SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 for Sega Game Gear FAQ/Walkthrough 1. Introduction This FAQ/walkthrough is copyrighted by me, William Walker, started 12/26/02. If you wish to use this FAQ on another site, just ask me, it's probably fine. Don't steal it or use it for commercial gain. Thank you. Well, it's been a long time since I sat down and wrote a FAQ, my life being so busy and all. I was planning on doing this for a long time, I just needed a burst of inspiration and a good game to get started with. I was playing some games on the SNES (I only have the old systems, because my folks don't like me doing the newer games - too violent and graphics) and was rather bored. I planned on digging out my Sega Genesis and doing some old Sonic the Hedgehog titles, which I hadn't played for years. I once was a big fan of Sonic, and I hope to do a FAQ for almost every Sonic the Hedgehog game made for the Genesis and Game Gear platforms. I also might do some FAQs for other games, such as those on my NES. Ambitious plans, but I figured that I had to get to them eventually. Besides, I love writing FAQs! Now to the matter at hand: Sonic 2. A little-known portable system that ran on batteries but could be plugged into an adapter was the Sega Game Gear. It may seem inconceivable that someone would want to do a FAQ for a game at least 12 years old, for a portable system, but what the hay. I also noticed that there were some FAQs for this and other games, including some of my own (though not for this game). I simply mean to replace them, not revise or add on to them. This is the first and only version of this FAQ/walkthrough by me. I do hope this FAQ gets posted on game sages. In any event, Sonic 2 came with the system, so I reckon there are some people out there who still have it and have played it once or twice. You might even have the manual, which tells you the story and controls, but little more. There are already two FAQs for this game posted; they were brief but effective at most of the game. However, I was planning on both answering your questions about the game and providing a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough for every level. This approach takes a while, but it works well for me. Writing a walkthrough for a Sonic the Hedgehog game is not easy. In some games, the path is rather clearly defined, and you can just mention where the enemies are, where the bonuses are, etc. Sonic games usually have large levels with multiple paths or routes you can take, so it becomes difficult to map out exactly what to do, unless you have a lot of time and space on your hands. I did the best I could, following the main path or the best path, and mentioning where the main goodies were. I have not searched this game from head to toe, nor have I explained what is on some of the side, less favorable paths, so don't be surprised at all to find 1-UPS and such that aren't in my walkthrough. In fact, I encourage you to tread off the beaten path; this game especially (but all Sonic games too) has a lot of slightly hidden or secret stuff, or you might just want to see what's out there, who knows. Anyway, I hope you can profit as much as you can from this FAQ/walkthrough (that's why I'm writing it, after all). This guide contains general and basic tips for survival, the controls and story, and of course, the walkthrough. If you have any need to e-mail me, to compliment my work, suggest improvements or mention something I missed, by all means do so! It shows that I'm not the only one who still plays this obsolete game and besides, I love getting mail. Just specify what you want and in which game (I may have some FAQs for other games in the works in the near future) and no ads or stupid e-mails, thank you. My e-mail address is: email@example.com . 2. Story and general gameplay Like most Sonic games, the story of this one is a forgettable one. Just remember this is a game for a portable console, not intended for much more than light entertainment or for killing time on a trip. Robotnik (the mad scientist guy in red, in case you didn't know) has kidnaped Tails, the two-tailed fox. Well, what are you waiting for, Sonic? Go get him!! This game has seven main areas, or zones, the last one only accessible if you get all the chaos emeralds. Each zone has three acts, the first two of which are usually shorter than acts in Genesis games. Act 3 of each zone is typically quite short, has NO rings whatsoever, and ends with a boss fight. Sonic the Hedgehog has to be one of the simplest games to control. Use the directional pad to move left or right, duck and look down or up to see what's above or below you. Use the 1 or 2 buttons to jump, and start to pause/unpause the game. The 2 button also skips the beginning and end of act screens. Press down while running to roll. To defeat your enemies, jump onto or into them, or roll into them. If you touch an enemy or spikes (which are quite common in this game) you take a hit, and lose all your rings. Some rings fly into the air so you can re-grab them - if you're fast! Rings are quite common in acts 1 and 2 of each zone, so you should be able to get plenty. A maximum of seven rings fly into the air when you get hurt (the rest just evaporate) or less if you don't have that many. You can take an infinite number of hits as long as you have rings. If you get hit with no rings, you die, lose one life, and go back to the beginning of the act (no mid-act check points in this game, as there are in later Game Gear games). There are no rings in act 3, so any hit will kill you instantly! If you run out of lives, your game is over and you have to start at the beginning of the game again. Also, in acts 1-2, you can find monitors. These are power-ups; roll into them or jump on them to grab them. There are three types of power-ups: Super Rings, Invincibility, a 1-UPS. Super Rings are worth ten rings, Invincibility makes you invincible for a while as stars swirl around you, and 1-UPS are worth another life. Super Rings have a ring on them, Invinciblities a few stars, and 1-UPS have Sonic's face. If you collect 100 rings, your ring count will reset to zero (be careful not to hit an enemy right when you do this) and you get a free life. At the end of acts 1 and 2 of each zone is a turnstile. Touch this to beat the level, and it will have a symbol on it: Robotnik, a ring, Sonic, or Tails. Sonic or Tails are extremely rare; some people believe they appear when you have trouble completing a stage, but I have found nothing to support that theory. Sonic is a free life, Tails is (I think) a free continue. A ring appears when your ring total is a multiple of 10, and is worth 10 rings. Robotnik is what you nearly always get, and gives nothing whatsoever. In addition, you score points at the end of every act: 100 points per ring you have, and a time bonus for finishing quickly. Your score has no effect on the game; you don't get any free lives by scoring points. You also score points for beating enemies, 100 per enemy and maybe 1000 per boss, I think. Finally, the chaos emeralds. There is a chaos emerald in act 2 of zones 1-5. Unlike Genesis or later Game Gear games, there is no special stage in this game - you just find them in the levels. They are cunningly hidden but read on to find out where. If you collect them all you can play zone 7. Some people say they offer free continues. I don't believe they do, but I thought it was worth mentioning. That pretty much sums up all you need to know to play Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (most of it is rather basic, and will come to you if you just play). There are special things in the acts of some zones but they will be discussed in the walkthrough section. Keep in mind Sonic 2 is a simple game, and you should not be intimidated by all this talk about the basics - it is just to help you get your bearings, and we'll soon get into meatier stuff. 3. General tips for survival -The manual in all its wisdom advises you to grab every ring you can. However, in practice, I find it's often not necessary to grab every single ring you see. This is especially true in areas where rings are awkward to get or the likelihood of getting hit is high. Basically, unless you are going for 100 rings (which constitutes a 1-UP) you only need some rings to stay alive. Getting all the rings takes time, gets wiped out as soon as you get hit, and can even be dangerous (like when you're underwater, and must keep track of time to breathe). I'm not saying you shouldn't grab rings, just that going out of your way to grab every ring is unnecessary and you shouldn't feel obliged to do so. If you're going for a high score, I find the majority of your points come from a high time bonus, so concentrate on acting quickly if possible. -Don't proceed too fast. While this is a very speedy game (as in all Sonic games) running ahead can result in you getting careless and getting hit or falling somewhere you don't want to. Try to strike a good balance between speed and the need to proceed carefully. -Survival comes first. There are a lot of opportunities to get hit in this game, most of them coming from spikes - which sometimes come in large beds. If you fall into a bed of spikes, get to safe ground as quickly as possible. Re-grabbing lost rings is unnecessary if there are other rings nearby. -Master the mechanics of jumping as soon as possible. Jumping and momentum are the most important aspect of this game to get used to. You can jump quite a long way in this game, but it can be hard to stop