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Sonic Mania/Unused Graphics

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This is a sub-page of Sonic Mania.


Unused sprites for the game's title screen show the game's early name "Sonic (the Hedgehog) Discovery", most likely left over from the prototype shown to SEGA.

The initial menus of early demos. Oddly, it does not have Mirage Saloon or Chemical Plant, both of which were playable at E3 2017.

Ending graphics from early demos.

SonicManiatitlescreen background.gifSonicManiatitlescreen early.png
Different background graphics for the title screen leftover from the "Discovery" part of development, with a slightly more geometric island and graphics of a strange Model 1 Genesis with a 32X and a Model 1 Sega CD emitting a beam of light. The sky background was later reused for Pinball Bonus Stage in Encore Mode.

Unfinished graphics for Sonic on the title screen, missing several shades on the spines and gloves. Interestingly, these were located as part of a PNG file, as opposed to the GIF format used by most of the game's sprite files.

Early unfinished graphics of the English text, pause menu, and save select/2 player race are in Data\Sprites\UI\

Sprites for an Act 3 are in the title card graphics. Although the boss arenas of Lava Reef Zone and Titanic Monarch are considered the "Act 3" of those respective zones, the title card still refers to them as "Act 2", rendering this graphic completely unused. SonicManiaJKQVXZ.png
Because none of the zones' names include these letters, J, K, Q, V, X and Z all go unused.

An early pause menu, seen in some pre-release footage.

SonicManiaInstaShieldOld.gif SonicManiaBubbleShieldOld.gif

Early Final
SonicManiaFireShieldOld.gif SonicMania-FireShieldFinal.gif

Early Final
SonicManiaLightningShieldOld.gif SonicMania-LightningShieldFinal.gif

Early graphics for the elemental shields and the insta-shield can be found in Sprites/Global/ShieldsOld.gif.


Early Final
SonicManiaFireShieldDashOld.gif SonicMania-FireShieldDashFinal.gif

These early shield graphics are traced from the original Sonic 3 sprites, but with colors changed and more detail added. The final shield sprites were redrawn from the ground up and feature a lot of additional frames.

SonicManiaSonicPilotLookUp.gif SonicManiaTailsPilotLookUp.gif SonicManiaSonicPilotLookAhead.gif SonicManiaTailsPilotLookAhead.gif
Unused animations for Sonic & Tails looking up and looking straight ahead while piloting the Tornado, akin to Tails piloting the Tornado in Sonic 2. They both stay in their default animation cycle in the final game, akin to Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

SonicMania-MiniTails-FlyingAlt.gif SonicMania-MiniTails-FlyStopAlt.gif
Some unused sprites that were going to be used for Mini Tails holding Mini Sonic. But since Sonic can't hang on Tails while Tails is flying even though they both are mini, these go unused in the final product. Also, there are no sprites for Mini Sonic hanging on something.

All signposts but Sonic's are labeled with the respective character's initial in the sprite sheet. There are two placeholder copies of Sonic's signpost art seemingly labeled "M" and "A". With the introduction of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel as playable characters in Sonic Mania Plus, it's possible the "A" is actually a badly-drawn "R", and that these placeholders were for them.

A "PERFECT" bonus graphics, used in the previous game for collecting all rings in an Act or Special Stage. This graphic is found in both the normal and special stage results.

In Sonic Mania, getting all of the rings in an act (Easiest to do in Sonic and Tails' Mirage Saloon Act 1) will not give this bonus; The devs probably figured that the acts in the game were far too large to get everything in a reasonable amount of time (or, in some cases, impossible), so they decided to eliminate the bonus and replace with Cool Bonus.

In the case of Special Stages, it's impossible to get every ring in any Special Stage (The closest the player can get is in Special Stage 1, but even then, there's one ring floating in the air that's impossible to reach), and the Blue Spheres bonus stages don't have a results screen.

Another unused text graphic. Sonic Chaos changed the standard time bonus from operating on certain time thresholds to being expressed as a 1 to 999 km/h speed bonus. Something similar might have been planned here.

