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Sonic is on a race against time to save the world... and himself!
High above the planet, Sonic and Dr. Eggman were locked in a fierce battle. Transforming into Super Sonic, he dealt destructive blows to Eggman's precious machinery and cornered him on a satellite. Unbeknownst to him, Sonic fell into Dr. Eggman's most devious trap yet.
From the safety of his control panel, Dr. Eggman captured the power of the Chaos Emeralds, releasing the dark energy. Utilizing this energy, Dr. Eggman then fired it as a powerful beam towards the planet.
With a roar, the world was ripped into numerous continents. From the aftermath of this destruction, a colossal beast living in the core had been awakened. Due to his proximity to the Chaos Emeralds as the dark energy was expelled, Sonic underwent a new transformation. With increased strength, sharp claws and fangs, but decreased speed, Sonic had been transformed into a Werehog.
His business with Sonic having now concluded, Dr. Eggman felt no remorse in ejecting Sonic and the spent Emeralds out of the airlock and into the darkness of space. Sonic soon found himself plummeting to one of the continents of the fragmented world's surface. After colliding with a colossal bang, Sonic discovered an imp-like creature nearby that had lost all memory of who he was. Assuming he was responsible, he befriended the creature and nicknamed him Chip on account of his insatiable appetite for desserts.
As Sonic comes to terms with his own mysterious transformation, he must also figure out a way to restore the continents of the planet to their rightful positions...
Leaked and then officially announced in early 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Play Station 2, Sonic Unleashed was hoped to be the game that would stab a jolt of life into the dying Sonic franchise, which suffered from hitting the Polygon Ceiling hard and had most recently put out the widely-criticized Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Thus, when the Werehog was subsequently leaked and then revealed, Internet Backdraft immediately ensued, with many fans and even professional sites basically screaming "WHAT THE EFF, SONIC TEAM". This carried over to many professional reviewers' opinions, some of whom gave the game even lower scores than its widely-panned predecessor. In contrast, the fans' general opinion is that Sonic's levels are much more along the lines of what a current-generation Sonic game should be like; you'd be hard-pressed to find such an opinion on the Werehog.
Oddly, it turned out that Unleashed was for all intents and purposes two games — the version released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was developed by Sonic Team while the Play Station 2 and Wii versions were developed by handheld Sonic developer Dimps. While they all share the same story, similar gameplay mechanics, and level names, the actual design of the levels, as well as the way the player progresses from one to the next, is completely different between the two versions. The Wii and PS2 versions have many more Werehog levels, but to compensate each level is much shorter. There's also a 2D version for mobile phones by Gameloft.
Released in Japan as Sonic World Adventure.
This game exhibits examples of:
- Action Commands: This game marked their introduction to the Sonic series. The two Tornado Defense missions are meant to get you used to the button inputs, and there are several points in each level where you input several buttons in a row to perform tricks and reach higher ground.
- Action Game: The Werehog controls much like Action Games such as God of War.
- Absentee Actor: In this game, Knuckles doesn't appear or get mentioned at all.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Pickle.
- And Your Reward Is Edible: The Chili Dogs that are obtainable from the Don Fachio Hot Dog Vendors upon successful completion of the missions they offer.
- Aside Glance: Sonic and Chip both do this at some points.
Sonic: Uh-oh, did I fall on him?
- Attack Its Weak Point: The goal for boss battles.
- Badass: Sonic, in both hedgehog and werehog forms. From phoenixes to super robots, nothing can stand against him for long.
- Badass Mustache:
- Most of the Don Fachio vendors have one, each one unique to the individual vendor.
- Dr. Eggman still has it.
- Beehive Barrier: The Egg Devil Ray is covered by this; only the Sonic Boost can break through.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Dr. Eggman and Dark Gaia.
- Big Eater:
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Professor Pickle.
- Block Puzzle: Occurs frequently in the Nighttime stages.
- Book Ends: The game starts with the end of one adventure and the beginning of a new one. It ends the exact same way.
- Boss Banter: "You little... you little!"
