Thanks for the response too. Anyways onward to an update for the Additional Thanks section of the manual.
Having only recognized just a few names in here I decided to see why the others were credited in here as well which prompted me to do a lot of research. So here's basically a who's who of the people in here.
Starting from the first row to the left and down is…
Nate Almond. I tried to find information on them and didn’t find anything (off to a great start huh?).
All I did find was a Linkedin profile by Nathan Almond and in the url he names himself as n8almond so it could be him:
In case you can’t access it because you need an account here’s what their profile looks like:
In their profile they put themselves as a “Business Manager” for HyperX so they are likely someone who was more on the corporate/business side.
Suzy Berhow (@Mort3mer on Twitter & @mortemer on Instagram) is the wife of Arin Hanson who is just a few names down.
Tom Cackling. Another name I could not find a lot of information on. So they are probably in the same position as Nate Almond.
I did find this post where he acknowledges being in the manual:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/f6bej
From his Twitter he seems to be a part of the ORIGIN PC company as this picture shows (he's the one on the right):
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/ECg3d
Chris Davidson is a music producer and DJ. He goes by DJ Cutman and would go on to create the music label, GameChops.
In an article he states:
“We provided two songs for Sega for their game Sonic Mania, which was a real-life goal.”
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/WGAUS
Those two songs being “Time Trials”, the song for the pre-order trailer, and “Friends”, the Hyper Potions song for the opening animation. According to the Gamechops website Chris Davidson, DJ Cutman, had mastered both of these tracks:
Archived Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20201109003040/https://gamechops.com/time-trials-hyper-potions/
Archived Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20201109003448/https://gamechops.com/friends/
Also, just like the website articles say he even made the visuals for both of these music videos:
Allegra Frank was a part of the Polygon gaming website until her departure in March 2019. She wrote articles covering the Sonic series. Here’s some samples:
One of her more notable works was a feature that delved into how Aaron Webber changed the way the social media accounts of Sonic were handled:
Jacob Freeman is a “Global Product Management Director” at EVGA according to his Twitter (@EVGA_JacobF).
He has said that Mania is good and recommends it to any Sonic fan:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/4pod9
Jacob has also acknowledged being in the manual:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/a6zai
Jake Ganz worked on the animations for the game. According to the full credits Tyson Hesse released, Jake was the “Assistant Animation Director” and “Project Manager”. Not only that but he did “FX Animation” and “Additional Animation”.
The full credits are found here:
Archived Source: http://archive.is/POe0H
In fact, Jake Ganz actually is the founder of Studio Yotta, the animation studio for Sonic Mania.
Arin “Grump” Hanson is a part of Game Grumps. The decision to include his name in the manual was rather mixed to some considering that he is known to make many remarks about the series. If you want to see some of the conversations about this there are two Reddit threads of users discussing this.
Arin, Barry, and Ryan are featured in the Sonic Mania Manual! (July 24 2017)
Archived Version: https://archive.vn/HbGcS
Turns out Arin Hanson is credited in the official Sonic Mania game manual (July 25 2017)
Archived Version: https://archive.vn/pJoCl
As it turns out Arin would go on to admit that he had fun playing Sonic Mania:
Archived Tweet: https://web.archive.org/web/20170816033423if_/https://twitter.com/egoraptor/status/897297948454690816
Tyson Hesse responded with just this sketch
Archived Tweet Source:
A playlist for the Game Grumps let’s play of Sonic Mania is here:
They didn’t complete the game though and only got up to Act 2 of Press Garden.
It does look like Arin is friends with Aaron Webber since they do usually chat through their social media accounts. One particular conversation spawned this video of Arin eating a lot of cupcakes as a challenge:
In another video Arin was invited to Japan along with Jirard (who I’ll discuss a little later) to be with Aaron and go to SEGA HQ, the Tokyo Game Show, and be at the studio with Jun Senoue:
Brady Hartel is another animator. Under the full credits he is credited for “Compositing” and “Motion Graphics”.
Again the full credits here:
John Hardin was a PR Manager for SEGA/Atlus until his departure in February 2017.
