|Pictured: a badly timed screenshot.|
Emerald Hill Zone
Emerald Hill. They weren't even subtle about it, but this is basically a sibling of Green Hill Zone. It's a nice, easy level set to ease you into the game. There are plenty of Star Posts, rings, secret passageways and power-ups so you can easily build up a collection of lives or Chaos Emeralds early on in the game. I say 'or' and I will go into this a bit later, but in my experiences so far it has seemed like a choice.
One thing I'll point out just now, Sonic 2 is a lot more generous than the first with their continues. Just get 10000 total bonus points in an Act and you'll get a continue (as shown by the little Sonic beside the total). The best way to guarantee getting 10000 is to past the post with at least 100 rings, as you get 100 points per ring you finish with. You will get a life for collecting a hundred rings as well as a continue.
While the level is a beginner level, therefore easy, there is one annoying enemy in the game, and his name is...Coconuts...
|Stare into the face of evil, STARE INTO IT!|
There are only two Acts in Sonic 2, so at the end of Act 2 we have our first encounter with Robotnik and whatever contraption he's cooked up in his spare time...
|From www.sonic.wikia.com - I'll talk about why Knuckles is here later.|
I replayed Emerald Hill Zone maybe five or six times trying to get either a decent video (failed) or heaps of lives (succeeded...then saved over the file...). This was the only time I got hit by Robotnik.
Tails was introduced to the world in Sonic 2, and ever since he has been an ever-present character. He's been in just about every major Sonic game since and he's just as popular as ever. He is a fox who uses his two tails to fly, hence why he's called Tails. He has another name, Miles Prower, and it took me longer than I'd like to admit to realise his name was a pun.
His role in Sonic 2 single player is to basically follow you, get lost, fly from the top of the screen only to be left behind almost immediately. He's practically useless in single player, and downright harmful in the Special Stages. If you have a friend and a second controller, then they can control Tails. And then he breaks the game, as he is essentially invincible. Tails can take hits all day and if he does die (usually by falling into a pit or being crushed) then he does comes back in a few seconds. He can make Robotnik his bitch up until the very end.
Unfortunately I won't be exploiting this as I only have two hands and I don't think I can hold a controller and use the keyboard at the same time.
Chemical Plant Zone
Chemical Plant is probably the most iconic level in the game, hence it's inclusion in Sonic Generations last year. It takes place in an urban environment and there are nasties all over the place, but it's just the second Zone so it's still fairly simple. There are enemies who shoot projectiles as well as having spikes on them making it hard to kill them, but for the most part enemies are killable.
There are a couple of gimmicky sections, the first one being PIPES! which I didn't get a good picture of. Basically they are a section of the level that you enter, then watch Sonic and Tails roll in a ball through a long pipe section.
The second gimmick is the return of the dreaded water. And this time...it's polluted.
Despite their unnatural colour, this pink water doesn't have any additional purposes...at least until the boss.
I'm not good at this boss. One of the main reasons I ended up replaying the first two levels so much was because I wanted to beat this guy legitimately, but he is infuriating. Basically he will go from side to side sucking up water, which he'll drop on you. Not that bad, but the platforms will disappear and reappear, meaning you could be standing on it avoid Robotnik and suddenly you fall. It's instant death. Luckily you can get a couple of hits at a time and he doesn't take too long. Though a few years ago I remember beating the boss...and then falling into the water and dying. Might explain why I never got too far in Sonic 2 before...
Still, two Zones down and I have six lives and two continues? Not too shabby if I say so myself.
Next: Aquatic Ruin Zone, Casino Night Zone and Special Stages.