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The Sega Dreamcast appreciation thread


Elseb
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13 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

If your console can't remember the time then yes, your internal rechargable battery might need replacing - but it might be that it needs to be used a bit more to retain some juice. My DC will forget the time / date after a period of hibernation (illustrating that the 20 year old battery is definitely weak) but, for me, it's far from dead enough to warrant a mod or replacement. If after every session (regardless of length) you still need to set the time, then, yeah, it needs fixing.

 

What issues will a dead battery cause? Save game problems?

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I have two Dreamcasts (one Japanese, one European), and both of them have been asking me to set the time on startup for years. Since I mostly play arcade games, none of which use the date for anything important, I've always just skipped it. I've never had any issues with saving scores or anything. I suppose it depends on what you're saving. It might baffle a more time-sensitive game, for all I know...

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7 minutes ago, acidbearboy said:

  

What issues will a dead battery cause? Save game problems?

 

No, games will save fine with a dead internal battery  - it just means the system will prompt you to enter the time & date settings manually upon being booted. 

 

You can skip putting in the time / date if you can't be arsed - but then any save files written to the VMU will be incorrectly dated. 

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God knows why SEGA decided to bury a very disposable battery deep inside the systems architecture. They must have known those things would need replacing every few years. Even more strange when the Saturn had the same battery easily accessible for removing in its own compartment at the back. One of the many bizarre design idiosyncrasies of the Dreamcast. 

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1 hour ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

God knows why SEGA decided to bury a very disposable battery deep inside the systems architecture. They must have known those things would need replacing every few years. 

They didn’t expect anyone to be playing them once the PS2 arrived.

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I wouldn't personally call it very disposable - it does recharge itself, after all - and it's not exactly buried (pop the top off and it's right there on the control port PCB rather than the motherboard which isn't accessible without full disassembly).

 

It is however soldered on.

 

They could have gone the Saturn approach and had a cheaper non-rechargable CR2032 to hold the time and date info.. but that would've required more frequent replacements.

 

It's only really an issue now because a couple of decades have passed.

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Been tinkering around with the USB-GDROM now and it's compatibility is a bit all over the place. I can't get any version of Le Mans 24 to work, or Sega Rally 2 or Street Fighter Alpha 3. There seems to be no way of getting to the Dreamcast's menu screen and games like Tokyo Highway Battle appear halfway down the screen (you have to quit the game and it resets to full-screen). Frogger's Revenge and NBA 2K2 refuse to show images after FMV sequences, which is possibly to do with an RGB thing.

I've no idea if the Mode and GD-Rom are also like this, but it feels a world away from the GameCube which loads anything I chuck at it.

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@strider does the soft reset button combo (face buttons and Start) not work? Most DC games will soft reset first to the title screen and then once there hard reset again with a second press of the button combo (which should take you the USBGD-ROM front end..?)

 

I'm a GDEMU user but I don't see why these behaviours would be any different on any ODE.

 

Tokyo Highway Battle, Frogger 2 and NBA do sound like RGB over SCART problems. Switching over to composite / VGA should fix those, I'd imagine.

 

I don't see why Le Mans 24 or Sega Rally 2 don't work though (I can't speak on Alpha 3 - however I'm tempted to install it for myself and report back)

 

EDIT:

 

I tried the Alpha 3 (USA) v.1001 GDI (that I'd forgotten I'd already installed years back - and never tested) but it failed to boot. I wasn't expecting that. Quickly grabbed a scene CDi of the same release from CD Romance to test that too and.. nope, same boot failure. 

 

I'm at a loss as to why this one *seems* to be unsupported. 

 

Once upon a time there were multiple methods of producing apparently accurate dumps from GD-ROM discs - one of which absolutely were not compatible with GDEMU. There was even a tool which converted the ODE-unfriendly Redump dumps so they'd be read and worked as intended.

 

This issue with Alpha 3 is odd because it reads and installs correctly (the SD card tool doesn't allow the odd format Redump GDIs to install) - it just fails to initialise boot once launched.

 

I'm going to have try one of the JPN versions (probably Zero 3 for Matching Service) before I accept defeat on this one.

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3 hours ago, strider said:

Been tinkering around with the USB-GDROM now and it's compatibility is a bit all over the place. I can't get any version of Le Mans 24 to work, or Sega Rally 2 or Street Fighter Alpha 3. There seems to be no way of getting to the Dreamcast's menu screen and games like Tokyo Highway Battle appear halfway down the screen (you have to quit the game and it resets to full-screen). Frogger's Revenge and NBA 2K2 refuse to show images after FMV sequences, which is possibly to do with an RGB thing.

I've no idea if the Mode and GD-Rom are also like this, but it feels a world away from the GameCube which loads anything I chuck at it.


MODE works with every ROM I’ve tried on it, including the likes of Alpha 3, Sega Rally 2 

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To be honest I'd love one of those Saturn pad adaptors with VMU support. I'm okay with the DC controller (I never have sessions long or intense enough to destroy my hands) but to use a comfier controller with an S-tier d-pad would be excellent.

