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Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:58 pm
by skate323k137
This is great news, perhaps I'll do one just to have on hand in case my chipped saturn ever dies

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:06 pm
by JoeAwesome
Any non-Assembler links?

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:28 pm
by Anthony817
Not really, the guy that made it only posted it there I think.

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:58 pm
by nightrnr
Very intriguing,
I will wait on this for now, in hopes that all features will be available.
But I typically just play original game discs anyways (assuming I'm using optical media).

I'm guessing the 4MB RAM still works (for playing Capcom and SNK Fighters etc.)?

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:04 pm
by Anthony817
Yes, the ram still works with these. It basically just replaces the interface with a simple utility that lets you boot the game or reflash it. So you just don't have codes or the backup memory available, but all other features built into the AR carts still work. Region free and the ram work fine.

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:10 pm
by theclaw
I dunno. No in-game save/load operations is a more pressing matter.
Backups aren't worth having to swap files to Saturn's grossly limited storage.

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:25 pm
by nightrnr
Anthony817 wrote:Yes, the ram still works with these. It basically just replaces the interface with a simple utility that lets you boot the game or reflash it. So you just don't have codes or the backup memory available, but all other features built into the AR carts still work. Region free and the ram work fine.

Very good! Thanks for the assurance.
That's one less feature to worry about losing.

theclaw wrote:I dunno. No in-game save/load operations is a more pressing matter.
Backups aren't worth having to swap files to Saturn's grossly limited storage.

Kind of depends on the player.
If the user is an RPG'er, for example, saves are going to be an issue.
If the Saturn fan is a shmup'er, saves are less of an problem.
Except for Dezaemon 2 :|

But it looks like they (whoever is working on it) are getting there and know it's a big feature to lose.
It's probably just a matter of time.

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:46 pm
by Anthony817
Yeah, look what was already thought to not be possible which was brought to reality. If he can already do all this, then we should be good, just a matter of time now. For me, the Gameshark was basically just sitting there not doing anything as I was only playing backups via disc swapping so it was already of no use to me. When he implements codes and such, I think I saw him talk about possibly making the system save DIRECTLY to our carts, so that is going to be a massive improvement.

People are going to make some serious cash on these by flashing the firmware and reselling them mark my words. I just hope he can add the feature to both the Gameshark and the Action Replays firmwares respectively, as I don;t know if a Gameshark can use the AR firmware if they are from the carts that have the extra ram. The only downside to my Gameshark is the lack of extra ram. Other than that they are basically the same devices with the same interface.

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:04 pm
by Ziggy587
So how are they flashing the firmware on the carts?

Re: Flashing Saturn Carts is now possible to play backups!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:20 pm
by Anthony817
You burn a utility disc and either do disc swap to boot it or use a system with a mod chip. Atlas has a menu where you can flash the firmware or reflash to the original if you choose to do so. If you are registered to Assembler you will be able to download the iso's in the attachments provided on the links of the first page of this thread.

Here are the technical details. Basically it runs them like a VCD or Music CD like how the Dreamcast has the Mil-CD exploit but you use the cart to do it.

This is what the creator says about it.

Hey guys, as I mentioned in another thread, I had been working on a proof of concept boot loader that lets you burn your own Saturn-like discs without the need the ring area or anything else that normally is needed for a pressed disc. It also doesn't require any hardware modifications. I've called it Pseudo Saturn.

Basically it takes advantage of the fact that the CD Block looks for certain strings located in the first sector of a disc. If not present, it doesn't require any additional special checks to unlock full functionality. That's why discs like CD audio, VCD's, and Photo CD's work. Specifically the string I've changed is the first 16 bytes or the "SEGA SEGASATURN " string.

Basically there's two parts to it:

1. Disc image patcher. The first 16 bytes are changed to the string "PSEUDO SATURN " and if necessary correct EDC/ECC data.
2. Saturn bootloader. Normally the bios won't boot a disc that doesn't contain "SEGA SEGASATURN " in the first 16 bytes, so basically a new bootloader is necessary. It was easiest to make a custom boot loader that runs on a cartridge with flash. And since most people own an Action Replay, it made it a good candidate to run the bootloader.