Sonic the Hedgehog 2/Knuckles

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Current Fastest Time

15:18 by mike89

Unless otherwise stated, you should start each stage with a 6 tap spindash.

Emerald Hill 1

Pretty simple stage, just follow the run above.

  • The jump over the diagonal spring is much tighter than with Sonic, so make sure to jump from very close to it.
  • After collecting the speed shoes, you want to start your roll just as you go through the third ring on the ramp. Ideally you want to land on the left hand side of the invincibility box up ahead, which means you can just hold right for the remainder of the stage. If you hit the right hand side of the invincibility, you're too high and will miss the 10 ring box up ahead unless you hold back a little to adjust.
  • If you land on the loop with the up-right facing spring, tap left just after hitting it, then switch back to right, which will ensure you don't get stopped by the corner up ahead.

This method almost always gets 0:20, but if all your spindashes are good then 0:19 is very possible.

Emerald Hill 2

Again, relatively straightforward, make sure to hold down as you cross the bridge at the start.

  • Instead of slowing down before the gap, it's possible to jump off the ramp into the monkey and land in the gap at full speed, this can save a second at the end of the stage if it goes very well, but sometimes you'll also stop dead upon landing.
  • Jump from just after the right bridge post, and tap left slightly after you hit the monkey in the tree. Hold down to roll, and tap left again after you go over the ring box, which should sneak you underneath the spikes.
  • There's a very small ramp just underneath the spikes in the tunnel, which lets you get into the tunnel here without losing speed. You should brake slightly before it though, to improve your angle slightly.
  • For the boss, start holding left as the horizontal line on the Egg-O-Matic lines up with the one on the drill, and roll as you go over the first bump. After four hits, hold against the left wall and short jump. Bounce on him two more times against the left wall (don't switch to right until after hit 6!), then slide along the ground for hit 7. For this you'll need to hold the button until you see Robotnik start flashing again - once you see that, immediately let go and glide into him for the last hit.

Typical run of this stage is 0:37.

Chemical Plant 1

  • Start with a 3 tap spindash and jump.
  • Make sure you jump at some point so you're running through the first loop. Slow down slightly and jump over the spring.
  • After the yellow blocks, you go through two loops that exit downwards, and a third regular loop - behind the right pillar of this loop is a steep ramp. Slow down just before it, jump, and hold right to hit the gap in the wall.

This typically gets a 0:23. It's also possible to beat the block cycle with very aggressive play at the start of the stage, but without a frame perfect jump after climbing the wall it won't save any time due to Knuckles's lower jump.

Chemical Plant 2

  • The jump off the ramp here is essentially blind, you can do it from a number of different places and it'll still work - or from the same places and it won't. That being said, you want to aim to jump as soon as you see the second cross-ramp appear on the screen. A number of different things can happen here, but the two best cases are either getting yourself half stuck in the floor, from which you press left to zip out, gain a ton of speed and carry on, or if you just maintain your speed along the path. Both of these let you reach the first possible cycle of the yellow blocks. However, both of these are kind of rare and you can expect to get stopped on the ground a lot, or embedded fully in the ground (from which you have to zip backwards or else the door up ahead will kill you), which doesn't give you enough time to reach the early cycle and puts you on the next one, which is 6 seconds slower. This method also comes with the risk of falling through everything and dying, so if you don't want to take that chance, you can just glide off the ramp after going past the third cross-ramp, which will safely put you on the second cycle.
  • Ideally you want to jump off the steep ramp after the loops just after it starts to straighten back up - if you jump from the steepest point of the ramp your jump will go straight through this gap which costs 3-4 seconds.
  • Let go of right as you go through the last stretch - much as Sonic would have to to avoid the speed cap - this will help Knuckles make the last jump over the steps without being stopped.

If you get the first cycle of yellow blocks, you can get 33 seconds here. On the second cycle you get at best 39.

Aquatic Ruin 1

  • The spindash over the springboard is kind of silly, this is one of those spindashes I recommend charging a little longer before releasing. Sometimes the springboard will fling you out of the spindash, and it doesn't seem entirely related to your speed. That being said, having more speed will help your chances of getting over it cleanly.
  • Just before the path drops you into the water, there's a very slight ramp - hard to see because the path is obscured - that will get you right near the speed shoes in one jump. Two possible results: either you land on the box, in which case you should grab the wall and climb up, or you land just left of it, in which case, hold down to roll through it, then jump and glide out.
  • Either way, from there jump over the pool of water - if you enter the water with speed shoes on they stop working - and time a jump off the steepest part of the ramp ahead. You also need to hold left a bit on this jump, otherwise the path switchers don't work properly and you have to go around the loop rather than through it.

Anything from 0:21 to 0:23 is in acceptable range here.

Aquatic Ruin 2

  • Aim to jump from the very end of the first platform, such that you get a high ramp jump, and glide across. If you go through the very top of this enemy you can hold the glide across the first springboard and should safely land on one of the two further on, but if you're too low you'll need to either stop and spindash at the enemy or at the springboard.
  • It's possible to do a spindash jump off the steepest part of the ramp before the third springboard and glide all the way to the boss, but that saves only one second over this method and requires a perfect spindash and perfect angle off the slope.
  • Instead, full jump off a slight angle on the ramp after the three springboards, then press and hold jump again to superglide off the box.
  • Ideally you want to have about one character's height of a gap between Knuckles and the highest of the four rings as you pass over them. If you're lower than that, you'll hit one of the rotating platforms up ahead and you'll be forced to go to the end more slowly, costing about four seconds. On the other hand, if you're too high you can hit the top platform, or more likely just run into the pillar up ahead. This, however, you can save by just turning left, then right in the air for very little loss.
  • As soon as you see Knuckles's position shift towards the right of the screen, drop the glide and land in the boss area. It's not necessary to do this fight from the left pillar, but it is easier, because of a glitch in the game where Knuckles won't move if he spindashes left from the very right edge of the screen.
  • Not shown in the video above is a glitch that causes the boss to skip its blowing up animation: if you land the last hit on the exact frame the boss starts swinging its hammer it will exit the arena straight away and allow you to get to the capsule about 3 seconds quicker. It costs about half a second over an optimal boss fight to attempt, though
  • Speaking of which, make sure to jump on an incline when hitting the capsule. Nothing worse than losing a second due to a bad capsule jump.

If everything goes well, this strat generally yields 0:40-0:41. Getting the boss glitch saves a further 3 seconds, but shouldn't be relied upon.

Casino Night 1

  • A tap jump just as the ground becomes flat again after the first slope should put you behind the speed shoes. If it looks like you're going to hit them, you can save it by supergliding off the box to bounce over the bumpers up ahead.
  • The blue block moving up and down is on the camera timer, so just get to this area as quickly as possible to start its cycle, then wait on the left for it to fall. Hold only up and when you jump and glide, you'll grab the opposite wall each time. Hold right after the third jump and land on the red spring - let go of right when you hit it and don't touch right again until after you've gone past the bumper in the air!
  • Hit jump to use the flipper as soon as you run onto it, you should clear all the bumpers here and land on the flat ahead.
  • One case where Knuckles' low jump comes in handy: a full jump from the shield box goes right through the angled bumpers up ahead. Jump as late as possible on the next stretch to pass the blue block without hitting the ceiling, then from as late as possible on the flat up ahead, then as late as possible again from the 10 ring box to land on one of the last two bumpers.
  • Tap jump as you hit the ground after that, and glide to stop your momentum just as you go past the edge. Aim to drop right between the two bumpers on the pinball table.
  • Launch from between the last two coils on the spring, then jump out of the ramp, land and spindash to end the stage.

If this route is executed correctly, it finishes in 0:26 or 0:27.

Casino Night 2

  • The setup used in this video is a strategy Tee-N-Tee developed to limit the threat of subpixels in this stage. Two full jumps at the start, one more against the bottom bumper, then spindash and start holding right after hitting the red spring. From the top, full jump again, hold against the left wall and glide just as you're about to break the speed shoe box. The timing for the glide is frame perfect, but if timed right you'll either drop down beside it or be attached to the wall halfway inside it - either is fine but if you grab it, tap down to drop off.
  • Tap right against the box for either 2 or 3 frames - if it's not exactly this long you won't get enough speed out of the wall later. One tap spindash and you'll drop into the wall, then do two more spindashes once you land, then switch to holding right. At this point it's possible to get pushed down into a hollow part of the wall and be stuck (3/8 of all y-subpixels cause this result) but if you do the manipulation correctly and get the clip behind the speed shoe box first try, this should not happen.
  • In order to pass by the left edge and complete the level wrap, you have to let go of holding right at just the right time. The first two frames once you see Knuckles leave the wall work for this, as well as three further frames as you move off the left side of the screen.
  • For the boss, jump as the checkpoint goes past the left of the screen, and you should land in the ramp below. One tap spindash up the ramp for the first hit, then run over to the other side and land on the blue bumper in the middle, then bounce on Robotnik for the remaining seven.

Using the subpixel manipulation at the start of the stage, 0:36 is the time you would expect. Faster times are possible by throwing caution to the wind, but the setup helps immensely for getting runs past this stage.

