Single Player is a game mode and gametype in SRB2, and the part of the game which most focus lies on. It emulates the gameplay of the Genesis-era Sonic games, albeit in a 3D environment. The player steers a character through levels in a third-person view and has the objective to overcome several obstacles and challenges to reach the exit. An exception to this are boss levels, in which the objective is to fight and defeat a boss. Single Player mode is enabled for a map by adding the keyword
Single to the
TypeOfLevel parameter of its level header.
Unlike the other main gametypes, Single Player mode is not playable in netgames and can only be played with one person in general. An exception to this is when Single Player mode is played with a player and bot combination such as "Sonic & Tails", where the first player takes control of Sonic and a second player can optionally take control of Tails. However, Tails acts only as an assistant to the first player, contributing to Sonic's ring count and needing to be within range of the first player in order not to be respawned automatically. Cooperative mode (or Coop for short), meanwhile, is a fully multiplayer-compatible version of Single Player, where every player has individual statistics and do not have to depend on each other to play the game.
SRB2's official Single Player levels are organized in zones: Each zone consists of three acts, of which the first two ones are regular levels with an exit sector and the third one is a boss fight. Each zone has its own distinctive visual theme and gameplay style that sets it apart from other zones. Many custom levels follow this format, but it is not required. Zones can span less or more than three acts or not contain a boss level at all, and levels may not be organized in zones at all and function as stand-alone levels.
In the zone format the official SRB2 levels use, the first and second act of each zone are regular Single Player stages. The player starts out at a Player 1 Start and has to progress to an exit sector, which typically contains a level end sign that spins once the player finishes the level. In between these two points, obstacles are located that the player has to pass. Additionally, each zone contains a distinctive roster of enemies that act as additional threats.
To increase replay value, the official SRB2 stages all contain multiple paths that the players can choose from and that contain different challenges. Additionally, hidden power-ups and other items are scattered throughout the stage and can be found by diverging from the pathway. Apart from power-up monitors, the official SRB2 stages also contain a varying number Special Stage Tokens that, when collected, allow players to access the Special Stages after the level has ended and try to collect the Chaos Emeralds. Each stage also contains five emblems, which are small winged logos hidden in the stage. Collecting these unlocks secrets once the game is completed. Three additional emblems are awarded for beating certain requirements in Record Attack, one for each discipline.
In the zone format the official SRB2 levels use, the third act of each zone is a boss battle. These acts generally consist of small arenas in which the player has to fight Eggman in one of his machines. The bosses currently available in SRB2 take eight hits to defeat, and when they are defeated, an Egg Capsule will rise somewhere in the level. The level ends when the player hits the button of the capsule and releases the animals inside it. The only exception to this is the final boss, Brak Eggman, which takes twelve hits to defeat and ends the level immediately upon being defeated, without spawning an Egg Capsule.
Because of this system, boss levels normally don't have an exit sector. It is, however, possible to make a boss level with an exit sector, for example by opening a door that leads to the exit once the boss is defeated. It is also possible to check the Special flag on the boss Thing to end the level directly after the boss is defeated.
Apart from these two main types of stages, there are some differently structured level types that are used in conjunction with other gametypes:
- NiGHTS stages don't have an exit sector, but rather an Ideya Drone where the player transforms to Super Sonic and flies along a NiGHTS track in 2D mode. These stages contain an Ideya Capture that the player must deposit rings in to destroy it and complete the level. Some Single Player NiGHTS levels may be explored freely in 3D mode without transforming to Super Sonic, although tagging the Ambush flag of the Ideya Drone removes that option.
- Special Stages are stages that allow the player to collect a Chaos Emerald. SRB2's official Special Stages are NiGHTS stages, but a different format also exists in which the player has to collect a certain number of rings in a specified time to obtain the emerald. A special sector with the Special Stage Time/Rings Parameters sector type determines the time and ring requirements.
- Emerald Hunt stages don't have an exit sector, but rather contain three emeralds that the player, equipped with a radar, needs to find to complete the level. The emeralds appear randomly in three of the Emerald Hunt Location Things placed onto the map.
When starting up a new Single Player game, players may choose a save slot (or choose to play without saving) and a character to play as. This character choice cannot be changed afterwards. The game automatically saves progress after each zone, allowing players to restart at the first act of the zone they're currently on. Beating the last Single Player stage unlocks the Secrets menu (if it isn't unlocked already) and turns the save slot into a level select. Unlike the unlockable level select, this level select forces players to use the character that was chosen for the save slot, but saves how many lives the player has instead of always starting out with three.
