DIY Game Lab (ゲームラボ) Sega Saturn Game Basic Program!

Posted on July 8, 2015
Just what does lie beneath a bunch of code published in a Japanese magazine 17 years ago?

Having delved through a pile of my Japanese books and magazines recently, I happened upon this little chunklet from the wonderful Game Lab (ゲームラボ) magazine. This, it would appear, is a full, working game for the Sega Saturn, from the blotchy on-line translation available to me I was able to find out a few facts about what this program is and how to use it. Essentially I just wanted to scan it, share it and get this out there in the hopes the community will tinker with the code!

First up you will require a Sega Saturn console, a copy of Sega Saturn Game Basic and the interface cable that comes with it. I don’t think you can simply export this from the Game Basic Windows XP application over to an emulator, although if anyone can do this, please leave a comment below! If you want to go the whole hog, get yourself a Sega Saturn keyboard and mouse too! Finally I have gathered precious few facts about the game and about the actual code, thanks to my poor OCR software. What I have managed to pick out is that this game is a 3D STG (so we’re off to a flying start already!) and then the following details dotted about the lines of code (not exhaustive and/or accurate):

Lines 2460-2650 mention something about the advancement of the player object
Lines 1660-1750 mention details to do with the level maps and possibly scrolling?
The program contains code that will stop the map scrolling just before a boss character appears at the end of the level!
Something mentioned about the program doing something every time the player scores 128 points? (An extra life perhaps?)
PDF Icon

Click to open the files.

That’s basically (pun not originally intended) all the information I am able to gather from this. The program is split over 2 volumes of Game Lab and thus has been scanned and uploaded as two separate PDF documents. I’ve scanned them in at 600 dpi in the hopes someone perhaps has some magnificent OCR tools and can make a nice clean text version of this program. I would love to see what the community could do with this code that has been lying dormant since 1998. What do you think? Would you like to see this game brought to life? Do you understand any of the code and can help contribute to this project? Are there errors in the code (could be useful as errata may be printed in a later volume I don’t have)?

Be sure to leave a comment below and let everyone know what you think about Saturn Game Basic programming!