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Sonic the Hedgehog 2

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Quotation1 Welcome to Sonic Land! Quotation2
From the Japanese trailers.
For the Master System and Game Gear game of the same name, see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit).

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or simply Sonic 2, is a platform game developed by Sonic Team in collaboration with Sega Technical Institute, and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis. It was released in Japan on November 20 of 1992 and in North America and Europe four days later on November 24. It is the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog and was followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 1994. The game introduces Miles "Tails" Prower as an addition to the cast and a new playable character.[1] The game follows the events of the 8-bit version which was released earlier.

The story follows Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails on their mission to stop the evil Doctor Robotnik from stealing the Chaos Emeralds to power his Death Egg. Sonic and Tails must defeat Robotnik's army and free their friends.

Six months after its release it had sold around six million copies and became the best selling game on the Mega Drive. The game was compatible with Sonic & Knuckles' lock-on feature which allowed the player to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2. It has been included in a number of compilation packages on a range of platforms; on June 11 2007, the game was made available on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console,[2] and released for Xbox Live Arcade on September 12 2007.[3] On April 27, 2011, it had came to the PlayStation Network


Title Screen - Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic 2 title screen

At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik's Scrap Brain facility was destroyed, but the evil doctor narrowly escaped.

Now, Robotnik is back and plans to conquer the world once more. He secretly follows Sonic's biplane, the Tornado, to his vacation spot, West Side Island. According to legend, an ancient civilization once abused the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds on West Side Island. Sonic meets a peculiar two-tailed fox named Miles Prower, better known as "Tails". The two become good friends. Meanwhile, Robotnik begins his search for the Chaos Emeralds to fuel his new Death Egg warship. One afternoon, he launches his full-scale attack on the island. He imprisons all of the animals of the island and turns them into mindless worker drones called Badniks, much like the first game. Fortunately, Sonic is determined to thwart the Doctor at all costs. This time, he isn't alone, as Tails decides to aid him. Together they must locate the Emeralds before Robotnik does, and stop him before the Death Egg is complete.[1]





Animal Friends


Robotnik appears in his customized Eggmobiles at the end of each Zone. This means, he will usually appear at the end of each second Act, except in the Metropolis Zone (which has three Acts) and the Death Egg Zone (which has only one). Eight hits are required to defeat each boss.

  1. Drill Eggman (Emerald Hill Zone)
  2. Water Eggman (Chemical Plant Zone)
    Aquatic Ruin Boss

    Knuckles fighting Hammer Eggman

  3. Hammer Eggman (Aquatic Ruin Zone)
  4. Catcher Eggman (Casino Night Zone)
  5. Submarine Eggman (Hill Top Zone)
  6. Drill Eggman 2 (Mystic Cave Zone)
  7. Submarine Eggman 2 (Oil Ocean Zone)
  8. Flying Eggman (Metropolis Zone Act 3)
  9. Barrier Eggman (Wing Fortress Zone)
  10. Mecha Sonic (Death Egg Zone)
  11. Death Egg Robot (Final Boss)


Single player

Aquatic Ruins from Sonic 2 for Mega Drive

Aquatic Ruin Zone

Chemical Plant

Chemical Plant Zone

The gameplay of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 builds upon the basic set-up of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. The player finishes each level, generally moving from left to right, within a time limit of ten minutes. Along the way, rings are collected and Badniks are defeated. Star posts serve as checkpoints, where if the player were to lose a life then he or she would return to one.[1] When the player has collected at least 50 rings, star post will have sparkles on top that you can jump on for an optional Special Stage.[1] At the end of Act 2, Sonic confronts Dr. Robotnik, although there is an exception in the Metropolis level in which there are 3 stages.[1]

Although zones have grown significantly in size since Sonic the Hedgehog, they now consist of two acts instead of three (with the exception of the Metropolis Zone, which has three acts, and the three final zones, which each have one), and there is greater emphasis on variety between levels. The gameplay has also become even faster; to that end, Sonic is able to perform a new special move referred to as the Spin Dash Attack.[1] The Spin Dash attack allows Sonic to spin in place, as if revving up an engine, before taking off at high speeds from a stationary start. Sonic's running motion also features longer strides.

