Other Modes
Special Stage
Those wacky Chaos Emeralds have gotten themselves lost again, and in order to complete the game properly and unlock the ability to turn into Super Sonic, you need to collect all seven, by competing in the all new pseudo-3D Special Stages. This is the first type of Special Stage to be in 3D, a tradition that has since been followed very closely, and these ones take place inside long, twisting and turning half pipes, a basic concept reproduced more than any other in later games. In order to get into them, you need to touch any checkpoint in the game whilst holding at least 50 rings. A circle of stars will emerge above the checkpoint, and then all you have to do is leap into them. There are seven different half pipes, one for each emerald, and they're played in order, so you can't even attempt the second one until you've obtained the emerald in the first, and so on.
To gain access, simply pass a checkpoint while holding 50 rings, and jump in the stars that circle above.
Welcome to the Special Stage! Grab rings and dodge bombs in a series of winding half pipes to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds.
To pass each segment, you must collect the required amount of rings that were stated at the start of it. As you get towards the end, messages appear indicating how many more you need to pick up.
If you don't fulfill the ring criteria for any segment, you're immediately returned to the regular game empty handed.
Rings. I'm sure you know what they look like by now, but just in case.
Bombs will cause either Sonic or Tails to lose up to ten rings per hit, and get progressively harder to avoid as the stages continue.
Each Special Stage is separated into three segments, which are filled with a set pattern of rings and bombs, and your objective is to grab as many rings as you can, and avoid the bombs, which cause you to lose ten rings per hit. At the start of each segment, you're told how many rings you must collect in order to advance to the next. Your character runs through the half pipe at a set, consistent speed, and you can use the left and right buttons to move him across to the sides of the pipe, in order to grab rings and avoid bombs that approach you. The camera is positioned behind the character and the objects appear at the far end and get closer. If you build up enough momentum, you can move up one side of the pipe, travel across the gap at the top and come back down on the other side, but if you're not moving fast enough you'll fall back down to the middle. You can also jump by pressing A, B or C, as per usual. After the pattern of rings and bombs has completed, you will move to the next segment if you are holding the minimum number of rings stated at the start. If you aren't, then you'll leave the Special Stage and return to the game at the checkpoint that you entered, and your ring count will be reset to 0. If you pass all three segments then you will obtain the Chaos Emerald at the end of each stage, and then return to the game. Hop in the stars of another Checkpoint to continue on to the next, or if you failed, repeat the last one again.
The rings and bombs usually appear in groups and various formations along the pipe, so the trick is to learn the pattern until you can follow it without getting hit too much. Most of the time, it'll probably take at least a few goes before you can grab each emerald, as they're not that easy - especially when the pipe turns and dips regularly, making it a lot harder to see what's coming at times. Your number of rings is an ongoing total, so the ones you grab in the first segment will remain in the second, and so on. This means that any extra ones you pick up will go towards your goal in the following segment, so the more you picked up, the easier it'll be. When you leave the Special Stage, successful or not, a score tally will appear, adding 100 points per ring collected to your game score. A 10,000 point "gems bonus" is available for each emerald you secure.
The emerald appears at the end of the third segment, but if you didn't get enough rings it'll be cruelly snatched away from you as you're mere inches away.
Emerald or not, the score is tallied, along with a display of your collection so far.
Special Stages can be played as either character, but if you're playing as Sonic and Tails, Tails will join Sonic in there, picking up extra rings that Sonic might miss as he follows very closely behind. As such, each character has their own ring count, and the two are added together to form the ongoing total, assessed after each segment. As in the rest of the game, Tails can be controlled by player 2, and pressing jump will rearrange the order of the characters as they run along. When not human-controlled, Tails' reactions are slightly delayed, meaning he's more likely to get hit by a bomb if you manage to dodge it at the last minute. Unlike the rest of the game however, Tails loses rings; ten of them at a time, just like Sonic. This wouldn't be a big deal, but the additional ring collecting potential is often reflected in the totals that you have to collect, with some segments requiring a higher amount than they would if you were playing as just one character. Similarly, when playing as Knuckles in Sonic 2 + Sonic & Knuckles, the ring totals are often even less than normal, making them much easier at times.
So, with all that explained, here's a brief guide to all the Special Stages and their segments. Bear in mind that the pipes make sharp turns or dips regularly, and I haven't really mentioned these much, but if you follow the guide as to where to expect the rings and bombs to appear, it shouldn't be a problem...
The Light Blue Emerald Stage 1
Segment 1 - Rings required: 30 (40 for Sonic and Tails).
A simple pattern to start you off, with only groups of rings and no bombs. Groups appear in the middle, then right, left, right, center, left.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 70 (80 for Sonic and Tails).
Same deal, but with a couple of easily missed groups of bombs thrown in. Rings in the middle, left, left, center, then stay there to go past the two bomb groups on either side. Wide groups of rings in the center, left, left, left, right, right, center.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 130 (140 for Sonic and Tails).
Two batches of rings on the left. Two groups of bombs at the tops of either side. Rings in the center, then right, center, top left, top left, center, center.
Nothing particularly challenging to start off with, and you should be able to clear it first time.
The Purple Emerald Stage 2
To collect these airborne rings, quickly run up one side by holding the appropriate D-pad direction, and sail right across the top and down the other side. Can be tough to time it right though.
Towards the end of the second segment.
Segment 1 - Rings required: 50
Another simple segment, with no bombs but some fairly frequent twists and turns. Three batches of rings in the center, followed closely by two groups on the left, then one on the right. Two more groups on the left.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 100 (90 for Knuckles)
This one is trickier, but shouldn't cause any major problems if you're quick to react. Sidestep the first bombs in the middle to find a cluster of rings behind them, and then after that, two more ring clusters on the right and left sides, followed by two clusters along the top. Pick a side and run up it, so that you grab the rings as they come by. This pattern then repeats two more times immediately afterwards, but without any bombs beforehand. After the third time, there's an additional set of rings in the middle, and two bomb clusters on either side, followed by another in the middle. Groups of rings start appearing on the left side as the pipe turns, and then they move across the center, and to the right side, then back into the center. Meanwhile, bombs are on either side, then some final rings on the left, center, and right, with more bombs appearing around them, but they're fairly easy to avoid if you go for the rings.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 140 (130 for Knuckles)
You just need to watch out for some bombs that run through the middle here. Start with small groups of rings in the middle, while some bombs are on the sides. Jump over the next bombs in the middle for more rings that start to move from the center up to the left side. Stay on the left to let a series of bombs pass by in the middle, and you'll then find more rings on the left. Bombs in the middle, rings on the right, rings in the center.
The Red Emerald Stage 3
Segment 1 - Rings required: 50 (60 for Sonic and Tails)
Everything is in the center to start with, so stay there and grab the rings and jump the bombs; Three groups of rings, and then they alternate between single clusters of bombs and rings. Rings on the left, then right, each followed by sets of bombs. Bombs on the lower left and there's a line of rings behind them leading up the side. Same pattern on the right, then the left, then right, with lines of rings getting longer and more curved. Watch out for a line of bombs which progresses along from the right, and you should leap over it.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 110 (100 for Knuckles)
Now the interesting patterns start to emerge. A line of bombs starts from the top left and curves down to the middle and up the right side, to the top and around again, to create a kind of slow-paced "skipping rope of doom" throughout the first part of this segment. Stay in the middle and collect the lines of rings that appear just before you meet the central bombs of the "skipping rope", which will occur three times. After that, there are many rings in the middle and bombs across the sides only, and then a large hoop of bombs come at you that spans across the floor of the half pipe, so be ready to jump through the hoop. A final set of rings in the middle, afterwards.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 160 (140 for Knuckles)
Wide rings in the middle, and then be ready to jump through another bomb hoop as the track heads up. Follow a line of rings starting from the center to the right, and jump another hoop. Grab another line of rings on the right, and jump through a hoop. Line of rings on the left, hoop. Line on the right, hoop. Then stay in the middle because of two lines of bombs on either side. They'll move downwards and converge in the middle, so jump at the end of them. This one is tricky, so try and follow the ring lines as best you can, and perhaps jump early when you meet the hoops, so that you don't waste any ring collecting time afterwards by still being in the air when they come.
What I describe as the 'skipping rope of doom'. Collect lines of rings just before jumping over the the bombs in the center. Tiwsts and bumps in the road can make it hard to anticipate when to jump.
The bombs begin to form hoops to jump through.
The Pink Emerald Stage 4
Incomplete bomb hoops just require you to run through the empty corner.
A steady stream of bombs through the middle with gaps between that you can carefully pass through, to collect the alternating ring batches on the sides.
