Check Out Sonic Mania's Secret Knuckles Mode In Action

Knuckles gets some love.

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Now Playing: Sonic Mania's "& Knuckles" Mode Gameplay

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Sonic Mania is now available--unless you're stuck waiting for the PC version--and it appears to be the game that many Sonic fans have been hoping for. Not only that, but it also features a special mode that plays off a popular Sonic joke.

As featured in the video above, & Knuckles mode allows you to have the titular echidna follow you around, much like Tails in past games. It can be activated even if you're playing as Knuckles, allowing you to create a Knuckles & Knuckles experience.

The reference dates back to an old joke stemming from a Sonic the Hedgehog 3 add-on, Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This spawned a running joke that involves tacking the phrase "& Knuckles" onto virtually everything, which even the Sonic Twitter account--never one to miss out on a meme--has referenced on numerous occasions.

The exact requirements for unlocking & Knuckles Mode is unclear. It's possibly tied to progressing through the main campaign and bonus stages; we were completing those while also playing through the game as Knuckles. There are other secrets, too, though as our Sonic Mania review notes, enabling them disables save functionality. That means you'll have to make it through the game in one sitting if you choose to use them.

This strange limit on secrets was one of the few gripes raised in our review, which stated, "An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series' iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made." You can check out many of Sonic Mania's Easter eggs in our gallery.

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