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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sonic The Hedgehog was originally from Nebraska, ate trash

Illustration for article titled Sonic The Hedgehog was originally from Nebraska, ate trash
Screenshot: Steam

Even by video game standards, the basic story beats of Sonic The Hedgehog that can be inferred from his original 1991 Sega Genesis adventure are some crazy bullshit. He is, as his name implies, a hedgehog with a compulsion to go fast. He collects rings and Chaos Emeralds to stand in general opposition to Dr. Robotnik a.k.a “Eggman,” a scientist who spends his time trapping animals inside robots that force them to do his bidding. (Why he doesn’t just build evil robots and skip the animals step outright is unclear.) Sonic is also blue, and doesn’t particularly look like a hedgehog.

Although that’s all that can be inferred from the game itself, it turns out Sonic had a lot more backstory than that. And, as a new blog post from streaming service VRV details, all of it is absolutely insane.

Per VRV, when Sega of America was first tasked with localizing the original Sonic The Hedgehog, they were given no background information about the character whatsoever, possibly out of good old-fashioned inter-corporate rivalry and spite. Thus, with a relatively clean slate, Sega of America set about creating its own lore, which took the form of an internal “Sonic Bible” that attempted to explain how we got to the events of the game. This bible would go through multiple iterations. For example, according to an early draft of the Sonic Bible, Sonic was from a small town in Nebraska where he and his family came up very poor, subsisting off bugs and tossed-aside scraps from a neighboring burger joint, like some kind of depressing hedgehog Joad family. Also, Sonic’s dad died when he fell into a pond full of dumped toxic waste. One imagines he’d “gotta go fast” to escape such a life of destitution.


Though the concept of Sonic hailing from a shitkicker town in Nebraska was sadly abandoned in later drafts, what did make it into the final Sonic Bible was no less wild. As VRV explains, these origins can be most easily found in British Sonic The Comic series, which drew directly from Sega of America’s internal documents. For instance, the comic series explains that Sonic and Robotnik (at that point inversely named “Dr. Kintobor”) were once friends, with Sonic attempting to use his natural super speed to help Robotnik find a seventh chaos emerald. To this end, Robotnik gave Sonic his signature sneakers to go faster, which would eventually result in Sonic breaking the sound barrier, thereby fusing his normal hedgehog spikes together and turning him blue. As for Robotnik, he would later turn evil as a result of eating an old egg he found in the fridge and falling into a “Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor”—a real who-among-us fate if ever there was one. The comic series would go on to split off into multiple timelines, as Sonic would frequently travel through time in an attempt to prevent this inciting egg incident.

Eventually, as technology and in-game story-telling progressed, Sega’s Japanese creators would implement their own Sonic canon into the games themselves, thereby wiping out any influence the original Sonic Bible might have had. Nevertheless, it is worth revisiting Sonic’s forgotten lore to remember a time in which a hedgehog mutilated by science was antagonized by a man cursed by rotten eggs.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club.

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