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Chrono Trigger MSU-1 (with FMV's)

Started by qwertymodo, November 17, 2016, 02:52:09 PM

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I've been teasing my Chrono Trigger MSU-1 hack for awhile now, but I think I'm finally ready to release it for testing.  This game is really big, and I'm just not going to be able to test everything all by myself.  There are two main parts to this hack, the soundtrack and the FMV's.  Oddly enough, the soundtrack is much trickier than the FMV's to get right, because there are tons of weird edge cases that I need to handle, resulting in a lot more opportunities for bugs to pop up.  The FMV's, on the other hand, were quite straightforward once I figured out how to properly hook into the scripting engine.  The bigger issue right now is that the tools I have been using to convert the videos really haven't produced the level of quality I was hoping for, and some of the scenes look pretty awful.  I am working on writing my own tools to do the conversions myself, but that will take time.

So, here is how I have decided to handle this beta release:
-I am releasing the patch file openly and requesting testing and feedback
-The patch file includes all of the video code, which SHOULD fall back gracefully in the absence of the actual video file (please report any issues if it doesn't)
-The video file for the intro will be available, but the rest of the FMV's will be considered a closed beta, which I will make available on a case-by-case basis to people who actually provide feedback
-The video file for the closed beta will be watermarked, but otherwise fully functional
-If you wish to participate in the closed beta, you must play through up to Proto Dome (2300 AD) before requesting the video file (the first FMV plays inside Proto Dome when you discover Robo)
-To join the closed beta, you also need to follow me on Twitch here.  (Reason for this is explained here)

It may also be helpful (though not required), to join my Discord server.  If you have any issues setting up MSU-1, I'm usually available there to help out, whereas I don't check this thread all that often unless I have an update to post.

ROM Info:

  • Name:       Chrono Trigger (U) [!].sfc
  • CRC32:     2D206BF7
  • MD5:        A2BC447961E52FD2227BAED164F729DC
  • SHA-1:     DE5822F4F2F7A55ACB8926D4C0EAA63D5D989312
  • SHA-256: 06D1C2B06B716052C5596AAA0C2E5632A027FEE1A9A28439E509F813C30829A9
Patch: [Download]
Audio: [Currently Unavailable]  [Conversion Script]  [Usage Instructions]
Alternate (Free) Audio Pack: [Download]
Intro Video: [Download]
Intro Audio: [Download]

Video Password: !chrono_intro!

This mod utilizes the amazing Chrono Trigger Symphony soundtrack by Blake Robinson.  It is the most complete and highest quality replacement soundtrack I have found.  It is officially licensed with Square Enix, however, it is not free.  I have provided a conversion script for use with the FLAC version of the soundtrack to generate the proper files.  There is one other complete soundtrack available that I'm looking into supporting as well, but I have not yet been able to get my hands on a lossless version, and I don't feel like dealing with the heavily compressed MP3 version currently available.  Update 30 Jan, 2017: Dracula9AntiChapel's FLAC remaster is now available as an alternative track pack!  The download link is provided above.  However, this patch supports ANY music files that you wish to provide, as long as they are properly converted (and you'll have to set the loop points yourself, which is not an insignificant amount of work considering the size of the soundtrack).

I am not in any way related to Blake Robinson, or intending to market his music.

Thanks to Dracula9AntiChapel, I now have an alternate track pack which he has graciously allowed me to redistribute for free.  He went through and re-did all of his existing tracks in lossless FLAC format, so I was able to work with a high-quality, lossless source, rather than his original 128kbps MP3 files.  The end result is a great improvement over the older files.

Known Edge Cases (things to pay attention for):

  • Echo bugs, especially in battle [Example]
  • SPC track not muting properly
  • Music/SFX cutting out [Example] (cuts out at 11:10 if the timestamp link doesn't work right)
  • Sudden, "sharp" track jumps
  • Volume/fade bugs [Example]
Most of these edge cases, I already know how to handle, I just need to know where they occur, and by that I mean I need to know the exact screen you're on and where in the storyline you are.  If you can provide a .srm save, that would be helpful.  If not, a screenshot works too.

Known bugs:
  • Screen flashes/blinks when scrolling through items in pause menu (exists in the original game, but MSU-1 makes it worse, can be improved but not eliminated)
  • Music resets every room leaving Ozzie's Fort (is this vanilla behavior?)
  • Playing with MSU-1 audio but no FMV file so the original attract mode plays, when the game resets the clock audio is muted
Not a Bug/Exists in Unmodified Game:
  • SFX echo bug at the very beginning of the game (getting allowance from mom, first save, etc)
  • Silent BGM after defeating enemies in front of the hidden Magus statue in the Cathedral
  • Echo bug in battle on the staircase immediately before fighting Magus [Screenshot]
  • When waking up at very beginning of game, 2nd track doesn't start if in menu screen
  • Waking up Ayla after the party causes her theme to very briefly fade out before fading back in. (Happens in the original game)
  • Battle music does not play in Giant's Claw (Tyranno Lair revisit)
Since completing a full re-write of the audio code, bug testing is pretty much reset to square one.  I'll leave the old bug list below for reference, as several of those instances were places that need special attention, but many of the bugs in the old code should simply be gone due to the much better method of SPC muting present in the new version.  I will list new bugs as they are reported.

