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The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is a visual novel-styled video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, created by Sega. The game is set onboard the Mirage Express train and stars Barry the Quokka,[note 1] who, along with Tails, must help figure out who "killed" Sonic the Hedgehog in a murder mystery game during Amy Rose's birthday party. The Murder of Sonic was developed by a small team made up of the managers of the Sonic social media accounts and other figures, and was released on 31 March 2023 on Steam for free as an April Fools' Day prank. It received unprecedented praise from fans and became one of the highest-rated games on the platform.[2]

Plot[]

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

Introduction[]

The Murder of Sonic title screen

The title screen of The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The game starts with the introduction of Barry the Quokka, who is starting their first day working at the Mirage Express train. However, they do not have the brightest start, since they have arrived fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. They also realize that their nametag was not ready yet, so they prepare one on the spot. The player is then prompted to give Barry a name.

Barry soon after arrives at the Mirage Express' Dining Car, where they get nervous because of their new job. They are welcomed by the train's Conductor, who announces that he is retiring after thirty-two years of work, and that his wife has already got flight tickets to Spagonia locked to celebrate. After handing Barry the Mirage Express' menu, the Conductor explains its many features, and that it is used for events rather than as a passenger train; today's event is a "Murder Mystery Party", with guests being funneled into the Dining Car to chat with each other.

The Murder of Sonic Amy's birthday

Amy Rose, the birthday girl, onboard the Mirage Express.

Afterwards, the Conductor opens the doors to the Mirage Express. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Vector, Espio, Blaze, Rouge and Shadow all go onboard. As it turns out, the friends are all here to celebrate Amy's birthday. As they admire how advanced and beautiful the train is, the Conductor and Barry welcome the guests and collect their tickets. Afterwards, the Conductor leaves and asks the quokka to make sure everything goes as planned. Meanwhile, the pink hedgehog announces her friends' roles: she is a journalist reporter and stays in the Dining Car; Sonic is the ship captain and goes to the conductor car, along with the Conductor himself; Tails is the detective and stays with Amy; Knuckles is the sheriff and is stationed at the Saloon Car; Vector is the butcher and Espio is the poet, both going to the Library Car; Blaze is a titan of industry and Rouge is a business tycoon, and both girls head to the Casino Car; and Shadow is the locksmith at the Lounge Car. One of these, except Amy and Tails, is the "murderer" of the game, who has to kill any of the others and defend their position through lies and deception. The rest figure out the suspected killer by finding clues.

With everyone else going to their respective posts, Amy and Tails talk to Barry at the Dining Car, since they need to wait for an hour before the game starts. As they await the beginning of the mystery, the two reveal their "lore"; Amy is a nosey girl who became a journalist, and Tails was once friends with a Flicky who betrayed him by joining the infamous Dr. Eggman. They also reveal that according to the games rules, they can't be the murderer. However, the train suddenly starts to accelerate like crazy, knocking the three out.

Dining Car[]

Eventually, Barry and Tails wake up after the Mirage Express has slowed down; the two, along with Amy, who had regained consciousness earlier, find themselves inside of the Dining Car's closet. A heavy shelf blocks the door out, leaving the three trapped. The fox asks the pink hedgehog to destroy this obstacle with her Piko Piko Hammer, but she is reluctant to do so, instead proposing to find another way. Suspecting that she is hiding something, Tails asks Barry to be his assistant, and they agree as part of their promise to the conductor to keep everyone comfortable. The two team up to gather clues in the closet on why she is acting like this and then interrogate her.

Murder of Sonic Screenshot 1

Sonic's body being found by Tails and Amy, the latter assuming that he is just playing along.

