Sonic the Hedgehog 2

aka: 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 2
Genesis Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a side-scrolling platformer based around speed, and the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog. Like the original, players run through different worlds called "zones", which each have their own specific theme. There are two Acts in nearly all of the 10 Zones, and at the end of each Zone's last Act is a machine that Robotnik controls, which you must defeat to progress. The evil Dr. Robotnik wants to conquer the world. In order to do that, he imprisons and transforms all animals into robots called "Badniks". This way they can build his powerful weapon, the Death Egg. Only Sonic the Hedgehog, and his new tagalong partner, Miles 'Tails' Prower, can stop Robotnik and his army of Badniks from taking over the world.

Sonic and Tails can collect rings which are scattered throughout all of the levels. As with most platformers, when the player collects 100 rings, they earn an extra life. However, the rings also act as protection; if Sonic is hurt when he is carrying rings, they scatter everywhere and he is briefly invincible. If he is hit again when he has no rings, he'll lose a life. If the player reaches a continue point lamppost with 50 or more rings, they'll be able to access the Special Stage. In this stage, you must gather a set amount of rings in a halfpipe-like stage before you reach a checkpoint. Complete all the checkpoints and you'll earn one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

New to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the ability to play the game co-op with a friend - at any time, a player can plug in a second controller and take over the AI-controlled Tails. Tails has infinite lives and the camera remains focused on Sonic, meaning that Tails will not hinder play. Sonic (and Tails) can now also get speed from a standing start by holding down and repeatedly pressing the jump button for a "spin dash". This is useful when stuck near steep slopes or other areas where you need some momentum. The game also features a 2-player versus mode. This mode is a horizontally split-screen race through levels based on three of the zones in the single-player game.

The mobile version (iOS/Android) contains ten new levels in a new environment called Hidden Palace Zone, a boss attack mode, upgraded graphics, faster frame rate, a re-mastered soundtrack, and Knuckles as a third playable character.


  • SEGA AGES ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 - Japanese Nintendo Switch spelling
  • ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 - Japanese spelling
  • 바람돌이 소닉 2 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Genesis version)

48 People (38 developers, 10 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Chief Programmer
Game Planner
Character Design
Chief Artist
Assistant Programmers
Object Placement
Special Stage Object Placement
Zone Artists
Special Stage Art and CG
Music Composer
Sound Programmer
Sound Assistants
[ full credits ]



Average score: 90% (based on 40 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 306 ratings with 7 reviews)

Probably the best Genesis game

The Good
The music is some of the best in all of videogamedom. I downloaded a winamp plugin and ripped the music to mp3s to play on my i-pod. Each level offers something new - new music, new obstacles, new environs, new bosses. It's a rather lengthy game, and there is so much to do, making it very rewarding to beat.

The Bad
Metropolis Zone didn't really need to have 3 Acts. After playing Sonic 3 and being able to save one's game, it makes one wish that Sonic 2 would allow such opportunities.

The Bottom Line
It's a fast-paced, side-scrolling platform game. You play as a blue hedgehog named Sonic, for his ability to run fast, and in this game, ball up on the ground and dash forward by spinning. At times you feel like sonic is just a free-moving pinball in a vast pinball world (hence why Sega came out with Sonic Spinball), but the game is so well constructed, Sonic never goes out of control. You must learn to use the speed and the unique mechanics of the game to your advantage, especially in the boss fights, which are always a good fun challenge without being aggravating. When one tries to think of an old 2D platform game that sort of defines the genre, Sonic 2 (even more than the other Sonic games) is conjured by far the most.

Genesis · by Feem (30) · 2005

A slicker, faster version of the original virtual high-speed chase

The Good
First off, Sega was smart enough not to mess with the original product enough to alienate the fans of the original. Sonic 2 maintained the high-speed scrolling interface and merely sped it up. Now Sonic didn't seem to be on the verge of falling off the top of the loop without power sneakers. In addition, they added the now famous character of Tails, although his role was more for show than for help. New enemies and landscapes showcased the vast capabilities of the Genesis platform. Casino Night was awesome, and Sega added a clever element by tossing in the slot machines. What an idea to essentially "gamble" for rings. It wasted so much time, but who cared. Flashing lights, loud noises; they put and eight-year-old such as myself at the time of its release in heaven. I'll give anyone who became a gambling addict because of this game one million dollars.
And the music...I have the theme to the Chemical Plant Zone on my MP3 collection; it is that good. Though I wasn't a fan of the Aquatic Ruin theme, it fit the zone, which makes up for the deficiency of quality in the tune. After all, the music was done by an actual band. Not all tunes are awesome. I also enjoyed the 2-player format, which was far superior to the weak race five laps format of Sonic 3. This version rocked as it was a true race through actual zones and the fabulous 3-D Special Stage, perhaps the first of its kind. I loved that stage with its race-like appearance and general wackiness To further accentuate the 2-player zones, the music changed for each. Personally, I preferred the 2-player Casino Night theme. I could not stand the underwater Labyrinth Zone from Sonic 1, so I'm especially grateful for a choice of paths for Aquatic Ruin.

The Bad
While Tails proved an invaluable asset in Sonic 3, he acted as little more than an orange fuzzball when you played with both Sonic and Tails. You always controlled Sonic, so occasionally you'd rocket ahead, forcing the young fox to feebly helicopter his way back to keep up. At times, the game got almost too fast, especially at points in Chemical Plant. If you rolled rather than ran down a particular hill in Act 2, the game would lose track of Sonic as he powered down the slippery slope. Oil Ocean Zone!! Those sea horses were everywhere. Especially at the top of the lifts where you couldn't see them. It became a game of lose your rings, kill the horse, get the rings back before it fires another projectile. Most of the bosses were too easy, especially the first three, where it was just hit Robotnik while he's fueling the Egg-o-Matic. Simple. That said, I still haven't beaten the game because the final boss is impossible. The least they could have done is provide the guy with a ring or two to give Sonic a fighting chance. While the linkage with Sonic and Knuckles is innovative, I wish you could've chosen your character rather than having to play as the echidna. As Knuckles, the whole game, except for the final boss is a cinch due to lower ring requirements in the Special Stages. I had all the Emeralds by the end of Chemical Plant. Which leads me to another thing; why'd you always lose your rings after entering the Special Stage. It makes no sense.

The Bottom Line
Overall, a fabulously designed game from Sega. Try it linked with Sonic and Knuckles for an extra twist, but on it's own it's outstanding. This may be the best of the Genesis games through 1992 with its simple yet intelligent gameplay. Definitely a must buy.

Genesis · by Zach Waksman (2) · 2003

A huge improvement over the original

The Good
Well the thing to like about this is that it dosen't radically change the sonic formula. Sonics still fast, the levels are still fun, but the thing is everything SEGA did to this game to make it better. They could have just made some new stages and say"That's it" But they didn't. They introduced a lot of cool things such as spin dash, super sonic and tails, which didn't make it feel like Sonic the Hedgehog Directors cut. The music in it, is top class, with bouncy tunes, slow tunes which just makes the experience a lot better. The special stages are fun and the best in all of Sonic and there are more zones (Although, most only have two acts opposed to the original's three). Plus the two player modes are a nice addition, as they are fun and allow two people to go through the adventure (and versus each other) together.

The Bad
My only bad point? Tails is useless. He can't fly in single player so what's the point of putting him in in the first place? Also, the two player versus mode only has three zones and the special stage.

The Bottom Line
This is the definite sonic experience. If you've never played it, play it now. And I mean NOW.

Genesis · by colm52 (107) · 2009

[ View all 7 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Mega Drive version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut content

The Hidden Palace Zone, which is in the beta, but not the final release, was used extensively in previews. One controversial topic among Sonic fans is a mysterious screenshot of what appeared to be a desert that popped up in various gaming magazines prior to the game's release. While many believe it to be a mock-up or a clever hoax, there are others who note elements of the screenshot do in fact appear in the beta, and some conceptual drawings imply that a desert level did, in fact, exist at one point. (One title of a drawing even says "Desert Level" in Japanese.) Still, there are those who insist this is nonsense.


Sonic collects all seven Chaos Emeralds and transforms from a blue rodent into a fiery yellow powerhouse with insane speed. Merely a cheesy plot device pulled out of Yasuhara's ass? Possibly, but the connection is more likely a parody of Dragon Ball, the insanely popular flagship work of manga artist Akira Toriyama. In the manga, which was serialized in Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, the hero Son Goku (the Monkey King) searches for the seven legendary Dragon Balls. Eventually he is able to transform into a "Super Saiyan", a form in which he gains immense power along with spiky golden hair.


The Death Egg is based on the Death Star from Star Wars.


Sonic 2 had a worldwide release date, which was uncommon at the time. November 24, 1992 was dubbed Sonic 2sday (a pun of the fact that it was a Tuesday), and the game was released across all markets. This is referenced in the game by the order in which you need to play the sound effects to activate the debug mode.

Sonic CD

Due to the fact that Sonic CD was starting development around the same time that Sonic 2 was finishing up, the early buzz about the two games often got confused, leading to predictions that Sonic 2 would involve time travel.


Just like Sonic, Tails's real name, Miles Prower, is a reference to speed (miles per hour).


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1992 (Issue 41) - Game of the Month
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #71 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Genesis version)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - #61 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #42 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • April 2007 (Issue #37) – #5 Top Platformer Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Marquerite Richardson, MegaMegaMan; PCGamer77 and Tiago Jacques

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 6611


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Bahz.

PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. Nintendo 3DS, Arcade, DoJa added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. tvOS, BlackBerry added by Sciere. Xbox One added by Artzei. Linux, Macintosh added by Foxhack. Wii added by gamewarrior. iPhone added by Deleted. Windows added by lights out party. Xbox 360 added by Ben K.

Additional contributors: chirinea, Matt Keller, Kohler 86, Alaka, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Thomas Thompson, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, Harmony♡, Sgoc.

Game added June 7th, 2002. Last modified September 19th, 2023.