Sonic FAQ File 1/3

From: Dan Drazen <>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 1995 08:47:03 -0400 (EDT)

             |\__-- /\ _-
             |/ __ _
             //\ / \ /__
             | o| 0|__ --_
             \\____-- __ \ ___ -
             (_at_@ __/ / /_
                -_____--- --_
                 // \ \\ -
               //|\__/ \\ ___-
               \_-\_____/ \-\
                    // \\--\|
               ____// ||_
              /___//_\ /___\ ascii Sonic by Han J. Lee

|====================== THE SONIC FAQ FILE =====================|

July 7, 1995 edition

Compiled by: Daniel J. Drazen
Contributors: Chris Baird; Ron Bauerle, Brad Clark, James
Firmiss, Maureen Furniss, Craig Moore, Michiyo Nakajima, Paula
O'Keefe, Eric E. Pearson, Jeff Pegnato, David Pistone, Alessandro
Sanasi, Erich Schulman, Fred Sloniker, Andy White, Shawn Wolski

Address all comments, corrections, contributions and flames to:

[Note: There WILL be spoilers. You have been warned. DJD]

_Sonic the Hedgehog: Fortress of Fear_
Michael Teitelbaum. Troll Associates, 1995

PLOT SYNOPSIS: Ch. 1: Rotor is being held prisoner by Robotnik in
the old royal fortress, which is now Robotnik's headquarters. He
shares a cell with a woodchuck named Digger, who says he's from a
Freedom Fighter group on the western edge of the Great Forest.
Digger tells Rotor about the King's list of freedom fighters.
Snively takes Digger away and tells Rotor that Robotnik's looking
for the list as well. Ch. 2: Sonic & Bunnie arrive at Robotnik's
fortress to bust Rotor out of his cell. Guided by a small
transmitter in the lining of Rotor's cap, they locate the cell,
take out the bots and "haul some serious haunch" back to
Knothole. Ch. 3: Snively reports the escape of Rotor to an
unconcerned Robotnik, who is preparing to rip the fortress apart
to locate the list. Rotor tells the others about the list and
Robotnik's search for it. Sally guesses that the list in
question was one of "brave and true warriors" compiled by Sally's
father when she was a girl. A box of her father's papers turns
out to have a secret compartment which yields the following
               ...beside your bed safe and...
               ...tucked in tight...
      cannot fall...
Ch. 4: Sonic, Sally, Bunnie, Rotor and Antoine set out the
following evening. Using a high-frequency generator, they
scramble the circuits of the SWATbots at the front gate. Antoine
suggests beginning the search with the safe in her father's
bedroom. Ch. 5: While Robotnik leads a search of the main level,
Snively detects the Freedom Fighters' entry into the fortress.
Thinking to score points with Robotnik, Snively plans to capture
them himself. The Freedom Fighters arrive at the bedroom, but
find Snively and a platoon of SWATbots. Sonic and Bunnie take
out the bots while Antoine trips up Snively before he can grab
Sally. Unfortunately, they notice that the safe door is open and
the safe is empty. Ch. 6: Thinking of the second and third lines
of the fragment, Antoine suggests that it might be Sally's old
crib--a bed from which one cannot fall. Sneaking to the nursery,
they discover that Robotnik hasn't gotten there yet. Rotor tears
the mattress apart but finds nothing. Snively arrives and locks
the Freedom Fighters in the nursery. Ch. 7: While Snively goes
off to find Robotnik, Rotor accidentally bumps into an old music
box. Sally suddenly realizes that the fragment of "clues" is
actually part of the lyrics of an old lullaby sung to the tune
the music box is playing. The lyrics make mention of a clock,
which is no longer in the room. Sally guesses that it was hidden
in one of the towers. She also remembers a secret passageway
from the nursery to the tower. Moving a book on a shelf, a panel
slides back, revealing a staircase. Ch. 8: Ascending the
staircase, they find the clock in a room filled with old
furniture and such, but also find that the clock has been torn
apart. Noticing that several pieces of SWATbot are lying about,
Sonic and Bunnie get inside the metal parts and act as if the
"bot" were escorting the others as prisoners. Robotnik's
exultation at finding the list is interrupted when the bot and
its "prisoners" arrive. Sonic grabs the list, lays out Robotnik,
and the Freedom Fighters escape.

_Sonic the Hedgehog: Friend or Foe?_
Michael Teitelbaum. Troll Associates, 1995.
PLOT SUMMARY: [If you know the plot of the "Game Guy" episode
[second season], you pretty much know the plot of this book,
though there are several major differences.] Ch. 1: Sally has a
nightmare wherein Robotnik displaces her father. Referring to
the list that was captured in _Fortress of Fear_, and noting that
its descriptions of locations are extremely general, she plans to
begin searching in the Caverns in the Great Unknown. Ch. 2:
Rotor tests a magnetic field generator, managing to snare Bunnie.
While exploring the caverns, they use the generator to dislodge a
boulder. Spooked by a swarm of bats, Antoine becomes lost in the
cave. Ch. 3: Antoine is found by the bank of an underground
river. Using an inflatable raft, they head down the river and
are almost hurled over a waterfall. They bed down for the night
but awaken in the morning to the sound of approaching SWATbots.
Ch. 4: The SWATbots take no notice of the Knothole gang,
concentrating on an escaping figure. Sonic helps out the
escapee, who turns out to be Ari on his way to free other freedom
fighters in his group being held by Robotnik. Ch. 5: Ari
explains how his group, which originally numbered 20, has lived
on the run. Sonic is all for helping him, but Sally doesn't
trust him. When Sonic goes off alone with Ari, Rotor is able to
unscramble the bots' orders: to pretend to pursue Ari in order to
lure Sonic to a trap. Ch. 6: Sonic and Ari reach the fortress,
but not before Sonic pulls Ari out of quicksand. Once inside,
Ari lets Sonic get captured. Ch. 7: Sally, Antoine, Rotor and
Bunnie are in pursuit of Sonic and Ari. Sonic is deposited into
the large pinball game/arena, with the object of avoiding the
energy vortex. Ari realizes that his comrades have been
roboticized and he's been double-crossed. Ch. 8: The Knothole
gang arrive at the fortress and manage to save Ari. He leads
them to Sonic. In a major reversal of the TV plot, Ari manages
to pull Sonic out of the vortex, then helps him escape the game.
As the group approaches Knothole, Ari returns home on his own.



Q1: How did Tails come to have two tails?
Q2: Is "Tails" his real name?
Q3: Is Tails related to Sally? He calls her "Aunt Sally" quite
Q4: I can't figure out what kinds of animals some of the
characters are supposed to be.
Q5: "Sally Acorn?"
Q6: How old are the characters supposed to be?
Q7: What happened to the Princess Sally miniseries?
Q8: Does anyone have a theory about Sonic's speed?
Q9: Why didn't ABC renew Sonic for a third season?


Q1: How did Tails come to have two tails?
A: The writers of Sonic comics solicited reader responses to this
in issue #___; the replies were printed in issue #___. They
range from transplantation to mutation. The latest entry is in
the Sonicgram of #22. They state that Tails just happened to be
born that way--with no other comment (thus illustrating the
difference between an Explanation and an Answer). At this point,
there is no "official" explanation as to how Tails got that way,
so you're pretty much free to believe what you like. Personally,
I prefer the theory that it is a mutation, induced by Robotnik's
pollution of Mobius. This would accord with the fact that Tails
had not been born when Robotnik took over (cf. Q6).

Q2: Is "Tails" his real name?
A: No, his real name is "Miles Prower" (you have to say it
sorta fast to get the joke). That was his name when he was
introduced on the front screen of the Sonic 2 video game. Tails
was given as his nickname, and it stuck.

Q3: Is Tails related to Sally? He calls her "Aunt Sally" quite
A:This argument has been put forward by the "Sally is a fox" camp
(see below). However, if that were true, then he'd also be
related to Bunnie, as he's been known to address her as "Aunt
Bunnie." For that matter, it seems that everyone in the Knothole
gang refers to Sir Charles Hedgehog as "Uncle Chuck," though he's
technically only uncle to Sonic.

While it was not explicitly stated in either the comics or in the
cartoons, it has to be kept in mind that all of the freedom
fighters' families were disrupted by Robotnik's takeover of
Mobius. It's safe to assume that they all have had relatives who
have ended up being roboticized. As a result, they have become
not so much a paramilitary resistance group as a loose-knit
family. Sonic, for instance, clearly relates to Tails as if the
latter was his little brother, the difference in species

Q4: I can't figure out what kinds of animals some of the
characters are supposed to be.
A: Admittedly, it's trickier to spot some species in the series
than others. Herewith is the list:
Sonic and Sir Charles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .hedgehogs
Bunnie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rabbit
Tails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox
Rotor. . . . . . . . . . . . . .walrus (sea lion, cf. Teitelbaum)
Antoine D'Coolette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox
Sally Acorn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ground squirrel/chipmunk
Sally's father . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox

The identification of Sally as a ground squirrel is based on
extended discussion of the topic on Internet { and
rec.arts.animation). She was also declared to be a ground
squirrel in the comics, most recently in the Sonicgram of Sonic
#19. As for the designation "ground squirrel/chipmunk", which
has been questioned by at least one correspondent, I entered it
this way on the assumption that the two terms were synonymous. I
have consulted a dictionary, which states that the term "ground
squirrel" applies to several kinds of rodents, including the
chipmunk genus _Tamias_. Given the present ambiguity, the
designation will remain as is.

