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Topics - qwertymodo

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Personal Projects / Chrono Trigger MSU-1 (with FMV's)
« on: November 17, 2016, 02:52:09 pm »

I've been teasing my Chrono Trigger MSU-1 hack for awhile now, but I think I'm finally ready to release it for testing.  This game is really big, and I'm just not going to be able to test everything all by myself.  There are two main parts to this hack, the soundtrack and the FMV's.  Oddly enough, the soundtrack is much trickier than the FMV's to get right, because there are tons of weird edge cases that I need to handle, resulting in a lot more opportunities for bugs to pop up.  The FMV's, on the other hand, were quite straightforward once I figured out how to properly hook into the scripting engine.  The bigger issue right now is that the tools I have been using to convert the videos really haven't produced the level of quality I was hoping for, and some of the scenes look pretty awful.  I am working on writing my own tools to do the conversions myself, but that will take time.

So, here is how I have decided to handle this beta release:
-I am releasing the patch file openly and requesting testing and feedback
-The patch file includes all of the video code, which SHOULD fall back gracefully in the absence of the actual video file (please report any issues if it doesn't)
-The video file for the intro will be available, but the rest of the FMV's will be considered a closed beta, which I will make available on a case-by-case basis to people who actually provide feedback
-The video file for the closed beta will be watermarked, but otherwise fully functional
-If you wish to participate in the closed beta, you must play through up to Proto Dome (2300 AD) before requesting the video file (the first FMV plays inside Proto Dome when you discover Robo)
-To join the closed beta, you also need to follow me on Twitch here.  (Reason for this is explained here)

It may also be helpful (though not required), to join my Discord server.  If you have any issues setting up MSU-1, I'm usually available there to help out, whereas I don't check this thread all that often unless I have an update to post.

ROM Info:
  • Name:       Chrono Trigger (U) [!].sfc
  • CRC32:     2D206BF7
  • MD5:        A2BC447961E52FD2227BAED164F729DC
  • SHA-1:     DE5822F4F2F7A55ACB8926D4C0EAA63D5D989312
  • SHA-256: 06D1C2B06B716052C5596AAA0C2E5632A027FEE1A9A28439E509F813C30829A9
Patch: [Download]
Audio: [Currently Unavailable]  [Conversion Script]  [Usage Instructions]
Alternate (Free) Audio Pack: [Download]
Intro Video: [Download]
Intro Audio: [Download]

Code: [Select]
Video Password: !chrono_intro!
This mod utilizes the amazing Chrono Trigger Symphony soundtrack by Blake Robinson.  It is the most complete and highest quality replacement soundtrack I have found.  It is officially licensed with Square Enix, however, it is not free.  I have provided a conversion script for use with the FLAC version of the soundtrack to generate the proper files.  There is one other complete soundtrack available that I'm looking into supporting as well, but I have not yet been able to get my hands on a lossless version, and I don't feel like dealing with the heavily compressed MP3 version currently available.  Update 30 Jan, 2017: Dracula9AntiChapel's FLAC remaster is now available as an alternative track pack!  The download link is provided above.  However, this patch supports ANY music files that you wish to provide, as long as they are properly converted (and you'll have to set the loop points yourself, which is not an insignificant amount of work considering the size of the soundtrack).

I am not in any way related to Blake Robinson, or intending to market his music.

Thanks to Dracula9AntiChapel, I now have an alternate track pack which he has graciously allowed me to redistribute for free.  He went through and re-did all of his existing tracks in lossless FLAC format, so I was able to work with a high-quality, lossless source, rather than his original 128kbps MP3 files.  The end result is a great improvement over the older files.

Known Edge Cases (things to pay attention for):
  • Echo bugs, especially in battle [Example]
  • SPC track not muting properly
  • Music/SFX cutting out [Example] (cuts out at 11:10 if the timestamp link doesn't work right)
  • Sudden, "sharp" track jumps
  • Volume/fade bugs [Example]
Most of these edge cases, I already know how to handle, I just need to know where they occur, and by that I mean I need to know the exact screen you're on and where in the storyline you are.  If you can provide a .srm save, that would be helpful.  If not, a screenshot works too.

Known bugs:
  • Screen flashes/blinks when scrolling through items in pause menu (exists in the original game, but MSU-1 makes it worse, can be improved but not eliminated)
  • Music resets every room leaving Ozzie's Fort (is this vanilla behavior?)
  • Playing with MSU-1 audio but no FMV file so the original attract mode plays, when the game resets the clock audio is muted

Not a Bug/Exists in Unmodified Game:
  • SFX echo bug at the very beginning of the game (getting allowance from mom, first save, etc)
  • Silent BGM after defeating enemies in front of the hidden Magus statue in the Cathedral
  • Echo bug in battle on the staircase immediately before fighting Magus [Screenshot]
  • When waking up at very beginning of game, 2nd track doesn't start if in menu screen
  • Waking up Ayla after the party causes her theme to very briefly fade out before fading back in. (Happens in the original game)
  • Battle music does not play in Giant's Claw (Tyranno Lair revisit)

Since completing a full re-write of the audio code, bug testing is pretty much reset to square one.  I'll leave the old bug list below for reference, as several of those instances were places that need special attention, but many of the bugs in the old code should simply be gone due to the much better method of SPC muting present in the new version.  I will list new bugs as they are reported.

