SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

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VideoGameCritic
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SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 18th, 2017, 7:14 pm

Got an interesting email from a reader I'd like to pass along:

Did you know Waterworld actually got a release overseas on the Super Nintendo? It was never released in North America, so I don't know if it's region free, but it indeed exists.

Anyway, I highly recommend listening to the soundtrack, it's incredible. It perfectly captures the dark, moody, yet awe inspiring feel of the movie and game, and the sound quality is nuts. I'm actually wondering if it's the best soundtrack on the Snes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAluV5w_-jI


I listened to some of this, and it is pretty spectacular! Definitely the kind of music I like in my video games.

So apparently there are PAL/Europe versions of this game available on ebay. Would love to play, but could I? Would it work in any of my systems?

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Stalvern » October 18th, 2017, 8:00 pm

There are adapters, but while they get around the region lock, I'm pretty sure you'll have to mod your SNES to run at 50 Hz (PAL frequency) to get the game - and its music - to run at the right speed. And at 50 Hz, the SNES won't work with an American CRT, although flatscreens shouldn't have any issues.

Probably not worth the trouble and cost.

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Stalvern » October 18th, 2017, 8:10 pm

I'm a moron. Instead of modding an NTSC system to run like a PAL system, it might make more sense to just get a PAL system. It'll run off an American outlet through Nintendo's own NES-002 model power supply. Still a bit much just to hear the music in one game, but there are a few cool European exclusives (The Firemen and Terranigma come to mind, although they're really Japanese games with Europe-exclusive localizations) that might justify it for a collector like you.

Wallyworld
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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Wallyworld » October 18th, 2017, 9:33 pm

Does the Retron V play PAL games? I know the critic had one of those.

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Retro STrife » October 19th, 2017, 9:00 am

Stalvern wrote:There are adapters, but while they get around the region lock, I'm pretty sure you'll have to mod your SNES to run at 50 Hz (PAL frequency) to get the game - and its music - to run at the right speed. And at 50 Hz, the SNES won't work with an American CRT, although flatscreens shouldn't have any issues.


Yeah I've seen adapters on ebay for around $25 or so, which seem to be for this purpose. On other forums, I've seen some people say that playing PAL games in the US may cause issues with the music and run speed, but I can't confirm that...maybe it varies from game to game.

In my entire life, I've only owned one PAL game -- Zero Wing for the Mega Drive (Genesis). It's the game famous for the old "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" meme, but there was no US version of the game, so you need the PAL version in order to play it. I was able to get the game running on my US Genesis with no adapters and it works 100% fine on my TV. So that might be a good sign that this SNES Waterworld game would work well too, if you could get it up and running with an adapter or other technique.

I agree with you about the soundtrack too - sounds great.

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Stalvern » October 19th, 2017, 10:04 am

Retro STrife wrote:Yeah I've seen adapters on ebay for around $25 or so, which seem to be for this purpose. On other forums, I've seen some people say that playing PAL games in the US may cause issues with the music and run speed, but I can't confirm that...maybe it varies from game to game.

It does vary. Games developed in Japan and the States were originally programmed around the NTSC standard's frequency of 60 Hz, and not all European releases compensate for the difference with PAL's 50 Hz. Sonic the Hedgehog is an especially glaring case of this unsettling effect, an inexcusable oversight when Sonic's entire point is to go fast.

What this means is that only games developed for NTSC territories and given sloppy, unaltered PAL releases will run at the right speed from a PAL cartridge in an NTSC system - at which point you might as well just play the NTSC version in the first place. PAL exclusives are all but guaranteed to run skittishly fast over here.

Retro STrife wrote:In my entire life, I've only owned one PAL game -- Zero Wing for the Mega Drive (Genesis). It's the game famous for the old "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" meme, but there was no US version of the game, so you need the PAL version in order to play it. I was able to get the game running on my US Genesis with no adapters and it works 100% fine on my TV.

I would bet money that it actually works 120% fine, speed-wise. Either that, or it only ever worked 83.333% fine originally. (I'd compare the European and Japanese releases in an emulator to determine this conclusively, but sheesh, even I have better things to do.) And it's not the game that works or doesn't work with your TV; it's the system. The program on the cartridge is irrelevant - what matters is that the video signal is coming from hardware running at 60 Hz. Good luck getting a PAL Mega Drive to work with an NTSC tube.

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby Retro STrife » October 19th, 2017, 12:19 pm

Retro STrife wrote:I would bet money that it actually works 120% fine, speed-wise. Either that, or it only ever worked 83.333% fine originally. (I'd compare the European and Japanese releases in an emulator to determine this conclusively, but sheesh, even I have better things to do.) And it's not the game that works or doesn't work with your TV; it's the system. The program on the cartridge is irrelevant - what matters is that the video signal is coming from hardware running at 60 Hz. Good luck getting a PAL Mega Drive to work with an NTSC tube.


It's a shmup, so it should have been noticeable if there was a 15-20% speed difference in gameplay or music. But it seemed to be at normal speed to me. As you point out though, the issue isn't with the games, as much as it's with the systems. I wasn't using a PAL Mega Drive. I was playing the PAL game on my NTSC Genesis, on an NTSC TV. So maybe that was why it worked ok. No modding needed either.

But admittedly, I know very little about the PAL format or 50/60 Hz or what you need to get PAL working here, since I've never tried it. Our European members here would probably know this much better... I assume PAL countries deal a lot more with this issue when importing games from US and Japan, whereas US gamers are rarely importing PAL games.

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Re: SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 19th, 2017, 10:10 pm

Wallyworld wrote:Does the Retron V play PAL games? I know the critic had one of those.


Good call - that appears to be the case:

http://www.funstockretro.co.uk/news/ret ... questions/


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