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Sonic fans: Explain to me the fan service and lore of Sonic Mania (UNMARKED SPOILERS)

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Neiteio

Member
As you may have seen in my other thread, I played Sonic 1 in the past and thought it was OK; I also played Generations and enjoyed the 2D levels. But it wasn't until Sonic Mania that the formula truly clicked for me.

Now I'm curious about all of the apparent fan service and other neat lil' details in Mania that I might be overlooking or not understanding for lack of familiarity with the franchise.

For example:

- During the boss fight in Studiopolis Act 2, Eggman uses weather-based attacks. Is this a new boss fight for the series? And is there some significance to the chicken weatherman on the TV? That seems a bit random if it's not a reference. (Although I suppose it could be referencing a weathervane.)

- The concept behind Press Garden appears to be that it's a newspaper plant Eggman set up in an oriental garden to print out propaganda. You can see the newspapers whizzing by in the background. Can anyone tell what they say?

- It appears that Hydrocity is unique in that its Act 1 is actually all-new, while its Act 2 is a modified version of an existing level. So does this mean that stage elements like floating around in bubbles, running across water and moving in boats are new to this level? Also, my understanding is the boss is the inverse of a boss from a previous game; before, Eggman was in his machine trying to suck Sonic out of the water, but now it's the other way around. Is this the first time we've seen Eggman swimming around in a wetsuit?

- I hear the three bandits on the wanted posters in Mirage Saloon — one of which randomly appears to shoot down the plane in Act 1, and all three of which appear in Act 2's boss fight — are from Sonic Fighters. What was that game like, and what was the role of these characters in it?

- People have said the airplane sequence in Sonic/Tails' Mirage Saloon Act 1 is a reference to something. What's this about? I've heard there are also references to a "Sunset Park" in that level?

- The capsule machine boss in Metallic Madness Act 2 appears to drop miniaturized versions of bosses from Sonic 1. Is this correct? And it appears the kamikaze robots that hug you and self-destruct are Sonic's fangirl, Amy Rose?

- Speaking of Metallic Madness, I heard that the Sonic CD levels were substantially reworked. Was the background-to-foreground gimmick in Act 1 present in the Sonic CD original? Seems like an effect that really benefits from widescreen TVs increasing the field of view. And I'm guessing Act 2, like most other zones, is entirely new, and the shrinking gimmick is new to the series?

- I've seen people talking about a "Hidden Palace" toward the end of Fire Reef Act 2. What's this about? What is the story behind the Hidden Palace? And while I'm at it, I hear Metallic Madness is Eggman's base within "Little Planet" from Sonic CD. What is Little Planet about? And since Stardust Speedway is also from Sonic CD, does it have a connection Little Planet, as well?

- On the note of Stardust Speedway, I hear that the Silver Sonic that appears during Metal Sonic's boss fight in Act 2 is a reference of some sort. Also, is there any significance to the giant Eggman robot in the background during the final phase of the Metal Sonic boss fight? Is that a glimpse of Titanic Monarch from the last zone of the same name? Also, between Act 1 and Act 2 in Stardust Speedway, there's a transition, complete with a sound clip that sounds like it's saying "Future." Is Sonic time-traveling when moving from Act 1 to Act 2 in Stardust Speedway?

- Who or what are the Hardboiled Heavies? Their names appear to be Heavy Emperor (or Heavy King), Heavy Gunner, Heavy Shinobi, Heavy Magician and Heavy Rider. But who or what are they? Did they exist in previous games? How did they come about? What's their relation to Eggman?

- Finally, a question about Eggman: Is Eggman his nickname while his real name is Dr. Robotnik? I suspect the real reason for the two names is differences in localization back in the '90s. But has Sega since then reconciled the two names in any way?

I think these questions will suffice for now, lol.
 

13ruce

Banned
The Mirage Saloon characters are from Sonic Fighters yes that purple one is in one of the game gear games too. Sonic Fighters is a fightig game where you can fight against other sonic characters and fight as em i had it on gamecube Sonic Gem collection.

I think the special stages in this game are a big reference to Sonic R(acing) i played that game to death with my sister and that game exactly controlled the same nearly it was a neat sonic race game were sonic actually runned himself!

The Plane part is a reference to Sonic 2 there is a plane stage in their wich takes you to eggmans wing fortress wich also launches eggman and sonic to eggmans space station if you clear that stage.

The rest i dunno Metal Sonic is ofcourse a Sonic CD reference, the background stuff in metallic madness is entirely new only the mini sonic was there in cd.
 

MrBadger

Member
I actually have my own question about the Heavies. They're original in this game, but I'm not sure what the opening is about. Do the Eggrobos that dig up the phantom ruby (citation needed) become them, or are they just hanging out in Green Hill before Sonic gets there?

I'll answer the one about the Mirage Saloon boss, the characters are Fang, Bean and Bark. Fang used to be a recurring villain debuting in Sonic Triple Trouble, where you'd fight him for chaos emeralds. The fight reuses Triple Trouble SFX. Bean and Bark are just extra characters in Fighters with no real significance, but in the Archie comics the three are a band of villains called Team Hooligan.

The little Metal Sonic in Stardust Speedway is Silver Sonic, one of the late bosses in the 8-bit version of Sonic 2.

