Rare Design Documents Show Sonic's Proposed Dance Animation

Rare Design Documents Show Sonic's Proposed Dance Animation

Sonic almost danced the night away in the original game, plus other rare concepts.

One of Kirby's original trademark moves was a little dance that he would do after beating a boss. As it turns out, Sonic almost had a dance animation of his own.

In a rare appearance, former Sonic Team members Hirokazu Yasuhara and Naoto Ohshima appeared to recount the creation of Sonic, level design, and other stories from the original game's creation. They brought with them a handful of fascinating design docs, including original pitch documents as well as animation and level design concepts.

Among the documents was the concept for a dance animation that ultimately wasn't included due to memory constraints. Ohshima included it in the talk for posterity.

Another document detailed one of Sonic's many history concepts. In this one, a fighter pilot nicknamed "Hedgehog" has a Sonic emblem on his jacket, which his wife turns into a children's story.

Yasuhara, meanwhile, brought out various level design ideas. He talked about how the main goal was to create levels that couldn't be replicated on 8-bit consoles, resulting in loops and other interesting terrain features.

The pair concluded by drawing their own individual takes on Sonic. Ohshima's Sonic was the classic Sonic we all know, while Yasuhara's design was a little more... crude.

Sonic has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance of late thanks to Sonic Mania, which scored rave reviews from fans and critics alike as well a Best 20 Games of 2017 nod from us. Sega is currently prepping Sonic Mania Plus, a physical version that will include bonus characters and other extras. It's due this summer.

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

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