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Making PAL MegaDrive games 60Hz-friendly

#16 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:25 PM

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New ROMs!

Taken from the Virtual Console: Alien Soldier USA

Looks like they just changed both the region and the sound speed by modding the European ROM (the file is even called "AlienSoldier_Europe_USA.SGD"), but it's an official release anyway.


Byte 0xCEC changes the music tempo, by the way (60 for NTSC, 65 for PAL)



EDIT: Also, from the European VC: Mega Turrican

This one's based on the US ROM, they removed the region lock, one of the splash screens and changed some text in the ending. Much stuff seems to have been moved inside the ROM, so they probably made a new build instead of hex-editing.


EDIT 2: There's also a "patch" file inside the Alien Soldier directory, reflecting the changes made to the European ROM:
#
# $Id: patch-AlienSoldier,v 1.2 2007-10-09 13:31:00 m2 Exp $

>0x183	string		"MK-01186-00"
0x350:
	beshort		0x4e71 x 0x8e

# >>0x1f0	string		"A"
0xf062:
	beshort		0x4e71				# nop
	beshort		0x4e71				# nop
0xf076:
	beshort		0x4eb9,0x001f,0xff00		# jsr $1fff00.l
	beshort		0x4e71				# nop
0x1fff00:
	beshort		0x4eb9,0x0000,0xf65e		# jsr	 $00f65e.l
	beshort		0x5478,0xa950			# addq.w  #$02,$ffffa950.w
	beshort		0x42b8,0x8240			# clr.l   $ffff8240.w
	beshort		0x4e75				# rts

It's also present in Mega Turrican's, but it's empty in that case.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 11 September 2008 - 08:01 PM

#17 User is offline Oerg866 

Posted 06 October 2008 - 04:49 AM

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Sorry fur the bump, but since my banning I could not post what I wanted to post since years.

Lemmings (E) does not play correctly on 60Hz (on the real console at least)... Menu and stuff works, but in-game has heavy flickering.

#18 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 14 October 2008 - 09:11 AM

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View PostOerg866, on Oct 6 2008, 04:49 AM, said:

Sorry fur the bump, but since my banning I could not post what I wanted to post since years.

Lemmings (E) does not play correctly on 60Hz (on the real console at least)... Menu and stuff works, but in-game has heavy flickering.
Hey that's right, thanks.

I've also noticed that EarthWorm Jim 2 doesn't need its header changed but gives faster music in 60Hz, and also Alisia Dragoon has some minor screen issues, so I've updated the list accordingly.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 14 October 2008 - 09:11 AM

#19 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:08 PM

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For those interested, I've just been able to make Castlevania region free:

-Look for the string "5279 00FF FB28" and replace it with "4E71 4E71 4E71".
-Fix the checksum somehow.

Works for all three versions, in case you want to play the heavily censored Generations in your American system. =P
Not sure it this could help unlocking other Konami games, though.




Also, just to keep things in the same topic, here's how to make Megaman: The Wily Wars region free:

-Replace 0x036A with "Nq".
-Replace country code to "U".
-For some reason, replace 0x0188 with "958E".

If anybody knows of a cleaner way to do it, please post away.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 30 November 2008 - 01:57 PM

#20 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:59 PM

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View PostICEknight, on Nov 30 2008, 06:08 PM, said:

Also, just to keep things in the same topic, here's how to make Megaman: The Wily Wars region free:

-Replace 0x036A with "Nq".
-Replace country code to "U".
-For some reason, replace 0x0188 with "958E".

If anybody knows of a cleaner way to do it, please post away.

Surely that's making it American, not region-free which would be JUE? =P

Nice findings though, keep at it.

#21 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:59 PM

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Bingo! Turns out that some Konami games just need to replace whatever they have right after their first "6706"with "NqNqNq".

Works with: Animaniacs, Castlevania, Probotector, Rocket Knight.
Doesn't work with: Double Dribble, Lethal Enforcers 1& 2, Sparkster, Sunset Riders, Tiny Toon 1 & 2, Turtles 1 & 2, Zombies.



Quote

Surely that's making it American, not region-free which would be JUE? =P
Oh that's right, oops. =P





EDIT: New fix that works with more games.
For Animaniacs, Castlevania, Probotector, Sparkster, Turtles 2, Zombies:
·Look for the first "00A1 0001" and replace it with "00A1 4E71"
·Fix checksum.
For Sunset Riders:
·Replace "60E6 4EB9" with "60E6 6004"
·Fix checksum

There's still these two groups left:
·Double Dribble, Tiny Toons 1 & 2, Turtles 1
·Lethal Enforcers 1 & 2

I don't know if there could be a more "universal" way to do this, but I hope so.



EDIT 2: Hmm, looks like Alien Soldier only really needs these changes in the ROM:
·0x0005C8: "670C" -> "4E71" (remove country check)
·0x000CEC: "650A" -> "600A" (fix music tempo)
·Fix checksum (or get rid of it with 0x000468: "6600 012C" -> "4E71 4E71")

EDIT 3:
Thanks to some Game Genie codes I've found, here's some others:

Streets of Rage 2 (PAL/Japan)
·0x0057B2: 6756->6056
·Fix checksum

Golden Axe III
·0x013BE4: 660C->600C

Mega Turrican (USA)
·0x007122: 6100->4E75

Mega Turrican (PAL)
·0x007126: 6100->4E75

Monster World IV (Japan)
·0x003198: 6706->6006

Pink goes to Hollywood (USA)
·0x0064FE: 6700->6600

Pulseman (Japan)
·0x00276A: 6750->6050 or 4E75

Rolling Thunder 2 (Japan)
·0x00BF5E: 0080->0000

Shinobi 3 (PAL)
·0x00ADB0: 670A->660A

Super Shinobi 2 (Japan)
·0x00A93C: 6602->4E71

Thunder Force IV (Japan)
000348: 6700->6000
000422: 0000->0100
0004D2: 4A78 F0B6->4EF8 0620


