Welcome to Fantasy Zone Week, a week in which all our features and original content will be dedicated to SEGA’s side-scrolling shoot-’em-up franchise Fantasy Zone! It’s no surprise that the franchise is near and dear to our hearts, as Opa-Opa himself is our official site mascot, always seen flying over the SEGAbits logo. Between 1986 and 2008, the original game has been released to a multitude of platforms, from the arcade and SEGA Master System to mobile phones and the Wii virtual console. This week we’ll be celebrating the music, the gameplay, the rich and diverse history of the franchise, and even look ahead to the future. But before we look ahead, let’s look back. After the jump, we shine the SEGA Retro spotlight on the many games from the Fantasy Zone franchise.
Watch the aftermath of what we did instead of watching the VGX. It involves Yogscast, Sonic Adventure DLC, bad Sonic rap and more for six hours.
Its free weekend for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on Steam once again and its Saturday night, which means its time for another Retro Community Day.
We’ll be kicking off at 5 PM central with the return of the pre-game show the hour before. You can expect Yogscast DLC characters to appear. Of course its either this or Pewdiepie on VGX. It’s your choice really. Start sending in your friend requests to VidyaRetro on Steam now! We’ll periodically send out requests to join a two round game for each person added to the friends list. See you there!
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has added another guest racer to the roster by way of the Yogscast. What is the Yogscast? The Steam page for the DLC describes Yogscast as “the UK’s most watched YouTube channel”. The DLC, which is priced at $4.99/€3.99, came about though a partnership with SEGA to raise money for the YouTube channel’s annual charity drive. The racer is Yogscast’s very own Simon Lane, aka Honeydew. 100% of all SEGA and Yogscast proceeds are being donated to the SpecialEffect charity.
You can purchase the DLC and learn more about the content on the dedicated Steam page. After the break, check out a gallery of the guest racer.
Update: a friend of the family replied to my inquiry stating “I believe this is a miscredit”, and I was directed to his agents who could potentially give me a solid answer. At the moment, it looks like Christopher Evan Welch did not voice Tails.
UPDATE 2: I have reached out to Christopher Evan Welch’s talent agency Paradigm in New York and the credit of Tails attributed to Christopher Evan Welch is “not accurate”. Thank you to Courtney of Paradigm for her help.
UPDATE 3: Another confirmation, this time from Christopher Evan Welch himself. A friend of his contacted me and told me “I asked Chris about it a couple of years ago and he said it was a mistake.” Also the voice of Coconuts, Ian James Corlett, informed us that the recording for the show took place in British Columbia, meaning Christopher Welch was likely a young boy from that area much like his 1996 replacement.
UPDATE 4: Ian James Corlett tweeted some more information to us, stating that the voice of Tails was from Seattle, which is quite a coincidence as that is the city where Christopher Evan Welch was working. While Christopher (not Evan) Welch was close to Vancouver, it’s possible he recorded his lines in Los Angeles. Jaleel White recorded in Los Angeles, and given the chemistry needed between Sonic and Tails, it is possible Christopher Welch recorded in LA.
This means that the voice actor for Tails, Christopher Welch, is a different person entirely and may still be out there.
Since the news broke that the voice actor for Tails in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had passed away, 90′s era Sonic fans such as myself were heartbroken to learn that we lost another actor from the iconic show. However, as I spoke with Sonic fans in various forums and instant message conversations, several red flags went up regarding Christopher Evan Welch’s participation in the cartoon series. For starters, there was the age. Christopher Evan Welch was 48 at the time of his passing, which means he was 28 in 1993. Several sources back this age up, including friends and family on Chris’s Facebook memorial page, comments on Variety.com’s story, and a photo on The Seattle Times which shows Christopher Evan Welch in 1993. He was definitely not an 11 year old in 1993.
Presenting a new SEGAbits YouTube channel original series dedicated to SEGA’s 2D and Arcade powerhouse, the SEGA Saturn. Our new series, entitled “This is Saturn”, is created by the latest member of the SEGAbits team, Liam ‘Tracker’ Ashcroft. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Tracker was the winner of our third anniversary contest back in February. It ended up being sort of a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory situation, where he not only won the prizes, but was also invited on staff. We just refused to also house his family, and we have no chocolate to share.
