How to play Guardian Heroes with an Emulator

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I love Guardian Heroes! Actually the only reason I got my Sega Saturn was to play Guardian Heroes! So i have the real game on a real Saturn. But I still would like to play it on my computer, take screenshots, record some gameplay with a capture program or do some fun animated gifs. Turns out that many people are having problems when it comes to playing Guardian Heroes on an emulator. And yes I had these problems too, but after some research and testing I got it running perfectly!

This is what you need:
– The SSF Emulator.
– Slysoft Virtual Clonedrive
– CloneCD
– Guardian Heroes

So the two common problems are:
1. The black screen that freezes the game after the intro movie.
2. Game works fine but the the audio or music is crippled and sounds very strange.

There are two good Sega Saturn emulators.
The first is Yabause, very nice gui! Looks great and have a clean and good options panel to customize your gamepad etc. just love it! It has an option to open an Image file, great! and it seems to be compatible with all different image formats. But after some testing I cant get the sound to work right in Guardian Heroes.. so i had to give up and move on to the next emulator. (btw I was testing 0.9.12 of yabause)

The second emulator i tested was SSF. An Saturn emulator that has very good compability! But the Gui sucks and is very bad coded compared to Yabause. The site and readme is in Japanese. But this is the emulator you will use to get Guardian Heroes to work!
It is said that “Version 007 beta R3” of SSF has better support for Guardian Heroes than the latest version; “SSF 012 beta R3” but I actually got the game running on both versions.

SSF can only start games from a Cd-Rom unit. So if you own the original game you can pop in the Cd and to “Option” and choose your drive from “Cd drive” but if you want to play the game from an image file you have to use some sort of mounting tool. Im using Slysofts Virtual Clone drive. When you have this installed you need to create an image file of Guardian Heroes. This is where the problems started. What image format should i use, Bin/Cue, Img etc? I can say that the program ImgBurn by Lightning Uk wont work! I tried and created both a Bin and a Img file.. i got the black screen problem. No good. Then I noticed that the mounting program Virtual Clone drive have support for the .ccd format! Thats CloneCd, problably the best image creating tool around!

So i created a CloneCd image in .ccd of my Guardian Heroes Cd (clone cd will create two files, a big img file and a ccd file. you need to mount the ccd file to get audio) and mounted that with Virtual Clonedrive and bam! its working with SSF! Perfect sound and music and no black screen!

Here are some settings and things to check if you have any problems:

-In the Options section of SSF be sure to set the Cd Drive to your Virtual Clone drive path, it should be called ELBY CLONEDRIVE.

– Be sure to se the right region of the game. So if you are using a PAL version of Guardian Heroes set it to Europe..

– I got the game running without a Sega Saturn Bios.. but some say it works better if you set a bios on the Options of SSF. So try this if you still are having problems! (you need to download a Saturn bios somewhere)

– SSF 012 beta R3 crashes on startup in Windows 7. To fix this. Rightclick on the SSF.exe and choose properties and go to the Compability tab and choose compability mode Windows Xp Service pack 3.