The years have not been kind to our blue hedgehog.
Just like finding out Santa isn’t real, or that it’s actually your parents who sneak the 50p under your pillow when a tooth fell out, age tends to ruin most things you once held dear. This isn’t to say however I don’t look back on those memories with fondness, or feel any bitterness towards the present. Nor do I want to create a time machine and go back to the glorious 90’s, as if I could anyway.
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of those bedtime stories you might tell your children. A character that had all the appeal and the potential to become Mario’s rival. But you might conceal the nightmare it became, if you’re a nice parent anyway; let them hang on to innocence a little longer.
This is all admittedly, a little dramatic, but Sonic was my proverbial baptism into the gaming world. From early Mega Drive days I remember spending hours glued to the TV dashing through levels as quickly as possible, picking up as many golden rings as I could and sifting through levels for every elusive emerald.
So, to sum up that majesty, here are 13 of my most nostalgic moments from Sonic the Hedgehog’s Sega Mega Drive run.
1: Save Not Found
I nostalgically remember false advertising at a young age, Sonic 3 was supposed to have a save function, one of the first of its kind, yet my copy never saved, not once. I’d complete the game; turn it off, and gone!
2: Full Metal Hedgehog
Metal Sonic was perhaps one of the coolest and hardest bosses to fight ever, with his bluffing spin attack and electronic moves. It didn’t help when he was hyped up on a Chaos Emerald. Even this guy’s death was cool, as he crackled whilst powering down, reminiscent of my old Windows 98.
3: Not the Pit!!
The Mystic Cave Zone’s Inescapable Pit, this pit didn’t care if you were the fastest thing alive, a fox that could fly, or a super-fast version of the fastest thing alive, hyped up on emeralds. If you fell into that pit, that was it. It was even worse if you were ‘super’ and had to wait for your invincibility to run out.
4: Forming an Alliance
Knuckle’s decision to team up with you. Having Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all beating down on Robotnic, though not playable, is one of my most loved scenes from all the Sonic games.
5: Insert Cartridge
The Knuckles cartridge made a play through of Sonic twice as long, and twice as awesome. Playing through Sonic 3 and then moving on to the Knuckles section was not for the faint-hearted. It also provided the ability of being able to play as Knuckles on Sonic 2.
6: Space Odyssey
The space battle at the end of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, flying through space as Super Sonic and relying on Rings to keep you alive, whilst attacking Robotnic’s space ship accompanied by an awesome soundtrack was a fine end to the Sega series.
7: I’m never playing again!
This really it doesn’t even have anything to with Sonic, but if someone was walking past the Sega and they just happened to accidentally kick it, game over. Your game would crash and there’d be no getting it back. Absolute Pain.
The underwater sections, the dreaded depths of Mobius, were not only fun but somewhat scary. The scary part emerged right around when numbers on the screen would be accompanied by tense music and the horror that followed, until you snapped up that bubble, exciting eh?
9: Climb Climb Climb!
Sonic 2 had one of the most tense moments in video game history on its second stage, The Chemical Plant stage had a section where purple liquids would rise and threaten to drown you, you literally had seconds to get up the moving platforms.
10: Smash Boxes
Sonic 3 had some pretty cool power ups, none more so than my favourite, the electric bubble. This cool looking power up not only granted you a brief shield against anything electrical, as well as a second jump, but also attracted rings to you.
11: What on Mobius?
Though I never found out how to ever do this again, I remember a time when something called Debug Mode occurred on the first Sonic game. I knew something strange was happening when Sonic suddenly turned into a rock, then a flame. Trippy stuff.
12: I am Player 2
In a house with an older brother I soon learned that in any given multiplayer situation the younger child would always assume the role of Tails. Like an extra life, or a glorified servant.
13: Epic Bosses
The Sonic games had their fair share of difficult bosses, especially when retrying most bosses meant starting with no rings at all. Most memorable is the Walking Mech from the end of Sonic 2;(following Metal Sonic) this Behemoth really made you sweat, even in the colds of space.
What moments do you fondly remember from the early days of the Sonic series?