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Chaos Break (PS1) - patching PAL to NTSC and shifting the Y axis?


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Note to mods: I am not asking about piracy, I am simply asking about a means of getting a game to run in 60Hz. Please delete and PM me if I broke the rules so I can start a new topic while adhering more closely to them.

 

Situation: I wish to play the PAL release of Chaos Break for PS1 in fullscreen, fullspeed 60Hz on my PSIO-enabled original console. It was never released in America, only Japan and the UK. Emulation is not an option - I want this to run on the original hardware. The Japanese import is not an option because you need to read in-game emails.

 

The game is incredible. It's a hyper-kinetic survival horror with analogue stick control, fast paced action, and just cool atmosphere. It's also a PAL exclusive!

 

Options: There exists three methods I know of to patch this PAL exclusive into NTSC:

 

1) PAL4U2K - a patching program

2) Zapper2000 - a similar program

3) A trainer patch which adds an NTSC boot select option

 

All three of the above solutions have the same major problem: after enabling NTSC output the screen's Y position / Y axis is misaligned. The game screen after patching is too big to fit, and by default all 3 of these align it so the bottom is cut off! It's too low down the TV screen, resulting in the essential energy and ammo counts to be cut off, rendering the game unplayable.

 

Sweet baby jesus, I am so close, but save for 5~10 pixels my goal is out of reach.

 

Problems: We need to figure out how to shift the Y position.

 

Let's ignore the trainer patch. It's a pre-made thing by pirates from around 2000, it doesn't work, and I don't feel like hacking someone else's hack.

 

This leaves P4U2K and Zapper2K utilities. Neither seems to have been updated beyond 2003. Which is very disappointing because the PSIO system, a new development, means we can all be rocking games on our original hardware!

 

Let's go over them.

 

P4U2K: This general use patcher requires you use one program to scan your game, thereby creating a patch. Then you use its sister program to apply that patch. The results are the best I can get - the bottom stats bar is about 5 to 10 pixels just out of view. Though the game is fullscreen and fullspeed, albeit with the bottom few lines cut off. So close. If I push my TV button to squash my screen into widescreen mode, I can see the missing lines, but obviously this is no way to play through the game. This patcher is supposed to detect the Y axis and patch it automatically, but there are NO options to vary this or input your own Y parameters.

 

Which leads us to...

 

Zapper2K: This is a similar patcher, but it has two boxes to input alternative Y coordinates. Except I don't know how these work. The default for PAL to NTSC patching is 0 and 0. I try this but the bottom of the screen is cut off. Not pushed below the screen edge, but actually chopped off! It obviously recentres the Y axis of how the game screen is rendered, and so no longer renders part of it.

 

The prog says if your screen is too low to input 21 and 21 into each box. I did this, but while it helps a little, it's still worse than P4U2K. So I try variations:

26/26

11/11

6/6

 

And so on. The 26 option cuts off even more, and while the 11, 6, and even 1 options provide a bit more of the screen, I still can't see the stats bar. I also do not know what these boxes are actually supposed to do.

 

I tried varying the first box, from negative to positive numbers, along a massive range, and nothing seemed to happen? The second number seems to affect the bottom of the screen, but I can't seem to just move the whole screen up a bit.

 

PLEASE HELP!

 

Does anyone know how to realign the Y axis on PS1 games? I just need the screen shifted upwards by about 5 or 10 lines of pixels. A small shift.

 

Alternatively, has anyone used these patching programs and can offer advice? Has anyone patched this game and got it to work?

 

I tried editing the patch files each program creates (P4U file and ZAP file), but the P4U file is encrypted (not hexidecimal, I used a hex editor, it's actually properly encrypted!), and the ZAP file just contains a single piece of data on where the Y position code is in the game itself.


I google trawled, and found a long Racketboy forum topic, but no one had this problem. They all managed to get games to patch just fine.

 

Part of the problem is that Chaos Break, despite being AMAZING, is very obscure. So no one has tried to patch the PAL version into NTSC.

 

I am so close I could scream. I spent hours on this and I am literally a few pixels away from victory.

 

 

 

 

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I hate 50Hz conversion more than any one, but tbh if it was ONLY released in PAL territories, it was probably designed to be played that way. 

Actually, just read it came out in japan too! I feel your pain then :/

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It's a relief just to know someone else who understands this. One guy on another forum insists my TV is broken, despite the fact the Japanese version runs fine on it. I kept trying to explain - literally no other NTSC game has this problem, it's officially being introduced by the patcher! Unfortunately the game has a lot of text, so the JPN version is out.

 

Thing is, there's a very long list of PAL semi-exclusives. As in Japanese games localised into English but only sold in Europe. So for these you either have to play the Japanese, or try forcing the PAL into 60Hz. See the list below. Otherwise I always, always, ALWAYS use the American version.

 

Converting always throws up weird problems...

 

YoYo Park (Gusson paradise in Japan) for example won't even convert. Both P4U and Z2K fail to convert correctly, and with both it still retains the black borders. So I just abandoned that idea and play the Japanese release. Luckily it's an arcade style game.

