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- Sonic 1
- Sonic 2
- Sonic 3
- Sonic & Knuckles
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Sonic CD
- Knuckles Chaotix
MASTER SYSTEM/GAME GEAR ERA
- Sonic 1
- Sonic 2
- Sonic Chaos/Sonic and Tails
- Sonic Triple Trouble/Sonic and Tails 2
- Sonic Labyrinth
- Sonic Drift
- Sonic Drift 2
- Tails' Skypatrol
- Tails' Adventure
- Sonic 3D
- Sonic Jam
- Sonic R
- Sonic Adventure
- Sonic Adventure 2
- Sonic Shuffle
- Sonic Advance
- Sonic Advance 2
- Sonic Advance 3
- Sonic Battle
- Sonic Pinball Party
- Sonic Rivals
- Sonic Rivals 2
- Sonic Rush
- Sonic Rush Adventure
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
- Sonic Colors
- Sonic Generations
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- Sonic Adventure DX
- Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
- Sonic Heroes
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Sonic Riders
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
- Sonic Unleashed
- Sonic 2006
- Sonic Unleashed
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 & 2
- Sonic Colors
- Sonic Generations
- Sonic and the Secret Rings
- Sonic and the Black Knight
- Sonic Free Riders
- Sega Superstars Tennis
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- Sonic Lost World
Sonic the Hedgehog, ever since his debut in the early 1990s, has been adored by players around the world. But Sonic isn’t only a huge force as a videogame character; he’s had his fair share of TV shows chronicling his adventures and misadventures across various lands. This was also the first time players were able to attach a voice to Sonic.
There have been five cartoon/anime series produced by various animation studios for Sonic: The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (known by many as SatAM), Sonic the Movie (fondly referred to as “Sonic OVA”), Sonic Underground (“Sonic le Rebelle”), and Sonic X.
Both Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (AoStH) debuted in September 1993; both produced by DiC Entertainment to represent Sonic the Hedgehog on TV. Jaleel White of Family Matters fame provided the voice for Sonic the Hedgehog for both shows. However, the two shows could not have been any different.
The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog took a more humorous approach to the world of Sonic the Hedgehog, often including slapstick comedy and one-note episodes (rather than being story and drama-driven like SatAM). It focused on Sonic and Tails’s adventures throughout Mobius while foiling the plans of Dr. Robotnik (voiced by the late Long John Baldry) and his robot lackeys Grounder, Scratch, and Coconuts. It also included brief snippets of Robotnik’s personal history, with some episodes focusing on Mama Robotnik. The final episode aired in 1995.
SatAM was the other DiC produced cartoon also debuting in 1993. It got its fan name due to being broadcast on early Saturday mornings. The series followed Sonic, Tails, and a resistance group called the Freedom Fighters who were led by Princess Sally Acorn to stand up against Dr. Robotnik, who had betrayed her father and roboticized the majority of the population. The series itself had a more story-driven and darker tone, complementing the wackiness and humorous tone of its sister show. It is also the only Sonic cartoon that does not involve the Chaos Emeralds at all. The final episode was aired in 1994 and was not picked up for a third season. The majority of the show’s characters, story elements, and tone were retained in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics.
The third animated feature happened to a movie: Sonic the Hedgehog (anime), or Sonic OVA to fans. In Japan, it was originally divided up into two episodes: "Journey to Eggmanland" and "Sonic VS Metal Sonic". In the west, for the ADV Films dub, it was released as a full-fledged movie called “Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie”) on September 8th, 1999 to coincide with the launch of the SEGA Dreamcast and Sonic Adventure. In the first portion of the movie—the Journey to Eggmanland portion—Robotnik kidnaps Princess Sara and her father in order for Sonic (Martin Burke) and Tails to defeat Metal Robotnik who has taken over Eggmanland. During their adventure, they meet up with Knuckles, and the trio uncover Sonic’s robotic twin, Hyper Metal Sonic. The second portion of the movie involves Sonic, Tails and Knuckles following Metal Sonic to the Land of the Sky to defeat it once and for all.
