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Sonic Retro (formerly known as SSonicNET Database, Sonic the Hedgehog Information Treasury (SHIT) and the Sonic Retro Info Wiki) is a free content encyclopedia written collaboratively by contributors from around the world. It attempts to form a complete knowledge base for everything to do with Sonic the Hedgehog. The site is a wiki, which means that anyone can edit articles, simply by clicking on the "edit this page" link. It's the site you're looking at right now. The site currently has 4,487 articles. The front page features articles written by site staff, and links to the Sonic Retro forum, where fans can discuss various issues related to Sonic, ROM hacking and other topics. It has two sister sites: Sega Retro, which aims to be a comprehensive resource for all topics related to Sega, and SEGAbits, which covers news on Sega and all Sega franchises.
In mid-2004, scener LocalH brought up the idea of having a scene database similar to the Commodore 64 Scene Database, but for the Sonic hacking and research scene, to the staff of Sonic Classic and SSonicNET. On 14 September 2004, the SSonicNET Database was founded by Alexbt as a possible test project for Local H's vision. At that point, MediaWiki sites like this were not as common as they are today, and there were few if any Sonic-related wikis. With the early effort of some Sonic Classic staff members, the site grew into SHIT (Sonic the Hedgehog Information Treasury).
In March 2005, newly adminned staffer Scarred Sun made an offer to Sonic McTails, then-head of SSonicNET, to purchase SSonicNET because of a series of disputes the two had concerning the running of the SSonicNET Database. McTails declined the offer, and a plan to move the Sonic Classic forums and SHIT off McTails' server went ahead. On Friday 18 March, after hosting was finally granted, SClassic and SHIT made an impromptu switch to http://www.sclassic.net (now defunct.) SHIT was the first site on the new Sonic Classic to fully make the transition.
In May 2006, SHIT, Sonic Classic, and Sonic Hot Dimensions, the three main hostees of sclassic.net, were combined under the "Sonic Retro" moniker in order to help promote crosstraffic. After two months, due to infighting between the staffs of SClassic and SHD, the merger dissolved, and because of differing interests, Sonic Classic and SHIT went their separate ways in fall 2006. With that, SHIT absorbed the Sonic Retro name and became simply Sonic Retro.
In July 2007, the whole of CulTNET went down, and The Sonic 2 Beta Page went with it. After a period of downtime, Scarred Sun finally agreed to host the site on the Sonic Retro server. She and Sonic 2 Beta Page administrator Tweaker got to talking, and realized that their two sites had remarkably similar userbases. It was therefore decided that they should be merged. Scarred Sun made the announcement in September. The S2Beta forums would replace the old Retro forums, while the main site would be copied over to the wiki (though all the old pages would still exist at their old locations). This decision was met with mixed views, with nineko, Metal_Man88 and Guess Who in particular being highly opposed to the merge. Guess Who left the forums immediately after the merge was executed, although he returned almost a year afterwards. While nineko seemed to no longer have any qualms about it, Metal_Man88 remained vaguely annoyed at the merger, at least until it began to benefit the forums directly.
The Sonic Retro forums are considered by many to be the nexus of modern Sonic hacking. Protected by a required entrance validation system and the Pending Approval system, the amount of "misfits" is kept to a minimum. In addition to the hacking and research held in the main forums, there is an active social side to Retro, namely the IRC channel.
Awards and accolades
In 2005, Sonic Retro was nominated for several Sonic Site Awards, winning the Most Evolved Website award. By the time of the awards, Sonic Retro had progressed from non-existence to having over 1000 articles.