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Thread: Playing PAL games on US GameCube with Freeloader

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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Default Playing PAL games on US GameCube with Freeloader

    I just recently bought both PAL Doshin the Giant and a brand new Freeloader from codejunkies.com because I had read multiple people saying on this board in old topics that they could play Doshin just fine. However, I'm following the directions exactly (and I'm not a Freeloader newbie either as I borrowed one years ago to play through a Japanese game), and no matter what I do, I get a rolling black and white picture. The directions speak of pressing Z after the Freeloader loads up to manually select a region, but no matter when I press Z (or any other button), the flag menu never appears. I've also read that you can change some PAL games from 50 to 60Hz by pressing B as the game loads up, but no matter when I press B, that never happens either. I've tried multiple controllers, just in case the buttons weren't responding right, and I tried on both the GameCube and Wii (on the Wii, the TV displays nothing when the game loads, not even the rolling b/w picture).

    So what can I do? Am I doing something wrong? Did the old posts lead me astray? It'll be quite the bummer if I just spent around 30 bucks for nothing.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    That's a good question. I'm not sure what happens when the NTSC hardware tries to run at 50hz. I've never heard of a mod to switch between NTSC or PAL color format on Gamecube.

    I'd assume you're getting NTSC 50, but I don't have a PAL game on hand to confirm that.
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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    I don't really understand what you're saying, to be honest.

    So is there no one around anymore who has experience with this?

    Here are a couple of the topics I was talking about, in which Americans were saying that they could play PAL Doshin just fine on a US GameCube via a Freeloader:

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...n-my-NTSC-cube
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...9-wow-Just-wow

    The Freeloader itself also advertises being able to play virtually anything, but I don't know if what they really mean is "It'll load a PAL game, but if you actually expect to play it, you better have a display that supports a PAL signal." I don't know if by pure dumb luck those people in the topics had TVs that supported a PAL signal or what. I have my GameCube hooked up via S-video to an SDTV which was bought around 2003. The Wii is hooked up via component to an HDTV that was bought around 2006.

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    Cherry (Level 1) CRTGAMER's Avatar
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    The newer Gamecube Freeloader will bypass the region check but will not convert a PAL game to NTSC.

    Only the older Freeloader or Code Entry Action Replay will do the proper PAL to NTSC conversion.

    Posted information here: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...537000#p537000
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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Damn. And here I thought getting the newest Freeloader would probably offer me better compatibility. And I just looked up the older Action Replay, and it seems to be pretty expensive. :/ Argh, why can't the information out there on this be clearer and easier to find? So older versions of the Freeloader may work too? I guess I can borrow my brother-in-law's again and see how that goes.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    I own a chipped Gamecube, the first GC Action Replay, and standalone GC Freeloader. Yes all three.

    Just no PAL games to run any tests...
    What I was saying is I'm curious to first hand, learn what PAL GC games actually do when run on NTSC hardware.
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    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    I have one PAL GameCube game - the Resident Evil remake. I have two of the older version Freeloader disc's, version 1.06 and 1.06B. The version is printed on the inner ring of the disc's.

    On the older style GameCube with the digital out, both versions allowed the selection the game region by pressing the Z button on the controller. Both versions booted Resident Evil to a color screen - with rolling text. The game then asked if you preferred to play in 60Hz or 50Hz. It was not necessary to hold down the B button to bring up this option.

    On the newer style GameCube that had the digital out removed, only the 1.06B version worked. Version 1.06 gives an error message asking you to restart the console.

    I thought this information may be of help to someone choosing the correct version of Freeloader for the type of GameCube they used.

    From what I can see, the Freeloader only allows the game to boot up in the console, but does nothing to allow 50Hz games to play properly. It is only the games with a 60Hz option that will play without the rolling screen.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRTGAMER View Post
    The newer Gamecube Freeloader will bypass the region check but will not convert a PAL game to NTSC.

    Only the older Freeloader or Code Entry Action Replay will do the proper PAL to NTSC conversion.

    Posted information here: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...537000#p537000
    About that information... Do you own a language switch Gamecube? According to what I've experienced it's more accurate to say Japanese console setting requires separate memory cards. As opposed to the common statement (often heard around the web) of both region game discs played under one language mode.

    I'd like to see another person test my thought.
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    Cherry (Level 1) CRTGAMER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRTGAMER View Post
    The newer Gamecube Freeloader will bypass the region check but will not convert a PAL game to NTSC.

    Only the older Freeloader or Code Entry Action Replay will do the proper PAL to NTSC conversion.

    Posted information here: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...537000#p537000
    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    About that information... Do you own a language switch Gamecube? According to what I've experienced it's more accurate to say Japanese console setting requires separate memory cards. As opposed to the common statement (often heard around the web) of both region game discs played under one language mode.

    I'd like to see another person test my thought.
    No Language Switch, The Gamecube is not modded at all. Even if a switch is used, the different regions will have to be on their own dedicated memory card. PAL and US NTSC saves are supposed to be compatible together, but Japan NTSC saves are not. I keep different country game saves on separate memory cards, PAL Doshin needs a lot of game save room anyways for the snapshots.

    I just boot either the older Action Replay or the older Freeloader to play PAL imports since they need that 60hz bump. Japanese imports work fine with either a newer Action Replay, SD Media Launcher or Freeloader.
    Last edited by CRTGAMER; 07-15-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Well don't take my word for it. That's very easy to check yourself. Get out a spare memory card then just try copying a Japan game's save over. I think you'll be surprised what happens isn't what you've heard.

    Also next time you come across corrupt text in Japanese games, do not blame Datel. They aren't the real cause. Playing games under incorrect language setting is. A modchip will encounter that issue as well. You've probably noticed file names of your Japanese save don't show up correct in the system menu, where no third-party products are even running.
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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    From everything I've heard and experienced, the majority of Japanese save files can coexist just fine with US files. It's the rare game that's more finicky about the system settings and formatting of the card that causes problems.

    I still have my Japanese Baten Kaitos files on my main card with a ton of US files.

  12. #12
    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    I recently picked up a PAL Gamecube Doshin the Giant game and an older Action Replay version 1.06 and was bummed to discover that Action Replay would not work with my newer Gamecube that had the Digital AV removed. It wouldn't load the disc, much like the experience I had with the 1.06 version of Freeloader.

    I knew that the 1.06B version of Freeloader had worked with this Gamecube for the PAL version of Resident Evil, so I tried it with Doshin the Giant and was successful playing the game.

    Strangely, when I used the Z button with Freeloader and choose PAL, Doshin loaded up to a gray rolling screen. Doshin the Giant, by the way, does not offer an option to play at 60Hz. If on the other hand, I did nothing and just waited for Freeloader to tell me to insert a disc or if I chose US or Japan with the Z button, Doshin loaded perfectly to a color screen with no rolling at all.

    It seems that making the logical choice and selecting PAL with Freeloader for Doshin the Giant is a bad idea.

    I then got out my older Gamecube that still had the Digital AV and tried Doshin with both the 1.06 and 1.06B versions of Freeloader and experienced the same screwed up screen if I used the Z button to select PAL with Freeloader before putting in Doshin. If I didn't make a choice or if I used Z to select US or Japan, Doshin loaded and played perfectly normal.

    I tried the Action Replay with the older Gamecube and Doshin the Giant loaded correctly as well. It didn't appear that I had the option to choose the region with the Z button with the Action Replay.

    I tried the Action Replay with Resident Evil and discovered that I still had to choose 60Hz to play the game properly. I then tried selecting all the regions using the Z button with both versions Freeloader to see if it had any effect with Resident Evil. Selecting regions didn't appear to have an effect and Resident Evil would only play properly once I was able to select the 60Hz option.

    I verified that neither PAL game would load for either Gamecube without a cheat disc, so if you find one that works with your Gamecube, oddly enough you might be better off not trying to select a region with it before playing a game.
    Last edited by Spartacus; 07-15-2012 at 08:08 PM.

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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Awesome, thanks for the info. Glad to hear that older Freeloaders can work and not just the older, expensive Action Replay. I have the older GameCube with the digital AV (bought just a few months after launch), so I shouldn't have any problems in that regard. I still haven't gotten around to borrowing that Freeloader I was talking about, but I hope it will work for me. Still ticked that the one I bought is useless for PAL games, though. I just don't understand at all while the older versions would have better functionality than the newer one.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Like I said earlier. My Freeloader and Action Replay are both the old type. I don't have newer versions.

    However, I do own a modchip. So I can attest chipped console users face similar issues to softmods.
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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Sorry about going all necromancer on this but I didn't see a reason to waste the space on a new thread.

    I just got stupid super lucky in that 2mi down the road I just nabbed Doshin the Giant PAL/GCN in like new shape. I've wanted this game as long as it came out overseas and we got screwed out of it.

    I recall the need of a freeloader needed for this, but I'm seeing some sketchy back and forward on information between the old one, the new one, 1.06 or 1.06b and before or after working or not.

    WHat's the real deal here?

    Also it came with a memory card 251 with someones hand writing on it saying "PAL GAMES ONLY" so I'm going to assume this is a case where if I tried to share a US card it would thrash my other saves. Right?

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    I'm among those in the best position to help. A matter of getting me off the proverbial couch to bother buying a PAL game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Also it came with a memory card 251 with someones hand writing on it saying "PAL GAMES ONLY" so I'm going to assume this is a case where if I tried to share a US card it would thrash my other saves. Right?
    I wasn't aware of such an issue between PAL and NTSC-U saves, but rather just between NTSC-J and other regions. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have a PAL save or two on one of my otherwise NTSC-U cards. But don't go on my word alone, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable about it can either confirm or deny my claim.

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    It's determined by CONSOLE region. Not game disc region.

    When you (for example) successfully save an NTSC-J game running under NTSC-U mode, any data created is in fact NTSC-U format.
    And may not be read by an NTSC-J system or copied onto an NTSC-J memory card.

    The reason for so much confusion regarding this, is because devices like Action Replay, Freeloader, or modchips do not change the console's region setting. They instead just force imports to run.

    Accordingly importing a memory card from Japan cannot help either. This example Gamecube, since it still boots into NTSC-U mode, would insist to reformat it.
    Last edited by theclaw; 01-16-2013 at 06:42 PM.
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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Makes me wonder then if it's console specific and not game, why someone would have bought Doshin the Giant, and then setup a memory card 251 all alone just for that and marked it PAL GAMES ONLY.

    I've been considering getting Kururuin Splash, Mr Driller and a couple of others (and yes i'm aware driller won't save.) I just don't want to corrupt any existing data I have so I just wanted it clearly spelled out what is safe and what isn't.

    If I need to buy another memory card that shouldn't be a problem as I'm sure there's a general lack of interest in the smaller ones like the 59 which is all I'd need.

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    I can't speak from experience about that part until I buy a PAL game. Sorry.
    Maybe they weren't aware of the specific details, or wanted to play it safe.

    Well known Japanese games with English saving trouble is a short list:
    Radirgy
    Donkey Konga
    Donkey Konga 2
    Donkey Konga 3

    I'd suspect Star Fox Assault also. But I'm not risking my data to find out.
    Memory card 59 wouldn't do for me. I want to try things like the Famicom games in Animal Forest+.
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    I don't have the bongos, did when it was new but I just couldn't get into it. I think Radirgy could be fun but the one I'd like I know would be a saving issue is Mr Driller, but I have no idea if saving is a real thing to care about with it as it's a puzzle game after all other than scores.

    I'm thinking one of those Gundam titles would be fun, Nintendo Puzzle Collection, and the Hudson famicom remakes.

    The PAL stuff I think that could be fun would be: Asterix & Obelix XXL, Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade, Pool Edge, V-Rally 3

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    You can add the Bleach game to the list. It'll save, but randomly after that it'll keep asking to reformat the card.
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    I saved Hudson select star soldier to my us memory card and it never complained so I'm hoping my data is good elsewhere as I've seen no issue yet.

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    Hi all....I'm new to the forums (though I'm very frequently over at AtariAge) and came across this thread. Sorry for the Necro-bump, but it's very applicable to a question I have as well. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    I'm looking to get a PAL Doshin the Giant. I have an Action Replay....as near as I can tell it's V1.2. I'm getting that version number from the instructions, and can't seem to find where it would be listed anywhere else on/in the disc to verify that.

    All of the above posts seem to be referring to Action Replay versions earlier than mine. Can anyone help confirm that a PAL Doshin the Giant would work with the Action Replay that I have? I'm REALLY hoping that it would, but it'd be nice to know first.

  25. #25
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Hi, I have an imported NTSC GameCube and I'm looking to get a freeloader to play all my PAL games.
    Are these PAL issues just because your TVs don't support 50Hz or is it a problem with the NTSC GameCube?
    My TV supports 50Hz so if it's just the TV's fault that's not a problem for me.

    Also, where can I actually find a site with NTSC freeloaders in stock that ship internationally?

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