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Author Topic: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?  (Read 12340 times)

Heaven Piercing Man

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2020, 02:35:32 am »
Isn't it easy to emulate the SNES version on various portable devices ? You won't have the temporary save features, but savestates should compensate for this.
I was under the impression that ToP GBA isn't very popular and that other versions of the game should be targetted if some hacking should be done.

I agree, I think the demand should be for a de-dejapified SNES version

Bregalad

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2020, 04:27:44 am »
This is not possible. I mean it is, and it isn't. What the SNES uses is VERY specific to it especially in battles. If the sprites get any larger, it will eat other sprites on screen and cause some HORRENDOUS lag.[...]
He was originally talking about porting SNES graphics to GBA, not the other way around. Anyway, GBA version has too many issues, and basically hacking it to fix the game would be close to an entiere rewrite of the game.

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I don't know if any of the time warp effects are possible to fix via hacking, but I suppose it's interesting to know some of the assets are still contained in the rom somewhere...
Of course this is possible, but why bother if the GBA version is bad anyway ?
Also I quickly looked at the scene, apparently the background scaling is not done with IRQ as I suspected, but with the DMA0 channel. So in order to fix the issue, one should compare how the channel is used on both versions of the game (working (J) version and broken (E) version), and see what differs. A random guess could be that the size of DMA transfer is wrong, for example half of the original size, so that could explain that the scaling effect "advances" twice as slow as it's supposed to. However, if that was the case, odd-numbered scanlines should show glitches, which they don't, so I don't have a full explaination. Another possibility would be that the DMA itself is correctly set-up, but that the routine preparing the scroll/scaling data is messed up and updates wrong values to RAM.

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On top of that the SNES version is very hard to go back and play these days, with its antiquated battle system.
On my side I grew up with the SNES version and only played the other versions dozen of minutes for a try, and I see the battle system as "normal". I haven't played any other Tales of games either, so SNES Tales of Phantasia is the only game in the series I've played a lot. I don't find it "hard to play". However, as much as I love the game the only real issue I have with the game is how labyrinthesque the dungeons are. I doubt the other versions of the game are any different, but maybe you can inform me on this point ?

Maybe a port of SNES music to PS1 version would be the most adequate, as this would allow other popular ehancements to be played alongside the original music. The PS1 music really sound cheap-ass to me - despite the system allowing technically supperior sound to SNES. However this wouldn't solve the portability issue.

So maybe a hack improving the SNES version and a proper translation would be the definite answer, as Heaven Piercing Man said.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 04:37:51 am by Bregalad »

Granville

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2020, 04:45:28 am »
It has been over a decade since I played through the SNES original, I generally play the PS1 version these days. But I think I might want to play the SNES one again soon.

Lately i'm not even sure whether I prefer the SNES or PS1 battle sprites. The ones I like most overall are actually PSP, but their redesigns only apply to the main player characters. Enemies on PSP still have more chibi proportions which stick out poorly by comparison.

Incidentally, I hope the PSP version gets a translation someday. The PPSSPP emulator is highly compatible and very fast (I assume it runs ToP well enough), it runs well even on very low end hardware. It also has a feature to dump and replace graphics like in Dolphin and N64 emulators, without the need for hacking or anything (pretty much anyone can do it). If this feature works properly in ToP, it might be worth doing to edit the graphics however you like.

vivify93

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2020, 07:29:26 pm »
I agree, I think the demand should be for a de-dejapified SNES version
Maybe someone could try porting over Phantasian Productions' script (or the relevant parts, anyway) to the SNES version. The bigger issues are fitting in the longer item names. I also think this might be controversial but I really love the fonts used in Dragonsbrethren's patch for the GBA version. Those could be used instead of Chicago and its 8x8 variant, just to spice it up a little.

Incidentally, I hope the PSP version gets a translation someday. The PPSSPP emulator is highly compatible and very fast (I assume it runs ToP well enough), it runs well even on very low end hardware. It also has a feature to dump and replace graphics like in Dolphin and N64 emulators, without the need for hacking or anything (pretty much anyone can do it). If this feature works properly in ToP, it might be worth doing to edit the graphics however you like.
If that was done, I'd want it to be of Full Voice Edition and not the Narikiri Dungeon X version. Rondoline interrupts the flow of the story and adds relatively little to the overall gameplay, especially since she gets flung back and forth through time and isn't even in your final party at the end. Plus, the issue where sprites are inconsistently styled in the Full Voice Edition could be fixed by just porting in the PS1 sprites.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 07:36:20 pm by vivify93 »
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Masaru

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2020, 05:27:21 pm »
Proof of concept
I'm bad at sprite shading
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 01:29:29 pm by Masaru »

Granville

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #65 on: January 25, 2020, 03:30:25 am »
I forgot how horrible the GBA port really is, revisiting it reminded me. It gets worse as you progress through the game too. Battles are already running at below 60fps (which doesn't make it worse than SNES, which also didn't run at 60), but there's significant slowdown even when you only have Cress and one other enemy onscreen and no action has even started. Every further sprite lags the game like hell, even interface related things such as the damage counter. As your party grows and you learn more advanced skills, things slow down to a crawl (and these skills look much uglier and are generally missing effects compared to the SNES version). The visual downgrades to the towns and dungeons at least might have been possible to improve, perhaps even fix entirely (again don't know about the sprite shadows and reflections). The Tales of Phantasia GBA battle system can be summed up with the following- "if it exists, it looks ugly and causes slowdown". What a failure...

I know of a handful of other GBA games that had Tales-like battle systems, one of which IS another Tales game (Nakiri Dungeon). The other of which are the three Summon Night Swordcraft Story games. They all did a far better job at it than ToP GBA.

Nakiri Dungeon seems to do a pretty good job. SNES ToP has better parallax layers and line scrolling effects on backgrounds (Nakiri Dungeon's are static single layers). But pretty much everything else about Nakiri Dungeon's battle system is as good if not better than the SNES game. Sprites have lots of detail and animation. A lot of the spells and summons are on par with or better than SNES ToP. And the framerate is a smooth 60fps with little to no slowdown even in stressful situations. Significantly smoother than even SNES ToP.

The Summon Night Swordcraft Story games are even more impressive, and both sequels make major visual improvements. Sprites are detailed and well animated, and I ran into little to no slowdown (again smooth base 60fps). The games push a lot of effects in battles too. Pretty much every move has a lot of nice transparency effects (very similar to Golden Sun), even the most basic things such as damage effects and text. The two sequels have a lot of parallax layers and line scrolling on the backgrounds, occasionally with other effects and animation applied on top. There are also a lot of detailed scaling and rotation on backgrounds, sprites and special moves.