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Sonic and the Fountain of Youth is an action, platformer video game developed by SEGA and published by Sonic Team for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch exclusively. It is the third and final entry in the Sonic Storybook series and involves Sonic embarking on a quest in a mythical world to find the legendary Fountain of Youth. The game was announced on May 19th, 2016 and was released worldwide on January 6, 2017. A very important aspect of the game is its widespread use of symbolism.
Sonic and the Fountain of Youth
Sonic and the fountain
Developed by
SEGA
Published by
Sonic Team
Designer
Genre
Adventure, Action, Platformer
Release Dates
ww: January 6, 2017 (Wii U)
ww: March 3, 2017 (Switch)
Platform
Wii U, Nintendo Switch
Composer(s)
Crush 40, Tomoya Ohtani, Various
Mode(s)
Single-player, Multi-player
Ratings
PEGI: 12+ (Violence, Online)
Preceded by
Followed by

Plot

Sonic is summoned by a mysterious sorcerer in a world that exists only in myth. There, he learns of a legendary spring from which flows the water of immortality known as the Fountain of Youth and of a malevolent prince who seeks to harness its power. Thus, Sonic heads to find the Fountain of Youth before it falls into the wrong hands while being joined by allies along the way.

The game takes place in a world inspired by numerous mythical locations from Greek, Byzantine, Chinese, Persian, Medieval, Polynesian and Mayan literature as well as from backgrounds from paintings of the Renaissance. Although it does contain 3D animated cutscenes, most of the in-game cutscenes are shown through the pages of a medieval book. In addition, the world in which the game takes place is flat albeit to the common misconception of the Middle Ages.

Story

The story begins when Sonic, Tails, Amy and Cream visit the library. While looking at some books, Sonic walks away from the team and gets lost among the old library shelves. A book falls off a shelve and Sonic picks it up. Its title is "The Legend of the Fountain of Youth". Sonic picks it up and opens a few pages when suddenly a flash appears and he disappears from sight.

Sonic finds himself in an ancient looking city. Immediately the authorities proceed to his arrest and imprison him inside a cage. While being taken to the forest, an unknown figure appears and frees Sonic by killing the authorities. Sonic thanks him and asks for explanations. The bird-looking creature does not reveal its name but tells Sonic to go back to the city and search for a man named Pythagoras. Pythagoras explains to Sonic that he has been summoned here in order to find the legendary Fountain of Youth. To find it, however, Sonic must cleanse his soul by travelling to the 7 Ancient Worlds and defeating the Guardians that govern each one. Only then will Sonic, the purest of the souls be able to reach his destination and achieve immortality through the waters of the Fountain of Youth. Bewildered, Sonic meets again with the bird sorcerer, who still keeps his identity concealed. He tells him that he is the one who summoned him here and he must do what he tells him so that they can save this world from evil. Thus Sonic begins his spiritual journey from Partholon, together with the bird wizard in order to defeat the first Guardian. They first visit the Sky Palace where Sonic meets with the god Hermes, who gives him his flying sandals. After being granted the ability to fly, Sonic battles against a flying beast. He and the wizard are eventually confronted by Prince Dodelas on his flying chariot, who mocks the bird wizard and intimidates Sonic. Just before the two clash, the bird wizard holds Sonic by the hand and the prince flees. 

The sorcerer tells Sonic about the legendary Fountain of Youth, which he is tasked with finding before it is found by Prince Dodelas, who wishes to harvest its waters for malevolent intentions. He also tells him that their world is collapsing because Gaia, the Goddess of Earth is displeased with the hearts of men. Together, they travel to Sanctuary City to speak with the oracle. They run into King Alexander the Great (Knuckles), who has also come here to speak with the oracle concerning the Fountain of Youth. He wishes to find its immortal waters to gain eternal glory. Alexander grows a liking to Sonic and agrees to go with him on his quest. The Oracle informs him that he must defeat the terrible Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon that dwells in the caves of the island of Sharpedon. Sonic, Alexander the Great and the bird wizard travel to the island by joining Archytas' fleet of airships and reach the forest of the Nymphs, where Sonic meets with them and is given the mermaid's tears, enabling him to breath underwater for indefinate time. When they reach the island, Sonic, together with the help of Alexander and the bird wizard's guidance defeat Medusa. After decapitating her, a speher of light emerges from her and lands of Sonic's hands. It is the 1st Light of the Ancient World.

