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Sonic’s original backstory involved being a fighter pilot, why he’s blue, cut dance animations

Posted on March 21, 2018 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

GDC was packed with panels today, including a session dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog. Game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and character designer Naoto Oshima presented a post-mortem of the classic title’s creation.

One of the most interesting pieces of information shared during the panel was that the backstory involved a fighter pilot with Sonic painted on the nose of his plane. Yasuhara and Oshima even presented a massive original design document with an extensive story in Japanese.

Kotaku transcribes the following translation:

The story of a man who tirelessly sought to fly his plane at yet-unknown speeds.

His hair, always standing up, led to him being called the “Hedgehog.”

The nose art on the plane he flew depicted Sonic.

He got married to an author of children’s literature, and she wrote a children’s story about a hedgehog that was based on him.

His flight jacket still exists today.

We also have these tidbits from the panel:

– Sonic is blue to match the SEGA logo
– Chuck Yeager (the first pilot to break the speed of sound) is mentioned in there by name
– “Nose art,” with which Oshima was fascinated at the time, is the cartoon art drawn on the front of fighter planes, usually by the soldiers themselves
– The classic Sonic emblem was originally the “nose art” on the plane in this story
– The actual story of Sonic and Dr. Eggman that took place in the game was a story told by the wife of the pilot
– This eventually became the singular story of the Sonic games that we know today, with all the story-in-a-story stuff gone
– Oshima originally wanted Sonic to be a hedgehog who knew how to cut loose
– Sonic would have had many killer dance moves, but these animations wouldn’t fit on the cartridge

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