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What game gear games are effected by region?
Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:19 pm
Last edited by relo999 on Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:33 pm; edited 7 times in total
What game gear games are effected by region or are exclusive to a certain region? I know the vast majority aren't effected and practically all play on any system, but not all.

From what I know:

    -GG Alleste 2 is power strike 2 outside of Japan and gets a different title screen.
    -Donald no magical world (japanese exclusive) changes language based on region.
    -Pop Breaker is only playable on a Japanese system.
    -Puyo Puyo, a Japanese exclusive, is called "Puzlow Kids" when played on a non-Japanese system.
    -Tails Adventure changes language based on region
    -Magical Puzzle Popils changes the default language on bootup based on region and is changeable in the options menu.
    -Batman Returns has a soundtest menu if you hold start on bootup but only when running on a Japanese system.
    -Streets of Rage called Bare Knuckle on the title screen on a Japanese system.
    -Streets of Rage II called Bare Knuckle II on the title screen on a Japanese system.
    -Ristar has an extra level when played on a Japanese system
    -Buster Fight (japanese exclusive) changes language based on region.

    -The TV Tuner is region specific hardware supporting different TV standards based on the region it originates from and some exclude input connectors, but aren't effected by the region of the console.


Master system games are also affected by the region of the Game gear when played with the Master system converter. This includes a PAL to NTSC as some PAL exclusive Master system games play better in the game gears PAL mode. Normal game gear games only check for Japanese to English. So the PAL/NTSC Differentiation seems to be exclusively used for Master System games.

(Edit: I'll just keep this as a complete list as looking online there is none, just some odd mentions of specific games as examples of the game gear being region locked)
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:39 pm
I think Aztec Adventure will show a "Nazca '88" title screen on Japanese systems.
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:00 pm
Didn't know master system games where affected as well, but does make sense.
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:33 pm
I did not recognize that the thread is about GG games. I am sorry.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:14 am
Batman Returns have a Sound Test code, but this code will only be enabled if the game checks it is running on a japanese Game Gear. If the game is running on a non-japanese Game Gear, the code is disabled.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:52 am
Thanks!

It seems that their is no list of this online, just some mentions of games as examples of the game gear having a region locking system of sorts. Thus I'll keep a list of it in the OP so there is at least some centralized list. I'll add things when I find them or are posted here.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:08 pm
I believe TV tuner and TV auto tuner do not check nor care about Game Gear console region. The only incompatibility I know of is some tuner models won't work in the Majesco Game Gear. I have tuners from several regions and they seem fine in different-region consoles in my testing, other than the Majesco incompatibility and of course McWill LCD mod incompatibility (that one affects video but not audio)
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:34 pm
Hmm, any way to bypass some of them (such as Pop Breaker) with a PAR or Game Genie code?

I'd also be interested if linking up games from different regions would work.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:16 pm
S.F wrote
Hmm, any way to bypass some of them (such as Pop Breaker) with a PAR or Game Genie code?

I'd also be interested if linking up games from different regions would work.


It seems that yes, you can bypass (or rather change) the region with a Game Genie code. At least when it comes to Ristar, and probably others, however it doesn't fully change the region. It might be the case that the gamegear, like the megadrive, rechecks the value when text is loaded the same way you can switch languages in streets of rage mid intro text scroll.


Quote
From spending a few minutes on SMSPower, it would seem the Game Gear can check the region by reading I/O port $00, bit 6.
in a,($00)
bit 6,a
jp z, xx (where Z flag is 0 for Japanese, 1 for non-Japanese)
So the corresponding hex would be DB 00 CB 77 CA xx. My guess is you would want a Game Genie could that would switch the CA to C2. (jp z, xx to jp nz, xx)
The two matches I find in a hex search of the ROM are address $01CE and $022E. I'll leave it someone more familiar with the game to make a GG code and test if it actually works.

Quote
Amusingly enough...it works! When the game is about to load the pirate ship level (as it still has the name "planet terra" instead of the japanese "fanturn", it instead force-loads the cut level!

