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  • Accidentally Correct Writing: Sonic has a new ability known as the Drop Dash that was exclusive to Sonic Mania, but an early prototype of Sonic 3 & Knuckles was discovered that had an ability similar to the Drop Dash. The game's director Christian "Taxman" Whitehead stated on Twitter that this was an "uncanny coincidence".
  • Approval of God: The franchise's original trio of creators have sent their support and praise to the game:
  • Ascended Fanon: A mod for the original game dubbed "Max Control" gave Sonic access to the Drop Dash, Insta-Shield, and Super Peel-Out all at the same time, whereas the base game only let you have one active at any given time. When Plus was released, a proper Cheat Code was added that enables exactly this.
  • B-Team Sequel: While Sonic Team does play a role in the development of the game, it's prominently developed by Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and Pagoda West Games, rather than being done in-house, as Sonic Team was busy with Sonic Forces.
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  • Content Leak: In April 2018, Sega prematurely released an update for the PS4 version of Mania which was intended to launch along with the July 2018 release of Plus. This included new animations, stage transitions and changes to the Metal Sonic boss fight for the main game, but did not include the two new playable characters or the "Encore Mode" DLC exclusive to Plus. Sega quickly pulled it down, but details quickly spread across the web.
  • Development Gag: The clapper boards in Studiopolis Zone feature all of the game's developers on the bottom row: SEGA, CW (Christian Whitehead), HC (HeadCannon), and PWG (PagodaWest Games).
  • Dummied Out:
    • Text left in the game shows the original Sonic Discovery logo, and implies that Hyper Sonic (and Tails and Knuckles) was considered well into development before being cut. Additionally, there are Blue Sphere sprites of the Super Emeralds and active versions of the Emeralds seen in Lava Reef Zone Act 2. note 
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    • The music files for Press Garden Zone are internally called Pulp Solstice, with its sprite folders referring to it as PSZ, implying that this was the original name of that zone.
    • The "I'm outta here!" Easter egg from Sonic CD was meant to be in the game, and was enabled for pre-release demos. It can be re-enabled in the PC version through hex editing. As of Plus, it's now used for the exit option in the PC version.
    • There are many reused sprites and data in the game, mainly as a base for the developers to design new layouts for returning zones. These include:
      • The original area where Sonic and Knuckles fought in Sonic & Knuckles' Hidden Palace Zone, including the mural (albeit corrupted).
      • Originally, sprites from the mobile ports of Sonic 1 and 2, specifically of Scrap Brain Zone and Hidden Palace Zone, respectively, were found inside the game. They've been removed as of future updates.
    • Tails was supposed to have an animation for the beginning of Chemical Plant Zone Act 1, where he dries himself off with his tails. The system call for this is missing so Tails just looks up when the droplet hits him. Plus uses a similar-but-different animation instead.
    • Studiopolis Zone Act 2 was supposed to have a Love Tester slot machine. It would randomly pair your current character with the other two or with Eggman (holding a rose between his lips) or Amy and give a certain amount of points. Each character reacts to two of the outcomes, such as Sonic feeling either sick to be paired with Eggman or worried if it is Amy. Oddly enough, Knuckles reacts well to be paired with Eggman.
    • Tiles of a fist, an open hand, and two fingers spread apart (the gestures for "Rock, Paper, Scissors") were discovered in the game. These correlate with a missing boss fight (dubbed the "EggJanken" in the files) where Sonic has to hit a floating capsule that displays these images (one for Sonic and one for the boss). If Sonic beats the boss's option, the boss damages itself with its spike ball arms, and if Sonic loses the exchange, the boss attempts to crush him (scoring a draw causes the boss to fling one of its arms to where the player character is standing, shown here). The boss itself is a Mythology Gag to the mid-boss of the original Flying Battery Zone (Gapsule) with its spike ball arms and tendency to damage itself. It's also a reference to the Alex Kidd series, where "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is featured in the two most well known games.
    • Flying Battery Zone has its fair share of unused graphics. The Act 1 mini-boss "Big Squeeze" has graphics for its prongs lighting up when the base is charging, but in the final version, they only use one single graphic. There's also a 8 frames for the busted up Chopper enemies, but they only use one in-game. There's also three Wing Fortress Zone leftovers that would have presumably been used in Act 2 with it being based off of it, those being the turrets, panels that fly off, and the retracting platform.
