Cracked: 4 Social Criticisms Hidden in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Games

Imagine if this whole time you played Sonic the Hedgehog, you weren’t winning, you where falling for Eggman’s plans the whole time? Well, the grown ass men over at have posted a new video detailing four social criticisms that are present in Sonic the Hedgehog.

Now if you’d excuse me, my mind has been blown. Just leave me in this Hedgehog wonderland created by Robotnik.


11 responses to “Cracked: 4 Social Criticisms Hidden in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Games

  1. straitJacket says:

    And this demonstrates that a credible Sonic film could be made? I always thought it was amiss of Sega not exploring the whole eco warrior aspects in the franchise yet this takes that concept out of the oven and seasons it with Sotoshi Kon’s Paprika.

    • InTheSky says:

      I’d think it’s more difficult for action franchises to offer involving looks into a huge idea like environmentalism. It’s even harder considering the direction that Sonic is going to go in, which assumes the audience is generally much younger. And I’m not talking a half-assed and no-finesse approach like the Avatar movie.

      I don’t know what direction Sonic Boom will go theme wise (tone is more or less established), but outside of that universe the mythology seems too overstuffed to focus in on something like this.

  2. thatguy says:

    No… this is a demonstration that hipsters shouldn’t try and over analyze the **** out of everything and separate gameplay mechanics and story. ugh

    • Shigs says:

      You DO know that the whole thing is done in humor right? That they’re not serious?

    • Saturn Memories says:

      No, it’s quite obvious. Doesn’t make it funny though.

    • OriginalName says:

      It’s widely circulated that Naoto Oshima, the designer of Sonic and Dr. Eggman, and director of Sonic CD, originally intended to have an environmentalist sub-text. Just because you never picked up on this does not make it wrong for people to speculate symbolism that actually does exist in the games. How could it possibly be a bad thing that a good video game is also smart?

      The Matrix thing is obviously going overboard, and they clearly didn’t figure out that you can get Good Futures in Sonic CD, but the “only one human in a world that he has demolished in order to rebuild in his own design” premise that they point out was very intentional on the part of the designer.

      If anything, it’s a shame that they moved away from it around the time of the Sonic Adventure games.

    • InTheSky says:

      Cracked sometimes comes across as noncommittal, tone-wise, in the way the message their social commentary due to their use of sarcasm and whatever other words you want to use to describe their sense of humor. But they generally take their stuff seriously if it’s in regards to the “6 ways your body makes quitting smoking difficult” or “6 reasons being in power makes you a douchebag”

      Anyway, I think the concept of trapping animals in the badniks is very interesting. If we put aside the question of how Eggman consistently has access to resources, I think there are some “harmony with nature” elements. The Chaos Emeralds are not technological but mystical, also. You can’t make the argument for the “artificial look” of the Zones as representative of the industrial sort of alienation because that’s clearly a design decision but taking that angle does enhance the appeal of struggling against that foreign, false, robotic nature – it might enhance that experience.

      I mean in the end for most all games the gameplay supersedes concepts and art and such and so you wouldn’t expect any franchise to consistently make commentary or explore themes (the moral quandary of “fighting to prevent fighting” ran its course after a while in the X series of Mega Man games) but it’s still interesting to think about. I don’t see how it’d work for Sonic Spinball but I guess I only played that game for a couple of hours anyway. =P

  3. thatguy says:

    Sonic Team revisited the whole “environmental shtick” with Sonic Colors. It can be seen in Planet Wisp’s design, concept art and music. The music has many bitter sweet overtones, i.e. a virgin planet ravaged by industrialism.

    Anyway, my point is that the fellows at seem to focus more on the negative aspects of Sonic’s environmentalist theme. They even go as far as to say Sonic is trapped like a rat in a maze, while Eggman is free to destroy i.e.: bumpers, t.v. monitors and checkers exist in “supposed Green Hills” because its some Eggman trap. Those are gameplay mechanics, you know, to make a game fun? Completely separate of the game’s story.

    Although in jest, the way they presented their arguments borderlines conspiracy theory.

  4. matty says:

    At first, I thought this was a long-winded ‘shit Sonic fans say’ type of deal, but then I remember there are people like the ones on YouTube (eg. PBS Ideal Channel) that are totally serious when they “analyze” games and memes.

  5. InTheSky says:

    The nature vs industry angle is part of the Sonic Boom concept.

  6. matty says:

    At first I thought this was something along the lines of “shit Sonic fans say,” but then I remembered that there are people on YouTube (e.g. PBS Idea Channel) that really do this. They try to “analyze” toys and memes.

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