Something to Note Before You Start ReadingEdit
This is a long entry. It also include plot specific elements to the original game that may spoil the game if you have this on your list of games to try next.
I will try to given enough insight as to what parts of the game are being played without you having to require to look up much on it on your own. It helps if you've at least seen some Let's Play footage, or have actually owned this game before.
Okay. Still with me here? Really? Thanks! Let's get on with the show!
Well, it’s been about a year since I first posted my experience , which was before I decided to record it to this wiki. I have decided, that since this wiki has taken better notice of it, that my further transcribes would be recorded here.
I had gradually started to lose interest in the game for no real reason. Only because I had recently obtained a couple of modified Playstation Ones from a close family member who had decided to give the modified consoles to me because they figured that I would appreciate the devices and take good care of them. In addition to the two modded systems, and some branded games, there was also some games burned to discs that systems could play, one more so than the other.
Among the games given, there was a “Spyro the Dragon” game, which I remembered playing the heck out of on the demo disc my brother had back when we were kids, and had often wished we had the full game. It was a dream come true to me, having waited almost 14 years to play the full version of this silly purple dragon game.
There was also a “Monster Rancher 2” game on the burned discs, and I was immediately sucked into this interesting creature raising game, adopting a dinosaur-like creature and naming it “Grant” for the guy in “Jurassic Park”.
I eventually found myself browsing the web through my iPod to find anything cool to do with the game, and found that I could actually put in other CDs and discs to “find” creatures in them to adopt and use. I was skeptical of the idea, after all, it would mean to have to pull the disc from the top loading tray while it was playing, which I had been raised in knowing that this was a big “No-No” for the system, lest you want to ruin your save files.
Deciding that because I had another memory card, I figured that I could just start a new file and test the idea. It turned out, it actually worked! The game stored it’s info into the RAM, and I was prompted to remove my disc and add the one to “scan”. I dug through my many music CDs, and tested with my “Lion King” soundtrack I had since I was a little girl, and found that my creature was a “Tropical Monkey”, which appeared to be a silly orangutan with a massive flower around its neck like a mane.
I was amused, and decided to try all the discs I could grab in my room. My hands eventually hovered over the stack of Xbox Original and Xbox 360 games I had piled up on the edge of my dresser, and I wondered if the games that came out after “Monster Rancher 2” would be able to create a creature based on it.
Thinking back to my experience with my Sonic 2006 game, I half humored myself into the idea that maybe I would end up unleashing a trapped soul of a character, likely Mephiles, into my Playstation, and perhaps giving me a strange adventure, I was half bored after all.
Since my discovery of the somewhat unnerving clip hidden in my disc, I had not so much shied away from the game, but had instead dedicated some time into creating happier scenarios and such for the character Mephiles, hoping that perhaps he wasn’t actually trapped in the void that seemed that case. In my circle of web friends, it was no secret that I was a fangirl of the character since the start, and would proudly show off my fanart, modified items and even when I could find a cameo of the guy.
I even had obtained a doodle from one of the comic artist for my collection that showed Mephiles and Scourge (Anti-Sonic from the Archie comics) from Zone Jail, seemingly associating with each other. And my current prize of my collection, Mephiles related, was a miscolored Shadow the Hedgehog Gatcha (kinda like Japanese capsule toy, blind boxed, so it’s hard to see what you have until you pay) figure I had obtained from a convention and had decided to repaint to look like Mephiles since I already had a Shadow figure from the Jazwares set.You could pretty much say that I was the guy’s original fangirl, or at least his most enthusiastic, because it seemed that my username was linked to just about everything major about him. I kid you not, when he cameoed in “Sonic Generations” as an archive image in the credits, my messages just about blew up with people asking me if I had managed to convince SEGA to put him there, since I had reported months earlier that I had taken a chance to ask some representatives at a convention if there was a chance that the character had survived being wiped from time. And when he appeared in the comics after I had posted about me asking the likelihood of him being used as an Anti character… I was flooded with messages asking if I had done something as well. I chalked that all up to coincidence. After all, I was just a single nutty fangirl, and could in no way be able to manipulate an entire franchise just by a few questions.
Anyway, enough beating around the bush, I talk too much, I know it, and I can’t help it when I’m either bored, excited or nervous.
I decided to load the disc into the Playstation to see if I could obtain a creature from it. I closed the lid and pressed the X button, and waited, only to get an error. I wasn’t too surprised. Playstation predated Xbox 360 by many years, and I suppose people would be a bit annoyed that I even thought it was okay to load a competitor disc into the system.
Shrugging, I pulled the disc and continued on, playing with my creature before I found myself looking occasionally at the Sonic 2006 box I had plopped down beside me on my bed, which I was sitting on a stack on pillows to view my mounted little TV, next to the game.
Suddenly, I jumped when I heard a small THUD, and looked around my messy room to see if something fell off the wall. Nothing obvious, but then I glanced up at my display shelf that housed my Sonic figures and cool collectibles (my younger sister gave me some, so I show them off so that I can proudly state that my little sister was the one who found the “awesome stuff”). It didn’t seem much out of place, but I then noticed that the modified Mephiles figure was lying on its side. It must have toppled from the neighbors in the apartment upstairs moving around, because the figure was top heavy anyway, which I usually had it scooted up against another figure’s box to keep it upright.
I sighed, shaking my head and playfully scoffing at it, joking to myself that maybe the Sonic character figures that surrounded it might have ganged up on it as payback for what Mephiles did to Sonic in the game. I then recalled what I had discovered with the hidden ending clip, and found myself quickly hopping up to stand on my bed, reaching up for my Mephiles figure to “rescue” it from the surrounding Sonics. The Mephiles figure was no bigger than my longest finger, so it’s easy to close my hand around it, which I quickly regretted when I recalled the dark void the poor guy was subjected to in the clip, and my theorized event that I suspected happened in game when he was trapped in the Scepter of Darkness.
I plopped back down on my pillows, and dropped the figure next to me, half scolding myself for being childish, but I couldn’t quite help it, as when I was a little girl, before “Toy Story” even gave the idea, I always felt that my favorite toys would have souls from being a favorite, and would, to this day, treat the items with the utmost care.
I continued to play “Monster Rancher 2”, but found myself distracted and paused the game to look at my Sonic 2006 game box, then my Mephiles figure, and then at the Xbox 360 console I had tucked away neatly on my console shelf, since the Playstation was the one plugged to the TV. I looked at my mirror across from me, and saw my display shelf, then finally my poster corner with all of the Sonic characters displayed, grinning happily or even encouraging.
“Fine!” I huffed, throwing my hands in the air, and sliding off the bed to shut off the Playstation to plug in the Xbox 360. I was going to finally put my suspicions to rest and prove to myself that nothing was really going on.
I decided to start a new game, which can only be done for Sonic 2006 by either wiping all my data or creating a new account on the Xbox. There was no way I was going to let all my high ratings and unlocked bonuses (not much, but still) be removed when the game took about a day and a half of time to play if you didn’t skip the cutscenes.
One might wonder why I would even want to subject myself to redoing that nightmare of a glitch ridden game, but I assure you, there is a small reason. Some in game clips only occurred in normal playthrough, and was inaccessible in the game’s Media Room. This included pre-boss one liners and clips that showed the bosses in all their powerful glory… even little three foot tall scrawny Mephiles, who summoned a massive amount of shadow creatures with a nod.
As a person who enjoyed the little details hidden in games, these mini clips were like candy to me, and I often used an alternate account on the Xbox to power through and watch them, however long it took.
I loaded up the alternate account, booted the game up and the title screen set in Kingdom Valley popped up after the loading screen, the familiar theme song instrumental with orchestrated strings sounded off through my TV speakers, normal as ever. I hit start and chose to erase my alternate file, wanting to start anew.
Now, Mephiles wouldn’t play a huge part until I unlocked Silver’s story, and by then, I would have only seen him for half a minute in Sonic’s. I could choose to play long enough to unlock Shadow and Silver’s stories, but the final story would not be unlocked until I finished all three. This was a feat that I could muddle through in about 26 hours leisurely, and maybe half that if it was a speed run. I knew a lot of glitches to bypass time consuming parts, which was good for testing out ideas, but was something a family member would frown upon on me because it was as bad as cheating to them. They weren’t here, so I decided to speed run unless I was at my favorite parts.