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- In the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 version of the game, Sonic blatantly looks at the score panel for his overall rank on the end of mission results, and reacts accordingly. He also glances towards the screen a few times in cutscenes.
- He does this in the Playstation 2/Wii version as well. If you play as the Werehog, however, whether he rejoices or turns around and slumps onto the floor in a brief hissyfit depends on your end of stage ranking.
- In the first (or second, if you count the intro) cutscene, when he finds out Chip has amnesia, he basically does this:
Sonic: Uh oh.
- Check Point Starvation: In the HD versions of the game, one mission involves getting to the end of Eggmanland, a Nintendo Hard stage that indeed is comparable to those of the old 8-bit games--without any usable checkpoints and with a time limit. It is also by far the longest stage in the game, considering the time limit is 45 minutes.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Amy Rose, though very much toned down in comparison to previous games.
- Collision Damage: Averted. The enemies have to actually attack you to cause damage, with the exception of enemies that generate electricity.
- Combat Medic: The Heal Masters.
- Combat Tentacles: Dark Gaia has several of them, not that he uses them during the actual fight.
- Concept Art Gallery: Unlocked piece by piece.
- Consulting Mr. Puppet: An NPC, Wentos, in the PlayStation 3/360 version of the game, has a Chao puppet that helps him overcome his shyness and generally speaks for him while he is still too shy to interact with others.
- Continuity Nod:
- In his idle animation (at least in the Wii/Playstation 2 version), Sonic lies down a la Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and at the start of some levels in the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 version, he stretches his legs a la Sonic Advance 2.
- Also, in the Wii/PS2 version, there's an NPC who compliments Sonic's eyes, then remarks "They don't change color, do they?" Could be a subtle Take That against people who complained about Sonic having green eyes from Sonic Adventure onward or merely a lampshading that Sonic's eyes do change colour - From green in his normal form, to red when he transforms into Super Sonic.
- Three NPC's from the Eggmanland hub world, the EF-MD1991, EF-DC1998, and EF-XB2006, reference the years of release and some of the consoles for Sonic 1, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. The MD1991 is more or less described as being the best, DC1998 being alright, and XB2006 being the worst.
- Crate Expectations: There are some here and there, used for pressing switches and hurling at enemies.
- Cut Song: The Wii version misses out on both Savannah Citadel tracks, as well as the level and hub themes for Empire City.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: If you've trained yourself to instinctively press the jump button in midair near an enemy, you may have to readjust yourself, since the homing attack was moved to share the same button as the boost in all versions.
- Dark Is Evil: Although Sonic has the same personality in his fierce looking 'werehog' form, this is only because of his strong heart. All other characters influenced by Dark Gaia become either evil or depressed at night, although a few possessed citizens simply reverse their personalities, making laid-back, meek characters manic and cheerful instead.
- Date Rape Averted: A G-rated version of this trope. Werehog Sonic stops Professor Pickle's possessed assistant from harassing Amy.
- Deadpan Snarker: Orbot takes every opportunity to snark at Eggman when things go wrong, much to Eggman's annoyance.
- Demonic Possession: Some of the townsfolk become possessed by Dark Gaia at nighttime, either making them depressed, evil, or have some other personality unusual from their normal selves. You can perform 'exorcisms' on them by giving 'em a flash with your camera and then "expel Dark Gaia from their hearts" by defeating waves of Dark Gaia enemies who suddenly appear.
- Die, Chair, Die!: The Werehog is actually rewarded after missions based on how many orbs (Dark Gaia Force) he collects, much of which can be obtained from destroying random scenery.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: When Orbot snarks about how Eggman's plan is currently failing:
Eggman: That was... err... all part of my plan! Part of the big picture! Where's the fun in having my plans succeed without any challenge?!
- Does Not Like Spam: Chip really dislikes spicy food and he and Sonic, of course, hates eating anything from Eggmanland. Curiously, Sonic's very low EXP gainage from (Presumably nutritious) fish and seafood strongly implies that he hates both.
- Double Jump: Sonic the Werehog.
