The Sega Saturn console from the mid 90’s is one that is often overlooked mainly because it was not as popular as the PS1 during that time period. Even though, the Sega Saturn was not as popular as the Genesis console it still had it fair share of decent games. Dark Savior from ’96 would be an example of a title that was underrated and overlooked on the Sega Saturn. The cool thing about Dark Savior was the amount of creativity that Climax Entertainment used to create something unique. Dark Savior saw the blend of multiple genres including platform, puzzle-adventure and fighting to provide players with a gaming experience unlike anything else they had seen during that time period. While a majority of the gameplay in Dark Savior takes place in a 3D environment the fighting sections utilizes isometric perspective with the gameplay being in 2D. Dark Savior was a game that found a nice balance between 2D & 3D gameplay which contributed to its appeal among various gaming publications. The plot for Dark Savior included an intriguing parallel system which contained multiple scenarios depending the player’s action. Dark Savior saw players control the main protagonist named Garian who is a bounty hunter.
Garian was tasked with escorting a monster named Bilan to a prison located in a distant unnamed island. While taking Bilan to prison the monster eventually escapes leading to Garian attempting to stop it from reaching the captain’s cabin. Dark Savior included five different parallel scenarios that players could be apart of depending on how long it took them to reach the captain’s cabin. Parallel I occurred when players took more than four minutes to reach the captain’s cabin; the result leads to carnage created by Bilan who is eventually destroyed by Garian. Parallel II was arguably the most interesting one of the all since players reach the captain’s room within a time span of 3-4 minutes. After, defeating Bilan the focus of the game shifts and revolves around conflict surrounding rebellious prisoners and a corrupt warden named Kurtliegen. Parallel III saw players beat the creature to the captain’s cabin and lock him out.
While the scenario in Parallel III is similar to that of the first one the game has a different conclusion which was also a prelude to Parallel IV. The story in Parallel IV is a bit more interesting because players discover that the conflict between parallel universes is causing the island they are on to become unstable. Not only must Garian confront the source of conflict regarding the parallel universes but he must also rescue his friends while escaping the island within a certain time period. Parallel V was quite possibly the most bizarre of all the scenarios considering the fact that players ended up in purgatory after being killed by Bilan. After entering purgatory Garian finds himself in a tournament with friends and foes from other scenarios without any type of storyline. Completing the fifth parallel unlocked a two-player mode which was kinda of cool but still bizarre; seeing that Parallel V splits from the second one. The multiple scenarios within Dark Savior not only added to the game’s replay value but it also emphasized the importance of time. The parallel universes in Dark Savior shows how minutes and seconds can dramatically affect the outcome of one’s fate along with others. Despite, its simplistic and non-linear plot the concept regarding parallel universes is one that is deeper than your average Sega game.