Sega Saturn Doom featured the Lost Soul on its cover.

Saturn Doom

A screenshot from the Saturn version of Doom

The Sega Saturn version of Doom was published in North America and Europe by GT Interactive in March 1997. This version was a port of the PlayStation version (albeit with some code also taken from the earlier Sega 32X port) and was developed by Rage Software. It features both Doom and Doom II with the extra levels and sound design of the PlayStation version.

The Saturn version was widely noted for being a rushed port with a low frame rate and lacked several features from the PlayStation version. Originally, a custom engine was originally programmed for the game, which would have run at an even better frame rate than the PlayStation version. However, John Carmack disallowed the use of this engine, feeling that it degraded the game's visuals and especially textures too much (something he later admitted was a bad decision), resulting in the final game using an improved version of the 32X edition's renderer.

The lower frame rate affects the game's controls, as the Marine's reaction time is lessened when the game is slower (it will take longer for a controller command to register). The conversion removed all of the colored lighting and echoed sound effects as well, and the sound effects are at a slightly slower and lower register. In addition, the animated fire sky that was featured in some levels was replaced with the cityscape that was featured in levels 12-20 of the PC version of Doom II. In an interesting twist, the various monsters throughout the game move and attack slower than other ports, and the player can attack faster. The end-of-game Cast of Characters sequence only runs through the monsters once before skipping back to the title screen. Many of the ambient music tracks were removed as well, causing them to repeat more often as the player progressed through the levels. Some of these missing tracks are still on the disc in the Redbook audio. As well, the fireball burst sound effect is not present, and is instead replaced with the rocket explosion sound. And although available in the European and Japanese versions, the Deathmatch and Cooperative multiplayer modes are not present at all in the North American version.

The information on the back of the box also contained numerous errors. The game promises "60 levels of brutal, bloody, pulse-pounding action", when 59 are actually present. Both the European and North American versions had screenshots that were taken from the PC version of Final Doom. In addition, both releases stated the game supported 2 players via linkup; however this feature was missing from the North American version, though it is present in the European version.

In July 1997, the game was released in Japan. This build was a little more optimized than the previous North American and European releases and hence was a little bit faster, though still slower than the Sony PlayStation version. It also features the multiplayer from the European version. Some of the music tracks were also switched in this release to closer match the track order of the PlayStation version. Like the North American and European versions, the packaging contained a few errors, such as the retention of the "Best Doom yet" quote which appeared on the PlayStation version.

It was distributed in Japan by Softbank Corp under publishing license from Midway (because of former Williams Entertainment PlayStation conversion rights) and GT Interactive.

External links

Source code genealogy
Based on
Doom for Sony PlayStation
Doom for Sega Saturn Closed source