Ten-ish Sonic the Hedgehog Facts (That Aren’t Even True)

We’ve brought the latest and greatest lie detectors in preparation for this…that being us.

00 - lies on the internet
“Just lie? You really think someone would do that? Just go on the internet and tell lies!?”

With over 24 years of history in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, there’s a lot of information to know and remember, often very curious and interesting. But sometimes, misinformation slips through the cracks. They can spread all over the internet, and eventually be accepted as fact. Today, I aim to expose ten of these facts as the falsities they are so you can be aware if you ever see them.

 

Mighty the Armadillo predates Sonic 1

01a - lulmighty
“Unlike Sonic I don’t chuckle, I’d rather flex my muscles.”

Let’s get this out of the way now; Mighty the Armadillo has only existed since SegaSonic Arcade, in 1993. So how did Mighty get associated with the very fabric of the franchise mascot process? This one actually has a grain of truth to it. During the development process of a character to be made to rival Mario, the rolling physics became a big focus point for consideration. Eventually, because of this, the ideas were whittled down to an armadillo and a hedgehog, both known for their ability to curl up into a ball. Over the years, however, this has been distorted a bit to where people claim that the armadillo was Mighty himself, and hence he was an integral part of Sonic’s history. Not so; here’s an excerpt from an interview in “SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: The Collected Works” that Yuji Naka, Sonic 1’s prime programmer, said about the development process;

Because we knew that the game would move quickly, we initially chose a rabbit for the character, and then experimented with further ideas –an armadillo and a hedgehog. Ohshima-san’s hedgehog illustration was very stylish and best represented the speedy qualities we were looking for, so that is what we decided upon.

Riddle me this; if Mighty had existed at this point, wouldn’t he look pretty much alike to Sonic? What would there be to differentiate them in style and embodying speed? The armadillo had to be drastically different and not Mighty.

So if Mighty wasn’t that Armadillo, who was? Well, we may actually have that answer out there already! GameTap’s retrospective on Sonic at one point recreates some of the concept art that was submitted for the development process, and this guy happens to be amongst them;

01b - proto-arma-norm
Didn’t this guy go on to work in the Bubsy series?

Now, could Mighty have been based off the pre-Sonic 1 armadillo? If it’s this guy, sure. Ohshima has special thanks in the SegaSonic Arcade credits, and it’s rumoured that Ray the Flying Squirrel is based off Sonic 2 concepts (although I can’t verify that so don’t say it as fact!), so it wouldn’t be out of place, but he’s not from that time himself.

While we’re on the subject of Mighty…

 

The creator of Mighty and Ray took the rights to them with him when he left the company

02a - leaving mighty
Artist’s interpretation of the event.

This one is often piped up to explain why Mighty and Ray don’t make appear in the franchise any more. This rumour often assumes that said creator was Naoto Ohshima, mentioned above and creator of Sonic himself (who left SEGA after Sonic Adventure, 1998), and often ties in to the idea that Mighty predates Sonic 1. First off, we’ve already shown how Mighty wasn’t from before Sonic 1 so that part doesn’t apply. Secondly, let’s just check who Ohshima did make and show how the implication of him leaving causing Mighty and Ray to be unusable is nonsense. Two of his most famous creations are Sonic and Eggman, so if he took the rights to them it would have had a huge impact on the franchise. But assuming they had special protection for whatever reason, who else is left? Well, he also created Vector the Crocodile and even retooled him for Chaotix (based on credit research), and he’s still around. And who else is pinpointed as an Ohshima creation through the Chaotix credits? Espio the Chameleon, again still around. Essentially, Ohshima did half of the original four considered part of the Chaotix at the time, but Mighty isn’t one of them.

But if he didn’t create Mighty, who did? That’s an easy question to answer. Manabu Kusonoki is a former SEGA-AM3 member who is most credited with the creation of the Bonanza Brothers, but he has a handful of Sonic games to his name as well. His first credit is SegaSonic Arcade, where he’s credited with Design along with three others (and he’s credited first). What seals the deal on Mighty being his is that he also has a credit in Chaotix, with Original Character Concept (which is where the people who came up with the other playable story-involved characters are credited. We know the cameos aren’t credited because Yasushi Yamaguchi isn’t there despite Tails being in the game).  His last game for SEGA was, co-incidentally, also Sonic Adventure.

02b - manabu kusonoki
I bet you haven’t even seen Kusonoki before now.

The last part of the puzzle as to why it’s not fact is common sense. If Kusonoki took the rights with him, Mighty and Ray would not be useable by SEGA in any capacity. In the time since 1995, we’ve seen him plenty of times; he’s still a regular in the Archie comics for one, he had artwork featured in Sonic Gems Collection (and Chaotix would have been a playable game there but they had to cut it for emulation issues), he had a cameo in Generations, he still appears in fanart on Sonic Channel (which is staffed by SEGA of Japan personnel) and he was even included on a poll run by them in 2006. SEGA wouldn’t dare any of that if they knew their rights were elsewhere.

So, this has no verification at all and there’s more evidence against than for it. It seems more likely that the reason Mighty and Ray aren’t in the games any more is just because SEGA don’t want to use them.

 

Vector is named for his ability in Chaotix

03a - Vector the Crocodile - Knuckles' Chaotix
Knuckles Chaotix can’t even claim to have that credit.

This is one I’ve been guilty of a lot. Vector is actually a common word in a lot of different disciplines, and that’s the root of this misinformation. In Chaotix, Vector had a unique ability aside from his wall climbing, where he could basically do an air dash after jumping in eight different directions around a point. Anyone who’s done higher grade maths should know about scalars and vectors, so this ability ties in lovely with his name and seems very logical as the origin of it. Except…

03b - Bekuta
The rest were just swept under the carpet after this.

As has been uncovered by Sonic Retro, this is a page from an article released just before Sonic the Hedgehog came out in Japan. And right under the image, the caption has the characters for Vector’s Japanese name on keys. Either Ohshima must have been psychic when predicting the move at least four years before it came into existence, or the name simply originates from elsewhere. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you certain where his name comes in light of this, the jury’s still out on it. If someone could ask Ohshima one day then we may get our answer, but at the very least we know it doesn’t come from his move arsenal.

