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Messages - Bregalad

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It struggles me that some of Uematsu's music do not respect the limitations of real instruments that are behind the electronics ones playing video game music. The biggest errors are (in my opinion) :

  • Dear Friends (FF5 ending) requires a guitar able to play a low D1 note. However common guitars starts on E1. Playing this song on a real guitar would require either using an ordinary guitar with a lower string, or to play this part of the song an octave higher (the youtubers I found playing that song used this second option).
  • Most orchestras have a set of 3 timpanis, the poor orchestras however have only 2 and the richest have 4, ocasionally 5. However Uematsu likes to compose songs which requires much more than 5 different timpani notes without a long pause to allow the timpanist to change the notes : The Unforgiven (FF6) would require a set of 14 timpani drums (!!) to be played accurately, as the notes of E1, Eb1, F1, F#1, G1, Bb1, B1, C2, Db2, D2, Eb2, E2, F2, F#2 are required, and everything without any pause to change the pitch of any drum.
  • I know squat about drums so I am not 100% sure, but I am fairly confident that the drum part of Still More Fighting (Boss theme of FF7) is unplayable on real drums, or would require 2 separate drum kits to be played as it. At some point the drummer would be required to reach 2 different cymbals and 2 different toms at exactly the same time, which is not doable with 2 arms.
  • That could be due to a programing error, but some FF7 songs apply vibrato effect to a piano sound, which is an instrument of course completely unable to produce a vibrato effect. This is heard in Shinra Corporation and Those Chosen by the Planet
  • Minor but significant, Opening Theme I (FF6) starts with a pipe organ doing a big crescendo, something impossible with this instrument. An organist can add more pipe sets in order to make the sound louder, but then it affects the character of the sound just as well as the volume.

General Discussion / Re: What's with all the depressing endings?
« on: November 26, 2015, 04:47:05 am »
You misunderstood what I wrote. I enjoyed playing Breath of Fire, I just didn't like the terrible ending which is why I use an edited screen shot of the ending scene where Ryu and Sara are walking home together in the sunset. Instead of the real depressing ending which didn't really make much sense in my opinion... This is what I meant all along.
Ah, point taken. I must admit that although I remember the begining of Breath of Fire very clearly, I completely forgot the end, probably because I started the game many times but completed it only once. I however clearly remember that there was many story scenes in the straight begining of the game, and then nothing at all until close to the end of the game. It was obvious that they went out of inspiration after having designed the main plot elements of the begin/end of the game, and let the middle of the game be more Dragon Quest like, where there is just quests and no story at all. Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Breath of Fire and it was in my opinion way supperior to it's 2 sequels (not that they're bad either, the original is just better). I now have to play Breath of Fire IV and retry to play Dragon Quarter.

I think Sara the hero's older sister plays a major role in the intro, and then vanished completely through the story. I didn't remember her dying at all so it shouldn't have shocked or depressed me. Since you have missed her for 99% of the game I probably didn't care about her anymore when I reached the point where she suddently reappears. I guess character's death is a common theme in the Breath of Fire series, as far I know all 3 I completed had that.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« on: November 26, 2015, 04:38:10 am »
Do enemies in the FFTAs level-up with you, or was that just in random (non-story) battles?
Yes they do in non-story battles, which is most of the game. All the game's missions are arranged in a NxN gird, and only the diagonal N are story battles (I do not remember the value of N by heart), so the vast majority of the game is non-story battles, unless you are masochist enough to try the challenge to play only story battles.

General Discussion / Re: What's with all the depressing endings?
« on: November 25, 2015, 05:28:43 pm »
Personally what I find the most disturbing is endings which comes prematuredly, such as the author sudently thinking "I'm tired with this plot, let's end this right now, even though it's not the time yet I don't care because I want to publish this". The most obvious examples are Dracula by Bram Stocker, and also another totally unknown book I recently finished, where it was SOOO OBVIOUS the author just wanted to finish the book off in a hurry.

I also don't like bad endings for obivous reasons : They are not rewarding. Overall I'd say good but ambigious endigs are the best.

