To transform into Super Sonic and unlock the true final boss (and ending) you’ll need to find 7 Chaos Emeralds in Sonic Mania. Chaos Emeralds are earned as Sonic completes hidden Special Stages — and finding those Special Stages is the tricky part of every act.
Once you find a Special Stage, Sonic races against the clock to catch an escaping UFO. If Sonic can increase his speed on the 3D track fast enough, that Chaos Emerald is his. Some of the Special Stages can be pretty difficult, but we’re focusing just on the Special Stage entrance locations. The giant gold rings that signify a Special Stage entrance can be pretty hard to find in Sonic’s labyrinth levels. We’ll do our best to explain where to find them in text form.
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- Sonic Mania: How to Fight the Secret Final Boss | True Ending Guide
- Sonic Mania: How To Beat Every Boss | Battle Tips Guide
- Sonic Mania: All Blue Sphere Bonus Stage Rewards | Unlock Guide
- Sonic Mania: How To Unlock “& Knuckles” | Secret Bonus Mode
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All 7 Chaos Emerald Locations | Super Sonic Guide
To collect a Chaos Emerald, Sonic must enter a giant gold ring to enter a Special Stage. Special Stages are 3D runners — collect the blue orbs to increase Sonic’s mach meter. That increases his speed so you can catch up to the running UFO runner. To complete the stage, Sonic need to catch up to the runner. Completing special stages unlocks one Chaos Emerald.
Here’s the trick to earning all 7 Chaos Emeralds: You don’t need to get them in one run! After completing a Special Stage, complete the level, exit and repeat the level. If you start a new adventure, just get the first Special Stage 7 times and you’ll collect all the emeralds easy.
[NOTE: You only need 7 Chaos Emeralds to transform into Super Sonic! There 2 special stage entrances in every level, but you only need to find 7. The first 7 are the easiest, so we recommend trying to locate those first.]
- Green Hill Zone – Act 1: Go straight and zip through the pair of “S”-shaped tunnels, then bust through the wall. Continue forward, past the area with the raising / lowering pillars over the spike pits. Jump into the alcove and avoid the floor — it will crumble.
- 2nd Location: You’ll reach an area with a funnel, two ramping hills that lead down into the water. Jump down the path past the funnel (tricky with Sonic) and enter the path to the right. There’s a spring that’ll launch Sonic into the gold ring.
- Green Hill Zone – Act 2: Jump through the ground at the start of the stage and move right until Sonic finds a yellow bounce-pad. Ride it up, cross the bridge, and jump across the moving platforms to reach the upper area of the map. At the end of the next bridge, the gold ring is visible to the right of the yellow bounce pad. Bounce up and don’t jump onto the rope swing — the ledge will crumble. Fall down, and use the yellow bounce pad below (with enough momentum) to reach the alcove on the left.
- 2nd Location: When climbing the path with the swinging platforms, look for a secret ring box in the wall to the left, at a corner. To reach it, you’ll need to use the tunnel beneath it — keep going left to find a hidden ring.
- Chemical Plant Zone – Act 1: Run along the lower (first) blue tube, until Sonic is bounced back left and through the loop. At the ring box, enter the clear tube — select [Left]. Follow the underwater chemical passage through the lops and the open door, into the area with metal in the foreground. The same spot with the tall passage of four-black platforms that spin slowly — drop down to find the hidden path to the Special Stage.
- Chemical Plant Zone – Act 2: Far in the stage, reach the area with the moving 4-block platforms. When you reach the first one (above Sonic), hop up and to the left. There are two move suspended over spikes with a metal grating in the foreground. Climb to the second tricky 4-block platform and move left to find the gold ring’s secret entrance.
- Mirage Saloon – Act 1: Here’s an easy one if you missed the others. When Sonic (or pal) jumps off the plane, you’ll find the entrance in the caboose of the Old West train controlled by Eggman.