Saturn Emulation FAQ May 2007
This FAQ Contains:
What is Giri Giri?
SSF was the first Saturn emulator to actually run games and the inspiration for this site. Amazingly the emulator is developed by a single person called Shima and emulates almost all of the Saturn as of 2006, something many people thought was impossible. Its an impressive feat in coding but as such only runs full speed on a high-end PC.
Giri Giri was the second Saturn Emulation to run games but was discontinued as SEGA bought it for their downloadable Saturn games service in Japan. We are no longer supporting Giri Giri as due to SEGA buying it there is no legal version available anymore.
Satourne was the last Saturn emulator to be developed. Its releases are few and far between spending most of its time in private alpha/beta testing. As such I havent actually been able to run any games on it as the working games always seem to be limited to the private beta only. Generally I am not supporting Satourne myself but I will glady add entries to the compatibility list for it if anyone submits them.
All Saturn emulators need a fairly beefy PC to run due to the complexity of the hardware they emulate.
CPU - At least a Pentium 4 3.2Ghz or AMD64. SSF cannot run on a Pentium 3, Duron, Athlon XP or 32bit Semprons (Socket A) due to requiring SSE2 instructions not available in these and older CPUs. A Core 2 Duo E6300 is recommended for full-speed.
Sound card - Most modern sound chips should work fine. Realtek High Definition audio (built into many motherboards) is known to work well.
Graphics card - A fast Direct X 9 compliant graphics card. The SSF author recommended at least a GeForce 6600GT and I too have verified this works perfectly even the AGP version. In theory an ATI/AMD Radeon 9800 should also be fine but I am unable to test this. Intel graphics built in to many laptops and motherboards are too slow to run SSF properly.
CD-ROM drive - 8x speed ATAPI compliant minimum. Any modern IDE CD,DVD,HD-DVD or even Blu-ray drive should work. Some Blu-ray drives do not support CDs however so bear that in mind. Note that it IS possible to make copies of Saturn CDs and burn them onto DVDs (for example if your drive will not read CDs but you have a friend who can do this for you) but you MUST own the original CD or else you are breaking the law.
Direct X - DirectX 9 is REQUIRED.
Windows 2000, Windows XP (all versions), Windows XP 64Bit Edition.
Your PC isnt fast enough.
SSF is now able to emulate the Saturn full-speed if you meet the specifications listed above. If your PC DOES meet the above and it still runs slow you might have found an incompatible game, have problems with your graphics drivers, your graphics card or a misconfiguration of your PC.
Why does the Saturn need such a powerful PC? The following should put things into perspective:
The BIOS image is the "basic input output system" code which tells the Saturn the
basic things to do when you switch it on. It does other things too which we dont need to
We have a link to the bios files on this site, just go to the DOWNLOADS page.
Technically it does but not what you are thinking. Most emulators run using ROMs because the consoles they emulate were based on Cartridges. Obviously its not easy to plug a cartridge into the PC so instead you download an IMAGE of the cartridge off the Internet commonly known as a ROM image.
The Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation don't run on cartridges though - they use CD-ROMs. As PCs can easily read CD-ROMs you do not need ROM files for Saturn emulators, they can read the CD directly from your PCs like any other CD. We do not support downloading ROM images for Saturn games, it is illegal and theres little excuse as Saturn games are still readily available on eBay or many second-hand stores.
Save the BIOS image into the same directory as SSF and then load the SSF executable. Theres a few things you will have to configure before SSF will work.
Go into the Option menu and then select Option. Now follow the instructions for the options on this page:
Saturn BIOS: Click Browse and find the BIOS image you just saved and select it.
You may also want to configure the controller. If you have a joypad plugged into your PC you can use it for Saturn games by configuring it here.
Click Controller and then Redefine next to Player 1:A. It will ask you to press the relevant button on your pad you want to assign to the corresponding button on the Saturn pad. Please note, not all buttons on a PC joypad can necessarily be used. If you press a button and it doesnt move onto the next it probably is not supported and you will need to choose a different one. You can mix between the pad and keyboard if your pad doesnt have enough buttons as often you will only need say A and C buttons but not B in the game you are playing so B could be assigned to the keyboard.
The default keys (if you did not configure them above) are:
A,B,C = Z,X,C on keyboard,
F1 = To open the CD-ROM drive
To close SSF press the Escape key.
Finally, select EZ Setting and click Set under Highest Compatibility (Very Slow). Despite the name it is not very slow, it runs exactly the same on a Core 2 Duo as the other options except some games work which do not work on the other settings. However if you DO have speed issues you can always come back here again later and try a different option.
Now close SSF (all options require you to close and reopen SSF to apply), load it back up and the Saturn should boot.
Be sure you followed the instructions above.
Also, make sure your CD-ROM drive is IDE ATAPI compliant as this is what SSF is designed for and will not work with SCSI or Proprietary CD-ROM drives.
Compatibility in SSF is slowly increasing but on some rare occasions a new version of SSF may fail to run a game that an earlier version did. Also be sure you followed the instructions above for configuring SSF.
Please also bear in mind that there are different version of the same game out there and compatibility changes between
them. Even two copies of a game from the same region may on rare occasions be different versions so there is a lot of variables
to consider. And whats more, even two different PCs might run the emulators differently because you may have a different version of
Windows, a different CPU, a different graphics card, incompatible graphics card drivers, etc.
Also please bear in mind that a large percentage of information here is supplied by the visitors so if something is incorrect then the only way I will know this is if someone tells me. If ANYTHING is wrong please let me know and you will be credited (or not, your choice) for supplying the information.
This FAQ is the property of SSF Tribute. Please do not steal it just direct people to the site to view it for themselves.