Sonic Underground—the fourth animated feature—made its debut in August 1999. It was produced by DiC Entertainment when they were contacted by SEGA in the lead-up to the launch of the SEGA Dreamcast (when SEGA was advertising all of its big franchises). The show chronicled the adventures of Sonic and his siblings Manic and Sonia (all three voiced by Jaleel White) while they attempted to search for their mother, Queen Aleena Hedgehog—the former ruler of Mobius. Dr. Robotnik returns again as the villain, with new bumbling sidekicks: Sleet and Dingo. They pursue the three Hedgehog children to prevent a prophecy from coming to pass: the Queen’s three children will reign Robotnik’s reign of terror. The show also featured quite a few songs per episode, due to all three Hedgehogs being part of a band (“Sonic Underground”), where Sonic plays the guitar, Manic plays the drums, and Sonia plays the keyboards. Sonic Underground only lasted one season due to its lack of popularity among viewers.
The next Sonic animated feature was Sonic X, animated and produced in Japan by TMS Entertainment. It follows Sonic (Jason Griffith) and the rest of the main cast of the games teleporting to Earth. He meets Chris Thorndyke, a human boy who provides them shelter while they try to thwart Dr. Eggman’s plans to conquer Earth. Portions of the first season also adapted Sonic Adventure. Although not very successful in Japan, despite a 52-episode run, the series was very successful abroad, and an additional 25 episodes were made as a “second season” for the series, chronicling Sonic & friends’ travels in space to defeat the Metarex army. Sonic X also introduced many different characters to the Sonic Universe, such as Bokkun, the Thorndyke family, Topaz and Cosmo. A lot of these characters served to assist in developing the main Sonic cast in terms of comedy or even drama (with one example being the relationship between Tails and Cosmo in the second season). 4Kids Entertainment picked up the license for the series in the west, and as a result, the English version of the show was edited for broadcasting guidelines. The soundtrack was changed, entire portions were edited out, and phrases were excised or changed to make the show more family-oriented.
In Fall 2014, Sonic will be returning to the small screen in a CG-animated affair with the working title Sonic Boom. It will debut in the US on Cartoon Network, and on CANAL J/GULLI in France, and then rolling out worldwide. There will be 52 11-minute episodes co-produced by Sega of America and Genao Productions (formerly Timoon Animation). Takashi Iizuka is overseeing the series in order to make sure that the show stays true to Sonic’s universe. In terms of tone, Sonic Boom will a character-driven comedy show which focuses on Sonic and Tails in their battles against Eggman, with Knuckles and Amy Rose rounding out the cast. Some enemies will include those familiar to Sonic fans, with some new ones being thrown in the mix.
The older issues of the Archie comics are collected in the Sonic Archives, each book collecting an average of 4 issues. Vol. 0 collects the miniseries that predates the main comic. It should be noted that the comic continued some remaining plot threads from the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) cartoon while maintaining some of The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's comedy at the beginning. Otherwise, the single issues can be purchased through Archie's website, Comixology, Archie's own iOS/Android app, and from Google Play.
Recent writer, and generally lauded, Ian Flynn's run on the series begins with Issue #160. However, neither #160 nor #161 are collected in TPB form yet. With that said, Archie has begun to compile Flynn's run of the comics under the 'Sonic Saga" branding in TPB format. The first volume can be purchased here, with Volume 5 being expected to release next year.
Sonic Universe is the current sister series focusing on other characters and are generally written as 4-issue arcs. Although the first arc stars Shadow the Hedgehog, it was generally a well-written arc that demonstrated the usefulness of the Sonic Universe branding, and also showcased Flynn's writing skills. Other characters that aren't generally seen as strong, such as Silver the Hedgehog, also gain a more positive outlook via the writing.
