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Messages - Bregalad

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21
News Submissions / Re: Utilities: GBAMusRiper released
« on: September 24, 2017, 02:34:14 pm »
Indeed.
By the way how are you progressing on VGMTrans ? Will it eventually support Squaresoft PS1 games properly ?
Regards.

22
Personal Projects / Re: Romancing Saga 1 translation
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:32:59 pm »
They decided that game's system (having stats effectively auto-changed, raised AND LOWERED, based on your characters' actions) was too much for Americans to handle.
Only FF2 lowers the stats. Square learned from their errors and fixed mostly the system for Romancing SaGa, the stats only increase.

23
Newcomer's Board / Re: ROM hacking on Linux? I never even used Linux.
« on: September 11, 2017, 02:11:49 am »
No. You could just as well write you posts in Chinese I would understand the same amount of information (that is, zero).

24
Newcomer's Board / Re: ROM hacking on Linux? I never even used Linux.
« on: September 10, 2017, 12:04:23 pm »
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But learning Linux might be a hassle in the short term, but will be a long term solution to this planned obsolescence scam.
Do you know there is just as much "planned obsolescence" in Linux ? In some points it might be even worse with new gimmicky useless features.

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Getting to the bottom of this is probably going to be easier than at least 50% of the problems you'll have with Linux.  If that disturbs you, then don't go with Linux!
+1

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Linux world is at the point of no return already, I don't recommend that you waste any new x86 machine with distros.
Perhaps if you would actually tell what the problem is instead of just ranting without any clue about what, your post could be constructive and helpful.

25
Newcomer's Board / Re: ROM hacking on Linux? I never even used Linux.
« on: September 08, 2017, 08:00:53 am »
I wanted to downgrade to Windows 7 for "reasons", only to find that it is impossible. I called the manufacturer and "Will" tells me that "Windows 7 is not an option with this computer" because it is not ACPI compliant.
How far you actually searched this path ? Because your vendor do not support Windows 7 downgrades does not mean this is impossible. In many cases it's even possible to install XP on modern PCs, but you'll have a couple of driver issues and won't be able to take advantage of all RAM - but this is a low price to pay in order to have a fully usable operating system far from the modern shit that there is.

26
Newcomer's Board / Re: ROM hacking on Linux? I never even used Linux.
« on: September 07, 2017, 09:55:09 am »
Most linux distros are free so just try these out and see if you like it or not... It's always interesting to try out.

But also prepare to be disappointed, it's harder to use than windows and requires some "hacking" by changing system text files to get any non-standard thing (and sometimes even very standard things) done.

27
Newcomer's Board / Re: Doulbe posting after 7 days???
« on: August 29, 2017, 03:27:14 pm »
Does that mean I can't put a double post unless the last post I made on a thread was 7 days old?
Indeed. But don't worry even if you do that both of your posts will auto-merge and it will still show the thread as "undread", it simply won't bump it (I think). The only reason I think this was done is not to artificially increase your post count, or to disable people bumping themselves. I guess...

28
Gaming Discussion / Re: The lead male character in Final Fantasy.
« on: August 27, 2017, 03:55:49 pm »
Can't vote, I love them all, it's impossible to chose. I'd say Tidus is the one I like the least, in the story he's kind of annoying but in battle I think he's great.

Also your leader in FF1 doesn't have to be a fighter, even if the game is much easier if it is. I'm not even sure they're supposed to be males (they were designed to be sex-agnostic). And nobody is definitely called "Mike" in FF1.

Also Lock is only a lead character in FF6 at some points in the story. For most of the game there's no particular lead character and anyone can lead the party (just like in FF1-3 and FF5).

29
Programming / Re: NES to SNES?
« on: August 23, 2017, 11:15:27 am »
Its easier with converting nes to gba, why would it be hard to convert nes to smc if gba is 32 bit?
It's not converting it's emulating. That's two completely different things.

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At the risk of stating the obvious: if it was remotely easy, lots of people would be doing it already.
Not to mention Nintendo originally planned for backwards compatibility but gave this up, there's a good reason to this.

30
Newcomer's Board / Re: The nature of NES and FDS headers
« on: August 18, 2017, 12:12:39 pm »
Most importantly would be that they're just about absolutely necessary these days for playablility on emulators, and that they're somewhat unique in that way since many other systems don't have a need for them.
NES headers are crutial in order to know what cartridge hardware to emulate. This is hardly unique. SNES have several carts with different hardware. Emulators can (and usually does) use heuristics on the ROM to determine whether they have a LoROM or HiROM cartridge, and Nintendo had an imposed header in the ROM so emus uses that. But there's no guarantee the header in the ROM is correct, actually you could even have something completely wrong in the ROM header or remove it entierely and have a game that works on hardware - but it wouldn't work in emulators. How hironic.

