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Sonic Mania

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Title Screen

Sonic Mania

Developers: Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, Tantalus Media (Nintendo Switch), Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows
Released internationally: August 15, 2017 (PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch), August 29, 2017 (Windows)


AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.


PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Codes for Windows version.
  • Verify codes/controls for PS4 and XB1 versions.
  • Two updates have been released for the Steam version. Check what the differences are (e.g. DRM, bugs, dev menu build date).
  • Verify non-menu content for PS4, XB1, and Switch when possible.

After almost twenty-three years, classic Sonic gameplay returns in all its 2D pixel-perfect glory. Sonic Mania features a mix of brand-new stages and remixed classics, with a hearty dose of unexpected Denuvo DRM for PC users.

Subpages

SonicMania-Tails1x fixed.gif
Unused Graphics
Way more than you'd think.

Level Select/Debug Mode

SonicManiaStageSelect.png

At the title screen, hold one of the below button combinations (depending on the system) before "Press Any Button" appears. Once it does, keep the buttons held down and press any other button to start the game, and if done right, the above level select/sound test screen, identical to the ones found in the Genesis Sonic titles, will appear. Alternatively, place the cursor on the "No Save" portion of the file select menu, hold one of the following button combinations, and press Start. However, the Debug Mode (which can be unlocked by collecting at least three rows of medals from the bonus stages) must be enabled for the latter code to work.

Console Buttons
PlayStation 4 ◻+✕
Switch Y+B
Xbox One X+A
PC Q+S

Controls for this screen are as follows:

  • D-Pad / Arrow Keys: Navigate through the menu.
  • (PS4) / Y (Switch) / X (XB1) / Q (PC): Switch between Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as the player character.
  • (PS4) / X (Switch) / Y (XB1) / W (PC) when Sonic is selected as the player character: Have Tails follow Sonic.
  • Circle (PS4) / A (Switch) / B (XB1) / A (PC): Play highlighted level/selected sound test entry.

To activate the debug mode, hold (PS4) / X (Switch) / Y (XB1) / W (PC) while selecting a level, and keep it held until the level loads.

SonicManiaDebugMode.png
Controls for debug placement mode are as follows:

  • (PS4) / X (Switch) / Y (XB1) / Q (PC): Enable/disable debug placement mode.
  • (PS4) / B (Switch) / A (XB1) / A (PC): Cycle forward through the available objects.
  • (PS4) / Y (Switch) / X (XB1) / W (PC) while holding the above button: Cycle backward through the available objects.
  • Circle (PS4) / A (Switch) / B (XB1) / S (PC) when selecting an item monitor: Change the item monitor's contents.
  • D-Pad / Arrow Keys: Move currently selected object around.
  • (PS4) / Y (Switch) / X (XB1) / W (PC): Place currently selected object.

A set of debug coordinates also appear at the top right corner of the screen when debug placement mode is active. The top 8 digits are the X and Y coordinates of the camera, while the bottom 8 digits are the X and Y coordinates of the player.

(Source: unAWARE777)

Camera Movement Mode

Hmmm...
To do:
Someone just found a way to make camera movement for every stage in this video. Please research this for the way to active it. https://youtu.be/rrsewT1P7Dk

This mode can be found if you use debug mode with Tails in Mirage Saloon in Sonic's Act 1. Place a signpost; then, if you are lucky, you will be taken to Knuckles' Act 1 and the mode will be activated.

The controls are as follows:

  • (PS4) / B (Switch) / A (XB1): Increase movement speed of camera if held.
  • D-Pad: Move camera.
(Source: yoshikirby43)

Retro Engine v5 Developer Menu

Sonic-Mania-Dev-Menu.png

In the PC version, by adding "devMenu=1" to the "[Game]" section of Settings.ini, and pressing the ESC key in-game, a hidden developer menu is displayed. This can also be accessed by renaming the Data.rsdk file and running the Sonic Mania executable (causing "Sonic Mania [Data Folder]" to appear in the window title bar), although this causes menu backgrounds to appear black and your character being unable to move in 2D stages.

