All Sonic Mania Zones revealed
Soinic Mania consists of twelve Zones, each of which has two Acts. Zones can change significantly in look and feel from one Act to the next, and at the end of each Act you'll face a boss.
Here are all the Zones in Sonic Mania, along with some notes about the contents and origin of each one.
1: Green Hill Zone
Though the game opens in a manner similar to Sonic 3's Angel Island, your first encounter with Dr. Robotnik and his minions will send you back to Green Hill Zone as it appeared in the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. The level has been modernized and updated like all the classic inclusions in Sonic Mania, but you'll recognize the look and feel from that original Sonic title.
2: Chemical Plant Zone
Chemical Plant Zone originally appeared in Sonic 2, and features the same intense drowning music that frightened so many of us in our youths. Things get a little mixed up in Act 2, as chemical liquids of different colors have different effects, bouncing Sonic to different heights in a manner that feels like something out of a Portal game.
3: Studiopolis Zone
Studiopolis is a brand new zone for Sonic Mania. It's set in an urban environment full of references to television, and is packed with Easter Eggs die-hard Sonic fans will recognize.
4: Flying Battery Zone
Flying Battery Zone feels like a late-game level, but you're just getting started in Sonic Mania when it shows up. It's an updated verson of a zone from Sonic & Knuckles, and includes interesting features like magnetic surfaces that will attract players who are equipped with a lightning shield.
5: Press Garden Zone
Press Garden Zone is another new one for Sonic Mania, though it feels a bit like ancient ruin-themed levels which appeared in multiple classic Sonic games. Act 2 introduces effects which can freeze Sonic in blocks of ice, which can be useful for sliding through the level and destroying spikes and enemies.
6: Stardust Speedway Zone
This is an updated take on a level from Sonic CD, and though Sonic Mania doesn't include the same kind of mid-level time travel as that game had, we see very different versions of the Zone in Acts 1 and 2. Act 1 is a much more primitive "back to nature" experience, while Act 2 is clean and futuristic.
7: Hydrocity Zone
The water level from Sonic 3 makes a surprise appearance in the middle of Sonic Mania. Be mindful of your oxygen levels if you don't have a bubble shield, and get ready for an underwater boss fight!
8: Mirage Saloon Zone
Mirage Saloon might be the best of the brand new stages in Sonic Mania, and features an airborne segment and a battle along a train before settling in for a more standard second Act. Your experience with this level will vary depending on what character you play, as Knuckles faces a totally different Act 1 which takes place on the ground, rather than in the air.
9: Oil Ocean Zone
This pollution-packed Zone from Sonic 2 makes a reappearance in Sonic Mania, only this time Sonic's flame shield can light oil pools (or the oil ocean itself) on fire to dramatic effect. In Act 2 you'll be racing against thick red clouds that slowly suffocate Sonic and drain his rings over time.
10: Lava Reef Zone
Lava Reef makes the leap from Sonic & Knuckles to the modern era. As the name implies, a fire shield is extremely valuable in this Zone.
11: Metallic Madness Zone
The final level from Sonic CD appears as the second-to-last level of Sonic Mania. This is definitely one of the most challenging Zones in the game, and includes interesting elements like shrink rays and catapults that send Sonic into the background of the stage.
12: Titanic Monarch Zone
The final stage of Sonic Mania is another brand new one, though it includes some elements you'll recognize from other stages in classic Sonic titles (including the yellow bumpers seen in the screenshot above). This is a very challenging Zone, and it's the only one in which we suffered a Time Over loss during our initial playthrough.
Don't miss our full Sonic Mania review.