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Messages - Bregalad

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I can't belive I never figured that out before now, but there is a major inconsistancy / impossibility in regard to the age difference.

According to the pirates themselves, when Faris was rescued she was barely talking and saying "Farisa" for her name. That would mean she should be about between 2 and 3 years old when she was rescued by the pirates.

However, in a flashback we see her at castle Tycoon being at scool and studying magic. She should be at least 7 years old in this cutscene, and she doesn't quite talk like a baby !

Also in this same cutscene we see Lenna which is clearly a newborn baby.

In the Final Fantasy wikia they say Faris' age is 20 and Lena's age is 19, but I don't know where those number comes from. Since Faris lies on her gender she could lie on her age as well.

The only scenario that "makes sense" in regard to the game, is that Faris was originally about 6 years older than Lena, but she magically became a baby again when she fell in the sea, and after that even she became younger by 5 years and had a 1 year old difference with her sister. However that does not quite make sense at all, even in an universe filled with magic.

PS : Also I've heard of people having blonde hair when they're small and it's becoming dark as they become adult, however, Faris and Bartz definitely are special cases. According to the flashbacks, Faris' hair turns from brown to purple, and Bartz' hair from green to brown. However, in an universe where people can have green / pink / purple hair, I guess that makes sense...

Front Page News / Re: Utilities: GBAMusRiper released
« on: August 31, 2014, 04:51:01 pm »
Thank you, I'll look forward to fix those glitches for the next release.

And no I have no repository, outside of my hard disks.

I tried to detect unused instruments because that would make even more garbage in the converted sound font than there already is.

General Discussion / Re: Need help finding Layla manga.
« on: August 29, 2014, 05:02:00 am »
I didn't understand, was the game based on the Manga, or the Manga based on the game ?

If the game was based on the Manga I'd definitely be interested in it, but the game is too good for being a simple licence title.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Golden Sun (The Lost Age) MIDI/Sound Engine
« on: August 21, 2014, 08:22:21 am »
What exactly do you mean by "getting that reverb and synth outside of the game" ?

The tracks with no program assigned to them are exactly that in the original game. This is really weird. They appear to be silent in the game, but I guess they were supposed to be hearable with god-knows-what instrument, and that the team messed up when releasing the game. This is just my supposition.

Programming / Re: [NES] Need help for changing text place
« on: August 21, 2014, 05:51:45 am »
You should change the address that is written to $2006, to adapt to your new position.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Golden Sun (The Lost Age) MIDI/Sound Engine
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:29:27 am »
The sound format used internally by Golden Sun (and the majority of other GBA games) is similar to MIDI, but is not exactly MIDI, as you seem to be thinking. For instance, there is no "controllers" in this format.
The format is described in the notes I have uploaded here.

GBAMusRiper by default does not do a 1:1 conversion of the data that is in the ROM, it makes them more usable : It logarithmizes the volume changes and the note velocities, and converts various commands to controllers, pitch wheels and RPNs. I think I also added a reverb controller at the start of every track if reverb was enabled for the song, this "controller" is not existant in the original data : The reverb is enabled song-wise : Either the reverb is enabled for all Direct Sound channels, or it is disabled. You can't enable it individually for each track. Again this is to make the resultant MIDI more "usable". Reverb depth is controller 91 by the way, I'm pretty sure this is General MIDI standard.

As for the special instruments this is a speciality of Golden Sun. They are not releated with RPNs in any way, this is just an extension to the normal sound engine that Camelot made in order to have those special instruments.

RPNs are produced by GBAMusRiper when the game change the pitch wheel's range, or when it uses detune command. Those have no controller equivalent in the General MIDI standard, so RPNs have to be used. Without them you can only have a range of +/- 2 semitones, which is not super cool to do the glissando effects very present in the Golden Sun's soundtrack.

Also, I pratically didn't look at a single line of ASM code to reverse the sappy sound engine back then. Just pointers modifications and experimentation :)

Newcomer's Board / Re: How do I tell if the sprites are compressed?
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:22:22 am »
In a save state, the palette is of course the palette in memory at the very time you took the save state. Other palettes used anywhere else in the game are not going to be present in your save state.

Newcomer's Board / Re: How do I tell if the sprites are compressed?
« on: August 18, 2014, 05:07:44 pm »
If anything is compressed in ROM it's decompressed while the game is running, and thus is shown decompressed in ZSNES save states.

Sprites looking garbeld could be due to compression, but I think it's just because you're looking at different parts of the metasprites without them being arranged.

As for you viewing with the wrong colour, wll, there is 8 different palette the SNES can use for sprites so you'll have to test them all.

General Discussion / Re: gbaMusRiper cmd help?
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:26:21 am »
1) There is absolutely no need to have the .exe file in the same folder as the GBA ROM.

