The Case for a Second Sonic Character

2nd Sonic

Smash For Wii U and 3DS broke a lot of perceived fan rules for character inclusion. Little Mac could only punch, Shulk came from a standalone game that was too new, and Villager was from a game series that was just too damn peaceful. Still, when DLC rolled around, people clung to a lot of their preconceived notions only to have them completely shattered. Ryu was from a fighting game, and he was a second Capcom rep! Cloud never had a mainline game on a Nintendo console! Bayonetta wasn’t from a historic or “iconic” franchise! There are very few qualifiers when it comes to potential Smash reps nowadays (with the exception of the obvious “they must be from a video game”), however one still persists for some in the speculation community. Third parties, they say, should stick to just one representative. I’m not sure how true that is…. Especially when one of your third party characters in Sonic the Hedgehog.

And so Sonic’s first buddy appeared. Hey there Tails.

Character Background:

The year is 1990, and SEGA is on the verge of being the first true challenger to Nintendo’s market share in the video game sector since they entered the market with the Famicom/NES. SEGA’s prior system, the SEGA Master System, performed well,  but it was not true threat to Nintendo’s dominance. The Mega Drive/Genesis, however, was primed for more. The system launched in 1988, when the Famicom (created in 1983) was beginning to show it’s age. It wouldn’t be until 1990 that the NES successor, the SNES, would be created. SEGA just needed one final ingredient to push themselves into the spotlight, a true rival for Mario. Enter Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic the Hedgehog may very well be the fastest thing alive. Carefree and with just the right amount of attitude, this blue blur races through moebius (among many other worlds) to stop the evil machinations of Doctor Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik. The hedgehog is not a solo act, however. Sonic is usually accompanied by his best friend Miles “Tiles” Prower, a mechanically inclined two tailed fox, as well as various other animal friends (most notably amongst them Amy Rose and Knuckles the Echidna).

20 years of any comic is impressive. A video game comic? Doubly impressive.

Sonic’s creation is a direct response to Mario, but he is by no means a cloned concept. He is responsible for the entire 90’s “animal mascots with attitude” trend in video games, but he manages to stand separate from them. Indeed, Sonic has remained relevant far beyond the 90’s, having featured in over 70 games since his inception. This also includes a 3DS release later this year, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Since his inception there has never been a doubt about who SEGA’s true mascot is (sorry Alex Kidd).

Sonic’s success isn’t limited to just video games, however.  Sonic has starred in 5 different cartoons and currently holds the record for longest running comic book based off of a video game, as his Archie’s Comics  has run for over 250 issues since it’s debut in 1993.

Reasons for inclusion:

Sonic is huge. If we look at total sales, the franchise has sold over 140 million units. That puts it behind only Mario, Pokemon, and the “Wii” series in total number of games sold in regards to franchises with playable character in Smash. It is, infact, the 9th best selling franchise of all time. Much like Mario, the Sonic franchise also gave birth to many spinoff series…from racing to puzzle to pinball.  fThe series also has a huge media presence, due to a constant stream of cartoons and comics since it’s birth. These aren’t one off affairs or products of a bygone era. Sonic’s latest cartoon, Sonic Boom, is currently on the air and has been since 2014. SEGA’s speedy mascot is even set to star in his own movie in 2018.

Sonic the Hedgehog has a long and interesting relationship with Nintendo. Originally created as an answer to Mario, this all changed when SEGA exited the hardware market in 2001. Sonic Advance for the Gameboy Advance was the first Sonic game on a Nintendo system, and it was quickly followed by Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on the Nintendo Gamecube. These first steps were monumental. Remember, Sonic and Mario had been bitter rivals for years. The small step were just the beginning in what would become a long and fruitful partnership.

There’s no “Mario & Megaman” at the Olympics….although now I kind of wish there was.

Sonic has been in 34 games on Nintendo platforms. Many of those have been system exclusives, including a  3 game deal to produce games exclusively for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2013. More than that, though, Sonic and friends have crossed over with Nintendo franchises on multiple occasions. Most obviously to readers of this site is the Super Smash Bros. series. Sonic is, currently, the only third party character to be in multiple Smash games.  Sonic Boom is also one of the few third party franchises to have a puzzle swap puzzle on 3DS. The biggest crossover is the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. Consisting of 5 games beginning with a 2007 Wii release, the series has Mario & Sonic, as well as all their friends, competing in a wide variety of Olympic events. This is the first time that Mario characters such as Yoshi, Luigi, and Bowser were able to interact with Sonic character such as Tails, Knuckles, or Eggman.

