Sonic the Hedgehog (character)

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Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog character
Sonic modern and classic designs.png
Modern and Classic Sonic designs as they appear in Sonic Generations
First appearance Rad Mobile (1991)
Created by Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima, Hirokazu Yasuhara
Designed byNaoto Ohshima (1991–1997)
Yuji Uekawa (1998–present)
Voiced by

Sonic the Hedgehog is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series released by Sega, as well as numerous spin-off comics, animations, and other media.

Protagonist the main character of a creative work

A protagonist is a main character of a story.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i> Video game series

Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise owned by Sega, centering on a series of high-speed platform games. Sonic, the protagonist, is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog with supersonic speed. Typically, Sonic must stop antagonist Doctor Eggman's plans for world domination, often helped by his friends, such as Tails, Amy, and Knuckles.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Contents

Sonic is a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog who can run at supersonic speeds and curl into a ball, primarily to attack enemies. In most games, Sonic must race through levels, collecting power-up rings and avoiding obstacles and enemies.

Anthropomorphism Attribution of human form given from other characteristics to anything other than a human being

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

Hedgehog subfamily of small spiny mammals

A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae. There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera found through parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction. There are no hedgehogs native to Australia and no living species native to the Americas.

In video games, a power-up is an object that adds temporarily benefits or extra abilities to the player character as a game mechanic. This is in contrast to an item, which may or may not have a permanent benefit that can be used at any time chosen by the player. Although often collected directly through touch, power-ups can sometimes only be gained by collecting several related items, such as the floating letters of the word 'EXTEND' in Bubble Bobble. Well known examples of power-ups that have entered popular culture include the power pellets from Pac-Man and the Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros., which ranked first in UGO Networks' Top 11 Video Game Powerups.

While many individuals at Sega had a hand in Sonic's creation, programmer Yuji Naka and artist Naoto Ohshima are generally credited with his creation. [5] The original Sonic the Hedgehog was released to provide Sega with a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario in June 1991. [6] [7] Sonic was redesigned by Yuji Uekawa for Sonic Adventure (1998), with a more mature look designed to appeal to older players.

Yuji Naka Japanese video game designer and programmer

Yuji Naka is a Japanese video game programmer, designer, and producer best known as the former head of Sonic Team, where he was the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series of games on the Sega Genesis. In 2006, he founded Prope, an independent game company. In January 2018, he joined Square Enix.

Naoto Ohshima Japanese video game artist

Naoto Ohshima is a Japanese artist and video game designer best known for designing the Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman characters from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Although Yuji Naka created the original tech demo around which Sonic's gameplay was based, the character in his prototype was a ball that lacked any specific features. Sonic Team considered numerous potential animal mascots before deciding on Ohshima's design, with an armadillo or hedgehog being the top choices because their spikes worked well with the concept of rolling into enemies.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog</i> (1991 video game)

Sonic the Hedgehog, also referred to as Sonic 1, is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis console. It was released in North America in June 1991, and in PAL regions and Japan the following month. The game features an anthropomorphic hedgehog named Sonic in a quest to defeat Doctor Robotnik, a scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen the powerful Chaos Emeralds. The gameplay involves collecting rings as a form of health and a simple control scheme, with jumping and attacking controlled by a single button.

Sonic has become one of the world's best-known video game characters and a gaming icon. His series had sold more than 80 million copies by the early 2010s. [8] In 2005, Sonic was one of the first game character inductees into the Walk of Game alongside Mario and Link. [9]

The Walk of Game was an attraction in the United States honoring the icons and pioneers of the video game industry, created in 2005 and located inside the Sony Metreon, an entertainment shopping center in San Francisco, California. It noted the most influential game characters of that year.

Mario Fictional character from Nintendos Mario franchise

Mario is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Acting as the company's mascot, as well as being the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. His younger fraternal twin brother and sidekick is Luigi.

