Author's Note: Yeaaah, for this fic to make sense you'd need to have seen some concept art and/or the trailers for the Sonic Boom game/Tv series. In case you haven't, go watch it now, I'll wait. ;P
...done? You back? Great! That means we can now start poking fun at the designs for all they're worth. Let's go! :D All info taken directly from developer's interviews and articles!
Sonic Boom: The Beginning of Everything
"Um. Right. I think I'm about done here," Sonic said, crouched on one knee and tongue poking out as he applied the last of the white stuff, wrapping it around one ankle. Then he turned his head to see how the others were getting on, and raised an eye ridge.
"Err...you okay there, li'l buddy?"
"No. I think I accidentally taped my tails together. This isn't working, Sonic." Tails looked at him with the frustration any man (well, any fox) might feel who instead of his regular number of limbs was suddenly one short. He tried to wriggle his namesakes to separate them. It...didn't work very well. Instead, he knocked one of the boxes, which were containing even more tape rolls, over. "This is a serious design flaw!" the fox kit exclaimed to the world (and his living room) at large.
Sonic winced. "I dunno, I kinda like the Sonic Boom look-"
"Of course you would, because your new neckkerchief covers up your prepubescent chest baldness," Shadow cut across him smoothly. "I knew that with not only me but also Silver around, you'd start developing issues eventually," he said, stroking his own patch of fur smugly.
"Shut it, Stripes," Sonic snapped. "You're not even in the game, okay?"
"Yes. Probably something to be thankful for," Shadow replied, the black hedgehog on the couch not even fazed. "Saved me from being turned into Buffles the Echidna, for one thing..."
Said echidna announced his presence at this point by walking into the living room door frame.
"Forgot to duck again, Guardian?" Shadow asked pleasantly, while both Sonic and Tails had winced in sympathy. Knuckles, now a good two feet taller than he had been, stepped into the room, still rubbing his head.
"I hate our developers so. Much."
"Hey, at least be glad we stopped imitating Zelda, right?" Amy, who had apparently finished getting dressed also entered the room, now proudly sporting her new outfit of a dark pink dress, purple knee-high socks, and complete with bandages around her waist. "Sonic as a wolf and Sonic with a sword was bad enough, not to mention that disaster when they tried to put him into a world filled entirely with water..."
"Yeah. No mentions of Sonic Rush, please," the blue hedgehog said with a wince. "It was bad enough that Amy misheard the title of that game as 'Sonic Crush' in the first place..."
"That could have happened to anybody!"
"Uh-huh," Tails agreed, although his tone didn't sound very convinced, "But then again, don't forget that they aren't our usual developers. They're not Sonic Team, they're Big Red Button," the fox explained, while at the same time trying to tug a strip of tape from one hand, which then promptly stuck to the other, "I read up on it, they have actually quite a decent reputation. Among other things they were responsible for Jak & Dexter and Crash Bandicoot, for example."
"Crash Bandicoot?" Sonic lips twitched. "In that case, yeah, I can suddenly see where Knuckles' new design stems from."
"One day, hedgehog, I'm going to drop Angel Island on top of you."
"I think," Amy cut in, "that that could actually be good news. I mean, the last game that was third party, Sonic Chronicles, wasn't so bad, right?"
"Yeah," Sonic agreed cheerfully, "Knux got kidnapped in the beginning. That was fun."
"Hedgehog, if you don't shut it right now, I'm going to take this sports tape and do the job for you."
Sonic waved him off. "Oh, shut it, 'roid rage. Go lifting with Egghead if you need to blow of some steam." He cocked his head. "The way the good doc's looking lately, he's probably living on protein shakes..."
"Okay," Knuckles growled, taking a tape roll out of one of the boxes littering the floor, "That's it, Sonic-!"
"Stop it!" Amy called out, stepping between them. "We need to not only make it through the game as a team, but also through the TV series, remember?" She asked. "Seriously, am I the only one that studied up on this? As far as I understand it, the game's basically meant to be a prequel to it. And it's supposed to be a pretty long one, too – 52 episodes!"
"The TV series, yeah...there aren't going to be any...human kids in it, though, right?" Sonic looked a bit haunted.
