The Sacred Pools: Sega’s Unreleased Million-Dollar “Erotic Thriller” FMV Game Now Playable via Emulation

Image: Sega

The Sacred Pools is an “erotic thriller” FMV game that Sega planned on releasing in 1997 but ended up canceling after it was introduced at E3 1996 and panned by the press for its subject matter and low quality. Now, over two decades later, the long-lost and mythical title is now available to play on emulators courtesy of David Gray, an associate producer on Sacred Pools who unearthed numerous CD-ROMs containing alpha builds of the game. Players will encounter scantily-clad women in racy costumes in Sacred Pools, but there is no actual nudity in the game, as noted by Steadicam operator Ross Judd in an EGM interview from 2000. Surprisingly, there’s a PlayStation version of Sacred Pools despite Sony’s console being one of Sega’s main competitors at the time.

From a Gaming Alexandria report:

The discs were given to Gray as a parting gift in 1999 during the final days of SegaSoft which contained alpha builds for the Sega Saturn, Windows, Macintosh, and Playstation. In his possession for over 20 years, all discs were thankfully still intact and were easily ripped using ImgBurn.

The discs can be downloaded here. It contains curated versions of the Sega Saturn, PC, Macintosh, and PSX ports that are playable in any emulator. (CORRECTION: The “Mac” version was incorrectly labelled. It actually related to VCDEMU, the Saturn SDK tool used for emulating disc drives.)

The original press release from SegaSoft:

If you crave mystery, power and seduction, step into the world of The Sacred Pools. The once secure, safe and beautiful island of Amazonia is now a land of temptation and danger. SegaSoft’s The Sacred Pools exploits today’s technology creating a new level of game play so unreal you have to feel it to believe it.


  • Extraordinary full motion graphic capabilities allow players to explore the island while fighting off Radical tribes, drinking libations at the water bar or dancing with beautiful (but extremely dangerous) sashas in an effort to reach The Sacred Pools
  • The Sacred Pools marries the control of three-dimensional computer graphics with the production value of filmed entertainment
  • Breakthrough Virtual Navigation in Real Space technology (VNRS) allows players to navigate and negotiate their way through the evil land of Amazonia, controlling the environment every step of the way
  • Multiple levels make it accessible to all types of players

Available for Sega Saturn, Win95 and Macintosh

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