Like the original, Metallic Madness Zone is a huge metallic factory made by Dr. Robotnik that is highly protected by death traps and Badniks, such as buzz saws, blades and cages. Unlike Stardust Speedway Zone, both Acts of this Zone takes place within the same time frame (the Present).
Metallic Madness Zone Act 1's appearance is heavily based on the Past version of the original Metallic Madness. The construction work here is near completion, though the work cranes can still be spotted outside of the base through holes in the dome.
In Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, the player goes deeper into the mechanical base. This Act's appearance is based on the Present version of the original Metallic Madness Zone 2 while also sporting the background from the Bad Future of the original Metallic Madness Zone 3.
In their mission to reclaim the Phantom Ruby from Dr. Eggman, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles have returned to Little Planet, which has become Eggman's base of operations. As they pass through the Metallic Madness Zone, the trio overcome Eggman's traps and devious contraptions one after another. However, the evil doctor continues to escape them upon defeat, leaving Sonic and co. with no choice but to follow him to a Zone containing one of his biggest robotic creations yet.
The gameplay in this Zone is the same as the original Metallic Madness, being a rife with giant buzzsaws, steep bank platforms, crushers, passages that close off behind the player, and other sharp-edged objects ideal for harming the player. Each Act also introduces both old and new gimmicks.
In Act 1, there is an exclusive new gimmick that lets the player do a little plane switching. By utilizing red and blue seesaws (based on the ones from Sonic the Hedgehog CD), the player can catapult themselves into a second layer of Zone geometry in the background, granting the player extra platforming segments. To return to the foreground, the player must use another seesaw.
Act 2 reintroduces the original Metallic Madness's Flywheel gimmick, moving Springs, spinning poles with interchangeable blades that move along the ground, and plane-switching metal curtain puzzles (which allow the player to be slightly behind the foreground as opposed to far away from it). Another returning gimmick exclusive to Act 2 are the lasers that can shrink and regrow the playable character, which are put to more prominently use here than in the original Metallic Madness to match the level layout.
The first part of Act 1 is near identical to the original Metallic Madness Zone 1, with the rest being new sections.
A large portion of the Act is intended to be played as a miniature version of the player, shrunk down by the Size Beam, as there are now several places with passages and transport tunnels akin to Winding Tunnels that can only be traversed while miniaturized.
The boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act is the Egg Pistons mk.II, an updated version of the final boss in the first game. Eggman will stand inside one of five crushing pistons, and the player must strike the piston housing Eggman as they protrude. Between these phases, four energy balls will close in around the protagonist before the pistons once again resume. Hit Eggman four times and the pistons will change to a more erratic pattern. The player will also not have to contend with the energy balls in this phase. Hit Eggman another four times, and this boss will be defeated.
The boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 is the Gachapandora, a mobile Gashapon machine. When entering the arena for this bos, the player will be miniaturized. To defeat him, the player must spin the cran on the Gachapandora to dispense a miniaturized version of either the Egg Mobile-D, Marble Zone boss, or an Amy Rose doll. After the Gachapandora has dispensed eight "prizes", Eggman flies away. The player must then defeat any remaining "prizes" to make Eggman descend once more. In this final phase, Eggman shoots projectiles at the player in his broken Gachapandora. One more turn of the dial causes Eggman himself to be dispensed from the machine, ending the battle.
- This Zone marks the second time in which Knuckles is playable in a Sonic the Hedgehog CD Zone, the other being Stardust Speedway Zone.
- In keeping with the nomenclature of Sonic Mania, Metallic Madness is referred to as a "Zone". In Sonic CD, "Zones" are the individual levels that make up a stage (typically referred to as an "Act") and the stages themselves referred to as "Rounds".
- The music for Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 take elements mostly from its original Past version, while the music for Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 combines elements from the Present and Bad future version.
- When the Size Beam hits Super Sonic, he will have the appearance of Sonic with golden fur along with keeping Sonic's normal animations.
- Metallic Madness Zone features several references and Easter eggs:
- The level geometry in the background of Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 that the player can go to is similar to the background areas the player can enter at Sky Babylon from Sonic Rush Adventure and White Park Zone Act 2 from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
- The mini-boss of Metallic Madness Zone is essentially the final boss from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Gachapandora, the boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, heavily resembles the Botanic Base boss from Knuckles' Chaotix.
- The "prizes" which Gachapandora dispenses are miniature versions of elements from previous Sonic games:
- Egg Mobile-D, the boss of Emerald Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- The boss of Marble Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- A robot duplicate of Amy Rose that chases the player like the original Amy did in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. This robot also seems to borrow design elements from the Tails Doll, a character that appeared in Sonic R.
- In the initial release of Sonic Mania, when playing with Tails as a partner (or with "& Knuckles" mode in No Save mode) in Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, the partner character always respawned at their regular size even inside small areas which the player is required to have been hit by a shrinking Size Beam to navigate through. The version 1.03 patch released on September 2017 now matches the partner character's size with the player character's current size when the former respawns back into the Act.
- This version of Metallic Madness uses the song from the Japan/Europe soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog CD and not the one composed for North America.
|Metallic Madness Zone (Act 1)||Tee Lopes, Naofumi Hataya||1:07|
|Metallic Madness Zone (Act 2)||Tee Lopes, Naofumi Hataya||1:13|