Sonny is a flash RPG, mostly tactical fighting with level-up abilities. It’s a pretty nice piece of work, in that the design is smooth and there’s some nice voice acting and it starts out with a narrative hook in which it’s not clear that the protagonist knows who/what he is, though the player does.
The game totally irked me, though, because about 1/3 of the way through the putative plot, the gameplay stops pursuing it. There stop being narrative interludes. The rest of the play is hack-and-slash stuff with no framing. There isn’t really an explanation for why this happens.
From looking at the comments on Krinlabs’ forums, it looks as though the designers just ran out of time writing the original, and intend maybe to come back and address some of the loose ends in Sonny 2. But grr. I feel as though the first game cheated me of what it promised — and didn’t even offer a good explanation about why the story cuts off where it does — so why should I trust that Sonny 2 will make up for these sins?
Instead, I made up an interpretation of the game which makes it make sense on its own. I find it aesthetically pleasing. It’s not the canonical reading, and I’m sure Sonny 2 will blow my interpretation out of the water. But if you’re interested, spoilers after the tag.
The game begins with Sonny waking up as a zombie on the White November. Unlike other zombies, though, he can still speak and think like a human. It appears that this might be the result of some government science experiment gone wrong. (Always a favorite explanation, I find.) Blind Louis, the character who finds Sonny and might know something about his background, does not survive, but he leaves Sonny with a tape which “will help you”.
Later, Sonny gets into more fights with government forces, and winds up with a sidekick, who turns out also to be a zombie. (It seems at the outset that he might still be human, but in fact, no. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that both Sonny and the sidekick are covered with concealing armor that makes it unclear how undead they are.)
At one critical point, Sonny and his sidekick fight alongside the human “Paladin” (a souped-up soldier) against the “Baron”, the chief zombie. But when that battle ends, the sidekick turns on the Paladin, offering Sonny the explanation that it’s us or them: the humans can’t accept our zombie shapes, so we have every reason to protect ourselves, etc.
The story peters out after that big battle. Sonny has a tape which he can’t listen to, which is supposed to contain more of the background for his mysterious plight. Blind Louis is gone. Sonny has a companion of uncertain moral compass (and has gone along with him in killing the Paladin, because he didn’t have much choice).
The zombie heroes also, at this stage, made several comments that their minds are going, that they feel confused.
There’s a bunch of gameplay after that, but it’s all about training and powering up and fighting a bunch of boss characters. The story portion is over.
So far, those are the facts. I think the official reading is supposed to be that the mental confusion was a result of attacks from Devourers, a particular kind of enemy.
I find it more interesting if we imagine that the mental degeneration is something else, more permanent. Sonny and his side-kick may have started out as unusually aware zombies, but — either through natural causes or as a result of their decision to fight and kill humans — they’re losing what makes them human-like themselves. The fact that the story stops midway isn’t a mistake or the result of poor planning; it’s intentional. The story stops because here, at that point, Sonny has sufficiently degenerated that he is no longer interested in working out how he got to be this way. He spends the rest of the game mindlessly fighting because that is all he is now good for.
Pretty sure that’s not what Krinlabs intended, though. Oh well.