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Thread: How to boot games in a region modded Saturn.

  1. #1
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    How to boot games in a region modded Saturn.

    I have a bios modded sega saturn, done by ape over at digitpress, but I can not get any games to load. Even usa ones. Tried a handful of USA games, Shining Force III, Shining the Holy Ark Astal, and my PAL Panzer Dragoon Saga. Oh, also tried a JP copy of Salamander.

    I sent a message over to ape, but was hoping maybe I will get a faster response here. Is there something I need to do in the dash board to boot a specific region?

    It's very possible I am a dumbass and just forgot how to load a saturn game. I see no new switches on the console, and tried with the memory cart out and in, triend booting a game from a cold boot, and inserting a game when the console is already on.

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    Is it supposed to be region free or multi-region? There's a way to check in the cd player menu what region the console thinks it's in, but I can't for the life of me find the list of numbers that show how to figure it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skate323k137 View Post
    Is it supposed to be region free or multi-region? There's a way to check in the cd player menu what region the console thinks it's in, but I can't for the life of me find the list of numbers that show how to figure it out.
    I'm going to have to ask ape. I just remember I got a bios install so I could play any region. I may have actually got both. I got a few mods a few months back for my Saturn and dream cast. I just thought he said it was a region free bios. He said he tested it before shipment. So I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or not. I just keep getting the cdg menu option.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

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    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
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    I can't find anything that might indicate a region, even in the settings options menu. I have pretty bad luck. Something probably just came loose in shipment. Hopefully I'm not fucked. I really wanted a modded Saturn. Guess I will test my dreamcast for now.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  5. #5
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    The BIOS mod should simply boot any real game (not burned). You don't need to toggle any setting. It sounds like something may have happened during shipping.

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    There's a trick now to flash a AR+ (or some other cards) to do region and backup mod all in one.

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...hp?f=1&t=47890

    If you want to give it a go, I have a chipped saturn I could use to try the flash. Of course that probably won't help your current console if it were damaged in shipping

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    Quote Originally Posted by skate323k137 View Post
    There's a trick now to flash a AR+ (or some other cards) to do region and backup mod all in one.

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...hp?f=1&t=47890

    If you want to give it a go, I have a chipped saturn I could use to try the flash. Of course that probably won't help your current console if it were damaged in shipping
    Might be a viable option if I can't find someone to fix it. Sadly I sold my action replay in anticipation of my mod.

    It is suppose to play any region and it is suppose to play backups. So I think I got a bios mod, and a mod chip. That sounds right. I need to dig through my digitpress pms and see for sure.

    If I can't reach Ape who messes with these things? There's no way I can fix it on my own. I checked the drive , it is spinning discs. There has to be something loose on the mod chip.

    OK, just looked. I did get a region free bios, and a mod chip.
    Last edited by greedostick; 05-16-2015 at 12:49 AM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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    Do you get an error that there is no disc? If you could describe the symptoms a bit more we can probably figure out what's going on. The Saturn's lasers often need a tweak to get them reading again, and this might be the case with yours.

    I'm jealous BTW. Having the bios chip will be really nice. I have modded Saturns with V3 chips and I've done the AR4M flash mod for myself and friends. I don't have the skill to replace the bios though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeMonster View Post
    Do you get an error that there is no disc? If you could describe the symptoms a bit more we can probably figure out what's going on. The Saturn's lasers often need a tweak to get them reading again, and this might be the case with yours.

    I'm jealous BTW. Having the bios chip will be really nice. I have modded Saturns with V3 chips and I've done the AR4M flash mod for myself and friends. I don't have the skill to replace the bios though.
    It just says reading disc and then goes straight to the cd player. There is no error on screen. It plays music fine. I just can't get the option to load the game. Instead I get the CD+G option.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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    If you got the bios and a chip, I'd pull the chip to see if that's the issue. Those things hate being shipped while installed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greedostick View Post
    It just says reading disc and then goes straight to the cd player. There is no error on screen. It plays music fine. I just can't get the option to load the game. Instead I get the CD+G option.
    That is the classic definition of what happens when the laser pot needs to be tweaked. This is how to fix it: https://youtu.be/fgj9feqRnaU?t=5m

    Before you do any adjusting though, it might be something simpler. Are you trying to boot burned discs? If so, what program do you use to burn them and what brand of media are you using? Also, where are you getting your roms from? The internet is full of bad CD rips, and poor quality CD-Rs can be equally problematic.

    To avoid disc-read problems, you should stick to verified roms released by Darkwater, TruRip, or TOSEC. Burn them using ImgBurn, and use high-quality discs like Taiyo Yudens.

    If it's not even reading real Saturn discs, then it's almost certainly the laser that needs adjustment.
    Last edited by SmokeMonster; 05-16-2015 at 03:13 AM.

  12. #12
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    make sure you are starting the system with the cd door closed. If you turn it on with it open, it disables the mod chip on some of them.

    edit:
    nevermind, it seems like you already did that. I would take the top of the case off and see if a cable came out of the modchip.
    Last edited by TeamShake; 05-16-2015 at 03:55 AM.

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    I would definitely rule out the mod chip before messing with the laser. I've done numerous saturn mods and chip installs, and there's a reason I would only install them (saturn mod chips) for locals. They're flimsy chips and love to break in shipping. For example I did an old style DPDT US/J switch region mod for ninjainspandex with a modchip install, and it tested perfectly with burns and originals of both regions. I mailed it back to him in nothing short of bomb-proof packaging, and when he got it back it wouldn't play games. I had him pull the modchip, and games from both regions played fine if the switch was set correctly.

    If the console played games before you sent it out for modding, it's probably not the laser causing your woes. The fact that it plays music fine is consistent with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skate323k137 View Post
    There's a trick now to flash a AR+ (or some other cards) to do region and backup mod all in one.

    http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewt...hp?f=1&t=47890

    If you want to give it a go, I have a chipped saturn I could use to try the flash. Of course that probably won't help your current console if it were damaged in shipping
    You can do the AR mod using the swap trick, no need for a chipped Saturn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuze View Post
    You can do the AR mod using the swap trick, no need for a chipped Saturn.
    Haha oh yeah, I always forget about the good ol' swap trick.

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    OK, I'm going to take the top off this thing maybe Tuesday. By loose wires do you mean it like the old xbox chips that have a template to help you guide the mod chip wire in the Saturn motherboard?

    I'll take pics if I can figure it out.

    Also, I'm playing real games. But I would like to get this thing working and get some dark water games. Where would one find this set?
    Last edited by greedostick; 05-16-2015 at 04:11 PM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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    Saturn mod chips are generally extremely easy. One, maybe 2 wires from the chip to the console (a 5v and sometimes a signal wire). They plug into the ribbon cable for the CD drive, hence if one is bad it can stop your CD drive from functioning normally.

    It's really easy to pop the case apart, just make sure you don't have a CD in it, take out the screws, and lift the lid. Some pics of the CD drive and chip install could be really useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greedostick View Post
    Also, I'm playing real games. But I would like to get this thing working and get some dark water games. Where would one find this set?
    PM sent

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    Quote Originally Posted by greedostick View Post
    OK, I'm going to take the top off this thing maybe Tuesday. By loose wires do you mean it like the old xbox chips that have a template to help you guide the mod chip wire in the Saturn motherboard?

    I'll take pics if I can figure it out.

    Also, I'm playing real games. But I would like to get this thing working and get some dark water games. Where would one find this set?
    is this the 1st time you are using it? if so, most likely one of the ffc cables popped out of the modchip during shipping.

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    OK, I found a minute to open this thing. i do not see anything out of the ordinary. I made sure the ribbon cable was snug in the 4 spots. That is the 2 connections to the motherboard, and the 2 connections around what I assume is the mod chip. The pics are kind of crappy, it was dark and my phone camera sucks. Do you need pics of anything else? I was kind of scared to turn that mod chip further over in fear something might come loose.

    Oh, and it still does not work of course.

    KIMG0047.jpg

    KIMG0044.jpg

    Last edited by greedostick; 05-17-2015 at 09:30 PM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  21. #21
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    Everything looks good. Are you ready to believe me about the laser pot tweak?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeMonster View Post
    Everything looks good. Are you ready to believe me about the laser pot tweak?
    Guess i'm going to have to go buy a multimeter. Thought I had one. Any recommendations for something like this?

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  23. #23
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    Looks like that is a phantom chip. Here is the install guide if you want to make sure its installed properly on your system. It is possible the cables are upside down or the jumper is not set properly
    http://www.theisozone.com/downloads/...-by-zer0-2k11/

    I would think that APE would have tested it though before he sent it to you. You may want to talk to him before doing anything major.

    edit:
    I missed where you said it was playing music fine so probably not an issue with the chip being installed incorrectly.
    Last edited by TeamShake; 05-18-2015 at 01:13 AM.

  24. #24
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    OK I got a multimeter. I can't figure out what a good reading is. The video says to use the lowest setting on the multimeter, so I tried using the 200 ohms setting. I'm realy not sure what these setting mean, but does 200 ohms on the multimeter mean it measures resistance up to 200 ohms? I know that's probably a dumb question.

    My pot looked like it has never been touched. It was dead in the center. I can not get a reading in the 200 ohms setting on the multimeter. It just doesn't work. I can however get a reading in 2k setting. I get a consistent 1.167 reading.

    does this help at all?

    I did however pull the laser out, it looks clean inside the whole console. No dust at all. And I managed to get it back together. It was surprisingly easy. I was worried it would be like the nightmare fat PS2 days where the thing practically fell apart.
    Last edited by greedostick; 05-19-2015 at 03:09 AM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  25. #25
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    Hi, First time poster here but you might of seen me around ASSEMbler and TiZ selling the Phantom (Mine and Bad_Ad84's chip).

    I agree that APE wouldn't of sold it to you unless it was working correctly. I wouldn't mess with the pot, it's most likely your burner and/or CD-R's you're using. What CD-R brand you using? Generic, Taiyo Yuden?

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