Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a 2D platform game released in November 1992 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It is a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Sonic the Hedgehog series continued with Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.

Version differences

As with all the 16-bit Sonic games, the PAL version runs slower than the NTSC version. However, the in-game timer is slowed down by the same amount, so identical times are possible in both versions. PAL players may have a slight advantage due to the slowdown aiding players' reactions, but in general players in all regions can compete equally.

Since the Mega Drive/Genesis version, Sonic 2 has since been re-released several times:

Sonic Jam

Sonic Jam includes three different modes of playing the game: Normal, Easy and Original. The Normal and Easy settings make small changes to the levels, such as additional rings (particularly noticable in the Death Egg Zone, which originally featured no rings). It also features a Time Attack mode, which tracks times, but uses the same altered level layouts as the Normal difficulty. Players using Sonic Jam should therefore use the Original setting; identical to the original release of the game.

Terminology and tactics

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 competition at Speed Demos Archive involves using Sonic and Tails or Tails alone. Tails is generally not useful in Sonic and Tails, except for a shortcut at the beginning of Chemical Plant 2 and speeding up the nuts and bolts section of Metropolis 1. Various levels and tricks are easier to perform as Tails because of his smaller size, so he offers a small advantage for many levels. Knuckles competition is allowed at Speed Demos Archive as a seperate category, but at this time no one has submitted anything using Knuckles.

Sonic alone Knuckles alone and Tails alone are the only competitions allowed at the Sonic Center. Sonic alone and Tails alone are considered in the same category, due to the fact that the only differences between the two characters is sprite size.

Using Sonic and Tails together allows certain certain sections to be speeded up, such as the screws in the Metropolis Zone.

Ideal spin-dash
Six revs are required to obtain maximum speed from a spindash. However, in some instances it can be beneficial to use a spindash with fewer revs. To spindash effectively, many players use 3 fingers over top the A, B, and C buttons, alternating between the three buttons two or three times for maximum revs. Many times button presses are not detected, so three cycles between the three buttons is often necessary to assure full spindash speed. The fastest spindash speeds by human players, from time of ducking to time of release, are generally in the .25-.45 second range.
Ramp jump
When floors are not level, the angle of the floor affects the angle of the jump. If you are moving up hill, then a ramp jump will give you much more height than usual. Similarly, if you are travelling down hill, you get an increase in speed upon jumping. These are referred to as uphill and downhill ramp jumps respectively.
Loop jump
A variation on the ramp jump, which takes place inside a loop. When you make a jump from the bottom-right or top-left of a loop (assuming entry from the left), you can catch the next corner of the loop and be propelled off at much faster speeds. Loop jumping at the top left is the most efficient and worthwhile jump to do.
Screen wrapping
On levels that wrap vertically, if you duck so the screen scrolls to it's lowest point, then jump off the top of the screen, the game thinks you are below the screen and scrolls downwards in an attempt to catch up. In the time that your character is off screen, sprites do not appear, and so you can pass through all manner of enemies and walls. When these items do reappear, you can use the collision detection to jump and push your character down through the floor, useful for a large shortcut at the end of Metropolis Zone 3. This ability is only present in the Metropolis Zone.
When gliding as Knuckles, some surfaces allow you to continue running after a glide instead of coming to a dead stop.
As Knuckles, if you jump and glide just before coming into contact with an enemy or item box, you will gain a large boost of height. Since the speed of the glide increases with distance travelled, it can be used to travel over the top of a level at high speeds, such as Aquatic Ruin Zone Act 2.
Speed Capping
As Sonic or Tails, holding right and jumping while running at a speed greater than the intended maximum will bring you back down to the maximum speed. This should generally be avoided, but is not always a bad thing, as it allows you to gain some reaction time and extra height on some of your jumps. A good example of where this is useful is the shortcut at the end of Chemical Plant Zone 1. Knuckles does not retain this ability, hence many jumps are much harder with Knuckles than Sonic or Tails, but Knuckles can gain and keep a higher speed due not having to let go of right to keep maximum speed.


The Sonic Center [1] has hosted Sonic the Hedgehog 2 speedrun competition since December 2003.

The Speed Demos Archive hosts a single-segment speedrun completed in 0:18:12, achieved by Joe Stanski on July 8th, 2007, as well as individual level runs, originally done by Nathan Jahnke, Phillipe 'suzaku' Henry, and MatrixTN but later obsoleted by Joe Stanski.

Level Strategies

The Sky Chase Zone is a fixed-length auto-scrolling level, and is always completed in the same time. Hence no strategy guide is required.

Various challenges

External Links