Duke Nukem 3D was released in late 1997 for the American and
European Saturn markets. Because Sega Europe didn't bother
to release the Netlink add-on in Europe only the American
version of Duke Nukem 3D comes with Netlink/Xband compatibility.
Because the Netlink service in America didn't rely on servers
(as was the case with the Japanese X-band compatible games)
players could directly call each-other for some online action.
Because of this anybody with a Saturn, a Netlink and a compatible
game can still enjoy some online play! Now, living in the
Netherlands isn't exactly the best start.. the chance finding
someone with a US Saturn, netlink and compatible games is
remote to say the least. This is why I started a little experiment
(which I always enjoy).
-Desired result: Linking up two Saturns (with
Netlink adapters) over a splitted/ISDN phone line.
-Used: 1 US Sega Saturn console, 1 JPN Sega
Saturn console, 1 US Netlink adapter, 1 JPN X-band adapter,
2 copies of Duke Nukem 3D, an in-house ISDN
line and some patience.
The configuration downstairs
And the configuration upstairs
After setting up the configurations seen above
(I needed to swap my Sega Satelite cart for the X-band cart
just after the SEGA logo because of the region imcompatibility
of Duke Nukem 3D, my system disc didn't work, sadly), it was
a simple case of setting the downstairs Saturn to dial the
Saturn upstairs. Because you have two simple 'line identifiers'
(in this case 1 for downstairs and 2 for the line upstairs)
having the Saturn downstairs call '2' was enough to establish
a connection with the Saturn upstairs.
'Ooh not sure if can remember this one, better write
Here goes nothing..
And lo and behold; it worked. You can read all about the actual
gameplay HERE. But first let me answer
a couple of things;
-What's the gain?
By 'calling' the other Saturn via a second
line (called ISDN in the Netherlands, a term not used much
abroad), you basicly keep your call internal, which is FREE.
Another cool thing is to have two Saturns in the same house
with a setup close to that of a direct link-up one. (if your
sockets are close enough, or use some extension cables). Install
some tvs and enjoy!
-Why didn't you use two Netlink adapters?
Good question but the answer is simple. The US netlink adapters
are a lot harder to find (and more expensive) and in a previous
experiment the Japanese X-band and US Netlink
adapters seemed to be able to communicate just fine!
[ Project status: Succesful!