News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?  (Read 19095 times)

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 01:11:22 am »
No problem Disch, take your time.  I really appreciate the support.  I started work on building a cartridge for this, that will keep me plenty busy for a while.  Bandai Golf is the casualty this time.   ;)   Not shown yet, I will be adding Flash PRG ROM, W-RAM (supporting battery), and CHR-RAM.



Edit:


Update!  I made a lot of progress on the Namco-163 cartridge.  It actually powers on and plays expansion audio now, but graphics are screwed up.  I need to look deeper into how the CHR-RAM chip is hooked up.





Two VERY interesting discoveries with the real Namco-163 hardware!

1.) The complete sample plays properly and sounds right even if it is more than 32 samples.  Great job on the code, Disch.

and... (drumroll...)

2.)  The sample plays INVERTED!   ;D   I am betting that it always plays upside down for every game!  Look closely at my scope capture, compared to my 4th wave, and you'll see.





It matches if you look at it this way:



Mind you, this is running on a modified US Nintendo, so it may be that my setup is causing this inversion.  We would have to try a game on a real Famicom to be sure.

Edit:

I was playing around tonight trying to get the CHR-RAM to work, and amidst my testing, I heard 2 Namcot channels playing simultaneously.  It was glorious, it sounded great.  I could keep hitting reset and they kept both working. Then I powered off and back on, and it was back to just 1 channel.  It sounds like RAM of some sort that affects this is not being initialized.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 09:44:14 pm by Ben Boldt »

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2016, 02:52:26 pm »
Sorry for slow reply.  I'm approaching finals week so I haven't had a lot of time to work on this.

Finally got around to it and it was a stupid indexing error.  I was indexing a variable when I shouldn't have been, so it was effectively taking the tone the channel should be playing from garbage RAM.

Fix is easy:

Change offset 3C5EC from B5 to A5



Regarding the graphics:  I'm a little worried about that.  I wonder if N163 is set up to work with CHR-RAM.  I just assumed it was, but come to think of it, all its games might have been CHR-ROM  =x.

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2016, 12:47:24 am »
I put in your wonderful byte and now all 4 Namcot channels are working great:

Emulator (Nestopia):
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/nestopia_prelude.mp3

The cartridge with real Namco-163:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/actual_nes_prelude.mp3

There are differences between the two!  But not too bad.

Here is the latest ROM file:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_prelude.zip

I had to make a tool for entering the notes because leaving enough ROM space between channels and keeping track of addresses and looking up the hex value of each note was too tedious.  So I made a very dirty hack that takes a text file, parses it out, and spits out an updated iNES ROM file.  This is why all of the song data is all squished together into 1 chunk now.

I also made progress with the CHR-RAM today, it is now displaying the opening screen and name selection screen perfectly, but when it comes to the world or inside the town or castle, the graphics still have issues.  I feel very confident that it will work when I figure out how to hook it up right.  I don't know how to verify if W-RAM is working, but the game is not crashing, so that must be a good sign.  Adding the battery to the W-RAM will be future development.

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2016, 03:57:31 am »
I put in your wonderful byte and now all 4 Namcot channels are working great:

Huzzah!  This is fantastic!  =D =D

This is awesome.  I'm really glad you're doing this.  I'm very excited to see how this turns out.  The music sounds great so far!

I couldn't help but notice a sharp buzzing at the start of the actual NES recording.  I wonder if I'm not properly silencing the Namcot channels on bootup....  I'll take a look at that tomorrow.


Quote
I had to make a tool for entering the notes because leaving enough ROM space between channels and keeping track of addresses and looking up the hex value of each note was too tedious.  So I made a very dirty hack that takes a text file, parses it out, and spits out an updated iNES ROM file.  This is why all of the song data is all squished together into 1 chunk now.

Yeah that's for the best.  The thing that stopped me from actually scoring this was that I didn't want to hassle with working by hand in a hex editor, and I didn't want to write a tool to do the conversion.

