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The Unofficial Mega Drive/Genesis Pro Action Replay F.A.Q vers 1.0

Last updated 05-12-01

By Azathoth (lordazathoth@geocities.com)

All copyrights and trademarks are property of their respective owners. This
FAQ may not be reproduced in part or whole without consent of the author.
This document Copyright 2001 by Azathoth.
Latest version can be found at www.gamefaqs.com
www.geocities.com/lordazathoth/zog/PAR-MD-FAQ.txt

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.   - DISCLAIMER

Section 1. - General Info
1a.   - What is a PAR?
1b.   - What it does
1c.   - What it doesn't do
1d.   - The Action Replay family
1e.   - Compatibility issues


Section 2. - How to operate the PAR
2a. - Inputting and using cheats
2b. - Using the trainer
2c. - Where can I find codes?
2d. - Where can I find a PAR?


Section 3. - Author's notes and thanks

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I.  - DISCLAIMER  -
    I nor anyone but yourself can be responsible for your actions with the
information contained in this document. No warranties are expressed or 
implied. Your mileage may vary, this document is based on my experience with
the equipment setup that I have. I got this thing without any manual, so the 
information in here is correct by what I have gathered. If I am incorrect or
are looking over anything, please email me.
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Section 1. - General Info

1a. - What is a PAR?

    A PAR looks like this:


       Switch Up Position       -----------------------
                          \    |     Cart Input Slot   |      
                           \   |                       |    
                            \  - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
Switch Middle Position -----(|                           |
                           / |                           | 
                          /  |    PAR LABEL FACING OUT   |  
                         /   |                           |    
    Switch Down Position     |                           |
                             -----------------------------
                              |________________________|
           
                                   ((((FRONT VIEW))))

    It is a cheat cartridge device manufactured by Datel for use on the Genesis
or Mega Drive system. It allows you to use cheats to change values in the game code, 
allowing infinite items, health, stage selects, and tons of other changes. By
inputting codes found in magazines or the internet, you can achieve these effects.
Codes differ for each individual game. It is similar to the more common line of
Game Genies by Galoob.
    The PAR offers you to choose 4 one-line codes and turn them off or on at 
any time during gameplay. It also has an in game trainer, which allows you to 
make your own codes for specific effects in games.
    You put a game cartridge in the top of the PAR, and put the PAR into your
console. Turn the switch to the appropriate position, turn the console on, and
you will be taken to a user friendly menu which will navigate you through the
options.

1b. - What it does

    The PAR works by changing the values in a game's RAM before the information
gets to the CPU. Or something like that. Or maybe the magic European cheat elves
within the cart get the cheats done, regardless, they get done. It will allow you
to manipulate almost any value in any game, letting you customize it to your heart's
content. You can make a game harder or easier, or access things in a game that are 
hidden. My favorite feature is finding stuff that the programmers left in that are
not available in the regular game. (Shameless plug: The Streets of Rage 3 Hidden 
Levels guide). 

    What sets the PAR apart from the Game Genie is its ability to find your own 
codes for games, so you dont have to rely on published codes. This makes the PAR
ten times more powerful as a cheating device. Have an obscure game that noone has 
heard of? Want a cheat in a game that noone has published a code for? Find it your-
self with a PAR!

    The PAR allows you to play some older Japanese Mega Drive titles on your Euro/
US Genesis by creating a cart bridge so you don't have to shave the cart or console 
casing to get them to fit. Also, you may want to check out Trevor Wilson's Import
Genesis FAQ that will provide you some PAR codes which will override software
territory lockouts on some MD/Gen games! 

1c. - What it doesn't do

    The PAR does not allow you to put things into a game that aren't already
there. You cant for instance, put Sonic into a Mario game. You can only change
values that the game uses. 

    The in game trainer is limited in the sense that you have to reset the console
every time you want to narrow down your search. On level 20 in a game and want to 
use the trainer? After you reset and narrow the search, back to level 1....bleh. 
The trainer also has no way of just throwing the codes on to see if they work when
you find them, you have to just write them all down on paper and manually put them 
in to see if they work.
    
1d. - The Action Replay family

    The PAR is one of a the long incestual line of Action Replay products
created and distributed by Datel. What it boasts over a regular Acton Replay 
is the trainer that lets you find your own codes. The PAR 2 supposedly lets 
you use an unlimited amount of codes at once, and also lets you store the codes
to the cart so you don't have to reenter them each time. The 16 bit AR family 
poorly marketed in the United States, but was very popular in the rest of the world.