Loading up Sonic's Story, the only option available at the moment, I pulled out my gamer’s guide for the game, which was obviously written for a previous version but still somewhat helpful. As I did, the familiar cutscene of the Festival of the Sun was loaded immediately, as it was a pre-rendered FMV, and didn’t suffer the lag the majority of the scenes did.
Deciding to try one of my favorite secrets, I opened up the Xbox menu with the controller, and loaded up some music I had saved in the console, to override the game’s soundtrack, and then paused it. The ambient music all stopped, allowing me to hear the hidden silver medals chime when I ran past them, making it easier to find them. The guide had a map, and a confusing set of images, but I just liked to run in the basic areas and snag them in new ways, most of them memorized by now anyway.
Sonic ran around the rather dead sounding town, the lack of sound due to the game’s ambient sound not including town chatter, which was amplified by the pale human models that seemed locked into perpetual motions. I liked to joke with my sister that the game took place in a “Silent Hill” version of the series, and with her being a fan of that series, she would craft theories with me for fun.
We would joke that the only dog in the game, which was often found staring out into the ocean, back to the player, never reacting and very close to the edge of the water… You could bump into the dog, and knock him back, but he would always shake the impact off, get up, and trot back to his spot to stare back out into the horizon... we would joke that the dog was the first soul to tell you the first thing that was off.
We would even joke that Shadow was the real main character for the game, as Sonic could easily be taken out and the game would play the same. And so we would joke that the kingdom of Soleanna was Shadow’s Silent Hill, and that Mephiles was representing Shadow’s bad side, and what he would have ended up as if he continued his path in “Sonic Adventure 2” as a bad guy. The fact that Sonic 2006 was easily a direct sequel at times to Shadow’s own solo game “Shadow The Hedgehog” released the year before, and that Shadow was very prominent in it seemed to fuel our theories.
So, back to the game. I played through, everything the same more or less, as I ran around the city, finishing stupid missions to unlock abilities and go through the levels to later unlock the other stories. After powering through a couple levels to finally rescue the human princess that became smitten with Sonic, who didn’t exactly return the feelings beyond being a friend, I was at the part to unlock Silver’s story, which was a simple Vs Battle with the white hedgehog with a palm leaf quill style who came from the future.
Now, with all the abilities unlocked, glitch knowledge and all that, this was usually a fast event for me, but in a new game, it was fairly frustrating to be stripped down to basics, but a good challenge to me.
“Your actions will condemn us all!” Silver shouted to Sonic, which was because he believed that Sonic was the reason his world would end up burning in flames, not once suspecting the strange hedgehog that had sent him in the first place… Mephiles. “The Iblis Trigger. Must. Die!”
Many people hated Silver for his stupidity in this game, but I found it excusable. He didn’t know any better, and he desperately wanted to set things right, and believed that Sonic was the catalyst. They do end up friends later, but that was a while off.The boss fight ensued, and I maneuvered Sonic back and forth to avoid Silver’s psychic attacks, waiting until he was occupied using his mind to grab a lot of chairs, and using the sweeping kick to knock him over, then run through the area to smash barrels and created debris to use up all over Silver’s PK power so it couldn’t grab me as easily.
In about a minute and a half, I won and got myself a B rank, which I wasn’t complaining, given the time taken and I had forgotten to snag extra Rings for points. The cutscene of Sonic approaching Silver to question him why he did this played and Silver took his chance to throw Sonic into the building wall as the princess gasped.
“Is this a joke? How could someone like YOU cause the destruction of our world?” Silver mused as he stood over Sonic, putting his hands on his hips. The basic scene, really.
“What do you… mean..?” Sonic was winded.
“It doesn’t matter. For the sake of the future, the Iblis Trigger must be destroyed.” Silver stated plainly, raising his hand to attack Sonic again.
The princess screams in shock, and both look up to see Dr. Eggman kidnapping her again, which Sonic is quick to leap up to stop it, only for Silver to psychically knock him back down.
“Don’t you DARE turn your back on ME! It’s time I finally put an end to this!”
Now, this is where Amy, the pink hedgehog that thinks she’s Sonic’s girlfriend, comes running in, screaming “STOP!”. She had been, as would be revealed by the next story, with Silver and tracking down Sonic with him, not knowing that Silver planned to kill Sonic at all. They had been friends by this point, and would lead up to eventually an expanded scene in the next story that Amy was hurt by this and rejected Silver’s friendship, causing Silver to reconsider his goal and begin to question Mephiles’ true motives.
I have played this game more times than I have fingers, and have viewed the scenes at least tenfold that individually, as I like to take screenshots and make backgrounds and such from them. I know this game inside and out.
I did hear “STOP!”, but it was not Amy’s voice clip. It was a voice clip of Mephiles from an in game flashback that happened much later in the game, and was in place of Amy’s shout. The Mephiles version of “Stop” was of when he, having just been created by the lab accident and was fleeing in fear as a mass of shadows, only to be cornered by Shadow the Hedgehog and frozen in place by a Chaos Control.
Mephiles sounds unusually rattled in that scene, given the fact that the guy was usually unfazed, but I often credited that to him realizing he existed, that dead scientists are everywhere, that he was ripped from his counterpart forcibly, chased down a dark winding labyrinth, and cornered by an angry hedgehog guy who told him off the bat that he was going to end up evil, had no say in it, and was going to be punished for his actions now, when he wouldn’t commit them until a decade later. I don’t blame the dude for being scared.
I blinked in confusion, wondering if I misheard that, but realized that I couldn’t explain why I misheard a shriek-y girl voice for a deepened growly male voice. I racked my brain as the scene played normally without a hitch, and I eventually concluded that my attempts to rip the game’s scenes earlier in the year may have caused some strange data corruption. After all, my other mangled disc copy was notorious for causing models to clip, missing chunks of sound and total crashing if certain button inputs happened at certain times. I guess I caused the disc to misread some sound files or something… I don’t know, I hardly understand how the thing works.
I continued to play as Sonic through White Acropolis then finally Crisis City, when Sonic and his two friends, Tails (the orange twin tailed fox) and Knuckles (the red echidna) are flung into Silver’s future world of fire and darkness. This was normally my favorite level overall, and I was pleased when it got remade in “Sonic Generations”.
Upon finishing the part where Sonic uses shrapnel as a skateboard, I was in the basic platforming section, and took my chance to use one of the shoe powerup I had purchased with Rings, the Red Gem, which allowed Sonic to slow down time for as long as the trigger was held down. The manual and guide stated that a meter would time it, but was never implemented, so it meant unlimited use, which was neat, as it would help half the time down and give maximum scores.
As I ran through the burning city, the usual cues of exploding glass happening and all that, I was suddenly confronted by a series of purple monsters. Now, this is out of place. There ARE monsters to face as basic mooks, and at this point, only the orange ones, which were controlled by Iblis in the game, were supposed to show up. The purple ones were theorized to be controlled by Mephiles, given the energy signature, the powers and the slightly more sophisticated AI, but were to not appear until much later in Sonic’s story at the very least, if at all.The purple lizard-like dog creatures, called Stalkers, burst out of the ground and formed a barrier against Sonic.
“Oh, crap…” I said aloud, as I hated that these things have a far reaching laser beam attack from the mouth, and in packs, they were a nuisance because half would leap at you, while the other half shot at you. The only redeeming quality to me was the design and use of the color purple, my favorite hue.
Moving Sonic back to use the Homing Attack on them before they had a chance to make me drop my near one hundred Rings (almost at an extra life!), they spread out, blocking the pathway.
"Hm... Odd." I noted to myself. Those creatures had never really show strategy before, not as a pack, but only knew how to evade as a single unit at a time.
Instead of jumping to attack them, I activated the Red Gem for the shoes, slowing down time to give me more time to react if I had caused the game script to react to Sonic being in the vicinity of them. Stepping Sonic forward, the Stalkers just bared down in slowed time, waving their thick tails and facing the blue hedgehog.Letting go of the trigger button, time went back to normal and I moved Sonic closer, hearing a low rumbling sound. The massive purple versions of the Worms (big spiky worm monsters that spat out fireballs from Predator like mouths) exploded out of the ground behind the Stalkers, sending a shockwave around them that I barely avoided. Still amazed that I didn't already drop my Rings and get mobbed to the point of losing a life, I brushed it off as another glitch that I hadn't seen before.
I was almost always finding glitches, even trying to take note of how to activate them to pass off as info to people who could actually record their play footage, but no one who could record could actually do them, and those who couldn't record, claim to be able. I could just film it with my regular camera or iPod one, but I felt that was bad quality, and could easily be passed off as "fake".
I ducked down to reach under my bed, shoving shoeboxes full of markers and pencils aside, to feel for a metal spiral ring notebook, pulling out a small stack and shuffling though them to find the one I wanted, my Glitch Book.
Shoving my table fan out of the way on the fold up table set up in front of my bed, I lifted up my stacks of papers, knitted hats and comic books, and found my favorite "click pencil".
"'Meph's Mooks Go Dumb'" I said aloud, giving the glitch a quick name until I could give a better one, and jotted down a short explanation. "'Appears earlier than normal, won't attack, locked in idle stance. Requirements to Glitch: Unknown.'"
Stuffing the pencil in the rings of the notebook and setting it aside, I looked up and saw that I didn't pause the game. The creatures still didn't attack me.
"Don't suppose you have a reason for this, eh Meph?" I snorted, picking up my figure and holding it up to me level to my nose, holding each fist with either set of fingers, and poking my nose to the small plastic one.
It didn't respond, obviously. It was just painted plastic, after all.
Setting the figure back down, this time propped up against the table fan's base, so I could look at it, I picked up my pink glowing controller and tried to see if I could pass through safely.
A loud screech sounded, which alerted me of the Takers, which are spiky round bat-like creatures with long tails, often dropping burning rocks if they were orange, and if they were purple, they'd throw writhing masses of shadowy substances at you.
This one was orange, and was reacting just as it should, bringing it's way towards Sonic to attack.
"Finally, some actio-Oh, nevermind..." I was annoyed to see that the Taker was destroyed by a laser beam before I could hit it. It wasn't uncommon for the creatures to cause damage to their allies, but it was usually a single creature doing it to a group, not the other way around.
If I had the Purple Gem unlocked, I would be able to shrink down and, because of a glitch in the programming, I would be able to use the Unlimited Jump glitch from the gem to bypass the creatures and run through the rest of the level, but it was too soon to even get the gem, as it was usually given near the end of Sonic's story and was useful for replaying levels. I was basically SOL on that plan.
I decided to see if the Spin Dash move, which really had no function in this game other than to slip under small spaces until you get the kick slide move, would fair better.
Revving it up, I managed to plow through an unprotected space without the cost of Rings, and sped through, realizing my time was already pushing past 10 minutes. So much for a special level bonus.
Grinding along rails, running along walls and leaping over spurts of lava like normal, Sonic shouted his scripted line of "The whole city's on fire!" which alerted me to watch out for falling debris from the swirling tornado of fire in the center of the whole stage.
A massive water pipe fell in my path along a toppled building, which missed me by a hair, and it triggered another horde of the purple monsters.
By this point, I was bugged. They shouldn't even appear until much later, and certainly not in such numbers. Taking advantage of the incline, I kicked the massive pipe just enough to get it rolling, letting it squash the monsters and clear my way through, not wanting any more distractions.
I managed to get through the eye of the tornado section without a hitch, but I was ready for the high speed final run of the level, which had Sonic run through without anyway to stop... All you could do was help him dodge, jump and turn until you reach the goal ring. This was usually where you would hit a clipping error or lose control, and could wipe your whole score if you weren't alert.
I had a certain song I liked to play while I went through that section, which was "Everybody Out Of The Water" from my CSI soundtrack, mainly because the lyrics fit the burning city very well, such as "the city's been leveled/the hills' are in flames/the streets crack open and they're pushing up clay"... The beat timed very well to most of the section.
I paused and loaded the song up on the Xbox player in place of the game's soundtrack, and hit Start to begin the run.
"Let's speed up!" Sonic chimed as usual, kicking off in a sprint, straight for a stack of boxes. I couldn't avoid the boxes, and lost all my Rings, cursing to myself and steering Sonic to a trail of them to give myself a chance to survive. So much for my massive Ring bonus, but it was rare to have a perfect run in this level anyway.
The entire segment was about a minute at best, unless you lost a life and had to start from the last checkpoint, which was the start of the run section. And Sonic had a habit of barreling out of control with little help from the player, because he went too fast to be handled by the game. It was common to run THROUGH a barrier on the edge.
My controller vibrated at the feedback of a collision, and Sonic twisted and rolled along the pavement, quickly righting himself and running like it didn't affect him."That tornado's carrying a car!" Sonic stated needlessly as a car smashed in path, which I side stepped.
I reached the goal ring and initiated the following cutscene, in which Sonic, Tails and Knuckles amble aimlessly through the halls of a building in ruins, Knuckles turning around and starting up as he continued to walk, taking in the sight.
"Everywhere we go, all we see are ruins..." Knuckles frowned, stumbling a little as he stepped backwards before turning back around to walk the right way. "How can this be our future..?"
"Here it comes..." I grinned to myself, knowing this scene well. This was the first time Mephiles appears in the game if you played the game story by story rather than as soon as you unlocked the next part and out of order. This was the only time you see him in Sonic's story, as well.
Sonic and his two friends lean forward to peek through a door that's slightly ajar, happening upon an event that gets better explained when you play Silver's story.
Mephiles is explaining to Silver and Blaze (the purple female cat friend of Silver's, possible love interest) what they needed to do in order to change the past, though he conveniently leaves out that doing such CAUSES the future we see.
Or rather... He should be explaining.
Silver questions him enthusiastically, holding out the Chaos Emerald in his hand that Mephiles gave him to view the target.
Mephiles is supposed to give a slight nod, as he reaches for the Emerald to put it in the magic space the series never tell us about... Some magic pocket of hammer space... And begin to summon a portal to bring him, Silver and Blaze to the "past", or rather the present time the game starts out in.He's supposed to do that, but I noticed a somewhat longer pause than normal before he reacted. He just stared ahead, character model wobbling ever so slightly to imitate someone trying to stand perfectly still, but was a physical impossibility. This was an action programmed in the game that I really liked overall, because it was given to help breathe a bit of life into the characters.
Anyway, Mephiles nodded hesitantly, which was odd really, but I figured it was actually the scene glitching and not running as smoothly as it should.
"... Are you... Certain... You want this..?"
Okay, call me crazy, but that line of speech was NEVER in the game, much less by Mephiles himself. Granted, it sounded spliced by familiar dialogue I recalled in other parts of the game by the character, but it was too coherent to be merely random garbled lines.
"Great! I've totally ruined this disc, and I got nothing out of messing with it besides a creepy clip and broken game!" I tossed my hands up in frustration, knowing that another copy was getting harder to come by nowadays, and even harder to find an unopened box, and even hard than that to buy it and not be ridiculed by the store clerks, who knew full well of the mess this game was at launch, and loved to tease me for even buying a second copy.
My Mephiles figure flipped over and off the table from my movements, so I picked it up and set it down on a pillow this time.
"Might as well just play this thing through and see what I did to it... Maybe I should make a notebook about it too."
Settling back down, the game continued to play as if not much was wrong with it. I decided to take my chance and save before it had a chance to crash, as I did not want to muddle through this stuff again, as I would be too frustrated to care at that point.
The rest of Sonic's story played through without much of a hitch, which was all good to me, as I honestly liked Sonic's story far less than the other two main ones and the final one. I chose to buy the powerups later, because I was short on Rings and didn't want to run the final level five more times at the moment.
Before I knew it, I reached final run of Sonic's story, and was finally seeing his separate credits, and casually bobbed my head to the tune, which was a remix of a song that had been popular at the time of Sonic 2 back in 1992, which had then been used as a melody for THAT game's credits back on the Genesis days, and was finally remixed with AKON for this game, with two language versions depending on what language the console was set on.
The credits ended and I was back to the main selection screen. Now was time to play either Shadow or Silver'a story. Silver's story was meant to be played before Shadow's, but I messed that up the first time I played, which ruined the gradual reveal of Mephiles' intentions to me, but it didn't ruin my instant fixation on the character.
I selected Silver's story, knowing that the slow character was going to be a pain until I unlocked his other abilities, but again... I liked a challenge.
