SSF

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Revision as of 00:56, 15 July 2014 by 66.152.157.65 (talk) (Added MagicDisc, fixed up some of the entries.)
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Current version: 0.12 beta R4
Active: Yes
OS: Windows
Authors: Shima
Official website: Shima's Site

English Tribute Site

Source code: Closed source

SSF is a Sega Saturn emulator. It's the only Sega Saturn emulator to date that has any level of compatibility with SS games and the only one worth using.

Downloads

Review

The best, and only good Saturn emulator right now. Windows only and closed source sadly. Far, far better than Yabause.

It had a recent major update, 0.12, which improved compatibility for certain games but broke others. It added support for some of games like Astal (needs "Enable SH2 Cache").  Keep both versions, pre- and post-0.12 just in case. To raise compatibility, you can try with "No Bios" enabled or disabled, and you'll want to start with the MaxCompatibility (slow) option, then try with the faster options (that do not always work).

The emulator needs an external virtual drive to read iso files. You'll need to close and restart the emulator (as it says in the Japanese dialogue popup appearing) whenever you modify the options for them to take effect.

Even though it has a "No Bios" option, you'll sometimes need the bios files, of course specifying the correct region in the options.

F7: Pause and Load State (Press 0-9 to choose)

Shift + F7: Pause and Save State (Press 0-9 to choose)

Useful for sprite rippers are the numeral pad keys, which disable layers. Keep in mind this often causes 3D games to crash, and they already have lower compatiblity than 2D one when it comes to general emulations.

Guides and Info

General Guide

Shima's FAQ about compatibility issues. Note that this is Japanese-to-English Google Translate, and has very shoddy syntax as a result.

Free Virtual Drive Software

As said above, SSF requires a virtual drive to read ISO files. Now there aren't a lot of options for a free virtual drive, and there are even fewer good options. The programs will be named right now, with the pros and cons of each:

List of Free Virtual Drive Software
Program Name Pros Cons
Virtual Clone Drive
  • Isn't a cut-down version of a paid software.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Doesn't try to install unwanted software.
  • Doesn't support .mdf/.mds files. This is kind of a big deal, since quite a few of the Saturn's popular titles are only available as mdf/mds.
  • Can't mount .cue files. DON'T mount the .bin instead, as SSF will boot you back to the bios whenever it feels like it if you do. Instead, make a .ccd/.img copy with CloneCD and another virtual drive program.
Alcohol 52% Free Edition
  • Supports every Saturn image extension.
  • Very reliable.
  • Installer contains optional adware.
  • Mounting the images causes the sound files to autoplay.
  • The installer forces you to install crapware called Smart File Advisor, which you can't uninstall without uninstalling Alcohol.

(You can mostly ignore the program by stopping it from running on startup, however.)

Daemon Tools LITE
  • Nice UI.
  • Supports every Saturn image extension.
  • Installer tries to fill your computer up with adware, and newer versions force you to install adware (Version 4.30.4 does not force it).
  • Sends data on every image you mount to an outside location. [1]
  • No longer run by the original team. Possibly Chinese spyware at this point.
WinCDEmu
  • Isn't a cut-down version of a paid software.
  • Open-source.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Doesn't try to install unwanted software.
  • Supports every Saturn image extension.
  • SSF isn't compatible with it.
MagicDisc
  • Lightweight.
  • Doesn't try to install unwanted software.
  • Supports every Saturn image extension.
  • SSF isn't compatible with it.

References