Those of you who played the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy may recall the secret Sound Test and Level Select menu accessed through a few quick button presses on the title screens, as well as the cheat codes one could enter into the Sound Test to unlock, among other things, the infamous Debug Mode. The original version of Sonic Mania did include an unlockable Debug Mode, as well as a Level Select menu, but the Sound Test cheat codes were sadly absent. However, thanks to the recent release of the Encore DLC, the newly minted Sonic Mania Plus now possesses the cheat codes it needed to round out its special sneaky nostalgia. Here are the four steps you’ll need to take to start cheating like a 90s kid.
Step 1: Unlock Debug Mode
The presence of Debug Mode makes all of this possible. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to do this part legitimately. In order to unlock Debug Mode, you’ll need to collect 16 silver medals, obtained via clearing the Get Blue Spheres special stages in Mania mode. Thankfully, silver medals carry over between playthroughs, so you’ll only have to put yourself through this once.
Step 2: Activating Debug and Accessing Level Select
Once you’ve got your medals, it’s time to activate Debug Mode. Go to Mania mode and scroll over to the “No Save” icon, then press Y (X on Switch, Triangle on PS4). There should be a toggle for Debug right there, so turn that on, and go back to the previous menu. Hovering over the “No Save” icon, hold X and press A (Y and A on Switch, Square and X on PS4). This will bring you to the Level Select menu, where you can jump to any act in the game. You can also change your character by pressing X.
Step 3: Entering Cheats
Here’s the fun part; scroll over to the Sound Test. By entering sequences of certain songs, you can activate as many cheats as you like. Obviously, using cheats disables achievements until you return to the main menu, but if you’re the kind of person who uses cheat codes, then you probably don’t care. Here is a list of codes and their effects:
04 01 02 06 Unlocks all Chaos Emeralds for the current run and, by extension, allows super transformation by jumping and pressing Y while holding 50 rings.
01 09 07 09 00 08 01 01 Changes all animals rescued from Badniks into squirrels for some reason.
06 02 01 04 Disables the music loop that plays while using super mode.
02 00 01 07 00 08 01 05 Allows your character to fly around freely while in super mode as in the Egg Reverie boss fight.
01 09 09 02 01 01 02 04 Grants infinite continues.
02 00 01 08 00 06 02 03 Forces Encore mode, allowing you to play through the Encore versions of the stages with item and gimmick locations changed.
09 00 00 01 Engages “max control” for Sonic, allowing you to use drop-dash, insta-shield, and Super Peel-Out all at the same time.
Aside from the Emerald code, you should hear a small “ding” when you enter a code correctly.
Step 4: Go to Town
Congratulations, for the duration of this No Save run, the game is completely at your mercy. Press X to activate Debug Mode; while Debug Mode is on, you can freely place any items, gimmicks, or Badniks native to the current Zone. Press A to place items, or B to cycle through variations in the case of item boxes. If you activated the Emerald and Egg Reverie flight codes, spawn 50 rings worth of item boxes, activate super mode, and never look back. Just remember, if you ever want to do this again (and you’ll probably want to do this again because it’s funny), you’ll have to repeat steps 2 and 3.