SEGA Cinema has risen from the dead with a spooktacular boogielicious Halloween Special! Okay, so it’s actually not scary at all. Like our Christmas Special, Sonic Retro and SEGAbits writers team up to tackle classic Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons. Barry and George are joined by Sonic Retro’s David the Lurker to watch two episodes featuring clowns, ghouls, sea monsters, and a half-man half-sponge who lives in the sea. No, it isn’t Spongebob.
First up is Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog‘s “Boogey-Mania”, which plays out like a cross between NiGHTS into Dreams and A Nightmare on Elm Street. And then, interrupting the Sonic cartoons are a compilation of cutscenes from the SEGA Saturn’s Deep Fear and Mr. Bones. Ending the special is the scariest thing of them all, an episode of Sonic Underground titled “The Deepest Fear” in which Sonic faces his fear of water. Don’t worry, he doesn’t drown and the story ends with an awful song. Enjoy the special, and Happy Halloween!
We at Sonic Retro have been informed of the passing of former SatAM and Sonic Underground writer, Ben Hurst. His age at the time of his passing was believed to be in his mid-50s.
According to a good friend, Sonic Retro member Quexinos (aka FUS admin Nique), Ben passed away two weeks ago due to complications from diabetes. He fell into a diabetic coma and passed away in his sleep.
I don’t know how many of you knew this but Ben and I were very close but I’m copying this to as many Sonic places as I can ala one of his requests for should this ever happen. This isn’t easy to say, but today I got a phone call from Pat Allee who was the co writer of SatAM.
Unfortunately, Ben passed away a couple weeks ago. They think it was his diabetes, which I didn’t even know he had. I guess it came kind of suddenly. He even had a doctor appointment on Wednesday but he died Tuesday before he could go. What they believe happened is that he fainted and then went into a diabetic coma. Then he just died peacefully in his sleep, which is how he wanted to go. He didn’t feel any pain or anything so that’s comforting.
I feel very weird by this whole thing. He was such a lively man. He lived such a full life and he told me numerous times that if he died tomorrow, he’d be fine with that. I’m truly grateful for having known such a great man. I’m sure he’s happy wherever he is now. I’m upset but knowing these things I think I’ll be able to carry on.
Ben Hurst was the writer of SatAM in 1993 on ABC, which retains a rabid following to this day. He returned to Sonic for “Sonic Underground” in 1999, writing for a handful of episodes. Since the end of “Underground,” Ben became more involved with the community, appearing for Q&As at both the 2005 and 2006 Sonic Amateur Games Expo.
We will update you with more information as it becomes available. We at Sonic Retro extend our condolences to the Hurst family. Thank you for providing many of us with childhood memories. SatAM was a staple in many of our youths and we have you to thank for it.
How can anyone forget the magic that was 1999? After five long years, the western audience of Sonic the Hedgehog was finally going to get what they asked for. Through the turbulent Saturn years, there was only one thing anyone asked for – a new, proper Sonic game. And on 9/9/99 (9/14/99 for all you Europeans) the western world was able to get their hands on a game that had already received rave reviews when it was released in Japan…nine months previous. The wait was unbearable, but we had the Internet. We had the magazines. We had the previews. We had the faith that the glitches and bugs would be cleaned up for us.
And we had Sonic Underground.
Well, we didn’t exactly ask for Sonic Underground. Sure, the idea of a new Sonic cartoon was alluring, but hearing that it had nothing to do with the old shows? That Tails was missing? Sonic was a prince and had two siblings, and they were in a band with magical instruments? Dr. Robotnik was going to be a sheriff? That Jaleel White was going to voice all three, including the sister?! It had to be some cruel, sick joke DiC was playing on the fans.
One that ended up on UPN, that is.
Granted, they dropped the “Sheriff” title before they animated the series, but the rest of it was still a gigantic mess. Never knowing what it wanted to be, Sonic Underground was torn between the early 90’s ideal of Sonic and the modern sensibilities the Adventure games were about to introduce, dooming the show before the first episode aired. Having 40 episodes produced in all, it let the series squeak by into syndication. Just enough to give the world one “rockin'” soundtrack.
Which is why Sonic Retro is proud to present “The Top Ten Worst (and Therefore Best) Sonic Underground Songs!” Crank up those speakers, and prepare to “Peanut Butter and Jam” with the best of ’em!