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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the video game series and the character. For the video game, see Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis).
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonikku za hejjihoggu) is the flagship character and mascot for the video game and arcade game (and formerly game console) company Sega, which has released a series of video games in which he either stars or plays a role. Sonic was competing head-to-head with Nintendo's mascot, Mario, for over a decade until Sega left the console market. His games are now on various Nintendo systems and other consoles.

Sonic replaced Alex Kidd, who was Sega's mascot prior to 1990. Naoto Oshima designed the character while Yuji Naka (who would later become head of the Sonic Team division) was the main programmer. The "game planner" was Hirokazu Yasuhara. The music of the first two Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Megadrive and Genesis was composed by Masato Nakamura of the Japanese band Dreams Come True.

Sega promoted the game's use of "Blast Processing", supposedly a feature of the Sega Genesis which allowed it to draw sprites faster, but which in reality simply referred to the console's fast CPU clock rate.

Sonic was an early example of the "obscure anthropomorphic animal starring in a platform game" character archetype that was later seen in characters such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Blinx, and Sly Cooper.

Sonic is a blue, 15 year old hedgehog who lives on the planet Earth (or Mobius in various other American or European continuities). He has the ability to run at supersonic speeds, hence his name. American sources often say that Sonic's favourite food are chili dogs.

His blue pigmentation was explained in an issue of gaming magazine GamePro as being the result of getting caught in an explosion involving cobalt, but this is probably not canonical. Stay Sonic, a book about the character written by Mike Pattenden and published only in the UK, provided an alternative explanation, which later became the basic origin for all subsequent UK publications. This origin is covered in detail below.

The premise of the games revolves around Doctor Eggman (Doctor Ivo Robotnik in the earlier releases in North America and Europe) trying to take over the world by turning the animals into robots (often called Badniks, though this is an US/EUR term and hasn't been used since Sonic Adventure). Sonic is charged with saving them. In later games he is joined by Tails (Miles "Tails" Prower), Amy Rose, Knuckles the Echidna, Cream the Rabbit and a host of other characters. Sonic must collect rings to protect himself from the robots, and as long as he has at least one, he is invulnerable save for drowning or being crushed. He ultimately must collect the Chaos Emeralds from the Special Stages in order to become his most powerful form, Super Sonic. However, Sonic's quest does not necessitate collecting the Emeralds himself; he must only prevent Eggman from collecting them and dooming the world with their power, as well as deal with numerous other foes, such as Metal Sonic (Mecha Sonic), Fang the Sniper (formerly Nack the Weasel in the West, still Nack in the comic books), Shadow the Hedgehog, and Rouge the Bat.

Sonic has numerous abilities, including Homing Attack, where he hits enemies while jumping, and Light Dash, where he can run along a path of rings, even in the air. He is a poor swimmer, however, and will drown in water after an amount of time, even as Super Sonic. (However, as Hyper Sonic in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, he can stay alive in water.)

In the SatAM cartoon, Sonic's love interest is Princess Sally Acorn; in the video games Amy Rose believes she is Sonic's girlfriend (Sonic, however, is quite repelled by Amy's constant advances but in the modern day Sonic TV show Sonic X, there is a bit more of a mutual vibe between Sonic and Amy); Breezie hedgehog in Adventures of Sonic the hedgehog cartoon; and both Sally Acorn and Mina Mongoose in Sonic's Archie comics.

One of a class of genes involved in fruit fly embryonic development, called hedgehog genes, has been named "sonic hedgehog" after the character.

Sonic is also incredibly popular with the fangaming community, with possibly more fanmade games than any other video game star.

In all games after Sonic Adventure, Sonic is voiced by either Jun'ichi Kanemaru or Ryan Drummond. In the TV shows, he is voiced by five different actors (specific to each show): Jaleel White, Masami Kikuchi, Martin Burke, Jun'ichi Kanemaru and Jason Griffith.

Contents [showhide]
1 Origin of Sonic

1.1 Games Version
1.2 Former US/UK Version
1.3 Sonic The Comic Version
1.4 Archie Comics Version

2 Games

3 Television series

4 Books

4.1 Comic books
4.2 Game books
4.3 Novels
4.4 Others

5 External links

Origin of Sonic
Due to the many differences between universes, Sonic's history and world varies greatly. These are some of the backstories.

Games Version
We know very little about Sonic's past; he was supposedly born on Christmas Island and that he has frequented around South Island, and that he and Dr. Eggman have a fierce rivalry. Beyond that, though, his past is a complete mystery. Sonic is something of a nomad; he travels from area to area of the Earth searching for new things to see and do, rarely stopping for anything or anyone unless he's needed, often times getting himself involved in Eggman's schemes to take over the world.

Former US/UK Version
The origin of Sonic's blue colouration and super speed was first featured in a promotional comic strip in the US Disney Adventures comic and later described in more detail in Mike Pattenden's Stay Sonic book. It was used in most subsequent UK publications (including Sonic the Comic and the "Martin Adams" series of Sonic novels published by Virgin). Although an official Sega book, it should not be taken as canon for anything else; neither the video games themselves nor their translated manuals make any mention of it, and the Japanese backstories were adopted for the Sonic Adventure games.

