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Sonic News Network

Dr. Eggman is up to his old tricks!

— Tagline

Sonic Advance 2 (ソニックアドバンス2 Sonikku Adobansu Tsu?) is a 2D platforming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps with the assistance of Sonic Team for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. It was published by Sega in Japan, THQ in North America, and Infogrames in PAL regions. The game is the sequel to Sonic Advance and is based on a modified version of said game's engine.

Sonic Advance 2 is more fast-paced compared to its predecessor, focusing more on linear, rapid gameplay with additional features, larger Zones and greater difficulty. The game also introduces Cream the Rabbit and her Chao friend, Cheese, who would become recurring characters in the series.


Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

The title screen of Sonic Advance 2.

Taking place on an undefined island, Dr. Eggman has again begun kidnapping Animals and turning them into robots so that he can build the Dr. Eggman Empire. This time, however, he has kidnapped Tails and Knuckles too. Learning of his friends' kidnapping, Sonic rushes off to save them.[1] Along the way, Sonic saves a young rabbit named Cream and her Chao friend, Cheese, from Eggman after defeating his EggHammerTankII. Cream then joins Sonic on his adventure, hoping to find her missing mother, Vanilla.

Soon, Sonic rescues Tails as well, although Tails has no idea what Eggman is up to. Tails then joins Sonic on his mission. When Sonic finds Knuckles, the echidna has been tricked by Eggman into fighting Sonic yet again. After being defeated and chided by Sonic, Knuckles comes with him to get back at Eggman. The heroes eventually track the doctor to his Egg Utopia space station and swiftly destroy it. In the aftermath, Cream is reunited with Vanilla, who is luckily unharmed.

Sonic bringing Vanilla home.

If the player has not unlocked the final Zone for Sonic by the story's end, he falls down to earth after destroying Egg Utopia, where he is greeted by his friends. If the player has however, the last story will be unlocked. As Vanilla is by herself watching Flickies, she gets sucked into a cloaked mech piloted by Eggman, who then takes his mech into space. With Sonic and his allies arriving too late to save Vanilla, Cream begins crying, but Sonic transforms into Super Sonic and goes after Eggman. Destroying Eggman's mech, Super Sonic grabs the Capsule containing Vanilla. During atmospheric re-entry though, the Capsule breaks apart, causing Sonic to revert back to normal. Sonic still catches Vanilla and lands safely, and Cream shares a tearful reunion with her mother while Sonic is welcomed back by his friends. Amidst the celebration though, everyone notices Sonic has left, having already left to find his next adventure.


Image Character Biography
Sonic 68.png Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic is the world's fastest supersonic hedgehog! He's basically carefree, but he can't stand evil. He can be short tempered, but it would go against his kind nature not to help someone in trouble.[2]
Cream 13.png Cream the Rabbit Cream is an adorable rabbit that takes her tiny Chao "Cheese" wherever she goes. She can act a little childish at times, but tries hard at everything she does, and never forgets her manners. She can fly by flapping her ears like wings.[2]
Advance2 tails-2-.png Miles "Tails" Prower Miles "Tails" Prower is a gentle fox with two tails, and dreams of being just like Sonic. He loves tinkering with machinery, and sometimes builds robots to help his hero. He can fly by spinning his tails like helicopter blades.[3]
Knuckles 7.png Knuckles the Echidna Knuckles is Sonic's friend and rival. With his enormous strength and spiked fists he packs a powerful punch and can climb walls easily. He is brave of heart and strong willed, but can sometimes be a little gullible.[3]
Amy 10.png Amy Rose Amy is a cheerful and peppy hedgehog who has decided she is Sonic's girlfriend. She may be cute, but her Piko Piko Hammer makes her a formidable foe.[4]
Sonic Art Assets DVD - Eggman - 2.png Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik) Without a thought for anybody else, this evil genius is always hatching plots to take over the world. His plans are always foiled by Sonic, but he never learns his lesson.[4]


Sonic in Leaf Forest, the first Zone in the game.

