Sonic the Hedgehog is the main protagonist and character in the video game series Sonic the Hedgehog released by Sega. The game was first released on June 23, 1991. Since its release, the video game series has sold over 70 million copies. In 2005, along the Walk of Game, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the first inductees alongside Mario and Link.
The character Sonic is a blue 15 year old anthropomorphic hedgehog. He has the ability to run at supersonic speeds. When Sonic attacks his enemies, he will curl up into a ball. The creation of the Sonic character is credited to artist Naoto Oshima, designer Hirokazu Yasuhara, and programmer Yuji Naka.
Sonic the Hedgehog was designed to be a Sega game capable of competing with Nintendo’s Mario and as a character to replace the company’s mascot Alex Kidd. Initially Sonic had the codename of “Mr. Needlemouse”. Needlemouse the a direct translation of the Japanese word for hedgehog. Sonic’s blue skin was chosen to match the cobalt blue logo of Sega. The design of Michael Jackson’s boots was the inspiration for the shoes Sonic wears. His personality was based upon the “get it done” attitude of Bill Clinton. The reason Sonic can’t swin is because the creator assumed all hedgehogs could not do so.
The first appearance of Sonic in a video game was in “Rad Mobile”. That was a racing game which later became the game “Gale Racer” under the Sega Saturn platform. The first major appearance for Sonic was in Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. In Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic’s nemesis, Dr. Robotnik, was introduced. Tails, his two-tailed fox friend, was introduced in the 1992 in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog CD was released. Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were both released in 1994. Those two games introduced the threat of Knuckles, who was tricked by Dr. Robotnik into thinking Sonic was a threat to his home.
Other Sonic platform games include Sonic Chaos (1993), Sonic Triple Trouble (1994), Sonic Blast (1996), sONIC THE Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (1999), Sonic Advance (2001), Sonic Advance 2 (2002), Sonic Advance 3 (2004), Sonic Rush (2005), Sonic Rush Adventure (2007), Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007), Sonic Unleashed (2008), Sonic and the Black Knight (2009), Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (2010), and Sonic Colors (2011).