10 Facts And Trivia You Never Knew About The First Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic The Hedgehog has been a pretty iconic character for gamers, but some of these facts about him might still surprise you.

When you think of Sega, your mind instantly goes to Sonic the Hedgehog, with the character quickly developing himself into the mascot of the brand in a similar way to how Mario worked for Nintendo.

Since the original game, Sonic has gone from strength to strength with countless games and merchandise and now even his own movie (eventually) being released, the entire world knows about the character.

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However, the success of the entire franchise is all down to the original Sonic the Hedgehog video game, which was released back in 1991, and within this article, we will list 10 things about the original game that you may not be aware of.

10 Blue

When you think about Sonic as a character, it is impossible to think of him in any other color than blue, despite the fact that no real-life hedgehogs are that color in real life, with Sega making that decision themselves.

The company had faith in the character and the game to be a big hit and knowing that he was going to become the mascot of the game, the company pushed to ensure that he would be blue.

The reason for that was because Sega wanted the mascot of the company to have the same color as its logo, which makes sense, and therefore blue was the only color they had to pick.

9 Why He Can't Swim

Sonic the Hedgehog not swimming is just something that everybody has accepted and understood, after all, he is a made-up video game character. However, when you think about the animal he is portraying, a hedgehog can actually swim.

However, one of the game's original programmers, Yuki Naka (more on him later), wrongly presumed that hedgehogs cannot swim, when in reality, the animal is more than capable in the water.

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While a hedgehog isn't going to be speeding around in the water anytime soon, they can actually swim, so the fact that Sonic doesn't is a strange one.

8 15 Million

That is the number of copies that the original Sonic the Hedgehog ended up selling over time, with 15 million copies of the game finding their way into people's homes, helping this become an instant hit.

This is the main reason that Sonic ended up becoming Sega's mascot as the game was just so popular, with the character being beloved by those who played the game, helping to establish it as something everyone should experience.

This remains one of Sega's most popular titles of all time, which shows just how popular the game was, with Sonic breaking down barriers to be an instant hit.

7 Pop Art Was Used

The Sonic the Hedgehog video game has a very unique and distinct look and feel, and one of the reasons for that is the illustrations used pop art as a reference for the color scheme and design of the game.

Pop art is an incredibly popular and vibrant form of art, and illustrator, Eizin Suzuki, in particular, was used as a reference, trying to get the game design as similar to pop art as they possibly could.

That is why Sonic is so brightly colored and vibrant with lots to see and do, and that is one of the reasons that the game was so popular in the first place.

6 Dr Eggman/Robotnik Name Changes

When any video game is created, choosing the character names isn't an easy decision as once they are made official there is no turning back, and while the names of the characters in Sonic may now be iconic, at one point Sega was not convinced by many.

While Dr Ivo Robotnik is a name all gamers are very familiar with, that wasn't the original name, with Sega's U.S. and Japanese headquarters struggling to agree on a universal moniker for him.

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In Japan, Robotnik was known as Dr Eggman, which created some confusion, with American gamers knowing him as Dr. Ivo Robotnik instead, with other names such as Badwrench and Bad Year being floated around.

5 Sonic's Programmer Didn't Get Along With Sega

People not getting along in the video game industry isn't a major surprise, as it is a very competitive industry and there are a lot of people with very different ideas and that certainly happened with Sonic the Hedgehog. 

Yuji Naka became seriously fed up with Sega during the process of making and releasing the original game, with Sega having a lot of resistance about giving the developers the proper credit for their work.

After the publication, Naka actually ended ties with Sega's Japanese HQ, opting to move to America and work with their office instead.

4 Hidden Message

Speaking of the previous issue regarding credit being given, Naka actually went out of his way to hide a message inside the game, printing the names of all the parties that were responsible for creating the game.

Naka displayed the list of names on the screen which introduces the game but don't worry if you haven't seen them, you're not going crazy. Naka printed the text on a black background making them pretty much invisible without a chat code.

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However, the fact that he went as far as to create this cheat code shows just how frustrated he was with  the entire situation, and how much he wanted to give credit to those involved.

3 He Was Originally A Rabbit

It's hard to imagine Sonic as any other animal than a hedgehog at this point, but when Sega first created the character he was originally going to be a rabbit, which would use its ears to grasp things and fight.

Sega eventually decided that the design would be too difficult to make that idea work and would actually slow down the game, and that is what made them think of animals that would roll, using their bodies as the weapon.

They eventually broke things down to a hedgehog and an armadillo, and clearly the hedgehog won out, despite Sega being concerned Americans may not know what the animal was.

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2 His Name Wasn't Sonic

If you thought that Sega originally not planning on having him be a hedgehog was bad enough, wait till you get a load of this, as the original plans actually had him down for a different name as well.

Once Sega had determined that they were going to use a hedgehog, the company picked out the name, Mr Needlemouse, which it is fair to say, is quite a horrendous name that could have easily been the end of the franchise.

Sonic was eventually decided upon, but they did end up using Needlemouse as the code name for a later game, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I during its development.

1 The Fastest Game

Sonic is all about speed, that much is obvious, but at its time of release, Sonic the Hedgehog was the fastest moving video game character ever created at the time, providing speeds that no other game could match.

Of course, Sonic's main characteristic is his speed, and therefore the fact that Sega actually created the fastest video game character of all time was a really impressive feat for the company and only made the game even more impressive.

While people may not have realized that at the time while playing the game, simply thinking it was just because the game was about speed, it is an impressive piece of trivia about Sonic's past.

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