While looking around the closet, the two "detectives" find two things of interest: a rod with a broken tip and a crack on the shelf that blocks their way. When they interrogate Amy, Tails and Barry conclude that she attempted to escape before they woke up. As it turns out, the "rod" they had found was not actually a rod, but the handle to her Piko Piko Hammer; while trying to find a way out, Amy hit the shelf with her hammer, leaving the crack there, but the handle snapped right off. The hedgehog says that this is true, and that the Piko Piko Hammer snapped because it was a backup of the original one. Afterwards, Tails quickly fixes the broken hammer, and Amy uses it to destroy the shelf, allowing them to escape. When they return to the Dining Car, which is now a mess, they find Sonic's unconscious body lying on the floor. Amy believes that he is just playing along and leaves, with the fox hot on her heels. Barry, however, is horrified when they hear the blue hedgehog faintly saying that his body is numb and that he cannot move. They briefly assume that he is genuinely hurt but brush it off and continue onwards.

Saloon Car[]

Barry and Tails meet Knuckles in the Saloon Car. Amy, after talking to Knuckles, had moved on to the next car. Knuckles seems to be in an irritable mood, so the quokka and the fox decide to investigate why. The two clues of note were a smashed up Super Monkey Ball arcade machine and multiple glasses on the counter.

The arcade machine in particular was damaged as if someone punched it, and one of the glasses had lipstick on it. The duo also notice that the door leading to the next car is locked. Upon interrogating Knuckles, the duo learn that Knuckles was playing the arcade machine. Tails fixes the machine and pulls up the scoreboard, revealing Vector's name just above Knuckles, hence why he punched it.

Knuckles denies it was Vector, but Barry points out the glasses, explaining that there were too many for just Knuckles to have a drink, indicating that he and Vector shared drinks while playing. Knuckles explains that the one with the lipstick on it belonged to Rouge, who was looking some something before leaving. Tails then notices something else on the arcade machines scoreboard: the name "ULTIM", which he deduces was "The Ultimate Life Form", Shadow. Knuckles recalls that Shadow was the one that taught him and Vector how to play, and after he left, asked Knuckles to lock the door behind him with a key he gave him and let no one get through - Amy got though using her master key, so Knuckles locked the door behind her. The group are confused on why Shadow would do that, but Knuckles has no idea. Knuckles unlocks the door, and determined to continue their investigation, Tails and Barry move on to the next room.

Library Car[]

Tails and Barry arrive to find Amy talking with Espio and Vector. Amy says she has a tip and heads off to the next car. After that, Espio and Vector tell the detectives some info: After getting to the Library, Espio picked up a book and read it, while Vector went to the Saloon Car out of boredom. Espio also states that Rouge was also looking for whatever she was looking for in the Library Car before heading to the Saloon Car. She returned and seemingly found something at the brochure stand, then left for the Casino Car before Shadow came through, locked the door behind him, and returned to the Lounge Car. Espio and Vector finish by saying this all happened before the train sped up, and were trapped in there until Amy came.

Though the detectives believe them, Tails says they should still look for evidence that confirms their stories. The three clues in the Library are a map of the car found in the brochure stand, the lock Shadow put on the door, and The Mirage Express Manual, which Tails notably found to be out of alphabetical order with the other books on the shelf. After all these clues are found, the detectives decide to begin interrogations.

Vector reconfirms that he left the Library Car out of boredom, so all that is left to do is determine if Espio was really reading in the Library all this time or not. They determine it was the manual Espio was reading, as he had simply placed the book back into the incorrect place once he was through. To confirm this, Barry asks questions from the manual, which Espio answers correctly each time, and with enough detail to not be simple guesses. But Espio states that Vector was the only one who saw him reading, and that catches Tails' attention. The detectives state that Shadow would have also seen him reading while he was locking the doors. Tails also notes that Espio mentioned nothing about Shadow's return from the Saloon Car, having only mention Vector. Espio claimed to have been too immersed in his book to notice Shadow, but Tails does not believe him. Barry, however, stands up to Espio and uses the map to show that Espio was sitting in a spot behind a bookcase, which Vector confirms. As traveling through the Library Car was done in a straight line, the bookcase would have blocked Espio's view, which would explain why he did not notice Shadow's return. With the pair's alibis validated, Tails and Barry move on to the next car.

