The first footage of Sonic Mania’s special stages, bonus stages, and time attack has been revealed on the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account and YouTube channel.
Special stages have sonic running around in a 3D space just like he did in Sonic CD and are found by entering a giant ring hidden in a level. In the stages, you have to chase down a UFO to get the Chaos Emerald while avoiding obstacles. As The Mercury News writes, You have to collect blue balls to boost your speed and rings to extend your time.
Bonus stages are encountered by jumping into the sparks that appear above checkpoints. Once inside, they function pretty much like they did in Sonic 3 where you have to collect blue spheres to turn them into red spheres that you then had to avoid. Turning a group of blue spheres to red turns all of them into rings.
Time Attack puts you in a certain part of the stage depending on if you’re playing as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, where you race to beat your highest times. According to The Mercury News, there will be an instant reset button and a leaderboard tracking the fastest time in each level.
All three of these extra stages can be played with either Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles.
Sonic Mania’s special stages were first revealed during San Diego Comic-Con during a panel by SEGA. According to DualShockers, all they showed was a still image of one of the special stages and the music that plays during it. SEGA also revealed that the game will have cutscenes similar to Sonic 3 & Knuckles as well as an opening animation for the game reminiscent of Sonic CD’s that will be revealed on August 14.
Sonic Mania is a collaboration between Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, SEGA, and Christian Whitehead offering new levels and updated favorites based on the iconic 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games. The game was revealed on July 22, 2016 during the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Sonic Mania releases on August 15 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.