- Dramatic Thunder: Shown when you first actually meet Dark Gaia.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: One way of dying in the Jungle Joyride if the player manages to fall under the bridge in the first part.
- Dummied Out: The Wii/Playstation 2 version lost Empire City (and by correlation, the Skyscraper Scamper levels), all but one of the missions for Mazuri (the Egg Beetle boss, leaving out the Savannah Citadel levels), and quite a bit of the other missions.
- Easter Egg/Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- In the opening, just before Eggman pushes the button that fires his laser (stop at 3:29), if you look down you can see a Sega Dreamcast to the lower-left. Who knew Eggman of all people was a classic gamer?
- And it pops up again, when Eggman is ordering Dark Gaia to kill Sonic. Eggman is such a hardcore Dreamcast fan, he's willing to take it with him to the end of the world!
- Easy Amnesia: Chip.
- Eldritch Abomination: Dark Gaia.
- Enemy Summoner: Big Mothers and Fright Masters.
- Eskimo Land: Holoska.
- Essence Drop: Enemies and objects contain bits of blue light which are dropped when they're destroyed or killed. These fill up the Unleashed Meter.
- Eternal Engine: Eggmanland, with Circus of Fear and Lethal Lava Land elements. Kinda justified by the fact that Eggmanland is probably about the size of locations similar to Empire City and Spagonia.
- Exposition Fairy: Chip.
- Extra Eyes: Initially, Dark Gaia has three green eyes and two small glowing eyes. When it transforms after having green eyes destroyed, it opens up seven more. That makes twelve eyes in total.
- Eye Scream: This is how Perfect Dark Gaia was defeated: a Super Sonic to the eye.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Every continent in the game is a blatant Expy of a real-world location. To list them all:
- Apotos = Mykonos (an island in Greece)
- Spagonia = Western Europe, mainly Italy
- Mazuri = Africa, mainly West Africa.
- Holoska = the Arctic
- Chun-Nan = China
- Shamar = the Middle East, mainly Baghdad
- Empire City = New York City
- Adabat = Southeast Asia, mainly Thailand
- Eggmanland = Disneyland (well, it sounds like it should be...)
- Feet First Introduction: This is how the Werehog is introduced to Chip as Sonic was holding him upside down whilst he was awakening from unconciousness.
- Fetch Quest: Bringing the various souvenirs to Pickle. Fortunately, these quests are optional.
- Fireballs: Fire masters fire these.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Possibly unintentional, but the Werehog bosses-- Dark Gaia Phoenix (Fire), Dark Moray (Ice), and Dark Guardian (can summon Lightning). There's also the Egg Dragoon, which attacks with all three elements.
- Floating Platforms
- Flunky Boss: Dark Guardian, Egg Dragoon and a few others.
- Food Porn: The designers seemed to have a bit of a fixation on making beautifully rendered, realistic food alongside the cartoony characters.
- Free-Fall Fight: Fight against Egg Dragoon.
- Fundamentally Funny Fruit: The Dureek food item. Which are obviously the Sonic world equivalent of the Durian fruit. The inventory even describes them as the "King of fruits" and in a reference to their inspiration's Love It or Hate It reputation in the real world, also suggests that you "try it and see". Chip can't make up his mind about how he feels about them after being fed one but Sonic seems to absolutely love them going by the extremely high EXP value he gains from just one.
- Funny Background Event: During some cutscenes, while Sonic is talking to someone, Chip is doing something in the background, like swimming in the air, and only contributes to conversations when food comes up.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Miles "Tails" Prower.
- Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: The Gaia Colossus saves an unconscious Sonic in his giant hand. Justified in that Chip slowed Sonic's descent before catching him.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The eyes of Dark Gaia's incomplete form.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Can be used on any night level enemy that isn't a Dark Titan or Big Mother. The flavour text for the Rex enemies even suggests trying this.
- Hailfire Peaks:
- Hammerspace: Chip has one.
