From Sega Retro


Powerslave title.png
System(s): Sega Saturn
Original system(s): PC
Sound driver: SCSP/CD-DA (13 tracks)
Peripherals supported: Saturn 6 Player Adaptor (for Death Tank)
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1 (2-6 for Death Tank)
Official in-game languages:
  • English
  • Deutsch
  • Français
  • Español
  • 日本語
  • Release Date RRP Code
    Sega Saturn
    ¥5,800 T-18001G
    Sega Saturn
    $? T-13205H
    Sega Saturn
    £44.99More...[1] 81084-50
    Sega Saturn
    ?F 81084-50
    Sega Saturn
    DM ? 81084-50
    Sega Saturn
    ?Ptas 81084-50
    Sega Saturn
    219PLN ?
    Sega Saturn
    $? ?

    Powerslave, known as Exhumed in Europe and Seireki 1999: Pharaoh no Fukkatsu (西暦1999 ファラオの復活) in Japan, is a first person shooter game developed by Lobotomy Software and released for the Sega Saturn in 1996.


    Death Tank

    The North American and Japanese versions of Powerslave contain a mini game called Death Tank that can be accessed if you collect all 23 dolls hidden in the game. The mini-game supports up to 6 players, which was increased up to 7 players in it's sequel, Death Tank Zwei, which can be found in Duke Nukem 3D.


    Slave Driver game engine

    The original version appeared on the PC as a Build engine game and featured many mechanics, levels and content that varied differently. This includes linear level design, in-game speech from the main character, and stock lives that once they've run out, the game ends for the player. When the game was brought to the Sega Saturn and PlayStation, the game was rebuilt from the ground up using a proprietary engine called Slave Driver which was able to render more complex levels, including rooms above other rooms, which was not possible on the Build engine. It also went through a major gameplay re-design thanks to the stronger hardware. The PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions put more focus on exploration and allow the player to replay stages. In order to progress, certain permanent power ups (e.g. magic sandals that allow higher jumps) need to be collected. The Slave Driver engine would become a framework for PC to console ports by Lobotomy Software including Duke Nukem 3D and Quake.


    Powerslave was released on the Sega Saturn several months before its PlayStation counterpart, and for its time was a technical showpiece for the system. With better 3D performance, the PlayStation is able to add more visual effects, true transparency (negating the need for the checkerboard "mesh" pattern used for water), and performance improvements in some areas.

    While the Saturn version is capped at 30FPS, the PlayStation can reach highs of 60FPS. As was common for 3D games at the time, however, both versions struggle to hold their desired numbers - the Saturn dropping to 20FPS in more hectic scenes, and the PlayStation also dropping to 30 or 20FPS on occasion. The Saturn version, while slower in this regard, is therefore able to output a more consistent frame rate, with its PlayStation counterpart being noticeably more variable as more frames are dropped.

    The PlayStation version is also able to offer better lighting effects, however much of its level geometry has been paired back, with smaller, less complicated rooms being used throughout the experience (and some larger rooms being split up). While a new introduction area is added, several areas lose the sense of scale, to the point where some outdoor areas on the Saturn are indoors on the PlayStation.

    The auto-aiming feature of the Saturn version of Powerslave is less effective on the PlayStation, making it harder to hit smaller targets. Also missing is any form of analogue control - while Saturn Powerslave supports the 3D Control Pad, neither Dual Analog or DualShock controllers are supported on Sony's machine.

    Reportedly the red spiders were changed to blue scorpions to satisfy Sony's desire for PlayStation games to have unique content when ported from other platforms.

    On the PC, Powerslave is an entirely different game, and while many assets are shared between the three versions, the PC has unique levels designed for the Build engine (which on the PC is most notable for powering Duke Nukem 3D, as well as Shadow Warrior and Blood). Powerslave uses an earlier version of the engine than Duke 3D, however, so there are no slopes in the game, and is much more linear in design than is console counterparts.

    Death Tank is exclusive to the Saturn version of Powerslave.

    Localised names

    Also known as
    Language Localised Name English Translation
    English Exhumed Exhumed
    English (US) Powerslave Powerslave
    Japanese Seireki 1999: Pharaoh no Fukkatsu (西暦1999 ファラオの復活)

    Production credits

    Powerslave and Seireki 1999: Pharaoh no Fukkatsu

    TODO: there's a paragraph after the credits row of the Japanese version, translate/check if it's relevant