quickly if you speed up suddenly (as sometimes happen when you roll for a while or down a slope). Don't lose control of yourself, although it can be hard to help sometimes. It is also necessary to be on top of matters with your jumping game in many of the boss battles. -If you think Sonic 2 is a hard game, you're right. It is. Of the six Sonic games for Game Gear I have and hope to do FAQs for - Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Blast, Sonic Triple Trouble and Sonic Labyrinth, this game is the hardest. Simply because some of the levels and bosses can get quite vexing, even with a good FAQ to help you out. You will get hit a lot and lose a lot of lives in this game. Also, some of the puzzles - such as finding the chaos emeralds - are very tricky, requiring great skill at the game, information to where they are, or both. Also annoying is that some of the harder levels come early on. Basically, this is not an easy game, and could quickly frustrate a novice gamer, or someone who is not familiar with Sonic. -Don't take the game too seriously. If you are having trouble with a level or a boss, best thing to do may be to take a break from the game for a while - when you come back, you will be fresher, not stressed, and hopefully better able to handle the situation. The last thing you want to do is unduly worry or stress yourself out over this game, which was never intended for those things. -Although this game is hard, its saving grace is that you have a lot of opportunities to add to your life total in this game (unlike some other Sonic games). There are a lot of 1-UPS, and you can get 100 rings in many levels if you scour them carefully enough. Although your lives counter can only show nine lives, you can thankfully store up a lot more. It is important to grab extra lives whenever possible, so you can have as many as possible for what may come your way. Using the level select is an effective way to pass problem levels, but you will have only three lives when you begin, and so you may not get very far, especially if you're inexperienced in what lies ahead. Once you gain some experience in this game, you should try to play straight through if possible, without cheating. -If you want to stock up on lives, an effective way to do so is by simply finding a level where you can get two or more extra lives, collect them both, then die. By doing this you increase your life total as high as you wish for the challenges ahead. You often do this without intending to, when you are having trouble at a point later in a level and automatically grab any extra lives there may be up to that point. And now, without further ado, 4. The Walkthrough 4a. Under Ground Zone Breaking the tradition of having a heavily vegetated, easy level to begin with, Sonic 2 begins with this underground mine with lava, rail cars, and falling spikes. This zone is not that hard all things considered, but act 3 (as will most act 3s in this game) will cause you much pain. It is a good idea in Sonic 2 to take the high road whenever possible, and that advice will be especially useful here. Act 1 Run to the right. You will come to a gap in the floor. Jump over it and don't bother trying to grab all four rings. Avoid dropping down because the lower section of this act has no bonuses. Keep going right, down the hill, and underground. You will come to some ceiling spikes, some of which fall when you approach. If you roll, they will not hurt you, so roll when you see falling spikes ahead (they are a bit off-color from the normal ones). Soon you'll see a spring on the floor. Jump on it to be sprung up. It seems you'll hit the ceiling, but above the spring is a false ceiling you can go through. Inside this shaft, hold left near the top. You'll find an invisible side passage that leads to a room with a 1-UP and an enemy. Roll to knock out the foe and claim your prize. Drop back down to the spring, and keep heading right. You'll come to the bottom of a hill where you can jump onto the top of the rock ledge and keep heading right. If you roll down the hill, you can break through the blocks at the foot of the ledge. However, they lead to a passageway down so don't do so. Further to the right, you'll see a passageway full of rings leading straight down. Jump over it and continue right. You'll see more breakable blocks (which look different from solid ones) opposite a spring. These too lead to the bottom, so avoid touching the spring and jump up to the next ledge. Continue right and hold down and right as you go down the hill. You'll roll down, fly off the bottom, and should hit a spring in midair. Continue holding down and right as you fly far to the right. If you keep holding these buttons, you should just make it to a ledge in the far top right area of the act, which contains a 1-UP. If you mess up, you'll fall into a lower area with lava, and springs. There's no way to get back up from there, so just go right as best as possible, avoiding the lava. The lava doesn't kill you; it merely hurts you. From the 1-UP ledge, drop down and hold to the right to avoid falling into the lava. You'll land on a pair of springs next to the wall which you can use to bounce up. The goal is just to the right. Act 2 Go right. You'll have an opportunity to break some blocks to your left at the bottom of a short drop. Ignore these again - you want to take the high road here, too. Further to the right, you'll see a spring that you can use to get some rings, and another spring that points right. Hit the second spring and roll. You'll break through the blocks at the bottom of the ledge. You'll see a chamber full of rings, then a bit further on, a larger one. Grab all the rings. To your right is a 1-UP, but it's situated on blocks that will break if jumped or rolled on. Walk up next to the 1-UP, jump on it to grab it, and quickly get back to the left. Go out of this area. Above where you first broke the blocks is a Super Ring. Grab it and head right to a railcar. When inside, you don't need to press any buttons; the railcar will bear you to where to need to go. Press no buttons and go down the hill, and when you hit bottom, the railcar will wreck, but you won't be hurt. Watch out for the enemy right behind you, though. Keep going right, you'll encounter four lava pits. Jump over them while avoiding the fireballs that jump out of them. Eventually you come to a spring at the foot of a tall wall. Bounce up and left. At the top of the wall is a railcar but don't bother with it. Bounce to the left, you'll land on the bottom of a steep hill, with a ramp of sorts at the bottom. Climb the hill, grab the Super Ring (and the rings to the left if you wish). Then roll down the hill to the right. You should, if you're going fast enough, sail off the ramp and fly right, landing on a railcar. Ride it down to the right and get ready to make a tough jump. After the railcar goes off the end of the ledge, jump off and hold right. If you time your jump correctly, you'll land on the bottom of a series of steps. If you miss, it's worth dying to try again. Climb the stairs and to the right will be the first chaos emerald. Grab it and head back left. At the last stair, drop straight down to avoid landing in a bed of spikes. Go right to the goal. Act 3 Jump in the railcar behind you. It will protect you from the falling spikes. However - this next bit is important - after the railcar goes off the end of the ledge, jump out to the right. You should land on a spring about midway up the tall wall, which you can use to climb up to the top. If you stay in the railcar, it will wreck on an outcropping at the bottom of the wall. This is also where you land if you jump too early or too late, but the jump isn't hard to make. From here your only way forward is to break the blocks at the bottom of the wall. This isn't easy - stand to the left, at the very edge of the lava pit. Then run right, and right before hitting the wall, roll. You need to be going at a certain speed to break through the blocks. If you fail, you can keep trying as long as you want. Breaking the blocks isn't easy; that's why it's best to land on the spring and go that way. If you go through the blocks you'll find some diagonal springs which bounce you up to the top. Either way, you'll end up on the top of the level. Run right, and roll down the hill. You'll fly off the bottom and will be falling into lava, but Robotnik will save you (!) before taking you to... Boss This boss could get quite frustrating to you, judging by how frustrated I got when I first fought it. Okay - you'll be on a hill with a claw at the bottom right. Oddly enough, you can jump on the claw and you won't die! You'll just bounce a little. Position yourself as far down the hill as possible (the steep section right before the claw is not safe) to give yourself as much time as possible to react. Ball bearings will bounce from the left, which you must dodge. Six total will come. The low-bouncing ones can simply be jumped over, the high ones require you to calculate their trajectory and either run under them or jump over them when they hit the ground. In a worst-case scenario, you can also jump over to the claw and try to bounce under the bearing as it gets close to the claw. Avoid the ball bearings at all costs. After the sixth one resume your position as far down the hill as possible; Robotnik will come steaming down. Avoid him because touching him will kill you instantly! Jump over him and you are done. This gets frustrating though, because sometimes he comes while or right after the last ball bearing. After he hits the claw and destroys it, he flies back up and toward the left. Stay to the left to avoid him (I'm not sure he kills you at this point, but I never decided to find out). When possible, run to the right and bust open the prison egg to release some animal friends and beat the level. 4b. Sky High Zone This is one of the hardest zones in the game, simply because it requires very difficult jumping, and a new skill - hang gliding - which is very hard to master. Thankfully you only need to successfully hang glide once to complete this zone! The chaos emerald here is one of the hardest to get in the game, and act 3 is no pushover, either. Overall, this is just one zone that won't let up, and you'll be glad when it's behind you. Act 1 Nice music, huh? Anyway to your right at the beginning of this act is a bridge that will collapse when you touch it. The bridge collapses faster than collapsing floors or bridges you may be familiar with in other games; you need to be running full speed across it to avoid falling into the spikes below. Be sure to pick up some of the rings above. Now there is a matter of a large spiked pit to your right. Jump over to it, but not too far. Your landing area is fairly small. If you miss, your next jump isn't as hard so don't worry if you lose all your rings. The second spiked pit is wider, but you can jump as far as you want since you're landing ledge is quite wide. It also has a Super Ring and a spring on it. Don't bounce up on the spring yet; that's the main path but there's something you must get first. To the right is another spiked pit. Jump far to the right, to the point where the background changes from a tall wall to a blue sky. Land at the point right at the end of the background wall; there lies a small ledge with a 1-UP on it. Nab it but go no further; to the right is a huge spiked pit (which oddly enough has off-screen spikes) that serves as punishment for those who fail to hang glide elegantly later on. Jump far back to the left and bounce up on the spring. You'll now see a sideways spring that leads directly into some obviously breakable blocks. Hit the spring and roll to break through. After two block sets you'll be in an open area with an enemy, six rings and a spring pointing up. Ignore it for the time being and break through a third series of blocks. Once through, jump to avoid hitting a spring that will bounce you back right. You'll see another spring pointing up with two columns of rings above it. Jump on it. You'll bounce up next to another, floating, spring. When you bounce on this one, press and hold to the left. Make sure you are moving to the left before hitting the spring, not coming down. You should barely reach a ledge in the top left corner of the act. This has a 1-UP. Grab it and jump back to the right. If you miss and fall, you'll end up back where the act began. Climb back up in that case. Get back to where you broke through the blocks. This time, bounce on that spring you passed up earlier. Use the series of springs to ascend the cliff. Once on top, grab the Invincibility and run to the right. At the edge of the cliff, you come to a hang glider. This thing is very awkward to maneuver, and is your only way to get across the huge chasm to the right. A few things to note, first. Never press button 1 or 2 when on the hang glider. These will cause you to fall off. Also if you fall, just mad dash back to the left as fast as you can. If you're lucky, you'll make it back to the place you found the 1-UP before, and can charge back up and try again. Whether you can survive the spikes depends on how far right you were when you fall. The first time you try this, the Invincibility helps as it'll prevent you from getting injured. The best way to hang glide seems to be to press and hold down on the directional pad when you first grab the hang glider. This will make you fly downward and swiftly forward. After a second or two, tap left to get a boost in altitude and slow down. Wait a second, then press and hold down again. This way, crawl across the chasm. There are rings to be awarded to more proficient hang gliders, but ignore these (there might even be a 1-UP or something in the clouds). This will seem entirely impossible at first, but after you get used to it you'll be able to make it farther and farther. Good luck. Once you make it across, just run right to the goal. Act 2 It's raining here, but the lightning doesn't hurt you. You'll see a hang glider awaiting you as soon as you start. This is the hang glider you're supposed to get the chaos emerald with. The emerald is at the top of the screen about 2/3 to 3/4 through the level. Utterly impossible, you say. I agree, but there IS another way to get it - although it's quite hard and requires many attempts. For the time being, go right. Ignore the spring on the ground. You will come to a gap and a ledge above and to the right. Drop into the gap, on the right side (on the left side is a cloud that will spring you back up). You'll fall to the bottom. To your left is a spring. Ignore it and jump to the left. You'll find a small spiked pit, a 1-UP, and a spring in that order. Get the extra life and head back to the right. You'll find another spiked gap, this time with a cloud with rings above the cloud, above the pit. This cloud will spring you up, but ignore it and jump to the right. Head right to another spiked pit. Jump over it. You are now in an important spot: there is a spring on the ground on the left side of this ledge, which has rings above it. Jump on the spring and you'll see a cloud with rings above it. It will bounce you up, as will another cloud just below and to the right of it. You may come back here later on, so remember where these clouds are. Springing up, move a bit to the right, so you land where the cloud is solid and not blank, that part is solid but the blank part is not. To the right will be another cloud with rings above it. that's not the one you want; the cloud you want is another one with rings, further to the right, where the cloud you stand on stops becoming solid. Your goal is to hit that second cloud with enough speed that you sail to the right far enough to hit the chaos emerald. To do this, stand as far left as possible. Run right, roll, and jump after you start to accelerate. The key is timing your jump perfectly, and with the right amount of height (make a short jump) so you hit the spring cloud you want without breaking stride. This is very difficult to time; you must be going right at considerable speed if you want to sail far enough to collect the emerald. If you don't think you have enough speed, bounce back to the left and try again. If you fall, or attempt to get the emerald and miss, just head back left until you come to the spring on the ledge, bounce back up and try again. There is a large bed of spikes to the right of the spring, so try to leave a few rings behind. In case you do this several times, you can get the rings later on if you need them. When you feel you're traveling right fast enough, just hold down and right after hitting the spring. With luck, you'll crash right into the emerald and land on or near a hang glider in the clouds. This takes practice and many attempts. After landing on the hang glider, the rest of the level is just a large bed of spikes that you can cross either by hang gliding, by means of several cloud springs, or by just landing in the spikes and straining to the right. When you get to some springs, bounce up to get to the top of the wall. The goal isn't much farther. Act 3 All you have to do here is jump over three gaps to make it to the boss. Easier said than done. The first gap has a small landing platform to land on with an enemy on it. You will jump off the screen, so you won't know where you are until you come down. If your jump is on the mark, you'll defeat the enemy and land on the platform. If you miss, you'll hit the enemy, or just fall to your death. The second jump has no enemy to worry about but a landing platform no wider. The third jump is easy as pie - you have all the room in the world to land. Boss Get ready for some fun with the birds! The first phase of this boss pits you against four chick robots who fall from the sky. It's best if you concentrate on the ones on one side first (I prefer those on the right) and hit them when they jump. When they're on the ground, they're hard to see, and you can knock out one and walk right into another one. These robots are theoretically very easy to beat... but accidents still happen. The second batch is a little harder, since they walk as well as jump, but you can use the same tactics. After destroying them, you fall through the cloud to a place with four eggs. Knock out the two on the left quickly to prevent them from releasing chicks. Destroy the two chicks on the right and then destroy the eggs quickly. The eggs release more chicks given time. If you're unlucky, the mother bird (which is also a robot) will appear when you're knocking out the last chick. Hopefully, she won't though. The mother bird is quite tough. Hit her beak quickly, since she'll open it and shoot a fireball that semi-homes in on you. avoid the spikes on the back of her head. It gets really annoying when she hides half-on, half-off the screen or when you start rolling and can't control yourself momentarily. Try to get a rhythm going, of hitting her, bouncing off, then hitting her again after she stops flashing but before she shoots a fireball. After a few tries you should have her timing down. After six hits she