In theory, this should also work, but doesn't:
Megaman: The Wily Wars (PAL)
·0x017076: 670E->600E
·0x000368: B059->6002


Can't really see a pattern here... If only we knew how did the Game Genie guys come up with these, we'd know how to make it an automated process. =\

PS: The guy at this site seemed to know how to make these codes, but he hasn't updated since '05...
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 01 December 2008 - 05:40 PM

#22 User is offline Oerg866 

Posted 26 December 2008 - 08:21 AM

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Quote

Still Unknown:
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles - The Hyperstone Heist (E).bin


I happen to have this exact cartridge. I just tested it out.

When the console is set to 60Hz when turned on, just a Konami screen appears and the game hangs there. The screen doesn't even display as if it would do when the game would normally get there.

Set the console to 50Hz, let it start up to the 1st screen, set the machine back to 60Hz, it works fine without any slowdowns/gfx issues/music issues - in fact, I think the music plays at the exact same speed.

This is a fucking great game.

#23 User is offline Oerg866 

Posted 26 December 2008 - 12:33 PM

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Quote

Editing country code
...
Eternal Champions (E) [!].bin


This is false. It works here with the real cartridge without any changes whatsoever.

#24 User is offline JDAdams 

Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:47 PM

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Sorry to bump an old topic, but it's already been resurrected at least once and I thought I'd add the results of my own tests - incidentally, to answer the question of why you would want to do this, it's simply far easier for us PAL gamers to get hold of our local version and play that at 60Hz if compatible, and also there are a few games where the PAL revision has features / bugfixes the NTSC one doesn't. As a final point before the test info, you can play any MD VC game in 60Hz by setting your Wii's region code to NTSC. This is the same for Master System and N64 games. The channels still have region lockouts, which can be disabled globally on the console, but some ROMs still have their original region lockout code intact, which is extremely irritating! Anyway:

Asterix and the Great Rescue (E) [x] - has region check and runs too fast (in-game timer) in 60Hz mode
Asterix and the Power of The Gods (E) (Eng-Ger-Fre-Spa-Ita) [x] - no discernable issues (PAL-only release)
Chakan - The Forever Man (U) - appears to be multi-region despite (U) label, no issues
Immortal, The (U) [!] - appears to be multi-region despite (U) label, no issues
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (JE) [c][!] - runs too fast (in-game timer) in 60Hz mode, so does the NTSC version! UK development team (Tiertex = Manchester), appears to be designed for PAL
James Pond (U) [!] - appears to be multi-region despite (U) label, and again runs too fast (in-game timer) in 60Hz mode. Another UK-developed game (Vectordean = Cambridge)
Jungle Book, The (E) [!] - has region check and runs too fast (in-game timer) in 60Hz mode
Mega Lo Mania (E) (REV 01) - has broken music (incorrect volume levels) in 60Hz mode
Mega Man - The Wily Wars (E) - music tempo is too fast in 60Hz mode
Mickey Mouse - Castle of Illusion (U) [!] - appears to be multi-region despite (U) label, no issues
Rings of Power (U) [!] - appears to be multi-region despite (U) label, no issues
Snake_Rattle_'n'_Roll_(E)_[c][!] - runs too fast in 60Hz mode
Soleil (E) (Eng) - Has region check but no other issues. PAL release has superior translation - almost everything has been redone.
Zero Wing (E) [!] - no issues
This post has been edited by JDAdams: 11 February 2009 - 05:48 PM

#25 User is offline Toekutr 

Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:57 AM

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I know this is about Megadrive games, but is there any way to convert Mega CD games to NTSC-60Hz? Specifically, Sonic CD. Last, I checked, there was no reliable method, but perhaps I can switch the tracks on the NTSC version and use that?

#26 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 27 February 2009 - 04:24 PM

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View PostToekutr, on Feb 27 2009, 08:57 AM, said:

I know this is about Megadrive games, but is there any way to convert Mega CD games to NTSC-60Hz? Specifically, Sonic CD. Last, I checked, there was no reliable method, but perhaps I can switch the tracks on the NTSC version and use that?

If you're after an NTSC-U version of Sonic CD with the non-USA tracks, why not just burn off Sonic the Hedgehog CD (prototype 920)? It's basically the final US ISO with the non-US music.

#27 User is offline Toekutr 

Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:04 PM

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View PostOverlord, on Feb 27 2009, 04:24 PM, said:

View PostToekutr, on Feb 27 2009, 08:57 AM, said:

I know this is about Megadrive games, but is there any way to convert Mega CD games to NTSC-60Hz? Specifically, Sonic CD. Last, I checked, there was no reliable method, but perhaps I can switch the tracks on the NTSC version and use that?

If you're after an NTSC-U version of Sonic CD with the non-USA tracks, why not just burn off Sonic the Hedgehog CD (prototype 920)? It's basically the final US ISO with the non-US music.


Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of that :P

#28 User is offline The Jackal 

Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:59 AM

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I've got some spare time over the weekend; I might try and make some new PAR codes to get some Uk games region-free...

#29 User is offline TmEE 

Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:19 AM

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I was gonna as if you are the same The Jackal as on Sega-16 but then I saw your signature :P

#30 User is offline The Jackal 

Posted 06 March 2009 - 07:28 AM

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yeah, the sig helps out alot. :colbert:

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