Sonic the Hedgehog has had a long and strange video game history. From his promising early years to his poorly reviewed more recent titles, Sega's mascot has seen it all.
Unless you lived in Japan in the early 1990s, you might not know about one of Sonic's strangest appearances. It's an arcade game called Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, and as you might guess from the title, it involves Sonic driving a police car around town to pursue the evil Dr. Eggman, who is tossing bombs at civilians on the street. Sonic must use his driving skills to avoid other cars and Dr. Eggman's bombs before returning to the police station. Why exactly Sonic, who runs at super-sonic speeds, needs a car isn't exactly explained, but the arcade game was playable in a sweet patrol car arcade cabinet.
Because the arcade title was only released in Japan, chances are most Sonic fans haven't had the opportunity to try it out for themselves. But that will soon change thanks to one fan who has obtained the arcade board for the title and will be posting it online. Via Motherboard, the game will come with the release of the next MAME arcade simulator, allowing any interesting parties to download the emulator and take the title for a spin.
It's a cool little piece of Sonic history that is rarely seen outside of Japan. According to Motherboard, units of the game sold in the U.S. often go for a high price at auction, so chances of anyone who isn't Donald Trump getting a chance to play one of these in its original cabinet are slim to none. Aside from its rarity, the game is notable for being one of the earliest instances of a fully-voiced Sonic. You can check out gameplay of the title at the bottom of this post.
With such a rich history, it's a little sad to see the current state of Sonic games. But hey, at least the character is playable in great games like Super Mario Maker and Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS.