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The Sega Dreamcast appreciation thread


Elseb
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5 hours ago, Down by Law said:

Bit late now but next time try using a Q-Tip with a bit of lighter fluid or cleaning alcohol on it, it usually shifts anything with a bit of back and forth without leaving a glossy mark

 

Congrats on the R7, it looks lovely. 

 

These are kind suggestions, but I'm really well versed in all this work, I promise :D

 

These weren't scuffs removable by solvents/alcohol and cotton buds, I tried those first; they needed greater levels of abrasion.

 

The result is excellent, by the way. You really have to work it around in the light to see the slightly more glossy bits :)

 

 

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And just like that, my GDEmu rocks up the next day! So I unbutton the thing and fit it all in. Nice.

 

DSC_0494_1634832122493.thumb.jpg.f86f4fd129a7ba0bc471cc9f7b5bb462.jpg

 

I also added a replacement Noctua fan. Little bugger wouldn't fit properly even with the replacement tray opening clip they give you with the 3D printed kit. Had to remove the fan housing completely. 

 

DSC_0493_1634831965146.thumb.jpg.f23d17d83e8c3f182a96d098fa9bddc9.jpg

 

I secured it by gluing the fan to a strip of plastic with epoxy. Then I expoxied this to the fan casing. No R7s were harmed in the making of this Frankenstein's monster. 

 

 

DSC_0492_1634832035387.thumb.jpg.6edf5b6a5be68fea0a46a2d9bb04ea70.jpg

 

Was it worth the effort? Errrrmm... nahhhh! Saved about 10dB in loudness, and is slightly less piercing on the ears than the stock fan, but unless you're obsessed with a slight noise reduction (or find a better kit) then I wouldn't necessarily bother. 

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I wonder if the improvised securing method might have made the fan a touch louder than expected? I got a Greg Collins kit (everything bar the new fan) a few years ago and it absolutely did the trick; The Dreamcast being the only non-silent console I like to have setup really needs that quieter fan to complement the ODE..in my case at least. 

 

In other news, it's been interesting installing a few PAL versions of  games to discover that they feature 60hz modes hidden in their options menu - thus allowing them to be played via RGB on my NTSC console (unlike some of their NTSC editions). Coaster Works and Gauntlet Legends come to mind in this group.

 

Skies of Arcadia will definitely be my new RPG experience when I have some time though. I've had it since it originally came out but only ever used the DC for its action / arcade games back in the day, so it remains unplayed.

 

However - a recent video review of the game reminded me of its existence, so I grabbed the 'undub' version and couldn't believe how charming I found the opening chapter. The *joy* on their faces upon winning battles and the wonderful music was enough to make me finally commit to it. It also feels a bit 'full circle' as the first RPG I ever played was the original Phantasy Star, and I'm pretty sure there's some overlap with key staff members here. Maybe this last point is a bit silly but it feels significant to me, like I'll be putting a neat bow on things.

 

The other DC game I plan to take on is Maken X, a game that totally passed me by but had me hooked upon testing. Like Skies, it too is an undub version (subtitles & original Japanese voices) so the the odds of dodgy repetitive voice acting souring the experience are pretty low.

 

And who knew the DC had an interesting music creation tool (the "O.To.I.Re Dreamcast Sequencer") which was also compatible with a MIDI cable and the official microphone? Certainly not me! I ended up sourcing a dump from the Redump bin/cue set, converting it to .gdi and then removing dummy data like I try and do whenever possible (trivial and quick to do with 'gdidrop' and 'rebuildgdi' tools).

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I fitted a noctua fan and the difference was very noticeable, not whisper quiet but certainly better than the hairdryer it sounded like

 

There was a very slight clash between the fan and the new opening catch but not enough I couldn’t live with it after a bit of adjustment 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Long post incoming, I'll try and keep the waffle down.

 

A while back there was a bit of activity in here inspired by ODE users finding out that some games weren't working as intended (myself included). 

 

Since then, almost all of the newly discovered niggles I was personally having with my Japanese Dreamcast hooked up via RGB SCART are solved.