will blow up and you can run right and destroy the prison egg! 4c. Aqua Lake Zone This zone introduces water, which is one of the most annoying things in this game. Water slows your movement down drastically, makes control awkward, and makes it harder to avoid enemies you'd have no trouble dodging on land. Also, you need to breathe when underwater, by either jumping out of getting an air bubble. If you don't, a countdown timer will appear above your head, when it hits zero, you drown and die. If the game doesn't start your next life after you drown, don't think the game has crashed - it waits for your body to float all the way off the screen before sending you back to the start. The first and third acts of this zone are relatively easy; the second is quite difficult. Provided you get used to the water and skimming it, this zone is actually pretty easy to pass. Act 1 Run right as usual. Beat the crab enemy and survey the lake ahead of you. the path underwater in this level is very difficult, but you can avoid it easily. Take a running start, and roll off the ledge into the lake. Instead of sinking, if you hold down on the directional pad and the direction you want to go (right) you will skim the surface and swiftly bounce to the right. This may seem hard and can fail if you get nervous, but you should get used to it quickly. On the other side get a running start and run the loop-de-loop. Run right. Beat another crab awaiting you right before the breakable blocks. Ignore the spring that sends you into the blocks. You want to take the high road! Jump on top of the ledge you see instead of burrowing through it (deftly avoiding the spring). Go right and take a long jump at the end of the ledge. You should land on a spring on the top of another ledge you could break through down below. Bounce up and to the right. Grab the 1-UP and drop down. You will be at the edge of another lake. It may seem like you can't skim with so little running room, but just roll down and hold down and right, and the skimming should come. Bounce to the far right side of the lake. You won't find the goal (rats!) but will find an obstruction behind a pillar you can't see. It is a 1-UP. Take it and go back left, skimming the lake again. Yet another 1-UP can be found by simply plopping down into the lake on its left shore. Go right to the end of this underwater ledge. Drop straight down. You'll hit a spring that bounces you diagonally up and right. Press and hold right. You should land on safe ground to the right. There is a large spike pit underwater, with a spear that will spring up on its right side; hopefully you'll clear it if you hold right. As soon as you land, go right. A spring will be directly ahead and touching it will send you careening right into the spikes. Don't panic, just jump over it with a well-timed jump, and go right to the goal. If you do hit the spring, don't try to make it back to the right - the mechanics of the water make it much more likely you'll be able to go across the spike pit, back to the diagonal spring on the left, and try again. Act 2 The stakes are higher in this act! It will completely flood at the beginning so air will be priority number 1. It also introduces riding bubbles, a skill you will not need except in this act. (The only other time I know of you ride bubbles is in Sonic Triple Trouble for Game Gear). It also has tubes whose mechanics are very simple: you go in a straight direction through the tube unless you override it by pressing and holding in one direction. In that case, if you pass a branch-off tube, you'll enter it and head that way. Such branch-offs usually have bonuses, such as the chaos emerald (which is a cinch to get). These tubes are the same as the pipes in Scrambled Egg Zone, where they are used extensively. It is also a very long act. Most of it I have not explored; I only cover the main path, there are many side paths which you can explore if you're bold. Be warned, though, that many of these either lead to nothing, or something concealed, and while you're looking for it your air ticks down. If there are any easy 1-UPS I've missed, by all means let me know. Okay, go right. Soon you fall through a false floor. Roll down the hill and you'll slide into a tube. As soon as you enter, hold down the down button on the directional pad. It helps if you just never let go of down. You'll immediately enter a side branch which deposits you in a shaft full of rings. Don't get greedy and try to grab as many rings as possible, just fall straight down and you'll land on an Invincibility. Immediately charge to the right for all you're worth. There are many spikes here, but you're invincible, but not forever. There will be two bubble locations you'll run by but neither are worth stopping for. To the far right you'll come to a wall with rings leading up. Chances are your air is running low now. Wait a second and a bubble will rise from the floor. This is of the large kind (some bubbles just give you a breath of air) and by touching it, you'll encase yourself in it until you hit something. Float up into the rings, and hold up on the directional pad to float up faster (and down makes you float up slower). At the top, hit the ceiling to pop out and go left (avoid the spikes, of course). If you fall into the shaft full of rings, a spring will send you back up. You'll pass two bubbles of the non-ride variety, then come to another wall. Do not step on the far left brick here; it is false. If you fall down, the left wall is false and leads to a spring which can get you back up. Wait for a bubble to come around, then jump in and ride it up. Don't try to get the rings in this shaft; that will likely make you hit the side and fall down. At the top, you'll need to execute a tricky maneuver: as soon as possible (without hitting the floor) press and hold down and left. You'll float left, passing under some spikes, and enter a second shaft. By holding down you give yourself clearance to slip below the spikes. At the top of this shaft, get out of your ride and go right. Some enemies (a crab and two lobsters) await you. beat them and you come to another, much wider, shaft. Climb it with the aid of a bubble, ignoring the springs on either side. To the right at the top is another enemy, then a tube. Jump in and hold left. You'll go for quite a while in the tube with no side paths, then a tube left leads to the chaos emerald. Hold left hard and you'll enter. After getting the emerald, jump back into the tube, pressing no buttons. You'll be dropped out onto a spring that will send you into a 1-UP. Grab it. Jump over the spring, drop down, and go right. You will now be at the final shaft. Get in your trusty bubble and begin the ascent. Your first threat comes from two spears released from the left side of the shaft. Float up angling toward the left. When you see the spears, hold down as you approach. This will slow you down and allow the spears to launch prematurely. As the second spear goes by, hurry to the right side. A lobster waits to ambush you on the left. Now come two more spears on the right. Avoid them the same way you did the first. As you miss the second and final spear, hustle to the left. Hurry upwards (hold up) to avoid the lobster (who can sometimes make it over to the left if you go slowly). After the lobster on the right fails to get you, go to the right. A third and final lobster awaits on the left. Dodge him on the right. As soon as he's clear, press and hold down. The ceiling of the shaft will approach, by holding down you give yourself time to swing left and avoid falling al the way back down. To the left will be a side shaft, get into it being very careful not to hit the floor of it as you enter. Maneuver upward, deftly weaving to avoid the spikes. If your bubble pops you CAN make it to the top by jumping, but that is harder and you'll have to hurry, or you may drown. At the top of the side shaft, go right to the goal at last. I made this sound a lot easier than it actually is, so don't feel bad if you die a few times on this level before completing it. Act 3 Ha! This level AND boss are so easy it seems like a bonus! Okay, go right and avoid the spring. It will send you right a little too fast for comfort. Deftly skim the lake using the skill you hopefully perfected in act 1. On the other side, go right for a while, until you come to a steep hill. Go down it SLOWLY. You want to avoid sliding into the underwater passage to the right. Instead, jump out of the water and onto the ledge. Hit the spring, burst through the blocks and skim one more time. If you fall into the water at the end, fear not - there's a spring right there to boost you up! On the lake's east shore, run right to the... Boss This guy couldn't scare my cat. He's a seal robot who attacks by blowing up an orange ball and then bouncing it at you. the key to hitting him is to jump on his head at the right time. If you hit him too soon (before he starts blowing up the ball) you'll just bounce off. If you hit him after he bounces the ball in the air, he'll begin making another one. If you hit him while the ball is still on his nose, though, you'll pound him down and damage him. As long as you don't bounce off of him, you won't get killed. Now he puts up a little shield which protects him from damage and balances you on his nose! Don't panic, just move him to the far right so his flipper is off the screen. After a while he bounces you off his head and begins making another ball. Quickly run or roll to the right and jump on his head. It's like playing