Sonic the Hedgehog Was Originally Designed as a Human

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In a somewhat interesting reveal (via Nintendo Life) that probably happened a few decades too late, Sonic the Hedgehog designer Naoto Ohshima confirmed the blue hog was originally designed as a human being.

The news comes via the latest Untold History of Japanese Game Developers where he revealed the hedgehog was originally designed as a human boy. This predated when the team came to the final design that helped put Sega on the map back in the 1990’s.

“I created the first design proposal for Sonic after three years in the design department. Although it wasn’t Sonic then – the main character was a human boy,” Ohshima said. “I remember the idea struck me right as I was going to bed, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember it in the morning. So I drew it quickly in the notebook and then fell asleep.”

“My pitch was that the maps of action games were, at that time, always full of squares, everything at right angles. What if we could make a game where a character was running over smooth terrain, running in circles through loops and such? So I presented my proposal to Sega, and they told me that it probably could not be done. But that if anyone could program it, it would be Yuji Naka. They said that if I could get him on board, we could proceed with the project.”

The latest games in the series, Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, are now available across a multitude of devices. A feature-length Sonic the Hedgehog movie is also recently confirmed to be premiering in November of next year.

Editor’s Note: Featured image is from the short film The Hedgehog

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.