At this point, Sonic Mania is shaping up to be a title that fans of the blue blur (specifically those who played his 16-bit adventures in the early 90s) can’t wait to get their hands on. To further salivate their audience, Sega dropped a gameplay trailer featuring Knuckles in a familiar stage.
This time around, fans are treated to some footage of “Battery Zone” a classic title right out of Sonic and Knuckles. Much like previous gameplay reveals for Sonic Mania the level starts off note for note how fans remember the level. The Knuckles sprite looks right out of the genesis and all of his familiar movements are on display, showing his gliding and climbing abilities. Much like past trailers, Sega opted to show off the Thunder Shield (which actually debuted in Sonic 3). This power-up allows characters to magnetically pull rings and, in the case of Sonic, shoot a lightning discharge. In “Battery Zone,” the Thunder Shield offers up a slightly different mechanic, allowing players to run upside down when underneath magnets.
After the sense of nostalgia sets in, the formula changes ever so slightly. The trailer itself begins well into the level itself, but things begin to change at the 15-second mark when the layout of the level begins to stray from the familiar. Most of the classic Sonic and Knuckles beats are still intact, however. The music still sounds as great as it did on the original Genesis title, and most of the level props like the mines, spin cages and magnetic spike balls all make their return as well, along with the familiar badniks from “Battery Zone.”
Sega showed off a faster-paced trailer for this level in March, featuring fast cuts across the level with each character. This gameplay reveal, however, takes a little more time to show off the nuances of “Battery Zone.”