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Quotation1 By the Mania, for the Mania. Quotation2
— Tagline

Sonic Mania (ソニックマニア Sonikku Mania?) is a side-scrolling platformer video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise which acts as a celebration of the Sonic series' 25th anniversary. The game follows Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna as they try to keep Dr. Eggman and his Hard Boiled Heavies from harnessing a mysterious new energy source. The storyline of the game also ties with Sonic Forces.[11]

Sonic Mania was developed by Christian Whitehead, who had previously worked on enhanced ports of early Sonic games, with the aid of Headcannon and PagodaWest Games, who were chosen for their work in the Sonic fangame community, and was published by Sega. The game emulates the gameplay and 2D sprite animation of the original Sega Genesis Sonic games,[10] and serves, along with Sonic Forces, as a “continuation” of Sonic’s 25th anniversary.[12] The game was announced on 22 July 2016 and released on 15 August 2017 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4,[6][13] and on 29 August 2017 for PC.[10]

Development

Sonic Mania began development in 2015, as Sonic Team wanted to make a new 2D Sonic game that was not a remake.[12] The game was first announced during the presentation held by Sega at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con with a debut trailer.[14] The development team includes Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, who have previously developed enhanced and newer ports for other Sonic titles.[15] Tee Lopes, a YouTube user who has done many remixes of the music tracks from the Sonic franchise, was chosen to compose the music for the game.[3] PagodaWest Games members Jared Kasl and Tom Fry, who had also worked on a fan-made HD remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, both worked on the game's level design and visuals.[16]

According to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Mania was a “passion project” that “was born out of our fans’ love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games.” He added, “This type of collaboration is a first for Sega and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title.”[10] When developing the art for the game, the general rule was to be above the level of Genesis, but under the level of Saturn.[12] Christian Whitehead also added that the game will be longer than Sonic Generations.[17] Later, on the official Sonic Twitch stream, Iizuka stated that Sonic Mania will have more classic levels than new levels. The day after that, Christian Whitehead explained to fans on Twitter that it was Sonic Team’s wish to celebrate the classic titles in Sonic Mania, but this time in a "new and exciting way".[18][19]

Briefly after the game's announcement, the game developer company Renegade Kid offered to port the game over to the Nintendo 3DS.[20] However, on 29 August 2016, Renegade Kid announced that the studio would be closed and split to two separate companies: Atooi & Infitizmo,[21] thus a Nintendo 3DS port seemingly unlikely.

On 12 January 2017, it was announced the game would also be released for the Nintendo Switch, with Tantalus Media helping to port it.[9] SXSW 2017 would also announce that they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for this year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces.[22]

A Nintendo Dream Magazine from Japan featured Sonic Mania, but the information included was revealed months ago and also confirms that Sonic Mania will feature multiplayer.[23] On the week before 10 March 2017, Sega held a demo at their San Francisco's office to reveal more information about the game. Although the demo went well, Tails was noted to be glitchy to play.[24] On the Sonic panel of SXSW, the game has been delayed later in the year.[13]

During the E3 interview that Dengeki Online set with lizuka, he confirmed that Sonic Mania is going to have more stages than any Classic Sonic game before it.[25] On 23 June 2017, the official Sonic Twitter account announced the Sonic Mania vinyl album that would be released in cooperation with Data Discs. The pre-orders for the album were stated to be available 18 July 2017.[26][27]

During the Sonic the Hedgehog panel at San Diego Comic Con 2017, it was confirmed that Sonic Mania's code name while in development in early 2016 was "Sonic Discovery".[28] Iizuka conceptualized the title of the game after first seeing the demo of the game with a fully functioning Studiopolis Zone[29] and took a white board and wrote Sonic 1, 2, 3, Knuckles and CD, forming the catchphrase "By the Mania, for the Mania".[30][31] During the event, it was also confirmed that Sonic Mania's length was comparable to that of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.[32]

Christian Whitehead also revealed that he came up with the Hard Boiled Heavies after imagining Eggman entering a state of depression after Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and instead of going after Sonic he would merely lounge at home in his pajamas and that the abandoned Egg-Robos would go "a little mad." After thinking about this concept, the term came into being.[33]

The Special Stages for Sonic Mania were also revealed, combining the Blue Sphere concept from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the open layout and UFOs of the Sonic the Hedgehog CD Special Stages, as well as inspiration from the 3D gameplay from the scrapped Sonic Saturn.[34] The theme music of these stages is named "Dimension Heist".[35] Sonic Mania was also confirmed to have an opening animation similar to that of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, animated by Tyson Hesse, which would be revealed on 14 August 2017, a day before the game releases.[36] However, the opening animation ended up being released on 10 August 2017, possibly in response to the early leaks of the game on the internet.

The PC version of Sonic Mania was delayed to 29 August 2017 for optimization. Those who pre-ordered the game on Steam were compensated with a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog, including those who ordered the Collector's Edition.[7] Should the buyer already have a copy of the game, they will receive a giftable version.[37] The game supports the PlayStation 4 Pro's enhanced features, outputting at native 4K resolution.[4]

On 15 August 2017, Christian Whitehead‏ confirmed on his Twitter account that there are some bugs on the game that are addressed and are going to be fixed.[38] With the PC version's release, patches that would later be implemented into the console versions of the game were included. One of the changes was the inclusion of the option to turn into Super Sonic with the push of a button. Also, at the Tokyo Game Show 2017, it was revealed by Takashi Iizuka that the storyline of Sonic Mania ties into Sonic Forces.[11]

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

After Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower saved Angel Island,[39] a sudden dimensional breach occurs in the atmosphere, causing a unique energy wave signature to appear on Angel Island.[40] While he and Sonic are relaxing, Tails picks up this odd energy reading. Despite not being the Chaos Emeralds, this reading is remarkably powerful, and Tails convinces Sonic to investigate it with him. Sonic and Tails thus head to Angel Island in the Tornado.[39] However, Dr. Eggman, having discovered the dimensional breach, has detected this energy signature too. Realizing it could be a source of unspeakable power, Eggman immediately dispatches his elite robot minions―a group of five elite Egg-Robos known as the Hard Boiled Heavies―to retrieve it.[39][40]

HardBoiledHeaviesPreTransform

Sonic and Tails witnessing the Hard Boiled Heavies extract the Phantom Ruby from the ground.

Sonic and Tails arrive on Angel Island just as the Hard Boiled Heavies excavate the source of the signal, a mysterious gemstone known as the "Phantom Ruby", from the ground. As they did so, space-time suddenly warped around them,[40] with Sonic, Tails, the Hard Boiled Heavies, and Knuckles, who was relaxing nearby, getting caught in the warp. The group gets catapulted to the Green Hill Zone, where it is revealed that the Phantom Ruby's power has transformed the Hard Boiled Heavies into more powerful Egg-Robos and granted them free will. As the Hard Boiled Heavies rush to get away from the three, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles join forces to stop them. However, they are too late to prevent Eggman from stealing the gemstone from the now-rebellious Heavies, which he promptly uses to sent Sonic and co. away. Not set back by this, Sonic and his friends continue to pursue Eggman to keep him from using the gemstone's power for evil, clashing with him and the members of the Hard Boiled Heavies along the way.

Sonic and his friends eventually discover that Eggman has used the Phantom Ruby to restore the mechanized version of Little Planet. They board Eggman's enormous robot, the Titanic Monarch, and defeat Eggman and the Hard Boiled Heavies. If the player has not gathered all seven Chaos Emeralds for Sonic by then, Sonic and crew escape the mechanized Little Planet before it vanishes. If all seven Chaos Emeralds are collected while playing as Sonic however, he and Eggman get pulled into a weird space by the Phantom Ruby upon Eggman's defeat. There, the Phantom King (a modified version of the Hard Boiled Heavies' leader, the Heavy King), steals the Phantom Ruby from Eggman, giving himself access to incredible power; Eggman attacks the Phantom King in his Klepto Mobile to reclaim it however. Caught in the middle, Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic and defeats both Eggman and the Phantom King during their struggle for the Phantom Ruby.

Sonic Mania True Ending

The final shot of the game's true ending.

After dealing the final blow, Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds separate from one another. The Phantom Ruby promptly reacts to the separated Chaos Emeralds before pulling itself and Sonic into a special warp. Having made it outside, Tails and Knuckles watch with a smile as the mechanized Little Planet vanishes in a flash of light that shows Sonic smiling at them. Meanwhile, Sonic is heading towards places unknown

Characters

Main

Image Characters Biography
ManiaSonic2
Sonic the Hedgehog The world's fastest hedgehog, running as fast as he can to stop the Hard Boiled Heavies (HBH) and thwart Dr. Eggman's diabolical plans.
Main tails Miles "Tails" Prower A young fox with two tails and loyal friend of Sonic. By spinning his tails, he can fly like a helicopter.
Main knuckles
Knuckles the Echidna Born and raised on Angel Island, he is the guardian of the Master Emerald. He excels at mid-air gliding and climbing.
Eggman Key Art 1495557761
Dr. Eggman Self-proclaimed evil genius and megalomaniac. He's always trying to take over the world, but a certain blue hedgehog keeps getting in the way...

Hard Boiled Heavies

A powerful robot army built by Dr. Eggman. Loyal to his orders, the Heavies successfully retrieved the mysterious gemstone, but its power seem to have loosened a few of their screws.

Image Characters Biography
Heavy King Steam card Heavy King The leader of the Hard Boiled Heavies. Commands his elite troop with a watchful eye and a powerful scepter.
Heavy Gunner Steam card Heavy Gunner A loose cannon that packs serious firepower. He often flies by in a helicopter to terrorize from above.
Heavy Shinobi Steam card Heavy Shinobi A robot ninja that uses Asterons as shurikens. Watch out! One swing from his sword will freeze you in your tracks.
Heavy Magician Steam card Heavy Magician A mystic performer with bewildering tricks up her sleeve. With her shape-shifting hat, she's getting the band back together.
Heavy Rider Steam card Heavy Rider A thrill-seeking robot that pulls off daring stunts. Better watch out for her dangerous jumps and her trusted Moto Bug, Jimmy.

Gameplay

MirageSaloonPromo1

The screenshot of Sonic and Tails in Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2.

Emulating the style of the original Sonic Sega Mega Drive games, Sonic Mania is a 2D sprite-based side-scrolling platform game with Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna as playable characters. The game uses an autosave feature that saves the player's progress at certain points.

The main playthrough of the game takes place in "Mania Mode", upon which a playable character is selected. The goal is to race to the end of each Act of in a series of Zones (a level in the game) within ten minutes; take too long, and the player will receive a Time Over. The game's levels consist of remixed Zones from past games, such as Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and new Zones as well.[10] The Zones have multiple routes to the goal and secret locations to be discovered by the player. There are also alternate routes that only certain playable characters can reach. Certain characters may also have certain unique aspects about their stories, such as Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 and Lava Reef Act 2's boss.

