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Hard EverDrivin'! Flash cartridges & ODEs

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)
So, a DNB DJ friend of mine just up and gave me her old SNES. Hooked it up to my CRT via the S-Video cable from my GameCube (thank goodness nintendo used the same plug between SNES, N64, and GC) and it works great. Started shopping around for an everdrive and I noticed the highest it went was X6. That one is decent, right?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
If you're wanting an SNES flash cart, I'd go for an FXPak Pro (formerly SD2SNES). That way you get all the special enhancement chips (Super FX, SA1, C4, and so on). Granted, it's a lot more expensive, but it's the only game in town if you want to play stuff like Super Mario RPG and Star Fox.
 
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Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
What's the recommendation on Game Boy/Color these days? Do the most common flashcarts still have compatibility issues with backlit consoles because of the massive power draw required at startup?
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I thought I had this thread on alert! Apparently not...

Anyway, the EZ Flash Jr and Everdrive GB x7 both work perfectly fine on all my DMGs and Colors, all of which are backlit with various models of IPS screens. The only one they don't work well with is my backlit Pocket (though I haven't installed the voltage regulator which may help with that).

Just keep in mind flashcarts do drain the batteries noticably faster than regular cartridges. I just swap out my rechargeables to mitigate that.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Because I'm a total dipshit, I bought a Super Famicom and Super Gameboy 2, but I was wondering re: the Super Everdrive X5 and X6 - what is the difference between those two cartridges? They both will apparently work on my SFC, so I was thinking of picking one up just to have, but the everdrive website doesn't really list what the differences are in a way I understand... The X6 page has this addition:

SUPPORTED ENHANCEMENT CHIPS:

  • DSP-1/1B
  • DSP-2
  • DSP-3
  • DSP-4

I'm unfamiliar with SNES in-cartridge chips, but does the above mean the X6 can run any SNES/SFC game? If the X5 doesn't run them all, I won't bother with it.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I'm unfamiliar with SNES in-cartridge chips, but does the above mean the X6 can run any SNES/SFC game? If the X5 doesn't run them all, I won't bother with it.
What you want is the FXPak Pro. It supports every single enhancement chip available (as far as I'm aware). Notably, the missing ones from the X6 would be the MSU-1 and the Super FX chip.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ah, that explains why the cartridges I was looking at were so cheap lol. I don't really care that much about Super FX games (sorry, Yoshi's Island fans), but I'll have to look into what games use the MSU-1 chip... Might just pass on the cart then, which is fine, since playing SNES/SFC games wasn't the reason I bought a SFC anyway. Thank you!
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I think the only chips that the FXPak Pro/SD2SNES doesn't support are the SPC7110 in Far East of Eden Zero and some beefy ones in a couple of shogi games. Don't know if the last two are doable on the Pro, but I've been told they're well out of reach for the original SD2SNES.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
There are a few chips in between the DSP series and the high-end Super Fx/MSU-1. Notably, there is SA-1, which is used in a number of games (like Super Mario RPG) and the chips used by Mega Man X2 and X3. So an Everdrive will be missing a small but significant chunk of the library.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Looking at this list, the only games I'd really miss are Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dreamland 3, both of which apparently use the SA-1 (as others, such as Super Mario Kart and Mario RPG, I have other easy ways to play). I'm assuming the SA-1 doesn't work on either of those cheaper Everdrives?
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, well. I only really wanted it for the Super Game Boy 2 anyway. I am finally, finally, going to play Donkey Kong 94 with the SGB color palette and that great border! And other games too. The SFC and SGB were only $70 total on Mercari (which I bought via Sendico), which is way, way cheaper than the US version of the SNES these days...
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I played it via the US SGB back in the day. It's easily one of my favorite Game Boy games. I still have to wonder how many people just thought it was a simple port of the arcade game back in the day.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I've only ever played it on Gameboy/GBC/GBA! I had a Super Game Boy at one point, but never got around to playing Donkey Kong 94 on it for some reason. Gotta correct that. Also, I've been absolutely obsessed with Game Boy stuff for like a year, so I may as well get a SFC and plug it in to my TV lol
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I'm not going to spoil anything if you haven't experienced it, but there's one other little enhancement with the SGB that you'll probably like. :)

I know I can fix my SGB to be the right speed, but I don't want to screw up the only one I have. I'm pretty sure it's an easy mod, though, but you never know...
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Okay so I have my Fenrir ODE installed and it's working fine for most of the ISOs/BIN/CUE files I have (and it seems to read those regardless of format, when I have good rips, I guess).

However, some of the games I've downloaded don't work. Some random examples: Sonic R, NBA Jam Tournament Edition, and Radiant Silvergun. Looking at the CUE files in Notepad++, they seem to be pointing to the right files, whether they're ISOs or BINs (and per instructions on the Fenrir, I have a folder set up for each game). I suppose I just have bad rips or something? I don't have a ton of experience emulating disc based consoles, but I've always struggled troubleshooting this stuff. Since we can't directly link to roms or ISOs here, what should I google if I were looking for some good rips that work with the Fenrir?