Thanks For Playing screen
  • Resume: Exits the debug menu.
  • Restart: Restarts the game.
  • Stage Select: Goes to a sub-menu with the following options:
  • Presentation: Small scenes related to starting and ending the game.
  • Logos: Developer logo splash screen.
  • Title Screen: It's the title screen. Wow!
  • Menu: Goes to the main menu, in case this dev menu isn't exciting enough for you.
  • Thanks For Playing: The screen displayed at the end of public/media outlet demos, except most of the assets don't exist anymore...
  • Level Select: Jumps to the fancier level select screen mentioned previously.
  • Credits: This one goes to the credits.
  • Continue: Continue screen seen in the No Save mode.
  • Media Demo: Used to showcase two different zones to various media outlets. Those zones were:
  • Green Hill Zone 1: Basically the same as the standard Green Hill Zone 1. Leads directly into Studiopolis Zone 1 with no fade-out.
  • Studiopolis Zone 1: There's no music track for this stage. If the player does anything to cue new music (Like hitting an invincibility monitor or reaching the end of the act), the game will crash.
  • Mania Mode: This is a text-based stage select for the main game. There are two entries that aren't in the normal stage select:
  • Stardust Speedway Zone 2M: This is the area used for the Metal Sonic fight.
  • Titanic Monarch Zone 3: The final boss area.
  • Special Stage: Play any of the seven special stages.
  • Blue Spheres: Play any of the 32 Blue Spheres stages. Also includes a "Random" and "Random 2" option. Random 2 will use the "Mania" mode of the Blue Sphere stages, which adds new spheres with different effects.
  • Extras: Includes the unlockable Puyo Puyo mode and the D.A. Garden.
  • Cutscenes: These are the in-game cutscenes, not the animated ones.
  • Angel Island Zone: The cutscene at the start of the game.
  • Green Hill Zone: The cutscene immediately after the cutscene at the start of the game
  • Green Hill Zone 2: The cutscene at the very end of Act 2.
  • Mirage Saloon K Intro: Knuckles gets knocked off a plane like a chump.
  • SSZ Time Warp: The trippy time traveling cutscene seen at the end of Stardust Speedway Act 1.
  • Try Again: Eggman taunts you and your lack of special stage skill. What a cad!
  • Videos: All of the game's animated endings. Includes the hidden Knuckles ending, labeled as "True End?"
  • Options: Change game settings.
  • Video Settings: A few extra video options.
  • Window Size: Options are 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x. In the normal video menu, this only goes up to 3x.
  • Window Aspect: Missing from the normal Video menu. Options are 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 16:10, and 5:3.
  • Fullscreen: A simple YES/NO choice.
  • Screen Shader: The same options as the normal Video menu, except CRT-Sharp is named "CRT-Yeetron", and CRT-Soft is named "CRT-Yee64"
  • Audio Settings: Volume slides, plus a "Streams Enabled" option that when set to "NO" will prevent any more music from playing.
  • Configure Input: Configure those inputs.
  • Exit: Exits the game.

Activating the developer menu also activates some other features, presumably used for debugging. Holding backspace will fast-forward the game, and pressing F12 will pause and unpause the game. While the game is paused with F12, F11 will advance it one frame at a time. If used on Steam, this will disable the screenshot function if the key is bound to F12.

(Source: RibShark)

Collision Viewer

S Mania Collision Viewer.png

Using Debug Mode, choose the "S" object and place it on the map. The terrain will be highlighted in different colors, indicating the solid terrain:

  • Yellow - Tiles that are solid from the top. Used for platforms.
  • Red - Tiles that are solid from the bottom and sides. Usually for walls and ceilings.
  • White - Tiles that are solid all over. Usually for the ground.

