Metallic Madness Zone is the eleventh Zone of the Mania Mode of Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus, and the twelfth Zone of the Encore Mode of Sonic Mania Plus. This Zone is a re-imagination of Metallic Madness from Sonic the Hedgehog CD for the Sega CD.
The Zone is a metallic and deathtrap-ridden factory on Little Planet that belongs to Dr. Eggman. As with most other Zones in Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus, Metallic Madness Zone is composed of two Acts, with a boss fight at the end of both.
Metallic Madness Zone is a huge metallic stronghold owned by Dr. Eggman. The Zone borrows many parts from the original Round from Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The platforms are made of green metal and decorated with many silver machines and plaques bearing Eggman's face. All of Metallic Madness Zone is also highly protected by many death traps and Badnks, such as buzz saws, blades and cages.
Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 looks very similar to the past of the original Metallic Madness Zone 1. The base is still under construction, with the background showing many construction machines underneath a light blue sky. From what can be seen outside of the base through holes in the base's done, there are also many gigantic machines at both the top and bottom of the Act, some of which are uncomplete and possess hanging wires.
In Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, the Act takes place deeper into the mechanical base, which is now shown to be complete. This Act's appearance is based on the present version of the original Metallic Madness Zone 2 while also sporting the background from the bad future of the original Metallic Madness Zone 3. The background depicts a blue wall with many purple lights and some gigantic, damaged, brown-colored machines in front of it. At the very bottom of the Act, there is also some dark gray machinery that barely can be seen due to the little light present.
In Encore Mode, Metallic Madness Zone has undergone a color palette change. Most of the metal now has a dull orange color scheme, bearing a striking resemblance to the bad future of the original Round. The sky in Act 1 is as well tinted pink, while the inside of the stronghold is colored purple and has green lights instead of purple ones. The machinery at the bottom of the Act is also red-colored instead of gray.
During their mission to reclaim the Phantom Ruby from Dr. Eggman, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles have returned to Little Planet, which has become Eggman's base of operations. As they pass through Metallic Madness Zone, the trio overcome Eggman's traps and devious contraptions one after another. The doctor tries to stop the heroes in their tracks with the Gachapandora machine, although he is quickly bested by the heroes. As Eggman makes his escape, all power in the factory shuts off. With Sonic and his gang proceeding forward, they approach an exit in the back end of the factory, as lightning illuminates the path to a Zone containing Eggman's biggest robotic creation yet.
Having arrived on Little Planet once more, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty and Ray resume their mission to retrieve the Phantom Ruby from Dr. Eggman before it is too late. Along the way through the Zone, the heroes are attacked by Eggman and his contraptions again and again. During each encounter with Eggman in particular, they manage to defeat the doctor, only for Eggman to escape each time. Eventually though, Sonic's crew manage to shut off the power to the factory once again and find themselves on the doorstep to Eggman's headquarters - the rebuilt Titanic Monarch Zone.
The gameplay in Metallic Madness Zone is the same as the original Metallic Madness, being rife with giant buzz-saws, steep bank platforms, crushers, passages that close off behind the player, and other sharp-edged objects ideal for harming the player. Each Act also introduces both old and new gimmicks.
In Act 1, there is an exclusive new gimmick that lets the player do a plane switching. By utilizing red and blue seesaws (based on the ones from Sonic the Hedgehog CD), the player can catapult themselves into a second layer of Zone geometry in the background, granting them extra platforming segments. To return to the foreground, the player must use another seesaw.
Act 2 reintroduces the original Metallic Madness's Flywheel gimmick, moving Springs, spinning poles with interchangeable blades that move along the ground, and plane-switching metal curtain puzzles (which allow the player to be slightly behind the foreground as opposed to far away from it). Another returning gimmick exclusive to Act 2 are the shrink rays, which are put to more prominently use here than in the original Metallic Madness to match the level layout.
Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 takes place in an under construction section of the stronghold. Similar to the original Metallic Madness Zone 1, the upper paths usually serve as the quickest and most open ones, with many paths that can lead to the lower sections, which are usually slower and make more use of platforming. Returning sections are the diagonal Springs from the original Round that send the player flying to the left, which most of the time serve as obstacles. Perhaps the most notable new feature here is the ability to move through two different layers of the Act by using seesaw-like gimmicks. These sections are usually short, although they can lead to different paths.
In Encore Mode, Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 remains mostly the same, except that a few new paths are added, and spikes and saws are much more prominent than before, specially in the closed paths, making the Act more difficult than in Mania Mode.
Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 has a similar level layout compared to the original Metallic Madness Zone 2, with most of the action taking place on closed, linear paths, although there are many sections that branch into more pathways. Act 2 re-uses most of the gimmicks from Act 1, as well as the return of the flywheels from the original Round. The core item in this Act is the shrink ray from the original Metallic Madness Zone 2. Notably, it is used much more often than in the original Zone, with many sections using it for smaller passages and automated tunnel sections. Also returning from the original Metallic Madness are the spiked platforms, which are much wider than before and work slightly different; instead of them slowly falling to the ground, a light will show it for one second, indicating the player where they must stand on to be safe. After that, the platform will fall to the ground, albeit at a much faster speed than before.
In Encore Mode, the Act is mostly unchanged, except that a few obstacles and secrets have been added. Like in Act 1, saws are more frequent than in Mania Mode, making exploration more difficult.
The boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act is the Egg Pistons mk.II, an updated version of the Egg Crusher from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Eggman will stand inside one of five crushing pistons, and the player must strike the piston housing Eggman as they protrude. Between these phases, four energy balls will close in around the protagonist before the pistons once again resume. Hit Eggman four times and the pistons will change to a more erratic pattern. The player will also not have to contend with the energy balls in this phase. Hit Eggman another four times, and this boss will be defeated.
The boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 is the Gachapandora, a mobile Gashapon machine. When entering the arena for this boss, the player will be miniaturized. To defeat him, the player must spin the crank on the Gachapandora to dispense a miniaturized version of either the Egg Drillster or Egg Scorcher, as well as Amy Dolls. After the Gachapandora has dispensed eight "prizes", Eggman flies away. The player must then defeat any remaining "prizes" to make Eggman descend once more. In this final phase, Eggman shoots projectiles at the player in his broken Gachapandora. One more turn of the dial will cause Eggman himself to be dispensed from the machine, ending the battle.
- This Zone marks the second time in which Knuckles, Mighty and Ray are playable in a Sonic the Hedgehog CD Zone, the other being Stardust Speedway Zone.
- In keeping with the nomenclature of Sonic Mania, Metallic Madness is referred to as a "Zone". In Sonic 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".
- The tracks for Metallic Madness Zone are based on the tracks from the Japanese soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog CD instead of the American ones.
- "Metallic Madness Zone (Act 1)" takes elements mostly from its original past version, while the music for Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 combines elements from the present and bad future version.
- The music also features the almost incomprehensible raps that were also featured in the original music from Sonic CD, but with new lyrics. Apparently, the raps from "Metallic Madness Zone (Act 1)" are sung in Sonic's perspective, while the raps from "Metallic Madness Zone (Act 2)" are sung in Eggman's.
- When the shrink ray hits Super Sonic, he will have the appearance of Sonic with golden fur along and will keep his untransformed version's normal animations.
- Metallic Madness Zone features several references and Easter eggs:
- The level geometry in the background of Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 that the player can go to is similar to the background areas the player can enter at Sky Babylon from Sonic Rush Adventure and White Park Zone Act 2 from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
- The mini-boss of Metallic Madness Zone is essentially the Egg Crusher, the boss of Final Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Gachapandora, the boss of Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, heavily resembles the Botanic Base boss from Knuckles' Chaotix. In addition, the crank that the player must turn to dispense the prizes resembles the one featured in the Gumball Machine Bonus Game from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- The "prizes" which Gachapandora dispenses are miniature versions of elements from previous Sonic games:
- Egg Drillster, the boss of Emerald Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- The Egg Scorcher, the boss of Marble Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Amy Dolls, robot duplicates of Amy Rose that chase and hug the player like the original Amy did in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. These robots also seems to borrow design elements, and the name itself as well, from the Tails Doll, a character that appeared in Sonic R.
- In Metallic Madness Zone Act 2 in Sonic Mania , as of Version 1.04/RC 1.05.0713, Tails jumps when the lightning strikes during the Zone transition. This is a reference to Tails' profile in Sonic Jam, which mentions that he dislikes thunder.
- In the initial release of Sonic Mania, when playing with Tails as a partner (or with "& Knuckles" mode in No Save mode) in Metallic Madness Zone Act 2, the partner character always respawned at their regular size even inside small areas which the player is required to have been hit by a shrinking shrink ray to navigate through. The Version 1.03 patch released on September 2017 now matches the partner character's size with the player character's current size when the former respawns back into the Act.
|"Metallic Madness Zone (Act 1)"||Tee Lopes, Naofumi Hataya||2:16|
|"Metallic Madness Zone (Act 2)"||Tee Lopes, Naofumi Hataya||2:36|