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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration  (Read 22850 times)

RHDNBot

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ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« on: October 30, 2011, 10:15:11 am »

Update By: Bregalad

The Game Boy Advance of Final Fantasy V featued a terrible port of the music, with aggressive instruments. This hack was made to fix this problem by re-inserting back the original SNES soundtrack in the GBA game.

In this version 2.0, the Final Fantasy V Advance Sound Restoration hack has been completely remade from scratch in a new version, using the same technique used in the Final Fantasy VI advance patch, where the soundtrack was entirely re-sequenced.

The hack also changes a few sound effects, and features a fully orchestrated introduction !

As a plus, this hack also greatly reduces lagging problems that were introduced by reducing the CPU usage for mixing sound. Now all spells will play their animations at the original SNES rate.

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Relevant Link: (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/563/)

Idkbutlike2

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 02:10:21 pm »
"terrible port of the music, with aggressive instruments" my ass. It was not only the best musically of the GBA ports, if you ask me, but also superior to the SNES version.

Dragonsbrethren

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 02:24:40 pm »
"terrible port of the music, with aggressive instruments" my ass. It was not only the best musically of the GBA ports, if you ask me, but also superior to the SNES version.

Glad I'm not the only one who thought so. I haven't given this new version a try yet, but I remember the previous one was pretty underwhelming to me.

BRPXQZME

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 02:51:54 pm »
the best musically of the GBA ports
Collections of Uwe Boll’s greatest films and a CD titled “The Very Best of Justin Bieber, 2007-2010” come to mind.
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Dwedit

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 03:30:24 pm »
Can we also have a version without the orchestration, for use on a 32MB flash cart (with other games on at the same time)?
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Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2011, 03:36:01 pm »
I'm curious, has someone actually done a double-blind test comparing FF5 and FF5 Advance?

burn_654

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 04:22:21 pm »
Is there any sort of color restoration project for this like there is for FFVI? Or does it need it?

Bregalad

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 04:25:17 pm »
Can we also have a version without the orchestration, for use on a 32MB flash cart (with other games on at the same time)?
Nope because there is other data after the music engine arround 0x830000, the game simply crashed if I removed this data.

(Of course if the programmers worked efficiently I'm pretty sure everything would fit in 8MB but they just didn't)

Granville

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 05:27:34 pm »
Is there any sort of color restoration project for this like there is for FFVI? Or does it need it?

There's no color hack for FF5A. I don't really think it needs it that much, the colors seem pretty decent in most parts and weren't oversaturated nearly to the extent of FF6A-
http://mangames.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/final-fantasy-v-j-teng11_rpge001.png
http://www.gameboy-advance-roms.com/gba/scr/2727b.png

The battle scenes were also completely replaced. The one really great change in the port IMHO. They were a lot more detailed and pretty, and similar to FF4Advance's-
SNES- http://www.flyingomelette.com/greatgames/screens/ff5-battle.gif
GBA- http://images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org/11/3/1/4/9279873922508075.png

"terrible port of the music, with aggressive instruments" my ass. It was not only the best musically of the GBA ports, if you ask me, but also superior to the SNES version.
Glad I'm not the only one who thought so. I haven't given this new version a try yet, but I remember the previous one was pretty underwhelming to me.

I completely disagree with both of you. I also think your tones are somewhat disrespectful, this hack and his FF6A one are both amazing. Listening to the original unaltered SNES and GBA soundtracks side by side, Bregalad said it perfectly with his "aggressive instruments" comment. They're loud and overbearing, not only hurting the ears but the replaced instruments ruins the emotion of some of the songs. I think there are worse musical butchering when SNES games were ported to GBA (Breath of Fire and Magical Quest are good examples), but that's not a valid excuse. Compare a few of the tunes from SNES and GBA side by side, it's a massive difference, the SNES stomps all over the original GBA music. Here's the original tunes on both systems unaltered, hearing is believing-

Nostalgia SNES- www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpbRyGVX4jE
Nostalgia GBA- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9SdeTKqUp8

Beyond the Deep Blue Sea SNES- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIykpxXjGbg
Beyond the Deep Blue Sea GBA- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzM9eVBuVO0

Fate in Haze (dungeon) SNES- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhDGt4HGq58
Fate in Haze (dungeon) GBA- www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og4CoGfwofM

There's absolutely no contest. Anyone with working ears will hear the difference and massive loss in quality of the GBA port. If you can't tell a difference or think the GBA versions sound better, you might want to get your hearing checked. Sorry, but the quality on the original GBA version to me is sometimes even physically painful to my ears. Bregalad's hacks are quite amazing, they are as close to the original SNES versions as you can imagine on GBA. IMO, it really shows that the GBA was no slacker in the audio department if developers just decided to put a little effort into their work. I think it's sad in that respect.

Now a direct question for Bregalad if i may, a hypothetical one as i'm not knowledgeable in this matter- could sound restoration similar to this and FF6 theoretically be done to any of the SNES ports on GBA? Like the Mario Advance series, Breath of Fire I and II, Magical Quest (Mickey) series, etc? And are you planning to do anything else like this in the future to other SNES-to-GBA ports? Many thanks to you btw, I love your work so much that i never play FF5 or FF6 Advance without your hacks lol! :D

Idkbutlike2

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 07:12:40 pm »
Most of the sound quality loss is the fault of the GBA hardware itself, not the actual sound patches used in the ports. All that static you hear still transfers over to the patched version of the game, so I'd say the only real "improvement" is the fact that you get the old SNES patches instead of the new GBA ones. I like the timbres of the GBA patches better. The brass sound more powerful, the strings and woodwind are better, and the percussion is way better, too. The FF6A certainly needed a patch like this, but as for this one, not really.

BRPXQZME

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 08:01:46 pm »
You seem to be under the impression that swapping out the sounds is the only thing this patch does.
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Idkbutlike2

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 08:50:01 pm »
I was just talking about one aspect of the patch. I have nothing against the lag reduction and orchestrated intro.

Spooniest

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 11:53:27 pm »
Awesome. Big fan of Bregalad's work, and I just finished re-watching Legend Of The Crystals after not having seen in since something like circa 1995. This time I was able to check out a fansub, and was shocked to discover that Pritz is a teenager, after all. I wasn't aware of it at the time (of course), but snippets of Final Fantasy 5's music are present in LotC, the title theme and the battle theme, I believe.

I'm bound to have some downtime sooner or later to check it out. Good show, sirs, good show!
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badinsults

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 08:02:24 am »
I don't know how anyone could say the GBA version of the music is better than the SNES version. For instance, the overworld music an ear piercing shriek in the GBA version. If I had a GBA flash cart, I would be all over this hack.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 08:17:56 am »
For instance, the overworld music an ear piercing shriek in the GBA version.

Which tune in particular? I think World 2's GBA tune is an improvement. *shrug*

Spooniest

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 10:47:37 am »
Which tune in particular? I think World 2's GBA tune is an improvement. *shrug*

I find that when you're talking about a collection of songs, the old adage "one bad apple spoils the bunch" seems to apply. While some songs may be an improvement, an audiophile (like myself) will have little hairs standing up on the back of their neck if any of the music sounds off.

Gave this a shot with Visualboy Advance last night. That intro is just spectacular, synced to the on-screen action very very well. The SNES music sounds dead-on, too. Not too shabby!
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Bregalad

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2011, 12:51:33 pm »
Quote
Most of the sound quality loss is the fault of the GBA hardware itself, not the actual sound patches used in the ports.
Yes, the fact the GBA outputs 8-bit quality makes the overal sound output low quality. Also on the hardware a low-end D class amplifier is used and a loudspeaker with a reduced bandwith, which is probably why they took the choice to have so fuzzy instruments, so that you hear them through GBA's small BW highspeaker.
Other GBA games such as Golden Sun took the path to make the music sounds good "as-it" no matter what, and you'll be missing all basslines if you play without using headphones (or an emulator). My hacks will also fall in this cathegory.

