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The game will have Metal Sonic
Come on Metal Sonic was in Sonic CD so why not bring him back here.

Amy Rose will be a secret fourth character.
  • Either that or DLC.
  • If she IS unlockable, she's probably unlocked by either beating the game once, or as your reward for collecting the emeralds as Tails, since he doesn't have a Super Form like Sonic and Knuckles.
    • Jossed due to Super Tails being available.
  • Completely Jossed. The only appearance of Amy in any form in the game is via doll form in Metallic Madness' boss, and Sega has confirmed that no DLC is currently being planned for the game.
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  • Ultra Jossed with Sonic Mania Plus instead including Ray and Mighty instead of Amy.
  • Not Jossed yet she appears in sonic mania adventures episode 6 hinting she might be dlc

Desert Dazzle, Final Fever, and Egg Gauntlet Zone will all make an appearance.
They were originally planned to be included in the Sonic CD and Sonic 2 remakes, but were given an Executive Veto in order to maintain faithfulness to the games they were based on.
  • Confirmed for Desert Dazzle, which is returning as Mirage Saloon, also including elements of the scrapped Dust Hill Zone from Sonic 2.
  • As for Final Fever and Egg Gauntlet, it's possible they may return as well; Egg Gauntlet makes sense to return if Death Egg Zone is one of the featured classic levels. Similarly, if Metallic Madness is one of the classic zones, which is eventually confirmed to appear in the game, Final Fever may well return. We'll have to wait and see for that one.
    • Jossed, Final Fever and Egg Gauntlet do not appear.
      • I could argue that Titanic Monarch and Egg Reverie is pretty much Final Fever and Egg Gauntlet in all but name. Then again I still haven't played the game yet.

Similarly, at least one of the scrapped zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will appear.
The most likely candidate is Hidden Palace Zone, given it's already a stage in the iOS remake of the aforementioned game.
  • Half-Confirmed. Mirage Saloon is based off Dust Hill and the scrapped desert stage from CD, but no Sonic 2 scrapped zones has been directly introduced.
  • Cyber City Zone makes the most sense to return out of all the scrapped S2 zones, since we already have a base aesthetic for that Zone (thanks to "The Machine" from Sonic Spinball using tiles designed for CCZ).
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    • But unfortunately, it didn't.

"As you truly imagined it" will be referenced at some point in either the game itself or its marketing.

The game has some plot connection to Sonic Forces.
  • Most likely confirmed, as Sonic gets thrown into a mysterious void in the good ending, and the Phantom Ruby is heavily implied to be linked to Infinite.

This will finish the plot bits established by the Sonic 4 games.
Considering this is a similar "back to the roots" game, this might finish up what Sonic 4 left and then continue onwards establishing the link between classic and modern.
  • This means some of Sonic 4 would get retconned most likely.
  • Unfortunately, the preorder trailer appears to have Jossed this theory, since the elevator buttons go 1, 2, 3, Knote , and Mnote . 4's nowhere to be found, so it either takes place after Mania, or else has fallen into Canon Discontinuity.
    • Likely after Mania, the Pre-Order trailer didn't have a CD Elevator Button for Sonic CD, and that's Canon.
      • And if we're counting Sonic Pocket Adventure with the cast slowly transitioning from Classic to Modern...
      • CD's absence from the elevator seems to mean very little, as many aspects of it are represented in Mania. Sonic 4 is likely still canon, just set several years afterwards.
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The player will be able to change Sonic's moveset into the ones he had in previous games.
Enabling mechanics like the Insta Shield was already a secret feature in Taxman's previous Sonic remakes. Megamix, for that matter, also allowed the player to do this.
  • Perhaps collecting Chaos Emeralds will net the player new moves for each Emerald you collect? Would make for a unique incentive for collecting all the Chaos Emeralds, at least.
  • Confirmed. Abilities like the Insta-Shield and the Peel-Out are Get Blue Spheres unlockables, but can only be used in No Save mode.