Datel has produced the following items:
(anyone know what the years are on this crap, or other models?)

Action Replay - SNES, Genesis
Pro Action Replay - SNES, Genesis
Pro Action Replay 2 - SNES, Genesis
Pro Action Replay - SMS (?)
Pro Action Replay - GB (?)
Action Replay - PSX
Pro Action Replay- PSX
Action Replay CDX - PSX
Action Replay CDX - PS2
Action Replay - Saturn
Action Replay 3-in-1 - Saturn (was this Datel or EMS?)
Action Replay 4-in-1 - Saturn (was this Datel or EMS?)
Action Replay CDX - DC

    The Game Action Replay for NES has absolutely nothing to do with the PAR,
and is not manufactured by Datel.
    
    The AR was marketed in the US for the Saturn, Psx, PS2, DC, and GB as the 
Gameshark and distributed by Interact.

1e. - Compatibility issues

    Sega did not license the PAR, so it has no territorial lockouts in 
place with it. Also, it has no PAL/NTSC restrictions. I am currently using
a European PAL PAR on my US NTSC Genesis. 

    The PAR is shaped like a US/Euro style cartridge, so you might need to shave
it down some to fit it into a Japanese Mega Drive. The PAR should also be work
with a Nomad system, but you have no way of getting to the code screen since
there is no way to reset the system. I have no idea if the PAR is compatible
with the 32x, because I am too lazy to hook mine back up. However you CANNOT
use the PAR on 32x games. The PAR should also work fine with the CDX. You can 
also hack and use codes on any game for any region. If you have a game that 
has a territorial software lockout, you will either need to have a territory
switch installed or use a Mega Key (or similar device). If you do use a Mega 
Key, place it in-between the PAR and the game cart. 

    As far as I know, any regular AR code or PAR II code will work fine with 
a PAR.
    
    Also, for those interested, Game Genie codes outright are not compatible 
with PAR codes, and vice versa. I have used a program that converts the codes, 
but it has had hit and miss luck so far. It seems a lot codes that I find on 
the internet that do not follow the standard FFXX formula do not work. Maybe 
they will for you, I dunno. Of course, if there's a GG code you really want 
and can't find the equivalent on a PAR, you can just get off your lazy ass 
and hack it yourself.

The PAR is compatible with Virtua Racing.

PAR codes may or may not work with emulators. 
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Section 2. - How to operate the PAR

2a. - Inputting and using cheats

    There are 3 positions on the PAR switch. They are as follows:

Up=Codes on
Middle=Codes off
Down=Trainer on

    In order to properly turn on your system, put your game into the PAR, 
turn the PAR switch to the middle position, and turn the system on. You will
get the regular Sega license screen, and the game will play as normal. Next, 
turn the PAR switch to the down position, and press the reset button on the 
console. This will bring you to the PAR menu.

*NOTE*- If your game DOES NOT turn on when the switch is in the middle position, 
you can try turning the console off, turning the switch up, and turning the
console back on. When the game boots up to the title screen, turn the PAR switch
down and hit the reset button on the console.

    After you press the reset button, you will be given a menu that allows 2
options; the ability to "exit to parameters" or "start trainer". What we want 
to choose is the parameters screen, so move the arrow to that selection and 
press the A button.

    You will come to a screen where you can enter up to four cheats at once, each
cheat consisting of 10 characters. Left and right will move from character to 
character, and up and down will change the character from letters A-F or 0-9. 
After getting the code to the value you want, press the A button to cycle to the
next line of code. The B button will take you to the previous line of code. The 
C button will reset the code to its original value (FF000 00000). After you get 
all the codes in you want, press the A button to cycle to the 4th line of code, 
then press the A button again to exit the parameters screen. Or, you can just 
press the start button.

    The game will now being as usual. When you would like the codes to take effect, 
move the switch to the up position. When you want them turned off, return the 
switch to the down position.
  
    If you have entered codes and are already in the game, and then reset the 
console, if you have the switch in the middle or down position, the codes WILL NOT
take effect again if you move the switch. If for some reason you need to reset 
the game while playing, and wish to use the PAR codes on your resetted game, you 
MUST turn the switch down before pressing reset. You will begin back at the trainer/
parameters menu, so just choose parameters again. Your codes will still be in there.
Start game as usual, and then turn the effects on when desired by moving the switch
to the up position.
    

