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Are you up 2 it?


— Tagline

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Tsū?) is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team members in collaboration with Sega Technical Institute, and published by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It was released in Japan on 21 November 1992, and in North America and Europe on 24 November. It was created as the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, but as of Sonic Origins, it takes place after the events of Sonic the Hedgehog CD. It was directly followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 1994.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic and his new sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower have found out that Dr. Eggman is attempting to obtain the Chaos Emeralds on West Side Island to power his new space station, the Death Egg. Sonic and Tails must defeat Eggman's Badnik army and free their animal friends while racing to stop the doctor's deadly weapon. The game is also a part of the grand Death Egg saga.

Sonic 2 received critical acclaim and is labeled as one of the greatest games of all time. It has sold over seven million copies and become the second best-selling game on the Sega Genesis. It was compatible with the lock-on feature of Sonic & Knuckles which allowed the player to play Knuckles in Sonic 2 as Knuckles. The game has been included in a number of compilations on a range of platforms. On 11 June 2007, the game was made available on the Wii's Virtual Console,[4] the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade on 12 September 2007[5] and the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network on 19 April 2011.

Plot[]

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.
Title Screen - Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The title screen of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

This story is set on West Side Island. It is said that a very long time ago, the people of this island used mysterious stones to advance their civilization and achieve prosperity. However, when those people tried to use the stones for the wrong reasons, their prosperity vanished overnight. It is also believed that the gods then sealed away the stones within the island's depths.[6]

While out looking for new adventures in his personal plane, the Tornado, Sonic the Hedgehog discovers West Side Island, and lands on it to take a break. However, he does not pay attention to the fact that Dr. Eggman has been following him in his Egg Mobile and has landed on the other side of the island.[6]

One day, Sonic notices a shy orange fox tagging behind him, who nervously hides behind a palm tree when he spots him. What the hedgehog does not notice while he is not looking is that this peculiar fox barely manages to keep up with him. This young fox cub's name is Miles Prower, though he is known as "Tails" due to his two special tails, which have often made him the target of bullying. However, something changed in Tails when he saw Sonic come to the island, and he made up his mind that he wanted to be as cool as the hedgehog. Realizing that the young fox is harmless, Sonic allows him to hang around while he freely explores the island.[6]

On an early afternoon, Tails discovers the lone Tornado on the beach. Being a budding fan of machinery and vehicles, he rushes up to take a closer look. As he is admiring it however, he notices that Sonic is taking a nap under one of the Tornado's wings. Realizing that the hedgehog owns the plane, Tails gently retreats to the other side of it so as not to wake him up. Suddenly however, an ominous flash occurs in the direction of the nearby forest, which is then followed by a horrible explosion. The wildfire blows away various debris, which Tails avoids by taking cover underneath the Tornado as he witnesses robots excavating the area.[6]

As it turns out, Dr. Eggman has detected the presence of all the Chaos Emeralds on West Side Island after following Sonic, including the lost seventh one spoken of in the island's legend. He has thus taken the opportunity to kidnap the island's Animals to rebuild his Badnik forces and search for the Chaos Emeralds so he can finish his ultimate weapon - a space fortress known as the Death Egg. Wasting no time, Sonic rushes into the forest to stop the doctor, with Tails following him. Meanwhile, Eggman pridefully gloats that he will defeat Sonic and conquer the world.[6]

Making their way across West Side Island, Sonic and Tails free the many Zones from Eggman's rule. They also meet the doctor on many occasions, but they always defeat him. Once the island is freed,[7] they take to the skies in the Tornado to reach the doctor's fortress, the Wing Fortress. However, as they are about to arrive at the warship, it shoots the Tornado, forcing Sonic to hop onto the battleship and continue onward on his own while Tails and the Tornado fall from the sky. Later, in the control room of the ship, Sonic encounters and defeats Eggman again, forcing the doctor to escape and take off in his space rocket. Just as Eggman has left though, Tails arrives in a repaired and modified Tornado and gives Sonic a ride that lets him catch up to the space rocket. Sonic proceeds to grab ahold of the space rocket as it heads into space and arrives on the Death Egg.

I do remember too that, how hard this final boss was

Sonic fighting the Death Egg Robot.

