Um, Sega Once Made A Sonic Fighting Game

As promised, today we'll be looking at Sonic the Fighters.

Otherwise known as That 3D Fighting Game Sega Made That For Some Reason Starred Sonic The Hedgehog.

The story of the game goes like this: in 1995, Sega released an awesome (and sadly forgotten) fighting game called Fighting Vipers. One of the game's character designers, Masahiro Sugiyama, thought it'd be funny to secretly slide both Sonic and Tails into the game. While they were never playable by the public in arcades (though the assets are in the game and are playable via hacks), Sonic boss Yuji Naka thought the idea was so great that the pair deserved their own fighting game.

And so in 1996 Sonic the Fighters - amazingly, Sonic's first true 3D appearance - was born.

A 3D arcade fighting game built roughly on the bones (and controls) of Virtua Fighter's technology, which included nine playable characters, three bosses and a further five unused fighters that, again, are accessible only via hacking.

Because this was a Sonic game, it was also a relatively simple experience, lacking in the elaborate moves or combos that more serious fighting games are renowned for. After all, it had to be playable, and enjoyable, for young Sonic fans.

Sadly, the original arcade version saw only a limited release outside of Japan, so the only way most people in the West have experience with the title is thanks to its re-release as part of 2005's Sonic Gems Collection, a compendium of older and often rarer Sonic games released on the PS2 and GameCube.

Like many 3D games from the 1990s, Sonic the Fighters hasn't exactly aged well (though it's clean cartoon style has it looking better than, say, Virtua Fighters), and many fighting game fans dismiss it for its simplicity. They're missing the point, though. The point here was that you could take control of Sonic and, rather than living in fear of spikes and little robot animals, go to town on people. Including Tails. How many other games let you punch Tails in the face, over and over, until he goes down?

Exactly. Not nearly enough.


    Holy shit balls. I remember this, it was at Timezone in Frankston for a short stint back when I was a tyke obsessed with that place. I had never seen or heard of anything that game about it since, to the point where I'd sometimes wonder if it were all just a figment of my imagination.

    Ahh the 90's.

      Yep, this game was some pretty cool shit.
      That and Virtua On.

      Awww yeeeaaaaa

    I remember the Timezone near my grandparents had this. It was one of the setups that had a screen on opposite sides of the machine. I loved this thing as a kid.

    Didn't realise there were unused characters though.

    Actually, rewatching that again, therearen't 8 Chaos Emeralds...

      Yes there is. 7 Chaos Emeralds and 1 Master Emerald as introduced in Sonic and Knuckles

        An extra emerald was added to the game due to it having 8 playable characters. The 8th emerald isnt cannon in any way.

        By that logic, there were actually 15 emeralds (7 Chaos Emeralds, 7 Super Emeralds and 1 Master Emerald), and Tired Warrior is indeed correct. And now, geeky Sonic fan, AWAY! :-P

    Timezone must have been the place for these, I remeber there being one in the Garden City arcade in Perth in the late 90s.
    Didn't have the cash to play it much at the time but I found it fun enough.

    haha they hadn't invented enough crappy characters at that point so they had to put some nobodies in there.

      actually bean, bark and fang the sniper are from the comics

        Actually, they appeared in this game before being pilfered for the Archie-branded Sonic comics and given backstory.

          In fact, Nack/Fang appeared two years before the release of Sonic the Fighters, in Sonic: Triple Trouble on the Game Gear.

    Didn't they use his moves in this game for inspiration for his appearance in Smash Bros Brawl?

      Nope, they used his breakdancing-style attacks from both the Sonic Advance series and Sonic Battle as inspiration for SOME of his moves.

    Whoah whoah whoah. Hold the phone. You beat the rings out of people? Hell yes!

    I remember this! The goddamned weasel with the popgun was IMPOSSIBLE to defeat. But if you played as him, you could get to the final boss in minutes. Just spam the shoot button.

      Spin dash, pop corks bounce off, Nack/Fang becomes a pushover.

    An interesting note is that it came out before Super Smash Bros. on the N64! Nintendo and Sega used to always borrow from each other - in the name of friendly competition of course!

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