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Author Topic: Tales of Phantasia GBA  (Read 2429 times)


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Tales of Phantasia GBA
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:41:03 pm »
So I posted the other day in the hack ideas thread about this game and how it could be improved. I know next to nothing about hacking, but I wanted to learn so I can at least revise the script for the English and Spanish* localizations. I don't know if the music from the SFC version can be ported over, so as an alternative I can recreate it using the available instruments and whatnot (the biggest problem with the music in this game is the arrangement itself), but again, I'm not sure how I would insert them back into the game. Editing palettes, you lost me.

*Fun fact, the Spanish translation uses the original names for characters and stuff, like Klarth instead of Claus.

So yeah, that's where I am now. I'd be really grateful if someone can point me in the right direction, at least for the text editing.

As a side note, I was looking through an old drive and found an English-patched Japanese rom. I don't know where I got it from and there was no documentation, but I booted it up and found that it uses a VWF, similar to that found in other fan translations (perhaps it was actually made by one of them, I'd have to ask). So anyway, I was wondering if it's possible to implement this into the European rom, and maybe use that as a default font so the text box can be shrunk, skill/item menus can be better arranged and their names wouldn't have to be shortened too badly. I still want to add a black outline to the font though...

I made a patch out of it just in case


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Re: Tales of Phantasia GBA
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 07:49:47 am »
I don't have any hacking knowledge, so there's nothing I can do to help.

Assuming the game uses the Sappy sound engine most other GBA games use, it sounds like restoring the SNES music should be doable. At least based on what Bregalad managed to accomplish with his Final Fantasy hacks.

There are a lot of other problems with the port beyond the sound quality and brightened palette. It's a strange mutation of the SNES and PS1 versions. The tilesets outside of battle are ripped from the SNES original, but the sprites are based on the PS1 remake along with the battle system. Here's some of what I can remember offhand-

- Overworld sprites are missing shadows on GBA. There were even some cases on SNES/PS1 where environment light sources are able to slightly affect the position of the shadows.

- Sprites no longer have reflections in mirrors and pools of water.

- Battle speed is very slow. I don't know how much of this is intentional vs how much is due to the GBA itself slowing down from poor programming.

- The world map seems to run at half the framerate of the SNES original.

- The battle backgrounds are based on the PS1 version's graphics, though some of them are edited and spliced together poorly. Don't know if anything could be done about it. There are a lot of weirdly downgraded battle graphics beyond this (particularly for spells and summons), many are based on the SNES original but they're downgraded even from that.

- The sound effects are similarly downgraded as the music, some effects were replaced by low quality effects and others removed outright.

Not sure if this port is worth trying to fix, or even if it's possible to fix everything.