Link (<i>The Legend of Zelda</i>) the main character of The Legend of Zelda video games created by Shigeru Miyamoto

Link is the main protagonist of Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. He appears in several incarnations over the course of the games, and also features in other Nintendo media, including merchandising comic books and animated series. He is one of Nintendo's main icons and one of the most well-known and popular characters in video game history.

Origins and history

While Sega was seeking a flagship series to compete with Nintendo's Mario series with a character to replace Alex Kidd as the company's mascot, several character designs were submitted by its research and development department. Many results came forth from their experiments with character design, including an armadillo (who was later developed into Mighty the Armadillo), a dog, a Theodore Roosevelt look-alike in pajamas (who would later be the basis of Dr. Robotnik/Eggman's design), and a rabbit (who would use its extendable ears to collect objects, an aspect later incorporated in Ristar ). [10] [11] Naoto Ohshima took some of these internal designs with him on a trip to New York City and sought feedback by asking random passersby at Central Park their opinions; of the designs, the spiky teal hedgehog, initially codenamed "Mr. Needlemouse", [6] led this informal poll, followed by Eggman and the dog character. Ohshima felt that people selected it because it "transcends race and gender and things like that". [12] On return to Japan, Ohshima pitched this to the department, and the hedgehog was ultimately selected as the new mascot.

<i>Mario</i> (franchise) video game franchise

The Mario franchise is a media franchise, published and produced by video game company Nintendo, starring the fictional Italian character Mario. It is primarily a video game franchise, with the franchise's other forms of media including several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade game Donkey Kong, released on July 9, 1981. The games have been developed by a variety of developers including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Most Mario games have been released for Nintendo's various video game consoles and handhelds, from the third generation onward.

Alex Kidd

Alex Kidd is a video game character whose popularity peaked during the late 1980s and who was the protagonist of both a series of video games released by Sega and their fictional universe, as well as in numerous spin-offs such as novelizations and comics.

Theodore Roosevelt 26th president of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He served as the 25th vice president from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, he is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents.

Sonic's character designer Naoto Ohshima (left) with level designer Hirokazu Yasuhara at the 2018 Game Developers Conference. Naoto ohshima hirokazu yasuhara gdc 2018 cropped.jpg
Sonic's character designer Naoto Ohshima (left) with level designer Hirokazu Yasuhara at the 2018 Game Developers Conference.

The detailed design of Sonic was aimed to be something that could be easily drawn by children and be familiar, as well as exhibit a "cool" attitude, representative of the United States at the time. [12] Sonic's blue pigmentation was chosen to match Sega's cobalt blue logo, and his shoes evolved from a design inspired by Michael Jackson's boots with the addition of the color red, which was inspired by both Santa Claus and the contrast of those colors on Jackson's 1987 album Bad ; his personality was based on then-presidential candidate and later President of the United States Bill Clinton's "Get it done" attitude during the 1992 presidential campaign. [10] [13] [14] [15] To help sell the idea to Sega's higher-ups, Ohshima pitched the concept framed by a fictional fighter pilot that had earned the named "Hedgehog" due to his spiky hair, and had decorated his plane with images of Sonic. When this pilot retired, he married a children's book author, who wrote stories about the Sonic character, the first which became the plot for the first Sonic game; Ohshima stated that this influence can be seen in the logo of the game, which features Sonic in a pilot's wing emblem. [12]

Michael Jackson American singer, songwriter and dancer

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Santa Claus Folkloric figure, said to deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day. The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.

<i>Bad</i> (album) 1987 studio album by Michael Jackson

Bad is the seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987 in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous album, Thriller. Bad was written and recorded over more than three and a half years, and was the final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones. Jackson co-produced the album and composed all but two tracks. The lyrical themes include media bias, paranoia, racial profiling, romance, self-improvement and world peace.

The origins of Sonic can be traced farther back to a tech demo created by Yuji Naka, who had developed an algorithm that allowed a sprite to move smoothly on a curve by determining its position with a dot matrix. Naka's original prototype was a platform game that involved a fast-moving character rolling in a ball through a long winding tube, and this concept was subsequently fleshed out with Oshima's character design and levels conceived by designer Hirokazu Yasuhara. [16]

Sonic was created without the ability to swim because of a mistaken assumption by Yuji Naka that all hedgehogs could not do so. [17] A group of fifteen people started working on the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, and renamed themselves Sonic Team. The game's soundtrack was composed by Masato Nakamura of the band Dreams Come True. Sega sponsored the group's "Wonder 3" tour, painting Sonic on the tour bus, distributing pamphlets advertising the game, and having footage of the game broadcast above stage prior to its release. [18] The original concepts gave Sonic fangs and put him in a band with a human girlfriend named Madonna. However, a team from Sega of America, led by Madeline Schroeder, who calls herself "Sonic's mother", [10] "softened" the character up for an American audience by removing those elements. This sparked a heated issue with Sonic Team. Naka later admitted that it was probably for the best. [10]

Sonic's appearance varies greatly depending on the medium and the style in which he is drawn. In the video games, Sonic's original design by Oshima was short and round, with short quills, a round body, and no visible irises. Artwork featuring this design and drawn by Akira Watanabe was displayed on the package artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog. [19] Sonic's proportions would change for the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Mega Drive; Sonic's head to height ratio was changed from 1:2 to 1:2.5. [19] For the 1998 release of Sonic Adventure , Sonic was redesigned by Yuji Uekawa as a character with longer legs and a less spherical body, longer and more drooping quills, and green-colored irises. For the 2006 game, Sonic was redesigned to make him look adult-like and taller to appeal to the next generation players. [20] This was also done because Sonic would interact with humans more often and his design was supposed to fit. [21] An alternative "Werehog" form was introduced in Sonic Unleashed , placing more emphasis on Sonic's melee skills rather than speed. Although Tetsu Katano acknowledged the large negative fan response to the Werehog, he believes it could return in a future game. [22]

Bob Raffei, CEO of Sonic Boom developer Big Red Button, stated that Sonic Boom's Sonic is "very different ... both in tone and art direction". [23]

Voice portrayal

Roger Craig Smith, the voice actor for the character in English language media since 2010. Roger Craig Smith by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Roger Craig Smith, the voice actor for the character in English language media since 2010.

Different actors have provided Sonic's voice in his game appearances. Sonic originally had a few voice samples in Sonic CD , with Keiko Utoku providing the voice. Sonic's first true voice actor was Takeshi Kusao for the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog , with Junichi Kanemaru continually voicing the role beginning with the release of Sonic Adventure. In Sonic Unleashed , Sonic was voiced by Tomokazu Seki while in Werehog form.

In English, Sonic was cast to Jason Griffith starting from Sonic X . Griffith was later replaced by Roger Craig Smith, starting with Sonic Free Riders and Sonic Colors in November 2010. [24] Actor Jaleel White voiced the character in all of the DiC-produced animated series: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog , Sonic SatAM , and Sonic Underground as well as the Christmas special, Sonic Christmas Blast. In Underground, White also voiced Sonic's brother and sister, Manic and Sonia. [25] Actor Ben Schwartz will voice the character in the Paramount Pictures feature film, which is set for release on February 14, 2020. [4] [26]

Appearances

Video games

Sonic's first shown appearance in a video game was in the 1991 arcade racing game Rad Mobile , as a decorative ornament hanging from a rearview mirror. Sonic's first playable appearance was in the platform game Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, which also introduced his nemesis Dr. Robotnik. His two-tailed fox friend Tails joined him in the game's 1992 sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 . Sonic CD , released in 1993, introduced Sonic's self-appointed girlfriend Amy Rose and recurring robotic doppelgänger Metal Sonic as Sonic traveled through time to ensure a good future for the world. Sonic 3 and its direct sequel Sonic & Knuckles , both released in 1994, saw Sonic and Tails battle Robotnik again, with the additional threat of Knuckles, who is tricked by Robotnik into thinking Sonic is a threat. Sonic 4 (2010–2012) continues where the story of Sonic 3 left off, reducing Sonic to the only playable character and releasing in episodic installments. The second episode sees the return of both Tails as Sonic's sidekick and Metal Sonic as a recurring enemy.