2b. - Using the trainer

    Ahh, the trainer. I cannot go into immense detail on this trainer, but I can 
give some rough ideas on how to use it. You are only limited to how much patience you
have. There are 5 different code generating methods in the trainer. They are:

Lives or other countable number
Timer or similar
Energy bar or similar
Change of status
Slow but sure

   To use the trainer you must start the game as regular, with no codes on. When
you get to a point you want to start the trainer, leave the switch in the down 
position and hit reset. Choose the "start trainer" option at the menu, then choose
the appropriate training method from the menu for the cheat you're wanting to achieve.
It will scan the memory, then give a number of possibilities. Then, exit the menu to
the parameter screen, play into the game some more, and when you encounter your value
again, hit reset. Choose the continue trainer, and the training method you were using
before. You'll be given a couple of options to tell the trainer how the value has 
changed. Repeat this process until you get a reasonable number of possibilities. Here's 
a rough breakdown of the training modes.

----Lives or other countable number----
  Say you want to find a code for a game for infinite lives. Start the game, and you 
have 4 lives at the start. Reset, and go to the trainer, and input the number 4 as
the value. Begin the game again, lose a live, and you will now have 3 lives. Reset
again, and input the number as 3. Continue till you get a reasonable amount of 
possibilities. You can use this method for a lot of things, including lives, stage
selects, character selects, and other things. Its the easiest and most reliable way
of finding codes.

!-IMPORTANT-!
Sometimes in game code, the first value is actually 0 instead of 1. For instance, in 
a game, level 1 may be considered level "0" to the actual game code. If your searches
aren't working well, you may want to consider this and change your starting values as 
such.


----Timer or similar----
    Well, as you guessed, this is for a timer or something similar. It could be a 
timer on a level, or even an item. Start the game, and make note of the timer, then 
press reset. Choose this trainer, and it will scan the memory. Then enter the game 
again, and let the timer either count down or count ahead from your start value, then
hit reset. When you continue the trainer, you can choose some options, such as +1, -1,
and so on. Choose accordingly. Eventually you should get to a result that will fix the 
timer to a certain number.


----Energy bar or similar----
    Great for action and fighting games. Start the game with full health, and hit 
reset. It will scan the memory, then being the game again, and loose some health. 
Enter the trainer again, and it will ask you how the result now differs from the initial, 
such as 50% of start, 75% of start, and so on. Keep playing, rescanning the values while
gaining or losing life. Eventually you should find something that will allow an infinite 
amount of status bar.

!-IMPORTANT-!
Sometimes in game code, a full status bar is actually considered empty! For instance, in 
a game, when you lose air when under water, to the actual game code you might just be 
gaining fatigue. If your searches aren't working well, you may want to consider this 
and change your starting values as such.

----Change of status----
    Now this one is very slow, but yields some of the wildest and craziest codes you can
get. It simply looks for a value thats either TRUE or FALSE. For instance, your character
either HAS invincibility, or HASNT. Or maybe you can jump on this level (TRUE) or you 
can't (FALSE). For instance, you could start your game, and get the invincibility icon.
Reset and scan. Start again, and reset without the icon. Scan again. Keep doing this, and
it'll give you some wild codes.


----Slow but sure----
    By far, the sloowwwest thing in the world, but if it can be done with a PAR, you can
do it with this trainer. It simply looks for ANY value thats changed. Whether smaller, 
bigger, true or false, anything! It takes a while, and you'll have to make the judgement
on your own when to reset and scan the memory. Use when all else fails.


2c. - Where can I find codes?

    Codes for the PAR were published in many magazines during the 16 bit era. 
The US magazines that I know of that published the most PAR codes were Gamefan 
and Gamepro. You can find a plethora of codes on the internet, just search for
them on your favorite search engine. You can find codes also at 
gamefaqs.com or at cheatzilla.com

2d. - Where can I find a PAR?

Chances are, you will NEVER find a PAR in any store in the USA, except for
some used game stores. I have heard that they are pretty common in Europe.
You could always try Usenet posts and game trading sites. Probably your 
best bet would be ebay. They usually sell for between 30-60$ US there. 
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Section 3. - Author's notes and thanks

Thanks to Patric Smeets for getting me a PAR, and of course to Sega for 
producing the finest consoles and software in the history of mankind. You
will be missed. Also, thanks to Datel for producing the PAR and all their 
other lines of crap that makes gaming so fun!

Thanks to Trevor Wilson for his deeply comprehensive Import Genesis FAQ,
and also Gamefaqs.com for having the absolute best gaming site on the net.

If you have anything to contribute to this FAQ, email me.

Visit (and contribute) to Cheatzilla.com!
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Got something to say or something you want to give me for free? 
Email lordazathoth@geocities.com
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