The Sonic Bible is an internal document created by Sega of America in 1991, during the production of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. At the time of writing, Sega of America had little to no exposure to any original Japanese fiction relating to Sonic, and the Bible was an attempt to establish the definitive Sonic backstory in non-Japanese regions.
It was never published and continually revised during development, so many different versions exist, although there are several common elements (see early Sonic canon). In particular, according to the Bible, Doctor Robotnik was once a kind human scientist named Doctor Ovi Kintobor, before being turned evil by a lab accident.
The origin story from the Bible was used in the writing of the Sonic the Hedgehog promotional comic and the guidebook Stay Sonic, which in turn influenced the backstory used in the UK's Sonic the Comic series. Later drafts of the Bible also provide the first reference to Mobius as Sonic's home planet.
Public release of Bible
In January and February 2009, Dean Sitton (posting under the name DeanSatan), a former Sega of America employee who had invented the name "Ivo Robotnik" and the names of various badniks in Western localizations (and who was credited second-to-last as one of "Sonic's Human Friends" in a promotional comic) joined the Sonic Retro forum. During discussion of Sitton's involvement with the property, he mentioned that he possessed various copies of a Sonic Bible from 1991 and a fan asked him to scan it. He subsequently put copies of the Bible up for sale on eBay.
Dean Sitton released three versions of the Sonic Bible, referred to here as "Early version", "Draft 1" and "Draft 2".
The earliest version of the Bible currently released, this version includes only one section, Sonic's origin story. The backstory is considerably different from that in later drafts, being set on Earth in the early 21st century (the near future, when the Bible was written). Specifically, Sonic (whose real name is revealed to be Sonny Hedgehog) lives under a hedge next to a burger joint in Hardly, Nebraska, with his mother and five sisters. He is a regular hedgehog, about the size of a bowling ball (he even visits bowling alleys to play practical jokes on the bowlers by curling up and pretending to be a bowling ball). He is naturally fast, as he runs along hedgerows at great speeds, a skill he inherited from his deceased father. Although he doesn't speak human language, he learns to read and write by watching human children play.
Against his mother's wishes, Sonny joins Hardly's track team. He wins many awards until the time comes to hibernate. While hibernating, he is accidentally dug up by Doctor Ovi Kintobor, who is using the Cogwinder Retractable Partulent Corer to search for emeralds, specifically the Gray Emerald. Kintobor uses a machine called the Lingua Scrambler'Um to teach Sonny to speak human language. Kintobor (who allows Sonny to call him "Dr. K") explains that he needs the emeralds to reverse years of pollution and return planet Earth to its natural state.
Kintobor operates a lab under a local toxic waste dump, where he rescues poisoned and struggling animals. Sonny befriends many of these animals before being appointed as Kintobor's assistant, at which point Kintobor starts teaching him about physics. In order to pass the time, Sonny uses a treadmill that Kintobor has constructed, but when he breaks the sound barrier (761 miles per hour), he inexplicably crosses all known limits of acceleration (and laws of physics) and starts running at the speed of light (186 thousand miles per second). Kintobor is alarmed and slows the treadmill, only to find that Sonny has been turned blue by the "Advanced Non-Concussive Cobalt Effect". Kintobor renames Sonny as "Sonic" due to his display of fast speed.
Sonic uses his new speed to help Kintobor with his work, and in the process, discovers the Reverse Quantum BioFormulator (RQBF), a machine composed entirely out of gold rings. Kintobor has used this machine to transmorph all the evil in the world into six emeralds, cut by Kintobor himself, which he has stored in a lead-lined cabinet. Kintobor says that the emeralds could eliminate all evil and pollution (if stabilized by the Gray Emerald) or else double the amount of evil in the world if they were to be disturbed by radiation. Just then, a wave of radiation penetrates the Earth's surface and affects the emeralds. The RQBF turns on and casts a beam of light on Kintobor, the emeralds and a half-eaten egg that Kintobor was eating. There is no explosion, but Kintobor is somehow transformed into the obese and evil Doctor Ivo Robotnik. Sonic grabs as many gold rings as he can, then escapes.
Although this version of the Bible states that the treadmill explosion turned Sonny from his usual "grayish-brown color" to blue, he is earlier described as a "blue streak" when running hedgerows.
Drafts 1 and 2
Drafts 1 and 2 were both produced on 24 June 1991, and are much closer to the early Sonic canon that was eventually established.
The Bible claims that Sonic's animal friends have large families. This is intended to explain the appearance of multiple identical animals in the original Sonic game.
This document includes facts on Sonic's origins, likes, and dislikes.
- The term "Bible" refers to a standard document in some long-running series, particularly those with multiple writers, to help ensure the consistency in the setting, backstories and characters. It is not a reference to any religious text.
- Sonic The Hedgehog Bible at the Sonic Retro Message Board, with links to three versions of the Sonic Bible
- The official Sonic the Hedgehog bible and other sega oddities at NeoGAF forums, featuring the same three versions available for download