Mario and Sonic having a fight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Ah, the early 1990s... the Incredible Crash Dummies, Inspector Gadget reruns on Saturday morning cartoons, and the original console wars: Nintendo versus Sega. In 1989, Sega launched their system, Genesis (also called "Mega Drive") -- with its more powerful 16-bit engine and 512-colour palette, it became Nintendo's worst nightmare. Their Famicom (known also as the NES) had only 8-bit capabilities and a colour palette of but 256 colours. Even Nintendo would admit, Genesis was a more technologically advanced machine... but Nintendo still had Mario. Sega did not have a mascot.
Then, in 1991, Sega's mascot came on the scene: Sonic, the Hedgehog. What could possibly be special about a hedgehog? Well, he was blue, fast, and had jumping abilities that could rival those of the Mario Brothers!
Of course, as Sega were resting on their laurels (whatever that means), Nintendo were hard at work, making their answer to the Genesis: the Super NES. Although mostly equal to the Genesis in technology, the Super NES was capable of creating an illusion of depth through the usage of parallax scrolling. And, of course, they also created Super Mario World, which became a million-seller almost overnight. Sega shot back with Sonic 2, which became equally as successful.
However, Nintendo eventually overtook Sega in total sales. Then, Nintendo accidentally created a monster: while collaborating with Sony to try and create a disc-based system, Nintendo abruptly severed all ties with Sony. Still owning all of the licenses to the hardware they created for Nintendo, Sony put its own label on the hardware and released it in 1995 as the Sony PlayStation. Mean sales of the system easily outstripped the Super NES and Sega's newest system, the DreamCast. Sega, in over their heads already, were forced to cease production of the DreamCast and chose to simply develop software, rather than hardware.
But, where did that leave Mario and Sonic? Mario was still enjoying much success (Super Mario 64), but Sonic was nowhere to be found. Eventually, an uneasy truce was called between the two characters, as Sega began developing software for Nintendo. In 2004, after a six-year hiatus following the downfall of the DreamCast, Sonic saw a return to videogames in Sonic Heroes for the sixth-generation consoles (including Nintendo's GameCube).
For the first time in videogaming history, Sonic and Mario "teamed up" for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games in November of 2007. Sonic and Mario appeared together again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in March of 2008.
As you can see from the screenshot at the top of the page, Masahiro Sakurai had the presence of mind to make a screenshot from Brawl of Mario and Sonic having a fight. That brings back memories, doesn't it?
When asked what he thinks of Sonic, Mario had this to say...
"I used to call him 'Chronic': 'oh, look, it's-a Chronic the Hedgehog; he looks-a like something my dog coughed up'. But now, we best-a friends!"
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Mario's Character Page at the Smash Bros Dojo
Sonic's Character Page at the Smash Bros Dojo
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