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SPOILER ALERT: As a Moments subpage for Sonic Mania, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. Venture past this point only if you dare! You Have Been Warned.

Is that the Final Boss of Sonic 2 as the first zone's end boss?!
  • Those who have completed Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are likely familiar with its Final Boss, the Death Egg Robot, notorious for being hard even by final boss standards. Eggman shows that he means business in Mania by siccing that same robot, albeit with a few modernizing upgrades and a drop in difficulty, at the end of the first Zone in the game!
  • Knuckles gets a pretty cool moment in Lava Reef Act 2: upon reaching the end of the stage, he comes across Heavy King trying to steal the Master Emerald. After remembering what happened to him the last time he tried to grab the Master Emerald away from the villain, he decides instead just to spindash directly at Heavy King, knocking the emerald away from his clutches and starting the boss fight.
    • To add to the awesomeness, Knuckles actually managed to protect the Master Emerald (without shattering it, of course).
  • The True Final Boss: after Sonic destroys the Phantom Egg, the Phantom Ruby activates and sends him and Eggman to a pocket dimension. Turns out Heavy King has stolen the Ruby from Eggman and gotten himself an upgrade that can actually damage Super Sonic. Even as Eggman and Heavy King play hot potato with the Ruby, Sonic makes mincemeat out of them both!
    • Give props that Eggman, in spite of being double-crossed AGAIN, refuses to be usurped this time, and keeps up a fight against both Heavy King AND Super Sonic to regain possession of the Ruby.
    • This all happens while an absolutely badass track plays, which contains a riff from Fist Bump.
    • Using debug, Knuckles and Tails can also fight Egg Reverie. While playing as Knuckles results in a special ending of Knuckles reading "Sonic Mania and Knuckles" to a bunch of flickies (which can also be seen normally by unlocking & Knuckles mode and beating the game as Knuckles and Knuckles), it's still badass to see them fight the Heavy King and Eggman while in super form.
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    • Don’t want to use debug? Then get all seven Chaos Emeralds and beat the Phantom Egg using the “& Knuckles” mode, and Knuckles will be able to still fight the true final boss.
    • The natural final boss of the game. Eggman, instead of using a massive machine or complex Eggmobile addon, created a personal power suit to fight you in; the Phantom Egg. Powering it with the Phantom Ruby and tethering it to the four corners of the room for stability, he proceeds to provide the most intense fight in the game, using the Ruby's spacial distortion powers to create energy fists that teleport Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to different rooms, where it's revealed he also allowed the Hard-Boiled Heavies one last shot with the ruby to turn them into the Phantom Heavies.
  • Sonic Mania is the highest-rated Sonic game on Metacritic since the original Sonic Adventure 2's 89 score, with the PS4 version scoring an 86, Xbox One a 82, and the Switch version a 92.
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  • One of the extras you can unlock is a new Blue Sphere mode that incorporates additional spheres in the form of greennote  and pinknote  spheres. These originate from an idea that Simon Thomley (aka "Stealth") originally concocted for a never-produced remastered version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles that, among other things, would feature an updated Blue Sphere minigame. Mania finally gave him the chance to realize this.
  • This game marks the first time that Tails can turn into Super Tails just by using the Chaos Emeralds, as he doesn't need the Super Emeralds to utilize his super form anymore.
  • The debug mode is unlocked this time around instead of requiring a cheat code, and is otherwise true to the originals, allowing the player to abuse the game in all sorts of ways. While placing monitors, pressing a certain button will flip through the different monitors, including the "S" monitor which instantly gives 50 rings and activates Super Mode regardless of emeralds obtained.
  • "I had fun playing Sonic Mania there I said it". And who said that? Arin Hanson, who has been very vocal about his dislike of the previous Sonic games they've played on the show. During the Game Grumps first episode of Sonic Mania, co-host Dan Avidan notes that Arin is really enjoying himself. Quote from here.
  • Unlike Sonic 3 & Knuckles, this game's elemental shields can affect the environment. The Fire Shield can burn through spike bars in Green Hill Zone and ignite the oil in Oil Ocean Zone, while Lightning allows you to be pulled up by electric currents in Flying Battery Zone and Titanic Monarch Zone.
  • The Time Attack and Competition modes feature voice-over announcements by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi.
  • The transition from Stardust Speedway Zone Act 1 to Act 2. Your character destroys the roboticizer resulting in the "Good Future obtained" chime, passes by a Future post, then hits a booster to time-travel to Act 2 in exactly the same way time-travel is done in Sonic CD.
  • The Updated Re-release Sonic Mania Plus heralds the return of two characters Sega left by the wayside: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel! Pertinent: this is Ray's second ever appearance in the games' canon!
  • The Mania Plus update adds new transitions to Press Garden, Stardust Speedway, Hydrocity, Oil Ocean, Lava Reef, and Metallic Madness, and they're all as impressive as the others.
    • At the end of Flying Battery, Sonic grabs onto a hang glider from the 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2 all the way down to Press Garden.
    • At the end of Oil Ocean, the submarine shoots Sonic all the way to Lava Reef, landing him in a Dummied Out section of the original Lava Reef Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
    • The Heavy Rider's boss arena shoots up into the sky, and by the time the battle ends, you can see the whole of the roboticized Little Planet.
    • Finally, after clearing Metallic Madness, we get a short cutscene of the Titanic Monarch in the background, looking foreboding and frightening as hell.
  • The update also revamps the Stardust Speedway Act 2 boss with the Phantom Ruby transforming Metal Sonic into his final boss form from Knuckles Chaotix!
  • The fact that, despite being digital-only, the game has sold over 1 million copies, which is impressive for a digital-only game.
  • Gotta give kudos to Heavy Magician; from what we see of Encore, she was the only Hard-Boiled Heavy to survive.
    • With the release of Encore mode, She reveals that not only did she survive, but she gathered the damaged Heavies together, and set a trap within Eggman's trap to get the Ruby back to Heavy King, who was himself still clinging to life long enough to turn back time itself to when the Ruby was first unearthed.
  • The boss of Chemical Plant Act 2 is as awesome as it is hilarious. Eggman puts you behind one set of controls of a familiar-looking machine, then two panels open up revealing a set of Puyo's. He really wanted to play Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine with the protagonist.
  • Near the end of Flying Battery Zone Act 2, the player is sent through a high-octane rush which has them slingshotted and running underneath the airship!

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