He is an icon, a mascot above all mascots, and he is a legend in gaming. He is credited with having toppled Nintendo from the top of the gaming industry mountain, and launching the then-struggling Sega into first place, as well as into the consciousness of gamers everywhere.
I am, of course, talking about Sonic The Hedgehog.
The Blue Blur, The ‘Hog, whatever you want to call him, there is always a measure of respect that goes with his name. Much like Nintendo’s own Mario, Sonic has gone above and beyond all the wildest expectations of his creators, and has embedded himself within popular culture. There’s no denying that even after all this time, he has lost little of what has made him so great as a character when he first debuted on the Genesis in 1991.
Everyone who’s been playing games for any significant length of time knows about Sega. Most even probably know of Yuji Naka, the man most credited as Sonic’s creator. While Naka fairly deserves his share of the fame and recognition, it must be made clear that Sonic was not solely his idea. There were a few people who had much to do with the iconic figure we know today, including Naoto Ohshima, a man who all too often is forgotten when anything hedgehog is mentioned. Still, Naka is the man who made Sonic the star he is today, and the resulting success made him one of the top designers at Sega, second only perhaps to Yu Suzuki. With Sonic‘s debut, Naka would play an integral role in the character’s development and growth, and used his new-found fame to branch off with other successful series, like Phantasy Star Online.
Sonic was brought to life by Sega Consumer Department #3, or AM8, which would later be identified as “Sonic Team,” a unit which was composed of fifteen people. Among them were group head Shinobu Toyoda, lead programmer Yuji Naka, and character designer Naoto Ohshima. Naka had experienced success with the first two Phantasy Star games, and had a hand in several other big Sega hits, like the Master System versions of Space Harrier and OutRun. Ohshima also worked on Phantasy Star and its sequel, and it wasn’t long before the two began to work closely together again. Their achievement with the first Sonic game brought Sega much success, but they separated briefly after it was released (Naka was dissatisfied with the administration and headed to the U.S. to the Sega Technical Institute, where Sonic The Hedgehog 2 & 3 were made). He soon after returned to Japan for Sonic & Knuckles, and eventually the duo moved on to the Saturn and released such highly acclaimed games like Burning Ranger & NIGHTS: Into Dreams. Ohshima left Sonic Team after the release of Sonic Adventure and went on to join Artoon, where he worked on Pinobee and Blinx. Even with all the lineup changes, Sonic Team has maintained a constant presence on the Dreamcast, as well as on the current crop of consoles.
It all started early in 1990, when Sega of Japan head Hayao Nakayama made it clear that the company needed a mascot to combat Mario, who was tearing up the charts with his incredible platformers. His games were a major source of fuel to the Nintendo console-selling machine, and Sega wanted in on the action. An internal contest at Sega was held, and numerous entries were received, including a rabbit that could grab and throw things with its ears. The two finalists were an armadillo and a hedgehog. Naka had long been nurturing the idea of a character that could roll itself into a ball to attack enemies. but it was Ohshima who identified the hedgehog as the best candidate. The two began working feverishly and eventually came up with a final design, which included a pair of sneakers to symbolize the character’s quickness, and spikey hair to identify him as a hedgehog.
Everyone knows that a hero is nothing without a good nemesis, and Ohshima came up with the portly Dr. Eggman (renamed Ivo Robotnik in the U.S.) to challenge Sonic’s every move. Naka used a common Japanese theme of encroaching mechanization for the game’s plot, and it was decided that Eggman would be out to mechanize the entire world, even encasing Sonic’s friends in robotic shells. Eventually, Sega would realize how stupid the American name for the villain was, and would apply his true namesake for all territories.
Before the game was released, American management retooled the character for domestic audiences. Sega of Japan had packaged him as a member of an animal-filled rock band (a few of whose members would eventually resurface for Knuckles Chaotix on the 32X), and they even gave him a human girlfriend named Madonna. According to Sonic marketing director, Madeline Shroeder, Naoto Oshima’s backstory of rock and busty blondes wouldn’t sit well at all with American audiences. Both the band and the girlfriend were eliminated, as were the fangs that Oshima had given the hedgehog. One key Sonic element that was retained were his signature boots, which were actually modeled after those worn by Michael Jackson in the video for his hit Bad. To make them more visible, Oshima gave them a universally recognized color scheme, that used by Santa Claus himself – red and white.
