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. Set in an alternate reality, 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 into Sonic Forces.
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 Mega Drive Sonic games. The game was announced on 22 July 2016 and released digitally on 15 August 2017 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, and on 29 August 2017 for PC. The game saw a physical release for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on 5 November 2019.
A definitive version of the game, titled Sonic Mania Plus, was released on 17 July 2018. Downloadable content to the base game, titled "Encore DLC", was released alongside the physical version. Sonic Mania Plus includes the return of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel as playable characters, as well as a 4-player Competition Mode and "Encore Mode".
After Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower saved Angel Island, a sudden dimensional breach occurs in the atmosphere, causing a unique energy wave signature to appear on Angel Island. 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. 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.
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, with Sonic, Tails, the Hard Boiled Heavies, and Knuckles the Echidna, who was relaxing nearby, getting caught in the warp. The group gets catapulted to 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 Hard Boiled Heavies, which he promptly uses to send Sonic and his crew to Chemical Plant Zone. 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, the members of the Hard Boiled Heavies, and various other robots, along the way.
Sonic and his friends eventually discover that Eggman has seized and mechanized Little Planet once again. They board Eggman's enormous robot, the Titanic Monarch, and defeat Eggman and the Hard Boiled Heavies, transformed into the Phantom Heavies. From there, the game's ending will depend on the player's actions:
- If the player has not gathered all seven Chaos Emeralds by then, or is playing with a character that is not Sonic, Sonic's team will escape the crumbling Titanic Monarch and go back to their planet. After that, they watch Little Planet. After the credits, a laughing Eggman will then emerge from some scrap and juggle with the Phantom Ruby, with the Chaos Emeralds the player did not collect floating above him. The text "TRY AGAIN" will be shown as well.
- If all seven Chaos Emeralds are collected while playing as Sonic, he and Eggman will get pulled into a mysterious dimension by the Phantom Ruby upon Eggman's defeat. There, the Phantom King (a modified version of the Hard Boiled Heavies' leader, the Heavy King), will claim the Phantom Ruby for himself, giving himself access to incredible power; Eggman will attack 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 manages to defeat both Eggman and the Phantom King during their struggle for the Phantom Ruby. After dealing the final blow however, Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds separate from one another. The Phantom Ruby then pulls itself and Sonic into a spatial warp. Meanwhile, having made it outside, Tails and Knuckles watch with smiles as the mechanized Little Planet vanishes in a flash of light depicting a smiling Sonic winking at them. Meanwhile, Sonic is heading towards places unknown.
|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.|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||A young fox with two tails and loyal friend of Sonic. By spinning his tails, he can fly like a helicopter.|
|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.|
|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
|Heavy King||The leader of the Hard Boiled Heavies. Commands his elite troop with a watchful eye and a powerful scepter.|
|Heavy Gunner||A loose cannon that packs serious firepower. He often flies by in a helicopter to terrorize from above.|
|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||A mystic performer with bewildering tricks up her sleeve. With her shape-shifting hat, she's getting the band back together.|
|Heavy Rider||A thrill-seeking robot that pulls off daring stunts. Better watch out for her dangerous jumps and her trusted Motobug, Jimmy.|
Emulating the style of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Mega Drive, 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) in less than ten minutes. 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. 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 the first Act of Green Hill Zone, which starts on a different path if the player is playing as Knuckles.
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 the playable 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. They 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. Running out of tries will result in a Game Over; the player can continue if they earn a Continue, however.
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; Tails can fly and swim; and Knuckles can glide and climb walls. 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. 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 will not lose Rings. Tails can also fly while holding Sonic. With this, the player can reach areas that are hard for Sonic to reach on his own.
The game also features the return of classic Item Box 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 Lightning 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.
