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Thread: SSF Compatibility

  1. #1

    Default SSF Compatibility

    I noticed many posts about people having trouble getting SSF running...

    I'm going to attempt to make your experience a little more pain free.

    First thing's first. Go here: http://www.segasaturn.org to see if the game you are trying to emulate is even compatible with SSF.

    It is? Great! It's not? Go suck a lemon, then.

    Now go here to download SSF: SSF Homepage
    And make sure your computer meets these minimum requirements:

    -Pentium 4 3.0Ghz or Athlon 64 3200+ (WITH SS2 instructions)
    -512 Mhz Dual Channel Ram
    -Windows 2000, XP, XP 64Bit

    The faster your processor, the better. Dual core and Hyper threading are prefered. I know for a fact a non HT Pentium 4 3.0Ghz with 512 MB ram will run dog-slow. Also Video card doesn't mean crap. Much like MAME (prior to 106, anyways) SSF doesn't use hardware acceleration.

    Where can you find a Saturn BIOS?
    Who the hell cares? YOU DON'T NEED A SATURN BIOS TO RUN SSF ever since SSF 0.07 Beta R2.

    Though it doesn't hurt to have it (read why in Common Problems below).



    You now must set up SSF to run either an original Saturn CD or an image file(.bin, .cdi, .nrg, .iso, etc):

    If you're running an original CD, start up SSF and go to the Options tab. Under Peripheral, set CD Drive to the drive you running the Saturn CD in.
    Exit out of SSF and install the CD. Restart SSF and game will load (if it's compatible).

    If you're running an image file make sure you have that program already installed and the virtual drive set up. I recomend using either Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120% for this.
    Start up SSF and go to Options Tab. Under Peripheral, set CD Drive to your virtual drive. Exit out of SSF.
    Then start up Daemon (or Alcohol 120) and mount the Saturn game image onto the virtual drive.
    Restart SSF and the game will load (If its compatible).



    Set up your controller:

    Want to use an authentic Sega Saturn controller? You will need a Saturn to USB adaptor like this one: Saturn to USB.
    Just remember that the analog stick is not yet emulated in SSF.

    Make sure your controller is already plugged in. Start up SSF.
    Go to Options -> Controller -> (select your controller from drop down menu) Redefine the buttons as you see fit.



    Configure other options in SSF:

    Area Code: Set this to the country code of the Saturn game you are trying to emulate.

    Under Program 1, make sure all boxes are checked. Under Program 2, leave all at the default settings EXCEPT Set Dot Clock to 3.00 and Slave SH2 Speed to 100

    You should'nt have to mess with any other settings.

    Restart SSF for changes to take hold.

    This should get you up, runnning and able to run any game listed on segasaturn.org as being playable.
    How do I know this list is accurate? I put it together and personally tested every game listed. That's how. You doubting bastard.

    *I should state that I didnt have the time to test all games to completion, so you may incounter problems. If so, send me an email describing the specific details along with your sisters cup size to: SSF@segasaturn.org




    Here's what you all came to see:

    Most common problems getting a game to run in SSF:

    The 3 things that stop most ISOs from running are

    1) A bad rip of the Game Disc
    2) Someone hacked the header to make the game playable on a different region
    3) The cue file is looking for files you don't have


    If you load an image onto the virtual Drive, fire up SSF and it boots you to the BIOS screen (or crashes if you're not using a BIOS - this is where using a Bios comes in handy) and the text in bios just says "play" (without the option to start application) or it automatically starts playing an audio file(track #2) then you're screwed. The image is messed up and you wasted bandwidth downloading a worthless file. Sorry.

    If you load an image onto the Virtual Drive, fire up SSF and it boots you to the BIOS screen and states "Game Disc unsuitable for this system" then you either don't have the Area Code (region) set properly in the Options menu or someone hacked the header.

    I know what you're thinking "I'm trying to play Street Fighter Zero 3 and know for a fact that it was only released in Japan. So the area code can only be Japanese!!"

    Well, you're wrong smart guy.

    Some people figured out how to hack the ISO header to make a game playable in another region. They did this so they can, for example, play a Japanese-only game that requires the 4MB RAM cart on their modded USA Saturn console.

