He’s been around for over 25 years, but did you know this about Sonic the Hedgehog?
It’s hard to believe Sonic the Hedgehog is 27 years old, but time doesn’t lie, and as incredible as it might seem, Sega first released the platform video game for the Genesis (Megadrive) console back in 1991. A runaway success, Sonic quickly became a popular character, and over the years there have been many different versions of the games released, including Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces for the PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC back in the summer of 2017.
It would seem there’s no stopping the popularity of Sonic and his pals Amy, Tails and Knuckles, and from the initial launch of the early side-scrolling platform game, the series has gone from strength to strength.
We’re massive fans of Sonic here at Pop Up Arcade, and just for fun, we thought we’d list some interesting facts about our favourite hedgehog you might now know.
Sonic might have been called Mr Needlemouse
In the early stages of development, our cheeky little friend was referred to as Mr Needlemouse – which is the literal translation for hedgehog in Japanese. Mr Needlemouse the Hedgehog doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, and due to our plucky little hero running at supersonic speeds, he adopted his new name.
Sonic is blue for a reason
Hedgehogs come in many different colours and depending on the exact species they can vary from browns to greys, champagnes, and even apricot hues. So why did the makers of Sonic decide to turn him blue? There’s a very simple explanation to this, and it’s due to the Sega Logo, which just happens to be the exact same colour of blue. Yep, it’s a marketing thing. Sonic is corporate Sega blue, apart from his red and white trainers of course, which were modelled on boots worn by Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson has other Sonic influences
As well as lending his fashion style to Sonic, Jacko also had an influence on some of the music compositions for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. His songwriting team were actively involved in the project, and if you listen to some of the music on the different zone levels, and compare them to tracks from albums such as Dangerous and HIStory, you’ll notice striking resemblances.
Dr Robotnik was based on Mario
Back in the day, Nintendo had their very own winning mascot named Mario (heard of him?) and Sega wanted to emulate this success by creating their very own mascot, which as we now know, was called Sonic. However, one earlier design idea from Sega was for another character loosely based on a Mario-type character, with a large stomach and a huge moustache. Whilst this idea for the main mascot was dropped, Sega liked the idea of the moustached character and he later became Dr Ivo Robotnik (Dr Eggman in Japan) who as we know, is Sonic’s number one nemesis.
Sonic is a poor swimmer for a reason
One of the most challenging levels of the original game was the water zones, in particular, the Labyrinth Zone due to Sonic’s inability to hold his breath for long. He was also a painfully slow swimmer, and many gamers came unstuck due to a combination of these two design inputs. Rather weirdly, this was due to an oversight by the early designers of the game who mistakenly thought that hedgehogs couldn’t swim. In actual fact, hedgehogs are good swimmers, but they can drown due to sheer exhaustion if they are unable to extract themselves from the water. This is probably where the misunderstanding stemmed from.
Sonic had an earlier cameo role in another game
Although Sonic the Hedgehog was destined for great things, he actually made a cameo appearance in another Sega game, before his own title was released. If you ever get the chance to play an early version of the Rad Mobile video game, you will notice a Sonic the Hedgehog air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror in the car. The designers at Sega had already established Sonic as their mascot internally, so decided to market the little fella in their new racing game. What a great idea!
You’ve heard his skidding noise before
One of the things you can’t fail to notice when you control Sonic is the unique skidding noise he makes. Bring Sonic skidding to a stop, and he sounds like a car screeching to a halt. This is no coincidence. The exact same sound effect was used in an earlier 3D driving Sega arcade game, the very popular Out Run, which featured a Red Ferrari Testarossa soft-top, and was first introduced to arcades back in 1986.
As fans of Sonic, we love to hear fun facts about this popular character here at Pop Up Arcade, and we also have the latest versions of games and gaming equipment to make any party memorable.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can make your day memorable, and call us on 0800 321 3941 or get in touch with us online.