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 aboard the Death Egg Mk. II and later the Wily Egg, was developed by Dr. Eggman, and has been used by him both alone and in alliance with Dr. Wily to alter Mobius 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: Clean SweepDr. Eggman first conceived of the Genesis Wave after coming to the realization that Sonic the Hedgehog was apparently the embodiment of the Chaos Force, making him an unpredictable element that would always upset any situation. After completing and launching the Death Egg Mark 2, he unleashed the wave as part of Operation: Clean Sweep. The resulting reality was different in a number of ways from how it had previously been, including a timeline in which Sonic, the Knothole Freedom Fighters-minus Bunnie Rabbot-D'Coolette-and Eggman hadn't met until the "new" present. Bunnie herself was also a prisoner of Eggman in this new reality, and cousin to Cream the Rabbit, whom she was unrelated to in any other world. (StH: #210, #225, #226, FCBD 2012)
Second Wave: Worlds Collide
After the first wave was reversed, the blue Chaos Emerald that Eggman used to power it had mysteriously vanished. In fact, it had somehow ended up on an alternate planet Earth, Where it was soon uncovered in that zones Lanfront Ruins by Dr. Wily, who ended up coming into contact with Eggman after the emeralds power allowed him to interrupt a video conference between the former and his DEL Grandmasters. The two ended up bonding over their mutual peeve of constantly having their evil plans thwarted by a "blue hero", and they decided to work together. (StH: #231, MM: #24)
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 effected 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 where unable to prevent the wave from being unleashed on this already changed world, but they where 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 Mobius, on the other hand, was met with interference by Eggman, which resulted in their world being broken beyond repair... (SU: #54, StH: #251)
Sonic and the Freedom Fighters returned to a world completely, irriversibly altered by the Super Genesis Wave. With his memories of the old world still intact, Sonic was initially confused, that is until memories of this new world began to form in his mind. After Sonic gathered his fellow Freedom Fighters and had their own memories of the old world restored (through Nicole, who had suffered a glitch due to the wave), the full extent of the wave's effects were revealed to have extended to the entire Multiverse, causing it to collapse in on itself. Additionally, the excess energies of the wave had piled onto their new world causing it to break apart. The Freedom Fighters, at first, struggled to deal with their two sets of memories, but as they began their efforts to save those effected by the crisis, their old memories soon faded like a dream. (StH: #252, #253, #254, #255, #256, #257)
For the most part, the Genesis Wave has been shown to drastically alter reality on whatever world(s) it effects, 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 inhabitents, 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. (SU: #55, #56, #57, #58)
- The Genesis Wave's name is likely a reference to the Sega Genesis game system, on which the Sonic the Hedgehog games debuted; indeed, it's first usage altered Mobius's reality to make it more like the earliest Sonic the Hedgehog games. However, it still included a few prominent elements from the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series. The effects of the second and Super Genesis Waves resulted in a world based even more on the games, albeit again with some SatAM and comic-exclusive elements included.
- 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.