Skip to main content

Sonic 2: 30 Easter eggs and video game references from Sonic’s history

Sonic 2
(Image credit: Paramount)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a love letter to the franchise, filled with Easter eggs, cameos, references, and other winks and nods from the Blue Blur's extensive history.

Some, though, fly by just as quick as the hedgehog himself. To help those looking to spot every secret, we jotted down and tallied up all the Sonic 2 Easter eggs that we could find. We even cracked open a Sonic encyclopedia – yes, such a thing exists – to really drill down into some of the hidden corners of the franchise’s history.

So join us as we loop-the-loop our way through Sonic’s illustrious career, one Easter egg at a time.

Splash Hill

Splash Hill Zone in Sonic 4

(Image credit: SEGA)

Let’s start off with one of the more difficult-to-place Sonic 2 Easter eggs. Knuckles crashes through a ‘Splash Hill’ truck early on in the movie. No, that’s not a cute side joke for Green Hill Zone. It’s actually a level in its own right: Splash Hill Zone was the opening act for the much-maligned Sonic 4.

Sonic's racing bed

Sonic

(Image credit: Paramount)

This is one of a handful of Sonic Easter eggs returning from the original movie. Sonic’s racecar bed in Tom’s attic looks similar to his ride in the Sonic Racing series, but it’s also a nod to Sonic’s time in print. In the Archie comics, he sleeps in a racing car bed. 

Sanic

Sanic in Sonic

(Image credit: Paramount)

The blue-hued nightmare fuel is back. ‘Sanic’ is a terrible fan-drawn recreation of Sonic the Hedgehog that has entered into pop culture folklore. When Sonic sneaks out for the night to play superhero as Blue Justice, he puts together a stand-in with a blue head that looks remarkably similar to Sanic. You’re not fooling anyone.

Risky Business

Tom Cruise in Risky Business

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

What’s the best thing to do when you’re home alone? Get your mind out of the gutter – it’s recreate Tom Cruise’s iconic dance scene from 1983’s Risky Business, of course. In that movie, Cruise’s Joel Goodson struts his stuff in a pink shirt and socks while his parents are away. With Maddie and Tom away in Hawaii, Sonic goes through a similar routine, complete with the same style of sunglasses used in Cruise’s starmaking performance. 

Parks & Recreation

Jean Ralphio in Parks and Recreation

(Image credit: NBC)

Other than playing Sonic, Ben Schwartz is best known for playing the insufferable Jean-Ralphio on NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. Sonic channels his inner Jean-Ralphio when kicking back with the family dog on movie night. He says they’re not watching 2002’s Snow Dogs because it’s the "wooooorst." Sonic’s mannerisms and cadence are all classic Jean-Ralphio.

Master Emerald

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Robotnik, Knuckles, Sonic, and Tails are on the hunt for the Master Emerald in Sonic 2. In the games, The Master Emerald is an object that houses the powers of the Chaos Emeralds, making it a very powerful artefact indeed. In the movie sequel, its function is similar to the games – though it’s found on Earth instead of on Knuckles’ world. As we’ll soon come to discover, however, the two locations share some interesting similarities. 

The seven Chaos Emeralds

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

The Chaos Emeralds have been tied to Sonic’s history since the 1991 Sega Genesis original, though there were only six in that game.

In most of the classic 2D Sonic games, you can collect the seven Chaos Emeralds – objects of tremendous power that can transform Sonic into Super Sonic – by beating various Special Stages dotted around each level. Doing so will usually gift the player a hidden final level and the ‘true’ ending of each game.

Tails mentions the history of the seven Chaos Emeralds in the movie when on the hunt for the compass to the Master Emerald. They are then seen again when the Master Emerald cracks in the movie’s third act.

Labyrinth Zone

The poster for Sonic the Hedgehog 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

When Sonic reaches the Master Emerald's resting place in Sonic 2, there's a serious roadblock standing in his way: a booby-trapped maze. That's a nod to Labyrinth Zone, the fourth main level in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. They even included the level's infamous water slides, too, which was a nice touch.

Babylonians

The owl statue in Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Now this is a major deep cut. According to editor Ultima Shadow X on Twitter, they who into Sonic character design lead Tyson Hesse who confirmed that the statues Sonic spins when collecting the Master Emerald's compass is a reference to the language used by the Babylonians, the alien species who appeared in Sonic Riders.

See more

Mean Bean

Mean Bean Machine

(Image credit: SEGA)

Mean Bean sure is a catchy name for a coffeehouse. The Green Hills locale where Agent Stone has relocated following the events of the first film is also a reference to Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, a 1993 puzzle game that was a reskin of the popular Puyo Puyo title.

Mean Bean Machine has largely been left dormant, though did make a surprise return as part of an Eggman boss battle in the fan-pleasing Sonic Mania back in 2017.

Egg Mobile

The Egg Mobile in Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Robotnik doesn’t usually walk around. He has robots and machines to do that for him. The Egg Mobile, his own rotund personal carrier, has been a trademark of the video game villain’s arsenal since the first Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s also seen various times in the movie, with Robotnik using it to get from point A to point B in lightning-fast time.

Eggman's iconic look

Robotnik

(Image credit: SEGA)

Blink and you'll miss this one. When Agent Stone is left to his own devices, he toggles through a virtual wardrobe of outfits for Robotnik. Included among them is his classic look from the Sonic games, something that Jim Carrey's mad scientist also partially replicated in the movie.

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

The Eggman logo – or the Eggman Empire logo – has been a feature of modern Sonic games for some time now. It often accompanies any of Eggman’s handiwork, and it’s seen again in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in Robotnik's personal lab. 

