Weird/different Japanese Sega Saturn

Started by tertiumsquid, July 08, 2010, 07:09:55 PM

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Ok, so I found this gem in a thrift store today for $15, and decided to open it up before plugging it in.  Turns out it had a mod chip installed that is based on a PIC, but it also has the region set to Do Not Use (JP6 JP9 JP11 JP13, or all GND).  It wasn't modified to that, as far as I can tell, as most of the connections are with traces instead of zero-ohm resistors.  Also, the board layout is almost the same as the HiSaturn Navi (bottom two pics here), though it definitely isn't a Navi.  Standard grey old oval-button Japanese Saturn.

Now I still haven't plugged it in, as I still want to make sure it'll work on my 120v house instead of 100v Japanese AC, so I don't know if there's anything else different about it.

So any ideas why it's region is set the way it is?

NFG Note: The attachments on this message are missing.  Sorry.


Great pics.  =)

Several models used the navi-alike board, that's not unusual.  You don't show jumper 08/09, are you sure 09 is closed?  I'd have to guess this is an Asia/NTSC unit...


I just noticed you have to scroll right in the first pic to see JP8/9, and 9 is definitely closed with a trace.  6 and 11 are closed with resistors, and 9/13 are closed with traces.  None of the solder looks tampered with, and I see no flux around it to suggest any rework, so it looks factory done.  At least I'd only have to change 6 to 7 and it's JP region, or change 11 to 10 for US, but I'll boot it up to see what happens first (gotta wait until the wife's at work; she doesn't know I bought ANOTHER Saturn!).

Thanks for the info on the navi-alike boards.  If you take a look at the second pic though, you'll notice that the strip of white is to the right of jp6/7, and the pics from the Navi have that to the left.  I guess I'm more wondering if this is the "missing" board from the wiki and if it's worth adding.


There have been complaints that there's an error in the wiki page, which is entirely likely - I am a very sloppy person.  It's entirely likely that you've got an Asian or Japanese system and the wiki is wrong.  =(

And oh yeah!  I see 8/9 now!  Dur...    :-[


I got around to testing it just now, and apart from booting burnt games, it is a normal Japanese system.  Boots original Japanese games, but not US games without an Action Replay.  The system has bios 1.01 if that makes any difference.  Ran perfectly on 110/120v or whatever my walls actually are.

So it seems that JP6/7 might not affect the region, for Japanese at least.  I have two of my Saturns modified with a region switch, and since I based it from the wiki it switches between JP7/11 and JP6/10 from a DPDT, so I know that 7/9/11/13 will boot Japanese games on a gen1 and gen2 US Saturn.  If I feel inspired, I might use one of the four Saturns I own to test every jumper combination, so long as I can find an ISO of something from every region (unlikely)...

Anyone else reading this who've done the region mod, have you seen anything that deviated from the table in the wiki?


it wont be a complete test until you try legit games with no chip..
you should grab some cheap games off ebay to test with, the mod chip could be making things work that normally wouldnt.


I have legit games from Japan and North America, and the NA ones don't work without the Action Replay in either this system or one with a region switch, so I'll presume that the mod chip only does copy protection and not region protection.  In fact, I believe no mod chip for Saturn can bypass region protection, due to the way it's implemented.  Could be wrong, but both of my mod chips work this way.

I believe that ISO's from each region are sufficient for testing in my systems, rather than trying to track down legit games from Asia NTSC, Mid + S America NTSC, Korea, Asia PAL, Europe Etc, and Mid + S America PAL, as even ISO's of each would be difficult to find.  Perhaps easier would be to take a single ISO and patch it to each subsequent region.  I basically intend to solder some SPDT switches to each set of jumpers and switch them through all 16 combinations if necessary.

Also, I'm unemployed and broke.  I can't even afford to buy games I actually want...


ah fair enough, i thought maybe the jumper settings could affect copy protection is all.

I thought the different region settings were just variations of the same three regions (korean and japanese games interchangeable between consoles etc).. I didnt realise youd need more than three games.