    The easiest way to find out if someone was screwing with the header is to download SatHeader. Start it up and go to File -> Open and point it to the ISO image in question. It will give you a description of the file. Notice on the right side where it says "Country Codes". Make sure it matches the area code you have set in SSF. If not, change the area code in SSF rather than trying to change it in SatHeader. You may screw up the iso trying to change it in SatHeader.




    .Cue rule of thumb:
    The first track is always going to be the data track and subsequent tracks will be audio files. Some time only 1 audio tracks, sometimes 30 or more. depends on the game.

    If you are having trouble loading a .cue file onto the Virtual Drive, Right Click the cue file and select Open With -> Notepad
    (For this example I'm using a Cotton Boomerang.cue file)

    It should look something like this:


    FILE "COTTON BOOMERANG.BIN" BINARY
    TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    TRACK 02 AUDIO
    PREGAP 00:02:00
    INDEX 01 03:22:09


    Pretty self explainatory. The first line FILE "COTTON BOOMERANG.BIN" BINARY is sometimes a problem. It simply points to the ISO file which should always be in the same folder as the .cue file.

    I have seen some weird ones like:

    FILE " COTTON BOOMERANG.BIN" BINARY
    FILE "COTTON%BOOMERANG.BIN" BINARY
    FILE "C:\SATURN\COTTON BOOMERANG.BIN" BINARY

    Those could/will cause a problem. Notice that first one has a space between the " and the C . The second one has a % sign between the 2 words in the title(sometimes used in HTML coding to indicate a space). The third one uses directory structure to point to the .Bin file which is unnecessary since the bin and cue files are in the same folder. Right? Right??!!!!
    Just simply rename the file in .cue to match the .bin or vise-versa. Just make sure the .bin is not already mounted when you try to rename it. It won't like it too well.

    A bigger problem is when people rip the audio out of a .bin in order to convery the .WAV files to .MP3. They do this to cut down on the file size to upload/download (by a ratio of approx 10:1)

    If you download a ISO and it comes with a bunch of mp3's, open the cue file and it looks something like this:

    FILE "Zoop.iso" BINARY
    TRACK 01 MODE1/2048
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    POSTGAP 00:02:00
    FILE "Zoop - Track 02.mp3" MP3
    TRACK 02 AUDIO
    PREGAP 00:02:00
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "Zoop - Track 03.mp3" MP3
    TRACK 03 AUDIO
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "Zoop - Track 04.mp3" MP3
    TRACK 04 AUDIO
    INDEX 01 00:00:00


    You have a problem, my friend.
    Notice the .MP3 files? Yep. They are going to screw up your emulation attempts. The MP3 files need to be converted to WAVE file and a new .cue need to be made. Sound complicated? It's not.

    First you need an mp3 to wav converter. I use dBPowerAmp.
    Just download and install. Then open up the folder where all the .mp3 files are, select all of them and right click -> Convert To -> WAVE
    Use the default settings - 16 Bit(CD), 44100Hz(CD), 2 'stereo'(cd) and output to the same folder. Once they are all converted, delete the mp3 files.

    Now delete the cue file. You dont need it anymore because you're going to create a new one. Trust me

    Download segacuemaker. It's a small program that works wonders.
    Place segacuemaker.exe in the same folder as the converted .wav files and the .bin file is. Run it. it will ask for a name for the file. Name it what ever you want and press enter. Few seconds later, out pops a workable .cue file. Now load it up and play a damned game already. You deserve it!






    If all else fails:

    If you downloaded a Saturn ISO (or ROM, as some people incorrectly label them) from a web site and you are having trouble, check that sites' Forums to see if anyone else is having the same problem you are.
    Failing this, buy the friggin game!


    I'll think of more things and add to this later. Right now it's 4:17AM and I need some sleep.

    Take care.




    linlhutz

  2. #2
    Capo di Tutti Capi alcoatjez's Avatar
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    Default Re: SSF Compatibility

    Thank you very much for this, linlhutz! I think this will help a lo of people

  3. #3

    Default Re: SSF Compatibility

    Thanks Lot^^ your the man I sure had a problem on dragon force saying it wasnt suitable for the system but after not using bios it works perfectly fine^^

  4. #4

    Default Re: SSF Compatibility

    I'm pretty far below the minimum requirements for this (Athlon XP 2800), but thought I'd give it a try anyway. Would this be the likely cause of SSF "Encountering a problem and needing to close"? If so, would Satourne be able to run any better on my machine?

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