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Author Topic: Final Fantasy Reconstructed  (Read 95003 times)

NARFNra

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #120 on: May 19, 2015, 01:03:07 am »
Would it be too much work to implement multiple levels of loops? I'm working with Chpexo on a song at the moment and it'd be really useful for space reasons to have at least 2 levels of loop. For reference, the bit I'm working on is like this:

Square 1: ABACABAD
Square 2: ABACADAE

Of course, this might add a headache to the idea of having a loop break (perhaps only the lowest level type of loop would read breaks?), so it's not totally necessary. I just worry a lot about running out of space for music.



« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 01:17:00 am by NARFNra »

Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #121 on: May 19, 2015, 01:23:47 am »
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Would it be too much work to implement multiple levels of loops?

I could do 3 different loop sets with the RAM I have -- and that would pretty much use all of it.  It would complicate the loop break though.

How about instead of multiple loop sets, there's a sort of "do subsection jump" -- like a subroutine in programming terms?

That way you could compose the 'A', 'B', etc sections separately, and then the main track for the channel would just be:

<jump to A> <jump to B> <jump to A> <jump to C> etc <loop>


A loop set requires 1 byte (to track the counter), whereas this "subsection" thing requires 2 (to track the 'jump-back-to' point).  Right now, without finnageling anything I have 3 bytes set aside for looping and control stuff, so I could do 3 loops sets or 1 loop set + 1 level of subsections.

Which would be more useful?


EDIT:
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I just worry a lot about running out of space for music.

For this particular hack -- I wouldn't worry about it.  At least not for the N163 version.  I've expanded the ROM so there's literally 256K of open space that I doubt will be used for anything else.  I am making zero effort to keep the code for the music engine small (in fact I'm favoring making it bigger and faster instead of smaller and slower).

NARFNra

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #122 on: May 19, 2015, 01:32:34 am »
Huh, I didn't think about that possibility, but I think that the subsection idea is great. You wouldn't have to worry about loops too much yourself, and the break command could just jump immediately back to the main data so if I'm correct it wouldn't even need a pointer?

The subsection style would also prevent us from having to juggle a variety of loop commands while still letting us optimize subsections with smaller loops, which is awesome. I can't think any any issue I'd have with it.

Duke2go

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #123 on: May 19, 2015, 03:48:01 pm »
Glad the work continues without me. To answer again in some sort of semblance of order:

I have no idea how the 'Chaos in another dimension' thing is going to affect the overall story, and you might not want to tell in order to keep an air of mystery until its release, but I was thinking about the original story and have come to the conclusion that thinking about time loops is not good for one's sanity.
I spend a lot of time alone at work, and my mind wandered toward trying to make some logical sense of the story (just going on what's said in the game itself.)
Near as I can tell, after the initial conflict a nearly dead Garland was found by the Fiends and sent back 2000 years. But to go from puny Garland to badass Chaos, he must have been given additional powers by the Fiends from the elemental orbs they drained. However the Fiends would have no reason to do this unless it benefitted them, so perhaps Chaos' job was to spend his time in the past working on weakening the 4 elements so when the Fiends arrived in the future, they would have an easier time draining the power from the orbs. Perhaps the Fiends were even responsible for pulling some strings and causing Garland's fall from grace, thus ensuring his own involvement.
But Garland/Chaos was not content with his role, and his power had grown beyond what the Fiends had intended... but if he betrayed the Fiends he would never have received his powers in the first place.
When the Light Warriors restored the orbs and slayed the Fiends in the past, Chaos was presented with an opportunity. The orbs from the future had shown up at his doorstep and if he could kill the Light Warriors and take the full power of all 4 orbs, and then add that to the power he could take from the orbs in the past, the combined effect of all that craziness would either allow him to break free and exist outside of time as a god, or maybe just screw up the fabric of time beyond repair and destroy all of existence...
Did any of that make sense?

I actually figured it out. I'm not going to discuss any more of the story or ending because I found a way to tie EVERYTHING together that doesn't involve time loops, but will make sense that everything goes back to the way it was prior to the adventure now. I actually almost started weeping when I figured it out (got goosebumps now). Like I said, it ties in EVERYTHING, and NOT just this game either. I am going to have to lose the 5 Leifen warriors probably, but IMO they are kind of throw-away (a lot like the sages at Crescent Lake, although their dialogue changes) Instead, there will be NPC's throughout the game that use their dialogue to basically tell the "true" story in-game.