"No, I don't think so," Tails replied in Amy's stead, and then wrestled for a moment, because he now seemed to have managed to tape his fingers together, "they said that other characters will definitely show up, though, so Shadow might be in it after all. But the series is still supposed to focus on the core cast, so they can develop our characters better. Have I mentioned, for instance, that they already managed to give me the character trait of hating adhesive bandages?"
"Hm," Sonic looked dubiously at Knuckles, who was still mostly bumping into things because he kept forgetting the width of his shoulders. "Not sure whether they're confusing 'character' and 'pecs' there, but..."
"Oh, hush. I'm excited about this!" Amy piped up before this could become another brawl, "I'm getting character development! I'm finally supposed to be interested in something besides relentlessly chasing you!"
Sonic could feel his lips quirk. "Oh really? Interested in what?"
If it's the same as anybody else, it'll probably be sports tape," Shadow muttered, utterly ignoring Amy's indignant squawk.
"No fair! I'm supposed to really have matured in this game!" she protested. "And besides, there's a reason to these design changes. the developers said that they're supposed to give 'visual clues' to our prominent attributes." She crossed her arms. "See, Tails wears steampunk goggles and carries wrenches because he's a mechanic!" she stated triumphantly and gestured at the fox.
Everybody looked at him. Currently one of the wrenches was taped to his head.
Tails noticed their gazes and sweat-dropped "Yeah, I'm not too sure sticky things and fur are a great combination..."
Shadow shrugged. "Likely irrelevant. Soon as that game comes out you're gonna be looking like plastic again, anyway, whether it's running on the Cry Engine 3 or not..."
"Looks like someone is just butthurt that he never got a second game," Sonic snapped, giving Shadow a glare. The black hedgehog threw him a cool look.
"Jealous of your new game? In mine I flip over busses, faker."
"In yours you turned out to be a magic half-alien cure for space AIDS," Sonic shot back, and Shadow's eyes narrowed abruptly.
"Oh yeah?! Well – I – at least I didn't have to paint my arms a different damn colour!" he snapped and Sonic gasped.
"I can paint my arms any colour I-!"
Knuckles looked at Tails at this point.
"Their insults are bizarre on a good day, but this is getting weird even for their standards."
"Guys! Calm down!" Amy shouted. Sonic and Shadow, who had been about to engage in a wrestle on the sofa (and were unfortunately now sticking together with the tape from Sonic's wrists, causing no small amount of horror and flailing on both their parts) stopped trying to tear away from each other.
"There," Amy cut the length of tape between them with a pair of scissors, leaving both hedgehogs to retreat to opposite corners of the room and basically stop just short of hissing at each other. The pink hedgehog had to resist the urge to rub her temples where she could feel a headache coming on.
She sighed. "Sonic, could you be a dear and maybe possibly fetch something to drink for everyone from the kitchen? And maybe, uh, something to get glue out of fox fur. Yeah, that would be a good idea, thanks," she said, as the blue hedgehog took the opportunity to leave the room before tensions were running too high, mercifully ignoring Shadow's muttered comment of 'Don't fall into any paint thinner!' on his way out.
Amy cleared her throat. "Anyway, as I was saying. The developers said the design changes are meant to be 'visual pointers' toward our attributes-"
"- possibly in the case of our viewers being one brain cell short of a sixpack, yeah- " Knuckles grumbled, but was ignored,
" - therefore, Sonic's arms being blue makes more sense because his design is then more streamlined, which indicates his speed," Amy bravely carried on. "Also, every other male hedgehog has arms in their primary colour, so this technically only makes sense."
"Yeah, because 'making sense' was ever so important to this series where you play as a detective group comprised of reptiles and sentient bees that have to collect sea shells, right."
"Shadow. Hush," Amy admonished, carrying on with a frown, "So yeah, my point being, if Sonic is looking more streamlined and his quills more windswept that clearly marks him as a runner. Visual pointers, so people can more easily tell now what our respectives specialties are," she finished, grinning proudly at her own deductions.
Knuckles gave her a look.
"And the 'visual pointers' from before all this, mainly that I was wearing boxing gloves with spikes was too subtle?" he asked, incredulous. "What did these people think I do with them, knitting?"
"Uh...well..." Amy floundered a little.
"And also, if that explanation for the design changes is true, some things still don't make sense," Shadow interrupted her, "Tails is a mechanic, so he has wrenches, the echidna is a fighter, so he's tall and muscly, the faker is a runner, so he's apparently holding himself together with tape, fine, but what about you?" he asked, looking at Amy, before he then raised an eye ridge. "Talking of which, what is even supposed to be your defining characteristic?"