The Casino Car[]

The detectives find Rouge and Blaze and ask the former about what she was searching for. Rouge explains that she has been looking for a treasure hidden on the train: a Fabergé Chao Egg. Blaze, who had stayed behind while Rouge looked, had deduced that the egg was hidden in the Casino Car. Rouge shows that she had found blueprints with the train with the safe code written on it, though she refuses to show it to the detectives due to "finders keepers". The two girls ask that they need their help, as the path to the egg, an elevator in the room, is blocked off by a Chao security guard. The group formulates a plan to swipe the guard's access card and get onto the elevator unseen: Blaze will distract the guard while Rouge picks the Chao's pocket for the card. Then Barry will tell the guard that there is a drink without a coaster, causing the guard to leave their post, allowing the four to use the elevator. After that, the trains mechanical arms will attack them in the elevator, so Tails tries to deactivate them while everyone else pretends nothing is happening. With the arms deactivated, they can reach the vault safely.

After executing the plan, the four find themselves in the vault. Rouge locates the vault and unlocks it, finally obtaining the egg. Rouge then reveals that there is a secret with the egg, explaining that there have been only three of the eggs in existence, each with their own secret. No one knows the secret because no one has lived to tell the tale about it. Rouge eagerly twists the egg in an attempt to open it, but it causes it to start ticking. The group becomes horrified, thinking that the egg is actually a bomb, and starts to look for options of defusing it. Barry then remembers Espio, during the quiz with the manual, telling them that the train's mechanical hands would not allow weapons or explosives onto the train for the passengers' safety. Since the egg was left aboard, it could not have been a bomb, so they let the egg keep ticking. After a few seconds, the egg opens, revealing a hidden gen-encrusted pendant of a Chao. Barry figures that the owners of the egg kept the secret until their deaths, which explains why no one knew the secret.

The group returns to the Casino Car, and no one has suspected a thing, and the guard has returned to their post. Tails ask for the blueprints now that Rouge was done was it, but she refuses again in case there is more treasure on the train. Before the detectives leave, Blaze tells them that Shadow passed by and gave them keys, like he did with Knuckles. The girls unlock the next door, and the detectives continue to the Lounge Car.

Lounge Car[]

The detectives find Amy confronting Shadow about locking the doors. Tails asks why Shadow was locking the doors, but he refuses to elaborate, telling them he has an "appointment" soon. Naturally, the detectives look for clues. The three clues in the Lounge Car are a key ring with two keys on it (Barry wonders why there aren't more on them, considering Shadow is a locksmith), a piece of crumpled paper in a trash can, and a hidden passageway to the Library Car hidden in a wardrobe. The duo also notice a printer and a computer in the room, which Tails notes that the former is tricky to use. With these clues, the detectives confront Shadow.

First off, Amy states her reason on why Shadow was locking all the doors through the "hot tip" she came across. Amy figures that Shadow was locking all the doors to keep Sonic from escaping the Conductors car (which is the next car over). Tails reminds Amy that Sonic was found in the Dining Car, and Barry points out the hidden passageway. However, this does not deter Amy, who simply claims that Shadow moved Sonic to the Dining Car via the passage. Tails does mention that Vector was busy playing the arcade machine with Knuckles and that Espio was distracted reading a book, so they could have not noticed Shadow. On hearing about Espio, Shadow claims that the chameleon was lying, claiming to have looked in the Library for him, but found no one. Amy thinks Shadow is lying though, and asks him why he was looking for Espio, to which Shadow says he wanted to give him a key. The detectives present the key ring to back Shadow's claim, and state that he had been giving out keys to everyone; the remaining keys were for Espio and Vector - Shadow also had his own key as well.

