Question about making a Star Fox 2 PAL reproduction cart

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by Timstuff, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Timstuff

    Timstuff Rising Member

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    Someone overseas recently asked me to make a PAL-compatible Star Fox 2 cartridge for them. Since I don't have a PAL SNES console, the only means I have of testing it will be on a region-free Supaboy handheld that a friend has agreed to let me borrow. I am worried though that I might be missing something-- my base assumption is that if I solder the EPROM chip onto a PAL-compatible donor cart I should be good to go since it will have a PAL compatible CIC lockout chip, but in my experience there's always a fly in the ointment so I thought that I should ask for some advice before I go through all the fuss of ordering the EPROM and soldering it in.

    I have already made a SF2 cartridge for myself that turned out great using the ROM from the SNES Classic Edition. Am I going to have to make any kind of changes to the ROM file for it to work with the PAL system and CIC chip, or will it be basically the exact same procedure as with my own cartridge except with a PAL donor cart?
     
  2. Pikmin

    Pikmin Fiery Member

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    It should just work with a PAL CIC running at 50hz, unless the games has some form of copy protection.
     
  3. Timstuff

    Timstuff Rising Member

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    Alright cool, that's what I needed to know. As far as I know there is no copy protection.
     
  4. Pikmin

    Pikmin Fiery Member

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    Maybe wait for someone else to confirm as I haven't done a SFX repro before. From my experience only time I had to modify the game before burning is because of protection (Final Fight 3, Earthbound, etc)
     
  5. Timstuff

    Timstuff Rising Member

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    In that case I suspect I will be fine. I've already made one SF2 reproduction for myself (NTSC) and I'd be using the exact same file for my friend that I used on mine.
     
  6. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    Run the ROM in an accurate emulator like BSNES or Higan with the emulated console set to PAL mode. If it works, then the CIC is the only thing to worry about.
     
  7. Timstuff

    Timstuff Rising Member

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    So, an update, for the sake of having a more complete set of information for anyone who might google this in the future:

    I discovered the hard way that Star Fox 2 actually does have NTSC region protection, which seems really bizarre since the game was never released on a cartridge. Here's what you will see if you make a reproduction cartridge of the stock Star Fox 2 ROM using a PAL donor cartridge / CIC chip:

    [​IMG]

    This is a very interesting discovery, because it would suggest that the ROM included with the SNES Classic Edition really was the game's final finished form, and that Nintendo was probably ready to manufacture it until the last moment.

    The important thing though is that I was able to remove the region protection using Ucon64. Unfortunately I cannot post the fixed ROM file, but if you read the instructions for Ucon64 it is not too difficult. I tested in Higan64 using forced PAL mode (which I should have done before making the cartridge) and now it works perfectly in PAL mode, unlike the stock ROM which gives the error message above. Lesson learned is to never assume a commercial game ROM does not have region protection!
     
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  8. Lum

    Lum Officer at Arms

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    We don't know whether a PAL version of Star Fox 2 exists or in fact entered development. Nintendo didn't originally announce the game for Europe in the 1990s, and the SNES Classic Edition is an NTSC console regardless of country (only officially supports NTSC roms at 60hz).

    By the way, no. The game was not announced for Japan either back then.
    But Nintendo included the final Japanese version on the Super Famicom Classic Edition.
     

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