As for my new music composers, welcome to the journey. And to clarify, I realized from the jump that I wouldn't be able to put the songs that I wanted within the original concept, but I was going to basically cut down to a loop-able part that was recognizable. Now that we've got the new sound engine to work with, I'm sure that we'll have no problems doing everything that I had hoped that we could. I have the Famitracker files for a number of the songs that I wanted to include, and although Disch has told me that this won't be compatible with what he's doing, I would think this would still give you basically "sheet music" to work from. I'll have to speak directly to NARFNra and Chpexo independently about what songs I definitely want to include and what they can flex their creative juices on.

As for my own work (now that my head has stopped throbbing from being sick and learning ASM, jk. So far not as bad as I expected)

I had an idea before for the Mirage Tower that I didn't end up using. Well, I decided to turn the Castle of Ordeals into another "Temple" structure" like the TOF Present. I did kind of what I had discussed earlier in the thread and turned it into a "dark side cave" type of thing like from Empire Strikes back. Namely, the guardian is going to tell the player that they will discover things upon this journey, and some truth will be learned by it as well. I did this for two reasons, 1: I wanted it to be different than just go through this teleport to that teleport, 2: I freed up some teleports for use other places, and 3: I got to be really creative and allow the player to re-visit some of the early maps (although in a VERY limited fashion, and for a specific purpose).

The major thing that this allowed me to do is.... ALMOST ALL OF THE LOCKED DOORS GO SOMEWHERE. Meaning, there are actual rooms that you go to rather than just going through the door and entering a treasure room that you can see normally from the main map. I gave Elfheim a simple opening door because the Elves discuss how Astos attacked and raided their treasury, so why would there be anything left in their treasury? I've still got I think 4 or 5 more available teleport spots now, so I might make the Queen and Prince's rooms into rooms and that gives me either 2 or 3 teleports that can be used to add additional levels to my extra dungeons so they're not just 1 room areas. I also actually cleared out the Castle of Ordeals 3rd floor too, although I don't know if I'll put anything back there (although I believe that I have 1 more entry point left on the over-world map, and I might turn it into another town that sells the "hard to find" equipment, haven't decided yet.

3 negatives that I just can't figure out how to fix:
1: the save sound for tents/cottages/etc. is pointed to the wrong place I think. If I pull out of the menu too quickly, the sound gets killed when the save music finishes. I think I read somewhere that there were 2 locations for that sound, and somehow I think it got pointed at the wrong one.

2: I've F'd up the dialogue I believe by changing a few things. Even though I went back and restored all the dialogue to the way that the hack already had it, I have still lost X-Zone and Death as available level 8 black magic spells. I can't figure out what I did to get rid of them, so either I'll have to find a way to fix those, or figure out a work-around.

3: The Original Titan's tunnel E exit that I messed up early on is just a dead teleport at this point. I wanted to use it for the Northwest Castle teleport, but it won't point right. I thought I'd figured it out, but that exit is just jacked up for some reason and wants to drop me off in Coneria town now, although the warp point to leave Coneria just pushed you back to wherever you came from. So, there is still 1 locked door treasury in the NW Castle.

I'm glad to see that I've got a good crew to work with, and anything that you do, please just message me in case I don't see the response in-thread. Thank you everyone for your help and I'm sure that this will be something wonderful when its done. Have a great evening.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 04:15:35 pm by Duke2go »
Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence...

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Chpexo

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« Reply #124 on: May 20, 2015, 11:36:14 pm »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 09:45:43 am by Chpexo »

Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #125 on: May 20, 2015, 11:59:30 pm »
Quote
Could you put in the Sunsoft DPCM in the music engine? I love that bass. What do you think NARFNra?

"could I?"  Yes.  I've written NES emus -- I can do anything  ;D
"will I?"  No.  It'd be way more work than it'd be worth.

I actually considered this before your post... but ultimately decided against it.

The DMC has 2 big problems:

1)  It requires LOTS of free space in the fixed bank for samples... of which there is precious little.  Which means to clear up space, I'd have to move out a bunch of code to another bank.  And while this certainly could be done, it would be a lot of work, and would undoubtedly lead to numerous conflicts when merging with Duke2go's hack... since I'd have to move a lot of code his hack probably changes.

