Sonic Adventure 2

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Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Adventure 2 cover.png
North American Dreamcast cover art
Developer(s) Sonic Team USA
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Takashi Iizuka
Producer(s) Yuji Naka
Programmer(s) Tetsu Katano
Artist(s) Kazuyuki Hoshino
Yuji Uekawa
Writer(s) Shiro Maekawa
Composer(s) Jun Senoue
Kenichi Tokoi
Fumie Kumatani
Tomoya Ohtani
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s) Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Platform, action, shoot-'em-up
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution GD-ROM, Nintendo optical disc, Download

Sonic Adventure 2 (Japanese: ソニックアドベンチャー2 Hepburn: Sonikku Adobenchā Tsū?) is a platform video game developed by Sonic Team USA and published by Sega for the Dreamcast console. It was the last Sonic game to be released for a Sega console and is a sequel to 1998's Sonic Adventure. It was released in North America, Europe, and Japan in June 2001 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The game was ported to the Nintendo GameCube and re-titled Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (ソニックアドベンチャー2 バトル Sonikku Adobenchā Tsū Batoru?), with brand-new features as well as minor changes in the level design. The original game and content from Battle was released in high-definition on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in October 2012. A version for Microsoft Windows was released in November 2012.

The game takes place after the events of its predecessing game: Sonic Adventure. The series antagonist Doctor Eggman releases Shadow the Hedgehog, who joins Eggman and treasure hunter Rouge the Bat to steal the seven Chaos Emeralds. The game's story focuses on the protagonists Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna and Miles "Tails" Prower as they attempt to stop Eggman and Shadow from collecting the Chaos Emeralds.

The game was a commercial success, and received positive reviews; however, criticism was directed towards its camera system and side characters. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was less positively received than the original release, but it was a commercial success, selling more than 1 million copies worldwide and becoming the tenth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game.


In the first level of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic temporarily rides a snowboard and performs tricks.

Sonic Adventure 2 is a 3D game that features six playable characters. Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, and Knuckles the Echidna are categorized as "Hero", while Shadow the Hedgehog, Doctor Eggman, and Rouge the Bat are categorized as "Dark". The first, second, and third characters on each side feature similar play-styles to each other that differ from the others'. The player moves through both the Hero and Dark campaigns, switching between them at will. Each campaign cycles through levels of its three characters and tells a different side of the story. Levels take a variety of themes, such as cities, jungles, desert pyramids, and outer space.[3]

Sonic and Shadow play through fast-paced levels focused on platforming and action gameplay.[4] They have a homing attack with which they can lock onto robots created by Eggman and G.U.N., and they can also grind on rails. Tails' and Eggman's levels, meanwhile, are much slower and oriented more towards shoot-'em-up gameplay; they are both confined to mechs in which they can jump short heights, hover, and shoot enemies. Knuckles' and Rouge's levels are wide-open and spread-out, and involve treasure hunting: in each level, they must find three shards of the Master Emerald. Their search is guided by radar and puzzle-based clues given by harmless robots.[3] Knuckles and Rouge can glide, defeat enemies with punches and kicks,[4] and scale walls, as well as digging into them to find power-ups.[5] Some levels are followed by boss fights, and completing both the Hero and Dark campaigns unlocks a "Last Story" that features all six characters and culminates in a final boss.[3]

Adventure 2 maintains the unusual health system found in many other Sonic games. The player collects rings, which are scattered throughout levels; being hit by an enemy while holding rings causes the player to drop them all, while being hit without rings causes the player to lose a life. Tails and Eggman have a traditional health bar, but it is slowly refilled by collecting rings anyway. Dying with no lives results in a game over screen.[6] However, the characters are aided in their levels by occasional upgrades; for example, Sonic and Shadow find an upgrade that allows them to bounce up and down and reach higher areas, while Knuckles and Rouge find one that gives them powerful kicks that can break certain containers.[7] Also found in levels are "Chaos Drives" and small, non-anthropomorphic animals, both of which can be used with the player's Chao creatures.[8]

A Chaos Drive

Separate from the main campaigns, the player can raise Chao in a virtual pet format.[3] Chao possess five stat attributes, each connoting a different ability—Swim, Fly, Run, Power, and Stamina—as well as a moral alignment that runs on a continuum from Hero to Dark. From the moment they hatch from eggs, their stats can be increased with Chaos Drives, thereby empowering them to compete in karate[9] and racing minigames.[4] Their alignment gradually changes based on their affection to the characters; for example, a Chao that likes Tails will gradually become more Hero. Playing with Chao and giving them animals increases affection, and when a Chao becomes fully Hero or Dark, it will take on that form permanently.[10] Chao eventually die, but if they received enough affection during their lives, they will reincarnate.[11]