volleyball when you get in sync. Six hits. 4d. Green Hills Zone Leaving the mines, hang gliders and bubbles behind, you finally get to Sonic's home element: the lush, green hills which begin every other Sonic game except this one (and Sonic Labyrinth, of course). This zone is more an exercise in pleasure than anything else; rings are so plentiful it is possible to get 200 or even 300 rings in the first two acts if you get them all and do not get hit. Enemies and spikes are here, but not excessively hard to avoid, and no more prevalent than anywhere else. I shouldn't even write anything, but I need to tell you where the 1-UPS and chaos emerald are. The only downside to this zone (but it's a big one) is that its third act is perhaps the hardest act in the whole game. Act 1 Go right. For quite a while you encounter nothing but rings, endless rings, and a few enemies. After a while you come to a hill with a ramp at the bottom. Roll down and sail off the end (always a cool trick). You'll land on the top of an upcoming loop, which has a 1-UP. You'll likely quickly roll off the right side without being able to slow down, but no matter. Go right through another loop; you will see another 1-UP on the top of it. To the right is a vertical spring that can be used to bounce left, to the 1-UP. Get it and head right. Eventually you come to a place where you can take a low road or a high road. Do Sonic a favor and go high. After another flat section you come to the end of a ledge. You can jump to the right but it won't accomplish anything, drop down instead. To the right you will have to ride a moving platform over spikes. Do so and you find some breakable blocks. Get up some speed a roll through. Bounce up on the springs. At the top hold left and make a swift jump to avoid your momentum carrying you off the ledge. Jump back to the left, run left and grab the 1-UP (be careful not to fall or you'll have to do a section over again). Run right and drop down. Go right to the goal. Act 2 Climb the large hill at the start and jump over the small spiked gap. Below you on a lower ledge will be a spring. Deftly jump down and hit it, holding to the right as you fly to ensure you clear the spikes below. You'll see a spring that bounces up, and a high path leading to the right. But first, drop back down and look to the right. You'll see a spike pit if you look down, with a low ceiling above it. Tap the jump button to execute a short jump and clear it. On the other side is a 1-UP. Pocket it and jump back across the spikes. Now jump on the spring and take the high path right. Roll down the hill, shoot off the ramp, and land on the high land mass to the right, which has yet another 1-UP (there are a lot, aren't there?) Grab it and head right. You come to a spring right before a large bed of spikes. Jump on the spring and bounce to the right. You should see another column of rings indicating another spring. You will likely see it too late to land on it, though. Try not to proceed too fast, and if you get hit, jump out of the spikes and onto the spring. On this spring bounce as far right as possible. You should land on a high path which is much easier than the lower path. If you don't land here, the best thing to do is to leap back across the spikes (which cannot be done without touching down at least once) and trying again. Just stroll right for a while, until you come to two more springs, with four columns of rings above them. Stop, bounce back to the left, onto the hill. Stand at the top of the hill to the left. Then run down, do not roll. Walk off the end and hold right. You will land on the right of the two springs. Your rightward momentum will give you the distance you need to land on two more springs which cannot be reached from the ground. Ignore the rings above them and continue to hold right. You'll see a tall land mass. Once above it, brake quickly, so you don't overshoot and have to go all the way back to the left to try again. When you land, jump quickly to lose any momentum which might carry you off the ledge. Get the chaos emerald on the high ledge. Drop off and go right. You see one more land mass ahead. Two enemies will shoot at you from inside. You see a 1-UP that is temporarily unreachable. Climb to the top, and go down the right side (not so far right the goal comes into view and you cannot go back). You see a small spiked pit with a passageway leading to the left. Tap the jump button to execute a short jump to get in there. Add to your collection of easy 1-UPS and head right to the goal. Act 3 This level is a long series of springs and spikes. Sounds fun, doesn't it? It is. Okay, your first spring is in plain sight. Hit it and hold right. It's best if you do not hit it on the run. Instead, walk up to it, jump, and press and hold right just before you hit the spring. You do not want much momentum now. Continuing to hold right, you will hopefully land squarely on a spring, continue right at the same velocity, and land squarely on another spring. Hold right all this time. If you don't hit the springs in the right order, your best course is to continue to hold right and hope for the best. The fourth spring is at the foot of a tall wall, which cannot be scaled by this spring alone. Bounce up and to the left, where you should land on a bank of three springs, with another a little below and to the right of them. Land on one of these springs and bounce right. You should clear the wall. If you don't, of course, you'll just fall back to the spring at its foot and can try again. Go over a flat stretch, then you come to a hill with a pit separating it from a bank of three springs, below and to the right of it. As you hit this hill hold down and right; you will fly off the bottom with sufficient speed to land on the bank. Continue to hold the buttons. You'll bounce up to another bank of three. Now you must release right to avoid flying over this bank to your death, but do not break your speed much. Your next bounce is too long to get over unless you have significant momentum hitting the spring (it took a while for me to realize this). Land and hold right. You will begin to accelerate as you fly right. Now for the aggravating part. After sailing a certain distance, you need to press left to stop going right. Your target is a final bank of three springs which are the only way you can clear the final spike pit. That's a big target, but it doesn't come into view until you're right on top of it. You have only a small window where you must slow down or you will overshoot or fall short. It will take several attempts to get this timing right, so be prepared to cycle through quite a few lives here. Hopefully, you'll get lucky on one of your attempts. If you successfully land on the springs, just bounce right, and when you clear the spikes, you are a stone's throw away from... Boss It's not enough you have to get impaled many times before making it to the boss; the boss is quite hard too! When the battle begins, he will be to your right. He will look like a pig in this form. Quickly hit him before he turns into a round blade-thing. Your opening is small; he will only look like a pig for a second or so, and that is the only time you can hurt him. Jump on him and run to the left. There is a large ditch in the middle of the area. The boss (in blade form) will go to the left side in one of three ways: high jump, rolling through the ditch or flying in a straight line right over the ditch. Staying on the left gives you as much time as possible to react. If he high jumps get in the ditch, if he does either other option jump over him. Sometimes after high jumping, he will roll back through the ditch to the side he started on. Be aware for this and jump over it if it happens. After he gets to the left the screen will shake and he will morph to his vulnerable form briefly. Jump and hit him on the head, then bounce back over to the right. Get used to his pattern, and learn to jump over him and turn him around quickly to hit him. After a few tries, you should get his pattern down and get the upper hand. Don't roll as it is completely unnecessary and may make you lose control. He takes either six or seven hits to beat; I never bothered counting. Hopefully you will stay on top of things and send this boy packing. 