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Will the Genesis play Master system games directly?


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#1 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:50 PM

I heard that if you break off some of the plastic on the sega genesis cartridge slot that you can insert a master system cartridge directly and the system will recognize it. Is this true?

#2 Wickeycolumbus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:01 AM

No, you need the powerbase converter. Genesis hardware ≠ Master system hardware ;)

#3 STICH666 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:02 AM

I heard that if you break off some of the plastic on the sega genesis cartridge slot that you can insert a master system cartridge directly and the system will recognize it. Is this true?

Doesn't work.

#4 the.golden.ax OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:11 AM

That works for import MEGA DRIVE games that have a different shape on SOME systems. Not Sega Master system.

AX

#5 vcsdream OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:01 AM

I heard that if you break off some of the plastic on the sega genesis cartridge slot that you can insert a master system cartridge directly and the system will recognize it. Is this true?



Master System = Z80
Genesis = 68000

Hence the Power Base converter needed

Edited by vcsdream, Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:02 AM.


#6 retrozoneorg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:17 AM

I heard that if you break off some of the plastic on the sega genesis cartridge slot that you can insert a master system cartridge directly and the system will recognize it. Is this true?


The Mega drive has a motorolla 68000 processor but does use a Zilog Z80 for sound and input / output processing.
The master system only has a Zilog Z80 for all tasks.

The Powerbase Converter (which allows you to play Master System games on the Mega Drive) reroutes the cartridge to use the Z80 processor already in the Mega Drive. But it does contain a Mega Drive ROM image which instructs the Mega Drive on what to do with the input.

This means that Master System games will only work on the Mega Drive WITH the powerbase converter. If you try to plug them in directly it is likely you will damage the cart and/or megadrive.

#7 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:11 PM

The cart is repinnned between the SMS and Genesis, so no you can't just plug one in. But there's several options to playing SMS games on the Genenis out there, the PBC is the best IMO, as it has the card slot as well, but I personally got a Master Gear converter, as at the time I picked it up it was cheaper to me (but doesn't have the card slot for card games, just the larger carts)

Interestingly, there's no actual "hardware" inside the devices. I think there's a chip to let it Boot in SMS mode, but all the hardware beyond that is in the genesis itself...unlike all those Atari clones from back in the day, which were an entire 2600 and just used the console as a leach for power and video feed.

#8 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:52 PM

Thanks for the replies. I got the idea from this wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Mega_Drive

"One of the key design features of the console is its backwards compatibility with Sega's previous console, the Sega Master System. The 16-bit design is based upon the 8-bit design, albeit enhanced and extended in many areas. In order to achieve backwards compatibility, the Master System's central processor and sound chip (the Zilog Z80[11] and SN76489 respectively) are included as coprocessors in the Mega Drive, and the Mega Drive's Video Display Processor (VDP) is capable of the Master System's VDP mode 4, though it cannot run in modes 0, 1, 2, or 3 (so the Mega Drive is not compatible with SG-1000 software or Master System software which uses these modes).

As the cartridge slot is of a different shape, Sega released the Power Base Converter, a separate device that sits between a Master System cartridge and the Mega Drive's cartridge slot. The Power Base Converter does not contain any Master System components, instead functioning as a pass-through device, and consisting almost entirely of passive circuitry. The converter contains a top slot for cartridge-based games along with a front slot for card-based games, as well as the 3-D glasses adapter. When a Master System game is inserted, the system puts the Z80 in control, leaving the Mega Drive's main 68000 processor idle.[11]"

They made it sound as if the Power Base Converter was something that was neccessary ONLY because the cartridge slot was a different size than Master system games. I'm glad I didn't try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#9 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:47 PM

By the way, you can also play master system games on a game gear if you have a converter, which IS nothing but a pass-through.

#10 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:18 PM

By the way, you can also play master system games on a game gear if you have a converter, which IS nothing but a pass-through.


Very interesting. Is there any way to do it the other way around (Play Game Gear games on the Master System)?

#11 BrianC OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:42 PM

Very interesting. Is there any way to do it the other way around (Play Game Gear games on the Master System)?


Aside from the different cart size, normal Game Gear games won't play on the SMS due to the different color palette and screen mode. Some GG games like Prince of Persia and Rastan are actually SMS games on a GG cart and those should work on the SMS if there was an adapter to play GG games on the SMS (and I heard they are playable via flash cart).

Edited by BrianC, Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:45 PM.


#12 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:02 AM

Interestingly, there's no actual "hardware" inside the devices. I think there's a chip to let it Boot in SMS mode, but all the hardware beyond that is in the genesis itself...unlike all those Atari clones from back in the day, which were an entire 2600 and just used the console as a leach for power and video feed.

Actually, the only hardware needed for an adapter is for the pause button. I'm not sure what the chip in a genuine PBC is used for, but it may be related to the card slot. There have been adapters which are nothing more than a circuit board in a vertical-stack cartridge, if you don't care about the games on card. (aka "Tower of Sega" mode) The adapter is also necessary to ground the "M3" line, which selects SMS bus mode.

(I really don't know what Sega was thinking by putting SMS games on cards as well as carts. I guess maybe they were thinking of making a portable system, but didn't follow through on the card format. All they succeeded in doing was confusing customers. Using the card slot for the 3D adapter was okay, I guess, but it would have been better in port 2.)

The support supposedly exists even in Sega-branded MD/Genesis systems without the physical ability to use Sega's adapter. Note that the Genesis 3 was not produced by Sega, and has the support removed.

The one game on card that I know won't work (F-16 Fighting Falcon, which is as far as I know the only 32K card game), doesn't work because it is one of the few SMS games that use a TMS-9918 video mode.

EDIT: Apparently the card slot was for backwards compatilbility with a card-slot add-on for the SG-1000. Still, it sounds more like a gimmick than anything else.

Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:05 AM.


#13 vcsdream OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:54 AM

By the way, you can also play master system games on a game gear if you have a converter, which IS nothing but a pass-through.



Here's my Master Gear Converter:
Posted Image

#14 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:31 PM

Yep, that's the MGC for GameGear, I got one of those too.

As for the cards on the SMS, I think Segga was intending to have a "budget" line of games, and the cards would make them different from the carts, cheaper to produce. The problem is, later Sega decided to go ahead and make, I think every one of them on Carts anyways, so WTF? Personally, I liked the cards, to bad they didn't make it a 1-1 with GG, so you could literally use SMS games on the GG (or better, with minimal moding, the other way around)

As for the SMS on Genesis, yeah, I couldn't find it, but someone here built one from a dead cart, and it was just wires going from a cart port to a card edge. They did it just to see if they could, I don't envy them and the over 100 solder joints they had to do :P But hey, bet it was fun still.




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