Many thanks to Sevon, Delta_Inferno, Mendinso, the SaGa Wiki Discord, and The Cutting Room Floor for assisting with this project.
UPDATE 3/7/2022: Updated the Content Differences document with the information obtained from my scans of Weekly Famitsu, issues 400 and 411 (8/16/96 and 11/1/96)
TODO: Scan every single magazine I got and upload them to archive
This page is dedicated to documenting everything I can find about the SaGa Frontier demo that was present at the Tokyo Game Show in 1996 and the state of the game from 1996 to early 1997. The purpose of this is to further document the development process of the game and attempt to make a reconstruction of what the TGS ’96 demo could have entailed. Obviously, it will be flawed to a certain degree because it’s basically impossible for anyone to ever get their hands on these demo discs beyond Square employees and volunteers who worked with 2nd Division on getting the demo ready and onto the show floor.
If you want to contribute what you have/know or just get updates as soon as they happen, you can join the Discord server: https://discord.gg/AjGdSJyTSu
OR, you can join my forum! https://www.ffvdgames.com/community/
Here is a list of things that are currently being shipped to me, either through Amazon, eBay, or White Rabbit Express:
- Nothing at the moment…
And here is a list of the things that I am currently analyzing and getting scanned (extremely slowly) for uploading to archive.org:
- Tokyo Game Show 1996 pamphlet
- THE PlayStation Volume 34 + a smaller TGS ’96 pamphlet
- 1996 Famitsu issues:
- 1996 Famitsu PS issues:
- Famitsu Bros., Jan 1997 issue
- Almost every issue of Famitsu from 1997
- Famitsu – SaGa Frontier: Official Player’s Guide
- Famitsu Bros. Strategy Guide
- Tomomi Kobayashi’s SaGa Series Artworks
- This one I can’t do because a) I don’t want to ruin the spine, and b) it’s freakishly huge
- SaGa Frontier: Ultimate Hits edition
If you want updates on these packages as soon as they happen, please join the Discord server. I will post updates as I get them in #shipping-updates
Here is a Google Doc of a list of magazines, catalogues, videos, etc. that I still need to purchase and/or photograph: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l5wSDw0tLiM7Yp5szxP2JRXBdA0dUFYTJSB3wc1LnUI/edit?usp=sharing
Here’s a list of documentation projects I’m doing right now:
- Demo’s items
- Working up the willpower to document like 300 items
- Release’s EVENT.BIN and comparing it to demo’s EVENT.BIN
- Working up the willpower to document 255 battles
- Figuring out formatting and comparing what’s in release to what’s in remaster
Here is a Google Doc of a list of things I have found so far. All the stuff shown here is from the various screenshots and footage I have found from advertisements, magazines, and the game itself. More information can be found in The Essence of SaGa Frontier:
Here are beta assets and other interesting things that have been found in the remaster’s files.
I’m working on a patch that reconstructs what the game could have looked like on March 25th, 1997. You can find more info on that here: https://www.ffvdgames.com/community/postid/25/
Here is my current progress on making all the prototype enemies from the demo working in the US release of the game. My ultimate plan with this is to get every single enemy working, then create a patch that adds these enemies into the game so everyone else can also experience these guys for themselves.
Current progress as of 3/13/2021:
Here is my current progress on making non-functional rooms functional in the US release of the game. My ultimate plan with this is to make these cutscenes fully “blend in” with the final cutscenes, then create a patch that adds this functionality so everyone else can also experience these cutscenes for themselves.
Current progress as of 4/9/2021:
And here’s a bunch of misc things that I’ve documented from all versions of the game that are prototype but aren’t really deserving of an embed:
Here are scans of things from magazines that I personally own. They are ordered in chronological order; that is, the oldest publications are shown first.
Every page was scanned at 720dpi with an Epson Perfection V750. I did not de-bind any of these magazines since I want to keep them.
And here’s scan’s from Famitsu’s SaGa Frontier – Official Player’s Guide. It has a lot of prerelease screenshots in it, despite releasing on August 15, 1997, so I figured it would be best for it to have its own section.
Here is a YouTube playlist of all the videos I have found that feature SaGa Frontier pre-release footage. The older the footage, the more valuable it is. And yes, I have backed all of these trailers up locally:
Here are images of things from magazines, both Japanese and English, that I have found floating around the internet so far (not including things I already own). They are ordered in chronological order; that is, the oldest publications are shown first:
Here are various screenshots I have found floating around the internet so far. These were all taken while the game was in active development. These screenshots were found from all corners of the web, though there are some corners that I haven’t checked yet Some of these screenshots are my own, but they are scarce and only present when relevant (e.g. the cut Shingrow arena). Images are in no particular order.
If you have any beta SaGa Frontier images that aren’t featured here, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Some of the images shown were scanned directly from The Essence of SaGa Frontier by Sevon. You can read his translation efforts of the guidebook here: https://essenceofsaga.wordpress.com/
And here are images that were given to me from other readers:
Here are various pictures of beta areas and fights from guide books that I personally own that aren’t The Essence of SaGa Frontier. They are in no particular order.
Here are various gameplay videos that I have downloaded and re-uploaded to YouTube. They are in no particular order. Do note that none of these videos are unique and are used in other trailers that have been preserved in a much higher quality:
Here are various internal documents from SCEA and Squaresoft/Square Enix I have found floating around the internet that are not from officially released media. They’re in no particular order.
Here are various screenshots of areas that made it into the final build of the game, but were never used. They are in no particular order. The majority of these screenshots were taken from The Cutting Room Floor and my own personal experimentation, with descriptions being an amalgamation of theirs and my own as the TCRF page has some inaccuracies. I have also included the room IDs so you can see them for yourself if you know how to edit entrance values.
Some of these screenshots have been scanned from The Essence of SaGa Frontier by Sevon. You can read his translation efforts of the guidebook here: https://essenceofsaga.wordpress.com/
And here is video footage of me messing around with said rooms:
Here are various screenshots of arenas that made it into the final build of the game, but were never used. They are in order of their file name. I was able to access these by editing EVENT.BIN at offset 7C9, which is where the game references which arena to load for TimeLord.
And here is video footage of me messing around with said arenas:
Here are various screenshots of arenas that are in the demo version’s files, but were either cut from the final version of the game or were left unused. They are in order of their file name. I was able to access these by editing EVENT.BIN at offset 175B, which is where the game references which arena to load for Vulcan.
Here are various screenshots of enemies that are in the demo version’s files, but were either changed or cut from the final version from the game. They are in no particular order. I was able to access these by editing EVENT.BIN at offset 1767, which is where the game references which enemy to load for the scripted Vulcan fight.
And here is video footage of me messing around with said arenas and enemies: