Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals! The Super Mario Bros. Z Reboot’s First Episode is Now Live

Four months ago, Mark “Alvin Earthworm” Haynes announced that he is rebooting Super Mario Bros. Z, his Dragon Ball Z-inspired flash series crossing over fan favourite gaming franchises Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. After Mobius has been reduced to ashes by the merciless and power-hungry Metallix, it is up to Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Shadow, and Yoshi to search the Mushroom Kingdom for the seven Chaos Emeralds before the mechanical menace finds them first.

Now, the first episode of the reboot—”Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals”—has finally launched, and is ready for viewing above!

With the Mushroom Kingdom’s first official Smash Tournament underway, the final round of the melee tourney pits the heroic plumbers Mario and Luigi versus the double-crossing bad boys Wario and Waluigi in an all out brawl for the championship title. That is, until the tyrannical King Bowser Koopa intervenes and begins his latest attempt at Mushroom Kingdom conquest – and the first step of his plan? To destroy Mario!

To those familiar with the original series, “Fierce Battle Between Fierce Rivals” combines the events of the first two episodes into a glorious 30 minute-long presentation. In Mark’s own words, this was how he had originally intended it to be back then, but technological limitations at the time caused it to be split into two episodes.

You can continue to support Mark Haynes and Super Mario Bros. Z via his Patreon – as a bonus, those who pledge a certain amount can actually watch new episodes three whole days before the public release.

SMBZ’s first run began in 2006 and spawned 8 episodes in all before the series was put on an indefinite hiatus in 2009. In 2013, Mark spoke of a number of alterations he would perform on the overall story before ultimately confirming a series relaunch.

Source: Patreon

HoL’s Musings: Was maybe an artificial extension of the Nintendo deal made?


I’ve decided to rename my The Spin articles into HoL’s Musings, it’s a title I came up with on my own site, and I think this will help differentiate them from The Spin which I think is more Hogfather’s own thing and make it more my own, let me know what you think. 🙂

So this occurred to me not that long ago, as we all know, Sega and Nintendo signed a deal to make three Sonic games Nintendo-exclusive, those three being Sonic Lost World (Wii U and 3DS), Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U) and both Sonic Boom games (guess they’re counted as one, with Rise of Lyric on Wii U and Shattered Crystal on 3DS). and Sonic Boom came out at the end of 2014 and was confirmed to be the 3rd and last.

Before I continue, I want to make it clear that mobile games always seemed to be exempt from the deal, since Sonic Jump Fever and Sonic Dash came out during this deal. Also Dengeki Bunko Fightin Climax does feature Green Hill Zone, but I’m not sure if Sonic even appears in it bizarrely, and this also was during the deal.

Anyway, so I’m thinking, Sega would taken advantage of the deal ending and get Sonic on PS4, XBO, Vita, and/or PC ASAP for 2015. That never happened.

Following Boom’s release, we got our first console announcement with Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Wii U and 3DS, which wasn’t that surprising as it’s continuing the pattern we all came to expect (why was Sochi even part of the deal anyway, that was exclusive no matter what!), but then a bit over a week later, came the announcement of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for 3DS exclusively. Actually there’s also 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on 3DS to also consider also!

This is extra puzzling as 1) the deal is over so how come no sign of a non-Nintendo Sonic game has been seen in the slightest? And 2) they could have made Fire & Ice on Vita also, while without precedent (no Sonic game’s ever been on a Nintendo and Sony handheld together), it’s not something they couldn’t do, after all, Sanzaru did work on numerous Vita games (all four Sly games) so they could do it easily.

And also with the release timing of the two games being in 2016, this is seemingly going to turn out to be one crowded anniversary for Sonic, makes sense, but consider that 2011 only had Generations and London Olympics. Go back a year earlier and that was REALLY packed with Sonic, we got Sonic 4, Sonic Colors, Sonic Free Riders, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii got all but Free Riders also).

So what’s going on? I can only guess, and I just can’t help but at least ponder if an extension to the deal was made that was never discussed with the public. There’s also the many amiibo appearances of Sonic to also make note of, so far he’s shown up in Mario Kart 8 (as a Mii costume), Yoshi’s Woolly World (as a Yoshi color), and Super Mario Maker (playable and everything in the SMB levels), all in 2015 alone.

It’s just a topic I wanted to bring up and I’m curious of what folks think, and what the future holds.

Here’s a bet; if next year goes by with the anniversary and all, and Sonic is a no show-on Sony and Microsoft systems, something will be up for sure, count on it. I literally thought 2015 wouldn’t go without a game on those systems, and it looks like I was surprisingly wrong.

And there you have it! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments, and thank you very much for reading! 🙂

Alvin Earthworm is Rebooting Super Mario Bros Z, Teases With a New Opening

[ Or, to those with trouble seeing the video, here’s a direct link! ]

Super Mario Bros. Z was a massive fan undertaking by one Mark Haynes, also known as Alvin Earthworm, that began way back on Newgrounds in 2006, acting as a crossover between the Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog games with gorgeous Dragon Ball Z-inspired fighting sequences layered on top.
With the seven Chaos Emeralds warped away from a Mobius reduced to ashes, it was up to Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Sonic, and Shadow to gather the mystical gems and keep them from the tyrannical Mecha Sonic’s clutches, all while dealing with Bowser’s latest attempt at conquering the Mushroom Kingdom.