Special Stages track Sonic from behind while he runs through a (semi-) three-dimensional half-pipe course filled with rings and bombs. A certain amount of rings must be collected to pass through two checkpoints and then obtain the emerald itself. If the player runs into one of the many bombs (increasing in number as the emeralds are captured) he will lose a set amount of rings, varying depending on the stage. The order of stages is fixed in rising difficulty, and Sonic cannot enter the next stage without passing the previous (unlike Sonic 1). Whether the player is able to obtain the emerald or not, Sonic is transported back to the last star post he hit in the zone when the special stage is over and has zero rings.[1]

From the options menu, players can select to either play as Sonic alone, Tails alone or Sonic and Tails.[1] By default, players control Sonic while Tails tags along unhindered. However, a second player may control Tails separately. Should Tails move off-screen, falls off in the void, or dies after getting hit above, he will eventually return. There is minimal difference when playing as Tails instead of Sonic. Tails cannot fly when played as in this game, though he is several pixels smaller than Sonic, meaning he needn't duck in some instances.

Sonic and Tails' Abilities

Name Sonic sprite Tails sprite Description
Walk Sonic walk2 Tails walk Push left or right on the D-pad to initiate Sonic's movement in either direction. As you hold the button down, Sonic gains speed.
Run Sonic run2 Tails run Begin walking and hold down the button to make Sonic gain speed. After a few seconds, he'll break into a run.
Screech halt Sonic screech2 Tails screech While running, quickly press and hold the opposite direction on the D-pad to make Sonic screech to a halt. He'll skid for a short distance, based on how fast he was moving.
Look up Sonic lookup2 Tails lookup While standing still, press up on the D-pad to make Sonic gaze to the sky. Continue holding up for a few moments and the camera pans upward, giving you a view of Sonic's overhead surroundings.
Crouch Sonic crouch2 Tails crouch While standing still, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic duck down. As you hold down, the camera pans downward, giving you a view of the stage beneath where Sonic stands.
Spin Sonic spin2 Tails spin While moving, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic curl into a rolling attack. He'll remain in this position until you jump or slow down. The speed of Sonic's movement while in spin mode is based on how fast you're moving when you launch it, and also on the terrain Sonic rolls along.
Spin jump
Sonic spin jump2 Tails spin jump Press button A, B or C at any time to make Sonic leap into the air with a spin attack. The height of the jump is proportional to how long you hold the button down.
Push Sonic push2 Tails push Green springs in the Oil Ocean Zone can be pushed by running up against them. Continue holding the D-pad against the spring to have Sonic push it into the wall.
Super Spin Dash Sonic spindash Tails spindash While crouching, tap the A, B, or C buttons to have Sonic rev up with a stationary spin. Keep tapping the jump buttons to build up momentum, and let go of the D-pad to dash off with a full speed rolling attack.


Sonic2 SkyChase

Sky Chase Zone

  1. Emerald Hill Zone
  2. Chemical Plant Zone
  3. Aquatic Ruin Zone
  4. Casino Night Zone
  5. Hill Top Zone
  6. Mystic Cave Zone
  7. Oil Ocean Zone
  8. Metropolis Zone
  9. Sky Chase Zone
  10. Wing Fortress Zone
  11. Death Egg Zone

Super Sonic

Obtaining all seven Chaos Emeralds by clearing all of the special stages will unlock a new feature; Sonic's ability to change into Super Sonic. Sonic changes into his "Super Form" when he has collected at least 50 rings and jumps into the air. At this point, he glows yellow and is virtually invincible, although he can still get killed by drowning, getting crushed, falling off the screen, or running out of time. His speed, acceleration, and jump height are all increased as well. This means that it is much more difficult to control Sonic in this form, especially when the player needs to make precise jumps (Wing Fortress Zone is notoriously difficult as Super Sonic, for this reason. This is possibly why in later games a double jump was the trigger to transform, giving the player more control over when to do so). However, his Spin Dash Attack is decreased in effectiveness as the initial velocity is decreased rapidly. Super Sonic consumes one ring per second, and when he has no rings left or he reaches the end of the act, he reverts to his normal state, severely crippling the player as they are left with no rings.

If the game is played with Tails only and the player manages to collect all of the Chaos Emeralds, nothing happens.

Two player

In two player versus mode, players compete against each other - either as Tails or Sonic - in a split-screen race through three regular zones and one special stage.[1] Regular zones include Emerald Hill, Casino Night and Mystic Cave and have different music from their one player counterparts, while the Special Stage is similar to the Emerald Stage in single player. In the regular levels, players are ranked in five areas (score, time, rings held at the end of the level, total rings collected, and number of item boxes broken), with the player scoring highest in the most levels winning the round, while in the Special Stage, players compete to obtain the most rings.[1] Once one player finishes one of the regular levels, the other player must finish the zone within 60 seconds or lose a life.[1]

In case of a tie, an additional Special Stage round must be completed. Also, to heighten the stakes, there are two unique items in versus-mode: a teleport item that instantly switches positions between players in a zone, and a Robotnik item that damages the unlucky player. Furthermore, an optional setting allows that all item boxes in two-player mode are only teleports.

Special Stages

Sonic 2 SpecialStage

Special Stages in Sonic 2

In Sonic 2, there are 7 special stages. When Sonic has collected at least 50 rings and he hits a Star Post, a red halo of stars will briefly float above it, which Sonic can then jump through to get to a special stage.

Special Stages track Sonic from behind while he runs through a three-dimensional half-pipe course filled with rings and bombs. A set amount of rings must be collected to pass through three checkpoints and eventually obtain the emerald itself. Playing co-operatively with Tails (as seen in the screenshot) raised some of the ring targets in the early stages, for example in the beginning of the first stage 40 rings were required to pass rather than 30. The order of stages is fixed in rising difficulty, and Sonic cannot enter the next stage without passing the previous (unlike Sonic 1). Whether the player is able to obtain the emerald or not, Sonic is transported back to the last lamp post he hit in the zone when the special stage is over and has zero rings.

On return from a Special Stage, the entire zone is reset (except the game timer) - the player is without rings but all the thumb|300px|right|Special Stagecollected item boxes and rings reappear (although unfortunately so do the badniks). Also, if Sonic activates a Star Post, all the Star Posts before that one will be activated as well, whether or not with 50 rings in hand. This created a tactical element to getting the most out of each zone in terms of opportunities to grab Emeralds. It is possible to collect all seven within Emerald Hill Zone, provided the player is careful with the order in which Star Posts are activated (and indeed, very skilled at the Special Stages).

Development and release

While Sonic the Hedgehog was designed by Sonic Team in Japan, development duties for Sonic 2 were handed over to Sega Technical Institute in the United States. However experienced Japanese Sega members such as Yuji Naka and Hirokazu Yasuhara (the first game's lead programmer and game planner respectively) were brought in to work alongside the American developers.[4]

Prototype versions

Sonic2 HiddenPalace

Hidden Palace Zone, as seen in the prototype version of Sonic 2.

Deleted Wood Zone

The Wood Zone, one of the scrapped levels in Sonic 2.

Main article: Sonic 2 Beta

A prototype of the game, dating from before Sonic 2 itself, was discovered on a Chinese GeoCities site and has been widely distributed on the Internet. Only four levels can be played in "normal" gameplay; the rest (including several incomplete stages) have to be accessed through the level select code. Many are not entirely playable, but can be explored using the debug code. The prototype is frequently examined by hackers to determine how Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was developed. It was recently stated in an interview with Yuji Naka that this beta was from a demonstration cartridge that was stolen at a toy show in New York in 1992.[5] Akinori Nishiyama has also stated that the leak was due to the lack of security at the time.[6]

In Asia and Brazil, the prototype version was put on cartridges and passed off as the final version by pirates who have altered it slightly to stop the Sega logo from showing when the game boots up, as was common practice.

