The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, a murder mystery visual novel featuring the beloved cast of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, has taken the gaming world by storm. The game was initially released as an April Fools’ Day surprise, but it quickly gained popularity among Sonic fans and received rave reviews. Kotaku recently interviewed Katie Chrzanowski, the social media manager and executive producer of the game, to discuss its development.
Chrzanowski explains that the idea for The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog had been in the works for two years before she pitched it to a small team made up of Sega employees and key collaborators. The team ultimately decided to create something for April Fools’ Day, and the process for developing the game began in late March 2022. They took several months to iron out the story and get the game systems set up, and everything was ready for release on April Fools’ Day 2023.
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog takes place at a role-playing murder mystery party on a train for Amy’s birthday. The game’s core cast includes Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Blaze, Vector, and Espio. The team prioritized humor when deciding which character would fill which role, and they wrote around different Sonic characters attempting to stay in character. For example, Shadow is assigned the locksmith role and has keys to different cars that no one else has, while Espio is a poet and breaks out into poetry throughout the game. Tails, who plays the role of the detective trying to solve the mystery of Sonic’s “death,” spends the most time with the player.
Although the team didn’t have much difficulty nailing down the roles each character would play, the cast did have a different shape in earlier drafts. Amy’s birthday party consisted of characters from several in-universe teams in the Sonic series, but other than the original trio, no one team is “complete” in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog. Cream and Charmy, the third member of Chaotix Detective Agency alongside Vector and Espio, were planned to be in the game at one point. However, given the two are both canonically six years old, the team decided against using them.
In The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, the player inhabits a quokka character who has become colloquially known as Barry due to marketing materials. The protagonist is a new hire on the train who gets roped into Amy’s birthday. The team opted to make a new player character rather than starring one of the returning crew because of the game’s visual novel format, which primarily sees the game through a first-person perspective.
The game has been well-received by Sonic fans and reviewers alike, with many praising its humor and character development. The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is a testament to the passion and creativity of Sonic’s dedicated fan base, and it shows that there is still plenty of life left in the iconic blue blur.