Version 2.0, or SRB2: Marriage Edition (abbreviated SRB2ME), is an outdated version of SRB2, released on July 24th, 2009. It was the first release after the "Final Demo" line, and therefore ended the situation where every new release was supposed to be the last one before the final version of the game. As the biggest single update of SRB2, it introduced nine new stages to the Single Player campaign, increasing its scope to 16 levels. Additionally, the multiplayer system was completely revamped, bearing little similarity to its original form.
For this release, the engine of the game was expanded extensively, many new features were added and existing content was refined. Therefore, all releases from 2.0 onwards are not backwards-compatible with any custom content made for previous versions without some type of conversion.
In November 2008, main developer SSNTails announced a new SRB2 version scheduled to be released in May 2009, to coincide with his marriage and subsequent departure from active development. At this point, it was unclear whether the release would be the final version of the game (then still dubbed Version 1.1) or only a partially finished product. At a later date, as it became evident that game would not be complete by that point, the new release was named SRB2: Marriage Edition in reference to SSNTails' marriage. Version 1.1 was to be released at a later, unknown date.
In April 2009 however, the release was delayed to give the development team more time to refine the existing content. It was decided to release SRB2 coincident with that year's Sonic Amateur Game Expo (SAGE), which started on July 25th. A preview video of Arid Canyon Zone Act 1 and an information topic on the new multiplayer system were launched as teasers. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the version numbering scheme for SRB2 had been changed. Instead of incrementing the version number towards a fixed final version called 1.1, which had created inconsistencies in the past, the version number would restart at 2.0.0. Major updates would be designated by incrementing the middle digit, e.g. 2.1.0, and minor updates would increment the last digit, e.g. 2.0.1. As a result, what was previously known as SRB2ME would now be Version 2.0.
Version 2.0 was released a day early on July 24th, and subsequently presented at SAGE a day later. This marked the official departure of SSNTails as head developer, whose role Mystic assumed. Since then, 2.0 has been updated several times for bug fixing purposes. A semi-major release, 2.0.5, was released on May 21st, 2010. It was aimed at fixing various bugs in SRB2's levels, refining the item placement in the Match and CTF stages, as well introducing several minor improvements to the engine and other aspects of the game. It was followed ten days later by 2.0.6, another minor bug-fix release. The latest version of 2.0 is 2.0.7, released on September 10th, 2013, as a fix for a major multiplayer bug. The next major version of SRB2, Version 2.1, was released on March 15th, 2014.
The Single Player campaign was dramatically expanded from 9 to 16 maps. Existing stages were modified or even remade, and seven entirely new maps were added. This greatly increased the length, difficulty and complexity of the Single Player campaign, giving a much more accurate representation of the final game, which will add at least five more stages to the campaign. Difficulty modes were removed from the game. The difficulty of the game now depends entirely on the character used, which is aided by the fact that several stages include character-specific paths.
The save system was completely revamped. Instead of allowing the player to save manually after each level, the player must choose a save slot at the beginning of the game. Progress is saved after each zone instead of each act. While this makes the game substantially more difficult, it gives a purpose to continues, since they allow the player to restart from the current level instead of the first act of the current zone. Once the player has completed the game, the save slot will turn into a level select that lets the user access any Single Player level individually as well as collect additional lives and emeralds. In 2.0.5, a No Save slot (á la Sonic 3) was added that does not save the player's progress, but can still be used to obtain emblems and unlock secrets - albeit at the expense of the former sixth save slot. To prevent interferences, addons with a gamedata file now receive their own save slots.
- Greenflower Zone: Greenflower Zone was largely unchanged from previous versions of the game, except for some minor refinements including translucent water, new graphics for the Crawla and very subtle changes to the level layout. The appearance and behavior of the Egg Mobile, Greenflower Zone's boss, were also modified, making the boss retreat from the player after being hit instead of staying in place.
- Techno Hill Zone: Like Greenflower Zone, Techno Hill Zone was largely unchanged from previous versions of the game. The difficulty of act 2 was toned down by removing some enemies and simplifying some obstacles.
- Deep Sea Zone: This zone was added in 2.0. It is a mix of caverns and ancient ruins set underwater. The scenery consists of seaweed, gargoyles and coral; the Jet Jaw, a brown fish that chases the player, serves as the main enemy. Gimmicks include water slides and gargoyle puzzles alongside more traditional platforming involving water. The boss, Sea Egg, moves through an underwater pipe system, occasionally coming to the top to shoot missiles, making him vulnerable to the player.
