Relax to the mellow funks of the past as Sonic and friends return to Little Planet's firefly-lit marble cityscape. But things aren't so simple as fauna has grown rather lush.
— Theme Trailer description
This Zone is situated in its original location. The first Act takes place in the past of Stardust Speedway, which has plant life growing everywhere. Since Sonic the Hedgehog CD however, the flora around the Zone has grown rather lush, and the Capsules containing the Little Planet flowers are now littered across the Act. There are also ancient buildings in the background and glowing fireflies that float everywhere. The Act is also decorated with pillars, ancient vases, and stone griffins. The sky also has star constellations that depict things such as harps, Roman helmets and Sonic's head.
The second Act takes place in Stardust Speedway Zone's present, which is more urbanized and industrialized. Here, the plant life has made place for a neon-lit cityscape crossed with a highway made out of coppers and musical instruments, making the Act look like an orchestra palace. The Robotnik statue originally found in the Bad Future of the eponymous Round from Sonic the Hedgehog CD can also be spotted at the end of the Act.
Having been transported to Stardust Speedway Zone by Dr. Eggman with the Phantom Ruby, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles begin their search for a way off Little Planet, making their way from the past of this Zone into its present via a Time Warp Plate. At the end of the Zone, they destroy a Metal Sonic Projector and are met by several happy Animals, only for Metal Sonic, who is ready for a rematch with Sonic, to attack them. After going several rounds with Metal Sonic, the trio finally defeat the robotic hedgehog, allowing them to look for Eggman in another place.
Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 features several gameplay elements from Marble Garden Zone, with the inclusion of Pulleys, Platform-raising Wheels and downward loops with pillars that the player spirals around. Large Capsules, similar to the ones seen in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, are also located throughout the Act. Destroying these will release Little Planet flowers and one massive plant known as a "Beanstalk". This plant will quickly grow to cover the surrounding area when released, spawning leaves that the player can use as platforms and dangerous bio-mechanical heads that inflict damage. The Act also has stone griffins that carry Rings, bouncy threads of vines that can be used for enhanced jumps, curled up vines that form bridges when walked across, and giant spiked balls that swing around horizontally.
Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 includes gimmicks like the Bungee Rope and fireworks the player can ride on.
Both Acts of Stardust Speedway Zone feature gimmicks and obstacles from the original Zone. These include spiked balls that periodically pop out of holes, and shooters the player can load with the playable characters and then fire in different directions.
Act 1 begins in the Past era of Stardust Speedway Zone. At the end of this Act, the playable characters will automatically destroy a nearby robot teleporter before using a Time Warp Plate to travel to the second Act in the present.
Act 2 takes place in the Present era of Stardust Speedway Zone.
The boss of Stardust Speedway Act 1 is the Hotaru Hi-Watt, a giant version of the local Hotaru. When the battle starts, it will disappear and leave regular-sized Hotaru to battle the player. After the player overcomes them, the Hotaru Hi-Watt will reappear. It then proceeds to rain down a column of energy before disappearing again and restarting the process. It is vulnerable as long as it is visible however. After taking six hits, the Hotaru Hi-Watt will be defeated.
The boss of Stardust Speedway Act 2 is Metal Sonic. During the first part of the fight, the player must run to the arena while dodging Metal Sonic's attacks. Once in the arena, the player has to knock the constantly respawing Silver Sonics that appear into Metal Sonic, who is sitting above the arena, by knocking the Silver Sonics up to him with the Spin Dash when the Silver Sonics use the Spin Dash too. After landing four hits, the player must run to the next section while dodging Metal Sonic's attacks again. Once in the next arena, the player has to run away from an approaching spike wall while attacking Metal Sonic when he is vulnerable. Once eight hits are dealt, Metal Sonic will be defeated.
- This marks the first time in which Knuckles is playable in a Sonic the Hedgehog CD Zone, the other being Metallic Madness.
- In keeping with the nomenclature of Sonic Mania, Stardust Speedway is referred to as a "Zone". In Sonic the Hedgehog 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".
- When fans questioned about the absence of the iconic "huehue"(s) during the Act 1 music, Tee Lopes, the game's composer, jokingly responded with a video on Twitter.
- Lucas Carvalho, one of the game's artists has said on Twitter that this Zone was the one he loved working the most on Sonic Mania.
- Stardust Speedway Zone features several references and Easter eggs:
- The diagonal vine catapults in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are similar to the catapults from Sandopolis Zone in Sonic & Knuckles.
- The curled-up vine bridges in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are based on the same objects from Mushroom Hill Zone in Sonic & Knuckles.
- The Pulleys in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are based on the same objects from Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- The swinging lines of spiked balls in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are similar to the same objects from Collision Chaos in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- The Platform-raising Wheels in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are the same as those from Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- The Capsules with Little Planet flowers in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are the same as those from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- The pillars the player can run downhill of in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are seemingly based on those from Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- In Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1, there are giant spiked balls that swing around horizontally via chains. These obstacles are based on the same ones from Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- The robot teleporter, the Time Warp Plate, and the time travel animation leading into Act 2 in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 are all elements taken from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- The fireworks that can be ridden in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 appear to be based on the same gimmick from Tropical Resort in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.
- The Bungee Ropes in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 originate from Sunset Hill in Sonic Advance 3.
- The Metal Sonic Projector before the boss fight in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 is taken from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- The second phase of the Metal Sonic boss fight is based on the boss fight from World Entrance Level 1 in Knuckles' Chaotix.
- The appearance of Silver Sonic in the Metal Sonic boss fight and its associated sound effects are derived from the boss fight with Silver Sonic in Scrambled Egg Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit).
- The Hotarus' attack patterns in Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 and 2 are based on those they had in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- In Stardust Speedway Act 2, if the player takes a firework, they will see a bunch of Rings arranged in the shape of a diamond. This is a reference to "Diamond in the Sky", a song from Sonic R.
- In the last stage of Stardust Speedway Act 2 boss fight, a giant Eggman statue can be seen in background. This statue did not appeared in the original Stardust Speedway, but appeared in the outro animated sequence of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
|Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1||Tee Lopes||1:25|
|Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2||Tee Lopes||1:20|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sonic Mania OST - Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1. YouTube. Sega (31 July 2017). Retrieved on 7 August 2017. “Relax to the mellow funks of the past as Sonic and friends return to Little Planet's firefly-lit marble cityscape. But things aren't so simple as fauna has grown rather lush.”
- ↑ Sonic Mania Pre-Order Trailer. YouTube (30 May 2017). Retrieved on 30 May 2017.
- ↑ Tee Lopes on Twitter. Twitter (31 July 2017). Retrieved on 01 August 2017.
- ↑ Lucas Carvalho on Twitter. Twitter (31 August 2017). Retrieved on 06 September 2017.