*puts on a deep echo like voice* “TIME FOR HISTORY!”
Sonic’s first appearance in a video game was Rad Mobile, Rad Mobile was an arcade racing game in which Sonic appeared as a small toy in the window of the car you raced. This officially is the first appearance of Sonic in a videogame. His next appearance is Sonic the Hedgehog on the MegaDrive, however it turns out that this information isn’t exactly accurate.
Whilst I cannot find an exact date for when Rad Mobile first came out, it seems to be early 1991. However, information uncovered by Guru Larry (however it was originally discovered by another user (more on that later)), points to an Amiga game called ‘The Adventures of Quik & Silva’ in which Sonic appears as a villain!
What’s going on here? Well, as Guru Larry explains, the game wasn’t sold in stores, it was made and sold to a video-game magazine who put it on their cover as a free game for Amiga users. The magazine in question was ‘Amiga Fun’ and the issue in question is dated May 10th 1991, this pre-dates Sonic 1’s official launch by a month!
Meaning this is actually the first home appearance of Sonic, not Sonic 1.
So what happened? Well, it seems that the company behind this game decided to make smaller games which were cheap and easy to produce, then sell them to magazines who would put them on their covers as a ‘free gift’. Readers would not only have a magazine to read, but also a game to play on their system.
However, to save money on building/designing assets, this company did some slightly shady stuff, mainly in the form of disobeying copyright laws, the game contains a few unauthorised/unlicensed uses of characters, even Mario is in here, however more strangely is that Sonic is also in the game despite his first game not being released yet.
To top it off, Sonic is a bad guy in the game!
It’s completely unofficial, but still quite a fun tid bit of information, especially since this wasn’t a fan project and it was actually bought by a second company who put it on their magazine.
Also, as mentioned earlier, this was in fact first discovered back in 2011, however it was only brought to light now and Guru Larry’s video contains a lot more information. But give out the other video a look if you don’t care about the details.