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Retro STrife

Tips for CD32 collecting?

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For whatever reason, I've always had an interest in the more obscure or "bad" systems of the '90s.. CD-i, Jaguar, 3DO, etc. I like em, even if others say they're not worth it. The CD32 is one that's been on my radar for a long time, and I'm finally getting around to looking for one. I'm curious if anyone has any important tips for new CD32 collectors -- i.e., hardware and compatibility issues, must-have games and accessories, general unique "things to know", etc.

 

But my biggest question is about the preferred setup for U.S. gamers... Since this system did much better in Europe, I assume PAL systems and games are much easier to find. Up to this point in my collecting life, I've avoided European consoles and the fun task of getting PAL systems to work in the US. Yet, I think most of the CD32 library is PAL games (or are they not region locked like that?). Anyway, I'm wondering if most people get NTSC systems - or do they prefer PAL systems and find a way to make it work in the US? For people with NTSC systems, are there issues with getting games to work for the system? And for people with PAL systems, what's the best way to get it to work here?

 

Also, are any Amiga computer games or CDTV games compatible with the CD32?

 

Sorry if some of these questions seem basic -- I've never ventured into the area of Amigas or European systems, so I'm out of my element here. Thanks in advance for any help.

Edited by Retro STrife

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I have a NTSC CD32. The system is somewhat obscure, but not bad. The games are not region locked, just different video system. Games are easily burned and played w/o a mod.

Most PAL games should work on NTSC system if you have a mouse and go into early boot screen and change the screen mode from NTSC to PAL. It is a pain in the butt, but it works.

One problem that you may encounter is that most TV don't support PAL, and artifact of that is a rolling screen. If you get the PAL system, then the picture probably will be in gray scale on NTSC.

Both versions should work fine with Commodore 1084 monitor.

What else..., you can get memory / HD upgrade with RGB out, so you can use RGB monitor with it. With that upgrade you basically have Amiga 1200, so you can run WHDLoad HD games on it.

Joysticks are hard to come by, but most games can be played with normal Atari joystick. You can purchase a PSX to CD32 joystick adapter, it supports all extra buttons that some game may need. I have 2 of those and work great.

CD32 is backwards compatible system with CDTV. There is a floppy interface adapter for CD32, so you could play Amiga floppy games on it.

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I am in the US but I decided for a PAL unit, the el-cheapo SVideo to HDMI converters work reasonably well and they do accept PAL signals (most of them do).

In the end I ended up burning some of those 200-in-1, 300-in-1 compilation CDs and play the old Amiga library that way ... but man they are a pain to navigate and the addition of rotating music and background gfx does not help.

Still trying to decide if I want to invest in a TF328 (8MB + CFcard + RGB + keyboard) as I really only want to play the 3D games that would benefit from 8MB fast RAM, the rest is not that important to me (I already have an A2000 keyboard with PS/2 adapter, do not intend to purchase an RGBtoScart cable) ... so for now it sits there waiting for me to decide.

 

Note, I grew up in EU and played A500 to no end in my youth so aside a few AGA games I am very familiar with the game library and so not much of a surprise to me. In general what I kind of forgot for A500 games was that most of them either had SFX or Music ... so weird. Also arcade conversions were borderline pathetic.

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Prepare to pay! I was lucky enough to snag a boxed NTSC unit with a bunch of boxed games for about $200 from a fellow AAer ten years ago, and prices have doubled since then. There’s nothing wrong with the system, but it doesn’t really have any great exclusives and doesn’t have the fun factor of other rare consoles. Some new or repackaged games have been dribbling out recently.

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Thanks for all the help guys, it's much appreciated. So from what I'm hearing here, my sense is that the NTSC version is the "preferred" version then for US gamers. Or do people disagree? It sounds like it's a little costlier, but that overall it's easier to use in the US than the PAL system, as long as you have a mouse to switch it to PAL for PAL games (keep in mind, the vast majority of games on ebay are PAL games, so it would be essential that PAL games work fine on the NTSC system).

 

If that's the case, I'm leaning toward getting a NTSC system, assuming it's easy enough to get a mouse... how hard is it to find a mouse on ebay? Is there a specific CD32 mouse that I would need, or will any old Amiga mouse work fine?

Edited by Retro STrife

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Any amiga mouse will work. I use a old amiga 500 keyboard as a keyboard when i boot a amiga 500 games bundle disc. Its a nice little system. I used to own a cdtv, but since i also had a cd32 i have sold it off since the cd32 can play cdtv games without any problem.

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Just to add about compatibility with other Amiga games: Yes, essentially the CD32 is an Amiga 1200 minus a keyboard, plus a CD drive. As a result, you can play pretty much any game on the CD32 if you can get it onto the machine - in fact, most CD32 games are simply older Amiga games stuck on a CD with occasionally some extra animations or CD music. Many were even made for the older Amiga models and so don't even use the enhanced graphical capabilities of the machine over the 1987 A500...

 

Now, that's the tricky part since it doesn't support a floppy drive without additional hardware. But there are some people who make up compilation CDs containing dozens of floppy disk games on one disc, and that's probably the way to go. Bear in mind however that many Amiga games also needed a keyboard, so you might find it good to also get an A4000 keyboard (which plugs into the CD32's Aux socket), or a PS/2 to A4000 converter and use an old PC PS/2 keyboard. If you did decide to spend some money on it, there are new homebrew expansions like the TF 328 that give the CD32 an internal IDE port so you can connect a compact flash card that acts as a hard drive, and some extra RAM (which increases the speed of some games and allows the loading of the OS as well as games from the hard drive). It's not cheap, but it makes the CD32 into a pretty capable all-round Amiga.

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It's just an Amiga 1200 with a built-in SCSI controller and CD drive. Absolutely nothing you can't already play on an Amiga 1200 if you want the hardware reto experience. The raspberry pi amiga is a nice project if you want to tinker with hardware and want a cheap 100% Amiga software compatible.

 

https://hothardware.com/reviews/amiga-emulator-with-raspberry-pi-3

 

Personally I prefer just using Amiga Forever (UAE) on a slightly older laptop. The Amiga emulation nowadays is perfect.

Edited by thetick1

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