With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.
Today, STRAY RATS have revealed the full range via their website – and it is nothing short of fantastic! The line draws upon a style not seen since the early days of Sonic, with many items paying testament to classic titles such as Sonic CD…and even Sonic the Fighters!
Some of you might also recognise the immense Sonic the Hedgehog collection in the backdrop as none-other than that of TreasureHuntingSonic!
Depending on which region you grew up in, you might have come to know one of Sonic Triple Trouble’s main antagonists as either Fang the Sniper in Japan or Nack the Weasel in the west. But why the two names? Character creator ‘TOUMA’, explained to fans via twitter this week as to the origin of the two aliases, amongst other bits of character information!
Nothing beats a good bit of funk – especially when it’s a big band cover version of the theme to Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s Hydrocity Zone!
Composer Tyler Mire leads a big band ensemble complete with reeds, horns, and rhythm section in this phenomenal tribute to one of the greatest 16-bit era Sonic sounds. You’ll want to listen to this more than once to properly aborb all of the layers to this!
A listing on Penguin Random House’s website reveals that IDW comics are planning to release a mini series covering Sonic’s adventures between the first and second movies!
According to the pre-order page for the Official Movie “Pre-quill” (this listing is for a collection of what will comprise the comic series in it’s entirity), the 4-part mini series will cover the antics of Sonic, Tom, and Maddie, in the run-up to the second movie, due out in 2022.
From the source:
Catch up with Sonic and friends—if you can!—in this exclusive prequel to 2022’s most anticipated family film!
Life is good in Green Hills for Sonic the Hedgehog. Maybe too good. He’s starting to get bored, and when Sonic gets bored, things become a lot less boring for everyone else—fast!
Quicker than you can say “Chili Dog,” the Fastest Thing Alive is saving the day and causing all sorts of chaos along the way! Can Tom and Maddie help him keep his secrets now that he’s gotten a taste for heroics? Plus, new and returning characters starring in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 take the lead in stories of their own!
Possibly one of the rarest Sonic the Hedgehog arcade cabinets, a SEGASonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol children’s ride which includes an English translation, has been found by a fan!
SEGA Arcade aficionado IAMAMAZING100 on twitter recently shared images and footage of their recent acquisiton of the ride-in space ship, including footage of the cabinet up and running:
The children’s ride was made as part of the Waku Waku children’s line in Japan which is where many cabinets were deployed, with a limited deployment in predominently English speaking countries (for example, a unit was based at SEGA World Sydney).
There are also several subtle differences, besides the language, between the two versions such as sprites used in the game:
The ROM of the English translation for the game has yet to be dumped and shared, making this an exciting find for arcade buffs.
We’d love one ourselves…though we think it might be difficult to fit in one now!
A defining element of the Sonic the Hedgehog series is the superb soundtrack that has accompanied our favourite characters across 30 year’s worth of adventures. Here’s the top 10 of what our resident music maniac T-Bird considers the best of three decades of music featured in the Sonic Universe!
10. Sonic R
Often dismissed as cheesy (but come on folks, Sonic is often super cheesy), the Sonic R soundtrack is the first entry on my list. While not everyone’s cup of tea, very few Sonic series soundtracks come close to being anywhere near as upbeat at this first foray by Sonic into a more contemporary sound, drawing from late 90s dance and Eurobeat. Authored by the one-and-only veteran composer Richard Jacques and embellished with vocals provided by TJ Davis (previously of D:Ream and Gary Numan) Sonic R is packed with plenty of guilty pleasures – not that there should be any guilt of course! We think Sonic R has a solid-gold track listing, and we will always sing Can You Feel The Sunshine at Karaoke, given the chance!
Highlights: Can You Feel the Sunshine?, Living In The City, Number One.