Onboard the Death Egg, Sonic meets Mecha Sonic. After destroying his robot copy, Sonic finds Eggman and chases after him, but the doctor quickly escapes into his final trump card - the Death Egg Robot, prepared to destroy Sonic with it. After a heated battle, Sonic manages to destroy the Death Egg Robot, which triggers a chain-reaction that causes the entire Death Egg to explode.[7]

Back on West Side Island, Tails and some Animals are looking at the sky as they witness the Death Egg explode, dyeing the sky in pure white. As they wait for Sonic's return, Tails gets worried about the hedgehog. Wanting to help, the fox cub jumps into the Tornado and goes to save Sonic. Meanwhile, Sonic barely manages to escape the Death Egg, leaving Eggman behind and leaving the space station to fall into the atmosphere.[8] From there, the ending of the game will depend on the player's progress:

  • If the player has not managed to get all seven Chaos Emeralds, Tails will catch Sonic on the Tornado as he falls down from the sky. With the two heroes onboard the Tornado and some Flickies following them, Sonic and Tails will pose to the camera. After the credits, an in-game version of the logo of Sonic 2 will be shown.
    • If the player is playing as Tails, the ending will be the same, except that the sequence in which Tails goes to save Sonic will be skipped, and Sonic will be piloting the Tornado instead of Tails.
  • If the player manages to get all seven Chaos Emeralds, Sonic will use the Emeralds' power to turn into Super Sonic and safely go back to his home planet. His Super State illuminates the sky like a beacon, which allows Tails to find him and fly through the sky with him and some Lockies.[8]
    • If the player is playing as Tails, the ending will be the same if the player did not collect all seven Chaos Emeralds.

Characters[]

Image Character Biography
Sonic 2 JP Sonic arms crossed Sonic the Hedgehog While on an island during his usual carefree adventure, Sonic meets Tails, a small fox with two tails.

When Sonic learns that Dr. Eggman has begun an invasion of the mythical island known as West Side Island, he kicks up sand and heads toward the forest.[9]

Sonic-the-hedgehog-2-2 Miles "Tails" Prower Because of his two tails, he was bullied by everyone when he was little and was timid, but meeting Sonic and striving to be like him made Miles's personality bright, energetic and positive.[10]

Sonic doesn't seem to be paying attention to Miles, but he's actually looking at him sideways.[10]

Robotnik 43 Doctor Eggman Evil genius scientist. He wants the Chaos Emeralds. His life's work is world domination. His rival is Sonic.[9]
Tornado S2 Tornado Sonic's beloved plane, the Tornado. At normal speed, the Tornado can only reach 450km/h, but by installing a custom booster engine tuned by Miles, it can fly past the speed of sound despite being a propeller-driven aircraft.[9]
Robotnik 28 Eggman's Mobile An all-purpose capsule mecha created by Doctor Eggman. By changing its attachments, it can travel across water, land, air, and even dive underground. He believes that Sonic won't be a threat to him with this piece of scientific power, but...[9]

Gameplay[]

Aquatic Ruins from Sonic 2 for Mega Drive

Sonic and Tails in Aquatic Ruin Zone, the third Zone in the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scroller 2D platformer video game, which plays identical as the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. The player can play as either Sonic or Tails or both. They can also play as Sonic while Tails is controlled by a second player or an AI. Both characters share the same abilities. The game has eleven Zones, most of which are divided into two Acts, with the exception of the ninth one which has three Acts. At the end of every second Act is a boss fight against Eggman in one of his mechs.

The main objective of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is to finish its Acts in less than ten minutes. In these Acts, the player can find many Rings, which serve as their playable character's main method of protection. If a character is hit while having at least one Ring, they will survive with the cost of losing all their Rings. However, if the playable character is hit without having Rings, they will lose a life and will have to try the current Act again from either the beginning or at the last Star Post. The player can also lose a life if they do not complete the Act in ten minutes, get crushed, drown underwater or fall into a bottomless pit. If all lives are lost, the game is over, but the player can use Continues to keep playing.

From the options menu, players can select to either play as Sonic alone, Tails alone or Sonic and Tails. By default, players control Sonic while Tails tags along unhindered. However, a second player may control Tails separately. Should Tails move off-screen, fall off a platform, or die after getting hit from 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 slightly shorter than 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. When Sonic has collected at least fifty Rings and jumps into the air, he will transform into Super Sonic. In this state, Sonic is virtually invincible, although he can still die by drowning, getting crushed, falling into bottomless pits, or running out of time. His speed, acceleration and jump height are all increased as well. However, his Spin Dash 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 an Act, he reverts back to his normal state. Also, gathering all of the Emeralds will trigger the good ending.

Scoring system[]

Controls[]

Button formation Sonic-Icon-Sonic-2 Miles-Tails-Icon-Sonic-2 Movement[11]
Controlpadds left/right Run
Controlpadds up Look up
Controlpadds down Crouch
Sega Genesis A Button/Sega Genesis B Button/Sega Genesis C Button Spin Jump
Move + Controlpadds down Spin Attack
Crouch + Sega Genesis A Button/Sega Genesis B Button/Sega Genesis C Button Spin Dash
START Pause

Objects[]

Items[]

Gimmicks and obstacles[]

Characters[]

Promotional artwork of Sonic (left) and Tails (right)

Sonic and Tails, the two playable characters in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

A picture of Dr. Eggman at the background and many Badniks in Sonic 2. From left to right: Flasher, Crawlton, Turtloids, Crawl, Shellcracker, Grounder, Asteron, Slicer, Aquis, Rexon, Buzzer, Masher, and Balkiry. The Egg Mobile is seen at the center, above the Asteron.

Dr. Eggman and many of the Badnik enemies in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, alongside the Egg Mobile.

Playable characters[]

Non-playable characters[]

Enemies[]

Zones[]

Special Stages[]

Sonic 2 SpecialStage

Sonic and Tails in a Special Stage.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, there are seven Special Stages. When the player has collected at least fifty Rings and hits a Star Post, a red halo of stars will briefly float above it, which they can then jump into to get to a Special Stage.

Special Stages track the player from behind while they run through a three-dimensional half-pipe course filled with Rings and Bombs. A set number of Rings must be collected to pass through three checkpoints and eventually obtain a Chaos Emerald. Playing co-operatively with Tails raises some of the Ring targets in the early Special Stages. The order of stages is fixed in rising difficulty, and the player cannot enter the next stage without passing the previous. 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.

Once returned from a Special Stage, the entire Zone is reset (except the game timer) - the player is without Rings but all the collected Item Boxes, Rings, and Badniks reappear. Also, if Sonic activates a Star Post, all the Star Posts before that one will be activated as well, whether or not with fifty Rings in hand. This creates 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.

Bosses[]

  1. Egg Drillster (Emerald Hill Zone) (first appearance)
  2. Egg Poison (Chemical Plant Zone) (first appearance)
  3. Egg Hammer (Aquatic Ruin Zone) (first appearance)
  4. Egg Claw (Casino Night Zone) (first appearance)
  5. Egg Scorcher Mk. II (Hill Top Zone) (first appearance)
  6. Egg Digger (Mystic Cave Zone) (first appearance)
  7. Eggmarine (Oil Ocean Zone) (first appearance)
  8. Egg Bouncer (Metropolis Zone) (first appearance)
  9. Laser Prison (Wing Fortress Zone) (first appearance)
  10. Mecha Sonic (Death Egg Zone) (first appearance)
  11. Death Egg Robot (Death Egg Zone) (first appearance)

Other modes[]

2 Player VS[]

In 2 Player VS mode, two players compete against each other -either as Sonic or Tails - in a split-screen race through three regular zones and one Special Stage. Regular zones include Emerald Hill, Casino Night and Mystic Cave and have different music from their one player counterparts, while the Special Stage remains the same as 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. Once one player finishes one of the regular levels, the other player must finish the zone within 60 seconds or lose a life.

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 Teleporter item that instantly switches positions between players in a zone, and an Eggman item that damages the unlucky player. Furthermore, an optional setting allows that all item boxes in two-player mode are only Teleporters.

Development[]

Background[]

The original Sonic the Hedgehog was developed by Sonic Team in Japan and released in 1991 around the world. The title greatly increased the popularity of Sega and helped making the company a formidable rival for Nintendo, who before that controlled the video game market. However, before the game released, programmer Yuji Naka quit Sega of Japan due to dissatisfactions and financial issues with the company.[12][13]

While Sonic 1 was still under development, American game designer Mark Cerny, who had previously worked in Sega games like Galactic Protector, established the Sega Technical Institute (STI) in the United States, with the idea of hiring aspiring American game designers who would receive training by Sega of Japan's most experienced minds. The game designer of Sonic 1, Hirokazu Yasuhara, was one of the first people who were offered a position in the team; he accepted a year later when he made up his mind. While meeting up with his colleagues in Japan as usual, Cerny learned of Naka's situation, and thus paid him a visit and listened to the reasons why he had left. Naka was ultimately convinced to rejoin Sega at the STI, shielded from Sega of Japan's critique and with a higher salary. Various other members of Sonic Team joined him too.[14][12] Meanwhile, the rest of the development team stayed in Japan to develop Sonic the Hedgehog CD by the request of the president of Sega.[13]

In September 1991, Naka moved to California, where he reunited with Yasuhara. Around this time, with other original titles underway, Cerny pitched a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, but Sega managment believed that it was too soon for one.[12] With no new project assigned, the team would make some experiments for the eventual sequel. In November, however, Cerny got a frantic call from his superiors who had revered course and told him that they needed the game. The pressure was so much that the release date of the game was originally set to release in October 1992 (one month before the final release date), meaning that the team only had eleven months to complete the game.[14] With two months having been lost from the original schedule, Cerny had to scramble to get his team organized to complete it in time. Full-scale development of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 began in early 1992. At first, the developers were exclusively Americans, as the Japanese side of the team had not arrived yet due to visa complications.[12]

Design[]

Former Sega of America marketing director Al Nilsen said that the STI wanted to go "all out" with Sonic 2 and ensure that it was as successful as its prequel, since sequels are generally not very well regarded.[15] The team, which consisted of just ten people,[13] brainstormed for new ideas to make the formula work. One of them was to make Sonic faster by increasing his limit of speed compared to the first game.[15] A new move called the "Spin Dash" was added so that players could reach super speeds in an instant without feeling too exasperated.[16] Earlier versions of Sonic 2 also had a feature where Sonic would be hurt if he crashed into a wall at high speed, but it was removed in later builds.

Meanwhile, Yasuhara had various plans for the game and was visualizing story and gameplay ideas for it. He conceived a story that was very different from the final one, being time travel-based; the premise was that Dr. Eggman had gone back in time to alter the earth's history, prompting Sonic to travel to the past as well to prevent the creation of a Eggman Empire. At least four timelines were conceived: the present, the past, an alternate present modified by Eggman, and the ruined future under the doctor's reign. These ideas were ultimately scrapped since they were seen as too ambitious for the game's release schedule, and the team decided to lean towards the first game's streamlined design. Nevertheless, some of the Zones that were conceived also made it into the final product: Hill Top Zone was originally the past version of Green Hill Zone, while Oil Ocean Zone was from the modified present, and both Chemical Plant Zone and Casino Night Zone came from the future ruled by the villain. A similar concept was used by Sonic CD, released in 1993.[14]

Sonic-2-Tails-Sketches-I

Sketches of Miles "Tails" Prower, who became the "player two character" in Sonic 2 following an internal contest.

A multiplayer mode was planned to be featured in Sonic 1 but could not make it into the final product. Naka managed to figure out a way to incorporate two-player split-screen gameplay, by making two entire game screens on top of each other and squashing them to fit with a television's 4:3 ratio.[14] He wanted to implement this feature in this title so that siblings could play together, believing that this made games more fun.[16] He wanted the second playable character to be cute and endearing, like Kitsune in Urusei Yatsura,[17] and hold a "deep admiration for Sonic".[18] A contest was held at STI to decide this character. The entry of Yasushi Yamaguchi, originally the main artist and level designer for Sonic Team, won. His character was named "Miles Power", a play on the term miles per hour, a unit of measurement for speed. However, "Power" was changed to "Prower" due to making the character sound too powerful.[17] Additionally. marketing director Al Nilsen and product manager Madeline Schroeder convinced the team to change the name from "Miles" to "Tails", in which Yamaguchi was upset.[19] Following a meeting, the team and Yamaguchi came to a compromise: the name "Miles Prower" would serve as the character's legal name, while "Tails" would be his nickname, resulting in the full name of Miles "Tails" Prower. Other proposed characters, such as "Boomer the Turtle", did not prevail in the end.

Conflicts[]

The development was complicated due to cultural differences between the Japanese and American developers. Despite the fact that both sides were on friendly terms, there were many contrasts in their working styles. The Japanese were among Sega's top developers, making it difficult for the relatively inexperienced Americans to keep up. Both parties also had an entirely different work ethic, and many worked throughout the night and even slept in their office cubicles. Former STI member Tim Skelly believed that Naka would have been happier working in an all-Japanese team.[12] In addition, due to the sheer scale of the project and the work environment in the United States, the small team was left to do all the work themselves.[13]

HPZ

Various Zones in Sonic 2 were cut from the final game. The most famous was "Hidden Palace Zone" (recreation from the 2013 remaster pictured), which was reintroduced in a few recent releases of the game.

The game probably could have been three times the size if we left in everything that was there. Naka and team [...] weren't afraid to say, 'I've been working on this for four months, it's not working. Let's take it out.'


— Former Sega of America marketing director Al Nilsen on the scrapped content in Sonic 2

A lot of content ended up being scrapped from the game due to memory limitations. In retrospect, Nilsen said Sonic 2 "probably could have been three times the size" had the developers left in everything that was planned to be there.[15] Amongst much of the scrapped content was "Hidden Palace Zone", which appeared in many advertisements of the game. It was intended to be a Zone with two Acts where Sonic would transform into Super Sonic after collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds. However, it was then changed to one Act before the developers eventually abandoned the proposal and instead allowed the player to access Super Sonic regardless of the Zone.[20][21] Other famously scrapped Zones included "Wood Zone", "Sand Shower Zone", and "Cyber City Zone". Naka recalls that as many as five stages were scrapped, one of them being cut from the game a few days before release despite having been fully completed due to the lack of memory.[22] The stakes for this game were so high that it was polished up until the very last possible moment, and then flown to Japan for production by two people on two separate planes, just in case something went wrong with one plane.[15]

Promotional[]

S2b title

The title screen of one of the best known prototypes of Sonic 2, named the "Nick Arcade prototype". It was famously showcased in the Nick Arcade television series in early 1992.

Marketing for Sonic 2 was aggressive; promotion began in early 1992. At the time, the Nickelodeon show Nick Arcade was one of the most popular video game-centered shows. Seeing an opportunity to promote the then-upcoming game, Sega sent a very early copy of Sonic 2 to Nick Arcade to showcase it. This build was only shown a few times, one of which was during a special show where Clarissa Explains It All actors Melissa Joan Hart and Jason Zimbler were competing. However, it did not go well, and the two struggled to play since they did not know about the Spin Dash.[23]

As Sonic 2 was Sega's biggest 1992 game, its marketing team sought to make its release be "as much a celebration as it was a product launch", with the company confidently betting big that the game would be a massive success.[15] In Japan, a VHS titled "Sonic Panic" (ソニックパニック Sonikku Panikku?) was released to promote the title. It started with Mario and Luigi being humilliated by Sonic and Tails - a sign of the strong rivalry between Sega and Nintendo at the time - and featured content such as Yuji Naka revealing a few details about the development and new features of the game.[16] Tails was frequently featured in teasers of the game due to being a new playable character, and promotional posters bore the line "Are you up 2 it?". Sonic 2's international box art, featuring Sonic and Tails standing in front of a giant "2" with Dr. Eggman peering over it, was drawn by Greg Martin, who had previously drawn the Western key art for Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit). The Japanese artwork was illustrated by Akira Watanabe, who also made the cover artworks for many of Sega's mainline games at the time.[24]

Release[]

Sonic 2 was first released on 21 November 1992 in Japan. In the West, Sega of America had planned at first to make a tour of shopping mails across the United States to release the game. At the last minute, however, they changed their minds and considered that this plan was not "Sega" enough. A high-profile, global release was conceived instead. This was an unusual practice at the time, since the games' release dates varied by region. The game thus released internationally on Tuesday, 24 November 1992, a date called "Sonic 2sday" by promotional material.[25][26]

Reception[]

Sales[]

Due to the popularity of its predecessor, Sonic 2 already had an established fanbase anticipating its release.[27] The game received critical acclaim upon release and was a best seller in the UK charts for two months,[28] and the highest selling game of 1992.[29] As of 2006, the game has sold over 6 million copies,[30] making it the second best-selling game for the Sega Mega Drive, after Sonic 1. Out of those 6 million worldwide sales, only 400,000 cartridges were sold in Japan.[31]

Critical reception[]

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 88.44%[32]
Defunct Games 93%[33]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 94%[34]
Electronic Games 91%[35]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 35/40[36]
Eurogamer 9/10 (X360)[32]
Famitsu 30/40[37]
GameFan 197/200[38]
Game Informer 27.25/30[39]
9.5/10[40]
GamePro 5/5[33]
GameSpot 8/10 (X360)[41]
IGN 8.5/10 (Wii)[27]
Mean Machines Sega 96%[42]
Mega 94%[43]
MegaTech 95%[44]
Mega Zone 96%[45]
Official Nintendo Magazine 94% (Wii)[46]
Official Xbox Magazine (US) 9/10 (X360)[32]
Sega Force 97%[47]
Sega Pro 94%[48]
Bad Influence! 5/5 starsStar fullStar fullStar fullStar full[49]
Sega-16 10/10[50]
Sega Force Mega 95%[51]
Svenska Hemdatornytt 100%[52]
Awards
Entity Award
Electronic Gaming Monthly Best Game of the Year (Genesis)[53]
Game Informer Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Graphics in a Video Game[54]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 received wide critical acclaim.[33] Based on magazine reviews from the early 1990s, the game holds an aggregate score of 93% at Defunct Games, with this being based on ten reviews.[33] Based mostly on retrospective online reviews from the 2000s, the game holds an aggregate score of 88.44% at GameRankings, based on eight reviews.[32]

Reviewers praised the game for its large levels,[41] colorful graphics and backgrounds,[41] increased cast of characters, enemies,[27] and music.[41] Upon release, Ed Simrad of Electronic Gaming Monthly stated that the "twice as long" play time offers "more enjoyment for the buck" and that as "a 2 player game, there is twice the fun." He praised the "larger and harder" levels and "quite innovative" new moves, concluding that it is "the best all-around game on the market." GamePro stated that it is "tough to follow up a classic, but Sonic the Hedgehog 2 earns top honors." They stated that "the best thing about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is that it's just plain fun" and concluded that it gives "plenty of fabulous gaming to pass the time." Andy of Game Informer stated that it is "not as easy as the first and has more variation. The addition of the two-player split screen is great." Jaz of Mean Machines Sega described it as "faster, slicker, more colourful, louder, bigger and much, much tougher than the original," concluding that it is "packed with features, has loads of secrets, and rounds it all up with a superlative two-player mode that'll have your friends queuing round the block to play. Brilliant!"[33]

The game has also been well received in retrospective reviews. 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.[27][41] Critics also enjoyed the faster gameplay the game offered in comparison to its predecessor, as well as its new features. Lucas M. Thomas of IGN praised the new Spin Dash ability, which would prepare Sonic to launch at a faster speed.[55] Thomas also noted that the levels of Sonic 2 were designed to showcase the character's speed, and was less a "platform-jumping game" than a "platform-running" game, in slight contrast to its predecessor.[55]

The game's main criticisms concern the competitive, split-screen, two-player mode, and a new introduction to the series.[56] While the mode was generally well-received upon release,[33] several reviewers have criticized the mode's noticeable slowdown, prominent flickering, and squashed play area for each player. However, IGN praised the innovation of the new two player mode, quipping that "Mario and Luigi could never run competitively through the same levels, at the same time."[57] William Burrill of the Toronto Star described the two player racing mode as the "only part of the game that can be faulted," citing that the mode and its split screen view "squeezes the graphics, plumps up the characters and slows down the action."[58]

Awards[]

Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as the Best Game of the Year for the Sega Mega Drive, describing it as "the best Genesis cart to come along in a long time!"[53] Game Informer gave the game the Best Action/Adventure Game award, praising it for keeping "the same look and feel of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, while adding a two-player mode, longer levels, new moves, and better animation. Wow!"[33] Electronic Games chose Sonic 2 as one of the three nominees for their Video Game of the Year award, along with Street Fighter II and NHLPA Hockey '93.[59]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been listed among the greatest video games of all time. In 2000, Game Informer ranked it number 61 on its "Top 100 Games of All Time" list, calling it "the most challenging and finely polished Sonic the Hedgehog title."[60] They later ranked it the 97th best game of all time in 2009.[61] Mega placed the game at number 36 in their "Top Sega Mega Drive Games of All Time" list in 1994.[62] It has also been listed among the best games of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly (in 1997[63] and 2001[64]), GameFAQs (in 2004,[65] 2005,[66] 2009[67] and 2014[68]), GamingBolt,[69] Guinness World Records (in 2009[70]), NowGamer (in 2010[71]), Retro Gamer (in 2004[72]), and Yahoo! (in 2006[73]). In 2022, IGN placed Sonic 2 as the eighth best Sonic game in their "10 Best Sonic Games" list.[74]

Re-releases[]

Image Game Platform Description
Title Screen Knuckles in Sonic 2 Knuckles in Sonic 2 Sega Mega Drive The result of locking Sonic 2 on to Sonic & Knuckles.
Sonic Classics 3 in 1 - Sega Genesis Sonic Compilation Released as a bundle with Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine in 1995.
Sonic Jam USA Cover Sonic Jam Sega Saturn Released alongside other Sonic Sega Mega Drive games in 1997.
Sega Smash Pack 2 Sega Smash Pack 2 PC Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive games in 2000.
Sonicaction4pack Sonic Action 4 Pack Released as part of Sega Smash Pack 2, alongside Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic & Knuckles Collection, and Sonic R; in 2001.
Sonic Mega Collection cover artwork Sonic Mega Collection Nintendo GameCube Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive games in 2002.
SonicMegaCollectionPlus Sonic Mega Collection Plus PlayStation 2
Xbox
Windows PC
Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive and Game Gear games in 2004.
Sega Genesis Collection Sega Genesis Collection PlayStation 2
PlayStation Portable
Released alongside Sonic the Hedgehog and other Sega Mega Drive games in 2006.
Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Super Monkey Ball Deluxe 2 in 1 combo pack Sonic Mega Collection Plus / Super Monkey Ball Deluxe 2 in 1 combo pack Xbox Released as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, alongside Super Monkey Ball Deluxe.
Gc sonic gems collection p o5pa9w Sonic Gems Collection Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Released as part of the game's Museum mode in 2005.
Sega Mega drive collection 2 Sega Mega Drive Collection Vol. 2 Play TV Legends Released alongside five other Sega Mega Drive games in 2005.
Super Sonic Gold Super Sonic Gold Released alongside three other Sega Mega Drive games in 2005.
Sonic2-cafe-title Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Mobile Released as part of the Sonic Cafe service in 2006.
S2Dtitle Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Dash! J2ME Re-released for J2ME phones in 2008.
Md sonicthehedgehog2 N/A Wii Available for download on the Wii Virtual Console. On 29 October 2015, it was reported that the port would be taken down the following day.
Boxsonichedgehog2 N/A Xbox 360 Re-released as part of the Xbox Live Arcade service. In May 2022, the game was delisted from the service.[75]
SFP PS2 Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog PlayStation 2 Released as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, alongside Shadow the Hedgehog, in 2009.
SUGC boxart Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Released alongside other Sega Mega Drive and Game Gear games in 2009.
SonicPCCollection Sonic PC Collection PC Released as part of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, alongside Sonic Riders, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut; in 2009.
SCC FRONT 12 2 lrg Sonic Classic Collection Nintendo DS Released alongside other Sonic Sega Mega Drive games in 2010.
Sonic2AppStore N/A iPhone Released on iPhone devices in 2010.
Sonic2PlaySEGA Browser Released in 2010 alongside other Sega console games as part of the PlaySega website.
Sonic 2 2013 icon Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Mobile Released in 2013.
Sonic-the-Hedgehog-2in3D 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Nintendo 3DS Released in 2015.
Sega Ages Sonic 2 icon Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Nintendo Switch Re-released on Nintendo Switch as part of the Sega Ages line. Essentially the same as the Nintendo 3DS release sans the 3D feature, but now with Knuckles in Sonic 2.
Sonic2-cover N/A Available for download on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service.
Sonic-Origins-Cover Sonic Origins Xbox Series X and Series S
Xbox One
PlayStation 5
PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
PC (Steam, Epic Games)
Released on 23 June 2022 to celebrate the Sonic series' 30th anniversary. In addition to a remaster version of Sonic 2, this game in the compilation contains additional modes, new cutscenes, and Missions. Additionally, the game includes Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as playable characters, new Zones in both the main game and 2 Player VS mode, and the Drop Dash for Sonic.
Sonic Origins Plus Sonic Origins Plus An expanded re-release of Sonic Origins released on 23 June 2023, now featuring Amy Rose as a playable character.

