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"Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Intro"Edit

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" and "Sonic 2" redirect here. For the 8-bit version, see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit). For the remake, see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013). For similarly-titled media, see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (disambiguation).

Sonic the Hedgehog 2  is the highly successful sequel of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive. Put into development not long after the completion of the first game, the title would go on to become one of the most successful video games of all time, selling millions of units and cementing the franchise as a cultural phenomenon in the west.

Introducing Miles "Tails" Prower in the role he was created for, the game was released worldwide on November 24th, 1992. Dubbed "Sonic 2sday," the simultaneous release was an unusual move for the time. The game eventually replaced the original Sonic the Hedgehog as the default pack-in title for the Mega Drive, being bundled with the redesigned Mega Drive II model.

The game is also the first in the "Death Egg Saga", a story line that would continue in the sequels Sonic the Hedgehog 3Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Story Edit

Some time after stopping Dr. Eggman once again, Sonic the Hedgehog grows restless, deciding to do what he does best - travel the world, looking for adventure. Climbing into his trusty biplane, the red-and-white Tornado, the blue hedgehog begins flying the skies, looking for places unknown. On nothing more than an impulse, Sonic decides to land on an unassuming island, called West Side Island. Deciding to kick back and explore the isle, Sonic is completely oblivious to the legend connected to the island, and the similarities it has in relation to his adventures on South Island. According to legend, there was once a great and prosperous people who lived on its shores, who achieved their greatness through the use of mysterious, powerful stones. Their peace could have been everlasting if not for a select few who desired to use the stones for their own selfish gains, causing the gods to take away the stones and hide them away on the island...

A few days after landing, Sonic realized that he was being followed by someone. Looking behind him, Sonic spotted a young fox, who immediately hid from the blue hedgehog when he looked his way. Not thinking much of it, Sonic ran off, the fox once again following. The young fox's given name, Miles Prower, was overshadowed by his nickname, "Tails," derived from the fact that he possessed not one but two tails behind him. Often being ridiculed by his peers, "Tails" outlook on life changed immediately once he spotted Sonic running around his home, deciding that he had to follow and emulate his new hero, wanting to be just as cool and confident. No matter where Sonic would go, Miles would try and follow, Sonic eventually accepting the near-constant trailing of the young fox.

Not long after, during a brief moment when "Tails" was exploring the beaches of West Side on his own, he came across the Tornado, glittering in the sun. Spotting it in the distance, he became extremely excited, running as fast as he could towards it. Engrossed in its design, he wondered who the plane belonged to. He didn't have to wait too long when, out of the corner of his eye, the fox spotted the distinct image of Sonic, taking a nap under one of the wings. This new found knowledge was not given much time to process in "Tails" mind when suddenly a loud explosion echoed through the air, shocking Sonic awake.

Looking beyond the Emerald Hill Zone, a large pillar of fire could be seen, accompanied by a new, yet familiar, army of mechanical robots. It only took a second for Sonic to guess who had caused the explosion, cursing Eggman's name and running into the thick of it. Without hesitation, Miles Prower followed behind, knowing that he had to be right at Sonic's side.

His laugh echoing in the wind, Eggman couldn't help but gloat over his newest plan, being grateful for having the foresight to follow Sonic to West Side Island. Learning of the legend of the island, Eggman came to the realization that the legendary stones talked of could only be the Chaos Emeralds, this island being the true resting place of not only the six from before, but of a seventh as well. Once again wanting the emeralds for himself, Eggman plans on using them to power his latest creation, the Death Egg, a flying fortress orbiting the planet with the potential to be his greatest weapon. With the desire to rule the world fueling the mad doctor, he prepares to once again engage with his greatest enemy, the one force that could possibly spoil his plans.

"The stage is set. Now it's time for you to bring the curtain to a close on this adventure once and for all!"

Game Mechanics Edit

Gameplay Edit

Building upon the engine from the first game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 kept to the same basic formula as the first game: to overcome a series of obstacles and enemies and reach the end of each "Act," all under the span of ten minutes. Many of the elements that made the first Sonic the Hedgehog unique return, such as the loop-de-loops and curved slopes, while introducing new hazards and level elements like the corkscrews in Emerald Hill Zone and the slot machines in Casino Night Zone, placed inside areas taking full advantage of the pinball side of the physics. With the exception of Metropolis Zone (which has three Acts) and the final three zones of the game (which are one act each), each zone only possesses two acts, although each act in this game is larger than the acts found in Sonic the Hedgehog.

