[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_1385_6.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Are you up 2 it?!]]

->''An attitude, tons of enemies, and a running mate with the mind of a four year old. (No, it's not another presidential election).''
-->--[[http://info.sonicretro.org/images/2/2c/S2_ElectronicGamingMonthly_Issue41_December1992_Page223.jpg EGM Promo for the game]]

The sequel of the original ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 Sonic the Hedgehog]]'', and proof that Creator/{{Sega}}'s [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog little blue mascot]] wouldn't be going away anytime soon.

This game is notable for introducing Sonic's [[TagalongKid buddy]] Tails, Super Sonic (the eponymous character's Emerald-powered super form), and the Spin Dash technique – all have become series staples. It is the second best selling [[UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis Sega Mega Drive/Genesis]] game of all time, selling over six million copies, only outsold by its predecessor's 20,000,000 mark.[[note]]However, most of ''Sonic 1''[='=]s sales came from being a pack-in to the Genesis, with 4 million selling standalone, so ''Sonic 2'' is also the bestselling ''standalone'' game for the console.[[/note]]

Like its predecessor, ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' had both a 16-bit and 8-bit version, but unlike its predecessor, both versions had different stories.

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[[AC:The 16-bit version]]

Released for the Sega Mega Drive in Japan on Saturday, November 21, 1992, and in Europe and North America on Tuesday, November 24, 1992 (one day before Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' hit theaters, and a date nicknamed "Sonic [[{{Pun}} 2sday]]" during its marketing campaign).

While out on adventure, Sonic landed his biplane, the Tornado, on the dainty and pleasant Westside Island to take a break. While there, Sonic meets a shy fox cub named Miles Prower, called "Tails" by the animal inhabitants of the island due to the fact that he has two tails. Sonic allows Tails to tag along with him, and surprisingly the fox can keep up with him by rotating his two tails like a propeller. Tails also has a young interest in machinery, as evident when he excitedly examines the Tornado while Sonic is napping.

Meanwhile, [[BigBad Dr. Eggman]], [[IHaveManyNames also known as Dr. Robotnik]], still smarting from his defeat on South Island, has [[TakeOverTheWorld gone global]]: he followed Sonic and started operations on the other side of the island, managing to covertly produce a new generation of Badniks. While there, he is also privy to the legends that tell of a seventh ''lost'' Chaos Emerald that belonged to a previous civilization -- and quickly realizes that the other Chaos Emeralds that scattered are also resting within the island's depths. Making his move to grab the island's resources, he hopes to complete his weaponized space station, [[{{Homage}} the Death Egg]]. It's up to Sonic to stop him, but he's going to need help... and a vulpine pilot to make [[Film/ANewHope the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs]].

''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' kicks everything up a notch. The gameplay is faster than its predecessor. It features 11 Zones, most of which have two Acts; to compensate for having one Act less per Zone than its predecessor, the Acts here are quite a bit longer. Debuting here is the Spin Dash, a technique where Sonic (or Tails) spins in place, revs up, and takes off as a spinning ball of doom, allowing players to destroy Badniks without having to jump and gain instant speed to go up slopes and loops. Also making its debut is the super form; here, after collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds and gathering 50 rings, Sonic turns into [[SuperMode Super Sonic]], a golden hedgehog who's even ''faster'' than his regular form and possesses a higher jump (as well as [[NighInvulnerability invulnerability]]). The Special Stages were also {{retool}}ed, introducing a "non-stop 3D movement" philosophy that would be embraced by the Special Stages of its successors. Thanks to these improvements and additions, ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' is a massive fan favorite, not to mention the second-best-selling Mega Drive game of all time (right behind its predecessor, of course). To this day, critics often hail it as one of the best games in the franchise.

The game is the first part in a three game arc regarding the Death Egg, being resolved in the [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo bipartite game]], ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic 3 & Knuckles]]''.

In 2013, off the heels of the similarly remade ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' and original ''Sonic the Hedgehog'', ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' (and, by extension, ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2]]'') was remade in the Retro Engine by [[AscendedFanboy Christian "The Taxman" Whitehead and Simon "Stealth" Thomley]]. This time, Sonic and Tails's team-up ability returns and Tails now has the ability to fly and swim, something that he was unable to do by himself in the original version. The remake also adds a new [[BossRush Boss Attack Zone]] and Hidden Palace Zone. The two-player mode also underwent a major upgrade. Chemical Plant Zone, Aquatic Ruin Zone, Hill Top Zone, and Oil Ocean Zone are now available, Knuckles is no longer confined to the single-player experience, both players can be the same character competitively, and each player's screen occupies their own device (rather than appearing in a split-screen as in the original).