Afterwards, Sonic and the bird wizard travel to the next world, Bozantis. In order to find out more about the Guardian of the Light of the Ancient World, Sonic heads to the city where he stumbles upon Juan Ponce de Leon, whom Sonic mistakes for Shadow. The two confront each other only to be interrupted by Dodelas' army who attempts to siege the city. Sonic, Alexander and Juan fend off the enemy forces. They learn from the people of the city that strange weather phenomena have been occurring, prompting the three to go to the Alchemic factory. There they meet Nicolas Flamel, who tells them that he will tell them what they need to know if they go find him some rare herbs that he needs to concoct his spell, which unfortunately causes these weather phenomena. The trio heads to the Dragon Fortress where Sonic meets Dundos, a talking, friendly dragon who joins the party. After finding the herb and bringing it to Flamel, he gives them the location of the second Guardian. The trio, together with the bird wizard and Dundos the Dragon confront the 2nd Guardian, High Arcana Toratrey and acquire the 2nd Light of the Ancient World.

Sonic and the bird wizard, now joined by Alexander, Juan and their dragon Dundos head to Farwan where they meet with Khidr (Silver), an old friend of Alexander, who takes them to the city to see the Empress who suffers from a curse bestowed upon her by Prince Dodelas. To help her, Sonic and the team head to the oasis to bring her the remedy and remove her curse. In return, the Empress designates the Light of the Ancient World at the necropolis of Anubis. Sonic, Alexander, Khidr and Juan head there where they confront Anubis and his statue jackals in his pitch-black chamber. Upon doing so, Sonic receives the 3rd Light of the Ancient World.

Sonic learns of Emperor Sun, also known as the Blue Emperor, who has been wreaking havoc around the lands of Shui Shijian. He has waged war against the neighbouring kingdoms in search of the Fountain of Youth. News concerning the blue hedgehog reached the Emperor's ears and he is gathering a massive army to fight against him. Sonic, now joined by Nicolas Flamel, King Alexander, Juan Ponce de Leon, Khidr and Dundos the Dragon, together with Sonic's guide, the bird wizard venture to the lands of Shui Shijian where they confront the Blue Emperor and his enormous army. In the final confrontation, the Blue Emperor uses his ultimate mech against Sonic but is defeated, revealing his true identity to be Dr. Eggman. Sonic earns the 4th Light of the Ancient World meaning that the Blue Emperor was a Guardian after all. Emperor Shun then flees to the neighbouring kingdom Shintai Surae with Sonic and the team going after him.

In Shintai Surae, Sonic and the team are ambushed by Moonshadow (Espio), a spy working for the Blue Emperor who protects the kingdom from invaders. Sonic and Moonshadow confront each other in the bamboo forest until Sonic, thanks to his speed, defeats Moonshadow, forcing him to give up his services to the Blue Emperor and serve Sonic, as his ninja code of honour obliges him. Moonshadow leads the team to the Blue Emperor's hideout only to discover that he has fallen victim to Dodelas' evil schemes. Prince Dodelas unleashes his army plus a monster known as Tsukumogami, a machine operated by deceitful ghosts. Sonic, together with Flamel, Alexander, Juan, Khidr, Moonshadow and the bird wizard fight their way through Dodelas' army, defeat the Tsukumogami, which was the 5th Guardian of the Ancient World and receive the 5th Light while rescuing the Blue Emperor in the process.

The heroes learn that their next destination lies across the ocean, in a series of islands known as Wa'atu. To get there they seek the help of Captain Anne Bonny (Rouge), a dreaded pirate of the seven seas who accepts them aboard her ship. They escape an ambush by Dodelas' fleet and reach the forgotten islands in time to defeat the next Guardian of the Ancient World, the mighty Tangaroa, god of the seas and acquire the 6th Light of the Ancient World.

Last, the team consiting of Sonic, Alexander, Flamel, Juan Ponce de Leon, Khidr, Moonshadow, Bonny, the bird wizard and Dundos the Dragon travel to Atlacoyas, a land that lies across the Great Ocean. There, they are ambushed by Prince Dodelas, who specifically attacks Sonic. The bird wizard, however, puts himself in front and duels with Dodelas for Sonic's life. Dodelas manages to pierce the wizard's body with his scythe, causing him to mysteriously vanish, leaving behind only his garments, his hat and his clutches. After the bird wizard's death, the team, distressed tries to fight back. Dodelas captures them and brings them to the Temple of the Sun to sacrifice them to Tezcatlipoca, believing that he will be shown the way to the Fountain of Youth by the Gods. The sacrifice is foiled when the Blue Emperor arrives on time with his army and attacks Dodelas for the Fountain. Sonic and the team are freed and together they battle against Tezcatlipoca. Upon being defeated, Sonic receives the 7th and last Light of the Ancient World.