 

One key thing I didn't quite realise was that if there's a European release of a game, that'll be the one *guaranteed* to support RGB video.

 

One game I cared about running which wasn't having it was Street Fighter Alpha III, and lo and behold the Euro version saved the day. 

 

And on that note I've yet to play a Euro title that doesn't support 60hz too, often via a toggle in the option menu if the game boots with obviously incorrect video sync (mandatory for running on an NTSC unit, as I've found). 

 

As far as USA light gun games having support for official Sega light guns patched out, the obvious workaround for this is to use EURO or JPN versions. However, megavolt85 over at Dreamcast-Talk patched Sega gun compatibility back in for the US games, in case, for example, playing Death Crimson in English via the Sci-Fi laser gun is something you want to do.

 

Those modded GDIs (and other games with unique protections and other quirks such as huge amounts of padding not easily removable with automated tools) are available there.

 

There's only one title left for me that I couldn't run properly via RGB: Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service. But a kind soul over at the aforementioned DC-T made an RGB-enabling patch for that too that I'll eventually test out.

 

And here's a tip for GDEMU users who want to play D2, an awkward one for the ODE as it's a 4-disc game that can have you loading discs in various orders throughout playPut the four disc images on their own dedicated SD card, allowing you to quickly cycle to the required disc via the physical disc change button.

 

It's *not* an incompatible game, it just helps a lot to treat the four discs as discs 2 to 5, as shown here:

 

01 - GDMENU (blank)

02 - D2 (disc 1)

03 - D2 (disc 2)

04 - D2 (disc 3)

05 - D2 (disc 4)

 

So, if you're on disc 4 and need to load disc 3, this is done by quickly tapping the physical disc change button 4 times, TapTapTapTap: done.

 

If you've got the four D2 disc images sat in between hundreds of other games.. it's as good as unplayable because you're probably not going to hit that button repeatedly and land on the desired disc without error, not when you need to keep perfect count of many dozens of button taps at a constantly high speed. 

 

I think that's all for now.

 

Oh - not quite.

 

I'd somehow never played single player Virtua Tennis before.

 

That World Series mode where you're jetting around the globe at will, training, competing, playing mini-game-esque challenges, earning and spending winnings on unlockables and leveling up and progressing. It's great, I didn't know it existed for all of this time.

 

Such a brilliant game.

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5 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Long post incoming, I'll try and keep the waffle down.

 

A while back there was a bit of activity in here inspired by ODE users finding out that some games weren't working as intended (myself included). 

 

Since then, almost all of the newly discovered niggles I was personally having with my Japanese Dreamcast hooked up via RGB SCART are solved.

 

One key thing I didn't quite realise was that if there's a European release of a game, that'll be the one *guaranteed* to support RGB video.

 

One game I cared about running which wasn't having it was Street Fighter Alpha III, and lo and behold the Euro version saved the day. 

 

And on that note I've yet to play a Euro title that doesn't support 60hz too, often via a toggle in the option menu if the game boots with obviously incorrect video sync (mandatory for running on an NTSC unit, as I've found). 

 

As far as USA light gun games having support for official Sega light guns patched out, the obvious workaround for this is to use EURO or JPN versions. However, megavolt85 over at Dreamcast-Talk patched Sega gun compatibility back in for the US games, in case, for example, playing Death Crimson in English via the Sci-Fi laser gun is something you want to do.

 

Those modded GDIs (and other games with unique protections and other quirks such as huge amounts of padding not easily removable with automated tools) are available there.

 

There's only one title left for me that I couldn't run properly via RGB: Vampire Chronicle For Matching Service. But a kind soul over at the aforementioned DC-T made an RGB-enabling patch for that too that I'll eventually test out.

 

And here's a tip for GDEMU users who want to play D2, an awkward one for the ODE as it's a 4-disc game that can have you loading discs in various orders throughout playPut the four disc images on their own dedicated SD card, allowing you to quickly cycle to the required disc via the physical disc change button.