Source: https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?167105-Can-a-SEGA-Game-Gear-Game-Genie-change-the-region-of-the-system

As far as I'm aware the only method short of buying a gamegear with a different region is a full region mod: http://arcadefixer.blogspot.com/2016/11/game-gear-country-switch.html

However seeing as the content does exist within region affected roms someone can probably relatively easily make a romhack to force a region or patch out Pop Breakers lockout.

As for linking, I don't know. I can't test that but that is a good question, I imagine it would work.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:07 am
relo999 wrote
S.F wrote
Hmm, any way to bypass some of them (such as Pop Breaker) with a PAR or Game Genie code?

I'd also be interested if linking up games from different regions would work.


It seems that yes, you can bypass (or rather change) the region with a Game Genie code. At least when it comes to Ristar, and probably others, however it doesn't fully change the region. It might be the case that the gamegear, like the megadrive, rechecks the value when text is loaded the same way you can switch languages in streets of rage mid intro text scroll.


Quote
From spending a few minutes on SMSPower, it would seem the Game Gear can check the region by reading I/O port $00, bit 6.
in a,($00)
bit 6,a
jp z, xx (where Z flag is 0 for Japanese, 1 for non-Japanese)
So the corresponding hex would be DB 00 CB 77 CA xx. My guess is you would want a Game Genie could that would switch the CA to C2. (jp z, xx to jp nz, xx)
The two matches I find in a hex search of the ROM are address $01CE and $022E. I'll leave it someone more familiar with the game to make a GG code and test if it actually works.

Quote
Amusingly enough...it works! When the game is about to load the pirate ship level (as it still has the name "planet terra" instead of the japanese "fanturn", it instead force-loads the cut level!

Source: https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?167105-Can-a-SEGA-Game-Gear-Game-Genie-change-the-region-of-the-system

As far as I'm aware the only method short of buying a gamegear with a different region is a full region mod: http://arcadefixer.blogspot.com/2016/11/game-gear-country-switch.html

However seeing as the content does exist within region affected roms someone can probably relatively easily make a romhack to force a region or patch out Pop Breakers lockout.

As for linking, I don't know. I can't test that but that is a good question, I imagine it would work.


Thanks for the information. That's good to read!
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:50 am
Here's a small patch for Pop Breaker that seems to get it working in all regions by properly masking reads from IO port $00 when checking for the Start button

This patch also sets the CRC in the export header, but I don't think that actually matters

Apply to:

128K 'Pop Breaker (Japan).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:f0d59c30cb596dce269285243f2afea16517d396383c05b7f4c8fc79e87c32bf Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
sha1:9c358504d3c106dd62bd8981132b47cdb95903de Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
md5:e0e2fbd5834c04574795c923b0147f39 Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
mekacrc:75675BCE2FD003F9 Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
crc32:71deba5a Pop Breaker (Japan).gg

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:52 pm
So, Pop Breaker region lock... something deliberate or a side effect of sloppy programming?
(I had only heard of that on some crappy licensed NES game which reads the controller port and expects to always receive a 0x40 or 0x41 result, rather than masking the result to just the relevant bits)
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:17 pm
KingMike wrote
So, Pop Breaker region lock... something deliberate or a side effect of sloppy programming?
(I had only heard of that on some crappy licensed NES game which reads the controller port and expects to always receive a 0x40 or 0x41 result, rather than masking the result to just the relevant bits)


Sloppy programming. It assumes port $00 reads always return either $80 (Start not pressed) or $00 (Start pressed) several places. Also it's entirely possible my patch is incomplete or has negative side effects since I'm still quite bad at this game (I previously didn't play it much since my McWill Game Gears are both export versions and the original display didn't age well) and haven't actually disassembled it
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:24 pm
bsittler wrote
Here's a small patch for Pop Breaker that seems to get it working in all regions by properly masking reads from IO port $00 when checking for the Start button

This patch also sets the CRC in the export header, but I don't think that actually matters

Apply to:

128K 'Pop Breaker (Japan).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:f0d59c30cb596dce269285243f2afea16517d396383c05b7f4c8fc79e87c32bf Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
sha1:9c358504d3c106dd62bd8981132b47cdb95903de Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
md5:e0e2fbd5834c04574795c923b0147f39 Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
mekacrc:75675BCE2FD003F9 Pop Breaker (Japan).gg
crc32:71deba5a Pop Breaker (Japan).gg


Excellent. Hopefully someone can convert/use it for a PAR or Game Genie code.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:06 am
It's unfortunately quite a few bytes that are affected, so it would need to be many codes I think. Also it's a ROM patch so a device that patches RAM wouldn't be able to do it
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:38 am
I just wanted to THANK bsittler for the Pop Breaker patch!! Been looking for something like that for quite some time. It's a good game, really.

