Every ride home from the video game store was a strange exercise in lust and this one was no different. I sat in the passenger seat and immersed myself in the sacred act of unwrapping and popping open the big black container shell, fondling the rounded cartridge in my hands as if the magic on the logic board inside could somehow be transdermally absorbed, internalizing the coarse alliteration of the box copy: Super Speed! Super Graphics! Super Attitude! It’s Super SONIC.

Like a jet engine warming up the choral two-toned SEGA brought my mind into gear but I still wasn’t prepared for what lay beyond the iconic finger-wagging title screen. Green Hill Zone, a platform landscape that should be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a new sort of virtual reality. It was all shimmering polygonal grass and innocently rotating rings and checkered brown underlayment twisting into impossibly navigable launchpads that showed off the primary achievement of Sonic Team: the raw thrill of unchecked speed.