Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ4 エピソードII Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Fō: Episōdo Tsū?) is a 2012 2.5D side-scrolling platformer for next-gen consoles and marks the second episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. It was announced with new levels, and due to the success of the first game, was developed with a higher budget. Notably, this game features Tails as Sonic the Hedgehog's sidekick, able to perform moves together with him and can be controlled by either the CPU or second player.
Plot (official website)
A few months after the events of Episode I, Little Planet, where Sonic CD took place, approaches once more. Dr. Eggman, who was defeated in the previous installment, knew that it was only the beginning of his big scheme that he had been planning in secrecy. Dr. Eggman planned the entire plan from the very beginning of Episode I.
Hearing that Little Planet has finally returned, Eggman eagerly hops back into action, the next phase of his scheme will begin to unfold. Elsewhere, Sonic the Hedgehog's old robot rival Metal Sonic has survived his defeat back in CD, though was left on Little Planet when it disappeared before. Eggman finds the Metal hedgehog and has made him even more powerful than before making Sonic no match for him.
Meanwhile, Sonic has found out about the Doctor and Metal Sonic being back, so he recruits his buddy Miles "Tails" Prower to help him face this new threat and set off to stop Eggman's latest scheme.
What was Dr. Eggman searching for in the Lost Labyrinth? What was Mad Gear built for? They were all a mere puzzle piece of a grandiose project schemed by Dr. Eggman. When Little Planet reappears, Dr. Eggman’s whole scheme will be revealed!
After the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Sonic and Tails are riding the Tornado through the clouds. Sonic orders Tails to land into Sylvania Castle Zone. They then make their way to the end of the castle and defeat Dr. Eggman in his new contraption: the Egg Serpentleaf.
They head into Eggman's amusement park amidst the snow mountains of White Park Zone, where they see a mechanical construction surrounding Little Planet in the skies above. They then come face to face with Metal Sonic on Tails' Rocket. He hops off and they battle. Sonic and Tails are victorious and they head to Eggman's newest base, the Oil Desert Zone. They then defeat Eggman's new Egg Scrap Mech and pursue him into the air on the Tornado, but are suddenly attacked by Metal Sonic in the new Metal Carrier. They land on the Sky Fortress Zone and manage to defeat Metal Sonic.
Eggman and Metal Sonic then flee to the Death Egg mk.II Zone, metallized around Little Planet. Sonic and Tails then defeat Metal Sonic and Eggman, pursuing Metal Sonic. They defeated him in a race similar fashion in Stardust Speedway from Sonic CD, leaving him out of the picture for the time being. The heroic duo make it to the center, where they defeat Eggman's new Egg Heart. The battle causes the Death Egg mk.II to be destroyed, but Sonic and Tails manage to escape in two escape pods and land down to Sonic's world, while the Death Egg mk.II is drained of its power and is left deactivated in space. Little Planet is presumably still trapped inside the Death Egg mk.II.
Description (official website)
Metal Sonic has returned to form a formidable alliance with Dr. Eggman. To face this new threat, Sonic will have to call upon an old friend to help him save the day. Joined by Tails, they utilize ingenious combination moves and race across four brand new Zones, in order to put an end to their evil plans. Play alone, or with a friend locally (and online), in an evolution of Sonic 2's collaborative gameplay! Unleash Sonic and Tails’ devastating joint attacks and combination moves to fight the united force of Metal Sonic and Dr. Eggman. Episode II features an all new game engine, bringing you updated physics and an original graphical style as you race through 4 unique Zones and a new Special Stage based on the one from Sonic 2.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal is an extra Episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 in which the player plays through harder versions of Episode I levels as Metal Sonic. Its story ties in with Episode II's story, much like Knuckles' story in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. It shows how Eggman restored Metal Sonic to power, how Metal Sonic received even more power by absorbing an energy orb in the Lost Labyrinth, and that Metal Sonic found Tails' rocket at the end of Splash Hill Zone. This Episode is actually not downloaded separately; it is part of Episode II, and if the game detects an Episode I save file with at least Splash Hill Zone Act 1 cleared, the content is unlocked. All the player must do is complete Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1, back out of the level select, and then go back into level select. This is available on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android and iOS.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II plays similar to the previous episode, but with several enhancements. Sonic is now accompanied by Tails, either controlled by the computer or a second player via local or online co-operative play (online support is not included on Android version due to lack of Socal gaming support although there's no word if Google Play Games services will be added in the next Android update). Unlike in the 16-bit titles, Tails cannot be played in single player and likewise Sonic can't be played on his own here. There are also new various combination moves that can be performed together, such as Tails lifting Sonic up to places he would be unable to reach otherwise, and the two can roll into a ball to perform a fast and powerful spin attack.
Special Stages in Episode II, also accessed the same way they are in Episode I, are based on the half-pipe style format introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in which the player is required to collect a certain number of rings before the goal in order to obtain a Chaos Emerald. Also returning are the Red Star Rings that have previously appeared in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. One Red Ring is hidden per act, and an Achievement or Trophy is unlocked after collecting them all. There is also cross-compatibility planned for the XBLA and Windows Phone 7 versions, allowing players to alternate their games between them using Cloud Saving.
Owners of both Episode I and II (provided they are both on the same unit) will unlock free Episode Metal content in Episode II. Episode Metal explains how Metal Sonic came back to life after being defeated in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Players play as Metal Sonic through four acts, all of which are reworked zones from Episode I, explaining the significance of those zones to the story as well.
|Sonic the Hedgehog||After the battle from Episode I, Sonic's rest comes to an end as Little Planet re-approaches. Sonic finds out that Eggman is back in action on the neighboring continent. He sets off on the Tornado to investigate the continent with his sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower. His best friend.|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||Sonic's sidekick (who first appeared in Sonic 2) who made the rocket to head to E.G.G Station and was secretly supporting Sonic in Ep: I. In Ep: II he's back in center stage as an active sidekick who Sonic can rely on. He can fly by rotating his 2 tails and will assist Sonic with the Combo Moves in Ep: II.|
|Metal Sonic||The worthy opponent who was thought to be destroyed during the battle of Stardust Speedway in "Sonic CD". He was in fact severely damaged,and left alone on Little Planet for years. Now as the Little Planet re-approaches, and with the close support of Dr. Eggman, Metal Sonic is resurrected and back in full force. Ready to have a rematch with our true blue hero.|
|Dr. Eggman||Dr. Eggman's E.G.G Station was destroyed in Episode: I. However as Little Planet re-approaches, the grand project set up by Dr. Eggman has now come into its 2nd stage, under a veil of secrecy and stealth.|
- Egg Serpentleaf
- Metal Sonic
- Egg Scrap Mech
- Metal Carrier
- Metal Sonic and Eggmobile
- Metal Sonic (race)
- Egg Heart
|Fullboar||A Boar type robot newly developed by Dr. Eggman based on his research results from Episode I. They have been created with rich color variation, but Sonic should be extra careful of the formidable red ones that come charging towards him.|
|Spikes||A Hermit crab type robot which has been newly developed for cold regions. The spines on its hard shell will repel any attacks done by Sonic alone. There must be another way to defeat it...|
|Steelion||A newly developed subaquatic Sealtype robot. Its breath can freeze the water around them in an instant, creating obstacles when Sonic needs to look for air bubbles.|
|Zoomer||A newly developed Kingfisher inspired robot. It usually flies over the water surface, but as it finds Sonic and Tails underwater, it will dart down at them.|
|Scarabesque||A Dung Beetle type Badnik designed for use in desert areas. It can generate an infnite amount of large boulders that explode while rolling. A troublesome enemy that is always there in undesirable places.|
|Sandworm||A newly developed large Centipede type Badnik designed for use in desert areas. You never know when they will suddenly emerge from quicksand, and be mindful of its robust body that is resistant to attacks.|
|Bubbles||Bubbles is a balloon fish type robot who returns back from the ruins of Angel Island. Due to Eggman's budget cuts, not all versions of Bubbles are spiked. However, watch out for the red ones!|
|Mantis||A Grasshopper type robot which was also featured in "MARBLE GARDEN ZONE" in "Sonic 3". Since they can suddenly jump without notice, their moves are unpredictable. Be careful not to bump into them.|
|Flamer||A new series of Sea Urchin type robots which were developed based on the "Orbinauts" & "Spike Spinners" featured in Episode I. The blasting flames of the burners are certainly dangerous, but those fires will spread widely in oily places. Take extra care.|
|Turtloid||A Turtle type Badnik last seen in "SKY CHASE ZONE" in "Sonic 2". It serves as a guardian of Metal Sonic's weapon unit "Metal Carrier."|