Other two-dimensional platformers starring Sonic include Sonic Chaos (1993), Sonic Triple Trouble (1994), Sonic Blast (1996), Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (1999), Sonic Advance (2001), Sonic Advance 2 (2002), Sonic Advance 3 (2004), Sonic Rush (2005), Sonic Rush Adventure (2007), Sonic Colors (2010), and Sonic Generations (2011), all in which were released for handheld consoles.

Sonic Adventure (1998) was Sonic Team's return to the character for a major game. It featured Sonic returning from vacation to find the city of Station Square under attack by a new foe named Chaos, under the control of Dr. Robotnik (now known as Dr. Eggman). It was also the first Sonic game to feature a complete voice-over. Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) placed Sonic on-the-run from the military (G.U.N.) after being mistaken for Shadow the Hedgehog. Sonic Heroes (2003) featured Sonic teaming up with Tails and Knuckles, along with other character teams like Team Rose and Chaotix, against the newly rebuilt Metal Sonic, who had betrayed his master with intentions of world domination. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) features Sonic in the city of water, "Soleanna," where he must rescue Princess Elise from Dr. Eggman while trying to avoid a new threat to his own life, Silver the Hedgehog. He is the only playable character in Sonic Unleashed (2008), in which he unwillingly gains a new personality, "Sonic the Werehog," the result of Sonic being fused with Dark Gaia's power. He gains strength and flexibility in exchange for his speed, and new friends including a strange creature named Chip who helps him along the way. In Sonic Colors (2010), Eggman tries to harness the energy of alien beings known as "Wisps" for a mind-control beam. The anniversary title Sonic Generations (2011) features two playable incarnations of Sonic: the younger "classic" Sonic, whose gameplay is presented in a style reminiscent of the Mega Drive/Genesis titles, and present-day "modern" Sonic, who uses the gameplay style present in Unleashed and Colors, going through stages from past games to save their friends. Sonic Generations features various theme songs including modern and retro versions that are able to be selected from throughout Sonic's twenty-year history. [27] In April 2013, Sega announced that Sonic Lost World would launch in October 2013 for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. [28]

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) features Sonic in the storybook world of One Thousand and One Nights . A sequel, titled Sonic and the Black Knight (2009), continued the storybook theme, this time taking place within the realm of the Arthurian legend.

Sonic has also been featured in other games of many genres other than 2D and 3D platform games. These include Sonic Spinball , Sonic Labyrinth (1995), the racing games Sonic Drift (1994), Sonic Drift 2 (1995), Sonic R (1996), Sonic Riders (2006), Sonic Rivals (2006), Sonic Rivals 2 (2007), Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008), and Sonic Free Riders (2010), the fighting games Sonic the Fighters (1996) and Sonic Battle (2003), the mobile game Sonic Jump (2005), and the role-playing video game Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008).

Video games such as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (1993), Knuckles' Chaotix (1995), Tails' Skypatrol (1995), Tails Adventure (1995), and Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) starred supporting characters of the Sonic series, although Sonic himself cameos in most of these titles.

Non-Sonic games

Sonic has made many cameo appearances in different games, most notably in other Sega games, such as being a power-up in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg , walking around the main hallway in Phantasy Star Universe on the anniversary of his first game's release (June 23), and appearing in the 2008 remake of Samba de Amigo . He is also a playable character in Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams . Nintendo, Sega's former rival, made reference to Sonic in Donkey Kong Country 2, by showing Sonic's shoes next to a trash can that reads "No Hopers" on the Cranky's Video Game Heroes screen. [29]

Sonic has appeared in several crossover titles, including playable appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008), Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014), and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018). [30] He appears in the crossover party game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and in its sequels Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games , Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games , Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games , Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 . Sonic is also a playable character in all three Sega Superstars titles.

In June 2016, it was announced that Sonic would be a playable character in the second wave of characters coming to Lego Dimensions . [31]

Animation

The first animated series, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog , aired in 1993. It was a comical take on Sonic and Tails' adventures battling Robotnik, filled with slapstick humor and loosely based upon the plot of the games. Pierre De Celles, an animator who worked on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, described the show as "fun and humorous." [32] Also premiering in 1993 was Sonic the Hedgehog . It was a more dramatic series which portrayed Sonic as a member of a band of Freedom Fighters that fight to free their world from the evil dictator, Dr. Robotnik.

In 1996, two episodes of an OVA titled Sonic the Hedgehog were released in Japan. For the American release, the two episodes combined and released as Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie by ADV Films. [33]

A separate third series was released under the title Sonic Underground in 1999. It featured the introductions of Sonic's siblings, Sonia the Hedgehog and Manic the Hedgehog, and Sonic's mother, Queen Aleena, who must defeat Robotnik and rule Mobius as the "Council of Four". The show ran for one season in syndication on the Bohbot Kids Network block before it was cancelled.

A new series titled Sonic X began airing in 2003. The 78-episode anime series detailed Sonic's struggle to protect the Chaos Emeralds from Eggman and new villains. Featuring a cross-world and interstellar journey, Sonic X depicted Sonic and his friend Chris Thorndyke in quests to save the world. Sonic: Night of the Werehog is a short film produced by Sega's VE Animation Studio, released to coincide with the release of Sonic Unleashed . In the film, Sonic and Chip enter a haunted house, and must deal with two ghosts trying to scare them. Sonic also makes multiple cameo appearances in the Disney films, Wreck-It Ralph and its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet . [34]

In October 2013, Sega announced that a new animated series, titled Sonic Boom , would be produced. [35] The show ran for 104 11-minute episodes between 2014 and 2017 on Cartoon Network in the US and Canal J and Gulli in France. Sonic makes a guest appearance in the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Let's Meet Sonic". [36]

Live-action film

On June 10, 2014, a film based on the Sonic series was announced. Known as simply Sonic the Hedgehog , it is being produced by Neal Moritz on his Original Film banner alongside Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi, Toby Ascher is executive producing, written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux and produced as a joint venture between Paramount Pictures and Marza Animation Planet. The film is expected to be a live-action and CGI hybrid. [37] The movie was filmed in 2018, with a release date for set for February 14, 2020. Upon the release of the film's first trailer, Sonic's appearance was heavily criticized, leading to the director, Jeff Fowler, to announce a redesign of him.

Sonic's first comic appearance was in a promotional comic printed in Disney Adventures magazine (and also given away as a free pull-out with a copy of Mean Machines magazine), which established a backstory for the character involving the origin of his color and abilities and the transformation of kindly scientist Dr. Ovi Kintobor into the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Numerous British publications, including "Sega handbook" Stay Sonic (1993), four novels published by Virgin Books (1993–1994) and the comic book Sonic the Comic (1993–2001), published by Fleetway Publications/Egmont Publishing, used this premise as their basis. [38]

The American comics published by Archie Comics, Sonic the Hedgehog (1993–2017), Sonic X (2005–2008), and Sonic Universe (2009–2017) are based on the settings established by earlier animated TV series, the ABC "SatAM" cartoon, the Sonic X anime, and an expansion to the series, respectively. The former series is currently the second longest-running licensed comic series in the history of American comic books, second only to Marvel's Conan series (first issue released in 1970). In France two comic books named "Sonic Adventures" were published by Sirène in 1994. Guinness World Records recognized Sonic comic as the longest-running comic based in a game. [39] Archie Comics also released a twelve part crossover with Mega Man beginning in 2013. [39]

Sonic has also been featured in two different manga. One series was simply called Sonic the Hedgehog, and featured a story about a normal hedgehog boy named Nicky Parlouzer who can change into Sonic. [40] The other series was a compilation of short stories and was separated into two volumes, the first being called Dash and Spin, and the other called Super Fast Sonic!!.

Characteristics

According to various official materials from Sega, Sonic is described as a character who is "like the wind": [41] a drifter who lives as he wants, [42] and makes life a series of events and adventures. [43] Sonic hates oppression and staunchly defends freedom. [44] Although he is mostly quick-witted and easygoing, [42] he has a short temper [42] and is often impatient with slower things. [41] Sonic is a habitual daredevil hedgehog who is honest, loyal to friends, keeps his promises, [43] and dislikes tears. [45] He took the young Tails under his wing like a little brother, [46] and is uninterested in marital proposals from Amy Rose. [47] In times of crisis, he focuses intensely on the challenge [41] as if his personality had undergone an astonishing change. [43]

Sonic's greatest strength is his running speed, being known in the game's universe as the world's fastest hedgehog. [44] Many of his abilities are variations on the tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection with the addition of spinning his body. Since his introduction in 1991's Sonic the Hedgehog , Sonic's primary offensive maneuver is the basic "Spin Attack" (or "Sonic Spin Attack"). [48] Later games in the series expanded on this basic attack and two of these enhancements have become mainstays of his: the Spin Dash which was introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and involves Sonic spinning on the spot before blasting off at full speed, [49] and the Homing Attack, officially introduced in Sonic Adventure , in which Sonic dashes toward a target in midair. [44] Sonic's only weakness is that he cannot swim, sinking like a rock if plunged to a deep body of water. [45] The only exception is that he can swim in the Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks. [50] When the seven Chaos Emeralds are collected and used, Sonic transforms into "Super Sonic", a faster and invulnerable version of himself that can fly. [51] In Super Sonic form, Sonic's irises turn red and his body becomes golden.

Reception and legacy

A cosplayer of Sonic in 2018 Sonic - CC Villabe A6 - 2018-03-03 - IMG 7292.jpg
A cosplayer of Sonic in 2018

As Sega's mascot and one of the key reasons for the company's success during the 16-bit era of video game consoles, Sonic is one of the most famous video game characters in the world. In 1993, Sonic became the first video game character to have a balloon in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. [6] In 1996, Sonic was also the first video game character to be seen in a Rose Parade. Sonic was one of the three game characters inducted on the inaugural Walk of Game class in 2005, along with former rivals Mario and Link (both from Nintendo). [9] One of a class of genes involved in fruit fly embryonic development, called hedgehog genes, has been named "sonic hedgehog" after him. [52] He is also named in the song Abiura di me of the Italian rapper Caparezza.

On the other hand, Sonic's apparent romantic relationship with Princess Elise in the 2006 video game resulted in major criticism. [53] [54] Sonic's characterization and relationship with Eggman in Sonic Boom earned a positive response by Patrick Lee of The A.V. Club and Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media. [55]

Sonic has also been used as a symbol for Sega's various sponsorships. Between 1993 and 1997, Sega sponsored the JEF United Ichihara Chiba football team, during which period Sonic appeared in the team's uniform. [56] During the 1993 Formula One championship, Sega sponsored the Williams Grand Prix team, which won the Constructors' Championship that year, as well as the team's lead driver, Alain Prost, winning the Drivers' Championship. [57] Sonic was featured in the cars, helmets, and their rivals McLaren used to paint a squashed hedgehog after winning races over Williams. [58] The 1993 European Grand Prix featured a Sonic balloon and Sonic billboards. In 1992, according to Sega of America marketing director Al Nilsen, Sonic was found to be more recognizable than Mickey Mouse in the six-to eleven-year-old demographic, based on the character's respective Q Scores, although this claim could not be confirmed by Q Score developer Marketing Evaluations, Inc. [59] [60]

