SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 For Sega Genesis FAQ/walkthrough by William Walker This FAQ/walkthrough is copyright William Walker, all rights reserved, begun June 21, 2003. This is its first, and so far only, version. The information in this FAQ/walkthrough comes solely from playing the game Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and reading the manual. I wish to give credit only to Sega for making such a splendid game. 1. Introduction Well, I had no idea things would move along so quickly! Just two days after completing my FAQ/walkthrough for Sonic 1, here I am, beginning my next one! I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that coming after this will be FAQ/walkthroughs in this order: Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3D Blast. I do have other Sonic games (Sonic CD and Sonic Spinball) but I am probably going to move on to another series of games after completing FAQ/walkthroughs for the 'main' Sonic games, since almost all the games I possess have my FAQ/walkthroughs on the Internet that sorely need updating. No guarantees, mind you. Well, Sonic the Hedgehog is the premier series of games for Sega, and no less than seven games were released for the Sega Genesis starring this rolling blue hedgehog. There are also at least eight Sonic games for Sega Game Gear (a small, portable system that resembles Game Boy) and I have posted FAQ/walkthroughs for six of them. Sonic games also exist for the PC, Sega Saturn, and Sega Dreamcast. There's even a remake of all seven Genesis games in one cartridge with bonus features out now for the GameCube. Put simply, Sonic is all over the place. Though these games I am writing FAQ/walkthroughs for are over eight years old and technologically obsolete, GameFAQs is still posting FAQs for them, and I love FAQ writing, so here I am. I hope believe I already have a FAQ/walkthrough by myself on GameFAQs for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and I want this one to replace it. Now, all the Genesis games were great, but in my opinion, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the greatest of them all. It eliminates most of the problems Sonic 1 had and still has that feel of a Sonic classic Sonic 3 and later games lack a little bit. Plus it's got many things Sonic 1 did not: a sidekick character for Sonic, more levels with better graphics, an ever-increasing array of enemies, bosses and secrets, and even a Super Sonic character that allows you to play as a superhuman version of Sonic. The only thing I find annoying about this game is its lack of a save feature. This is annoying because this is a long game, and the technology certainly existed for one when it was made. But I have a few things to say in defense of Sonic 2. One, the save feature was first tried in Sonic 3. I think the games that really need a save feature are Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3D Blast, since these games were made AFTER one that did have a save feature. Also, this game does have a level select code, like all Sonic games. I write this FAQ/walkthrough assuming you are playing Sonic 2 normally, either from the cartridge or from an emulator. I do not provide any special information if you are using Game Genie codes or other codes with the game. If you are playing Sonic 2 from another cartridge, that is fine too. I am actually playing it from the Sonic Classics cartridge, which has on it Sonic 1, Sonic 2 and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (a tetris-like game loosely related to Sonic). If you are playing with the Sonic 2 cartridge locked onto the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, you are playing Sonic 2 as Knuckles the Echidna. I do not have any information here for such players; for more info you must look in my Sonic & Knuckles FAQ/walkthrough when it comes out. If you would like to use any part of my FAQ/walkthrough on your site, ask me a question about this game, or mention something I have missed, please do so! I love getting e-mails from other Sonic enthusiasts, if anything just to remind me that some people still play these old video games! Please feel free to send in your e-mails and I will reply to them as long as they are understandable grammatically (I need to know what you're talking about to write back) and don't contain any garbage like ads, strong language, etc. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org . I'm waiting! Sonic 2 has a story not much different than Sonic 1 (the lack of a story actually makes the game simpler and lets you concentrate just on the levels). In Sonic 1, Sonic the rolling, speedy blue hedgehog halted the efforts of Dr. Robotnik, the mad scientist, from taking over his homeland. But all villains never stay dormant for long, and now Robotnik is back, up to his old tricks: turning animals into robots and building fortresses and traps all over Sonic's homeland. This time, Robotnik is trying to build an enormous space station called the Death Egg which he plans to conquer the world with! Sonic is back in action, this time with a sidekick: Tails the two-tailed fox. Can he halt Robotnik's evil plans once and for all? Or will Robotnik make him taste the agony of final defeat? We shall soon see... 2. Basic Information Sonic 2 is divided into eleven zones. Each zone has 1-3 acts, or individual levels (the first seven zones have two acts each, but then the numbers of acts get a bit mixed up). Each act has gold rings, power-ups, enemies and obstacles. Gold rings are what you need to stay alive in this game. They are found everywhere, in the air or on the ground, usually in groups. If you get hit by an enemy or a trap, you lose all of your rings, Some rings will fly out away form you and you can try to grab them again - if you're quick! Always try to have some rings in your possession, because you can get hit an infinite number of times and be fine as long as you have at least one ring each time. The spikes bug that existed in Sonic 1 has been corrected, so spikes now pose no more threat than any other obstacle. If you get hit with no rings, you die. You also die instantly from any of the following: falling off the screen, drowning, getting crushed or running out of time. (You get a full 10 minutes, usually plenty of time, to complete each act). Any act that is not the last act of the zone ends with a turnstile that you simply run past to complete the act. The last act of a zone usually ends with a battle with Dr. Robotnik and one of his evil inventions. When you lose a life, you return to the beginning of the act you died in unless you activated a Starpost, in that case you return to the last Starpost you activated (with no rings and the same time on the clock as when you activated the Starpost). Starposts look like lampposts with a star at the top. Once activated they flash. They serve as checkpoints in case you die but unlike Sonic 1, but they also are important in entering the Special Stage (see next section). You begin the game with three lives, and can get an extra life by getting a 1-UP power-up, obtaining 100 rings, 200 rings (though additional 100s provide no more extra lives) or by scoring 50,000 points. (See scoring at the end of this section). If you run out of lives, you game is over and you must start over unless you have a continue. You get a continue if you score at least 10,000 points in end of act bonuses at the end of any one act. If you see a picture of Sonic dancing with a tune playing after the tally, you got a continue. If you run out of lives and have a continue, press start before the countdown reaches zero at the continue screen to resume play in the act you lost your last life in, with three lives, but your score reset to zero. Also, there are a few power-ups in this game. These look like monitors. Jump on them or roll into them to break them open and collect them. Super Ring: Looks like a ring; worth ten rings. Speed Shoes: Looks like a red shoe; gives you extra speed for a short time. Invincibility: Looks like three stars; makes you immune to most attack (but NOT things that kill you instantly) for a short time. Shield: Looks like a blue energy pulse; activates a blue, pulsing sphere around you that remains until you get hit. When you get hit you lose the shield but don't lose your rings - it provides an 'extra hit'. 1-UP: Looks like Sonic's face; worth an extra life. Now, how to control Sonic. It is still quite simple, though there is one new move in this game that did not exist in Sonic 1. Use the directional pad to move, duck and see what is above or below you. You need to hold down or up for a second or so to make the camera shift. Press start to pause/unpause the game, and A, B or C to jump. Those are the main controls. Press down while running and you will roll into a ball (this is sometimes called the Super Spin Attack, but I just call it rolling). This is one way to defeat enemies. The other way is to jump into or onto them. It doesn't matter if you don't land on an enemy, just that you are rolling when you touch it and don't hit it at a dangerous point (such as spikes). The new move in this game is called a Spin Dash or Spin Dash Attack. To execute this, stand still and duck. Then jump while holding down on the directional pad. Instead of just jumping, you will begin to rev up like an engine in place. Press the jump button repeatedly to build power. When you are ready, release down on the directional pad and you will shoot off in the direction you were facing. This is a very handy move that allows you to build up speed quickly without having to hit a spring or get a running start. It allows you to ascend vertical walls that are curved at the bottom, get up enough speed to go through loops, or smash through enemies or barriers. It is a really good move you should get used to. A little bit about Tails, Sonic's sidekick. Tails tags along with Sonic in the regular game. If you have two controllers attached to the game system, controller 2 can be used to control Tails. However, you will find this is very frustrating for the second player, as Tails is not Sonic's equal. He cannot get power-ups or really do much, and he always has to keep up with Sonic. If Sonic runs off the screen and Tails is left behind, he will reappear after a while. This often happens when you play with just Sonic and Tails being uncontrolled. If Tails dies for whatever reason, he also reappears after a while. If you want to play two-player I recommend the 2-player mode, where each character can control themselves in their own right. Occasionally Tails will help out by defeating an enemy or getting some rings you missed, but nearly always he's just tagging along and can actually distract you from the action. He also occasionally causes you harm in a boss battle by hitting the boss so that when you hit him just afterward, you fall through him and get hit yourself. If you are going for all the Chaos Emeralds, I recommend playing as Sonic alone (see the Special Stage section for the reason). You can decide to play as Sonic and Tails (in which case a second controller can control Tails; otherwise he just tags along, controlled by the game) Sonic alone, or Tails alone. To select which mode you want to play, you must go to the Options screen. This is the oddest secret in any Sonic game. At the title screen, press up (or down two times) and the selection 'Options' will appear instead of 1-Player Game and 2-Player Game. Press start to go to the Options screen. Press left or right to cycle between Sonic and Tails, Sonic alone or Tails alone. Tails plays exactly the same as Sonic so in my walkthrough, whatever I say for Sonic applies to Tails as well. If you really like to play as Tails, go ahead, but be aware that there is no Super Tails like Super Sonic. Other than that, they are no different from each other. The Options screen also has two other options, power- ups in 2-player mode (see Section 4, 2-Player Game) and Sound Test (see Section 5, Cheats and Tricks). That's about all you need to know except for scoring. Here is how you score points (keep in mind that you get an extra life every 50,000 points): -You get 100 points for each enemy you defeat. If you defeat several enemies in succession (on one roll or on one jump, or on a combination of the two) you get 100 points for the first enemy, 200 for the second, 500 for the third, and 1000 for the fourth and each thereafter. -You get 1000 points for each boss you defeat. -You get 100 points for each ring in your possession at the end of each act. -You get a time bonus at the end of each act depending on how quickly you completed it. You get either 50,000, 10,000, 5000, 4000, 3000, 2000, 1000 or 500 points depending on your time. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the exact scheme of which times yield you what. They are the same as in Sonic 1. If you take five minutes or longer, you get nothing. -If you collect every single ring in an act and have them all in your possession at the end (a nearly impossible feat) you get a bonus of 50,000 points, or one free life. 3. Special Stage This is one of my favorite aspects of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It is one reason this game stands out from all the other Sonic games for Sega Genesis. Not only is the Special Stage in Sonic 2 not too difficult and fun, it also is what I think of when I think of a Sonic Special Stage. When you play a Special Stage from Sonic 1, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles or Sonic CD, your general reaction is 'I don't get it'. Sonic 3D Blast also has good Special Stages similar in design to Sonic 2, but not quite as good. Anyway - Special Stage is the Sonic the Hedgehog term for a bonus stage in which your objective is to obtain a Chaos Emerald. These awesome gems are the source of incredible power and in the story, you must get them before Robotnik does at any cost. But in reality, the Chaos Emeralds are an extra, not necessary to complete the game. But unlike Sonic 1, when getting all the Chaos Emeralds just gave you a slightly better ending, in Sonic 2 it actually makes the game easier. There are seven Special Stages, one for each Chaos Emerald. However, unlike Sonic 1, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD you do not rotate through them. Instead, every time you enter Special Stage, you play the first one until you get the first Chaos Emerald. Then you move onto the second Special Stage, and so on. You cannot advance a Special Stage without first collecting the Chaos Emerald. Now, you enter Special Stage with Starposts. If you first activate a Starpost with 50 rings, a ring of stars appears above the Starpost. Jump into the ring of stars before it disappears (you have plenty of time) to be teleported to a Special Stage. You can't use an already activated Starpost, which means you can only use each Starpost to enter Special Stage once - if you have 50 rings. But there are a lot of Starposts in this game, which is a big improvement over Sonic 1, since in Sonic 1 you could only enter Special Stage if you had 50 rings at the end of a non-boss act, which severely limited the number of opportunities you got to collect Chaos Emeralds. Each Special Stage is the same in layout. You will be running down the center of a half-tube (each stage's tube is a different color). Your controls are left and right on the directional pad to run up the sides of the tube, and A, B or C to jump. You cannot fall out of the tube - if you run up to the top of one of the sides, you will flip over and land on the other side. Your goal is to collect as many rings as possible avoiding bombs. Rings and bombs are usually found either on the tube or occasionally in the air. You need to run to collect the rings, which are usually in groups. Avoid bomb - each time you hit a bomb, you lose 10 rings. Sometimes the tube turns or goes over a rise and you can't see what's ahead. You need lightning reflexes and good luck to get enough rings, although over time you sometimes develop a memory of what comes after what and can steer toward rings and away from bombs more easily. At the beginning of the stage, you're told to get a certain number of rings. At the first checkpoint, if you don't have that many, the stage ends. Otherwise you move onto the next section. There are three checkpoints, each with a certain number of rings required, and if you pass the third checkpoint, you get a Chaos Emerald. If you do really well in one section, the other sections might be a little easier since you'll be starting them with more rings and consequently won't need to collect as many to meet the quota. The first few Special Stages are relatively easy. The later ones have fewer rings, more bombs and rings placed so it's harder to get many of them. Good luck. At the end of a Special Stage you score 100 points for each ring you have. If you got a Chaos Emerald, you score a 10,000 point bonus as well. After Special Stage, you return to the Starpost you entered it with, but with zero rings. Be careful you don't get hit and lose a life immediately. The Special Stage can be quite frustrating but I don't think it's quite as hard as the Special Stages in Sonic 1, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles or Sonic CD. Sonic the Hedgehog games in general are known for ridiculously hard Special Stages. But in Sonic 2, this isn't quite as much of a problem, both because the Special Stage is not as hard, it's also easier to understand what to do (that can be a real problem in Sonic 1, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD) and you get plenty of chances to play it, assuming you are careful with your rings and hit plenty of Starposts. If you want the Chaos Emeralds, I recommend playing as Sonic alone (or Tails alone, although nothing happens if Tails gets all the Chaos Emeralds). This is because several of the ring requirements are lower for Sonic alone than for Sonic and Tails. Although Tails collects a few rings just by standing where he is, he also constantly crashes into bombs, which make him lose all his rings. Unless you have two players, one reasonably good at Special Stage and willing to control Tails, getting all the Chaos Emeralds with Sonic and Tails together is very hard. That's about all you need to know about the Special Stage. If you are lucky (or skillful) enough to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds, though, you get to become Super Sonic in the regular game! This is another great aspect of Sonic 2, since in Sonic 1, Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic CD, there is no Super Sonic even if you get all the Chaos Emeralds. To become Super Sonic, you need all the Chaos Emeralds, of course (once you have them all, Special Stage is inaccessible). Then collect 50 rings in any act, jump, and ta-da! You morph into a yellow, superhuman version of Sonic. You are now invincible to all normal attack, can run super fast and jump twice as high! This is cool, cool! But do not get too pleased. Super Sonic CAN still die from anything that causes instant death (such as getting crushed) and his super speed can be a detriment when you need to jump accurately onto small platforms. Also, Super Sonic loses one ring every second, so he must constantly get more to at least replace the ones he's losing. If he does not and runs out of rings, he returns to normal Sonic, and with zero rings too (but you can become Super Sonic again by collecting another 50 rings)*. *BUG: At the end of an act, you always revert to normal Sonic. But if you have 50 rings or more, and jump before your point tally appears, sometimes you'll return to Super Sonic for a second, then return to normal and start running in place in midair, unable to move while your points are tallied. This may seem cool, but I highly recommend against doing it (be very careful not to jump after you complete an act) because, although it is very rare, sometimes your point tally never appears and you get permanently stuck which means you have to RESET THE GAME! 4. 2-Player Game This is the most forgotten feature of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but it's interesting nevertheless. The only other Sonic game for Genesis, Game Gear or PC I know of that has a two-player system is Sonic 3 (and Sonic & Knuckles when locked onto Sonic 3). Sonic the Hedgehog just isn't meant for two players. But Sonic 2 does have a 2-player option, and it's better, in my opinion, then that of Sonic 3. You can fool around with this if you'd like, but it certainly isn't an important part of the game. To play a 2-Player Game you must select that option at the title screen and have two controllers plugged in. Your first screen shows four pictures: Emerald Hill Zone, Casino Night Zone, Mystic Cave Zone and Special Stage. You must play each of these once (and only once) during one 2-Player Game. Select the one you wish to play. In all the zones, Controller 1 is Sonic and Controller 2 is Tails. In all three 'normal' zones, the game uses a technique that was advanced for its time to separate the two players: a split screen. Sonic plays on the top half of the screen, Tails plays in the bottom half. Both characters are visible when they are close together, but they cannot interact each other or impede each other in any way. However, everything in the zone can only be collected once: if Sonic collects a power-up, Tails cannot collect the same power-up. The players play both acts of the zone, which are exactly the same as the corresponding acts in the regular game EXCEPT: Entering Special Stage is not possible (though Starposts still exist), all power-ups have a ? on them, and there is no boss, the boss in act 2 replaced by an end of act turnstile. Also no end of act bonus points are awarded. You have two power-up options for a two-player game. The normal option is random power-ups, meaning that a power-up's identity is completely random for each one and unknown until one player or the other opens it. On the Options screen, on the second selection down, you can set it to 'Teleporter Only', which means if you then begin a 2-Player Game, all power-ups will be Teleporters. There are three new power-ups, as well: Different character 1-UPS: The face on the 1-UP tells who gets the extra life. For instance, if Sonic opens a power-up with Tails' face, Tails gets an extra life, even though Sonic opened the power-up (but Sonic still gets credit for the power-up - see end of act evaluation later). Robotnik: A nasty and unavoidable trap that has foiled many a player in the 2-Player Game, Robotnik causes you to get hit like if you hit an enemy if you collect a power-up with his face on it. There's nothing you can do to avoid it. Thankfully he isn't in the regular game! Teleporter: A really weird power-up that can really turn an act around, I can't describe what this power-up looks like. It causes Sonic and Tails to flip locations in the act (though they remain on their respective screens). This could be disastrous or terrific for one player depending on the current situation. You can play with all power-ups as Teleporters by selecting it on the Options screen (though oddly enough, they retain their ? marks). If one player dies, he returns to the last Starpost he touched or the beginning of the act if he hasn't touched any Starpost. If one player has a game over, the other player automatically wins the zone. Once one player passes the turnstile and completes the act, a 60-second timer appears on the other player's screen. If he does not complete the act within 60 seconds, he dies. This does not, however, count as losing a life. It simply prevents one character from prolonging the game unnecessarily by refusing to complete an act. After each act, the players' performances are compared in the following categories: Score: The ONLY way to score points is by defeating enemies. Look for ways to beat several enemies in a row to score more points. The player with the highest score wins the act. Time: Whoever finished the act first wins this category. Rings: Whoever had the most rings at the end of the act wins this category. Total Rings: Whoever collected the most TOTAL rings in the act (rings lost when hit still count for total rings) wins this category. Items: Whoever collected the most power-ups wins this category. Whoever won the most categories wins the act. If a category is tied, it remains so. If the act is tied, it remains so. After both acts have been played once, whoever won the most acts wins the zone. If tied, the players play a Special Stage playoff to decide who wins the zone. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly which Special Stage you play after each zone if tied. If the playoff Special Stage is tied, the zone is left as a tie. The Special Stage area is unique. You will play two Special Stages that are colored differently but are otherwise exactly the same as Special Stages 5 and 6 in the regular game. Your goal is to collect more rings than the other guy. The stage begins with Sonic in front. Whoever is in front collects rings if the two characters are right next to each other. When either character jumps, the characters switch places. So Tails could jump and land in front of Sonic, but Sonic could jump himself to counter and remain in front. But if Sonic is in the air, even if he's in front, Tails could be on the floor getting rings. This makes for some neat battles. It can get rather insane playing a 2-player Special Stage. Hitting a bomb not only makes you lose 10 rings, it also puts you in the back if you are in front. Whoever has the most rings at each checkpoint wins that checkpoint. Whoever wins the most of the three checkpoints wins the stage. Ties are allowed to stand, both for checkpoints and for the stage itself. If tied after the second Special Stage (usually because one player won one stage and the other won the other) you move onto a third stage, which is the same as Special Stage 7 in the regular game, to decide who wins the Special Stage area. Whoever wins the most zones wins the 2-Player Game after you've played them all. If tied, I don't know if the game is left as a tie, or if you play a Special Stage playoff to decide the winner. 5. Cheats and Tricks Sonic 2 can be a challenging game, or you might just want to rip through it ASAP, so here are some codes to help you if you want them. There may well be more codes then I have listed, but here are the most useful ones and the only ones I know work: Chaos Emerald code: This is a code that is beautiful in its simplicity. Simply collect at least one Chaos Emerald and reset. Now restart the game (preferably, if you're going for the Chaos Emeralds, as Sonic alone) by going to the Options menu first, then beginning play. You'll notice that your Chaos Emeralds you collected you still have! Repeat as often as desired, always going to the Options menu before beginning play to keep your Chaos Emeralds. This is how to become Super Sonic in the first zone. If you don't want to bother getting the Chaos Emeralds in the Special Stages, use the Auto Super Sonic code. Level Select: Go to the Options menu and scroll down to Sound Test. When on Sound Test, button A advances ten sounds, left and right move ahead and backward one sound, and buttons B and C play the sound you've selected. Play the following sounds one time each: sound 19, sound 65, sound 09, and finally sound 17. You should hear the sound of a ring being collected. Now press and hold button C, and press start. You will return to the Sega logo. Wait for the title screen to appear, press and hold A, and press start. You will be taken to the Level Select menu. Select the act you wish to begin playing at. If you select Special Stage, you will play the first Special Stage, then begin play at Emerald Hill Zone, Act 1. Auto Super Sonic code: This is for those of you who want to skip collecting the Chaos Emeralds and just play as Super Sonic. First you need to be at the Level Select menu. Go there by entering the Level Select Code. Now go to Sound Test (below Special Stage). You'll be at sound 17. Play the following sounds in order, one time each: sound 04, sound 01, sound 02 and sound 06. You will hear the sound of a Chaos Emerald being collected. Begin the game on any act and you will have all the Chaos Emeralds (just collect 50 rings and jump to become Super Sonic). There are other codes I know, but those are the ones I think are the most important. If you would like more, please check out the GameFAQs list of codes for a game (which is where I found the above codes) for more. Don't e-mail me asking me to put more codes in my FAQ/walkthrough please (I am open to e-mails about a lot of suggestions, but not that). And now, put in your cartridge or turn on your emulator, enjoy the awesome new music of Sonic 2 and begin the game! Without further ado, the walkthrough! 6. Walkthrough This is a walkthrough for every act and zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It does not cover every single secret or possible path, but rather ushers you down what I consider the path that is both easiest to access and easiest to traverse. Secrets are mentioned if finding them only requires a slight deviation from your normal course, but not if they are on an entirely separate path that would require a complicated explanation of how to reach them. I try to cover as many of the most important secrets (1-UPS and to some extent, Starposts) as possible. You can explore each act more and find other paths and secrets if you'd like, but you are on your own if you try that. If you find secrets not mentioned in my walkthrough please e-mail me about them only if they are fairly important and not too difficult to get. I have played this game many times, so I may know about more secrets than you think, but I didn't put them all in the walkthrough. In my walkthrough for Sonic 1 I advised you to take the high road whenever possible. In Sonic 2 this advise is not as important since the low road is perfectly acceptable except in some zones. I often have you take the low road simply because it is the easiest to follow. Finally, this can be a long and challenging game: please do not get frustrated or unnecessarily stressed! 6a. Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 There are three different enemies in this zone: robot monkeys in the trees that drop coconuts on you, bees that fly back and forth and shoot fireballs down at an angle, and piranha fish that jump up at waterfalls or from beneath bridges. All these enemies are abundant in this zone, so I will not mention them specifically unless they are situated in strategic locations. Begin by heading right until you see a ledge above the main path. Jump up there for a Shield, then continue right and cross the bridge. You come to a gap with a platform moving up and down in it. Jump over the gap with the help of the moving platform (the lower path is perfectly okay but has fewer rings). Watch out for the bee flying overhead. After this is another gap with another moving platform and a yellow spring to the left of it. Use the spring to propel yourself into the air where some rings are if you wish, and cross this gap. Go right to a series of waterfalls with a yellow spring to the left of them, pointing up and right. Get the Super Ring on the first ledge (be careful not to fall) and hit the spring. It will propel you up to the higher ledge, but also has an annoying tendency to knock you right into a monkey. Hopefully, this won't happen though. Get the Speed Shoes on the ground and run right up the curved wall. Hit the yellow spring at the top and bounce left to a floating ledge with a Starpost (although you probably don't have enough rings yet to play a Special Stage, even if you didn't hit the monkey). Drop back down and go right to a loop. Climb to the top of the loop via a moving platform to find an Invincibility if you want. Getting through loops is no problem in this game, because you can spin dash. To the right of the loop is an odd, brown walkway in the shape of a corkscrew. If you run onto this walkway with sufficient speed (use a high-powered spin dash to achieve this easily) and hold right you'll run across, but if you just walk onto it or jump onto it, you'll fall through it. On the other side of the corkscrew walkway is a Super Ring and a waterfall. You see a higher ledge with a yellow spring pointed up and left at the edge of it; it is barely possible to jump over the spring onto the ledge from the ground but very difficult. If you do make it up there, you can get two Super Rings and an Invincibility but it's not worth trying for a long time. Go right, cross the bridge and pass the Starpost. Next comes a yellow spring that propels you through two loops; after the second one is major secret. If you are running too fast you'll fly up the ramp and be sent back down by the red spring on the overhang above. However, hit the spring and run right through the loops without spinning, and hold to the right hard after the second loop. You should run up to the right of the red spring, and if you keep holding right, you'll enter a secret passageway in the cliff. Run right through the tunnel and get the 1-UP inside it. At the right end of the tunnel drop out, and get the Super Ring to the right. Proceed right a ways and eventually you'll come to the goal. Act 2 This act is similar to act 1. Go right, crossing the first bridge you see and hitting the spring if you want to get some floating rings. Collect the first power-up you see, a Speed Sneaker. Whether you take the high or low road matters little as they link up again in short order. Then comes a Super Ring, a moving platform and another high/low road choice. This time take the high road. Jump over the spikes and bounce up the cliff on the yellow spring. Cross the bridge and go right. You come to the top of a loop on the lower path, with a yellow spring on it. You can bounce onto the moving platform using this spring when it moves into range. There are some floating goodies high in the sky you can access from that platform - 29 rings and a Starpost. Back on the top of the loop, go right and jump down and right to the top of another loop where a Starpost is (there's a moving platform between the loops). Hit the yellow spring on the right side of the second loop to bounce up and right to another area. Be very careful not to fall. On this new piece of land go right to a waterfall with a ledge situated on top of it. The ledge will drop down the waterfall shortly after you touch it but fall with it. Halfway down the waterfall is a 1-UP. Grab it and exit out the tunnel to the right. Beware, there are spikes on the ground below where the tunnel lets out. Bounce up on the spring and go right. (There is a secret tunnel in the cliff but it's very hard to access). Cross the bridge and you come to a Starpost and a very nastily positioned monkey to your right. Below him are some spikes. I recommend jumping on him after he drops a coconut, but it's tough to do with the way to ground affects your jump trajectory. Whatever you do, don't fall down the waterfall below and left of him. That will kill you. Once past the monkey go right, taking the low path, but being careful of two bees positioned in a narrow space. Get the Super Ring in plain sight and watch out for spikes on the floor and ceiling. To the right are several waterfalls you will pass through in an underground tunnel, then a spring that bounces you up. Go right and eventually you come to a corkscrew walkway like the one in act 1. Charge up a spin dash and roll across it, then proceed right to the final Starpost. Run right into a low area, listen to the too-hip boss music and get ready for your first boss! Boss This guy is very easy. When the battle starts an armored car will roll onto the screen from the left, as will Dr. Robotnik in a helicopter. Neither one can harm you until Robotnik lowers his helicopter into the car and begins rolling back and forth across the arena. It's easy to hit him; just jump on him or spin dash into him from behind. Avoid the spike at the front of the car. You can get in up to three hits each time he rolls across the screen if you're daring. Beware, for after seven hits he may shoot the spike at you. He will take eight hits to beat, like most Sonic the Hedgehog bosses. Once he is defeated, run right and hit the button on top of the animal prison to break it open and free your trapped animal friends. Congratulations, you have completed the first zone! 6b. Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 Wait a moment to take in the GREAT music, the high-tech foreground and the great city in the background, along with the polluted river. Then go right, until you come to an open area with three moving platforms and a place with a Super Ring situated on top of a tunnel. You can go right either from the ledge the Super Ring is on or go through the tunnel; which way you go will determine where you come out of the criss-crossing walkways. This walkthrough has you go right from where the Super Ring is. Go right a long ways and eventually you meet the two enemies in Chemical Plant Zone. The first is a robot spider that hangs from the ceiling and attempts to grab you when you walk below. If he succeeds, you will be squeezed and take a hit unless you're playing with Tails and Sonic, in which case sometimes Tails will knock out the spider before he damages you. If you have a second controller, you can use that. Defeat the spider by hitting him from above or the side when he drops down (it isn't safe to hit him when he's on the ceiling). To the right are two robots that slowly creep along the floor. They often launch energy balls out of the hatch on top of them. To defeat them either spin dash through them or jump on them, timing it to avoid hitting an energy ball. After this continue right. Go through the loop and rapidly go down and up the blue walkways like a roller coaster. After running up a curved wall, you land on a spring. Bounce up and go left, and walk past the blue blobs flying between the tube segments without touching them. To the left bounce up on a spring (you can't enter the tube below it, but you can come out of it here if you took another path) to a higher ledge, and go right. By the way, on the lower level a door shut behind you to prevent you from backtracking. On the higher level defeat two crawling enemies, then go right and descend a series of blue walkways via springs on opposite sides of walls. The fourth spring is not a spring but a black speed booster, and it will send you running right like mad. Hold right and you go zipping through two loops, past another speed booster, eventually winding up at a dead end with a tube in the floor guarded by a crawling enemy on the wall to the right. Defeat the enemy if you wish, smash open the tube's cover by jumping on it and enter the tube. You'll be transported to a different location in the act (for future reference, some of these tubes may take you to one of several locations randomly, but this one does not). When you come out of the tube get the Super Ring to the right and go left to a snake of four blocks that extends down like a stairway to the level below when you step on it. Go right on the lower level, watch out for a jumping blue blob that goes between two tube segments, and continue right to the goal. Act 2 Go right until you come to a crawling enemy. Shortly after him is a long blue walkway that goes down. Spin dash down it at great speed, and at the bottom you'll be sent flying into the air. As soon as you go flying, hold to the left. You'll miss some of the floating rings, but land on a small ledge on the left. This ledge seems to be pointless, but jump into the left wall to enter a secret tunnel with a slightly concealed 1-UP on the other side. Get this secret then go back out, and attempt to jump right over the gap. If you make it, you will take a shortcut; if you fall you must climb up. That is somewhat difficult because you'll have to navigate a shaft with two block snakes that move on their own, and can crush you. Try to make the jump to the right ledge, then jump over the next gap with help of a springboard that acts like a weak spring. Spin dash up the curved wall to the right, and go right to find two Super Rings and a Shield guarded by two ceiling spiders. Then go back left, to two platforms rotating in a circle. Jump on one of them to reach the ledge to the left. Go left and enter the tube. This tube can release you in one of two locations, so my walkthrough must go one way or the other. My walkthrough follows the path you take when the tube sends you through the lower branch at the first junction (right after you enter the tube). The higher branch you don't go on as often but has more rings. If you take that branch, it is possible to end up back at the area you've already visited by going down soon after you leave the tube, but I'd recommend continuing on your own in that case. If the tube sends you down the lower branch, you'll come out next to one Super Ring on your right (on the higher branch, you come out with two Super Rings on your right). Get it and also the rings above the spring at the exit of the tube, then roll down the long, steep hill to the left. At the bottom you hit a speed booster and zip through two loops. After this ride go left and descend the shaft via two moving platforms. When on the second one you need to be very careful not to fall into the purple chemical. The chemical is not inherently toxic and you will be submerged in it later, but here falling in will kill you because you'll fall off the screen. Note that the blue walkway to the right has at its end two tiles that flip over. When the tiles are on the top of the walkway you can stand on them, when they are on the bottom they are no more than empty air. Avoid a fatal fall by jumping or spin dashing over these tiles and heading right. Enter the tube after defeating the crawling enemy on the wall if you wish. This tube takes you through the purple chemical. When you come out, bounce up on the spring to a Super Ring to the left. Then hit the speed booster and zip right. The other path (if the first tube sent you on the high fork) rejoins this path here. You'll zip through a loop and fly high into the air, where there are some rings. Drop back to the floor and touch the Starpost. Go right, get the Super Ring and watch out for the spider on the ceiling. To the right, hit the two springs ans let the block snake lower you to the level of the purple chemical. Now, things get really hard. To the right the blue walkway stops being solid because the orange surface disappears. However, two moving platforms are moving across the wide gap. Use them to cross by carefully jumping from one to the other, and cross the gap. However, falling into the purple chemical will not kill you here, because there is land underneath it. In fact, if you drop down and go right, you can find a 1-UP. This is only for the daring player, though, because on the drop down if you are unlucky you may drop into a spike pit. Also, the 1-UP is situated on the edge of a death pit. Also, you will need to get out of the chemical (which can only be achieved using the springboard on the left) quickly, before your air runs out. The purple chemical is not toxic but you can drown in it. It also makes you move and jump slower when you are in it. If you stay under it for about 25 seconds, a countdown appears next to you and you hear 'panic' music. If you do not jump out of the chemical (which restarts the timer) before the countdown reaches 0, you drown and die. After crossing this first gap, go right on the walkway ignoring the other walkway that comes down from above. Eventually you come to a shaft with several four-block snakes that move on their own. This is the hardest part of the game up to now. As soon as you enter this shaft the purple chemical rises quickly and swamps you. You must climb up to the top quickly before you drown. To do this you must use the shifting blocks, which can be very tricky. The bottom two block snakes are comprised of four linked blocks, but the top two are only two independent blocks, the two blocks in the middle having been removed. The blocks move horizontally, shifting sides of the shaft, then vertically, then horizontally again. You must jump to the next blocks up as they move. It's very tricky. A fall will likely seal your doom unless you can recover quickly, since you have only thirty seconds in which to do this. Once you finally make it to the top of the shaft and out of the chemical, you still have more obstacles ahead, but the worst is behind you. Go left to find two moving platforms over a large gap like the ones before. A fall will almost certainly be fatal since you'll fall back to the lower part of the level, which is now permanently flooded, and almost surely drown. So be VERY careful as you leap from one platform to the other. Keep in mind that the platforms will move as you jump. Once over this gap to the left, you find four tiles that flip over. They are only solid when they are on the top of the blue walkway. Wait for them to flip to the top, then run across them and jump to the ledge on the left. Now there are two moving platforms rotating in a circle to your right. Jump to one of them (they move slowly so it isn't too difficult) and jump to the walkway to the right. There's a speed booster at the beginning of it. Hit it and run right past a Starpost but SLOW DOWN QUICKLY. If you just run haphazardly you'll topple into the chemical and die (from now on there is now ground below the surface of the chemical, so falling in will kill you). Go through a loop and bounce over a gap using the springboard. Continue right and you come to a gap spanned by a single moving platform. Don't even worry about it - just hit the red spring on the left and you'll fly right across, going so fast you don't fall into even that huge gap. Go right to a low area. There's a long blue walkway but proceed slowly. Eventually you come to some tiles that flip over. Jump over them to the solid walkway in the middle. Prepare to face the boss. Boss This can be a hard boss. The battle takes place on a blue walkway with a solid section in the middle and flipping tiles on each side. Falling through the tiles when they are flipped down will kill you. Robotnik appears on the right in a machine that begins sucking chemical from the pool below and dropping it into a beaker. Hit the main part of his vehicle (the beaker doesn't block you) but be very careful to bounce back to the center of the screen where the floor is stable. Never walk on the flipping tiles at any time. First-time players may only want to go for only one hit for every time Robotnik fills his beaker but it is fairly safe to hit him twice while he does so, though you must get the hits in fairly quickly and more than two is not safe. Make sure you get your second hit in before Robotnik fills his beaker up because when he does he drops it on you. Stand at any point on the floor and duck. Oddly enough, the chemical Robotnik drops on you will not hurt you if you are ducking. Be sure you are ducking and not rolling (rolling provides no protection). Also the chemical bomb when it hits the floor will shatter into pieces; these can still hurt you so continue to duck until they fall off the screen. Robotnik will switch sides of the screen not; repeat the same pattern as before. Getting hit will probably kill you since you stand an excellent chance of being knocked onto the flipping tiles, so be very careful. After eight hits, Robotnik's machine will be destroyed. Reaching the animal prison, though, is actually a bit tricky since you must leap over four flipping tiles. 6c. Aquatic Ruin Zone Act 1 This zone is fairly tranquil, including its music. The most important general advice I can give you in this zone is: always take the high road! The reason is that the low road of this zone is inside a large lake. There are places you can fall into this lake, but it is hard to get out. Not only is the lake bed treacherous, you must get air periodically from air pockets on the floor. Stand next to one of these for a second or two and a large air bubble will float up; touch it to restart the underwater countdown. If you don't do this or jump out of the water the countdown begins like with the purple chemical in Chemical Plant Zone. The best solution is to stay out of the lake in the first place, if you can. Start act 1 by heading right, as usual. You first encounter a gray panel on a pillar in the background with Robotnik's face on it. Avoid these like the plague: they are your biggest threat in Aquatic Ruin Zone. When you approach one, it begins flashing. When you pass it, it shoots out an arrow to the right. Avoid those arrows, though often they get you anyway somehow. Keep an eye out for these obstacles. Next comes a large gray pillar in the foreground; just jump on it to destroy it and continue. Run past two waterfalls with another arrow panel between them. There's a log spanning the second waterfall, and a red enemy who resembles an upright tank on top of the log. This enemy is usually not very dangerous, as he just rolls back and forth. After this you come to a Super Ring. Take it and take the high road (where the red enemy is). Hit the spring and go through the loop. Pass the Starpost, run through the log (some rings are inside) and smash the gray pillar. Continue right past another red enemy. You come to a red spring but before hitting it and speeding right, take out two more red enemies, who pop out of burrows in the wall behind you to attack. Then hit the spring, zoom through the loop and go down into the lake. As soon as you stop moving, JUMP! The platform you stop on will immediately drop down carrying you into the depths of the lake unless you jump off quickly. Go right on dry land, getting a Shield. Climb some steps. Hit the yellow spring to run up the curved wall. Be careful of the arrow panel near it, and the red enemy at the top of the wall (who is partially concealed by the foliage). Go right and wait for the arrow from the arrow panel to fly by before hitting the spring and zooming through the loop. From then on just keep going right until you reach the goal. Act 2 The trickiest part of this act is at the beginning. Go right, past two arrow panels. The first one poses a significant threat but the second one does not since it is above ground level (but don't jump). You come to a sheer drop with a platform swinging back and forth in a half circle. Avoid falling here at all costs; you'll fall in the lake and be on your own. I recommend simply walking from the edge onto the platform as it moves next to it, since if you jump the platform may swing out of your way before you land. From the first swinging platform jump right onto another one with a shorter chain. From this platform jump right onto the ledge you see, taking out the red enemy on the ledge as you do so. Be sure to jump as soon as you come in range since the platform's chain will break and it will fall if you stay on it too long. This is a tricky spot, so I hope you make it through all right. Once on the ledge go right and jump over the gap. You see some red springboards leading up but ignore them and take the low path. About this time you may be attacked by a fly enemy from above. This is a surprisingly annoying enemy who can pop out of nowhere and get you. Remember these always come in batches of three: when you take out one, expect more to come. Their erratic movement makes it tough to hit them. Go right, smash the gray pillar and take out the red enemy when he emerges from his burrow (which is easy if you see the burrow but can be a nasty surprise if you don't). Hit the red spring. You zip up a wall and land on a yellow spring. Don't bounce up to the highest level, but go right from the yellow spring and hit the Starpost. It's on the edge of a ledge with a swinging platform to the right. Jump onto the swinging platform very carefully and deftly when it comes into range. Jump onto the ledge to the right. Some flies will attack from above (and possibly from below). Defeat them and go right. You come to two gray pillars that, when you come near, the bottoms of which fall to the floor trying to crush you. As if that wasn't nasty enough, they are camouflaged behind a waterfall, so you may not see them at first. Don't rush and you'll have no trouble getting by them. After this go right and down, until you see a red enemy pop out from a burrow below you. Defeat him carefully (the low ceiling makes it awkward). Concealed behind the pillar is a red spring. Hit it and zoom through the loop. Spin so you don't get hit by a red enemy who pops out from a burrow just under the surface of the lake. After you take out the red enemy, jump so you don't slam into another red spring pointing the other way. There's a springboard on the floor you passed which has no real point. Jump over the aforementioned red spring and go right. You see a gray pillar floating on the surface of the water. Rather than try to deal with it, drop down into the lake. Beware of blue piranha fish in the lake who charge at you if they see you. Go right on the lake floor, spin dashing to go quickly and defeat any fish in the way. You drop down to a lower level. Go right through the red area and under a gray pillar on the ceiling (beware; this one also tries to crush you). You come to an air pocket on the floor. Stand by it until a large bubble appears, then gobble it up to refill your air before continuing. Spin dash right from here. You'll roll under two more pillars that attempt to crush you, then at last you come to a springboard. This springboard is a high-powered one that will propel you out of the lake. Bounce on it a few times but hold to the left. Beware that the springboard doesn't bounce you into some flies waiting above to get you. By bouncing up and left you not only avoid the flies, you also bounce into a completely invisible passage in the wall to the left above the surface. You can also access this passage by jumping from the right but the springboard below is easier. Inside this tunnel go left to a secret room with a 1-UP. Then go right, being careful of nasty flies. Once you defeat all three, go right. Spin dash past the arrow panel. Wait for the arrow to go off the screen before hitting the red spring. Run through a loop, past a Starpost, to the boss arena. Boss The moment the battle starts, two gray totem poles rise from the floor, one on each side of the screen. Jump onto one of them if possible. Robotnik will fly slowly back and forth in a machine at the top of the screen with an enormous mallet attached to it. The mallet won't hurt you but do NOT stand on a totem pole when he hits it with the mallet (you'll get hit). The best place to be is on top of either totem pole. From here you can hit Robotnik freely and bounce back to the totem pole. To do that, jump and hold the button down. By doing this, you should rebound quite far when you hit Robotnik's ship, and if you press in the other direction, you should easily land back on top of the totem pole, even if Robotnik is on the other side of the screen. When he moves to your totem pole, time a hit so you are in the air when he hits it with his mallet. If you fall off the totem pole (or don't jump on at the beginning), you have to climb back up using the arrows provided to you. Every time Robotnik hits a totem pole, an arrow flies out from it across the screen at one of four heights, sticking in the other totem pole. Do not touch an arrow while it is moving. Once it sticks in the other totem pole, jump on it and use it as a stepping stone to reach the top of the totem pole. Be aware that it will drop off the screen shortly after you jump on it. Also be aware that an arrow at the lowest possible height will not allow you to jump onto the totem pole since you can't jump high enough, though you can use such an arrow to hit Robotnik from below. If all the arrows seem to be too low, try jumping when an arrow is fired - that may lure it to go higher. The best strategy is to stay on top of the totem pole as long as you can and take few risks since it's hard to get back up. This battle is really pretty easy so I don't know why I'm going on about it so much. Eight hits are necessary, as usual. Break open the animal prison and get ready for one of THE coolest zones in Sonic the Hedgehogdom! 6d. Casino Night Zone Wow! This is my favorite zone of Sonic 2 - perhaps my favorite of any Sonic game. Everything is so colorful and lit up! The river and the city in the background are great too, as are the red floors, neon signs and palm trees and panels in the walls that flip over to show Sonic and Tails' faces and names. Also, this zone is very easy. The only things you must watch out for are running out of time (this zone can get very addictive) some blue blocks which can crush you, one enemy who moves very slowly and is protected by a shield from above and the front (he poses no threat to you, but if you want to defeat him spin dash into him from behind) and a few odd spikes. Everything in this zone is pinball oriented. There are flippers, pop bumpers, and plungers. Much of the zone is in large 'pinball tables' you can bounce around in, and there's loads of cool gadgets you can fool around with. The music is awesome. Best of all, you get to gamble in this zone! To gamble you need to flip yourself into a slot, usually found in the middle of the 'pinball table' areas, that has three pictures below it. Every time you land in this slot, the pictures rotate among several pictures (bars, Sonic and Tails' faces, rings, jackpots and Robotniks are the main ones). These aren't like normal slots in that the pictures nearly always come out to be three of the same, or at least something that makes you win. I'm not sure what the prizes of each possible result are - there are innumerable results, some rarer than others. Usually you end up getting rings, from two to TWO HUNDRED with three jackpots. But beware, if you get three Robotniks (which happens annoyingly often) you LOSE 100 rings (but you can never go below 0 rings or die, even if you have zero rings entering the slots). These are so, so addictive. There are other kinds of slot machines that don't have pictures next to them. These give you 800 points every time you land in them. This is great if you want a high score, or if you have the patience to try to turn them into 1-UPS. Also, pop bumpers with stars (btu not other kinds of bumpers) give you 10 points a bounce for about 10 bounces before stopping to give you points. There are also bonus tiles, which look like flat, floating hamburgers. These almost always come in batches of three. If you touch one in changes from flashing green and yellow to solid yellow. Touch it again and it becomes red. Touch it a third time and it disappears. Each touch is worth 10 points, if you destroy a whole set you get 500 points. Lastly, I need to explain about flippers. There are two kinds, green and orange. Orange flippers are found at the bottom of depressions or half-pipes and don't need any activating - just touch them and they send you flying into the air. Green flippers look like normal pinball flippers. When you land on one, press button A, B or C to make it flip you into the heavens. To use plungers, once on the plunger press and hold button A B or C to make it compress and gather energy. Release to be sent flying, like a spring you need to compress. Obviously hold down longer for more power. Just be careful not to run out of time (it's happened to me upon occasion) and watch out for the blue blocks that can crush you. I am not going to write a walkthrough for either act of this zone since half of it is just bouncing around madly anyway, and as long as you keep a cool head, you should be alright. I won't mention any secrets either - I want you to find them for yourself. Both acts are very easy if you follow my advice above. Explore and have fun! Good luck with the slots! Oh, there is one more thing I need to explain... Boss Casino Night Zone might have been a piece of cake, but the boss nearly makes up for it. He is the hardest boss, in my opinion, until Metropolis Zone (zone 8). The most important thing is to keep control of yourself! The battle is fought in an sealed room with four flippers above the floor, a bumper between the middle two, and some pop bumpers near the ceiling. The walls are curved so you can roll up them. Robotnik will be in a casino machine with an electric field at the bottom, flying back and forth above the flippers. Whenever you are directly below him, he stops and drops a red mine out of the bottom of his ship. The mine falls to the floor and shatter into two pieces which fly a little bit to the side. He is only vulnerable from above (not where the electric field is). It is very tempting to just zip around the room at random and try to bounce into Robotnik, but that strategy is futile because the objects in the room bounce you around too randomly. Also, if you get hit, especially near the side, the shape of the room makes it difficult to recover rings. The best strategy is to stay on the floor as much as you can. Stand near one wall (near where the floor curves upward) and aim a spin dash at the wall. Charge it up. Wait for Robotnik to come across the screen and move above you. The moment he stops moving, release your spin dash and roll up the wall. When you are just below his level, jump off and hit him from the side. You must time this well or you'll fly over him or hit his electric field. Your goal is to hit him and roll back down the wall and out of danger. But, if you time it wrong, you may smash into the mine he dropped as you roll down to the floor or its pieces. That is why you must spin dash as soon as he stops moving (to roll below the mine before it lands). After you hit him you may run up the opposite wall; don't worry about this, just slow down quickly and don't do anything fancy. Do not go flying around the room or use the objects in it if you can at all help it, since that almost always gets you hit. Try to stay