9. Sonic Heroes
Follow in on the coat tails of the Sonic Adventure series, the Sonic Heroes soundtrack continued the tradition of maintaining a thematic landscape, heavily drawing on the rock sound that worked so well for the last two titles. Sonic Sound Director Jun Senoue once again utilises his links to the world of melodic rock to recruit the vocal talents of Ted Poley (Danger Danger) and Tony Harnell (TNT) for We Can, in addition to two belting themes from Crush 40. Employing industrial electronic act Julien-K to provide an angsty theme to Shadow the Hedgehog’s team in the form of This Machine is perfect. There are far too many great stage themes to list in this game, but the fact that Wave Ocean and Bingo Highway have seen so many reworks and remixes since 2003 is testament to the enduring nature of this soundtrack!
Highlights: What I’m Made Of, This Machine, Wave Ocean
8. Sonic Rush
A unique entry to this list are the funky tones of the Sonic Rush soundtrack. Lead by the rather eccentric Hideki Naganuma (if you don’t believe me check out his Twitter), the genius behind the unforgettable Jet Set Radio soundtracks, provides an infusion of funk, soul, drum and bass, and a mountain of samples from every corner of the music industry. Naganuma’s approach delivers something that is seldom replicated anywhere else, and will leave anyone earworms for days to come. From the happy-go-lucky Back 2 Back to the darker tones of Wrapped in Black for the final boss, you won’t believe that something so powerful can output from a DS.
Highlights: What U Need, A New Day, Wrapped In Black
7. Sonic Unleashed / World Adventure
In a tonal shift from most other Sonic titles, sound director Tomoya Ohtani elected to take the soundtrack to Sonic Unleashed down a more orchestral avenue, to reflect the more cinematic qualities of the game, the environment, and the exploratory nature of the game’s hub worlds. What is delivered is a grandiose performance from the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, interjected with fast-paced and floaty drum and bass day tracks, and the cool jazz strings and flutes for night stages, more often than not arranged by an unsung hero of Sonic sounds, Fumie Kumatani. Although the Werehog battle theme finds itself being overused, its hard not to adore this soundtrack for its variety.
Highlights: Apotos Day, The World Adventure, Cool Edge
6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive / Genesis)
It doesn’t get much more definitive than the theme to Emerald Hill Zone (with the exception of Green Hill of course) and as such Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s soundtrack ranks high in this list. Composed by Dreams Come True superstar Masato Nakamura, the music collection featured on the title is one of the most definitive to have featured on the Mega Drive / Genesis, exploiting the full range of channels available to deliver a soundtrack with depth and character, with catchy hooks and brilliant basslines. The game concludes with a rendition of DCT’s Sweet Sweet Sweet, to bring the feels as you save the planet once again.
Highlights: Emerald Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Mystic Cave Zone
5. Team Sonic Racing
The most recent entry into this list is the soundtrack to Team Sonic Racing, another titled directed by Senoue-san. Not only is TSR packed with rearrangements and mash-up tracks from previous Sonic games, The SONIC ADVENTURE MUSIC EXPERIENCE, including long-time Crush 40 session bassist Takeshi Taneda and Crush 40 percussionist Akht, drive the heart of this assembly of octane-fuelled compositions, with a massive supporting cast including TORIENA, Hyper Potions, Tee Lopes, and Tyler Smyth (Dangerkids). As such, Senoue and company have delivered what is definitely one of the high-water marks in Sonic the Hedgehog music of the modern era.
Highlights: Ocean View Lap Music, Frozen Junkyard Lap Music, Boo’s House Lap Music
4. Sonic CD
I am going to have to cheat here in that this entry is a two-for-one and include both the American and Japanese soundtracks here (controversial, I know..and not the only time I will cheat either!) for quite different reasons. Naofumi Hataya and Masufumi Ogata’s masterful works are lined with J-Pop sounds, that while might sound a little contemporary and dated, are some of those associated most with Sonic games by the old guard. Spencer Nilsen’s soundtrack on the other hand delivers a much more ambient and darker tone to the game, completely changing the atmosphere; it really goes to show that a soundtrack can completely change the feel of a game. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you can’t deny that both games come armed with a great opening and closing vocal tracks.
