Sonic the Hedgehog

U.S. Gold

Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Also known as: Sonic

Updates made

  • 01/06/20 – Tidied up page.
  • 29/12/16 – Scan added thanks to Ross Sillifant
  • 07/02/14 – Added Zzap 77 scan showing proof that US Gold were considering Sonic as a conversion.
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A huge hit on the MegaDrive and other SEGA systems. In the early 90’s, SEGA signed a deal with U.S. Gold to allow them to convert their titles to other computer systems, with titles such as E-Swat and Alien Storm seeing release.

Sonic was actually amongst the planned games for the C64 and other platforms, and U.S. Gold were eagerly awaiting Sega’s permission to start work on converting it over.  Issue 77 of Zzap!64 in particular had a small article about upcoming games, which included Sonic.

U.S. Gold waited and waited, but Sega decided that their blue hedgehog creature was far too popular. People were buying a MegaDrive just to play the game, so they kept it as an exclusive to their platforms. It was only in much later years that Sonic would appear on platforms such as PC and the Nintendo Wii.

It is intriguing to know if any conversion was ever started, but it is highly unlikely. Could it have maybe been something close’ish to the SEGA Master System version perhaps? Interestingly, some Amiga mockup screens were produced, but its not yet known if they were just fakes produced in Deluxe Paint.

At least we had Mayhem in Monsterland!

Contributions: Patrick Furlong, Ross Sillifant

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5 Responses to Sonic the Hedgehog

  1. I asked George allen about how well the Amiga would of handled Sonic:

    ‘George:I think you could have ported something like Sonic to the Amiga.
    My scroller could travel 16 pixels per frame and it ran at 30fps, so
    it would have been smooth. You’d have used the hardware sprites for
    the main character so no problem there. Everything else would have been
    software sprites, updating every second frame. I think the maps would
    have to be done from scratch, so as not to push the Amiga too much and
    it’d end up more like the Master System version than the Megadrive.’

    http://www.grumpyoldgamers.co.uk/index.php?/topic/3974-george-allen-mini-interview/

    So, If Amiga version would of been more akin to MS version, i wonder just how much of Sonic would of been retained for any possible C64 version?not much i’d wager.

    • Cheers Ross – I doubt very much it would have been any good had anything been started. These days, i’d like to see an attempt to do something like the Master System version – especially after seeing games like Sam’s Journey.

      • Plus the Master System version of Sonic is really underrated, and one of the better Sonic games, so another port would be cool!

        • Bridge Zone <3

          On base it makes sense that Amiga and ST Sonic would follow the Megadrive one – in theory source code could've been virtually 1:1 since they both used Motorolas clocked at similar speeds. But then loading massive areas from floppy and storing them in RAM like vs. streaming data from cart and suddenly George Allen's dream of an Amiga Sonic engine that could actually run the game just vapours away. People miss that a lot of the time – yes, you could build a Sonic engine for the Amiga that would run almost as slick but it ain't gonna resemble the original thing once all that other guff is loaded into memory.

          And then you look at what the C64 could've done. Turrican's eight way scrolling is great, but not smooth or quick enough for the multilayered maps of Sonic – and yes, Mayhem has the huge speed and great scrolling but it lacks the intracacies and dynamics of Sonic's level design.

          In many ways, I'm glad it DIDN'T happen (although it would've been hiliarious to see it scroll on ST). No home micro was ever built to contend with a Sonic. But as a massive Sonic fan I still want to see anything that was built. We've had a ton of console protos over the years, but the home computer ones…

          There must be an Amiga proto out there. I'm convinced of that. US Gold rammed these things out so quickly and they already had the wider "arcade hits" deal signed and sealed with Sega – why would they have expected Sega to put the foot down and say no? Part of me thinks that US Gold may have shown an early proto to Sega and they laughed with a "no way man" before spinning off down Ropponghi Hills back to Sega HQ.

          In any case, what are we realistically saying for a US Gold produced Sonic? Tiertex? Ahhhh yeah…

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