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Community, Site News

Sonic Symphony 2023: The Opening Night

It’s been a few years since the Sonic Adventure Music Experience and a lot has happened since then. The next major event that Sega did was during The Event of 2020-2021, namely the Sonic 30th Anniversary Symphony in June 2021. While this was incredible to see, it was a shame that due to the nature of the world at that time, the orchestra had to play to no in-person audience.

2 years on from then, and a slightly remixed Sonic Symphony has finally begun, and embarked on a world tour to hundreds of people per venue. Myself and a dozen or so other members of Sonic Retro were present at the opening night at the Barbican in London, and what a night it was.

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Community

Sonic Stuff Research Group Reunion Coming To Retro World Expo This August

If you’ve been around the Sonic Internet scene, more than likely you’ve heard of the Sonic Stuff Research Group. Affectionally known as SSRG, it has been a hub for discussing and researching the inner workings of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, and the techniques in modding Sonic both old and new.

What you may not know is that the SSRG has, in one form or another, existed since 1996. Initially a small subsection on Andy Wolan’s gaming-themed website EmulationZone, it grew to house a number of Sonic websites dedicated to uncovering the history of the franchise, the lost content that sparked the imagination of an entire generation. Sonic the Hedgehog Area 51, Tom’s Hacking Station, Simon Wai’s Sonic 2 Beta Page – separately, they told snippets of a hedgehog’s history. Together? They became the foundation of what would come.

When Andy stepped away from the project in 2003, it was truly the end of an era.

Twenty years later, Andy Wolan, along with three charter members of the SSRG community, are coming together for the Sonic Stuff Research Group Reunion panel. Taking place at the Retro World Expo in Hartford, CT this will be the first time that these four individuals have ever been in the same room together, telling the story of what once was, and how it informs where we are now. Who knows what stories they have to tell? Or what wild things could happen live and in person?

Who are the others joining Andy on this trip down memory lane?

The expo will take place on August 26th and 27th of this year. A schedule has yet to be set, but the OG crew will be hosting two panels, “one for a general talk and historical reflection on SSRG and it’s impact, and another focusing on the technical challenges we faced as we attempted to tear into the classic games for the first time ever to figure out how they worked.”

If you plan on being in the area, be sure to check it out. For more information and future updates, be sure to keep an eye on the panel’s dedicated thread on the forums.

Community, Fan Works, Interview, Podcasts

Feature: A History of Sonic The Hedgehog Podcast, Tom Campbell

Everyone loves podcasts. Podcasts are great, and with some countries still imposing lockdown measures into early 2021, the mini podcast renaissance we’re experiencing looks set to hold with so many working from home or otherwise just having more time on their hands – but what is surprising is the relatively small number of Sonic-related offerings out there.

This is where Tom Campbell comes in. Well-known to wrestling fans for his work at Cultaholic, Tom has launched a new podcast series called A History of Sonic the Hedgehog which covers, well… Sonic’s history. It’s all fairly self-explanatory, but there are a few things that set this effort apart. Not only is it extremely well produced, it’s absolutely packed with information while keeping things relatively brief and is peppered with various snippets of adverts and interviews from back in the day to tie everything together, as well as a few new interviews and some roundtable discussions that give the whole thing a nice personal touch.

Episode 1 and 2 go over the history of the main series games with a few pit stops along the way and while the amount of new information here will depend largely on how familiar you yourself already are with the tale (and why not acquaint yourself with our wiki?), the way it’s all presented here is very entertaining. Episode 3 goes into the history of the comics and touches mostly on Fleetway and Archie with a quick swing around to IDW to close it out. This episode is utterly fantastic for anyone with even a passing interest in any of these comics, featuring interviews with Nigel Kitching, Michael Stephenson, Ken Penders and Ian Flynn! What a line-up!

All in all, this is not only a fantastically well-written and well-produced look into the entire Sonic franchise, it’s origins and history and how things got to where they are today, it’s also a love letter to it from someone who is very clearly a passionate, lifelong fan and whose expertise has allowed him to do it the justice it deserves. It goes without saying that I think you should absolutely check it out wherever you get your podcasts from, or go straight to the source!

