SaGa Frontier – 1996 Demo Reconstruction

Many thanks to Sevon, Delta_Inferno, Mendinso, the SaGa Wiki Discord, and The Cutting Room Floor for assisting with this project.

UPDATE 4/12/2021: Minor update to the Content Differences document with some development tools info

TODO: Add more detailed descriptions to the new scans from both new sections, update content differences document with findings from my Famitsu scans and some extra findings from Ryo Saito-san’s website, add scans from issue 424


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


Here is a list of things that are currently being shipped to me through a third party at Amazon:

  • Famitsu Bros. Strategy Guide

And here is a list of the things that I am currently analyzing and getting scanned for uploading to archive.org:

  • Tokyo Game Show 1996 pamphlet
  • THE PlayStation Volume 34 + a smaller TGS ’96 pamphlet
  • Almost every issues of Famitsu from 1997

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 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:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_z8-zYdoX0gfoTbNnbng6OLWosextPxOwC1hQayVHpI/edit?usp=sharing


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:


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.


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 ffvdbusiness@gmail.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.

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 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: