The Sonic the Hedgehog Band was the title given for an early idea of the Sound Test in the early development of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). The band would consist Sonic the Hedgehog as the lead singer, with Max the Monkey on bass guitar, Mach the Rabbit on drums, Sharps the Parakeet on lead guitar, and Vector the Crocodile on keyboard. Like many other early ideas, all the characters were scrapped before the final release, with only Vector appearing in later games.
Not much is about other members of the band other than they all wear Sonic's shoes. According Yuji Naka, the early idea of the Sound Test would involve Sonic breakdancing while his band played the music. However, several sketches featured in SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Collected Works art book reveal all the band members had more relevant roles in the game, such as appearing in the Sega screen. One member from the band, Mach the Rabbit, is shown to be imprisoned along with other Animals in the capsule, as each of the band members had to be saved in each Zone of the game. The early idea for the game's ending would involve Sharps the Parakeet saving Sonic from falling and sending him back to Green Hill Zone after destroying Dr. Eggman's escape plane.
All members of the band were later scrapped due the time constraints of programming them into the game. Yuji Naka states them being removed in favor of the iconic "SEGA" chant used in Japanese TV commercials, as the single sound took 1/8 of the 4 megabit ROM. Years later after the game's release, Vector the Crocodile is the only one of the band members so far who made it into the games where he was officially introduced in Knuckles' Chaotix.
However, all members of the band have appeared in various comic publications. Mach, Sharps and Vector appeared as Sonic's backing band in Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic Volume 1, a manga published in Japan in 1991. Sharps, Max and Mach also made appearances in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comics as Mina Mongoose's band members of Forget Me Knots with Sharps as guitarist, Mach playing drums and Max as bassist. In addition, Sonic's profile in Sonic the Hedgehog Technical Files indicates his role as a singer in a rock band.
- Despite the lack of the band, Sonic appears as a singer in the end credits of Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit).
- Even years later, Sonic and his friends are shown to have band together multiple times. One of artworks in Sonic Jam and Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver features the concert with Sonic as singer, Tails as guitarist, Amy playing keytar and Eggman on drums. Another artwork featured in Sonic Live! arcade slot machine has Sonic (guitarist), Tails (bassist), Amy (keyboard player) and Knuckles (drum player).
- Heidi Kemps (30 September 2005). Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!. GameSpy. Retrieved on 1 May 2015.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 1′s Original Intro & Ending Revealed!. The Sonic Stadium (5 November 2014). Retrieved on 1 May 2015.
- "Sonic loves to sing in his own rock band and enjoys being with his friends but he is just as happy to be alone", Sonic the Hedgehog Technical Files.