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Sega Saturn PAL Catalog Numbering System

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by wonder-inc, Oct 12, 2023.

  1. wonder-inc


    I was looking into the PAL Saturn Catalog numbers (found on the side of the case usually) and I started looking into how they are ordered and laid out, to gather information about it.
    Thanks to the help of this page
    I think I figured out most of it, but there's some stuff that still confuses me, so I made this thread for if anyone might recognize something I missed or misunderstood.

    From what I can tell, Sega of Europe's general division went like this.
    MK810 = General Games, Distributed/Published by Sega
    MK811 = Sports titles
    MK812 = Racing titles
    MK813 = RPG titles
    MK815 = Unknown?
    MK816 = Unknown as well?
    MK817 = Unused
    MK818 = Used for general 1998 titles that do not fall into any of the above categories and Sonic R for some reason.

    I've picked up on several oddities though.
    For instance, two titles flat out ditch the MK at the start like Panzer Dragoon Zwei, and maybe that's an error?
    Three titles from 1995 also include a dash sign (-) but that might also be an error?
    Sometimes they jump to MK81x8, and I have no idea what prompts that either.
    There's also the odd MK815, 816 and 818 divisions, but that's what this thread is for.

    I appreciate any feedback on the matter!
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  2. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Those product numbers were not just for PAL or USA releases but for everything outside Japan. The same numbers were used for Korean, USA, and PAL releases too. The games all use the same number, and the MK prefix and the dash is just either there or not. For USA they tried to actively not use it (I guess they had reasons, it could've been something as simple as something else on the market having similar product numbers at the time, but they have also done it for the Genesis if memory serves so maybe they just did not want to confuse users because americans can only read the letters U, S and A).

    Internally the games all have the full MK-xxxxx code, no matter if the boxes lack any dashes or "MK" prefixes or not.

    815xx was used by Baku Baku so we can assume it was for puzzle games. There were no other first party puzzle games released in USA/Europe.
    However there's also Sim City, 81580. So maybe they partitioned it as 81500 - puzzles, 81580 - simulators (which was a popular genre in Japan, they released The Tower, Transport Tycoon, etc)

    So the jump to x80 is probably partitioning. They didn't jump three digits for a new genre, just two. Or it was a sub genre in some way, for example the x80 RPGs have two SRPGs. I don't know why Shining Wisdom is grouped there though, maybe it was just not traditional enough, I never played it.

    816xx is the oddest one. It has two pack-in box titles (Nights + 3d controller, Netlink game bundle) in the lower bracket but also Sega Ages Vol. 1. Then the upper bracket has Photo CD Viewer and Digital Pinball?? There's nothing in common.
    For the lower bracket, perhaps check the serials for other hardware accessories, I don't have them so I can't check. But it could be that.

    818xx makes the most sense, they reached up to 81099 with the release of Courier Crisis (81099), so they just jumped to the next number. It being 1998 is probably circumstantial.

    hope this helps.
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  3. wonder-inc


    I meant to reply to this some time ago, but I got occupied with some work since then and was doing some research during my own time and I found out quite a bit since then. But let me start with your points first.

    1.Thank you for informing me about the PAL numbers matching NA and Korea. I had checked and for the most part this seems to hold up.

    2.I think I can safely conclude by this point that 815 is for Strategic games (which would kiiind of include puzzle games)

    3.I also found out what the 80 subdivision in the last two digits is for. It's for SEGA published titles not developed by SEGA. However, I've also seen a variety of cases that seem to go against that. But I'd say it's more in favor than against. Interestingly. it is not used on North American titles so this seems to be something Sega of Europe came up with.

    4.816 in North America seems to be exclusively for compilation titles consisting of multiple games on multiple discs (so something like Sonic Jam or Sega Ages Vol.1 wouldn't count). This is evident by how the only titles on there are the 3 game VF2, Daytona USA and Virtua Cop pack, alongside a Netlink software pack. Europe though? No freaking clue lol. This is made even worse by the fact that Europe's numbering also often has the packs in the 81000 range, such as PAL NiGHTS and PAL Virtua Cop 1/2. So I still kept that one noted as Unknown.

    5.I also figured out why the used 818, it wasn't because they ran out of games in the 81000-81099 range. It was because they specifically ran out of the 2nd party range 81080-81099. Granted, there are still a lot of gaps they could have used, which I guess belonged to cancelled titles.

    I will add to this thread occasionally, I'm compiling an Excel sheet for this info and want to use it for documentation. Perhaps down the road, I might make it something similar for the NA library. And I want to do Japan (but that one is a bit too big).