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Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Hill Top Zone

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Lava boils from volcanoes and earthquakes shake the ground! Spring for the Rings on teeter-totters and blast through underground tunnels and caverns.

— Description, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) United States instruction manual[1]

Hill Top Zone (ヒルトップ[2] Hiru Toppu?, lit. "Hill Top") is the fifth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As with most other stages in the game, Hill Top Zone consists of two standard Acts with a boss fight at the end of Act 2.


This Zone features lava pits and underground caverns, which have similar features of the Marble Zone in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. However, Hill Top Zone features no sturdy ruins of long-gone civilizations; they would have been ground to dust by the frequent earthquakes which ravage the Zone and fill the caverns with scorching magma. Outside, pine trees rise over a landscape of blue-tinted rocks, with rickety vine chairlifts connecting one peak to another.

Geographically, the Zone is located amidst the high peaks of West Side Island. It may be visible from Emerald Hill Zone; the vertiginous ridges of what might be Hill Top's background can be glimpsed on the horizon at the far right of the first Act.



Seesaws and shuttle loops are scattered throughout the Zone; while the former springs the playable characters up the mountainsides, the latter invariably sends them plummeting into the volcanic caves. The seesaws function identically to the ones in the Star Light Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog, except a glowing red sphere sits on one end instead of a spiked ball. In Act 2, Lava will come from the bottom of the cavern and the player has to reach the top before getting touched by the lava.


Act 1

Act 2


Main article: Submarine Eggman

Submarine Eggman as seen at Hill Top Zone.

In this zone's boss fight, Dr. Robotnik attacks with a fire-spewing submersible which sets the grassy platforms alight, a similarity to the Marble Zone. After attempting to scorch the heroes with a flame jet, Robotnik submerges beneath the lava, before resurfacing again on the other side and repeating the process. This boss can be defeated easily by continuously bouncing on the machine as soon as it appears. Using this method, Robotnik can be defeated before he sinks into the lava for the first time.

Other game appearances

Sonic Drift 2

Metal Sonic driving a free run in the Hill Top Zone in Sonic Drift 2.

Hill Top Zone also appears as a racecourse in Sonic Drift 2. This stage (known as "Hill Top 1") is the second track of the Purple GP, after Emerald Hill 1 and before Dark Valley 1. The racers enter the region during the White Grand Prix, where "Hill Top 2" is the fourth track, coming between Ice Cap and Mystic Cave. As with most other races in the 2nd Chaos Grand Prix, the player has to complete three laps of the track to proceed, and the fastest racer gets a Chaos Emerald.

This zone sports the same blue soil and high-altitude clouds as it did in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, although trips to the fiery underground are unavailable during this visit. It's for the best, as lava would have a bad effect on the tires! However, the road surface is dotted with mounds of earth created by the frequent earthquakes, so be careful. In Hill Top 1, a lone Moto Bug can also be found shifting back-and-forth.

In other media

Sonic the Comic

Hill Top Zone, from Sonic the Comic #134. Art by Mick McMahon.

In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Hill Top Zone is one of the many Zones found on Planet Mobius. It first appeared in Sonic the Comic #20. This Zone was affected by many of Dr. Ivo Robotnik and other villains' diabolical plots, but was protected each time by the Freedom Fighters.


  • This level seems to be the 16-bit counterpart of Sky High Zone.
  • There is an unnamed "Badnik" which sits on the see-saws in this zone. It greatly resembles the design of both an Gohla and Spiker.
  • The trees in this zone's background seem similar to those planned for the winter counterpart of Sand Shower Zone, a scrapped Zone. However, they lack the conceptualized snow and are also technically a part of the Emerald Hill Zone art assets.





Name Length Artist Music Track
Hill Top Zone 1:51 Masato Nakamura



Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Hill Top Act 1

Act 1


  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) United States instruction booklet, pg. 14.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 34.

External links

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