Anyway of converting a PAL VMU save to an NTSC one?

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retrolinkx
noob
Posts: 2

Anyway of converting a PAL VMU save to an NTSC one?

Post#1 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:04 pm

Sorry if this is in the wrong place, joined up just to ask. (Hope that's okay :D )

I've been searching for around an hour now, and I can't seem to find any information online if it's possible to convert a PAL VMU save so that it can be read via NTSC copies of games.

I just recently got my GDEmu to work and tried out Skies of Arcadia in both NTSC and PAL. The PAL version wouldn't run via VGA despite the VGA being "forced" (IIRC you can't force VGA without a proper codebreaker code or whatever, and I've had bad luck with those) but if I switched over the composite, it worked fine and I could load my saves from when I saved it on disc. When I tried the NTSC version, it worked fine on VGA but I couldn't access the PAL save that was on my VMU. Even changing the region to PAL and Free didn't do anything.

So I'm wondering, is there any way of changing the PAL save of the VMU so that the NTSC Skies of Arcadia can recognise the save? There are guides online on how to change the hex values of an NTSC Shenmue saves so PAL Shenmue 2 copies can import it, but all I could find are either specific to Shenmue 2 or are really old and require my Dreamcast to be able to connect to the internet (which it can't) I've used Dreamshell to move my saves onto my computer.

Thanks.

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Roareye
Arabian Night
Posts: 336
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Re: Anyway of converting a PAL VMU save to an NTSC one?

Post#2 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:49 am

To my knowledge it can't be done, but I'm no expert and know no code.

The reason Skies of Arcadia PAL isn't working with VGA is because the VGA code was left out of the PAL release for some stupid reason. The games which you can force into VGA still contain the VGA code but don't have the option to use it, which means you can force it on via the DC. Games that don't have the code can't use VGA at all, and the list is very weird.

You'll want a US copy of Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Railroad Tycoon 2 if you play those titles. The PAL titles can't do VGA even though Railroad Tycoon says it can on the box.

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Wombat
Toy Commander
Posts: 550

Re: Anyway of converting a PAL VMU save to an NTSC one?

Post#3 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 am

There is an easier way @retrolinkx! There is a proper VGA-patch out there for the PAL version of Skies of Arcadia, perfect for use on GDEMU because it patches the GDI! So no compromises there =)

https://japanese-cake.livejournal.com/6434.html

retrolinkx
noob
Posts: 2

Re: Anyway of converting a PAL VMU save to an NTSC one?

Post#4 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:26 am

Roareye wrote:To my knowledge it can't be done, but I'm no expert and know no code.

The reason Skies of Arcadia PAL isn't working with VGA is because the VGA code was left out of the PAL release for some stupid reason. The games which you can force into VGA still contain the VGA code but don't have the option to use it, which means you can force it on via the DC. Games that don't have the code can't use VGA at all, and the list is very weird.

You'll want a US copy of Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Railroad Tycoon 2 if you play those titles. The PAL titles can't do VGA even though Railroad Tycoon says it can on the box.


Yeah, I've read up on how Skies of Arcadia didn't have the VGA part, so I knew forcing it would be futile but I attempted it anyway, just to see if it would help.

Wombat wrote:There is an easier way @retrolinkx! There is a proper VGA-patch out there for the PAL version of Skies of Arcadia, perfect for use on GDEMU because it patches the GDI! So no compromises there =)

https://japanese-cake.livejournal.com/6434.html


Yeah, that's pretty much what I did. Although finding information on how to patch it was a nightmare. I finally did it though, and tested it on NullDC using my own save (I've yet to test it on actual hardware)

Just in case anyone finds this post and needs to know what to do, I'll just put what I did here.

1) Make sure you have a copy Skies of Arcadia that you know is not corrupt or anything. Download https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzRN8P835YijQWFndWprX3Juelk/view and download https://japanese-cake.livejournal.com/6434.html.

2) Once everything is extracted, open the "Skies of Arcadia" game folder you should have and make sure it has one GDI file, and three track files. Then open the "Extract Re-Build GDI" folder. Once you're here, move the Skies of Arcadia game folder (the entire folder) ONTO the "Extract GDI Image" batch file, and wait for it to finish.

3) Once it's finished, you should get a folder called "Game name extracted" (in my case it was "Skies of Arcadia Disc 1 Extracted") and open that folder. Inside you should see a file called "1ST_READ". All you need to do now is replace that file with the one found in japanese-cake's folder (called "jc-soae-60hz-vga-v2"). The file you need is called "1ST_READ_PATCHED", make sure you rename this file to "1ST_READ" otherwise it won't work.

4) Once you've replaced the original "1ST_READ" with the patched one (and changed the name). Back out of the extracted Skies folder, and then move the extracted folder onto the "Build GDI Image" batch file. Wait a few moments and once the building has finished, the patched game file should be found in the original folder. (So in this case, the patched file is now found in "Skies of Arcadia Disc 1")

5) Test it out on console/emulator and see if it works. Make sure you do the same for the 2nd disc.

Sorry if this seems "common knowledge" to some people, but I just couldn't find any information about this from japanese_cake's site and had to spend a lot of time googling until I came up with this answer.

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