Most fans of the fantastic blue Hedgehog with red shoes, known all over the world as Sonic the Hedgehog, were born years after the superhero itself was created. So while they love playing games where their superhero defeats evil forces and upholds the justice, there are a lot of things they don't know about creation and early years of this unlikely champion. This article is aimed at bringing those little known facts to those who have loved Sonic the Hedgehog year after year.
Created by Sega, for Sega Genesis, this new superhero was born at a time when Sega mascot, monkey boy Alex Kidd known for his over sized ears had started to appear a bit too old. While Mr. Needlemouse, as Sonic the hedgehog was tentatively named at the concept stage, was not the lone character under consideration, he obviously won. Among the other contenders were Mighty the Armadillo and Ristar who are now lost in oblivion. You can imagine the popularity and fame that Sonic achieved in a short span of time and since then has managed to maintain. The cobalt blue color of Sonic was no accident as it was chosen to match the blue of Sega's logo.
Though the credit of creating Sonic games is mostly given to artist Naoto Oshima, designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and programmer Yuji Naka, a team comprising fifteen people was constituted on the inception of Sonic. The soundtrack was created by Masato Nakamura of Dreams Come True fame. Later, Sega sponsored a tour by the band, Dreams Come True as part of a joint venture which also had Sonic painted all over the touring bus, and launched flyers, besides other promotional media before concert.
Depending upon the members on 'Sonic Team', the look and feel of Sonic kept changing over the years. The original childlike Sonic with short quills and round body was replaced by a taller version when redesigned by Yuji Uekawa in 1998. This new avatar of Sonic the Hedgehog had less spherical body, longer and drooping spikes besides green-colored eyes. In the years that followed, media spin-offs like cartoons, flash games etc. made use of the basic concept but each had its distinctive look and feel.
Some features of Sonic Games remain unchanged over time, while others are subject to improvement. Most of the efforts and improvements to the games are concentrated in the technical aspects, such as graphics and input / output interface. The speed of the game is also a factor. One thing that has remained unchanged, however, is the ability of the blue anthropomorphic hedgehog to run faster than the speed of the sound and incessantly entertain its fans. These qualities remained the cornerstone of all Sonic games throughout.
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