tonyhax strives to be able to launch every commercial PS1 game in existence. However, you might experience some issues from time to time. These might be caused by different factors.
Please note the PS1 only supports pressed CD-ROM or recordable CD-R. No PS1 console is really capable of reading rewritable CD-RW.
Dying disc drives
Lasers wear out, and the older the console, the more worn out the laser will probably be. Also, earlier drives were made from plastic which is subject to more wear down that later ones made entirely of metal.
A classic symptom of this is that the machine takes long to boot, or that some games work and another ones do not.
Due to rampant piracy, three different protection methods were devised by game developers to prevent (or delay) illegal copying of their games. Some games might use only one kind, while others may use multiple at a time.
All CD-ROMs have a 32-bit error detection checksum (EDC) per sector. Some games intentionally corrupt or alter this value in a non-standard way, which can be later detected in software.
Known such games are:
- Konami's Dance Dance Revolution games (issue #121 in GitHub). If your copy is not correctly burnt, it will lock up in the warning or loading screens.
This protection can be bypassed by using burning software that can burn a 1:1 binary copy, without repairing EDC sectors. tonyhax does and will not implement countermeasures against improperly burned copies.
Such software is:
Notably, the popular ImgBurn software will not burn these games properly - it autocorrects the checksums which cause these games to trip. Original cdrdao does not properly burn CD audio data, so in-game music gets mangled.
These use the CD-ROM's Q subchannel to store an encryption key. A full list of titles is available over at redump.org.
For these games to be properly playable, the subchannel data must be present and the recording software must be capable of using it. tonyhax does and will not implement countermeasures against improperly burned copies.
Such software is:
- Alcohol 120% if subchannel burning is enabled
- cdrdao with raw mode and subchannel data present
The anti-modchip protection is a smarter check and it:
- Checks for the presence of the SCEx wobble in the disc's TOC, which for a burned copy it will not be present.
- Checks for the absence of the wobble in the outer part of the disc, which is not present on a retail disc and a non-stealth modchip will produce.
If the module kicks in, you'd get the classic screen of death:
Since the check depends on a disc physical property that commercial disc drives cannot reproduce, tonyhax implements countermeasures to transparently patch out this protection. If you find the above screen while playing any game, please file a report on GitHub.
Errors in tonyhax
tonyhax is far from perfect - it initializes the console in a non-standard way which could cause some games to crash.
If you believe you've found an error not caused by anything above, please consider opening an issue on GitHub.