Sega Saturn |OT| Appreciation and Emulation Thread

khaz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
273
So New Year's Eve, my all-in-one Pseudo Saturn cartridge's backup save function corrupted. The Saturn kept acting like I had to reformat it, so I eventually did after Googling and finding no alternatives. Really gutted that I lost some of those saves, and now I don't feel like I can trust the thing. It may as well not have a save function. =\
If the corruption is anything like what can happen with a regular memory cartridge that moves in the slot while the console is on, then there was potentially a solution to restore most of your saves. The save cartridge becomes unreadable when the FAT gets corrupted somehow. Due to how the memory works, and it being RAM, you only need to reset those first few mapping bits to recover everything stored. To do so, you start a format then immediately shut down the console. It's very likely you will lose your oldest save in the process (or whichever is at the beginning of the memory, depending on how often you move stuff around), but the rest should be readable again.
 

Danthrax

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If the corruption is anything like what can happen with a regular memory cartridge that moves in the slot while the console is on, then there was potentially a solution to restore most of your saves. The save cartridge becomes unreadable when the FAT gets corrupted somehow. Due to how the memory works, and it being RAM, you only need to reset those first few mapping bits to recover everything stored. To do so, you start a format then immediately shut down the console. It's very likely you will lose your oldest save in the process (or whichever is at the beginning of the memory, depending on how often you move stuff around), but the rest should be readable again.
Interesting. I'll keep that in mind next time it happens. I didn't see anyone make this suggestion in all my Googling. How immediately, would you say? The very next second after you press A on a reformat? A couple seconds later?
 

Windrunner

Restless Dreams
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Oct 25, 2017
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So New Year's Eve, my all-in-one Pseudo Saturn cartridge's backup save function corrupted. The Saturn kept acting like I had to reformat it, so I eventually did after Googling and finding no alternatives. Really gutted that I lost some of those saves, and now I don't feel like I can trust the thing. It may as well not have a save function. =\

Now I mostly just have saves from my fighting games that require the 4 MB RAM expansion, since those obviously have to save to internal memory. It's wild that the internal memory feels more reliable than the cartridge now.




(How intuitive, LoL.) Thanks for helping. Is there a grab button, or does he just automatically grab onto the head if I get close enough to it?
Commiserations. Welcome to the nightmare that is the Saturn's cartridge slot. The best way to use a Saturn is to forsake expansion RAM cartridges and once your save cart is detected consistently, NEVER remove it: Don't poke it, don't breath on it, don't look at it funny. A less than perfect connection and you risk it corrupting data as you've discovered.
 

khaz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
273
Interesting. I'll keep that in mind next time it happens. I didn't see anyone make this suggestion in all my Googling. How immediately, would you say? The very next second after you press A on a reformat? A couple seconds later?
When it happened to me I waited less than a second and it was good. I would say wait as little as possible and if it doesn't restore your saves, try again and wait slightly longer. the reformatting is sequential and starts over every time you try, so you can't fuck up your save more than it already is.
 

Danthrax

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Commiserations. Welcome to the nightmare that is the Saturn's cartridge slot. The best way to use a Saturn is to forsake expansion RAM cartridges and once your save cart is detected consistently, NEVER remove it: Don't poke it, don't breath on it, don't look at it funny. A less than perfect connection and you risk it corrupting data as you've discovered.
My cartridge actually has a switch on top that allows me to swap among 1 MB RAM, 4 MB RAM and backup save RAM options. That requires touching it, though, haha
 

DaveLong

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Nov 2, 2017
498
Action Replay 4M Plus is what I use. I put it in when I got it and it never comes out. Everything works!
 

Danthrax

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As an update, about a week and a half after reformatting my red Pseudo Saturn cartridge’s save storage, it seems to be doing fine. Although it worked OK for a little more than a month before corrupting so I still don’t feel like I can trust it.


hey Saturn peeps,

these came in the mail today =)
Ooh, Princess Crown, there’s a game on my bucket list.

That Taito game has the most ridiculous cover art (in a good way), haha
 

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As an update, about a week and a half after reformatting my red Pseudo Saturn cartridge’s save storage, it seems to be doing fine. Although it worked OK for a little more than a month before corrupting so I still don’t feel like I can trust it.




