Easter Eggs You May Have Missed In Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Warning: the following post contains spoilers for "Sonic the Hedgehog 2".

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" has hit theaters and it looks to be one of the rare video game-based movies that succeeds in being both a satisfying standalone story, and also a love letter to fans of the original games -- at least, from where I'm standing. I genuinely loved the first "Sonic the Hedgehog" film and think the sequel builds upon all the best parts of the first film. (Not to mention that Idris Elba is perfect as the voice of Knuckles the Echidna.)

While the first "Sonic" film was relatively light on nods to the video games -- save for Sonic's rings and the fact that he lives in a place called "Green Hills" -- the second throws out Easter eggs at a speed that would impress even the Blue Blur himself. And there's more to them than just the nostalgia factor; some of these Easter eggs hint at the potential direction that the third "Sonic" film could take, especially since many of them are drawn from a specific set of "Sonic" games.

The Way Of The GUN

While the majority of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" focuses on Sonic and Tails' race to retrieve the powerful Master Emerald before Doctor Robotnik and Knuckles, occasionally it cuts away to Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) as they attend the wedding of Maddie's sister, Rachel (Natasha Rothwell). 

This is mainly to remind the audience that the human characters exist (that it also provided an excuse to film in Hawaii probably didn't hurt, either). However, the wedding plot ends up crashing into the main plot once Sonic and Tails make it to Hawaii via one of Sonic's teleporting rings. It turns out that Rachel's husband-to-be Randall (Shemar Moore) and the majority of the wedding guests are part of a secret organization called the Guardians Units of Nations -- or GUN for short.

GUN first showed up in the video game "Sonic Adventure 2" and is dedicated to protecting the world from extraterrestrial forces. The organization also plays a role in the "Shadow the Hedgehog" video game, which is significant given that Shadow himself shows up in the film's mid-credits scene.

Master (Emerald) And Commander

The Master Emerald itself plays a major role as the MacGuffin of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," with all parties involved attempting to retrieve it. In the same vein as the movie, the games present the Master Emerald as a source of unlimited power and, just like the film, Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald. The Master Emerald also serves as a counter to the seven Chaos Emeralds that form it, and if it's ever destroyed ... well, utter chaos follows. Keep in mind, this was before a certain purple Titan attempted to collect his own universe-altering rocks.

In the film, Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to transform into the golden-hued Super Sonic before scattering them across the universe. However, the "Sonic Adventure" games revealed that the Master Emerald served as a prison for the god of destruction, Chaos, who proceeded to wreak havoc once it was unleashed from its prison. With a third "Sonic the Hedgehog" film on the way, Chaos could serve as a fitting antagonist, especially since the film seems to be drawing elements from "Sonic Adventure."

Tornado Warning

Tails is a very welcome addition to the cast of characters in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," as his intellect provides the perfect counter to Sonic's rash nature. Tails even flies a biplane into battle against the Mecha-Robotnik, which fans will recognize as the Tornado. In the video games, Sonic owns the Tornado and lets Tails pilot it when the duo needs to travel to a place that Tails can't get to using his tails, and Sonic can't run to. 

As in the game, Tails has upgraded the biplane in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" so that it can fire lasers and move at a faster speed. Sadly, the Tornado meets a fiery demise at Robotnik's hands, but Tails used his mechanical know-how to build an upgraded version in "Sonic Adventure," and in "Sonic Adventure 2" he pilots a vehicle known as the Cyclone. In short, fans can expect to see a lot more of Tails' mechanical know-how at work in "Sonic the Hedgehog 3" (which Paramount Pictures has confirmed is already in development).

Seeking Greener Hills

Both "Sonic the Hedgehog" movies include a great nod to the very first level of the very first video game. The Green Hill Zone is the very first level where Sonic starts out on his heroic journey, leaping through grassy knolls and loop-de-loops as he fights off Robotnik's armor-plated animals. In the films, Sonic lives with Tom Wachowski and his family in the sleepy town of Green Hills, Montana, and both of his battles with Robotnik also take place in Green Hills.

But the biggest Green Hills shout-out comes in the middle of "Sonic The Hedgehog 2", when Sonic calls Tom. Tom's ringtone is the theme music that plays throughout the Green Hills Zone, and has become synonymous with Sonic as a default. It's a great way to pay homage to the games -- and also a reminder to turn your phone off during a wedding, because the last memory any bride or groom wants is of the inconsiderate jerk who had to answer his phone. Even if that call had actual life and death circumstances.

