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Based on Scarabaeidaes, Scarabs have ellipsoid-shaped light green bodies with a red plating across their foreheads and backs, and a pair of black-eyed black-rimmed cartoonish eyes on the front. They also have no limbs, except for a pair yellow wheels on their lower body that have long insect legs on their rims for moving them around.
In Sonic Mania Plus' Encore Mode, Scarabs look the same, except that their bodies are brown instead of light green.
In gameplay, the Scarabs simply move back and forth within their designated area. While they have no offensive attacks against the playable character, if the playable character tries attacking a Scarab from the rear, it will grab them with their mechanical limbs (without causing damage), force them into the Spin Attack and launch them in the opposite direction. although this can be used by the player to gain speed. Occasionally, they can also been seen carry a gameplay object with their mechanical limbs. Most of them carry a set of spikes, while a single Scarab in Metallic Madness Zone Act 1 carries a Super RingItem Box.
Scarabs can easily be destroyed by attacking their heads with a Spin Attack-related move. Doing so will release the Animals inside of them and award the player with 100 points. In additional, if a Scarab is carrying an object when destroyed, it will drop it.