I have one on the way and have some questions since I never owned one before.
1st: I have done some research and see that one can play Japanese games rather easily by simply getting an action replay but well looking for games I discovered an Ultraman game that comes with it's own memory card. How would one go about playing it while the action replay is being utilized?
2nd: I'm a little fuzzy on how saving games works on the Saturn. I see that there is a watch battery that is used on the console itself and that there also memory cards. Do you need a memory card to save games or can you simply save to the console?
3rd: How robust are the consoles themselves? Do they have potential health problems like the PC Engine/Turbografx?
>I have done some research and see that one can play Japanese games rather easily by simply getting an action replay but well looking for games I discovered an Ultraman game that comes with it's own memory card. How would one go about playing it while the action replay is being utilized?
Action replay either works as ram or a memory card. Some incompatibility.
>I'm a little fuzzy on how saving games works on the Saturn. I see that there is a watch battery that is used on the console itself and that there also memory cards. Do you need a memory card to save games or can you simply save to the console?
You can save to either but not both at the same time. You can transfer from the system to a card.
>How robust are the consoles themselves? Do they have potential health problems like the PC Engine/Turbografx?
Pretty robust. Rarely see lasers that are actually dead. 9 times out of 10 they just need a clean.
Caps and components are high quality on the revisions I've seen.
Some people have issues with the cartridge slot. I think they're mongoloids though.
The action replay 4-in-one doubles as a freeloader and a ram cart, and with a quick flash it can bypass copy protection as well. That Ultraman game and KOF94 use there own carts that refuse to boot without them, so I don't think you could get away with those two.
Memory cards are just for backing up and transfering saves, since games cannot save directly to the memory card as far as I know.
They're pretty well made and don't have any big problems like gamegears or PCE's. I found one with a broken CD m odor but I think it was a fluke.
>games cannot save directly to the memory card
many games can save directly to the memory card
also the storage on the memory card is really really large compared with the internal memory so generally you want to be using that as much as possible and ignore the internal memory (which also wipes when your battery goes flat). but there are of course quite a few games that will only save directly on to the internal memory that you will need to backup manually. in my personal experience most games were saves are really important (RPGs etc.) will save to the memory card though.
1. If you want to play games that use the ROM cart, you will need to do a hardware region mod, or use a modchip and burn region patched copies. Or get an SD Loader which can auto patch games.
However this is only required for TWO games, one of them is a godawful Ultraman game, the other is a Neogeo port. You are not missing out anything by ignoring them.
2. You can use the internal memory for saves, but it is pretty small and will get filled quick if you play many games. Some games use more space, some will use less. Some will use only 1 block, some will fill up the entire internal memory for 1 save, and a few ones can only save on the cart. There are fewer games that require huge space, but if you want to keep your saves then it is a good idea to get a memory cart.
The action replay is shit for saving, it only allows you to back up your internal saves to the cart. Proper save carts can be used directly from the games.
3. They are very good. There are some power supply issues (the PWM chip on them overheats or blows), but other than that and the occasional laser tweaking, they are good. The cart slot is ass, but if you clean up the pins on your carts, it'll become much more reliable.
>Yeah that battery will die on you fast and completely out of nowhere then it's all gone and you're setting the time.
A normal Energizer battery lasts 2+ years for me in my consoles. And that's with them on the shelf, unplugged, except for one or two times a month when I check something on them.
No, you either need to do the swap trick or get a modchip. Or load a hacked firmware on your action replay that allows for most backups to boot, but you need a way to load backups for that to begin with.
>Is modchipping hard?
If you get one of the newer, more compatible chips, then you only need to solder 1 cable for power, and one jumper for compatibility and that's that.
If you get one of the older shittier chips, then you may need to do ridiculous rewiring to get it working (or if you get lucky with your Saturn model, solder 1 cable for power and it'll work).
I am lazy and don't want to bother modchipping for a few reasons. In that case, should I get an American or Japanese Saturn? Would an Action Replay be worth it just to play the other side of the spectrum (since it apparently can't save??)? And then I should get the backup memory so I can actually save, right?
I am sorry if I got things wrong, this console is a little weird to me when it comes to this stuff but I want to make sure that I've got things right.
>Would an Action Replay be worth it just to play the other side of the spectrum
It depends on what kind of games you want to play. If you want to play nothing but shmups and fighting games and general arcade fare, then go for Japanese. Most US standard releases that aren't shovelware (or even some that are shovelware) are getting ridiculously expensive. By comparison the Japanese games tend to be a lot more affordable, but when you're talking Saturn, affordable is a very relative term. An action replay cart is the best way to go in my opinion.
>since it apparently can't save??
The action replay cart can save as long as it's got that function. The 4 in 1 cart is the most common one (and very affordable at ~30 bucks). It actually has much more storage space than the internal Saturn memory, but it isn't recognized as a memory card by the Saturn (the only one that can be saved to in-game is the official Sega memory cart) so you have to copy the save data from the Saturn to the cartridge via the cartridge BIOS. It isn't difficult at all, but if your internal Saturn battery is dead you just have to remember to reset and copy the data before turning the console off or you lose your save.
Saturn did pretty damn well in Japan because people were still playing a lot of 2D games (and funny enough most of the best 2D Saturn games are the most expensive ones now, at least for Japanese releases) and Sega of America had this huge aversion to releasing 2D games. If they'd released a decent sonic game it probably would have done better, but 2D games weren't really what sold consoles in the US. The Saturn was a 2D powerhouse though, so if they had poured effort into a 2D sonic that pushed the Saturn to its limits it probably would have been one of the best sonic games ever.
but at least we got super tempo
I should probably mention the clock/save battery needs changing rather often. But if you have an action replay, you can just press the rest button, and move the game data from the machine, to the action replay.
