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Mirage Saloon Zone

From Sonic Retro

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Mirage Saloon Zone
  • Act 1 (ST)
  • Act 1 (K)
  • Act 2
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Mirage Saloon Zone
Eighth level, Sonic Mania
Number of Acts: 2
Location: West Side Island
Level theme: desert/western
Secondary level theme: carnival/casino
Tertiary level theme: sky
Sub-boss: Uber Caterkiller
Alternate sub-boss: Dangerous Ball Tower
Boss: Heavy Magician
Non-English names:
  • JP: ミラージュサルーン Mirāju Sarūn
Hydrocity Zone | Oil Ocean Zone

Mirage Saloon Zone is the eighth Zone of Sonic Mania, and is a brand new original Zone. This zone is based on the scrapped Zones Desert Dazzle from the 2011 remake of Sonic CD and Dust Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Overview

This Zone's theme is based on the American deserts of the old west, featuring canyons, mesas and other rock formations. The landscape also features cactus vegetation with varied forms. The inner parts of the Zone are modelled after wild west saloon bars, with swivel stools and giant piano keys, in addition to features reminiscent of casino/pinball stages such as bumpers and pinball flippers. Also littered around the indoor areas are "Wanted" posters depicting characters considered forgotten in the franchise, similar to those seen in City Escape from Sonic Generations. There is also the presence of a new gimmick: A giant revolver that, depending on the aim of the player, shoots the player to certain distances. In addition, other new gimmicks present include a giant seltzer bottle that creates a path for players to run on.

Act 1 is very different depending on the player's character. When playing as Sonic, Tails, Mighty or Ray, the entire Act is styled like Sky Chase Zone in that the player is standing on the Tornado in an auto-scroller, surviving an onslaught of Badniks summoned by the Heavy Magician and eventually boarding Dr. Eggman's freight train before taking to the sky again. Knuckles, due to being knocked off the Tornado by the Heavy Magician, plays through a completely different Act 1 set in the canyons of the desert that make use of his abilities, ending in an alternate mini-boss fight against the Dangerous Ball Tower.

After defeating the boss, the player jumps into a giant revolver and is shot straight to Oil Ocean Zone. A hint towards the next Zone is dropped by the purple oil tanks on Eggman's train. This can suggest that the area is geographically located on West Side Island, in the desert and arid part of the island where Dust Hill Zone would originally be.

Encore Mode

In Encore Mode, Mirage Saloon Zone has the most differences of any Zone in the game. Act 1 is an entirely new stage that is primarily based on Knuckles' version of the Act from Mania Mode while also sporting elements of Sonic/Tails' version, sporting a new layout that makes use of all five playable characters' abilities. Whereas the Zone started off in a morning palette that transitioned to mid-day in Mania Mode, Encore Mode has the Zone start with evening hues, with the sun later setting and the palettes becoming a night-time hue.

Act 1 eventually leads to the player going through the freight train sequence from Sonic/Tails' Act 1, only this time the pistol at the end of the train will launch the player to an open desert field where they will fight the Dangerous Ball Tower, then begin Act 2 by walking to the right where Sonic/Tails/Mighty/Ray would begin Act 2.

Quotes

Out in the wild west deserts, the outlaws roam. Can Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles survive the cadre of hooligans lurking in the shadows? Even Eggman's ice cream parlors can't withstand the heat.

— Theme trailer description[1]

Enemies

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Vultron — A vulture-like Badnik, often found sitting on the cacti. When the player approaches it, it starts to fly.
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Armadiloid — Armadillo-like Badniks, resembling Turtloid.
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Cactula — Spherical enemy with a small propeller that drops a spiked ball on Sonic when he moves underneath it. Based on Nebula from Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Sky Chase Zone, now with cactus camouflage.
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Bumpalo — A Badnik resembling a buffalo with a Bumper on its back.
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Roller mk.II — A fast-moving Badnik, rolling down the hills. An enhanced version of the Roller from Sonic the Hedgehog's Spring Yard Zone.
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Rattlekiller — A green Caterkiller-like Badnik which twists on the columns.

References and Easter eggs

Reference Appears in Source Game Source Level
Concept base for the creation of the stage, including artwork. Act 1, Act 2 Sonic the Hedgehog CD (2011) Desert Dazzle
The gameplay style of Act 1 for Sonic and Tails. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Sky Chase Zone
The aviator sunglasses used by Tails. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog (anime)
Goggles used by Sonic. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) Beta
Armadiloid's appearance based on the Turtloid. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Sky Chase Zone
Cactula's appearance based on Nebula. Act 1 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Sky Chase Zone
Running on top of a moving train as part of the level. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble Sunset Park Zone
The spinning emergency light on Dr. Eggman's train. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) Spring Yard Zone
The oil tanks labelled "OOZ" on Dr. Eggman's train. Act 1 (Sonic/Tails) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Oil Ocean Zone
See-saws with cactus-like ball Badniks. Act 1 (Knuckles) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Hill Top Zone
Rattlekiller's attack similarity to Crawlton's. Act 1 (Knuckles), Act 2 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) Mystic Cave Zone
Rocks in the shape of a trapezoid, both solid and destructable. Act 1 (Knuckles), Act 2 Sonic & Knuckles Sandopolis Zone
Roller mk.II, an enhanced version of the Roller Badnik. Act 1 (Knuckles), Act 2 Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) Spring Yard Zone
Spinning spike ball columns. Act 1 (Knuckles), Act 2 Sonic the Hedgehog CD Collision Chaos
Swinging vines the player can grab on to. Act 1 (Knuckles) Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Angel Island Zone
A mini-boss fight similar to the Dangerous Ball Tower. Act 1 (Knuckles) Sonic Chaos Gigapolis Zone
Bark the Polar Bear, Bean the Dynamite and Fang the Sniper "wanted" posters. Act 1 (Knuckles), Act 2 Sonic Generations City Escape
Cans labeled "SH2 Cream" in the bar sections. Act 2 Sega 32X/Sega Saturn Hitachi SH-2
(primary CPUs)
Piano bumpers. Act 2 Sonic Advance 2 Music Plant
Heavy Magician's ability to turn into Fang the Sniper, Bean the Dynamite and Bark the Polar Bear. Act 2 Sonic Triple Trouble/Sonic the Fighters
Sound effects during the fight against the Heavy Magician. Act 2 Sonic Triple Trouble

Gallery

References


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