The GHZ

:: Navigation ::
  • Back to 1992
  • Museum main page
  • :: General Info ::
    Title (Japan)
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Title (USA)
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Title (Europe)
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Developer
       Sonic Team
       Sega Technical Institute
    Platform
       Sega Mega Drive
    Format
       8M cartridge
    Genre
       Platformer

    :: Release Info ::
    Japan
       November 21, 1992
       6,800
    USA
       November 24, 1992
    Europe
       November, 1992

    :: Game Credits ::
    Executive Producer
       Hayao Nakayama
    Producer
       Shinobu Toyoda
    Game Planner
       Hirokazu Yasuhara
       Masaharu Yoshii
    Chief Programmer
       Yuji Naka
    Assistant Programmer
       Masanobu Yamamoto
       Bill Willis
    Character Design
       Yasushi Yamaguchi
    Object Placement
       Hirokazu Yasuhara
       Yutaka Sugano
       Takahiro Anto
    Special Object Placement
       Yutaka Sugano
    Chief Artist
       Yasushi Yamaguchi
    Zone Artist
       Yasushi Yamaguchi
       Craig Stitt
       Brenda Ross
       Jina Ishiwatari
       Tom Payne
       Reiko Kodama
    Special Stage Art and CG
       Tim Skelly
       Peter Morawiec
    Composer
       Masato Nakamura
    Sound Programmer
       Tomoyuki Shimada
    Sound Assistant
       Hiroshi Kubota
       Yukifumi Makino
       "Milpo"
       Izuho Takeuchi
       "S.O"
       "OYZ"
       "N.GEE"
    Project Assistant
       Takahiro Hamano
       Shuichi Katagi
       Yoshiki Ooka
       Steve Woita

    :: Platforms ::
    Sega Mega Drive
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
       Sonic Compilation
    Sega Saturn
       Sonic Jam
    Sony PlayStation 2
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
       Sega Genesis Collection
    Nintendo GameCube
       Sonic Mega Collection
    Microsoft Xbox
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Sony PSP
       Sega Genesis Collection
    Microsoft Xbox 360
       Xbox Live
       Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
    Sony PlayStation 3
       Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
    Nintendo Wii
       Virtual Console

    Sega Mega-Tech (arcade)
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Sega Mega Play (arcade)
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Windows PC
       Sega Smash Pack 2
       Sega Archives from USA Vol.3
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Internet
       Sega Game Honpo
       RealNetworks RealArcade
       Excite GameX
       TBS GameTap
    Mobile
       Sonic the Hedgehog 2

     
    Web theghz.com


    Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Last update: 05/20/07

    :: Quick Jump ::
       [ Story | Gameplay Info | Comparison | Lost in Translation | Codes | Behind the Screens | Notes | Miscellanea ]


    :: Story ::
       While cruising over the ocean in his antique biplane, the Tornado, Sonic notices a small island particularly lush with greenery. He flies down for a bit of vacation time, closely followed by an unseen figure that lands on the opposite end of the island... The tiny resort turns out to be West Side Island, which, as the folklore goes, was once the home of a flourishing civilization. The people of the island utilized the power of seven mysterious stones for the advancement of their society. However, their prosperity lead to avarice, which did not sit well with the gods. The displeased deities reclaimed the stones and sealed them away.

       After a few days on the island, it occurs to Sonic that he's being followed. His pursuer is a young fox with two tails who, upon being discovered, dashes into the shade of a nearby tree. Sonic ignores him and zooms off, but the fox whirls his two tails like a propeller and follows the blue stranger at full speed. Sonic is impressed both with the fox's tenacity and his ability to keep up, so he decides to let him tag along. He learns that his new companion is named Miles Prower, though the animals of the island call him "Tails" after his unique mutation.

       Early one afternoon, Tails discovers the Tornado sitting on a beach. Being fascinated by all things mechanical, the young fox eagerly runs up to the machine for a thorough investigation, but shyly pulls back when he spots Sonic snoozing in the shade of a wing. His awkward moment is interrupted by a huge explosion from the island's interior. Sonic snaps up to see the forest ablaze and robots scouring the area. It doesn't take the blue hero three guesses to figure out who's behind the disruption: Dr. Eggman, who had discreetly followed Sonic onto West Side Island, is now tearing the place apart in search of the seven Chaos Emeralds. He needs fuel for his Death Egg, a planet-sized space station with unthinkable power. Sonic and Tails take off to locate the Emeralds before Eggman and squash his evil ambition once more.


    :: Gameplay Info ::
       Sonic's first major sequel doesn't mess with the perfection the original achieved in terms of mechanics, so for a detailed examination of the fundamentals, skip over to the
    Sonic 1 page. The actual structure has changed a bit, not for the better by the reckoning of most fans, but the tweaks aren't drastic enough to alter the experience. Sonic's faster yet this time around, and the level design caters more to high speeds than platform-jumping obstacles.

       Most significant of the new features is the introduction of Miles "Tails" Prower, Sonic's little buddy with the mechanical knack. In a normal game, Tails follows Sonic around and isn't good for much more than showing off the Mega Drive's processing power. He'll grab an extra Ring for you here and there, but other than that, he's just around to look pretty. If he gets on your nerves, you can always go into the options and choose to play as Sonic alone or Tails alone, but the only difference between the two characters is visual. (Tails can fly when he's following Sonic, but when you're in direct control, there will be no aerial antics.)

    walk -- Push left or right on the D-pad to initiate Sonic's movement in either direction. As you hold the button down, Sonic gains speed.
    run -- Begin walking and hold down the button to make Sonic gain speed. After a few seconds, he'll break into a run.
    screech -- While running, quickly press and hold the opposite direction on the D-pad to make Sonic screech to a halt. He'll skid for a short distance, based on how fast he was moving.
    look up -- While standing still, press up on the D-pad to make Sonic gaze to the heavens. Continue holding up for a few moments and the camera pans upward, giving you a view of Sonic's overhead surroundings.
    crouch -- While standing still, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic duck. As you hold down, the camera pans downward, giving you a view of the stage beneath where Sonic stands.
    spin (回転) -- While moving, press down on the D-pad to make Sonic curl into a rolling attack. He'll remain in this position until you jump or slow down. The speed of Sonic's movement while in spin form is based on how fast you're moving when you launch it, and also on the terrain Sonic rolls along.
    spin jump (回転ジャンプ) -- Press A, B, or C at any time to make Sonic leap into the air with a spin attack. The height of the jump is proportional to how long you hold the button down.
    push -- Green springs in the Oil Ocean Zone can be pushed by running up against them. Continue holding the D-pad against the spring to have Sonic push it into the wall.
    Super Spin Dash (スーパースピンダッシュ) -- While crouching, tap the A, B, or C buttons to have Sonic rev up with a stationary spin. Keep tapping the jump buttons to build up momentum, and let go of the D-pad to dash off with a full speed rolling attack.

       The list of basic interactive items hasn't changed much. The giant Rings are gone as are the hidden end-of-stage bonus points, but everything else is as it was the first time around. (Note that Continues are no longer earned from Special Stages, but can be acquired by racking up a score of 10,000.)

    Ring (リング) -- As long as Sonic has some of these, he won't lose a life if he takes damage. You get an extra life for every 100 you collect, and each one is worth 100 points at the end-of-level tally.
    Item Box (アイテムボックス) -- In each stage, you'll find a number of these power-up bearing monitors. Pop them open with a spin to procure one of five power-ups:
  • Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング) - Worth 10 Rings
  • Barrier (バリア) - Absorbs one hit
  • High Speed (ハイスピード) - Temporary speed increase
  • Muteki (無敵) - Temporary invincibility
  • 1up - Gives Sonic an extra chance
  • Point Marker (ポイントマーカー) -- These hold your place in a stage: should you lose a life, you'll start back at the last Point Marker you crossed. Cross one with at least 50 Rings on hand and a rotating circle of sparkles will briefly appear above the post: jump into it to be warped to the Special Stage.
    spring -- Leap onto the broad side to catapult Sonic into the air. The yellow ones send him flying a short distance, and the more powerful red ones send him farther.
    spikes -- Don't touch the pointy side, stupid. They're usually found in sets of four, but that's not a steadfast rule. Sometimes they're just lying out in the open, and sometimes they pop in and out of the ground (or the ceiling, or the walls).
    switch -- Jump on the button to cause a change in the nearby scenery, usually necessary to proceed.
    catapult -- Run off the end to spring a short distance off the ground.
    air bubbles -- Large, oxygen-filled bubbles periodically rise from these clusters: tag one to fill Sonic's lungs with air and prolong the time you can spend underwater.
    bonus plate -- These signs can be found at the end of each first and second Act. Cross them to end the stage.
    capsule -- These are found at the end of each second act, after defeating the boss. Push the button on top to destroy the machine and free the helpless animals within.

