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Author Topic: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?  (Read 20961 times)

resq

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2016, 02:49:49 am »
ok umm whatever it is you wizard people are doing . . it's pretty cool!  :o
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Disch

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2016, 03:51:22 am »
I've been distracted with another project so I haven't looked at this thread in a while.  =x

So I need to fix two things:

- music hanging for map transition
- 2nd pulse not silencing after dialog box if the channel is disabled for music


Was that everything?  I'll try to get to those soon.

Also, keep up the great work, Ben Boldt!  =D

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2016, 11:21:47 am »
Thanks resq, Disch is the real genius here, building this awesome sound engine and porting Final Fantasy to Namco-163 memory mapper.  I am just an artist that figured out how to use a hex editor.   ;)

Disch, the music hanging thing would be a nice fix.  But I can totally work around the pulse channel 1 issue with dialog boxes though.  All I have to do is point all unused pulse channels to a looping rest.  I am totally okay with that, and in fact I can just add that to happen automatically with my assembler/compiler thing.  Not a problem in my mind.

w7n

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2016, 06:35:53 am »
One question here:
Last time I generated an NSF using an altered FamiTracker engine. Though from the sound port writes log it seems as if all the writes are done in proper order, at certain points the sounds don't output correctly and instead output clicking noises instead (emulated in NSFPlay and is likely the same case on hardware).
Would you be kind enough to look into this problem? At the starting stage I choose VRC7 for my ROM hack but I'm considering changing the mapper to Namco 163 too, and I'm just worried about this problem. I can provide you the NSF if you want to.

Disch

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2016, 09:23:28 am »
Strangely I had the "missing notes" problem when writing emulators, but I don't remember what the problem was or what I did to fix it.   :-[

Unfortunately I don't have the time to troubleshoot it for you, as I have my own project I'm busy with (and I still need to find the time to fix the music hanging in the engine Ben Boldt is using -- I swear I'll get to that eventually!).

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2016, 01:54:47 am »
UPDATE

Gurgu Volcano

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

Nestopia Recording:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_volcano_nestopia.mp3

Actual Nintendo recording:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_volcano_actual.mp3

It is looking more and more to me like the emulator sounds more "correct", so I may need to reconsider how my hardware is set up.  It is too quiet and too muddy.

I am pretty sure I remember putting a cap on my Namcot audio signal to ground, copying the original cartridge that the Namco-163 chip came from, so I could reduce that.  There isn't much I can do on its own to increase the volume, though.  So I may need to put an op-amp in there to boost the signal up just a little bit.  It's not quite an original / ideal situation to add this amplifier but it's a 72-pin cartridge anyway so I guess this will just be compensating for the different setup.

Edit:


I removed the cap from Namco audio to GND, and now it sounds nearly identical to Nestopia!  Yay!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 09:41:05 pm by Ben Boldt »

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2016, 01:06:52 am »
With great difficulty, the world music is now mostly transcribed into Apple Logic (slow motion as usual).  Same as last time, this is the critical step #1 that needs to be complete before touching the Nintendo ROM.  The original Final Fantasy Origins song does have one additional "repeat" before looping that is similar, but different, than what I have done here:

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

On a related note, I have found an incredibly helpful program called VGMtrans.  This manages to convert .minipsf files into MIDI.  The MIDI file it creates sounds terrible, but I can open it in an editor and find notes.  This really helps a lot.

Edit:


I went ahead and updated the score and mp3 file with the correct repeat.  The song would now loop like this file from end to end.



Edit:


I have something playing in the ROM file now!

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

Nestopia:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/world_nestopia.mp3

Actual NES:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/world_actual_nes.mp3
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 01:35:38 am by Ben Boldt »

Disch

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2016, 01:41:15 pm »
Woooo!  It's sounding great!

