SEGA Counts Down the Characters of Project Needlemouse

At long last, it appears that SEGA is finally ready to start talking about its mysterious 2D Sonic the Hedgehog title, codenamed “Project Needlemouse.” And despite the controversy which arose surrounding the teaser trailer’s imagery last week, it appears that the company is more than comfortable with using that closing image to get things rolling.

The image you see above is displayed across SEGA’s blogs as they go over the rules of how they plan to reveal the game’s playable characters:

1: The Details: Each name on the picture above is a potential playable character in Project Needlemouse. However, not all of them are going to make the cut – and each day this week until Friday, we’re going to update this picture with a rejected stamp over those who will not actually be showing up!

2: The Challenge: Answer our trivia questions about oldschool Sonic games! (Genesis era) We’ll post trivia questions each day on a specific part of our SEGA/Sonic sites, and you all have to work together to figure out the right answers and post them there! Each day we’ll challenge you guys to get a certain number of people to post the correct answers – and if you meet that challenge, we’ll remove more names from the picture in a new blog the following day!

*About Bonus Points: If you go above and beyond the expected results, the community will earn a bonus point for that day. Earn at least three bonus points and we’ll give you all something special this Friday!

3: The Schedule:

* Monday: SEGA Blogs
* Tuesday: SEGA/Sonic Facebook
* Wednesday: Official Sonic Forum
* Thursday: SEGA Twitter

Over on the SEGA America Blog, they have the first challenge set up, and they note that “It’s all about momentum. This statement holds as true with this challenge as it did in the Sonic games that many of us grew up playing. Fans across the world will need to work together and spread the word if you want to succeed. So build up strong now, because the ending is going to be a challenge!”

From there, 20 hours are left from the time of posting for people to submit their answers.

All that said, the repeated talk of Genesis-styled Sonic seems promising. As for the characters, well, I think we can easily rule some out right here:

First, I’m pretty sure “Sonic’s new friend Mr. Needlemouse” is a gag. I wouldn’t expect to see Froggy or Big the Cat in the game, and from what I understand, Chip’s story is said and done.

Same goes with Tikal, though she has been playable in past games’ multiplayer. But instead of Knuckles or Tails? Seems unlikely. Shade doesn’t strike me as likely, either.

That leaves Sonic, Shadow, Charmy, Vector, and Amy as the most likely, which is helped by the fact they’ve all been playable in 2D Sonic games before. Of course, if we wanted to streamline things further, I’d say that really, Sonic and Shadow are the two most-likely candidates– Sonic for obvious reasons, and Shadow because a) he’s popular, and b) let’s face it, he generally plays just like Sonic– there would be little to lose by adding him, unless they went Chaos Control crazy. Even then, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing; Knuckles and Tails had their little quirks to set them apart, too.

So, those are my predictions. We’ll see how it pans out and keep you updated.