Amy then poses a question: if Shadow did not murder Sonic, why was he locking the doors? After some thinking, the detectives deduce that Shadow was actually trying to keep Amy away from him. Amy is shocked about this and demands evidence, which Barry gives: the crumpled piece of paper is of a ticket website for one of Amy's favorite bands, Hot Honey. Everyone but Sonic and Shadow has given Amy their birthday present. Shadow was not able to get a present in time for the train trip, so he was hurrying to buy tickets for a live concert. He had accidentally printed the bands homepage by mistake, due to how tricky the printer was to operate, and thrown it into the trash. Shadow's "appointment" was waiting for the tickets to become available again as the tickets sold out really quick, and he locked the doors to stall Amy and avoid ruining the surprise, while handing out the keys to everyone so that they could traverse the train. However, Amy's master key foiled his plan.

Amy is touched by Shadow's generosity, even inviting him to the concert, much to his chagrin, but is bummed that her hot take led her on a wild goose chase. Though she refuses to reveal who her source was, Tails has an idea who it is, but they still have to investigate the Conductors Car. Barry, Tails, Amy, and Shadow move to the conductor's car to finish the mystery.

Conductor Car[]

Upon arriving, the group notices the car oddly empty, and the conductor missing. In fact, no one has seen the conductor throughout the train at all. The clues in the car are a severed robot hand from the train and a blowdart. The dart in particular is odd, as all weapons were confiscated before entering. With these clues, Amy uses the loudspeaker of the train to summon everyone to the car.

Amy notices Sonic has not shown up, and goes with Vector to get him. When they return, everyone is shocked to find Sonic still unconscious. Angry that Sonic was actually hurt, Tails declares he is going to find out who did this. With that, Amy asks the big question: Who killed Sonic the Hedgehog? Barry names Espio as their prime suspect, much to his and Vector's surprise. Tails mentions that the hidden passageway, which was found after Espio's original interrogation, could have allowed him to leave the library at any time. The detectives also state that using his ninja training, he could have quickly memorized the manual in order to give himself an alibi. Espio points out that he would not have known about the secret passage - after all, Tails said they were lucky to find it in the first place - but his argument is countered thanks to the blueprints Rouge found - notably, she had found them in the library. They deduce that Espio stole it from the conductor, which is why the code was written on it, and used it to locate the passage.

The detectives then determine that Espio used the blowdart on Sonic to knock him unconscious, though Blaze notes that he is very banged up, much more damage than the blowdart could do. Espio says that if he had knocked Sonic out in the Conductors car, how did he end up in the Dining Car? Espio did not have a key, and even if he took the hidden passage, he would have ended up in the Library Car instead. However, using the blueprints Rouge provided, Barry notices an additional path above the Conductors car that leads all the way to the Dining car, accessed through a vent in the ceiling. Knuckles checks it out and deduces that it is a path for the robot arms to move through the train. Espio says that he and Sonic could not have fit in there at once, but presenting the severed robot arm, which was determined that it was broken in a scuffle, Barry is able to determine how he did it: Espio controlled the robot arms to grab Sonic and drop him into the Dining Car and the damage done to Sonic was from the arms in the struggle. Tails also points out an inconsistency: Espio was Amy's source and thus lied to her to make her believe Shadow was the culprit. With all the evidence piled up against him, Espio is unable to talk his way out anymore, and Tails formally declares him the murderer.

At this point, Sonic regains consciousness and explains what happened. Espio had jumped him in the Conductor Car with the blowdart, but as he left, Sonic tried to tell him something important. Sonic then tells everyone that the train is a Badnik, and that they needed to get off the train. The conductor was telling him about all of the features of the train, but he had a bad feeling, so he asked to see the power source, which the conductor had never seen either. As it turns out, it was a Flicky, meaning the train was built by Dr. Eggman. Sonic asked for the train to be destroyed, but the conductor refused, as the train like a co-conductor to him. Right as they saw the Flicky, Sonic was hit by Espio's blowdart. Then, the lights of the train started to glow red, and the mechanical hands restrained the conductor. The arms came for him next; even in his groggy state, he was able to sever the one the gang had found before, but was pinned to the floor by another. He was beat up quite a lot before he lost consciousness.

Everyone is shocked to hear what happened. Espio then makes an additional confession: he thought hitting Sonic with the blowdart was part of the rules, and he reveals a note from the staff telling him to do so. Espio states that one of the robotic arms gave it to him along with the dart. From this, Tails and Barry reveal that it was the train itself behind the scenes the whole time. Infuriated, Amy starts to wail on the wall of the train with her hammer, with Vector joining in, until the car starts glowing red again and metal shutters close the windows. The conductor is revealed, entangled in the robot arms. As Sonic tries to free him, the train tells him to stop, revealing that it can speak, and reveals that it was taking everyone to Eggman's Base, where they will be made prisoner. After it reveals this, the train picks up speed again, and everyone is flung out of the Conductors car.

Train Escape and Conclusion[]

Barry awakens back in the Dining Car, whose lights are now also glowing red. Sonic finds them and notes the severity of the situation. The duo decide to look around, and note the yellow glow coming from the monitors in the car. At that moment, Eggman's logo appears on the monitors, and the screen switches to a video call from the mad doctor. Eggman is intrigued that Sonic had finally boarded one of his trains, though he has no idea who Barry is, and reveals that he converted some cargo trains into passenger trains to use in future schemes, such as another Death Egg. Sonic demands to know where the others are, and Eggman reveals to him that they were trapped in the cars they were stationed in, except Tails and Amy, who were trapped in the Conductors Car. Eggman remarks that he's actually just getting caught up on Sonic's predicament, as he had created the train to be self-sufficient. He then remarks that he needed to make more motivation than just programming it in, so he enlisted a bounty on Sonic: Whoever captures him first will be granted a reward. Eggman mentions that a basic Badnik would ask for something simple like an autograph, but the highly intelligent train might desire something bigger. Eggman taunts Sonic before signing off.

Barry begins to doubt themself for ignoring Sonic's condition at the start of the mystery, but the blue hedgehog reassures them to keep moving forward no matter what happens. Feeling more confident, Barry asks Sonic what he would do; the hedgehog replies that he will speed through head on and rescue his friends. Sonic is able to break the door down with a Spin Dash, and he and Barry make their way to the Conductor Car, freeing everyone along the way. Reaching the Conductors car, Eggman reappears on the monitor, telling the train to hurry with delivering the group to his base. The train replies that it will not fail, desiring the "wish" Eggman promised. The train itself combats Sonic, eventually taking control of the Conductor to operate the train as a weapon. Through the battle, the train reveals its wish is for the conductor to stay with it forever, believing itself betrayed by the Conductors retirement. Nevertheless, Sonic powers through everything the train sends at him, eventually revealing the Flicky powering the whole thing. Espio saves the Flicky, while Amy smashes the front of the train with her hammer, destroying it. The explosion launches her into the air, but Sonic is able to carry her to safety. Now back in control, the conductor stops at the nearest station. Before he gets off, the now-damaged train appears and apologizes for the trouble it caused before it shuts down. The conductor says farewell to his old friend as well, promising that he will always remember it.

At the station, Sonic and friends celebrate their victory over the train. The conductors meets up with his wife and looks forward to his trip to Spagonia, though he does not tell her what happened as he felt she would never believe him; instead, he just states that he is looking forward to his retirement more than ever now. Espio apologizes for all the trouble, but Amy tells him not to be worried as he was just doing what he thought was the game. The group notices that in the ruckus, they never ate and now are hungry, so Sonic runs to a bakery and buys a birthday cake for Amy. Sonic and the others celebrate the fun memories they had and head out to eat the cake. Meanwhile, Eggman, seeing that the train has disconnected, angrily orders Orbot and Cubot to fix a bath up for him.