He would also get credited in the Special Thanks section of Mania’s own credits:
Mark Hughes, aka Sonicmark, is an artist who has made fan art for Sonic. He was also an artist for Sonic the Comic Online, an online fan continuation of the UK Fleetway Sonic the Comic:
Here’s an example of one of his pieces:
In his Linkedin profile he lists being involved for the Summer of Sonic event from 2016. He was a graphic designer, artist, and volunteer staff:
Here is one piece of his art in a banner at the event:
He would eventually get freelance work for the Sonic social media accounts. Here’s some of his more recent art:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/ffXIL
Sonic Tweet: https://twitter.com/sonic_hedgehog/status/1318945188077731840
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/CBXmU
Here’s another which emulates the Adventure style more (and also involves Youtuber Jacksepticeye if you enjoy watching him):
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/xvmDY
Aaron Webber would give him a shout out for the work he had done:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/oZPhH
Here’s his response:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/RspEM
Svend Joscelyne aka Dreadknux. He was actually the founder of Sonic Stadium, the website we are currently on. Some additional information about him can be found here: http://info.sonicretro.org/User:Dreadknux
He has acknowledged being in the manual. Here's what he said:
"Just been made aware that I'm on a list of 'Special Thanks' on a promotional 'manual' for Sonic Mania. That's incredibly humbling, especially since I basically have nothing to do with the game itself, lol.
I'm super-proud to be listed alongside other amazing names on this book, and jazzed about the fact that some very talented game devs (who happen to be fantastic members of the Sonic community) consider me worthy of reference. Goes to show how special these guys are, and how special a project Sonic Mania really is.
Can't wait for August!"
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/k0Pm3
Jirard Khalil who I mentioned earlier. He has a Youtube channel named The Completionist which is dedicated to completing a game to 100% completion. Asides being with Arin Hanson in the previous video shown, Jirard was also a part of a complete let’s play of Sonic 3 & Knuckles for the Game Grumps channel. A playlist of it can be found here:
Jirard participated in another video for the official Sonic channel which also included MatPat (the Game Theory guy) and Syndicate:
Here’s his own video for Sonic Mania:
Jonathan Kim (@personasama) is yet another animator. He was also credited for doing the same roles that Brady Hartel did which were “Compositing” and “Motion Graphics”.
Full credits again:
Archived Source: http://archive.is/POe0H
Tyson Hesse gave him one of these introduction manuals with signatures from Sonic Team:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/rZAQx
As an additional response he also shows his name being in the manual:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/BdiF3
Skyler King aka SegaSky. He was a part of the site staff at Sonic Retro as user "Skyler":
He has a Youtube channel too:
One of the things he was known for was playing a character named Ben Kalough who was based off Ken Balough who himself was a brand manager at SEGA around the Sonic 4 era and left around 2013:
Here’s a video where he plays Ben Kalough:
Skyler would get a special thanks credit in Sonic 4 Episode 2:
If you notice even Brad Flick, who would become one of Mania’s level designers, was also in there too. They are both in there because they were a part of a Sonic 4 Community Feedback event that took place in November 2010 (a month after Episode 1’s release):
At 4:56 Skyler actually meets Ken Balough:
You may notice the upload of that video is from 2012 but I can assure you it happened in 2010. Here’s an earlier upload from Brad Flick:
He would be the host for the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party livestream. Here’s his name in the credits:
One of the highlights of the stream was when he tried Totino’s Pizza Rolls:
The sponsorship of Totino’s Pizza Rolls would spawn a lot of memes involving Sonic.
Barry Kramer was a part of Game Grumps until his departure in December 2017:
Archived Link: https://archive.vn/cSgQR
Archived Image Link: https://archive.vn/uiMYi
Lawrence Lacsamana is just another PR person. He was a part of “fortyseven communications”, a PR company.
Here’s his profile from Linkedin:
If you can’t see the profile because you need an account here’s the information where they list SEGA of America as a client:
Penny Lee. I found nothing for them unfortunately. Perhaps just another PR/business/corporate person.
Dan Leshock is another marketing person. He is a part of Webaround Gaming:
Archived Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20200524031636/https://thewebaround.com/gaming/our-team/
He has acknowledged being in the manual:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/pdaJi
Tom Cackling actually found out about being in the manual from Dan’s post:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/KMzqp
Kenneth Lindenbaum was the senior marketing manager for the Sonic brand. Here’s his Linkedin profile:
He was credited in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice as “Senior Marketing Manager” and he was also in the Special Thanks section of Sonic Forces credits:
Ryan Magee is a part of the SuperMega Youtube channel:
He was also a part of Game Grumps until May 2019. More information can be found here:
Matthew “Matt” Mannheimer who was a part of the Tails’ Channel Youtube account:
A brief rundown of the channels creation from the about us section of their website:
“Tails’ Channel was founded in 2008 as part of a consortium of Sonic-themed YouTube channels led by Mykle Hunter. From the start, Tails’ Channel was treated as a secondary outlet, often overshadowed by Hunter’s flagship, Sonic’s Channel.
