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Story and Gameplay
The idea for the game largely spawned the then upcoming Dreamcast/PlayStation 2 console battle. Dreamcast had already been released and was doing relatively well, but the impending launch of the PlayStation 2 in Japan had many people waiting to see what would happen. The original XBOX is never parodied in the game, as it did horribly in Japan. SONY is parodied in the game as an evil company named DOGMA. As the hero of the game, you (Taro Sega) and your companion (Yayoi Haneda) are employed to bring Sega back to the top of the video game market via the "Segagaga Project." The game is set in the year 2025, where the evil DOGMA Corporation has a stranglehold on the video games market, and Sega is struggling with a meager 3% share.
Segagaga was called a "Sega Simulation Game" and contains various gameplay elements. A majority of the game is largely an RPG, but various mini-games are included. Some game play modes include the classic side-scrolling shoot-em-up (SHUMP), and Pokemon style battles. The game has countless throwbacks to old Sega franchises scattered throughout, and even makes fun of some game characters from other companies (Mega Man, for example).
In the final boss battle of the game, the player is launched in to space and must defend earth from an evil DOGMA force that is corrupting previous generation Sega consoles. The player must battle each console to defeat evil and save the Earth.
When Segagaga was initially pitched to the decision makers at Sega of Japan by Tez Okano, the board though the idea was a prank. After some clarification, Tez Okano convinced them that the game wasn't a joke, and was given a small budget to go ahead with development. Development of the game took a very small team of developers two years to complete. The game was developed largely in secret.
By the time the game was ready to go to production, Sega's Dreamcast was not doing too well against the Sony PlayStation 2, and the decision had already been made for Sega to end its long run in the video game console market and become a software-only company. Feeling that the release of the game couldn't do much to tarnish Sega's reputation at this point, cash-strapped Sega of Japan gave the release a green light.
The game was intially released on Sega Direct - an online-only portion of the Sega of Japan website. A budget version was later released, which contained a smaller plastic jewel case and no soundtrack CD. Finally, the company launched an extremely limited version of the game via Sega Direct in a "limited edition" packaging.
The Limited Edition packaging came in a white box and contained a size Large SGGG t-shirt. The front of the shirt contains the SGGG logo, and the back of the shirt contains refereances to past Sega consoles. Emblazened on the back is a large black S (from the Sega logo) along with controllers for the Sega Saturn, SG-1000 Mark II, Mark III, SG-1000, Genesis, and Dreamcast. Under the large S the shirt says "Generation S. 21st Century, Sega Control the world." followed by some copywright text.
Under the t-shirt is a black disc case with the word "SGGG" on the front. The case is built similarly to a DVD case but is roughly 2 to 2.5 times as wide as a standard DVD case. Inside is the game disc and a color manual. Although the case has spots for two discs to be inserted, only one disc is included.
Also included in the box is a black leather bound book. The book is bound by 6 metal rings under its leather cover and includes information and illustrations about the game. It's pages are a combination of black and white and color depending on the section. I have only seen pictures of other peoples' book contents, as mine is sealed.
Finally, the box set includes a white cardboard box with the letters SGGG on the top. Inside the carboard box is a small wooden case, and inside the wooden case are 6 pins. Five pins contain a logo which represents one of Sega's previous consoles as released in Japan - the Mark III, the Mega Drive (Genesis in the US), Game Gear, Saturn, and Dreamcast. A sixth pin shows the SGGG logo.
Rarity and Collectability
The non-limited edition versions of Segagaga can easily be found online for roughly $90-$100 shipped. The limited edition version of Segagaga is slightly more rare, and typically will command anywhere from $225-$275 depending on how many are available at any given time and the quality of the piece. Since the boxes were never really sealed, one can not be guaranteed that any given copy of Segagaga was never opened. However, the t-shirt and the leather planner were sealed from the factory, and examples with these items sealed typically command a higher price than opened copies.
Not much information about this game exists online. The game was never released outside of Japan and was never translated to any other language. I have heard that a fan project is underway to translate Segagaga to English, but I haven't seen any proof of this. The game was very niche even in Japan, as by the time it was released Sega had announced that it would be leaving the hardware business to focus on software, so many Japanese gamers had migrated to the PlayStation 2.
The limited edition very collectable and is a must have for any Sega fan. The game is considered a swan-song to Sega, and is also considered to be the final "thank you" for all of the fans of Sega who saw the company through its better years. I do hope that someday someone ports it to English, so that the English speaking Sega fans of the world can enjoy this title.
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