Super Tails and Super Knuckles will return.
Being a celebration of the classic series, it will make sense they would bring back the super forms of the characters, last seen in Sonic Heroes.
  • Actually, Super Tails and Super Knuckles haven't been seen since Sonic 3 & Knuckles. In Heroes, Sonic was the only one who actually turned Super. Tails and Knuckles just had glowing energy force fields that gave them the ability to fly around them.
  • Izuka has also stated that the Super Emeralds were only meant to be included as a lock-on bonus, so Super Tails would need to be Retconned into being usable with the Chaos Emeralds if that form is to be used at all. Super Knuckles is probably all but confirmed; he was usable in the mobile port of Sonic 2, so I don't see the team excluding Super Knuckles from Sonic Mania; Knuckles is playable, I can only assume he'll be able to enter Special Stages to grab Chaos Emeralds...it only makes sense.
    • Confirmed. Although Super Tails didn't have his Flicky army back in S3&K... which is a bummer, really.

Somehow, the story will feature two Sonics.
When Sonic's new sprites are shown in the trailer, there's another Sonic with the sprites from the first game hidden behind him. Also, the title card for each level features a suspicious cyan along the blue, orange and red colors of the STK trio...
  • Confirmed, so a certain extent. Metal Sonic and Silver Sonic appear, so technically there are 3 Sonics. However, one is a one-off boss fight and the other is an obscure cameo.

The game takes place between Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Knuckles Chaotix.
This is in a similar vein to Sonic the Hedgehog 4 taking place between Sonic 2 and Sonic CD, and would also explain some of the trappings and features from Chaotix appearing in this game.
  • Sonic 4 wasn't set between Sonic 2 and Sonic CD. It was set after all of the classic games.
  • Yep, Sonic 4 is set after Sonic 3, and Episode II blatantly shows it as definitely being after CD.
    • Confirmed. This game takes place directly after Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

This game takes place in an Alternate Continuity following the ending of Sonic Generations
At the end of Sonic Generations, Classic Sonic and Tails return to their own time. However, it's very common for stories involving time travel to end with the protagonist's own time in a noticeably different state than it was before, to the point that it could be considered a new timeline altogether (this happens at the ending of Back to the Future Part I, for instance); this means that Sonic Mania might not only take place in an alternate timeline from that of the "Main" series, but might also be the beginning of a total Continuity Reboot.
  • Possible, perhaps allowing for a different telling of events between classic and modern games.
  • I severely doubt Sonic Mania is going to be a continuity reboot; we already have confirmation of a new main-series title that ties itself to Sonic Generations, after all. My personal guess is it'd take place sometime after Sonic 3, but before Sonic 4.
    • Jossed. This game takes place after the events of S3&K.

Glitch Sonic and Blue Knuckles will appear as skins
Both will be Ascended Glitches.

Mecha Sonic will return as a boss.
He was a boss in Sonic 2 as well as Sonic and Knuckles. For one boss battle he will transform again into Super Mecha Sonic. One of the boss battles will have you fighting Mecha Sonic and Metal Sonic at once.
  • Partially confirmed: Metal Sonic is the boss of Stardust Speedway, and part of his boss fight involves him teaming up with a different mechanical Sonic clone. However, instead of Mecha Sonic, it turns out to be Silver Sonic... from the 8-bit version of Sonic 2.

Sonic Mania will be a surprise launch title for the Nintendo Switch.
Considering both will launch around the same time frame and that Project Sonic will be coming out later, it seems very likely.
  • Officially confirmed, though not for launch. [1]

Shadow, Metal, and Tails Doll will be secret characters.
  • Jossed. However, Metal Sonic does appear as the boss of Stardust Speedway, and there is a similar Tails Doll substitute reminicent of Amy Rose's Classic design.

