Swap with memory cartridge

Bootnut

New Member
Greetings!

I've been reading the Saturn forum for a few days now, finding out everything I can about swapping and modboards. I couldn't get my model 2 to swap on anything reliably, so I figured I'd order a modboard in the very near future.

Or, maybe not.

My No Name 8MB save game cart always loads up to the cd player control, with a 'start application' button for loading games.

Here's what I did:

I loaded an original as normal, with the cover open. When the disc stopped, and the 'start application' button is 'lit', I swapped in a copy of a game and pressed start. Voila, the copy runs! No swapping with the motor running!

Is this news to anyone? If not, why did I find only one response in a thread that suggested something like this? I am amazed.

I wish I could tell you the name of the cartridge, but all it says on the front is '8 Megabyte' in colored letters. The cart is white, and the only other thing is a small white sticker that says 'R.E.S. Guaranteed' (or something similar)covering an edge (tampering indicator).

Bootnut
 

Curtis

Member
How strange. Your certain that the Start Application is only lit up when the cart is in the slot? The only way I've heard of a cartridge assisting in booting is by pausing when booting up so you don't have to get the timing correct for the swap...
 

Bootnut

New Member
Without the cart in the slot, the game would just load up when I turn the saturn on. The only time I'd see the cd player control is when I put an Audio CD in.

Just a note, this is the regular cd player control, and the place where the CD-G button normally would be is where the Start Application button is. It's not an extra screen, or an extra button inserted by the cart, as far as I can tell.

With the cart in, it always goes to the cd player control, and I have to select 'start application' to play a game.

I was very surprised at this myself. I only have a few games (copies) to test with, but so far so good.
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
You should be able to enter the CD player by holding A when booting the Saturn. The Start Application button always appears when a Saturn CD is inserted, this is perfectly normal (and is described in the manual).

I'd like to hear if anyone else can perform the swap this easily or if it's your cart, as otherwise it would be an incredible oversight on Sega's part.
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
Something doesn't seem right, though.

So you say you start the system with an original in, wait for the start application to light up, switch in a copy, then hit start?

If I remember correctly, it should check for a security ring one more time after the memory cart. But that's not my main concern.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're booting with a cart, the TOC is loaded first, so after application start is pressed, it doesn't check the TOC again? So let's say the original is Virtua Cop, and the copy is Virtua Fighter, wouldn't the Saturn (in this situation) think it's playing Virtua Cop? In which case this method will fail for some games?

I'm trying to think if my Saturn did this as well when playing originals... I feel as though it checked for the security ring after one chose start application, whether it be copy or original. In which case, could it be something with the cart itself?
 

Alexh

New Member
Originally posted by antime@Feb 13, 2003 @ 09:45 PM

You should be able to enter the CD player by holding A when booting the Saturn. The Start Application button always appears when a Saturn CD is inserted, this is perfectly normal (and is described in the manual).

I'd like to hear if anyone else can perform the swap this easily or if it's your cart, as otherwise it would be an incredible oversight on Sega's part.

I've just tried this on a non-modchip MK1 saturn with no cartridge. It doesnt work. It tries to search for the protection track. Either:

1) it's the blokes cartridge

2) he has a modded saturn and doesnt know it

3) he's fibbin'


Alex
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
Originally posted by Alexh@Feb 13, 2003 @ 02:21 AM

I've just tried this on a non-modchip MK1 saturn with no cartridge. It doesnt work. It tries to search for the protection track. Either:

1) it's the blokes cartridge

2) he has a modded saturn and doesnt know it

3) he's fibbin'


Alex

Not to rip on you, but just to get the subject matter clear:

1) it's not modded. He could only do the swap sporadically.

2) The question here is if you could bypass the security check if you have a cart in there, and perform a swap on how he described it in his post.

So, if you have a cart, and could try it out, it would be appreciated.
 

Bootnut

New Member
Ok, to clarify:

The Saturn is not modded. I bought it new 5 years ago, and I've never taken it apart until I taped up the door switch, which was last week.

I wondered about the TOC and how it handles that as well. Only one game has not worked so far, and that is Panzer Dragoon Zwei, which was a copy of my original, done with a bin/cue using CDRWin 3.9c.

I've got 4 more games to try, so we'll see what happens. The 3 that I've tested so far work with 2 different originals.

I will test to be sure I can't do this without the cart in. I will also dismantle the cart and see if I can find any more identifying features on the inside.

Update:

This does not work without the cartridge, as to be expected.

This does seem to cause some instability with copies of games. So far, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Shining Wisdom will not boot. DOA, Battle Arena Toshinden and Baku Baku crash at different points, but are playable to a certain degree. Sonic R, Shining The Holy Ark and Panzer Dragoon play without a hitch (so far).

Fun! So maybe I'll be ordering a modchip after all.

Bootnut
 

Bootnut

New Member
Well, I think I've figured out what's happening here! And it's not really such a wonder after all.

First off, I've been able to perform the swap trick without the cartridge quite reliably now. I've been able to test the games a little better that way. What I've found is that the games that did work before, but were flaky, work absolutely fine with the normal swap trick with no cartridge. I went one better: I tried putting an original in to start, and when the protection check is over, swap to the copy. (So only one swap, where the second swap would normally be) The result? The games ran very flaky again, crashing in nearly the same, or the same, spots.

So then, I tried putting the cart back in, and starting with a copy. Since the disc doesn' slow down where it would without the cart, I waited until I saw the cd player control screen, at which point the cd slows down, and quickly swapped in an original. Once the disc was accepted and the 'Start Application' button was lit, I loaded the copy. Everything seemed to work fine, and audio tracks were playing that didn't before with the single swap.

This leads me to believe that the flakiness was TOC problems.. looking for tracks it didn't know how to find. I'm sure there's a more technical explanation than this, but it makes sense.

So, the end result is that I can swap with the cart, and have only 1 moving swap, while the second swap is when the cd has stopped spinning. Better than a regular swap, anyway.

I still can't get some games to work, but there are too many variables to figure out why right now. Maybe some games you simply cannot swap, or as has been mentioned in the forum, some games can't be swap-loaded with certain originals.

Thanks for entertaining my wild claims! hehe But still, there must be something to the cartridge.. I can't do it the same way without the cart, just pressing A to loadup to the cd player control.

Bootnut
 
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