 

But Chaos Break, I need the PAL version. :(

 

Have you converted a lot of PAL PS1 games? Do you know what the two boxes for Z2K are? Even the official instructions don't explain it precisely. Trial and error isn't helping. If I knew precisely what each did I could just fix it.

 

I stole this list from another forum, credit to Goldenband on Sega-16:

Quote

PAL "Semi-Exclusives" (PlayStation games released in both Japan and PAL territories, but not the US):

 

Agent Armstrong (NTSC-J: Agent Armstrong - Himitsu Shirei Daisakusen)

All Star Tennis '99

Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis (NTSC-J: Smash Court 2)

Ayrton Senna Kart Duel

Ayrton Senna Kart Duel 2

Baby Universe

Bishi Bashi Special (NTSC-J: Bishi Bashi Special 2)

Blaze & Blade: Eternal Quest

Block Buster (NTSC-J: Block Kuzushi 2)

Break Point

Buttsubushi (German exclusive)

Capcom Generations (NTSC-J: Capcom Generation 1-4)

Castrol Honda VTR (NTSC-J: Castrol Honda VTR [SuperLite 1500 Series])

Checkmate (NTSC-J: Simple 1500 Series Vol. 9: The Chess)

Cheesy

Crisis Beat

Destructo 2 (NTSC-J: Simple 1500 Series Vol. 48: The Puzzle 2)

Diver's Dream (NTSC-J: Dolphin's Dream)

Dragstars (NTSC-J: Burn Out [SuperLite 1500 Series])

Elemental Pinball

Explosive Racing (NTSC-J: X.Racing)

Extreme Snow Break (NTSC-J: Snow Break)

Firo & Klawd

Fluid (NTSC-J: Depth - Sweepstation Vol. 1)

Formula Nippon (NTSC-J: Formula Nippon '99)

Future Racer (NTSC-J: Defeat Lightning)

Galaxian^3

Galaxy Fight (NTSC-J: Galaxy Fight - Universal Warriors)

Ghoul Panic (NTSC-J: Oh! Bakyuuun)

Gungage

Hard Boiled (NTSC-J: Hard Boiled: Shinkeitou o Hakai Seyo)

Hebereke's Popoitto (NTSC-J: Hebereke Station Popoitto)

Hellnight (NTSC-J: Dark Messiah)

Hybrid

Hyper Tennis - Final Match (NTSC-J: Hyper Final Match Tennis)

Indy 500

International Moto-X

Klonoa - Beach Volleyball

Kotobuki Grand Prix (NTSC-J: Kotobuki Grand Prix - Mezase! Genchari King)

Kurushi Final (NTSC-J: IQ Final)

Last Report, The

Liberogrande (NTSC-J: Libero Grande)

Liberogrande International (NTSC-J: Libero Grande 2)

Little Big Adventure (NTSC-J: Little Big Adventure: Twinsen's Adventure)

Lone Soldier

Magical Drop III (NTSC-J: Magical Drop III + Wonderful!)

(Disney's) Magical Tetris Challenge (NTSC-J: Magical Tetris Challenge Featuring Mickey)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (NTSC-J: RockMan Battle & Chase)

Mega Man X3 (NTSC-J: Rockman X3)

Midnight Run - Road Fighter 2

Mighty Hits Special

Namco Soccer Prime Goal (NTSC-J: J.League Soccer Prime Goal EX)

Namco Tennis Smash Court (NTSC-J: Smash Court)

The Note (NTSC-J: Koukai Sarena Katta Shuki: The Note)

(Shonen Jump's) One Piece Grand Battle! (NTSC-J: From TV Animation: One Piece Grand Battle!)

Onside Complete Soccer

OverBlood 2

Paradise Casino

Parodius (NTSC-J: Gokujou Parodius Da! Deluxe Pack)

Penny Racers (NTSC-J: Choro Q)

Pet in TV (NTSC-J: Ganbare Morikawa-kun 2nd Pet in TV)

Phat Air: Extreme Snowboarding (NTSC-J: Zap! Snowboarding Trix '98)

Pinball Power (NTSC-J: Pinball: Golden Logres [SuperLite 1500 Series])

Pool Academy (NTSC-J: Doukyu Re-Mix Billiard Multiple)

Pop 'n' Pop

Poy Poy 2 (NTSC-J: Poitter's Point 2: SODOM no Inbou)

Pro Backgammon (NTSC-J: Backgammon)

Pro Evolution Soccer 2 (NTSC-J: World Soccer Winning Eleven 2002)

Psychic Force 2

Puchi Carat

Rapid Reload (NTSC-J: Gunner's Heaven)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (NTSC-J: Real Bout Garou Densetsu)

Rescue Shot (NTSC-J: Rescue Shot Bubibo)

Road Rage (NTSC-J: Speed King)

Rox

Sampras Extreme Tennis

Shaolin (NTSC-J: Lord of Fist)

Ski Air Mix

Sonic Wings Special

Star Ixiom

Street Scooters

Submarine Commander (NTSC-J: Submarine Hunter Sya-Chi)

Super Football Champ

Tilt! (NTSC-J: Hyper 3D Pinball)

Time Bokan Yatterman (Italian exclusive) (NTSC-J: Time Bokan Series: Bokan Desuyo)

Toshinden 4 (NTSC-J: Toshinden Subaru)

Transport Tycoon (NTSC-J: Transport Tycoon 3D - SL Kara Hajimeyou!!)

