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Easter Eggs You Missed In Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Given the checkered history of video game movies, the success of "Sonic the Hedgehog" came as a bit of a surprise, especially after the backlash to the titular character's initial design. Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey delivered joyous performances as Sonic and Dr. Robotnik, backed by a strong supporting cast and a script that featured a lot of winks and nods to the video games. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" follows that same formula, yielding a fun and family-friendly adventure that takes most of its inspiration from the series' past.

The big-picture game references from the first film are still in effect in "Sonic 2." He has the right shoes, he uses the spin dash, he calls himself the "Blue Blur," and he's "gotta go fast." The sequel also introduces longtime franchise characters Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) and Miles "Tails" Prower (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), both of whom are recreated quite faithfully from the games, from their personalities to their footwear.

Of course, "Sonic 2" also features a number of smaller references and blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter eggs that aren't as easy to catch on a first watch. Stray lines and pieces of set dressing make fun allusions to the franchise's past, and even some of the film's larger plot points take on new meaning for those with an understanding of the preexisting "Sonic" lore. Here are some of the Easter eggs you may have missed in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" and what they mean. Be warned, there will be major spoilers ahead.

Knuckles and the mushroom planet

"Sonic 2" begins on the Mushroom Planet glimpsed occasionally in the first movie, where Dr. Eggman is living out a solitary "Cast Away" existence (right down to drawing faces on inanimate objects). After creating a powerful signal array from mushrooms, sticks, and one of Sonic's supercharged quills, the good doctor receives a series of visitors — most significantly, Knuckles the Echidna.

The fact that Knuckles first enters the story on the Mushroom Planet is entirely appropriate, given that the locale is clearly inspired by the "Sonic & Knuckles" level Mushroom Hill Zone. Since "Sonic & Knuckles" is the first game in which the red echidna became a playable character, and since Mushroom Hill Zone is the first level of that game, the stage can easily be seen as Knuckles' debut — his Green Hill Zone, if you will. As such, it seems highly intentional that he makes his first appearance in the "Sonic" film franchise surrounded by mushrooms.

This introduction includes a couple of other nods to the video games as well. Knuckles being tricked into working for Dr. Robotnik is a common occurrence in the games, and it's the main plotline of "Sonic the Hedgehog 3," where the Knuckles first appeared as an unplayable villain. Even Eggman's little Mushroom machines could be seen as intentional references to the "Sonic & Knuckles" level, which itself featured various levers, elevators, and other gadgets made of mushrooms and vines.

Mean Bean Coffee Co.

When Sonic returns to the town of Green Hills (itself an obvious "Sonic" Easter egg) after his brief superhero dalliance in Seattle at the start of the movie, most things look the same as they did in the first film. However, one difference quickly reveals itself to the audience — Stone (Lee Majdoub), Dr. Robotnik's loyal assistant, has opened up a coffee shop in town. The unassuming storefront actually houses a range of Robotnik's high-tech gear, but that's not the only secret it holds. "Mean Bean Coffee Co." is the name of the business — a clear reference for those in the know to one of the most unique and "Sonic the Hedgehog" games ever made.

Released on the Sega Genesis in 1993, "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine" is a puzzle game set in the early "Sonic" universe. The gameplay is basically a reskinned version of the popular Japanese puzzle game series "Puyo Puyo," which involves dropping little round creatures (in this case, beans) down a "Tetris"-like well, grouping colors together to clear them and score points. Though it's far from the fastest "Sonic" game available, it's remained a well-remembered part of the franchise's history, even being brought back for a surprise boss battle in 2017's "Sonic Mania."

Sonic's love of extreme sports

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" features multiple scenes of Sonic demonstrating his love of extreme sports, namely skateboarding and snowboarding. He turns the Wachowski house into a skate park as soon as Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) leave for Hawaii, and he puts his skills to the test later while escaping from Dr. Robotnik down a snowy mountain.

Though less of an Easter egg and more of a general reference, Sonic's predilection for boarding of all types definitely deserves a spot on this list. In the video games, he often takes breaks from his usual sprinting in favor of some snowboarding (or street-boarding). The action sequence on the mountain in "Sonic 2" seems to pull most directly from the IceCap Zone level in "Sonic the Hedgehog 3," which begins with an extended snowboarding sequence that ends in a minor avalanche and Sonic getting trapped in some ancient ice ruins.

Dr. Eggman's many machines

Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik has a seemingly endless army of robots and gadgets of all shapes and sizes, and a number of them are pulled directly from the "Sonic the Hedgehog" games. Early on in the movie, after returning to Earth, he acquires a small round hovercraft that serves as his primary mode of transportation — a clear reference to the famous Egg Mobile, which the villain has piloted some version of in nearly all of the core "Sonic" games.

Robotnik's giant "final boss" robot is also a clear callback to the games, albeit a slightly less specific one than his flying pod. The evil doctor has constructed and piloted all manner of mechanical behemoths through the series, occasionally showcasing multiple massive robots in a single game. However, the one seen at the end of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" appears most similar (appropriately) to the final boss of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" the game. In addition to its design, Robotnik's giant robot harkens back to the series' Sega Genesis days in another fun way. While figuring out how to pilot the machine, Stone briefly shows off a paper manual for it in the style of the Genesis' own instruction booklet, right down to the gridded black and gray background.

As a little bonus, Robotnik starts blasting and air-guitaring heavy metal band Pantera's hit song "Walk" right as starts making the robot, well, you know.

Knuckles' quest for the Master Emerald

Knuckles's storyline in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" stays pretty loyal to the video games, and it includes a couple of smaller Easter eggs for dedicated fans. The general setup of the warrior echidna tribe and their mission of guarding the Master Emerald was changed a bit, but it's still very similar to the lore of the games. The Emerald's hiding place is also very similar to its home of Angel Island in the games, even if the movie never names the place as such.

A more specifically evocative moment in Knuckles' quest comes at the very end of the "Sonic 2," after the eponymous hedgehog has used the seven individual Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic and defeat Dr. Robotnik. Though the Master Emerald is shattered into pieces during the battle, Knuckles is able to locate every shard and reassemble the jewel back into its original form. Anyone who's played either of the "Sonic Adventure" games should be intimately familiar with this moment, as Knuckles spends the entirety of both searching for the pieces of the broken Master Emerald, ultimately repairing it at the end of each. He also gets to listen to some pretty incredible rap and R&B songs while doing so.

Special moves

Perhaps more than anything else, video game characters are remembered for their special moves, and there are a lot in the "Sonic the Hedgehog" games. With Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails all on the big screen together in "Sonic 2," it should come as no surprise that they each get to show off some of their most famous techniques from the games.

Most of Sonic's moves were already seen in the first movie, but it's still fun to see them again. He employs the spin dash multiple times, appears to use variations of his boost moves from games like "Sonic Rush" and "Sonic Unleashed," and even seems to use his homing attack — a core piece of his kit from the 3D "Sonic" games — in his battles against Knuckles and Robotnik's robots. Tails shows off his flying powers throughout the film, even carrying Sonic around in the air a couple times in a manner incredibly similar to the games. Tails also comes ready with a backpack full of powerful gadgets, from laser blasters and anti-gravity pads to scanners and translators. While most of these aren't one-to-one recreations of devices from the games, they emulate Tails' penchant for tiny handy gizmos quite well.

And of course, Knuckles shows off his own special moves in "Sonic 2" — most notably his incredible strength and his ability to climb stone walls with his knuckles. He doesn't get to do much gliding, however, which is a shame.

Familiar noises

If you're a longtime "Sonic the Hedgehog" fan, expect to have your ears perk up a lot over the course of "Sonic 2." Whether it's the jingling sound of spilled rings or hints of classic game tunes, there are a lot of fun audio Easter eggs to listen for. Tom's cellphone ringtone is a variant of the Green Hill Zone theme, which goes off at a woefully inappropriate time at his sister-in-law's wedding. Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails all have game-appropriate sound effects associated with their various moves, and of course, Sonic drops the internet-famous line "Gotta go fast!"

One particularly fun thing about "Sonic 2" for fans of the games is that Colleen O'Shaughnessey, the voice actor who's played Tails for years in the video games, actually returns to voice him in the movie. Given that Sonic and Knuckles were both recast with big-name Hollywood stars, it's really nice to see O'Shaughnessey get some cinematic recognition for her contributions to the franchise. She's fantastic as Tails in "Sonic 2," just as she always is in the games.


One of the big narrative twists in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" comes in the middle of the movie, when it's revealed that Rachel's fiancé Randall is actually an agent of the Guardian Units of Nations, or GUN. In fact, their whole wedding turns out to be a giant sting operation, with the singular goal of capturing Sonic.

If you've played "Sonic Adventure 2," you'll know this isn't the first time that GUN has wrongfully tried to imprison the Blue Blur. The government agency plays a major role in several of the series' biggest entries, especially in "Adventure 2," "Shadow the Hedgehog." At times allies and at times enemies to the games' protagonists, GUN fills a multipurpose role in the franchise, and their representation in the movie is pretty accurate to how they've been portrayed in the past.

Tom Butler reprises his Commander Walters role from the first movie, but this time he's established as the leader of GUN. Given how he's styled and his positioning the story, it seems that he's meant to evoke the unnamed, grizzled GUN commander from the video games.

The many outfits of Dr. Robotnik

Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik gets a lot closer to the character's video game look in "Sonic the Hedgehog 2." The ridiculous mustache, bald head, and beady-eyed goggles are a big part of that transformation, but Robotnik also gets to rock some of his classic clothes throughout the film. His main outfit is a red and black jacket that evokes his look from the more modern "Sonic" games, but there are also some fun touches for fans of the series' time in the '90s.

In one scene, Stone is shown examining different potential looks for his boss on a computer. The screen is only shown for a brief second, but in that glimpse you can see a costume that looks incredibly similar to the villain's old-school outfit — a simple red and yellow top with high-waisted black pants. While Carrey never actually ends up dressing that way in the movie, it's a fun Easter egg for eagle-eyed viewers to watch for.