In 2015, another remake was released for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS titled ''3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2''. Developed by M2, it's the final game in their ''3D Classics'' series for the handheld. In addition to 3D enhanced visuals, the game also comes with the ability to play either the International or Japanese versions, the option to enable a screen filter emulating the look of a CRT television, the option to immediately access the stage select, the ability to record replays, a save state feature, and finally, a new "Ring Keep" mode, which eases less experienced players in by starting each stage or life with 10 rings and only lose half of them each time they get hit. Unfortunately, this version lacks the extra content from the 2013 remake.
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!! Tropes appearing in this version:
* HundredPercentCompletion: The "perfect bonus", awarded for picking up (not necessarily retaining) all the rings in an Act. It's not possible in every Act.
* {{Acrofatic}}: Dr. Eggman turns out to be this when fleeing Sonic into the Death Egg Robot. How he [[FridgeLogic outruns Sonic]] [[StoryDrivenInvulnerability is unclear.]]
* ActionBomb: Telstars/Asterons.
* AirborneAircraftCarrier: Wing Fortress Zone.
* AirborneMook: Stinger/Buzzer ([[{{Expy}} based off the previous game's Buzz Bomber]]), Bun Bun/Whisp, [[GoddamnedBats Flasher, Seadra/Aquis]], and everything in the Sky Chase Zone.
* AllThereInTheManual: Whilst both the Japanese and English manuals provide the names of all the regular Badniks in the game, the Japanese strategy guides also provide names for all the bosses.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: The Japanese box art is [[http://www.soniczone0.com/games/sonic2/backgroundinfo/full/s2-bginfo-detailsimg5full.jpg somewhat abstract]], while the Western box art has a massive Dr. Robotnik trying to crush the number 2 with his bare hands against a dark background.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures:
** If you're playing as Knuckles, via a locked-on ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic & Knuckles]]'' cartridge for ''Knuckles in Sonic 2'', whenever you touch a [[{{Checkpoint}} Star Post]], your Ring count at that point will be recorded. Exiting a Special Stage that you entered there or respawning at that checkpoint after a death will restore your Ring count, instead of putting you back at 0 Rings. This feature wasn't retained in the 2013 remake.
** The 3DS version has a Ring Keep mode that makes Sonic start off every level and life with 10 Rings in hand, and only lose half his Rings when he's hit. Not only does this also negate the aforementioned problem of Rings after Special Stages, it also gives you a better fighting chance in certain stages, including the final boss.
* ArtEvolution: [[http://info.sonicretro.org/images/5/58/Z_cn05.png The original version]] of Casino Night Zone, with its pink and blue card suit motif, is vastly different from the [[https://i.ytimg.com/vi/WmdseeZBiz4/hqdefault.jpg final version's]] more Vegas-like design.
* ArtificialStupidity: Tails without a second player. To the point where on certain levels, he can spend more time dead than alive despite being invulnerable to enemies.
* AscendedMeme: The infamous spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2 [[spoiler:is where you access Hidden Palace Zone]] in the 2013 remake.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: As indicated by the end of Wing Fortress Zone and the end of Death Egg Zone, both Sonic and Tails can breathe in space, but not in water.
* BadassArmfold: [[SmugSuper Super Sonic]] does this when he's leaning over a ledge.
* BigDamnHeroes: Tails gets such a moment in the normal ending by flying the Tornado to catch Sonic in the sky after the Death Egg's explosion. If playing as Tails alone, Sonic gets this moment instead. If all seven Emeralds are collected as Sonic, he goes Super after leaving the Death Egg and flies alongside the Tornado instead.
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler:Featured in the 2013 remake's Hidden Palace Zone, in place of the Mystic Cave Zone boss during gameplay.]]
* BonusFeatureFailure: Tails is identical to Sonic in every way, with one exception: unlike Sonic, he cannot go Super.[[note]]The player couldn't actually control his signature flying ability while playing as him until ''VideoGame/SonicChaos'' [[OlderThanTheyThink and slightly later in 16-bit in]] ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', and he also had a lowered jump height and running speed.[[/note]] The 2013 remake averts it by including Tails's flight, but it can be turned off via a cheat.
* BonusStageCollectables: The Chaos Emeralds are back, and they are collected the same way as before (enter and complete Special Stages). This time, however, there are seven of them, and to access the Special Stages, you now have to pass a checkpoint with 50 rings and enter the portal above it.
* BossOnlyLevel: The final zone, the Death Egg, only has one act and two bosses in it, and just like the original game, no rings are in this level, necessitating a FlawlessVictory (unless you're playing an easier difficulty in ''VideoGame/SonicJam'' or one of the 3DS version's alternate modes).
* BossRush: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Boss Attack Zone]] is included in the 2013 remake. The [[WhatCouldHaveBeen cut]] Egg Gauntlet Zone would have combined this with AllTheWorldsAreAStage.
* ButtMonkey: Tails is, as one "Let's Play" author on Website/YouTube put it, gaming's first meat shield.
* CanonImmigrant: The "Grey Emerald" was a unique Chaos Emerald in the older [[ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehogPromoComic promotional comics]] (which was reused as the backstory in certain materials such as ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic''). The newly uncovered Chaos Emerald is a similar color.
* CasinoPark: Casino Night Zone.
* CharacterSelectForcing: Downplayed, but when playing alone, the default "Sonic and Tails" option is a little more difficult than playing either of them alone. In the Special Stages, you need more rings to succeed, and the computer Tails is very unlikely to make up the difference. It's also possible to put Tails in front in these stages, which is not good. Outside of Special Stages, Tails is liable to hit Eggman at the worst possible time, causing Sonic to go through him, which is particularly deadly in the Chemical Plant Zone encounter. Also, Tails Alone isn't quite as good as Sonic Alone in the original version, since he doesn't have a super form and doesn't have the flying ability to make up for it.
* ClassicCheatCode: Aside from the series' standard level select and debug codes, this game has a code to replace "Tails" with "Miles" throughout the game's interface.
* CoconutMeetsCranium: In Emerald Hill Zone, the Ai Ai/Coconuts enemy tosses coconuts, which can hit the player on the head if he's not careful.
* ComicBookAdaptation:
** Issues 228 and 229 of ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' feature Sonic and Tails, along with Sally, Antoine, and Rotor, traveling through some of the game's levels.
** Issue 6 of ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'' had a story in which Sonic and Tails travel through the last two zones of the game in order to prevent the destroyed Death Egg from crashing into the Emerald Hill Zone.
* ContinuingIsPainful: This game is an example in which continuing after something beneficial happens can be painful: once you go into a Special Stage, you come back out with no rings. Thankfully, this isn't the case when playing as Knuckles in the original version of ''Knuckles in Sonic 2''. In the 2013 remake, however, Knuckles also loses all of the rings when he comes out of a Special Stage.
* CoolPlane: The Tornado. It even gains a rocket booster in the finale.
* CoOpMultiplayer: Of the tag-along variety; in single player, a second player can control Tails. However, his flight ability can only be used when AI controlled. There is versus mode multiplayer as well.
* CreditsMedley: The credits music plays a medley of all the themes you heard in each Zone.
* CrosshairAware: A crosshair follows Sonic around during the FinalBoss fight when it jumps into the air and tries to land on him.
* DeathMountain: Hill Top Zone is essentially a harder version of Emerald Hill Zone with lava incorporated.
* DevelopersForesight: In the 2013 remake, Knuckles' eyes won't peek out of the bushes if you beat the game as him.