Another point to note is that Sonic actually does have many interesting, varied, and important characters. Knuckles, Amy, and Tails are almost as important to the series as Sonic. Eggman and Metal Sonic are very iconic villains. That’s not even considering characters such as Shadow the Hedgehog, whom also have a fair amount of popularity. Sonic is not wanting in potential characters.

Reasons for exclusion:

The reason the Sonic franchise might not get another character is simply because he is a “guest star,” in Smash  and some would consider his inclusion special enough as is. It could also be argued that SEGA already has two characters, in Bayonetta and Sonic, and that if SEGA were to get another rep it should be from a third franchise. The truth of the matter is that there are not hard and fast rules on third parties, and while some don’t want an over abundance of third party characters, Sonic is by far the biggest third party (and the biggest possible SEGA third party). It just might be that that is not enough to warrant a second spot…especially because a character like Tails or Eggman would not likely have the same “wow” factor as an entrant from a  brand new third party franchise.


We already have Sonic music in Smash, so here’s some random Sonic spin off music for you!



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  1. How about no? 3rd parties are limited and keeping it ONE per series is the best way to approach putting in 3rd parties.

    1. Because…?

      I personally see no problem in adding more characters that are popular and iconic, and Sonic has some good picks – both in terms of the aforementioned popularity / iconic-ness, as well as having good gameplay potential (i.e. a moveset).

      1. It doesn’t matter. Smash is still at the end of the day. An Nintendo all-star. Shoehorning another 3rd party character from the same series is unfair for the other third parties. Pick a rep from Sega that’s not from Sonic and that’s an entirely different discussion. :v

        1. Smash has been considered to be about more than Nintendo since Melee, even if we never ended up getting guest characters until Brawl. Sonic and Snake were both requested by Yuji Naka and Hideo Kojima respectively during Melee’s development, but by that point it was too late for them to be included in Melee. James Bond and Banjo-Kazooie were also considered, but were turned down due to legal complications.

          More to the point, while Smash’s focus is obviously on Nintendo characters, there is also plenty of room for iconic and beloved characters from third-parties. Smash for Wii U and 3DS, counting its DLC, tripled the amount of third-party characters from Brawl, as well as including items based on Namco games, trophies for Rayman and Commander Video, and Mii costumes from loads of different third-party properties. It’s clear that Smash is embracing third parties more and more, and the next step for that could be including another character from one of these series. This is especially true since a big chunk of the big, iconic characters such as Sonic, Megaman, Pacman, and Cloud have already been included, meaning that there aren’t that many more huge icons to add.

          As for why Sonic should have this honor, there are a few reasons. One of those is Sonic’s history with both Nintendo and with Smash. Out of the third-party characters that appeared in Wii U / 3DS Sonic was the first to appear in the Smash series, and is in fact the only third-party to appear more than once in the series. It makes sense, then, that the first third-party series to appear in Smash, would also be the first to get more than one character. While Sega and Nintendo used to be rivals, they have been very friendly in recent years, not only with Sonic’s appearances on Nintendo consoles including Nintendo-exclusive titles, but also the ongoing Mario & Sonic crossover series.

          Additionally, Sonic is one of the most iconic third-party characters to appear in Smash. Not only is he well-known to every gamer, but he’s also made his presence known outside of the medium, having appeared in numerous cartoons and comics as well as things like the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pacman is probably the only other third-party that can claim to be on Sonic’s level. The Sonic series is also one of the highest-selling video game franchises of all time, as noted in the article. Sega’s other franchises lack this kind of iconicness – while NiGHTS might be loved within its fanbase, the series does not compare to the juggernaut that is Sonic, both in terms of sales and iconicness.

          My final point is in regards to the characters themselves. Sonic has many good picks for a Smash character, with a variety of fighting styles to choose from and a lot of characters with history to the series. Tails, Sonic’s sidekick since Sonic 2, could fight as an air-based trap character, keeping airborne and fighting at a distance using his gadgets. Knuckles, around since Sonic 3, is a natural fit for a fighting game with his hard-hitting punches, and could also use unique moves like burrowing into the ground, gliding, and throwing boulders to stand out. Dr. Robotnik, the series’ main villain, could be similar to Bowser Jr. in that he fights entirely using his Egg-O-Matic, with each move referencing a different boss fight. Another pick is Shadow, who could be a semi-clone of Sonic if need be, but could also use his Chaos powers to shoot projectiles, teleport, freeze time, and activate a temporary power boost that also causes him damage. Needless to say, there’s a lot of potential here.

