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Chrono Trigger MSU-1

Hack of Chrono Trigger

Description:

This patch adds support for CD quality audio to Chrono Trigger using MSU-1 chip invented by byuu. So far, it is only supported and tested on BSNES, higan and the SD2SNES flashcart.

If the MSU-1 is not detected, the patch plays the original music, thus the patch works on all emulators (but it is less fun to listen to). Some alteration might happen when running on a emulator or flash cart that doesn’t support MSU-1.

Everything to build the audio pack is included in the patch but you have the buy Blake Robinson’s Chrono Symphony in FLAC format first, see README for more details.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Bank: HiROM
  • Country: USA
  • Interleaved: NO
  • Internal ROM Checksum: 0x788C
  • Game Revision: 1.0
  • ROM Size: 32 Megabytes
  • ROM Speed: 120ns (FastROM)
  • SRAM: YES, Internal, 64 Kilobytes
  • ---------------
  • Checksums
  • ---------------
  • Chrono Trigger (U) [!].sfc
  • Verified Good Dump
  • CRC32: 2D206BF7
  • MD5: A2BC447961E52FD2227BAED164F729DC
  • RIPEMD-160: C1DC528AA21D9E3F00E7571A98AF0BB4B6598564
  • SHA-1: DE5822F4F2F7A55ACB8926D4C0EAA63D5D989312
  • SHA-256: 06D1C2B06B716052C5596AAA0C2E5632A027FEE1A9A28439E509F813C30829A9

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
DarkShockHackingASM hacking & coding, music editing
Blake RobinsonMusicMusic reorchestration

User Review Information

Once again, new music is billed as an improvement when it obviously isn't

Reviewed By: BlazeHeatnix on 01 Feb 2020

I think other reviewers have already noted the issues with MSU-1 implementation: chiptune music will often clash with CD tunes, and the compression and normalization of tracks means they will sound far worse than intended. But that’s not what my reviewer is about. Instead, I’m going to review the soundtrack this hack supports, which is Blake Robinson’s Chrono Symphony.

You have to understand something about Blake and projects like ZREO, and that is that the point of these albums is to ask the question “What would the soundtrack sound like if it were performed in concert by a live studio orchestra?” It was not intended to replace, remaster, or recreate the original work with modern instruments. It was not intended to be something used in any version of the game. It’s an album meant to be listened to on its own, on its own merits, completely separate from the original work. And the reason for that is it’s all one genre: a sweeping, orchestral sound.

If you have ever played Chrono Trigger, you will know that while the game does use a lot of orchestral-style music, it’s not afraid to use other genres like D&B (Battle 1), rock (Bike Chase, Tyrano Lair), techno (Undersea Palace, Last Battle), contemporary pop (Robo’s Theme), jazz (Johnny’s Theme), or even alternative classical styles like pizzicato (Wind Scene) to serve the game’s atmosphere. All of those tracks I mentioned, if you use this hack, are going to be changed into an orchestral style, and it doesn’t work. Every track starts to blend together, and have the same bland, “cinematic” sound to it. The Undersea Palace theme and Tyrano Lair themes, in particular, are ruined and don’t carry any of the weight or tension they once had. The notion that this is what the game would sound like if it was remade today is absurd.

But even the actual orchestral themes are done differently than what the original composers intended, and end up sounding weak most of the time. Lavos’s Theme has an organ that’s reverberated to where it’s ear-grating. Wind Scene no longer plucks a violin, giving it the iconic sound it’s always had: now it’s done on piano, sounding way too much like Memories of Green and sounding really sad for some reason, like it was meant to be played in a scene where someone dies. It just doesn’t fit. But the worst offender might be Corridors of Time, with its intro missing the original stereo rhythm, missing choir, and overly-reverberated sitar. Not only does it pale in comparison to the original, but the unique Indian feel of the original is almost completely gone.

Also, as I said before, these tracks were not meant for gameplay. They now have a beginning, middle, and end for independent listening, rather than a rhythm that kicks in and loops for eternity and is timed to the pacing of the gameplay. What this means is tracks are either too slow or take too long to get past an intro to get the melody going. And since they were not designed to loop, they loop very awkwardly, or not at all, going to the end of the cut and then restarting again. It’s very jarring.

So, don’t bother with this hack, and don’t be fooled into thinking this is an amazing replacement of the original soundtrack that respects the original, because it isn’t. It’s a remix album. Nothing more.

Version 1.1 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Once again, new music is billed as an improvement when it obviously isn'tBlazeHeatnix01 Feb 20201.1No
24 bucks for better music...Thirteen 135518 Feb 20161.1No
Disruptive Dissonanceobscurumlux0109 Oct 20151.0No
Great twist to an old ClassicCael07 Oct 20151.0Yes
Chrono Trigger with glorious musicFluxrez26 Sep 20151.0Yes
The MSU-1 Hack That Got It Right.Chronosplit26 Sep 20151.0Yes