Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Click for Title Screen Music

The success of Sonic the Hedgehog solidified Sega’s market presence more specifically their Mega Drive/Genesis console and gamers wanted more Sonic and the logical people over at Sega started work on a sequel.

With the news of a second Sonic game in development public expectations began to build resulting in some of the biggest hype that would ever surround a console game and in the end, it became a massive success for Sega, possibly their biggest, and one of the best 100 games of all time frequently in poles.


Sonic The Hedgehog 2

The Sonic craze that had started in the early 90's with the original Sonic the Hedgehog turned into 'Sonicmania' when the news of the development of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit the press. The Mega Drive was selling well with the original Sonic which now had become packaged with the console as standard (and many other great games) paving the way ready for a massive Sonic return.

At the Chicago Consumer Electronics Show in July 1992, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was premiered to the worlds press. However, Sega decided that the version they were showing was too early in it’s development stages for press coverage and banned anyone who wanted to point a camera. The demo booth was guarded by bouncers to stop journalists from taking pictures. It was o.k to write about the game, it was not to take any pictures though some partial images were leaked showing Emerald Hill Zone and Robotnik.

It was not until August that the press actually got hold of approved pictures. With a flurry of cover stories and "World Exclusive" headlines the hype surrounding the now famous blue hedgehog began to gain momentum. Actually one magazine was so desperate to say that they managed to get Sonic 2 that they actually modified some screenshots of the first game and wrote a whole in-depth feature about what they thought should be in the game; not what was actually in it.

Sonic 2 was also the first console game to get a simultaneous world-wide release. Dubbed Sonic '2uesday' hedgehog fans all around the world got to enjoy the game on the same day. Massive queues formed outside game shops for people to get their hands on the second Sonic outing.

Sonic 2 went on to be the best selling Sonic game, best selling Mega Drive/Genesis game and best selling 16-Bit game with loads of hype and a strong marketing campaign behind it. You could buy just about anything with Sonic 2 on it, well anything a kid would want to buy anyway. The game spawned loads of colourful platform clones which never matched Sonic but some were noble attempts.

Sonic 2 was the game that introduced the sidekick Miles ‘Tails’ Prower - a fox with signature two tails who could fly if he used them. He flies around helping Sonic out on his adventure and has a knack for mechanical things.


Dr Robotnik has started to build his Death Egg, a giant base in orbit, but to finish the job he must have loads more slaves and power. Animals are again starting to disappear and more robots are appearing in their place.

For a source of power Robotnik must harness the power of the Chaos Emeralds. This would give his Death Egg infinite power. They are buried somewhere on the island and you must get to them before he does.


Sonic 2 takes the same simplistic based gameplay of the original and tweaks it slightly to make an even better platform experience. The main addition to the game is the new character Miles ‘Tails’ Prower. By spinning his tails quickly he can take flight. During normal play he merely follows Sonic about onscreen and gets killed though he is able to collect rings and kill Badniks (enemies) for which there are more to deal with.

As previously mentioned the gameplay merely builds upon the original thus creating a traditional Sonic formula: racing from the start to the end of an act collecting rings and special items, destroying enemies in the best time possible (certainly before 9:59) with a side goal of collecting all of the Chaos Emeralds inside the Special Stages. Each zone contains the usual objects like spikes, bridges, tunnels and moving blocks etc as well as new ones such as rotating springs and Mobius Twists.
10 rings

gives you 10 rings.


makes you invincible but you can still drown, be crushed or die in a bottomless pit (falling off the screen).

Speed Up

gives a boost in speed for a short amount of time


gives Sonic or Tails a personal shield. Protects from a hit.

Extra Life

Extra Life

Extra Life

Extra Life


these act as both restart points and access to the Special Stages. Simply run past them to activate.

Sonic and Tails are both playable characters. The default play mode is Sonic with Tails following. This is changed on the options screen. Available options are Sonic alone, Tails alone or Sonic and Tails. Both characters are controlled exactly the same. During normal play Tails can be controlled by a second player although the can not break open monitors, but he is useful for grabbing some rings and defeating Robotnik in some of the more tricky encounters. Tails’ flying abilities are not available to the player. They are for show on the screen.

