25 Things You May Not Know About Sonic the Hedgehog
Since we already did a 25 Facts You Didn't Know About Mario list, we figured it was only right to do a Top 25 Things You May Not Know About Sonic the Hedgehog list as well. After all, they are the oldest video game rivals in the history of our medium. While Sonic may not be as big of a star as Mario he certainly competes with him when it comes to odd trivia. Check out these 25 Things You May Not Know About Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic has a few distinct continuities. The Archie Comics/Saturday Morning continuity is widely considered to be the better Sonic canon, yet rarely shows up in games. In fact, the only game to show off characters like Sally and Bunnie was Sonic Spinball, a spin-off (get it!) game made early in Sonic’s lifetime. Even then, they only showed up in bonus stages.
According to the Sonic Comic series, Sonic had a weird lab accident involving a hamster wheel and some sneakers and this managed to give him blue fur and super speed. No, really! Sonic was supposedly a normal brown hedgehog until this accident took place.
When Sega first made Sonic, they were under the impression that hedgehogs couldn’t swim so they made Sonic drown if he stayed under water for too long. This, unfortunately, is not true and if Sonic’s creators simply double checked their facts, we wouldn’t have had to put up with all of those frustrating drowning deaths.
Canonically, Sonic can run faster than light (light speed dash and all that). However, no game with a speed meter has ever clocked him as running at that speed. Heck, most games have him struggling to break the sound barrier. It’s all well and good though. If Sonic actually could approach the speed of light, his surroundings would begin to distort and chromatically shift in weird ways making the game almost unplayable. Also, it wouldn’t be that hard to get to the end of a stage at the speed of light, as Sonic would essentially be massless.
Well, not in all games, but if you wait around long enough in Sonic CD, Sonic jumps off the ledge and kills himself. That’s dark, SEGA. That’s dark.
Speaking of Dark, Sonic CD’s original piracy check would bring unwitting pirates to a strange screen if it failed. The screen had some weirdly distorted images of Sonic with what appears to be an old man face along with the message “Fun if infinite with Sega Enterprises” signed by Majin. Majin can be translated as “devil” in English, and the screen had some pretty creepy music playing in the background along with an ominous laugh. Perhaps this was SEGA’s way of scaring pirates out of their pirating ways. You can still access the screen on a legit copy by entering specific sound test codes.
Sonic the Hedgehog 1 was supposed to have a Sound Test, much like other games in the Sonic series. Unfortunately, it was cut for time. This lead to a large blank space on the cartridge which was then used to put in the iconic SEGA splash screen chant. That one chant took up one eighth of the available space on the cartridge and was bigger than some whole levels!
Not all of Sonic’s sound-effects are his own. His iconic skidding noise was actually first used in Outrun. However, it has since become far more associated with the Sonic franchise, so the question of who owns the noise is debatable.
Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles combine to create Sonic 3 & Knuckles when you insert one game into the other. This was all thanks to SEGA’s lock-on technology, except that technology was actually kind of a sham. You see, Sonic 3 & Knuckles was originally one game but was too big to fit on one cartridge. So SEGA split the game up into two parts, with the data for Sonic and Tails along with the first half of the game on one cartridge and the data for Knuckles along with the second half of the game on the other. Connecting the two would just give you access to the full original game. Connecting the game to Sonic 2 would simply cause Sonic & Knuckles to load Sonic 2’s stage data along with the Knuckles character data. This is why Eggman wouldn’t be wearing his robot mask in the Knuckles version of Sonic 2. This is also why no other game worked with Sega’s supposed lock-on technology.
Many people say that Sonic 3’s music sounds a lot like Michael Jackson’s music. This is because SEGA actually did ask the king of pop to record some tracks for the game, according to Jackson’s composer and musical director Brad Buxer, Supposedly, Michael Jackson was not credited in the final version because he was not happy with the sound that came out of the console. SEGA has not yet confirmed this fact, but several sources have supported these claims, and it’s hard to deny the similarities to Jackson’s music in the game’s soundtrack.
Why is Sonic blue? (Well, other than his hamster wheel sneaker accident of course.) The answer is simple: Blue is the color of the SEGA logo and SEGA wanted their mascot to be the same color. In addition, Blue apparently stands for peace and SEGA wanted Sonic’s color to reflect his good-guy with a bad-attitude nature.
The canceled sound test from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 was going to have Sonic breakdancing to a band as the music played. One of the members of this band was Vector the Crocodile who would later show up in Knuckles Chaotix, Sonic Heroes, and other Sonic games as a full-fledged character.
