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Using a Japanese Mega CD RAM Cart in a USA Genesis

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#1 malarrya OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:01 PM

I found out that a Japanese Mega CD RAM Cart will work in a US Genesis (https://bit.ly/2UbVLlN) so I ordered one from eBay much cheaper than an original US or a Stone Age Gamer version.

 

I did have a few questions if anyone may have a similar setup

 

1. I have a 32x plugged into my Genesis. Does the 32x have the same plastic notches in it the prevent loading a foreign cart like the Genesis does?

 

2. Can the Mega CD RAM cart be de-cased and either used without the plastic casing or placed into an empty Genesis case?

 

3. I know a Game Genie can be used to make the Japanese cartridge fit but I don't know if a code needs to be used to make it work. I don't think it does but just asking.

 

If I get this working as I think it should, the savings for this Japanese RAM cartridge are quite considerable.

 

 



#2 DragonGrafx-16 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:52 PM

Generally any import cartridge would work without codes if it's from 1991 or earlier.



#3 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:33 PM

I found out that a Japanese Mega CD RAM Cart will work in a US Genesis (https://bit.ly/2UbVLlN) so I ordered one from eBay much cheaper than an original US or a Stone Age Gamer version.

 

I did have a few questions if anyone may have a similar setup

 

1. I have a 32x plugged into my Genesis. Does the 32x have the same plastic notches in it the prevent loading a foreign cart like the Genesis does?

 

2. Can the Mega CD RAM cart be de-cased and either used without the plastic casing or placed into an empty Genesis case?

 

3. I know a Game Genie can be used to make the Japanese cartridge fit but I don't know if a code needs to be used to make it work. I don't think it does but just asking.

 

If I get this working as I think it should, the savings for this Japanese RAM cartridge are quite considerable.

 

 

My 32x happens to be just wide enough to allow JPN megadrive games to work through it as a pass through device. But I still have a region switch on my Genesis for those few JPN games that refuse to come up normally. So while the 32x does technically have the same notches, I believe it is a tad wider and therefore in my case I'm able to get MD carts to fit.

 

I believe all the carts are on the same physical PCB sizes. So in theory, you should be able to take the ram cart out and put it into a standard Genesis cartridge shell.

 

Game Genie can be used in some cases, but there are instances where it doesn't due to not having all the cart pins connected through it. This is why many games won't save onto cartridge when operating through a game genie. Since the ram cart is a large save game cartridge, I'm not sure it would work properly through a GG.

 

I've never had a ram cart for my SegaCD as I've always been okay with just playing one or two games in rotation and then once beat, wipe it from the memory to make room for another. Currently I have saves in mine for SonicCD, Dune, and Snatcher.



#4 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:41 PM

Worst case scenario, putting it into an empty Genesis shell should work, but I think the only foreign cart that doesn't fit in my 32X is Super Fantasy Zone, which is a weird shape. I'd have to double check that, but I'm reasonably sure most of the Japanese Mega Drive games I have can be plugged in directly. 



#5 malarrya OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:46 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the insightful responses. I'm looking forward to receiving my RAM cart and I am not sure what is more interesting... that it may work right away or that I can force it to work :)

 

It's sometimes more enjoyable to make accessories/devices work in a way they weren't originally intended than it is actually playing with the device.



#6 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:29 PM

I've never had a ram cart for my SegaCD as I've always been okay with just playing one or two games in rotation and then once beat, wipe it from the memory to make room for another. Currently I have saves in mine for SonicCD, Dune, and Snatcher.

 

It's possible to finish Shining Force CD without it since unlocking other games relies on a very tiny system file, but when you start a new game you have to delete your old one and so you can't use the "sequel" functionality. Everyone from a past game is just assigned a level instead of reusing stats from the previous book. Also once you have SF CD on the system, that's basically all you can save. It needs 100 blocks between the save game and the system file. 


Edited by derFunkenstein, Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:30 PM.


#7 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:47 PM

 

It's possible to finish Shining Force CD without it since unlocking other games relies on a very tiny system file, but when you start a new game you have to delete your old one and so you can't use the "sequel" functionality. Everyone from a past game is just assigned a level instead of reusing stats from the previous book. Also once you have SF CD on the system, that's basically all you can save. It needs 100 blocks between the save game and the system file. 

