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The Avatar (アバター Abatā?), also referred to as the Custom Hero[2] (カスタムヒーロー Kasutamu Hīrō?) and the Custom Character[3] (カスタムキャラクター Kasutamu Kyarakutā?), is a character set to appear in Sonic Forces. The Avatar is the third playable character in Sonic Forces, who can be customized by the player.

The Avatar will be featured in the story of Sonic Forces and will be "a crucial element in helping Sonic reclaim the world from Eggman’s domination."[4]

Concept and creation

According to Takashi Iizuka, the idea for the Avatar came about to make a character with a unique gameplay experience to differentiate them from other characters in the Sonic series. While a lot of fans wanted more gameplay variety too however, they still wanted to play as Sonic, so the designers gave this character (which would become the Avatar) the Wispon to give it a unique gameplay style, and movements with emphasis on high-speed running and jumping that made it feel similar to Sonic.[5] The idea for the Avatar to be a customizable character first began over twenty years ago when Iizuka took notice of all the Sonic-type characters the fans (especially Americans) were creating and sending him via fan-mail. Iizuka wanted let people to do that to some extent, but it was only until recently that Sonic Team acquired the skills, people and technology to make this possible in a Sonic game.[6][5]

In the opinion of Iizuka, some the hardest things when designing the Avatar were "realizing what kind of characters [they] want to portray in the world." Because the Sonic series already had a lot of animals, the team needed to stay true to that representation, yet make the Avatar unique enough to stand out on their own without alienating them from the existing Sonic cast. The team wanted in particular for the Avatars to have a "plainer" and "unified" look, yet be identifiable with their distinct species and still feel like different, appealing, unique characters, all while looking cool with their customizable accessories. Another rule was that the Avatar could not look cooler than Sonic.[5]

Appearance

SFCH62

The Avatar customization page.

As a custom character, the Avatar's appearance is entirely dictated by the player. While an anthropomorphic animal by default, their species can be one of seven options: bear, bird, cat, dog, hedgehog, rabbit, or wolf. So far, the following can also be customized: upper headgear, middle headgear, lower headgear, gloves, shoes, accessories, bodysuit, and skin color. A multitude of options are given for the player to customize the Avatar in any fashion.

In most promotional material, the Avatar is depicted as a male wolf with red fur and peach skin for his muzzle and the inner portion of his ears. He has four small tufts of fur protruding from both sides at the back of his head, a short bushy tail, pointed ears that curve upwards, orange eyes and pointed fangs. For attire, he wears thick-rimmed black glasses, a military green dome-shaped headset with a black rim and a small black circular-shaped microphone attached to right side of his head. He also wears a three-pouched tan utility belt around his waist, supported by a strap with a black buckle over the abdomen. On his hands, he wears military green gloves with with medium-sized cuffs, a black inverted chevron on the front and tan patches on the back. His boots are military green with black tips and tan padded patches on the back. Much like his gloves, the boots are adorned with a black inverted chevron on the front.

History

The Avatar was originally an ordinary person, but when the Eggman Empire took over the world, they joined the resistance where they would go on adventures with Sonic the Hedgehog and his dimensional counterpart to take the world back from Dr. Eggman.[6]

Personality

The Avatar is a heroic individual who cannot stand evil or needless destruction, and is quick to spring into action to stop evildoers.[2]

Powers and abilities

The Avatar has the ability to instantly accelerate and run at super speeds, and has immense jumping skills that rival those of Sonic the Hedgehog. Extremely acrobatic and agile, they have proficient grappling skills, being able to expertly use grappling gear to latch onto targets and swing around. They are also skillful enough to use grappling to latch onto foes and pull themselves in for an attack, dodge attacks, and safely tie up foes as large as a Death Egg Robot sentinel.[2]

Equipment and weapons

SFCH28

The Avatar using a grappling hook on a Death Egg Robot sentinel.

The Avatar wears a wrist-mounted grappling hook which can detach its rope at command. This gear's rope is both long and strong enough to tie up three Death Egg Robot sentinels at once.[2] They also carry the Wispon, a customizable gadget that can harness the power of Wisps and channel their respective Color Powers without causing the Avatar to transform.[4]

Trivia

  • The Avatar is going to appear in cutscenes and can be heard speaking.[4][7] In the latter case however, they will only be speaking in grunts.[7]
  • Despite having red fur in most promotional material, the Avatar has teal covered fur in the key art of Sonic Forces.

References

  1. Six Minutes of Sonic Forces (E3 2017). YouTube. GameXplain (13 June 2017). Retrieved on 13 June 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Sonic Forces: Custom Hero Trailer. YouTube. Sega (16 May 2017). Retrieved on 16 May 2017.
  3. Sonic Forces OST - Park Avenue (Custom Character). YouTube. Sega (7 June 2017). Retrieved on 7 June 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dornbush, Jonathon (16 May 2017). Sonic Forces Character Creation Feature Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 17 May 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Brian Shea (13 June 2017). Head Of Sonic Team Talks Introducing Custom Characters. Game Informer. Retrieved on 15 June 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Scibetta, Nicholas (16 June 2017). Interview: Takashi Iizuka and Shun Nakamura on the state of Sonic in 2017. Gamecrate. Retrieved on 19 June 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic Official - 14 - Hero Side Episode. YouTube. Sega (25 March 2017). Retrieved on 26 March 2017.