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Thread: Starting a Saturn library. Where do I start, what advice do you have, and questions.

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    Default Starting a Saturn library. Where do I start, what advice do you have, and questions.

    I have access to an import gaming store, and on impulse bought Panzer Dragoon RPG (Saga) for $30, because I've made it my mission to experience quality JRPGs, I'm not squeamish about playing imports, and I don't want to spend $250 for a US copy.

    First some basics about the console/accessories,

    *What is a good price for a US saturn loose? What about with packaging (but still used)?

    *Are all US saturn models effectively the same?

    *Is Action Replay Plus the recommended solution for imports, memory storage safety (ie:will it erase my save data?), and the required 1MB or 4MB add on required for certain games? If Action Replay Plus isn't recommended, what is?

    *I know about the required CR2032 battery, are there any other unusual hardware quirks to look out for?

    *Are there any peripherals or cables you recommend?

    *Is there any other advice/info you have to share?


    I've spent the past several days researching the Saturn's full library (US, PAL, and japanese) pretty exhaustively, and these are the games and prices I've found to be of interest to me (some games are prohibitivley expensive, like Dungeons & Dragon Collection, so they've been excluded). I'm interested in JRPGs primarily, but really I seek the best of a consoles library or games that are personally interesting to me.

    Game---US price---Japanese price

    *NiGHTS into dreams---$12---$10

    *Christmas NiGHTS---$35---$10

    *Panzer Dragoon---$15---$15

    *Panzer Dragoon II Zwei---$20---$15

    *Guardian Heroes---$55---$35

    *Burning Rangers---$75---$30

    *Dragon Force---$60---$20 or less

    *Shining Force III---$80---$15

    *Shining the Holy Ark---$40---$15

    *Virtual On---$10---$10

    *Astal---$35---$40


    Import only,


    *Dragon Force II---none---$35

    *Wachenroder---none---$25

    *Shining Force III scenario 2---none---$35

    *Shining Force III scenario 3---none---$30

    *Devil Summoner---none---$10 (and Soul Hackers is being localized in a few months, so I'll just buy the US 3DS release of it)

    *Snatcher---none---$25


    What else would you recommend? I'm not interested in sports or racing games at all, and I'm not interested in spending more than $70 on any individual game.

    Are there any translation solutions you suggest (ie:websites with full translations)? I'm thinking about learning basic japanese in response to so many import games. I've played games in japanese before, but such a large number of games probably demands some greater commitment on my part.


    And lastly, is there anything I've missed, any topic you can advise me on?

    Thank you very much for your time.
    Last edited by GREEN00; 01-11-2013 at 03:54 AM.

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    Do you like shooters? Sega Saturn is the #1 console for shmups, and it's the primary reason I own one.

    http://archive.org/details/RetroCore-SSSS-part1of3

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    if you like the shinobi series I highly recommend shinobi legions. When I first popped it in I groaned. digitized actors? pre-rendered, backgrounds? i feel a batman forever/mk mythologies flashback coming on. reluctantly I continued, and the control is tight, the difficulty is fair and it plays as well as any other shinobi game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XYXZYZ View Post
    Do you like shooters? Sega Saturn is the #1 console for shmups, and it's the primary reason I own one.

    http://archive.org/details/RetroCore-SSSS-part1of3
    Thank you for the reply, but I'm about as casually interested in shmups as possible. I take notice when Treasure puts out a new game/rerelease, but that's about it. I certainly noticed the variety of shmups in my saturn research, and any that looked even passable I literally took note of for future reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack7 View Post
    if you like the shinobi series I highly recommend shinobi legions. When I first popped it in I groaned. digitized actors? pre-rendered, backgrounds? i feel a batman forever/mk mythologies flashback coming on. reluctantly I continued, and the control is tight, the difficulty is fair and it plays as well as any other shinobi game.
    Thank you for the suggestion, I just watched some youtube footage and it both looks like a game with quality gameplay and so bad its good cinematics and general absurdity (a ninja fighting freaking dinosaurs).

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    - No more than 30 bucks in working order.

