One thing that is an important element of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is the special stages. These additional levels serve as a way for players to get the mythical Chaos Emeralds, and in many games, these Emeralds are necessary for fans to get the true ending. Although there are Chaos Emeralds in Sonic Frontiers, there are definitely no special stages in it. Instead, linear levels can be unlocked through a progression called “Cybercosmos” stages that lead to the collection of Emeralds.
These Cyber Space stages were one of the features of Sonic Frontiers that didn’t get a proper explanation until they were shown off by a trailer in June’s Nintendo Direct. Practical impressions from demonstrations at Sega gaming conventions praised these levels the most. However, loyal fans have noticed that the layouts of these stages are taken from older Sonic levels. Before reusing the design of old levels could damage the game’s promising reputation, Sonic Team explained the reason for the redesign, and instead it could actually improve the Sonic Frontiers experience.
The cyberspace stages of Sonic Frontiers are based on Sonic’s memories
According to Sonic Team, the reason Cyber Space relies on aesthetics, resources, and even old-level layouts is because the stages are generated based on Sonic’s memories. It has been scientifically proven that memories themselves are sometimes rather unreliable storytellers. This doesn’t even address the implied plot about how Sonic’s memories could have been altered at the beginning of Frontiers, which could also be the reason why Cyber Space doesn’t match the design of the levels from which to call back. The leader of the Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, said that the levels are designed to make the player feel the same as Sonic when he passes the levels that they were there before.
The fact that Cyberspace, the strange new dimension in which Sonic finds himself trapped at the beginning of Sonic Frontiers, can adapt to his memories is another mystery that makes up the story of the game. At the moment, there are many storylines concerning the lost Chaos Emeralds, the new Sage character and what is hidden in the forgotten landscape of the Starfall Islands. When it comes to what happens to Sonic’s memories, there’s not much to say, but it may be one of the secrets of the game that will be revealed only after the game is released.
Sonic Frontiers Makes Old Scenes New Again
While the reuse of old arenas has a purpose that ties the story of Sonic Frontiers to its gameplay, the fact that these memorable level layouts are back is useful for players for many reasons. Frontiers has a completely new style of play, in which fans can customize the sensations and control of Sonic for themselves. This means that even though some Sonic fans have already played the stages of the games from which they originated, they will be able to experience them in a completely new way with the controls that suit them best. Fans who didn’t like the levels when they first appeared have the potential to end up liking them with a better way to play.
However, despite the fact that fans have noticed that familiar level designs and assets are used on scenes such as Green Hill Zone and Sky Sanctuary, there is a chance that familiar layouts can only be used for tutorials. One of the first stages of Cyber Space that was shown was an extensive highway level, which was demonstrated in a recent gameplay to have a variety of alternative routes to explore, which was not the case in later releases. Regardless of whether the redesigned levels are used only for training or not, using familiar levels to get players used to the new style of play is quite reasonable, as it helps fans get used to the controls faster.
The Cyber Space stages found in Sonic Frontiers definitely add to the intrigue the game received from potential players last year. Sonic Team has been quite public about their ambitions for their latest game, and the mysterious tone that Sonic Frontiers emits is said to have been deliberate. This makes players wonder how the ancient and forgotten Starfall Islands have a special digital dimension among their technologies.
It is quite obvious that the marketing direction that Sonic Team uses for Sonic Frontiers is aimed at getting potential players to ask questions. However, Sega has stated that a public demo of Frontiers is not part of its plans to promote the next game with its mascot, which means that if players want to find answers right away, they will need to buy the game as soon as they can. In some ways, it seems that the integration of the plot and gameplay of Sonic Frontiers compensates for the confusing June marketing.
Sonic Frontiers will be released on November 8 on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.