Demos

A number of demo CDs were released with the magazines Mega Power and Sega Pro CD in 1994 and 1995.  I e-mailed Paragon Publishing, who were responsible for both, asking if they had a record of which demos were released and when, but they "don't keep that kind of information", so I'm left to piece the release list together from any evidence I can find.

 

The demos below are divided into their relevant publication and then release date.  If anyone has a stack of Mega Power or Sega Pro CD magazines under the bed or in the attic any help filling in the missing covers will be much appreciated!

 
 
Mega Power

A Note about Mega Power demo numbers - Mega Power provided cut out covers for the demo CDs (you had to supply your own case as they came in plastic wallets) for the majority of their demos.  Whilst these demos reached number 12, the numbers don't quite correspond to the order they came in.  Discs 1 to 6 run in sequence up to August 1994, then September's issue included the Battlecorps & SoulStar double disc, which doesn't seem to have a number.  The numbers then continued in October with the cover for that demo showing #7.  To add further to the confusion, November's demo cover had both #8 and #9 on it, and December continued at #10!

In short, the covers run up to #12, and there are 12 discs, but the chronological order doesn't match the numbers.

 

Issue 4 (November 1993) - Demo #1

The honour of the first ever cover mounted playable demo of a Sega game goes to the Mega Power Thunderhawk demo.  It is identical to the Thunderhawk promo disc except for a custom first screen and the lack of a sleeve & disc artwork.

There was no cut-out cover for this disc.

     

Issue 6 (January 1994) - Demo #2

The Psygnosis Demo Disc  is sometimes known as the "Psygnosis Christmas Sampler" due to it's festive release date.

There was no cut-out cover for this disc.

     

Issue 10 (May 1994) - Demo #3

The first of the cut out CD inserts pins the SoulStar demo down as Mega Power demo #3.

At this point the demo discs became a monthly occurrence.

     

Issue 11 (June 1994) - Demo #4

Mega Power demo #4 is the Battlecorps demo.

     

Issue 12 (July 1994) - Demo #5

The Sensible Soccer demo came out after the end of the football season!

     

Issue 13 (August 1994) - Demo #6

Hot on the heels of the Sensible Soccer demo came the FIFA IS CE demo

     

Issue 14 (September 1994) - No Number

As well as the two-page advert for old Mega Power demo CDs in Sega Pro CD issue 1, there is also an advert for issue 14 of Mega Power, showing Mickey Mania on the cover but with the Battlecorps and Soulstar double demo disc as the covermount.

It is this disc that first throws the numbering sequence out.

 

     

Issue 15 (October 1994) - Demo #7

This is the Star Wars - Rebel Assault demo featuring the Chapter 8 - the Stormtroopers level.  In the same month sister publication Sega Pro CD gave away a demo featuring the Chapter 11 - the Tie Attack level.

Numbering this one as #7 puts the discs out of sequence.

     

Issue 16 (November 1994) - Demo #8 & #9!

The cut out cover for the demo of The Lawnmower Man from issue 16 (November 1994) has #8 on the front and #9 on the back.

As disc #7 was the month before and #10 the month after, this really messed up the system.  After all the headaches figuring this out has caused me, I hope someone got fired!

     

Issue 17 (December 1994) - Demo #10

The Mickey Mania Mega Power demo's is one of three identical demo CDs for one game.

     

Issue 18 (February 1995) - Demo #11

This Yellow BC Racers Demo came with issue 18 of Mega Power (January 1995).  The advert states that the disc is different from the Green BC Racers Demo that came with an issue of Sega Pro, and as the screenshots show the desert track, Mega Power must have carried the yellow one.

Yes, I know the cover says Feb 1994.  As this is issue 18, and issue 10 was May 1994, this must be a misprint.

     

Issue 19 (March 1995) - Demo #12

The last known Mega Power demo is the  Lethal Enforcers II - Gun Fighters Demo disc.

     
     
Sega Pro
A note about Sega Pro CD  issue numbers - originally Sega Pro CD was published separately from Sega Pro, staring in October 1994 with issue 1.  At the start of 1995 Paragon began using the issue number sequence from the original Sega Pro on both - hence the big jump.  Versions with and without the cover CD were available (with a price difference) and those who bought the wrong one could send away 3.95 to get the demo posted to them.
     

Issue 1 (October 1994)

Issue 1 of Sega Pro CD hit the shelves in October 1994 with a demo of Star Wars - Rebel Assault featuring Chapter 11 - Tie Attack.  In the same month sister publication Mega Power carried a demo of Chapter 8 - the Stormtroopers level.

     

Issue 2 (November 1994)

The back issues pages of Sega Pro CD issues 44 and 51 show the Novastorm Demo as the cover mount for issue 2.

     

Issue 3 (December 1994)

Issue 3 brought with it a demo of Keio Flying Squadron.

     

Issue 40 (Christmas 1994)

The back issues pages of Sega Pro CD issues 44 and 51 show the Mickey Mania Sega Pro Demo as the cover mount for issue 40.

     

Issue 41 (February 1995?)

This carried a generous 2 demos - Pitfall and the green BC Racers demo CD featuring an ice track.

Although the cover doesn't specify which of the two BC Racers demos was included the information inside the magazine points to it being the green printed CD.

Also, this issue has no month on the cover - just the issue number.  This could explain why there seems to be one more issue than there were months in the first half of 1995!

 
     

Issue 42 (March 1995)

A demo of the ill-fated Flashback arrived in March 1995.

     

Issue 43

The back issues pages of Sega Pro CD issues 44 and 51 show the FIFA IS CD Paragon Publishing marked demo as the cover mount for issue 43.

The grainy cover image is taken from that back issues offer.

     

Issue 44

The back issues pages of Sega Pro CD issue 51 shows the Sensible Soccer Paragon Publishing marked demo as the cover mount for issue 44.

The grainy cover image is taken from that back issues offer.

     

Issue 45 (May 1995)

Issue 45 carried another demo of a game that never got a PAL release - this one was the Timecop demo.

     

Issue 46 (June 1995)

This issue had a demo of Fatal Fury Special, and it seems that's as close as many people ever got to playing it.

     

Issue 47 (July 1995)

Another rare game got a demo - this time Samurai Shodown demo.

     

Issue 48 (August 1995)

Looks like Paragon were starting to dig deep into their back catalogue. with the Thunderhawk Paragon Publishing demo.

     

Issue 49 (September 1995)

Another recycled Demo - this time the SoulStar Paragon Publishing demo.

 

     

Issue 50 (October 1995)

New games for the Mega-CD were drying up by the time issue 50 came out in October 1995, and so another demo was re-released as the Battlecorps Paragon Publishing demo.

The majority of the magazine's cover and editorial content was given over to Saturn games.

     
     

Other Magazines

     
   
A third Mickey Mania demo was released with the Spanish magazine MegaSega - thanks to Tiago Santana for bringing that one to light.
     
Magazine cover image not found yet! Hugo Lasarte recalls the Slam City demo CD as a gift with a magazine that didn't usually include demos, but had this as a one-off with a Mega-CD special in one issue. Ian Ward says the magazine was Sega Power, and they had two versions of the issue, one with and one without the demo.

The rolling footage on of other games on this disc may well be what started the rumour of a Digital Pictures demo CD.

     
     
Promos
Discs given away in shops rather than on magazines, generally with some kind of sleeve with the control information on.
     
A Thunderhawk promo disc on a cardboard sleeve with the instructions on the reverse.  The back of the sleeve has the address and number for Core Design on it but nothing to hint at where it originally came from.

The content is identical to that of the Mega Power Thunderhawk demo, except for the lack of the first screen.  Plus this disc has much better artwork!

     
     

Unknown Origin

Complete mysteries that could be from anywhere!
     
  The Beast II demo CD contains an unknown proportion of the full game.

The disc pictured here is the only one I've ever seen, making it perhaps the rarest of the demos.

     
     

Trade Demos & Prototypes

Pre-release discs used for during development or demonstration, review & preview purposes.
     
  The Microcosm trade only demo disc seems to contain the full game.

Its original purpose is unknown.