Segment 1 - Rings required: 40
Lines of rings in the center, then left, then a wider cluster in the middle. Some more on the top right side, then bombs in the middle, followed by rings. Rings on the top left, then another hoop of bombs, but this one is incomplete on the lower left side, so run or jump through it. A line of bombs follows in the middle, and then another incomplete hoop, this time with bombs missing from the middle and lower right side of the half pipe. Wide rings on the left.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 110 (100 for Sonic and Tails, 90 for Knuckles)
Stay in the middle, through the incomplete bomb hoop, then move right for rings. Quickly switch to the left side to go through another incomplete hoop. Rings on the top left as the track turns, then stay in the lower left to go through the following incomplete hoop. Rings along the left. After that, a stream of singular bombs will travel consistently through the middle, so you can't stay there except to quickly run from one side to another, when you can snag the opportunity to weave across between the bombs. You can also jump from one side to another if you prefer, but you may not be quick enough to grab all the rings, which alternate between the sides. They appear in the following order; right, left, right, left, then wait for a line of bombs spread out across the right side before you switch to collect the rings that follow them. Then there will be another line of bombs across the left side, followed by more rings. There are a final batch of rings on the right as the central bombs finish off.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 150 (140 for Knuckles)
This one isn't nearly as difficult. In the middle there are bombs, then rings, then more bombs, and a set of rings on the right. Stay on the right for two more batches of rings, and avoid the bombs in the middle that occur before each. Rings in the center, followed by bombs, and then some more rings on the lower left. An incomplete hoop of bombs passes, with a gap in the middle and lower right, then there's a wide cluster of rings that reaches out across the center.
The Yellow Emerald Stage 5
Segment 1 - Rings required: 50 (55 for Sonic and Tails, 40 for Knuckles)
Wide group of rings in the center, then two more on the tops of either sides, with some rings going up to the empty space above. Move along one side with speed to grab the next bundle up in the air above and then watch out for two groups of bombs on either side while you grab more rings in the center. Grab another batch of central rings, and avoid the following two sets of bombs in the center, while rings can be found on either side. Another batch of rings high up on the left, then two in the center but avoid some bombs behind them. Wide rings on the right, center, right.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 90 (110 for Sonic and Tails, 80 for Knuckles)
Stay in the center for rings, then you'll see two lines of them on either side, going up and down and meeting in the middle or at the top, intertwining with each other. Do your best to try and follow one of the lines, then watch out for bombs in the middle. Rings on the upper left, dodge bombs in the middle, rings on the right, more bombs in the middle, and rings on the left.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 160 (200 for Sonic and Tails, 130 for Knuckles)
Rings, bombs and rings in the center. There are no more bombs now, but get ready to switch between places quickly to grab as many rings as possible, and they all tend to be fairly spaced out within their clusters too. Wide rings on the right, center, left, center, and then some along the space just above the right side. More rings in the center, above the left side, center, above the right side. Two batches on the ceiling, then get ready to try and follow the lines as two of them go up and down along the sides and intertwine in the middle again, as with segment 2.
I don't think you can be expected to get them all. Best stick with one side.
Pick a line and do your best to follow it as it winds all the way around. Can be tough to match your movements just right.
The Green Emerald Stage 6
A lot of side-switching in segment 1.
Carefully follow the stream of rings to weave around the central bombs.
Hoops galore in the third segment. When immediately followed by rings, it's best to try and jump early so that you clear the hoop and land straight in them.
