Soulstar X [Jaguar CD/32X – Unreleased]

Soulstar X [Jaguar CD/32X – Unreleased]

Soulstar X Logo

Soulstar was a Mega-CD game created by Core Design, and after its release, two seperate conversions were planned. One was a port to the Jaguar CD, under the same name, whereas the other was an updated version for the 32X, under the name Soulstar X. In the end, neither of them were released.

The 32X update was previewed in Sega Power’s August 1995 issue, but some of the screenshots provided are a bit suspect; At least one of them is identical to a screenshot used on Wikipedia (at the time of writing) to demonstrate the unreleased Jaguar version… Did Sega Power simply get screenshots from the Jaguar CD version due to a lack of available 32X screens? It’s difficult to say, but the preview does confirm a few things about the 32X update, specifically the addition of multiplayer, and a faster game overall. The game looks slightly better than the Mega-CD original.

A playable beta of Soulstar X 32X was leaked by the Sega Saturno Community in February 2010.

Thanks to Adam for the contribution and to Rod_Wod for the scans!



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19 thoughts on “Soulstar X [Jaguar CD/32X – Unreleased]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    Lot of talk out there that Core OUT-SOURCED the Jaguar CD version, which IF true, would pretty much answer the question someone who raised over why when i interviewed him, Richard Barclay knew nothing of it, yet was PR for Core.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Time to close my side of looking further into this one as well.

    I had the original on Sega CD/Mega CD and whilst i could’nt fault it from a technical level (Core getting even more out of the MCD hardware) it never really grabbed me at all. It seemed to be Core attempting to ‘do’ Sega’s Galaxy Force in places..nothinhg new or wrong with that, they’d been inspired by games like Mercs, Rastan etc previousily on ST/Amiga with great results, but something was lacking with this and an ‘improved’ Jaguar CD version was’nt really what i was hoping Core would do on Jaguar.

    If they were going to port anything from MCD to Jaguar CD this would’nt of been my 1st choice…..

    Anywho, after a few dead ends, did find the MCD Coder, emails sent, again nothing ever heard back from, asked various Ex-Core Design coders who’d worked on other MCD games of that time, had a few ‘leave it with me’ type responses, again all dead ends.So maybe we’ll never know :-)

    All i can say is i tried various avenues, came up empty handed each time.

    Maybe it’s one of thos ‘past projects’ coders simply don’t want to talk about?.

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Just when i thought every lead was a dead end :-)

    Andrew smith of Core Design was interviewed way back in early’95, talked about how the coders of Jag Soulstar found the hardware difficult to use and had to learn the hardware very fast to get game done for deadlines (guess in hindsight that’ll be tried to get it finished…)

    They ported the main Mega CD code to the Jaguar, found the soundchip to be the most impressive part of the Jaguar hardware and whilst doing a cartridge version of Soulstar for Jaguar, would of seen the game cutback and would of been Atari’s decision, they thought they’d be able to pull off a decent version.

  4. Ross Sillifant

    Now confirmed via interview with coders on AEO and the internal Atari documents, that this was the ONLY Jaguar game Core Design were working on and team split when Core Sold Off before game finished.

    So any footage or stills on YouTube suggesting Tomb Raider, Thunderhawk, BC Racers,Swagman, Shellshock are pure fantasy.

  5. Ross Sillifant

    We all know where it was mentioned, we also know who gave them the screenshot and told then they were mock ups, we all know who paid for the advertising supplement.

    Luca has the interview with Core Design team working on Jaguar, the internal Atari documentation with payments made to Core for sole Jaguar Game in development, release schedules etc.

    You talk of permission..

    So permission from whom exactly? Rights to Core Designs I.P from that era now lie in so many different corporations depending on specific regions, your in pure fantasy land.

    You couldn’t even get a legal release of Jag CD Soul Star..

    But let’s not confuse the issue with fact as someone once said..

  6. Ross Sillifant

    More clean up needed here..we know it was EDGE that falsely claimed Tomb Raider was headed to Jaguar.. (along with BC Racers,Swagman,Thunderhawk, Shellshock etc)..

    Richard Barclay Core Design’s P.R guy told us that,along with fact Edge knew T.R screens were fake,yet still ran with them.

    We also have confirmation that Soul Star rights lie with Square Enix for certain regions..Simon P. from Core was kind enough to explain the legal situation to us…

    If anyone is foolish enough to release this on Jaguar without asking for right to do so, from current I.P holders or Mac Avory who’s sprite engine powers the game.. then more shame on them.

  7. Ross Sillifant

    Just forwarded over more Press..Core’s Susie Hamilton talking about 32X titles such as this,BC Racers, Thunderhawk and again confirming Swagman as a 32X, not Jaguar title

  8. Ross Sillifant

    Even more press forwarded and in with it..yet again Shellshock listed as Sega 32X not Atari Jaguar.

  9. Ross Sillifant

    Mark Price from Core Design who did 3D modelling etc on Jaguar Soul Star is yet another source who’s been kind enough to confirm this was the only Jaguar title Core Design were working on.

  10. Ross Sillifant

    Sarah Avory was kind enough to explain the Sega 32X version was abandoned in favour of the Jaguar CD version.

  11. Roberth Martinez

    I don’t know if this will serve anything of help but, i had the chance to talk with Sarah Jane Avory (Mark Avory) in regards to Soulstar on the Atari Jaguar CD at Twitter. I first asked if she did work on it, which is true but here’s the rest of her comment to my first question:

    @SarahJaneAvory: “Yes, I coded Soulstar for the #AtariJaguarCD.I had it all finished bar a few bugs, but it was abandoned in the end.”

    The next question i asked her was if she had at least a surviving copy of the Jaguar CD and here’s her reply to that one:

    @SarahJaneAvory: “Sorry, I don’t have a copy. Wish I did, but that was a long time ago.”

    Which is a bummer, but i did ask her one important question and that one was if the Jaguar CD version re-used the same sprites from Soulstar X on the 32X and here’s her answer to that part:

    @SarahJaneAvory: “They were both done at the same time. For 32X we used 256 colour mode, splitting the sprites into 4 palettes of 64 colours (to match the 4 palettes we used for MegaCD). JaguarCD sprites could use more colours.”

    After i finished asking her those question and praising her work on the SEGA CD, i proceded to retweet her first reply, only to then have her to mention this in regards to her experience with the Jaguar hardware:

    @SarahJaneAvory: “It did suffer from a stability problem (display list would crash the video chip once in a blue moon and cause the screen to go blank), but I’m pretty sure I fixed that in the end. Did cause me a lot of headaches! I much preferred the MegaCD to work on.”

    So that’s prettty much it. To this day, she’s still proud of her achievement with Soulstar on the Sega CD. Hope this information is useful!

  12. Ross Sillifant

    Been reading a few misc comments from Sarah Avory, regarding development of Jaguar CD Soulstar.

    Sarah describes the Jag CD as an absolute bitch to code for, as it lacked the sector buffer found on the Sega Mega CD, used to read data from the CD.

    The display chip also kept crashing, leaving a blank screen, whilst everything else was running.

    Because Jag Soulstar was such a nightmare, Saturn Thunderhawk 2 was coded in only 3 months.

  13. Ross Sillifant

    Interesting to note that Jeremy Heath-Smith, who praised the 32X hardware when interviewed in Edge magazine during the Saturn Era, soon changed his tune on it by time of the Playstation 2,describing Core being lumbered with the bloody thing and it being an unmitigated disaster.

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