Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, called Sonic Chronicles: Yami Jigen kara no Shinryakusha (ソニッククロニクル 闇次元からの侵略者) in Japan, is an RPG developed by Canadian developer BioWare for the Nintendo DS. It was released in September 2008 in North America and Europe, with a later Japanese release in August 2009.
The story of Sonic Chronicles is split into two acts, which are further divided into several chapters. The first takes place in Sonic's world, with the team attempting to unravel the situation they are in, whilst also stopping the Master Emerald from being taken. The second act sees Sonic and the team traveling to another dimension, called the Twilight Cage, in order to stop a new threat to their own world.
Sonic Chronicles opens by detailing Eggman's defeat, and presumed death, some time ago after the destruction of the Egg Carrier at the hands of Sonic and friends. In the present, Sonic is on vacation when he receives a call from Tails, stating that Knuckles has been kidnapped by a group called the Marauders, who have stolen the Chaos Emeralds. Traveling with Amy Rose to meet Tails, they are escorted by Rouge the Bat to meet the G.U.N. Commander, who informs them that they have been watching the Marauders for some time, and know where to search. Having no luck, they eventually locate the Marauders' base in the Mystic Ruins, and with the help of Big the Cat, they find Knuckles, who is found escaping from some robots; leaving the base, they find Angel Island has gone. Devices found in their initial search help them locate Eggman, who claims to be a reformed character, revealing that he survived the crash of the Egg Carrier by anticipating his own defeat and making a robot that would rescue him. He informs the team that Angel Island is being pulled to Metropolis, the location of the Marauders' main base.
With Metropolis as their next destination, they meet Shadow and join up in order to find E-123 Omega, but are attacked by Shade and her Marauders. She reveals herself to be an Echidna of the Nocturnus Tribe, leaving Knuckles, supposedly the last of the Echidnas, shocked. After her defeat, the team head to Angel Island to get the Master Emerald before the Marauders, but are shot down; they confront the Nocturnus leader, the Grand Imperator Ix, who reveals his plot to take over the dimension. Shade is shocked, having believed that Ix merely wanted to bring her clan back to Earth, as they had been sealed in an alternate dimension called the Twilight Cage. Tails and Eggman arrive with a non-lethal weapon, using it to transport several of the Nocturnus back to the Twilight Cage, but Ix escapes and steals the Master Emerald. This causes Angel Island to fall from the sky, and Knuckles saves Shade as the island crashes into Metropolis.
Tails and Eggman build a vehicle, dubbed the Cyclone, that will transport them to the other dimension, but Eggman claims he must remain to ensure their safe return; as they leave, he reveals that he has a more sinister plan in mind for them. Once in the Twilight Cage, the team encounter the rock-like Kron Colony, who assist them on their journey by providing them with a Chaos Emerald. Next, they meet the N'rrgal Colony, who will give the team their Chaos Emerald if they take a weapon from their enemies, the Zoah. Having gained the Zoah's weapon by defeating their leader in combat, the team discover it is another Chaos Emerald — the two races realize they have been duped by Ix, who gave them the Emeralds to keep each other in check. Two further Emeralds are found in the Voxai Colonies, inhabited by a telepathic race who have been controlled by a group of three Voxai known as the Overmind, whose dominating telepathic power stemmed from the use of Chaos Emeralds. The team defeat them, and the new leader gives them the two Emeralds that had been given to them by Ix.
With the remaining two Emeralds on Nocturne, the team gathers the leaders of all encountered colonies and carries out a plan to invade the Nocturnus home world. The Voxai find weaknesses in the force field around the planet, the N'rrgal suck energy from it, and the Zoah launch a missile created by the Kron that can penetrate it. Splitting into two teams, they defeat two Gizoids who each use a Chaos Emerald to wield the elements of fire and water, and also lower the force field surrounding Nocturne in order to allow the invading forces from the other Twilight Cage races to attack. Both Knuckles' and Sonic's team then fight Ix, and are victorious; Ix then uses the Master Emerald to achieve a Super Transformation, but Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic, and defeats him. As Nocturne begins to fall, and is nearly destroyed, the team escapes to the Cyclone and heads back to Earth. Once back in Metropolis, they find Eggman waiting for them with a rebuilt Metropolis, and the team take the Cyclone to confront the new Eggman Empire. The game ends at this cliffhanger moment.
All playable characters are put in classes that determine their unique abilities. These classes are Power (ex: Sonic), Shifter (ex: Tails), and Support (ex: Amy).
Cream the Rabbit (Support) - Optional character (not necessary to complete the game)
The player can have up to four characters in a party at one time, with Sonic as a mandatory protagonist. Characters can use their various Movement Abilities to access certain areas of terrain which are otherwise impassable; for example, only Big, with his "Invulnerable III" attribute, can push through the bioelectric fields of the N'rrgal Colony.
As with many RPGs, two main types of gameplay will appear: exploration, and combat. During Exploration the character is directed by using the stylus while obstacles are cleared by pressing an action button. The combat scenes also be controlled with the stylus. By rhythmically tapping the stylus special attacks can be performed at the cost of POW points. Certain special attacks require certain characters to be in the party as they participate in it. After a winning victory currency, experience points, and possibly items are left behind.