Old bugs (previous version)
QuoteReported/Known Bugs:

  • Ending and Fall of Guardia FMV's are not inserted yet
  • SD2SNES: Videos crash, resulting an a seizure-inducing acid trip of flashing colors.  This is due to high seek latency of the SD card, which is not necessarily the same as the speed class.  Try a different card.
  • Minor NMI-related GFX glitching (I need to tighten up the NMI hijack a bit)
  • Game softlocks during the ending credits (Epoch flying ending)
  • At the beginning of the game, when getting out of bed, the "Morning Glow" track cuts suddenly to "Peaceful Days" fixed
  • Brief fade-related blip during song transition after picking up pendant from the Telepod [Screenshot] fixed (Should also fix a bunch of similar transitions)
  • Battle audio doesn't play for second battle in Truce Canyon (600AD) fixed (Should also fix a bunch of potential issues with volume changes during SPC fallback)
  • Organ track in 600AD Cathedral cuts out sharply fixed (More SPC fallback volume change fixes)
  • 1000AD Overworld fade transitions start playing track before unmuting fixed
  • Attract mode SPC fallback with MSU-1 enabled cuts out after screen transition fixed
  • Arris Dome: Chrono Trigger Theme after viewing Day of Lavos video doesn't end at the right time [Correct Timing] fixed
  • Jet Bike Johnny theme doesn't play correctly when first meeting him fixed
  • Short track immediately after Robo FMV doesn't play fixed
  • Heckran Cave: SPC fallback doesn't resume after battle fixed
  • Character select screen from the overword softlocks fixed
  • Reptites before meeting Ayla are impossible to beat fixed (my bad, the audio code got too long and clobbered a data table)
  • Echo bug in Nu battle in the rain at the Hunting Grounds fixed
  • Pause/Character Select screens broken after some FMV's fixed
  • SPC plays during Frog's Theme as he leaves you at Guardia Castle
  • SPC plays during Battle Theme during Dalton scene at Last Village
  • SPC plays when resuming track from character change screen
  • SPC plays after getting Robo by talking to Marle/Lucca repeatedly
  • SPC plays before meeting Ayla
  • Masamune beam SFX stops when Frog's theme starts playing again
  • Lavos theme sub-track switching not implemented (track 85)
  • Sprites briefly blink visibly during black screen after FMV plays

    skins4thewin's bugs:
  • Music doesn't stop when it should
  • --Running into Marle
  • --Getting into some battles, like Gato
  • --Paused in battle
  • --After beating Gato
  • --Frog jumping down in the Cathedral when first meeting him
  • No gavel sound effect in court
  • Magic sealed door in the first dome only plays jingle once
  • When warping to the end of time for the first time, the fade to black is delayed
  • When getting magic from Spekkio, the jingle only plays once
  • Using Aura Whirl causes GFX glitches (at least during Heckran battle)
  • Ayla FMV doesn't play at all if Marle isn't in the party
  • Echo bug with ice spell during Heckran battle



Friendly note: as of now both textual bugfix patches don't work with this (after using header detectors of course), with no way to really make 'em work according to Patch Checker's reports.  So do yourself a favor and don't mix patches if you thought about it for grammar stuff.  That's sane advice for anything really.

Other than that I have nothing to report, still testing.


That's unavoidable for now because I used Temporal Flux to insert new commands to several locations.  It's totally possible to use this patch with other patches like the bugfix/grammar patches, but it will have to be done manually, you can't just apply both patches one on top of the other.  Once it's complete, I will release a separate version for merging with other patches, but it will require a fair amount of manual modification in Temporal Flux (and it will have to be done with the updated version of TF that Geiger made for me, I'm not sure if he's released it publicly or not).  So yeah, don't mix patches.


Didn't honestly know Geiger was still around. If it's a massive update to TF it'd be nice to see a release in the future.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


Pretty sure it was just a bug fix to handle parsing of the Unknown/Color Crash command properly.

Rodimus Primal

Is it possible to play with the FMVs but keep the original music? I prefer it over the MSU 1 music.


Quote from: Rodimus Primal on November 18, 2016, 12:52:38 PM
Is it possible to play with the FMVs but keep the original music? I prefer it over the MSU 1 music.

Yes, that is possible.  Just apply the patch, but don't include the .pcm's (at least not the tracks <100, you'll still need the video tracks).  In fact, I'd be interested to hear feedback on someone playing through that way to make sure I didn't break anything in the SPC fallback code.  Same deal, play up through Proto Dome and send me a PM, and please report any issues you experience.

