Sonic may be one of the most famous video game characters on the face of the planet, but first appearance in a domestic video game is actually relatively unknown. Sonic's actual début occurred in the arcade racer Rad Mobile (later ported to the Sega Saturn under the title Gale Racer) where he appeared as a dangling ornament in your windscreen, and many people would understandably assume that he took his first home bow in the first Mega Drive / Genesis game, which launched in June 1991 in North America.
However, as popular UK YouTuber "Guru" Larry Bundy Jr. reveals, this isn't actually the case - and the story behind Sonic's first appearance on domestic television sets is almost stranger than fiction.
In the latest episode of his long-running series Games Yanks Can't Wank (apologies to our more sensitive readers for the rather crude naming), Larry digs up an obscure Amiga platformer that was given away free with a magazine of the period, and is the honest-to-God first real appearance of the blue hedgehog.
We won't go into too much detail as Larry does a superb job of spinning out the tale, but basically Factor 5 (of Turrican and later Star Wars: Rogue Squadron fame) found itself in a rather ropey position at the dawn of the '90s as the home computer games market was starting to dry up and gamers were flocking to consoles in droves. To balance the books the German developer decided to produce quick and easy "free" games which could be stuck to the front of gaming magazines of the period - in exchange for a handsome sum of cash from the publisher, of course.
One of those efforts was The Adventures of Quik & Silva, a 2D platformer which takes a lot of inspiration from the finest PC Engine and Mega Drive releases of the era. Remarkably this game was made in just two weeks, and even more remarkably it represents the first outing for Sonic - albeit it in a totally unofficial and unauthorised capacity.
Sega's mascot is shown in the game alongside Mario, Bub (Bubble Bobble), the R-9a Arrowhead (R-Type) and many other famous icons from the world of interactive entertainment. Permission was obviously not given for these to be in Quik & Silva, but the fact that the game was cover-mounted and not actually published in stores clearly allowed them to slip through the net. However, to be safe Factor 5 developed the game under the pseudonym New Bits On The RAM, ripping-off the logo of the Bitmap Brothers (Speedball, The Chaos Engine) in the process.
The video is well worth a look, so give it a watch and let us know if you came away wiser and perhaps a little more confused about this crazy industry we all love so much.
On another 'obscure Sonic appearance' note, that image you've used for the article was the cover of a choose your own adventure book which I read in the 90s and haven't been able to find since.
i herd of this but before, didn't know there was a detailed vid TY for sharing.
Wow, I had forgot how awesome "The Adventures of Quik & Silva" was! Awesome music by Chris Huelsbeck! I should really fire up my old Amiga 500+ one of these days...
@RaymanFan2 No way, I had that when I was a kid! Totally forgot it existed until now. It was one of those 'turn to pg 24 if you want a) to happen or 57 if you want b)' type efforts right?
I don't suppose you remember the name of it? I would quite like to track a copy down for my son if it's knocking about on ebay somewhere. He'd love it.
Now, that's what I call obscure trivia!
This is interesting... So the guys (guy?) behind Turrican basically ripped off everything that was popular at the time and something that was yet to even be released. GG, guys, GG.
Well that was all news to me.
I love Guru Larry!
Huh. I had no idea. I knew about Rad Mobile, but not Quik & Silva.
Shame Factor 5 no longer exists... I want Rogue Squadron back.
I knew this already.
And NOT because of "Guru" Larry Bundy Jr.
There are other youtube vids that came before his that talked about the subject.
He's a day late and a rollar short... as it were.
dollar*... damn this lack of being able to edit your mistakes here..
Also.. "Games Yanks Can't Wank"?
What the hell sort of title is that?
Ohhhhh that's right, dipsticks from the UK call folks from the US yanks.
Even though people in the south in the US already call folks in the nort yanks.
I get the feeling this dude is not fond of folks from the US.
And now I'm wishing LucasArts could release a Rogue Squadron compilation on Wii U, or a PC port of Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike with enhanced graphics as a lead up to the new movie and new Battlefront.
@TheGoof I'm pretty sure you can edit your own messages.
@TheGoof Stuttering Craig of Screw Attack came up the name of this series when Larry was making videos for them and suggested a series about games that never made it to the USA.
I did love Rogue Leader...
The article title made me reminisce about Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader on gamecube. that was such an awesome game.
Just give me a port of the Star Wars Arcade remake, please!
@TheGoof You can edit your own comments here. Refresh the page then hover over your comment, there should be an edit button underneath.
Also you say that as if people in the US never call anyone from any other country names for no real reason...
I would have loved Quik and Silva if I had been growing up in the UK. It's surprisingly solid for a 2 week rush job and as a budget game. Especially considering it's a early platformer on a computer system which, to my experience, have always been horrible with slow scrolling and awful graphics and color compared to what home consoles could do at the time.
Wow I had forgot about this game I actually had this for the amiga a500+ I remember really enjoying it. Factor 5 were great turrican was a favourite of mine as a kid
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