Way back in the early '90s, Sega was competing heavily with Nintendo.
Nintendo had Mario. Sega wanted its own hero.
So they created Sonic the Hedgehog, the super-fast blue anthropomorphic hedgehog who ran through levels collecting golden rings and facing off against the creations of the evil Dr. Robotnik, aka "Eggman."
But in his earliest incarnation, Sonic was from a small town in Nebraska. He was named Sonny. His family was poor. They ate bugs and trash.
This is all according to a blog post from VRV.
You see, Sonic was originally created by Sega for a Japanese game. It then had to be localized by Sega of America for U.S. audiences. Their Japanese counterparts supplied the game itself, but absolutely no backing documentation about it, so Sega of America created what's called a "story bible."
This "Sonic Bible" contained the complete and lengthy background of the character and his relationship with Dr. Robotnik.
"Sonny Hedgehog was born on Earth in the early 21st century, in the town of Hardly, Nebraska, population 1,226. He and his mother and five sisters live underneath a scraggly hedge beside the local burger joint, and subsist on burger scraps, milkshakes and the occasional slug or bug that crawls their way," reads the opening lines of the document.
(FYI, Hardy, Nebraska, is a real place. Hardly is not.)
Sonic's Nebraska origins were later changed, but much of the story ended up in various incarnations of Sonic's story, including in a U.K. "Sonic the Comic."
As Sega began to exert more control over subsequent releases, Sonic's story in later games would come to reflect that of his original Japanese details.
But we can all be proud that Sonic was once considered a native of our great state.
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