What's a Story Screen?
'Story Screens,' as most of the instruction manuals term them (the PC ones
don't give it a name), are "screens [that] provide a short story summary
about the selected character," quoted from the game's manual. More accurately
meaning, in Adventure mode, the selected character will provide the player
their monologue in text about the recent happenings that occurred in the game,
portrayed through their personality.
The screens appear after a character is selected except when the character's
story has just started or ended. Different monologues are shown to the player
depending on how far the player has progressed.
The screens consists of the text which slowly scrolls from the bottom to the top of the screen, a styled backgroud of the character, and with their theme song playing, either with less vocals playing here and there or just instrumental altogether. Super Sonic's story screens has a styled background of Perfect Chaos captured as a screenshot from the opening FMV, with the common "Chaos 0, 2, and 4" song playing.
Save Points and Article Format
For the game to remember on how far you've progressed through a character's
story, the game places 'save points' throughout, meaning when the player
passes through a certain point of the story and then suddenly the text
"Now Saving..." appears on the top-right corner of the screen, then that means
the player has just passed through a save point.
However, the player can also trigger a save point, that doesn't really involve
with the game's story, by replaying an Action Stage in Adventure Mode, getting
an Adventure Field emblem, or by exiting from a Chao Garden.
These save points, used to save varieties of data depending on where they're triggered, can be triggered:
- Every time after completing an Action Stage, to save scores, last location data (i.e. player completes Windy Valley, game reset, load, player is loaded in Mystic Ruins closest to Windy Valley), and for the DX version, total rings accumulated as currency used for the Chao Garden Black Market
- When you enter to another Adventure Field, (i.e. from Station Square to Mystic Ruins) the game will save the player's last entered location
- After getting an emblem for completing levels in the story or finding one in an Adventure Field
- When a character gets unlocked, by encountering or talking to a new character in the story for the first time
- When exiting a Chao Garden, game saves your Chao Garden data
The only save points that are relevant to this 'guide' are the ones that will launch the newest story screen text as soon as possible, and so, this info
will be provided above the story screen text in the article.
The articles' formatting will go along like this:
This 'save point info' area will state where the save point is that's needed to be passed through, or what must be done, to show the story screen text below.
Hi! I'm this character!
This is my monologue,
a.k.a. my Story Screen text.
The game will have the text
aligned to the center like so,
and it will scroll slowly
up the screen for the player
to read until there's
no more to read.
Next section, same idea, and after passing through the save point noted, it will overwrite the previous Story Screen text using the new one below.
'Sup! I'm this character!
Stuff happened and this
happened and now some real
fecal matter has hit the fan!
I must stop this at once!
Save Points Labeled, AutoSaves and ManualSaves
This guide will sometimes use the terms 'AutoSave' and 'ManualSave' in the 'save point info'
areas. Most 'save point info' areas will not mention either, assume it means AutoSave when this happens. For example, "After the cutscene that's launched after defeating Chaos 0." It means the game will AutoSave / automatically save after the cutscene seen after defeating Chaos 0.
An AutoSave will refer to any save point that must be intentionally passed
through in the story to progress. Examples are,
- a save point triggered after a cutscene
- triggered when completing a required Action Stage for the first time
- defeating a boss
- when obtaining a 'required' upgrade item
- unlocking a character through cutscene(s), which can't be avoided
A ManualSave refers to any saves that aren't required to pass through to
progress through the story and usually the player has to go out of his way
from the story to trigger it. Examples,
- finishing an already completed Action Stage
- obtaining an Adventure Field emblem
- exiting a Chao Garden
- obtaining an 'optional' upgrade
- unlocking a character by talking to it as an NPC in Adventure Field (i.e. Amy Rose still not unlocked, so when she appears as an NPC in Station Square sometime in Big the Cat's story, you can talk to her and she'll become unlocked). An exception to this is that when talking to Big the Cat standing around in Station Square in Sonic and Tails' story, it will not trigger its save, nor will the game say, "Now you can play with BIG!,", but the character is unlocked, so the player must find a save point afterwards via ManualSaving or meeting another AutoSave.
Bizarreness in the Game's Save Point Placement and a List of its Occurrences
Some scripts will have the label [bizarre] above their 'save point info.' This is to indicate that the script is deemed bizarre in its placement of what point the player should save or reset their game to see a certain script, and other general design weirdness. Check the character story articles to concisely see when some of the weirdly-timed scripts will appear by searching for the label [bizarre]. The list below lists all of the game's questionable design placements and why, but some may be considered subjective in opinion.
- Sonic, a script mentions Sonic having to change the ship back to get Eggman, which appears after changing the ship back. That element of the script could've been mentioned in the script that appears after defeating E-102 γ for better timing.
- Tails, in the script mentioning the 'dream,' Big, and Froggy, it's possible to load up the script proper, but load up in The Past, appearing there again, instead of correctly being loaded up in the present Mystic Ruins. On top of this, the player will be stuck in The Past unable to progress because Tikal will not appear 'again,' who is required to meet to launch the necessary cutscene that would take Tails back to the present.
- Amy, two AutoSaves occur between a five-second gap, one after a cutscene that starts loading up Mystic Ruins, and one afterward the loading. The corresponding script will be activated after the first AutoSave.
- E-102 Gamma, one script is only accessible by resetting the game midway through a sequence of cutscenes, before one of the proceeding cutscenes overwrites its preceding script. Why program it so a script would unexpectedly pop up after one chooses to lose their patience and opt out in the middle of a cutscene? Easter Egg?
- E-102 Gamma, a script mentioning about freeing Amy is only accessible by having an AutoSave occur for unlocking Amy in E-102's story (unlocking her as a selectable character, not unlocking her from prison, ...wait, technically both is required), there is no other way to save before the proceeding script shows up.
- E-102 Gamma, and about that above mentioned proceeding script, that script is only accessible via a ManualSave, too.
- Super Sonic, there's two scripts and if the player plays the story normally and efficiently, like not going to a Chao Garden or replaying an Action Stage, then the scripts will never show up. ManualSaves must be used to view them. Also, the story is re-playable after completion, but the scripts won't show up after the first playthrough, which only adds to their secretive-like nature.
- It's also interesting to note that, out of all the frequency of scripts appearing in the game, none of them appear near the end of the game or before a final story boss despite AutoSaves always occurring before then, i.e. AutoSave occurs after completing Final Egg in Sonic's Story, upon loading the player will fight the Egg Viper, but the script doesn't mention it, instead it'll talk about how Sonic had a dream and he's "on his way" to Eggman's base.