YMMV: Sonic Adventure 2

  • Awesome Music:
  • Base Breaker: Shadow. The base was broken further when he was revealed to have survived his Heroic Sacrifice in Sonic Heroes and even further when he got his own self-titled game.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • City Escape, due to features such boarding down the roads, grinding on rails, catchy music, and outrunning a giant truck. It was later remade for Sonic Generations.
    • Assuming you liked Shadow, Radical Highway is the end-all be-all of Highway based Sonic stages. The music combines with getting to a play a Darker and Edgier Sonic who is bent on revenge. No wonder it was the representative for the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.
    • Metal Harbor is another beloved level, perhaps on par with City Escape. The level has the most alternate pathways and exploration, the spaces are much wider, giving you the only time to breathe in the normally fairly narrow levels, it marks the spot where the player gains one of his most iconic items; the Light Speed Shoes, and there's a fast-paced timed dash to the rocket before it ignites, and topping it all off, a quick but satisfying sequence where you drop dozens of feet below to a slope with the snowboard before hitting one last loop and colliding with the goal ring.
  • Breather Level: While Meteor Herd is a hard level with a huge layout and sudden meteor strikes, it's nowhere near as hard as the levels it's sandwiched between.
    • Cosmic Wall, which comes after the frustratingly difficult Mad Space, is a walk in the park. Even though it is extremely long and there are lots of enemies, the enemies rarely attack. Also, the weak gravity makes it practically impossible to die via Bottomless Pit. Finally, the level in general is really fun. Finally, in the Dreamcast version, the point threshold for an A rank is extremely easy to obtain due to the massive number of enemies, though Battle fixes this. On the downside, this level is followed by a battle against a very angry Tails, so if you miss the Protective Armor upgrade (which is found on this levelnote ), he will destroy you in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Broken Base: The alternate gameplay. Supporters of it say that the variety truly showed off the potential of the characters' abilities and was one of the best things about the game. Detractors say that the alternate gameplay was incredibly slow, completely unnecessary, and (nearly) dragged the game down if it weren't for the Action stages.
  • Catharsis Factor: Beating the Christ out of a Chao after getting another E rank grade after a mission may be disproportionate and unfair, but damn does it feel good.
  • Contested Sequel: While many consider this one of the best Sonic games ever, some don't like the level progression structure in comparison to the original, since the player is forced to cycle between multiple styles in the same story instead of choosing a playstyle along with the story. Some do like it as a way to streamline the story compared to the slower-paced Sonic Adventure, and others even appreciate the greater differences in gameplay between the characters.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Artificial Chaos. They have very fast attacks, only their head is vulnerable, and a few can reproduce or hide in their bodies to be invulnerable.
  • Ear Worm: "Escape From the City", the vocal theme for City Escape, can leave a long-lasting impression with its catchiness. Especially since City Escape is hands down the most plentiful source for easily-obtainable rings to farm for Chao Market supplies, so you'll be hearing it constantly.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Downplayed a bit, but still a present trope. For the most part, the consensus being that Sonic and Shadow's stages are by far the most replayable, with the others delegated to somewhat clunky filler intended to stretch out the game. The cutscenes though still far from perfect, look much sleeker and more cinematic, much better-directed voice work, features a more digestible script, and a faster-paced plot with intrigue featuring a fleshed out anti-heroic Evil Counterpart to Sonic. In short, you play the game either for the hedgehog stages, plot, or Chao.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Chao, the adorable little creatures who debuted in SA1 soon ascended to this status after SA2B fleshed them out to a massive extent. There's a ridiculous amount of people who bought the game with the prime objective of/solely for raising them, and there are nearly as many members of the fandom begging for Sega to bring back Chao just the way they were in the Adventure series, not like the seriously diluted Chao Garden minigames available on some of the newer titles.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Shadow and Maria is quite popular, despite them being of different species. (And surrogate siblings.) Knuckles/Rouge as well. You could make a convincing claim that they have the most mutually-reciprocated feelings in the series, with some regret that their UST wasn't followed up on after the game.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • Many fans have noted that Rouge's car is shaped rather... peculiarly.
