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Sega Saturn Appreciation and Emulation Thread

sixteen-bit

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Soukyugurentai related:

Also posted on shmups and Racketboy in hopes of finding more people to test.

I noticed something very odd while playing Soukyugurentai Otokuyo tonight on my newly acquired Model 1 Japanese Saturn. I was playing on Arcade Difficulty (5) as I usually do on my Model 2 US Saturn and the game was noticeably more difficult. More enemies, the enemies were more aggressive, there were more bullets and the bullets were faster. Even bosses were starting patterns they normally don't unless I have the difficulty set to 6 or 7.

I erased any saved data from the Action Replay 4 in 1 menus and tried again with the Action Replay unplugged. I thought maybe I was experiencing some kind of cheat device deterrent. >:) But that wasn't the case. It was still much more difficult than what I had experienced when playing on AC difficulty in the past on my US Model 2 Saturn.

So I hooked up the Model 2, erased all saved data and started on AC difficulty. Just as I suspected, the game was quite a bit easier.

Can anyone else test this? Is it a difference between Japanese and other region systems, or a difference between Model 1 & 2 Saturns and not region specific at all? Is non-Otokuyo affected?

I have experienced little differences in loading and game play between Models 1 & 2 with other games in the past, but this is the first time I have seen differences this extreme.
That's really interesting. I haven't tried Sokyu on my J-Saturn yet but now I'm quite interested in giving it a go to see the differences.
 

Tain

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That is super weird. Could the difficulty changes be due to slowdown? Or does the game run pretty smoothly throughout? I haven't played a lot of Soukyugurentai.

I wonder if the original ST-V versions of Soukyugurentai and Terra Diver have difficulty differences and if the Saturn version is checking the hardware region like the original would. Sounds crazy, but that's the only thing I can think of if it's not a matter of performance.
 
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Soukyugurentai is one of the few Saturn games that was programed Dual language, when you play it on the US Saturn your getting the planned US version of the game. On the Jap Saturn you're playing the Japanese version as intended.
Right... kind of. While the western version does appear to play when played on a US/EU Saturn, the theory is that the original Souky is a rom dump of the arcade version with console options added in. This makes sense as the arcade version runs on Titan/ST-V hardware, so it should require little effort to get it up and running on the Saturn. As part of the theory, they weren't too concerned with the western parts of the rom when dumping, leaving that data incomplete or corrupted. This wouldn't have been a problem, but the Saturn hardware is universal and it region switches games as the Titan/ST-V hardware would. Since the western rom data was incomplete, gamers importing Soukyugurentai to other parts of the world were quickly finding that some of the game text and menus were in English (Terra Diver), but most of the language was corrupted. This caused odd graphical glitches where text couldn't display and rendered graphical garbage in the stage practice mode, making it unplayable.

The Action Replay 4 in 1 only disables region encryption. Your Saturn still communicates which region it is to the game unless you have installed a region switch.

This was fixed in the Otokuyo re-release. The game now displays properly on all regions and is always the Japanese version of the rom.
 

Tain

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Soukyugurentai is one of the few Saturn games that was programed Dual language, when you play it on the US Saturn your getting the planned US version of the game. On the Jap Saturn you're playing the Japanese version as intended.

Is it called Terra Diver in the title screen and everything?

Either way, being forced to the US version kinda blows for my PAR-using self, lol.

edit: The plot thickens, then, as Otokuyo is supposed to always be the Japanese game, yet the difficulty differences are still present. This is wild.
 
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That is super weird. Could the difficulty changes be due to slowdown? Or does the game run pretty smoothly throughout? I haven't played a lot of Soukyugurentai.
The game appears to play properly throughout. There is slowdown, but it is consistent with the game engine.

I wonder if the original ST-V versions of Soukyugurentai and Terra Diver have difficulty differences and if the Saturn version is checking the hardware region like the original would. Sounds crazy, but that's the only thing I can think of if it's not a matter of performance.
I was thinking the same thing.
 
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Is it called Terra Diver in the title screen and everything?

