Ecco the Dolphin is the collective name given to a series of action-adventure science fiction video games developed by Novotrade International (known nowadays as Appaloosa Interactive) published by Sega, which primarily take place underwater. They were originally developed for the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Dreamcast video game consoles, but have since been ported to numerous systems. The games are named after their main character, Ecco, a young Bottlenose Dolphin. They are known for their high difficulty level. Ecco was created by Ed Annunziata, who also produced Chakan: The Forever Man.
The Ecco the Dolphin games hinge on the idea that cetaceans are sapient beings and have their own society. In the Mega Drive games, humans aren't acknowledged. The cetaceans call themselves "singers". In the Dreamcast game, dolphins and presumably other cetaceans have united with humans in a cross-species society.
Ecco himself is a young adult male Bottlenose Dolphin, though his gender was ambiguous in the original game. He is very strong and intelligent, even for a cetacean. He is also able to use many unusual powers, such as shapechanging and using his sonar as a weapon. He has five distinct markings on his head; they are stars that form the constellation Delphinus.
Released on July 30th, 1992, the original game followed the exploits of a young dolphin named Ecco as he searched the seas, and eventually time itself, for his missing pod.
Also known as Ecco: The Tides of Time. It was released on August 25th, 1994, the sequel follows Ecco's exploits after the conclusion of the original game as he travels the oceans, the past, and the future in his quest to save the planet once more.
Released on August 15th, 1995, this title was intended as edutainment and lacked the sophistication and difficulty of the previous two titles in series.
Released on June 16th, 2000 and unconnected to the other titles in the series, this Dreamcast title reinvisioned the Ecco mythos in a new Earth with a new premise.
Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe is an unannounced, unreleased sequel to Defender of the Future that was discovered in an eBay auction. All that has been shown so far is a level list and an ingame screenshot, as well as two videos of Ecco swimming in a level called Atlantis. The loading screen for the stage was upside-down in the prototype. Another prototype screenshot shows a debug menu listing some levels; in addition to Atlantis, other level names include "Ancient City", "Galleon's Fort", "Home of Narwhals", "Hanging Spheres", and "Hanging Caverns".
Storylines and portsEdit
The Ecco the Dolphin games can be divided into two distinct storylines: the Mega Drive/Genesis games (Ecco the Dolphin, Ecco: The Tides of Time, and Ecco Jr.) and the Dreamcast game (Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future).
Ecco the Dolphin and Ecco: The Tides of Time were both re-released for the Sega Mega-CD, Master System and Game Gear, and Defender of the Future was re-released for the PlayStation 2. The Mega-CD version of Ecco the Dolphin was also ported to Microsoft Windows in 1995. Ecco the Dolphin was also re-released on the Game Boy Advance as part of the fourth Sega Smash Pack. All of the Mega Drive games have been ported for Nintendo's Virtual Console and Valve's Steam and the first game was ported to Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.
Two six-part comic book series of Ecco the Dolphin stories based on the first game were featured in Sonic the Comic. Series one was written by Woodrow Phoenix and drawn by Chris Webster in 1993. Series two followed in 1995.