1. Before the arrival of Sonic, Sega’s unofficial mascot was was a big-eared dude named Alex Kidd.
His games appeared mostly in the Sega Master Drive. When executives at Sega made the decision to compete head-to-head with Nintendo’s Mario, Alex was demoted as mascot and replaced with Sonic.
2. Sega held an internal competition to see who could design the next superstar that would lead the charge in the video-game war against Nintendo.
These were some of the failed designs.
3. Naoto Oshima won the competition by designing this legendary character.
6. Sonic’s iconic red-and-white footwear was inspired by both Santa Claus’ color scheme and Michael Jackson’s boots in Bad.
Look at the belt buckles on the shoes.
7. His sassy attitude is inspired by Bill Clinton’s “get it done” personality.
15. Sonic’s biggest weakness, the inability to swim, was based on a mistake.
According to Yuji Naka, one of the creators of Sonic, “[I] assumed that hedgehogs can’t swim, so that’s why [I] made it that Sonic can’t swim… Apparently hedgehogs can swim, but they can’t climb out of water.”
17. There is a creepy message from the devil hidden inside Sonic CD.
The following reads: “Infinitely fun. Sega Enterprises. [Signed] Majin.” “Majin” means “devil” in Japanese. The music and the freakish Sonic face in the background only add to the horror (Spoiler: “Majin” is a nickname for Masato Nishimura, one of the game’s designers).
19. Sonic can realistically run at the speed of sound (768 mph).
21. Sonic was the first video-game character to float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Suck it, Mario.
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