Many NES ROMs have also a header in the ROM but the format is less standard, and info is largely incomplete and often plain wrong, or missing entierely (about half of games). So this header cannot normally be used to emulate the system.


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So that brings me to the FDS games.  What's the nature of headers for that system?
FDS headers are mostly useless and contain no information. Basically their only purpose is to verify that the data following it is effectively a FDS dump. Info about disk sides amount, etc... is found on the disk itself in it's internal header. Which is itself used by the FDS BIOS.

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I've noticed a few things while looking at instructions and trying to find correct versions for the games.  Some specifically say that the rom MUST be unheadered for the patch.  Most don't mention this.  Some show a pre-patched value of a headerless rom on the page.  Most don't.
So basically it's the same hell as for the SNES :(

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Should I be stripping all of the headers before patching these games, or just the ones that specifically say no header?
I think if they don't say anything it's with header ? In all cases you should try both and see which one works (like with the SNES), unfortunately there's no real alternative.

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Are the headers necessary for the FDS?
No.

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Will I have to add my own headers somehow after patching non-headered games?
If an emulator you wish to use only supports headered FDS dumps then yes. I have no idea which emu supports or don't support headerless FDS dumps, but it seems with header is the "standard".

31
Well, you got a point. I think it would be nice if it was impossible to fall in the stairs before Dracula. But jumping in front of stairs and being catched on them still sounds wrong to me. I don't know what to say.

You should definitely play Bloodlines and/or Rondo of Blood if you have a chance.

32
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In most games I've played
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But I'd say that since most games have autolanding,
Which "most games" are you talking about ? "Most games" does not have the awful stairs system Castlevania has, including even later Castlevania games. You mention Super Smash Bros but it's completely different from Castlevania so it makes no sense comparing them.

My only point of comparaison is later Castlevania games who DO have stairs, those are Super Castlevania IV, Rondo of Blood and Castlevania Bloodlines. You'd want to behave like those whenever possible.

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The most important thing is to have consistent and predictable behaviour though, otherwise a player who has mastered the controls will get annoyed when they suddenly work differently than expected.

The original CV3 has consistent and predictable behaviour, yet we both agree it's controls suck.

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So I wouldn't make it check your starting jump height.
How does it make the controls inconsistent ? SCV4 probably does exactly that. If the stairs go "down", you autoland on them, as this avoids falling through stairs like shown in this video. If they go "up", you don't autoland and simply pass through. This is absolutely consistent and makes sense. If you jump in front of stairs going up, you just do it as if the stairs weren't here. If you jump over stairs going up and fall in a bottomless pit, and die which is the correct behaviour. If you jump hop onto stairs going down, you land on them, as opposed to the original game, again the correct behaviour.

I suggest checking the vertical position as a simple way to distinguish stairs going "up" from stairs going "down" but if there is another preferred method, go for it.

33
Could you explain why this would be a problem?
Well, because you're more likely to just want to jump normally and ignore the stairs completely.

34

Here's a sneak preview. :3

Still a bit buggy as you can see, but nonetheless it is starting to work. (Detecting when the player is on a stair turns out to be very difficult, since only the locations of the beginnings and ends of the stairs are actually stored. o.0)
Honnestly, if you forward jump in front of stairs, you should definitely NOT land on the staires (as shown in this video). This is a bigger problem than the problem you pointed out in solution 1.

You should either implement solution 1 or make it so that the player lands on stairs only if he is lower than the point where he left the ground when jumping.

35
So, I finally got to write myself the proper script conversion tool and ran my compression algorithms on them. I do no know which table you used, depending on where the letters are placed it could affect the compression ratio a little. I made up some values just to fit them (punctuation symbols, which differs from the japanese anyway).

I assumed all messages are finished by a $00 value, and that empty message are only a $00 values. By making them point to an existing $00, those could be optimized out (but I didn't do that yet).

The script contains once a weird [*C] hyphen I have no idea what it means (bank2, message 74), so I just used [0C] instead as a placebo value.

For the whole script I have 96548 bytes. The best compression is with the Huffman algorithm. Huffman reduces the script to 61532 bytes, however this includes a length table, but since all messages are $00 terminated, the length table can be optimized out. There is a total of 1732 messages, meaning that by suppressing the 16-bit length table, 3464 bytes can be suppressed and the total size of compressed script would be 58068 bytes, a good 40% savings on the uncompressed script.