Hill Top 1

(1): Look for the three blocks at the bottom centre to reach this height.
  • Use the rings as a cue for where you'll end up on the first glide. You want them to be in about the bottom left corner as you start the glide, this will mean you land neatly on the corner of the platform next to the rock. Do another glide so as to land on the bobbing platform up ahead, then spindash through the tube and jump and glide out of the ramp.
  • On each of the next two ramps there are tiny pieces of ground that are much steeper than the rest, and you want to get your jumps off these in order to save climbing time.
  • As you go through the third ring on the cable platform, hold right to run off the platform and let it drop you into the lava pit. Wait until you see the three blocks on the bottom of the screen appear as you fall (see picture), then hold left to zip.
  • As the tunnel opens up, glide across the rock and run across to the flat ground, then stop and spindash, and jump in the tunnel. If you picked up a ring then roll through here, if not, run and you should pick up the first ring in the air. Either way, spindash again after getting hit, and after being flung off the ramp, land just behind the 10 ring box on the loop. Spindash to end the stage.

This stage can go as low as 0:37, but anything under 0:40 is still quite good.

Hill Top 2

  • Start with a three tap spindash and immediately jump off another tiny ramp, and you should land on the platform above.
  • Again, jump off another small ramp as you approach the shield box, and superglide off the box to go up to the top path. This removes any need to worry about cycles in this stage.
  • Tap left to slow yourself down a little so you don't get stopped by the lower ceiling of the tunnel ahead. Right at the end, tap jump onto the first platform, then make your way across.
  • Tap jump from about where the spring is to clear the spring pit. This jump is much easier with Knuckles than it is with Sonic.
  • As you move into line with the second ring in the first chain, start a glide, which should settle just below the ceiling of the next area.
  • If the last spindash doesn't have good speed, then jump over the first lava pit, as the trigger for the boss is landing on the platforms in the middle.
  • Simply roll off the platform as the boss appears, this will give you the perfect height to get all eight hits.
  • When jumping for the capsule, hold back a little bit and jump from the top of the incline.

This is a difficult stage to optimise, but as good as 0:53 is possible with clean execution.

Mystic Cave 1

For the most part, this stage explains itself.

  • Hang on to the first vine until you drop below the height of the ceiling, then glide over to the next platform, skipping the spike wall.
  • Spindash, then jump off the downslope to switch to running. If you're going too fast, then tap left to make sure the door is open enough for you to go through. Wait a fraction before jumping down, so that you don't hit the bug up above.
  • Spindash from behind the next rising door, jump from the ramp over the spikes and glide. After the next spindash, jump from the first ring of the set of three, then jump again as you land on the wooden blocks.
  • Move a little bit away from the spikes, but not too far. The objective is to have the snake pop out only a little, up and to the right. Superglide off its head and aim for the gap in the wall just above the bridge. Err on the side of gliding too high, if need be you can stall by gliding left and right until you get to the right height. If you're too low you don't get another chance to superglide up.
  • Land on the rising wall and quickly spindash off it to the end.

The best time you can expect here is 0:33, but anything up to 0:35 is acceptable here.

Mystic Cave 2

  • Wait for the spike ball to get to around 8 o'clock, then jump and land on the right half of it. The hit from the damage will knock you onto the platform.
  • Hold down to roll as you go over the bridge, you'll hit the ceiling and stop if you're forced back into a run.
  • Here's how you should set yourself up for the boss fight:

Sonic2 MC2bad.png
The spikes at the start of the boss fight can fall in multiple different patterns. The safest place to stand is here, in line with the right edge of Robotnik's hitbox as he falls. The picture above depicts one of two patterns where a spike drops here, and on those patterns you should move back into the middle once you identify it. Both patterns are characterised by the first two spikes falling on the far right and then the far left. From any position, jump for the first three hits, then spindash and you will get the rest before Robotnik has the chance to move away.
This is one of the simplest stages in the run, and really should be 0:43-0:44 every time.

Oil Ocean 1

  • You should roll through the start, until going through the first enemy.
  • The pattern of jumps in the last section is designed so the fan at the end doesn't have time to stop you. Once you see the first ball cannon on screen, do one large jump, then two small jumps up to the second ball cannon, then two large jumps to the wall. Climb up and quickly spindash away, then glide to land on the last platform.

This route gets times between 0:33 and 0:35.

Oil Ocean 2

TODO: add video of new route

  • Getting hit into this checkered ball like this causes your acceleration in all directions to double.
  • Once you push the spring all the way in, release all input until you stop inside the wall. Then you should hold right for just long enough to exit the wall (specifically, 6 to 9 frames). If you're just learning, you can choose to pause buffer this, if you pause on any of the four frames below, you can release all input to complete the level wrap.

