(Editor's Note: SSQ Infinity was a total failure. Way to look foolish, past me. Also SSQ^2 harmed SSQ with its overly dark plotlines, and took until CONFRONTATION to remove the aftermath of it.)
Hey there. I've placed the Plot Summary in its own page over here.
Plot AnalysisIn order to explain this MASSIVE cycle, I'll make an abridged version of the plot summary. Consider it a 'speed run' as you will. (Editor's Note: Also be glad I moved the summary to its own page.)
The first segment was the Questers vs. GUN and tyranny. The Questers landed, got lost, decided they hated Borne, went to the Mushroom Kingdom, cleaned that up, blew up Borne, and discovered an Eastern Continent in the process.
Next began the Trevor, Jack, and Statues arc; here the Questers aided Jack in becoming a millionaire, herded a bunch of prophetic super-statues into their employ, and various aided, then destroyed Trevor/Trevelyan for betraying them.
Next began Red Text/Robotnik arc, in which the Questers raised and repaired the Egg Carrier, discovered Red Text was some guy who had been herding them around and had mysterious goals, and then began a sub-arc revolving around destroying Dark Force, whom had hijacked the Mavericks and had planned to take over the planet.
The final act resulted in a visit to Red Text himself, whom the Questers initially wanted to destroy but eventually decided to help. In the process they discovered Deloth (who had been freaking out all Cycle long) had been possessed by someone from the old world, Ivan Robotnik.
They then brutally killed Ivan, who was apparently more a servant of The Void than good. Then Red Text used his mystery power at last to save the world from being corrupted.
That wasn't too bad, was it? That's because this cycle begins a new trend--STORY. Remember how earlier stuff would give me (and probably you) splitting headaches to make sense of? No more! It's just very thick, but the beauty is that it can be summed up really quick-like when necessary.
Anyway, now to analyze it. It's pretty simple; this is the rebuttal to all that crunked up nonsense from earlier Seasons. Back then, the Questers were superheroes, and could not be questioned. Their actions were always right; they killed all who disagreed. They also had endless bickering within themselves and were only a group because their leader beat and cajoled it into them.
Here, the gloves were taken away. No leader meant them beating eachother up, rifts forming, and people like Deloth losing their mind from the lack of stability. Moreso, the world this was put in had powers of its own. The Questers could not alter it without aid from these powers--despite being a group of people, they were not supermen, and could not change the world on their own--unlike before.
So in this world, the Questers chose to waffle endlessly. They had yet to figure out WHAT they wanted, so early on, they bounced between being radical anti-establishment rebels and neutral interlopers. Over time they grew the maturity they had been lacking--taking issues more seriously and avoiding idiotic 'kill them all' solutions. In the end they eventually realized they had been wrong. Instead of killing all who had revealed their mistake, they merely looked for the true foe and defeated them instead.
This Season, er, Cycle is one of many good ones, in my opinion. It gets a bit thick. But if you read a little at a time, it isn't too thick. My only complaint is with my missing characterization to Metal Man; the stupid tacked on backstory I made up for him had to be ripped off just a Cycle or two later, as it sucked. Additionally I didn't handle continuity between the 'Echidna Emperor' and 'Echidna King' very well, as well I sort of had amnesia about Kanto, resulting in deja vu.
But on the whole this is one of the few things I've been pleased with, and so, don't have much else to note. Well, there's the original characters Marley and Jack, who actually have personalities, and Red Text, who successfully pulls off being a neutral interloper... and... oh, right. Keikyoku and Oushi.
They were actually fairly amusing to see play out, as the SSQ^2 world had no qualms with destroying them. Of course, Oushi's death/disappearance occurs next cycle. Anyway, this is a decent cycle. It subverts that built-up nonsense I'd been overusing and reinvented SSQ. As a result, SSQ:I lives today; without this refreshing change, SSQ would have ended in a cloud of Space Goku-esque nonsense.
Although the one problem is it gets a bit too convoluted at times, so... it may not be the best if you aren't ready to go through some really complex plot.
