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Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread

Discussion in 'Saturn Dev' started by vbt, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Thank you for the good news :]
    I just made some improvements on the loader, without minding a lot about compatibility, so I'm surprised everything is compatible from the first public release.

    I'm becoming used to fix Pseudo Saturn Kai bugs :D

    It's probably the game itself that set incorrect time stamp : do you confirm date for other saves are correct ?
    Also, I probably need to fix comment display for "SONIC_WINGS" and "TWINB_YAHHO" saves : can you take a pictures of theses saves when selected on my Save Data Manager (I would like to know their language code) ?
    And do you confirm the comment for theses two saves is displayed in katakana in Saturn's internal save data manager ?

    As bugfixes concern Save Data Manager (= application different from firmware), there's no need to re-verify game compatibility.
    I will first verify what's wrong with "SONIC_WINGS" and "TWINB_YAHHO" saves comment display, and let you know when beta will be available :)

    No need to stuff iso ? Great, that's one thing less to do on my side :D
    Video about swap trick is more than welcome ! I would be glad to link it on my homepage :]

    Finding free time is a difficult task ;)

    I confirm that copying first half of the IP header from a valid game will do the job.
    (Second half of the IP header, after game title shouldn't be modified, since it contains start address information, variable from a game to another.)
  2. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    I will check if any other game has an incorrect time stamp is shown on any save ^^
    and surely, i'll take the pictures of the saves you asked me :D
    I believe that the saves are correctly displayed in katakana in Saturn's internal save data manager, but I will give it a look there too ;) pictures comming latter today!

    Great!! I think I tried at least more than half of my burned games! all booting smoothly as should :3

    hehe its good to have one thing less to worry :)
    I will try to make a video about the swap trick today, but I don't really know if I will have the time :/
    I'll look for my rca cables for my capture card to show the screen better... this cable is going missing for a while! lol

    Indeed.... I totally agree with you! I miss my childhood where I had lots of free time to do my stuff >.<

    I'm so happy now that I don't need to Re-download an ISO if it is broken :banana::biglaugh:
  3. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    Confirming here, the saves for Sonic Wings and TwinBee Yahoo displays katakana correctly on Saturn's Internal Save Data Manager

    The description on Pseudo Satun Kai's Save Data Manager is as follows:

    And i'm looking for more strange dates in the Save data manager and I'll list some here:
    Filename: VIRTUACOP_1 Date: 01242A1F, 2016/05/27 05:17 <- Never played this game so early in the morning
    Filename: AREA51__001 and 002 Date: 02A402C0, 2064/03/26 03:00 <- Year and Month, i'm sure i've played this in May
    Filename: GALE_RACER_ Date: 008246A0, 1996/03/26 02:00 <- Year
    Filename: LEYNOS2_DAT Date: 06084D4F, 2172/06/03 03:21 <- Year
    Filename: ROADRASH001 Date: 02A402C0, 2064/03/26 03:00 <- Exact same date and tima as Area51
    Filename: SONICR___01 Date: 00000000, 1980/01/01 02:00
    Filename: THREE_DIRTY Date: 00000000, 1980/01/01 02:00
  4. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Good news :)

    That was a problem on Save Data Manager : as you can see, comment on lower half of the screen is displayed correctly in Katakana, while being incorrectly displayed in menu ...
    The reason is that I first believed that text encoding depended on save's language, but realized after that is was "ASCII+half width kana" only (= it's not possible to store accented letters in save comment field) ... and forgot to change save description display in copy/move/delete/hexedit menus.

    I suppose that theses games are not using date field, or use it to store other data : BIOS save manager doesn't displays date, and game can set anything without any check on BIOS side.
    Language field also seems to be used in a wierd way by some games (for example, Croc, IIRC).
  5. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    This is interesting! It's great to see more and more progress :D

    I find amusing developers exploring the save format of the saturn to their advantage, so they could store a few things more without needing another block. I think that only some games used the date field to show the last time the game was saved, can't remember which one though

    Guys! everything is working OK and some bugs with the Save Data Manager in some posts above were fixed!
    So expect a new public Pseudo Saturn Kai release from @cafe-alpha soon! :D
  6. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    More to come ;)

    done :) Thank you for bug report and testing !
  7. seal1

    seal1 New Member


    I finally got most of my saturn hardware from storage.
    I'm happy none of the batteries leaked.
    Cleaned carts and carts slots, got 3 carts workin (original Backup Memory, EMS ARP 1.94, EMS 4in1 2.02 both w/ PAR-port).
    Flashed your pseudo saturn kai to the EMS ARP 1.94, thx, now I can use CD-Rs on my japanese saturn, which is the only one of my 4 saturns w/o a modchip. (note to all: I was missing out on the original pseudo saturn due to real life.)

