Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sonic CD is my life.

Sonic CD is something of a special game to me. game play and level layout wise, it's not my favourite game and not even my favourite Sonic game, but the art style, soundtrack and general tone of the game is by far the one that has stuck with me the most ever since I played it in 1994 when I was 8. Incoming long ramble about Sonic CD inspired moments of my childhood and beyond!

The first Sonic game I played was Sonic 2, although I think it may have actually been both the cartoons and the fleetway comic that first got me into the character. We got a second hand Mega CD out of the local newspaper classified section and it came with a bunch of games including Sonic CD. I have owned this copy of the game ever since, mainly because barring eBay I have never seen another copy for sale since, same case with most of my Mega CD games.

Childhood doodles and my top 20 favorite pieces of music from the game after the jump!

The game's art style was a huge influence on me when I started to draw Sonic as a kid. Going through all these doodles from when I was 8 a huge majority of them are inspired by the locals of Sonic CD, especially Palmtree Panic and there are also loads based on that wonderful animated intro, although the latter influenced me even more years later when I saw it in much better quality on Sonic Jam on the Saturn.

One of my favourite discoveries was finding cheat codes for the debug mode and sound test in magazines, and inputting the sound test orders to reveal all those bizarre hidden artworks. I even made up a character for my comic strips of Sonic I doodled based on the really creepy image of the gang of human faced hedgehogs.

He was named 'Jeffahog' after the lollipop man from primary school who's name was Jeffry and had similar facial hair to this creature. In my comics he started as a Wes Wealsy like salesman, and when I dipped my foot into the world of Sonic fan gaming he became Robotnik's lackey/some kind of lawyer in a point and click adventure I was making (but sadly never finished) called Sonic Switch, which if you are a veteran of the SFHQ you may vaguely remember. I still like to draw him now and then, here's my most recent from a couple months ago.

I even made up equally weird "hidden art". Pancake Zone with Ray the Squirrel tied up to a sauce pan anyone? Check out the crazy moon speak text that's supposed to be Japanese. i think even the artists behind the original hidden art would be a bit disturbed by some of the stuff I was drawing, haha!

I still remember the story behind this one. The official UK Sega magzine had a competition once (which was obviously an April fools joke) in which they'd give £1 million to whoever could find Rankles, a photoshopped Green Knuckles with spiky feet. This drawing is supposed to be him found in some hidden artwork on Sonic CD, and the reason he's beheaded is I had a Knuckles toy (the one from the Tomy Sonic & Knuckles collection) that's head fell off. Yep.

Oddly enough I rarely ever drew Metal Sonic as a kid, even though he has always been one of my favourite characters in the entire series. Maybe it was because he was difficult to draw. I did draw up a comic where Sonic became half metal, and that just so happened to be one of the first comics with Jeffahog in too.

The soundtrack was the other major draw for me. When I discovered you could listen to most of the music (barring the past versions) simply by playing the game disc on a CD player, the first thing I did back then, due to not owning a CD player of my own, was record the CD to cassette. With every new music playing device I got, that soundtrack was always the first that'd be played on it. I think the Sonic CD soundtrack may even be the single disc I have listened to the most in my entire life. I have never got bored of it in 17 years.

Below is my personal top 20 of both of the soundtracks (but excluding the vocal tracks):

  1.  Boss (JP OST)
  2.  Metallic Madness Present (JP OST)
  3.  Palmtree Panic Bad Future (JP OST)
  4.  Wacky Workbench Bad Future (JP OST)
  5.  Metallic Madness Bad Future (JP OST)
  6.  Special Stage (JP OST)
  7.  Stardust Speedway Bad Future (US OST)
  8.  Collision Chaos Past
  9.  Boss (US OST)
  10.  Tidal Tempest Bad Future (JP OST)
  11.  Wacky Workbench Good Future (JP OST)
  12.  Collision Chaos Present (JP OST)
  13.  Quartz Quadrant Past
  14.  Tidal Tempest Past
  15.  Quartz Quadrant Bad Future (JP OST)
  16.  Quartz Quadrant Good Future (JP OST)
  17.  Palmtree Panic Good Future (JP OST)
  18.  Quartz Quadrant Present (JP OST)
  19.  Special Stage (US OST)
  20.  DA Garden (JP OST) 
I have one last Sonic CD article to post, but it will have to wait till a certain post by the official Sega blog is made! 


Barry the Nomad said...

Great write up of your SEGA memories (hey, thats the name of the blog!).

Sonic CD was MIA during my childhood, as I didn't play the game until I got a SEGA CD in 1998. But I did love the Archie adaptation (featuring Spaz!) and the quasi-adaptation in AoStH titled "Pseudo Sonic".

Your early Sonic comics are great fun to see! I have some of my own, which I really should scan in full at some point. How long was your Sonic comic?

Hooray for Sonic CD!

The GagaMan(n) said...

I don't have all of them anymore but I drew somewhere around 800 "issues" of varying sizes (most a single sheet of A4 folded) between 94 and 2000. Sometimes I kind of regret that 90% of my childhood doodling was Sonic rather than original stuff but never mind.

Ricky Earl said...

The certain post being the fanart competition by any chance? WHY HAVENT THEY POSTED RESULTS YET?!?! ARRRRG!
Good luck dude!

J.maine said...

I must say sonic CD really did shape my entire life. Your 100 percent about that music. There is no doubt that sonic cd has one of the best video game albums of all time. And I still remember staying home from school just to beat metal sonic. This game truly makes some real memories for me, I wish I had the opportunity to thank the creator and music producer in person. VG music producers usually get very little credit because of they're nature, but they will never know how they're music shaped the lives of many who played the games, those songs don't just become the background music to the game, but the background music to our lives. I'm glad Sonic CD has been getting some light recently, I noticed Samsung actually is giving away the game when you buy they're tablet, and more is to come. It's a new beginning for an old start.