Having collected all 7 Lights of the Ancient World, a star appears on the horizon, which is only visible to Sonic. They follow it leading them literaly to the end of the world, where the Fountain of Youth is supposedly located. There, Sonic faces Dodelas one last time and defeats him. Dodelas then revelas his true intentions for seeking the immortal waters of the Fountain of Youth. He had abducted Euaisthesia, a forest nymph and daughter of Gaia after he fell in love with her when he saw her sleeping in the forest. As years passed, Eusaisthesia got older and lost her beauty. Dodelas decided to keep her in youth forever by giving her the water of the Fountain of Youth. Years of unsuccessful search went by and Eusaisthesia eventually got ill to the point where she fell into a state of permanent sleep. Desperate to keep her alive and beautiful, Dodelas went into extremes to find the Fountain of Youth and prevent death from taking her away from him. The one thing that made Dodelas search for the Fountain of Youth was love.

Sonic enters the gate alone and finds himself in an idylic garden with various creatures from mythology, such as unicorns and griffons. There. he encounters the enormous Fountain of Youth and a dragon guarding it. The dragon approaches Sonic and congradulates him for completing his journey of spiritual cleansing. It is revealed by the dragon, the guardian of the fountain, that the whole adventure Sonic was put up to, was fabricated by the guardian of the Fountain himself in order for Sonic to cleanse his soul. Because one cannot reach and acquire the holy immortal waters of the Fountain of Youth if he has not first slain all the monsters of the soul. He must have rid all the pathi of his soul, thus becoming virtuous. Only such a virtuous soul, free from the horrible monsters that dwell in its darkest depths can be granted such an immensely powerful gift, otherwise, the soul would destroy itself. Sonic was necessary to undergo this spiritual catharsis to obtain the immortal waters. Sonic understands that every Guardian he slayed represented the eradication of a pathos of his own soul, and the Light that came out of it, a virtue. These were the monsters that inhabited the depths of his soul. Killing them ment freeing his soul from a pathos, making a step closer to the harmonization of the soul.


PATHOI OF SOUL


He eradicated vanity from his soul when he killed the Medusa, erased conceit and false immaginations when he fought against High Arcana Toratrey, removed double ignorance when he battled Anubis in his pitch-black chamber, managed to abolish the soul's cruel domination against another by defeating the Blue Emperor, eradicated duplicity when he destroyed the ghost-operated Tsukomogami, combated his emotional instability when he fought against Tangaroa, the God of the seas and emotions and erased lust from his soul when he killed Tezcatlipoca Sonic, however, still does not understand why he was selected to undergo this catharsis for something that he doesn't want. All he wants is to go home.

Outside of the gates, Sonic's friends witness black smoke heading towards the garden. Sensing something evil, they head there to warn Sonic. Meanwhile, inside the garden, Sonic is approached by a goddess named Atë, who asks Sonic for the immortal waters of the fountain. The dragon warns Sonic that the water of the Fountain will damage the uncleansed soul and must not be given to her. At that time, Alexander the Great, Juan Ponce de Leon, Nicolas Flamel, Anne Bonny, Emperor Shun, Khidr, Moonshadow, Dundos and Dodelas bust inside convincing Sonic that Atë, the goddess of delusions and folly only wishes to take the immortal water of the Fountain so that she can remain immortal and beautiful forever. Atë admits using Euaisthesia, one of the Litae (Prayers) that follow her, to lure Dodelas into embarking on a search for the Fountain of Youth in order to save her life from an illness that Atë invoked. After leaving her sleeping in the forest, Dodelas fell in love with her and took her for himself. She was the one who orchestrated the hatred between Dodelas and Phoenix, the bird-wizard's true name. As the Phoenix, he was responsible for overlooking the world and preventing evil from prevailing. Dodelas and Phoenix were close friends, until he was wrongly accused for inflicting the disease on Eusaisthesia. As a result, Dodelas threw a curse on the Phoenix, forcing him to become a wretched and clutched monster that needed the water of the Fountain of Youth to redeem himself and regain his true form. Atë was the one who told Dodelas that the Phoenix was to blame for his loved one's illness. Dodelas realizes that he had been fooled all this time and used as a puppet for Atë to find the Fountain of Youth, killing his friend in the process.

Vangelis Conquest of Paradise 09 Hispanola-1

Vangelis Conquest of Paradise 09 Hispanola-1

Ate transforms into a monster, the complete degeneration of the soul, upon drinking the water of the Fountain of Youth.

