This is the year where things got busy for Sonic the Hedgehog. Lots more games were released to please the Sonic-maniacs throughout the country, and then… the merchandise came out. Yes, this year was most prosperous for Sonic. Fans have been crying out for a repeat of this year for many many moons now, and Sonic X looks set to do the job…
1993: Sonic Mania!
February: Archie Sonic Comics (USA)
Archie Comics publish the first official Sonic comic series called Sonic the Hedgehog. Starring Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Sally, Rotor, Antoine, and Bunnie against the evil Dr. Robotnik. At first the comic was a 4-issue mini series but has spawned into a series with several spinoffs and specials and to this day is still published.
February: Sonic Hot Air Balloon (Switzerland)
There was a huge Sonic the Hedgehog Hot Air Balloon that made a tour around the world plugging Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This appearance was in Switzerland. Thanks to ‘Leon’ for the two images provided above.
May 29th: Fleetway Sonic the Comic (UK)
Fleetway Comics start publishing the official Sonic the Comic comic books in the UK. The comic series stars Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, Amy Rose, Porker Lewis, and Johnny Lightfoot. They work to keep Mobius free from the evil Dr. Robotnik.
The comic was also published in Italy as “Sonic Videogame & Fumetti”, Germany as “Sonic der Comic” (discontinued in 1995), France as “Sonic Mag”, and Holland as “Sonic Magazine”. Reprints of the comics started on July 2000 and only recently ended in January of 2002.
June 29th: SEGASonic the Hedgehog Arcade (Japan)
Not much is known in the west about this Arcade game featuring everyone’s favourite hedgehog, as the machine never saw light of day outside Japan. The game had three characters – Sonic, Ray the Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo. The characters were controlled by a large trackball built into the arcade machine, and players ventured through a world similar to Sonic 3D Blast. You can still play Sega Sonic Arcade, provided you grab the necessary ROM and Emulator for the game, although Emulation is pretty slow at this stage.
September 1993: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
The AoStH animated cartoon series from DiC begins its syndicated run. The longest running Sonic cartoon ever, it’s a goofy Disney type cartoon about Sonic & Tails against Dr. Robotnik and his silly goons. 65 episodes were created, making it the longest running of any Sonic The Hedgehog cartoon. It airs on Toon Disney as of now.
September 1993: Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)
Created by DiC. The Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon had better animation then AoSTH and a more mature tone. The series aired on ABC Saturday mornings alongside AoStH, and earned the moniker ‘SatAM’ from fans because of this, to distinguish between the two series. It was based on Archie’s Sonic comic series. 26 episodes were created – the first season was thirteen episodes and the second season aired in 1994 with another thirteen episodes – but never made a 3rd season due to it’s cancellation from airing at the same time as Power Rangers began.
September 23rd: Sonic CD (Japan)
Due to lack of space on the Sonic 2 cartridge, Sonic Team set their time travelling sights on Sonic CD, the only Sonic game to grace the Mega CD, and possibly the only good game on it also. Eggman has found a moon that can bend time, thus consequently going back in time and making the world into his own that way. Cheat. Sonic finds out and stops him as always. There are many secrets in this game, and the different backdrops as you travel back and forth in time are stunning.
September 25th: Sonic Chaos (Master System, Latin America)
Sonic Chaos was one of the last Sonic game on the Master System, before the surprise release of Sonic Blast, but there was more to come on the Game Gear. For the third game, Sega had given the graphics an overhaul from the last two games, and included the Spin Dash as well as Tails as a playable character (at last). In this game, Eggman steals the Chaos Emeralds from South Island, and Sonic & Tails must stop him before the whole world is destroyed by the imbalance that occurs from the missing gems.
November 19th: Sonic CD (USA)
Releases with a brand new soundtrack crafted by Spencer Nilsen – the composer was set a deadline of just two weeks to change the soundtrack, in which time he created US-flavoured versions of all Present and Future (Good and Bad) stages. As well as an entirely different intro/outro theme titled Sonic Boom.
November 23rd: Sonic Spinball (USA, UK / Europe)
No real sequel was released this year on the Mega Drive. No, Sonic Team had a much better treat in store for the Mega Drive owners. This Sonic game was a great little break from the platforming antics that the hedgehog is usually involved in. This was pinball – with a difference. Chaos Emeralds were the key to the exit, with a boss on each of the four levels, this game certainly wasn’t easy.
November 25th: Macy’s Day Parade (USA)
A Sonic Hot Air Balloon appears in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in America. The 65-Foot hot air balloon makes its debut in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The float holds more air then the others and is the only float ever created based on a video game character. Something no one heard about, the float crashed into a lamppost and injured 2 people. That is the power of Sonic to unbelievers, we reckon.
November: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (USA, UK / Europe)
Once again moving away from the platforming Sonic game that we all know and love by now, Sega of America has a bright idea of bringing us this Tetris-a-like puzzler. Looks can be decieving – this is actually an old puzzle game called ‘Puyo Puyo’ repackaged for the Western Audiences, hence Japan never got Mean Bean Machine over there. Sadly during this period game publishers felt that anything quirky from Japan that could be cool needed “beefing” up for us lot. Shame that. Still, Mean Bean does open many Sonic fan’s eyes to a great puzzling game.
International / Other Releases
- October 15th: Sonic CD (UK / Europe)
- November 19th: Sonic & Tails (aka Sonic Chaos – Game Gear, Japan)
- November 23rd: Sonic Chaos (Game Gear, USA, UK / Europe)
- December 10th: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (Japan)
- December: Sonic Spinball (Game Gear – USA)