The European Sonic Speed Challenge, sponsored by Reebok DMX, was a contest held on Sonic Adventure. The goal was to achieve the best time on a level dedicated for this event. Who would run faster than Sonic himself ?
For the occasion, the first level would see players from all over Europe compete. Advertising panels of the brand of sports shoes crisscrossed Emerald Coast. Items, particular shoes, were hidden all along the course. You had to collect 5 of them. As you can see, the map was specially decorated for the occasion with "Goal" and "Start" banners.
To take part in this frenzied competition with more than 3500 participants, the player had to download a file on his memory card by visiting the Sonic Adventure website. We were at the beginning of the Internet on consoles, on the appearance of the first DLC. It was 20 years ago, we are getting old!!!
The 50 best times could win a prize :
11th - 50th prizes: Exclusive European Sonic Speed Challenge Reebok T-shirts
5th - 10th prizes: Framed certificate and a pair of Reebok DMX shoes worth £50
2nd, 3rd and 4th runners up: framed gold sonic disc, £200 worth of Reebok clothing plus a pair of Reebok DMX shoes
1st prize: Sonic Dreamcast Kiosk, £1000 worth of Reebok apparel, including a pair of Reebok DMX shoes
Neil Riddaway won the first place at 0.05 seconds of the second. He gives us his testimony, his anecdotes about the contest :
"The competition started when I was 14 and ended earlier this year when I was 15.
The official Dreamcast magazine in the UK did an article about me and the Dreamcast terminal, which was great.
At the time, there were two "main" online groups (clans) that participated in Sonic Adventure online time trials: XTC and UKG. I was in the UKG. The groups had about 20 people and we shared tips and tricks via EMAIL.
I was able to get the best time using all the bugs! XTC was not happy because they didn't know how I was getting my times.
I had a "personal trainer" who took a lot of time out of school to help me while I played, many hours obsessively searching for the perfect run with shortcuts and bugs.
The story goes that the official Dreamcast analog pad does not allow the analog stick to reach 100% in any direction - but the Madcatz one does. So apparently the madcatz one was able to make sonic go faster than the designers intended. I didn't use it, I don't think it would have helped. Spamming the spinball button was my method!
In the end, it was between me and a French guy named Marco. We were both ahead by a few seconds. He was in first place in the days leading up to the end of the contest, so I sent him an email to congratulate him. That evening, with a few hours to go, I tried again and got my perfect run! I downloaded it and came in first.
I received a rather unhappy email from Marco the next day.
I love the terminal, it is used almost every day! In my eyes, it is the best object to make me think about Sega.
It was delivered directly from the warehouse of the company that built it. I am led to believe that it is one of a kind!
I'm sure I don't keep it as well protected and cared for as some other collectors, but instead I've tried to keep it as an active part of my life. Right now, it's sitting in the kitchen. I have the Dreamcast and PS3 plugged into it. With my daughter we use it every day for streaming for example!
My VMU save file with the DMX time trial and the winning time was deleted by my nephew who was 3 years old at the time.
Reebok had sent me a catalog to choose the items I wanted and then they sent them to me. Unfortunately, I only have one thing left, a great coat. I love that coat now! "
We can only thank him for making us relive this event.
You will find a press release at this address : https://spong.com/press_release/126/Sonic-Reeboks-Challenge-Winner-Burns-Rubber?fbclid=IwAR2XscJ1I5VgsJ1rF-ZaJ41EBjta9msQ1TmMrcMdL0PgS-wfE0k9iOe7t5o