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Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Emerald Hill Zone

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A beautiful Zone with green meadows and rich waterfalls.
Run through the loops and corkscrews at high speed!
Stay alert of monkeys and bees aiming from the top of the trees.

— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Japanese instruction booklet[1]

Emerald Hill Zone (エメラルドヒル[1] Emerarudo Hiru?, lit. "Emerald Hill") is the first Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, its various ports and remasters, and the lock-on game Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It is a tropical paradise on the shores of West Side Island. As with most other Zones in this game, Emerald Hill Zone consists of two standard Acts with a boss fight at the end of Act 2.


Described as beautiful,[1] Emerald Hill Zone is a tropical area with green meadows and rich waterfalls.[1] The soil is orange-brown and has squareish patches and a checkered pattern on some points. Palm trees, shrubs, flowers and lime green grass fill the area, and there are waterfalls, loop-de-loops, corkscrews and caves with blinking green lights built into the walls. In the distance is a massive field filled with grass and yellow flowers, and it ends at the crystal blue ocean. The sky is navy blue with some clouds.


During his hunt for the Chaos Emeralds, Dr. Robotnik would invade all of West Side Island, including Emerald Hill Zone, which he kidnapped the local Animals from while filling said Zone with Badniks.[2]

Emerald Hill Zone soon after became the first Zone that Sonic and Tails would travel through to put a stop to Robotnik's operations. On their journey through Emerald Hill Zone, they eventually locate the doctor in the Egg Drillster, which they have a battle against. After his vehicle is defeated, Robotnik flees, while Sonic and Tails head to Chemical Plant Zone.



Act 1

Three airborne Rings are visible at the start, followed by three more guarded by a Coconuts. Right of there is a floating platform with a Buzzer, leading to a ledge with a Shield monitor, along with another Coconuts guarding three Rings. Four more Rings are placed below the ledge on a slant. After that is a rope bridge with Mashers, and five more Rings above it. The hill meanders upwards and then downwards; next to the crest is another Coconuts. It then splits into two paths, with floating platforms between the first two gaps.

Taking the upper route, the island between the gaps has a yellow Spring and a Buzzer. The next floating island has four Rings followed by another yellow Spring which leads to the next floating island. The player can avoid the Spring and go for the Super Ring monitor and four Mashers instead, rising from the small gaps in the terrain. A Power sneakers monitor is guarded by spikes to it left and a Coconuts from above. The land curves downwards and slants to a wall. At the top of this wall is a yellow Spring with leads to a floating island to its left, which has six Rings and a Star Post. To the right of the yellow Spring is a floating platform and an invincibility monitor on top of the loop-de-loop. The loop itself has five Rings placed on a downwards slope. Past this slope is a corkscrew, with 9 rings placed on it, followed by another slant which if the player has enough speed, can collect all seven Rings. Shortly following the slant is a Ring monitor, a gap with a Masher and a Coconuts. The level then forks into two pathways, with a Spring on the floating island above which if taken, the player can collect up to 9 rings.*

The lower route, if the player jumps over the red Spring on the left they can collect six Rings on the hidden passageway. The Spring takes them through the tunnel, guarded by moving spikes, through a slant with some Rings. A Super Ring monitor can be found inside the bushes. Two buzzers will appear as the ground becomes hilly before meandering into a little slant. Past the ledge is another rope bridge protected by two Mashers. At the end is a Shield monitor followed by another tunnel with upside-down spikes. Past there is a yellow Spring and a long slant up the wall onto a rope bridge, ending the split.

From this point, there is a Coconuts followed by a Star Post inside the ledge. Above the ledge (which can only be accessed via the floating island with the yellow Spring) are three monitors (One Invincibility and two Ring) guarded by two Buzzers. A yellow Spring takes him across two loop-de-loops before slanting upwards. There is a hidden passageway to the right of the downwards red Spring which leads to some Rings and a One-Up monitor. Two more yellow Springs take the player to the top part of the level. Otherwise he could take the lower route past the diagonal Spring, which is a simple sprint across tunnels, waterfalls and ledges. Past the rope bridge are two groups of spikes, with two Rings floating high on top of each group. After another slant is another Super Ring monitor behind the bush, followed by two Buzzers, another slant, a rope bridge protected by two Mashers, a Coconuts, and a horizontal yellow spring that zooms the player into a slant up the final wall. Ahead of that is the Goal Plate, completing the Act.