In gameplay, the series' collectible Rings can be found everywhere. Like in previous games, they act as health for the playable characters: as long as the player holds at least one, they will be protected from damage. Touching Badniks or obstacles like spikes inflicts damage. If a character gets damaged, they will drop all their Rings, though some can be recollected before they disappear. Taking damage without any Rings will cost the player a try. A character will also lose a try if they spend too long underwater without replenishing their air supply or fall into a bottomless pit. Losing a try makes the player start from the last Star Post they passed in an Act, or from the beginning of the Act if they have not passed any Star Posts.

All playable characters have the standard Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash moveset. There are also unique maneuvers for each character; Sonic is able to use the Drop Dash, a new move introduced in this game, which allows the player to instantly dash into a Spin Dash upon landing from a jump;[10][41] Tails can fly and swim;[42] and Knuckles can glide and climb walls.[43] Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, there is also a mode where the player can choose a second playable character to follow the lead character.[44] One such mode for example allows Tails to follow Sonic and provide local cooperative play between two players (with Player 1 controlling Sonic and Player 2 controlling Tails). If Tails takes damage, he does not lose Rings. Tails can also fly while holding Sonic. With this, the player can reach areas that is hard for Sonic to reach on his own.[45][46]

The game also features the return of classic Monitor power-ups like the Power Sneakers, Invincible, Super Ring and a modified Hyper Ring. The Shields also returns, including the elemental shield variants from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. In a feature new to Sonic Mania, being equipped with an elemental shield can have effects in the traversal of the level (such as burning away the rotating spiked bridges in Green Hill Zone with the Flame Shield or being attracted to the magnetic ceilings with the Thunder Shield in Flying Battery Zone).

Beside the main storyline, the player can also collect the Chaos Emeralds: by entering one of the Giant Rings hidden throughout the Acts, the player can enter a Special Stage and obtain a Chaos Emerald by completing it. Collecting all seven Emeralds and completing the final Zone with Sonic will the game's good cinematic ending. Also, after a character gets all seven Emeralds, he can enter a Super State in Mania Mode which grants him greater speed, higher jumps and invulnerability. Using Super States however, burns through the player's Rings; once the Rings run out, the Super State ends. Bonus Stages from early games also return, which are accessed by entering a Star Circle that appears when the player passes a Star Post while carrying a minimum of twenty-five Rings; completing Bonus Stages will award the player with Medallions that unlock new features in No Save mode and Extras.[47]

Controls

Button formation Movement
Sonic-Mania-Life-Hud-Icon-Sonic Sonic Sonic-Mania-Life-Hud-Icon-Tails Tails Sonic-Mania-Life-Hud-Icon-KTE Knuckles
Left analog stick / Controlpadds left/right Walking/Running
Left analog stick / Controlpadds up Looking up
Left analog stick / Controlpadds down Crouch & scroll screen
PS4: PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton
Switch: Switch y / Switch a / Switch b
XB1: X button / A button / B button
Spin Jump
Left analog stick / Controlpadds right/left + down Spin Attack
PS4: Left analog stick / Controlpadds down + PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton
Switch: Left analog stick / Controlpadds down + Switch y / Switch a / Switch b
XB1: Left analog stick / Controlpadds down + X button / A button / B button
Spin Dash
PS4: Push PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton down
Switch: Push Switch y / Switch a / Switch b down
XB1: Push X button / A button / B button down
Drop Dash N/A Glide
PS4: Tapping PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton
Switch: Tapping Switch y / Switch a / Switch b
XB1: Tapping X button / A button / B button
N/A Fly/
Swim
N/A
Left analog stick / Controlpadds up/down N/A Wall Climb
PS4:PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton X2
Switch: Switch y / Switch a / Switch b X2
XB1: X button / A button / B button X2
Insta-Shield* N/A
PS4: Left analog stick / Controlpadds up + PSSquareButton / PSXButton / PSObutton
Switch: Left analog stick / Controlpadds up + Switch y / Switch a / Switch b
XB1: Left analog stick / Controlpadds up + X button / A button / B button
Super Peel-Out* N/A
PS4: OPTIONS button
Switch: + button
XB1: Menu button:
Displays the Pause Menu.
PS4: Push PSTriangleButton down
Switch: Push Switch x down
XB1: Push Y button down
Restarts the time attack attempt.
(Exclusive to Time Attack mode)
PS4: PSTriangleButton
Switch: Switch x
XB1: Y button
Transforms into their Super State while having all Chaos Emeralds, have at least 50 Rings and while in midair.

* Following abilities become available after unlocking them by collecting a certain number of Medallions from Bonus Stages. Each one of the two abilities can only be chosen and used during the No Save Mode.

Objects

Items

Gimmicks and obstacles

Characters

Mania Trio

Sonic, Tails and Knuckles.

Playable characters

Non-playable characters

Enemies

Bosses

HeavyGunner

Heavy Gunner.

Mini-bosses

Zone bosses

Zones

StudiopolisPromo1

Sonic and Tails in Studiopolis Zone, one of five original Zones in the game.

Sonic Mania consists of thirteen Zones (eight remastered, five original), each one divided into two parts (referred to as "Acts"). At the end of each Act, the player takes part in a boss battle;[17][49] "mini-bosses" are fought at the end of Act 1 and the main bosses are fought at the end of Act 2. To enter the final Zone, the player must have gathered the seven Chaos Emeralds and then clear the Titanic Monarch Zone as Sonic. The Zones in their order are:

  1. Green Hill Zone
  2. Chemical Plant Zone[50]
  3. Studiopolis Zone
  4. Flying Battery Zone
  5. Press Garden Zone[51]
  6. Stardust Speedway Zone[52]
  7. Hydrocity Zone[53]
  8. Mirage Saloon Zone[44]
  9. Oil Ocean Zone[53]
  10. Lava Reef Zone[54]
  11. Metallic Madness Zone[55]
  12. Titanic Monarch Zone
  13. Egg Reverie Zone

Special Stages

DFhTC-ZXUAAcvmF

The Special Stage in Sonic Mania.

Special Stages are seven extra levels where the players can collect the Chaos Emeralds. These Stages can be accessed through hidden Giant Rings in the Acts. In each Special Stage, the playable character enters a three-dimensional open course akin to the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The objective is to catch up to the sole UFO in this level, all while avoiding hazards and staying within the course's borders, and obtain the Chaos Emerald the UFO has within the time limit. If the timer runs out or if the player falls off the track, the stage will end but can be retried infinitely. Spread out across the stages are Spheres that make the playable character run faster and Rings that increase the game's time limit.[47][56][57][58]

Bonus Stages

DGUIRF2UAAAmaqz

Knuckles in the Bonus Stage.

Bonus Stages are thirty-two special areas. They can be accessed by jumping into the Star Circle that appears over Star Posts when said gimmicks are passed while carrying at least twenty-five Rings. Bonus Stages in Sonic Mania play like the Special Stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, as well as the secret "Blue Sphere" bonus game that could be played by connecting a Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge to Sonic & Knuckles. Here, the player must run across a spherical planet. To succeed, the player must collect blue spheres (and Rings as a bonus) whilst avoiding the red spheres (with the blue spheres turning into red spheres when collected; boxing a group of blue spheres inside a perimeter of red spheres will turn all the spheres in the box into Rings). Collecting all Rings on the board will result in a "Perfect" score and the stage will end either when the player hits a red sphere or collects every blue sphere. The longer the player stays in the stage, the more it will speed up, thus increasing the difficulty.

Two types of Medallions are awarded upon the completion of a Bonus Stage. Silver Medallions are awarded to those who only collects all the Blue Spheres, while Gold Medallions are awarded to those who collects all the blue spheres and Rings.[47]

Other modes

No Save

SecretMenu

The "Secrets" menu in No Save mode.

No Save is an additional mode within Mania Mode. Selecting this mode lets the player play the game without it saving their progress. Exclusive to No Save is also a "Secrets" menu where players can set additional bonus features exclusive to playing on No Save. These features are unlocked by collecting Medallions in the Bonus Stages and include the following:

  • Debug Mode: Enables Debug Mode during gameplay. While Debug Mode is active, two lines of hex code appear in the screen's top-right corner: the top line designates camera coordinates, and the bottom line designate player coordinates. This feature is unlocked after the player collects sixteen Medallions and follows the commands below:
Button formation Reaction
Press PSSquareButton / Switch y / X button Enter/exit object placement mode
Left analog stick / Controlpadds in object
placement mode
Move around in object placement mode
Press PSXButton / Switch b / A button in object
placement mode
Cycle forward through the available objects
Hold down PSXButton / Switch b / A button in object
placement mode and press
PSTriangleButton / Switch x / Y button
Cycle backward through the available objects
Press PSObutton / Switch a / B button when selecting
monitor
Change the contents of a monitor
Press PSTriangleButton / Switch x / Y button while holding
selected object
Place the currently selected object
  • Sonic Ability: Allows the player to customize Sonic's moveset for the gameplay in No Save mode.
    • Mania: Allows Sonic to use the Drop Dash. This is the default setting in No Save and is unlocked from the beginning of the game.
    • CD: Replaces Sonic's Drop Dash maneuver with the Super Peel-Out, a move from Sonic the Hedgehog CD. This feature is unlocked after the player collects one Medallion.
    • 3&K: Replaces Sonic's Drop Dash maneuver with the Insta-Shield, a move from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. This feature is unlocked after the player collects six Medallions.
  • & Knuckles: Allows a computer-controlled Knuckles to follow the player's character around in gameplay as a partner (like Tails in Mania Mode), even if the player is playing as Knuckles. This feature is unlocked after the player collects eleven Medallions.

Competition

SMRACE4

The Competition mode featuring Sonic and Knuckles in Green Hill Zone Act 1.

Competition is the multiplayer component of Sonic Mania. This mode features a split-screen where two players can race each other to the end of a shared Act from Mania Mode, similar to those of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[59]

In Competition, the player who selects this mode becomes Player 1, leaving the other player to be Player 2. When using Competition, the players selects one of the three playable characters in the game (both players may choose the same character) before setting the game rules. These rules include:

  • Items: Decides the item release patterns for Monitors during the Act. This setting includes the options "Fixed" (the chosen Act retains its original power-ups), "Teleporters Only" (every monitor in the Act is replaced with the Player Swap power-up), and "Random" (every monitor in the Act is replaced with the Random power-up).
  • Match Length: Decides the number of rounds the players go through.

Before a race, the players choose which Zone and Act to race through; the Zones available depend on how far the player has gotten in Mania Mode. After each round, the players select a new Act. When initiated, the race will begin with Player 1 at the top of the screen and Player 2 at the bottom, and will follow two rules:

  1. Once a player reaches the goal, the other player has sixty seconds to complete the Act, or forfeit to a Time Over.
  2. If both players get a Time Over, the round will be declared a draw.

At the end of an Act, the players will be graded out from five criteria: Time, Ring count at the end of the Act, their Total Ring count (including Rings they lost), and the amount of Monitors broken. The player that wins the most of out these five criteria takes the round, and the player who wins the most out of everything is the winner.