Breath of Fire which annoyed me the most
So you use an avatar from a game that annoyed you the most ? Strange idea.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« on: November 25, 2015, 05:18:42 pm »
I can't imagine any game being good enough to play for 100 hours
Well so far I think I reached the 100 hour bars with a great total of 3 games :
* Final Fantasy VII (PS1), but that was because of all the time dedicated to various sub-quests such as collecting all the enemy techniques, and breed all chocobo types. Just completing the game is doable in 35 hours.
* Dragon Quest VIII (PS2) - The only reason it took that long is because the battles are insanely long and every single enemy has a lot of HP and takes many hits to be defeated. Quite grindy too. I also did most optional quests, including one which is done after beating the game which is very long and hard
* Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (DS) - The very slow AI is a large part of why it took so long, each battle is ridiculously long because the computer things for age to decide what to do next. Since 90% of this game is technically side-quests story isn't part of why it's long, but you have to do some side-quests in order to be high levelled enough to continue the real story. Nevertheless I did all the quests of the game exept a couple which were really too hard.

So in all cases, it's due to gameplay/complectionist that it took so long and is never due to the story itself. Maybe for more modern games it is the case I don't know.

If you count all the time I spend loosing and restarting missions in Fire Emblem due to the death of any of my characters, then I probably spend well 100 hours on each of those, too.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« on: November 25, 2015, 12:03:35 pm »
It's why I tolerated DW1 on the NES for several play-throughs even though that's a horrendously shitty game that consists of literally 99% grinding and has no story.
Wow, I don't know how you coud do that. I'd sooner watch hours of storyline cutscenes, even if not very inspired, rather than grind in DW1.

as the combat in these games is usually simplistic and boring (hence why I don't really play them any more).
Exactly my point, in a 10 or 20 hours games it's not a problem if the combat system is simplistic and boring because there is other stuff to maintain your interest. But in a 100 hour game, it'll become tiresome, unless there's other interesting thigns such as scenario, graphics, music or whathever.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« on: November 25, 2015, 11:54:12 am »
I am not one of those that complained, although I can see that it is annoying when a game gets too long, especially when this game has flaws. Some flaws are much more tolerable for a 10 hours game than for a 100 hour game for instance. For example if the loading times are long, but you're playing 10 hours, you'll spend in total maybe 10 minutes in total at long waiting times, which is bearable. Buf if loading times are long in a 100 hour game, you'll have to stand 1 hour and 40 minutes in total at waiting times, which is unbearable (even though they're not longer than in the short game with the same loading times).

Same could be said at other flaws, the loading times is just an example that came to my mind. For example if the enemies aren't varied enough, or the combat system is good but too simple, or that the game is too easy, you won't be bothered by those flaws in a 10 or even 20 hour games, but you will in a 100 hour game.

Another reason is that people often have a large pile of games they'd want to play but limit how much they play simultanously otherwise it becomes a mess. Long games tends to monopolize the waiting queue and prevents to start a new game that you are waiting to paly. Of course it does not actively prevent it, but you know from experience that if you start yet another game, you'll necessarly abandon one of the game you started to play without completing it.

So if you're not a complextionist and don't care leaving lots of games half-finished, there's really no bad side in long games, but if you're a complexionist, it can become an annoyance.

Last but not least, if a game is really that long when you finally finish it, you are more likely no never replay it ever again (or at least not fully). However if a game is short, then you can pick it up every 3 years or so and finish it within a couple of week/months, which is nice. (Chrono Trigger comes to mind here).

Front Page News / Re: Utilities: GBAMusRiper released
« on: November 17, 2015, 12:17:05 pm »
This is definitely a bug on my side, because lovemu's tool mp2ktool, who'se code is re-used in the newest version of gbamusriper, is able to locate the song table at 0x120e94.

I do not have backups of old versions but they're not needed. Just add 0x120e94 as a command line argument when riping the ROM and it'll work.

General Discussion / Re: Hold on... Don't tell me...
« on: November 09, 2015, 03:22:26 am »
I think that some crimes are terrible enough that those commiting them should just be whiped off the face of the earth and erased from history like how Stalin did. Kill them, burn their records, cut their faces out of pictures, edit them out of films. Make them an "unperson" who never existed.
Oh god, that's exactly what not to do. Sounds just like what Turkey is trying to do to deny the Armenian genocide. A crime should be remembered, if it is forgotten it is bound to happen again.
Globalization is progress
Yes and no. Yes for the short term, because it allows technology to improve faster as scientists from all the globe collaborate for their research instead of doing it in their country alone.

