Amiga CD32 NTSC Compatibility List

May 2, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

cd32Several months ago, I purchased a CD32.  I had been interested in the system for a long time, since it has a fairly interesting story and brand new systems are easy to get on eBay.  Unfortunately, mine came with a busted controller, so I didn’t get much use of it.  I finally fixed it, but all that is a backstory for another post.

All you need to know for this post is that Commodore was planning on releasing the system in the US, but it never happened because they went bankrupt.  But before they went bankrupt, a whole warehouse worth of NTSC systems were built.  As a result, it’s pretty easy to get hardware, but since no NTSC games were released, software is a whole different matter.

Because of the lack of official NTSC software, most North American CD32 owners have to resort to import titles.  The problem there is that they were all designed for PAL systems, so there are some compatibility issues, mostly amounting to cut off displays.  There seems to be a fair amount of interest in the system on this side of the pond, but a general lack of information on which games work and which don’t.  This list is an attempt to rectify that.

As I play a new CD32 game, I’ll add an entry to this page to describe its compatibility with NTSC systems.  For the record, I’m using one of the NTSC systems that are so easy to find on eBay, with an S-Video connection to a standard-def NTSC CRT TV.  Unless otherwise noted, I’m booting the game in NTSC mode instead of the hidden PAL mode.  Here’s what I’ve found so far:

  • Bubba N Stix: Poor.  Does not boot in NTSC mode.  Boots in PAL mode, but the refresh rate is all wrong and causes the screen to scroll.
  • Chuck Rock: Excellent.  The in-game action runs at a weird resolution, though, so there is a black box around the picture.  The “Core Design” logo at boot-up is off center, but the game appears to adjust itself after that.
  • D/Generation: Perfect.  But like Chuck Rock, it runs with some black borders.
  • Guardian: Great, but needs adjustment.  The bottom of the screen is cut off at the default settings.  To fix, start a game, pause, then use the shoulder buttons to adjust the position of the picture.
  • Lost Vikings: Perfect, and a great game, to boot!
  • The Misadventures of Flink: Good.  The game boots in NTSC mode but hangs when you begin the first stage.  Boot in PAL mode for a perfect experience, even on NTSC TVs.  The Green button seems to toggle between 50 and 60 Hz modes.

That’s it for now, but the list will surely expand!


5/15/09 Update: Added The Misadventures of Flink and Bubba N Stix.