Time Attack

Time Attack allows players to replay previously cleared Acts with the goal of getting the fastest record possible. Acts in Time Attack feature unique Goal Plates that are used for starting and ending the Acts. They also feature no bosses or Star Posts, and the "Time Elapsed" counter serves as a timer. As a new feature for the Time Attack in the Sonic series, players can restart an Act seamlessly at any point with the "Quick Restart" function.[47]

When using Time Attack, the players select a character and then the Zone and Act to race through; the Zones available depend on how far the player has gotten in Mania Mode. The challenge starts when the player passes the Start Marker and ends when passing the Goal Marker. Upon completing an Act, the player is graded based on their time, and their score; an additional "Cool Bonus" is added if the player clears an Act without sustaining damage. Once the Acts are completed, the game saves and records the player's time, which can be compared to those on a personal list of best time logs. If Sonic Mania is connected to the internet, the game also automatically uploads the players' time record to an online leaderboard after they pass the Goal Marker.

Options

OptionsMania

The Option menu in Sonic Mania.

Options is the settings menu for Sonic Mania which holds the following options:

  • Video: Various video settings can be changed here:
    • PC:
      • Screen filter: Choose a screen filter.
      • Window Size: Choose a Window Size in non-full screen mode.
      • Window Border: Display or hide the window border.
      • Full Screen: Choose a resolution size.
      • VSync: Turn VSync ON/OFF.
      • Triple Buffering': Turn triple buffering ON/OFF
    • PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Switch:
      • Clean: Displays a soft gamescreen.
      • CRT-Sharp: Displays sharp on a cathode ray tube TV.
      • CRT-Soft: Display soft on a cathode ray tube TV.
      • None: No screen filter.
  • Sound: Set the volumes separately for "Music" and "SFX".
  • Controls: Shows the controller diagram and basic commands. On the PC version, the player can change the key assignments here. Conversely, the player can restore the key assignments to default here with the "Default" function.
  • Language: Change the language of the messages to be displayed between "English", "Français" (French), "Italiano" (Italian), "Deutsch" (German), "Español" (Spanish) and "日本語" (Japanese).

Extras

ExtrasMenuMania

The Extras menu in Sonic Mania.

Extras is a menu containing various bonus game modes which are unlocked as the player progresses through the game. It also holds an overview of the different Medallions that have been collected by completing Bonus Stages. Modes here include:

  • Blue Spheres: A bonus game where one can play through a randomly-generated Bonus Stage akin to the stages from Blue Sphere in either "Original" style or "Mania" style. "Original" stages are the same as those in Blue Sphere while "Mania" stages include new gameplay elements. This feature is unlocked after the player collects all thirty-two Medallions.
  • Mean Bean: A bonus game where one can choose to play a game of Puyo Puyo against the computer or another player. When playing alone, the player can set the difficulty to one of five levels, with level one being the easiest and level five being the hardest. This feature is unlocked after the player collects twenty-one Medallions.
  • D.A. Garden: The Sound Test of Sonic Mania. Here, one can listen to the various music tracks and sound effects used in the game. This feature is unlocked after the player collects twenty-six Medallions.
  • Staff Credits: Rolls the credits for the game when selected.

System requirements

PC

Minimum

OS Processor Memory Graphics DirectX® Hard Drive Sound
Windows-7-logo Pentium 4 1.6 GHz 2 GB RAM DirectX 9.0c compliant video card 32MB Version 9.0c 400 MB available space DirectX 9.0c Compatible

Recommended

OS Processor Memory Graphics DirectX® Hard Drive Sound
Windows47--7-8-10-game-test Core 2 Duo 2 GB RAM DirectX 9.0c compliant video card 256MB Version 9.0c 400 MB available space DirectX 9.0c Compatible

PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch

Minimum

  • 200MB of free space

PlayStation 4 trophies/Steam Achievements

Image Name Description
SMTROPH1
No Way? No Way Collect gold medallions in Blue Spheres Bonus stage
SMTROPH2
Full Medal Jacket Collect silver medallions in Blue Spheres Bonus stage
SMTROPH3
Magnificent Seven Collect all seven Chaos Emeralds
SMTROPH4
See You Next Game Achieve any ending
SMTROPH5
Superstar Spin the Star Post!
SMTROPH6
That's a Two-fer Find the hidden item boxes at the end of the Zone
SMTROPH7
Now It Can't Hurt You Anymore What would happen if you cross a bridge with a fire shield?
SMTROPH8
Triple Trouble Try for a 3 chain combo!
SMTROPH9
The Most Famous Hedgehog in the World Have your photos taken in Studiopolis Zone
SMTROPH16
Window Shopping Let the wind take you through
SMTROPH10
Crate Expectations Wreak havoc at the propaganda factory
SMTROPH11
King of Speed Get through Stardust Speedway Zone as quickly as possible
SMTROPH12
Boat Enthusiast We really like boats
SMTROPH13
The Password is "Special Stage" Try pushing a barrel to see how far it goes
SMTROPH14
Secret Sub You might have to submerge to find it
SMTROPH15
Without a Trace Barrel through the lava, don't let anything stop you
SMTROPH17
Collect 'Em All Gotta gacha 'em all
SMTROPH18
Professional Hedgehog That elusive perfect run, only a professional can achieve

Promotion

Sonic mania ce glam shot 1489649766

Sonic Mania: Collector’s Edition.

