Sega Almost Ported Shining Force 1 And 2 To Saturn 1
Image: Sega

Sega's Shining Force series occupied a pretty important place in the company's plans at one point in time.

The first two Genesis / Mega Drive entries represent some of the best tactical RPG action you can get on any 16-bit system, while the accompanying Game Gear and Sega CD entries are also worth a look if you're a fan of the genre.

For many fans, though, it's the Saturn entry Shining Force III which is the zenith of the franchise. In the West, we only got the first chapter of what would eventually span a trio of different releases. The third of these 'scenarios', released only in Japan, contains a message which states that at one point, Sega was looking into releasing Shining Force 1 and 2 on Saturn as part of its Sega Ages range, which also included OutRun, After Burner, Columns and Power Drift.

As spotted by Time Extension contributor and massive Shining Force fan Ashley Day, there's a developer diary included as a text file on the disc written by Yasuhiro Taguchi, who was the main programmer.

Running it through Google Translate gives the following text:

The remake of Force 1 and 2 for the Saturn has unfortunately been cancelled. The reason is the development schedule and the labor involved. The porting guidelines used for SEGAAGES and the like couldn't be used as is due to the capacity of ROM cartridges, and making it with CD access in mind would have meant a complete remake rather than a port, so we concluded that if we were going to spend our energy on that, we should focus on Scenario 3. There was also the idea of outsourcing the porting work, but as mentioned above, there were too many technical issues, and unfortunately no one was willing to take it on.

Taguchi also comments on the recent announcement of the Dreamcast, and he doesn't seem all that convinced about the name:

Meanwhile, Sega announced their new hardware, the Dreamcast. They said they wouldn't announce it until Scenario 3 was out... But, Scenario 3 will be released on the Saturn. Porting to the new hardware? We're not thinking about it at the moment. Yes. If you translate it into Japanese, it's "Empty shell of a dream," which is bad luck. What is "Dream mold"? There's also "Dream cast," but that doesn't mean anything.

Sega's Shining series continues to this very day, but sadly, many of the entries have remained exclusive to Japan. A 2022 mobile revival called Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness was announced, but it was cancelled in 2023.