E3 2011 Q&A: Takashi Iizuka on Sonic Generations

(NOTE: Because this is a Q&A with questions taken from staff from both Sonic Stadium and Segabits, this article will be posted on both sites simultaneously.)

On the Tuesday afternoon of E3, Alex and I got the privilege of seeing the first new footage of City Escape from Sonic Generations played by Takashi Iizuka himself. Seeing little classic Sonic going through the famous SA2 level was a thrill. We saw as the large GUN truck made every attempt possible to run down the roly-poly hedgehog as two new remixes of “Escape from the city” played through both levels. As he played through he told some interesting tidbits including the fact that outside of Green Hill zone, all stages on the 3DS will be different from the HD versions and will have levels based on the portable versions of Sonic’s games. Also voice overs will be done for all nationalities. Not just Japanese and English. He quit the last level as the GUN truck with it’s giant sawblades ran over modern Sonic as he ran out of boost. Here, our Q&A commenced.

There have been some who were wondering why the Wii was not given a port when the 3DS, which has comparable graphics has one. Why not port the 3DS version to the Wii?

The 3DS version is a celebration of Sonic’s portable history. As such it only makes sense that we keep that history on a portable system.

There have been rumors of hub worlds between levels similar to Unleashed. Is this something you can confirm?

Ha, ha. Well, as we’ve said. Classic and Modern Sonic meet through time anomalies as a mysterious force is erasing time. Areas are a wash of pure white. As classic and modern beat these classic levels more color comes into the world. You could say the white space starts as a hub that opens up more as the color comes back in.

Will there be any online features or DLC?
We cannot discuss anything for DLC at this time, but we are planning for online leaderboards.

Will there be more than two acts per zone?

Yes. I cannot give more detail than that at this time, but there will be several acts in each world.

Can you discuss what systems will be represented on the 3DS version such as Game Gear?

Game Gear? (Laughter) No. For the 3DS we wanted to go with systems of more recent memory. So we are more focused on levels from the GBA and DS.

We have seen boss fights with classic Eggman. Will modern Eggman be joining him?

We cannot discuss that due to story elements not yet revealed. I can say there will be remixes of classic boss fights through Sonic’s history.

Since Sonic Colors got it’s soundtrack published onto iTunes, will there be a Sonic Generations soundtrack as well?

(Laughter) Well, we know that Nintendo just announced a 25th Anniversary soundtrack for the Legend of Zelda. We are currently releasing 20th Anniversary soundtracks for many of our older Sonic games. As far as Sonic Generations goes, I cannot confirm anything at this time, but I’m glad your interested.

How early on did you go on the idea for a split between classic and modern Sonic gameplay?

Shortly after Unleashed, we were discussing what kind of game to make to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary. It was around that time that we decided that classic/modern split would be the best.

How many zones are being planned for the game?

That is something we cannot discuss at this time. (The next day, The E3 Insiderย  magazine said 9 worlds were planned with a release date of October. It was later debunked by Aaron Webber.)

With that, our time was up and we gave our thank you’s and goodbyes.As we I told Mr. Iizuka how much I loved last year’s Sonic Colors. He seemed genuinely happy and pleased by that.I was surprised at how many of our questions we were able to get in as most of the other press was fairly quiet. I will say that neither me or Alex are pleased by the omission of Game Gear levels for the 3DS.




  1. Awesome, glad to hear there are more acts =D though im hoping that they are all long ones, unleashed annoyed me with its acts 2 and 3 because they were so short. If those acts were the same length as the first then it would have been so so much better!

    1. In all honesty i’m thinking the same thing will happen here as well. 2 long Acts and other mini-Acts

      1. yeah i can see it happening, but i live in hope lol
        also hoping that the DLC is new old zones instead of new versions of old levels already in the game, but not getting too excited for that.
        I think when it comes to levels and stuff iv been too optimistic… i was even hoping for 18 stages, 2 from each major game… oh well lol

        1. 18 zones is a lot! Of course i don’t think there is anyone hoping for less…anyway about DLC i am sure that we will see some. Same zones harder acts and maybe a new act for the zones in the game.