In an epilogue cutscene, Barry states that once cities learned Eggman was in control of the train system, they pulled it from his grasp, and everything is now back to normal. As for Barry, it is up to the player to determine what happens next: they either keep their new job or resign; either practice their singing or win the lottery; and either go to space or run a local supermarket.

Gameplay[]

The Murder of Sonic Amy Tails and Sonic

An example of a cutscene in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is a point-and-click visual novel. The player can investigate environments, searching for clues. Then, having gathered the evidence, they can present it to the characters, proving what really happened in the train. After having presented the correct piece of evidence for each part, the game switches to an isometric 3D platforming challenge using the DreamGear, in which the player, controlling Sonic, must collect enough Rings whilst avoiding traps and reach the end of the stage, grab the light bulb, and finally, have an idea. These stages progress in difficulty as the game proceeds. The final boss involves three such challenges in succession, ending up with the player having to collect 100 Rings.

Objects[]

Items[]

Gimmicks and obstacles[]

Characters[]

Playable characters[]

Non-playable characters[]

Development[]

The idea of the Sonic the Hedgehog social media team creating a project was first formulated in 2020, but the project itself would not be pitched until early 2022, when Katie Chrzanowski, manager of the Sonic the Hedgehog social media accounts, and a group of friends pitched the idea to a small team of Sega employees and collaborators. Chrzanowski would first pitch ideas to the core development group around late February or early March 2022, then at the end of march assisted the team in creating a internal pitch for the game, leading to the start of its development. The development team would work on the game alongside their usual day jobs.[3][4]

Conceptualization for the game began with the idea of a Victorian murder mystery party, which to the idea of characters being assigned roles. The choice to make the game a visual novel was partially due to such games being relatively inexpensive to make, which allowed the game to be released for free. Non-Sonic inspirations for the game came from a variety of sources, including the Ace Attorney series and the murder mystery chapter in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The decision on which roles to include was made by examining roles that made sense in similar stories, and modifying them to fit the tone of the game.[3]

Espio the Chameleon was at one point once considered to be assigned a "doctor" role, but was eventually changed to the "poet", as the role proved more engaging for the writers. The game's story would be written over the course of several months, while Greg Batha worked on developing the DreamGear minigames. Early plans to include Charmy Bee and Cream the Rabbit existed, although these were eventually decided against due to the development team believing both characters were too young to take part in a murder mystery game.[3]

Early ideas for the main character of the game included selecting one member of the cast to play as, although this was eventually decided against in favor of creating a new character to observe the personalities and interactions of the main cast from a third-party perspective.[3]

One of the core members of the team was Michal Shafrir, a software engineer and Sonic fan, who made sure the development went as planned. The DreamGear minigames were made by Greg Batha, who was the lead developer of the game. The lead artist was Min Ho Kim, who had previously worked in Sonic the Hedgehog: Scrapnik Island. Various members at Sega and Sonic Team also helped playtest The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, with Kazuyuki Hoshino, Yui Karasuno and Yuji Uekawa reviewing the art style so it could be fitting for the franchise.[4]

Release[]

The game was released as an April Fools' joke on 31 March 2023. Earlier that day, it was teased by the Sonic social media accounts, jokingly saying that "a new direction" for the series was to come.[5]

Reception[]

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 82%[6]
Review scores
Publication Score

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog was met with unprecedented praise, with its Steam page noting that it has "overwhelmingly positive" reviews.[1] Shortly after the game's release, the Sonic social media accounts thanked the fans for their support of the project.[7] By early April, the game had already been downloaded over a million times, and as of 5 April 2023, it was the 61st most downloaded game on Steam of all time.[2]

Trivia[]