on the floor as much as possible, remain in control of yourself, set up each hit carefully and run back and forth to dodge mines. This is a very hard boss, so do not get frustrated. He takes eight hits to beat. 6e. Hill Top Zone Act 1 Yet another cool and fun zone. The music's a bit strange at first, but I've seen worse. The red mountains and clouds in the background (which you're above) are very cool. Begin by heading right, to a platform suspended from a vine. Jump on it and it slides down the vine to another ledge; jump off before it drops. Beware that falling down will kill you (though it never does again for the rest of this zone). Go right further to a red enemy with a large gray spike on his back. This fellow slowly moves back and forth; move next to him to cause him to launch his spike into the air, leaving him defenseless. These guys usually walk on the ceiling. You have to get uncomfortably close (or jump over them, but be careful of the spike) to cause them to release their spike, so watch out. Cross the lava pit (lava is a major obstacle in this zone, but it doesn't kill you - it merely hurts you) via the two vertically moving pillars. Further right is a small mound of rock; there are many of these in this zone and you can destroy them by jumping on them, but this has no real point. You come to a catapult with a flashing red ball enemy on the right side. These catapults work exactly like the ones in Sonic 1. Jump onto the side without the enemy and he'll fly into the air. He can fly up one of three different heights, depending on how much force you land on the catapult with. To fly up really high, you usually have to use the catapult several times (bounce up and then land back on it). He always lands on the opposite side from where he started from, so once you send him up, walk to the other side and wait to be catapulted up. Avoid touching the red ball enemy, who is unbeatable (this takes practice but you'll get used to it). Use the catapult to bounce over the short wall, then continue right. Jump over some spikes, than a small lava pit and go down a curving tunnel. To get over the spikes on top of the small ramp, it's best to spin dash rather than jump. Continue right to another catapult; catapult up and cross the next lava pit by means of the yellow spring pointing up/right or the moving pillar in the middle of it. Climb the cliff to the right via two catapults (the second located on a ledge in the cliff) and a spring. Get the Super Ring at the top and ride the moving platform over the lava pit. Continue right to a loop; spin dash through it with sufficient speed and you burrow through some weak ground and enter a tunnel. Now that you're underground get the Shield to the right and go left, to a lava pit with two catapults floating in it. I recommend using the catapults as stepping stones rather than actually springing up on them, although you'll have to jump quickly (before the red ball enemies come back down). After crossing this pit cross two more lava lakes by means of moving ledges suspended from vines. Avoid enemies on the ceiling who drop spikes and purple dragons who spit fireballs in some lava pits. After this you come to a red spring with two floor spikes that appear and disappear to its right. Being very careful of the floor spikes, go right and you'll bounce up high on an invisible spring at the foot of the wall. There's an obvious passage to the right, but above it in the wall there's a secret passage (concealed by a false wall) that leads to an Invincibility. (Below the obvious ledge is another false wall but it contains nothing but rings). Get that Invincibility and run out of there. Hook your fall around if you can to land on the ledge below that leads right without having to bounce on the spring again. Running right, some one-way doors close behind you and an earthquake occurs. The floor and ceiling begin to rise. When the path ahead opens enough, run through it. Now make a mad dash to the right. You'll run across a rising lava lake (if you're still invincible; if not avoid the lava) and should make it into the next tunnel before the lava seals it off. The lava will promptly go back down (it constantly rises and falls) and there's a moving pillar in it to help you cross without invincibility. After this part go right, down a curving tunnel. Now that you're outside again, go right to a catapult. Bounce up really high (by bouncing several times) and fly to the right. You want to try and land on top of the loop to your right where a Starpost and a Super Ring are. If you don't make it, try again. You can just spin dash through the ground through the loop but you'll miss the Starpost. To the right of the loop is the goal. Act 2 Spin dash up the curved wall at the start. Go right, over a small lava pit and go down the tunnel. Ascend another, taller curved wall by means of a yellow spring. Go right to find yourself face to face with a purple dragon in a lav pit. Make a blind jump over him, hoping to land on a small ledge sticking out of the lava pit behind him. The ledge drops when you land on it so quickly jump to the other side. Go right, spin dash through the loop and break through the ground. Spin dash up two curved walls. At the top of the second one is a rare enemy. He is yet another kind of red ball enemy, surrounded by four flames, which he launches at you. The flames protect him until he launches them, so the first time you spin dash up, don't go after him. Instead, avoid hitting a flame, go back down and wait a few seconds. Spin dash up again and while you were waiting, he will have released all his flames, so go ahead and defeat him. Go right, get the Shield and ride a moving ledge over a lava pit. Hit the Starpost and go right. An earthquake starts. This is a tough section, though not really that hard - you need to climb a long way up by means of moving platforms, stationary platforms (which drop when landed on) and stable ledges staying ahead of slowly rising lava below. Near the bottom right corner is a Shield but it's not worth getting. About halfway up, go right through the wall to find a secret Invincibility - that helps. Climb slowly if you can, being very careful not to fall, and hopefully you'll make it. There's a Super Ring and the exit in the top right corner. After escaping this area go right, back outside for a time, then back underground. Jump over the two yellow springs pointing at each other (which have no purpose). Avoid the floor spike that appears and disappears. Get the Super Ring but don't make a full jump; there's a spike on the ceiling just out of your view. Look up to see it if necessary. To the right is a tall wall, but an invisible spring will help you ascend it. Jump on the ledge that slides down the vine. Cross the lava lake below by means of three such ledges. But, when you come to the end of the second ledge's vine, don't automatically jump to the third ledge. Drop down to the far left instead. This seems crazy since there's lava below, but you'll find a 1-UP in the bottom right corner and a spring below it to bounce you back up! Grab this secret prize, then ride the third ledge down. Get the Super Ring and proceed right, watching out for ceiling enemies who drop their spikes on you. Go back outside, and bounce up on two springs to a Starpost. Go right to the boss. Boss You could take this guy out in ten seconds if you tried. You're fighting in an area with two lava pits, one on each side. Robotnik first comes out of the lava pit on the right. As soon as he does, jump on him. Do not hold the jump button down so you don't bounce high - just sit there, bouncing on him repeatedly, using the directional pad to ensure you don't bounce off. As long as you jump on him as soon as he appears you can get in all eight hits and defeat him before he goes back into the lava. The catch is, you'll fall into the lava after you defeat him and take a hit. Quickly jump out and run right to the animal prison. If you want to defeat him without taking a hit, follow the same strategy, but do hold the jump button down. Bounce high off him two times before you bounce back to solid ground. He shoots a fireball from the small gun on top of his machine, but this never hits you unless you're standing on the ledges. As he goes down into the lava, he shoots out two fireballs that cause two of the ledges (the two on his side) to be covered with fire briefly. Every time except the first, the side Robotnik comes out of is random. It is easy enough to beat this boss without getting hit, it just takes a little longer. 6f. Mystic Cave Zone Act 1 Wow. What a change of environment. You go from the top of the world to underneath it - the caverns of Sonic's homeland. The music and background of this zone are rather spooky, but just plain awesome (especially the music). Begin by going right to two orange wooden ledges. These collapse as soon as you touch them. You can take the high road or the low road. Take the low road by dropping down and get that concealed power-up - it's a Shield. Then continue right. You come to two wooden ledges situated over some spikes, and a green hanging vine. These vines are common in this zone and usually cause a wooden walkway to shift positions, allowing you to proceed. Jump onto the bottom of the vine and wait a second for the walkway to move into place, then jump onto it and continue. In the ceiling ahead is a blue glow worm. This is a nasty enemy since he extends out of nowhere and tries to hit you. It is impossible to tell if one is there until it extends. He also can only be taken out with a hit to the head. Enemies in Mystic Cave Zone are rather tough. Keep going, jumping over spikes. Drop into that gap below to find a Shield if you lost your first one. The vine that looks different from the earlier one will carry you up if you grab onto it. Just beware that a wooden block with spike on the end of it will slide out from the left wall at the bottom of the pit. There's a red spring which you can use to bounce up to a ledge with some rings and a Super Ring. Beware that inside the ledge is a glow worm to defend the rings. You again can take the high or low road, take the high road this time to miss that moving pillar that tries to crush you. You come to three crates moving in a circle but ignore them and drop down. Go down two ramps to a Starpost. Activate it and grab the vine above. It lowers you down through the wooden bridge (which parts to let you through). Jump off and get the Super Ring to the left, then go right. You meet the other enemy of Mystic Cave Zone here: a lightning bug who floats around from one position to another, and periodically stops and flashes yellow. He is invincible when he is flashing. Patience (and not hurrying to avoid bumping into him) is the key to safely taking him out. Go right to find two horizontally moving platforms. Avoiding spikes, use the platforms to climb up to the next level. To the right is a short wall. Three blocks with spikes will come out from this wall. Jump onto the top of the first block, then the second block in succession. Use these blocks to climb the wall. If you fall, leave the screen and come back after going far enough away - the blocks will reset. Once atop the wall go right to encounter a nasty obstacle: a green moving pillar that constantly moves up and down, trying to crush you. Walk or spin dash under it (being very careful of the lightning bug) and grab the vine to be lowered down (don't bother with the path up and left). Rather than tangle with the pillar to the right, drop straight down to the lowest level. There are two red springs on this level that serve no purpose. Go right and get the Invincibility. You now have to get past three orange crates that move in a square formation. They cannot crush you if you get entangled in them unless you get between one and the floor. Watch out for that and jump over them. Again you can jump to a high ledge but keep going on the low road. Ignore two more red springs pointing at each other. To the right, spin dash up a curved wall. The moving pillar at the top cannot crush you; it just makes it a little bit harder to get over the wall. Be sure to jump to the ledge to the left - there's a Starpost there. Then go right (beware of a glow worm who waits in ambush) until you find the path right blocked by a wooden walkway. So drop down and get the partially concealed Invincibility. Go right, get the Super Ring and hit the red spring. You fly up a curved wall into the air - try to grab the vine hanging from the ceiling. This will make the wooden walkway to the left extend, opening your path left. If you don't grab the vine on the first try you can try again, either by jumping from the collapsing wooden ledge or bouncing up with the red spring again. Once on the walkway go left and when you see another vine above, go left and get the Shield first. Beware; it's guarded by a glow worm. Then grab the vine and jump onto the walkway. Grab another vine to by carried up. Then jump off, onto the ledge. Ahead are two pillars that move up instead of down, unlike the earlier one these CAN crush you, so be very careful. Carefully jump over them when they go down, and once past them, drop into the gap to grab two Super Rings. Bounce up out of the gap and head right to the goal. Act 2 As in act 1, the low road in this act is perfectly acceptable and the easiest to follow. Begin by going right, grabbing the vine to open the way ahead, then dropping down instead of trying to cross the moving platforms. On the bottom, go right and grab another vine to open the path. Continue right past a crushing pillar (be careful) and a lightning bug. Get the Invincibility in the pit below (watch out for spikes) and continue right (don't use the spring to bounce up to the higher path). Beware of the glow worm dead ahead. Spin dash up a curved wall, defeat a glow worm, go up another curved wall, then tangle with a pair of lightning bugs. Then ride the vine to the right down and go left to three moving crates. They aren't as hard to handle as they appear. You need to go in a counterclockwise direction to get by them, so do that, getting the Super Ring and Invincibility on the way. Getting out from the Invincibility is a little tricky - after one crate goes by, run out and hold right hard to get between the crates without being crushed by the next crate. Drop down past the crates and go left. Grab the vine to proceed, continue left, drop down and then go right. Go under some ceiling spikes and a crushing pillar. Jump over the spikes to the yellow spring, and instead of grabbing the vine above, head right in the narrow corridor with the pillar. Carefully run under it, then get past some lightning bugs. Go slowly. When you come to a vine grab it and wait until the walkway stops moving before you jump on it. Be very careful since if you fall in the gap, you die since there's no way out. Continue right and purposefully drop into the next gap (the one with three wooden ledges on its sides). There's a 1-UP and a spring to bounce you back up in the bottom right corner! Grab them and continue. The next gap also has a spring in the bottom right corner, and has a ledge in the middle, to which a slowly rotating spiked ball on a chain is attached. Jump over carefully and slowly. Continue right to a yellow spring and a vine. Use either one to go up, go left, grab a Shield and climb the steps. Again use the vine or yellow spring to go up to the higher level. You can now go left or right. Go right and when you come to a high road/ low road fork, take the low road. Next comes a pillar that is even harder to get under than normal ones; I recommend spin dashing underneath when no lightning bugs are in the way. Get the Super Ring and drop down. Go right and drop down to a Starpost. Be wary of this Starpost. If you hit it and then die at the boss, there's no way to go back from the Starpost to get some rings, so you'll only have rings during your first try at the boss. Unless you're confident you can defeat the boss on your first try, I recommend avoiding this Starpost if you can. Going all the way through the act again shouldn't be that bad, since there's a 1-UP on the way. Whatever you do don't use this Starpost to play a Special Stage since that leaves you with zero rings. Anyway from the Starpost go right a ways to the boss. Boss This boss is somewhat difficult. When the fight starts the room shakes and rocks and spikes fall from the ceiling. Rocks do not harm you but spikes do. Dodge the spikes and wait for Robotnik to come down from the ceiling in a drill machine. You can hit him from below at this point even though his thruster is there. I wouldn't recommend it, though, because if you do this and a late spike falls at the wrong place, you're likely to get hit. You could also get trapped under Robotnik if you try for too many hits. When he lands, Robotnik switches his drills to point horizontally and rolls across the floor. Now jump on him once, perhaps twice in succession if you're daring. When he stops and begins moving back up to the ceiling, hit him from below one or two times before he goes back into the ceiling and the pattern repeats itself. It is possible to defeat him on one sequence but very hard and dangerous. I recommend taking your time, especially if you're inexperienced. Put staying safe and dodging spikes as your first priority. Eight hits as usual. 