Okay, this story. This story is what Sonic.exe should have been written this whole time. I know what you're all asking, "Why are you mentioning Sonic.exe? That garbage was terrible! There's no way anybody could make it good." Well, you might change your mind when you read, "Sonic.exe: Darkest Struggles". This story actually goes to show that anybody can turn garbage into gold. (Like Frog Leap Studios’ cover of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’.)
What did Darkest Struggles improve for Sonic.exe? They changed some cliches, filled a lot of plot holes, made a less idiotic character for Tom, and actually made the story more ‘hyper-realistic’... Come on! That was funny! Anyways on with the story and review. I must tell you, this is a gosh-darn long story. So I have to separate it in chapters.
*BEFORE YOU READ THIS REVIEW, MAKE SURE YOU ARE AWARE THAT THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS, IT ALSO CONTAINS SOME GRAPHIC PIXILATED IMAGERY!! THE REVIEW MAY ALSO HAVE A LOT OF GRAMMAR ERRORS, THIS STORY IS LONG!*
The story starts off with Tom playing ‘Sonic Unleashed’. When a game disc was delivered under Tom’s door, it was from a long lost friend of his, Kyle. They gave a few details about him and Kyle’s relationship, him moving and gave an understandable reason why it was sent via mail and not e-mail. The disc looked way different than usual, but reminded himself about the times when Kyle tends to lose the original discs.
These descriptions gave Kyle some character, we actually feel like he actually was an real life friend of his, instead of just someone they just want to mention for no important reason.
Moving on, Tom opens the case to reveal the CD-R that was written ‘SONIC.EXE’ in black marker that has different handwriting. He shrugged and put it in, thinking it was only a CD. One thing that bugged him thought is that there was no writing in the paper insert. Before, you think that was a cliche, well it actually has a meaning for it. Yes, I said it. The lack of writing on the paper insert actually has a purpose than just for shock value. I’ll speak about that later. He checked the game for viruses, yadda yadda yadda, he started the game up.
This time when the split second part of the title popped up, he didn’t give it much detail, which gives a more scientifically accurate thing to how a human reacts to a split second. The only full detail he gave though, was Sonic.exe’s black, bleeding eyes. I’ll give that a pass though, because this is a reboot of a creepypasta, besides, it’s more simple, and more noticeable, even for a split second. He shrugged it off as a glitch, and the data select screen kind of shown that it might have been a glitch.
The Data Select was shown, he was a bit confused though. Kyle wasn’t a game developer or a hacker. Despite that the Data Select was more positive, it had the Sonic 1 Special Stage background with catchy, upbeat, custom music, instead of the spooky red sky and creepy music. This actually gives the player some relief that maybe that split screen was actually a glitch. There are 3 characters, Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman.
He decided to check out the options on the bottom of the screen. To be honest, I don’t think it was really necessary to put that in the story, it kind of felt like filler.
After that was done, he clicked Tails, as it was the only one that had no padlock, and instead of that Kefka laugh, and sudden freeze, it had the Special Stage warping sound, and it fades right away.
Miles “Tails” Prower
The screen shown the ‘Green Hill Zone Act 1’ title card with GREEN and ZONE flickering, which confused him a bit. Well, if you thought the bleeding eyes was a glitch, why worry about the flickering on a few words?
Anyways, the level was the Green Hill Zone we known and loved, just the balloon flowers from the ending of Sonic 1 was added. He tried out some Tails’ controls, and noticed that he can fly, which made him chuckle. He decided to check out his idle animation, which has Tails looking a bit worried. Continuing on, the level design was the Sonic level we all have seen and played. Badniks, and uses for Tails’ abilities. This actually made the game more interesting, instead of the flat, moving right, level we had in the other story. I mean, which game would you play, a boring, flat level, or a detailed, and fun level we can play.
All was well until he noticed some of the robots being mangled up, and a cutscene was shown, where Tails tries to get attention to some terrified animals than ran away from him. He continued to play, and checked out some of the robotic parts. He got to the goalpost, after that, he briefly checked the lives meter, to see that there was only 1 tally.