- He Knows About Timed Hits
- Helpful Mook: The Dark Bat enemies, which are harmless and give the Werehog something to hang on to. There are other variations, which follow another trope entirely. Then there are also fan enemies which can be used to kill enemies or solve a few simple puzzles.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Chip/Light Gaia.
- Heroic Willpower: The reason Sonic is able to stay in complete control of his Werehog form.
- High Speed Battle: All of the Hedgehog bosses, as well as the Interceptor's appearances.
- Humongous Mecha:
- The Gaia Colossus. It's formed from all of the world's Gaia Temples, which are already pretty big.
- A majority, if not all of Eggman's machines apply as well, mainly Egg Dragoon.
- Immortal Immaturity: Chip.
- In Case of Boss Fight Break Glass: All of the Day Bosses. And the Egg Dragoon too.
- Inescapable Ambush: Most of the Werehog battles.
- Land of Dragons: Chun-nan and everything about it.
- Let's Play:
- By the same group (Pokecapn, Kung-Fu Jesus, Medibot, and IlluminatusVespucci) who did the infamous LP of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, plus MyNameIsKaz. Notable Crowning Moments Of Funny can be found in Medibot's (successful!) attempt to identify all 288 items the goons picked up during the playthrough, Kung-Fu Jesus successfully and accidentally predicting that someone was at his door, and Kaz's spot-on impersonation of Professor Pickle — skipped text and all. Also, their reaction to the final QTE against Perfect Dark Gaia, where they had to mash a button 60 times when the most they had to do before was 16.
- A different playthrough was also done by NTom64 and FastestThingAlive.
- Level Grinding: You have to collect medals, save people from spiritual possession, and gain powerup items to advance in the stages in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version. This is simplified in the Wii/Playstation 2 version, where you only need to beat the stages and required missions and talk to the right people.
- Levels Take Flight: Tails transports Sonic on his biplane once more for the two Tornado Defense stages.
- Lighter and Softer: This is the point that the 3D games started to try not having such a dark and serious plot. Sonic even takes his transformation rather lightly.
- Lightning Bruiser: Sonic becomes one here, instead of being the usual Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon, since he only loses 20 rings per hit and keeps his speed and enough strength to destroy robots.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Averted; many side characters such as Knuckles and Shadow are absent.
- Lost Superweapon: The Gaia Temples are really pieces of the Gaia Colossus.
- Lovecraft Lite: The game has shades of Lovecraft's works, especially the backstory behind Dark Gaia, but it has a little bit in common with classic mythological origin/apocalypse stories as well. Yes, there's a giant betentacled monstrosity that destroys the world when it wakes up from an eons-long power nap, but there's also a good entity that puts the world back together and sends Dark Gaia back into slumber.
- MacGuffin Escort Mission: Sonic's quest to deliver each of the seven depowered Chaos Emeralds to the seven Gaia Temples in order to repower them and restore the continents of the world.
- Made of Explodium: One sled in Holoska's Cool Edge Act 1 Day stage explodes upon colliding with the side of an glacier. Sonic jumps out just in time.
- Magic Pants: Sonic's White Gloves rip off and his shoes change size and shape (and gain spikes) when he becomes the Werehog. They reappear and revert, respectively when he turns back.
- Marathon Boss: Dark Gaia is every bit as powerful as it has been built up to be and stubbornly refuses to stay down.
- Marathon Level: Eggmanland, a six-act (Wii/PS2) or hour-long (360/PS3) gauntlet through Eggman's main base.
- Metronomic Man-Mashing: Sonic the Werehog can do this to some of the bigger mooks once he gets his elasticated hands on them.
- Multi Platform: Besides the Wii, Playstation 2, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, a version for the mobile phone, the gameplay of such will be more in tune to the Sonic Rush titles.
- Multi Stage Battle: The Egg Dragoon fight, in which Eggman twice destroys the platform you're standing on.
- Musical Nod: Jungle Joyride (Day) contains a section from the Sonic R song "Back In Time".
- Nintendo Hard: The Playstation 3/Xbox 360 non-story Acts, and Eggmanland. The Day rankings can also be soul crushingly brutal.
