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Retro Freak Guides (Working FDS, English Cheats, etc)


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#1 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:19 PM

I realize most of this info is available from various sources (including these forums). I just wanted to put all the info in one spot with simple step-by-step instructions. Hopefully, this process will make it easier for those attempting them in the future.

 

 

How to get Famicom Disk System (FDS) working

The Famicom Disk System is a Japan only addon system for the Japanese Famicom. It requires a BIOS to run but is fairly simple to add compatibility to the Retro Freak and have one more system emulated. I have not been able to get actual FDS connected and working to a Retro Freak so no ROM dumping and no save game transfers. Emulation works fine though.

 

Step 1:  Obtain Famicom Disk System BIOS. Just google it. Make sure it is named "disksys.rom" and not in a zip file. You may need to rename the BIOS. Some people have had to capitalize it other systems seem to prefer lowercase. "DISKSYS.ROM" worked fine for me. If capital letters don't work try lower-case.

Step 2:  Create a folder on micro-SD card called "BIOS" and place disksys.rom in that folder. The folder structure should look like: <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><BIOS>disksys.rom

Step 3:  Obtain FDS roms. Google is your friend here. Make sure they are unzipped and have the extension .fds

Step 4:  FDS roms can be placed in the same folder as NES/Famicom roms. My folder structure is set up as <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><Games><NES>*examplegamerom.fds

 

FDS games will show up in the Famicom [FC] "folder" on the Retro Freak but in the actual games list will have the prefix [FDS] instead of [FC]. Just select your FDS game and launch it as normal.

If you need to flip the side of the disk (most games require this) the default is Option+Start using the Retro Freak controller. Or you can set it to whatever you'd like with Hotkey Configuration.

 

Need suggestions of what to play? Try these: Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa, Esper Dream, Super Mario Bros. 2 (J), Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, Meikyuu Jiin Dababa, Ai Senshi Nicol, Arumana No Kiseki

 

How to get English language cheats

Cheats are available for the Retro Freak but are in Japanese. For those unfamiliar with the language this can be a problem. Luckily the Retron5 uses the same basic cheat file structure. 

 

Step 1:  Download the Retron5 cheat file from Retron 5 site http://www.retron5.i...Cheats-v1.2.zip

Step 2:  Open the zip file and extract the folder "Cheats" located in the Retron folder

Step 3:  Open the Cheats folder and rename the XML files as follows (codes-gba.xml doesn't need to change):

 

codes-gameboy.xml ---> codes-gb.xml

codes-genesis.xml -----> codes-md.xml

codes-nes.xml ----------> codes-fc.xml

codes-sms.xml ---------> codes-mk3.xml

codes-snes.xml --------> codes-sfc.xml

 

PC Engine cheats are not included in the Retron 5 since it does not support that system. You can put the Japanese Retro Freak cheats in there if you'd like. But you results may vary unless you're playing Japanese games and understand Japanese to select the correct cheats. If you don't want to mess with Japanese or just don't care about PCE you can skip to Step 6.

 

Step 4 (optional):  Download Retro Freak cheat file from http://www.cybergadg...ofreak_code.zip

Step 5 (optional):  Open the zip file and open the "cheats" folder. Extract codes-pce.xml and put in your customized cheats folder.

Step 6:  Place your custom cheats folder on your micro-SD using the following folder structure: <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><cheats>

 

Note: I haven't personally tested the GBA cheats to be compatible with the Retro Freak. I will when I'm back home and edit this post.

 

More Retro Freaks guides coming...


Edited by lukeofsoul, Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:36 PM.

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#2 godslabrat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:32 PM

This is what I need, thank you!  I don't have a RetroFreak right now, but it's currently my favorite candidate for dedicated emu box.  It'll be good to know I can throw stuff like this in there.



#3 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:43 PM

Same here, thanks for posting this.



