July 1999 Archive

The Sonic Saga #1 Out! - Tristan 9:25pm CST, 7-31-99
Dash of The Sonic Saga has posted the cover and pages 1-3 of of Issue #1. Click here to read it.

Sonic Adventure ESRB Rating - Tristan 2:20pm CST, 7-31-99
Good day friends; this is Tristan, or Mr. T! to those on some Sonic MBs, reporting my first story on Sonic HQ. I am delighted to be here, and I thank Zifei for making it possible. And now...

DC Swirl is reporting that the ESRB, the company responsible for rating games into age categories (Kids to Adults, Teen, etc.) have rated the first wave of Dreamcast games. Included in that batch is Sonic Adventure, and it received an E rating, meaning it's for everyone. This comes as no surprise since all other Sonic games preceding SA have received an E or K-A (Kids to Adults) rating.

New News Editor! - Zifei 12:53pm CST, 7-31-99
We will have a new News Page Editor any day now. A lot of you will know him as Mr. T, the guy behind The Super Sonic Zone. He will bring advanced coverage of Sonic related Internet news to this page. Welcome aboard Mr.T!

What's Next For ST? - Zifei 1:08am CST, 7-31-99
That's the question nowadays, isn't it? What has the Sonic Team been up to since they finished Sonic Adventure way back in last December? Nex Gen Magazine (Next Generation with a new style and name change) sorta answered it in a short interview:

NG: We heard the Sonic Team split into groups...

Yuji Naka: There are lots of rumors. Sometimes I go on the internet, and find so many rumors, I really have to laugh. Players want a sequel to Sonic Adventure, Burning Rangers, and Nights, so the rumor spreads on the net that the Sonic Team split into three groups. I don't want to break people's dreams, but I am making none of these games! Rumors are are very interesting...

NG: So what is next for Sonic Team?

Yuji Naka: It's a big secret (laughs).

Hmm...So no Sonic Adventure 2, no NiGHTS, and no Burning Rangers...wow! A new game! :-) Anyway, thanks to slave1 for the info.

Sega Owns All! - T2 12:58am CST, 7-31-99
I've talked with Mr. Penders about SEGA owning characters like Julie-Su and St. John (article below), this is what he said:

Part of the contract Sega has with Archie stipulates any and allcharacters created in the Sonic and Knuckles comic books become property of Sega.(The SOLE EXCEPTIONS being Sonic Super Special #7 and 10, for obviousreasons.) Thus, Sega now owns everything I created in the Knuckles series,including Locke, Lara-Le and Julie-Su, to say nothing of characters like Geoffrey St. John, Hershey, Doctor Quack and Rob O' the Hedge, to name but a few.

As a professional, I knew that going in, and had no qualms at the time.Now that I'm creating my own series, however, I must admit certain ideaswill probably never make it into the Sonic books, as I'm keeping those for my own use.

Hmm..maybe one day Sega will even use them...hey, now there's an idea!

Notes From Ken Penders. - Zifei 3:55pm CST, 7-30-99
Ken Penders today announced what he's been doing recently, here are a few of he's points:

  • SONIC SUPER SPECIAL #11 - I've been working day and night to wrap up this book, especially since it's release date has been pushed up a week. Again, as much as I hope to have a sneak preview [on his page] before San Diego, chances are it'll be soon after.
  • He banned fan-fiction on his forum except for his characters (that means Julie-su and St. John too, since they belong to Sega [they do?]).

    He'll be heading for the San Diego Comic Con 99 next week. We'll have complete coverage of the event, including several interviews (hopefully).

  • More SA:LE Movies! - Zifei 3:15pm CST, 7-30-99
    Thanks to Andy Wolan of Emulation Zone for doing this favor for us. Anyway, he rented the Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition from Hollywood Videos and captured a whole bunch of moives (over 10MB). Click here to download!

    New Editorial! - Zifei 5:18pm CST, 7-29-99
    There's a new editorial about the Sonic/Sally relation ship topic in the Editorial section! Go read it now!

    More Super Sonic Destiny. - Zifei 4:49pm CST, 7-29-99
    As we reported last week, there's a new Sonic movie being made by fans right now. It looks good enough to deserve some good coverage. Anyway, the official page for the Super Sonic Destiny is now up here. You can apply for voice positions right now!

    Sonic In Time. - Zifei 4:59pm CST, 7-28-99
    The August 2nd issue TIME Magazine did a nice priview of the Dreamcast on page 98. It had a short review of Sonic Adventure, here it is thanks to me :-)

    Take Sonic Adventure, a revamped version of that Sega classic Sonic the Hedgehog, which the company is marketing as the quintessential Dreamcast game. The visuals are 3-Delicious -- Sonic's footprints appear in the sand as he zooms by, while the sun glints in the lens just as it should. But dismal attempts at midair loop-the-loops left me cursing at controls that always seemed a step behind the speedy blue hedgehog. Perhaps my synapses simply don't fire fast enough. Then again, I'm hardly the target audience for Sonic Adventure. -- By Chris Taylor

    Over all, the article is very possitive for the DC. Glad to see the media actually play in Sega's favor for once...

    Sega's DC Marketing Details. - Zifei 8:19pm CST, 7-27-99
    SegaNet has posted 2 articles detailing the commercials Sega will show this fall about the Dreamcast:

    Dreamcast Launch Marketing Plans
    Dreamcast Ad Campaign Specifics

    If you don't have time to read them all, here's the specific quote about Sonic's TV spot aired on MTV's Music Awards on 9-9-99:

    "Opening Day" will be the first of the spots. It will use Dreamcast-created animation to display a varied cast of Sega characters interacting with each other and also Brian Grant of the Portland Trailblazers.

    "Daydream" will be devoted to Sonic Adventure. Like "Bad Old Days," this one will also consist of nothing but animation. My home-town hero Gary Payton (good choice, but Detlef Schrempf is much more photogenic) will party with Taka (what, are sumo wrestlers popular with the kids these days?) and Sonic will deejay at a club with over forty Sega characters in attendance. Should be fun spotting all the old favorites (will Vectorman be there? The Streets of Rage crew? Ecco? Me, I'm hoping for Alex Kidd).

