This page was created as a part of's July 2023 Code Jam! The prompt was "That Special Thing Close to my Heart." I decided to use this as an opportunity to finally make this shrine, which I've been planning for the better part of a year.


For the uninitiated, Sonic Adventure is the 10th installment in the Sonic game franchise and the first fully 3D Sonic game ever created, released in Japan in December 1998, and later in North America in September 1999. Sonic 3D blast is credited on Wikipedia as the first 3D Sonic game, but it wasn't 3D rendered in the modern sense.

My family got Sonic Adventure shortly after getting the Dreamcast for Christmas in 1999 (I believe... my memory isn't great lol). My brothers and I were immediately hooked, and became obsessed with the game. We had played a lot of Sonic 2 and a couple other Sonic games, like Sonic 3D blast, so we were already familiar with the franchise. But the new 3D graphics and gameplay blew us away. We had played games like Ocarina of Time and Mario 64, but nothing was quite like what Sonic Adventure had in store. The impressive combination of classic fast paced Sonic obstacle courses with 3d platforming, the focus on story, the playable character routes, the wild variety of gameplay styles throughout the game, the world, the amazing soundtrack, the cool beach vibes... it had so much to explore. And don't get me started on the introduction of the Chao Garden. This game has stuck with me ever since, it was a formative feature of my childhood.


I'm going to admit up front I'm not the most well versed on the subject of plot and narrative, I'm generally pretty easy to please. I'm just here for a good time. I also think it's worth considering this is a children's game, and while kids deserve more than tasteless, mind numbing shlock, I think we should keep in mind who the Sonic franchise is meant to appeal to. I'm not going to claim the story of Sonic Adventure is anything revolutionary, or even particularly well written, I think it's fun and exciting and that's what matters to me.
Credit: Sonic News Network

The story of Sonic Adventure stars Sonic and his friends (and a couple characters he meets along the way) who face the evil Dr. Robotnik, also known as Eggman, as he tries to take over the world by commanding an ancient, powerful entity named Chaos. They have to stop Eggman from obtaining all 7 chaos emeralds, powerful ancient stones that are able to power up Chaos into an unstoppable monster that can destroy the world.

Playing through this as a kid I LOVED the story. I found it exciting, full of mystery and intrigue, and I pondered a lot on the nature of the mystic ruins, Angel Island, and Chaos. It hit a lot of notes I was really into; apocalyptic events, mysterious and unexplained time shifts, floating islands, the works. I loved Chaos's whole deal, and the tidbits of backstory that suggested he wasn't just a raging force of destruction, but something deeply compassionate, was interesting to me. Also like, he's a mutant chao?? What's up with that? Really wish we could get more backstory on Chaos. (without having to navigate Archie comics... maybe one day)

One of my favorite things about it is the way the story is split up among the different characters. Instead of just making The Big 3D Sonic Game, they gave the story to several different characters, and I love the way they decided to do it. Sonic isn't just one of many pivotal characters, but he doesn't even get the whole story. Scenes where Sonic and the other characters interact are different when played from the others' perspectives. There's not a single "correct" version of events. There's no reason to see Sonic's path as the definitive one. There's a part in Sonic's path where you're on Eggman's big airship and every character is just there inexplicably, and all this drama is happening that you have no context for. Like, of course Sonic wouldn't know what the hell everyone else is doing there, why would he? You gotta see their journeys to get the full story. The plot finally comes to a head when you get through all the different paths, and only then can you finish the final segment of the story. You can't save the world alone as Sonic, you have to do it with the help of your friends. I'm crazy about that kind of thing.


Man where do I start... not only do I love the way the story uses the characters, I love the cast of this game as well. Being a Tails fan I was of course thrilled that he actually got his own time in the spotlight. He's no longer player 2 in this one. I always picked him when I wanted to just play around in the game world or visit the chao garden and I loved flying around all over the place. And while it was a bit too dependent on Sonic's storyline, I really liked the way Tails's arc was him finding his own sense of independence. I guess that really resonated with me as a younger sibling (Even as a twin I felt like the youngest a lot, for whatever reason). While I wish there was more meat to everyone else's paths, I think giving some characters (*cough* Big) fewer levels was a good way to keep it at a manageable length and didn't clobber us over the head with their gimmicky mechanics. Would have loved to see more Amy levels though, she was so fun to play and honestly deserved a lot more!


Credit: Sonic News Network
While there are a lot of gripes to be had with the overall experience of playing through Sonic Adventure, it is by no means a perfect game, I still have a lot of fun playing it to this day. I think a lot of the levels are solid, some of them being actually a little challenging sometimes. Every character has a set gameplay style that fits them personally, with Sonic and Tails having the most variety in their gameplay. Running courses, snowboarding, flying planes, platforming, skipping entire courses with your level-breaking flying ability... both of them have the most straightforward play styles but with other kinds of levels to keep it fresh. While Knuckles, Amy, Big, and E-102 have very individualized and shorter playthroughs, their levels don't have much variety at all and are often pretty short in comparison. But sometimes that's a blessing, considering their levels aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea in what is still a Sonic game. I appreciate how much the devs really tried stuff with this game, even if it didn't always work. Honestly I think this game could have benefitted from a little more fleshing out, but that's not a game killer to me.

And yes. I have to mention the Chao Garden. How could I not? I LOVED the chao gardens! One of my favorite things in the game. At this point I feel it's been way overshadowed by Sonic Adventure 2's chao system (alignments, my beloved) but at the time it was the COOLEST thing. And it was so out of left field! You just bumble into the elevators, as a kid exploring the game would, and you're taken to a room full of eggs that you look at as small animals fly out of you?? Absolutely unexpected. They didn't have to go there but they did and it rules. It adds a whole new dimension to the game, a new realm of replayability, and a really cute way to fast travel. The VMUs were also such a cool touch. I never got very far with my chao, and they died a lot, back in the day, but I was already so into the chao garden thing by the time Sonic Adventure 2 came out and blew it out of the water. Sonic Adventure chao crawled so Sonic Adventure 2 chao could run.


I love the visual style of this game so much yall... It's etched into my brain, I can't even fully describe what about it I vibe with so much. The way they incorporate water as a motif is so cool, it has some of my favorite skyboxes, and the way they nicely combined the toony style of a Sonic game with a more naturalistic (but still stylized) approach to the environments just works for me. I love how the characters look. It just has that Dreamcast era SEGA vibe that I love so much. It's so very Y2K without hitting you over the head with blob design and chrome yknow?

Credit: Sonic News Network

Credit: Sonic News Network


This game has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. My brother and I used to jam out to the character songs (while doing dangerous doorway stunts, being 8 sure was a time) and these days I've fallen deeply in love with the BGM score. No Matter What still goes hard, honestly. Welcome to Station Square is so.... it's just. It's so good? Here just. Just listen to it please I don't know how to talk about music.

There are so many themes in this game I can't get enough of. Azure Blue World, The Air and Windy Ripply Valley, the Egg Carrier theme, the Chao Garden theme... good shit, all of it. DeoxysPrime has a youtube playlist with the whole Sonic Adventure OST here.

Final Thoughts

I've been on a pretty big Sonic Adventure Kick for the past year or two, with a pretty heavy Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Chao garden phase in the middle. Honestly I have a lot to say about SA2/SA2B as well but I don't think I'm about to make a whole page about that game, because I mostly care about the Chao garden these days, and I have a whole section dedicated to that. I honestly don't care about the debate around whether or not it's a "good game" or if it holds up, because I find all that pretty irrelevant! It entertained the hell out of kid me and so many other kids, which is really all it was meant to do, and its legacy is pretty huge! It's still considered one of the greatest 3D Sonic games, and that may not be a super high bar to clear, I think it speaks to the impact it made on a lot of young people. The fact that so many people still love it, despit its flaws, as a Dreamcast game especially... I think that's enough. I believe we put a little too much stock into if a game is good by modern standards, which I think is pretty unfair to older stuff! They had no idea what they would be competing with, and did what they could with the tech and game design culture of the time.

But I digress. I have a lot of feelings about this game, not many of them easy to put into words, but I hope I managed to get some coherent ideas out, lol. If you've read all that thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed my infodump of a fan page.

Now please enjoy this little gallery of Sonic Adventure art and renders because I'm so obsessed with this whole visual style. All of these images were found on the Sonic News Network.