 

LordKano

Member
- People have said the airplane sequence in Sonic/Tails' Mirage Saloon Act 1 is a reference to something. What's this about? I've heard there are also references to a "Sunset Park" in that level?

Sky Chase, in Sonic 2.

I actually have my own question about the Heavies. They're original in this game, but I'm not sure what the opening is about. Do the Eggrobos that dig up the phantom ruby (citation needed) become them, or are they just hanging out in Green Hill before Sonic gets there?

From what I understood, they were normal robots until they were transformed by the Phantom Ruby, when Eggman asked them to extract it from the ground.
 

13ruce

Banned
Hidden palace is where the Master and Super Emeralds are btw there is a hidden palace zone in Sonic 3 + K and Sonic 2 altho i dunno if that exactly is the same palace zone since it was originally scrapped in sonic 2 and readded + a new boss in the taxman port.

Knuckles defends those emeralds he is their guardian. The palace is on angel island wich normally floats in the sky, due to the power of that big green emerald.
 

Neiteio

Member
Hidden palace is where the Master and Super Emeralds are btw there is a hidden palace zone in Sonic 3 + K and Sonic 2 altho i dunno if that exactly is the same palace zone since it was originally scrapped in sonic 2 and readded + a new boss in the taxman port.

Knuckles defends those emeralds he is their guardian. The palace is on angel island wich normally floats in the sky.
So is Fire Reef set on Angel Island? I heard that you fight in Hidden Palace at the end of Fire Reef Act 2.
 

liquidtmd

Banned
Hidden palace is where the Master and Super Emeralds are btw there is a hidden palace zone in Sonic 3 + K and Sonic 2 altho i dunno if that exactly is the same palace zone since it was originally scrapped in sonic 2 and readded + a new boss in the taxman port.

Sonic 2 - Hidden palace was a scrapped zone only accessible via a game genie device, and even then it was mostly garbage data. It showed as an unclickable option on the level select screen. You could play it's level music via the sound select option though and it was a cool, quite sombre piece

Sonic 2 Taxman - Hidden palace playable zone, based on some old concepts but lot of new stuff. Accessible via
mystic cave zone falling down a hole

Sonic 3 - Hidden palace was a small zone that held the emeralds
 

Berordn

Member
- During the boss fight in Studiopolis Act 2, Eggman uses weather-based attacks. Is this a new boss fight for the series? And is there some significance to the chicken weatherman on the TV? That seems a bit random if it's not a reference.

The chicken is a weathervane themed badnik, originally from Sonic & Knuckles. The whole boss fight is new and just playing on the theme of a weather report.

- The concept behind Press Garden appears to be that it's a newspaper plant Eggman set up in an oriental garden to print out propaganda. You can see the newspapers whizzing by in the background. Can anyone tell what they say?

There's no text, just images of Eggman and Sonic

- It appears that Hydrocity is unique in that its Act 1 is actually all-new, while it's Act 2 is a modified version of an existing level. So does this mean that stage elements like floating around in bubbles, running across water and moving in boats are new to this level? Also, my understanding is the boss is the inverse of a boss from a previous game; before, Eggman was in his machine trying to suck Sonic out of the water, but now it's the other way around. Is this the first time we've seen Eggman swimming around in a wetsuit?

Running on the water isn't new but the other gimmicks are. The bubbles actually come from a game gear game, forget which. The boss is inverted, you're driving the vehicle Eggman uses in that fight.

- The capsule machine boss in Metallic Madness Act 2 appears to drop miniaturized versions of bosses from Sonic 1. Is this correct? And it appears the kamikaze robots that hug you and self-destruct are Sonic's fangirl, Amy Rose?

The drill car is the first boss in Sonic 2, the other one is the boss in Marble Garden Zone. Amy is actually also referencing the Tails doll from Sonic R.

- Speaking of Metallic Madness, I heard that the Sonic CD levels were substantially reworked. Was the background-to-foreground gimmick in Act 1 present in the Sonic CD original? Seems like an effect that really benefits from widescreen TVs increasing the field of view. And I'm guessing Act 2, like most other zones, is entirely new, and the shrinking gimmick is new to the series?

The background gimmick is new, shrinking isn't.

Here's a couple for you.
 
- I hear the three bandits on the wanted posters in Mirage Saloon — one of which randomly appears to shoot down the plane in Act 1, and all three of which appear in Act 2's boss fight — are from Sonic Fighters. What was that game like, and what was the role of these characters in it?

Sonic the Fighters was a 3D fighting game made by AM2. It was basically a Virtua Fighter clone with Sonic characters.

Fang the Sniper (the wolf/weasel with a gun) was one of the villains in Sonic Triple Trouble for Game Gear. He was a minor recurring character in some of the spinoffs during that era but vanished after being playable in Sonic the Fighters.

Bean and Bark were original characters from Sonic the Fighters. Bean was a green duck who threw bombs and Bark was a big polar bear who represented the brawler archetype. They reappeared in Fighters Megamix (a mega-crossover uniting tons of AM2's characters) and after that vanished.

- People have said the airplane sequence in Sonic/Tails' Mirage Saloon Act 1 is a reference to something. What's this about? I've heard there are also references to a "Sunset Park" in that level?