|PlayStation 4||Xbox One||Nintendo Switch||Sonic||Tails||Knuckles|
|Left analog stick/ left/right||Move|
|Left analog stick/ up||Look up|
|Left analog stick/ down||Look down/Crouch|
|Move + Left analog stick/ down||Spin Attack|
|Crouch + //||Crouch + //||Crouch + //||Spin Dash|
|Spin Jump > hold //||Spin Jump > hold //||Spin Jump > hold //||Drop Dash
|Spin Jump > tapping //||Spin Jump > tapping //||Spin Jump > tapping //||N/A||Fly/Swim||N/A|
|Left analog stick/ up/down (on wall)||N/A||Wall Climb|
|// twice||// twice||// twice||Insta-Shield
|Look up + //||Look up + //||Look up + //||Super Peel-Out|
|Player 1||Player 2||Sonic||Tails||Knuckles|
|[←]/[→]||/ on numpad||Move|
|[↑]|| on numpad||Look up|
|[↓]|| on numpad||Look down/Crouch|
|Move + [↓]||Move +  on numpad||Spin Attack|
|Crouch + [A]/[Q]/[S]||Crouch + [J]/[U]/[K]||Spin Dash|
|Spin Jump > hold [A]/[Q]/[S]||Spin Jump > hold [J]/[U]/[K]||Drop Dash
|Spin Jump > tapping [A]/[Q]/[S]||Spin Jump > tapping [J]/[U]/[K]||N/A||Fly/Swim||N/A|
|[↑]/[↓] (on wall)||/ on numpad (on wall)||N/A||Wall Climb|
|[A]/[Q]/[S] x2||[J]/[U]/[K] x2||Insta-Shield
|Look up + [A]/[Q]/[S]||Look up + [J]/[U]/[K]||Super Peel-Out|
|[ENTER]||[ [ ]||Pause|
- Air Bubble
- Chaos Emerald
- Giant Ring
- Item Box
- Little Planet flowers
- Metal Sonic hologram
- Robot transporter
- Star Circle
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Knuckles the Echidna (first appearance)
- Super Knuckles (first appearance)
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Super Tails (first appearance)
- Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic Mania consists of thirteen Zones (eight remastered, five original), each one divided into two parts that are referred to as "Acts". At the end of each Act, the player takes part in a boss battle; "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:
- Green Hill Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Studiopolis Zone
- Flying Battery Zone
- Press Garden Zone
- Stardust Speedway Zone
- Hydrocity Zone
- Mirage Saloon Zone
- Oil Ocean Zone
- Lava Reef Zone
- Metallic Madness Zone
- Titanic Monarch Zone
- Egg Reverie Zone
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 timer.
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.
In Mania Mode, there is an additional menu named Game Options (formerly the Secrets menu) where players can set additional bonus features while playing in Mania Mode. These features are unlocked by collecting Medallions in the Bonus Stages and include the following:
- Time Limit: Toggles the 10 minute time limit to complete an Act on or off. If turned off, the timer will count beyond 10 minutes without the player losing a life.
- Debug Mode: Toggles 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:
|/// [Q]||Enter/exit object placement mode|
|Left analog stick//Arrow Keys (in object placement mode)||Move around|
|/// [A] (in object placement mode)||Cycle forward through the available objects|
|Hold // / [A] > press /// [W] (in object placement mode)||Cycle backward through the available objects|
|/// [S] when selecting Item Box||Change the contents of an Item Box|
|/// [W] while holding object||Place the object|
- Sonic Ability: Allows the player to customize Sonic's moveset for the gameplay.
- Mania: Allows Sonic to use the Drop Dash. This is the default setting 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. It also replaces one of Sonic's fast running animations with his "figure-eight" running animation. 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 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.
In Competition, the player who selects this mode becomes Player 1, leaving the other player to be Player 2. The players select one of the three playable characters before setting the game rules, which include:
- Items: Decides the item release patterns for Item Boxes during the Act. This setting includes the options "Fixed" (the chosen Act retains its original power-ups), "Teleporters Only" (every Item Box in the Act is replaced with the Player Swap power-up), and "Random" (every Item Box in the Act is replaced with the Random power-up).
- Match Length: Decides the number of rounds the players go through.
- Screen Layout (V1.04 only): Decides whether the game screens appear stretched or pixel perfect.
Before a race, the players choose which Zone and Act to race through; the Zones available depend on the player's progress 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:
- Once a player reaches the Goal Plate, the other player has sixty seconds to complete the Act, or forfeit to a Time Over.
- If both players get a Time Over, the round will become a draw.
At the end of an Act, the players will be graded out from five criteria: Time, Ring count at the end, their Total Ring count which includes Rings lost, and the amount of Item Boxes 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. In the event that the final score ends in a draw, the game is decided via a game of Mean Bean Machine.
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.
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 Plate. 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 Plate.
Options is the settings menu for Sonic Mania, which holds the following options:
- Video: Various video settings can be changed here:
- Screen filter: Choose a screen filter, includes CRT-Sharp, CRT-Soft, and Clean.
- 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.
- Clean: Displays a soft game screen.
- 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 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 Medallion.
- 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.
