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Late-90s Sonic Forums And Websites?


CertifiedNobody
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CertifiedNobody

Does anyone know of any Sonic websites or forums from the late 90s? I've recently gotten interested in the development of Sonic Adventure, and, it being before my time, was hoping to see the way fans reacted to Sonic's return and redesign, as well as leaks and speculations from around then. I'm sure much of it is gone now but it'd be nice to find something

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Indigo Rush

There isn't really much out there, at least anything that's still online. Funnily enough, this very place might be the oldest living website dedicated to Sonic (the news portion, not the forums), and goes back when Sonic Adventure 2 was announced. Check out the earliest news article about SA2 I could find: https://www.sonicstadium.org/2000/12/yuji-naka-gets-coy-about-sonic-adventure-2-cast/

If there is anything older, the ones you wanna ask are @Dreadknux or @T-Bird

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Polkadi~☆

I've occasionally found some super old and obscure Sonic fansites when looking for super old and obscure Sonic things. MIDIs of Sonic songs were being made by fans since before the third game was even a thing...

Here's one of the sites I found, if you want to see: http://emperor_cartagia.tripod.com/Sandopolis.html
Dates back to before SA1's international release, and boy howdy does it show.

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Dreadknux

I made my start in the Sonic community around 2000, so my absolute limit in terms of fan reaction to the latest Sonic thing was Sonic Adventure 2 (and the news that SEGA had left the console business... that was quite a time to be around). But there were some fansites that inspired me to develop The Sonic Stadium that I believe were around during at least 1998.

One of them was Sonic HQ - that site was recently revived I think, but it closed down in the mid-late 2000s. The earliest I can find on Wayback is this link here, perhaps through there you can find some archive news focusing on pre-2000 Sonic titles. It also had a really vibrant forum community, but I highly doubt you'll be able to find many working Wayback archive links of old forums I'm afraid (trust me, I've tried when trying to find old forum posts from SSMB when it was a hosted ezBoard, back in the ancient times).

Another was The Sonic Foundation, run by Kedzie-K. This is the oldest link I could find, but it really found its groove around 2001 honestly. You might find something useful there. :)

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batson
On 7/6/2021 at 7:33 AM, CertifiedNobody said:

I've recently gotten interested in the development of Sonic Adventure, and, it being before my time, was hoping to see the way fans reacted to Sonic's return and redesign

I hadn't really regularly starting using the internet back then, but I can at least tell you about my own reaction to the game when it was first released.

I knew about the upcoming Sonic Adventure beforehand due to video game magazines, and I had a friend who was an even bigger Sonic fan than myself at the time. I saw a screenshot of Sonic in his new design but I honestly didn't think it was that big a deal. He still pretty much just looked like Sonic to me. However once the actual game came out and me and my buddy (who was the one who actually owned a Dreamcast) played it, there were a few things that confused me. First of all, I had no idea why nearly everyone in the game except the doctor himself suddenly refered to Robotnik as Eggman. I understood that Sonic said it in the beggning of the game as an insult but I thought it was strange how apparently the entire Sonic universe seemed to have decided to start calling Robotnik by this same mocking nickname. It's as if suddenly in the next Mario game everyone would call Bowser "Spikebutt" and use the name as if it had always been used. Really weird.

Another thing I was confused about was whether the game still took place on Mobius. Sonic's world seemed a lot more similar to our own than it ever had before.

Though of course, with all that said, those confusing things (that I would of course discover the reason behind once I started using the internet more often and realized that there was such a thing as a japanese Sonic lore that was different from the international version) wete all rather minor in the grand scheme of things. First and foremost, my impression of Sonic Adventure was extremely positive. I thought the graphics were amazing, and the game presented it's story in a more cinematic way than I had ever seen another game do at the time. I remember watching the cutscenes in the final story leading up to the Perfect Chaos final boss and thinking that it was exactly like watching a movie. I also really got emotionally invested in the stories, especially Gamma's. Another story that really grabbed me was Tails'. I guess being a 13 year old at the time I could relate to his desire to become his own person separate from his older rolemodels.

So yeah, my initial experience with Sonic Adventure was a bit confusing but absolutely awesome!

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Roger_van_der_weide

You can check the reviews on gamefaqs:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/dreamcast/198694-sonic-adventure/reviews
Sure, there's modern reviews there too, but it does include reviews from 1999 on.
The dates are listed underneath the titles.
And there's some links to the official reviews from magazines at the time too, altough a lot of the links won't work anymore.

For me, I was immediatly hooked to Sonic Adventure and it's redesigns in 1999. I don't recall questioning anything or having any complex thoughts on it, everything was just great. Simpler times when I didn't overthink everything 200 layers too far.

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CertifiedNobody
6 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

You can check the reviews on gamefaqs:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/dreamcast/198694-sonic-adventure/reviews
Sure, there's modern reviews there too, but it does include reviews from 1999 on.
The dates are listed underneath the titles.
And there's some links to the official reviews from magazines at the time too, altough a lot of the links won't work anymore.