2) You are right about the quotes, also, windows will add them automatically if you drag and drop the file in the command line (that's what I do - you don't have to do it that way)

General Discussion / Re: gbaMusRiper cmd help?
« on: August 18, 2014, 08:06:47 am »
The new version (2.0) does not use java anymore. Besides, even I have absolutely no idea what this error message is, sorry. I hope you'll be able to get it working with the new version rewritten in C++.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: SPC700: Importing samples and tuning?
« on: August 16, 2014, 03:06:38 pm »
In order to know if this is a "low-pass" you'll have to look at the frequency responce of the filter, which is pretty much the FFT of the coefficient.

In order to make your custom filter, you have to draw your frequency response, and take the FFT of it. Unfortunately you're limited to 8 coefficients, which makes it limitating in the sharpness of your frequency response.

I don't know that much with digital filter (what I just wrote is about as much as I know), so you'll have to contact or get information about someone more familiar with them. In all cases, this only affect the echoed sound, not the main one, so it's normally impossible to use this filter for crazy synth effects, it's just to give more realism to the echo hardware. The filter is applied on every echo pass, so each echoed version of a sound will get filtered more and more.

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy V Advance Unnamed Hack
« on: August 13, 2014, 11:58:56 am »
Just for info, I'll be releasing a new Sound restoration patch soon, and it'll beat the current version by far. All music/sound effects will be converted directly from the SNES version so no errors/mistakes possible. It will also remove most in game lagging (like the current version does) but with better overall sound quality. (not as good as SNES though, sorry I'm no mage).

I hope to make it compatible with not only (E) but also (U) and (J) versions. But I can't promise that it'll work yet as I haven't tried.

Sorry for highhacking this thread and make publicity for my work but I felt like this was relevant.

As for this hack, it sounds strange that the whole point is to make a "challenge" easier, which goes against the very notion of a "challenge". Although I see why, depending on what the 4 jobs are, this challenge can be terrible, especially if the 4 jobs are hardwired to 4 different characters once you get them (I didn't understand if that was the case or not).

I think someone could confirm this, but I felt like the GBA version was much easier than the original SNES version. I have no idea why exactly though.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Game's that have caused you to feel emotion
« on: August 11, 2014, 06:11:02 am »
It might be out topic, but games tended to cause me much more emotions back when I was an early teenager than they do now. In fact today games hardly give me any emotion any more - I just see them as a funny real-time embedded system to play with. I should also note that I am not an horror game player, if I was, those would definitely give me emotions, but I'd be too much scared to play them anyways.

Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, the sci-fi chapter of Live a Live and Chrono Trigger are probably the ones that gave me most emotion back then.

First visit to Zeal definitely gave me a LOT of emotion,
as well as the (very sad) destruction of Zeal

Nowadays I'm too used to it to get much emotions anymore :(

EDIT : And yes it's true that Tactics Ogre managed to get some emotion out of me even at 24. But I didn't think the choice at the end of chapter 1 was hard to make.
I never liked Vice anyways (because of his rudeness and stupid suicidal AI) so I had no problem betraying him and avoid killing innocent people.
The lost of Kachua was a much harder hit to me. I know you can save her but the requirements for doing so are ridiculous, and almost impossible to met without a walkthough guide.
Considering the emotions I had as an adult I would have been crying or so as a kid  :laugh:

June 25 - 8 August is one month and a half, not a few days, therefore it is necrobump.

Why do you necro-bump this thread just for writing something that irrelevant ?

Gaming Discussion / Re: So called "silent protagonists"
« on: August 02, 2014, 03:56:06 pm »
Yes it's true character development is very limited if what the hero says is not shown, and I agree it's a big inconvenient.

But at least it's totally impossible to hate the hero, because you're very unlikely to continue to play a game if you start hating the main protagonist you're controlling. This has rarely happened to me, but I can definitely say I had some trouble with Squall, although I don't hate him I started to hate how he gets in relationship with Rinoa. If his dialogue was not shown, it would probably be less annoying, as you could, in your mind, imagine him saying something else instead, that makes more sense in your viewpoint.

There's no doubt Chrono Trigger could have made a more developed main character by showing his dialogue, but this would have hurt the immersion. You get nothing for nothing.

And Suikoden games develop the heros by having the other characters talking about them a lot. This isn't that good, because they talk like them as if they were flawless gods and this makes the story not very realistic.

Gaming Discussion / So called "silent protagonists"
« on: August 02, 2014, 02:34:28 pm »
Well I'm pretty sure that's right, but I want to have everyone else's opinion.

It strikes me when people think silent protagonists are actually mute or does actually not say a thing. Then people are shocked because the silent protagonist just talks once during a flashback or something. I think it's just the wrong approach.

I'd rather think they DO talk, but the dialogue is simply not shown on screen, and is let to the player's imagination. This is obvious at the beginning of Chrono Trigger, when you bump into Marle she ask your name, and then says "Crono, what a nice name ! Nice to meet you !"

