Background Information
Sonic's second major game, released nearly a year and a half later, built on the first one without straying very far away from its excellent formula. The level designs allow for more consistent high speed, and it has almost twice as many zones too, with improved graphical detail. Not least of all, it featured the debut of Sonic's twin-tailed flying sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower as a playable character, who would also accompany Sonic through the levels, and subsequent games in the series. Add to that a 2-Player mode and the first pseudo-3D Special Stages, and it's no wonder that Sonic 2 was one of the best selling games of the entire 16-bit era, hitting right at the peak of Sonic's popularity.
Details

Original system: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis

Original release dates: 21st November 1992 (Japan), 24th November 1992 (USA), November 1992 (Europe)

Developed by: Sonic Team/Sega Technical Institute

Published by: Sega

Original media: 8-Megabit cartridge

Other common aliases/abbreviations: Sonic 2

Stages: 10

Playable characters: Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower

Non-playable characters: Dr. Eggman/Robotnik

Main credits:

Executive Producer: Hayao Nakayama

Producer: Shinobu Toyoda

Game Planners: Hirokazu Yasuhara, Masaharu Yoshii

Chief Programmer: Yuji Naka

Character Design/Chief Artist: Yasushi Yamaguchi

Composer: Masato Nakamura

Also available on...

Sega Mega Drive - Sonic Compilation (1995)

Arcade - Sega Mega Play/Mega-Tech

Sega Saturn - Sonic Jam (1997)

Windows PC - Sega Smash Pack 2, Sega B-Club, RealOne Arcade (2003) and Gametap (2005) online services

Nintendo Gamecube - Sonic Mega Collection (2002), limited play on Sonic Gems Collection (2005)

Sony Playstation 2 - Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004), Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Collection (2006)

Microsoft Xbox - Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004)

Sega Mega Drive 6-in-1 Plug 'n' Play 2 (2005)

Sony Playstation Portable - Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Collection (2006)

Various Mobile Phones - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Parts 1 and 2 (2006) / Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Dash (2008)

Nintendo Wii Virtual Console - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2007)

Microsoft Xbox 360 - Xbox Live Arcade - Sega Vintage Collection: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2007), Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection/Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (2009)

Sony Playstation 3 - Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection/Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (2009)

Nintendo DS - Sonic Classic Collection (2010)

Apple iPhone/iPod Touch - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2010)

Box arts
Sonic 2 European box art
Sonic 2 US box art
Sonic 2 Japanese box art
Screenshots
Title screen
Emerald hill Zone
Chemical Plant Zone
Casino Night Zone
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#1. Comment posted by Milkyman on Wednesday, 7th January 2009, 12:28am (GMT)
Splendid Sonic info site there. My compliments. I allways wondered how big the maps actually were in pixel resolution.

Nice lay-out as well. Hope to see heaps of background info about Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD in the future.