For me, I was immediatly hooked to Sonic Adventure and it's redesigns in 1999. I don't recall questioning anything or having any complex thoughts on it, everything was just great. Simpler times when I didn't overthink everything 200 layers too far.

Thanks, I'll be sure to do that!

Spoiler

Unrelated, but it's so cool seeing a popular Sonic animator like you replying to my posts. That's the beauty of TSS I guess.

 

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It can also be fun to dig through old UseNet posts. For instance, this one from 1999, where they're discussing Sonic's "new look."

Quote

Just curious, what does everyone think about sonic's new look with the
green eyes and all. personaly, i think he looks like shit. he looks like
he's ready to go out on a mad killing spree. i don't mind the buckles on
his shoes cause he's had buckles before. i've seen tons of promotional
pics from older games where he had buckles. i really hate his new spikes
too, they look like shit!!!!!

That was a common critique of the SA illustrations, that Sonic looked too "evil" or "possessed." I found one a while back from '98, where some people's first reaction to the Sonic Adventure teaser image (where you could just see his eyes and smile) was DENIAL, as they started speculating that maybe this wasn't REALLY Sonic, that maybe it was an evil clone or a doppleganger.

Really, the issue with a lot of old fansites is that they're not up anymore, and while archive.org does have a lot from them, you have to know where to look. So unless you were there at the time AND you can remember some very old URLs, it can be tough.

AJ Freda's SegaSonic.net is a neat time capsule!

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/7/2021 at 7:58 AM, Dreadknux said:

I made my start in the Sonic community around 2000, so my absolute limit in terms of fan reaction to the latest Sonic thing was Sonic Adventure 2 (and the news that SEGA had left the console business... that was quite a time to be around). But there were some fansites that inspired me to develop The Sonic Stadium that I believe were around during at least 1998.

One of them was Sonic HQ - that site was recently revived I think, but it closed down in the mid-late 2000s. The earliest I can find on Wayback is this link here, perhaps through there you can find some archive news focusing on pre-2000 Sonic titles. It also had a really vibrant forum community, but I highly doubt you'll be able to find many working Wayback archive links of old forums I'm afraid (trust me, I've tried when trying to find old forum posts from SSMB when it was a hosted ezBoard, back in the ancient times).

Another was The Sonic Foundation, run by Kedzie-K. This is the oldest link I could find, but it really found its groove around 2001 honestly. You might find something useful there. :)

Wow, weird. I can co-sign this, these were the two main sites for me back in the day. I've been online since at least '96/'97... My earliest memory of Sonic content online is reading about and seeing screenshots of the two episode OVA and thinking how cool it was, how I'd probably never see it (wow, things were different back then, haha). I think it was on a site ran by Psyguy 🤢 pre-webcomics. But besides that, all I remember is very early Sonic HQ and eventually TSF. There were a ton of sites and they mostly all affiliated with each other. But SHQ was the big one while TSF just had this charm to it. I was pretty active on both forums, especially SHQ... Vibrant is the perfect description. I do think they (Sonic HQ) began in '98, if not late late '97. The Simon Wai prototype was like, the biggest thing at the time and I do recall keeping up with news during the development of SA1.

I also used to visit this page often, for some reason... They hosted a fantastic short SA fan comic (and 2-page SA2 "joke" comic), and shockingly, the page is still up. I know this whole post is pretty off-topic, you won't find any news unfortunately since most of the pages are broken, but the comic is still there. Looking at this page feels like finding an ancient artifact, lol.

Anyway, sorry I didn't contribute much to the request, but thanks for the trip down memory lane, ha.

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PC the Hedgehog

  Dreadknux pretty much hit the nail on the head. Sonic HQ and The Sonic Foundation were the big two back in the day. I joined the online Sonic community between Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, so I couldn't say how the fandom reacted to the redesign, but personally, I thought it was neat. That's it. Just...neat. I don't recall anyone having a problem with the "modern" designs until years later. It was definitely a much simpler time in the Sonic fandom back then...

3 hours ago, kenn k said:

But SHQ was the big one while TSF just had this charm to it. I was pretty active on both forums, especially SHQ... 

Me too! The TSF forums in particular were a highlight of my early internet life. Do you recall your username? I'm sure you could probably guess mine.

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tailsBOOM!
On 7/6/2021 at 7:35 AM, Indigo Rush said:

There isn't really much out there, at least anything that's still online. Funnily enough, this very place might be the oldest living website dedicated to Sonic (the news portion, not the forums), and goes back when Sonic Adventure 2 was announced. Check out the earliest news article about SA2 I could find: https://www.sonicstadium.org/2000/12/yuji-naka-gets-coy-about-sonic-adventure-2-cast/

If there is anything older, the ones you wanna ask are @Dreadknux or @T-Bird

Perhaps they could do an advanced Google search?  Google has a treasure trove of old websites hiding in the results, even ones older than me (I turn 22 in November as a point of reference).  For example, while not Sonic related, I found this site from 1994 when looking into the infamous Brinstar save point softlock in Super Metroid a while back (STUCK in Super Metroid! (google.com)).   Maybe there's similar stuff for Adventure 2 as well?

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