Sonic 1. It was pre-school for me. My older brother got a Genesis for Christmas, with the titled game...and I got to stay home and play it while he went to school. It was much too difficult for me to beat at my age (in the first few dozen tries anyway) but I did memorize the level select code and got to play through all the levels. Eventually I got good enough for the emeralds and etc. Sonic was not my first videogame. I definitely started out a Nintendo boy. Even dressed as Mario for my first Halloween thing my Mom brought me to. Skate or die, Excitebike... smelling my sibling's awful breath in the nintendo cartridges when blowing on them before putting them in the dock.... Good times. Before Sonic I watched all the Batman cartoons and played all the Mario games. I continued to like both after Sonic and always have---especially in the release of N64 and Mario 64, that game was hype---but Sonic dominated my life after Sonic 1 and progressively more so with each major release. From Sonic 1 to Sonic 2, to Sonic Spinball....on to Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which changed me forever. One of my greatest loves and also somewhat of a curse because SEGA and Sonic Team are very, very far from what they used to be, and each year that goes by and I look for better times for the blue ring boy I'm reminded how long I've been waiting for them to figure it out. When I take a break from the fandom and go about my adult life, every now and then I peek back in and see how pathetic things have gotten. I'm really quite an optimistic person in general but when I look at this franchise, its difficult for me to see any fundamental reason to support Sonic going forward. And to be honest, if Taxman/Stealth or some analogous group are not given a promotion in some significant way (assuming they're interested in continuing to make Sonic games) I will finally let go of Sonic. I'll cherish the memories I had from long ago but accept that this franchise flat out stinks, and move on to find other simple things to enjoy in my busy life. It'd be for the best.