The memes are making their way into the games.
Since 2015, Aaron Webber, the social media coordinator of the Sonic the Hedgehog brand, has embraced the world of Sonic memes, helping the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account amass over 4 million followers. One particular meme that Sonic’s social media accounts have featured prominently is Sanic Hegehog. This butchered representation of Sonic originated in 2010 when a YouTube user known as 0nyxheart created a video titled ‘How 2 Draw Sanic Hegehog,’ accompanied with his own cringeworthy theme song. (Warning: Turn your volume down before clicking the link.) Thanks to SEGA, Sanic makes his first official appearance in a Sonic game in the form of a free downloadable t-shirt for your Sonic Forces custom avatar.
Sanic isn’t the first meme to be included in Sonic Forces; two variations of eyes for your avatar are also callbacks to Sonic memes. One set of eyes is borrowed from Sonic R’s Tails Doll, which is a reference to the ‘Tails Doll Curse‘ urban legend. Another set of eyes is a reference to the creepy Sonic rom hack, Sonic.exe. Even Sonic Mania wasn’t absent of memes with its inclusion of the Knuckles & Knuckles mode, which is a reference to the phenomenon of adding the phrase ‘& Knuckles’ to the end of anything.
It seems that Sonic’s integration with memes now goes beyond social media. Perhaps we’ll see more Sonic memes make their way into the games. Big the Cat’s great come back could be any day now.
The Sanic DLC for Sonic Forces is available to download for free on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PS4.