Sonic Lost World tried to combine Sonic’s speed with parkour exploration, but it’s biggest success was integrating Zelda and Yoshi into Sonic’s world.
By Timothy Donohoo
Published Apr 27, 2021
Sonic the Hedgehog has been Sega’s mascot ever since his introduction in the 90s, and for most of that decade, he and his home company were the fiercest of rivals with Nintendo. Sega’s eventual retreat from the console business brought this feud to a close, with some of the next Sonic games finding a place on the same hardware as the latest Mario titles.
This would culminate in iconic crossovers throughout the years, such as the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles and the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighters. Perhaps one of the most unexpected and unorthodox Sonic and Nintendo crossovers came in one of the blue hedgehog’s more experimental 3D adventure games. Like?many 3D entries in the series, Sonic Lost World was a middling title that tried to combine Sonic’s speed with parkour exploration. Its biggest success was integrating Zelda and Yoshi into Sonic’s world. Here’s how the Wii U version of the game gave Sonic his most ambitious crossover with Nintendo titles that didn’t involve a certain rotund plumber.
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The?game’s first Wii U-exclusive DLC pack was?the?Yoshi’s Island Zone, which featured Nintendo’s lovable species of ever-hungry dinosaurs. The gameplay for this Zone, true to form, focused on side-scrolling platforming and slowed down Sonic’s speedy gameplay. Also fitting the Yoshi theme were various enemies from the?Yoshi games, such as Shy Guys and Piranha Plants. Likewise, Sonic’s traditional rings were replaced with Yoshi coins, which granted extra lives if the player collected one hundred.
There were also various Yoshi eggs dotted throughout the levels, which can also give Sonic extra lives. In line with the stage’s title, the music is pulled from the SNES classic Yoshi’s Island, with the level theme and victory theme remixing that game’s Flower Garden and Level Clear tracks. Despite this, the actual aesthetic of the levels is more akin to Yoshi’s Story on the Nintendo 64.
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The second DLC pack in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World was based on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series, with the art style most resembling its then most recent entry, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The gameplay maintains Lost World’s 3D adventure mechanics, fitting well with the Zelda aesthetics. Upon entering a dungeon, however, the gameplay switches to a style reminiscent of the classic top-down Zelda titles.
Enemies include the Deku Scrubs and Stalchildren that typically vex Link, with rings becoming Rupees. Sonic’s health system is also changed to the heart system of Zelda games, and additional heart fragments can be found in the dungeon, accompanied by their classic animation. Even Link himself shows up on occasion throughout the level. The music remixes the classic?Zelda Overworld theme, as well as the Light World Dungeon theme from?A Link to the Past.
The fact that the music from both Zones is pulled from explicitly 16-bit entries in the respective series is rather ironic, given that this was the era when Nintendo and Sega’s hatred for each other was so fierce. In the end, however, this DLC was all part of an illustration of the companies’ now amicable relationship, with Sega’s Blue Blur of all characters rolling around Hyrule Castle at the speed of sound.
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