Highlights: Sonic Boom, Tidal Tempest (US), Stardust Speedway – Bad Future (US), Comic Eternity (JP), Metallic Madness (JP), Boss!! (JP)
3. Sonic Mania
A modern classic. I probably don’t need to say much more than I have previously, in that Mania’s soundtrack is nothing short of a love letter to Sonic music through the ages. Fan-turned-professional musician Tee Lopes’s universal understanding of the DNA that comprises Sonic the Hedgehog soundscapes is nothing shy masterful, and has set a lofty standard for whatever follows in it’s wake in 2D Sonic titles. Lopes takes the best of the existing material and gives it a polish, breathing new life into well known tracks without detracting from what made them so brilliant in the first place. Additionally, Lopes demonstrates repeatedly throughout that his own compositions are just as phenomenal. Indeed, this is a soundtrack for the ages, and it feels criminal to select just three tracks as highlights!
Highlights: Prime Time – Studiopolis Zone Act 2, Blossom Haze – Studiopolis Act 2, Skyway Octane – Mirage Saloon act 1
2. Sonic 3 & Knuckles
A close call between this and the number 1 spot for sure, but many will hardly be surprised to see this game near the top of the listings. The songs of Sonic 3 & Knuckles are a culmination of tracks that are the very epitome of what makes Sonic soundtracks so good – a completely unique aural experience that has been much emulated but never replicated. Whether it’s the incredible “guitar” licks of Flying Battery, the “steel drums” of Angel Island, or the even the driving basslines of Ice Cap, this game sounds incredible even to this day, and further augments this great game. The calibre of the soundtrack is hardly surprising given that it’s authors include the likes of Senoue-san, Michael Jackson music director Brad Buxer, and in all likelihood the King of Pop himself!
Highlights: Hydrocity Act 2, Flying Battery Zone Act 1, Sky Sanctuary Zone
1. Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
The crowning jewels of the music of Sonic the Hedgehog are the timeless masterpieces that are the soundtracks of the Sonic Adventure series – and yes, I couldn’t pick a favourite. Pulling out all of the stops, Senoue et al. pulled out of the collective minds not one, but TWO massive musical landscapes to embellish the plethora of game environments, with no constraint on musical genre. Songs like the pop-punky Escape from the City and the spectacular power anthem that is Open Your Heart are unmatched in their power, driven home with a triple threat of galloping guitar work, thunderous percussion, and soaring vocals.
Nearly every playable character across the two games have their own distinct theme tune and genre, so their really is something for everyone. This format extends to the stages but is never forced, in fact quite the opposite; breaking into a vault to a jazz soundtrack has never felt so sincere to a 1960’s secret agent film with I’m A Spy…For Security Hall, or the slow Hawaii-esque guitar twangs of sitars that rings throughout Azure Blue World as Sonic adventures across the beach of Emerald Coast. I’m sure many fans will have stopped in Station Square, Mystic Ruins, and even a Chao Garden or two, to just pause and take in the atmosphere delivered by this soundtrack.
A perfect soundtrack for one of the most celebrated games of the series.
Highlights: Too many to list!
Here’s a handful of soundtracks that just missed out on featuring in the top 10:
Sonic Triple Trouble (Game Gear) – there are lots of 8-bit gems that missed out here, but Sonic Triple Trouble is a real diamond in the rough; Sunset Park Act 3 is a real highlight, and Fang the Sniper’s theme exudes a Mexican standoff – perfect for this rootin’ tootin’ sharp shootin’ Wolf. Or Gerboa (who knows!)
Sonic Colors (Nintendo Wii) – A tonally different game once again, Colors deserves a mention here as it’s soundtrack perfectly complements the lighter tone of the game itself, and Tomoya Ohtani gladly provides this in his distinct fashion.
Sonic Forces – Controversial, but why not! Forces, while being one of the poorer outings of Sonic in recent years, has some crackers in the soundtrack, and a smattering of catchy drum and bass-centric vocal songs. Let’s also not forget the heavy hitting Theme of Infinite provided courtesy of the Dangerkids!