|Snowy||A newly developed Polar Bear type robot for cold regions. It's specialty is unleashing powerful attacks with its super heavy body. Its body is also tough, and this makes it a formidable enemy that will not be taken down with just a few attacks.|
|Clucker||A Chicken type Badnik last seen defending "WING FORTRESS ZONE" in "Sonic 2". They will stand in Sonic and his friends' way, deployed everywhere within the incredibly enormous "Sky Fortress" as fixed batteries.|
|Chop Chop||A Piranha inspired robot which was last seen in "AQUATIC RUIN ZONE" in "Sonic 2". It lurks underwater hunting for its next victim. Once they spot Sonic and his friends, nothing will stop their rapid approach and attempt to crush them with its powerful jaw.|
|Balkiry||A battle plane type bird robot last seen in "SKY CHASE ZONE" from "Sonic 2". A whole bunch of them can be shot out of Metal Sonic's weapon unit, "Metal Carrier", in Episode II.|
Item Box Power-Ups
- Super Ring (Holds 10 rings)
- 1-Up (Extra life)
- Power Sneakers (Makes you run faster for a limited time)
- Invincibility (Makes you invincible for a limited time)
- Shield (Protects you from a single hit)
- Combo Attack (A golden item box that makes Sonic and Tails attack all enemies on-screen and gives you points and rings if you score enough, by pressing the jump button repetadly.)
Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II play akin to the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic and Tails must collect a certain amount of rings, the amount increases after hitting a checkpoint though, unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails can collect rings, but will not lose his share if he touches any bombs, although this is only true for Single Player. Also, unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player can boost by holding the Tag Action button, and while there is no time limit, there is a timer, used for Time Attack scores.
In February 2011, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was confirmed to be in early development. Sega Brand Manager Ken Balough has mentioned that "the idea is to introduce new zones with things you haven't seen." He has also hinted that Episode II may have a larger budget than Episode I, due to the latter being received very well commercially. Balough also mentioned that many ideas for Episode II were planned while the first episode was being developed.  Sega of America Community Manager Aaron Webber also hinted that Tails may appear in Episode II as well. On 23 August 2011, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka stated that “this year, 2011, is the anniversary, so we’re focusing on the celebration title, but moving forward to 2012, Sonic will still be going, so I’d hope to provide Episode 2 then.” He also said that Sonic Team “knew about the anniversary year," and that "Generations was planned way in advance," therefore "it was always our plan to release Episode 2 after Generations.” In preparation for Episode II's release, Sega re-released Sonic the Hedgehog CD to digital platforms in Winter 2011, billing it as a 'prequel' to Sonic 4 as the events of Episode II would rely heavily on what occurred in CD.
On 29 December, some new information on Episode II was revealed along with a teaser trailer, including the return of both Metal Sonic and Tails, and an updated graphics and physics engine. Platforms confirmed for release are Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and PC. It has also been confirmed that no Wii version of Episode II will be released due to hardware constraints.
On 21 April 2012, Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode II was accidentally temporarily released to people who confirmed their pre-order of the game on Steam before it was removed the next day. Known as the "Beta 8" edition, it was quickly dismissed by Ken Balough as an early prototype version that does not necessarily represent the final version, although it was instead found to be virtually complete with very minimal differences. 
Due to a near complete rewrite of iOS for the iOS 7 update, this game is no longer compatible with iOS devices running on iOS 7. Sega has announced that they are working on a fix, but nothing related to the game had been released. The fans of the game were unsure as to if game's iOS support has been scrapped or not. They fixed the game on January 11, 2016 with an official update, and put the game back in the store along with the first episode of the game.