2)  DMC playback eats CPU cycles... which isn't that big of a deal for most places, but it would screw up the timing used for some mid-frame screen splits and raster effects.  Notably the opening and display of the dialogue box when you talk to someone... the game is actually splitting the screen twice per frame to draw the box (both to switch the source Nametable, and also to hide sprites for the scanlines the box is displayed).


Both of these problems are certainly solvable, but would require a lot more work than I'm willing to do.  The DMC is largely impractical for Final Fantasy.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #126 on: May 21, 2015, 12:06:56 am »
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The DMC is largely impractical for Final Fantasy.

I agree. Sure sounded awesome in Gremlins 2 though.  :)
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Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #127 on: May 21, 2015, 12:11:25 am »
Actually now that I think about it more, the Namcot mapper adds IRQs that I could use to get around the timing issue, so that wouldn't be as big of a deal as I thought.  But still -- it'd be a significant amount of work.

Quote
I agree. Sure sounded awesome in Gremlins 2 though.

Oh I freaking love the DMC, don't get me wrong.  It's great in most games it's used.

Just... practicality issue.

NARFNra

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #128 on: May 21, 2015, 12:14:37 am »
DPCM can be cool but I don't really think it's necessary. I rarely compose with it.

Also, isn't the Sunsoft Bass actually multiple bass samples and such? Something about not being able to pitch it down properly with just a single sample. That'd be even more space used up for not too much gain.

Either way, I tend to think of DPCM as a good thing to add on top if you have the space, but we probably should focus on the melody anyway. Besides, we have 4 extra tracks of wavetable synthesis to use, I think we've got more than enough available to us for musical expression.

Chpexo

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« Reply #129 on: May 21, 2015, 07:36:11 am »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 09:45:23 am by Chpexo »

Spooniest

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #130 on: May 21, 2015, 08:03:16 am »
I have nothing to add, other than this is all fascinating

"We all speak English. Continue please."

- Gung Ho
Yamero~~!

Duke2go

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #131 on: May 21, 2015, 09:16:20 am »
I have nothing to add, other than this is all fascinating

"We all speak English. Continue please."

- Gung Ho

Agree and don't agree haha. This is certainly fascinating, but not completely English and I'm a little lost, although the link that explained certain NES sounds was certainly helpful. I've been contacted a few times about the songs that I definitely want included, and I'm contemplating this right now. I think in the end that Matoya's theme should remain because it is the first really recognizable Final Fantasy tune and I remember thinking how cool that song was when I was like 10 years old. Maybe we could add some depth to it, or a more orchestral feel? When I originally broke down the Final Fantasy IV tunes before talking to people about pre-made fsm files, I basically kept a "french horn", "Drum", "Symbols/High Hats", "Snare", "Woodwind", "Bass guitar" types of sounds (I think that was all of them). When I reconstructed the different sounds into 4 track sound files, they sounded amazing. You could still recognize the song with only 4 instruments/sounds. I'm going to offer these to my composers, but I saw a few replies in my thread and wanted to chime in. I've noticed that the boss fight with Kraken is glitchy during beta testing and I need to figure that out. Probably add more later, but certainly continue please. This is truly allowing me to recognize my original vision for this project and I thank you all.

One last thing, @ Disch mostly, would it be possible to program a basic "Ending" for the game that would play after Chaos was beaten? We've included enough people in this project that it would be nice to have some sort of ending credits that played (either before or after the actual ending that basically locks the game after "The End" scrolls)
Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence...

http://www.ffreconstructed.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DevilHunterMiyumi/

Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #132 on: May 21, 2015, 10:24:58 am »
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One last thing, @ Disch mostly, would it be possible to program a basic "Ending" for the game that would play after Chaos was beaten? We've included enough people in this project that it would be nice to have some sort of ending credits that played (either before or after the actual ending that basically locks the game after "The End" scrolls)

The answer to "is it possible" is almost always "yes".  As long as you aren't stepping outside the limitations of the NES.

The game already has an epilogue that plays before the "The End" graphic -- the easiest way to make changes here would be to modify that.  Though if you wanted to add stuff after the "The End" graphic, that is also definitely possible... it just would require more work.

