Practically everyone who owned a Sega Genesis back in the day had a copy of the original Sonic the Hedgehog somewhere in the house. But not all Sonics were created equal. There are three nearly-identical versions of Sonic’s first outing, but two of them are actually pretty hard to find.

The good news: Complete In Box, our video series where we look back at classic games by checking out the box, the manual, and all the other stuff they came with, is back!

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The bad news: We were only able to film two episodes of the new season, much earlier in the year, before our offices closed due to the pandemic. We were hoping to film the full season soon, but since that’s clearly not in the cards, we’re releasing these two episodes now.

In 1991, Sega made the very good decision to pack Sonic into the box with every Genesis console it sold. There was a separate version for people who didn’t buy the bundle pack, but since there were very few Genesis owners prior to the Sonic pack-in, not many of these were made.

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Much later, in 1996, when Sega put a few more copies of the first Sonic into stores, the games now had to have ESRB ratings. So the ESRB-rated version of the game is also now a difficult-to-find variant.

These boxes look mostly similar to each other, so you might have a rare Sonic without even knowing it!

Features Editor, Kotaku. Japanese curry aficionado. Author of the books Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life and Final Fantasy V from Boss Fight Books.

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DISCUSSION

crashingechelon
CrashingEchelon

Poor life decisions means I don’t have a lot of the classic games I grew up with anymore. I say poor but it’s more like I traded stuff and sold stuff to get newer stuff, the typical things. Which is probably why I buy the classic consoles and supported the virtual console.

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