Or it could have gone on the HUD and shown the player's speed. Y'know. Plausible. Or this was used for the mach bonus, maybe .

Blue Spheres

To do:

There's even more unused stuff for Blue Spheres that used Sonic 3 & Knuckles sprites, as you can see in these sprite sheets.


Included in the Blue Sphere bonus stage files are sprites of the Chaos Emeralds and Super Emeralds redone for Mania with two extra frames and a different color palette. According to the sprite sheet, these emerald sprites were polished up version of the unused classic sprites. This could've meant the Blue Spheres Minigame would be reused as a Special Stage. If you use an editor to place them into a stage, they function like red spheres by taking you back to the last checkpoint.

Debug Graphics

To do:
Verify if there is any access to the hidden Debug Mode or Level Editor.

These sprites were meant to be used with Debug mode.

Special Stage

An odd message. Maybe it was supposed to be displayed after getting the Chaos Emerald and exiting the stage?

A "HYPER" graphic is present in the result graphics, which means that the return of the Hyper form might have been planned. Strangely, a Sonic 2 variant goes unused in its remastered version.

Green Hill Zone

This fireball from Hill Top Zone's boss in Sonic 2 was the original graphic for the burning logs in Green Hill Zone. The final game replaces this with a more detailed burning animation with palette that matching the Flame Shield itself. It can be seen in Polygon's GHZ Act 2 gameplay.

The unused totem pole graphics from Sonic 1, updated and still unused.

Chemical Plant Zone

Both Sonic and Knuckles have special intros when entering Chemical Plant Zone, where a drop of purple water falls on their heads and they react to it. This happens to Tails as well, however, he has no special animation in-game for it. From these sprites it's clear that he was meant to have one, where he uses his tails to dry himself off. A slightly different animation was eventually added to the game in the 1.04 update. The new spritesheet in 1.04 overwrites the unused one from earlier versions.

How handy!
The above sprites, animated.

(Animated GIF: Trunks)

True 16-bit.
Leftover sprites from the Taxman remake of Sonic 2.

Studiopolis Zone

Busted (Used) Intact (Unused)
SonicManiaSPZBlueMissileDud.gif SonicManiaSPZBlueMissile.gif

This is an intact version of those blue missiles that the player has to launch at Heavy Gunner. It's obvious that both sprites are the same thing, but the intact sprite are supposed to be used until the player hit it, which then it would used the busted sprite.

SonicManiaLoveTesterMain.png We're going into Sonic fandom territory now...
An unused object from Studiopolis Act 2, named "LoveTester" in the code. The player would have to jump into a cage to activate it.

SonicManiaLoveTesterLights.gif These lights would line up along the sides of the love tester machine.

This monitor would display one of the icons below, depending on what character the player is and what result they get.

SonicManiaLoveTesterSonic.png SonicManiaLoveTesterTails.png SonicManiaLoveTesterKnuckles.png
Nice hand-drawn graphics for Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The first expression is neutral, the second is for winning, and the third is for losing.

SonicManiaLoveTesterAmy.png SonicManiaLoveTesterEggman.png
Amy and Eggman icons, along with three hearts; two being small and large red ones and other being broken and purple.

The winning and losing icons depend on what character you're playing as (they are listed below). When winning, the red hearts would appear and you get 400 points. Losing makes the broken heart appear and doesn't give you points. Getting any other character simply gives you 100 points.

Player Win Lose
Sonic Amy Eggman
Tails Sonic Eggman
Knuckles Eggman Sonic

Using the love tester as Mighty or Ray crashes the game.

SonicManiaSPZBigTV.png SonicManiaSPZ2BigTVBG.png SonicManiaSPZ2BigTVGradient.png
An unused TV monitor with a background graphic and gradient (found in SPZ2/Objects2.gif) larger than the one seen in the Weather Mobile boss arena (found in SPZ2/WeatherMobile.gif). This is defined in the file SPZ2/GreenScreen.bin. Technically, these sprites are used, but by the also unused GreenScreen object.

This is how the TV screen looks when everything is layered correctly.

Sonic Mania Sega Unused Studiopolis Boss.gif
Apparently a boss very similar to Gapsule from Sonic & Knuckles was cut from Act 2, likely named the Egg Janken going by the name it's given in the game's internal object list. Its eyes would represent a game of rock-paper-scissors, likely a reference to Sega's Alex Kidd franchise (which relies heavily on rock-paper-scissors, typically for boss battles).

Flying Battery Zone

Used Full
SonicManiaBigSqueezeLaserUsed.gif SonicManiaBigSqueezeLaserFull.gif

The prongs of the Big Squeeze mini-boss are supposed to light up when it's charging - there are four frames of animation for it in the sprite sheet. Only the first frame is used in-game.

Used Full
SonicManiaFBZChopper.png SonicManiaFBZChopperAnim.gif

The busted Chopper heads in the Big Squeeze trash pile have eight frames of animation, but only the first frame is used.

The turrets from Wing Fortress Zone were set to reappear here. The tip is a separate sprite and would rotate to track the player in-game.

SonicManiaFBZPanel.png SonicManiaFBZPanelSpin.gif
Another cut object from Wing Fortress Zone. There are many wind tunnel sections in Act 2, but this object isn't in any of them.

The last cut WFZ object is the infamous retracting platform.

This is a larger version of the Spider Mobile's electric bolt that generates those plasma orbs.

In the tileset for Flying Battery Zone are some clouds that look much closer to their Sonic & Knuckles counterparts. This image has been reconstructed to show what they may have looked like in-game.

Press Garden Zone

To do:
Try and edit game files to show the original Juggle Saw and Woodrow sprites in game.
Early Final
SonicManiaJugglesawEarly.gif SonicManiaJugglesawSEarly.gif SonicManiaJugglesawFinal.gif SonicManiaJugglesawSFinal.gif

Graphics for an earlier version of Juggle Saw are in Sprites/PSZ1/Enemies-Old.gif in version 1.03. The early design doesn't have googly eyes and its legs don't move, suggesting it originally stood in one place.

Early Final
SonicManiaWoodrowIdleEarly.gif SonicManiaWoodrowHammerEarly.gif SonicManiaWoodrowIdleFinal.gif SonicManiaWoodrowHammerFinal.gif

Woodrow's early design is in the same file. This version is a lot more hammer-like that the finished design, which looks more like a woodpecker.

Two placeholder images for Woodrow can be found in Sprites/PSZ2/Enemies-Temp.gif.

While all of the alphabet blocks have raised animations ready, only 'A', 'O', and 'T' are used.

Green versions of the silver and blue and copper crates seen throughout Act 1. Probably a good thing that these were never used - they don't contrast well with the background.

A big stack of newspapers. Why not? These were later reused for objects in the transition cut scene in the 1.04 update.

For the world's largest printer What a mess
Big jars of cyan, magenta and yellow ink, larger than the ones that the Splats enemies spawn from. When Tails or Knuckles enters the jar, they'll be tinted cyan/magenta/yellow. Because of the way Sonic's palette is set up, he's unaffected by the ink jars.

(Source: codenamegamma)

The graphic on the right is supposed to combine with the jars...

...something like this. The actual blending in-game looks better, obviously.

Splish splash I was inking a bath
Splash graphics for those three ink jars. Entering an exiting the jars should produce this effect, but they're conspicuously absent from the actual game.

(Source: codenamegamma)

A high-speed ink wiper. These would presumably clean the ink off the player(s), but it doesn't seem to do anything as it is.

(Source: codenamegamma)

Hey, the world's largest printer! Hey, the world's largest printer II!
Big printers on rails. The first, worn-out looking printer is in Sprites/PSZ1/Objects.gif, while the newer, shinier printer one is in Sprites/PSZ1/Objects2.gif . The game labels these "SP500" and "SP500MkII" in the code. This is presumably a reference to the 4 Color Plotter Printer for the SC-3000, but the product number for that was SP-400; The SP-500 was the Sports Pad. Oh well.

The first printer has an opening at the top. If the player tries to go inside normally, they're rejected and fall out the bottom. If they're covered in ink, the printer drops down and tries to put the player...somewhere. It's likely that where it would have sent the player would have depended on the color of the ink, but it doesn't look the behavior was ever fully coded.

The second printer has a button at the top that the player has to step on to operate. The printer will pause a bit, then go from one side of the rail to the next. The printer and rail will then either go up or down, depending on the object's subtype.

(Source: codenamegamma)

SonicManiaPGZSP500Lights.png SonicManiaPGZSP500MkIILights.png
These are on/off lights for both printers. The brighter lights are for the Mk II printer.

SonicManiaAcetoneSprayer.png SonicManiaPGZDust.gif
This strange object is labeled as a sprayer in Sprites/PSZ1/Acetone.bin, making that thing on the right a spray of acetone. When placed, it removes any ink off the player.

This is an Act 1 version of the swinging platforms seen in Act 2.

Graphics for the wood chippers and wall shuriken shooters from Act 2 are also present within Act 1's assets.

Nice cap
Within the "Objects-Temp" sheet in Act 2's folder are a bunch of placeholder graphics for what would become the level's objects and gimmickry. A lot of them are ripped straight from IceCap Zone from Sonic 3, in addition to Aquatic Ruin Zone's Eggman-face shooters from Sonic 2, which were probably adapted into the wall shuriken shooters.

Stardust Speedway Zone

Comedy and tragedy mask constellations meant to be seen in the skies of Stardust Speedway Act 1.

Graphics for a Marble Garden-esque spiked crusher. Doesn't really fit in with the high-speed pace of the rest of the act, so it makes sense that it was never put anywhere.

The spinning signposts seen through the Sonic CD version of Stardust Speedway make no appearance here. There's a signpost object in edit mode, but it uses old graphics from the Sonic CD remaster and it isn't attached to anything.

A smaller version of the large dirt piles that the vines sprout out of.

A whole lot of frames for the annoying Hotaru badniks go unused, as they only ever point their bottoms directly downwards. These correspond to the original version of this enemy in Sonic CD's Stardust Speedway, which can be placed in debug mode and behaves accordingly. However, like the signpost, it still uses the old graphics from Sonic CD instead of this updated set.

Hydrocity Zone

Early Final
SonicManiaHCZHooksEarly.png SonicManiaHCZHooksFinal.png

Early hook graphics are left in the HCZ/Objects.gif file. The early graphics have the useful hook in the foreground and the useless hook darkened in the background, while the final version changes this so they're both in the foreground, but the useful hook is flipped, fatter, and green.

Mirage Saloon Zone

Early Final
SonicMania-Pinata.png SonicManiaMSZPinataStar.gif

It seems that the first design for the piñatas was of a Ball Hog, which looks similar to a design featured in an early version of Sonic the Hedgehog. This was later changed to a more traditional star-shaped design.

SonicManiaMSZCactinautFlash.gif SonicManiaMSZCactinautSurprised.gif
The Cactinauts on the seesaws were supposed to flash like the Sols in Hill Top Zone, and have a surprised animation when they're launched in the air, but in the final game they're completely static.

Early Final
SonicMania-MirageSaloon2-16x16Tiles CutsceneSwitch.png SonicMania-MirageSaloon2-16x16Tiles.png

It was discovered that the tile set used in the Mirage Saloon inter-stage cutscene for Sonic and Tails in the Nintendo Switch version of Sonic Mania, was an earlier version to the one loaded over in the final game. These include some major differences such as wooden quarter ramps and a barrel in place of decoration tiles, but also minor changes like the palette of the background having a darker darkest shade of blue and slightly different decorations.

Oil Ocean Zone

A horizontal version of the booster objects that propel the player into those ball launcher things. Unused in the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and also unused here.

An unused gold variant of the silver switches seen in Act 2.

Lava Reef Zone

A seperate foreground layer of embers, meant to fall in Lava Reef Zone. Could have given the zone a hotter, more volcanic feeling.

