Sonic The Hedgehog And Saddam Hussein

This might feel a bit like a section in an Adam Curtis film, wherein he links the development of 1990s games consoles to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, thus blaming Mario for Desert Storm.

Except, there is a definite link between Saddam Hussein, the first Gulf War, and the ultimate fate of Sonic The Hedgehog.

Hirokazu Yasuhara was the level designer and director of all of Sonic’s 16-bit incarnations. After he left, the quality of the games took a downward turn, whilst he developed other titles like Jak & Daxter and Uncharted.

But in 1990, Yasuhara very nearly missed the boat on Sonic. The rookie at Sega was tasked with setting up an American development team, and he was just about to fly out to begin his new job when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and his trip was postponed.

Apparently he was moping around the offices in Japan, when Sonic creator Naoto Oshima, and Yuji Naka, the engine developer, noticed him, and grabbed him to help with the level designs. Yasuhara became so engrossed in the designs, he never did go to America, and it’s thanks to him that we now have this.

BONUS FACT: That classic Se-Ga sting at the start of the game took up 1/8th of the cartridge space.

BONUS FACT 2: The game could have been much faster, but it gave developers motion sickness, and they had to slow it down. But he’s still the fastest thing alive.

What’s The Opposite Of Nostalgia?

We did a Listeners’ Choice Special on setisoppO this week.

Based on suggestions, we ended up discussing what might be the opposite of nostalgia, of the Large Hadron Collider, and of turning 30.

If you want to know what the actual rules of the game are, they’re something like this:

And if you want to know what my stand up used to look like, it usually sort of went as well as this:

7 Things Your Cat Wants You To Buy From Amazon

Your cat overlord has a Wish List, and you need to know what’s on it. Luckily, cats are pretty stoopidz about online privacy (look at how many of them let their slaves post videos of them on YouTube), and it’s pretty easy to log in to your cat’s Amazon account.

All cats have the same username and password combination.

username: [yourname]’sMaster
password: cheezburger

I’ve looked at quite a few cat’s Wish Lists, and there seems to be seven common things they all want.

A Snooker Table

We’ve all seen them engrossed in the snooker, so it’s no wonder they want an actual table all of their own. Whether they plan on stalking the table and killing it, or just chasing the balls down the pockets depends on the cat. They will settle for nothing less than a full size one though.

A Gun

The cats seem to think this will make food appear in their bowls more readily. And if it doesn’t, they know it will at least make a human sized snack treat appear on the floor.

An IPad

Not just to chase fish around the screen, but so they can message you every ten minutes with enquiries such as “mite ther be sum foodz?” or “mi feets iz cowld” or “stop lukin at me”.

Vick’s VapoRub

Cats hate this stuff, but they can’t resist sniffing it anyway, no matter how much it makes them recoil and blink. For some reason they think that if they own the VapoRub, they will never sniff it ever again.


Oddly, cats don’t seem to add their own food to their Wish Lists. They do have a penchant for expensive steak though, preferably raw, and preferably on the floor. Failing that, they might add Pringles to their lists too, as much for the snacks as for the tube to play with.

The Game Of Thrones Box Set

But only on BluRay.

Literally Anything Else

Mostly though, they will order as much stuff as they can (if they could, they don’t have credit cards), so long as it’s all delivered in big boxes that when empty they can jump in, sleep in, chase biscuit around, and chew on.