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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy VI advance - Sound restoration has been upgraded  (Read 15786 times)

RHDNBot

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Update By: Bregalad

The sound restoration hack for Final Fantasy VI advance has been upgraded to version 2.01. The hack has been completely redone from scratch, so that the music and sound effects are all directly taken from the SNES version, and sound almost identical. A better sound mixer program is used, so that the resulting sound is less noisy and the reverb sounds more like the original SNES reverb.

The program also runs faster, frame-rate drops that were introduced in many places in the original GBA version are greatly reduced. This completes the project to restore the whole Final Fantasy Advance trilogy's sound, in high quality directly from SNES' sound data, including sound effects.

RHDN Project Page

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CrocMagnum

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So much hacking goodness lately. Hey! I can barely keep up!    :beer:

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The opera songs are now sung by true opera soloists, and the major part of the opera tunes are played by Tokio’s orchestra.

HOLY S***!! MUST PLAY MUST PLAY!!! \o/
Pity the world if you fail Spirit Monk, for you are the last. (Jade Empire)

ShadowOne333

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I was waiting for this project to finally start playing FFVI in the GBA remake. :D
Thank you so much for this!
I will surely give the whole trilogy a try after VI with your hack. :)

On a side note, now that you have finished the whole trilogy, do you have any plans on doing another Sound restoration for the GBA?

Time/SpaceMage

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Omigosh, frame rate fixes? I'm all over this! I'm gonna set aside FF6 Brave New World for a sec and try this out.

Chronosplit

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Has anyone found any flaws in the 2.01 changes yet?  There's a suggestion to maybe keep 2.0 around just in case, and I want to wait to get an update from 2.0 until I'm sure (because for the GBA version I usually patch with nearly everything in the RHDN section for it, except for the compromise translation and only one font fix. :P)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 03:41:12 pm by Chronosplit »

Special

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The irony.

Time/SpaceMage

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So far there's a few sfx that sound weird/off (Bio Blast, Wedge getting erased) and one that's downright painful to hear (Shell). Oh and the airship is still a bit laggy, but I'm sure you knew that.

Very nice. :)

mikeprado30

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On a side note, now that you have finished the whole trilogy, do you have any plans on doing another Sound restoration for the GBA?

Tales of Phantasia anyone???  ;D

RetroRain

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I was just curious, since I played very little of Final Fantasy VI (just a little bit when it was considered FF3 on the Super NES), was the sound/music really that bad in the GBA port which gave birth to this hack?

Chronosplit

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I was just curious, since I played very little of Final Fantasy VI (just a little bit when it was considered FF3 on the Super NES), was the sound/music really that bad in the GBA port which gave birth to this hack?
Arguably FFVI got hit the worst in the GBA versions by conversion woes.  Little bass, no reverb, different instruments were used... and also those bugs mentioned in the readme to top it off.  Some tracks are known to be borderline unlistenable.  Unlike the past two, VI tends to be loved for it's atmosphere a bit more so this and the color upping for GBA screens are both seen as major problems.  They did at least try however, and some even like the opera scene music in GBA a little better.  Not so arguable, FFVI has the worst slowdown of the bunch.  The devs possibly saw this as something that they had to live with due to the elaborate effects compared to IV and V.  IMO this should've gotten a DS port instead like Chrono Trigger did.  It's unfortunate.

If you're looking for a first time playing, there's three ways to go about it IMHO:
1. Play the original III, bugs censors and all.
2. SNES: Pick either Ted Woolsey Uncensored or Final Fantasy VI Relocalized Edition, to personal taste.
3. GBA: Just mix and match from what's on RHDN really.  Everything but the compromise patch and the boarder crossing bugfix is pretty much meant to fix up the game's GBA-specific faults.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 02:22:19 pm by Chronosplit »

ShadowOne333

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Arguably FFVI got hit the worst in the GBA versions by conversion woes.  No bass, no reverb, different instruments were used... and also those bugs mentioned in the readme to top it off.  Some tracks are known to be borderline unlistenable.  Unlike the past two, VI tends to be loved for it's atmosphere a bit more so this and the color upping for GBA screens are both seen as major problems.  They did at least try however, and some even like the opera scene music in GBA a little better.  Not so arguable, FFVI has the worst slowdown of the bunch.  The devs possibly saw this as something that they had to live with due to the elaborate effects compared to IV and V.  IMO this should've gotten a DS port instead like Chrono Trigger did.  It's unfortunate.