    The DC marketing will really take off on August 9th, when a 60 second all-DC-rendered ad called "Apocalypse" hits MTV, Fox, the WB, UPN, USA, ESPN, ZDTV, The Box, and WWF. The producer of this commercial is calling it an epic...guess we'll see.

    Knuckles #29 Release Date! - Zifei 9:16pm CST, 7-26-99
    Knuckles #29 will ship to comic stores on August 4th, 1999. The cost is $1.79.

    The Most Dangerous Game. - Zifei 9:13pm CST, 7-26-99
    Here's a press release about the upcoming Knuckles The Most Dangerous Game arc (#30-#32) from Diamond Previews:

    Knuckles Plays "The Most Dangerous Game"

    An exciting new three-issue story arc in Archie Comics’ Knuckles finds the fan-favorite echidna teaming with one enemy to outwit another. Creators Ken Penders and Harvey Mercadoocasio kick off the story "King of the Hill" with Part One in Knuckles #30 (JUN991160, $1.79). This issue is scheduled to ship Aug. 27.

    "King of the Hill" finds Knuckles facing off against his childhood rival, Monk the gorilla, in a battle bringing a lifetime of grievances to bear. The battle is short-lived, however, as a big game hunter returns to the Floating Island looking for fresh sport and decides to go after them both. The unwilling pair must cooperate if they wish to live, which makes for a lively tale full of danger and excitement as they try to hunt the hunter.

    The epic story develops complications in Knuckles #31 (JUL991207, $1.79), and the grand finale appears in issue #32 (AUG991285, $1.79), offered in the August Previews.

    These three issues also feature a Chaotix Team backup story starring Espio, written by Ken Penders with art by Colleen Doran and Andrew Pepoy.

    Don’t miss this exciting "mini-series within a series," which makes a perfect introduction to this great title.

    New Editorial! - Zifei 6:53pm CST, 7-26-99
    A new editorial has been put up in the editorial section. A lot of you might want to write a reply-editorial after reading this one...

    New Drazen Fan-fic. - Duo P. email 6:43pm CST, 7-26-99
    Dan Drazen has written a new Sonic fan-fic! This one isn't long, but a good read. Click here for From Time To Time.

    New Poll! - Zifei 6:42pm CST, 7-26-99
    In the last two weeks' poll, we asked you when you first join the Sonic internet community, here are the results after 129 people voted:

    1) 1998 (38) 29%
    2) 1999 (28) 22%
    3) 1997 (25) 19%
    4) 1994 or before (15) 12%
    5) 1996 (12) 9%
    6) 1995 (11) 9%

    This looks about right. And 1999 is on the way to blow away 1998 in term of new fans joined...especially when considering what'll happen later this year.

    Now for the new poll, we ask your opinion of Eggman being in Archie, what do you think of it? Go vote now!

    New Sonic Comic In UK? - Dr. Zac/KT Coupe 11:56pm CST, 7-25-99
    This is a rumour somewhat, but I'm pretty sure it's true. A new Sonic comic (probably a summer special) has been seen in the UK. It's titled "Total Sonic", Its price [is] £1.85. More info on this tomorrow. some more info...

    Sonic Off Pepsi? - Steve email 2:49pm CST, 7-24-99
    Sonic is found alongside a Coca Cola billboard in Japan! The advertis in the Shibuya district of Tokyo and has been up for a good part of the summer. Click here for more info. See, Sonic used to be along side Pepsi most of the time...Source: SegaNet.

    New Editorial! - Zifei 2:47pm CST, 7-24-99
    A new editorial is put up about violence and comics! A very serious piont. Any other opinions on this subject are welcome.

    SA Sales Number. - Zifei 12:57am CST, 7-24-99
    According to Dreamcast Magazine (Japanese), Sonic Adventure has sold a total of 440,751 so far in Japan. It is the highest selling DC title so far. As for the US, expect Sonic Adventure: LE to make it to the top ten rental chart.

    New SA T-shirts! - Zifei 3:53pm CST, 7-23-99
    This is a new Sonic Adventure t-shirt design that will show up at the Tokyo Character Show 99 starting later today. For for click here. Hope they'll make it to the states. Source: Gaming-Age.

    SA News. - Steve email 2:59pm CST, 7-23-99
    Gaming-Age did a mini-interview with Sega PRs and found out what the changes will be for the final version of Sonic Adventure. Click here to check it out!

    Sonic HQ Exlcusive: Manny Galan Interview! - Lien 10:20pm CST, 7-22-99
    For so long we didn't have an interview to show...well, the streak is brocken and the interviews have returned in full force! To start it off, Lien did an interview with the man that made the Knuckles comic strong: Manny Galan! Click here to read the interview.

    Robotnik Is Dead! - Zifei 5:20pm CST, 7-22-99
    Well, in #75, we learn that the real Robotnik doesn't exist anymore. The Robo in #63-74 is really Robo-Robotnik as we reported from a hint from last year's San Diego Comic Con.

    Sonic Store? - Zifei 5:18pm CST, 7-22-99
    An interesting situation has developed during the last few days. Suneet of The Sonic Zone wants to invest $500 and start a Sonic store. Selling toys and games. The only problem is, he doesn't have a license. If he does make a store, AND Sega finds out, the whole Sonic net could be in trouble as Sega tightens control. This is the reason why we still haven't updated the store page yet here, we plan to turn it into a legal auction place.

    Sonic RPG Canceled! - Knux Lee 5:16pm CST, 7-22-99
    As we reported yesterday, Mettle canceled the fan made game Sonic RPG. The reason is because his pc crashed too many times and the public didn't seem to be excited about it.

    USA Today Rates SA! - Zifei 10:56pm CST, 7-21-99
    USA Today rated Sonic Adventure as 3 stars out of 4, not bad for it's from a NONE-videogame publication. Click here for the full article.

    Sonic Team Expands. - Zifei 10:36pm CST, 7-21-99
    According to IGNDC:

    Sources from Japan have indicated that the prominent Sega development house, Sonic Team, has begun advertising for nine new staff members. The programming parents of everyone's favorite blue hedgehog are said to be working on two new games, one of which may be a sequel. While Yuji Naka himself is hesitant to release any information at this point in time, it's clear that he's looking for at least two graphics artists, and seven people to work specifically on CG movies.

    If you think you're good enough, please contact the Sonic Team (j/k). Wonder what the 2 new games are...

