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Personal Finance as told by Sonic the Hedgehog

by My Journey to Millions

A while ago I wrote a fun post about how Legend of Zelda could teach you about personal finance.  Well this past Friday, I powered up the Wii and was reminded that I bought Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and couldn’t help but loading it up (mostly due to that SEGA Chant).

It took less than 45 seconds before I started to remember how much I loved that game when I first played it 15 years ago.  As I continued playing, I thought about that Zelda post, and how it applied to Sonic.  For those that are older than lets say 35 years old, here is a synopsis of the game explained by wikipedia,

In the game, Sonic has to prevent Dr. Robotnik from collecting the six Chaos Emeraldsin an attempt to rule South Island. The player controls Sonic as he traverse six zones of three acts each. At the end of the third act of each zone, the player faces Dr. Robotnik in one of his vehicles.

The gameplaycenters around Sonic’s ability to run, jump, and roll at high speeds. Levels include springs, slopes, high falls and loop-de-loops, to allow the player to achieve high speeds. Essential to the gameplay are the signature power rings the player collects, which are regularly placed around the level map. While Sonic possesses at least one power ring, the player will not lose a life when injured. Instead, the rings the player has collected will fly outward from Sonic which can then be retrieved before they disappear. If the player runs into an enemy without possessing any power rings, he will lose a life. The game is over, when you lose all this lives.

Despite the various types of protection available, neither the shield, power rings, nor invincibility will prevent the player losing a life if Sonic is crushed (by a trap or between a wall and a moving platform), drowned, passes the ten-minute time limit, or falls into a pit.

Five Personal Finance Lessons From Sonic the Hedgehog

  1. Most People Should Diversify his or her Holdings – In the game you are trying to collect gold rings, for purposes of extra lives and hidden worlds, but you also want emeralds to actually win the game. So while I understand the argument against diversifying, I think most people should diversify their holdings.
  2. Going Fast is Sometimes Necessary but Dangerous – Anyone that has played the game knows that the freaky little creature can pick up some speed.  The speed is necessary to get through the complex world of Sonic, but can be dangerous when you run directly into an enemy.  I think in life you need to gain a some speed (whether that is through building multiple income streams or debt repayment) but you shouldn’t let life pass you by!
  3. All the Money in the World Doesn’t Stop Death – In Sonic, when you touched an enemy or landed on some spikes all your gold when flying all over the screen, but as long as you collected some of it back you’d be ok if you ran into a similar situation.  HOWEVER, even if you had all the money in the world you can’t save yourself from some types of death like drowning.
  4. You should always Keep some Friends Around – Sonic has his buddy Tails, who has 2 tails and can use them to fly (wow that sounds stupid, but it works in the game).  While we aren’t all lucky enough to have a friend that can fly, you should always utilize other’s strengths.
  5. You better Have an Emergency Fund – While we learned in Lesson #3 that money can’t save you from everything, it can save you from certain problems so keep your gold rings!

Bonus Lesson – Never trust balding, fat, evil doctors that have a weird laugh.

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Marnell Garrett 09/19/2009 - 9:13 am

Very cute. I grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog all the time, although I never quite master the game but it was still fun.

James 01/31/2011 - 4:08 pm

Love it. I used to be obsessed with sonic as a child, especially Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for gamecube. I had the coolest Chao 🙂


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