Promotional logo for Sonic the Hedgehog.
|Developer(s)||Sonic Team, Dimps, SEGA Technical Institute, Backbone Entertainment, Big Red Button Entertainment, Sanzaru Games, BioWare, Sumo Digital, Traveller's Tales|
|Genre(s)||Platform, racing, puzzle, sports, party|
|Platform(s)||SEGA Genesis, SEGA CD, SEGA 32X, SEGA Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.|
|Platform of origin||Sega Genesis|
|Year of inception||1991|
|First installment||Sonic The Hedgehog (1991)|
|Latest installment||Team Sonic Racing (2019)|
The Sonic (ソニック) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the world-famous media franchise owned by SEGA and centered on its company mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. This had been easily the most anticipated new franchise for inclusion in the Nintendo-based fighting game series and is considered the biggest "rival" franchise to Mario. Its symbol is a silhouette of Sonic's head, similar to the logo of Sonic Team.
As SEGA's 16-bit console, the Genesis, was launched by 1990, SEGA decided it needed to develop a killer-app for the system that could effectively combat the 1991 launch of the Super Nintendo console and its hit pack-in game, Super Mario World. It put into effect "Project Million Seller", where a small team of developers, prominent among them programmer Yuji Naka, developed a side-scrolling platforming game named Sonic the Hedgehog. The game indeed sold millions as the pack-in title for Genesis systems, thanks in no small part to design elements that were welcomely radical and fresh for their time: lengthy-yet-timed action-based levels where the object is to get to the end before time runs out, and the main character runs and jumps very fast through these levels to bounce off of and roll through enemies and obstacles while avoiding pits and spikes and bouncing off springs. This character, the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog and 'tude-filled speed demon named Sonic, was endearingly established as SEGA's mascot and answer to Nintendo's Mario and helped ensure the Genesis' place as the primary contender to the SNES in what would be remembered as one of gaming's most memorable "console wars".
As one would expect for such a smash hit character and game franchise, sequels were in order, and a steady stream of Sonic sequels, spin-offs, and alternative media was released in all of the following years for all SEGA-owned systems. The "real" sequels to Sonic the Hedgehog were generally the most successful for expanding on both the core gameplay and the characterization and world design. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 introduced many Sonic staples, such as Sonic's Spin Dash ability to charge forward at full-throttle, Sonic's Super Transformation ability to become a faster and strong gold-colored version called Super Sonic, and a CPU-controlled sidekick to follow and assist Sonic, which in this case is the young two-tailed fox Miles "Tails" Prower. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 thoroughly revamped the gameplay and presentation and introduced Sonic's hero rival Knuckles the Echidna , and Sonic & Knuckles was a direct and physical continuation that was the first and only Genesis cartridge to have another Genesis cartridge insertable onto it. Locking Sonic 3 into Sonic & Knuckles created a huge Sonic quest where Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles were all separate playable characters.
Time would not be so merciful to Sonic's career and SEGA's standing in the game industry in the years afterward, though. A lot of spinoff games for Genesis and other less successful SEGA systems like the SEGA Saturn took the franchise in various different directions such as isometric platforming and adventure-based racing, and also introduced more characters, but the games were not appreciated as much as the main series by fans and critics alike. Sonic had a magnificent resurgence on SEGA's better-handled Dreamcast console with its premiere title Sonic Adventure, successfully pulling off a fully 3D adventure game that physically remodeled Sonic's character design and yet felt worthy of the Sonic name. In spite of great hardware and software in the Dreamcast, the system and SEGA itself were ultimately defeated by the competition in the form of the powerful Sony PlayStation brand (with franchises like Metal Gear series) and the phenomenal popularity of Nintendo's Pokémon franchise, and SEGA ultimately shifted its company focus to strictly a software publisher.
