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Akira (Genesis)

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Title Screen


Developers: Black Pearl, THQ
Platform: Genesis

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

This game was stuffed away in a cardboard box and found 30 years later in a garage
This game was never completed and/or given a public release.
As a result of this, keep in mind that the developers might have used or deleted some of the content featured here, had the game actually been released.
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
To do:
This page is still in a rough state, so please be patient.

The Genesis Akira is one of many cancelled game adaptations based on the 1988 movie of the same name, which in turn is based on the manga. While a prototype of this version was showcased at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show (SCES) in June 1994, the prototype covered here predates that one, as it has several notable differences that would be remedied in time for the public showcasing.

Download.png Download Akira (Prototype)
File: Akira-Genesis-Proto.zip (1.2 MB) (info)


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Unused Graphics

Akira Gen KeycardPickup.gif

A keycard pickup animation meant for Levels 2/3(T).

Unused Audio

Even though almost every level in this build lacks any music or sounds, a lot of the game's audio is present in the sound test.


Sound ID Audio Comments
Plays during In the Sewers in the SCES footage.
Faster version of the intro of Level 4 (K/T)'s BGM.
One of a series of short jingles that use a similar drumbeat.
There's not much to talk about as they could've been used anywhere.
Another jingle.
Yet another jingle.
This jingle sounds similar to $0F.
The last note hangs indefinitely.
A rendition of "Exodus from the Underground Fortress". Plays during the motorcycle levels in the SCES footage. A non-looping version can be found at $49.
A funky sounding song.
Sinister child-like ambiance. It fits the bear rooms in Levels 2/3(T) the best.
A jingle with prominent steel drum sounds.
A different rendition of "Exodus". Doesn't loop. This appears to be used in Flight to Fate in the SCES footage, but it's hard to tell with the poor audio quality.

Sound Effects

Sound ID Audio Comments
Helicopter noises. There's a helicopter in the Level 2(T) cutscene, so it was likely meant for there.
A grunt. Would appear in the used sound $1E with a hit sound layered on top.
Another grunt.
Ditto, but with an extra hit sound like $1E.
A man screaming after being hit.
A gunshot for the various guns seen in the game.
Police sirens. Can be heard in the Police Escape cutscene in the SCES footage.
Something starting up. Perhaps an engine sound for the vehicle levels?
What sounds like an engine running.
Said engine stopping.
$28 without the sound at the start.
A lower-pitched $2B.
A higher-pitched $29.
A drinking noise. This is a compressed version of this sound:
A slower version of $2F.
Something rattling and breaking.
A metal clang. This is next to the explosion sound used in Level 3(K), so it's possible that they're related in some way.
Tires screeching. Meant for the motorcycle stages.
A higher-pitched $36.
A loud alarm noise that increases in pitch as time goes on.
Some sort of impact noise?
A clicking noise. Footsteps?
A lower-pitched $3C.
A low-pitched wobbling sound.
The end of $3F, the Black Pearl logo sound, on a loop.
A shutdown sound related to $3F and $40. Were they meant for another set of motor sounds?
Animal noises (from the mouse?) or birds chirping.
A gun being cocked. Might've been played when picking up ammo in Level 2(K).
Water splashing meant for Level 2(K).
Water droplets also meant for Level 2(K).
Another droplet sound?
Water noises meant for Level 2(K).
A door or gate closing.

Unused Text

A different version of Motorcycle Rumble/Level 1(T) was shown as the first level in the SCES demo. It was an entirely separate mission that allowed the player to play as either Kaneda or Tetsuo. Level 1(T) would be renamed to Level 2(T) and was changed to involve Tetsuo running from the police.

The text for this later version already exists in the ROM, at 3EE7A. Note the "Keneda" misspelling.



In addition, text for what seems to be an opening cutscene can be found at 9A155. The formatting and spelling mistakes have been preserved.

At 2:17 PM
on December 6th, 1992,
a new type of bomb exploded over
the metropolitan
area of Japan.

Nine hours later,
World War III began.

Leningrad, Moscow,
Kazakhstan, Irutsk, 
Vladivostok, San Fransisco,
Los Angeles, Washington,
New York, Okinawa,
Berlin, Hamburg, Warsaw,
London, Birmingham,
Paris, New Dehli...

And the world began
to rebuild.

Neo-Tokyo City, 38 years
after World War III (2030 AD)


To do:
Still gotta add screenshots as well as improve the stage descriptions.

The levels are categorized in the game by whenever you play as Tetsuo (T) or Kaneda (K). That means there are two Level 1s (Level 1(T) and Level 1(K)), two Level 2s (Level 2(T) and Level 2(K)), etc., with the only exception being Level 5, which only has a Kaneda variant but is still referred to as Level 5(K).

The levels can be selected on a map in any order, and each level has a preview picture and a short description for the stage that follows the plot of the movie.

Akira(Genesis) Level Select 1.png Akira(Genesis) Level Select 2.png


  • There are no sound effects whatsoever.
  • Pressing Start brings you back to the level select.

Motorcycle Rumble/Gang Leader - Level 1(T)/Level 1(K)

The only level pair that is practically the same, with the only difference being the character you play as. All you can do here is turn left and right as well as punch.

  • The cutscene that plays before Level 1(T)/Level 1(K) are the same.
  • There is no music.
  • There are no enemies.
  • The level loops endlessly, and thus cannot be completed.

Akira(Genesis) Level 1 Intro.png Akira(Genesis) Level 1K.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 1T.png Akira(Genesis) Level 1T Punch.png

Army Hospital #1 - Level 2(T)

The first of two first-person stages. In them, you control Tetsuo through a military hospital almost in the style of Doom. You can turn around, strafe, and shoot out Esper energy blasts. There are also doors you can open by just walking up to them, as well as enemies you can blow up (and quite graphically, too).

Three keycards are required to progress through the level: a bronze one to enter the Records area, a gold one to enter the "No Entrance" area, and a red one to enter the Restricted area. The Restricted area is a small room decorated with childish illustrations reminiscent of the movie's nightmare scene, and seems to be where the level would've ended. There isn't a way to complete it, though.

  • The music that plays here is the same as on the title screen.
  • If Tetsuo is adjacent to a medical curtain decoration and turns to face it, the game will crash.
  • Many areas/rooms are labeled, such as the Cafeteria, Observation Room, and Barracks.
  • The enemies will only move if Tetsuo bumps into them, and will never attack him. Soldiers are an exception: they either walk in place or allow Tetsuo to noclip into them.
  • Four items can be picked up in the initial hallway: one PSI power pill, and three food items. The items can be used even though there's no way for Tetsuo to lose health or psychic power.
    • Using any of the healing items will display an animation of Tetsuo eating.

Akira(Genesis) Level 2T Intro.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2T StartArea.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 2T Door.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2T Shoot.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 2T NurseDeath.png


  • Up/Down: Move up/down.
  • Left/Right: Aim hand, strafe left/right.
  • A: Shoot energy blasts.
  • A + B: Use item.
  • B + Left/Right: Select item.
  • C + Left/Right: Turn left/right.

In the Sewers - Level 2(K)

The first of two platforming stages. In these, you control Kaneda in a very side-scroller fashion. He can jump, climb ladders, kick and shoot a gun. Shooting the gun drains your ammo, which you can refill with items. Once you're out of ammo, your gun gets replaced with a punch and the ability to block.

There's also an interesting mechanic in this level: the ability to switch between the background and foreground layers through door-like holes on the wall.

  • No music plays in this level.

