Find out some fun facts and check out answers to frequently asked questions about Sega’s famous blue hedgehog mascot
What kind of animal is Sonic? The humble hedgehog is Sonic’s muse, and we know that Sonic’s friends were also inspired by animals called Knuckles and Tails:
Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s classic mascot, has been on the rise lately with the theatrical release of Sonic: The Movie, which has already grossed over $210 million. The character, created in 1991 to display the qualities of the Mega Drive and compete with Mario, has a trajectory full of curiosities. Check out some questions and answers about Sonic, from his most recent games like Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces to more classic ones like Sonic 2, as well as animated adaptations and fan creations like Sonic.exe. The list includes curious questions, such as “what animal is Sonic?”, “How was Sonic created?”, “What does Sonic mean?”, “How did Sonic meet tails?” It is “
1. How was Sonic created?
The character emerged in an internal competition between Sega employees to find a new mascot for the Mega Drive capable of going head-to-head with Nintendo’s Mario mascot. Sega’s previous mascot, Alex Kidd, didn’t seem to be a good fit for the system, and its first game, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, didn’t quite pan out. Artist Naoto Ohshima was the winner when he created a strange mixture of Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse, a blue hedgehog he called Mr. Needlemouse and would later become Sonic.
Another Sonic co-creator was programmer Yuji Naka from Sega, who was in charge of programming the character’s gameplay and was also aided by designer Hirokazu Yasuhara. In an interview for Nintendo Power 260 magazine in November 2010, Naka commented that the inspiration for gameplay full of speed came from playing levels 1–1 of Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo 8-Bit several times. Because it was a level that the player always needed to pass, even if he intended to skip levels with the Warp Zones, Naka tried to play it faster each time.
2. What animal is Sonic?
Most gamers are used to hearing that Sonic is a hedgehog. However, he is a hedgehog – “hedgehog” in English. The two animal families are similar in their form of protection, in which their bodies are covered in spines to defend against predators. Despite this, both families are completely separate and unrelated.
3. What does Sonic mean?
Sonic is a property relating to sound waves or the speed of sound. Initially, Yuji Naka’s idea was that the character’s name made reference to the speed of light, such as “LS” (Light Speed in English) and “Raisupi” (Raito Supiido in Japanese), but the nicknames did not work out very well. That’s when someone on the team suggested the reference to the speed of sound in Sonic.
4. How did Sonic meet tails?
For the second game, Sonic Team decided to hold another contest to come up with a new character. The winner this time was the artist Yasushi Yamaguchi with the cute two-tailed fox “Tails.” However, while Sega’s Japanese team was happy with the name, the US team wanted to call it “Miles Prower”, a name that sounds like the measure of speed “miles per hour” (Miles per hour in English). The name Miles Prower was accepted, and “Tails” ended up being the nickname by which the character is best known.
Officially, Tails was living on West Side Island, the island on which Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes place when Sonic arrived there and they met for the first time. Tails was used to animals making fun of their tails, and, upon meeting Sonic, he starts to admire his attitude and wants to be like him. The characters know each other a little before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Mega Drive, when Sonic rescues Tails in Sonic 2 on the Master System and Game Gear.
5. What was the first appearance?
Whenever gamers think of the first time Sonic was featured in a video game, they think of his first Mega Drive title: Sonic the Hedgehog. What not everyone knows is that Sonic appeared three months before his own game in a Sega racing game called “Rad Mobile.” In the game, Sonic is an air freshener that hangs from the player’s car’s rearview mirror and swings according to the movement of the races.
6. How was the switch to 3D?
The first attempts to bring Sonic into the 3D world didn’t work out very well for Sega. The company attempted to create several 3D versions of its mascot on its Sega Saturn console, but none came to fruition. The canceled projects became the racing game Sonic R, the open-world collection Sonic Jam, and the never-released Sonic X-treme, which made the character run on planetoids. The first time Sonic got a 3D game was on the Dreamcast with Sonic Adventure.
The character underwent several changes in 3D. Sonic got taller, with longer legs, his eyes changed color and he started talking a lot in scenes. Most fans agree that there are things that worked in 3D and others that didn’t. Sonic Adventure 2 also introduced a new character to antagonize Sonic: Shadow the Hedgehog, almost a clone of the character. Initially, Shadow would only appear in this game, but its popularity guaranteed space in future games.
7. Anniversary with Sonic Generations?
In 2011, Sega’s hedgehog celebrated 20 years since the launch of his first game, and to celebrate, the company created Sonic Generations. The game brought together several stages of different moments in the character’s career, from the Mega Drive to Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Unleashed. Perhaps most importantly, the game brought back Classic Sonic as an extra character. This classic version of Sonic was potbellied and didn’t speak, in contrast to modern Sonic. Classic Sonic also appeared in Sonic Forces as an aid in the fight against Eggman.
8. Sonic: cartoon?
Sonic had several adaptations for animation, and one of the best-known was “Sonic the Hedgehog and the Freedom Fighters”. This animation featured Sonic and Tails alongside characters that did not appear in the games, such as Princess Sally, Sonia, Manic, and Bunnie Rabbot, among others. Later, the character won an anime version called Sonic X, in which Sonic and his friends end up on Earth, a little closer to the idea of the recent film.
Other animated versions of the character include Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, an original 3D version called Sonic Boom, and the more recent Sonic Mania shorts called Sonic Mania Adventures. Check out a trailer with all the Sonic Mania shorts in a single video.
9. Sonic vs Mario?
Although Sonic and Mario were born in a state of rivalry in the 90s, the two mascots understood each other after Sega stopped producing hardware and started publishing their games on Nintendo platforms as well. In 2007, however, there was one of the biggest milestones in the gaming world when the characters teamed up in “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games” for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, based on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
The idea of bringing the characters to a neutral dispute like the Olympics suited the series, which gained more and more chapters in London 2012, Rio 2016, and now Tokyo 2020, not counting the Winter Olympics games. With each new game, the franchise evolved more with its campaigns, including one with retro visuals in the most recent Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
10. What is Sonic.exe?
Like every popular game, Sonic won a “Creepypasta,” a horror story aimed at dissemination on the internet. The original story was created in 2011 by a user nicknamed “JC-the-Hyena” and was about an “evil Sonic” who kills all the characters in his games. Later, another user nicknamed “MY5TCrimson” turned the tale into a free playable game for PCs.