Technical Support FAQ for GameCube "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II"
By Val Hilgenfeldt (BKA Raz Masters, AKA Ta'via) (RazJM(at)juno.com)
Version 1.0 (04/13/03)
Initially Created For: http://www.pso-world.com
01Q: Help! I have Juno or NetZero, and I cannot connect to PSO! What do I do?
01A: This answer should apply to anyone who is using a free ISP which requires you to run their proprietary software to connect, such as the aforementioned Juno and NetZero. I have personally verified that this method works with Juno, and in theory, it will work with any similar free ISP. (If you'd like the specifics, I used Juno 4.0 in Windows 98 SE.) What you will need to do is extract your true login and password, and connect with that. Although I used to recommend DialGuard, I tried it myself and could not get it to work, so I've found an alternative. Please note, however, that most free ISPs consider this an unwanted circumvention of their software, and if they somehow find out you are doing it, they may disconnect you/cancel your account. If that happens, you will have to make a new account with them, and start over.
* IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to a security feature, the PSOW forums do not allow posts that include back slashes (e.g. ) to be posted as part of a path. Although the following instructions use forward slashes, such as "c:/example/example", you want to replace all of those / with 's.
* Step 1: First, you must download rasspy.exe, which is relatively easy to find on the internet. I have also uploaded it to my FTP for the time being, so you can download it by clicking here
. (If that link ever goes down, just search for rasspy.exe on http://www.google.com
.) Download rasspy to any directory of your choice, for example, c:/rasspy.
* Step 2: Now, do you have a Juno shortcut icon on your desktop? If you do not, skip ahead to step 2a and then return to this step. If you do, right-click on the icon, and select "Properties". A Juno Properties box will pop up. In the "Target" field, add in the following line, including
the quotes (adjusting it according to wherever you downloaded rasspy to): "c:/rasspy/rasspy.exe" cmd=
. The whole line should now look something like this: "c:/rasspy/rasspy.exe" cmd="c:/program files/juno/bin/juno.exe"
. Proceed to step 3.
* Step 2a: If you do not have a Juno shortcut on your desktop, we are going to create one. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop, and on the menu that pops up, click on "New", then "Shortcut". In the window that comes up, click the "Browse" button, and find your juno.exe file (which should be under something similar to "c:/program files/juno/bin/". If you do not know what directory it is in, hit your "Start" button, then "Find", then click "Files and Folders", and search for "juno.exe" without the quotes). Once the juno.exe command line fills in the field, click the "Next" button, and name your shortcut "Juno". Then click "Finish", and proceed with step 2.
* Step 3: Double-click the icon to run the program. UCF's startup graphic will pop up, and some music will play. Then, Juno will start as per normal. When Juno is open, try to connect to the internet. A window will pop up -- "Remote Access Service Phonebook Spy" (that's RASspy) -- and it will contain the phone number you are dialing, your real username, and your real password. Write everything down in its entirety, because you will need all of this information.
* Step 4: Power up your GameCube. Once PSO has loaded up, go into "Options", and navigate to where you input your settings. Fill in the login field with your full, true Juno login, including
the "@jweb.juno.com" part at the end. Then input your real password, and make sure that the letters are either capitalized or in lower case according to exactly how it appeared in RASspy. (For example, if your password was Qu93oPPmN, you would type in Qu93oPPmN on your GameCube; qu93oppmn would not work.) If for any reason you cannot get PSO to save your password, check Step 4a. Then fill in your telephone number as per normal (e.g. 15615555555), and try it out!
* Step 4a: If your Juno/NetZero password contains non-alphanumeric characters, such as quotes or an apostrophe, you will have to leave your password blank in the PSO configuration. Every time you connect to PSO, you will be required to input your password. The only way to avoid entering your password each time is to create a new Juno/NetZero account which yields a purely alphanumeric password.
02Q: What ISPs (Internet Service Providers) work with PSO, and how do I get them to work?
02A: In theory, all of them. A lot of people will tell you America Online does not work with PSO, but that is not true. It does not work with it directly
, and, assuming that you have a Windows PC, you will have to set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and buy the necessary components. For Windows XP, this is impossibly easy. For Windows 98 SE (Second Edition), it is a bit more complicated, and if you have anything older (Windows 98 First Edition, Windows 95), unfortunately, you will not be able to do it. If you are in charge of your ISP account, it's recommended that you get something other than AoL, such as Earthlink
. You can also find a huge, unbeatable list of ISPs here, known as "The List"
. There's more than enough room to pick and choose, but ideally, you want to avoid something that makes you run proprietary software in order to connect, like America Online, CompuServe, and so on. You will not be able to use any ISPs like those without setting up ICS and using your computer as a server. If you have a standard ISP like Earthlink or BellSouth which does not require any software to be run in order to connect, you should be able to fill in your generic information in PSO's setup and connect just fine. If you have no choice as to what your ISP is, are currently using something like AOL, and are willing to set up ICS...