Regards, Randy.
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 1st August 2011, 8:26am (BST)
sonic 2 should not have tails
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Monday, 1st August 2011, 8:26am (BST)
sonic 2 should not have tails
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 11th January 2013, 8:03pm (GMT)
Sonic 2 was also released for Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PC in 2006. I should know because I have the game. :P
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:16pm (BST)
Hey! Tails is actually pretty cool! That's why he is in sonic 2, but he should be able to fly like in sonic 3.
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Origin
After the overwhelming success of the first Sonic game, a sequel was inevitable. However, a slight hitch occurred when Yuji Naka, the game's lead programmer left Sega of Japan, due to various disagreements with the company. He was persuaded to join Sega Technical Institute instead (with the additional promise of a brand new Ferrari, might I add), which operated in the US, independently of Sega Japan. As it happens, Hirokazu Yasuhara, the original game planner for Sonic 1, also joined the company as part of a temporary scheme to pass wisdom on to the less experienced members of STI. Sonic needed a sequel, and with the two main men behind the original now working for STI, they were allowed to produce Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Megadrive. Soon, a competition was held inside the company to create a new sidekick to accompany Sonic in his adventures. Yasushi Yamaguchi, Sonic 2's lead artist, created Tails the flying fox (or kitsune) though he insisted that he be called Miles. A compromise was eventually made, and "Tails" was given as a more commonly used alias to his full, play-on-words name, Miles Prower (get it?). If you spot the word "Miles" appearing here and there in the game, it was probably placed by Yamaguchi, thinking that he can subtly insert it into the player's subconscious without anyone realising.
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 21st August 2011, 6:47pm (BST)
In case anyone didn't get the pun and read Prower phonetically like me, it's a pun for miles per hour. Not sure why it's pointed out and simply says "get it?" without explanation (no, i didn't "get it"!)
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 4th March 2012, 7:45pm (GMT)
STI. lol.
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Storyline
Drifting through the bright, cheerful skies, Sonic the Hedgehog, in his biplane "Tornado", finds a beautiful island down below, filled with lush green fields and hills. Smoke coming from the plane's engine forces him to take a landing on the island. As it turns out, this is West Side Island, full of legend and mystery, including tales of an ancient civilisation. The stories say that this civilisation relied on seven powerful stones to advance their society, until a fraction of them decided to use the stones for their own evil purposes. The gods disapproved, and took the stones away, locking them somewhere on this island.
While running across the island one day, Sonic realises he's being followed. He discovers that his pursuer is none other than a small kid fox, who immediately dashes out of sight upon realising he's been noticed. Sonic ignores him and carries on, but the fox became determined to catch up with him. He had two tails instead of one, and if he whirred them around like a helicopter, he could actually keep up with Sonic, and even fly in the air for a short time. Sonic was impressed with his determination, and decided to let him tag along, and soon made friends with him. The fox's name was Miles Prower, but everyone on the island preferred to call him Tails, due to his unique ability. Tails also has a love of machinery, and became fascinated by Sonic's plane when he found it on the beach one day.
Suddenly, all havoc broke loose when loud explosions began to occur in a nearby forest. This startled Sonic, who was asleep in the cockpit, and he raced over to investigate, with Tails following closely behind. Huge columns of flame rose into the sky, setting the forest on fire, and armies of robots emerged, spreading out across the island. Sonic immediately recognised them as being the work of Dr. Eggman, whose voice began to echo across the forest. He's back, and this time he's got a much larger scheme in mind. The insane scientist believes that the legends of the island speak of none other than the seven Chaos Emeralds, which Sonic successfully prevented him from obtaining in his last attack on South Island. Eggman believes all seven have returned to this island, from where they originally came, and he has plans to collect the entire set this time, in order to power his ultimate weapon; the Death Egg! A huge, round satellite orbiting the planet, capable of immense destruction. Sonic immediately races into action with Tails not far behind, his loyalty to his friend proving stronger than the fear of heading straight into dangerous territory...
A few things to point out. Firstly, the US version of the storyline fails to account for the legend of West Side Island, and even its name. It also doesn't mention anything about Sonic arriving in the Tornado, or the explosions. Again, Eggman is referred to as "Dr. Robotnik", whose intrusion is somewhat more subtle. Like in Sonic 1, he's been snatching the residents of the island and putting them inside his devilish badniks, though still has plans to use the Chaos Emeralds to power his Death Egg, and already has control over factories and refineries on the island. Notice that there are now seven Chaos Emeralds, as opposed to six in Sonic 1. This number remains for all of the following main games that they feature in, and it's commonly believed that the seventh one was lost, until now. There's also a debate over whether Tails is supposed to be a fox with a freaky mutation, or a kitsune, which is a mythological creature in Japan that looks like a fox, but has multiple tails. It supposedly gains a new one every hundred years, which would account for the twin tails, but not his supposed age of only 8. Lastly, those legends of West Side Island do sound intriguingly similar to those of Knuckles' lost race of people, detailed in the back-story of Sonic 3, and the underlying storyline of Sonic Adventure, later on in the series. Hopefully you spotted that yourself!
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#1. Comment posted by Super Volcano on Saturday, 23rd October 2010, 7:20am (BST)
The emeralds came from here? Stupid SEGA. How come Angel Island has an altar for them then? Plus the Master Emerald! Also, in Sonic 3, there was no Mystic Ruins under Angel Island. So what is going on with the Chaos Emeralds?

