Got Panzer Dragoon Saga running in the Retroarch Emulator!

So, I got Panzer Dragoon Saga running on the Retroarch emulator with the Kronos core. And it upscales and smooths out the graphics nicely! Although you’ll have to find the Bios files yourself but if you do a google search there is a pack on archive.org. So, put those files in the system folder in your main Retroarch installation folder. Here is a quick setup video that helped me set up the emulator. It’s pretty easy:

Once your core is downloaded you need to set up the game files. Retroarch will scan and play any .cue file of a specific game. Put your game files in a folder on your computer and move on to the next step. For a multi disc game like Panzer Dragoon Saga you need to go through an additional step. You need to set up a .m3u text document containing all of your game files. So open up notebook or notebook++ and copy the name of your game files exactly for each disc. Example:

Visual Guide: Multi-Disc Games Tutorial - RADocs

042 Panzer Dragoon Saga Disc 1 of 4 (U).cue

042 Panzer Dragoon Saga Disc 2 of 4 (U).cue

042 Panzer Dragoon Saga Disc 3 of 4 (U).cue

042 Panzer Dragoon Saga Disc 4 of 4 (U).cue

Then go to file and save as. You can save this file whatever you want so I saved mine as: Panzer Dragoon Saga.m3u. But the ending extension is very important and it needs to be .m3u

NOTE: If you can’t see the .txt extension at the end of your text document title you need to change your settings to show known file extensions. In Windows 10 it’s very simple, you can find that on your folder under ‘View’ and a checkbox reading ‘File name extensions’.

Once you create this file put it in the same directory as your game files. Then when in Retroarch use this file to load your game. Go to main menu/load content and select your game folder location and load that m3u file. Your game should boot up and you can select which core you want to use. I suggest the Kronos core as you can upscale the graphics.

When you actually have to switch discs you will need to press F1 and go into the quick menu and perform these steps:

Play until the “Please insert disc 2” prompt.

Quick Menu > Disc Control > Eject Disc.

QUICK MENU > RESUME, just for a second.

Quick Menu > Disc Control > Current Disc Index, change for disc 2.

And finally: Insert Disc.

For all other single disc games you can just go to main menu/load content and just load the .cue game file as is.

Game Settings :

While a game is running if you press F1 you will be presented with a number of emulator options. It is here that you can fine tune your graphics settings or make any save states. For the Kronos Sega Saturn core I suggest these settings:

Resolution : 1080p or 720p

Polygon Mode : gpu-tesselation (will upscale the graphics)

Improved Mesh : on

Playing Games in 3D/VR:

Also, you can play games in VR/3D as well with this emulator with no resolution loss. With a special shader that splits the screen. So PDS will look even better in your VR headset! Note: this works with the Playstation, N64, Dreamcast, and SNES cores as well. Here are some instructions to set up the Side by Side shader:

Note: first in Retroarch settings go to settings: Video/Scaling/Aspect Ratio/and set the aspect ratio to 16:9.

Now, when a game is running press F1 and scroll down to Shaders. Next go to Load and select shaders_slang/stereoscopic-3d/and select the side-by-side-simple shader. This shader will split the screen. Go back and then select Shader Parameters. In these options set each one to:

Eye Separation: -0.50 or -0.55

Vertical Placement: 0.42

Horizonal Placement: 0.99

Zoom: 0.70

If the Shader fails to load you might have to fix the file manually. Might be fixed and updated later but in case it isn’t, here is how to fix it:

Go into Retroarch installation folder. Go into the shaders folder. Next, go into shaders_slang folder. Go into stereoscopic-3d folder. right click side-by-side-simple and open it up in notepad++. Change this line:

shaders0 = shaders/side-by-side-simple.slang

To:

shader0 = shaders/side-by-side-simple.slang

Then go to file and save.

You can also manually increase the number count of the Eye Separation by editing that file as well. So you will get an even more precise 3D effect. Here is what you have to do:

Go to: [retroarch dir]\shaders\shaders_slang\stereoscopic-3d\shaders\side-by-side-simple.slang

Right click on side-by-side-simple.slang and open it up in notepad or notepad++. Edit this line near the top:

#pragma parameter eye_sep “Eye Separation” 0.30 -1.0 5.0 0.05

Change the 0.05 to 0.01

This will allow to eye separation to increase in increments of 1 instead of 5. Make sure to go to file and save your changes. With these new changes in place I suggest a starting number of -0.52 for the Eye Separation.

Next all you have to do is merge the screen with a free program like desktop+ or bigscreen. But I suggest the paid version of Virtual Desktop as it has more options as far as merging the screens go.

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Yabause is dead though. Might be better to support using the Mednafen core as it is still supported.

That’s fine but Mednafen can’t upscale or smooth the graphics like Yabause can. So if the games you want to play are working good with the Yabause core it’s best to use that. Especially 3D games like PDS or Nights. Mednafen just looks all blurry and pixelated.

@legaiaflame I think it would be worth adding a page (or pages) to the community wiki talking about how to get the Panzer Dragoon games working under different emulators. A definitive place that we can point people to for how to play the games on modern systems. What do you think?

I think that would be perfect! I know Retroarch is popular so that’s one option to talk about and Mednafen’s compatibility is almost perfect. And Yabause by itself is good as well. Let me try to compile a few guides here and then someone can add the page on the wiki.