Old bugs (previous version)
Reported/Known Bugs:
  • Ending and Fall of Guardia FMV's are not inserted yet
  • SD2SNES: Videos crash, resulting an a seizure-inducing acid trip of flashing colors.  This is due to high seek latency of the SD card, which is not necessarily the same as the speed class.  Try a different card.
  • Minor NMI-related GFX glitching (I need to tighten up the NMI hijack a bit)
  • Game softlocks during the ending credits (Epoch flying ending)
  • At the beginning of the game, when getting out of bed, the "Morning Glow" track cuts suddenly to "Peaceful Days" fixed
  • Brief fade-related blip during song transition after picking up pendant from the Telepod [Screenshot] fixed (Should also fix a bunch of similar transitions)
  • Battle audio doesn't play for second battle in Truce Canyon (600AD) fixed (Should also fix a bunch of potential issues with volume changes during SPC fallback)
  • Organ track in 600AD Cathedral cuts out sharply fixed (More SPC fallback volume change fixes)
  • 1000AD Overworld fade transitions start playing track before unmuting fixed
  • Attract mode SPC fallback with MSU-1 enabled cuts out after screen transition fixed
  • Arris Dome: Chrono Trigger Theme after viewing Day of Lavos video doesn't end at the right time [Correct Timing] fixed
  • Jet Bike Johnny theme doesn't play correctly when first meeting him fixed
  • Short track immediately after Robo FMV doesn't play fixed
  • Heckran Cave: SPC fallback doesn't resume after battle fixed
  • Character select screen from the overword softlocks fixed
  • Reptites before meeting Ayla are impossible to beat fixed (my bad, the audio code got too long and clobbered a data table)
  • Echo bug in Nu battle in the rain at the Hunting Grounds fixed
  • Pause/Character Select screens broken after some FMV's fixed
  • SPC plays during Frog's Theme as he leaves you at Guardia Castle
  • SPC plays during Battle Theme during Dalton scene at Last Village
  • SPC plays when resuming track from character change screen
  • SPC plays after getting Robo by talking to Marle/Lucca repeatedly
  • SPC plays before meeting Ayla
  • Masamune beam SFX stops when Frog's theme starts playing again
  • Lavos theme sub-track switching not implemented (track 85)
  • Sprites briefly blink visibly during black screen after FMV plays

    skins4thewin's bugs:
  • Music doesn't stop when it should
  • --Running into Marle
  • --Getting into some battles, like Gato
  • --Paused in battle
  • --After beating Gato
  • --Frog jumping down in the Cathedral when first meeting him
  • No gavel sound effect in court
  • Magic sealed door in the first dome only plays jingle once
  • When warping to the end of time for the first time, the fade to black is delayed
  • When getting magic from Spekkio, the jingle only plays once
  • Using Aura Whirl causes GFX glitches (at least during Heckran battle)
  • Ayla FMV doesn't play at all if Marle isn't in the party
  • Echo bug with ice spell during Heckran battle

Personal Projects / Snes9x MSU-1 Support
« on: November 10, 2016, 03:37:14 pm »
Over the last week or so, I've been working on adding MSU-1 support to Snes9x.  At this point, it seems stable enough to release a test build.

If anybody would like to test it out:
Windows binaries
Linux source

Edit: 1.55 has officially released

I could really use feedback on any desyncs or other issues.  BS-Zelda would be a good one to test for that.

Caveat emptor, I'm not 100% sure what compile-time features are/aren't enabled in the Windows builds, other than the fact that I know I built them *without* FMOD support.  Treat them as the test builds they are.  Don't bother reporting any non-MSU1 bugs against these binaries.

Files use the SD2SNES naming format, i.e.

no manifest necessary.  Just copy the whole game folder into your ROMdir.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Chrono Trigger FMV's (SNES/MSU-1)
« on: October 18, 2016, 03:21:10 pm »
I've started work on getting all 10 FMV's running in Chrono Trigger on the SNES via the MSU-1.  There is already a hack by smkdan and Ramsis to play just the intro video, but I couldn't make much sense of it because I had never done any video or DMA code before.  So, I figured by the time I had learned enough to make sense of that code or one of the other existing video players, it was just simpler (and more educational) to write my own, which I have done. (is there a youtube embed tag I'm not finding?)

Now, comes the harder part, getting this code into the game.  I'm looking for any documentation, or anybody with knowledge of the event and dialog systems, so I can find good hook points to insert the video playback.  I also need to find the video buffers in main RAM so I can clean up after myself and reset the display after playback has finished.  The latter probably isn't too hard to figure out with some code tracing on the DMA registers, but if anybody already happens to know where they are, it would save me the trouble.  I should be able to manage this myself, but if the documentation exists, there's no point in me reinventing the wheel.

Also, I'll eventually look into doing some more work on the video files themselves to improve the quality.  There's a lot of room for improvement with some better size/color reduction algorithms, as well as a more suitable positional dithering algorithm, but I'll have to implement those myself, so I'm putting that off for now.

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