So after I actually started trying to play my pile of Sega, I ran into some problems. Panzer Dragoon Saga would either not boot up at all or boot up and then crash randomly. The low point was when I finally figured out how to defeat a tricky boss, then the game froze and crashed at the victory screen.
So of course I wanted to find out if the problem lay with the disc or with the system’s laser lens. All of the games I initially bought worked well… mostly. D had a little bit of trouble booting up the first time I popped it in and Albert Odyssey froze once at the beginning of a random battle, but I thought those were flukes since I couldn’t repeat it. But now, I saw a more sinister pattern. So I popped in my other games. The Legend of Oasis started up just fine, but Shining Force III couldn’t even make it to the title screen.
So the only choice left to me was to attempt emulation to see if the problem was in the Saturn’s laser lens. I went shopping around for one that would let me boot up from the CD and it seems that 99% of Saturn emulators are abandoned at the alpha stage or emulate the CPU but not necessarily the games(?!). I FINALLY found one that seemed to fit the bill and popped in Panzer Dragoon Saga. Flawlessly booted up, several times. Popped in Shining Force III. Booted up just fine.
I’m lookin’ at youuuuuuuuuuu, Saturn.
So thankfully this still falls within the 30 day return policy the store had on the console, so I’m gonna return it (and ask to keep the friggin’ battery) and hunt for a Saturn that actually… y’know… works. There’s gonna be a delay in further landings on Saturn~