    But my most important cart (ARP 1.94 w/ USB made by Pinchy) will not work. After 30+ attempts I gave up, it had already trouble 10 years back from the beginning, but as I remember after max. 10 attempts I got it into the right position.

    I will retry tomorrow but most likely I want to switch to an "usb dev cart", because even if I got the pinchy-cart working your cool satcom-package would not work with "cypress ez-usb fx2" chip that pinchy used.
  8. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    Guys, i'm having a strange bug... but I don't think this is a Pseudo Saturn fault at all....
    I'm almost done testing my burned games, but this game: Purikura Daisakusen is acting strange.... the burned CD-R is pristine! not a single small scratch at all... but I can't get past the introduction! before going to gameplay, it always kicks me back to multi player screen! first I thought that could be because I had no space for this game to save, freed some space, but it still happens! tried Going back to Pseudo 0.832 and it didn't work too! and I played this game quite a bit with 0.832! it worked fine! lastly tried playing with swaptrick, only to get te same results..... Setting console language to Japanese didn't work either... any ideas? should I re-burn? I don't want to waste a CD-R...

    Has anyone had a similar problem?
    Disk in question:

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  9. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Welcome back :]

    I can add try to add support for Pinchy's USB cart to SatLink (it was designed to support several link types), but if yours doesn't works anymore, it's probably time to switch to USB dev cart ^^ (please contact me if you're interested)

    Probably some in-game CDROM authentication, as Panzer Dragoon Saga does.
    I have both a modchipped Saturn and a plain one, so I can see if Pseudo Saturn is the culprit or not.
    However I don't have access to my Saturns for a couple of weeks, so please be patient :)
  10. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    I'm happy to inform that I've just finished testing all of my burned games! (155 total)

    Link to my spreadsheet
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    cafe-alpha and SegaSaturnShrine like this.
  11. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    It took a while, but your test information are now available on my homepage :)
    There are currently 259 games available in the compatibility list, vs 65 games a month ago :]
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  12. Go cafe-alpha! President of Sega Saturn!
  13. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    No : Segata Sanshiro is our grand master :)
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  14. HazukiRyo

    HazukiRyo New Member

    @cafe-alpha I like your homepage! I like its 1995s style!
    cafe-alpha and SegaSaturnShrine like this.
  15. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Thank you !
    This is actually the extent in my graphics design and web development skillz :D
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  16. Torico

    Torico New Member

    It's very good, I think it might be PlanetWeb-compatible :)
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.
  17. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    I hope so ^^
    But I'm not sure Planet Web likes CSS.

    Maybe I should add a "designed for Netscape 3.0" somewhere in my homepage, like in the good old times :D

    Completely unrelated : reddit link.
    I don't have a reddit account, so I reply here (= Pseudo Saturn Kai official thread).

    About the (probable) reason that Pseudo Saturn 0.832 works, but Kai may not work : Pseudo Saturn Kai takes significantly more space in flash ROM than Pseudo Saturn, and consequently the risk it fails because of broken flash memory is higher.
    This is particularly true for old Action Replay carts and/or carts with Action Replay cheat codes or backup memory features heavily used before installing Pseudo Saturn. (Theses features write to flash ROM each time they are used, hence shorten life length of flash memory chips.)

    If people who installed Pseudo Saturn Kai on their Action Replay carts could confirm (or infirm) that it works well, that would be appreciated :)
    If many people report similar problem, I should start thinking about a countermeasure to it, but if that's only one isolated case, there's nothing else to do that buying a new Action Replay cart.

    About the "still needs a lot of work" point :
    I started the development of a Saturn cartridge providing backup memory on external media (SD card) around 4 years ago.
    I merged sources from this project to Pseudo Saturn sources in Autumn 2014, around two years ago.
    Before making first release, I tested A LOT Pseudo Saturn Kai on home-made carts (using brand new flash chips), without troubles, and some people confirmed me it worked fine on their Action Replay carts.

    I personally consider this project is mature enough in order to be released, and safely used.

