Playing on PlayStation 2
There's certainly a market of people who wish to play a PlayStation 2 game the way Sony wanted you to, on the actual hardware and not emulated through a PC, and in most cases denying playing on a PC are those who believe they have a potato PC. Which is understandable, why play in a desk chair on a monitor when you could play on the couch on a huge 4k television?
.hack//fragment was only released for the region NTSC-J and never received any other kind of release, not NTSC-U/C or PAL(if you attempt to load the disc, you will get the "red screen of death" above). So with the restrictions of hardware and game discs from the the early 2000's, this means the game is "region-locked". Just because you have the game and a PlayStation 2, does not mean it will work on ANY PlayStation 2 (regardless if it's a Fat or Slim model), specifically if you look on the back of your console and it says NTSC-J, it will work.
Now if you have a NTSC-U/C PlayStation 2 console in America i.e. United States and Canada, you can "soft-mod" your console to play other region games. The difference between soft-mod and hard-mod is that you use software to do a trick to allow the console to work the way you need it to, whereas hard-mod means opening up the console and usually using solder on a PCB board and adding new microchips. Here in this chapter we'll discuss soft-modding quick and easy to play the Patched Game you created back in Chapter 1 above. We'll be using the Free Memory Card Boot (FMCB) method to soft-mod your PlayStation 2, you can either purchase one from Amazon or eBay, but we'll be showing you how to make one from any spare PlayStation 2 memory cards you have lying around.
We are going to start from the very beginning assuming you do not have a FMCB memory card already but own a PS2 memory card. You can skip ahead if you already have one. This step will require you to have a PS2 Slim model that does NOT begin with SCPH-90000. The model number must be less to work. If you only have a PS2 Phat model or Slim model that is model number 90000 or more, you will need to buy a pre-formatted FMCB online. (Skip to next section)
- Download FreeDVDBoot. It's only 1.3 MB in size. FreeDVDBoot All PS2 Slims - English language.iso
- Download ImgBurn or CDBurnerXP, about 4 and 7 MB each respectively. You only need one, but if one does not work, switch to the other.
- Using only a DVD-R, sometimes DVD+R will work, burn the FreeDVDBoot onto your disc. Using 1x speed and finalize are both required.
- Insert the FreeDVDBoot disc into your PS2. This will automatically load up LaunchELF v4.43a when you turn your PS2 on.
- Download FreeMCBoot "newbie pack" from PS2-Home.com
- Make sure your USB flash memory is formatted in FAT or FAT32, this will not work on any other format i.e. exFAT, NTFS, etc...
- Extract the files onto your computer, then move the contents of the folder onto your USB flash memory drive.
- Insert the USB flash memory device into the USB1.0 ports on the front of the PS2.
- With the PS2 still on and loaded with FreeDVDBoot showing LaunchELF, press O, then move down to mass:/ and press O.
- You are now on the USB, locate where you copied over the FreeMCBoot files to, and locate file FMCBInstaller.elf and press O.
- You'll be taken to a main menu for the FMCB installer, press R1 twice to Format MC. Choose the slot you have the memory card plugged in.
- When it says Format Complete, navigate back to the main menu of this installer, and click on Install and choose which memory card spot.
- Now you can install FMCB for just this console only i.e. Normal, or you can do Cross-Regional for all PS2's of this model i.e. NTSC and PAL, or you can choose Cross-model to install it for all your region's versions i.e. Phat and Slim. (I'd recommend Normal or Cross-model) Wait for install to complete and quit this program.
- Remove the DVD and toss it, you will never need it again unless you accidentally format your memory card.
Moving Patched Game to USB
You now have FreeMcBoot version 1.966, you will only ever need your memory card and you'll never have to install anything again. On any 4+ GB USB formatted in FAT or FAT32, create a new folder on the root of your USB named DVD and a second new folder named CD. Most clear bottom PS2 discs are DVD's, and most blue or other colored PS2 discs are CD's. See picture below.
- After you've patched the game from chapter 2 above, move the new ISO file into the \DVD\ directory on your USB that was formatted as FAT or FAT32.
- Plug in your USB into your PS2 console, make sure your FMCB memory card is plugged in, remove any discs from your PS2, turn on the PS2.
- Once FMCB is loaded, move down to Open PS2 Loader.
- At the top, choose Settings.
- Use the D-Pad and go down to "Check USB Game Fragmentation", press X, use the D-Pad and press Up to set to On then press X.
- Move down to "USB Device Start Mode" press X, move up to On, then press X.
- Move down to "Default Menu", press X, press Up till you see USB Games, press X, go down to OK and press X.
- Scroll down to Save Changes, press X to save. It should say Settings saved to mc0:
- Press O to open up the Games List, in the future you shouldn't have to do this as the default will now land on the USB Games upon loading this program now.
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