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Sonic Mania Stages: A Helpful Infograph


Zippo

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ZYsZH13.jpg

Better quality image. A big thanks goes to Faber of Wisps and Might!

Knock 4chan all you want, but sometimes little nuggets of greatness come out of that board. As you can see, someone compiled the stages that have been confirmed or are likely to be deconfirmed so far. It's up to date, as far as i know. 

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Okay, that is... really, really insightful and nicely compiled there.

I picked up on a few returning stage gimmicks, but the guys at 4chan really went in a whole lot deeper with this.

And it makes me all the more hopeful for Ice Cap.

I just really want to see S3's Ice Cap again, guys.

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39 minutes ago, Jeffhog said:

Okay, that is... really, really insightful and nicely compiled there.

I picked up on a few returning stage gimmicks, but the guys at 4chan really went in a whole lot deeper with this.

And it makes me all the more hopeful for Ice Cap.

I just really want to see S3's Ice Cap again, guys.

With just another ice stage I'll be happy. 

Maaaaaaaybe Blizzard Peaks? Would love to hear Tee Lopes doing a remix of that song. 

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Just now, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

The question people are wondering about is what the S3 stage is.

I have a bad habit of considering S3&K the S3 basically.

I always hated splitting them since they were pretty much one game, split in two because of time...

I'd say, speaking purely on the S3 portion, Hydrocity as Ice Cap just isn't right without the music used in the past, to me.

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I am curious about Sonic CD/Little Planet, whether it could be a post-game / New Game + situation.  It certainly would be lovely for it to be within the main game, although if it is not, that would leave more space for there to be two zones from each game 1,2,3, and K; then a two or three (perhaps one more new zone and secret Heavy in the post game!) zone visit to Little Planet!  

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I would like to see IceCap, but I'm very suspicious about Hydro City and Aquatic Ruin (By the level order showed in the trailer (Green Hill, Flying Battery and Aquatic Ruin)). And I think that it have something more about Stardust Speedway (About Time Travels, I don't think (And want) that will be past "only"), may with signs as in the original game or different sprites per act (Something like Act 1: Past, Act 2: Present, Act 3: Bad Future (Good Future isn't too nostalgic for SEGA as showed in Sonic Generations)).

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I think the biggest shock here to me is that Scrap Brain now has a decently good chance of getting in, of all the stages they could have picked, that is a very interesting choice. The writing is on the wall, though. Sonic 3's stage is going to be Hydrocity. 

R.I.P. Marble Garden.

R.I.P. Star Light.

R.I.P. Quartz Quadrant. 

R.I.P. Casino Night. 

We hardly knew ye. 

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3 minutes ago, Zippo said:

I think the biggest shock here to me is that Scrap Brain now has a decently good chance of getting in

Sonic 1's other stage will be Clockwork zone ;)

 

I'd be surprised and a bit disappointed if the classic games aren't equally represented (i.e. two zones from each). I would expect a new original zone for Mania (maybe the final zone) to have an Eggman's base theme, maybe "ROBOTNIKLAND!". In which case also adding Scrap Brain would be a strange choice. 

I'm growing more confident Mystic Cave will be the other zone from Sonic 2. If we're getting Hydro City from Sonic 3 there's no way we'll also get Tidal Tempest or Aquatic Ruin because they're all under-water stages.

Hmm...

 

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Provided that we're getting anywhere between six to eight total classic Zones, that still leaves the likelihood of some games getting the double-dip treatment. Out of the five, up to three of these games will get a second tribute, meaning it could also be just the one for all we know.

Taking into account what significant landmark stage elements and tropes we have seen being replicated in existing Mania levels, both brand new and remixed, this is pretty much what the list of contenders is whittled down to, based on what the infographic made note of. Zones bolded are my more favoured picks.

Sonic 1: Maybe. Maybe.

  • CONFIRMED: Green Hill Zone. 
     
  • POSSIBLE:
    • Scrap Brain Zone, almost without contest, but would make for a third industrial-type Zone following CPZ and FBZ. Would need some real good reinventing in the second Act for it to stand out, seeing as certain elements are brought back in Studiopolis.
       
    • Some Badniks have been reused across multiple Zones in a game in the past (e.g. Crabmeat), therefore bringing the volcanic ruin stage Marble Zone to a close second.