 

Nazo was his own separate character before being scrapped

04a - Nazo x
“It is I, the original Blonic the Hedgehog!”

This error is at least pretty well known now, but I hope to bring something new to the table. Back in the days when SEGA weren’t keen on keeping Sonic X dead and buried, it was the talk of the fandom. And when a beta screenshot was revealed with a strange unknown figure, you bet that they latched onto him like leeches. This figure, who came to be known as Nazo due to the original filename, gained even more notoriety when he was made the main focus of a web flash called Nazo Unleashed.

So what do we know about this guy? Not much. The file name which appeared on the Japanese SEGA site, Nazo, is the English interpretation of 謎, which is the Japanese character for mystery. Essentially, even they had no idea what on earth they were looking at. Some have suggested that it may be Hyper Sonic, but this was around a time when the Super Emeralds and Hyper Sonic were pretty clearly not in the canon any more (but I’ll get onto that later). I’d like to offer a bit of conjecture with a lesser recognised theory just so this isn’t a repeat of what you’ve seen before; Nazo in his picture appears to be completely colourless, with the eyes being Sonic’s eye colour. What it seems like to me is that the mystery picture is of a preliminary Super Sonic design that was shown to SEGA before the final colours were inserted, but which got rejected.  For one, there’s a shot of Super Sonic that can easily be compared to Nazo in composition and show the similarities and differences between the two designs. For another, Super Sonic isn’t new to alternate eye designs, as shown by his artwork in Sonic Shuffle, predating Sonic X by only three years.

04b - super sonic shuffle
“I am Shadow the hedgehog, this is who I–wait, I won’t exist for another year.”

Whether this theory is right or complete bunk, what we do know is that the idea that it’s certain that Nazo was to be his own character and a big player in the series is just not right.

[Post Publish Addendum: It has been brought to our attention by xXCrush40Xx that it has indeed been confirmed that Nazo is Super Sonic! Many thanks to BlueParadox for providing image evidence of a conversation with Iizuka about this, which also clarifies that it was only ever intended for Sonic X and was reserved for just the reveal trailer he was seen in. See sources below for the link.]

 

The Silver Sonic confusion

05a - Scrambled Egg Boss
Pictured: The only actual bot in the games ever called Silver Sonic at any point.

Over the years, Dr. Eggman has built quite a number of replicate Sonics to counter the blue blur. In essence, the series and fandom have managed to narrow it down to three lines of robots; Metal Sonic (the famous one who’s a character unto itself), the Mecha Sonic line (which includes Mecha Sonic from Sonic and Knuckles) and the Silver Sonic line (which includes the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 robot at the end of the game in the Game Gear version, although the Archie Comic also gives this label to the Mega Drive version). Then there are oddities like Rocket Metal Sonic from Sonic the Fighters, and the Silver Sonic-like robot that cameo’d in Adventure.

Now, what would you say if I said that every robot up there bar Metal Sonic himself is actually a Mecha Sonic? That’s right, in the Japanese translations all of them are Mecha Sonic. There is no Silver Sonic to them, there’s no Rocket Metal Sonic, there’s just an ocean of Mechas.  That said, this isn’t one to pin on fan misinterpretation for all of them; the Game Gear Mecha Sonic was a change made by the Western localisation, and the Sonic the Fighters Mecha Sonic is called RocketMetal in-game. The Silver Sonic to Mega Drive Sonic 2 Mecha Sonic was a fan nickname so that’s more of a myth perpetuation. And the kicker is that Sonic the Fighters hints that the lot we have here is nowhere near an exhaustive list of all the Mecha Sonics.

05b - Mecha Sonic Model 29
The other models exploded before they got to space.

There’s 28 more models before this one! Even if we were generous and said we’ve seen four models prior (including the Mecha Sonic from Sonic Pocket Adventure in another zone), that leaves 24 models unaccounted for. Wonder if they got the same fate as E-102’s “brothers”…

 

All the classics are Sonic Team made

06a - Sonic Team Logo
A development team that did a minority of the games during this time.

Time is a stickler when it comes to remembering who made what. Nowadays we can recall each modern game’s developer with relative ease, going so far as to classify Sonic Team games by which members made the game. But for anything before Adventure, the fact that so many are conglomerated as Sonic Team creations is as much a disservice as saying that Sonic Team developed Sonic Rush would be to someone more versed on the modern works.

Sonic games of the past have just as much a variety of developers as Sonic games of the last 17 years. Even amongst the core branch after Sonic the Hedgehog, the team was split between SEGA Technical Institute (Sonic 2 and Sonic 3)  and the team known internally as unit CS1 (Sonic CD and Chaotix), and we’ll revisit STI in the next question. But what about the rest, like the arcade games, or the Game Gear games, or even the SEGA Pico games. Here’s where we get a full breakdown of who did what;

Aspect Co. – A somewhat plain name, but their contribution to the classics shouldn’t be overlooked. They were responsible for the platforming line of Game Gear Sonic games, which include the famous Sonic Triple Trouble and the infamous Sonic Blast. Also included are Master System ports of said games (in Europe. America only got one Master System port), Tails Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog’s Gameworld for the Pico.

SEGA Technical Institute – Mentioned before, but this was a different STI made up mostly of Western staff (see later for the other STI). They made Sonic Spinball, and were supposed to make Sonic X-Treme before it got hit with numerous problems.

SIMS Co Ltd. – A child company of SEGA up until 2004, the result of a venture between them and Sanritsu Denki Co. They developed Tails Sky Patrol, which was exclusive to Japan before it was collected in compilation games and ported digitally.

SEGA-AM3 – An internal SEGA team that worked on the arcade side of gaming. They made just one Sonic game, the obscure SegaSonic Arcade mentioned before, and Kusonoki would work further with the franchise.

SEGA-AM2 – A different internal SEGA arcade team, they’re known for making Virtua Fighter but also made a different fighter, Fighting Vipers. From the Virtua Fighter engine Sonic the Fighters was made, which featured a scrapped cameo from Fighting Vipers character Candy (in cat form, called by her Japanese name aka Honey). Honey would later cameo in Fighting Vipers’ Saturn port, Bean and Bark would be unlockable in Fighters Megamix and various Sonic characters would cameo throughout the Virtua Striker series.

Traveller’s Tales – A British company who handled Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island (the last Sonic game on the Mega Drive) and Sonic R.