    - No, if you ever want to mod it, then the best model to have is the 32pin model 2 (http://www.segastyle.com/saturnmod.html)

    - I generally recommend against the PAR as it has a tendency to wear out the already fragile Saturn cart port. If you want to play imports, then I would suggest either picking up a JP Saturn or modding a US unit and creating backups using this patch to play on your modded US system (http://madroms.satakore.com/#SRP)

    - If you want to extend the life of the battery, then make sure to leave the system plugged in at all times. I'd also seriously consider a memory cart since the internal save memory is based on that battery and as such is quite volatile. The only other real issue I can think of is the weak cartridge port that I already mentioned. Unfortunately, it can be tough to test that before buying a used system

    - If you have any interest in playing Bomberman at some point, then 2 multitaps are an absolute MUST! Google Saturn Bomberman, you'll see why

    - If you aren't aware already, there are 2 types of controller that were sold in the US. Make sure you look for a system with a later verion (JP style) controller (see pics)

    You do NOT want this


    You DO want this


    - If RPGs are your thing, then Albert Odyssey, Shining the Holy Ark, Grandia, and Magic Knight Rayearth are worth looking at.
    Last edited by wiggyx; 01-11-2013 at 07:38 AM.

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    Thanks for the reply wiggy.

    -Modding isn't my thing. Is there a reliable mod-free way to play imports on a US system you suggest?

    -When you say "fragile cart port" I assume you mean it will stop/have trouble reading carts if stressed in certain ways?

    -I wasn't aware about the 2 different controllers, that's a valuable tip. The latter controller does indeed look more ergonomical.

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    I use a PAR for my imports and I've never had any trouble with it. They also go for cheaper on ebay now than they did 5-6 years ago when tons of people were getting into Saturn collecting. Also if you're a fan of 2D fighters a lot of the popular Japanese titles like the SF Alpha series and the Vs games have dropped in price recently

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    The other major issue is that PAR cannot save or load files in-game. It only can be used to backup.
    Chances are you'll find memory management annoying with imports if using one.

    One difference Saturn has from other consoles, is that region and copy protection involve separate cracks. Making it harder than usual to do everything.
    Region cart or mod by itself won't load backups.
    Modchip by itself won't load genuine imports.
    Lum fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    The other major issue is that PAR cannot save or load files in-game. It only can be used to backup.
    Chances are you'll find memory management annoying with imports if using one.

    One difference Saturn has from other consoles, is that region and copy protection involve separate cracks. Making it harder than usual to do everything.
    Region cart or mod by itself won't load backups.
    Modchip by itself won't load genuine imports.
    Is there an alternative to PAR you recommend? Something for easily playing imports, saving US games or import games easily, and not having to worry about save data being erased?

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    Not that I know about. You have to settle for less than ideal without modding.
    Lum fan.

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    You can use a swap disc trick to boot backups. I try games this way before paying for them, and Im glad I didnt spend 120$ for burning rangers. This game has not aged well... its bad. And if you dont have 350$ for Panzer saga, its the only way to play the game. You can also check this store for a pre modded saturn, I will be buying one soon. http://www.segastyle.com/store/index...te=common/home

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    Yeah to think japanese panzer saga can be found under $30.
    Lum fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN00 View Post
    Thanks for the reply wiggy.

    -Modding isn't my thing. Is there a reliable mod-free way to play imports on a US system you suggest?

    -When you say "fragile cart port" I assume you mean it will stop/have trouble reading carts if stressed in certain ways?

    -I wasn't aware about the 2 different controllers, that's a valuable tip. The latter controller does indeed look more ergonomical.
    No prob!

    Not really unless you want to mod the system. The PAR is great, but it WILL wear that port out. If you plan on putting it in and NEVER taking it back out, then you'll likely be fine. But your cart port will be pretty worn and likely won't accept any 1st party carts anymore

    For sure. The original US controller is a miserable POS. It literally hurts my hand after about 15 minutes of use.

    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    The other major issue is that PAR cannot save or load files in-game. It only can be used to backup.
    Chances are you'll find memory management annoying with imports if using one.

    One difference Saturn has from other consoles, is that region and copy protection involve separate cracks. Making it harder than usual to do everything.
    Region cart or mod by itself won't load backups.
    Modchip by itself won't load genuine imports.
    Exactly. This is why I prescribed the method that I did. Not the "best" way, but the easiest for sure.

