Sonic Mania Plus is coming later in July and the games will come with two characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the flying squirrel.
When asked by Famitsu why the two characters were added to the game, Sonic Team’s chief, Takashi Iizuka said that they wanted to stimulate the fan’s curiosity and expectations by doing something exciting.
Famitsu: How did you decide on the additional features?
Iizuka: Sonic Mania’s lifeline is giving stimulus to fans’ curiosities and expectations, so we thought of something that if added would make it the most exciting, and the results were Ray and Mighty. There were people requesting them, who appeared in the arcade version, to appear again. Personally to me, they were supposed to be “sealed characters” that would never be planned to be added to games. But in this title we are squeezing in all series materials aimed for specific manias, so the stage for them to appear has already been prepared. In that case, we should unlock that seal (laughs).
Iizuka also went on to explain Ray and Mighty’s special abilities.
Famitsu: How did you decide on the two’s unique actions?
Iizuka: Mighty the Armadillo has a trait of being a strong guy, and he has a hard shell on his back. By making use of that, we made it into a technique to drop vertically to the ground and make it shake. Also, he can repel enemy bullets with the shell, and when he’s curled up he can prevent damage once. Doing a sudden drop to the ground is a rare action in the classic series indeed.
Famitsu: What about Ray?
Iizuka: Since he’s a flying squirrel, we instantly decided on a gliding action. Although it may be similar to Knuckles’ gliding, Ray can raise up with effort. Depending on the [player’s] technique, he can fly for very long.
Mighty has never been playable outside of arcade machines, and Ray outside of arcade machines and the Sega 32X, so it would be interesting for many players who have never played either character before.