Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a video game for the Mega Drive starring Sonic the Hedgehog. Released on the 21st November 1992 (dubbed "Sonic 2sday"), the game went on to be the biggest ever selling Sonic game and the top seller for the Mega Drive. Hotly anticipated after the success of the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, the new entry introduced Miles "Tails" Prower, a character who would go on to appear in almost all subsequent games and be a prominent Sonic the Comic hero.
As in most of the early Sonic games, the plot was very thin on the ground. Doctor Ivo Robotnik has returned to cause havoc and isn't particularly treading new ground, once again capturing fluffy animals to use as organic batteries for his deadly Badnik army. This time, however, Robotnik has a satelite hovering above the skies of Mobius - the Death Egg! It's down to Sonic (and new friend Tails) to free the innocents and put an end to Robotnik's plans of world domination once more.
Throughout the game, Sonic and Tails pass seemlessly through eleven different Zones, fighting Badniks as they go. Cutscenes are very thin on the ground, the only ones being the bi-plane's destruction by the Wing Fortress, Sonic's ascent to the Death Egg and the final movie.
Being an early game in the series, the number of major characters was minimal. Sonic the Hedgehog returned as the main hero, along with arch-nemesis Doctor Robotnik. Tails was added to the playable character roster, playing identically to Sonic. As well as them, minor character stuck inside Badniks were Tux, Flicky, Picky, Pocky, Rocky and Ricky. Super Sonic was also introduced for the first time.
Sonic 2 was an extension on Sonic 1's levels, adding an extra 4 or 5 areas to the mix (although the original game had 3 acts per level, compared to Sonic 2's offering of two (on most occasions)). All of them, bar one, have featured in STC:
- Emerald Hill Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Aquatic Ruin Zone
- Casino Night Zone
- Hill Top Zone
- Mystic Cave Zone
- Oil Ocean Zone
- Metropolis Zone
- Sky Chase Zone
- Wing Fortress Zone
- Death Egg Zone
As well as these, several levels were planned for the game but were cut due to time restraints. Those that eventually made it into Sonic the Comic were the Hidden Palace Zone (although the Sonic & Knuckles version) and the Dust Hill Zone. The game's Special Stages would become an early version of the Special Zone.
Sonic 2 had already been released by the time Sonic the Comic was first published, so no adaptation was required. There are at least two mentions of the events of this game, however. The first is in the story Attack on the Death Egg, where Sonic and Tails return to both Wing Fortress and the Death Egg I. They access Wing Fortress by means of Tails' biplane once again, and on reaching the Death Egg, Sonic encounters Silver Sonic again and mentions his previous encounter with it in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The second mention of Sonic and Tails' adventures in this game are in the story A Tale of Tails, in which the Kintobor Computer informs the reader of Robotnik's return and Sonic and Tails' first meeting in the Swampland Zone.
The Zones themselves became highly significant areas in the STC world. Emerald Hill would later become the home of the Freedom Fighters, first operating secretly out of Kintobor's Laboratory before moving out into the open with the Control Center. Many of the comic's early characters hailed from Emerald Hill and it was Robotnik's greatest desire to eradicate its people, colloquially known as the Emerald Hill folk. The Metropolis Zone became the world's capital, originally dominated by Citadel Robotnik. Similarly, the Chemical Plant Zone was built right next to the Emerald Hill Zone and all of its residents were forced to work in the toxic factories.
Other areas were used less often. The Aquatic Ruin was said to be a remote area, with very few residents. The only one seen was an old Drakon Sentinel who commited suicide after realising his people had left him. Casino Night was a recurring area of sin, watched over by the slimy Max Gamble and later infiltrated by The Family. Hill Top was another remote area, originally only populated by a tribe of birds led by Chief Kordon. It would later become known that the Zone was home to the High Academy and Dunzi, impatient leader of the Household Keepers. Mystic Cave was home to Captain Plunder and Doctor Sun, while the Oil Ocean Zone was the location of two of Sonic's missions, both times seeing him turn into Super Sonic. Finally, the Wing Fortress remained how it was in the game, barely functioning and the Death Egg was seen to crash into the ocean, still guarded by a broken Silver Sonic.
Arguably the game's longest-lasting piece is Tails, a character who has gone on to star in a long series of solo strips, as well as being Sonic's sidekick in his stories. Tails has been called home to the Nameless Zone, mistaken as a Zonerunner in the Chemical Plant Zone and has since become the hero of Mobius in Sonic the Comic Online, with the world believing Sonic to be a terrorist. Super Sonic has also become a fan favourite from the game, although taking on a slightly murderous side in his appearances.
Many Badniks from the game have featured in STC:
- Chop Chop
Due to Sega re-releasing classic games at a cutdown price, David Gibbon reviewed Sonic 2 for the first time in Issue 83. The game was awarded 91%, calling it one of Sonic's all-time bests but said there wasn't much point if you already had it.
The game featured heavily in the Sega Charts. It appeared in Issue 1 and sporadically remained in the charts right until Issue 108, the comic's last outing of the feature. In this time, the game was seen in the chart over 45 different fortnights, a record for the charts. It moved up to fourth after a 15 issue gap in Issue 40 and finally moved up to 4th in Issue 42. The game fell out of the charts then, but came back 23 issues later in Issue 65, its longest absence. Sonic 2 also boasts being the best-performing Sonic game and overall game, despite never making it to Number 1 thanks to it being released before STC's first issue.