* DisneyOwnsThisTrope: Sega holds patents for the [[http://www.strutpatent.com/patent/054112729/video-game-with-spiral-loop-graphics corkscrews from Emerald Hill]], the [[http://www.strutpatent.com/patent/055133070/video-game-with-switchable-collision-graphics loops from Aquatic Ruin]] which are crossed by an alternate path and also [[http://www.strutpatent.com/patent/054112702/split-screen-video-game-with-character-playfield-position-exchange the teleportation item from Vs. mode]].
* DoWellButNotPerfect: The infamous spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2 is only really a problem for Super Sonic and speedrunners. Regular Sonic's jump arc will automatically snag a switch that lowers a drawbridge, while Super Sonic has a bad tendency to swoop through the air too fast and miss it.
* DroughtLevelOfDoom: Death Egg Zone. VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. One midboss and the FinalBoss. ''[[OneHitPointWonder No rings]]''.
* DubInducedPlothole: The Western manuals have a different account of the game's storyline, stating that Tails had been a huge fan of Sonic's for as long as he could remember. It also implies that the game takes place on the same island as the first, which is incompatible with later sources which sides with the original Japanese storyline. This pretty much singlehandedly generated the entire concept of "[[FanNickname [=SegaSonic=]]]" in the late '90s/early 2000s fandom. As a result, the Japanese storyline is used in later re-releases.
* DubNameChange: The main antagonist and virtually all the robots were once again renamed in localization, and this time, the Japanese version was released first by a few days; unlike the first game, however, "EGGMAN-01" is written on Wing Fortress, and there is a mildly recurring "EG" symbol (replaced with an emblem of his head later in the series), both of which are present in all regions.
* DuelBoss: The battles at the Wing Fortress and Death Egg Zones, since even in Sonic and Tails mode, Tails is shot down in the Tornado on the way there.
* DummiedOut:
** A couple of Zones met this fate, most notably the Hidden Palace Zone, of which you can find its rather somber BGM (track 10) in the final version. Hidden Palace Zone finally appears ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic & Knuckles]]''. However, the ''Sonic & Knuckles'' version of Hidden Palace looks completely different. [[http://www.joystiq.com/2013/12/11/remastered-sonic-the-hedgehog-2-hits-android-ios-tomorrow-with/ The planned Zone was reimagined on the iOS and Android versions as part of a December 2013 update]], although the 2P Mystic Cave Zone music plays instead.
** In the 2013 remake, the original concept for [[BossRush Boss Attack Zone]], Egg Gauntlet Zone, is still in the game and can be played in its entirety if you know how to access the dev menu.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** Unlike games from ''VideoGame/SonicChaos'' onward, you can't fly while playing as Tails (except in the 2013 remake).
** Like the first game, collecting all the Chaos Emeralds only causes minor changes in the ending. You can't even use Super Sonic in the final boss battle, since Death Egg Zone has no rings.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: Casino Night Zone is one of the easiest levels in the game. It also has the first truly challenging boss.
* EternalEngine: A number of Zones, but most notably Chemical Plant Zone and Metropolis Zone.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Mystic Cave Zone and Metropolis Zone.
* EvilOverlooker: Dr. Robotnik in the Western poster and box art.
* FakeDifficulty: Like the last game, you lose all your rings whenever you start a new level. This makes the final level a nightmare for many players since it has no rings.
* FinalBoss: Eggman's Death Egg Robot modeled after him and sporting a jetpack, shooting spiked arms, and bombs is the very last challenge in ''Sonic 2''. It's fought right after Silver Sonic, and losing to this machine means having to go through Silver Sonic once again. The Death Egg Robot returned as the first boss in ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' and ''VideoGame/SonicMania''.
* GameBreakingBug:
** Whatever you do, do ''not'' try to turn back into Super Sonic again at the end of a level (where touching a Goal Plate or Capsule cancels out Super Sonic automatically); most of the time, doing so will trap Sonic in mid-air, preventing the game from moving on to the next level, and thus forcing the player to reset the game. It should be noted that this only applies to the first versions of the game. A later revision released on the ''Sonic Classics'' cartridge fixed this glitch.
** Turning into Super Sonic while you complete the Wing Fortress level will leave you unable to finish the level. Super Sonic jumps too high and this causes him to miss the scripted event of Tails's plane flying below to catch him, which in turn causes you to plummet to your death and replay the battle or level again.
* GameMod: There are many romhacks of the game, including:
** ''Yoshi in Sonic 2'', a mod that near-perfectly transplants and merges the gameplay of ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'' with Sonic 2's levels.
** ''VideoGame/Sonic2XL'', a very funny ([[NintendoHard and very hard]]) hack that makes Sonic fatter if you grab rings.
** ''Sonic 2 Dimps Edition'', a hack designed as a TakeThat to the Creator/{{Dimps}}-developed ''Sonic'' games (i.e. the ''Sonic Advance Trilogy'', the ''Sonic Rush'' games, ''Sonic 4'', etc.) featuring neutered physics, loads of superflous speed boosters in each level, a homing attack, a botched soundtrack, and Sonic uncurling after hitting a Badnik or Spring.
** ''Sonic Classic Heroes'', one of the most extensive mods, combines the original game with ''Sonic 2'' and allows you to play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles all at once, switching off in a similar fashion to ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes''. You can also play with [[VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix the Chaotix]], who can even be tethered together as in ''Knuckles Chaotix''. The game also has several other enhancements (such as the elemental barriers from ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'' and the Super Peel-Out from ''Sonic CD'').
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: If you're playing as Sonic and Tails, both characters are present in the Special Stages even during Wing Fortress Zone, where Tails is absent.
* GreenHillZone: Emerald Hill Zone, essentially an easier variation on the original Green Hill Zone. Emerald Hill's sister the Hill Top Zone shares the same graphics as Emerald Hill, but also combines its setting with DeathMountain and LethalLavaLand.
* GoldenEnding: The 2013 remake one-ups the original ending: [[spoiler:Get all seven Emeralds and, at the credits, you'll watch the Death Egg crash on a certain island and, as Eggman stomps his feet in front of his wrecked mecha, [[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles a certain guardian's eyes peek out of the bushes]].]]
* HailfirePeaks: Several Zones don't fit well into any one category, such as Hill Top Zone (DeathMountain[=/=]GreenHillZone[=/=]LethalLavaLand) and Aquatic Ruin Zone (TempleOfDoom / halfhearted UnderTheSea). Casino Night Zone is one part CasinoPark and one part PinballZone.
* HumanCannonball: One of the more fun ways of getting around Oil Ocean Zone is to shoot yourself out of the various cannons dotted throughout the level.
* HumongousMecha: [[FinalBoss The Death Egg Robot]].
* IdleAnimation:
** As in the previous game, Sonic will [[BreakingTheFourthWall glare at the player]] and tap his foot impatiently if left idle for more than a few seconds. However, he will also periodically [[InstantWristwatch glance at his watch]], and if you leave him idle for long enough, he will lounge on the ground while still glaring at the player for doing nothing.
** Tails, if left idle, will look at the player expectantly, yawning every few seconds.
* InconvenientlyPlacedConveyorBelt: Metropolis Zone has quite a few.
* ImpossiblyGracefulGiant: Averted by the Death Egg Robot, who moves rather slowly. Made ironic by Dr. Eggman's running skills shown before the battle.
* InvincibleMinorMinion:
** Guardon/Crawl in the Casino Night Zone can only be destroyed by spinning or rolling into him from behind: attacks from above or the front bounce harmlessly off its pinball bumper shield. On the other hand, it's fairly passive and if you don't bother it, it won't bother you. An appropriate enemy for the CasinoPark level.
** The Flashers in the Mystic Cave Zone are invincible when lit up (even when Sonic himself has the invincibility power-up, he'll just pass straight through them without destroying them).
* IronButtMonkey: Tails can shrug off anything, rotoring his way back into the action even if he was just ''killed'' seconds before.