Vegas Casino (NTSC-J: Super Casino Special)

Vib-Ribbon

Victory Boxing Champion Edition (NTSC-J: Kensei - The King of Boxing)

Virtual Golf (NTSC-J: Tournament Leader)

Wacky Races (NTSC-J: Chiki Chiki Machine Mou Race)

Whizz

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (NTSC-J: Quiz $ Millionaire)

Wild Rapids (NTSC-J: Bakuryuu)

Wing Over

Wing Over 2 (NTSC-J: Pilot ni Narou!)

World League Soccer '98 (NTSC-J: World League Soccer - Challenge Nippon!)

X2 - No Relief (NTSC-J: X2)

Yeh Yeh Tennis (NTSC-J: Love Game's - Wai Wai Tennis 2)

YoYo's Puzzle Park (NTSC-J: Gussun Paradise)

Yusha - Heaven's Gate (NTSC-J: Heaven's Gate)

Zero Divide 2 - The Secret Wish (NTSC-J: Zero Divide 2)

 

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42 minutes ago, Camel said:

Sometimes it's ok to put up with a PAL version of something.

 

For the love of god. Do you kiss your mother with that filthy mouth? I'm being triggered!

 

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I fixed it.

 

I used my TV's secret service menu (via a code to access) to change the V-size and then shift the V position upwards. Everything else is borked, but Chaos Break loks great!

 

And now I discover the game sufers from crippling crash issues unless I update my firmware for PSIO. Except doing so would invalidate my entire library because they changed how files are handled.

 

FML.

 

I should have just played Xbox today.

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Oh Camel. I'm not mocking you or trying to be mean. You're ill, this is why you're saying such sick, sick, depraved things. You need help. I feel I should try to help you in some way. Make you better. I am certain I can fix you, fix your mind. Kidnapping and re-education via intravenous drugs and subliminal videos? Never accept PAL. It is the antichrist.

 

Anyway, I have now been told categorically that I can update and the old file system will work. So now after accessing the secret menu (4725 GREEN) I am can tweak the screen and enjoy this masterpiece of 32 bit gaming.

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I'm more impressed you've stumbled across a rare beast, a proper PAL conversion. 

 

The reason you're having trouble is NTSC has less vertical lines resolution than PAL (486 vs 576) so most PAL conversions typically either bordered the image (lazy) or stretched it (and so distorted it). In a few cases developers actually used the full resolution by taking advantage of a lower screen refresh (50fps vs 60fps). Halo on the original Xbox is a good example. 

 

So if this is indeed one of those cases, you're always going to lose part of the image if you convert it as it's essentially off-screen. Sounds like you're lucky that your TV is overscanning (a classic CRT issue which is why we used to have to worry about putting UI in 'safe areas') so by sheer luck you can adjust the image off-set to see the bits that are clipped. 

 

This is likely why no-ones been able to help incidentally.

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It's not a 'proper' pal conversion. It still runs in 50hz and despite being translated runs slower than it should.

 

Anyway, the Trainer Patch here works fine - Just tested it out of curiosity because this entire thread has perked my interest on an Mayumi V4 PS1 with no issues. Straight to NTSC and screen centered -  https://consolecopyworld.com/psx/psx_patches_c.shtml

 

Or, if you have an Action Replay you can just use the master code listed here - https://gamehacking.org/?game=90573&hacker=all&format=gs If you're using PSIO though I'm unsure if they've got Action Replay / Gameshark codes working yet. I believe it was on a to do list.

 

Youtube Review for those interested - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LnOreaqTE

 

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I don't really want to get into a religious war, but 50Hz would still be considered acceptable for PAL if they did something so the simulation timestep was separated from the render so essentially the game ran at the same speed even if the render was slower (especially taking into account the extra lines).

 

So I think your point then is that it's a partial PAL conversion in so much as they've upped the resolution but not corrected the speed. Then apologies, my use of the word proper... Wasn't proper!

 

Which is about par for the course given the release date, at least they did half the job :)

 

At least there is a Plan B for Sketch now!

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Agreed but it’s the PS1 we’re talking about here. Hardly any gen 5 games were optimised and the ones that were typically were developed in a PAL region in the first place such as Tomb Raider, GTA etc.

 

 

 

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As a work around couldn’t you play the PAL version on a later generation chipped PS2 that allows you to force the game into 60Hz. If you’re using a CRT then there should be an option to scale it so the image fits the screen. Alternatively use one of the HDMI adapters for a flatscreen as they scale the image to fit your screen and then put that into 4:3 mode.

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Quote

I'm more impressed you've stumbled across a rare beast, a proper PAL conversion. 

 

I wouldn't say that. Patching PAL PS1 games to run in NTSC always causes problems. Suikoden 2 was another, but I managed to tweak it, then eventually just moved to the native NTSC version. Saturn games are easy - you mod the system and it just works. PS1 games have all this crap hard coded into the game code. It's maddening.