And I'd also like to contribute to the list of games:
- Buster Fight (japanese exclusive) changes language based on region.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:20 am
bsittler wrote
Here's a small patch for Pop Breaker that seems to get it working in all regions by properly masking reads from IO port $00 when checking for the Start button

This patch also sets the CRC in the export header, but I don't think that actually matters


Awesome! Sadly I can't properly test it seeing as I only have a Japanese system so I imagine if the patch fails it would still run fine.

I'm curious, how hard would it be to patch roms that set language based on region? I imagine nobody really cares enough to patch games that have just a region specific title screen, but personally I'd love to play Donald no Magical world and Tails Adventure in English and I imagine lots of Ristar fans would like play the level that's missing on international hardware.

karl_oz wrote

And I'd also like to contribute to the list of games:
- Buster Fight (japanese exclusive) changes language based on region.


Added it to the list.

bsittler wrote
I believe TV tuner and TV auto tuner do not check nor care about Game Gear console region. The only incompatibility I know of is some tuner models won't work in the Majesco Game Gear. I have tuners from several regions and they seem fine in different-region consoles in my testing, other than the Majesco incompatibility and of course McWill LCD mod incompatibility (that one affects video but not audio)

Missed this comment, sorry.
Do you know if they also can receive the same range of channels? I know that Japan, the US and Europe all have different bands to broadcast TV on. Seeing as most areal TV broadcast have gone the way of the dinosaur in most places I don't know if you can test this.

But looking online they do have different ranges, based purely on markings on the cases (though that might just be purely to mark the location of channels but under the hood it might be the same, I don't know).

Japanese Ranges are marked on UHF:13, 20, 30, 40, 50, 62
European Ranges are marked on UHF:21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 69
American Ranges are marked on UHF:14, 30, 40, 50, 60, 69
VHF are also marked differently between regions and with markings at different locations.

Granted if the TV tuner works fine regardless of region of hardware it isn't really effected by the region and rather different TV tuners are region exclusive.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:49 am
Last edited by bsittler on Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
Correct, tuners are specific to different broadcast standards (tested and verified with various RF-producing consoles) and some exclude input connectors (regulatory compliance perhaps?) but they all don't care which region the Game Gear console hardware in which they are inserted was configured for prior to sale

Edit: and no, they aren't generally compatible. Both encoding (PAL variant or NTSC) and channel assignments (both frequency and bandwidth) vary incompatibly, though some coincidental compatibilities do exist especially if color or audio is ignored
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:44 am
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:16 am; edited 4 times in total
Wouldn't be surprised if these hacks are incomplete, but I was at least able to force JP vs. non-JP title screens in Power Strike II ~ GG Aleste II with a two-byte patch in each case. I didn't bother adjusting the export header checksum and just left it 0000 for these

Apply to:
256K 'Power Strike II (U).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:68f660e8c595dbd65648e6edb82b769da76ab71fd36741aec0c9d76f52025ab1 Power Strike II (U).gg
sha1:e4db2140761b43426024bd08c4372bb9b8979d3d Power Strike II (U).gg
md5:d5836ec389ec2c81bd54728b96b87152 Power Strike II (U).gg
mekacrc:580F2481F9E66BAA Power Strike II (U).gg
crc32:09de1528 Power Strike II (U).gg

Game Genie codes, generated using Maxim's tool and tested on real hardware:

GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP]
3E3-5AF-805+803-5BF-E6A

Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
3E3-5AF-805+C03-5BF-E6A

Pro Action Replay codes, also tested on real hardware:

