The Weekly Five: Sonic Generations Classic Callbacks

While Sonic Generations release is still a month away, thanks to the many screens and video clips released by SEGA, fans have been able to pick apart every pixel. Some screens feature road signs with in-jokes, while others feature references to classic Sonic stages from the Genesis/Mega Drive days. Yes, even though the game only features a handful of classic era zones, that hasn’t kept Sonic team from including callbacks to zones not featured in the game. In this week’s Weekly Five we’ll run through five of these way past cool references.

Hilltop Platforms in Rooftop Run

Picking up on the “Hilltop”, “Rooftop” stage name similarity, Sonic Team has taken things one step further and snuck in those strung up platforms. While SEGA has yet to release footage of these in action, I’m very much hoping that the “squeak squeak” sound effect returns. Love that sound, next to the fire ball “whoomph!” of Marble Zone it may be one of my favorites.

Marble Garden Spinning Top in Sky Sanctuary

Now this is an interesting one! Rather than working a classic gimmick into a modern stage, Sonic Team has added a Sonic 3 gimmick into a Sonic & Knuckles stage. The spinning tops were probably one of the best classic gimmicks to screw around with. Running atop the top, Sonic could control the speed and direction. It looks like the Generations version strips the gimmick of some of this fun, as the top can only be used for a certain amount of time before running out of spin. You can see the top in action by checking out the preview.

Hydrocity Underwater Vertical Bars in Seaside Hill

When Seaside Hill was first leaked to be the Sonic Heroes representation in Generations, I was a bit iffy on the choice. Sure I enjoyed the original stage, and liked the design, but it just seemed too similar to Green Hill. Thankfully, Sonic Team has focused more on the ruins and water and less on the checkerboard hills, especially when it comes to the classic version of the stage. Sonic will spend his time both above water and underwater when blasting through the stage, and occasionally he’ll encounter strong water currents. How does a hedgehog stop himself from slamming into a spike ball? Grab onto those conveniently placed vertical bars from Hydrocity Zone. This appears to be one of the more blatant callbacks, as the Seaside Hill stage seems to lift the same portion of the Hydrocity layout.

Flying Battery in Rooftop Run

One of my top choices for a zone to be brought back in Generations was Flying Battery. It’s just such an awesome classic stage: the music, the speed, the layout, the unique gimmicks and enemies. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the cut. Fortunately, a Flying Battery-like airship looks to be causing classic Sonic a bit of trouble in Rooftop Run. Various screens and clips hint towards the airship acting like a G.U.N. Truck, hunting Sonic throughout the stage. Its got the red and white paint job, the copper colored pilot area and even the beloved big propellors.

Endless Mine Musical Riff in City Escape

The Sonic 3 multiplayer stage Endless Mine may have little in common visually with Sonic Adventure 2’s City Escape, but musically both share a smilier riff. Sonic fans have picked up on this before, as one YouTuber mixed both tunes together in a suite that predates Generations. In the classic remix of “Escape From the City”, during the portion “Danger is lurking around every turn. Trust your feelings, got to live and learn” the theme switches to the Endless Mine theme. Pretty cool reference, makes me hope more of the classic remixes feature callbacks to Genesis themes.

Once Sonic Generations hits stores, stay tuned to SEGAbits. I’m sure there will be countless classic callbacks for us to uncover. Until then, I’m up, over and GONE!


4 responses to “The Weekly Five: Sonic Generations Classic Callbacks

  1. Sega Uranus says:

    The falling platforms in Rooftop Run Zone are originally from Sonic 1 8bit.

    The underwater corridors are from Labyrinth Zone originally and were also in Sonic Chaos. I was really happy to see this too, Seaside Hill Zone seems like one of the best levels, sadly.

    And to be honest, you are really really reading too much into the airship as a Flying Battery Zone reference. It is just an airship that does not even look similar, the shape and colors are all different. I like that in the Modern Sonic version of the level it is throwing out those barrels, so now you can see them better.

    Endless Mine Zone is from the Sonic 3 competition mode, but I assume that was a typo.

    And on that I am surprised you never mentioned how Cash Cash remixes the songs in general, like with the old drum sounds and stuff.

    I read my post here before I sent it and I think it came off a bit rude sounding, but I did not mean anything like that, just some stuff I noticed.

  2. Thanks for the observations Sanus, no I don’t think you’re being rude, lol. You’re just being you. 😉 Joking! Joking!

    I wasn’t thinking of the callbacks in terms of which game did the gimmick first. I really do think the current Sonic Team were looking back at the Genesis games for inspiration. I very much doubt they were thinking of the Game Gear titles when making gimmick references. Perhaps if it was the original 90’s dev team I’d think that, but I’m pretty sure the Genesis games were the inspiration for the current Sonic Team team.

    I’m not too “in” with the whole who composed which track, but I was aware of Cash Cash. Just didn’t think it warranted a mention, mentioning the song is good enough. And yeah, the classic drums are all over the soundtrack. Even Speed Highway uses them.

    This isn’t the last of the callback articles, so I intentionally left some bits out. But readers can feel free to mention things they spotted! City Escape is full of classic characters via Wanted and Missing signs. It’s actually sort of creepy, as Ray now appears to be a missing child. I assume he’s dead now… 🙁

  3. Sega Uranus says:

    I am under the impression that some former designers are helping with the game. Most of the people who made the 8bit titles and Sonic CD are all still at SEGA and have been working on nothing in particular that we might know of for the past two or three years, so it is possible they are helping.

    Still, Labyrinth Zone from Sonic 1 on the Genesis is such a massively underrated zone.

    On Cash Cash: I was not saying you should have mentioned it, but wasn’t it recently revealed that they made all of the classic song variations?

    Apparently all of the signs in City Escape Zone and some others are all AAUK’s ideas. So I hate them by default.

  4. Upsidedown Fuji says:

    Good stuff! I love nods to older games.

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