Bonus Stage (Sonic Mania)
From Sonic Retro
|Special level, Sonic Mania|
|Number of Acts: 32 (Blue Spheres)|
By jumping into the star ring while hitting a checkpoint in Sonic Mania, you will enter the Bonus Stage. Entering requires having a certain amount of rings similar to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. At least 25 rings are required in Mania Mode, but 50 are required in Encore Mode. Normally, one type of Bonus Stage is available, but Sonic Mania Plus adds a second Bonus Stage.
Blue Spheres (Mania Mode)
This is the main type of Bonus Stage that is played in Mania Mode. It is identical to Blue Sphere, the Special Stage of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and thus the rules are the same. To complete the stage, you must go around the stage and collect all the blue spheres while avoiding the red ones. As a reward for completing the stage by collecting all the blue spheres, the player earns a silver medallion. The medallion will be gold if the player collects every Ring in the stage. These medallions serve to unlock bonus features such as extra gameplay features or extra modes. Only silver medallions are required to unlock all the bonus content; getting all golds serves no other benefit than an extra achievement/trophy.
There are a total of 32 stages to complete, with 16 of them being the original layouts from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and the other 16 being all-new layouts with new color schemes. When all 32 have been completed, Blue Spheres mode will be unlocked, allowing the player to play a randomly generated Bonus Stage a lá Blue Sphere with two styles. In the "Original" style, the stage pieces are the same as those in Blue Sphere, while the "Mania" style adds two extra sphere types originally from the Sonic 3 Remastered proof-of-concept:
- Green Spheres - When the player touches these, they will turn into blue spheres, requiring the player to go over them again to collect them.
- Pink Spheres - These spheres warp the player to another part of the stage. These work in pairs and can only be used once.
Pinball (Encore Mode)
This type of Bonus Stage is added to the game if the player has the Encore DLC installed. It is generally played in Encore Mode, but it can also be played in Mania Mode when all 32 gold medallions have been earned.
This Bonus Stage is a pinball mini-game where the player aims to score points and win bonus items. The player's character rolls around a giant pinball table, collecting rings and bouncing off bumpers and drop targets to earn points. When the player reaches the top of the table, they are given the chance to win a prize from the Combi Catcher, which can be a shield, an extra life (Mania Mode only) or a character the player doesn't have (Encore Mode only). Catching a ring capsule will deposit all the rings collected within the Bonus Stage into the player's ring count, and catching a capsule with a small ring surrounded by arrows will restore all the rings and drop targets on the table. If the player catches an Eggman bomb, the points they have accumulated in the Bonus Stage are reset to zero. For every 10,000 points scored, the player earns a Continue.
By repeatedly attempting the Combi Catcher, more sections of the pinball table will open up to the player, which makes reaching the top more difficult, but also gives the player more rings and targets to hit and further increase their score. When the player's character is not within the upper sections on the pinball table, then those sections' Flippers will be retracted into the ground, allowing the player to roll over them. Once the player moves past them, they will pop up and become operable until the player moves down to the lower sections. Once the player falls down the bottom of the table, the Bonus Stage ends.
References and Easter eggs
|Reference||Appears in||Source Game||Source Level|
|Blue Spheres as the Bonus Stage for Mania Mode.||Blue Spheres||Sonic 3 & Knuckles||Special Stage|
|The concept of a pinball table as a Bonus Stage.||Pinball||Sonic Spinball||Bonus Stage|
|A remix of Trap Tower's BGM as the background music.||Pinball||SegaSonic the Hedgehog||Trap Tower|
|The Combi Catcher prize machine.||Pinball||Chaotix||Newtrogic High Zone|
|The Giant Mech's bombs in the prize machine.||Pinball||Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)||Death Egg Zone|