When the game was set to be released in Summer 2017, Sonic the Hedgehog's official twitter account posted a poll on 8 September 2016, relating to the release of the Collector's Edition of the game.[60] On 13 September 2016, Amazon leaked a pre-order offer of the Sonic Mania: Collector’s Edition for the PC.[61] The Collector's Edition consists of a Sega Genesis-styled package, a 12" Classic Sonic Statue standing on a Sega Genesis that plays the "Sega" chant when turned on, a metallic collector’s card and a Genesis cartridge-like cast with a golden Ring. The Collector's Edition was later announced for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and eventually, the Nintendo Switch[62]) as well, albeit exclusively for North America.[63] The Collector's Edition has also become available to be pre-ordered on Europe countries since 17 October 2016.[64] To promote the Collector's Edition, Sega released a retro-styled informerical (see below) based on an American informercial of Sonic 2 featuring former Sonic the Hedgehog series art director Kazuyuki Hoshino and social media manager Aaron Webber.[65]

In September 2016, Sega began selling official T-shirts through Amazon US until 30 September. These included Studiopolis Zone-based shirts and “Triple Threat” t-shirts with icons of the game’s three playable characters. Originally, the Studiopolis and Triple Threat shirts with the Sonic Mania logo printed on them were available on Amazon UK before their listings were removed.[66] It was announced that 26 boxes of the Collector's Edition were signed by Sonic Team personally.[7]

A vinyl LP featuring tracks from the soundtrack will be published by the music label Data Discs.[67] The album will be a single LP packaged in a heavyweight gatefold sleeve with UV spot varnish, featuring new artwork exclusive to its release, along with a printed inner sleeve featuring an array of characters from the game. The release also includes a download code of the album in both lossy and lossless formats. The album will be available in three formats: 180g Classic Black, 180g Classic Blue and a 180g Limited Edition that will only be exclusive to Data Discs' official website.[68] The albums will ship in September 2017.[68]

Attendees of the Sonic Mania panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con received a promotional instruction manual for the game.[69]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 86% (PS4)[70]
85% (XB1)[71]
86% (Switch)[72]
Metacritic 86/100 (PS4)[73]
85/100 (XB1)[74]
88/100 (Switch)[75]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9/10[76]
Eurogamer Essential[77]
Famitsu 32/40[78]
Game Informer 8.5/10 (XB1)[79]
Game Revolution 4/5[80]
GameSpot 9/10[81]
IGN 8.7/10[53]
Nintendo World Report 9/10[82]
VideoGamer.com 7/10[83]
Destructoid 8/10[84]
Polygon 7/10 (PS4)
7/10 (XB1)[85]

Pre-release

Sonic Mania's announcement was met with praise, with Andrew Goldfarb of IGN saying that Sonic Mania had him excited for the series again, in a way that did not happen with Sonic the Hedgehog 4.[86] Alex Donaldson of VG24/7 agreed, saying that Sonic Mania was the sequel he had wanted for over 20 years.[87] Donaldson also appreciated Sega's choice of development team, calling them "the right guys for the job", and praised the game's visuals, music, and the inclusion of obscure Sonic and Sega lore.[87] Jack Hamnett of Twinfinite praised the game's attention to detail and how faithful it felt to the original games, saying that it had the potential to return the series to its "former glory".[88]

Despite having initial doubts due to the normally mediocre reception of the series in recent years, Nick Robinson of Polygon called Sonic Mania a "revelatory moment" for him after playing a preview of the game, saying it was his most anticipated game of 2017.[89] Robinson also praised Sega's choice to hand the game's development off to fans of the series, stating that Sega's own previous attempts to make a classic style side-scrolling Sonic games, such as with Sonic Advance and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, never felt "quite right" to him.[89]

Sonic Mania's booth at E3 received multiple nominations and awards: "Best of E3 2017" from Twinfinite and from IGN, "Approved" by Kinda Funny, the "Most Likely to Inspire a Completion Run" award from Curse Network, a "Best in Show" nomination from GameInformer and from UOL Jogos and an "E3 Choice" game award nomination from Momocon.[90][91][92][93][94][95]

Post-release

Following its release on the consoles, Sonic Mania received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[73][74][75] It became the highest-rated Sonic game in fifteen years,[96] and was declared by several reviewers as among the best Sonic games and one of best 2D platformers in the genre.[97][98][99][100][101] EGM commended it as "one of the purest and most enjoyable Sonic games" and expressed excitement for the future: "The question isn’t if this experiment in reviving classic Sonic was successful or not—the question is what happens next."[76] IGN wrote that Mania "truly is the classic throwback longtime series fans have been clamoring for," but also recommended it for people new to the franchise."[10] Nintendo World Report agreed, saying that "fans of classic Sonic must buy this game, but the excellent level design, music, and graphics will please all people who enjoy a well-thought-out sidescroller."[102] Waypoint compared the game favorably to Donkey Kong Country Returns, describing it as "a game that knows what was fun about its 90s inspirations, and brings that to the table alongside strong platforming fundamentals."[103] Nintendo Life felt that Mania represented "a true return to form" for the series, and that it was a contender as the best Sonic game.[82]

Reviewers praised the game's attention to detail to its source material. Game Informer wrote that its gameplay was "nearly indistinguishable from its Genesis predecessors, but with added moves and extra polish."[79] Easy Allies wrote that the game emulated the original games "exceptionally", commenting that "running, jumping, and spin dashing all work exactly as well as you would hope."[104] Twinfinite commending the developers for "[filling] every crevice of Sonic Mania with nostalgic references and [accomplishing] this without beating fans over the head with it."[105] Metro, the the British newspaper, wrote that the game was "filled with fanservice" and summarized it as "sort of school project gone wild, something enthusiastic kids have made while the teacher was away and which far surpasses anything they were actually supposed to be doing." [106]