The D-Pad LEFT or RIGHT held in either direction will give some speed. Sonic will sprint and Tails' tails will begin to rotate. Holding UP or DOWN whilst stationary will make your character crouch and lookup and the screen scroll slightly. The Spin Attack returns and is performed whilst running and pressing DOWN to make your character roll across the ground a.k.a Spin Attack which can be used for attacking and getting some more speed especially round the loops.

The new move is the Spin Dash done by holding down and tapping the jump buttons. Sonic and/or Tails revs up on the spot. Release down to zoom off. The faster you press the jump buttons during revving up the quicker you’ll fly off. This move is great for whizzing around loops and destroying enemies.
Sonic doing the Spin Dash Tails doing the Spin Dash

Sonic Spin Dash

Tails Spin Dash

The maximum running speed of Sonic has been greatly increased. The top speed is blazingly fast compared to the first game where there was a limit (unless rolling) but even this comes no where near as fast as Sonic 2. Rolling can further still bring a speed increase to the point where you can not see what is happening because the level is scrolling too fast. An excellent demonstration of this is Chemical Plant Zone. Tails can move quite swiftly also.

In Sonic 2 each zone now has only 2 acts with a contraption containing Robotnik appearing at the end of act 2. In total there are 11 zones, 7 of which have 2 acts whilst Metropolis Zone has 3 acts and Sky Chase, Wing Fortress and Death Egg Zone all have only 1 act. To signify the end of an act the majority of them have the spinning sign post with your character. No bonus points are hidden around here this time although you can stay on screen instead of running off for some reason.


Emerald Hill Zone

Chemical Plant Zone

Aquatic Ruin Zone

Casino Night Zone

Hill Top Zone

Mystic Cave Zone

Oil Ocean Zone

Metropolis Zone

Sky Chase Zone

Wing Fortress

Death Egg Zone


Click on a name for more info

The Chaos Emeralds are again located in the Special Stages. This time round you can enter the Special Stage multiple times during an act by means of the star lampposts rather than a single opportunity at the end. There is usually at least 3 star lampposts in each act. With 50 rings or more, activate one simply by running past. A circle of stars will begin to rotate above the post. Jump inside to be transported.

The Special Stage is basically described as a 3D half pipe. The object is simple, collect a target amount of rings in each section of the stage. Sonic and/or Tails runs along with the ability to move left, right, loop the entire 360o if you want to which is sometimes necessary. The stage contains two objects; rings and mines. Rings you collect and mines you avoid. There are 3 or 4 sections to each Special Stage and the amount of target rings and difficulty increasing with each section completed. Both Sonic and Tails can collect rings and be hit. If you get hit by a mine then you loose 10 rings. This can be really irritating should Tails have collected some rings and both of you get hit as he will also loose 10 rings making your total loss being 20. When Tails is copying Sonic there is a slight delay in the time between Sonic moving and Tails moving. With practice this can be adjusted for.
Special Stage Special Stage

Special Stage

Special Stage

A guide for completing the Special Stages can be viewed on the Special Stage Guide Page.

Super Sonic

Super Sonic
Super Sonic

Super Sonic

If you manage to complete all the targets then you are rewarded with one of the precious Chaos Emeralds.

By playing as Sonic and managing to obtain all seven Chaos Emeralds, with 50 rings or more and jumping Sonic will transform into Super Sonic turning glowing yellow with double speed and acceleration and pretty much invincible (apart from being crushed). As Super Sonic you can rocket through each of the acts and reach some of the more difficult locations. This comes with a price though. All the time you are Super Sonic your ring count is on the decline. When your rings equals zero it's back to standard blue Sonic. Beware because you have no rings. Whether you have all of the Chaos Emeralds in your possession or not alters the ending sequence of the game slightly.

There are 3 endings to Sonic 2 all very similar; Sonic with all the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic without all the Chaos Emeralds and Tails. Not much difference between the three but the story is complete with all the emeralds in Sonic's possession.