    • Executive Producers: Brian McNeely, Paul Lange
    • Game Design and Art Direction: Brian McNeely
    • Game Programming: Ezra Dreisbach
    • BREW World Editing Tool: David Lawson
    • Music and Sound Effects: Scott Branston
    • Design Team: Brian McNeely, Dominick Meissner, Ezra Dreisbach, Paul Knutzen, Paul Lange, Mark Coates, Jason Wiggin
    • Texture and Ambient Object Art: Troy Jacobson, Joe Kresoja
    • Creatures and Weaponry: John Van Deusen
    • 3D Modeling: Kevin Chung, William Vallieres
    • Cinema Scene and Map Art: Richard Nichols, John Van Duesen
    • Art Team: Brian McNeely, Troy Jacobson, John Van Duesen, kevin Chung, Paul Knutzen, Richard Nichols, Erik Klokstad, William Vallieres, Joe Kresoja, Jason Wiggin
    • Stage Design: Brian McNeely, Dominick Meissner, Paul Knutzen
    • Object and Ambient Light Editing Tool: Jeff Blazier
    • Peepshow Animation Tool: Paul Schreiber
    • Additional Technical Support: Kurt Pfeifer, John Yuill, Paul Hagerud, John Schwab, Pat Schreiber
    • Instruction Manual: Tom Kristensen
    • Lobotomy Would Like to Thank: Jacqui Lyons, Marjacq Micro, PIE, Tommy Tellarico, Cheryl Hart, SEGA
    Playmates Interactive Entertainment
    • Executive Producer: David Luehmann
    • Producer: Chris Archer
    • Associate Producer: Carlos Rodriguez
    • QA Manager: Rich Frey
    • Lead Tester: Andrew, A. Brown
    • Testers: David Ontiveros, Lee Jones, David Arranaga, James Martinez, Anthony Vasquez, Jose Zatarain, Leland Mah
    • Sales Marketing: David Localio, Kelly Frey
    • Technical Support: Jose Zatarain, Lee Jones
    • PR: Ron Antonette, Nicole Rosenberg, Karen Trachtenberg
    • Special Thanks: Richard Sallis, Thomas Chan, Sue Lucchino, Dabvid L. Hoffman, Scott Herrington, Playmate Toys
    Source: In-game credits


    • Executive Producers: Brian McNeely, Paul Lange
    • Game Design: Brian McNeely
    • Additional Game Design: Dominick Meissner, Mark Coates, Jason Wiggin, Ezra Dreisbach
    • Game Programming: Ezra Dreisbach
    • BREW World Editing Tool: David Lawson
    • Art and Environment: Troy Jacobson, Brian McNeely, John Van Deusen, Kevin Chung, Paul Knutzen, Richard Nichols, Eric Klokstad, Joe Kresoja, Jason Wiggin, Willian Vallieres
    • Creatures and Weaponry: John Van Deusen
    • Music and Sound Effects: Scott Branston
    • Stage Design: Brian McNeely, Dominick Meissner, Paul Knutzen, Jason Wiggin, Mark Coates
    • Additional Technical Support: Jeff Blazier, John Schwab, John Yuill, Paul Hagerud, Paul Schreiber, Pat Schreiber, Kurt Pfeifer
    • Instruction Manual: Tom Kristensen
    • Special THANKS! to: Jacqui Lyons, Marjacq Micro, Ian Mathias, Mike Brown, Ronya, Lonnie, Nasie, and of Course Sega
    Source: In-game credits

    Magazine articles

    Main article: Powerslave/Magazine articles.

    Promotional material

    EGM US 086.pdf

    Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #86: "September 1996" (1996-xx-xx)
    also published in:
    • Next Generation (US) #22: "October 1996" (1996-09-17)More...[3]
    • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #87: "October 1996" (1996-xx-xx)More...[4]
    • EGM² (US) #29: "November 1996" (1996-xx-xx)More...[5]

    EGM US 089.pdfEGM US 089.pdf

    Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #89: "December 1996" (1996-xx-xx)

    EGM US 091.pdf

    Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #91: "February 1997" (199x-xx-xx)

    SSM JP 19961213 1996-21.pdf

    Print advert in Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #1996-21: "1996-21 (1996-12-13)" (1996-11-22)

    HobbyConsolas ES 061.pdf

    Print advert in Hobby Consolas (ES) #61: "Octubre 1996" (1996-xx-xx)


    Physical scans

    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Score Source
    80 More...[6]
    60 №416, p32
    86 More...[7]
    89 №46, p51
    91 More...[8]
    92 More...[9]
    93 More...[10]
    88 More...[11]
    94 More...[12]
    89 More...[13]
    91 №83, p34-37
    92 More...[14]
    83 More...[15]
    89 More...Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[16]
    86 More...[17]
    Sega Saturn
    Based on
    15 reviews

    Saturn, US
    PowerSlave Saturn US Box Back.jpgPowerSlave Saturn US Box Front.jpg
    Powerslave Saturn US Disc.jpg
    Powerslave sat us manual.pdf
    Saturn, EU
    PowerSlave Saturn EU Box.jpg
    Powerslave Saturn EU Disc.jpg
    Saturn, JP
    PowerSlave Saturn JP Box Back.jpgPowerSlave Saturn JP Box Front.jpg
    Powerslave Saturn JP Spinecard.jpg
    Powerslave Saturn JP Disc.jpg
    Seireki 1999 Pharaoh no Fukkatsu Sat JP Manual.pdf

    Technical information

    ROM dump status

    System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
    Sega Saturn
    570,672,816 CD-ROM (EU) 81084-50 V1.000
    Sega Saturn
    524,049,120 1996-10-02 CD-ROM (JP) T-18001G V1.003

    Save data

    Powerslave makes use of the Saturn's internal battery back-up as well as the Saturn Backup Memory to save data for progress. To load and save data from the Ram Cart, the save file must be created on the internal battery back-up first, then moved over via the Memory Manager.

    Powerslave Save Data
    Name Comment File Size
    POWERSLAVE# save games 11


    Powerslave title.png

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