Sonic's Timeline

Chezi

Chili Dog
Within the games, there are many different timelines, and Forces muddied the water in regards to whether timelines and dimensions are different things.

Sonic CD: Introduced the Good Future and Bad Future, two separate timelines. Because of how early CD takes place, All of the branching timelines contain their own split off Good Futures and Bad Futures.

Original Timeline: Sonic 1 - Sonic 06. This can also be referred to as the "Solaris Timeline". The timeline ends with Sonic 06, and is the only timeline to contain it. It's also the only timeline in which Solaris exists under natural circumstances. The death of this timeline created the Modern Timeline.

Modern Timeline: Sonic 1 - Present (Forces at the time of this post). Does not contain 06, but has the Rivals and Rush games in it's place. This timeline also exclusively features Sonic 4. Despite being spinoffs, Secret Rings and Black Knight are also canon to this timeline.

Shadow the Hedgehog: Sonic 1 - Shadow the Hedgehog (2005). It contains a number of effectively non-canon endings that never get expanded on in any of the other games, only the true ending is canon in any other timeline. Each of these other endings could be considered their own little bubble timelines we will probably never see again.

Classic Timeline: The Timeline/Dimension created from Classic Sonic's point of view after Generations. Features all the old canon pre-Adventure Sonic games, and has Mania instead of Sonic 4. It crosses over with the Modern Timeline a second time in Forces.

Silver's Future: An odd sort of alternate future separate entirely from CD's Good and Bad Future's that seems to be able to change based on events in the present. It's unclear if Silver is always aware of the changes.

Blaze's Dimension: The world Blaze and Marine are native to, and the home of the Sol Emeralds. It's vague as to if this world is truly separate from Sonic's world, or if it has some connection to Silver's future.

IDW Sonic: The comic timeline. It's separate and distinct from the Game Timeline, but is identical to the Modern Timeline until after the events of Forces, at which point it splits off in it's own direction. Given the ages of characters unique to the comic, it's likely they exist within the game canon as well, regardless of if they end up showing their faces in the games or not.

Sonic Prime (Netflix): Still not much info to go off of right now, but rumor has it it will crossover many of the various timelines within the existing Sonic multiverse.

That's everything canon I'm aware of right now.
This is probably the best way I’ve seen the timeline put into place.

The only thing I kind of disagree with (a very slight disagreement) is CD’s Good Future/Bad Future affecting the timeline. All the changes in time during CD are contained within Little Planet, plus the Good Ending (aka all Good Futures) is canon within the series.
 

Icarus

Warrior from Algol
When is Sonic CD happening? Before or after the Death Egg Saga?

Is Sonic Mania the direct sequel to Sonic 3&K? Is Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic 4 even canon at this point? What about the handheld games?

Most of them are never aknowledged (even Shadow the Edgehog could simply not be canon at all it wouldn't change anything to the series).
 

Linlam

Member
When is Sonic CD happening? Before or after the Death Egg Saga?

Is Sonic Mania the direct sequel to Sonic 3&K? Is Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic 4 even canon at this point? What about the handheld games?

Most of them are never aknowledged (even Shadow the Edgehog could simply not be canon at all it wouldn't change anything to the series).
I think Sonic CD happens before the Death Egg saga, it's like a stand alone adventure that happens between Sonic 1 and 2.

Sonic Mania is the sequel of S3k, but it's not clear how much time passes between the end of S3K and Mania.

SEGA wants everybody to forget about Sonic 4, and I agree, so I don't think they're cannon anymore. Knuckles' Chaotix can still be canon, but I don't know where it would fit in the timeline (probably in the S3K-Mania timeskip). I see the handheld games as stand alone stories, except for Sonic 1 on the master sytem (which is the same story of the Mega Drive on 8-bits), Sonic 2 (which happens before Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive) and Sonic Triple Trouble, that is kind of a sequel to S3K. The other Hand-held games are stories that can be fit almost anywhere in the timeline.