Quote
I also made progress with the CHR-RAM today, it is now displaying the opening screen and name selection screen perfectly, but when it comes to the world or inside the town or castle, the graphics still have issues.  I feel very confident that it will work when I figure out how to hook it up right.

Also great news!   :thumbsup:

Quote
I don't know how to verify if W-RAM is working, but the game is not crashing, so that must be a good sign.  Adding the battery to the W-RAM will be future development.

Map data is stored in WRAM.  So if you can walk around the overworld and enter/exit Coneria (even if the graphics are screwed up), then WRAM must be working.

mrrichard999

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 686
  • So Goooood! :D
    • View Profile
    • GameFAQS Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2016, 04:19:23 am »
Oh, here is the persons twitter acct for the one who did that Mappy hack using the Namco mapper just in case you want to ask questions - https://twitter.com/makimura_mfg

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2016, 06:18:32 pm »
Thanks for the link mrrichard999.

I wasn't too worried about the sharp buzz, but it does do it every time.

Great news, I got the graphics working.  For the CHR-RAM /CS pin, I had to use PPU A13 directly instead of the "CHR A13" provided by the Namco-163.  Also, I had originally changed CHR-RAM A10 in a similar way.  When I switched it from Namco "CHR A10" to PPU A10 directly, that is what got the title screen and other non-scrolling screens to work.  Everything seems to work now, but that does not necessarily mean that this is the ideal/correct pinout!  I do not have any underlying understanding of the difference between direct PPU connection and going through the Namco-163.  This was all just experimentation and guessing.  The resulting hookup was just like the original Final Fantasy cart: only CHR-RAM A12 was connected to the mapper chip.  All others have direct PPU connections.

Here is a pinout of how I hooked this up.  Note that my SRAM chips are 32k instead of 8k, so they have A13 and A14, both of which I tied to 0, effectively turning it back into an 8k chip.


                   HM62256BLP
               256kbit (32K) SRAM
              For Namco-163 CHR-RAM
                _________________
                |       V       |
            0 --| A14       VCC |-- +5V
Namco CHR A12 --| A12       /WE |-- PPU /WR
       PPU A7 --| A7        A13 |-- 0
       PPU A6 --| A6         A8 |-- PPU A8
       PPU A5 --| A5         A9 |-- PPU A9
       PPU A4 --| A4        A11 |-- PPU A11 (Not Namco)
       PPU A3 --| A3        /OE |-- PPU /RD
       PPU A2 --| A2        A10 |-- PPU A10 (Not Namco)
       PPU A1 --| A1        /CS |-- PPU A13 (Not Namco)
       PPU A0 --| A0         D7 |-- PPU D7
       PPU D0 --| D0         D6 |-- PPU D6
       PPU D1 --| D1         D5 |-- PPU D5
       PPU D2 --| D2         D4 |-- PPU D4
          GND --| D3         D3 |-- PPU D3
                |_______________|
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 06:29:18 pm by Ben Boldt »

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2016, 07:43:54 pm »
By bypassing the Namco pins you're effectively tossing aside the CHR swapping controls of the mapper -- which is fine because Final Fantasy doesn't do any swapping anyway.  Though I'm curious as to why it wouldn't work with the Namco pins -- unless the mapper only forwards reads because it assumes the memory is ROM?  But then why would Namco's A12 work?

Whatever.  As long as it's working.  =)

I guess I'm more wondering if my mapper setup code isn't setting CHR regs properly.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 10:26:02 pm by Disch »

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2016, 10:29:59 pm »
Well, at the very least Disch, we have emulated the emulator in hardware.   :D

I was doing some process of elimination to map out the song IDs today.  It seems to pretty much follow the order of songs in the Final Fantasy NSF.  Are #0 or #24+ used for anything?  I notice that there is space for 64 song channel pointer tables.  Can 24 through 63 be used for future expansion, such as boss music?

I marked ones that I got from the NSF with "( )?".

0 = ?
1 = Prelude: Title Screen / Name Selection
2 = (Main Theme) ?
3 = (Ending) ?
4 = Overworld
5 = (Ship) ?
6 = (Airship) ?
7 = Town
8 = Corneria Castle
9 = (Gurgu Volcano) ?
10 = (Matoya's Cave) ?
11 = (Dungeon) ?
12 = Broken Castle
13 = (Floating Castle) ?
14 = (Chaos' Temple) ?
15 = Shop
16 = Battle
17 = Menu
18 = (Dead Music) ?
19 = (Victory Music) ?
20 = Got special item
21 = Lineup Screen (expected treasure chest item based on NSF)
22 = Saving in the Inn
23 = (Healing sound effect) ?

When I beat Garland and talked to the old man where he builds the bridge, it triggered the "Got special Item" sound effect (#20).  I put an "end" in there (0xFF 00) but it still makes the game get stuck.  I put some notes before and after the "end" marker, and it plays all of the notes, as if the end marker wasn't there.  I only tried this in the Namcot 0 channel.  But it will be a very long time before I need to cross that bridge; it's just something to be aware of for now.

Hopefully as I do more of these songs I will become better at using this engine and I can revisit the Prelude and make it better.  It doesn't quite sit right with me the way it is now.

FCandChill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 526
    • View Profile
###
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2016, 10:59:20 pm »
 Comment removed because reasons...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 03:34:47 pm by FCandChill »

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2016, 12:16:30 am »
Are #0 or #24+ used for anything?  I notice that there is space for 64 song channel pointer tables.  Can 24 through 63 be used for future expansion, such as boss music?

0 probably isn't usable because of the way the game triggers a new song to start.  24-63 are free to use, though you'll have to make changes to the game to get those songs to actually be played.  64+ definitely cannot be used because bit 6 and 7 are special flags used by the music driver.

I'll try to verify the song list later tonight.

Quote
When I beat Garland and talked to the old man where he builds the bridge, it triggered the "Got special Item" sound effect (#20).  I put an "end" in there (0xFF 00) but it still makes the game get stuck.  I put some notes before and after the "end" marker, and it plays all of the notes, as if the end marker wasn't there.  I only tried this in the Namcot 0 channel.  But it will be a very long time before I need to cross that bridge; it's just something to be aware of for now.

Ugh.  Yeah I forgot about this, but now that you brought it up I remember finding a problem with the end marker on the first page.  I'll have to look into it.




Do note that the Final Fantasy NSF doesn't have all the sound effects in the game like the attack one for example. Usually this happens because they are too hard to rip.

They're not in the NSF because they're not driven by the music engine.  The game hardcodes the audio register writes in the game code - completely separate from the music.  I think battle sound effects actually do have a sort of separate mini-engine used to drive its sound effects, but nothing else in the game really does.

But yeah that includes anything using the noise channel (airship propellers, ocean waves when in the ship, attack/getting hurt sound effects), and really simple pulse-wave pitch bends (dialogue window opening/closing, cursor movement, etc).

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2016, 02:52:54 pm »
Ugh.  Yeah I forgot about this, but now that you brought it up I remember finding a problem with the end marker on the first page.  I'll have to look into it.

Could I just put this on the next page of memory then?  I would totally be OK with doing that as a workaround.

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2016, 07:19:48 pm »
Could I just put this on the next page of memory then?  I would totally be OK with doing that as a workaround.

Oh no I meant the first page of this thread.  Not the first page of memory  XD

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2016, 12:58:05 am »
LOL that's pretty funny, I seriously thought you were talking about memory paging.   :)

I have some progress to report.  I have improved the prelude and started working on Coneria Castle.  I am modeling this one after the PSX version.  I got to the part where it needed a snare drum and I had some trouble with the noise channel.  I noticed that there is some example data included for the first Noise/Percussion effect at 0x3D810, so I tried playing it with byte 0x08 and 0x00 and nothing happened.  If I attempted to use a rest (0xEx), it would crash the game.  If I put in an envelope 0x82 00, it also crashes.  (I doubt it's valid to use envelope on the noise channel, I was just trying things.)

I'm not really sure what I am doing with the noise channel yet -- I think it's very possible that the only issue with it is that I just don't understand how it works.  Could you give me some pointers or provide an example that I could follow?