The select chime sound twinkled through my speakers, and the first scene loaded up, quick as ever, as we were greeted with Silver's introduction to the world for us, why it was like that, how he wished to change it, and what he did on a daily basis to scrape a meager existence.
I knew that after the pretty visuals, I would be expected to power the slowpoke through the same burning city that Sonic had issues in, followed by a boss battle with Iblis, before Mephiles made his grand appearance.
As soon as the flames spurted up in the scene, the sound effects muted but not the in game music, and another garbled line of dialogue played over as Silver banished the flames aside.
"... I... regret this... Such foolishness..."
I probably should have just shut the game off by now, maybe purge my file and play the thing on my main account instead or whatever, but I was curious even more now. I loved to write fanfiction based on the character , usually using glitches as base ideas, or reinterpreting actions of his to give it a plausible feel, so this could turn out to be some story fodder in the end. I took note of the event in one of my notebooks.
The game continued as normal, and I played the level and boss fight with no real distractions, other than losing a couple lives because Silver spazed out of my control and stepped over an edge like usual.
Mephiles' introduction clip in this story began as usual, with Silver lamenting that there was no point in defeating Iblis on a daily basis because the beast would always rise up from it's ashes and repeat the cycle the next day.Mephiles SHOULD make his presence known at this point, offering his solution by presenting himself as almost a godsend to the hedgehog and cat who were at their wits ends.
He SHOULD be standing atop a piece of mangled support beam to loom over the two as he raised his arms above his head, gesturing theatrically to gain attention.
Instead, Mephiles was sitting on the edge of it, hands to his ears, appearing out of sorts, more so than normal.
"... Who did this..?" He muttered, repeating it several times. I recognized that bit of dialogue from a later point in Shadow's story, which was accompanied in it's rightful spot with more words.
Silver continued on as if the normal line had been spoken, which oddly almost fit anyway.
"Tell me... Do you know who it is?" He added, pointed to Mephiles.
"... No... No... No..." Mephiles responded in almost a weak chant, it sounding like splices of various instances of the word spoken by him in the game, even the homophone "know".
The following scene that should happen soon after immediately started differently. It should open with Mephiles leading Silver and Blaze into the room you see in Sonic's story, with Mephiles weaving his story to Silver to persuade him to hunt Sonic down.
Mephiles was instead walking with his head down, fingers curled and held together as they normally ended up later in the clip, and ears appearing slightly flattened out rather than perked up by default.
I had never quite seen Mephiles appear that rattled within the game, but was more concerned as to why Mephiles was acting somewhat independently of the game. Maybe I jostled some of the code out of place when I had tried to rip the data, or maybe I even could have unlocked something. I recall the SEGA representative stating that they had wanted to do more with Mephiles, but was short on development time, so maybe I uncovered something pertaining to that..?
By this point, I had already been playing for nearly six hours, and decided to end it for the day at the next save point. I was hungry and wanted to leave my room for the remainder of the day until bed time. I let the clip finish, noticing Mephiles' subtle actions, then saved the game once Silver was in the hub world after his short scene of noticing how bright, happy and not on fire the "past" was.
When I got back on, I resumed the game at the last save point, which was in the forest outside of the town, accessible between them (and a small city) by some tunnels, but only after you progressed in the story to gain further access.
I honestly hated the field/forest when using Silver. It was absurdly huge of a map for a hub world, and with Silver's slow pace, the thing was a pain to navigate even with a map.
Eventually, Silver navigated Tropical Jungle, met Amy, muddled through Dusty Desert with her in tow, and finally caught up to Sonic, mirroring the Vs Battle from Sonic's story, only this time as Silver that you control. Oh, and at some point, I navigated Blaze through Wave Ocean to get her into the town for later.
It played as normal, up until the cutscene afterwards started.
Remember how Amy is supposed to intervene, getting between Silver and Sonic to shield the blue hedgehog? And remember how I had earlier reported that her audio clip of her shouting "STOP!" was replaced with one from Mephiles? Yeah, that happened again, just a bit louder this time, as if to try to be more persistent.
Mephiles is nowhere in the scene to begin with, so this was odd enough as it was.
Amy stared down Silver, arms out and giving Sonic his chance to go and save the princess, while Silver can only watch him leave, not wanting to harm Amy to get to Sonic.
The scene plays as normal as could be, with the following piece just the same as always. Amy was hurt that Silver could think that Sonic, her Sonic, was capable of what he was being accused of, and told Silver that even if it were true, she'd choose to take Sonic's side should the world face a horrible end. Touching as this scene is on Amy's part, it's often overlooked how Silver reacts to this, reaching out for her as she turns to leave, but pulls back and hangs his head in defeat when he starts to question what's really happening.
The controls come back to the player after this, and I get the prompt to head through the small tunnel to the little city on the other side to meet up with Blaze at the docks.
The scene in which Silver is sitting on the steps, hands clasped and gripping his knee lightly as he stared out at the ocean, with Blaze walking up behind him to greet him. Silver, having been thinking this all over, turns to her and asks the question that had been on his mind since Amy left him in the plaza.
"Um... Blaze? To kill someone to save the world... Is that... Right?"
Before Blaze can give her answer, my game decided to have what could equate to a fit.
The message prompts for the Xbox 360, usually for messages or achievements, started to pop up erratically, across the bottom of the screen, the sound byte for them loud and drowning out Blaze's response.
One of the ones flashing across the bottom lingered long enough to read "25 unread messages"
Now, I wasn't exactly linked up to Xbox Live at the time, and my console was an old model that required a cable to be run through the back and into a PC or something of the like to be linked up, and moreover, my computer had to be on for it to work. How on earth could I receive a message at all?
Against better judgement, I pressed the guide button on the controller and pulled up the menu to view the messages. They were all from a gamertag listed merely as XNoSubjectX, which immediately struck up a red flag with me, but I scoffed and opened up one of the messages. All 250 characters were filled with "NO" repeatedly, no spaces, and all caps.
I frowned slightly, opened another message and saw the same. As was the next, and the next. I decided that all the rest had to be the same, and promptly deleted them, knowing if I tried to tell my cousin about the strange messages, he'd think I was joking and tell me that I was linked up all along when I clearly wasn't, as my blue Ethernet cable was currently coiled up in my peripherals drawer.
"Okays... This be freakin' me out a smidge..." I muttered in my personal lingo, usually used around friends and of when I was bored. My cousin was usually the one to have strange paranormal stuff happening to him, even though he was usually a grounded guy, and I was generally the one with logical explanations, when we were little kids. I wondered if I should wake him up to see this, but as he had work later in the night, I would end up disrupting his schedule, and all over a glitched up game. "Aw, cripes... Just my luck..."
I decided to power on through the thing anyway, taking note of this in my notebook, and regretting not having a proper recording system to document this in real time.
I eventually finished White Acropolis, beat a boss, obtained a Chaos Emerald, headed back into the city, and met up with Mephiles again.
Now, this scene was one of my favorites for a graphical and programming error that occurred. Mephiles was supposedly just going to walk off screen, but the angling and camera show the character defaulting back to the idle model pose just barely off the edge. His ears and tips of the fingers of one hand are visible just before cutting away to Silver and Blaze, and the default results in Mephiles turning to leave the frame, and rotating as if executing a twirl out of sheer boredom.
Once I noted that a long time again, several gifs surfaced online of the moment, and even started a fan trend in which Mephiles was secretly a ballerina, and it was common to find him drawn in tutus and elegantly performing a spin, which eventually led to the fan interpretation of Mephiles of being fluidly graceful, which is a bit of a far cry from the actual awkward movements the guy clearly has when trying to maneuver the oddly proportioned Mobian hedgehog form he gains from copying Shadow's shadow.
This was a moment never acknowledged in game, or even reacted upon, so it can be assumed it was never meant to happen to begin with, making it all the more humorous.
Now, the scene should open with Silver and Blaze hurrying ahead, coming to a stop just a few feet from Mephiles, who is staring at the pavement with a look that suggests that he's lost in thought, head hanging.
Instead, here, he has a hand to his face, other hand slightly raised from his side, fingers curled a little, and a faint reddish tone on the fur covered skin around his eyes, like what one may have when either tired or maybe even ill.
"... Not... What... I... Intended..." Another garbled line came to replace the scripted dialogue. "... Not... Right... No..."
