Recently, we mentioned that the Project Lunar program that had been in closed beta had now reached it’s 1.0 open beta release. If you’d like to read over that, click here. If you’re already aware of what Project Lunar is and you want to get rolling with it, then you’re in the right place. This will fully cover how to add additional games to your Sega Genesis Mini. It’s not overly complicated and a fair amount of the program walks you through it, but I wanted to further concrete how easy it is for those with any doubts. So scroll on down!
What You Will Need/Getting Started:
- Sega Genesis Mini/Sega Mega Drive Mini
- A different microUSB cord that actually transfers data. The one supplied with the Sega Genesis Mini is not capable of data transfer, nor is the Playstation Classic microUSB cable. Make certain one end of it is already plugged into the PC.
- A 64bit Windows installation. 32bit can work, but you also might run into driver issues. (On Linux/MacOS you need to make a virtual console of a 64bit Windows to use Project Lunar).
- Project Lunar app itself. Click here for the 64bit version. Click here for the 32bit version. Make certain you already have it installed on your PC and started up before continuing.
- To start it up, just double click on the icon and then click the Install/Uninstall button. It will do a process real quick to see if there are any mods installed. Let it run a few minutes and when you see the screen that says “No Console Detected, Do You Wish to Start the Install Process” click Yes. Finally, it will ask if you’d like to open the interactive how to steps. Just click no and immediately continue onto the steps I’ve listed below. (Don’t worry, my steps have that and more details to alleviate any further questions.) Lastly, after clicking no, just ignore what you see on the screen, the program is waiting for you to do these next steps.
Project Lunar Installation:
- Remove any and all cables from your Sega Genesis Mini.
- Slide the power switch into the “ON” position.
- With your non-dominant hand, hold down the “Reset” button.
- With your dominant hand, plug your data capable microUSB cord into the back of the Sega Genesis Mini.
- You will see the LED flashing. Once it finally stops flashing, you can then let go of the “Reset” button.
- Now look back at your PC screen again. It will start doing things on the screen. It is now automatically installing the mod onto the Genesis Mini. This can take up to 1o minutes and you will see stuff scrolling on the PC screen in the meantime.
- Once it’s done, the program will mention tell you so. Just click “OK” and then on the next little window, click “Finish”.
Adding Sega Games (Must be legal backups, duh):
- Now that you’re back on the main Project Lunar screen, click “Open Game Manager.”
- With that open for the first time, it will mention that you should back up your NAND before doing anything else. It even tells you how to do it. We’ll come back to this in just a moment. For now, just click “OK”.
- A new prompt has greeted you stating that you need to sync your still connected Sega Genesis Mini so that it can detect how much free space is on the system. If you want a full library, you should put in at least a 1GB USB drive formatted to Fat32 into the secondary USB slot before proceeding. If you want to just do a handful of games to the NAND storage, then skip the USB part. Either way, once you’ve decided, continue on by clicking “Yes”. This shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to scan only the NAND. If you have a USB drive inside, it will probably take longer.
- Now that that is done you can finally backup the NAND using the instructions that the program gave us a moment ago. (Click Tools, then click Advanced, then click Export Backup)
- Cool, now that you’ve done that we can actually add games. You’ll already see a list of games to the left, that is what is preinstalled on your system. For now, they’re permanent, you cannot delete them.
- At the bottom middle area of the program, you’ll see an “Add New Game” button. Click it to add a game of your choice.
- It will let you browse your PC to find said game. Select it by double clicking it or click it once and then press the “Open” button. (You can indeed do multiple games at a time if you were wondering. I’m just assuming the easiest case scenario here. Experiment as you’d like, but again, these instructions are “slow and steady win the race”).
- Now you will be greeted with a screen that looks like this:
- If you don’t care about metadata and a box art, just click “Add Game” and continue to step #12. If you want those details, then click “Get Game Information”.
- Now you will see some scraper results. Click whichever region matches your own. It will then fill in all of the blanks on the screen.
- You have a few more options here if you want. You can force a region and you can also force a 6-button mode. Once you’ve done what you wanted, click “Add Game”.
- Your game is now added to the list of games on the left side of the screen. You will notice it’s in blue to discern that it’s a modifiable game as opposed to the permanent ones.
- Let’s pretend that that game you just added is the last game you’re adding and you are ready to send that game from the queue to the Genesis Mini. So now you’ll click the “Sync” button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Confirm with the “Yes” button.
- The sync length is dependent on how much you’re sending over to the Genesis. You will have a spinning “L” logo on the screen during this duration. Once the “L” has gone away, you have a Genesis with new games on it!
- Feel free to close the PC program and power off the Genesis Mini.
- You can now plug in all of the extra cords and controllers and hook it up to your TV and start it up.
- You’ll be greeted with a new screen with extra options. For the sake of this article, I’m just going to tell you how to play that new game you just added. So, click on the Project Lunar icon that the indicator is already pointing at.
- And that’s it! You’re into the game list and you can see your new game(s) there. There is also a “Boot Menu” icon to send you back to the initial boot screen. You’ll also find a “Retro Arch” icon on this screen. If you’re just here to play games, then have at it! You’ve done it, enjoy!
There are a handful of known games that don’t work and require IPS patches. Click here to read the list of games and if you have a game from that list, then click here to download the IPS patches. The page of listed games also mentions how to use the program to auto patch the games in question!