Sonic Mania is chock full of references to the blue blur's 25-year legacy, with no shortage of fan service for the most dedicated of Sega connoisseurs. Yet there's one Easter egg that's so subtle and self-deprecating that only the most ardent of aficionados will catch it. Thankfully, we have one such man on staff with the Digital Foundry's eerily perceptive John Linneman putting his Sonic knowledge to the test.
So here's the gag: Sonic Mania was announced during Sega's presentation for Sonic's 25th anniversary - an event that became infamous for its horrible livestream. Beyond the hokey script, obnoxious music, and lengthy pauses between presenters, there was one technical error that stood above all else: an annoying buzzing sound was present during the entire stream.
Rather than shrug off this embarrassing error, Sonic Mania's developers tucked a reference to this shitshow in its game.
Concluding the second boss fight in Studiopolis (the game's third zone), a large television screen in the background loses its signal and if you listen closely, you can hear the exact same buzzing frequency that plagued the game's worldwide reveal.
To see (or rather hear) this for yourself, here's footage of both Sonic's 25th Anniversary livestream and the Sonic Mania boss that references this inept presentation:
Well played, Sega! Or rather the ragtag crew of Sonic fans Sega hired to make Sonic Mania.
For more on why Sonic Mania's launch is such a historic event, Digital Foundry provided a breakdown of the game's technical and artistic proficiencies.