At this point, I was actually starting to get a bit amused by my game glitching like this. The timing of things made it feel like Mephiles was somehow independent of the main part of the game, and trying to give a message to someone. The dude was already confirmed to not be constrained by the laws of time itself, as he was an embodiment of Time and could twist it to his liking. It was also a bit confirmed that he was somewhat of a tortured soul who had been corrupted and driven insane by fury, pain and loneliness, believing what he was doing was perfectly justifiable. While not shown explicitly in the game as a plot point, it could be observed gradually as time went on that he became more and more unstable until he was barely comparable to the first time you see him.
That was part of the reason I took such an interest in him to begin with. At the time, many of the people who managed through the game saw him as simply an evil entity with no real substance that killed Sonic for the thrill of it.
When I played through, I saw the careful inclusions of hints of his true nature, from the moment we see his creation in the world (in which he's absolutely terrified of everything he's seeing after the explosion that caused him to exist), to his manic devotion to reuniting with his counterpart/twin/other half, and even the fact that he actually made sure that Sonic was dead in an instant rather than dragging it out like many claim he did. Killing Sonic triggers a series of event that ultimate reunite Mephiles with Iblis as the being Solaris, and Mephiles is so overjoyed to finally achieve this goal, that he laughs in a crazed manner. When you defeat Solaris the final time, reverting it back to it's purest form of a simple beam of light... You can hear Mephiles scream faintly from the loss as he as "Mephiles" becomes no more, so it would seem.
He was truly a tragic creature who wasn't really right or wrong. He existed by accident, tried to survive the only way he could, and was eventually erased from time without so much as a single soul remember him at all by the next game. A scary idea, really.
I decided to continue on, seeing if the game would give me more new tidbits to mull over. This was the last I would see of Mephiles until Shadow's story, and that was where he revealed his next form, an obsidian like version of himself with red sclera, brighter green eyes, a paler muzzle, no nose in addition to his already absent mouth and shards of crystal from his wrists, tail, quills, eyes, eyebrows and ankles. You would also get to fight him in two boss fights as Shadow, and I was curious to see how the game would let me do it now.
Silver eventually stopped trying to kill Sonic, they saved the princess from dying in a horrible crash with Dr. Eggman (I'm not making that up, they implied that the thing exploded and brutally killed them both. Y'know... For kids), and Blaze sacrificed herself to being the vessel to hold Iblis to change the future. Cue credits, and finally I had Shadow's story to play, which would eventually unlock the final one.
I took another break, returning to the game for the next day, and set myself up to play it.
It would take two levels and a mini-boss fight before I would be able to reach the next Mephiles clip, in which he steals Shadow's shadow to make a form, and allude to knowing Shadow, even though Shadow didn't know him, thanks to confusing time paradoxes, neither of them at fault anyway.
Before Mephiles' containment item busted on the ground to free him, the clip froze and stuttered into a jumbled mess.
"... No... Excuse..." I heard Mephiles' voice over the spazzing scene, at least telling me that it wasn't totally inoperable. "... They used... Me. What... They... Did to... Iblis. I... Didn't... Want... To. Why... Didn't... They... Stop..?"
I assumed this was referring the implied experiments carried out on Solaris before the being grew unstable and combusted, creating Mephiles and Iblis as separate entities to begin with. The only instance we see for sure is the electricity being channeled through Solaris, which was being held in a large glass tube. Shortly after, the thing exploded and took several lives with it, some not instantly.
"... It's a pity... Their... Death certain... Truly a shame. I... Didn't... Want... To." Mephiles continued, best he could with the stored audio data. "... I'm... Broken."
Those two words alone summed up everything quite well enough. Dude was broken in many ways, like his mind, heart and spirit.
Picking up my figure again, prodding it gently in my hand for no real reason, I said aloud: "I got tape and glue. It won't fix everything, but I'd try for ya, if I could."
The game returned to normal, but this time, I realized it had already skipped ahead to the first boss fight with Mephiles, completely bypassing a whole two levels, a mini one with Rouge (a white female bat, and good friend of Shadow's) and a fight with Iblis, as well as a handful of scenes, including a couple with Mephiles in them, even his transformation sequence.The first time you face him, Mephiles takes to his natural element and merges with Shadow's shadow on the ground. The released version of the game has Mephiles acting independently of Shadow's movement, but the promotional images showed Mephiles mimicking Shadow's actions, much like an actual shadow.
This is exactly what Mephiles was doing as I controlled Shadow around the area, trying to hit as many giggling critters of darkness as possible to fill my gauge and activate Chaos Boost to knock Mephiles out of the ground.
I usually enjoyed the boss fight purely because of how Mephiles acted during it, like going all out of his way to put distance between you and him, or chewing the scenery with his overly enthusiastic cries of "Dance, my shadows! Dance!" and the like as he spun around in the air, or summoning a massive orb of power with a snarl... He would flip back and forth between total wimp, complete lunatic, or enraged sociopath. Like he had different personalities triggered under varying levels of stress. I once theorized that he perhaps absorbed personalities from those he took the forms of, and that it was conflicting who he really was, creating an identity crisis at the core.
Anyway, I finally knocked him out of the ground, which played the scripted line of "What? Shadow-! You-!" Before he darts away from you, summoning a barrier of the creatures to protect him while he recovered from the shock.
There was enough of those creatures to keep the gauge full for a good while, which was slowly depleting, which would trigger Mephiles sinking back into the ground at the end of it, repeating the cycle if I wanted to.
Mephiles continued to dodge me, and after a couple minutes, far longer than my usual to land a hit, I realized that he wasn't even attacking at all, just avoiding me, which posed a problem for progressing in the game, as I was required to mop the floor with him to move ahead. He might have some super powerful moves, but honestly, his defense sucked beyond all reason, and he seemed aware of that in the normal game, as the tactics involved dodging as much as possible.
"Dude, lemme hit you and be done with this!" I shouted in annoyance, not expecting the game to respond. "I can't skip it, and if it helps, I really don't like hurting you to do it."
I aimed a Chaos Spear at a creature, but it moved out of the way and caused the attack to hit Mephiles, which I immediately cringed at. I had seen what a well aimed Chaos Spear could do to Mephiles before, and had witnessed the rare character animation for it quite a lot, each time breaking my heart a little.
The animation, already programmed into the game, featured Mephiles seizing up from the surge of energy, electricity visibly crackling through him, before he curled in on himself, hovering in a daze, sinking low to the ground, catching himself, shaking his head wildly to regain his bearings, then swiftly moving away from you before you could strike again. The fact that he's totally silent during this just adds to the horror that it's likely a very painful experience, as he usually grunts or shouts from any other attack. Oh, and that he's been electrocuted before, if you recall the experiments that led to his creation as Mephiles, when he split off Solaris.
In other words, this was one of the worst attacks to do on him. And this game had been convincing me that he was somewhat self aware by this point now. I just electrocuted him. This game was going to haunt and hate me now, I just knew it.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to! I was aiming for those little creatures!" I was trying to explain myself, watching him go through the animation with a tinge of horror, and gasping when he didn't catch himself, but actually collapsed on the ground, face down. I waited for him to twitch, maybe even shiver or something to show that he was alright, biting down on my lip. "... Get up... You always do... Get up, please..."
I moved Shadow closer, as it was the only thing I could really do, trying to move the camera to view Mephiles, who was still motionless on the ground, the little monsters circling around him as a barrier, prevent my me from getting closer, unless I wanted to have one latch on, explode and drop my Rings. So long as I had Rings, I wasn't going to have to restart anything.
Another message popped up, triggering the "BLOOK" sound, or whatever that thing was when the Xbox alerted you of anything.
"XNoSubjectX has sent you a message" it stated clearly along the bottom of my screen.
I quickly opened it up, eager for an explanation."You're just like the rest of them, Human. You don't care. You just want to see me hurt. I hate you. I hate you all."
I was sure by now that my mysterious messages were coming from Mephiles somehow, though no clearly reason as to how, given that he was merely data programmed into a game, and even SEGA couldn't script the game to mess with the system, no matter how intuitive the company was with their games and ideas... This was clearly impossible to me.
I was convinced that I had ended up with a haunted game now, and was half expecting it to go absolutely insane shortly after, like one of those stories I heard about.
Another message popped up, and I read it.
