Emerald Nova Games

SEGA Saturn 29th Anniversary Game Competition

It's everyone's favorite time of the year! Once again, to celebrate the birthday of the SEGA Saturn, I am holding an extended game competition.

The competition starts on September 2nd, 2023. Anyone can enter their SEGA Saturn game into the competition. Games can be entered into either the Original Game category, Hacks, Patches, and Translations category, or Utilities category. Even if this is a longer term project, if you have made significant progress on it in 2023, it can be entered. For multi-year entries, please document what changes have been made in 2023 (judges should make judgements based on these changes primarily.) All games in the Hacks, Patches, and Translations category are HIGHLY encouraged to provide a save file starting before a segment of the game you'd most like showcased.

You can enter as many games as you want, (as long as they are substantially different.) Final disc images (bin/cue) should be uploaded and/or linked to the contest thread by 12 AM UTC January 8th, 2024 (7 PM EST, January 7th, 2024) [TIME EXTENDED] 12 AM UTC January 21st, 2024 (7 PM EST, January 20th, 2024).

Judges from the online SEGA Saturn community will score games in each category by ranking based on personal preference by February 9th, 2024 February 23rd, 2024. Ranks will be added as scores, with the lowest scores being higher ranked. Ties will share their rankings (and potential prizes.) Final rankings will be announced on a live stream on February 10th, 2024 February 24th, 2024. An example of how games are scored is below.

Judge A Rankings Judge B Rankings Judge C Rankings
1 Game 1 Game 1 Game 2
2 Game 2 Game 2 Game 4
3 Game 4 Game 3 Game 3
4 Game 3 Game 4 Game 1

The rankings are tabulated into scores.

Game Score
Game 1 1+1+4=6
Game 2 2+2+1=5
Game 3 4+3+3=10
Game 4 3+4+2=9

And the scores determine final ranking.

Rank Game
1 Game 2
2 Game 1
3 Game 4
4 Game 3


This year's competion is very luck to have the support of sponsors to enhance our prize pool.


Ced has been kind enough to donate a Fenrir Duo ODE to the top prize winner of the Original Game category.

Sound Retro Co.

In addition to serving as a judge, Christa Lee of Sound Retro Co. will also be installing the Fenrir top prize of the Original Game category, along with a system capacitor replacement and FRAM mod to make sure your system runs as good as new, and you'll never need worry about your saves.

Haruman Customs

Lee of Haruman Customs is long time gamer and Saturn lover. He cuts custom mini arcade cabinets and controller boxes and thought it would be great to sponsor the contest this year with a prize. The top prize winner of the Hacks, Patches, and Translations category will receive a custom Saturn The Fighter controller. CronoLe is providing a hacked saturn pad to act as the board for this customized fighting controller. Thanks to Malenko for arranging this.

That's It Guys 3D Printing Service

Meleniumshane90 from That's It Guys will be 3D printing an item of any cash prize winner's choice from the list below.

  • SEGA CD/Saturn Game Case Snap Hinge Replacement
  • SEGA Saturn Battery Door Replacement
  • SEGA Saturn Controller Stand
  • SEGA Saturn Display Logo
  • ODE Tray Insert

  • Knight0fDragon

    Knight0fDragon is providing a Saturn serial to usb adapter for online connectivity to all participants who pay for shipping of the cable. This cable can be used with Netlink OS and NetBand for a high speed internet connection for patched games.

    Cash Prizes

    The top six entries in the Original Game category will receive cash prizes. The top five entries in the Hacks, Patches, and Translations category will receive cash prizes. The top three entries in the Utilities category will receive a cash prize.

    This year the cash prize pool is growing and open to donations! If you want to contribute to the prize pool, donations are accepted via Paypal link below (please note that Paypal takes 3.2% as a fee.)

    Thanks to all donators for making this year's prize pool possible.

    Name Amount Note
    Emerald Nova $120.00
    Johannes Fetz $37.75
    SEGA Saturn 28th Anniversary Competition - Estimated Shipping Remainder $70.00
    SEGA Saturn 28th Anniversary Competition - Original Games 7th Prize - vbt $52.01
    SEGA Saturn 28th Anniversary Competition - Original Games 8th Prize - Slinga $39.00
    Gary Tauscher $48.06
    Estimated Shipping Costs $-100.00 The remainder will be rolled over into next year's competition.
    Total Prize Pool $266.82

    Cash prize winners will receive a percentage of the Total Prize Pool.

    PLEASE NOTE: All prize, cash, 3D print, and even the Fenrir Duo + mods MUST be claimed by the winner or a surrogate chosen by the winner by March 15th. This means all relevant payment (Paypal/Venmo/Cash App/etc) and shipping information must be communicated to Emerald Nova via direct message on the Sega Xtreme forum by March 15th. All prizes unclaimed in this manner by March 16th will be put back into the prize pool for next year.

