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Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Discussion in 'Saturn Dev' started by vbt, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. JayBww

    JayBww New Member

    Hello guys,

    I just got a brand new AR 4M Plus for my Japanese grey saturn, and installed Pseudo Saturn Kai without any issue.
    I tried to play Panzer Lagoon Saga EU (patched with the Pseudo Saturn Kai CD patcher), but as expected it gives me some errors when I try loading it, with both loaders. Is there a way to make it work on this saturn or am I out of luck?

    Also, second issue I had was when I try to launch Xmen vs Street fighter, the game tell me that I don't have a 4M card.
    I searched for the issue online but couldn't find anyone with the same problem. Is is Pseudo Saturn Kai that is blocking it or can there be a problem with my saturn again?
  2. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Sorry for the delay. Kid catched influenza last week ...
    I'm glad it finally works ! No problem about the unknown reason why it didn't worked initially : the most important is that you can play now :)

    Oh, I didn't noticed this problem so far, thank you very much for reporting it !
    It was easy to fix, and I plan to update soon Pseudo Saturn Kai homepage with fixed patcher utility. It will also be an occasion to write a blog article about this too.
    Do you want to be credited as "gonschor7dleven" or another nickname ? If you have an homepage (or youtube channel, etc) and want some link to be added when crediting, please let me know.

    No problem, that's just an hobby :)

    PS : if you (or any people playing PDS) want to play a given level without playing everything from start, I'm glad to anounce that administrator from panzerdragoonlegacy.com gave me agreement to add Panzer Dragoon Saves on Pseudo Saturn Kai Save Data Manager, via "Save Data Import" feature :banana:
    (Theses saves and everything else will be available on Pseudo Saturn Kai next release)

    What kind of error do you get ? Especially, at which time of the game ?
    Only JHL loader can make this game working, so there's no need to test both loaders.
    Also, can you load other games, or did you tried only PDS and Xmen vs Street fighter ?

    Some (not all) revisions of Japanese grey Saturns don't work correctly with JHL loader, so it can't guarantee you can play this game on your Saturn.
    I recently tried to get PDS working with CWX loader ... and didn't undestood what need to be fixed :D I really want to fix compatibility for the 4~5 picky games not working with CWX loader, so shall give another try in the future.

    Expansion RAM is a cartridge hardware feature, and consequently not affected by Pseudo Saturn Kai.
    It's possible to verify the amount of expansion RAM used by exiting loader selection menu with B button, and then going to "System Info" page. If 4MB expansion RAM isn't detected, it's maybe due to an hardware problem on your cartridge.
    JayBww likes this.
  3. That's awesome that you got permission to include the PDS save files :)
  4. JayBww

    JayBww New Member

    Thank you for you answer, that's really helpful :D
    Indeed the problem with JHL loader was the saturn model, and also the way I patched the game with the Pseudo Saturn patch (I patched the bin file instead of the cue). I ordered a cheap model two on amazon JP, and patched the game correctly and now it's working!
    Oh and other games are working flawlessly, I just had a problem with games requiring JHL Loader and the one requiring more RAM ;)

    I checked the system info on both saturns, and you are right, the 4M RAM aren't detected on both systems :cwm36:
    But every other pseudo saturn functions are working perfectly, can it be something else than the connector?
    It's a brand new Action Replay 4M plus from amazon, the usual model, so I guess it's either already dead on arrival... :(
    Or could it be a problem I had with the pseudo saturn kai flashing? there was no error but I didn't check the RAM before flashing.
    Is there a way to restore the original firmware or something?

    Edit: So I flashed back the original Action Replay firmware, and with the swap method Xmen vs Street fighter still doesn't work, seems like my Action Replay isn't working properly :(

    Edit2: I decided to send back the action replay to get a refund, and get a gamer's cartridge instead, I just realize it was still sold and it looks amazing (and way better quality than the action replay) :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  5. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Fixed patcher utility available on Pseudo Saturn Kai page :)
    http://ppcenter.webou.net/pskai/#download → pseudo_saturn_cdpatch_20180221.7z

    The copyright notice with theses saves is a bit severe, but page administrator is nice :)
    A yes, that's cool theses saves can be added to Save Data Manager :]

    Ah OK, so you have the same incompatible Saturn model as mine :) (my main Saturn for dev is a white modded one, and I use an incompatible grey one sometimes for testing)
    Saturns in Japan can be usually found for dirt cheap. Even physical stores such as Hard Off sell theses at around 300-500 Yens, in "未チェック" condition, but it's good sometimes to live dangerously :D

    Next release of Pseudo Saturn will automatically decide which game loader to use, so hopefully such kind of problem (trying game with CWX loader, not working, re-copying it, still not working ... and realizing the game requires JHL loader) won't happen in the future.

    That unfortunately happens : RAM chips used on Action Replay cartridges are obsolete parts, so early failure are not uncommon.

    There are several legacy firmwares available in Save Data Manager in the case you want to revert cartridge to its original firmware.
    Flashing operation doesn't touch anything regarding expansion RAM, so it's very likely RAM chip(s) is(are) physically damaged.

    Hehe, that's an alternate cartridge : it is sometimes available, sometimes not :D
    I received an email few minutes after your post. It's time to go to shower now, so I will reply it tonight :)
    Please note however that Gamer's Cartridge doesn't features expansion RAM, so games requiring it such as Xmen vs Street Fighter won't work. On the other hand, it is convenient for games requiring backup memory such as RPGs, or Dezaemon 2, etc.

    I can't say quality of my cartridges is better, because everything around theses is hand-made on my free time. But at least each cartridges are tested :)
    SegaSaturnShrine and JayBww like this.
  6. JayBww

    JayBww New Member

    You mean the bug that was preventing from patching the cue file from another folder? That's great :D

    Haha that's exactly what happened to me, I got the grey model for 300yen in the "Junk" part of the Hardoff close to my place (shimokita) :p

    Sounds like a really cool feature, it will obviously make things a lot easier ;)

    Yeah I can believe that, seeing all people online having trouble with them.

    Indeed. But still restored the original firmware anyway before sending it back to them to get a refund :p

    Yeah no problem ;)
    There aren't that much games requiring the RAM anyway, and all of them can be played in arcade version with mame (planning to make my DIY Sanwa arcade stick for that :D )

    Well after opening the Action Replay to check its guts, it also looks like a handmade one, but a bad one.
    Also I don't think their technical support is anywhere near as good as yours hahaha
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  7. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Sorry for the delay !

    Yes. That was a stupid bug, in the "fixable within 30 minutes blindfolded and arms on back" range, but I didn't noticed it so far ^^;

    Oh, there's an Hard Off in your neighboring ? You're lucky !
    There are sometimes Saturn put on display and marked as tested and working, but the only difference with thoses in junk section is the number of digits of the price :)

    That's a feature I wanted to add from a long while : in fact it was half-implemented in version 6.074 released around 9 months ago :)
    Ideally, I would like to improve CWX loader in order to make it loading all games, which would fix both loader selection problem, and incompatibility with grey Japanese Saturn. I did some few tests to see what's causing the loader problem, but didn't understood what's wrong. Maybe next try will be the right one ... or not ^^;

    I do confirm : my friend Darius sometimes receive carts defective from the first time too.

    I put legacy (Action Replay or other clones) firmwares in Save Data Manager just for collection and preservation purposes. I actually didn't though this would be useful in order to apply warranty :)

    You're not the first one to say that : games using expansion RAM are usually ported games, so it's more authentic to play them on their initial plaftform.
    Of course, a Saturn cartridge with more features would be better, but also would be significantly more difficult to assemble, and significantly more expensive too.
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  8. Retro Discovery

    Retro Discovery New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I keep failing at the last bit and would be grateful for any advice on why.

    I'm running a PAL Saturn (Model: MK-802004A-50), it is not chipped and i'm trying to write to an Action Replay cartridge. I have created the PseduoSaturn disk, done the disk swap trick and then it just the problem of actually writing to it. I've tried Pseduo Saturn Kai Lite and the 0.832 version using both the pskai_sdm_flasher and pskai_alternate_flasher. But every time it ends with a 'write verification error'. I've put screenshots below, if anyone can advise me on what i'm doing wrong then i'd be really grateful.

    The erase process starts fine and then it moves on the write the files:
    PS - Erase.
    But afterwards there's a "Write Verification Error"
    PS - Write Verification Errror.
    Any advice would be gratefully received?
  10. Retro Discovery

    Retro Discovery New Member

    To be honest i was quite enjoying doing it myself until this stage, is it just the cartridge or is PseduoSaturn developed for US systems?
  11. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I was about to say that your Action Replay is broken, but I just remembered that I had similar problem several years ago in this thread.
    → As in you can see in the picture, data on even bytes are incorrect, but odd bytes seem okay : second and third line half show my nickname, which proves that flashing went fine for at least one flash chip :)

    So if you have a spare Saturn, please try to install Pseudo Saturn Kai with it. After that, and if that's the same problem as I had, cartridge should boot fine on both Saturns.

    Note : please don't use Pseudo Saturn 0.832, as it doesn't loads games on some Saturn hardware version.

    No : if Satun have a cartridge port, then it should at least be able to boot Pseudo Saturn Kai.
    Retro Discovery likes this.
  12. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I had an inquiry about which iso file to use when preparing Pseudo Saturn Kai setup CD-R, so let's share the information with everybody :)

    Please find below the steps to make a Pseudo Saturn setup CD-ROM :
    1. If not already done, download PSeudo Saturn Kai latest version :
    2. Burn pskai_alternate_flasher.iso to CD-R

    Note :
    - pskai_alternate_flasher.iso is the recommended file to when booting setup CD-ROM with CD swap trick.
    - Any software able to burn iso files to CD-R should do the job, but I would recommend ImgBurn for Windows since I didn't had major troubles with it so far.
    - Default speed for burning usually gives good results.
    - There's no need to buy super expensive CD-R : please give a try with cheapest brand, and try next brand (in price order) if it didn't worked well.
    (Don't buy CD-Rs in large quantity before trying)
    RLS89ZX likes this.
  13. Retro Discovery

    Retro Discovery New Member

    Thanks for your reply, I have recently purchased an NTSC-J Saturn and will try the cart on that and then try an alternative cart if that doesn't work. Where / how was that picture of the bytes taken?
  14. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    In advance, thank you for the feedback ! I just added a "write test" feature to Pseudo Saturn Kai flasher utility, so please let me know if you want to beta test it.
    The "write test" feature looks for an unused flash ROM page (typically 256 bytes on Action Replay cartridges), and write dummy data on it. If written data doesn't matches, then cartridge flashing process is interrupted, and consequently potential bricking of the cartridge is avoided.

    I will test on real hardware (if possible around beginning of next week) before providing any beta version, so risk to re-brick your cartridge is low. I can't guarantee this risk to be zero (and this is "at your own risk"), but I really want flashing process to be thoroughly tested before publicly releasing in the wild, so your help would be very appreciated :)

    This is SatLink, who was reading Saturn internals via Action Replay and my freewing transfer device connected to PC's parallel port. That was back in 2010, when doing I/O via parallel port and non-signed 32 bits driver on PC was still a "normal" activity :)
    My freewing was a big mess o' wires frequently causing noise during data transfer, but this was usually recovered by Reed-Solomon codes, or re-sent when not recoverable : I was using a custom-made cartridge firmware for this, and I had the same problem as on your cartridge with one of my dev Saturn during development of this firmware.
    It's a long time I'm no longer using freewing (as well as Action Replay cartridge) for development on Saturn, but I keep using SatLink, because I made it supporting transfer with USB dev cart and "virtual link" with Yabause, which I'm heavily using for development and testing of Pseudo Saturn Kai.
    SatLink is my favorite tool (ex-aequo with Yabause) for Saturn development, so please forgive this verbose explanation :)
  15. Wario2ooo

    Wario2ooo New Member

    First time poster. First time flashing the AR cart. My problem is the flash Pseudo AR cart. My issue is that I have model 1 and model 2 saturns. Model 1 worked fine with my flash cart with battle garegga but for model 2 it just sticks at

    boot type 1
    cd read sector

    I am currently running Saturn Kai Lite

    burning with IMG burn and using memorex CD-R
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    cafe-alpha likes this.
  16. SegaSaturnKuro

    SegaSaturnKuro New Member

    Might a less reliable CD drive in your model 2. Does the drive sound like it's struggling to seek? I have three Saturns, and my US oval-button is worse than my two round-buttons at reading retail-brand CD-Rs. Switching to CMC Pro led to a drastic improvement for my oval-button Saturn, as well as an old PC Engine briefcase that I have. Your mileage may vary, especially if your laser is on the way out.
    cafe-alpha and SegaSaturnShrine like this.
  17. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Same opinion as @SegaSaturnKuro : it's either due to CD-R or CD drive on your model 2 Saturn.

    Basically, I would recommend to :
    1. Test your model 2 with an original game
    2. Change CD-R brand, or change burning speed
    3. Tune the laser intensity of your Saturn CD drive.

    1. In order to be sure that the CD drive of your model 2 is not completely damaged, please try with an original game.
    CD quality of original games is better than CD-R, so if it can be played on your model 2, then give a try to step 2.
    If original game can be played on model 1, but not on model 2, then problem is more severe than expected. Please keep me informed in the case it happens.

    2. Burn at recommended (default) speed, indicated as "AUTO" or sometimes "MAX" in CD-R burn utility.
    (Recent CD-ROM drives aren't designed to burn at slow speed, so it's sometimes better to burn at default one)
    If burning at default speed doesn't works, please try with other CD-R brand. Cheap brands sometimes work better than most expensive ones.
    (more details available here)

    3. If step 2 didn't worked, then the last solution would be to tune the laser intensity of your Saturn CD drive. This can be done with the potentiometer located near laser lens, which requires to open Saturn top cover (4 or 5 screws) to be accessed.
    Potentiometer needs a plus screwdriver to be tuned and its color is orange enough you can't miss it :)
    It's better to use CD drive at default settings, so please try this solution only if other ones didn't worked.

    Since Pseudo Saturn Kai worked fine on your model 1 Saturn, everything seems OK on cartridge side, so there's no need to reflash it.
  18. vbt

    vbt Staff Member

    how did you do that, is it something like a TSR?
  19. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I'm not smart enough to implement TSR on Saturn :) This is just a callback initially set to BIOS routine which does soft reset and show multiplayer.
    In Pseudo Saturn Kai, this callback is set to a function located in cartridge ROM which performs system reset via SMPC.

    As quoted above, pointer to callback function is set in RAM, hence can be replaced with pointer to any other function, as long as it doesn't interferes with game = basically doesn't runs in RAM.

    BTW, Gamer's Cartridge uses similar trick to enable save data support on SD card.
  20. RLS89ZX

    RLS89ZX New Member

    How does the idea of a USB to Sega Saturn Controller adapter as in being able to connect a USB Sega Saturn gamepad to the Sega Saturn.
    Just something cool to think about

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