There will be multiple secret playable characters based on heroes throughout the series.
Each of them will have a simple but unique abilities, as well as the ability to Spin Dash, in the same vein as Tails and Knuckles differentiating from Sonic. Some can also simply be palette swaps of the main trio. Each character would get their own Classic Form, if they don't have one already. A few possibilities are:
  • Amy Rose: Wider jump-attack range and power with her Hammer.
  • Mighty the Armadillo: Wall Jump
  • Knack the Weasel/Fang the Sniper: Palette Swap of Knuckles
  • Shadow the Hedgehog: Can Air Dash à la the Flame Shield. Also, if Super Mode is exclusive to Sonic and not Tails or Knuckles, he would be able to become Super Shadow.
  • Cream the Rabbit: Palette Swap of Tails.
  • Blaze the Cat: Can Double Jump à la Thunder Shield, and has an immunity to fire. Also, if Super Mode is exclusive to Sonic and not Tails or Knuckles, she would be able to become Burning Blaze.
  • Silver the Hedgehog: Would be able to Hover short distances, as well as automatically drag rings in via telekinesis à la Electric Shield. Also, if Super Mode is exclusive to Sonic and not Tails or Knuckles, he would be able to become Super Silver.
    • Sadly though... they're all Jossed. However, there is a very exception of Fang and Amy both appearing in this game... as an illusion preformed by the Heavy Magician and a doll reminiscent of Tails Doll, respectively.
    • As of Mania Plus, Mighty is now a player character. And it's likely he'll have the wall jump back.
      • Mighty apparently has a new move called the "Hammer Drop", much like Sonic's Drop Dash; but in a different way.

Somewhere in the game, that barrel from Carnival Night Zone, Act 2 will be referenced
  • Either through a similar (but better explained) obstacle or a background graphic.
    • Confirmed to a lesser extent. Press Garden Zone Act 1 features a spinning disc similar to the ones from Sky Sanctuary Zone, though its design bears similarities to the barrel itself.

Name the Zones that will reappear in this game.
They said that they will return remastered versions of the Zones from Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Green Hill Zone and Flying Battery Zone are going to return, so why not? This is just for fun, and the winners will be bolded.
  • Stardust Speedway: Why not bring back one of the most iconic Zones from Sonic CD, and have it tied into Studiopolis Zone?
    • Confirmed; Act 1 takes place in the Past, while Act 2 is set in the Present. However, Studiopolis Zone is connected to Chemical Plant Zone instead.
  • Mystic Cave Zone: Can't think up a good reason, but I'm sure a cave level will fit into Mania just fine.
    • Jossed.
  • Sky Sanctuary Zone: Well, why not?
    • Jossed, but it does get a brief nod at the end of Knuckles' Lava Reef boss.
  • Death Egg Zone: It is one of the iconic Zones and the Death Egg was a major part of Mega Drive Sonic games.
    • Jossed.
  • Labyrinth Zone: I'm pretty sure the level design will fit in nicely with this Zone, and making the water sections less challenging. In fact, we've seen Green Hill 9 or 10 times already, so why not for the other Zones, aswell?
    • Jossed.
  • Chemical Plant Zone: Of course, it happened back in Sonic Generations, but... it's just my opinion. I just love to see the players' looks on their faces when meeting upon the pink water of DOOM.
    • Confirmed. And for an added bonus, the infamous pink water seen in Act 1 fills up the stage quickly than it should have in the original. Looks like we might see the Classic Sonic veterans' faces on this struggle after all.
  • Collision Chaos: If we're following the top most WMG, then why not bring back this Zone in order for it to work?
    • Mirage Saloon already covers the pinball flippers and the specific breakable bumpers that were unique to Collision Chaos.
      • I meant the above WMG involving Metal Sonic. In the original game, he first appears in that zone, kidnapping Amy Rose.
    • Jossed.
  • Angel Island Zone: Of course, if Knuckles is going to have a significance in the story of Sonic Mania, why not bring back the starting level of his debut game?
    • Somewhat confirmed - while not playable, the game's opening cutscene takes place here.
      • And apparently I was correct about the former sentence; Knuckles is indeed first shown in Angel Island in this game.
    • Confirmed for Encore Mode.
  • Sky Chase Zone: It'll be a great opportunity to have the Tornado involved within the story. And if playing as Tails, Sonic will pilot it.
    • Jossed, but Mirage Saloon Act 1 is near-identical in spirit, and Sonic does indeed pilot the Tornado when you play as Tails.
  • Scrap Brain Zone: The final level of the original game has to make a reappearance here. Bonus points if it has Act 3's Labyrinth Zone-like structure.
    • Jossed. While its name was seemingly leaked in an early game dump, it is not in the final game as itself. However, the extremely similar Metallic Madness is in and its Act 1 boss is derived from the final boss of the first game. Plus, Titanic Monarch is mainly a mash up of Scrap Brain and Metropolis.
  • Casino Night Zone: It's one of the most famous Zones in the entire series and easily the most recognizable from Sonic 2 (apart from maybe the aforementioned Chemical Plant). Bonus points if there's a nod to its visual style from the prototype.
    • Jossed.
  • Marble Garden Zone: I chose this for a remastered zone candidate because of the spinning top gimmick. Then again, we have the Past version of Stardust Speedway, so?
    • Jossed, though Stardust Speedway Act 1 uses several of its mechanics.
  • Ice Cap Zone: Like the Mystic Cave Zone example above, why not have the ice level return in this game?
    • Jossed.
  • Wacky Workbench: I can clearly hear those bounce noises from the original zone in the gameplay for Chemical Plant, this might as well return and better not force the bouncy floor gimmick on us.
    • Jossed, but a couple of nods to it are given in zones such as Flying Battery.
  • Lava Reef Zone: If Angel Island doesn't make it in, this would be a good second chance. I also hope Hidden Palace is connected to it.
    • Confirmed, and Hidden Palace does appear in Knuckles' story.
  • Launch Base Zone: It's a possibility. I think I saw a handbag with the Sonic the Hedgehog logo on a Twitter post. Can't remember what it was, you'll have to look it up. Other than that, I hope this zone makes a reappearance.
    • Jossed. Only one gimmick from it appears in Press Garden Act 1.

