top of page

Media Essays: My History With Sonic The Hedgehog

Title card

Written by Erin Delgado


Hello guys, Erin here and it is quite crazy how franchises have lasted for decades as Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the big examples.


Yep, you guys know I always have my time with the Sonic franchise from the good times, the bad times….. And mostly the strange times. What can I say, the blue guy always shows up during a time once a year, being the cool teen that lives like the wind, fighting a mad doctor who wants to conquer the world with his own image and machinery and of course you can say it is something any age can enjoy, not just from video games but also TV, comic books, even crossovers, plus a big name in Fan Fiction online, and I do meant A LOT of fan fiction, where I was part of the Sonic community where I met a lot of great people, know of the whole cast and helps me inspire me while growing up, and to think I was born in 1990 while Sonic is born in 1991, as I know the whole franchise like the back of my hand.


And also that Sonic was made to be a foil to Nintendo’s Mario, back then in the 90s but now there’s respect for both parties, even got to the Olympics too.


So I know you guys always wonder….. What was my first exposure to the blue guy and what got me into the series afterwards? Well since it’ll be the 33rd Anniversary of the Sonic brand (33 YEARS?! WHOA!!!) and of course the lead-up to the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 film along with the upcoming Sonic X Shadow Generations, it’s about time I explain to you all, how I got into the series and what impact it has on me to be a passionate fan.


My First Look at Sonic Overall


Well believe it or not, my first experience with Sonic, isn’t the Sega Genesis and his games but more so one of it’s cartoon adaptations, more so “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”, yep as the DIC cartoons, as along with Inspector Gadget and other classics, they have a way to make fun cartoons and AoStH is no expectation, as the cartoon is when I was introduced to the Sonic character, also Tails and Dr. Robotnik as I got to learn who they are, with Sonic being the cool speedy hero, Tails as the kid sidekick and Robotnik (Eggman’s name in the US) is the wacky but evil super villain who has his robot lackeys Scratch & Grounder (also Coconuts whenever) as they cause trouble around Planet Mobius as Sonic & Tails goes to foil his plans.


It was more of a formulaic silly cartoon I watch with other classic Nicktoons and cartoons back in my childhood as I usually thought it was more that the series at the time, plus with the silly adventures and lessons of the day (the Sonic Says we know of), plus there were standout episodes like when Tails gotten some focus and be the hero, plus the Chaos Emeralds time-travel adventure which was very cool as I did thought it was so good to be at the end and I did manage to play the Genesis games around the time as I was new to them, but never fully complete them still much later……


As I learn much little of Sonic with the core cast, Knuckles and the Freedom Fighters (from the SatAM cartoon which I saw little), even has the more nature vs technology theming.


I wasn’t much of a big fan as I was more into the Disney stuff plus other DIsney-ish like films in the 90s as I was more casual with the game series….. Plus one Sonic game I was very interested in was Sonic Adventure, as it was more so when the cast got new looks and characters and evolved the series from the usual stop Eggman plot to stop him and a new villain Sonic and friends had to face….. And it was 3D rather than the usual 2D style.


No surprise that when video games make the jump to 3D, they gotten bigger stories too from Rayman facing robot pirates and saving magical critters from enslavement, Donkey Kong saving his Kong buddies and stop K. Rool from firing a death laser and even my PlayStation classics gotten simple stories to stopping the big bad and exploring different worlds.


Sonic Adventure really gotten my interest most as I do wanted to complete it fully to the end, but sadly I just play it casually as I only beaten Sonic’s story at the time, as the highlight is when I was re-introduce to the cast from Sonic, Tails, Eggman, new faces like Knuckles, Amy and the others and of course the memorable Egg Viper boss fight is like a dramatic and epic final fight between Sonic and Robotnik is when the doctor isn’t playing around and he wants Sonic dead this time as it was quite an intense moment in my video game time…… I did die a lot when I first played it but I managed and it was one of my highlights playing video games and it was the peak of Sonic vs Robotnik at the time, and also seeing Sonic reunite with Tails at the end and doing the cool pose at the end was worth it.