The unifying theme of it all is that you can't pretend you're the good guys and just get what you want any more; also, some themes of betrayal and conflicts between nations. It also demonstrates the effects of multiple different cultures/leaders on one another. There's also a lot of gray vs. gray battles, where good and evil become sort of forgotten attributes.
It speaks for itself, beyond that. To be honest, there's not much to explain; it's much better at explaining itself than the other junky stuff I've commented on.
After checking out the cast, I have one more thing to say: it's just deeper in general. Twice the characters, twice the dialogue, twice the plots... yeah. I'll have to edit my routines for making these Commentaries to keep from being bogged down whenever I encounter SSQ^2 logs.
Word Map (Made by Wordle)
Whoops, the one below was made incorrectly. Not much different from this one--however, the importance of old things, energy, GUN, and fire appears in here. This one is also better for comparing old Seasons to this one--they're made the same way, for one.
You can tell how different this Cycle is from SSQ's Seasons right here. Right off the bat, the usual words which dominate are nowhere to be seen. Dragoshi tries and fails to take over this map, instead being eclipsed by Robotnik, Keikyoku, Deloth, Digi, Aribar, Garrick, Panzer, Red Text, and Flaeyn. Rightfully so, as those characters were very talkative/did a lot, unlike him; in his apathy, he sort of stopped doing... anything.
Life and death, James Bond, Borne, Jack, and weird things also dominate this season's text. This is a very mechanical season, with guns, robots, and machines popping up. Some awareness of the planet is hinted, and rooms appear a lot. Power and damaging things also is important.
In conclusion, this is a season of fighting, life and death, and a number of characters who dominate rather than the old fashioned 'Dragoshi in every mission.' Julian and Dragoshi are slowly fading away, along with the relics of SSQ 1, as this cycle goes on; I expect to see them even less as time goes on. No offense to them or their players, but... their characters were always sort of relics, and they never really fit in fully with SSQ^2.
Cast (In order of Appearance)
This shouldn't be too bad...
Deloth - Quester - Catmandevilivanrobotniksuicidalthing
"Lance" Chance` - Quester - Lingering Trace of SSQ 1
Digifanatic - Quester - Wishes you'd stop calling him his nickname
Trigger - Quester - Inactive Nintendo Master
Aribar - Quester - Red Text Supporter
Dragoshi - Quester - Drago-yoshi out of wat-err, SSQ 1
Policeman/David McClintock - Capital City Policeman - Twisty Mustache Guy
Man - GUN Citizen - They're maniacs, I tells ya!
"Human" - GUN Officer - We're GUN!
"Hedgehog" - GUN Officer - Official of Emigration
Big Al - Thug Leader - Money Murderer
Thug - Thug Peon - Nobody Blocker
??? #1 - Casino Owner - Fancy Cash Handler
Marley - Ex-GUN Commander - Exposition McFisherman
??? #2 - Thug Leader - I only Tell my Name to DEAD people
Thug 1 - Thug Peon - Rhyming Annoyance
Thug 2 - Thug Peon - HAHAHAHAAAAA
Thug 3 - Thug Peon - Really dumb
Thug 4 - Thug Peon - 'Special'
Thug 5 - Thug Peon - ...
Receptionist - Station Square Parts Co. Person - Really Wants Help from Tails
Librarian - Capital City Librarian - Library Cardholders ONLY
Julian - Quester - Perpetually Doesn't Know What's Going On
Woman - Airport Desk Lady - Call Tails, I'm not Interested
Franz - Helicopter Pilot - Weird Accent Guy in the Sky
Tails - Sonic's Friend - That Guy Who Tells You You've Messed Up
Big - Sonic's Friend - Random Useless Cat Guy
Robot/Eggbot/Eggrobo - Eggman Robot - Unit 129, Loyal Eggrobo
Receptionist #2 - Hotel Receptionist - Not different from the other one, really
Man #2 - Station Square Train Station Guy - Treasure Hunter Blocker
Cedric - Anthropologist - Picture Wanter
Jack "The Widowmaker" - Ex-GUN Commander - Misanthropic Anthropologist Maniac
Cultist - Echidna Cultist - Waits for you to Leave Your Post
Cultist 2 - Echidna Cultist - Not our Leader!
Cultist 3 - Echidna Cultist - Sign of the Gods-seeker
Cultist #2 - Echidna Cultist - Area Enforcer
GUN Captain - GUN Captain - One-shot Guy
King Demon - Quester - The Rarely Seen One
Hammer Brother - Koopa Troop - Greeter
Bowser - Koopa King - Quasi-Refined Quasi-Dignitary
Keikyoku - Quester - Natty Blight On Reality
Michael Kent - Quester - Rare REN FAIRE GUY Appeared!
Daisy - Sarasaland Princess - Shows Bowser who's Boss
King 1 - Mushroom King - King of Lawnmowers filled with Beer
King 2 - Mushroom King - Trapped in Disneyland, Mentally
King 3 - Mushroom King - Mostly Deaf Guy
Mario - Mushroom Kingdom 'Defender' - Shroom-Abusing Lunatic
Peach - Mushroom Kingdom Princess - Stately Quasi-Stateswoman
Gibby - Quester - Bittersweet Last Appearance of an Old Quester
Cultist #3 - Echidna Cultist - More Dang Pallete Swap Cultists, Dangit
Waluigi - Luigi-hating Tennis Jerk - WAAAA! *Eyelasers*
Emperor Cylus - Echidna Cult Emperor - Elite Negotiator
Wario - Anti-Mario - A Pawn in Cylus' Scheme
Subordinate - Echidna Cultist - Advertises Westopolis
GUN Soldier - Sub-Commander - Surrender or Surrender
GUN Soldier #2 - GUN Soldier - Alien fearer
GUN Soldier 2 - GUN Soldier - Kill it Kill it!
Thug 2 #2 - Thug Peon - Failed Walk Blocker
Cultist #4 - Echidna Cultist - Enough of these guys for your taste, already?
Echidna King - Echidna Cult King - Weirdly, not Related to Cylus
Guard - Echidna Cult Guard - King's Protector
Warp Attendant - Echidna Cultist - He Warps Things
??? #3 - Echidna Cultist - Ran out of identical names, perhaps?
Commander Borne - GUN Commander - Doesn't Take Anyone's BS
Soldier - GUN Soldier - Window Cleaner
Soldier 2 - GUN Soldier - Shoots people when they're Down
Soldier 3 - GUN Soldier - Puts on Sunglasses
Leader - Echidna Cultist Leader - Now I'M confused as to who's the leader
David Hale - Ex-GUN Commander - Weenie that got steamrolled by Borne
Guard #2 - GUN Guard - Dumb as a Flying Rock
Guard 2 - GUN Guard - Doesn't Know
Guard 3 - GUN Guard - Idiotic Timeshare Guy
Robot - GUN Robot - Failed Usurper
Commander Borne? - Fake GUN Commander - Fear me, eh?
Echidna - Echidna Cult Pilot - They Have No Name, Apparently
Flaeyn - Quester - Yurie Impersonator, Idiot who Touches Statues
??? #4 - Telephone Operator - Press 411 to be Connected to a Dead Telephone
Attendant - Echidna Cult Attendant - The King has a lot of Men
Scarecrow - Quester - Left due to lack of Corn
Trevor/Trevelyan - Cossack Traitor - Teleporting Terrorist
Jim the Gouger - Trevelyan Goon - Prefers to Let Others Do His Work
Shopkeep - New Chicago Shopkeeper - Innocent Gun Hawker
Computer Salesbot - New Chicago Shopkeeper - Eighty Zillion Gigaflops
Man 1 - Federal Guardsman - Handless Wonder
Man 2 - Federal Guardsman - Skeptical Handyman
Scientist - Trevelyan Goon - Source of the Teleporter Madness
??? #5/The Masked Man/The Mysterious Man - ??? - Melancholic Magic-Wielding Destroyer
Soldier #2 - GUN Soldier - Not Genre Saavy
Pilot - Trevelyan Goon - Weird Floaty Vehicle Controller
??? #6 - Evil Dyne Statue Spirit - FLAEN GNAH KNEE TAA ZOE... FLAEN GNAH KNEE TAA ZOE...
