Fixing The Terminator (Sega CD)


Lately I've been trying to solve a pet peeve of mine, with mixed results.

Specifically, the Sega CD version of The Terminator has an issue. While the European version has distinct sounds and music for each of the cutscenes between levels, as well as for the ending sequence, the US version always uses the Terminator theme during the cutscenes.

I kept wondering what could be done to fix this so I decided to check. The movies - stored as .MOV files which can't be opened with any codec that I know of and also seem to lack any kind of header - include both sound *and* video, meaning unless I've missed something, the only way to include the more accurate videos is to extract them from the Euro version and place them on the US version.

I looked at the US version's ToC for the filenames and sizes and sure enough, the .MOV files are also referenced there. All the movies in the Euro version are larger (I may be wrong but I'm assuming the extra length is due to the 50/60Hz differences?), so I edited the US' ToC data, then replaced Track 01's movies with the Euro movies using CDmage (the hex editing has to be done before attempting to import files, otherwise CDmage will truncate them).

So, this leads to a couple of situations:

1) Because CDmage requires a .cue file, it will default to creating a single .bin file that includes Track 01 and all the other audio files. This way, the game runs fine: other than the cutscenes having an extra second or so (again, possibly due to the 50/60Hz difference), everything plays fine. Special effects and soundtrack kick in at the right times, nothing fails... But once again, it groups everything into a single .bin file.

2) If I edit the .cue file so that CDmage only rebuilds Track 01, everything plays fine *except* the soundtrack, even if I update the .cue file afterwards. There's simply no music... but it retains all the .bin files separately, and I'm not sure how to address this.

But aside the mixed progress here, there's another issue. Even if I update the US version's ToC, CDmage cannot import LEVEL11.MOV (the final cutscene prior to the game's ending) at all, giving an unspecified error. I also have to assume something here. In the Euro version, the end of the game has a cutscene where Sarah crushes the Terminator with no BGM, only sounds; when it finishes, it plays the ending, where the BGM is the Terminator theme. On the other hand, the US version will default to the Terminator theme right from the start of the cutscene, which plays no sounds at all, only the BGM; and will continue playing the theme right until the end.

I suspect that either:

a) the disc needs more space for the final .MOV file, seeing as Track 01 was already being filled up with longer .MOV files. I've worked on some Sega CD hacks in the past but I have no idea how to perform this kind of expansion on a Sega CD especially when data is all over the place (assuming this is the cause of the problem);
b) less likely but still possible: some internal logic in the game requires the file or a specific value, preventing the .MOV file from being imported.

I can't find a more knowledgeable Sega forum than this (other than Sprite's Mind but they don't seem to be accepting new users) so I am hoping someone could point me in the right direction here. I know this is more of a workaround than a solution; ideally, the Euro cutscenes would be recoded in 60Hz and not have an extra second delay. But it's the best way I can think of to solve the issue at the moment.

Thanks in advance.
  • Like
Reactions: vbt
Ok, I might have done it.

Regarding the size issue: I padded out the US' file size to match that of the Euro version (from a total of 75BB050 bytes to 7A98800 bytes). The final .MOV file could then be imported.

Perhaps because of that, or because I might've done something different in the process, the game seems to run fine for now. Everything plays when it should so far, and it's running through the *.cue file and the appropriately modified Track 01. I'll play test it as soon as I can (weekend, perhaps), though unfortunately I don't have a Sega CD so testing has to be done via emulator only.

Edit: unfortunately it still seems to build all files into a single .bin file...
Last edited:
Well, it was fun while it lasted ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

With a single .bin and .cue file the game will run just fine... until the level Reese gets sent back in time. At this point the background music plays but every other sound effect is beyond borked; and once the level is done, it will show the end level score screen but the next level is just a black screen - no sound, no music, no gameplay. Nothing works beyond that point.

Other than that, all the movies I transposed seemed to work just fine until that point, even with that extra second delay.

Since I'm sure I edited the ToC correctly - at least insofar as movie size is concerned - it has to be something else. I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to hunt down.

Hopefully, someone more adept at understanding the Sega CD can fix this eventually.
  • Like
Reactions: vbt