* KaizoTrap:
** In Emerald Hill Zone Act 2, you can die from Spin Dashing right at the start of the level -- a Masher will pop up from below and kill you on the spot.
** Sort of. During the boss fight in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2, the ground on either side of the arena flips periodically, sending whatever's on them into the water and the pit just beneath the surface. Since there's probably no hope for you if you fall in, you still have to be careful after the boss is beaten, because the platforms still flip. It doesn't help that said boss is [[WakeUpCallBoss suddenly harder than what little you've already gone through]].
** A ''literal'' kaizo trap can happen [[http://youtu.be/abY5jprIF3E at the end of Metropolis Zone Act 3]]. If you beat the boss as Super Sonic without destroying any of the clone bubbles the boss spawns and then run out of rings before reaching the animal pod at the end of the level, it's actually possible for the clone bubbles to follow you over to the pod and kill you while your end-of-level score is being tallied. Of course, you'd pretty much have to be actively trying for this to happen, so it overlaps heavily with EpicFail.
* LethalLavaLand: Hill Top Zone has plenty of pools of lava about.
* LevelsTakeFlight: The aptly named Sky Chase Zone. Despite the mellow background music and relaxed pace, it's harder than it looks.
* LogoJoke: Sonic rushes to the right, and then to the left, his after-image revealing the Sega logo, the "SAYYYYYYY-GUH!" from the first game then playing.
* LongSongShortScene: The Death Egg Zone theme is whimsically creepy, catchy, and awesome. However, since it's only played in the corridor before the Robo Sonic fight, you likely won't even hear 10 seconds of it. This is justified by the fact that it was originally supposed to be played for a full-length Act in the Death Egg Zone, but that was DummiedOut.
* TheMissingno: Messing around in the Debug Mode could turn Sonic's sprite black and green; fans refer to this new "character" as [[FanNickname Ashura]].
* {{Mordor}}: Oil Ocean Zone is a Type 2.
* MythologyGag: The 2013 remake has a couple:
** [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog A green Handrill/Grounder]] is available in the Debug Mode for Aquatic Ruin Zone.
** Knuckles' eyes peeking out of the bushes in the GoldenEnding is a reference to the North American box art of ''Sonic 3'', where he does the same thing.
* NewGamePlus: In the 3DS version, [[spoiler:beating the game once unlocks Super Sonic Mode, which starts the game with all seven Chaos Emeralds already collected and you start each level or life with the 50 rings needed to transform]].
* NonLethalBottomlessPits: [[spoiler:That infamous spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2 leads to Hidden Palace Zone in the mobile remake.]]
* NotSoHarmlessVillain:
** The Guardon/Crawl in Casino Night Zone are impossible to defeat from the front or the top because they always block your moves. You have to Spin Dash them from behind. This has caught a lot of players off-guard.
** The crab-themed Badniks in every other ''Sonic'' game, and most relevantly the Crabmeats in the first game, are usually TheGoomba, among the weakest enemies. Then the Metropolis Zone throws the Kani Punch/Shellcraker [sic] at you, which looks similar but is ''insanely hard to avoid or kill'' with an incredibly small hitbox.
* OddballInTheSeries: Of the games in the main 16-bit canon (''1'', ''CD'', this, ''3 & Knuckles'', ''Mania''), this is the only one where the Special Stages are entered through Star Posts rather than Giant Rings.
* OldSaveBonus: If the game is locked on with ''Sonic & Knuckles'', ''Knuckles in Sonic 2'' can be played. This makes Knuckles playable with all his abilities from ''Sonic & Knuckles'' intact. In the 2013 remake, Knuckles is available from the beginning.
* OneHitPointWonder: With no rings available in the final stage, Sonic is effectively reduced to this (alternate modes in the 3DS release notwithstanding).
* OxygenatedUnderwaterBubbles: Present throughout Aquatic Ruin Zone.
* PaletteSwap:
** Tails is basically this for Sonic. Despite being able to fly while AI-controlled, you can't do so while playing as him. The only major gameplay difference is that Tails can't go super. [[DivergentCharacterEvolution This was addressed]] in ''Sonic 3''.
** Hill Top Zone uses almost the same graphics as Emerald Hill Zone. The only differences being that the ground has blue blocks under the grass instead of brown, it has lava, and it has pine trees instead of palm trees. Loading the game in a tile editor reveals Emerald Hill Zone even has the vines that those blue platforms slide down, and a very early prototype of the game (which appears to be the same one shown on an episode of ''Series/NickArcade'') allows you to place the seesaws from Hill Top in Emerald Hill by using Debug Mode.
** The unfinished Dust Hill/Sabaku/Desert Zone was supposed to have a winter version literally known as Winter Zone in concept, but this was never implemented into the game. The developers said they used the same palette to save space.
** It's harder to notice, but the Death Egg Zone uses the same tileset as the Chemical Plant Zone.
** In ''Knuckles in Sonic 2'', the blue background of the zone title cards is green, the Shield is gray instead of blue, and the Flickies are red. None of these color changes are present in the 2013 remake.
* PinballZone: Casino Night Zone, and even the boss is this.
* PopStarComposer: Dreams Come True bassist Masato Nakamura once again, who provided music for its predecessor. Due to financial disagreements between him and Sega, this would be Nakamura's last contribution to the series until ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic 06]]'' (where Dreams Come True teamed up with Akon to do a remix of "SWEET SWEET SWEET" and "SWEET DREAMS"). Nakamura's departure resulted in the intro music for ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogSpinball Sonic Spinball]]'', originally a metal-esque remix of his ''Sonic'' theme, getting replaced by a different tune in replacement copies, and Sega relying on composers from its Wave Master music studio to write the music for most subsequent ''Sonic'' games.
* PurpleIsTheNewBlack: The first encounter you have with water in this game comes in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2, where the bottom of the act is filled with purple-pink "Mega Mack" (which the English manual states Robotnik filled the factory with in order to poison Sonic). It also rises when Sonic/Tails enter a vertical shaft with moving blocks. There are ''no'' air bubbles in the "Mack".
* PuzzleBoss: [[spoiler:The boss of the 2013 rendition of Hidden Palace Zone, where Eggman's mobile flies out of reach. You need to wait for Eggman to summon a large SeaMine, then lure him over it when it explodes into a water column that knocks him down for a while, allowing Sonic to hit him.]]
* SceneryPorn: The second game is certainly beautiful.
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: Chemical Plant Zone Act 2 is a lot harder than its position in the game (fourth Act out of twenty) would suggest, and for a while afterwards the game gets quite a bit easier. This makes more sense once you consider the development story of the game: Chemical Plant was supposed to be the one of the last ones.
* SecretLevel:
** The 2013 remake adds one. [[spoiler:In the original version, there is an inescapable spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2. The mobile remake removes the spikes and the pit instead leads to none other than the formerly DummiedOut Hidden Palace Zone. Furthermore, the "Simon Wai" version of the level, with the probably intended sad music, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xcai3NW7cA is accessible by a code.]]]]
** The 2013 remake also has a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7qbidxNXy8 hidden Special Stage]] that can be played through the level select menu. It has corkscrews near the end!
* SelfImposedChallenge: Beating the game without using the Spin Dash is a common speedrunnner challenge.
* SequelHook: Present in the 2013 remake once you've collected all the Chaos Emeralds.
* ShooOutTheClowns:
** When playing as Sonic with Tails tagging along, the Tornado gets shot down at the beginning of Wing Fortress Zone, with Tails inside. Sonic has to face the last two Zones alone.
** Inverted if you're playing as Tails: the Tornado gets shot down with Sonic inside.
* ShoutOut:
** Few American kids might have caught the reference in '92, but looking back, it's hard to observe Sonic powering up to an absurdly high level by sporting gold fur and wildly upright spines (after collecting [[GottaCatchEmAll seven artifacts of power]], no less) and not be reminded of [[Manga/DragonBall a certain manga/anime series]]. Also, [[Franchise/StarWars that's no moon]] that Sonic travels [[Film/ANewHope to in the]] [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi final stage of the game]].
** In another anime reference that no American kids at the time would have gotten, the final boss highly resembles a Scopedog from ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVOTOMS'', modified to look like Eggman.
** Not even the cheat codes are immune to this. Due to every sound in the Sound Test being assigned a hexadecimal number, it wasn't difficult for Sega to slip in a couple of extra shoutouts. Using the Japanese date format (year, month, day), the level select code becomes September 17, 1965 (19-65-09-17) - Yuji Naka's date of birth - while the Debug Mode code becomes November 24, 1992 (01-09-09-02-01-01-02-04); the fabled "Sonic 2sday" that saw the game's western release.
* SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom: Mystic Cave Zone and Metropolis Zone have most of them in this game.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Despite song hexadecimal 10 intended to be Hidden Palace's theme, it is not used in the 2013 remake, due to the fact that [[https://twitter.com/CFWhitehead/status/411261767046553600 the producers felt the song didn't fit the recreated level, which was given a prehistoric feel.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: It's Westside Island or West Side Island, depending on who you ask.
* SpikesOfDoom: Many of them. The most notable one is the inescapable spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2, which could kill you even if you're Super Sonic by making you wait until you lost all your rings, revert back to normal Sonic, and die. [[spoiler:Said spike pit was replaced by the entrance to the Hidden Palace Zone in the 2013 remake.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: Several levels follow the same themes as those in the first game.
** The Emerald Hill Zone for the Green Hill Zone.
** The Casino Night Zone is a development on the Spring Yard Zone "pinball machine" theme, to the extent that it's one of the most influential levels on future ''Sonic'' games while all vestiges of Spring Yard were dropped.
** The Metropolis Zone for the Scrap Brain Zone. Both are an EternalEngine, green in color, etc. To the point where people playing ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' for the first time in 1992 were subject to YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle when they found out it wasn't in fact the final Zone.
** Aquatic Ruin Zone is this for Labyrinth Zone, due to its use of water and ruins, but is somewhat easier.
* SpoiledByTheManual: Although the English manual stops the level description list at Wing Fortress, it reveals the FinalBoss on page 4.
* StoryDrivenInvulnerability: After beating Robo Sonic, Eggman will flee from his control room into the cockpit of the final boss. Despite being the fastest thing alive, Sonic cannot catch up to him; he will magically speed up if you are too close, even if you Spin Dash at him or even use Debug Mode to try and fly ahead of him.
* TheStinger: The 2013 remake has an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPVsyR6j_3Y additional ending cutscene]] for getting all the Chaos Emeralds, foreshadowing ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles''. Additionally, if the player didn't collect all the Chaos Emeralds, Eggman juggles the remaining ones just like the end of the [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 previous game]]; this scene is absent in the original, presumably due to Eggman's [[UncertainDoom then-ambiguous fate]].
* SuperMode: Introduced in this game. Become Super Sonic by collecting all Chaos Emeralds. After that, collect 50 rings and jump. Normally touching enemies hurts Sonic, but as Super Sonic, it ''defeats enemies'' instead. Touching [[SpikesOfDoom spikes]] in Super State won't hurt Sonic either, but he can still die by falling in a {{bottomless pit|s}}, being crushed, or drowning. As Super Sonic, Sonic's rings decrease steadily and he turns back into regular Sonic if he runs out. It's only for Sonic though. Tails will have to wait for the next game(s).
* TagalongKid: Sonic's new sidekick Tails.
* TempleOfDoom: Aquatic Ruin Zone is an ancient ruin which is also half-buried in water, making it part UnderTheSea as well.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Super Sonic.
* ThisIsADrill:
** Eggman has two drill-themed contraptions: the drill-tank contraption from Emerald Hill Zone, and the cave-burrowing contraption from Mystic Cave Zone.
** As for Badniks: the Handrill/Grounder in Aquatic Ruin Zone has two drills for hands and a third for a nose, and the Tsun Tsun/Spiker in Hill Top Zone comes equipped with a detachable spiked drill on its head.
* TubeTravel: In the Chemical Plant Zone and the Metropolis Zone.
* UnderTheSea: Aquatic Ruin Zone is a fairly halfhearted attempt, given that it's quite easy to pass both Acts without going underwater once. It may represent fan backlash over Labyrinth Zone, but annoyed players who didn't automatically view water levels as DownTheDrain. Ironically, you could easily spend more time underwater in the Chemical Plant Zone.
* UnwinnableByMistake: When you finish the stage as Super Sonic (i.e. run past the spinning sign at the end), you immediately power down. If you jump again, you'll transform into Super Sonic, immediately power down, and be stuck running in place in mid-air. Sonic runs to the right and offscreen when the sign finishes spinning; but if he's stuck in mid-air, the stage doesn't register as finished and you have to reset.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** Tails may be immortal, but the level design offers ample opportunity to "kill" him by squashing him with obstacles. This potential became a RunningGag in Cybershell's LetsPlay of this game and ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'' in retaliation for Tails's ArtificialStupidity.
** This is also the entire point of the Tails abuse Machinima series by Whoisthisgit on Website/YouTube (the ones that use actual gameplay at least).
* WakeUpCallBoss: Eggman's chemical-dumper contraption from Chemical Plant Zone, the ''second'' Zone. It's not too hard, but the two platforms on both sides of the field periodically collapse into {{bottomless pit}}s, making it very possible for a chemical projectile to knock you into the pink water ("Mega Mack") below. Playing as "Sonic and Tails" also presents its share of problems, as when you jump, so does Tails, and if he hits Eggman first, you'll go through Eggman (due to his MercyInvincibility) and down the pit. However, if you actually have a second player to wield the other controller, it becomes laughably easy, since a crouching Sonic is ''immune'' to the boss' attack, and Tails will always respawn if you manage to get him killed.
* WarmupBoss: The Egg Mobile-D (or Egg Mobile Drill Machine, aka Drill Eggman) from Emerald Hill Zone, which goes from one side of the screen to the other. It's even ''easier'' than the wrecking ball contraption from Green Hill Zone (which was also the first boss of its respective game).
* WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide: Genocide City was one of the working titles another Zone, along with Cyber City. The Japanese developers initially chose the name because they thought it sounded cool and daring. The layout ended up being used as the third Act of Metropolis Zone, and the leftover designs were used as the aesthetic of "The Machine" in ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogSpinball Sonic Spinball]]''.
* WreakingHavok: Just like its predecessor, ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' featured a physics system that realistically allows Sonic to pick up speed from hills. Half the point of Chemical Plant Zone is just to show how fast Sonic can go.
* WrapAround: A few parts in Metropolis Zone loop vertically, leading to instances of IFellForHours.
* YouAreAlreadyDead: If you fall into Mystic Cave Zone Act 2's spike pit [[spoiler:and you're not playing the 2013 remake]]. Once you're in, it won't be a matter of ''if'' you die, but ''when'' (if you're Super Sonic, "when" may be a long time away). Not so much if you're Knuckles thanks to his wall-climbing abilities, but if you activated the bridge and somehow fell in before it fully covers the gap... then you're just up shit creek no matter what.
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[[AC:The 8-bit version]]
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img_1408.JPG]]

