Did you know Sega and Falcom intended to team up to remake Falcom’s PC hit game Popful Mail into a Sonic spin-off game called Sister Sonic?
What the Hell is Sister Sonic?
It sounds kind of ridiculous at this point, but the proposed game would star characters from the Sonic franchise replacing the original Popful Mail‘s cast. Sonic’s long lost sister would replace Mail herself. Reports from the North American game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly in early 1993 told of the game being in development through the joint venture. It was supposed to be shown at the Tokyo Toy Fair but never appeared.
A letter writing campaign from fans of the original Popful Mail game luckily convinced the two companies to halt their changes and instead work on a more faithful port of the game for the Mega CD.
Working Designs’ Victor Ireland told interviewer John Szczepaniak what he knew of the project. It legitimizes the rumors printed in EGM.
JS: Please tell me a little about this “sister sonic” rumour I keep reading about regarding the US release. Is it true Sega wanted to remake the game as a Sonic spin-off?
VI: I believe it is true because that is what I was told by the head of the Consumer Soft division at SEGA of Japan. We were working on Vay at the time, and the company that was doing that title (SIMS, an acronym for the last names of the company partners) was part-owned by him. He was in the building, and we got along quite well, so he decided to show me some games in-progress. Popful Mail had just been rejected as Sister Sonic at that point, according to him. He offered it to us. That deal led directly to Dragon Force and Iron Storm.
Seeing as how Popful Mail is a fairly solid game and Sonic spin-offs are generally hit and miss, I think it’s quite possible we lucked out!