06b - ecco aliens
Not even Giorgio Tsoukalos would blame Global Warming on aliens.

Appaloosa Interactive – Their only involvement with Sonic was for the Pico’s Tails and the Music Maker (they were involved with a number of Pico games), but one of their other credits would be the Ecco the Dolphin series. They are responsible for dolphins fighting aliens as well as educating kids on music.

Compile – Developed the Puyo Puyo series which is still popular in Japan. It was reskinned and sold in Western territories initially as Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.

So from that list alone, it’s easy to see that a lot of companies were involved with Sonic’s classic history for good or for bad. It’s true that the only ones acknowledged nowadays are ones made by the old STI and CS1 teams, so you can keep that fact as an actual truth.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 were Western made

07a - Sheriff Sonic
Not what I meant.

Here’s one where the confusion stems from not knowing how things were worked back in the day, and it all fall downs to technical classification. As seen above, Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 were credited as being made by SEGA Technical Institute, who operated in America, while Sonic CD and Chaotix were developed in Japan (whether Sonic Team or not). It’s easy to presume, therefore, that Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 were mostly Western developed, which is why SEGA of America tends to get more repute where this error is taken as fact.

The truth is that those games were almost as Japanese as the ones made by the team actually operating in Japan.  That’s not to say that there weren’t any Westerners with them, but here’s the origin of the American team as explained by producer Shinobu Toyoda [SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: The Collected Works];

Mark Cerny and I met Naka and suggested he come to work for SEGA of America. He had two issues with Japan. One was the compensation structure, as in those days Japanese developers were really not paid well, and he was fed up with that lack of respect. Another frustration was that Japanese publishers did not publicise developers’ names, because they were afraid other companies would steal good people. So developers were not credited. I told Naka that we would pay him well in America, and put his names in interviews and books and whatever else to publicise his work. And of course, behind the scenes, I collaborated with SEGA of Japan management, who told me to tell Naka that we would create a team in America, called Sonic Team, and he could take any ten people he wanted. So I set up a studio in Palo Alto [California], and put Naka and his selected folks in that office.

So the majority of the team, and more importantly all of the core, making Sonic 2 was very much Japanese, with a handful of Western personnel dotted about in less fundamental roles (including Craig Stitt as a zone artist, who went on to join Insomniac for a decade). Sonic 3 stayed much the same, with new personnel being brought over from Japan (three additions being Knuckles creator Takashi “Thomas” Yuda, famous SEGA composer Jun Senoue and current head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka). In the end, the credit that SEGA of America can lay to these legendary games is “they paid the staff better and gave them more publicity”, they weren’t really instrumental to crafting the experiences.

There is one notable exception to this; for Sonic 3, outside composers were called in to compose the soundtrack. The famous part of that is that Michael Jackson himself may have been called up to do it, but we do know that Brad Buxer of the Jetzons was called in as he’s listed in the credits as one of the composers. Ironically, this is the part that’s gotten SEGA in a bit of hot water, as now there’s a case going on that’s supposedly involving the royalties for the music, and it’s likely why Sonic 3 struggles to get re-releases nowadays.

07b - spinball themarch
This game isn’t my speciality, go ask Donnie.

Well, at least SEGA Technical Institute genuinely has one American-made game to its name that wasn’t made by that Sonic Team. To be honest though, I wouldn’t call Sonic Spinball anything to be proud of.

 

Espio’s favourite food is apples

08a - sonic apple
“Forget you, I can eat all these apples!”

I’ve got to be frank; I have no idea where this popular ‘fact’ came from; perhaps some notable fanwork used it and it latched on with the masses, or maybe someone made an edit to a wiki one day and everyone took it hook, line and sinker.

Let’s make this short and sweet; there is zero official material to support this claim. On Sonic Channel, Espio’s likes are listed as training and self-discipline, which makes sense given his try hard ninja persona. You might think that it would therefore come from one of the old Chaotix game profiles that would be considered non-canon nowadays but fans still keep remnants of anyway. As it turns out, no; he doesn’t have a like in the American version of the manual, and the Japanese one has his like as camping. That’s not apples. And what about the Sonic X interim profiles that came up in the Japanese airing of the show? Even if they would still be non-canon to the games, it’d be an origin. Well, only Charmy got an individual one of those, and the Chaotix got two as a whole later, but the reptiles didn’t get an individual one to themselves, so they can’t have said it there.

It’s strange because most popular facts start from a logical origin, but this just seems to have popped out of nowhere. The truth is that we don’t know what Espio’s favourite food is, he hasn’t expressed any sort of interest in it. If you want a fact that people overlook though, here’s food for thought; in the Japanese version of Chaotix, it’s stated that Espio was a private detective who was interested in learning about the civilisation of legend alluded to in Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Sonic and Knuckles. And through finding that Angel Island was linked to it, he was envious of Knuckles (presumably because of Knuckles being part of that legend, essentially). It’s almost a shame that the fans decided to portray Knuckles saving Espio to take it as them being close friends when it sounds like it was more of a Zenigata thing from Espio.

08b - StF Espio
More like Zenigata crossed with Goemon, if Hoshino’s words are any indication

 

Sonic’s name is Olgilvie Maurice Hedgehog

09a - Annoyed Sonic
This sums it up.

Oh Archie, how you can be so aggravating sometimes. In Sonic the Hedgehog #53, when Sonic’s father in that continuity comes across Sonic, we find out that Sonic has a normal middle name, and one that he hates at that. As added by later comic material, this is a name taken from his grandfather. Said father tries to let slip his first name too, but Sonic stops him before he can. In plans revealed for the comic run before Ian ended up replacing writing duties, Ken Penders disclosed that his first name was going to be revealed as Olgilvie, but this never happened within the comic pages.

09b - maurice
And from that day forth, Sonic devoted himself to nuking that name out of existence.

It shouldn’t surprise you, therefore, to find out that precisely none of this is true in the games. We don’t know anything about Sonic’s family, and the name can simply be assumed to be what he’s always had since the start, Sonic. Further than that, it stopped being true in the comic a long time ago. It was said in 2009 by current writer Ian Flynn that Sonic legally changed his name to Sonic, making the Maurice name an artefact, and this was confirmed in print in the 2011 Free Comic Book Day issue. Further still, the continuity reboot rendered that name completely non-canon as he’s always been called Sonic in the new reality. The moral of the story is to call a spade a spade, otherwise it’s going to be a strange blight for years to come.