The game includes 180 emblems, which are earned for a variety of tasks.[12] Every level includes five missions; only the first is required to continue on during the campaign, but other missions include completing a harder version of a level and collecting 100 rings. The player earns emblems by completing missions, as well as other tasks, many of them related to Chao raising. Collecting all emblems unlocks a 3D version of the Green Hill Zone level from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.[13] The game also features a few two-player modes. Players may race on foot through altered versions of levels or new levels, hold shoot-'em-up battles in mechs,[4] hunt for Master Emerald shards,[14] or race in go-karts.[4] A few characters are playable in these modes but not in the main game; for example, Tikal from the original Sonic Adventure is playable in the treasure-hunting game,[15] as is Amy Rose in the on-foot-racing levels.[16]


Following from where Sonic Adventure left off, Sonic defeats Perfect Chaos and saves Earth from destruction. After discovering the existence of a secret weapon mentioned in the diary of his grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, Dr. Eggman infiltrates a high-security G.U.N. facility in search of it. This "weapon," a black hedgehog named Shadow who claims that he is the "Ultimate Life Form," offers to help Eggman take over the world, telling the scientist to rendezvous with him at the abandoned Space Colony ARK with more Chaos Emeralds. Shadow proceeds in stealing one of the Emeralds. During the event, Shadow has a flashback to the final moments of a young girl named "Maria," begging him to complete an unspecified task—which he interprets as a request for revenge. Because Shadow makes a hasty retreat and no one is able to get a good look at him, G.U.N. officials mistake Shadow for Sonic. After escaping from the military, Sonic is arrested again shortly after a confrontation with Shadow, who demonstrates to Sonic the Chaos Control technique.

Meanwhile, Knuckles confronts both Rouge the Bat and Eggman, who each attempt to steal the Master Emerald. Knuckles shatters the Master Emerald to prevent this, and proceeds to search for the scattered shards and restore the Emerald. While Rouge intends to collect the shards for personal benefit, she must also accomplish a mission for the government to spy on Eggman. This mission causes her to infiltrate Dr. Eggman's base, which also leads her to the ARK, where Shadow relays to Eggman his plan to use the Chaos Emeralds to charge a "super weapon" on the ARK called the Eclipse Cannon to take over the world. To accomplish this, Shadow and Eggman recruit Rouge to assist in the search of the Chaos Emeralds.

Tails and Amy infiltrate Prison Island and rescue Sonic from G.U.N., while Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge collect three Emeralds on the island, they then destroy it. Eggman then broadcasts his threats across the planet and demonstrates the cannon's level of power by destroying half of the moon. Sonic and company use the final Emerald within their possession to track down the other six, with Knuckles coming along as well. Together, the group infiltrates Eggman's base, narrowly boarding Eggman's shuttle as it launches into space. Along the ride into space, Knuckles' Master Emerald shards are spilled, and he leaves the group to collect them, encountering Rouge again. During the fight, Knuckles saves Rouge from certain death, and Rouge surrenders her collected shards, finally allowing Knuckles to restore the Master Emerald.

On board the ARK, Tails reveals that he has created a counterfeit Chaos Emerald designed to reverse the energy fields of the real ones, although it is less powerful. Sonic goes to place the fake Chaos Emerald into the Cannon when Eggman announces that he has captured Tails and Amy. Sonic tries to trick Eggman by giving him the fake Chaos Emerald, but at the last second, Eggman, suspecting such a trick, traps and jettisons Sonic in an escape pod rigged with explosives. Using the fake Chaos Emerald, Sonic manages to perform Chaos Control and escape the pod before it explodes, but Tails, thinking Sonic is dead, fights Eggman. Shadow is sent to intercept Sonic before he destroys the Eclipse Cannon, but Sonic succeeds.

Once Eggman collects all seven Chaos Emeralds and attempts to fire the Eclipse Cannon at full power, a failsafe activates, the ARK begins to fall toward Earth, and a recorded message from the late Gerald Robotnik is broadcast around the world. It explains that he arranged for the ARK to collide with Earth and destroy it, as revenge against humanity. Reading his diary, the two teams on the ARK discover that Gerald Robotnik's hatred for all humans spawned from when the government condemned him and his research and killed numerous colleagues, including his granddaughter (and Eggman's cousin) Maria, on board the ARK. Eggman determines the energy of the Chaos Emeralds is causing the ARK to fall toward Earth, and everyone agrees to work together to intercept the energy at the Eclipse Cannon's core and neutralize the energy using the repaired Master Emerald to stop the collision. Shadow initially does not participate, due to his apathy toward humankind; however, Amy pleads for Shadow to help, reminding him of Maria's true request, not for revenge, but to serve as a benefit for society. He catches up with Sonic and Knuckles after they make their way to the cannon core.