Atë attempts to drink the water from the Fountain of Youth, in spite of the dragon's wise words that only the purest of the souls, free of the monsters of the soul is allowed to drink the water. 
Atë's soul, being the goddess of delusion, mischief, ruin and deceit is not compatible with the powers of the immortal waters since she has not undergone through the spiritual catharsis as Sonic did. As a result, when she drinks the immortal water of the Fountain of Youth, Atë absorbs all the monsters of the soul, transforming her into a hideous monstrosity. Vanity, conceit, double ignorance, cruel domination, duplicity, emotional weakness/stagnated thought forms and lust all combined inside Atë's soul create the complete degeneration of the soul, which only Sonic, the pure soul can defeat.

All of Sonic's friends who assisted him in his journey had their own values for which they embarked on this quest and each one is the embodiment of a virtue. Alexander's fortitude, Flamel's wisdom, Khidr's prudence, Juan's goodwill, Bonny's temperance, The Blue Emperor's humility and Moonshadow's justice, all 7 virtues combine into Sonic's soul, transforming him into Twilight Sonic. Dundos transforms as well while Dodelas gives Sonic his golden chariot to help him fight Atë. 

Twilight Sonic, together with Dundos battle against Atë until the Phoenix appears in his spirit form and battles alongside Sonic, acting as a shield against Atë's attacks. Twilight Sonic defeats Atë and transforms back into Sonic. The Fountain of Youth is destroyed in the process but the Phoenix manages to absorb all of the water and transform back to his former self, redeeming himself from the curse. As the magnificent phoenix that soars through the skies of the world once again, he flies around the world causing the water of the Fountain of Youth to rain from his wings on the Earth. The Earth drinks the water and recovers from the drought that it had remained since the abduction of her daughter, Euaisthesia, becoming fertile once again and rebuilding herself from the damage caused by Atë. Dodelas mourns for his love's death but honours his friendship with the Phoenix and vows to never let anything stand between it. Sonic is sent back to his world by the dragon guardian after bidding ferwell to all the friends he helped and who helped him in return.

THE END

Two Steps From Hell - Star Sky

Two Steps From Hell - Star Sky

The post-credits scene shows the book from the beginning entitled "The Legend of the Fountain of Youth" being magically renamed to "Sonic and the Fountain of Youth".

Gameplay

Gameplay is divided into two parts. The first part is similar to the day-time levels of Sonic Unleashed and the modern Sonic stages of Sonic Generations, where only Sonic is playable. His levels consist of both 2D and 3D elements with the latter predominating. Stages are designed to utilize Sonic's full speed. In addition to his signature Sonic Boost, which can be used by filling a gauge by collecting rings, Sonic retains other moves such as the Homing attack, the Light Speed Dash, Freestyle Tricks, Stomp, Drift, Spin Attack, Spin Dash, Quick Step and Slide. A notable difference from its predecessors is that Sonic's stages are now less linear, allowing the player to explore and take different hidden routes to reach the Goal Ring. Swordplay plays a smaller role but still allows Sonic to execute several new attacks when confronted with lots of enemies as well as to perform some minor combos. For example, by locking-on to an opponent and pressing the R or L button Sonic can instantly charge onto and slash the enemy with his sword. Sonic can lock-on to several enemies sequentially. A new addition to the series is the collection of various equipments, which grant Sonic new abilities. These equipments have importance in the game's story as well as in passing certain levels. For instance, Hermes' sandals give Sonic the ability to fly. Without them, the player cannot complete certain levels where flight is a predominant feature.

The second part involves swordplay and battle and is only accessible to Sonic's allies in the game. Players face against vast amounts of enemies while collecting rings and performing certain tasks. The goal varies depending on the stage, for instance it could be to reach the Goal Ring, defeat a specific number of enemies, take control of a castle etc. Stages are very big with many different paths, hidden items, collectibles etc. All of them are played in 3D. What makes this gameplay exciting are the special abilities and fighting style of each playable character. Their large moveset allows the player to execute different attacks and perform various techniques. Different characters have different stats and can reach different areas in the stage map. Their weapons and attacks can also be upgraded or adjusted according to the player's decision. Up to 4 players can play simultaneously, either co-operatively or as enemies. Several stages feature in-between mini-games such as Castle Siege, Pirate Battle, Dragon Ride etc and Boss Battles.

There is an easter egg in the game. During either characters' gameplay, players can find Big the Cat hidden in certain locations in each stage. By finding Big in all stages, players unlock Sebastian Cabot as playable character in multiplayer. Sebastian Cabot is portrayed by Big himself.

Characters

Starter Characters

Starter characters are available from the start in multiplayer mode. With the exception of Sonic, all 3 of them are related to the search of the Fountain of Youth in actual literature.

Sonic is called upon to a mythical land by a spirit in order to help it find the Fountain of Youth. Sonic is playable only in the first type of gameplay as well as the only playable character of that type. He uses a sword and a flag as a weapon but mostly relies on his speed.