    A Super Sonic Destiny. - Zifei 10:16pm CST, 7-21-99
    Fans have more and more power these days as software and hardware evolve, letting us do more things in less time. Several fans have said that they'll be doing a Sonic movie, some even in 3D. This one, has already got started. It's called A Super Sonic Destiny. Click here to view it and download a few preview movies. The animation is good, but the voices are not state of the art...hey, but it's good for a fan made.

    Sonic #75 Out Today? - Zifei 7:15pm CST, 7-21-99
    It seems that Sonic #75 came out today instead off next Wednesday as Diamond Previews said (might be because of a move ahead in schedule). So go grab your copy now. As far as reactions go, fans tend to be a bit negative about this issue.

    Sonic RPG Canned? - Knux Lee 7:09pm CST, 7-21-99
    Knux Lee was told by a reliable source that Mettle Sonic canceled the fan game Sonic RPG. This is the reason we withhold putting the page out in Fan Fair. Right now details are sketchy, so we'll have a full report in a few days.

    Sonic's First Name. - Holli the Genet email 7:05pm CST, 7-21-99
    Ken Penders had this to say when Mobius Forum members started questioning Sonic's first name:

    Sonic's first name is NOT Christopher or any popular name you can think of. If anything, his first name is something so uncool, which explains why he prefers to be known as Sonic.

    Basically, Sega prefers we not acknowledge he has a real name beyond Sonic, but they haven't come right out and said Sonic is his real name either, just that it's the name he's known by.

    As for whether we'll ever know the final definitive fact, only time and Sega can say for sure.

    I'll try to email SoA about this, but I don't think I'll get any solid answer.

    SA Sales Again. - Zifei 5:35pm CST, 7-21-99
    OK, things have settled down here around the HQ (updates are not done yet), so the news page will go back to regular updating.

    The latest numbers our of Japan show Sonic Adventure taking a dive in sales. It sold 6,649 copies in the peiord of Jule 5-11th. This makes it the #28th best selling game in Japan. And a total of 435,112 units sold.

    SA Sales. - Zifei 10:55pm CST, 7-19-99
    According to SegaX and DC Magazine, Sonic Adventure sold 13,034 copies in the second week after the price drop. Making the told 432,028. At this rate, it could reach 500,000 in August.

    SA Around The World. - Zifei 10:53pm CST, 7-19-99
    According to SegaX:

    During a recent interview out of Asia, Yuji Naka revealed that there will be four translated languages in the Western versions of Sonic Adventure. These are: English, French, Spanish, and German. He also expressed his anticipation regarding the results of the English version.

    Wonder how the the other version would turn out. But none the less, a reliable source say that the Limited Edition is VERY different from the final version.

    SA Limited Edition Review. - Zifei 4:23pm CST, 7-19-99
    IGNDC did a pretty indepth review of Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition. Click here to check it out.

    Sonic's Voice. - Brian S. email 1:54am CST, 7-17-99
    I recently beat the limited edition of Sonic Adventure. In the end credits, it has a list of character vocals. At the top is Ryan Drummard, who I assume is Sonic's voice. It was the only name I could get, for the screen scrolled down too fast.

    SA:LE Review. - Zifei 1:05pm CST, 7-16-99
    Here's a long review of Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition by Hawkmoon:

    As some of you may know, I have played the Japanese version of Sonic Adventure extensiveley. I just finished playing the American version from Blockbuster and I am here to report the changes that I have seen so far...

    The voice acting in the game is not that bad. Sonic sounds older than tails and that is the way it should be. Knuckles does not sound as menacing as he should, but his voice sounds to be in the same age group as Sonic. I thought the voice for Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) was pretty good. Amy's voice is good as is E102. Big the cat has the worst voice (thank god his portion of the game is short).

    (Why Dr. Robotnick is called Eggman)
    Dr. Robotnik is reffered to as Eggman. There is a reason for this. When the Dr. makes his second appearance in the game (near Tails workshop) Sonic & Tails sees the Dr. Sonic makes smart butt comment "Look it's a giant talking Egg". The Dr. replies, "I am Dr. Robotnik", Sonic says "Whatever Eggman". Later in the game when the Dr. tells E102 to attack Sonic, E102 responds by saying "Yes Dr. Robotnik". This is the reason the Dr. is refered to as Eggman.

    (More Voice information)
    There is alot of voice in the game. What was really cool is when you enter the train station a female voice says "The train headed for Mystic Ruins will be departing soon" the voice is echoed as if it is heard in a large train station. A male voice is used at Mystic Ruins. Sonic and the other character have alot of voice when you leave the controller and let the character sit there. Sonic mentions "Better get going", hey, hey, hey, theres no time to rest". Depending on the location of the character, they say different things as well.

    The options menu's also have voices telling you information. When you go to the sound menu a female voice states "Sound Test. You can listen to various music tracks".

    The camera has been worked on. It still needs some more work but it is much better than the japanese game. For example in the Hotel Lobby, the camera is fixed lower and closer to Sonic. In the shop, the one with the Egg in the window, the camera is fixed in one view. In tails workshop, the camera is fixed so that you don't get stuck looking at a wall. On the japanese version when you start running from the whale, the camera at times would be under the bridge. On the American version, I could not get it to do it. It would happen at least once every 3-4 playthroughs on the japanese version.

    Using the D-Pad allows you to look around and the triggers change the camera angle just like the japanese version, but the american one seems to have more freedom. I was able to look around in some levels using the triggers and saw things that I never say in the japanese version.

    (Other stuff)
    The internet option is not available as someone else reported. The menu states the following will be offered:

    Game Hints
    Game Downloads
    Data Exchange
    World Rankings
    NOTE: No On-Line play as previously mentioned!

    It also says that the Sonic Adventure Home Page will available on 9.9.99.

    It may be my faulty memory, but I noticed different camera angles when you have close encounters (voiced parts) with other characters. I also noticed additional paths on the Windy Valley level. On the Sky Deck, I went through a sequence that I did not go through before. Until, I can play my Japanese version again, I will only say that if my memory serves me well, then there has been some additions.

    (Some more other stuff)
    Like a typical RPG, when you talk to people sometimes you have to talk to them again for them to say something else. They will also say different things depending on time of day and what point in the game you are in.

