“Robotnik’s refineries are pumping at full steam. Crude oil has turned the ocean black! Can Sonic keep his footing on the slippery catwalks and bursting steam vents?”
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Manual
In the seventh level of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sega explicitly tied their nature-hating industrialist villain Dr Robotnik to oil production, with this harrowing visual of an ocean covered in oil. The scorching sun and double harmonic music evoke the many real-world petrostates of the Middle East. This imagery was used to mock British oil producer BP for its devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 years after the game’s release.
The zone returned in 2017’s Sonic Mania, where the oil would also catch fire and produce toxic smoke that gradually covers the screen.