Genocide City Zone

From Sonic Retro

Sonic Retro emblem.svg Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Scrapped Levels
Genocide City Zone
  • Concept Art
  • Prototype
Sonic2 CyberCity ConceptColor.jpg
Genocide City Zone
Beta Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit)
Number of Acts: 3
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. With graphics designed primarily by Tom Payne, it was to be a 3 act zone with a mechanical or industrial theme, but was dropped due to time restraints.


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 maps 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, Wood Zone and Hidden Palace Zone, the existence of a fully designed map for Genocide City meant the level was possibly 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 Zone in the first half that would only appear once (one act), but it was cut and placed after act 2. 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

However, development materials were found of Genocide City Zone's Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3 layout that do not resemble Metropolis Act 3, calling into question whether it was Genocide City Naka was talking about in the quote above.

Metropolis and Genocide City are thought to have been fairly similar in design, however Genocide City had a purple colour scheme.Media:Sonic_2_Tom_Payne_Development_documents.jpeg[2]


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 Level Slot (0E) was later re-used for Death Egg Zone.

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.[3]


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