We Don’t Need Roads

Let me start with some bad news first: I have a cold, or flu, or whatever that is that’s been bugging me for a week now. And not just me I’m afraid – so long story short the Saturn ODEs will have to wait until 2nd or 3rd week of February. Hopefully by then I will have enough of either Rheas or Phoebes to take orders.

Since I’m having some trouble with PCE I decided to do something else, for the fun of it. I got some help too so a lot of time consuming tasks (like checking what signals go to what chips) were done for me. Again long story short I’ve recently made this:

It’s FM Towns Marty ODE I’m calling DocBrown – and the good news is I just got it to boot games this past weekend. Now, obviously it’s a prototype but seems to work pretty well actually, even if right now it needs that FPGA next to it to fix timings on one of the signals that I can’t get right with the MCU alone. I should be able to overcome this with some external logic/PLD though, I already have an idea and if parts arrive soon I can test it next weekend.

So far I’ve tested: Flashback, Loom, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Ultima Underworld – everything works. UU loading time is still terrible but that’s how the game was coded, it does a lot of short reads (tons of small files) and Marty requires drive seek times not to be zero. Still way faster than original drive, plus I found out I might be able to offer a small data transfer speedup via signal overclocking. It’s going to be optional and not enabled by default, and it’s just 10% or so – nothing fancy. Oh and the hardware was designed with CD+G support in mind but I haven’t tested or even coded that yet, first I need to get that core functionality right.

Anyway, if Marty ODE is something you’re interested in buying please leave a short comment – when/if I get it working without FPGA I could order revised PCBs for initial batch. Do note Marty drive is not the same as in regular FM Towns! If it’s the other one you want please leave a comment too, I might just buy that system next 🙂


136 thoughts on “We Don’t Need Roads

    • Hello, I’m very interested in getting two Phoebe‘s. I have just bought two Sega Saturn’s that as Multi Region MK2 50/60Hz Switchless mod installed. I have only just seen the Phoebe SD loader. And I really would like two. I have opened me Saturn’s up and I can tell it’s compatible with the Phoebe loader. But I’m not sure on what motherboard I have got. It’s not a Rhea compatible one. So that’s out of the question. If someone can help me on fining out. I be great full. And also since both of me Sega Saturn as the Multi Region mod done. I have noticed a cable going to the power of the disk drive. Can I still have this mod installed with Phoebe? I can’t see why not. But better asking and being safe then sorry. Thank you

  1. Out of curiosity will he ode work with model 1 or 2 of the Marty? I believe there was a white and a grey version

  2. I would love to get a marty ode… just got my hands on a marty a few months back… anything to help preserve the console for my future of owning and playing it! Thanks for all your hard work!

  3. Hi, I do not know exactly what kind of Saturn type va0 or va1 I have.
    Sorry but i dont understand the Note : VA0 units have the power supply (PSU), buttons and LEDs attached to the upper case.
    I have open my Saturn and i think its the same like the first picture in the Saturn details.
    Can anybody help me ?
    Thank you.

    • Hello Star Lord, it is easy this theme:

      Open your Sega Saturn and look If she use 20 pins or 21 pins, If she it has 20 pins you need RHEA or If She it has 21 pins you need PHOEBE, that is everything, now: here there is a section where there are photos of Sega Saturn opens, look there first that section It will help you a lot of.

      I wait had helped you, If need more information you can writer me.

  4. I would be interested in a FM Towns ode too, even if I don’t have the console yet!
    As for other one, I have my Pc Engine Duo-R still in need and would love to see Amiga CD32 and Sega CD. I love you Rhea and GDemu, so count me in!

  5. I don’t have a Marty but this is definitely more of a reason to get one now!

  6. Hello friends, I would like can contact a Sr. GDEMU by email because of I am interest in buy one of this GDEMU for my Dreamcast, I have a question:

    Somebody it has the Email of Sr. GDEMU?

    If somebody have the email please give me for to talk with him.

    I am waiting a answer from you all, thanks friends !!!

