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Saturn Saturn games with compatibility issues

PopetherevXXVIII

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I have a white model 2 Saturn and just found out Sega Ages Outrun isn't compatible with it. It's annoying but at least I have m2's fantastic Switch port.

But for future collection purposes what other Saturn games have issues on one revision or another? I'm guessing I'll have to be one of those Saturn fanboy with multiple systems.
 

speedyink

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I had no idea there were compatibility issues between the two...haven't found anything that doesn't work on my model 1
 

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IIRC, there's a 68000 bug on certain Saturn mainboard(VA10, VA11). I don't know the detail tech info. But it sounds like an audio system init bug which eventually caused an unexpected error on VA10/11 mainboard. Sega released the bug fixed releases for those games. For Sega Ages: Outrun, it's a pity that you cannot identify if it's a revised version or not until you open the box and check the ring code on the disc. If you see there is "01050A" instead of "01050", then it's a revised copy with VA10/11 compatible.

There's a redump release. I cannot give you link. But the filename "Sega Ages - OutRun (Japan) (Rev A).zip" should be enough helpful.

For identifyng your Saturn mainboard model: If your Saturn is not JVC Victor Saturn, just check the serial number for the 7th character. That's your board VA revision. (A/B/D/F corresponding to 10/11/13/15). If your Saturn is JVC model. You have to tear it down, check through the thermal hole under the optical drive. Or completely remove the thermal shield and compare the board model images on https://gdemu.emu.wiki/rhea/saturn/2017/07/18/saturn-model-and-ode.html

I have no complete list of such games that not compatible with VA10/11, but Outrun and Space Harrier are definitely in this case. Hope someone will tell if there's any other game contain this compatibility issue.
And it would be appreciated if anyone can make a post and explain the cause or the detail tech info on this 68k bug.
 
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la-li-lu-le-lo

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I have a model 1 grey Japanese Saturn, though I can’t remember the motherboard revision. It works with Out Run, Space Harrier, as well as every other game I’ve tried. I mostly just use that system, but I also have a model 1 US system for US games. I don’t think there’s much need to have multiple Japanese systems - in fact, if you did a region mod on a model 1 Japanese Saturn, then you could play everything on one system.
 

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la-li-lu-le-lo

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For identifyng your Saturn mainboard model: If your Saturn is not JVC Victor Saturn, just check the serial number for the 7th character.

You mean 7th from the right, is that correct? I was confused, because I thought you meant 7th from the left. My serial is B50124352, which would mean it's a VA0, right? According to the Sega Retro article, that's a launch model. That's what I expected it to be.

btw, I've opened up this system multiple times, as well as done simple repairs on it, but I don't remember if I ever checked the revision.
 
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You mean 7th from the right, is that correct? I was confused, because I thought you meant 7th from the left. My serial is B50124352, which would mean it's a VA0, right? According to the Sega Retro article, that's a launch model. That's what I expected it to be.

btw, I've opened up this system multiple times, as well as done simple repairs on it, but I don't remember if I ever checked the revision.

Yes, your serial number shows this console is using VA0 or VA0.5 board. Which is using PSU on upper shell part and the LED is slightly wider than VA1/2/3 board.

By the way. The 7th character from right in the serial can only reveal the original board revision. You cannot stop people from changing the inner board for repair or improper purpose.

The so-called model 1 actually contains two different types of shell.
The shell for installing VA0/0.5 board can not fit board model in other revision.
And the shell for VA1(which is also oval button model 1 shell, but PSU board no longer stays on upper shell part) can fit VA1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/13/15 board.
And model 2 shell should fit all VA1-15, too.

Using serial number to identify board revision is just a quick way. For accurate way, we still need to tear the console down and compare board images.
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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I know what Saturn I have, white model 2, but as far as what to replace it with I'm kind of lost.

And that Saturn itself replaced an early US model
 

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VA10+ Saturns have the SCSP and 68k combined to a single ASIC. It was made by Yamaha like the Genesis 3, and has the same bug in the 68k implementation, the Reset and TAS instructions behave differently. First print runs of Outrun and Space Harrier trigger this bug, and they both got a second release that fixes the problem.

I don't remember any other games with that specific problem, but a few games did not work with the 3d controller (even in digital mode), Golden Axe the Duel was one, I think Thunderstrike/Thunderhawk 2 was another but I didn't play that.

The JP version of In the Hunt does not work for some unspecified reason, no one really figured it out exactly why. It also got a second revision.

VA6 to 15 should all fit in the same shell, but 2-5 use different PSU layouts.
 

la-li-lu-le-lo

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The so-called model 1 actually contains two different types of shell.
The shell for installing VA0/0.5 board can not fit board model in other revision.

Mine must be a VA0 then, since the serial indicates the shell is for a VA0 - therefore, since the board fits in the shell, it must be a VA0. I don't know what you mean by VA0.5. Can you explain that?
 

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Mine must be a VA0 then, since the serial indicates the shell is for a VA0 - therefore, since the board fits in the shell, it must be a VA0. I don't know what you mean by VA0.5. Can you explain that?

1."VA 0.5" text prints on the mainboard PCB.
2. VA 0.5 board installed with a v1.01 BIOS chip while VA0 installed with v1.00.

* v1.00 BIOS has a bug that hardware reset action will lead the console to a blank screen if you have program ROM cartridge plugged in the slot.(e.g. An GameShark or Action Replay cartridge.) User has to use power button to restart console in this case.
 

la-li-lu-le-lo

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1."VA 0.5" text prints on the mainboard PCB.
2. VA 0.5 board installed with a v1.01 BIOS chip while VA0 installed with v1.00.

I think it says the BIOS version in the boot screen, right? I'm pretty sure mine is 1.00. I can't check currently, but I'm fairly certain that's the version.

* v1.00 BIOS has a bug that hardware reset action will lead the console to a blank screen if you have program ROM cartridge plugged in the slot.(e.g. An GameShark or Action Replay cartridge.) User has to use power button to restart console in this case.

I've never had that problem with the backup memory cart, but I've never used a GameShark or Action Replay with it. The cartridge port does seem pretty flakey though - I usually have to remove and reinsert the cart multiple times to get it to work.
 

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...
The JP version of In the Hunt does not work for some unspecified reason, no one really figured it out exactly why. It also got a second revision.
...

Thanks for the explaination on 68k bug of VA10/11.

And for the In the Hunt(Kaitei Daisensou/海底大戦争), I found my disc(first revision, v1.004) has 10% chance to work on physical optical drive and all fails happened on the opening movie. And the clone cd image dumped from the same disc 100% runs properly on the same console with Rhea ODE installed. So I highly suspect the halt is caused by a software bug in decoding algorithm on buffer under run or instable access timing. But it's just based on the test fact, no code level debugging applied.

Not sure if the second revision(v1.006) solved this problem or not. Cannot find a way to get one.
 
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SONIC3D

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I've never had that problem with the backup memory cart, but I've never used a GameShark or Action Replay with it. The cartridge port does seem pretty flakey though - I usually have to remove and reinsert the cart multiple times to get it to work.

Only occurs on program ROM cartridge(Action Replay, Pseudo Saturn, 3rd party backup memory with initial mapping program logic).
RAM cartridge, SRAM cartridge(Sega original backup memory).
GFX ROM cartridge(KOF95, Ultraman) should not trigger this bug either, but I have not tested it.
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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Never had any problems with the Action replay on my white Saturn. If anything the cart port on that has given me less problems than when I had my early US Saturn.
 

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The 68k bug happens on VA13 and VA15 too, not just VA10/11, since they all use the cost reduced SCSP+68k ASIC. So for ex. Skeleton Saturn is also affected.

VA0.5 is a motherboard revision that includes a few extra test points mostly. PAL and US boards used VA0.5 as a base for VA0 PAL and USA. The boot rom version is unrelated, both VA0 and VA0.5 can be 1.00 or 1.01. They can also have different CD Block firmware (1.04 or 1.05).
Boot rom 1.00 hangs up if the console has no CD drive attached, you'll get a black screen. Later boot roms will go to the dashboard with an error message. I never tried to see what they do with an action replay, though.

The cart slot is "flakey" because the pins are so thin that even a little dirt will block contact. You will need to clean the cartridge pins often to remove dust, oxidation, etc. Not just the cartridge port pins, but the cart itself.
Early boards also used a cartridge slot that did not have their top covered, so they could accumulate dust easier. It's a minor difference, but the pins get blocked so easy that even a minor difference matters.
 
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