Sega Saturn on MiSTer FPGA; the early days of something amazing

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Considering the Saturn is a mess of silicon that devs struggled with when it was on the market AND emulation of Saturn is still iffy at best...the fact that a core developer currently in Ukraine dropped an alpha core for Saturn in FPGA is just amazing. Especially considering compared to the recent PS1 core this should hopefully get more people into playing Saturn (not sure how many Saturn fans are on Gaf??)

It's still V preliminary and most things either function "ok" or not at all, but from a technical achievement and a "damn thats cool let me help test games" standpoint...feels like magic.

Curious who on Gaf owns a MiSTer though?

 

Faithless83

Banned
Considering the Saturn is a mess of silicon that devs struggled with when it was on the market AND emulation of Saturn is still iffy at best...the fact that a core developer currently in Ukraine dropped an alpha core for Saturn in FPGA is just amazing. Especially considering compared to the recent PS1 core this should hopefully get more people into playing Saturn (not sure how many Saturn fans are on Gaf??)

It's still V preliminary and most things either function "ok" or not at all, but from a technical achievement and a "damn thats cool let me help test games" standpoint...feels like magic.

Curious who on Gaf owns a MiSTer though?

Hopefully this will help shed some light on the Saturn library and how many great games it had, specially if you're into arcade games.
 

PhaseJump

Banned
It seems like I have everything ready to go. Saturn hardware, ODE, PC has jo engine installed to laugh at the world. All the known games, ever. I have a mister with dedicated saturn pads right next to it. My patreon is still throwing money at srg320 like clockwork.

I just need to install the core, and a lot of caffeine to test all the crap.

I am not joining their Discord for anything though. Meh.

 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
It seems like I have everything ready to go. Saturn hardware, ODE, PC has jo engine installed to laugh at the world. All the known games, ever. I have a mister with dedicated saturn pads right next to it. My patreon is still throwing money at srg320 like clockwork.

I just need to install the core, and a lot of caffeine to test all the crap.

I am not joining their Discord for anything though. Meh.

lol nobody has to join the discord
 

Max_Po

Gold Member
I read on the Interzweb that Saturn Core started development before PS1 and the people working on it start bitching and fighting amongst themselves...eventually abandoning the project.

Then a developer started and finished the PS1 core ... while SATURN is still in EARLY development... any truth to this ?
 
Hopefully this will help shed some light on the Saturn library and how many great games it had, specially if you're into arcade games.
The real problem is that most of the good stuff was only released in Japan.

Which is becoming less of a problem because translators have been doing some amazing work in the past few years, not just Saturn but all systems.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
I read on the Interzweb that Saturn Core started development before PS1 and the people working on it start bitching and fighting amongst themselves...eventually abandoning the project.

Then a developer started and finished the PS1 core ... while SATURN is still in EARLY development... any truth to this ?
eh that's the area I stay out of...any sort of infighting / drama, so I am not sure to be honest with you
 

PhaseJump

Banned
I read on the Interzweb that Saturn Core started development before PS1 and the people working on it start bitching and fighting amongst themselves...eventually abandoning the project.

Then a developer started and finished the PS1 core ... while SATURN is still in EARLY development... any truth to this ?

PS1 core is a lot of work. Original development was dropped, it was picked up by someone with experience who overhauled the whole process, and got it done.

Saturn is being developed by srg320. A Ukrainian in the middle of a war zone, who randomly decided to build himself the SNES core everybody knows and loves. He's given us Sega 32X and now Saturn this year.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
PS1 core is a lot of work. Original development was dropped, it was picked up by someone with experience who overhauled the whole process, and got it done.

Saturn is being developed by srg320. A Ukrainian in the middle of a war zone, who randomly decided to build himself the SNES core everybody knows and loves. He's given us Sega 32X and now Saturn this year.
thanks for filling in the details...that's what I thought but again was not sure
 

RAIDEN1

Member
Imagine Sega: Thank god people don't want a Saturn mini, it was a mess to develop for....bad memories for the company... and dragged our name in the dirt....
 
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Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
I'm a Saturn junkie. Sadly my Saturn has stopped working, I bought another one second hand, but it quickly stopped working as well.

I can't wait for them to release some of these games on other systems. I got NiGHTS for Steam. But I really want Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers. And a bunch of other great games. The JRPGs, etc.. I just love that system.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Imagine Sega: Thank god people don't want a Saturn mini, it was a mess to develop for....bad memories for the company... and dragged our name in the dirt....

Man Id love if they could make an actual Sega mini. I know its hard to develope for but Im just fantasising lol.
So many great games
 

Digfox

Neo Member
Curious who on Gaf owns a MiSTer though?

