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Author Topic: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?  (Read 3700 times)

Bregalad

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Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« on: February 08, 2019, 08:01:29 am »
Hello folks,
I was just wondering. Is there some demand for a sound restoration patch for the GBA version of Tales of Phantasia ? What I'm sure of is that it uses the same "sappy" or M4A sound engine, and that the music was horribly butchered.

However other parts of the game were also quite affected and I feel like the GBA version is disliked, not only because of the music, but because i.e. the battle controls also suck compared to the SNES version. But maybe it's just it takes some time to get used to it.

Also I could easily rip the music track from the PSX version using VGMTrans but not from the SNES version, which is IMO the version with the best music (the music from the PSX is ok, but sounds cheaper and cruder than from the SNES). If I wanted to sound-restore the GBA version I'd have to either use the PSX track, or modify them to make the sound like the SNES (but they would be some errors in them) or I would need to contact the author of VGMTrans and ask them to have Tales of Phantasia SNES supported.

Thanks for letting me know if there's any demand. Oh, and I absolutely LOVE Tales of Phantasia's soundtrack.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 09:36:00 am by Bregalad »

Special

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 10:43:32 am »
Love all your work and I really doubt anyone would say no to this... That being said, I'm not to familiar with the GBA version of Tales of Phantasia, does anything about it make it worth being played over the SNES version? I seem to remember hearing there being slowdown issues, making it an inferior port.

Isao Kronos

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 01:14:15 pm »
ToP GBA is a trashfire and you're better off spending your time on something else.

vivify93

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 02:34:46 pm »
It's funny that you should bring up ToP GBA. I worked on a wide-scale text update that was based off of Kajitani-Eizan's TOPEUKE patch, which massively improves the game text. I combined it with Dragonsbrethren's font update, and it makes the game a lot better. (I lost the file, but I'm trying to track it down because I distributed it)

Would you be able to "undub" the voices as well, or is that outside your area of expertise? It'd be nice to have an updated Phantasia on my 3DS. :)
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Sanedan56

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 03:40:15 pm »
I did see a post about restoring the music in the past. Unfortunately, the game doesn't use Sappy (I've tried.)

That said, I prefer the GBA's music.

J^P

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 05:05:29 pm »
GBA version has various problems..
1. the dub is just plan out terrible
2. overly bright palettes
3. gameplay is slow and lacks ps1 versions 8-way movement in field
7. Cress's mystic arte is impossible to pull out
4. the translation is bad
5. music is butchered
6. no skits at all, not even in the japanese version

The best version is the one included in Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X (remake of the gbc sequel), best version thats in english is the ps1 version.

Bregalad

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 05:59:34 pm »
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Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X
Never knew such a thing existed. I guess we learn new things everyday. But it looks like an entierely new game to me.

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ToP GBA is a trashfire and you're better off spending your time on something else.
That was my feeling too... unfortunately not only the sound is butchered in this remake, but I can only do something about the sound personally. And nobody'd play a butchered remake even with great audio. (that is IF I make great audio fit in it, which is the best case scenario)
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I did see a post about restoring the music in the past. Unfortunately, the game doesn't use Sappy (I've tried.)
Of course it does. You probably failed somehow.

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That said, I prefer the GBA's music.
To be perfectly honest, you're crazy. TOP is without a doubt the SNES->GBA port which butchered the soundtrack the most I know of. Half of the instruments/tracks are missing. The ones who aren't are Gameboy Color's beep and blips. GBC's sound used correctly can sound great but here it's used wrongly. This sounds downright awful and is an isult to TOP's magnificent soundtrack. PSX's version also have very cheap sound, likely the just used the cheap instruments that came by default with their devkit or something - but it's still better.

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Would you be able to "undub" the voices as well, or is that outside your area of expertise? It'd be nice to have an updated Phantasia on my 3DS.
Not sure, but restoring japanese voices from the SNES original or the PSX port could be feasible.

