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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.

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,[9] and serves, along with Sonic Forces, as a “continuation” of Sonic’s 25th anniversary.[10] The game was announced on 22 July 2016 and released on 15 August 2017 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4[11][5] and will release on 29 August 2017 for PC.[9]

Development

Sonic Mania began development in 2015, as Sonic Team wanted to make a new 2D Sonic game that was not a remake.[10] The game was first announced during a presentation held by Sega at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con with a debut trailer.[12] The development team includes Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, who have previously developed enhanced and newer ports for other Sonic titles.[13] 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.[14]

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.”[9] When developing the art for the game, the general rule was to be above the level of Genesis, but under the level of Saturn.[10] Christian Whitehead also added that the game will be longer than Sonic Generations.[15] 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".[16][17]

Briefly after the game's announcement, the game developer company Renegade Kid offered to port the game over to the Nintendo 3DS.[18] However, on 29 August 2016, Renegade Kid announced that the studio would be closed and split to two separate companies: Atooi & Infitizmo,[19] 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.[8] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] On the Sonic panel of SXSW, the game has been delayed later in the year. [23]

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.[24] 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.[25][26]

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".[27] Iizuka conceptualized the title of the game after first seeing the demo of the game with a fully functioning Studiopolis Zone[28] and took a white board and wrote Sonic 1, 2, 3, Knuckles and CD, forming the catchphrase "By the Mania, for the Mania".[29][30] During the event, it was also confirmed that Sonic Mania's length was comparable to that of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.[31]

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.[32]

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.[33] The theme music of these stages is named "Dimension Heist".[34] 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.[35] 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 are going to be compensated with a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog, including those who ordered the Collector's Edition.[6] Should the buyer already have a copy of the game, they will receive a giftable version.[36]

On the 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.[37]

Plot

After Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower saved Angel Island,[38] a sudden dimensional breach occurs in the atmosphere, causing a unique energy wave signature to appear on Angel Island.[39] 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.[38] 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.[38][39]

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,[39] 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 grant 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 ruined future 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 Heavy King, the leader of the Hard-Boiled Heavies, steals the Phantom Ruby from Eggman, giving himself access to power similar to a Super Form; Eggman attacks the Heavy King to reclaim it however. Caught in the middle, Sonic uses the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Sonic and defeats both Eggman and the Heavy King during their struggle for the Phantom Ruby.

Sonic Mania True Ending

The final shot of the game, true ending.

After the battle, the Phantom Ruby reacts to the Chaos Emeralds before pulling Sonic into a special warp. Outside, Tails and Knuckles watch with a smile as the mechanized Little Planet vanishes in a flash that shows Sonic smiling at them. Meanwhile, Sonic is heading towards places unknown.

Gameplay

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 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.[9]

In gameplay, the series' collectible Rings can be found everywhere. Like in previous games, they act as a for of health for the playable characters: as long as the player holds at least one, they will be protected from 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, or from the beginning of the Act if they have not passed any Checkpoints.

The games features the standard Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash movesets in addition to unique maneuvers for each character; Sonic is able to use the Drop Dash, a move introduced in Sonic Mania, which allows the player to instantly dash into a Spin Attack upon landing from a jump;[9][40] Tails can fly and swim;[41] and Knuckles can glide and climb walls.[42] Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the player can also choose a second playable character to follow the lead character.[43] Here, player 1 can control Sonic, and player 2 can control 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.[44][45] The game will also feature the return of classic Monitor power-ups, including elemental shields 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). Certain characters also have certain unique aspects about their stories, such as Mirage Saloon Zone act 1 and Lava Reef act 2's boss.

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. 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 the game.[46]

Objects

Items

Gimmicks and obstacles

Characters

Playable characters

Non-playable characters

Enemies

Bosses

Zones

Sonic Mania consists of thirteen Zones (eight remastered, five original), each one divided into two Acts. At the end of each Act, the player takes part in a boss battle.[48][15] 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[49]
  3. Studiopolis Zone
  4. Flying Battery Zone
  5. Press Garden Zone[50]
  6. Stardust Speedway Zone[51]
  7. Hydrocity Zone[52]
  8. Mirage Saloon Zone[43]
  9. Oil Ocean Zone[52]
  10. Lava Reef Zone[53]
  11. Metallic Madness Zone[54]
  12. Titanic Monarch Zone
  13. Egg Reverie Zone

Special Stages

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The Special Stage in Sonic Mania.

Special Stages are extra levels where the players can collect the Chaos Emeralds. These Stages can be accessed through hidden Giant Rings in the Zones. In each Special Stage, the playable character enters a wide open field akin to the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The objective is to catch up to the sole UFO in this level and obtain the Chaos Emerald it has within the time limit; if the player fails, the stage will end but can be retried infinitely. As aid, the player can collect blue Spheres to make the playable character run faster and Rings to increase the player's time limit.[46][55][56][57]

Bonus Stages

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Knuckles in the Bonus Stage.

Bonus Stages are special areas where the player can earn bonuses. They become available when jumping into the Star Circle that appears if a Star Post is passed when carrying at least twenty-five Rings. Sonic Mania's bonus stages play the same as 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 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" 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.

Silver Medallions are awarded to players who complete a Bonus Stage, while a Gold Medallion is awarded to those who manage to collect all the blue spheres and Rings in a Bonus Stage.[46]

The Silver Medallions unlock content in the main game, such as Sonic's Insta-Shield and Super Peel Out, the new "& Knuckles" mode, which adds an AI Knuckles to aid the player (which works like Tails), or the Debug Mode. However, these are only usable in no-save mode. The Gold Medallions are used to unlock content in the Extras portion of the menu, like Sound Test or the "Mean Bean" minigame against the computer or another player, as seen in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2's boss.

Other modes

Competition

Competition Mode is the multiplayer component of Sonic Mania. This mode features a split-screen where two players can race to the end of a level, similar to those of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[58]

Time Attack

Time Attack allows players to replay previously cleared Acts with the goal of getting the fastest record possible. The best times are included on an online leaderboard. As a new feature in the series however, players can restart an Act seamlessly at any point with "Quick Restart".[46]

Options

  • Video
  • Sound
  • Controls
  • Language

Extras

  • Blue Sphere
  • Mean Bean
  • D.A. Garden

System requirements

PC

Minimum

OS Processor Memory Graphics DirectX® Hard Drive Sound
Windows-7-logo Pentium 4 1.6GHz 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

Nintendo Switch

Minimum

  • 186MB of free space

PlayStation 4 trophies

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-Collector's-Edition

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.[59] On 13 September 2016, Amazon leaked a pre-order offer of the Sonic Mania: Collector’s Edition for the PC.[60] 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[61]) as well, albeit exclusively for North America.[62] The Collector's Edition has also become available to be pre-ordered on Europe countries since 17 October 2016.[63] 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.[64]

In September 2016, Sega began selling official T-shirts through Amazon US until 30 September. These included Studiopolis Zone-based shirts and “Triple Theat” 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.[65] It was announced that 26 boxes of the Collector's Edition were signed by Sonic Team personally.[6]

A vinyl LP featuring tracks from the soundtrack will be published by the music label Data Discs.[66] 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.[67] The albums will ship in September 2017.[67]

Attendees of the Sonic Mania panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con received a promotional instruction manual for the game.[68]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87% (PS4)[69]
86% (XB1)[70]
93% (Switch)[71]
Metacritic 86/100 (PS4)[72]
85/100 (XB1)[73]
90/100 (Switch)[74]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 8.5/10 (XB1)[75]
Game Revolution 4/5[76]
GameSpot 9/10[77]
IGN 8.7/10[52]
VideoGamer.com 7/10[78]
Destructoid 8/10[79]
Polygon 7/10 (PS4)
7/10 (XB1)[80]

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.[81] Alex Donaldson of VG24/7 agreed, saying that Sonic Mania was the sequel he had wanted for over 20 years.[82] 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.[82] 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".[83]

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.[84] 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.[84]

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.[85][86][87][88][89][90]

Trivia

  • This was the first Sonic game to be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
  • The island seen on the title screen of the game is shaped like Sonic's head.
  • 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.[91]
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The artstyle for the pre-order trailer animation is very similar to the opening and ending animated scenes of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • 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 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.
  • If the player lets the opening animation play twice, the second time it would have different music and sound effects.
  • The cool bonus counted at the end of the level is in reference to the Sega Saturn's "This is cool" message that was printed on its Skeleton and Derby models. It is also in reference to the Sega Saturn's Cool Pad controller.
  • 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."

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


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Sonic the Hedgehog console main series games