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Author Topic: Two simple hacks to Crimson Echoes and Parallel Worlds; SNES compatibility  (Read 8516 times)

The5thHerring

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I've been sort of peripheral to romhacking for the last 4-5 years, been following the major developments, etc. I've decided to try my hand at two hacks which should be extremely simple (comparatively speaking).

First -- The leaked release of Crimson Echoes, from what I hear, is legitimately the one that had been memorialized in the youtube videos (or is at least close enough, and fully playable). I recall that Crimson Echoes was originally going to have human Glenn sprites rather than frog sprites -- indeed, I know that FoE has already done so, but CE is the one I've been waiting for.

I've found someone's complete spritesheet (jyaki123 on deviantart, I believe, finished the one by Chrono'99 and Darkken), and I intend to insert it into CE. I might also do Sorin and the Porrean soldiers, since those seem to have also been left out of the leaked build (and are available on the CE site).

Would you suggest Tile Molester or Temporal Flux for this? And I remember hearing about some utility for easily and comprehensively checking the behavior of edited sprites in CT (i.e. without playing the whole game to check all the techs etc.)... is that in TF, or is it a standalone utility, or am I making this up?

Finally, is there anything about CE that would prevent it from being played on the SNES hardware? I've heard conflicting reports about this: some people say you can only use ZSNES for it (including Zeality and an NPC in the game), but others report using Snes9x all the way through without any problems -- and actually most of the bugs and glitches I've heard about were from ZSNES users (probably 1.51?).

I know custom music tends to break hardware compatibility, but apparently that is NOT a part of the recently leaked CE. 

I haven't heard reports about playing through CE with bsnes, which would of course answer my question. My goal is to make a homebrew cart of the game, which is an ambition I've had ever since I heard about CE in the first place.

Second -- back when Zelda-Parallel Worlds came out, I collaborated with Dr. Floppy on the script revision to produce version 1.1. I made a homebrew cart for that, and unfortunately, the title screen is messed up on the SNES (though it works fine on emulators). Specifically, it doesn't show the sword animation and has a few other glitches. At the time, I asked Euclid and/or SePH about it, and he said it was because he "forgot to clear VBlank" or something of that kind.

Really, it seems like to change that would take a few bytes, if that. But I have only the barest experience with ASM, and I don't know how to find the relevant instruction in the ROM. Does anyone have any pointers?

Again, my goal is to make a homebrew of this one. I would wait for 2.0, but SePH is all tied up by Parallel Universes and doesn't want to finish the PW dungeon overhaul anytime soon (if ever).

Thanks for reading; looking forward to suggestions.

Mauron

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Re: Two simple hacks to Crimson Echoes and Parallel Worlds; SNES compatibility
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 03:43:47 pm »
I've found someone's complete spritesheet (jyaki123 on deviantart, I believe, finished the one by Chrono'99 and Darkken), and I intend to insert it into CE. I might also do Sorin and the Porrean soldiers, since those seem to have also been left out of the leaked build (and are available on the CE site).

Would you suggest Tile Molester or Temporal Flux for this? And I remember hearing about some utility for easily and comprehensively checking the behavior of edited sprites in CT (i.e. without playing the whole game to check all the techs etc.)... is that in TF, or is it a standalone utility, or am I making this up?

Finally, is there anything about CE that would prevent it from being played on the SNES hardware? I've heard conflicting reports about this: some people say you can only use ZSNES for it (including Zeality and an NPC in the game), but others report using Snes9x all the way through without any problems -- and actually most of the bugs and glitches I've heard about were from ZSNES users (probably 1.51?).

I know custom music tends to break hardware compatibility, but apparently that is NOT a part of the recently leaked CE. 

If it's an NPC or enemy, you'll need to arrange them in Tile Molester (or whatever), then use compression from the file menu in TF to insert. If it's a PC, just straight Tile Molester will work.

There is a Chrono Character Viewer program that I've seen floating around... I forget where though.

I don't know of any specific hardware incompatibilities, but I don't know if there are any.
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The5thHerring

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Re: Two simple hacks to Crimson Echoes and Parallel Worlds; SNES compatibility
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 05:19:40 pm »
I found something for character animation viewing, but it's not a program in its own right. It's a patch by Geiger called "Chrono Trigger: Actor, Animation and Static Checker": http://geigercount.net/crypt/aasc.7z

Is this what you were talking about?

