Sonic 2 turned 30 years old on November 21st as it was first originally released in Japan on that same day in the year 1992. We celebrated Sonic 2’s anniversary with new information about the game’s character design process and new artwork from Yasushi Yamaguchi, also known as Judy Totoya, Sonic 2’s character designer.

Judy has since posted more interesting behind-the-scenes information in celebration of the game’s anniversary.

The staff from Japan brought this as a souvenir when they colored Sonic’s back for the special stages.

Judy Totoya

The hidden route to get in front of the boss without ever falling into the water in Chemical Plant Zone ACT 2 that everyone hates.
Now it’s on the strategy site, but I made it thinking it would never be found during development, but a kid easily found it in a pre-launch location test in the US.

Judy Totoya

Sonic 2 uses the same basic sprite as in Sonic 1 except for the additional sprites (only the running has longer legs). 1 used one palette for a single character, but 2 uses one palette for two characters, so the blue gradient has been reduced.
The colors were changed and gloss was added so that the color reduction would not be felt.

I was not involved in this, but I think it was very difficult to control the palette in Sonic 3 because there were even more characters.
Incidentally, although the enemies and the UI have the same palette, there are not enough colors for boss battles, so the black of the UI is used for the black of the boss.
So when you damage the boss, the black part of the boss and the black part of the shadow of the UI flash.

The first Sonic blue gradient reduction color in this thread was a mistake based on a long-held assumption.
(We did make the color change.)
The correct color reduction is 3 to 2 for the red gradient.
The effect of the color reduction is the shadow on the soles of Sonic’s shoes and the shadow on Eggman’s clothing.

The correct answer is that the yellow used in Eggman, which is the same palette as Sonic, was adjusted slightly to orange and changed to the base color of Myles (Tails), and the shaved red was changed to the orange shade color.
It seems that after 30 years, my memory was slightly tampered with by my assumptions.
Sorry for tweeting this without really checking!

Judy Totoya

Sonic’s airplane, the Tornado, was at first meant to transform, but due to lack of time during Sonic 2’s development this would only become a reality in Sonic Adventure!

Sonic’s beloved Tornado
The Tornado, which crashed at the end of the Wing Fortress Zone to chase Eggman’s spaceship, makes a reappearance, but at first the biplane couldn’t keep up with it, so we planned to transform it into a high-tech jet-engine mecha on the way.

I was about to draw the base frame after the transformation, but I gave up because I did not have enough time in my schedule to make transformation animation frames, nor the capacity to hold a transformation frame for a large sprite. As a desperate measure, I decided to mount a rocket booster.

I don’t have any paper documents because I drew a rough sketch directly on a digitizer, and I don’t remember much about the shape, but I think it was an absurd transformation, with the propeller retracted, the nose protruding forward, the main wings merging into one piece, and the bubble canopy deployed.
It may be left somewhere in the data disk I left behind in the U.S.

Judy Totoya

Happy 30th Anniversary Sonic 2! We hope you’ve enjoyed our celebration.

Stay tuned to Sonic City for more Sonic news and updates!

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