    I actually liked the dialogue in the game. Parts of it seem a little kiddie, others are quite funny. The game is geared towards a younger crowd, so I expected this. overall, I really enjoyed the dialogue. Cheesy at some points, good in others.

    Even though the is a "LIMITED EDITION" and I do not know what differences there will be in the final product, I think that it will do extremly well. The game is beutiful, I actually stopped and just looked around to see the sights. Even though I played the japanese version, beat it with every character (twice), I still was blown away by the visuals. For me, this will be a title I pick up at launch. It probably won't get played much the first week (with all the other releases), it is still a treasure to have.

    The game came w/no instruction manual, but below is what it says on the back of the game package.

    Buckle up and we're talking 5-point harness. sonic the hedgehog will propel your Dreamcast into warp-speed 3d adventure. Want rings? We've got rings. Want Chaos emeralds? We've got those too. you want insane graphincs, hige levels, puzzles, hidden mini games, multiple playable characters and more? Oh yeah! We've got it all.

    6 playable characters each with his/her own skills and abilities. Jaw-dropping 3d graphics with unbeliviable detail and speed. Nearly 50 massive levels, bonus rounds, bosses and minigames. Exclusive A-Life system: Breed and train chao characters with the vMU and then race them in Sonic Adventure.

    The back of the box shows three game shots and anime style drawings of all the playable characters.

    More SA:LE Media! - Zifei 1:00pm CST, 7-16-99
    Below are links to more Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition related media and reviews:

  • SegaNet - 2 movies, 6 screen grabs.
  • SegaNet - 15 pics of the Hollywood Video Rental kickoff party in LA.
  • DCHQ - 1 shot of CD.
  • North American SA Voices! - Zifei 11:24pm CST, 7-15-99
    Well, this is what you have all been waiting for...the North American Sonic Adventure voices! Thanks to IGNDC, here's a video of Sonic talking. While you're at it, also check out their review and other pictures and movies by clicking here.

    North American SA Screens. - Zifei 10:19pm CST, 7-15-99
    Here are 2 screen shots of the English version of Sonic Adventure thanks to SegaX.

    image 1
    image 2

    North American SA. - Zifei 10:10pm CST, 7-15-99
    According to Jim of Gaming-Age, the rental version of Sonic Adventure isn't even the beta version of the final version. The beta version will be out next month. Supposedly, everything would be fixed by then with some change to the music.

    Sega's New Page! - Zifei 7:10pm CST, 7-15-99
    Check it out! Sega redid their homepage. Now you can preorder anything directly from the Sega Store.

    More SA Opinion. - Zifei 5:53pm CST, 7-15-99
    The differences in a nutshell:

    Graphics-wise, some of the areas which had slowdown are improved, and the slowdown is lessened or eliminated. For instance, in Amy's stage, the first time the robot breaks through the glass, it slowed down in the import. The US version doesn't, although there's a slight hiccup a little later in that scene, it's way better. The camera is also better on character tracking.

    As far as the music, it's all the same in this version.

    Voices are a mixed bag. While i wouldn't call any of them great by any means, they're decent, except for Big's voice. Irritating in the import, horrendously annoying in the domestic. He sounds like a teletubbie with the pitch in it's voice turned way down.

    Sonic's voice is okay; sounds kinda like a 15-year old. Amy's sounds more like an actual woman compared to the hyper-kawaii voice of the import. Knuckle's downright sucks. He's lost the badass voice that the Japanese version had, and sounds almost like he could be Sonic's brother. Tails' sounds like a little kid; not bad. Robotnik (who is mysteriously called Eggman in the US version!! ^_^) sounds... fake. Can't say why exactly because i don't remember what it sounded like exactly.

    And Tikal, well... she sounds like a tired woman. Kinda like the voice in Fighting Vipers. Kinda disappointing, since i really wanted to see her get a voice that matched her character (Amy's is better matched).

    The lip-synching isn't the best, but i think it's a bit better than the import, where Sonic's lips moved two seconds after he stopped talking.

    By aoi tsuki.

    NA SA Opinions. - Zifei 5:13pm CST, 7-15-99
    Below are some Sonic Adventure: Special Edition comments made by some gamers from different spots on the 'net:

  • Sonic, wow. I've never really seen the import version, but from what I read, there were some problems with the camera. Well, I guess there still is. Mostly in the Adventure zones. Does'nt really bother me. I guess this is a incomplete version hence the "Limited Edition" logo. Also the voice overs are'nt synced with the lips on the characters. They put captions like in MGS but you can take 'em off. Sonic sounds like Robin from the Batman cartoons and Tails, well, sounds like a kid. Don't get me wrong, they sound great. The graphics are SWEET! (by Cornhead)

  • An overall pretty fun night [the DC rental kick off party in LA), but the best moment of it was when I saw Sonic come out in his costume being cheered by the crowd. I just thought to myself that Sega hasn't been forgotten and it looked like the crowd accepted Sega again. They came up to Sonic and hugged him and shook his hand which kinda brought a tear to my eyes =P This was the moment I knew that Sega is back, and the public seemed to forget thier past. (by Sloth)

  • The music is cool, sort of. It essentially sounds like what happens when an American video producer re-does the music for dubbed anime: J-pop with crappy US lyrics. The music was supposed to have been re-done by Chris Vrenna (NIN), but I don't hear any really hard stuff in there.

    Sonic's voice isn't too bad (it sounds familiar actually), Tails' voice is annoying, both he and Amy sound like they're about 7 years old. Knuckles' voice is tolerable. Big the Cat sounds like that old Warner Bros cartoon character that used say things like "Duh, Which was did he go George?....He is my pretty bunny and I will hold him and stroke him and love him and pet him..." It's slightly comical at first, listening to him whine about his lost "Froggy," but eventually his tone starts to grate on the nerves.

    All the dialogue is super-cheesy as well...and yes, the voices are improperly synched with the characters' lips, making it look like a poor Godzilla movies. I honestly don't think Sega has touched this title very much, I mean, how hard would it have been to get the lip synch done properly?

    ...I can't say how the game mechanics have been adjusted, but I will say that yes, there are some screwy bugs, some nasty camera problems, and noticeable (to me at least) framerate dropoffs...