6g. Oil Ocean Zone Act 1 Now the game starts heating up. This zone is all a gigantic oil refinery, with a lake of oil floating on the bottom of all of it (hence the name Oil Ocean Zone). Falling in this oil will not kill you but sinking too far in it will. You need to jump continuously to stay afloat in the oil and try to find a way to jump out. Stay out of the oil if you can. The music here is a bit slick and eerie. Begin by heading right over two gold floors. Be aware that these (and all gold floors that look like them) will collapse. After these you meet a pink enemy who looks like a weird alien or octopus. He hovers above ground when he sees you and fires a small energy ball sideways. He isn't much of a threat because unless you jump, the ball flies over your head. After one of these you come to a depression slippery with oil, which prevents you from ducking and makes moving tricky. Jump out of the depression and continue over a small gap with a fan. Fans periodically turn on and off. When on they make you float above them. Defeat another pink octopus and you come to a green cover on a vent that periodically gets blasted up into the air and comes back down again. Obviously jump on the cover to continue, but beware of the spikes on either side of it and don't touch the vent when the cap is off, of course. When the cover flies up, jump to the floating ledge on the left you see to find 20 rings. Then go right, over the gold floor. Cross a wide gap via two more gold floors (try really hard not to fall here, as it's very hard to get back up). Then climb the steps and defeat two octopuses. Jump over the green cover and get the Shield to the right of it. Then jump onto the cover and fly up, and jump to the gold ledge to your right. Run right and up a short curved wall. You come to a gap with a fan below it. To cross this one just run across when the fan is on and you will make it if you hold right. Use a green vent cover to ascend a wall. Next you meet the other enemy of Oil Ocean Zone, and he is much nastier: a flying sea horse (?) who appears out of nowhere and shoots black bullets down at an angle. Try to avoid his initial attack and knock him out as fast as you can. Always watch out for these around corners, especially in awkward positions. Continue right and watch out for another sea horse. Ride the pink elevator up and go left. Cross the gap by just running left; two fans that always remain on will airlift you across. Next comes a fan that's blowing in your face blocking your way; run by after it turns off. Ride another elevator up and go right. Watch out for a sea horse up ahead. Cross a gap via a fan, ride another elevator and cross another gap (beware; this fan turns on and off). You come to an oil slide. When you jump on one of these there's very little you can do but enjoy the ride. You come off the oil slide at a Starpost. To the right of the Starpost is a gap with an oil slide below it; jump over it. Go right to find three green covers that blast up at different intervals, with rings above them and spikes between them. As long as your jumping skills are fairly good, you should have no trouble with them. At the third one you'll have a choice of taking a high road or a low road. Take the high road by jumping onto the gold ledge above when the cover blasts up. Go right to a gap with a gold ledge on the other side; jump across and quickly amble to the right. Spin dash up the curved wall and land on the gold floor above. Go left jumping up the ledges, to an elevator. Ride it up, and go right but watch out for two sea horses. To the right is a green object that is not a green vent cover. Jump on it and you get propelled into a floating green checkered ball. The ball launches you through a sequence of balls while you have no control over yourself. You get launched out and land next to a Shield. Grab it and go right, defeating two octopuses. Go down an oil slide. After going down the second one turn around and try to climb back up it. This is a very tricky thing to do but the hard part is not climbing back up the oil slide - you can do that with some quick jumping. The hard part is getting over the wall to the right where an octopus is. It's a tough jump and the oil below prevents you from spin dashing it. Just keep trying until you make it or give up. If you give up go to the left; you'll rejoin this walkthrough shortly. If you do make it, defeat the octopus and get the Super Ring, and drop down to the right. Be careful NOT to touch a ball (that'll take you somewhere else) and get the 1-UP to the right. Then drop off the ledge to the left, and ride the elevator down. Go left, but after a ways turn around and go back right. The elevator should be gone if you walked far enough, and below it is a Starpost. Go left on this walkway, jumping over spikes. Descend some steps, defeat three octopuses, and hit the green thing to be propelled into another series of transport balls. When you come out go right, defeat the octopus and ride the elevator down. Run past the fan when it switches off, and go right to a green vent cover. Ride it up, then jump off and go right to the goal. Act 2 Go right over two gold floors. Beware of the spring right after the second one that could knock you back into the gap. Defeat an octopus and two sea horses, and go right to an elevator. Trigger it and then walk off. Drop below it to find a secret alcove with a Super Ring, a Shield and a spring to bounce you back up. Then run to the left far enough for the elevator to reappear, and ride it up. Go right past a yellow spring to a series of four green covers. The second and fourth ones will both send you into weird devices that propel you into two different transport ball sequences. It's up to you which way to go, but for this walkthrough, enter the first one (the one above the second green cover). After you come out of the balls go left to a green and gold walkway that has a nasty gray spiked thing moving back and forth across it. Jump over it and go left to a strange spring. To use this spring press against it holding right, then release right and press down at the same time. You should roll up the wall. On the higher level go right over another walkway, this time patrolled by two spiked things. They pose little threat, though, compared to the sea horse positioned right above the end of the walkway - he nearly always gets me. Take him out if you can without getting hit and go right to an elevator; ride it up. Go right down an oil slide. After this continue right being very careful of two more sea horses above the ramp down. Defeat an octopus and smash the green thing to go into another series of transport balls. After you come out, go right across another green and gold walkway with two spiked things moving back and forth. You see an elevator to your right; go down it. If you want the Speed Shoes above, there's a hidden spring to the left somewhere in the pipeline (feel for it). Speed Shoes, though, may cause more harm than good here. After riding the elevator down go right past a fan to another elevator; ride it down to a Starpost. Go right and enter another transport ball sequence by smashing the green thing. After you come out of this to your right will be an oil slide; ignore it and head left. Jump over to the gold ledge and run across it. Ride the elevator and continue left. Jump over the gap, whack the octopus and smash the green thing to enter more balls. When you come out of these go right over the last green and gold walkway with two spiked things. Go right and down three oil slides. To the right of the second one (if you can get over the wall with a quick jump) is a Shield guarded by an octopus. To the left of the third slide is a Starpost. Make sure to activate it, jumping back up the slide if necessary. After these slides one last sea horse waits in ambush. Defeat him and go right to the boss. Yes, I know I skipped most of the act and all the secrets, but I can't explore this whole act (it's huge) to find the best path to find everything when the path I gave you is perfectly acceptable. Sorry. Anyway, here's how to beat the boss... Boss This boss is easy (though this is NOT a harbinger of things to come). The battle is fought on two ledges with a gap between them, with oil in it. Robotnik immediately pops out of the oil in the middle in a submarine. Jump down and hit him. Do not hold down the jump button so you just keep bouncing lightly off him. You want at least four hits now, the more the better. After he retreats back into the oil you can do one of two things. I recommend getting UNDER either ledge and staying in the oil. Robotnik launches two attacks, but both are aimed at the ledges since that's where he assumes you are. This evades the attacks but you must jump continuously to avoid sinking in the oil. If you have a turbo controller, use it. Otherwise just keep hitting the jump button. If you decide not to do this for some reason, you'll have to tangle with a long harpoon Robotnik shoots at the ledge you're on (only the claw at the end of it can hurt you; the rest is harmless) and a laser gun that fires three lasers at the ledge, of varying heights, that must be ducked under or jumped over depending on their height. As the laser gun goes down, if you're in the oil, jump out and back onto a ledge. You want to be on a ledge when Robotnik pops back out again in his vulnerable form since that's the best place to hit him from. Hit him as before and hopefully you'll get in the remaining hits needed. If you don't the pattern repeats. After busting open the animal prison, you've off to Robotnik's fortress itself! 6h. Metropolis Zone Act 1 Welcome to Robotnik's fortress. This zone is quite a bit harder than any you've encountered before, so take it slow and expect to lose some lives here. The music sounds more like a city than a fortress, though. Isn't that background just AWESOME? Start out by going right. You first encounter two brown steam pistons on the floor. By jumping on them they can bounce you up like springs, to some rings and a Super Ring to the left. Beware that you don't touch the steam they emit to the sides, though. Also, more importantly, the Super Ring is guarded by a spike star - a very nasty and common trap in this zone. These are found in walls and when you come near, they move a little, then explode sending spikes in five directions. Avoid them at all costs. After this go through a red tube that rotates you as you go through it. It's bit weird but harmless. Spin dash up the curved wall and get the Shield. There's a spike star in the wall to the right. You'll grow to hate these things, I know. Hit the gray button to make a red bridge extend to the left, and go left. Use the steam piston to bounce up to the next level. You now encounter one of two very nasty enemies in this zone. This one is a red crab who attacks by lunging his large claw forward. That claw makes him immune to frontal attack; you must jump over him, which is made tricky by the low ceiling, and then roll or spin dash into him from behind to defeat him (if you want to bother). Now go right SLOWLY. You encounter two black pistons that move up and down in unison. They are out to crush intruders and getting by them is very simple - just spin dash over them when they go down. But don't be too hasty (here or anywhere else). After this comes a red bridge that is in your way. Move it with the gray button. WATCH OUT FOR SPIKE STARS - there are FOUR around here. Get the Super Ring on the next level and move the next bridge out of your way. Move a third bridge out of the way with a switch and drop down (don't touch the yellow bumpers in the shaft above - that leads to a different path). Get the Shield to the right by spin dashing under the spikes. Spin dash back and drop between the two moving red platforms. On the lower level is a yellow spring; use it to bounce up the curved ramp and head right. Drop down but don't slide to the left; slow down quickly and spin dash up the curved wall. Continue right (a one-way door shuts behind you) and open the bridge and drop down. Go right slowly - another pair of crushing pistons is up ahead. Spin dash over them, and you come to a half-pipe in the floor filled with rings. Stand in the middle of it and spin dash left. You'll hit the red spring and fly up the other side, bouncing up a shaft of yellow bumpers. At the top a bridge closes below you. Left is a dead end so go right through a rotating red tube. Spin dash up the curved wall and you go up to another level above you. Bounce up the yellow bumpers and run left. You come to a large gray nut on a tall screw leading up. You now have a new skill to learn: moving nuts up and down screws. To do this stand on the nut and run right. If you're standing in the center of the nut you won't run off; you'll run in place and the nut begins moving up the screw. Running left moves it down. Ignore the spike stars in the wall to the left - they only activate if you begin moving down, for some reason. When you see another nut to your right, jump on it and move it up. Watch out for the spikes at the top of the first nut's screw (don't go so high you crush yourself against them). Ride this second nut up to a ledge and jump off. These nuts are a bit weird at first but soon become easy to handle. On the ledge hit the gray button to make a bridge come out; jump on it and bounce on the yellow spring above. Climb up two more extending bridges by extending them with gray buttons, and go right. You see a nut positioned on a screw above you but within jumping range; jump to it. The jump is somewhat difficult. Run up and jump off. Head right under a screw leading up with no nut in sight, to another