Because of the poor reception it received from the press at E3 1996, Sega decided to scrap The Sacred Pools’ scheduled 1997 release.
Gaming Alexandria, a website dedicated to archiving video games, has just uncovered and made available for download early builds of the game for PC, Saturn, and PlayStation.
In particular, the latter is intriguing because it may be the first time Sega has created a game for the PlayStation, a competing console at the time.
SegaSoft, which was founded in 1995 to replace Sega of America’s development branch, worked on The Sacred Pools. Despite its name, the studio never released games for any platform other than the Saturn and PC.
The game used SegaSoft’s VNRS technology (Virtual Navigation in Real Space), which stitched together FMV clips so it looked like the player was travelling around 3D landscapes without having to load the next clip, and reputedly had a budget of $3 million, which was significant at the time.
A game collector told Gaming Alexandria in May that David Gray, an associate producer on The Sacred Pools, still had the discs in his possession, despite years of internet rumors to the contrary.
The site obtained the discs from Gray, ripped the content effortlessly, and is now providing disc pictures of the prototype (which can be played on an emulator) alongside a detailed article outlining the history of the game’s creation.
Gaming Alexandria states of the prototype, “While the game is often unclear, there are certain elements to appreciate here.” “It’s not any cheesier than the other FMV games Sega released, like Night Trap or Wirehead or Surgical Strike.”