Sonic the Hedgehog was released for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive on June 23rd, 1991 in America and Europe, but that’s far from the beginning of Sonic’s story. Prior to that point, the character of Sonic and his revolutionary new game were shown to the public multiple times, notably at the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1990 when many of the project’s core concepts hadn’t even been finalised yet.
The first time Sonic’s final form was revealed to a large audience was at Dreams Come True’s Wonder 3 concert tour, which kicked off on November 7th, 1990, with Sonic painted on the band’s tour bus.
Readers of Sega Players Enjoy Club, or “SPEC”, were treated to some pretty cool material promoting Sonic and the tour, including a concert ticket giveaway for 5 lucky fans of Sega and Dreams Come True.
Thanks to Gazeta de Algol (a Portuguese Phantasy Star fansite), scans of this issue of SPEC are available.
Exclusively here at The Sonic Second, here are translations of the pages!
The Music Galaxy pages are written in an odd, fictionalised style. I am assuming that the section was semi-regular in SPEC, and the hip cyber-future vibe of the narration would be familiar to readers of the magazine. The article begins on another subject, then talks about seeing Dreams Come True on TV and at a live show. My notes are in [brackets].
“This ain’t no synthetic substance,” said the guy, as he placed the sauce-covered meat into his mouth. “You see, without me, you’re nothing but an artist wanna-be.” The guy looked at me, thinning his eyes.
“There is no way you can picture the future,” I said to myself, which had no effect on the outside world.
Bunch of kids show up, buy the coins to play some games. The girls are all fascinated by the display screens and they fill up the arcade. The place is always a full house. I walk through the crowd and the air lock. When I went up the stairs, I saw a door at the end of the hall that had the word “heaven” carved into it.
This seems like the real deal.
I open the door. I felt like the floor was moving. The darkness inside the room surrounded me.
I looked toward the small light source inside the room, and found a hologram in the shape of a human. It was turning around, spinning slowly.
“If this guy didn’t make it to the CD line, just consider the whole thing as a fool’s plan gone wrong.”
This isn’t an artificial voice… it’s an actual person’s voice.
The hologram’s fingers place the heated ROM chip inside the unit. I wore the headset.
TSUKA’s fingers start playing the entry chord. The ninja – Shadow Dancer – starts playing in the hyper sound. [Here they’re most likely referring to Keisuke Tsukahara demonstrating music from Shadow Dancer, the cover story for this issue of SPEC.]
“The synthetic sound was giving me a hard time, so I had to work on the sampling a lot. But you know, I think my hard work paid off. It’s all about getting used to it, and a bit of tweaking, with the square wave.”
The guy went on with this casual talk. I could tell that half of his mechanic brain was occupied by new ideas for his next project.
Then the hologram’s image suddenly changed. It was a VTR image, maybe from about 4 months ago. I saw a bunch of kids dancing in the front line, and a close-up shot of a guy with short hair. I heard the bassist shouting out.
“Do you know this guy?”
I was handed a PIA ticket. I saw the words “Dreams Come True” and “SEGA” on it.
“Those guys decided to combine forces. The album went straight to the top. I heard that you can get your hands on some cool SEGA freebies in the hall.”
The live holograph flashed suddenly.
“You guys all go home happy, ya hear me!?”
That’s Miwa’s voice. The vocalist. It must be from the Urayasu Hall.
“I heard that project SONIC has been launched. It’s a cartridge game. It’ll come out in spring….”
I was then surrounded by this light… and my mind faded out from there.
It was late Saturday night. The TV crew brought the Dreams Come True members. It was for a special 60 minute show. I heard that the other channels are showing some other popular show, but they are no match against the DCT team’s power and popularity. The songs are great, the funky attitude, they have everything. In the show they spoke about how they all first got together, and it was a great thing to watch. The song, of course, was great as usual.
I have a buddy who’s a hardcore DCT fan, and I did hear about them from him, but I had no idea how cool they actually were. According to him, this special edition show punched out an additional 3% increase to the already popular show rating.
It’s my first time in Urayasu. I have been to the city nearby to go to Disneyland, though. My problem was that I couldn’t find this “culture hall,” and I got so tired from walking around. By the time I finally found the place, all 1300 seats were full. So many girls were there. Once the show started, everyone stood up.
The bassist is Nakamuracchi, the keyboardist is Nihya, and of course the vocalist is Miwa. If you guys are planning to go to their concert, you might want to remember their names. Usually when the members appear on stage, she would shout “I am the female vocaliiiiiiiist!” and point the microphone to the audience, and then everyone would shout “Miwa Yoshida!” Then she would shake her butt and say, “Yup, that’s me!” They do this every time, it’s their thing.
I was blown away by her powerful voice. The music was great, the elegant dance, the sound and lighting added a new atmosphere to the stage each time. I can see the desert moon, the Vegas casino, the midnight bay…. Such richness, so much volume, it made me dizzy.
The song “Kuwabara Kuwabara” was so cool. The duet between Nakamuracchi and Nihya was great. [Yes, Kuwabara Kuwabara is a very good song!]
Be sure to check out the DCT ticket giveaway!
The ticket giveaway information, which should be helpful in tracking down footage of and/or information about these shows:
11/07 – Urayasu Culture Hall
11/12 – Melbrook Hall Hiroshima
11/13 – Kyoto Union Building Hall One
11/15 – Kobe Culture Hall
11/17 – Shimane Prefectural Hall
11/18 – Kurashiki City Hall
11/27 – Toyama City Hall
11/28 – Ishikawa Welfare Pension Hall
11/30 – Niigata Prefectural Hall
12/03 – Hokkaido Welfare Pension Hall
12/05 – Aomori City Hall
12/08 – Nagano Prefectural Culture Hall
12/10 – Osaka Welfare Pension Hall
12/11 – Osaka Welfare Pension Hall
12/17 – Gunma Prefectural Hall
12/19 – Yamagata Prefectural Hall
12/20 – Akita Prefectural Hall
01/07 – Ohmiya Sonic City [What an appropriate venue! :)]
01/09 – Nagoya City Hall
01/10 – Shizuoka City Hall
01/12 – Shibuya Civic Auditorium
01/14 – Iwate Prefectural Hall
01/16 – Sendai Izumi Tea Hall
01/17 – Kooriyama City Culture Hall
01/19 – Nagoya City Hall
01/21 – Matsuyama City Hall
01/22 – Kagawa Prefectural Hall
01/25 – Kagoshima City Culture Hall
01/27 – Kumamoto City Hall
01/28 – Fukuoka Sun Palace
01/30 – Kochi Prefectural Hall
02/15 – Prefectural Hall
Here at Music Galaxy, we would like to give away the tickets to Dreams Come True’s show. Some of you might end up watching the show standing, but we will have 5 tickets ready for 01/07 (at Ohmiya), 01/12 and 02/15 (Shibuya), so if you live around the Tokyo area, give it a try and send us a postcard. (For the ones who live far away from Tokyo, we are very sorry.)
If we get a lot of applicants, the winner will be chosen through a raffle.
It’s amusing to picture Sega nerds winning tickets and showing up at (possibly their first) DCT show to see this great new Sonic game. It’s cute, and it reminds me of how my obsessive love of Sonic brought me to their music. 🙂
Last but not least, the Sonic article, including a quick (of course) interview with Sonic himself, which belies the notion that classic Sonic should never talk:
Thanks for your patience, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for!
Sonic the Hedgehog!
I will never forget that day. It was at last year’s designer’s meeting when Mr. Big Island said “Hey, let’s create a character and a game that will surpass all of those existing games and characters that are out there.”
His words eventually led to hundreds of staff working together, and now it is starting to form a certain shape. The day Sonic the Hedgehog presents himself to the world is coming close.
Amazing tricks and traps, colourful unique characters, and Sonic’s comical action is just a small part of it. People who saw Sonic at the [Tokyo Toy Show] had the chance to see the strange world of Sonic, but it doesn’t end there. There is more to the world of Sonic, something even bigger with more humour and thrills awaits you all.
Hang on and sit tight, ’cause it’s coming soon!
[The interview begins]
Rimo: OK then, let’s move on to the interview with Mr. Sonic.
Rimo: (Yikes! He’s using English!?) So, you will have your big debut in 1991, and I’d like to let the readers of the SPEC magazine know about you more, would that be OK?
Sonic: Yes! Of course it’s OK! So, what do you wanna ask me?
Rimo: Let’s start with where you are from then.
Sonic: I’m from Christmas Island. It’s a completely different world from yours, a very strange place. I live there with my buddies.
Rimo: And your job?
Sonic: You guys already know it, right? I’m an adventurer! I’m actually in the middle of this really cool adventure! Don’t you know about it?
Rimo: Uh, yeah, sorry… I… well, um, what are your hobbies?
Sonic: Rock band! Listening to their music. You see, Dreams Come True is working on the background music, so I’m super excited. Plus the *BEEP* is so *BEEP* and *BEEP* and… hey, what was that “beep” sound? [Sonic obviously isn’t talking about playing Rock Band the game, so he’s either referring to playing in his band or listening to rock bands.]
Rimo: Hahaha, (I can’t let all the information out right now…) we just censored it a bit… OK, thank you! That’s it for now. In the next month’s edition, we will introduce the upgraded Sonic. This interview was brought to you by Rimo the Rambler from SPEC magazine, goodbye for now~~~.
Sonic: Hey! I haven’t spoken enough yet!! Hey? Hey!!
*static snow noise*
For me, the best parts of these pages are the banner art that’s clearly based on the prototype Green Hill Zone graphics, Sonic talking about living on Christmas Island with his buddies (as opposed to having just been born there) in “a completely different world from yours”, and Sonic being excited about DCT doing his game’s music. (It is odd, though, how they keep mistakenly rendering the band’s name as “Dream Come True” instead of “Dreams Come True”.)
And can I just mention how cool SPEC is in the first place? A newsletter full of manga, comic strips, and sketched art by actual Sega developers like Rieko Kodama, Yasushi Yamaguchi, Tohru Yoshida, and Naoto Ohshima? Its very existence is pure awesomeness.
The art of Sonic on the last two pages is signed “Rimo” (who also conducted the interview), who is most likely Sakatsu Rimo, an alias for Tsukasa Mori, a designer for Sega games such as King Colossus, Phantasy Star IV, and Skies of Arcadia.
That’s it for this weeks Sonic Second. Like Sonic says in Rimo’s drawing, “Expect much of next!”
Thanks to zeus777 for the translation.
Scans from Gazeta de Algol.