I did have a great time playing Sonic’s story in the game, but part of me knew for a moment it was just a piece of the puzzle as I wondered if Chaos was really gone, what happened to Sonic’s other friends afterwards? And what was the vision with the fire and red after Lost World, and who was that girl aka Tikal? Again I never fully played Adventure as I don’t own a Dreamcast and I was more into PlayStation, so I wasn’t a big fan yet.


Well that’s when the day came on my 15th Birthday in 2004….. And I got two games that changed my life forever.


Sonic Heroes & the Sonic Mega Collection Plus!


My teen years and getting into Sonic, during the 2000s Era


I remember when my parents, grandma and I gone to Pizza Hut, back when it use to be when I moved to my current home, we had good stuffed crust pizza and some cake with frosting, as when I have a PlayStation 2, I have gotten two games to go with it as they are Sonic Heroes and the Sonic Mega Collection Plus, as they were the ones that gotten me into the series as they have a lot of content I am familiar with from the Sonic and friends cast, the Chaos Emeralds, Dr. Eggman and his iconic weapons and familiar areas throughout the series.


Not the only projects as when I got the Mega Collection, it also give me covers of the Sonic Archie Comics, aka an alternative series to Sonic SatAM (The Sonic cartoon that was more on Saturdays back in 1993 while Adventures does the weekdays), as it has the Freedom Fighters, Uncle Chuck and other mainstays from the games like Knuckles & Fang the Hunter (who was Nack the Weasel back then), plus a lot of big stories from the comics like when they do the game adaptations, the big stories like Endgame, Sonic Adventure and others, whether being good or bad, or when we have the uncomfortable ones when Sonic & Sally split up as from the covers of each, I always do have hints of what they could be about. As my time with the Sonic Archie Comics is minor but I am familiar with them.


Also is when I got to watch Sonic X & fully Sonic SatAM, is when I got to see them all the time as I have a good time with both of them, well mostly Sonic X as that’s when I got to know the core cast more and also see them do full stories of Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, plus a bit of Sonic Battle, leading to when Sonic and his friends have to return to Mobius, aka their home planet.


I even gotten to play the Sonic Advance games, and the major games like Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Rush, Riders and the infamous Sonic 06 (yes I did played it on the Xbox 360, which I use to have, well my family does), as I got to see how Sonic got from a light-hearted series to telling big and dramatic stories with their plots, with action, humor & heart, reminds me of how Pokémon does it and at the time in the 2000s when media gotten to more mature storytelling and having a more anime-like vibe with serialized storytelling and complex character traits from others so no surprise the Sonic series want to get into it too.


That said, it was when some fans and critics say the serious storytelling for Sonic got too far with Shadow & Sonic 06 as they were taken back from them, plus the polarizing gameplay both games have with how clunky they are, and having levels take too long and all. As I was indifferent to them and do like both games a bit, but they are very flawed. Looking back, I can understand why a lot of fans dislike them a lot, but I still enjoy the series as it’s not like it somehow made me detest the series, right?


Well, during the “Dark Age” of Sonic as that’s what the fans say, I have learned that Sonic X gotten a surprise third season where Sonic and friends goes to space with the alien girl Cosmo and face off against the evil Metarex as that was solid, but did drag a bit with it being a 26 episode run story arc, but still has the Sonic X charm, I discover that the Archie Comics gotten more attention, due to Ian Flynn and his team writing the series starting on Issue 160 and it’s when I gotten to read Sonic fan fiction and interesting fan game ideas and concepts.


Some standouts is the “Sonic Heroes” fan series by Stephen Ricketts aka Megamink who did the whole series as it is more based on Fleetway’s Sonic the Comic with other elements from the games and cartoons. He even got to create his own Sonic OCs for his series and my first introduction of what a fan character is like. While not perfect, Stephen took a lot of time to do well on his own version of Sonic the Hedgehog and he even did his own series called Megamink as it is quite good.


