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Dig Dug

The Retro Import Enthusiasts Thread

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So over the last couple of months I've gotten really into importing because of the whole 50hz/60hz thing and now I'm finding imports to be what I spend a big share of my gaming money on.

I'm really glad I got into it, I like playing fast games so being able to play games 5-10 frames faster than the PAL versions is great, I've started enjoying so many games more because of it.

My Japanese N64 is my favourite import so far, the games play better than in PAL, they are often cheaper than PAL and I also get to play games that never came out in this country (like Sin & Punishment, yes I know it's on wii).

JRPG's are a big part of it for me at the moment, Xenogears, Baten kaitos Origins are two such games that I am happy to be able to finally play.

I'm enjoying importing so much that they have almost completely distracted me from buying amiibo figures for my wii U, hell I probably could have bought a 3DS by now but I'd rather buy new games for my old systems (gamecube has carried me over 11 years, a few more won't hurt).

My import goals for the future:

Get a region free Mega Drive

Get a region free Saturn

Get a new chip in my PS1 so I can play Japanese games that block the old chips.

Get an NTSC PS2.

Get more PS1 JRPG's.

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Get a new chip in my PS1 so I can play Japanese games that block the old chips.

Get an NTSC PS2.

Depending on what region PS2 you're talking about there, you may not need a new chip in your PS1. Actually, if you get a decent chip in your PS2, I guess you can cover all regions for PS1/2 with one machine.

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American PS2 is what I'd like to have, or a working swap magic or something. My PS1 is an old chipped one that was made to play burnt discs but it plays most USA games but some Japanese games after a certain point won't work on it (Um Jammer Lammy).

But yeah I should probably look at chips for the PS2.

Looks like I'm going to have to teach myself how to solder. Actually that's the one off putting factor, I'm confident I'll fuck it up and brick the system.

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I've never used Swap Magic but it always sounded like a pain in the backside to me. I think PS2 chips are quite hard to come by these days, so you might be better off looking out for a system with one installed. Don't know where though :/

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I would also suggest adding getting a NTSC SNES if your a fan of the system, so many of the best games just didn't get a PAL release.

Have to be careful with a chipped PS2 if the chip is an early one it likely won't work with some games, so you want a more recent design.

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I'd like to collect snes but it's expensive, super famicom games are cheap but are all in Japanese. At least with the mega drive you only have to give it a switch mod it and it would play anything at any speed or region.

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My NTSC N64 is my favourite import machine, easily. Although I couldn't play F-Zero X for shit when I got the NTSC-J version, heh. Bias though, the N64 is (probably) my favourite console.

An alternative to a chipped PS2 is to get one with a HDD and use swap magic to rip game discs to the drive as it can play the images from HDD too. Although getting a PS2 capable of hosting a HDD can be difficult too - I think I was lucky at the time as I picked up an early model for some Linux tweaking with the network kit.

NTSC kit is probably more desirable. I have an NTSC-J PS2 if that's of any interest? I'll check what model it is/capabilities. I got it for shmups :D

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I'd like to collect snes but it's expensive, super famicom games are cheap but are all in Japanese. At least with the mega drive you only have to give it a switch mod it and it would play anything at any speed or region.

MD games don't magically switch from Japanese to English. Language isn't a barrier to most 16-bit console games anyway so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect. A Super Famicom is definitely something you should be going for.

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An alternative to a chipped PS2 is to get one with a HDD and use swap magic to rip game discs to the drive as it can play the images from HDD too. Although getting a PS2 capable of hosting a HDD can be difficult too - I think I was lucky at the time as I picked up an early model for some Linux tweaking with the network kit. I got it for shmups

You don't need Swap Magic to do this. You can remove the HDD from the PS2 and put games on there with Winhiip and a USB->IDE adaptor. It's quicker and it'll stop you wearing out your PS2 drive. Having games on HDD can be a faff though. The compatibility rate is about 95% and some games just will not work, eg - the SF Alpha collection. And some games you have to patch etc. It's great once you've set it up though.