          Smash having a second Sonic character is not a bad idea at all. Smash should embrace third parties, welcome a whole slew of new all-stars, and expand upon existing third-party series to add even more iconic faces to the game. Sonic is a natural fit for this, being the only third-party to appear more than once in Smash, the most lucrative third-party currently in the game, being well-known within and outside of gaming, and having a variety of great character picks to choose from.

            1. Why is that? “Smash Bros.” doesn’t imply a game with only Nintendo characters. And even with something like a second Sonic character, the focus is still on Nintendo, with a huge majority of the cast being Nintendo IP.

            2. Yes it does. Smash Bros is an Nintendo All-Star fighter. Doesn’t matter what the history it only makes sense there’s ONE third party per series.

      2. Smash already did a perfect job of organizing 3rd parties. It shouldn’t throw away everything it worked for.

      3. Smash already did a perfect job at organizing 3rd parties. It shouldn’t destroy everything it worked for.

    2. Wouldn’t having a second Sonic character only speak to their relevance to Nintendo and video game industry? Would one say fans never thought it to simply be “fun” to have Mario and Luigi go toe-to-toe with Sonic and Tails? Is it wrong to want our favorite plumber and Blue Blur take on Bowser and Dr. Eggman together? Would having a second Sonic character only speak to Nintendo and Sega’s long and facinating history, rather than “tarnish” Nintendo’s own IPs. There are no rules here for 3rd party support. What you consider the best approach may not even be part of the thought process for Sakurai and team.

      1. It doesn’t matter what history Sega may have. Smash Bros is an Nintendo fighter, having one third party per series is the best way to split everything fairly without giving too much. Sakurai even said that third parties are going to be limited since it IS an Nintendo focused thing. If Sakurai had a different thought process another Sonic character would’ve been playable… Oh wait! There’s only Sonic because the series is represented fine with just Sonic. This isn’t “Video Game All-Stars” it’s NINTENDO All Stars. If you expect more 3rd parties from one 3p series just because it’s iconic. You came to the wrong game.

        1. I’m not sure what harm another Sonic character would bring in terms of representing Smash Bros. as a Nintendo-based battle royal, considering each installment brings a siginificant new amount of Nintendo’s IPs into the game, but okay.

  2. I wouldn’t mind if added Tails or Eggman at some point down the line. I don’t really mind having tons of 3rd parties in Smash. My personal pick would be Blaze or Metal Sonic, but neither of those are happening, i don’t think.

  3. It would be fun to have another Sonic Character, but the fact that 3rd party characters are just “1 per franchise” might become a “Soft No” but if Sega get another character which character could be with the same level of recognition other than a Sonic one? so maybe is a “Soft Yes”…Other options might be: Nights? Sakura from Sakura Wars? The GunStar Heroes? Aiai from Monkey ball? Maybe some character from Atlus… that would be nice too… there are a lot of options, but Sonic has bigger names…
    As for me Bayonetta is more like in a grey area between Second and Third Party, being now “exclusively” published for Nintendo and no longer published by Sega (only distributed), and still being developed by a Third party company…
    Anyways, I really like your case study, great work! keep it up!

    1. Bayonetta is weird. Her copyright is seemingly split three ways. In fact, can they do an article explaining just who owns her rights?

  4. I could rather stick with “1 per franchise” for the third parties since they’re meant to be “guest fighters”. However, it would be interesting to see the second Sonic character to join Smash for many reasons. Here are some characters which I think they can best be in Smash in some form…

    Tails: Many people have voted for Tails in the past, and like Luigi is to Mario and Diddy is to Donkey, I think bringing Tails can be best suited for being Sonic’s main partner in the series. He has a great history of his own. Not just being the first new character from the second sequel, but also had his role of being the main protagonist in his first game Tails Sky Patrol, and his second game Tails Adventure. He even appeared in a fighting game twice; first is Sonic the Fighters, and second is Sonic Battle. He can be weak and slow than Sonic, but can possible use multiple jumps due to his ability of flying with his twin-tails. His moveset can be his tail swipe attack and machinery like Energy Shot and Chu Chu Bomb. His Final Smash can be his Tornado transforming into Cyclone and fighting in that form by shooting lasers and missiles.

    Knuckles: He’s another character many people were voting on. He has been popular since his first appearance in Sonic 3 as many people wanted to play as him badly back then, which later released Sonic & Knuckles as their answer. Knuckles even made his main protagonist role in Knuckles Chaotix alongside with Espio, Vector, Charmy, Mighty, Heavy and Bomb. He even have an experience in fighting games like Tails did; both Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Battle, which he does have a perfect movesets. He may not be fast as Sonic, but powerful as Little Mac, and has an ability to glide and climb walls as his best recovery…which does sound cheatful in other words. He can use many of the movesets from those Sonic fighting games, such as his Shoryuken like “Hyper Upper” from Sonic the Fighters, and boulder throwing and ground digging from Sonic Battle.

