Who Made Sonic the Hedgehog?

sonic the hedghog first raced across

television screens back in 1991 since

then he's become a gaming phenomenon and

for a time was contested to be more

popular than mario with his own Macy's

Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon over 25

years later Sonic releases still cause

headlines sanic has become an Internet

cultural icon and the blue hedgehog is

still regarded as one of gaming's most

iconic figures but who actually created

Sonic the Hedgehog the well dancer may

be a little more complicated than you

think which is why I wanted to look into

it Yuji naka is often considered the

father of Sonic but is that true with

the misconception that Keiji Inafune a

creative Megaman I wanted to take a look

at the classic figures Sonic and see

what I could dig up what's up guys I'm

Dave Klein and today we're going to take

a look into who created Sonic the

Hedgehog back in the late 1980s and

early 1990s Nintendo's dominated the

video game market nobody could hold a

candle to the sales numbers Nintendo was

hitting and this was in part thanks to

Nintendo's iconic mascot Mario Super

Mario Brothers was such a huge hit not

only was it Nintendo's largest console

seller the Super Mario Brothers 3

released in 1990 sold 17 million copies

alone in 1985 Sega released the Sega

Mark 3 which would eventually become

known as the Sega Master System after

witnessing the massive success of Mario

Sega tasked this team with creating a

Sega mascot and response to Mario this

response came in the form of Alex Kidd

created by Kotaro hayashida while Alex K

went on to become a critically acclaimed

game for the mark 3 it never became the

true console seller that Sega was hoping


although the Sega Master System did well

in Europe in Brazil it couldn't even

come close to the sales volume of the

Nintendo Entertainment System in both

American Japan in 1988 Sega released a

new system the Sega Mega Drive or Sega

Genesis to Japan this new console was

the first of the 16-bit era and once

again Sega decided needed a mascot to

rival Mario while Alex Kane was

considered the Sega mascot he wasn't

selling as well as Sega was hoping and a

new man

I was deemed necessary and this is where

things get a little murky in an

interview for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis

collective works

Kotaro hayashida the creator of Alex

Kidd was asked quote were you

disappointed that Alex Kidd did not last

into the post sonic era to which he

responded the idea to create Sonic was

also mine it is my understanding that a

lot of ideas for Sonic were inherited

from what might have been further Alex

Kidd instalments so according to him he

set up the project for Sonic Kotaro

hayashida goes on to state back then I

was working as a head of department

I let Hiro Kazu Yasu how to lead with

the content specifications for the game

but I created the initial concept I set

the project up in order to develop a

response to Mario we had to develop a

platformer game with a striking

appearance in order for a Sega to

compete against games like Mario 3 as a

note of this hero Kazuya Sahara is

credited as the designer of Sonic the

Hedgehog meanwhile Yuji naka widely

considered the creator of Sonic had just

been led off of a cancelled Sega project

Yuji naka had been a game programmer for

Sega ever since its first console that

g1000 it was the programmer on the hit

titled fantasy star for the Sega Master

System after the recent cancelled title

he'd been working on Yuji naka States a

senior colleague suggested that the next

project should be an action game so now

it's Oshima and I embark on Sonic

together my first thought was that I

wanted the player to traverse through

the game world in a similar way to

ghouls and ghosts but sped up so the

very first part of the program that I

finished was the smooth high speed

running action that later became the

most iconic aspect of the Sonic games

meanwhile now so Sheila the artists of

Sonic the Hedgehog states at a time that

became known that the company was

looking to adapt a mascot we'd already

been independently working on the game

for some time it was after we presented

the partially complete game to second

management that they selected Sonic for

the role given this it seems now at

Oshima a new Tanaka's become working on

a prototype of Sonic on their own

despite the popular belief that it came

about from an internal Sega competition

at some point a senior colleague

suggested the Yuji naka that they create

an action game and it's likely the

senior colleague Yuji naka referred to

with Kotaro hayashida however beyond

suggesting that they create an action

game it's not clear how much direct

influence you really had on the sonic

project now so she made created multiple


characters including an armadillo a

rabbit a moustache man who would later

become dr. Robotnik or dr. Eggman and a

hedgehog and natto Ashima usually knock

a toilet away on a prototype they

initially have the main character set as

the rabbit now so she may come up with

who would pick up items with his ears

and throw them at enemies they fell the

rabbit was the option as usually knocker

wanted the game to be about speed this

was not only the differentiated game for

Mario but also because I like best

things and I thought it would be nice to

create a game where the more skilled you

become the faster you can complete a

stage every time I play the first stage

of Mario I wonder why I couldn't clear

faster the better I got playing it this

feeling must have been the beginning of

the idea of Sonic as you get good at

playing you can run through the stage a

really fast meanwhile as work on the

game was progressing usually knocking

out so Shima realized they needed help

and recruited hero Kazuya shuhada onto