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Anyway I got another N64 game int the post today, Puyo Puyo Sun, got it on ebay for like £3 BIN. I've only just noticed this but on the back of the cart it says the game is a cassette, I forgot Japan says cassette instead of cartridge.

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Well that's mario 64 off the list.

I just found out this game was a thing that existed.

Apparently it was the last N64 game to be released in Japan which explains why finding a copy on ebay is so difficult.

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You don't need Swap Magic to do this. You can remove the HDD from the PS2 and put games on there with Winhiip and a USB->IDE adaptor. It's quicker and it'll stop you wearing out your PS2 drive. Having games on HDD can be a faff though. The compatibility rate is about 95% and some games just will not work, eg - the SF Alpha collection. And some games you have to patch etc. It's great once you've set it up though.

This is what I do with mine, by far the easiest way. You can just whack the PS2 disk in your PCs DVD drive and rip it straight to the HDD.

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I had the urge to buy a Slim PS2 recently, I always wanted to get a US model but they don't come up too often on eBay and I'm far too impatient to wait around for international post. That, and I've only got two US games at the moment (God of War 2 and Manhunt 2).

So, I called into a local CeX and just bought one out of the window, one of the later models with the PSU integrated directly into the unit itself. I had a look at the bottom and noticed "NTSC-J". Weird, I thought, because if they tested it then it wouldn't have loaded any of the games. Unless! One burned DVD later and I confirm that I'm in possession of a chipped Asian NTSC Slim PS2. Which, at less than £30 was a pretty decent bargain!

Shame I can't seem to find a controller that works properly, they all seem to have broken down in the 10 years since they were in general circulation.

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MD games don't magically switch from Japanese to English. Language isn't a barrier to most 16-bit console games anyway so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect. A Super Famicom is definitely something you should be going for.

MD games don't magically switch from Japanese to English. Language isn't a barrier to most 16-bit console games anyway so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect. A Super Famicom is definitely something you should be going for.

Well they kinda do, if you fit a region language switch you can open up any alternative language held on the cart, streets of rage springs to mind, flick the switch and it becomes "bare knuckle".

The pal MD can also be easily modded to play in 60hz but for non UK carts you'll need to open the top slot up for the different profile carts or fit a better looking asia/ Jp top top case section (much neater)

I used these instructions to mod mine it's pretty entry level stuff, I didn't bother with the language switch as I just wanted to play in 60hz

http://www.gneilson.plus.com/Multi_Region_Mega_2.pdf

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Yeah, I modded my own Mega Drive 2 as well, although I'd quite like a Genesis for the 'exotic' factor.

There are fun videos out there, with the switch being used to switch region on the fly while the game is running, making the opening text crawl in Streets of Rage switch between Japanese and English, or changing Skate to Sammy and back.

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One thing to note is that it won't make mega cd games run at 60hz (if you have 1 connected) , there's probaly a region based technical reason for this which is very complicated and all that....

Also you need a rgb to scart cable for it to work, they cost less than £8 and make the picture just fantastic on everything, get the stereo sound version it's so worth it for the sound too.

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If you want to use a PAL Mega CD you'll need to get a replacement BIOS that's region free and play the import versions of games since discs with FMV will be optimised for PAL framerates and resolutions.

It's a similar situation with the 32X. If you try to run a PAL unit in 60hz on a modded MD you'll get graphics glitching, because the 32X has its own video out that's overlayed onto the Mega Drive's output. To solve the issue you actually need to mod the 32X separately to output 60hz.

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Consolepassion sells both premodded. I picked up a MD2 and matching CD Unit for £120 just before Xmas. It plays everything and they even hacked away the slot so it can accept Japanese carts.

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Well they kinda do, if you fit a region language switch you can open up any alternative language held on the cart, streets of rage springs to mind, flick the switch and it becomes "bare knuckle".

