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.


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 front

Sonic 2 European box art back

Sonic 2 European box art

Sonic 2 US box art front

Sonic 2 US box art back

Sonic 2 US box art

Sonic 2 Japanese box art front

Sonic 2 Japanese box art back

Sonic 2 Japanese box art


Title screen

Emerald hill Zone

Chemical Plant Zone

Casino Night Zone

View/Add Notes(4)

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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.