Sega renews trademarks on trio of obscure Mega Drive and Saturn games

Blasts from the past

Sega has renewed its trademarks on a trio of classic titles that originally saw release on the Mega Drive (AKA Sega Genesis) and its successor, the Sega Saturn.

The renewals, as spotted by Gematsu, see the trademarks for 1993’s Ranger X, 1995’s Crusader of Centy, and 1996’s Linkle Liver Story retained by Sega. All three games were developed by Nextech, a now-defunct Japanese studio bought by Sega in 1997.

While the three games aren’t exactly household names – in particular, Linkle Liver Story never saw release outside of Japan – they may be memorable to older players.

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Ranger X was a run-and-gun shooter, with the player piloting a giant robot and attempting to liberate their home planet from the attacking Rahuna. The Ranger X mecha itself was capable of short bursts of flight, with the distance determined by an overheating mechanic, forcing regular switching between aerial and land-based play as the engines cooled down.

The game also featured an interesting power-up mechanic, where special weapons recharged by standing in a bright source of light, and semi-autonomous supporting vehicles. Ranger X was visually quite impressive for the time, with wireframe 3D cutscenes introducing each level.

Crusader of Centy, meanwhile, is sometimes referred to as Sega’s attempt to take on The Legend of Zelda. Played from a similar top-down perspective as classic Zelda games, Centy followed 14-year old Corona, who must take up the sword of his late father to defend humanity from a horde of monsters.

Blending sword-based combat with exploration and puzzle-solving, it’s easy to see the Zelda comparisons, but Corona also had the ability to communicate with animals and gain special abilities from them once befriended. A penguin gave an ice attack, for instance, while a pet dog would hold enemies down for the player.

Linkle Liver Story only saw release on the Saturn in Japan. Its name is probably meant to be “Wrinkle River Story” or “Rinkle River Story” – the L/R phoneme is the same in Japanese – but the game’s loading screen uses “Linkle Liver” in English.

Whatever its name, it was an action-adventure game, where the protagonist Kitsch – an anthropomorphic fox girl – teamed with other forest creatures to save their world from dark forces. Although the game has never been officially released outside of Japan, a fan translation was released in 2019.

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At the time of writing, Sega has not announced plans to do anything with these titles, be it remasters, remakes, or even releases on digital platforms such as Steam. It could be simply a legal exercise to retain the trademarks, but for retro gamers, it will be nice to see these gems aren’t entirely forgotten.

Elsewhere, another Sega classic is set for a revamp, with Shining Force set to make a return on Android and iOS, while mascots Sonic and Tails will be racing into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania.

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