But no for the long term, because the amount of energy spent for people travalling is literally exponentially exploding, which results in equally exploding pollution and global warming. So in the long term globalization destroys (physically) the planet and will lead to its ruin. Seeing how little people care about ecology, or how they care only in theory but do absolutely nothing to change things, I don't doubt the future will look similar to what it is in Chrono Trigger. If people had will to reform the economical system in order to take the desturction of the planet in account when computing the GDP, that would have worked great, but now it's starting to be way too late.

General Discussion / Re: Hold on... Don't tell me...
« on: November 08, 2015, 03:00:25 pm »
Because the Bolsheviks were very different in regards to human rights, obviously.
Considering the utter human-rights atrocities that the Tsar committed, do you still feel  they'd deserve mercy?
Yes. I don't believe in death penalty - as killing the author of a crime do not miraculously cancel it. The Tsar was already prisoner and powerless for more than one year when he was assasinated. If he was assasinated while still on throne that'd have made more sense.

Even if the Tsar deserved to be assassinated - his wife, his kids and his distant family certainly didn't do a thing for that.

Now it's sure that retrospectively, being assassinated brings sympathies as it makes the victim look like a victim (same goes with Fanz Ferdinand for instance), and it's true it's easy to miss that the victim might have asked for it. I still find the Bolsheviks crimes repugnant.

General Discussion / Re: Hold on... Don't tell me...
« on: November 08, 2015, 02:54:29 pm »
1) Beg the Czar to make necessary changes and then be shot to death or 2) kill the Czar and establish a new order.
The Tsar (that's how it's spelled in English I believe - Czar should be another language) was certainly an incompetent idiot and greedy for power, and it was needed to remove him from (de facto) power. This has been accomplished in February 1917.

The ex-Tsar was then cowardly assassinated more than one year after he was made prisoner, with his wife, children and his entiere family (including cousins). Those assassinations were certainly not needed to modernize Russia. Keeping the Tsar out of power was enough, they didn't need to assassinate him, and holy god certainly not his family.

Russia was probably 100 years behind all of the other modern nations at the time
It was certainly late, however not by 100 years. 19th century was probably the fastest growing technologically and socially century in my opinion (although second half of 20th is impressive as well), so if it was, say, 30 years late, it was already a huge lag. They had technology such as rail, however didn't have nearly enough. The country was very poor and overpopulated - the later part has been fixed by Stalin and his massive killings.

Site Talk / Re: Public Maintenance on the site
« on: November 07, 2015, 10:06:09 am »
Ehm, why don't you just pick "No special requirements then" then?
Because the interface doesn't allow me to.

If you don't have the ROM anymore, for new projects: It's a bad idea to not keep backups of clean ROMs you are messing with
In theory I fully agree, but in practice most of ROMs in my hard disc aren't clean for some reason. I belive it's how LIPS works that makes it so easy to apply patches and dones't back up the original by default.

Site Talk / Re: Public Maintenance on the site
« on: November 07, 2015, 05:04:21 am »
I am posting this publically since it might concern anyone, not only mrrichard999.

I find the format for this new storage is not always appropriated. One of my hacks contains patches for both headered and headerless versions of a SNES game. Why doesn't RHDN allow me to have a proper option, such as " No special Requirements ", even though the game is SNES ?

Also, as for hashes of original ROM, I understand that a minority of hacks might fail if you apply them to the wrong ROM, especially those that hacks a very large part of the game, such as Grond's Final Fantasy or the Castlevania II retranslation. However my hacks are smaller and often change less than a hundred of bytes, they are designed to be largely cross compatible with multiple revisions/translations of the ROM, as well as cross-compatible with other hacks.

For instance the difference between version 1.1 and 1.0 of the SNES ROM Final Fantasy III (U) is very small, and the change I made in my hack apply to both of those ROMs equally well. How am I supposed to reflect that ?

