|Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)|
Sega Master System:
None (game predates ESRB and ELSPA systems)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scrolling platform video game developed by Aspect and released by Sega for their Master System and Game Gear formats. The Master System version was released in Brazil on 25 October 1992, and in Europe around the same time. The Game Gear version was released in Europe on 29 October 1992, in North America on 17 November 1992 and in Japan on 21 November 1992. Being released before the 16-bit version for the Mega Drive (Genesis), the 8-bit editions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 represent the debut of character Miles "Tails" Prower, Sonic the Hedgehog's best friend who became a recurring character in the series.
After the events of the previous game, peace returned to South Island. Sonic the Hedgehog decided to leave the quiet island to pursue other adventures. When he finally returned, there was no sign of his animal friends. Confused, he went home to find a note written by his close friend Miles "Tails" Prower. It explains that all of the animals of South Island have been kidnapped by Dr. Ivo Robotnik, and that Tails is being held in a place called the Crystal Egg, which Sonic can only reach with the power of six Chaos Emeralds. He also writes that six of Robotnik's elite robots were built to await Sonic in each zone. After reading the message, Sonic set out to thwart the evil scientist's revenge scheme!
Advances made in this game include Sonic's ability to grab back rings scattered when hit by an enemy as well as being able to smash through certain walls, capabilities not implemented in the 16-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis. Oddly enough, there appears to be no Spin Dash, though this may be because this game was released before the Genesis version, which introduced the Spin Dash. Uniquely, this game includes levels in which Sonic must ride a mine cart, and a hang glider, the latter under full player control and a reasonable simulation of physics. There is also a large bubble in underwater levels which raises Sonic upwards until he hits a ceiling, enemy or obstacle.
There are seven zones in total, each comprising three acts. In the final act, that level's boss is faced, but without any rings to collect.
At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each level, a panel is spun, with a reward given based on what it lands on:
- Robotnik: No prize. This panel comes up most often in the game.
- Ring: 10 rings added to final ring tally. Usually obtained by having a ring count that is a multiple of ten.
- Sonic: Extra Life
- Tails: Continue
Item boxes are largely the same as the first game (although the restart marker and shield devices have been removed), and as usual, Chaos Emeralds are scattered throughout the stages. Each is found in the second act in each of the first five zones. If the player collects these five and then destroys Mecha Sonic (called the "Silver Sonic" in the English manual) in the sixth zone, the sixth is awarded and the player may access the final stage (Crystal Egg Zone), the third act of which Dr. Robotnik is faced in a climatic boss battle. Players able to complete the full task are rewarded with the game's "good ending"; for those who fail to collect all of the Emeralds, play ends after Mecha Sonic's destruction with a more downbeat end sequence (in which Tails was not rescued).
Although Tails is not a playable character, he appears in the title card of each zone (which is shown in the beginning of each act in the zone), where he appears together with Sonic in a picture that describes how the zone looks. Curiously, the title cards use sprites of Sonic and Tails that look similar to, if not exactly the same as, their sprites from the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 respectively.
- Under Ground Zone
- Sky High Zone
- Aqua Lake Zone
- Green Hills Zone
- Gimmick Mt. Zone
- Scrambled Egg Zone
- Crystal Egg Zone (only accessible if the player has successfully collected all 6 Chaos Emeralds).
Differences between versionsEdit
The Game Gear, with its lower screen resolution, naturally results in the handheld system's version having a smaller visible screen area than the Master System edition, causing many to consider the Game Gear version the more challenging title - when facing the boss of the Under Ground Zone, for example - the reduced screen area either side of Sonic gives the player less time to react to hazards moving onto the screen. Other bosses were also affected: the Green Hills Zone battle takes place in a smaller, steeper arena; the escape chute cannot be seen while fighting Robotnik in Crystal Egg Zone.
The music for the intro sequence is also different, the Game Gear version using the Scrambled Egg Zone music for the scene showing Robotnik escaping with the captive Tails, with the tune that was played in this prelude in the Master System version instead employed on the title screen. The hand-held version also appears to show Robotnik actually kidnapping Tails in front of Sonic, whereas on Master System he was merely escaping with Tails. The hand-held edition also features dark blue (instead of green) water in the second Act of the Aqua Lake Zone, and omits the game's second "High Speed" item box, which may be found in the Master System version of this stage. There is a second in Gimmick Mountain Zone and possibly others.
In addition, the two versions have different themes for boss battles, as well as for their endings (the Master System uses a somewhat sad sounding tune for both the bad and good endings, whereas the Game Gear has a more upbeat tune for the good ending). This is strange since the Master System version actually contains both of the ending music in the game's code, but only one of them is used. A rather interesting note was that the music for Green Hills Zone was featured as the theme song for the Japanese and European versions of Sonic CD, and a remix of the tune is used for Mecha Green Hill Zone in Sonic Chaos.
The good ending of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 shows Sonic the Hedgehog defeating Doctor Robotnik. Sonic is upset that Robotnik managed to escape, but Tails teleports in his place and is freed. The cutscene after that shows Sonic and Tails running through a valley from day to night, while the credits scroll. At the end of the cutscene, an image of Sonic and Tails appears in the stars, showing the bond of the duo.
The bad ending of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 shows Sonic the Hedgehog defeating the Silver Sonic at the end of Scrambled Egg Zone. Because the player did not collect all of the six Chaos Emeralds, Sonic cannot access Crystal Egg Zone. In the cutscene, Sonic runs by himself from day to night. At the end of the cutscene, Sonic looks up at the sky, in which only an image of Tails appears as a reminder that Tails was not rescued.
- Sonic Adventure DX for the Nintendo GameCube and Windows PC (Game Gear version)
- Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2 (Game Gear version)
- Wii Virtual Console for 500 Wii Points (Master System version)
|Sonic the Hedgehog handheld video games|
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