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Segaga... ga?
March 23, 2011 3:59 PM   Subscribe

The video game SEGAGAGA, a Japan-only release for the Dreamcast, is an incredibly odd bit of gaming history. A business sim (of sorts) it tasks the player to lead Sega to victory over its rival the evil DOGMA Corporation (a thinly veiled analog for Sony). Loaded with in-jokes obvious and obscure, it is a love letter to Sega fans, and it was one of the last Dreamcast games made before Sega went third party. After a four-year hiatus, the Segagaga fan translation project has resumed work on localizing this most unusual game. Intro video. Edge Magazine interviews the director.

The gameplay is mostly split between dungeon exploration sections and business sim sections. The "dungeons," however, are Sega's development labs, where all kinds of strange monsters and people attack. When you defeat one, sometimes he'll (it'll?) hang around and ask for a job! What follows is a ten-second rapid-fire dialog game where you answer questions and determine his salary. (This bit is the bane of English speakers, since all the text is Japanese.)

In this game:
* Alex Kidd (currently working as a clerk in a local game store) has a speech about getting surplanted by Sonic the Hedgehog.
* Your assistant is Alis, from Phantasy Star, in a business suit.
* The intro video has the sledgehammmer-wielding "Bad Brothers" from Golden Axe emerging up out of a building Evangelion-style.
* So many more jokes it's amazing. Hardcore Gaming 101 has an excellent post on the game (from which comes many of the facts in this post). Some of the visual jokes are cataloged on page 2, such as the late-game shooter sequence that uses Sega consoles as bosses.

Singing,
Sega, Sega–Oota-ku, Tokyo,                     Sega, Sega–near the Tama River.
Keikyu Haneda Airport line, Ohtorii station.   Take the Haneda-guchi exit off Shuto Highway, then head to Kanpachi.
Game creation is our sanctuary in life,        Arrows and bullets spent, without friends,
Yet victory is still far away.                 Yet our minds and spirits soar higher.
We stumble and get depressed, but we move on.  Jump for joy! Let’s help each other and stand together!
Sega, Sega–oh, move on to tomorrow.            Sega, Sega–oh, move on to tomorrow.
Sega, Sega–oh, move on to tomorrow!
posted by JHarris (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh another clip! Blasting into space in a Sega arcade machine, followed by the attack of the mascots!
posted by JHarris at 4:05 PM on March 23, 2011


Another Gaga post? So soon after that interview post from yesterday?

Oh, wait. Sorry. Carry on.
posted by hippybear at 4:08 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another Gaga post? So soon after that interview post from yesterday?

Oh, wait. Sorry. Carry on.


Heh, I was imagining a horrible SEGA/GAGA video game. Too bad.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 4:17 PM on March 23, 2011


Hah! The video that JHarris posted even contains the famous Amen Break at the 0:07 mark. Didn't know that made it out of the US.
posted by SemiSophos at 4:23 PM on March 23, 2011


Aw, shit. Man, now look what you made me do. I need to try and fucking find this goddamn game.
posted by kkokkodalk at 4:23 PM on March 23, 2011


Great post and the sagagagagagagagagagagagaga tag needs to be used more often. Maybe of inane and brilliantly insane video games
posted by litleozy at 4:51 PM on March 23, 2011


SemiSophos: Hah! The video that JHarris posted even contains the famous Amen Break at the 0:07 mark. Didn't know that made it out of the US.

The wiki entry on the Amen Break notes that the sample was used in the UK for early 1990s breakbeat stuff, which grew into drum'n'bass. For more use of the sample, see the Amen Break Database (tagline: "the break that's been sampled so much it needs a database").

But back to the topic at hand: great post! I'll be delving into it tonight. And if anyone wants to try the insanity themselves, there seem to be Dreamcast fansites that host the disc image (and 2CD soundtrack!)
posted by filthy light thief at 5:19 PM on March 23, 2011


Hah! The video that JHarris posted even contains the famous Amen Break at the 0:07 mark. Didn't know that made it out of the US.

What!?
posted by loquacious at 5:25 PM on March 23, 2011


SEGATA SANSHIRO!
SEGATA SANSHIRO!
SEGA SATURN SHIRO!

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:27 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sanshiro lives as a hermit high on a mountain, devoting his life to intensive Sega Saturn training. He trains physically every day by carrying around a giant Sega Saturn on his back and punching buttons on its giant controller, as well as mentally by breaking stacks of blocks with his head. His intense training has resulted in his ability to make people explode twice by throwing them, which he does with ease. He also frequently visits the city to seek out people who are not playing the Sega Saturn, and harshly teaches them a lesson. Sanshiro is a serious man with a firm sense of duty, who believes that playing video games is one of the most treasured activities in life.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:32 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember casually checking on the fan translation years ago, and eventually assumed it went defunct. Glad to see it's back up! This game looks totally fascinating. Hopefully Sega is as cool with it as Nintendo was with the Mother 3 fan translation.
posted by danb at 6:30 PM on March 23, 2011


Oh. Man. This is amazing!
posted by painquale at 10:14 PM on March 23, 2011


These kinds of self-referential games are fascinating to me. Smash Bros. is similar, although including non-Nintendo characters in Brawl wrecked the purity of it a little.

Another game that's like this, but never gets recognized for it, is Odama, that bizarre feudal Japan wargame/pinball sim Nintendo mentioned throughout the Gamecube era but released only once the console was winding down. Not only is your family's motto in the game kanji for Nin-Ten-Do (a fact the narrator makes clear more than once), but there is a secret area in the last stage in which you get to fling your gigantic pinball in modern times around the streets and buildings around Nintendo headquarters.
posted by JHarris at 2:25 AM on March 24, 2011


Looking over that SEGAGAGA page (and then elsewhere on the hardcoregaming101 site) made me feel super-nostalgic. For the Dreamcast, for general Sega awesomeness, for retro spartan website designs, for actually creating online content instead of just disseminating existing stuff, etc.
posted by kryptondog at 6:59 AM on March 24, 2011


Alex Kidd. Phantasy Star.

OMG.
posted by DU at 7:06 AM on March 24, 2011


This brought back so many memories of things I had forgotten about. Like that fuzzy voice booming "E-SWAT."
posted by painquale at 9:58 AM on March 24, 2011


I should explain East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94's (amazing catchy despite being entirely Japanese) video. Segata Sanshiro is a persona created and played by the director of Segagaga. They gave him a pitiful promotions budget, like a few hundred dollars. So he made a costume of this over-the-top figure, who practiced martial arts punching buttons on a giant Sega Saturn he carried on his back and could make a man explode twice by throwing him, and appeared around Akihabara promoting the game.

An awesome post could be made about that all by itself, or could have been usefully appended to the material on this FPP, but when it comes down to it, all my information on Segagaga is second-hand, and I'm still learning things.
posted by JHarris at 11:43 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah dammit, I missed (indeed, forgot, since I had favorited it) E.M.R.J.K.C.94's own explanation of Segata Sanshiro! He obviously has greater mojo in this area than I.
posted by JHarris at 11:52 AM on March 24, 2011


JHarris: Segata Sanshiro is in fact portrayed by actor Hiroshi Fujioka!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:01 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aah. You see?
posted by JHarris at 12:10 PM on March 24, 2011


And it's possible, reading these, that I'm getting an earlier character confused with the director's. Yes, that's right, the director of the game showed up in a wrestling mask. Different character, I got them confused.

Sigh.
posted by JHarris at 12:11 PM on March 24, 2011


*quietly moves Dreamcast out of the stuff-I-should-get-around-to-eBaying pile*
posted by anagrama at 1:47 PM on March 24, 2011


anagrama, you could always use that Dreamcast to run an NES emulator. It's probably the system on which it's easiest to run homebrew, not requiring any hardware or software modification at all, although the scene has died down a lot since those days.
posted by JHarris at 2:16 PM on March 24, 2011


Interview with James Howell, SGGG translation project's manager.
posted by Bangaioh at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2011


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