What is a “Decade Moment?” It is a moment from the past ten years that us here at TSS remember vividly to this day. A game announcement, completing a tough level, or acquiring some slick merchandise… everything memorable and certifiably Sonic counts.
In the last ten years of running Sonic forums, playing Sonic games, and just simply being a fan, there is one moment that trumps all… and it’s from the least likely of places: a pre-order bonus for a Mario game. In October of 2003, Nintendo announced that the long-awaited entry in the MarioKart series would be giving away demo discs with a pre-order. I could care less for demo discs and the crap that they try to push on people. Even today, with Nintendo’s DS Download Service, they rarely have anything worth checking out. This demo disc was different though… it was stacked.
Check out this line-up: Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.
About three games out of those four ended up being any good (and in F-Zero and Rogue Squadron’s case… fantastic). You would think that this list would have me hooked right then and there. I was surprisingly not sold, however, until I got to the bottom of the list and read “Sonic Heroes.”
Flashback to a few weeks ago. A trailer had just come out for Sonic Heroes that was SEGA’s trailer of the decade. It gave me goosebumps to watch words fly at you, Sonic and company blazing past bright and colorful levels reminscent of the Genesis days, and to hear a movie trailer voice-over narrate it all. But nothing… nothing prepared you for the fangasm that was “The Return of Metal Sonic:”
Needless to say, I was a happy as a sophomore in high school could be. My childhood icon was calling back to his 90s glory. I knew that I was going to get Double Dash!! but this demo alone sweetened the deal. Once the option was available, I immediately went to put a pre-order down at GameStop so that I could get my hands on “the return of a legend.” Luckily, the store is not too far away from my house. I was only a permit-carrying driver at the time, so with my parents at work, I was breaking the law. I couldn’t contain myself though… I needed this demo disc.
I put $5 down and got back home safe and sound. The only thing that wasn’t safe was my grades, because I’m pretty sure I gave a big “fuck that” to my homework that night.
There were only two levels: Seaside Hill with Team Sonic and Bullet Station with Team Dark. Those two levels turned into hours of entertainment and eventually became days of satiating my desire to play the full version. I had to keep myself occupied until January 5th.
Sonic Heroes fulfilled the insane amount of hype that I had running through me once I purchased it with my two Best Buy gift cards on that fateful day in January. I played it for months until I got all A-ranks. Still, the memories of playing Sonic Heroes until completion have faded and standing strong today six years later… is a demo disc for a Mario game.