It's an often-overlooked fact that Tomb Raider came to Saturn before the PlayStation, and while Lara Croft would enjoy many more adventures on Sony's hardware, one fan has ensured that the famous explorer has returned to Sega's console, albeit in an unofficial capacity (thanks, segasaturnshiro.com).
RetroRaiderJohn has ported Tomb Raider Gold – also known as Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business – the Saturn. This was a PC-only expanded edition of the original game that included four bonus levels, spread across two chapters.
One sees Lara Croft sent back to Egypt months after the events of the first Tomb Raider, while the second chapter is set in the lost city of Atlantis and takes place directly after the end of the original game. These levels were exclusive to the PC version and have never been officially released on consoles – although fans have previously ported them to the PlayStation version of the game.
"A Saturn port was long overdue," says RetroRaiderJohn. "I originally started development back in early 2022. Much like the PS1 ports, my Saturn port uses the original Tomb Raider engine. I admittedly had no insight into Saturn's specifications, so I hardly knew what I was getting myself into. Data conversion went pretty smoothly at first, until it was time to import level textures: memory limitations caused all levels to crash, except one. These limits were expected, given that the PS1 ports suffered the same during development. However, it turned out that memory was a much bigger problem on the Saturn, due to different memory management."
RetroRaiderJohn's effort – which took over a year – marks the first time this content has been made available on Saturn. He had to heavily modify the original Saturn version of Tomb Raider to achieve this; he even wrote his own tools to convert the PC data to Sega's 32-bit console.
In addition to including the PC bonus content, RetroRaiderJohn's version of Tomb Raider Gold boasts improved texture quality, new loading screens, new ambient sound effects and several bug fixes. You can download it here.