Sonic Advance 2 is a 2D side-scrolling platform game with five playable characters to choose from: Sonic the Hedgehog, Cream the Rabbit, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and Amy Rose. Whereas Sonic is available from the beginning, the player can unlock Cream, Tails, and Knuckles by beating the game's first, third and fifth boss, respectively, as Sonic in Single Player. Amy can be unlocked after completing the game and collecting all the Chaos Emeralds for each character. The basic goal in Single Player is to reach the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game) in ten minutes. After clearing the Acts, the player will face a boss, who is constantly moving forward, forcing the player to chase it. Each boss takes eight hits (six in Easy Mode) to defeat. After the third/fourth hit, the boss intensifies its assault. Like Sonic Advance, the game automatically saves the specific character's progress, including how many Chaos Emeralds each character has collected.

Cream in Boost Mode.

All characters use the basic Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers (Amy cannot use the Spin Dash), as well as melee moves and special movement abilities unique to each character. Curiously, the standard Look Up control has been replaced with a simple "appeal" animation. In addition, the characters' movesets have been expanded on from Sonic Advance. The Mid-Air Trick Actions enables the characters, when flung into the air, to change their directions for greater heights, attack foes, or to add distance to their leaps. The Boost Mode enables the characters to run at maximum speed and perform high-speed momentum-keeping attacks.

Sonic Advance 2 has many items from the previous game reappear. The most prominent ones are the Rings, which are found around the Zones. Collecting them protect the characters from taking damage, grant extra lives by collecting 100 of them, and reward with points in the end-of-Act score tally. Also, the more Rings the character has, the easier it will be to accelerate. When characters take damage, they will drop all the Rings they carry, though some can be recollected before they disappear. Taking damage without any Rings will cost the player a try. A character will also lose a try if they spend too long underwater without replenishing their air supply (air lasts for 18 seconds), fall into a bottomless pit, or run out of time. By passing Checkpoints, the player's progress is saved and they will return to the latest one after losing a try. However, losing all tries will result in a Game Over. Aside from Rings, Sonic Advance 2 also features Item Boxes that carry the same power-ups seen in Sonic Advance.

Knuckles grinding in Music Plant.

The level design in Sonic Advance 2 has been extended and made more linear to enable fast-paced gameplay, with multiple pathways to choose from. Zones like Music Plant and Techno Base have themed varieties of recurring objects and gimmicks to fit their scenery. The game also debuts Launchers and Dash Circles from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 on handheld, along with having Grind Rails more integrated into the Zones.

Beside the game's main goal, the player can also collect the seven Chaos Emeralds to unlock bonus features. Each Act has seven Special Rings scattered around them. Collecting them all within a single life and clearing the Act will take the players to the Special Stage, where they can get an Emerald. Collecting all seven Emeralds for Sonic will help unlock the final Zone and the game's good ending.

The goal of Sonic Advance 2.

The Acts' goals are marked by a pair of bars and three colored sectors of limited length behind them. The player will receive between 300 and 800 points based on how fast they pass the threshold. Behind it, the player can brake at any of the colored sectors to earn extra points by pressing in the opposite direction on Controlpadds.png; the yellow sector grants 800 points, blue 500 points and red 100 points. If the character moves too slow when passing the threshold or decelerates without trying to stop, they will not receive points from the sectors. This also applies if the player gets all seven Special Rings.

Scoring system

Main article: Point#Sonic Advance 2


Button formation Movement
Sonic-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Sonic Cream-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Cream Tails-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Tails KTE-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Knuckles Amy-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Amy
Controlpadds.png left/right Walk/Run/Brake
Controlpadds.png up Appeal animation
Controlpadds.png down Crouch
GameboyA.png Jump
Controlpadds.png left/right + down Spin
Controlpadds.png down + GameboyA.png Spin Dash Amy Dash
GameboyA.png X2 Double Spin Attack
Homing Attack (Near an enemy)
N/A Super Hammer Attack
Tapping GameboyA.png N/A Flying Propeller Flying N/A
GameboyA.png + hold GameboyA.png N/A Mid-Air Glide N/A
Controlpadds.png up/down (on wall) Wall Climb
GameboyB.png Skid Attack Chao Attack Tail Attack Double Punch Hammer Attack
GameboyA.png + GameboyB.png Bound Mid-Air Chao Attack N/A Drill Claw Mid-Air Hammer Swirl
GameboyA.png + tap Controlpadds.png left/right X2 Jump Dash N/A
GameboyA.png + Controlpadds.png down + GameboyB.png N/A Chao Rolling Attack N/A
GameboyB.png while in Boost Mode Super Skid Step Attack Super Tail Swipe Spiral Attack Head Slide