          I’m hoping too that ST will remake a new zone. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Also don’t know i forget BUT Thank you very much fr this Q&A!!!

  2. One main hub for all lvls would be cool and seeing Sonic’s World return slightly after beating each zone is also pretty neat. Reminds me of Epic Mickey, or Unleashed even XD

    1. wait what did he mean by 9 worlds? you mean 9 different levels??!!??! im started to have a feeling that its not going to be a great game. why would we have 9 different levels!?

      1. 9 worlds meaning 9 zones, with “several acts in each”. Of course, that would fit right in to TSSZ’s reported level list.

  3. Not to be a negative nancy but I really can’t think of any significant portable sonic stages from his recent handheld adventures.

    I mean I know many of the stages but none of them really felt.. memorable.
    I’ll be playing through a random snow level and wonder to myself… was this from advance 1 or 2?

    1. And why would Classic Sonic be in recent Handheld games?

      If you throw Sonic back to Genesis era, it makes sense that he meets classic Sonic. If you throw him at “Sonic Advance 1”, he will meet green eyed Sonic… and the 2 gameplays are not different enough to be celebrated in the way the 3D version does.

      They should just take Sonic 4 Episode 2 out of the hands of DIMPS, make it way better than episode 1 and release it. A port of this game to the 3DS is ridiculous.

  4. Great job guys! Looks like a few of my question submissions slipped in there. Way cool!

    Good to know that they were thinking of the 2D gameplay as early as 2008. Debunks the rumor that Sonic Fan Remix was the catalyst for Generations. Also, great to hear more than 2 acts per zone!

  5. No memorable stages?
    Music Plant
    Egg Rocket
    Cyber Track
    Chaos Angel
    Coral Cave
    Haunted Ship
    Sky Babylon

    Unfortunately, after having seen the 3DS version so far, I feel like any of these levels that will be remade will look uglier than their originals.

    1. Yeah the officials confirmed that a while back, they said the wii didn’t have the power to present the visuals to make the game unqiue and they canned it

    2. Interesting, the first two links say there’s a PC version slated for Q4 release.

  6. What the hell…? They can go all the way back to Genesis stages for the consoles but not GameGear for the portable? What a rip off as far as the portables price tag goes… The portable sound’s like it’s just going to be a 10th anniversary collection then if it’s only GBA on up… Tch…

    Whatever, I am getting both version anyways, rip-off or not as far as the portable version goes…

  7. Oh, I was hoping the zones would have at most 2 acts so that we could have more different zones instead. Come on! Sonic Colors was cool but it was short and 6 acts per zone was a little too much. I also hope Generations will have challenging missions like Unleashed and Adventure series.

    1. I agree on the zone thing. I’d much rather have a whole bunch of zones with 2 acts each than only a couple zones with like 4-6 acts each. Sonic has way too many awesome stages in his history. I’d personally like to see at least 2 zones from each Genesis and Dreamcast game, because I don’t think we need many levels from Unleashed or Colors.

  8. “‘Generations’ is a celebration of everything Sonic has been through in the past 2o years…

    … Except Game Gear.”

    Anyone else see the flaw in that idea?

  9. Lemme get this straight. There are only 9 zones correct? Each Zone contains several acts. We can’t judge how the acts will be like because we haven’t seen any. But why would SEGA only choose 9 STAGES?! SEGA has like a million stages, and they only chose 9??!! Ugh. And they will be working on this game for 3 years….oh well, looks like SA2 is always gonna be #1…hope dlc prevails.If we get a chao garden, I will be satisfied.

    …But what we are hearing, doesn’t mean its true. Remember people don’t believe everything you see on the internet…

    1. How could SEGA do this? SEGA said many zones will be in than nine zones:
      – Sonic 1
      – Sonic 2
      – Sonic CD
      – Sonic 3 & Knuckles
      – Sonic 4
      – Sonic Adventure
      – Sonic Adventure 2
      – Sonic Heroes
      – Shadow the Hedgehog
      – Sonic ’06
      – Sonic Unleashed
      – Sonic Colors
      Number Two: I think many Sonic characters will be in the story, the story would be longer because many stages and bosses, I WANT SUPER SONIC AND OTHER CHARACTERS TO BE PLAYABLE IN LEVELS AND BOSSES!!

