The header image for this episode is an edited version of KD_Buck’s image: Lego Sonic Sega Hedgehog Legos over on Pixabay. The only edit made was to place the Waffling Taylors logo inside the loop in the background.
Tuesday November 24th, 1992 - aka the worldwide release of Sonic 2 on the Genesis
we wanted to create a very special episode of the podcast, and it ended up being so long that we split it into four. And this is part three of that series of special episodes; with part one having released last week
We wanted to create an episode which would have us interviewing some amazing people that we know from the podcasting and video content community, and we wanted to talk with them about their memories of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Genesis/ Mega Drive; and reach out, we did.
As you can see from our players section
psst. if you’re not reading these show notes on the website, then you’re missing out
we reached out to some amazing folks. In fact, we got so much content that we’ve had to split this special episode into two separate episodes, each with two parts. In this episode we talked with:
the show notes here are just a sample of the conversation in this episode, so please do give it a listen as we go off on many a tangent and cover a whole BUNCH of stuff. There’s a player at the top of this page for your convenience.
Assisting us with this episode was Russell, an artificial intelligence that Jay may or may not have sunk several years of his life into creating, for the specific purpose of making everyone’s lives easier. Russell took hosting duties for this episode
you’ll see why as we work our way through the series
and started us all off with the first question:
Question 1: Please Tell Us What Is The First Thing That Comes To Mind When I Say “Sonic 2”
Gamer Jason has a rather vivid memory from before he played the game, and was kind enough to share it with us:
For me it’s actually a memory of when I picked up the game. For some reason, I can’t remember why, but I had the game a few before actually owning a Mega Drive.
What I do remember, and I think this is one of the reasons why this game means so much to me, is because I spent so much time in my bedroom just pouring over the box art, and just appreciating the cover and the illustrations. And, like, just reading the instruction manual over and over.
And I think that it just warmed into my heart, more so that any other game.
White Mage’s first thought on Sonic 2 was a wholesome memory of sitting with her sister and playing the two-player levels:
Me, probably about 6 years old, playing with either my sister or my cousins. Because, to me it’s a childhood game.
We would be in my sister’s bedroom, a little TV in the corner, and we’d both be sat on the floor with a controller, playing one of FOUR two-player stages.
Nezzalonius talked about his older brother, and losing the rings in the special stages:
Probably playing co-op with my older brother and being Tails. Through choice; I chose to be Tails. He’s the older brother, he gets to be Sonic.
Blasting through the levels together, constantly falling off of the screen and having to teleport back again. And that disappointed "ah. It’s alright, we’ll get the next one," whenever I would constantly hit the bombs in the special stages, losing all the rings that he’d worked so hard to get.
Question 2: Please Tell Us What Is Your Least Favourite Zone, And Why Is It “Casino Night”
Gamer Jason defends Casino Night, but sees why we asked that question:
I’m going to defend Casino Night Zone a bit here; because as a child, when I played the game, I quite enjoyed it. I thought it was really fun, it made sense to me, you know Sonic could roll up into a ball… I just remember spending a lot of time in those [acts] getting as many rings as I could possibly get.
As an adult, I can kind of see where you’re coming from with Casino Night Zone. It is a bit annoying, it’s a bit frustrating; you’re constantly bouncing on them bumpers, and you’ve got no control over Sonic.
But my real least favourite zone would have to be Wing Fortress. Is that controversial?
We’ll leave the reasons that Gamer Jason gave in the episode, so you’ll have to listen to it to find out why
mwa ha ha?
White Mage also defends Casino Night and her defence makes sense, too. She also talks about two of the levels where Sonic can drown:
It definitely isn’t Casino Night, I love Casino Night.
Let me just defend Casino Night for one second: it is absolute chaos. This is one of the two player ones, there is no way to strategise how to go faster than the other person. And I think that the music is really fun.
I first thought of Chemical Plant Zone, but only because act two has the rising chemicals or water, and you can die if you fall in. I don’t like when there’s pressure put on me in any kind of platformer. It’s not that hard as an adult, but when you’re a child it can be quite stressful.
But I think it’s actually Oil Ocean Zone… you slip and slide around the level; and get turned backwards and no know where you’re going. Sonic isn’t that hard, you literally run to the right.
Nezzalonius brings up a really good point about simulated gambling and slot machines, and talks about the only stage which doesn’t have a boss fight:
I like Casino Night, it’s great fun. Weird that there were slot machines in a Sonic 2 game. I always liked Casino Night, and the music was all jazz-y and just a little bit different.
Personally, I hated Metropolis Zone. The music is cool, and you’re in a big factory thing. But then you’ve got the annoying star enemies. They hide in the walls and fire off the tiniest spikes that you might not see, and if it knocks you off of a corkscrew, you have to go all the way back down. Those mantises will through the homing spikes at you.
Whoever designed Metropolis Zone’s badnik placement was clearly having a really bad day… the flip side is that if you have Super Sonic, Metropolis becomes super easy.
Bonus Question: What Is With SEGA And Putting Casino Levels In All Of Their Sonic Games?
Gamer Jason brings up that it’s Sonic Team’s trademark:
I don’t know. Almost since they brought out Sonic Spinball, and it’s like "oh well, we just have to keep doing it."
Nezzalonius could never figure it out:
I never figured that. You’ve got like Casino Road, Casino Night, and they did Casinopolis in Sonic Adventure as well.
Is someone at Sonic Team trying to send a message or something? Like if the roulette stops spinning, does it say "help" or something?