Ooh, Princess Crown, there’s a game on my bucket list.

That Taito game has the most ridiculous cover art (in a good way), haha
hahaha, thanks Dan =)
 

Bilollipop

Member
Nov 26, 2017
166
Canada
Hello Saturn Era!
I was recently able to finalize a purchase on a region free modded saturn and I was hoping to get some opinions before I order some games for it.
I see a butt load of JPN only JRPGs, and between that and the seemingly lower price point on JPN games in general, I was wondering if there were any stand out games that don't really require reading.
I'm really interested in getting Panzer Dragoon I and II to start, but the NTSC-U versions don't seem too crazy for Canadian prices so I wouldn't mind buying the english version if reading is really important.
 

Mr. Virus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
385
Hello Saturn Era!
I was recently able to finalize a purchase on a region free modded saturn and I was hoping to get some opinions before I order some games for it.
I see a butt load of JPN only JRPGs, and between that and the seemingly lower price point on JPN games in general, I was wondering if there were any stand out games that don't really require reading.
I'm really interested in getting Panzer Dragoon I and II to start, but the NTSC-U versions don't seem too crazy for Canadian prices so I wouldn't mind buying the english version if reading is really important.
UK perspective so YMMV. Some stuff like Saturn Bomberman and the Megaman titles can be had for cheaper via Japan, but aren't like, £10/your local currency here silly cheap. Definitely way more affordable than their English counterparts though! Shumps are similar, things like Layer Section can be had for less than their English counterparts. I've seen Thunder Force V at okay prices too. Fighting games are usually easier on the wallet as imports (plus a wider selection!). You can get a number of Capcom and SNK titles for not a lot.

If you're okay with using guides, then you could probably grab one of those RPGs too. Wachenroder is cheap and it's UI is mainly image based, plus there are a few guides around. Anything released in the English markets will have something too.

Don't recall much text in Panzer Dragoon 1 and 2, so if you're really wanting to save money then roll with the Japanese versions.
 

Danthrax

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Hello Saturn Era!
I was recently able to finalize a purchase on a region free modded saturn and I was hoping to get some opinions before I order some games for it.
I see a butt load of JPN only JRPGs, and between that and the seemingly lower price point on JPN games in general, I was wondering if there were any stand out games that don't really require reading.
I'm really interested in getting Panzer Dragoon I and II to start, but the NTSC-U versions don't seem too crazy for Canadian prices so I wouldn't mind buying the english version if reading is really important.
I just imported a Japanese copy of House of the Dead and it’s entirely in English, from the menus to the in-game voice acting; there are just Japanese subtitles during the game. The Japanese version is much cheaper than the North American one, too (I paid $10 plus $5 shipping while an American copy goes for more than $100). You’ll want a Stunner light gun, though, but those are cheaper in Japan than America, too. (And the black looks better than orange IMO.)

Vampire Savior (aka Darkstalkers 3) doesn’t require you to know Japanese to play it. It has Japanese written dialogue between characters during arcade mode and during endings, but after you beat it once you unlock a menu that lets you switch the whole game to English, which is super cool. It’s also one of my favorite games for the Saturn and doesn’t cost a ton (about $25 or $30).

The Virtua Cops and Virtua Fighters are import friendly but their NTSC-U versions are already cheap.

I doubt many RPGs are import friendly but I’ve been using the Google Translate app’s feature where you take a photo and it searches for any Japanese text it can find in it, then translates it for you. It takes a bit of a while to get through lots of screens of text and it eats through phone battery, but it works fairly well and it really makes a game come to life when you can read it practically in real time.

I’d also recommend learning katakana, which does take practice but is probably easier than you’d think. Watch a YouTube video or two that teaches you what sound each character represents. Once you know that, you’ll be able to read a lot of Japanese game menus because katakana is just English words but written out in Japanese characters.
 

