Sega are looking to make the Sonic the Hedgehog lore “more meaningfully connected,” starting with a new Associate Lore Manager.
The job listing for “Associate Lore Manager” appeared across multiple job websites including LinkedIn. The opening stipulates the prospective employee would report to the “Director of Lore and Creative Strategy,” helping “support the growing needs of our lore team.”
“With both project management and creative duties you will be immersed in the organizing and shaping of Sonic lore, canon, characters, and universes, helping to bring consistency, connectivity, and creativity to all things Sonic across various forms of media including games, animation, comics, and more,” Sega explains.
Those in the Burbank, California area would be expected to help with organization, assist in the creative process (“including brainstorming, script writing, and providing feedback”), admin, reviewing story content to ensure “narrative accuracy and consistency,” amongst other responsibilities.
Applicants are expected to have “experience leading a team of creatives, preferably in a similar capacity to this role,” along with strong project management and communication skills as well as being “comfortable creating visual lore references and narrative content summaries.”
“Animation production management experience” is preferred, along with being “extremely well-versed in all things Sonic.”
After more fans noticed the job listing, Sonic the Hedgehog Social Media Manager Katie Chrzanowski took to Twitter to elaborate. “Hey everyone! You may have seen that we posted a position for an Associate Lore Manager for @sonic_hedgehog – what does that mean?”
“In the past few years, we’ve been looking at the entire universe of Sonic and how things tie together canonically for the future,” Chrzanowski began.
“SEGA put together a small team of us internally, and along with the help of talented folks like @tyson_hesse [Tyson Hesse], @IanFlynnBKC [Ian Flynn], and @SpiritSonic [Evan Stanley], we’re working on making the universe and stories more meaningfully connected,” she explained.
Chrzanowski boasted,”You may have seen examples of some of these changes in things like TailsTube, the Origins animations, the Knuckles Frontiers prologue (and the prologue comic!), and even Frontiers itself!”
“That said, we are not the only ones involved in these decisions! With the help of Sonic Team, we all work together to ensure everything is airtight. How does this position fit in? To set expectations, this position is not *the* Loremaster, but an important piece of the puzzle,” the Social Media Manager emphasized.
“This is a more managerial role, helping our Director of Lore schedule and collaborate with other teams. You of course will join creative discussions and brainstorms, but these decisions are not a 1-person job. That said, it’s an incredibly exciting role with a great team!” Chrzanowski promoted.
Those hoping the phrasing of the listing means there’s no hard experience requirement had their dreams shattered.
“It’s also worth noting that this is not an entry-level position,” Chrzanowski pointed out. “The team is looking for someone that already has some solid project management experience!”
Starting from the top; Tyson Hesse was a former artist for the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series while Archie held the license, and later became the animation director for animated cutscenes and trailers for Sonic Mania, Team Sonic Racing, Sonic Origins,and the recently released Sonic Frontiers. He was also the lead artist for redesigning Sonic after the live action movie’s disastrous first trailer.
Ian Flynn is the chief writer for the Sonic the Hedgehog comics — taking over after Ken Penders — and endured after Archie and into the IDW run of the series as lead writer. He was also the lead writer on Sonic Frontiers. Finally, Evan Stanley is a comic illustrator and another Archie-turned-IDW contributor.
Due to the comics having different continuity from the games and several older cartoons, some elements of Sonic the Hedgehog lore were no longer clear. While IDW’s run continued after the events of Sonic Forces, it soon introduced new characters and events yet seen in the games. As Chrzanowski alluded, the TailsTube YouTube shorts have helped set things straight.
For example, the first episode confirmed the anthro creatures such as Sonic and Tails usually come from smaller islands around the world. Humans, as seen in games such as Sonic Unleashed, come from larger continents. So any thoughts of Plant Mobius can be cast out of gamers minds.
Sonic Frontiers has also helped elaborate more on the series lore. Even the prequel “Sonic Frontiers Prologue: Divergence” animated short scratched the surface of the Echidna tribe and even how Sky Sanctuary and Angel Island relate to one another.
***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD***
Even botched characterization in past games was addressed in Sonic Frontiers. For example, Tails had character arc of wanting to become less reliant on Sonic, and more independent. Despite fighting solo against Dr. Eggman on several occasions, Sonic Forces would see Tails relapse into a cowering wreck after Sonic went missing.
This very point was addressed in Sonic Frontiers, as seen in the clip below shared by voice actress Emi Jones, the voice of Tails in Sonic and Tails R. While Tails states he is “wildly inconsistent,” Sonic rebuffs “It’s OK if you still need help sometimes. That’s just part of growing up.”
So its been a few days and I wanted to share my thoughts on one of the gripes I have with the writing. I don’t think writing his inconsistent characterization into the canon was the way to go. pic.twitter.com/JrQ2m8Mvca
— Emi Jones ✨ (@TheEmuEmi) November 11, 2022
***MINOR SPOILERS ENDED***
Along with bringing past games into line, it seems other media will be incorporated as well. Sonic can muse aloud about other characters in Sonic Frontiers, referencing past characters. One of these includes an Easter Egg mentioning Tangle the Lemur– a character exclusive to the comics and mobile spin-off games.
Another scene — which is a SPOILER as it is a cutscene at the end of the game — has one character state “I wonder if Cream and Sticks are free?” The latter is Sticks the Jungle Badger, a character previously exclusive to the Sonic Boom animated cartoon as well as cameos in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, mobile games, and cross-over comics.
The world of Sonic the Hedgehog is going to be a lot more interconnected. Which begs the question where the Netflix animated series and live-action films will fit into all this, if at all.