Sonic 2: Extremely likely.

  • CONFIRMED: Chemical Plant Zone.
     
  • POSSIBLE:
    • Aquatic Ruin Zone, based on its appearance in the inaugural Sonic Mania 25th Anniversary Trailer in which GHZ (obvious pick) and FBZ (not so obvious pick) also appeared. A ruins-centric area is always welcome, plus it already transitions from CPZ.
       
    • Hill Top Zone for the high mountainous area with volcanic elements, but might clash stylistically with GHZ.
       
    • Oil Ocean Zone, while unique, would still be yet another industrial area to tack on with CPZ (a fellow S2 stage) and FBZ.
       
    • Mystic Cave Zone could allow for deeper exploration into the underground mining tunnels of Westside Island and (personally speaking) has the most potential as a result — Hidden Palace β and the Zone's recent appearance in one of the final Archie's Sonic Universe arcs, "Shattered", come to mind. Might clash with LRZ as underground level.

Sonic 3: WHO FRIGGIN' KNOWS, MY DUDES.

  • CONFIRMED?: Hydro City Zone, which made for arguably the better received aquatic Zone in the entire classic Sonic lineup for its comparatively not-so-claustrophobic level design (LOOKING AT YOU, LABYRINTH ZONE) and tasty, savoury jams. Elements can easily be borrowed from other underwater stages in the early series such as Tidal Tempest Zone and the aforementioned Labyrinth Zone. The stage might have been leaked earlier today as well, but there's no direct confirmation at this time.
  • POSSIBLE:
    • Ice Cap Zone, the landmark ice trope level with a memorable (albeit automated) opening bit as Sonic, complete with snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and ice-filled caverns. Can easily transition from FBZ as originally designed. Completely biased as this is my top favourite classic Zone. Features one of the most remixed songs in video game history, but its current legal status is completely unknown outside of fan speculation, leaving its likelihood up in the air. Concept art in the Mania manual from SDCC is also likely pointing to a possible new ice-themed stage as well, so... yeah. Hard times... :'x
       
    • Launch Base Zone, which marked the second launch (and subsequent second crash) of the Death Egg. Status dubious over it being another industrial trope although with underwater elements, but that could hinge on remaining stage picks and how it can be reinvented in the second Act. Points for the standout Big Arms boss. Can be used to re-establish Eggman's presence on Angel Island. Easily transitions from HCZ underwater or, like in the original, ICZ through the snow.

Sonic & Knuckles: Likely.

  • CONFIRMED: Flying Battery Zone.
     
  • POSSIBLE: 
    • Sandopolis Zone: From the shifting sand lands to the inner tunnels of a pyramid, animated golems and spooky scary ghouls, there's a lot that Sandopolis could bring to the table. Already transitions from FBZ in the original game. Counterpoint… Mirage Saloon Zone.
       
    • Lava Reef Zone: Dive deep into the volcanic tunnels of Angel Island, leading you closer and closer to the Master Emerald in the Hidden Palace. Does what Marble Zone does with lava but better with active Act 1 and cooled Act 2, and can take notes from Hill Top Zone on rising lava hazards. Might clash with MCZ as an underground level.
       
    • Sky Sanctuary: Ruins way up in the heavens? Sure, but... didn't this place crumble down twice already in S3&K? What would be left of it now?

Sonic CD: Not very likely.

  • CONFIRMED: Stardust Speedway Zone.
     
  • POSSIBLE: By process of elimination... Tidal Tempest. That said, if SSZ does bring in time travel as well and the foreseen Hydro City/other underwater Zone borrows elements from this Zone, TTZ could be a redundant choice, therefore possibly leaving SSZ as the only SCD-representing stage.
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Actually, the infograph is slightly out of date, as I totally forgot about the manual and the screenshot. The new stage shown in the concept art looks to be our new ice level. Expected, but Ice Cap is out of the running. 

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1 minute ago, Zippo said:

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Actually, the infograph is slightly out of date, as I totally forgot about the manual. The new stage shown in the concept art looks to be our new ice level. Expected, but Ice Cap is out of the running. 

A man can still dream, Zippo.

Though a fleeting, impossible dream it may be at this point, a man can still dream. :'D

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3 minutes ago, Jeffhog said:

A man can still dream, Zippo.

Though a fleeting, impossible dream it may be at this point, a man can still dream. :'D

I'm with ya, Jeffhog. I'm a huge Ice Cap fan, but I'm just being realistic so it doesn't hurt as much. 

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As per Mayor D's status update, there is a rumored leaked re-imagined stage which is:

Spoiler

Hydrocity.

Quoting from Retro:

So, this may be along the lines of dissecting levels via toy packaging ala Sonic Generations, but something interesting came about today. Midio, one of the pixel artists for Sonic Mania, made these three images and posted them on his (?) twitter:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Lovely stuff, showing the three characters running through stages that happen to be in Mania. But originally Knuckles wasn't in Flying Battery. This morning Midio posted another version of this picture showing Knuckles running through Hydrocity zone instead (which I unfortunately didn't screencap), but then it was taken down and replaced with the Flying Battery version. Could that imply that Hydrocity is a stage in Mania? If so I'm all for it, I loved Hydrocity Zone. I don't think I would have suspected it as much had it not been taken down. 

Check out the thread on Sonic Retro if you wanna know more.

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s1-sbz-appearanceimg2.png

Starting to think Scrap Brain isn't coming back either and is instead being referenced in Studiopolis Act 2. The wheel in the drawing looks like a film reel, while the wheel in Scrap Brain resembles a gear.

CoEBb4nXYAAlLKr.jpgYup. Just checked. Looks like it. Scrap Brain isn't getting in. 

Oh well, scratch another one off the list. 

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4 hours ago, Zippo said:

I think the biggest shock here to me is that Scrap Brain now has a decently good chance of getting in,

Scrap brain is my favorite final zone in the series, ESPECIALLY its music which is also in my top lists.

TeeLopes version of Scrap Brain music?

Recreated with Whitehead's magic?

DELICIOUS!!!!

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Just some thoughts.

  • Their evidence against Marble pretty weak, Sonic 1 had some badniks appear in more than one level, so pulling bats from Marble into Green Hill shouldn't really mean anything.
  • Their evidence against Labyrinth is also weak, "moving platforms on a conveyor" isn't unique to that zone, and the platforms themselves more closely resemble the ones from Scrap Brain or Metallic Madness anyway.
  • The only thing they're tying to Quartz Quadrant is actually a gimmick from Carnival Night specifically.  The Quartz Quadrant version is similar but not the same, and thus shouldn't be enough to lock it out.
  • They explicitly choose not to write off levels because of their general tropes, but there's at least example where they blatantly should.  Case in point...
  • There's no way in Hell Sandopolis is gonna happen. because Mirage Saloon exists.  How is that not common sense?
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It's a very useful infographic, and a good collection of everything we know, but I would agree that some of their conclusions perhaps require a little refinement; I certainly wouldn't rule out Quartz Quadrant yet, either - not least since, if we were to get a second CD zone, the apparent confirmation of Hydrocity firmly knocks Tidal Tempest out of the running.  I'm sure that Hydrocity will embrace Labyrinth and Tidal Tempest elements in an ultimate water maze mashup, but it and Tidal Tempest really cannot co-exist; if we're getting double CD representation, Quartz Quadrant is now extremely likely.  Likewise, I would agree that Sandopolis is not happening; it's a very different stage from Mirage Saloon in many respects, but the fundamental idea underlying both is the same.  They're deserts with a lot of sand and a lot of yellow, orange, and brown; there's no getting away from it.

If we're talking about which games will get double-dipped and which may not, I'm actually coming strongly around to the view that S3&K will probably be treated as a single entity, with one zone from each half; the continuity between the two games, and the fact that as the pinnacle of the classics they don't really need much reimagining anyway, makes it difficult to justify the prospect of getting four zones collectively from it.  It's increasingly difficult to know what to expect from the other games, though; Sonic 2 has too many strong contenders, and Sonic 1, at this point, too few.  Scrap Brain in particular does look like a case where there are very close echoes of some of its gimmicks, but thematically I think it would be more satisfying to bring back the Sonic 1's final level as well as its first level rather than bringing back both its first and its second level; on the other hand, Marble is a pretty unique level that isn't really echoed anywhere else in the classics and I think it has a lot of room for reinvention.  For Sonic 2, I'm increasingly doubtful of the Aquatic Ruin "clue" from the first Mania trailer; Mystic Cave looks like it could really happen at this point.

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