I even got to see other Sonic fan videos like “Nazo Unleashed”, “Super Mario Bros Z” (crossover series of Mario & Sonic with elements of Dragon Ball Z) and even “Sonic GX” a fan series that is like a continuation of both Sonic X & SatAM. As they were my fav Sonic stuff for a while and have their fans.


I have tried doing Sonic fanfics myself, mostly as collabs but lost interest overtime as I struggled to see how far I go but just lost the motivation.


I should mention the lost and forgotten Sonic stuff, huh?


The Forgotten Sonic series of OVA, Underground & Fleetway


Well to be honest, I don’t know what to say about them, as I feel they were the most forgotten Sonic media that nobody seems to talk about. Well Fleetway Sonic has much to say as I am aware it is also a different take on Sonic, with the blue guy being more of a jerk with a heart of gold (kinda…) the evil Super Sonic, having Eggman in his AoStH design plus Grimer, a different roster of Freedom Fighters, more based on the game critters and of course the Brotherhood of Metallix and Fang being part of the Chaotix as it is a different take and I see it having it’s fans, but mostly I know is that they are mostly split into smaller stories and not much to connect with, as I know it is still going strong with the unofficial online comic continuing the series, so if you want you can.


With OVA and Underground, I say I am aware of them as while they are decent, nothing to say about as with Underground it’s an AU where Sonic is royalty and has his siblings and mother as it was quite new at the time and it was more of a 90s style cartoon with sci-fi punk feel and musical rock numbers which are…. Laughable bad, if that makes sense, and the series came at the wrong time in 1999 as that’s when Sonic Adventure came as Sonic fans are more interested in the new Sonic then the usual Sonic cartoon which kept the old style, and the series was going to have a 65 episode run but was done with 40 as it never gotten an ending and it was mostly forgotten as sadly wasn’t a very popular series, it just exists……


OVA, I was surprise as in America it was called the Sonic movie, but in reality it was a two-part pilot for an Sonic anime, but gotten it as it was more of an experiment as it was when Sonic, Tails & Knuckles had to face against Metal Robotnik & later Metal Sonic, who was awesome and I say the ideal Metal we know of, being like Sonic and trying to beat it to be the superior blue guy as I can see why fans love this version and have a soft spot for the OVA, I still enjoy it but it is still a cheesy Sonic project, maybe more so than Adventures, but depends….. And the animation team who did this also did the opening and ending animations to Sonic CD. (Funny enough in the US manual of CD, Amy was mistaken called Princess Sally as a way to tie-in to SatAM, as we have odd mix-ups and to follow the US canon of Sonic)


With the three projects done, I can see why they weren’t talked about as it was more either not enough attention, wasn’t on the same level as the games or Archie Comics, or just not interesting. Oh well as not everything can win anyone over, even myself but the series is still going strong despite the problems the series has, after the 2000s we got to the next decade where it is the MOST controversial…


2010s, the Good, the Bad and the Conflicting Opinions on Sonic


Well controversial is a strong word……but I’ll explain, you see we know Sonic Colors & Generations is like the best Sonic games at the time around Sonic’s 20th Year as it was a time that the series is seen in a positive light again. Everyone seems to enjoy them and I do too, as I only had the DS version of Colors as it was quite good and I have the console version of Generations, along with a PS3 so I can play it.


It was a time I could’ve seen that Sonic has gotten a lot of praise and love from fans and people everywhere, as it was quite a great time and era for Sonic, RIGHT?!


Well……. Okay I should say, it was…..conflicting at the time, as the series has gotten some decent attention, but it was a hard time….. And I do mean hard time, when some big polarizing events happen that get everyone in a loop.


