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Sonic CD

Sonic CD is a platformer video game developed and published by Sega for the Sega CD.  It is the only Sonic the Hedgehog game to be released for Sega’s CD based add-on and was meant to showcase what the new hardware was capable of.

After the completion of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis the development division Sonic Team separated due to indifferences.  The game was a major commercial success and positioned Sega to compete against their main competitor Nintendo.   Sega wanted to embrace the continued development of the Sonic franchise and supported having two different development groups to work on separate titles.

Yuji Naka, the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game was dissatisfied with Sega of Japan’s rigid corporate policies and moved along with several other employees of the Sonic Team to the United States to develop Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with Sega Technical Institute (STI).  While STI began development of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sega was in the midst of developing the Sega CD and wanted to release a Sonic game for their new add-on that would demonstrate its more advanced hardware.

Sega appointed Naoto Ohshima, the character designer of Sonic as the director of the new title and assigned various employees who worked on The Revenge of Shinobi, Golden Axe 2 and Streets of Rage to the project.  The project began as an enhanced port of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega CD, codenamed Super Sonic.  The revised sequel was planned to include additional levels, a fully orchestrated soundtrack, sprite-scaling effects and animated cutscenes. 

As development progressed on the title the game evolved into its own original concept.  While Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was massively successful in North America and Europe, sales of the title in Japan were lacking.  Due to the meager sales of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in Japan and the development team having their own vision for the title resulted in Sega approving the project to become a standalone title.

SeriesSonic The Hedgehog
PredecessorSonic The Hedgehog 2
SuccessorSonic The Hedgehog 3
Platform(s)Mega CD
Sega CD
Media TypeOptical Disc
ReleaseJP: September 23, 1993
EU: October 1993
NA: November 23, 1993
CodenameSuper Sonic
Sales1.5 million
RatingVRC: GA
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
PC – 1996

Compilation – Sonic Gems Collection
PlayStation 2 – 2005
GameCube – 2005

Digital Release
PlayStation 3 – 2011
Xbox 360 – 2011
Android / iOS – 2011

Sonic CD is considered by Ohshima as more of a spinoff title than a sequel to the two mainstream games, although some may argue that the game’s story is set between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.  The game introduces the characters Amy Rose and Metal Sonic into the Sonic universe and includes animated cutscenes.

The game was praised by critics upon release for its exceptional size, music and time travel feature.  Selling over 1.5 million copies the game became Sega CD’s flagship title.  Even though Sonic CD did not sell nearly as well as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 it is widely considered the superior game and is the best-selling game on the Sega CD.   The game is often cited as one of the best games in the Sonic series.

The game received a port for the PC in 1996 and was included as part of the Sonic Gems Collection for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2005.  More recently, a remastered downloadable version of the title was developed by Christian Whitehead for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, iOS and Android and PC in December 2011.

Game Screenshots:

The making of Sonic CD


Splash Wave

Splash Wave is a YouTube channel focused on documenting the 16bit era of video games from a creative, business and technical perspective.  The videos are researched, written, edited, and created by Strafefox (Jeroen Bekker).