Shroom And Gloom

The Green Hill Zone isn't the only classic "Sonic" level referenced in the movies. The first "Sonic the Hedgehog" film introduced a "Mushroom Planet" that, true to its name, sprouts mushrooms of various sizes and shapes and has no other life forms. This is a reference to the Mushroom Hill Zone, which appeared in "Sonic the Hedgehog 3" and "Sonic & Knuckles." The two games served as two halves as a single experience, and also introduced Knuckles into the world of Sonic the Hedgehog.In the first film, Sonic managed to send Robotnik to the Mushroom Planet after their final battle. At the beginning of the sequel, the mad scientist is still stuck on the planet when he encounters Knuckles, who needs his help finding Sonic and the Master Emerald. Robotnik also tries to make coffee out of mushrooms with "limited, limited, limited success." I don't blame him for being disappointed in the results; mushroom coffee sounds like something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

The Ride Of A Lifetime

During an encounter with Robotnik and Knuckles on the snowy mountains of Russia, Sonic destroys one of Robotnik's robots and makes a surfboard out of its armor plating, shooting down the mountain at dizzying speed. This is yet another nod to "Sonic The Hedgehog 3/Sonic and Knuckles," specifically the IceCap Zone at the beginning of the game. But Sonic has utilized his snowboard in other games, including both "Sonic Adventure" games and the time-crossing "Sonic Generations". The "Sonic Riders" game also sees the Blue Blur and his friends (as well as his enemies) boarding jet-powered hoverboards and racing through various locations. 

You may be asking yourself, "What does Sonic, the character who can run at superspeed, need a snowboard for?" The answer: he was created in the '90s. The '90s were all about being "EXTREME!!" in every way, from attitude to transportation -- and what's more extreme than hurtling down a snowy mountain at high speed with your feet strapped to a bit of wood?

Project Shadow

The mid-credits sequence of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" introduces our hero's edgy bad boy counterpart, Shadow the Hedgehog. After Robotnik's second defeat, the members of GUN learn that files about "Project Shadow" were released into the wild. In a mysterious laboratory, Shadow awakens ... all but hinting that he will cross paths with Sonic in the upcoming third film.

Shadow first appeared in "Sonic Adventure 2," and would later star in his own spin-off game before appearing in other Sonic media including the "Sonic X" anime, which draws inspiration from the "Sonic Adventure" video games. He was the result of experiments by Robotnik's grandfather Gerald, who sought the key to immortality to save his terminally ill daughter Maria. Here's where I take a moment to throw Robert Pattinson's name in the ring for the voice of Sonic, as his performance in "The Batman" was exactly the right amount of emo that Shadow needs.

Mean Bean

One of the more obscure Easter eggs in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" concerns the Mean Bean, the coffee shop where Robotnik's right hand man, Agent Stone (Lee Madjoub), works. The name of the coffee shop is a nod to the one Sega Genesis game the not-so-good Doctor headlined, "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine." 

In the game, Robotnik invades the peaceful town of Beanville and transforms its residents into robots. And in case you were wondering, yes, they were actually shaped like beans. "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine" is also unique in that it's one of the few games to be based on a Sonic cartoon -- specifically, the "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog," which starred Jaleel White as the voice of Sonic. There's even a scene in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" that pays homage to the gameplay of "Mean Bean Machine," when Stone is looking at various outfits for Robotnik. One of them happens to be a maid outfit, an image which has burned itself in my mind and sadly won't leave.

Going Under

Every gamer will tell you that the underwater scenes in any Sonic game is a major source of anxiety, due to the frantic music that only increases in tempo and volume until Sonic grabs some air. That same sense of anxiety happens toward the film's end, where the Blue Blur has to save Knuckles from drowning and nearly drowns himself. He even sucks down a bubble of air! And as if that wasn't enough, the entire scene takes place in a labyrinth where the Master Emerald is located. In the first two "Sonic the Hedgehog" games, the Labyrinth Zone has underwater sections where Sonic has to swim through tunnels and even escape the rising water. It's just another sign that director Jeff Fowler has a clear love for the various video games within the Sonic franchise, along with a clear eye for how to translate them to the screen.

The Death Egg

Throughout the classic "Sonic the Hedgehog" games, each level would feature Doctor Robotnik summoning an increasingly complex series of armored vehicles in order to try and kill the Blue Blur once and for all. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" (the video game, that is) took this to the extreme by having Robotnik construct the Death Egg, a massive space station powered by the Chaos Emeralds. It serves as the final boss battle of the game, with an upgraded version of the Death Egg showing up in "Sonic the Hedgehog 3/Sonic and Knuckles." 

In the climax of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" (the movie, that is) Robotnik uses the power of the Master Emerald to tear apart various machines, including GUN's tanks and even a train, to form the Death Egg -- which takes the form of a massive robot outfitted with missiles and lasers. Eventually, Sonic manages to use the power of the Chaos Emeralds to go Super Sonic and wreaks havoc upon the Death Egg. In the aftermath, Robotnik's body is nowhere to be found ... but we probably haven't seen the last of him.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" (the movie, not the video game) is in theaters now.

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The post Easter Eggs You May Have Missed in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 appeared first on /Film.

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