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Thread: WTB: Saturn mods

  1. #1
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Default WTB: Saturn mods

    Long story short my Japanese model 2 contains only a modchip. Playing CD-R games isn't its full potential.

    I'm after region free. Best if I make sure every game possible can run in any form I'll see noticeable differences. So are there compatibility pros/cons of switches vs BIOS?

    A few Saturn games behave like SMS/Genesis/GG and detect whether they're using Eng or Jpn mode, then start up accordingly.
    Original run of Sōkyūgurentai is one of them. (more info and video about the partial English it contains)

    50/60 hz would be OK too, just in case of any PAL optimized games I happen upon.

    Suggestions of other mods I should know about are welcome too (digital audio? NTSC/PAL color switch? find out if my RGB cable is wired correct?). I'd prefer not to ship out multiple times. Already short on boxes as it is, so this might take me time to send.
    Lum fan.

  2. #2
    Peach (Level 3) fluid_matrix's Avatar
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    Default

    If ape992 doesn't chime in, send him a pm. He seems to know his stuff when it comes to the Saturn.

  3. #3
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Given that you can play cdr's, would a region patcher work?

    http://www.randomracket.com/download...on-patcher.htm

    I do the swap-trick for a few games and I was able to get japanese ones working by patching before the burn.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) APE992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluid_matrix View Post
    If ape992 doesn't chime in, send him a pm. He seems to know his stuff when it comes to the Saturn.
    That I do.

    To the best of my knowledge switches work great overall with the obvious caveat being they have to be installed and holes have to be drilled into the case somewhere. You can do a "switchless mod" involving the use of the reset button with a PIC that will cycle through all three regions when properly wired up. Bit of a PITA but hey it works.

    The BIOS mod is the cleanest method and the only noticeable difference would be the changing of the sound effects if it was a non NTSC-J unit. AFAIK all games work fine with all three methods though with an Action Replay "4in1" Panzer Dragoon Saga will NOT boot with the cart due to anti-cheat protections. Obviously this isn't an issue if you're not using a cart.

    The biggest bonus with the BIOS mod is that it looks factory fresh and acts like it did from the factory sans the region enforcement. Patching games works just fine too (for the games that can be patched) but obviously you can't patch originals if you own any or plan to own any.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

  5. #5
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Yeah I've said giving an NTSC-J model this stunning the western BIOS is out of place. I don't know about revisions having any effect beside copyright text. Unless newer ones fixed bugs maybe...

    Majority of my games are original. Even a few PAL, mainly for Parodius translated.

    Got the official save RAM cart, Action Replay "4in1", and some kind of VCD card for novelty value. Out of sight out of mind as they say. Nobody would know it's there hidden in the back.
    With my current setup I can't direct save to cart on real US or PAL games. (annoying for memory guzzlers) Nor use 50hz when necessary.
    Lum fan.

  6. #6
    Pretzel (Level 4) APE992's Avatar
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    I've personally modified every Saturn BIOS there is out there to be region free. In theory if you were evil enough you could replace the BIOS in a Hi-Saturn Navi and have it remain stock looking but you'd have to be worse than Stalin to do that. I personally do not know if the 1.00/1.01/1.01a revisions mean anything but out of the 30 or so I've put replacement chips into only 1 had issues. Resident Evil would boot up and freeze when the dog lunges during the FMV. MMX4 would reset at the Capcom logo. Very weird behavior that either is related to a soldering problem at the factory or from the BIOS being NTSC-J.

    A BIOS switch or chip would free up the cart slot and a 50/60hz switch is a snap. In your case it might be worth doing the switchless mod using the PIC so that everything is handled by one button.
    Last edited by APE992; 02-26-2012 at 01:15 PM.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

  7. #7
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    What happens on Saturn when 50/60hz switches during gameplay?

    I know Genesis allows that, though some games run at the wrong speed after.
    Lum fan.

  8. #8
    Pretzel (Level 4) APE992's Avatar
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    No idea, never put a switch in to try it.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

  9. #9
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Suppose I'll find out with my PAL games when I get it then. I read it's possible to restore the CD access LED as well.
    Lum fan.

  10. #10
    Pretzel (Level 4) APE992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    Suppose I'll find out with my PAL games when I get it then. I read it's possible to restore the CD access LED as well.
    There is a spot on the board for it just not one through the metal shielding or the case.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

  11. #11
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    True. Making sure I explore every option even if strange. Postage on the whole Saturn again for an LED would be pretty embarrassing.
    Just in case, let me know if this system has unforeseen signs of imminent failure you'd have to correct. Needing repair too soon after nice mods is silly as well.

    Will choosing BIOS 1.00 or 1.01 have any effect? All I've seen is the obvious copyright data change everyone knows about.

    Anyway whenever you're ready we can start.
    Lum fan.

  12. #12
    Pretzel (Level 4) APE992's Avatar
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    Nobody knows for sure if the 1.0 vs 1.1 makes a difference. It sure doesn't seem to. Send me a PM with everything you want done and I'll send back a quote and we can go from there.
    I fix things. You name it, I'll work on it. Want something modded? Recapped?

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