Mid-Air Trick Actions

Button combination Mid-Air Trick Action
Sonic-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Sonic Cream-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Cream Tails-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Tails KTE-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Knuckles Amy-Icon-Sonic-Advance-2.png Amy
Quick Reverse
Back Star Milky Turn Back Rotor Back Attack Back Star
Rgba.png + Controlpadds.png up
Big Air
Hop Jump Petit Step Happy Spring Spiral Upper Hop Jump
Rgba.png + Controlpadds.png left/right
Long Wind Jump
Humming Top Sweet Roll Window Jump Burning Straight Window Jump
Rgba.png + Controlpadds.png down
Stop 'n' Slam
Bound Soft Bomber Propeller Descent Drill Claw Mid-Air Hammer Swirl

Other moves

  • Grinding: A technique where any of the characters automatically slide down a Grind Rail they stand on. The player has to land on the rail's starting point to grind on it and jump to get off it.
  • Boost Mode: A technique that enables the characters to run at maximum speed and perform high-speed momentum-keeping attacks. The player has to either run at top speed for a few seconds or use gimmicks like the Dash Panel or horizontal Springs to enter the Boost Mode.



Gimmicks and obstacles


Playable characters

Non-playable characters



The EggHammerTankII.


World Map

Sonic Advance 2 consists of nine Zones, most of which are split into two Acts. Any Act can be played or replayed from the "Select a Zone" screen. After the last Act, the player faces a boss in a separate Act. To enter the ninth Zone, True Area 53, the player must have cleared the game with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Cream and have collected all seven Chaos Emeralds for Sonic. The Zones in their order are:

  1. Leaf Forest
  2. Hot Crater
  3. Music Plant
  4. Ice Paradise
  5. Sky Canyon
  6. Techno Base
  7. Egg Utopia
  8. XX
  9. True Area 53

Special Stages

Sonic in a Special Stage.

Special Stages are extra levels where the players can collect the Chaos Emeralds. To access them, the player has to collect all seven Special Rings from an Act within a single try and then clear said Act.

In the Special Stage, the player moves around on a flat 3D arena filled with Rings and various gimmicks. Within here, the player's movement controls are switched to a 3D perspective and they can only jump. The objective is to obtain 300 Rings within two minutes and thereby earn a Chaos Emerald. Collecting Rings fast enough will create combos that multiply their value. Pursing the players is Guard Robo who will subtract Rings from them should it catch their character.

Unlike Sonic Advance, the Chaos Emeralds earned from the Special Stages are not shared between the characters, meaning each character has to collect their own seven Emeralds.

Other modes


Multiplayer is the multiplayer component of Sonic Advance 2, allowing gaming for up to four players in total. Like in Sonic Advance, the same playable character cannot be used by more than one player. Players have to connect up to four Game Boy Advance systems with the corresponding number of Sonic Advance 2 game cartridges using one or more Game Boy Advance Game Link Cables. From Multiplayer, the player can choose between two VS Modes. When selecting "Multi-Game Pak Mode," use 2-4 Game Paks, as one for each player in necessary. When selecting "Single-Game Pak Mode," only one Game Pak is required.

Multi-Game Pak Mode

In Multi-Game Pak Mode, the players race to reach the goal in the regular game's Zones within ten minutes. The first player to reach the goal is the winner. Here, only the Zones that have been cleared by at least one player will be displayed.

Each player's location is marked for everyone by colored cursors. The progress of each player in relation to the goal are represented by the Player Icons at the bottom of the screen. If a player loses a try along the way, they must start from the beginning of the Act or from the last Checkpoint they reached. During 2 player races, the game ends when the first player reaches the goal. In races with three or more players, after the first player reaches the goal, the other players have sixty seconds to complete the Act or they will be disqualified.

Along with the traditional 10 Ring Bonus, Maximum Speed and Invincibility items, Multi-Game Pak Mode also includes exclusive Item Box power-ups for affecting the opponents, which include: Confusion, Warp, Attack, and Brake.

Single-Game Pak Mode

In Single-Game Pak Mode, the goal is to collect as many Rings as possible in the time allowed. The player with the most Rings at the end of the game wins. Here, characters are determined by which player is on the system. Player 1 will play as Sonic, Player 2 will be Cream, Player 3 as Tails, and Player 4 will control Knuckles. Also, the controls for all players are the same as for Sonic, therefore including the Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash.

