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The RetroBeat: Sonic & Knuckles turned a problem into success 25 years ago

Sonic & Knuckles.

Image Credit: That Shelf

Sonic & Knuckles is what happens when you make the best out of a bad situation.

The Sega Genesis 2D platformer is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. But Sonic & Knuckles only exists because of time and memory constraints. Sega had planned for everything that’s in Sonic & Knuckles to be a part of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Sega, however, was running up against a deadline. Sonic 3 had to come out earlier in 1994 to make it on time with a planned McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion. Just like today, Happy Meals were a giant deal in ’90s, with major companies like Disney using them as a way to market to kids. It was rare to see a video game get a Happy Meal deal, so the promotion was a huge deal for Sega. They couldn’t miss the timeframe that they had already agreed to with McDonald’s.