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Video Game / Sonic Drift

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"Why the hell am I in a car?"
Sonic's thoughts on Drift in Sonic Shorts, Vol. 2

The Sonic Drift duology is a series of Spin-Off drift-racing games released for the Sega Game Gear, starring true blue and company.

The first entry, released in 1994, was a very basic kart racer, with four playable stars: Sonic, Tails, Amy (the first time she was ever playable) and Dr. Eggman (also the first time he was ever playable). Rings could be collected to activate each character's special attack (speed boost, jump, ect.). Gameplay wise, it is more or less Sega's answer to Super Mario Kart (with a bit of Pole Position thrown into the mix) — it even has a map on the screen a la the original outing (but inexplicably put on the top of it rather than the bottom). Prior to being ported to Sonic Mega Collection Plus and Sonic Adventure DX, this game never saw the light of day in the U.S. or Europe.

However, the following year it did receive a follow-up, the aptly named Sonic Drift 2, which did make it overseas (and curiously retained the numeral in the U.S.). This game expanded upon the original by adding more playable characters, tracks, course variety, and smarter A.I. (perhaps too smart).


  • Astral Finale: The last two tracks of the Blue GP, Milky Way and Death Egg, are set in outer space, with the later having the players racing on the surface of the Death Egg itself.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick:
    • Tails was the Balance character, having neither weaknesses nor strengths; Sonic was the Power, having good speed but poor handling; Amy was the Skill, having good acceleration but poor speed; and Eggman was the Gimmick, having poor acceleration but good speed. In Drift 2, Knuckles became a variant Balance, with average stats and both attack and dodge abilities; Fang the Sniper and Metal Sonic are both variant Power characters—Fang's vehicle has nearly identical stats to Sonic, while Metal Sonic takes Sonic's strengths and weaknesses to even further extremes.
    • For their Special Abilities, however, the lineup changed subtly. Tails's Jump imitates the spring item, allowing him to avoid obstacles and protect him from disruption, keeping the Balance spot; Sonic uses the Dash, which takes his high speed and lets him go even faster, keeping the Power slot; Eggman uses Mines that deal Collision Damage and cost the opponent rings, which makes him the Skill character; Amy's Heart Attack disrupts their controls and slows them down, an effect unique to her in the first game, making her the Gimmick.
  • Big Storm Episode: Drift 2 has Rainy Savanna, which serves as the second track of the White GP. Also overlaps with Jungle Japes.
  • Butt-Monkey: The first game has alternate endings for each character. Sonic becomes this in all endings except his own, where he is either mocked by Robotnik, mildly annoyed that Tails won, or forced to back off Amy's request for love.
  • Casino Park: Drift 2 has Casino Night, which serves as the fourth track of the Purple GP.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Speedup monitors are red, Invincibility monitors are blue. The sequel adds a Jump monitor (yellow) and a throwable mine trap (black).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Along with the Rubber-Band A.I., the computer racers in the second game have unlimited powerups, and abuse it to high heaven. Sonic and Metal Sonic are pretty much in perpetual boost mode.
  • Cool Bike: Unlike most of the other racers who use karts, Fang uses the Marvellous Queen: his speedy hoverbike from Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble that often featured in his boss battles.
  • Death Mountain: Drift 2 has Dark Valley, which serves as the third track of the Purple GP and first track of the Blue GP. Falling off the edge of the track results in a claw having to put your car back on it.
  • Eternal Engine: The original game has Scrap Brain Zone, which serves as the sixth and final track of all three GPs. Drift 2 has Iron Ruin, which serves as the sixth and final track of the Purple GP, and Death Egg, which serves as the sixth and final track of the Blue GP.
  • Gimmick Level: Emerald Ocean in Drift 2. The whole track is the sea, so you need to keep your speed over 40% to avoid falling.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Amy's Special Attack is to blow a kiss at someone.
  • Go-Karting with Eggman: Dr. Robotnik holds no qualms about participating in a racing tournament with Sonic and friends, and neither do Metal Sonic and Fang.