This mode takes place within a separate Leaf Forest Act, where each player's location is marked for everyone by colored cursors. The course is circular in design and has no start or goal posts, making the players end up in the same place no matter which direction they head in. At the start of the game, the timer begins counting down, and the players start collecting Rings. Players can attack their opponents to scatter ten of their Rings, which can then be stolen. The players can also break Item Boxes with question marks on them to get Ring Bonus power-ups or Mosaics.

Time Attack

Time Attack allows players to replay previously cleared Zones and bosses with the goal of getting the fastest record possible. While Zones can be selected anytime, bosses can first be selected after clearing the Final Zone with three playable characters who have each collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. Also, only the characters available and the Zones that have been previously cleared in Single Player can be selected. The three best times are recorded in the game's data.


Options is the settings menu for Sonic Advance 2 which holds the following options:

  • Player Data: Enter the name to be used in records or view the results of multiplayer mode games. Names can have up to six letters. The player can also look up records from Time Attack by choosing Time Record and top scores from Multiplayer modes from VS Record. Also, the name setting becomes the second option when the player starts the game for the first time.
  • Level: Changes the difficulty level of the game. There are two levels, "Normal" and "Easy", with Easy mode decreasing the hits required to defeat bosses from eight to six and removes certain enemies from the Zones.
  • Time Up: Select whether or not running out of time causes characters to lose a try.
  • Language: Change the language of the messages to be displayed between English and Japanese. In Japanese version, Japanese is the only option, while on PAL releases there are French, Spanish, and German options added. Also, the language setting becomes the first option when the player starts the game for the first time.
  • Button Config: Change the functions of GameboyA.png and GameboyB.png. "Normal" is the default functions, and "Reversed" switches the function.
  • Sound Test: Listen to the various music tracks and sound effects used in the game. This mode is unlocked by clearing the Final Zone with two playable characters who have each collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. To unlock Sound Test tracks 58-63, the player must clear the Extra Zone.
  • Delete Game Data: Delete all game data, though the Tiny Chao Garden is unaffected.

Tiny Chao Garden

Main article: Tiny Chao Garden

Chao Bounce, a mini-game in the Tiny Chao Garden.

The Tiny Chao Garden is a simulation minigame where players can raise Chao. While similar to the regular Chao Garden, this mode comes with several limitations: Chao do not age, can only interact with a finite number of items, and there can never be more than one Chao at a time. Players can link the Tiny Chao Garden to the Chao Gardens in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle to transfer Chao or items and participate in races.

The Tiny Chao Garden is unlocked by clearing the Final Zone with one playable character who has collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. The Tiny Chao Garden works much like in Sonic Advance, except that the Janken mini-game has been replaced by Chao Bounce. The revision of the Tiny Chao Garden in Sonic Advance 2 is Version 2, giving Chao the ability to Swim and Fly if they have high enough stats and making it so they will emit Z's when sleeping.


With the success of Sonic Advance, a sequel was put into development. Development began February of 2002, when Sonic Advance got localized. The main development period lasted eight months, this was sped up by the team's decision to use an updated version of Sonic Advance's engine. Though Cream was made for Sonic Heroes, the team decided to introduce her in this game to make her familiar to players and make the story feel fresh. The bulk of the score was composed by Yutaka Minobe, Tatsuyuki Maeda and Teruhiko Nakagawa. Sonic Advance 2 was first announced on 1 July 2002 and then revealed at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2002, which also introduced the new character, Cream the Rabbit, who was available for play in-game.[5] According to Sega, Cream was designed as a playable character for beginner players.[6]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.65%[7]
Metacritic 83%[8]
Review scores
Publication Score 8.5/10[9]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 85%[8]
Eurogamer 9/10[10]
Famitsu 32/40[11]
Game Informer 75%[8]
GameSpot 8.2/10[12]
GameSpy 79%[8][13]
IGN 9/10[14]
Nintendo Power 82%[8]

Sonic Advance 2 received generally positive reviews from critics during its release with Metacritic giving it an 83% based on 23 reviews and GameRankings giving it 85.65% based on 37 reviews.[7][8] Craig Harris of IGN praised the game for its vibrant graphics, character animations, replay value and fun multiplayer challenges, while stating the only complain being the difficulty of finding Special Rings.[14] praised visuals, stages and music, while also commented the game as "probably one of the most challenging Sonic games ever due to both the Chaos Emeralds requirements and the now active boss battles" and concluding the review by calling the game an "outstanding addition to the Sonic library and is definitely up there as one of my favorites alongside Sonic 3&Knuckles and Sonic CD."[9]