The pal MD can also be easily modded to play in 60hz but for non UK carts you'll need to open the top slot up for the different profile carts or fit a better looking asia/ Jp top top case section (much neater)

I used these instructions to mod mine it's pretty entry level stuff, I didn't bother with the language switch as I just wanted to play in 60hz

http://www.gneilson.plus.com/Multi_Region_Mega_2.pdf

They 'kinda do', yes. It depends on the game and text-heavy games just don't contain both sets of text. Changing the title text of Bare Knuckle probably isn't what Dig Dug is after eh? The most you'll see by flicking the region switch is minor aesthetic changes. So the point still stands - while flicking a switch on an MD will show you some changes, it's not going to allow you to overcome any language barriers and is therefore pretty much comparable to owning an SFC in terms of playing imports.

Dig Dug, get yourself a model 1 and a soldering iron. I managed to multi-switch mine and I had pretty much zero modding experience before doing it.

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Any import GameCube collectors here?

I've always fancied getting a spice orange one, and the Japanese game boxes are lovely so it'd be cool to get a little collection going. Main issue is that i'd want a DOL001 so I'd have the option of 480p output (if I'm ever keen/mad enough to stump up the £100-150 that the component cables seem to go for). I'd also be interested in modding it so I could play US games as well. Any tips would be welcome.

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Any import GameCube collectors here?

I've always fancied getting a spice orange one, and the Japanese game boxes are lovely so it'd be cool to get a little collection going. Main issue is that i'd want a DOL001 so I'd have the option of 480p output (if I'm ever keen/mad enough to stump up the £100-150 that the component cables seem to go for). I'd also be interested in modding it so I could play US games as well. Any tips would be welcome.

Are you saying GC component cables are going for £100? Madness.... I'm sure I've got some sitting in my draw somewhere, all boxed up as well...

Jesus Christ. Total madness!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nintendo-GameCube-Very-Rare-Official-GC-Component-Cable-/231499731535?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35e675924f

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That reminds me I got this yesterday.

SS9JMS.png?1376084509

It's pretty damn good. Been wanting to play Radirgy again after I sold my Gamecube version 4 years ago, now I have that and 4 other games that I also really like.

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Yeah, Gamecube component cable prices are utterly insane. I toyed with the idea of getting a set for a very short period of time before I saw sense. They cost so much because Nintendo put the DAC in the cable itself rather than building it into the console. As a result, there aren't any third party alternatives and I think you could only buy them through the Nintendo US online store at the time, limiting their availability in the wild.

If you wanted a slightly cheaper option (and I mean slightly), you could try to get your hands on the D-Terminal cable instead. D-Terminal is essentially Japanese component, and you can convert from one to the other using a cheap adapter that you can get from Solaris. Of course, if you planned on using the GC with an XRGB Mini you can plug D-Terminal cables in directly.

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gamecube componet cables are still available from Nintendo Austraila btw except they won't post outside the country and are strictly one per person, basically you need a friend in Oz to buy you one, I had one sent over last year it worked out at less than £50 including postage.

Also the NTSC machines can be opened up to JP and NTSC by simply soldering a bridge ( or switch ) across 2 points on the main board, personally I'd get a pal machine and fit Zeno GC chip which is pretty simple as chips go, then you can...play games from any region, still get 480p with a component (NTSC compatable games only) or use RGB scart on everything.

Yes it does, you switch the console up to 60hz after the Mega CD had booted, only a few games later FMV games that were actually optimised do have problems. Just buy a Datel CDX inport convertor cart to play import games. Don't bother with chipping it.

Cheers, I'll give that a go!

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Snagged a GBA SP from the USA (eBay) to take advantage of the AGS-101 screen. Obviously, I've had "standard" SPs before but the backlit screen really is fantastic. There's plenty of them in the US (as the 101 model was quite common there) so you can pick and choose a bargain to suit your budget - I decided to keep prices down and go for just the console in fairly worn condition but with a good screen with a view to swapping it into a new case later, if need be (or perhaps an original GBA form factor) but there were boxed, decent condition ones available too if you want everything to be collectible-ready.

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