Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

I just bough a Sega Saturn and I wonder if someone could share a good address to buy an Action Replay. The cheapest place I found is here: http://www.play-asia.com/action-replay-4m-auto-plus/13/701b2 but in comments someone say that it will NOT play most of the 4mb required Capcom fighting games.

Where is the best/cheappest place?
Thank you a lot, and it's very cool to follow your reverse engineering progress with the Saturn!
 

SegaSaturnShrine

Established Member
it will play pretty much any game that requires additional RAM, that being said there are a small handful of games that have their own proprietary ROM cartridges that contain actual game data they couldn't fit on the disc. The AR won't help you with those games (I think king of fighters is one of them.....). Play-Asia is a good site to order from, if your in the US I suggest ordering one from www.ncsx.com as they're US based, you won't have to wait for customs :p. Last time I checked they were out of stock, but I imagine they'll be getting more soon
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
I just bough a Sega Saturn and I wonder if someone could share a good address to buy an Action Replay. The cheapest place I found is here: http://www.play-asia.com/action-replay-4m-auto-plus/13/701b2 but in comments someone say that it will NOT play most of the 4mb required Capcom fighting games.

Where is the best/cheappest place?
Thank you a lot, and it's very cool to follow your reverse engineering progress with the Saturn!

Personally, the last time I bought an Action Replay cart was ... around 9 years ago ^^


Pseudo Saturn Kai news : last week, I first published Pseudo Saturn Kai compatibility list.
Special thanks to Stac for testing the games, and Madroms for allowing me to use his Saturn Game Data Base :)
 

SegaSaturnShrine

Established Member
Few steps before the release :)
Until release, I would like to get some labels for my cartridges ... any contribution welcome :)
More details here : http://ppcenter.webou.net/devblog/article/92/wanted-custom-cartridge-label.html

Just wondering, are there any advantages to throwing Kai (upon release) on a regular old AR cart (without the parallel port), in comparison to using previous versions of Pseudosaturn? Would I gain anything from doing so? I mean my console is hardmodded for cd-r's so I no longer use pseudosaturn myself, I reflashed my AR cart back to stock for booting imports and using cheats. But I guess what I'm asking is would it provide me any advantage to flash my trusty old cart to Kai once its out, or should I just leave it stock?
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
Just wondering, are there any advantages to throwing Kai (upon release) on a regular old AR cart (without the parallel port), in comparison to using previous versions of Pseudosaturn? Would I gain anything from doing so? I mean my console is hardmodded for cd-r's so I no longer use pseudosaturn myself, I reflashed my AR cart back to stock for booting imports and using cheats. But I guess what I'm asking is would it provide me any advantage to flash my trusty old cart to Kai once its out, or should I just leave it stock?

For Action Replay users, first release of Pseudo Saturn Kai is "just" Pseudo Saturn with a slightly improved game compatibility.
Since there's a small risk to brick Action Replay cartridge when flashing it, it's not recommended to upgrade to Pseudo Saturn Kai if you don't need it.
Examples of cases upgrading to Pseudo Saturn Kai is not useful for you :
- You hardmodded (modchip, ODE, etc) your Saturn.
- Pseudo Saturn version you're using is enough for your needs : please keep to use it until you find incompatible game, and upgrade to Pseudo Saturn Kai if this game is marked as compatible in game compatibility list.

Edit : I updated Pseudo Saturn Kai's FAQ page with your question :)

Do you build your cartridge from sracth or do you modify an Action Replay to do it ?

Gamer's cartridge is made from USB dev cart schematics, hence is not related to Action Replay.
It's not possible to easily make a Gamer's cartridge from modifying an Action Replay.
 
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Hi, I apologize if this has been brought up here already, I searched the thread but didn't find anything. I recently bought a Sega branded Jap version of the Mem card +. The flash does not recognize it at all. The device and vendor ID are FFFF. When I try to flash it goes through the motions as if it was going to, but does nothing to the card and I get an error at the end. The card is in no way affected, I can still access it through the system menu, copy saves, format it ect, ect. This really says nothing because the flash does the same thing with absolutely nothing inserted in the cartridge slot. Any advice or help? Thanks.
 