 

In other news, I'm over trying to yet SF Alpha / Zero 3 running via SD card: same non-boot with the JPN version. I've definitely not come across any mention of it being a problem before today but, well, it is what it is. GDEMU clones are as little as $30-40 these days and not being able to run a few games (literally three, I think) seems fair enough. 

 

When the MODE came out it was clear it was the best in terms of features and compatibility but obviously that comes with a premium cost too.

 

It wasn't that long ago that having multiple options for drive replacements was a fantasy.

 

Might try out Blue Stinger later. Too much pissing about and not enough playing.

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The wingman has your back mate, buy a usb Saturn pad and it works flawlessly with a virtual 200 block vmu built in

 

I've been there before, spending hours and days trying to get things working and then never enjoying the darn thing! Get your blue stinger on! This afternoon was WWF royal rumble, sega rally 2 and some indie games for me! 

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10 minutes ago, bluejmc2005 said:

The wingman has your back mate, buy a usb Saturn pad and it works flawlessly with a virtual 200 block vmu built in

 

I've been there before, spending hours and days trying to get things working and then never enjoying the darn thing! Get your blue stinger on! This afternoon was WWF royal rumble, sega rally 2 and some indie games for me! 

 

I was hoping there was maybe an adaptor for an original Saturn controller (I have an excess of them and have too many bad experiences with Retro-Bit products to support them today), but it's good to know the Wingman has a built in VMU. Cheers.

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58 minutes ago, bluejmc2005 said:

 

I'm sorry I love the DC my second fav console ever but I don't like the pad. I just don't! 

 

No need to apologise - the Dreamcast was a great console paired with one of the worst controllers of all time.

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9 hours ago, Lyrical Donut said:

 

No need to apologise - the Dreamcast was a great console paired with one of the worst controllers of all time.

Particularly frustrating as my favourite console of all time - the Saturn - had the best controller ever!! 

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I’ve had two sets of Sega Dreamcast maracas for about 15 years. I think I played Samba de Amigo at a Bath meet back in the noughties and bought my own kit to impress my friends, but I very rarely remember having them set up. They’ve moved house with me several times and have been out in the garage since we last moved in 2013.
 

I was surprised at how much their value had risen, going on eBay sold prices, so yesterday I got them out of the garage with the intention of testing everything before selling them, along with the Samba de Amigo games I had. One of the sensor bars didn’t work at first, but a quick clean with a cotton bud and some polish sorted that. And then I had the most fun I’ve had for ages with a video game. Great characters and graphics in the background. Even the menu screens are cool, with catchy music and catchphrases. The gameplay is simple but challenging, with the maracas providing a solid control method. I’ll have to dig out my VMU with everything unlocked another time, but even the basic song list was full of favourites. 
 

TL;DR

Samba de Amigo is brilliant. 

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On 14/08/2021 at 14:46, strider said:

Been tinkering around with the USB-GDROM now and it's compatibility is a bit all over the place. I can't get any version of Le Mans 24 to work, or Sega Rally 2 or Street Fighter Alpha 3. There seems to be no way of getting to the Dreamcast's menu screen and games like Tokyo Highway Battle appear halfway down the screen (you have to quit the game and it resets to full-screen). Frogger's Revenge and NBA 2K2 refuse to show images after FMV sequences, which is possibly to do with an RGB thing.

I've no idea if the Mode and GD-Rom are also like this, but it feels a world away from the GameCube which loads anything I chuck at it.

 

(I'm still not on commission)

 

Right, press the open button to get to the DC menu. Otherwise it thinks there's a disc in there.

 

Tested all those you mentioned, every single one worked fine and with no visual problems using a USB-GDROM - Le Mans 24, Sega Rally 2, SF Alpha 3, Tokyo Highway Challenge, Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge, and NBA 2K2. Loaded every game through to actually playing it for a couple of minutes, all fine.

 

My DC has a DCDigital, so circumvents most/all issues the Dreamcast has with TV cables. That's on the console/games/cables, not the ODE.

 

Where are you getting your Legally Acquired Backups from? They might be at fault. Straightforward, clean, unmolested GDI rips are the best bet. There's a lot out there that have been tinkered with over the years.

 

I haven't had a problem with any game I've played using USB-GDROM, and I've been using it since 2017. I do think it matters what rip you use.

 

Happy to test any others just to be sure.

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My gun and HOTD2 arrived today. I forgot how much fun this is, and how accurate the shooting feels (maybe the game is compensating). I rinsed it back in the day, but now regret selling. Really good fun shooting the TV. Glad I went for RGB SCART onto CRT rather than the HDMI mod. They can't make them like this any more. I eagerly anticipate Confidential Mission (PAL, to use the gun), and Take The Bullet.

