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I own an old Dreamcast and I have an issue with only one of my games. Phantasy Star Online can't make it past the first screen with the Sega logo. I put in the disc, hit power, and it fails back to the operating system menu. I tried cleaning my disc and I even bought a second copy. I don't think it is my Dreamcast because all my other games worked. Does anybody have ideas of what I could try?

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  • You could try turning the Dreamcast upside down (or maybe to the side), and then power it on. Or try to place some weight on it (e.g., a few books). -- If it works then, I guess it’s the laser (some games might have more problems than others).
    – unor
    Dec 30, 2018 at 18:27

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Phantasy Star Online servers have been offline for several years (US Dreamcast servers went offline in 2003). However, it is apparently still possible to play using fan-run servers. How to go about doing that seems to depend on you Dreamcast model and the version of the game you have.

This site provides instructions, should you want to attempt it, claiming you need the following:

  • A Dreamcast BBA (model HIT-400, HIT-401). Neither are region coded so you can use them with every Dreamcast, U NTSC, PAL, or NTSC-J.
  • An original copy of JAP, NTSC-U or PAL PSO V2
  • a cable net
  • a router
  • a program called DR DNS, written by Phytress

Just in case the linked site goes down, here is the guide:

Ok let's get started. The first thing is trying to connect via DR DNS. This is the best way to connect to the game because require no deep PC knowledge. Captain N's DNS: 65.12.199.46 It is necessary to use DNS because PSO uses a strange hop count where the packets are easily dropped and the result is an unstable connection. If this does not work, or the DNS is down, you have to create a private DNS using your pc.

If you connect the Dreamcast directly via adsl modem, go directly to "Configuring Dreamcast". Most of you should have it already connected to a router. You have to know the DHCP range of your router so you can give a static IP to your Dramcast. To do that open the web browser on your pc and input in the address bar the IP of your router (usually 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1). If you don't know what is the IP address of your router open the prompt of commands and input ipconfig , the number you see under Default Gateway is the ip of your router. Probably you will be asked to input username and password (usually they are User:admin Password:admin). If you don't know the password try inputting your modem name in Google to find out the default account informations. Once you logged find the DHCP options. If for example the rang of DHCP is 192.168.0.100 till 150 you have to input an address not used by other devices or one outside the range (like 151 or more in this case)

Dreamcast setting
Make sure that the Ethernet cables and BBA are all connected to the Dreamacast and turn on the Dreamcast with a copy NTSC-U (US) of PSO v2 , or with the version NTSC-J (Japanese) PSO v2. Start PSO and move to the "Website" from the main menu. In the IP address field you must enter an IP address outside the DHCP range of the router. In the field of subnet mask, enter 255.255.255.0. In the field DNS1 enter DNS Captain N which is the well-known address 65.12.199.46. Also, if you want to surf the internet with your Dreamcast , in DNS2 you can enter the IP address of your router. This way, when you want to play PSO will try to connect to the PSO with the first DNS, but if you're not playing PSO able to browse the Internet with the browser of the game via the secondary DNS. In the Gateway field, enter the IPaddress of your router. Save the settings and exit the configuration page. If you've done everything correctly, you should now be able to connect to the server. Load your character and go to Ragol. Congratulations, we can watch online!

If that does not work, make sure you have done all the steps correctly (in particular, ensure you have not made a typing error during compilation of the various fields / IPaddress). If everything is correct try to ping the IP address of the DNS Catain N (start> run> cmd> ping 65.12.199.46). If the PC tells 4 packets sent with 4 packets received (0% loss) in x milliseconds is all ok. Otherwise, the DNS is down. If DNS is on, go to the website to check if the server is online, you'll need to run a private DNS. To set your DNS, you give your PC a static IP address, this will make things easier when we will set the DNS server on your PC. To give your PC a static IP, go to Network and click the right button on your network card. Select Properties and you will see a new pop-up window. Within this window there is a box that says "This connection uses the following items: ...". Select "Internet Protocol (TCP / IPv4)" and click "Properties". Yet another pop-up box. Click on the circle where it says "Use the following IP address". Where it asks that the IP address set, enter an IP address that is outside of the DHCP we have reviewed previously (for example, if we have seen that the DHCP range 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.150 then we could enter an address IP 192.168.0.99 and 192.168.0.175, those are just examples). Never change the first digits, only the last. In the event that it is not too clear, in the example that follows the "x" are numbers that can be changed: 192.168.0.xxx. Now, click the box where it says "Subnet Mask" that you should automatically fill as 255.255.255.0, leave it that is fine. Now, in the next box "Default Gateway". Enter the IP address of your router here (eg 192.168.0.1). The next set of boxes are about the DNS server. In the box next to where it says "DNS Server Default" re enter the IP address of your router. You can leave the box "Alternate DNS server" blank. Now click "OK" and "OK" and the new settings will take effect. Internet should work fine as before the operation. Now, download and extract the DNS DR. Open the file named redirect.txt, press ctrl + a and delete everything. Copy and paste this in place master.pso.dream-key.com 209.17.170.137 save file. You do not need all those sites, are only to cover the range of sites that all versions of PSO tries to connect. The only version of PSOv2 that works now is the version PAL / EU and master.pso.dream-key.com is the site that is trying to connect. Now you have to go in the "Website" in PSO and the IP address field, enter the IP address of the computer to which you have assigned a static IP address (which will also be used to start the DNS DR). Perform DR DNS.exe, then load PSO. Connected; Choose your character and go through the screens as normal. Everything should work, and if you notice, DR DNS will tell you that the game has tried to look on master.pso.dream-key.com, and then redirected to the IP address that you entered in the text file. Congratulations and have fun with PSO online You should leave the DNS server running while you play, and every time you want to play you just have to turn on the DNS server. If tomorrow will not be able to log on to the server is only because they have changed the IP address of the same, just change the address in the file only redirect.txt and magically everything should return to normal.

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  • The game should start, no matter if it can connect to a server or not (there is an offline mode after all). So OP’s problem will either be the console or the quality of the disc.
    – unor
    Dec 30, 2018 at 18:25
  • @unor If other games run fine and other copies of the game also do not work, then I doubt the console or disc are the problem. The version of the game may play a part in why offline is not an option. For example, I don't think the Blue Burst version of the game has an offline mode.
    – Batophobia
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:15
  • While Blue Burst doesn’t have an offline mode, there is no Dreamcast version of it. For the Dreamcast, there are two versions: PSO and PSO Ver.2 -- and both of them have the offline mode: the game starts, you select a character, and then you choose whether you want to play offline or online with this char.
    – unor
    Jan 1, 2019 at 4:53

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