It's a reference to Sky Chase from Sonic 2, which was one of the last stages. It was a one-off zone where Tails flies Sonic to Eggman's Wing Fortress with his plane the Tornado. Sonic rides on top and takes down the enemies that attack them on their way.

"Sunset Park" was a zone from Sonic Triple Trouble. The third act's boss fight took place on a train. Sonic had to run to the front of the train while avoiding enemy fire. The first car of the train served as the boss itself. The train in Mirage Saloon is conceptually a bit similar, though it's more complex as a proper stage.

- The capsule machine boss in Metallic Madness Act 2 appears to drop miniaturized versions of bosses from Sonic 1. Is this correct? And it appears the kamikaze robots that hug you and self-destruct are Sonic's fangirl, Amy Rose?

Yeah, one is the Egg car from the first zone in Sonic 2, and the little robots are supposed to look like Amy.

- Speaking of Metallic Madness, I heard that the Sonic CD levels were substantially reworked. Was the background-to-foreground gimmick in Act 1 present in the Sonic CD original? Seems like an effect that really benefits from widescreen TVs increasing the field of view. And I'm guessing Act 2, like most other zones, is entirely new, and the shrinking gimmick is new to the series?

Shrinking was in Sonic CD I think. It's been ages since I played to know for sure though. I think background-to-foreground was in one of the stages as well but again I don't clearly remember.

- I've seen people talking about a "Hidden Palace" toward the end of Fire Reef Act 2. What's this about? What is the story behind the Hidden Palace? And while I'm at it, I hear Metallic Madness is Eggman's base within "Little Planet" from Sonic CD. What is Little Planet about? And since Stardust Speedway is also from Sonic CD, does it have a connection Little Planet, as well?

Hidden Palace was a scrapped zone from Sonic 2 where Sonic was supposed to uncover his super transformation. The concept was revisited in Sonic and Knuckles, where it's a short one-off zone immediately after Lava Reef. It represents the part of the Angel Island where the prophecy about Super Sonic defeating Eggman is foretold. It's a climactic moment in the game where you confront Knuckles (who had been tricked into working against Sonic by Eggman), who then witnesses Eggman wreaking havoc in the area. This makes him realize his mistake, so then he helps Sonic find the portal to Sky Sanctuary.

The area is a fan favourite just because of the level of mystique it has around the series.

Little Planet was a plot device from Sonic CD. It appeared over Sonic's world once every 10 (?) years. The plot of the game was that Eggman had chained Little Planet to Sonic's world and taken it over in order to steal its Time Stones. The whole game takes place on Little Planet, so yes, Stardust Speedway is part of it and Metallic Madness represents Eggman's base.

On a fun note, I always liked to headcanon Little Planet as a parallel version of Sonic 1's world, since so many of the stages in CD are basically surreal counterparts of Sonic 1's stages.

- On the note of Stardust Speedway, I hear that the Silver Sonic that appears during Metal Sonic's boss fight in Act 2 is a reference of some sort. Also, is there any significance to the giant Eggman robot in the background during the final phase of the Metal Sonic boss fight? Is that a glimpse of Titanic Monarch from the last zone of the same name? Also, between Act 1 and Act 2 in Stardust Speedway, there's a transition, complete with a sound clip that sounds like it's saying "Future." Is Sonic time-traveling when moving from Act 1 to Act 2 in Stardust Speedway?

The "Silver Sonic" is a reference to a boss in the Game Gear version of Sonic 2. That was one of the first instances of a robotic Sonic doppelganger. Metal Sonic debuted in the game afterward (Sonic CD) so fans like to headcanon that the "other" robot Sonics (Silver Sonic and Sonic 3&K's Mecha Sonic) are prototypes.

Sonic CD had a time travel gimmick. You would find signposts throughout the stages that woud say "Past" or "Future". Running for long enough after activating them would warp you to the past or future.

By default, the "Future" is a bad future where Eggman and his robots are taken over. By going into the past and destroying one of Eggman's roboticizer machines, Sonic would ensure a good future. In Mania, Act 1 is "Past" and Act 2 is "Present".

So is Fire Reef set on Angel Island? I heard that you fight in Hidden Palace at the end of Fire Reef Act 2.

Yes, Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles take place entirely on Angel Island. Hidden Palace is supposed to be located within Lava Reef.

I don't know if you played Sonic Adventure but since you visit Angel Island in that game, it's implied that the Ice Cap stage in that game is the same as the one in Sonic 3.
 
The first half of the boss of Metallic Madness Act 1 is a note for note remake of the final boss in Sonic 1. The second half (where the machine goes crazy) is new.
 

MrBadger

Member
So is Fire Reef set on Angel Island? I heard that you fight in Hidden Palace at the end of Fire Reef Act 2.

The cutscene before is a reference to when Eggman stole the Master Emerald in Sonic and Knuckles



The fight with Heavy King calls back to Knuckles' final boss in the same game, where Mecha Sonic uses the Master Emerald to power up

 

TreIII

Member
To add on to that, the bubbles gimmick is taken from the Game Gear Sonics


Frigging loved this, as well as the other GG references throughout the game.

I don't know if Sonic Team just snubbed these games for Generations because they forgot about them, or because they didn't want to include content from games they didn't work on, but all of this just helps Mania be a better celebration of Classic Sonic than what they tried in Generations.
 

liquidtmd

Banned
Yeah, everything they did is related to a game somehow.

It truly is crafted with extreme care for details.

I dearly, dearly wish my 13 year old self could see this game as a true Sonic 4 - I would have lost my shit.

I'm having a great time with it
 

13ruce

Banned
Yeah you really should atleast try sonic CD, 3+ K and 2 dude if you liked Mania you might like those aswell.

You will be able to spot some of the neat callbacks. Heck even in Sonic 1 altho if you want to play that i recommend the taxman port since the original game does not have the spindash.
 
- Who or what are the Hardboiled Heavies? Their names appear to be Heavy Emperor (or Heavy King), Heavy Gunner, Heavy Shinobi, Heavy Magician and Heavy Rider. But who or what are they? Did they exist in previous games? How did they come about? What's their relation to Eggman?

- Finally, a question about Eggman: Is Eggman his nickname while his real name is Dr. Robotnik? I suspect the real reason for the two names is differences in localization back in the '90s. But has Sega since then reconciled the two names in any way?

I think these questions will suffice for now, lol.

Hardboiled Heavies are original characters to Mania

As you said, "officially" his name is Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik to reconcile the two names. However Robotnik has fallen out of use following the Sonic Adventure games where they did the reconciliation.
 

MrBadger

Member
Frigging loved this, as well as the other GG references throughout the game.

I don't know if Sonic Team just snubbed these games for Generations because they forgot about them, or because they didn't want to include content from games they didn't work on, but all of this just helps Mania be a better celebration of Classic Sonic than what they tried in Generations.

The Sonic Chaos boss that only shows up as Knuckles is great as well.

I liked Generations, but this game goes way deeper with the references. Best example is how both games have wanted posters of forgotten characters, but Mania has original art for them, and then has those characters show up during the boss fight
 
It's been ages since I played CD so I figured I probably messed that up.

Ohhh, I get it. I think Act 1 is supposed to be Past then? Hence all the vegetation and such.

Yeah. The music takes some heavy Good Future vibes though.

I think they're avoiding canonizing the future levels of CD.
 

Guess Who

Banned
There's so many nods and references and details in Mania that call back to other Sonic games it would be nearly impossible to list them all in one post. To answer your particular questions:

- Yes, both of the Studiopolis bosses are entirely new. Studiopolis, along with Press Garden, Mirage Saloon, and Titanic Monarch, is one of the completely original stages in Mania that isn't remixed from 1/CD/2/3/Knuckles. The chicken weatherman is in reference to Cluckoid, a badnik from Sonic & Knuckles styled after a weathervane who would blow you back with a gust of wind.

- The only thing I can make out on the newspapers in the background is that the headline is "MANIA!". They seem to be drawn with a built-in animation smear to make them looked blurred in motion, but that also makes them look blurred in stills too.

- The three enemies in Mirage Saloon Act 2 are Fang the Sniper (the purple one with the pop gun), Bean the Dynamite (the green duck), and Bark the Polar Bear (the big pale-yellow bear). Fang is actually from the Game Gear games originally, but all three last appeared in Sonic the Fighters. Sonic the Fighters was a 3D Fighting Vipers-based fighting game in arcades that didn't have much in terms of plot (Sonic and friends are fighting over the Chaos Emeralds they need to take a rocket to space to kick Eggman's ass on the Death Egg), so the three of them were basically just fighters in a tournament.

- Running over the water was in Sonic 3, but the boats and bubble mechanic are new in Mania. Actually, the bubble mechanic is a nod to Aqua Lake Zone from the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 2.

- The airplane section is a nod to Sky Chase Zone from Sonic 2.

- The miniature bosses the Metallic Madness Act 2 boss drops are the Marble Zone boss from Sonic 1 and the Emerald Hill Zone boss from Sonic 2. The Amy doll is both a reference to Amy in Sonic CD - who appeared at the end of the first level to hug you and cling to you -and to Tails Doll, a playable character from Sonic R who has gained a cult status in the fandom for being creepy looking.

- The background gimmick in Metallic Madness is indeed entirely new, but the shrinking gimmick was in the original level.

- So, Sonic 3 & Knuckles takes place on what later games call Angel Island, but in the original games was just called the Floating Island. As you might expect, the unique thing about that island is that it floats in the sky, and is held aloft by the power of the Master Emerald, a massive Chaos Emerald that Knuckles is in charge of protecting on the island (and which Robotnik/Eggman wants to steal). In Sonic & Knuckles, Lava Reef Act 2 eventually led into another zone called Hidden Palace Zone, where (as Sonic or Tails) you fight Knuckles and find the altar where the Master Emerald is held. The boss arenas in Mania's Lava Reef Act 2 take place in the Hidden Palace, and Knuckles's boss even takes place in the area containing the Master Emerald's altar. Similarly, Sonic CD takes place on Little Planet, which is a small planet being chained down to Sonic's planet. Metallic Madness and Stardust Speedway are both locations on Little Planet.

