Mirage Saloon Zone

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic Mania
Mirage Saloon Zone
  • Act 1 (ST)
  • Act 1 (K)
  • Act 2
Mirage Saloon Zone
Eighth level, Sonic Mania
Number of Acts: 2
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 in 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.


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 area is geographically located on West Side Island, in the desert and arid part of the island where Dust Hill Zone would originally be.

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 your character. When playing as Sonic or Tails, 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, the Egg Loco, 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.


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's appearance. 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


If Debug Mode or the Dev Menu is used, Knuckles can be made to play Sonic and Tails' version of Act 1. This leads to several bugs;

  • The cutscene where Heavy Magician knocks Knuckles off the Tornado is replaced by a 'GOT' getting knocked off.
  • In the cutscene after defeating the mid boss, Knuckles uses a set of crouching sprites otherwise not used in game.
  • After Act 1's ending cutscene, Knuckles glitches back to where he starts Act 2 instead of staying where Sonic starts Act 2.



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