      1. I don’t think Shadow the Hedgehog would even be considered. It’s Sonic’s Anniversary, and he was not even playable in the levels in that game. I just hope they don’t have too many of the newer Sonic levels from Unleashed and Colours, besides playing them from Classic Sonic’s perspective we have already played these stages not so long ago. Personally i would rather see more of the old levels remade than newer ones re-used or remade.

        1. Actually, in Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic is playable as a 2nd Player. In the First stage in Westopolis, when you meet Sonic, just plug in another GC controller, and you can play as Sonic. You can also play as Knuckles, as well as other characters(with GC controller) in Shadow the Hedgehog. ๐Ÿ˜›

          1. Don’t get me wrong though, Shadow the Hedgehog did have at least 2 good colorful stages, that could be acceptable for Generations ๐Ÿ™‚ and maybe Shadow can make an appearance in a cutscene, using one of his stages. Cuz I have a feeling Radical Highway might be for 3DS ๐Ÿ™

  10. Thank you for Sonic Colors. This game deserves that we tell to its creators how good it is !

    “Game Gear? (Laughter) No.”
    Where’s your nostalgia now ?! The 3DS version is getting poorer and poorer…
    So… I wonder where Classic Sonic comes from if there is no GameGear stages… (only awful DIMPS stages in an awful DIMPS game, damn you DIMPS !)
    Ah… And my 1st Sonic game was on GameGear. (Sonic 2) But, yeah, of course, no matter…

    1. Well its been confirmed sort of that the 3ds will not just focus on the portable games, Nintendo Power confirmed this with the casino night zone 2 being mentioned as a playable level. Although I must agree it is a shame that if they are focusing on the portable games then it will just be based around modern Sonic since he was in the GBA adventures as well as the Rush series. Does Sega have something against the game gear or something?

    2. 3DS Version
      Classic Era:
      Green Hill
      Casino Street
      Level from Sonic 3 & Knuckles

      GBA Era:
      Sonic Advance
      Sonic Advance 2
      Sonic Advance 3

      DS Era:
      Sonic Rush
      Sonic Rush Adventure
      Sonic Colours DS

      PS360 Versions
      Classic Era:
      Green Hill
      Sonic 2
      Sonic 3 & K

      Dreamcast Era:
      Sonic Adventure
      City Escape
      Sonic Heroes

      Modern HD Era:
      Sonic ’06
      Rooftop Run
      Sonic Colours

      I included all confirmed levels as well!

      This totally makes sense cuz there’s a
      level for all the main series games, and
      there’s 9 levels for both versions.

  11. I need to make something clear right now.

    Aaron Webber himself said E3 Insider’s information was false. He said that they have not confirmed how many worlds are in the game nor the release date.

    1. CYES!! I KNEW IT! THANK YOU JASON! See? I told you guys don’t believe everything you see on the internet! ๐Ÿ˜›

      1. I already didn’t. Why would the SEGA executives still be keeping it a secret if we already knew? It’d be considered leaked. But no one said ANYTHING about it.

        Personally, I only want Ice Cap Zone tho. If they don’t have it, it’s no big deal. Just if they do I don’t really have anything else I care about ENOUGH to beg for. XD

        I still think each game should have 1 – 3 stages tho. That way some can only have 1, some can have 2, some can have 3, etc. =3

    2. Wait, howcome your name isn’t blue? Is someone impersonating him or something?

      Anyway, just put UPDATE on this topic, instead of commenting lol

      1. The names are only blue of they’re a link to something. I think you also can only do it if you log in before commenting. :3 (or if you type a website URL before commenting, I don’t remember)

  12. Those saying that Generations has 9 zones, read that it says closely.

    The next day, The E3 Insider magazine said 9 worlds were planned with a release date of October. It was later debunked by Aaron Webber.

    Basically Aaron Webber said that the info about the number of words in the magazine is false.