    • The Finalhazard is amazingly phallic, as it has merged with the Eclipse Cannon and is pointing directly at Earth.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • In the "Dark Side" ending it's shown that unbeknownst to Eggman, the laser has overloaded as he tried to fire it with the power of all seven Chaos Emeralds, which is what the Cannon's power was source was intended to be — whilst it's possible Gerald Robotnik underestimated the power of the Emeralds, in the "Hero Side" ending, Sonic manages to prevent the ARK's cannon from firing, potentially causing the resulting overload that occurs in the "Dark Side" ending. This makes even more sense when one remembers that in the "Hero Side" ending, there is a moment when you see Eggman's hand reaching for the Chaos Emerald. When Amy and Tails look out the window, and we have a clear view of the entire room, Eggman is gone, presumably having taken the Emerald to the cannon's core. Cue "Dark Side" ending.
    • The Last Story ending has a subtle reason for why Shadow powers down from his Super form and Sonic doesn't — you start the preceding boss battle with Sonic, and each successful hit switches the other hedgehog in, whilst the one who is not being used collects some rings to stay powered up, and it's a six-hit boss. Whilst travelling past the boss leads to the characters switching out again, Shadow is meant to be the one to get the last hit.
    • In later Sonic games, it is shown that Shadow survived falling to Earth from space. At the beginning of Sonic Unleashed, Sonic proceeds to do the exact same thing.
    • The title of Eggman's theme song "E.G.G.M.A.N." is strange, since Eggman isn't an acronym for anything. However, the way it's written does invoke the way the game's Boss Subtitles appear one letter at a time. You can almost hear the typewriter sound effect.
    • We all know Sonic had learned Shadow's Chaos Control and used that knowledge to escape from the exploding capsule with the fake Chaos Emerald. Now cue to final Sonic/Shadow fight in the "Dark Side" story and you will see that Sonic utilizes Chaos Control with the fake Emerald anytime Shadow loses track of him of the long pathway.
    • Gerald's prototypes of ultimate life were based on the mythos of Sonic Adventure. The Biolizard was created to mimic Perfect Chaos, and Shadow was meant to be Super Sonic. This explains why the Master Emerald shrine was on the ARK, the numerous Artificial Chaos, and why both the Biolizard and Shadow could use Chaos Emeralds.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • Biolizard has gills on his neck approximately half Shadow's height, and several gills on either side of his body more than twice Shadow's height. He also has air vents at the base of his neck, not to mention the numerous pipes connecting him to his life-support system. Yet despite all this, he still has to hyperventilate. It's no wonder that he's the prototype.
    • When the Colony Drop begins, Professor Gerald's ultimatum is in the form of a video file. He's standing in front of what appears to be his cell on Prison Island. At the end, once he's finished his speech, someone off-camera asks him if he has anything more to say. When Gerald replies that he does not, that person barks out a "Ready!" to some other people off-screen. It takes a few minutes to realize this, but this appears to be Gerald's last words before he faces a firing squad.
      • In the Japanese version of Sonic X you can hear the gunshots.
      • From that same speech, he says that he "designed [Shadow's] mind to be perfect, pure" (or, in the Sonic X adaptation, he mentions that he will follow his orders without question). It's a long shot, but it could mean that he somehow manipulated Shadow while he was contained, possibly going so far as to change his memories about Maria.
    • During City Escape and the freeway chase segments as Tails or Rouge, cars are presented as obstacles. Running into them causes them to fly into the air and eventually explode. Some of them happen to be driving at the time. Think about it.
  • Game Breaker: Sonic is this if you have acquired the Magic Hand and the Bounce Bracelet upgrades. For the Magic Hand, you can have the option to turn your enemies (except ghosts) into balls and for the Bounce Bracelet, this can be useful for the both Shadow boss fights and the Big Foot boss fight. For the former, just quickly defeat Shadow by repeatedly using the Bound Attack and for the latter, you can use the Bound Attack to get a good height to home attack Big Foot.
  • Goddamned Ghosts: Seriously. Ghosts rarely pose a threat to the characters in the game. At best, they're just there to Jump Scare the players.
    • They are especially annoying in Pyramid Cave where Sonic has to go through a long corridor in a limited amount of time and there are ghosts all over the damn corridor that hold you in place and waste precious seconds.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The Chao Key glitch in the digital port. It allows any of the main six to access any of the multiplayer stages.
    • Another glitch relating to the Chao is that if you corner a Chao in a pillar close to the entrance in the Hero Garden and give it an animal or drive, by immediately picking up the item again, you can keep giving the Chao the item an infinite amount of times. Good for raising up your Chao's stats.
    • It's difficult but possible to set off a chain of glitches that allow the multiplayer characters to visit the Chao Gardens.
