Disk Swapping with Saturn

Pulling my hair out on this one. I’ve found a bit of information on it, but none of it has been useful as it all tells me to do exactly what I’ve been doing already.

I’m really just trying to test this to make sure I don’t wind up playing through the full first disk of Panzer Dragoon Saga to only find out I can’t get disk swapping to work.

I’ve created a .m3u with all of the .cue files for the game and that is what I’m launching in RA. I’m using the Beetle (previously Mednafen?) core.

After launching the game, I am going into the menu under “Disk Control” and using “Cycle Disk Tray Status.” I get the notification that the tray has opened. I then try changing “Disk Index” to 2 and it says fails to load disk 2.

With the disk tray still “open” I exit the menu back into the game and it’s still playing like normal. It’s not griping about the tray being open, so It seems like the RA front end isn’t communicating the action of opening the tray with the core.

I’m pretty sure I’m doing everything right. I’ve used this exact same procedure with PSX games using Beetle PSX and it is working.

Edit: Oh! Just remembered something. Not sure if this is related, but I’ll add it in anyway. When trying to launch the game from the .m3u, I am getting a notification saying “Uncorrectable data at sector 0.” It doesn’t seem to affect gameplay. I do not get this error when loading disk 1 directly.

I was under the impression that PSX was the only system that supported m3u files for disk swapping. I don’t know really, I haven’t spent much of any time with this process.

I’m where you are at though, in that I don’t want to play all of Disc 1 on something and be screwed. So it’s been on my to-do list to figure out.

I’m able to get it to work on Mednafen standalone. There’s hotkeys to open the tray and advance disks from an m3u. I’m assuming the core within RA has the same functionality as standalone? If there was just a way I could interact with the core directly (like with the MAME cores where you can bring up config menus for MAME itself while in a game) instead of using the RA front-end.

Yeah I know I could just use the standalone, but I would really like to launch it with RA like everything else.

I’d like to see the RetroArch core get some love as well, but that’s pretty typical for an emulator under active development.

Save states and rewinding also now work with the standalone, and not with the RetroArch core, as do pressure sensitive triggers.

It took almost a year just to get the 3d pad working. I’m not complaining, just saying maybe you should consider just using the standalone, as it’s way better at the moment.

I think there is a problem with implementing pressure sensitive triggers, but I don’t remember exactly what. I don’t think RetroArch currently supports that in any capacity.

1 Like

Pressure sensitive triggers? Aside from driving is there another use for such a thing?

The reason I ask, is in driving games I go FULL TILT lol so I don’t need it there… but if I needed it for a game I’d have to re-think my control setup. My LT and RT are set to Z and X respectively on my controllers via xpadder

Probably not… I can’t think of any games offhand. But ideally the lack of pressure sensitive triggers issue will be addressed, because there’s a dolphin core now, too.

I guess I’ll just have to work with the standalone for now. If I’m going do that, I’ll just use it for all my Saturn games and not just the multi-disk ones so there’s at least some uniformity. It will still drive me nuts since I will be launching everything else with RA. Hopefully I can find a front-end for the standalone that will play nice with Steam BPM since I like to play on my Steam Link.

Do you know if the saves generated by the standalone are compatible with RA? If RA were to sometime in the future get Saturn disk swapping working for the Mednafen core and I wanted to move the standalone saves back over to it, would it be able to load those saves?

Not sure on that one, to be honest.

RetroArch is awesome, but you may want to consider using a front end for RetroArch, like LaunchBox or HyperSpin, and then use Rocketlauncher as the backend.

It’s complicated and there’s quite a learning curve, but with a setup like that you can use any emulator you want, that way you don’t have to depend on RetroArch when it lacks something that you need.

It doesn’t affect me one way or the other using standalone Mednafen, because I can switch out between using RetroArch or Mednafen in 30 seconds by changing a setting in RocketLauncher.

I believe there was some talk about a conversion method for the save files back when the core first surfaced. You may want to use the search function on here.

I think it was in a generic thread about the core.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to this thread:

If so, it’s not for saves from mednafen to Retroarch or vice-versa, it’s only for save files from SSF emulator to Retroarch Mednafen Saturn, it probably will work for Mednafen alone too.

About the save from Retroarch Saturn core to mednafen standalone emulator, I believe it will work, you have to try that @Phastor, try copying the save you want to test to the mednafen folder and load the game. Respecting the folder structure of each emulator. In my case, my saves are stored in Retroarch\Saves\Mednafen Saturn\Game Name (USA).bcr + the bkr and smpc files. I believe the three files stand for External, Internal and clock save files, the latter probably isn’t needed anymore, but I can’t confirm that. I suggest you open a game in mednafen Saturn standalone emulator and create a save to see how it makes the file/s, then just copy the ones from Retroarch save folder, change extension if needed to match the mednafen ones.