4e. Gimmick Mountain Zone Odd name for a zone, huh? Anyway this zone is a departure from those you've previously seen. It is an underground, mechanized area that is considerably more maze-like in all three acts than the first four zones. It is not too hard to negotiate, though. There are a lot of conveyor belts, false walls and moving platforms here, too. The music of this zone just drives me crazy, by the way. Due to the many false walls there may be some secrets I have missed; if there are by all means e-mail me! Also, as usual, expect the third act of this zone to be a major pain until you clear it. Act 1 You start in a large area filled with large gray spinning wheels. Use the spring on the bottom to bounce into the first wheel. You'll start to roll around it clockwise. These wheels seem quite peculiar at first but aren't very much trouble. Press and hold right to rotate around the wheel faster. Then, when you start spinning in the direction you want to go, hit jump. You'll sling yourself off in the direction you were heading when you released from the wheel. Usually you can see another wheel or a ledge you want to aim for. Make your way to the top, where you will see a path to the right. There is a Super Ring you can collect on the left if you want. Once at the top (it may take a while but there is nothing here to hurt you) you will find a large conveyor belt inside a spike bed. Jump on it, then to the right to another conveyor belt. You will encounter a nasty enemy you need to get used to. It's a walking bomb that explodes when you come close, sending shrapnel in four directions. This enemy is found in a lot of Sonic games. He is invulnerable; all you can do is trigger him and then avoid the shrapnel as best you can. Further to the right is a tube that simply takes you for a short ride. As soon as you come out, get ready to smash another enemy. Get the Invincibility to the right. Go left down the long hill, and at the bottom of the hill, go right. You should come to some floating conveyor belts over spikes. You should still be invincible now, so just walk across the spikes and use the last conveyor belt to jump over the wall. You will now be on another kind of conveyor belt, and can see others above you, as well as a 1-UP below you. To get the 1-UP go through the right wall, it is false and will allow you to drop to the lower level where the 1-UP is. Further right is another 1-UP but you can't get it now. Climb up on several conveyor belts being careful to avoid the spikes on the walls here. In some places the area where you have to jump is rather small, with spikes on either side. Just climb as best you can and don't try to get rings in front of spikes. At the top is a railcar, from Underground Zone. Get in it. You will ride down a hill, off a ledge, then down another hill. When you finally stop, you will see an enemy directly ahead. Beat it. To the left you can find a large area filled with rings, an enemy, and a spring to bounce you out (beware, however - the spring has spikes directly above it). Further left is a corridor blocked by spikes. Don't go there yet. Instead, head right to more of the green conveyor belts. This time, you must climb up with the aid of moving platforms. The first two jumps are fairly easy. The third requires you to jump from one moving platform to another quickly, and then wrap your next jump (which you should make immediately) around the ledge to reach it. it may take several attempts. Avoid the spikes around here. At the top you will find a spring, an Invincibility to the right, and a railcar. Jump in the railcar and you are done. The railcar will slide down the hill, and land on another hill. It will then go down the corridor, breaking through the spikes you saw earlier. If you jump out of the railcar in mid-flight, you can access - if you time your jump perfectly - a ledge that has that 1-UP you saw earlier. I highly recommend passing it up, though, as the jump is very hard to make. Also, once you abandon the railcar, your only way of making it across the spikes is the Invincibility in the top right corner. Be sure to leave it if you want the 1-UP. I still recommend skipping it, though. After your railcar plows through the spikes, go left to the goal. (This is the only goal in any Sonic game that goes to the left!) Act 2 This act begins with a bed of spikes that you must cross by means of two floating conveyor belts. The belts are smaller than those you've seen before, and thus harder to keep your footing on. They are also far apart, but there are moving platforms here that you can ride. Take a hit if necessary and get past this. After the spike bed you come to a steep ramp. Run up it and smash the enemy. Now, jump up and left, into the wall above and left of you (don't go to the wheels above yet). The wall is fake and leads to a completely inconspicuous secret area (thanks to game sages' hint page for telling me where this is). Go through another fake wall, and go across two conveyor belts. You come to a spring and two wheels leading up. Use the two spinning wheels to climb up to another passage leading to the right. At the end of this passage is the chaos emerald. Snag it and backtrack. On the way back down, note that the wall to the left of the wheels is false in two places: at the top and at the bottom. Both lead to 1-UPS. Go back across the conveyors, to where the original false wall was. Now, take the normal path up using the wheels. If possible, avoid hitting the spring at the top; it will send you right into a bomb enemy. Your room to dodge the bomb's shrapnel is very limited, so it is likely you will take a hit here. To the right you can go down a shaft full of rings or take the high road to the right. Dropping down the shaft is the simplest thing to do. At the bottom is a short hill with a ramp on the bottom. It is difficult to get enough speed on this hill to go shooting off the bottom, so you may need to cross the next section, or part of it, the hard way - by jumping across the conveyor belts over the spikes. The above part of this huge room is just a mess of springs and rings, with no secrets that I know of, but you can explore it if you want. To the far right is a hallway. Go through but watch out: another bomb enemy awaits you. if you went off the ramp and went directly into the hallway, you'll crash right into him. No matter; there are rings aplenty around here. To the right is another shaft of conveyor belts. Climb up; it isn't too hard. The third or fourth belt up, the left wall is fake but it just leads to a Super Ring. At the top you can go left or right. Left just leads back the way you came so go right. You'll see three enemies in your path; beat them and go right. Drop down and go left. The right wall is false but it leads to only a Super Ring. Go left, jump over the spikes but avoid the spring - just to the left is another bomb. Carefully avoid his shrapnel. Drop down to the left, go right, hop over the spring and go right to the goal. Act 3 This act starts off innocently, with two tubes you slide down. After that comes three large conveyor belts with spikes between them. Don't jump too far or too short and you should be okay. After the third one is a moving platform. It will take you up. A spring will come into view. Jump on it and you will be able to land on another moving platform. Land on it and it will move up, right (under spikes but not too close) and up again. Now, jump off land on the small piece of safe ground before the large bed of spikes to the left. The platform will go up the right shaft, hitting the spikes at the top, then come back down and go left. Jump on it and you will see a ledge ahead that blocks you but not the moving platform. This is tricky; jump onto the ledge and you can barely see the moving platform below you. As it comes out from below the ledge, jump back on. This takes a few tries to get the timing right. Ride left, until you see a spring. Bounce up and head right to... Boss This boss looks like a cross between a pig and an armored car. He will immediately get up a head of steam and charge at you. He has spikes on his back at this point, so jump over him. He will hit the side of the area and get knocked back, and the spikes will retract. The trouble is, when he hits the side, three rocks fall from the ceiling. They fall quite fast and in relation to where you are standing. The key is to hit him as quickly as possible to give yourself as much time as possible to dodge the rocks. However, you cannot safely hit him until he has come to a complete stop. Time your jump so you hit him when he has stopped, but jump when he is still falling back. To dodge the rocks you can either slip in between them or try to scoot away to the side quickly. Then he will charge you again, repeat the pattern. As usual it will take a while to get the pattern down. This boss takes six hits to beat I think, but it might be eight. 4f. Scrambled Egg Zone This is the last zone in the game for those of you who do not have all the chaos emeralds at this point. It is also the hardest zone in the game. However, this is a different kind of hard from what you've encountered before. In the past, hard meant having to react very quickly to avoid being killed (as in some boss battles) or having to get through a section which required a difficult technique. The acts of Scrambled Egg Zone are very long and confusing, with a lot of hidden paths, side paths and pitfalls. This makes it easy to get lost... but not with a good walkthrough right next to you, of course. This underground, bluish place is basically an enormous area of pipes. Pipes are so prevalent here it makes you wonder whether this is Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario Brothers. Let us review the mechanics of pipes or tubes briefly: when you go through a pipe and come to a fork, you will go in the direction you are going unless you override it by holding in the other direction you can go. In other words, if you want to take a branch leading to the right, hold right. If you come to a T-junction, you will bounce back and go the way you came unless you hold in either direction of the T. Act 1 Go right until you come to a pipe in the ceiling. Further right just leads to a dead end so jump in the pipe. The main path leads upward, but you can go right (in the pipe) to access a room filled with rings. You can also get the rings above by going up right before the pipes leads off into the room. That side pipe drops you off at the ceiling, where you can get the rings in the two columns, as well as three floating Super Rings by bouncing on them in succession. You should have over 100 rings after all this, or close to it. now go back to the main path. Once out of the first pipe, go left, up the hill, to a spring. Bounce into another pipe. Whether or not