    ...the final intersting thing to note is that there's a menu option for "Internet" - selecting it yeilds a little splash screen about how you'll be able to post times, get codes, download games, and compete over the internet. Then it says that this "Special Edition" of Sonic Adventure is not equipped for internet features, and to get the full version when it arrives. (by border)

  • News From Japan. - Zifei 12:13am CST, 7-15-99
    Here are a couple of news shorts from Japan:

  • Sonic Adventure dropped out of the top 30 best selling games list after a week at #15. It sold around 8,000 copies for the week of June 27 - July 3rd.

  • Sonic Team might change their name to Sega Soft #(whatever). This is a move by Sega of Japan to update their current development teams. They are combining the arcade and the home sector. But I don't think the ST will change, they're too famous.
  • SA: Special Edition Cover. - Zifei 12:10am CST, 7-15-99
    Here's the cover to Sonic Adventure: Special Edition thanks to IGNDC. This game is up for rent near a Hollywood Videos store for $4.99 plus $20 for the DC and a $350 deposit.

    TSZ Hits 100,000 - Zifei 5:43pm CST, 7-14-99
    This went by sorta unnoticed, but several days ago, The Sonic Zone became the third Sonic site to hit the magical number 100,000 as expected after SHQ and tSf. Congrats goes out to that site.

    Gaming-Age On Special Edition. - Zifei 5:23pm CST, 7-14-99
    Gaming-Age's Craig Majaski did a special report about the new Sonic Adventure demos that's poping up in a Toys R Us and Funcoland near you:

    Earlier tonight I took a 20 mile trip to the "big city" (hey, I live in a town of 800 people so it doesn't take much to qualify as a big city) and headed straight to Toys R Us in hopes of finally being able to play Sega's newest machine. Unfortunately the store had yet to receive it's demo unit so I sauntered on over to Best Buy, but no Dreamcast there either. Before giving up I suddenly thought of Funcoland. While I was doubtful they'd have the system, I figured what the heck. I entered the store and right away noticed Driver was available for play on the PlayStation. Scanning the store I didn't see a Dreamcast set up so I started to play what many are calling the best racing game to come out in a long time. After a few minutes an employee asked if I had any questions and I of course asked when they'd be getting a Dreamcast in so I could give it a try. To my surprise he pointed to the back of the store where they just happened to have one hooked up to a 13" GXTV. I immediately dropped my PlayStation controller and rushed over to the system.

    Upon picking up the Dreamcast controller I immediately noticed how incredibly light it felt. In fact, my first impression was that the controller was rather cheaply made. Of course the store didn't have a VMU or Force Pak in the controller so that's probably the reason. Also, the system itself is extremely small. It's hard to believe that such a powerful system is in such a small case. Looking back at the TV, I noticed that Sonic was already playing so I hit the Start button and reset the game. The title screen came up and under the game's name was "Special Edition". I immediately figured out that this special edition didn't have the Internet functionality built in yet and perhaps not all of the stages are present in this version. I then began the game with Sonic as my character of choice, taking note of the short load times. There was a brief story and then the adventure mode started. At first I didn't know what I was doing and it didn't take me too long to accidentally fall off a ledge and die. Once I got Sonic's controls down I became used to the controller. While I had heard many comments about the controller being too small, it seemed to fit my hands nicely. The analog stick is very accurate and feels much better than Sony's Dual Shock. I'll have to give it more playtime before I can compare it to Nintendo's stick, but the Dreamcast controller is much better than the one that was packaged with Nights on the Saturn, even though they do look somewhat similar aesthetically.

    Controlling Sonic became a very easy affair in no time at all. Basically you just point the control stick in a direction and he'll move there. The spin dash and a double jump of sorts are a couple of his special moves. After walking around in the adventure mode I became bored and reset the system again. I knew the store would be closing soon so I really wanted to see some fast paced action. This time I picked a different option, which at the moment really escapes my mind as to what it was called. The game put me in one of the "action" stages and this is truly where the game shines. Think back to the first time you ever played Sonic and marveled at the game's speed. It's amazing, but somehow Sega managed to capture that same sense of awe but this time in complete 3D. The stage I played was the one with the huge whale that tries to attack you on the bridge. The standard speed boosters and springboards are placed strategically throughout the course, which enable Sonic to reach new areas in the level. The loops are back and are much more dramatic since the camera zooms out showing the action from a different view. The graphics are obviously beyond anything ever before seen on a console. I did play another stage as Tails and that was a good time. I had to race Sonic to capture an emerald. Although I wasn't able to play anymore of the game, I did notice that there seemed to be a lack of enemies. Even so, from just 30 minutes of playtime I can tell Sega really has a hit on its hands. The game is a marvel to look at, the music is totally awesome with CD sound reminiscent of Sonic CD on the Sega CD, and to top it off the game controls pretty good. So far the only thing wrong is the camera system. It's a bit erratic and hard to follow. I don't know if this special edition of the game has fixed the glitches found in the Japanese version since I never had the opportunity to play it. Perhaps one of the other editors will get a chance to compare at a later date.

    SA: Special Edition. - Zifei 4:13pm CST, 7-14-99
    It seems that the Sonic Adventure for renting at Hollywood Videos will be a special edition instead of the "real" thing. In which way it's special, I'm guessing no internet, and no bugs fixed (the camera problem seem to still exist).

    SA At Hollywood Videos. - Zifei 7:35pm CST, 7-13-99
    Sega has already shipped all of the Dreamcasts for rent to Hollywood Videos. To promote this, Hollywood Videos will let you try out the US version of Sonic before you rent it. The local one here in Memphis has already begin advertising about it on it's windows. So be sure to check it out. We'll have one if not several full reports about the new SA coming up in the next few days.

    Sonic #75 Release Date! - Zifei 4:58pm CST, 7-12-99
    Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic issue #75 will be released to comic stores across the US on July 28th, 1999.

    Archie Getting The Heat... - Zifei 4:55pm CST, 7-12-99
    Ken Penders recently said that Archie has been getting a lot emails from fans about the degrading of the Knuckles comic. He said that's a good thing...but:

    What more than a few of them said was they didn't like that Archie was cancelling the book.

    Ken notes that Archie isn't cancelling the book, not yet anyway. But said to keep the emails and snailmails going.

    New Editorial! - Zifei 4:49pm CST, 7-12-99
    There's a new editorial up in the editorial section. It's a complaint about the artist in the Knuckles: First Date Arc.

