Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Nintendo1983

New Member
Hello I'm new here and I'm having trouble flashing my action replay 1.94 with pseudo Saturn Kai. I have a model 2 Sega Saturn and can successfully boot the pseudo Saturn disc with the swap technique. I choose the pseudo Saturn Kai lite option and when it asks me to push abc to flash I do. After that it says it's erasing. But that's it, it gets stuck on the erasing bit eventually after about 5mins the disc stops spinning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

privateye

New Member
Hello I'm new here and I'm having trouble flashing my action replay 1.94 with pseudo Saturn Kai. I have a model 2 Sega Saturn and can successfully boot the pseudo Saturn disc with the swap technique. I choose the pseudo Saturn Kai lite option and when it asks me to push abc to flash I do. After that it says it's erasing. But that's it, it gets stuck on the erasing bit eventually after about 5mins the disc stops spinning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Are you using the firmware flasher that is integrated into the Save Data Manager? If so, please burn pskai_alternate_flasher.iso and give the standalone flasher a try. This can be found in the 7zip archive for Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.324.
 

Nintendo1983

New Member
Are you using the firmware flasher that is integrated into the Save Data Manager? If so, please burn pskai_alternate_flasher.iso and give the standalone flasher a try. This can be found in the 7zip archive for Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.324.
I have tried the stand alone flasher as well. The same problem seems to come up. My action replay is quite old so I don't know if that maybe a problem. I forgot to mention that I have a pal Sega Saturn I don't know if that makes a difference. Thank you for your reply.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
If alternate flasher doesn't works too, then I'm lacking of solutions for your problem, sorry.

But by the past I heard about cartridges with "AM29F010" chips (instead of usual SST29EE010 chips) could not be flashed correctly, so if your cartridge is using theses chips it may be concerned by this problem.
To check that, it is required to open the cartridge and to verify what's written on flash ROM chips. Flash ROM chips are usually placed on right side of the PCB.
 

cafe-alpha

Member
By the past, I could get pictures of the PCB of this kind of "ominous" ( :) ) cartridge and verify that its flash ROM size can't be larger than 32KB because A-Bus pins A15, A16 and A17 are not connected to anything on cartridge.
As a consequence, Pseudo Saturn Kai (which requires a 256KB cartridge boot ROM) can't fit on such cartridge. (BTW, this is the same situation with "Saturn Universal Game Adaptor" cartridge)

Additionally, I suspect this cartridge to use non-rewritable flash ROM chips, hence not allowing to upgrade firmware to something else.

PS : your trinitron TV is cool ! You're lucky to own one still functioning !
 

cafe-alpha

Member
It's not directly related to Pseudo Saturn Kai itself, but I had an inquiry about how to do when even after buying a couple of cartridges it's still not possible to play games requiring expansion RAM.
TL/DR : in that case (and especially when the cartridge is advertised as supporting 1M/4M expansion RAM), please claim for a replacement or a refund to the person who sold the cartridge.


Inquiry was about being able to play a couple of fighting games, and the user was honest enough to buy these games rather than downloading them.
To play import games requiring expansion RAM, the best solution is to use an Action Replay cartridge, or some equivalent.
The user bought an Action Replay cartridge, which didn't worked for both games, so he gave another try by purchasing a red Pseudo Saturn cartridge.
That second cartridge could play the first game, but second one was unplayable because of missing or glitching graphics.


Here is my reply, which indicates why expansion RAM support is a common problem, and why it is important to claim when a cartridge is defective.


Action Replay (and all their clones) cartridges are using technology contemporary to Saturn : choice of flash ROM, SDRAM and logic array chips didn't changed for more than twenty years.
As a these kind of chips are no longer produced, even if cartridges are sold as "new", their internals are made of counterfeit and/or second hand chips hence with questionable quality.

Additionally, cartridge cloners have the bad habit to sometimes reduce manufacturing costs by using chips from cheaper suppliers, or to try to gather several chips in a single one. Such kind of "cost-optimized" cartridges work fine in normal case but usually show problems for very specific games, and those requiring expansion RAM are the most sensitive to that.
As an example, one hardware revision of Action Replay developed around the beginning of 2010's uses one CPLD instead of two HCT157 gates and one PAL chip ... and doesn't works with some games requiring expansion RAM.


