I wasn’t born in the 80s. That’s just one of the reasons why Calvin Harris detests me. I’m a 90s kid through and through. And as such, in the epic gaming battle between a certain plumber and a certain hedgehog, I was always rooting for the super-fast blue guy with the bad ass attitude. He was sleeker, he was faster, and he was just plain cooler. He was Sonic the Hedgehog.
Me: No. Obviously not. Help me.
Brain: Okay. Well. I’ve got a character in mind. Iconic figure. Blue.
Me: Papa Smurf!
Me: Papa Smurf!
Brain: …it’s Sonic. You should do Sonic.
Me: Good idea. Hey, Memory! What’ve you got on Sonic?
My Memory: You mean apart from the classic ‘SE-GAAAA!’ jingle?
My Memory: Loads. But damn that was a good jingle.
Me: You’re not wrong.
Development on the first Sonic game began in 1990, when Sega ordered its AM8 development team to create a game introducing a new mascot for the company. The team came up with the idea of a blue hedgehog (to match the colour of the Sega logo) called Sonic (though originally known as Mr Needlemouse) and then renamed themselves the ‘Sonic Team’ after their newly devised mascot. Allegedly, Sonic’s design came about by combining the head of Felix the Cat with the body of Mickey Mouse, while his shoes were based on that of Michael Jackson. The game itself was specifically designed to be fast paced and anarchic to match the personality traits of the Sonic character. And lo, almost exactly twenty five years ago, Sonic the Hedgehog was released to widespread acclaim and allowed Sega to really compete with Nintendo in the gaming wars, with Sonic emerging as a true rival to Mario.
In fact, the entire Sonic soundtrack was memorable, filled with catchy tunes to really enhance the gaming experience. It was composed by Masato Nakamura and is recognised as one of the most iconic soundtracks in video game history.
Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog was an exciting and stimulating game and was far more action packed than Super Mario. The game was more or less single-handedly responsible for the commercial success of the Sega Mega Drive. It spawned a host of sequels (introducing characters such as Tails and Knuckles to the series) and eventually branched out to become a huge media franchise. I remember being a big fan of the original Sonic cartoon series as well as buying Sonic the Comic every week, wherein Sonic was suitably darker and edgier. And then there was Super Sonic. Let me tell you, between Super Saiyans and Super Sonic, the 90s was a good time to be a blonde kid in the school playground.
Me: Duh-duh, duh-duh-duh! Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh!
My Memory: What are you doing?
Me: Humming the Sonic theme.
My Memory: You know that doesn’t really work in a visual medium, don’t you?
Me: Says the abstract concept.
My Memory: Touché. Can I get back to remembering the long hot summers of days gone by now?
Until then, better get replaying those older titles.