    New Poll! - Zifei 4:32pm CST, 7-12-99
    In the last poll, we asked you that if you would give Sonic Underground a chance. Here are the results after 161 people voted:

    1) Yes (109) 68%
    2) No (23) 14%
    3) Seen it (good) (17) 11%
    4) Seen it (bad) (12) 7%

    I'm still surprised that this many people have seen it...

    Anyway, here's the next poll question: When did you join the Sonic Internet Community? It's for the Features page. So go vote!

    Emerald Dreams. - Zifei 6:15pm CST, 7-11-99
    Fan made magazines are hard to come by, and I would think this is one of the first Sonic online magazines. But whatever the case, Emerald Dreams is a new magazine by Neon Chaos. It looks promising, click here to view the first issue. Neon Chaos told us that Sega2000 might be sponsoring the next issue.

    Sonic Comic Explosion 2. - Steve email 6:05pm CST, 7-11-99
    GameSages have put up another part of their surprising coverage of the Sonic comics:

    Sonic Steals the Show!
    by Stratus

    Sonic the Hedgehog: Upon its release, the SONIC THE HEDGEHOG comic book didn't turn manyheads. It was another SEGA licensed product, it was by Archie Comics ("Oh,those? I read those when I was a kid!"), it didn't stand out from the crowd.Indeed, though it survived the cancellation of both TEENAGE MUTANT NINJATURTLES and MUTANIMALS, it's brethren in the Archie Adventure Series line, itseemed that people bought it only as long as they owned a Sega Genesis and any ofthe Sonic games. Still, even after the SEGA steamroller slowed, SONIC keptgoing strong, gaining readership and acceptance in newsstands across thecountry. Why?

    From the beginning of publication up through the present, Sonic's bookshave featured something that many mainstream comics (like X-MEN or JLA)lack: accessibility. This doesn't mean that every issue is a stand-alonestory, but it does mean that the writing is reader-friendly. By that I mean thatthe characters are well spoken but not overly wordy, the plots areinteresting but not excessively intricate, and the narrative is welcoming but nottrite. Yes, you could say that these comics are aimed at a lower age bracketthan most Marvel or DC comics, but they're by no means unfit for an olderaudience.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that readers reminiscent of "theold days" of comics should give these books a try. If nothing else, theyfeature an element of fun long missing in mainstream titles. They respectthings like continuity and characterization, but still manage to not takethemselves too seriously. Perhaps it's made easier because the entire casts of bothSONIC and KNUCKLES are furry forest critters, or because the lead villainsfeature names like Dr. Robotnik, but no matter the reason, these comics feature elements that books like X-MEN have been missing for some time.

    Some comics (such as the Tomb Raider and Pokemon ones I'll explainfurther below) are popular based simply on the franchise from which they stem. Originally, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG was like this. As the years passed andno new significant Sonic games were released (after 1994's Sonic andKnuckles), one would assume that the comic's popularity would decrease as well, as the character would be losing it's audience by not staying in thespotlight. Not so. In fact, SONIC's sales continued to grow steadily. For the mostpart, this happened because the comic had established itself as a separateentity from the video game franchise and attracted its own audience.

    Another interesting thing is the attraction of talent away from the mainstream comics field, including artists like Steven Butler(ULTRAFORCE), James Fry (MOON KNIGHT), and Jim Valentino (SHADOWHAWK, founding memberor Image Comics). Why would these gentlemen leap into something so unconventional, so new as the Archie Adventure Series of comics? To paraphrase Mr. Valentino, "Everybody is saying, ‘Where are the kids,'but they're right here, reading SONIC." (He's referring to theever-increasing average age of comic book readers, with Sonic comics being the sole exception.)

    Indeed they are. Call it accessibility, call it fun, call it whateveryou wish, but the Sonic comics are reaching a chord with the youngeraudience that mainstream books haven't been able to grasp. They're just good fun comics, and that's what really attracts the readers, young and old.

    Sonic #78 Preview. - Zifei 2:35pm CST, 7-9-99
    Detroit News just put up the preview for Sonic #78:

    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #78 cover

    Written by Ken Penders, art by James Fry.

    "Changes." A defining moment for Sonic and his friends as Sonic is finally knighted and King Max declares the formation of the Kingdom of Knothole - a state that will serve as a have for all Mobians who wish to live free of Robotnik's tyranny. Furthermore, he announces the reformation of the Knothole Freedom Fighters - officially sanctioned to serve in conjunction with Geoffrey's Secret Service Team to keep the peace. And a fragile peace it is, as Robotnik and his charges still lurk about, plotting their revenge against Sonic. As if that weren't enough, in his quest to fortify his computer for his latest onslaught, Robotnik finds and launches a file that will ultimately tie into the upcoming adaptation of the Sega Dreamcast game. And wait until you see who the first lieutenant is.

    32 pages, $1.79, ships on Oct. 8.

    SA Demo! - Zifei 10:39pm CST, 7-8-99
    The N. America Dreamcast will include a demo disc that includes a playable version of Sonic Adventure...what the heck, if you're reading this and is getting a DC, I'm sure you're also getting SA, so nevermind this...news filler.

    Invasion Mobius Preview! - Zifei 10:37pm CST, 7-8-99
    The first pages of this fan comic will be coming in 2 days, but here's the 3D cover to Senerio 1: "First Strike" by yours truely to hold you over. Do believe the hype :-)

    SatAM Not On Toonami! - Maniac email 9:27pm CST, 7-7-99
    You know that "new" Toonami that is supposed to have 4 new shows in it? I went to the Cartoon Network Website and found out that this new Toonami is the revived Saturday afternoon edition that has the following line-up in NO particular order [which means no SatAM in the lineup!]:

    Sailor Moon
    Dragon Ball Z
    Real Adventures of Johnny Quest
    Powerpuff Girls

    Sorry guys, guess you still have to put up with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog some more.....

    SA Box Art. - Zifei 9:21pm CST, 7-7-99
    Here's the official box art for the North American version of Sonic Adventure.

    Dates... - Rich & Justin 9:19pm CST, 7-7-99
    Remember these 2 dates:

  • August 30th, 1999 - Sonic Underground will start playing on weekdays on UPN Network.

