Emerald Hill Zone

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Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Emerald Hill Zone
Emerald Hill Zone
First Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Number of Acts: 2
Location: West Side Island
Level theme: tropical island
Boss: Drill Eggman
Maximum rings, Act 1: 226 + 70
Maximum rings, Act 2: 225 + 60
Non-English names:
Chemical Plant Zone
For the Sonic Drift 2 level, see Emerald Hill (Sonic Drift 2).

Emerald Hill Zone is the first Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and is the analogue of Green Hill Zone. It fills the Tropical Island theme for the game. Graphics for the zone were created by Jina Ishiwatari, who was also responsible for Green Hill Zone's graphics.[7]


A beautiful resort populated by beaches and lush green plains, Emerald Hill Zone contains bridges, waterfalls, loops, and flowers akin to Green Hill Zone, but lacks the latter zone's totem poles. Chief artist Yasushi Yamaguchi initially wanted to implement additional terrain details such as rocky hills and loops into the level background, as he felt that the flower fields alone looked too monotonous. However, this didn't work out due to unknown reasons.[7] The zone notably introduced a new corkscrew path gimmick, which became a token symbol for the game, and was later reused in future levels such as Sonic Advance 2's Leaf Forest. There are enough checkpoints in the two acts of the zone, making it possible to visit all seven Special Stages.

A slightly modified version of Emerald Hill Zone's art is also used in Hill Top Zone, with different coloration. According to Yamaguchi, this was a leftover from the game's original concept; A time travel adventure spanning across multiple time periods where certain zones would've shared graphical assets with others in order to establish them as the same location in different times.[7] Hill Top Zone and Emerald Hill Zone were presumably developed around the same time, as both zones appear in the Simon Wai prototype where they are both completed, whereas the earlier Nick Arcade prototype has both levels feature objects and playable layouts (even though screen scrolling limits for Hill Top Zone haven't been changed yet).

It was the only playable zone through normal means in the Nick Arcade prototype, since the prototype was likely developed for Nickelodeon's Nick Arcade. In this prototype, it featured a mostly finished layout, somewhat different Badniks and a playable boss which is the same boss as in the final game, although it triggers earlier, moves slightly differently, and brings the player back to the SEGA screen when defeated.


A beautiful zone with green meadows and rich waterfalls.
Run at high speed through the loops and the corkscrews!
Beware of the Monkeys and Bees that aim for you from the tops of the trees.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 JP manualMedia:Sonic2 MD JP manual.pdf[1] (translation by Vertekins)[8]

Speed through this tropical bayside resort with palm trees, loop-de-loops and corkscrew speedways. Watch out for monkey-business!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 US manualMedia:Sonic2 MD US manual.pdf[9]

Visually speaking, through all three games, we always start with an island. At the time, we were developing in San Francisco, and south of there was a town(?) called Emerald Hill. We were doing a location test at a shopping center there when we saw it, and since it was a Green Hill-like name we thought well, let's use it in the game!

Yuji Naka, Sonic Jam Strategy Guide[10]


Buzzer sprite.png
Buzzer — Wasp Badnik, flies along and stops to fire a missile at the player, then continues flying.
Coconuts sprite.png
Coconuts — Monkey Badnik, throws coconuts at the player from up a tree.
Masher sprite.png
Masher — Piranha Badnik, jumps vertically from inside waterfalls.


S2 flicky.gif
S2 ricky.gif

Technical information

Value Description
00 Level Value
$2A22 EHZ Palette (04, 05, 07, 0D)
$C57E EHZ layer deformation info
$3FF94 EHZ animated pattern load cue
$40372 EHZ, HTZ misc sprite mappings
$41D2E EHZ/01/02/03/DEZ object debug list
$44E50 EHZ and HTZ primary 16x16 collision index
$44F40 EHZ and HTZ secondary 16x16 collision index
$45AC4 EHZ Act 1 level layout
$45C84 EHZ Act 2 level layout
$4E74 EHZ 16x16 block mappings
$95C24 EHZ/HTZ main level patterns
$98AB4 HTZ pattern suppliment to EHZ level patterns
$99D34 EHZ/HTZ 128x128 block mappings
$E4344 EHZ Act 1 ring locations
$E456A EHZ Act 2 ring locations
$E684A EHZ Act 1 sprite locations
$E6B7A EHZ Act 2 sprite locations

In other media

Sonic the Comic

In the Sonic the Comic series, Emerald Hill Zone served as the home of Sonic the Hedgehog and a large number of Mobians. The residents of Emerald Hill Zone would temporarily relocate to the Mushroom Hill Zone on the Floating Island until Dr. Robotnik's dictatorship of Mobius came to an end.

Emerald Hill Zone is considered to be part of South Island in this continuity, likely to remove continuity errors present in early issues as Green Hill Zone and Emerald Hill Zone have been used almost interchangeably in those issues.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics)

In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, Emerald Hill Zone was a location that was created as a result of Dr. Eggman reshaping reality with the Genesis Wave. When the Super Genesis Wave rewrote Sonic's multiverse, the zone became a permanent location.


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