The animated webseries earned a phenomenal following in its heyday, until production ultimately ceased following the eighth episode, “The Great Doomship Defensive”, in 2009. Due to a busier life offline and waning investment (which is, all in all, completely understandable), Mark withdrew from the Super Mario Bros. Z scene and laid the series to rest, as SMBZ then became an object of nostalgia for many of the web’s denizens while time marched on.

The inaugural battle between Mario and Metal Bowser, the brawls between Team Mario, the Koopa Bros, and the revived Axem Rangers X, the destruction of Yoshi’s Island, the 8bit battles that rocked the fabled Minus World, the introduction of Fire Sonic, that Mecha Mario tease… Needless to say, SMBZ had a lot of memorable high points.

The last that was heard from the series was a rather bizarre 2010 April Fools’ short and an upload of what would’ve been the intro from Episode 9…

…until Mark spontaneously released an animation test back in October 2013 – a remake of SMBZ’s very first scene. He advised fans not to get too excited, or to take it as confirmation that he would be working on the series again, but spoke of a number of alterations he would perform to the story, some of the fight scenes, and dialogue if he went ahead with rebuilding the series from the ground up.

Well folks, get ready to party like it’s 2006, because it is happening. Attributing the introduction of Flash-to-HD Video software Swivel as a major plus, the returned Alvin Earthworm has formally announced that Super Mario Bros. Z is being revived, and that the first episode is indeed on the way!

And, to build up hype for fans old and new, Mark has even gone and redone the opening sequence for the series to  kick things off. Compare with the old opening on Newgrounds! Revisit and marathon the old series (NG / YT)! Get in touch with your old Internet friends from way back when and spread the word! Don a banana suit and shout “I LOVE CEREAL!” to the heavens before spontaneously com–––okay, okay, don’t do that, but hey, you get the idea! GET EXCITED!

Super Mario Bros. Z is BACK!

Mark Haynes, Alvin Earthworm, all the best to you, and glad to have you back!

Were you around during the first run of SMBZ? What were some of your favourite moments, or your most favourite battles from the show? Is this the first time you’ve heard of the series as it is? Let us know below!

And if I may add anything else… might I just say that this really takes me back to the old VGLan days.

…wow, I feel old.

First footage of Sonic in Super Mario Maker

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Following the first-look at his sprite in the game yesterday, we now have a bit of video footage of him in the game (skip to 2:26), here you can see it’s definitely the Sonic 1 sprite, and also when he runs, he spins!

And yes, even Pokemon are in! Why does it feel like Pokemon are now a bigger shock than Sonic?

To clarify, these outfits do not require amiibo, you can unlock them by completing the 100-Mario Challenges in the game.

Sonic costume confirmed for Super Mario Maker on Wii U


As was long awaited since the confirmation of amiibos being supported in the game, allowing you to unlock the costumes of the corresponding amiibo (though they aren’t required, just an easy way to unlock them if you have them on hand), we now have confirmation from the Super Mario Maker Miiverse community that Sonic’s costume does exist, and will finally let you play as Sonic in a Mario game for the first time in history.

What’s really bizarre is that it appears to be Sonic’s Sonic 1 sprite… which is 16-bit. All costumes are meant to be 8-bit and only usable in the SMB1-style levels. You’d think they’d have possibly picked Sonic’s sprite from Sonic Pocket Adventure, his only 8-bit appearance in the Modern-era in 8-bit form.

Super Mario Maker arrives on Wii U on September 10 in Japan, September 11 in NA and EU, and on September 12 in Australia.

Thank you Nintendo Everything and GoNintendo for the find.

SEGA Europe Appoints CPLG to Handle Sonic Licensing in Europe


SEGA Europe has appointed CPLG (Copyright Promotions Licensing Group) to handle its Sonic the Hedgehog licensing business in Europe. This deal will see the agency promoting both the Sonic Boom and Classic Sonic brands across all major European territories, utilizing the Sonic Boom TV series and by launching exciting new products.

CPLG is a big player in licensing and responsible for some major brands, like Tony Hawk, Jurassic World, Minions, Skylanders, Kiss, Sesame Street and more. No doubt it will be interesting to see what promotions and products we will see develop from this deal.


Sonic & Tails wish Sonic a happy birthday, guest starring Ryan Drummond!

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A person with the name of FlutterTreeMuffin on YouTube teamed up with Ryan himself to bring you the above video featuring Sonic and Tails. It’s a really sweet gesture and a wonderful treat to hear Ryan behind the mic as Sonic even if it’s unofficially again after so long (he did play as Sonic on camera in an interview not that long ago).

For reference, Ryan voiced Sonic starting from Sonic Adventure on DC in 1999, and ending with Sonic Advance 3 on GBA in 2004.

Thanks Flutter and Ryan for the video! 🙂

What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

Sonic skin confirmed for Yoshi’s Woolly World on Wii U

Sonic Yoshi

Yep! As speculated from Sonic’s amiibo being supported in the game, as seen above, it is so, Yoshi will get to be blue but not so spiky!