Cheat codes[]

  • Display Tails' name as Miles: At the title screen press the following in order: Controlpadds Up, Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, Up. This can be done again to revert Miles' name back to Tails. In the Japanese release Miles is the default name and entering the code will change his name to Tails.
  • Act select: - At the Options Sound Test, play the following tunes in order: 19, 65, 09, and 17, which makes the Ring sound play, then press Start to return to the intro/title screen. Once there press Start while holding Sega Genesis A Button to enter the Act select. During any Act, by pausing the game, press A to return to the Act Select.
  • 14 Continues: At the Options Sound Test, play the following tunes in order: 01, 01, 02 and 04, then the select Player Select to start the game with 14 continues. Oddly enough entering this code will cause all sound test options to be overwritten with the music for Oil Ocean Zone.
  • Debug Mode: At the Act Select Sound Test, play the following tunes in order: 01, 09, 09, 02, 01, 01, 02, and 04, activating a Ring chime, and unlock Debug Mode. Then highlight any Act and press Start while holding Sega Genesis A Button.
  • All 7 Chaos Emeralds: At the Act select Sound Test, play the following tunes in order: 04, 01, 02, and 06, which plays Chaos Emerald music, and get all seven Chaos Emeralds.

Achievements[]

These are the achievements and trophies for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2:

Icon Name Description Trophy Class Gamescore
All Multiplayer All Multiplayer Play all four multiplayer zones.
PSN Trophy Bronze
5
Clear Green Emerald Hill Clear the Emerald Hill Zone 1.
PSN Trophy Bronze
5
Casino Casino Get to the Casino Night Zone.
PSN Trophy Bronze
10
Fast Win Conquering Time Beat the game in under an hour.
PSN Trophy Silver
10
Chaos Emerald Chaos Emerald Get one Chaos Emerald.
PSN Trophy Bronze
10
Xbox Live Racer Xbox Live Racer (XBLA)
Online Racer (PS3)
Win 10 versus zones on Xbox Live/PlayStation Network
PSN Trophy Bronze
10
Fast Green Fast Emerald Beat Emerald Hill Zone 1 in under 35 seconds in single-player or co-op mode.
PSN Trophy Bronze
15
Super Sonic1 Super Sonic Become Super Sonic.
PSN Trophy Silver
20
Extended Super Extended Super Stay in Super Sonic mode for one minute.
PSN Trophy Silver
20
Fast Chemical Fast Chemical Beat Chemical Plant Zone 1 in under 45 seconds.
PSN Trophy Bronze
20
Win Win Beat the game.
PSN Trophy Bronze
35
Chaos Master Chaos Master Get all the Chaos Emeralds.
PSN Trophy Gold
40

Adaptations[]

Sonic the Hedgehog -289

The regular cover of Sonic the Hedgehog #289.

An adaptation of Sonic 2 was made by Shogakukan for the Sonic the Hedgehog manga, with few differences, such as the inclusion of the manga's original characters.

It has been stated that the events of Sonic 2 have taken place in the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions. Though no direct adaptation was made, the game was referenced in Sonic the Comic #27, "A Tale of Tails". In fact, the entire comic series picks up after the events of Sonic 2.

Archie Comics made an adaptation of Sonic 2 as part of their "Genesis" storyline, in Sonic the Hedgehog #228-#229. It has also been stated that the events of the game have happen in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline. Eventually, an adaptation of the game in this timeline was made in Sonic the Hedgehog #289, as the second part of the "Genesis of a Hero" storyline.

