Sonic the Hedgehog has run to the big screen faster than the speed of sound in the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie. In honor of his big theatrical debut — not counting Wreck-It Ralph, sorry — we’re gonna show some love for the Blue Blur this Valentine’s Day by breaking down some of the greatest moments in his storied 30-year (almost) video game career.
Sonic’s First Encounter With Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic Adventure 2)
In Sonic Adventure 2, the G.U.N. troops suffer from a severe case of mistaken identity when they accuse Sonic of stealing the Chaos Emerald from the federal reserve bank of Station Square because Shadow, the actual thief, bears a striking resemblance to Sonic.
After Sonic evades the military and defeats the G.U.N. mecha BIG FOOT, Shadow stands before him and, lo and behold, brings out the green Chaos Emerald, which he then uses to perform Chaos Control and disappear from view.
In doing so, he warps past Sonic in slow motion as he attempts to go after him for making him take the fall for his misdeeds. The polarity of the two hedgehogs in that one shot made it the most iconic scene in the game.
Tails Turns Into the Terminator (Sonic Lost World)
The robotization of all the animals in Sonic the Hedgehog’s world has been Dr. Eggman’s ultimate goal from the very beginning of the series, but in Sonic Lost World, the Deadly Six couldn’t have done it better.
The evil Zeti find Tails inside the capsule they had initially set as a trap for Sonic in Silent Forest and transport him back to their base, but seeing that Tails took the bait for him, they use him for their dastardly plans at world domination instead.
When Sonic confronts the Deadly Six at Lava Mountain, he’s distraught to see that Tails has been turned into a dead-eyed robot slave — or rather, the Terminator.
As Zavok commands Tails to kill Sonic, he overrides the programming and goes back to his old self, turning the blaster away from Sonic to attack the Zeti. Hasta la vista, baby!
Sonic Eating Chili Dogs in King Arthur’s World (Sonic and the Black Knight)
Chili dogs are Sonic’s favorite food, but we only ever saw him eating them in the Archie comic books. In Sonic and the Black Knight, however, the famous hot dogs were stripped from the comics and written into the pages of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
As Merlina summons Sonic to the medieval fantasy world from the real world, Sonic comes falling from the sky along with two chili dogs — one for himself and the other supposedly for Amy Rose since he was getting ready for a date with her.
Coming face to face with the dark King Arthur and his evil army, Sonic downs only one chili dog and throws the other one into the air before blowing the baddies away with his Sonic Wind and catching it to show off his abilities to Merlin’s granddaughter.
This was the first time Sonic was seen eating a chili dog in-game, and considering it’s been over a decade since the release of Sonic and the Black Knight, we hope it won’t be the last.
Shadow Roundhouse Kicking Infinite (Sonic Forces)
In Sonic Forces’ Episode Shadow DLC, which takes place three months before the events of the main game began, we take a closer look at Infinite’s origin through Shadow’s perspective.
Although Shadow doesn’t remember his encounter with the masked jackal, he does remember the look on his face (which was mostly censored) when he whooped him against the wall after catching him by surprise at one of Eggman’s bases in Mystic Jungle for supposedly killing off his entire squad.
As soon as Infinite, or whatever his name was at the time, lunged at Shadow, he warped out of his way and proceeded to beat him up by kicking his stomach up in the air, bashing his fists onto his head, and finishing him off with a roundhouse kick to the face.
Shadow then mercilessly berated Infinite by pointing out how weak he is compared to him that he shouldn’t show his face to him again. Infinite’s loss of that fight prompted him to make like the Phantom of the Opera and hide his face with the metallic mask to make himself more powerful.
This scene was epic in the sense that Shadow’s fighting skills, as well as his coping skills with respect to loss, are more advanced than Infinite’s.
Sonic Adopting the Nickname Baldy McNosehair for Eggman (Sonic Colors)
If you thought Google Translate was bad at converting the text of the language you want to translate to English, Tails translating Wispanese in Sonic Colors was even more hilarious.
In one instance, as Yacker attempts to tell the brothers more about Eggman’s plans for Planet Wisp and the other planets he’s chained for his interplanetary amusement park, Tails’ translator registered Dr. Eggman as “Baldy Nosehair.”
Sonic laughed so hard at the Wisp’s interpretation of his arch enemy’s name, he decides to call him that from there on out.
It’s fun to get lost in translation sometimes with Sonic the Hedgehog. Wouldn’t you agree, Bill Murray?
Sonic Racing Against Metal Sonic (Sonic CD)
Sonic’s race against his robotic counterpart in Sonic CD was more of a battle of wits as Dr. Eggman designed Metal Sonic with the sole purpose of destroying the real McCoy. He was also built to match, if not exceed, his organic counterpart in speed and other abilities.