When the new look was presented to Sonic Team in Japan, the reaction was unanimous: they hated it. Shinobu Toyoda expressed their concerns in a documentary for GameTap in 2009. “I think Oshima’s art style was very Japanese,” he explained. “In those days, Sega of America’s marketing really wanted to make it a little more American, and the very first Sonic The Hedgehog game poster SOA marketing created was hated by the Sonic Team and became a big issue at that time.” With a potential war brewing between the American and Japanese branches of the company over the valued new character, SOA moved quickly to smooth things out and sent Shroeder to Japan to make peace. “I had to go to Japan,” she told GameTap, “and negotiate or rationalize why Sonic should look like this going forward, and that wasn’t a fun meeting.” Eventually, Shroeder and SOA president Tom Kalinske managed to convince the team that the retooling was for the best, and the release date was not altered.
Sonic The Hedgehog was released on June 23, 1991, and set the world on fire. Here was a character that made Mario look old and slow, while at the same time defining “cool” to a new generation of gamers. He made his Japanese debut a month later, and Sega took the extra time to tweak the game, adding scrolling clouds in the background and enhanced water effects. While very successful in his native country, Sonic was most warmly received in the United States, where a reported seven out of ten gamers said they preferred him to Mario (more children of the time could identify Sonic than Mickey Mouse or even then-president Bill Clinton). The lightning-fast gameplay wowed everyone who saw it, even though critics were quick to point out the relative shallowness of the game engine. After all, all you did was hold the D-pad to the right and press jump every so often. Even so, people were eating the game up like crack-covered candy, and by the end of 1991, 2.3 million Genesis consoles had been sold, handedly outselling the fledgling SNES. So successful was Sonic The Hedgehog, that Tom Kalinske convinced Sega of Japan to make it the pack-in game for Genesis consoles. Despite Hayao Nakayama yelling and kicking over a chair at the suggestion that the company’s best new title be given away with the hardware, he eventually conceded to Kalinske’s wisdom and agreed. His trust in his friend would pay off, as the bundled version of Sonic eventually went on to ship to over fifteen million homes.
When a game this big comes along, you have to ride it for all its worth. That’s precisely what Sega did, and Sonic soon saw action on the Game Gear handheld system, as well as the aging Master System. Though it was quietly put to rest in the U.S. in 1990, the Master System still clung to life in South America and Europe, where it saw ports of several more Sonic Game Gear titles. In all, Sega’s mascot had more outings on the Game Gear- thirteen in all- than on any other console; a record which still stands to this day. The Game Gear titles had a great degree of diversity, ranging from standard side-scrollers to racing games. Though most have not aged particularly well, they have all been made available to today’s audience via inclusion in both the Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems compilations. Sonic eventually made his way to other handhelds, appearing on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Game.con, Game Boy Advance, and even the N-Gage. The blue hero’s presence wasn’t enough to save the platform, however, and it was eventually swallowed up by Nintendo’s Game Boy monster.
Back on his home platform, the Genesis, things were very different. The original Sonic The Hedgehog had well surpassed sales expectations, and the sequel hit stores shelves in 1992, to the delight of gamers everywhere. Sega had left the core gameplay intact, and instead concentrated on creating a sensory overload. There were more stages with better graphics, and the game was strictly designed for speed, a marked difference from the platform-specific levels of the original. A new character, Miles “Tails” Prower was introduced as Sonic’s sidekick. His name, a play on the term “miles per hour,” was eventually shortened to simply “Tails” and immediately the confusion set in. Was Tails a male or female? Why was s/he so obsessed with Sonic? Would the two start dating? Needless to say, Tails’ Robin to Sonic’s Batman was not so warmly embraced by many people, and to this day he is more of an acquired taste than anything else.
Sonic 2 distinguished itself instantly for three things. First, its incredible 3D bonus stages, which had both Sonic & Tails running into the screen through a winding and twisting corridor, was something of a novelty back in the day. No one had ever really attempted anything so ambitious with the Genesis hardware, and the mention of anything 3D on the console was usually met with snickers and skeptical grins. Sonic 2 wiped away the smirks and made believers out of many critics. Another innovation was the two-player mode which allowed you and a friend to race via split-screen. The interlaced image gave the screen a squashed look, but it was still highly playable. Third was the introduction of “Blast Processing,” a gimmick designed to poke fun at the difference in processor speed between the Genesis and SNES. In essence, it was nothing more than a neat programming trick where the background scrolling and enemy animation were turned off, allowing Sonic to move at seemingly break-neck speeds. Gimmick or not, it worked, and the public became convinced of the Genesis potential.
1993 saw Sonic’s debut on the Sega CD, in what most fans consider the best of the original series. Though the level design was convoluted and even poor in some areas, and the soundtrack was changed for the U.S. release (Spencer Nilsen of Ecco fame did the honors), the game was still a success, though not enough of one to save the Sega CD from a slow death. Sonic was also featured that year in a fun arcade game, which featured only a single button and track ball as the controls. In Segasonic the Hedgehog, our hero had to escape from Eggman’s labyrinth of traps, along with new companions Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo. A unique and refreshing change of pace from the typical platforming fare of the series, it has never seen a home release, even with the plethora of compilations and collections that have graced multiple platforms over the years. This is most likely due to the inability of home consoles to adequately mimic the trackball control that was so essential to the gameplay. Anyone who has played home versions of Marble Madness or Crystal Castles knows what I mean.
Quite a few innovative products were also produced that year, and we saw the hedgehog take the role of a pinball for the American-developed Sonic Spinball. Even Eggman got in on the action, with his own version of the popular Puyo Puyo puzzle game called Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Yes, 1993 was perhaps the most productive and inspired year of Sonic’s career, qualities the series would eventually disappear from many of his later appearances.
Sega kept the blue money machine rolling, and the next year they released a third installment in their star franchise. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 saw the introduction of yet another character to the Sonic mythos, Knuckles the Echidna. Wrongly led to believe that Sonic was his enemy, Knuckles takes the Chaos Emeralds and gives them to Eggman. He eventually comes to his senses and aids in getting them back. Knuckles, now considered Sonic’s equal and a force for good, joined him in a pseudo-sequel to Sonic 3 entitled Sonic & Knuckles. Gamers could play the adventure on its own, or by use of the cartridge’s “lock-on technology,” could connect it to the other three games in the series, adding extra levels to each (the first Sonic benefited from new bonus stages), and the ability to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2 & 3. The new technology was something of a gimmick, but was the type that should actually have been used again. It never was.
Eventually, Knuckles would star in his own game, Knuckles Chaotix on the short-lived 32X. Originally designed as a Genesis titles called Sonic Crackers, it added a new dynamic to the gameplay that had Knuckles tethered to another character by means of a bungie-like cord. The two characters had to work in tandem to reach platforms and navigate their way through the complex levels. Though fun and markedly different in style from past attempts,, Chaotix was yet another Sonic game which fell victim to an unsuccessful platform. The major change in gameplay, along with the quick death of the 32X meant that the character would be put in cold storage. He would never have another starring role.
With the exception of the weird-but fun Sonic Spinball and some PC compilations, nothing really exciting was done with the series until 1996. That year, Sonic was featured in two games that stirred a bit of controversy and manifested Sega’s cluelessness about where next to take the franchise. In Sonic the Fighters, Yu Suzki’s AM2 game division worked Sonic into a revision of their Fighting Vipers engine just for kicks. Suzuki liked the idea and presented it to Naka, who thought it was cute, and an entire fighting game was created featuring eight playable characters. Sonic the Fighters (Sonic Championship in the states) let you take control of the Blue One himself, as well as Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Espio the Chameleon, Bark the Polar bear, Fang the Sniper, and Bean the Dynamite. Metal Sonic and Eggman are bonus rounds, and even Super Sonic appears. The gameplay is not very deep, and if you’re thinking of something comparable to Virtua Fighter in terms of complexity, prepared to be disappointed. Sonic the Fighters is to be included on the new Sonic Gems Collection.
Sonic the Fighters was distributed in limited quantities in the U.S., as Sega has mixed emotions about releasing a fighting game with their prized mascot. Supposedly, a Saturn version was announced but never completed, as AM2’s manpower and resources were put “to better use” (like Virtua Fighter Kids?). The closest we came was the inclusion of Bark and Bean in Fighters Megamix, along with a few backgrounds.
