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Thread: Differences in gaming on NTSC vs. PAL

  1. #1
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    Default Differences in gaming on NTSC vs. PAL

    I'm wondering if there's a noticeable difference between gaming on an NTSC console and monitor vs their PAL counterparts. Since NTSC works on a 60 hz per cycle rate vs 50 hz on PAL, it stands to reason that there would be a minor difference in the speed at which the games run. If so then wouldn't certain versions of games be easier to beat than their Eurpoean or u.s. counterparts? I have a feeling I may be confused about something and I'm sure the ever-so-knowledgable forum patrons here can offer their wisdom.

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  2. #2
    Vipp Guest

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    Sonic the hedgehog always seemed fine to me until . Got my genesis. Now I think the UK sonic is really slow and crappy. The USA has it good with 60hz trust me.

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    Yeah, I didn't realise how big the difference was until I modded a SNES and played SMB and F-Zero.
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  4. #4
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    Does Twin Galaxies have different high score records for both PAL and NTSC games? if not then it would seem like one could have an unfair advantage over the other, depending on the game of course.

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  5. #5
    random_dave Guest

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    It's a bit of a minefield to be honest, as although a majority of PAL games would run 17.5% slower, and often with black borders letterboxing the screen because the extra 100 lines of resolution were un-utilised sometimes games were tweaked to allow for this

    Sonic is one example, as I seem to remember the PAL version playing rather strangely in my modded Mega Drive set to 60Hz

    The other complication comes not just in graphics, but in sound, so the SNES SPC chip, which has it's own independant timing is not affected, but the NES for example is, so I was always annoyed that the music for Double Dragon on my PAL NES sounded sluggish, but running a PAL Darkwing Duck or Chip n Dale, which were tweaked for 50Hz on a 60Hz system they just play too fast.

    Onboard Co-processors and memory mappers can also have strange issues, I was given a "faulty" NTSC Cobra Triangle for the NES, that was indeed glitchy when i got it home, but once I ran it at 60Hz it was fine and some Super FX chip games do some bad things, as does Super Mario Kart

    A lot of time based games like Super Mario Kart and Super Monkey Ball have communities that will hold seperate records for PAL and NTSC, it seems to me that the speedrunning communities generally jsut stick to NTSC versions most of the time, but then they also have other considerations to take into account like Crash Bandicoot 2 running faster on a PS2 through a composite cable than any other configuration that will run the game (e.g. PS2 through component, PS1, PS3)

  6. #6
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    Good stuff to know. I found a video of castlevania on the NES being compared on PAL and NTSC and i could tell right away that the PAL version was slower than the NTSC version. For those that are interested they can check the link at http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmMXA7FpR_U
    What about arcade macines? It seems that they would also be affected in the same way.

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    Arcade machines didn't use TVs they used Arcade Monitors, and the classics ran at a whole range of freaky frequencies and resolutions.
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  8. #8
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    I knew that arcade machines used monitors but I thought they we're kind of similar to TVs in regards to the scan rate and whatnot. my limited knowledge of electronics is obviously showing. it seems that I could really go down the rabbit hole on this subject and become more confused than I originally was.

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