In this premiere episode, Tracker looks at the arcade hit Daytona USA’s conversion to the Saturn. Take it away, Tracker:
Daytona USA is a game I have fond memories of in terms of the arcade – both the original and the also fantastic sequel (which is crying out for a home port) have eaten many £1 pieces out of my wallet over the years, and the HD re-release on PSN was great!. As a result, the game was the first thing I bought for my Saturn – and it only set me back 50p!
So, is it still an arcade classic? Or is it just a polygonal pile of shit? Let’s find out, in a review certainly not ripped from my personal channel. Not in the slightest.
Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!
Update: Christopher Evan Welch was not the voice actor for Tails in “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”
Variety has reported that actor Christopher Evan Welch, the voice of Miles “Tails” Prower in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series, has passed away at the age of
48*. Welch voiced Tails in all 65 episodes of the series alongside Jaleel White’s Sonic and Long John Baldry’s Robotnik (Baldry passed away in 2005).
Welch’s other TV credits include AMC’s Rubicon, The Sopranos, The Practice, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU and The Good Wife. Welch also appeared in several movies including Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and Lincoln, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
All of us at SEGAbits, especially those of us who grew up on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, send our thoughts and prayers to Welch’s family. He will be missed.
I wanted to add that the Seattle Times has a fantastic tribute to Welch’s stage acting career, featuring a great photo from 1993 which was around the same time he had worked on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
* Despite many entertainment outlets stating that Welch was likely 48, this doesn’t jive with his child-like voice in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. At 48 now, Welch would be 28 in 1993. But given puberty has been the presumed cause for Welch not appearing in Sonic Christmas Blast in 1996, he would have been closer to 11 which matches with a 1983 birthdate floating around. And yet, the Seattle Times shows a photo from 1993 featuring a man much older than 11. So either Welch was much older and could do a great child voice, and did not appear in the Christmas special for other reasons, or something else is not matching up.
Recently, Sumo Digital producer Steve Lycett has been teasing a new controversial character to be added to the roster of the PC version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Nothing has been formally announced as of yet, but according to a recent stream from the Yogscast – one of UK’s top Youtube channels – it was revealed that they’re pushing for a new Humble Bundle that is currently not active, which reportedly has Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and a new racer as part of the deal. In addition, their livestream revealed not only the bundle, but that there is charity DLC on the way for the PC version of the game. They didn’t reveal what it is, but given Lycett’s comments, and what they mentioned and showed on the stream, the new racer could be Yogscast’s very own Simon.
Keep in mind it is entirely for charity and not a deal of a Lets Play “celebrity” taking away a spot of a potential SEGA character. Lycett also mentioned that there is more stuff on the way that would be bigger. But for now, this is whats set for December 6th.
Video game developer M2 has just confirmed via Twitter that they are working on a second series of 3D SEGA classics for the 3DS. M2 went on to confirm that there is a good chance these games will head west if they sell well enough in Japan. M2′s first series of 3D titles is currently being released weekly on Nintendo’s US and European eShops, with 3D Space Harrier and Super Hang-On already available on the service for $6 each.
What kind of games would you like to see?
Hey, not all Black Friday deals make you stand in line with a super violent mob of soccer moms, at least not when you are dealing with Amazon. The online store giant really wants you to buy Android applications through them instead of Google Play Store and to show how much they want your business they are giving a slew of Android games for free. Usually the lists are full of stuff like Fruit Ninjas and some revision of Angry Birds (they’re still there) but this time they also added Sonic the Hedgehog for free.
Now you have something to be thankful for, free Hedgehog action.
It was a day of deathly quiet as Ryo hurried up the path to the Hazuki dojo, well aware that something was amiss. Minutes later, he would witness the murder of his father at the hands of Lan Di, an event that would forever alter the course of his existence.
Shenmue was a series that began dramatically, but quietly. Iwao’s death was one showcased with a degree of style, but the next few hours of the game saw the Hazuki dojo grieving, with Ryo searching through town for the most mundane of clues. It was a deliberately-paced start that may have mislead some into believing that they’d began a subtle and realistic experience; and to an extent, they wouldn’t be wrong. But Shenmue is, at heart, a Kung Fu epic. And like in almost any of those, it doesn’t take long at all for the adventure to fly off the rails. In a good way.