Either way, being forced to the US version kinda blows for my PAR-using self, lol.

edit: The plot thickens, then, as Otokuyo is supposed to always be the Japanese game, yet the difficulty differences are still present. This is wild.
Yeah, trust me, mind blown moment last night.

The title screen doesn't read Terra Diver, but it does popup during other screens.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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940
I have the Otokuyo re-release and a US Saturn with a region switch. I should be getting the original Japanese version, yeah?
 
Jan 24, 2012
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I have the Otokuyo re-release and a US Saturn with a region switch. I should be getting the original Japanese version, yeah?
Technically, yeah.

So if you have a 4 in 1 you should be able to test both regions.

Something else I remembered. Not only is the game more difficult, but there were a lot more bomb powerup drops.

And seriously, the game almost reaches near bullet hell about midway through Stage 3. Even when manipulating the ranking system by passing on powerups to make the game easier.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Technically, yeah.

So if you have a 4 in 1 you should be able to test both regions.

Something else I remembered. Not only is the game more difficult, but there were a lot more bomb powerup drops.

And seriously, the game almost reaches near bullet hell about midway through Stage 3. Even when manipulating the ranking system by passing on powerups to make the game easier.

I used to play it on a 4-in-1, and I haven't played it really since I installed my region switch. But from what I'm reading, Otokuyo doesn't behave differently with a 4-in-1.

So are you saying Otokuyo is tougher with a 4-in-1 vs. a region switch, not just the original release? I'll try testing it this evening.

Edit; One of the things that frustrates me about Souky is how you have to basically use your web exclusively to keep the rank down. It would be nice to use your cannons, just for variety.
 
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So are you saying Otokuyo is tougher with a 4-in-1 vs. a region switch, not just the original release? I'll try testing it this evening.
What I'm saying is that the JP version of Soukyugurentai may be harder overall and that this may be the case with both Otokuyo and the original release. The developer may have fixed the language issue and garbled text in Otokuyo, but the core game is still the original rom.

So it raises an important question: Is the JP release of Souky more difficult? This would include the Saturn and Titan/ST-V releases. The only way to know for sure would be to set up different region Saturns and Titan/ST-V carts and boards and test them all.

If the JP version is indeed more difficult, it creates all kinds of new elements that need to be considered when posting on score boards. It would mean that people would need to post which Saturn region hardware they played on.

edit: I should have made a dedicated thread. LOL
 

Tain

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What I'm saying is that the JP version of Soukyugurentai may be harder overall and that this may be the case with both Otokuyo and the original release. The developer may have fixed the language issue and garbled text in Otokuyo, but the core game is still the original rom.

So it raises an important question: Is the JP release of Souky more difficult? This would include the Saturn and Titan/ST-V releases. The only way to know for sure would be to set up different region Saturns and Titan/ST-V carts and boards and test them all.

If the JP version is indeed more difficult, it creates all kinds of new elements that need to be considered when posting on score boards. It would mean that people would need to post which Saturn region hardware they played on.

edit: I should have made a dedicated thread. LOL

Would probably be easiest to use MAME.
 
Jan 24, 2012
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Would probably be easiest to use MAME.
Probably. But it's still something to consider as the Saturn version is generally regarded as the same as the MAME/Arcade version.

Also, people would need to post which region they are playing even when using MAME as these differences in difficulty and scoring could carry over to that version as well.
 

Tain

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For sure, I meant simply to test/confirm the difficulty differences between the ST-V/Titan versions.

Either way, this only serves to reinforce my paranoia about domestic releases of older Japanese action games. There are a ton of well-known cases of regional differences like this, but I can only assume that there are a ton more that aren't well-documented online.
 
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For sure, I meant simply to test/confirm the difficulty differences between the ST-V/Titan versions.

Either way, this only serves to reinforce my paranoia about domestic releases of older Japanese action games. There are a ton of well-known cases of regional differences like this, but I can only assume that there are a ton more that aren't well-documented online.
Ahh, Indeed. Gran Turismo 1 anyone?
 

Red Blaster

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I was literally about to sell my Saturn this week until I saw this thread. Realized that most of its library is unlikely to ever appear on other machines.
 