GG Aleste II [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00C8-1880

Power Strike II (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
00C8-18C0
GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP].png (286.92 KB)
GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP] — Game Genie, GG Aleste 2 cartridge, and McWill-modded export Game Gear
GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP].png
Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png (444.13 KB)
Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT] — Game Genie, GG Aleste 2 cartridge, and JP Game Gear with original screen
Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png
Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].ips (15 B)
Power Strike II (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].ips
GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP].ips (15 B)
GG Aleste II [HACK+FORCEJP].ips

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:37 pm
bsittler wrote
Wouldn't be surprised if these hacks are incomplete, but I was at least able to force JP vs. non-JP title screens in Power Strike II ~ GG Aleste II with a two-byte patch in each case. I didn't bother adjusting the export header checksum and just left it 0000 for these


The English Aleste II patch works fine on my Japanese system, I now get the power strike II bootup screen and plays fine as far as I can tell.

Also updated the OP with the info about the TV tuner.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:59 pm
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:17 am; edited 3 times in total
Here are some patches for Puyo Puyo / Puzlow Kids. Testing again was not extensive, but at least the title screen and UI language for most screens seems to be affected

In this case I only had to edit one byte for each direction of forced region switching. Checksum is left zero. Game Genie codes (again thanks to Maxim's tool) are tested on real hardware, as are Pro Action Replay codes

Game Genie codes:

Puyo Puyo [HACK+FORCEJP]
003-AEF-E6E

Puzlow Kids (J) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
003-ACF-F7A

Game Gear Pro Action Replay codes:

Puyo Puyo [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00D4-5B00

Puzlow Kids (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
00D4-5B01

Apply to:
256K 'Puzlow Kids (J).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:284cf8e186dcaa8174909c9fd4200f4e4dae325b2ad20e541814fc0355d5eee7 Puzlow Kids (J).gg
sha1:8ea2e623858221c5d39eb1e0f6532a0b23b00305 Puzlow Kids (J).gg
md5:a5fce989c4fcf6faf37c5a1779df8a22 Puzlow Kids (J).gg
mekacrc:6D6D979B9D368E93 Puzlow Kids (J).gg
crc32:d173a06f Puzlow Kids (J).gg
Puzlow Kids (J) [HACK+FORCEREGION].png (349.11 KB)
In each picture the export console with McWill screen is below, the JP console with original screen above; bottom row of pictures are without the code, top row are with the code applied
Puzlow Kids (J) [HACK+FORCEREGION].png

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:33 am
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:17 am; edited 3 times in total
These are region-forcing patches (not tested very extensively yet) for Tails Adventures, the one whose ROM internally says "GG TAILS ADVENTURES < Ver1,02 > 1995/07/21 @SEGA". It needed only a single-byte changed in either RAM or ROM to force the region in either direction

Game Genie codes (verified on real hardware, and again made with Maxim's tool):

Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEJP]
00B-9FE-E6B

Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
3EB-9EE-7F1

Pro Action Replay codes:

Tails' Adventures (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00D1-2C00

Tails' Adventures (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
00D1-2C40


Apply to:

512K 'Tails'\'' Adventures (U) [!].gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:92a9985333df0ee46e9a44b97bda37c565de831bbcbc9b740cd43637b0f5072a Tails' Adventures (U) [!].gg
sha1:da3df145b8e9f2a2e680d2c92939084d4530ed90 Tails' Adventures (U) [!].gg
md5:a8bdb1beed088ff83c725c5af6b85e1f Tails' Adventures (U) [!].gg
mekacrc:134A286D9BE1D8BA Tails' Adventures (U) [!].gg
crc32:5bb6e5d6 Tails' Adventures (U) [!].gg
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEJP].png (319.81 KB)
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEJP] — left is with the code applied, middle is code entry, right is original/unmodified state — all on McWill-modded export hardware
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEJP].png
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png (301.59 KB)
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT] — left is with the code applied, middle is code entry, right is original/unmodified state — all on original JP hardware
Tails' Adventures (U) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:59 am
edit: added patch to force export localization too

For Ristar TCRF lists a Game Genie code to swap the missing level branch (I think?) — it is:

C21-CEF-C41

I have decoded this using Maxim's tool and attempted to produce an equivalent IPS patch and attached it to this message, but I haven't yet played far enough to see the results

I've also created a larger patch that attempts to force Ristar into Japanese regionalization. This is not tested much yet, but does seem to change the name of the first level. It's far too large to fit in a Game Genie, unfortunately; likewise I've created a patch to force export localization, which is even larger!