  • The light-hearted wording of the game's canon on The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog's Steam page ("You know what they say: everything is canon*. *This is not a Sonic Team title, but we strongly believe in the power of headcanon!") is likely in reference to the official Sonic the Hedgehog X post mentioning canon.[8]
    • Despite the game's dubious canonicity, the events of certain past Sonic games are referenced, such as Sonic saying that in his previous adventure when he collected a maximum number of rings his speed became the maximum, a reference to the events of Sonic Frontiers, and the Power Boost maneuver from it, implying the game is canon.
    • Additionally, Barry and The Conductor later make cameo appearances in IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog: Winter Jam, further implying the game's canon.
    • In the final cutscene on Eggman's monitors in the background of his base shows the Faceship and Eggperial City's Central Command Tower on them.
      • However, according to writer Evan Stanley, the game is not canon to the main timeline.[9]
  • The Conductor having driven the Mirage Express for 32 years is a reference to the fact that 2023 (the release year of the game) marks 32 years since the release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The Saloon Car bears a striking resemblance to Mirage Saloon Zone from Sonic Mania while its music resembles the Casino Night Zone theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • In the Library Car, there is a framed picture on the wall of "Ian Jr.", who is a Sonic Forces Avatar character created by Ian Mutchler, the writer of the game. He also appears in background of the printed-out picture of Sonic singing.
  • The game's development name was "ChooChooBooBoo".[10]
  • In one of the final DreamGear stages, if the player fails to reach the end, Barry says "Big oof". This is a reference to the memetic line said by Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog #51.
  • The code that Rouge inputs to open the vault is "23 04 01", which is the date that this game released on.
  • Right when Sonic and Barry are going to go save the others, Sonic says, "Let's do it to it," which is a reference to one of his Archie Comics, Sonic the Hedgehog television series and Sonic Underground catchphrases.
  • Knuckles' hat may be a nod to his appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • The pose Sonic is in when he is shown "dead" may likely be a reference to the Family Guy death pose meme.
  • The poster with a Chao hanging from a tree branch with the text "hang in there" in the Library is a parody of the "hang in there, baby" motivational poster which originally features a cat hanging to a tree branch in the same way.
  • Barry mentions playing games on their phone about Sonic running endlessly and destroying Badniks to save animals. This is a reference to Sonic Dash and Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, which both have that gameplay.
  • The purple Chao seen on the top-left when Espio recites poems is modeled after "John", a Chao Katie Chrzanowski had raised in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle as a child.[11]
  • The closet in the Lounge area has the Adventurer shoes from Sonic Frontiers and Sonic's favorite clothes from Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • The game has a filter to prevent the player from using profanity in their name, as, if a name has a flagged word anywhere in it, the protagonist will respond, "I don't think I could show my face around here again if I wrote that."
    • However, said filter also leads to certain non-obscene names (ex. "Chris Thorndyke") being rejected, due to containing obscene terms/phrases, albeit not used in obscene context.
    • If the player attempts to use the name of any of the in-game characters, the protagonist will respond, "...Like... THE [name]? Haha, wouldn't that be cool. But no..."
      • This does not apply if the player uses full names of any of the characters (i.e., "Amy Rose").
      • This also happens if the player names themselves as Cream, Charmy, or Omega.
      • Despite it being a common name, the name "Amy" will still be prevented from being used.
      • Despite the name "Blaze" having the same dialogue as every other character name prompt, Barry did not know who she was prior to meeting her on the train.
  • At some point, the player can have Barry plead to Dr. Eggman about not wanting to be turned into a robot. This might be a reference to the procedure of turning Animals into Badniks that was previously displayed in Sonic Lost World, as well as the roboticization process brought up in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog television series, along with the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics, and the similar robotomy in promotional material for Sonic Forces.
    • The player can also have Barry plead to Eggman that he does not "teleport them to the future". This might be a reference to a scene in Sonic's story in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), in which the doctor uses a prototype to transport Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to Silver's future. Additionally, in the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, he forced the Omni-Viewer to teleport Sonic and his friends to the future so that he could rule Mobius.
  • In the Saloon car, a Super Monkey Ball arcade machine appears, while in the Casino car has a promo for NiGHTS Pinball.
  • Shadow asking for coffee beans and a spoon is a reference over how he answers in the "Sonic Twitter Takeovers" that he eats coffee beans raw.
  • After the train crashes, Tails wakes up and says, "My head's spinning a bit, but I'm okay", most likely a nod to his infamous, "My head's spinning!" line from Sonic Heroes.
  • The sketches that appear in the whiteboard while Rouge is explaining her plan are very similar to the sketches drawn by Hirokazu Yasuhara that appeared in the Japanese manuals of the Classic Sonic games.
  • Levels from previous Sonic games like Music Plant (as "Music Plant Zone") from Sonic Advance 2 and Colosseum Highway Zone from Sonic Rivals are referenced in the interactive signs that appear throughout the Mirage Express' cars.
  • Both Tails and Barry reveal that they are fans of the "Sparkle Gelatin", which is an edible item from Sonic Unleashed. In fact, the fox's description of the food is very similar to its original description in Sonic Unleashed.
  • The game files have music from other Sonic games (probably as placeholder for some areas), such as "Wildstyle Pistolero - Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 K Mix" from Sonic Mania and "Spagonia (Night)" from Sonic Unleashed. There is also an unused music file titled "Fun Funky Whistle Groove".
  • The game's story taking place on Amy's birthday is likely referring to how 2023, the year of the game's release, is the 30th anniversary of her debut game Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • Barry's definition of the sunk cost fallacy is a direct quote from the Oxford Language's definition of the phrase.[12]