Bilollipop

Member
Nov 26, 2017
166
Canada
Don't recall much text in Panzer Dragoon 1 and 2, so if you're really wanting to save money then roll with the Japanese versions.
Nice, that's pretty much what I was hoping to hear :D

I’d also recommend learning katakana, which does take practice but is probably easier than you’d think. Watch a YouTube video or two that teaches you what sound each character represents. Once you know that, you’ll be able to read a lot of Japanese game menus because katakana is just English words but written out in Japanese characters.
That's actually a really cool perspective, it really makes me wanna try and actually learn!
Maybe I'll just invest mostly in Japanese versions as motivation lol.
I'm really interested in playing Princess Crown, it looks like such well made game.
 

Encephalon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,767
Japan
Going through the my probably less than useful translation exercise with Panzer Dragoon Saga, I've noticed for the first time that the camera occaisonally glitches out and jumps for a frame as it pans around in the Uru ruins. I wonder why.

Bilollipop

It's maybe not the best experience, but you could purchase the JP version of the game and then watch the English language cutscenes after on Youtube. It might be worth checking if someone transcribed them. If not, I might eventually transfer over the stuff I translated in video form to a text document if you want it. I'm making a point of not viewing the released English language version, so don't take this as a judgment on the quality of the original translation. You might need to follow a guide to figure out what's happening with solving minor puzzles to open pathways for you in more complex areas like the Tower, or figuring what to do during a certain assault on an Imperial base.

Princess Crown is pretty good, but I think you might need to be able to follow the story to know where to go. Then again, follow a guide.
 
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Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
838
Chicago
Princess Crown is a beautiful game but I got pretty tired of the gameplay. It sits too firmly on the fence between action game and RPG to be fun. It would have been perfect if the battle system was more RPG-like or they weren't disruptive and slow. I just couldn't finish it.
 

Morfeo

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Oct 25, 2017
473
Awesome new pickup Dave! How much did it set you back? Been wanting it for a while, but havent pulled the plug yet.
 

Deleted member 1162

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Princess Crown is a beautiful game but I got pretty tired of the gameplay. It sits too firmly on the fence between action game and RPG to be fun. It would have been perfect if the battle system was more RPG-like or they weren't disruptive and slow. I just couldn't finish it.
yeah i wish they had a fan translation for it. it would much better than to look up the dialogue to offset the slow pace.
Awesome new pickup Dave! How much did it set you back? Been wanting it for a while, but havent pulled the plug yet.
i won it for 3700yen so about 33 bucks usd and shipping was about 5 bucks EMS, i group shipped it with 3 other games and it was about 18 bucks to ship all of em together.
 

Danthrax

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I’ve put about an hour and a half into the new English fan translation of Linkle Liver Story. They did a great job! The game is pretty fun, too; it plays a lot like a top-down Zelda. It’s pretty quirky, too, heh:



(I had to cut this guy’s tail off to make a potion — it’ll grow back! He didn’t feel a thing! He seems to be getting a kick out of it now!)
 

Morfeo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
473
yeah i wish they had a fan translation for it. it would much better than to look up the dialogue to offset the slow pace.
i won it for 3700yen so about 33 bucks usd and shipping was about 5 bucks EMS, i group shipped it with 3 other games and it was about 18 bucks to ship all of em together.
Wow, not bad at all! I need this game like yesterday!
 

Rygar 8Bit

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Oct 25, 2017
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Hey retroera! Wow the Saturn thread is popping off more then the other retro console threads.

Anyway my collection some good stuff in it. Missing a bunch of great games though.






JP stuff.


 

Danthrax

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I found a Japanese copy of Fighters Megamix out in the wild in great condition about a week ago, so I hopped on it. But I thought there was something wrong with it because after beating Course A and unlocking the extra options screen, the only options there were for background music. Every FAQ I’d seen online said that portrait and bookkeeping should be there after beating any course. I beat the first four courses and still nothing, aside from unlocking new fighters, of course.

I tried deleting my save and restarting it, playing Course A on normal instead of very easy difficulty, beating it with both a Viper and a Virtua Fighter, but still no portrait or bookkeeping!

Anyway, I pressed on and beat all nine courses, and that finally made portrait and bookkeeping appear in the extra options menu. So if anyone else makes the same mistake about Fighters Megamix, hopefully you’ll see my story and be better informed than I was.

P.S. The game is fun but damn am I still worthless with Virtua Fighter characters.
 

Danthrax

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Pick Pai/Lau. Hit PPPK, PPP2K, and 3K. Congrats, you can cheese most fights if you also remember that there's a guard button.

(2 and 3 refer to the keyboard arrows, so it's "down", and "down+right")
Pai was actually the one I used, unless you want to count Janet, who’s sort of a hybrid.

I don’t think I tried PPP2K or 3K with her, though. And I forgot that Janet can fire her gun, haha
 

Laevateinn

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Oct 25, 2017
838
Chicago
Been finishing up another run of the entire Shining series.




















I still need to play Shining Wisdom again but I probably won't get to it until April.
 

Vamphuntr

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Oct 25, 2017
1,427
What's the best place to get a PseudoSaturn Kai and which one to get? I kind of want one for the all in one play-import, play fan translation, sd card save solution but it seems there are so many versions on ebay and etsy. It's really confusing. I was browsing through some of my boxes today and found my Saturn copy of Dragon Force. Man that game was great and now I'm learning there is a fan translation of the second one!
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
838
Chicago
I have a Phoebe and no experience with the PseudoSaturn but there's also another solution coming soon from Professor Abrasive. Some Patrons (I'm not sure how that was decided since I didn't get selected) are already using beta boards so it shouldn't be too long. It's a great time to be a retro gamer.
 

Vamphuntr

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,427
I have a Phoebe and no experience with the PseudoSaturn but there's also another solution coming soon from Professor Abrasive. Some Patrons (I'm not sure how that was decided since I didn't get selected) are already using beta boards so it shouldn't be too long. It's a great time to be a retro gamer.
The Professor Abrasive stuff seems really amazing as you actually boot game from a SD card. Wonder how much it will cost. Definitely excited. Thanks for sharing.
 

Danthrax

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What's the best place to get a PseudoSaturn Kai and which one to get? I kind of want one for the all in one play-import, play fan translation, sd card save solution but it seems there are so many versions on ebay and etsy. It's really confusing. I was browsing through some of my boxes today and found my Saturn copy of Dragon Force. Man that game was great and now I'm learning there is a fan translation of the second one!
This is the one you want: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sega-Pseudo-Saturn-All-in-one-RAM-backup-Cartriage-Console-Game-Japan-Casing/312447803274?hash=item48bf571f8a:g:dP4AAOSw3UZa9HIK

It does all the things. It has a switch on top to go between 1MB RAM, 4 MB RAM and the save storage mode. It has a save cartridge chip inside that’s been harvested from an official Sega cartridge, so Saturn games will be able to save directly to it, as opposed to Action Replay carts that aren’t recognized by Saturn games (to use them, you have to go into memory manager and copy save files to and from the Action Replay). The flip side is that they may come with save files still on them, as mine did when I bought one of the cartridges from this seller (not a big deal) and they’re very old, so there might be a chance of failing (I posted in this thread a month ago about mine getting corrupted and requiring a reformat — not sure if that was the cart screwing up or a game corrupting it, but it’s worked OK since then).

Super easy to use and works perfectly for playing real U.S. and import discs as well as burned discs. It feels like a pricey initial purchase but it’s very worth it.
 

Vamphuntr

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Oct 25, 2017
1,427
This is the one you want: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sega-Pseudo-Saturn-All-in-one-RAM-backup-Cartriage-Console-Game-Japan-Casing/312447803274?hash=item48bf571f8a:g:dP4AAOSw3UZa9HIK

It does all the things. It has a switch on top to go between 1MB RAM, 4 MB RAM and the save storage mode. It has a save cartridge chip inside that’s been harvested from an official Sega cartridge, so Saturn games will be able to save directly to it, as opposed to Action Replay carts that aren’t recognized by Saturn games (to use them, you have to go into memory manager and copy save files to and from the Action Replay). The flip side is that they may come with save files still on them, as mine did when I bought one of the cartridges from this seller (not a big deal) and they’re very old, so there might be a chance of failing (I posted in this thread a month ago about mine getting corrupted and requiring a reformat — not sure if that was the cart screwing up or a game corrupting it, but it’s worked OK since then).

Super easy to use and works perfectly for playing real U.S. and import discs as well as burned discs. It feels like a pricey initial purchase but it’s very worth it.
Thank you so much. There is so many different models I was a bit lost.