 

Quote

Anyway, the Trainer Patch here works fine - Just tested it out of curiosity because this entire thread has perked my interest on an Mayumi V4 PS1 with no issues. Straight to NTSC and screen centered 

 

I tried that (alluded to in my first post - wasn't sure if we'd be allowed to mention it), but had the same problems as when I patched with P4U. It's fullscreen and fullspeed, but with the bottom cut off. Are you saying that for you the HUD at the bottom was visible, including the energy bar? Because I could only see gun ammo, and the energy bar beneath was out of screen range. In which... It probably was my TV! So my solution of using the secret service menu to alter the V size and position was the right call.

 

Quote

If you're using PSIO though I'm unsure if they've got Action Replay / Gameshark codes working yet. I believe it was on a to do list.

 

You can use Gameshark with PSIO. I did it for CV:SOTN to get access to a removed weapon (shield rod?) when using the Harder Mode patch. You put the game of choice in the folder with gameshark, then use a multidisc list so you can do a "virtual disc swap".

 

I used the same technique with Import Player 1.4. That supposedly allows you to change the V posotion, but despite trying ranges between -50 and 50, it did not seem to affect Chaos Break at all.

 

Quote

At least there is a Plan B for Sketch now!

 

I accessed my CRT TV's secret menu, and reduced V size slightly, and then moved the V position upwards a bit, so now the game is perfectly aligned after its NTSC conversion.

 

Don't tell Camel, but some of Rare's PAL games were OK. Fullscreen and fullspeed. But that was a rarity.

 

So I now have the game on this specific TV running at NTSC speeds and screen sizes. I just need to double update the firmware on PSIO (legacy then new internal firmware), and I can actually play Chaos Break without freezing.

 

From what I've seen, it's fantastic. Jei, did you play it much?

 

 

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On 28/05/2020 at 05:35, Jei said:

Agreed but it’s the PS1 we’re talking about here. Hardly any gen 5 games were optimised and the ones that were typically were developed in a PAL region in the first place such as Tomb Raider, GTA etc.

 

 

You would be rather wrong with that statement, about the Saturn, N64 and PS1 era. About a 1/3 of Saturn games were optimised and having, played a large chuck of the PS1 one library I say about the same again on PS1. More so than people realised and I'm one of the few people who has actually done the research on PAL Saturn games and I'm still adjusting things. https://randomisedgaming.tumblr.com/post/146372446412/the-complete-european-sega-saturn-60hz-guide-to

 

As someone who's worked in the industry, I keep a open mind as often optimisation can only mean a few bug fixes to major changes. A lot of the Sony games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro were fully adjusted for PAL.

 

In Chaos Break's case I don't believe it was optimised as I own a copy, Taito have a history of doing naff PAL conversions also. Sketch I suspect is just poor at explaining the issue he has, guessing the Y axis for NTSC was set wrong on a NTSC force in PAL. Use a device like a OSSC and adjust the Horizontal/Vertical backporch length, which is a really easy fix for this issue. Forcing PS2 games with the Xploder has the same problem and this is the fix I used.

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58 minutes ago, Riven said:

Sketch I suspect is just poor at explaining the issue he has, guessing the Y axis for a NTSC was set wrong on a NTSC force in PAL.

You’ve such a lovely way with words :rolleyes:

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@Riven We will have to agree to disagree then because I stand by my statement. I think you're talking about part optimisation and I'm talking about full including speed. That being said, even if we're talking about part optimisation it still stands for PS1 IMO.

 

Gen 5 PAL releases

3DO - Good luck

 

Jaguar - Dreadful

 

N64 - A few optimised but come on, even Nintendo themselves couldn't be bothered optimising their AAA titles.

Waverace Comparison

Mario 64 Comparison

Mario Kart 64 Comparison

 

Even later 'alledged' optimised released that had no borders were never actually optimised at all such as F-Zero X

F-Zero X Comparison

 

PS1 - Which is what this thread started about - 1/3 of PAL games optimised? No chance. The PAL PS1 library was terrible minus the titles you've said and the likes of Medievil and Wipeout. I'm not even going down the route of this with the PS1 because I don't feel the need to. By all means, do me a list to prove me wrong if you want but it honestly surprises me that someone with your knowledge would say this, unless again you're referring to part optimisation which was again a very rare thing for the PS1. Again, huge titles, final fantasy 7,8,9, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania SOTN, Resident Evil 1,2,3, Even Gran Turismo 1 & 2 were awful compared to their counterparts.

 

Saturn -

Now I honestly am not trying to be rude but look down your own list again for Saturn Titles and just how many you've listed as 'Full PAL Optimised'

https://randomisedgaming.tumblr.com/post/146372446412/the-complete-european-sega-saturn-60hz-guide-to

For me the singular word 'Optimised' covers everything and whilst Sega did well catering for 1st party PAL releases on the whole the system was still rubbish for 50hz IMO. 

 

Your Youtube Review on the PAL version of Daytona was brilliant by the way. Link for those interested

 

In my opinion the better option will always, 100% be to play the NTSC Versions of Gen 5 titles on NTSC machines because that's the way the developers intended them to be. 

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22 hours ago, Riven said:

 Sketch I suspect is just poor at explaining the issue he has, guessing the Y axis for a NTSC was set wrong on a NTSC force in PAL.