Perhaps the darkest chapter of Sonic’s career took place in Spring of 1996. The Genesis was in the twilight of its life, and the time to move on to bigger and better hardware had arrived. Sega was going to be facing stiff competition from old rival Nintendo, as well as upstart newcomer Sony, and they needed to start the 32-bit generation off on the right foot. What they did was fall flat on their faces. When the Saturn was surprisingly launched in 1995, they made the fundamental error of not having their star mascot alongside the new hardware. The fiasco that was the Saturn’s debut was a result of many factors, most important of all being the lack of available software. Sonic was nowhere to be found, and gamers had only a wind-up toy named Pepperouchau from Clockwork Knight to sate their platforming hunger. At E3 the next year, Sega sought to rectify the situation and announced Sonic Xtreme, providing a playable demo to hopefully increase interest in their embattled Saturn console.
Originally designed by Chris Senn and Michael Kosaka, the demo that eventually evolved into Sonic Xtreme was slated for a 32X release, with a fair amount of work having been done up until the fall of 1995, but the huge convulsions in Sega’s management hierarchy and Hayao Nakayama’s disastrous decision to discontinue all hardware to concentrate on the Saturn forced the game to switch platforms in mid-development. This gave the team only a few months to complete Sonic Xtreme for a console for which they had no hardware specs, developmental systems, or documentation. With only around twenty people working on the project around the clock, a feverish pace set in, and Senn optimistically believed that the final product would eventually have resembled something along the lines of NIGHTS: Into Dreams, in terms of graphics, but would have played more like Mario 64. There was much pressure on Senn and his team, and he was often forced to show unfinished builds to the press in order to combat the wave of hype that was surrounding the project. Work was divided into three groups, and this ultimately laid the seeds to the game’s undoing.
In March of 1996, Shoichiro Irimajiri (the head of SOJ) arrived to check up on Xtreme‘s progress. He was apparently shown two incomplete builds, never seeing the PC version, which was much farther along. He was outraged at the lack of progress, but his mood changed when he was shown a build of the boss levels. He decided then and there that the game should use that build only and not the main engine being done by the other groups. Irimajiri left without ever having seen the much more polished PC rev. This narrow-minded, spur-of-the-moment decision put any hope of a Christmas release in serious danger, and producer Mike Wallis was forced to put together a smaller, crack team which worked twelve to fifteen-hour days at the Sega Technical Institute to have the game ready in time. They received a boost in April, when new SOA CEO Bernie Stolar gave them the NIGHTS engine, which freed them from having to create whole new development tools. Unfortunately, Yuji Naka was not aware this decision had been made, and upon finding out, threatened to leave Sega if Wallis and co. didn’t cease and desist immediately. The team was now back at square one, and Senn, still determined to make Sonic Xtreme a reality, took full reign of the project and worked like mad from June to August until his body finally gave out from exhaustion and stress. He informed management that he could not continue, and Sega delayed the game indefinitely, thus ending the whirlwind odyssey that had been Sonic Xtreme. More information on Sonic Xtreme can be found over at Chris Senn’s forum. He has a slew of documents and videos to share, and he’s currently compiling a comprehensive history on the failed project.
Want to see what could have been? Sega-16 has for you a special treat, then. Here is the video of Sonic Xtreme that was shown to the press at the 1996 Gamer’s Day Show. clocking in at just over two minutes, it’s one of the best showings of the game in action. It’s a big one, but trust me, it’s really worth the time. Watch it and be prepared to feel the anger surge within you…
With Xtreme‘s demise, Sega was left without a Sonic title for the very important Christmas season. Their only option was the very mediocre Sonic 3D Blast, which had been something of a “back up” title to Xtreme. It was never intended to be a system pusher, and the reason why is painfully obvious. Here was a game that seemed pretty neat on the Genesis, but came across as more of a throw-away release on the much more powerful Saturn. Farmed out to developer Traveler’s Tales, it was an isometric adventure that had Sonic maneuvering around huge stages collecting five Flickies in order to move on to the next area. The Saturn version sported few upgrades over the Genesis cartridge, most notably a new soundtrack by Richard Jacques (Sonic R). Other minor tweaks included a map of Flickie’s Island during loading screens and a new CG intro. The biggest problem was that it played exactly the same as the 16-bit version, giving Saturn owners little incentive for a purchase.
The Saturn saw a grand total of three Sonic games, none of them a true successor to Sonic 3 or even Sonic & Knuckles. In addition to 3D Blast, the characters were worked into a racing game called Sonic R, which though not half bad, suffered from some of the cheesiest B-tunes ever collected on one disc. If you’re a fan of the vocal tracks found in such Sonic Team games as NIGHTS and Burning Rangers, then this is the game for you. Most gamers agreed that Sonic R was a fun diversion, but in no way made up for a true sequel. Sega tried to appease their fans with the diverse Sonic Jam, a collection of all four of the Blue Blur’s original Genesis adventures. Each game is essentially the same as the original, but with new difficulty levels added, a time attack mode, the spin dash available in the original Sonic The Hedgehog, and a save feature. Sonic Jam also sported a plethora of extras for fans to enjoy, and there were sound tests for each title, concept art for the characters, and even Japanese television commercials to view. The collection even sported a new fully 3D world that featured a ton of mini missions to complete.
Sonic was a lost soul for the next few years, until the Dreamcast was announced in 1998. That August, Naka revealed that a new games was in the works and would debut with the new console. Finally, Sega would learn from all their past hardware mistakes. Finally they would launch a new system with a true Sonic game. Finally, they would set things right with their mascot. Sonic Adventure brought the franchise into the 32-bit age with a bang. The first real game in the series since Sonic & Knuckles, it was what gamers had been waiting for. The speed was here, the attitude was here, and most importantly, it relied on the tried and true Sonic gameplay instead of some gimmick. There were some camera issues, but everyone agreed that the ‘Hog was back. Sonic Adventure featured all the classic characters, including the nefarious Eggman, and came packed with a bunch of fun mini games. After you encounter the other members of the cast, like Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose; you can play their respective quests. Adventure even offered a neat Chao raising mini game that used the Dreamcast’s Video Memory Unit (VMU).
Sonic Adventure eventually went on to become a bonafide hit, selling well over a million copies in all territories. A sequel was soon announced, and Dreamcast owners everywhere anxiously awaited the next addition to the Sonic legend. Sonic Adventure 2 was released in June of 2001, and brought back the same core gameplay that had made the original so popular. Unfortunately, it also gave the supporting characters more of a starring role. Many gamers complained of the lack of Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2, and were displeased to spend most of the game tracking down Chaos Emerald shards as Knuckles and Rogue or having to meander around in a chicken walker as Tails. There were some positive notes, such as the light/dark storyline choice, which had you chose either Sonic or his new counterpart Shadow the Hedgehog, but the game was never as well-received as the original. Having to play each stage as a predetermined character meant you couldn’t return to stages with someone else to explore new areas. This new style was decidedly linear and sapped away its replay value. Still Sonic Adventure 2 was a decent play and was eventually released, along with the first game, on the GameCube, with some minor enhancements and the Game Gear titles as unlockables.
As with the Saturn, the Dreamcast also saw an attempt by Sega to cash in on Sonic’s popularity. Sonic Shuffle, a mundane board game that has some of the worst loading times on the Dreamcast, was released and subsequently ignored by the masses. In it, you must collect more emblems than the other players and move using a series of cards. A nice idea that was overshadowed by horrible execution, Sonic Shuffle tried to bring a fresh face to a classic franchise, but ended up failing, despite an interesting premise and decent cell-shaded graphics.
When Sega discontinued the Dreamcast in 2001 and announced they would go “platform agnostic,” excitement grew regarding where the next Sonic title would land. As all three consoles were more powerful than Sega’s last hardware, there was much hope for the future. Yet whether it be the Xbox, PS2, or GameCube version, Sonic Heroes plays very much the same: uninspired. You chose from one of three teams: one light (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles), and one dark (Rogue, Shadow, E-123 Omega) and blast through stages in a fashion very similar to the Adventure games. This means that there are areas where only specific characters can progress, and each team member excels in one of three areas: power, flight, and speed. You must use a combination of all three characters to successfully navigate each level, and while many thought it was an innovative twist on the Sonic formula, it was still criticized for turning away once again from what made Sonic truly great: speed, and concentrating too much on the other characters. What would Mario be without his mushrooms? Master Chief without his armor and guns? Why then, would Sega constantly dilute their Sonic games with elements that go against the most fundamental characteristic of the character?
Sonic’s Future a Blur?
The only other appearances between 2002 and 2005 by Sega’s biggest star was for a series of Sonic Café mobile phone games in Japan, and a few outings on the Game Boy Advance and N-Gage. Apparently, Sega has taken the handheld lesson to heart, and recently announced Sonic Rush for the Nintendo DS. As with his other portable adventures, Rush is a 2D speedfest that has you manipulate Sonic through each stage using the stylus. It’s reportedly one of fastest Sonic titles yet, and will hopefully herald his return to the greatness he had during the 16-bit era.
