- Sonic! He can really move!
- Sonic! He's got an attitude!
- Sonic! He's the fastest thing alive!
- —Theme song, Sonic the Hedgehog SatAM
In 1990, the Sega Corporation asked Naoto Ōshima, Hirokazu Yasuhara, and Yuji Naka to come up with a character to replace their current mascot, Alex Kidd, and to serve as a rival to Nintendo's powerhouse, Mario. The three came up with a character who, when his first game was released for the Sega Genesis in June 1991, blew the world away.
This was the debut of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Basic Universe Summary
The Sonic Universe is actually a minor multiverse of several parallel realities centered around a planet which is the target of a takeover/invasion by a scientific genius (Dr. Ivo Robotnik, also known as Dr. Eggman). Standing in his way are the planet's current inhabitants, always led by a blue-furred 15-year-old anthropomorphic hedgehog, Sonic. Capable of running at speeds that exceed the speed of sound and possessing enough attitude to power an entire month of the `90s on his own, Sonic is a force to be reckoned with.
The universe has undergone a vast slew of adaptions and alterations since its introduction in 1991, and at this point contains an inordinate number of canon characters and realities. The three oldest characters are Sonic; his friend Miles "Tails" Prower, a fox with two tails that he can spin rapidly to fly; and Knuckles, an echidna with a deep connection to the universe's local MacGuffins, the Chaos Emeralds.
The Animated Universes
In 1993, DiC Entertainment in coordination with Sega released two Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons in syndication. The cartoons aired at different times of the week: one was named Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, shortened in the fandom to AoStH; the other aired on Saturdays and was simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog. To differentiate it from the game of the same name, this show gained the fan nickname of Sonic SatAM or just SatAM (after its airing time of Saturday morning).
Notably, the characters of Sonic and Tails, despite being technically different in each show, had the same voice actors for Sonic: Jaleel White (a.k.a. Steve Urkel). Three other shows, Sonic Underground, Sonic X, and Sonic Boom were made several years later, with Sonic Boom still ongoing, but the 1993 cartoons remain the best-known animated works.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
The weekday show was much more comical and slapsticky than its weekend cousin, and featured Sonic and Tails foiling the efforts of an astoundingly ineffective Dr. Ivo Robotnik and his hench-robots (Scratch the rooster, Grounder the drill-bot, and Coconuts the monkey). The show was done in a very abstract art style and had little unified plot, and was definitely the more child-oriented of the two shows. Still, it proved quite popular despite its competition, and lasted for 65 episodes before being scrapped so the resources put into it could be shifted to the SatAM series.
The Saturday show, in contrast, was far more dark. In SatAM, Dr. Robotnik has already won, conquering Mobius and turning large portions of it into an industrial wasteland. But from those forests and natural areas that still remain, the Mobian Freedom Fighters strike back at Robotnik's evil robotic empire, led by the heroic Princess Sally Acorn and the fast-talking, fast-moving Sonic the Hedgehog. Notable for its dark tone, its serious plotline, and its pushing of a green Aesop that was actually quite subtle, the SatAM series would prove the longer-lived of the two, finally going under only after a ratings battle with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (and even then, ending well–wrapped up).
Archie Comics published a monthly comic book titled Sonic the Hedghog, which ran for well over 200 issues before ending in 2017 over complicated legal issues. This comic featured the characters found in Sonic SatAM, plus several from the games. It also added some new canon characters in the shape of a family for Knuckles. A companion title Knuckles the Echidna lasted 32 issues before ceasing production.
Video Game Universes
Since his debut in the original 1991 Sega game, Sonic has starred in, like, a bajillion more games, each of which is slightly different from the others, but also shares some things in common. If you want information about one of them, your best bet is that other wiki.
It is of interest to note that after a certain period in Sonic's game history, the games have been deemed worse. While some of this is nostalgia, some of this is very true: Sega is having difficulty keeping up with Nintendo and other gaming giants, and lately Sonic games have been one gimmick after another, from werewolves to medieval knights to holding hands, of all things. However, Sega seems to have finally cleaned up its act, as the most recent games are relatively gimmick-free and have gotten a much better reception from critics and consumers alike.
The Sonic Universe and the PPC
The Sonic Universe is an irreparably damaged canon. The infestation of bad fanart, badfic, and worst of all Bleepfic has tainted the way that fans view the canon, creating a stigma against Sonic Universe fan material and the Sonic Universe itself. While many fans may enjoy the Sonic Universe responsibly, those individuals are often regarded (by others outside the fandom) with just as much derision as the fanbrats. In fact, in some circles being a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog is the lowest possible rung on the fandom pole.
(Though, interestingly, claiming the games were good before they were in 3D is a sign of good taste in other circles, though a sign of snobbery elsewhere.)
The canon damage is primarily due to the prolific natures of the OCs that tend to infest the Sonic fandom, and their proclivity to badness. Due to the simple cartoon art style of the Sonic Universe, Sonicverse OCs are relatively easy to create even for the youngest or least artistically inclined fan. The process is simple: take or trace a drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog and color over it. The phenomenon is equally common in prose, using phrases along the lines of "a hedgehog like Sonic, but..."
It's not helped by the fact that an overwhelming number of Sonic Universe canon characters are nearly Sonic recolors themselves—the character's proportions and model are recycled often, given different markings, and a different head and face.
Aside from the deluge of terrible OCs, bad slash is rampant, disproving again and again that the hedgehog can never be buggered at all. Also, shipping in the Sonic fandom is widespread (to put it lightly), and there are numerous original characters (both well and poorly written) who exist almost solely to be the true love (or Twu Wuv, as the case may be) of a canon character. To put it more bluntly, a very large percentage of Sonic OCs are blatant Mary Sues.
Also, because of all of the different canons available to Sonic fans (each cartoon series, the early games, the late games...) there is often shipping confusion and characterization confusion. Sonic himself has acted very differently from appearance to appearance, confusing what exactly his canon characterization is. At best, the Sonic Universe should be viewed in context: SatAM Sonic should be different from the original Sonic, which is different from Sonic from the recent games. At worst, there is no coherency, with each appearance making up new stuff as it goes along and not really paying too much attention to the previous ones, save for the appearance of some recurring characters.
The Chaos Control Bottle originates in the Sonic universe and is sometimes used by PPC agents.
Missions in this Continuum
All reports are listed alphabetically by agent name, in the case of agents with multiple missions, or by mission name.
Agents Specialized in this Continuum
Agents are considered specialized in a continuum when they have handled at least three missions in the canon. Most of these agents are also active/specialized in other continua. It is often not the agents who decide where their specialty lies, but the Flowers that keep assigning missions to them.
- Agent Xericka (DBS)
Agents Not Yet Specialized in this Continuum
Agents with fewer than three missions in this continuum are not specialized, yet. They probably soon will be.
- Agents Florestan and Eusabius (DIC)