    I was beginning to think people didn’t know what DEBUNKED meant.

    Don’t think this has been said by anyone else yet, but I just saw a new E3 interview with players that talked about what happened in the level since they weren’t able to record footage since SEGA actually didn’t alow players to record city escape footage.

    So anyway,you know where the footage cuts off at Modern Sonic? Right after that Sonic runs on top of a building (Like Speed Highway in SA1) and just when you think GUN gives up, they get Rockets coming out of the truck and continue to pursue Sonic as he runs up the buliding! GUN doesn’t mess around this time XD

    1. Well, they did show that when the footage cuts off. I noticed it was flying with rockets.

      Also, in a way it’s not really “this time” since they’re back in time. So GUN doesn’t remember losing him the first time. If they did remember they wouldn’t be after him again at all cuz they’d know he was innocent. =P

      I also laugh at the fact that so many ppl keep saying how they can’t believe GUN confuses Classic Sonic for Shadow. I don’t see why not. Shadow looks like a gothic Sonic and Sonic’s the ONLY big anthro hedgehog that can move that fast. They didn’t know of Shadow, they thought it was a restyled Sonic. And Classic Sonic is still Sonic. I don’t think slightly shorter hair, different eyecolor and the lack of soles on his shoes really makes a difference, especially since Shadow had none of those in common with Adventure Sonic or Modern Sonic either. XD That, and GUN thought Shadow WAS Sonic, so really they’re confusing Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic (as well as Shadow) for Adventure Sonic.

      THAT’S RIGHT! There are 4 Hedgehogs being chased in this segment of Generations! 0.0 GUN just doesn’t realize it! xD

  15. i find quite wierd to leave out the game gear games, yet surprisingly its understandable. it appears there going by games that have some what of a continuos continuity like the console games. i know some of the game gear games do linke with each other but not all and they dont link much with the main games either. i know what i am saying dont make much sense seeing how they including gba and ds games but not game gear but it is the only thing i can come up with lol

  16. “GameGear? *Laughter* Nooooo….”

    …Wow. That made my blood boil. So why have the posters for Fang in the console version then?

    1. Yea it is a bit of a downer, Vector and Espio and Charmy made a come back, isn’t it about time they tried bringing back Fang/Nack. I’m usually not rooting for more characters, but he was one of the classic characters that they could have brought back into the spotlight instead of making all these newer ones.
      Then again if they did that people would be wanting to see Mighty and Ray make a come back too lol

      1. I don’t see what it matters whether they make a new character or bring back old ones. They’re still just more characters.

        I mean, why do ppl like Might so much? He’s an alternate Sonic. And if anyone noticedi n SEGASonic The Hedgehog, Might and Ray both resemble Sonic (especially the shoes and the face) but one’s yellow with a big fluffy tail and can fly and the other is red and strong, which remind me of Tails and Knuckles.

        So honestly, I don’t see the need for Ray and Mighty when we have something better: Tails and Knuckles. New characters weren’t bad back then I don’t see why they’re bad now. It’s not like there’s a game with every single one in it. This game would be the only good excuse for that tho. lol

        Seriously, you can’t travel the world and NOT meet new ppl. You also can’t keep contact with every single person you meet forever. So it only makes sense that new characters appear and some style and some go. I’d hate to think the characters we’ve seen so far are the ONLY anthros that live on their world. Heck, I’m hoping one day they explore the regions of Sonic’s world and show areas of humans, areas of little animals, areas of chao and areas of anthros, and, of course, areas where they’re all mixed. =3 That’d be cool. =D

        1. Well, as far as I know the guys on the posters (Nack, Mighty, Ray, Bean and Bark) are the only ones that aren’t still around as far as playable characters. They have been missing for ages. Just thought it might be nice to see them pop up again in an anniversary time traveling game that is celebrating his history. What better time to show what has been lost to time?

    2. Fang was in Sonic Fighters, which was ported to GameCube. lol And Ray and Mighty were also in Arcade games which idk if it’s ported to anything in Japan or not. o_O But Mighty’s also in Knuckles Chaotix, a console game.

