Saturn (USA)
Saturn (USA)



Setname:  saturn   
Year: 1994
Manufacturer: Sega
Status: preliminary  notworks
Type: Game Console
Clones: HiSaturn,
Saturn (PAL),
Saturn (Japan),
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  preliminary   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  unsupported   

Tech info
SH-2 ("maincpu")cpu 28636360 Hz
SH-2 ("slave")cpu 28636360 Hz
M68000 ("audiocpu")cpu 11289600 Hz
SCUDSP ("scudsp")cpu 14318180 Hz
Speaker ("lspeaker")audio
Speaker ("rspeaker")audio
SCSP ("scsp")audio
CD/DA ("cdda")audio
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 320 x 224 @ 59.764793
Media devices
cdrom ("cdrom") cdrom cdrm chd, cue, toc, nrg, gdi, iso, cdr
cartridge ("exp") cartridge cart bin
BIOS options
101a Overseas v1.01a (941115)
100a Overseas v1.00a (941115)
Software lists
saturnoriginal NTSC-U

Show detailed info about 'Configurations' of this system

Controller Port 1 Digital Device (standard Saturn pad)
 Racing Device
 Analog Device
 Keyboard Device
 Megadrive 3B Pad
 Megadrive 6B Pad
 Saturn Mouse
Controller Port 2 Digital Device (standard Saturn pad)
 Racing Device
 Analog Device
 Pointing Device
 Megadrive 3B Pad
 Megadrive 6B Pad
 Saturn Mouse
Master-Slave Comms Normal (400 cycles)
 One Shot (Hack)

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
sega_100a.bin524288 f90f00893bb41feb82838ab9a35601ac666de5aacfd17a58good100a
mpr-17933.bin524288 4afcf0fafaa8ea183a6d7bbe5d4e03bb1332519800d3fbc3good101a


* CPU: Two Hitachi SH2 7604 32 Bit RISC chips at ~27 MHz (36 MIPS)
* Sound CPU: Motorola 68EC000 at 11.3 MHz
* Sound: 32 Channels, with 16 bit sampling at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz max.
* Resolution: 704 x 512 (horz) 60.00 Hz
* Colors: 32768 (static)
* Main Memory: 1 Megabyte of SDRAM and 1 Megabyte of DRAM
* Internal Memory Card
* Video Hardware: Two VDP (video display processors) chip sets (VRAM: 512Kb each)
* VDP1 Draw Sprites, lines, warped sprites (quads)
* VDP2 controls background graphics.
* CDROM: Max 2x speed - custom interface controlled by Hitachi SH1 processor. (512 Kb Buffer RAM)


MESS supports various Saturn versions

* saturn [Sega Saturn (USA)]
* saturneu [Sega Saturn (PAL)]
* saturnjp [Sega Saturn (Japan)]
* vsaturn [JVC V-Saturn (Japan)]
* hisaturn [Hitachi HiSaturn (Japan)]

Each driver supports the emulation of a Saturn with a "cdrom" (cdrm) device, for CD-ROM images in .chd format (read this tutorial by Guru -- to learn how to create an accurate CHD from your Saturn CD-ROM).

BIOS options

MESS supports different Saturn BIOS revisions for some of the models. You can switch between them, changing the -bios parameter. At command line,

* [saturnjp]

"-bios 0" or "-bios 101" = Japan v1.01 (941228)

"-bios 1" or "-bios 100" = Japan v1.00 (940921)

* [saturn / saturneu]

"-bios 0" or "-bios 101a" = Overseas v1.01a (941115)

"-bios 1" or "-bios 100a" = Overseas v1.00a (941115)

Known Issues

The emulation of this system is Preliminary. See source code for more information.

It still needs work on inputs.

Partially added CD-ROM Emulation.

History and Trivia

Sega released Saturn, its 32-bit console, in 1994 in Japan and the next year in North America and Europe. The Japanese released was rushed to the market in November 1994, in order to be available ahead of its rival, Sony's PlayStation.

The system was the result of two years of intense research work by a large team of Sega employees from every aspect of hardware engineering, product development and marketing. The Saturn was a powerful machine for the time, but its design, with two CPUs and 6 other processors, made very difficult to properly exploit its power. Rumors suggest that the original design called for a single central processor (making for an excellent 2D gaming experience but with very limited 3D capability), but a second processor was added late in development to increase 3D performance.

Third-party development was further hindered by the initial lack of useful software libraries and development tools, requiring developers to write in assembly language to achieve decent performances.

From a market viewpoint, the architectural design problems of the Saturn meant that it quickly lost third party support to the PlayStation. However, the Saturn had an advantage for 2D game engines and attracted many developers of RPGs, arcade games and traditional 2D fighting games.

The system was supported in North America and Europe until late 1998, and in Japan until the end of 2000. The last official game for the system, "Yukyu Gensokyoku Perpetual Collection", was released by Mediaworks on December 4, 2000.


Asian models: In Japan, Sega licensed the rights to produce Saturn to their hardware partners - Hitachi, who provided the CPUs and several other chips, and JVC who produced the CD drives for most models, although functionally identical Sanyo drives were sometimes used. SunSeibu released a model with a 7-CD changer for use in hotels. The concept of a multi-game player for hotel use is very common in Japan.

* Sega HST-3200 Saturn (Gray case and Blue buttons): The original Japanese Saturn. Production was ended in favour of the White Saturn. This model had a black cartridge flap and came in a box labeled HST-0001. The power cord is un-notched and this machine has a drive access light.

* Sega Saturn (White case and Purple/Gray buttons): Sega switched from purple to gray buttons during the production run. This controller was a matching white with multi-colored buttons similar to a Super Famicom controller with the bottom row buttons colored green, yellow and blue. The 'white' plastic is a very light gray and shares its color with the later Dreamcast. The cartridge flag is visibly gray. Limited models of the Saturn had oval buttons. Some people report faster CD access time with this model.

* Sega Skeleton Saturn (Translucent smoky-gray case): Came with a matching smoky-gray controller. Both controller and system had "This is cool" printed on them. Only around 50,000 were produced. Has some compatibility problems, notably with Metal Slug and Space Harrier.

* Sega Derby Saturn (Translucent blue case): Released on March 25, 1999, this model was only available as part of a promotion with ASCII's popular horse racing sim, Derby Stallion. It came with the same smoky-gray controller as the Skeleton Saturn but did not have "This is cool" printed on the system. After limited supplies of the Skeleton Saturn, the Derby Saturn was quickly bought in bulk by exporters and for a time was easier to find outside Japan than inside. Shares the compatibility problems of the Skeleton Saturn. It uses BIOS 1.01.

* Hitachi Hi-Saturn (Charcoal case and Khaki buttons): This machine appears similar in color to the European and North American Saturn without close inspection. Hi-Saturn is printed on the CD drive lid. Controllers have the same color layout as the unit with pinkish-beige and dark bluish/gray buttons. The Hitachi logo appears on them. The machine was packaged in an almost all-black box with a light-gray/white border. Excepting some limited promotional bundles, the Hi-Saturn came packaged with an MPEG plug-in card allowing Video CD playback. The start-up screen differs slightly from other models - instead of a shower of pieces forming the Saturn logo, the word "Hi-Saturn" shoots out from the middle of the screen and then flips around till it is readable.

* Hitachi Hi-Saturn Navi (MMP-1000NV) (Charcoal case and Khaki buttons): This is the only consumer Saturn to differ in functionality or shape. It is much thinner, and is flat instead of curved on top, in order to accommodate a folding LCD monitor that clips to the rear. It includes GPS capability, and has a standard port on the rear for use with an included antenna. Navi-ken CDs are used for map data. Since Navi-ken was only available in Japan, only Japanese maps are available.

* JVC/Victor V-Saturn RG-JX1 (Light Gray case): Two-tone appearance, gray on top with a black base section. "V-Saturn" is printed on top of the machine. Features a V-Saturn logo in place of the SegaSaturn logo at boot-up.

* JVC/Victor V-Saturn RG-JX2 (Light Gray case): Two-tone appearance, gray on top, dark-gray base section. "V-Saturn" is printed on top of the machine. Besides color and markings, this is completely identical to the Sega model. It features a 1.01 BIOS, and shares the boot-up sequence of the RG-JX1.

* Samsung Saturn (Black case): Intended only for South Korea, this machine combines the older style oval-button shell with the smaller and newer mainboard which normally comes with a round-button shell. The Japanese language option is removed from the setup screen and the system lacks all LEDs.

North American models: All North American models are black in color and were produced by Sega.

* MK-80000: Identical to the Grey Japanese Saturn but for color: the US model is black.

* MK-80000A: Features a notched power cord, no drive access light and a 1.00a BIOS. Internal jumper locations are changed.

* MK-80001: Similar in appearance to the MK-80000A, this machine has some changed internal jumper locations.

European/Australian models: European and Australian Saturns are identical as both regions share the same AC voltage and TV standard.
There is no internal variation between PAL and SECAM machines as all were shipped with SCART leads. All models are black and externally quite similar to the North American variations. PAL and SECAM machines will have "PAL" next to the BIOS revision number on the system settings screen instead of "NTSC".

* MK-80200-50: Version 1.01a BIOS.

* MK-80200A-50: Lacks a drive access LED. Buttons are grey.

(info based on Wikipedia)


* Satakore --
* Wikipedia page --

Other Emulators

* SSF --
* Satourne --
* Saturnin --
* Yabause --

Edit the History info for this game.


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