The Winter Soldier

Falcon and The Winter Soldier

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Tom's ringtone

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Sound familiar? The ringtone that intrudes on Rachel and Randall’s vows is actually the iconic theme from Green Hill Zone in 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Tornado

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Tails’ famous red plane makes a few appearances in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which was also the same place it made its debut in the games. First, it’s seen flying the ‘Rachel and Randall 4Eva’ banner in Hawaii. Tails then commandeers it off-screen to give chase to Robotnik.

The Rock and Vin Diesel's feud

The Rock Hobbs

(Image credit: Universal)

The Rock and Vin Diesel have each addressed the supposed 'rivalry' between the pair in recent years. Vin Diesel described it as "tough love" and it's a feud that's spilled over into Sonic's world, seemingly. The Blue Blur jokes that the echidna and the owls' centuries-long war is akin to what happened between Vin Diesel and The Rock. 

Preston

YouTuber Preston in the Sonic movie

(Image credit: Preston/YouTube)

YouTuber Preston appears in one Hawaii-set scene. You can see him on Tom's volleyball team opposite Randall's squad of musclebound players.  The let's-player even made a behind-the-scenes video about his time on set. (opens in new tab)

GUN

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

GUN (or the Guardian Units of Nations) were set up in the wake of the original movie’s ending – and the destruction wrought by Robotnik and Sonic in San Francisco. In the movie, they all go undercover in ‘Operation Catfish’, tricking Rachel into a wedding in an effort to capture Sonic.

They have a considerable presence in the games, too, first appearing in Sonic Adventure 2. GUN captures Sonic after mistaking him for Shadow, setting into motion the events of the game and the killer City Escape level. All together now: “Rolling around at the speed of sound…” 

Angel Island

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

It’s not mentioned specifically, but the island that rises out of the Pacific Ocean bears some striking similarities with the floating island found in Sonic 3. Angel Island there, though, is home to Knuckles. That’s not the case here, even if it is Angel Island in all but name.

Gotta Go Fast

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

‘Gotta Go Fast’ is as close as Sonic gets to an unofficial motto. Its origins can be charted back to the title theme of the animated series Sonic X, which began in 2003. It found later success after being used as the caption for a terrible piece of fan art that went viral in the late noughties. Ben Schwartz’s Sonic says it in the sequel while setting off to speed across the ocean and towards the floating island in pursuit of Robotnik and Knuckles.

Sonic underwater

Sonic the Hedgehog

(Image credit: Sega)

Sonic saves Knuckles from a watery grave late on in the movie as the temple ruins collapse around them. Despite the peril-filled moment, there is still time for an Easter egg to be thrown in.

Sonic mentions several times throughout the movie how much he hates water. Gamers will know why, with the hedgehog’s underwater exploits often being accompanied by a nerve-jangling countdown until his oxygen expires. In the movie – like in the games – Sonic wards off drowning by inhaling a bubble underwater. Phew.

Death Egg-style robot

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Robotnik’s creation while using the Master Emerald’s powers may be called the Egg Smasher, but it looks strikingly similar to the Death Egg, the final boss of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. 

Sega Genesis box art

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Agent Stone has a hard time controlling the Egg Smasher. Robotnik asks him if he’s looked through the manual. Stone replies by holding up the bulky textbook, which has a cover page that is designed to look just like the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive, for us European folk) box art – complete with a black grid background.

Sonic Heroes

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

The gimmick of 2004’s Sonic Heroes sees trios of characters from the Sonic universe team up to unleash squad-based attacks on Eggman’s minions. Team Hero consists of Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails. They eventually come together in Sonic 2, with Knuckles throwing Sonic like a ball, which is an attack used by the pair in Sonic Heroes.

Super Sonic

Super Sonic in Sonic Unleashed

(Image credit: SEGA)

Super Sonic makes his debut in Sonic 2. The supercharged version of Sonic, blessed with invulnerability and super strength, is usually a reward for players who collect all seven Chaos Emeralds. 

Tails' real name

Sonic 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

Tails’ real name is Miles Prower. Yes, that’s a ‘miles per hour’ pun and, yes, it’s brilliant. Tails reveals his name during the end of the movie – but it almost never became part of Sonic history at all.

As legend would have it, Sega’s American branch was more in favor of the ‘Tails’ name over Miles Prower. A compromise was reached, with Miles being the twin-tailed fox’s real name and Tails being used in-game. Remnants of the original ‘Miles’ decision can still be seen up in lights in the background of Sonic 2’s Casino Night Zone.

The Natural

Robert Redford in The Natural

(Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures)

Remember when baseball movies were a thing? Sonic 2 riffs on Robert Redford’s final home run in 1984 classic The Natural, with the same theme playing as Knuckles smashes a ball into the stratosphere during the movie’s closing scene.

Sonic Adventure 2

Sonic Adventure 2

(Image credit: Sega)

Sonic’s post-credits scenes appear to be following the same path as 2001’s Sonic Adventure 2. In that game, much like the movie, ‘Project Shadow’ was uncovered.

That experiment, which took place 50 years ago, revolved around Robotnik’s grandfather attempting to save his granddaughter Maria. The end result was the creation of the ‘Ultimate Life Form’, Shadow the Hedgehog.

Shadow the Hedgehog

Shadow the Hedgehog

(Image credit: SEGA)

Welcome to Hollywood, Shadow. Sonic Adventure 2’s debuting character shows up – in suspended animation – during the post-credits scene. The dark character has been maligned in some quarters for his edgy action title Shadow the Hedgehog and his appearances have waned in recent years. However, his popularity remains steadfast among the Sonic fanbase and should grow further. After all, Sonic vs. Shadow is on the cards for Sonic 3. 


For more from the Blue Blur's big-screen sequel, check out our interview with Tails actor Colleen O'Shaughnessey and our guides to the Sonic 2 post-credits scenes and our Sonic 2 ending explainer.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.