Tetsu Katano: “I Had To Hold On To The Sonicness”

tetsu-katanoThe producer for Sonic and the Black Knight, Tetsu Katano, has written a blog post for the official SEGA website, detailing the development process of the game. Throughout the decision to run with ‘swords and magic’, Katano expressed how he had to keep the spirit of the Sonic franchise intact:

After much struggle that gave me both pain and joy, I finally decided to throw Sonic into a world of sword and magic. I confess that I’ve always wanted to see Sonic holding a sword. I also wanted to see Knuckles or Shadow, the usual suspects, back as strong foes, not just as side characters. This is how the plot of “Sonic and the Black Knight” came into a shape.

Perhaps most challenging was to make Sonic have a sword. I had to hold on to the Sonicness. If he loses that as a result of having sword, then it would be preposterous. I sought advice from many people about this. My favourite bit would be when everyone in Sonic Team started to see the great game that this was becoming. 

In this day and age though, it’s debatable just what the ‘spirit’ of the franchise is anymore. Is it chequered hills and Flickies; is it in character development; is it in the fun dialogue we’ve seen in Sonic Unleashed? Either way, it seems Sonic Team knows what it is, given their positive reaction to the title during development.

The music that will play during Blaze’s stages was also brought up, with Katano mentioning discussion with Jun Senoue about having a special ‘blaze mix’ for the Flame Master. For those that haven’t been able to get the game yet, you’ll be able to encounter a special item that changes the music during play.

It’s a good read, and Sonic Team are nothing if not good-natured. It’s nice to see developers truly care about the projects they invest so much time and energy in, for better or worse;

I am proud of this game and I will be most happy if users will enjoy this game too… I love Sonic as a series very much. I gave everything I had to make the cool Sonic that we love. And so did my team. I’m sure you will like this game too!

That’s OK Katano-san, our review will be coming soon. And even if we don’t enjoy it, we’ll still love you. I mean, making any sort of game involving swords with a name like Katano is pretty damn awesome. I wonder if the guitarist of Crush 40’s real name is Jun Soundoue. We could uncover something big here.

Sonic & The Black Knight – The Producer Speaks! – Sonic City Blognik

SEGA Europe Holds Tommy Tallarico Q&A


Remember when we exclusively broke the news that Tommy Tallarico and Richard Jacques were working together on the soundtrack to Sonic and the Black Knight? Well, what better confirmation to have than an official Q&A with the Earthworm Jim composer? SEGA Europe are staging a sort-of interview with the award-winning chap, and the best part is you get to ask a question or two!

Questions are to be directed to SEGA Europe’s official blog, where approved fan questions will be posed to Tommy in order to give a bit more insight into the production of the music. Simply post a comment on this page (the linked page, not this one!), and as long as it passes all the official interview gubbins (i.e. No asking about things that will reveal anything of the game itself, such as plot points) your name will be up in lights!

Having visited Video Games Live a few times, I’ve had the opportunity to chat to Tommy at length about his career, favourite music and the concert that he and Jack Wall co-created – if you’re trying to think of a question to ask, give the link a good read as it might give you some ideas.

Tommy will most likely be coming back for another round of Video Games Live in London, and TSS will be chatting to him a little later in the year to talk about his Sonic experiences in detail. For now though, this is an awesome opportunity for fans to get into the mind of one of the most charismatic game musicians on the planet. Go!

Tommy Tallarico – You Ask The Questions – SEGA Europe Blog

European Sonic and the Black Knight art contest site up

ArchangelUK over at the Sonic City Blognik and Martin The Fat Ninja at the Sega Europe blogs have updated with news regarding the Sonic and the Black Knight art contest that went live in the U.S. last week. The European site is now up and taking entries and it looks like every region will be getting it’s top piece of art in Sonic and the Black Knight’s Special Book. You can’t say fairer than that.

European’s can check out the rules and details for submitting your art at the contest’s site here.

U.S. site is here; ArchangelUK’s Sonic City Blog is here; Martin’s blog is here