If the player does take the diagonal Spring on the loop, they will take the last upper section. There's a vertical spring leading to four tightly packed Rings, followed by three moving platforms. At the end of the final platform is a Coconuts beside the loop, and two Buzzers below it. On top of this loop are twenty Rings - ten either side - along with a Star Post in the middle. Ahead of the loop is a double corkscrew, worth seventeen Rings, followed quickly by a reverse diagonal Spring, which the player can collect an extra nine rings.

Act 2

There is a ledge at the start with a diagonal Spring that leads to a cluster of twelve airborne Rings. The Spring can be used to bypass the Badniks below to the ledge above: two Mashers followed by two Coconuts with a group of spikes in between the palm trees. On the ledge is a Power Sneakers monitor followed by two Buzzers and a Coconuts, while beneath it is simply a rope bridge with two Mashers, the terrain eventually slanting upwards to the next section. The path splits into two again.

The player can take the floating platform to the high route, which has a Coconuts and spikes guarding three Rings, followed by a Spring and a wall. Jump into the wall and they will find a hidden section totaling twelve rings. After the rope bridge are two Buzzers, in which this path terminates. From the Spring, they can jump onto the vertical floating platform up to a small floating island to its right, which has a maximum of twenty-nine Rings and another Spring on its left. Enough leftwards momentum will lead to an even smaller floating island with a Star Post. Onwards are the tops of two loops on a downward slope with a floating platform in between. Another Star Post is placed on top of the second one guarded by a Buzzer. A diagonal Spring to its right will take the player up to the high route.

The hill meanders upwards and has a platform at the end which drops down if the player stands for too long. A One-Up monitor can be found below it. Jump up and the player will encounter a reverse diagonal Spring with a wall which is too high to jump. Another yellow Spring attached to the opposite wall will clear the section, collecting up to seven Rings, but he must be wary of spikes upon landing. Past the rope bridge is a floating platform which allows them to run on the top of two more loops, where a Super Ring monitor can be found on the second one. Following that is a triple corkscrew totaling twenty-five rings. After that, the hill meanders upwards for a bit that if timed well, the player can jump on top of the next loop where a Shield monitor is located. A diagonal Spring warps them to a floating island. This island has fifteen rings and a One-Up monitor guarded by 4 Coconuts. Descend right with a well-timed landing and the player can land on the next small floating island, where a Star Post can be triggered.

The lower route has a Super Ring monitor parked on the left. The path drops twice and leads to a Buzzer and a group of spikes, followed by a rope bridge guarded by two Mashers, and two loops before leading to a tunnel. Moving spikes protect the tunnel from above and below. There is a wall and a hidden Spring to the right of this. Take the Spring and the route soon leads to a Star Post, but in-between this wall is another hidden section where the player can run across the waterfall and collect a Super Ring monitor. They must be careful though, as after this monitor is the first bottomless pit in the game. They must take the floating platform to the next section, which is protected by spikes and a Coconuts.

The route meanders downwards and forks into two paths. The higher route slopes to a wall. To the right is an Invincible monitor followed by various gaps, intercepted by floating platforms, Buzzers and Mashers. After the set of spikes is a simple sprint across the corkscrew towards the the last Star Post, which marks the Act's boss.

The lower route's tunnel has a Buzzer, a Super Ring monitor, and sets of moving spikes from above and below. Six Rings follow the long tunnel into another set of hidden spikes and a Spring, which the player can take to advance the high wall. In between the high wall is the next hidden section, which has a group of rings, a Shield monitor, and a gap with another bottomless pit. The road meanders downwards before sloping up to a wall. 8 more Rings can be found below the ledge. Both routes eventually lead to the boss.


Main article: Egg Drillster

The Egg Drillster, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The boss of Emerald Hill Zone is the Egg Drillster, a buggy-like vehicle with a drill at the front. During the battle, the Egg Drillster will move from one side of the screen to the other. This boss is not very challenging, as it is easy to dodge it. The player has to avoid the drill and hit this vehicle eight times to destroy it.