The image came from a video by ODDERZ Plays showcasing most of the amiibo skins for Yoshi, including the Inkling Squid which just came out of course for Splatoon (only that one was shown, since its the only of the three he has, so I assume the Inkling Boy and Girl ones work also), I would assume Chibi-Robo will also be included who is only available I believe in a bundle with Chibo-Robo: Zip Lash on 3DS. Bad news is, no Pokemon will give you their skins, they’ll give you unrelated patterns, but no Pikachu Yoshi for you sadly. 🙁

Check out the vid below, the amiibo line-up starts at 4:07 and Sonic Yoshi shows up at 5:35:

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Pic was taken by GoNintendo.

Sonic amiibo support coming to Yoshi’s Woolly World for Wii U, but in what capacity?

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So it was announced in a new trailer today for Yoshi’s Woolly World for Wii U (developed by Good-Feel, the developer of Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Wario Land: Shake It) that you can use over 40 amiibo figures to give Yoshi a costume based on the character as demonstrated in the video which showed Yoshi as Mario with that familiar mustache (quite bizarre-looking if I’m honest lol!), as that Gorilla who refers to himself as an ass (Donkey Kong), or as Link (he just got even greener!).

You can see a big line-up of supported amiibo near the end, one of which includes Sonic, but as we’ve seen in numerous other amiibo-supported games, this doesn’t guarantee Yoshi will get Sonic-ized. Full circle from Sonic Lost World anyone? 😛

But if so, does this mean wool Yoshi will also be a spiky blue pin cushion?

We’ll report when we find out what the exact functionality of Sonic’s amiibo and if he does get a Sonic outfit.

[AFD] Sonic the Hedgehog: Remastered Announced


UPDATE: April Fool! Did you enjoy our awesome trailer? Did it give you nightmares? Or did your heart do backflips of joy? Let us know in the comments below, and thank you all for being such good sports! As a note, this AFD prank was entirely created by The Sonic Stadium, and not SEGA (before you start yelling at them).

Original ‘story’ follows below.


Today, SEGA have announced a remastered version of the notorious 2006 game, Sonic the Hedgehog, slated to hold a slew of new features to improve the gameplay experience and story. The title is coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with no specific release date given as of yet – but the 25th Anniversary is highlighted by Takashi Iizuka, head of Sonic Team.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Remastered has been said to provide a tremendous graphical boost for the game, with it running at 4K resolution and a smooth 60fps. Beyond this, there has been several gameplay improvements to all three playable characters in the game, updated voice work, and packs in all the released downloadable content. The remastered version is also said to contain new cutscenes which will “expand the story beyond the original”.

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The press release is as follows:


April 1st 2015 – SEGA® America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd., today announced details of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: REMASTERED™, a highly anticipated reworking of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG™ originally for Playstation®3 and Xbox 360®. The title, which debuted almost a decade ago, saw beloved video game icon Sonic the Hedgehog fight to save his newly reimagined world from the threat of Iblis – and of course, his oldest rival, Dr. Eggman. The title also featured the debut of fan favourite character Silver the Hedgehog, and the return of Shadow the Hedgehog, with their own playable campaigns. This reworking contains a huge number of updates to create the ultimate Sonic experience, debuting on Playstation®4 and Xbox One® systems soon.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: REMASTERED™ will contain a tremendous amount of improvements from the original, taking full advantage of the next generation hardware. An overhauled lighting system and drastically improved textures provide a realistic, immersive adventure – and these advancements to the visual fidelity will run at an incredible 4K resolution and 60fps for the smoothest gameplay experience possible. The remastered edition also contains improvements to the core gameplay of the three playable characters, adjustments to level designs, and will include all released downloadable content from the original – including the “Very Hard Mode”, “Team Attack Amigo”, and “Boss Attack” DLC packs. Fans can also look forward to new cutscenes which expand the story beyond the original, and updated voice work.

“As we approach the 25th anniversary, I see no better way to celebrate by giving fans the ultimate Sonic experience”, said Takashi Iizuka, head of Sonic Team. “With the amazing possibilities the next generation of hardware has given us, we at Sonic Team feel it’s finally the right time to perfect this title and make it the best it can be. I hope everyone can look forward to revisiting Soleanna soon.”

When Dr. Eggman seeks to use the royalty of Soleanna in his latest plans for world domination, it’s up to Sonic and his friends to save Princess Elise (Lacey Chabert) and stop his evil schemes – but there’s more than just Elise’s life at stake here, it’s the whole world. Together with mysterious newcomer Silver, and his old rival Shadow, can Sonic stop the Flames of Disaster?

When the original Sonic the Hedgehog debuted in 2006, it was critically panned for its nonsensical story, consistent bugs and glitches, subpar controls and general performance issues. Many cite its failures on rushed development for the holiday period and to land in time for Sonic’s 15th anniversary.




Take a look at a gallery of screenshots released by SEGA below which compares the newly imagined version to the original below, and let us know – are you excited to see Sonic 06 see the light of day once more?