Best Solution for Playing Translations?

Hi there! New user here. Nice to meet all of you!

I've been really excited about the sudden burst of activity in the Saturn fan translation scene and sometime back I bought a Gamer's Cartridge in order to play burned discs, but I have been having a lot of trouble with it. Games often crash or glitch out when I try to play them, and it seems like the cart loses connection often, resulting in it refusing to boot.

I know that there have been several other solutions to make playing homebrews and translations easier, but what should I pick? I am able to play my original discs just fine, so I don't want to remove the laser to install an ODE. I'm thinking about purchasing a Satiator, but I wanted to get some input from the community first.

What would you say is the best, non-invasive solution for playing games on the Saturn?
 

TrekkiesUnite118

Established Member
Satiator is pretty good, as is Fenrir which does now have the ability to be installed alongside the drive without removing it. There's also the option of just getting a Modchip if you're ok with Burning CD-Rs and have decent quality media to use.
 

Danthrax

Established Member
I use a Satiator and I love it. You just pop it in the back of your Saturn, then slide an SD card into it with all the translations you can fit onto it.
 
As an owner of both the MODE and the Satiator, I would say go the Satiator route if retaining your disc drive is important. Any of the compatibility issues Satiator has (e.g. Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter) hurt "less" when you can just pop a disc in, instead.

For the Fenrir mentioned by Trekkies, the switch-kit won't available for a little while and is presently 20-pin only (Sega Saturn - SaturnSwitcher - 20 Pin Version).
 

Ponut

Gear Supporter
Satiator. It's hype, it works, it's expensive, and you can keep your CD drive.
I actually think your issues with games crashing could be related to your CD drive being on its way out.
Unless somehow Gamer's Cart is not what we hoped? I did not have much of any compatability issues when I was using a Pseudo Saturn cart.
 

malenko

Established Member
If you don't want to remove the laser your only choices are either a Satiator or a PSK. The PSK is pretty much the same as a gamer's cart, so are you just asking if a Satiator is worth it? Seems great , I cant afford one and I already have a different ODE.
 
Thanks for the advice, everyone! It sounds like the Satiator is the way to go.

Satiator. It's hype, it works, it's expensive, and you can keep your CD drive.
I actually think your issues with games crashing could be related to your CD drive being on its way out.
Unless somehow Gamer's Cart is not what we hoped? I did not have much of any compatability issues when I was using a Pseudo Saturn cart.
I don't know about the laser; it can read original discs just fine. I think it might be the cartridge slot. I have an Action Replay, and it also has similar problems where it doesn't always boot the first time. I've heard that the cart slot on the Saturn often flakes out. The connection on mine definitely seems to be very inconsistent. Sometimes my Gamer's Cart even crashes on the Pseudo Saturn Kai menu.
 

Ponut

Gear Supporter
The Saturn's cart port definitely has thinner pins than usual, but unless you shoved an oversized cart in there, it should've been fine. It might help to use a shim to push the cart in one direction so it keeps consistent contact, if you have used an oversized PCB.
 

dibz

Boss
Staff member
Another option that's cheaper then a Satiator is a Fenrir, wait, hear me out!

What I did was I just bought a second saturn, I always wanted a jpn model anyway (I like how they look). I paid $40 off of Amazon.co.jp, plus another $40 for shipping, so $80. A fenrir cost I believe like $110 or something like that at the time. I used a microsd I already had, but those are pretty cheap. For me, that put the cost total to under $200, and I can still play disc games -- in my other Saturn.

* Amazon Note: A few things to pay attention to. When selecting a seller, I recommend making sure you pick one with pictures, specifically one that includes a serial number and the power plug, this way you can get a high certainty of what model it is when buying a Fenrir. Second, make sure it's shipped from an Amazon Warehouse, and finally, make sure it says it ships using AmazonGlobal. The warehouse and shipping thing ensure it ships quickly and timely. By doing that, I received mine, to rural Minnesota in the US, in under a week during peak COVID restrictions when other services were taking months to deliver packages.

Otherwise, if you just want better reliability then PSKai but still want to use burns, don't ignore the earlier advice -- a simple modchip will do what you need and is by far the cheapest option. Absolutely nobody with an ODE recommends not using an ODE however, myself included.
 
Think about it this way. You could buy a real copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga for $2000. Or you could buy a Satiator and play a bunch of these awesome hacks, translations, and indie projects, plus games that most people are just never going to be able to afford. It's expensive but it's not insanely so in comparison. Unfortunately, gaming on the Saturn is just going to be expensive in general due to the nature of it's initial unpopularity.

BTW I own a real copy of PDS and I think it's sad how inaccessible the game is to most people - and that's just one example. I won't be offended if you play it on an ODE :p
 
Ignoring the cost, the ease of installation, drive options, but general compatibility and stability, which do you guys think is better: Satiator or Fenrir?
 

dibz

Boss
Staff member
I believe Fenrir has higher compatibility, but I don't own a satiator so maybe the compatibility issues were resolved last I checked.
 
I use the Satiator & it has worked great for fan translations. Yes, it is expensive, but the simple installation and ability to still play original disks makes it worth it, in my opinion.
 
At the beginning of the month, I ordered a Satiator. It came a couple days ago and so far, I absolutely love it! It plays everything I throw at it without issue, with the only problem being that I need to buy a bigger SD Card for it! The spare 32 GB card I had lying around just isn't enough!

Last night, I showed a friend who also loves Saturn it running Panzer Dragoon Saga and he was blown away.

I want to thank everyone who recommended the Satiator to me. You made my Saturn experience far better. Thank you so much!
 
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