In my house, there is a box. It's a smallish box, but if you pick it up, you'll discover it has some heft to it.
This box isn't sealed, but its flaps are folded over each other to form a kind of loose barrier. Should you pull apart these flaps, you'll find a great treasure within: Hundreds of pages of Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction printed from the mid- through- late-'90s.
These Iliad's and Odyssey's of the early internet age were hosted on GeoCities, Tripod, Angelfire, Dragonfire, and other long-dead providers that'd lend out two megs of webspace to hedgehog-loving bards who had a tale to tell.
And what stories we heard! Tales of Mobian bears with psychic powers! Yarns about foxes with three tails! Saga upon saga about hedgehogs in every color of the rainbow, each one three times faster – nay, fifty times faster! – than Sonic!
After so many years of listening to the agonized cries of Sonic fans who wanted nothing more than to see their fan character represented in an official game, I am so, so proud to fall on my knees, raise my hands to the skies, and whisper, "Friends … the time has come. Sega has heard, and Sega giveth. Your childhood OC, Demon_Balto the Wolf, can now run alongside Sonic. Praise. Praise."
Sega's latest trailer for Sonic Forces offers a brief outline of the character creation process, and sort-of explains how your fursona fits into the narrative. Dr Eggman is particularly Armageddon-happy in this upcoming 3D platformer, which means Sonic and Classic Sonic (who previously teamed up for 2011's Sonic Generations) need some help quelling the evil doctor's appetite for destruction.
That's where your character, [Blank] the [Blank], comes in.
The hero creation template in Sonic Forces looks fairly robust, but you're restricted to seven animals. That means those of you who cross-bred a dragon with a shark to create your original character (ahem, OC) will not see the representation you desire. You must wait. Hey, the Israelites wandered for 40 years before they received salvation. You've got this.
As for those of you who had the foresight to choose mundane animals for your characters, here's what's at your disposal:
- Wolf: Automatically draws rings towards itself.
- Rabbit: Gets a longer invincibility period after being hit by an enemy.
- Cat: Hangs onto one ring after being hit by an enemy.
- Dog: Restarts with five rings after dying.
- Bear: Has a homing attack.
- Bird: Has a double-jump.
- Hedgehog: Collects rings after getting damaged.
Your original characters also have use of "wispons," which are gadgets that let your hero be as fast, strong, and smart as Sonic and his pals (contrary to your fanfiction, all those traits don't come baked-in. Sorry). The wispons make an appearance in the trailer, where they materialize as a variety of funky shoes, cool weapons, and eyepieces like headphones, glasses, and Dragon Ball Z scouters (I will refrain from the obvious Vegeta joke, as I'd rather not risk having millions of bullets pumped into my person for quoting old memes. HAVE AT YOU!).
Clothing options also include vests, but not pants. Pants are a sin in the eyes of the ancient, nameless god that rules over Sonic's universe.
Sonic Forces, glorious OC options and all, comes to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch around holiday 2017. It has been my great pleasure to deliver this news unto you. I will see you again for another session of prayerful celebration when Sega inevitably reveals DLC for more animal templates. Don't lose faith, dragon-shark hopefuls.