New files (Coneria Castle incomplete):
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_coneria.zip

This also includes the super ultra sloppy code that I am using to enter the scores.  It is quite crude and kluged together but it turns my text file score into a .NES file with 1 click!  I make a small change in the text file, run the shell script, open the new NES file and hit defrost.  It works great.  Depending on what I edit, I may have to run the song form the beginning in some cases.

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2016, 02:10:35 am »
Your download got filtered out by windows virus scanner and I didn't want to take the effort to try it get around it.  Probably because of the script.  Whatever.  So I didn't get to listen  =(


Noise has a completely different score format since it doesn't really play "tones" like the other channels do.  The only things that are the same are F8/FD/FE (loop and subsection commands).  Other stuff is changed or removed completely.  Ctrl+F the readme for "NOISE SCORE FORMAT:"


It basically operates on the idea that you'll have a bunch of "effects" that you'll want the noise to play.  Like a snare drum, or whatever would be one effect.  The details for this effect would be put in the noise effect buffer at offset 0x3D810.  I have a really ugly effect in there which is there just so I could do basic testing.

The effect data goes in what I call "slots", but that's kind of a misnomer.  Really I just wanted to avoid a pointer table, so all effects have to start on a $10 byte boundary, and the "pointer" is the effect ID.  That is, effect $10 (the first effect) starts at 3D810, $11 (2nd) starts at 3D820, $12 starts at 3D830, etc.  Apart from the starting point, and being restricted to the 3D810-3DC0F range, there isn't really a boundary on individual effects.  So a single effect can take $100 bytes if you want.


Ctrl+F the doc for "NOISE EFFECT FORMAT" to see how the effect data is stored.  This requires a bit of understanding of how the noise APU registers work -- but it's pretty simple.

full reference:  http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/APU_Noise

For a simplified version, you can ignore the length counter by disabling it, and just control the channel 100% through the volume.  If that reference page is too dense, here's a breakdown:

$400E sets the pitch and the mode.  Noise can only play $10 pitches... controlled by the low 4 bits.  Higher pitch values = LOWER pitch.  So a pitch of $0 is a really really high pitched "ting" sound... whereas pitch $F is a deep rumbling.

$400E.7 (high bit) selects the mode.  When clear, you get the traditional "shhhh" style noise.  When set, you get a "bzzzzz" style noise.  A popular example of the "bzzzz" noise is quickman's theme in MM2:  https://youtu.be/uGuHOyiYOTA


$400F kind of doesn't matter unless you use the length counter... which you probably won't.  It's entirely optional.  Length counter is like an automatic shutoff for the channel after a certain period of time.  But it might be easier to control that through a volume change.  Unless you want to deal with the length counter, you can just set this to $10 to give the longest length possible.


$400C is volume control, and is kind of tricky.  There's basically 3 volume effects:

- Normal/Fixed volume control = $3x where x is the volume
- Volume that starts and F and decays to 0 and stops at 0 = $0x where x is the decay speed (lower=faster)
- Volume that decays F->0, but with wrapping:  FEDC...3210FEDC... etc  = $2x where x is decay speed

$1x will be fixed volume but with length enabled -- so you don't need it unless you want to use the length counter.



The noise effect data is just the values to write to each of these regs.


I have no idea if this will actually produce a cymbal-like sound (you'll probably have to experiment), but say you want to make a cymbal with the following writes:

$400C = 3F      fixed full volume
$400E = 05      medium/high pitch
$400F = 10      don't care about length
<<wait 4 frames>>
$400C = 02      reasonably fast decay
$400E = 06      slightly lower pitch
$400F = 10      still don't care about length
<<wait 1 frame (minimum)>>
<<end of effect>>

This effect would need $0C bytes in the effect buffer:

Code: [Select]
04 3F 05 10     01 02 06 10     00 FF 00 00

The first 4 bytes being the first set of reg writes
The next 4 being the next set
And the last 4 being the "end of effect" marker.



