murdering her....”
“A fair assessment,” Shadow retorted, “but I doubt Maria would be as accepting of being puppeted around like little Georgie with his paper boat.”
“I'm flattered.” Even without the mask, a smile could be sensed on Infinite's muzzle.
Shadow almost seems to reciprocate. “You want flattery? Let me tell you the story of one Professor Gerald Robotnik....
“Gerald lived on a colony in space; a top-secret, government project, doing other top-secret, government projects. He lived alongside his grand-daughter Maria, a kind, creative soul; but a terminally ill one, suffering from a rare, dangerous disease. Gerald created a creature — facilitated from the animal-like beings below, and other, more alien beings from above; with intelligence, awareness, a will of their own — to help his Maria, and potentially the world itself — for better, or worse.
Infinite almost seemed to be enjoying this, as Shadow continued on.
“Naturally, this creature found the most trust in Maria. She wasn't a scientist; hell, she had just as much experience with them as the creature would. Meanwhile, the government wasn't enjoying what Gerald was doing, so they sent their military to shut the whole colony down... and everyone else within it. Sending the alien creature in a nice little pod, and to top it all off, gunning down his kind granddaughter.”
Infinite starts to grow bored over this story, as he starts sitting — suspended in the air crossed-legged, tapping a finger on his lower leg — wondering when he'll end
“Soon enough, Gerald didn't take too kindly over Maria's death, and in his grief-fueled rage, started to reprogram the creature's mind; blocking out certain memories, and replacing many of them with thoughts of rage, and revenge, as well as reprogram the colony to fall on the planet below, so that even if he died, his creation, his child... could fulfill his new wish, and give the people who took away his only reprieve... what he believed they truly deserved....”
Infinite stands up — or rather, unhooks his arms from his legs and lowers the latter to the floor. “I fail to see your point in this unambiguous sob story.”
Shadow bows his head. “Two things,” he states. “First: one of those alien beings were known as the Black Arms.”
He walks towards Infinite. “An important factor, as second: you've used Maria to manipulate me just as Gerald posthumously used her to manipulate me.”
He stops, a mere two feet separating each other. “In any other situation, I would be merciful. But now, with what you've committed...”
He raises his head, revealing a fire burning in his eyes with equal parts passion and pain.
”...you deserve *all the mercy of the Black Arms.”*
Well, that was something. Don't even know how this'll go, or what I can make out of this. Maybe throw this around with a few people with some story-telling experience? See if they notice any of the in-jokes? I dunno. I'll see how this goes. Anyway, stay puzzled.
— pzd —