#4 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:08 PM

Also for now, SG-1000 support doesn't seem to be in the firmware currently. Comparing source code of Retro Freak http://www.cybergadg...t/software.html to that of the open source Genesis emulator they used, Genesis Plus GX, shows that that its not implemented. You can do this yourself using Notepad++ with Compare plugin. Another clue is found in the genesis-engine.cpp

t_romInfo *GenesisEngine::loadRomFile(const char *file, t_systemRegion systemRegion)
{
	int systemType;
	if(!strcasecmp(&file[strlen(file)-4], ".SMS"))
		systemType = SYSTEM_PBC;
	else if(!strcasecmp(&file[strlen(file)-3], ".GG"))
		systemType = SYSTEM_GAMEGEAR;
	else
		systemType = SYSTEM_GENESIS;
	LOGI("loadRomFile file: %s, system: %d\n", file, systemType);
	return loadRomCommon((void *)file, 0, systemRegion, systemType);
}

Basically its looking for the file extension .sms which launches Master System, if its not .sms it checks to see if its .gg in which case it launches it as a Game Gear game and finally if its neither .sms or .gg it launches it as a genesis game. This explains why some users are reporting that genesis games can be named various extensions such as .md instead of the recommended .bin

Further research shows that some games have specific instructions that may require specific extensions. Other games may have specific fixes or incompatibilities that they've tried to correct such as forcing 3 button controls for games that do not function with 6 button controllers such as Decap Attack and others. Just found that interesting.

 

It does appear that a firmware update is coming in the future to add SG-1000 support and I expect these files to change at that point. According to their webpage advertising the future release of the Gear Converter which plugs into the genesis slot and adds Game Gear carts, Sega Mark III (cartridge and My Card) and finally SG1000 games, they go on to say in the fine print that a micro sd (sold separately) is required for a mandatory update that will be released at the time of the device's release. So my bet is that that update will enable the rom extension .sg for everyone regardless of if they have the Gear Converter ($60)

 

That said, I could be way off base.

 

Related note: Sega CD and PC Engine CD / TurboGrafx CD are also disabled in firmware. For Sega CD Retro Freak has removed the folder "cd_hw" leaving just "cart_hw" within the "core" folder. For PCE CD / TGCD Retro Freak has removed even more from the Mednafen source including multiple folders referencing the cd capability. I wouldn't hold your breath on these systems.

 

Of course, if someone were to come up with an alternate firmware that re-enabled these systems they would theoretically work. You could even add other systems that use libretro cores. You'd have to break open the legit update file and insert additional instructions while still maintaining your systems unique identifier to initiate the upgrade and backup that identifier for future use... but that's all above my pay grade and wouldn't necessarily be a "simple" guide.  ;)


Edited by lukeofsoul, Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:10 PM.


#5 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:03 AM

Apologies for the double-post but just wanted to confirm that GBA cheat file referenced in the original post does work. If you have trouble getting cheats to show up for a specific game you may need to manually edit the XML file or at the very least make sure the CRC of your rom is the same as the one listed in the cheat database. I may do a quick guide on this at a later date



#6 godslabrat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 11, 2016 2:33 PM

What file system does the RetroFreak use to format the MicroSD card?



#7 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 16, 2016 8:56 AM

Fat 32
 
I bought this one http://www.amazon.co...afb5afd931aea40
 
Works fine for me.
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#8 Odin Belmont OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2016 6:23 AM

How can you do the option + Start button from the Retro Freak controls on the SCF30 8bitdo controller?  I can't seem to flip the FDS?  No Option+Start on 8bitdo SFC30 on mapping on Retro Freak??


Edited by Odin Belmont, Tue Sep 6, 2016 6:25 AM.


#9 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:52 PM

How to get 8Bitdo SFC30 to flip FDS side

 

Open the Controller Menu

Open Button Mapping

System Playing should be set to NES/Famicom (this defaults to SNES when using that system's controller port)

Controller Used should be SNES

Go back to Controller Menu

Open Hotkey Configuration

FDS switch should be the bottom setting

 

Suggestion: If you're using a SNES style controller you can take advantage of those extra buttons. You can use L and R buttons in addition to the regular face buttons to avoid complicated button combos. I would also avoid using START button in combos since holding it for a few seconds turns off 8bitdo's wireless controllers (oops!)