After disabling the various security features guarding the core, Sonic and Knuckles encounter the Biolizard, a prototype of the Ultimate Life Form, and Shadow's "biological" brother, who had been awoken from stasis to ensure that the Emeralds would not be tampered with. Shadow defeats the Biolizard, allowing Knuckles to neutralize the Chaos energy and deactivate the Chaos Emeralds using the Master Emerald. However, the injured Biolizard uses Chaos Control to fuse with the Eclipse Cannon, becoming the Finalhazard and continuing the ARK's collision course by physically dragging it along. Using the power of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic and Shadow transform into Super Sonic and Super Shadow and defeat the Finalhazard. They then use Chaos Control to teleport the ARK back into a stable orbit around Earth. The process, however, depletes Shadow's energy, and he is rendered unable to remain in orbit. He plummets to Earth, and to his apparent death, content that he has fulfilled his promise to Maria. As humanity celebrates openly, the two teams reflect on both the events that have transpired, concerning Shadow's sacrifice and Gerald Robotnik's intent to destroy Earth, and their new plans from there. As they leave the station, Sonic bids a final farewell to Shadow.


Sonic Adventure 2 was developed by Sega Studio USA, the now-defunct United States division of Sonic Team, and published by Sega. The game was directed by longtime series contributor Takashi Iizuka, and was developed over the course of a year and a half.[17] Its development took place during a hectic time for Sega and Sega Studio USA; they knew before the game's completion that the Dreamcast was failing economically and would be Sega's last console for the foreseeable future. They were also working on the intensive Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 and other titles for the GameCube and Game Boy Advance.[18]

The game was designed to be action-oriented as opposed to the slower-paced, more story-based Sonic Adventure. To that end, Sega Studio USA prioritized making the game run at 60 frames per second and effecting a "tempo" by giving Sonic a variety of actions rather than focusing only on speed. The levels were set up to further this flow and make Sonic seem faster than he really was. From an aesthetic perspective, Sega Studio USA took inspiration for the levels and environments from San Francisco—the location of their headquarters—and from other American locations such as Yosemite National Park where they vacationed during development of the game.[17] The level design process involved redesigns to prioritize the framerate, but was more streamlined than Adventure '​s as a result of the team's experience with the Dreamcast hardware.[19]

While the Chao were—as Iizuka has described—a "relative neutral entity" in Sonic Adventure, Sega Studio USA decided to expand the creatures' presence in its sequel, and added the ability to raise "Hero" and "Dark" Chao to artistically complement the game's inherent good–evil dichotomy. The developers made sure to give all six playable characters roughly equal gameplay time for the same reason, unlike in Adventure where Big the Cat's and E-102 Gamma's stories were short.[17] Unlike in Adventure, Chao were given the ability to socialize so that they would resemble a "real artificial life form."[19]

Sega announced a follow-up to Sonic Adventure, as well as a spinoff title (which would become Sonic Shuffle), in October 1999.[20] The newly named Sonic Adventure 2 was shown off at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2000, and Sonic Team shortly placed the footage shown there on their website in late June 2000.[21] Sonic Team later posted a trailer and numerous screenshots in late May 2001.[22] Sega promoted Sonic Adventure 2 both as the final Sonic game for the Dreamcast, and as marking the tenth anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.[23] Sega also held a 10-year anniversary party for Sonic in June 2001; attendees could compete in a battle tournament whose winner played against Iizuka.[19]

The GameCube—rather than the competing Xbox or PlayStation 2—was chosen to receive a port of Sonic Adventure 2 because of its "56k" technology. Sega and Sega Studio USA were unconcerned with the fact that the Xbox would feature Broadband Internet connectivity upon its release while the GameCube would not.[18]


Jun Senoue returned as head composer for this game with assistance from Kenichi Tokoi, Fumie Kumatani, and Tomoya Ohtani. Like the previous game, each character received an instrumental motif that serves as their theme song. The game features performances by returning vocalists Tony Harnell, Ted Poley, Marlon Saunders, Nikki Gregoroff and Johnny Gioeli, as well as new vocalists Tabitha Fair, Todd Cooper, Paul Shortino, Everett Bradley, Kaz Silver, and Hunnid-P.[24] Crush 40, which consists of Senoue and Gioeli,[25] officially debuted with the theme song "Live & Learn", which plays during the main menu, the final battle, and the ending credits.[26]

Several soundtrack albums were released for the game. The Sonic Adventure 2 Multi-Dimensional Original Soundtrack was produced by Jun Senoue and released by Marvelous Entertainment on September 5, 2001.[24]

Sonic Adventure 2 Vocals Collection: Cuts Unleashed (ソニックアドベンチャー2 カッツ・アンリッシュド ヴォーカル・コレクション?) was produced by Jun Senoue and released on August 21, 2001 by MMV. It contains musical tracks from the game composed by Jun Senoue and Kenichi Tokoi.[27]

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first Sonic game, Sonic Adventure 2 Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition was released on June 22, 2011.[28]

Alternative versions and releases[edit]

GameCube port[edit]

The Nintendo GameCube adaption of Sonic Adventure 2, called Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, was released on December 20, 2001 in Japan, February 11, 2002 in North America, and on the GameCube's launch (May 3, 2002) in Europe, making it the first in the series to be released for the Nintendo system. This game changed a large portion of raising Chao. A Chao's stats can be viewed from within the game.[29] The player can transfer one Chao from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle to the "Tiny Chao Garden" section in Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, and Sonic Pinball Party with the GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable. If a Game Boy Advance is connected without a Game Boy Advance game inserted, a version of the Tiny Chao Garden can be copied temporarily into the Game Boy Advance's memory. Chao Karate was also introduced in this version. The Chao's stats are used against a computer-controlled opponent to fight in a fighting game style, but with minimal influence from the player and very little in terms of actual karate.[30]

The "Battle" multiplayer options were expanded in the GameCube version, including the addition of new characteristics to the multiplayer-exclusive characters, while removing all online play.[31] There are several aesthetic changes as well. In the GameCube version, minor special effects were changed such as rain in the "White Jungle" level. Also, when playing as Knuckles or Rouge, an exclamation (!) will appear above his or her head when directly nearby their targets. Some cutscenes were also redone slightly, with different character animations and camera angles. Some rankings had their requirements changed. Big the Cat's cameos did not remain in the stages or Hero cutscenes, but he can still be viewed in some Dark and Final story sequences by rapidly pressing the A or B buttons throughout the scenes. A Dark Chao (with Dark Chao Walker) replaces Big the Cat in two-player mode.[citation needed]

Downloadable re-releases[edit]

Sonic Adventure 2 was re-released in high-definition with additional content from the Battle edition purchasable as separate DLC.[32] This version was released on the PlayStation Network in North America on October 2, 2012, in Europe on October 3, 2012, and in Japan on October 4, 2012.[33][34] It was released worldwide on the Xbox Live Arcade on October 5, 2012[33] and on Microsoft Windows via Steam on November 19, 2012.[35][36]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 83.26%[37]
Metacritic 89%[38]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 7/10[39]
GamePro 4.5/5[40]
Game Revolution B[41]
GameSpot 8.6/10[4]
IGN 9.4/10[3]

Sonic Adventure 2 was released to strongly positive reviews, receiving respective aggregate scores of 89% and 83.26% from review aggregators Metacritic and GameRankings.[37][38] Reviewers appreciated the game's inclusion of multiple play-styles. Edge and reviewer Four Eyed Dragon from GamePro felt that the three styles that compose the core game, as well as the bonus features like Chao gardens, made the game engaging to play through,[39][40] and Johnny Liu of Game Revolution praised the wealth of replay value brought by the inclusion of multiple play-styles and 180 goals.[41]

Critics found the game's camera to be somewhat problematic. Shahed Ahmed of GameSpot decried the game for committing the "cardinal sin" of 3D platformers: forcing the player to jump to a platform that is out of view. Ahmed also found it aggravating that while the player can temporarily re-orient the camera using the trigger buttons, it reverts to normal as soon as the character moves.[4] Staff of IGN stated that while camera issues were absent in Tails' and Eggman's levels and almost absent in Sonic's and Shadow's, searching for Emerald shards and items in the more cramped sections of Knuckles' and Rouge's levels was frustrating;[3] Liu felt similarly.[41] Edge found the camera problems to permeate the whole game and, unlike Ahmed and IGN, did not feel that the camera had been significantly improved from Adventure '​s.[39]