This proves that he DID answer her question, and orally so. Crono just talks like everyone else, it is impossible otherwise. But displaying his answer on the screen would have been a waste of memory and time, as the player will think "my name is Crono" anyway, as he incarnates the character.

This is why so called "silent protagonists" actually does talk during flashback or any other situation where you (as a player) don't incarnate them any longer, it's necessary again to show what they say, because it won't implicitly pop in your mind. He will just say what you want him to say, allowing for more immertion in the game.

I find games where the hero talks all the time (like Squall in FF8) allows for much less immersion, because the hero often says what you don't want him to say. When you have a choice between multiple options it becomes ok.

And when a video game developer made the choice to make a characters that does NOT talk even when you don't control him any longer then it looks really weird and messed up. I figured that out with the scene with the Suikoden I hero in Suikoden II. It's really pathetic, and unrealistic, as they don't show what the Suikoden I hero says, but it makes a huge hole in the script. Not showing what the Suikoden II hero says is no problem, as you control him.

So do you guys agree with me ? Or do you insist that those guys are really mute ? If you do, just try to stay mute for several hours while being with other people. You'll soon realise how impossible this is.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: SPC700: Importing samples and tuning?
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:43:47 pm »
Well so you have already figured how the base pitch was stored for each sample, but you are just asking about what value to set it in order to be sure it is the correct pitch, right ?

Well first I don't know if this helps, but the base pitch for Secret of Mana is stored at 0x1800 in SPC memory (0x1900 in .spc files), and is 2 bytes per sample. Chances that it is equivalent to the base pitch of Super Metroid are low, but who knowns, this could happen.

Second, there is no standard way to store base pich unfortunately. However I hope I can help a tiny little as I have studied the matter.

What the base pitch does is, indirectly, store the period (in samples) of a sound oscillation, so that the sound engine knowns how to play it back for a given period (in ms). So for example if you have 2 samples where a full sound oscillation takes 32 samples, they will have the same base pitch. If a period takes 16 samples then it'll be one octave higher, etc...

I like to classsify sound samples in 3 categories :
1 - Short looped samples / the loop consist of the last oscillation of the sample
2 - Long looped samples / the loop consist of an arbitrairy number of oscillation of the sample
3 - Non-looped samples / there is no loop

1) Are the easiest to determine, as the SNES can only offer a limited amount of base pitches, considering a loop is an integer number of BRR blocks. The period of an oscillation can only be 16, 32, 48, 64, 72, etc... samples. There should then be a direct relation between the base pitch and the size of the loop

2) They are basically similar to 1, exept there is many oscillation instead of just 1 in the loop. The only way to have the correct base pitch is to process the same as with 1, but divide the size of the loop by the # of oscillation there is in it. Unfortunately it can be very annoying to count them (for example in a choir sample you can easily have 180 oscillations in the loop). But you can also guess, and adjust if it sounds wrong.

3) The period doesn't even have to be an integer number here, so you're screwed and pretty much has to guess. However, by taking several oscillations, you can figure out the estimated period pretty easily.

All this only applies to tonal samples, for non-pitched (drums) samples you can use whatever value you want of course.

I hope this makes some sense.

Newcomer's Board / Re: How works Menus in rpgs (other games)
« on: July 28, 2014, 05:37:18 pm »
I haven't hacked Breat of Fire 1 specifically, but I have played a lot with Final Fantasy 1's menus back in my early days of romhacking.

Basically the menu code is a loop that reads the controller. When the user press the directional buttons, it changes a counter (the cursor's position), and when A is pressed it goes to a different loop (the sub-menu). When B is pressed it just exists the loop with a RTS instruction. It really couldn't be simpler.

As for how the DMA works it's too game dependant. FF1 turns on forced blanking and redraws the entiere screen during forced blanking and then turn it on again. This is certainly not how Breath of Fire does it, it has a nice effect with windows getting progressively bigger when the open and progressively smaller when they close.

There is probably an engine for handling those windows somewhere in the game, so to change the layout of the menu you just have to localise this engine and change the data. Perhaps if you're lucky you don't even have to change a line of code, just change the position of the windows and the graphics they use. At least with Final Fantasy 1 this was the case.

You should also get in touch with Ryusui and d4s, the group that retranslated Breath of Fire II, and perhaps ask justin3009, who is currently hacking Tales of Phantasia's menu, they could be of great help.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Mega Man X Speedrunning!
« on: July 26, 2014, 01:11:02 pm »
Personally I feel the opposite. I enjoy tool assisted better, because at least they took a long time to make sure everything was as fast as possible by manipulating controller input on every frame.

On non-TAS it's just someone playing, like normal, nothing interesting to see, exept sometimes when they exploit glitches or get hit on purpose to move faster, but that happens once in a while, as opposed to TAS who exploit those kind of stuff almost constantly.

However, I still think this Harmony of Dissonance speedrun is a bit overdone, even for a TAS.

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