Despite this, controversy continues. Identifying Sally's species
has been particularly vexing to some fans, especially those who
reason that since Sally's father is clearly a fox, then she must
be one herself. It is possible that Sally takes after her mother
in this regard more than her father. Cross-species mating is a
definite possibility, and an example is implied in the
"flashforward" at the end of "Sally's Crusade" [Sonic: In Your
Face #1].

At this point, the identification of Sally's nanny, Rosie,
remains ambiguous. Given her buck teeth, she could be either a
beaver or a woodchuck. Since she is always shown wearing a long
cloak, I've been unable to spot the character beaver tail. Final
identification is still pending.

Q5: "Sally Acorn"?
A: This is how she was identified as far back as the beginning
of the comics [Sonic Miniseries, #0, Mar 1993]. Technically,
royalty do not have surnames or family names in the accepted
sense; rather, the title of the personage tends to serve the
purpose. Her middle name, Alicia, is apparently seldom used (cf.
"Blast to the Past," part 1). If you wanted to be grandiose
about it, Sally's formal title would be: Sally Alicia, Princess
of the House of Acorn. But in any event it's unlikely that
Sally's formal title will come back into use so long as Robotnik
is in charge.

Q6: How old are the characters supposed to be?
A: According to the TV series ["Blast to the Past: part 1"]
Sonic and Sally were both 5 years old when Sally's father was
overthrown and Robotnik took over. Two other age clues were
given in the "Drood Henge" episode: that Tails was 10 years old,
and that Sally wouldn't "come of age" for another two years.
At one point, Sally's age is explicitly given as being 16,
though the comics reportedly put both at age 15. Subtracting 5
from 16 leaves the number of years Robotnik has been in charge:
11. Thus, it would appear that Tails was born after the fall of
the House of Acorn. Still, the simplest way out of this dilemma
would be to put the age of majority on Mobius at 17 instead of
18; that would eliminate the extra year differential without
altering the stated ages of Sonic and Sally (in the comics) or of
Tails (in "Drood Henge").

Q7: What happened to the Princess Sally miniseries?
A: Archie Comics was supposed to roll out a three-part
miniseries starring Sally as the main character. The story
actually began with "Deadliest of the Species" in Sonic #20. The
cover art for the miniseries, however, differed in subsequent
advertisements: one cover for the first issue prominently
featured Geoffrey St. John, while another did not. The third
issue cover either does or doesn't feature Sally doing battle
with a clone of herself, depending upon where you see it. Two
different versions of the cover for #2 appeared in Sonic #22.
The fact that the Sally creative team PLUS Archie Comics PLUS
Sega reportedly came together to discuss "improving" the series
(as reported in the Sonicgram for Sonic #21) would seem to
indicate that someone had come down with a case of "creative
differences." In any event, the "improved" Sally miniseries began
shipping the week of Feb 13.

Q8: Does anyone have a theory about Sonic's speed?
A: How, in other words, is Sonic able to run so fast? Apparently
the same way you get to Carnegie Hall in the old joke: practice.
I'm serious; here is the only print explanation I've come across
so far: "Years ago, when things were right on Mobius, there lived
a hedgehog named Sonic.... Sonic was only interested in running
as fast as he could. Every day he practiced." [Michael
Teitelbaum, _Sonic the Hedgehog_. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1993, pp.7-
8]. And that's the extent of Teitelbaum's explanation. Thanks a
heap, Mike! Chris Baird may be onto something, and it looks like
he wants to force the issue by asking Archie Comics about "The
rumor going around the Internet that [Sonic] got his speed from
falling into a vat of power rings when he was a baby."

Q9: Why didn't ABC renew Sonic for a third season?
A: There are now three answers to this question -- one appears to
be definitive, but the other two are more fun. Believe what you
1) ABC got clobbered in the SatAM ratings because the show was up
against the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on Fox. This sounds
plausible, except that between the November and February sweeps,
ABC actually moved StH to the 8:00 am Eastern slot, which would
have put it opposite "Dog City" on least, until the next
time Fox jazzed with ITS lineup. I remember posting a TAPE ALERT
and that several fans didn't get to tape the first showing of the
Doomsday episode as a result of the time switch. Source for this
item: someone from within the offices of Archie Comics, as posted
2) DiC allegedly screwed the pooch by releasing StH animation
cels onto the market without clearing it with Sega. Upon
learning of this, Sega took umbrage that its property was being
sold without its consent or agreement to a cut of the action (can
you say "anal retentive"?). Words were exchanged and the show
was effectively cancelled.
3) ABC's kidvid programming has lately been adhering to a policy
of "two seasons and out" for shows. Though it's possible that
some ideas only last two seasons because they're kinda bankrupt
to begin with.

Received on Fri Jul 07 1995 - 09:41:46 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Thu Mar 19 2015 - 12:17:03 PDT