Quote
Now a direct question for Bregalad if i may, a hypothetical one as i'm not knowledgeable in this matter- could sound restoration similar to this and FF6 theoretically be done to any of the SNES ports on GBA?
Absolutely, if the use the "sappy" sound engine I already know how, and I released a doccument about this engine on RHDN, and if a game use another engine it's probably possible too but it would just be harder as you'd need to reverse engineer the sound engine the game uses.

Quote
Bregalad's hacks are quite amazing, they are as close to the original SNES versions as you can imagine on GBA.
Technically something way closer could be achievable by scrapping the "sappy" sound engine completely and make something that completely simulate the sound of the SPC instead. However it would be way more complex to make it as a hack.

Some differences between GBA's sappy engine and the SPC :
- 8-bit sound output (this is a hardware limitation and we can't overcome this), SPC has 15-bit output
- Echo algorithm is way simpler than SPC's, it just uses the sound buffer as an echo buffer, so all channels always have echo enabled.
- The sampling rate is limited because of CPU time consumption.
- Samples uses linear interpolation, while SNES uses Gaussian interpolation
- I'm pretty sure the mixing quality of the sappy's engine is quite low and could be improved, even considering the 8-bit output, by making all internal calculations in more bits and convert it to 8-bits just before the output.

BRPXQZME

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2011, 01:21:35 pm »
I don't know how anyone could say the GBA version of the music is better than the SNES version. For instance, the overworld music an ear piercing shriek in the GBA version. If I had a GBA flash cart, I would be all over this hack.
It’s like, an octave higher, right?

*checks*

It is.
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Granville

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2011, 01:37:43 pm »
@Bregalad-
Thanks for answering. I'm not knowledgeable in the realm of hacking to be honest, but it's interesting to learn about the shortcuts that developers made though. It's a shame IMO. But i think your hacks have essentially proven that the GBA's sound hardware isn't AS weak as people make it out to be. It can at least simulate SNES instruments well, even if they're played back at slightly worse quality. And it gives me hope that perhaps it will be undertaken for other games as well. The quality difference is negligible to me though, so i choose them over the SNES versions because of their superior content and translations. Your music hacks patch up any other problems i had with them (plus the color restoration for FF6A). Perhaps even non-ports with low-tech music could be improved with superior instruments by talented musicians and hackers (Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance comes to mind among others).

I'd have been interested to see if a DKC music restoration would have been possible...had Rare not completely botched the entirety of them beyond recognition or saving (example- every sprite and graphical asset was physically resized downwards to only 75% of their original size, i checked and compared, you can't even palette swap them to the original SNES versions due to this). But other SNES ports on GBA weren't actually that bad at all sans for some color alterations and the music. And both of those aspects have been shown fixable by talented people such as yourself.

Which tune in particular? I think World 2's GBA tune is an improvement. *shrug*
I wouldn't call any of the tunes an improvement personally. Unknown Lands was one of the lesser butchered themes in the GBA port, but still messy. There was virtually no bass or percussion to it anymore (not surprising as the existing bass and percussion on the GBA version sounds awful) and the instruments were lower quality and washed out to where they were difficult to hear. At best, some of the songs were ok renditions of the SNES tunes, but none actually coming on par or surpassing them in my ears. They ranged from slightly worse to absolutely dreadful, very few of them achieving the slightly worse ranking.

Unknown Lands SNES- www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8k4iM6ZVJQ
Unknown Lands GBA- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX49DkoWLe8

The tracks i listed earlier are also great examples of how the GBA port messed up things. I'd say one of the worst of them is Beyond the Deep Blue Sea. It got everything wrong. Not only are the instruments all wrong, the tune is actually literally physically painful to the ears and head to listen to. And the soothing emotion of the original is lost. Nostalgia (Sorrows in Parting) and Fate in Haze are again examples of this. All instruments are wrong, physically painful to listen to, and the emotion is lost. I find that the slow, soft, emotional beautiful ones are the most butchered of the bunch.

amitrius17

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V Sound Restoration
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2011, 09:47:33 pm »
Fantastic patch!! The GBA soundtrack is nasty. I'm glad we have a restoration patch to experience FFV GBA the way we should have.
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