Like many of the other Sonic titles, there are a few achievements in the list that are acquired after going out of your way to do something you'd otherwise not do, or at least not intend on doing throughout normal gameplay. There is one specific achievement per Zone, except the Chemical Plant Zone; this is probably due to the achievement for Mean Bean already in the game. Videos for all of these achievements can be found in the playlist link below, so the page remains less cluttered. Most achievements can be done in Time Trial as well as Mania Mode, but exceptions will be noted when applicable.
Sonic Mania | Misc Achievements
The very first chance you get for earning one of these achievements is after the first boss fight of the game, which takes place at the end of Act 1 in Green Hill Zone. Once you defeat the twin Death Eggs, a spinning signpost will drop down from above. There are two hidden item boxes in the ground here, and to make them pop up, you need to make the signpost drop down on them by hitting it in their direction. The locations of the two item containers here are underneath the two purple flowers to the left, and under the sunflower to the right. Bringing both of these up to ground level will give you the achievement. There are presumably two hidden items at the end of each stage that has a signpost like this, but the first level of the game is naturally the easiest way to get this achievement out of the way.
Another achievement earned in Green Hill Zone is for burning a wooden bridge, which you can do with a Fire Shield from containers in Act 2. Choose whichever character you please, and hunt down a Fire Shield container, which will be underneath a waterfall and past a spiky wooden bridge. Once you get to it, run to any of the spiky bridges you can find along the Zone (the one you just went across will do just fine). The bridge will burn up below, and you'll get an achievement for disarming the hazard. Since you have to fight the Death Eggs, you won't be able to do this in Time Attack, as bosses aren't included in that mode.
Throughout Studiopolis Zone (Act 1), there are some little bug-like enemies that appear to take pictures of you from different angles. These are Shutterbugs, and you'll want them to take ten pictures while you're visiting the area. Although this isn't exactly a difficult achievement, it's suggested that you stand still near a Shutterbug so you can get the most pictures out of it as you can. Stay on your toes, though, because these little photographers will occasionally run straight into you as they move to a new shooting angle.
For this achievement, you should select Act 2 of Flying Battery Zone in Time Attack as Tails; being able to fly will make things easier. At some point in the level you'll be grabbed by a mechanical spider and dropped into a small pit of garbage. Don't fall through the junk, but instead jump up the ledge to the right and continue in that direction to make it outside again. Around here should be a pair of windows that, if you enter from the one on the right, will send you through each other, granting you this Zone's achievement.
Along the natural course of Press Garden Zone (Act 1), you should get to an inkwell atop a ledge with a Fire Shield to the right of it. Break it open and use the shield to break the crates to the right, leading to a room with more crates. Break all of these with the shield's ability (jump again after having already jumped once), and the achievement will pop. Due to the sprawling nature of almost all of the Zones in the game, it might be helpful for you to get this by watching the video on how to get it if you can't seem to find the room.
To be crowned the King of Speed, you have to complete Act 2 of the Stardust Speedway Zone in under a minute. Since practically every Act of the game is very complicated and branched out, it's very hard to put a decent strategy into words, especially since there are so many strategies people have used that work. This is the kind of thing that you really just need to observe in order to get a good idea of what to do. The time provided here isn't an expert strategy, but is the work of replaying the stage over and over in Time Attack to learn an increasingly faster route.
King of Speed
Get through Stardust Speedway Zone as quickly as possible
Load up Hydrocity Zone (Act 1) in Time Attack, preferably as Tails since he can swim, and just progress through the level as usual. You should naturally come across some boats as you approach the end; try to stay on the boat all the way to the end of their paths to get this next achievement. Falling off is fine, just make sure you ride on each of the boats. This shouldn't be too hard to do.
Start up Act 2 of Mirage Saloon Zone in either Mania Mode or Time Attack, and go through the start of the level. In the first building you enter, you should spot some barstools that will spin you if you stand on them. Just past this is a large barrel a ledge up from where you are; push it to the right to drop down on a spritzer bottle and create a trail of water. Quickly run across it before it disappears to reach a giant ring, and another achievement for finding this particular one.
In the second Act of Oil Ocean Zone, there should be a point where you'll find a Flame Shield hiding underneath a platform, just above a pool of oil. Drop down under the shield and wait until you descend through it as far down as you can, then continue to the right and downward until you get to the "ocean" surface. If you're in the right place, you should be able to swim underneath a purple platform to the right to reach a particularly small submarine. Hop inside for your next achievement. This is one of the achievements that's more easily done after reading what to do and then seeing it for yourself, so don't hesitate to pull up the video for it if you want to make sure you're doing things right.
In Lava Reef Zone (Act 1), you'll occasionally come across relatively small pink dinosaurs with long necks sticking out of the lava they're swimming in; these enemies are called Rexons. Normally, an attack on the head will only destroy the head, allowing you to step on the body as a platform. Dotted through the level are Walkers, mechanical legs that will allow you to traverse lava if you step on the back leg. You should naturally come to a point in the level where you have to use a Walker to move across a pool of lava with a pair of Rexons in it, so you shouldn't have to go out of your way for this Zone's achievement. Just use the Walkers to destroy both the head and body of the Rexon, leaving no trace of its existence.
This achievement, unlike all the others, is actually most easily done with the use of Debug Mode, thanks to information provided by Xboxoholic on a solution (on TrueAchievements) for this achievement. You need to defeat the Act 2 boss of Metallic Madness Zone by opening all eight capsules before defeating any of the enemies. This is easiest done with Tails, since he can fly; don't try this with a save file of Sonic & Tails, though, because the Tails AI will ruin things for you. To get to this stage with Tails without starting an entirely new save, you'll need to unlock Debug Mode first, done by collecting 16 silver medallions from Blue Sphere Stages. Turn it on by pressing the appropriate key over the No Save Mode file, and then set your character to Tails. After doing that, hold Q, W, and Enter at the same time to launch the stage select screen, and then choose Metallic Madness (Act 2).
Once you've set Debug Mode to be active and have landed in the stage, activate and cycle through the various items in the selection until you get to the item container. Switch the type of item it grants you until you reach the container that gives you extra lives. For now, just use this Debug Mode state to fly past the entire stage and reach the final checkpoint before the boss, and spawn tons of life containers so you can stock up on as many as you want. When you have as many lives as you desired to spawn, enter the fight and purposely die; the game still registers Debug Mode as active and thus achievements are disabled, but dying by being attacked by the little figures will erase this Debug Mode status, allowing the achievement to function again. This achievement is hard to get, even with Tails, so that's why you should back yourself up with a big collection of retries.
Fly over the handle as Tails to release all eight enemies. All of them will have to be present at the same time for the achievement to pop. This will take a lot of tries to get down right, especially since it's easy to lose your rings and there are only six available to you after you die every time. Avoid the Amy robots at all costs, as they'll latch onto you and explode. Once all eight machines are active, focus on the flying carriers (which you might recognize from Sonic the Hedgehog's Marble Zone) and destroy them first, followed by the drill machines from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The Amy bots, now that they should be the last enemies standing, can easily be destroyed by charging up a spin dash and running into them one-by-one. After all eight enemies are destroyed, Eggman will descend into the area again, but by this time the achievement should have already popped for you.
The final miscellaneous achievement asks you to complete Act 1 of Titanic Monarch Zone without being hit even once. To attempt this, you should really consider grabbing all seven Chaos Emeralds on the same save file you used to beat the game your first time; just replay Green Hill Zone (Act 1) over and over until you have them all. Once you have them, you can transform into Super Sonic, rendering yourself invincible, with the only exceptions being pits and being crushed. It's very important that you get your timing down for when to transform into Super Sonic (jump again after having jumped once before while holding at least 50 rings), because if your power runs out during the boss fight, you'll have absolutely no rings on you. It's also important to note that the game will not recognize your feats if you manage to avoid damage after you get hit and restart the level; if you get hit, you'll have to return to the file select screen in order for the requirements to register again.
At the start of the level, you'll likely be flung up to a shield. Don't pick this shield up, or any other shields you find in the level, because having one on you will prevent you from transforming into Super Sonic. I suggest transforming when you reach the point in the level when small pig-like enemies (from Sonic the Hedgehog's Scrap Brain Zone) are tossing little bombs towards you. Getting to this point in the level without being hit simply takes practice, which won't take long to do. If you've been determined to pick up as many rings as you can find, you should have over 100 at this point. Once you transform, you'll be able to move much faster and jump much higher, meaning that you can get to the boss at the end quicker. There's only one hazard you should watch out for now: shortly after a checkpoint, a rising and descending floor with spikes on it will move up and down towards a ceiling with spikes on it. This is an area you can be crushed in, so be patient when crossing to make sure you don't die.
If you've been picking up a fair amount of rings, you should reach the boss fight with about 70 rings (I did, at least). Defeating the boss as Super Sonic is going to take very little time, especially since you can now jump up to it during the second half of the battle with your enhanced abilities. This shouldn't take too long, so you should be able to still defeat the boss in time with 30 rings on you. As long as you get through the first half of the fight, you should be okay, as the second half's attacks are easily avoided by just standing underneath it when the elevator goes up. Make sure you keep an eye on the signals, though, because it'd be very frustrating to have it come down on you, forcing you to quit to the file select screen and start over.
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