In a effort to focus content on the flagship, Hunter handed over Tails’ Channel to Matt Mannheimer in 2012. Mannheimer quickly became a fan favourite with the launch of several “Let’s Plays”, and creative content. Tails’ Channel fully realized a distinct identity after the launch of its news series, “Tails’ Channel News”. It was intended to cover information leading up to the release of Sonic Lost World, but Mannheimer elected to continue the series due to its popularity.”
In 2016 the channel would make some videos about a certain fangame named Big's Big Fishing Adventure 3, which still hasn't been released as of 2020 by the way, which you can play here: http://bigthec.at/trial/
The game was sanctioned by the official Sonic account:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/rIRPQ
This is a given since Aaron was the one who originated the joke:
The earliest source for this image I could find comes from a 2014 SEGA blog when Aaron departed the first time:
One of the videos involved Dr.Eggman and they managed to even get his official voice actor, Mike Pollock, to voice the video:
Matt himself would get an internship in that same year in June. Here he is with the Sonic statue that is at SEGA of America:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/Eyd8e
He would get credited under Special Thanks in the 25th anniversary party credits:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/RAjZY
After his internship was over he got a parting gift from Sonic Team that was a drawing:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/uFbFX
He even got it framed:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/DhrmL
It isn’t really specified who made the art but from the looks of it it’s most likely Kazuyuki Hoshino. He has been a part of Sonic Team since 1993, starting with Sonic CD, and he still works at SEGA. Here’s a piece he made in 2018 as evidence:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/LJrMQ
Matt has acknowledged being in the manual:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/V3ugm
In October 2017 Matt would leave Tails’ Channel:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/CJaCo
Jacquelyn Moore. I couldn’t find anything...
Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima need no introduction as I'm sure everyone here knows who they are. However, just in case you don't know either of them they were both a part of the original Sonic Team of the 90s. Naka was the lead programmer and Ohshima was the character designer and creator of Sonic the Hedgehog.
They would both show their support for Mania. Naka visited the SEGA offices:
While Ohshima drew a few drawings as his support:
Archived Source: http://archive.is/qwnb5
Here’s Ohshima with some of the Mania developers:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/20ip1
He was also with Tyson Hesse and Ohshima has said he loved the animations Hesse made for Mania:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/BzFXV
Juan "Johnny" Ortiz is another Youtuber who's channel name, Somecallmejohnny, derives from the fact that some people well, call him Johnny:
He has acknowledged being in the manual much to his excitement:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/AqyC3
Here's his Sonic Mania review where he fanboys a lot at the end:
An amusing thing to point out is that at the end of his Sonic 4 Episode 2 review, from May 31 2012, he brings up the Christian Whitehead's version of Sonic CD and wishes that his engine could be used to create a future Sonic title (at 12:56):
Earlier in the review at 4:03 Johnny even mentions his preference for “HD 2D sprites”. So just four years later he would get his wish to come true.
Nick Robinson was a part of the Polygon gaming website. He managed to interview a few of the Mania developers including Simon Thomley, Brad Flick, and Hunter Bridges:
He made a video expressing his excitement for Mania:
Here’s another video he made titled “Sonic Mania 25th Anniversary Honest Trailer”:
Erik Schmitt is a part of Ayzenberg, an advertising agency. He was involved in several of the Sonic social media accounts contents. Here’s his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikschmitt/
He has more details on the content on his personal page:
A more general version of this information can be found on Ayzenberg’s own website:
Erik would become aware of being in the manual from Matt Mannheimer’s own post about it:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/fF2JI
Brian Shea is a “Digital Editor” for Game Informer:
He has written articles on the Sonic series here’s a few samples:
He is a part of The Game Informer Show podcast where he discussed Sonic Mania when it was revealed:
Here’s Brian’s review for Mania:
They had a discussion about Mania in their podcast as well:
Just for clarification, Brian is to the right in both videos.
Craig Sinel. They seem to be another PR Marketing person. I found this article from BusinessWire dated 2009 that has their name on it at the bottom:
If you notice they seemed to also be a part of fortyseven, the same company Lawrence Lacsamana was in.
There’s an earlier article from 2005 with his name in it too:
Sibel Sunar. If you notice their name was also with Craig Sinel in the articles above. It turns out Sibel is the CEO of fortyseven.
Josie Taylor. Another PR person. I believe this is their Linkedin profile as they have SEGA/Sonic the Hedgehog as a client:
It’s possible Josie is a nickname and as it turns out clicking on the “Contact info” brings up a link to a blog with the name josie in it so it’s a definite:
Adam Tuff is a friend of the Mania developers. As a bonus here's some pictures he has provided of him being with them.