- Nitro Boost: The Sonic Boost.
- No Name Given:
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: After supposedly getting overpowered with ease by Super Sonic, Eggman lures him into a trap and uses him as a power source to blow up the Earth after the hedgehog gets a bit too cocky with him.
- One Hedgehog Army
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Averted, he loses 20 rings when he gets hit in this game. 20 rings essentially equals one hit point.
- The Other Darrin: Surprisingly, in the Japanese version, the Werehog. Tomokazu Seki performs the role instead of Junichi Kanemaru.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Sonic the Werehog.
- Painful Transformation: Though it's not as explicit or as inhuman-looking as most examples, it's implied that Sonic's under a lot of pain when turning into the Werehog. It becomes really noticeable in Night of the Werehog (the in-house short released to promote the game), because for the last few minutes Sonic's been smiling and messing around - only to stop in front of a window looking out to the full moon, where he breaks into uncontrollable shaking, nearly collapses and (once it's all over) howls horribly.
- Palmtree Panic / Jungle Japes / Temple of Doom: Adabat
- Pals with Jesus: Sonic's pals with Chip, a.k.a. Light Gaia.
- Personal Space Invader: The Egg Shackles and the Egg Bursts sticks to Sonic and slowly takes rings away before (in the case of the Egg Burst) exploding.
- Photo Montage: During Credits.
- Pivotal Boss: Dark Moray, in either version.
- Pop Quiz: In HD versions, some of the people in hub worlds can give you some of them.
- Pressure Plate: In the Nighttime levels, they sometimes appear as a means to open up pathways.
- Press X to Not Die:
- Pun: The hot dogs sold in Holoska? "Chilly" dogs.
- Puzzle Boss: Shamar's boss, Dark Guardian (at least in the PS3/360 version. The Wii/PS2's version is a straight-up brawl.)
- Quad Damage: One of the powerups in nighttime stages boosts attack.
- Ramen Slurp: Sonic is shown doing this in the photo montage in the credits.
- Recurring Traveller: Salesman Wentos.
- Respawning Enemies: Helpful Mooks tend to respawn when killed or destroyed.
- Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: After some pretty bleak games in the era following Sonic Adventure 2, Unleashed sheds the darkness for a happier theme. The colors in the world and the art style are perkier and brighter than something like Sonic the Hedgehog 2006.
- Rewarding Vandalism: Break pots and stuff, get items.
- Roar Before Beating: The Dark Moray roars before you actually battle it.
- Rubber Hog: Sonic's Werehog form has arms that can stretch.
- Running on All Fours: Sonic the Werehog does this to move faster as his legs are too short to allow easy running in bipedal stance.
- Satiating Sandwich: The Hero Sandwich food item, which provides a big 50 EXP when eaten by Sonic. They're amongst the best food items Sonic can eat in terms of EXP value.
- Scenery Porn:
- Particularly daytime stages in Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, especially when you are in full motion. Nighttime ain't exactly ugly either.
- Hell, even the Wii/PS2 version's quite a sight to see, particularly the Gaia Gates.
- The intro of the game (in both versions) shows a lot of it as well.
- Shifting Sand Land: Shamar.
- Shockwave Stomp: Titans like to do that.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: During the final battle, the comical villain Dr. Eggman, following his defeat in the Egg Dragoon battle, is swatted out of the center of the Earth by the monstrous Dark Gaia.
- Shoot the Medic First: Well, they're called Heal Masters and all you've got is your fists but you've got the idea. Heaven help you if one shows up with Titan backup. Your death will be slow and painful.
- Shoryuken: Or more like Sho-Hog-ken and Sho-Claw-Ken.
- Shout-Out: One of Werehog Sonic's moves is called the Sho-hog-ken.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Holoska.