Development of Sonic Mania began in 2015, with Sonic Team desiring to make a new 2D Sonic game that was not a remake, led by Australian programmer Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Simon Thomley. Whitehead was a prominent member of the Sonic fangame community, and had previously been contracted by Sega to develop remastered ports of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog CD for mobile phones. 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. When developing the art for the game, the general rule was to be above the level of Sega Mega Drive, but under the level of Saturn.
After developing the game for a few months, Whitehead presented a prototype, which he called Sonic Discovery, to series producer Takashi Iizuka. Iizuka was receptive, and suggested that it should include old levels from the early Sonic games it was inspired by, "remixed" in a way that felt new. Iizuka conceptualized the title of the game after first seeing the demo of the game with a fully functioning Studiopolis Zone. He gave it the working title of Sonic Mania, which stuck after no one suggested a better one during development. The title referenced the development team's "maniacal" fandom for the series; Iizuka described the project as being made "by the mania, for the mania", and as a "passion product" driven by the fans' love for the early Sonic 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."
Giant Rings hidden in each act, a feature of the original games, lead to pseudo-3D special stages similar to those in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. The "Blue Sphere" Bonus Stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 also return, accessed by entering a portal that appears when the player passes a checkpoint while carrying 25 or more Rings.
The developers modeled the gameplay on Sonic the Hedgehog 3, with each zone consisting of two Acts and boss fights at the end of each. For returning stages, the designers made the first Act feel familiar, and introduced new elements in the second Act. The team cited Sonic the Hedgehog CD and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 as major influences on the level design for their "big, wide open" and "streamlined" designs, respectively. According to Thomley, the team typically decided what elements to include in the returning stages prior to designing them, but sometimes came up with new ideas or change them based on how the development progressed. The first original level designed was the Hollywood-themed Studiopolis Zone. The desert-themed Mirage Saloon Zone was inspired by the unfinished Sonic the Hedgehog 2 level Sand Shower Zone and the Monument Valley region of the United States. The Special Stages were inspired by more recent games such as Sonic Rush and Sonic Colors. The team felt proud of their recreation of classic Sonic gameplay.
The game features animated opening and ending sequences led by Tyson Hesse, one of the artists of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics. It also supports the enhanced features of the PlayStation 4 Pro, outputting at a native 4K resolution. The musical score was composed by Tee Lopes of PagodaWest Games, consisting of rearranged pieces from previous Sonic games alongside new material. Lopes was chosen due to his popularity on YouTube for producing arrangements of various Sonic tracks, and for his work on the Sonic 2 HD fan project. Lopes initially wanted his score to resemble the Sonic the Hedgehog CD soundtrack, trying to imagine what a sequel to it might have sounded like. As development progressed, he took inspiration from several other older Sonic and Sega games, such as The Revenge of Shinobi (1989) and the Sega Rally games. Lopes also took inspiration from popular music from the 1990s, such as the work of Michael Jackson. The opening theme, "Friends", was composed by the electronic music group Hyper Potions.
The game was first announced during the presentation held by Sega at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 with a debut trailer. Christian Whitehead eventually added that the game would be longer than Sonic Generations. Later, on the official Sonic Twitch stream, Iizuka stated that Sonic Mania would 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".
Briefly after the game's announcement, the game developer company Renegade Kid offered to port the game over to the Nintendo 3DS. However, on 29 August 2016, Renegade Kid announced that the studio would be closed and split to two separate companies: Atooi & Infitizmo, thus a Nintendo 3DS port became 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. SXSW 2017 would also announce that they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for the year's event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces.
Nintendo Dream, a gaming magazine from Japan, featured Sonic Mania, but the information included was revealed months prior and also confirmed that Sonic Mania will feature multiplayer. During 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. On the Sonic panel of SXSW, the game was delayed to later in the year.
During the E3 interview that Dengeki Online set with Takashi Iizuka, he confirmed that Sonic Mania was going to have more stages than any Classic Sonic game before it. 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.
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". During the event, it was also confirmed that the length of Sonic Mania was comparable to that of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Christian Whitehead also revealed that he came up with the Hard Boiled Heavies after imagining Dr. 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.
The Special Stages for Sonic Mania were also revealed. Sonic Mania was later confirmed to have an opening animation similar to that of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, which would be revealed on 14 August 2017, a day before the game releases. 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 the original Sonic the Hedgehog, including those who ordered the Collector's Edition. Should the buyer already have a copy of the game, they will receive a giftable version. The game supports the PlayStation 4 Pro's enhanced features, outputting at native 4K resolution.