Sonic likes to breakdance in more places than just a canceled sound test. Breakdancing has been described as one of Sonic’s favorite past-times in many documents, mostly in the Sonic comics. However, Sonic has shown his love for breakdancing in games as well. In Super Smash Bros Brawl, one of his taunts is a breakdance. Several 3D Sonic games show Sonic breakdancing on level clear screens as well. Finally, in Sonic Battle, Sonic’s entire fighting style was based on breakdancing. Breakdancing is easily as canonical as his love for chilli dogs.
Sonic’s canonical birthday in video game land is June 23rd. This date is the same day that Sonic the Hedgehog was released back in 1991. However some comics have also pegged his birthday as Christmas or Boxing Day. Sonic had a birthday party in Sonic Generations but it wasn't clear what date it was being held on. Perhaps we will never know his true date of birth.
Yeah, we all saw that scene from Sonic Adventure where Sonic started calling Dr. Robotnik “Eggman” to make fun of him. But this is just an example of Sega ret-conning. Robotnik’s name was Eggman in the Japanese version of the game, all the way back to Sonic 1.
Sonic was originally going to be trying to save his girlfriend from Dr. Eggman instead of little forest critters. Named Madonna, she was a blonde girl in a red dress that could have competed with Jessica Rabbit for best animated turn-on. Fortunately, SEGA thought that this wasn’t appropriate for younger gamers and ditched the Madonna idea all together. Unfortunately, SEGA returned to this idea in Sonic the Hedgehog 360… and we all know how that turned out.
Sonic’s canonical age is 15. Even in Sonic Generations, were Sonic had a birthday in the game, Sonic is still 15. That means he went back in time to when he was 15 from when he was 15… weird. It also means that Sonic’s game series is canonically older than he is. If you want to make this even stranger, Sonic Jam and the original Sonic comic peg Sonic as 16 years old… which means Sonic has aged… backwards? Then again, his original incarnation listed him as 15 as well so, does he age in a sine curve? Either way, his games are older than he is.
Sonic’s Archie Comics line is still running to this day! That makes the comic line 20 years old, one of the longest running comic lines period and the longest running comic line based on a video game.
Sonic was the first video game character to have a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, back in 1993. Unfortunately, he was also the first video game character to have a balloon pop in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sonic had a second version of his balloon introduced in 2011.
Much like Mario originally showed up in Donkey Kong before he had his own game series, Sonic first showed up in Rad Mobile before he made his title debut in 1991. He was a tiny air freshener that hung from the rearview mirror. It’s a tough job, but it’s a living.
Much like Mario’s original name was Jumpman, Sonic’s original name was Mr. Needlemouse. He also lent his name to the original Sonic project tile, Project Needlemouse. The title Project Needlemouse was once again used as the project title for Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
There is an unused voice file in Sonic Adventure 2 which has Omochao saying that Dr. Eggman’s moustache is fake. It’s possible that this was removed from the final version of the game because SEGA did not want to make this particularly odd fact canon.
Knack the Weasel, the gun wielding character from Sonic: Triple Trouble, was originally called Fang the Sniper, and instead of a pop-gun, the character was to wield a silver magnum. SEGA deemed this too serious for younger audiences and changed his weapon in all versions along with his name in the American version. Later, certain promotional materials would display Nack’s name as, “Nack the Weasel a.k.a. Fang the Sniper” another piece of skillful SEGA retconning. This would allow SEGA to refer to him as Fang in American games from that point on. Unfortunately, Fang hasn’t had a Sonic game appearance since Sonic the Fighters and may never have another one again.
Before Sonic became the hero he is today, Sega tried out several different mascot designs. One was an old man with an orange brown moustache wearing pajamas, a sort of competing rival to Mario and his moustache. When Sonic was eventually chosen, SEGA didn’t want to lose the old man design. Instead, he was redesigned to look more like an antagonist and introduced into the games as Eggman. Since the original Eggman design was meant to compete with Mario, it can almost be said that Sonic has been battling a Mario analog all these years. Just another part of Sonic and SEGA’s edgy attitude.
As we said before, SEGA went through many different mascot ideas before they landed on Sonic the Hedgehog. One of these ideas was the truly awfully named Feel the Rabbit. Feel would pick things up with his ears and then attack them with his body or throw them. This design would later become the blueprint for another SEGA game, Ristar. The idea of a rabbit that used her ears for special abilities would later be revisited in the equally awfully named Cream the Rabbit, who used her ears to fly.