Long story short, if you bought these cartridges advertised as supporting expansion RAM, then please claim for a replacement cartridge or a refund to the sellers of these cartridges.

If I were you, I would claim a replacement of the Action Replay cartridge because it doesn't works at all, and also because Action Replay carts are usually (but not always) more reliable than red Pseudo Saturn cartridge regarding expansion RAM support.
After that, if the Action Replay cartridge works correctly then please ask a refund for your red Pseudo Saturn cartridge so that a part of your money can return back to you.
(It's important to claim to the manufacturer when the product is not as expected because without this kind of feedback, manufacturers would keep lowering the quality of their products)

I hope this helps. For being a Saturn enthusiast too, it's a pity to see these cartridge cloners not being able to do their jobs correctly even after more than twenty years.


Edit : receiving such kind of question is not uncommon, but it was the first time to read something like "I bought two carts, I still can't play and I can't afford another one. What should I do ?".
Hardware cloners trying to cut corners to make more and more profits is not a new thing, but it hurts to hear retro-gaming fans having a poor gaming experience because of cheap quality hardware sold expensively. So that I posted this message.
Once again, please claim when the hardware is defective; if you don't claim, quality will go worse by worse.
 
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UHATEIT

New Member
I have a question for those who might have a solution. I now have the latest version of Saturn Kai v6.324 and have noticed that SOME games do not work for cheat functions. I can press X and select the cheat functions I want but when I start a game and play, the cheats aren't working. Is there a list of games that do or don't work even with this version? Here is a list of the ones I've found that will let me select codes but the codes aren't working:
Die Hard Arcade
Creature Shock
Layer Section 2
Darius Gaiden
Three Dirty Dwarves
Keio 2
Gex
Tunnel B1

What might be causing these games to not work the cheat codes? The codes have worked for at least 20 other games but these are a no go. Do I need to flash a different version?
 
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cafe-alpha

Member
I have a question for those who might have a solution. I now have the latest version of Saturn Kai v6.324 and have noticed that SOME games do not work for cheat functions. I can press X and select the cheat functions I want but when I start a game and play, the cheats aren't working. Is there a list of games that do or don't work even with this version? Here is a list of the ones I've found that will let me select codes but the codes aren't working:

Die Hard Arcade

Creature Shock

Layer Section 2

Darius Gaiden

Three Dirty Dwarves

Keio 2

Gex

Tunnel B1


What might be causing these games to not work the cheat codes? The codes have worked for at least 20 other games but these are a no go. Do I need to flash a different version?

Thank you for the report. As cheat codes handler was written from scratch (without decompiling Action Replay firmware) and that cheat cheat codes list was made from lists taken here and there and that it is not possible to tests all the cheat codes, some may not work, or make the game crashing etc.

Typical causes of cheat codes not working is that it is being associated with the wrong game : for example the cheats were designed for PAL version of the game, but associated with USA version in Pseudo Saturn Kai.
Also, setting master code (which makes possible the application of cheat codes) to a correct value is sometimes needed; this happens when cheat codes were found on emulator (where master code is not needed to apply cheat codes) and master code was then set to a typical value that may not work on some games.

Next version of Pseudo Saturn Kai will feature a -small- cheat codes editor so that it will be possible to test and eventually tune cheat codes. Volunteers to improve Pseudo Saturn Kai cheat codes list are welcome :)
 

UHATEIT

New Member
Awesome! I would love to test out the cheat codes in a future version to make sure they work. This whole version breathed new life into my Saturn as I'm coming back to play old games I could never beat (my last version was from 2017) I was sad to see that some of the games just don't work for the codes. I even checked the listings when they are input and they are the right codes too! So it must be the region for them that is causing that.

Tunnel B1 has a cheat code list but when you try to press X it says codes cannot load and asks to boot the game.

Layer Section 2 let's you put in codes then goes to a random screen all blurry and with black and white #s on it.