Lives and continues
Upon starting the first level, players are awarded with three lives and one continue. They will lose a life upon dying (getting hit without rings, getting crushed, falling into a pit, drowning or suffocating in space) and can collect additional lives by finding Extra Life Monitors, scoring 50,000 points (a life is awarded for each 50,000 points, so another life will be awarded after 100,000 points are reached etc.), or collecting 100 rings in the current stage. Another extra life is awarded after collecting 200 rings, but not for collecting 300 rings and beyond. However, the
MaxXtraLife parameter in the
MainCfg block can be used to change this for custom addons.
Players who lose all their lives may choose to use a continue and restart on the level they died on, being again equipped with three lives. This comes in handy if a player dies on a second or third act and doesn't want to restart on the first act. Beware, once a continue is used up, it cannot be re-obtained and is gone from the save slot. Additional continues can be obtained by scoring 50,000 points in a Special Stage. If a player reaches zero lives and zero continues, they will get a Game Over.
Points from enemies/bosses
Points can be scored during a level by destroying enemies. 100 points are awarded for every enemy destroyed, although more points are awarded if the player kills several enemies in one move, typically by bouncing off multiple enemies after a single jump. The score chain is broken if the player touches the ground or is climbing a wall (except when invincibility is in effect), resetting the points awarded to 100 each.
|Number of enemies||Point value per enemy|
|15 and above||10,000|
Score tally and bonuses
Once a level is finished, the score tally screen shows up and bonus points are awarded to the player before the next stage is started. This includes 100 points for every ring they carry at that moment, a time bonus depending on how long they took to complete the stage, and an additional perfect bonus worth 50,000 points if they collected all rings in the stage.
|Time||Bonus (in points)|
|0:29 or less||100,000|
|10:00 and above||0|
In boss levels, the time bonus is replaced with a guard bonus, awarding points depending on how many times the player was hit. Perfect bonuses are not awarded in boss levels, except in ERZ3.
|Times hit||Bonus (in points)|
|5 and above||0|
BonusType parameter in the level header determines which types of bonuses are awarded in a level. The available options are
None (no bonuses),
Normal (ring, time and perfect bonus),
Boss (ring and guard bonus) and
ERZ3 (ring, guard and perfect bonus).
Several cheats can be used in Single Player; however, they mark the game as modified to prevent the player from unlocking secrets while using cheats. Most of these cheats can be used by enabling the
devmode console command, which is exclusive to Single Player. There are four exceptions to this:
godmakes the player invincible to everything.
noclipmakes the player intangible to all Objects and walls, allowing them to pass closed doors and reach the top of platforms immediately.
notargetprevents enemies and bosses from targeting the player unless they are hit.
objectplaceenables a special debug mode where the player can fly around and place new map things in a map. For more information, see the Object placement mode article.
Other cheats include setting the number of rings, lives and continues the player is equipped with, creating a temporary Star Post to respawn at, getting all emeralds, teleporting, scaling the player, flipping the gravity and changing character attributes. For a full list, see the development mode article.
Cooperative mode, generally referred to as Coop, is a fully multiplayer-compatible version of Single Player. It is mostly identical to Single Player, but can be played with multiple players simultaneously. A map can be given Coop support by adding the keyword
Co-op to the
TypeOfLevel parameter of its level header. This is normally advisable for Single Player levels, although mappers should take care that their map is Coop-compatible. Obstacles and hazards that would block the path for some players should be disabled (usually done by giving the linedef special the No Sonic, No Tails and No Knuckles flags).
A Coop stage usually ends when the first player has reached the exit. This behavior can be changed in the Options menu and with the
playersforexit console variable.
One is the default behavior, while
All forces all players reach the exit for the stage to end. Special Stage Tokens can be collected as usual, and the number of Special Stages that are accessed after the level has ended depends on how many tokens all players have collected together. Both the time limit and the ring/sphere requirement are shared among all players. While this makes the requirement easier to reach, it also means all players are punished for a single player's mistake.
An useful feature for Coop is Tails' ability to transport other players while flying, which can be enabled with the
tailspickup console variable. This allows Tails players to transport Sonic and Knuckles players to places they couldn't normally reach or to help them bypass obstacles.
|Game modes||Campaign • Ultimate mode • Record Attack/NiGHTS Mode • Multiplayer|
|Game types||Single Player/Co-op • Competition • Race • Match/Team Match • Tag/Hide & Seek • Capture the Flag|
|Level types|| Supplementary: 2D mode • Mario mode • NiGHTS|
Other: Special Stage • Emerald Hunt