 

It's *not* an incompatible game, it just helps a lot to treat the four discs as discs 2 to 5, as shown here:

 

01 - GDMENU (blank)

02 - D2 (disc 1)

03 - D2 (disc 2)

04 - D2 (disc 3)

05 - D2 (disc 4)

 

So, if you're on disc 4 and need to load disc 3, this is done by quickly tapping the physical disc change button 4 times, TapTapTapTap: done.

 

If you've got the four D2 disc images sat in between hundreds of other games.. it's as good as unplayable because you're probably not going to hit that button repeatedly and land on the desired disc without error, not when you need to keep perfect count of many dozens of button taps at a constantly high speed. 

 

I think that's all for now.

 

Oh - not quite.

 

I'd somehow never played single player Virtua Tennis before.

 

That World Series mode where you're jetting around the globe at will, training, competing, playing mini-game-esque challenges, earning and spending winnings on unlockables and leveling up and progressing. It's great, I didn't know it existed for all of this time.

 

Such a brilliant game.

 

Quite a few of the NTSC versions of Capcom's games aren't RGB compatible. I had one of those manual SCART switchers back in the day and remember having to turn off RGB for Super Street Fighter II X to obtain a picture.

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8 hours ago, gossi the dog said:

 

Quite a few of the NTSC versions of Capcom's games aren't RGB compatible. I had one of those manual SCART switchers back in the day and remember having to turn off RGB for Super Street Fighter II X to obtain a picture.

 

Yeah, I found this out the hard way by installing games on my NTSC console I used to run on my old PAL Dreamcast via composite, never testing them for years and only recently discovering that they don't work. GigaWing was one example where I had to switch out the USA image for a PAL one, something I'd  never have intuitively done.

 

I can however confirm that "SSFIIX For Matching Service" - both the English translated and 'Remix Champion Edition v2' versions available from DC-T - do definitely support RGB, for what it's worth.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’d like to get myself a Dreamcast but am very new to retro gaming.

 

What is my best option? A console from Ebay? Anything in particular to look out for?

 

Or is there a machine that can emulate games for a reasonable price?  
 

I know this is a lot of questions but hoping someone can help. Thanks! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 29/12/2021 at 11:34, Ftsthe said:

I’d like to get myself a Dreamcast but am very new to retro gaming.

 

What is my best option? A console from Ebay? Anything in particular to look out for?

 

Or is there a machine that can emulate games for a reasonable price?  
 

I know this is a lot of questions but hoping someone can help. Thanks! 


I got mine off a local retro seller via eBay, probably still the best source for consoles. If you don’t fancy paying retro game prices but want an authentic experience you can do a mod to replace the disc drive with an SD card reader. Then you can just boot up emulators, there’s a big community out there that can support you also has the added bonus of being able to download atomswave games that have been converted and even many homebrew games are released on download too. 

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Some recent Dreamcast releases!

 

Alice Sisters rescue, by Orion which also made Alice mom’s rescue, a fun if simple platformer and Zia and the Goddess of magic. Looks like a very fun 16 bit platformer, definitely one on my list.

 

 

Supercharged Robot Valkaiser, an Astroport  shmup and conversion of a steam game that was released a few years ago. Definitely digging the 70s anime vibes too.

 

 

Tough guy, a conversion of an old Chinese PC game from years back by Joshprod. SF II clone stuff but looks fun enough and it’s not like the DC is getting lots of new fighters. 
 

 

Sazarius Next, I remember this one from the Astroport Shmup collection that was released on the switch a few years back, definitely was the best game on that collection. Great visuals, thumping soundtrack and was rock hard, kicked my ass every time. 
 

 

 

Wolflame, Astroport release. Don’t know much about this one, looks like it could be worth a look.

 


Tapeworm by Lowtek. Makers of flea! Which if you haven’t played it you must, it’s one of the best retro platformers of recent years. This one sneaked out without me realising, considering the developer’s pedigree this is a must. 
 

 

Handful of new games over the past month. Who needs next gen? It’s still thinking yo. 

 

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