After some legal issues surrounding former writer Ken Penders, Archie decided to reboot the series and fortunately it has turned out for the best. With that in mind, it begs the question of where a good starting point is for reading the series. There are a few options to keep in mind:
- Begin reading from when Ian Flynn started writing for the series at #160. Though, you should bear in mind that the earlier issues involved him trying to clean up and bin elements and characters introduced to the series prior to his tenure (ex: Eggman's AI children). There are various references to certain events that occurred years ago that new readers may not get.
- Begin reading from the Sonic Genesis Arc, generally seen as a very easy way to step into the series, as it ties into the game series, while introducing the comic characters for newcomers.
- You can start with Worlds Collide, the Sonic and Mega Man crossover miniseries. It mainly involves the characters from the video games and can be enjoyed even if you've never read neither the Sonic nor Mega Man comics before. Vol. 1 is being released on December 10th, 2013, with the other volumes being released 2-3 months beyond this volume and each other.
- Afterwards/Alternatively you can either start reading from Sonic 252 onwards or wait for this TPB to be released, though there's no set date for that yet sadly.
Sonic music. Those two words alone mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people. Everyone has their favorite tunes, favorite games, or even favorite eras, but not many know who the people behind the scenes are. So let's take a moment and go on a quick musical trip through history, one living legend at a time.
"Sonic is amazingly important to me. As a musician, the Sonic music is really important to me. And if some day down the line, I'm ever given a chance to work on music for Sonic again, I'd be really happy. And I'd get stuck when trying... When I walk by arcades, I'll hear crane game machines playing Sonic music, and I'll just stop there and listen, and I'll cry a little bit from all of the memories."
Often imitated, never duplicated. Bassist and songwriter for J-pop band Dreams Come True, Masato Nakamura is the man behind the music of Sonic 1 and 2, save for the chaos emerald jingle and drowning theme which were composed by Sega staffer Yukifumi Makino (who's a major figure in Sega music in his own right). No matter how much time passes and how much the series changes, it still owes its musical tone to this man.
Green Hill Zone (Demo)
Spring Yard Zone (Demo)
Scrap Brain Zone (Demo)
Chemical Plant Zone (Demo)
Metropolis Zone (Demo)
Sky Chase Zone (Demo)
"If you are composer for game music, I think you should compose music for games: Interactive parts, overwhelming productions, expressions that have strong relationships with games. If you want to compose music just to appeal to yourself, I suggest working someplace else. I hope we can effect each other with our music."
Naofumi Hataya is one of Sega's longest running composers, having joined the company in 1990. He hasn't been one of the main composers on a Sonic game since the days of Sonic 2 8-bit and Sonic CD, but he still contributes a few tracks to the series here and there. Other major projects include NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, Space Channel 5, and Feel the Magic.
Scrambled Egg Zone
Ocean Palace (Mario & Sonic 2012 Mix)
Area - Tropical Resort
Area - Terminal Velocity
"I picked the word “Crush” up because of my favorite soda drink and Johnny added “40″ onto the end. You will have to ask Johnny about other numbers!"
Love him or loathe him, Jun Senoue's been around Sega since Sonic 3 and doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. He went on to be the sound director for every major Sonic game between 16-bit 3D Blast/Flickies' Island and Shadow the Hedgehog, and returned to the role for Black Knight, Sonic 4, and Generations. When he's not in the lead, he's in the background working on album releases, coordinating people for vocal tracks, and occasionally contributing his guitar skills to his coworker's music. In his earlier days he also worked on a number of sports and racing titles, which produced some interesting things like Sega music legend Takenobu Mitsuyoshi singing this track from Victory Goal '96.
Green Grove Act 1
Pleasure Castle ...for Twinkle Park
Sky Deck A Go! Go! ...for Sky Deck
Snowy Mountain ...for Icecap
Event: Let's Make It!
Casino Park - Original ver.
"What I like, to make the game vivid with my sound design in total (or even designing the game in total). What I hate, to assign sound effects to the scenario (sometimes, simple sound-effect does good)."