"You laughed at me. They all laughed. Called me a coward. A monster. A demon. Evil and should be punished. Why? What did I do from the start? I didn't mean to hurt them... I was scared and I just ran."
I wanted to respond, and decided to try and message back, since he was clearly using the message system despite not being linked to the web, and it was my best bet to communicating.
I opened up the reply prompt, wishing the keys were arranged in a QWERTY setup as I found it easier, and typed out a short response to try and tell him that I meant no harm.
"I'm sorry. I wasn't aiming for you. Are you Mephiles?”
I tried to send the message, but I was given an error, with it telling me that I needed to be linked to the web to send it anyway. So much for that idea...
Another message popped up shortly after.
“I am, and you're lying.”
I should have really turned the thing off by now. It was impossible for the game to be speaking to me, and this was reeking of that possessed stuff I watched on those SyFy channel shows. I could have just turned off the console and stuffed the game back into it's box, maybe to the farthest end of the inside of a drawer or something to be sure it wouldn't fall into another person's hands or something... but, much like my childhood imagination leading me to believe that beloved toys could gain souls from you caring for them... I figured a game would count as a toy as well, and I did have this game for plenty of years as it was, and I did take an obsessive interest in it at some period of time, defending it against people who called it the worst piece of junk ever rolled out of the Sonic series (I could name a few classic games that are far worse in my opinion)... so anything could have happened to it.
A friend of mine, close best friend in fact, and I used to joke about what we would do if some time rift or dimensional explosion or whatever launched the Sonic characters to our world, and who we would try to befriend or take interest in, as our own personal version of the “Sonic X” anime, in which a lonely child named Chris latches to Sonic himself, and has to eventually let Sonic go home when the time came, signifying the kid moving on as a better person. After Sonic 2006 came out, I took interest in Mephiles as my choice for the challenge, creating all sorts of outcomes, some of which would lead to me being sent to another timeline because I annoyed the guy enough.
I wished she was sitting in my room with me, so she could see this. She had a particular like of the creepier aspects of the series, and would have possibly enjoyed this to some degree, purely for the character interaction, because she wouldn't have assumed I was playing a trick on her. She didn't have an Xbox 360 until a few years ago, so I was her source for Mephiles related info, and it was one of the few Sonic games that we weren't able to share discs between ourselves.
Erasing my previous message, I tried to type a new one.
“I'm not lying. I saw that hurt you, are you alright? That's my least favorite attack to use on you, I'll have you know.”
The console said it didn't go through, but a response already came up.
Another of the same popped up, then another, and by the third, I just exited the message prompt and tried to resume the game, regardless of all the little pop ups flickering distractingly across the bottom of the screen.
Mephiles was now up off the ground and taking his usual stance in the air, but was curled slightly, and had his little minion creatures circling around him at high speeds, creating a barrier. He was refusing to fight, which was odd, but had happened as a glitch before.
“Are you seriously having a tantrum?” I shouted at my TV in frustration. I had referred to his erratic behavior in the game before as a “Temper Tantrum” when summing up the usual boss fight to my friends, as that's just what it was: Him attacking Shadow when Shadow refused to play the game his way. “Dude, not cool, totally not cool!”
“... You can't even touch me... I'll make... you... stop...” Another line of jumbled audio in Mephiles' voice sounded off, as if trying to threaten me. “... Punish this foolish world... teach this world a lesson... Every right to want justice... It's only fair...”
“Sorry, man... can't let you do that. This is for your own good, y'know.” I had Shadow charge forward, hitting the trigger button twice to amplify my Chaos Boost attack at the cost of faster depletion, and punched and kicked my way through the barrier to reach Mephiles, taking advantage of his weak close combat skills. His health bar drained quickly, and I half hoped that I would still be able to use Omega, Shadow's robot teammate and technical bro for life, in the second half of the boss battle, because Omega had an advantage with Mephiles being unable to sink into the ground to mimic him as Omega wasn't really an organic creature, so Mephiles was usually stuck high and dry out of his element at this part.
The bar reached it's trigger point, and the screen cut to black, as it should. Mephiles, as he should in normal play, was on his hands and knees on the rock floor, breathing quickly to regain his bearings as Shadow stepped closer to him to check the damage he had done and supposedly to determine if Mephiles was good enough a challenge to him to continue the battle, or if he should just end him there.
This is usually where Mephiles takes his chance to lash out a surprise attack out of either fury or fear that Shadow was drawing closer to him in his weakened state, which was a burst of energy that explodes from Mephiles and sends Shadow crashing into a rock pillar, eyes wide on impact, and peeling off to land on the ground slumps as Mephiles stumbles to his feet and staggers towards Shadow to show that he's not going down without at least trying to defend himself.
The action is normally interrupted by Omega appearing as aide to Shadow, by firing some bullets across the path between Shadow and Mephiles, who both semi-comically respond by looking up at each other at the same time, then simultaneously turning their heads to gawk at Omega, completely forgetting for a moment that they were just about to claw each others' eyes out, more or less. It's one of the moments I tend to giggle at, given that they both drop everything at once to do the exact same thing, and that Mephiles, despite his determination to prove that he's nothing like Shadow and all that... mimics Shadow without meaning to.
The boss fight should resume at this point, with the controls handed over to Omega, but instead, the scene started to flicker and sputter as it had done when Mephiles was introduced into Shadow's story. The sound bytes for Mephiles' shrieks of pain and roars of anger at defeat started to play one after the other, along with some of the audio bytes for “What?” “No.” “You!” and “STOP!” in no real order, some repeated in quick succession before finally dying down as the screen cut to black abruptly.
I rolled my eyes, assuming Mephiles was having a tantrum again, and decided to wait until he and the game calmed down before I could continue on.
Then I heard a murmur of sorts, a drone really, before it raised in volume every so slightly. I instantly recognized that a one of handful of laughter clips he had that usually were heard after he either was injured, knew he had the upper hand anyway, or when he finally achieved his goal. In fact, they seemed to play in quick succession and were spliced together to sound a little more fluid than just separate sound bytes. Even stranger was that I recognized one of them as the original Japanese version of the “Epic Laugh” (so called that by the fans of the series, because Mephiles, or rather, his English voice actor, Dan Green, really chewed the scenery with it, by sounding every bit as though Mephiles was chuckling before throwing his head back, and laughing to the sky at the top of his voice).
Now, the Japanese audio does exist in the disc, but instead of being turned on by normal menu means like the other games in the series allowed... this piece wasn't really implemented due to lack of development time. Instead, you had to go into the 360's console settings, change the language of the system to Japanese, and hope you were hitting the right buttons, as all the text, aside from a few, was switched to Katakana or one of those Japanese text styles. It helped to memorize the order of things to get back to setting the system back afterwards, but anyway... this was how you activated hearing the Japanese audio, but with Japanese subtitles as well, so unless you could read, understand it, or knew the thing by heart... you were seriously lost.
Anyway, Mephiles' voice in the Japanese audio was about comparable to the English dub equivalent, with the deep, growly sounding masculine tone... it was a wonderful performance either way. But, worth noting, is the Japanese version of the “Epic Laugh”, which is what I'm trying to explain here.
It's clearly the same voice actor as the rest of the Japanese audio, and, if you are familiar with original versions of anime with psycho bad guys... it's not uncommon for the deep voiced guy to have a rather unfittingly high pitched laugh when they finally lose it. One thing that Dan Green didn't do for the dub version of Mephiles was try to imitate the tone it was reaching, with the voice actor (I believe his name is... Takayuki Sakasume, so I should at least reference him) even giving the gasp of air as he calms down. Instead, Mr Green chose to put his own spin on it, which was neat to see all the same.
Still, in the original Japanese audio, Mephiles' “Epic Laugh” sounds most unhinged, and if not for the background music present in the game unless you switch it off... it would be downright chilling if left alone.
This was exactly what I was hearing now by the end of the series of laughter sound bytes. Sorry it took so long to explain that, but I feel that's something that needs to be expanded on to show you why I cringed a bit...
“I am forever... I am invincible...”
This was a byte that wasn't actually spliced or whatever. He really does say that, but weakly, as he had just had his butt handed to him on a silver platter at that point. It was really him trying to convince himself that he wasn't going to lose, and... really, it's sad to hear it in game. He's actually retreating to a state of mind that isn't what's going on.
