As a child, I have this vague memory of seeing the season 2 episode of Sonic SatAM "Spyhog" on television (I couldn't have been much older than 7 or 8, as that was when the show was on air). Just that vague memory of one episode of the show was enough to drive me mad. Was there really a Sonic cartoon like that, or was it just some half-remembered dream I once had? Somehow, the kooky romp known as Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog continued to air long into my teenage years on network television but this other show seemed to be lost in the dust bin of history-- if it had ever really existed at all.
One day, as an angsty teenager surfing the web, I stumbled upon my answer. The cartoon was named "Sonic the Hedgehog", but fans came up with a new name for it: "Sonic SatAM". Once I knew this secret name, I knew I had found the final piece of the puzzle.
Using this knowledge I was eventually able to track down some very low quality recordings of episodes online, as well as other fans of the show. Around 2001, I joined the forums at FUS (Fans United for SatAM). This was a great time to be part of the SatAM fandom as I was able to witness some big moments, including the release of the full series to DVD (Something that only occurred because of the non-stop, persistent lobbying of folks like Sonique), the early Sea3on comic, Sonic Epoch (DOS-version), and Sonic Epoch Advance (GBA-version). For Sonic Epoch Advance, Rob (aka Captain Southbird) even let me help out on sprite work and develop some of the music for the game (Likely the result of my pleading with him to allow me).
Though many years have passed, and many folks from those days have moved on, this community and the ambitious and creative people I met there really left a lasting impact on me. Had it not been for Sonic Epoch, I may have never even considered the idea of making a Sonic SatAM game myself. Had it not been for FUS, I may have never reconnected with this old 90s cartoon at all!
Today, the SatAM community is seeing a bit of a revival.
Sea3on is not only continuing its work on the online comic, but is developing a fully animated and modernized third season of the show! There is a new web comic in the works that is re-envisioning the Sonic SatAM cast of characters and story, known as Knothole. Sonic Transitions is a not-so-traditional Sonic platformer, actively being worked on and sporting SatAM characters. There's also another SatAM RPG known as Twisted Mettle, that just released its final edition in 2020 and features some gorgeous custom art for its cut scenes.
And then, there is Sonic RPG.
Sonic RPG has officially been in development since 2018, and in that short period of time so much has changed. After releasing the first demo in 2019, I met Jacob, who would go on to develop the entire game's general plot and story progression. We started a discord, we built a community around the game, and that community has ended up contributing concept art, gameplay ideas, story ideas, sound rips from the show, sprite work, tile art, and more! I'm very proud of where the game is today and it would not have been possible without the hard work and support of our discord community and my story writing partner.
2020 was a big year for Sonic RPG. During that year's SAGE we released a full episode of the game boasting some fun new mechanics, a SatAM-flavored story, and some cool new OCs to boot! Though it had its issues (That damn run puzzle in the sewer area!), the 2020 demo of Sonic RPG was very well received.
For 2021, the bar will be raised even higher, as we aim to give players a taste of exploration and non-linear gameplay.
Sonic SatAM may have gone off air over 20 years ago, but its impact lives on. There's a lot to be excited about, and we are just getting started!