The newest entry in the Sonic franchise, Sonic Superstars, is now available. In addition to its many references to past Sonic games, a reference to another, more obscure Sega title has recently been discovered.

That game is Fantasy Zone, which was a sci-fi shooter originally released in arcades. It was later ported to a number of other systems, including the NES. Today, it’s even available to play on Switch under the Sega Ages banner. Its reference in Sonic Superstars comes somewhat later in the game, so we’ve moved the more detailed info to after the jump in case you’d like to be surprised.

The Sonic Superstars level in question is Act 2 of Frozen Base Zone. It’s here when the game transforms into a sidescrolling shooter, and directly references the 1986 arcade title Fantasy Zone. The level features enemies and a boss that are clearly designed to be more modern counterparts to the old school sprites from the 1986 original. Below, check out some comparison screenshots courtesy of Destructoid:

Sonic Superstars is available now on Nintendo Switch. Stay tuned to see if any more Easter eggs or references to classic Sega games show up!

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