I tried hex editing the slus_212.91 file and it's still freezing up after the Konami logo. I made sure to edit 2EFB28 as well as the 3 other values after it and re-injecting it to the ISO and still nothing.
I'm using a patched HDL, with none of the modes enabled.
"Nagi, how do you feel about being 'normal'? Normal means that if you leave something alone, it just remains that way forever. So if you can't stand that, then you have to be "not normal" in some area... - Seiichi Kirima's dying words