Here’s one circa 2011 according to him:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/aTgQo
Here’s one where he is with them during the 25th anniversary party:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/uLMHf
Here’s one where he’s with them during, what I can see, the PumaXSonic event from E3 2018. He’s the one above Hunter Bridges. Svend Joscelyne is also there in the center. Even Kazuyuki Hoshino is here:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/uW2bJ
Lastly, is this picture that I find humorous. All hail King Taxman:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/0O6cS
Kevin Wasielewski is the CEO of ORIGIN PC. He found out about being in the manual from Dan Leshock’s post:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/00eJ4
Austin “Tails” Webber. Unfortunately, I could not find anything on them and search results just bring up Aaron Webber instead.
Brit Weisman. I believe this is their Linkedin profile:
They are credited as working for Twitch as “Executive Producer” and “International Programming Manager”.
Hirokazu Yasuhara should be another familiar name but if it isn't then he was also a part of the original Sonic Team as the lead game and level designer. He would congratulate the team on the positive reception Mania garnered:
Archived Source: http://archive.vn/u9sC2
All the little doodles seen in this introduction manual were made by Tyson Hesse and were based off the little doodles Yasuhara would make for the original Mega Drive games:
Archived Source: https://archive.vn/kbLsm
This little design would become known as Sonic the Sketchhog and would get it’s own mobile game as an endless runner:
Here’s a gameplay video (coincidentally by SegaSky):
The game is no longer available to download though.
Averi Yorek. Couldn’t find anything....
Studio Yotta is the animation studio that made the animations for Sonic Mania as previously stated
That’s all the information I could find for all of them. Hope you enjoyed the read if you did.
Okay so the writing below was supposed to be on another secondary post but the forum seems to have merged this writing together so I just have to deal with that.
Of all the names in this additional thanks section the only ones I recognized were:
Arin Hanson because of his notoriety, if you can call it that, with Sonic. Personally, I’ve always been indifferent of Game Grumps. Their videos just aren’t my cup of tea so to speak and that includes let’s plays in general. If I were to recommend a let’s play of Sonic Mania though I would say go and watch the one from Jaltoid Games.
They even completed the game which is just a plus one for me and their thumbnail art is really charming:
As a non Game Grumps fan I didn’t notice that the names Suzy Berhow and Barry Kramer were related to Arin Hanson either.
Svend Joscelyne because I did my research on this website, Sonic Stadium, and discovered he was the founder of it. Also, I vaguely recognized the name Dreadknux in some of the articles I’ve seen here.
Jirard Khalil because I already saw some of his videos since I also like to try and complete games to 100%. One of my favorite parts of that Game Grumps let’s play of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, yes I did actually watch all of it, was when Arin said the one thing he loved about Sonic was the music when they were in Flying Battery Zone Act 2 in Part 11 (at 6:50):
Skyler King because of his Ben Kalough character. By the way, that community feedback event for Sonic 4 was also attended by Sonic Retro user “David The Lurker” who wrote about their experience here:
Their feelings are very palpable just from the writing.
Matthew Mannheimer because I saw a few of his videos when he was on Tails Channel. I also remember how he referred to himself as Matt Mannheimer instead.
Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima because of course. Also, here’s a bonus drawing Ohshima made unrelated to Mania but still involves Sonic (and Nights too) that I liked:
Recently, Naka and Ohshima both joined together to create an all new game titled Balan Wonderworld coming 2021:
There’s a part where Ohshima even partially draws Sonic (at 6:12):
Juan “Johnny” Ortiz because he is one of my favorite Youtubers to watch. I first discovered him with his Sonic Colors review from 2010. I’m so happy to see he actually got his name into the manual because it’s rightly deserved.
Nick Robinson because Polygon was one of the Youtube channels that had most of the Sonic Mania gameplay before release and those videos of him discussing Mania and interviewing the developers appeared along with them.
Adam Tuff because I found all those pictures he provided that I showed off above. Hirokazu Yasuhara because of course and Studio Yotta because they're the animation studio.
I feel like the actual placements of the names in this manual are rather all over the place. Some of the names should have been grouped together I feel. Suzy Berhow, Arin Hanson, Barry Kramer, and I guess Ryan Magee to an extent since they were all a part of Game Grumps. Allegra Frank and Nick Robinson since they were both a part of Polygon. All the Youtubers like Jirard Khalil, Matt Mannheimer, and John “Johnny” Ortiz. All the PR/business people should have been put in a final group/row.
