Out in the wild west deserts, the outlaws roam. Can Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles survive the cadre of hooligans lurking in the shadows? Even Eggman's ice cream parlors can't withstand the heat.
— Theme Trailer description
This Zone takes place in a vast desert, filled with cacti and huge mountains in the distance. Act 2 of the Zone features multiple saloon-like indoor areas filled with large, piano-like platforms.
Continuing their hunt for Dr. Eggman and the Phantom Ruby, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles arrive in the Mirage Saloon Zone onboard the Tornado. While in the air however, the Heavy Magician, one of the Hard Boiled Heavies, ambushes them, knocking Knuckles off the Tornado in the process. As such, while Sonic and Tails ward off Eggman and the Heavy Magician's tricks from midair, Knuckles is left to catch up to his friends from the ground. Eventually though, Sonic and Tails are forced down to the ground too when a familiar face causes the Tornado to crash.
Reunited, Sonic and his gang continue their trek through the Zone. At the end, they are attacked by the Heavy Magician, who is revealed to be the one who shot down the Tornado as she is able to disguise herself. After defeating the Hard Boiled Heavy, Sonic and co. use one of Mirage Saloon Zone's contraptions to shoot themselves to the Oil Ocean Zone in the horizon.
The Mirage Saloon Zone features gimmick mechanics reminiscent of western play. These include seltzer bottles to guide paths, a pistol to launch the player to new heights, and piano keys that the player can bounce on. It also features the return of many pinball-themed gimmicks, such as Flippers, Bumpers, and Breakaway Bumpers type items.
Sonic and Tails
In Sonic and Tails' playthrough of this Act, the player must use the Tornado to fly across the zone. This is similar to Sky Chase Zone, avoiding enemies to progress. Soon, the player has to get of the Tornado and progress on a train until the player can jump into the trains' pistol.
After defeating the Act 1 boss, the player is encountered by by what appears to be either Fang the Sniper, Bean the Dynamite, or Bark the Polar Bear riding on one of the Armadilloid Badniks. They will then attack the Tornado, causing it to crash and transitioning to Act 2.
Knuckles takes a different route in this Act after being knocked down into a canyon. In this version of the Act, the player travels through various tunnels and cave-like areas. Several Seesaw gimmicks are present throughout as well as sections that force the player to utilize Knuckles' gliding and wall climbing abilities in order to progress.
Sonic and Tails
This battle is fought aboard the Tornado. The Heavy Magician will reappear and make a RattleKiller Badnik appear out of her hat. The caterpillar transforms into a giant purple and yellow version with spikes lining its body. The caterpillar will leap out of the sand at the Tornado from various angles and it must be hit in the head to do damage.
Knuckles' boss battle is heavily inspired by the battle against the Bead Worm from Gigalopolis Zone in Sonic Chaos, albeit against the same giant caterpillar that Sonic and Tails fight. The caterpillar will launch its segments at Knuckles either by rolling them or bouncing them along the ground and Knuckles must avoid these and hit it in the head to do damage. When the caterpillar runs out of segments, it respawns three new segments and the fight continues.
- The overall aesthetic of Mirage Saloon Zone is identical to the scrapped Desert Dazzle that was intended to be featured in the 2011 re-release of Sonic CD. Christian Whitehead later confirmed that Desert Dazzle was the inspiration for the Zone. Both levels also seem to bear similarities to Dust Hill Zone, another scrapped Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- This Zone contains multiple references to the rest of the Sonic series:
- Multiple wanted posters of Fang the Sniper, Bark the Polar Bear, and Bean the Dynamite can be seen in the background. This trio of characters originally appeared on wanted posters at City Escape in Sonic Generations.
- The "EG" Eggman symbol previously seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 appears on multiple objects in the Zone, much like it did on the popcorn machine gimmicks at Studiopolis Zone.
- The gun-like launchers use the same design as the guns wielded by the Eggrobos in Sonic & Knuckles.
- The piano key gimmicks that can launch the player like springs were similar to those featured at Music Plant in Sonic Advance 2.
- The Roller mk.II Badniks that appear throughout the level have a color scheme similar to Mighty the Armadillo.
- Act 1 for Sonic and Tails is based on Sky Chase Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Both Zones feature the player riding the Tornado and feature similar Badnik designs. The music for this Act also incorporates elements of Sky Chase Zone's music.
- The Act 1 boss for Knuckles is based on the Bead Worm Boss of Gigalopolis Zone in Sonic Chaos.
- The animation sequence at the end of Act 2 of this Zone has the character jumping into a gun-like launcher that launches him towards Oil Ocean Zone. This could lead to the likely conclusion that this Zone's location is on West Side Island.
- During Act 1, the train includes oil tanks with "OOZ" on the side and the Oil Ocean color scheme, hinting at the zone that follows Mirage Saloon.
- Being located in West Side Island also references the scrapped desert Zone from Sonic 2.
- The label on the seltzer bottles reads "Egg•seltz•ior" a pun on the word "excelsior."
|Wildstyle Pistolero||Tee Lopes||1:17|
|Skyway Octane||Tee Lopes||1:05|
|Rogues Gallery||Tee Lopes, Falk Au Yeong||1:09|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Live Sonic Mania Developer Playthrough. Stealth (20 August 2017). Retrieved on 22 August 2017.
- ↑ Sonic Mania badnik sprite sheet (2 September 2017). Retrieved on 2 September 2017.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Sonic Mania OST - Mirage Saloon Act 2. YouTube. Sega (7 September 2017). Retrieved on 7 September 2017. “Out in the wild west deserts, the outlaws roam. Can Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles survive the cadre of hooligans lurking in the shadows? Even Eggman's ice cream parlors can't withstand the heat. Sonic Mania OST Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2 - "Rogue's Gallery" Composed by: Tee Lopes Mixed / Mastered by: Falk Au Yeong”
- ↑ Playing as Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Mania - Kinda Funny Plays. YouTube (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Sonic Mania official website (Japanese). Stages: Mirage Saloon. Sega. Retrieved on 14 April 2017.
- ↑ Christian Whitehead on Twitter. Twitter (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016. “Prem: So just to confirm: Is this considered a new zone? Or is it a re-imagining of Sandopolis/Dust Hill? / Christian Whitehead: It's a new Zone - inspired by a new Zone I originally wanted to add to Sonic CD”
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