Apply to:
512K 'Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:11fb379a516db0e15e0ddb97b84ca8cd066138733c37a51102a5e8fbebad141d Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg
sha1:d0d950097471553b6a96dc9cf0fb14ddb3a7dda2 Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg
md5:06f0a495fbb70fad50246da715f8add7 Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg
mekacrc:66C33CFBDC17A706 Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg
crc32:efe65b3b Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [!].gg
Ristar the Shooting Star (U) [HACK+SWAPMISSINGLEVEL].ips (14 B)
IPS conversion of Game Genie code C21-CEF-C41 from TCRF

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:01 pm
bsittler, thanks again for all the patches so far!! These are really useful, since there are some emulators out there, that won't let you change the region at all...

Could you possibly make patches for the remaining games, as well?
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:35 pm
karl_oz wrote
bsittler, thanks again for all the patches so far!! These are really useful, since there are some emulators out there, that won't let you change the region at all...

Could you possibly make patches for the remaining games, as well?


Glad you find those useful!

Unfortunately I can't provide patches for the rest as I don't have the other games in my possession.

However if you have the game yourself and a hex editor you can try to make the change yourself. In Meka or another emulator with a good debugger you can use I/O watchpoints or breakpoints to find places where the game reads port $00, disassemble subsequent instructions to see whether it's changing behavior based on the region bits $40 and $20, and then (if so) patch the instruction stream to unconditionally act as though it's running in a Game Gear in the hardware configuration of your choosing. Full disassembly of the ROM will make the process less error-prone, but in my patches I just searched for likely bye sequences in the hex editor instead ("IN A, [$00]" which is encoded as $DB $00 if I recall correctly), analyzed surrounding bytes to see whether it was likely actual instructions or a coincidentally similar pattern in non-executable data, and modified the sequence as needed. This approach won't work if the I/O port number itself is indirect (from a register) rather than an immediate byte in the instruction, so in that case disassembly or debugger is the only way to go

For Game Genie or Pro Action Replay code creation the recipe is similar, except that the number of changed bytes in the game must be small to fit in the Game Genie, and for the Pro Action Replay the game must be coded to indirect through a RAM address prior to deciding on a region-specific behavior, and the code is actually constructed to overwrite the RAM address with the needed value for the desired behavior
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:38 pm
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
older: Actually I found my Popils cartridge so I'll give that a spin on the weekend to see whether I can patch it

edit: Popils looks easy to patch, I did it just now in a few minutes. Either direction requires modifying only 3 bytes of the ROM. Of course this is also apparently somewhat pointless, since the Options menu allows you to override the language in any case! Tested a little, but by no means thoroughly!

I haven't attempted to create Pro Action Replay codes for this game, and I don't actually know whether it's possible. In any case, there's not really any reason to since the language can be changed in the options screen, and the Game Gear Pro Action Replay seems to have been fairly rare/unsuccessful

Game Genie codes (verified on real hardware):

Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
182-89F-6EA+18C-C3E-6EA+00C-FAE-F72

Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEJP]
002-8AF-E6E+00C-C4E-F7E+18C-F9E-4CA

Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+UNINITIALIZE]
WARNING: THIS DELETES ALL BACKUP RAM, INCLUDING PROGRESS AND CUSTOM LEVELS! This is a Game Genie code to force Magical Puzzle Popils (J) to re-initialize SRAM to unrecognized values. You can use this first to reset SRAM (wait for the message about backup initialization), then re-enter the Game Genie to enter one of the FORCEJP/FORCEEXPORT codes. Any data saved to backup memory while this code is in effect will be corrupted.
181-1DF-6EA+003-5BF-C40

