Gaming and Me: Countdown to drown in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Whether it’s a memory from childhood or a quirk we have today, all us gamers have experienced a number of special moments through our gaming. These can be anything from big sweeping scenarios to just the tiniest details we have grown to love about our games. As such I thought I might share some of my own personal gaming experiences with everyone, as it’s partly because of these details that I still enjoy playing them today.

The first of these personal experiences I’d like to share is one of my 5 year old self playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We’ve owned a Sega Mega Drive for as long as I remember; my Dad got hold of this special Amstrad Mega PC that doubled as the gaming console and I have rather hazy memories of sitting in his home office with my brothers playing through Sonic’s classic outings. But I do strongly recall a certain infamous segment of Chemical Plant Zone that terrified me completely.

Yes it’s that part where Sonic & Tails get stuck in that shaft with the water rapidly rising and ultimately if you don’t make it out you drown. This was already quite a dramatic experience for a 5 year old but when that dreaded countdown began, I simply couldn’t watch anymore. I would drop the controller and flee the room, fingers in my ears until it was all over. When I returned Sonic & Tails would be alive and well at the checkpoint and somehow it was like it never happened… you know unless it was Game Over, then the tears began to well up in my eyes. If only that music didn’t still haunt me when I picked up the controller once more…

Yes this music! This death knell that turned a colourful hedgehog adventure into a nightmare.

Yes today that segment seems pretty easy but back then it was too much to bear. Perhaps this is why I had a stronger love for Sonic 3, it didn’t kill you on the second level (no that game saved your death for the even more infamous drum in the fourth level) and certainly not in such a traumatic manner. It’s that countdown, it’s despicable! I cannot hear that thing today without remembering a little boy who was too afraid to continue. I’m sorry Sonic for abandoning you Nakamura just made it too scary.

That’s it for now; I’ll start working on another update soon but until then, thank you for reading.

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