Reviewers also praised to the level design. Hardcore Gamer wrote that the remixed versions of older stages felt fresh while staying true to the originals.[107] GameInformer wrote that the new stages matched the quality of the stages form early Sonic games, writing that they "successfully capture the spirit of what made the original games so great.[79] The A.V. Club praised the levels as the game's high point: "There’s so much going on in each level, so many secrets and one-off novelties, that I didn’t mind getting game overs and having to start again."[108] Venture Beat praised the replayability of the levels: "branching paths make multiple playthroughs feel fresh, since you can still discover new areas of a stage even after beating it several times."[109]

The graphics and soundtrack attracted wide acclaim. USGamer described the graphics as "[the] pinnacle of the perpetually running hedgehog's pixel-embellished career,"[110] while COG Connected wrote that "although pixelated 2D graphics are inherently nostalgic, I’m not convinced that the older Sonic games ever looked quite this good."[111] Cubed3 described the levels as stylish and vibrant: "There is actual lore to the entire game if you stop and look, and that is owed to the brilliant visuals that have a story to tell."[112] GameSpot praised the animations and detail as superior to the original games, writing that they "add an extra layer of personality to the iconic characters that's a joy to see in motion".[97] PlayStation Country wrote that composer Tee Lopes "absolutely nails" the music, comparing it positively to the soundtracks from Sonic CD and the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast.[113] EGM wrote that the soundtrack was "completely fantastic and fitting—and somehow feeling nostalgic and totally fresh both at the same time."[76]

Polygon cited frustrations with the controls and enemy placement as examples of Sonic Mania's dedication to the original games to a fault.[85] AppTrigger wrote that "Sonic Mania brings Sonic and friends back to the series’ 2D roots successfully but also reminds us of many of the issues with early 90s 2D platformers." [114] VideoGamer.com felt the game relied too much on nostalgia, and wrote of the small number of original stages and minimal innovation. It concluded that the game was "a really, really, good proof of concept" that the development team could expand in the future.[115]

After a day of its release, the Nintendo Switch version of the game could top the best seller charts "in most regions", specifically in the UK and US regions and was placed as Nintendo Switch's sixth best seller in Japan.[116]

The PC version received criticism for its implementation of Denuvo DRM, which some thought to be the real reason behind the two week launch delay.[117][118] In addition, the game was unable to be played if not connected to the internet on launch day, which Sega stated was a bug unrelated to Denuvo, releasing a patch the following day that fixed it.[119][120]

Update history

  • Consoles:
    • Version 1.03 (25 September 2017): Sonic Mania received a patch which brought some changes, most notably:[121]
      • The player now achieves their character's Super State (while having all Chaos Emeralds and 50 Rings) by pressing Y button/PSTriangleButton/Switch x instead of pressing the jump button while in mid-air.
        • This means Sonic can transform even while having the Flame Shield, Lightning Shield or Water Shield equipped.
      • The game no longer saves the player's score after finishing a game file. Starting on any level from a finished game file resets the score to 0.
      • Various gameplay bugs and glitches have been fixed.
      • Screenshots and gameplay clips recorded with the console no longer has the Sega logo watermark.
      • Removed the "Dunkey" Easter egg in Hydrocity Zone (aside from the Switch version).
      • Debug Mode controls have slightly changed.
      • It is no longer possible to access Level Select via the title screen.
  • PC:
    • RC 1.03.0829 (28 August 2017):[122]
      • The player now achieves their character's Super State (while having all Chaos Emeralds and 50 Rings) with a separate button instead of pressing the jump button while in mid-air.
      • Other fixes that will be ported to the console versions at a later date.
      • The initial release contains Denuvo DRM and does not allow offline play.
    • N/A (30 August 2017):[123]
      • The game can now run offline after it has been run online at least once.
    • RC 1.03.0831 (6 September 2017):[124]
      • Fixed some bugs, including a soft lock issue in No Save mode that occurrs for some players after defeating the Phantom Egg if they have collected all the Chaos Emeralds.
    • RC 1.03.0919 (25 September 2017):[125]
      • Added the simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Korean localization support.
      • Removed the "Dunkey" Easter egg in Hydrocity Zone.

Cheat codes

Level Select

Main article: Level Select

Enter Mania Mode and go to "No Save" on the "Save Select" menu. Enter "No Save" and turn Debug Mode on the "Secrets" menu. Press then the "Ok" button on the "Secrets" menu to return to "Save Select". Highlight then "No Save" and execute the following commands to enter Level Select:

PlayStation 4 Xbox One Switch PC
Hold PSSquareButton + OPTIONS button Hold X button + Menu button Hold Switch y + + button

Miscellaneous

  • Dunkey Easter Egg: Grab onto one of the hooks in Hydrocity Zone and press ← ← ← → → → ↑ ↑ ↑ with the directional controls. This will cause a ring chime to be played. Now, upon using a Booster, a Videogamedunkey-related sound effect will be played. Curiously, this button combination was previously used in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles as a Level Select cheat code.
    • This Easter egg has been removed as of version RC 1.03.0919 (released 25 September 2017).