 

The Super Emeralds are still a thing (and extensions of it therein)

10a - S3&K Emerald Chamber
Alas, we hardly knew ye. Literally.

Ah yes, we’re back to Sonic 3 for this one. This one has a more solid root than most mistruths because it’s from actual game content, so let’s take it right from the top. When it came to releasing Sonic 3, STI found that what they’d finished making was proving too big to be on a single standard cartridge, and the SVP chip that could wouldn’t be ready in time for release. So they had to cut the game in half and release Sonic 3 early in 1994, and with a bit of programming cleverness devise the lock-on technology that allowed Sonic and Knuckles, released later that year, to join with it again. But at $120 for the full experience, it would need some bells and whistles to justify why the price point was so high. Naka had the idea to make Sonic and Knuckles work with Sonic 2 and other cartridges, giving you even more content beyond Sonic 3 (Sonic 2 would be Knuckles in Sonic 2, every other cartridge would bring up Blue Spheres). But they decided to do extra work for Sonic 3’s lock on bonuses. As it stood, you would have double the special stages but the same requirements for Super Sonic (who was story-relevant) and Super Knuckles (who was just a bonus), which would leave players without much extra incentive after that point. So as a bit of extra programming, they added in the Super Emeralds, upgraded versions of the Chaos Emeralds only available if you had Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles locked on together. This granted extra play time, extra cutscenes showing the Emeralds being upgraded and three new forms; Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles and Super Tails, the former two being even more powerful than the super forms and the lattermost bringing a Flicky army of death.

Skip to 1998 with Sonic Adventure, the first main game with Super Sonic in it since back then. This game changed the way the Chaos Emeralds and Super Sonic were. Now a consistent shape (not size, as future games would show), the Chaos Emeralds were said to contain infinite power when used together. Super Sonic was a lot more powerful than he had been in the 2D games, which makes sense since he was no longer restricted to a 2D plane and needed that extra oomph for the extra dimension. This does raise some issues with the past content though;

  1. If the Chaos Emeralds already have infinite power, what good would an upgrade to them do?
  2. If Super Sonic was so powerful, wouldn’t that make Hyper Sonic redundant?

A clue to the fate of the extra forms came about in Sonic Heroes. At the end of the game, Neo Metal Sonic became Metal Overlord, and team Sonic went super to fight back against him. Except not quite – Sonic went super, but he just loaned out super energy bubbles to Tails and Knuckles so they could join in. This would make sense for Tails as he needed Super Emeralds, but Knuckles, going by Sonic 3 and Knuckles, should have gone full super just fine. Further compounding this was Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), where energy was once again shared with two other characters (Shadow and Silver this time), but they became Super Shadow and Super Silver. Finally, in a Q & A session at the Sonic Boom event in 2013, Iizuka confirmed that the Super Emeralds were strictly out of the continuity (Super Tails was confirmed gone earlier than that). As he explained, they were simply added as more bonus content for locking the two games together, not something that was to be considered within the story itself. [Post Publish Correction – As was pointed out by Mr. Druid, considering them separately would entirely ruin the narrative of the Death Egg transition from the Sonic 3 ending to the Sonic and Knuckles intro. Just throw out the super stuff beyond Super Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds and call it a day.]

10b - knuckles downgrade
“Oh sorry Knux, the Men’s Working Club for supers only accepts Hedgehogs now.”

As for Super Knuckles, who was part of the standard gameplay? As I said before, that wasn’t involved in the plot while Super Sonic was, so it could be considered a bonus for the Sonic and Knuckles players who picked Knuckles since he was the new kid on the block at the time. Especially since other staff and those who have worked with SEGA have come out and verified that going super is reserved for male hedgehogs only unless you’re called Blaze the Cat and have a different set of Emeralds. So now, despite being Master Emerald guardian, he has no ability to use the Chaos Emeralds. Better luck next time, Knuckles.

 

Sonic is owned by Nintendo

11 - MnW Mario
Get this mistruth where it belongs.

No.

 

There’s probably numerous more pieces of misinformation out on the spindles of the internet. Sonic’s had a long history with numerous stories about game production, world elements, characters and even the inner workings of the company’s functions. On top of that, the truth can turn out stranger than fiction, so the accumulation of these wrong (and sometimes weird) statements is inevitable. At least now you should be guarded against the ones listed above, but keep your wits about you with other unverified pieces of information, and don’t be afraid to ask if you want a check.

12 - Source Machine
A photograph of our own source checking process.

Sources: Interview quotations, Sonic 3 development and early Sonic Team history; SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: The Collected Works, Read-Only Memory

Staff credit research; Sonic 2 (3:14), Sonic 3SegaSonic Arcade (14:58), Sonic Spinball (8:05), Knuckles Chaotix (3:57), Sonic Adventure [all videos]

Conversation with Iizuka about Nazo from BlueParadox, Facebook [screenshot]

Mecha Sonic research; Sonic Retro’s Mecha Sonic article, European 8-Bit Sonic 2 Manual (via Sonic Retro)

Company Research; Wikipedia, SEGA Retro

Official character bio information: Sonic Channel

Sonic X eyecatch card image list; Sonic News Network

Literal translation of JP Chaotix manual; Sonicjam.wikidot, Japanese text from manual (via Sonic Retro)

Comic name information; Mobius Encyclopedia (StH#53, FCBD 2011 via Sonic’s character article) in lieu of not linking to the issues themselves, Ask Ian for FEB’09 – Novelty Answer Month – Finis~, Bumbleking

Super Emerald information; Sonic Boom 2013 – Part 2/3 – Q&A Session (19:38)

SEGA Bible info; GeneHF on Sonic Runners announced (Sonic Team/Mobile), Sonic Retro

Super Tails information from Summer of Sonic 2012 (no video available, confirmation of question asked on SEGA Forums)

All images belong to their respective owners.

Prototype Armadillo image from Sonic the Hedgehog GameTap Retrospective Pt. 1/4  (2:12)

Magazine Scan from JumpingRyle in New Sonic 1 Alpha Screens Discovered, Sonic Retro Forums.