    • Another one is during the first Sonic vs. Shadow fight where you can briefly tap the roll button but for some reason the animation doesn't play yet still treats the character your playing as, as if they were still rolling with invincibility frames and all, which results in a hilarious situation where the boss can't hurt you and actually get's damaged when they run into you.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The phrase "weapons of mass destruction" already seems a bit out of place in a kid's game, but it feels quite different in light of how frequently that phrase was used in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The Biolizard's cry, especially at the beginning of its battle theme "Supporting Me." Which you'll be hearing a lot.
    • The low mechanical humming of the Egg Beetle from the Egg Quarters level.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Remember the introductory movie of the remake? Shadow and Sonic did face each other, but never in Radical Highway... until the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. Especially noteworthy considering the beginning of the very same boss battle has a different Shout-Out in the home console version, in that the intro movie is referenced by Sonic and Shadow's Mirrored Confrontation Shot; however, the battle itself takes place outside the Space Colony ARK.
    • A major area of the game is Prison Island. The area has several levels on both sides before it's blown up, but despite that, just the name "Prison Island" will make some Xenoblade fans laugh.
    • The whole plot counts. Let's see: The black and red "edgy" character was created as a part of a Mad Scientist's experiments, and is later abandoned by them. They later find a rival in the character with blue motifs, whose abilities match their own. Eventually, it turns out that the Mad Scientist wants to get rid of all of humanity, which climaxes in a battle in space with a Golden Super Mode that ends with a Heroic Sacrifice. The spoilers for the plot are well-known when it comes to this game, but are major spoilers when it comes to another anime...
  • Hype Backlash: Back when this game was first released and a few years after, it was considered the best of the 3D Sonic games due to its different styles of play and its surprisingly complex plot. Nowadays, those are the exact reasons people call this game overhyped and nowhere near as good as it was touted. This mindset generally set in after Sonic Unleashed (which fans generally consider when the series started to get good again) and continues with every subsequent game.
    • More specifically, the levels are seen as quite a bit of a step down compared with Adventure, finicky, less responsive controls, and removing the adventure fields and more nuanced play styles that you were free to play in any order you liked removed some of the fun in the experience.
  • Idiot Plot: Shadow and Sonic are clearly not identical in spite of the two being able to move at lightning speed. At some point in the game, G.U.N., Eggman, Amy and the general public all mistake Shadow for Sonic.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Many people are accusing the XBLA and PSN ports of this.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A large number of fans only buy the game for the Chao.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Shadow; he manipulated Eggman into thinking he was working for him so that he could get all the Chaos Emeralds in order to activate the Colony Drop, and even knew about Rouge's attempt to grab the Emeralds herself. In fact, the only reason he didn't succeed was that, with Amy's intervention, he decided to not go through with the plan after all.
  • Memetic Molester: The boos from Pyramid Cave often grab a character from behind, often referred to as the "rape ghosts."
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Rouge the Bat, due mainly to her appearance.
  • Narm: Occasionally the VAs go into complete and total monotone. Particular stickouts include a few of Tails' lines and Knuckles' near-robotic "Hand over the Master Emerald, give them to me."
    • Sonic vs Shadow 1's introductory banter. The hedgehogs argue over who is the fake one, then Sonic interrupts and rushes through Shadow's line, referring to the sentence Shadow didn't finish!
  • Narm Charm:
    • The rap songs that play during Knuckles' stages combine this with Awesome Music.
    • The same goes for the City Escape theme, which has become ingrained into Sonic fans' minds in spite of (or thanks to) its utterly ridiculous lyrics and cheesy instrumentation. Jun Senoue seems to enjoy writing awesome music with cheesy lyrics and then making it work.
    • The fight against the Finalhazard can be a bit ridiculous, if not flat-out humorous, since you're fighting a giant mutated lizard creature with a Face Ship's nose shoved up its butt. But that's okay, because "Live and Learn" is blaring in the background. And Shadow and Sonic have both teamed up to fight this beast in their Super forms. And you're in outer space.
  • Newbie Boom: For many people, the GameCube Battle port was their introduction to the Sonic the Hedgehog series proper, due to being the first Sonic game to appear on a Nintendo console.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The ghosts in Pumpkin Hill, Aquatic Mine, and Death Chamber. Some of them are invisible and don't reveal themselves until after you get close to them, at which point they'll pop out in your face and grow very large before dissipating. They're scattered randomly throughout these levels, you have absolutely no way to detect them, and they will hide in the walls, inside objects, in the floor, etc.
