Naka: Sonic 3 & Knuckles Special Stage Was Inspired By Dragon Ball Z

It is no revelation that Sonic the Hedgehog has drawn upon pop culture in its creation (the Death Egg probably being one of the more obvious tributes to Star Wars), but it appears that the influences from Dragon Ball extend further than super forms and collecting 7 powerful objects!

In a recent translation of an interview article from a Japanese gaming magazine, Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka revealed that the 3D special stage (sometimes referred to as “Get Blue Spheres”) was inspired by the miniature world of King Kai’s planet, which featured in Dragon Ball Z.

Other revelations from the interview include:

  • Initial ideas for names for Sonic included “Raisupi” and “LS”, truncation and plays on the word “light speed”
  • Naka quit SEGA after finishing work on the first Sonic game with aspirations of joining Nintendo
  • Tails was initially a Tanuki, modeled after a UFO catcher plush
  • Sonic was purposefully made more of a “bad boy” for Sonic Adventure, so that his character didn’t become too cutesy like so many other character mascots (Naka stated that Hello Kitty already owned the market in cuteness)
  • Naka saw protecting Sonic’s image as being very difficult, citing Sonic Underground as an example of something damaging to the character’s image (making reference in particular to Sonic’s siblings)

Check out the full interview translation, along with other Sonic Team interviews at Shmuplations.

Sonic Underground Now On iTunes

sonicundergrounditunes

Depending on your outlook, if you’ve not seen Sonic Underground before, that might be considered a good thing. It’s no secret that the show wasn’t that great. But if you’ve ever had a desire to see the show today is your ‘lucky’ day.

Series 1 & 2 of Sonic Underground is now available to download on iTunes. So if you’ve never seen the series before and feel like giving it a shot, by all means head over to iTunes and download away. Episodes are priced at $1.99 each and each volume (20 episodes) can be bought for $27.99. I probably should point out here that the entire 40 episodes are available on DVD and can be purchased for much less than that.

Also as a side note, Sonic Underground will also be getting a ‘conclusion’ in Sonic Universe #50 later this year.

Source: Series 1, Series 2

Sonic Underground Getting Epilogue in Sonic Universe #50

I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

Sonic Underground, an obscure DiC produced Sonic cartoon from 1999, is getting an epilogue in Sonic Universe’s landmark 50th issue next March. The issue, which will be a single issue story, will chronicle what happened after the end of the television series, finally giving a proper ending to the show nearly 14 years after it ended. The story will be written by Ian  Flynn and the cover, which you can see above, is drawn by Patrick Spaziente. For the full cover, head over to this story’s source, Destructoid.

What makes this even cooler is that Sonic Underground has always been a part of the Sonic comic’s wider multiverse. The comic had a crossover with the series in a super special back when the show first came out in order to promote the series. In a sense, this issue is not only resolving an entire Sonic continuity, but a lingering plot thread in the comic to boot.

I am personally rather excited by the prospect of Sonic Universe being used to actually continue and resolve one of Sonic’s ill-fated cartoons. We’ve never gotten a true resolution to any Sonic continuity, with most continuities typically being left open ended, if not on an outright cliffhanger as was the case with Sonic SatAm. Heck, maybe this will open the door for other Sonic universes to be featured in the comic!

Terrible musical numbers and some spotty voice acting aside, I felt Sonic Underground was a decent Sonic series with some strong episodes, though this may have something to do with the fact that it was the first American cartoon to feature Knuckles. It’s typically considered one of the worst of the Sonic cartoons. If you have any interest in catching up on Sonic Underground before its epilogue in Sonic Universe #50, the series currently airs every weekday morning on Disney XD. British fans can catch the series on Kix. The series is also available on DVD and on Netflix.

Freak-Out Friday: The Original Sonic Underground Concept & DiC

HA HAR! GOOD EVENING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Now… you’re probably wondering whats happened to your usual Freak out Friday staffer? Well he’s helping me with an experiment. Hmmmm? No Vizard… you may not come out…

Remember that cartoon? That one with Sonic and his siblings who made a vow their mother will be found? They saved the world using the power of music! Yeah… what where they thinking when they decided that? Well do we have a treat for you, earlier this week some very rare concept art went up on ebay and we thought you’d like to see this incredible bit of Sonic history!

There you see, I’m being nice, just a cool ghostly image of Robotnik looking down with a cybernetic arm, nothing to worry about, and next up we have one of the most dramatic changes.

Continue reading Freak-Out Friday: The Original Sonic Underground Concept & DiC

Sonic Mega Mix DVD Compilation Hits U.S. Next Month

A new listing has appeared at a few online retailers such as Amazon that reveals Cookie Jar Entertainment will be releasing a DVD compilation on January 4th 2011 featuring episodes from Sonic’s original three cartoon series Sonic the Hedgehog (AKA SatAM), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Underground. The compilation is titled “Sonic Mega Mix“, and according to retailer Future Shop it will contain one disc with a running time of 155 minutes. Future Shop also says the DVD is region locked at Region 1, so fans outside of the U.S. looking to import this will need a multi-region DVD player to run it.

No information is available regarding which episodes or how many will feature on the DVD, but at 155 minutes you can expect about 6 episodes total. As for price, Amazon is listing it at $9.99, Barnes & Noble at $9.01 and Future Shop at $5.99 Canadian.

Sources:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Future Shop

[UPDATE 5]Sonic Underground’s Sonia In ASR Wii & PC

UPDATE 5: RianaLD has posted a new journal entry at her devianART detailing Steve Lycett’s apology on behalf of a level artist and how the mistake happened. Steve reports that Sonia appears in both disc and Steam PC versions under low detail track settings.
Thanks again Silva Rymes for the heads up!
/UPDATE 5 END

UPDATE 4: Executive Producer at Sumo Digital Steve Lycett has just commented on the situation in a post at the SSMB :

Wow, I have a night off – and I miss all this

We take these things seriously at Sumo and will be contacting the original artist directly to offer our sincere apologies to her, this was entirely unintentional.

Not much else I can really add!


S0L

/UPDATE 4 END

UPDATE 3: After some research we’ve discovered the Sonia card only appears in the Steam edition of the PC version with the disc release displaying Amy. RianaLD the owner of the artwork has the PC version and confirmed the artwork is in that version. RianaLA lives in the U.S. where only the Steam version is available so we’re pretty confident its the Steam version with the Sonia artwork while the EU only disc release displaying Amy.
At 0:52 –
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC19lh1lnFY[/youtube]

At 0:45
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DnNiJkmVDM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

bzdrte5 has also helped 100% confirm it is in the Steam version in a post with a screenshot at the SEGA Forums. Thanks bzdrte5!
/UPDATE 3 END

UPDATE 2: RianaLD has posted a follow up statement at her deviantART.
Thanks Silva Rymes for the heads up!
/UPDATE 2 END

UPDATE: Lightning_Duchess now known as RianaLD has made a statement regarding her Sonia art being in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. You can check it out at her devianART page.
Thanks Silva Rymes for the heads up!
/UPDATE END

SSMB Member Yuluga has just brought to our attention a cameo appearance from Sonic Underground’s Sonia in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing’s Roulette Road course discovered by members of Sonic Reikai forums. The appearance was spotted in a YouTube gameplay video but we have just checked it out ourselves in the Wii version and snapped the above photo of the cameo and can confirm this is the real deal. The cameo has also been noticed by fans in the PC version but as for the other 3 versions we’ve checked them out and it is nowhere to be found.

The above picture of the card has apparently been extracted from the game and the Sonia artwork on the card look’s very similar to a piece of fan artwork by deviantArt user lightning_duchess which you can check out below.

We’ll query this with Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett and report any information we can obtain here.

Thanks to Yuluga for the heads up!

Sonic Underground back on DVD

Wired are reporting that a new Sonic Underground DVD volume 1 is now available containing the first 20 episodes and with new extra’s like a Greatest Hits cd, a music video jukebox and concept art.

A search on Amazon.com finds a Sonic Underground DVD released Dec 18th 2007, no specific releated info to the article is there though but with the release date it’s most likely the one.

Amazon.co.uk finds nothing new.

Tesco ‘Price Blitz’ Cuts Cost on Sonic Software

The UK based supermarket chain ‘Tesco’ is currently running a large promotion that it calls ‘Price Blitz’.

The promotion aims to bring a wide range of audio visual entertainment to the consumer at budget prices. On offer are: CD’s, DVD’s, PC software and Videogames, each category is then grouped into a different price range. Understandably the quality and production number of these items will affect their price.

Worthy of note (and the whole purpose of this report) are the Sonic items included in the offer. If you’ve been deterred from buying Sonic’s PC outings or DVD instalments of Sonic Underground, because of the price, then worry no more. Infact the items on offer were already part of value a range, so you can be sure the cost has been slashed severely. Continue reading Tesco ‘Price Blitz’ Cuts Cost on Sonic Software

Bonus Episodes on Sonic DVDs

This comes from Sonic HQ News by Kanshisha:

The Sonic Underground, Mario and Zelda DVDs will have bonus Sonic episodes. Here is the list.

Sonic Underground – Dr. Robotnik’s Revenge Episodes:
Beginnings
Hedgehog’s Home is her Castle
Modoboon

DVD Bonus – Super Mario Bros. – Do You Princess Toadstool, Take this Koopa

Sonic Christmas Blast Episodes:
Sonic Xmas Blast
Three Hedgehogs and a Baby
Price of Freedom Continue reading Bonus Episodes on Sonic DVDs

Sonic Cartoons Coming to DVD, Courtesy of DiC

DiC Entertainment, the animation company responsible for the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons in the 1990s, has recently broken free from former parent company Disney. And now that it is an independent once more, it plans to re-release a number of Sonic shows on DVD in time for the company’s tenth anniversary. Continue reading Sonic Cartoons Coming to DVD, Courtesy of DiC