Count Me In GIF by James Bond 007


I've posted my setup before. Bought mine in Dec 2020 and probably one of my best videogame purchases ever.

Only just caught up with the latest update over the weekend with the official PSX core. And playing Jotego's recent Track & Field release. Lost a few hours on that.

Ta for the heads up on the Saturn core. Going to be immense when it arrives.
 
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I'm a Saturn junkie. Sadly my Saturn has stopped working, I bought another one second hand, but it quickly stopped working as well.

I can't wait for them to release some of these games on other systems. I got NiGHTS for Steam. But I really want Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers. And a bunch of other great games. The JRPGs, etc.. I just love that system.
Imagine a parallel universe in which Sega and Nintendo produce new Saturn and Nintendo 64 systems as well as reprint the original games (maybe on demand). They could even make a profit from it.
 

Drew1440

Member
Imagine a parallel universe in which Sega and Nintendo produce new Saturn and Nintendo 64 systems as well as reprint the original games (maybe on demand). They could even make a profit from it.
Problem is modern Sega think the Genesis/Mega Drive was the only console they produced, who games have been re-released to death. I'd be down for a Sega Saturn Classic that was built off an FPGA and included a CD-drive to play original titles but came with modernised features like wireless controllers and an online store.
 

deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
Problem is modern Sega think the Genesis/Mega Drive was the only console they produced, who games have been re-released to death. I'd be down for a Sega Saturn Classic that was built off an FPGA and included a CD-drive to play original titles but came with modernised features like wireless controllers and an online store.
Easy to develop and to profit. Chances are that a Saturn/Dreamcast Mini wouldn't be that great in performance, not well sold and not well criticized - and most people that would say something I bet they won't get one, like Nintendo fans with Metroid

It's a bummer, but it's not like we don't have options. Hell, so much emulation out there. You can fucking get basically any new SoC and it can do the job kinda good
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
I'd be down for a Sega Saturn Classic that was built off an FPGA and included a CD-drive to play original titles but came with modernised features like wireless controllers and an online store.
I’d be down for a threesome with my wife and the new daycare teacher but some dreams we just gotta let go…

Anyway, I’m always paranoid about my Saturn breaking, and my new TV only has HDMI inputs (I do still have a CRT though) so I’m pretty interested in a mister…my gawd the prices though.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
One of the best systems of all time.

I had a Saturn for numerous years and amassed some 90 games for it. There are too many good games to count, provided you went on the import train. Mainly the fighting games and some shooters like Garegga have been ported and improved, but there is still lots of games that are best played on Saturn.
 

PhaseJump

Banned
I'm a Saturn junkie. Sadly my Saturn has stopped working, I bought another one second hand, but it quickly stopped working as well.

I can't wait for them to release some of these games on other systems. I got NiGHTS for Steam. But I really want Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers. And a bunch of other great games. The JRPGs, etc.. I just love that system.

If it's a drive failure, install an ODE like the Satiator or Fenrir. If it's a power issue, there are replacement PSU kits. Expensive but worth it to keep the old hardware alive.

still have my black saturn. should never have bought it of course. but hey ho.

Saturn scene took off in the last couple of years.

A ton of translations for a lot of big titles, Action Replay firmware that boots CD backups without modding, optical disc emulator kits to run games from SD cards, Tech demos and homebrew games that are beyond anything sold officially. Development libraries, Jo Engine. Now FPGA will ensure the hardware sticks around or is cloned.
 
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Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
If it's a drive failure, install an ODE like the Satiator or Fenrir. If it's a power issue, there are replacement PSU kits. Expensive but worth it to keep the old hardware alive.
It's a drive failure. I have my eye on a Satiator, seems like a good solution. Thank you for the advice.
 

Shifty1897

Member
I've always been a Saturn fan from afar. I could never afford one as a kid and by the time I could afford one, I couldn't afford the games I wanted (Panzer Dragoon Saga). I kept thinking there would be a remaster or a mini console or something but
s01e08 GIF
 

TheMan

Member
Been meaning to buy a saturn with fenrir off ebay. I tried setting up emulation on my series s but it was buggy as shit and I don't feel like tweaking it.
 

VGEsoterica

Gold Member
Been meaning to buy a saturn with fenrir off ebay. I tried setting up emulation on my series s but it was buggy as shit and I don't feel like tweaking it.
Yeah no tweaking will get Saturn perfect still via software emulation

But once it’s done on MiSTer it’s a better value for that vs Saturn with Fenrir IMO
 
Quick question: could I use one of those Mister FPGA to play arcade and neo-geo games while having it plugged to a CRT TV via SCART?
 

