Went after Sonic Forces for this one. It gets (rightfully) made fun on the show for those opening scenes. I actually bought the game just to see how bad it actually was. Spoiler alert: it’s even worse. Even past the wacky resistance themes and Sonic getting tortured; the thing that stuck out most to me was the incredibly dark theater of Tails coping with Sonic’s “death.” Which was, well, written and portrayed about as well you’d think it would. It’s an odd heavily implied throwaway line by Knuckles that fades into a 16 second clip of Tails; but it’s been talked about extensively.
Anyway, I wrote a poem reflecting on that scene. Hid the whole thing in spoiler tags and putting up a content warning because I get pretty big into addiction talk and discuss alcohol/drugs. Be good y’all.
Marinating Over Sobriety Rituals While Playing Sonic Forces
The Catholic in me wants a fully stocked bar
five feet and ten inches from my bed—
to have a body between us, that was exactly
mine. Stepping over the corpse each night;
admiring an orchestra of bottles until one
requests a dance and I’ll accept; secure
it’s waist with my arms; twirl my fingers
around the neck. When asked to spend
the night, I’ll refuse. But I can leave
a goodnight kiss because we have never
been in love. What has loved me cannot
dance, but lifts altars of old credit cards
and broken glass. My hands are empty
in prayer, for each pore opens too easily
back into tunnels of wounds flowing
upstream until the reservoir is filled.
Then the battery dies. Synapses leak
into my lungs; meeting a sea of sleepless
nosebleeds to make an ocean. I baptize
all my possible outcomes with a name;
I’ve seen a person for every path.
I know which one ends with a body.
This recovery cannot have artifacts;
just a chip I place over my forehead
every morning like a disc. I choreograph
the cutscene in my head: a fox tinkering
with a dead machine; a shell of many friends
and a conduit of deaths. He counts the items
in his toolbox like a mass eulogy; a prayer
for the week’s departed. He wishes his
beloved back and accepts the memory
as a substitute.