In a new interview, Sonic Team lead Takashi Iizuka answers fresh questions about Sonic Frontiers. While he continues to deflect comparisons to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Iizuka has interesting things to say about the Cyberspace Levels.
The Cyberspace Levels are made to evoke memories of Sonic’s classic 2D and 3D levels, like Green Hill Zone and Sky Sanctuary. In the lore of the game, the Cyberspace levels are literally being built from Sonic’s own memories. Sonic Team actually built so much on Cyberspace that it could be spun off into its own game. Mainly, Iizuka explains, Sonic Team took these levels as an opportunity to add elements and details that hardcore fans could take as Easter eggs for them to find.
Iizuka’s translated comments can be read below.
“Cyberspace is the digital projection and a kind of like the digital creation of things from Sonic’s memories. So, places like Green Hill Zone, Sky Sanctuary, the places Sonic has been before, are being recreated as digital kind of environments for Sonic to run through. Because of that it’s really everything that he’s experienced will kind of come out in cyberspace and it’s a really big part of the game content.
If we took out all of the cyberspace levels, we could probably make just a standalone linear Sonic game out of it. But, the development team really want to take it even one step further, and they wanted to make content that our fans would definitely pick up on. A lot of the creative kind of Easter eggs that they’ve put in there. So yes, it’s obvious that, oh, this is Green Hill Zone, Sky Sanctuary, but even some of the level
design is taken and repurposed and put in a different format, for people to kind of understand as an Easter egg, and kind of a wink from the game developers to the fan audience.”
On the side, Iizuka also shared some slight details about the story. Sonic goes into the island with his friends Amy and Tails, but he isn’t really sure what he’s doing there. Amy and Tails get lost along the way, and Sonic runs into Knuckles as well.
Iizuka explains that Sonic Team deliberately added these three characters out of Sonic’s character roster, because fans do expect them to be series regulars, as Sonic’s closest friends. Sonic Team also tries hard to bring in as many characters from Sonic’s history as possible, but they still get aggravated when people ask about where characters like Big The Cat and Shadow The Hedgehog are to be found.
In a way, Sonic will have to rescue all three in the course of the game, and eventually Sonic learns what his purpose is in the island alongside the player. However, there is a new character in Sonic’s way; Sage, who Iizuka explains is another narrative element they don’t want to explain immediately. Sage is antagonistic towards Sonic when they first meet, and she turns the Titans towards him, but as you play you will learn more about her and her motives.
Sonic Frontiers will be releasing on November 8, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows on Steam and Epic Games Store. You can learn more about Sonic Frontiers from the latest trailers here and here.