As Sonic outruns Metal Sonic along the twisted path of Stardust Speedway (Zone 3), he uses his wits to jump over the spikes and curvy ramps while his robotic version stays static in movement and propels himself towards Sonic when he’s in close behind him in proximity.
What makes this moment cooler is that if you maintained Good Future before the boss fight with Metal Sonic, the music changes from Good Future to Bad Future to second the battle starts. It’s Metal Sonic’s way of saying, “Take a good look around, Sonic. Your future is about to change.”
Jet The Hawk Becomes Sonic’s New Speedy Rival (Sonic Riders)
If Sonic thought Shadow would be his only rival on the speed front, he had to come face to face the Babylon Rogues and their leader, Jet the Hawk. He also had to master riding a hoverboard — which they call Extreme Gear, for lack of a better term — for the first time.
As Sonic and the gang search for a lost Chaos Emerald in Future City (or Metal City, as the first stage of Sonic Riders is called), the Babylon Rogues break into the scene jamming the signal on Tails’s radar as they make off with said Chaos Emerald, which they needed along with the other six to unlock their ancestral home, Babylon Garden.
Without Extreme Gear of his own, Sonic pursues the avian band of thieves using one of their boards and inadvertently starts butting heads with Jet, who is impressed by Sonic’s speed but nevertheless catches him by surprise by knocking the wind out of him and leaving him in the dust, Chaos Emerald in hand.
Sonic Climbing up Sky Sanctuary Zone (Sonic 3 & Knuckles)
Knuckles is known to be a master climber thanks to the spikes on his fists for which he is named. However, once he helped Sonic and Tails get to Sky Sanctuary Zone, he was too exhausted from the electrocution attack by Eggman in Hidden Palace Zone, he left Sonic to figure out how to climb up through the heavens to get to the Death Egg before it rises too high into orbit.
On the way up, he fights his giant doppelganger Mecha Sonic three separate times. In the first two battles, Mecha Sonic pilots Eggman’s hover mobiles from the two previous Sonic games — the Egg Mobile-H and the Flying Eggman, respectively — and fights on foot in the last one with no help whatsoever.
After defeating Mecha Sonic, the real Sonic finally reaches the Death Egg by running up the corkscrew ramp to the top of a column that looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa as it crumbles like a giant cookie beneath him and takes a leap of faith aboard the egg-headed ship.
Sonic Escapes From Labyrinth Zone (Sonic 1)
Indiana Jones walked away from that rolling boulder so that Sonic could run towards it in the form of Eggman and his Egg Mobile through the most challenging temple in the history of temples: Labyrinth Zone.
In Act 3 of Labyrinth Zone, Sonic didn’t necessarily have to hit Eggman so many times in order to complete the zone, but even if he does, he’s merely following him up the tunnel to avoid the rising water lest he drowns in it if he ever got submerged. Water is Sonic’s number one weakness, so it’s a stressful situation.
Even more stressful is the booby traps set up throughout the tunnel, which was narrow, steep and filled with spears and statues that spit out fire. Avoiding booby traps and rising water to get to Eggman and out of Labyrinth Zone gave Sonic quite the workout.
Sonic Becomes a Teenage Werehog (Sonic Unleashed)
The opening cutscene of Sonic Unleashed is a sweet dream turned into a beautiful nightmare as the Blue Blur finds himself in a hairy situation — literally.
Sonic crash lands on Eggman’s flagship in outer space to confront him about trying to destroy the world below them and turning it into an amusement park, but as usual Eggman launches a full-frontal assault on him by deploying cannons and a horde of shiny new badniks, which Sonic successfully dodges.
Eggman captures Sonic as he runs away from him, but he escapes his grasp by turning into Super Sonic, prompting Eggman to fly away to his research lab. When Sonic reaches the lab after destroying half his fleet, Eggman begs him for mercy, then traps him like a mouse — or rat, as he calls him at times — into the center of the Chaos Energy Cannon and draws the energy out of the Chaos Emeralds and Sonic in the most painful way imaginable while charging the cannon to break the planet apart.
Eggman fires the cannon at the planet to awaken a monster named Dark Gaia, and Sonic turns into the Werehog in the process as a result of the Chaos Emerald being drained of their energy. Sonic took his new form as a cruel insult, even by Eggman’s standards, but he wouldn’t know that being a teenage werewolf would be a blessing in disguise, as he would gain the power of elastic arms just like Mr. Fantastic.
For most of the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom, the opening cutscene for Sonic Unleashed remains to this very day one of the most gorgeous CGI-animated cutscenes in the history of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.