       Eggman's got a new menagerie of robotic beasts to get in Sonic's way. Fortunately, they're as shoddily constructed as ever, because it still takes only one spin to destroy the machine and free the helpless animal trapped inside. As with Sonic 1, each busted bot is worth 100 points, but the score multiplies with each enemy destroyed in a single spin: 200 for two, 500 for three, and 1,000 points for each one thereafter.

    Ai-ai (アイアイ) -- Monkey bots that hang around in palm trees and very inconsiderately toss coconuts at Sonic as he passes by.
    Stinger (スティンガー) -- Wasp bots based on Beeton. They fly around and occasionally pause to fire a poorly-aimed flashing projectile.
    Gabuccho (ガブッチョ) -- Piranha bots based on Bata-bata. They hop up and down over waterfalls. ("Gabu-gabu" is Japanese for gulp or guzzle.)
    Grabber (グラバー) -- Spider bots that glide along ceilings. If Sonic approaches underneath, Grabber will drop down and pluck the hapless hog from the ground, then self-destruct with his victim in tow.
    Lander (ランダー) -- Slow-moving bots that crawl along the ground or wall and periodically spout flashing projectiles.
    Handrill (ハンドリル) -- Mole bots loosely based on Mogurin. They bust out of cliffs in the background and roll along the ground.
    Piranha (ピラーナ) -- Piranha bots that swim in place and lunge mindlessly at Sonic as soon as he approaches. Don't worry about them if they miss, because they aren't smart enough to swim back and try again.
    Bun-bun (ブンブン) -- Annoying horsefly bots that buzz around in Sonic's face. They're usually found in pairs. ("Bun-bun" is Japanese for buzz.)
    Guardon (ガードン) -- Heavily-armed crab bots that can't be damaged from the front or above. The only way to take them out is to roll into them from behind.
    Tsun-tsun (ツンツン) -- Bots armed with pointy spiked shells. They crawl slowly along the ground or ceiling and fire their spiral shells straight upward (or downward), leaving them completely defenseless. ("Tsun-tsun" is Japanese for pointed.)
    Zaura (ザウラ) -- Plesiosaur bots that sit around in lava pits. Their heads bob around on top of their long, wobbly necks and fire projectiles, but it's safe to land on their round backs, which remain in the lava even after the head has been destroyed.
    Gola (ゴーラ) -- These guys look and act just like Unidus, except they're armed with fireballs instead of spiked orbs.
    Flasher (フラッシャー) -- Firefly bots that fly around and occasionally stop to light up for a few moments. They can't be damaged while lit.
    Zakin (ザキーン) -- Centipede bots found crammed in various platform corners. When Sonic approaches, they whip out to attack, then curl back in and try it again. Aim for the spherical noggin, Zakin's only weak point.
    Octar (オクター) -- Octopus bots that sit in place, then spin into the air to fire flashing projectiles.
    Seadra (シードラ) -- Sea horse bots that hover around and fire oil balls. ("Seadra" is short for sea dragon.)
    Telstar (テルスター) -- Kamikaze star bots that hover in place until Sonic approaches, then explode into a shower of spikes.
    Kani Punch (カニパンチ) -- Fiddler crab bots that crawl slowly along the ground and attack with spring-loaded pincers. Since they're usually found in narrow passages that don't offer much jumping space, it's a difficult attack to avoid. ("Kani" is Japanese for crab.)
    Kamakiller (カマキラー) -- Mantis bots that waddle along the ground and pause to fling their sickle-like arms. The attack is nigh impossible to avoid, but once it's out of the way, the bots are immobile and completely defenseless. ("Kamakiri" is Japanese for mantis.)
    Valkyn (バルキーン) -- Sleek fighter plane bots that dash across the screen from right to left.
    Potosu (ポトス) -- Well-armored bots that hover in midair, then rise and poop spiked balls when Sonic and Tails approach. ("Poto-poto" means to trickle down in thick drops.)
    Dawson (ドースン) -- Little tortoise bots that stand on big tortoise bots. As long as the little one is around, he'll make the big one fire flashing projectiles. Destroy junior and poppa becomes a harmless platform.
    Kokekko (コケッコー) -- Chicken bots that dutifully man the Wing Fortress' artillery and fire egg bullets. They can only be destroyed from directly above. ("Kokekko" is the Japanese equivalent of cluck.)