Games like Gex, Die Hard Arcade, Darius Gaiden and Keio let you put in invincibility codes then they don't work, you can still get hit and die.

Perhaps I need to find other versions of the game (different regions) and see if it works on them too?
 

cafe-alpha

Member
Awesome! I would love to test out the cheat codes in a future version to make sure they work. This whole version breathed new life into my Saturn as I'm coming back to play old games I could never beat (my last version was from 2017)

Until next release I have several details to fix regarding Fenrir support and maybe some extra side features too, so please stay tuned :)


I was sad to see that some of the games just don't work for the codes. I even checked the listings when they are input and they are the right codes too! So it must be the region for them that is causing that.

Now that you say it, while it is possible to automatically select a cheat codes list according to game being loaded, the reverse (selecting a game version according to cheat codes available for it) is not a straightforward operation. Sorry for that.


Tunnel B1 has a cheat code list but when you try to press X it says codes cannot load and asks to boot the game.

This is a special case where JHL loader must be used to boot the game. Currently, cheat codes are available only for CWX loader so that this confirmation screen is displayed.


Layer Section 2 let's you put in codes then goes to a random screen all blurry and with black and white #s on it.


Games like Gex, Die Hard Arcade, Darius Gaiden and Keio let you put in invincibility codes then they don't work, you can still get hit and die.


Perhaps I need to find other versions of the game (different regions) and see if it works on them too?

For other games, it's a case-by-case problem : if you're lucky then cheat codes may work for another version or region.
 

privateye

New Member
Games like Gex, Die Hard Arcade, Darius Gaiden and Keio let you put in invincibility codes then they don't work, you can still get hit and die.
  • Cheats for the EUR/JPN versions of Keio Flying Squadron 2 are fixed in the latest beta, so please look forward to the next public release of Pseudo Saturn Kai :)
  • I am aware that cheats are not working with Die Hard Arcade USA. I intend to test the EUR and JPN versions when I have time.
  • I'll also look into Gex and Darius Gaiden when I can.
Layer Section 2 let's you put in codes then goes to a random screen all blurry and with black and white #s on it.
Thanks for the report, I'll look into this soon.

Perhaps I need to find other versions of the game (different regions) and see if it works on them too?
For other games, it's a case-by-case problem : if you're lucky then cheat codes may work for another version or region.
As @cafe-alpha said, sometimes cheat codes only work correctly with a certain regional version or game revision. For example, Fighting Vipers JPN has two separate cheat sets for v1.010 and v1.013 of the game. I also remember that tuning cheats for Virtual-On was quite troublesome because the codes had to be re-shuffled between the EUR/KOR, JPN, and USA cheat sets.
 
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ArcadeTV

New Member
@cafe-alpha
I'm sorry if this may not be the appropriate place to ask about RmenuKai.
I have an issue with my Saturn/Rhea/WingmanSD setup:
The brook WingmanSD controller converter works flawlessly in RmenuKai, but as soon as I start a game a reset is triggered.
I suspect that the converter triggers all buttons including an ingame-reset-combo upon re-initialization, so my question would be "Can I disable the ingame-reset somehow?".
I already flashed the latest brook firmware and contacted their tech support, but I doubt that this will be resolved on their end.
Switching back to rmenu also resolves the issue, but I like RmenuKai better in terms of being able to use the built-in cheats and having a great visual menu.
Thank you very much for your efforts!
 

cafe-alpha

Member
RmenuKai have this setting being locked to system reset, and (IIRC) as RMENU is providing system reset feature too I doubt that disabling it will solve the problem
So the best I can do is to prepare a test utility to get more details about what's going wrong with your controller. On your side, it requires many free time to test on real hardware, to report me how things went and patience because this kind of issue usually requires a lot of tries to be fixed. -> Please send me a PM if you want the debug hell to start.

I already flashed the latest brook firmware and contacted their tech support, but I doubt that this will be resolved on their end.

I won't be surprised of the lack of technical help because that was the same when I fixed support of wireless pad in Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.314.
 

ArcadeTV

New Member
Thank you very much for your generous offer. Since I can't be the only one who's struggeling with this issue, count me in.
I'll drop you a PM.
 
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