Segment 1 - Rings required: 80 (70 for Knuckles)
Stay in the middle for two batches of rings, and avoid two bomb clusters on either side, between them. Rings on the left with bombs on the right, then rings on the right with bombs on the left. Rings in the center, then left, bombs on the right, rings on the right, bombs on the left, rings on the right. Bombs on the left and then on the right, and then on the left again, so stay in the middle there. After that, follow a long line of rings that starts in the middle and then swerves slightly from left to right while four batches of bombs appear in the middle, so that the rings go past them. A complete hoop of bombs follows, and a then a final batch of rings in the center.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 140 (130 for Knuckles)
Go to the right this time to grab some rings and avoid a first batch of bombs in the middle. More bombs in the middle, then rings on the left, followed by bombs in the middle again. Rings on the left, then two long lines of them on either side do that up and down intertwining thing again. A complete hoop of bombs follows, and then another central cluster of them. Rings on the left, bombs on the right, more rings left, more bombs right, and final rings on the right.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 210 (220 for Sonic and Tails, 170 for Knuckles)
This first part can be tricky. There are some rings in the middle with bombs on either side. Following that, some bombs in the middle with rings either side, but be ready to move to the middle again very quickly, because immediately after that the pattern is reversed again, with rings in the middle, bombs on the sides. After a short gap, you'll find another two batches of rings on either side, and bombs in the middle again. Next, you'll have to jump through complete hoops of bombs between batches of rings, but it can be tough to collect enough. You'll face a hoop first, then some rings in the center, then another hoop and another central group of rings. A third hoop, but this time with rings in the center following very closely behind it, so when you jump the hoop, you may find that you'll miss most of these rings because you're stuck in the air for too long. Either try and jump early, or jump from the side of the half pipe so that you land in the middle quicker. Following this is another hoop and some rings on the left this time. Hoop, rings on the right, hoop, rings on the left, then four more hoops with central rings between them, but the spacing begins to get smaller.
The Grey Emerald Stage 7
Another stream of bombs in the middle, this time with smaller gaps between them, so they're more difficult to pass between.
Segment 3 teases you with sequences of randomly placed rings around the pipe. You'll probably be needing as many as possible to pass the final hurdle, but they come thick and fast so all you can do is move randomly and hope for the best.
The final, grey emerald is yours and the sky is alight with many colours to prove it. Read below to find out just what Sonic can do with these bad boys.
Segment 1 - Rings required: 100 (50 for Knuckles)
After some rings in the middle, this segment is based solely on a steady stream of singular bombs flying through the middle of the half pipe with rings appearing on either side, just like in segment 2 of the pink emerald's stage. This time though the bombs seem to be more regular, and it's a lot harder to squeeze through the gaps between them without smacking into one, so it's best to jump between sides, over the bombs. Rings appear in the following order: right, left, right, left, right, right, left, left, right, right, left, left, and then alternating from side to side again three times each, starting from the right.

Segment 2 - Rings required: 150 (190 for Sonic and Tails, 100 for Knuckles)
This one's a bit easier. Batches of rings and bombs will continuously appear on opposing sides, and they'll swap sides each time, so you basically have to move back and forth from left to right to collect the rings and avoid the bombs. This pattern starts on the left. Beware though, because after the ninth pair of bombs/rings, there will be a short gap before the pipe turns to the right. There will then be a series of four sets of rings on the left only, with four sets of bombs on the right, to try and catch you out. Don't fall for their trickery. Rings then go back to the right and alternate between the sides for a couple more pairs after that.

Segment 3 - Rings required: 190 (210 for Sonic and Tails, 140 for Knuckles)
This very last segment can be particularly tough if you've only just scraped the last two, as it's a bit of a ring grabbing free-for-all. As a one-off, the only formations the rings will take is where single ones are randomly scattered around the half pipe across a certain distance, and you have to try and move around and grab as many as you possibly can. Just go in one direction so that you keep circling the pipe. After this first section, you have to avoid a series of bomb clusters. They start on the left, then right, center (as you're going down the hill, so you can't see them coming - watch out!), two either side, top, then a complete bomb hoop. After that is another free-for-all of single rings. Bombs strike again, first as another hoop, then two clusters on either side, left, right, center, then another load of single rings. The sky flashes if you're successful, punctuating your amazing accomplishment!
#1. Comment posted by CommieCowboy on Wednesday, 18th July 2012, 6:34am (BST)
I cringe when I see single players play as Sonic & Tales because of these stages. Good thing Sonic 3 provides a much better menu system.
#2. Comment posted by taismo4ever on Tuesday, 27th August 2013, 4:11am (BST)
Playing the special stage as sonic and tails is stupid cuz tails runs into all the stupid bombs.
#3. Comment posted by AnarchyBeryl on Friday, 3rd January 2014, 6:41am (GMT)
There is a secret 8th Special Stage in the 2013 iOS/Android release of Sonic 2. The half-pipe even corkscrews in the final segment! It can be accessed by starting a "No Save Data" game, entering the secret Stage Select menu, setting the Sound Test to 07, then entering the Special Stage. Win or lose, you start at Emerald Hill Act 1 after it ends.

Two other notes on the iOS/Android Special Stages: Knuckles now has to get the same number of rings as Sonic or Tails individually, and his arms are now the correct red instead of flesh colored.