  • The Scrappy: Tikal's guiding successor Omochao is pretty much the equivalent of Navi in the Sonic universe - small, needlessly and annoyingly helpful and damn-near unavoidable at times, especially when you start losing against a boss multiple times. He's also got a grating voice and his tirades can go on for ages at times. Thankfully, the devs appeared to predict this would happen and also made him an object which you can hurt, pick up, throw and use as a weapon, complete with him breaking, although as momentarily as it is. Things got worse when his prominence escalated in future games and the HD remake, where he can now appear before the start of a level.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Hunting levels. Unlike the previous game, the radar detects the shards one at a time, and compounding with that, the levels are all really huge, which results in empty unused space since the locations of the shards are randomly generated. On your first time, completing a hunting stage may take upwards of 30 minutes, while replaying it to get the A-rank is a pure Luck-Based Mission.
    • Shooting stages too. Big, slow levels where you just run around in a clunky robot shooting everything with the same type of gun in a series that's all about going fast and blazing through levels. Even worse is that they outnumber the Sonic and Shadow stages, and the fact that the previous game's shooting levels were much faster-paced, with an agile protagonist. Also, Eggman's gun is on the right side of his vehicle, not in front. This mean he aims to the left, constantly unlike Tails who fires ahead.
    • The action/platforming characters' abilities are all mapped to one button, say the B button in the Gamecube version. All of them. Each with a specific timing and means to activate it; but multiple timings can occur simultaneously with the running characters. So, when you approach a bottomless pit with a trail of rings, one of two things can happen: Either your light speed dash will kick in and you'll fly through the path of rings, or your somersault will kick in and careen sonic/shadow down a pit. You can also stop what you're doing and cycle/be sure you're on the right ability unless you're doing a time attack or another stage where you don't have that luxury. It can make those stages a pain.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The Chao gardens, to the point where you could rename the trope Sidetracked by Chao. The gardens feature more thematic differences, the affection and behavior mechanic has been expanded upon, the shop is much, much larger and more varied in content, plenty of fair if challenging races requiring both Hero and Dark Chao to be raised to enter, etc. Indeed, most of the game's longevity comes from grinding for rings to buy and raise a cuddly lil' moe blobb of your own. This was so popular in fact, that cries of returning them to the games/making stand-alone gardens and chao have been requested even to this day.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Omochao, a Chao-esque robot with a penchant for stating the obvious. Sega had to have known how much the mecha twerp would annoy players, so it can be hit, thrown, and whatever else you can think of to shut it up, although sometimes it will chew you out for the abuse.
    • Omochao's role was expanded in the HD remake to include tips before levels.
    • Contrast with the first Adventure game where Tikal's advice orbs could be clearly and optionally activated for the most part, featured more concise and straightforward hints, and a justified, plot-relevant reason for existing in the first place. Omochao just sort of shows up with no explanation as to who or what he/she/it is, and has a more grating, childlike voice compared with Tikal's calm serenity.
  • That One Boss:
    • The penultimate boss Biolizard is noted for being much harder than the final boss. It rotates at juuuuust the wrong speed so Shadow will either run into its mouth or get tailslapped. For the last hit, it triggers a Gravity Screw with some Depth Perplexion so Shadow will collide with several bubbles whose depth is almost impossible to determine. It got a well-deserved nerf when it returned for Sonic Generations (the Nintendo 3DS's actual visual 3D helped, too)
    • The following battle with the Final Hazard, due to its randomly spawning weak spots and finicky controls.
    • Egg Golem with Eggman is pretty annoying too, and it doesn't help that unlike Sonic who can jump out of the quicksand if he falls in, the much heavier Dr. Eggman will instantly sink and cost you a life (Eggman's battle DOES add stable platforms down there to avoid it, but it's pretty easy to miss those, even when hovering). Not to mention that, unlike Sonic, who is smaller, faster, and can take multiple hits (as long as you pick up your rings), Eggman is bigger, slower, and has a limited health bar as well. Also the Golem is malfunctioning after Sonic defeats it, so Dr. Eggman has to deal with it being considerably faster and more erratic with its attacks and movements.
    • The 2nd Tails vs Eggman battle, the level has no rings, meaning no regaining health, and your enemy will pull out special attacks that do massive damage are extremely hard to dodge with the slow character you use.
  • That One Level:
    • The driving missions where you cannot hit the wall or any of the other cars, mainly because of the dodgy controls and how it almost seems like the cars are trying to specifically hit you in those missions.