       There are twice as many stages this time, but they're not as long as they used to be. Except for Metropolis, each Zone is comprised of only 2 rounds with the boss encounter at the end of the second. At the end of each Act, bonus points are awarded based on Rings and time remaining. If you manage to collect every single blessed Ring in the entire stage and make it across the bonus plate without losing a single one, your inhuman efforts are rewarded with a 50,000 point Perfect Bonus. Bosses, as usual, take 8 hits to defeat and serve up a 1,000 point bonus.

    Emerald Hill Zone -- This tropical resort is fast and straightforward. Slam into horizontal corkscrew bridges at max speed to defy gravity and spiral across. Caverns are laced with spikes, so exercise caution when leaping underground.

    Drill Eggman (ドリルエッグマン) -- Eggman hits the ground rolling as he tries to mow Sonic and/or Tails down with his drill mobile. He simply rolls back and forth along the ground, but after taking 6 hits, he'll fire the drill bit off like a projectile.

    Boss
    Chemical Plant Zone -- The factory is flooded with a neon pink chemical fluid - it's safe to swim in, but there are no air bubbles. Hop into a pipe for a quick ride to another part of the stage.

    Water Eggman (ウォーターエッグマン) -- Rotating panels line either side of the arena and chemical death lies below, leaving the middle platform as the only save haven. Eggman flies overhead and collects the poison fluid into a tub: when the container is full, he dumps the load onto the invading heroes.

    Boss
    Aquatic Ruin Zone -- These swampy ruins are halfway submerged. If you can keep high and dry, it's a piece of cake. Get wet, and the irritating underwater mechanics kick in. Ancient columns rise from the ground and obstruct your path: smash them with a spin. Eggman panels attached to the ruins fire arrows at Sonic as he passes by.

    Tonkachi Eggman (トンカチエッグマン) Four-tiered totem poles rise from the ground at either end of the arena, while Eggman hovers about overhead with a giant hammer. He moves from side to side, whacking the tops of the totem poles with the mallet: upon being bopped, the totem will spit an arrow out of a random head. The arrow flies across the arena and gets jammed into the opposite pole, offering a platform with which to reach Eggman. Arrows fall off after a few seconds, so move with the haste.

    Boss
    Casino Night Zone -- This glitzy casino city forms a massive pinball board similar to Spring Yard. Bobbins are worth 10 points a bop up to 10 times for a total of 100 points. Green bumpers are worth 10 points a smack, but they disappear after 3 hits (chain them during their "red" phase after the second hit for 500 points a smack). Jump into the giant slot machines and try to line up three images in a row for a Ring bonus. Line up three Eggmans, however, and you get ambushed with bombs that subtract 100 Rings from your total. Hold down A, B, or C to build momentum in the Pinball Shooters, then release to catapult out at max speed.