Hayao NakayamaExecutive Producer
Minoru KanariProducer
Makoto OshitaniProducer
Naoto OhshimaDirector
Profile PlaceholderKeiichi YamamotoProgram Director
Special Stage Programmer
Yukifumi MakinoYukifumi MakinoSound Director
Sound Effects
Sound Program
Kazuyuki HoshinoCharacter Designer
Visual Design
Special Stage Designer
Special Stage Sprite Design
Kenichi OnoGame Designer
Takao MiyoshiGame Designer
Akira NishinoGame Designer
Profile PlaceholderHiroaki ChinoGame Designer
Special Stage Plan
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Takumi MiyakeVisual Design
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Special Stage Special Thanks
Special Thanks
Profile PlaceholderHideaki KurataLandscape Designers
Profile PlaceholderYasushi YamaguchiSpecial Stage Designers
Special Stage Program
Profile PlaceholderYūichirō MineAnimation Programmers
Profile PlaceholderEiji HoritaAnimation Programmers
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Profile PlaceholderMatsuhide MizoguchiChief Programmer
Yuichi MatsuokaProgrammers
Hiroshi TakeiProgrammers
Tatsuya SatohProgrammers
Noritaka YakitaProgrammers
Yasuo YamaguchiProducers
Mutsumi KidoProducers
Hisashi EguchiChief Key Animator
Tetsuya KumagaiKey Animators
Toshiyuki KomaruKey Animators
Yasuyuki ShimizuKey Animators
Ichiro FuruichiKey Animators
Kenji KajiwaraKey Animators
Shinzō YukiArt Director
Masaru BanzaiCamera Director
Kouichi HiroseAssistant Production Manager
Yukio KaizawaDirector
Koji SekiguchiProduction Manager
Spencer N. NilsenComposer
Music Arrangements
Music Producer
Keyboard & Synthesizer Programming
Engineered & Mixed
David YoungCo-Composer
Keyboard & Synthesizer Programming
Engineered & Mixed
Sandy CressmanVocals
Jenny MeltzerVocals
Becky WestVocals
Brad KaiserDrums and Percussion
Erik FrykmanElectric and Acoustic Guitars
Mark CrewAdditional Music
Guitar, Keyboards and Fairlight III Programming
Music Producer
Armando PerazaAdditional Music
Bobby VegaAdditional Music
Charles AlbertProdcuer
Roosevelt HooverProgramming Assistant
Maurice JacksonProduction Coordinator
Pete EscovedoRhythms for "Palmtree Panic" inspired by *Mister E* by
Casey RankinLyrics by (Opening Theme: "Sonic You Can Do Anything")
Lyrics by (Ending Theme: "Cosmic Eternity [Believe In Yourself"])
Masafumi OgataMusic by (Opening Theme: "Sonic You Can Do Anything")
Special Stage Sound
BGM Composer & Arranged
Special Thanks
Keiko UtokuVocal (Opening Theme: "Sonic You Can Do Anything")
Vocal (Ending Theme: "Cosmic Eternity [Believe In Yourself"])
Naofumi HatayaMusic by (Ending Theme: "Cosmic Eternity [Believe In Yourself"])
BGM Composer & Arranged
Special Thanks
Daikou NagatoMusic Producer
Special Thanks
Ryo WatabeMusic Director
Hiroyuki TanakaPromoter
Youichi TakahashiPackage Designer
Hayato TakebayashiPackage Designer
Hiroshi KubotaSpecial Thanks
Rieko KodamaSpecial Thanks
Yoshiaki KashimaSpecial Thanks
Takenobu MitsuyoshiSpecial Thanks
Masaru SetsumaruSpecial Thanks
Hijiri AokiSpecial Thanks
Steve Ray BurtonSpecial Thanks
James SpahnSpecial Thanks
Kounosuke YoshioSpecial Thanks
Tomoko SasakiSpecial Thanks
Aki KamataSpecial Thanks
Akira FunadaSpecial Thanks
Fujio MinegishiSpecial Thanks
Jina Ishiwatari TsukaharaSpecial Thanks
Katsufumi YoshimoriSpecial Thanks
Tetsuo AkagiSpecial Thanks
Kaeko ItōSpecial Thanks
Hiroshi NakataniSpecial Thanks
Hiromi FukudaSpecial Thanks
Etsuko YamadaSpecial Thanks
Ryūichirō KutsuzawaSpecial Thanks
Takashi IwadeSpecial Thanks
Michikazu TamamuraSpecial Thanks
Masumi UchidaSpecial Thanks
Tohru WatanukiSpecial Thanks
Makiko SuzukiSpecial Thanks
Shūji TakahashiSpecial Stage Special Thanks

Sega CD (North American Release)

Mega CD (European Release)

Mega CD (Japanese Release)

PC (North American Release)

Media & Promotional Material