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. 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.
|Pentium 4 1.6GHz||2GB RAM||DirectX 9.0c compliant video card 32MB||Version 9.0c||400MB available space||DirectX 9.0c Compatible|
|Core 2 Duo||2GB RAM||DirectX 9.0c compliant video card 256MB||Version 9.0c||400MB available space||DirectX 9.0c Compatible|
- 200MB of free space
A vinyl LP featuring tracks from the soundtrack was published by the music label Data Discs. The album was 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. The albums were shipped in September 2017.
The digital soundtrack for Sonic Mania was released on 17 January 2018 for download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. The soundtrack includes most of the game’s songs, save for the levels Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone and Oil Ocean Zone.
|Image||Name||Description||Requirement||Trophy Class||Xbox Live Gamescore|
|No Way? No Way||Collect gold medallions in Blue Spheres Bonus stage||Collect all 32 gold medallions||100|
|Full Medal Jacket||Collect silver medallions in Blue Spheres Bonus stage||Collect all 32 silver medallions||75|
|Magnificent Seven||Collect all seven Chaos Emeralds||Complete all seven Special Stages.||75|
|See You Next Game||Achieve any ending||Defeat the Phantom Egg and also the Phantom King and Klepto Mobile if you have all Chaos Emeralds.||50|
|Superstar||Spin the Star Post!||Reach the Star Post ten times.||50|
|That's a Two-fer||Find the hidden item boxes at the end of the Zone||Reveal two hidden Item Boxes using the Goal Post at the end of the first Act of any Zone.||50|
|Now It Can't Hurt You Anymore||What would happen if you cross a bridge with a fire shield?||Walk on a spiky bridge in Green Hill Zone with a Fire Shield.||50|
|Triple Trouble||Try for a 3 chain combo!||Get a Puyo chain of three or more groups in the Mean Bean Machine boss fight or in Mean Bean mode.||50|
|The Most Famous Hedgehog in the World||Have your photos taken in Studiopolis Zone||Let the Shutterbugs take your photograph ten times.||50|
|Window Shopping||Let the wind take you through||In Flying Battery Zone Act 2, there are two windows with Rings going through them. Jump through the window on the right.||50|
|Crate Expectations||Wreak havoc at the propaganda factory||Find the crate room in Press Garden Zone Act 1 and destroy all the crates using the Fire Shield provided in the room.||50|
|King of Speed||Get through Stardust Speedway Zone as quickly as possible||Reach the boss area of Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2 in less than one minute.||50|
|Boat Enthusiast||We really like boats||Ride on all the boats in Hydrocity Zone Act 1.||50|
|The Password is "Special Stage"||Try pushing a barrel to see how far it goes||Push the barrel that leads to a Giant Ring in Mirage Saloon Zone Act 2.||50|
|Secret Sub||You might have to submerge to find it||Find the secret sub in Oil Ocean Zone Act 2.||50|
|Without a Trace||Barrel through the lava, don't let anything stop you||Destroy a Rexon using a walking platform mech in Lava Reef Zone.||50|
|Collect 'Em All||Gotta gacha 'em all||Release all eight of the Gachapandora's capsules without destroying any of the robots inside.||50|
|Professional Hedgehog||That elusive perfect run, only a professional can achieve||Clear Titanic Monarch Zone Act 1 without getting hurt.||50|
When the game was set to be released in Summer 2017, the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account posted a poll on 8 September 2016, relating to the release of the Collector's Edition of the game. On 13 September 2016, Amazon leaked a pre-order offer of the Sonic Mania: Collector’s Edition for the PC. The Collector's Edition consists of a Sega Mega Drive-styled package, a 12" Classic Sonic Statue standing on a Sega Mega Drive that plays the "Sega" chant when turned on, a metallic collector's card and a Mega Drive 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) as well, albeit exclusively for North America. The Collector's Edition was also available to be pre-ordered on Europe countries starting 17 October 2016. To promote the Collector's Edition, Sega released a retro-styled infomercial based on an American informercial of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 featuring former Sonic series art director Kazuyuki Hoshino and social media manager Aaron Webber.
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. It was announced that 26 boxes of the Collector's Edition were signed by Sonic Team personally.
Attendees of the Sonic Mania panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con received a promotional instruction manual for the game.
