Originally, the Special Stages were going to have Sonic navigate a rotating maze, building upon the framework of Sonic 1's Special Stage. Although similar, Sonic CD's Special Stage was planned to have two rotating layers that the player switched between.

According to BEEP and Marukatsu MegaDrive magazine interviews, with game's planner Hiroaki Chino, the developers thought the Special Stage was very slow, so they decided to redo it to make better use of the Sega CD hardware.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
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