    Catcher Eggman (キャッチャーエッグマン) -- The arena is a small pinball table with Eggman smack in the middle. He hovers back and forth, but is guarded from below by electric pincers. As you pass underneath, he'll drop an exploding projectile or reach down and try to shock the hell out of you, so make your trips on the floor short and to the point. Spin Dash up the sides of the board to attack Eggman from above.

    Boss
    Hill Top Zone -- Destroy purple rocks for 100 points each, and burrow through soft earth to multiply the bonus. In the middle of Act 2, an earthquake shifts the landscape, forcing you to run through a cavern from boiling magma or rising crust, depending on which part of the stage you're in.

    Submarine Eggman (サブマリンエッグマン) -- Eggman cranks up the heat in his lava sub. He pops out long enough to blast Sonic/Tails with a flame thrower and set the ground on fire, but the window of opportunity to inflict damage is small.

    Boss
    Mystic Cave Zone -- You're at the mercy of the machinery in this rather spacious underground cavern. Hang onto vines for a lift or a quick change of scenery. Be careful not to get squished around the rotating crates.

    Drill Eggman II (ドリルエッグマンII) -- Eggman's outfitted his flying mobile with twin drills that he uses to burrow into the roof of the cave, triggering small earthquakes that shake out debris and spikes.

    Boss
    Oil Ocean Zone -- This massive refinery is constructed atop an ocean of petroleum so thick it would make John D. Rockefeller piss his pants with glee. Sink in the crude and you'll lose a life, but you can skim the surface by constantly tapping the jump button. Push green buttons into the wall, then release for a springy boost.

    Submarine Eggman II (サブマリンエッグマンII) -- The arena consists of two raised platforms and a pool of petroleum. Every once in a while, Eggman peeks out from the oil: be quick, because he doesn't stay out for long. While submerged, he'll attack with one of two attachments: a claw sickle that whips out in a curved arc over the platform, or a laser gun that fires three beams before returning to the depths. If one of the laser beams hits the platform, it'll sweep the surface.

    Boss
    Metropolis Zone -- This massive Zone is the only stage in Sonic 2 with three full Acts. The air chutes from Scrap Brain are back, and giant rotating tunnels present a new obstacle. Time your jumps when hopping along copper blocks to avoid getting a spear rammed up your blue butt. Run right to ascend and left to descend on screw platforms.

    Flying Eggman (フライングエッグマン) -- Eggman's mobile becomes the axis for a rotating ring of 7 egg pods. Each time you manage to squeeze a hit in between the pods, one of them breaks away and morphs into a false Eggman. The false Eggmen pop after a single hit, but when they collect on screen they can become a fatal distraction. Once all seven pods have been destroyed, Eggman dashes to one side of the arena and strafes the screen with giant laser blasts.

    Boss
    Sky Chase Zone -- Eggman's escaping to the friendly skies, so Sonic and Tails give chase in the Tornado. Your character rides the wings while the secondary character pilots. No matter where you move, your partner will be sure to catch you, so don't worry about falling (but don't try to Spin Dash). Do worry about the formations of aerial enemies that scroll by. It's not easy to grab back lost Rings, so a single hit can spell doom. Sky Chase has only one Act and no boss.

    Wing Fortress Zone -- Big-ass lasers knock the Tornado out of the sky as it approaches the fortress. The character on the wings leaps onto the flying citadel while the unfortunate pilot goes down with the ship. Eggman's aerial base is loaded with nasty contraptions, but the biggest danger frequently proves to be falling off the screen. You can grab a lift on giant fans or a quick dash on the aircraft accelerators. Wing Fortress only has one act.

    Barrier Eggman (バリアエッグマン) -- Laser walls trap Sonic/Tails in a small arena with a giant laser blaster that glides along the ceiling. The blaster occasionally pauses to open up its laser eye and charge up a huge blast that sweeps the arena. The blaster can only be damaged during this brief charge phase, but it lies just out of reach. However, careening precariously around the arena are a trio of tiny platforms which can be used for a boost. Just be wary of the undersides, which are covered quite thoroughly in sharp spikes. Clear this boss and Eggman escapes to space, but fortunately, it seems Tails (or Sonic) has not only repaired the Tornado, but fitted it with a rocket engine adequate for stratospheric travel.

    Death Egg Zone -- There's not a Ring in sight in Eggman's celestial fortress, home to the 2 most difficult bosses in the game.

    Mecha Sonic (メカソニック) -- The robot doppelganger zips across the arena: sometimes he rolls along the ground, sometimes he leaps, sometimes he fires off spikes, and sometimes he just dashes upright. Don't mess with his razor spin - time your attacks to land when he's on his feet. He's a tough monkey, but he'll go down after the usual 8 hits.

    Death Egg (デスエッグ) -- The giant robot lumbers slowly around the arena, but the lower half of said monstrosity is invulnerable. The only way Sonic/Tails can reach the breakable upper half is to wait for the right moment. After trudging around for a bit, Eggman rockets off the top of the screen, causing a target to appear over your character. When the target begins flashing, get the hell out of the way because the giant egg bot is about to come crashing down. Immediately after landing, the machine lurches forward presenting the only safe opportunity to attack. But take heed: every other fall, he'll fire off his spiked arms which are nigh impossible to avoid unless you're out of reach. Also, be sure to never get stuck behind the egg mech, or it'll send a barrage of mini egg bombs in your general direction, more or less ensuring your death. The Death Egg takes 12 hits to defeat.

       The game has a total of three different endings: Sonic's ending, Tails' ending, and Super Sonic's ending. Clear the game sans any or all of the Chaos Emeralds to view Sonic's ending. Tails will get the same ending whether he's got all 7 Emeralds or not. Super Sonic's ending can only be accessed by clearing the game as Sonic with all 7 Emeralds. The miraculous gems, once again, can be procured through Special Stages. To enter a Special Stage, cross a Point Marker with at least 50 Rings in the bank. A rotating ring of red sparkles will appear for a short period of time above the post: leap in and it's off to Emerald land.

       Sonic and Tails (or just Sonic, or just Tails) run through a pseudo-3D half pipe. Move left or right to scoot up the sides of the tube or loop through the air. Press A, B, or C to jump. Scattered around the pipe are Rings and bombs. The object is to collect the requisite amount of Rings to cross each Check Gate (チェックゲート) while avoiding bombs, which subtract Rings from your total. Clear 3 rounds of Ring grabbing to be rewarded with a Chaos Emerald.

    Ring (リング) -- You need to collect the requisite amount of Rings to pass each Check Gate.
    bomb (爆弾) -- Smack into one of these and 10 Rings are subtracted from your total.
    Chaos Emerald (カオスエメラルド) -- There are 7 this time. Collect them all to view the good ending, and, if you're playing as Sonic, earn the ability to transform into Super Sonic.

       Collect all seven Chaos Emeralds as Sonic and you earn the ability to transform into Super Sonic. Collect 50 Rings and leap in the air to do the transformation thang, where you change from a mild-mannered blue hedgehog into a blazing yellow speed demon faster than a speeding bullet and capable of leaping tall Eggmen in a single bound. As Super Sonic, you are faster, able to jump higher, and invulnerable to all attacks except getting squished or falling off the screen. The catch is that you are also a Ring guzzler. You need 50 Rings to transform, and once you do, the Rings are juiced out of your tally one by one. Keep a steady supply coming in, because if the count hits zero, it's back to plain blue Sonic.

       Grab a homie and hit up the new versus mode to race for points in one of 4 courses. When one player reaches the end of the Act, the other player has 60 seconds to reach the exit before being disqualified. When both players have reached the goal, the score is tallied up based on the following criteria: points, time, Rings on hand, total Rings and Item Boxes. The winner of the race is the player who has won the majority of these five categories. The 2-player stages include Emerald Hill, Casino Night, Mystic Cave, and a Special Stage. Item Boxes contain a special assortment of goods:

    • High Speed (ハイスピード) -- Temporary speed increase
    • Sonic Mark (ソニックマク) -- Sonic gets a 1up, regardless of who opens the Item Box
    • Miles Mark (マイルスマク) -- Tails gets a 1up, regardless of who opens the Item Box
    • Muteki (無敵) -- Temporary invincibility
    • Big 10 Ring (ビッグ10リング) -- Worth 10 Rings
    • Barrier (バリア) -- Absorbs 1 hit
    • Eggman Mark (エッグマンマク) -- Inflicts damage
    • Teleportation (テレポテーション) -- Both players switch places. Any power-ups you may be carrying (Barriers and invincibility) are transferred to your opponent. In the main options menu, you can choose to play with Teleportation boxes exclusively.


