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This Sonic Writer Just Shot Down A Major Fan Theory

Sonic the Hedgehog saw his initial debut on the Sega Genesis back in 1991. He was originally designed with two things in mind: showing off the superior speed of Sega's new console and creating a mascot that would represent Sega much in the same way that Mario did for Nintendo. This simple 16-bit mammal that could turn into a rapidly spinning ball of blue pixels has since evolved into one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. Unfortunately, our chili-dog-loving protagonist's story has grown into a bit of a mess across the games, comics, and animated TV series. This can make the continuity of the "Sonic" franchise incredibly difficult to follow.

The main source of the problem comes down to "Sonic Mania," which came after "Sonic 3" but was a prequel to "Sonic Forces." This is significant because it separates the Genesis-age "classic Sonic" from the more modern version of the blue Hedgehog that fans know today. After Sonic defeats Dr. Eggman at the end of the game, the Phantom Ruby teleports "classic Sonic" through a portal that seems to take Sonic to another dimension. Many fans have theorized that "Mania" itself takes place in a different dimension or timeline from the rest of the franchise and that this portal is taking Sonic to the dimension in which "Sonic Forces" and all other modern Sonic games take place. One of Sonic's official writers has just shot down this theory, however.

Don't look for logic in the Sonic timeline

Ian Flynn is one of the writers for Sonic. He has written several issues of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" comic and is credited as the lead writer for the newest game, "Sonic Frontiers." He and co-host Kyle Crouse have a podcast together called the Bumblekast where they discuss comics, TV, video games, and writing. The two released an episode on Nov. 4, 2022 in which they answered several of their Patreon supporters' questions. Crouse read one of the questions asking Flynn if the theory that "Sonic Mania" takes place in a different dimension was recently shut down by Sega, and how that affects the placement of the IDW comics on the timeline — which seems to contradict the timeline established in "Sonic Mania."

Flynn stated that the IDW comics take place "sometime after 'Mania,'" but seemed unable to give a more satisfying response. Crouse laughed at this and stated, "this is why you should never try to put things on a timeline, because inevitably, here comes Sega ... and boom, your fan timeline is completely, just, eradicated. Sorry. I know. I understand the impulse to want to make an order of things, but there is no order in 'Sonic,' only chaos."

This may not be the answer that most fans were hoping for, but at least it seems to be an honest one. Regardless of an official — or unofficial — explanation of the timeline, fans are likely to continue theorizing, which is just part of the fun of the fandom.