The origin story of Sonic, the hero of the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog series, was finally revealed by two of the character's creators at the 2018 Game Developers Conference.
Sonic was Sega's response to Nintendo's Mario, and for a time, the Blue Blur was more popular than everyone's favorite plumber. While their fortunes have since been reversed, Sonic still lives on as one of the most iconic characters in the video game industry.
Sonic Origin Story Revealed
Game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and character designer Naoto Oshima, who both worked on the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Genesis, went onstage at GDC 2018 to talk about how Sega created Sonic in the 1990s.
Sega, which needed someone to go head-to-head with Nintendo's Mario, decided early on that it wanted a character that deals damage by curling up like a ball and rolling around, said the two industry veterans. Initial ideas for the character from Sega included a hedgehog, an armadillo, a porcupine, a dog, and even an "old man with a mustache."
Oshima then said that it was a trip to the United States that led to the creation of the new mascot for Sega. While internal discussions were ongoing on what the character should be, Oshima drew up the suggestions on boards and went to the middle of Central Park in New York. He then started showing people the boards containing the drawings, and the hedgehog turned out to be the most popular one among them.
So there you have it. Sonic was born in Central Park.
Sonic was even initially supposed to have received dance moves in the original game. However, the animations simply could not fit into the Sega Genesis cartridge. The "old man with a mustache" concept, meanwhile, went on to become Sonic's nemesis, Eggman or Dr. Robotnik.
Sonic Goes Back To His Roots With 'Sonic Mania'
Fans of the Sonic franchise were thrilled with the announcement of Sonic Mania, which was released last year for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This is because the game brought the Blue Blur back to his roots as a 2D platformer. Sonic Mania will soon be re-released as Sonic Mania Plus, coming this summer.
Meanwhile, for gamers looking for a more retro experience, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be part of Sega Genesis Classics. The collection, which will include 50 classic games from the Sega Genesis, will be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 29.