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Game Developers Reveal Sonic's War-Torn Origin Story

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Before Dr. Eggman's evil plot to capture the animals of Megapolis for his science experiments, Sonic the Hedgehog was a very different story. Game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and character designer Naoto Oshima appeared at Game Developers Conference on Wednesday to reveal the game that almost was and its connection to World War II.

Sonic almost wasn't a hedgehog at all. He was originally imagined as fighter pilot who earned the nickname "hedgehog" for the way his hair stood up while flying his plane at daring speeds. The Sonic gamers know and love was merely a fighter plane decal. All of these details were then reimagined as a picture book story by the pilot's wife. So in a way, Sonic the Hedgehog was a story within a story, as players took on the role of children's book character based on a war veteran. Yasuhara and Oshima's notes specifically mention Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the speed of sound.

Oshima previously told John Szczepaniak in the third installment of his Untold History of Japanese Game Developers book series that Sonic was planned to be a human boy, but Sega rejected the idea of having a human mascot character.

Sonic was also planned to be a pretty snazzy dancer. Line art for the proposed dance sequence was shown at the presentation, but like the meta-story aspects, this was cut too.

Source: Kotaku (Chris Kohler), Nintendo Life (Damien McFerran)

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