#4. Comment posted by Kabam! on Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 8:23pm (GMT)
Very interesting AnarchyBeryl. I didn't know that, and I can't wait to try it out! It stinks though that they rose Knuckles' numbers. :(
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:37pm (BST)
Where the heck are the level maps for those special stages, man?!?
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 4:06am (BST)
Anonymous: Because everything is sprite based.
#7. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 30th July 2017, 4:49am (BST)
Nearly 3 years late LUL
Hide Notes
Super Sonic
So what does Sonic do with these emeralds once he's nabbed them all? Fetch a high price on the street? Clear up his Christmas shopping nice and early? No, much cooler than that. With all seven Chaos Emeralds collected from the Special Stages, Sonic earns the ability, for the very first time, to use their mighty power to transform into Super Sonic, a hyper speedy, super powerful and invulnerable version of himself. This is only applicable to Sonic, and Tails has no similar super form in Sonic 2, so collecting all the emeralds as him provides pretty much nothing other than personal satisfaction. Once you've beaten all the Special Stages and returned to the main game, you need to grab 50 rings and jump and stay in the air for a second. Sonic will turn yellow, his spikes will point upwards, and the music will change to the Super Sonic theme. Super Sonic has much faster acceleration and top speed than his blue alter-ego, and he can also jump a great deal higher. He has the effect of a constant invincibility power-up so he cannot be damaged by any badnik or similar obstacle that would normally cause Sonic to lose rings if he runs into it. Any badnik unlucky enough to meet Super face to face will explode on first touch, but just like everyone else, he can still die by being crushed between two solid objects, drowning, or by falling off to the bottom of the screen. Do not forget this.
After completing all the Special Stages, grab at least 50 rings and simply jump to dramatically transform into your Super self.
Make sure you keep collecting rings to maintain this state, as they deplete one per second, restoring you to regular Sonic when they reach 0.
At full speed, Super Sonic does a floating dash, although this doesn't mean he can fly mind you, he's still susceptible to gravity, at least in this game. Also note the stars that trail behind him.
One thing that can be tough is jumping between platforms. As Super Sonic's speed and jump height are both greatly increased, it'll take some practice to land successfully.
Don't get carried away, you're still liable for a good crushing, in addition to drowning and falling to your death.
There are a couple of catches though. Firstly, the reason you had to collect 50 rings first is because your ring count is directly related to how long you can remain in your super form for. Though Super Sonic can't lose any rings by getting hit by something, one ring is automatically subtracted from his total every second. Keep collecting as many as you can to feed your chaos-powered addiction, otherwise you'll turn back into plain old blue as soon as your ring count reaches 0. As Super Sonic, the invincibility and shield power-ups are fairly useless, but if you see a shield around, it is probably a good idea to grab it, because you'll be able to use it if you lose your super form, and subsequently all your rings. If you reach the end of an act then you'll automatically be reset to regular Sonic. The main disadvantage of being super though is that his speed and high jumps make him a lot harder to control, so you may find yourself falling off of ledges, having difficulty jumping to an exact spot, or running into a crusher before you even realise it. Still, he can certainly make some tricky bits a whole lot easier - not to mention more fun.
Badniks explode on contact with you.
Obstacles that would normally stand in your way are now powerless.
#1. Comment posted by Craig on Sunday, 12th April 2009, 10:48pm (BST)
There's a glitch regarding Super Sonic that's worth mentioning. Sonic turns back to normal at the end of the act, but if you jump whilst he's running off the screen and you have 50 or more rings he turns Super again. Unfortunately he then gets stuck doing the running animation in mid-air and the level never ends. I believe waiting for him to turn back to normal doesn't fix it, but I can't remember for sure.

Also note that there isn't a Super Sonic version of all the sprites (like the death sprite in the picture above) so sometimes he looks like normal Sonic but yellow.
#2. Comment posted by Super Volcano on Tuesday, 1st February 2011, 6:58am (GMT)
He won't turn back to normal: you don't lose rings in this frozen running-on-air state. Debug will fix this.
#3. Comment posted by hypermario13 on Saturday, 29th October 2011, 3:09pm (BST)
Wow Craig i never knew THAT could happen.Did SEGA not test that or something?!?!?