Manabu Kusonoki image from [Terra Battle Download Starter]500,000 Downloads Message from Manabu Kusunoki

Comparable Super Sonic shot to Nazo

46 Comments

    1. Okay, how about the fact that “Super” Knuckles isn’t even an actual transformation. Dude just flashes pink.

  1. “it’s best to consider Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles in continuity as separate entities, not locked on.”

    No it’s not. That would imply the Death Egg getting blown to bits and then magically reappearing atop the Angel Island volcano (given that the Sonic 3 ending showed it getting fully destroyed after the Launch Base boss, which doesn’t happen in S3&K) and Tails randomly disappearing from the story for no reason when S&K begins.

    So instead of “S3 and S&K not locked on are canon except for Super Knuckles”, it’s more “S3&K is canon except for the Super Emeralds and any Super/Hyper form that isn’t Super Sonic”.

    “If the Chaos Emeralds already have infinite power, what good would an upgrade to them do?”
    I dunno. Why do you gain more power the more Chaos Emerald you have and need all seven to go Super, despite each one having unlimited power? Shouldn’t a single emerald equal seven of them?

    About the Olgilvie thing, you’ve got to be kidding me. There are people who take anything Archie says as a basis for canon? Dear Lord. Sometimes I’m ashamed for be part of this fanbase.

    And I don’t buy Nazo being a preliminary Super Sonic, given that the trailer that featured him also showed Super Sonic, who looked pretty much like he did in the games. I believe he was intended to be either an original Sonic form, or maybe Hyper Sonic. Yes, noncanon, I know. But that might be exactly the reason why he was scrapped from Sonic X: Sega forbade the writers from using Hyper Sonic due to his noncanon status, so they had to take him out.
    But even though I don’t personally believe that Nazo was intended to be a separate character, I don’t see how you can claim with certainty that he wasn’t when we have no official word on who or what he is.

    1. -Huh…well you can tell my memory of S3&K is limited since I only grew up with Sonic and Knuckles alone. It’s weird how most of the additions of the lock-on for that combination are nullified then.

      -With the Chaos Emerald powers, Sonic Adventure drew emphasis on the union of the Chaos Emeralds tapping into abilities even beyond what the Chaos Emeralds alone could do (because the super power of teamwork I guess). Two sets of Emeralds is just pushing it after that.

      -Yep, some do. No kidding.

      -Most of the ‘Nazo as a separate character’ thing is based off the filename being Nazo and it being assumed to be a character name when it isn’t, which is what I wanted to put across. Looking at the mystery pic, it shares pretty much every design cue with Sonic, right down to eye colour and shoe sock design (a tiny smidge can be seen at the bottom), so there’s pretty much no way it isn’t Sonic in some form. The Super theory is more throwing other ideas for what it does show onto the table, and it’s acknowledged as that. I haven’t had exposure to the initial trailer.

    2. Unfortunately, because The Archie comics and SatAM where the only source of lore for the Western Sonic fanbase for nearly a decade before the internet and Sonic Adventure changed the scene, a lot of casual fans who weren’t as attached to games as we are tend to use those as sources for investigating Sonic’s backstory, never bothering to take another look.

      The problem with THAT, is a lot of those casual idiots became prominent members of the gaming media community, in particular gaming reviewers and You Tube personalities.

      Ironically, being famous on the internet means you don’t know how to Google or do a basic search. here are two blatant examples:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdxQmgC2Bhw – an “Educated” examination into how S&K conveyed story through level transitions

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvNEZ4WWQIk – I’m not even going to bothering telling you what this is. J-Just see it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aq_dOLFmxA – and of course, the “Extensive research” from the “Desk” of DEATHBATTLE…Yeah, Deathbattle is practically clickbait at this point. with advetisements, that’s even worse

    3. I always considered the Emeralds to be a SOURCE of infinite power but the flow of that power is limited. Therefore, to get enough energy at the same time, multiple Emeralds are required.

      To apply that to the Super Emeralds, they would allow for more flow of energy, but then you have to wonder why you cannot use a single Super Emerald to turn into Super Sonic. Answer…not canon.

      1. I like your theory a lot regarding the Chaos Emeralds. It also explains why Chaos Emeralds need to be recharged after use despite supposedly having infinite power. If you combine it with the theory that rings contain Chaos energy, it explains why rings are needed to maintain Super Sonic as well– rings add chaos energy to maintain and stabilize the flow established by the emeralds.

        If I recall correctly, Super Emeralds were thrown in to help justify charging the price of a full game for Sonic 3 and Knuckles, despite S3&K essentially being an expansion pack. Because of that, I wouldn’t expect them to be very well-thought out in terms of canonicity.

  2. Iizuka actually confirmed Nazo was Sonic X’s version of Super Sonic via a fan question over Facebook. But then they later just decided to use Super Sonic himself.
    Also, love the “Go ask Donnie” under Spinball.

  3. Overall, SEGA is full of shit.

    Shafting Iizuka is the only way Knuckles and Tails get decency again. I don’t even think he and SEGA care about the Sonic mythos and how the franchise can benefit from it, as opposed to something as vain as his “image”. If that’s indeed all the Super Emeralds we’re for, then the players should gotten a free Genesis game off the SEGA Channel in place of them. While we’re at it, if an actual fan of Sonic (similar to either Flynn or myself) were incharge, we could get the following:

    -Super Knuckles and Super Tails
    -SatAM season 3 & 4 (as the late Hurst intended)
    -The return of several obscure Sonic characters, from AM3’s Ray to Gemerl from Sonic Advance 3.
    -Sonic Adventure 3 (not just a game called Sonic Adventure, an actual successor). But that subject is for another time.
    -A spiritual Saturn game featuring concepts from Sonic Xtreme, also focusing on the exposition of how it’s possible to hop dimensions (instead of confusing people by condensing humans and anthros in one world).
    -A settlement between SEGA, Archie, and Penders that recovers those lost 20 years of the comic, and keeps Penders in check.
    -A glorious future where the majority of Sonic isn’t just Sonic Boom or mobile device-exclusive games.
    -No more rushed titles, or refusal to rerelease older titles on other systems.
    -An accurate timeline that doesn’t bar non-Genesis or modern titles.

