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Titanic Monarch Zone in Sonic Mania is the worst and singlehandedly is making me drop the game.

Oct 25, 2017
7,411
#1
What in the goddamn fuck dude.

Do people like this zone? I'm almost done with the game but I can't bring myself to finish it. I've really enjoyed basically the entire game up to this point, save for Stardust Speedway.
It's a god-damn mess that the rest of the game doesn't really prime you for in anyway. It would be a highly mediocre zone if it weren't for the 10 minute limit and limited lives system, but as is, it's straight garbage.

I'm all for huge sprawling levels with alternative paths, but TMZ is a garbled mess of a maze, with every 2 seconds having me go "How was I supposed to know that hazard was there?".
Some of the appeal to 2D Sonic for me is memorizing the levels and running through them as efficient as possible, but trying to remember the layout of TMZ is such a chore when each playthrough of the first act alone takes about 10 minutes each time. And those fucking purple balls! Not impossible or terrible to control, but they're placed in frustrating manner and account for like 6/10ths of the time playing the stage, and they just aren't fun.

I got to this point last summer before dropping it in interest of other games, and coming back to it now, I'm just dropping it out of how terrible it feels to play. I get it's the penultimate zone, but the music, while good, isn't even energizing or motivating enough to push me through.

If the stage was "just difficult" I could get over it and keep playing, but I feel like the whole first act is just designed to waste my time.


I guess I'm just venting, but as a bonus topic: Have you ever dropped a game you've otherwise been enjoying over a single stage/mission?
 
Oct 17, 2018
3,726
#4
It's not great. A lot of the lategame Mania levels have a problem of being too long. I feel like it'd be better if some of the Zones were split in three Acts instead of two.

It's also one of two stages (the other being Flying Battery) where a glitch had me stuck in a spot and forced me to run out the timer. I assume it's been patched.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,472
Orlando, FL
#6
While it represents a difficulty spike (which is fine because it's the final zone), I find it to be amazingly designed.

Enemies are never placed in such a way that you'd accidentally run into them, the platforming challenges usually don't punish you severely for failing them, and there are lots of neat set-pieces scattered around. It also provides quite a few alternate routes for the different characters.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,083
#12
I almost stopped playing Sonic Rush because of the large quantity of blind jumps and unusually precise platforming in the later levels, though I did not play the game again as Blaze. It's a shame, because I loved everything else about that game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,704
#15
It's alright, I'm honestly hard pressed to think of final zones I really like in 2D sonic so it's like the best of a mediocre bunch.
Does drag a bit in a sandopolis 2 or carnival night 2 kind of way where you can actually end up racing against the clock.

It's cool that it uses those Sonic & Knuckles bonus room orb flingy doodads which were underused in its source game, but in turn they sorta overuse them
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,259
#17
TMZ feels like it should be 3 zones instead of two given how huge it is
It kinda is though just not as noticeable. IIRC the Timer resets at the final boss.

Oh and OT I like the zone really creative design and instead of bottomless pits has warps that just make you redue it. Its faster and more creative then just having a blank space on the ground that you have to go up again.
 
Feb 2, 2018
2,844
#23
Excellent zone. Makes full of Sonics mechanics and there are no cheap enemies.

The one issue is that the very first time you play it you don't know that you need to move quickly as most levels don't even come close to the timer. That said, it's a one time loss and I'm pretty in an update you can turn off the timer.

If I could make a suggestion it would be to have the timer start backwards
 
Nov 3, 2017
14
#24
The game lets you take the time limit off now. I think it's been that way since the plus update.


I loved the zone though, the orbs from the sonic 3 bonus stage are a cool gimmick for it. I honestly never got a time over in it. It's a bummer that seems to be a problem for other people but yeah, again, it can be turned off.

I thought the level was more fun than the final levels from the genesis sonic games. And it was nothing compared to Carnival Night act 2 from sonic 3, I've never been able to complete that without running out of time.
 
Nov 1, 2017
1,959
#27
Huh, I really enjoyed this level. I got the timinf of the purple balls pretty quickly and felt you just need to be careful and learn from your mistakes to get through it. I don't really remember thinking the hazards were unfair unlike with Sonic 2's last stages.

The final boss is a bit weird though, I still don't know how to properly do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,704
#28
It's the best 2D Sonic final zone in the series. There are some pretty jank hit detection places where you can get crushed if you aren't careful.
There's this one surprisingly long platform on a pivot that can slowly lift you into a specifically placed crush death and I swear I end up in it 50% of the time.

For all of Mania's goodness, it didn't quite avoid the crush death curse.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,770
Miami, FL
#31
I've said it since release that Titanic Monarch Zone is **godawful** and the worst zone in a classic-style Sonic game. Its consists of completely recycled elements thrown together in the most furstrating and uninteresting way possible. Everything borrowed for Titanic Monarch is implemented much better in the original zones they appeared in (Carnival Night, Death Egg S&K, S3&K Bonus Stage, etc). Its an unfortunate blemish in an otherwise fantastic game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,701
#32
I've said it since release that Titanic Monarch Zone is **godawful** and the worst zone in a classic-style Sonic game. Its consists of completely recycled elements thrown together in the most furstrating and uninteresting way possible. Everything borrowed for Titanic Monarch is implemented much better in the original zones they appeared in (Carnival Night, Death Egg S&K, S3&K Bonus Stage, etc). Its an unfortunate blemish in an otherwise fantastic game.
The worst zone ever? I don't know about that.
 
OP
OP
Gundam
Oct 25, 2017
7,411
#33
When I get home I’ll give it another go without the time limit, but I don’t think that takes care of all my problems with the zone. A lot of ridiculous crush deaths and everything looks the same, so when you miss a jump and get sent to another part of the level, I never know if I should try to get back to where I was or follow what may or may not be an alternate route.