The next title shown up with ‘Green Hill Zone Act 2’, same words, same flicker, until it actually disappeared to show, ‘Hill Act 2’ The level was instead the 3rd act of Green Hill from the original Sonic game. Some parts of the level were destroyed. He noticed one part of the level to have spike traps with some of the robots impaled to it.
At the end of the level with the bridge, the boss level was nowhere, but a blind leap. He decided to retrace his steps, and there was the lower path, which was cut short by a wall, and a few floating platforms. That scene was actually interesting to me, the game wants you to decide which way you should down, leap of faith or chose the lower path. Moving on, the music slows down, and the elements of the level started to lack away. Tom made Tails relax for a bit to put the pieces together. He decided to move on, to find out more.
He noticed a dead flower, and the music played the same music from the other creepypasta. He sees more dead flowers, dead trees, and some of the beta elements from Sonic 1. Tails reaches an upward slope. Hills broke the ground, and no signs of any obstacles. Later on, it went from depressing to morbid. Tails flew over a tall checkered wall, and on the other side was Sonic.
The next cutscene was shown, he was looking like if he was in a deep thought in the situation he was in. The little wanted to give him a hug, but had no response from him. He decided to get closer as static fades in and grows louder as he came close, and his head started to spaz out as Tails got closer, and Sonic turned to him and opened his black eyes. The screen shown in different fonts ‘Hello, do you want to play with me?’
The next title read ‘Hide and Seek’ The background was shown as the one from Angel Island Act 2, except the fire looked taller and detailed, the sky was dark and some stones from the foreground were broken off. Tails waved his arms, and pointed forward in fear. After a while Sonic started charging at Tails with a human-like run, Tails jumped onto some more floating platforms to another path.
A laugh was heard which sounded like a distorted version of the official Sonic actor. Sonic started popping out everywhere. Which gets to the drowning music and the flying chase we all known from the original creepypasta. Tails flew up over the screen where Sonic spawned fire on the ceiling of the stage, causing him to fall back to the ground. After that moment, he can still run, but can’t fly. This is one of the clever parts of the story, I always wonder why couldn’t Tails just fly away from Sonic? He has two tails for those. Anyways, Sonic got him, and Tails cried, blah blah blah. To be honest, I wish to him, just looking around and sighing in relief, thinking he lost him, and moved slowly to be honest.
What happens next, is one of the most heart wrenching scenes in this story. Sonic actually tried to fight who’s possessing him and begged his little friend to run away. Tails dragged as he was injured, but it was too late, Sonic couldn’t fight him back anymore, he apologized for not saving him, and Tails was murdered by his best friend. Yes, Sonic.exe is the legit Sonic the Hedgehog. Not a fanboy, a demon that possessed him. Now, THAT is a great change! I especially liked that he tried to fight his demonic side, and done his best to save Tails. The apology also broke my heart.
Oh, and how did Tails die? Tails wasn’t only charged at, he was picked up against the head, and the pup’s orange color turned to gray, turned into glitched pixels, and disappeared. Now that’s a frightening, yet creative death to witness.
The next data select shown Tails in his dead gray colors in 3D. I have no idea why it was there, but okay. The background turned into the glitched graphic of Sonic 2’s Hidden Palace Zone, and the music played with a sad version of Tails’ song, “Believe in Yourself”.
Knuckles the Echidna
The player clicked on Knuckles, and title screen shown up with ‘You Can’t Run’. The level looked like Scrap Brain Zone with the red sky from Sonic CD, except it was more shaded better. The music was windy with weird notes playing. Knuckles had a mere look of aggression. He moved to the right through a long, empty road. The screen started to flicker red static, and the ground turned rusty. As he ran, the ground started to rumble, so he had to glide through the level, until he landed on something solid. He tried to use his spindash, but he fell into a gorge. After he fell, we now get to the juicy parts of the level.