GBA version has various problems..
Unfortunately I can only do a thing about problems 1 and 5 - and possibly 3 if I can make the music driver faster (this is an optimist case). The game was designed without 8-way so I think this is ok. But the other problems still remains.

Masaru

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 06:59:38 pm »
A problem i have with ToP GBA is how in the american version removed literally various thing like the vocal intro and the sound mode from the japanese version

KingMike

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2019, 07:25:36 pm »
I would suspect the removed intro was because of the vocals and that Nintendo probably felt that Japanese lyrics in a localization of a game that is not thematically Japanese was not appropriate.
I can understand that decision. It was that or dub the song, and I think removing it is a preferable option to that. :P

I know they also removed the naming option, though I wonder if it was the same as the "Chester" problem DeJap had. (no problem naming him correctly with the default names. But renaming him was an issue. ... but if 7 characters can fit in the default name, how much of an issue is to extended re-entered names to 7?)
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ShadowOne333

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 08:35:42 pm »
I'd say it's a wasted effort given how poor of a port it is altogether.

If at all, I'd recommend an audio restoration of Mother 1+2, since that one is getting a lot of love lately with the VWF hack, and I'm planning a colour restoration of it.

The Super Mario Advance series are also good contenders for an audio restoration, and maybe as an stretch the DKC trilogy on GBA, well only 1 & 2 since DKC3 had a whole new OST for GBA.

Granville

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 09:05:21 pm »
Hey again Bregalad!

I've said this before, I doubt anyone could hack Tales of Phantasia GBA back into a competent state. The colors and the music (as you and others have demonstrated with other games) are not the biggest problems. There are tons of missing visual effects both in and out of battle. An out of battle example being reflections of sprites in mirrors and water surfaces. There are also tons of magic and summon effects that are horribly butchered as well.

Slow battles as well. I don't know how much of this is the fault of intentional programming versus the system struggling to run the game due to poor optimization. But it is a real mess and makes the game very unenjoyable to play.

However, with all that said I'll admit i'd be curious. But only if you really wanted to do it for your own curiosity, and if you didn't have another GBA game restoration in mind. I don't think ToP GBA will ever be in a state where i'd want to actually *play* it. There's just too much wrong with it that I doubt would or could ever be fixed. But it would be cool to know how close the music could have gotten to the SNES version with more competent developers. Tales of Phantasia on SNES has one of the most technically impressive soundtrack on the system IMO (and one of the best in general). And also happens to be one of the most offensively botched jobs on the GBA, a complete disgrace. So it would be fascinating to see how good it could have been had the proper effort gone into it. But again, there are still a lot of other GBA ports out there that are much more salvageable than Phantasia.

Masaru

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 09:06:54 pm »
I'd say it's a wasted effort given how poor of a port it is altogether.

If at all, I'd recommend an audio restoration of Mother 1+2, since that one is getting a lot of love lately with the VWF hack, and I'm planning a colour restoration of it.

The Super Mario Advance series are also good contenders for an audio restoration, and maybe as an stretch the DKC trilogy on GBA, well only 1 & 2 since DKC3 had a whole new OST for GBA.
And what about the first 2 Goemon SNES games ported to GBA?

Granville

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 09:22:41 pm »
I'd say it's a wasted effort given how poor of a port it is altogether.

If at all, I'd recommend an audio restoration of Mother 1+2, since that one is getting a lot of love lately with the VWF hack, and I'm planning a colour restoration of it.

The Super Mario Advance series are also good contenders for an audio restoration, and maybe as an stretch the DKC trilogy on GBA, well only 1 & 2 since DKC3 had a whole new OST for GBA.
The DKC trilogy are similarly botched beyond fixing in comparison to ToP IMO. There's tons of missing visual effects (for instance the first couple of jungle levels no longer have day-night shifts or lightning effects for the storm), and most of the tilesets and sprites are resized to 25% smaller than the originals.

I also think I recall someone mentioning the DKC trilogy doesn't use Sappy. I'm actually not sure if the Mario Advance games use Sappy either, would be cool restoration contenders if they do of course. There are some other Capcom Disney ports that are otherwise decent as well (Magical Quest trilogy and Aladdin).