 

I had this same argument with someone else on another forum. I am convinced this problem is the result of the patching program. The evidence:

 

1) The Japanese NTSC version of Chaos Break does not have this problem. It fits the screen perfectly, without needing to screw with my TV's secret menu.

 

2) Both patching programs clearly state they will attempt to edit the Y axis / Vertical positioning. Zapper2000 even allows you to modify this. Both programs also state they are not perfectly - P4U claims only to have a 60% success rate or something ridiculous, since it's running a generic algorithm. Meaning both are known to have issues.

 

3) Every single PAL to NTSC conversion I've done has been off-centre and needed adjusting. Suikoden 2 (PAL) is the last example I tried, and a lot of tweaking and screwing around I managed to recentre it via patching. Eventually I just switched over to the NTSC version of Suikoden 2. Don't even get me started on trying to convert Rapid Reload from PAL to NTSC - the patching programs couldn't even find where in the code the the screen positioning data was kept.

 

4) None of my other NTSC games have the bottom chopped off.

 

Point (1) is the smoking gun here. If the Japanese (natively NTSC) version looks great and is centred correctly, then the reason the UK PAL to NTSC conversion does not look correct must be because both patching programs are failing to adjust the Y/V position. This is not a TV issue.

 

The same game, albeit from Japan, works just fine. The same game.

 

Anyway, please carry on debating PAL vs NTSC. This is excellent. Feels like I'm back on the ntsc-uk forum! :D

 

 

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On 28/05/2020 at 23:51, Jei said:

@Riven

 

PS1 - Which is what this thread started about - 1/3 of PAL games optimised? No chance. The PAL PS1 library was terrible minus the titles you've said and the likes of Medievil and Wipeout. I'm not even going down the route of this with the PS1 because I don't feel the need to. By all means, do me a list to prove me wrong if you want but it honestly surprises me that someone with your knowledge would say this, unless again you're referring to part optimisation which was again a very rare thing for the PS1. Again, huge titles, final fantasy 7,8,9, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania SOTN, Resident Evil 1,2,3, Even Gran Turismo 1 & 2 were awful compared to their counterparts.

 

 

Don't like talking about consoles as gens, much prefer the eras so mid to late 90s consoles is the era.  What your talking about is full optimisation for all games in PAL, now no format has that from the 90s and your correct in saying most PAL games aren't full screen with perfect NTSC speed if that's what you are classing as optimisation. Only about 5% of games had perfect optimisation at best.

 

Now this is why it's important to do the research and next to no one has covered forcing on the PS1 and I think I know why now. So we found a software tool the other day (Import Player Light v2.1) to force NTSC games into 60Hz, which is great as it fix an issue with a PAL modded PS2 running some NTSC games at 50Hz. It also allows you to force PAL games into 60Hz, trouble is most PAL games on PS1 run at a odd optimisation of 312p.

 

[Edit: Import Player Light v2.1, doesn't force PAL games into NTSC correctly]

 

Most of them have pretty big screen borders, but 312p is and optimised PAL setting even if games still have huge border and runs 16.66% slower. This example is Front Mission 3 the NTSC one runs at around 262p and PAL version at 312p, if you force the NTSC version into PAL it has larger borders than the PAL version. If you force the PAL version into 60Hz (NTSC) then you get video output overscan and the bottom of the picture isn't shown as both versions are using different resolutions as standard.

 

While this isn't good optimisation in the slightest and mean the PAL version sucks even more, Front Mission 3 is at a glance a game you won't think is optimised in any way it turn out it is. Badly very badly it's runs slow that the NTSC version and has massive borders, but it is.

 

Only been testing today, but only Chaos Break and Castlevania Chronicles seem to be correct.

 

PAL Games that didn't run at 50Hz

R-Type Delta (Speed is PAL, but uses a higher resolution and has a redesign hud from NTSC based on the videos I saw.)

Metal Slug X (Overscan)

Rapid Reload (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL)

Castlevania SOTN (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL)

Vandal Hearts (Overscan)

Strider 2 (Disc 2, Overscan and rapidly pauses) (Possible region protection software on disc for NTSC PS1/2?)

Viewpoint (Overscan)

Strikers 1945 II (Overscan)

Breath of Fire III (Overscan)

Breath of Fire IV (Overscan)

Diablo (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL, rapidly pauses) (Possible region protection software on disc for NTSC PS1/2?)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (Overscan, followed by crash on intro)

Front Mission 3 (Overscan)

Point Blank (Overscan)

 

The take away from this is most of those game you would expect to have zero corrections for PAL on PS1, but they do it's just far from complete speed and ratio correction, but they have something. I classed PAL optimisation as any minor fix for PAL, hence why we have different levels of optimisation. It's something people need to get their heads around, just because it doesn't match the speed and screen ratio of the NTSC version doesn't mean it's not had some adjustments for PAL good or Bad. For now it's worth taking a note of any PAL PS1 game that run at resolutions like 312p.