A great addition to Sonic 2 is the inclusion of the 2 Player Vs Mode. At the time is was the first game to ever perform a split screen play which was quite a feat of programming. This is basically the same game playing in two fully scrollable windows on the screen. Player one controls the top half of the screen and player 2 controls the bottom. There is a slight speed drop when things get a little busy but this is hardly noticeable.
2 Players - Mystic Cave Zone 2 Players - Emerald Hill Zone

2 Player Vs - Mystic Cave Zone

2 Player Vs - Emerald Hill Zone

In 2 Player mode you must complete Emerald Hill Zone, Casino Night Zone, Mystic Cave Zone and a Special Stage. You can choose the zones to play but must complete all. The goal is basically win the race to the end of the act. Each act plays exactly the same as during a normal game with two additional monitors.

the transport monitor swaps the positions of the opponents.


instantly kills you and returns you to the last star post you activated.

The boxes containing Special Items can be tweaked with for a 2 player game on the Options screen. Choices are for transport only and all types items. The transport only option makes for an interesting game as all monitors are transport whereas all kinds items allows all Special Items.

When a player reaches the end of the act the second player then has 60 seconds in which to reach the end before they are disqualified by means of death. If both players should reach the end then the winner is determined by the following criteria; score, time, item boxes, rings at the present and the total amount of rings collected.

The competition ends when all rounds have been played and a winner determined by the winner of the most rounds.


Level Select Level Select

Go to Options from the title screen and then select the Music option. Then select the following tunes; 19; 65; 09; 17. You don't need to listen to the whole tune just start it. You should here a ring sound. Press Start to exit back to the title screen. When Sonic and Tails appear on the screen hold down A and press START. The screen will fade to the cheat menu. You can choose any level as well as a Special Stage if you wish.

You still have access to the sound test which you can use for further cheats.

Super Sonic

If the Special Stages are giving you real problems and you have no patience to practice until you can get them on your own, then there is a short cut. Do the level select cheat and move down to the sound test option. Play tunes 04; 01; 02; 06. Now you will instantly have ALL of the Chaos Emeralds. Choose your act and start playing.

Debug Mode Debug Mode in Emerald Hill Zone

Sonic 2 also has the same debug mode as the previous game allowing you to transform and place any object through out the game.

Enter the level select cheat and select the sound test option and play the following tunes 01; 09; 09; 02; 01; 01; 02; 04 Choose the stage you want and start playing. You should notice that your score has changed. Now the game is in debug mode.

By pressing Button A you can change Sonic or Tails into any of the objects in the game. Pressing Button C places that object on the screen while Button B changes you back to your character.

The numbers in the test sequence release to the games release date.

14 Continues

If you'd like 14 continues go to the options screen and play the following tunes 19; 65; 09; 17; 01; 01 ; 02; 04

Play Hidden Palace Zone - er sort of

You can access the incomplete Hidden Palace Zone with an Action Replay Pro cartridge. Use the codes:


Press start on the title screen as normal. The level will start and Sonic will fall and die. Not much to see really but this might be different depending on what version you have. For more information about Hidden Palace Zone check out the Secrets of Sonic 2 Feature.


Sonic 2 maybe one of the most famous games to have serious chunks of it left on the cutting room floor such as the mysterious Hidden Palace Zone. Checkout the Secrets of Sonic 2 Feature.

Hidden Palace Zone Wood Zone

Hidden Palace Zone

Wood Zone


You can download the soundtrack to the game in MP3 format on the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Soundtrack Page.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Soundtrack


This game has recently been released on Xbox Live Arcade. For more information checkout the XBox Live Arcade Page.


Sonic 2 HD

Sonic 2 HD is a community project to recreate Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive/Genesis) with modern high definition graphics and music. It also aims to add new features like Knuckles playable, extra levels and especially online gaming.

It is being produced for play on the PC (Windows XP/Vista and WINE). At the time of writing the project has advanced to having a demo available. You can follow the progress in the 'official threads at Sonic Retro

Be sure to check the project summary for the aims and history of the project.

This is truly an exciting project and is a perfect example of how Sonic gamers have taken it upon themselves (again) to create superior products compared to what Sega themselves can achieve or are at least willing to!

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