Also the only game that I'd like to play that isn't compatible according to the official list is In the Hunt - all of the above games should work according to that list, so it shouldn't be a compatibility issue.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I thought In the Hunt was fixed, but maybe not? I guess I might not have tried it, but I could have sworn I did.

The Fenrir is really picky when it comes to proper rips, and I'd advise sticking solely to Redump stuff. There are archives for those. Once I started using those, I haven't had any issues. I was actually able to fix several that were busted on the audio front, but it took a lot of manual fixing in the CUE files and whatnot, basically converting to what Redump uses, but even that isn't foolproof.

Also, if you run into a problem game (Steamgear Mash and Shining Wisdom come to mind), booting into the CD player first when launching, then running the game from there clears up the issues.

EDIT: Okay, yes, someone said on Twitter that Redump In the Hunt works on the last two firmware versions.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I appreciate it, thanks. Currently testing every game and downloading redump versions of the ones that don't work.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The redump versions of most of the games I've downloaded have worked, thanks - though In the Hunt still won't boot lol. Just goes to a black screen. Maybe the issue is with 21 pin Fenrirs? That's what I have, and I'm running the latest firmware for it since I just got the thing yesterday haha. Dunno what's up with that.

I will say, Shining Force III runs much, much better on Fenrir than when I was using crappy burned CD-Rs with my Saturn and a Pseudo Saturn Kai. I don't know if my laser was going bad or if the Saturn just struggled to read CD-Rs (or discs in general), but whenever SFIII would transition between locations, loading took far, far longer than it does now, which is nearly instant. Game runs at a nice little clip, now. I'm three battles in and not annoyed with loading times! Hooray lol
 

BubsyFan_86

Enjoying the James Turrell Retrospective
The redump versions of most of the games I've downloaded have worked, thanks - though In the Hunt still won't boot lol. Just goes to a black screen. Maybe the issue is with 21 pin Fenrirs? That's what I have, and I'm running the latest firmware for it since I just got the thing yesterday haha. Dunno what's up with that.

I will say, Shining Force III runs much, much better on Fenrir than when I was using crappy burned CD-Rs with my Saturn and a Pseudo Saturn Kai. I don't know if my laser was going bad or if the Saturn just struggled to read CD-Rs (or discs in general), but whenever SFIII would transition between locations, loading took far, far longer than it does now, which is nearly instant. Game runs at a nice little clip, now. I'm three battles in and not annoyed with loading times! Hooray lol

The Saturn version of In the Hunt specifically is a bit infamous for having issues booting (see here for some discussion and potential solutions).

I discovered this when I was looking into purchasing a copy recently; typically the Saturn tends to be better than the PS1 for ports of 2D arcade games, but I ultimately decided to get the PS1 version because I was too scared about not being able to play at all on Saturn.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh wow, even the retail version has issues booting? I had no idea and assumed it was just an ODE thing.

Looking over that thread - how do I get to the Saturn main menu with Fenrir installed? Will the system know if I turn it on with the lid open? Been a loooong time since I've used my Saturn lol
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I'll have to see which dump I'm using - it may be one that I "fixed" since my folder name doesn't match the Redump convention. The one I have does work, though.

To get to the main menu, you can launch a game with the C button instead of A, and it'll take you to the CD player menu. From there, you can go into the system menu and manage your memory and whatnot. As far as I know, it doesn't detect the lid state currently.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, weird, okay. The button prompts at the bottom of the screen on the Fenrir menu are A to launch a game and Start for options. I kinda wish they'd label the other buttons if they do stuff! Good to know, though, thanks.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Yeah, the documentation is not super helpful, honestly. I just discovered it all by goofing around.

Also, soft reset is A+B+C+Start. The easiest way to get it to trigger is hold A+B+C, then hit Start, but often you'll have to hit it twice (once will take back to title screen), and if the game has disabled gamepad reading, you won't be able to do anything and you'll need to manually reset.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, I'd noticed that - some games don't let me soft reset. For the games that do, it's a really nice feature! I wish it'd be integrated into every Everdrive, for example.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I tested a Redump version (USA) of In the Hunt, and it seemed to work okay for me. The one I actually had on there was probably one from another site, and I ran it through ISOBuster. It also seemed to work okay, although I've noticed the Fenrir often doesn't like the single BIN/CUE format, preferring the Redump format of BIN files for each track.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Hmm, that's what I have for In the Hunt, bin files for each track. What is ISObuster?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
It's a disc-ripping software. I'm pretty sure I ended up using it on one of my images that didn't work, and converted it into BIN/CUE using some virtual CD drive software. But I also find it weird that it booted up fine on the Redump version I downloaded yesterday. My setup is an unmodded US Model 2 Saturn with the 21-pin Fenrir, and an Action Replay 4M Plus.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I wonder if the Action Replay 4M Plus is the game changer here - I have a red Pseudo Saturn Kai cart, which I'd originally used to play burned CDs, but that was not a great experience. Otherwise I don't know how to use the thing lol
 
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