 

Play Sega SG1000 ROMs without Gear Converter

 

The latest firmware update from Cyber Gadget enables support for the much-delayed-but-finally-here Gear Converter. It also enables ROM support for Sega's SG1000 system even without the new piece of hardware as an previously predicted. So if you don't want to try to find SG1000 cards out in the wild and don't mind emulation follow these super easy steps after updating your firmware to 2.0:

 

Step 1:  Obtain SG1000 ROMs. Google is your friend here. Make sure they are unzipped and have the extension .sg

Step 2:  SG1000 roms can be placed in the same folder as Sega Master System and Game Gear roms. My folder structure is set up as <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><Games><SMSGGSG>*examplegamerom.sg

 

All Sega Master System (Mark III), Game Gear and SG1000 roms show up under the same game icon once the RetroFreak is booted. This is the bottom-left icon of the micro SD game selection menu with GG, SG, MKIII listed.

 

I'll peak into the actual firmware files later to see if anything else interesting is hidden in there.


Edited by lukeofsoul, Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:58 PM.


#10 Odin Belmont OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:36 AM

How to get 8Bitdo SFC30 to flip FDS side

 

Open the Controller Menu

Open Button Mapping

System Playing should be set to NES/Famicom (this defaults to SNES when using that system's controller port)

Controller Used should be SNES

Go back to Controller Menu

Open Hotkey Configuration

FDS switch should be the bottom setting

 

Suggestion: If you're using a SNES style controller you can take advantage of those extra buttons. You can use L and R buttons in addition to the regular face buttons to avoid complicated button combos. I would also avoid using START button in combos since holding it for a few seconds turns off 8bitdo's wireless controllers (oops!)

 

Play Sega SG1000 ROMs without Gear Converter

 

The latest firmware update from Cyber Gadget enables support for the much-delayed-but-finally-here Gear Converter. It also enables ROM support for Sega's SG1000 system even without the new piece of hardware as an previously predicted. So if you don't want to try to find SG1000 cards out in the wild and don't mind emulation follow these super easy steps after updating your firmware to 2.0:

 

Step 1:  Obtain SG1000 ROMs. Google is your friend here. Make sure they are unzipped and have the extension .sg

Step 2:  SG1000 roms can be placed in the same folder as Sega Master System and Game Gear roms. My folder structure is set up as <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><Games><SMSGGSG>*examplegamerom.sg

 

All Sega Master System (Mark III), Game Gear and SG1000 roms show up under the same game icon once the RetroFreak is booted. This is the bottom-left icon of the micro SD game selection menu with GG, SG, MKIII listed.

 

I'll peak into the actual firmware files later to see if anything else interesting is hidden in there.

 

 

Thanks, It would seem that only when your playing FDS games the option is available the flip games. During other other consoles it wouldn't show.  I figured it out.

 

Thanks

 

Now we just need Super CD and Mega CD enabled?


Edited by Odin Belmont, Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:38 AM.


#11 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:27 PM

Does the rf always go through the loading step for the sd card on bootup? Ive been playing with installing romsets, but it takes longer than 20 minutes before i can select a game. This is on firmware 2.0 with a 32gb uhs3 sd card.

Edited by 98PaceCar, Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:27 PM.


#12 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:47 AM

It has a very long boo, yes. Would be nice to find a way to speed it up.

Edited by Newsdee, Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:48 AM.


#13 Odin Belmont OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:03 AM

I faster sd card helps, but it's still a little slow.  Just put on the roms you know you'll play. I put 4000 games at the beginning, but it took to long. Now I have 915 games and only takes 30 sec's.  Before it was 20 to 25 mins.



#14 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:06 AM

I faster sd card helps, but it's still a little slow.  Just put on the roms you know you'll play. I put 4000 games at the beginning, but it took to long. Now I have 915 games and only takes 30 sec's.  Before it was 20 to 25 mins.

 

Yeah, there's a direct correlation to boot up speed and number of ROMs. Unfortunately, this is not a system for every ROM. It's, as you say, a system for hundreds, rather than thousands, of your favorites. That's how I use mine and I have no issues with start-up delays.

 

It's a shame it couldn't use the last known cataloging for instant startup and then just checked for changes in the background.



#15 Odin Belmont OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:23 AM

Exactly.  So just put up your favorite games. 



#16 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:34 AM

Yea, that's what I figured so I've started going that direction instead. It was going to be really convenient to be able to just dump stuff to it, but the reality is I would never play everything. So choosing the big ones may help me focus a bit more and enjoy what I do load.



