TSS Vault: Season’s Greetings

The Sonic Stadium has been around for over ten years. That’s quite a milestone for a humble fansite dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog. Especially one that’s done so much over the last decade for the community. But there’s a lot that we haven’t done – stuff that we have been sent in the past that we meant to add to the site, but never found time to do so. Take this series of articles as a way of me finally being able to show off some of the best of people’s creativity, as well as funky stuff in the Sonic world.

As there’s a lot of random things, it’s going to be difficult to categorise them all, but I’m going to give it a go anyway. I may also throw in some classic TSS stuff that we have added in the past too, just for posterity. So, welcome to the first Vault article, dedicated to festive things.

TSS Christmas Image, 2007

This celebratory image was created by hatted superstar T-Bird, and was to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas back in 2007. It’s a true sign of the times, with renditions of pretty much all of the TSS and SSMB staff at the time. DiZ, Roareye, Turbo, Flint, B’man (the balloon), Violet and Strong Bad are all included here, along with presses to Iceman, Shazra and Sarge.

Christmas Don’t Be Late, 2007 [Download]

The previous art piece was part of our incredible Christmas event at The Sonic Stadium, where we replaced the front page with an advent calendar and gave away little things every day until the 25th December. Towards the end, we unleashed this – a music recording of most of the TSS/SSMB staff covering ‘Christmas, Don’t Be Late’ from Alvin and the Chipmunks. The result is quite terrifying, but it was a nice gesture all the same.

The NiGHTS Stadium, 2003

Of course, we started celebrating Christmas at TSS long before the advent calendar. In 2003, the entire site was changed to the theme of NiGHTS into Dreams. Well, Christmas NiGHTS to be more exact, but hey it fit the time of year just perfectly. Unfortunately, all we have left to show for the design is this banner image, but you can get a good idea of how we decorated TSS on the back of that. The original, large chequered background turned purple and was highlighted with snow effects. Gorgeous. I updated the site with a load of NiGHTS info at the time as well.

CosmicFalcon – My Favourite Hedgehog, 2005 [Download]

Not particularly Christmassy, but equally festive for another reason – this was the winning entry for The Sonic Stadium’s massive 5th Anniversary competition. It only seems like yesterday when we heard CosmicFalcon singing about buying all of Sonic’s games “even if they are so very craaaap.” Listening to it today, it still makes us chuckle, and was well-deserving of the Sonic Gems Collection (Japanese Gamecube version) and arcade stick that he ended up winning. Click here to see the original contest page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Slovakia, 2006

Now these pictures are absolutely incredible, and I feel so stupid for hanging onto them for this long, so I’m putting them up here now so I can somewhat redeem myself. On two occasions in late 2006, I was sent an image from Ľuba Marcinová from Košice, Slovakia. The first one is a Christmas celebration, with Sonic manning a sleigh driven by Silver and Shadow. The second was sent to see in the New Year in 2007. Both were made with the help of Kristy & Tom and Eva & Emil Wessely, according to the original emails.

“Sorry again it came a bit late, but like they say – better than never,” read the New Year email. Er, likewise, Ľuba. Sorry!

‘Yuji Naka’s Christmas Message, 2006 [Download]

During a random era of The Sonic Hour live broadcast, Roareye and myself took to ‘inviting’ ‘Yuji Naka’ to our show for a special ‘interview.’ What happened was the birth of a brilliant parody character that took to the airwaves to cheer Roareye and myself on, and to denounce everyone’s games but his own. This was a little Christmas message that ‘Yuji’ sent out to Sonic Hour listeners back in 2006, but unless you try and dig out that particular episode there’s only one other place you can hear it – this recording. Enjoy.

TSS’ Christmas Visit to SEGA, 2005 [Read]

These days, plenty of community websites make a habit of visiting SEGA’s offices to see the latest games and grab some free goodies for their dazzling loyalty to their brands. It’s a world away from the situation in 2005, where nobody besides professional journalists ever went near the company offices. The winner of our innovative Shadow Week competition – the first in which a fansite teamed up with SEGA for prizes – was able to get a tour of the London HQ and so Roareye and myself tagged along to chronicle the day. It’s a fantastic look back to an event that was a real rarity before the establishment of SEGA’s community department and ArchAngelUK’s appointment to community manager.

If you want to see a video of myself and Roareye pratting around on the day as well, watch this classic TSS video.

Darkspeeds’ SSA Thank-You, 2006 [Download]

Elson ‘Darkspeeds’ Wong earned himself quite a few awards during 2006’s Sonic Site Awards, and he took the time to record a thank-you message to everyone who voted for him. It quickly turned into a Christmas message at the same time, due to the time in which it was recorded. He used the theme song from NiGHTS into Dreams, Dreams Dreams, as the backing track for his message. Which is funny, because…

Dreads Dreads, 2006 [Download]

You can’t have a coverage of TSS over the Christmas years without including this ‘gem’ of a karaoke song. Yes, I decided to absolutely butcher the theme song to Sega’s NiGHTS into Dreams for the first Wrecks Factor competition back in 2006. My approach was to sing in a decidedly crap ‘swing’ style, and the judges deemed my attempt at being crap authentic enough to come last place. The forfeit was to sing the DK Rap, but as I never found the time to do it after the event, AAUK picked the debut Summer of Sonic convention for myself and Roareye to perform it…

I’ll be adding a lot more lost submissions and remnants from the past over the next few weeks! In the meantime, have a great run up to Christmas and don’t get swamped by the snow/store sales!