- Castle Eggman Zone: This zone was completely remade, bearing no resemblance to previous versions. Act 1 takes place in a forest that leads up to a castle that the player enters in act 2. The zone introduces several new enemies, including the Robo-Hood, which shoots arrows at the player, the Egg Guard, who is covered with a large shield that blocks the player, the CastleBot FaceStabber, a large enemy equipped with a lance, and the Sharp, a spiked enemy that intermittently chases the player by spinning towards them. The zone features gameplay elements such as rotating and swinging chains that the player can hang on to, rotating and swinging spikeballs that damage the player, flamethrowers and cannons. Version 2.0 features only the first two acts of this zone, both of which are very unfinished and unrefined. The zone was later completed for v2.1.
- Arid Canyon Zone: Arid Canyon Zone is a combination of two old level concepts Mine Maze Zone and Rocky Mountain Zone. The first act is included in Version 2.0 and takes place in a largely dried-out canyon. Gameplay elements include crumbling and falling rocks, many death pits, slippery oil and rope pulleys that transport the player when hanging on to them. Enemies include the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard, an aerial enemy that charges at the player, the Minus, which tunnels underground and jumps at nearby players, and the Green Snapper, a turtle enemy that is surrounded by a spike ring. Tumbleweeds, which bounce around when being pushed by the player, and cacti serve as scenery.
- Red Volcano Zone: The first act is a reworked and re-textured version of the hidden map that was featured in previous versions. The behavior of the lava in the stage was changed to be solid on top, and a new room was added to the ending of the stage. A hidden map called Blue Mountain Zone Act 2 is also included in Version 2.0. It contains the first room of a proposed snow-themed second act of the zone, but this idea was later scrapped and future versions of SRB2 will feature a regular lava-themed second act.
- Egg Rock Zone: This zone is entirely new to Version 2.0. It takes place in a space station and features gameplay elements such as reverse gravity, vacuums, teleports, zoom tubes and switching from normal gameplay to 2D mode in real time. A boss called Brak Eggman is also included.
- Special Stages: Most of the Special Stages from the previous version were kept and re-textured. However, the old Special Stages 4 and 5 were removed. They were replaced by an old Special Stage that was last used in Version 1.08 and a completely new Special Stage 7.
- Unlockables: Most unlockables were kept from previous versions, but Adventure Example Zone was dropped together with Adventure Mode due to a lack of interest and useful features, and Christmas Hunt Zone was also removed. Instead, an incomplete remake of SRB1 and Neo Aerial Garden Zone, a remake of Aerial Garden Zone from the level pack Mystic Realm, were added.
Match and Capture the Flag mode were extensively modified for Version 2.0, dropping the previous weapon stacking concept for a more traditional weapon selection system. Race mode was left largely unchanged except for some minor improvements. Tag mode was reworked and a variation of it, Hide & Seek, was added to the game.
The new weapon system is designed to be more like a traditional FPS. There are six weapons available in the game. To use one of these, the player must collect the appropriate weapon panel. This allows the player to select that weapon and fire it. The player can carry all weapons at once, but they can only fire one type of weapon at a time. Instead of timers like in 1.09.4, weapon usage is restricted by ammunition. Each shot, apart from depleting the ring count by one, also subtracts one ammunition item for the weapon that was fired. If the ammunition count hits zero, the weapon cannot be fired until more ammunition is collected. This can happen either by collecting the panel again or by picking up one of the stand-alone weapon rings scattered around the stage. Without a panel, these weapon rings don't allow the player to fire the weapon, but their ammunition is saved until the player collects the panel. If a player is hit, they lose all their panels along with their rings and ammunition.
The weapons themselves were also changed, and new weapons have been added:
- Red Ring - Default weapon, cannot be dropped. In a team game, the blue team will fire blue rings instead of red ones. The colors of the other weapon rings are unaffected by this.
- Automatic Ring - Fires a rapid stream of rings.
- Bounce Ring - Fires a projectile that will bounce off walls for a short period of time.
- Scatter Ring - Fires a cross of 5 rings which slowly spread apart as they fly. At close range, it can knock back the opponent extremely far.