Sonic was originally an ordinary brown hedgehog with few remarkable qualities. But one day, he accidentally burrowed his way into the secret underground lab of Doctor Ovi Kintobor, a kindly scientist who wanted to make the world a true paradise by removing all evil from it using his Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor machine. Of course, Sonic found that a laudable goal, and helped Kintobor by searching Mobius for the seventh and final emerald that he required to contain all the negative energy that he had gathered using the ROCC. Kintobor also helped Sonic to increase his speed using a treadmill he designed himself. Sonic eventually ran so fast that he broke the sound barrier, the resultant shockwave fusing his quills together and turning his body cobalt blue.

Sonic failed to find the seventh emerald, but Kintobor apparently deduced a way to complete the transfer of the chaotic energy to the six emeralds without it. Before initiating the process, the pair planned to eat - but opening the fridge, the found it to contain only one rotten egg. Holding it in his hand, distracted by it, Kintobor walked back over to the ROCC, only to trip on a cable and fall, his hand slamming into the ROCC control panel. The machine overloaded and exploded, bathing Kintobor - and the egg - in chaos energy, and scattering the golden rings that comprised it across the planet. Doctor Ovi Kintobor had been transformed into the evil Doctor Ivo Robotnik.

Sonic The Comic Version
Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.
Sonic the Comic's version is identical to the former US/UK Version, but it also later featured a story involving time travel that revealed that Sonic himself was responsible for Kintobor's accident. His foes, the Brotherhood of Metallix, had travelled back and removed the rotten egg from the fridge, preventing Robotnik from being created and leaving them free to dominate the planet. In order to prevent this future, Sonic had to replace the egg, and pulled the cable that tripped Kintobor - thereby making himself responsible for the creation of his greatest enemy.

Archie Comics Version
The Archie comic series offers another angle on the origins of the person who would become the dreaded Dr. Robotnik. On the planet Mobius, humans (known as "Overlanders") existed for a time in a state of hostilities with the anthropomorphic animal beings Sonic and his friends represented. Julian Ivo fled from Overlander civilization after some transgression, and was subsequently taken in by King Acorn (Princess Sally Acorn's father) of Mobotropolis. Ivo became an important advisor to the King, but ultimately staged a coup (with the help of his nephew, Snively) in which he seized power and renamed both himself (to Ivo Robotnik) and the city he had come to rule (to Robotropolis).

See List of games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog

Television series
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (AoStH, US) - Sonic voiced by Jaleel White), Robotnik voiced by Long John Baldry
Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM, US) - Sonic voiced by Jaleel White), Robotnik voiced by Jim Cummings
Sonic Underground (US, France) - Sonic voiced by Jaleel White
Sonic the Hedgehog (Anime, Japan) - Sonic voiced by Masami Kikuchi and Martin Burke
Sonic X (Anime, Japan) - Sonic voiced by Jun'ichi Kanemaru and Jason Griffith


Comic books
Sonic the Hedgehog (Shogakukan, Japan)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics, US)
Sonic the Comic (Fleetway, UK)
Sonic fan-made dōjinshi have also been released in Japan.

Game books
A series of six Sonic Adventures gamebooks were published in the UK by Puffin:

Book 1 - Metal City Mayhem, James Wallis
Book 2 - Zone Rangers, James Wallis
Book 3 - Sonic v Zonic, Nigel Gross and Jon Sutherland
Book 4 - The Zone Zapper, Nigel Gross and Jon Sutherland
Book 5 - Theme Park Panic, Marc Gascoigne and Jonathan Green
Book 6 - Stormin' Sonic, Marc Gascoigne and Jonathan Green

Stay Sonic, Mike Pattenden. Developed the "Kintobor origin" (first introduced in the Disney Adventures comic) in more detail. This background was used as the basis of most subsequent UK Sonic stories.
James Wallis, Marc Gascoigne and Carl Sargent (under the pseudonym of Martin Adams) wrote four Sonic the Hedgehog novels based on the origin established in Stay Sonic. They were published in the UK by Virgin.

Book 1 - Sonic the Hedgehog in Robotnik's Laboratory
Book 2 - Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension
Book 3 - Sonic the Hedgehog and the Silicon Warriors
Book 4 - Sonic the Hedgehog in Castle Robotnik
Michael Teitelbaum also wrote a series of Sonic novels:

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog: Robotnik's Revenge
Sonic the Hedgehog: Fortress of Fear
Sonic the Hedgehog: Friend or Foe?
Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic X-Treme

Where's Sonic?
Where's Sonic Now?

External links
Sonic Central ( - Official website.
The Green Hill Zone ( - A website dedicated to chronicling every Sonic Team game designed to date, including all of the Sonic games.
Sonic the Hedgehog Information Treasury ( - A Sonic community-driven wiki.
Sonic CulT ( - A Sonic game research site.
Sonic Stadium ( - A popular fansite.
Sonic Fan Games HQ ( - A site containing downloadable Sonic the Hedgehog fangames

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