 

This is a very small sample and I can't be sure Import Player Light v2.1 doesn't work correctly, but it forced all the NTSC games on a PS2 that booted into 50Hz into 60Hz with no issue. Which included Front Mission 1, Panzer Bandit, Dragon Quest IV, Gamera 2000 and iS internal section. It could also case be the case this boot disc, is incorrect forcing PAL games into NTSC in which case,  everything listed above is wrong then. It's always a good idea to keep an open mind on this subject as so much is poorly documented to date.

 

Short answer many games do have PAL optimisation, it's just even with them they still don't match the NTSC version correctly. Keep in mind some NTSC games run too fast as well if the game was designed in PAL. Turns out it's a far more common than people realise talking to a number of American gamers, but because we are PAL focus here, it's something most of us don't encounter. For some games only the developer will know the speed it was supposed to be actually be running at.

 

 

On 28/05/2020 at 22:32, strider said:

You’ve such a lovely way with words :rolleyes:

 

Thank you, :lol: I like to get straight to the point, as time is the one thing we can't get back, but I did just spot a typo in that line you highlighted I should have fixed.

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Just because a game is edited to allow a resolution compatible with PAL CRT’s (Don’t forget a large amount of PAL TV’s didn’t support NTSC back in the day) doesn’t mean it’s been been optimised. Of course then trying to force them back into NTSC is going to cause overscan.

 
I don’t have the time to continue a discussion that discussed heavily in the 90’s but I will leave saying

 

Using any form of swap disc like the Import Player Lite / Breaker Pro will force them into PAL60 not NTSC60. I’m sure you know the difference. They were intended primarily to be used as swap discs back into the day to bypass anti mod protection as to run them you already needed a modded machine in the first place. Or you had to do multiple disc swaps via the ‘disc swap technique’. If you want to continue playing with things like this head over to gamecopyworld as they’re all listed over there.

 

Likewise if you’re really interested in pursuing it check the hex’s in patches and trainers by groups like Paradox.

 

I know you’re aware of crystal timing because you’ve hinted at it before so all this forcing is irrelevant IMO. NTSC on PAL or PAL on NTSC will never be as it should be.

 

The playing PS1 on PS2 issue you’re talking about is because you have an early mod like a messiah. Get something decent like a Crystal or MI and it’ll screen adjust properly for PS1. You can even force the core machine to run PAL60 or NTSC60 if you do wish.
 

If you want a decent machine PM me.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Riven said:

 

Don't like talking about consoles as gens, much prefer the eras so mid to late 90s consoles is the era.  What your talking about is full optimisation for all games in PAL, now no format has that from the 90s and your correct in saying most PAL games aren't full screen with perfect NTSC speed if that's what you are classing as optimisation. Only about 5% of games had perfect optimisation at best.

 

Now this is why it's important to do the research and next to no one has covered forcing on the PS1 and I think I know why now. So we found a software tool the other day (Import Player Light v2.1) to force NTSC games into 60Hz, which is great as it fix an issue with a PAL modded PS2 running some NTSC games at 50Hz. It also allows you to force PAL games into 60Hz, trouble is most PAL games on PS1 run at a odd optimisation of 312p. Most of them have pretty big screen borders, but 312p is and optimised PAL setting even if games still have huge border and runs 16.66% slower. This example is Front Mission 3 the NTSC one runs at around 262p and PAL version at 312p, if you force the NTSC version into PAL it has larger borders than the PAL version. If you force the PAL version into 60Hz (NTSC) then you get video output overscan and the bottom of the picture isn't shown as both versions are using different resolutions as standard.

 

While this isn't good optimisation in the slightest and mean the PAL version sucks even more, Front Mission 3 is at a glance a game you won't think is optimised in any way it turn out it is. Badly very badly it's runs slow that the NTSC version and has massive borders, but it is.

 

Only been testing today, but only Chaos Break and Castlevania Chronicles seem to be correct.

 

PAL Games that didn't run at 50Hz

R-Type Delta (Speed is PAL, but uses a higher resolution and has a redesign hud from NTSC based on the videos I saw.)

Metal Slug X (Overscan)

Rapid Reload (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL)

Castlevania SOTN (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL)

Vandal Hearts (Overscan)

Strider 2 (Disc 2, Overscan and rapidly pauses) (Possible region protection software on disc for NTSC PS1/2?)

Viewpoint (Overscan)

Strikers 1945 II (Overscan)

Breath of Fire III (Overscan)

Breath of Fire IV (Overscan)

Diablo (Refused to run in NTSC and boots into PAL, rapidly pauses) (Possible region protection software on disc for NTSC PS1/2?)

Mega Man Battle & Chase (Overscan, followed by crash on intro)

Front Mission 3 (Overscan)

Point Blank (Overscan)

 

The take away from this is most of those game you would expect to have zero corrections for PAL on PS1, but they do it's just far from complete speed and ratio correction, but they have something. I classed PAL optimisation as any minor fix for PAL, hence why we have different levels of optimisation. It's something people need to get their heads around, just because it doesn't match the speed and screen ratio of the NTSC version doesn't mean it's not had some adjustments for PAL good or Bad. For now it's worth taking a note of any PAL PS1 game that run at resolutions like 312p.

 

This is a very small sample and I can't be sure Import Player Light v2.1 doesn't work correctly, but it forced all the NTSC games on a PS2 that booted into 50Hz into 60Hz with no issue. Which included Front Mission 1, Panzer Bandit, Dragon Quest IV, Gamera 2000 and iS internal section. It could also case be the case this boot disc, is incorrect forcing PAL games into NTSC in which case,  everything listed above is wrong then. It's always a good idea to keep an open mind on this subject as so much is poorly documented to date.

 

Short answer many games do have PAL optimisation, it's just even with them they still don't match the NTSC version correctly. Keep in mind some NTSC games run too fast as well if the game was designed in PAL. Turns out it's a far more common than people realise talking to a number of American gamers, but because we are PAL focus here, it's something most of us don't encounter. For some games only the developer will know the speed it was supposed to be actually be running at.

 

 

 

Thank you, :lol: I like to get straight to the point, as time is the one thing we can't get back, but I did just spot a typo in that line you highlighted I should have fixed.

I used import player light on the two pal games I have. Ridge racer revolution simply booted as before and time crisis displayed halfway down the screen for me. My plan had been to buy cheaper pal games and force them to ntsc, but that clearly isn’t going to be possible.

 

@Jei makes a good point about the ps2 messiah chips. I recently bought a chipped ps1 of him as when I was playing ps1 games on my pvm it was outputting everything at 480i. Now I’m using a ps1 i’m Getting 240p when I should be.

 

shameless plug, but this is the second mod I’ve had from @Jei (the first was a modded this is cool Saturn) and he’s done another fantastic job at a very reasonable price.

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16 hours ago, Riven said:

The take away from this is most of those game you would expect to have zero corrections for PAL on PS1, but they do it's just far from complete speed and ratio correction, but they have something. I classed PAL optimisation as any minor fix for PAL, hence why we have different levels of optimisation. It's something people need to get their heads around, just because it doesn't match the speed and screen ratio of the NTSC version doesn't mean it's not had some adjustments for PAL good or Bad.

 

All I'm getting from this statement, and correct me if I'm wrong, but:

 

Americans get a nice clean bowl of cereal and milk.

 

Europeans get the same bowl of cereal but with some dog shit in it.

 

Now some bowls have had some of the dog shit removed. Not all of it, not the full amount which you would want and expect, but a small bit has been removed, so these bowls in effect have been improved compared to other European bowls of cereal with the full turd in it. There are different levels of turd removal, and just because there is some turd in your cereal does not mean it's had no improvements at all. Someone, somewhere, with a spoon, tried to clean a bit of it up, even though they didn't do much at all.

 

What people need to get their heads around is that no one wants that bowl of cereal. Just bin the fucking thing and go full NTSC. Unless there is no NTSC option, in which case you're fucked.

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To be honest this discussion is more about the level of optimisation within games. What I class as PAL optimisation isn't the full perfect speed and ratio correction, as much as I love all NTSC developed games to have that. Having worked in game I know some of the fixes I seem developers do to resolves issues at PAL and NTSC, base on the master/core build speed setting. I'll leave it there on that matter.

 

10 hours ago, Jei said:

I know you’re aware of crystal timing because you’ve hinted at it before so all this forcing is irrelevant IMO. NTSC on PAL or PAL on NTSC will never be as it should be.

 

 

Yes and interesting fact a modded PAL PS2 console can output 59.94Hz, on the bios. Which makes me wonder why you only get around 59.4 or 59.5 in games on a modded PAL system. As I was under the impression the PAL crystals prevented a PAL unit from ever doing 59.94Hz at all...

 

So did some more testing on Front Mission 3 and it seems Import Player Light is incorrect forcing PAL games, seems to force the whole screen area. Which means a lot of what I posted yesterday is wrong in regards to the overscan. The Import Player Light as I see it is getting the Y display correction wrong and is over stretching the image over what PAL60 and NTSC actually output as. It's still odd, there hasn't been a decent PlayStation forcing software even now. The reason the Import Player Light appears misaligned is that it is it's increases the size of the black space safe area, which the game is outputting outside of the game video, this was done to avoid HUD elements etc.. getting cut off by CRT in the 90s as you couldn't be sure of the TV screen area, due to all the different makes and models out there. Strangely Import Player Light seems to force NTSC games into PAL without issue.

 

10 hours ago, Jei said:

The playing PS1 on PS2 issue you’re talking about is because you have an early mod like a messiah. Get something decent like a Crystal or MI and it’ll screen adjust properly for PS1. You can even force the core machine to run PAL60 or NTSC60 if you do wish.

 

Assumption make an arse of you and me as my old boss said, my current PAL PS2 is a Matrix Infinity v1.93 and even with it's wealth of options, it still has a few flaws as a chips. Matrix Infinity has a fix for the issue PS2 PAL PS1 NTSC games, but it doesn't work on some NTSC games as the Matrix Infinity applies the fixes on a resolution switch and that doesn't always work, the chip fix actually cause iS internal section to crash at 60Hz normally. In hindsight, I should have had the Matrix Infinity v1.93 installed in an NTSC console not a PAL one. That way the issue wouldn't have happened and on NTSC console and it would by default force some PAL games into NTSC. Something about how some games have had their setting set up on the disc.

