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Modify your Mega Drive/Genesis 32X PAL/NTSC

30.11.2013

Modify your Mega Drive/Genesis 32X PAL/NTSC

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Further Information


1. The different ways, and different levels of region encoding, on 32X games

As explained as part of the introduction, certain games are region-locked, and in several different ways…:

  • 1st method: simply through the frequency. The game’s protection will only check the Mega Drive’s frequency. If the console’s frequency is different to that of the game, you will obtain an error message along the lines of "Developed for use only with NTSC Genesis systems & NTSC Mega Drive systems." (in the case of an NTSC game). These games have on their headers a flag, either type 5 (NTSC) or A (PAL).
  • 2nd method: the console’s country. The protection will check both the frequency and the language of the console. If the country is different to that of the game, you will obtain an error message along the lines of "Developed for use only with NTSC Mega Drive systems" (for a Japanese game). These games have in their header an indicator as follows: U (USA), E (EUR), J (JAP), JU (JAP + USA), 4 (USA), or 1 (JAP).

...and on different levels:

  • Level 1: low-level protection, the most common for Mega Drive games, consists simply of comparing the flag in the game’s header, the frequency of the console, even the language, it all depends… This protection can be bypassed very easily with a universal adaptor, or a Game Genie, since all you need to do is change the value of the header to make it regionless!
  • Level 2: high-level protection, which is very rare (fewer than 5 games use it on the Mega Drive), which isn’t based on the indicator on the game’s header but on an indicator situated within the games’ code itself…
  • Level 2+: the same thing as for Level 2. Not always based on the indicator in the header of the game, but check anyway to make sure it hasn’t been altered... To put it bluntly, if you only hack the header’s indicator, the game will no longer function at all (not even on the console it was originally supported on!).

Regionless games have in their headers an indicator F or JUE (JAP+USA+EUR), or any other indicator shown above with no level of protection.

2. Points about the region indicator

You will have noticed that there are 2 types of indicators that concern the region of the game (which doesn’t necessarily imply that they have a level of protection):

  • The old type: with the initials of the 3 major zones, which are Japan (J), the USA (U), and Europe (E). From these letters, we are shown that the game can function in several zones (if there is protection, the region is extended), e.g.: JU indicates that the game can work in Japan and in America.
  • The new type: it allows the extension of the zones, with values over 4 bits, which gives a hexadecimal result from 1 to F...

Concretely :

0001 -> 1 = Japan
0010 -> 2 = Unknown (PAL zone)
0100 -> 4 = USA
0101 -> 5 = NTSC (Japon + USA)
1000 -> 8 = Unknown (PAL zone)
1010 -> A = PAL (Europe, Australia...)
1110 -> E = Occident (USA + Europe)
1111 -> F = PAL + NTSC (all zones)

The other combinations are without interest...

3. Exhaustive list of 32X cartridge games and their region level

To understand the different codes used in the table below, please refer to the two previous points made.

Game Version Protection Type Level Flag Notes
36 Great Holes EUR YES Country 1 E Unlockable
36 Great Holes JAP & USA YES Country 1 JU Unlockable
AfterBurner Complete EUR YES Freq. 2 A ---
AfterBurner Complete JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 5 ---
B.C. Racers USA & EUR NO --- --- F ---
Blackthrone USA NO --- --- 4 Back screen in PAL
Brutal Unleashed USA YES Country 1 4 Unlockable
Cosmic Carnage EUR YES Freq. 2 A ---
Cosmic Carnage / Cyber Brawl JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 5 ---
Darxide EUR YES Freq. 1 A Unlockable
Doom EUR YES Country 1 E Unlockable
Doom JAP & USA YES Country 1 JU Unlockable
FIFA International Soccer '96 USA & EUR NO --- --- JUE Lockable
Knuckles' Chaotix EUR YES Freq. 1 A Unlockable
Knuckles' Chaotix / Chaotix JAP & USA YES Freq. 1 5 Unlockable
Kolibri USA & EUR NO --- --- F ---
Metal Head EUR YES Country 2+ A ---
Metal Head JAP & USA YES Country 2+ 5 ---
Mortal Kombat 2 JP, US & EU NO --- --- JUE Lockable
Motherbase EUR ? ? ? ? ---
Motocross Championship EUR YES Freq. 1 E Unlockable
Motocross Championship JAP & USA YES Freq. 1 JU Unlockable
NBA Jam Tournament Edition JP, US & EU NO --- --- F Lockable (bug)
NFL Quarterback Club JAP & USA NO --- --- F ---
Pitfall USA YES Country 1 4 Unlockable
Primal Rage USA & EUR NO --- --- F Lockable
R.B.I. Baseball '95 USA NO --- --- 4 ---
San Goku Shi 4 JAP NO --- --- 1 ---
Stellar Assault / Shadow Squadron USA & EUR YES Country 2 E ---
Stellar Assault JAP ? ? ? ? ---
Space Harrier EUR YES Freq. 2 A ---
Space Harrier JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 JU ---
Spider-Man : Web of Fire USA NO --- --- F Lockable
Star Trek : Starfleet Academy USA YES Country 1 4 Unlockable
Starwars Arcade EUR YES Country 1 E Unlockable
Starwars Arcade JAP YES Country 1 J Unlockable
Starwars Arcade USA YES Country 1 UJ Unlockable
T-MEK USA NO --- --- F ---
Tempo JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 5 ---
Toughman Contest USA NO --- --- F Lockable
Virtua Fighter EUR YES Freq. 2 A ---
Virtua Fighter JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 5 ---
Virtua Racing Deluxe EUR YES Freq. 2 A ---
Virtua Racing Deluxe USA YES Country 2 U ---
Virtua Racing Deluxe JAP ? ? ? ? ---
World Series Baseball USA NO --- --- F Lockable
WWF Raw JP, US & EU NO --- --- F Lockable
WWF Wrestle Mania USA NO --- --- F Lockable
Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 / Parasquad JAP & USA YES Freq. 2 5 ---

 

This is an exclusive modification from this website!
Translation from french by Emily "Emza" Kirby, many thanks to her !


© SegaKore - all partial or complete copies of this document are allowed
with mentionning the source "SegaKore" and its web address, thank you.

A propos de iGREKKESS
Fan de SEGA depuis 1991, après avoir reçu une Master System pour Noël. La découverte de Sonic sur Mega Drive m'a particulièrement marqué, je n'avais jamais rien vu d'aussi classe !
Aussi ai-je naturellement poursuivi sur Mega Drive, puis sur les autres consoles de l'éditeur, sans pour autant me fermer à la concurrence, bien que je ne renie pas mes années "Segamaniaque" ("Nintendo c'est du caca"). Spécialisé dans SEGA au fil des années, j'ai logiquement consacré un espace à celui-ci sur mon premier site, dés mon arrivée sur Internet en 1999...

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1 comment

download mobile legend

unbelievable. this is so strange that I find it amusing, thanks for sharing :)

06/05/19 @ 19:36

Factoïd

1986 : l'année de l'arrivée de la première borne dédiée de SEGA, la City Cabinet, et voir la quasi disparition des bornes dédiées au Japon à compter cet instant.

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