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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Chaos Emerald Tunnel
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 10, 2010   |   Episode 16 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Chaos Emerald Tunnel
[ Console: Genesis | Year: 1992 | Grade: A ]

Don't get too excited, this tunnel doesn't lead anywhere!
The Context: A hedgehog's job is never done. After saving the animals and defeating the nefarious Dr. Robotnik, Sonic thought his days of fighting evil were over. Little did he know that Sega had bigger plans for him. This is Sonic 2, the first of many sequels and spin-offs. Largely regarded as the high water mark for this 19 year old franchise, Sonic 2 introduces two-player co-op, better level designs and, most importantly, an impressive new bonus level. Will Sonic have what it takes to collect all of the chaos emeralds and defeat the Eggman once again? (I have a hunch you already know the answer to that question!)


I tried asking this guy about Sonic 2, but it didn't RING any bells!
The Rules: Sonic and Tails run through the world's longest half-pipe, moving from left to right picking up coins along the way. As the levels becoming more challenging, players will have to avoid spikes and other obstacles in order to win the colored Chaos Emerald. Thankfully the player isn't forced to pick up every last ring, but rather a more realistic set goal. Each stage has a new pattern and color scheme, a helpful tool for anybody serious about becoming the mythical Super Sonic.

The Verdict: Much like the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, this 1992 bonus stage pushes the boundaries of what you expect from the Sega Genesis. This time around we are given a bonus stage full of impressive (albeit rudimentary) scaling effects. While it's nowhere

Sonic 2's tunnel stage even spawned an 8-bit version (sans the actual tunnel)!
near as smooth as the Mode 7 effects found in Super NES games, the scaling is still impressive and manages to hold up nearly two decades later. Even though the bonus stage is a bit shallow, it's a great way to break up the action of Sonic 2.

Completely Missing the Point: I'm probably not the best person to accuse somebody of being a little strange, but somebody needs to figure out what Sonic the Hedgehog is doing with a four year old fox. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's doing anything untoward. For all I know there's a perfectly legitimate reason for these two to be pals. But when was the last time you saw an adult hedgehog hang out with a four year old fox? There's something creepy about that arrangement that I can't quite put my finger on.
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