********** (dubbed as Wechnia by fans) is a glitch character featured in Knuckles' Chaotix. He is a recolored version of Knuckles, with silver-white fur, red strands in his dreadlocks and red eyes. The character is referenced in the hidden stage select menu as "**********". The term "Wechnia" (a portmanteau of "white" and "echidna") was coined by Sonic Cult webmaster PACHUKA.
Wechnia is the leftover data that would have belonged to Tails, who was originally meant to be playable in the game (since he is listed in the second slot of the level select after Mighty.) This was later confirmed with the release of the 1207 Beta prototype, which contains a Tails life icon in the ROM.
To play as or have Wechnia as a partner, the player must go to the Options menu and select "Color Test". Three pairs of 00 should be surrounded by <>. The player must then hold and press until the first pair is 06, then release, hold, and press until the second pair is 0B. The player must release, hold, and press until the third pair is 11, then release and press once more. Three pairs of 04 should now be highlighted. The player must hold and press until the second 04 is 00, then release, press, and proceed to the main menu. The option "Stage Select" should now be below Options. The player should select it, then choose their character or combi as **********. The player will have Wechnia, but once he touches the ground, the game will crash outside of certain levels. Even then, the game can crash if certain triggers occur, such as being damaged.
Wechnia may have the appearance of Knuckles, but he utilizes Mighty's moveset. In the 1207 Beta prototype, Wechnia had the ability to fly rather than Mighty's wall kick. He would tire after a while exactly like Tails, and contained a similar palette consisting of colors suitable for him, such as shades of orange and red.
- If Sonic Mania is played in "& Knuckles" mode, reaching the end of the game without collecting the full set of Chaos Emeralds will cause the AI-controlled Knuckles to briefly flash into Wechnia's color scheme while the red strobe lights blanket the area once the boss is defeated.