Unused Enemies

Green Hill Zone

The original version of Splats can be placed with debug mode in both acts, separate from the updated Splats used in Press Garden Zone Act 1. This version of the badnik uses the original unused sprites from Sonic the Hedgehog with no modifications, suggesting this badnik was scrapped early if it was ever seriously considered for inclusion in the Zone. Since the artwork hasn't been redrawn to account for the updated palette it displays incorrectly, with the lightest tan shade replaced with grey and one of the blue shades overwritten by one of the cycling colors used by the Zone's animated waterfalls. Interestingly, this version of Splats behaves differently compared to either version found in the debug mode of the original game's 2013 remake, suggesting this is more than just a leftover from the earlier game.

The rolling ball can also be placed with debug mode. This functions identically to the version in the original game's 2013 remake, though does not use the exact same graphics.

Chemical Plant Zone

Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong

A pond skater badnik that looks and behaves like a similar badnik in Tidal Tempest Zone from Sonic CD. It is named Sweep in the game's internal object list, presumably in reference to a Sonic Adventure enemy with similar function and colouring. It can be placed with debug mode in Act 1. This little guy will automatically snap to the water's surface and strides along in short bursts, occasionally stopping to fire its pointy nose forward like a missile.

Press Garden Zone Act 1

Graphics for Act 2's Woodrow badnik are loaded in Act 1's enemy sheet. The only enemies which normally appear in both Acts are Dragonfly and Juggle Saw, Splats is exclusive to Act 1's sheet, and Carry is exclusive to Act 2's, so Woodrow's presence in both implies it was intended for both Acts at some point.

Unused Models

Hmmm...
To do:
The models have vertex colors. The previews need to be changed with colorized models.

MonarchBG

SonicMania-MonarchBG.png Located in Data\Meshes\TMZ\ is an unused 3D model of the Mech seen in the background of Titanic Monarch Zone. According to Stealth, it was converted into a 2D image to be used in the final game.

(Source: Stealth)

Sonic

SonicMania-SonicJamModel.png

Located in Data\Meshes\Global\ is the 3D Sonic model used in Sonic Jam, likely used as a reference at some point. It's also possible that the developers were going to use this model instead of creating a whole new model.

Unused Audio

Music

This track is listed in the D.A. Garden as "Egg Reverie Pinch Mode", which suggests that it would have played when you are running out of rings or you have almost defeated the true final boss in Egg Reverie Zone, but it never plays at all in those situations. This track is also listed as 2A in the sound test/level select.

Sound Effects

Name Sound Notes
Global/Sliding.wav
Stage/Beep.wav
Files Stage/Beep3.wav and Stage/Beep4.wav are used, but these two are not.
Stage/Beep2.wav
Stage/Electrify2.wav
While Stage/Electrify.wav (taken from Sonic 1) is used, this sound (taken from Sonic CD) isn't. This is pretty much just a lower-pitched version of Stage/ElecCharge.wav (also used) anyway.
Stage/LedgeBreak2.wav
There are three different ledge breaking sound effects in the game. This is the one that isn't used.
Stage/Rev.wav
Stage/Strain.wav
Stage/Swing.wav
Basically the same sound as SSZ1/Flail.wav, but this is also 0.4 KB larger for some reason.
CPZ/Sticky.wav
The original sound effect for the sticky platforms in Chemical Plant Zone. The final game uses Puyo/Land.wav to reinforce the whole Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine connection.
FBZ/SpiderBounce1.wav
Three sounds meant to play when the Spider Mobile is being bounced around the arena.
FBZ/SpiderBounce2.wav
FBZ/SpiderBounce3.wav
TMZ1/HogBounce.ogg
This was probably supposed to be used when the Ball Hog's, well, balls, bounce off the ground.

Early Sound Effects

Earlier versions of existing sound effects left in the game. Interestingly, the early versions of the Grow and Shrink sound effects are the same ones used for the identically-named power-ups from Knuckles' Chaotix.

Early Sound Used Sound Context
Stage/Warp.ogg
Stage/Teleport.ogg
Using a teleport box in 2P mode.
MMZ1/Grow.ogg
MMZ1/Grow2.ogg
Hitting a growth ray while shrunk in Metallic Madness Zone.
MMZ1/Shrink.ogg
MMZ1/Shrink2.ogg
Hitting a shrink ray at full size in Metallic Madness Zone.

Hidden Areas & Objects

Using Debug Mode, you can go out of bounds and find hidden areas and objects.

Press Garden Zone Act 1

DLROW OLLEH

Use Debug Mode near the first giant ring in the Act and move down to discover an unused area with letter blocks spelling "OLLEH" (backwards for "HELLO"). This is very likely an Easter egg for curious players.

Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1

Sonic & Tails made a Good Future in Zone 1

The robot teleporter destroyed during the transition to Act 2 has a "destroyed" sprite, but due to the nature of the cutscene it goes offscreen before the sprite can be seen and is thus never seen in normal gameplay. By using Debug Mode to go past the miniboss, you can destroy the machine and see the sprite. For some reason, it is floating, probably because the devs didn't see it during the cutscene.

Hydrocity Zone Act 1

This was only possible after reversing the headers of the low and high layers revealing unused parts in the zones.

A secret area planned for Knuckles is at coordinate 25FB 00C7, and will only be seen if the high layer is removed. Unfortunately, the collision was also removed, leaving only abandoned graphics behind the scenes.

Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 (Sonic/Tails)

Hmmm...
To do:
Second image needs better resolution/quality.
Fang, Bark, and Bean can be found flying in the sky

Using debug mode during the train sequence, if going to the right far enough correctly, Fang, Bark, and Bean can be found flying in the sky.

MS1STCorner.png

In the bottom-left corner, there is an unused piece of solid ground, along with rings, possibly for the cutscene transitioning into Act 2.

(Source: TetraBitGaming)

Lava Reef Zone Act 1

SonicManiaLRZ1Unused1.png
There is a pool of lava hidden to the left of the starting point, and can only be seen by placing signposts to force the camera to move left. This area resembles the opening section seen in the early version of Act 1 (See below). The lava works as intended, but there's not much else here.

SonicManiaLRZ1Unused2.png
Also found near the starting point is the shaft that Sonic fell down at the start of the Zone in Sonic & Knuckles, which remains as a leftover and was blocked off with new path. Strangely, this is not found in the earlier version of Act 1.

SonicManiaLRZ1Unused3.png
A large chunk of stage found to the left of the rising lava section. Unlike the previous two areas, there are a few objects here - a single Iwamodoki on the left, a couple of invisible Eggman blocks in the middle (these would be used in conjuction with a crushing object to kill the player), and a single rock barrier with a switch to open it up. This is similar to a Knuckles-only section seen in the original Lava Reef Zone, though the original section didn't have a set of stairs leading into a pit.

Lava Reef Zone Act 2

SonicMania LRZ2 platform conveyor.png

A corrupted platform conveyor would be used in Lava Reef Zone 2. Remains of it can be found in the low layer in Knuckles' area.

Lava Reef Act 2's boss area (technically Lava Reef Act 3) has the greatest amount of unused content. According to developer Simon "Stealth" Thomley, part of the development for old Zones involved copying the layouts from their original games and working around them, adding new tiles and altering the level layouts. Sonic Mania only uses a small part of Hidden Palace Zone's level layout, leaving the rest unused.

SonicManiaLRZ3Unused1.png
This is the hidden area that was originally part of Sonic and/or Tails' path in Sonic & Knuckles' Hidden Palace Zone. In Sonic Mania, this is part of Knuckles' path, but there's no way for him to get up here without debug mode. Not that it matters, anyway, since the assortment of monitors seen in Sonic & Knuckles are absent in Sonic Mania.

SonicManiaLRZ3Unused2.png
There's a long teleporter tube above the capsule in Knuckles' path. It's possible that this is where the exit teleporter would have originally appeared, but in the final game, it was moved further to the right, probably to put the capsule to clear the Act and the cutscene.

SonicManiaLRZ3Unused3.png
A section taken directly from Sonic & Knuckles, though the gap in the floor is new, possibly to accommodate the teleporter in the area below. The murals still use their old tileset definitions, so they appear as a collection of corrupt tiles in Sonic Mania. The mural tiles aren't in the new tileset, either.

SonicManiaLRZ3Unused4.png
The original Master Emerald shrine. This section seems to have served as a scratch area for the Heavy Rider fight, experimenting with how the ramp tiles would be set up for the boss area proper. Interestingly enough, the shrine doesn't have Super Emeralds placed in, unlike in the shrine that was on Knuckles' road, which were actually tiles and not objects.

SonicManiaLRZ3Unused5.png
The last unused area. This was the exit point for Sonic and Tails in the original Hidden Palace Zone. Some of the tiles are using their original definitions; this is easiest to see with the curved ceiling blocks and the top of the teleporter chamber.

Egg Reverie Zone

SonicManiaERZUnused1.png
This is another instance of the developers using empty space in the level as a scratch pad. The area seen is directly under the main boss arena and features slopes, crystallized and otherwise, that don't appear anywhere else.

SonicManiaERZUnused2.png
The section instance is off to the right of the main boss area. Largely the same content as the previous section, but the lights and quarter-pipes are new.

SonicMania EggReverieZone Slope.png
Some of these pieces can be seen in debug mode by placing signposts to force the camera to go out of bounds. Everything below that long chunk of black rectangle is below the camera bounds, though.

(Source: VentureSonic)

I'm Outta Here!

Sonic Mania I'm outta here.png

A callback to Sonic CD, Sonic says "I'm outta here!" and jumps offscreen, causing an instant game over (although the "Game Over" text does not appear). According to a developer, this was in pre-release demos but was disabled in the final game, probably for the demo to restart after the player leave the game. To activate it, edit the RAM memory at address 0A4D667 and change the value to 10.

Interestingly, this can also be activated with Knuckles and Tails, though the outcomes differ. Knuckles will be swapped with various parts of his spritesheet and jump offscreen, causing a game over, while Tails' sprites also spaz out to different parts of his spritesheet, but does not jump offscreen.

Since it was only used in the demo, it may be possible that Tails and Knuckles was never supposed to "get outta there", because most of the demo is only Sonic on the Player One spot (Tails is later playable in the Nintendo Switch pre-release, but only as Player Two). And the sprite was not allocated to do that, causing the sprites to freak out.

Dunkey Mode

This Easter egg is activated by grabbing onto a chain in Hydrocity Zone Act 1 and inputting the Sonic 3 & Knuckles Level Select code (Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Up, Up, Up). If done correctly, a ring chime will play.

From then on, whenever a speed booster is activated, a sound clip of YouTuber Jason Gastrow (a.k.a. VideoGameDunkey) will play instead of the usual sound effect. This change carries over to Act 2.

Unused Text

The following strings are present in all language packs, but they're always in English:

TEST STRING

A simple test string.

THIS FEATURE IS NOT
YET IMPLEMENTED

Obviously intended for work-in-progress versions.

PLACEHOLDER...
SIMULATE LOG IN?

This was probably used when trying to submit Time Attack scores before they were properly set up.

By the Mania for the Mania

GameConfig.bin contains the game's tagline alongside text used in the developer menu.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Early Levels

Green Hill Zone Act 1

An early Green Hill level design similar to what was presented in the San Diego Comic-Con Demo is in the GHZCutscene folder in the file Scene1.bin.

