Sunday, 23 September 2007

SegaWorld Part 4

Clearly SegaWorld was something extremely important to Sega fans. And by Sega fans, I mean Sonic freaks like Gagaman and myself. As such, I feel it’s only appropriate for me to write about this glorious place in my first entry for this blog.

(This is from my second visit, complete with my brother and his friend. I'm the hilarious one in yellow)
I actually lived in London whilst SegaWorld was up and running, which meant I got to visit it a good handful of times, which was great for me. However, I’m pretty sure these trips were about 7-9 years ago, so a lot of the details are hazy, but whatever – I can remember a few things.

I think what made this place so great for me was the absolutely ridiculous amount of Sonic imagery. The walls were plastered with the hedgehog’s face, statues adorned the various sections of the ‘theme park’ – even the bins had Sonic’s mug grinning at you. Then there was the fact that on my first visit there, I ran into Sonic Championship. Ohhh I wasted a lot of money on that game and I never managed to beat Espio whilst I was there. Stupid chameleon. Actually, now that I think about it, I remember also on my first visit I found a small corner which had monitors showing all the weird Sonic videos from Sonic Jam (this was before Sonic Jam had been released, mind you, so I decided to sit there and watch them) and an out-of-use Sega Sonic Arcade game (it wasn’t until my next visit that I got to play that – and for the record, the game is awesome and needs some kind of home release). Of course, there were lots of other great arcade games to play, but I’m not going to lie… I really remember very few of them.

(I don't want to visit Litter Zone)
What I do remember is the rides. As well as the under-the-sea virtual shooting game and the haunted house ride that Gaga described, I remember this one “scary” ride. Basically, you walked through a hall way which in some way was creepy (sorry the details are so vague, but all I remember is a dark hall – clearly I’m losing it at my old age) until you sat in these seats that were on a track (like a roller coaster only much slower and without the ‘coaster’ bit – basically moving seats). All through it, it was supposed to be that a maddened gorilla lived in this area and was stalking and chasing you. The seats would rock, there were maddened beast sounds and you could feel drips of saliva fall on you. Now, I was 8 or 9 at the time, so this ride actually scared the hell out of me. But hey, children are easy to frighten. Good times!
(Seriously. He was everywhere.)
I remember there was also an area that focussed on getting tickets for prizes and stuff. I was quite poor at getting tickets, so I didn’t win any prizes through conventional means. Instead, I had put money in a capsule machine that dispensed Sonic badges and nothing came out. So I got the attention of some staff people and not only did they give me the badge I so rightly deserved, but they gave me one of the token prizes as well – a small blue pom thing with Sonic’s face on it and a SegaWorld banner attached. It was awesome. I then found a photo booth machine that instead of giving you a traditional photo, gave you an ink stamp, complete with a small Sonic icon bordering the photo. That was a fun day. Somewhere along the way, I also got a SegaWorld pen. I don’t remember how.
At this point, I’m struggling to write something that wouldn’t just repeat exactly what Gaga said. However, the basic message is; SegaWorld was fantastic in every way. There were VR-rides, there was Sonic, there were video games and various other ways to enjoy yourself. SegaWorld is definitely one of my fondest memories.
(From my first visit - best photo ever)
One thing that has become incredibly apparent in writing this is I arguably liked Sonic a bit too much when I was a kid. Naaah.
Oh, it also seems that StC were hell bent on advertising SegaWorld, as I've found another article about the place different to Gaga's. It's below for viewing

P.S. Should I be sickened that I actually willingly listened to the Supersonic single whilst writing this article? Actually, don't answer that.


The GagaMan(n) said...

Fantastic write up Smindas! Loving the photos and I forgot about that other STC article!

fatherkrishna said...

An excellent and very heartfelt recollection! Loving this blog!! :)

The GagaMan(n) said...

Bw, I just saw a Segaworld token prize (a little sliver figure of sonic on a stand) go for £23 on Ebay. It was only 4.5cm tall! Blimey.

funkstar79 said...

so gooood!

It make me feel the time when I worked inside for 6 month in the 98's said...

I think I'm going to sell in ebay my t-shirt and my Space mission dress ;) keep in touch on

Sam Wimble said...

This blog is fantastic, I visited SegaWorld once at its peak as a child and I still remember, with that childish wonder, being so amazed by the rocket escalator, the Sonic statue, and playing SegaSonic the Hedgehog which is the only time I've ever even seen it! Your posts light up my memories :-) Thank you.