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||9/10|
|Game Informer||8.5/10 (XONE)|
|Nintendo World Report||9/10|
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. Alex Donaldson of VG24/7 agreed, saying that Sonic Mania was the sequel he had wanted for over 20 years. 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. 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".
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. 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.
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.
Following its release on consoles, Sonic Mania received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. It quickly became the highest-rated Sonic game in fifteen years, and was declared by several reviewers as among the best Sonic games and one of best 2D platformers in the genre. Electronic Gaming Monthly 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." 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." 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." 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." 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.
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." 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." 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." British newspaper Metro 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." 
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. Game Informer praised the new stages as they 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. 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." 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."
The graphics and soundtrack attracted wide acclaim. USGamer described the graphics as the "pinnacle of the perpetually running hedgehog's pixel-embellished career," 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." 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." 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". PlayStation Country wrote that composer Tee Lopes "absolutely nails" the music, comparing it positively to the soundtracks from Sonic the Hedgehog CD and the Sega Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast. Electronic Gaming Monthly wrote that the soundtrack was "completely fantastic and fitting—and somehow feeling nostalgic and totally fresh both at the same time."
Polygon cited frustrations with the controls and enemy placement as examples of Sonic Mania's dedication to the original games to a fault. 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."  VideoGamer 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.
Just one day after its release, the Nintendo Switch version of the game topped the best seller charts in most regions, specifically in the UK and US, and was placed as the platform's sixth best seller in Japan.
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. 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.
Sonic Mania topped the best-seller's list on the Nintendo Switch, selling more than the previous holder: Minecraft and Overcooked: Special Edition. The game heavily increased the profit of Sega's third quarter for 2017, with Sonic Mania credited for Sega selling nearly double the amount of packaged games the company sold in their third quarter from the previous year.
At E3 2017, Sonic Mania was nominated for the "Best Platformer" and "Best Nintendo Switch Game" awards by IGN, though it lost both to Super Mario Odyssey. The game was also nominated at The Game Awards 2017 for the "Best Family Game" award, at PC Gamer's Game of the Year 2017 Awards for "Best Platformer", and at Destructoid's Game of the Year Awards 2017 for "Best PC Game". The game was also nominated for "Best Platformer" at IGN's Best of 2017 Awards, and it did manage to win the People's Choice award for "Best Original Music". Giant Bomb classified the game as a runner-up for "Best Surprise" at the Game of the Year 2017 Awards. Entertainment Weekly ranked the game ninth on their list of the "Best Games of 2017", while Eurogamer ranked it 27th on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017".
|Xbox One||The Ultimate Sonic Bundle, a digital bundle for the Xbox One which includes Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania, and Team Sonic Racing. It released 21 November 2019.|
|Nintendo Switch||Released in a bundle for the Switch with Team Sonic Racing as Sonic Mania + Team Sonic Racing Double Pack. It released 26 October 2020.|
Version 1.03 (25 September 2017)
- The player now activates their character's Super State (while having all Chaos Emeralds and 50 Rings) by pressing // instead of pressing the jump button while in the middle of a jump.
- 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.
- 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.
Version 1.04 (17 July 2018) - Sonic Mania Plus update:
- Credits for Hyperkinetic Studios have been added.
- The main menu has been completely overhauled. Every menu selection is now displayed on a list at the right of the screen, with animations on the left.
- If the player does not have Sonic Mania Plus, a DLC option appears on the main menu, which allows the player to purchase the Encore DLC and upgrade to Sonic Mania Plus.
- The Secrets menu in Mania Mode has been changed to "Game Options", and most of its options can now be used on save files (as opposed to just "No Save Mode"). An option to disable the time limit has also been added.
- New cheats have been added to the secret level select in Mania Mode.
- Continues have been enabled on save files, allowing players to earn them in the Special Stage.
- Quitting the game now takes the player to the respective mode's menu instead of the main menu.
- Time Attack's menu interface has been altered, and a new results screen is displayed when reaching the goal.
- The Time Attack leaderboards have been reset.
- It is no longer possible to select the same character another player has already chosen in Competition Mode.
- Screen layout settings have been added to Competition Mode, allowing players to play without stretched screens.
- The countdown jingle now plays when one or more players have only twelve seconds left to reach the goal in Competition Mode.
- There is a new data option in the settings which allows the player to delete all saves in Mania Mode (and Encore if they have Sonic Mania Plus), medallions, replays (if they have Sonic Mania Plus), all save data and Time Attack scores.
- New zone transition scenes have been added to the zones that lacked them (e.g. Flying Battery Zone).
