Lunar: Silver Star Story Auto Demo for Sega Saturn, acquired!

I swear, in all my years of researching various Lunar Series goods, I always seem to stumble across something new. I remember a couple of years ago finding a Studio Gonzo calendar online that had a piece of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue art in it that I had never seen before. I lost the auction, of course, and now it feels like the chance to see that art up close is lost to me forever. Then, not too long after that, a Nall pin crept up on Yahoo! Auctions, of which I also lost the bid war on. Now I see it floating around on Etsy for many multiple times the price. Though I can’t actually confirm if it is the same one, I cannot ever see myself spending $800 on a goddamn pin. I can barely bring myself to consider saving up money over the course of several months to potentially buy a complete Panzer Dragoon Saga for even less than that!

But one thing I learned about semi-recently was a Lunar: Silver Star Story auto demo disc for the Sega Saturn. I already knew about, and own, the Lunar: Eternal Blue auto demo for the Sega/Mega CD, but that one has had more information floating around online for longer. But an auto demo disc for Silver Star Story? That was something I knew little about and felt the need to acquire, thankfully for dollars in the very low double digits.

For those who are in the dark, an auto demo is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a demo, but instead of you playing it, it plays itself. I suppose in a way it’s like a trailer, but I feel like it is more akin to those videos that would play on arcade machines when no one was using them, just showing various bits of gameplay until you finally slammed in your quarters. In all my sleuthing, there seems to be surprisingly little talk about the auto demo discs that Sega put out back in the ’90s, so I can’t say for certain what these discs were used for. I can probably assume they were given to stores to play in kiosks to entice you to purchase said game. That being said, I don’t know how soon before the Saturn release of Lunar: Silver Star Story that this disc was released, but it was most likely in autumn of 1996.

I considered recording video of the four and a half minute video contained on the disc, but amazingly someone had just uploaded it the other month. So if you’re curious, here it is! Thanks for the upload, Riza ch.4!

The interesting thing about this one, at least compared to the auto demo for Lunar: Eternal Blue on the Mega CD, is that rather than being entirely in-engine like the latter, it seems to be a single video file. I suppose in this way, it really does feel more like a trailer of sorts than a demo. And from a glance, I can’t notice any real differences between the video and the final game. I expected it to be longer though, based on the length of the EB auto demo, which was about twice as long.

Regardless, it was a neat little disc to learn about and track down. I can’t imagine much reason for me to put it in my Saturn to watch again, so for now I will just set it down next to the EB auto demo I have in a glass display case with other Lunar items. At least more of these discs seem to be popping up lately, so they’re not as hard to track down as they used to be, should you be looking to get one for yourself.

Though while researching things for this post, I learned that there is apparently a Lunar 2: Eternal Blue auto demo for the Saturn. So once again, I have learned about yet another new Lunar thing, and will have to go on the search once again… Only this time, for something that is much rarer! Unless, of course, that is just misconstrued information and it’s actually the Mega CD auto demo. Then everything is fine. It’s hard to tell when there is literally only one extremely sparse page of information on the internet about a Saturn one, but part of me thinks that might be the case.

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