The special stages will NOT be based on Sonic 2's.
There's Sonic 1, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 style ones even not counting the possible Knuckles Chaotix style, or anything new/based on the Advance trilogy, yet there's still a huge amount of Sonic 2 special stages.
  • Confirmed: the premise is a combination of CD's and Chaotix's Special Stages. There's a single UFO holding the Chaos Emerald that Sonic, Tails or Knuckles must chase down and hit, but all the while he's losing rings, and if he runs out, the stage ends. Additional rings can be picked up to extend the timer, and collecting a certain number of blue spheres on the track increases the player's running speed.

If Stardust Speedway takes place entirely in the past...
Then the Act 2 music would have a hypothetical "What if Spencer Nilsen was able to compose new Past music?" approach.
  • Jossed. The end of Act 1 has Sonic time-travelling to the present for Act 2.

The K in the elevator doesn't stand for Sonic and Knuckles, but Knuckles' Chaotix.
Since S&K is usually grouped in with Sonic 3 in by Sonic 3 and Knuckles, it makes more sense to lump the games together and instead of K be Chaotix. (Although it does bring to mind why they didn't put CD on the elevator button.)

Stardust Speedway will get its Present version
For lack of a time travel mechanic, it will occur as the act transition from act 1 to act 2. The boss battle will then take place in one of the future environments (possibly the Bad Future until Sonic beats the boss, at which point the stage transforms into the Good Future for the end-of-act sequence).
  • Confirmed, with the sole exception being that the boss battle with Metal Sonic takes place in the present as well.

The special stages will be a mix of all the classic Sonic games special stages.
It will take parts from Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic 3, and Knuckles Chaotix special stages and mixing them together to make something new.
  • Partially confirmed — the Special Stages seem to take influence primarily from CD and Chaotix (of all things), with a little of Sonic 1 and the Saturn version of Sonic 3D in terms of visuals.

The game takes place in the alternate dimension where the Classic Sonic from Sonic Forces comes from.
After all, the Sonic from this game and Classic Sonic from Forces both know the Drop Dash: a move which was neither seen nor mentioned before these games. Also, these games are both Sonic's 25th Anniversary titles, so it would be intersting to see them connected storywise, even by something as simple as this.
  • Not confirmed yet, but very likely; the sound that occurs when the Phantom Ruby activates is very similar to Infinite's sound when the uses his cube power, and the true ending features Sonic being sent by a portal made by the Ruby to an unknown location; where he does the pose he does in the Trailer for Forces.
  • This is also backed by the supposed continuity issues Mania has in relation with Sonic 4. The former taking place in another dimension in which Sonic 4 and onwards never happen would explain them.

The "odd energy reading" mentioned in the manual is coming from, or is at least related to Infinite.
The trailers for Sonic Forces have shown Infinite to have reality-warping powers, and the Classic Sonic in that game is able to use the Drop Dash, as mentioned above. If Infinite is the energy source described in the manual, it's likely that the remastered Zones are being produced or at least modified by Infinite in an attempt to halt Sonic and Co's progress. That would explain the Death Egg Robot's out-of-place appearance in Green Hill.
  • Possibly confirmed. The Phantom Ruby bears a resemblance to the gem on Infinite's chest, and the sound effect when Sonic is pulled into the portal in Mania's true end is the same as the sound used for Infinite's cube power; Tails is also baffled by Infinite's energy readings in the Forces trailer and says "they don't make any sense", and Mania's true ending as a whole implies some sort of connection to Forces.

The Green and Pink Spheres from the "Blue Sphere 2" tech demo will make an appearance in Mania's new Blue Sphere layouts.
Well, it's at least a chance to recycle something from Taxman and Stealth's Sonic 3 & Knuckles demo if nothing else is gonna come from it...
  • Confirmed. Completing all 32 stages of Blue Spheres unlocks a second set of "Mania" stages that introduces the new colors.

The Blue Sphere bonus stages will be used to unlock bonus content.
Using a former Special Stage as a Bonus Stage would be too complicated a setup to use it merely for powerups, lives, and/or continues (especially since the latter two are largely inconsequential). Plus, a recent interview from Polygon, which got to play through a Bonus Stage to completion, revealed that the ultimate reward for beating one is a bronze coin. It's likely that these coins can be collected and then used to purchase bonus content like concept art, alternate music tracks, or possibly even extra characters (this is the same team behind Megamix, after all). As a further aside, it's possible that getting a Perfect could award a bonus coin (since otherwise there'd be no incentive to do it).
  • The Extras menu has 32 circular slots on it, so this seems to be gaining momentum. This also means that there will either be 32 Blue Spheres stages, with one coin each, or there will be 16 stages, with one coin awarded for completing the stage and another for getting a Perfect.
    • Confirmed. There are 32 Blue Sphere stages, and completing them awards medals that unlocks bonus content. Gold medals are awarded for Perfect wins, but nothing specific is unlocked from getting all the golds.

Sonic Mania is connected to Sonic Generations
Eggman sends Sonic into a purple void in the ending of Sonic Mania and the beginning of Sonic Generations. The purple void is the Time Eater.
  • Jossed. Classic Sonic was in Green Hill when he got kidnapped by The Time Eater in Sonic Generations.

Dr. Eggman killed Sonic
.The "purple void" is actually a black hole. The "new power" is Dr. Eggman having the ability to create black holes.
  • Alternatively he sent Sonic hurling into the sun.
    • Jossed. It is most likely that Mania!Sonic was sent into Sonic Forces. His sudden appearance in that game's trailer says so otherwise.

Dr. Eggman created a Sonic Doll, Knuckles Doll, and a Metal Sonic Doll at this point of time.

The Purple Gem everyone is after is a Time Stone.
  • Jossed. Its official name is the "Phantom Ruby".

Sonic Mania will have DLC.
Infinite will be the first to be included.
  • Confirmed with the Mania Plus update released in 2018 (though sans Infinite, but it does have Mighty and Ray.