Mauron

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Re: Two simple hacks to Crimson Echoes and Parallel Worlds; SNES compatibility
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 05:40:45 pm »
No, there's a standalone program.

That animation checker only does front facing animations... I was working on editing it, but never finished.
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obscurumlux01

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I would advise against anyone helping this person for their request, here's why:

-If you want help in putting a non-altered original SNES game that you own onto a flash cart, or a homebrew game that you created, by all means.
-If you want help to put an altered rom, either a jap-to-english translated or a romhack or w/e that you DID NOT MAKE or help create, then NO you don't get any help for it.

People with similar interests are responsible for the flood of 'repro carts' that flood ebay and other auction sites and sometimes even selling from their own damn websites.  They rip off and take full credit for shit they never contributed to, and they brazenly disobey the wishes of the groups involved that their work NOT be redistributed as a patched rom or cart, but only as the patch file ALONE!

If you're here for the first point, please forgive my demeanor.
If you're here for the latter, please GTFO.  Now!
Get the permission of the creators of CE for you to make a 'homebrew' cart of their creation.  Otherwise don't bother.

EDIT:  Reworded to be less accusatory and more neutral without ruining the original intent of the post.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 05:34:23 am by obscurumlux01 »

KingMike

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Let's not throw accusations around here. :police:
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Cryomancer

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I couldn't get any PSP emulators to run any of these CT hacks so I support comparability improvements on that ground alone.
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bobonga

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I agree with obscurumlux01. Even nowadays NTSC and PAL cartridges of "Secret of Mana 2" still routinely sell on ebay for about $150-$200 everytime.

tc

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Eh. This roots from people relying on substandard emulators far too long. Many either have no way to test with real hardware, or aren't worried about it as relatively few users do either.

obscurumlux01

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There's Bsnes, since its still being developed by the author a bit.  It should run stuff with near-perfect accuracy but has very high system requirements.
A big part of emulator popularity is whether or not it came first and how well it runs what you want it to run.
The vast majority of people don't have pricey flash-carts or cables to transfer roms to actual hardware.
When making a romhack, primary purpose should be to have the least amount of work with the most benefit to as many people as possible within the limits of programming and hacking ability.  The majority of authors may not even have older systems lying around alongside flash carts to test them on actual hardware.

People can complain about it, or they can offer to work with authors to 'beta test' their romhacks and make specific bug reports as needed.  Either that or offer to donate hardware/flash carts and have them return the stuff after they're done with it.  Though you have to trust them at your own risk, obviously.

As for me, if I cared enough to use anything other than ZSNES I would, but if it works on my sub-optimal 10-year-old computer, then why would I use anything else?  Bsnes has such high system requirements that those running emulation on computers that are more than a few years old would run into issues.  I dunno about you but I don't use a newer computer to run emulation, I use the older ones that would sit and gather dust otherwise.

Lilinda

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The system requirements are not that high, and haven't been for a long while.

Edit: My PC is three years old and runs it fine with a CPU that was released in 2007. I have friends who can run run it on CPUs made in 2006.
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The5thHerring

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Whoah hey! I turn my back for a few days and things get all crazy.

Quote from: obscurumlux01
DID NOT MAKE or help create

For what it's worth, with my limited (read: nearly nonexistent) hacking ability, I did help make ZPW by submitting a detailed script revision, some of which ended up in the version I wanted to put on a cart.

(I've since asked Euclid privately about the title screen, and it appears that the issue is a simple [and difficult to fix] hardware incompatibility -- the title screen uses too many tiles for the processor to call up in time to display all of them.)

CE is also something that I would have loved to contribute to, had I been involved enough in the Chrono community at the right time. Unfortunately I was not.

Quote from: obscurumlux01
People with similar interests are responsible for the flood of 'repro carts' that flood ebay

Look, I know the Internet is no place to trust anyone. There's no way for me to prove to you all that I'm not secretly running a lucrative SNES counterfeiting ring for the criminal underworld. And I can understand how everyone is pissed that this stuff is getting sold and nobody's getting credited for their work. And, on the other hand, I know the grey legality of the whole romhacking enterprise, etc. etc. I try not to get involved in the debates because they go nowhere.

