Happy Sonic Day!
Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 8:45pm (BST), 1 Comment
Happy Sonic 19th Anniversary everybody! Nearly the big 2-0. Hopefully there'll be massive things in the works for both Sega and the community on that one, but for now, I hope you've enjoyed your Sonic birthday celebrations. Even if it's as simple as mentioning to someone "hey, Steve, did you know it's the nineteenth anniversary of the very first Sonic game today?" Hopefully Steve replied with a sort of intrigued "hm..!" sound and not "who are you?", "why are you in my house?", or "I'm not Steve, I'm your Grandmother".

If you're looking to round the day off nicely with some Sonic 1 related goodness, I actually have two things of note for you:

Firstly, the Labyrinth Zone artwork by resident artist Ricky Earl has been online for the last couple of days, which you might like to enjoy. Judging by Sonic's particular predicament in it though, he probably doesn't. Ah, air bubbles, you elusive bastards, you.

Labyrinth Zone by Ricky Earl

Secondly, if you feel like playing Sonic 1 on this holiest of days, but want a bit of a twist to it, I highly recommend Mercury's (creator of the awesome map extractor utilities that have made mapping Sonic CD and Sonic 3 a relative breeze for me) newest work: Sonic: the One Ring. It's a Sonic 1 hack in which there is only one ring in each act, and it must be collected and carried to the end in order to complete it. I've only just had a chance to load it up, I'll be honest, but if even the very first act is anything to go by, it's quite a challenging twist on something so familiar. Top marks! Here's a video if you don't believe me:



While I'm plugging his game, I may as well also use it to plug my selection of Sonic 1 maps, which I'm about to use myself to figure out where the hell this blasted first ring might be!
Comments   1 Comment has been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Mercury on Thursday, 24th June 2010, 6:46am
I love how Ricky Earl's art pieces capture actual moments and feeling from their respective levels, rather than just depicting what the Zone looks like.

Also, thanks for the plug. I had Zone: 0 in mind a lot while making it - in fact, I had the idea for it because I was thinking about how the forum here is a little sleepy.

Sonic has been played out, and not many people need maps just to make it through to the end. I thought if I could make a hack based on exploration, that might change, if only just a little.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Sonic!

Introducing level artwork by Ricky Earl! Commissioned for Zone: 0.
Friday, 4th June 2010, 7:02pm (BST), 6 Comments
Aside from my quest to gather more writers for new game guides, I've also received interest in many other cool new features for the site by some very nice, enthusiastic people. One of whom is a talented artist by the name of Ricky Earl. A long time ago, while mentally designing the page template for the basic level guide, I considered creating some unofficial artwork of the level graphics to help illustrate and personalise each page. That idea got lost along the way at some point, but it was revived when Ricky offered to contribute some specially made art for Zone: 0. Thinking back to my original idea, and how I like my pages to seem like more than just straightforward, uniform templates without personality, I thought it might be rather nice, so we agreed on a new series of commissions!

It's up to him exactly how many he does, but at the moment he's intent on providing an artwork for every level covered, which is a lot! As he's providing them in order, I'm happy to unveil his first three pieces; Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone and Spring Yard Zone, all of which you will now find decorating their respective pages in the Sonic 1 guide!

Green Hill Zone by Ricky Earl

Marble Zone by Ricky Earl

Spring Yard Zone by Ricky Earl

You'll find them tucked just under the general details for each of those levels, and act as a slight background for when you open up the general notes. I hope they make for a nice way of introducing each stage. I think they're fantastic, and can't wait to see more! Go to Ricky's blog for more artwork, updates, and to hire him out for parties and Bar Mitzvahs.

Not really. Although he might. You never know til you ask.
Comments   6 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by mercury on Saturday, 5th June 2010, 6:12am
Oh, man, this is a really cool idea!

One of the best things about the Nintendo Power Player's Guides I loved in my youth were the great pieces of original art.

I really like the actual art, too - a mix of 2D and 3D like the original game's style.

(And it's nice that Sonic doesn't have green eyes. =P )
#2. Comment posted by Zeupar on Saturday, 5th June 2010, 10:47am
I love them. This site keeps getting better and better. :D
#3. Comment posted by Tricky E on Saturday, 5th June 2010, 11:58am
he doesn't have green eyes...yet! If this sit ever gets as far as Sonic Adventure, then those level art pieces will feature green eyes...
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 8th June 2010, 3:29am
That art is fuking dope, just saying
#5. Comment posted by Tailsspain on Saturday, 19th June 2010, 9:04pm
Lol Bar Mitzvahs!
#6. Comment posted by SpeedingHedgehog on Sunday, 27th June 2010, 4:11pm
Nice! I think the CGI is alittle too obvious in the Spring Yard one, but besides that, they look great!
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