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Playing European (PAL) games on NTSC systems


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My question is that if any Sega game (including for Master System) made in Europe was only meant to be played at PAL speeds as they were originally developed?


Not just on emulators but also on real hardware like playing an imported PAL game on a NTSC Genesis (with a display that handles both 50Hz & 60 Hz refresh rates).


There were dual-region games that were ported from the Amiga computer to the Mega Drive that were also sold in the US for the Genesis.  The game's speed is slightly faster on NTSC systems, some games run fine at 60 Hz (like James Pond) but something like Gods ran too fast and felt way off control wise.


So I'm wondering what other people's thoughts are on the matter...



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  • 3 months later...

It's actually a bit inconsistent from what I've seen.  As an example, the SMS releases for Sonic 2 and Sonic Chaos were ONLY released in Europe, but seem to play just fine on 60hz systems despite being optimized for 50hz.  But, it's more likely that you'll run into PAL games that ARE optimized and won't play at the correct speed at 60hz.  It's far more common with European exclusives for them to be optimized and have issues with 60hz, but as you can see from my experience with running the games on my NTSC-J Mega Drive via the EverDrive PRO, that isn't always the case...

Edited by RetroSonicHero
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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit late but there are, as others have mentioned.


Case in point: that all time classic "Rise of the Robots".


The music in the intro slows down if you play it on NTSC hardware. Also, on the defeated robot screen that appears when you win a match, the screen will turn red in time with the music. On NTSC systems this is mistimed. I wonder if the problems, alongside the game's stunning quality, helped to prevent a US release.


As a PAL gamer, the most annoying games are ones that were partially optimized. What I mean by that are games where they speed adjusted some things to be correct at 50Hz but not everything. Take Streets of Rage 3: Sega optimized the gameplay speed so that it was the same as that on NTSC consoles, but they didn't fix the tempo of the music, which is too slow on PAL consoles. That means that you are left with the problem that if you switch to 60Hz on a modded console to fix the music, the gameplay's too fast, but at 50Hz the music sounds laboured. To make matters worse, by ear alone I'm 50/50 on whether the music's just to slow, or too slow with slight tempo fluctuations. I might just be hearing things.

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