Playing Panzer Dragoon Saga in Yabause. (Questions)

I finally, after all of this time, managed to figure out how to get the Yabause Saturn emulator to work. I’m thinking about doing a Panzer Dragoon Saga playthrough in the near future.

Has anyone played Saga all the way through on this emulator? If not, what emulator have you played the game to completion on? Are there any optimal settings I should know about? Or any potential problems that might stop me from completing the game all the way through?

I remember a long time ago, someone mentioned they couldn’t get past the Sestren battle at the very end of the game. Was there any kind of fix to this or a way to get around the problem?

I tried Yabause a while back but didn’t get very good performance. Has it improved? SSF is usually my go-to Saturn emulator.

I’m not sure about Yabause’s overall performance. I got a few games running. Has anyone else here used it?

I’ve also used SSF before but never actually played any one game all the way to completion. For example: Dark Savior froze halfway through on SSF; ending my progress.

I’ll have to see if I can get Saga running on SSF as well. But for the most part, Yabause seems to be running it fine.

I’ve played Saga all the way through on SSF before. Ran fine, except for a minor graphical glitch in the Gigra battle.

With SSF, if not using an actual game disc, do you have to always mount the ISO of said game, or like Yabuase, is there a way just to open the ISO from the menu?

SSF’s compatibility with most Saturn games is very high. It does require images to be mounted, but once you point SSF to the virtual drive containing your game in the settings, it should remember it until you eject.

While Yabause is more modern and allows for extensive tweaking of graphics etc., it’s harder to get consistent performance out of. On my current mid-range gaming PC, Yabause gives me severe slowdown and graphical issues with PDS. Your mileage may vary depending on your setup.

Mednafen is an up-and-coming emulator that combines reliability with user option. A lot of people in the Saturn community prefer it. Unfortunately, I don’t have personal experience with this one, but have heard it requires a fairly beefy PC to run.

I have succeeded in playing on both SSF and Mednafen. Was very surprised at the quality of Mednafen after such a short period of time. RetroArch uses the Mednafen Saturn core, but they manage to break it with every release. There are some great simple videos for using Mednafen. Mednafen doesn’t require you to mount the ISO first. SSF needs the ISO it to be mounted via programs like DAEMON Tools Lite. With Mednafen, once you have it set up, you can either drag/drop the CUE or ISO over the Mednafen exe file, or run it from the command line. I may or may not be working on a simple GUI to make it easier to use Mednafen using Kivy and Python. If I ever do get that going to my satisfaction, I will post the program on GitHub for anyone to download.

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Another vote for Mednafen. It’s played everything I’ve thrown at it on the Sega Saturn, and I’ve thrown some fairly obscure stuff at it and it all runs fine (including Saga!). I mean hell, I got Soukygurentai and Princess Crown working on it! Now, Mednefen requires some beef from your PC, but if you have anything approaching a modern gaming PC, you’ll be fine. Just don’t run Mednafen on Grandma’s toaster.

Mednafen is a bit clunky to use in that it doesn’t come with a proper GUI so it’s a bit weird setting up a PC controller and other settings, but there are some youtube videos on how to set up Mednefen. And once you do, you’ll never want to touch another Saturn emulator ever again.

I attempted Mednafen a couple weeks ago, but after setting everything up I couldn’t get a game to work. The interface and menus were all over the place. Maybe I was doing something wrong I don’t know…

Legaia, check this YouTube video out. Really easy and clear on how to set it up for playing Saturn games.

I did exactly what it said in the video but it didn’t work. Downloaded win 64 bit version as that is my operating system. When I set it to use as admin, and opened it up I got this message:

“No command line arguments specified”

It then made the new files in the folder.

Next, I added the fix files. Then after dragging the CUE. of a game into the Mednafen exe I got this message:

“Error opening CD/unsafe…”

I tried multiple versions of the CUE and bin files from different games and nothing loads. I only get that message…

Open up your cue file in Notepad++ and see what it says. A CUE file is essentially a very tiny document that is meant to tell burning software where exactly the file to be burned is located at. Obviously, we’re not burning the file, but Mednafen would use this file to determine where the ISO is located at. However, if the location specified in the CUE file is not where your ISO is at, then you’re going to get errors, naturally. You wouldn’t want Mednafen to run whatever random garbage is located at whatever you might be telling it to run.

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I second what Hukos said. It sounds like the CUE file is pointing to some specific directory or file that isn’t the same name or location of your files. Disk one should look something like this:

TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
PREGAP 00:02:00
INDEX 01 60:59:23
INDEX 00 61:07:60
INDEX 01 61:09:60

The file name obviously needs to match. I ripped my own and the program you use to rip them sometimes injects a file path where the name is. Make sure the name is just the name of your bin file (case sensitive). You can edit this file in notepad or notepad++ or something like that in Windows. On a mac (or Windows) you can also use the Atom text editor.

Every ISO I have is in its own separate folder. So, I have a folder called “Sega Saturn Games”, then within that folder I have individual folders for each game.

I tried Magic Knight Rayearth for example:

It is in its own folder only containing two files: the bin and the cue file as follows:

060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U)
060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U)

The top one is a .bin file and the bottom one is a .cue file. I tried dragging both of them over the Mednafen exe and nothing…

When I open the .cue up in notepad I get this:

TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
PREGAP 00:02:00
INDEX 01 59:10:57

It looks like the file path in the CUE file is different from the one you described (likely because the folder structure has changed since the CUE file was created). This video explains how to see what the current file path is in Windows 10:

Your cue file is pointing to your C:\SATURN folder. FILE “C:\SATURN\060 MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH (U).BIN”

Change that to: FILE “060 MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH (U).BIN”. As long as you keep them in the same directory/folder, this should work.

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Okay, I started over and made a new folder. it’s called “Saturn Roms”. this is its location on my computer:

C:\Users\nxjta\Desktop\Saturn Roms

I only put the two Magic Knight Rayearth files in this folder (the .bin and .cue files) The ISO files are both written as:

060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U)

I opened up notepad and saved it as:

FILE “C:\Users\nxjta\Desktop\Saturn Roms\060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U).BIN” BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
PREGAP 00:02:00
INDEX 01 59:10:57

When I drag the .cue file into the Madnafen exe I get the same error message:

“Error opening CD:Referenced path “C:\Users\nxjta\Desktop\Saturn Roms\060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U).BIN” is potentially unsafe. Contains colon. Contains backslash. Refer to the documentation about the “filesys.untrusted_fip_check” setting.”

So, what am I doing wrong? Do I need the “FILE” and “BINARY” parts at the beginning and end of the file name? Do I even need to write the whole thing out like that? And does editing and saving it in notepad change its directory? And what about the .bin file does that directory need to be corrected as well?Nothing seems to be working…

Remove C:\Users\nxjta\Desktop\Saturn Roms\ from your cue file. It isn’t needed. Try that and let us know.

Okay, I’ll try it when I get a chance. Do you want me to keep the “FILE” and “BINARY” parts at the beginning and end?

Yes, those are flags needed by the system. Having the path as part of the name in the cue file only causes issues with emulators IMHO. Only remove what I said above. Make sure you haven’t renamed the bin or cue file. Based on your cue, the bin/cue need to be named 060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U).BIN and 060 Magic Knight Rayearth (U).CUE