If you're looking for a first time playing, there's three ways to go about it IMHO:
1. Play the original III, bugs censors and all.
2. SNES: Pick either Ted Woolsey Uncensored or Final Fantasy VI Relocalized Edition, to personal taste.
3. GBA: Just mix and match from what's on RHDN really.  Everything but the compromise patch and the boarder crossing bugfix is pretty much meant to fix up the game's GBA-specific faults.
Do you use one of the Font hacks?
If so, which one?
I already applied this, colour restore and the Sprite revert one, was looking for a font one.

Chronosplit

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Do you use one of the Font hacks?
If so, which one?
I already applied this, colour restore and the Sprite revert one, was looking for a font one.
I use Vivify93's thicker one due to the similarities to the US one.  Works well for me at least.

Granville

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Loving this so far. I've played from the beginning up until the part where you first get to fly the airship around (so a decent chunk of the World of Balance). For the vast majority, the sound fixes are spectacular.

The only slight flaws I can hear were mentioned by someone else- some of the sound effects seem slightly "off". Time/SpaceMage already mentioned some examples. Much better than the unaltered version, but perhaps could do with some minor tweaking. Sounds I noticed as seeming off include the noise of defeated enemies, as well as the save point chime (the one when stepping on top of the save point, the menu save confirmation chime seems fine). I don't know how to really explain the issue with the save sound, you'd have to hear both versions side by side to get an idea.

The defeated enemy (normal enemies, not bosses) effect sounds like it may be either a pitch or volume issue, it's supposed to have a sort of bassy rumbling noise overlaid with a higher pitched sound. The high pitched noise sounds a bit like a cymbal, but with a hissing/whooshing effect to it. All that is audible in the restoration hack is the rumble, I can't make out the higher pitched noise. If it's there, it's barely audible and should be much louder. Again i'm unsure if the pitch is off, volume is too low, or what... Here's what it's supposed to sound like (probably better to listen than to have me attempt to explain a sound)-
http://www.mediafire.com/download/66gp8g7v2iwcfx2/2DMonsterDeath.wav

I'm only just now grinding for spells, so i'm unsure if any of their sounds are accurate. I guess I could have just downloaded a completed save file to test them, but i'm currently playing through the game normally and naturally for my own entertainment.

The slowdown is drastically improved as well. Not gone, but a LOT better. The mode7 parts used by the chocobos and Serpent Trench feel extremely smooth and very fast now, similar if not the same as the SNES version. Airship still has some lag, but still far better than it used to be (feels faster and more responsive to control as well). Intro scene approaching Narshe is also extremely smooth now.

Tales of Phantasia anyone???  ;D
ToP GBA is in far worse shape than FF6A. The visuals were massively compromised as well as the music. At least with FF6, the most major problems were related to palette, sound and some framerate/slowdown problems. A palette restoration has already been made, and the sound restoration fixed both the sound and at least dramatically improved the slowdown. Phantasia is some odd mishmash of the SNES and PS1 versions, palette and sound issues are the least of the problems (at least those could be fixed). A lot of visual effects were just removed outright. And the battle system is much slower and more choppy (and I suspect in this game's case the slowdown and low framerate was intentional and hard coded into the game so probably won't be fixable). It feels like a big janky mess overall, probably not worth messing with.

I don't know if Bregalad will do any more sound hacks like these, but there are other SNES-to-GBA ports that are in a better position to be fixed than Phantasia. Mother 2 for instance has a lot of potential in the future, a fan translation is in the works currently and someone was even looking to see if the palette could be fixed. The sound in Mother 2 GBA is also very messy but should be similarly fixable. Other than that the port seems decent and at least salvageable (unlike Phantasia).