The only question I have is with Sonic Rush. I'd say it happens after Sonic 06, but it's really confusing.
 

time gear

Eternity in an hour
When is Sonic CD happening? Before or after the Death Egg Saga?

Is Sonic Mania the direct sequel to Sonic 3&K? Is Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic 4 even canon at this point? What about the handheld games?

Most of them are never aknowledged (even Shadow the Edgehog could simply not be canon at all it wouldn't change anything to the series).
I think Sonic CD happens before the Death Egg saga, it's like a stand alone adventure that happens between Sonic 1 and 2.

Sonic Mania is the sequel of S3k, but it's not clear how much time passes between the end of S3K and Mania.

SEGA wants everybody to forget about Sonic 4, and I agree, so I don't think they're cannon anymore. Knuckles' Chaotix can still be canon, but I don't know where it would fit in the timeline (probably in the S3K-Mania timeskip). I see the handheld games as stand alone stories, except for Sonic 1 on the master sytem (which is the same story of the Mega Drive on 8-bits), Sonic 2 (which happens before Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive) and Sonic Triple Trouble, that is kind of a sequel to S3K. The other Hand-held games are stories that can be fit almost anywhere in the timeline.

The only question I have is with Sonic Rush. I'd say it happens after Sonic 06, but it's really confusing.
CD is either before Sonic 2 or after it. Doesn't change much of anything when placed in either spot, since the Chaos Emeralds weren't on Little Planet.

Sonic Mania only happens from Classic Sonic's perspective after Generations, so it would go S3K > Chaotix > Generations > Mania > Forces.

Sonic 4, including Episode Metal, does count as a canon explanation for how Metal Sonic got back on Earth from Little Planet after being defeated there, regardless of if fans like the game or not. Metal does manage to end up back on Earth regardless, so considering when it was released, the Oriignal/Solaris timeline likely didn't include it at all which places it in the Modern Timeline. The Classic Timeline doesn't include it because the Classic Sonic from Generations is from after Chaotix but before 4 (Classic Eggman decides not to repeat his past failures and the failures of his Modern counterpart at the end of Generations, the exact opposite of what Modern Eggman did in Sonic 4).

Even without acknowledgement in other games, it's usually pretty obvious when each game comes out under the context of when it released and what happens in it's self contained story. Shadow takes place After Heroes but before 06. Sonic Advance and Advance 2 take place around the time of Sonic Adventure, either before or after. Battle is after Adventure 2, and Advance 3 is after Battle and may or may not be after Heroes.

Sonic 06 undoes itself in it's ending, in which Sonic blows out the flame that would become Solaris far back in the past before it has a chance to cause the events of the game to transpire. This resets the entire timeline in regards to the time the games take place back to the start, this time without Solaris being a thing. This in turn alters the future, allowing Silver's time to be peaceful (At least until some other event in the present threatens everything again). Modern Sonic does briefly visit this timeline during Generations as a result of the Time Eater's power, though he makes no mention of having any memory of these events despite the implication he still remembered in 06's ending.

Sonic Rush and 06 don't happen on the same timeline. Even though Rush came out first, it could only exist on the Modern Timeline created after 06 undoes itself and Solaris due to contradictions (Blaze comes from an alternate Dimension in Rush, not the future, and learns about trust and friendship from Sonic and Cream. in 06, she grew up with Silver in the future.) but Rivals doesn't necessarily contradict Rush (Eggman Nega could simply be from the future but was invading Blaze's Dimension in the present to achieve his interdimensional Eggmanland ambitions alongside Eggman). As such, Rush, Rush Adventure, Rivals, and Rivals 2 all take place around the same time as each other in sequence instead of 06. I'd say probably Rush, then Rivals, then Rivals 2, then Rush Adventure, with Secret Rings coming after Rush Adventure, then Unleashed, Black Knight, and then Colors.

