Let’s Talk About…: The Speed of Sound

We’re back with our “Let’s Talk About…” series! Check out the previous chats here.

Let’s Talk About…: Sonic the Hedgehog’s speed

Full disclosure: I didn’t own a Sega growing up, but my friend did, so my only exposure to Sonic was in drips and drabs. I know that he’s a blue hedgehog with sporty red sneakers, fights a very rotund man, and is supposedly faster than the speed of sound.

I wanted to make a joke here about how he doesn’t really move at the speed of sound, but that’s an old and tired comment on poor, unsuspecting Sonic. And commenting on the 2006 game also lacks creativity.

No no no. Not today.

But what I will comment on in just how fast the speed of sound is. The speed of sound clocks in around 340 m/s, or 767 mph (or 1235 km/h). For reference, a passenger jet usually flies around 600 mph (or 965 km/h). So… it’s pretty gosh darn fast. When people move at the speed of sound, it’s usually in a specially-designed vehicle meant to withstand the speed and pressure, so I can hardly imagine what that would do to a poor hedgehog’s body…

Break the Barrier

Very few things travel faster than the speed of sound, and when they do, objects that they pass experience an explosively loud boom called a sonic boom. Hence our blue friend’s name, I suppose. Except real sonic booms come bearing deafening roars like explosions, not sporty red sneakers.

If you’d like to experience a sonic boom in a safe environment, borrow Indiana Jones’s whip (or any whip, I suppose), and crack it. That crisp noise you hear is a miniature version of a sonic boom. So, funnily enough, whips were the first man-made creations to break the sound barrier.

Related image

I’ve certainly meandered away from Sonic, haven’t I? I’m woefully under-educated on our dear Sonic, so tell me…

What is the most important thing to know about the Sonic games? Who’s your favorite character? Have I made you think of Sonic cracking a whip now? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. The msot improtant thing to know about Sonic games … that they vary, both in style and quality. Look deep enough and you’ll find:
    2D platformers featuring both high speed romps and slower, methodical levels.
    3D platformers with a myriad of slightly different control systems and a very mixed reception (albeit sometimes unfairly in my eyes)
    Racing games
    Puzzle games
    An RPG
    At least two different fighting games
    I guess that the thing to remember is that the Sonic output is divisive for people. Even long term fans have ben frustrated by different entries into the series, and fiding two Sonic fans that 100% agree on any one game is actually pretty difficult.

    Favourite character … I tend to like the side characters. Tails is my forever favourite because he’s an adorable little fluffball. Looking purely at the games though, I’m also fond of Knuckles the Echidna, Shade the Echidna, Blaze the Cat, and Rouge the Bat. Then there’s Mighty, Shadow and … to be honest, i’m partial to entire extended cast :p

    Sonic cracking a whip … if you put that in a search engine, the odds are probably good that it would bring something up. If nothing else, I wonder if he’s done it in the Archie comics at some point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! There’s certainly a lot of different types of Sonics out there that I never knew about! And Tails! I liked Tails when I (briefly) met him, too 🙂

      And I am 100% not searching for Sonic with a whip because I’m fairly certain I don’t want those results in my browser history….. haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heh. That’s the internet for you. There was a time that ‘Sonic with a whip’ was something I would have expected to bring up something like Sonic cosplaying as Indiana Jones. I’m less naive about it now.

        It always amazes me how many people don’t like Tails and find him annoying 😦 Aye though, Sonic actually branched out into a ton of different have types, with mixed success.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sonic does a great job of setting a great first impression. Green Hill Zone is iconic and it is generally what everyone thinks of when they think of Sonic. We try to block out the more tedious levels, especially water ones, and focus on when the ideas click just right, the game is super fun. But other than that, there isn’t much you need to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for filling me in! I’ve heard of those water levels, and seen videos on YouTube of poor Sonic’s watery demise, which is depressing. I definitely liked the first level of the first game, and you’re right that it definitely gives an impression! So my knowledge of “Sonic goes fast” is pretty much a good summary, then?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing is faster than the speed of Light! For example, during a thunderstorm you always see the flash of Lightning before you hear the roar of thunder 🙂

    I was addicted to Nintendo growing up, so I maybe played a 2D Sonic game once-ish. I do own, and love, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for the GameCube. The 3D platforming was a blast, but my favourite part was this little mini game where you raised these little virtual pets called Chao. You trained them in 5 stats, they all had different attributes, and you could race them. Oh and most importantly, they were so damn adorable!! 😍

    I’m not sure what the internet’s opinion of this game is though. Given my track record, it’s probably the worst Sonic game ever, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nyuk nyuk nyuk,,, haha

      I just looked up those Chao guys, and they are so cute!! And cute little things that you can level up? Sign me up haha.

      I’m not sure, either, but I think as long as you don’t like Sonic 2006 you should be okay… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to have a Game Gear growing up, and my best friend had a Genesis, so I played a couple of the first Sonic games. I liked Sonic 2 the best, because in some parts Sonic would fly a hang glider and I was obsessed with those things.

    I think that the most important part about those games was that they were very of their time. It’s hard to imagine Sonic originating in any decade other than the 90s -and the cartoon didn’t really help with that “totally rad” air the character has. Another thing of note is that the premise has some environmentalist tones (and is pretty dark if you ignore the stylistic elements of the game): a mad scientist imprisons innocent animals to use them as organic batteries. This concern for the exploitation of nature is something that seems inherently of its time, too (after all, the Rio Earth Summit happened in 1992).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I can definitely agree (with my limited knowledge) that Sonic might not have gotten off the ground during any other decade. That’s actually really interesting about the environmentalist tones, though, and I definitely never knew Sonic flew a hang glider! I’ve learned so much about Sonic through this post! haha


      1. The gliding level was super hard, and it was only the second one! 😐

        More Sonic facts:
        – A gene and a protein that take part in the process of cell differentiation in mammals are named after Sonic. The full name is sonic hedgehog homologue (both notated as SHH). Naturally, someone had to go and name its inhibitor after Dr. Robotnik, and thus Robotnikin came to be.
        – Sonic’s sneakers were inspired by Michael Jackson’s boots from the Bad album art and originally he was supposed to have a love interest named Madonna. If that isn’t the most late eighties thing, then what is it?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t think of the most important thing to know about Sonic, but I can tell you that they are great games that kept me very entertained during early childhood. Favorite character is, and has always been, Tails. As a kid, I thought his ability to use his tail to fly was super cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard the older games were great. And I loved Tails, too! It was so cool that he could fly, and I always thought he was so cute, too, which is a ridiculous reason to like a character, but he was just so fluffy-looking! haha


  6. When I was a kid, I was a huge Nintendo fanboy, and only got to play Sonic at friends houses. It was a rare treat. Then the games started to come out for the consoles I owned, except by the time I got around to playing them all they were producing were really bad games and going back and playing the old ones was worse because for games that are all about going fast and being exciting the levels aren’t really designed to let you go fast and be exciting. I love seeing Sonic cameo in stuff, but I don’t know, haven’t really run into a game that I got hooked on. Some of them are pretty solid, though, even with the flaws. Sonic CD does stand out above the rest of the pack to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fair. My brother-in-law has a Sega mini (?) with Sonic on it, and I did enjoy playing the original Sonic. There’s definitely a rhythm to the whole “going fast” thing that I had forgotten about! It seems like poor Sonic has had his ups and downs, so I hope that changes for him if they keep releasing games.

      Liked by 1 person

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