Game Gear/Master System version

A game also entitled Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released for the Master System and Game Gear consoles shortly before the release of the Sega Mega Drive version. Although the names are the same, the storylines, zones, Badniks and gameplay are completely different. It also does not contain Super Sonic, Spin Dash and Tails is not a playable character.

Sonic 2 with Sonic & Knuckles


Knuckles in Sonic 2 title screen

Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a game activated by locking Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to the pass-through cartridge of Sonic & Knuckles that was released later by Sega. The resulting game is almost identical to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, except that the player plays as Knuckles the Echidna. As Knuckles has abilities and weaknesses that Sonic and Tails do not, the game is an overall different experience. Knuckles can glide in the air and climb walls with ease, which allows him to access areas otherwise unreachable by Sonic and Tails, while his weaker jumping abilities make some situations, such as certain boss fights (particularly the final boss of Death Egg Zone), more difficult. The two-player mode and options screen have also been removed. Players who are most familiar with the level layouts in Sonic 2 will notice a few minor differences. Unlike in the default game, when a player activates a star-post and enters the special stage, the ring count remains upon returning to the regular stage, which as a result makes it easier to gain the 7 Chaos Emeralds.


The game sold an overall of 6 million copies worldwide and is the best selling game for it's respective console. Due to the popularity of its predecessor Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2 already had an established fan base anticipating its release.[7] The release of Sonic 2 was the main reason that Sega caught up to Nintendo in the "console wars". It brought their market share up to 50% within six months of its release.[8] It went on to be the best selling game for the Mega Drive/Genesis, selling around six million copies altogether.[9] It was well received by most gaming reviewers. It was praised for its large levels,[8] colourful graphics and backgrounds,[10][8] increased cast of characters and enemies alike,[7] and music. Gamespot stated that "Time may have eroded Sega's prominence, but it hasn't done much to diminish how sweet Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is." and, along with other reviewers, commented on how it is still a fun game to play.[7][8]

The game's main criticism's were of the two player mode that was a new introduction to the series. It suffered from slow down and some visual problems such as flickering and the small area for each player. It only offered four different zones that could be played with two players.[10]



For more, see : Sonic the Hedgehog 2/Gallery



The game was released in Japan for the Sega Mega Drive on November 20, 1992. The Sega Genesis release in the United States and the European Mega Drive release came three days later on November 24, a Tuesday, and the release day was dubbed "Sonic 2's Day". Sega claims that they sold 400,000 copies of Sonic 2 in the first five days after release. It has since been re-released as part of the following compilations:

Image Platform Description
Sonic classics Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) Included in Sonic Classics on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis).
Sonic2 arcade screen Arcade This was one of the games adapted for release in arcades using MegaPlay and MegaTech technology in 1993.
Sonic jam Sega Saturn Playable on the game Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn console.
Sega Smash Pack 2 PC Included in SEGA Smash Pack 2 for the PC.
4pack PC Available in SEGA Smash Pack 2 which is included in Sonic Action 4 Pack for the PC.
Sega Genesis Collection PlayStation 2 / PSP SEGA Genesis Collection for PlayStation 2 and PSP also includes this game.
Sonic mega collection GameCube Available on Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube.
Sonic Mega Collection plus PlayStation 2 / PC / Xbox Available on Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PlayStation 2, PC and XBox.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Super Monkey Ball Deluxe 2 in 1 combo pack Xbox Available in Sonic Mega Collection Plus / Super Monkey Ball Deluxe 2 in 1 combo pack for the Xbox
Sonic Gems Collection Coverart GameCube / PlayStation 2 Sonic Gems Collection allows you to play the final boss of this game in the museum mode. If you beat Death Egg Zone under the time limit, you can continue on to the beginning of the game until your time runs out.
Sega Mega drive collection 2 Play TV Legends Sega Mega Drive Collection Vol. 2 is a game console which is part of the Play TV Legends plug-and-play series. It has 6 built in games that can be played when the console is connected to the TV. The title game is Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This was released in Europe and Japan in 2005.
Super Sonic Gold Play TV Legends Included in Super Sonic Gold, a console that has 4 built in games, but no cartridge slot. Released in the US and Europe in 2005
Sonic2-cafe-title Mobile Phone In 2006 this game was ported as a mobile phone game and offered on the Sonic Cafe in Japan and Sega Mobile services elsewhere. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2006 Sonic Cafe)
Md sonicthehedgehog2 Wii Available for Download on the Wii Virtual Console.
Boxsonichedgehog2 Xbox 360/Playstation 3 Available for Download on the Xbox 360's XBOX LIVE arcade service and later made available for download on the PlayStation 3's Playstation Network service. Released 7/11/2007 for Xbox 360 and 4/19/2011 for Playstation 3. [11]
Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (360) PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 Included in a compilation disk titled Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Sonic-PC-Collection PC Sonic PC Collection is a compilation released in New Zealand and Australia in 2009. This compilation includes Sonic Mega Collection Plus which includes Sonic the Hedgehog 2
SCC FRONT 12 2 lrg Nintendo DS Included on a Game Card titled Sonic Classic Collection for the Nintendo DS.
Sonic2 iphone iPhone