#17 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:49 AM

Yea, that's what I figured so I've started going that direction instead. It was going to be really convenient to be able to just dump stuff to it, but the reality is I would never play everything. So choosing the big ones may help me focus a bit more and enjoy what I do load.

 

That's a good philosophy, and one I've taken on in recent years too. Limitless libraries are not all they're cracked up to be, particularly since it wastes some time in sorting through it all. While I still would prefer the option of no restrictions, having some restrictions is not that bad in this case.

 

I still say that despite its handful of notable flaws, like ROM number limits, overly expensive controller breakout boxes, no NES slot, and no default wireless controls, it's still one of the best products of its type, period.



#18 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:06 AM

I'm with you. I picked one up after a buddy raved about his. I've never been into emulation all that much, but thinking it would be a convenient system to travel with got me interested. After messing with it a bit, I've found that it's not perfect, but has changed my mind about what a product like this can be.



#19 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:54 PM

I found myself needing a way to have a second controller and without being able to find a controller adaptor by itself, I took a gamble and bought one of the USB to SNES adaptors that RetroUSB sells. All I had to do to get it working with the Retro Freak was remap the controls as it came up as a generic SUB device instead of SNES. But once I did that, it works perfectly. Not a bad way to get a cheap second controller adaptor. 


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#20 chosen1skywalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 8, 2016 2:45 PM

Is there a way to edit or translate the XML files for the retro freak to add games and or use the japanese codes in english?



#21 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:02 AM

Is there a way to edit or translate the XML files for the retro freak to add games and or use the japanese codes in english?

 

Yeah. There are a couple options. The easiest is to use the Retron5 codes which are in English already. Just follow the guide from the original post (quoted below).

 

How to get English language cheats

Cheats are available for the Retro Freak but are in Japanese. For those unfamiliar with the language this can be a problem. Luckily the Retron5 uses the same basic cheat file structure. 

 

Step 1:  Download the Retron5 cheat file from Retron 5 site http://www.retron5.i...Cheats-v1.2.zip

Step 2:  Open the zip file and extract the folder "Cheats" located in the Retron folder

Step 3:  Open the Cheats folder and rename the XML files as follows (codes-gba.xml doesn't need to change):

 

codes-gameboy.xml ---> codes-gb.xml

codes-genesis.xml -----> codes-md.xml

codes-nes.xml ----------> codes-fc.xml

codes-sms.xml ---------> codes-mk3.xml

codes-snes.xml --------> codes-sfc.xml

 

PC Engine cheats are not included in the Retron 5 since it does not support that system. You can put the Japanese Retro Freak cheats in there if you'd like. But you results may vary unless you're playing Japanese games and understand Japanese to select the correct cheats. If you don't want to mess with Japanese or just don't care about PCE you can skip to Step 6.

 

Step 4 (optional):  Download Retro Freak cheat file from http://www.cybergadg...ofreak_code.zip

Step 5 (optional):  Open the zip file and open the "cheats" folder. Extract codes-pce.xml and put in your customized cheats folder.

Step 6:  Place your custom cheats folder on your micro-SD using the following folder structure: <SDCARDroot><RetroFreak><cheats>

 

If you want to use cheats for games not included in Retron5 cheat files or you want to put the time in you can modify the Japanese retro freak cheats you can but be prepared to be frustrated.

There is no way to translate the entire xml without messing up the formatting and breaking it. Instead you need to translate it line by line.

I'll walk you through the process below:

 

Open the xml (I use notepad++)

To get better xml formatting you'll need to grab the XML Tools plugin. In Notepad++ on the menu click Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager > Check XML Tools > Click Install

Next open then XML in Notepad++ for my example I'm opening fc.xml You'll see the games listed (in Japanese). Example below.

<game title="アーバンチャンピオン">
    <version CRC="656D4265" codeCount="1" title="(Japan)">
      <cheat format="Raw" hacker="cyber" name="1P スタミナMAX">00C9:09,00CA:99</cheat>
    </version>

Since Japanese games often use completely different titles from their English counterparts I find it easiest to identify a game by the CRC. You can do a google search for this games CRC (656D4265) and see that it belongs to Urban Champions

So in our example changing the Japanese text in quotes found after <game title= to Urban Champions will just display the game title in the RFs cheat menu in English.