 

8 hours ago, strider said:

I used import player light on the two pal games I have. Ridge racer revolution simply booted as before and time crisis displayed halfway down the screen for me. My plan had been to buy cheaper pal games and force them to ntsc, but that clearly isn’t going to be possible.

 

There may yet be as Jei mentioned there are Action Replay / Xploder that allow for NTSC corrections and you may have better luck than me with the software and a different PS2 mod, using a OSSC and adjusting the vertical back porch sittings allowed me to raise the screen up. Would be great if we could get some homebrew software like SWISS for PS1/2. Need to look at the Free MCBoot software for PS2 as it's supposed to be able to force progressive scans on some games.

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@Riven. - Don’t bother with the ass comment

 

A genuine Matrix Infinity running 1.93 firmware has no issues with screen fixes on PS1 or PS2 like you’re talking about and also runs Internal Section perfectly fine. I know as I played it myself last year.
 

If you’re experiencing issues like you describe where some games aren’t switching correctly then you’re either running a clone, a poor quality modbo or it’s a poor install which is resulting in chip timing being unstable.

Edit - unless you’re using a revision of the slim that has issues with specific ps1 games but that’s a whole new kettle of fish

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, strider said:

As I mentioned @RivenI'm not bothering using the ps2 to play ps1 games as they all output to 480i and look shit on my 29inch PVM.
@Sketchcertainly seemed to like the effect, though :lol:

 

Yeah the Matrix Infinity doesn't have that problem, I only use the modded PS2 for NTSC PS1/2 games as it saves having to get a modded PS1 and gaming space is at a premium these days.

 

12 minutes ago, Jei said:

@Riven

 

Jei should have asked this from the beginning from your replies to SOL, but are you OK? You're emotional replies, suggest there is something going on in the background here, that's not related to this thread. PM me if you need to talk, I'm always happy to chat with others. You' re also welcome to come along and chat about games on the daily stream I do, if you just want a gaming chat

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@Riven - Haha thanks but if your advice on personal matters is anything like your advice on 50/60HZ and optimisation I’d rather not thanks! :) 


I just don’t like people being misadvised then potentially spending money on certain setups and configurations for something that was dead and buried back in the 90’s when in reality it’s just not correct. For someone who built his YouTube channel up based on how terrible these things are you’re the last person I’d be expecting to have to point facts out to but it is what it is.

 

You seem convinced that you’re magically going to stumble onto something in 2020 that was missed in the late 90’s by people heavily involved in the scene and good luck with that.
 

For all others, @Sketch summed it up perfectly with his analogy.

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@Riven - I actually commend you for the effort you’re going to on your channel but just a couple of things.

 

1) On your videos I can tell from days of old that some of the issues you’re reporting on are when you’re running 60hz on a switched Saturn rather than true NTSC. Genuine offer - if you want a Japanese Saturn for the purpose of the channel to show a true NTSC machine then I’ll donate you one for free.

 

2) Disagree if you want but it’s apparent to me that you weren’t around / involved back in the day this was all going on. You keep referring to how you worked in the game industry etc but all this seems new to you. Only just finding Importplayer etc. Only a few years ago you stated that having a 50/60hz switch on a UK Saturn  ‘breaks’ something yet now you must surely understand it’s the clock speed.

 

3) If you’re planning to do the same comparisons with PS1 then please do it with a genuine NTSC machine. Again, I’ll donate one if you want.

 

4) If you want your PS2 looking at, or it transferring into an NTSC machine as it let me know as I’ve never seen nothing but 100% success on genuine MI. Hopefully you already know to turn off multi disc already.

 

And finally, Just because someone disagrees with you or proves you wrong don’t start trying to be clever and getting personal. All I’ve stated is facts. Shit like that doesn’t bother me but with the mental health of a lot of people at the moment you really should be wiser with your words.

 

Genuine offer about the consoles btw.

 

@Sketch - I’m hoping to get spare time to play it this weekend, let’s keep tabs :)

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23 hours ago, strider said:


@Sketchcertainly seemed to like the effect, though :lol:

 

I'm not kidding. The interlacing "problem" Strider describes looked good to me. I never saw it in Ridge Racer, but when playing God Hand, moving the character forwards, making him run, caused dark horizontal lines to become noticeable in the ground. Almost as if the scanlines had expanded in thickness slightly. I liked the effect! :D

 

Seeing as we're discussing PS2 now too, does anyone know why, or have a technical explanation for why Chulip refuses to function on a PAL system? I have an NTSC system, so it's fine, but I'm just curious why the screen is borked on my Messiah modded system.

 

Speaking of which, Rent-a-Hero on Dreamcast also had trouble on a PAL system.

 

@Jei It's pretty good. About 3 hours to complete each character but they're so similar you might as well just do it with one. Make sure to select Easy Mode in the options before starting. Enemies are bullet sponges so you want an easier ride. Try to get used to fighting the slower ones melee style. When the doctor asks if you want to be injected with a serum, or have her be injected, maybe suggest her. I suggested myself, thinking it would lead to a bonus later on, but instead I think it just made my character ill during the subsequent time trial. 

 

Good game. Not great. Not worth the effort I put in to get it running, but it's fun to find an obscure title. Feels rushed, like they ran out of budget.

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