* Necessary Items: A GameCube Broadband Adapter (BBA), a networking card (NIC), and an RJ-45 Crossover Cable that will link your networking card and GameCube BBA. (Please make sure you get a Crossover cable, because a standard RJ-45 cable will not work
. I recommend buying one off of eBay
since they are expensive in retail stores.)
** Windows XP
* Step 1: This will assume that you have some rudimentary Windows XP knowledge. There is a way to do this automatically, by using Windows XP's ICS Wizard, but that has failed on me a few times, so I recommend doing it manually. First, navigate to the "Network and Dial-Up Connections" folder, and open it. Are you connected to the internet? If you are, disconnect before you proceed. Now, click on the "Internet Gateway" icon for your connection (modem), right-click if necessary to bring up a sub-menu, and select "Properties". On the window that comes up, hit the "Advanced" tab, and check "Allow Other Network Users To Connect Through This Computer's Internet Connection". (Self-explanatory, isn't it?) Connect to the internet.
* Step 2: Connect your GC BBA to your NIC by plugging in the RJ-45 Crossover Cable to both. Start up your GameCube, and when PSO's title screen loads, go to "Options", then "Network Option", then "Provider Option". Hit "Yes" to proceed. If you do not already have a networking file, let PSO create one, and if you already have one, hit "Yes" to edit it. Click on "Network Setup", select the name you want to use, and hit "Edit Menu". After you have modified the name of the ISP connection to your liking, hit "Next", and then click the radio button (circle) for "Automatically Obtain IP Address (DHCP)". Keep hitting "Next" until you have the option to hit "Save", and do so, saving your settings.
* Step 3: Try to connect to the 'net with your GameCube. If the connection does not work, you will have to manually set an IP. Proceed with step 4 only if you have to do this.
* Step 4: Return to the "Provider Option" menu in PSO. This time, click on "Manually Set An IP Address". Hit "Next", and for your IP address, put in 192.168.0.200
. For your Subnet Mask, put in 255.255.255.0. For your Default Gateway, put in 192.168.1.1. Hit "Next", leaving the DNS fields blank, and "Save" these settings. You should now be able to connect.
* NOTE: I have heard that it is very difficult to get AOL to work with ICS under Windows XP, but I do not know why. I used the above configuration to get a GameCube to connect through a BellSouth DSL USB modem. It should work just as well with an AOL DSL USB modem, so you shouldn't have any problems. If it does not work for you, then sadly, there is nothing more I can offer.
** Windows 98 SE
* Step 1: In Win98SE, ICS is not already installed: You will have to install it yourself. Click on "Start", then "Settings", "Control Panel", and "Add/Remove Programs". Click the "Windows Setup" tab, and double-click "Internet Tools". Check the box for "Internet Sharing", then hit "OK". Keep hitting "OK" until all the windows close, and the ICS installer pops up.
* Step 2: Hit "Next", select your respective connection, and hit "Next" again. Choose your NIC, and hit "Next". Windows will prompt you to create a client disk, but since your GC is not a computer, you do not need this. Hit "Next" until you can hit "Finish", and then set up your GameCube according to steps 2, 3 and 4 under "** Windows XP" in the section above this one.
03Q: I have an external USB modem. How do I connect to PSO?
03A: Please read about ICS under 02A.
04Q: I have America Online. How do I connect to PSO?
04A: Please read about ICS under 02A.
05Q: I have dial-up MSN. How do I connect to PSO?
05A: In order to connect to MSN, fill out all of your connection information as per normal, but when you fill in your username, type "MSN / yourusername", eliminating the spaces and quotes.
06Q: I have a broadband connection, not a dial-up (narrowband) connection, and a home network set up. Right now, I'm connecting to PSO through a hub/switch/router, but it's not working, or I keep getting disconnected. What do I do?
06A: Is the modem near your GameCube? If so, eliminating everything inbetween by connecting your GameCube to the modem directly should resolve your problem. However, for a lot of home network users, this is not an option, especially since your GameCube may be in another area of the house altogether. (My GameCube is 100 feet away from my router!) As long as you have it connected to the network somehow, you should be able to resolve this problem. If you are using a switch, make sure that your GameCube's assigned IP is exclusive and is not being used by another computer on your network. If you are connecting through a hub and are having connect/disconnect/FSODs, either eliminate the hub and connect using the modem directly, or follow this "Error No.015" guide, which does require you to purchase and use a router:
*** Error No.015 Guide
(Please note that this part of the guide assumes that you have rudimentary networking experience!)
Through your computer's browser, get into your router's setup. Do you see an area which tells you what your IP addresses will start with?
It will normally be something like "192.168.1.1." (It does not have to be this IP exactly, but it will be similar.) You will know this is the correct number if each of your networked computers connect to the 'net with something like it, such as 192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3, and so on for each consecutive computer. Remember this generic IP for later. Write it down if you have to. You are going to need it when you set up your GC.
Now, check to see what the Subnet Mask is. Also save the Subnet Mask information for later.
Finally, check to see what the gateway IP is, and also save that for later.
In your router's setup, make sure that it is set to act as a DHCP server. Also, if you can, make sure that your router is set up to accept connections from every device you have connected to it -- all of your computers and the GameCube. Save your changes, if any, and do whatever your router requires for the changes to "settle" with your computer. (I have a LinkSys, and they recommend restarting the modem, and the computer. The reason we are worried about your computer, too, is because we must use it to test your internet connectivity.)
After making sure that your internet connection still works fine, go power up your GameCube and hook up its broadband connection. At the PSO title screen, select "Options," then "Network Option," then "Provider Option." Naturally, hit "OK" when it prompts you. Use existing network data if you have it, or make a new file if necessary.
Hit "Network Setup." Click on the connection name you want to modify and/or create. Hit "Edit Menu," name it as you wish, then hit "Next." Select "Manually Set An IP Address." Although we are going for a DHCP connection, you still will get one, but you need to do this to get the error to go away.
Beneath that, select whatever disconnect option you want, it doesn't matter. Then hit "Next."
On this screen, you have to input an IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. This is where the information you acquired earlier comes into play.
For the IP address, count how many devices you have networked to the router. If there are five devices total, and your GC is the fifth, give your GC the fifth possible IP. Using the example above, this would be 192.168.1.5. Do not worry that every other computer on the network is (probably) set up to detect the IP automatically. Just keep going!
Type in the Subnet Mask in the next field just as it was on your router. Then enter the Default Gateway info the same way it was on your router. Leave the DNS fields blank. Hit "Next." Leave the Proxy fields blank. Hit "Next" again.
That's it! Try it.
07Q: I can connect to the internet just fine, but I cannot purchase a Hunter's License! I keep getting denied. Why?
07A: There are a few possible answers. The first is that your credit card company is blocking Sega's "test charges" to your account, which would essentially put a hold on some of your funds and affect your available balance. This seems to happen commonly with Visa check cards issued by small or independent banks, but it can also occur with regular credit cards. The first thing you should do is call your credit card company, or your bank, and ask them why the charges from the respective vendor were denied. The charge should appear as "VISA-SEGA PSO GAMING" or something along those lines on your account.
If they explain it to you, tell them that you want the transaction to be allowed through, and try again. If they say that they did not deny any such charges, call Sega at 1-512-231-2429 to talk to one of their representatives, but only if you called your creditor/bank first!
They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 5:30PM, if I remember correctly. (The former Sega customer service number, 1-800-USA-SEGA, is now exclusively an automated Sega legacy system tech support line. You will not be able to talk to a live person if you use that number.) You may wind up having to buy your Hunter's License over the phone, but once you have purchased it, it renews until you cancel your contract. You will not have to call Sega every month to renew your HL.
08Q: My Hunter's License has expired, but it's supposed to automatically renew! Why did this happen?
08A: If Sega attempts to charge your credit card account, and their charge does not go through, your HL will be suspended. If you are using a check card, this may be because your account's funds were reserved by other recent charges and/or checks. If you are using a credit card, this could have happened for a multitude of reasons. In either of those cases, you should call your bank or credit provider before you call Sega. However, if nothing is wrong, and the fact that your HL is suspended remains a mystery, you can try the following...
* Step 1: Visit your Hunter's License account online. As of this writing, the exact link for HL accounts is: http://www.sega.com/community/profil..._pc_main.jhtml
. Once you have logged in to SegaNet, you should be on the page titled "Edit Account". There, click on "Cancel Account".
* Step 2: After you have cancelled your account, reactivate and re-establish it. You should be able to go online immediately.
09Q: If my first month of PSO is free, why is there a charge on my account?
09A: It's stated in your Hunter's License terms that Sega may need to run a "test charge" against your account. On a credit card, this will probably temporarily freeze roughly $9 of your credit. On a check card, this may appear as an actual charge on your account, or it may be $9 of held, temporarily non-accessible funds. The credit will be released or your money will be returned to you shortly. If for any reason it is not, or if you are concerned, call Sega at 1-512-231-2429.
10Q: My screen just froze! What happened? What about my items?!
