Welcome, one and all, to today’s blog post. It’s my birthday today, so I figured I’d write about something fun to celebrate. And what could be more fun than my absolute favourite franchise?
Long time readers will know that I’m borderline obsessed with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Fans of the franchise will also know that the timeline is a little…complicated at times. Especially as it pertains to certain characters.
Now, I’m a big fan of Blaze the Cat. I mean, she’s a cute purple kitty that controls fire. What’s not to love? But her place in the timeline is a little odd. She met Sonic, seemingly forgot him and befriended Silver two hundred years later, then remembered Sonic but forgot Silver back in the past. Or that’s how it seems if we follow the games in release order, anyway.
The two paths you would normally take to untangle this would be to either accept the running order of the games (but with both Rush games as pre-06) or assume that Sonic 06 is a prequel to Rush. Though both still leave the question of why the memory loss. I mean, you could assume that 06 is non-canon, which would fix everything, but that would be no fun. No, I prefer more of a hybrid of the first two ideas. I know, I know, Sonic 06 can’t be set after Rush and be a prequel to it. Right? Well, actually, I think it can.
Today, I’m offering up a theory that explains Blaze’s place in the timeline and why she doesn’t always remember characters that she’s met before. It also explains the existence of Eggman NEGA. So, let’s get to it, starting with some history!
Blaze the Cat first appeared in Sonic Rush, released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. Here, she is shown to be an antisocial princess from an alternate universe. She comes to Sonic’s world to retrieve the seven Sol Emeralds – mystical gems that her universe relies on – which had been stolen by Dr. Eggman. Though the pyrokinetic princess is initially frosty towards Sonic, they eventually team up to defeat both Dr. Eggman and his counterpart from Blaze’s world, Dr. Eggman NEGA, forming a friendship.
There is a direct sequel to the game called Sonic Rush Adventure, which also released for the Nintendo DS, this time in 2007. Here, Sonic and Tails end up in Blaze’s world, once again battling Dr. Eggman and Dr. Eggman NEGA. Of course, by transforming into Super Sonic and Burning Blaze, the pair defeats the nefarious duo once more.
Were these the only appearances of the purple cat, the timeline would be fairly logical. But, the Sonic franchise doesn’t always like to make things easy. In fact, Blaze appeared in two other significant games that kinda mess with this.
First up is 2006’s infamous Sonic 06. Here, two hundred years in the future, Blaze the Cat and Silver the Hedgehog live in a ruined world. They fight off a fire spirit known as Iblis, and travel back in time to try to prevent the beast from ever being unleashed upon the world. They are tasked with defeating the person responsible for the disaster: Sonic. It’s important to note that, despite being in the future, Blaze does not know Sonic here, and Sonic does not know her. In the end, she sacrifices herself, taking Iblis into her body and sealing herself away in another dimension. There is no indication that she returned when the timeline was reset at the end of the game.
Then we have Sonic Colours, or more specifically, the 2010 Nintendo DS port. Blaze appears here, the Sol Emeralds having transported her, and she certainly recognizes Sonic. No mention is ever made of her past relationship with Silver – who also recognizes Sonic – though they do work well together. This sort of trend continues with Sonic Generations seeing the pair talking together, and them teaming up in Team Sonic Racing, though these are less important here.
So, the question is, how should the timeline sit, and why didn’t Blaze remember Sonic in the future world of Sonic 06? Well, I think I’ve cracked it. Though released later, I think that Sonic 06 is the key to this, and acts as a starting point. Again, in her final appearance in the game, Blaze takes Iblis into herself and seals herself away in another dimension. Sonic dies and is revived, and his actions result in time being turned back, meaning the events of the game never happened. Yet Blaze doesn’t return.
Here’s what I think happened.
The obvious conclusion is that, when Blaze sealed herself away, the dimension she ended up in is the one she inhabits in Sonic Rush. So far, so good, right? Now, here’s where it gets tricky. When time resets in Sonic 06, it is hinted that Sonic and Elise still remember each other, at least to a point. This is supported perhaps by the team remembering Silver whenever he turns up. In essence, that would mean that something (probably the Chaos Emeralds) caused them to retain at least some of their memories of each other, but not of Blaze.