Released for the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem and UsefulNotes/GameGear, this version was actually the ''[[OlderThanTheyThink first]]'' to be released and thus technically Tails' official debut, although the backstory in the Mega Drive version is his "formal" introduction. It was anonymously developed by a game company called Aspect.

Bored after defeating Dr. Ivo Robotnik a little while back, Sonic leaves South Island in search of adventure. When he returns, he finds all of his animal friends are missing from the island. Puzzled, he returns to his "digs" to find a letter from his pal Tails, which states that Robotnik is behind the kidnappings, and he's keeping Tails at a place called the Crystal Egg Zone, which requires the six Chaos Emeralds to reach. Justifiably riled up, Sonic sets off once again to take down Robotnik.

This version of ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' builds on its predecessor with somewhat faster gameplay, even including loops in two Zones. It also includes some differences from its 16-bit counterpart, such as Zone gimmicks including railcarts and hang gliders, the lack of a Spin Dash (perhaps due to being this being the first version released), and the omission of Tails as a playable character (for obvious reasons, of course).

Once again, however, the Emeralds are collected in the second act of each Zone, except for the sixth, where it's the reward for beating the penultimate Zone's boss after collecting the first five. Getting all of them grants access to the ''true'' final Zone, the aforementioned Crystal Egg, where Sonic confronts Robotnik in a final battle to save Tails.

It's also the only SMS/GG ''Sonic'' game to ''not'' have Special Stages.

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!! Tropes appearing in this version:

* AntlionMonster: The first boss is a robotic antlion. To defeat it, Sonic must dodge the cannonballs that Robotnik throws at him so that they will hit the robotic antlion. Eventually, Robotnik flies down at Sonic and Sonic must dodge him as well so Robotnik will inadvertently deliver the final hit. This boss is harder in the Game Gear version due to the reduced amount of space on the screen.
* AWinnerIsYou: Subverted. Regardless of which ending you get, the game still slaps you in the face with the GameOver screen, complete with its losing jingle. Not exactly a great reward for beating the game.
* BondVillainStupidity: The sequence before the first boss battle can look like this: if Robotnik wants Sonic dead, why did he rescue him at the end of the Under Ground Zone? To drop him in front of his death trap, of course... but if one remembers the plot of the game, Robotnik wants the Chaos Emeralds. At this point of the game, Sonic is supposed to already have one Chaos Emerald out of six, and Robotnik sure doesn't want it to sink into the lava.
* BossOnlyLevel: Act 3 of every Zone is shorter/more straightforward than the other two Acts and has no enemies,[[note]]Except for Sky High Zone and Aqua Lake Zone, though it's easy to skip the enemies in Aqua Lake.[[/note]] only some platforming and then the boss. [[OneHitPointWonder There are also no rings in Act 3.]]
* BrightIsNotGood: Crystal Egg Zone, the true final Zone of the game, is oddly bright colored and cheerful, with happy music. It is also the inner sanctum of Robotnik, and [[EasyLevelsHardBosses while the zone is fairly easy the boss isn't]], and Act 3, which has said boss, is a lot darker and differently designed than the rest of the Zone.
* BubblyClouds: Sky High Zone is a mix of this and DeathMountain, as the lower parts of its Acts appear to be a mountain peak and the upper parts are clouds, some of which can be stood on.
* BullFightBoss: The boss of Gimmick Mountain Zone is a spiked robot warthog that charges at Sonic. He can only be damaged after he charges into the wall and his spikes retract.
* CameraScrew: One of the reasons that the Game Gear version is considered NintendoHard.
* CheckpointStarvation: There are no checkpoints in this game, unlike the first Game Gear game and the Genesis version, which is a big problem with several acts like Aqua Lake Zone Act 2 (long act that's entirely underwater), Green Hills Zone Act 3 (PlatformHell bouncing on hills with spikes on the bottom to get to a boss fight), and Scrambled Egg Zone Acts 1 & 2 (two decently-sized levels with spike-pipe puzzles that can be fatal toward the end).
* CoversAlwaysLie: The Master System and western Game Gear box art depict Sonic and Tails adventuring together. In truth, Tails is kidnapped in the opening scene of this version, and only appears at the end of the final stage if you have all of the Chaos Emeralds.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:If you didn't get all the Chaos Emeralds, Tails is missing in the ending. Even worse, Sonic is shown looking up to the sky, in which Tails' image is visible, leading many to interpret it as the young fox having been ''killed'' by Robotnik.]]
* DubNameChange: Robotnik's name differs between regions similar to the 16-bit version and other games of the time; however, outside of two Badniks of Gimmick Mountain Zone and the Master Robot of Scrambled Egg Zone, none of the enemies or bosses are named outside of the Japanese material.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: This is just about the only ''Sonic'' game ever with no bonus stages.
* EasterEgg: There is a 1-up hidden at the left side of Sky High Zone Act 1, in front of some trees. When Sonic pushes on the monitor from the left side as if trying to move it, groups of yellow ducklings will continue to spawn at intervals and head to the right. If the monitor is destroyed, they no longer appear since there's nothing to push against anymore.
* {{Expy}}: More prevalent in the 8-bit version, many of the Badniks are basically the same as the previous game, just renamed and given a coat of paint. For example: [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 Burro]]''[[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute w]]''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 bot]].
* FakeDifficulty: The Emerald in Sky High Zone requires you to bounce off clouds that look exactly the same as normal clouds with nothing to distinguish them as being bouncy.
* FloatingInABubble: There are giant bubbles in the second act of Aqua Lake Zone, which Sonic can float in.
* FlunkyBoss: The Master Robot in Sky High Zone Act 3 sends out a bunch of Mecha Hiyoko chick badniks at Sonic. The birds and the cannons they are shooting from must be destroyed to make the boss appear.
* GreenHillZone: A notable inversion for ''Sonic'' games - this version of Green Hills Zone is halfway through the game and has some challenging moments. Act 3 is particularly unforgiving, requiring near-perfect execution of blind jumps between springs surrounded by spikes [[OneHitPointWonder with no rings]].
* HostageForMacGuffin: Tails.
* MissionPackSequel: The gameplay is almost identical to that of the 8-bit predecessor, just with tweaks to the engine and some new gimmicks thrown in. You find the Chaos Emeralds the same way as well, and there's no Spin Dash like the 16-bit ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2''.
* MoodDissonance: You finally collect all the Chaos Emeralds and make it to the secret final stage where Tails is being held captive, ready for a final confrontation with the BigBad... only to find a crystal castle in a bright wonderland with blue skies, vibrant colors and cheerful music.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Each level intro segment features Sonic and Tails going through the trials of the upcoming level, but Tails is not a playable character; he is kidnapped.
* NintendoHard: The Game Gear release is considered significantly harder than the Master System version due to a [[CameraScrew smaller resolution]] inhibiting players from being able to see what's ahead, resulting in cheap hits/deaths (this generally existed in the handheld ports, but it is particularly egregious here). The lack of Rings in the boss stages in both versions also means a FlawlessVictory is required against the boss (and the level in the case of Green Hills Zone Act 3) to proceed.
* NoFairCheating: You need all the Chaos Emeralds after defeating the boss of the Scrambled Egg Zone to get to the Crystal Egg Zone to get the good ending. If you don't have them all (save the one you get from the boss) the game ends there with the bad ending. If you use the level select cheat to get to the Crystal Egg Zone, you'll rescue Tails (he'll appear in the teleporter when Robotnik retreats), but he won't be there in the ending.
* PlatformHell: The third act of Green Hills takes a step way up in difficulty from the other two acts; it forces the player to bounce across a mountain range of springs without landing in spikes at the bottom of the level, which WILL kill them due to the lack of Rings. The final three hills require near-perfect timing (you have to go full speed running, and watch your speed rolling) to get past, and losing to the Master Robot (who is a bit of a challenge) after these last three hills sends the player back to the beginning.
* PlotHole: If the storyline tells us that six Chaos Emeralds are needed to travel to the Crystal Egg... [[VoodooShark then how did Robotnik and Tails get there in the first place?]]
* SequelDifficultySpike: Due in part to the lack of checkpoints or shields and the increased length of the still-ringless boss Acts (Green Hills Zone Act 3 in particular has a series of blind jumps over spike pits before you reach the Master Robot), this game is generally regarded as significantly harder than its predecessor, as well as harder than most other ''Sonic'' games from the same era. The Game Gear version adds some difficulty due to the screen displaying a smaller area, but even the Master System version is widely considered difficult by the standards of the series.