Another 1993 hire, Mariko Nanba started off as one of the two composers on Knuckles' Chaotix, spent the next several years working on the likes of Panzer Dragoon Saga, Space Channel 5, and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, and then returned to the Sonic franchise in a big way as one of the main composers on Sonic '06 and Rush Adventure. She also composed most of the map themes for Colors, save for the two that Hataya did.
White Acropolis ~The Base~
Area - Sweet Mountain
Area - Starlight Carnival
Area - Planet Wisp
Area - Aquarium Park
Area - Asteroid Coaster
"I create music because I love music! When I create I first begin to think about the atmosphere and visualize the spectacle. I try to sing a song where the music is likely to start in the game."
Another one of Sega's veteran staff, having been with the company since 1991. She got started on the Sonic franchise with 1994's Sonic Triple Trouble, and has since had a major part in composing both Sonic Adventures, the first two Riders games, Secret Rings, and Unleashed. Non-Sonic work includes the likes of NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, and Phantasy Star Online. Her track record speaks for itself.
Theme of E-102γ
Bright Sound ...for Dry Lagoon
High and Broken
Windmill Isle - Night
Mazuri - Day
Empire City - Day
Empire City - Night
"It is wonderful that many fans have been charmed by Sonic. I think that [the 10th anniversary] is a good opportunity to consider the evolution of the work and what can be done from now on. I appreciate the mastery and width of the expression that I have experienced through Sonic. Thank you Mr. Naka very much. I hope the Sonic series will celebrate 20th, 30th anniversary and I hope the future is connected with his creator."
After working on the music for a Daytona USA port in 1996, Kenichi Tokoi was first introduced to the Sonic series as the composer of some of Sonic Jam's original music. Since then he's been more frequently involved with the franchise than any of his coworkers, a lineup that consists of Sonic Adventure, Adventure 2, Battle, Advance 3, Riders, Secret Rings, Riders 2, Unleashed, and Colors. When he's not busy putting out series-defining Sonic tracks, he's been involved in Space Channel 5, Phantasy Star Online, and more recently Yakuza.
Mt. Red: A Symbol of Thrill ...for Red Mountain
Mechanical Resonance ...for Final Egg
Spagonia - Night
Dragon Road - Day
Shamar - Day
Arid Sands - Night
Jungle Joyride - Night
Sweet Mountain - Act 3
Planet Wisp - Act 3
Asteroid Coaster - Act 2
Terminal Velocity - Act 1
"I want to join the project that is always striking out in a new direction."
Tomoya Ohtani is one of the sound team's comparatively recent hires, his first project being Chu Chu Rocket in 1999. He contributed a few tracks to Sonic Adventure 2 (most notably the Knuckles raps) and one to Heroes, but spent most of the first half of the 00's on projects like Space Channel 5 and Billy Hatcher. And then he wound up being the sound director for Sonic '06, emerging from obscurity to redefine what modern Sonic music could be after eight years of Senoue. He's since composed for Rush Adventure and returned as sound director for Unleashed and Colors. When Ohtani's in the lead, Good Things are coming.
Deeper ...for Death Chamber
Wave Ocean ~The Water's Edge~
Radical Train ~The Chase~
Dusty Desert ~The Ruins~
Windmill Isle - Day
Cool Edge - Day
Rooftop Run - Night
The World Adventure - Piano ver.
Tropical Resort - Act 3
Starlight Carnival - Act 2
Aquarium Park - Act 1
And there are so many more. Masaru Setsumaru, Teruhiko Nakagawa, Hideaki Kobayashi, Yutaka Minobe, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada, Richard Jacques, Howard Drossin, the Michael Jackson-flavored enigma that is Sonic 3, any number of one-off composers like Yuzo Koshiro and Maki Morrow, a wide array of independent bands and artists, loads of supporting staff, the list just goes on and on and on. So the next time you finish a Sonic game, spare a moment of your attention during the credits for the sound staff, and know that the names there are some of the industry's best.
Special thanks to Pietepiet, Tizoc, Dark Schala & Sciz for contributions & ideas.