Sonic Mania brings back a host of classic Sonic the Hedgehog characters, features, levels, soundtracks, and gameplay features. One of the most popular Sonic tropes, Chaos Emeralds are jewels hidden throughout levels. Historically, finding all of these jewels in any game has bestowed perks on the player. Sonic Mania is no different. This guide will tell you how to find the Special Stages where Chaos Emeralds are hidden, and what you unlock once you've collected them all.
How to Find Chaos Emeralds
There are two types of bonus stages in Sonic Mania. One is accessed by jumping into swirls of sparkles that appear over checkpoint signposts. The other, which you need, can only be entered by finding giant golden rings in each stage. These rings tend to be hidden in out-of-the-way areas such as deep in a cliff you'd never think to explore because you're going too fast and concentrating on progressing through the level.
Jumping through these giant rings takes you to a special type of stage known as UFO Chases. Making their debut in Sonic CD, UFO Chases position the camera behind Sonic and have you steer him around a pseudo-3D course in pursuit of a UFO. Increase your speed by collecting blue orbs, but watch out for enemies and obstacles such as the rough terrain that borders the track. Once you've collected enough orbs to ratchet up your speed to Mach 3, you'll be fast enough to catch the UFO and retrieve the Chaos Emerald it's holding.
Besides blue spheres, make a point to pick up rings as you play. A timer decreases as you play UFO Chases. Rings add precious seconds, so make nabbing them a priority even if it means going off the track. Note that rings are finite, but blue spheres respawn every lap.
Reward for Finding Chaos Emeralds
Once you've added all seven Chaos Emeralds to your collection in Sonic Mania, you can transform into Super Sonic, a faster and powered-up version of the character. Simply press any two jump buttons to become Super Sonic.