Sonic 4: Episode 2 Confirmed, In Early Stages of Development

Here’s something that seems to have escaped many people’s notice. Over at the SEGA Forums SEGA’s Sonic 4 Brand Manager Ken Balough has confirmed work is officially underway on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2. That may be a given, since the game is episodic, but this is the first we’ve heard from anyone at SEGA. Looking through a Sonic 4: Episode 2 topic at SEGA’s forum shows Balough has been doing some Q&A for over 2 weeks there, and we’ve picked some choice posts out below.

Not much information is revealed, but here’s the main points:
– Episode 2 is in the early development stages
– SOA and SOE are both giving feedback and input on Episode 2
– Episode 1 sold well for SEGA commercially, meaning a bigger budget is likely for Episode 2
– Balough knows how many Episodes Sonic 4 will have, but can’t comment right now. Amount was decided during Episode 1’s development.
– Balough states that some elements of Episode 1 could have been better and says Episode 2 gives the opportunity to address them.
– Episode 2 is not a Sonic CD remake. Idea is to bring new zones with things you haven’t seen before.

Episode II is in early development now. We already had some ideas fleshed out on development for Episode I in fact. No, you definetly wont have to wait years and years a la Duke Nukem Forever.


SoA and SoE are both giving feedback and input on Episode II. Episode I did very well for SEGA commercially, and thanks to everyone’s support, we definetly have a lot of traction going into Epsiode II. This usually means better budgets, etc.

That said – I see a lot of really great ideas going into the next installment.


I know how many [episodes] there will be – but I can;t comment on that just yet We had determined the amount during the development of Episode I.


Hi There! Sorry for not posting earlier 🙂

I honestly don’t know about the puzzles yet – I have not seen the full level design layouts. But I can certainly pass the feedback along 🙂


I certainly cannot deny there were some elements that could have been done better – and I could say that about most games I’ve worked on. That’s why Episode II gives us that opportunity to address them (or as much as possible)


I can tell you that Ep II is not a Sonic CD remake. I can’t comment really on anything else – but I can tell you you are going to see new zones that look really cool.

Re-hash kind of depends on how you look at the topography. I mean; we’ve gone to a lot of areas – Underground mines in Sonic 2, Deserts, Lush green hills, Jungle, Cities, etc.

But yeah – the idea is to introduce new zones with things you haven’t seen.


It appears SEGA may be ready to start talking about Episode 2 properly soon, but with the game in the early stages of development, we may not see the game released until the later part of this year rather than closer to Sonic’s big 20th Birthday in June, if it’s released this year at all.

Source: Sonic Zone

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    1. i whole heartedly agree with you. dont “sonic rush” things. we’ll be patitcent along with sonic generations.

  1. Episode 1 was good in my opinion. Besides the physics and the some bad music, I enjoyed it…
    Why do I have a bad feeling that the forums are gonna talk about what Sonic 4 episode 2 should be, which will lead to a LOT of controversy

  2. O.K.. How much time passed between 09.09.09 and S4E1 release? ~8 months? This would mean S4E2 at 09.11, supposing no leaks?

    Anyway. GFX in e1 was acceptable and for some reason I liked the music (though Jun could select better instruments). But they must fix controls or I am not buying it, because they were quite… hybrid. I hope they will fix’em, “then we can talk about mercy.”

  3. I honestly thought we’d be getting it soon… (tweak the physics to make people happy, throw in a black eyes option, add new stages, boom! Episode 2?)

    Oh well, guess they’re all busy on the 20th game(s)… but I’m still a little saddened seeing as it’s the Anniversary year and that I loved Episode 1 to death

  4. Let’s see, what environments has Sonic never ventured before… um… hmmm…sewers? I guess toxic caves in Spinball was kind of a sewer. hmmm… thinking….thinking…Clouds? I guess there was sky chase and sky sanctuary, but how about a level where you walk on the clouds? Too Mario? Yeah, I agree. Hmmmm… what else is there? Giant food? nah, they just did that in Colors. Giant pink doll house? Yeah! That’s a new location that Sonic has never ventured through before! What? worst idea you’ve ever heard? … I give up.

    You know what they should do is make it co-op where the second player can actually have fun.

    1. ^ I second this motion, and with split screen this time so the other player isn’t forced to “fly in” every five seconds.