Sonic Generations – This has probably missed out on the top 10 for being more of a revisiting of old soundtracks, but is nonetheless brilliant, and there are some phenomenal reworkings of Sonic CD’s Sonic Boom, and a blistering version of Heavy Arm’s theme.
Shadow the Hedgehog – Not to everyone’s taste, but I adore this soundtrack, which is heavier than a heavy thing, and a firm favourite of metal fans for sure. The theme song, I Am…All Of Me, is one of the most powerful Crush 40 songs going, and never fails to get the blood pumping.
Sonic Song Sin Bin:
Sonic Underground soundtrack – Apologies to the Sonic Underground gang, but this falls firmly in the sin bin – and although I am often one for a bit of cheese, this is too difficult not cringe through. Sonic and his band should probably not give up their day jobs! I will make one exception here – and that is the theme song, performed powerfully by Michael Lanning. That rocks.
Wonderman by Right Said Fred – During the advertising campaign in the early 90s, SEGA teamed up with dance-pop act Right Said Fred to create the bizarre Wonderman, which while making tenuous mentions to spin attacking and power sneakers in the lyrics, has little else to do with Sonic. It peaks at number 55 in the British charts, which tells you everything you need to know. Watch the bizarre music video below:
Sonic Jam (Games.com) – Barely a soundtrack, this game features single-channel renditions of stages from earlier Sonic games, that are unrecognisable due to having their tempo reduced by an order of magnitude.
Agree with our list? Don’t agree with our list? Let us know your favourite Sonic songs and soundtracks in the comments!
An official press release from SEGA has revealed that the team behind Sonic Forces and Sonic Generations are working on the officially untitled (but also totally caled Sonic Rangers) game due for release in 2022.
In a tidbit missed by many, Noisy Pixel picked up the factoid, confirming that the long-serving team will be making their return in the first major installment of a Sonic title in the 2020’s.
While this new information doesn’t bring to light any further detail regarding the new title, it does reinforce that this game is set to be the next major title in the Sonic series.
Stay tuned for more Sonic 2022 / Sonic Rangers news!
The partnership will produce the official limited run wristwatch (with 3000 being made), currently only scheduled for release in Japan at the RRP of ¥54,780 (currently, about £350 / $500).
While this tag will put many off, or simply price many fans out of the market – the watch is targeted at serious collectors of both Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise, wristwatch collectors, or those simply looking to show of a high-end watch on their person!
Check out more images of this awesome item in the images below!
A wealth of Sonic the Hedgehog products, due for release this year to mark the Hedgehog’s 30th birthday were announced today via the Sonic Central stream.
JAKKS Pacific Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Eggman Robot playset
Recreate the final moments of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in this classic showdown between hog and machine, with Sonic, catapult, and damage-able Eggman mech!
Sonic the Hedgehog jewelry collaboration with King Ice
Styled towards a “Hip Hop” look, the kings of bling King Ice will be making these jewel-encrusted Sonic necklaces available for thosse who really want to look the part.
30th Anniversary Silver and Gold Commemorative Coins from APMEX
Sonic fans wanting to flash their cash will be able to this Summer with these Gold and Silver commemorative coins, created by precious metal perveyors APMEX. Those wanting a real high-end centrepiece in their collection need look no further!
It was announced today via the Sonic Central stream that there will be a FREE online concert, in which a full orchestra will be performing the best of Sonic the Hedgehog songs in symphonic style during Summer Game Fest.
Not only this, Sonic sound team staples Crush 40 will be joining the orchestra on stage, to give the event a rock theme!
The concert will be streamed live, for free, with more information following through Games Fest media.
As JAKKS Pacific renew their Sonic the Hedgehog licence into 2022, the company has announced that Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Mecha Sonic will finally be getting a figure incarnation!