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How to Emulate the Panzer Dragoon Series

Mednafen Setup: Mednafen - Multi-system Emulator

  • Within the mednafen.cfg, file and using notepad or notepad++ to edit it, make these changes and save:

Video Settings:

-Hit ctrl+f, search for ss.stretch

change ss.stretch aspect_mult2 to ss.stretch aspect

-ctrl+f

search for ss.correct_aspect

0 is native

1 will squash or stretch to 4:3

-ctrl+f search for ss.videoip

0 will give you sharp pixels

1 will apply bilinear filtering (a blur)

Other Settings:

-ctrl+f search for video.frameskip

set this to 0

so the emulator renders all frames

ctrl+f search for ss.scsp.resamp_quality

sound quality for the scsp

0 is lowest

10 is highest

default is 4

-ctrl+f search for ss.midsync

setting to 1 can reduce input lag

but increases CPU load

-ctrl+f search for cd.image_memcache

if you have a good bit of RAM

setting this to 1 will load the entire game into your RAM

Basic Emulator Settings:

Alt + Shift + 1 → Set controls for Player 1

Alt + Shift + 2 → Set controls for Player 2

Alt + Enter → Full Screen

0 - Save Screen Snapshot

F5 - Save Game State

F7 - Load Game State

F11 - Toggle FPS Text

ctrl+shift+esc (only use this if you have to force close Mednafen)

Loading a game:

To start a game drag an Cue file of your chosen Saturn game over the mednafen.exe file found in your main directory folder.

Retroarch emulator setup:

Go to RetroArch site and choose which device you want to install the emulator for. Once you have Retroarch installed you will need to put the bios files in the system folder found in your Retroarch main installation folder. Although you’ll have to find the Bios files yourself but if you do a google search there is a pack on archive.org.

Once you have the emulator installed go to main menu and select the “Online Updater”. Update everything in here. Then in Retroarch settings go to settings: Video/Scaling/Aspect Ratio/and set the aspect ratio to 16:9.

Next you will need to download the Sega Saturn cores. A core is the emulator itself that you install within the Retroarch user interface. You will have a choice between 4 different Saturn emulators or cores. Go to main menu and select download core. I recommend the Yaubuse core as this core can upscale and smooth out the graphics.

Once your core is downloaded you need to set up the game files. Retroarch will scan and play any .cue file of a specific game. So once you have that .cue game file in a folder on your computer go into Retroarch and go to import content. Chose Scan Directory or Scan File. Locate your game folder and select the .cue file of the game you want to import into Retroarch. Once you have the game scanned you will notice on the menu that a “Saturn” icon will pop up. Select that and your game to start up the emulator.

Full Yabause 0.9.15 Setup:

Go to settings and General :

First, select a folder for your Saturn BIOS. You will have to find them online. Do a search in Google for “Sega Saturn BIOS v1.00a (1995)(Sega)(US)(M6)” . These are the ones I used. Put them in the same folder as the Yaubause 0.9.15 installation folder. Next, CD-Rom should be set to ISO-File Virtual Drive . uncheck Enable Built in HLE Bios . Translation option should be set to use system locale . Lastly, make sure Enable Frame Limiter is checked. If not, the framerate will be way too high. And check off Enable Multithreading .

Next, go to Video :

Select OpenGL as the video interface. Select Bilinear Filtering . Also, for OSD Core use Software OSD Interface . Fullscreen Resolution should be 1920X1080. Most importantly now is the video upscaling option at the bottom. This option will upscale and smooth out your graphics. So, set User Integer Pixel Scaling to 4.

Next, go to Sound :

The best option here is SDL Sound Interface .

Next, go to Input :

I was able to get the L and R buttons mapped with the pad option only. The 3D control pad option would not map the L and R buttons. Select the controller for Pad . You’ll have to map the movement to the d-pad because for some reason Yabause has issues with controller input settings. But the pad option will ensure you at least have all of your buttons mapped, just without analog movement. And the L and R have to be mapped to the top L and R buttons, doesn’t map to any back triggers of a 360 controller for some reason… But ironically for some odd reason the 3D controller option works with Nights into Dreams just fine though…except when you’re walking around with the kids.

Lastly, go to View :

Select hide on fullscreen. This will keep the top menu invisible when you go into fullscreen. You can go into fullscreen by going to the top menu,view, and select fullscreen. Once in fullscreen you can exit by pressing the command alt+Enter on your keyboard.

To load a game/ISO go to file and Open ISO. You will need to open a .CUE file of the game you want to play. And to save go to file, save state, or load state.

You can go ahead and add new page(s); anyone can contribute to the wiki directly. We can iterate and reorganise based on what is created.

Okay I set up the page called “How to Emulate the Panzer Dragoon Series”.

Feel free to update and edit it as anyone wants. I need someone to add how to change discs in Retroarch and Mednafen as I have not done a full multi disc playthrough on said emulators. It involves creating a .m3u file.

Someone needs to add the emulator section to the main banner sub categories as well.

Question: In Retroarch is Mednafen even on the Saturn core list? I see Beetle Saturn is that Mednafen by any chance?

Well YabaShanshiro and the Beetle Saturn cores didn’t work. They weren’t able to load the game. I was only able to get Kronos and Yabause to work with Panzer Dragoon Saga.

I wish I could get PDS working on Yabause. Unfortunately I have a crappy 2.16 GHz laptop.

While Yabsuse and Kronos cores work for some reason you cant make a save state. When ever I try to make a save state the emulator crashes. But I can save normally though…Don’t know if anyone can test this or come up with any reason why making a save state would crash the emulator…?

Thanks. We’ll need to edit it into more of a wiki format, but this gives us a starting point to build upon.

any video on Panzer Saga working? would love to see what it looks like

Here is a video of the game running on Kronos and upscaled!

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wow!