    Ranking Original Game Hacks, Patches, and Translations Utilities
    1 15% ($40.02) 12% ($32.01) 10% ($26.68)
    2 10% ($26.68) 7% ($18.67) 5% ($13.34)
    3 8% ($21.34) 5% ($13.34) 3% ($8.06)
    4 7% ($18.67) 4% ($10.67)
    5 6% ($16.00) 3% ($8.00)
    6 5% ($13.34)

    Meet the Judges!

    Christa Lee is the owner and operator of Sound Retro Co. Christa grew up as a PlayStation kid, and didn't get her hands on a Saturn until later, but she always found it (and SEGA) fascinating. When she got into console modding/repair, Christa made it a personal goal to learn more about the Saturn hardware, in the hope of coming up with a variety of troubleshooting/repair workflows for the console. It's her favorite console by a wide margin, and she finds its hardware design and software library endlessly compelling.

    Hi, I'm David Gámiz Jiménez. Happy dad. I am from Loja, a town in Granada, Andalusia, a large region in southern Spain. I am an Industrial Design Engineer. But mainly I define myself as a 3D artist, although I do not close anything on an artistic level, I really like everything. My relationship with the Sega Saturn really comes from my relationship with SEGA. About 12 years ago, my first SEGA Saturn fell into my hands, as well as the first one that came to my town from the first European batch of 1995. It was broken, I fixed it as best I could and this relationship did not stop growing. After playing and passing Panzer Dragon Saga and its previous installments. I was so crazy to see the quality that the machine really had. One day I decided to make an entry about PDS and its technical graphic milestones. And that resulted in an investigation of almost 3 years that ended a few months ago with 5 parts on my blog. Where I have been able to learn together with the generous community everything that made me curious and more. My relationship with the homebrew community started with the research for the posts itself. Finally seeing that few people, at that time, contributed to this great machine. Little by little I was participating and trying to contribute what I could. Currently I want, and am working on it, to make graphic content for the community. My great passion for 3D graphics and SEGA.

    Jason Steele is a writer, animator, occasional indie game developer, and retro game enthusiast. Has been playing Sega Saturn games since falling in love with the system in 1996. Hosts “The Video Game Valley,” a retro game stream that airs seven nights a week, with every Saturday dedicated to the Saturn.

    Jenovi. Host of Retro Impressions, a video game documentary, and analysis show with a heavy focus on the Second - Fifth Generation eras. Video game preservation and aftermarket(homebrew) advocate. Co-Host of the r/RetroGaming podcast.

    Johannes Fetz is a Project Manager & Senior Developer at Eureka Technology (Volaris group.) He also teaches C, Windows, and Unix at Etna (Paris.) He is the creator of JoEngine for the Sega Saturn.

    PandaMonium is reviewing every North American Sega Saturn game by order of release date in an effort to document its strange history in the west. The project involves developer interviews and thorough research. He is a proud member of the Sega Saturn Shiro podcast. PandaMonium is also known for compiling accurate commercial release dates of almost every North American Saturn game using a wide array of sources. Some of his favorite Saturn games are Darius Gaiden, Asuka 120%, Powerslave and the Panzer Dragoon series.

    Saturn Dave since Christmas '96, Dave is enthusiastic about growing the community and spreading that Saturn love and knowledge to fans old and new. Co-founding the SEGA SATURN, SHIRO! podcast back in 2017 and creating the SHIRO! SHOW in 2020, his goal is to create interesting and engaging Saturn-related content for the community, and to seek out interviews with old and new developers, preserving the stories of Saturn game development for all to reference and enjoy. He also enjoys creating period-accurate hypothetical long box artworks and complete English manuals of games that never received a North American release. Twitter link.

    The SegaHolic. The SEGA Saturn has been in The SegaHolic's life since July 8th 1995 and remains his favourite console of all time. He is the co-founder and co-host of The SEGAGuys, and they love nothing better than championing the Saturn and helping SEGA fans old and new open their eyes to this wonderful system. From hardware mods to community translations to the homebrew scene, it’s amazing to see people embrace what they've said all along...that you MUST play SEGA Saturn!

    Patrick, AKA TraynoCo is a co-founder of Sega Saturn Shiro. Patrick has a passion for Saturn projects such as homebrew and fan translations. Putting a spotlight on them in both podcast and video forms, trying to bring more attention to the ever growing Saturn homebrew scene. You can also find him on Twitter.


    Entry Original Games Hacks, Patches, and Translations Utilities