 

50 minutes ago, acidbearboy said:

Just trying to sort through my save files across various VMU’s Does anybody know what game this is from? The 9 block file with a face is KPRJ___.SYSand the 17 block file next to it is KPRJ___.VAR

 

Ahh, the old save files with weird names problem. The Saturn was terrible for that. There's about 20 save files on my cartridge with zero explanation of what they could possibly be - especially since some have names unrelated to the game (one was called "drywall").

 

The text on the icon looks like モキチー

But with a little "chi", which makes no sense since it's not a real thing.

 

I pm'd you a list of all save archives, might be possible to cross reference that list with file names?

 

Speaking of saves and DLC, there's basically all of them archived online including, I think, in a pre-made self-booting CD file you can download and burn. Then use Dream Explorer to transfer the DLC from the disc to your VMU. Are we allowed to link to Dreamcast DLC archives?

 

What a time to be a Dreamcast owner!

 

9 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

Happy to test any others just to be sure.

 

This is my top 10 games I intend to play when my USB-GD arrives. Do they work? (I'm currently playing EGG off CDR - if it doesn't work, then I will finish it before installation.)

 

Elemental Gimmick Gear

Armada

Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage

The Ring

Time Stalkers

Godzilla Generations

Maken X

Seventh Cross

Record of Lodoss War

Sengoku Turb

 

Also, these arrived! Are they the right brand, size, type, and style? The USB thing says 3.0, but it also says it's backwards compatible with 2.0 stuff.

 

Dreamcast_stuff.jpg

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30 minutes ago, Sketch said:

This is my top 10 games I intend to play when my USB-GD arrives. Do they work? (I'm currently playing EGG off CDR - if it doesn't work, then I will finish it before installation.)

 

Elemental Gimmick Gear - yup

Armada - yup

Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage - yup

The Ring - yup (needed some DCDigital settings changed as it's funny about TV cables)

Time Stalkers - yup (huzzah for long unskippable intro sequences)

Godzilla Generations - yup

Maken X - yup

Seventh Cross - yup (asking 172 blocks to save? loooollllll)

Record of Lodoss War - yup

Sengoku Turb - yup (didn't have it, downloaded it from Archive (TOSEC version), works fine)

 

Also, these arrived! Are they the right brand, size, type, and style? The USB thing says 3.0, but it also says it's backwards compatible with 2.0 stuff.

Tested all, all working fine (as in loaded to game, tested for a minute or two). As I said to Darran, had this thing for pushing four years now and I cannot think of a single game that hasn't worked. Smarter people than I have said things about compatibility here (namely this darcagn person), but in short: everything works apart from some Bleem! discs, which were being hacked to work as of the other year. No idea if they have been.

 

I've used a Cruzer Blade USB 2.0 stick, a generic cheap-ass USB 3.0-to-SD stick with SanDisk SD cards, and an M.2 SSD (via a USB 3.0 C-to-A adaptor), all worked fine. I do know some people have had issues with their storage media, but I've not had any myself. I honestly don't know if yours will work but I just assume it will so long as things are formatted according to the guides and you're not using shitty media. Which you're not.

 

train of thought correction: At one point I used a USB-to-micro SD solution that did see some issues - games would return to the menu rather than load, hang on the Dreamcast logo, stuff like that. Was so long ago I actually forgot about it til now. But all the ones above worked fine.

 

I use this jury rigged nonsense, it's perfect (and it's all cheap AliExpress crap):

 

PXL_20210816_111147495.jpg

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2 hours ago, acidbearboy said:

Just trying to sort through my save files across various VMU’s Does anybody know what game this is from? The 9 block file with a face is KPRJ___.SYSand the 17 block file next to it is KPRJ___.VAR

 

 

12935673-B077-47FD-B82B-13169F63D4B7.jpeg

I stuck the filename into Google, which suggests the files are from K-Project (the Rez prototype). I'm happy with that considering the file name and the fact that I have a copy!

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7 minutes ago, ianinthefuture said:

Tested all, all working fine (as in loaded to game, tested for a minute or two)

 

Many thanks Ian! :D

 

That is one heck of a self-made mod-job. Best photo in the thread? Quite possibly.

 

As mentioned, I got the Micro-SD since I can always put it in my camera if it fails here.

 

I might invest in some AV cables for the RGB problem games.

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On 14/08/2021 at 10:41, Sketch said:

I am very surprised that an NTSC forcibly loads as 50Hz on PAL. I was under the assumption that NTSC always loaded in 60Hz.

 

Learn something new every day.

 

This tripped me up recently too, after I installed MODE on a PAL DC. Wish I'd started with an NTSC unit as I'm spending far too much money on the project now.

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I too would have gone NTSC. Ahh well. 50Hz is nostalgic, right? :unsure:

 

I keep hoping the romhacking community will make patches for stuff like this, and allowing American lightgun games to use the Japanese and British guns (they detect and region lock them).

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I was sure that my old boot disc let me play NTSC games in 60Hz automatically but maybe I'm misremembering. MODE won't force anything except VGA, sadly.

 

I'll admit that 50Hz doesn't bother me as much as 480i deinterlacing via my OSSC though. Foul stuff, can't get over to 480p fast enough.

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