Doom (Saturn)

From Sega Retro

For the Sega 32X release, see Doom (32X).
Publisher: GT Interactive (US/EU), Soft Bank (JP)
Publisher(s) of original games: id Software
Developer(s) of original games: id Software
System(s): Sega Saturn
Original system(s): PC
Sound driver: SCSP/CD-DA (17 tracks)
Peripherals supported: Taisen Cable
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
¥5,800 T-18610G
Sega Saturn
$? T-25405H
Sega Saturn
€? T-25406H-51
Sega Saturn
£44.99[1] T-25406H-50
Sega Saturn
?F T-25406H-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? T-25406H-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas T-25406H-50
Sega Saturn
$? ?
Sega Saturn
R$? 191x35

Doom (ドゥーム) for the Sega Saturn is a set of first person shooters originally released for IBM PC compatibles running DOS in the early 1990s. Despite its name, the package consists of two games; The Ultimate Doom (a 1995 update of the 1993 game, Doom) and its sequel Doom II: Hell on Earth (1994), alongside a few extra levels seen in a previous PlayStation version of this package.


The Sega Saturn version of Doom derives from the 1995 PlayStation version, which itself derives from the Atari Jaguar port of the game (as do most home versions of the era). On the Jaguar, several levels from the original Doom were visibly altered for performance reasons - this, and several minor changes carry through to the Saturn.

For the PlayStation version, significant changes were made to create a more "atmospheric" tone, including a different lighting system and the omission of the original MIDI soundtrack. Intermission scenes were dropped and some secret levels (notably the Wolfenstein 3D-inspired levels of Doom II) were dropped and replaced with new maps. Enemy placement is at times very different, and Doom II's super shotgun can be used in The Ultimate Doom levels.

The Saturn port(s) builds on this, however it is thought to have been rushed, originally hitting North America in March 1997. A combination of poor frame rates, slower enemies (yet curiously faster reload times) and numerous missing visual and audio effects led it to be panned by critics, as did a missing multiplayer mode, despite being advertised on the box (along with 60 levels, when in reality there are 59). Also notable is the use of Final Doom screenshots from a completely different release not included here. This is despite intervention from id Software and John Carmack himself[2].

Saturn programmer Jim Bagley had originally written an engine more suited to the Saturn, allowing VDP1 to handle the textured walls, floors and ceilings. Carmack reportedly veteoed the idea on behalf of id Software, as he did not like the affine texture warping inherent with 3D renderers which do not support texture perspective correction (like the VDP1). This means all rendering is handled by the dual SH-2 CPUs, save for the HUD and background texture which is updated separately by VDP2.

Performance is an issue for the Saturn version of the game, averaging around 12FPS during the original (optimised) Doom levels, but frequently dropping below 10FPS when dealing with the more complex geometry of Doom II. The firing rate of the weapons is thought to have been increased to compensate for this.

Early versions of the game were also reportedly compatible with the 3D Control Pad, but the feature was removed for unknown reasons[3].

Data from the PlayStation version of the game carries through the Saturn but is not used in-game, such as coloured lighting. True alpha transparency is also not present due to hardware restrictions, and audio is also incorrectly panned left when the stereo option is enabled (i.e it is not stereo).

When brought to Europe, support for the Taisen Cable was added (despite the accessory not being officially released in the region), and when released in Japan in July, the speed was increased to help it try and match the PlayStation version (though it is still slower in comparison). The Japanese version also adjusts the soundtrack to bring it more in-line with Sony's version, though performance is identical to the original North American release.

Production credits

  • Programmers: John Carmack, John Romero, David Taylor, Michael John Cash
  • Artist: Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud
  • Level Designers: John Romero, Sandy Peterson, American McGee, Shawn Green
  • Development Support: Shawn Green
  • Biz: Jay Wilbur, Mike Wilson
  • Biz Assistant: Donna Jackson
  • Developed By: Rage Software
  • Programming: Jim Bagley, Alan Webb
  • Graphics: Simon Street, Ian Rickard
  • Sound: Steve Lord, Kev Bruce
  • Producer: John Heap

Magazine articles

Main article: Doom (Saturn)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #37: "1997-01 (1997-01-17)" (1996-12-27)
also published in:


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
20 №183, p80[1]
77 №52, p65
39 №53, p66-68[3]
56 №16, p72/73[7]
57 №1997-24, p171[8]
70 №, p13Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[9]
Sega Saturn
Based on
7 reviews

Saturn, US
Doom Saturn US Box Back.jpgDoom Saturn US Box Front.jpg
Doom sat us disc.jpg
Doom sat us manual.pdf
Saturn, EU
Doom Saturn EU Box.jpg
Doom Saturn EU Disc.jpg
Saturn, JP
Doom Saturn JP Box Back.jpgDoom Saturn JP Box Front.jpg
Doom Saturn JP Spinecard.jpg
Doom Saturn JP Disc.jpg
Saturn, Italy/Spain
Doom Sat IT-ES cover.jpg
Saturn, BR
Doom Sat BR cover.jpg


NEC Retro has more information related to Doom II.
  1. 1.0 1.1 File:CVG UK 183.pdf, page 80
  2. File:MAXIMUM UK 07.pdf, page 124
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:MeanMachinesSega53UK.pdf, page 66
  4. File:SSM_JP_19970131_1997-02.pdf, page 32
  5. File:SSM_JP_19970214_1997-03.pdf, page 33
  6. File:SSM_JP_19970221_1997-04.pdf, page 14
  7. File:SSM_UK_16.pdf, page 72
  8. File:SSM_JP_19970718_1997-24.pdf, page 175
  9. File:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf, page 15