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Common Knowledge / Sonic the Hedgehog

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Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic video game characters of The '90s, but it's still prone to a lot of Common Knowledge. A lot of this is due to fanon being being mistaken for canon, Adaptation Displacement with the various, often wildly different, adaptations, and Audience-Coloring Adaptation.

  • A common fan misconception is that Sonic's shoes are what give him his speed. Except that this has never been supported as canon in any Sonic game or any adaptation thereof, on both sides of the Pacific. In fact, the US Promotional Comic for the original game, as well as Sonic Labyrinth, even points out that Sonic has always been capable of high speeds without the shoes, and the presence of other speed-based characters in the series imply that its just a natural ability that Sonic and friends have. The misconception likely stems from long outdated series info, specifically the original English manual for the game claiming that Sonic's shoes make him go fasternote , something that wasn't even mentioned in the Japanese manual.
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  • Sonic is often thought of as being aquaphobic. While this is canon in some adaptations, it isn't canon in the games. He simply can't swim and has the same fear of drowning that everyone else has, especially people who can't swim.
  • Everyone claim that his love of chili-dogs became game canon in the Sonic Storybook Series. It was made canon in the Japanese manual to Sonic Advance 3. There's also some common misinformation about where his love for hot-dogs came from - the earliest known reference was in an early Sonic the Comic issue (though it was veggie dogs instead of chili dogs).
  • For a long time, it was rumored that Jaleel White, voice actor of Sonic in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Sat AM and Sonic Underground, was considered for the role of Classic Sonic in Sonic Generations, but turned down the role or wasn't available. Jaleel White tweeted that he was never approached by Sega about voicing Classic Sonic, who was always intended to be mute.
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  • It seems to be common knowledge that Cash Cash performed "Reach for the Stars" and "Speak with Your Heart", the main themes to Sonic Colors, even though it was only the singer, Jean Paul Makhlouf (and his brother Alex on "Speak with Your Heart") performing and not the entire band.
  • Sonic lives on Mobius (which is either a World of Funny Animals or an Earth-like planet populated by both humans and anthropomorphic animals). Except he doesn't. "Mobius" is a concept from Sega of America and Sega of Europe that was starting to be discarded even in the Sega Saturn days. In Japan, Sonic and company always lived on an alternative version of Earth, which had humans and talking animals co-existing. In many western adaptations, he lives on Mobius or some other non-Earth planet. The Japanese manuals firmly establish that the planet he's on is Earth, while the Western manuals for the classic games rendered it ambiguous. Starting with the Soft Reboot that is Sonic Colors, Sega has begun to blend the two ideas: there's the human-populated Earth and Funny Animal populated "Sonic's World", but the characters swap between both worlds at will.
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  • Similarly, Sonic and the other Funny Animals are not Mobian. The term "Mobian" has never been used in game canon and is unlikely to be used due to Sega's veto on Mobius being referenced. The Funny Animal characters are not one big race and are instead divided by species. Sonic (hedgehog) and Vector (crocodile) are just as different as Tails (fox) and Eggman (human).
  • It's common knowledge that the Sonic games are made in Japan, with the dialogue being originally written and voiced in Japanese before being translated into English. While this was originally the case, even Sonic Adventure 2 was made in San Francisco (though the Japanese script and voice track was still the original), and as of Sonic Colours the games are made in America, with the English script and voice-acting being done first.
  • It's common knowledge that the robot Sonic boss in Death Egg Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is named Silver Sonic, and the Sonic robot in Sonic 3 & Knuckles is named Mecha Sonic. In fact, in official materials (both Japanese and English), both bosses are named Mecha Sonic. The name Silver Sonic was used for the Sonic robot in the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but only in the American materials - in Japan, it was still called Mecha Sonic. In 2013, Sega wrote a recap of the classic games in order to promote the then-upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4 that referred to both Sonic robots as "Mecha Sonic".note . The Archie comics identify robots based on the Sonic 2 Mecha Sonic design and the nameless Sonic robot that appears in the Final Egg base in Adventure as being different models of "Silver Sonic".
  • It's a misconception that the Classic games take place on islands of untouched wilderness. Zones like Starlight Zone and Chemical Plant Zone prove that South Island and West Island had thriving cities.
  • Humans outside of Token Human Eggman didn't appear until Sonic Adventure. Humans have cameoed in the Classic games, such as the humanoid angel in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the human hieroglyphs in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Witchcart in Tails' Skypatrol. Humans also appear in old Japanese adaptations such as the 1994 short Sonic the Animation and 1997 OVAs Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • UK pop culture, as recently as the late 2010's, tends to default to the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog design when referencing the games' Dr. Robotnik, likely due to how most UK merchandise including the official comic book was using it over the games' version. Not helped by how the Game Gear covers for Sonic Spinball and Sonic Triple Trouble strangely used the Adventures design.
  • It's common knowledge that Sonic Adventure 2 was when the Eggman name was officially adopted in the Western localisations full-time. It would actually be Sonic Heroes, as Adventure 2 features scrolling text reading "I am Robotnik" and "The Robotnik Empire" during a pivotal cutscene.
  • The Sonic Heroes manual gave Sonic’s age as 15. Due to the plot of Generations starting with his birthday party, many assume that he’s now 16. However, official materials, such as the Japanese website, still give his age as 15, seemingly establishing Generations as an Ageless Birthday Episode.
  • "Roboticization" has never existed in the games. It's a dark Western-only explanation for the Badniks. In Japan, the Badniks were always just Woodland Creatures who were imprisoned inside of robots by Dr. Eggman. When Sonic breaks the robots, the animals escape perfectly fine.
  • Sonic's catchphrase is "Gotta go fast", except that it's not. Sonic has never said that in dialogue prior to the Sonic Boom cartoon. Sonic doesn't have any catchphrases in the games. The closest he's had is "Gotta juice" in the DiC cartoons. "Gotta go fast" is from the English theme of Sonic X, which has become a meme.
  • It's a common misbelief that Tails being a Child Prodigy was first revealed in Sonic Adventure. Tails has always had these traits, though it's more subtle in the Mega Drive games. He modifies the Tornado in Sonic 2, he can ride the Tornado despite being only 8, he created the Jewel Reader to track Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 3, he built the Lunar Fox in Sonic the Fighters, and he has his own workshop in Tail's Adventure. The reason why many fans think he wasn't smart until Adventure is because Western manuals and adaptations downplayed his Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Tails' two-tails being due to radiation exposure is just a fan theory.
  • Sonic's personality is usually interpreted by non-fans as being a snarky Genki Boy speed freak. While this is true for some adaptations such as the DiC cartoons and 2020 film, Sonic in the main continuity games is rarely like that. He's more like a greyhound: laid-back until necessary. Colors gave Sonic a more energetic and playful persona, but he's still a far cry from his mainstream perception.
  • While Rouge is currently a GUN agent, she hasn't always been one, unlike what most people assume. In Sonic Adventure 2, some Japanese dialogue says she's actually an outside professional hired by the President of the United Federation to work directly for him as a special investigator on an on-and-off basis, and it's implied that even during this time, her first loyalty was to herself since she explicitly wanted to get the Chaos Emeralds and Master Emerald to satisfy her own desire for treasure. In Sonic Heroes, she was clearly working for herself, since Team Dark's opening cutscene makes it explicit that she initially got involved in the plot trying to rob Eggman. It's not until Shadow the Hedgehog that she actually starts working for GUN, and even after becoming one of their agents, she's still pretty self-interested.

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