Sega Saturn/Boot ROM

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The original Japanese Sega Saturn boot ROM, version 1.00.

All variants of the Sega Saturn come pre-installed with a boot ROM - an interface which appears when the console is given power. CD-ROMs require verification and loading, which depending on the quality of the disc or drive, can take several seconds, so in addition to driving the CD-ROM, the Saturn's boot ROM informs the user that console is working. It fulfils the same function as seen with the Sega Mega-CD's boot ROM, though unlike that console the boot ROM is always seen, as there is no fall-back to the cartridge-based Sega Mega Drive.

Usually if the console detects and verifies a disc, the Saturn boot ROM is limited to a introduction and jingle, followed by a brief Sega licensing screen and finally, the game. Should a compatible Saturn disc not be detected (detection also requires the console's lid to be closed, as the disc will not spin otherwise), the user is taken to a menu.

Menu

English menu with no disc inserted.

Compared to the Mega-CD (and indeed most of its console contemporaries and even the Sega Dreamcast), the Saturn boot ROM menu is far more elaborate. It is also largely consistent across regions, with the core feature set being shared across all consoles manufactured across the decade.

Like the Mega-CD, the Saturn is compatible with music CDs and CD+G discs, and so the Saturn menu offers controls for these features. It also has built in memory for save data which can be managed through the boot ROM. New to the Saturn is a global system language stting and a real-time clock to set. If the console has failed to keep time (because for example, the battery has died) the user will also be prompted to set the time when the console boots.

The Saturn's capabilities as a CD player is perhaps higher than it ever needed to be. In addition to playing compact discs normally (and being able to repeat either the whole disc or selected tracks), it can perform real-time pitch shifting of the audio, mute the vocals (assuming said vocals are mixed so that they're in the "middle" of a stereo recording rather than panned to the left or right), adjust the "surround", shuffle tracks and repeat specific parts of tracks. The left and right sound channels are also visualised by two spinning, colour-changing cubes.

In addition to this, the menu sits on top of a rotating background with 3D starfield. The user can hide the menu, to reveal a 3D spaceship which moves around and spins.

Screenshots

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Saturn (JP) (1.00) Download.svg (424 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Saturn (US/EU) (1.00a) Download.svg (422 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Development kit (JP) (1.003) Download.svg (416 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Saturn (JP) (1.01) Download.svg (418 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
HiSaturn (1.01) Download.svg (414 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
V-Saturn (1.01) Download.svg (418 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Saturn (US/EU) (1.01a) Download.svg (422 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
HiSaturn (1.02) Download.svg (414 kB) (info)
Sega Saturn
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
Game & Car Navi HiSaturn (1.03) Download.svg (414 kB) (info)

References


Sega Saturn
Topics Technical Specifications (Hardware Comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and legacy) | List of games (A-M) | List of games (N-Z)
Hardware Sega Saturn consoles (HiSaturn, V-Saturn, etc.) | North America | Europe (West | North | South | Central and East) | Brazil | Asia | South Korea

HiSaturn Navi | SunSeibu SGX | Sega Titan Video

Add-ons Backup Memory (third-party) | Sega PriFun | Video CD Card (third-party) | Extended RAM Cartridge (third-party) | Twin Advanced ROM System
Controllers Control Pad | Control Pad (Australia) | 3D Control Pad | Arcade Racer Joystick | Infrared Control Pad | Mission Stick | Shuttle Mouse | Twin Stick | Virtua Gun | Virtua Stick | Virtua Stick Pro
Online Services/Add-ons NetLink Internet Modem (NetLink Keyboard | NetLink Keyboard Adapter | NetLink Mouse) | Saturn Modem (Floppy Drive | Keyboard)
Connector Cables 21 Pin RGB Cable | Monaural AV Cable | RF Unit | Stereo AV Cable | S-Video Cable | Taisen Cable
Development Hardware Programming Box | Sound Box | E7000 | CartDev | SNASM2 | Address Checker | PSY-Q Development System | MIRAGE Universal CD Emulator
Misc. Hardware 6 Player Adaptor‎ | SBom Multitap‎ | Saturn region converter cartridges | Action Replay | Pro Action Replay | Action Replay Plus | S-S Promoter