Sonic the Hedgehog, SEGA’s blue hedgehog mascot, is one of the biggest gaming franchise hits in the world.
During the last meeting with investors, the company revealed that in 30 years, 1.14 billion copies of blue hedgehog games have already been sold worldwide.
In 2020 alone, 200 million copies of hedgehog games reached the consumer.
SEGA and Nintendo
Sega decided they needed to create a mascot that would become as famous as Mario. For this task was created the Sonic Team, formed by character designer Naoto Ohshima, programmer Yuji Naka and game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara.
The Team Sonic trio knew that to achieve this success, the game needed to be different from Mario’s and provide a new experience.
Sonic the Hedgehog is born
Programmer Yuji Naka had the idea to get the characters moving very fast, speed would be the focus of the story.
Yuki self-programmed a new method of scrolling the bottom of the screen to give the game greater speed. Creating a game using this technology would be a challenge.
The character needed to attack his enemies, roll like a ball, without having to stop running. Designer Ohshima drew several characters, but the hedgehog ended up falling in common with everyone at Sega.
The hedgehog has a body covered with thorns, and this brings a more aggressive air to the character. The color would be blue, in the same shade as the Sega logo. Your personality should be strong and striking. In the early 90s, there was a strong appeal to preserve the environment and the story and its characters would be friends of nature and fight against development and machines, personified by the evil Doctor Eggman, a mad scientist.
Lastly, he needed a name. But that was the easy part, with the character’s supersonic speed, the name “Sonic” fit perfectly. Sega would release on June 23, 1991, the hugely successful Sonic for its 16-bit console, the Sega Genesis.
Characters – Sonic turns 30, see all characters created by SEGA
The first game featured Sonic, the blue hedgehog who can run at incredible speeds. Too introduced the Doctor Eggman (or Doctor Ivo Robotnik), a mad scientist.
Sonic 2 released Sonic’s companion Miles “Tails” Prower, a fox that can fly using its two tails. Amy Rose appeared on the “Sonic CD”, a pink hedgehog and Sonic’s self-proclaimed girlfriend.
In Metal Sonic appeared, a robotic copy of Sonic was created by Eggman. Sonic 3 introduced Knuckles, Sonic’s rival, a red echidna and guardian of Master Emerald. Master Emerald was featured on Sonic & Knuckles. Knuckles Chaotix introduced Chaotix, a group consisting of Espio (Chameleon), Vector (Crocodile), and Charmy Bee.
Sonic changes the look
Sega decided to change the look of Sonic and his friends in 2014. The change did not please all fans. Some liked Sonic with a more modern look. Others hated seeing Knuckles in a beefier version, Sonic with long legs and Tails full of gadgets.
Sonic the Hedgehog premiered on the Paramount Pictures studio lot on January 25, 2020, and was theatrically released in the United States on February 14, 2020. The film set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game film in the United States and Canada.
It grossed $319.7 million worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2020. It is the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America.
The sequel, titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is scheduled for release on April 8, 2022.
On April 11, 1993, Sonic stood alongside sports legend Ayrton Senna at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. Sonic was in a trophy the driver raised by beating rival Alain Prost in a rainy race.
SEGA sponsored the race that year. The winner of the race should lift this fake trophy before being awarded the true race champion trophy.
Sonic is not the best swimmer in the world. It struggles to move correctly in aquatic environments. But Sonic is only a bad swimmer thanks to a mistake by SEGA, hedgehogs are great swimmers in the real world.
SEGA itself admitted its lack of knowledge about the aquatic capabilities of animals.
Sonic and Mario are together in the game “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”.
In this new sports game, the two most famous characters in the gaming world face Robotnik (or Doctor Eggman) and another villain, Browser. They create a kind of time machine to transport the characters to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Our heroes will have to compete and win several competitions.
Two cartoons were released on ABC: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993) and Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1994), both produced by DIC Entertainment. DIC also produced a Sonic Christmas special in 1996, and Sonic Underground in 1999, to promote Sonic Adventure.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog comprises 65 episodes and Sonic the Hedgehog comprises 26 episodes. The series was canceled after two seasons.
Sonic Underground (1999) was planned to run for 65 episodes, but only 40 were produced. In all three DiC series, Sonic is voiced by Family Matters star Jaleel White.
Before the blue hedgehog was SEGA’s mascot, the company tried to get other characters: Prof. Asobin (1983), Dr. Games (1984), Opa Opa (1986), and Alex Kidd (1986).
But only Sonic was carefully planned to face off against rival Nintendo’s mascot Mario.
Programmer Yuji Naka and designer Naoto Ohshima, Sonic creators.