Frank Provo of Gamespot calls Sonic Advance 2 "the toughest 2D Sonic game ever made" due to the boss battles and collecting Special Rings being difficult, but states that "even though most of the enhancements in Sonic Advance 2 make the game more difficult, they also make it much more interesting than previous Sonic games."[12] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer praised Cream as a playable character and called Cheese "bloody useful in boss battles, without being advantageous enough to render the game too easy", as well as stating the game being "better and more original than 99 per cent of platformers on the GBA, and it's probably the best 2D Sonic since the days of 16-bit."[10]

Scott Alan Marriott of AllGame praised the game for its peppy sound, fast action, and crisp, colorful graphics, while noting that "what it doesn't have is originality or depth". He also criticized that "the number of blind jumps in the last three acts means players have to go through a trial-and-error approach to complete them."[15] Christian Nutt of GameSpy calls the game "a solid adventure with some niggling flaws", criticizing the game's poor pacing and irritating boss battles.[13]

Since the release, Sonic Advance 2 sold approximately 175,000 copies in Japan,[16] 740,000 copies in the United States,[17] and 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom,[18] for a total of approximately 1,015,000 units sold.


Image Platform Description
Advance 2 Okaidoku-ban.jpg Game Boy Advance Re-released as a discount version in Japan for ¥3,990 with an updated box artwork.
Advance 2 JP Wii U Virtual Console.jpg Wii U Re-released 24 February 2016 on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan at the price of ¥702.[19]


  • This is one of the few 2D games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series not to have a water-themed Zone. Only a few parts in Leaf Forest have small water sections and none of them have Air Bubbles. Characters like Tails and Cream cannot perform any movement abilities by tapping GameboyA.png button underwater, making it also one of the only games where Tails cannot swim.
  • This game marks the fifth game in the Sonic series where Knuckles has been tricked into fighting Sonic by Eggman.
  • Cream replaced Amy's role in Sonic Advance in many ways. For instance, she is the only female of the main four, and she is present at the Sound Test screen, holding a tambourine.
  • As the player progresses further in the Single Player mode, the music track in "Select a Zone" screen changes from regular track into two different variations.
  • This is the only 2D Sonic title where pressing up on Controlpadds.png does not make the camera scroll up. Also, part of Knuckles' appeal animation includes him punching the air in front of him; doing this close to a Badnik can in fact destroy it.
  • Tails is referred to as "Tails the Fox" in the US instruction booklet.



Sonic Advance 2 - Game Boy Advance - Retro Commercial - Trailer (2003 Sega of Japan)


Sonic Advance 2 Trailer from Sonic Mega Collection


Sonic Advance 2 Japan Commercial


  1. Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) United States instruction booklet, pg. 5.
  5. Sklens, Mike (20 September 2002). Brand new character in Sonic Advance 2. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 3 January 2016.
  6. ソニック アドバンス2 (Japanese). Sega of Japan. Archived from the original on 12 November 2005. Retrieved on 3 January 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic Advance 2. GameRankings. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Sonic Advance 2. Metacritic. Retrieved on 4 January 2015.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sonic Advance 2 review. (13 October 2005). Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bramwell, Tom (14 March 2003). Sonic Advance 2. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  11. "ゲームボーイアドバンス - ソニックアドバンス 2" (in Japanese). Famitsu (915 Pt.2): 121. 30 June 2006.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Provo, Frank (7 April 2003). Sonic Advance 2 Review. Gamespot. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Nutt, Christian (11 March 2003). Sonic Advance 2 (GBA). GameSpy. Archived from the original on 5 February 2005. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harris, Craig (14 March 2003). Sonic Advance 2. IGN. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  15. Marriott, Scott Alan (7 April 2003). Sonic Advance 2. AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  16. Japanese total sales from 21 March 2001 to 30 December 2007. Famitsu. Archived from the original on 10 July 2008. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  17. The Century's Top 50 Handheld Games. Next Generation Magazine (2 August 2006). Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  18. ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver. ELSPA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  19. Sonic Advance 2 (GBA) heading to the Wii U VC in Japan on Feb 24th. Sonic Stadium (17 February 2016). Retrieved on 21 May 2016.

External links

Sonic Advance 2

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