SNES Region Free modchip: Yes or No?

  1. SNES Region Free modchip: Yes or No?

    06-15-2020, 10:30 AM
    Hello guys,

    I tried looking in the forum but I can't find a clear answer.

    I have a PAL SNES, and it has the famous SuperCIC chip mounted.
    For those who still don't know it, it is widely used in PAL regions, and it's basically a PIC flashed with a program that allows the console to play games from any region, without the need of physical switches. The region can be switched automatically, or keeping pressed the Reset button.
    It is not a cheat device, it only bypasses the CIC (region lock) switch.

    My question is: is it allowed?

    If yes, can I submit scores in both NTSC and PAL category with the same console (obviously NTSC games in NTSC category and so on)?

    Thanks to everyone who takes the time to answer.

    By the way, say hello, I'm new here!
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  2. 06-15-2020, 12:02 PM
    Hello and welcome to Twin Galaxies!

    To answer your question, most of the community does not support such modification to be allowed. Most likely such a submission would get rejected. I actually asked this same thing last year (I asked about a region free mod on Sega Saturn) and most members advised against it. But don't be discouraged, your PAL SNES can still be used for PAL submissions.

    Only mods allowed are Everdrives and similar things for access to games.

    I'll leave a link to Global rules about submitting (you may have already read them, but just in case):

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/wiki_in...ll-Submissions
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  3. 06-15-2020, 12:19 PM
    Thanks for the reply.

    I understand the part where it is stated that "Console games must be run on official hardware. However, modifications needed to support the use of external storage devices such as the PlayStation 2 HDD, PS2 HD Loader, Everdrive or other mechanisms are considered generally acceptable unless otherwise prohibited by track specific rules, or the discovery and documentation of definitive unfair advantage of use for that game track during an adjudicative score verification process".

    I understand that FXPAK/SD2SNES is allowed, but those cartridges have a built-in region free feature, allowing them to run games from a different region.

    How is that different from a Region Free only modchip?

    I'm not arguing, just trying to understand.
  4. 06-15-2020, 01:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazz1983ita View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I understand the part where it is stated that "Console games must be run on official hardware. However, modifications needed to support the use of external storage devices such as the PlayStation 2 HDD, PS2 HD Loader, Everdrive or other mechanisms are considered generally acceptable unless otherwise prohibited by track specific rules, or the discovery and documentation of definitive unfair advantage of use for that game track during an adjudicative score verification process".

    I understand that FXPAK/SD2SNES is allowed, but those cartridges have a built-in region free feature, allowing them to run games from a different region.

    How is that different from a Region Free only modchip?

    I'm not arguing, just trying to understand.
    In the days when TG had referees verifying scores, rules were "set in stone". They basically stuck to their guns on things. During this era where the public votes on gaming performances, nothing is ever ruled out. Different voters see things differently. But typically, modifications to the console are frowned upon.

    While those carts may allow you to play an NTSC game on a PAL console (and vise versa) , it's doing just that, bypassing the lock-out and allowing you to play the game on the other-region console---The PAL console would still be running the NTSC game at 50hz, so you wouldn't be able to submit the score for NTSC (60hz). So while those carts are allowed to be used, you'd still need the correct console for the region you want to submit for.

    I submit for Sega Genesis. I also have a Mega Drive. I hate having the MD. lol But I know it'd take some convincing for others here to accept a modified console..........But, you never know. Like I mentioned, nothing is ever really ruled out nowadays. If you can provide proof that the console is running at the correct region speed (I'm not familiar with the specifics of that mod chip, but in the process of bypassing the region lockout, it would have to switch your console from 50hz to 60hz) , maybe people here would go for it....or maybe not. You'd be rolling the dice with your submission.
  5. 06-15-2020, 01:43 PM
    Thanks for the reply.

    You say "The PAL console would still be running the NTSC game at 50hz, so you wouldn't be able to submit the score for NTSC (60hz)", but actually the console outputs a 60Hz signal when in NTSC mode, and 50Hz when in PAL mode.

    This page - http://wolfsoft.de/wordpress/?p=603 - which is the guide for the installation and usage of the chip, says that "You can change between 50/60Hz and Auto Function by pressing the Reset Button for longer as around 0,5 sec. The current Status is shown by the DUO-LED. (red=60Hz, green 50Hz, orange=Auto). After releasing the Reset Button the mode will be active. The SNES will not reset at this moment."

    Maybe I should try to submit a score, giving all the info about the chip and see what the community says.

    The mod is using a PIC 16F630 with a code that bypasses the region lock, nothing more and nothing less. It gives no advantage, and runs at the same speed of the original Super Famicom or North American SNES.

    I want to clarify that I'm not here to argue, I also have a Super Famicom and I would have no problems submitting scores from any Japanese game, but I just wanted to clarify this because to me it seems a very dark grey area.

    Given these informations, would you hypothetically approve a score submitted with said machine?
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  6. 06-15-2020, 01:52 PM
    It is a grey area, and that's why the community has different opinions on it. You can always try to submit that way, it would certainly bring up conversation. Personally, if the frequency is clearly evident on the submission, I would accept the score, since it's still the original console. Convincing some of the more stubborn purists might be a tougher task.
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  7. 06-15-2020, 02:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazz1983ita View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    You say "The PAL console would still be running the NTSC game at 50hz, so you wouldn't be able to submit the score for NTSC (60hz)", but actually the console outputs a 60Hz signal when in NTSC mode, and 50Hz when in PAL mode.
    I was referring to any flash cart that bypasses region lockout. Using a cart to get around the region would still leave the console running in its original form. In your case, PAL 50 hz.

    But yea, mod chips switch the hz as well. I didn't want to assume that the one your particularly suggesting did so, but I see that it does. The different colored lights are a nice feature to show which region you're on. Like Joonas mentioned, clearly being able to see 60hz would be great for voters. Something a little more realistic though, would be to show your TV is in NTSC mode when the console is on. That would mean that your TV recognizes the "NTSC" console hooked up to it. If I see that, I'd definitely vote YES.
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  8. 06-15-2020, 02:23 PM
    Ok, in the next few days I'm going to try to submit a score, using a Japanese cartridge. I will show the TV displaying the 60Hz mode, even showing how a PAL cart makes the TV display the classic PAL mode.
    Then in the description I will explain basically all I just said here, and I hope that this will shed some light on this topic.
    I think (and hope) this will benefit the community.
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  9. 06-16-2020, 07:10 AM
    To avoid a lengthy description field under my submissions, I decided to do something different.

    I made a video where I show the current state of my console and briefly explain how it behaves with cartridges from different regions, uploaded on YouTube and made it reachable only by clicking the link below.
    Now I'm giving all the info needed down here, and instead of writing a paragraph every time, I'll link to this thread, so other users can decide.

    LINK VIDEO:


    This console is an European PAL SNES, model SNSP-001A (FRG), originally from Western Germany.
    I have installed a modchip called "SuperCIC", which is a switchless region lock bypass; the mod is using a PIC 16F630 with a code that bypasses the region lock, and is able to switch between 50Hz and 60Hz without the use of physical switches.
    The region/frequency change is performed by keeping the Reset button pressed for more than 0.5 seconds, and cycles between three modes: PAL 50Hz, PAL 60Hz and automatic. When in automatic mode, the console outputs the right combination of resolution and frequency depending on the cartridge inserted.

    A picture of the chip installed in my console can be seen here - https://www.reddit.com/r/snes/commen..._today_but_at/ -

    You can find more info on the chip here - http://wolfsoft.de/wordpress/?p=603 -


    In the video you can see the same game, Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing, both in its PAL release and its Japanese release.
    Notice that when the PAL cart is inserted, the TV displays a standard PAL signal (50 Hz), but when the Japanese cart is inserted the TV shows a PAL60 signal (60 Hz).

    The chip gives no advantage at all, it doesn't modify the game code in any way, makes the console run at the same speed of the original Super Famicom or North American SNES, when in 60Hz mode, and I think it should be treated as both a PAL and a NTSC console depending on the cartridge used.

    I hope this would create more clarity on the usage of this specific modchip.
  10. 06-16-2020, 08:42 AM
    In addition to all the above reasons that it would not be usually accepted, the SNES and NES PAL versions both run a slower CPU than the NTSC versions of SNES and NES. So even though you can use NTSC carts on the modded SNES and you can play them at 60Hz, the CPU still isn't as fast as the NTSC region SNES and you gain an advantage of playing the game slower.
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