This is a guide for Sonic Mania, which is a great game by the way. This is by far the best Sonic game from the last decade, as it goes back to its roots and evolves from it. It is incredibly underappreciated and it is overshadowed by bad 3-D Sonic games. Give it a try.
The story here is incredibly simple. Dr. Eggman steals the Phantom Ruby from Angel Island, so you must remove it. Along the way, you will visit a location from Sonics past, and also visit some new locations. To get the true ending to the game, you must collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds, then you can turn to Super Sonic. As Super Sonic you become invincible, as long as you have Rings (keep in mind that if something crushes you then you'll still die).
The Zones have two acts, one form the past and another that is remixed. There is a total of 12 Zones in total.
- Green Hill Zone is the first, and it is your basic tutorial level. It will teach you the basics and your controls, here you will also face two bosses, the first one being two Egg-Balls that are chained together, you will have to take one down at a time. Then is the Death Egg Robot, that will push you to the right, his legs don't have a hitbox, so use that to your advantage.
- Chemical Plant is up next and it is another maze type level, this time you will have to jump a lot more. You can find Vaccines that will change the water type. Bosses are the Amoeba Droid, which will cover itself in liquid and follow your tracks and the Mean Bean Machine, which is just Puyo Puyo.
- Studiopolis is next and is one of the brand new zones, here you’ll have to jump around some weird springs, enter a popcorn machine and even play bingo. The bosses here are the Heavy Gunner which will fire two types of rockets at you, only hit the blue ones or you will take damage. Then there is the Weather Globe, which will put you through a number of effects that will pull you to different sides.
- Flying Battery requires you to slow down at times. Here you will be levitating through flying platforms or sinking in broken robots. The bosses here are the trash compactor, that will fire enemies at you and Dr Eggman in the Spider Mobile, which you can kill by hitting the head in the spikes.
- Press Garden will also require you to slow down and be aware from where you are going. Also beware of the crushing elevators. Bosses include the ShiverSaw, which will try to reach out to you with its Saws, and break crates in the process. Then there is the Heavy Shinobi, which will freeze you with his sword, you have to hit him when he is jumping.
- Stardust Speedway will launch you at massive speeds and will make you rotate a lot. Bosses here include the Giant Firefly, which will throw a bunch of smaller enemies at you and Metal Sonic. Metal Sonic will make you run towards his first fase, in which he throws lesser enemies at you and you have to make them bounce towards him, after that he will absorb the Phantom Ruby and make himself even bigger. To beat him you gotta kick him in the core.
- Hydro City is a water level, however, if you take a certain amount route it will take you to the surface. The two bosses here are Eggman with a diving suit, which to beat him you have to suck him in with your propeller, without hitting the bombs. For his second boss, he uses a sub to push you to spikes. You have to hit him with the bombs that are next to the spikes, after that he will turn into a ball and you can hit him as always.
- Mirage Saloon is one of the few desert levels in Sonic games. The first area is a plane side scroller, with the boss being a giant Caterpillar which will launch at you from the background. The second act is more traditional. The boss there is the Heavy Magician, which he will transform into one of three of Sonics past enemies.
- Oil Ocean has a lot of different pathways you can take, some will lead to special rings, while others will lead you to the boss quicker. One of the bosses is a Worker Robot, which will fire wrenches at you and elevate the ground. Easy, but the next boss, the Mega Octus is not. He will constantly sink the platforms in your feet so you drown. He will also fire lasers and he can only be damaged when his head is not on the oil, which is not very often.
- Lava Reef Zone is very weird. There is lava all over the place and requires precise jumps. There are also many parts of this level where you might get crushed, so you should always be aware of you surroundings. For act one, you have the Drilledroid. He destroys the platforms below you and it can only be hit after he drills three times (it takes 2 drills to destroy a platform). The other is different depending on the character you are using, as Sonic you fight the Heavy Rider. He moves all around the stage and if he decides to go up, fire bursts out and hits you. As Knuckles however you fight Heavy King. He files and he lights your platforms up on fire.
- Next is Metallic Madness. Here you'll be going on the background of the level, you will also change the proportions and go mini and access areas you otherwise couldn't have accessed. Bosses here are Pillars in which Eggman hides, which he only appears after 2 others appeared. The second is the Gumball Machine, in which he dispenses a bunch of smaller enemies at you. Easy
- The last zone is the Titanic Monarch. This one being the last, it means its also the hardest. This is your last chance to collect Chaos Emeralds to get the true ending of the game. The bosses are the Elevator not, which uses gravity to shoot out bullets and crush you and the Phantom Egg. The Phantom Egg bounces all around the area, and can't be hit until his shield is lowered, even then he has four candles which are charged with electricity. He might grab you and pull you to one of four mini-boss fights. If you manage to complete that and have all the chaos emeralds you'll get the true ending of the game, which I won't spoil.