The reason for this, I think, is the Sol Emeralds. The Sol Emeralds are shown to be equivalent to the Chaos Emeralds in power and purpose. Both are also shown to have a degree of sentience, such as is Rush Adventure where they brought Sonic and Blaze together and were shown to be willing the pair to win. Once Blaze arrived in the Sol Dimension, I think they recognized her as a suitable conduit for their power. As a result, when time began to revert, they prevented her from returning to her natural world. The result of that was that certain memories could not be retained. Most notably, those relating to the people in her original dimension. For all intents and purposes, Blaze’s past was rewritten into the Sol Dimension, and so removed from Sonic’s world.
But that still leaves one issue. If Silver’s world in Sonic 06 was from two hundred years in the future, why did Blaze reset all the way back to Sonic’s part of the timeline, allowing them to meet in Sonic Rush? The simple answer is, it didn’t. We have seen multiple times that the Chaos Emeralds can allow for some travel through both time and alternate dimensions. In theory, the Sol Emeralds should, therefore, be the same. What that may mean is that Blaze exists in another dimension, but during the equivalent timeframe that she would have been with Silver. That’s right, though neither party knows it, Blaze traveled back in time when she jumped to Sonic’s dimension in Rush, and Sonic traveled forward when he jumped to hers in Rush Adventure.
The reason Sonic didn’t remember this meeting is that, though it was in the past, Rush hadn’t happened when 06 did. Blaze was still part of Sonic’s world, albeit a future one, at the time. It wasn’t until after 06, when she became a part of the other dimension, that she was able to go back in time and retroactively alter Sonic’s timeline. And that cannot happen while she’s part of Sonic’s world. It has to be after she has been erased from that dimension. Until that happened, they really hadn’t met, because without reaching the Sol Emeralds, Blaze had to no way to do so. And when she did acquire them, her memories of people from her original universe had been erased.
Is there any proof of this disparity in time between the two worlds, I hear you ask? Why, yes, there is: Dr. Eggman NEGA. While initially thought to be an alternate dimension version of Eggman, it is later revealed in Sonic Rivals that he is, in fact, a descendent of Eggman from…two hundred years in the future! That’s right, Eggman NEGA is from Silver’s timeline.
NEGA is taken to be Blaze’s main adversary, much as Eggman is to Sonic, so that fits in terms of a general timescale. There’s also the point that in Sonic Rivals 2, NEGA is working with the concept of inter-dimensional beings. Given he clearly has some experience with the idea of alternate dimensions, it makes sense that he could also have ended up in Blaze’s current homeworld. That he traveled there from Silver’s timeline obviously explains how Silver is familiar with him. Given his hatred of his reputation being ruined by the past failures of Eggman, it also makes sense that he would seek other dimensions to rule over, free of that baggage.
An interesting thing to note here though is that neither Blaze nor Silver mentions him in Sonic 06. That can be explained, I think. If Iblis exists and destroys the world, Dr. Eggman – or one of his descendants – will die before having children. In the world of 06, NEGA was never born. It wasn’t until Iblis was prevented from destroying the world that NEGA was able to come into existence, essentially replacing Iblis as Silver’s main foe.
So, that would mean that Sonic 06 technically happened first. Rush and Rush Adventure are then set before the beginning of 06, but due to the time travel shenanigans occurring, they could not happen until after 06 reversed time. Meanwhile, Colours, Rivals and Rivals 2 slot in nicely afterward, allowing Blaze and Silver to meet again and rekindle their friendship.
Also of note is that at Sonic Boom 2012, Takashi Iizuka was asked about Blaze’s home. If you don’t know, since 2009, he has been the VP of product development for Sonic the Hedgehog at SEGA of America and heads Sonic Team. At this event, he confirmed that Blaze is a native of the Sol Dimension, and not the future. If my theory is right, that still works, because Blaze may have started in the future, but is now a part of the Sol Dimension and was retroactively woven into its timeline by the emeralds.
Well, there we have it. That is how I think Blaze the Cat’s place in the timeline came to be. But what about yourselves? Do you like Blaze? What about Dr. Eggman NEGA? Do you think my theory works? Let me know in the comments below!