Here it is, Sega's version of Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers with its classic Sonic the Hedgehog characters. The game was known as Sonic Championship in the USA and was called Sonic the Fighters in Japan. It was released in 1996 to the arcades.

Perhaps Sonic's most unusual genre-bending, Sonic Championship was designed by Sega's premiere arcade R&D department -- AM2 -- as a somewhat simpler and more animated take on their standard 3D fighting formula. Sega was trying to draw in gamers who weren't fighting game fanatics, such as women and children. Like most Sega fighters of the day, the game implemented a simple three-button attack system: Punch, Kick, and Guard, with all other moves being combos of these three. Noticably, there is no "Defend" button. Each character has shield Barriers. These Barriers can be broken with special moves (similar to the Fighting Vipers armor system). Once all Barriers are broken, that character can't block attacks again until the next round.

Although it got a fairly wide release in Japan, Sonic Championship was very minimally received in USA arcades. It almost didn't make it over at all, because Sega of America was at the peak of their utter stupidity phase at the time, and they thought the game was "too violent" to be associated with Sonic. Might not as well have, as you'd be hard pressed to find a machine at even the most elite of arcades. A Sega Saturn conversion was long planned, but never came to be. It looks pretty hopeless by this point that the game will see the light of day as a home version.

It's possible to get remotely aquainted with Sonic Championship's fighting style through Fighters Megamix on the Sega Saturn. After completing the "Muscle" round, Bark the Polar Bear and Bean the Dynamite Duck become playable characters. The gameplay is similar to Virtua Fighter, only on a much simpler level. Combos aren't as complex or flashy, and hand-to-hand combat is easier in general (It should also be noted that the characters can literally run up walls).

Playable characters in the game include:

Info from and Triften

Platform: Arcade (Model 2B-CRX)
Genre: 3D Fighter
Alternate versions: Sonic the Fighters (Japan)
Release Date: June 1996 (Japan), July 1996 (US); After Knuckles Chaotix and before Sonic 3D Blast.
Acquiring the Game: OOP, ebay may be the only way.

Robotnik has built the Death Egg II in orbit high above the world and Tails' rocket, the Lunar Fox, needs all eight Chaos Emeralds to reach it. It can only carry one person! How can our heroes choose who should go? They hold the Sonic Championships in which the best fighter will collect all 8 emeralds and face off against Dr. Robotnik himself.

You choose from one of the eight heroes and progress through a series of stages on your way to the Death Egg II. You always follow the same path and always meet the same characters. Unfortunately, given the standard fighter difficulty progression, Knuckles is always the first fighter you face and he is always a pushover.

Each character has an assortment of punches, kicks, slaps, and throws as well as one specialty. Sonic has a Spin Dash, Knuckles has a Knuckle Glider maneuver, etc. If you are at all familiar with the series, the specialties are pretty predictable. The only new Sonic character introduced in this game was Bark the Polar Bear, with a devastating Shoulder Throw. Bean the Dynamite who, as his name suggest, throws bombs is from an odd Sega side-scroller called Dynamite Dux.

The fighting system uses the Virtua Fighter et al. standard of Punch, Kick, and Guard buttons. Almost every character has a PPP and a KKK combo. Tapping the joystick in a direction with a button press will usually give you a move logically equivalent to the motion. During a match, each character has a certain number of barriers and some moves that, if blocked, will break a barrier. If you run out of barriers, you can't block until the next match (assuming you survive that long.) Hitting towards with the Punch and Kick buttons uses a barrier and activates your Chaos Emerald's power which performs a "Hyper Attack" and boosts your speed temporarily. Tapping all three buttons as you are knocked backwards allows you to recover to your feet very quickly.

The combo system is very simple. Air juggles are possible but not necessary. The CPU player can be defeated fairly easily through repeated application of your special attack. They will usually block and loose a barrier leading them into the dangerous situation of being without barriers and unable to block.

Metal Sonic is the first boss and has everyone else’s moves, very similar to Dural in Virtua Fighter. He will most likely be a player's first real challenge since he is notably faster than any of the other fighters. If you get to Round 2 against Metal Sonic and didn't loose any other rounds previously, you will transform into Super Sonic and be invincible. The programmers assumed that if you made it this far without losing, they aren't really denying you anything.

The last match against Robotnik is only 30 seconds long. If you beat him in time, you escape and get the "good" ending, otherwise it's Game Over for you.

Characters and their levels:

Soundtrack Track List:

  1. Advertise - K.I.Y.O.
  2. Character Select - Get Into The Wave 2
  3. Game Start - Are You Ready?
  4. South Island - Lovers
  5. Flying Carpet - Back To Soul
  6. Aurora Icefield - Black Bed
  7. Mushroom Hill - Come On, Mr. Sonic
  8. Canyon Cruise - Blue Garden
  9. Casino Night - Here We Go
  10. Dynamite Plant - Try Again
  11. Giant Wing - Fire Stone
  12. Chaos Emerald
  13. Death Egg's Eye - Never Let It Go
  14. Death Egg's Hangar - Hurry Up
  15. Mission Complete - Egg's Fanfare
  16. Super Sonic - Everything
  17. Sonic vs Knuckles - North Wind
  18. You Are Winner - Winner's Fanfare
  19. Name Entry - What's Your Name?
  20. Ending Theme - Take Me Away
  21. Continue
  22. Game Over
  23. Character Select (Not in the game)
  24. Sunset Town (Not in the game)
  • Bark can't crouch.
  • If you play a VS. game where one player is Sonic and the other is Knuckles, the BGM will be Sonic vs Knuckles (North Wind) regardless of the stage. This music also plays at the Robotnik bonus round.
  • A Saturn port was planned but later scrapped.
  • This game uses the same arcade hardware as DOA.
Playing the game,,,
My apologies to Servo5678. Thanks to Fondue for the Bean info. If you have any feedback, please /msg me

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