Planet codenames

From Sega Retro

During the 1990s, Sega gave planet codenames to its consoles and hardware. While some of the examples of the naming scheme were released publicly, many were cancelled or had to be renamed due to prior trademark applications.

The naming scheme was created during the development of the TeraDrive.[1] IBM referred to their projects with star codenames, the TeraDrive subsequently known to them as "Spica".[1] Sega were influenced by this, and named the project "Terra" (meaning Earth).[1] However, the company discovered at the very last moment that the name had already been trademarked by another company, leading to its renaming as TeraDrive based on the Mega –> Giga –> Tera logic.[1]

Following the TeraDrive, staff continued to use this naming scheme out of documentation convenience. Further trademark issues arose with other hardware; the Saturn was always known officially as "Sega Saturn" due to a toy company holding the trademark for a toy based on the rockets of the same name.[1]


Codename Equivalent
Mercury Sega Game Gear
Venus Sega Nomad
Earth Equivalent to "Terra", working name for the TeraDrive, which had to be abandoned due to it already being trademarked. Outside of consoles, "Terra" was also initially said to be the tentative name for the first of Sega's Amusement Theme Park locations.[2]
Mars Sega 32X
Jupiter Cart-based 32-bit system; abandoned in planning stages in favour of a disc-based system that became known as...
Saturn Final name.
Uranus Unused.[3] Hiroyuki Miyazaki offered a few explanations for this, saying when pronounced in Japanese it sounds like "Uranu" or "won't sell", what he called "an ominous name for a project."
Neptune 32X/Mega Drive combo unit
Pluto Sega Saturn prototype unit featuring a different shell with a NetLink Internet Modem accessory built in. Only five produced. Uses US BIOS.

Furthermore, hardware released around the time the Saturn was had codenames based on Saturn's moons:

Codename Equivalent
Titan Sega Titan Video
Janus Sega Picture Magic

It is unknown whether the Sega CD, Sega Mega Jet, Sega Pico, arcade hardware, or any other Mega Drive/Saturn-related hardware were designated codenames.

By the time the Sega Dreamcast was planned, Sega had moved on to a new scheme. However during the development of the Mega Drive Mini, due to an urban legend about Earth being the Mega Drive's codename, Hiroyuki Miyazaki decided to give the Mega Drive Mini the codename of "Moon"[4].


Constellations Codenames.png

In addition to using planet-themed codenames for its consoles, the initial lineup of Saturn games also used codenames internally, this time as constellations[5]:

Game Constellation
English Japanese
Blue Seed: Kushinada Hirokuden Chamaeleon カメレオン
Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchau no Daibouken Joukan Apus エパス
Gale Racer Aquarius アクエリアス
Gotha: Ismailia Seneki Pegasus ペガサス
Gran Chaser Cassiopeia カシオペア
Kanzen Chuukei Pro Yakyuu Greatest Nine Ara アラ
Kisuishou Densetsu Astal Centaurus セントーラス
Mahou Kishi Rayearth Delphinus デルフィナス
Panzer Dragoon Andromeda アンドロメダ
Pebble Beach Golf Links Canis Major カニスメジャー
Rampo Columbia コロンバ
Riglordsaga Lacerta ラセルタ
Shinsetsu Yumemi Yakata: Tobira no Oku ni Dareka ga... Coma コマ
Shin Shinobi Den Auriga アリガ
SimCity 2000 Draco ドラコ
Victory Goal Aquila アクイラ
Virtual Hydlide Cancer キャンサー
WanChai Connection Cygnus シグナス
Wing Arms: Kareinaru Gekitsuiou Antares アンタレス
World Advanced Daisenryaku: Koutetsu no Senpuu Aries アリエス

Only three were ever used in public:

The two earliest first-party games that did not originate on the Saturn, Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA did not adhere to this naming scheme.


Sega Home Video Game Systems
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SG-1000 SG-1000 II Mega Drive Mega Drive II
SC-3000 Mega-CD Mega-CD II Genesis 3
Sega Mark III 32X Dreamcast
Master System Master System II
AI Computer Game Gear
Pico Beena