Dreamcast import (ntsc-j) problem loading

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by duwen, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. duwen

    duwen Old Man Yoshi

    Sep 6, 2013
    United States
    Bullet Hell
    Not sure if there are any Dreamcast owners here that might be able to help with my specific problem, but it's worth a shot as I've not found a decent answer from the other communities I've asked.

    I recently bought my first Dreamcast (although my history with them dates back to the consoles launch at the end of the last millennium) and decided that I'd aim for a small collection of shmups and fighters.
    I'm in the UK, and picked up a PAL Dreamcast (along with Power Stone 2 to kick off my collection). It didn't take me long to realize that buying imports would be far more cost effective for the majority of titles I want to own.
    Yes, I know I can save a ton of money and just download and burn self-boot disk images (which I have been doing - a lot! :wink: ), but I'm a collector and there are a small number of games for the system I just want to legitimately own.
    A friend, and long time Sega collector, kindly loaned me his NTSC-J disk of Street Fighter Zero 3 (along with a few PAL games) when the only legit disk I had was Power Stone 2. This meant I had to find some form of boot disk to load the import game... and at this point, I've amassed several loader disks; Codebreaker, DC-IE, Utopia, etc, and none of them will allow me to boot SFZ3 on my PAL console. At best, after swapping to the game disk it loads the Dreamcast swirl and copyright screen then loops back to the swirl and then to the Dreamcast options menu.
    My inquiries on other forums initially pointed at it being an issue with the game disk, and I should get hold of some other import disks and try them... which I did, and can verify that DC-IE (Dreamcast Import Enabler) loads the other dozen NTSC-J disks I've acquired flawlessly. This led me to believe that it was indeed an issue with the borrowed disk. My friend said he hadn't played it for several years, but he never had any problems with it (incidentally, I believe he uses a legitimate development loader disk to run imports on his console). Even after thoroughly cleaning and polishing/resurfacing the disk none of the bootloaders would run it.

    Jump to today, where I received my own NTSC-J disk of Street Fighter Zero 3, that I imported from Japan... and guess what... yep, that won't load either.

    So, does anyone know what the specific issue is with this particular game not running on a PAL console? Has anyone else experienced this and perhaps found a different loader disk that will run SFZ3?

    I'm going to see if I can borrow my friends loader disk to see if that will boot it, as he claims, and if so I'll see if it's possible to create/rip my own self-boot version of it.
    In the meantime I'll resort to playing the self-boot disk image of SFZ3. :unsure:
  2. tech3475

    tech3475 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 12, 2009
    One option might be to just keep the disc as a collectors item and use a self boot.

    But if you're going to regularly deal with imports, a modded BIOS might be something to look into rather than swapping discs all the time.
    duwen and cvskid like this.
  3. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 31, 2013
    Dreamcast owner since 1998 and have 7 in my collection, along with ODE's and what not, so I know my way around a DC. Right, I'm 99% sure you are using a SCART tv connection, yeah? based on you're location flag UK? because USA and some other countries did not use SCART for their connections for older retro hardware.

    SF Zero 3 is a title that will boot loop (does not support RGB) using a Scart connection and the way to fix that is use either a crappy RF lead, Composite, S-Video or VGA.

    The PAL version and JPN Matching Service version of SF zero/alpha 3 only support RGB)

    I personally use a CRT VGA for my setup and sometimes switch to S-video, as everything works in S-video like composite does. VGA is the best way to play a DC, yet some titles don't like VGA either. Here is a list of VGA:

    List of games that can be FORCED to work with VGA:

    90 Minutes Championship Football
    Army Men: Sarges Heroes
    Bangai-O (Odd Output)
    Bust-a-Move 4
    Conflict Zone
    Dancing Blade Katteni Momo Tenshi
    Dogu Senki - Haoh
    Evil Dead: Hail to the King
    Golf Shiyouyo: Kouryaku Pack
    Gunbird 2
    Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2
    Hidden and Dangerous
    Hoyle Casino
    Idol Janshi Wo Tsukucchaou
    JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (Odd Output)
    Kita He - White Illumination
    Marionette Company
    Max Steel
    Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 1
    Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2
    Ms. Pacman Maze Madness
    NBA Showtime
    Net de Tennis
    Next Tetris: Online Edition
    NFL Blitz 2000
    Nightmare Creatures 2
    Pachi-Slot: Teiou Dream Slot - Heiwa SP
    Racing Simulation 2 - Monaco Grand Prix Online
    Rainbow Six
    Reel Fishing: Wild
    Sakura Wars
    Sakura Wars 2
    Sno Cross Championship Racing
    South Park Chef's Luv Shack
    South Park Rally
    Sydney 2000
    Tee Off
    Treasure Strike (Odd Output)
    Trick Style
    Vigilante 8 Second Offence
    Who Wants to Beatup a Millionaire?
    World Neverland Plus: The Olerud Kingdom Stories (Odd Output)
    Yukawa Senmu no Otakara Sagashi


    List of games that DON'T WORK with VGA Period:

    21 - Two One
    Airforce Delta
    Caesar's Palace 2000
    Cho Hatsumei Boy Kanipan: Bousou Robot no Nazo
    D Vine Luv
    Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Mix
    Dance Dance Revolution Club Version
    Dancing Blade Katteni Momo Tenshi II: Tears of Eden
    Dino Crisis (menu can be force booted, but actual game crashes)
    ECW Anarchy Rulz
    ECW Hardcore Revolution
    Eisei Meijin III: Game Creator Yoshimura Nobuhiro no Zunou
    Evolution: The World of Sacred Device
    Imperial no Taka: Fighter of Zero
    Jikkyo Powerful Pro Yakyu: Dreamcast Edition
    Jinsei Game For Dreamcast
    Jissen Pachislo Hissyouhou @ VPachi
    King of Fighters '99 Dream Match
    King of Fighters '99 Evolution
    Kita He - Photo Memories
    Konohana 2: Todoka Nai Requiem
    Konohana: True Report
    L.O.L - Lack of Love
    Langrisser Millennium
    Last Blade 2
    Mahjong Taikai II Special
    MTV Skateboarding
    Nanatsu no Hikan Senritsu no Hohoemi
    Nobunaga no Yabou: Reppuuden
    Nobunaga no Yabou: Shouseiroku
    Plasma Sword
    Psychic Force 2012
    Psychological Game
    Ring Terror's Realm
    Rune Caster
    Sangokushi VI With Power Kit
    Soul Fighter
    Sunrise Eiyuutan
    Tanaka Torahiko no Urutoraryu Syogi Ibisyaanaguma Hen
    TNN Hardcore Heat
    Winning Post 4 Program 2000
    World Neverland 2 Plus: The Waktic Republic of Pluto
    WWF Attitude
    Yukyu Gensokyoku 3: Perpetual Blue
    Yumebaken '99 Internet


    Usefull link (old) but worth a read http://www.bordersdown.net/threads/11538-What-NTSC-Dreamcast-games-are-non-RGB-compatible

    More info here: http://retrorgb.com/dreamcast.html
    Last edited by retrofan_k, Apr 22, 2017
    duwen likes this.
  4. duwen

    duwen Old Man Yoshi

    Sep 6, 2013
    United States
    Bullet Hell
    At the moment that's exactly what I'm doing - legit disk's on the shelf, while I've got a self-boot disk in the console (although it's for 'Alpha 3' rather than 'Zero 3', as there doesn't seem to be any existing self-boots of the Jap release. I did find a gdi dump for it, but no cdi's... if anyone knows where I can find one, preferably rgb patched, please pm me).

    As for the modded BIOS... I'm actually considering just getting a Japanese console. My meager game collection consists of 16 games at present, but three quarters of them are NTSC-J! The other four are PAL.