I finally got around to fixing the problem where the music hangs during map transitions.  Patch for that fix is here.  Please please please back up your stuff before applying just in case I screwed something up.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/aghncsvuxkgm53f/namcot_hang_on_transition_fix.ips?dl=0


The problem with the dialogue box sound effect going too long if you're not using Pulse 2 is still there -- but since you had a functional workaround for that I got lazy and decided "meh it's good enough".  ;P

Let me know if this works and if other problems come up.  I suspect there might be issues with the noise conflicting with the in-battle sound effects -- I'm not sure how well I tested that... if I tested it at all  =/

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2016, 07:26:23 pm »
Sorry for the delayed response!  I have been a little bit busy lately and enjoying summer, etc.

I have an update where I put in your patch, Disch.  I have also done some tweaks to the world music in this.  I am beginning to be happy with the world music at this point.  The Gurgu Volcano one really does not sit right with me, so at the end I might come back and try again on that one.

The song that I can do next really depends on my mood.  There are times when I can do the mysterious / evil / hopeful / confident Chaos Temple, and there are times when I can do the viscous / gallant / grinding battle theme.  Hopefully I can do the battle music soon because that's the biggest missing piece at this point to make the game somewhat playable.  I also have the Prologue that needs to be done and that's a completely different state of mind to do that one.

Based on what I see with the noise channel in Coneria Castle when going through doors, I expect noise to be a problem with battle sound effects.  (i.e. cutting the sound effects short.)  I may be able to avoid the noise channel or possibly produce noise with the Namcot-163.  But then this takes away a Namco channel from other uses...  So I'll play with that and we'll see what happens.

Summer is my big weakness right now.  I have a season pass to the local amusement park and there are all sorts of beautiful biking trails here in Minnesota.  But on the flip side, it's terrible outside most of the year here so you can expect a lot more progress on this as we get into late fall / winter.

In other news, I found a dual 2.5GHz 64-bit Power Mac G5 at a thrift store for $37.50, which works perfectly, so I ended up with a huge upgrade to my old G4.  :)  The oldest version of Sonic Visualizer runs on the G5 so now I can do audio spectrum analysis directly without jumping over to one of my Windows PCs.

Edit

Oops I forgot the link:

https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_world_with_updates.zip
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 08:42:06 pm by Ben Boldt »

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2016, 11:09:33 pm »
Surprise!  I have the battle music pretty much done!  ;D  This does not include the victory or death music, so please do expect some silence at the end of the battle if you play it.  It also contains no percussion sounds.  I think this is okay and it accentuates the battle sound effects when playing.  It also avoids any potential issues we may have run into with the music conflicting with the sound effects.

I have not yet run out of space in the first ROM page, but my "compiler" thing does not support / is not aware of multiple pages.  I'm sure I will go onto the next page when I least expect and have no idea why everything is screwing up...  But I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Nestopia audio recording:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/battle_nestopia.mp3

ROM:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_battle.zip

Edit:

I just found a big bug:



This means that I am playing my pulse channel 1 score on pulse channel 0 and not using pulse channel 1!  I am missing a whole channel and I can't wait to get home tonight and enable it to see what it sounds like!  :)  I thought it sounded like only 1 pulse channel...  Serves me right for entering it all at once and not listening incrementally along the way!

Edit:


I had edited this earlier, but maybe I only pressed preview and not save.  Here it is with both pulse channels.

New Nestopia audio recording:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/battle_nestopia_2.mp3

New ROM:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_battle_2.zip
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 04:53:53 pm by Ben Boldt »

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2016, 01:07:21 am »
The victory music is now done, and unfortunately this has put me onto the 2nd ROM page.  I removed the "character reordering screen" music to make this remain on the first page for now, so it is playable.  I will have to update my assembler / compiler program to be aware of this.

Audio recording:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_victory_nestopia.mp3

ROM:
https://sites.google.com/site/benboldt2/files/ff_namcot_victory.zip

Disch

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2016, 01:49:49 am »
Very cool!  I'm glad to see you're still trucking away with this.  Sounds great so far!   :thumbsup:

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2016, 08:50:22 pm »
Thanks Disch.