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    You need to do more research. Half those prices are unreasonably high, I really hope you're not paying that much for those Japanese games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxNtd View Post
    You need to do more research. Half those prices are unreasonably high, I really hope you're not paying that much for those Japanese games.
    I thought the american prices were very low too, they seem like a steal!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PreZZ View Post
    I thought the american prices were very low too, they seem like a steal!
    Ha! I wouldn't know. I never have nor ever will buy US SS materials or games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxNtd View Post
    Ha! I wouldn't know. I never have nor ever will buy US SS materials or games.
    Unless you can read japanes, I dont understand how people can play JRPG with crappy internet guides... shmups and action games are ok, but why play a japanese game thats available in english?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PreZZ View Post
    Unless you can read japanes, I dont understand how people can play JRPG with crappy internet guides... shmups and action games are ok, but why play a japanese game thats available in english?
    Ha. I do read Japanese, and speak it, and on rare occasion even write it by hand.

    Why not choose an English release? Because it's a waste of both money and space. It's so much easier (and substantially cheaper) to just own NTSC-J and nothing else. Plus I could go on a rant about how localization is shit and there's censorship, and the occasional instance where the localizing studio has a God Complex and decides they know better than the original dev and alter the balance of elements in the game etc. etc. but I need not bother, certainly you've heard it all before, and already understand all these aspects. Even if none of these were issues there is the inescapable fact that translating ruins the emotional feel; Japanese has too many grammatical functions that do not exist in other languages and so the depth of a character and certain jokes; lots of things in speech is lost the moment you give up the original script. I value this content much like the authenticity of the audio and video by using a real console.

    I don't need any of that noise. Real system (Saturn in this case), true audio and video, no censorship or altercations. The way it's meant to be played.

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    I don't think I understand what "backup" means. Does PAR allow me to save my game like say, a PS1 memory card? Or not? What's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by FoxNtd View Post
    You need to do more research. Half those prices are unreasonably high, I really hope you're not paying that much for those Japanese games.
    The ONLY thing I've bought so far is Panzer Dragoon RPG. The prices I listed were based off of http://www.pricecharting.com/, or current ebay listings.

    Are there any websites you'd recommend with lower prices (ideally that accept PayPal)? Is there a price guide you're aware of that disputes ebay pricing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN00 View Post
    I don't think I understand what "backup" means. Does PAR allow me to save my game like say, a PS1 memory card? Or not? What's the difference?
    You'll be interested to know about three different kinds of cartridges for the SS. The one that is mainly seen outside of Japanese SS is the PAR/Pro Action Reply already being mentioned because, simply by using it, region checking is thrown out the window so you don't have to worry about doing any weird tricks or modifications to the hardware to boot games with different region codes.

    Second, there's the memory cartridge also called power memory; this is effectively your "memory card" as you are familiar with already with PS. The PAR can store data I believe; however it does not function like a memory cartridge and can only be managed via the PAR itself (or the SS system menu, not sure how it works, never had or used a PAR); in other words you cannot read or write data to it while playing a game. Most games from what I've played so far, permit the ability to save and load from either SS onboard memory or the memory cartridge. Sometimes you'll be required to choose one or the other when starting the game and can't change your mind without resetting, and even rarer still, you have no choice at all. Radiant Silvergun comes to mind; you have no options and the game automatically uses the onboard memory. (Of course in the system menu, you can make a copy of the data to your memory cartridge.)

    Lastly there are RAM expansions just like the one N64 had. You can't save data to these, they just expand how much system memory the SS has and only a few games even require this thing. If I recall correctly you can't get this in USA because none of the games that used it had USA releases.


    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN00 View Post
    The ONLY thing I've bought so far is Panzer Dragoon RPG. The prices I listed were based off of http://www.pricecharting.com/, or current ebay listings.

    Are there any websites you'd recommend with lower prices (ideally that accept PayPal)? Is there a price guide you're aware of that disputes ebay pricing?
    Yeah I was scratching my head when I saw you list a price for Azel that's double what I paid and a massive number for Wachenroder, which I happen to be playing right now, which cost me two bucks. And both games are CIB and near mint too. I can't write it off as blind luck; I really expect these games to float around the prices I paid for them unless things have changed a bit in the last 2-3 years...

    I check prices the way a Japanese person probably would. Amazon.co.jp and Yahoo Auctions. Hopefully the item in question can be found on one of those two sources and gauge the price accordingly. I guess you can branch out and check other stores and sites like Rakuten, etc. I'm not interested what foreign people are willing to cough up for something, I'm interested what something seems to be worth where it's from. In a "perfect" world I could buy things for the same prices as people residing in Japan do but it doesn't work that way, but I try.
    Last edited by FoxNtd; 01-11-2013 at 09:23 PM.

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