Next you need to change the Japanese text for each cheat. In our example, the game only has one cheat code to translate. Google Translate should give you an idea of what it should do. In our example you'll find the Japanese text says "Stamina" so in context of the code 1P Stamina MAX

You're translated code should read as follows:

<game title="Urban Champions">
    <version CRC="656D4265" codeCount="1" title="(Japan)">
      <cheat format="Raw" hacker="cyber" name="1P Stamina MAX">00C9:09,00CA:99</cheat>
    </version>

That's pretty much it. You'll need to do this for every game/cheat that you'd like to use

Likewise you can add or remove cheats by editing the xml file but you'll need to maintain the codeCount and pay attention to the cheat format. I've had limited success with this. Sometimes it just doesn't work. Remember that you are editing codes for Japanese game roms and not north amerian ones. The CRC will be different for different regions/releases. The rom CRC must match the cheat files CRC. You can always change it but that's just more work when the Retro5 cheat file works for most NA titles with little work.

Generally just translating titles and text to english has worked fine.



#22 sloan11 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 5, 2017 2:57 PM

for the retro freak, though, how do you add cheats to the XML?

 

for example, i want to add game genie cheats for nintendo world cup. (i'm assuming that game genie cheats work...i read that elsewhere) But when I open the XML, the codes themselves don't actually look like game genie codes. and When i tried to add the codes I want i could get them to show up on the cheats menu on the console but they don't actually do anything when selected.

 

is there  a way to make them work? does the code need to be converted to a different format somehow? or do game genie codes not work at all lol



#23 lukeofsoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:54 AM

You may need to convert the game genie codes to raw format... try http://www.d.umn.edu...s-decoders.html



#24 chosen1skywalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 9:56 PM

 

Yeah. There are a couple options. The easiest is to use the Retron5 codes which are in English already. Just follow the guide from the original post (quoted below).

 

 

If you want to use cheats for games not included in Retron5 cheat files or you want to put the time in you can modify the Japanese retro freak cheats you can but be prepared to be frustrated.

There is no way to translate the entire xml without messing up the formatting and breaking it. Instead you need to translate it line by line.

I'll walk you through the process below:

 

Open the xml (I use notepad++)

To get better xml formatting you'll need to grab the XML Tools plugin. In Notepad++ on the menu click Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager > Check XML Tools > Click Install

Next open then XML in Notepad++ for my example I'm opening fc.xml You'll see the games listed (in Japanese). Example below.

<game title="アーバンチャンピオン">
    <version CRC="656D4265" codeCount="1" title="(Japan)">
      <cheat format="Raw" hacker="cyber" name="1P スタミナMAX">00C9:09,00CA:99</cheat>
    </version>

Since Japanese games often use completely different titles from their English counterparts I find it easiest to identify a game by the CRC. You can do a google search for this games CRC (656D4265) and see that it belongs to Urban Champions

So in our example changing the Japanese text in quotes found after <game title= to Urban Champions will just display the game title in the RFs cheat menu in English.

Next you need to change the Japanese text for each cheat. In our example, the game only has one cheat code to translate. Google Translate should give you an idea of what it should do. In our example you'll find the Japanese text says "Stamina" so in context of the code 1P Stamina MAX

You're translated code should read as follows:

<game title="Urban Champions">
    <version CRC="656D4265" codeCount="1" title="(Japan)">
      <cheat format="Raw" hacker="cyber" name="1P Stamina MAX">00C9:09,00CA:99</cheat>
    </version>

That's pretty much it. You'll need to do this for every game/cheat that you'd like to use

Likewise you can add or remove cheats by editing the xml file but you'll need to maintain the codeCount and pay attention to the cheat format. I've had limited success with this. Sometimes it just doesn't work. Remember that you are editing codes for Japanese game roms and not north amerian ones. The CRC will be different for different regions/releases. The rom CRC must match the cheat files CRC. You can always change it but that's just more work when the Retro5 cheat file works for most NA titles with little work.

Generally just translating titles and text to english has worked fine.

YOU RULE. THANK YOU.






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