Sonic can't swim

Sonic the Hedgehog can't swim — a trope that "Sonic 2" plays on heavily. Early on, Sonic and Tom go fishing on a lake in Green Hills, where Sonic emphasizes his hatred of water and his inability to survive in it. That moment sets up a far more dangerous encounter later on in the movie, when Sonic and Knuckles finally team up on Angel Island.

After being betrayed by Dr. Robotnik, Knuckles gets trapped underwater by the falling debris from the Master Emerald's rapidly collapsing temple. Despite his inability to swim, Sonic dives in and risks it all to save the echidna, ultimately creating a strong bond between the two characters. In the scene, there are a couple of particularly good moments related to air bubbles — inclusions that might seem innocuous but are anything but. In the old games, Sonic could run underwater for a certain amount of time, but he'd eventually run out of air. The only ways to re-up on oxygen and keep going were to either breach the surface or find a spot where air bubbles would appear and float to the surface. Popping one of these bubbles would reset Sonic's air gauge, allowing players to remain underwater for a bit longer.

The air bubbles released by Knuckles and consumed by Sonic in the movie are clearly meant as an homage to this feature of the games. For a Sonic player, there is no more welcome sight than an air bubble, and there is no greater frustration than drowning before you can find one.

Tails and the Tornado

In the final act of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," Tails gets to fly a plane, and not just any plane — a red biplane meant to evoke the one he frequently flies in the video games. Sonic even perches on the top wing of the plane as they fly into battle against Eggman's giant robot, just as he does repeated throughout the series. In later installments, Tails modifies the plane with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, including missile launchers, different wing positions, and even the ability to transform into a walking mech suit. He doesn't have much time to tinker with the plane in "Sonic 2," but he at least adds on a little bit of firepower for good measure. It's also worth noting that while the plane isn't named in the movie, the first scene in which Tails flies it features a massive tornado caused by Robotnik's Master Emerald powers. In the games, the plane is called the Tornado.

Tails' mechanical skills are brought directly from the games to the big screen, as is his backstory. In a tender moment, the young fox tells Sonic how he was always bullied in his home town because people thought his two tails were weird. This sad history is also pulled straight from past "Sonic" media, though Tails always manages to hold his head up high and show the bullies who's boss in the end.

Super Sonic

At the climax of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," Sonic finally unlocks the powers of the seven Chaos Emeralds and transforms into Super Sonic — the glowing, golden form that lets him fly around at even faster speeds and blatantly rip off "Dragon Ball Z" without violating copyright. It's a great moment for fans of the games, as most of them end with similar battles between Super Sonic and some giant enemy.

The nature of Super Sonic is changed a bit in the movie, but not in any really major ways. In the games, the heightened form rapidly drains energy from Sonic, often rings, which means that he can only sustain it for short bursts at a time. In the movie, on the other hand, it seems like he's able to remain powered up as long as he wants, though he ultimately relinquishes the power to restore the Master Emerald. The film's Super Sonic design and the portrayal of his powers are both spot-on, however, and the ensuing battle very much reads like one of classic showdowns from the games.

The 16-bit end credits montage

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" features a stunning end credits sequence that replays the full events of the movie in beautiful 16-bit (or at least 16-bit-ish) animation. It's a brief sequence, but one that's loaded with little Easter eggs. The sprite and sound effects are all perfectly recreated, and the "level" designs include lots of iconic "Sonic" details like bounce pads, spike pits, and rails to grind on. There are bosses that Sonic has to repeatedly jump into to defeat, as well as some specific references to moments from the Genesis games, like the intro scene of "Sonic 3" where Tails flies the Tornado.

There's even one moment in the retro montage where the camera shifts behind Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails as they're running. This seems like a pretty overt reference to the bonus stages from the early games, which often changed the visual style to employ a pseudo-3D vibe.

Project Shadow

Of course, "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" wouldn't be a modern adventure film without at least one post-credits scene to set up the next installment. After the old-school montage delivers the first round of credits, there's a short scene of Tom Baker's GUN commander being briefed on a secret discovery. One of his agents informs that they've discovered files from 50 years prior that are connected to a secret black ops site and an initiative called Project Shadow. The camera then cuts to a stasis container at an unnamed location, which holds the infamous Shadow the Hedgehog.

Shadow is one of the most popular (and divisive) characters in the entire "Sonic the Hedgehog" timeline, so seeing him is definitely an exciting moment. The way in which he's introduced also hints at some smaller details for the franchise's future, which many viewers may miss. Invoking the "Project Shadow" name suggests that the movies are sticking pretty close to the storyline of "Sonic Adventure 2," which was Shadow's debut. In that game, he's discovered by Dr. Eggman in the depths a GUN research facility called Prison Island, where he's been frozen for decades. That could be the same location glimpsed in the "Sonic 2" post-credits scene, which paves the way for other game storylines like Space Colony ARK and (for better or worse) the Black Arms. Of course, it's unlikely that the family-friendly "Sonic" films will ever dive too deep down Shadow's edgy side, but there are a lot of interesting possibilities.