Incorporating run-‘n-gun elements with classic speed, Shadow the Hedgehog also features open-ended gameplay that changes depending on your choices, as well as a two-player cooperative mode. Debuting to horrible reviews, the game nevertheless somehow managed to sell over a million copies. Though the quality of the game is still much debated, it still shows that the franchise has room for spin offs and side stories. Just how far Sega will take this route remains to be seen, as no other releases including other characters has been mentioned by the publisher.
Sega brought back the main star himself for a trio of games for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, but none have managed to recapture the magic the franchise seemed to lose early on. 2006’s Sonic The Hdgehog was almost universally panned, and Sonic & the Secret Rings has been criticized for its motion control (though most agree that it’s the among the best of the bunch recently released). Sonic Unleashed seemed to come close to the fun and speed of the the original Sonic Adventure, but fans have been quite vocal about their disdain of the werewolf (werehog?) night stages. Perhaps the character’s most successful venture of this decade has been one which ironically pitted him against his old nemesis Mario in an Olympic setting. The Nintendo Wii and DS versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympics has been a massive hit, selling a combined ten million copies worldwide
Sonic is still going strong in his Archie Comic series, already at almost two hundred issues, and he’s been the star of many products, including Happy Meal toys and clothing. Moreover, several new games have been announced for next gen consoles and the PSP. Even after a decade and a half, the star power is still there. His history is a long and storied one, and when Sega manages to stay true to the character, while keeping each new installment fresh and interesting, gamers will still seek him out when they feel the need for speed. Here’s to a great fourteen years and to a bright future. Long live Sonic!
The complete release chronology is as follows:
- Sonic The Hedgehog, Genesis (1991)
- Sonic The Hedgehog, Master System (1991)
- Sonic The Hedgehog, Game Gear (1991)
- Sonic Eraser, Mega Drive Telegenesis download only (1991)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Genesis (1992)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Game Gear (1992)
- Segasonic the Hedgehog, Arcade (1993)
- Sonic CD, Sega CD (1993)
- Sonic & Tails, Game Gear (1993)
- Sonic Spinball, Genesis (1993)
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Genesis (1993)
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Game Gear (1993)
- Segasonic Cosmo Fighter, Arcade (1993)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Genesis (1994)
- Sonic Drift, Game Gear (1994)
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Master System (1994)
- Sonic The Hedgehog Game World, Pico (1994)
- Sonic Spinball, Game Gear (1994)
- Tails & the Music Maker, Pico (1994)
- Sonic & Knuckles, Genesis (1994)
- Sonic & Tails 2, Game Gear (1994)
- Waku Waku Sonic Patokaa, Arcade (1994)
- Sonic Spinball, Master System (1995)
- Sonic Drift 2, Game Gear (1995)
- Chaotix, 32X (1995)
- Tails’ Skypatrol, Game Gear (1995)
- Tails’ Adventures, Game Gear (1995)
- Sonic Labyrinth, Game Gear (1995)
- Sonic 2-in-1, Game Gear (1995)
- Sonic the Fighters, Arcade (1996)
- Sonic CD, PC (1996)
- Sonic 3D Blast, Genesis (1996)
- Sonic 3D Blast, Saturn (1996)
- G Sonic, Game Gear (1996)
- Sonic’s Schoolhouse, PC (1996)
- Sonic Classics, Genesis (1996)
- Sonic & Knuckles Collection, PC (1997)
- Sonic Jam, Saturn (1997)
- Sonic 3D Blast, PC (1997)
- Sonic R, Saturn (1997)
- G Sonic, Master System (1997)
- Sonic Jam, Game.Com (1997)
- Sonic R, PC (1998)
- Sonic Adventure, Dreamcast (1999)
- Sonic Pocket Adventure, Neo Geo Pocket Color (1999)
- Sonic Shuffle, Dreamcast (2000)
- Sonic Adventure 2, Dreamcast (2001)
- Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, GameCube (2001)
- Sonic Advance, Game Boy Advance (2001)
- Sega Smash Pack, Dreamcast (2001)
- Sonic The Hedgehog, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2001)
- Sonic Tennis, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Vodafone Mobile Phones (2001)
- Sonic Mega Collection, GameCube (2002)
- Sonic Advance 2, Game Boy Advance (2002)
- Sonic Golf, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Speed DX, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Vodafone Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic Fishing, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic Billiards, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Vodafone Mobile Phones (2002)
- Nakayoshi Chao!, DoCoMo i-mode 504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic Bowling, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Eggman no Kazu Ate Panic!, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic no Jirai Sagashi Game, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic Racing Shift Up, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2002)
- Sonic Pinball Party, Game Boy Advance (2003)
- Sonic Adventure DX, GameCube (2003)
- Sonic N, N-Gage (2003)
- Sonic Battle, Game Boy Advance (2003)
- Sonic Adventure DX, PC (2003)
- Sega Smash Pack, PC (2003)
- Sonic Heroes, GameCube/Playstation 2/Xbox (2003)
- Sonic Putter, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504 Mobile Phones (2003)
- Sonic Darts, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Vodafone Mobile Phones (2003)
- Sonic Racing Kart, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2003)
- Sonic Reversi, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505 Vodafone Mobile Phones (2003)
- Tails No Flying Get, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2003)
- Sonic The Hedgehog, Palm Tungsten C/Tungsten T/Zire 71
- Sonic Advance 3, Game Boy Advance (2004)
- Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Xbox/Playstation 2 (2004)
- Sonic Adventure DX, PC (2004)
- Sonic Heroes, PC (2004)
- Sonic Hopping, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2004)
- Sonic Hopping 2, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2004)
- Sonic Hearts, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2004)
- Sonic Panel Puzzle, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2004)
- Sonicgammon, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 503/504/505/900 Mobile Phones (2004)
- Sonic no Daifugau, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 505/900 Mobile Phones (2005)
- Sonic Jump, NTT DoCoMo i-mode 505/900 Mobile Phones (2005)
- Sonic Rush, Nintendo DS (2005)
- Shadow The Hedgehog, Xbox/GameCube/Playstation 2 (2005)
- Sonic Gems Collection, Xbox/GameCube/Playstation 2 (2005)
- Sonic Riders, Xbox/GameCube/Playstation 2 (2006)
- Sonic Rivals, Sony PSP (2006)
- Sonic The Hedgehog, Xbox 360/Playstation 3 (2006)
- Sonic The Hedgehog [Genesis version], Wii Virtual Console (2006)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 1 & 2 [Sega Genesis Collection], Playstation 2/Sony PSP (2006)
- Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis, Game Boy Advance (2006)
- Sonic & the Secret Rings, Nintendo Wii (2007)
- Sonic The Hedgehog Arcade, Xbox Live Arcade (2007)
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Nintendo Wii (2007)
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Nintendo DS (2008)
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Nintendo DS (2008)
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Nintendo Wii (2008)
- Sonic Unleashed, Xbox 360/Playstation 3 (2008)
- Sonic at the Olympic Games, Audiovox CDM-180, 8615, 8910, 8940 Mobile Phones (2008)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Xbox Live Arcade (2008)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 1-3, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Spinball [Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection], Xbox 360/Playstation 3 (2009)
- Sonic & the Black Knight, Nintendo Wii (2009)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Xbox Live Arcade (2009)
- Sonic & Knuckles, Xbox Live Arcade (2009)
- Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, P C (2010)
- Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Ep. 1 Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, PC, WiiWare, iOS, Windows Phone (2010)
- Sonic Colors, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS (2010)
- Sonic Generations, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo 3DS (2011)
Updated on September 2, 2009.
- Allen, Jonathan. Spotlight: Sonic Xtreme. Lost Levels.org. March 2004.
- Boyke, Edward. Sonic Rush Preview. Got-Next. June 12, 2005.
- Character Info. The Blue Blur. Archie Comics.
- Crecente, Brian. Another Mario/Sonic Collaboration in the Works?. Kotaku. June 18, 2008.
- Davis Cameron & Shoemaker, Brad. The History of Sonic the Hedgehog. Gamespot.
- Game Info. Multiple Titles. Green Hill Zone. 2005.
- Game Info. Shadow the Hedgehog. Sega of America. 2005
- Pettus, Sam. Genesis: A New Beginning. Eidolon’s Inn.
- Sonic The Hedgehog GameTap Retrospective Part 2. YouTube. February 17, 2009.