I'm into making carts of the hacks and translations I like to play, because a) I think flashcarts are a shortcut and too expensive, b) I enjoy fudging around with electronics as a hobby, and c) for nostalgic reasons, playing the hardware on a CRT tv is 100% more enjoyable than sitting hunched in front of my little laptop and pushing buttons on the keyboard. I do not feel that I contribute to the "flood of repro carts on ebay," except in the event that I die and my collection be sold for coffin money.

Also, in bsnes's defense, I agree that the system requirements aren't that high. If you want to game on an old machine that would otherwise gather dust, that's your business; but it shouldn't be the standard you hold all emulators to.

tc

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Yeah it's more than fine now. Lack of flashcarts was a real issue back in the old romhacking boom. Shelling out for those bulky, slow, hard to find copiers wouldn't be my idea of entertainment.

obscurumlux01

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A much easier way to play on a CRT TV would be to plug an s-video-out cable from your graphics card to your TV.  I even have an S-video-out from my graphics card that plugs into my A/V input on my TV.  I could use the TV as a monitor if I set my desktop resolution to be the lowest possible and with an extra-large font for readability.  But it works better for gaming at least :)

Some people are nostalgic about the hardware and that is somewhat understandable.  I however like the convenience and practicality of keeping the data digital and just playing it on a TV :)

From what I've read about CE from their YT page comments, CE should be fully hardware compatible, though I don't know if they've fully tested it that way.  Give it a go with a flash cart and see how well it runs.

Panzer88

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Wow, can a guy not ask for help with a basic task without getting accused these days? In my opinion anyone stupid enough to buy a repo and thinks its an original deserves what they get.

That said flash carts are very easy to use and the best way to play as you get perfect accuracy, zero input lag, zero video lag, and no audio lag or buffering issues. PCs weren't designed to play back audio at the rate the SNES does so that's always going to be a problem.

A much easier way to play on a CRT TV would be to plug an s-video-out cable from your graphics card to your TV.  I even have an S-video-out from my graphics card that plugs into my A/V input on my TV.

Some people are nostalgic about the hardware and that is somewhat understandable.  I however like the convenience and practicality of keeping the data digital and just playing it on a TV :)

Why would playing an emulator over SVideo be better than playing on a CRT with RGB (over your average DB-15 VGA cable).

All you would be doing at that point is degrading the video quality. Many people use a real console over an emulator because the performance is better, not because of nostalgia. Video games are digital data whether they are on a cartridge or on your harddrive, so saying you like to store them digitally doesn't say much. What is so much more convenient about using rom images of a game you own in an emulator than using your own cartridges?

If you think that playing an emulator over SVideo is exactly like the real thing, you're kidding yourself.
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obscurumlux01

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I'll be 'upgrading' to BSNES once I finish assembling and burn-testing my new self-built computer.  I'll prolly show off the specs by putting them in a signature.  :)
The graphics card I mentioned above is a very old ASUS-branded Nvidia GeForce FX 5600.  It has an S-video out port on it, I use a cable that plugs into that S-video out and plugs into the Red, Yellow, and White holes on the front of my new-ish CRT TV.  I'll take pictures if you need further clarification but given the typical 'distortion' due to CRT and my experiences playing on it, it works fine for my purposes.

I was also stating my personal preference/opinion in regards to having an original console vs. using an emulator.  Obviously an original console is always better for the purists, however the vast majority of people (including myself) either got rid of old consoles a while ago or never got around to getting them before they were no longer manufactured.  I could grab a used one and risk it crapping out on me (though not as quickly as an Xbox360, whee!), and deal with the usual crap of buying from random internet people.  I could grab a 'pirate' console and then have issues with ROM incompatibilities (if I were to use a flash cart for instance).  My options are fairly limited if I want to play a translated SNES game or custom romhack like CE without using a flash cart and SNES console.  Emulation works for my specific needs, and bsnes is about as accurate as you can get.  I'll even have 64-bit Win7 so that I can use the 'accuracy' version of BSNES.

I do wish more authors would pay attention to real-hardware compatibility.  My previous suggestions are still valid, including offering to be a tester for the author to help them improve and fix it, or even attempting to fix it yourself if you're technically inclined.