A warlord-king from Greece (Partholon) who has conquered nearly half of the known world. He ventures to the faraway lands in search of the Fountain of Youth for the glory of being the first person to find it. Alexander uses a spear, a sword and a shield as his primary weapons. He is the first ally that willingly joins Sonic on his quest. He is the first ally found in Partholon.

A Spanish conquistador who searches for the Fountain of Youth as a mission entrusted to him by Captain de Ovando; he searches for the Fountain of Youth for loyalty to his captain (as an allusion to his loyalty to Maria). He is depicted more as a skilled swordsman rather than an explorer. He fights using two swords but can also manipulate time and space by using Chaos Control as well as all the Chaos powers used by Shadow. He is the second member to join Sonic's team. He is the second ally found in Bozantis (Byzantium).

A prophet-visionary from Arabia (Farwan) known as "The Green Man", who claims to be the messanger of God. Khidr's intentions for searching for the Fountain of Youth are for compassion. He seeks the immortal water of the Fountain of Youth to cure his people from a disease which he attributes to the wrath of God. From the start Khidr is depicted as a close friend of Alexander the Great. As Khidr, Silver does not use any weapon in combat. Instead, he fights indirectly using his psychic powers. He can also fly. He is the fourth ally found in Farwan (Persia).

Unlockable Characters

Unlockable characters are unlocked by encountering them in Story Mode, sans 3 characters, who appear only in Multiplayer mode.

A French alchemist who seeks for the Fountain of Youth in order to make the Elixir of Life from its immortal waters. His intentions for going after the Fountain of Youth is therefore for science. Flamel quickly becomes a close friend of Sonic. He is also an avid collector of mythical items; his prize possession is the Philosopher's stone, which he uses to summon and control gigantic homunculi during battle. Combined with the magic powers of alchemy, Flamel is a formidable opponent to foes. He is the third ally found in Bozantis (Byzantine Empire) but does not become playable until in Shui Shijian.

An all-powerful emperor of ancient China (Shui Shijian) who rules all the lands of Shambhala with an iron fist. He is in constant war with the neighbouring kingdoms because he desires to conquer the world and establish his own ambitious empire. With his vast army he searches for the immortal water of the spring, so that he can build an amusement park around it and attract visitors from all over the world and become rich. His intentions are therefore for greed. Originally he appears as a secondary antagonist until about the middle of the game until he is fought as a Boss. Thereafter he accompanies Sonic and the rest in search of the fountain. As a playable character, Emperor Shun is heavy and slow but his attacks are very strong and have very long range. His weapon of choice is a big, mechanical katana, although he uses multiple other weapons such as a spear, arrows and he can summon minions to assist him in battle.

A ninja spy of the Emperor of Shintai Surae. Originally a rival of Sonic and his team, Moonshadow later becomes part of the team when he acknowledges Sonic's speed and strength and befriends him. Unlike the other heroes, Moonshadow does not seek the Fountain of Youth. Instead, his code of honour obliges him to protect with his life him who defeats him in battle. Hence, he becomes sort of like Sonic's bodyguard. Moonshadow fights using a limited arsenal of weapons. He uses shuriken blades, nun-chucks and daggers. He mostly relies on his physical strength and speed, as well as his ability to become invisible. Moonshadow is the only character not to be based on an actual historical personality.

A young pirate from the Americas who is in search of the Fountain of Youth so that she can become famous for being the first one to find it. She appears very late in the game's story and offers to take Sonic and the team on a voyage to the End of the World with her ships. She later joins the team and is present in the final story. Anne Bonny's weapons include pistols, daggers and bombs.

  • Unnamed Bird Wizard
A mysterious sorcerer that summons Sonic to his world in order to help him find the Fountain of Youth. In the game, he plays the same role as Shahra and Merlina in Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight respectively. Unlike his predecessors, however, his true
Birdman3
intentions are not revealed to Sonic directly, let alone his name. As such, Sonic refers to him arbitrarily as Raven, due to his bird-like appearance. He seems to accept this name. Throughout the game he acts as a guide to Sonic's quest. The most characteristic feature about his appearance is that he lacks both legs and instead walks on a giant stilt supported by two crutches. Nevertheless, he is shown to be able to fly and even fight. His strange appearance in conjunction with his elusive behaviour implies a mysterious secret about his plans and his past. He is killed by Dodelas in Atlacoyas whilst trying to protect Sonic's life in favour of his. He is unlocked as a playable character in multiplayer mode by completing Story Mode. He is voiced by Paul Dobson.
  • Prince Dodelas

Dodelas (pronounced with a stress on Do) serves as the primary antagonist of the game. He seeks for the Fountain of Youth for undisclosed reasons that come into conflict with the Bird Wizard's intentions. The two are shown to be sworn enemies and he refers to the Bird Wizard as "Stilts". Because of his anthropomorphic appearance, Dodelas is presumed to be a human or demi-god. He is tall and appears to be in his late 30s. He has long silver hair, wears a black crown and a black armour with a purple cape. His weapon of choice is a spear that can transform into a scythe. He rides a chariot pulled by dragons. Dodelas is also an unlockable character in multiplayer mode, unlocked by earning an S rank in all of Sonic's stages. He is voiced by Oliver Wyman.

