From Sonic Retro
|Third level, Sonic Mania|
|Number of Acts: 2|
|Location: West Side Island|
|Level theme: urban|
|Secondary level theme: carnival/casino|
|Sub-boss: Heavy Gunner|
|Boss: Weather Mobile|
| Non-English names:
|← Chemical Plant Zone | Flying Battery Zone →|
Studiopolis Zone is the third Zone of Sonic Mania, and the first completely original zone in both gameplay and reveal order, making Studiopolis the flagship Zone of Sonic Mania. After beating Dr. Eggman in Chemical Plant, the player arrives here in Studiopolis via transport tube, bursting out from a manhole.
Studiopolis is a theater/cinema themed level, with the first Act being set outside in a colourful city with tall skyscrapers and buildings, street lamps with spinning rings inside, fragile shop windows filled with TV sets, giant popcorn machines, vans that "transmit" the player through satellite dishes and out of TVs, extending director chairs, and giant clapperboards that catapult the player upwards. Dotted around the Zone are LED marquees with phrases on them such as "BY THE MANIA, FOR THE MANIA" and "LOCK-ON TECHNOLOGY". Geographically, the city is located on West Side Island, probably in an area near Chemical Plant.
Act 2 is set inside Dr. Eggman's giant television studio, featuring stacks of monitors with Eggman's face on them, falling stage lights that the player can stand on, electrical cables that act as transport tubes, and panels that reveal words and phrases such as "EGGMAN PIRATE TV" when flipped. There are also giant glass spheres that function as lottery machines when entered, dispensing four lottery balls that make up a sum equating to how many Rings the player will earn. If an Eggman ball is dispensed, the player will instead lose Rings equal to the sum of the other three balls.
After defeating the boss, a news feed appears on the giant monitor, showing the Flying Battery flying over the city. The player then runs offscreen, only to reappear on the monitor and grab onto the blimp.
In Encore Mode, Studiopolis Zone takes on a more purplish hue for many of the foreground pieces, and the purple sky in Act 1 is changed to a duller navy-ish colour. The messages on the LED signs and flip panels across both Acts have been changed to different phrases, such as "TOOT TOOT SONIC WARRIOR".
|Mic Drop — A Badnik resembling a microphone which drops from ceilings and electrifies itself.|
|Shutterbug — A flying Badnik with a camera in its mouth.|
|Tubinaut — An orange Orbinaut-like Badnik with 3 balls the player can jump on to destroy them.|
|Wall Crawl — A Badnik resembling a snail, shooting film stock from its shell.|
References and Easter eggs
|Reference||Appears in||Source Game||Source Level|
|Neon signs reading "PINK BOT", a reference to the "PINE POT" signs in Streets of Rage.||Act 1||Streets of Rage||Stage 1|
|"COPE" and "CPU" graffiti on train cars.||Act 1||Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)||Spring Yard Zone|
|News vans labelled "Hornet".||Act 1||Daytona USA|
|Sound effect the vans make when the player enters them (exactly the same as the sound heard during entering doors in Sonic Spinball).||Act 1||Sonic Spinball|
|Teleporting rings from the vans, similar to ones from Death Egg Zone.||Act 1||Sonic & Knuckles||Death Egg Zone|
|Popcorn machines labelled "SegaSonic Popcorn Shop".||Act 1||SegaSonic Popcorn Shop|
|LED sign reading "GOOD! GREAT! AWESOME! OUTSTANDING! AMAZING!"||Act 1||Sonic Colors|
|LED sign reading "BY THE MANIA, FOR THE MANIA".||Act 1||Catchphrase used during the development of the game to refer to a product "from fans to fans".|
|LED and neon signs reading "LOCK-ON TECHNOLOGY".||Act 1, Act 2||Sonic 3 & Knuckles|
|LED sign reading "TO BE THIS GOOD TAKES AGES...TO BE THIS GOOD TAKES SEGA".||Act 1||UK Sega Mega Drive advertisements.|
|LED sign reading "HIT IT, TURN IT UP, GET DOWN".||Act 1 (Encore)||Sonic the Hedgehog CD||Stardust Speedway|
|Rotating UFO-like lamps.||Act 1||Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit) Beta||Marble Zone|
|Game Gear logo on TV monitors.||Act 1||Game Gear|
|Billboards reading "CLUB SPIN: AGES".||Act 1||Club Sega|
|Flippable tiles which spell out "GENESIS DOES".||Act 2||The "Genesis does what Nintendon't" slogan used for the Genesis in the US.|
|Flippable tiles which spell out "WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL".||Act 2||Another US Genesis advertising slogan|
|Flippable tiles which spell out "EGGMAN PIRATE TV".||Act 2||SEGA Pirate TV, a mock pirate TV station which was part of a European SEGA ad campaign in the early 1990s.|
|Flippable tiles which spell out "DOOR INTO SUMMER".||Act 2 (Encore)||Chaotix||Isolated Island|
|Flippable tiles which spell out "TOOT TOOT SONIC WARRIOR".||Act 2 (Encore)||Sonic the Hedgehog CD||Sonic - You Can Do Anything|
|The Gallop logo on the lottery machines.||Act 2||Daytona USA|
|The sound effect heard when entering a funnel.||Act 2||Sonic Advance||Casino Paradise Zone/Angel Island Zone|
|Clapperboards with the initials: CW, HC, PWG and SEGA.||Act1, Act 2||Christian Whitehead, Headcannon and PagodaWest Games|
|Path inverter gimmick.||Act 2||Sonic & Knuckles||Mushroom Hill Zone|
|Cluckoid as a weather reporter.||Act 2||Sonic & Knuckles||Mushroom Hill Zone|
|The icon for sunny weather on the weather report depicting the sun from the "Handling This Cartridge" pages in Sega manuals.||Act 2||Various Sega game manuals|
|Buzzing sound (heard during Sonic 25th Anniversary Party livestream) and numbers 072216 (representing the date of the event on 07/22/2016) on the test card shown on the TV screen at the end of Act 2.||Act 2||Sonic 25th Anniversary Party Livestream|
Studiopolis Zone was the first Zone ever made for the game, back when it was initially pitched to SEGA as Sonic Discovery. Specifically, according to this Tumblr post from developer Stealth, an early version of Act 2 was the very first level created and featured the Egg Janken boss, left unused in the final game. Brief snippets of this version of Act 2 can be seen in the 25th Anniversary reveal trailer, including differences in both level layout and background art.
When the dev team found out that the name of this Zone was the same as the English voice recording studio for the Sonic series, Studiopolis Inc., alternative names were drafted in the event that they would be asked to change it, including Opening Night Zone and Fame Plaza Zone.