Say you put this as the first effect... so those 12 bytes are at offset 3D810.  You would trigger this effect in the music score data with the "perform effect" command 10, followed by a 0x 'wait' command... where 'x' is the tempo-controlled note length used by other channels.

So if note length 0 was a single beat, and you want your noise to play this cymbal every 4 beats, your score could look like this:

Code: [Select]
10 00 00 00 00 FD 00 xx yy

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2016, 12:18:53 pm »
Thanks for the info Disch.  I will take some time this weekend and read carefully through your reply and let you know how it goes.

I had included my shell script in the zip file.  I am thinking that is what caught your virus scanner.  When I get Coneria Castle finished, I'll upload again without the shell script.

Edit:


I really want to say I'm sorry for not reading more carefully here.  I had seen your instructions section "noise effect format", but not "noise score format".  Also, I did not see that you had already suggested that my shell script is the likely reason for the virus detector catching it.  I guess I've been a little detached lately.   ::)

I have updated some things here and I am able to get some noise sounds through now.  We'll see how it goes, thanks again.

Edit:


I think I understand the noise channel enough now to use it.  Here are some audio recordings:

Nestopia, 32-sample waves:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/coneria_nestopia_32_sample.mp3

Real Namcot-163 in NES, 32-sample waves:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/coneria_nes_32_sample.mp3

Real Namcot-163 in NES, 48-sample waves:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/coneria_nes_48_sample.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1

Files, without shell script:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_coneria.zip
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 03:26:28 am by Ben Boldt »

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2016, 05:52:36 pm »
I really want to say I'm sorry for not reading more carefully here.

Hahaha, it's no problem.  I don't mind at all.  =)   And pretty cool setup with the music-insertion program!  That's much better than working in a hex editor.

The music is sounding great, too!  Woooo.



In other news, I debugged the reason why the "end song" marker wasn't working.  I uploaded a fix for that -- as well as a tweak which disables all audio immediately on reset (this hopefully should fix the ugly BUZZ that happens).  This required some reassembling, so a lot of code is being moved around -- so I have to give it to you in the form of an IPS:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ajtd8ffis0hj2k9/namcot_update.ips?dl=0

I compared the IPS to the file you gave me in the most recent post, so this patch should not overwrite any of your changes -- it just changes the code for the music engine, and one routine in the main bank.  But back up your stuff anyway just in case!

Let me know if that fixes the problem.



If you want a [relatively] quick way to test for yourself.... you can change two bytes at 0x00986 from "05 BF" to "03 00".  This will unlock the doors in Coneria Castle that have the TNT and other items, so you can just run in and grab them and get the jingles to play.


EDIT:

Blah.  I just realized I screwed something up and that IPS won't work right.  I'll fix and reupload in a bit


EDIT 2:

Nevermind ... I actually DID fix that thing in the copy I uploaded.  False alarm!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 08:24:51 pm by Disch »

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2016, 01:49:19 am »
I merged in your new code and it definitely fixed the scratchy sound at init:

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/init_glitch_fixed.mp3

The single pop that you still hear is completely normal for the Nintendo when power is applied.  In fact, it makes this sound even when powering it on without a cartridge.  But the noise from before is definitely gone - good job.

I have done the town music now, but I find that it is much quieter than the others.  I'm not really sure what to do about this yet, I will have to continue poking at it.  I think it would work for it to be a little bit quieter than the other music, but this is too much quieter I think.  I also updated the Coneria Castle music a little bit.

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_town.nes.zip

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2016, 01:59:49 am »
hmmm... I noticed the music hangs during the map transition.  The original game is probably silencing the main channels but not the Namco channels.  I'll probably have to search the entire game for all 4015 writes and replace them with a routine call.  Blarg.

Not sure what would cause the volume difference apart from the obvious things (Lower in-score volume / Namco instruments not spanning full depth)... but yeah I do notice the town music is noticably quieter.

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2016, 02:35:32 am »
I am pretty sure it is quieter because of the aggressive envelope I have on it to make it sound like a string pluck.  I had to quiet down the flute-like instrument to match.  The flute one definitely has the potential of being quite loud; i have it dialed down to a half.  I may end up having to abandon the idea of using a guitar-like sound for this but you never know.