An Italian explorer who searches endlessly for the Fountain of Youth. He has made extraordinary efforts in compiling as much knowledge as possible for the Fountain by studying meticulously the ancient maps and descriptions provided by the ancient writers, in spite of being scatter-brained. Sebastian Cabot fights using an umbrella with supernatural powers. He is portrayed by Big and is unlocked by finding Big in all of Sonic's stages. He does not appear in Story Mode.

A British outlaw who fights using a bow and arrow. He is portrayed by Jet and is unlocked by completing Story Mode. Like Sebastian Cabot, he does not appear in Story Mode.

A legendary machine-king of Europe; he is portrayed by Omega and fights using numerous firearms as well as swords. Like the two former characters, Prestor John does not appear in Story mode and is unlocked upon completing it. 

Stages

Main article: Sonic and the Fountain of Youth/ List of Stages

Stages are selected from the world map. There are no Adventure Fields. Sonic has different stages from those of the other playable characters. There are 8 Stages in total, inspired from either actual or legendary locations from folklore of various civilizations. Each Stage contains from 1 to 5 Acts and a Boss, which are different for Sonic and for the other playable characters for gameplay purposes. 

These are the worlds that make up the story of the Fountain of Youth:

(You may click on the images below for information regarding each stage.)

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Partholon Bozantis Farwan Shui Shijian
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Shintai Surae Wa'atu Atlacoyas End of the World

Symbolism in Sonic and the Fountain of Youth

Story

The world of the Fountain of Youth does not exist. It is an allegory of Sonic's soul. Sonic enters his soul through some sort of meditation and ventures into all of its compartments (worlds), searching to defeat the monsters of his soul, which represent the pathi (from Greek pathos=suffering) of the soul, in order to become virtuous and reach the true knowledge, which is represented allegorically by the Fountain of Youth, which, while it can be reached by anyone, only the one who has undergone a spiritual catharsis, as Sonic does in the game, will he be able to use it wisely and for the benefit of humanity and himself.

The Guardians of the Ancient World: the Pathi of the Soul

As mentioned above, the Guardians of the Ancient Worlds are an allegorical portrayal of the passions of the soul, the so-called "monsters" that dwell inside its depths. Each one represents a different pathos as described below.

Medusa

Medusa: Medusa is an ancient symbol. She represents vanity, egopathy and deceit. The snakes gorwing out of her head symbolize the deceitful and malicious thoughts. She may be beautiful in the face, but her atrocious hair and her monstrous body fool anyone who wishes to approach her. Those who stare at her eyes are transformed into stone, which represents the imobility - death of the soul.