Characters will also be able to collect and equip Chao, each with their own ability, to enhance a team member's status. These Chao will be collectible and can be stored in the Chao Garden, and using the Wi-Fi link, players will be able to swap the Chao they have collected.
01: Hostile Reception
02: The Search For Knuckles
04: A Wolf In The Shadows
05: Battle For Angel Island
06: Black Hole Sun
07: Quest For The Chaos Emeralds
08: Sector Scylla
09: Sector Charybdis
10: Citadel Showdown
This is the first Sonic game since Sonic Adventure where Robotnik actually refers to himself as "Doctor Robotnik".
Sonic Heroes is alluded to as several teams from it are present (except for Team Chaotix although Vector the Crocodile is mentioned, and makes a brief appearance).
Team Rose is mistakenly called "Team Amy" in the game.
The game's Codex also contains other mistakes, such as Shadow teaming up with Sonic to defeat Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2 ("Soon after Shadow teamed up with Sonic to defeat Eggman, he disappeared and was presumed dead."), Voxai living on Kron colony, and Ix ruling the races of the Twilight Clan.
Because of cartridge space limits, cutscenes do not feature extensive voice recording; basically only character grunts were used in the game.
Along with 40 collectible chao available in-game, there are five secret "viral" chao, intended to be made available at a series of official events. Only one of the events was actually held (the others apparently canceled due to poor attendance at the first), making these chao completely unavailable to Western players (without savestate manipulation). In the later Japanese release of the game, four of the chao were available in-game via secret codes in the chao garden. See Sonic Chronicles: Chao.
With no reason explained during the game, the name "Marauders" suddenly switched to "Nocturnus" out of nowhere, and the characters started called them "Nocturnus" respectively.
Translating ranks of Nocturnus scouts from Latin to English reveal that they refer refer to actual ranks used in the Roman army, such as "Hastatus", meaning "spearman".
Those who preordered the game in the US received a free set of 3 styluses, featuring Sonic, Knuckles, and Shade; those who preordered in the UK received Sonic, Amy, and Eggman themed styluses. Those who preordered from Radioshack recieved a free DS skin with the game logo, and an image of Sonic on it.
BioWare - Programming
Lead Programmer: Brook Bakay
Programming: Dan Hein, Dan Fessenden, Zousar Shaker, Chris Michael Smith, Mark Brockington, Andrew Gardner
Director of European Marketing: Gary Knight Senior
Producer: Katrin Darolle
Assistant Producer: Alex Humphries
Head of External Development: Jim Woods
Publishing Manager: Nathalie Ransom
European PR: Lynn Daniel, Kerry Martyn, Wouter Van Vugt
Marketing Manager: David Corless
Brand Manager: Ben Chalmers-Stevens
Online Marketing Manager: Mike Evans
Creative Services: Alison Peat, Michelle Blake, Ed Bostock
Head of Operations: Mark Simmons
Purchasing Manager: Caroline Searle
Operations: Natalie Cooke
Legal Counsel: Nicky Boxall, Mark Bennett, Saad Choudri
Head of Development Services: Mark Le Breton
Localisation Manager: Marta Lois Gonzalez
Localisation Coordinator: Giuseppe Rizzo
Localisation Team: Antonella Marras, Antonio Catanese, Carole Kunzelmann, Brigitte Nadesan, Jean-Loup Lansac, Jesus Alvarez, Marco Borelli, Nicole Thomer, Daniela Kaynert, Jay Bannmuller, Sebastian Perez Salguero
Shift Managers: Stuart Arrowsmith Master
Technicians: John Hegarty, Jigar Patel, Roy Boateng
Senior Team Lead: Julie Metior
Team Lead: Natasha Sanders
Assistant Team Lead: Deanne Anderson
Testers: Ricky Lovage, Elweed Suliman, Andrew Coulson, Alexander Maw
Standards Coordinator: Mohammed Ajaib
Standards Technicians: Aaron Wright, Ross Caoli, Hiroki Saito
Language QA Coordinator: Jean Baptiste Bagot
Senior Language Team Lead: Stephan Wolschon
Assistant Language Team Lead: Goffredo Pagliei
Language Testers: Edoardo Levanti, Ludovic Garnier, Mario Horky, Rafael Bermudez
Senior QA Lead: Keith Vedol
QA Lead: Victor Romero
QA Test Team: Angelo Ayson, Shaun Kiggens, Leo Kuma, Nick Rocha
NITROGEN STUDIOS CANADA INC.
Unit Director/Storyboards: Greg Tiernan
Unit Producer/Project Manager: Nicole Stinn
Lead Animator/Storyboards: Mike Linton
Animator: Coin Giles, Jeff Bailey, Bryce Bezooyen, Darren Schmidtz
Compositor: Nadine Shinkaruk
"The Zoah" named by SEGA Nerds Ray Larabie at Typodemic
Sonic Chronicles website.
The Sonic Chronicles page on the Sega Europe and America websites features a minigame in which you control Sonic with the mouse, collecting rings in order to gain access to downloadable media. The game consists of two areas: Green Hill Zone and Voxai Colony Beta, which contain a total of 75 rings (some hidden behind scenery). Collecting a certain number of rings rewards you with two wallpapers, and a set of icons for collecting all the rings.