Author Topic: Sega Saturn running ST-V games using cartridge slot?  (Read 902 times)

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Offline rouken

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Sega Saturn running ST-V games using cartridge slot?
« on: February 05, 2021, 02:50 AM »
Ok... Just to make it clear, it's not a "I wish a Everdrive for the Sega Saturn" topic.

I saw the ST-V (Sega Titan Arcade Board) is just a Sega Saturn board to the Arcade market and using cartridge ROMs instead discs. Just to check, I rearched about any different spec between the two boards, like more RAM, etc... But from what I saw, both Sega Saturn and ST-V board shares the exact same specs, except for the different storage media.

With the works of Megavolt85 to convert Atomiswave games to be played at the Dreamcast, and the fact the hardware of  Atomiswave/Dreamcast fits the same way of the ST-V/Saturn case, I stopped to think: It's possible to make ST-V games be played at the SegaSaturn board in some way?

If the thing is to make the ST-V ROMs be converted to be played at the Sega Sega after burning the game into a disc, I think it's not possible or viable. We can see as example the game Groove on Fight, who was released first on the ST-V, and receive a Saturn port after. In the ST-V version, the characters have much more animation frames, while the Saturn version many frames and animations was cut, even with the game asking 1M RAM cartridge to run, and the game have loading times. With this, there's two problems: 1) Disc reading speed, and RAM. Even with the 4M RAM cartridge, it could not be enough to be, at least, viable.

So, we can have three options:

1) A dedicated Flash Cart to load ST-V ROMs from the cartridge slot.
2) Make ports to be played specifically at an optical drive emulator, as Rhea/Phoebe, Fenrir, or TerraOnion MODE.
3) Make ports to be played specifically at Prof. Abrassive's Satiator.

Even so, I think the Sega Saturn board must have some codes do be loaded to make the system loads a ST-V game. With this in mind, the last two options can only be possible with the help of an instruction loaded from the cartridge slot when you turn on the system. For example, Prof. Abrasive commented to make the Satiator's SD Card store the saves destinated to the internal memory storage, it's needed a cartridge, like a flashed Action Replay, to load an instruction to intercept the code who sends the data destinated to the internal memory to another destiny (a.k.a. the Satiator's SD Card). So, is it mean a specific cartridge can even load a different BIOS or some kind of instruction who makes the Saturn board works as a ST-V board and load ST-V games without any hard/permanent mod?

It's just speculation... But I'm very curious about if it's possible to be done in theory, but need to test in practice, or if it's not possible at all because some limitation I did not cited...