Exploring the Sega Saturn library in 2020


Yesterday, I found a near-mint condition Sega Saturn console, complete in box, at a recycle shop in Yamanashi. I bought it because (confession time) I've never played a Sega Saturn in my life! It's always been my biggest blind spot, growing up as a Genesis kid and a Dreamcast fan. Along with the console, I got Panzer Dragoon, Daytona USA, and Virtua Fighter 2, because they were 300 yen each, and because they seemed pretty representative of the Saturn.

Now I must humbly ask the insert credit forums for help, because you all seem like some folks who know about the Saturn.

1) Can I burn ISOs to a disc and play them pretty easily, like I can do with the Dreamcast? Some legit Saturn games are real cheap, but others sure are not!

2) What games do you reckon are the best examples of Sega Saturn-specific fun? I'm aware of the legendary, canonical ones (like Nights, Panzer Dragoon Saga) but not much else. I like all genres, and Japanese language is not a barrier to entry.

Thanks in advance to anyone who's kind enough to offer their thoughts.


1) Nope.

2) Steep Slope Sliders.

Sega Saturn is one of my favorite systems, but the prices generally aren't good anymore.

The Hori six button pad is really good if you pick up any fighters, if you don't the Saturn pad is fantastic for everything else.


@whatsarobot#6661 I got Panzer Dragoon, Daytona USA, and Virtua Fighter 2, because they were 300 yen each, and because they seemed pretty representative of the Saturn.



lol, yeah, looking at guides online for playing burned games, it sounds like a terrible and painful process. Luckily, Panzer Dragoon Saga (RPG) is readily available for 2,000 yen online, so that's not toooooo bad.

Never heard of Steep Slope Sliders! Thanks!

I should mention that I love the feel of the Saturn pad so far, except for the shoulder buttons being a bit too clicky, like a mouse.

Get one of these red carts flashed with Psuedo Saturn Kai and you're good to go on CDrs. That said, I have completely shifted over to and ODE and never looked back.


Steep Slope Sliders rules. I would also point to Super Tempo as a hidden gem


@robinhoodie#6666 Thank you! The Pseudo Saturn Kai looks like exactly what I need.

Super Tempo looks fantastic. But [it's going for more than 50,000 yen on Amazon](https://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%A1%E3%83%87%E3%82%A3%E3%82%A2%E3%82%AF%E3%82%A8%E3%82%B9%E3%83%88-SUPER-TEMPO/dp/B000069S1U)! Wow.

@whatsarobot#6667 That‘s why you get the Kai. God, half those disc are probably starting to rot anyways. Get the cart with the 1mb and 4mb ram enhancements so you can play the later SNK and Capcom games. Also I think you can save directly to the cart. Here, I just pointed someone else to this one. I can’t speak for it, but it should be everything you need if you get the $45 dollar version.


@robinhoodie#6668 Wow, thank you so much! Definitely owe you one.

Yep. Kai is the easy way to go. Especially if you don't want to be bothered with mods. I installed it on my own Action Replay cart, but there are so many pre-modded ones available to buy online now.

Instructions and details on the mod can be found here:


@hellomrkearns#6673 Thank you!

The issue is always finding "backups" that are reliable and not scary to download! :O

@hellomrkearns#6673 I just updated mine to the latest firmware on my ancient cart today. But yeah, easier to just buy the pre-flashed cart these days. Very glad it exists after years of fiddly mod chips.

@whatsarobot#6674 Not sure the rules on this but here we are https://the-eye.eu/alvro/_Archivist_Extras/Sega%20Saturn/Sega%20-%20Saturn%20%20(2280)%20(2020-05-11%2001-31-06)/ delete if need be

As mentioned above, Psuedo Saturn Kai is a wonderful cart that's pretty essential for Saturn owners. And that one @robinhoodie linked to is good because it includes a physical switch for 1MB and 4MB RAM expansion. The switch allows for the games that use 1MB RAM cart to run properly; before it most folks in the English-speaking world used Action Replay 4-in-1 carts that would end up introducing extra lag in games that use the 1MB RAM cart.

Some recommendations for slightly less obvious games:
Baku Baku Animal - a pretty unique puzzle game with some charmingly hideous CGI graphics
Digital Pinball: Necronomicon - a surprisingly awesome digital pinball game, if you're into that kind of thing
Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius ~forever with me~ - this is probably my favorite Konami shooter on the console
Magic Knight Rayearth - a pretty great top-down action RPG that's EXTRA good if you're a fan of the CLAMP manga/anime
Puyo Puyo 2 - probably the best version of arguably the best Puyo Puyo
Tengai Makyou: Daiyon no Mokushiroku - The Apocalypse IV - this is a text heavy JRPG that looks REALLY GOOD but my Japanese is so poor I couldn't really make progress...
Waku Waku 7 - maybe the silliest 2D fighting game on the system

The Saturn has long been one of my all-time favorite consoles and there's a great world of games out there to explore! I hope it brings you great happiness!

@Nemoide#6677 Thanks for the kind sentiment, and all the game recommendations!

Of the ones you've listed, I've only ever played Waku Waku 7, which is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning Magic Knight Rayearth! It gets a lot of love on this here forum, and I like its visual style, but completely forgot it was a Saturn game! That one's high on the list, for me.

I kept hearing recs for Steep Slope Sliders recently and checked it out, did nothing for me. Seems extremely light on content and none of it particularly compelling. I‘d have to replay something like Cool Boarders 2 to compare to the time period but I really don’t see the appeal in the a post-SSX world.

None of these are really obscure but I strongly recommend Saturn Bomberman, Dark Savior, and Shining Force 3. If the Kind of game (90s VN mixed with SRPG) appeals then Sakura Taisen is very enjoyable and charming as well. Burning Rangers plays uhhh pretty poorly especially now but I think it‘s extremely indicative of the Sega Saturn era. It’s cool.

If you like shooters Radiant Silvergun is an obvious pick but for more traditional ones definitely check out Layer Section and Soukyuu Gurentai.

Guardian Heroes!

@robinhoodie#6675 I should do that….it's been a few years since I installed it!

@ttzop#6681 I need to play more Steep Slope Sliders. This is how it starts:

And look at all the great secret characters! You can be a dog!

@ttzop#6681 I wouldn‘t say SSS is a great game. But as an experience, especially with the expanded soundtrack on the US version, there’s a nice hour of fun there. Something I can run through every few years like an album I enjoy. I can totally see not getting into it if you don't have nostalgia like I do.

Shoot, I had slowly been writing a big post about saturn recommendations since folks had been asking me, I might still do it as a separate post since it‘ll be long… but it seems like now’s a good time for it.

@exodus#6686 That would be incredible, if you‘ve got the time to write it. I’d read it for sure, I can promise you that much.

  • - Asuka 120% Limited: Burning Fest. is a fighting game that feels real good. Doesn't have annoying load times like some other ones on the Saturn too.
  • - _Elevator Action Returns_ and _Twinkle Star Sprites_ if you haven't played them before, or have no other way to play them. Saturn TSS has some extra stuff no other version do iirc? Saturn generally just feels like a great place to play arcade ports. You can get a nice video signal too, used to look so nice when I had a CRT.
  • - def get the second _Panzer Dragoon_
  • - _Soukyugurentai: Otokuyo_ and _Layer Section_ if ya like shooters.
  • - I keep meaning to play _Deap Fear_...
  • Totally ignoring prices here ;)

    Internet archive tends to have sets of ISOs these days ;)