Tetsu Katano: “I Had To Hold On To The Sonicness”

Tetsu Katano: “I Had To Hold On To The Sonicness”

tetsu-katanoThe producer for Sonic and the Black Knight, Tetsu Katano, has written a blog post for the official SEGA website, detailing the development process of the game. Throughout the decision to run with ‘swords and magic’, Katano expressed how he had to keep the spirit of the Sonic franchise intact:

After much struggle that gave me both pain and joy, I finally decided to throw Sonic into a world of sword and magic. I confess that I’ve always wanted to see Sonic holding a sword. I also wanted to see Knuckles or Shadow, the usual suspects, back as strong foes, not just as side characters. This is how the plot of “Sonic and the Black Knight” came into a shape.

Perhaps most challenging was to make Sonic have a sword. I had to hold on to the Sonicness. If he loses that as a result of having sword, then it would be preposterous. I sought advice from many people about this. My favourite bit would be when everyone in Sonic Team started to see the great game that this was becoming. 

In this day and age though, it’s debatable just what the ‘spirit’ of the franchise is anymore. Is it chequered hills and Flickies; is it in character development; is it in the fun dialogue we’ve seen in Sonic Unleashed? Either way, it seems Sonic Team knows what it is, given their positive reaction to the title during development.

The music that will play during Blaze’s stages was also brought up, with Katano mentioning discussion with Jun Senoue about having a special ‘blaze mix’ for the Flame Master. For those that haven’t been able to get the game yet, you’ll be able to encounter a special item that changes the music during play.

It’s a good read, and Sonic Team are nothing if not good-natured. It’s nice to see developers truly care about the projects they invest so much time and energy in, for better or worse;

I am proud of this game and I will be most happy if users will enjoy this game too… I love Sonic as a series very much. I gave everything I had to make the cool Sonic that we love. And so did my team. I’m sure you will like this game too!

That’s OK Katano-san, our review will be coming soon. And even if we don’t enjoy it, we’ll still love you. I mean, making any sort of game involving swords with a name like Katano is pretty damn awesome. I wonder if the guitarist of Crush 40’s real name is Jun Soundoue. We could uncover something big here.

Sonic & The Black Knight – The Producer Speaks! – Sonic City Blognik

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. Wanted to keep the Sonicness? I’m really trying to believe him but he himself seems to undercut this statement by saying he just really wanted to see Sonic with a sword. In the end we got a non stop waggle-thon with slower gameplay and talking to idiotic characters. Though it still at least seems that Sonic Team are good natured so I still have a bit of faith left in them.

  2. I thought the game was Sonic-y just because of Sonic himself. If nothing else, Sonic Team hit the nail on the head with his character. Maybe that’s what Katano meant.

    And the game wasn’t THAT slow. It was speedy enough, and I found the sword play addicting. Maybe a LITTLE irritating in some spots. Also, the music, in my opinion, definitely makes it feel like a Sonic game. SatBK gets a thumbs-up from me, though I wish the story hadn’t been so short.

    Thanks for the read!

  3. Wow…so many things I want to say, but I think I’ll use just one word. “Bull.” Sorry, dudes, but to me, Sonic has been losing his “flavor” for a while now.” I’m just not quite sure what to say in response to that.

  4. hey, he decided to get some use of the characters, and put them against sonic,as well as being playable in the same type of game-play. gotta give him credit for that.I love tearing stuff up with knuckles.

    for what the title aimed to do, I feel it did it fairly well. it REALLY needed more boss fights though. could have thrown in Galahad and Lamorak as extra bosses, as well as harder versions of Knuckles and Blaze, but oh well, it’s still good.

  5. Although I can’t really say about the gameplay until I get the game for myself, personally I reckon that this fella has done a great job story-wise. Totally trumped Unleashed, in my opinion.

    And please don’t tell me that no one else other than Katano and myself thought that Sonic + Sword = Awesome.

  6. To me, the charm of the series always has been, and always will be, the characters themselves.

    If Sonic Team makes a game that features some serious character development between Sonic and another classic character, (Tails for example,) I’ll be one happy guy.

    It worked with Amy in Chronicles right?

  7. Anonymous:True but it was Bioware who handled the character development of Amy and I’am afraid that the chances of Sonic Team giving some real character development to Sonic and the others in the near future are very slim(I would love to be wrong though).

    I have played Black Knight for a while now but right now I don’t feel like writing my review of it so I just say it in four words: nothing impressive for me.

  8. “It’s nice to see developers truly care about the projects they invest so much time and energy in, for better or worse.”

    I’m just going to quote that, and let it speak for itself.

  9. Robert: Yeah I know, that was just my sonamy side speaking out. It does that sometimes…

    I’m not really asking for anything big. Even if it’s just a small scene where Sonic and Tails pinky swear or something. We need to see more of the friendship between those two.

  10. Yeah, I wanna keep the Sonicness too. But still… I’d REALLy like to see him as a sumo wrestler! Let’s make him fat, put diapers on him and still make him speedy! That’s our next awesome idea! Duh huhuh! 😀

    No, but really, it’s nice to have someone really caring about the character. If only he had better visions…

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