Colors DS and Generations 3DS are just different interpretations of the same story the console titles are telling. Each one could be seen as half of the full canon for it's title, with you needing to play both versions of each to get the full story.
 

Chezi

Chili Dog
I think it’s worth noting that some games don’t take place right after another. There can still be a decent amount of time taken between each adventure. For example, Classic Sonic didn’t immediately get thrust into Mania after going back to his timeline in Generations, but he was immediately thrust into Mania Plus after leaving Forces.

Also, the way I interpret what happens after Forces in the Classic Timeline is what’s shown in Mania Adventures and not Mania Plus. Mania Plus seems like it’s just designed as an extra mode akin to Meta Knightmare from the Kirby games and Mania Adventures looks like what actually happens after Forces (possibly even setting up Metal Sonic and Amy’s appearance in the next title as they are now on Angel Island)
 

time gear

Eternity in an hour
I think it’s worth noting that some games don’t take place right after another. There can still be a decent amount of time taken between each adventure. For example, Classic Sonic didn’t immediately get thrust into Mania after going back to his timeline in Generations, but he was immediately thrust into Mania Plus after leaving Forces.
For the most part, this is true. However, the canon is kinda ambiguous regarding Encore mode and Mania Adventures and their relation to Forces.

Something kinda funny though is strictly under the context of Mania by itself, Encore mode could take place immediately after Egg Reverie. There's nothing really stopping this from being the case. It's even entirely possible the Classic Sonic in Forces is actually just a Phantom Ruby Illusion, even though the obvious canon implication they were going for was that he was crossing the dimensions fresh from his adventure in Mania's main campaign.
 

Chezi

Chili Dog
This is why videogames timeline are always confusing.

And it's not just Sonic.
It’s usually only the case when there’s no official timeline or they imply the timeline is the same order as the release order when it isn’t the case. The Sonic timeline suffers from both symptoms.

The reason why the Zelda and Mario timeline make sense is because Zelda has an official timeline that they’re always updating, while Mario is almost always in chronological order and makes sure that we know certain games take place in a different world (Paper Mario)
 

Icarus

Warrior from Algol
It’s usually only the case when there’s no official timeline or they imply the timeline is the same order as the release order when it isn’t the case. The Sonic timeline suffers from both symptoms.

The reason why the Zelda and Mario timeline make sense is because Zelda has an official timeline that they’re always updating, while Mario is almost always in chronological order and makes sure that we know certain games take place in a different world (Paper Mario)
Considering that Modern Sonic (or at least Adventure) and Unleashed (soft)-rebooted the series it has less problems.

I just barely consider Sonic 4 to be even canon (Metal Sonic or not, Robotnik could've made another model or he was retrieved by him before, you see him in SA1).

Even the mobiles and 8-bits game could be just not canon (Pocket Adventure is just a re-imagining of Sonic 2 with Sonic 3 elements.).

Finally I find the Zelda timeline confusing and useless, the games (except obviously direct sequels like Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening and Phantom Hourglass) are supposed to be a retelling of the same legend. Nintendo just used the timeline thing for the marketting of Skyward Sword being the first game in the saga while just throwing it away for Breath of the Wild.
 

Chezi

Chili Dog
Considering that Modern Sonic (or at least Adventure) and Unleashed (soft)-rebooted the series it has less problems.

I just barely consider Sonic 4 to be even canon (Metal Sonic or not, Robotnik could've made another model or he was retrieved by him before, you see him in SA1).

Even the mobiles and 8-bits game could be just not canon (Pocket Adventure is just a re-imagining of Sonic 2 with Sonic 3 elements.).