??? #7 - Anthropologist - Too Poor To Have A Name
???2 - Art Snob - Dislikes Old Statues
???3 - Trevelyan Goon - Undead Army Buyer
Computer - Possessed Eggman Computer - LQWNQWLQWNQWL!@!
Statues - Dyne-Possessed Evil Statues - Yes, They Talk... in Gibberish!
Johnathan Dark - Carrington Institute Spy - Down and Dirty Fighter
Daniel Carrington - Carrington Institute Head - Thinks this place is Mess
??? #8 - Trevelyan Goon - Had Enough of the Unnamed People yet?
Andrew - Quester - Serial 4th Wall Murderer
CI Soldier - Carrington Institute Soldier - Backup Guy
Mr. Sheet - Duplighost - Nice Doopliss Doppelganger
Vylch - Otherworldly Nanite Vampire - VLAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH
Professor Oak - Kanto Pokemon Professor - Needs New Glasses
Pokedex - Annoying Pokemon Identification Device - Error: Not a Pokemon.
??? #9 - Kanto Person - Robotic path praiser
Shopkeeper #2 - Kanto Shopkeep - Get yer 2 pokedollars per tiny gold fragment!
Gary Oak - Kanto Gym Leader - NO GOING IN MY GYM WITHOUT POKEMON!!!
Old Man - Kanto #@TgyHJ$@ - Hole in Reality
??? #10 - Kanto Bug Catcher - Bug Liker
Nurse - Kanto Pokemon Center Nurse - Captain Obvious
Brock - Kanto Gym Leader - ... -_-
??? #11 - Kanto Idiotic Gardener - Shoo! Shoo!
??? #12 - Yet Another Kanto Pokemon Trainer - Zzz...
??? #13 - Team Rocket Poacher - Likes Anti-Magic Skeletons
???s #14, 15, whatever - Team Rocket Grunts - Gonna whip Your Eyes out!
Bill - Kanto Pokemon Researcher - Creator of the ULTRA LIGHTNING GUN
Jesse - Rocket Failure - Half-Competent
James - Rocket Failure - More Useful as a Weapon
Giovanni - Team Rocker Leader - *Dramatically grabs the commentary and crushes it in his hand*
Computer #2 - Super Death Egg Computer - Big Brother of the Messed Up Scrap Brain One
Red Text - Mysterious 'Benefactor' - The Guiding Hand of Confusion
Oracle - Dyne/Red Text Corroded Ancient Device - Likes to Trick People
Glyde - Maverick Hunter - One, maybe Two-shot appearance
Robot #2 - Egg Carrier Co-Pilot Bot - Another short-lived Appearance
Garrick Fy'arr - Quester - Angry Hostage-Taker
Mewtwo - Super Pokemon - Tragically Controlled by Giovanni
Dr. Ivo Robotnik - The Eggman - Doesn't Tolerate Poseurs
Rocket - Team Rocket Grunt - Whoa, a named one!
??? #16 bazillion - HYDRA/Trevelyan Goon - Mecha Failure
Dr. Randall - Capital City Clinic Doc - Stress Describer
Toad - Mushroom Kingdom Guy - Mario Land Curator
Yoshi - Mario's 'Friend' - Waluigi Fighter
Luigi - Mario's Brother - Magic Collector
Toadsworth - Peach's Retainer - Amateur Magic Historian
Sonic - The Hedgehog - Mysteriously Absent Most of the Time
Shopkeeper #3 - Echidna Cult Shopkeep - No Touchy Touchy!
General Ourumov - Russian Traitor - Fight Quester For Make Great Victory?!
Mecha Zangief - I Wanna Be The Guy - ROAAAAAARRRRR!!!!