13113807 1604237179867277 1430108618 n High Arcana Tarotrey: This bizarre creature believes that it is all-wise and all-powerful, being able to predict and fortell the future of men based on the tarot cards which it uses. In reality, however, it lives in a world fabricated by its own mind, outside of reality, where it thinks that it possesses the ultimate true knowledge, while in actuality, it is all in its imagination. It is the personification of conceit, imagination of one's self and docesisophy (from Greek δοκ-έω/ῶ believe + σοφία wisdom =  the belief of being wise). The taor cards are the mirror of the world, an illusion that shows the opposite of how the world is. 
MysticalKnightofJackal-TF04-JP-VG Anubis: Anubis fights inside a pitch-black chamber where only darkness exists. This symbolizes double ignorance; the ignorance of ignorance. Anubis believes that he can see in the darkness, while in reality he can only see shadows. He is unaware of his own ignorance, the fact that he does not know. He does not know that he does not know and is therefore bound in his darkness-filled chamber where he fights together with his statues, which he brings to life. Anubis cannot see when Sonic lights the torches and fills the chamber with light - knowledge. Anubis cannot handle the true knowledge because it blinds him.
Blue emperor seal The Blue Emperor: The Blue Emperor wishes to impose himself on others, defeat them and steal whatever they have for his own benefit. He is the personification of the cruel imposition or domination of the soul. It believes that it is the only one that matters and that it is superior to all the others. Strange as it may seem, The Blue Emperor, who is portrayed by Dr. Eggman, is the only one of the Guardians who acts as one of Sonic's companions - virtues simultaneously, in spite of being defeated by him. Still, he joins Sonic on his quest and is shown, in the end, to be also the personification of humilitas, indicating that he still has some good in him.
WCPS-EN602-ArmamentoftheLethalLords Tsukumogami: The Tsukumogamis are ghosts which in Japanese mythology represent duplicity, falsehood and hypocrisy. They hide inside innanimate objects and give them life, basically hiding themselves behind things that in reality do not exist. They cannot be damaged physically, except when they are operating inside objects. The fact that they are ghosts means that they are something that is not tangible; they are ideas.
Waatu Tangaroa: Tangaroa is the god of the seas according to Polynesian mythology. In the game, he is depicted as a mechanical, anthropomorphic giant made of black steel and obsidian. He fights in an ancient city partially submerged underwater. He is represented by the element of the water, which is the symbol of the emotions. The fact that he hides underwater whenever he sustains enough damage symbolizes that he hides behind his emotions. He is the allegorical portrayal of the emotional weakness; the soul which cannot control its emotions. The fact that he is made of steel symbolizes that he has not flexibility in his intellect; he is dogmatic, unable to abandon old ideas and accept new ones. He is the allegorical portrayal of the stagnated ideas, thoughts and belief systems, which remain in the soul like the stagnated water droplets.
DarklordTezcatlipoca-SPDS-JP-C Tezcatlipoca: He is the Aztec god of temptation, darkness, magic and war. He is the allegorical personification of lust. He is portrayed as a black bird-like demon with the head of a jaguar and large, smoke-emitting wings. This way, he can approach his victims from both land and sky and finish them off quickly while remaining unnoticed. He holds a mirror. 

When Sonic defeated one of the Guardians, a light was released from their body and absorbed by Sonic's soul. These lights were the opposite values of the pathi that each Guardian was.

Ate

Ate is the Greek goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin and folly, daughter of Eris, goddess of discord. She represents the soul's complete degeneration, being fused with all pathi of the soul: vanity, conceit, double ignorance, cruel domination, duplicity, emotional weakness and lust. This gives her all of the characteristics and powers of the 7 Guardians of the Ancient World. She is also the allegorical portrayal of the complete corruption of the soul that can only be defeated by its polar opposite: the most virtuous soul, which is Twilight Sonic. She is portrayed in the game as a shape-shifting female, human entity resembling a benevolent angel, with a long gown and ornaments, before undergoing her transformation.

Ate originally sought the Fountain of Youth so that she could remain young and immortal forever, ignoring the fact that she is not eligible to drink the holy waters of the Fountain. The fact that Ate transforms into a monster when she drinks the water of the Fountain of Youth symbolically means that the ultimate true knowledge cannot be handled by those who are not spiritually ready, who have not undergone a spiritual catharsis, who are not virtuous, because otherwise, they will be blinded by its power and they will use it for the evil of mankind. Ate cannot assimilate this knowledge for being the most degenerative and corrupt soul.

Sonic's companions

Sonic's companions are the allegorical personifications of the virtues, the opposite forces of the pathi of the soul. It should be recalled that each of Sonic's companions, including the Blue Emperor, set off on the journey for different intentions: Alexander for glory, Flamel for science, Juan Ponce de Leon for loyalty, Khidr for compassion, The Blue Emperor for money, Anne Bonny for fame, Moonshadow for dignity and Dodelas for love. Each companion represents the following virtue: Alexander the Great is Fortitudo (Valor), Juan Ponce de Leon is Caritas (Charity), Khidr is Prudentia (prudence), Nicolas Flamel is Sapientia (Wisdom), Anne Bonny is Temperantia (Temperance), Moonshadow is Iustitia (Justice) and the Blue Emperor is Humilitas (Humility). Dodelas is Love but since love is not a virtue, he is not accounted. When Sonic finally confronts Ate, he receives the blessings of his companions, which, together with the 7 Lights of the Ancient Worlds, transform him into Twilight Sonic, the reborn pure soul.

The Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth did not exist. It is an allegorical portrayal of the true knowledge. It symbolizes the ultimate knowledge one acquires during a meditative state, knowledge that can only be acquired slowly and with a lot of labour, as Sonic does in the game. Otherwise, the
Jheronimus Bosch 023

The Fountain of Youth

ultimate knowledge will burn the seeker's eyes and kill him. It is not accessible to everyone; instead, only those who have undergone a spiritual cleansing, killing all of the monsters (pathi) of their soul are able to grasp this knowledge and use it for the betterment of mankind.