Early Final
SonicManiaearlyghz1P1.png SonicManiaghz1P12.png

Secret area where there was a giant ring was removed from the final version. This area was present in pre-release versions.

Early Final
SonicManiaearlyghz1P2.png SonicManiaghz1P2.png

This piece has some features that was revealed in the demos, the first secret area above would be a giant ring and to access it needed to push a purple stone, it was moved to the right and now guards 9 rings and a 1-up. A long tunnel has been removed to fit this secret area. The giant ring went down, getting less hidden.

Early Final
SonicManiaearlyghz1P3.png SonicManiaghz1P3.png

A secret area was removed, it would probably be a giant ring, a platform on the wall above a rundown platform was also removed.

Early Final
SonicManiaearlyghz1P4.png SonicManiaghz1P4.png

Some areas of the lake appears incomplete and on the right side of the waterfall it is possible to see a secret area, also suggests that it would be a giant ring.

Green Hill Zone Act 2

An early level can be found on Scene2.bin in GHZCutscene, used as a cutscene after defeating the Death Egg Robot. There are no abrupt changes in the final version, just aesthetic changes. The full map can be seen here.

Studiopolis Act 1

Using the Dev Menu, going to Media Demo and selecting Studiopolis Act 1 will take you to an early version of said Zone, which is very similar to the one that was playable at PAX 2016 and early demos.

Lava Reef Zone Act 1

An early playable Lava Reef Zone Act 1 is accessible by swapping Scene1.bin with Scene2.bin in the LR1 folder. It is comprised of sections from the original Sonic & Knuckles stage alongside sections that wound up used in Mania. It contains garbled tiles and the song begins playing incorrectly after the first loop, likely due to an improper loop point. The boss also appears and seems to work normally.

Filename Oddities

Early Stage Name

Press Garden Zone's music files are internally called PulpSolstice1 and PulpSolstice2, and its sprite folders are called PSZ1 and PSZ2. This suggests that the Zone was once called Pulp Solstice Zone.

Chemical Pools in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2

The names for the chemical pools in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2 reveal that the colors were changed: ChemRed.wav is used for the green chemical pools, and ChemYellow.wav is used for the cyan chemical pools. This could also refer to red and yellow springs respectively, which both of these elements seem to behave like.

Heavy Magician

Most internal references to Heavy Magician refer to her by the alternate name of "HeavyMystic", while the version encountered during the boss of Titanic Monarch Zone Act 2 is "PhantomMystic", indicating that this character's official name was changed at some point. This is further supported by Stealth accidentally referring to her as Heavy Mystic instead of Heavy Magician during a livestream.

Cut Bonus Stages

There are 4 Bonus Stage removed, oddly enough 3 Bonus Stages were created for testing. These Bonus Stages are not accessed by DevMenu, you need to edit the SpecialBS content, renaming the files to be accessed more easily. Bonus Stage 33 seems to represent a test area and Test 3, Test 7 and Test 8 are complete and have several sets of combinations with the blue spheres.

Scene33

In-Game Map
Sonic-Mania-BSScene33.png SonicManiaBSScene33Map.png

Apparently this is a test level, the Bonus Stage is composed of a large area full of blue spheres and a cross-shaped line with red spheres. It is impossible to get a Perfect.

SceneTest3

In-Game Map
Sonic-Mania-BSSceneTest3.png SonicManiaBSSceneTest3Map.png

SceneTest7

In-Game Map
Sonic-Mania-BSSceneTest7.png SonicManiaBSSceneTest7Map.png

SceneTest8

In-Game Map
Sonic-Mania-BSSceneTest8.png SonicManiaBSSceneTest8Map.png
(Map rips: Random Talking Bush)

Oddities

Lava Reef

Hmmm...
To do:
Improve this information, and change this picture.

In the debug menu, the Lava Reef Knuckles-exclusive boss is mentioned as Act 3. SonicManiaStageSelect.png