  7. I am French, and the translations are not always very clear. could someone tell me what is the Marty console and the Marty ode. because I did not understand well.

    but for my part, I’m waiting to put a rhea or phoebe hand, hoping that production will not be stopped

    • Bonjour Ol Louz,

      La Marty est la première console utilisant de base un lecteur CD (plus un lecteur de disquette).
      C’est une machine japonaise créée par Fujistu qui dominait à l’époque le monde du micro-ordinateur au Japon avec des machines très performantes. Bien avant l’arrivée du DOS et de Windows de Microsoft.

      ODE pour Opitcal Diskdrive Emulator, est un moyen de remplacer le lecteur CD-rom par un autre medium. Ici une carte SD.
      La machine ainsi modifiée ne comportera alors plus de lecteur CD-rom.
      Notez que la Marty étant une machine japonaise elle est difficile à trouver et requière du 110v.

      Exemple pour la Dreamcast avec GDemu:
      Exemple pour la Saturn avec Rhea :

  8. I am so interested in your Marty project!! I totally want this 😀


      • Hello Mr. GDEMU, excuse friend:

        Can you give me your email?, I need to talk you, If you would can give me you email I will be happy, glad and pride with you.

        Note: I give my email or you give me that you have?

      • Hi, will it be possible soon to preorder phoebes / rheas again?

  9. Does anyone know exactly how long the dreamcast screw for the gdemu is? I didnt have a version 1, when I ordered the gdemu, so I had it sitting around for a while and I dont have the screw now. Im thinking of buying one of the 3d printed pieces so I dont need the spacer, just the screw.

  10. Hi,

    will it be possible soon to preorder phoebes / rheas again?

  11. Very cool. I have so much respect for this person and for the retro community. Very hard worker and looking forward to trying to get a phoebe and gdemu when they become available. Such a huge dreamcast fan. Keep up the great work. 😁

  12. I would love to see these products crowdfunded to make it happen. Instead of just using physical media and risk it damaging your game, there’s going to be a market for this. The demand is great for the work that you provide and people wish these items were more abundant. People would certainly love to invest in something like this to preserve their gaming experience

  13. Would you consider selling pre-modded sega saturn units? I’d be interested in a pre-modded and ready to run sega saturn that all I had to supply was the SD card loaded with the games.

    Plug-n-play style, ya know?

    If you were open to such a sale, how much do you think you would sell such an item for?

  14. Hope you aren’t still ill. Are you still expecting to be able to take orders for Phoebe this month?

    I feel like I check your site 50+ times a day lol. Can’t wait for a Phoebe, Gdemu, DocBrown, and hopefully someday soon PC Engine Duo-R ODE.

  15. I’d love to see a Marty and Towns II ODE. I have a Fresh TV and would purchase both ODEs for the Towns.

  16. I would order an FM Towns solution in a heartbeat and put the CD-Rom assembly in storage should a solution be available!

  17. Definately interested… wish I could say would buy tomorrow but I don’t yet have an FM Towns, however once I had one an ODE would be awesome!

  18. I would love love love this for the FM Towns Computer (specifically the original FM Towns 2 tower) it would be amazing!

  19. Does anyone know if this site still sell Phoebe mod chips??? Ever since this site has been up, I haven’t seen any for sale even once yet people are saying on here and on youtube how awesome they are??? I’ve been checking back every single day for months and months and I still can’t order one??

  20. hi
    i am french, sorry for my english 🙂
    i m interested by gdemu and Phoebe
    when ordering will opened ?
    i watching every week th site but orderind is always closed ? are stopped the product ?

    best regards

  21. Hi there! I just learned about the DocBrown and thank you for working on FM-Towns now. As you may or may not be aware all of the CD-Roms for FM-Towns computers are proprietary and once they stop working, it’s very difficult to get them working again and since most games are played off the CD-Rom it makes the computer into an oversized doorstop. I’ve been doing exhibits of MSX, PC-98 and X68000 computers in Atlanta at the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast and I thought last year to order a FM-Towns II MA for exhibit. It was then that I learned that the CD-Rom was no longer working in it and while it turns on, there’s really not much I can do with it without a working CD-Rom. I showcased it last year as a turned off machine… great exhibit piece. lol

    I’d love to see a fork of the DocBrown (wonderful name by the way, maybe the new one could be the “HillValley” or HillV for the TOWN name from BttF) that works with the other FM-Towns CD-Rom units.

    Keep up the great work and I’m looking forward to the day you get the PCE stuff working too!

Comments are closed.