Jake Tower

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Saturn-GAF, are there any differences of note between the Saturn Japanese Symphony of the Night and the US PlayStation version besides being able to play as Richter? I bought it off ebay a while back but never played more than a little bit.
 

sixteen-bit

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Saturn-GAF, are there any differences of note between the Saturn Japanese Symphony of the Night and the US PlayStation version besides being able to play as Richter? I bought it off ebay a while back but never played more than a little bit.

Yeah. The Playstation version is playable.

All jokes aside, the Saturn version has an exclusive playable Maria mode, and two unique castle areas, but the game runs significantly worse than the Playstation original. I really don't think the Saturn port is worth playing in this day and age, especially when better playing versions are available on PS1, PSN, PSP via Dracula X Chronicles, and XBLA.
 

snkryo

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I have my import saturn connected to my samsung GXtv and it's my favorite system of all time.
 
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The Saturn version (although I hate to say it) sucks just because of how long it takes to pull up the map. But I don't own any Sony consoles, so I guess I'll get the XBLA versions. It's only the missing the ugly CG videos, as I recall.
 

Slermy

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Don't forget the odd proportions of the screen in the Saturn version. Looking at the stairs bothers me to no end.
 
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Yeah. The Playstation version is playable.

All jokes aside, the Saturn version has an exclusive playable Maria mode, and two unique castle areas, but the game runs significantly worse than the Playstation original. I really don't think the Saturn port is worth playing in this day and age, especially when better playing versions are available on PS1, PSN, PSP via Dracula X Chronicles, and XBLA.
Saturn SotN has longer load times than the Playstation version, too. However, if you want playable Maria your only options are Saturn or PSP, so the Saturn does have worth as the only console version of the game with Maria playable. But other than that, yeah, no other good reasons to get it. That's really the one.
 

Theonik

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You shouldn't spread that kind of lie. Most of the bootlegs have awful build quality.

Best bet is to buy the original controller and a USB converter of some kind.
Or do as I did and buy a bootleg, a non-functional original. (since we're only interested in the shell here) and make a chimera of them using the bootleg PCB and original shell and triggers. Result is awesome.
 

mikespit1200

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Is it normal to get slowdown on In The Hunt with an Action Replay Plus? My understanding is the cart should auto set to 4M I'm just not certain if there's something else I need to do in the AR menu at startup.
 

sixteen-bit

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Is it normal to get slowdown on In The Hunt with an Action Replay Plus? My understanding is the cart should auto set to 4M I'm just not certain if there's something else I need to do in the AR menu at startup.

In The Hunt has a lot of slowdown in general. My North American copy of the game won't even boot past the publisher logos with my PAR card inserted though.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Is it normal to get slowdown on In The Hunt with an Action Replay Plus? My understanding is the cart should auto set to 4M I'm just not certain if there's something else I need to do in the AR menu at startup.

In the Hunt does have slowdown, pretty bad at times (but basically like the original arcade game). It doesn't use a 1 or 4MB cart, though. Your slowdown is typical; there's nothing else you need to do.

In The Hunt has a lot of slowdown in general. My North American copy of the game won't even boot past the publisher logos with my PAR card inserted though.

Try unplugging the controller after you boot the game from the PAR (or booting the game with the controller unplugged if you aren't using a PAR). Works for me.
 

ghibli99

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Don't forget the odd proportions of the screen in the Saturn version. Looking at the stairs bothers me to no end.
How about transparencies? It's been a while, but can't remember if they were real or the fake, dithered kind.
 

Shadow Hog

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However, if you want playable Maria your only options are Saturn or PSP...
I should note that these two versions have very different Marias playable. If I recall correctly, the PSP Maria is based a lot more on her Rondo of Blood incarnation, while Saturn Maria instead has some kind of chargable ranged attack. It's been a while since I played either, so I don't really remember specifics...
 

mr jones

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I used to have an absolutely massive Saturn collection. I had roughly 70% of the entire US Saturn library. It was when I was trying to hunt down crappy games that I realized that collecting is dumb, and sold my entire collection. I honestly don't regret it. No one really plays Guardian Heroes or Bomberman with me, and it seems that everyone has moved past niche shooters like Darius Gaiden and In the Hunt. I didn't really feel like playing through Panzer Saga, Dragon Force, or Shining the Holy Ark again, and most of the good games for the system (Powerslave, Panzer Zwei, Astal, etc.) don't really need to be played more than once, so yeah. See ya later.

