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Sonic the Hedgehog 2

What's the logical next step when you have a top-selling video game on your hands? Make a sequel! Sega wanted to infuse a more international feel to this sequel, so they called upon the recently formed Sega Technical Institute in California. Sonic Team's lead programmer, Yuji Naka, had left Sega because of internal power hierarchy polices, but later returned to direct and supervise Sonic 2's development in America. Level designers and artists (including Sonic 1's level designer, Hirokazu Yasuhara) were brought from Japan to collaborate with the Americans on what was to be a larger, more ambitious game.

Larger and more ambitious is definately what it turned out to be. With double the amount of zones, a "3D" special stage, and the boast of blast processing, Sonic 2 once again upped the ante of what was expected in a platform game. There were more graphics and longer levels, well-written music, unique levels, and the introduction of a new character: Miles "Tails" Prower. Tails was the product of another internal company character design contest. Yasushii Yamaguchi (credited as Judy Totoya in the game) came up with the two-tailed fox, and gave him the name Miles Prower. Sega strongly wanted the name Tails, however, much to Yamaguchi's dismay. He did manage to sneak the name Miles in, though, by the means of a little known about code. The Death Egg, Eggman's space-borne command station, was also formally introduced in this game, becoming another staple of the Sonic series, although your presence on board it here is limited only to fighting Eggman in the last battle. The Chaos Emeralds were carried over from the first game and are collected in the special stages. Collecting all of them unlocks Super Sonic, an invincible, twice-as-fast, golden version of himself.

Riding on Sonic 1's success, the Genesis had become THE console of choice around the time Sonic 2 was released. It became one of the top-selling games of all time. It's wide release and availability ensured that most every kid who had a Genesis played Sonic 2, and it is looked upon by many fans with fond memories as their first introduction to the Sonic games.

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