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Sonic Origins Further Confuses the Hydrocity vs. Hydro City Debate

The decades-long debate about how to pronounce the level's name continues.

The question of “how do you pronounce Hydrocity” has plagued the Sonic the Hedgehog community since 1994. The word “Hydrocity” refers to a level in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The spelling of the zone’s name has led to arguments online about how you pronounce it. To the point where Sega has addressed it on social media and the comics have had Tails and Sonic take part in this exact argument. Sonic Origins is a collection of multiple classic Sonic games, including the third entry. It’s out today, and Hydrocity appears as a level once again, still spelled as one word when you begin the stage. However, Sonic Origins has a menu for listening to the game’s music, which lists Hydrocity as “Hydro City” instead of the usual one-word format. Which is deeply funny, to me.

Sonic Origins Further Confuses the Hydrocity vs. Hydro City Debate

The contradiction within the collection stops short of making a definitive statement about the true pronunciation, and it could very well be that someone over at Sega mistyped here or didn’t realize the baggage the Hydrocity name has been carrying for nearly 30 years and typed what they thought it was supposed to be in the English version. Or, if we want to go the conspiracy theory route, Sega’s localization team may know exactly what it’s doing. But whatever the case is, Sonic Origins at least gives something for people invested in the Hydro City vs. Hydrocity debate to yell about. Unless Sega updates the collection to make it consistent, which, I sincerely hope they don’t. I live for the chaos, and the controlling of said chaos.

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While Sonic Origins is looking back at the blue blur’s past, Sonic Frontiers is the next mainline game in the series that’s taking on an open-world format with mixed results, to the point where negative comparisons to some imagined version of Sonic fan games, which fan creators aren’t thrilled about.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.