    :: Comparison ::
       In the late 80's and early 90's, Sega Europe released a modified version of the Master System and Mega Drive hardware for use in arcades. The multi-cart system was known as Mega-Tech, and the JAMMA version (Mega Drive only) as Mega Play. The motherboard could host up to eight cartridges at a time, from which players could choose whatever they wanted to play. Among the supported games available for both Mega-Tech and Mega Play were Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

       The Mega-Tech version of Sonic 2 is mostly identical to the European Mega Drive version. The only big difference is that there's an ever-present countdown restricting your play time. You get an additional 3 minutes for each coin you insert. The Mega Play version, unlike the MP version of Sonic 1, is also nearly identical to its Mega Drive counterpart. The only major changes are the exclusion of Special Stages and, interestingly, the timer. There are no extra lives: 1up Item Boxes are replaced with Big 10 Rings, and no matter how many Rings you've got when you cross a Point Marker, that comforting ring of stars shan't appear. There's no options menu at the title screen, just the normal 1 player game as Sonic & Tails. Unlike the spliced Mega Play version of Sonic 1, Sonic 2 contains all its Zones and bosses, plus the usual ending and credit roll (you automatically get the good Super Sonic ending). Oddly, there is no high score screen.

       On June 7, 2006, Panasonic launched its FOMA P902iS line of mobile phones in Japan. This model features a port of Sonic 2 pre-installed in each unit. As with the mobile version of Sonic 1, a Stage Select option allows players to start the game at any previously accessed Zone while high scores are automatically uploaded to a national ranking. Several months after the 902 launch, a second version of the game was released for the 903 series. The 903 version features a graphically enhanced title screen and a new Attack Mode, an endurance game of successive Special Stages or boss fights.


    :: Lost in Translation ::
       Sonic 2 was developed in the US by Sega Technical Institute and released around the world almost simultaneously, so there are no significant differences between international versions. The only notable change is how Tails' name is displayed in the various menus. In the Japanese version, he's referred to as "Miles" while in the US and European versions, he's simply "Tails." Note that whichever is the default, it can be changed by activating the code listed below.
    :: Codes ::
    14 Continues: Go to the Sound Test and play the following tracks in this order: 1, 1, 2, 4. (November 24 was "Sonic Twosday," the game's US release date.) Now highlight the "Player Select" option, and press start. You will begin the game with the maximum of 14 continues.

    Change "Miles" to "Tails": The character box where your remaining lives are displayed normally reads "Miles" when playing as Tails. It can be changed to read "Tails" by inputting the following sequence at the title screen: . You should hear a Ring chime. (Note that in the US and European versions, the character box reads "Tails" by default, and this code changes it to "Miles.")

    Level Select: Go to the Sound Test and play the following tracks in this order: 19, 65, 09, 17. (September 17, 1965 was Yuji Naka's birthday.) You should hear a Ring chime. Go back to the title screen, then hold down A and press START.

    Debug Mode: Activate the level select code. Go to the new Sound Test and play the following tracks in this order: 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4. (November 24, 1992 was "Sonic Twosday," the game's US release date.) Now, hold down A and select your level. Press a button to begin construction:
       A = Changes highlighted item
       B = Toggles between items and Sonic
       C = Places highlighted item

    Auto Super Sonic: Activate the level select code. At the new Sound Test, play the following tracks in this order: 4, 1, 2, 6. You should hear the Chaos Emerald sound effect. You now have all seven Chaos Emeralds and are able to transform into Super Sonic.


    :: Behind the Screens ::
       Despite the success of Sonic 1, not all were happy within the Sonic Team studio. Lead programmer Yuji Naka, frustrated over Sega's seniority-based salary policy, left the company. Mark Cerny, product manager at Sega of America and a personal friend of Naka's, convinced the apostate programmer to fly over to the states and join the newly established Sega Technical Institute. Cerny had founded STI as a sort of training ground where Sega's green American developers could learn tricks of the trade from the more experienced Japanese staff. The division was cofounded by Sonic 1 director Hirokazu Yasuhara who was already in place at the new studio. With two of the most influential Sonic 1 developers in his camp, Cerny proposed a Sonic sequel to the company executives. The initial response was a no, as Sega felt it was too early for a sequel to a game that was still pulling in big money at retail. However, just as Cerny and co had begun working on an unrelated project, Sega turned around and requested that the Sonic sequel be developed after all. STI thus began development of Sonic 2 two months behind schedule.

       As with the creation of Sonic himself, an internal competition was held to come up with a new sidekick character. The most popular entry was Yasushi Yamaguchi's sketch of a young two-tailed fox. Yamaguchi really wanted his character to be called Miles, but he was overruled and Sonic's new buddy ended up as "Tails". Discontent, Yamaguchi sneaked the name "Miles" into much of the game's background art and in the end he won a compromise: Sonic's aspiring young friend was officially named Miles "Tails" Prower ("Tails" being the character's nickname).


    :: Notes ::
    2 tails: Tails' extraneous caudal appendage has its roots in Japanese folklore, where foxes are portrayed as magical beings with the ability to assume human form. As a fox, or kitsune, ages it becomes increasingly powerful - and grows additional tails. After hundreds or thousands of years (depending on the story), a kitsune will reach its maximum strength of 9 tails. They're notoriously mischievous, so if you're walking in the woods and happen across a nine-tailed fox, it's probably not something you want to investigate.

    Super Sonic: Sonic's transformation into Super Sonic is a spoof of Dragon Ball, the insanely popular flagship work of manga artist Akira Toriyama. In the comic, which was serialized in Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, the hero Son Gokuu (the Monkey King) searches for the seven legendary Dragon Balls. Eventually he is able to transform into a Super Saiyan, a form in which he gains immense power along with spiky golden hair. (Apparently, Naka is a bit of a Dragon Ball fan and was having the anime recorded and mailed to him on tape during his stint at STI.)


    :: Miscellanea ::
    • Tails was originally intended to be a tanuki, a strikingly raccoon-like canid native to east Asia, and extremely popular in Japanese folklore. The designers decided to change him to a fox, however, to avoid possible comparisons with another popular game character. (Mario in his tanuki suit, perhaps?)
    • The music is once again composed by Masato Nakamura of the Japanese band Dreams Come True.
    • The ending theme inspired the Dreams Come True song, "SWEET SWEET SWEET". The song was released on "The Swinging Star" album on November 14, 1992.
    • According to Tim Skelly, much of the game's credit roll is incorrect. Apparently it was written up and shoved in at the last minute.
    • The name "Emerald Hill" comes from Emerald Lake Hills, California, a posh neighborhood in San Mateo County. Sega was doing a location test for Sonic 2 at a shopping mall in the area and Sonic Team decided to use the name because of its similarity to "Green Hill".
    • Casino Night was inspired by periodic staff trips to Las Vegas.
    • Originally, a unique one-Act Zone was meant to follow Metropolis Act 2, but due to time constraints the extra graphic set had to be dropped. However, rather than eliminate the stage entirely, the designers opted to use the Metropolis graphic set and make the extra stage Metropolis Act 3.
    • Song #10 in the sound test is from the Hidden Palace Zone, which didn't make it into the final version of the game.

    Written content and original graphics copyright 1997-2007 Jared Matte. Hosting and administration thanks to Nathan Tsui. Sonic the Hedgehog characters, logos, and images are trademarks of
    SEGA Corporation. The GHZ is an independent fansite and is not affiliated with SEGA Corporation.