PAL demo disc of Panzer Dragoon Saga

Recently I bought the PAL demo disc of Panzer Dragoon Saga and am almost finished. I am having trouble finding a PAL disc 2 for the series and was wondering if I could use the save file from the PAL version with the NTSC version of the game. Will the NTSC version recognize the save file from the PAL version?

My guess would be yes, since I know the titles of Saturn save files seem to be the same regardless of region (ie Bust-A-Move 2’s save file is for Puzzle Bobble 2). I doubt anyone has firsthand experience though, since most folks don’t own multiple non-Japanese versions…

So, if you’re lucky, yes. But to be safe, I would recommend just keeping an eye out for a PAL copy.

It doesn’t take too long to play through Disc 1 again anyway (about two or three hours). Most copies of PDS on eBay should include a copy of Disc 1.

At least as far as the save title is concerned, you should be okay; it’s not region-specific (I checked the article about the game on Sega Retro, which notes save titles where possible).

Solo, Disc 1 can take a while if one spends ages training against Lazara in the Forbidden Zone! :anjou_happy:

Thanks you guys, I think I’m going to try to find a PAL copy but if I can’t in the next couple of weeks I might try the NTSC version. I’ll let you know how it goes.

True, especially if you’ve dedicated a lot of time to levelling up your dragon. But having a low level dragon can make the game more challenging, which could be seen as a good thing; the game is pretty easy once you learn the strategies.

Guys, now I have a new problem.
When I get to the last battle on disc 1, the game gives out and goes to the Sega Saturn start up screen and it reads “Cartridge unsuitable for system.” I am using an Action Replay. Any help you guys can give me for this?


True, especially if you’ve dedicated a lot of time to levelling up your dragon. But having a low level dragon can make the game more challenging, which could be seen as a good thing; the game is pretty easy once you learn the strategies.[/quote]

Excellent point! While the game is an all-round fantastic experience, I often wish it was more of a challenge. This is one way to accomplish that, so why did I never really think of this solution before? :smiley:

It?s worth mentioning the PAL version was never ?optimised? for the 50 Hz consoles of that region, which means that (1) it technically runs at 5/6ths of its proper speed thereon, and (2) playing it on a NTSC system yields a proper 60 Hz (faster / more fluid and alleviating issues such as desynchronisation of voices and animations in cutscenes). Thus, it was nice to finally play my PAL copy on a Japanese system.

I on the other hand enjoy playing the japanese version slowed down to 50Hz, so I can play in 100Hz mode on my CRT TV :anjou_happy:

Heh, I guess it?s the same as 50 Hz but with much less / no risk of visible flicker?

This gives me a good opportunity to post about something I noticed earlier today in Lance?s version differences article:

[quote]PAL Version

This is the version of the game that was released in Europe and other PAL territories. The PAL versions of the Panzer Dragoon games are based on the US versions, but they’re also “PAL optimised”: modified slightly so that they’ll run correctly on 50Hz PAL televisions, as opposed to the 60Hz NTSC televisions that the Japanese and US versions were designed for.[/quote]

A semantic aside: It?s not that NTSC/unoptimised games can?t (region protection excepted) run on 50 Hz consoles (not necessarily ?televisions?)?but that they will be slowed down and bordered, in comparison to the same game running on a 60 Hz system. PAL optimisation alters the game?s timings to bring it back to its original speed and reformats its video output to occupy the entire screen.

Anyway! My actual reason for posting is that the bolded text implies that all three games were optimised in this way; however, Panzer Dragoon Saga was not; the PAL edition is identical to the US one with the exception of their region codes. Lance himself got this right later in the article:

[quote]PAL gamers will probably have noticed the small graphical errors that occur in certain cut-scenes throughout the PAL version of Panzer Dragoon Saga (cut-scenes that use in-game graphics rather than FMV). One of the most obvious glitches can be seen in the sequence where Edge comes across the Arachnoth boss at the end of the Valley area, as when he sees clouds of dust being thrown up in the distance, they seem to be emerging from a point up in the sky rather than from behind the cliffs as they’re supposed to. Numerous similar glitches occur in other cut-scenes in the PAL version, some of them so small that players would almost certainly overlook them if they didn’t know what those scenes were intended to look like.

The reason for these errors is rather odd. Instead of it being an slip-up in the PAL optimisation of the game, it turns out that the PAL version of Panzer Dragoon Saga is not actually PAL optimised: it’s essentially just the US version of the game with its region code changed. Because a PAL Saturn won’t display as many frames per second as a US Saturn, it compensates by running the game slightly slower than intended, and it’s this that causes the cut-scene errors: because of the incorrect running speed, certain graphical effects are rendered out of sync. On the other hand, if the PAL version of the game is played on a US or Japanese Saturn (with something like an Action Replay cartridge), these glitches don’t occur at all.[/quote]

Hardly life-threatening, just something I thought might be worth mentioning. :anjou_happy:

Good spotting, Ancient Weapon. Since Lance has moved on from the Panzer Dragoon community, I’ve taken over maintenance of his articles. So, I’ve updated his text with your wording.

I?m famous! But sorry if I wasn?t clear enough: only Saga was left unoptimised. The other two run at the correct speed and unbordered on PAL systems.

Still, I was happy to get an NTSC version of Zwei and thus play it at a smoother frame rate (Eins has too low an FPS too low for the difference to be noticeable).

Okay, how does it look now?

Just right! :anjou_happy:

wow, this told me just what I needed to know. Japanese saturn, PAL PDS. Thanks for the link mate. Id like to add to this thread that Ive had terrible luck playing the PAL Zwei on my japanese Saturn. It stretches out to fill a screen bigger than my TV so the subtitles in the cut scenes are out of frame! Really worried me re: buying Saga, but amazing luck the PAL Saga isnt PAL optimised.

I’ve had similar problems with 50htz only Dreamcast games. For example, playing the PAL version of Resident Evil: Code Veronica on my NTSC Dreamcast (long story why I bought one).

These days it probably doesn’t matter too much, since Xbox 360 and PS3 games are all in HD (not sure how the Wii handles PAL games on an NTSC Wii though).