Evidence appeared earlier in the year this figure was getting a release, however many speculated it might have been another Metal Sonic figure. A classic Eggman and laughing Sonic will also be joining the classic figure range.
Following on from the flurry of movie news this week, Radio Station Jack 96.9 Vancouver has spotted the Ace Ventura actor, complete with bald head, suspended over the town of Fort Langley, currently dressed as the Sonic Movie town Green Hills.
We can only guess as to what might be happening in this scene…but we sure can’t wait to find out!
Hollywood North Buzz has spotted a military presence on the set of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie – and it’s none other than the military organisation G.U.N. that featured in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Sonic X!
The helicopter’s decals display the alpha-numeric SA-2 – the same designation of the helicopter that was transporting Sonic at the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2!
This is yet another set of subtle game references that is sure to get the thumbs up from any seasoned Sonic fan.
EDIT: The town featured here is actually Fort Langley, and not the location of Ladysmith used in the first movie. Thanks for the update Reggie!
IDW Sonic Comic artist Reggie Graham popped over to the little town of Ladysmith in British Colombia, Canada, to check out the set dressing for the Green Hills high street, currently being used for filming of the second Sonic the Hedgehog movie!
Posting on Twitter, Graham found amongst the many pieces displaying the Green Hills town name is a Coffee Shop named “The Mean Bean Coffee Co.”, a reference to the 1993 title Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
Great to see these little nods to Sonic’s past will continue in the next movie!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is due for release on April 8th, 2022.
It has been 10 years sine the devestating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, causing massive loss of life. The folowing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Diachii power plant still has lasting repurcussions, affecting a huge number of lives of those living in and around the Prefecture. A large area around the wrecked power plant – known as the exclusion zone – is still deemed too radioactive to safely live in.
The Youtube channel, Exploring the Beaten Path, spent time in the Fukushima exclusion zone back in 2019, investigating those places that stand frozen in time since 2011. As part of their exploration, a pair of daring explorers has ventured into the ruins of a SEGA Games Hall (with it’s SEGASonic logo still intact on the building) to get a glimpse into life so suddenly brought to a halt a decade ago.
You can check out the video below:
On this sombre anniversary, the thoughts of everyone at TSS are with those who were and still are affected by this disaster.
It has been reported by The Illuminerdi that Jason Momoa, known for playing DC’s movie incarnation of Aquaman, has been offered the voice acting role to play Knuckles the Echidna in the second the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, due for release in 2022.
This consciencious upscaling utilises AI, which while the authors acknowledge is controversial to those communities working on archiving genuine articles, is a wonderful way to get around issues with compression that are intrinsic to versions that have appeared on the likes of Mega Collection.
Quazza has also made an interesting discovery in that a few frames in the OP appear out of order – and here’s his comparison:
We think this is a wonderful piece of work bringing new life to a much-loved piece of Sonic the Hedgehog history.
Since June last year, artist and animator Keith Stack has been creating a unique piece of Sonic the Hedgehog fan art each day and posting them via Twitter, in order to count down to the 30th anniversary.
Stack’s pieces range from hillarious parodies to clever commentaries on current events, as well as some wonderful tributes to an incredible cross-section of references to obscure corers of the Sonic series and beyond (we particularly love the very “Bri’ish” take on Sonic the Comic!).
Sonic Prime, the latest Sonic the Hedgehog animation due for release on Netflix in 2022, will descend from a long dynasty of animations that reach all the way back from 1993’s slapstick Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, through to the modern charm of Sonic Mania Adventures. Each show has cultivated its own personality, and legion of Sonic the Hedgehog fanatics to boot. Similarly, there are now a multitude of genre-crossing Sonic the Hedgehog video game titles, that you’d be hard pushed to not find something for everyone in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
We love to get technical, especially when it comes to some amazing fretwork in Sonic the Hedgehog covers! Guitar virtuoso RichaadEB has set him self the immense task of covering Tee Lopes’ toe-tapping theme to Studiopolis Zone Act 1 – and what an incredible job he has done!
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