Trivia

  • This is the first Sonic video game to be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
  • It is the first Sonic video game in the series to output at 4K resolution.
  • The color palette of the cover art, including the logo primarily consists of mainly shades of blues, orange and reds in correspondence to the main protagonist characters in the game; Sonic, Tails and Knuckles.
  • The trailer music featured in the debut trailer is called "Checkpoint," composed and arranged by Nitro Fun and Hyper Potions.[126]
  • This is the second Sonic game to feature the playable character spins vertically when jumping on a Spring since Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • After completing an Act, Sonic will perform a short hop before doing the traditional index finger waving pose. The hopping animation originated from an early victory pose seen in pre-release screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), but was later unused in the final release. Sonic and Tails' final poses are based on existing artwork themselves, while Knuckles' seems to be based either on his pose from the pose he displays on the title menu for Sonic & Knuckles or an official artwork from Knuckles' Chaotix.
  • If the playable character moves fast enough, he can outrun the screen, similar to how this was possible in the original games.
    • However, unlike in previous games, this behavior in Sonic Mania is clearly intentional, as there is a lower speed requirement.
  • Sonic shaking himself dry in the intro for Chemical Plant Zone is reminiscent of him doing the same thing when he emerged from the water in the intro to Toxic Caves in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.
  • Many of the achievement names are either a reference to other works or a play on words:
    • "No Way? No Way!" is the text that scrolls if the original Sonic the Hedgehog is locked on to Sonic and Knuckles to play the Blue Sphere game.
    • "Full Medal Jacket" is a pun on the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket.
    • "Triple Trouble" is the name of an earlier game, Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.
    • The text "The Most Famous Hedgehog in the World" was shown on the Japanese box art for the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • "Crate Expectations" is a reference to Great Expectations, a famous novel by Charles Dickens.
    • "The King of Speed" is a reference to the Daytona USA song, "The King of Speed"
    • "Gotta Catch em' All" is the slogan for the Pokémon series.
  • The mock infomercial video of the Sonic Mania's Collector's Edition is a reference to the humorous television infomercial for a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 console bundle that debuted back in 1993. The fake "suggested price" of $6,231,991 seen in the infomercial is a reference to the North American release date for the original Sonic the Hedgehog (June 23, 1991).
  • This marked the third time a Sonic game featured an animated opening cutscene, the other two being in Sonic the Hedgehog CD and Sonic Riders.
  • The art style for the pre-order trailer and the opening animation is very similar to the opening and ending animated scenes of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
    • The idea for the animated scenes in the trailer was by Aaron Webber.[127]
    • Additionally, the animation was done by Tyson Hesse in co-operation with animators Anthony Holden and Mariel Cartwright to help him meet the deadline.[128]
    • At the beginning of the trailer as Sonic is being drawn to life, he was given bunny ears but they were quickly erased. This is in reference as to how one of Sonic's original designs was a rabbit.
    • The buttons shown in the elevator that Sonic, Tails and Knuckles stand in are "1", "2", "3", "K" and "M", standing for Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic Mania itself respectively.
    • The pre-order trailer was made during the production of the opening animation for Sonic Mania.[129]
  • If the player lets the opening animation play twice, the second time it will have different music and sound effects.
  • The title music for Sonic Mania has the exact same notes as the main melody of the music for Panic Puppet Zone Act 1 from the Sega Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast.
  • The cool bonus counted at the end of the level is in reference to the Sega Saturn's "This is COOL" slogan that was printed on its Skeleton and Derby models. It is also in reference to the Sega Saturn's Cool Pad controller.
  • The main menu has features similar to Sonic R in terms of showcasing graphics whenever an option is toggled over.
    • Toggling the "options" will showcase a sprite of the Sega Saturn gamepad.
  • The "& Knuckles" mode is a reference to a popular internet meme based around Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. People add the "& Knuckles" found on the title screen of the game to other images, often adding many other bizarre images in the process. The meme is widely popular among fans of the series.
    • When you unlock the mode, the quote is "Knock Knock! & Knuckles mode has been unlocked!" This references another Knuckles-based meme, "Knock, Knock, it's Knuckles," which is part of the lyrics to his theme song in Sonic Adventure, "Unknown from M.E."
    • The music played during the secret ending of a "Knuckles & Knuckles" playthrough is a remix of "This Horizon" from Knuckles' Chaotix.
  • During the credits, someone is credited Alex "The Kidd" Solverston. This is a reference to the nickname he was given by fans on the official Sonic livestream and Sega's original mascot, Alex Kidd.
  • The bad ending features Dr. Eggman juggling the Chaos Emeralds that were not collected. This is a reference to the bad ending of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • When piloting the Tornado, Tails can be seen wearing a flight helmet that heavily resembles the one that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • The collectors card in the Collectors Edition contains a faint writing at the bottom that reads "Fun Is Infinite". This is a reference to an infamous message in Sonic the Hedgehog CD when attempting to play a pirated copy of the game.

Videos

Sonic Mania - 25th Anniversary Debut01:58

Sonic Mania - 25th Anniversary Debut

Sonic Mania - Official Japanese Trailer01:53

Sonic Mania - Official Japanese Trailer

Sonic Mania - Official Nintendo Switch Trailer01:53

Sonic Mania - Official Nintendo Switch Trailer

Sonic Mania Pre-Order Trailer01:33

Sonic Mania Pre-Order Trailer

『ソニックマニア』配信日アナウンスPV01:27

『ソニックマニア』配信日アナウンスPV

Sonic Mania - Launch Trailer01:59

Sonic Mania - Launch Trailer

RARE Sonic Mania Collector's Edition Infomercial - 199601:00

RARE Sonic Mania Collector's Edition Infomercial - 1996

Behind the Scenes Sonic Mania Infomercial02:38

Behind the Scenes Sonic Mania Infomercial

Sonic Mania Title Screen - Music00:17

Sonic Mania Title Screen - Music

Sonic Mania - Competition Mode First Look01:26

Sonic Mania - Competition Mode First Look

Sonic Mania - Accolades Trailer00:30

Sonic Mania - Accolades Trailer


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External links

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Sonic the Hedgehog console main series games