Videos[]


Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Barry can be assigned a custom name by the player at the beginning of the game, but they are popularly referred to as "Barry".

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog. Steam. Retrieved on 5 April 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 @KatieChrz on X. X (5 April 2023). Retrieved on 28 June 2023. "Katie Chrzanowski: Over 1,000,000 of you have grabbed The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog and it's currently the #61 highest rated game on Steam of ALL TIME. Absolutely unreal. Thank you all so, so much. Heart Text"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Making Of The Sonic Murder Game That Took The Internet By Storm. Kotaku (21 April 2023). Retrieved on 21 April 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Katie - MiniKitty (@KatieChrz) on X. X (31 March 2023). Retrieved on 2 April 2023.
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) on X. X (31 March 2023). Retrieved on 9 April 2023. "Sega: We've been listening. A new direction for Sonic is coming soon..."
  6. The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog - Metacritic. Metacritic. Retrieved on 14 June 2024.
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) on X. X (1 April 2023). Retrieved on 2 April 2023. "Sega: Wow - we've been overwhelmed by the amazing response to The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog. From the bottom of our hearts, the team would like to say: THANK YOU (no joke)!"
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog on X. X (14 January 2021). Retrieved on 31 March 2023. "@PuyoOfficial: Thank you to everyone playing and supporting #PuyoPuyoTetris2! We're celebrating this update with another amazing piece of art from Mark Hughes (@thesketchsector). How are you all liking the addition of the new characters (like Sonic!) and the Boss Raids? / Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything is canon. / Mike Pollock: Except for William Conrad."
  9. https://www.tumblr.com/spiritsonic/755461379621781504/in-issue-70-tails-says-that-hes-learned-to?source=share
  10. Axanery on X. X (31 March 2023). Retrieved on 31 March 2023.
  11. Katie - MiniKitty on X. X (31 March 2023). Retrieved on 31 March 2023. "@Bruh0906: Did you know that the purple chao that appears in Espio's poems is a reference to @KatieChrz's Chao called John from when she was younger? / Katie Chrzanowski: You caught that!!"
  12. Seaman, A (2023). Breaking Free from the Sunk Cost Trap: How to Transform Your Career and Thrive Beyond Past Investments. Linkedin. Retrieved on 20 August 2023.

External links[]

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off games
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