As of March 2012, Sega currently has no plans for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 beyond Episode II. Takashi Iizuka says that Sega is looking forward to user feedback and wants to see how users accept this episode. During the PAX East 2012, Cheat Code Central spoke with Sega representatives who informed that the company would be taking Sonic games "one at a time". It was said that if Episode II sells well, an Episode III will likely be developed, as well as a possible Episode IV if that does well in turn. However, in January 2015 in a Facebook interview with pre-Sonic 4 Brand Manager Ken Balough, he confirms Episode III was scrapped, but that there is a small chance that it will happen.
Note: Due to the lack of social gaming networks on the Android Version (depsite having another one Google recently made as of October 2013), the Android version of this game does not offer Achievements support.
|The Adventure Begins||Clear Sylvania Castle Zone, Act 1. (5G)|
|Rolling Combo!||Activate the Rolling Combo with Sonic and Tails. (5G)|
|Metal Sonic Falls||Defeat Metal Sonic in Sky Fortress Zone, Act 1. (5G)|
|A Golden Wave||Defeat all bosses as Super Sonic. (10G)|
|All Stages Cleared!||Defeat the final foe and watch the ending. (10G)|
|Tag Partner||Upload a Multiplayer score or time. (10G)|
|I Love Tails||Play as Tails 50 times. (10G)|
|Ring Collector||Beat Special Stage 1 after collecting every Ring. (15G)|
|Endurance Race||Clear all stages without returning to the World Map. (25G)|
|All Chaos Emeralds Found!||Collect all seven Chaos Emeralds. (30G)|
|Proof of Speed||Clear Sylvania Castle Zone, Act 1 in one minute or less. (35G)|
|All Red Star Rings Found!||
Defeat the final boss after collecting all the Red Star Rings. (40G)
- This is the first game since Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (or Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) or Unleashed in Minigame in the mainstream games) to promote Tails as a playable character (not counting the digital re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog CD).
- Also in creativity for promoting Tails, the art and styling for the game's pre-release box art represents Tails' two tails in place of the Number 2. This is also featured in the game's teaser trailer.
- The color of Sandworm looks very similar to its iteration, Caterkiller.
- The first boss, before it actually occurs, pokes fun at Episode I's use of rehashing by tricking players into thinking the boss would be a variation on the Aquatic Ruin Zone boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. After the totem poles pop up, however, the Egg Serpentleaf destroys the poles before the fight begins.
- This is the first Sonic game to promote Tails carrying Sonic underwater. The first to feature it was Sonic Advance 3 with Tails' mid air tag action.
- This game celebrates the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As well as the title card paying homage to said game (which is similar to Episode I which pays homage to the original Sonic the Hedgehog), the Special stages are given a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 style. This style of special stage was also previously used in Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Sonic Rush, and Sonic Colors (DS version)
- This game also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Tails' first appearance.
- The snowboard from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Adventure, in IceCap Zone returns in White Park Zone Act 1.
- It appears that Metal Sonic has stolen the rocket Tails made, the one that is used to get to the Final Zone in Sonic 4: Episode I.
- This game marks the return of Little Planet from Sonic CD.
- The music in the 2nd trailer is a remix of the menu music from Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. It was rumored that remix would be in the game, but it was nowhere to be found.
- Red Star Rings make a return, though they only exist for the achievement/trophy in game.
- The warning signs from Sonic Generations are also back.
- Super Sonic is playable in ordinary boss fights, which is the first time since Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles to do so.
- According to the world map of Episode II and Episode Metal, Sylvania Castle Zone, White Park Zone and Oil Desert Zone are adjacent and are on the same island of the Episode I world map.
- Metal Sonic's artwork is extremely similar to his Sonic Generations artwork, except in his Modern design.