Huffman is however not the most practical compression to implement, it is simple enough but would be slow for rare symbols as it requires going through the entire table of frequent symbols first, and figure we're not decoding any of them. This slowdown could potentially cause problems if implemented as a romhack in a game that does not expect a slowdown here.

Byte pair/DTE/dictionary based encodings works poorly because some messages in bank2 uses symbols in the $30-$4f range, blocking this range which would normally be used for that. So my temporary estimate as how this would be done is leave bank 2 uncompressed and compress the other banks. Then I add uncompressed bank 2's size to estimate the total. The most interesting is the recursive byte pair encoding (basically it's exactly the compression used in AW Jackson's translation, except a byte pair can point to another byte pair, making the algorithm more powerful). So unlike Huffman this compression alrogithm is almost free, it's about 20 assembly instructions to get it working. Using this we could fit everything in 65783 bytes, a good ~31% of savings on the original size. But by altering the table in order to "pack" all used symbols near the end of the table as much as possible this ratio could be improved, as they'd be room for more byte pairs. Here I have byte pairs between $15 and $60. I'm fairly sure it could be enlarged to include at least $15 to $80, if this can be done, then maybe we can reach compression ratio almost as good as huffman, but it might require some hacking. For example the tiles used to make window borders or other things not present in the script should be moved "up", and all used symbols should be moved "down".

Please tell me if any of those sizes would make the script fit in a 512kb ROM. If not, then I'll have to look at whether it's possible to compress the graphics.

36

Solution 1:[...]
  - if the player in that video had jumped before reaching the stairs, Belmont would have fallen straight through the stairs regardless.
To be honest this sounds like a serious problem. But after playing CV3 for decades and having major problems falling in the stairs all the time at the begining to eventually got used to it, I think players will get used to it either way. But I still think solution 2 is slightly more professional, but it might be harder to code as it goes further from the original game (automatically landing to stairs).

I'll really have to test your hack, as I hated the controls of CV3 since decades (but eventually got used to it, after playing this game hours and hours, game so good even bad controls can't ruin it !). CV1 it's excusable as it's an early NES game but CV3 there's really no excuse they messed up the control that badly. And don't even mention me Dracula X where they purposely reverted to horrible 1986-style controls after getting them majorly improved in SCV4.

37
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Terranigma MSU-1 - PAL and NTSC
« on: July 28, 2017, 03:17:27 pm »
So I'm just listening the sound pack to... it sounds very synth-ish. I noticed a couple of wrong notes here and there. But some tracks still sounds significantly better than their original counterparts but overall I don't think it makes such a difference. Still nice work !

PS: Wow, track 1 (underworld's theme) and track 21 (Ivan's Tower/hideout) really sound WAY supperior to their originals !!

38
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Terranigma MSU-1 - PAL and NTSC
« on: July 28, 2017, 03:13:54 am »
Is there support for the French version ?

39
Gaming Discussion / Re: SNES Mini... and Star Fox 2
« on: June 28, 2017, 04:10:12 pm »
FF1 does get sort of non-linear once you break free of the Aldi Sea
Technically you're right, but the progression is limited by weapon/armour prices and enemies level. I dare you to go get the airship before beating the earth cave... Once you have the airship there's some unlinearity, I agree. But it also proves my point that the story is extremely limited, because that's precisely what the story of FF1 is.

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and the WoR in FF6 (post-airship) can be done non-linearly
I don't remember the details, but if I'm remembering well the first part is linear (you have to rescue this guy in a burning house hold by Sabin, which always join your party 1st), and finally once you have the airship back it's unlinear but there's not much story going on. It's also optional,if you don't care about rescuing your party (but strongly recomanded). It works marvelously well, but doens't go against my point.

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I suppose that is somewhat similar to the Chrono Trigger late-game sidequests except they tell you in one place which you still need to do (don't you need to do all of them to unlock NG+? Though I'm not certain since I played it a ton back in the day on rental carts where someone else had already unlocked it.)
Chono Trigger handles partial-nonlinearity with an interesting scenario wonderfully. It's still a fairly linear game "wrapped" under a non-linear setup. You can go to prehistory early, but there's nothing to do here, for example. As such it's still linear if you only count where there's actually missions to do.

40
I still hold that compressing script and leave the game on 512k MMC3 is the best option.
I found the mediafire like you gave me months ago, but I don't know how I should format those 10 files and attempt at compressing them with my program. In particular, I'd like to know how those / and those [xx] works exacly, and if there's an implied end marker at the end of the "messages".

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