With the Sonic Archie Comics, it was a hard time that I wasn’t big on them, due to the story events when Princess Sally got roboticized and the Freedom Fighters disbanded, having their big loss, as it was quite a long time to see Sonic and his friends save her, until….. Well the “Lawsuit by Ken Penders” happened, as the original timeline Archie Comics was reset and now we gotten the Reboot Era, as while the FF and Sally are back, the timeline is more in line with the SEGA Sonic games with elements from SatAM, AoStH and Ian’s ideas, also the fact that SEGA has mandates on the series of what they can or can’t do. And speaking of Flynn, his era in the early days seems fine to good, not amazing but readable but with the “Mecha Sally” story (with Issues 230 to 247) I mentioned along with others, they have aged badly as his questionable writing stuff still to this day. Not sure if he gets better or not, but even you have to admit Ian has his weakest moments writing Sonic.


There’s Sonic Boom, the comedy side series that has made the Sonic series more of meta comedy series that has gotten fans very divided, as some like the slice-of-life comedy style while others hate it so much it made the Sonic brand a complete joke, and I do meant it become a big self-parody of itself as it sets the fans off. While not the worst thing ever, Boom was alright….. But there is more so a decline of the Sonic franchise as I haven’t played Lost World and Rise of Lyric on the Wii U, as I had no interest in the system or Lost World, and the poor rep of Rise of Lyric really made Sonic look worse, and believe me, if you think Sonic 06 was a broken and bad game that made the series worse, it is child’s play….. COMPARED to Sonic Boom’s Wii U game, and there is a lot of development hell behind the game itself…… Okay even though I never played Rise of Lyric, it is quite a shock with the troubled development and failure of the game, it sadly made Sonic a big joke again, since the Dark Ages days.


Okay I could see the Sonic series haven’t done well in the 2010s, but let’s be fair, any series has their dark times…. Hell we still enjoy the 2000s Era as they were experimental and try new things while some don’t work well, while the 2010s Era we can agree plays the brand safe, maybe too safe……Okay let’s be honest with ourselves VERY SAFE, but I am sure with Sonic Mania & Forces both coming on 2017, they would be the keys to get us back in a good Sonic mood…… Mania does but with Forces, no surprises, it was a letdown……


(sighs) It really hurts of how I had to deal with the brand for that decade as I did thought that it was the point that I have no longer being a Sonic fan, as latest stuff don’t interest me, my friends hate the direction the Sonic brand is going and of course hard times I had as I feel the series was…… at that point…… no longer a favorite of mine and was dead to me, very much not wanting anything to do with it anymore, dead…… And I am serious……. But to my surprise, part of me wanted to give it another chance……


2020s: Sonic’s Multi-Media Comeback and to Now!!!


2020 sure was a big time as if you were aware, we had the Sonic the Hedgehog Paramount Film and I got to saw it, as it was quite a surprise, as it feels like a good film along with fun nods to the series as it started small with Sonic & Eggman and the cop guy, Tom Wachowski, as it’s more a basic buddy-comedy film but it’s execution won me over….. And think it all started with the Teaser Trailer with Ugly Sonic, that really sets everyone off, thinking it could’ve been awful. And hey it is unbelievable that after the trailer reveal, Paramount has a team to redesign Sonic to look appealing and similar to the games’ design.


I feel with the Movie itself, I got the spark that I started to like Sonic all over again, and maybe hope for the series, as I was more of a casual fan at the time.


That’s when I gotten to be a big fan again in 2022, the Third Big Year of Sonic, as 2003 was the first as to celebrate Sonic X’s debut and also Sonic Heroes, 2014 was meant to be a big year with Sonic Boom but it didn’t go well, but 2022 was one of my favorite years as we have the second film which has Knuckles, Tails & the Chaos Emeralds added in, Sonic Frontiers a big new open-zone game taking inspiration from Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn, and the writing by both SEGA and Ian is very solid for it’s story and surprisingly a great milestone IDW Sonic comic with Issue 50 (as IDW has been hit or miss honestly, but the Road to 50 and Imposter Syndrome I say are peak. That said, neutral on IDW Sonic overall), plus we gotten a new animated Sonic series on Netflix, Sonic Prime, a multiverse Sonic adventure which was a letdown to be honest and also I got to try Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit, a fan re-imagining classic Sonic game made by Noah Coupland and his team of passionate fans, plus Sonic Origins, a collection of the main classic Sonic Games for a new generation of fans, as it is quite a big deal.


