Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Megadrive)

Sonic 2 title screen

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scrolling platform video game for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis, sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog.

The video game was released in Japan for the Sega Megadrive on November 21, 1992. The Sega Genesis release in the United States came three days later, on November 24, 1992. The European Megadrive release came later in November 1992. Re-released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 as part of the Sonic Mega Collection.

The storyline as the instruction booklet has it: Dr. Robotnik (Dr. Eggman in Japan) has captured all of the animals of the world and it is up to Sonic to free them. However, no ingame plotline exists - it is simply Sonic and/or Tails running through various different zones with no connections between them.

The most noticeable addition to this game is the appearance of Tails, Sonic's sidekick, and a two player competitive mode. It was also possible for Sonic to become Super Sonic, turning his spines yellow and spiky. This is influenced by an ancient Japanese legend, the "Golden Warrior", which influenced both Dragon Ball Z and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic 2 was special in that it was produced at the Sega Technical Institute in the United States. American developers helped with the creation of the game. Two artists in particular stand out - Brenda Ross and Craig Stitt. Peter Morawiec and Tim Skelly did some art for the Special Stages.

Time restrictions and Yuji Naka's hatred for the work the American artists did necessitated dropping some features and levels from the final game. Study by fans of the internals of the game using emulators and a debug mode revealed hidden incomplete levels and unused sounds and graphics.

List of zones

Emerald Hill Zone

The first level which is a green island with big fields, beaches and other tropicals islands in the distance. Dr. Robotnik tries to run Sonic down with his Egg-dune buggy.

Chemical Plant Zone

Dr. Robotnik's Chemical plant, full of tubes and floating platforms where he is developing a new substance called "Mega-mack" to kill sonic with it.

Aquatic Ruin Zone

An Ancient ruin located in a forest valley partially submerged in water, Dr. Robotnik tries to use the ruin's technology against Sonic between two pillers which spit out arrows.

Casino Night Zone

A city that never sleeps, Full of pin-ball rooms and flashing light. Be careful of the slot machines because if you get 3 Dr.Robotnik's you lose all your rings. Dr.Robotnik tries to kill Sonic with his neon spike ball machine.

Hill Top Zone

A zone high above the clouds, the mountain is also an activate volcano and Dr. Robotnik uses the lava to shoot fireballs and set the grass alight in his Lava Submerene.

Mystic Cave Zone

An old, dark abandoned Mine inhabited by badniks which attempt to shock or collide into Sonic. Dr.Robotnik tries to stab him with sharp debris as he uses his machines to drill into the ceiling of the Mine.

Oil Ocean Zone

A Zone polluted by Dr. Robotnik's Oil drilling projects, The viscosity of the oil allows Sonic to run across but can die if he is totally submerged in it. Dr. Robotnik tries to kill sonic again in his submerene but uses spikes and lasers this time.

Metropolis Zone

An extra long level where Dr. Robotnik resides, There are lots of machines here including the Pipe Teleporter and screw elevators, also Badnik star which explode to punture Sonic with. After reaching the end of act 3 he battles Dr.Robotnik who protects himself within spiraling eggs containing a fake robotnik.

Sky Chase Zone

In order to chase Dr. Robotnik, Tails uses his Tornado plane to fly into the sky to battle concorde birds and turtle battleships, This is a very short level with 1 act and no bosses.

Wing Fortress Zone

After Tails's plane is shot down, Sonic jumps onto Dr. Robotnik's sky ship where he has to avoid falling to his doom and reach the bridge to Dr. Robotnik, Sonic is ambushed and has to dodge a massive laser while the walls narrow. The Laser ends up blowing the circuits and Dr. Robotnik tries to escape in his spaceship. Tails comes back with the plane and flys Sonic close to the ship using a Rocket booster installed at the bottom of the plane, Sonic Grabs on to Dr. Robotnik's ship and gets to the Death egg.

Death Egg Zone

(The original version only has the bosses but a hacked version called Sonic 2: Long version has 3 acts) Sonic must battle against a silver sonic robot with no rings to help him, after defeating the robot Sonic chases an Uncatchable Robotnik into a giant eggman robot which sonic has to destroy...After beating the last boss he runs out of the detonating Death egg and sky falls back to Mobius.

== Beta Levels == These levels existed in the Beta Version of the game which is avalibable on the internet which were mostly incomplete, A Version called Sonic 2: Long Version recreated the levels to be entirely playable.

Wood Zone

In S2:LV, This zone appears to be some dense forest zone which contains ALOT of falling into a void areas and slightly clitchy. In the Beta Version this level was cut very short due to the fact that you couldn't get past the first ramp and hit the floor above instead. In the Long Version the boss is the same as Aquatic Ruin Zone and music from the 2P mode of Emerald Hill. This Zone also has the Badniks that were never shown in the released version including a Triceretop and Round bug Badniks.

Dust Hill

In S2:LV, This zone appears to be some desert plain with very little parallax scrolling in the background and has a bit too many badniks in it, as well as having alot of difficult pitfalls everywhere making this Zone very difficult to complete. In the Beta Version this level wasn't activated and you ended up appearing to fall and die all the time. The Boss is the same as Emerald Hill Zone and music from the 2P Mode of Mystic cave. This Zone also has the Badniks that were never shown in the released version including a Crocodile and Round bug Badniks.

Genocide City

In S2:LV, This Zone appears to be a dark, stormy city made to look evil and has very slow but justifed parallax scrolling. This Zone has loads of one type of Badnik and the 2 acts are practically the same as each other. In one of the doorways a Sonic 3 ghost can be seen lighting up and darkening. The boss is the same as in Chemical Plant Zone but the platforms are difficult to land on plus there is nothing stopping you from dieing by falling in it. In the beta version this also is the same falling and dieing as in Dust hill. The music comes from the 2P Mode of Casino Night.

Hidden Palace

This zone appears to be an underwater cavern with large crystals in it. Both S2:LV and Beta versions of this Zone are playable but the LV version is completable and less glitchy. This contains badniks never seen in the released version and has a red dinosaur badnik in it. Although the boss is the same as Mystic Cave Zone, the music for the Zone was actually in the Beta and sound test of the released version.

Extra Death Egg levels

In S2:LV, Death egg has 3 acts; The first 2 acts are just Chemical plant zone but with a space BG and a different pallet of colors in the other sprites. The first 2 acts are exsactly the same as Chemical plant but returns to the orignal Death egg zone with the bosses except that it was renamed as Death Egg Act 3.

Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a game created by locking "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" to a passthru cartridge that was released by Sega later, called Sonic & Knuckles (this being the only passthru cartridge ever). The resulting game is identical to "Sonic the Hedgehog 2", with the exception that you play as Knuckles the Echidna throughout it. Some fans believe that Sonic 2 was created with foreknowledge that such an add-on device would be added later and that the unfinished levels were somehow connected with this fact, but this is incorrect - the majority of the changes to Sonic 2 are actually contained in a separate upper memory loaded by the Sonic and Knuckles ROM first loaded upon bootup, and the Sonic 2 data is accessed very rarely.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 beta

A widely distributed beta version of the game, Sonic the Hedgehog prototype v1.54, better known as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 beta, has arrays of incomplete zones.

In the beta copy, only 4 levels can be played in "normal" gameplay (though technically this is a prerelease to test some feature and so there is no real level order). The rest have to be accessed through the level select code. Many are not playable, so the debug code is used to explore the acts. Some of the acts are blank, therefore causing Sonic and Tails to fall to their deaths in the act. The widely distributed beta version may have been altered slightly by pirates to stop the SEGA logo from showing when the ROM boots up. The game was put on pirate cartridges in Asia and Brazil and passed on as the final version. The beta is frequently examined by hackers to determine how Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Megadrive was developed.

Zones accessible through normal play in the prototype:

  • Neo Green Hill Zone (Aquatic Ruin Zone in the final)
  • Chemical Plant Zone
  • Hill Top Zone
  • Green Hill Zone (Emerald Hill Zone in the final, only zone with a boss - game is rebooted with the SEGA logo after Doctor Eggman is defeated)

Zones accessible only through level select:

  • Wood Zone (1st act incomplete, 2nd act empty - both are not in final version)
  • Metropolis Zone (incomplete)
  • Hidden Palace Zone (incomplete, Beta has graphics and objects - final version has garbled graphics, no enemies, and has the auto spins, but is otherwise the same. It can still be accessed on the final version via cheating devices.)
  • Oil Ocean Zone (incomplete)
  • Dust Hill Zone (beta name for Mystic Cave Zone)
  • Casino Night Zone (incomplete)
  • Genocide City Zone (empty, not in final version)
  • Death Egg Zone (Empty, shortened to 1 act from 2 in the final version)

A mock-up picture exists which proves that at one stage in development, a desert-like zone complete with cacti was planned in a Sonic 2 prototype before the dumped version. Until recently this zone was believed to be named Dust Hill Zone; however, hacking has proven that this is not the case, and we have nothing to suggest that the level has ever existed in a playable format.

Another Version called Sonic 2: Long Version was made to recreate playable zones of the incomplete levels in the Beta Version.

External links