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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available  (Read 12027 times)

RHDNBot

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Update By: Bregalad

After FF6 and FF5, it's now the turn of FF4 Advance to see its sound restored to something close to the SNES original.

This time not only the music, but also the sound effects, were restored.

Continuing the tradition, an orchestrated song made it into the hack using all the space freed by the sound restoration. This time it's a part of the ending which got orchestrated.

RHDN Project Page

Relevant Link: (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23465629/GBA_junk/screenshot.PNG)

spirasen

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 10:30:08 pm »
Relevant link sends you to a picture

Kronus_Arm

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 09:33:27 am »
The readme doesn't clearly state what version of the ROM should this patch be applied.

Garoth Moulinoski

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 09:44:36 am »
For reference

Quote
You should use an European version of Final Fantasy IV advance only. The reason for this is that you can play it in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, so more people are targeted by the hack. Also they fixed quite a few bugs that were present in the American version. Unfortunately, saves are not compatible with the American version, because apparently they changed too many things.

Unless there's version numbers?
Who will quote me next?
Disclaimer: If it sounds wrong, I may have been posting while asleep.

Kronus_Arm

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 10:02:46 am »
For reference

Unless there's version numbers?

Aye, didn't read that part carefully, silly me, thanks anyways  ;D

Tomato

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 11:35:13 am »
How hard is it to do something like this? I get asked all the time if it's possible to restore the music in the Mother 2 portion of Mother 1+2 but I don't have even the slightest idea how.

Bregalad

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 12:14:20 pm »
It's hard to answer to "how hard" exactly. Now that I perfectly understood both the music engine of the SNES game and of the GBA game, it was really not hard to do. But back when I started having the idea but had no clue how the GBA engine worked, it sure wasn't easy to figure everything out.

I don't know if Mother 1+2 uses the sappy engine, if this is the case then it's probably not too hard to "restore" its sound as well. I made a doccument explaining the engine but it's not very clear and is a bit messy, I'd have to upgrade it a little.

Granville

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2012, 06:04:40 am »
Exquisite work as usual Bregalad! You're amazing for doing this and i'm in 16bit heaven right now!  :beer:

Your GBA music ripper program does indeed extract the music midi's from Mother 1+2 with soundfont so I'm assuming that means it does indeed use Sappy and could be restored if someone wished. That is how you can tell whether a game does use that engine right? If your program rips music from a GBA rom it uses Sappy, if it doesn't it's not using it. I tested several popular GBA games (mostly ports) with your music ripper just to get an idea of how many use the Sappy engine. While it's a shame so many SNES-to-GBA ports ended up sounding terrible in the porting process, I guess it's almost a blessing so many of them DID share the same sound engine. With your programs and documentation, seems like its made it perfectly possible for people to make their own sound restorations. Haven't seen any other attempts at GBA sound hacks besides yours yet sadly, but I hope we see more of these hacks in the future.

Actually ran into several popular GBA games that apparently do NOT use the Sappy engine though in my various tests. At least ones that your music ripper can't seem to find the engine in. Your program can't find Sappy or extract any midi's from Mario Advance 2, 3, or 4 (Mario World, Yoshi's Island, and Mario 3). The only Mario Advance game that it was able to extract music from was the original Mario Advance (Mario Bros 2). Shame because they could all use better quality music, especially Yoshi's Island. Though Mario 3's sound isn't really that bad compared to many other SNES ports i've seen.

Rayman Advance doesn't seem to use Sappy either. I realize Rayman was originally a CD-based game that used more orchestral music but the sound quality is so bad on the GBA that it would at least have been interesting to hear its music in somewhat better quality sound (with SNES-like instrumentation). Oh well.

None of the Donkey Kong Country games appear to use the engine either. The music in all three games is a real tragedy but to be honest I don't think anyone would bother with them anyways. There's a lot more wrong with the GBA versions than just the sound quality. Like how almost all the sprites and backgrounds are reduced to only 75% of their original size, the colors being all washed out, and many removed visual effects like day-night transitions and other lighting effects. Can't believe Rareware themselves were responsible for these ports (i'd only loosely call them ports, more like bitter retoolings)...

