The Sonic Second: Sonic de Amiga

Shortly before the release of Sonic 1, British video game developer U.S. Gold, already known for porting Sega hits such as OutRun to home computers, announced that they had the home computer rights to Sonic 1. This was reported in the June 1991 issue of British gaming magazine Computer and Video Games as a sidebar amidst a preview for the Mega Drive version of Sonic 1:

ComputerandVideoGamesJune1991_2
image from info.sonicretro.org

SONIC SPECTRUMS?
Just before this issue of CVG went to press, US Gold announced that they had the home computer rights to Sonic the Hedgehog! This means that the cuddly little hedgehog will be appearing on the Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, [Atari] ST and Amiga! No programming team has been signed up yet to carry out the conversion, but as soon [as] we get any more details (like when it’s coming out, for example), expect an update here in CVG!

It’s possible that when they list Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Atari ST and Amiga they are merely speculating. The only version to have any confirmation is on the Amiga: In the September 1991 issue of the Italian version of a different British gaming magazine, The Games Machine, this sidebar was run:

TheGamesMachineItalian_Issue34_September1991_03full
image from info.sonicretro.org

Il grazioso personaggio in stile Disney creato dai programmatori della Sega per il Megadrive stà riscontrando un enorme successo in molte parti del mondo (tra cui l’Italia), grazie alla grande velocità e fluidità con cui si muove tutto il gioco. Già negli ultimi mesi del 1990, quando “SONIC the hedgehog” fu presentato alle varie fiere di computer/videogame americane nelle sue prime schermate, molti lo definirono come il più probabile miglior platform game mai visto sino ad oggi; e vi assicuro che non si sbagliavano!
SONIC è stato creato per contrastare il ré delle piattaforme, che come sapete è (era NdP) MARIO, e secondo me non dovrebbe avere problemi in proposito! Ultimamente la SEGA ha deciso di riprodurre SONIC in versione arcade (non capita spesso di vedere un gioco da casa convertito poi in coin-op!), e di concedere la licenza alla US GOLD Per la ricreazione del gioco nei vari formati per computer; Non credo che su computer (ad eccezione del PC) si potranno raggiungere gli stessi livelli di velocità che potete vedere su console, comunque sia dalle foto che ci sono giunte in redazione della versione per Amiga in programmazione, sembra che ce la stiano mettendo tutta! Speriamo… In attesa di ulteriori notizie su queste attesissime conversioni cuccatevi la recensione di SONIC per sua eccellenza il Megadrive in questo stesso numero; e non svenitemi davanti le foto!
Curiosità: Chi fosse interessato può procurarsi le magliette con su il faccione di SONIC: purtroppo sono molto costose! (Particolare che non poteva sfuggire a un Gabibbone come il nostro Gabriele NdP) (Paolo, cosa vorresti insinuare?!!).
Bye, bye.
Gabriele Pasquali.

(I’ve reproduced the text so that it can be copied into Google Translate easily.) They discuss Sonic’s success, mention the U.S. Gold deal, express doubt that home computers could handle Sonic’s speed, but go on to say that the Amiga screens they received show promise.

TheGamesMachineItalian_Issue34_September1991_Title
image from info.sonicretro.org
Sonic1AmigaGHZ
image from info.sonicretro.org

It’s not known whether these are merely mock-ups or if U.S. Gold actually had something running; if the latter is the case, it would be amazing if the ROM could be found someday. The graphics appear to be completely redrawn, and one can only guess as what the music would have sounded like converted to Amiga chiptunes.

It’s also not known why it never saw the light of day. U.S. Gold seemed to manage lots of other Sega ports in 1991, such as Shadow Dancer, Bonanza Bros, and Alien Storm, so why not Sonic? Was the engine too hard to recreate, or did Yuji Naka perhaps put the kibosh on it like when he grew uncomfortable with his code being used for Sonic X-treme? We may never know.

As it turned out, when Sonic finally did make his way to home computers with Sonic CD and the Sonic & Knuckles Collection, they could pretty much handle the games as they already existed and only needed minimal changes. It would be very interesting to see a PC Sonic from an earlier era, especially for me as I grew up around Commodore computers and the Atari ST and always wondered what one would be like.


h/t Sonic Retro

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