Released in 2012, Sonic 4: Episode 2 unsurprisingly continues where Episode 1 left off. It brings back many elements from the classic Sonic games, including Tails, the Death Egg and Metal Sonic. For better or worse, physics were not one of those elements. The episodic nature of this release prompted some backlash, but confidential intelligence states that most of the people behind that criticism list Sonic 3 & Knuckles as one of their favorite games, which was totally not released in parts.
Individual-levels run as Sonic in 0:27:51.53:
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|Sylvania Castle 1||0:00:38.67||2012-06-15||'Paraxade'|
|Sylvania Castle 2||0:00:45.11||2012-06-09||'Paraxade'|
|Sylvania Castle 3||0:00:57.28||2012-06-06||'Paraxade'|
|Sylvania Castle Boss||0:01:34.65||2012-06-14||'Paraxade'|
|White Park 1||0:01:24.65||2012-05-23||'Paraxade'|
|White Park 2||0:00:56.67||2012-05-27||'Paraxade'|
|White Park 3||0:00:58.16||2012-06-01||'Paraxade'|
|White Park Boss||0:01:30.23||2012-06-18||'Paraxade'|
|Oil Desert 1||0:01:02.11||2012-06-07||'Paraxade'|
|Oil Desert 2||0:00:49.62||2012-05-19||'Paraxade'|
|Oil Desert 3||0:01:03.38||2012-05-24||'Paraxade'|
|Oil Desert Boss||0:03:00.52||2012-06-12||'Paraxade'|
|Sky Fortress 1||0:04:51.16||2012-06-02||'Paraxade'|
|Sky Fortress 2||0:01:06.16||2012-05-22||'Paraxade'|
|Sky Fortress 3||0:01:24.32||2012-06-04||'Paraxade'|
|Sky Fortress Boss||0:01:24.96||2012-06-13||'Paraxade'|
|Death Egg mk.II 1||0:02:14.23||2012-05-19||'Paraxade'|
|Death Egg mk.II Boss||0:02:09.65||2012-06-11||'Paraxade'|
Sylvania Castle 1 (0'38"67): I somewhat screwed up the ending on this one, so this can probably be done a bit faster, but this is a pretty good run.
Sylvania Castle 2 (0'45"11): The beginning strat here is pretty tough, I'm pretty sure there's only one pixel where you can land on the spikes without getting hurt. Can't think of much else to comment on here.
Sylvania Castle 3 (0'57"68): This level is seriously awful to speedrun. There are tons of moving pieces and all of them run on global timers. That means that they are moving from the second the level loads, which is frustrating because it means if you have to wait for something to be in a certain position, the you're only going to be able to improve in increments of that thing's movement cycle. This is a pretty solid run, but apparently Talon's beaten it with some better strats.
Sylvania Castle Boss (1'34"65): I hate the bosses in this game. Every boss in Episode 1 can be completely defeated, including hitting the capsule, faster than it takes for the stupid intro to finish and let me get the very first hit on this boss (with the exception of Mad Gear). Anyway, it's faster to tag roll at the beginning. The game waits for Tails to get in position before starting the cutscene with Eggman, and if you spindash into the cutscene then he'll go flying all over the place and cost you some time. As for the actual boss, my strat is to hit him with Tails's propeller tails. The spot is somewhat precise, but it's definitely the fastest strat, since this way it's possible to get the first 7 hits on the first frame possible.
White Park 1 (1'24"65): Probably the best level in the game. There is one part near the end, right after the last snow section you have to tag roll through, where I tag roll off a slope and get launched up to a higher ledge. I hate this part because half the time the game simply doesn't launch you up as high and you just land on the lower path. I have no idea what causes it, it seems random. Anyway, aside from that I can't think of anything here that doesn't speak for itself. Solid run, again.
White Park 2 (0'56"67): The hardest part about this level is jumping off the ramp at around the 0'26 mark. That platform is another global timer, which means your timing when you get there needs to be perfect or else it won't be in the right position for you to jump off of it, on top of also needing the ramp jump beforehand to go perfectly so you land right on it. Also I love the Twinkle Park musical throwback.
White Park 3 (0'58"16): Boo crappy underwater levels with bad music. We've got another global timer here; this time it's the moving platform about 20 seconds in. You need to pull off a really good run with the best strats to make it under that platform before it goes all the way down. The last tag roll can also be kinda annoying; since I do it so close to the edge of the platform, the timing to be able to jump is pretty strict.
White Park Boss (1'30"23): Okay this boss is funny in that it's simultaneously the most fun boss in the game and also, by FAR, the worst one for speedrunning. We have tons of randomness, global timers once again (sort of), AND a 4:3 advantage. Let's start with the most obvious one: he's random. There is no way to manipulate which attack he will use. This is usually only a problem if he uses the lightning attack and repeats it 2-3 times; one time is pretty fast, and 2 isn't usually an issue unless he does it again, while 3 will kill the run. That said, he does it all the time. Second, the length of the track is fixed, and you can only progress to the next section of the fight after whatever section of the track you're currently on ends. Combined with the fact that it's an autoscroller, this means that aside from the very beginning and the ending, you can only improve in increments of track lengths. Third, there is an advantage in 4:3. If you play in 4:3 instead of 16:9, most of the animations are faster, and the game lets you stay closer to Metal which lets you get in hits faster. Aside from getting lucky, there's only one real trick. For the last hit, the game makes Metal Sonic vulnerable when either Sonic or Tails is at the left side of the screen. So what you can do is stay on the right side, then at the right time call Tails. This will make him jump and immediately fly to the left side of the screen while you stay on the right; then if you time a jump properly you can hit Metal Sonic before he can attack. In this run I played in 4:3, didn't run any unnecessary track lengths, and nailed the ending, so this is pretty much as good as it can get.