Mother 2 also sounds like a good idea and does use Sappy. I haven't played much of it, but on the surface it seems like a pretty decent port other than the palette and sound issues. The translation seems to be making a lot of progress recently too (I think Jeffman just got the troublesome Mr Saturn font working).

Incidentally, I wonder if the GBA port of Doom could be hacked to sound like the SNES music. It's a shockingly solid port other than the sound, it runs immensely better than the SNES version and has proper floor and ceiling textures. I think the SNES version has some extra levels cut from GBA though...

ShadowOne333

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 11:27:48 pm »
The DKC trilogy are similarly botched beyond fixing in comparison to ToP IMO. There's tons of missing visual effects (for instance the first couple of jungle levels no longer have day-night shifts or lightning effects for the storm), and most of the tilesets and sprites are resized to 25% smaller than the originals.

I also think I recall someone mentioning the DKC trilogy doesn't use Sappy. I'm actually not sure if the Mario Advance games use Sappy either, would be cool restoration contenders if they do of course. There are some other Capcom Disney ports that are otherwise decent as well (Magical Quest trilogy and Aladdin).

Mother 2 also sounds like a good idea and does use Sappy. I haven't played much of it, but on the surface it seems like a pretty decent port other than the palette and sound issues. The translation seems to be making a lot of progress recently too (I think Jeffman just got the troublesome Mr Saturn font working).

Incidentally, I wonder if the GBA port of Doom could be hacked to sound like the SNES music. It's a shockingly solid port other than the sound, it runs immensely better than the SNES version and has proper floor and ceiling textures. I think the SNES version has some extra levels cut from GBA though...
Yeah that's why I mentin the DKC games as a stretch.
Mother 1+2 for sure I'd love to see its music restored, it's a very good port with almost no gameplay flaw other than the music.
The Super Mario Advance games are really good options too, if they get a sound restoration, combined with the colour ones, they might even surpass the originals by far.

And now that you brought up Doom, it made me think...
Would a hack of Wolfenstein 3D for the GBA possible where the actual unused tracks are coded back into the game?
As it is, that game has NO music playing at all, only SFX, but all of the song/music data is still in the ROM. I'd love to see that one happen, as that port is the most faithful to the original DOS game out of all the console ports of Wolfenstein 3D.

mushguy

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2019, 12:40:15 am »
Yeah that's why I mentin the DKC games as a stretch.
Mother 1+2 for sure I'd love to see its music restored, it's a very good port with almost no gameplay flaw other than the music.
The Super Mario Advance games are really good options too, if they get a sound restoration, combined with the colour ones, they might even surpass the originals by far.

And now that you brought up Doom, it made me think...
Would a hack of Wolfenstein 3D for the GBA possible where the actual unused tracks are coded back into the game?
As it is, that game has NO music playing at all, only SFX, but all of the song/music data is still in the ROM. I'd love to see that one happen, as that port is the most faithful to the original DOS game out of all the console ports of Wolfenstein 3D.
Yeah, about Donkey Kong Country, while restoring the visual effects is not possible, color restoration was however achieved as seen in this patch. And I really hope for sound restoration for the Super Mario Advance games to happen someday, especially for Super Mario World, which suffered the worst.

mikeprado30

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2019, 12:47:57 am »
I would love a music restore patch for this game SO MUCH!  This one REALLY needs it  :)

Bregalad

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2019, 06:12:42 am »
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Tales of Phantasia on SNES has one of the most technically impressive soundtrack on the system IMO (and one of the best in general). And also happens to be one of the most offensively botched jobs on the GBA, a complete disgrace.
Exactly my feelings ! Even the PSX port is already a letdown from the SNES version sound-wise. Maybe that version would need to be sound-restored instead ?