I outlined the format for the epilogue text for someone else in another thread:
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,19623.msg277130.html#msg277130

Duke2go

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #133 on: May 21, 2015, 11:11:14 am »
I'm trying to remember what game I was thinking about, but I was thinking more towards kind of a blend between the ending for Mario 3 and the endings from the NES Megaman games. Ideally, like some pre-made routines that showed like a little box with either the player characters or NPCs interacting somewhere. Like the Knight overworld sprite walking through Coneria Castle or something and then have a specific credit roll, and have a type of fade-out fade-in type of thing for the next credit. I was even thinking that this could be included before the actual ending text kind of a "WTF" to the player, who sits through the credits and then sees the real ending text. It was kind of a "wishlist" type of thing that I thought of this morning, but I realized it would need code written and might not work within the existing game framework. Figured you'd know =-) I'll probably get up with you after I write a paper this morning and we can go over some more things. Thanks for the input.
Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence...

http://www.ffreconstructed.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DevilHunterMiyumi/

Bregalad

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #134 on: May 21, 2015, 11:42:49 am »
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the game is actually splitting the screen twice per frame to draw the box (both to switch the source Nametable, and also to hide sprites for the scanlines the box is displayed).
Ha! I caught you saying something fasle! It does only one split per frame, and the sprites are not hidden, instead their priority bit is set so they appear behind the background (including sprites which are on the first and last 16 pixels, where this should not happen because they're outside the dialog box). This does not change anything in regard to what you said, though.

Chpexo

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« Reply #135 on: May 21, 2015, 12:04:47 pm »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 09:44:45 am by Chpexo »

Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #136 on: May 21, 2015, 12:52:13 pm »
Ha! I caught you saying something fasle! It does only one split per frame, and the sprites are not hidden, instead their priority bit is set so they appear behind the background

You're right!  Whoops.  I must have confused this for the enter/exit map effect where it splits twice to do the black bars effect.

My mistake.

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I myself created a wave effect with some seagulls:

I don't have Famitracker installed so I can't look at ftm files (they're no good for me anyway since they aren't really usable in FF).  If you can upload an nsf or ogg or something of the playback that'd be much easier for me to hear it.  Although it wouldn't really be useful for me to implement it  =/

Quote
Can you add this into the game with the new N163 chip and music engine?

In the original FF, the sound effects were not part of the music engine.  The only real sound-effect support that the music engine had was a place in memory that indicated "stop Square 2 from playing music because it's playing sfx right now".  But the actual sound effects themselves were actually hardcoded into the game logic.

I didn't want to change that because I didn't want to have to go through the game and redo all the sound effects (plus it would mean a bit more RAM consumption, and I'm kind of running out of RAM to use for this).  So I'm basically doing the same Square2 thing as the original game, but also adding a similar thing for the Noise channel (which is going to be a minor pain to work in -- that's one area I haven't gotten to yet).  I could do the same thing for square 1 pretty easily.  In fact, it'd be very easy.

So... I guess the answer to your question is "yes and no".

Yes -- I can have the music engine allow for both squares and noise for sound effects.
But no I can't (or really don't want to) work the sound effects themselves into the music engine.

Now that doesn't mean they can't be worked into the game, it's just the changes would have to go into the game logic -- and I'm going to leave that kind of thing up to Duke2go.  I don't mind helping him (or someone) through the process of what needs to be done, I just don't want to do it myself.

Also, if this hack is going to have 2 versions, one with N163 and one with standard, no-expansion audio, you won't be able to get away with using both squares for the sound effects, as the original music engine doesn't support it (not to mention it would be stupid to hear only the triangle playing music).

SunGodPortal

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #137 on: May 21, 2015, 02:10:09 pm »
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In the original FF, the sound effects were not part of the music engine.  The only real sound-effect support that the music engine had was a place in memory that indicated "stop Square 2 from playing music because it's playing sfx right now".

That's one thing that always bugged me about the old systems. I loved the music so it always annoyed me when SFX would make parts of the music cut out. If extra channels were made available and put to creative use this could be avoided, especially since FF doesn't have constant gunfire SFX or anything like that.
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Chpexo

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« Reply #138 on: May 22, 2015, 02:03:06 am »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 09:43:51 am by Chpexo »

Disch

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Re: Final Fantasy Reconstructed
« Reply #139 on: May 22, 2015, 01:31:02 pm »
@Chpexo:

Yeah that's something that will either have to be worked into the song... or coded into the game sfx.  I don't think it's something that should be worked into this music driver.