Origin of Sonic Epoch
PC vs. GBA
FUS - Epoch Era
Super Sponge Bros.
Fans United for SatAM in the Epoch EraThese days there's probably not a lot of Internet dwellers who remember how present-day Fans United for SatAM came around. It was in effect a byproduct of the original Sonic Epoch game, and in fact Epoch's creator came up with the original ancronym, but also had to do with Sonic the Hedgehog Internet politics of the time. "Sonique", as she was known, was partly inspired by the spirit of Epoch and by the other SatAM fans that were struggling that she spun off a website designed, at the time, to be a gathering place for Sonic the Hedgehog fans who primarily were interested in SatAM. To make this point clear, let's review a time that many have probably forgotten...
In the late 90s-early 2000s timeframe, there was a lot of divisive nature among Sonic fans over which variety was "best." There were essentially three: Sega's mainline, SatAM, and Archie Comics. (Sonic Underground appeared in this timeframe but never really seemed to gain the notoriety of these others and was often more seen simply as a poor replacement for SatAM.)
Sega's mainline of course generally conflicted with SatAM. In the 90s, the Sega plots were simple, but had core elements -- Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Robotnik ("Eggman" only in Japan back then) as characters, and 7 "Chaos Emeralds" that were the source of all power. Every game was Dr. Robotnik transforming helpless animals into mechanical slaves with Sonic and friends to the rescue. First introduced in Sonic CD and then later in Sonic Adventure, Amy the pink hedgehog held Sonic as her romantic interest. Despite the sinister nature of the simple plot, the environments were always bright and colorful, with catchy, upbeat music to drive the experience.
Contrary to everything above, SatAM had a dark setting (especially for a Saturday morning kids show), there were a few more characters, Chaos Emeralds were essentially replaced with the "Deep Power Stones", and the world is (mostly) far from bright and colorful. The same basic frame of a plot is followed, but expounded upon greatly for dramatic purposes.
Archie Comics started a bit before the time of SatAM and yet persists today. Very early issues were more or less based on the video games, while issues at its peak popularity were more or less based on SatAM. Since it has outlasted SatAM it occasionally associated itself with the video games and other times is on its own path.
The mainline and SatAM fans had the most clashes at this time which was interesting since both were basically "in trouble" at this point -- Sega was dropping the ball on its failing console market and SatAM had been cancelled after only two seasons on a cliffhanger. In any case, fierce Internet battles were fought over trivial issues about styles and as vicious as which girl (of Amy and Sally) was the best for Sonic. Issues of "loyalty" to the brand (i.e. what Sega says should be right) were argued over the richer experience of the cartoon show. Archie fans complicated the matter because they weren't really compatible with either, but often tried to fit themselves in as the best of both worlds (when realistically they were not the best of either.)
While mainline fans had numbers and content on their sides, not to mention officially sanctioned by Sonic's original creators, SatAM fans were a proud bunch of their own Sonic interpretation. Sonique's Fans United for SatAM, better known as FUS, was born to give them a place to congregate safely without risk of the mainline fans bashing their fandom. The website has changed hands, been radically redesigned, and its original purpose mostly forgotten, although vestiges of its past remain. FUS was the official home of Sonic Epoch and also had its own "Sea3on" (Season 3) comic designed to faithfully extend the SatAM plot. This project still exists in a form that is much more feasible than it used to be, probably in part due to better tools, and also due to some monetary incentive.
In any case, here are some old artifacts from the FUS that existed in the Epoch Era:
Summer/Fall (??) 2002
December 1 2002