Thursday, April 22, 2010

Plot: The Basic Prompt, Outline, Characters and Key Events

Whew! Finals are over (much to my enjoyment) and I can finally get back to work on this! Now, the question in my mind following the last post was "in what direction do I go from here?" Not in the sense that I am out of ideas by any means, but in the concept that I present a logical flow of information based on the fact that this is a blog, and the less confusing it is the better. With that in mind, I feel that the next best area of presentation is plot, as the plot not only establishes the story, it more importantly defines the world in which the game is set. The world, at this point in design, is more vital knowledge then the actual plot of the game, because we need the stage to enact the play. So expect to see an in depth world description coming soon as well. Hopefully enough is here to be clear.

Many will notice that there is a lot of content here. Fact is, I'd expect about 33% (especially characters) to get cut from the game (I'd rather not, but some would be unnecessary, and some just due to time.

The Basic Plot:

At the beginning of the game, Sonic is out and running in a tropical beach setting (lots of cliffs, vegetation, etc) when he comes across what looks like a massive and ancient archipelago of half sunken island ruins. At a distance, he is unable to make out any detail, but there seems to be a strange warping visual 'bubble' around the archipelago (barely distinct but he sees it). So Sonic sets off to investigate (Intro level to train Slow and High-Speed controls here, colorful jungle with some ruins, vague flashes of characters he will meet to hint about the game ahead). At the end, he finds a strange disturbance that sucks him up and deposits him thousands of years in the past in the Kingdom of Atlantis.

Sonic is then approached by the Wizard Silver who explains to him that he has brought Sonic to Atlantis in the past to help him save Atlantis in the future (which is the ruins Sonic had seen). He explains to Sonic that the Chancellor of Atlantis (it's always the chancellor, always) has secretly taken over the Atlantis government, ousting the Royal family (who are missing) and using the military to his own ends. Silver explains that Atlantis is set outside of normal time and space, and that the Chancellor appears to be destabilizing the anchors that keep it that way in order to absorb the energy used by the process. He needs a hero to help him stop the chancellor and save the city. Naturally, Sonic accepts, and Silver directs him towards a powerful weapon that belonged to the Demigod Chronos (who created Atlantis). This cues the second Intro stage (the player uses prior knowledge to obtain the Staff of Chronos and then is trained in Combat, simple stage, set in a park-like area).

Key Elements:
  • Player is introduced to the movement controls
  • Player meets Silver and the groundwork for the plot is laid
  • Player acquires the Staff and is given a training tutorial in Combat mode and actions
Normal Stages:
Silver tasks Sonic with tracking down the spells that are disrupting the anchors and destroying them with his staff. He then explains the order in which this will take place. First, Sonic will need to go to the present to locate the residual time distortion (Act 1), then he will need to return to the past (Act 2) to find the time distortion, defeat it's guardian, and absorb it into the staff. When Sonic asks about the quantity of water around Atlantis and the ruins, Silver informs him that he has accounted for that and hands him an amulet that will grant Sonic new abilities underwater (At this point the player will be allowed the Aqua Sonic form). Silver then sends Sonic back to the present and the game begins via the usual progression of stages.

Along the way, Sonic will face off against several character who's stories will intertwine with his, namely: Shadow (The Thief and Prince without a Kingdom), Amy (the last member of the Royal Family) , Eggman (The Chancellor), Tails (Leader of the Atlantis Air Corp), Knuckles (Former leader of the Atlantis Elite Royal Guard), Blaze (The Leader of the Atlantis Magic Corp), Rouge (A rich noble and bored thief) and a mysterious figure in the present stages who is constantly harassing Sonic. Stages to be determined.

Key Moments:
  • Player Journeys 8 stages (this should be the same for all characters, different paths and endings for stages)
  • Faces Shadow once, Tails twice, Blaze twice, Rouge once, and the Chancellor.
  • Faces the Mysterious Figure at least once per present stage
  • Collect new Staff powers, at least one per Stage
  • Primary character interactions: Silver and the Chancellor

Eventually, Sonic faces off against The Chancellor with the full power of the Staff of Chronos and must face off against a golem copy of himself in combat amid a collapsing ruin before facing off against the Chancellor.

In a twist, Sonic learns that he has been working to destabilize Atlantis himself, not that he nor Silver knew. The Chancellor let Silver think that he was doing the right thing in order to let him do the dirty work. Now that Sonic has absorbed the Anchors with the Staff, Atlantis will destabilize and be destroyed, all the Chancellor has to do is get the staff from Sonic, and he is helped by non other then the mysterious haunting figure from the present, who turns out to be the chancellor in the future, incredibly powerful after absorbing Atlantis's power. However, Sonic's appearance has altered time and created a paradox from which only one can win...the other will be erased! Sonic then absorbs the power of Atlantis in the staff to become Warp Sonic and faces off against the future chancellor in a battle for control of the power of Atlantis and their own existence (Final Boss). Sonic wins and Atlantis is saved. The chancellor is defeated, and Sonic returns the energy of Atlantis to it's rightful place. He returns the staff to Silver along with the amulet, is hailed a hero, and then sent back to his own time, where he glimpses the new future of Atlantis (awesome, high tech paradise with a statue of him in the center) before it fades back to its own pocket reality once more.

Each sub-character will use the same stages (simply access different routes and areas with their powers. Additionally they may be there are different times of the day, and will have different ending areas and bosses.

  • Initial Goal: Stop the Chancellor/Help Sonic
  • Meet Sonic multiple times (Primary character interaction), Blaze once
  • Attempt to find any remaining members of the Royal Family
  • Do battle with Blaze Multiple times
  • Final Boss: Finish Blaze for good
  • Initial Goal: Learn the fate of the Royal Family
  • Save Amy (Primary Character interaction)
  • Face off against Tails, Knuckles, Sonic, The Thief Kings and the Chancellor
  • Final Boss: Finish off the Chancellors massive Mech-Golem and save Amy
  • Initial Goal: Get revenge on the Chancellor
  • Meets and teaches Sonic moves (Primary interaction)
  • Run into Silver, Rouge, Tails and Blaze
  • Final Boss: Showdown battle with a hoard of Battle Golems
  • (Shorter game due to plot, can be used in free mode)
  • Initial Goals: Stop Sonic, Silver, Shadow, Knuckles
  • No final boss, these are more of Challenge missions.
  • Initial Goal: Regain the throne
  • Meet Sonic, Silver, Shadow (Primary interaction), Knuckles
  • Final Boss: Fight the Chancellors Mech Golem with him inside
  • (Shorter game due to plot, can be used in free mode)
  • Initial Goals: Stop Sonic, Silver, Shadow, Knuckles
  • No final boss, these are more of Challenge missions.
  • Initial Goal: Steal and chase Shadow out of Atlantis
  • Meet Shadow, Rouge, Espio (Rouge and Espio primary)
  • No Final Boss (Challenge Missions)
  • Initial Goal: Uncover merchant secrets
  • Meet Rouge, Blaze, Tails and The Theif Kings (no primary)
  • Explains some background elements of the story not covered in main story.
  • Final Boss: The Thief Kings
  • Initial Goal: Steal!
  • Meet Knuckles, Sonic, the Thief Kings, and Espio
  • No Final Boss (Challenge Missions)
  • No story involvement or missions, free mode character
  • No story involvement or missions, free mode character

 WHEW! Basic stuff done! Next time, Character profiles, play styles and description info.

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