12 Facts About Sonic The Hedgehog You Had No Idea About
As one of the most iconic mascots in gaming history, you probably already know a lot about Sonic, but there’s still a ton of weird and wonderful facts about this hedgehog that even super fans don’t know.
From bizarre inspiration and origin stories to lovers who were abandoned before we’ve even seen them, there’s golden nuggets of sonic history just waiting to be discovered. Find out the craziest facts you haven’t heard about blue blur.
Updated May 23, 2022 by Gabrielle Huston: We’re all enjoying the Sonic franchise with fresh eyes, thanks to the most recent movies starring this lovable hedgehog. But did you know these particular facts about him?
12 He should know how to swim
It’s a well-known fact that Sonic the Hedgehog can’t swim, although in some games he is able to run on the surface of water, but Do you know how his most famous weakness came about?
The original Sonic game’s lead programmer, Yuji Naka, was heavily involved in the creation of Sonic. He thought hedgehogs couldn’t swim, so, it was decided that neither will this one. It turns out that hedgehogs can swim pretty well, but it’s a trait that has stuck with Sonic to this day. He even wears a life jacket in the swim stages of Mario & Sonic at the Olympics!
11 His speed was inspired by speedrunning
Besides initial plans to design a mascot to rival Mario, Sonic’s design was also inspired by Yuji Naka’s experiences in Super Mario Bros.
When you play the game Naka took it upon himself to cross the first level, the World Cup 1-1, as quickly as possible, and that sparked the idea of our favorite speedster. Who would have thought that Mario’s speed was the very reason we have the fastest thing alive? There’s nothing like a bit of rivalry to create a successful corporate mascot.
ten He can’t run without sleeping
Can we take a moment to appreciate a health icon? Sonic the Hedgehog needs eight hours of sleep or his running ability will be affected. Maybe we can’t all run faster than the speed of sound, but we can all relate to that!
During the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon era, he was a voice of reason at the end of each episode, giving life advice to children. Well, it looks like he’s always been supporting us, reminding us that a good night’s sleep is the foundation of good health. We heard you loud and clear, Sonic.
9 He had a human girlfriend
Early in the development of Sonic the Hedgehog, Naoto Oshima (its original creator) designed it a girlfriend named Madonna. She was tall and blonde, with an exaggerated hourglass figure, much like Jessica Rabbit. Not much is known about her other than her role as Sonic’s girlfriend and that she would follow him everywhere.
She was taken out of the last game. A few different reasons were given, such as that the content needed to be “softened up” for children in foreign lands and that rescuing the damsel in distress sounded too much like the Mario Bros. franchise. Why a human “girlfriend” entered the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game, we’ll never know.
8 Her secret middle name
This one comes from the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book canon (which ran from 1993 to 2017), but it’s a fact worth mentioning anyway. In the comics, his full name is Sonic Maurice the Hedgehog.
A former writer even claimed that her first name was actually Olgilvie. It’s pretty funny to imagine Sonic, the cool hero with an attitude, going by the first name Maurice. Maybe it’s a good thing that never materialized in games. Sonic the Hedgehog is significantly less greedy.
7 (We thought) He used to be called Mr. Needlemouse
When Naoto Ohshima first created Sonic, he gave him the code name, Mr Needlemouse. … Or did he? It turns out that’s a common misconception.
Ohshima actually named him Mr. Hedgehog at first, but English-speaking fans mistranslated him and the jokes got out of control. When they finally sat down to properly name their character, they wanted something related to speed – eventually landing on Sonic
6 Her blue fur has a meaning
Some might assume that Sonic was made blue to directly counter Mario’s red color scheme (since he was created in response to Mario’s success), but there’s actually more to it than that. The color of his fur is meant to represent peace, trust and – of course – being cool, according to Yuji Naka.
That makes a lot of sense, considering our spiny hero is passionate about keeping the peace and fought Eggman for years to achieve it. He also happens to be the coolest pig around, so blue is definitely his color.
5 He was partly inspired by Santa Claus…
Believe it or not, part of Sonic was indeed inspired by Santa Claus, and that part is… his shoes. Yes, his bright red shoes were inspired by old Saint Nick himself.
Combine that with her giant curls being taken from Michael Jackson’s “Bad” music video, and Sonic’s debut is a crazy hodgepodge of different people. Somehow they all ended up being a fast blue hedgehog with an attitude. Still, with 28 years of video game history under his belt, we’re happy to have him with us.
4 …And it’s the result of the nuclear waste on Christmas Island…
As if drawing inspiration from Santa’s red and white colors wasn’t enough, Sonic the Hedgehog was also born on Christmas Island. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with Santa Claus inspiring his shoes.
It turns out that, it was inspired by an actual island in the Pacific Ocean, Kiritimati, sometimes referred to as Christmas Island. During the Cold War, the UK conducted nuclear tests on and around Kiritimati, which is why the folks behind Sonic turned into a weird place with goofy animals and robots.
3 …And his father died because of the nuclear waste there
In what David Brian Gilbert is referring to like the “Sonic Bible” (an original blueprint for Sonic’s story), Sonic’s father died following a horrific nuclear waste accident.
So in Sonic’s world, nuclear testing has spawned bizarre creatures like Sonic the Hedgehog who is unlike any hedgehog we know and love (never mind the fact that he can talk). Then, the very thing that created Sonic was also responsible for his father’s death. It’s an even sadder tragedy than Romeo and Juliet.
2 His personality was inspired by Bill Clinton
When you take a look at the early design and development phase of Sonic, he had a lot of different influences. With a presidential debate underway in 1992, all eyes were on Bill Clinton, and that’s where Sonic’s persona would have come from.
Clinton adopted a “just do it” attitude, which Naoto Ohshima later attributed to Sonic, admiring the idea of doing things right away rather than letting them drag on forever. If nothing else, this trait has definitely stuck with Sonic over the years.
1 Dr. Eggman was destined to be the hero
When it came time to design a new corporate mascot, one of the ideas proposed was a caricature of Theodore Roosevelt in pajamas. While the little teal hedgehog was eventually chosen, this design evolved into an egg-shaped character, which eventually became Dr. Eggman. He was so close to being the hero, and now the poor guy lives with his plans thwarted day after day.
Another interesting detail is that he was designed to be the opposite of our hero, symbolizing development and machinery compared to Sonic’s free and outward spirit. It was also a reference to the ever-growing conflict between environmentalists and developers.
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