    • For the shooting levels, there is Eternal Engine. In Tails' two previous levels (Mission Street and Hidden Base), you used dynamite to create platforms and reveal paths. In this level, the dynamite is placed on hatches in several rooms. Should you shoot a dynamite pack, the hatch it is on will open and act as a vacuum trying to suck you into space. Dynamite can also be found on walkways, creating new gaps that you must hover over should you accidentally shoot it. In Hard Mode, this level's difficulty is taken Up to Eleven with many more enemies, lots of more dynamite, and small platforms replacing almost all of the large platforms.
    • Security Hall and Mad Space is this for the treasure hunting levels due to the sheer size of the worlds, the bad clues given and, in the case of the former, the five-minute time limit. It doesn't help that in Mad Space, some of the hints you get are reversed not just in text, but also in meaningnote . Worst of all, not all of them are reversed, meaning you might have to spend time going through the whole stage just to find them.
    • Crazy Gadget, due to the element of Gravity Screw and the maze-like final section where a single wrong move can lose a life.
      • In hard mode, this level is nearly impossible. Of all of the levels in the game, none has more differences between normal mode and hard mode (or at least major differences) than this level. For example, this is one of only two levels in the game where you encounter the exploding artificial chaos enemy. note  In the first four missions, you have to fight three of these enemies, but in hard mode, they're everywhere. Sometimes you need to fight two of them at once, and that's not the worst part. At one point, you must home attack beetle enemies to move straight up. If your timing is off even slightly, you fall into the acid pit below. In another area, you have to home attack beetle enemies to cross a gap while you're upside down. If that wasn't enough, you have to go through the maze at the end at least TWICE because the switch to activate the final rocket is now in a not-so-obvious spot (it's under a black container on the green block). note  On the plus side, even if you die and have to restart from the second checkpoint, it is still possible to A-rank the mission from there if you play through the rest of the level well enough, though that's no easy task.
    • Final Rush and Final Chase for Sonic and Shadow, respectively. The former is frustrating because it's filled with grind rails that you have to precisely jump on, or else you end up falling to your fiery death (which is easy to do if you're going too fast). The latter is frustrating because it's filled with pillars that make Shadow spin around (which many players have criticized for being wonky or glitchy) and for having several Artificial Chaos, some of which you have to bounce off of just to get to one of said pillars.
    • And then there's the dreaded Cannon's Core. You have to play as every character (except Shadow) back to back, and each character's segment is roughly the size of an average stage on its own. There are very few checkpoints, quite a few annoying puzzles and mechanics, Artificial Chaos galore, and if you lose all your lives (or if you're forced to shut off the game console) before finishing all five segments, you have to start the whole thing all over again.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: It's not much of an exaggeration saying that the stages are usually disliked. Along with generally featuring more linear, narrower hallways and paths, the levels are often reused for rival characters with a few minor redesigns to distinguish their counterparts. It doesn't at all help that in all respects, the gameplay's watered down from Adventure. The shooting levels feature bulkier, finicky mechs with a health bar that ignores how rings usually function, and cramped spaces to walk through. The treasure-hunting levels are better, but go too far in open space, often making the emeralds much harder to find; compounded by the radar inexplicably downgraded to only signal one emerald piece at a time. And although the speed levels are the best, it still features very narrow, somewhat simplistic pathways, a slow grind mechanic that seems to unintentionally (pun intended) grind you to a screeching halt, and the more precise controls come at the cost of slowing the hedgehogs' momentum and height. The Spin-Dash has been downgraded hard enough that it's all but useless and will only slow you down since it's impossible to dash while running.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The game never explores how Eggman feels about his family being murdered by a corrupt government; in fact he doesn't seem to care at all despite allegedly having a great amount of respect for his grandfather. The whole plot is just about Shadow and his feelings. It's a shame, as it could have worked as a great Freudian Excuse for Eggman's behaviour throughout the series. Of course he wants to take over the world; the world is run by a cruel military that destroyed his family!
  • Uncanny Valley: The human characters (sans Eggman) look a little... off.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Shadow, the "real" central character of the game, is on a quest to destroy humanity because the government murdered his best friend, an innocent child, in order to cover up his existence. She was also the daughter of his creator Gerald Robotnik, which is made horrifying by his speech, which actually begins with the statement "This is a death sentence for every human being on earth" and ends right before he's executed by a firing squad. There's a reason why the ESRB rating was changed from E to E10+ when it was rereleased for XBLA, PSN, and Steam.