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A long-lost “erotic thriller” FMV game created by Sega has been recovered and shared online after 25 years.
Sega was set to release The Sacred Pools in 1997, but ultimately chose to cancel the project after it was met with negative reception from press at E3 1996.
The latter is perhaps the most interesting because it may mark the first instance of Sega developing a game for the PlayStation, which was a rival console at the time.
The Sacred Pools was developed by SegaSoft, a studio which was formed in 1995 to replace Sega of America’s development group with the aim to release games for “all platforms”, but would ultimately only end up releasing games for the Saturn and PC.
The game reportedly had a budget of $3 million, which was enormous at the time, and made use of what SegaSoft called VNRS technology (Virtual Navigation in Real Space), which seamlessly joined together FMV clips to make it look like the player was moving through 3D worlds without pausing to load the next clip.
Although rumours that a prototype still existed have been circulating online for a number of years, nothing had been found until recently, when a game collector informed Gaming Alexandria in May that David Gray (an associate producer on The Sacred Pools) still owned the discs.
After receiving the discs from Gray, the site was able to easily rip the content and is now sharing disc images of the prototype online (which can be played on an emulator) along with a lengthy article explaining the story of the game’s development.
“In all honesty, while the game is often confusing, there are some things to appreciate here,” Gaming Alexandria says of the prototype. “It’s no more cheesy than any other FMV games Sega put out, like Night Trap, Wirehead, or Surgical Strike.”