Sonic the Hedgehog dashed onto the scene in 1991 to challenge the Super Mario Brothers’ video game dominance. Here are a few things you might not know about Sega’s iconic standard bearer.
1. HIS STORY STARTED WITH A BALL IN A TUBE.
Programmer Yuji Naka’s started small. His prototype for the game featured a simple character rolling through a long tube while inside a life-sized ball. He used this version of the game to create the algorithm that would make Sonic’s complex motion scheme possible.
BEFORE SEGA LANDED ON A HEDGEHOG, SONIC WAS A RABBIT.
Sega was bent on creating a character that would rival the appeal of Nintendo’s Mario. Early drafts of the brand’s hero envisioned him as a rabbit that could grasp things and fight with prehensile (prehennsal) ears.
AND HIS NAME WASN’T ALWAYS “SONIC.”
Even after Sega settled on the hedgehog, an idea proposed by designer Naoto Ohshima, the company tried out a taxonomically confusing name for the character: Mr. Needlemouse.
BUT TECHNICALLY, SONIC HIMSELF WASN’T ALL THAT FAST.
According to the player’s manual that accompanied the game, it was Sonic’s “power sneakers” that afforded him his renowned speed, not any innate superpowers.