Mendev - HYDRA Goon - Engine Failure
??? #17 bazillion/Desk Guy/Reploid/Repairman - Maverick Hunter Coordinator - Also A drinkmeister
??2 #2 & ??3 #2 - Maverick Ship Pilots - On the wrong side of Eggman's Deathrays
Vile - Head Maverick - Relentless anti-Quester Fiend
Zero - Maverick Hunter - Angry Anti-Sigma
Omega Robot - Deranged Mining Drone - Possessed by Dark Force
??? #18 bazillion - Maverick Ship Pilot - Another Hapless Victim
Vylch 2 - Evil RT Vylch Clone - Die Period.
Vylch 3 - Evil RT Vylch Clone - 10101010
Santa Claus - Chris Kringle - Patron Saint of Christmas
Natalie & Raena - Questers - Spoiled Girl & Foulmouthed Renamon Team
Guard #3 - Federal Guard - Found Something Weird
Scientist - Federal Scientist - Teleporter Expert
Bond - James Bond - Takes the Golden Rule And Throws It Off A Cliff
Soldier #3 - Federal Soldier - Status Reporter
Deloth? - ??? - Quester-Helping Mystery (See Last Entry)
Joanna Dark - Carrington Institute Spy - Bond Stopper
Megaman X - Maverick Hunter - Grippy Peacenik
Sigma - Past Maverick Leader - Permanently Failed
Reploid #2 - Maverick Grenadier - Tragically Exploded
Grenadier - Maverick Grenadier - Self-Destructor
Fake Sigma - Dark Force Puppet - Idiotically Destroyed By Flaeyn
Computer #3 - Mining Computer - Hijacked by Dark Force
Vol Opt 3/4 - Mining Machine - Dark Force's Favorite Deathmachine
Kuji - Failed Quester - You Just Don't Want To Help or Grow!
Ash's Mom/"Delilah" - Kanto Glitchy Person - The Only Person Julian Hits On
Man #3 - Kanto Glitchy Person - Zzz... Zzz...
Rockets 1-3 - Team Rocket Grunts - The Three Man Band... Again and Again and Again
Nurse Joy/Policewoman Jenny - Kanto Professional Person - Woman of Many Jobs
Red - Kanto Pokemon Trainer - Escapes the Matri--I mean Glitchfest
Gold - Kanto Pokemon Trainer - Psychotic Antiprotagonist
??? #19 bazillion - Galactic Federation Distress Signal - Yes, we need more ???s
Vol Opt 3 #2 - Mining Machine - Another of Many
Computer #4 - Weird Metal Man Bunker Computer - CCCcccomputer Wwwwwork Bbbbarely
Soldier #4 - Galactic Federation Soldier - They Told Us, Then The Stuff Happened
Soldier 2 #2 - Galactic Federation Soldier - Deja Vu
Soldier 3 #3 - Galactic Federation Soldier - Times Two
Samus Aran - Galactic Federation Ally - Dark Force Destroyer
Rinith - Quester - Confused Refugee
E. Gadd - Senile Scientist - Secret Story Knower
??? #20 hobojillion - Red Text Eggrobo - Sloppy Attempter
Oushi - Quester - Keikyoku's Psychedelic-Hair-Packing Son???
Kenku - Quester - Cyber-Ren-Faire Escapee
??? #21 hobojillion - Dark Mecha Thing - Space Flea From Nowhere
Dark Force - Master of All Evil - Goes on a 1001 year vacation
Computer #5 - Space Meteor Computer - Intruder Detector
E.T. - Toad Town Shopkeep - Expands Your Mind, Shrinks Your Wallet
R.C. - Toad Town Shopkeep - Not the Cola
V.T. - Toad Town Shopkeep - Also a Nurse
T.H. - Toad Town Shopkeep - Baloon Seller
Computer Voice - Maverick Area Defense - Holo-Harasser
Holo-Sigma - Maverick Area Defense - Run, Cowards!
Claw - Maverick - Quester Beater
Robot #3 - Red Station Attendant - Carpet Protector
Ivan Robotnik - Ghastly SSQ 1 Fragment - Backwards, Vainglorious Lunatic