- Grenade Ring - Fires a grenade-like projectile onto the ground which will explode if an opponent gets too close. If it hasn't been triggered after a while, it will explode on its own.
- Explosion Ring - Fires a projectile that explodes on contact with walls or other objects.
- Rail Ring - Fires an instantaneous shot that instantly hits any opponent in its path.
With the new weapon system comes a large change in the design of Match stages. Instead of providing only two types of weapons per stage, every weapon tile is placed once on every map. To make sure the player can remember the location of each weapon, the maps are no longer symmetrical and instead feature highly dissimilar areas that allow the player to memorize the weapon locations more easily. Additionally, the large amount of ammunition and weapons that needs to be placed encourages much larger and more complex stages. CTF stages usually have two of each weapon tile, each for one half of the map. They are still symmetrical between the bases and are generally smaller than the Match maps.
In Match and CTF, a new system for randomly respawning monitors was introduced. Instead of using the generic Random Monitor, which provides each item with the same likelihood, Thing flags are used on regular monitors to make them respawn randomly. There are two types of randomly respawning monitors, the Strong Random Monitor (SRM) and the Weak Random Monitor (WRM). The item distribution of these monitors is weighted, providing some items more frequently than others. This ensures a balanced distribution of items in the game. Typically, a Match or CTF stage includes one or two SRMs and two to four WRMs. Along with the weapon tiles, these monitors frequently serve as focal points for multiplayer stages, as they are the only way of obtaining shields and other powerful items.
An entirely new addition to Match and CTF in 2.0 were the Chaos Emeralds. Players can specify whether they want to play with them or not. They will start spawning on the map about one minute into the game, and will continue spawning until there are seven in the stage. The players can then try to collect them. Getting hit will cause a player to drop all the emeralds they've collected. If a player collects all 7 emeralds and 50 rings, they can double jump to transform into their super form. While in their super form, they can run faster and jump higher than normal players, and they will only lose 10 rings when hit. The amount of rings lost per hit is doubled every 5 minutes when super. When the player runs out of rings, they will transform back into their normal form and lose their emeralds, which will then start spawning again.
Each character has a different super form with different abilities. They all have the same bright yellow color as Super Sonic to make it easier for other players to disntinguish them at a distance. Super Tails and Super Knuckles also have invincibility stars going around them in super form to make it even more clear.
- Sonic - Same as in Single Player mode. Holding spin while jumping allows Sonic to hover in the air.
- Tails - Infinite flight. Pressing spin while jumping will cause Tails to launch into the sky, similar to the effect of the Whirlwind Shield, but a lot stronger.
- Knuckles - Increased glide and climb speed. Releasing a glide in midair will also return Knuckles into a spin, allowing him to glide as many times as he wants while in midair.
Super Tails and Super Knuckles are exclusive to multiplayer, and do not appear in the Single Player game in any way.
In CTF, team rings as well as team ring monitors replace normal rings and monitors in the bases. They have the same color as the corresponding team and can only be picked up by members of that team. This makes defense much easier, since attacking players need to leave the opposing base if they lose their rings.
In contrast to previous versions, Version 2.0 does not have a roster of ten levels for every gametype, and instead concentrates on fewer but high-quality maps. Only the Circuit rotation still features ten levels, since Race mode has stayed largely the same. It is a mix of straight ports and reworked versions of older official maps, two maps from the Official Level Design Contest and one new map, Corrupt Shrine Zone.
Match mode features nine stages, some new, some old. Four non-symmetrical maps return from Version 1.09.4 after being heavily modified to support the new weapon system, as well as being re-textured in some cases. Similarly, Jade Valley Zone and Noxious Factory Zone have returned from older versions of the game, the latter receiving a completely new outside area. Two new levels were made specifically for Version 2.0: Tidal Palace Zone employs a rising and falling water gimmick, Infernal Cavern Zone is set in a lava-filled cave and makes use of flamethrowers. In Version 2.0.5, Frost Columns Zone was added after debuting in the OLDC.
CTF features only six stages. Four maps have returned from 1.09.4; they were also updated to work with the new weapon system and to include team rings and monitors. Two new stages have also been made: Icicle Falls Zone utilizes the new ice-themed texture set and the waterslide mechanic, and Twisted Terminal Zone is an ERZ-themed stage that features a second, upside-down gravity path on the ceiling.
Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek mode was implemented as an alternative to Tag mode, also to be played on Match maps. Similarly to Tag, one player is selected to be IT and has to wait for the other players to hide. After the hide time expires, the hiding players become unable to move and the player who is IT has to find and shoot them. The score of the hiding players increases over time, and thus the player who is able to hide the longest wins.
Several changes were made to the character system in Version 2.0. Tails' running speed was increased so that he is able to display his running animation, and his ability to run on water with speed shoes was removed. Knuckles received his own set of sprites, replacing the placeholder model rips. Additionally, his running speed was slightly increased and his jump height was lowered. To make up for this in Match mode, he can fire weapons faster than Sonic and Tails.
The system for custom character WADs were restricted to prevent characters from being overpowered. The possibility to perform an ability multiple times per jump and the spinning ability were combined into one variable, which means that a character can choose only one of both. Several variables now have an upper limit. Super forms outside of Match and CTF were completely disabled for custom characters. Also, the ability to fire rings in Single Player, running on water and the ability to perform a light dash were removed.
Restructuring of resources
While the basic WAD structure was not changed, all of the Objects, Things, textures, linedef types and sector types were reordered to make it easier to find the proper resource. For instance, the linedef type numbers for FOFs are in the 100s and linedef executors are in the 400s. To run maps for older versions in Version 2.0 or later, they will have to be converted either manually or via a conversion program called lvlconv.exe. Note that some features may be incompatible, so complicated tricks may need to be remade completely. SOCs need to be converted manually.
Levels can now span the whole size of 65536×65536 fracunits without overrunning the limitations of the
BLOCKMAP lump. Up to 65536 sidedefs per map are now supported as well.
Apart from restructuring the existing content, new editing features, such as new linedef and sector effects as well as new Thing types, were added for Version 2.0. For example, the enemy roster was more than doubled, and several old enemies received completely new sprites. The amount of textures was vastly increased, offering several new theme options not possible in previous versions. Many new gimmicks and obstacles can be created that were not possible before, including such elements as waterslides, reverse gravity and PolyObjects, among many others. These changes allow much greater complexity and diversity for custom levels, which has led to vastly increased quality standards prevalent in the SRB2 community.
- The palette of 256 colors that can be displayed in SRB2 was changed from Doom's default palette, which was used in previous versions. The new palette includes more blues and purples at the expense of some of the brown in the original Doom palette, as well as a few other tweaks. This makes all graphics from previous versions unusable, so old character WADs, sprites and textures need to be converted to the proper palette to be used in Version 2.0 or later.
- The shield system was revamped, adding the new Force Shield, which protects from two hits and reflects projectiles, and merging the Liquid Shield and Inferno Shield into the Elemental Shield. Additionally, the Whirlwind Shield can now be activated in mid-air even when not jumping.
- Star Posts are set up differently than in Version 1.09.4. Their order is determined by the Angle of the Star Post Thing instead of its flags. This makes it possible to place more Star Posts than before and to flip their gravity with the Object Flip flag. The order of the Star Posts is determined by adding multiples of 360 to their Angle. For example, the Angle of the first Star Post needs to be between 0 and 359, the second Star Post would be between 360 to 719, and so forth.
- The Silver Ring monitor, which granted the player 25 rings, was removed entirely.
- The OpenGL rendering mode exhibits severe issues in some stages, since several new features do not support it. It was briefly left out of the official release entirely, but was re-added in v2.0.6. Several of OpenGL's rendering issues were fixed for v2.1.
- For netgames, various quick-access entries were added to the main menu. These include a "Switch Map" option that allows the host to change the map and gametype quickly without using the console, a "Switch Team" option that allows players to switch teams in team-related gametypes, a "Spectate" option that allows players to enter spectator mode in gametypes that support it and a "Scramble Teams" option that allows the host to scramble the teams in CTF.
|Pre-demo||SRB2 TGF • SRB2 Halloween • SRB2 Christmas|
|Demo||Demo 1 • Demo 2 • Demo 3 • Demo 4 • Demo 4.32-4.35 • SRB2 2k3|
|Final Demo||Final Demo 1.01-1.04 • Final Demo 1.08 • Final Demo 1.09-1.09.2 • Final Demo 1.09.3-1.09.4|
|Post-demo||Match beta • Version 2.0 • Version 2.1 • In development|