Oil Desert 1 (1'02"11): Nothing I can think of to comment about.
Oil Desert 2 (0'49"62): TAG ROLL TO WIN! You can start the roll earlier in the level, but it's slower. The ending can be done slightly faster if you jump off the pipe after the last checkpoint at the perfect angle. This is one of the first runs I did.
Oil Desert 3 (1'03"38): This is a pretty tough level to do an optimal run for. There's so much air dashing and tag flying that it can kinda start to hurt your hand after a while. This was really good overall, ending was kinda slow but who cares.
Oil Desert Boss (3'00"52): boooooooooooooring
Sky Fortress 1 (4'51"16): THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING LEVEL IN THE GAME!!! YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!!! Okay, seriously though, being an autoscroller, there are only two things in the level that can affect your time. The first one is the two sequences where the Tornado speeds up. The sequences themselves last a fixed amount of time, but before they start the game tries to move the plane to a specific position. You can minimize the amount of time that takes by making sure you're already in the right spot. Second is the boss fight at the end of the level, which is pathetically easy to do frame-perfectly. Anyhow, 4'51"16 is the record on the leaderboards, and both Groudon and myself have gotten it several times. I think it's perfect, but I'm not quite 100% sure.
Sky Fortress 2 (1'06"16): This is where things finally pick up again after 8 minutes of boring BS. This is probably one of the most impressive runs in the table. Sky Fortress 2 is one of the most complex levels in the game, and there are a ton of different routes you can take and a lot of tricks all over the place. It's fastest to stay on the highest route as often as possible. For the ending, I use a pretty neat trick with a tag roll on a small platform to skip a small section of wallrunning. The window for the jump is very small, so it can be kind of hard to pull off, but it saves time and looks really cool.
Sky Fortress 3 (1'24"32): Another fun run. Thanks to Inuyasha for coming up with a lot of the route for the first 2/3 of the level. This level has more global timers with the platforms at the end. This actually illustrates another annoying feature of them: because they're moving through the entire level, it's difficult to be able to plan strats for them, because you don't know what position they're going to be in if you get there in an optimal run. I find that usually the only way to really find out is to actually do an optimal run up to that point, which kinda sucks because you know there's no chance you'll actually be able to finish optimally. Anyway, very good run of this stage here.
Sky Fortress Boss (1'24"96): This is actually another sorta fun boss. Before the Metal Sonic cutscene starts, you'll want to get the plane into position again, like in Sky Fortress 1. After the really long intro, you gotta hope he goes to the top side of the screen twice. The top side lets you hit him twice, while the bottom is both harder and only lets you hit him once. The sequence for hits 5-7 is pretty easy too; then the ending can be a bitch. I usually just mash X, and if you get lucky and end up with a missile on the bottom instead of the top you'll just go right over it and hit Metal. Otherwise you'll lose a lot of time.
Death Egg mk.II 1 (2'14"23): First run I ever did for this game, two or three days after it came out. The stage is actually pretty linear, with only a couple path splits at the very beginning. It's mostly a matter of knowing your way around; it's pretty easy to get around quickly after you know the route. The most annoying thing about this is the autoscrolling Metal Sonic fight 30 seconds in (why does Sega think they can't make a non-autoscrolling Metal Sonic fight?). Eggman's movements are completely random, as is how long Metal Sonic decides to hold his attack. Sometimes, and I am not exaggerating, he will sit there doing nothing for literally 10 seconds. It is really frustrating. 'Side from that, the race at the end of the level is really really easy to do perfectly. I finish it by manually uncurling at the end and then spindashing to the finish. The reason I do this instead of tag rolling all the way is because right after the part where I uncurled, there is a trigger that will automatically uncurl you and then have Sonic start to automatically run to the right. If you're on foot, then Sonic will keep all the momentum he already had. However, if you're tag rolling, then you'll be reset to no momentum and Sonic will slowly accelerate instead of already being at top speed.
Death Egg mk.II Boss (2'09"65): The final boss. First off, the intro area preceding the boss fight seriously sucks, it's a gigantic pain to do quickly. Second, the boss itself is random. He actually works differently than you would think; instead of each cycle being random, he will just pick one of two possible patterns at the beginning and stick with it for the entire fight. It's possible to tell which one right after his intro cutscene ends by where Sonic falls. You'll either have to go left to hit him, or right. Left is better because it's both faster and easier to hit him while avoiding actually getting hit yourself. The right pattern is terrible and will completely screw you over in every way possible. For the final three hits, I use a glitch. If you air dash at him and then tag roll with exactly the right timing, then you'll clip inside his shield during the roll animation. This lets you hit him with the tag roll instantly, while normally you would just break the shield, uncurl and have to hit him manually. On this run, I got the glitch on hits 6 and 8, but not 7. I am actually not sure I've ever gotten it on hit 7 on any run, so it might not even be possible, but I'd be inclined to think it was. Anyway, this can certainly be improved, and I spent a while trying to do that before giving up and taking this, but regardless, it's definitely a good run here, and a great way to cap off the IL table.
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