11/21/2015

SegaSonic Popcorn Shop

In today's installment of Hedgehogs Never Tell I'd like to do something completely different.

In 1993, as I've said, countless times, Sonic was the hypest shit. His shit-eating grin graced every imaginable product conceivable - transcending typical gaming merchandise, Sonic got his own Thanksgiving Day Parade float, was emblazoned on commercial jets, and had several concurrent television series. This, of course wasn't enough milk for Sega, who decided to throw their IP into the ring, and tackle the exciting, competitive world of....

Vending machines....


SegaSonic Popcorn Shop (Sega C2)
Developed by: AM1
Published by: SEGA

I can't stress enough, that this isn't really a game, per se - it's actually one of those automated vending machines, that prepares a foodstuff in real-time, as you wait - in this case, popcorn. The machine, however, features a display, showing Sonic characters performing menial-labor, it runs on Sega's C2 arcade board, and it's technically, sort of interactive, so.... good enough for me.

After years of fighting against industrialization, Sonic ironically opens a popcorn factory.
Popcorn Shop begins when you insert money into the machine (sounds like a game so far!) Sonic then asks you to choose from one of three playable characters popcorn seasonings -



Salted - Salted is a bit basic, but still a hearty treat. A true Classic


Butter -
Butter, misleadingly, is doused in an artificial butter-flavored liquid. It's greasy and bad for your cardio-vascular system, so the perfect product to associate with an athletic character who runs.

Curry -
Curry popcorn is popcorn covered in curry powder and oil. It is unknown whether Popcorn Shop's curry offering was sweet, mild or spicy.


The "gameplay" of SSPS consists of turning a crank to expedite Sonic and Tails' popcorn production. Well, Tails' popcorn production; Sonic merely stands there as you and Tails do all of the work proving that Sonic has no qualms with child-labor. SegaSonic Popcorn Sweatshop, am I right?
SegaSonic Popcorn Shop, conveniently located next to Coca-Cola Vending Machine, in scenic Seedy Alleyway.
Your input on the crank has some vague influence over the animation displayed during the course of the "play-session", as Dr. Robotnik impedes the duo's efforts. It goes without saying, that you can't influence the speed at which your cheap popcorn is microwaved (yes, microwaved).

And that's about it. It's a glorified popcorn machine, but still, an interesting novelty, and an exemplification of videogames' - and by extension, their characters' - influence on other elements of society, especially during the 90's.

On October 25, David Haywood announced that popular game-preservationists, ShouTime, in collaboration with the Dumping Union had acquired a PCB of Popcorn Shop - It will be supported by the latest MAME release, so next time you have a craving for low-grade microwave popcorn, you can boot up SSPS, for the full SegaSonic experience.

David Haywood has also released a video showcasing some of the animations displayed by the machine.


Special Thanks to Sonic Retro
and
David Haywood

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