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sonic xl

in sonic xl, the gold rings that sonic collects are fried and collecting them causes the hedgehog to get fatter, slower, and heavier – to become less and less capable of obeying the player’s commands – until all he can do is sit and wait for the heart attack that kills him. this hack, apart from being impressive (the authors have created lots of new animations for sonic at varying levels of belly), is interesting for a few reasons.

thematically, sonic xl is interesting because it points out how institutionalized consumption is in digital game design. sonic collects hundreds of rings over the course of an adventure – they’re everywhere, almost unavoidable. which is why the hack is interesting in play as well: what were liberally-scattered bonus items have become hazards, and the player has to carefully balance scarfing rings with running off the weight (the authors have also added instant-slim boxes to make things more reasonable). it doesn’t help that sonic’s fox companion is a feeder, grabbing rings to make sonic’s belly grow.


  1. Kepa wrote:

    Two fetish games combined into one. That’s pretty efficient.

    7/16/2010 at 7:02 pm | permalink
  2. zaratustra wrote:

    oh god is he purging when he gets hit by an enemy

    7/16/2010 at 9:01 pm | permalink
  3. Claremonster wrote:

    It’s worth mentioning that while Ranger did the spriting, Bozo did the programming.

    Here’s a spritesheet

    7/17/2010 at 4:20 am | permalink
  4. Jason Fletcher wrote:

    Can you suggest an emulator to play the .bin file?

    7/17/2010 at 9:49 am | permalink
  5. auntie wrote:

    kega fusion.

    7/17/2010 at 2:28 pm | permalink
  6. mike wrote:

    Had a fun time with this hack, though I had failed to realize that you can run the weight off. I was spending my time paying close attention to managing keeping only some rings on me to fend off getting hit.
    Also trying to get through the levels while nice and full is an interesting experience.
    All in all it’s a pretty impressive and inventive hack.

    7/17/2010 at 10:45 pm | permalink
  7. Hey Anna, really awesome find! I’ll be checking it out.

    PS, I referenced your awesome article “To the right, hold on tight” in my latest blog post.

    8/19/2010 at 4:33 pm | permalink

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