SegaSaturnShrine

Established Member
Hi, I apologize if this has been brought up here already, I searched the thread but didn't find anything. I recently bought a Sega branded Jap version of the Mem card +. The flash does not recognize it at all. The device and vendor ID are FFFF. When I try to flash it goes through the motions as if it was going to, but does nothing to the card and I get an error at the end. The card is in no way affected, I can still access it through the system menu, copy saves, format it ect, ect. This really says nothing because the flash does the same thing with absolutely nothing inserted in the cartridge slot. Any advice or help? Thanks.

From what I understand, pseudo Saturn isn't compatible with memory card carts. You need an action replay, gameshark or usb dev cart or the gamers' cartridge (WIP). Ive read some people had luck with certain ST-Key region free carts, but i know for a fact that the ones sold by www.ncsx.com dont work with it. Same result as what you got with the memory card, i tried it myself. You're best bet is to just get a cartridge thats already confirmef to work...
 
I see, I misread these shoddy guides and thought the "memcard" part refereed to a regular memory card, not the GS+Mem. Thanks for the answer.
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
I see, I misread these shoddy guides and thought the "memcard" part refereed to a regular memory card, not the GS+Mem. Thanks for the answer.

I confirm SegaSaturnShrine's explanations : original memory cartridge and boot cartridge (Action Replay, Game Shark, etc) are technically completely different things and consequently it's not possible to write firmware on memory cartridge.

Gamer's Cartridge is a boot cartridge (= Pseudo Saturn compatible) that simulates the behavior of a memory cartridge by using a software hack.
 
Hey guys!

I wonder what tool you would use for flashing an AR cart into Pseudo Saturn? Altus flasher or cafealpha flasher? What is the difference?
I just want to install Pseudo-Saturn v0.832 found here: https://github.com/cyberwarriorx/pseudosaturn because for what I understand Pseudo-Saturn Kai is mostly for using with USB-Cart. Am I right?
 
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cafe-alpha

Established Member
I wonder what tool you would use for flashing an AR cart into Pseudo Saturn? Altus flasher or cafealpha flasher? What is the difference?

Atlas was the reference ... 10 years ago. I made a different flasher in order to add what was missing in existing flashers.
So I recommend my flasher. If you prefer Atlas, please use it, but don't claim it bricked your cartridge.

I just want to install Pseudo-Saturn v0.832 found here: https://github.com/cyberwarriorx/pseudosaturn because for what I understand Pseudo-Saturn Kai is mostly for using with USB-Cart. Am I right?

Pseudo Saturn Kai is designed for USB dev cart, Action Replay (and their clones), and Gamer's Cartridge.
It's currently unavailable (release soon), so I can't recommend it. After release, I would recommend it to people wanting to install Pseudo Saturn on Action Replay.
 
Thank you for your help. I have downloaded and burned your flasher (last version). I am trying the swap trick without success.

My dreamcast does not like every brand of cdr. Is it the same thing with the Saturn? I used the same cdr than I use with my Dreamcast with ImgBurn. Burning speed was 16X. I cannot go slower.

When I try the swap trick it always end by many short burst sound coming from the cd-drive and after a while the cd player menu shows with a message about disk format.

Is there a way to know if the problem is with my swapping technic or if the problem is with a bad burned or incompatble cdr?
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
Thank you for your help. I have downloaded and burned your flasher (last version). I am trying the swap trick without success.

My dreamcast does not like every brand of cdr. Is it the same thing with the Saturn? I used the same cdr than I use with my Dreamcast with ImgBurn. Burning speed was 16X. I cannot go slower.