Akira(Genesis) Level 2K Intro.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2K StartArea.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 2K Climb.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2K Shoot.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 2K Background.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2K Pipe.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 2K KickRat.png Akira(Genesis) Level 2K KickSoldier.png


  • Left/Right: Move left/right.
  • Down: Crouch, exit background layer, climb down ladder, pick up item.
  • Up: Stand up, enter background layer, climb up ladder.
  • A: Shoot gun/Punch.
  • A + Down: Block
  • B: Jump
  • C: Kick


  • Pill: Restores your Str. (health)
  • Uzi: Restores your ammo.

Army Hospital #2 - Level 3(T)

The second first-person level. Very similar to the first one, but with a few noticeable differences:

  • There are no enemies present in the stage.
  • The area/room labels aren't present.
  • The bear seen in the movie's hallucination scene can be found and fought in the central room. Once the bear is killed, Takashi appears and vanishes.

Flight to Fate - Level 3(K)

A side-scrolling bike-escape maze sequence with a rather impressive pseudo-3D effect. This is one of the few levels to actually have sound effects: a sound for shooting, a sound for bullets hitting metal, an explosion sound and a "NO!" soundclip for the enemies. Shooting the bike gun drains your ammo.

Olympic Bridge - Level 4(T)

This one is an isometric stage starring a freshly broken-out Tetsuo. All he can do is move around and shoot out Esper energy waves. However, he can charge up those energy waves to make them even deadlier.

  • This stage suffers from tile scrolling bugs.
  • Both this stage and Level 4(K) share the same music, which is different from Level 2(T) and Level 3(T).

Platform Action - Level 4(K)

The second of two platforming stages. Takes place on the famous elevator.

  • Erroneously shares the same cutscene as Level 3(K).
  • This stage suffers from tile scrolling bugs like Level 4(T).

Psychic Stormwall - Level 5(K)

This level was meant to be the climactic showdown between Tetsuo and Kaneda from the movie. However, you can't really do much here, because the game freezes upon loading into the fifth stage. This can be fixed with Action Replay code 00D5F4:4E71.

In terms of gameplay, this level is similar to the platformer levels, but with one boss instead of multiple enemies. Players 1 and 2 take control as Kaneda and Tetsuo, respectively, and pummel each other until one loses enough health. Tetsuo mutates once this happens, while Kaneda stops getting staggered by attacks.

Once Tetsuo mutates, Player 2 is unable to control him, and starts cycling through a set of actions. He walks forwards then backwards, jumps in place twice, attacks with a flesh whip from his hand twice, spits slime at Kaneda, and uses a similar whip near his foot twice. Rinse and repeat. If Player 1 hits mutated Tetsuo, the mutation animation plays in reverse and he returns to normal. Another attack will set the animation off again, however.

  • This is the only level to have actual sound effects in place.
  • Pressing too many buttons at once can still crash the game.
  • Pressing Start will not go back to the level select, but instead plays a cutscene of Neo-Tokyo exploding with a sound effect. Afterwards, the game goes back to the Sega screen.
(Source: _gf64 (Cheat code))

Akira(Genesis) Level 5K.png Akira(Genesis) Level 5K-Mutant Tetsuo.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 5K-Mutant Tetsuo 1.png Akira(Genesis) Level 5K-Mutant Tetsuo 2.png

Akira(Genesis) Level 5K-Mutant Tetsuo 3.png

How the level plays out after the fix


Player 1 (Kaneda):

  • Left/Right: Move left/right.
  • Down: Crouch
  • Left/Right + Down: Crouch to left/right.
  • Up: Jumping (can cause the game to freeze if let go).
  • A: Punch
  • B: Block
  • C: Kick
  • C + Up: Jump kick.
  • C + Down: Crouch kick.

Player 2 (Tetsuo):

  • Left/Right: Move left/right.
  • Down: Crouch
  • Left/Right + Down: Crouch to left/right.
  • Up: Jumping (doesn't cause the game to freeze like Kaneda).
  • A: Punch
  • B: Block
  • C: Kick
  • C + Up: Jump kick.
  • C + Down: Crouch kick.