The main form of attack for Sonic is the same as the first game, the ever trusty spin attack that Sonic curls into each time he jumps. Able to hit enemies from any angle as long as spikes or some other projectile is not in the way, he can also curl into this spin on the ground in the same way, by the player pressing down on the control pad as he runs along the terrain. However, the game also introduces a new way to gather up speed in this form without having to build it up. The spin dash, which has since become a staple of the series, allows Sonic to rev up in a static location before he fires off, either destroying enemies in his wake or giving him the momentum to slide up steep slopes and reach higher areas of each level. By pressing and holding down while tapping the jump button, letting go of the control pad allows Sonic to zoom ahead, Dr. Eggman's forces being no match for the blue hedgehog.

As both the title screen and the story suggest, a new character is introduced in the game. Miles "Tails" Prower, by default, follows Sonic around automatically, emulating each move you do. Sometimes helpful and sometimes baffling, he is also given an infinite number of lives, so if you're able to just miss a hazard with Sonic but "Tails" is less than fortunate, he will return to the screen, using his namesake to fly from the top of the screen down to where Sonic is standing. He also uses this method to catch up to Sonic if the player is fast enough to lose the two-tailed fox. If a second controller is plugged in, another player can control "Tails," making Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the first game with "1.5 player" play. Although given the flying animation, the other player can not activate "Tails" flying ability, nor can they jump on the various monitors that litter each zone. The infinite lives count, however, remains. In the options menu to the game, having "Tails" follow you can be turned on or off, the game also giving you the option to play as "Tails" by himself. Though he can now break monitors when alone, he still can not fly, and must follow the same rules of extra lives as Sonic does in the main game.

Special Stages and Chaos Emeralds return in this game, although both how you access them and how you play through them are completely different from the first Sonic the Hedgehog. The only way to activate them is by hitting the checkpoints in this game, which are Star Posts instead of Lamp Posts. If the player possesses fifty rings while touching the post, a ring of stars will appear for a short time, jumping into them transporting Sonic and "Tails" into the Special Stage. A three-dimensional-esque half pipe that can feel like a roller coaster, the object is to collect the number of rings the stage announces at the beginning. Each stage is broken up into three parts, and if the player successfully collects rings for all three tries, they will be awarded with one of the Chaos Emeralds. While the last game only had six, Sonic 2 raises the total by one. And while the Chaos Emeralds are not completely necessary to beat the game in a simple run through, they are still needed to view the true ending of the game. As an added incentive, the team behind the game decided to give the players a bonus for collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds. After finding the seventh, and then collecting yet another fifty rings in a zone and jumping up, Sonic will transform into Super Sonic, a golden-hued, buffed out version of the original who is both invincible and super fast. The only downside, though, is the transformation is temporary, and drains Sonic's ring count, returning to his original true blue self once all the rings are gone.

Two Player Mode Edit

Being the second in the series, the team behind the game decided they would try their hand at a competitive, two player mode. Taking the Emerald Hill Zone, Casino Night Zone, Mystic Cave Zone from the main game, throwing in the Special Stages, and giving the main levels a unique soundtrack for the mode, each player controls one of the main characters to the game as they traverse a split-screen form of these classic levels. With Sonic on top and "Tails" on the bottom, they are graded on five criteria for each act: Score, Time, Ring count at the end of the act, Total Ring count (including those lost by being hit), and number of Item Boxes popped open. The player that wins the most out of those five takes the round. Though the standard item boxes from the game are present, there are two that are unique to this mode. The first is a teleportation box, which will switch Sonic and "Tails"' position on the map. The second is an Eggman monitor, that will cause whoever pops it open to take a hit. As every monitor on-screen is only static, it is always random as to what will be found inside each monitor. Also of note is that the extra lives in the item boxes are not determined by which character opens it, but by which character's face shows up, so it is entirely possible for the player being Sonic to give "Tails" an extra life, and vice-versa.

As each zone only contains two acts, if a tie occurs it will be decided by the competitors in a Special Stage. As these play different from the rest of the game, the only criteria that is graded is the ring count at the end of each segment, the stage still split up into three "rounds." The best two out of three takes the special stage, and subsequently the zone. Even if there are no ties during a run through the two player mode, the Special Stage is still one of the four levels to be chosen during the mode, the same rules applying to it as the other Special Stages. The player who wins the most out of everything is, naturally, the winner.

For those who want their two-player encounters to be even crazier, an option is available to change every monitor in the game to a teleportation monitor.

Scoring Edit

Hitting Bumpers: 10 points each for the first ten hits on any given bumper; after that no more points can be gained from that bumper.

