The Video Game Hedgehog: Sega’s Mascot Sonic

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Our favorite hedgehog in video games is none other than our old friend Sonic. Sonic has been around for a long time, spanning multiple systems and, more lately, our television screens. Buckle up for a trip down memory lane with Sonic, Sega’s most well-known video game hedgehog!

What Was the First Sonic Game ever Made

Sega published the first Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Mega Drive platform in 1991. The game was groundbreaking since it was the first to incorporate incredibly fast-paced gameplay into a platform game. Sonic, unlike its rival Super Mario, allows you to reach dizzying speeds while running on circular ramps and collecting rings. Sonic’s ability to sprint at fast speeds across stages with springs, hills, and loop-the-loops is crucial to the gameplay. The stages contain hazards in the form of robots (referred to as ‘badniks’) in which Dr. Robotnik has imprisoned animals; destroying one frees the species, but you don’t have to do it to complete the game.

The player must also avoid colliding with lines of sharp spikes, falling into bottomless pits, being crushed by platforms or closing walls, and drowning, which can be avoided by breathing air bubbles released by vents regularly. Sonic’s primary attack is the Spin Attack. In this attack he coils into a ball and spins swiftly, inflicting damage on adversaries and some barriers.

Sonic 1 Release Success

Critics appreciated Sonic the Hedgehog’s aesthetics and sense of speed. It was a commercial success, boosting the Mega Drive Genesis’ popularity and cementing Sonic the Hedgehog’s status as the company’s mascot. Hedgehog Sonic Its popularity prompted the creation of other Sonic the Hedgehog games, as well as a media franchise of Sonic-related merchandise. The game sold over 1 million copies in its first year of release, even surpassing the platformer king, Super Mario Brothers. The new gameplay style of combining platforming and pinball mechanics made this game a thrill to play at its time. Sega also released the game as a bundled package together with the Sega Mega Drive.

How Sonic Became the Most Popular Video Game Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog’s graphic and character design breakthroughs combined to create an avalanche of copycat mascot platformers‘ that flooded the gaming industry for the remainder of the decade. Kids loved the video game hedgehog’s edgy, attitude-fueled persona so much that it inspired other firms to try their hand at it. Most of them, like Awesome Possum and Rocky Rodent, didn’t last long since, as you’d think, most youngsters wanted the real deal rather than a knockoff. 

Many of these mascot characters, like Aero the Acrobat, Sparkster the opossum, and Crash Bandicoot the… Bandicoot, followed Sonic’s lead in staying inside the domain of the animal kingdom, but you’d occasionally get an outlier like Zool, an extraterrestrial ninja. Bubsy the Bobcat was maybe the most hated one because of terrible controls and interface.

While there are some notable differences in tone and graphic style between these games and the Sonic the Hedgehog series that inspired them, they all share two or three key features. They’re always some anthropomorphic depiction of an animal, alien, or other non-human things, with a matching colorful palette in their games. Some games, such as Jazz Jackrabbit, weren’t as subtle with their allusions, with certain level sprites taken directly from Sonic 1 and 2 without a memo.

From Mega Drive Sonic to Switch: All Re-Releases

Sega re-released the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on multiple consoles. The re-releases include the 8-bit version of the Sega Mega Drive, The Gameboy Advance, iOS, Android, 3DS, the Switch re-release, and various game compilations for many consoles.

8-bit Version

Ancient created a Sonic the Hedgehog game for Sega’s 8-bit systems, the Master System and Game Gear, in late 1991. Although developers altered several level themes and digital assets, and they spread Chaos Emeralds spread across levels rather than unique stages, the plot and gameplay mechanics still remain comparable to the 16-bit original. However, our video game hedgehog cannot reclaim his rings after being hit. The level design is flatter and places a greater emphasis on exploration. There are no vertical loops, and Sonic cannot reclaim his rings after being hit. Yuzo Koshiro wrote a new soundtrack for the game, which contains adaptations of music from the original. It was the Master System’s final game released in North America. In August 2008, the Master System version was re-released in North America and Europe for the Wii’s Virtual Console service.

The Gameboy Advance

Sega renamed the re-release for The Gameboy advance to Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis. Sega published it only in North America in November 2006 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog series (and the original game). There are a few variations between this game and the original. Developers made many graphical changes to accommodate the feel of the game into The Gameboy Advance system. Other changes include quality of life and physics changes which enhance the gameplay experience.

iOS and Android

On May 15, 2013, Sega published a remastered iOS port, followed by an Android version the next day. Christian “Taxman” Whitehead and Simon Thomley of Headcannon created this version from the ground up utilizing the Retro Engine. Widescreen graphics, the optional ability to Spin Dash, an additional special stage, a time attack mode, and the unlockable option to play as Tails or Knuckles are among the features of this port; it also includes a heavily expanded debug mode that allows for the use of unused elements and elements from more recent games (such as the characters’ super forms).


Sega released 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, a Nintendo 3DS version, in 2013 as part of the 3D Classics collection. Unlike most downloadable re-releases of the game, this one isn’t emulated; instead, the code has been restructured to take advantage of the 3DS system’s stereoscopic 3D graphics and includes extra features like the ability to use the Spin Dash move, a CRT-style filter, and the ability option to start from any level.

Nintendo Switch

Sega, together with Nintendo, re-released Sonic the Hedgehog as part of the Sega Ages bundle for the Nintendo Switch. This port keeps the game fresh while staying true to the original. Many fans were ecstatic to see the video game hedgehog on one of the newest systems. On the other hand, new players also got the chance to play one of the best games ever created!

Sonic the Hedgehog 1 Guide

If you want to complete Sonic the Hedgehog, you’ll need to save up additional lives. You can find extra lives in monitors, such as the one in the loop-d-loop in Green Hill Zone Act 2. Collecting 100 rings in any end is the second method of collecting lives. It’s easy to find this money in the early stages of the game if you go cautiously. It pays to keep your 100 ring life even after you’ve earned it. If Sonic has 50 or more coins when he reaches the final signposts, he will be given the large ring. Sonic may access a bonus stage by jumping through the large ring, where he can search for a Chaos Emerald.

In Sonic the Hedgehog, completing a stage is as simple as going forward while avoiding obstacles. Most levels, however, contain multiple branching paths for Sonic to explore, some of which are better than others. Take the lower path of the yellow spring in Act One of Green Hill Zone to find several ring monitors. Finding the optimal paths in each Act ensures the best amount of extra lives you need to complete the game.

If you keep all of this in mind as you travel through the game’s six Zones, you will undoubtedly be able to beat one of the most legendary games in gaming history!

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