Panzer Dragoon Saga + Action Replay + COMMS enabled = no luck

Panzer Dragoon Saga is my favourite game, but as you know it's a very easy one. I've been trying to find an Action Replay/Gameshark code that could make it a bit harder (for example, doubling the enemies' hit points or limiting your dragon's experience). However, it seems you can't use an Action Replay cartridge with PDS due to the well-known message "Please remove the cartridge".


Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Use the boot code!" "Use antime's patch!"

And I did. Both methods work if you want to just play the game with an AR, but they won't if you start the game with COMMS, which is what you need to do in order to look for codes using your Comms-Link PC Card. Starting the patched game or the unpatched disc with the boot code and the option COMMS ENABLED will always show you the dreaded "Please remove the cartridge" message.


Any ideas?


PS: I hadn't posted for almost 6 years. Yeah, I'm *that* desperate :biggrin:.
 
No, it didn't.


However, I found out that one of the beta versions (September 1997) doesn't check for the Action Replay cartridge, and I managed to create some codes for it. The problem comes when I try to use those codes on my original or patched PDS, even with the boot code on and COMMS off. "Please remove the cartridge, you pathetic hacker wannabe!". I think I can hear the game laughing at me.


I even tried swapping the discs at the Press Start screen, but the game just hangs. I guess I'll just play the game blindfolded in order to increase its difficulty...
 
This is a pretty interesting observation. The game checks the cartridge area for the ID strings of several cheat devices and I assume the ISO patch disables that check. But if it can still detect a cartridge *only* when comms or codes are enabled, it must be checking something unrelated to the hardware that the Action Replay sets up in those two situations. I think it could either be:

1. The location of the code list in work RAM. Changing the address that codes are stored at could make this check pass, though the question of course is where else to put them.

2. The state of the UBC. The AR needs to set this up so it can poke memory locations during runtime and respond to Comms Link activity. Maybe the game checks the UBC registers for certain values and displays a warning if they don't match.

Thanks to CyberWarriorX for explaining all these AR details to me. :D

I wonder if PDS runs in any Saturn emulators that have debuggers. It would be worthwhile to see if either of these checks occur.
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
An X-Terminator cart won't work as it's the other type of cartridge the game searches for.
 
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