Finally, often the non-hacked ROM do not figure on my hard disk anymore, or does figure but is there with a non GoodNES or GoodSNES name since dozen of years, so I don't know what I am supposed to do here. Just to say that while I fully understand it was a great idea to add this, in my particular case it doesn't blend well.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Your favorite console and handheld.
« on: November 04, 2015, 04:42:14 am »
I'd say Playstation 1 for favourite console, GBA for favourite handheld.

Programming / Re: SMB1 = Over 99% NMI Routine
« on: October 30, 2015, 04:33:10 am »
It might have made more sense to use the IRQ however they didn't and by the time SMB was released it was way to late to make any changes to the hardware. It is perfectly safe to have re-entering NMI if they are programmed correctly, actually a lot of Konami games does exactly that, they do "everything in NMI" style but still have the game correctly run at a lower framerate, without the music slowing down nor the raster effects screwing up (SMB has both if the game lags).

IRQs were already reserved for both kind of APU IRQs, and cartridge IRQs. One of the kind of APU IRQs (the "Frame IRQ") is even more useless than any other hardware feature of the NES, and makes even less sense than anything else. It was only used in Door Door (J) and Dragon Quest (J) as a timebase to run the music engine, but it really makes no difference at all if you do it in the VBlank routine, and is a lot simpler/safer.

Newcomer's Board / Re: Hoping to find a list of recommended hacks
« on: October 28, 2015, 04:36:53 pm »
I don't see the point, personally I'd recommend you my hacks  :) But everyone else will say the same obviously.

Just so that you know, the GB/GBC sound hardware is similar to the NES sound hardware, but still different in many ways. Unfortunately one hardware cannot just simulate the other that easily. Probably GB Channel 3 can easily simulate the triangle channel, but for the other it's going to be though.

The Square channels have no direct volume control on GB/GBC while they do in NES, also only one GB/GBC channel has sweeping ability while on the NES both square channels have sweeping capability, and how the channels are clocked is too different, so the sweep and volume envelopes won't sound the same.

The notes which can be reached are not the same, the NES channels can go tree semitones lower on NTSC than the GB/GBC (and the PAL NES even lower than that).

Finally the noise channel is almost completely different between GB/GBC and NES and donesn't even sound remotely the same in my opinion, in addition to the differences already mentioned for the square channels.

Last but not least, the DPCM channel is completely absent in GB/GBC sound hardware. So overall the GB/GBC sound is way inferior to the NES and cannot easily simulate it without sounding like (quote) "butchered down to a really crappy quality".

I honestly know square about the Mother series, the only game in the series I know remotely is the NES original. I don't know if I said what you made me say (it's possible I really don't remember) but basically I believe the GBA version somehow ended up simulating the NES music with inferior GB/GBC hardware. Might be wrong though. Simulating NES music exactly though Direct Sound is a technical possibility, but not something you can just hack up like that.

hacking the music is impossible
Of course hacking the music of any NES->GBA port is possible. It just is not usually found in sappy format, as you mentionned. Nobody took the time/investement to reverse engineer those games, mostly because they are much less interesting than the NES originals to hack. Anybody which would hack Mother 1, for instance, will hack the NES version because it's seen as the superior one for many reasons. I hope this clears up your questions.

Programming / Re: SMB1 = Over 99% NMI Routine
« on: October 25, 2015, 05:53:25 pm »
If you go SMB style there's no really loop, rather a giant state machine, and the whole codes makes it go from one state to the next state.

NES games that does most of the work in the main thread does indeed have a game loop, but the amount of time in each iteration of the loop is typically one frame, so there is not what you mentioned (a varying amount of time elapsing between them). The NES is not technologically advanced enough to make such an approach practical.

In the end both approaches are equivalent and it would not be that hard to convert code from one approach to another (in other words, any game can theoretically be programmed with either of the approaches), however, it's still a fundamental difference in how this code is seen/perceived.

Programming / Re: SMB1 = Over 99% NMI Routine
« on: October 25, 2015, 06:19:21 am »
Is there any particular reason the OP's might have done it this way?
None that I know off. It is a counter intuitive and awkward way of programming so I really don't see any real advantage of programming that way, nevertheless that's what they did.

Do any other NES games exhibit this odd arrangement?
Early Nintendo games and Konami games usually work that way (all in NMI). Other developers tend to either do the "All in Main" kind of programming (Squaresoft) or balance the work between Main and NMI (Capcom).

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