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ID Category [?] Severity [?] Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
07588 Media Support Trivial Always Mar 7, 2020, 19:55 Mar 12, 2020, 13:18
Tester ArcadeHistory View Status Public Platform MAME (Official Binary)
Assigned To Resolution Open OS Windows 10 (64-bit)
Status [?] Confirmed Driver
Version 0.219 Fixed in Version Build 64-bit
Fixed in Git Commit Github Pull Request #
Summary MESS-specific 07588: snespal: Japanese NTSC games should NOT run on the snespal machine
Description Back in the 90s, I used to have an adaptator in the hope to play Super Famicom (NTSC) on my Super Nintendo (PAL).

In MAME (screenshot attached), I can run "Final Fantasy VI" on the snespal... It won't on the real hardware.
Steps To Reproduce Via command line :
./mame64.exe snespal ffant6j
Additional Information
Github Commit
Flags Verified with Original
Regression Version
Affected Sets / Systems snespal
Attached Files
png file icon Capture2.png (202,842 bytes) Mar 7, 2020, 19:55 Uploaded by ArcadeHistory
There are no relationship linked to this issue.
User avatar
Mar 9, 2020, 22:18
Some games will run on PAL and NTSC and silently switch between what timing is needed internally. I suspect this might be the case here.
Others will detect the PAL or NTSC and simply not allow you use to a non-video compatible region showing and appropriate "This Game Pak is not designed for your Super Famicom or SuperNES" (example using ploku on snespal). Final Fantasy 6, in this case, was never released in Europe in the PAL format to my knowledge. Wikipedia has it listed as "N/A":

The form factor (cartridge design/pinout or other physicial obstructions) were the reasons an adapter was needed for even the same region (eg. NTSC US and Japan). I'm not so sure this is a bug as the games 'could' be booted in other regions' machines.
User avatar
Mar 9, 2020, 23:28
edited on: Mar 9, 2020, 23:30
I remember the NTSC Japanese cartridges had the same form as the PAL cartridges. Only the NTSC USA cartridges has a different form. So, you can plug a Japanese NTSC cartridge in a PAL console but absolutely no NTSC games started on a PAL console. Sometimes, a screen "This Game Pak is not designed for...." appeared,, sometimes only a black screen appeared (it was the case of Final Fantasy 6, without the adaptator). It was because PAL systems were 50hz, and NTSC systems were 60 hz.

I also tested "Mega Man X3 [Euro)" on the NTSC Snes machine, the game shows the screen "This Game Pak is not designed for...." but the game starts some seconds after ! It should not... And I tested Rockman X3 (Jpn) on the snespal machine, the game runs without any warning screen and is playable ! I never saw this kind of situations with the real hardware. We always needed an adaptator in the hope to boot Imported games.
User avatar
Mar 12, 2020, 02:28
We don’t emulate the CIC (lockout) chip. The same is true for the NES. This well-known. (Japanese and North American SuFami/SNES use compatible CIC chips but different cartridge form factors. Japanese cartridges will work in North American SNES if you remove the keying tab from the console that prevents insertion. North American cartridges will work in Japanese SuFami if you remove the board from the cartridge shell so it fits in the slot. PAL SNES uses an incompatible CIC chip so the cartridges are not interchangeable even though they’re the same physical shape as Japanese cartridges. But since we don’t emulate the CIC, there’s nothing stopping them from working in MAME.)