Enemy Chains:

  • First Enemy = 100
  • Second Enemy = 200
  • Third Enemy = 500
  • Fourth through Fifteenth Enemies = 1000 each
  • 16th and all Subsequent Enemies = 10,000 each

(A chain refers to all enemies destroyed until the next time Sonic lands on some form of ground, or releases from a Spin Dash)

Dr. Eggman Boss: 1000 points each

End Level Ring Bonus: 100 points for each ring held

End Level Perfect Bonus: The game stores a list of how many rings are present in each level. Each time you get a lone ring, the game subtracts one from this value. If this value is 0 when you pass the end signpost, you receive a 50,000 point bonus. Super Ring boxes and those placed by debug mode do not affect this counter. Getting hit by an enemy and losing your current rings does not reset the counter.

End Level Time Bonus:

  • 0:29 or less = 50,000
  • 0:30 to 0:44 = 10,000
  • 0:45 to 0:59 = 5000
  • 1:00 to 1:29 = 4000
  • 1:30 to 1:59 = 3000
  • 2:00 to 2:59 = 2000
  • 3:00 to 3:59 = 1000
  • 4:00 to 4:59 = 500
  • 5:00 or more = 0

Special Stage:

  • Rings = 100
  • Chaos Emerald = 10,000

Special Scoring in Casino Night Zone:

  • There are certain slots which aren't connected to Slot Machine Reels. Upon entering the slot from above, you receive 8 sequential 100 point additions to your score. (At one point in act 2, there are five such slots placed directly above one another, so landing in one triggers the rest in sequence for 4000 points.)
  • There are also green, yellow, and red bumpers in sets of three. Hitting one is worth 10 points and causes the bumper to change color (green -> yellow -> red -> disappear). Destroying the third red bumper in each set of 3 is worth 500 points instead of 10.

"The Deleted Levels"Edit

Hidden Palace Zone is a scrapped level from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It is an underground zone with purple water, featuring sparkling gems and dinosaur-esque badniks. Hidden Palace Zone is perhaps the most infamous of the scrapped Sonic 2 levels due to its widespread appearance in gaming media before the game was released. The majority of the art in the level was created by Craig Stitt.

Hidden Palace Zone was never completed for the original release; however, a good portion of the first act is playable in the Sonic 2 Nick Arcade prototype and the Sonic 2 Simon Wai prototype. It was one of the first levels to be worked on, however progress stopped early during production. It was nevertheless kept in the game throughout most of Sonic 2's development cycle, with its removal being a last minute decision. This is contrary to Wood Zone and Genocide City Zone, which, culled much sooner, were largely kept a secret.

Notable features of Hidden Palace include green bridges which glow if Sonic or Tails walk on them. This is actually the same object as the bridge in Emerald Hill Zone, but is set to glow if the level number is that of Hidden Palace's. Also featured is a large ramp towards the end of the level, whose collision means it cannot be climbed without positioning Sonic on it with debug mode. Moving up this ramp will lead to the top of the screen, however using debug mode again will show that it continues at the bottom of the level, leading to a bridge covered in waterfalls and inevitably a platform to nowhere.

Unlike other scrapped levels in Sonic 2, Hidden Palace Zone still remains in a corrupted form on the final version of the cartridge, though can only be accessed through game enhancers such as Game Genie. The level plays the unused track 10 in the final game, but opted for the Mystic Cave Zone 2-player music track in the Simon Wai prototype. A second act can also be accessed, but it is a barren version of the first act in all versions of the game. The zone has an icon, intended for the level select screen, but is never seen in normal play. Oddly it does appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 however, as this game recycles Sonic 2's level select with minimal alterations.

An interview with Yuji Naka revealed that Hidden Palace Zone was originally intended to be a level where the player would be warped to after collecting the 7 Chaos Emeralds. Once there, they would receive the power to morph into Super Sonic. The idea was ultimately killed and the ability was given to the player immediately[1]. Craig Stitt, in an interview with ICEknight, mentioned that Hidden Palace Zone started as two acts but then switched to a single act before being canceled[2].

Many parts of the level were once grounds for debate, such as the so called "Master Emerald" which blocks a pipe. In actuality, this was meant to be just a breakable object similar to the ones found in Hill Top Zone and Chemical Plant Zone[3]. The Tails 1-up monitor was once thought to be a sign that the level was a Tails-exclusive zone, though we now know it exists due to art mapping changes.

Some hacks, like Sonic 2 Delta and Sonic 2 Long Version, have attempted to restore the level using the graphics from the prototype version and level map and object data from the graphic-less version in the final release.