screw. Ride this nut down. Jump off at the bottom and you encounter another obstacle: two red blocks with spears that periodically thrust out of them. Between them is a gap you must jump over; just time it so you don't hit the spears. The spears' movement is easy to predict after observing them for a while; they thrust out of the blocks in four directions, moving clockwise. After jumping the gap go right quickly to run past two spike stars in the floor. Drop down and get the Super Ring, then go left to a transport tube. Enter it and when you come out the other end, continue left, get the Super Ring here too, and ride the platform down. You see a series of floating spear blocks to your right. Rather than try to cross them just drop straight down (time it to avoid hitting a spear). Then go right to a nut. You have a choice of going down or up; go up and on the ledge above, go right. Drop down into the area below to find a Starpost. Then spin dash back up the curved wall and go right. You come to a very confusing shaft which repeats itself constantly if you fall down. There are several yellow bumper shafts here. Just go right at every opportunity you get. Eventually you should get clear of this section, and the goal is just beyond it. Do NOT hang around here any longer than necessary. It is possible to bounce between two yellow bumpers in such a way that you get permanently trapped. This is a rare occurrence but it happens more often when you stick around this shaft. Congratulations, one act of this place of pain is behind you! *BUG: Super Sonic may have trouble getting through the transport tubes in this zone. I'm not sure why, but sometimes he falls out of a tube as he's going through it. If this is a problem, holding up as you go through the tube may help; otherwise you may have to avoid becoming Super Sonic. Act 2 Go right to a large lava lake (lava too??). Press the button to extend the bridge, and you see a conveyor belt moving small platforms on a belt that goes above and below the lava. Jump on it and you see a small platform floating in the lava to your right. Jump onto it, then immediately to the next conveyor belt as it drops instantly. From the conveyor belt jump right to the solid ledge, where a transport tube is guarded by a red crab. My advice is to get hit by him on purpose and run by him while you are flashing. Once you go through the tube you'll bounce up a shaft lined with yellow bumpers (and get some rings, luckily). Once at the top you'll bounce in one direction or the other; slow down quickly. Waiting on either side of the shaft are two green mantises. Stay away from these guys; they have a pair of fangs which they shoot at you when they see you (which semi-home in on you). Once their fangs are gone they're defenseless but they regain them if you leave the screen and come back. From the yellow bumper shaft you can go left or right. Go right and jump over the fangs the mantis shoots at you, and hit him or jump over him. This is tricky because of the low ceiling so you may take a hit. To the right is a large rotating orange gear. It is a bit tricky to maneuver on but poses no threat to you. Go past it to another gear partially in a wall. Get the Shield below it and go right to some lava, spanned by two blocks with thrusting spears. My advice is to jump onto the first block (time it so you don't hit the spear) and then to the other side without using the second block. Continue right and jump to the ledge above you rather than riding the platform down. (Riding the platform down will take you back in the act). Go right to a nut on a screw. Ride it up a little but then jump into the right wall. It is false (the rings inside the wall are a tipoff). Run through it and on the other side, drop down the screw. You'll land on the nut; ride it down almost to the end of the screw, but not so far it falls off the bottom. Now jump off the nut and hold right hard. Make it a short jump since there's lava below, and the corridor you're trying to enter to the right is a small one. If you're falling too fast you'll miss the corridor and land in the lava. Hopefully you'll make it without getting hit, and you'll find three Super Rings waiting for you. Go right to a small lava pit, with a yellow bumper shaft above it and a platform floating in it. Go up the bumper shaft and hit the Starpost at the top but then immediately turn back around, drop down the shaft onto the floating platform, and jump into the corridor to the right. (If you're wondering why I'm steering you along this hard path, I'll tell you: there's a 1-UP on it). Go right across a bridge, but slowly. Jump over the crab you see when you meet him. Then you come to a rotating gear over a lava pit. Jump into the gear and rotate with it until you see a moving platform to the right. Jump to the platform. To the right will be another gear, with a spear block between the moving platform and the gear. Jump onto the spear block (time it to miss the spear) then onto the gear. This gear rotates counterclockwise and will push you off into the lava unless you are careful. So quickly jump from the gear to the yellow bumpers. Bounce up to another Starpost. Activate it, press the button, and go left to a rotating tube. Go through it and spin dash up the curved wall. You come to a nut. Ride it up VERY SLOWLY. As soon as the ledge above comes into view, stop. You see a mantis on the ledge and it's almost impossible to get by him if he gets a chance to shoot his fangs. But stay low on the nut and he won't see you and will turn around. That's your cue to ride up and hit him from behind (beware, though - the way you jump off nuts, you sometimes jump over him rather than into him). To the right is another nut, with the ledge above so low you can jump to it without moving the nut. This ledge immediately has a mantis and a spike star. The spike star isn't much of a problem since if you run full speed to the right once you get on the ledge and jump over the mantis, you'll be out of range of the star before it explodes. Leap over the mantis and go right to another mantis. Jump over his fangs and defeat him. Now instead of riding the conveyor belt up, drop straight down on the far left. There's a lava pit below - but in the far left corner is a 1-UP, just like in Hill Top Zone! Grab it and bounce up to the conveyor belt with the spring below it. From the top of the conveyor belt jump left to a series of three spear blocks. Remember the spears shoot out in clockwise order. Don't be in a rush - don't jump unless a spear is about to thrust up below you. The blocks are timed so you can make it across if you're careful. Once you cross these three blocks enter the transport tube to the left. After coming out of the tube, go right to a curved wall. Spin dash up the curved wall and land on the moving platform. This is kind of tricky since you have to do it when the moving platform is at its lowest point, but it can be done. If you aren't rolling high enough, power up your spin dash. From the moving platform jump to the left and hit the button to extend a bridge, but watch out for a spike star lurking in the corner. Climb up and go right to some yellow bumpers. Bounce up them and cross your fingers that the many spike stars lining the shaft don't get you. At the top of the first shaft, nab the Shield and immediately go up the second one. Then run right to escape flying spikes and defeat the mantis. You come to a conveyor belt; this one has no1-UP below it, though. Ride it up and jump to the second conveyor belt. Ride it up (beware of spike stars) and go left through a rotating tube. Spin dash up the curved wall and leap off it to land on the moving platform. Bounce on the spring; climb the yellow bumper shaft. At the top go right to the goal. Act 3 When you ended act 2 without a boss but a goal turnstile, your first hope was probably that it was final fight time. Alas, no - the Sonic designers decided to complete your suffering, they'd make you go through yet another full act of Metropolis Zone. Your first encounter in act 3 is with a mantis. Jump over him (mantises are fairly easy to jump over if you know they are there and there isn't a low ceiling or other impediment). To the right are two rotating wheels moving a giant bridge-like thing between them. You need to get onto the bridge either with the platforms to the left (which move rather wildly when you stand on them and jump) or the steam pistons on the floor below (beware though - there is a mantis down there). Once on the slowly rotating bridge stand on the far right side. You'll see a ledge to your right with a crab on it. Wait for the crab to move to the edge of the ledge and begin lunging at you, then jump over him and enter the transport tube behind him. On the other side of the tube go right to two gears, one with a quarter of it in a ledge. Below these gears is an Invincibility. Grab it and get to the right of the gears. But go slowly - two crushing black pistons are ahead (you'd think you'd want to speed ahead while invincible, but that would get you crushed - nasty trick by the designers). Spin dash over the pistons and up the curved wall. Ride the nut to the left up. If you're still invincible, the first few spike stars won't hurt you. Otherwise you must position yourself on the nut to stay out of the flight path of their spikes. It's very tricky. If you get hit and fall, go far enough away and come back - the nut will be back at the bottom. After riding the nut up run left as fast as you can to avoid spike stars in the floor. Once at the left wall, jump to the long moving bridge above you like the one at the beginning. Then jump to the moving platform above it and to the red spring on the right. You go zipping along a level and stop moving at a Starpost and a yellow spring. Bounce up on the yellow spring to a rotating tube. Ride through it and on the other side, drop down and ride the platform down. Go right through a one-way door. Do NOT jump to get those rings or you'll activate three spike stars in the ceiling. Ride the nut up. Ignore the corridor to the right you see, but about that point, jump into the left wall - there's a hidden room in it with a Shield. Continue riding the nut up, then jump to the other nut and ride it up. Then go right over a part of floor with spears continually thrusting up through it. Wait on the nut until the spears pop up then jump off and run over the floor as fast as you can. Then jump to the bridge above rotating between two wheels, but watch out - if you stand on the center of this bridge, you will be crushed. Jump to the left side if this bridge, then jump to the horizontal conveyor belt above (don't worry, you can jump through the conveyor belt). Go left from here to a steam piston. There's a transport tube to the left but it's one-way the other way. Bounce up on the steam piston and go up the yellow bumper shaft. Avoiding the ceiling spikes, go right across three conveyor belts. Then bounce up on another steam piston. A bridge closes beneath you. Go right to a nastily situated mantis. Jump over him if you can, and bounce up the yellow bumpers. Then go right to a very hard section: a long series of spear blocks over a lava lake. I hope you've mastered these blocks by now. The way out is the top left, but to the right there is a Starpost. This Starpost can be a mixed blessing - if you touch it and then die, you'll return to it and have to go back through these blocks with no rings. I feel it's worth it, though. Try to touch the Starpost and then climb up the blocks to the next ledge. Be very careful and observe the next block to make sure it won't thrust its spear up (which is the only position the spear is likely to hurt you in) when you land on it. Also be aware of the block you're on. When you finally get past these blocks, go right a ways over a flat area to two intermeshing gears. These gears cannot crush you, so don't worry. You can't jump from the first gear to the second gear because the second gear rotates counterclockwise, but there is a rd spring below the first gear. Use that to run up the left wall, and land on the moving platform. From there jump over to the third gear. Before jumping to the ledge on the right, be sure to drop down. The intermediate ledge (above the red spring) has a Starpost and a Super Ring. Then bounce back up the red spring and jump from the third gear to the far right ledge. Be very careful of the crab guarding it (it may be best to lure him to the left before jumping over him) and enter the transport tube behind him. Okay, almost done! Go right to two mantises, one on the floor and one on the ceiling. Defeat the one on the floor and ride the nut up a long way. Ignore the spike stars in the right wall - they only activate if you turn left. When you come to a second nut, ride it up. Go very slowly, always holding right to avoid setting off spike stars. When you see a ledge to the left, stop and wait. There's a mantis on that ledge, and because of the low ceiling it's almost impossible to get by him unless he's facing left. Stand still, facing right, until the mantis turns around. Then climb up and jump to the ledge. Defeat the mantis and enter the tube. Hit the final Starpost and ride the moving platform to the right. Beware, falling below it will kill you. When you come to the end of the moving platform's run, go right and you're at the boss. Boss It stands to reason Metropolis Zone should have a pretty tough boss, doesn't it? This guy takes some figuring out how to beat and takes quite a while to beat (about 2 minutes). When the fight starts, Robotnik comes down in his ship which is surrounded by seven white orbs flying around it like Saturn's rings, at close range. These rings protect him from attack. There are, however, some ways to hit him at this point. One, of course, is to get hit yourself and then hit him. This is a bad idea to do regularly but if you get hit use it to hit him (but put recovering a ring first). Another way is to try and hit him at a point where the orbs don't cover him - such points do exist, but only for split seconds. This is very risky and I don't recommend trying it until you've destroyed all but one orb. It is nearly impossible at the beginning. A third, more sneaky, way is to use Tails (with a second controller) to hit him since Tails can take an infinite amount of damage without losing rings or dying. This, of course, requires that you're playing as Sonic and Tails and have a second controller. I have never tried this strategy to confirm it works, but I theorize that it could. In any event, to proceed normally, Robotnik will move back and forth along the floor, and you must jump over him twice. This is harder than it looks because it seems you can't jump as high in this battle for some reason. You need to clear both him and his orbs - it's difficult. I recommend staying in the corners so you can get a running start. After successfully leaping over him twice he'll move to the center of the screen - stay in a corner. He'll expend the orbs to cover the entire room except the corners, so make sure you're in one. Then he'll move the orbs back to rotating around his ship, but this time, leaving the bottom of it unprotected. So hit him from below and h immediately moves up out of range, and one of the orbs transforms into a miniature version of Robotnik. Destroy that and repeat the process until all the orbs are gone. This takes quite a while and is very taxing. Then he moves to the side of the screen and starts firing lasers sideways - just hit him