#4. Comment posted by SeekingTruth on Tuesday, 20th December 2011, 7:09am (GMT)
If I recall correctly... as long as you jump while Sonic is already off to the right of the visible screen (with 50+ rings and the emeralds of course), it does not lock up the game and the score is tallied as normal. As an added bonus the picture of Sonic on the signpost flashes yellow for the instant you Super-ize off the screen.
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 16th June 2012, 5:41pm (BST)
Here's a way of avoiding Super Sonic's silly repetitive music:
1-collect 50 rings
2-pause, hold b and press c to jump
3-after the transformation, unpause and the level's normal music will continue
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 16th June 2012, 5:45pm (BST)
the above only if you're playing via a level select cheat, where slow motion is enabled!
#7. Comment posted by Hunter T. on Monday, 18th June 2012, 3:54am (BST)
Super Sonic's ring depletion counter makes you lose a ring every 61 frames instead of the normal 60, giving you an extra ring every minute.
#8. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:42pm (BST)
Why are you making fun of super sonic/knuckles' music? IT'S AWESOME!!!!!! (Not as much as sonic 3 and knuckles' though!)
#9. Comment posted by Cullen on Sunday, 14th September 2014, 3:27pm (BST)
I have Sonic Classic Collection, but I don't have all the Sonic 2 emeralds. I'd try to see if that glitch worked on there if I did, but maybe you could tell me if it does.
Hide Notes
2 Player Versus
Sonic 2 also comes complete with its own 2 player competition mode, where Sonic and Tails, controlled by opposing players, race through levels to earn the fastest time and the most points etc, in a horizontal split screen environment. You can also play Special Stages, where you'll compete for the most rings. To play, simply press down on the title screen so that you select the "2 Player vs" option instead of "1 Player", and press start. You're taken to the zone select screen where you can use the D-pad to select which of the three zones you want to play, or the Special Stage. The playable zones are Emerald Hill, Casino Night, and Mystic Cave only, and they each have completely different music to their regular, 1 player versions. When you select one, you play two out of three rounds in that stage to determine an undisputed winner, then you can play one of the other remaining stages to start a new competition. When you finish one stage, the graphic is crossed out on the menu and you have to restart the game if you want to play it again.
You can choose to compete in both acts of the Emerald Hill, Casino Night, and Mystic Cave Zones, plus Special Stages.
Emerald Hill Zone 2-player.
Casino Night Zone 2-player.
Mystic Cave Zone 2-player. When one character passes the finish, the other has 60 seconds to complete the act.
In the levels, player 1 takes control of Sonic on the top screen and player 2 is on the bottom, with Tails. Each zone works on a best two out of three principle, and both acts of the zone are played. If each player wins one of the acts, a round in the Special Stage is used as a tie-breaker. The controls function exactly as they do in the 1 player game, but there may be very subtle differences in object placements in a few places. You'll have to put up with the fact that everything's been squashed in order to fit into the two screens. Both players run through the level head to head and the winner of each act is determined by the following five criteria; time taken, points, number of rings held at the end, total rings collected, and how many power-up items that the player has opened. The winner of the majority of these wins the act, so just because you were the first to get to the end, it does not necessarily mean you've won, if you haven't beaten your opponent on the other criteria. When one player does reach the finish line, the other has 60 seconds to finish the act, after which the scores are tallied and a winner for the act is determined. You don't have to fight any bosses in Act 2, by the way.
The winner of each act is determined not only by time, but also score, final ring count, total ring count and number of items collected.
Item boxes all feature question marks, as their contents are selected at random.
Arrgh, what's going on?! The special teleport item swaps the positions of both players.
The main difference between playing the regular 1 player mode and the zones in the 2 player vs mode are the item boxes. They appear in the same places as they do in the main game, but they all have a question mark on them. There are a number of different items you can obtain, but which one you get is selected entirely at random each time, so you have no idea what you'll get until you bop it open and see. The items include the usual shield, 10-ring, speed up and invincibility power-ups, affecting only the player that opened it, and there are extra lives with both Sonic and Tails' face on it. If either player opens a Sonic life, only player 1 gets an extra life, and similarly with Tails and player 2. If a player opens up a teleportation item, both players will switch places in the level, so whoever was behind is now in front (in the options menu, you can set it so that every item is a teleporter, if you want). Finally, there's an Eggman item that causes the one who opened it to take a hit. Both players start out with three lives, and as normal, they each have to touch checkpoints to save their positions. If they lose a life, they'll be sent back to the last checkpoint they touched, or otherwise, the beginning of the stage. If one player loses all their lives, they'll automatically forfeit the round, and their opponent will win that act, regardless of what criteria has been met.
The Special Stages work in much the same way. There are three of them, which act as the three rounds for the Special Stage challenge, with the third one being used only for a tie-breaker if need be. There's no split screen here, both characters are in the half pipe using the same view behind them. Time is not an issue, it's about how many rings each player can collect, and keeping collisions with bombs to a minimum. For more details on how to play the Special Stages, go to the appropriate section above. Each Special Stage is broken up into the same three segments as in the 1 player mode, and the winner of each segment is the player who is holding the most rings at the end, but all three segments are always played. Ring counts, however, are reset at the start of each segment for both players.
The three special stages that are used are actually the same final three from the 1 player game. The first is the same as the yellow emerald's stage (but with a purple colouring on the pipe), second is the green emerald's stage (but with a gold pipe colouring), and the third, tie-breaker stage is the same as the final grey emerald stage (but with a turquoise colouring). If you play the Special Stage as a third round tie-breaker for the zone challenges, you'll be playing the second, third, or fourth Special Stage from the 1 player game instead. Since both players are in a frantic competition to obtain the most rings possible, the order in which the characters are standing in, in relation to each other is a crucial matter. There's always one in front and one behind, and if they're both in the same place, the one in front is going to be getting most of the rings. The order can be re-arranged whenever either character jumps, or if one of them is hit by a bomb, they're automatically thrown back behind their opponent.
Special Stages are a straightforward race to collect the most rings. The first two segments are played, with the third used only as a tie-breaker.
#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:45pm (BST)
I don't like the way the screen is stretched inwards on 2-player mode! ...Makes it look like it was an edited you tube video scheme.
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Options Menu
The options menu is accessible by pressing the down button twice on the title screen (or the up button once), to bring up a third option on the menu, after 1 Player and 2 Player vs modes. Press start to access it. In the options menu, you have three items to choose from, which you can select using the up/down buttons and alter the settings of the one you've selected using left/right. In player select, you can choose to play as Sonic with Tails, or either character on their own in the main game. The next option is for the 2 player versus mode items, and allows you to select "all kinds items", or "teleport only" for 2 player race games. This means that you can either leave it on the default option of having all items available, selected at random, or you can have a game where every item is a teleporter, which swaps the positions of the players when opened. Press start with either of these first two options highlighted to begin that game mode.
The options menu is somewhat hidden on the title screen. With 1 player mode selected, press down twice or up once to make it appear.
In the options menu you can change your character(s) in 1-player mode, switch between default and all-teleport items for 2-player mode, and play some of that excellent music to your hearts content.
The third option is the sound test, where you can listen to all pieces of background music in the game, as well as all the jingles and sound effects too. They're not named though, they're numbered using hexadecimals, so the selection begins at 00 through to 09, but it then leads into 0A-0F, and then continues the same pattern afterwards, from 10-19, and then 1A-1F, etc. Use the left and right buttons to change the selected number, use buttons B or C to play the tune or sound associated with that number, button A to skip ahead to the next set of sounds, and press start to go back to the title screen. The sounds go all the way up to 7F. 01-1F are all the background music tracks and jingles found in the game (not necessarily in the correct order), and the rest are all sound effects. See the cheats section for details on how you can use the sound test to access hidden features in the game.
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Knuckles in Sonic 2
As you're well aware I'm sure, Sonic & Knuckles, released a couple of years later, came with an innovative slot for another cartridge on top of it, allowing you to insert previous Sonic games and unlock new features. If you put a Sonic 2 cartridge in there, the two games will put their heads together and figure out a way to have Knuckles as a playable character in Sonic 2! Upon start up, Knuckles will replace Sonic and Tails in the title screen, with his name above him to illustrate the new title. From there, you can only press start to begin the game, there is no 2 player mode or options menu, and Knuckles is the only playable character.
Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 title screen.
Knuckles wanders through Emerald Hill. Jump and then hold jump again to glide.
Glide into a wall to clamber onto it, and then climb up or down. This is one of several Knuckles-only extra lives available in the Chemical Plant Zone.
One example where Knuckles' slightly weaker jump just isn't enough to get past something. Try jumping and gliding from a higher step.
