Action Interactive Movie

Sacred Pools [Sega Saturn, PC – Cancelled]

Sacred Pools is a cancelled interactive movie / FMV game that was in development by Code Monkeys and Segasoft in 1995 / 1996, for Sega Saturn and PC. It seems the project was shown in video form at E3 1996 along with other classic Saturn titles, such as Nights, Panzer Dragoon 2, Virtual On and many more, but in the end Sacred Pools was never released. A few details were published by various gaming magazines at the time, as in Ultra Game Players #74 (January 1997), Mean Machines Sega Magazine #45 (July 1996), PC Player #07 (July 1996), and Sega Saturn Magazine UK #10 (August 1996).

The game had a quite negative feedback from the press and that could be one of the reasons of its cancellation:

“Just when you thought the interactive movie was dead.. along comes Sacred Pools. This is another Segasoft venture, and one which they say revolutionises adventure gaming by mixing computer graphics with video footage. At present only the video footage was on show, and it’s the usual mix of Dr. Who effects and actors without dignity. And we thought they’d learned their lesson with Double Switch.”

As far as we know, Sacred Pools was meant to be one of the first adult-only titles for the Sega Saturn, in the form of “erotic thriller” with explicit (?) sex and violent scenes, but we don’t know exactly what the team wanted to shown in the game. Sacred Pools was just one of many unreleased games planned by Segasoft, such as G.I. Ant, Heat Warz, Ragged Earth and Skies.

A few more details were shared in the Assembler Games Forum by an anonymous user who seems to own a playable beta of the game:

“SEGASOFT paid over $3mil to develop the game. The company is called Codemonkeys now. Not sure if they had a different name back then. But Segasoft pretty much entirely funded the company during that period. […] My knowledge is limited. They spent a bunch of money developing this game that was supposed to be “revolutionary”. The game missed milestones and went way over budget. I have never played that far through the game but what i’ve seen is that it is basically a FMV game where you can sort of move around the world. You have choices of which direction to go and what to do, but they are limited and (obviously) on tracks.”

If you have more images or details about this lost game, let us know! We hope to be able to preserve some footage from the game in the future.


The Act [Arcade – Unreleased]

The Act is an interesting arcade game developed by Cecropia, that was never officially released, but the few cabinets that were made were eBayed and some local arcades and collectors were able to get them.  A video review of The Act can be found at The Game Grin Arcade website, in which they play their cabinet that can be found in Utah.

As they wrote in the video description:

It’s a real shame that they pulled the project as while it is a game that is along the lines of something like Dragon’s Lair, it is far more advanced than DL, Space Ace or any other FMV game that has come along that I have played as while those early FMV games promised interactivity they didn’t truly deliver on that promise while The Act does. […]

The Act is helped by it’s unique control scheme which is very simple to understand and use. All you have is a knob that you turn during gameplay to affect what happens in a scene. The further you turn the knob the more intense the reaction of the main character Edgar gets. […]

Because The Act was canceled it is very rare – only 40 units were made and of those only about 10 actually made it out onto eBay.

Thanks a lot to Luke for the contribution!