Nintendo Power listed Sonic as their sixth favorite hero, stating that while he was originally Mario's nemesis, he seems at home on Nintendo platforms. They added that he has remained as one of gaming's greatest icons. [61] In 2004, the character won a Golden Joystick Award for "The Sun Ultimate Gaming Hero". [62] The character's popularity declined in the mid-1990s, and Sonic failed to place in Electronic Gaming Monthly 's Coolest Mascot of 1996 in either the editors' or readers' picks, being beaten out by not only competitors Mario and Crash Bandicoot, but Sega's own Nights; however, in a 2008 poll of 500 people, Sonic was voted the most popular video game character in the UK with a 24% vote while his old rival Mario came second with 21% of the vote. [63] [64] [65] Later that year, Sonic was ranked as the most iconic video game character in an MSN rankings list. [66] In 2011, Empire ranked him as the 14th greatest video game character. [67] And he was voted 10th out of the top 50 video game characters of all time in Guinness World Records 2011 Gamers' Edition. [68] Sonic ranked ninth on GameDaily's Top 10 Smash Bros characters list. [69] GameDaily also listed his "next-generation stumble" in their list of video game characters' worst moments, using his relationship with a human female as one of the worst parts of it. [70]

Ken Balough, Sega's former associate brand manager, said that Sonic's appeal endured because the character is "a gaming legend, first and foremost" who originated "from a series of games that defined a generation in gaming history, and his iconic personality was the epitome of speed in the early ‘90s, pushing the limits of what gamers knew and expected from high-speed action and platforming games." [71]

An Internet meme called "Sanic" has been used based on a poorly drawn Sonic; typically, the meme uses one of Sonic's catchphrases but with poor grammar. Sega's official Sonic Twitter account has made numerous references to it, [72] and it appeared in official downloadable content for Sonic Forces on in-game shirts. [73]

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<i>Sonic the Hedgehog 3</i> 1994 video game

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is a platform game developed and published by Sega. It is the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) and was released worldwide for the Sega Genesis in 1994. Following the events of Sonic 2, Doctor Robotnik's spaceship, the Death Egg, crash-lands on a mysterious floating island. There, Sonic and Tails must once more retrieve the Chaos Emeralds to stop Death Egg from relaunching, while making rounds with the island's guardian, Knuckles the Echidna. Gameplay is similar to previous entries, with players controlling Sonic and Tails through side-scrolling levels at high speeds while collecting rings and defeating enemies.

Knuckles the Echidna fictional character from the Sonic franchise

Knuckles the Echidna is a fictional character in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is a red anthropomorphic echidna who is determined and serious, but sometimes gullible. He has the ability to glide and climb up walls, and is a powerful fighter with spiked hands. He serves as the guardian of the Master Emerald, a huge gemstone that controls the series' integral Chaos Emeralds.

<i>Sonic Adventure</i> 1998 platforming video game developed by Sonic Team

Sonic Adventure is a 1998 platform game for Sega's Dreamcast, and the first main Sonic the Hedgehog game to feature three-dimensional (3D) gameplay. The story follows Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Big the Cat, and E-102 Gamma in their quests to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds and stop Doctor Robotnik from unleashing Chaos. Controlling one of the six characters—each with their own special abilities—players explore a series of themed levels to progress through the story. Outside the main game, players can play minigames like racing and interact with Chao, a virtual pet.

Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog) fictional character from the Sonic videogame franchise

Miles "Tails" Prower is a fictional character in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series, and the title character's best friend and sidekick. Tails also appears in his own spin-off series as "Two Tails" in comic books, cartoons, as well as in an OVA, named Sonic the Hedgehog. He is the second character to consistently appear by Sonic's side in the series.

