It's that time of year again! October 24 is The Sonic Stadium's birthday, and today we have been running non-stop for 22 YEARS. That's an incredible milestone for any community site to achieve, let alone a community dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog!
I say this every year, but it always stuns me how far this site has come, from humble beginnings back in the Year 2000 to the present day, where we have become the first and best place for Sonic fans to visit for the latest news, reviews, interviews and community activity. We've been lucky enough to get face-time with the legendary developers behind the Sonic games, and represent the online Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase to SEGA directly. That's not forgetting live events such as the Summer of Sonic convention!
We've done an awful lot in the last two decades +2, so to celebrate I thought it would be fun to revisit a few stories from yesteryear that have stood the test of time and have become our favourites. We posted these on our social media accounts as well today, but I wanted to share the fun with you all here as well. Let us know what you remember of these events and whether you were reading TSS at the time!
10th Anniversary Hype
To kick things off, let’s go REALLY old-school with one of our very first features - catch-up coverage of the latest juicy details of Sonic Adventure 2, as reported by a 15-year-old me - @Dreadknux!
A Trip to SEGA HQ
Fast-forward to 2005, as the Sonic Stadium hosted a special ‘Shadow Week’ to celebrate the launch of Shadow the Hedgehog, and sent the winner of a contest to SEGA UK HQ for the day! We wrote a nice (weird) story about it.
A Champion of Fan Gaming
Walking back a bit to 2003, and an example of our long and storied history in covering the Sonic Amateur Games Expo! We have been all over the show since 2001, but we liked our coverage of SAGE 7 for some reason so we’re focusing on that one here.
Sayonara Yuji Naka
Now for some juicy retro news: we were there when all the big stories happened. One huge story that comes to mind was Yuji Naka's shock departure from Sonic Team in 2006, months before the release of Sonic The Hedgehog on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Sony's Too Slow
Sometimes the news stories evolve at a pace that would break Sonic's speedy little mind. Take this classic news story from 2013(!!) outlining the first rumbles of a Sonic Movie... back then the rights was in the hands of Sony Pictures.
Two Bitter Rivals Unite
There were rumours of Mario and Sonic teaming up as far back as 2001 (and we reported on that as well at the time), but it wasn't until 2007 where we finally got confirmation that the plumber and 'hog were putting their 1990s differences aside!
Boom Goes the Hedgehog
Then in February of 2014... a BIG change-up was announced in the Sonic franchise. Most of us remember where we were at the time the Sonic Boom multi-media series was revealed. Where were you?
The Dream is Dead
Yanking ourselves all the way back to 2001 for what was perhaps Dreadknux's SADDEST big story covered on TSS. We're not even going to say it, it'll make us too upset. Still not over it.
Look How They Massacred My Boy
Another big story came in 2019 when, after years of rumours, we finally caught a glimpse of the Sonic Movie. And everyone HATED it. We covered the community reaction at the time.
It's Shadow the Hedgehog, Baby
There has been a LOT of downright WEIRDNESS in the Sonic franchise over the years as well. One of our favourites is probably this story about Japanese pop group m-flo collaborating with SEGA for the release of Shadow the Hedgehog in 2005.
Miracle! Magical! Sonical!
What about this promotional trailer for Sonic Advance? The blue blur's first ever step onto competitive non-SEGA hardware (especially Nintendo's) was HUGE news at the time, buffered (or enhanced?) a little by this bizarre JP commercial.
Name's No Good
Then there's the 2009 story of a Norwegian boy who wrote to his king to request a name change to 'Sonic X'. It was denied. He was very sad. To be honest, Norway's king kind of did him a favour in retrospect.
The Egg Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree
We're going to round this off with some of our all-time favourite stories! First of all, this hilarious case of mistaken identity in Sonic Mania, which led to the community creating a new character Eggette/Omelette!
Super Special Sonic Summer Squad
Another of our favourites actually involves a legendary side-project of ours, Summer of Sonic. We hosted the last major Sonic convention in 2016, with big names like Jun Senoue, Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka, Tyson Hesse and more guest-starring! Our Report:
The Ride of Your Life
In 2010, UK theme park Alton Towers opened a Sonic rollercoaster (which doubled as the accidental reveal of Roger Craig Smith as the new voice of Sonic) as well as a themed hotel room. We visited and stayed in that room, and it was crazy and epic.
Crushin' 40 All The Time
2010 was also the year we were able to speak directly to the legendary Jun Senoue on his career as a musician and sound director for the Sonic series.
Sonic ga Daisuke Desu
Dreadknux was also lucky enough to go to Tokyo Game Show back in 2007, and was one of the first to play Sonic Rush Adventure on Nintendo DS ahead of release. He also met possibly the best Guy-in-a-Sonic-Costume ever on the show floor.
Sonic the Hedgehog REMIX
We'll finish up our retrospective with this, our SSMB-crafted Sonic remix album. The Sonic Stadium Music Album 2011 kicked off a series of amazing remix albums from the Sonic community and are well worth listening to today!
More Celebrations to Come!
Rest assured that we'll be celebrating our anniversary with some more cool new things over the next week or so, but in the meantime why not reminisce with us? SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED in the 22 years we've been around, there's bound to be some big news we haven't covered above. Share your favourite memories, coverage and more and we'll catch you up on what we have cooking very soon!
Happy Birthday to The Sonic Stadium!