      Either way, this is referring to what levels will be in the 3DS version not what characters will appear in the HD versions. The Tripple Trouble skatboard is in the HD version. XD

      1. I brought it up mainly for Nack/Fang being gone so long. He was from a portable game originally as a rival/bad guy after the emeralds. Having him on the portable version of Sonic Generations would be very fitting. But then again laughing off the Game Gear games kinda ruins those chances. ๐Ÿ™

  17. Yuo realize that Might, Nack, and Ray DO appear ini the game via poster don’t you?

    1. Yes I had seen that news, as nice as it is they are actually remembering they exist for a change. A background poster is no where near as cool as it would be to see a nice 3D render of them, give them a spot in a cutscene or something. I guess they won’t since Sega Sonic Arcade is under the radar to alot of people and they still haven’t put that or Chaotix on a collection. And If they are avoiding Game Gear levels then Fang/Nack being in the game in any proper fashion is probably ruled out.

      1. Actually, wouldn’t it be random if after talking about these lost characters, they had Sonic “find” them again during his adventure, or they were lost in time or some junk, just a silly thought

  18. Which cutscenes will Sonic can interact with?
    and others
    and others

    1. Well for Classic
      Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Robotnik, AND Metal Sonic
      *ahem* Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, Big, Froggy, Shadow, Rouge, Omega, Eggman, Metal Sonic, Jet, Wave, Storm, Vector, Charmy, Espio, Mighty, Blaze, Silver, Marine, Emerl, E-102 Gamma, Merlina, Shara, Caliburn, (All the Storybook Characters?), Shade, Tikal, Chaos, Chip, Elise?, Professor Pickles, Maria, Vanilla, Eggman Nega, Mephilis, (Because even main villians played a role…FUUUUU Mephilis) annnnd finally Mario?

      1. Classic Sonic: Tails, Flicky, Knuckles, Amy, Metal, Robotnik, Fang, Mighty, Ray, Vector, Charmy, Espio, Bark, Bean, Metal Knux, EggRobo, Tails Doll, Mecha Sonic, Silver Sonic

        Modern Sonic: Tails, Flicky, Knuckles, Amy, Metal, Silver Sonic, EggRobo, Eggman, Shadow, Rouge, Gamma, Omega, Omochao, Vector, Charmy, Espio, Big, Cream, Froggy, Cheese, Chocola, Vanilla, Blaze, Silver, Eggman Nega, Black Doom, Commander Tower, President, Mephiles, Iblis, Elise, Jet, Wave, Storm, Chip, Yacker.

        Deceased = Maria, Gerald Robotnik.
        Other worlds = NiGHTS, Reala, Illumina, Lumina Flowlight, Void, Ryo, Shahra Djin, Erazor Djin, Simbad, Ali Baba, Blacksmith, King, Lady of the Lake, Merlina, Lancelot, Gawain, Percival, Caliburn, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Peach, Bowser, Daisy, Birdo, Bowser Jr., Boo, Dry Bones, Ulala, Beat, Samba De Amigo, ChuChu, Billy Hatcher, AiAi etc

        1. *Modern: Chaos, Emerl, Marine, Professor Pickle, Shade, Ix…

          *Deseased = Tikal, Pachacamac


    Sonic CD is a must-have in this game. I say at least two levels in Generations should be from it. Hopefully SEGA doesn’t forget about one of their own masterpieces, again…. Look how long it took them to include it in a collection game. I would hope for something from Knuckles Chaotix, but I doubt they’ll consider it due to 32X sales. And yes Sonic was in that game, he was just late… really late.

    PS: If they can add Spagonia, then they need to add Tropical Resort from Sonic Colors.
    (*) = NEED

  20. I have a funny feeling that metal classic and modern sonic will be in there. He was part in sonic heroes , sonic the hedgehog 2, 3, and sonic cd

      1. Eggman: YOU FOOLS! He’s too powerful!

        Sonic: Metal. Really? THIS is what you’ve been reduced to? Trying to kill me and turning into a large dragon thingy…. to defeating me on a hover board race? That’s just… sad.