Hidden Palace was removed but not forgotten. The name was recycled in Sonic & Knuckles for use in an unrelated level, and some of the background art was re-used in Sonic Spinball Toxic Caves, also designed by Craig Stitt. Some elements like the glowing bridges and spheres in the background were used later in Sonic 3's IceCap Zone as well. The zone finally was restored 21 years later, as a single-act level in the 2013 remake of Sonic 2.

Misplaced Monitors Edit

When Hidden Palace Zone was first made accessible to the public, there was much speculation about the existence of a Tails 1-up monitor at the start of the stage. Sonic 2 was built off Sonic 1, and early in development monitor designations were reassigned. The object sub type number for the Tails 1-up monitor was originally the object sub type number of a Sonic 1-up monitor. The early Nick Arcade prototype places Tails 1-up monitors in Green Hill Zone where the Sonic monitor should be.

The shield monitor in the beginning was also presumably meant to be a 10 rings monitor, based on the changes in object sub type numbers.

Enemies Edit

Unlike other scrapped levels, Hidden Palace contained enemies, none of which were seen in the final build of the original game. Some enemies were not given official names. It is also the only level in any of the Mega Drive Sonic games where enemies re-spawn if not on-screen.

  • Redz - Dinosaur badnik, A little red dinosaur to be jumped on.
  • BBat - Bat badnik, Attacks in a U- shaped pattern.

The Nick Arcade prototype also includes Stego, another dinosaur badnik which will charge at Sonic and Tails if they come too close.

A number of other badniks are rumored to have been designed for Hidden Palace:

  • BFish - Fish badnik, Acts like the Masher, except it attacks in an arc like motion instead of a straight line.
  • Bubbler - Air bubble badnik, Explodes when Sonic approaches. Or the Bubbler's Mother drops it in the water.
  • Bubbler's Mother - Sometimes it drops the Bubbler. Or it acts like the Chop Chop badnik.
  • Gator - a crocodile badnik which simply moves back and forth, similar to Redz. This badnik was actually seen in a mock up shot of Dust Hill Zone.

In the Final Release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Edit

Hidden Palace is accessible in the final version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 by using the Game Genie code ACLA-ATD4 (AB6X-ATBR in Knuckles in Sonic 2). From here, enter the Level Select code (1965,0917 with  in the sound test screen). Go back to the title, and hold + to access the level select screen. Then select Death Egg Zone (Special Stage in Knuckles in Sonic 2).

Almost all of the artwork is gone in the final game, and with this goes collision data, making the zone virtually unplayable without enabling debug mode (19921124 with  at the level select screen). It is impossible to complete the level without placing a capsule with debug mode. All the items in debug mode that you place are from Oil Ocean Zone. "Beating" both acts will take the player to Oil Ocean Zone.

While the Tails monitor object does not grant an extra life in the final, it is, however, fully functional in Knuckles in Sonic 2.
Scarp

iOS/Android Remake Edit

The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remake for mobile platforms adds Hidden Palace Zone as a bonus 1 Act Zone, courtesy of Taxman and Stealth from Sonic Retro who worked on the project. This level is not in the main level progression, and must be found to access it. The level entrance is located where the dreaded spike pit was located in Mystic Cave Zone. Instead of leading to an inescapable pit of spikes, the pit is now a transition point to Hidden Palace Zone.

The level has been completely reworked using the original assets and sprites from the Sonic 2 Beta. Some similar areas from the original screenshots exist, but the level is mostly a brand new level layout. The music used for this zone is the 2-Player music for Mystic Cave, as was seen in the Simon Wai Prototype. New gimmicks in this completed version include water pipes that blast you through the tubes, and zip lines that thrust you upward using the slanted shafts from the beta. The water slide now works as intended, and the big Emeralds are still breakable objects, now concealing springs. The Redz, BBat, and Stegway (formerly Stego) badniks are here fully functional. Redz can also now breath fire in a small stream from his mouth.

Eggman has a brand new never-before-seen boss machine for this level, which involves using a music device to blast loudly and cause the cave to drop rocks. He also drops bombs into the water, which occasionally will cause a rising column of water intended to hurt Sonic, but can be used to disable Eggman for hits.

The original stage can be accessed through a code on the stage select menu. After entering the debug mode cheat, playing the sounds 03, 03, 03, 0B, 10, 10, 10, 04 and selecting "Hidden Palace" will take the player to the "Proto Palace Zone", which is Hidden Palace's original layout as seen in the Simon Wai prototype. This version of the stage, unlike its revised counterpart, uses Track #10 as its default background music, and the "Master Emerald" acts as a warp that takes the player back to the stage select, rather than being a breakable object.
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