Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)

From Videogame Morgue File

Sonic the Hedgehog is a 1991 platform game released by Sega in June 1991. The first installment in the series of the same name, it would prove to be a massive success in the West, bolstering sales of the Mega Drive (Genesis in North America) and establishing it as a serious rival to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.


Original Mega Drive/Genesis version[edit]


Magazine covers[edit]


Reader letters[edit]




Forum posts[edit]

Usenet ([edit]

  • "more on MD Fan and Beep! MD" - Sir Han J. Lee summarizes upcoming games seen in two Japanese magazines, including Sonic the Hedgehog (August 9, 1990)
  • "SEGA NEWS -part 3" - Sir Han J. Lee updates their list of upcoming Mega Drive games, once again including Sonic the Hedgehog; one of the replies comments on the notion that it's "SEGA's answer to Mario and Bonk" (November 5, 1990)
  • "Lynx Shanghai, more CES game news" -
  • "I played the Super Famicom" - in a mostly unrelated thread, Dave Taylor proclaims that Sonic "will be HOT HOT HOT" based on its showing at that year's Winter CES (January 14, 1991)
  • "Turbo Grafx Dying?????" - a reply to this thread mentions Sonic as an "expected standout" based on the 1991 Winter CES (March 8, 1991)
  • "Ces" - Eric Glover discusses the games and consoles on offer at CES, including a claim that "Sonic ***NUKED*** anything I saw, heard, wished was on the Super Famicon [sic] that day" (June 11, 1991)
  • "SONIC the Hedgehog (Genesis) is out!" - a short thread praising the game that confirms that it was released in portions of California on June 11, 1991 (the day the OP was posted)
  • "Sonic 'Hog News Wanted" - a user solicits opinions on the game, with details indicating some people had received it prior to the official American release date (June 12, 1991)
  • "Sonic" - a short thread with a reply claiming that the game sold out in portions of Washington (June 13, 1991)
  • "Move over Mario, SONIC is here!!!" - Ken Clarke's first impressions of the game are glowing, going so far as to say that it trumps every Mario game available at the time (June 13, 1991)
  • "Sonic The Hedgehog" - Lee Thompson notes that the game released in Seattle, Washington that day and opens a discussion about its merits (June 14, 1991)
  • "Sonic and Star Control..." - before asking a question about Star Control, Gregory Legowski expresses his fondness for Sonic and claims it's "a hit with my entire apartment building!" (June 17, 1991)
  • "Sonic Mania" - Han Lee mentions that the game was "sold out practically everywhere," to the point where Electronic Boutique set up a wait list to purchase it (June 18, 1991)
  • "Star Control Review wanted (plus some misc. stuff!)" - Larry J Brackney deviates from the main purpose of the thread to offer some thoughts on Sonic (June 18, 1991)
  • "Can't find Sonic; Help!" - Dylan Ginsburg can't find the game anywhere around Washington, D.C. and requests help, only to find it at a Babbage's less than a day later (June 18, 1991)
  • "What's the big deal with Sonic?" - Doug Quarnstrom questions the hype surrounding the game; two others explain why they love it so much (June 19, 1991)
  • "Sonic impressions" - a moderately positive but skeptical review of the game, with a considerable amount of debate afterward (June 21, 1991)
  • "Mario -vs- Sonic" - a debate comparing Sonic to the first and third Mario games, primarily (circa June 29, 1991)
  • "Sonic - Labyrinth Act 3" - Steve Jonke asks for advice on handling the titular level's boss, then expresses fondness for the zone as a whole (July 31, 1991)
  • "flashing dot on lynx" - a thread which derails into sharing impressions on contemporary games, Sonic included (August 18, 1991)
  • "Post Sonic Blues ... what to do..." - a reply to an older thread that explains the level select cheat and mentions that their friends are addicted to the game (circa September 17, 1991)


  1. "SONIC the Hedgehog (Genesis) is out!" ( post from June 11, 1991)
  2. This Usenet thread, dated June 12, 1991, mentions that some people in the USA had managed to obtain and play a copy of the game as early as the previous day.
  3. At least two different magazine ads - one that ran in Beep! MegaDrive and one that ran in Mega Drive Fan - provide this release date for the game.
  4. Sega of Japan mentions this date on two separate web pages: their game history and their page for the game's Wii Virtual Console release.
  5. "New Mega Drive/Genesis releases (MD Fan, Beep! MD June issue)" ( post from June 5, 1991)