the project but once again accounts on

exactly how this came about differs

slightly according to Kotaro hayashida

he likes Kyoto Kazuya through how to

lead with the content specifications for

the game but he created the initial

concept of Sonic while Kotaro hayashida

claimed he put hero Kazuya 2ha down to

the Sonic project the asahara's own

account differs work was progressing on

the new game but not going to Ashima

needed a full time game designer on the

project they saw that I was free and

looked to me for help designing the game

until my departure so i officially

joined the project as a game designer

planning to work on it only until I went

to the US but I ended up staying in

Japan for a year until we finish the

project either way hero Kazuya shuhada

ended up as the primary designer on the

project working in tandem with Yuji naka

and now so Ashima the team decided that

they want a more simplistic gameplay

rather than mean to pick up items and

throwing them this lead is deciding

maybe around it wasn't the best idea and

they took a look at the other concepts

now so Shima had brought them for the

character Yuji naka suggested an idea

for a bear character that would become a

ball and roll we developed this a little

further and decided that the character

would become invincible when curled up

as a ball this is how we arrived at the

concepts of a hedgehog because we knew

the game would move quickly we initially

chose a rabbit for the character and

then experimented with further ideas an

armadillo and a hedgehog bushy massan's

hedgehog illustration was very stylish

and best represented the speedy

qualities we were looking for

so that is what we decided upon I

enjoyed this creative process as the

character evolved naturally from the

concept of the game without selling

their higher-ups the team changed their

character to a hedgehog and continued to

work away on the prototype now so Ashima

refined his design of the hedgehog

currently codename mister needle mouse

gave him red and white shoes inspired by

santa claus a buckle on the shoes

inspired by michael jackson and gave him

the attitude of Bill Clinton with a get

it done attitude mister needle Mouse was

made blue to represent the color of

Sega's logo they presented the

prototypes their higher-ups and were

given the full go-ahead to work on Sonic

in April 1990 they were given a full

team to help them work on the game and

development went ahead the overall

gameplay seemed to be a merger Yuji naka

and hero Kazuya hodda's ideologies

according to Naruto Ashima some way into

the project Eugene I were joined by hero

Kazuya Tejada who further expanded upon

our level designs one of the things I

remember was Yugi and I removing some

more difficult traps and obstacles that

have been added by mr. Uehara because we

felt they distracted from the game's

free-flowing sense of speed however mr.

Yasuhara would put the traps back in

again the very next day we went back and

forth like this as the days passed which

I feel resulted in a well balanced game

it was an enjoyable process according to

Kyodo Kazuya Tejada it seems like he was

doing this in order to find a balance

for both American and Japanese audiences

American audiences and Japanese

audiences are different American

audience feel the challenge is the most

fun part of the video game the Japanese

audience want more casual gameplay

elements so I wanted to create a game

for both countries audience who's not

only the hardcore gamer but the casual

gamer also Masato Nakamura a musician

was part of the band dreams come true

was chosen to create the music for Sonic

the Hedgehog as this was coming together

now to Oshima expanded on Sonic's

background giving him fangs a band and a

human girlfriend named Madonna

nothing is smaller than a human but he

had a human girlfriend who was very

attractive and which a sonic so it's

like a male fantasy Michael Katz the

then CEO of Sega America hated it and

wanted nothing to do with the game

however he was replaced by tom kalinske

CEO of sega america's during the middle

of development on sonic taking credit

for Sonic's red shoes although so

DiNozzo Ashima tom kalinske states

our marketing team did a bunch of

revisions on the original japanese

character design so that it was

acceptable for the US market we got rid

of the fangs and the dress

we added the red shoes you had a

girlfriend named Madonna with his great

cleavage we got rid of her too

according to Madeline Schroeder American

product manager on Sonic the Hedgehog we

softened him up and it was war they

created a new poster in art style for

Sonic and Sega of Japan and hated it in

those days I hated the American changes

of the look and feel and I didn't know

how the consumers would perceive it but

looking back now that was one of the

reasons it succeeded and acceded did

with Sega of America putting all of

their marketing dollars behind Sonic the

game exploded and is still a cultural

icon to this day and looking back as

with anything it was a team effort

between all of Sonic Team and a little

interference from Sega of America to

make sonic what it was however it seems

Yuji naka now so Shima and hero Kazuya

shuhada were collectively the trio who

truly gave sonic its look and feel and

for that I feel like it was these three

as a team who made sonic the icon that

he would become hey what's up guys so if

you like this video please let me know

as I was trying to do something a little

bit different if you thought I used too

many quotes or didn't I'd love to know I

was trying to make this video as

accurate as possible and I figured to

show that I wanted to use as many

first-hand accounts as I could so let me

know your thoughts and I'll see you guys

next time later guys peace also check

out this beautiful new mic