  • Green Hill Zone: The original Green Hill Zone, no less, appears as the first track in all three GP's of the first game (only differing in layout). Drift 2 has Emerald Hill Zone, which appears as the first track of the Purple GP, and the sixth and final track of the White GP.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The R Ball in Drift 2 reverses the controls for a couple seconds.
    • One course replaces the monitors with balloons that cause an entirely different set of effects, some of which are harmful.
  • Jungle Japes: Rainy Savannah in Drift 2 combines this with Big Storm Episode.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The manual and character profiles from the time stated that Sonic dislikes cars.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The Death Egg's appearance in the Milky Way track of Drift 2. Guess where the following track takes place?
  • Mythology Gag: Tails drives a car based on Caterham Seven in Drift 2. It is something of a canon trait that Tails has a preference for the brand, as he appeared with one in a secret illustration in Sonic CD and owned one in a prior obscure manga.
  • Nostalgia Level: The tracks in Drift 1 are all set in levels from Sonic 1. Likewise, many tracks in Drift 2 are from the sequels: including Emerald Hill, Casino Night, Hill Top and Mystic Cave, and Ice Cap and Death Egg. In a more indirect fashion, Iron Ruin is stated to be what's left of the old Scrap Brain Zone from the first game: some time after Eggman abandoned and left it to rot following his retreat at the end.
  • Oil Slick: Fang's special move in Drift 2 is to toss oil balls that cause enemy racers to skid out upon contact.
  • Projectile Kiss: This is Amy's special move.
  • Recurring Riff: "Sonic - You Can Do Anything" is the invincibility theme in Drift 1. Drift 2 uses the Sonic 3 invincibility theme instead.
  • Redundant Parody: The fact that a character like Sonic, whose defining trait is his Super-Speed would be driving a car is something of a recurring joke among the fandom, despite the manual making it clear that Sonic does dislike cars, and it's clear he's only using a car to keep the competition balanced for everyone.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Abused constantly by the sequel, and it isn't subtle either since you can tell from a glance at the map when 2nd place magically accelerates. Winning a race frequently comes down to dumb luck.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Amy's car, the Breeze, has eyes and is described as having a mind of its own. It looks like something out of classic western animation.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Drift 2 has Desert Road, which serves as the fifth track of the Purple GP, and the first track of the White GP. The former requires you to race three laps, while the latter is a linear course.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Drift 2 has Ice Cap, which serves as the third track of the White GP.
  • The Smurfette Principle: In both games, Amy is the only female racer.
  • Sore Loser: In both games, the poor sap in fourth place in the overall standings will be very displeased about it. Whoever finishes in second and third on the flags/podium won't be much happier, either (especially in the first game).
  • Spell My Name with an S: Knucles.
  • Sudden Name Change: The game itself had no alterations in localization, which led a few Western fans at the time to wonder why Robotnik and Nack were suddenly called Eggman and Fang. Slightly averted in that the English manual explains that Dr. Robotnik goes under "the Eggman" as his race title.
  • Theme Naming: Like Sonic's plane, the Tornado, the character cars are nearly all named after wind storms. Sonic's car is the Cyclone, Tails's is the MTP-01 Whirlwind (the MTP-02 Whirlwind S7 in Drift 2), Eggman's modified Egg Carrier is called the Egg Typhoon, and Amy's car is the Breeze. In Drift 2, Knuckles's vehicle extends the theme with its name, Tempest, but Nack and Metal Sonic break the theme with their vehicles, the Marvelous Queen and Blue Devil.
  • True Final Boss: Finishing in first place on every race on the Blue GP in Drift 2 pits your character in a final race on the Death Egg. If you're one of the four heroes (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy), you face Eggman. If you're one of the three villains (Eggman, Fang, Metal Sonic), you face Sonic.
  • Underground Level: Drift 2 has Mystic Cave and Quake Cave. Mystic Cave serves as the fifth track of the White GP, while Quake Cave serves as the second track of the Blue GP.

Alternative Title(s): Sonic Drift 2, Sonic Drift Racing