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Zero Wing (Genesis)

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Title Screen

Zero Wing

Developer: Toaplan
Publishers: Toaplan (JP), Sega (EU)
Platform: Genesis
Released in JP: May 31, 1991
Released in US: June 30, 2022 (Nintendo Switch Online)
Released in EU: 1992

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

The Genesis Zero Wing is a horizontal shoot-'em-up that's less remembered for its gameplay and more for the memes that spawned from the European version's butchered translation of the introduction sequence.

Test Mode


Pause the game, then press C, Up, B, Down, A, Left, Right, B, C, C, Right, Left, Right, A, Down, Start. This code was cryptically hinted at in the 35th and final ending in the Japanese version.

  • Active - If set to 1, makes you invincible to enemies, auto-destroy some enemies on contact (apparently? TODO), and lets you cross through floors/ceilings/walls unharmed.
  • Screen - Appears to select which of the possible checkpoint locations to continue from after leaving the menu.
  • Stage - Level select.
  • Power - Determines the power of your weapons.
  • Ending - If nonzero, selects one of the game's endings to view.
    • 01 - Easy ending (dancing Pipiru).
    • 02 - Normal ending (staff roll).
    • 03 - Hard ending.
    • 04-23 - CATS endings 1-32 (Japanese version only; loops back to first CATS ending after this).

Regional Differences

Dialogue Font

In the Japanese version, the dialogue text is large and white. The European version uses the game's smaller tan font.


To do:
The Retro-Bit version translated the endings.

The Japanese version contains 35 different endings, one for each loop you complete. After getting the best ending for completing the game three times (or just playing in Hard mode), each subsequent ending will show the bad guy CATS saying something comedic or weird. Full translations of them, alongside info on their cultural references, can be found in this Legends of Localization article.

The European version removed all of the CATS endings. The Test Mode's "Ending" setting works correctly for the first three options, but anything afterward will just show the third/Hard ending.

(Source: Clyde Mandelin)