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Thread: Can a SEGA Game Gear Game Genie change the region of the system?

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    loves the Game Gear too much. recorderdude's Avatar
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    Default Can a SEGA Game Gear Game Genie change the region of the system?

    OK. For me, most game gear games really have no use for game genie as they tend to be easy and/or short, but there is one possible exception; ristar. For whatever reason, an entire level of the game is omitted when played in a US system, though it's not due to space reasons as it's STILL ON THE CART - god knows why they did it. Once I found this out, I began to wonder - could a game genie change the region the game cartridge sees in a game gear? I'd certainly buy one if this is the case, but I can't justify the purchase quite yet if it doesn't have that capability.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Didn't know about the missing level, thanks for bringing that up. A few moments online seem to verify that the level is missing from the US version, but if you obtain the Japanese release, it'll play on your domestic Gear with all levels intact. The Game Gear has no region lockout. If the level is "in the cart" of the US release, it's dummied out or otherwise bypassed in the stage order (whatever simple trick they used to excise the level).

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    If the level is dummied out in the US cartridge, look for a game Genie code to start on the dummied out level.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Unfortunately, Game Genies don't change regions, but they can be used as pass throughs for games from other regions.

    So, there are two options:

    1. You can get a copy of the Japanese release and play it in your game gear using your Game Genie as a the pass through, as Ed suggested.

    2. You can play the US copy and use the Game Genie to access your desired level, as Rick mentioned.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    The Game Genie isn't necessary to play a game from Japan on a US Game Gear.

    The Game Gear has no region lock.

    I hope the second method will work, but it's not guaranteed, and somebody will have had to do the heavy lifting of making a code anyway. Hopefully it is simple to switch the level, but it's not guaranteed.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    It depends whether Japanese version Ristar had programming to detect an English console.

    Though not used intentionally, Game Gear was capable of region lock.
    Since games could identify between English/Japanese.

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    loves the Game Gear too much. recorderdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    It depends whether Japanese version Ristar had programming to detect an English console.

    Though not used intentionally, Game Gear was capable of region lock.
    Since games could identify between English/Japanese.

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    You got it. Even a japanese cart of GG ristar will know if it's in a US console. You either need a japanese GG or some way to load that level/make it think it's in a japanese console.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    From spending a few minutes on SMSPower, it would seem the Game Gear can check the region by reading I/O port $00, bit 6.
    in a,($00)
    bit 6,a
    jp z, xx (where Z flag is 0 for Japanese, 1 for non-Japanese)
    So the corresponding hex would be DB 00 CB 77 CA xx. My guess is you would want a Game Genie could that would switch the CA to C2. (jp z, xx to jp nz, xx)
    The two matches I find in a hex search of the ROM are address $01CE and $022E. I'll leave it someone more familiar with the game to make a GG code and test if it actually works.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Huh, thanks for that info. Sorry for being doubtful of you, recorderdude! I thought something was up because you were very specific about it, but didn't think the GG had any way of producing that result.

    So this means the Majesco release isn't the "ultimate" original GG variant, then, if it's still got the same reporting feature, as far as playing these games where you want a different region goes.

    It also means that there's something to test for compatibility with GG emulators, as well.
    Last edited by Ed Oscuro; 04-05-2013 at 08:07 PM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    Try this code:
    C21-CEF-C41

    See what happens.

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    loves the Game Gear too much. recorderdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    Try this code:
    C21-CEF-C41

    See what happens.
    Amusingly enough...it works! When the game is about to load the pirate ship level (as it still has the name "planet terra" instead of the japanese "fanturn", it instead force-loads the cut level!

    Man, you have to wonder what these localization teams are thinking with games like these. "Those firebreathing racist stereotypes in the machinery level? They're fine, but the clouds and rainbows level HAS to go."

    I'll have to pick up a 'gear genie sometime, now. Thanks, Tony! This code is grrrrreat!
    Last edited by recorderdude; 04-05-2013 at 09:50 PM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    Don't thank me. SparTonberry did the real work. I just converted it into Game Genie format. I wasn't able to make the code myself since I had a bitch of a time finding a Game Gear emulator with proper trace logging.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    Huh, thanks for that info. Sorry for being doubtful of you, recorderdude! I thought something was up because you were very specific about it, but didn't think the GG had any way of producing that result.

    So this means the Majesco release isn't the "ultimate" original GG variant, then, if it's still got the same reporting feature, as far as playing these games where you want a different region goes.

    It also means that there's something to test for compatibility with GG emulators, as well.
    It sounds like if the feature wasn't there, games would assume Japanese. But what do I know. Might just crash.
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    This is awesome info. I had no idea GG actually had region info in it. I figured they were all identical worldwide since they don't lock out games across regions.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    In practice it basically does. Try to find any source of pre-built adapters for playing Japanese SMS games on the GG.
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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    If this region detection can be defeated with Game Genie codes, it sounds like all you need is a Game Genie, really. Other Japanese GG games play fine on US GGs, with nothing excised (as far as I have seen, that is).

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