It’s just boring and frustrating. The enemies are lame and the boss for Act 1 is really blegh.
 
Oct 28, 2017
481
#34
What in the goddamn fuck dude.

Do people like this zone? I'm almost done with the game but I can't bring myself to finish it. I've really enjoyed basically the entire game up to this point, save for Stardust Speedway.
It's a god-damn mess that the rest of the game doesn't really prime you for in anyway. It would be a highly mediocre zone if it weren't for the 10 minute limit and limited lives system, but as is, it's straight garbage.

I'm all for huge sprawling levels with alternative paths, but TMZ is a garbled mess of a maze, with every 2 seconds having me go "How was I supposed to know that hazard was there?".
Some of the appeal to 2D Sonic for me is memorizing the levels and running through them as efficient as possible, but trying to remember the layout of TMZ is such a chore when each playthrough of the first act alone takes about 10 minutes each time. And those fucking purple balls! Not impossible or terrible to control, but they're placed in frustrating manner and account for like 6/10ths of the time playing the stage, and they just aren't fun.

I got to this point last summer before dropping it in interest of other games, and coming back to it now, I'm just dropping it out of how terrible it feels to play. I get it's the penultimate zone, but the music, while good, isn't even energizing or motivating enough to push me through.

If the stage was "just difficult" I could get over it and keep playing, but I feel like the whole first act is just designed to waste my time.


I guess I'm just venting, but as a bonus topic: Have you ever dropped a game you've otherwise been enjoying over a single stage/mission?
Yeah I got to that level and kept dying over and over because the timer would run out or I'd get crushed by an obstacle I didn't see coming. Was really enjoying the game up until that point.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,557
#37
Nah you're not alone, I fucking hate Titanic Monarch Zone, I just want to run fast and Titanic Monarch Zone simply doesn't let me do that due to those stupid orbs. Plus the fact that the level is long and comes straight after Metallic Madness, makes me feel that I am playing two final level back to back.

Honestly, I just wish that Sonic Mania had a greater focus on newer levels than recycling past levels.

It would be a highly mediocre zone if it weren't for the 10 minute limit
You can thankfully turn that shit off.
 
OP
OP
Gundam
Oct 25, 2017
7,411
#40
Nah you're not alone, I fucking hate Titanic Monarch Zone, I just want to run fast and Titanic Monarch Zone simply doesn't let me do that due to those stupid orbs. Plus the fact that the level is long and comes straight after Metallic Madness, makes me feel that I am playing two final level back to back.

Honestly, I just wish that Sonic Mania had a greater focus on newer levels than recycling past levels.



You can thankfully turn that shit off.
I didn’t know that before this thread, now I question it - if most other stages don’t even get close to timing you out, what’s the point of having it kill you at 10 minutes? I get why it counts up instead of down, for an in-game speed run timer kind of thing, but what value does killing you at 10 really add?
 
May 17, 2018
840
#41
As a Sonic casual, I am in fact surprised that people found Mania difficult (other than Encore mode's emerald challenges and some of the medal challenges, fuck that) because I found it overall quite accessible, including TMZ (it's a bit of a mindfuck and on the long side but not frustrating) and the 'true' final boss. Although I think TMZ is not really the high point of the game for sure compared to other levels.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,922
Lima, Peru
#45
I've said it since release that Titanic Monarch Zone is **godawful** and the worst zone in a classic-style Sonic game. Its consists of completely recycled elements thrown together in the most furstrating and uninteresting way possible. Everything borrowed for Titanic Monarch is implemented much better in the original zones they appeared in (Carnival Night, Death Egg S&K, S3&K Bonus Stage, etc). Its an unfortunate blemish in an otherwise fantastic game.
Worst in classic sonic? Green Hills Zone says hi
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,637
#46
It's not really that hard, it's just very tedious and overlong. The energy orbs don't really work as a level gimmick, at least at the frequency Titanic Monarch uses them - they're kind of slow, and if you miss a launch and fall down it can be time consuming to go back up. There's also quite a few gimmicks that seem to just be padding, like the Eggrobo cars, or the swing poles that just pause you for a moment for a flashy animation for no real gameplay purpose.

At least it's the last level.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,557
#47
I didn’t know that before this thread, now I question it - if most other stages don’t even get close to timing you out, what’s the point of having it kill you at 10 minutes? I get why it counts up instead of down, for an in-game speed run timer kind of thing, but what value does killing you at 10 really add?
Because Sonic Mania for all its warts, absorbed a lot of the flaws that the original game had. The timer was one of them, which is ironic as the Sonic Advance series had the timer limit but they also included the option to turn it off. It really serves no purpose and makes no sense to why Sonic just suddenly dies after hitting the time limit.
 
Nov 14, 2017
707
#48
Because Sonic Mania for all its warts, absorbed a lot of the flaws that the original game had. The timer was one of them, which is ironic as the Sonic Advance series had the timer limit but they also included the option to turn it off. It really serves no purpose and makes no sense to why Sonic just suddenly dies after hitting the time limit.
You can disable it in Plus.
 
Jan 14, 2019
75
Germany
#49
It is long and more frustrating than fun most of the time, but I could finish it after few attempts (and dying at least once every time just due to the time limit). For the "normal" final boss (didn't bother collecting the emeralds) I''ve asked a friend to be a co-op partner though - losing multiple times to the difficult final boss, repeating this particular stage would have been too annoying. In hindsight it has not been too bad.

The rest of the game is an absolute gem, but the difficulty level suddenly increases quite a bit at this stage and many level elements pass the frustration threshold.