Apply to:
128K 'Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:e4f21d777d7b5f3b42338544e1a1e855445f9997bd7af6b416322b39e1f5f619 Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg
sha1:fb939f0810d0763b9abaeec1a2bfbabacaad5441 Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg
md5:e496ff2196c372f4d6111538950d25ca Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg
mekacrc:BC1CE72A38884E09 Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg
crc32:cf6d7bc5 Magical Puzzle Popils (J).gg
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+UNINITIALIZE].png (226.21 KB)
Initial state and uninitialization+backup corruption code on JP hardware
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+UNINITIALIZE].png
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png (319.11 KB)
FORCEEXPORT code on JP hardware after uninitializing SRAM
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+UNINITIALIZE] export.png (158.12 KB)
Uninitialization+backup corruption code on McWill-modded export hardware
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+UNINITIALIZE] export.png
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEJP].png (342.36 KB)
FORCEJP code on McWill-modded export hardware after uninitializing SRAM
Magical Puzzle Popils (J) [HACK+FORCEJP].png

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:51 pm
bsittler wrote

Unfortunately I can't provide patches for the rest as I don't have the other games in my possession.

However if you have the game yourself and a hex editor you can try to make the change yourself.



I'm afraid that this would cleary exceed my ""hacking skills"" ;)
But thanks a lot for the MPP patch! Might I ask, why you need to have cartridges of the games you do the patches for? Why not use ROM dumps instead? Just curious... In The end there's only five games left, if I counted right :)
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:06 pm
karl_oz wrote
bsittler wrote

Unfortunately I can't provide patches for the rest as I don't have the other games in my possession.

However if you have the game yourself and a hex editor you can try to make the change yourself.



I'm afraid that this would cleary exceed my ""hacking skills"" ;)
But thanks a lot for the MPP patch! Might I ask, why you need to have cartridges of the games you do the patches for? Why not use ROM dumps instead? Just curious... In The end there's only five games left, if I counted right :)


I used ROM dumps to make the patches, but only ones I backed up myself from physical cartridges I own. I am not interested in downloading copies of commercial software I didn't pay for
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:31 pm
Okay, I understand. Too bad for the remaing games though...
Still, big thanks for all the effort you've put into this!
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:46 pm
karl_oz wrote
Okay, I understand. Too bad for the remaing games though...
Still, big thanks for all the effort you've put into this!


No problem! FWIW I did place orders for some of the others and once they finally arrive I may try to produce patches and/or Game Genie codes for them, too
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:14 pm
BTW in Ristar the console region (or override patch) also controls whether the text "the shooting star" appears on the title screen
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:24 am
Streets of Rage arrived in my mail today, so another pair of patches (again tested only slightly, I'm still quite new to this game)

Each patch affects six bytes, which is too many for a Game Genie code

Apply to:
256K 'Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:10e871fc673f4f54b53fd17d3f1117e68cdf5de41a5041aa474bacbe96686f79 Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg
sha1:ca8c8a00ee838e994b2fa17e595ddd40d898cf42 Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg
md5:1ece7480d21fb862a65233ba126282d3 Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg
mekacrc:5AD835BF116EC299 Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg
crc32:3d8bcf1d Bare Knuckle ~ Streets of Rage (World).gg

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:18 am
Streets of Rage II arrived in the mail today and only took a few minutes to patch. Note that this patch has not been tested extensively. Despite the canonical name on packaging etc., this Game Gear version does not actually distinguish any non-JP territories or (largely Game Gear-irrelevant) TV standards from each other, so the title screen shows "II" rather than "2" regardless of region

The patch is ten bytes in either direction, which again is too large for the Game Genie

Apply to:
512K 'Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:43d27a0d5f823c0fc7390d5c18205a2f73add2645a482bc8fd6d495af503be1c Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg
sha1:2804b355347bda6e2903078ba30ed6b3a289ebba Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg
md5:5566e332f860dc0f9da1507fd7feb1cd Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg
mekacrc:85CFE82DBD812633 Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg
crc32:0b618409 Bare Knuckle II ~ Streets of Rage 2 ~ Streets of Rage II (World).gg