10A: You likely just suffered an SOD, which means "Screen of Death". There are a few varieties of these that are currently known of to PSO players: BSOD (Black Screen of Death), FSOD (Frozen Screen of Death). If you've suffered a BSOD while on a dial-up connection, unplug your phone cord from the wall and wait a while. Ideally, your GC will eventually register this "forced disconnection", and you will be able to save your game as per normal. (I personally experienced a Dreamcast BSOD and solved it this way, and did not lose anything.) If you're on a broadband connection, try the same thing. With FSODs, you'll usually be unable to recover, but try the disconnection methods anyway. If nothing happens after a while, swallow your fears, and reset/turn off the system. You will probably lose all unequipped items in your on-hand inventory, but everything in your bank will be safe.
* NOTE: Some people have said that, if you suffer a SOD and then try to load your character, you can bypass the error message that comes up by removing your memory card, sticking it back in, and trying to load your character again. This, supposedly, will save all of your items. However, I have not personally done this, and cannot verify that it really works. I have suffered two GameCube BSODs and lost all of my unequipped items each time. Unfortunately, it happens!
11Q: How do I protect my character and my items from SODs?
11A: When you're configuring your internet connection in PSO, set your automatic idle disconnection time to something reasonably short. If you suffer a SOD, disconnect your phone cord or RJ-45 cable and wait for up to twice as long as that period of time (e.g. if you set it for 15 minutes, wait for 30 minutes). If you set your connection to never disconnect, you may have no recourse. Hopefully, you will be able to recover from an SOD if something like this happens. Also, while playing online, it's highly recommended that you only take one weapon -- leaving it equipped at all times -- and do not leave any unequipped, valuable items in your inventory while you play
. If you find a Special Weapon or something similarly valuable, go to Pioneer 2 and deposit it in your bank immediately, if you want to be safe. Normally, when I play online, I have one weapon equipped, and the only unequipped items in my inventory are standard fare, like Dimates, Difluids, and Sol Atomizers. If you want to predict SODs
, be observant of how quickly you pick up Meseta and items during games. If you cannot pick up any items, none of your teammates are moving, you cannot talk, and every box you break does not yield anything, it's time to disconnect! Even if you were only suffering a bad pocket of lag at the time, it's better to be safe than sorry.
12Q: Can I take a character created on one GameCube and use it on another GameCube?
12A: Yes. On the Dreamcast version, this was not possible, because your Dreamcast's serial number was tied into your character's data. However, on the GameCube, this is not the case. So if you created a character on one GameCube, you can use it on any GC you want. However, when you purchase a Hunter's License, it is tied to the serial number and access key inputted during the creation of the character, since you also submit that information when buying the HL. So, while you are
able to play with your character on your friend's GameCube, you will not
be able to get online with your friend's Hunter's License. You will, however, be able to buy a Hunter's License for your
own character and use your
Hunter's License on any GameCube you play on.
13Q: Can I move a character from one memory card to another permanently?
13A: No, unfortunately. When you create a character on a memory card, it is there for good. Even though you can send a temporary file of your character to another card in order to play multiplayer games, that is not a "complete" file, and it is not a full transfer. There is no current way to move a character from one memory card to another.
14Q: Is there a certain kind of memory card I should use? Why do people tell me that first party memory cards are the best? Is it just because of the brand name?
14A: No, not quite. Usually, third party memory cards are more unreliable than first party ones because they are manufactured with cheaper memory. Also, memory cards which boast high capacities, like 2X or 10X cards, are usually made from one memory bank with compression capabilities. This means that, every time you save a file, you are compressing the data, and that each time you access the file, you're decompressing it. This perpetual process will almost inevitably corrupt and destroy your data, especially since console games are never
programmed to optimally work with this technology. First party memory cards do not cost more simply because of the name that's slapped on them -- they almost always have higher quality memory banks, and never used compressed memory. This is much
CREDITS: (1) Thanks to watashiwa of the PSOW forums for posting information on how to "instantly" reactivate your Hunter's License, in case it does not renew properly. (2) Thanks to Rolf_Landale of PSOW's forums for informing me of his personal PSO Juno log-in problem, and how it was solved.
CLOSING NOTES: This FAQ will be updated as necessary. If you have any questions, please ask them on the PSO World forums. If I cannot help you, there are plenty of others who are willing to try! That's also preferred to you sending me PMs or E-Mails, because when your questions are answered, anyone who has the same problem can benefit from the solution that's been posted. In terms of my own PSO experience, I have personally been playing PSO since Dreamcast v1 came out in Japan, and have logged over a thousand hours by now. That's not a lot compared to some seasoned players, though, I'll admit! If you want to find me online, my current GameCube characters are Ta'via_Shuto, Jistel, and Ta'via Odaka. I frequent Antares 10, the LPSO block
, and Antares 8, the PSO World block. Please reserve any questions for these forums, though. Anyway, I hope this helped you. Have fun playing PSO!
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tavia on 2003-04-12 23:20 ]</font>