Now a developer for companies once considered its rivals, SEGA resumed developing a steady stream of Sonic titles and releasing them for all three main competing hardware publishers - Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, though it started exclusively for Nintendo with Sonic Adventure 2: Battle being the first Sonic game for the GameCube. Some of these games would be critically acclaimed, some viewed as mediocre, and some widely panned, and standout Sonic games on Nintendo systems include the Sonic Advance series for Game Boy Advance, Sonic Rush for DS, and Sonic and the Secret Rings for Wii. The commemorative Sonic the Hedgehog, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2006 was critically panned, while Sonic Free Riders served to highlight control issues with the Kinect peripheral for Xbox 360. The series had a commercially successful forays back into the series' platforming roots, with the episodic Sonic the Hedgehog 4, as well as Sonic Generations for the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. SEGA's partnership with Nintendo would lead to the launch for games exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, starting with Sonic Lost World in 2013, followed by Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games by the end of the year. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U, and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the 3DS, based on the new Sonic Boom franchise, together formed the final installments in the exclusivity agreement. A throwback to the original 2D games for the SEGA Genesis was released in the form of Sonic Mania, which was made available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It was developed in conjunction by indie developers PagodaWest Games and Headcannon, with SEGA publishing the title itself. An upcoming entry is set to be released on November 2017, to be available on the same platforms Sonic Mania was released, with the name of Sonic Forces.
Sonic crossing over with Mario in the same game was finally realized in late 2007 with the release of a sports party game titled Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, where selectable characters from both the Sonic and Mario franchises compete against each other in all of the sporting competitions associated with the 2008 Summer Olympics held at Beijing, China. This became a subseries that would regularly release new installments for both Nintendo's consoles and handhelds at a biennial rate to correspond to each of the subsequent Olympic seasons: the 2010 Winter Olympics held at Vancouver, Canada; the 2012 Summer Olympics held at London, England; the 2014 Winter Olympics held at Sochi, Russia (as seen above as part of the partnership between SEGA and Nintendo); and coming soon the 2016 Summer Olympics held at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Meanwhile, Sonic was chosen as one of the first two third-party characters to co-star alongside Mario and many other Nintendo characters in the Super Smash Bros. fighting game series, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Sonic later reprised his role as a fighter in both installments of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U; Sonic once again returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The Sonic franchise comprises several separate continuities and alternative interpretations, such as with a long-running comic-book series published by Archie Comics and several animated TV series separate from the games themselves, and in many cases the games are not groupable together by "storyline". But in general the franchise depicts a world where characters are wildly anthropomorphic and colorful animals who speak and interact just like normal people (similar to the Star Fox universe). "Normal humans" also exist in the Sonic world, however, and the primary antagonist of the series is a "mad scientist"-style human named Dr. Robotnik (or Dr. Eggman) who repeatedly attempts to take over the world with an army of robots and a Death Star-inspired super-weapon named the Death Egg, and his nemesis Sonic must thwart his schemes time and time again, collecting power-ups like Gold Rings and powerful artifacts called the Chaos Emeralds along the way. Recent Sonic games have explored different and more involved styles of storytelling and added new characters of good and evil affinities, much like recent Mario games.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
The Sonic franchise makes a sensational debut first in the Super Smash Flash series before the confirmation in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, is one of the most highly represented universes in Super Smash Flash only exceeded by the Mario universe and the Super Smash Bros. universe. However, this series has the highest character representation in the game.
This series have the longest roster of characters in the game with five characters hailed from the Sonic series.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The eponymous star of the franchise appeared first in this game before his Brawl's confirmation. Sonic is a fifteen-year-old hedgehog that can run at extreme speed. He uses this ability to stop the evil plots of his nemesis, the Dr. Ivo Robotnik (a.k.a. Dr. Eggman). In SSF, he is a fast character that uses his speed in many of his attacks. He has many moves direct from the game Sonic Battle, and many others from other games in the series, like the Spin Dash.
- Miles "Tails" Prower: The eight-year-old Sonic's sidekick is also a playable character. Tails is a mechanic-expert that builds devices that Sonic could use to defeat Dr. Eggman. He also owns a biplane known as the Tornado he built himself. Tails uses many devices in his sin SSF, including an armcannon and a chained-box glove. He, like Kirby, Meta Knight, or Jigglypuff, posses five extra jumps.
