The verification comes courtesy of the Saturn homebrew developer XL2, who posted in the Shiro! Discord Server and the Sega Xtreme forums stating that they had been sent a playable ISO of the prototype.
Here is the key part of XL2's post confirming its legitimacy:
"For the sceptics: I tried the demo in Mednafen and it's all legit, from the intro screen to the Easter eggs. I haven't tried it on real hardware, but other than potential extra slowdowns I see no issues here. Even if it didn't work on real hardware (like issues with bytes alignment while loading stuff from the cd), it's nothing that can't be fixed."
Interestingly, XL2 later went on to state that they had considered making an MGS tech demo of their own, but went with Unreal instead due to having everything they needed from previously making a Sega Saturn FPS called Hellslave. They have now shared some extra source code with Frogbull and given him a few suggestions, in the hopes that Frogbull can continue his work and whip up an expanded demo to enter into competitions.
Original Story [Thu 12th Oct, 2023 11:15 BST]: A hobbyist developer published a video on Monday (October 9th), which appears to show a prototype of Metal Gear Solid up and running on a Sega Saturn (thanks SegaSaturnShiro!).
The unlisted video by the French modder Frogbull shows a Sega Saturn boot-up screen, before displaying logos for both Konami and Konami Computer Entertainment Japan. There is no long introductory credit scene like in the original 1998 game on the PlayStation, with the footage instead simply showing a set of difficulty options and a very brief Codec scene between Snake and the Colonel before jumping straight into the opening section at the docks. We then see the player running around and testing out a few gameplay mechanics before he receives another Codec call — this time from Sega of Japan mascot Segata Sanshiro.
Frogbull wrote in the description of the video:
"Some people claim that at the 1998 Tokyo Game Show, a programmer supposedly confirmed that a Saturn version of Metal Gear Solid was in development but got canceled with the announcement of the Dreamcast.
"According to some, it's an absurd rumor because the Sega Saturn would have been incapable of running MGS due to its 3D capabilities being light years behind those of the PlayStation.
"Whether the rumor is true or not, with this Prototype, I believe the debate about the Sega Saturn 3D capabilities is settled."
After the video was published, it generated a lot of discussion online, with people obviously wanting to know more about the prototype and disagreeing over whether it was actually legit or not.
Here he claimed to have worked on the prototype for a few months and stated that it had been developed on the Z-treme engine from XL2. He also stated that the video is not running on real hardware but on a Sega Saturn emulator via RetroArch with a CRT shader added.
Asked whether he would make the prototype available at any point to silence the online doubters, Frogbull said, "Sadly for the moment I won't share the iso to the public, I don't want to see scammers selling it on eBay in a fake Saturn blister pack"
He didn't, however, rule out working on the project some more in the future, when discussing the prototype on the French gaming forum Gameopat.