Forums  /  Sonic series  /  Sonic Mania (Pre-DLC)  /  Rules and Categories

Said I'd do this once I've played it, so now it's time to establish some actual ground rules (and start verifying runs)

So, regarding categories. The first decision is that we've decided to split Sonic and Sonic + Tails. Tails has far more ability as a partner for one player in this game, due to being able to control flying, which has several known uses especially on bosses, and I'm sure several unknown uses as well. Initially we thought about keeping them together, but to allow runners to explore whether they want to play with Sonic alone or with Tails, and explore the differences more, we've decided to split these. Obviously, using the 2nd controller's inputs will not be allowed, but controlling both Sonic and Tails from 1P input will be.

However, those will be the only 4 categories for now (along with Tails and Knuckles, obviously). For now, patches will simply be listed as versions within the same category (e.g. 1.0, 1.03, etc). In future, these may be separated in some way, but given the game is so new, and unoptimised, there's no need for that quite yet.

Things like All Emeralds and such also aren't quite worthy of having their own category. While slightly more interesting because the special stages aren't auto scrollers, it would still need a lot of specific continued competition to be worth it in the long run. Not against adding this in the future at all, but no need to add it initially. Of course, people should run whatever they want, I highly encourage you to run all emeralds if you want to (and it's probably not that much slower anyway)

Additional add-ons such a CD Mode (Peelout) and &Knuckles will almost certainly never be added. I can't see them picking up competitive traction anyway, but given they added effects right next to debug, it should tell you all you need to know. Again, encourage you to run it if you want. This game has lots of things you can run, if all of them were added the leaderboard would be a mess (beat game, all emeralds, +all medals, new game+, cd mode, s3k mode = 6. Time 4 characters = 24. Times &Knuckles = 48 . Times Patches (2, for now) = 96. We aren't having 96 categories.)

In regards to timing, real time will obviously be used, because the game runs in tons of spots where the in game timer doesn't run (after bosses, and during cp2 boss the most relevant). However, there's a bit of an issue about ¤how¤ to time. The ending spot is very obvious, IGT freeze after TM2 boss. But where to start is not obvious. The obvious spot would be after selecting your file, but it's actually faster to immediately exit the game and reboot it at GH1 to skip the cutscene, and this is really annoying. As a result, the recommendation we've come up with, would be the following:
"Timing begins when you select your file, and ends when In-Game timer freezes after defeating the Titantic Monarch 2 boss. You may start from a file with save data already, as long as it has no emeralds, you start at Green Hill 1, and you complete all stages in order."

This would allow you start from either, a fully completed file (with no emeralds), or a file that just started at Green Hill (so a new runner wouldn't have to beat the game first). The 2 potential "issues" that I can see with this are, that it would allow you to have more than 3 lives to start with. I can't really see this being a big sticking point for anyone, but I suppose it's not "exactly as it starts", and that if an All Emeralds category was formed, if it used the same ruleset, you could farm all the emeralds in GH1. It wouldn't be faster of course, so I don't think that's a big deal, and if/when All Emeralds got added anyway, it'd be as a result of several people competitively running it, so I feel like they would sort out what's best for that by itself.

The added advantage of this rule would not only be that you wouldn't have to deal with the restarting the game issue, but also that runners of the game wouldn't have a 50 second cutscene at the start of the run, which I'm sure everyone who wants to run this game would enjoy being gone so they can get right into the action.

Last point is about Individual Level runs. Now, while there are in game leaderboards, they do not carry across all platforms, which annoys quite a few people. Usually the resource for Sonic ILs has been TSC, but with it's inactively and inability to submit other people's times, it seemed ineffective for the method of congregating all systems into a board so people could compete with the very top across all boards, so I floated the idea of actually having ILs on here. However, while it didn't receive negative reception, no one really seemed that keen. Most people seem content with this spreadsheet being updated manually:
This one here:
But I'm floating it again here, to see perception one last time. It'd take a lot of effort, and mods from at least 1 of each system to be at least semi active over a long period of time. It'd be a lot of work though, so I'd want to effort to be worth it, so if there isn't a large amount of interest for this, I don't think it'll happen here. I should mention of course that the PC leaderboards have already been hacked, that will be a problem with everything no matter what, and that patch difference and such will also become a topic of conversation should we do anything about this.

Last note is obviously that all mods and things like dev mode wouldn't be allowed during a run. Feels obvious, but gotta put it out there anyway. If you have any questions/concerns/opinions/comments, please let them be heard! (In a civil manner)

Split Sonic and Sonic and Tails
All Emeralds and patches might be separated later, but not yet. Former would need to show consistent interest over time, latter would need to show separate interest
Secret Modes will def not get their own category. Could potentially put CD/S3K mode for Sonic into the same one, but it'd just be slower, so I can't see anyone really caring, or wanted to be catered to for going slow.
Recommend starting time from file select, and being able to have said file already start at Green Hill 1, to skip intro cutscene
Up for having IL charts added here, but need to see there's interest in doing so. Let me know if you want it, or whether you're happy with the spreadsheet.

BubbyNEBubbyNE, lozplyr89lozplyr89 and 18 others like this. 

Sweet! Glad to see the community is coming together. I just finished my second run and can't wait to see what everyone else is doing.

I'd love to see an IL board here, fwiw. It all just comes down to how much extra work it is and other runners' interest.


One question regarding the timing for All Emeralds. Where should that run end? On the last hit of the boss or on the fade out to white? Right now I've been timing up till the fade out and I'd like to get this established while I'm learning / running the category.


If there would be an All emeralds category i would say the timing for it should start from a fresh save other wise you need to setup the pre-made save file every time you reset


I support ILs being here too. As for the other stuff, I have to agree with the points made in the OP. Tons of stuff that can be added once the game takes off, but too much to start with.

asank27asank27 likes this. 

As someone who runs Sonic alone, I'm glad it's being separated from Sonic + Tails. But, as someone who prefers to only run all Chaos Emeralds, I'm sad and confused as to why it doesn't have it's on category. I mean, I understand that most people only care about any% for now, but I feel like later down the line of the game, most people are going to flock to All Chaos Emeralds. When the game gets older and any% gets more optimised, I think many people will agree that all chaos emeralds is more entertaining. Wish it would be it's on category now, but there's nothing I can do about it. Still going to run it, as any% really doesn't interest me.

Lastly, I just want to say that I would very much like IL leaderboards. I think this game definitely needs them.


As I already discussed with Argick, if we create an All Emeralds Category, for Sonic I would prefer the timing happening on the final hit rather than the white out. But that's only my opinion, if we ever do something like a poll and my opinions is really low then no problem.

However, I feel super conflicted about the timing for Any%. If you get 1 Emerald or if you complete GHZ, then you reset, that means you have to do a new file, wait for the intro, then quit and reenter the file to start the run. If we ever grind this game intensively, that could be painful... Minor stuff, but still I don't feel super good about that.

Happy grinding everyone!


Baffan: The timing for any% isn't really "annoying" at all imo. Like, if you consider that you somehow mess up your completed save file and have to setup another Green Hill save file to do a run with, then starting a file and then exiting is actually ¤faster¤ than watching the intro cutscene anyway, so it would be exactly the same amount of time as if it started from a fresh file anyway. So this point doesn't really make any sense.

But yes, for All Emeralds it is annoying that you have to reset up if you were to get an emerald from a full file. Again it's still the same, so the runners of that can decide amongst themselves where they want to start timing. If only we had a copy file option, then it would be nice...

BaffanBaffan likes this. 

Very happy with these rules, well done 🙂. And I see you added an IL board despite saying here you wouldn't, I think this is a good choice.

Now all we can do is hope any patched glitches are offset with skippable cutscenes 😉.

jocloud31jocloud31, Jak8Jak8 and Jaypin88Jaypin88 like this. 

About The IL Charts -

That Seems to be a problem for PC players on certain IL Runs. So my question Is would console runs involving glitches or clips be Acceptable In the IL Charts? And my apologies if this is a problem and was already stated before.


All runs pre patch or whatever version are accepted, yes. In the future we may separate charts based on what build was used, but for now just submit them as is


Hello. I accidentally submitted a GHZ1 run as a full game run... is there anyway to remove the submission before it's approved? I'm not quite well versed in this website yet. xx


I can't wait for someone to submit this game for Awesome Games Done Quick 2018!

Metaler, I would just resubmit it to the Green Hill Zone Act 1 level leaderboard so that it can be approved, and let the moderators deny your accidental full-game run.


>tfw you joined only so you could eventually submit all emerald runs but turns out there is no category for it.

Only the dead may know peace from this evil.

That being said, I'm new to this whole speedrun thing so forgive my ignorance.

What constitutes as "enough competition" to allow a new established category?


I'd say with the mass amounts of skips in the Console version still the runs should be split into 2 categories, Glitchless and Glitched. Both runs being counted as the same category is pretty unfair.

JonRomCedJonRomCed, jocloud31jocloud31 and 2 others like this. 

When Speedrunning Sonic Mania becomes bigger I would like, 100% for each character, & Knuckles for each character, 2 player & Knuckles and 2 player sonic and tails.

Toxic_Pyro12Toxic_Pyro12 likes this. 

GHNeko feel free to still run All Emeralds. There might not be a leaderboard currently but there are a few of us still running and submitting them. If enough of us do this then we might get the category added.

Jak8Jak8, Rmac524Rmac524 and 2 others like this. 

I've just noticed that All Emeralds runs are being accepted as Any% runs timed at when they beat Titanic Monarch 2. This seems very bizarre to me. Surely the timing ends where it does for Any% because it's the last action required to trigger the credits and, therefore, beat the game. With all emeralds, this does not happen, theoretically you could game over in the final fight and as things are your run would still count as having beaten the game, to some degree.

I understand that timing does end upon Titanic Monarch 2 being beaten, and these runs are still fulfilling that requirement, but looking at what I see as the logical reason why the timing ends where it does, the whole thing just doesn't make sense to me. With the addition of a recognised All Emeralds category seemingly almost certain at some point, this likely wouldn't be any sort of issue anymore. I just thought I'd share my opinion on it.

Jaypin88Jaypin88 and AvetixzAvetixz like this. 

I plan on doing some All Emerald runs soon myself, I've done a couple but nothing I'd want to submit. xD
I've been hitting time on last hit in Egg Reverie, but that's just me.


what category should i submit to if my sonic mania version is