Knuckles brings with him all of his usual moves, and plays exactly the same as he does in S&K. If you're unfamiliar with his abilities, he can do the spin attacks and spin dash that Sonic and Tails can do, plus you can glide him through the air by jumping, then while in the air, press and hold a jump button for a second time, and use the D-pad to guide him. While gliding, if you touch most walls, you'll be able to latch on and climb them by moving up or down, and you can use these moves to access some hidden areas that Sonic and Tails can't reach, particularly in Chemical Plant Zone, where several extra lives have been placed to reward you for exploring. On the downside though, Knuckles is a bit slower and also has a weaker jump, which makes some bosses such as those of Aquatic Ruin, Metropolis and Death Egg Zones a little trickier to beat.
In Casino Night, Knuckles' face replaces Sonic's in the slots.
Sky Chase, and Tails makes a guest appearance to provide aerial support.
Naturally, Knuckles claims the acts for himself with his own signpost image.
Puzzlingly lower ring amounts are required for the Special Stages, and rings remain when you return to the game too, making Knuckles by far the easiest character to use for emerald reclaiming.
Grab all emeralds and Knuckles retains his ability to turn super, where he glows pink and gains some serious speed.
For the most part, any other changes are mainly aesthetic. The background colour of the level title cards are green instead of blue, and pretty much wherever Sonic's face normally appears, Knuckles replaces him, including end-of-act signposts, extra lives and even in the slot machines in Casino Night Zone. Instead of a blue shield item, it becomes grey for some reason, and formerly blue birds are now full-fledged Knuckles fans and have dyed their feathers red in support for their new hero. Oddly (almost as odd as that), some of the ring totals required to beat each segment of the Special Stages have been lowered, making them easier, and Super Knuckles is still available in this game, as in Sonic & Knuckles. Unlike in the regular version of Sonic 2, checkpoints actually save your ring count, so they'll remain intact when you return to the game after dying or come out of a Special Stage (which makes getting to them a lot easier too). And in case you were wondering, Tails pilots the plane, where applicable.
#1. Comment posted by DigitalDuck on Sunday, 19th December 2010, 2:27am (GMT)
Sorry to have to make another correction, but Knuckles isn't actually any slower than Sonic or Tails. He has the same stats (bar the lower jump height and when Super). He does have lower rolling friction, although this is a fix from S&K (where Sonic and Tails also have the reduced rolling friction). Thought you'd like to know.
#2. Comment posted by hypermario13 on Saturday, 29th October 2011, 3:12pm (BST)
A thing about in sky chase zone about the fact that Tails is flying the plane?WHO ELSE COULD HAVE DONE IT?!?HIM SELF?GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
#3. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 16th November 2011, 1:01am (GMT)
Sonic could have flown the plane, as he does if you play as Tails alone.
#4. Comment posted by hypermario13 on Tuesday, 29th November 2011, 3:32pm (GMT)
Well you do have a point there
#5. Comment posted by hypermario13 on Tuesday, 29th November 2011, 3:36pm (GMT)
But you know what would be really good for the ending?What if when knuckles lands on the tornado,tails is still flying it,and sonic is standing on the master emerald,which is being held onto from the thing that comes out of the tornado from the sonic and knuckles ending?Ha?HA?
#6. Comment posted by gsfan2005 on Saturday, 14th January 2012, 4:15am (GMT)
Question: I know in the standard Sonic 2 game, the options screen (namely the Sound Test option) is used to access cheats (level select, for one)... how does someone use these cheats in the "Knuckles" version, since the options screen is disabled?
#7. Comment posted by gsfan2005 on Saturday, 14th January 2012, 4:37am (GMT)
OK, disregard my question above, I hadn't read the "Miscellaneous" page yet when I asked the question.
#8. Comment posted by CommieCowboy on Wednesday, 18th July 2012, 6:33am (BST)
Wow. The special stages are almost insultingly easy as Knuckles. Didn't realise they dialed down the difficulty so much.
#9. Comment posted by angelthehedgehog on Tuesday, 27th August 2013, 4:08am (BST)
The reason knuckles hasnt gone super since sonic and knuckles is because he turns pink and everyone made fun of him. :P
#10. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:47pm (BST)
Yeah, I noticed that. He does look sort of stupid like that.
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#1. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 17th June 2012, 2:46am (BST)
something i noticed, if yoy turn into super sonic with invencibility, super sonic would have stars surrounding him, but that dosen't happens to knuckles
#2. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 4:49pm (BST)
It doesn't???? I only did that as super sonic, anyways.
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