SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

San Diego Comic Con played host to the Sonic Mania Development team yesterday, in a panel that included Takashi Iizuka, programmers Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, alongside lead artist Tom Fry, composer Tee Lopes and SEGA community manager Aaron Webber. Our man in the field Jason Berry was at the panel, and captured the events as they happened via The Sonic Stadium Twitter.

The following is a summary of the panel discussion:

  • Sonic Mania was originally named “Sonic Discovery” during it’s early development stages
  • When Sonic Mania was first pitched to Iizuka-san in early 2016, a working demo was already playable featuring Studiopolis Zone
  • Iizuka-san came up with the phrase “By the Mania, for the Mania”
  • Many different story narratives were discussed for Mania, including a defeated Eggman retiring, while his machines form their own gang in the Hard Boiled Heavies
  • The Sonic CD-like special stage was revealed, which sees the player chase a UFO
  • The special stage music track “Dimension Heist” was played
  • Sonic Mania will feature sprite cut scenes, a la Sonic 3 & Knuckles
  • Sonic Mania will feature an opening animation by Tyson Hesse, and will be revealed on August the 14th
  • Aaron Webber stated no Super Emeralds will feature in the game, following an audience question
  • Attendees at the panel received a free “Introduction manual”, in the style of the 32X instruction manuals, detailing game story, developer profiles and new sketch-hog art by Tyson Hesse

The gallery below shows some of the pages of the manual, courtesy of Aaron Webber and Steven Page via Twitter.

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Adam Tuff

With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.


  1. OMG Blue Spheres (S3&K), Tube Panic (Chaotix) and UFOs (SCD) just had an awesome 3-some

    Oh man I want a copy of that manual.

  2. The manual also shows a new zone looks like a Japanese winter theme from the artwork sounds interesting

  3. The level of fan-service is so damn high and it just keeps on giving! Was hoping for S3 special stages, but this’ll do.

    Jesus, to see where Tyson started back in 2000 on fireball20xl to literally inside the stronghold of Sega; Proud of the guy and hope that Sega uses him more for this.

  4. Cool news, although I would rather having seen a new level, or the special stage in motion.

  5. I wish and hoped it to be longer, this will not make a lot of new stages if the game is as long as S3K, and will not have a very long playtime 🙁

    Also I absolutely hate CD special stages, I find them really horrible to play, so I’m afraid of this, I hope it will control well.

    Except for the music and the story, these news are an overall disappointment (especially because I’m tired of GHZ, and we already had CPZ in Generations. I just hope the game will please me and that they won’t put Sky Sanctuary, still hoping for Hydrocity…

    Let’s they they had raised my expectations to a very high level, and now they are lowered so, meh…

  6. Not sure how I feel about the UFOs since I found that to be the worst part of Sonic CD. But using the spheres to gain speed was a gimmick from Sonic Heroes too.

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