"I...er, well, I'm a girl, so my defining characteristics are obviously that I'm sweet and graceful-"
Knuckles stared at her flatly. "Which is why the most prominent part of your design is a great big hammer. Obviously."
"Oh will you shut it!" Amy snapped back at both of them, said hammer appearing in her hand as if by magic. "I'm quiet and pretty and gentle as a freakin dandelion, okay?!"
Both males stared at her, eyes wide.
"Please don't hurt us."
"Thank you," Amy grunted at their synchronized apologies, obviously calmed down. Then she looked around. "And besides, why do I have to defend this game all alone, anyway? Tails, why don't you say some-?"
Amy stopped talking when her eyes fell on the fox kit, though, and it became apparent that the two-tail in question wasn't talking because he had somehow managed to tape his own mouth shut.
He blinked, pointing at himself. "Mmmhmhm?"
"Oh...oh just forget about it," Amy dropped into couch chair, letting her hammer fall to the floor and her head tip back.
"At least we won't have to sit on top of each other all the time - they said that this game would feature huge, open levels – but not one big hub world like Soleanna!"she added hurriedly when she saw Sonic's panicked expression as the blue hedgehog had entered back into the living room, carrying drinks (it was well-known that any mention of that particular game or its Princess could send the blue speedster running for the hills...). "No, they said the game will take elements from Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure and Sonic Generations!"
The blue hedgehog frowned. "...so basically Tails will keep dropping all the rings and I get to spend eternity in a spike pit as Super Sonic?"
"No!" Amy groaned in frustration. "It means that according to them, it will have its focus on cooperation with two or more players, exploring huge levels and fighting," she explained with forced patience, ignoring Tails' indignant muffled noises at Sonic's earlier remark in the background.
"Plus, puzzles where you'll have to employ a certain character's power to get past. And I don't think it will even feature Super Sonic, not without any Chaos Emeralds in the game. They said they were going to invent an entirely new background story for our world."
"What? No Chaos Emeralds? No Super Sonic bossfight?" Sonic's face fell a little
"They might just replace them." Knuckles shrugged (which was actually quite an impressive feat. With his new shoulders, a shrug looked like a miniature landslide). "After all, in the other two Wii-exclusive titles, there weren't any Emeralds either, which...didn't exactly change things." He waved one of his hands. "I mean, first it was World Rings, then sacred swords... at this point we could be collecting the seven horcruxes and people wouldn't care."
"Thus making the endboss Voldemort?" Shadow actually sounded contemplative."Well, as far as I heard they did say that the Doctor at least wouldn't be the big evil mastermind in this game..."
"Yeah, probably because he spent more time at the gym than at the Nefarious Scheme drawing board," Sonic quipped. He was currently trying to disentangle the tape wrapped around his kid brother (who at this point looked more like some sort of Egyptian cat mummy than anything else) but not having much success. It was a bit like trying to pull a full body band-aid off, and the hedgehog grimly supposed he'd have to resort to using implements for sheep-shearing at some point if they wanted to avoid tears, and that probably would end up with Tails looking like he'd been attacked by the Egg Lawn Mower – yeeeah, someone really hadn't thought this tape-shtick through...
"And I say it doesn't matter." Amy crossed her arms. "I think the trailers look great and 2014 really will be the 'Year of Sonic' like they keep calling it. And even if Sonic Boom is going to be a separate franchise and not the mainstream games canon..." she paused, looking around the room. Sonic was still trying to help Tails who had meanwhile somehow fallen over and become stuck to the carpet, the blue hedgehog was getting fresh blue paint from his arms all over the furniture in the process, Knuckles still kept prodding his muscles in the vague hope they might suddenly deflate, and Shadow had retreated into the Incredible Sulk because he likely wasn't going to be a playable character...Amy smiled.
"...I think it's going to be fantastic."
A/N: Hope you liked! All info (little though there was) accurate according to various press releases from the developer's side. Knuckles' design is horrific imho, but the rest looks great! Hope you enjoyed the infodump nonetheless, and if you read, please review!
(Also, if you liked this fic, you might enjoy my collection 'Sonic Drabble Trouble!' - featuring a lot of poking fun at the games in general. Just a suggestion ;) )