* SequentialBoss: The Master Robot of Sky High Zone has three phases to it. First, Sonic must contend with two waves of Mecha Hiyoko chick badniks. Then, he falls to four cannons that are firing the chicks into the stage, and all four must be destroyed (the chicks will keep coming until the cannons are gone). Once the cannons are destroyed, the actual boss, a larger bird that breathes fireballs, will appear, and Sonic can destroy it to complete the zone.
* SkyFace: ''Sonic the Hedgehog 2'' has both Sonic and Tails' face in the sky as the good ending.[[note]]You also see both of them running.[[/note]] However, in the bad ending, only Sonic is running, while Tails' face is in the sky.
* SoundtrackDissonance: In the Master System version, what is the cheery title screen music in the Game Gear version plays in the opening cutscene where Tails is kidnapped by Robotnik, and the melancholic music from the bad ending plays for both endings. The Game Gear version rectifies both cases by using the suitably foreboding Scrambled Egg Zone theme in the opening cutscene and providing happier music for the good ending.
* StarsAreSouls: [[spoiler:During the staff roll credits of the bad ending, Sonic looks up into the sky and sees an image of Tails among the stars.]]
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: the very elaborate and confusing transportation pipe system Scrambled Egg Zone.
* TrueFinalBoss: The second and last encounter with Dr. Robotnik and the Zone prior to it, Crystal Egg Zone, can only be accessed if the player collected all the Chaos Emeralds. Robotnik's trap in the last act is a room with flying energy balls and electric currents, and you have to hit his control machine with him in it.
* TubeTravel: Present in the second act of Aqua Lake, acts 1 & 3 of Gimmick Mountain, the entirety of Scrambled Egg, and the last act of the game, Crystal Egg Act 3. For Scrambled Egg, there are several "pipe puzzles" in acts 1 & 2; only one puzzle in act 1 can dump you into spikes, but several puzzles in act 2 have spikes under them, the last of which you cannot escape if you fail there. There are three pipes in the final stage; the first one takes you to the FinalBoss, the second is needed the hide from Robotnik's attacks, and the third is behind Robotnik and can be entered after you destroy his machine, which takes you to the finish line and Tails.
* UnderTheSea: Aqua Lake Zone plays with this; like the Aquatic Ruins in the 16-bit version, it's possible to stay out of the water entirely, but unlike the 16-bit version, this can only happen in Act 3, and only if one knows how to skip Sonic across the water. The goat post for Act 1 is in an underwater corridor and almost all of Act 2 forces Sonic through an underwater maze.
* VillainousRescue: Robotnik surprisingly pulls this on Sonic in Under Ground Zone Act 3; when Sonic is about to fall into a pit of lava, he hastily grabs him with a claw machine, lifting him up...only to drop him into a boss battle.
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!! Tropes appearing in both versions:
* CollapsingCeilingBoss: In the 16-bit version, the boss of Mystic Cave Zone burrows in and out of the ceiling, causing a rain of stone. The rocks are harmless, but the stalactites will hurt you. In the 8-bit versions, the boss of Gimmick Mountain Zone is a spiked robot warthog who causes boulders to rain down when he hits the wall.
* EternalEngine: Metropolis Zone in the 16-bit version, Gimmick Mountain in the 8-bit version.
* EvilKnockoff: The Silver Sonic (8-bit)/Robo Sonic (16-bit).[[note]]Both robots were simply known as "Mecha Sonic" in Japanese material, but they are decidedly different and were given differing names in other sources -- "Silver Sonic" comes from the original instruction booklet while "Robo Sonic" comes from the ''Sonic Dimensions'' [[DownloadableContent DLC]] of ''[[VideoGame/LegoDimensions LEGO Dimensions]]'', differentiating it from the robot '''[[NamesTheSame also]]''' called "Mecha Sonic" from ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic & Knuckles]]''.[[/note]]
* GreenHillZone: Emerald Hill Zone and Green Hills Zone in the 16-bit and 8-bit versions respectively.
* LethalLavaLand: Hill Top Zone and Metropolis Zone (16-bit), and Under Ground Zone (8-bit).
* MultipleEndings: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment As mentioned above]], the ending in the 16-bit version changes a little based on who you're playing as and, in Sonic's case, whether or not you got all the Emeralds, though there are [[AvertedTrope no]] {{downer ending}}s or even [[TheStinger stingers]] (though the latter was rectified in the 2013 remake). In the 8-bit version, without collecting the first five Emeralds upon defeating the Scrambled Egg Zone boss (Silver Sonic), the game simply ends there, and you get a total DownerEnding. Unable to save Tails, Sonic runs along a trail alone, and after the staff roll ends, he halts to look at the sky, where he sees Tails's face in the clouds. The good ending is infinitely more satisfying. Sonic and Tails run along a trail (with happier music, if playing the Game Gear version), and after the staff roll ends, they halt to look at the sky, and see each other's faces in the clouds.
* NewJackSwing: The 16-bit version takes a page out of Teddy Riley's playbook with 2-Player Casino Night Zone, Mystic Cave Zone and Sky Chase Zone's [=BGMs=]. The 8-bit version features New Jack Swing in Sky High Zone, Aqua Lake Zone, and the theme for the bad ending.
* PunnyName: Miles Prower = "miles per hour".
* SequelDifficultySpike: Both games are considerably tougher than the first game for Mega Drive and Master System, the Game Gear version of the sequel being particularly more brutal than the original.
* UndergroundLevel: Mystic Cave Zone (16-bit) and the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aptly named]] Under Ground Zone (8-bit).
* UnderwaterRuins: Aquatic Ruin Zone (16-bit) and Aqua Lake Zone (8-bit).
* VideogameSettings:
** 16-bit version
*** GreenHillZone: Emerald Hill Zone
*** SkyscraperCity / PipeMaze / DownTheDrain: Chemical Plant Zone
*** EternalEngine: Chemical Plant Zone, Metropolis Zone, Wing Fortress Zone and the Death Egg
*** UnderwaterRuins: Aquatic Ruins Zone
*** CasinoPark / MinigameZone / PinballZone: Casino Night Zone
*** DeathMountain / LethalLavaLand: Hill Top Zone
*** UndergroundLevel / DugTooDeep: Mystic Cave Zone and the added Hidden Palace Zone
*** MarathonLevel: Metropolis Zone
*** LevelsTakeFlight: Sky Chase Zone and Wing Fortress Zone
*** TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon / SpaceZone / BossCorridor / BossOnlyLevel: The Death Egg Zone
*** BonusStage: The Special Stages
** 8-bit version
*** UndergroundLevel / LethalLavaLand: Under Ground Zone
*** BubblyClouds: Sky High Zone
*** BigStormEpisode / GustyGlade: Sky High Zone's second act
*** DeathMountain: Sky High Zone, the final act of Green Hills Zone, Gimmick Mountain Zone and Scrambled Egg Zone
*** UnderwaterRuins / UnderTheSea: Aqua Lake Zone
*** DownTheDrain / TheMaze: Aqua Lake Zone's second act
*** GreenHillZone / BreatherLevel: Green Hills Zone
*** EternalEngine: Gimmick Mountain Zone and the final act of the game in Crystal Egg Zone
*** PipeMaze / DiscOneFinalDungeon: Scrambled Egg Zone
*** TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon / BreatherLevel: Crystal Egg Zone
*** ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Scrambled Egg Zone's first and third acts and Crystal Egg Zone's second act
*** BossOnlyLevel: Crystal Egg Zone's third act, the final stage of the game
* VillainExitStageLeft: In the 16-bit version, Dr. Eggman flies away when defeated, as usual. However, when defeated on his giant mech, he goes down with the Death Egg (though as the all-Emeralds ending added in 2013 remake shows, he survived and the Death Egg wasn't completely destroyed). In the 8-bit version, it's played straight as he escapes after the final battle.
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->''[[{{Tagline}} ARE YOU UP 2 IT?]]''