Did you mean it 'Isn't' possible to finish the game without it?

 

Well, I'm good since I don't actually own Shining Force CD...

 

Also on Super Fantasy Zone, just get the European version, it isn't region locked and it supports and plays at the correct speed on NTSC Genesis systems. It will also fit properly since PAL MD carts use the same shell design and only have that notch on the left for the cart locking system.



#8 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:13 PM

Did you mean it 'Isn't' possible to finish the game without it?

 

Well, I'm good since I don't actually own Shining Force CD...

 

 

No, it's possible, but it's not possible to keep a save game from each book. The guys you had in previous games are lost, and so when you meet those characters again they're just assigned a level and stats. You have to delete the big game save file each book you start, but the smaller (1-block) system file tracks which books you've completed. 



#9 malarrya OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 7, 2019 12:18 PM

I received the Japanese RAM cart in the mail, tried it out in the 32x and BAM! it works great! So happy I only spent $17 +shipping for a complete in box item while other carts are selling for around $100 for the cartridge only (only in English). Fortunately, this item popped up in ebay during a search. Otherwise I would have never known it existed and probably wasted my money on an overpriced aftermarket RAM cart.

 

https://twitter.com/...711447727521793


Edited by malarrya, Thu Mar 7, 2019 12:25 PM.


#10 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2019 2:33 PM

Since you're using a RAM cart with a 32X, I figured I'd share something I've learned.

 

Sometimes, the RAM cart doesn't work with the 32X, but it's not as obvious as the cart not being recognized.  Instead, the cart shows as present but empty.  And it still saves games, but tends to erase or corrupt whatever you had on the cart previously.  And of course when you come back later the save may show as gone.

 

I discovered this a couple of years ago when I decided to disconnect my 32X.  I popped in a RAM cart I had long thought dead and incapable of holding data.  Instead I was greeted by saves from decades ago I had thought long lost.  I rehooked the 32X in and suddenly the cart was recognized but showed as empty.

 

I think this is why StoneAgeGamer says their RAM cart doesn't work with the 32X.  If memory serves, that cart behaves the same way when a 32X is hooked up.

 

Because of this, I no longer use the 32X with the Sega CD.  I have two Genesis systems, one with a CD and the other with the 32X.



#11 DragonGrafx-16 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2019 2:42 PM

I really wish Sega would have made the Saturn backwards compatible with the Sega CD...

#12 malarrya OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:55 AM

Since you're using a RAM cart with a 32X, I figured I'd share something I've learned.

 

Sometimes, the RAM cart doesn't work with the 32X, but it's not as obvious as the cart not being recognized.  Instead, the cart shows as present but empty.  And it still saves games, but tends to erase or corrupt whatever you had on the cart previously.  And of course when you come back later the save may show as gone.

 

I discovered this a couple of years ago when I decided to disconnect my 32X.  I popped in a RAM cart I had long thought dead and incapable of holding data.  Instead I was greeted by saves from decades ago I had thought long lost.  I rehooked the 32X in and suddenly the cart was recognized but showed as empty.

 

I think this is why StoneAgeGamer says their RAM cart doesn't work with the 32X.  If memory serves, that cart behaves the same way when a 32X is hooked up.

 

Because of this, I no longer use the 32X with the Sega CD.  I have two Genesis systems, one with a CD and the other with the 32X.

 

Oh thanks for the tip! I never do unhook the 32x but if something does happen to my saved game, perhaps I can get it back by disconnecting the 32x. So far, it's been working great for the AD&D Eye of the Beholder game I've been playing.



#13 malarrya OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:01 AM

I really wish Sega would have made the Saturn backwards compatible with the Sega CD...

 

I wonder if this was problem because the system uses CDs. Perhaps, like the Xbox/360/One, the games can only be backwards compatible if the manufacturer creates emulators for each individual game. I was hoping Sega would produce a system that played ALL games from the SG-1000 to the Dreamcast but there's probably only a market for the Genesis and many of the carts/CDs would be hard to come by (only on ebay). The Mega SG is an option for me but it currently doesn't play 32x games. I am waiting until there's a definite answer if it ever will.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: genesis, sega cd, megadrive, ram cart, sega 32x

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