Other game appearances

Sonic Drift 2

In Sonic Drift 2, Emerald Hill appears as a racecourse. This Zone (as "Emerald Hill 1") is the very first race in the game, before Hill Top 1 in the Purple Grand Prix; the racers re-enter the region during the White Grand Prix, where "Emerald Hill 2" is the sixth and final track, coming after Mystic Cave. As with most other racetracks in the second Chaos Grand Prix, the player has to complete three laps of the track to proceed, and the fastest racer gets a Chaos Emerald.

Sonic Jam (

In Sonic Jam (, Emerald Hill Zone is where Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes place in.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Didj)

Main article: Grass Hill Zone

In Sonic the Hedgehog (Didj), Emerald Hill Zone is where Grass Hill Zone takes place.

Sonic Speed Simulator

Emerald Hill, from Sonic Speed Simulator.

In Sonic Speed Simulator, Emerald Hill Zone appears under the name Emerald Hill. In this game, it serves as the game's third world, which can be unlocked after the player achieves at least one rebirth. Its features include many of its original elements and key designs, although it borrows elements from other worlds too, such as Green Hill's stones and the wooden structures from Lost Valley. In addition, there is a mission card here that allows the player to unlock Knuckles the Echidna as a playable character.

In other media

Books and comics

Sonic the Hedgehog (manga)

In the Sonic the Hedgehog manga published by Shogakukan, Emerald Hill was a location that Sonic, Tails and Charmy once traveled through to save Amy from Dr. Eggman.

Sonic the Comic

The Emerald Hill Zone, from Sonic the Comic #57.

In the Sonic the Comic comic series and its spin-offs published by Fleetway Editions, the Emerald Hill Zone is a Zone on South Island, and the home of Sonic the Hedgehog and the setting of many stories. A large number of mobians, known as the Emerald Hill Folk, live in the Emerald Hill Zone.

Archie Comics

Emerald Hill Zone, from Sonic Super Digest #12.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, the Emerald Hill Zone was a location that appeared on Mobius during Operation: Clean Sweep, where Dr. Eggman reshaped reality with the Genesis Wave.

After the Super Genesis Wave rewrote history, Emerald Hill Zone became a permanent part of Sonic's World, with a past nearly identical to that of its video game counterpart.


  • In the Simon Wai prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Emerald Hill Zone was referred to as "Green Hill Zone".
  • In the Sonic Jam strategy guide, Yuji Naka said that Emerald Hill Zone got its name from a town called Emerald Hill just south of San Francisco. The team had noticed the name on a location test and decided to use it.[3] The neighborhood is in fact referred to in the plural as "Emerald Hills", and is part of a larger area called Emerald Lake Hills.
  • It is possible to obtain all seven Chaos Emeralds in Emerald Hill Zone; there are three Star Posts in the first Act and five Star Posts in Act 2. However, this requires time and extensive traveling of the Zone to get Rings.
    • In the 2013 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, getting the seven Chaos Emeralds in Emerald Hill Zone awards the player an achievement/trophy.
  • Emerald Hill Zone is the first Zone to use corkscrews, which would become a staple in the Sonic franchise.
  • A remix of "StH2 Emerald Hill Zone ~Mega Drive Version~" appears as one of the music tracks the player can listen to in the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
  • The "StH2 Emerald Hill Zone ~Mega Drive Version~" track is available in the Green Hill Zone stage of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The Emerald Hill Zone-like location in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog pilot.



Act 1


Act 2


Name Length Artist(s) Music track
"StH2 Emerald Hill Zone ~Mega Drive Version~" 2:25 Masato Nakamura
"StH2 Emerald Hill Zone (2P) ~Mega Drive Version~" 1:34 Masato Nakamura



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 30.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.
  3. (in Japanese) ソニックジャム オフィシャルガイド. SoftBank. 2 October 1997. p. 34. ISBN 978-4797303377.
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog (LeapFrog Didj) Game Design Document, pg. 8.

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