<i>Sonic CD</i> 1993 video game

Sonic the Hedgehog CD, commonly referred to as Sonic CD, is a 1993 platform game for the Sega CD. The story follows Sonic the Hedgehog as he attempts to save an extraterrestrial body, Little Planet, from Doctor Robotnik. As a Sonic the Hedgehog series platformer, Sonic runs and jumps through several themed levels while collecting rings and defeating robots. Sonic CD is distinguished from other Sonic games by its time travel feature, a key aspect to the story and gameplay. By traveling through time, players can access different versions of stages featuring alternate layouts, music, and graphics based on the time period.

Shadow the Hedgehog fictional character from the Sonic franchise

Shadow the Hedgehog is a character appearing in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Shadow was created by Takashi Iizuka and Shiro Maekawa, and debuted in the series' 2001 installment Sonic Adventure 2. Although this was intended to be his only appearance, Shadow proved so popular among fans that developer Sonic Team decided to include him in 2003's Sonic Heroes. Shadow has since featured in numerous entries in the franchise, including a self-titled spin-off game in 2005. He also appears in Sonic television adaptations, comics, and merchandise.

<i>Sonic Adventure 2</i> 2001 platform video game

Sonic Adventure 2 is a 2001 platform game developed by Sonic Team USA and published by Sega. The sequel to Sonic Adventure, it was the final Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Dreamcast after Sega discontinued the console. It features two good-vs-evil stories: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna attempt to save the world, while Shadow the Hedgehog, Doctor Eggman and Rouge the Bat attempt to conquer it. The stories are divided into three gameplay styles: fast-paced platforming for Sonic and Shadow, multi-directional shooting for Tails and Eggman, and action-exploration for Knuckles and Rouge.

<i>Sonic the Fighters</i> 1996 fighting game

Sonic the Fighters, also known as Sonic Championship on arcade versions outside Japan, is a fighting video game developed by Sega AM2. First released in 1996 in arcades on Sega's Model 2 arcade system, Sonic the Fighters pits players in one-on-one battles with a roster of characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The game was built on top of the 3D fighting engine for Fighting Vipers (1996), an earlier fighting game by Sega AM2, and it serves as the debut 3D game in the Sonic series. The idea for a Sonic the Hedgehog fighting game was hatched when a Sega AM2 programmer was dabbling with a Sonic the Hedgehog 3D model in Fighting Vipers. The smoothness of the character animations convinced Sonic Team to approve of the project and supervise over it.

<i>Sonic Jam</i> 1997 video game compilation for the Sega Saturn

Sonic Jam is a video game compilation developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn. It was released in Japan in June 1997, and in North America and Europe two months later. It contains the four main Sonic the Hedgehog games released on the Sega Genesis: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. It also features a 3D environment, "Sonic World", which acts as an interactive museum of Sonic the Hedgehog content.

<i>Shadow the Hedgehog</i> (video game) 2005 video game

Shadow the Hedgehog is a 2005 platform game developed by Sega Studios USA, the former United States division of Sonic Team, and published by Sega. It is a spin-off from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and follows Shadow the Hedgehog, a creation of Doctor Eggman's grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik, as he attempts to learn about his past while suffering from amnesia. Shadow the Hedgehog introduces third-person shooter elements and nonlinear gameplay to the Sonic franchise. To defeat enemies, Shadow can use various weapons and special attacks, and most levels have three possible missions that the player may choose to complete. The missions completed determine the game's plot and subsequently playable levels.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog 2</i> 1992 Mega-Drive video game

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a platform game developed and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis console, released worldwide in November 1992. It is the second main entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and introduced Sonic's sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower, controllable by a second player. In the story, Sonic and Tails must stop series antagonist Dr. Ivo Robotnik from stealing the Chaos Emeralds to power his space station, the Death Egg.

Doctor Eggman Fictional character from Sonic franchise

Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. His original character designer was Naoto Ohshima, who created him as part of many design choices for the company's new mascot. After the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ohshima chose to use his previous egg-shaped character to create the antagonist of the 1991 video game Sonic the Hedgehog, making him the archenemy of the series' eponymous main character.

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