    (Edit : fixed link)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  18. Thales Peres

    Thales Peres New Member

    I have linked your post in that reddit link, and he answered the following:
  19. seal1

    seal1 New Member

    finally I got it to work after an insane number of attemps (removing cart, reinserting cart).
    but this is for sure not healthy for the cart slot.
    I need to clue this together forever now ?
    but pinchys-cart uses an unsigned modded driver, he supplied a 32bit binary and source, from which I compiled years ago a 64bit binary, that still works with win10, but I have to boot with F8 and disable driver signature enforcement (ok, I could testsign the driver manually or with tool as recommended in my readme.txt).
    but Microsoft never sleeps and with the new Windows 1607 (aka Redstone) throws more sticks in my legs. if I upgrade nothing changes now, but when I do a fresh install in the future, unsigned driver are out of question (maybe only for new hardware with new drivers dated past 2016-06-29?).
    The FX2 from Cypress which pinchy used finally got also a officially signed driver a few years back, but it comes with a incompatible driver interface, which forces at least a partial rewrite of pinchy's transfer/memview/etc-tool and maybe a rewrite of the FX2-firmware ?
    So I would be best to switch to a modern device with a signed driver from FTDI.

    Is there any chance of you making an enhanced USB-dev-cart with a 1MB/4MB RAM feature ? According to your gallery or blog in older revisions you had unused RAM-chip on the pcb ?

    in the meantime I ordered your cool SGC (v3.1) from your french connection.
    Great work !
    maybe for protection of the SD-card I would recommend to change the SD-slot to "fully insert" (deeper in the case) without sticking anything out of the cart-case.
    Is the unpopulated X601 in any way usable as "link" to pc ? (even only small speed is available)
  20. cafe-alpha

    cafe-alpha Member

    Sorry for the delay.

    It looks like Timmy2kx didn't had luck with its relatively new Action Replay :/
    I suppose that his cart have some corrupted sectors, in "bad luck" places, not used by both OEM firmware and Pseudo Saturn 0.83x, but used by Pseudo Saturn Kai.
    First flash memory sectors (used by all firmwares) are probably OK, but Pseudo Saturn Kai also runs code from flash ROM's last sectors, and I suppose that data corruption problem is likely to occur there.
    (That also may explain why Pseudo Saturn Kai may boot, but not work when loading game, because last sectors are used in order to perform bootloader last steps.)

    Great you could resurrect you cart !
    But it looks like you need to glue your cart in its slot, and use an old PC/laptop with Windows XP/7 in order to use it :S
    I didn't know Pinchy was using custom driver ... this unfortunately makes software difficult to maintain.

    BTW, is there source code for pinchy's transfer/memview/etc-tool ? I can try to port it for USB dev cart if you're interested.

    Thank you for the feedback !
    SGC is a good cart for games using backup memory, especially RPGs, Dezaemon 2, etc. Please enjoy it :)

    Thank you for the suggestion, but unfortunately that's currently not possible to place SD card socket deeper, because of Action Replay shell's "central pillar".
    You can see "central pillar" and SD card socket positions in this picture : I used red ink in order to verify position of pillar.
    (I don't remember if it's possible to place SD card socket deeper when used with memory cartridge shell, as in your SGC v3.1, but I don't plan to use memory cartridge shells in future projects.)

    At a moment, @zone66x made pillar-free custom shells with 3D printer (pictures here), but I lost contact with him :/

    X401 ? That's CPLD's JTAG connector, so it can't be used for anything else.
    SGC's CPLD is very small (in terms of logic and pin count), so I don't think it's possible to add link feature from it.

    Older revisions have extra RAM, but that was relatively small (128KB) and a bit expensive SRAM.
    I also tried to add old DRAM (4MB, similar to chips used in Action Replay, details here), but this was a complete failure :D

    If you want to try Saturn program on real hardware, one solution is to use your SGC, because it can execute homebrew programs (standalone SH-2 programs, with 0x06004000 as start address) from SD card.
    But this requires you to unplug/plug SD card on each tests, and memview/gdb/etc aren't available because of the lack of USB connectivity, so you probably want something better for development.

    Can you let me know (here or PM) about the development features you want for your Saturn project(s), and the priority levels for theses ?
    Example :
    - USB connectivity
    - Extra RAM
    - Remote printf
    - SD card interface (if you want to make a game)
    - USB connectivity when commercial game is running
    If you want to make a demo, or small game, then USB dev cart (or SGC) should do the job. If you want to do more, I can suggest you appropriate cart/tools ;)

    BTW, I currently have one USB dev cart (= without RAM, without SD card too, just USB) in stock.
    My homepage indicates "out of stock" just because I didn't had time to update the status for it.
    SegaSaturnShrine likes this.

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