The Phantom Ruby ruined the Super Emeralds.
Trekking through Lava Reef with Knuckles takes you to Hidden Palace where you'll find them. However they are all grayed out and cracked.
  • It's also possible that the Super Emeralds were more powerful but less stable than the Chaos Emeralds, and the events of S3&K stressed them to the point where they became unusable.
  • Officially, the Super Emeralds that appear in Mania are stone replicas, though where the real ones are is anyone's guess.

There are still 6 Phantom Rubies somewhere in the world.
I mean, barring the Master Emerald (which is given concluding its name), this series doesn't just do one powerful gem. But seven of them. The remaining 6 just haven't (thankfully) been found.

The PC version can be modded.
Considering that the dev team behind this game got its start modding the classic Genesis games, there's a pretty good chance they'll leave most of the game content in a state that fans with the proper know-how can access it to create their own stage layouts, character graphics, or even entirely new zones. This is helped by the fact that the PC version of Sonic Generations itself has a thriving mod community.
  • I'd honestly like that; Sonic Mania as part of the Steam Workshop is a pretty unique idea if you ask me.
    • What if that's the reason they delayed the game; not for "optimization" but to ensure the Workshop and tools work?
      • Actually, it got delayed because of minor bug fixes and the Denuvo DRM implantation, not because of the Workshop. However, the DRM issue got fixed so at least anyone can add in mods now.

Knuckles' Chaotix features Mighty instead of Sonic because...
Sonic has disappeared, thanks to the final battle in Mania. This doesn't count his cameo in the game's True Ending.
  • To take this WMG even further, the bad ending of Knuckles' Chaotix might actually be the canon ending, because of the upcoming Sonic Forces.

Studiopolis Zone takes place in the city in Chemical Plant Zone's background.
Since Studiopolis comes right after Chemical Plant and is accessed via high-speed tube, this is entirely possible.

Lava Reef Zone is more "open air" than before because the Death Egg launch in S&K blew off the top of the volcano.

Eggman's meddling with the timeline caused the events of Sonic 4 to be erased
The Time Eater, while leaving much of the timeline intact with its destruction, caused some permanent damage in a few places, most notably Sonic 4. This is why Sonic 4 is retconned out of existence as Sonic 3&K's "true" sequel. Possibly, it caused the awakening of the Phantom Ruby, which altered the timeline.

The Egg Reverie Zone...
...is actually Eggman's dream.Wizeman and Reala are around and they nudged Eggman to have that dream.
  • "Reverie" also means 'a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts', in other words, a daydream. If this were the case, then where's the Eggman Empire in the background, since that was his dream/goal?

The game will eventually be released on mobile devices.
  • The game runs on the same engine as the remakes of Sonic 1, 2, and CD, and they work on mobile just fine. All it would take is some visual tweaks and the mobile controls to be ported over.

This is a parallel dimension version of Sonic 4.
  • The two games have the same basic premise, except Mania has the Phantom Ruby. Forces' Classic Sonic comes from Mania, while Generations' Classic Sonic is actually a different timeline/dimension, which then becomes Sonic 4.

In Oil Ocean Zone Act 2, the player characters not in use are following you and pull switches for you whenever you're in a sub or the boss fight.
It would explain why when you exit a sub, the fumes have been reset, and why the fumes don't appear at all during the boss. They don't pull switches for you when you're in the main body of the Act because a. they see you as the leader of the pack and leave the responsibility to you and b. they're too busy fighting other Badniks or going through obstacles to help out. Once they see that you've gone someplace where there's no switches, they'll stop what they're doing and take over on switch duty.

Mirage Saloon Zone starts with Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails all together, if for a brief moment, it would be fair to assume that Knuckles follows Sonic and/or Tails throughout the Zone and continues following after using the gun-cannon to go to OOZ.

How Zones that didn't make the cut would've been remixed if they were put into Mania
  • Sonic 1:
    • Spring Yard Zone: Would have the plunger springs from Casino Night Zone.
    • Labyrinth Zone: Wold have elements of Tidal Tempest, and a boss battle similar to the escape scene in Act 3 but with some stops where you have to fight and actually damage Eggman's latest contraption.
  • Sonic 2:
    • Casino Night Zone: Act 2 would use the visual assets of its Sonic 2 prototype version, and have some elements of Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball.
    • Hidden Palace Zone: Would have elements of Mystic Cave Zone (referencing the two zones' connection in the smartphone ports of Sonic 2), with the boss fight taking place in a spike pit. Alternatively, the original Mystic Cave Zone is Act 1 and Hidden Palace is Act 2.
Mighty and Ray will have a mode in the same vain as Sonic and Tails
given how they are practically alternate versions of Sonic and Tails (Mighty being heavily based on Sonic's sprites and a early prototype of him in development. While Ray is a very blatant Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Tails.) It would be a very missed oppertunity if these two don't get the classic Sonic+Tails mode treatment.

The Sonic mania split timeline theory
Basically the reason why Classic Sonic in Generations is past Sonic and Forces is an AU Sonic. Is because of a split timeline created by the events of Sonic Generations. After Classic Eggman returned to his timeline he remembered all of the events of the past so far including Chaos which is the starting point of the modern timeline. Knowing that Chaos would betray him he simply doesn't break the Master Emerald, Create the E-100's, free Shadow, upgrade Metal Sonic, and so on which would set the stage for his future failures. And basically negate the events of the modern Sonic games. Of course the Phantom Ruby happens and everything falls apart anew.
  • This theory leads to a case of fridge horror when you realize that without Shadow no one will be able to stop the Black Arms when they return to earth.

Encore Mode will feature the Super Emeralds.
With the concept of Encore mode being a complete remix of the game's levels layout, there will most likely be special rings in there, perhaps to entice players to find them (as well as add challenge for players to the new layouts by removing the Chaos Emeralds) The Super Emeralds will be optional for a new batch of special stages. This might not be totally out of the question as both text and graphics relating to the Super Emeralds / Hyper forms are already in the game, currently unused. This may also give Sonic Tails and Knuckles their original Hyper (Super in Tails's case) abilities while giving similar buffs to Mighty and Ray.

Players will be able to choose the Com character
In the logical next step from Knuckles mode. Plus may actually feature the ability for players to use a similar feature to the structure of Sonic Advance 3. Example having Sonic and Mighty or Knuckles and Ray.This troper believes this may be possible by this from screenshot [2] Famitsuu magazine. There is also [3] This Screenshot where it looks like Sonic is being followed by someone Red. While people may jump to say this is & Knuckles mode in effect. The hue of red this sprite is doesnt match with the more pinkish red Knuckles is within Mania Leading to the possiblity it is Mighty.
  • Confirmed. You chose the player character and have a choice of leader from Mighty and Ray in the beginning of the game. As the game goes on, you can find other characters in monitors ala 1-UP boxes. In that instance, it was Sonic with Mighty following him.

The Phantom Ruby is a One Ring Expy.
It's highly implied the Ruby has some sort of sentience to it, unlike the Chaos Emeralds. It seems to amplify and power up others, as seen with the Hard Boiled Heavies, but it also corrupts them and makes them greedy-the Heavy King was once a soulless Egg-Robo but the change led it to try and usurp Dr Eggman. The Phantom Ruby, like the One Ring, is the extension of some greater scope villain's power and essence, possibly even a Soul Jar holding the villain after his original body was destroyed. Dr Eggman himself is unaffected holding the Phantom Ruby because he's that full of himself. It's possible whoever made it or whatever it embodies had some hand in the Chaos Emerald's history.

Encore Mode is an alternate timeline to Mania Adventures
Both Encore Mode and Adventures begin the same way: Sonic returns to his own reality via a Phantom Ruby portal. However, in Adventures he's busy waving goodbye to someone, which is how he went out in Forces. Meanwhile in Encore Mode he returns as he left Egg Reverie, being floated by the Phantom Ruby. Thus, it's possible to conclude that Encore Mode takes place in a reality where Sonic never visited the fallen world of Forces after the Egg Reverie battle and Adventures is the one where he did.
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