Trivia[]

  • To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sonic 2, Yasushi Yamaguchi posted on Twitter a drawing of Tails. He also did the same in 2022 in conmmemoration of the same game's 30th anniversary.
  • At one point, SoA considered having the soundtrack for Sonic 2 composed entirely in-house by STI instead of rehiring Masato Nakamura, and several demo tracks were composed. However, SoJ outright rejected these demo tracks upon listening, ostensibly due to their poor quality. To date, only one of these unused demo songs, "Night Club Scene" by composer David Javelosa, is known to have survived. It has since been uploaded to the internet on Javelosa's YouTube channel.[76]
  • This was the last Sonic game in the 90's to use the original Sonic The Hedgehog theme by Masato Nakamura, due to him leaving the series and Sega having to pay royalties in order to use the song due to Nakamura owning the copyrights to the majority of the soundtracks for the first two Sonic games. The song was considered for use as the title theme for Sonic Spinball, but it was hastily replaced with a new song very late in production when the development team discovered that Sega didn't own the rights to the song and did not wish to pay the royalties for it. The theme would not appear in a Sonic game again until the Sonic Advance games (via the Invincibility Theme), and again in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Sonic Generations years later. However, an arrangement of the song was used for the opening of DiC's Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, and remained in use upon the series going into reruns.
  • The original release of Sonic 2 is notable for being the only game in the mainline Sonic series where Tails is completely incapable of flight when playable. Every subsequent playable appearance of Tails in a mainline Sonic game would give him some form of flight (discounting spinoffs in other genres such as Sonic Drift). Both the 2013 remaster and Sonic Origins remaster of Sonic 2 would retroactively give Tails the ability to fly as he could in subsequent games. Tails is also unable to swim in the original game, an ability that he would acquire in Sonic 3, though this handicap was retained for his Game Gear appearances outside of power-ups or vehicles. Both the 2013 remaster and Origins remake would also likewise retroactively implement his ability to swim.
  • Due to the way memory is stored in the Sonic Classics cartridge release of Sonic 2, none of the Game Genie codes for the initial cartridge releases of Sonic 2 will work for that specific version of the game. A distinct set of codes is required instead.
  • Despite the Sega Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 2 predating the release of the console version of the game, Sega insists on recognizing the 16-bit game as the official debut of Tails, despite him appearing in the 8-bit release first.
  • A common misconception is that the famous "Hidden Palace" theme (which can be heard in the games sound test, and plays if the level data is accessed via a Game Genie code) was meant to play for the entirety of the scrapped Hidden Palace Zone level. However, this was not the case, as it was meant to be played during a cutscene at the end of the level (notably, Masato Nakamura's demo tape of the song includes an ending that was not implemented into the in-game song, hinting towards its intended purpose). When the level was reimplemented into the game in both the 2013 mobile port and Origins remake, the 2-Player theme for Mystic Cave Zone was used instead, as the development team felt the scrapped Hidden Palace song did not match the tone of the level.
  • This is the only 2D Sonic game where the player does not get a "Try Again" message after completing the game without collecting all Chaos Emeralds.
  • In the second trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, during the Sonic 2 section, Sonic's running animation from the Nick Arcade and Simon Wai prototypes is seen instead of the final version.
  • Unlike in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman's blue glasses are replaced with completely black eyes (can be mistaken for black glasses), in line with artwork of him in North America and Europe. This is probably the reason why the original Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, and western Sonic media depicted him with black eyes. This is also seen in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but was corrected in Sonic Origins and its expansion Sonic Origins Plus respectively, while this game remained the same. Additionally, in the international key art, he is also seen with a large beard, which is nowhere to be seen in the actual game.
  • Dr. Eggman's appearance on the said art can suggest a loose basis for his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog design hence the similarities of having sinister looking black eyes and an orange moustache.
  • The western key art would also later be recreated for the third advertised poster for the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film produced by Paramount Pictures.
  • This game was made the same year the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog pilot was made. However, the latter was produced before the former was released.
  • This is the first main series game to have all seven Chaos Emeralds, therefore, debuting the super transformation.
  • The app icon for the initial iPhone version of Sonic 2 uses recycled artwork from Sonic Advance 2.
  • Like its predecessor, the original cartridge release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 does not have an age rating, as it predates the creation of both Sega's short-lived VRC (Videogame Rating Council) and the ESRB rating system. Rereleases of the game would graft the ESRB's K-A (Kids To Adults) rating and it's successor (E for Everyone) onto it.
  • On the back of the American Sonic 2 box, the screenshot of Sonic and Tails in the Oil Ocean Zone is actually a pre-release version of this Zone. A switch can also 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 (as seen in the Simon Wai prototype). The switch and the ball did not appear in the final version of this Zone but can still be accessed in the Debug Mode. The screenshot of Aquatic Ruin Zone is also from a prototype version.
  • In the North American instruction manual of Sonic 2, page seven has a screenshot of the title screen from the Beta 4 prototype. On page 9, the screenshot of the Oil Ocean Zone is also in from a prototype. Its background is different from the final version (most notably, the silver silo in the background is on the right side in the screenshot, but it is located on the left side in the final version).
  • Interestingly, the sprite of Super Sonic used for the Super and Extended Super achievements is in fact a fan-made Sonic Battle sprite from a sprite sheet made by JoeTE.

Videos[]


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External links[]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Main article (Knuckles in Sonic 2) · Staff · Manuals · Glitches · Beta elements · Gallery · Pre-releases (Nick Arcade, Simon Wai) · Re-releases (2006, Dash!, Crash!, 2013, 3D, Sega Ages)
Sonic the Hedgehog console mainline games

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