Does get better with 2023 (aka last year) with Updates for Triple Trouble, Origins and Frontiers that makes the games even better than before, a new game, Sonic Superstars which is alright, and of course other content from passionate fans, plus a solid IDW mini-series with Fang the Hunter as the lead this time, well in the Classic Era, since there’s a mandate certain characters have to be in the Classic or Modern Eras.


I say the 2020s so far for Sonic, aka the Multi-Media Era is doing well for the series and while yes it does have its big duds like Sonic Prime and the Knuckles miniseries on Paramount Plus, it shows that new fans are getting into the series.


It is quite an achievement. And so far a step up from the 2010s Era, as you can tell the brand learned from the past. Boy does that sound familiar….


Conclusion


Have to say my experience with the Sonic series is like a roller coaster, with big highs and lows but I would say, despite the many, many problems I have, I am still a fan of the series and its characters, to this day.


It is one of my favorite series I enjoy checking out to see which got my interest and to discuss with fans and friends, as it’s thanks to the Sonic stuff I gotten to meet great people online like Reece, Eric M, Scott, Scurvy, Kiva, Mel, Todd and others, as we share similar and different perspectives with the series, and also we got to make fan content inspired by Sonic.


As you know Freedom Planet and Spark the Electric Jester were made by Sonic fans but they’re mostly their own Indie Game IPs, as it is very incredible. And of course, the Sonic fan games like Triple Trouble and Sonic P-06, a fan game by ChaosX, as he did well with the fan game and working on to do the Last Story and Boss Fights for the unofficial PC remake.


Also why due to the passion and effort I like to make my own stories, as I made my own Sonic OCs, and you know who I was referring to, along with my book project.


So overall, I say I am glad I got into Sonic and it is still a great franchise to this day, as in a way it’s something I like from a fav series from childhood up to adulthood with interesting stories, memorable characters, iconic songs, a balanced tone and a huge fan base. With the last one being better or worse, but I say better for casuals. Still in my Top 10 favorite franchises for me, maybe Top 5.


Well glad I got to share this with you guys and haven’t thought I did a nice essay of one of Sonic and his series, maybe later or next year I’ll try another essay of a series I like, love or mostly neutral with, and if you think this would be a nice change of pace, let me know.


Now that the stages are set (pun intended) I look forward to Sonic X Shadow Generations and the Sonic 3 Movie, which will be my big deals this year and good time to be a Sonic fan again, as glad I got a lot out of me.


So if you have your own experience with Sonic, let me know and I would like to see what got you into the series or you are mostly a casual fan, retired fan and got into other series? Let me know, well that is about it as I am Erin Gamer, and thanks for reading. See ya next time.

5 Comments


Nice job on your detail history on Blue Bur, even if it has ups and down, good and the bad franchise is still good enough for us to enjoy along with his characters!


Although, my brother plays Sonic on Mega Drive while myself watches him but didn't play it full until I got Sonic Gem Collection and Mega Collection afterward.


Happy 33nd years of series itself!

Like

All right first I apologize Erin for not reading it the first time it came out. But since we both have uploaded at the blog, I decided to make up.


My experiences are similar yet different, it was also a cartoon that introduced me to Sonic, and that was Underground. In hindsight was not a good show but I still owe the cartoon for that. I had a friend whom had a genesis as a kid and when I came over I played the first sonic game with them. But after that I never played a game. I was a playstation kid too.


I got into more cartoons after the Nostalgia critic taught me about them. I watched games on…


Like
Replying to

Great to hear of your experience Kiva and no problem. :)

Like

I didnt know you were doing it for the blog Erin, well done. i did read this in your email, i still like it.

Like
Replying to

Thanks Reece. ^^

Like
bottom of page