    • Press Garden Zone Act 1 has a vast amount of unused objects and graphics. There are the newspapers, which are used in Plus as part of the scene transition from Flying Battery Zone, a shutter that could have been used to drop them, risen variants of the alphabet blocks in the zone (normally in the zone, only the risen blocks of "A", "O", and "T" are used), an Act 1 version of the swinging platforms used in Act 2, and most interestingly of all, cyan, magenta and yellow ink jars in which the characters can get tinted to the respective colors if they jump inside (granted, it doesn't visibly work with Sonic due to the pallet he uses is set up), ink wipers that don't do anything (although would presumably wipe any ink off the characters when passed), an acetone sprayer that removes ink when passed through, and two printers, dubbed the "SP500" and "SP500MkII" in the game's codenote , as well as their on and off lights.How do they work?  A video on how they function has been made here.
    • The True Final Boss stage, Egg Reverie, has several unused slopes that point to it being meant to either be a full level similar to the Metal Sonic chase or a auto scrolling one. It is also possible to spawn a version of the Phantom King that doesn't do much but summon Phantom Gunner and Phantom Magician as they're seen in the standard final boss fight. The D.A. Garden also lists a "Pinch Mode" music track for the stage that is unused in the game; its intended purpose is unknown.
    • Files were found of two signposts (which use Sonic as a placeholder), one with an "M" and another with what was assumed to be an "A", indicating that there were supposed to be two more playable characters. Plus features Mighty and Ray, indicating that they were the characters that were cut and that the "A" was most likely just a poorly drawn "R."
    • Plus has a bit of code referring to a "Vape mode", which is most likely short for Vaporwave as when active, it slows down the music to 75% of its original speed. It's also a bit buggy though, as the music returns to its normal speed once it starts to fade out and in (I.E. when the music fades out to the "Act clear" theme or if you get a 1-up, respectively).
    • There's an in-game console viewer as found by one of modders, although what it can do yet (or why it's in there) is uncertain.
  • Executive Meddling:
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Sonic the Hedgehog 9", since it's the Sonic equivalent to Mega Man 9.
    • Some fans have referred this game as the real "Sonic the Hedgehog 4."
    • Due to revisiting certain stages, some have likewise dubbed it Sonic Generations: 2D Version or 2D.0.
    • A Good Bad Bug that causes Sonic to invoke Super Sonic and gain his sprite set and Background Music Override, but leaves his color and abilities the same, has led to fans referring to it as "Super Sonic Blue", "Super Sonic God Super Sonic", or "False Super Sonic" due to Super Sonic's Dragon Ball inspiration.
    • The Difficulty Spike of the fourth special stage has caused players to refer to its Emerald as "that DAMN fourth Chaos Emerald".
    • The mini boss of both Act 1 in Mirage Saloon Zone has been dubbed the "Alaskan Bull Worm", especially since it's big, scary, and pink.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Many had assumed the game was coming to the Nintendo Switch, since Sonic Forces was announced when the system was known as the NX.
    • When Stardust Speedway Zone was revealed via Twitter, most fans immediately guessed that Metal Sonic would return as the boss of said stage.
    • Theories about Mania's connection to Forces were all over message boards, with fans noticing similarities like the Drop Dash in both games, that Forces' Classic Sonic is from "another dimension" as opposed to Generations having him be from the past, and how Mania involves a mysterious new power. The good ending reveals how Classic Sonic may have ended up in Forces as well as the possible origins of Infinite.
    • When Mania's PC release was pushed back two weeks, many on the Steam forums suspected it was simply to add DRM to the game. Two weeks later, it turned out they were right.
  • In Memoriam: A subtle one to the ROM hacking community. The Heavy Rider's Motobug is named "Jimmy" in the game's digital manual and jumps exactly like the player character in the ROM hack Motobug the Badnik in Sonic the Hedgehog, by the late Polygon Jim.
  • Milestone Celebration: Akin to Sonic Generations, this game celebrates the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Incidentally, a game similar to Generations was also announced at the same time as this. Unfortunately, neither game was released in 2016, the anniversary year. The bright side is that it wasn't rushed out like Sonic 2006 was.
  • No Export for You: Copies of the Collector's Edition with download codes for PC haven't been given a European release, unlike copies that have a code for the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One versions.
  • Promoted Fanboy: This game's staff is mostly composed of several talented Sonic fans:
    • Christian Whitehead worked on numerous Sonic fangames such as Retro Sonic before working on the official Genesis era Sonic remakes and Mania.
    • Simon "Stealth" Thomley of Headcannon is well known for his work on several ROM hacks and fan games, such as Knuckles in Sonic 1, Project Mettrix, and Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix, as well as infamously proving that Sonic 1 could be ported to the Game Boy Advance without turning it into an unplayable abomination.
    • Among the level designers is Brad "Slingerland" Flick, who previously cooperated with Whitehead for their Retro Sonic Nexus merger project before it was cancelled in favor of the official Sonic CD remake.
    • Hunter Bridges, one of the game's programmers, also worked with Whitehead and Flick on Retro Sonic Nexus, for which he also composed the soundtrack.
    • PagodaWest Games includes members of the Sonic 2 HD Fan Remake project, including the game's composer and arranger, Tee Lopes.
    • The game's soundtrack is mixed and mastered by Falk Au Yeong. Falk is known among Sonic fans for working on the soundtracks for Sonic Before and After the Sequel, as well as Sonic Time Twisted. He would later become a professional sound engineer; among other games, he mixed the soundtrack for Square Enix's Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX.
    • Kieran Gates and Paul Veer, two of the game's graphic designers, had also previously worked on Sonic fan projects in the past. Veer in particular is known for an officially-licensed print commissioned by Cook & Becker.
    • The game's cutscene animation is by Tyson Hesse, a long-time Sonic fan best known for being the guy behind the parody comic Hedgehog the Sonic, before landing the gig of illustrating the similarly classic-styled Sonic Mega Drive Archie comic. One of his assistants was his own wife, Mariel Cartwright, the lead animator of Skullgirls which also contains its own Sonic references (such as the flowers from Sonic CD, and Palette Swaps, based on Big, Shadow, and Metal Sonic for Big Band, Fukua, and Robo-Fortune, respectively).
  • Schedule Slip: Originally slated for a Spring 2017 release, the game wasn't released on consoles until August 15, 2017. Unfortunately for PC gamers, the release date was pushed back to August 29th for that platform.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • One of the early concepts for the game's story was that, after his defeat in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Dr. Eggman falls into a depression and decides to retire. The Hard-Boiled Heavies were a squad of elite EggRobos that went rogue. Aaron Webber confirmed this, though, wasn't actually the case with the game's story.
    • Alternate names were considered for Studiopolis Zone, as a result of it sharing its name with the post-production studio. Fame Plaza Zone and Opening Night Zone were among those names, but the original name was approved by the company.
    • There are a surprising amount of unused files in Press Garden Act 1, mostly involving ink, although due to the way Sonic's pallet is set up inside the game, he doesn't get tinted with the ink. Was Act 1 supposed to have more ink related gimmicks?
    • Files left behind with the True Final Boss seem to imply that the Egg Reverie fight was going to be either drastically different or perhaps just re-arranged from what the final product had. Two of the Hard-Boiled Heavies from the previous Final Boss have identical files and code here, the zone has small snippets of unused stage design, and Eggman seems to be riding a heavily customized but broken-down Eggomatic with no context for the battle, while the Titanic Monarch files show an unused gigantic mech. The implication seems to be that originally the final fight may have been like the Kyodai Eggman Robo from Sonic 3, perhaps even using the gigantic mech of Titanic Monarch, and the Phantom King's fight would've had the Hard-Boiled Heavies instead.
    • A "Vape mode" exists in the coding of Sonic Mania Plus, and is highly hinted that the music in Encore mode was supposed to be slowed down to accommodate the Phantom Ruby's odd presence after being handled twice, although bugs in that the music failed to slow down whenever the music started to fade out as well as in and the fact it didn't even work on consoles at all likely lead to it being scrapped.
    • The development team weren't actually sure if having Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine as the boss of Chemical Plant Zone Act 2 would be a good idea since it would involve getting rights to the source material. When the concept was proposed to Sonic Team, however, they liked the concept and helped them put it in.
  • Word of God:
  • Working Title: Sonic Mania was originally titled Sonic Discovery. Graphics for this unused title can be found in the sprite sheet of the title screen, and its full title screen was revealed in a developer video. The name Sonic Mania was suggested by Takashi Iizuka, head of Sonic Team, as he felt the game was made "by the mania for the mania."

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