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  1. #1

    Chaos Break (PS1) - patching PAL to NTSC and shifting the Y axis??

    Note to mods: I am not asking about piracy, I am simply asking about a means of getting a game to run in 60Hz. Please delete and PM me if I broke the rules so I can start a new topic while adhering more closely to them.

    Situation: I wish to play the PAL release of Chaos Break for PS1 in fullscreen, fullspeed 60Hz on my PSIO-enabled original console. It was never released in America, only Japan and the UK. Emulation is not an option - I want this to run on the original hardware. The Japanese import is not an option because you need to read in-game emails.

    The game is incredible. It's a hyper-kinetic survival horror with analogue stick control, fast paced action, and just cool atmosphere. It's also a PAL exclusive!

    Options: There exists three methods I know of to patch this PAL exclusive into NTSC:

    1) PAL4U2K - a patching program
    2) Zapper2000 - a similar program
    3) A trainer patch which adds an NTSC boot select option

    All three of the above solutions have the same major problem: after enabling NTSC output the screen's Y position / Y axis is misaligned. The game screen after patching is too big to fit, and by default all 3 of these align it so the bottom is cut off! It's too low down the TV screen, resulting in the essential energy and ammo counts to be cut off, rendering the game unplayable.

    Sweet baby jesus, I am so close, but save for 5~10 pixels my goal is out of reach.

    Problems: Let's ignore the trainer patch. It's a pre-made thing by pirates from around 2000, it doesn't work, and I don't feel like hacking someone else's hack.

    This leaves P4U2K and Zapper2K utilities. Neither seems to have been updated beyond 2003. Which is very disappointing because the PSIO system, a new development, means we can all be rocking games on our original hardware!

    Let's go over them.

    P4U2K: This general use patcher requires you use one program to scan your game, thereby creating a patch. Then you use its sister program to apply that patch. The results are the best I can get - the bottom stats bar is about 5 to 10 pixels just out of view. Though the game is fullscreen and fullspeed, albeit with the bottom few lines cut off. So close. If I push my TV button to squash my screen into widescreen mode, I can see the missing lines, but obviously this is no way to play through the game. This patcher is supposed to detect the Y axis and patch it automatically, but there are NO options to vary this or input your own Y parameters.

    Which leads us to...

    Zapper2K: This is a similar patcher, but it has two boxes to input alternative Y coordinates. Except I don't know how these work. The default for PAL to NTSC patching is 0 and 0. I try this but the bottom of the screen is cut off. Not pushed below the screen edge, but actually chopped off! It obviously recentres the Y axis of how the game screen is rendered, and so no longer renders part of it.

    The prog says if your screen is too low to input 21 and 21 into each box. I did this, but while it helps a little, it's still worse than P4U2K. So I try variations:

    And so on. The 26 option cuts off even more, and while the 11, 6, and even 1 options provide a bit more of the screen, I still can't see the stats bar. I also do not know what these boxes are actually supposed to do.

    I tried varying the first box, from negative to positive numbers, along a massive range, and nothing seemed to happen? The second number seems to affect the bottom of the screen, but I can't seem to just move the whole screen up a bit.


    Does anyone know how to realign the Y axis on PS1 games? I just need the screen shifted upwards by about 5 or 10 lines of pixels. A small shift.

    Alternatively, has anyone used these patching programs and can offer advice? Has anyone patched this game and got it to work?

    I tried editing the patch files each program creates (P4U file and ZAP file), but the P4U file is encrypted (not hexidecimal, I used a hex editor, it's actually properly encrypted!), and the ZAP file just contains a single piece of data on where the Y position code is in the game itself.

    I google trawled, and found a long Racketboy forum topic, but no one had this problem. They all managed to get games to patch just fine.

    Part of the problem is that Chaos Break, despite being AMAZING, is very obscure. So no one has tried to patch the PAL version into NTSC.

    I am so close I could scream. I spent hours on this and I am literally a few pixels away from victory.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Hate to say it but it sounds like some kind of PAL bastardising optimisation has been done.

  4. #4
    I do own this game on PAL and can't understand why you are concerned about mods being concerned!

    You take this choice YOURSELF. The mods won't care, they already KNOW.

    You are doing this to YOURSELF.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by speedlolita View Post
    Hate to say it but it sounds like some kind of PAL bastardising optimisation has been done.
    You know... I was thinking that.

    But I am still convinced that if I can find a way of shifting the Y position just 5 pixels upward everything will be fine.

  6. #6
    Might need to just bite the bullet and play the game in PAL, after all if the game is optimised in PAL playing it at 60Hz is a no, no for a professional review or feature right up, if it's not on a Hz issues as it may break or change aspects of the game. So play at 50Hz and just complain in the write up about it running 16.66% slower.

    Doesn't appear to be having a quick play on my copy, to be honest you could just buy the Japanese version and use a Youtube video walkthrough to read the text. Most of the patchers for the PS1 are trash and there's just not good forcing software for PAL PS1 games unlike the Sega Saturn, which you can do via hardware switches.

    When forcing games into another Hz the Y position is often set wrong, given you a black area at the top, only a action replay code might be able to fix it.

    Also is your PS2 a PAL unit or an NTSC as that will affect some games, PAL unit with mods will force some NTSC games into PAL and the reverse is true for NTSC units, not always the case mind.
    Last edited by S3M; 27-05-2020 at 05:30 PM.

  7. #7
    I fixed it.

    I used my TV's secret service menu (via a code to access) to change the V-size and then shift the V position upwards. Everything else is borked, but Chaos Break looks great!

    Quote Originally Posted by S3M View Post
    just complain in the write up

    Also is your PS2 a PAL unit or an NTSC
    Oh, it's not a write up, I'm just playing for personal enjoyment.

    It's a PAL PS1 unit with PSIO. Though the region doesn't matter since PS1 games have their screen Hz hard coded into them. As you say, unlike the Saturn where you can just use hardware switches!
    Last edited by Sketcz; 27-05-2020 at 08:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Was going to mention if it might be an overscan issue, given that you could see it when in widescreen mode. Ah well, looks like you worked it out yourself.

  9. #9
    OK so there is a really old PS1 homebrew bit of kit called "Import Player Light" I managed to get v2.1. Seem it was made way back in 2000/2001, however it can be used to force PS1 games into 60Hz not very well mind almost all PAL games appear to have some form of optimisation. It can however be used on a modded PS2 to force NTSC games that incorrectly boot into 50Hz back into 60Hz.

    The hud in the PAL version is at a different position to the NTSC/J one.

    However the menu text is incorrect at 60Hz looks uneven, but it does play OK that said I had a crash early on when playing as Mituki when the robot appears at 60Hz. Didn't occur at 50Hz on Chaos Break, seems just about all PS1 games had corrections for PAL, may have been a Sony standard. Either that or Import Player Light is rubbish, forcing PAL games. Does work a charm on NTSC gameS on a modded PAL PS2.

    Got the program from here in the description, the idiot who did this video renamed the bin and cue files in the .raw he links to and I had to rename them back to IPLIGHT.bin and IPLIGHT.cue to get them to work. Burned the disc with DiscJuggler, just tell it "NO" when it said the file type is not correct and do you want it fixed.

    Last edited by S3M; 02-06-2020 at 03:06 PM.

  10. #10

    However, my set-up is a bit different. I'm using PSIO, meaning I boot the ISO/BIN from an SD card. I managed to it working though, using Import Play 1.4.

    Anyway, this overscan issue was fixed by temporarily using the secret service to resize my TV's screen, then after finishing the game I reverted it back to normal.


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