you hold right in this pipe, you'll end up on a small ledge below a wall too high for you to jump. Over the wall and right is where you want to go, but first, drop down into a pipe. You will come to an area up and right of the spring; to the right is a 1-UP. Snatch it and drop back to the spring. This time, when on the small ledge, jump to the ledge up and left of you, and then jump on top of the wall. Continue right and roll down the short hill. On the next ledge is a bomb guy; you can deal with him in a variety of ways but the way I prefer is to jump when you hit the bottom of the hill, fly over him and the next gap and land on the hill to the right. If you don't time it well, though, you could get burned. Falling into either gap here will lead back to where the 1-UP was. Once you get on the hill to the right, roll down and enter the pipe. This pipe has no forks. Once out of it, go left and enter the pipe you see. In this pipe you must take the correct path at each juncture. An incorrect path will dump you into spikes. Here are the buttons to hold: LEFT (the first branch you see leads down and into spikes) then once you go left instead of down, DOWN. You'll go through a winding section. Hold RIGHT to get a 1-UP. Then drop out the bottom of the pipe to land on a platform. It will drop as soon as you land on it so quickly jump left and into another pipe. (Falling here leads back to where you were before). The next two pipes have no branches. After the long, horizontal pipe (there is a Super Ring between the two pipes, by the way) you'll come out to an area to the right of a large bed of spikes with two platforms. One moves and the other is high in the air, right below a pipe. That pipe leads to a 1-UP. I recommend passing it up since if you miss the moving platform, it will never come back. If you really want the 1-UP land on the stationary platform on your spring from the pipe and jump in the pipe immediately. As soon as you get back, jump on the moving platform. Anyway, get on the moving platform and ride left, over the spikes. Ignore the first two pipes you see above you, but enter the third. You will now be able to access only one pipe. The final task is to hold the correct series of buttons in this pipe to get to the goal. If you go the wrong way you just get deposited out one of the four pipes above you and can try again. The correct series is: DOWN until the first fork, then RIGHT, DOWN at the T-junction, and finally RIGHT. Act 2 Your first task is to get over to the right over several ledges. Falling into the gaps between them leads to a spike pit. Three of the ledges have bombs on them. Stand on the left side of the ledge to the left and they will trigger when they walk to the left side of their ledge. A faster, more dangerous way is to jump to the ledge with the bomb to trigger it and quickly jump back to the left. Keep doing either method until you can get the bomb to disappear. Don't try to jump over the ledge entirely. At the far right is your first pipe. It has no hitches. At the other end you'll see a large hill to your left. That is the main path, but actually you can jump from the slightly higher bit of land before the hill to the ledge above and to the right of you. This jump takes a few attempts, but it is a useful shortcut. Keep trying until you make it. On the top right ledge, you will probably land in a pipe, but this is one you don't want. Press NO BUTTONS and you will be bounced back and out again. Then go right to a tall hill. Hit the spring and roll down at maximum speed, and sail off the ramp at the bottom. You will fly right, hit a 1-UP as soon as you hit the ground, and land in an area with almost 100 rings. Get enough for 100 (I don't even bother collecting them all) and continue right. You will come to a sheer drop but don't go down so fast. Head back to the left. The 1-UP will have magically reappeared. Take it again! It only reappears once, though. There are spikes on the right side of the drop so go down the left. You will see a spring with two columns of rings above it, with a platform to the right. Jump on the platform. You are now at one of the hardest points in the game. This platform will be your only guide through an area with nothing but spikes; fall off and you're done for. First jump on the platform and it will go right quite quickly. A wall is right ahead but jump into the pipe; it will deposit you on the other side and hopefully back onto the platform. The platform will bear you all the way to the right, where it floats up toward a pipe. Jump inside. Hold down the down button on the directional pad. You will be deposited out of the pipe and hopefully back onto the platform, which will be drifting back toward the left. If you took the shortcut by holding left as you entered the pipe, you'd get here too soon. The platform will scrape you against the rocks, so immediately jump back into the pipe. Hold left as soon as you enter to avoid being bounced back at the T-junction and back out again. You will be deposited out the far left port of the pipe, and back onto the platform again. It will take you up, and left. You'll have to jump over a ledge blocking you like you did in Gimmick Mountain, Act 3. It will be tricky. If you make it, ride a little farther left, and jump in the pipe there to be sent straight to the goal... whew! Act 3 This act has only one thing to watch out for! Most of it is automated so you don't need to press any buttons. Okay, hit the spring and get in the pipe. There will be a side branch to the right but ignore it; that way, while not impossible, is much harder than the normal way. The pipe will deposit you into a long series of diagonal springs that will take you up. When you hit the last spring in the sequence, which will send you up and right, hold right to avoid falling into a spike hole. It's that simple! You'll come to a bank of springs; bounce up to the ledge above you. Now, jump to the vertical spring on the right and bounce up into a series of diagonal springs. When you hit the fifth spring, which will send you up and left, a platform will come into view. You'll sail over it unless you hold right as you fly, but not too early or you'll fall short. If you fall, you can climb up again an infinite number of times. As soon as you land on the platform, jump so your momentum doesn't carry you off. Continue holding to the right and your jump should wrap around and get into the pipe above the platform. The platform drops when you touch it so don't try to get back on the platform. The pipe leads to the... Boss Robo-Sonic isn't really that hard to beat. When the battle begins, he will be to your right. He will curl himself into a ball immediately. Stand in the left corner. He will do one of two things: roll at you on the ground, or in the air. If he rolls on the ground jump straight up. He will bounce back to the right and you should be in the ideal position to hit him. If he jumps, he will then come down on the left. Walk right to get out of his way and quickly turn around and hit him. He will only uncurl for a second in the corner, and that is the only time he is vulnerable. He will usually turn into a ball again and repeat the pattern, but sometimes he will do one of three other things: shoot out a small metal ball in front of him, make a short hop and then jet across to the other side of the screen, or spring up and then float back down. All three give you more opportunities to hit him. I find Robo-Sonic to be much easier than the Genesis version of him, as the spikes on the back of his head are completely harmless, and he cannot kill you be rolling into you unless you are not spinning or he crushes you. If you collide in the air he will just bounce back to the other side, and you also will reflect off him. Once you have his pattern down, Robo-Sonic is a pushover as long as you stay alert and don't expose yourself to him unnecessarily. He will take eight hits to beat, and will cough up the last chaos emerald when defeated if you have collected the other five. For those of you who did not collect all the chaos emeralds in zones 1-5, congratulations, you have just beaten the game - partially. You beat Robo-Sonic but it seems in the ending that you do not save Tails. If you DO have all the emeralds however, READ ON! It's not over yet! 4g. Crystal Egg Zone This zone only exists if you have all the chaos emeralds. I've seen a lot of strange and unusual zones for various Sonic the Hedgehog games, but this one has to take the cake. Since this is Robotnik's secret stronghold where he's keeping Tails according to the manual, you'd expect a fortress of iron and steel. Nothing could be farther from the truth, actually. This zone is colored in pastels with glowing spikes with music that sounds like it's for a carousel. I don't know whether to hate or love this zone, but luckily, it is pretty easy. I haven't explored every nook and cranny of this zone, since at this point I'm usually so stocked up on lives it's not worth bothering, but I did try to find a few secrets. There is no chaos emerald here. Let's get started! Act 1 Go right and drop down the hole. You will come to a spring that sends you right, and blocks that fall from the ceiling. They won't damage you if you jump or roll into them. Keep going right and after three small spiked spots, you come to a hill. Climb up and jump to the top level. Go right and drop straight down the first hole you see. You land on an Invincibility. Run right, drop down, and go right again. You come to a large - I mean large - bed of spikes. Just run over it while you're invincible. Farther right you come to some springs and another small spike bed. Jump over it and keep going right to the goal. That's all there is to it! Act 2 Go right, jumping over three fairly large spike beds, and ignore the springs. Eventually you come to a shaft with diagonal springs leading up. Bounce up and at the top, pull right to avoid sliding into some spikes. Jump right to get the 1-UP in plain sight (can it get any easier?) Go left, jump over the spikes, and roll down the hill. Fly off the ramp at the bottom and sail to the left. when you land, jump or otherwise avoid hitting the spring. If you hit the spring, stop quickly. If you fall or don't go far enough, you'll be back where you were a little while ago. Jumping over the spring you find a strange blue sphere swaying up and down over some spikes. This is kind of tricky - jump onto the sphere to start rolling around it, like the wheels in Gimmick Mountain Zone. Press and hold right to go faster. Time it so you sling yourself up. High above you is another similar sphere. Try to touch it so you start rolling around it. Hold right to speed up and sling yourself up and right to a ledge. If you miss the ledge there is a platform right below it, but it drops immediately so quickly jump to the ledge. To the right is a bed of spikes you must cross by a diagonal spring. Hit it but time it so you don't hit the floating mine nearby. To the right is a confusing around with blocks that hide you from view, and springs. Just hold right and you'll eventually make it through. When you see a spring in the clear, bounce up and left. Another 1-UP is in plain sight. Just take it and drop back down. Don't go right. Instead, jump into the wall above the spring that bounces you up. There is a secret passage three blocks up, so aim your jump for there. Once inside, you find a 1-UP and a spring that bounces you into some breakable blocks and back to the main path. On the far right, you will now see a spring up. Hit it and land on the inclined land mass to the left. Go down but not too fast; you need to jump off and onto another inclined piece of land above and to the left. Go left and drop down. You will now come to two area of breakable blocks with springs below them. Go left as best as possible. When you come to a gap jump over it; there are spikes below. Farther left is a series of tilted ledges you must climb up. Just time your jumps carefully and alertly. If you drop down on the left, you can find an Invincibility but there's no real use for it. at the top, go right. You see a spring and a large mass of breakable blocks to the right. Roll through them and the goal is just to the right. Act 3/Final Battle You don't go through any perils here; you just jump straight into the final battle. Go right and jump in the tube and you will see Robotnik for your first time since Underground Zone. Robotnik will be standing on the right side of a chamber, in a machine. There is a tube which runs outside the chamber and has two openings leading into it. The tube works the same as the pipes in Scrambled Egg Zone. You can hit Robotnik one time, then immediately jump in the tube. Remember to hold left or right (I prefer left) as you go in! Otherwise you will just be spit back out. One of the great merits about this true final battle is that you are completely safe in the tube; you can observe Robotnik's pattern for as long as you want before jumping out to hit him. Obviously, jump out of the tube by holding up as you go along the bottom, or down on the top. Robotnik will immediately release two or even three four-sides whirling blades from his machine that whirl around like crazy around the chamber. After a while he will either send a huge current of electricity through the chamber, or drop little yellow sparks that roll along the floor. Any of these things (whirling blades, electricity, or sparks) will kill you. Popping out of the tube while the whirling things are in the room is suicidal. Your only chance to hit Robotnik is after the sparks or electricity come. Wait until you are sure they are clear, as by this time the blades should have mostly cleared, or be flying around the corners of the chamber, hopefully away from you. When you are sure it's safe, jump out of the tube, hit Robotnik immediately, then dive back in the tube. Let caution take precedence, and don't be afraid to pass up on a hitting opportunity if you want a breather or want to observe Robotnik more. In general, go out of the tube later rather than earlier; you are less likely to get hit by an errant blade (although that sometimes happens anyway) or come out too early and hit the electricity or sparks. Robotnik will release more blades into the room after a few seconds, but you can usually hit him and get back in the tube before that happens. Once you have his pattern down, this boss is more an exercise in patience than anything else. After ten hits Robotnik's machine will blow up and another tube will appear behind where it was. Jump in that tube and Robotnik will escape in a teleport. Then Tails appears in the teleport. Congratulations, you have completed the game 100%!! The ending shows Sonic running along a grassland with the credits playing. If you got all the chaos emeralds, Tails will be running with him too. If you did not complete Crystal Egg Zone, or did so through a level select, Tails will not appear running behind Sonic. After all the credits play, night falls and the screen moves up to show a picture of Tails, or Sonic and Tails if you got all the emeralds, in the sky. Then he word END appears on the screen, and that's about it. Congratulations! 5. Enemies Note that some enemies in this game reappear if you leave the area and come back. Robot Mouse: All this guy does is roll back and forth along the ground. Even though he doesn't have any special attacks, his presence will keep you on your toes. Found in zones 1 and 4 (I don't bother saying the entire name of the zones here). Flying Lizard: This annoying enemy appears in midair, or inside a wall, and fires an energy ball directly forward. Then he disappears before you can knock him out, unless you're quick. Found in zones 1, 2 and 4. Crab: This guy walks back and forth in a set area and will occasionally shoot out two fireballs if left alone. Found in zones 1, 3, 4 and 6. Flying Turtle: An enemy who flies in from out of nowhere, or takes off from the ground. He looks like a spiked top when he's flying, and a turtle when he's on the ground. Found in zones 2 and 6. Lobster: An annoying, underwater enemy, who wants a bite of you and suddenly charges at you when you come close. Found in zone 3. Bomb Bot: Watch out for these guys! They blow up when you come close, sending shrapnel (which looks like little orange particles) in four directions. They are invincible and slowly walk back and forth; if you touch them before they explode, you will be damaged. Found in zones 5 and 6. Piranha: A slow enemy who floats through the air. Not much of a problem and rarely seen. Found in zone 7. Other things to avoid are lava and the fireballs that come out of it, spears in zone 3 that shoot out of walls or floors when you come close, floating mines in zone 7, and of course, those ever-common spikes, found all over the place. 6. Level Select While Sonic 1 for Game Gear had no level select, Sonic 2 does have a level select, though I don't like it very much because it requires much luck and many tries to activate. Okay, turn the game on, press and hold with your left thumb down and left on the directional pad. With your right thumb hold the 1 and 2 buttons. Winkle your right index finger around so it rests on the start button but doesn't press it. If your hands are small it may be difficult to press all these buttons. One alternative is to have two people: one who holds all the buttons down and the other who presses the start button. Hold all these buttons when the Sega logo appears on the screen. Then press start to skip the intro sequence. At the title screen, continue to hold down, left, 1 and 2 and watch Tails. He'll blink once, then two more times in quick succession. What you must do - and it is extremely difficult - is hold all the buttons and press start when he blinks the third time, hitting start when his eye is fully closed. This can take over twenty attempts even once you get used to it, since you have only a split second to press start. Hopefully you won't get too frustrated and I don't like these level selects which require split second timing much at all. If you successfully press start when Tails' eye is fully closed, you'll hear a ringing sound, then go to the level select screen instead of Under Ground Zone, Act 1. Choose the level you want to start on. Good luck! 7. Final Notes I certainly hope you enjoy Sonic 2 as much as possible. Yeah it's hard, but you can win with some patience. Remember not too take it too seriously and remember, if you have a lot of trouble with this game, I got creamed too when I first tried it, even after I got the level select! I don't have much else to say, other than there are a lot of other great Sonic titles out there if you liked Sonic 2. I hope do get a FAQ done for the others soon, starting with Sonic 1. Look for one, or an updated version for one, if you browse the Internet in the next few months. May my humble FAQ help to guide you on your adventures. Once again, this document is copyrighted by William Walker, e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org , finished January 3, 2003.