Bregalad

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The defeated enemy (normal enemies, not bosses) effect sounds like it may be either a pitch or volume issue, it's supposed to have a sort of bassy rumbling noise overlaid with a higher pitched sound. The high pitched noise sounds a bit like a cymbal, but with a hissing/whooshing effect to it. All that is audible in the restoration hack is the rumble, I can't make out the higher pitched noise. If it's there, it's barely audible and should be much louder. Again i'm unsure if the pitch is off, volume is too low, or what... Here's what it's supposed to sound like (probably better to listen than to have me attempt to explain a sound)-
Indeed, the enemy defeated sound is produced with a low pitched noise sound, accompanied with a small high pitched noise sound. I reproduced it exactly how it was on the SNES. The reason the high pitched sound is quieter is because the white noise sample is filtered (like all the other samples) to avoid aliasing. Since noise has lot of high frequencies this may be more observable. Indeed I should ideally have boosted the volume to compensate for that but heh... that's really a detail.

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It feels like a big janky mess overall, probably not worth messing with.
Exactly my impression when I first tried the GBA port of TOP on a friend's back when it was released more than 10 years ago. After having played the SNES version very extensively, if didn't felt any good to me. The battle system and the music are both terribly broken beyond any recognition.
Don't get me wrong, I love TOP's sound track, but hey, I don't feel like taking up this.

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On a side note, now that you have finished the whole trilogy, do you have any plans on doing another Sound restoration for the GBA?
Err.... hem.... (cannot I ever rest a little ?)

If anyone is interested at learning how to do that, just ask. It has begone a mechanical work more than anything else.

RetroRain

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Would this hack actually be able to be played on the real GameBoy Advance?

If so, then it really is truly safe to say that Square did a shitty job porting it.

It's just that the things I'm seeing from hackers/modders today, the quality of their efforts surpass that which these big giants are able to do.  It's like they are sloppy, and don't care.  All these companies care about is money, and not the quality of their products.

For instance, the quality and care Gemini is putting into his Resident Evil work is better quality than what Capcom has been putting into their HD remasters, or what they did the first time around programming the original Resident Evil.  I'm of course referring to the SqueezeBomb engine he has been working on.

The members at The Horror is Alive have tore apart the Remaster of the first Resident Evil, as being a lazy remaster.  I don't know the specifics, I'd have to find the posts again, but it's just unbelievable that the game corporations today just aren't putting optimal quality into their games anymore, and hackers/modders/homebrewers are.

Chronosplit

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Would this hack actually be able to be played on the real GameBoy Advance?
It was made for that purpose actually, to be played on the real thing with headphones.  In fact emulators used to have a lot of trouble with it.  Not so much in 2.0 onward, but plain VBA (apparently, never heard this on VBA-M including the latest version) has a sound sync issue.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 02:17:57 pm by Chronosplit »

Gemini

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The previous version worked like wonder on a real GBA or DS. I should probably give it a try, almost lag free FF6a sounds good enough to me.
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Paladin356

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I need to make a special IPS file for this so I can play it with my American copy on my retron 5. Ive always enjoyed FFVI Advance, but i did feel that the music was a sour point.

Bregalad

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Would this hack actually be able to be played on the real GameBoy Advance?
Obviously

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If so, then it really is truly safe to say that Square did a shitty job porting it.
The whole point of this project (as long as the other 2 from the trilogy) was to proof that. The GBA hardware is not so much inferior to SNES. And it's TOSE who did the job, not Square.

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I need to make a special IPS file for this so I can play it with my American copy on my retron 5. Ive always enjoyed FFVI Advance, but i did feel that the music was a sour point.
I actually considered doing that, but there was the problem that the orchestral opera won't fit the ROM as it's 2 times smaller than the EU ROM. The only choices I had was to either enlarge the ROM or use plain SNES music with the awful synth voices, and I didn't like either option.

Is there a good reason you cannot use the (E) version of the game on your flash cart?

RetroRain

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Would this hack actually be able to be played on the real GameBoy Advance?

Obviously

You don't have to be rude you know.

It wasn't obvious to me.  There are some hacks that actually can't be played on the real hardware.  For instance, DahrkDaiz had mentioned once that his Mario Adventure hack couldn't be played on real hardware because (if I recall correctly) of emulator tricks that were used.

That's why I was asking if it could be played on real hardware, because sometimes extensive hacks such as this might have problems running on the real thing.