The Top 15 TSS Articles of 2019: Movies, Freedom Fighters and Sonic Adventures

Another year, another Sonic. I… think that’s what they say? Anyway, 2019 has come and gone in a blink of an eye hasn’t it? Seems like only yesterday we were ringing in the new year with talk of Team Sonic Racing’s new songs and anticipation of the Sonic Movie’s hulk-legged design.

Naturally, what Sonic’s silver-screen look would end up becoming was perhaps the biggest story throughout 2019, and boy what a rollercoaster that journey was. 2019 also saw the release of SEGA’s Mega Drive Mini, produced in-house and packed in with re-releases of Sonic 1, 2 and Spinball.

IDW comics continued to sell out on a frequent basis, proving their success in telling interesting stories with the blue blur; and Sonic sound director Jun Senoue took to both Japan and the UK to perform the Sonic Adventure Music Experience. All in all, it’s been a fun year.

You can check out all the news as it happened in our archive here, but for this article we’re focusing on the Top 15 Stories that you guys all eyeballed in the last 12 months. As you would expect, a lot of these follow a particular theme… we won’t spoil the surprise.

The date period is from 1st January – 31st December 2019.

Number 15

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief in May when we all found out that yes, in fact SEGA will indeed keep making Sonic things and doing Sonic things. For some reason this was a big question following the release of Team Sonic Racing, as there wasn’t much else on the roadmap in terms of big game announcements. We likely won’t hear anything else well into 2020, with the Sonic Movie keeping us occupied until at least February, so Sonic Team still has some time to prepare whatever they have next in store for us.

Number 14

The Sonic Movie design had been revealed, and everyone hated it. This no doubt caused a problem for many business partners that had spent a significant chunk of money producing merchandise based on the ‘human/rat/thing Sonic’ image. This was an interesting story for many because it showed off some of the (obviously now canned) products that were being considered for the movie’s original release in late 2019.

Number 13

One of the big questions that Sonic comic fans had all year was the fate/future/plan for the long-standing Freedom Fighters, a ragtag band of woodland critters originally created by Archie Comics and DiC to add weight to a serialised comic and cartoon version of 1990s Sonic the Hedgehog. With IDW taking over the reigns of the US Sonic comic a few years ago, and with no mention of the Freedom Fighters since, many started to question whether they were coming back at all.

This original opinion piece by TSS Writer Jason offered a decent take on the whole topic, and offered the idea that maybe the Freedom Fighters no longer serve a purpose in the eyes of multi-media storytelling. And many of you were interested in discussing it further too.

Number 12

While some fans were mourning the loss of the Freedom Fighters, others were intent on bringing them all right back. A Patreon launched to produce an unofficial third season to the 1990s ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Saturday Morning cartoon drew a lot of attention online, and it looks like a fair bit of progress has been made since May. It’s worth keeping an eye on this project over 2020.

Number 11

Oh dear. Before Sonic’s movie design was fully revealed, the internet went a little bit crazy, with the fanbase picking up on absolutely every crumb that could be found and pulling it apart. This was one of the final leaks just before the first official trailer hit, and it was more than a little bit horrifying. The trailer design did not end up looking -quite- as bad as this, but it honestly wasn’t far off.

Number 10

See!? THAT’S how you design Sonic for the movies! As we now know, comic and animation legend Tyson Hesse was primarily responsible for the visual reboot of the character, but of course the work wasn’t just down to one man. To tear down Sonic’s original movie design and rework it cost a huge amount of man hours and money, and this news story really drove that point home. You guys were clearly curious to see if it was money well spent.

Number 9

This story was popular post-original-movie-trailer-release, largely because for one thing, Sonic fans LOVE merchandise… but also because sometimes merchandise reveals can inadvertently leak interesting other details about a project. We all probably paid this no mind at the time, but this story ended up being hilariously prophetic with its mention of a Baby Sonic… something that only days ago was officially confirmed!

Number 8

This was a popular article for all the wrong reasons. AoStH artist and long-standing cartoonist Milton Knight was attacked in a hate crime back in March, which on top of reported other hardships in recent times made for a very sad news day. Click the link for more details of the incident and for his GoFundMe page where you can still help him out.

Number 7

Once the original Sonic movie trailer came out (and bombed), the Big Talk in the community turned to whatever the studio would do next to fix it. It was heavily hinted at that a redesign would take place, but when that would be revealed or announced was still a mystery at the time. Some weeks before the second trailer hit the internet, various movie theatres started putting out billboards with a new look Sonic displayed on them.

It was easy to take with a grain of salt at the time, but as time went on more and more corroborating evidence appeared in various other locations and it soon became too difficult to ignore that a full-on reworking was underway.

Number 6

…And until Paramount released that second movie trailer, fans would take it upon themselves to remake the original themselves – complete with their own ideas as to what the movie-based Sonic should look like. Trust us, there were about a million and one of these being boshed out every other day, so we really couldn’t track them all, but we made an exception for this one for simply being one of our favourites.

Number 5

Back to Good Sonic Movie Design timeline, and this story only came out early December and still managed to make it to #5 on our hottest articles list. To promote Good Sonic, Paramount sent out some plush toys of the blue blur to various press outlets – complete with a set of gold ring doughnuts. Not quite chili dogs, but they’ll do.

Number 4

Sonic fans love a good mystery, and this was certainly one head scratcher when we first reported on it back in 2018. What was this Sonic statue doing in the middle of a Japanese wood? Where did it come from? Did anyone own it? Why is he on a snowboard? It was so weird that TSS Writer Dave did some digging with the help of other SSMB users and finally got to the bottom of the whole thing! Take a look at the photos and detail in the story link above.

Number 3

Fitting for an article that’s being published on New Years Eve 2019… this story involves the resurrection of a long lost piece of DLC for Dreamcast classic Sonic Adventure that was only released in Japan and was created to celebrate New Years Eve 1999! With this, the online community has finally managed to preserve all of Sonic Adventure’s original Dreamcast DLC, twenty years later.

Number 2

This was the second-most popular article on TSS in 2019, and for good reason – it gave everyone the sigh of relief that they needed following the release of the original Sonic Movie trailer. Take a look at the image above and you can see why fans recoiled in abject horror at the thought of seeing that for an hour and a half in a dark room. But, movie director Jeff Fowler responded very quickly to quell concerns from fans and children alike that by the time the final cut hits cinemas, they won’t be scared out of their minds.

Number 1

Of course, the biggest story of 2019 on TSS just has to be the original reveal of Movie Sonic. Funnily enough, this isn’t even when the trailer came out – this was a leak of the movie design from documents shared online. The trailer would not come until the 30th April! The reaction to this online – both on TSS, SSMB and social media – was absolutely scathing. And for a brief moment, all of the factions of Sonic fans that existed that hated one another, put aside their weapons for a few days and worked together to fight a common enemy – Movie Sonic (v1). It was actually quite beautiful, in that it truly united the fanbase in ways we could never have otherwise achieved. Thank you, Rat Sonic.

Honourable Mentions

These articles only just missed the Top 15, but we thought they were significant enough to include here due to the impact that they had on the community when the news hit. Let’s take a look.

Earliest Sonic CD Prototype Discovered

Sonic retro game archaeologists got the surprise of their lives this year, when the Holy Grail of Sonic CD prototypes was finally uncovered. It’s an important discovery because this version, v0.02, is said to be the very first form of Sonic CD released to gaming magazines, and featured a number of gimmicks and visuals that were scrapped in even subsequent prototypes.

Along with this, an old animation of Sonic and Robotnik were also discovered within a special SEGA Multimedia promo disc intended to showcase the Mega CD to the press. [ Read the Article Here ]

YouTuber Etika Passes Away

This news hit hard not just within the Sonic community, but all over the web. Celebrity YouTuber Desmond Amofah, better known online as Etika, passed away in New York City back in June – at the young age of 29. In recent years, he had been known for his Nintendo-themed video work, creating Smash Bros content. But before he hit the big time, he was known to fellow Sonic fans as Iceman, and frequented the Sonic Stadium Message Boards. He even attended the Summer of Sonic convention in London way back in 2010. He continues to be sorely missed. [ Read the Article Here ]

Pumas

Pumas. You all really like your Pumas, don’t you? These are newly-announced Pumas that have Sonic iconography on them. They look good, don’t they? You certainly do, as you read this article enough times. Don’t get us wrong, we like the look of them too. Can’t wait to wear them. Pumas. [ Read the Article Here ]


You thought that was a fun trip through memory lane? Feel free to share in the Comments area your favourite stories from 2019… but the fun’s not ending here! It’s not only the end of the Year, but it’s the end of the Decade! Keep your eyes peeled for a roundup of the 2010s on TSS, coming soon…

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.