Thanks go out to two of our Japanese players, nana and mimi, for translating this message for the Japanese PSO community. Dreamcast users have been unable to play online with Japanese Ver.1 or Japanese Ver.2 for the past several years, because Sega required users of those versions to pay a monthly fee, known as a "Hunter's License". When Sega closed the HL server, Japanese versions of PSO (and USv2) could no longer go online, because they could not contact the authorization server. Because the HL server used encryption, it was also not possible for private servers to have their own HL server. Therefore, the only way to let these games go online again was to create a patch to disable the HL check. Finding someone to create that patch was difficult, because few people knew enough about Dreamcast programming to do it. That patch has now been created, so JPv1, JPv2, and USv2 can go online again. This means that it is no longer necessary to import the European versions of PSO to play online, and it is possible to use original Japanese Serial Numbers and Access Keys to make new characters and go online with them.

To use the patch, Xploder codes or BlueCrab's loader may be used.

To use the codes, an Xploder (also known as CodeBreaker) disc is required. In order to avoid having to enter the codes by hand every time you want to go online, they can be saved to a VMU. A separate VMU or 4M bank is required to save codes.

To connect with any version of PSO, a separate "Connect Code" can be used to direct the game to a private server. Dial up users must use the connect code. Users with a Dreamcast Broadband Adapter may set DNS 1 in the BBA configuration to

to connect to Sylverant without needing the connect code. All versions also require the "Enable Code" for that version.

To enter codes for the first time, start the Dreamcast with the Xploder disc and enter the "Cheat Browser". Select to add a new game, and name it. (For example "PSO JPv1" or "PSO JPv2".) Next, add a new new code, and name it. (For example, "Enable Code".) Finally, select the option to "Add Code" to enter the actual code. Once codes have been entered, press the Start button. You will be asked if you want to save the codes to a VMU. Insert an empty VMU or 4M bank into the controller, and press the A button to save the codes. In the future, you can now load the codes from the VMU instead of entering them by hand.

The codes for JPv1 are:

Enable Code:


Disable Hunter's License Check:


Sylverant Server Connect:


The codes for JPv2 are:

Enable Code:


Disable Hunter's License Check:


Sylverant Server Connect:


It is very important to know that Sega designed PSOv2 to be able to detect codes saved to a VMU, as a way to reduce cheating. If a VMU with saved codes is inserted while playing PSO, rare items will not drop. Also, playing PSO at the same time as a VMU with saved codes is inserted may cause your PSO save data to corrupt, the saved codes to corrupt, or both to corrupt. Therefore, it is critical that the VMU with the saved codes is not inserted while playing PSO. To be completely safe, follow this procedure when starting PSO:

  1. Insert the Xploder disc and the VMU with the saved codes.
  2. Turn on the Dreamcast, activate the saved codes, and select "Start Game".
  3. Open the disc lid, remove the VMU with the saved codes, and insert the PSO disc and the VMU with PSO save data.
  4. Close the disc lid to start PSO.

This prevents the VMU with saved codes from being inserted at the same time as the VMU with PSO save data, and it also prevents the VMU with saved codes from being inserted while PSO is running. As a result, save data is safe, and rare items are able to drop.

The Enable Code and Hunter's License disable codes are required to play online, but they can be used to let PSO play on any private server. It is important to note that JPv1 is currently only compatible with Sylverant. If you try to connect JPv1 to SCHTServ or other private servers, the game will not connect properly. This is because JPv1 is different from other PSO versions.

As you know, Sega released PSOv2 to add new features and correct many bugs from Ver.1. Because JPv1 was the first PSO to be released, it has more bugs than even USv1 or EUv1. All private servers are mostly based on the work that Schthack did when designing the first private PSO server. Because Schthack lives in Canada, he used USv1 to test the server, and he did not know that JPv1 worked differently. This is why the game cannot connect to servers using his software.

