The PAL version of MSR was released three times in total. In order to meet a November 2000 deadline in the UK, the first release had a number of major bugs. Sega Europe subsequently recalled this first batch and released a second PAL version that eliminated most of the major bugs, but not all (see below). They also offered replacements disks free of charge to those who had purchased a bugged copy. The North American release and the final PAL version were both free of major bugs, although some minor ones remained.
• Completing Street Race challenges without the required number of Kudos or target finish position will still be considered successful (first PAL version). This is more likely to occur if you race 'badly' (crash throughout the event, set low finish positions).
• The game would sometimes corrupt VMUs (first PAL version);
• After some time of playing, Tokyo races would always be at night (first PAL version);
• When using a keyboard to enter names etc., the keys were mapped incorrectly. Pressing C would give B, pressing B would give A etc. (first PAL version);
• The "Quick Race" screen in the multiplayer mode would be blank and thus impossible to play (first and second PAL version);
• The Alfa Romeo GTV cannot be gained legitimately as the 'time to beat' was set too low at 31 seconds (first and second PAL version);
• The Street Race in Chapter 17, Challenge 8 cannot be beaten legitimately as it was mistakenly set to infinite laps (first and second PAL version). Workaround: get your target finish position and complete the first lap. Once you begin the second lap, press Start and quit the event.
• Special Events could be completed without the required car or clock time (first and second PAL version);
• You can create a Time Trial with 'random' weather. However playing it will cause the screen to become 'ash grey' with no lighting. When you press start to quit the trial, the game may either crash or reset (first and second PAL version - the random weather option for Time Trials was removed in the final PAL and US version. See my 'Apocalypse Street Racer' post for more info);
• If you insert the MSR disc, turn on the Dreamcast and are then presented with the clock screen (internal battery had faded/died), the game will not load after setting the time. The revised PAL pressing (disc ring code ending SB) gives an error message that the 'softdec movie cannot be not found' (all PAL versions). Workaround: when you are presented with the clock screen, open the lid so the game stops spinning. Set the clock and let the Dreamcast go to the main menu. Then close the lid.
• During wet conditions, it still rains inside tunnels and under bridges (all versions);
• Ghost cars loaded from a VMU can become corrupt and crash into the sides, sometimes without reason. This includes ghosts saved within Time Trials. It happens more often if you create ghost cars on early PAL versions and then race them on the final PAL/US version, or vice versa (all versions);
• The game screen goes blank and the speedometer gives a 'minus warp light speed' reading. Thankfully this is extremely rare. (all versions);
• Creating a Time Trial with 'misty' or 'foggy' weather will default to 'clear' weather once a ghost car is saved (all versions);
• Two Time Attack records (Asakusa Eki-Iruguchi and Koen Minami) are pre-set to 0.000 (all versions);
• Records for one-on-one challenges in Street Race mode always show a '0.0s' head start, even if one was given. If you give yourself a head start, the record will always show as '-0.0s' head start. The only way to tell if a head start was actually given to the other car is by looking at the skill points awarded (all versions);
• When travelling at high speed on straight sections (namely London St James' Park), the camera position/frame suddenly shifts momentarily (all versions);
• In Street Race / Quick Race events, the game awards CPU cars unrealistic best lap times (all versions);
• When selecting a personal music playlist as the default choice, MSR reverts to its own preset list [Overdrive / Time / Heartlands / Am I Only Dreaming] when resuming a game (all versions). Workaround: after resuming a game and before playing, go into the CD/Radio option from the main menu and quickly flick through your music selection using the forward button on the radio. When you start playing, your personal playlist will work as normal.
You can only tell what PAL version you have by looking at the ringcode on the back of the GD-ROM:
• MK-51022-0146SS: v1.001 (10/10/2000 - First PAL version)
• MK-51022-0146SA: v1.002 (20/10/2000 - Second PAL version)
• MK-51022-0146SB: v1.009 (21/11/2000 - Final PAL version)
Link: Sega-DC.de (MSR page)
I have numerous SS versions and only 1 SB version. I have never had any severe save problems or kudos issues on my SS pressings so maybe some SA pressings were pressed as SS?? I have never come across a SA pressing in the wild.