    Yes, I am indeed using an RGB SCART connection. I was aware of the RGB issue for some games (I had a boot loop issue with a self-boot of Vampire Chronicle, but fixed it with a patch), but had hoped that the DC-IE boot disk may bypass the problem as I was aware that it also forces vga for titles that don't support it. I take it there are no boot disks that fix rgb compatibility?
    I guess I'm going to have to go the vga route at some point in the future if I want to guarantee being able to run any legit disks (no matter whether I mod the bios, use an imported console, or continue with boot disks), but as my preferred gaming TV has no vga input I'll need to investigate the vga-2-hdmi boxes available.

    @retrofan_k and @tech3475, thank you both for your replies.
  5. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 31, 2013
    You can use boot discs to force the video output with the likes of DC-X and there are old patches on consolecopyworld. I didn't mention it before since you said you like collecting and owning the originals, so l left patches and cdi isos out.

    2 options if using the original, switch to a different video output like VGA or use CDI's or GDI's because they can be patched (if you use GDEMU/USB-GDROM ode or NullDC emulator).

    Also, you can invest in a Akura DC HDMI https://www.beharbros.com/akura if you don't have VGA on the TV.
    Last edited by retrofan_k, Apr 22, 2017
  6. emmanu888

    emmanu888 6 years and still going strong

    Jan 25, 2009
    Have you tried a GameShark or CodeBreaker disc? I use a CodeBreaker disc to boot my Japanese Sega Rally 2 disc on a Canadian console
  7. duwen

    duwen Old Man Yoshi

    Sep 6, 2013
    United States
    Bullet Hell
    Yes, I've tried (multiple versions of) both of those disks... they work for the other games I've tried, but not for SFZ3.

    Thanks. I was aware of the Behar Bros stuff from watching Adam Koraliks YouTube channel, and had been considering getting the Toro box when I can afford it... I may have to wait a bit longer and get the Akura. Any idea what the price on it will be? It's currently been delayed and the website has neither a price nor a button to place an order.

    The only other connection option I have available right now is RF (as that came with the console), but I can't bring myself to stoop that low... to be honest, I don't think I'd even stoop to composite anymore!
    Is there anyway of fooling the console by cable switching on the fly? ie, Boot with RF then switch to RGB?
    Last edited by duwen, Apr 23, 2017
  8. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 31, 2013
    You could use a VGA to HDMI adapter for now. For my old consoles I use a CRT TV and CRT PC Monitors, as I never use LCD TV's for them. That way I have the choice of all inputs available, if one console does no like a certain mode, like the DC does. Basically, blame SEGA's programmers for this, as didn't hard code support for all video modes in all their shipped titles.

    Only now the community is trying to fix some of them, like Dino Crisis (stock version rendered cut-scene FMV) does not support VGA by default. Now there are patches like 16 years or so after it's release.

    There are tricks with VGA boxes that you can do to fool the output, yet nothing for RF to RGB. Tbh, you wouldn't want RF and composite on a modern LCD because it is terrible (CRT it's just about okay)
    Last edited by retrofan_k, Apr 23, 2017
  9. duwen

    duwen Old Man Yoshi

    Sep 6, 2013
    United States
    Bullet Hell
    Given how much a vga to hdmi converter would cost (not considering those terrible cheap ones that output an image barely better than composite) along with the Dreamcast vga cable that I don't currently own, I'd probably be better off getting the Behar's Toro box. It works out at just over 60 quid including shipping, which is a similar cost to investing in a vga cable and vga to hdmi converter.
    However, there's this one on ebay right now. It's got a ridiculous buy-it-now price on it (including postage, it's almost double what a brand new one would cost to buy direct from the Behar's!), but if I can get it for a decent 'best offer' price I will.

    That ebay seller is a moron! My best offer was instantly declined (with no counter offer made). I may send him a message, pointing out his unrealistic price expectations, as it would need to be at least £10 cheaper than buying the item brand new for me to consider it.
    What makes it even crazier is that his listing actually states to search Behar Bros for more details!
    Last edited by duwen, Apr 23, 2017
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice