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  • :: General Info ::
    Title (Japan)
       Sonic the Fighters
    Title (USA)
       Sonic Championship
    Developer
       Sega AM2
    Platform
       Model 2B CRX (arcade)
    Genre
       Fighting

    :: Release Info ::
    Japan
       June, 1996
    USA
       July, 1996

    :: Game Credits ::
    Producer
       Yu Suzuki
    Director
       Hiroshi Kataoka
    Game Coordinator
       Daichi Katagiri
    Programmers
       Daichi Katagiri
       Susumu Morii
       Eiji Ikuta
       Hiroshi Masui
    Character Designer
       Masahiro Sugiyama
    Stage Designers
       Yasuko Suzuki
       Wataru Kawashima
    2D Graphic & Model Design
       Takako Kawaguchi
    Graphic & Model Design
       Kazunori Oh
    Motion Designers
       Daichi Katagiri
       Hiroki Iwasaki
    Sound Designer
       Maki Morrow
       Takenobu Mitsuyoshi

    :: Platforms ::
    Model 2B CRX (arcade)
       Sonic the Fighters

    Sony PlayStation 2
       Sonic Gems Collection
    Nintendo GameCube
       Sonic Gems Collection


    Sonic the Fighters
    Last update: 11/08/06

    Notice: This page is in need of higher quality screenshots. That likely won't happen until Model 2 emulation inches a bit further along.

    :: Quick Jump ::
       [Story | Gameplay Info | Comparison | Lost in Translation | Codes | Behind the Screens | Notes | Miscellanea]


    :: Story ::
       Never one to be discouraged, the relentless Dr. Eggman has constructed an even larger, more elaborate Death Egg to replace his fallen space fortress. From his new base in the stars, Eggman launches an army of robots to invade the planet and stir up some trouble. Fortunately, Tails' transformable reconnaissance robot has located the Death Egg and transmitted images of the massive ship to Tails' workshop. Young Prower wastes no time in constructing the Lunar Fox, a space shuttle capable of reaching Eggman's celestial citadel. But there are two problems: firstly, the Lunar Fox requires the power of 8 Chaos Emeralds to launch. The Emeralds, conveniently enough, happen to be in the possession of 8 guardians: Sonic and Tails each have one, along with Knuckles, Amy Rose, Fang the Sniper, Espio the Chameleon, Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polarbear. The other problem is that the tiny Lunar Fox only has room for a single occupant. Logically, it should be the strongest of the 8 guardians to launch the one-man offensive against the Death Egg, and there's only one good way to determine who the strongest is...
    :: Gameplay Info ::
       With a defiant scoff at genre cohesion, Sega rounds up characters from all corners of Sonic lore and drops them into the Fighting Vipers engine for Sonic's second (and so far, last) major coin-op. However, despite incubating in Sega's adroit AM2 division, Sonic the Fighters proves significantly shallower than other titles in the pedigree, being acutely geared toward a younger audience.

       The overall goal is to complete a series of 10 one-on-one matches by depleting each opponent's health bar with whatever combination of punching, kicking, and Spin Dashing you see fit. The fight ends when one player's HP gauge hits empty or the timer reaches 0 (in the case of a Time Over, the player with the most HP remaining is the victor). The outcome of each match is determined on a best 2 out of 3 basis: if you're the victor, you move on to the next opponent. Fail, and you have the customary 10-second countdown with which to plunk in a few more credits and try the match again or admit defeat and save your quarters for a Pepsi or something.

       The control panel utilizes AM2's trademark 3-button setup: a bulbous joystick on the left controls character movement while a trio of action buttons on the right handle fighting commands. Here's a list of the basic commands common to all characters:

    • Walk: tilt the joystick in the direction of your opponent
    • Back away: tilt the joystick away from your opponent
    • Run: tap the joystick twice quickly in the direction of your opponent. If you run into a wall, you'll climb right up and leap off the top.
    • Backstep: tap the joystick twice quickly away from your opponent.
    • Jump: tilt the joystick upward
    • Duck: tilt the joystick downward
    • Roll: after getting knocked over, tilt the joystick up or down to roll out of harm's way
    • Barrier: (guard) press and hold the Barrier button
    • Punch: tap the punch button
    • Kick: tap the kick button
    • Dodge: press B+P+K at close range to sidestep out of the line of fire and blindside your opponent.
    • Turn your back: crouch and press P+K to bravely turn your back on your opponent
    • Hyper: tilt the joystick away from your opponent and press P+K to cut loose with a sparkling muteki energy burst. During Hyper mode, your character's speed and power increase. The effect is brief and costs 1 notch on the Barrier gauge. After performing a Hyper burst, the gauge must recharge before the trick can be repeated.
    • Switch camera: toggle between the normal side view and an over-the-shoulder perspective by pressing the start button

       Unique to StF is the Barrier system: rather than the traditional guard command, Sonic and co whip out blue Barriers to protect against damage. The Barrier will remain active for as long as the guard button is held down, but if the shield gets smacked with a powerful attack, it will shatter. If your Barrier gets shattered 5 times, it'll break for good and you won't be able to block for the remainder of the match.

       There are 8 playable characters each with a unique set of combos and special attacks:

    Sonic the Hedgehog -- Sonic is the most agile of the combatants and can chain consecutive attacks smoothly. He has numerous spin techniques (almost every combo has the potential to end with a spin attack), which allows him to cross the arena quickly. If you can make it to the second round against Metal Sonic without losing a single match, perform Hyper Start to transform into Super Sonic for a quick win.
    Punch
    Punch Kick
    Double Punch
    Triple Punch
    Punch Rush
    Super Rush
    Rush Spin
    Punch Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Double Punch Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Hasami Punch
    Ballet Toss
    Toss & Attack
    Guru-guru Punch
    Spin Attack
    Spiral Spin
    Spiral Spin Feint
    Spiral Spin Double Feint
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Side Kick
    Double Side Kick
    Triple Side Kick
    Leg Throw
    Uma Kick
    Acchi Ike Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Furimuki +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Head Spin +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Ashibumi +
    Memawashi Spin [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Spin [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Spin Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Dash Spin [while running]
    Drop Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Double Spin [down]
    Hop Punch
    Hop Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Spin Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Spin [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Spin [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Emerald Dive [while Hyper] +
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Miles "Tails" Prower -- Tails is a well-balanced fighter and can rapidly flee from danger with his Propeller Dash. The direction of the Dash can be diverted midway for a quick escape or a surprise attack.
    Punch
    Punch Kick
    Double Punch
    Poka-poka Combo
    Punch Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Double Punch Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Hasami Punch
    Guru-guru Punch
    Poka-poka Punch
    Spin Attack
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Kaiten Kick
    Kaiten Double Kick
    Guru-guru Kick
    Uma Kick
    Propeller Dash +
    Propeller Dash L [after Propeller Dash]
    Propeller Dash R [after Propeller Dash]
    Propeller Dash F [after Propeller Dash] +
    Acchi Ike Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Furimuki +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Hikouki Otoshi [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Hikouki Nage [close range] +
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Punch [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Spin Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Tsukitobashi [while running]
    Uma Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Spin Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Spin [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Spin [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Fang the Sniper -- With his cork gun and whipping tail, Fang makes an excellent long-distance attacker, but is fairly defenseless at close range (he doesn't even have a basic punch attack). The Shippo Nage throw is a good technique for putting distance between you and your opponent.
    Cork Shoot
    2-ren Cork
    3-ren Cork
    Abare Teppou Dash
    Snipe Yooi!
    Snipe 1
    Snipe 2
    Snipe 3
    Snipe 4
    Rapid Snipe
    Submarine Snipe
    Ballet Toss
    Uchiage Abare Teppou
    Super Cork
    Abare Teppou
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Shippo Kick
    Shippo Double Kick
    Shippo Triple Kick
    Spring Kick
    Shippo Attack +
    Shippo Double Attack +
    Shippo Combo +
    Hyper Start +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Chabudai Gaeshi [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Shippo Nage [close range] +
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Snipe [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke-yoke Snipe [after 2 successive Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Body Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Shippo Down Kougeki [down]
    Tsukitobashi [while running]
    Uma Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Low Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent] ++
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Body Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Snipe [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Dive [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Daiabare Teppou [while Hyper] ++
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Bean the Dynamite -- Newcomer Bean rivals Sonic in terms of agility. His attacks are weak but easy to flurry, and almost every combo has the potential for a bomb toss at the end. Be careful when using the bomb toss at close range, as the explosion will also damage Bean himself.
    Kuchibashi Attack
    Double Kuchibashi
    Triple Kuchibashi
    Kuchibashi Rush
    Kitsutsuki Attack
    Kitsutsuki Straight
    Kuchibashi Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Double Kuchibashi Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Guru-guru Punch
    Guru-guru Punch Bakudan Nage Combo
    Bakudan 3-tsu Nage
    Guru-guru Upper
    Guru-guru Upper Bakudan Nage Combo
    Bakudan Nage
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Side Kick
    Double Side Kick
    Triple Side Kick
    Bakudan Shoot
    Uma Kick
    Acchi Ike Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Kuchibashi Shot [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Mooretsu Attack [close range] +
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Kuchibashi [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Kuchibashi Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Dash Kuchibashi [while running]
    Uma Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Low Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent] ++
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Kuchibashi Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Kuuchuu Bakudan [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Kuchibashi Dive [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Bean Warp [while Hyper] ++
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Bark the Polarbear -- Newcomer Bark is slow and has few combo attacks, but makes up for it with brute strength. He's a good close range fighter with a variety of powerful throws. Perform a Tsubushi Punch to squish your opponent, rendering them momentarily helpless save a weak head butt.
    Bark Punch
    One Two Punch
    One Two Nage [close range]
    One Two GAN!
    Hasami Punch
    2-kai Hasami Punch
    3-kai Hasami Punch
    Low Punch
    Low Hook
    Guard & Attack
    Tsubushi Punch
    Tsubushite GAN!
    Bark Upper
    Sit Punch
    Bark Elbow
    Bark Elbow Combo
    Buchinko Kick
    Daisharin Punch +
    Hyper Start +
    Barrier Aruki [while guarding] ++
    Tatakitsuke [close range] +
    Bitan-bitan [close range] +
    Bark Strike [close range] +
    Atama Nage [close range] +
    Tsukan de Gangan [close range] +
    Giant Swing [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Punch [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Buchinko Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke to Bikomi ++
    Fundzuke [down]
    Tsukitobashi [while running]
    Drop Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    Hop Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Ryoute Hammer Dive
    Hip Dive
    Air Hammer [in midair]
    Genkotsu Otoshi [before landing]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Wall Ryoute Hammer [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Daisharin Dash [while Hyper] +
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Espio the Chameleon -- Espio is an all-round solid fighter with decent power and agility. His tongue attack can reach clear across the arena, but he's just as adept at close range.
    Slap Attack
    Slap Kick
    Double Slap
    Double Slap Upper
    Bero Punch
    Atamatsuki
    Espio Chop
    Tsukkomi Chop
    Espio Spin
    Naga Bero Kougeki
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Side Kick
    Double Side Kick
    Triple Side Kick
    Uma Kick
    Acchi Ike Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Chabudai Gaeshi [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Bero Nage [close range] +
    Bero Nage Combo [close range] ++
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi ++
    Yoke Bero Punch [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Body Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Bero Down Kougeki [down]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Dash Bero [while running]
    Drop Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Body Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Espio Spin [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Dive [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Espio Warp [while Hyper] ++
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Amy Rose -- Amy is slow but surprisingly powerful courtesy of her new Piko Piko Hammer. The basic hammer swings are fairly direct and easy to predict, but they can be chained several different ways to keep your opponent guessing.
    Hammer Attack
    Double Hammer
    Triple Hammer
    Combo Hammer Dive
    Spin Hammer
    Head Sliding
    Hammer Upper
    Combo Hammer Spin
    Magical Hammer
    Hammer Nage
    Zujou Chuui
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Kaiten Kick
    Kaiten Double Kick
    Guru-guru Kick
    Hip Attack
    Uma Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Umatobi [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Acchi Muite Hoi [close range] +
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Hammer [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Hammer Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Head Sliding [while running]
    Hip Attack [while running]
    Furimuki Hammer [back to opponent]
    Hip Attack [back to opponent]
    Hop Hammer
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [while in midair]
    Hammer Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Punch [in midair]
    Air Hammer [before landing]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Hammer [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    16t [while Hyper]
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

    Knuckles the Echidna -- Knuckles has a staccato feel, specializing (needless to say) in strong punches. He's best at close range, but can cross the arena quickly with the Spin Attack and Knuckle Glider. His basic throw has 3 phases for big damage if you can time the combo right.
    Jab
    Punch Kick
    Jab, Straight
    One Two Uppercut
    Jab Get Behind [close range] ++
    One Two Get Behind [close range] ++
    Hasami Punch
    Atamatsuki
    Uppercut
    Rising Upper
    Spin Attack
    Guru-guru Punch
    Kick
    Double Kick
    Triple Kick
    Side Kick
    Double Side Kick
    Triple Side Kick
    Uma Kick
    Knuckle Glider +
    Acchi Ike Kick +
    Hyper Start +
    Rocket Missile [back to wall]
    Shadow Punch [close range] +
    Shadow Punch Second [close range] +
    Knuckle Special [close range] +
    Bukitori [close range] +
    Ashibumi [close range] +
    Mawarikomi [close range] ++
    Yoke Punch [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke High Kick [after Mawarikomi]
    Yoke Body Dive [after Mawarikomi]
    Fundzuke [down]
    Tsukitobashi [while running]
    Drop Kick [while running]
    Furimuki Punch [back to opponent]
    Furimuki High Kick [back to opponent]
    Hop Punch
    High Kick
    Double Jump High Kick
    Skip Kick
    Hop Kick [in midair]
    Body Dive
    Fundzuke Dive
    Air Spin [in midair]
    Air Kick [in midair]
    Air Hyper Start [in midair] +
    Wall Spin [on wall]
    Wall Stomp [on wall]
    Hyper Upper [while Hyper]
    Hyper Double Upper [while Hyper]
    Yowa-yowa Punch [while squished]

       A normal 1-player game consists of 10 matches: the 8 normal opponents plus non-playable bosses Metal Sonic and Eggman. (When your character faces off against himself in the lineup, Eggman flies by and blasts your hero with a laser that produces a monochrome doppelganger to fight.) Metal Sonic has moves from every character in the game at his disposal and, on top of that, inflicts much more damage with them. Eggman, contrarily, has no special moves at all outside of a basic PPP combo and a throw. The catch is that he must be defeated within 15 seconds to access the good ending. If you're playing as Sonic and make it to the second bout against Metal Sonic without having lost a single Round, perform a Hyper burst to transform into Super Sonic. Super Sonic is identical to Sonic except faster and invulnerable to damage, which makes the boss fights a good deal easier. Here's a rundown of the 1P story mode:

    • Stage 01: Knuckles the Echidna in South Island
    • Stage 02: Amy Rose in Flying Carpet
    • Stage 03: Bark the Polarbear in Aurora Icefield
    • Stage 04: Espio the Chameleon in Mushroom Hill
    • Stage 05: Miles "Tails" Prower in Canyon Cruise
    • Stage 06: Fang the Sniper in Casino Night
    • Stage 07: Bean the Dynamite in Dynamite Plant
    • Stage 08: Sonic the Hedgehog in Giant Wing
    • Stage 09: Metal Sonic in Death Egg's Eye
    • Stage 10: Dr. Eggman in Death Egg's Hangar

       Note that the mercilessly compressed screenshots below were taken on an unfinished emulator and are slightly inaccurate. Luminance tables are off so colors aren't properly rendered and character models are missing certain details such as tails and tassels.

    character select South Island Flying Carpet Aurora Icefield Mushroom Hill Canyon Cruise Casino Night Dynamite Plant Giant Wing Death Egg's Eye Death Egg's Hangar name entry

       The game ends if you defeat Eggman or fail and neglect to continue in the 10-second countdown. However the battle ends, high scorers get to enter their initials for the attract mode display. At any time during your conquest, a second player may plunk some coinage into the 2P side of the unit and interrupt you in mid-battle for a head-to-head challenge. When this happens, both players warp to the defender's home turf (ie, if player 1 is Sonic, both P1 and challenger P2 warp to Giant Wing for combat). When the battle is over, the victor begins a normal game from stage 1.

       A number of the default game options can be adjusted in the service menu:


    :: Comparison ::
       A Saturn version of StF was announced not long after the game's coin-op debut, but the port bobbed around at the bottom of Sega's release list for several years before finally being cancelled entirely due to lack of resources and general consumer disinterest. The game didn't get a home release until almost a decade later, when it was included in Sonic Gems Collection for PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

       The Gems Collection version is a very straightforward port with no bells & whistles to speak of. Here's a list of the most significant additions:

    • Most of the relevant service mode options are accessible from the main menu. (The region setting remains locked.)
    • Match time can be set to infinite for versus mode.
    • Players can choose from 3 different controller maps (though none work particularly well without a joystick peripheral.)
    • The screen can be stretched to TV size in 3 different ways.
    • At any time during combat, players can pause the game to view a complete command list for their character.
    • There doesn't seem to be a way to switch to over-the-shoulder perspective.
    • The options menu includes a list of credits for the conversion staff.

    :: Lost in Translation ::
       Sega's US division was initially reticent about releasing Sonic the Fighters in the Americas for fear of drawing a connection between their corporate mascot and bloody ruthless combat. When the game was quietly released about a month after its Japanese debut, distribution was limited.

       All region versions of StF are identical: the locality can be toggled in the service menu. The export version changes Eggman's name to Robotnik (grossly misspelled as "Robotonic" in the opening cinema) while the US version includes the requisite "Winners Don't Use Drugs" splash. In all overseas markets, the game was distributed as "Sonic Championship" which is reflected on the export cabinet, though the title screen still reads "Sonic the Fighters".


    :: Behind the Screens ::
       With Fighting Vipers recently completed, one of the game's (evidently bored) programmers worked Sonic into the code for shits and giggles. AM2 head honcho Yu Suzuki caught a glimpse of the gag and thought it was a hoot, so he presented the idea to Yuji Naka over at Sonic Team. Naka was enthusiastic about the proposal and so development began on Sonic the Fighters.

       StF was developed on the Fighting Vipers engine and the two games are indeed extremely similar - the Hyper mode, for example, is based on FV's armor break and is performed with the same button command. FV's showcase heroine Honey was worked into StF as a cream-colored cat, apparently as a test character. (The feline version of Honey doesn't appear in the final build, but makes a cameo in the opening cinema of FV on Saturn.) While the game was developed at AM2, Sonic Team was consulted for continuity - the use of monochromatic "clone" characters in versus matches, for example, was Sonic Team's suggestion.


    :: Notes ::
    Bean's origin: Bean the Dynamite was directly inspired by the 1988 Sega coin-op Dynamite Dux, originally released on System 16B hardware. Dux stars twin birds Bin and Pin as they combat their way through 6 stages of cartoon action to rescue the oh-so-cute Lucy from the clutches of the evil, cockroach-esque Achacha. The ducks' basic attack is a simple punch, though a variety of comical weapons (including bombs) can be obtained to clear the path of slapstick villainy. A Master System port was released in 1989.


    :: Miscellanea ::
    • Bark's name is misspelled on match screens as "Bark the Polerbear".
    • Bark and Bean are included as playable characters in Fighters Megamix for the Saturn. The South Island and Aurora Icefield arenas are also included, though curiously, Aurora Icefield sports the BGM of Flying Carpet.

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