I always believed that the 6 'Chaos Emeralds' were completely different to the regular 7, and called them 'Aqua Stones' from then on (why? I don't know).
#2. Comment posted by SpeedingHedgehog on Wednesday, 1st June 2011, 5:59pm (BST)
Wasn't there 8 emeralds in Sonic the Fighters?
#3. Comment posted by hypermario13 on Tuesday, 29th November 2011, 3:16pm (GMT)
@Both of you:Because they are all different types of chaos emeralds
#4. Comment posted by Jo Zombie (Jiggmin.com) on Saturday, 3rd December 2011, 11:13pm (GMT)
Sonic The Hedgehog-
6 Chaos Emeralds

Sonic 2-
7 Chaos Emeralds

Sonic 3 & Knuckles
7 Chaos Emeralds, A Master Emerald, & 7 Hyperactive Emeralds
(Hyper Emeralds ARE the Chaos Emeralds only... "Advanced")
#5. Comment posted by spelling freak on Sunday, 17th November 2013, 11:28pm (GMT)
spelled civilisation wrong its c-i-v-i-l-i-Z-a-t-i-o-n
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 29th June 2014, 9:06pm (BST)
Well at least it makes more sense then what the Archie comics had...
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Comments
On the heels of the highly popular original, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was probably the most hyped Sonic game of all time. Up until its almost-worldwide release in November 1992, streams of new screenshots and information kept the gaming world salivating on a regular basis (at least I assume they were - I was only 7 at the time, and can't really remember), and the arrival of three planes at Heathrow Airport, all loaded with the game, appeared on UK TV news. But hype can leave a genuinely good product in ruins if it can't match it, so did Sonic 2 live up to all this? If the shear amount of merchandise sold and promotional products launched (such as the first Sonic cartoon and comic series) are anything to go by, not to mention the fact that it was one of the best selling 16-bit games of all time, then yes. Yes, it did. Thanks to this game, Sonic hit the undeniable peak of his popularity, becoming a true icon of the industry and for a certain time was more recognisable to kids than Mickey Mouse.
Though it offered new features such as 3D Special Stages, faster and more numerous levels, a 2-player mode and of course the addition of love-him-or-hate-him Miles "Tails" Prower, the game didn't exactly evolve the series a great deal, and the basics were still largely untouched from the original. That's ok though, because there would be plenty of time for evolution later on. Sonic 2 is one of the most popular in the series, and its above average number of stages probably makes it the richest in content of the four original Megadrive classics. Though its most difficult points (such as the final boss) are greater than those of Sonic 1, I'd say that the game isn't quite so tough, in general, but still provides plenty of challenges and some definite classic stages and enjoyable moments. As usual, the music is excellent, though for me, doesn't quite beat the soundtracks of most of the other primary games. Sometimes bugs occur here and there, particularly regarding incorrect sprites for Tails while he's following you, but these are usually far more amusing than they are irritating. An abundance of development mysteries and lost levels and objects have kept this game, more so than any other, under intensive research by fanatics for years.
Although some maintain that the original is still superior, I think most of them would still agree that if it isn't better than Sonic 1, it comes damn close as a more-than-worthy first, proper sequel.
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#1. Comment posted by yasin smaidy on Friday, 17th August 2012, 4:27am (BST)
sonic 2 is one of the best and good looking games on the sega genesis
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:19pm (BST)
Yeah, one of the best. Sonic 3 and knuckles is the best!
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:21pm (BST)
Yeah, one of the best. Sonic 3 and knuckles is the best!
#4. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:22pm (BST)
OOPS - Didn't mean to post that twice!
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Content for this page last edited:
26th March 2011

Files last uploaded for this page:
18th February 2009

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