I have updated my code to support multiple pages.  For each song, it does a dry run first to see how big the song is, then it will put it onto the first page that has enough room.  You can see this in action at offset 0x40010 of the ROM file.  Song 19 didn't fit on the first page, so it went to the next page.  Then songs 20 and 21 were small enough to fit on the first page, so they actually ended up before song 19.

I haven't done a whole lot of testing yet, but it seems to be working pretty well.  It should theoretically support all 8 8kb pages.  This now requires a new command at the end of each score file: "parse!".  That simplifies things for me.  In fact it still has the bug where you need a line break at the end of each score file.  ::)

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

Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2016, 12:27:05 am »
I have a small update, just to let you guys know I haven't forgotten this.

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

This has added snare drum and some other slight modification to the victory music, and also adds the treasure chest sound effect.  This sound effect is very similar to the original, with an echo added.  The game will no longer lock up when you open a treasure chest now.

Edit:


I have the Death music done now:

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

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

Edit:


It looks like the "open treasure chest" song only works on the first page!  This is broken in the zip file above.  Next time I add a song it will be fixed.

Edit:


It also looks like the player ordering screen music must be on the first page, so I put that one on the first page too.  To do this, I have the shell script put them before the others.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 11:47:32 pm by Ben Boldt »


Duke2go

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2016, 11:03:44 pm »
Disch directed me over here from the Reconstructed thread (and yes, that project is actually nearing completion finally). I'm thoroughly impressed with what I've seen of the work y'all have done and I pm'd Ben about some possible assistance. I'm definitely going to look through this thread more when I have some time. So impressed with the work that's been done while I've been away in the Final Fantasy hacking community as a whole.  :beer:
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Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2016, 12:34:51 am »
Disch directed me over here from the Reconstructed thread (and yes, that project is actually nearing completion finally). I'm thoroughly impressed with what I've seen of the work y'all have done and I pm'd Ben about some possible assistance. I'm definitely going to look through this thread more when I have some time. So impressed with the work that's been done while I've been away in the Final Fantasy hacking community as a whole.  :beer:
PM Sent.

Duke2go

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2016, 01:03:33 am »
PM Sent.

And response as well my friend  :beer:
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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Ben Boldt

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #58 on: November 06, 2016, 12:12:07 pm »
I think that you should start a new topic for this and at the beginning of that topic, you should provide a step outline of the entire game's story.  This should include lots of screenshots from the game and brief descriptions of the storyline and the emotions felt at each step.  This will allow me and potentially others to style the music to the big picture and use the appropriate amount of depth and dynamic at the right times.

This outline may also help point out areas where you could tweak your storyline and graphics to work better with the big picture too.  It is so easy with these sorts of things to get stuck in the details and make every part to the extreme, when you could have strengthened important parts by dialing back something less important.  Etc.  maybe you have already done all of this, but if you haven't it will help us pull everything together and get other potential developers all on the same page.

Duke2go

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Re: Are there any Namco-163 hacks out there?
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2016, 03:52:10 pm »
I think that you should start a new topic for this and at the beginning of that topic, you should provide a step outline of the entire game's story.  This should include lots of screenshots from the game and brief descriptions of the storyline and the emotions felt at each step.  This will allow me and potentially others to style the music to the big picture and use the appropriate amount of depth and dynamic at the right times.

This outline may also help point out areas where you could tweak your storyline and graphics to work better with the big picture too.  It is so easy with these sorts of things to get stuck in the details and make every part to the extreme, when you could have strengthened important parts by dialing back something less important.  Etc.  maybe you have already done all of this, but if you haven't it will help us pull everything together and get other potential developers all on the same page.

That is an excellent idea my friend. When I was thinking of remaking the strategy guide, I wanted to include basically a written "story" in the guide to describe the game as the player's progressed. Sounds similar to what you're suggesting. I think I'll need to finish the script revisions completely first though so that won't be altered any further. If you have time I would be interested in discussing the changes in the story that I'm working on.  :beer:
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/finalfantasyreconstructed/