This bug was discovered after creating the code to disable the Hunter's License check and allow JPv1 to go online again. The Sylverant software has been updated to allow for JPv1 to connect; however, the connection problem seems to be only one of many slight differences between JPv1 and the other PSO versions. In early testing of JPv1 on Sylverant, two other bugs were discovered and fixed, but others may exist. Because JPv1 could not be tested once the Hunter's License server was closed, it was not possible to look for bugs in the past. Therefore, we encourage users of JPv1 to report any bugs they may find while playing the game. We will do our best to fix any future bugs as soon as possible.

Because the executable files for PSOv2 are encrypted, the patch to disable the Hunter's License check would not have been possible without Lee's contribution of a decrypted USv2 executable. Thanks also go out to Thira for sending me copies of JPv1 and JPv2 many years ago. It was my hope to be able to use those discs to help the Japanese community some day. I used the copy of JPv2 she sent me to decrypt the executable so that the HL check could be disabled on JPv2, and I used both her JPv1 and JPv2 discs to test the codes. Thanks of course are also due to BlueCrab, who studied the decrypted executable files in order to create the codes to disable the HL check. Finally, all Dreamcast versions of PSO can go online again due to his work.

If you do not have an Xploder disc or you do not wish to save codes to your VMU to go online, BlueCrab has also created a special loader disc. This loader will automatically detect the PSO disc you insert and apply the appropriate patches for the game to go online and connect to the Sylverant server. The Xploder disc, saved codes, and a special DNS 1 in the BBA configuration are not necessary to connect if you use the loader disc.

Simply burn the disc image to a CD-R and insert the disc in your Dreamcast. Once the loader tells you to insert PSO, open the disc lid, insert your GD-ROM, and close the disc lid. The loader will check to determine which PSO disc has been inserted. Once the check is complete, the loader will report the game that was detected. (For example, "Phantasy Star Online Ver.2 (Japanese)".) The loader will ask you to press the START button to patch and begin the game. You will now be able to connect to the Sylverant server in online mode.

The loader disc also applies a bug fix to the game to enable the quest "FAMITSU-MAXIMUM ATTACK-" to be played in Ultimate mode. As you may know, if you try to play that quest in Ultimate mode, Principal Tyrell instructs you to return to the lobby, because the simulator is not available in Ultimate mode. Sega designed the quest this way because the game itself is broken. The quest uses special maps for Cave 3 and Mine 2 that are not used in other quests, and because Ultimate mode contains areas with different visuals, the game contains two lists of maps -- one for Normal/Hard/Very Hard modes, and one for Ultimate mode. Unfortunately, the list of maps for Ultimate is missing the entry for the maps used in "FAMITSU-MAXIMUM ATTACK-", which prevents the quest from being played in Ultimate mode.

The loader disc will automatically fix the list of maps so that the quest can be played in Ultimate, as well as any future quests that may use those maps. It is important to know that even with the fix, the "FAMITSU-MAXIMUM ATTACK-" quest file must still be modified to allow the quest to be played in Ultimate. This quest has been updated on the Sylverant server to allow it to be played in Ultimate mode. If you play on another server, the administrator of that server must also modify the quest to unlock Ultimate mode.

The map fix is only available in the loader, because Xploder codes to fix the maps do not work. Because the Xploder is a third-party disc not created by Sega, it was not very well designed. The Xploder code to fix the maps did not work, possibly because it is too large for the Xploder disc to use. Therefore, the map fix is exclusive to BlueCrab's loader, because his program is able to apply complicated fixes.

Again, thanks go to Lee for providing decrypted executables for PSOv2, which were necessary to apply the map fix, and thanks again are due to Thira for sending me a copy of JPv2. I used that copy to create and test the map fix for JPv2. Thanks of course are also due again to BlueCrab, who took the time to create a loading program for PSO himself. Thanks to his work, it is possible to go online without Xploder codes, and the map fix is available for the first time on the Dreamcast.

We hope both the codes and the loader disc will allow more Japanese users to play online, and we thank you for your support.

--Aleron Ives