The graphics, however, were very well received, described by Liu as "sweet, sweet eye-crack".[41] Four Eyed Dragon exclaimed that "Sonic [Adventure] 2 is simply jaw-dropping beautiful", particularly enjoying the detailed backgrounds and scenery and the playable characters' and enemies' liberal color palettes.[40] IGN opined that the game contained "some of the best textures ever seen" and could easily be ranked as one of the most beautiful Dreamcast games.[3] Edge singled out the texture detail and draw distance as especially impressive.[39] IGN, Liu, and Ahmed appreciated the game's 60-frame-per-second rendering speed.[41][3][4]

Critics also enjoyed the game's music. Ahmed saw the music as a step up from Adventure '​s "campy glam-rock and J-pop soundtrack", especially through the lesser reliance on lyrics;[4] Liu appreciated the more "understated" approach in Adventure 2.[41] Four Eyed Dragon was more effusive: "an eclectic mix of orchestrated masterpieces, guitar tunes, and melodic hip-hop voices gracefully fill the game's ambiance to a perfect pitch."[40] However, reactions to the voice acting were less positive. While Ahmed determined that "the voice acting, and the lip-synching in particular, is executed quite well",[4] Liu and IGN saw the English voices as vastly inferior to the Japanese ones.[41][3]

The plot also received criticism. Ahmed criticized Adventure 2 '​s plot, summarizing that "throughout the game the plot becomes more and more scattered and lackluster", never focusing long enough on one element to execute it meaningfully.[4] Similarly, Liu argued that despite the game's ambitious scope and themes, it had failed to advance the series' core plot devices beyond the negligible plots of the Sega Genesis Sonic games.[41] However, Edge appreciated the presentation of the story from both the heroes' and villains' perspective.[39]

Despite the high review scores given to the Dreamcast version and the release of the GameCube version only six months later, Battle fared worse in terms of reviews, with respective Metacritic and GameRankings scores of only 73% and 72.33%.[42][43] In general, critics felt that, while the game was still enjoyable, it had not been sufficiently upgraded from the Dreamcast original.[44][45] In contrast, Shane Bettenhausen from GameSpy saw Battle as noticeably superior; he opined that, in addition to the game's upgrades, the action was better suited to the GameCube's controller than to the Dreamcast's.[46] The game had sold 1.44 million units in the United States alone by December 2007, making it one of the best-selling releases for the GameCube.[47]

Sonic Adventure 2 has won several awards: IGN's and GamePro '​s Editors' Choice Awards and GameSpy's "Best of 2001: Best Dreamcast Action/Adventure game".[citation needed] ScrewAttack also rated Sonic Adventure 2 as the fifth best Dreamcast game.[48] GamesRadar rated Sonic Adventure 2 as the tenth greatest Dreamcast game out of a list of 25, stating that "Despite trailing off significantly in recent years, the 3D side of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise had a surprisingly stellar start with the Sonic Adventure entries, and the 2001 sequel really amped up the action".[49] In February 2014, IGN's Luke Karmali listed Battle as his tenth favorite game of all time.[50]


Shadow and Rouge, who debuted in Adventure 2, have become recurring characters in the Sonic franchise. Both appeared along with new character E-123 Omega as "Team Dark", one of the playable character teams, in Sonic Heroes, the first console Sonic game after Adventure 2.[51] Shadow starred in his own game, Shadow the Hedgehog, which was released in 2005 and features a similar 3D platforming gameplay style.[52]

With a few modifications, the plots of Adventure and Adventure 2 were reprised during the second season of the anime Sonic X, which ran from 2003 to 2006. American licensing corporation 4Kids Entertainment hired an entirely new voice cast, but the Japanese cast from the games reprised their roles for the show.[53]

For the series' 20th anniversary, Sonic Generations contained gameplay elements and levels from various Sonic series games. Elements from Sonic Adventure 2 included a remake of the City Escape stage in the console versions and a remake of the Radical Highway stage in the Nintendo 3DS version. Shadow also appears in a recreation of his boss battle, and the Biolizard boss is recreated exclusively in the 3DS version.[citation needed]


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  34. ^ "ドリームキャスト復刻プロジェクトに新たなタイトルが登場! 『ソニックアドベンチャー2』がダウンロード配信決定! PlayStation®3版は10月4日配信、Xbox 360®は10月5日配信 | トピックス" (in Japanese). Sega. September 27, 2012. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
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External links[edit]

Media related to Sonic Adventure at Wikimedia Commons