Compiling list of region-locked games

Started by TheNameOfTheGame, 02-02-2023, 20:38:15

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I've been converting some of Peter's hard-drive adapted GAMEX games over to his improved HAGA system.

During the course of conversion, there were some games that were found to be region-locked and wouldn't work on a NTSC system.  So these were unlocked and now they run ok on my STE.  Of course, some games may not work properly if designed around the timings for PAL.  But so far, the games that were unlocked have only the side effect of slightly faster music speed.

Anyway, I would like to compile a list of any of Peter's hard drive adapted games that people know don't work on their NTSC systems.  It's hard to go through all 1600+ games individually :).  The intention is to then make such games region-free if possible.

So far these games have been patched to allow them to run on NTSC machines (HAGA versions):

Alien Syndrome
Federation Quest I - B.S.S. Jane Seymour (thanks Peter)
Cisco Heat
Chase HQ
Chase HQ 2 (thanks Peter)

Well, how about it?  Anyone know any other games that won't work on their NTSC machines?
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Ronald J. Hall

Wow, I didn't even know such a thing existed for ST games.

Like most Atarians, I'm familiar with the NTSC vs PAL
issues, but not this.

Learn something new every day.  :)
Welcome To DarkForce! "The Fuji Lives.!"
Atari SW/HW based BBS - 1040


It is not always that on NTSC machine it works not because refresh rate (or on PAL if is from other region) - by many TOS language/region code is checked - it is in TOS header, at it's begin, so if it is for instance 00 (US) game sold in Eu. may not start. I removed plenty of such restrictions, and in many cases it was needed because game crashed with TOS 1.06/1.62/2.06 . Regardless from region (because game code assumed that TOS is at $FC0000, while they are at $E00000) .
Considering NTSC/PAL problem - of course it is possible to run video at 50 Hz refresh rate with Northern American TOS, which sets video to 60 Hz at start. There are simple and short programs for that. Some games even have settings of video refresh rate. But 50 Hz works not on older TVs, probably some monitors too sold in N.A.
Now it should be better, so setting to 50 Hz can solve it with modern monitors, converters . And then will be no problems with too fast music, game play. Of course it needs RGB signals used, not composite - so will have sharper pic too . And on LCD/LED displays lower refresh rate is not problem too - no flashing typical for CRT displays.
Idea of composing list is of course very useful. In some cases it is mentioned at atarimania too that version on page is for certain region only.

And one thing more: it is possible to make simple program what will change refresh rate at floppy boot. Need to write it on floppy in bootsector, which will autoboot, change refresh rate, then ask to insert game floppy, and then will execute it's bootsector or AUTO folder PRG . Probably there is such, but I don't know it's name, title. Maybe allmighty google will help ...  That can solve the problem of refresh rate test. In any case, user contributions are welcome - and to add, in opposite case too - when NTSC won't work on PAL.  Thanx pals  :)