    Eggman: Sakurai needed more villains for Smash, and Eggman could be the best answer. He has been a main villain throughout the entire Sonic series, except for Sonic and the Black Knight. He even became a first playable character in an action game which is Sonic Adventure 2. Many fans even voted for his entry too. I could imagine him fighting in his Egg Mobile, but rather fighting like Bowser Jr.’s Koopa Clown, I think he’ll use his Egg Walker from Sonic Adventure 2 as his best weapon choice. He can shoot lasers or throw bombs, or even summon Badniks like Motorbug and Buzz Bombers if possible. His Final Smash can be the gigantic “Power Laser” or the hailing “Rocket Launcher”. However, as he stated in the Twitter video ( that he’s too powerful, I could agree that he can be due to those fully equipped firearms, even being durable with the Egg Mobile’s armory. But I think things will change in some point. And since Sega has already found Eggman’s new Japanese voice actor, I think its time to bring the Eggman to public in Japan for the first time.

    Shadow: He’s another popular character that many people voted on for Smash, even he’d already in the game as the Assist Trophy twice. Although Sega was planning to keep Shadow dead after Sonic Adventure 2, they decided to bring him back to life in Sonic Heroes due to his popularity. Although many people didn’t like it, he even made his main protagonist role in his own Shadow the Hedgehog game. He even experienced being a fighter in Sonic Battle with the perfect movesets. Although he might end up being Sonic’s “clone”, I guess they can make him more different by using his Chaos abilities. His speed will be the same but powerful than Sonic, and although he’ll keep his Spin Dash ability, he’ll use his Chaos Spear, Chaos Control, Chaos Magic, etc. in battle. Turning into Super Shadow may be his best Final Smash, but I think using Chaos Blast is more deadly interesting.

    Metal Sonic: Unlike Knuckles and Shadow, he was meant to be the FIRST rival of Sonic back in Sonic CD. Although he hardly had any roles during the Genesis to Dreamcast era, he finally obtained his first role of being the main villain in Sonic Heroes. Due to that role, he finally got into many Sonic series with more roles to obtain, even being in Mario & Sonic’s Olympic series as being a rival of Bowser Jr. I wouldn’t think he’ll end up being Sonic’s “clone” since he can’t use similar moves of Sonic’s. He doesn’t have much movesets except for Maximum Overdrive and Black Shield. He even was Virtua Fighter’s Dural to Sonic the Fighters, which he mainly used moves from other fighters. It’s really difficult to think of for him, but one thing I could say his, it’ll be interesting if his Final Smash was his Metal Overlord form.

    Blaze: Sakurai needed more female fighters to Smash, and Blaze could be the best answer. As she first debuted in Sonic Rush, she was mostly on the Nintendo platform than Silver who was mostly on the Playstation platform. I do think she’s more noticeable by many Nintendo fans than Silver. If she did join in, I think she’ll be powerful fighter with the fire-based attacks, and light weighted due to her flexible speed. Her Final Smash can be her Burning Blaze form, which can be similar to Super Sonic. This may sound that she’ll be Sonic’s “clone”, but will be different entirely.

  5. Just because there isn’t a rule, doesn’t mean they should do it. No need for two characters from one third-party series; it just seems rather superfluous and as mentioned before someone like Tails or Eggman lacks that special Wow Factor. Might as well go all the way and make a Nintendo Vs Sega/Capcom instead of taking dev time from Nintendo characters.

  6. I think that including a second Sonic character isn’t necessary, but I’d go for Tails or Eggman if I had to pick. I see people wanting Knuckles, but the fact of the matter is that Tails and Eggman are more known due to their more frequent appearances and greater importance to the series. I’d prefer Eggman due to his more interesting concept, but Sakurai seems to shy away from including villains for some reason. Eggman would obviously be the fastest character in the game on foot; he outruns Sonic in Sonics 1-4 and easily keeps up with him in Adventure 2 and Lost World. 😛

  7. another guest rep. from the same exact series would kill the whole concept of “guest characters” on the Smash roster.

    i wonder if Sakurai already pointed this out already?

  8. I am all for a second Sonic rep, though if we’re counting Mii costumes (which people seem to forget about), Tails and Knuckles are technically already in (and Shadow is an assist trophy too). I don’t think it’s too much a stretch of the imagination to imagine that either of them could make the leap to a full character in the next game, but I think that maybe Eggman, Blaze, or Shadow may make for more unique and interesting characters.

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