Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Biggest Easter Egg and Other References


Warning: Full spoilers follow for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. For even more on the film, check out our Sonic 2 Post Credits Scene and Ending Explained.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has finally made its mad dash onto the big screen, and with it comes a collection of Sonic references spanning the Blue Blur’s 30 years in video games and other forms of media. As such, we’re giving you the cheat codes to unlocking some of the biggest Easter eggs and deep cuts hidden within the Sonic sequel. Gotta go fast!


Project Shadow

By far the film’s biggest Easter egg comes in the mid-credits scene when we hear talk about Project Shadow, before Shadow the Hedgehog is revealed in a secret laboratory. Project Shadow was first mentioned in Sonic Adventure 2 and expanded upon in the Shadow the Hedgehog video game. This is possibly the biggest revelation coming out of the film’s sequel, as it potentially sets up the next villain Sonic and friends will likely face in Sonic 3. With the introduction of the Master Emerald, the chaos emeralds and the Shadow reveal, it seems we’ll be seeing more Sonic Adventure characters show up in the next outing (we’re looking at you, Chaos). Only time will tell, but seeing the rivalry between Sonic and Shadow play out on the big screen is sure to be epic.

Sonic Adventure 2’s G.U.N. Reference 

In the movie, the U.S. military has formed a branch dedicated to hunting down Sonic, his friends, and other perceived threats. They’re known as the Guardian Units of Nations (G.U.N.) and they first showed up in Sonic Adventure 2. Another Sonic Adventure reference? One of the helicopters seen towards the film’s climax has “SA-2” written on it, which seemingly stands for Sonic Adventure 2.

Sonic’s Origin 

On the side of the plane flown by Tails, you may have noticed the number 761. This refers to Sonic’s top speed from the 1993 guidebook Stay Sonic. In it, Sonic uses a treadmill that increases his running speed, wherein he breaks the sound barrier at 761 mph, turning the originally brown hedgehog blue.

Sonic’s Bed

In the movie, Sonic sleeps in a racecar bed. This is a nod to the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog run, where Sonic was often shown sleeping in a racecar-shaped bed.

Knuckles’ Favorite Food

Sonic fans are aware of the Blue Blur’s love of chili dogs, and the movie also makes reference to Knuckles’ penchant for grapes. In many documents detailing the Sonic characters, there’s frequently been mention of Knuckles’ love of fruits, especially grapes. It’s a deep cut, but hardcore fans will enjoy it.

Sonic Level References

At the beginning of the movie, we catch up with Dr. Robotnik on the Mushroom Planet, which is a callout to Mushroom Hill Zone. While retrieving the Master Emerald, Sonic makes a speedrun of an underwater labyrinth, which is a direct reference to the Labyrinth Zone from 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog. We also see Knuckles collide with a water truck that has Splash Hill Zone written on the side, a reference to the zone of the same name from Sonic the Hedgehog 4.  

Ice Cap Action Stage

Sonic and Knuckles find themselves snowboarding down a mountain in the film, which is very similar to what we see in the Ice Cap Action Stage in Sonic Adventure. Sonic is no stranger to snowboarding, as we first got to play as him hitting the slopes in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. With Knuckles in the movie franchise now, it makes sense that they’d also introduce the audience to the Ice Caps.

Sonic’s Plane

Sonic and Tails’ biplane vessel, the Tornado, makes its appearance in the film. The Tornado first showed up in the 16-bit Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Sonic Underwater Bubble

In an attempt to rescue Knuckles from drowning, Sonic consumes an underwater air bubble to catch his breath in the film. This is an homage to all the underwater levels from Sonic’s Sega Genesis run of games.

Dr. Robotnik’s Eggman Outfit

This Easter egg features Eggman’s costume on full display. The scene in question features Agent Stone going through possible outfits for Dr. Robotnik, with one clearly based on Robotnik’s Eggman outfit from the Sonic Adventure game franchise.

Sega Genesis Game Manual

Towards the end of the movie, Agent Stone presents a manual to operate the Death Egg, and it’s designed similarly to a Sega Genesis game manual.

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

Agent Stone’s coffee shop is named Mean Bean, which is a throwback to the 1993 Genesis game, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. 

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles

Towards the climax of the film, Knuckles manages to punch Dr. Robotnik, knocking the Master Emerald out of his possession. This is similar to what Knuckles does at the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, where he punches the chaos emeralds out of Super Sonic. 

Chaos emeralds!
Chaos emeralds!

Sonic Riders

In an homage to the 2006 game Sonic Riders, the symbols on the owl statue in the search for the Master Emerald compass are Babylonian. According to a Twitter post by user UltimaShadowX, character design lead Tyson Hesse confirmed that the conceit behind this particular Easter egg was that it’d make for an interesting connection to the overall Sonic video game lore since both the owls and Babylon Rogues (from Sonic Riders) are birds in the Sonic universe. 

Sonic Heroes

In the film, Knuckles throws Sonic like a ball, which is a similar move set the character does in the 2003 3D platformer Sonic Heroes. 

Sonic Adventure Cover Art

During a dance scene, Sonic strikes a pose similar to the iconic one on the cover of Sonic Adventure. This is definitely one of those blink and you might miss it moments.

16 sonic adventure 1649440299698

Sonic Adventure Opening Intro

The beginning of the movie sees Sonic trying to stop bank robbers in the city, where a misplaced bomb causes nearby sewer covers to explode and gush with water. This parallels the opening of 1998’s Sonic Adventure, where the liquefied god of destruction, Chaos, attacks the metropolis of Station Square. In the game’s intro sequence, nearby manhole covers explode with water in a similar fashion to what happens in the movie. This doesn’t allude to Chaos’ presence, but it’s a nice reference to one of Sonic’s most iconic and groundbreaking video game series.

Dr. Eggman’s Death Egg Robot

In the film, Dr. Robotnik creates a large robot known as the Death Egg Robot. It first showed up in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the game, but it has also has seen many versions throughout Sonic history – even if its iconic nose and mustache remain the same. Interestingly enough, the Death Egg is both the final boss fight of Sonic 2’s movie and Sonic 2’s video game. A nice little nod to the Sega Genesis Sonic sequel.

The Chaos Emeralds

When Sonic relinquishes the Master Emerald, it breaks the gem and releases the chaos emeralds. In the games, these are seven ancient emeralds connected to the Master Emerald, each possessing unique mystical powers. 

Sonic 2 Release Date

Tails’ Miles Electric translator screen said “M.D. 11.21.1992” — a.k.a. the release date of Sonic 2 on the SEGA Genesis!


With such attention to detail, it’s clear the forces behind Sonic the Hedgehog 2 aren’t just fans of the iconic character’s Genesis run, but the entire catalog that spans television, print, and media. How many of these were you able to spot? If you noticed some that we may have missed, let us know! And for more on the film, check out how to watch Sonic the Hedgehog 2, read our Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review, or watch our video on why video game movies usually can’t get boss fights right.



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