Among Saturn parts, CDROM unit is the weakest one, and it's becoming vintage item, so there may be incompatibility with some CD-Rs.
Please try with different burning speed and/or different CD-R brand. Before purchasing different CD-R, please give a try at speed higher speed : maybe your CD burner is optimized for faster speed.
And there is no strong correlation between CD-R price and compatibility with Saturn (it's more or less a matter of luck ^^; ), so if burning your CD-R at faster speed didn't worked, then please try with CD-R at reasonable price, not necessarily the most expensive one.

When I try the swap trick it always end by many short burst sound coming from the cd-drive and after a while the cd player menu shows with a message about disk format.
Is there a way to know if the problem is with my swapping technic or if the problem is with a bad burned or incompatble cdr?

Please try to boot a regular game, same region as your Saturn's.
If it doesn't boots, then problem is likely on your Saturn side.

If swap trick doesn't works, even after watching swap tricks tutorials on youtube, and after many tries, and even after changing CD-R brand, please tune your CD-ROM laser beam with the potentiometer on your Saturn's CD drive board, rear side. It is orange, and can be tuned with a cruciform driver, you can't miss it.
Please note that you should tune that potentiometer as little as possible (= as close as possible from its initial state), since it is said that, in long term usage, incorrect tuning may damage your Saturn's laser.
 
Thank you for the advices. Hopefully, regular games are booting correctly.

I have an old PC that is taking dust in the garage. I think there is a cd burner in it, so I will give a try with that machine which might be able to burn at low speed correctly. I will try another cdrom brand too...

Also, I saw in your flasher readme that I have to boot the flasher cdrom with the cart plugged in, but when I am reading about the swap trick, people say to remove any cart. Does it matter?
 

SegaSaturnShrine

Established Member
Thank you for the advices. Hopefully, regular games are booting correctly.

I have an old PC that is taking dust in the garage. I think there is a cd burner in it, so I will give a try with that machine which might be able to burn at low speed correctly. I will try another cdrom brand too...

Also, I saw in your flasher readme that I have to boot the flasher cdrom with the cart plugged in, but when I am reading about the swap trick, people say to remove any cart. Does it matter?
Correct, when using the swap trick the cart must be removed until the flasher utility loads. Then once its loaded, go ahead and put the cart in. The cart actually modifies the boot process and will mess with the swap trick process
 

cafe-alpha

Established Member
Thank you for the advices. Hopefully, regular games are booting correctly.

I have an old PC that is taking dust in the garage. I think there is a cd burner in it, so I will give a try with that machine which might be able to burn at low speed correctly. I will try another cdrom brand too...

Also, I saw in your flasher readme that I have to boot the flasher cdrom with the cart plugged in, but when I am reading about the swap trick, people say to remove any cart. Does it matter?

By the past, I lost a couple of Saturns by doing such hot plug things, so I can't recommend to plug cartridge while Saturn is powered on.
Ideally, it would be better to slightly move the cartridge in its slot (one or two millimeters, just enough to make Saturn incorrectly detecting cartridge, hence booting from CD-ROM) before powering on the Saturn, and adjust cartridge position after having performed the swap trick : this was one of the reasons that motivated me to refresh of display vendor/device IDs while firmware flasher utility is running.
 
Finally, the swap trick did work and the flasher had booted correctly. When I inserted the AR cart (purchased from play-asia.com), the vendor/device IDs displayed Unknown. I dont know if it's a bad thing or what, but the flashing process to turn it into Pseudo Saturn was successful anyway.

I dont have backup games yet. Is there a way to test if the cart was flashed correctly? Maybe there would be some info in the Saturn boot menu when the cart is plugged or somewhere?
 

SegaSaturnShrine

Established Member
do you have any original imports to try? It should still bring up the Pseudosaturn mini boot menu that lasts for a few seconds before the game launches. As for the unknown flash type error, that's happened to me a few times, I've found by wiggling the cartridge in its slot a bit that it would detect the actual chipset, but if you got it to flash anyways and it works all power to you! :p
 
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