According to wikipedia, it seems that Japanese version of Panzer Dragoon Saga turned 20 years old this week, so, Hrm, I feel old to hear over and over that games I played in my childhood are becoming vintage ... time flies
Panzer Dragoon Saga !
So well, I don't want to write an article for the anniversary of each Saturn game That's too depressing, and I prefer to use this time for other things The reason for this article is to help people wanting to play Panzer Dragoon Saga, but not from level 1, and failing to find appropriate save states for use on their Saturn.
There aren't many saves for Panzer Dragoon save files available for importing from Save Data Manager, but good quality saves can be found on Panzer Dragoon Legacy homepage :
The reason why theses saves aren't added to Pseudo Saturn Kai Save
Data Manager CDROM is because the readme included with theses saves states that saves can't be hosted elsewhere than on Panzer Dragoon Legacy. I personally think this is a pity, because theses saves are really
good.(2018/02/12 : it seems OK regarding copyright See the bottom of this article for details)
Panzer Dragoon Saga is one of the few games not allowing in-game
usage of Gamer's Cartridge. A workaround to that is to use
Saturn's internal backup memory.
So, it is possible to import theses saves to Saturn's internal
backup memory by using Gamer's Cartridge and Save Data Import
1. Copy all save data folders from archive to SD card → SAVES
2. Insert Gamer's Cartridge into Saturn, power on Saturn
3. From main menu, select "Save Data Manager"
4. Select "Save Data Import"
5. Browse for save data file where to import from
Example : SAVES folder → saga_01 → BKRAM1.BIN
6. Select all saves with Y button and confirm import to internal
memory device with A button
Then, it is possible to use theses saves from the game. Unfortunately, Panzer Dragoon Saga is one of the few games not supporting in-game memory cartridge support with Gamer's Cartridge, so the only workaround is to use Saturn internal backup memory.
2018/02/12 : the steps above are still valid, but work on Gamer's Cartridge only. Next release of Pseudo Saturn Kai will feature theses saves directly from Save Data Manager, so that theses will be available for Action Replay cartridges users too (See the bottom of this article for details)
I hope I will be able to make this game compatible with Gamer's Cartridge in the future ! I recently tried to find what's causing this game not working ... and realized it would be harder to fix (I thought game was re-authenticating CD-ROM just before starting to play, but I didn't found any code doing that)
I'm not a genius programmer, but on the other hand, I don't give up on the first failure I meet, so hope next attempt to fix support for this game will be the good one
Update 2018/02/12 : I just received the agreement to add theses saves to Save Data Manager More details can be found on Panzer Dragoon Legacy forums, and screen copy of related posts are available here for the records.
Special thanks to Solo_Wing, who solved this problem in a couple of messages ! Please keep the good work
Read more Happy Birthday Panzer Dragoon Saga !
I could finally write a file to my SD card ... from my Saturn
Well, I just tested by dumping my Saturn's BIOS, and didn't tried further, because I don't want to find and fix other bugs today
Top : my Saturn BIOS, dumped from my Freewing device 5 years ago
Bottom : BIOS file in my SD card dumped today
Hex Editor says that both files are identical
This fixes a nearly 3 years old bug
At that time, I connected a SD card to my second pad port on my Saturn
and could read files successfully. However, file write sometimes failed ... I thought about many possible causes of failures (not enough 3.3V power supply ? Bad luck ? etc etc), but it was a software bug : writing sectors to SD card actually takes longer than reading sectors, and I didn't waited enough for my SD card to finish write.
Changing poll timeout count from 500 clocks to 50000 clocks seems to fix the problem. (Q&D fix, but if it works fine, I won't change it
So now, as SD card read/write access works on both yabause and real hardware, it is time to to use it in order to develop new features for my Saturn
Read more Could finally write a file to my SD card :]
Today, I made fixes to :
- yabause (debug version for personal use), because UBC doesn't works well on it.
- SatLink, because mkdir function returns -1 when folder already exist
- PseudoSaturn, various features additions, fixes, as usual
- BackupManager, in order to display some debug informations.
- Vmem module, various fixes, especially one that took me a couple of hours to understand
Me when debugging my Saturn projects
(Video grabbed from 9gag.com)
But at least, virtual memory cart is ready for debugging now
Debug session with yabause and SatLinkNiGHTs Xmas header data (bottom of screenshot) was copied
from internal memory to laptop HDD
So, everything don't work right now, but UBC related things and log message output are nearly OK, so that debugging this vmem project will be (maybe ?) comfortable from now :]
... I'm tired
No more debugging for today ^^
Read more Some fun with yabause on my laptop
I made some fixes to my flasher utility.
- Added support for SST29LE010 flash chip
- Added memory verify after flashing
- Fixed erase/write operations AM29F010 flash chip
- On startup, inform user that 3D pad and multitap pad are not supported
Thanks to beta testers on ASSEMbler forums, this new version has high chances to work on your Saturn cartridge
However, if you experience any problem, please let me know by leaving a comment to this article.
Some screenshots :
BFBF/0808 flash chip, not recognized on previous version.
This version does now detect it as a 29LE010 device from SST.
Picture provided by dgist71.
Write to AM29F010 chip was incorrect in previous version.
As displayed in this screenshot, this is fixed now.
Picture provided by XeCuTioNR.
You can download this utility here : flasher_20140902.7z → flasher_arp_20150326.7z → http://ppcenter.webou.net/pskai/
Disclaimer : You will loose your cartridge backup data after reflash. And, I'm not responsible in the case I brick your cartridge and/or damage your Saturn.
Read more Saturn cartridge firmware flash utility : small update #2
Memory Card Plus restore utility I made few days ago is now obsolete : I added a menu to select the firmware to flash.
Firmware list includes Action Replay Plus/Pro (various versions), latest Pseudo Saturn, Memory Card Plus, USB dev cart.
Firmware selection menu
As you can see, I added some colors in text display too
The utility doesn't read data from the CDROM, so that it can be uploaded to Saturn via commlinks port (Action Replay) or USB port (USB dev cart).
All the firmwares don't fit as-is in Saturn HRAM (1MB), so I compressed them by using LZF compression, so that everything could fit in a single ~800 KB binary file
Here are some pictures of utility running on real hardware :
Firmware selection menu from early beta version.
Picture provided by r1cola.
(click to open video
Flasher in action : from firmware selection to end of flash operation.
Video provided by zorlon.
You can download this utility here : flasher_20140824.7z
→ http://ppcenter.webou.net/pskai/ Disclaimer
: You will loose your cartridge backup data after reflash. And, I'm not responsible in the case I brick your cartridge and/or damage your Saturn.
Read more Saturn cartridge firmware flash utility : small update