Having trouble with the game Ico on a PS2.
September 9, 2007 7:41 PM   Subscribe

I purchased Ico a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to really playing it, the problem is that the game freezes (on a black screen) while loading at the same point every time I play it.

The game plays for a while and then when moving from one room to another freezes while loading. The disk (a purple disk) looks to be in pretty good condition (no major scratches). Any idea why it's freezing up? My PS2 is about 6 years old but I have no problems with any other games. Do you think that the game is a bootleg (I've never seen a purple disk)? Is this a know issue with Ico? I tried searching but didn't get any results.
posted by crios to Technology (13 answers total)
I'm confused from your wording; does it freeze on the same room, or just while loading?

I'd try a disk polisher first, just in case... but PS2s have notoriously flaky drives. You can often get replacements on Ebay, if you're not afraid of getting out your screwdriver. It's not like you'll void the warranty. :)

I thought my copy of Ico was black. Let me see if I can dig it up.... I'll post back if I find it.
posted by Malor at 7:46 PM on September 9, 2007

Response by poster: It freezes on the same room. The room after the very first save point (a couple of shadows appear and you have to jump down in a pit to push a block around) when I leave through the exit across from the entrance the screen goes black and the game freezes in a perpetual load. If I go out the exit up the stairs I can go through one more room and then the game freezes on black again. It is always in the same place. I could try a disk polisher but I really don't think it's a scratch, there aren't any major scratches on the disk.
posted by crios at 7:56 PM on September 9, 2007

My copy was black. When you say purple, do you mean a really dark, almost black, purple or a neon purple? If it is really dark, it could have been faded by lying in the sunlight.

The only thing I can think of is trying it in another person's PS2. If it freezes then, you know it is the disc.
posted by slavlin at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2007

Ditto on the laser drive thing. I'm amazed your laser has lasted this long... I had to replace mine after only a couple of years.

One thing, though: PS2 discs are either silver, or a few black. Only "backups" are purple... so I'm guessing it's either a bad downloaded ISO or a bad burn (personally, I've rarely, if ever, had problem with a bad ISO, but many problems with bad burns). Is your PS2 modded?
posted by papafrita at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2007

"Purple" discs (they're actually a dark blue, which goes with the black and blue theme of the system) aren't bootleg at all; some early PS2 games not on DVDs were dark blue. ICO is one example; the MGS2 demo that came with Zone of the Enders is another.

I can't help you with your freezing problem, but your disc is legit, so don't worry about that.
posted by phaded at 8:31 PM on September 9, 2007

I have a similar situation, except Ico won't load for me at all. In my case, it's definitely because it's a CD game. My ps2 won't read CDs anymore, though it plays DVD games fine. Depressing, because I originally bought my PS2 6 years ago specifically for Ico.
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:14 PM on September 9, 2007

Following from phaded's comment, early marketing images of the PS2 featured the blue CD discs. They're definitely legit. Here's a scan of an Ico disc where you can see the blue. All CD-based PS2 games I've seen have been blue; the original PlayStation games were black.
posted by marionnette en chaussette at 9:54 PM on September 9, 2007

Sounds like it's the laser, which, in the earlier PS2 models, would wear out and not be able to align properly when it switched from CD to DVD mode.

Just to clarify: Purple/Dark Blue backed games are legitimate PS2 games. The color is just meant to signify that the game is printed on a CD rather than a DVD, which are printed on silver discs. Black discs (as in jet black) were for the original Playstation.

You'll mostly find these purple/blue games to be older games, as newer ones were almost exclusively printed on DVDs.

As for what you can do to fix this: well, you can always try to fix it yourself, if you're feeling adventurous. You could also either send it in to Sony (though they'll probably just send you a refurbished model of whatever PS2 you send them), or see if you can buy a cheap new PS2. Though I'm sure you were probably trying to avoid having to buy a new PS2.
posted by Weebot at 10:08 PM on September 9, 2007

The drive on a PS2 starts having trouble with CDs before before DVDs. Usually it will simply not load them on start. I had the same trouble with mine and extended its life simply by turning it on its side. There are more involved solutions involving adjusting the laser's focal depth, but I'd try turning it on its side first.

It may also be a single, unfortunately placed scratch, since it sounds like its freezing for you when it's trying to stream data from the disc. Resurfacing should help with that, and any decent game store should be able to do that for you for around $5, but I wouldn't do that until you've tried it on another PS2 if possible, just to determine if the trouble is your PS2 or your disc.
posted by Durhey at 11:19 PM on September 9, 2007

It's unlikely to be a problem with the disc, as others have said, some early PS2 games were on blue bottom discs which are CD's (google "blue bottom discs"for a heap of questions like yours)

Earl(ish) model PS2's have problems playing blue bottom discs. Usually they are ok out of the box, but a year or two later stop reading them.

I have a launch model PS2 and it stopped reading blue bottom discs after a year. However, five + years later it still works fine for everything else.

I never bothered to get it fixed because it really isn't worth it, for the couple of games I have that are blue discs. Plus I have another PS2 with a hard disc drive loader attached that I load games onto to play from the hard drive.

In PAL territories Ico is on DVD, so I haven't had this problem with that particular game.

Try loading the game with the PS2 in vertical position. The CD games are lighter, and this apparently allows some games to play.
posted by lucien at 3:46 AM on September 10, 2007

Ahh, the horrible disk read error problem. I hate that.. Ico was the first game I had this problem with as well, years ago. Luckily CD games aren't very common, and most of the potential fixes aren't too hard to implement.

I tried the PS2 in a vertical position with no luck.. what actually worked for me was the "scotch tape method", believe it or not. I've had to use the scotch tape method on every CD game I've bought since and it's worked every time. It may or may not work for your PS2, but since it's extremely cheap and easy, it's worth a try.

It amounts to putting two one inch strips of scotch tape on the top of the problem game disc, as evenly as possible with each other symmetrically near the middle of the disk. It's best described in this IGN.com Disk Read Error faq.. Scroll down to section 4.4 "Scotch Tape Method."

I was pretty (OK, extremely) skeptical, but it works every time for my PS2 and I have *zero* disk read errors on the games that I apply this fix to!
posted by everybody polka at 6:49 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I had a similar problem with Ico, years ago. Played a few hours in, and then got to a point where the data just wouldn't load.
posted by gnutron at 10:18 AM on September 10, 2007

I really feel terrible for you guys who are having trouble playing the game. It's a masterpiece.
posted by phaded at 7:03 AM on September 11, 2007

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