Sonic 2 was ported to iPhone on April 20, 2010. Like the port of Sonic 1, this port removes the capability of inserting cheat codes.


  • In the second trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, during the Sonic 2 section, Sonic's beta running animation is seen instead of the final version.
  • On the cover for the game, Robotnik is seen with black eyes, even though he usually wears blue glasses. This could be the reason why the classic Sonic television shows and comics portrayed Robotnik with black and red eyes.
  • This is the first Sonic game to feature 2-player mode.
  • This is the first Sonic game to use the Spin Dash.
  • This game was the Genesis' best seller due to the success of its prequel and the fact that the game was packaged with the Sega Genesis.
  • In this game, there is a Super Sonic code that allows the player to obtain all Chaos Emeralds when inserting the level select code. This lets the player turn into Super Sonic with at least 50 rings without completing any special stages.
  • When playing as Tails, Sonic flies the Tornado instead of him.
  • A remix of the 2-player results music can be heard while purchasing Skills in the Skill Shop in Sonic Generations.
  • One of Sonic's wait animations, in which he looks at his wrist and lays on the ground, returns in Sonic Generations as one of Classic Sonic's wait animations.
  • Chemical Plant Zone returns in Sonic Generations as the second level of the game in the Classic Era.
  • Casino Night Zone returns in Sonic Generations, but as a DLC pinball game for the 360/PS3 version, while the 3DS version has regular stages.
  • In Sonic Generations, the Death Egg Robot returns as a boss. During the boss fight, a remix of the Death Egg Robot's theme can be heard.
  • The app icon for the iPhone version of Sonic 2 uses recycled artwork from Sonic Advance 2.
  • Players are awarded with a "Perfect Bonus" of 50,000 if they complete an act after collecting every ring in the act and losing none. This is extremely difficult from Chemical Plant Act 2 and onwards, as acts will have more paths, some of which become unreachable after a certain spot.
  • The ending theme of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, Sweet Dreams, sounds very similar to the ending theme of this game.
  • On the back of the American Sonic the Hedgehog 2 box, the screenshot of Sonic and Tails in the Oil Ocean Zone is actually the beta version of this zone. A switch can be seen on the right side of the screenshot. When pressed, it would release a large ball from the floor and roll right into the ocean. The switch and the ball did not appear in the final version of this zone but can still be accessed in the Debug Mode in the final version.



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Sonic Team (1992) (in English). Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Instruction Booklet. Sega.
  2. Virtual Console Mondays: June 11, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  4. Sonic Team. Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  5. GameSpy: Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!. Gamespy. Retrieved on 2007-02-27.
  6. Kikizo Games: Features: Sonic Team Interview November 2005 (Page 2). Kikizo Ltd. Retrieved on 2007-02-27.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Thomas, Lucas M. (2007). IGN's Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review. Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Provo, Frank (2007). Gamespot's Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review. Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  9. Daniel Boutros (2006-08-04). Sonic the Hedgehog 2. A Detailed Cross-Examination of Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games 5. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Game Zero Staff (1993). Game Zero's Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review.

External links

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