September 23rd, 1993. Sonic CD first dropped in Japan. Even 30 years later, it remains one of the most fascinating video games I've ever played. I didn't care much for it when I first played it, as the complexities of the game's time travel system, the confusing nature of the 2 OSTs (I first heard the JPN OST in the Sonic Screensaver and tried to actually guess what type of level or boss each track would be used in! I was very confused when the US PC copy didn't have most of these songs...), and the unusually easy bosses left me feeling a bit disappointed, but that changed over time. I went in blind after playing Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Knuckles, so it was quite a change from the traditional experience. I first got the game on PC in 1997, a few months after I beat the S&K collection on PC. I had played Sonic 1 and 2 before on native hardware, but never CD on anything before this. In fact, I think it's the only mainline US released 90s title I've 'never' played on native hardware before! I even owned a 32X and Chaotix at one point, but never a Sega CD! I was a big fan of Back to the Future at the time, so seeing a game actually use its time travel mechanics in gameplay was mind blowing once I realized what the game actually offered. Eventually, I became more comfortable with the systems. I began to understand how time travel worked. I found songs I liked (and some I even preferred) even in the US version. I discovered the time capsules and metal sonic holograms and my mind slowly became blown by how things changed when you played with this system properly. I finally grasped the concept of changing the future, and marveled over the changes in visuals and soundtrack from those efforts. I loved the subtle touches like badniks aging in different time periods. I got better at the special stages, which were a unique and fun system for a one off. Over the course of 30 years, I became more and more enamored by the game's ambitions, despite its flaws. The game perfectly captures Naoto Oshima's 90s style and has an aesthetic I love above all other parts of the brand, even Mania/3K. As a game, it quickly became a favorite title behind S3K, even as most of the fandom was moving on to the Dreamcast era and beyond. The 2011 revamp also was a crucial turning point in making the game far more accessible, even if it didn't quite get everything right. The mod scene that has evolved from it is both chaotic and creative in its own right too, and despite some flaws, Origins presents players with an even closer to definitive version by finally adding Knuckles, a character that specializes in exploration, to a game that was designed around it even before he was created. I firmly stand by the idea that playing the game with him makes it an entirely new experience, and is one every classic fan should try at least once. Playable Amy is of course also a great addition and a landmark feature for the character, even if some don't care for Origins gameplay style. And not only is Amy Rose a classic fan favorite, now at last elevated to a full team member, but Metal Sonic is possibly my all time favorite character in the franchise. He's the perfect sleek, cool, mechanical rival, and both this game and the later 1996 OVA remain the peak of his cool, deadly, silent killer style. Both are essential additions to the lore and roster of fan favorites, that have only grown more respected with time. Obviously, we've had a million threads here to discuss it over the decades. But I think it's silly to let a major anniversary pass without at least having one more. So talk about your first impressions about the game. How did you discover it. How have your feelings changed on it over time? Have you tried the many mods or alternative versions developed among the decomp community in the past 3 years, or played it again more extensively with Origins new features? Have other games been inspired by it in any way, and if they haven't should they ever be (Sonic or otherwise)? Happy 30th anniversary, Sonic CD!