Sonic2 OO2-1.png Sonic2 OO2-2.png

Sonic2 OO2-3.png Sonic2 OO2-4.png

  • While off screen, you should hold nothing until you see the approach to the boss arena come into view, start holding left here. Once Sonic appears at the right edge of the screen, do a full size jump into the pit and roll. As soon as you hear the sound for the first hit, do a small jump. This should get at least the next 6 hits; if you have to spindash for the last one, hold down and mash the buttons to make sure it goes off in time. Then jump quickly to make sure you get out of the pit.

This method should give times between 0:43 and 0:46.

Metropolis 1

TODO: add video for this stage

  • When exiting the first mesh cylinder, activate the speed cap and spindash up this ramp.
  • When jumping past the two brown moving platforms, jump from the green ledge above, and do a full jump into the ceiling. This should ensure that you land in the gap just by holding right every time.
  • When bouncing up the yellow springs, hold right for about two bounces worth of time, this should let you bounce out without clipping the right edge on the way up.
  • After the next mesh cylinder, again let the speed cap kick in and let Tails land and charge a spindash before releasing your own.
  • Hold jump on the next set of yellow springs, as this makes you go up much faster.
  • Make sure both Sonic and Tails charge spindashes on these bolts, if both characters are on one of these their speed stacks.
  • This is where you can decide how much risk you're willing to take. After jumping off the second bolt, you can either do a 3-tap spindash, bounce off the mantis, land on the bolt, run left on it to bring it down to the bottom, and then screenwrap - or, duck to bring the screen all the way down, then do the 3-tap spindash which will initiate the screenwrap as you go up the ramp.
  • When doing the former method, you should do one small and one full jump to accelerate the screen scrolling as much as possible.
  • When you do the latter method though, the bolt will crush you as soon as it reappears on screen, unless you jump within a four frame window. Using a visual cue is difficult too, because the screen scrolls much faster when you're in the air than when you land, and you land just before you need to make the jump.
  • WARNING: The boxes with arrows sticking out are on the universal timer. If you make the spindash over the three arrow boxes at 0:47, the last platform will have the arrow pointing up and it will hit you. Hold your spindash back to prevent this from happening, if necessary.

The safer screenwrap method gives times of about 0:57 to 1:00, and the risky screenwrap method saves a further 3 seconds.

Metropolis 2

  • Make sure you're facing left as you take the hit. This will cause you to bounce to the right and land on the falling platform. Move to the left of it if at all possible.
  • Just as the bottom of the platform appears from behind the foreground, do a full jump out to the right, then when you land do another small one, and tap left to zip upon landing.
  • From above the spikes, hold right and let go at the right time to level wrap. Again, the length of time to hold right is a four frame window, but it might not be consistent on emulator vs console. TODO: look into this
  • As this ramp appears on screen, start holding left:

Sonic2 Met2left.png
This should get 0:16 every time.

Metropolis 3

  • How the zip works here is, by inching towards the edge of this platform, Tails moves off it and causes it to fall. On the first two frames that the platform falls, Sonic can initiate a zip by pressing right. This trick actually has two separate two-frame windows: holding right for 4, 5, 9 or 10 frames will cause Sonic to level wrap.
  • Watch the position of Sonic very carefully during the boss fight. For hit 1, you want to release the spindash as soon as Robotnik faces right. For hit 4 you want to release it when you can see the two consecutive orbs pass in front of Robotnik. For hit 7, just roll into him from the right.

Getting the level wrap first try will net a time somewhere between 0:46 and 0:50. Each time you have to reset it and try it again costs around 10 seconds on top of that.

Sky Chase

Don't die. Spindash at the end to ensure 2:05.

Wing Fortress

  • The platforms that pop out from the side of the ship ignore all the timer rules of the rest of the game and operate on a global timer from power-on instead. In practice this means you can lose as much as four seconds here waiting for them to open.
  • The speed cap applies to these ziplines, too, which means if you hold right on them you'll simply walk off and die.
  • A tap jump from the checkpoint lands on the button most of the time.
  • It's possible to kill this boss in a single round - the method is to delay hit 5 a little and get it just before the laser fires, which will make you rebound onto the middle platform, from which you can get the last three hits before the laser closes up again.

Considering the randomness of the platforms, and the difficulty of getting a one round boss kill, this level has the most wildly varying times of any stage. Times can vary from 1:48 with a one round kill and good platform luck to 1:56 with a two round and bad luck.
TODO: add information on slope glitch route

Death Egg

  • If you get the final hit on Silver Sonic on the exact frame he switches from standing straight up to leaning forward, he simply disappears and you can't progress to the final boss. As a result, in serious runs, it's worth delaying the last four hits by a quarter of a second to play it safe.
  • If you don't feel confident with getting 10 hits before leaving the ground, you can get 9 hits by only jumping over the flame in the first phase, at the cost of only one second.

A 10-2 final boss results in a 0:50, and a 9-3 results in a 0:51.

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