Digfox

Neo Member
Quick question: could I use one of those Mister FPGA to play arcade and neo-geo games while having it plugged to a CRT TV via SCART?

Yes. If you have the optional I/O board it will include VGA/YPbPr/RGB output via a 15-pin output (so need a lead to convert to SCART). There are other options such as RMC's recent MiSTer board that include a SCART socket or potentially running some HDMI converter - although not sure this is preferred.
 
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SF Kosmo

The Trigglypuff
MiSTER is definitely getting there. PC Saturn and PSX emulation are already quite good, so I am probably most excited to see them tackle the systems that have been more elusive in terms of accurate emulation. Jaguar, 3DO, that kind of thing. But still, pretty impressive, technically, and we've seen a lot of progress on MiSTER in recent months.
 
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SF Kosmo

The Trigglypuff
Yeah no tweaking will get Saturn perfect still via software emulation
Maybe not perfect, but Mednafen and SSF are quite good. Mednafen is probably close to 95% compatibility. That involves some special hacks that change the behavior when it detects certain games, but the long and the short of it is that shit runs.
 

TheMan

Member
Yeah no tweaking will get Saturn perfect still via software emulation

But once it’s done on MiSTer it’s a better value for that vs Saturn with Fenrir IMO
Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't Fenrir play files perfectly without tweaking since you're using real hardware? What exactly is mister?
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Saturn emulation is great, stop perpetuating such decades old myths (if not outright lies by now). Early days with hacked giri giri versions or whatever weren't great but emulators like Mednafen and SSF rival any for PSX in accuracy & efficiency for a huge percentage of the available titles and only lack in enhancing games beyond what they were (though deinterlacing or changing mesh transparencies into full in SSF are welcome). Kronos and other emus that opt for such enhancements first and foremost do suffer in other ways but they're merely an option, most games are perfectly playable, including most great projects and fan translations the very active homebrew communty releases.

(sampling from the outdated core port, which a recent LR tweet says they're working to update).
 
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SF Kosmo

The Trigglypuff
Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't Fenrir play files perfectly without tweaking since you're using real hardware? What exactly is mister?
MiSTer is an FPGA-based platform that can emulate a variety of classic gaming hardware, mostly 8 and 16-bit consoles and arcade machines.

FPGA works quite differently from the sort of software emulation you're used to. It's essentially a chip that can be programmed to reproduce the behavior of another chip, and, when properly configured, can produce a result that is cycle-accurate, and indistinguishable from real hardware, with no added latency.

Unlike real hardware though, it allows for some of the niceties of emulation, like video filters, and save states, and one machine can stand in for many real consoles.
 
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TheMan

Member
MiSTer is an FPGA-based platform that can emulate a variety of classic gaming hardware, mostly 8 and 16-bit consoles and arcade machines.

FPGA works quite differently from the sort of software emulation you're used to. It's essentially a chip that can be programmed to reproduce the behavior of another chip, and, when properly configured, can produce a result that is cycle-accurate, and indistinguishable from real hardware, with no added latency.

Unlike real hardware though, it allows for some of the niceties of emulation, like video filters, and save states, and one machine can stand in for many real consoles.
Damn this is amazing.

So would getting a mister be cheaper then buying a fenrir saturn? Those are going for 300 plus or more
 

SF Kosmo

The Trigglypuff
Damn this is amazing.

So would getting a mister be cheaper then buying a fenrir saturn? Those are going for 300 plus or more
Probably about the same, but it would cover more than just Saturn, it would do a couple dozen different classic consoles and computers, which is where the value comes in.
 

nkarafo

Member
MiSTER is definitely getting there. PC Saturn and PSX emulation are already quite good, so I am probably most excited to see them tackle the systems that have been more elusive in terms of accurate emulation. Jaguar, 3DO, that kind of thing. But still, pretty impressive, technically, and we've seen a lot of progress on MiSTER in recent months.
Both Jaguar and 3DO have good software emulators. Phoenix is good for both and Opera/4DO seem good enough for the 3DO.
 

nkarafo

Member
Yeah no tweaking will get Saturn perfect still via software emulation

Well... you are wrong. Both software emulation and FPGAs depend on the knowledge and skills of the developet making them. They can be as good and as bad as they can make them. There is nothing inherently better for either, especially when it comes to accuracy and compatibility.
 

Ladioss

Member
I'm ready for Saturn on mister, I'm just waiting for the release of something more final to give it a try.
Cleaning up my library of ISO files in the meantime.

Saturn emulation is great, stop perpetuating such decades old myths (if not outright lies by now).
I gave a try to mednafen two years ago when that Sakura Taisen english patch got released, and I must say it's true. Saturn emulation has improved by leaps and bounds compared to twenty years ago.
 
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