- Super Sonic now has a complete set of sprite animations.
- Tails now has an animation at the beginning of Chemical Plant Zone. It is different from the unused one found in previous versions.
- The unused frozen sprites for Sonic, Tails and Knuckles have been implemented.
- Various bosses have been adjusted.
- The Metal Sonic boss fight has been altered a bit in the first phase and completely with the final phase.
- Various palettes on certain badniks have been tweaked slightly to cooperate with their new Encore Palettes.
- Waterfalls in Green Hill Zone now play an ambient sound effect when nearby the player.
- The original unique sound effect will play when the player dies to Spikes instead of the regular death sound.
- A bug involving the Insta-Shield not extending its hitbox on use has been fixed.
- Characters now slide down the water slides in Hydrocity Zone instead of sliding on them.
- The "Dunkey" Easter egg, which was removed from other console versions in v1.03, has been removed from the Switch version.
- Characters other than Knuckles will no longer turn into Knuckles should they fight the Heavy King.
- The "Try Again" screen now plays the sample heard at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog CD's Japanese bad ending. Leaving the screen makes the screen flash while playing a Phantom Ruby sound effect.
- Video capture support has been added to the Switch version, allowing players to record 30-second clips by holding the Capture button at any time.
- A screen burn-in reduction feature has been implemented. If there is no player activity for 5 minutes, the screen will dim.
RC 1.03.0829 (28 August 2017)
- The player now activates 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)
- The game can now run offline after it has been run online at least once.
RC 1.03.0831 (6 September 2017)
- Fixed some bugs, including a soft lock issue in No Save mode that occurs for some players after defeating the Phantom Egg if they have collected all the Chaos Emeralds.
RC 1.03.0919 (25 September 2017)
- Added Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Korean localization support.
- Removed the "Dunkey" Easter egg in Hydrocity Zone.
RC 1.05.0713 (17 July 2018)
- Brings most of the changes from Version 1.04 for consoles
RC 1.06.0503 (8 March 2019)
- Fixed an issue where a controller didn’t always get detected
- Increased the amount of storage size a user could access for the replay data.
- Fixed an issue where the check for compatible shaders was not performed when the game starts.
- While not officially stated, a free beta patch has been uploaded which removes the Denuvo DRM.
Enter Mania Mode, go to the "Game Options" menu and turn Debug Mode on. Then the player must highlight "No Save" on the save select menu and execute the following commands to enter Level Select:
|PlayStation 4||Xbox One||Switch||PC|
|Hold + OPTIONS||Hold + Menu||Hold + +||Hold [Q] + [A]|
- All Chaos Emeralds: Play sounds 04, 01, 02, 06. This gives the player all of the Chaos Emeralds, enabling super transformation.
- 14 Continues: Play sounds 01, 09, 09, 02, 01, 01, 02, 04.
- Encore Mode: Play sounds 02, 00, 01, 08, 00, 06, 02, 03. This sets the game to Encore Mode, allowing the player to play Encore Mode Zones (except Angel Island Zone) and use Debug Mode in Encore Mode. If the player tries to enter Egg Reverie Zone after activating this code, it will send them to the first Special Stage in Mania Mode instead. This only works in Sonic Mania Plus or in Sonic Mania after the Encore DLC is purchased.
- Egg Reverie Super State gameplay in any level: Play sounds 02, 00, 01, 07, 00, 08, 01, 05. This allows every character in their Super State to fly in any zone and use the dash attack (which costs five rings) like Super Sonic normally would in Egg Reverie Zone.
- All Sonic Abilities: Play sounds 09, 00, 00, 01. This gives Sonic access to the Insta-Shield, Drop Dash and Super Peel Out at the same time.
- Disable Super Music: Play sounds 06, 02, 01, 04.
- Ricky Mania: Play sounds 01, 09, 07, 09, 00, 08, 01, 01. All animals will be replaced with Ricky.
- 32 Gold Medallions: First, while on the title screen, input the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 level select code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Up, Up, Up, Up) in the time between Sonic appearing and the press start option appears. After that, go into level select and put in the Ricky Mania code. Once the player has done that, they can now play sounds "01, 09, 08, 09, 00, 05, 00, 01" and get thirty-two gold Medallions. This effect is lost upon closing the game. This means, for example, that if the player originally had six silver medallions and then obtains all thirty-two gold medallion through the cheat code, then the player will go back to having six silver medallions after exiting and re-entering the game. It also does not unlock the "Full Medal Jacket" or the "No Way? No Way" achievements on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam versions of the game.
- Dunkey Easter Egg: Grab onto one of the hooks in Hydrocity Zone and press left, left, left, right, right, right, up, up, and up with the directional controls. This will cause a ring chime to be played. Now, upon using a Booster, a -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 1.03/RC 1.03.0919 (25 September 2017).
- Vape Mode: A mode called "Vaporware Mode" was found in the code of the game and can be accessed in the Level Select, but the code to unlock it is unknown.
- This is the first Sonic game to be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
- It is the first Sonic 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 Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, respectively.
- The trailer music in the first part of the debut trailer is a remix of the ending credits music from the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast.
- The trailer music featured in the second part of the debut trailer is called "Checkpoint," composed and arranged by Nitro Fun and Hyper Potions.
- The Pre-order Trailer and Opening Animation themes were also composed by Hyper Potions, their titles being "Time Trials" and "Friends" respectively.
- This is the second Sonic game to feature the playable character spinning horizontally 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 the original Sonic the Hedgehog, but was later unused in the final release. Tails' final pose is based on existing artwork of himself, 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, while the jump appears to be based on his attack pose from Sonic Advance.
- If the playable character moves fast enough, he can outrun the screen, similar to how this was possible in the original games, except the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- However, unlike in previous games, this behavior in Sonic Mania is clearly intentional, as there is a lower speed requirement.
- In the PC version, the "Exit" option depicts an animation of Sonic jumping which resembles the Game Over event in Sonic the Hedgehog CD if the player idles for three minutes.
- 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 & 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 for the Sega Game Gear, 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 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- "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 (23 June 1991).
- This marks 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.
- Additionally, the animation was done by Tyson Hesse in co-operation with animators Anthony Holden and Mariel Cartwright to help him meet the deadline.
- 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.
- 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 Mega Drive version of Sonic 3D Blast. It also has an uncanny resemblance to "New Moon", the music used for Amazing Arena in Knuckles' Chaotix for the Sega 32X.
- 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 original 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 the player unlocks the mode, a quote on the title screen will read "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 Phantom Ruby under 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.
- If Sonic is piloting the Tornado, he can be seen wearing the goggles from an unused power-up from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The collectors card in the Collector's 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.
- An orchestral version of the main theme of Sonic Mania can be heard in the cutscene before Ghost Town (where Classic Sonic appears to save Tails) in Sonic Forces.
- Many of the sound effects in Sonic Mania are higher-quality versions from the ones used in classic Sonic games, mostly the Sega Mega Drive titles, but sound effects from the Mega-CD, 32X, Saturn, and even the 8-bit Sonic entries are also present.
- Footage from Sonic Mania is used for the display on the arcade machine furniture item in the game Two Point Hospital, which is also published by Sega. The footage is a short clip of Sonic traversing Flying Battery Zone, while the arcade machine itself is simply decorated with the Sega logo.
- After a Giant Ring is collected, it is replaced with a transparent wireframe version of it to signify that it has already been collected. This is possibly a reference to the wireframe versions of the Special Stages from Knuckles' Chaotix.
- Games Master (October 2016). Retrieved on 29 October 2016.
- Tom Fry on Twitter. Twitter (15 June 2017). Retrieved on 21 June 2017. "Tom Fry: Been dying to do this, now I am. @pietepiet @TheGatestormer @midio are my brothers in art on #SonicMania. It's been the biggest pleasure ❤️😘"
- McDonell, Jeffrey (23 July 2016). More Footage of Sonic Mania Gives a Closer Look at the Brand-New Studiopolis Zone. Gamnesia. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- Hayes, Matthew (15 August 2017). Digital Foundry Analyzes Sonic Mania on All Platforms, Which Version Is Best?. Retrieved on 24 August 2017.
- Sega . PC・家庭用ゲーム. Sega. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved on 27 April 2018.
- Barry (17 October 2019). Original version of Sonic Mania to receive physical release. SEGAbits. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved on 18 October 2019.
- Leaked Steam trailer.
- Sega. YouTube (11 August 2017). Retrieved on 11 August 2017.
- Sonic Mania. Entertainment Software Rating Board. Retrieved on 19 May 2016.
- SSF1991 (12 April 2017). Famitsu Has Released New Information On Sonic Mania & Forces, Iizuka Interview. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 12 April 2017.
