Ever wanted to play a game as Sonic the Hedgehog—you know, the rule-abiding, patrol car-driving, speed limit-obeying blue policeman? Thanks to the efforts of one Sonic superfan and donations from many more, now you can.
Back in 1991, Sonic publisher Sega released Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, an arcade game for kids, in Japan. Since then, it has become a super-rare game that most people never experienced, but Sonic fans have diligently hunted. Kotaku reports that one such fan, Will, managed to snag an original arcade cabinet—and that the game will soon be available to everyone via software called the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.
According to the report, Will spent thousands to import an original Waku Waku Sonic arcade cabinet from Japan, which comes complete with a little plastic car to sit in and a steering wheel with which to play the game. He then dumped to code online for MAME users, and it’ll be available in the software’s next update.
If you’re a die-hard Sonic fan, Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car might be worth checking out, but don’t expect the high-speed excitement of literally any other Sonic game out there. Waku Waku Sonic is a game for kids in which you drive around obeying traffic laws, until you inevitably encounter Sonic franchise badguy Dr. Eggman. Pretty much right after that, the game ends. You can read more about the game over at Sonic Retro.
Still, this is a little bit of history that was pretty much lost to garbage dumps and 1990s weirdness until now—and it only cost a few grand to rescue it.