  • September 7th, 1999 - ADV has moved the Sonic anime release up 2 days to the 7th.
  • Ken's Attitude Toward Sonic. - Zifei 6:49pm CST, 7-6-99
    In response to a fan's opinion about Ken only cares for Knuckles now, Penders replyed:

    I'd like to set the record straight for people who are of the opinion I'm pro-Knuckles and anti-Sonic, as it bewilders me when I hear that charge.

    My efforts to save the KNUCKLES series are part self-interest and part love of the character, but my efforts would not be any less if I were working on SONIC. I could've been the regular writer on SONIC had I so desired way back when, but I was more intrigued with the challenge of building a title from the ground level up with KNUCKLES, so that was what factored into my decision-making process.

    If I had stayed with SONIC, the series would more than likely be completely different from what you saw during the past 25 issues. This is not meant to be taken as a knock towards Karl, as he would've been the regular writer on KNUCKLES, and chances are people would be singing his praises and throwing me brickbats.

    I have more than a few SONIC stories still left in me, but whether or not they get told in the pages of SONIC SUPER SPECIAL remain to be seen, as that book is also suffering from distribution problems.

    For people to assume we're prioritizing KNUCKLES at the expense of SONIC is far from the truth, as a lot is riding on the health of all of the books.

    New Editorial! - Zifei 5:09pm CST, 7-6-99
    Heh, we finally got a new editorial. It's called "The Real Bad Guys". Goto the editorial page and read it now!

    Knuckles #31 Preview. - Zifei 3:56pm CST, 7-6-99
    Ken posted the preview for Knuckles #31 on his site yesterday, click here to view it.

    SA: Back In Business! - Zifei 3:39pm CST, 7-6-99
    Sales figures revealed in Japan today say that Sonic Adventure sold 23,480 copies in the week of June 20 - 26th. All the sales came AFTER the price drop on June 24th. This puts Sonic Adventure as the 14th best selling game in Japan. The game has now sold a total of 416,733 copies, making it the best selling DC game out right now.

    Oh No! My DC Killed Kenny! - Zifei 10:37pm CST, 7-5-99
    There is a Dreamcast trailer before the South Park movie. This is confirmed by 6 different sources. Sonic will run very fast in it. Most likely, you'll find the trailer in Regal Cinemas or Hollywood Theaters.

    How To Make SA? - Zifei 8:34pm CST, 7-5-99
    Sega of Japan will soon release a series of videos on how to make 3D videogames. The tapes will feature the Sonic Team and Yu Suzuki's AM2. A part of it will be about the makings of Sonic Adventure. The videos will go on sale at Joypolis in Japan. You should check in with a games import store in a month if you're truely interested in the tapes (they're in Japanese).

    The Chosen One... - Zifei 8:26pm CST, 7-5-99
    He will bring balance to the planet Mobius, he's none other than Tails! And his story might just get delayed because of that something special (see below) starting at Knuckles #35! Here's what Ken said:

    At this point, I honestly don't know what the status is. I'm currently evaluating which [story] would seem a more natural follow-up to the events in KNUCKLES #35, and I probably won't know for another three weeks or so. I'm leaning towards the revamped RETURN TO ALBION storyline for a variety of reasons, but I haven't ruled out following up with THE CHOSEN ONE either. Everything is a tough call, as we're doing our best to keep everyone interested in the book as much as possible while attracting new readers at the same time.

    Unless everyone pitches in and does their part, six months from now might not even matter. I, however, can't afford to take that attitude. My reasons for hoping is that Marvel has had trouble with a few titles lately that were either about to be cancelled or just cancelled, only to see reader support bring them back from the dead. KNUCKLES isn't that far gone yet, but it could be if everyone sees nothing but doom and gloom.

    If anyone wants the straight facts, just ask me. If you don't hear news from an official source, such as myself or Justin, then anything passed along is just a rumor until it is verified. We don't need bad speculations to be accepted as gospel truth.

    Looks like Manny's Star Wars crossover will get pushed back as well (or axed).

    Knuckles Gets New Splash! - Zifei 8:22pm CST, 7-5-99
    Ken Penders yesterday commented on what will happen to Knuckles now that the book is going bi-monthly:

    As of now, it may be going bi-monthly as of issue #35, but that doesn't mean we're going down without a fight. Because of circumstances, we will be retooling things a bit in order to make the series more accessible for new readers to jump on, as well as give those Sonic readers who haven't read the book an incentive to try. Issue #35 features a book length adventure that'll thrill and stun everyone by the time it's over. Even Justin was bowled over when he read what I came up with.

    While #35 heralds the beginning of a major crossroad for everyone's favorite echidna, #36 opens the door to something new and different, as the KNUCKLES back-up stories go on hiatus for awhile as we debut a new series based on another Sega game. Every issue will see a six page story written by yours truly with art by none other than Spaz! That's right. This will be his first regular series of stories, as opposed to covers, and anything goes. If sales do increase, not only could KNUCKLES be restored to monthly status, but there's a chance of a spin-off depending upon reaction. More information will be forthcoming once I have all the details, as we're busy figuring them out ourselves. Take care.

    Another Sega game...hmm, well, it's not NiGHTS, it has to be for kids, and it should be a fur...Astal? Or another game, Ecco. Heh, that would be cool.

    SA Sales Rising! - Zifei 12:34am CST, 7-3-99
    According to SegaX, Sonic Adventure sales have reached over 65,000 copies in just 4 days after the price drop on June 24th! This is incredible news, maybe SA will pass the million mark in Japan...then again, maybe not.

    Roboticization... - Zifei 2:37pm CST, 7-2-99
    A very interesting topic came up on the Sonic Newsgroup, how did Uncle Chuck eat a chil1 dog in the episode of "Spyhog" in the SatAM cartoon? Here's what Ben Hurst, writer of the cartoon, said in response:

    Actually, the roboticizer converts the limbs and outer portions of the body - but leaves the central core organs and the brain in organic form, albeit severely restricted in free will. A poignant moment was when Uncle Chuck disclosed that those who were roboticized were still able to know what was happening to them, a particularly wicked form of torture "added" to the roboticizer program by Julian/Robotnik. In another episode, Sonic discovers the area of Robotnik's HQ where the organic "glop" is being prepared for the roboticized citizens. So...Uncle Chuck might indeed be able to eat a chili dog, but it could give him gastrointestinal distress.