- Small Annoying Creature: Chip in the Wii version. He is much less so in the PS 360 version, since he only speaks up during gameplay if you walk into an assist icon, thus reducing the Stop Helping Me! quotient. His cutscene antics are actually pretty funny most of the time.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: During the credits, "Endless Possibilities" (Sonic's theme; 90's pop rock) plays first, while "Dear My Friend" (Chip's theme; a slower, more somber song) plays second. The Wii/PS2 version's credits show various scenes from the game, in chronological order-- thus, the first song plays while they show cutscenes from the beginning of the game, and the second song plays mainly during scenes from the last few levels. In short, the song about friendship plays while you see Dark Gaia turn into Perfect Dark Gaia.
- The Spiny: Enemies covered in electricity cause Collision Damage.
- Stalactite Spite: Some icicles in the daytime stages for Holoska tend to fall when approaching them.
- Stealth Insult: Orbot manages to sneak a few in, though he's usually more upfront with his snark.
<clapping> "Your skills at self-aggrandizement are unparalleled."
- Stylistic Suck: When you get an E rank, the rendition of the main theme that plays is hilariously awful.
- Super Drowning Skills: Averted in the daytime stages, as long as you're running fast enough (see Walk On Water below). Nighttime stages aren't so lucky-- the Werehog sinks like a rock.
- Symbol Swearing: Chip's reaction to eating the Canned Horror.
- Throat Light: Dark Gaia, who has purple light emanating from deep within its throat.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sonic and his chili dogs, as well as Chip and his ubiquitous chocolate bars. Professor Pickle is also very particular about his cucumber sandwiches. Which double as a clever reference to his name, as pickles are made from cucumbers.
- Trial and Error Gameplay: The last acts in the game, particularly Eggmanland, have no other way to win aside from dying tons of times and memorizing all the hazards by heart. The level designers were apparently aware of this, given that 1-up tokens (which mercifully respawn on death this time, unlike Sonic '06) are often located in front of checkpoints preceding some of the more frustrating sections.
- True Final Boss: Averted; this is the first game in the series where the Super Sonic battle doesn't need to be unlocked with any extra effort.
- Turns Red
- Twinkle Smile: Sonic did this right efore destroying Dark Gaia's third eye.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Tornado Defense Acts in the PS3/360 version.
- Unmoving Plaid: It's very subtle, but in the PS 360 version, a static swirly vapor-like texture can be seen through Dark Gaia's creatures.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: All the anthropomorphic characters, but especially the Werehog. Most of the human characters don't seem to care much about a hairy monstrosity with spiky shoes and super stretchy arms.
- Variable Mix: When Sonic uses his speed boost, the bass instruments of the background music almost disappear due to the air rushing by.
- Verbed Title
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Enemies in Werehog stages don't actually fade until their death animation ends. Any attack interrupting that just resets the animation. Knowing that, one can spend as long as they wish keeping the poor abomination on the edge of life and death to rack up a combo.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Eggman in the opening when Sonic goes Super...or at least it seems like he was, only to reveal he was just luring Sonic into his trap.
- Voice Grunting: Wii/Play Station 2 version only.
- Walk On Water: Run, rather; this is required in several daytime stages. If you go any slower than top speed, Sonic will sink. This is taken to purely absurd levels in Cool Edge Act 2 and the Downloadable Content stage Dragon Road Act 5, which are composed almost entirely of water!
- Wallet of Holding: Lampshaded after completing some ring trials: "Whoa! Where do you stuff all those rings? Don't they slow you down?"
- Wasted Song: The Gaia Gate music in the 360/PS3 version, which only appears in one cutscene.
- What Could Have Been:
- Early concept art for Sonic's transformed state was a Yeti
- Meta-example here; The Hedgehog Engine was originally intended to be licensed out to other developers. This never happened however, and it appears to have been completely internalised as of the release of Generations.
- Why Won't You Die?: Said by Dr. Eggman halfway into the fight with the Egg Dragoon:
"Stubborn little pincushion! Give up and die already!"
- Wreaking Havok: The Havok physics are much better implemented here than in the last 3D adventure. It's best shown in sections where some enemies fly in front of you while you're at top speed to try to laser you, and the best way to beat them is to knock other enemies into them.