The water of the Fountain of Youth makes the person young for ever. This has the dual meaning that true knowledge had beneficial effects on one's health and second that the soul becomes immortal and is freed from the mortal shackles of the materialistic world. In the end, the Fountain of Youth is destroyed during the battle between Twilight Sonic and Ate. The water is drunk by Earth, who is reborn and becomes fertile once more.

In the game, the Fountain of Youth is depicted as a massive, 15-meter tall living fountain that resembles a tower, sprouting water from the top, in the middle of a lake, which is accessible through a series of bridges. It is placed in a beautiful garden, possibly alluding to the Garden of Eden. The Fountain seems to be alive, has a heart in the bottom, which is not seen, but heard instead, and seems to change colour from marble-pink to dark green whenever it is approached by a corrupt soul. It is decorated with a series of statues that show man's progression from old age to youth. It is guarded by a dragon who lives inside an over-sized cornucopia.

Development

The game was announced on May 19th, 2016 when the game's logo was posted on Sonic Fanon Wiki. It serves as the sequel to Sonic and the Black Knight and the last instalment of the storybook trilogy. Initially, the game would involve Sonic travelling in the mythical world of Ancient Greece. However, this was changed to Sonic embarking on a journey to a world with many different mythological worlds from different eras and different folklores so that to provide the creative team with more imaginary freedom and more variety to the players. Hence, Ancient Greece was made into the first world Sonic visits and it is the largest one.

The game incorporates several elements from medieval literature, for example the fact that the world is flat, Wa'atu being based on Atlantis, Atlacoyas being based on El Dorado and most notably the Fountain of Youth, a major mythological element during the Spanish Golden Age. The game's artwork style was inspired from paintings of the Renaissance. Characters were created based on historical or fictional figures related on the search of the Fountain of Youth. The Fountain of Youth was chosen as the main element of the game because it represented the ultimate knowledge one can acquire, but needs to be virtous in order to use it for his and for humanity's benefit.

Development took approximately 8 months. It was relatively straightforward with no obstacles or drastic changes. Main emphasis was given to two things: the graphics of the game during cutscenes and gameplay and the game's symbolism. It was decides from the start that the game's theme would be the catharsis and lytrosis of the soul, the spiritual struggles needed to become virtuous and acquire the ultimate, true knowledge, which would then be used wisely. Crush 40 was hired to compose the game's main theme while Dragonforce composed the song for the Final Boss battle. The game was scheduled for release in Christmas 2016 but was delayed to January 6, 2017, almost 6 years after the release of Juely's first game.

On January 15, 2017, it was announced that the game would be re-released to the Nintendo Switch in March 3, 2017 worldwide, with enhanced graphics, gameplay and patches.

Reception

Sonic and the Fountain of Youth

Aggregate Scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 59/100
Gamerankings 65.97%
Review Scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 7/10
Famitsu 31/40
GamesRadar 5/10
Game Trailers 6.9/10
Gamespot 4.5/10
IGN 6.6/10
Nintendo Power 8.5/10
X-Visual 7/10
Destructoid 5/10
1Up.com B+

Sonic and the Fountain of Youth received mixed to average reviews. Critics praised the game's narrative and intriguing storyline, which had a different taste than most contemporary Sonic games. The game's graphics and visual artwork were very well received, as was the speed in Sonic's stages. Furthermore, critics praised the game's creativeness, colourful environments and the addition of numerous playable characters in multiplayer mode. Replay availability was also very well received, with some critics stating that "While the game takes quite longer than any other recent Sonic game to beat, missions, multiplayer and the dazzling, awe-inspiring speed environments will surely keep you thrilled and craving for more hours of gameplay". Crush 40's music was very well received. The game appeared on the 28th position of the Japanese sales chart and 35th on the American sales chart, performing noticably better than the previous Sonic games of recent years.

Nevertheless, the game suffered from poor reviews from several critics, most notably Gamespot, who awarded the game with 4.5/10, emphasizing the poor camera control, unresponsive controls, repetitive gameplay and lackluster combat system. Destructoid and GamesRadar were equally critical, both giving a 5/10, citing the game's sluggish camera, easy stages and Boss fights, insignificant mini-games and the fact that the Fountain Heroes did not add much content to the game. Online was also a target of much criticism both from critics and fans alike, as it had the tendency to glitch during gameplay. Big the Cat's inclusion was not very well received by the public, who complained about him being in the game, describing him as "stupid and obese", citing the games where he appeared as having bad reviews because of him. The developers, however, defended their decision in including Big in the game as an easter-egg character, especially Juely, who considers him as one of his favourite characters.

Overall, the game was noticably better than its predecessor Sonic and the Black Knight, sparking some major improvements, but multiple drawbacks placed it on the same level as Sonic and the Secret Rings.

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