A mainstay of the Sonic Internet is what is known as the Sonic OC, which is short for “original characters.” Many fans of the franchise become so enthusiastic about the series that they create their own animal-like characters for it. These are usually self-inserts. Part of their proliferation might have something to do with how easy it is to replicate the simple character designs of the Sonic series. Change some colors, maybe a facial expression, add a tail, and you’re all set. The concept was so popular that Sega incorporated it into its 2017 game, Sonic Forces.
The popularity of Sonic OCs is such that there exist many tools online for the less artistically inclined to make their own, including the famous program on Newgrounds, which is so old you need Flash to use it. To celebrate (observe? mourn?) the end of Sonic Week, some brave staffers at New York designed their own Sonic OCs, and provided some insight into their creative process.
Chris the Hedgehog
So, I’m going to be honest, I never really played Sonic (I’m sure I did a couple times) so I didn’t really know what to do. I was wracked with indecision. Anyway, I had an entirely too long mohawk at one point in high school — it was for swimming, we’d shave our heads and whatever, I grew my hair down to my shoulders, yes this is embarrassing to admit — so I decided to choose a hair that looked enough like that. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t. I also gave myself a beard, because I have a beard, and honestly that’s about it as far as actual thinking goes. I also like the color blue. Sorry I didn’t try harder. I like this little guy though. I would hang.
Nate the Hedgehog
Here is Nate the Hedgehog. I went into it thinking that I didn’t want to make anything too weird. Nothing that would accidentally read as porn or whatever. I wanted to make a completely asexual hedgehog, I guess is what I’m saying. I also wanted him to look at least sort of like me, which meant messy brown hair (fur?) and a beard. So I started designing with that in mind, but then I was worried that I was making it a little too boring. So to spice it up, I gave him a mecha-torso and some spiked shoes. They’re cool, but it’s also not trying too hard. And then to match the hair and the beard, I decided to give him a big fluffy tail, the way my cats had growing up. And voila!
Rebecca the Hedgehog
Hi! This is Rebecca the Hedgehog. She should be purple but I didn’t get around to coloring her in. She rides her trusty My Little Pony, Skimbleflanks, wherever she goes and she eats office snacks to get strong. Their special move is leaving a trail of sparkles wherever they run. Rebecca has bad stats (weak, slow, wide turning radius) but she’s super cute and can jump high.
Jamerson the Hedgehog
I made a super-cool gray and orange one with spikes and shit and then accidentally deleted it. For this one, I just randomly clicked on things without paying any attention to what I was clicking on. It’s clearly very inspired.
Slayer the Destroyer the Hedgehog
Name: Slayer the Destroyer the HEDGEHOG
Mission: To destroy the Sonic Universe
Description: Slayer the Destroyer’s cool blue awesomeness and maroon-and-orange color scheme are meant to evoke the licking flames of Sonic Universe Hell to which she intends to return her victims’ souls.
Cleo the Hedgehog
Initially, I wanted my Sonic OC to be really hot, but unfortunately the generator I used didn’t include the options to add “massive cans” or “a cute crop top.” So instead, I decided to design the next-truest expression of myself: my dog Cleo. This looks exactly like her when she sees a dog across the street who she wants to fight. Also, I gave her little boots and gloves to keep her paws warm.
Jackson the Hedgehog
This is Jackson the Hedgehog, he has a lot of energy and also a lot of flying hair, mostly because I thought those options were the most fun in that character selection tool. I guess he has a similar color scheme to actual Sonic but is somewhat zanier, which I’m into, and also has big orange gloves because I was worried about him getting frostbite at high speeds — do hedgehogs get frostbite? Is this an issue? I guess I’m just worried about it because I got a cold after trying to run in Brooklyn over the weekend without gloves and I’m still mad about it. Anyway, Jackson the Hedgehog seems like a cool hang, I like him.
Reeves the Hedgehog
This was an overwhelming task, so I asked my more aesthetically astute sister to make my Sonic. She says she designed Reeves the Hedgehog like this because I’m “athletic, have good style, and like my clothes to match.” The first two qualities seem like pretty nice compliments, and the last one I’m not sure about, but all in all I’m happy with how my Sonic turned out!
Brittany Thee Hedgehog
I named my character Brittany Thee Hedgehog because my name is Brittany, Megan Thee Stallion is inspiring, and my character is (in theory) a hedgehog. I chose to make her red because I think red lipstick looks best on me and it’s Valentine’s day so why not go all-in? My hedgehog has somewhat curled hair and a tail to represent my naturally curly hair that I’m constantly beating into submission. I thought an accent color would be nice so I made the inner ears yellow as well as a heart across her chest. The heart is cute and partially makes up for the fact that my girl is … NAKED! Unfortunately, there was no option to add cool boots and an ensemble that would allow her to both run very fast and destroy enemies, so birthday suit it is. Finally, her black-and-white gloves and sneakers represent the divide in this nation between — just kidding it’s because I wear lots of black-and-white clothing.
Trupti the Hedgehog
Here’s Trupti the Hedgehog. Her violet hair cues that she’s not the fastest hedgehog out there — colors of light travel at different speeds and violet, of course, travels the slowest — but her bright yellow, Wolverine claws and and crooked, distrusting scowl let you know that she’s still ferocious.
Chris the Hedgehog
I settled on this basic character design because of the clear anxiety in his eyes. Look at them! Here is a creature confused by his own existence, and uncertain about a world that requires him to wear armor and spiked shoes. Sadly, there is no larger significance to the blue-orange color scheme.
Kelsi the Hedgehog
Description: She’s spicy and sassy and is unconcerned with color coordination. She’s a wannabe sneakerhead who enjoys dystopian fiction.
Brian the Hedgehog
In every video game that offers the ability to create a character, or customize a vehicle, I try to abide by a single rule: I gotta do Knicks colors. Since childhood, I have almost always done Knicks colors, I have no idea why. They are a garbage team. The color scheme is good though!