Knux fell for a while until he grabbed on a ledge near the right wall. He went to the other platform, but was blown away by a puff of steam. He glided and gripped onto another wall, but was knocked off again. Yep, Knuckles’s abilities were actually useful but will not save you, like Tails’ abilities in Hill. As I was saying, he fell down to a rundown building which was the underground of Scrap Brain Zone. The background was a yellow and red gradient. He punched open a corridor to reveal the new area. It shows the robots hanging on hooks. As he moved on the room became brighter. There are a lot of cogwheels, blasted wires, and puffs of steam.
When he landed, there was downward slant which changed the scene, and slow the music. It changed into stone corridors similar to Labyrinth Zone. This actually reminds me of Scrap Brain Zone Act 3. Knuckles fell into murky purple water, and the drowning timer started and a stone slab was coming towards the echidna. He charged a quick spindash, and was spared. Now that was suspenseful, I am always fear about drowning in the Sonic games, and I always feel relieved after getting air before the timer reached 0.
After a while, the player notices that he was trapped in an area, and the next attack from Sonic starts. He teleported when touched like in the original pasta, but he can also sometimes grab him, and need to Spin Dash to get away from him, and even shoot particles of fire. He was actually possible to hit after a while, it took him 30 minutes to realize that he can’t win. The strong echidna gives up, and Sonic kills him the same way he did to Tails. Now that’ reminds me of some of the fangame boss battles.
The next data select screen popped up, showing Knuckles in a similar form like Tails, but the background shown Oni-Sonic from the Sonic CD Easter Egg, but it’s animated. The music plays a somber music of Knuckles’ theme, “Unknown from M.E.”
That was a very interesting battle. It actually shows how sometimes you can’t always win, even if you’re stronger than your enemy.
Well we go off with a dream sequence, which I really don’t think it was actually needed to be there. I don’t want to go into detail cause to me, I really don’t think it was necessary. Remember why the paper insert was blank? Inside it was a note that begs for him to not play it, but destroy it. This made Tom less of an idiot, because we don’t always take out the paper from inserts of our games, right? He decided to call him, and much to his relief, Kyle sounded very fine. After that relieving moment, he restarted the game and found some hidden things, such as 666, the title screen, and all that stuff. After a while, we get to Eggman.
Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik
The title card was “Hope and Despair”. The setting was a lot of fancy architectures. From chandeliers to frame pictures. A few times, the rooms went upside down and rightside up. As he moved along, a bunch of dead animals started to appear, giving him a uneasy feeling. After a while, the dead animals started to pile up on the poor doctor. He slapped the animals off and went on to his journey.
As he moved through, piles of his old inventions were shown, destroyed. After a while, more animals attacked him.
After a while, he was piled up with a whole of the creatures, and Sonic came near and talked about his sins, his sins of torturing the animals and put them in the chambers, and vowing that everyone shall suffer their fate. That explained why there were a bunch of mangled robotic parts everywhere in the game. He killed him with his iconic “I AM GOD” face.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Well, the next part comes in, with a level of Labyrinth Zone. With the gameplay of the fan hack, “An Ordinary Sonic Rom Hack.” If you played that hack, you know what happens. Later on, it was revealed to be Sonic’s mind, as sounds are heard from the latest chapters of the game. As it progress the demon started taunting Sonic. Later on, EXE started to grab Tom, and killed him in a very painful way. You need to read the story on how he died.
This is a terrific remake of a crappypasta. This thing must be read if you are a fan of Creepypasta. The game is shown with so much detail, that I can actually see the game in my head. And the metaphor in the Sonic the Hedgehog level makes some sense. Almost every plot hole is filled, but one plot hole isn’t. Where did X come from? Don’t give me the dark magic though, get a bit more creative like you did in this entire story. All in all, a masterpiece of a creepypasta, some fillers, a bit too long. But all in all. It’s beautiful. JC, this is how you make a Sonic creepypasta.