Sonic Mania special stage revealed, plus listen to its track

Sonic Mania
We are only a few weeks away from the release of Sonic Mania. And at San Diego C0mic-Con, Sega made sure to go all out with a behind-the-scenes panel and a mini-concert over the course of two nights.

The panel focused on all aspects of Sonic Mania and featured special guests like Sonic Team Head Takashi Iizuka, developer Christian Whitehead, programmer Simon Thomley, artist Tom Fry, Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes and Sonic social media guy Aaron Webber as the host.

Here is everything we learned during the panel.

The game was an idea by Christian Whitehead in early 2016; originally, the title of the game was Sonic Discovery. Soon after, fans got to see a demo of the game which features Studiopolis Zone. Iizuka needed time to think after the pitch and came back with various questions.

“By the Mania, for the Mania” was a term Iizuka came up with while writing on a whiteboard with various ideas.

Special Stage

Similar to previous Sonic 2D games, Sonic Mania will feature a special stage for Sonic to collect the Chaos Emeralds. In addition, the stage looks like a cross between Sonic CD and Sonic R. Here, Sonic will chase down enemy UFOs, collect rings to increase time limit, and blue spheres will give Sonic an extra boost of speed.

“Dimension Heist” is the name of the special stage musical track. You can listen to it below.

Speaking of music, Sega will be releasing the Sonic Mania soundtrack on vinyl via UK-based record label Data Discs. It will be out in September and retails for £19.99 (just a little over $25).

When talking about the length of Sonic Mania, it was revealed that the game would be just as long as Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Sonic Mania will include an animated intro sequence similar to the one in Sonic CD. This was done by Tyson Hesse and the rest of the team that was behind the pre-order trailer. While the game releases on August 15th, the intro will be released online a day before.

Q&A with the Fans

During the Q&A portion of the panel, one fan asked if we would see the return of Super Sonic after collecting the seven Chaos Emeralds. Aaron Webber said you’ll have to wait and see. Another fan asked about the return of the Super Chaos Emeralds from Sonic 3 & Knuckles and if they would return. Aaron mentioned that he asked Iizuka-san this a few times and said that by adding more emeralds, they had to keep one-upping themselves for the new form, the new evolution. And it very quickly becomes like a certain anime series where the characters keep getting stronger and stronger. They decided they did not want to do that and went back to the original seven emeralds.

One of my favorite parts was when Aaron Webber talked about some of the programming bugs during the game’s development. While these are fixed, they wanted to share a few of their favorites, including one with Tails, spinning Knuckles, and Eggman galore!

Everyone who attended the event also went home with a Comic-Con exclusive “instruction manual” for Sonic Mania. Furthermore, it featured concept art, information on the game’s story, developer profiles, hand-drawn Sonic sketches from Tyson Hesse and a few pages for autographs from the team.

Sonic Mania is coming on August 15 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch. As an added bonus, you can watch the Sounds of Sonic mini-concert from SDCC below.

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