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Thread: How do I play the Japanese Virtua Racing Deluxe on a U.S. 32X?

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Default How do I play the Japanese Virtua Racing Deluxe on a U.S. 32X?

    I tried playing it on my Mega Everdrive which allows for playing imported Genesis/MD games but it won't let me play the Japanese version of Virtua Racing Deluxe. It just gives me this screen: http://share.pho.to/6L0ui

    So do I need to region mod my Genesis or something?

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    urusei yatsura Master of Shinobi lumclaw's Avatar
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    With a 32x attached, its megakey feature is supposed to switch from hardware to software. I'm not sure about compatibility differences.
    I believe a cheat code is possible. But everdrive's manual doesn't mention whether you can cheat in 32x games.

    Region mod on the Genesis is universal. It turns the console itself Japanese, effects like games changing language.

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    Now with 33% more @$$! Master of Shinobi Assman's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly, region-hacking a 32X ROM is super easy. If you have a hex editor, open the ROM in it and scroll down a little ways to line 1F0. All you should have to do (again, if I recall correctly) is change that letter to whatever country code you want. For the JP version of the game, it should be a J, so change it to a U and you should be good to go.

    That's how it was with Darxide, anyway. I think that one had an A which I just changed to a U. Hopefully one of the techy members can swoop in and confirm or deny this.

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Yes, that was all that was needed for DarXide. The 32X cannot tell anything other than PAL/NTSC. The MD side handles the region. So if the MD code inside the 32X game looks for a particular region in the hardware, that will need to be patched. If it simply uses the region flag in the rom header, you can just change the region as you mention.

    By the way, changing the value to "F" sets the region to anywhere. "F" does NOT mean France like some people think. The numbers "0" to "9" and the letters "A" to "F" stand for a hex digit that controls the allowed region and vblank frequency. Bit 3 set means allow foreign (with respect to Japan) consoles, bit 2 means allow domestic consoles, bit 1 means allow PAL consoles, and bit 0 means allow NTSC consoles. So "A", which is what DarXide normally is, means allow foreign PAL consoles; i.e., Europe. Sometimes you see games from Brazil with "B" - the "B" does NOT mean Brazil, it means foreign PAL or foreign NTSC consoles (Brazil has PAL, PAL/M, and NTSC TVs). That's why Brazillian games always work in the US - they're foreign NTSC consoles.

    So if you set DarXide to "F", it should work on all consoles.

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Hey thanks for the suggestions! However I tried doing all those things you both suggested in a hex editor on Windows 8 but it still won't let me play and gives me the same screen.

    Here's the hex view of the unedited rom from Mega Everdrive: http://pho.to/6LvS1

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Like I said, if there is code on the MD side that looks for a specific setting in the hardware, that would need to be hacked. I should take a look at that some time - it's usually easy to spot the code as it has to read a particular location in the IO hardware. I'm a bit surprised there isn't already a hack out to allow playing the Japanese version of VRD.

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Like I said, if there is code on the MD side that looks for a specific setting in the hardware, that would need to be hacked. I should take a look at that some time - it's usually easy to spot the code as it has to read a particular location in the IO hardware. I'm a bit surprised there isn't already a hack out to allow playing the Japanese version of VRD.
    I wasn't sure if I was changing the write codes either. I tried changing the the J6, RA, 1 and even tried adding U next to Sega 32X since the U.S. version has a U next to it on the same line. If you're willing, can you take a look? That'd be great, thank you. You're probably already aware but I want to play that version since it saves the high scores. I don't know why they didn't do that for the U.S. version.

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill View Post
    I wasn't sure if I was changing the write codes either. I tried changing the the J6, RA, 1 and even tried adding U next to Sega 32X since the U.S. version has a U next to it on the same line. If you're willing, can you take a look? That'd be great, thank you. You're probably already aware but I want to play that version since it saves the high scores. I don't know why they didn't do that for the U.S. version.
    "J6" means it supports the 3 and 6 button pads, "RA" means it has save ram, and the name certainly doesn't have anything to do with it.

    The "1" at 0x1F0 is the thing to change... like mentioned above, "1" means domestic NTSC (standard new code for Japanese). Change it to "F" for world - not BESIDE it, OVERWRITE it. If it still fails, then they have 68000 code in the game looking at the hw reg for the region that will need patching.

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    "J6" means it supports the 3 and 6 button pads, "RA" means it has save ram, and the name certainly doesn't have anything to do with it.

    The "1" at 0x1F0 is the thing to change... like mentioned above, "1" means domestic NTSC (standard new code for Japanese). Change it to "F" for world - not BESIDE it, OVERWRITE it. If it still fails, then they have 68000 code in the game looking at the hw reg for the region that will need patching.
    Thanks for the explanations of those. I changed the 1 to an F and still gave me the same screen

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Okay, I looked into it and found the issue. VRD-J doesn't use the region code, it has a segment of code that checks if you have either a foreign console or a PAL console and errors out. It ignores the region byte altogether. If you alter the code fragment to not fail, it fails the checksum. You can't just kill the checksum check like folks on the net say - the 32X "Master Code" you see posted only works in emulators because they patch the checksum check routine, but that code is in the security block and altering the security block makes it fail on real 32X consoles. You have to fix the checksum.

    So here's how you make VRD-J work on any 32X:

    Open the file in a hex editor.
    Alter the two bytes at offset $18E from "F7 FA" to "FC 37". This fixes the checksum.
    Alter the two bytes at offset $E6E from "4A 38" to "4E 75". This makes the region check just return without checking for foreign console or PAL.

    Once you do that, it works great on my US NTSC 32X.

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    ToeJam is a wiener Hero of Algol Guntz's Avatar
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    That's really helpful, thanks Chilly!

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Chilly Willy, you are amazing! It works now, thank you so much!!

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill View Post
    Chilly Willy, you are amazing! It works now, thank you so much!!
    Glad to help. Good to here it works for someone else as well.

    I'm glad I looked into it - there's not so much Japanese that it's difficult to play, and it has the save ram support missing in the US and EU versions. I'll probably play the hacked version from now on.

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    WCPO Agent roadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Glad to help. Good to here it works for someone else as well.

    I'm glad I looked into it - there's not so much Japanese that it's difficult to play, and it has the save ram support missing in the US and EU versions. I'll probably play the hacked version from now on.
    Yep, it's essentially the same game except for a slightly different SEGA logo intro and the voice for the Virtua Racing logo is different too. Nothing major at all. I think there's some more choices in the options menu too. The save support is the main reason I wanted to play it, I couldn't stand my high scores never saving, gave it much less replay value. I still don't get why they didn't include the save feature for the US and EU versions.

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Oh, I had a brainstorm last night. You don't NEED to fix the checksum - the 32X has an allowance for dev carts by ignoring the checksum if it's zero. So all you need to do for a "master code" is set the two bytes at $18E to "00 00" and it will skip doing the checksum altogether. That also makes the game start faster since it doesn't need to compute a checksum over a large rom. You can leave the checksum at the proper value as in the previous post, or zero it out for a faster start. Either way allows you to alter the rom.

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