The Sonic the Hedgehog brought a lot of retro love for Valentine’s Day, so what better time than now to celebrate the origins of Sonic the Hedgehog! How did the image of a blue hedgehog with red sneakers puncture the public image of the adorable rodent? Just how did the blue blur come to be and become a household name?
Where does Sonic the Hedgehog come from?
Interestingly enough, there has been quite a lot of lore gathered on our hero’s past. Origin stories, past names (depending on source) and prototype designs that didn’t make the cut. So let’s take a trip back through time to discover the origins of Sonic the Hedgehog!
Sonic the Hedgehog or Mouse?
By the 90s, SEGA was in dire need for a mascot to rival Nintendo’s mustachioed plumber. An internal competition was held to find such a hero. Naoto Ohshima’s design, a hedgehog, took centre stage. Runners up included what would be Dr. Eggman (modelled off Santa Claus) and a Felix inspired bunny rabbit!
Entering stage left, Mr. Needlemouse!
With blue spikes, red shoes and a personality modelled on Bill Clinton (yes, really), Sonic the Hedgehog’s image was a nod to American culture. But hedgehogs and speed? The two at first didn’t seem like compatible concepts. However, it was Yuji Naka – with a desire to program the fastest game on a home console – that brought the idea to life. Along with Hirokazu Yasuhara, the game planner and director, they formed a formidable team to bring Sonic to thousands of televisions across the world!
Sonic the Hedgehog origins: The Backstory
Most heroes have an origin story, and Sonic the Hedgehog’s origins is no exception! I was fortunate enough to have a copy of Stay Sonic in my possession as a kid. The book explored the story of how Sonic earned his blue quills, a sense of style and a desire to save the world.
However, that is only one version. According to technical documents, Sonic was actually born on Christmas Island, fighting Dr. Eggman over the possession of the Chaos Emeralds.
The westernized story takes place on Planet Mobius. Here we see a friendship between Sonic and genius professor Dr. Kintobor flourish. Sonic trains on his treadmill to break the sound barrier and turns into that cool shade of blue we all know and love. The classic shoes are gifted by Kintobor in order for him to comfortably reach nearly impossible fast speeds. Dr. Kintobor shows Sonic his device for absorbing the evil energy on Mobius using the very technical sounding R.O.C.C (Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor). However, an event involving the egg and the machine’s malfunction creates the villain as we know him… Robotnik / Eggman!
A speedy future for Sonic the Hedgehog
The rest is Sonic the Hedgehog history! From 2D to 3D, platforming to snowboarding, the blue blur has not been out of work for long! Sonic’s even enjoyed a long term rivalry and camaraderie with Mario in the Olympic Games crossover series! Sonic has also travelled through time periods, visiting the worlds of the 1001 Arabian Nights and King Arthur’s medieval England. The normally chill rodent also turned into a werehog on occasion!
Valentine’s Day seems a perfect time to celebrate such a well loved character! What are your experiences with Sonic the Hedgehog? Let us know with a comment!