      1. Naaahh…everything is written in concise order, with lists and correct paragraphs, and everything is not bunched up into one big blob of text. Plus, not enough hyperbole.

        …I know…I miss him too *sniff*

    1. “-Super Knuckles and Super Tails”

      What possible in-verse reason do these two have to go Super? Both previous attempts (S3K and Heroes) are just lame, plus they’re powerful enough as is.

      “-SatAM season 3 & 4 (as the late Hurst intended)”

      Yeah, let’s continue a 20 year old dead show that barely resembled the source material, barely anyone remembers, and wasn’t all that great to begin with.

      “-The return of several obscure Sonic characters, from AM3’s Ray to Gemerl from Sonic Advance 3.”

      All those obscure characters that only a handful of people are whimpering for were discarded for a reason, they sucked. Mighty and Ray were just 2P and 3P recolors of Sonic with no unique abilities of their own, Bean, Bark, Metal Knuckles, and Tails Doll are just lame roster filler during a time when Sonic didn’t have that many characters (not a concern now!) and Fang didn’t have much going for him. Gemerl and Metal Sonic pretty much have the same abilities, their only difference is alignment.

      “-A spiritual Saturn game featuring concepts from Sonic Xtreme,”

      Sonic Lost World

      ” also focusing on the exposition of how it’s possible to hop dimensions (instead of confusing people by condensing humans and anthros in one world).”

      There’s nothing confusing about it. Dragon Ball, Looney Tunes, and myriads of other franchises have humans and anthros co-existing without anyone giving a crap. Why can’t certain Sonic fans just accept that?

      “-An accurate timeline that doesn’t bar non-Genesis or modern titles.”

      Yeah, the last time a franchise that never paid attention to continuity slapped together a timeline, we got that crappy Hyrule Hystoria timeline for Zelda. No thank you.

      1. ““-SatAM season 3 & 4 (as the late Hurst intended)”

        Yeah, let’s continue a 20 year old dead show that barely resembled the source material, barely anyone remembers, and wasn’t all that great to begin with.”

        Uh, Almost everyone who’s a Sonic fan remembers it and at least 1/4 of the fanbase loves it, whether it be because of nostalgia or simply because they enjoy it anyway. I love it myself but I agree it’s not as great as everyone makes out; it’s aged quite badly and it had those random spin-off episodes that broke the overall plot up too much. I personally prefer Sonic Underground since that was still just as dark and gritty despite the colour scheme and upbeat soundtrack but it had a much more solid sense of continuity and wasn’t so in-your-face with its grittiness. You have to really watch it again and think about it to get the dark themes within the show.

    2. But wait, what if an actual fan of Sonic didn’t want SA3, but rather an original game based on the Classic titles or the boost formula? Or felt that Sonic Xtreme had too many bad ideas to be considered an inspiration? What if said fan wanted to keep the cast small, or remove all humans/anthros except for the protagonists and antagonists? Or felt that it was better to continue, say, Sonic Boom or Sonic X instead of SatAM? What if Sega imposed deadlines and restrictions on the fan that the fan has no control over, or legal issues cropped up that prevented rereleases? Plus, do you seriously believe that Ken Penders is going to compromise with Sega and Archie on anything? No, he isn’t. Its not in his nature. If he ever were to enter a deal with Sega, he’d try to impose his own shallow archetypes on the characters rather than the well-known and fleshed out archetypes established by Ian Flynn. He’d try to reintroduce the false profundity and anvilicious morals that his works with Sonic are known for. And he’d refuse to listen to anybody who tried to stop him.

      The whole “one fan to save them all” thing is pure fantasy. There is no one person who can enter Sega and gain enough power to essentially uproot its corporate culture, and even if this person existed, there’s no guarantee that s/he has the exact same vision of Sonic as you. Or anybody else, for that matter. The situation at Sega and Sonic Team is a tangled web of bad decisions and mismanagement perpetuated by multiple individuals. Merely removing one individual won’t change the behavior of the others. In fact, the others may simply replace the fired individual with another just like him/her, perhaps even worse. Its better for Sega and Sonic Team to reform their company policies and organization, but even that will take time. Much as I wish the best for them, there is no quick painless solution to the situation Sega and Sonic Team have brought upon themselves.

      1. 1. Who says we can’t have both? This goes back to my oldest belief, a Sonic game can be ANYTHING.
        2. There’s nothing saying that there can’t be a game aside from Sonic Adventure 3, based on the classic titles.
        3. There can also be a game that keeps the boost formula and 2D: the Sonic Colors series (excluding Lost World).
        4. As for Sonic Xtreme, use the GOOD ideas that actually make sense as inspiration.
        5. Not every Sonic title needs to have a buttload of characters. SEGA can alternate, depending on the importance of the plot.
        6. We can have both Sonic X and SatAM. I’ll even let Boom of all things stick around. A true Sonic fan will probably watch all three, but people can stick to what they like: Anime, traditional western animation, or CGI.
        7. There’s nothing saying that SEGA can’t impose strict regulations on Penders should he enter a deal with them.
        8. What legal issues that prevent people from ever playing older titles again, or for the first time if they missed out? Do I have to buy a Genesis and 32X just to play Knuckles Chaotix?

        Right now, all we have is BOOM, and the sad drama stories that led up to it, followed by the aftermath of it. It has never been this bad before. Can you honestly trust a company that butted heads with Nintendo, dished out sleeper-hit-condemning add-ons and other poor-selling hardware, fired many talented voice-actors, rushed a major milestone title for that purpose alone, enforced so many conflicting mandates, betrayed so many long-time fans in favor of helmet children, and put their trust and job security of 300 people in the hands of a company that clearly does not know Sonic?

        I’m not saying SEGA should shut down (because then Sonic will end up like Crash Bandicoot), but someone who actually cares about the franchise needs to step in.

        I can’t just sit on the internet and let the Sonic franchise die like this.

        1. And who says the franchise is dying? Who says that Sega isn’t working on the 25th anniversary game as we speak?

          Also, about betraying fans in favour of children? Thing is… Kids have always been the target demographic, since the very beginning. Odds are that you were a kid when the Adventure games were a thing. And I was a kid when Sonic & Knuckles was a thing. And the kids of today will have their thing be something like Lost World.

