Hello and welcome to a new feature that I’m going to do every now and again. Normally we look at the current news regarding Sega and Sonic, but for now, I’d quite like to look at some of the older and more obscure items Sonic’s history because, sometimes it’s fun to do that.
We all know how Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 has recently been re-released right? Well how many of you downloaded the DLC? On the Dreamcast?
What madness is this some of you cry? Well, the Dreamcast was one of the first consoles that could access the internet, only there were two tiny problems, most of the time it didn’t work. No really, here in the UK the service was so bad it appeared on UK Consumer Group show Watchdog due to how many complaints it received, due to it’s reliability and the fact the 33k Modem was dialing out phones which resulted in huge bills. Combine this with how many homes at the time didn’t have internet access, much of the Dreamcast’s DLC content was never experienced by many.
Sonic Adventure received a lot of additional content which if you take a gander at Sonic Retro, you can find a great deal of information about, however, one which caught my attention was ‘The European Sonic Speed Challenge‘ which was sponsored by Reebok DMX.
This was an event held across Europe in which gamer’s could race through a modified Emerald Coast stage which had new item boxes filled with shoes that had been stolen by Eggman. The 50 people who completed the stage in the fastest time would each win a prize.
What did the competition stage look like? Well, despite it being over 10 years old, some pictures have still lasted the years. So for the sake of archiving, here you go.
As you can see, it looks similar to an item box you’d find in Sonic Adventure, only now it has some strange shoes inside, as well as the Eggman face logo and billboards advertising the Reebok shoes.
Whilst many speed runners are probably licking their lips, there was a slight catch. The shoes were hidden throughout the stage and you often had to go off course in order to find them. This particular box for instance was hidden under the pier.
As this screen shows, the stage was cut as gamer’s raced towards a giant GOAL banner in front of another Reebok billboard that asked the gamer if they were ‘feeling it,’ did they mean hand cramp? If so, yup.
What did it look like? Well, amazingly there is footage of the course on youtube.
From what I understand, it is possible to still access challenge if you own a Dreamcast and a VMU, but you’ll need to look into that one.
As mentioned, the 50 fastest times would win real prizes. Now I know what we’re all thinking, with 50 prizes on offer, they weren’t going to be that good right? Well… you’d be wrong!
11th – 50th Prizes: Exclusive European Sonic Speed Challenge Reebok T-shirts
5th – 10th Prizes: Framed certificate and a pair of Reebok DMX shoes worth £50
2nd, 3rd & 4th Runners Up: Framed Gold Sonic Disc, £200 of Reebok clothing plus a pair Reebok DMX shoes
1st Prize: A personalised Dreamcast Pod (6ft high display unit featuring television monitor, console and controllers) Trophy, £1,000 of Reebok clothing, including a pair of Reebok DMX shoes
Not since the days of Commodore 64 has there been a quest of this magnitude! Whilst the idea of winning T-shirts and certificates doesn’t sound that exciting, consider that similar promotional items and competition prizes for gaming events are now worth a small fortune and that Sonic merch on it’s own tends to be highly desirable, if you’ve got one of these, consider yourself very lucky!
So what did they look like? Well, this is where information starts to dry up. Despite there being so many prizes, I can’t find any pictures of them, either as promotional pics taken by the event staff, or from those who were awarded the goods at the time. However… there is one indication as to the quality of the goods.
In September of this year a former/current employee of Sega began to list a number of rare items on ebay including a framed certificate/award that was given to the then CEO of Sega Europe JF Cecillon. Now… before anyone asks, from what I read, Cecillon left this to Sega when he left the company. Several years later the award along with other old items of interest was due to be thrown out, which is why it ended up on ebay over nearly 12 years later.
Out of over 3500 contenders, the winner of the contest was a Mr Neil Riddaway, who won with a time of 46.09 seconds, who finished just 0.05 seconds ahead of everyone else. According to a post I found on NeoGaf from someone claiming to be the guy in question, he also got congratulated in the official Dreamcast magazine.
As mentioned earlier, no photos of the prizes exist, but judging by the award Reebok gave to Sega, something tells me that they were something special, it’s just a shame that no photos of them exist. Anyone here take part in this? Did anyone actually win something from it? If so let us know in the comments.
Well that’s our first look into the vaults of old, maybe I’ll take the time to do it again sometime. Anyone got any suggestions for a better name? Or will ‘The Vault’ do?