- Sonic Forces - TGS 2017 Otakumode Interview (52:37). YouTube (23 September 2017). Retrieved on 24 December 2017. "Takashi Iizuka (as translated by board's translator): So...last month, uh, in August was the release of a game called "Sonic Mania", and uh, it got a really warm, uhm... welcome from everyone in the community, from all the fans, specially abroad a lot of people are enjoying playing it. And, uhm... I really hope that if you play "Sonic Mania", you get to play "Sonic Forces" too... you may think those titles are unrelated, but actually, they may not be, and there might be a... (laughs). Definitely, I want you to check both titles because there is something going on between the two"
- Goldfarb, Andrew (23 July 2016). Comic-Con 2016: Sonic Mania Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- Sonic Mania delayed to summer. Polygon.
- Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (16 March 2018). Retrieved on 17 March 2018. "Sonic Mania goes packaged with Sonic Mania Plus! Mighty and Ray join as playable characters, new Encore mode, 4P Competition mode, Holographic packaging, 32-page art book, and more. Summer 2018"
- Sega. "Story So Far". Sonic Mania Introduction Manual. Sega. p. 1. "Some time after saving Angel Island, Sonic the Hedgehog and his best friend, Miles "Tails" Prower, are relaxing when Tails picks up a strange energy reading far away. Though different from the Chaos Emeralds, the reading is remarkably powerful, and Tails convinces Sonic to join him to check it out. Sonic and Tails take off on the Tornado towards the source, but sure enough, the evil Dr. Eggman has detected it too! Now it's a race between Sonic and Eggman to get there first and figure out what mysteries it holds. However, Eggman has been busy: he's just unleashed a new team of elite Egg-Robos to handle his most important tasks. They're called the "Hard-Boiled Heavies," and they're about to reach the source of the signal first! It's up to Sonic, Tails, & their newest ally, Knuckles the Echidna, to defeat the Hard-Boiled Heavies, unlock the secrets of the energy source, and stop Dr. Eggman!"
- Sonic Mania (PC) English digital instruction booklet, "Prologue".
- Sonic Mania (PC) English digital instruction booklet, "Characters".
- Sonic Mania (PC) English digital instruction booklet, "Characters".
- Jones, Elton . Sonic Mania: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Heavy. Retrieved on 24 July 2017.
- Makedonski, Brett . Sonic Mania is still great, Tails continues to suck. Destructoid. Retrieved on 24 July 2017.
- Sonic Mania Footage Shows Knuckles In Flying Battery Zone. Retrieved on 24 July 2017.
- Playing as Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Mania - Kinda Funny Plays. YouTube (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016.
- Tails Can Carry You When Playing Alone In Sonic Mania. Siliconera. Retrieved on 27 June 2017.
- Sega . Sonic Mania official website (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved on 27 April 2018.
- Gibson, Alex (3 August 2017). Sonic Mania Special Stages, Bonus Stages, and Time Attack Gameplay Revealed. Twinfinite. Retrieved on 3 August 2017.
- Sonic Mania Is "Longer Than Generations, Will Have Boss After Every Act". Gamnesia (23 July 2016). Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- Some rushed first impressions after a fast Sonic Mania demo. Destructoid (9 July 2017). Retrieved on 3 August 2017.
- Sonic SXSW Panel 2017! (Sonic Forces & Sonic Mania!). YouTube. Tails' Channel (16 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- Sonic Mania Review. YouTube. IGN (14 August 2017). Retrieved on 14 August 2017.
- Steven Page on Twitter. Twitter (22 July 2017). Retrieved on 23 July 2017. "Only one UFO, has chaos emerald, Sonic needs to catch him, Sonic collects blue spheres to run faster"
- Steven Page on Twitter. Twitter (22 July 2017). Retrieved on 23 July 2017. "Collect rings to increase time"
- Sonic Stadium on Twitter. Twitter (22 July 2017). Retrieved on 23 July 2017. "Collect rings for more time and Blue Spheres for more speed, all to chase down that UFO for a Chaos Emerald!"
- Lozada, David (8 August 2017). Sonic Mania’s Competition Mode Revealed Inviting Fans to Relive Their Sonic 2 Days. Retrieved on 8 August 2017.
- Paget, Mat (23 July 2016). Two New Sonic Games Announced, Seek to Recapture the Glory Days. GameSpot. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- "Interview with Takashi Iizuka" (in Japanese). Famitsu. April 2017. "グラフィックの基準としては ”メガドライブ以上、サターン未満” くらいです。"
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