          Point being, everyone has their own vision for the Sonic franchise. I, for one, hope they make more games like the Advance and Rush series, since not only do those games have brilliant gameplay from beginning to end, without sudden shifts in genre, but they incorporate the multiple playable character style perfectly.

          But the fact of the matter is this. It’s out of our hands.

          All we can do is sit and wait for the next game, and hope it turns out good.

          It’s sad, but it’s the truth.

        2. My point was that one person could never enact those changes, and even if s/he could, s/he may not want Adventure or SatAM at all. You proposed that one “real” fan could come and save the franchise, and I used that line of rhetorical questions to explain why that couldn’t possibly be the case. As for Penders, he would not only refuse to sign the contract unless he got to make the rules, but would likely whine on Twitter about how restrictive Sega is. Keep in mind that he believes that he is akin to Jack Kirby in both talent and mistreatment, so there’s no way on Earth he’s going to let Sega impose restrictions on him. As for legal issues, Sonic 3 has actually faced quite a few starting in 2011-2012 regarding the soundtrack, preventing rereleases. There’s also the fact that THQ, the US publisher of the Advance series, is now defunct, making it tricky to get republishing rights (this is, in fact, the reason that the port of Sonic Advance for WiiU is exclusive to Europe and Japan). And lord knows what else has been going on in Sega’s legal department.

          It has never been this bad before? Sonic Xtreme, Sonic 06, and all the stuff surrounding them beg to differ. It isn’t “just Boom”– we still have Runners and a mainline title coming next year. The voice acting thing only happened in America if you’re referring to Sonic– Japan has maintained a relatively consistent cast since CD. Plus in Sega’s defense, the 4Kids voice actors were actually despised until recently, meaning that it made perfect sense to change them. Indeed, Mike Pollock, the only Sonic voice actor people universally liked back then, got to keep his job.

          And Sonic had always targeted children. You may laugh, but a lot of older Classic and Boost fans actually enjoy the kid-friendly lightheartedness, believing it to be a key part of Sonic’s essence. In fact, the post-Colors games became less serious BECAUSE in 2010, fans expressed greater satisfaction in having Sonic be lighthearted than in having Sonic be serious. Sega and Sonic Team were (and still are) simply working off of stuff they think people like.

          There is literally nothing we can do about this. Again, no one person has the power to change an entire corporate culture, especially people who don’t work at the company. If Sega and Sonic Team are going to change, they’re going to have to work together to do it. At this point, change for Sega and Sonic Team is going to be a long, difficult, painful, process, and said changes are going to inevitably tick off a lot of people. There is no avoiding that. Perseverance and long term thinking is key right now.

          1. Can we start having a thumb up system for comments? Because I need to thumb this comment up a thousand times.

          2. 1. I was referring to the Ryan Drummond-era voice actors.
            2. It’s really unnerving when SEGA KILLS any hope of Sonic Adventure 3, returning old characters, rereleases, Super Knuckles, Super Tails, another Sonic anime, and the lost SatAM season 3.

            It’s one thing for SEGA themselves to have zero interests in any of these ideas, but it shows how dickish they can be when they actually come up with rules that restrict others from doing so. How do they expect Sonic to be any better and win their fans over again, when they blatantly turn down any plain-as-day opportunities. They obviously do not want these popular ideas to ever become a reality.

            Even Sakurai listens to fans more than they do, and SSB practically blew Sonic out of the water in 2014. Oh, and mobile device-only games are low priority, since a majority of gamers who come for Sonic do not conveniently own those devices. Would you buy an iPhone, just to play Runners (and other Mario, Pokemon, …LOZ, …Kirby, ……titles)?. So the only hope left for an actual video game title is E3 next year, ……again. Yet another gimmick, another Boom game, another solo Sonic game, another “boost to win”/2D mode game, another Pontac & Graff story, etc. Because SEGA hates any of the above ideas (the ones I mentioned before, like SA3 and etc.).

            Wake me when the next Sonic expy since Socket arrives, hopefully giving us another Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (where I entered the franchise).

          3. Ah, I see. Yeah, that would be annoying. Eh, I never really liked those guys’ voices anyway… but that’s just me of course. Still, that happend years ago. Sega is different now than it was back then.

            Sonic Adventure 3 was never going to be a thing nor was there any indication that it would be. Ever. Sega made three spiritual successors (Heroes, 06, Unleashed). Heroes and Unleashed are polarizing, while 06 is near universally hated. Your hope for an SA3 is a dream, not an obligation. Same goes for hyper forms (we have super forms to perform essentially the same function), and the return of obscure characters like Mighty or Emerl. Sega isn’t obligated to produce any TV shows at all for Sonic either. Sega never promised another sequel to SatAM or Adventure, nor promised more hyper forms, nor promised to bring back old characters. You shouldn’t be shocked when Sega doesn’t do stuff that it never announced it was doing.

            Heck, none of this stuff would really be viable. SA3 would be expensive and time consuming to bring up to modern standards, plus it lacks the mainstream appeal needed to recoup the money spent on the game. Remember, a lot of fans and the gaming media actually doesn’t like Adventure and its breathren. They feel that the Adventures aged poorly and aren’t fun… at best. At worst they feel like they were stupid ideas that scrapped everything the Classics stood for, introduced a bunch of ideas that nearly killed the franchise, and certainly killed the franchise’s credibility. SatAM died with Hurst, and its very obscure outside of the fanbase. This deprives it of the mainstream appeal needed for TV networks to pick it up. You could argue the same for Boom, but at least Boom still makes profits through the TV show and possibly the toys. Super Sonic already fills Hyper Sonic’s role, rendering the super emeralds redundant. One of the most common criticisms lobbed at Sonic is too many characters not worth caring about, so it would make sense (at least in theory) to focus on a small handful so said handful can be given the care and attention they need.

            Yes, mobile device games are low priority, but they do prove that there are mainline Sonic games out there. Especially since Runners is actually a Sonic Team project. Smartphones are extremely popular right now so its likely that most Sonic fans already owned one when Runners came out. Actually, now that I think of it, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 weren’t enough to save the Dreamcast or Gamecube’s sales either. By that logic, shouldn’t they also be inferior to the other titles?

