I’ll take it over a few of the 3D mainline games
Sega has done its best to bury some of Sonic‘s history; notably when they took down a handful of 3D entries that got lower-than-average Metacritic scores many years ago. But it’s also easy to forget about all of the Sonic side projects. Like Mega Man before it, Sega was keen on bringing Sonic into the RPG realm, but with BioWare of all studios. Video game animator Jonathan Cooper (formerly at BioWare) is here to give us the full Sonic Chronicles intro to remind us that yes, this game did come out in 2008, you weren’t dreaming it.
According to Cooper, “this fantastic 2D work was inexplicably cut by Sega so the game shipped with the same song backing gameplay footage.” Indeed! You can watch the original intro here, which isn’t really an intro so much as an “arcade demo mode.”
Joel MacMillan (lead artist) and Nick DiLiberto (animator) worked on it, and Cooper notes that Nick in particular draws a lot of their style from the influential 1981 animated epic Heavy Metal, which you can really see in the Sonic Chronicles intro, embedded below. I love how haggard this Eggman is!
While I’m fine with more attempts to capture the magic of old 3D Sonic games, I wouldn’t mind seeing a wild swing like Chronicles every now and then; for better or worse. Sega has been very safe with the IP in recent years, but that statement could apply to the industry as a whole.
Sonic Chronicles (2008) unreleased 2D intro cinematic. This has never been shown before in its entirety. pic.twitter.com/T7wgxKqmb6
— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) December 21, 2021