    Hmmm...ok. Remember this only applies to the SatAM cartoon, not Archie. But we'll be sure to throw this at the Archie staff at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con '99, which we will cover to the fullest extent.

    SA Marketing! - Zifei 11:57am CST, 7-2-99
    According to a number of retailers, Sega has started shipments of Dreamcast kiosks to them. Sega has promised to ship kiosks to more than 10,000 store fronts. Sonic Adventure will be one of the games included.

    SA Fan Comic: Take 2. - Zifei 10:59pm CST, 7-1-99
    Alessandro Sanasi has posted part 2 of the very good looking Sonic Adventure fan comic by Eva Richarte Prieto from Spain. You can click here to view part 2.

    SA Toys... - Zifei 9:59pm CST, 6-30-99
    These are some of many Sonic Adventure toys that's hitting Japan right now and will hit the US later this year. Sega of Japan opened up a new section at their homepage. It's a toys section, you can find all the info you'll need on the Dreamcast toys there...if you know Japanese, that is. Click here to visit that page, or just click here and hit straight for the Sonic toys section.

    SA At Cyberfest... - Zifei 9:35pm CST, 6-30-99
    This if from Sega themselves:

    Sega Dreamcast will be performing live at Cyberfest -- A Massive 12 hour cutting edge Festival of the Future celebrating life through music, dance, coming of age, friendship, technology, spirituality, knowledge and the creative arts. Come dance your ass off to great talents like The Chemical Brothers, Goldie, KRS One, Josh Wink and more.

    ...Imagine acres and acres of freedom to dance with 40,000 Global music revellers, becoming one with the Universe and welcoming the dawn of a beautiful new day... featuring 7 entertainment arenas, DJ tents, Extreme sports, carnival attractions and tons more including an incredible positive atmosphere and as always the unique deep spriritual connection that unites us...

    Play some of the sixteen titles that will be available at launch for Sega Dreamcast including Sonic Adventure[tm], NBA 2k[tm], NFL 2k[tm], Ready to Rumble[tm] from Midway, Soul Calibur[tm] from Namco and Power Stone[tm] from Capcom. The contest will rock with more than 12 kiosks featuring blistering 128 bit performance and booming 64 channels of audio that only Sega Dreamcast can deliver.

    Free Stuff:
    At the event, Sega will also give fans a chance to brag to their friends about playing the new Sega Dreamcast with pre-stamped postcards that they can send out from the show and stickers featuring the new Sega Dreamcast "viral" ads.

    Sonic Comic Popularity. - Steve email 8:05pm CST, 6-29-99
    This below is an editorial from Gaming-Sages, a site of Imagine Games Network.

    Sonic the Hedgehog: Six years ago, in the midst of the peak of SEGA's American success with the Genesis, the company licensed out the Sonic family of characters to Archie Comics. Archie Comics, best known for their comic books featuring Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and the rest of the gang, were at the time also publishing comics based on the waning sensation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With two successful licenses on their hands, the Archie Adventure Series imprint was created, and a dynasty was born.

    Tragedy soon struck: the cancellation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series the next year left sales of that book and its companion series (featuring "the Mutanimals") in the dirt, and they were both cancelled. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG alone remained, mysteriously achieving success despite SEGA's waning market presence or the appearance of any new Sonic video games.

    Two years ago, still under the Archie Adventure Series imprint, after several mini-series and guest-appearances, a spin-off was launched, starring "Sonic's friendly nemesis." The book, KNUCKLES THE ECHIDNA was not as successful as its parent titles, but was still a smash. Shortly thereafter, the specials that Archie had been publishing featuring Sonic were given an official numbering, and the quarterly, double-sized SONIC SUPER SPECIAL series was born.

    Now with three successful titles featuring SEGA characters under its belt, Archie began to look elsewhere in the SEGA library of characters for new books to publish. Up came NiGHTS, whose game on the Saturn was one of the 32-bit machine's few successes. Originally planned as a three-issue mini-series, it was soon extended for another three issues. Unfortunately, these next three issues didn't sell very well and the series was cancelled, leaving Archie once again with the Sonic family, and that alone.

    Currently, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG comics are outselling traditional industry favorite UNCANNY X-MEN almost on a 2 to 1 basis (from the 1997-1998 publishing year statistics). With the return of both SEGA and Sonic to American shores this September with the Dreamcast and Sonic Adventure, it would seem that the comics' sales should skyrocket, extending that margin even further.

    Glad to see some industry people actually seeing the success of the Sonic comic. The comic industry itself is also starting to take notice of the Sonic comic, an indication would be the rising sales in the direct market sector.

    Rent A Dream! - Zifei 7:55pm CST, 6-29-99
    Make that rent a Dreamcast at a Hollywood Videos store near you starting on July 15th. Sega revealed today that Sonic Adventure will be part of the batch of 3 games for the Dreamcast rental. The DC will rent for $20 for 2 days. The other games are Ready 2 Rumble and Powerstone. Only 1,000 Hollywood stores will be carring this (100 DCs each), you may try the DC out before renting.

    Knuckles #28 Release Date! - Zifei 8:25pm CST, 6-28-99
    Archie Comics' Knuckles the Echidna comic issue #28 will be released on 7-7-99 for $1.79.

    DC Commercials. - Zifei 8:07pm CST, 6-28-99
    Sega just posted 3 of their first Dreamcast commercials. They look like the old Genny commericals, cool and well..way past cool! Click here to download them. If you just don't want to download, the commercials will be aired on MTV tonight.

    New Look... - Zifei 7:59pm CST, 6-28-99
    This new look is part of Project Sonichq.com. Just a small teaser in the huge project...:-)

    New Poll! - Zifei 7:57pm CST, 6-28-99
    In the last poll, we asked you if Sega of America should change the music in Sonic Adventure, here are the results after 120 fans voted:

    1) No (80) 66%
    2) Don't care (23) 19%
    3) Yes (19) 15%

    If I had voted, I would actually vote toward yes, because the music of Sonic CD was much imporved IMO after SoA changed it. Anyway, now to the new poll: Will you give Sonic Underground a chance? Start voting!

    Last Week's News. - Zifei 7:49pm CST, 6-28-99
    Last week, we covered news such as Movie trailers, Sonic on the big screen, Number 8, Knuckles dying, SSS#11, and much more. Click here to read.

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