  21. I’m hoping that Cosmic Angel Zone (from Sonic Advance) makes it to the 3DS version.

  22. Here’s hoping a “Shadow the Hedgehog” stage makes it in…Since City Escape made it in, perhaps StH’s remake of “Radical Highway” (Dubbed “Lethal Highway”…Very original, right?) will. I hope we get to face off against the Biolizard again! Awesome fight…Awesome music…

    I’m more excited for this than I was Unleashed or Colors! (Playing Colors today. It seems so…Boring now.)

    1. No less original than Speed Highway or Radical Highway. But Lethal Highway is NOT a remake of Radical Highway. It’s a level that follows the same thing, just like Radical Highway does Speed Highway. (Only Radical Highway IS a remake of Speed Highway story-wise, as Speed Highway was destroyed by Perfect Chaos. The fight shows Speed Highway’s streets in the water. Notice Radical Highway has construction signs and lights everywhere)

      It’s POSSIBLE, but might not make it in because both things you listed are not Sonic’s levels. I can, at most, POSSIBLY see Super Sonic fighting Biolizard and Shadow being there as non-accessable AI partner (since they said the other characters might appear as important to the plot, in cameos, hub worlds, extra unlockables or effecting gameplay =P)

      Tho that theory would suggest multiple Super Sonic bosses. XD That’d be… interesting. But I doubt it. lol

  23. Wow, there’s “as” every 5 words apart. lol Just teasing. ^^

    Well the 9 level thing was debunked 0.0 Finally! I’m tired of ppl not realizing that them revealling 9 levels yet the officials not being able to say anything about what’s already revealled didn’t add up, unless they debunked it cuz of the October release thing. :< (still, why would a MAGAZINE post a lie? I know it's common but it's stupid! x.x)

    I, for one, am glad there's no Game Gear stages. Actually I'm not cuz I'm not getting the 3DS version anyways and if they did I wouldn't care. But I mean I'm not disappointed either. The Game Gear Sonic games weren't very good nor very memorable. lol That being said, I should still have expected them as Sonic 06 stages might be in the HD version, plus Game Gear was handheld classic Sonic.

    Then again, MAYBE they're going with Sonic Classic Collection on DS, and Advance being equal to the Adventure era, and Rush/ColorsDS being equel to the Modern era. o3o I mean we have GHZ and Casino Night Zone on 3DS and Launch Base Zone's boss. They're obviously going for those stages. Maybe cuz Classic was already 2D? Maybe cuz of Classic Collection? Either way, I guess they don't want to put Game Gear titles in if Classic Sonic's already filled by the real Classic games on Genesis/DS. o3o

  24. Anyone else happy that they’ve been planning this game since Unleashed? It sorta reassures me that it isn’t completely rushed. (not that it seems that way, but just a thought)

  25. i hope they choose planet wisp as a level…………….one of my favorite levels in sonic history SO FAR…………plus the music makes it a kool level

  26. I still think missing out Game Gear is a rubbish decision. Those games had some awesome exclusive levels. I’d much rather see more old levels in there. Having better looking Rush etc levels on handheld is nice, but I would rather have seen much older stuff get the treatment. Same with the console version. Classic versions of the newer games are interesting, and Colours in HD would be pretty, but the selling point for me is the re-imagined and HD classic levels. That’s a huge surprise and leap to what we know, seeing Unleashed and Colours again just seems lazy. I know there’s Classic version and it will be re-imagined too, it just seems so soon to be re-using those games when Unleashed was already in HD and Colours was only released late last year. Like if they didn’t put Stardust Speedway in cause they wanted to fit in Adabat or something like that, I’d be pissed. Just my opinion.

  27. Huh, so it looks like Aaron only debunked the October release date and NOT the number of worlds.

    Poor Aaron, when those SEGA boards fire back up…

  28. Wow, I can’t believe this is happening! Can’t wait! I wish it were on the Wii, though. I don’t have those other game systems. I have a Wii, a GameCube, a Nintendo DSi XL, and a computer. Oh well… but I can still watch it online!

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