PC content

From Sega Retro

640x480 wallpaper which is found on the game disc of NiGHTS into Dreams for the Saturn.

PC content refers to hidden content that can be found by inserting the disc of a CD-ROM-based Sega game into a Windows PC or Macintosh, which can range from artwork to hidden messages from the developers for users curious of what would happen if they were to insert the game disc into a home computer.


When a game disc is inserted into the CD drive of a home computer, the user will commonly find the extra content either on the root directory of the disc or contained inside folders (such as "OMAKE"). In the case with Dreamcast games, PC content is stored on the PC-readable portion of the GD-ROM disc. In most cases this extra content can be various artwork pieces, or wallpaper to decorate the user's desktop background with in various sizes and colour depths. In some cases, the extra content may be text files or word processing documents containing various messages from the developers such as greetings, commentary or copyright notices.

The practice of including PC content in games became more common by the mid-1990s as the rising adoption rate of home computers running Windows or Mac OS at time meant more console owners are expected to have a computer. As such, this type of content is primarily found in Saturn and Dreamcast games, and very few Mega-CD games contain such content.

CD-ROM identifiers

Outlined in the Yellow Book (CD-ROM) file system specifications (standardised as ISO 9660 and ECMA-119), a "primary volume descriptor" (PVD) must be defined[1] to describe, in broad terms, what file system the CD-ROM looks like. Among this information, three fields are reserved for "file identifiers"[2]. Typically stored in the PVD are the names of plain text files housed on the root of the disc:

  • A "copyright file identifier", for copyright information.
  • An "abstract file identifier", for a brief overview of the disc's contents.
  • A "bibliographic file identifier", for a list of sources used to create the disc's contents.

File identifiers are entirely optional, but many CD-ROM publishers, including Sega (who appears to have mandated their existence in some cases), chose to include one or more of these identifiers for cataloging purposes. The nature of these files appearing on the root of a CD-ROM means they can appear alongside the type of hidden content mentioned above, however as any CD-ROM following the specification could include these files, Sega Retro does not typically class CD-ROM identifiers as hidden content.

An exception to this rule is when developers did not use these identifiers for their intended purposes. While the existence of copyright, abstract and bibliographic files may have been enforced, their contents were not always policed. When the contents of an identifier deviate greatly from the intention outlined in the standard, these may also be classed as hidden content.

Games with PC content