However, I DID keep many of the arcade style japanese games. I need to hunt those down...
 
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I should note that these two versions have very different Marias playable. If I recall correctly, the PSP Maria is based a lot more on her Rondo of Blood incarnation, while Saturn Maria instead has some kind of chargable ranged attack. It's been a while since I played either, so I don't really remember specifics...
Yeah, the Saturn Maria uses a variety of spells and martial arts attacks. I have heard that she is incredibly broken and the game is a cakewalk with her.
 

omenaa

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The Saturn version (although I hate to say it) sucks just because of how long it takes to pull up the map. But I don't own any Sony consoles, so I guess I'll get the XBLA versions. It's only the missing the ugly CG videos, as I recall.

Japanese XBLA version has the CG videos.
 

Credo

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Other than eBay, where are some of the best places to find Saturn games? I'm sure eBay is probably the best site for people wanting to add to their collections, but it seems like new listings are very slow to appear.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
 

Red Blaster

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I used to have an absolutely massive Saturn collection. I had roughly 70% of the entire US Saturn library. It was when I was trying to hunt down crappy games that I realized that collecting is dumb, and sold my entire collection. I honestly don't regret it. No one really plays Guardian Heroes or Bomberman with me, and it seems that everyone has moved past niche shooters like Darius Gaiden and In the Hunt. I didn't really feel like playing through Panzer Saga, Dragon Force, or Shining the Holy Ark again, and most of the good games for the system (Powerslave, Panzer Zwei, Astal, etc.) don't really need to be played more than once, so yeah. See ya later.

However, I DID keep many of the arcade style japanese games. I need to hunt those down...

I've been searching past Saturn threads on GAF and it's amusing seeing your posts from 2005 being all "I love the Saturn!" to getting progressively more sour about the console as the years go by, lulz.
 

Dave Long

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Other than eBay, where are some of the best places to find Saturn games? I'm sure eBay is probably the best site for people wanting to add to their collections, but it seems like new listings are very slow to appear.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Look for locally owned video game stores in your area. Often they will sell games for any and all systems unlike Gamestop. It depends on the owners, but they may have better or worse prices compared to eBay. Just depends how on top of things they are.

I found a place not too far from me that sells games for every system under the sun and at reasonable prices too. It's mostly luck, but worth a try to check.
 

Credo

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Thanks for the reply, Dave. Actually, it was a visit to the biggest local store around here that caused me to make that last post. I went there 2 days ago to check out their stock, and it turns out they sell games for every Nintendo system, every Sony system, and every Sega system EXCEPT Saturn. I live in a state where gaming isn't exactly a big thing compared to anything outdoors, so it's almost impossible to find anywhere to buy old games, other than that local store I visited. All the local movie rentals got closed down years ago, and none of them around here even carried Saturn games in the first place.
 

Seik

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Thanks for the reply, Dave. Actually, it was a visit to the biggest local store around here that caused me to make that last post. I went there 2 days ago to check out their stock, and it turns out they sell games for every Nintendo system, every Sony system, and every Sega system EXCEPT Saturn. I live in a state where gaming isn't exactly a big thing compared to anything outdoors, so it's almost impossible to find anywhere to buy old games, other than that local store I visited. All the local movie rentals got closed down years ago, and none of them around here even carried Saturn games in the first place.

You can always check out the buy/sell/trade thread in the Community Forum. I saw some nice Saturn gems for less than Ebay most of the time.
 

Red Blaster

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Look for locally owned video game stores in your area. Often they will sell games for any and all systems unlike Gamestop. It depends on the owners, but they may have better or worse prices compared to eBay. Just depends how on top of things they are.

I found a place not too far from me that sells games for every system under the sun and at reasonable prices too. It's mostly luck, but worth a try to check.

This is why the internet sucks, every two-bit shop owner at the flea market just looks up prices online :|