- The miniature Silver Sonics that appear in the SS Act 2 boss are from Sonic 2 on the Master System/Game Gear. The giant Robotnik in the background is a nod to a background element in the original Stardust Speedway that I unfortunately can't find a good image of right now (it was a very large background element that wouldn't have fit in a single screenshot). And yes, Sonic CD was built around a time-travel mechanic. Each zone in that game has a "past", "present", "good future", and "bad future" design, and you can go between them by finding signs (like the one in that Act 2 transition) and then maintaining a high speed as Sonic for a certain amount of time. Stardust Speedway in Mania takes place in the "past" (act 1) and "present" (act 2) timelines.

- The Hardboiled Heavies are all original for Mania, but they are based on the Egg Robo enemies from Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic & Knuckles. They were originally badniks made by Robotnik/Eggman in his own likeness, but in Mania have gone rogue.

- Eggman was always Eggman in Japan, but became Dr. Robotnik for US localizations to sound more menacing. Recent games have reconciled the difference by making Dr. Robotnik his "real" name but "Eggman" a nickname Sonic gave him, but in modern games he's almost universally referred to as Eggman.
 

13ruce

Banned
Fun fact the purple (the one on the motorcycle) and magican heavy are women. Seriously no kidding:p

It's in the manual or on box or whatever.
 
The technical difficulties tone after the weatherman fight is the same as the sound heard throughout the Sonic 25th anniversary stream. That's my favorite and most obscure reference.
 

Ramune

Member
1) That chicken badnik is this guy from Sonic & Knuckles, who would blow you away if you go close. Outside of the "Windy" weather report, just a cute cameo!

2) Not sure about this one even as a long time fan (maybe a parody of "Sonic was never good" propaganda?)

3) The floating around in bubbles were in Sonic 2 8-bit's Aquatic Lake Zone Act 2 as well as in Triple Trouble's water zone IIRC

4) Seems to be a reference to how they teamed up in the comics as Team Hooligans. Fang/Nack the Sniper (the purple guy) was first introduced in the Game Gear game Sonic: Triple Trouble. Bark the Bear and Bean the Dynamite Duck were AM2 creations for Sonic the Fighters.

5) Reference to Sonic 2's Sky Chase Zone, and the Train may immidiately have fans thinking about Sunset Zone Act 3's boss.

6) Not just Sonic 1, but Sonic 2's First boss as well! And yep, Kamikaze Amy robots! In Sonic CD, she appeared in a few levels and she would chase after you and if you made contact, she would lovingly latch onto you the same way these robots do (complete with same sound effect)


At this point, I'm sure others might have answered the others by now (or elaborated more than I just did, but, such is the internet), hope these answers help!
 

13ruce

Banned
I think the weather boss is also a callback to older eggman fights where eggman just altered his flying mobile and used that as a weapon.

Lots of bosses in the older games feature him in his flying mobile with some mechanics added to his flying mobile + new ways to attack sonic.
 
The rooster is from mushroom hill zone which would take breaths of air and push you back harder then you could run into them, causing lovely knock backs into other enemies and spikes, one of the more memorable badniks in sonic and knuckles.

Having it as the weather tv presenter is rather clever and funny.

I also believe that the jimmy motobug is a reference to polygon jim who sadly passed away some years back, he was a big sonic fan and worked on some rom hacks, one featuring a special motobug.
 

Ferr986

Member
Also, I think Green Hill act 2 background (new), is inspired by both Sonic 1's Green Hill beta (upper area) and Labyrinth Zone beta (cavern area).
 

Eblo

Member
- During the boss fight in Studiopolis Act 2, Eggman uses weather-based attacks. Is this a new boss fight for the series? And is there some significance to the chicken weatherman on the TV? That seems a bit random if it's not a reference.


The boss is new. Chicken is inspired from a wind vane badnik from Mushroom Hill Zone in Sonic & Knuckles, which had the power to summon gusts of wind (much like the turtle things in Titanic Monarch Zone in Mania).

- It appears that Hydrocity is unique in that its Act 1 is actually all-new, while it's Act 2 is a modified version of an existing level. So does this mean that stage elements like floating around in bubbles, running across water and moving in boats are new to this level? Also, my understanding is the boss is the inverse of a boss from a previous game; before, Eggman was in his machine trying to suck Sonic out of the water, but now it's the other way around. Is this the first time we've seen Eggman swimming around in a wetsuit?


Bubbles come from the Game Gear games, specifically Sonic 2 and Triple Trouble I believe. Running across water was in the original Hydrocity. Boats are new as far as I can tell. Yes, you are correct on the mini boss. And one phase of the Act 2 boss is a repeat of the mini boss from the original Hydrocity. Wetsuit seems new to me.

- I hear the three bandits on the wanted posters in Mirage Saloon — one of which randomly appears to shoot down the plane in Act 1, and all three of which appear in Act 2's boss fight — are from Sonic Fighters. What was that game like, and what was the role of these characters in it?

Sonic the Fighters is terrible. Bark and Bean made their debut in it. I believe they were designed to fill the roster with more play styles because there weren't any pre-existing Sonic characters who fit the bill. Nack/Fang debuted in Triple Trouble but got brought back in Fighters because he seemed appropriate for the game. I think Bean relied on traps, Bark was a the typical slow but strong guy, and Fang relied on ranged gun attacks.

- People have said the airplane sequence in Sonic/Tails' Mirage Saloon Act 1 is a reference to something. What's this about? I've heard there are also references to a "Sunset Park" in that level?



The first section is a reference to Sky Chase Zone from Sonic 2 and includes many carbon copy badniks with a new coat of paint. The train section seems to be directly taken from Sunset Park Zone's awesomely unexpected boss battle in Triple Trouble.

- The capsule machine boss in Metallic Madness Act 2 appears to drop miniaturized versions of bosses from Sonic 1. Is this correct? And it appears the kamikaze robots that hug you and self-destruct are Sonic's fangirl, Amy Rose?


The tiny bosses are lifted from Sonic 1's Marble Zone, Sonic 2's Emerald Hill Zone, and Sonic CD's glomping Amy Rose.

- Speaking of Metallic Madness, I heard that the Sonic CD levels were substantially reworked. Was the background-to-foreground gimmick in Act 1 present in the Sonic CD original? Seems like an effect that really benefits from widescreen TVs increasing the field of view. And I'm guessing Act 2, like most other zones, is entirely new, and the shrinking gimmick is new to the series?


The drastic background-to-foreground gimmick is new, although the other gimmick of switching which side of the blinds Sonic is on was in the original Sonic CD. The shrinking effect was in Sonic CD as well, although it was not used for a boss fight.

- I've seen people talking about a "Hidden Palace" toward the end of Fire Reef Act 2. What's this about? What is the story behind the Hidden Palace? And while I'm at it, I hear Metallic Madness is Eggman's base within "Little Planet" from Sonic CD. What is Little Planet about? And since Stardust Speedway is also from Sonic CD, does it have a connection Little Planet, as well?

In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Hidden Palace Zone is the home base of Angel Island's emerald shrine. It is where Sonic first has a showdown with Knuckles and Eggman shows his true colors to Knuckles. Little Planet is the setting for Sonic CD. It has weird time effects because... I don't know. Time Stones and random time-altering signposts I guess? Stardust Speedway is on Little Planet.

- On the note of Stardust Speedway, I hear that the Silver Sonic that appears during Metal Sonic's boss fight in Act 2 is a reference of some sort. Also, is there any significance to the giant Eggman robot in the background during the final phase of the Metal Sonic boss fight? Is that a glimpse of Titanic Monarch from the last zone of the same name? Also, between Act 1 and Act 2 in Stardust Speedway, there's a transition, complete with a sound clip that sounds like it's saying "Future." Is Sonic time-traveling when moving from Act 1 to Act 2 in Stardust Speedway?


Boss fight from the Master System/Game Gear version of Sonic 2. Eggman statue was in 2D form in the original level in Sonic CD (although Eggman is a bit of an egomaniac and would have statues of himself everywhere if he could). That effect at the end of Act 1 is how time warps in Sonic CD work. It is not done to transition between every level, but the third "rounds" (what Sonic CD uses to refer to acts) are always in the future.

- Who or what are the Hardboiled Heavies? Their names appear to be Heavy Emperor (or Heavy King), Heavy Gunner, Heavy Shinobi, Heavy Magician and Heavy Rider. But who or what are they? Did they exist in previous games? How did they come about? What's their relation to Eggman?


Eggrobos from Sonic & Knuckles, apparently given personality and new abilities from the ruby thing in Mania. Eggman made them because, as mentioned, he's an egomaniac. For Knuckles's route in S3&K, they replace Eggman for boss fights because Knuckles is working with Eggman. And also... in one of the non-perfect endings for Tails in S3&K, one Eggrobo rises from a heap of robot parts as if to say "I'll be back... NEXT GAME!"

- Finally, a question about Eggman: Is Eggman his nickname while his real name is Dr. Robotnik? I suspect the real reason for the two names is differences in localization back in the '90s. But has Sega since then reconciled the two names in any way?

Eggman was his Japanese name, and Robotnik was a localization thing. Sonic Adventure consolidated this situation with Robotnik being his real name, and Eggman being a nickname. By Sonic Adventure 2, he starts rolling with it and using it almost exclusively. The characters Maria and Gerald Robotnik are there to reinforce how Robotnik is still his family name.
 

Ferr986

Member
For Knuckles's route in S3&K, they replace Eggman for boss fights because Knuckles is working with Eggman. And also... in one of the non-perfect endings for Tails in S3&K, one Eggrobo rises from a heap of robot parts as if to say "I'll be back... NEXT GAME!"

This is because Knuckles route in S3K takes places AFTER Sonic route. That's why you fight against that Eggrobo.

Notice how, for example, Angel Island is not at sea level while playing as Knuckles.
 

cireza

Member
Almost every element found in the stage to gain speed or bounce, whatever form they, are re-skinned from older games. And when I say almost every, I am not exaggerating.

For example you have the exact same thing as seen here, re-skinned in Stardust Act 1.

Sonic Mania :

Sonic 3 :

Mirage Saloon is a heavily upgraded version of an abandoned stage for Sonic 2, called Dust Hill, that took place in the desert.

Even the flames that we see at some instances (with transparency effects) are without a doubt the ones that you see in Sonic 3 Angle Island when the level is set on fire.

Sonic CD had special stages with UFOs.

It is too long to list everything.

If you loved Sonic Mania, go and play Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The game plays just as fine, but it is more platform oriented, and has a lot of slower sections.
 

Neiteio

Member
Some truly excellent responses in here. I especially like the analysis by Eblo and Guess Who. Great work, guys.

A question about Oil Ocean: Was the oil combustible in the original version? What does lighting the oil on fire do? Seems like it's harmless when you have the fire shield, but if you don't have the shield and fall into the oil (lit by your own fire or that of a fire enemy), it hurts you?

Also, I hear the smog in Act 2 (which appears to slowly deplete your rings, although it doesn't kill you when you reach zero) is new to Oil Ocean, but a similar concept appeared in a stage (from a previous game) called Sandopolis (or something to that effect)?

Is the Giga Octo boss at the end of Act 2 a reference to anything? I imagine the smaller octo enemies were in the original Oil Ocean (since they appear in the remade stage), so maybe the Act 2 boss is simply a super-sized take on them?
 

cireza

Member
A question about Oil Ocean: Was the oil combustible in the original version? What does lighting the oil on fire do? Seems like it's harmless when you have the fire shield, but if you don't have the shield and fall into the oil (lit by your own fire or that of a fire enemy), it hurts you?
No because the fire shield was introduced in Sonic 3. Oil Ocean is from Sonic 2. I suppose it hurts you if you don't have the fire shield.

Also, I hear the smog in Act 2 (which appears to slowly deplete your rings, although it doesn't kill you when you reach zero) is new to Oil Ocean, but a similar concept appeared in a stage (from a previous game) called Sandopolis (or something to that effect)?
Yes, it is new, and in Sandopolis act 2, you had the same levers to stop ghosts from attacking you. It is the same concept, you were safe only for a short amount of time and had to pull the levers in the stage.

Is the Giga Octo boss at the end of Act 2 a reference to anything? I imagine the smaller octo enemies were in the original Oil Ocean (since they appear in Act 1, the remade stage), so maybe the Act 2 boss is simply a super-sized take on them?
The octo is new, but Oil Ocean had pretty much the same boss (with the gun an claw). However the octo is new, but it has elements taken from the boss of Lava Reef Act 1.


Honestly, you look like you are going to enjoy the previous games :)
I greatly recommend Sonic 3 & Knuckles, because it won't be too different from Sonic Mania. It does have a lot more precision platforming however.
 
Also, I hear the smog in Act 2 (which appears to slowly deplete your rings, although it doesn't kill you when you reach zero) is new to Oil Ocean, but a similar concept appeared in a stage (from a previous game) called Sandopolis (or something to that effect)?

The handle/smog aspect is a callback both to the ghosts inside the pyramid from Sandopolis Act 2, and the overall concept is like Angel Island from Sonic 3, which gets turned into a burning inferno by its miniboss in Act 2.
 
Some truly excellent responses in here. I especially like the analysis by Eblo and Guess Who. Great work, guys.

A question about Oil Ocean: Was the oil combustible in the original version? What does lighting the oil on fire do? Seems like it's harmless when you have the fire shield, but if you don't have the shield and fall into the oil (lit by your own fire or that of a fire enemy), it hurts you?
The elemental shields were introduced in Sonic 3, so there was nothing that could ignite the oil in the original zone.
Also, I hear the smog in Act 2 (which appears to slowly deplete your rings, although it doesn't kill you when you reach zero) is new to Oil Ocean, but a similar concept appeared in a stage (from a previous game) called Sandopolis (or something to that effect)?
Sandopolis was an Egyptian desert zone. Its second act took place in a pyramid that would gradually get darker. Ghosts appeared and floated around the screen each time it did, and once it became completely dark they'd swarm around and try to kill you. You made the pyramid bright again by using the same type of pulley gimmick as Mania's OOZ.
Is the Giga Octo boss at the end of Act 2 a reference to anything? I imagine the smaller octo enemies were in the original Oil Ocean (since they appear in the remade stage), so maybe the Act 2 boss is simply a super-sized take on them?
The machine itself is just a big version of the normal enemy, but the laser and stinger attacks are from the original Oil Ocean Zone's boss, and the two tentacle things that shoot bullets are a reference to the original Lava Reef act 1's boss.


Edit: Since I've been beaten, I'll add a little trivia:

1. The sound Heavy Magician uses when she transforms into one of the obscure characters is from the Game Gear games. I think it's the losing rings sound.

2. The green one, Bean the Dynamite (yes, that's the full name) is actually a woodpecker. A guide to a different fighting game he cameos in (Fighters Megamix by the same team as Sonic the Fighters) specifies not only this but that he is the son of the main character "Bin" from an old arcade game called Dynamite Dux. Does this mean the titular ducks of the game were woodpeckers all along? Is Bean adopted? Is he a duck who prefers to be referred to as a woodpecker? We'll never know.
 

Guess Who

Banned
Some truly excellent responses in here. I especially like the analysis by Eblo and Guess Who. Great work, guys.

Thank you!

A question about Oil Ocean: Was the oil combustible in the original version? What does lighting the oil on fire do? Seems like it's harmless when you have the fire shield, but if you don't have the shield and fall into the oil (lit by your own fire or that of a fire enemy), it hurts you?

The original Oil Ocean Zone in Sonic 2 didn't have any fire elements to it at all (not counting the fire under the green lids that pop up). The elemental shields - lightning, fire, and water - weren't introduced to the series until Sonic 3.

Also, I hear the smog in Act 2 (which appears to slowly deplete your rings, although it doesn't kill you when you reach zero) is new to Oil Ocean, but a similar concept appeared in a stage (from a previous game) called Sandopolis (or something to that effect)?

Sandopolis was a stage in Sonic & Knuckles, and in the second act, ghosts would follow you around the level. At first the ghosts are harmless, but as you progressed through the level, the stage would get darker and the ghosts would get bigger, and eventually they would start attacking you. Just like clearing the smog in Mania, you would pull levers in the level to restore the lights in the stage and make the ghosts go away temporarily. The falling oil spills that you can jump up vertically are also taken from Sandopolis (like that picture cireza posted):


Is the Giga Octo boss at the end of Act 2 a reference to anything? I imagine the smaller octo enemies were in the original Oil Ocean (since they appear in the remade stage), so maybe the Act 2 boss is simply a super-sized take on them?

Exactly - the giant octopus is just a nod to the existing smaller enemies from the original stage. Also as cireza posted, the other elements of the fight are lifted from the original stage's boss fight and the original Lava Reef Act 1 boss.
 

Neiteio

Member
Seeing these screenshots from the previous games make me realize what a huge leap forward Mania is, visually speaking. It's funny how Mania looks the way I -remember- Sonic 1 looking (and what I'd seen of its sequels), but when you see them side by side, Mania really is a huge leap forward. Not to say the old games don't look good — they definitely have great art and plenty of charm — but Mania takes it to a whole new level.
 

ThaPhantom

Member
Excellent replies in here. I can also echo that if you enjoyed Mania you REALLY need to play S3&K. It is a truly epic platformer with 13 different zones, 14 emeralds to get (7 regular and 7 super), awesome boss battles, fantastic soundtrack, and like Mania you have the 4 combinations of characters to use. It is still my favorite game of all time and I kind of look at Mania as the true sequel to that.
 

Sixfortyfive

He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
A lot of people keep saying that Bean debuted in Sonic the Fighters, but he originates from a 1980s arcade game (Dynamite Dux) made by the same development studio. His 2P color scheme from Fighters matches his original appearance from Dux.



Tails' helmet in the airplane scenes is based on the one he had in the 1999 animated movie. Sonic's goggles when he pilots the plane are taken from unused Sonic 1 sprites.






Also, the chamber in Hidden Palace Zone where Sonic fought Knuckles in S&K (the room with the large murals) actually is in Sonic Mania, but it's unused, unfinished, and can only be found via debug mode.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI4KToC4QII#t=8m28s
 

Neiteio

Member
Excellent replies in here. I can also echo that if you enjoyed Mania you REALLY need to play S3&K. It is a truly epic platformer with 13 different zones, 14 emeralds to get (7 regular and 7 super), awesome boss battles, fantastic soundtrack, and like Mania you have the 4 combinations of characters to use. It is still my favorite game of all time and I kind of look at Mania as the true sequel to that.
So if I have a N3DS XL, a WiiU/Wii, a PS3, a PS4 Pro and a Switch currently hooked up in my media center... What's the best way to play S3&K?

I also have a PC that was a capable gaming PC a few years ago, but I don't really use it anymore because it acts funny.
 

Guess Who

Banned
A lot of people keep saying that Bean debuted in Sonic the Fighters, but he originates from a 1980s arcade game (Dynamite Dux) made by the same development studio. His 2P color scheme from Fighters matches his original appearance from Dux.

In the lore, he's actually the son of the Dynamite Dux character.

So if I have a N3DS XL, a WiiU/Wii, a PS3, a PS4 Pro and a Switch currently hooked up in my media center... What's the best way to play S3&K?

I also have a PC that was a capable gaming PC a few years ago, but I don't really use it anymore because it acts funny.

Of those, definitely the Wii virtual console. On the VC, I think you have to buy Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles separately, and then Sonic & Knuckles has an option to "lock on" to Sonic 3 to play the combined game.
 

Berordn

Member
So if I have a N3DS XL, a WiiU/Wii, a PS3, a PS4 Pro and a Switch currently hooked up in my media center... What's the best way to play S3&K?

I also have a PC that was a capable gaming PC a few years ago, but I don't really use it anymore because it acts funny.

If those are your only options, the Wii VC versions are probably your best bet. You can emulate them on a toaster these days, so I'd recommend getting them on Steam so you can play modded versions as well. Sonic 3 Complete is probably the best way to play 3&K these days and enhancing Sonic 1 and 2 with more characters is always nice.
 
A lot of people keep saying that Bean debuted in Sonic the Fighters, but he originates from a 1980s arcade game (Dynamite Dux) made by the same development studio. His 2P color scheme from Fighters matches his original appearance from Dux.
His 2P outfit in Fighters Megamix isn't just the same colors, it has the same face as the Dux one too! But they aren't the same character. Officially Bean's his son.
I guess this is part of the sonic canon now huh
 

goldenpp72

Member
So if I have a N3DS XL, a WiiU/Wii, a PS3, a PS4 Pro and a Switch currently hooked up in my media center... What's the best way to play S3&K?

I also have a PC that was a capable gaming PC a few years ago, but I don't really use it anymore because it acts funny.

Honestly, running a PC version and maybe considering the Sonic 3 complete mod would be great, if you want authentic, I believe the original wii versions are considered good.
 
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