- Knuckles the Echidna: A red echidna with the ability to glide and wall climbing. Knuckles is the last echidna who once resided on Angel Island. His only purpose there is to protect the life-source of the island, the Master Emerald. He was tricked by Dr. Eggman when he him that told Sonic and co. were his enemies, but he eventually learned the real enemy was the Dr. Eggman himself, so he started to aid Sonic. He uses many attacks that are derived from Sonic Battle.
- Shadow the Hedgehog: An unlockable fighter of the Sonic series, Shadow is a genetic-altered hedgehog created by Eggman's grandfather, Profesor Gerald Robotnik. He created Shadow as "The Ultimate Life Form". He resembles Sonic in many aspects as he can run at high speed too. However, he can use Chaos Control with the Chaos Emeralds that let him control space and time. He also uses Chaos Control to attack as he can summon a barrage of energy around him or release the energy from his hand.
- Super Sonic: Another unlockable fighter that is basically a Sonic's semi-clone. Super Sonic is just an alternate form that Sonic could have by collecting the seven Chaos Emeralds, despite in his own series where Super Sonic is near invincible, he could be harmed and defeated in SSF.
- Buzzer: A robotic-bee enemy that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It flies and shoots toward Sonic and Tails in an attempt to stop them. The role is very different in SSF. He flies toward to the player to hurt him. They could be a nuisance since their hits stop the player's jumps making him to fall off the stage. However, this enemy could be beaten by a single normal attack.
- Emerald Hill Zone : Based on the first level of the second game. It is a simple stage with one major grassy-platform and three jump/duck-able grassy-platforms all at the same level (about a jump's larger). In addition exists two different version for the stage in the Classic and Adventure mode where the player has to jump the platforms and reach the end. One is more straight while the other is more diagonal.
In Super Smash Flash 2
The Sonic franchise returns in Super Smash Flash 2 once again as one of the highly represented universes. The Sonic franchise is currently the fifth most represented series in SSF2.
With exception of Super Sonic, who passed to be Sonic's Final Smash, only a few characters have currently returned with Sonic being considered the only veteran and Tails as the newcomer.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The blue hedgehog reappear in this sequel, with a similar moveset, seen in Brawl or 3DS and Wii U. Sonic debuted in demo v0.3a. He has moves such as the Homing Attack, an attack that homes in to the nearest opponent; and the Spring Jump, in which Sonic uses the typical spring from his series to gain height. He gained a new attack known as a Final Smash which involves in transforming into Super Sonic. Due to this, Super Sonic is no longer a playable fighter.
- Miles "Tails" Prower: Sonic's sidekick also returns with him gaining more attacks in his moveset. He debuted in v0.7. He has a arm cannon. He shares Spin Dash, with Sonic, a move in which Tails morphs into a ball and can charge to allow him cover greater distances. His Final Smash is the Tornado. Tails uses his biplane to shoot toward his opponents a variety of munitions.
- Silver the Hedgehog: a character that debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and is now a friendly rival of Sonic. He helps the spawner by holding the opponent in place so the spawner can get a good shot at them.
- Casino Night Zone: Based on a level in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with the same name, this stage is a platform above a casino city. The stage involves numerous gimmicks such as bounce-able balls and tiles. In the background, there is a slot machine with Classic Sonic, Classic Tails, and Classic Dr. Robotnik.
- Green Hill Zone: Based on the first level of the first game. The stage is based almost entirely around a huge crater like formation at the center. The bottom areas of the dip are destructible and break away in squares. A checkpoint Star Post appears at certain places in random intervals which can be struck to make it spin, damaging enemies who touch it, other than the one that attacked it, unless it is a team battle, then it applies for all teammates.
- Sky Sanctuary Zone: This stage is based on the level of the same name in Sonic & Knuckles. This level has two main platforms and falling platforms on the left and right of the stage.
- The Sonic universe is the first and only franchise to have its characters be first on the tier list three times (Sonic held 1st-place position in demos v0.6 and v0.9a while Tails held 1st in demo v0.7).