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Headscratchers / Sonic Mania

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  • The Master Emerald is resting at its shrine as it should, yet Angel Island is on sea level. In Sonic 3, it was brought down by the Death Egg's crash, but nothing of the sort seems to have happened here and Knuckles is unconcerned in the beginning. The presence of the inactive Super Emeralds also only raises more questions.
    • It might be due to the Phantom Ruby. Its ability to warp time and space may have affected the Master Emerald/Super Emeralds and caused Angel Island to go down to surface level. Perhaps it warped the island so quickly that Knuckles didn't even notice it happen.
    • Regarding the "Super Emeralds" in Mania, Word of God is that they're actually stone replicas of the real deal.[1]
  • Little Planet is suddenly chained and turned to metal again for no given reason, even in the manual. In the backstory of Sonic CD, this mystical planetoid only appears over a lake in the Mirage Island that Sonic 4 would later take place in, but in Mania, it is very close to Lava Reef in Angel Island instead. Is it chained to Angel Island now or is Angel Island parked right next to Mirage Island?
    • Eggman probably used the space-time warping powers of the Phantom Ruby to capture it again. As for why it's chained to Angel Island, my only guess is that Eggman wanted to plant his new base close to the Master Emerald's shrine and/or screw with Knuckles.
  • Titanic Monarch is set on Little Planet. This zone name isn't alliterative.
    • The whole place was built by Eggman. He'll call it anything he feels like.
    • Titanic Monarch is not actually part of the Little Planet, much like the Death Egg is not part of West Side Island or Angel Island.
  • Why did Heavy King try to steal the Master Emerald? What is he going to do with it?
    • Seeing as he tried to take the Phantom Ruby for himself in the true final battle, I'm guessing he was planning to use it to overthrow Eggman.
  • Speaking of the true final boss fight, unlike in most Super Sonic battles, the arena has a floor that's safe to stand on. Sonic doesn't really need Flight to not die horribly. So, how does running out of rings kill him?
    • Not being able to fly puts him out of reach of both bosses, so dying automatically just lets the boss restart immediately, instead of the player having to hope to get hit.
    • Doesn't said fight take place entirely in outer space, or at least an alternate dimension? Do we know that regular Sonic can survive there for more than a few seconds (cutscenes aside)?
  • Why is there more machinery and construction in the background of Act 2 of Lava Reef Zone than before? It even looks like some of the background graphics from Casino Night Zone are in there.
    • It's likely that Eggman is constructing the chain and base to keep Little Planet tethered, since it can be seen in the same background.
  • What did Eggman want to do with the Titanic Monarch and Little Planet?
    • Probably take over the universe with the help of the Phantom Ruby fueling the Titanic Monarch itself. Little Planet is probably just to snag the Time Stones as well, because why wouldn't he?
  • What do the scrolling pages in the background of Press Garden Zone act 1 say? I can't make them out, even with pause.
    • I think Eggman uses Press Garden to print propaganda, so maybe that's what's on the newspapers.
    • The vertical ones are very large wanted posters of Sonic. I haven't been able to make out what the horizontal ones are yet.
  • Why is Eggman not in some sort of mech or even the basic pod in Hydrocity Zone Act 1? Did he accidentally lock himself out of the device you use in the end-of-Act boss fight?
    • The fact that you meet Eggman before you fight him and he's just swimming around suggests to me that Sonic reached the end a bit sooner than he expected, forcing Eggman to fight Sonic with what he had on hand at the time.
  • Does anyone know how Sonic Mania fits with the timeline relative to the classic games and Sonic 4? Is it 1, CD, 4, 2, 3 & Knuckles, and finally Mania?
    • Sonic Forces states that its incarnation of Classic Sonic comes from another dimension (unlike the one from Generations, who was from the same dimension's past), and heavily hints it's the Sonic from Sonic Mania. That would put Mania in a dimension parallel to Sonic 4 and the rest of the mainline games.
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  • Why does the level select screen use the Death Egg Zone icon from Sonic 2 for the final level? It doesn't fit it at all, and the other levels have their own unique icons. Were the artists too lazy to make one more icon?
  • Why is the desert Zone called Mirage Saloon? The place only has a few saloons, and only in the second act. And it’s definitely not a huge saloon level.
  • Why oh why aren't the green and pink spheres used in the bonus stages? They would have quelled the "the bonus stages are too much of a rehash of Blue Sphere" complaints.
    • There is a Mania option for the Blue Sphere stages that includes the green and pink spheres. You need a certain number of medals to unlock the option, though.
    • The question was "why aren't the green and pink spheres used in the bonus stages", as in the mid-level bonus stages.
  • In the launch trailer, there's a part where certain zones are displayed inside rings. I can make out Flying Battery, Mirage Saloon, Lava Reef, Hydrocity, Stardust Speedway (future) and possibly Oil Ocean. What are the rest of them?
    • The ring with the palm tree and clouds is Green Hill. The partially seen ring in the bottom right corner showing a red city is either Oil Ocean or Chemical Plant. The ring in the background showing the dull green rocks does not appear in the game proper, or might be Act 1 of Stardust Speedway. And the ring at the bottom center-right might be Titanic Monarch.
  • While the new transitions in the Mania Plus are pretty great, it doesn't do well in showing how Sonic gets from Hydrocity (which is on Angel Island) to Mirage Saloon and Oil Ocean (which, judging from the latter, are on Westside Island from Sonic 2) to Lava Reef (Angel Island again) to Metallic Madness (Little Planet).
    • In the case of Oil Ocean to Lava Reef, some fans have pointed out that the submarines in Oil Ocean look similar to those flying ships in Marina Madness in Knuckles' Chaotix. Perhaps the assumption is that the submarines have flying capability and that it just... flew all the way there as a reference to that. Alongside the return of Mighty and Metal Sonic Kai, it wouldn't be the first Chaotix reference they added this update.
    • Lava Reef to Metallic Madness is explained during the battle against Heavy Rider itself. The revamped version of the fight has the platform that the battle takes place on start to rise once the battle begins. After Heavy Rider gets defeated, Sonic turns to the background and Little Planet appears, which means that the platform was rising up to Little Planet.
    • And while the Hydrocity transition admittedly doesn't show it very well, there is a plausible explanation to how Team Sonic gets to Mirage Saloon: Hydrocity is directly below Angel Island Zone, which is where the Tornado was set down when the game kicked off. The opened up pathway presumably leads back there, whereupon the gang all meet up, get on the Tornado and shoot off to Westside Island (possibly due to seeing Eggman zooming off there as well).
  • A bit of Fridge Logic: if the Fire Shield lets the characters set fire to the oil in Oil Ocean, shouldn't the Water Shield let them walk on top of it?
    • The Water Shield is a giant bubble of air, not water.
      • To add to that, oil is less dense than water so theortically, if the water shield was actual water, you would sink.
  • Why did Sonic Mania's split-screen multiplayer use the "squashed screens" from Sonic 2, rather than the "zoomed out screens" from Sonic 3, which look better and have a wider view area? Every other gameplay aspect of Sonic Mania seems inspired by Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but that's the one area where it regressed to Sonic 2 for some unexplained reason.
    • Sonic Mania Plus adds the option to use zoomed out screens, but even then it's half-assed, as it's pillarboxed.
  • Why does Sonic wear swimming goggles when piloting the Tornado, rather than an aviator hat like Tails? I know the Ascended Fanboys behind Mania loved to reference scrapped content from the classic games, and they were a reference to the scrapped goggles from Sonic 1, but they didn't fit here. In fact, neither did Tails' aviator hat for that matter, seeing how he doesn't wear them when piloting the biplane in any of the other games.


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