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Rick Dangerous

North America/Europe software compatibility?

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I noticed a lot of good games are only for sale out of the UK or Germany. Can I buy these with the assumption that they are "region free," or are they PAL and therefore not compatible with my US model 1040STe?

 

Thanks

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Provided that you have a colour monitor that synchronizes with the 50Hz vertical frequency of European games and demos, there are no compatibility issues - just be prepared you may find games in German, French, etc.. There even is a Finnish racing game "Romurallia Rotiskoilla II" and I still wonder what that might mean.

 

If your monitor does not like 50Hz and you encounter a rolling screen or "out of range" message after loading a game, try pressing F6 or F5, several games have a frequency switching functionality included.

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Provided that you have a colour monitor that synchronizes with the 50Hz vertical frequency of European games and demos, there are no compatibility issues - just be prepared you may find games in German, French, etc.. There even is a Finnish racing game "Romurallia Rotiskoilla II" and I still wonder what that might mean.

 

If your monitor does not like 50Hz and you encounter a rolling screen or "out of range" message after loading a game, try pressing F6 or F5, several games have a frequency switching functionality included.

 

Not sure if I should risk it. I may have to resort to my long lost virtue of patience and wait till the games pop up online..

Edited by travistouchdown

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Every ST can do both 50Hz (PAL) and 60Hz (NTSC). Which frequency is used at start-up is determined by the region of the TOS version.

Also RGB monitors like those from Atari, Commodore & Philips support both 50Hz and 60Hz. So in case you use an RGB monitor you have little to worry about regarding hardware wise. Only if you use the RF output on a TV you could have a bad/rolling screen when you switch to another frequency.

 

So by default the frequency is determined by the TOS version. Many (older) games do no touch the frequency and try to run in the frequency of your TOS version. Lots of games run in either frequency although at 60Hz they may run faster (especially the music as these are almost always tight to the VBI (vertical blank interrupt)). As mentioned earlier, some games have a key to switch between 50/60Hz and game menu disks from cracker groups often also provided a way to switch frequency from the menu.

There are also games that switch to 50Hz automatically if they are created for 50Hz. Thus in these cases you have also little to worry about too.

 

It could be problematic if a game does not like 60Hz and does not switch to 50Hz automatically. Then you could use tools to switch the frequency to 50Hz before starting the game. But because after a reset the frequency is restored to its default, this will only work for games that can be run from the desktop. Games that need to be auto-booted require a reset of the machine thus also resetting the frequency. This could be solved by tools that start a boot disk without resetting but I do not know if such tool exists.

 

Robert

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