Finally I find the Zelda timeline confusing and useless, the games (except obviously direct sequels like Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening and Phantom Hourglass) are supposed to be a retelling of the same legend. Nintendo just used the timeline thing for the marketting of Skyward Sword being the first game in the saga while just throwing it away for Breath of the Wild.
Each Zelda game isn’t a retelling of the same legend. The Hero’s Spirit from Twilight Princess (the skeleton that teaches you new moves) is Link from OoT and Majorca’s Mask. He tells you about how he feels unfulfilled due to no one remembering him saving Hyrule during OoT. Also, BotW is officially put separate from the timeline for the time being, likely due to it’s placement spoiling it’s story. There’s also other cases where games will reference other Links, one example I can think of is ALBW telling what happened in ALttP.

tl:dr, The Zelda timeline is one of the least confusing yet complicated timelines in gaming
 

The Real Inferno

Blazing Fan
I just barely consider Sonic 4 to be even canon (Metal Sonic or not, Robotnik could've made another model or he was retrieved by him before, you see him in SA1).
Fun fact: This is exactly what the case is in Knuckles' Chaotix! The Metal Sonic in that game is a new version of Metal, and in fact, the name "Metal Sonic Kai" refers to this model of Metal Sonic and not the form he takes on in the final boss. The final boss has no official name, but the closest thing to that comes from Archie, where it's called Titan Metal Sonic.

Knuckles' Chaotix in general adds a lot of lore that gets sadly overlooked, such as the start to Robotnik powering Badniks through rings, and implications that the Echindas expanded beyond Angel Island.
 

Icarus

Warrior from Algol
Fun fact: This is exactly what the case is in Knuckles' Chaotix! The Metal Sonic in that game is a new version of Metal, and in fact, the name "Metal Sonic Kai" refers to this model of Metal Sonic and not the form he takes on in the final boss. The final boss has no official name, but the closest thing to that comes from Archie, where it's called Titan Metal Sonic.

Knuckles' Chaotix in general adds a lot of lore that gets sadly overlooked, such as the start to Robotnik powering Badniks through rings, and implications that the Echindas expanded beyond Angel Island.
Knuckles' Chaotix was also an excuse to sell the 32X (so it would make it basically Sonic CD2 in a way).
I'm glad to see Mighty again (since he got ditched from the group in Heroes).

There are two different versions of the story depending of the Region and Metal Sonic being a new model shouldn't be that much of a big surprise as the original from CD got destroyed.

Maybe there is an explanation as why Metal betrayed Robotnik in Heroes and why we're seeing him again before Sonic 4 episode 2 came out.
 

Chezi

Chili Dog
Knuckles' Chaotix was also an excuse to sell the 32X (so it would make it basically Sonic CD2 in a way).
I'm glad to see Mighty again (since he got ditched from the group in Heroes).

There are two different versions of the story depending of the Region and Metal Sonic being a new model shouldn't be that much of a big surprise as the original from CD got destroyed.

Maybe there is an explanation as why Metal betrayed Robotnik in Heroes and why we're seeing him again before Sonic 4 episode 2 came out.
Saying Chaotix was an excuse to sell the 32X is like saying SM64 was an excuse to sell the N64. Also, the original Metal wasn’t destroyed as he was recovered in each timeline through Mania and 4E2
 
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time gear

Eternity in an hour
Maybe there is an explanation as why Metal betrayed Robotnik in Heroes and why we're seeing him again before Sonic 4 episode 2 came out.
The explanation is pretty much just Eggman gave Metal too much freedom in his programming. This and his ability to speak were programmed out by him immediately after Heroes to prevent this happening a second time.
 

Icarus

Warrior from Algol
Saying Chaotix was an excuse to sell the 32X is like saying SM64 was an excuse to sell the N64.
The main difference is that the N64 was a truly new console from Nintendo while the 32X was another (useless) add-on that was one of the (many) reasons why the Saturn failed. We cannot change history and it has already been told countless times.

The explanation is pretty much just Eggman gave Metal too much freedom in his programming. This and his ability to speak were programmed out by him immediately after Heroes to prevent this happening a second time.
Or simply because Robotnik is good at making robots but not at programing them (even Orbot and Cubot aren't 100% under his control).
 

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