If at all, I'd recommend an audio restoration of Mother 1+2, since that one is getting a lot of love lately with the VWF hack, and I'm planning a colour restoration of it.
Actually this is planned, by the group which is doing the translation. They will handle the work, not me though, since I know squat about the game :)

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But only if you really wanted to do it for your own curiosity, and if you didn't have another GBA game restoration in mind.
Actually there's not much other sound restorations I could do. Maybe Mega Man & Bass, but to be honest I like the GBA music and I can't say they butchered it. On the other hand, they used the GB sound cleverly, and it fits the soundtrack well. Should have been an example for other SNES->GBA conversions... I was also thinking about porting the music from Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team (DS) to the regular Mega Man Battle Network 5 GBA, but I don't think this would be any useful other than a feasibility tech-demo (and I am already convincted this is feasible).

DKC does't use sappy so in order to do a restoration major work would be involved in craking the sound engine it uses, and make tools that convert the SNES songs for it. Not impossible, but that's another scale of work than just applying current findings to games using the sappy engine.

Quote
Slow battles as well. I don't know how much of this is the fault of intentional programming versus the system struggling to run the game due to poor optimization.
It's hard to tell but if the sound mixing is in cause, it's easy to shut sound mixing off entierely and see if the game stops slowing down or not. We can also observe in NO$GBA emulator the CPU usage gauge, and when the game's lagging we see the gauge flickering between 100% usage and a small usage (because each "frame" takes 2 frames to actally complete). If CPU usage is below 100% we know it's intentional prgramming.

EDIT: Just checked it, the CPU usage is always 100% during battle... very strange.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 06:28:40 am by Bregalad »

vivify93

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2019, 11:57:18 am »
I feel like part of what might be wrong with ToP GBA is that the frames of animation in battle are "held" for too long. Like, the delay between switching frames needs to be lessened.
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Granville

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2019, 02:27:32 pm »
I didn't know the Mother 2 translation team had a sound restoration of their own planned, that's really awesome and good to know!

I also never figured the PS1 ToP had worse music than the SNES version. I'll have to listen to some of the tracks later on and compare them.

I took another look at the GBA port. A good amount of the slowdown is definitely performance related lag, not intentional. If it was programmed in intentionally, there would be more consistency to the slow speed, but the speed fluctuates wildly and constantly. It already runs slowly even when there are only a couple of characters onscreen. But the slowdown gets worse when more crap is onscreen. For example, even just hitting the enemy with Cless/Cress using his sword lags the game. Slashing an enemy with his sword causes an animated slash sprite, just that one extra sprite animation causes a lot of slowdown. Late game sword arts that hit multiple times and mixed with transparency effects are even worse. Not to mention the damage counter text probably even contributes...

The entire game is a mess, feels like it was poorly cobbled together with pieces from the SNES and PS1 versions and is being held together with chewing gum. Holding on by a hope and a prayer. I can't imagine myself playing it when the far superior PS1 or even SNES versions are available. And we have a nice variety of very portable devices to run the good versions nowadays. Heck, even back in 2006 when the GBA port first released in the US, the PS1 version got a much better fan translation the following year. And even back then you could load it on a PSP if you wanted a good portable version.

So I won't lie, the sound being fixed isn't going to make me want to play the GBA version. Can't speak for others of course. Though as always, it would obviously be fun to see you make a fool out of the "professionals" again. Just the novelty of hearing the SNES soundtrack coming out of a GBA (even if I didn't play the game itself) is cool.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 02:32:35 pm by Granville »

FCandChill

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Re: Is there demand for Tales of Phantasia GBA sound restoration ?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2019, 04:10:18 pm »
I would love a music restore patch for this game SO MUCH!  This one REALLY needs it  :)

Same here. I don't think the GBA is a bad game... It's just the weakest currently playable version of the game. It's inferior the PSX and SNES version in every aspect. I beat the GBA version in fact. The battle system is very loose and slippery compared to the SNES version. It was the version I played because I could play it on the go.

4. the translation is bad

The translation never struck me as awful, except for the Kangroo issue. The localization is plain awful: the porno mag current events magazine with a swimsuit model and the prostitute a guy  with a shady deal in women's clothes in Midgar are prime examples. Also the voice acting is pretty bad.