The curious case of Sonic’s lost colon
SEGA Nerds the world over have been known for their notorious love/hate relationship with SEGA for a long, long time. Aside from rumors of Shenmue 3 or a new SEGA console, nothing stirs us into a frenzy more than when a new Sonic the Hedgehog game is announced. Oftentimes, there seems to be two camps, each with polar opposite opinions on whether the game looks good, bad or a complete and utter atrocity.
A few days ago, SEGA opened the floodgates on Sonic’s next adventure – titled Sonic Lost World. Surprisingly, a lot of the discussions on forums throughout the Internet has been largely positive, even if those good feelings have a sense of cautious optimism.
Other than some people calling it a Super Mario Galaxy ripoff, many people appear receptive of some of the fundamental changes Sonic Team is making to the series’ traditional formula, perhaps most notably a new Parkour system, which is meant to speed up gameplay by having Sonic automatically maneuver past obstacles in his way.
Today, I’m going to file a new complaint — one that probably hasn’t been discussed all that often before, but it’s one I believe needs to be addressed as soon as possible and before Lost World is released.
The thing that’s been bugging the hell out of me, the thing that haunts my dreams, for some reason unbeknownst to anyone, SEGA decided NOT to use a colon in the title of Sonic Lost World!
Of course, most rational, freedom-loving humans out there would agree, there needs to be a damn colon in the title. Doesn’t Sonic: Lost World just look so much better? I would even wager to argue that it rolls off the tongue smoother. In truth, if you’re on Team No Colon, it likely means you hate America and are a supporter of global terrorism.
Now, to try to make sense of it all, let’s take a look back at some of the past Sonic titles.
In the early days of our favorite hedgehog, everything was so simple. If there was a new Sonic game, it’d simply be named Sonic the Hedgehog and SEGA would throw something on the end, like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or Sonic the Hedgehog CD. However, things started changing a bit when SEGA released Sonic Chaos in 1993, dropping the “Hedgehog” moniker altogether. Aside from a couple games thereafter, SEGA has pretty much universally called him Sonic from then on.
Looking at the full list of Sonic games, you’ll discover that SEGA has traditionally opted not to use colons in many Sonic titles. However, in most of those cases, it makes sense. For example, titles like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Generation and Sonic Colors don’t need a colon because there is only a single word following the Sonic name. Generally, you simply don’t need a colon separating a two-word title.
Then, there are those games with much longer titles, but they typically don’t have colons either – Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure immediately come to mind. One could argue that Sonic: Secret Rings and Sonic the Hedgehog: Pocket Adventure should have had colons too, but I’ll save that argument for another day.
Next, let’s look at those Sonic titles that did use colons in their titles – Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Logic tells us there’s a reason for this. Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Riders and Sonic Chronicles are proper names in and of themselves, so the rest of the title should be separated by the colon. I can live with that, and it makes sense.
Finally, our last piece of evidence is how SEGA has named some of its other games, those not in the Sonic franchise. Those games that included colons in their title within the past few years include – Viking: Battle for Asgard, Golden Axe: Beast Rider, Universe At War: Earth Assault, Yakuza: Dead Souls, Iron Man: The Video Game, Thor: God of Thunder and Condemned: Criminal Origins, just to name a few. Some of these are pretty similar to the structure of Lost World, namely Yakuza: Dead Souls.
Now, back to the matter at hand – Sonic Lost World. What is SEGA really trying to say here? Is “Sonic Lost World” supposed to be a singular title? Is SEGA’s planning on turning this into its own mini-series? Perhaps, if it’s successful, we could get Sonic Lost World: LOST AGAIN?! or even Sonic and Mario at the Lost World of the Atlantis Typhoon Games! Yeah, sure, SEGA could always be sensible and simply throw a “2” on the end, but look back at the Sonic series and see how often they did that.
In truth, the problem with the Sonic Lost World name that SEGA hasn’t had in previous Sonic games is that “Lost World” is a noun, and because of that, it looks weird sitting there all unpunctuated and shit.
To fix this before it became an issue, SEGA could have treated it like Black Knight or Secret Rings and simply called it Sonic and the Lost World. Or went Alex Kidd old school and called it Sonic in the Lost World. Hell, even Sonic’s Lost World would have sufficed.
However, the easiest fix for this incredible blunder is to simply put the colon in the title. To rectify this, I call on everyone to begin referring to the game by its true name – Sonic: Lost World from henceforth.
Why is this so important, you ask?
Well, because even though SEGA has made an ass of Sonic in year’s past, it’s about damn time he gets his colon back.