I reached out to Tom to ask him a few questions about the podcast and his plans with it, and what brought him here in the first place. I was pleasantly surprised by his final answer and you might be too! Hit the jump to read on.

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Community, Fan Works

Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2020 Trailer is Live!

The trailer for the 20th Sonic Amateur Games Expo has gone live, with over 14 minutes chock full of games from fans as well as indie developers alike! This year sees the long anticipated debut of Sonic Chroma, as well as some blasts from the past such as Sonic Frenzy Adventure. On the indie side, Sondro Gomez is back again, this time with Sonic Mania developer Headcannon in tow, alongside some fantastic looking entries debuting for the first time, like Rad Venture and Hover Warz! All these games barely scratch the surface of what’s coming to SAGE 2020, so give it a watch and we’ll see you September 5th – 11th!

Community, Site News

The Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2020 Guidelines and Deadlines are now live!

The guidelines for SAGE 2020 are live! There’s a lot of updates this year, including a bit of a change on submissions, so make sure to give them a thorough read. After 20 years, we’re looking to make this the best SAGE yet! Keep an eye on the SAGE Twitter as we’ll have announcements about streams, guests, interviews and more leading up to the event, and we’ll see you on September 5th – 12th, 2020!

Community, Miscellaneous, Site News

Weekend SRB2 Kart nights with Sonic Retro

After a relatively successful but impromptu ‘game night’ on Discord last weekend, a few of us rather decided we liked playing SRB2 Kart. We then thought “well, why not make it a weekly thing?”

So here it is!

We’re planning to gather some of the Retro community every weekend (for the foreseeable future at least) to get together and play some of this, quite honestly, ridiculously fun off-shoot of SRB2. This weekend we’re going to have an official date and time of tomorrow, Friday 24th April at 7:00pm UTC (That’s 8pm GMT, 3pm ET and Midday PT). We may even play on Saturday as well dependent on turn-out – in the future, if and when a certain public health crisis is over, Saturday is likely the day we’ll be aiming for. Proceedings will be streamed on both the official Sonic Retro Twitch channel, as well as my own channel here.

You can check out the thread here which includes a pack of various mods we’ll be playing with and installation instructions, and join Discord here to hop into the voice chat if you’re so inclined! See you on the track!

elTcT
Community, Fan Works, Interviews

Retro Spotlight: The Sonic Mania LEGO Project


About a year ago, we posted a LEGO themed Sonic Mania project from community member toaster. The goal for any project posted to LEGO’s Ideas site is to reach 10,000 signatures, at which times, the project will be reviewed and determined if the licenses can be obtained and if the project will move forward in any official capacity. Fast forward to today, where the project is creeping ever so close to that goal, having been sign almost 9,000 in just a hair under a year! We spoke with toaster at length about the project, including its inception, inspiration, and the reception so far. Hit the jump to hear what she had to say!

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Community, Miscellaneous, Reviews

Sonic Adventure Music Experience UK – The Retro Review

From the moment the Kickstarter was announced, my UK-based Retro compatriates and I knew this was going to be a special occasion. The Sonic Adventure Music Experience was headed to our shores courtesy of Sonic Stadium patriarchs and event organizing extraordinaires, Adam “T-Bird” Tuff and Svend “Dreadknux” Joscelyne. Excitement was instantly at fever-pitch. To top it all off, it was in December, which lined up perfectly with the latest Sonic Retro UK Winter Barcade – the timing was impeccable. So, how was the show and the events surrounding it I hear you eagerly ask? Hit the jump to find out!

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Community, Fan Works, Hacking

The Sonic Hacking Contest 2019 Site is Live!

Just a few short weeks after SAGE 2019, the Sonic Hacking Contest 2019 site is live! As noted on the site’s main page, account registration is still separate from the Sonic Retro or SSRG forums. However, existing accounts from 2018 should still be live, though to access them, you’ll need to use the password reset before logging in. This year, entrants will be able to submit as many entries as they like, provided they follow the contest rules. The SHC 2019 contest submission deadline is November 3rd, updates to said submissions allowed until November 10th, expo submissions due by November 17th, and finally, the contest itself running from December 2nd to the 8th.