- Due to a mistake on Steam, very few lucky gamers who purchased Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II were able to play through the "Beta 8" version of the whole game and Episode Metal on 14 April. The Beta 8 is a near-final with the inclusion of a hidden debug command for 99 Rings, although there are some performance issues with full screen on some computers and very occasionally textures will fail to load properly (noticeable in Sylvania Castle Zone's trees and the Death Egg mk.II on the map screen). The Beta 8 was made unavailable the next day and Steam locked its playability.
- Unlike Episode I, Episode II contains 3D cutscenes. An example of this is once you beat the final boss (the Egg Heart) a cutscene shows with Sonic and Tails fleeing the Death Egg Mk.II in escape pods. In at least the Android and iOS versions, the cutscenes are FMVs and not done in-engine, using videos ripped from PC and console gameplay - an inverse since the previous game was primarily developed for iOS rather than the other way around.
- Due to this, there are slight graphical discrepancies, the most noticeable at the beginning of the first act. In the PC/console, the Tornado lands and Sonic and Tails jump onto the ground, immediately starting the level with no fade-out or loading time. The Android and iOS versions fade-out to black right after the cutscene and then start the level.
- Unlike Episode I's Special Stages, this Episode's Special Stages do not contain a time limit; rather, a Time Bonus is rewarded at the end of the stage depending on how long it takes the player to finish.
- Additionally, when Sonic and Tails pass through a gate with insufficient rings, there is no "not enough rings..." message and thumbs-down icon appearing. Instead, an animation of Sonic and Tails stopping and looking disappointed is seen.
- Oddly, the Chaos Emeralds in this game seem to be bigger than Sonic's head.
- The Special Stages, while being based on those seen in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, have a feature that is also included in Sonic Rush, and Sonic Colors which is jumping at the end of the right and left sides of the track.
- Super Sonic's physics remain unchanged from Episode I because Sonic Team didn't see any problem with them, according to Ken Balough.
- On the icon for the trophy/achievement for getting all the Chaos Emeralds, the order of the Chaos Emeralds is flipped vertically from the order in Episode I.
- Episode I did not feature any kind of Retina support. Episode II features Retina support for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4G), but not for the iPad 3.
- A comic adaptation was made for the game, and was put into Sonic Super Special Magazine Issue 3.
- The victory poses of Sonic after a boss battle are the same as his stance in Sonic Advance.
- The in-game description refers to the Tornado as Tails' plane. This is incorrect as the original Tornado model airplane belongs to Sonic.
- This game and Sonic Generations are the only games where Sonic can de-transform from his Super state at will; even then, it is only possible in Generations in Planet Wisp by using a Color Power. In Sonic 4: Ep II, it can be done anytime simply by performing a Tag Action. It is extremely helpful if the player wants to conserve rings.
- Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, only one boss in this game (the redux of the Stardust Speedway boss on the Death Egg Mk.II) is based on a boss from the classic games.
- There are slight graphical differences between the mobile versions and the PC/console versions:
- When Tails walks in front of or behind Sonic, he becomes slightly translucent in the PC/console versions. This effect is lost in the mobile versions.
- The lower iOS version (for iPhone and iPod touch) removes Sonic and Tails' facial expressions during levels. They're still present in the cutscenes, however, as those are from the PC/console versions.
- The ripples in the air that Sonic makes when he performs a homing attack are not present in the mobile versions, as with the previous episode.
- There is an unused "To be Continued" scene found in the coding of the game. Originally, it was to play after the player defeated the Egg Heart of Death Egg Mk.II with all seven Chaos Emeralds. This proves that Sega has considered an Episode III.
- The shapes of the continents on the Earth in Episode II are shaped differently than Episode I.
- The ending music of every stage in the game, seems to be a remade version of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) music when finishing a stage as well.
- ↑ http://blogs.sega.com/2013/07/08/sonic-the-hedgehog-4-episode-i-and-ii-are-now-available-on-ouya-sonic-cd-to-follow/
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/sonic-the-hedgehog-4-episode-2/videos/sonic-the-hedgehog-4-episode-2-ken-balough-interview-6348001?tag=updates%3Blatest%3Ball%3Btitle%3B1
- ↑ http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?520516-Sonic-the-Hedgehog-4-Episode-III-is-NEVER-HAPPENING-Maybe