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Thread: New to the Sega Saturn and have a few questions

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    Default New to the Sega Saturn and have a few questions

    I just bought an NTSC Saturn. I am really confused about how saving works. I replaced the 2032 so it seems like the date and time retains now but how exactly do I save my progress in these games? Is it saving to a hard drive inside the console itself? SRAM supported by the 2032? Really confused by that.

    My system came with the smallest of the 3 black controllers. Not the analog one or the bulkier one sans the analog. Is that controller standard with the May 1995 console? My console was made in June 1996.

    Can I play Japanese games on this? Or PAL?
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    The consoles are region-locked. An easy way around this is to pick up an Action Replay cart with Pseudo Saturn loaded on it.

    1st gen consoles have oval buttons and the controllers are kind of angled. 2nd gen consoles have round buttons and the controllers are smoother. The analog 3D controller can be used for some games including NiGHTS.

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    And you're right, the SRAM is powered by the battery. Battery dies = save games wiped.

    3rd party memory cards like those in the Action Replay models don't let you save directly to them, just shuffle files between the internal memory and theirs. To save directly to a memory card you'd need to use one of the official Sega memory carts.

    Buying one of the newer 4-in-1 Action Replays is a must. It'll let you play imports from any region along with those that require the RAM expansion, save game files for when the battery dies, and most of the newer ones let you do a disc swap to play CD-Rs.

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    One of the reasons I dont play on the Xbox much is because games save to internal storage. Inevitably, the system will crash or malfunction somehow and I won't be able to access my saves. I dont see that happening if I can save to a memory card so I might look into that
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    I would like official memory cards for the Saturn and Sega CD but they're pretty expensive and hard to find. The internal saves will basically last long enough to play through a game but you can't really archive them, they only work as long as the batteries do.

    It's the same problem with the Turbo Duo, only there's no battery but a capacitor powering the saves. I can't remember how the 3DO or CDi handled saves. Early CD systems weren't great at saving games. Sony got it right with the PS1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I would like official memory cards for the Saturn and Sega CD but they're pretty expensive and hard to find. The internal saves will basically last long enough to play through a game but you can't really archive them, they only work as long as the batteries do.

    It's the same problem with the Turbo Duo, only there's no battery but a capacitor powering the saves. I can't remember how the 3DO or CDi handled saves. Early CD systems weren't great at saving games. Sony got it right with the PS1.
    right. I mostly just wanna be able to hold onto my save files for the next several decades
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    One of the reasons I dont play on the Xbox much is because games save to internal storage. Inevitably, the system will crash or malfunction somehow and I won't be able to access my saves. I dont see that happening if I can save to a memory card so I might look into that
    The original Xbox and the 360 both have memory cards. Depending on the game you could transfer saves. In regards to more control, you can easily softmod an OG Xbox and yank your saves. If you wanted to go even further, you can pop in an SSD drive, clone that puppy and you should be good for years. At least until the main hardware dies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I just bought an NTSC Saturn. I am really confused about how saving works. I replaced the 2032 so it seems like the date and time retains now but how exactly do I save my progress in these games? Is it saving to a hard drive inside the console itself? SRAM supported by the 2032? Really confused by that.

    My system came with the smallest of the 3 black controllers. Not the analog one or the bulkier one sans the analog. Is that controller standard with the May 1995 console? My console was made in June 1996.

    Can I play Japanese games on this? Or PAL?
    Battery for the saturn saves date and time plus for game saves.The console is region locked but using a converter such as a action replay plus can bypass it beside backing up game save files.Not to mention a par can play games that use the 1&4 meg ram cartridge.Still it's not the best time buying for the consoles,prices for it's games have really shot up unless you stick to japanese releases.The other option buying a optical drive emulator such as the mode or even the recent the satiator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    The original Xbox and the 360 both have memory cards.
    Also, 360 saves can be backed up to any old USB flash drive. You can do the same to the original Xbox too, with a cheap $1 cable and no mods to the system.

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    Just saying you guys have had way worse luck with internal saves than I had.

    When I first got my Saturn and a Sega CD, I had to replace the battery... and they've worked since. This was years ago.

    Nobody properly answered OP's question, so I will: Most Saturn games have a command you have to perform to save, such as talking to a certain NPC, resting at an inn, or there may even just be a "Save game" option in a menu somewhere.

    Incidentally does anyone have a fully-functioning copy of D they're willing to part with? My Saturn copy will play fine up until this one area with a rotating room, then it locks up. On a similar vein I need replacement copies of Dune and Revenge of the Ninja for the Sega CD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    right. I mostly just wanna be able to hold onto my save files for the next several decades
    This is what you need: Saturn FRAM IC - 256kbit battery-free built in save RAM
    details
    Last edited by Koa Zo; 01-26-2021 at 03:33 PM.

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    If you want to play the Saturn, most cost-effective method is basically a system and the Satiator these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    If you want to play the Saturn, most cost-effective method is basically a system and the Satiator these days.
    I second that collectors really have driven up it's prices for it's games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tron 2.0 View Post
    I second that collectors really have driven up it's prices for it's games.
    Saturn games have been rare and expensive for as long as I can remember. They were probably cheap in the late 90s and early 2000s but I'd say since eBay took off, so have prices
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    I've been a big Saturn collector for years. To put this into perspective about the rising prices of Saturn and Sega CD games. I paid the going rate for Panzer Dragoon Saga back around 2006 for $160. Around 07'-08' I paid $50 each for Saturn Bomberman and Magic Knight Rayearth. Also around the same time frame was Burning Rangers for $35. All of these were ebay purchases and gaming store purchases around those time periods. Back then, these were the going rates, and a lot of collectors scoffed at the idea of paying over $100 for any game. I think it was early 2010s when prices started going up, but Saturn was definitely one of the consoles that saw a bigger increase over their original values.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Saturn games have been rare and expensive for as long as I can remember. They were probably cheap in the late 90s and early 2000s but I'd say since eBay took off, so have prices
    Pretty much,after it's death in 98 i bought allot of it's games second hand and imported for it before the 2000's.Which is a good thing with the current market value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tron 2.0 View Post
    Pretty much,after it's death in 98 i bought allot of it's games second hand and imported for it before the 2000's.Which is a good thing with the current market value.
    I honestly feel like if you didn't get into collecting prior to 2002/2003, you missed the boat period. after that, rare and good games went up in value and 10 years later, they skyrocketed. I wasnt working until 2006 and I didnt really have disposable income until 2010 so I was way late to the party either way
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    I didn't make it to these boards until 2009 and I found plenty of Saturn games for fairly good prices, but that was right around the time they started to rise. Panzer Dragoon Saga back then was about $300. The rise of the smartphone is really what caused the demise of pricing, which allowed anyone with a data plan to check out the price of anything at a flea market. After 2014, deals really dried up.

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    I remember my mom buying a CIB Chrono Trigger in like 2003 for $60 and at the time thinking "god that's insane what old games are going for now! must be because it's an RPG!" and in 2021 people would kill to get it for that price
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    Prices did not go nutso until the YouTube review craze, which was the last 6-8 years. You can still collect fairly well for Saturn if you get Japanese imports. The NA games are tough aside from a dozen or two common ones. They just didn't sell, and many got pulled from shelves when SEGA bailed on it.
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