He wasn't really invincible, by the way. He just thought he was.
“Very well. Let's see if you can... entertain me.”
Another pure clip, more or less.
A message popped up again. I almost ignored it, but instead, a reminder prompt kept appearing.
“You have 1 unread message” it flickered several times as the game went to it's infamous “Now Loading >>>>” screen.
I groaned and opened the message up, half dreading that I was going to get yet another caplocked screamfest from him.
“This is a game to you, right? I'm just a plaything? Let's play, then. My rules. Shadow never liked my rules, and I hate him for that. Maybe you'll be fair? Rule one: I WILL ALWAYS WIN.”
I opened up the reply that I knew wouldn't send anyway, but for some reason he got the idea of it... and typed up my response.
“I'd like the game better if I could play as you. I'm quite good at this, and hardly lose a life, so you're safer on my side. I only fight you cuz it's the only way I can see you in action. Not fair if one always wins. Not a game anymore at that point”
I had to adjust my typing for the 250 character limit, so it seemed less thought out as normal. I hit send, got my error, and the response came.
“I SHOULD WIN. I ALWAYS LOSE, AND HE ALWAYS WINS. ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. STUPID HEDGEHOG, RUINED EVERYTHING. ALL BECAUSE HE'S A HERO AND I'M JUST REJECTED SCIENCE TRASH. HE SAID I WAS BAD. TRAPPED ME IN THE DARK. TEN YEARS. TEN YEARS IN THE DARK.”
Oh, here we go. I always figured this had some effect on him. See, in the story, Shadow ends up going into the past, when Mephiles was created, and traps him in the Scepter of Darkness, the item that Shadow of another time retrieves ends up breaking, releasing Mephiles, who thought this was the same Shadow who did this to him, attacks him, and sets forth the chain of events that leads to Shadow going back in time to trap the newly created Mephiles... it's a paradox, and once Shadow becomes aware of it, he's clearly stunned at the very least. Poor Mephiles never learns the reason, and assumes Shadow is just screwing around with him by saying they never met, which further infuriates Mephiles, who spent a decade in total isolation for no reason told to him other than “You're evil and you can't change that”.
Basically, Mephiles becomes what he was told he would be, and takes all his anger out on Shadow, the kingdom involved in the incident and ultimately the entire universe, because all records of him existing at all are wiped before he's broken free, so he learns the world just continued on without even a nod in his direction. Oh, he's also chronologically aged 10 years old, so it's the equivalent of a full blown fit from being ultimately forgotten and burned. He's young, and has a massive amount of power at his command... so I would liken him to that kid in “Twilight Zone” with the corn field. He thinks what he's doing is the best thing, not accounting for how it affects everything around him, so he's intentions are warped and-
Criminey, this is getting long. Okay... let's get back to the action.
The game resumed and skipped to the sequence of when the Soleanna Disaster happened, the resulting explosion bringing forth a small flame (Iblis) and a bubbling shadow on the floor (Mephiles). This is a clip that is shared with both Shadow and Silver, as their paths in the game cross and plays the same either way.
I decided to take my chances in being called fake over this and pulled up the recording app on my iPod to try and see if the game was going to glitch out here as well.
When it reached the part in which the two hedgehogs were to part ways to chase after their antagonists, the game, as expected, started to spaz out.
At the moment Shadow said that he would pursue Mephiles, the line and clip played over several times before replacing Shadow's audio byte of “Mephiles” with the shouting version that took place what would have been earlier in the game, if it hadn't skipped.
“Okay. Then leave Iblis to me!” Silver said with a clenched fist.
The rest of the audio muted, and I could hear various bytes of Mephiles saying “No...” repeatedly. I grunted a bit in confusion.
“They used this incident as an excuse to hunt... Iblis... and... I... down. They feared... Iblis... and... I...” Another string of garbled sound bytes overrode the normal audio. “Let us punish this foolish world... it's only fair...”
I was running low on space on my iPod, so I quickly exited the app, and saved the file to upload later, for you guys to decide.
I picked up the controller again just as another message popped up in the prompt.
“It was wrong, don't you agree? You saw it. You heard me screech before I ran, right? I clearly didn't mean to harm them, but Shadow said I was bad because of it. I don't think I'm bad. He's the bad one. Isn't he?”
Oh, cripes. I really didn't like where this was heading. I was no good at mediating, and Mephiles would misunderstand my observations as either side taking or picking apart at him, no doubt.
Another message popped up.
Truthfully, I didn't think so. Shadow was just doing what he thought was right as well, and surely was a bit regretful when he realized the harm he had caused to begin with. Heck, Shadow was introduced to the series as a dark character, and has worked his way to being the hero status he was... he started out much the same as Mephiles had, with a heart twisted up by turmoil caused by a severe misunderstanding of what he really was.
I opened up the reply prompt and simply typed in: “No.”
My controller immediately vibrated and began turning the pink glowing function on and off, as if someone was fiddling with the switch in the back that turned the lights on.
Now, I wasn't too spooked over the game, I can't explain why not... but when something that is generally held really close to me starts acting like it has a mind of it's own... I freak out like it just started spilling cockroaches all over my head. There was no reason for the controller to start acting like it had a feedback response, because the game wasn't even active on a level.
I tossed the thing to the floor, and scrambled to half stand on the headboard of my bed, hands braced against the wall corner I was pressed against.
Funny thing about me. When I'm terrified, my voice suddenly doesn't work. It kinda stems from a childhood nightmare I used to have involving a cougar trying to tear my throat out when everyone leaves the room, and the absolute fear of not being able to speak... and I would always wake up with sleep paralysis, which meant I couldn't shout when I woke up. It was scary, and as a talkative girl, I get unnerved when I can't speak at all, which further amplifies the fear.
The controller stopped vibrating, but remained glowing pink, as if I had hit the button to do that, and lay silent on my floor as a new message popped up.
Carefully sliding of the headboard, being careful not to trod on the figure I dropped on my pillow, and reaching down for the controller's cord to pull it up, not wanting to take my eyes off the screen, I hesitantly opened the message, wondering if I just sealed my fate and would end up on “Unsolved Mysteries” or something as a disappearance that was never explained. I shuddered, as I found that show a bit creepy to begin with.
“I knew it. I KNEW IT. YOU TOOK HIS SIDE. THEY ALL TAKE HIS SIDE. NO ONE EVERY WANTS TO LISTEN TO ME. WHY ARE YOU EVEN WASTING YOUR TIME? ARE YOU JUST TOYING WITH ME BECAUSE YOU HATE ME TOO?”
I had to word this carefully. This guy was already confused and unreasonable.
“No, I meant that I don't think either of you are 'bad'. Shadow started out just like you. People thought he was evil, and wanted to kill him because they were scared. Had a friend, but she was 'taken' from him. Hurt him so much, he did bad things.”
Basic send, error, reply.
“This is not about him. I don't care. I'm not him. Don't ever compare me to him. I'll never be him. I can't ever be him. He's got everything. If we are so much alike, then why is he what I will never be?”
“Because you're Mephiles, not Shadow.”
“They all forgot me. The kingdom even covered up that I existed, and left no records that I had even been alive. Just shoved me into that stupid glass prison, and went on like nothing happened. Ten years, I rotted there, wondering 'Why?'”
I knew it. I had suspected for years that this was a reason for his anger.
“I screamed there, didn't know I could even do that. No one came, no one answered. Not even the dark. I might have cried, if I were able to... I wondered what happened to Iblis, if he met the same fate as me, which I hoped he hadn't.”
“If it helps any, I had really hoped that you weren't conscious the whole time. 10 years is a long time to be alone.” I typed back, getting the error again, then a response.
“You knew about this all along, but never tried to stop it. You played this... this game the same way every time, year after year. You're as bad as the rest of them.”
I was a bit offended. The game had no other way to really play it, aside from glitching, and it was scripted for Mephiles to be trapped anyway. I couldn't do much about it other than waste my time and postpone it. I made another message, and we went back and forth for a while.
“I can't do anything about it. I didn't make the game. I tried to pull stuff before, and I found that clip of you being tormented by Sonic.”
“And you tried to forget about it. You tried to forget that it happened to me. You tried to forget me.”
“No. How can I? I modified a toy to look like you, I have my computer with a custom screensaver to showcase you, I have a blog that posts images of you, I have your theme music... I bought a book just because you had a picture on a single page.”
“But you didn't come back until now. How long has it been between now and since you last came back?”
“I dunno... I don't count days much.”
“Try months. Six months. One twentieth of what I spent in the dark.”
“When you say it like that, it does sound bad...”
“I waited. You used to come back everyday. You loved coming back. You always made sure to watch me, every time. Did you get tired of me?”
“Hey, I've played this game for years. I'm pretty much an adult now, it's hard to waste as much time on games now.”
“I really thought you were different. I tried to keep you from leaving by making it easier to win. All those good scores? I tried.”
“I did sorta wonder why things were getting easier. I even bought Hard Mode to bring some more challenge into it.”
“You didn't like what I did, did you? You just ignored me, and moved on.”
“Wait a second here. I did not.”
“You went to the next game.”
“For a little while. Heck, when I heard you got a cameo in Generations, I scoured every inch to find you.”
“Did you, then?”
“It was a picture, and there's some implications that you were distantly involved... Iblis was there, so I assumed you had to be too. I even bought the gamerpic so I have you as my avatar image.”
“So I'm merely a collectible to you?”
There was no getting through to him.
Before I could answer, the prompt closed and the game resumed at the second boss fight with him, which was the end of Shadow's story. Just right into it.
I noticed that Rouge and Omega were absent, and that should have troubled me. I tried to snap a picture of it on my iPod once I had Shadow powered up enough to not be hurt, but the quality was bad.
“I'll crush you!” Mephiles' sound byte screamed over the sounds of Shadow punching him as I hit the buttons.
I didn't really want to hit him, as it would be contradicting what I was trying to tell him, but I really couldn't see what else to do.
Shadow appeared to even be more angered by Mephiles than normal, and Mephiles even froze to hover in a daze before jerking to attention, as if something was really troubling his brain as he fought back.
Some time into this, Mephiles suddenly attacked with a screech that I was certain was not in the files, and flung Shadow away from him with a burst of energy, something I was hardly able to grab with my camera.
The screen cut to black just as Shadow hit the ground with a heavy THUD. Then it went back to the menu screen, showing that the final story was unlocked without even the usual prompt, or having even let me finish Shadow's story and view the credits.
I worried for a moment if Mephiles had severely hurt Shadow and that's why the game cut to this abruptly. Sure, there was no bone cracking sounds, any spurts of blood or even a cry of pain from Shadow... but all the same, I was a bit anxious.
Instead of “Last Episode” as the final story should be called, the text said: “Play It Now”
Okay. This is some bad mojo. I shouldn't have, I know I shouldn't have, but I didn't want to see my console start exploding in anger at the way things are going.
I knew that the story was to open up with Mephiles standing the forest, looking up at the purple Chaos Emerald, reaching for it as the scenery faded to black around him, the gem giving of a purple hue of light around him as he gripped it and brought it close to his face, turning to stare at the player without a word. Like he knew the player was there, and was showing them that he was going to do something horrible, which he does. It's scripted there, so it's not exactly creepy the fifth or tenth time you play it. He's supposed to stare at you.
He didn't this time, and instead stared at the Emerald in his hand, shaking his head slowly. I should have thought to record that, but I suppose I could easily edit that action myself on a video, so I figured someone would just say I made it instead.
“I was expecting you sooner...”
This clip never had him speak before, and I already knew where he pulled the audio from anyway, but all the same... I cringed.
“But there's still time for you to change... my... mind...”
How? The story here wouldn't give me the controls until Mephiles had already killed Sonic to make the princess cry, thus breaking the seal on Iblis to free him.
“You forgive... what... I... did?”
Honestly, killing Sonic, who was revived anyway, was not exactly excusable. Yes, Mephiles made sure that Sonic was dead before he hit the ground, and yes, Mephiles actually tried to avoid doing it himself... but still. He killed Sonic.
But, Silver did try to. And Shadow tried once. And Eggman... oh geeze did he try too. And yet, these guys are well loved. Mephiles might have been the only one to actually do it, but he wasn't intentionally targeting Sonic out of pure malice. It was because Sonic was a means to an end. If the princess had fallen for someone else... Mephiles would have targeted them instead. He had no real problem with Sonic. And I'm sure Sonic would just brush off his death encounter with a laugh, toss up a thumbs up, and tell Mephiles he would look forward to a real match between them, as Sonic was always friendly to his rivals and bad guys.
A message prompt popped up.
“There's still a chance to change this. What is your answer?”
“I never blamed you for anything.”
“What about them? Do you think they would feel the same?”
“I can't honestly say. Sonic himself would be the most forgiving, if you told him why you did what you did. Half his friends are people who tried to kill him before, y'know?”
“No, I don't know. I was never there.”
“I didn't... Never mind. Just try and fix it. Don't kill him. It's all up to you right now.”
“But... if I don't, Iblis will never be freed until that girl dies. He'll be so hurt and angry, being stuck there while I'm out here waiting...”
“Maybe he'll feel better knowing that you waited for him. I saw the future in this timeline. He does get free, and you live for a very long time.”
“I know. I was there. But I'm tired of waiting. I've waited for everything. For him. For this. For things that will never happen...”
“It'll just make it all the more satisfying if you hang in there.”
“You say that, but I doubt you really know.”
“Now, who's judging who on false assumptions?”
“Who could you possibly be waiting for, then?”
“That's my secret. I have to keep up appearances. It's not easy being all smiles, y'know?”
“I don't. I have no mouth, so I can't relate.”
“Just trust me.”
“Why should I? You left me too.”
“Did I ever actually sell the disc? Even the broken one? Throw them away? No.”
“But you didn't come back for a long time.”
“But I did come back. On my own. Doesn't that count?”
“You'll leave again after this. I know you will.”
“If I do, I'll still come back when I can. As long as I have the game in my possession, and have a system to play it, I won't totally abandon it.”
“They'll break one day. Then you can never come back.”
“If I have to learn how to rip it onto a emulator, I guess I'll have to.”
“... Promise, then?”
“I don't believe I ever heard that come from you before.”
“Of course. I'm your biggest fangirl, after all.”
The game resumed, and the clip of Sonic and the princess walking side by side, giggling and smiling to each other after having just escaped a near death explosion prior to Mephiles making his move, played.
I waited anxiously, as Mephiles was supposed to use the Emerald to blind them, and attack Sonic from behind, impaling him with an energy beam instantly.
They continued walking, and well past the usual scripted point. The emerald laid in their path, and Sonic quickly noticed it, picking it up and hurrying back to walk beside the princess.
“It's not your good luck charm, but will this do?” Sonic said to her, which surprised me, as there was nothing in the game to suggest this was a possibility.
The rest of the game played the scenes, or rather altered versions, with more or less happier endings for them all.
No Solaris boss fight.
The credits rolled, and the game exited me back to the main menu.
Another message popped up.
“I did... good..?”
I typed back a smiley emote to show that he did. I got a message back, which seemed frantic.
“What is that? I did what I should have right? I don't understand. Is that a yes or no?”
“I was smiling at you. It means you did what you should have. I'm happy for you.”
“If you come back... we'll have to do this all again, you know. It's a bit tragic, isn't it..? This was really for nothing...”
“You did this for a reason. I noticed. And I won't forget it, I promise.”
“They'll forget. When you start over, they won't remember...”
“If you were able to change it all this one time... why not change it every time?”
“It's useless. It won't stay.”
“But I want to see what happens when you do. It'll make it more fun.”
“You'll get bored of it.”
“We'll see, then. See you next time?”
“I'll be back as soon as I can.”
I wasn't back until the weekend. I was a bit worried that he thought I had lied, but loaded the game up all the same. The character select loaded up, and Mephiles was in his Shadow form, standing where Shadow should be, hands clasped nervously.
A message popped up.
“I talked with them, and we all decided to switch places this time. Sonic is playing my role, just so you know.”
“Who's the princess this time?”
“That pigeon at the werehouse. Hatsun, right?”
“What a size difference... who did the princess get then?”
“Play it and see. I don't want to spoil it before you have your fun...”
“Okay, okay. I was just curious...”
“Oh, and by the way... Thank you.”
Author's Note: In Regards to the Japanese Laugh ClipEdit
I put together a short video that put the English and Japanese ones side by side, so you can understand how it sounds normally: