The Genesis Wave is a phenomenon created using the energies of a Chaos Emerald to rewrite reality. The technology, centered around the Cosmic Reset Button was developed by Dr. Eggman and has been used by him both alone and in alliance with Dr. Wily to alter Sonic's World on two occasions and Earth 20XX once. A supercharged variation made possible with the power of all seven Emeralds is called the Super Genesis Wave.
First Wave: Advance
At some point in the recent past, Eggman launched the very first Genesis Wave, which separated the planet into different pocket dimensions. Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies had to journey across each dimension in order to hunt down the Chaos Emeralds and defeat Eggman's newest enforcer, the robot Gemerl. During the event, Walter Naugus ended up caught between one of the dimensional rifts, an experience that left the troll wizard bereft of his powers. (VG: SAd3, SU: #89)
Second Wave: Worlds Collide
After Eggman's failed attempt at using the Time Eater to change Sonic's past, the Chaos Emeralds were once again scattered, with the blue Emerald somehow ending up in an alternate reality entirely: in the Lanfront Ruins on Earth 20XX, where it was discovered by Dr. Wily. Using the emerald, Wily inadvertently came into contact with Eggman, who was still trapped in the white void from after said plan failed. The two decided to team up after bonding. (VG: SG, SB: #8)
Meeting up inside a pocket zone, the doctors constructed the Skull Egg Zone and the Wily Egg, the latter containing a second Cosmic Reset Button. Within the zone, they launched the second Genesis Wave, which affected their respective worlds in different ways; while the timeline of Eggman's world was completely reset (into a different state than last time), the timeline of Earth 20XX was merely flashed forward into the future. (StH: #247, FCDS 2013, MM: #24)
Third Wave: Super Genesis Wave
With both of their realities under the influence of the second wave, Doctors Eggman and Wily prepared to initiate a super-powered version of the wave, aptly named the Super Genesis Wave, once they'd collected all seven Chaos Emeralds, to alter the realities further, this time completely reshaping their worlds to their exact vision with no limitations, despite the risk of heavily damaging the fabric of space and time in the process. Sonic and Mega Man were unable to prevent the wave from being unleashed on this already changed world, but they were still able to infiltrate the wave while in their super forms, in which they attempted to reverse the wave with Chaos Control. Super Mega Man was able to successfully restore his world, with everybody native to his world returning to their correct time and place in reality. Super Sonic's attempt at restoring his world, on the other hand, was met with interference by Eggman, which resulted in their world being restored but with disastrous consequences... (SU: #54, StH: #251)
Sonic and the rest of the Freedom Fighters returned with conflicting memories of how their world was before, with the knowledge that their world (and the whole multiverse) had apparently been altered somehow. The effects of the Super Genesis Wave ultimately proved to be too much for Sonic's world to handle and the stress of the Wave's remaining energy broke the planet to pieces. (StH: #252, #256)
For the most part, the Genesis Wave has been shown to drastically alter reality on whatever world(s) it effects, whether it be completely rewriting its history or altering its structure (i.e. splitting it into individual pocket zones), in the former case often leaving the affected inhabitants with amnesia or senses of deja vu. However, the wave does have some limitations as explained by Eggman and Wily: for one thing, it is apparently incapable of outright erasing individuals from existence. As seen with Mega Man's world, it is also capable of manipulating time, as the wave caused Earth 20XX's timeline to jump forward. (StH: #226, MM: #24)
A supercharged version of the wave, known as the "Super Genesis Wave", is achievable if the user has all seven Chaos Emeralds. With this wave, it is said that the limitations imposed by the standard wave are no longer in place, allowing the user to completely reshape the world exactly in his or her image. During the Worlds Collide saga, the final phase of Eggman and Wily's plan was to use the powered up wave to completely erase their enemies and transform themselves into deities, giving them full control over their respective universes without opposition. (SU: #54, #251)
Despite its power, usage of the Genesis Wave has its dangers: overuse of it can greatly strain the fabric of reality, up to the point of literally "breaking" a universe. The Super Genesis Wave presents an even greater risk, capable of causing apocalyptic damage to the entire multiverse and all of existence itself if used incorrectly, or if it is improperly reversed, which was seen when Super Sonic's attempt to reverse the wave was disrupted by Eggman, resulting in the Prime Zone being completely rewritten with the entire surrounding multiverse collapsing around it. In addition, unlike the effects of a normal Genesis Wave, the Super Genesis Wave's effects are irreversible: once the affected world is changed, it presumably stays that way forever. (StH: #251, #252, #256, #257)
There is, however, at least one known magical item that is capable of offering partial immunity against the Super Genesis Wave: the Jeweled Scepter, the mystical artifact from the Sol Zone that acts as an anchor and link to the Prime Zone, protected its native zone from being destroyed when the multiverse collapsed, instead allowing it to merely he altered like the Prime Zone, but to a much lesser extent. In fact, the scepters protection caused a peculiar anomaly to the zone: its inhabitants, such as Blaze the Cat, retained clouded memories of what had taken place in the past, especially, in Blaze's case, in relation to her prior interactions to the Prime Zone. Even certain physical artifacts that could've only existed in the old version of the zone where prevented from being erased, the most notable being Captain Metal, a salvaged and rebuilt version of Metal Sonic v3.4, a version of the robot created in the old version of the Prime Zone. (SU: #55, #56, #57, #58)
According to Professor Von Schlemmer, the effects of the Super Genesis Wave created another type of space-time anomaly known as the Genesis Portal; small rips in the fabric of time and space created by the "shards" of the old multiverse, that allow travel between realities. (SU: #80)
- The Genesis Wave's name is likely a reference to the Sega Genesis game system, on which the Sonic the Hedgehog games debuted.
- The Genesis Wave is also synonymous with the infamous Genesis Device from the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Genesis Device unleashed a terraforming wave that would alter a planet to be hospitable, almost similar to how the Genesis Wave would alter a reality to take a different form.
- Since its effects created the Genesis Portal, the Super Genesis Wave not only ended Worlds Collide but indirectly led to the events of Worlds Unite as well.