            What you don’t get is that Sonic fans actually do enjoy the Boost formula games. A lot. Colors and Gens are critical darlings and it would be stupid of Sega not to try to do something with that (in fact, those are primary factors in the fandom’s distaste for Lost World and Boom). Pontac and Graff aren’t particularly well-liked, but even so, people tend to feel that they’re at least more coherant than the Adventures tended to be.

            I feel like you’re talking about how Sonic could change to appeal to you specifically, instead of talking about how Sonic could change in an intelligent way that keeps Sega and Sonic Team alive while making as many people possible happy. Because Adventure, SatAM, super emeralds, etc. aren’t nearly as popular as you think they are.

          4. What’s the point in having a thumbs up system. Thumbs ups are meaningless. It also raises further controversy and a thumbs down option is also added. No need to make anyone feel worse.

            Also, you don’t really gain anything from a thumbs up (especially when you don’t even know who it’s coming from). Isn’t it enough just to respect people’s comments in moderation?

          5. Well, a thumbs system is a quick, easy way to show appreciation for an individual’s point. It can also indicate an individual’s popularity on the website, which is important as it shows which people are most influential. Dislikes aren’t a necessity– SSMB and Facebook are just fine with only a like button.

            It also prevents the comments section from being mobbed by “I agree with you”, which can in turn come off as dogpiling and also inflates the size of a comments section.

            Plus, what exactly do you mean by “respect in moderation”? If you respect somebody, why hold back?

        3. “2. It’s really unnerving when SEGA KILLS any hope of Sonic Adventure 3,”

          Good… that’s the last thing anyone needs.

          1. Yeah, not to ride on a bandwagon but I agree with HumbleFellow, comments like ^ and the one above needs more love.

            And maybe…just maaaaybe…a ratings-systems-will-silence-anymore-talk-of-an-SA3.

            Just a thought…just a thought…

          2. Hogfather and I are inspiring change! But in all seriousness, I think a thumbs up system would be a good idea. I’d recommend that you chat to one of TSS’s admins about it though. They’d know more about the technical side of TSS than I do.

  4. Good read. I never knew about the apple thing. XD Oh Sonic fanbase. Yet again, I suppose I can’t criticize the fanbase too much when I have my own fanon that Shadow the Hedgehog loves vanilla ice cream despite never having eaten it in any Sonic media ever.

    And I knew that Westerners were involved in the development of Sonic 2 and 3, but wow I never knew all that stuff was going on. I hope Naka and the other Sonic Team employees, former or otherwise, get more respect from their bosses nowadays. Yet again, that’s kind of a long shot in the profit-oriented AAA gaming industry. :/

  5. Hm. So, the chameleon shinobi likes apples, eh? Thanks for telling me something new. Nice article, by the way. And they should bring back Mighty and Ray in games. I like those two.

    1. Actually, he doesn’t, that’s the falsehood that some fans believe to be true despite there being no evidence of it.

        1. It’s fine, we all do that sometimes. The subtitles are the myths to be debunked, not properly facts. There are some little known facts mentioned within the paragraphs though. Even I never knew about Espio being interested in the Echidna lore in his Chaotix bio before I researched to debunk the apple thing.

  6. I just count Hyper and the Super Em. as a higher state of power but at a greater energy cost, ala Super Saiyan 2 and 3. Super Sonic is powerful, but he could still get rings beaten out of him by a stronger force like Solaris, thus where Hyper could come in an take it down.
    Besides, the normal Emerald’s energy can’t be infinite if it’s been drained and needed to be recharged a good few times in the past like in SA1 and Generations or even the Sol Emeralds in Rush.

    1. Exactly.

      Super Super cannot be that powerful, especially given the many times they used him over, and over, and over, and over. Hell, he’s even in the first cutscene in Unleased, as if Sonic can practically turn Super Saiyan at will. It’s such a cop-out.

      What if SEGA decides to create a bigger and badder threat more powerful than anything Sonic has ever faced in his life? Sonic will obviously need a miracle transformation (or at least some help) to get through such a dire situation. It also helps make the game less-predictable. Nowadays, Super Sonic is just getting cheap.

      However, for Hyper Sonic to have any impact in the plot at all, the means of obtaining such power and story behind it have to be rewritten. The Super Emeralds themselves are that big a deal if retconned, since they would outshadow, and possibly cancel out the Master Emerald. If the Master Emerald’s purpose is the keep the emeralds in check, then the Super Emeralds would probably overwhelm it. The Super Emeralds just felt random anyway. But there’s no excuse why Sonic should be restricted from attaining a higher power for a greater purpose, and why we can’t have a few more select characters attain super forms too (i.e. Sonic’s closest friends, Tails and Knuckles, characters who have prove themselves through many trials time and time again, and are part of the iconic trio).

      Theory time: Maybe the Sol Emeralds focus more on elemental boosts, rather than pure power. Just a thought. We do have Burning Blaze, rather than Super Blaze.

  7. Is it okay to use the Super Emeralds in fan fiction, though? Because I hope this article isn’t meant to stifle creativity in fanon by saying “no, this isn’t the way it’s meant to be, shut up.”

    1. The article merely says how it is in-canon, fanworks can do whatever it wants to. Heck, the Archie comics, officially licensed by SEGA, uses old characters not recognised in current game canon, so there’s no reason fanon can’t.

  8. Aw, but I like the idea of Sonic having a super embarassing name! Dude needs to be knocked down a peg sometimes and that’s the perfect way to do it! You also haven’t mentioned the fact that despite it being a popular idea, Sonics fear of water has never been shown in the games, only in Sonic Underground, the Archie comics and Sonic X. Rest of the time he’s just shown as being unable to swim, not scared of water.

  9. The Chaos Emeralds supposed infinite power does baffle me considering Perfect Chaos’s role. In SA, it is shown that Chaos had drained all of the negative energies of the emeralds exposing the greyish look of the emeralds. If the the negative energy can be drained completely, then what’s to say that the positive energies could also be fully drained?

    It does question the “infinite” power the chaos emeralds contain – I always assumed that the Master Emerald was the one with infinite power instead. But maybe I’m just wrong & it was explained properly in the Adventure games (I haven’t played the Adventure games in a long time now).

    1. No, it never was explained, it was just a weird plot point. Sonic Unleashed did it too, the chaos emeralds were completely drained, becoming the main objective for the whole game.

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