November 18, 2016, 04:30:06 PM - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

I went ahead and uploaded the Temporal Flux update that Geiger sent me, should be up in a day or two, whenever they clear the queue.  The official changelog from the previous version is:

Quotev3.03s (2016.11.10)
- Loc Events . All ColorCrash commands can now be used without killing strings.

v3.03  (2009.01.16)
- Loc Events . Loading Epoch (PC8) did not display or update properly

So it's just a couple of bugfixes.  Still, if you want to use it with this hack, you'll need the ColorCrash fix (I'm using the ColorCrash command to play the FMV's).


That PC 8 one is a GOD send bug fix.  Thank goodness for that!
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'


Quote from: justin3009 on November 18, 2016, 06:50:36 PM
That PC 8 one is a GOD send bug fix.  Thank goodness for that!

If there are any other known TF bugs, now might be a good time to try and email Geiger about them. ;)


So basically, you're selling Chrono Trigger music ? That sounds, to me, like super illegal.

Even though in the preview, it seems to sound very great, incredible. If only this was legal.


Quote from: Bregalad on November 19, 2016, 04:34:44 AM
So basically, you're selling Chrono Trigger music ? That sounds, to me, like super illegal.

Even though in the preview, it seems to sound very great, incredible. If only this was legal.

where exactly does it say that he's selling anything ? Or am I just blind ? o.o
In PSP we trust.


On the linked website for audio "download" (although no free of charge download is available) :


considering that the page has links to itunes shop and the other one (unknown to me) looks more like he just provides a link for a place to officially buy them, instead of illegal downloads.
As much as I hate apple and wish they would burn in hell with their crappy producs, i doubt even they would allow a random person to put chrono trigger music in itunes and sell it as is without concequences.

just my 2 cents though, could be wrong :P
edit: upon closer inspection, it appears you're right. Though if he has managed to deal with the legalities of those music tracks since they seem to be openly sold, I suppose this whole patch will just serve as a nice marketing trick for them lol.
one way or another, if i were to use this patch i would just get my hands on the required tracks one way or another anyway so for me it's irrelevant.
it does seem a tad evil to make a patch though, and force you to buy half of it lol.

one way or another, it's up to the author to do as they wish, so if that's how it is, then that's how it is, no one forces you to use the patch.
In PSP we trust.


The website clearly states they have a license to remix and sell the songs.


It's a free patch.  You can really use whatever songs you want.  The author has licensed the rights to make and sell versions that work exceptionally well for in game looping.  It's win win win for the community, hacker, and even square enix.    What's the issue here?


I think Bregalad is under the impression that qwertymodo is the author of those orchestral remixes, which he isn't. Chrono Trigger Symphony was done by Blake Robinson and is a totally legit release. It sounds nice and has all the tracks, which makes it the perfect choice for the MSU1 hack.


I am not Blake Robinson, I am not the one selling the tracks. He is fully licensed to sell the tracks, and pays royalties on all sales to the proper people through his label. I have no connection to Blake, and am not trying to "market" his tracks, they are simply the best track set I have found, so I chose to use them. You are more than free to replace them with other tracks of your choosing and go to the effort of looping them all yourself.  Also, I am trying to get my hands on a free track pack from a guy on YouTube by the username Dracula9AntiChapel, but I'm waiting for him to provide lossless encodes, as the MP3 release suffers from some significant compression artifacts.


Oh thanks for the precisions. I am less confused now. I am still not very clear about it, this Blake Robinson guy is actually doing licenced work for Yasunori Mitsuda ?! That's quite surprising, but if it is the case then I'm definitely interested in purchasing them ! I am not used to those kind of medium though, last time I purchased any music was close to 10 years ago and it was on CDs. I legally purchased the Chrono Trigger original soundtrack album, yet I never use it anymore - it is just much simpler to play SPCs on my computer whenever I want to listen to Chono Trigger music. My CD player is still working but is in a corner in my room collecting dust - quite sad but the usefullness/encombrement ratio was just too small for it to continue to stay on my desk anymore.

If there is any need to, I could probably render Chono Trigger music in better quality than the original, although it would not be as good of quality than being done by more professional musicians I guess. I already proposed for Secret of Mana, but it didn't seem anybody was seriously interested. I could even post a sample of 2 if people are interested to how it'd sound.


Quote from: Bregalad on November 19, 2016, 05:55:15 PM
I am still not very clear about it, this Blake Robinson guy is actually doing licenced work for Yasunori Mitsuda ?!

No, he is not doing work for Yasunori Mitsuda. He just pays royalties to Square-Enix for using their IP. Such deals are increasingly common, with people selling covers of game/anime songs officially with consent of the original authors. In the end everybody is happy this way.