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Genocide City Zone

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Genocide City Zone
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Genocide City Zone
Beta level, Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Level theme: industrial

Genocide City Zone, also known as Cyber City Zone, is a scrapped level from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Mega Drive. Designed primarily by Tom Payne, it was to be a single act zone with a mechanical or industrial theme, but was dropped due to time restraints. Its map was subsequently reworked, becoming Metropolis Zone act 3.

Design

Like most levels of the game, Genocide City was envisioned by Hirokazu Yasuhara and Yasushi Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi drew some initial concept art for the level[1] and delegated in-game graphics responsibilities to Tom Payne. Graphics for the level and a map were produced, but before the contents were added to the game proper, a decision was made to axe the level due to time restraints.

According to Sonic 2 level designer Tom Payne, the name "Genocide City" being chosen was due to the development team's "not quite complete grasp of the English language."[1] During an interview with Payne, he went on to say that the team "may have been looking for a name that sounded dangerous," which resulted in the name "Genocide City"[1]. It is now believed that Cyber City was the name conceptualized later on in order to remedy the zone's former name.

Unlike its contemporaries, Dust Hill Zone, Wood Zone and Hidden Palace Zone, the existence of a fully designed map for Genocide City meant the level was able to survive in a different form - as the third act of Metropolis Zone (going some way to explain why this is the only level in Sonic 2 with three acts).

Act 3 (of Metropolis Zone) was going to be a different Zone that would only appear once (one act)... We had already finished the map, and it would have been a shame to waste it, so this is what we went with.

Yuji Naka, from the Sonic Jam strategy guide

Metropolis and Genocide City are thought to have been fairly similar in design, however Genocide City is thought to have had a brown colour scheme. No boss for Genocide City was ever designed.

Implementation

Genocide City Zone as it appears in the final game.

In the "Simon Wai" prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Genocide City is listed in the level select, but selecting it simply brings the player to a empty level. Chemical Plant Zone music plays with Emerald Hill Zone's palette, and the player will simply fall to their death at the bottom of the stage. Enabling debug reveals that the only objects in this level are the two default objects, a ring and a teleport monitor. Beyond the camera's sight is a couple blocks of Emerald Hill Zone tiles.

Genocide City's remains can also be accessed in the final version by entering the Game Genie code, ACLA-AWD8 (AB6X-AWBR in Knuckles in Sonic 2), and pressing start on "Sound Test" (Special Stage in Knuckles in Sonic 2) in the stage select menu. Rather than using the Chemical Plant Zone theme as its background music like the Simon Wai prototype, this version of the stage uses the Sky Chase Zone theme instead. The stage has very little collision data, complete with broken, garbled tiles in some areas. The stage impossible to finish by any means.

Tom Payne's work was not entirely wasted - some of the graphics were recycled for the unreleased Mega Drive game B-Bomb, before being recycled again for the Sonic Spinball level, The Machine.[2]

References


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