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:52 pm
Donald no Magical World recently arrived in my mail, and is also apparently a very easy patch (done during lunchtime) — only one byte needs modification. Again the patches are not yet extensively tested

Casual inspection suggests a small RAM patch likely won't work for this title (likely too many memory addresses affected) so no PAR codes are given here

Game Gear codes generated using Maxim's tool (verified on Game Genie hardware with original cartridge):

Ronald in The Magical World [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
000-2F7-A26

Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja) [HACK+FORCEJP]
180-2E7-4CA

Apply to:
512K 'Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:849238c95be42519154889e21c3dbdbb815ae013c07f54d504129421288c3cb0 Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg
sha1:5f9afdd5720f88f7cc18715f8e50fc5635b15323 Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg
md5:34e9b284e61fb9a2cad4878451579295 Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg
mekacrc:FFBCED0863554B4D Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg
crc32:87b8b612 Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja).gg
Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja) [HACK+FORCEJP].png (256.99 KB)
FORCEJP — patched on left, code middle, unpatched on right
Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja) [HACK+FORCEJP].png
Ronald in The Magical World [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png (330.47 KB)
FORCEEXPORT — patched on left, code middle, unpatched on right
Ronald in The Magical World [HACK+FORCEEXPORT].png

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:35 pm
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:41 am; edited 1 time in total
edit: it's possible these codes cause bus contention or have some other undesirable side-effect causing incompatibility with some consoles, perhaps specifically the early two-ASIC models? I can get the FORCEJP codes to work perfectly on McWill-modded EU Game Gear hardware, but can't get any of the codes to work on my JP Game Gear. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

It's also possible there's some other factor at work here, for example the lack of BIOS on my JP-model Game Gear

original post follows:

One other surprising-to-me discovery from my lunchtime hacking, found due to an accidental typo when entering a Game Genie code: the Game Gear Game Genie can patch RAM!

So, basically, you can use it like a Pro Action Replay too, just with different code format (and the "before" comparison value is not used in this case, so it's really identical in behavior!)

Tested and verified on McWill-modded EU Game Gear:

GG Aleste II [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
808-183-E69

Puyo Puyo [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
004-5B2-E6E

Tails' Adventures (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
001-2C2-E6B

Some more, though non-functional on the only JP-model Game Gear I have:

Power Strike II (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
C08-183-E68

Puzlow Kids (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
014-5B2-E6A

Tails' Adventures (U) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
401-2C2-E6A

edit: by stacking an (inactivated) Pro Action Replay between the Game Genie and the cartridge I was able to one of the RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT codes on my early JP-model Game Gear.

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:15 am
A Game Gear Pro Action Replay arrived today, and it looks like those codes work fine!

In each picture the trained version is on the left, the code entry screen in the middle, and the untrained version on the right. For some reason unknown to me the code entry screen palette is sometimes wrong (as if it's sometimes using GG-SMS VDP palette initialization but then running in native GG VDP mode, perhaps?), but it seems to work regardless of this

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:45 am
Batman Returns arrived today, and forcibly allowing sound test is a one-byte ROM patch. You'll still need to keep the Start button pressed while starting the cartridge, and this does not override any other aspect of localization (e.g. TM still appears next to Sega during the initial animation when using export hardware)

Game Genie code:

Batman Returns (World) [HACK+ALWAYSALLOWSOUNDTEST]
001-21F-2A9

Apply to:
256K 'Batman Returns (World).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:81ca0bbb16d29aaf703fe7c152f9a04c7625966c9fde8ef4d543512705dbe0d3 Batman Returns (World).gg
sha1:85994b2f506c7bded0b02a59d96b1d949e48d518 Batman Returns (World).gg
md5:1e8cfd2f30e9ad733f602cf2de696ba9 Batman Returns (World).gg
mekacrc:516CF5541BA9E056 Batman Returns (World).gg
crc32:7ac4a3ca Batman Returns (World).gg

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:11 am
Last edited by bsittler on Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Buster Fight also arrived this evening, and appears to only require three bytes of modification to force any of the three regions it appears to support: JP, EXPORT (NTSC), and EXPORT (PAL). I don't know yet what visible difference PAL vs. NTSC actually makes for this game, if any. Patches are only very briefly tested.