once from below to defeat him. Crack open the final animal prison and leave the ground for good! 6i. Sky Chase Zone Now the game changes the rules a little. The last three zones all only have one act. You no longer receive any end of act bonus points either. Also, you now play as Sonic alone if you're playing a Sonic and Tails game. This zone is pure bliss. The music and background are awesome - you're flying above the clouds, running on the wings of a red biplane flown by Tails. Tails is such a good pilot the plane always remains under you wherever you move, so you can never fall off. You can jump, move left or right (in general it is best to stay as far left as possible to see what's coming up) and use up and down to change your altitude. Your only problem is with three kinds of enemies patrolling these skies. One is a large red plane that looks like a bird and charges across the screen from the right - stay out of their way or spin dash into them. Another enemy looks like a turtle in a cockpit that floats up and down and drops mines down if you fly below it, so jump and take it out. This guy also usually appears in groups. The third enemy isn't much trouble - it's a robot standing on top of a turtle who is stationary, and occasionally makes the turtle's mouth spit a fireball. The turtle cannot hurt you in any way and once you defeat its rider you can stand on it temporarily. There are rings you should try to collect. The only caution I can give you is try not to get hit since it's very difficult to recover rings with the way you move. Also moving around - especially down - is sometimes a little awkward. Nevertheless this zone is very easy, compared to what you just did and what's to come. The zone forces you to move forward with forced scrolling, though the pace is fairly slow and tranquil. About two thirds through, you fly through a huge battleship. You'll fight on that battleship in the next zone. At the end of the zone there is no boss - you just run off the screen and it's off to... 6j. Wing Fortress Zone This is the last normal level of the game. It's pretty tough - it's a very long act - but I know a couple of shortcuts that'll make it much faster. There are a couple of very aggravating sections though, so don't expect a cakewalk. It begins with you flying on your plane and lasers are firing at you. Just as a red ledge comes into view, a laser hits you and you begin losing altitude. As soon as this happens, jump onto the red walkway. If you don't, you will die. Tails will be OK. Now you are on Robotnik's giant flying battleship. Head right but jump over the little metal slider you see on the floor - that will limit the number of rings you get. Drop down a level and run left. Drop down again and go right, collecting rings. Run over two platforms that make you float above them. You soon come to the only enemy in this zone: a chicken robot who pops out of holes in the floor and shoots bullets sideways. Defeat him. Now you are at the first shortcut. To your right is a metal slider device that will zip you right, but above you is a metal walkway that seems out of jumping range. From the chicken's hole (which is actually slightly elevated from the floor) jump up to it. It may take many attempts to reach the walkway. Just keep jumping and holding right and be persistent. When you do make it go right and get a Shield. Then jump up and right. Above you is a fan that, if you jump up and hold right, will usually suck you up to a higher level. You will crash into one of two enemies immediately and lose your Shield, but it's well worth it (defeat the enemies immediately). If for some reason the fan does not suck you up, it's probably because you didn't jump far enough right and you'll have to jump up to the walkway again. On the higher level the way you should go is left, but instead go right. Run quickly over the fan that gives you a lift, and the swiveling gun above it will miss you if you're going full speed. To the right defeat another chicken facing the wrong way. Then jump down onto the four metal platforms rotating in a circle. Now comes the second big shortcut. Jump to the ledge to the right of the platforms. You see a large propeller to your right. Run into it and you'll get hit. While you are flashing, run through it. Right behind it is the end of the ledge - jump AS FAR AS POSSIBLE to the right. You'll see two belts of moving platforms that continuously move down, disappearing into the wall at the bottom of the belt. You don't want to land on the first (higher) belt because the platform will disappear as soon as you land on it. You must land on the next belt to the right, even though it's farther away. Hopefully you will make it. Falling at any point along here will kill you. Now for the most aggravating part (in my opinion) of the game. To the right you'll see a small ledge that blends in very well with the background that appears and disappears. To avoid falling when the platform you're on disappears into the wall, jump continuously to keep jumping to the next higher platform. Observe the ledge to the right and when it comes out of the wall, jump to it. Now you need to jump across a series of about eight ledges like this one to the right. You must go very quickly because they will disappear and you'll fall if you're not fast enough. They are supposed to be timed to make it possible to get across, but sometimes the next ledge you must jump to isn't there like it's supposed to be. Hopefully, this won't happen. To avoid losing time in your jumps make short jumps by just tapping the jump button (that are still sufficient to get you to the next platform). When (and if) you do finally make it across, you'll come to a solid ledge with a Starpost. Breathe a sigh of relief - the worst is over, and you've skipped past over half the zone. To the right of the Starpost is a metal slider. Touch it and it will zip you right sending you over a bottomless pit. However, right on the other side is another metal slider that will send you back, so as soon as you land, JUMP! If you hit the other slider by accident you'll be sent back - don't panic, the first slider is waiting for you and will send you over again. You can keep going back and forth until you finally jump over the slider on the right ledge. Then go right and run up the conveyor belt. Jump to the rotating platforms and then to the hook above. It carries you up. Jump left and ride another hook up. Go left and grab a concealed Super Ring, then go right and touch the metal slider. It zips you right and you land just right of another slider. Touch it as well and when you stop moving, go back left, and climb up to the next left. Then go right onto brown floor instead of metal floor. Go right to the final Starpost. Touch it, then jump on the gray bump in the floor to open the path inside of the battleship. Go right to the boss. Boss This is a really hard boss. You're trapped in a room by two lasers, and Robotnik is behind the right laser. On the ceiling is a slowly moving laser eye. You need to hit that eight times to beat this boss. The catch is, it begins closed. After a while it opens and turns red. Then you see it flash, and after a few seconds it fires a blue laser beam down at you. Then, after a few more seconds, it closes again. The only time you can hit it is after it opens but before it fires. But it's out of your jumping range, so you have to make do with three tiny platforms (about as wide as you are) with spikes on their bottoms that fly around the room. It's very difficult to position yourself on the correct platform as it flies under the laser eye WHEN it's open. The platforms' movements are very erratic. To make matters worse, one controller error when jumping onto a platform could make you hit its spikes instead. By all means, TAKE IT SLOW - you have plenty of time, and you should certainly wait for good hitting opportunities rather than make do with fair ones. Get used to the platforms' movement, keep track of where each one is and will be and avoid the spikes (which cause more hits than the laser) and avoid risky moves like hitting the eye right before it fires. And expect to lose a couple of lives before you get the hang of this boss. After winning at last, Robotnik goes down and the lasers sealing you in the room disappear. Don't follow Robotnik just yet - first, jump over the hole where he was, and run into the area to the right. In there, invisible, is one last 1-UP. Make sure you grab it, then drop down. You automatically run right to see Robotnik escape in a small flying shuttle. Tails shows up with your plane fixed up, and you jump on the wing to pursue Robotnik. You automatically grab onto his shuttle and are escorted into space to Robotnik's secret weapon... 6k. Death Egg Zone This isn't much of a zone. Just go right and you face Robo-Sonic. Robo-Sonic Remember that in this and the next battle, you have no rings, so any hit will kill you. That's what makes these fights so hard. Robo-Sonic - a slightly larger metallic clone of yourself - will come down on the right first. Hitting him is rather tricky. You must make a very short jump - by just tapping the jump button - and hit him in the forehead. Spin dashing into him won't work, nor will hitting him where there are spikes on the back of his head. You can get in up to two hits by bouncing twice on his forehead before he turns into a spiked wheel and zips across the floor at you. Obviously he is invulnerable when in this form. After this he'll stay himself for a moment in the left corner, then jet across the room without becoming the spiked wheel two times. The second time he turns into a wheel he jumps as he rolls across the floor. You can try to stand in the right place and he'll jump over you, but I prefer standing in the right corner and jumping over him as he comes down from his jump. After these first two times I don't know his sequence of normal dashes, jump dashes and jets in normal form, so you'll have to react quickly and position yourself well (usually in the opposite corner from him when he's in wheel form). A ways into the battle he may even shoot his spikes at you but hopefully you'll defeat him before then. I don't know why most people think Robo-Sonic is easy - I found him to be quite hard, since to hit him you need to make a very short and very accurate jump. You are going to have to take some risks to win here, so try to hit him whenever he waits in a corner between attacks. Avoid those spikes on the back of his head at all costs. Just keep hitting him, master the short, accurate jump necessary, and stay on top of his attacks and you should be okay. He takes eight hits to beat. After winning run right and pursue Robotnik through a hallway. He jumps into an enormous robot that rises from the floor and becomes about four times as tall as you. Time for the final fight. Final Battle What final battle music! This is fought in a room about two and a half screens wide. Robotnik's robot will take four steps toward you, half a step back, then launch off the screen. How he can do that when he is obviously so heavy I do not know. You have to jump and hit him, but the trouble is he has two spiked fists about halfway up his body. Touching these or his legs will kill you (and force you to fight Robo-Sonic again). You must jump and hit him ABOVE the spiked fists. This is very difficult to do at any time, but the safest times to do it are when he is standing still and not taking a step. You CAN try to hit him when he is walking, but it's considerably more risky (although the only way to win the battle quickly). I recommend only hitting him when he stands still a moment before he launches and right after he appears or lands. Don't hit him when he takes his last step forward since one of his fists will be extended forward (that's what makes hitting him when he's walking so dangerous). After he launches (you should have two hits at this point) run to the far left and charge up a spin dash to the right. A white target circle appears on you and follows you wherever you go. Just sit tight, revving up for a spin dash. When a smaller circle appears inside the larger one, it means the target has locked on (and won't follow you). Be very watchful for this and immediately spin dash right. Robotnik will come down (with a crash that shakes the whole room) where the target locked on. He will then shoot both fists at you, one at a time. But, the fists don't fly all the way across the room. Since you made him land on the far left, and your spin dash carried you over to the far right, you are perfectly safe if you stay put. Robotnik will, after launching his fists, launch again and another target circle appears on you. This time don't rev up a spin dash. Instead, when the target locks on, step to the left so Robotnik won't land on you, then quickly turn around and hit him as he lands. When he comes down he bends down (as if he's bowing to you) and this means you don't have to jump as high to hit him if you time it correctly. But doing this requires you react quickly when the target locks on and that you turn around nimbly and at the right place. If you got behind Robotnik (you didn't - he should have landed at the far right) he'll stay stationary and launch two mines at you. The mines fall where you were standing when they launched and explode shortly after they land. Robotnik is not, to my knowledge, vulnerable from behind so this is to your disadvantage. If you are in front of Robotnik he will repeat his initial sequence of walking toward you. Stay away until he takes half a step back, then hit him once above his fists before he launches. Repeat this pattern over and over. It's slow (unless you get additional hits in by hitting Robotnik when he's walking) at two hits per sequence but it works and is as safe as you can get. You have loads of time, but don't let the pressure of delivering those last few hits break your nerves and cause you to mess up. Deliver each hit and do each maneuver with the same precision and alertness. I hope you have plenty of lives - that will take some of the pressure off if you do. Robotnik's robot takes TWELVE hits to destroy instead of the usual eight. After victory, run right and you'll find a hallway opened for you. There are explosions behind you. Just keep running and don't roll. I don't know if the explosions can kill you if they catch up but I never wanted to find out. At the end of the hallway run out of the Death Egg. Congratulations - you have completed Sonic the Hedgehog 2! Enjoy the ending! 7. Conclusion I hope you enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It is, in my opinion, the best game ever released for the Sega Genesis. If you want more Sonic or get tired of Sonic 2, fear not - there's Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which I'm planning on starting a FAQ/walkthrough for next. There are several other Sonic games for Sega Genesis too. I hope to have it out possibly within two weeks. I have more time for writing now than I used to, and I've caught the Sonic bug again. Once again, this FAQ/walkthrough is copyright William Walker, all rights reserved. It was completed July 7, 2003. Check with me before you post it on your web site, and don't do any illegal activities with it (such as selling it for profit). Thank you. And once again, I am very open to most e-mails with questions, comments or additions. Drop me a line at email@example.com . I'm waiting for your e-mails! Good luck and Enjoy Sonic the Hedgehog 2!
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