      1. With the wii U, the second player could use the controller screen so the tv don’t have to spitted.

    2. if your wondering, on stages no ones ever seen before, id start with paris, or maybe a moving stage like image sonic shrunk down to size and running on the back of truck or wired contraption. or some stages hardly anyone remembers like knuckles chaotix, or the sonic advance series and, the two player stages on sonic 3, balloon park, azure lake, endless mine and my personal favorite and STRONG suggestion, chrome gadget.

      and i think clouds can be done so that is not like mario, sonic may have been all over the world but there is still new places being built and the world still shaping. im optomistic i think they’ll pull out something.

      all though when i think of spagionia i think of europe which leads me to paris.

  5. Interesting.

    The process of making new levels sounds extremly difficult especially since they’ve used almost every theme so far. I’m guessing they might get some inspiration from the Rivals Series or something since technically we havent seen levels like deserts that resemble America’s ol’ west or cities engulfed in lava in the STH series so far.

    Hopefully the physics will be fixed too lol.

  6. Alright, I’m going to be the first one to say it. DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP. Don’t think this is going to be the greatest thing that’s ever happened, because odds are that it won’t be. Just try and have expectations for the game that it most likely will be: a fun and enjoyable experience.

  7. Pssh. Episode 1 wasn’t a rehash. The only thing they reused were the machines. As in the badniks and the boss mechanics. Adn they all had a slight upgrade. They used themes we’ve seen before in a similar style but it’s valid as the level’s layout is completely different.

    They’ll probably add new fun gimmicks, it’ll be a little more balanced, the physics won’t be perfect but will still be a little better, the style will look a little cooler but the sprite and graphics will be the same.

    As for the themes, I’m guess they’ll use themes we’ve seen before as well as newer ones. Or themes we’ve seen before but, like the classics, make them extremely original while adding never-before-seen themes. Like an ocean side cave (You know, like those caves that are half filled with water and the opening of the cave leads to the ocean). Or like a prairie.

    Okay so:

    Oceanside Cave Zone
    Swift Prairie Zone
    Rocky River Zone
    Ghost Town Zone
    Red Tower Zone
    Lost City Zone
    Orbital Star Zone

    Just to toss a few ideas out there. Of course I’m probably way off. XD

  8. @ Dakota Jones

    No cities engulfed in lava? Try Crisis City from Sonic 06.

    You see? Coming up with original ideas for Sonic zones is really gonna be tough. Which is why they’re probably not gonna bother in the end. Hands up who reckons there’ll be a snowboarding sequence?

  9. This may sound retardumbfoolish but I would love to see a starlight carnival stage in episode 2 even though it was done in colors.

  10. I’m still wondering if there will ever be a “full” version of Sonic 4 released after all’s set and done with all the episodes fused together and physics improvements from the later releases carried over into the back releases.

  11. Ha Ha!!! Episode 2!!! Lets Go!!!


    I can see Sonic zipping throug a prairie type zone and the Red Tower sounds cool, it has a mysterious feel to it. Off the top of my head I would throw in like a Crystal Cave zone (picture the caves in Pirate Storm on Sonic and the Secret Rings…only a full level). Or a void level where everything is black and white and the badniks have paintball guns lol

  12. @F1krazy

    I know Chaotic Inferno and Crisis City are basically the same thing and that the’ve been used already. I’m just saying those are the only kinds of themes that I can think of that havent been used in the original STH series already.

    Honestly, I’m completly stumped on what new stuff they’re gonna put in this games besides Metal Sonic and the possibility of Tails being playable.

  13. Well, it’s been said that nowadays there is no such thing as an original idea nowadays. Everything is pinched in someway or another. It’s just a case of taking an idea and tweaking it into something entirely new. Sonic games have been doing this for years. I hope that they can be a bit more innovative in tweaking their ideas this time. Last time they really didn’t do anything to shake up the formula (With the exception of a couple of stages like Casino Street 2 and Lost Labyrinth 2). Its more stuff like this I want to see in Episode 2 as well as overhauls which have been spoken about countless times already.