Game Genie codes:

Buster Fight (J) [HACK+FORCEJP]
C33-06F-C41+C33-16F-C41+18F-B1D-4CA

Buster Fight (J) [HACK+FORCEEXPORT]
C33-06F-C41+193-17F-802+00F-B2F-C4A

Buster Fight (J) [HACK+FORCEPALEXPORT]
093-07F-C42+193-17F-802+00F-B2F-C4A

Less-complete Game Genie RAM trainers:

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
004-173-195+004-B43-E6E

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT] (Untested)
004-173-195+014-B43-E6A

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEPALEXPORT] (Untested)
FF4-173-E6A+014-B43-E6A

Less-complete Pro Action Replay RAM trainers:

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00C4-1700+00C4-B400

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
00C4-1700+00C4-B401

Buster Fight (J) [RAMHACK+FORCEPALEXPORT]
00C4-17FF+00C4-B401

Apply to:
256K 'Buster Fight (J).gg'
Checking for export header with matching CRC... NO
sha256:229f15ce088db384291f0793b865a9e6661c2f0746a065a5a13f79cc7bfa0b50 Buster Fight (J).gg
sha1:5c87048082a95acd6bc27b98f85bda731617c739 Buster Fight (J).gg
md5:a729ed9b55fd8496b807d39c3bb9299e Buster Fight (J).gg
mekacrc:AE763A9D3E7084D3 Buster Fight (J).gg
crc32:a72a1753 Buster Fight (J).gg

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:42 am
A RAM trainer is at least partially effective with Donald no Magical World / Ronald in The Magical World. These trainers are only lightly tested

Pro Action Replay version:

Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00CF-B900

Ronald in The Magical World [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT]
00CF-B901

Game Genie version:

Donald no Magical World (Japan) (En,Ja) [RAMHACK+FORCEJP]
00F-B93-E6E

Ronald in The Magical World [RAMHACK+FORCEEXPORT] (Untested)
01F-B93-E6A

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:29 pm
Excellent work as always!
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:48 pm
S.F wrote
Excellent work as always!


Thanks! I hope others can try either the patches or the codes (or both!), and share whether they work as intended. I believe all the listed games from the edited first post have patches now.

I'm also especially interested if anyone has knowledge of the circuits inside the Game Genie and can opine (or even just speculate) on whether the "RAMHACK" behavior is due to potentially-dangerous bus contention, or is instead an actual feature of the device, e.g. implemented using VBLANK patching.

The lack of checking of the "before" value in RAMHACK codes makes me think it's probably an actual feature (and hence safe to use), but the fact that it doesn't work correctly on my old JP-model Game Gear makes me doubt that a little, and wonder why it fails. Of course this is a system that demonstrably glitches in other ways when power-consuming cartridge hardware is attached (see recent Phantasy Star glitches thread) so I'm hoping it might just be that
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:05 pm
Holy .... I didn't know, that you would pick up working on the remaining games so quickly. Thanks a lot for completing the set!!

I've been trying IPS patches on the following games. So far, everything worked as expected. No extensive testing though...

FORCE JP:
- GG Aleste 2
- Pop Breaker
- Ristar

FORCE EXPORT:
- Buster Fight
- Magical Puzzle Popils
- Puzlow Kids
- Ronald in the Magical World
- Streets of Rage 1
- Streets of Rage 2
- Tails' Adventures
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:14 pm
karl_oz wrote
Holy .... I didn't know, that you would pick up working on the remaining games so quickly. Thanks a lot for completing the set!!

I've been trying IPS patches on the following games. So far, everything worked as expected. No extensive testing though...

FORCE JP:
- GG Aleste 2
- Pop Breaker
- Ristar

FORCE EXPORT:
- Buster Fight
- Magical Puzzle Popils
- Puzlow Kids
- Ronald in the Magical World
- Streets of Rage 1
- Streets of Rage 2
- Tails' Adventures


Thanks for testing, and thanks for the kind words too!
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