I have only heard the music hang during the screen transition.  I know that doors opening and closing works fine, and in fact it coexists quite well with music being played on the noise channel.  The dialog boxes also work great.  I don't use the pulse channels on Coneria Castle, and I noticed that I had to put a looping rest on them for the dialog box sound to work right.  But it's just fine with that rest in there.

I produce all of the sound waves with Photoshop.  I take a screenshot of a period of a sound wave, scale it to 16x32, then trace it with a pixel editor.  Then I take the image, rotate and flip it, paste it into a different graphics program, save it as 1-bit raw data, copy/paste that into Excel, which does a log base 2 on each 16-bit row, and spits the data back out with the nibbles flipped, then I paste that into the FF_Namcot ROM with a hex editor.  Pretty convoluted but it works, and I think it's pretty hilarious that my sound waves come from Photoshop.

Edit:

Just wanted to give a quick update.  I now have CHR-RAM memory mapping working properly through the Namco-163 chip, as detailed here:

http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14312&sid=a887da8dbbf1ee2c5d647a8512e6d221

I have managed to increase the volume of the town music by introducing the pulse channels, and I think it is okay now but maybe could use some additional polishing.  This will be included the next time I upload a file.  (not yet!)

I have started work on the Chaos Temple music.  I am trying to use Final Fantasy Origins (Playstation) as a source for this one too.  The first thing that I do in my process is to score out the music in Apple Logic using "Amazing Slow Downer".  (I am using a PowerPC Macintosh for all of this.....)  Once I get all of the notes nailed down to where they sound right, I can then easily enter them directly into the text file score format.  After that, I play with waves and envelopes and such using Photoshop, then tweak and run in Nestopia repeatedly.

Right now on the Chaos Temple, I have the score partially entered into Logic.  This one may take me a little while.  I think that a reasonable goal should be to get 1 song done every 1 - 3 weeks, depending on the complexity of the song.

In other news, I think I am going to just stick with 32 samples for all sound waves.  For most things it doesn't make a huge difference, or else it just makes it sound more "8-bit", and I think I can work with that.

Edit:

I was really having trouble figuring out the harp in this one.  My "minipsf" player can mute channels but all of the different instruments are scrambled around onto all of the different channels in this one - probably to get the most overlapping of notes possible out of the Playstation.  So, I ended up spending the whole evening ripping all 24 tracks individually and slicing them all up to delete all of the non-harp parts. That was very tedious, but now with this file:

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/harp%20only.mp3

I can use it to figure out the notes and then eventually get them into the Final Fantasy ROM.

Edit:

I have most/all of the notes figured out in the song now.  I am going to declare Phase 1 complete on this one!

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/chaos_temple_transcribed.mp3

Note that this audio comes from Logic, not from Namco-163!  I have not actually even entered 1 byte into the ROM for this yet.  Also, this is much slower than I plan for it to be in the actual game.  I am using this only for "big picture" of the notes, lengths, and rests.

Edit:

Here is the latest ROM file.  It is becoming apparent that Coneria Castle is way too loud.  I will need to quiet that one down to match the others.  For demonstration purposes, the Chaos Temple music plays in the overworld instead of in the actual Chaos temple.

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_chaos.zip

Here are the songs included:
  • Title screen (Prelude)
  • Town
  • Coneria Castle
  • Player position screen (press select)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 11:34:09 pm by Ben Boldt »

Ben Boldt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • Fun Projects
Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2016, 09:39:41 am »
I did some very beneficial tweaks to the existing songs last night:
  • Chaos Temple: several general improvements
  • Town: Pulse channel 0 envelope is faster (more like a string pluck sound now), included pulse channel 1 with looping rest to fix dialog box sound effects
  • Coneria Castle: became quieter, some new envelopes created to accomplish this

I am aiming for a quieter overall volume now in order to accommodate more dynamics.

New file:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_chaos_2.zip