New details on Sonic Mania — Sonic the Hedgehog’s highly anticipated return to the 2D sidescroller genre — have emerged from an official developer panel at San Diego Comic Con.
During the panel last night, behind-the-scenes information on the development of the game was given by Sonic creator Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Mania developer Christian Whitehead, Sonic the Hedgehog Social Media and PR Manager Aaron Webber, as well as multiple others associated with the project. According to The Sonic Stadium, discussions covered a range of topics, covering from the conception of the game all the way up to the title’s release next month.
The following is a breakdown of all of the details unveiled during the panel, as collected by those who attended:
- Sonic Mania’s pre-development name was “Sonic Discovery” and was later changed after the project was pitched to IIzuka with an already playable demo of Studiopolis Zone
- inspired by the title, Iizuka came up with the phrase “By the Mania, for the Mania” in reference to the game being made by Sonic fans for Sonic fans
- Different story ideas were tossed around, including a plot where Eggman retired and his robots took over to become the “Hard Boiled Heavies” now featured in game
- Attendees of the panel were given special introduction manuals for the game similar to classic instruction manuals. Sonic Mania’s plot is explained inside
- The game will not feature Super Emeralds as some had theorized, according to Aaron Webber
- Sonic Mania will feature sprite cutscenes similar to Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as well as an intro cinematic similar to Sonic CD, with animation being done by popular artist Tyson Hesse. Hesse is also responsible for the animation featured in the game’s pre-order trailer that debuted on May 30
- Sonic Mania will include special stages similar to that of Sonic CD, with players needing to chase down a UFO. Rings will grant extra time while blue orbs will give speed
- The OST track for the special stage was also revealed and is titled “Dimension Heist”. Composer is popular Sonic music remixer Tee Lopes
Sonic Mania is set to release digitally on August 15 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. In addition, pre-orders for the official vinyl version of the game’s OST opened up yesterday. The splattered paint version of the record will be a limited edition available this weekend only, while standard blue or black variants will be available while supplies last.