I am sure you can do the same thing with a normal memory cart too. You don't really 'need' a functioning clock battery to play or save, so long as you make sure you do what I have just described.
Saturn sold well in Japan because it had Virtua Fighter which was bigger than Jesus and later on it got Virtual On and Sakura Taisen which were pretty huge too. I don't think its 2D library had too much to do with it.
Okay, that makes sense! You just helped me out big time dude, I was confused by the saturn until now. Thanks so much!
So I think I will go for a Japanese Saturn, and invest in an Action Replay. So all I have to do is save to the internal memory, and later on just move that data to the Action Replay, and all will be dandy? Assuming that the save battery is good, of course, but from what I understand it's a really easy fix.
I recently installed a Saturn chip from a UK sight and all I had to do was solder one wire really easily to a big terminal and hookup 2 ribbon cables. Unless you're rich you can't enjoy a Saturn without one. Then you just get the all in one card
Has anyone had their power supply or Action Replay 4 in 1 die on them?
Thinking of hoarding a spare power supply and official memory cart in case something goes wrong with those.
It's weird. The batteries used to last for a usable amount of time with my Saturn. Then, all of a sudden, they'd be dead within a weak. I think something must've broken somehow to drain them faster. That or the batteries I've been using are really really crap.
>the only one that can be saved to in-game is the official Sega memory cart
There are inofficial memory cart clones. I wouldn't recommend those though, I lost my saves to one once, thankfully while my Saturn wasn't still consuming batteries like it was some sort of battery vacuum, so I had some of the more important saves backed up on the internal memory.
the Phantom chip.
No, it would have done bad in the US regardless, due to Sega pissing off stores with their early launch. Most stores simply refused to carry it, which meant that a lot of people didn't even knew the machine existed.
This, and don't forget that it had godly advertising as well. Segata Sanshiro was EXTREMELY popular.
The Action Replay dies every fucking time, but all that happens is that it corrupts itself - the firmware is stored on the same flash eeprom that it stores save games and cheats on, so if the cart connector has any small error, it can end up with a bad write and overwrite its own firmware.
You can re-flash the cart to bring it back to life, of course you'll store any of your custom cheats or saved games.
I've never had a power supply die outright, but I've had plenty which had overheating problems, usually on the PWM chip, which often needs replacement.
The Saturn was the single time in all of Sega of Japans history when they had all their ducks in order.
And then they had to go and kill it early. The machine could've survived for a year or two more easily. In Japan, anyway.
You can get region mods in many other ways (region free bios is the best option, but you can also just patch your games before burning, or pick up a loose Japanese unit very cheap). The RAM expansion is nice but nearly all the games that use it are arcade ports you can easily play in MAME, most don't even have extra features and are still downgraded ports even with the memory expansion. And I've used it as a cheat cart a total once, to get infinite money in Sim City 2k (I tried testing if it had the Exodus scene).
So there's not much use to the AR, I think. It's nice to have "just in case", but you are better off using a normal memory cart, and maybe buy one of the cheaper 4mb pack-in games if you really want those.
Or you could flash them with that pseudo Saturn loader so it can boot backups, but from what I've heard it isn't compatible with all games, and it's a catch 22 since you need to be able to boot backups in order to flash the cart anyway. At which point you might just get a modchip.
OP here, well now hiccups are happening with my Saturn. It plays US games just fine, but today I got a copy of Gihren's Greed and right after watching the opening animation it went to the console main menu and said the game is not the correct region. I'm not sure if it is the Action Replay Plus (which is brand new), the console itself, or the Japanese games that look to be in fine condition?
It could be a read error, the Saturn will drop back to the cd player if it cannot read discs. Which can be either due to disc damage (sometimes they aren't visible as scratches - you'd need to do a surface scan on a PC), or due to bad laser.
I was an avid gamer in the mid-late 90's who was also a Nintendrone. I went to Toys R Us and stores all the time for games and I don't remember seeing anything for Sega Saturn. I didn't own one until a friend gave me one for free.
A lot, but the AR carts aren't too reliable for memory management in my experience, I got all my memory erased randomly once because the flash memory got fucked, now I just use it for pseudosaturn and region free.
Try to get an official memory cartidge.
OP here, anon my Saturn Action Replay Plus Manager says that my console has 510 free memory and the Cartridge memory is 8190.
So if I broke down and not only got a sole Japanese Saturn would the Action Replay Plus work on it? Also since I saw it posted that the Action Replay Plus is not too dependable would a US Official Saturn Memory card work on a Japanese Saturn?
So I'm willing to go for a Saturn but I have a few questions. It looks like the way to go is JP only right? Is there more than 1 version of the Saturn? Backup ram is the only way to save, are there any games that need this ram to play? I'm a yuropoo, if I would take a JP Saturn I'd probally need a step-down right?
There are two basic Saturn models, but the differences are mainly cosmetic.
Get an Action Replay 4-in-1. It bypasses region lock, gives you backup save space and acts as a RAM upgrade for games that need it (X-Men Vs. Street Fighter etc).
Yes you'll need a step down if you're in Europe.
The only problem you might have is that if you want to play a PAL Saturn game that has been optimised to run at 50HZ (like SEGA Rally), playing it on a Japanese Saturn will make it run too fast and glitch.