Who is Sonic the Hedgehog?
Over the years many characters have been associated with the word “speed” in gaming, but the character most synonymous with the term is undoubtedly Sonic the Hedgehog. The blue-and-white anthropomorphic pocket dynamite is lightning quick and can reach supersonic speeds, as his name suggests. Sonic The Hedgehog was first introduced in 1991 and has now become one of the most recognizable gaming characters in the world, appearing in many different art forms, which include comics, animated films & TV series, and a live-action feature film (Sonic The Hedgehog movie) released in 2020.
The Creation of Sonic
Sonic was the brainchild of the creative staff at Sega, who were looking for a character to be the face of the company. Sonic The Hedgehog was conceived by Japanese artists Naoto Ohshima and Yuji Naka to compete with their rivals Nintendo and their poster character Mario. Several characters were pitched initially by the staff, but Sonic proved to be the most popular among the target audiences due to his seemingly cool appearance and was given the go-ahead by the executives at Sega. Ohshima famously went to New York’s Central Park to know which character the general public preferred, and most people considered Sonic, then codenamed “Mr. Needlemouse” to be the best. Sonic The Hedgehog's first appearance was in the arcade racing game Rad Mobile which was released in February 1991, but it wasn’t a playable character in the game. Soon afterward, Sonic The Hedgehog game was released in June 1991, which brought Sonic as a playable character for the first time to the gamers.
Sonic The Hedgehog Character Overview
Sonic’s home planet is said to be Mobius, which is also home to other anthropomorphic characters associated with Sonic. Mobius is in a parallel dimension to Earth, but the link between the two planets was formed when two characters from the planet got lost and found themselves on Earth.
Physical Features and Abilities
Sonic’s predominant color is blue, while his mouth, arms, and abdomen are skin-colored. The blue color was chosen to represent Sega, the parent company of the character. Sonic’s physical appearance, as the name suggests, resembles that of a hedgehog due to its spiky hair towards its back. This appearance gives Sonic the sleek look that is associated with its quickness. Sonic The Hedgehog’s trademark attribute is his speed. His short, aerodynamic figure adds to this ability to make him lightning-quick. He is constantly seen using his speed to dodge obstacles. Another ability that Sonic combines with his speed is his ability to roll up into a ball, which results in sublime attacking moves, like spin attack and spin dash. The curling-up can also be used as a defensive move. One weakness that Sonic The Hedgehog character has is his inability to swim, and he drowns after stumbling into the water.
Dr. Ivo Robotnik/Eggman
The main antagonist of the Sonic franchise, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, or Eggman is the ultimate nemesis of Sonic. A scientist by profession, Dr. Robotnik is considered a genius, but his mad ambition and lack of empathy often lead him to cross paths with Sonic. Dr. Robotnik is always seen disrupting Sonic’s plans in order to catch him.
Dr. Robotnik’s first appearance was in the first Sonic The Hedgehog game in 1991, and he was famously portrayed on the big screen by Jim Carrey in Sonic The Hedgehog movie in 2020.
Miles “Tails” Prower (a wordplay on “miles per hour”), is the trustworthy sidekick of Sonic. He’s a two-tailed fox (hence the nickname) who helps Sonic with his mechanical abilities and his flying capabilities. Bright yellow in color, Miles uses his two tails as rotors to fly. Miles Prower made his debut in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 game which was released in 1992.
Knuckles the Echidna is a recurring supporting character in the Sonic franchise. The last of his species, he is the guardian of the Chaos Emeralds in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series. Bright red in color, he is shown as a powerful fighter in the franchise, which makes him a formidable character.
Another one of Sonic’s allies, Amy Rose is shown to be romantically linked with Sonic across many art forms. Bright Pink in color, she is constantly shown to be seeking Sonic’s attention. She first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog CD game in 1993.
Shadow the Hedgehog
Another popular character from the franchise, Shadow the Hedgehog debuted in Sonic Adventure 2 in 2001 and has made several appearances since in different art forms. Portrayed as an antihero, Shadow’s ambitious nature and dark past differentiate him from other characters, and his persona has made him very popular among audiences despite his late entry in the franchise.
Sonic in Popular Culture
As of today, 90+ games have been released across platforms featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. While most of these feature Sonic as the main character, a few are crossover games like the Mario and Sonic Olympic special games. Total game sales and downloads since the release of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) have combined for a mammoth total of more than 900 million.
Sonic has also been adapted into 4 western animated series and 2 anime series, along with a live-action movie. In the western animations, the character was voiced by Roger Craig Smith and Jaleel White, but his most popular portrayal was in 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie, in which he was voiced by Ben Schwartz. The movie grossed $308 million and is the fifth highest-grossing movie of 2020.
Sonic’s global popularity has also led to high demand for its merchandise. Items like hoodies, shirts, caps, mugs, and action figures featuring Sonic are highly popular among its fanbase. pariatur.
Sonic the Hedgehog Merchandise
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