Jake Ganz, Brady Hartel, Jonathan Kim, and Studio Yotta itself should be together since that’s the studio and it’s animators together. Also, I want to add another thing since I’m on the topic of them. Why didn’t the actual Mania credits put all the names from Hesse’s full credits he released into the game itself? Only a few names were in the actual credits and they were Mariel Cartwright (@kinucakes and Tyson Hesse’s wife might I add), Hans Tseng, Brady Hartel, and Jonathan Kim who is credited as just Jon Kim. That’s such a paltry amount. I guess the rest were all collectively under the Studio Yotta name but I feel they should still have been individually credited for their work. I also noticed Max Collins, the one who leaked the animation for Mania, isn’t on the full credits I guess because of what he did.
The other thing that bothers me is the fact that Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima, and Hirokazu Yasuhara are not together. They are a trio and a part of the original Sonic Team so to see Yasuhara in another row from the other two feels wrong.
Since Johnny and Matt were in here and they are both known as Sonic Youtubers I feel there should have been a few more in here because even Jirard and Arin managed to get into this manual. So who do I think merits being in here?
Jamie Clement aka ClementJ64 or The Great Clement. Here’s his Youtube channel:
Here’s two of his videos as samples:
His most notable thing he did was make a three hour long review of Sonic 06:
He would also appear on some of SomecallmeJohnny’s videos like in this Mega Man 3 review (at 1:04):
Roger van der Weide. Here’s his Youtube channel:
He is mostly known for those “Sonic [insert title] in X minutes” animations.
Here’s one on an animation of Sonic Boom:
He has also made a series called “Sonic Dissected” which discusses just the series in general:
Cybershell. I heard his actual name is Andrew Kiker but I’m not sure that’s true. I remember watching his let’s plays of the Mega Drive games back in 2009. I didn’t have a way to play them so I just decided to watch someone play them instead and his videos came up:
I loved the title card openings, the rundown of the zones with those maps from Zone 0, and the “Cunt-o-meter” for the badniks and for the boss battles while that OC Remix of the Sonic 3 boss battle plays in the background.
I like how it all culminated with the Doomsday Zone video building it up with that OC Remix of Doomsday Zone while all the Sonic 3 playthrough was being shown and then ending it with all the Dr. Eggman “Cunt-o-meter” boss ratings. I also didn’t realize until later when he was naming off all the zones that had done the Doomsday Zone trope that he was reading off the Sonic Retro page on the zone itself:
There was also this two part video “Cooking With Cybershell” unrelated to Sonic but still enjoyable:
After all three games were completed he would do some additional gameplay videos but then stopped uploading. In May 2017 he would return with the “Sonic 2 Bonus Video” he promised in 2008. He would again disappear in December 2017.
One of the notable things that happened during that period was at the 2018 SXSW panel where a kid made a passing mention to Cybershell and Tyson Hesse would laugh while Aaron said he was impressed by that (at 55:11) so it shows they are aware of him:
The kid would even ask a good question, which Aaron also tells him it was after his turn was over, to Iizuka about the Sonic & Knuckles Collection music and if it was changed due to Michael Jackson or due to MIDI instruments. Iizuka couldn’t answer it but it was still a good effort by the kid, This was before the Sonic 3 prototype came out with the PC music in it in 2019.
Cybershell would make his second return in September 2020.
Also I want to add that I never understood the whole “he hibernated for nine years before his return” statements because his last upload before “hibernating” was “The Oldest Trick in the Book” a video of Dark Souls 3 from May 1 2016 which is just a year before the Sonic 2 Bonus Video. His second disappearance in 2017 really was a hibernation because he became radio silent in those three years before his second return.
Emi Jones aka EmuEmi. She is mostly known for her music covers of the Sonic games.
Tails’ Channel had another video on the Big’s Big Fishing Adventure 3 fan game where she voiced Tails in it:
She also managed to be invited and visit SEGA of America in 2017 and she took a picture with the Sonic statue like Matt Mannheimer did:
She made a cover of Skye Rocket’s Sonic Mania song:
Here’s a version where they mashup the two made by SilverJackThings that I really enjoyed:
In 2019 she actually appeared on the official Sonic channel:
In June 2020 she released an audio series which included Mike Pollock voicing Eggman and Ryan Drummond, the Adventure games voice actor, returning to voice Sonic again:
And those are all the names I think should have been in the manual as well. Agree? Disagree? Who do you think should have also been in this manual?