    Looking back at the Sonic 4 map screen however… I still can’t help but notice that there looks to be a long and grand wall as well as a loop and towers not to the right of the map… but BEHIND the current locations. Part of me senses that we may be seeing a castle themed level at the head of episode 2… *lolSATBKrevisitwithswordshot* Nah, old games aside a castle themed 2D level could give us some interesting gimmicks. That and I don’t think that we have seen any castle themed stages (Aside from those in SATBK) in a 2D adventure. Certainly not in classic Sonic for sure. “Grand Ramparts Zone” anyone?

  14. If another casino level is going to be available it should be in space and a final level could be inside the master emerald.

    1. allmost the second act to egg rocket sonic advance 1. wow they really did cover alot of themes. i think sega made them
      selves a big box to come out of. whats next an Hedgehog’s Creed! sonic runing in jerusalaem. thats as far out of the box as i can get there running out of room to run unless they hit mars. they aint did that.

      all my ideas so far might be crazy but there different ideas, at least.

  15. I’d like to see Floating Island prior to the echidnas going missing – temples, villages, relics, artefacts. It would be pretty weird for the tribe to see a speeding blue hedgehog whizz past!

  16. Something new? Sega are capable of doing that, some of my favourite zones are the ones which filled me with joy when I 1st saw them… Music Plant Zone… Route 99… Toy Kingdom… Sunset Park… Crystal Egg…

    @ sonictoast

    I like that cloud idea, Mario or not, it would bring me back to Sky High Zone from the 8 bit Sonic 2

  17. Sonic 4 epi 1 was pretty good a solid 8/10 game, a few flaws but they weren’t major compared to past sonic titles (Sonic 06 etc) i feel though sonic 4 epi 1 should have 7 levels instead of just 4 or atleast 5 levels. 4 was too short or better lower the price, £10 (£15 for wiiware) is over priced for a 4 level game that lasts a day.

    Now sonic 4 is the game that has got me back into sonics series since i quit on it after unleashed which really put me off.

    so sonic 4 episode 2 i look forward to it, metal sonic is included which is great, Tails hopefully is and to be honest ill be happy with just tails and metal sonic lol, give me “New” levels instead of tribute stages to sonic 1 and 2. and longer music because the music in the original repeated too much to the point it drove my mum and my bros mad lol. even drove me abit mad and i like some of the tunes DX.

    so overall episode 2 just needs , Better physics, Longer tunes so it doesn’t repeat like mad, Tails as a playable character, CO-op in the main game like sonic 2 with sonic and tails, Metal sonic, make it 5 to 7 levels long and new special stages and bingo Top seller.

    And yes classic sonic model would be better, since his classic design is more appealing and loved then the newer design oh and the fact this is ment to be based straight after sonic & knuckles.
    but im used to the one in sonic 4 so im not really fussed, but I would prefer classic sonic since this game is ment to be aiming for the older generation too ,bit unfair if you ask me for the classic fans.

    But still Roll on sonic 4 episode 2, take your time and make sure its fresh, new and original and give it its own soul instead of reusing sonic 1 and 2’s.

    1. Sega has already established Modern Sonic as the visceral appearance of Sonic in this series. Even Sega knows not to break their own continuity by making old (Modern) Sonic look young (Classic) again. They have already established that he is that aged at the time. The option to select a Classic Sonic skin seems more possible, but not likely, since they know that fans would bitch if they gave their Classic Sonic the homing attack. They might not give him the homing attack, but then it wouldn’t be the lazy template carry-over that Sega would probably want to do in that instance.

      Either way, I don’t really see it happening, realistically speaking. Having Modern Sonic in Sonic 4 was Sega’s attempt at pleasing both the classic and modern fans by trying to provide classic-style gameplay with the staple of Modern Sonic’s face. They only recently learned that the best way to appeal to both audiences is to have both Classic and Modern Sonic in the same game, but they can’t do that very much given the specifics of the backstory of Sonic Generations. If Classic and Modern were side-by-side all the time, it wouldn’t even make sense. “The rip in the space-time continuum was never fixed in Generations so now Classic and Modern Sonic fight together all the time” would be the only way to make this happen, but then it would no longer be what makes a typical Sonic game. Sonic has always been about one super-fast blue hedgehog, not one super-fast blue hedgehog and his younger self.

      On one final note, I’m stoked for Generations!

  18. Say no to American pig Sonic!!!!!!

    A Sonic CD remake is wayy more badass compared to a Sonic 1 remake by default… Spencer Nilsen needs to be rehired at SEGA.

  19. @SK72

    Dude, Sonic Unleashed had Awsome graphics for the Xbox 360 and PS3. I also got the Wii version and IT SUCKED CRAP. YOU SHOULD GET A pS3 or 360 with a Wii, like me 🙂 sonic doesn’t suck, anymore. My opinion, go on youtube and look for Sonic Unleashed Xbox 360 or PS3, and you’ll see the graphical difference on it!

  20. if they use sonic 2’s speial stage and make normal bonus stages for the lamp posts, it;d be a good game indeed

  21. Mabye they should use some level ideas from the canceled games Sonic X-tream or Sonic Mars. They are bound to have some good unused ideas from there. Also, why not a frozen city level insted of a lava one? There could be both ice and industrial hasards, and it would be a cool spin on the over used winter theme.

  22. Well, since we’ve got a few people bitching about it already: Why not bring back Oshima’s fat Sonic design? What was wrong with it? I liked it. Don’t answer this question if you care about the community.

    I feel like I need to replay the game and get a better feeling of what should be improved/what to expect. But not the Wii version. The Wii MIDI music was beyond bad.

    It’d be cool to see the kind of visual design and architecture that I saw in Sonic CD and Knuckles Chaotix. I won’t say anything about the level design other than it should be less automated and the homing attack should take a backseat. Let’s see the Insta-Shield and it’s accompanying power-ups instead.

  23. @foxvboy
    Hey those are actually pretty sick ideas.
    Kind of obscure but its not like the classics never did that.
    I was thinking another ghost type one would be cool also.
    I love the swift prairie idea

  24. Hi i loved sonic 4 i got passed it in a few days i was PSHYCED to see metal sonic back so i have a few ideas:
    Bring back Silver Sonic sonic 2 16-bit and Mecha Sonic to team up with Metal Sonic to defeat sonic
    Hyper Sonic Since Sonic 4 is supposed to be a direct sequel to sonic & knuckles
    Super Emeralds same reason as above
    Super/Hyper knuckles & Super Tails same reason as above
    intro scene like in sonic 3 where sonic jump off tails bi-plane and turned super until he got attacked by knuckles and knuckles took the emeralds thus starting sonic 3
    A bi-plane theme like Sky Chase Zone from Sonic 2 16-bit
    Make the game in 16-bit since sonic 4 was a direct sequel to sonic & knuckles
    the return of the Death Egg i liked the Death Egg Saga Sonic 2- knuckles
    and that’s my ideas

  25. I think Sonic CD is a bit overrated. I don’t like the jump sound either. I do love the Super Peal Out though. Eh, I guess it’s not overrated, but I prefer Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

    I also don’t see what the big deal is about character models: Yes, it’s nice to reminisce, but the most important thing, as many people said during the voice debate, is probably game play. I don’t care if Sonic is tall or chubby or Green eyed or what, as long as it plays like a true Sonic game.

    Sonic has gotten away from his roots nowadays with all this drifting stuff and double jumps and things. This is one reason Sonic Adventure 2 is my favorite 3D game. It plays like a true Sonic game, he’s fast, cool, and he actually remembers how to Spin Dash.

    As for Part 1, the only problem I had with the physics was the lack of momentum. Get that fixed and the game is much better.

    Sonic has the potential to be what he was 10 years ago, SEGA just needs to go about things with a bit of finesse. If they can do this, Sonic will return to his former glory.

  26. @Dakota Jones

    Crisis City and Chaotic Inferno? Oh those levels in 06 and Rivals 2

    But wait what about Molten Mine and The Cauldron in BK those were Lava levels too….right?

  27. Oh I almost forgot


    That is true and this is comming from a fan who owns Unleashed for both Xbox and PS3

    But I don’t think you will find them in all stores as SEGA delisted the past games from 2007-10 (Which was a stupid decision I thought) Excluding Rush, Rush Adventure, SASASR

    But there might be hope….Any other stores…possibly CEX…or some others

    Back on Topic…Eh…Episode 2 on the way….Um I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again um Will it be possible to have all Episodes in a disc in the future (obviously after all eps are completed)…Or whatever is related to that media….?

    I never got the chance to download Episode 1 :/

  28. Finally some real news!!!!
    Seriously though, I am just hoping for a few more new ideas and physics tweaking. Episode 1 was good but it felt too unoriginal.

  29. well i hope that they put tails in this one and make levels based on the levels from sonic 2 like in the last episode of sonic4

  30. Finally, some real news!!! I have been parched these last few weeks!
    Seriously though I hope that they listen to the fans’ feedback, but if colors is an example then I am feeling hopeful.

  31. Please have lock on technology! Because if they do change the physics (which weren’t all that bad IMO) I would like the improved physics in EP:1.

  32. @Dakota Jones

    Oh….Well I thought they took some elements formthe past levels but they were more transformed…and stuff you can have a look on youtube if you want your choice lol 😛 I also like you ideas….remakes or remastered versions of The original GHZ follwed by EHZ and so on…

    I could also add..

    Rail Station Zone
    Deathyard Zone
    Hyper Lane Zone
    Lazer Path Zone
    Cyber Warp Zone
    Gloomy Cave Zone
    Crusty Core Zone

    Just some ideas XD

  33. @C.J. I like the Hyper Lane idea! It could be be SUPER FAST STAGgE That’s unlocked once yoou get super sonic! 😀

  34. For those who are worrying over the physics for Ep 2. They might change the physics because due to the advancements of technology and patch updates, they can change the physics for the game with the release of Ep 2. That bigger budget might also make the game have more levels to it similar to how Sonic & Knuckles had more levels than Sonic 3.

  35. @Rickrick

    Thank You much appreciated oh and yes not forgetting Super Sonic too… I hadn’t thought of that lol….And using it as a Super Fast Stage I actually like that idea of yours too :)…I can picture it already XD

  36. can’t wait to see what new areas and level gimmicks that there are in sonic 4 episode 2

  37. @sonictoast
    I’m a bit late with my reply but hey, walking in the clouds? They’ve actually already done that too.
    Play the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 2. Act 2 of the 2nd Zone (can’t remember what it was called)…you could either get to the end handgliding through some difficult spikey caverns, or spring up to the clouds and travel to the end through them instead (which was also were the Chaos Emerald for the zone was)…so yeh…they’ve already done that too.

    It’s a bit too much to ask for completely original ideas for new zones now, TBH, there’s been so many games they have covered it all…but so long as the designs and artwork is still new, it’s all good.

    1. Levels Sonic has never been to before, you say? Hard to think of, you say?
      Well, I can think of a few:

      Wood Zone – a big forest area
      Genocide City – ruins of a city possibly destroyed by the Death Egg
      Dust Hill – an American old west style level

      We know Sonic has never been to those levels. Yet….they sound so….familiar…..

      1. slick, but i watch you tube thats all im gona say on that… not that i dont likr them i just know…

        Final Fall zone. – the ruins of a shattered and falling island zone covered with a hint of a water fall
        in the backround. Hint, hint.
        i still like it, though…. genocide city looks bad ass…

  38. I believe they should work on the homing physics and zoom the screen out a little when playing the game i had trouble homing towards thing without knowing exactly where it was when it was offscreen which was a rather frustrating experience the music needs some work and lets face it we need atleast tails in the game i mean come on lets have some classic characters not all the new garbage characters maybe there could be some co op only stages with Co Op only bosses such as sonic and tails vs a metal sonic and metal tails or something the game itself could use alot of improvement on the music (instruments were horribly selected in my opinion)

  39. I think it would be fun if they made newer harder bosses not that I don’t like metal sonic or other old classics they are really good bosses but I was hoping for bosses I haven’t beat so many times and I hope metal sonic is changed as much as the final boss was changed from sonic 2

  40. I thought Episode 1 was an excellent game, and well worth the money. That Final Boss was one of the hardest I’ve played against in a long time, and those Special Stages didn’t fall short of it (difficulty wise). I think it falls just in line with New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Counrty Returns: it’s a great game with old-school gameplay.

    Now, don’t think I don’t have my complaints (they are minor, however): they could fix his starting acceleration, and they could make it so that he coasts to a stop, rather than on a dime. They could also fix the Spin Dash so it varies in speed depending on how many times you rev him up, too.

    I have been patiently waiting Episode 2, and I can suffice with Generations to keep me busy… my only hope is that they don’t release it so late that it’s only on the Wii U and not the original Wii. Another nice touch would be to include Tails and Knuckles, as well as a “lock-on” feature, with the possible return of the Super Emeralds.

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