Early Final
SonicManiaLRZ1FireballHEarly.gif SonicManiaLRZ1FireballVEarly.gif SonicManiaLRZ1FireballHFinal.gif SonicManiaLRZ1FireballVFinal.gif

Earlier, more primitive versions of the fireballs in Act 1 were left in LRZ1/Objects.gif.

SonicManiaLRZ2ConveyorVert.gif SonicManiaLRZ2ConveyorPlat.png
Spiked platforms on conveyor belts, seen in Act 2 of the original Lava Reef Zone but not in Sonic Mania. It was seemingly intended to be used; corrupted remnants of the platform conveyor can still be found in the low layer in Act 2.

This is an updated version of the crystalline boulder that Knuckles chucked at Sonic and Tails in the original zone. Not sure what it would have done here.

This giant chain link is in Heavy Rider's sprite sheet. As the Little Planet is in the background of the stage, and the following Zone is Metallic Madness, perhaps this was part of a cut exit sequence for Sonic & Tails based on the animated intro to Sonic CD? It can even be found in a BG layer, which lines up perfectly with Little Planet's location.

Active version of the Super Emeralds in Knuckles' boss area - in the final game, they're nowhere to be seen, replaced by stone relics. This is not taken directly from Sonic 3 & Knuckles; The graphics have actually been touched up a bit here.

Two icons for a stage editor can be found in LRZ2/Objects.gif The "CVYR" graphic shows up in edit mode, but for some reason the white text isn't displayed, so it's just a black circle. The "DROP" graphic doesn't appear at all.

Metallic Madness Zone

A spinning version of the cylinders in Metallic Madness Zone...and the animation is labeled as "Barrel" in MMZ/Platform.bin...wonder what this could be referencing?

Egg Reverie Zone

To do:
Try and edit game files to add Egg Reverie Zone to Stage Select.

A big chunk of tiles in the Egg Reverie tileset go unused, suggesting that the original plans for the zone might have been quite different. For instance, these support structures that hold up the platforms in the boss area are too far below the camera for the player to see.

Slopes that don't show up anywhere in the stage proper, but can be seen outside the boss area.

There are even quarter-pipes, both normal and crystallized. Note that the normal versions of the slopes and quarter-pipes are actually just palette swaps of tiles seen in Titanic Monarch Zone.

In Data/Sprites/UI/SaveSelectEN.gif, there's an unused Save Select icon for Egg Reverie Zone. Maybe you were originally able to start at Egg Reverie Zone instead of having to play through all of Titanic Monarch Zone, just like Doomsday Zone from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Scrap Brain Zone

Leftover sprites were found in the game's sprite folder, showing sprites for Scrap Brain Zone. These sprites are clearly from Sonic 1, they most likely are leftovers from Sonic 1 on iOS and Android, as the layout of the sheet is identical to Mania's. These sprites were removed in a subsequent update.

Hidden Palace Zone

We've come full circle
Sprites of the remade Hidden Palace Zone from the mobile remake of Sonic 2. Like Scrap Brain Zone, these could either be leftovers from the mobile remake or placeholders for what would be Hidden Palace Zone in the game. Of all of these assets, only the Jellygnite badnik would be chosen to be updated; namely for Hydrocity Zone.

D. A. Garden

SonicMania-DA Garden.gif

Graphics with buttons and screens would have been used in the D.A. Garden and may resemble the Sega CD's UI before it was scrapped in favor of a more generic interface.



Various leftover sprites from the mobile ports of Sonic 1, 2, and the failed mobile Sonic 3 pitch located in Blueprints of the game's sprites folder.

Straight from The Taxman's keyboard-mouth:

The Blueprints thing isn't special at all really. "Blueprint Zone" was something that existed very early on while I was developing RSDKv5. We just ported a bunch of stuff from the remasters to test the tools out, and simply forgot to delete the sprite sheet when it wasn't needed anymore.

As of version 1.03.0831, the Blueprints folder and this image file no longer exist in the game data.

A few icons for a stage editor can be found in Editor/Icons.gif.