Tales of Phantasia seems to use Sappy though. Though similar to the DKC ports, there's a lot more wrong with this version than just the sound quality so that most hackers probably wouldn't think it worth their time. Laggy battle engine, removed or dumbed down visual effects such as reflections/shadows/lighting, etc. Pretty bleh all around. Not to mention the horrid English translation.

Both Breath of Fire ports use Sappy though, so sound restorations might be possible for those. As of this time though there's a really great retranslation patch for Breath of Fire 2 on SNES, so i'm not sure whether anyone would even want to bother with it. Besides the sound quality though both are pretty darn good ports of the SNES originals (there are brightness patches for both too, though I lost and cannot find the one for BOF1). The Magical Quest Mickey Mouse trilogy also appears to use Sappy. They're pretty good ports outside of their sound quality (2 and 3 even include color brightness settings which make them appear close to if not as good as the SNES originals on backlit devices, something I wish all GBA ports had gotten instead of completely messing up the colors on an internal level). The sound quality even improved drastically with each game. Magical Quest 1 though has some really low quality music.

By the way, am I also to assume it would be possible to clean up the sound quality in original non-ported GBA games? The sound quality problem in GBA games is definitely not exclusive to SNES ports, a lot of good original GBA games are lacking in the music quality department. For example, the Megaman Battle Network series and Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance all seem to use Sappy according to your ripping program. They're also all lacking in the music quality department IMHO. Would it be possible for someone (using your documentation and tools) to improve the music quality in them by swapping out superior sounding instruments, making them sound closer to something on the SNES even without actually being ports of SNES games?

Otherwise great tunes like these could sound a lot better-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLrb__UnlcA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5tSgqPLbpU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ENmrNA6ifc

What if they sounded closer in quality to these? (granted I know there are limits, but I feel improvements could be made)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-A1NWI5Y1U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouwGpIW9Twk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zsV113dfnI

Bregalad

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2012, 06:22:02 am »
If GBAMusRipper can rip the music from a game it definitely means it uses the sappy engine, but the reverse it not true. I just look for a particular sequence of opcodes, but it's possible that some variations of the engine doesn't use this particular sequence of opcodes.

I can't really say about the other games, but I agree I didn't like the GBA version of Tales of Phantasia at all. The sound was all "simplified", and so was the battle system.

Breath of Fire games were actually ported properly (they use the exact same instruments as the SNES originals), but many, many instruments were just changed to Game Boy instruments for no reason, and unfotunately in many cases it didn't sound very well. Since they are so close to the SNES original it's probably not worth making a patch anyways, 'cause people will just play the SNES versions, especially for BOF2 which has this amazing retranslation patch.

I think the GameBoy-ish sound in Castlevania HOD and MMBN series was perfectly intentional from the developers.

Granville

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2012, 07:25:02 am »
I see, so even if GBAMusRipper doesn't detect the sappy engine, the game still might happen to use it? Interesting. Guess there's hope for the Mario Advance games then. If the first Mario Advance uses sappy it seems plausible the others would as well. Mario World already has an excellent color restoration by Asaki so maybe someone will make a sound restoration will be made someday. Yoshi's Island still hasn't gotten a color hack yet though, though i've seen two potential attempts at it (one by Asaki and another by someone at a Sonic hacking site). Yoshi's Island has a few graphical cuts that kind of bug me though (particularly the magic curtain effect when Kamek transforms bosses as well as the "touch fuzzy get dizzy" effect). But besides those and the sound/color needing restoration, it doesn't seem like such a bad port. Probably my most hated musical butchering in any of those games is the Starman theme in Yoshi's Island, bleck-
SNES-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DakO9dXScC8
GBA-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta7Lzlp0JeU

Yeah I'd say unless the GBA versions of the two Breath of Fire games were to get something akin to the SNES BoF2 Retranslation, the SNES versions are going to be everyone's choices. Though I had heard that the same guys who did the BoF2 retranslation were planning a retrans of the first game, they said they were thinking about using the GBA version instead since they were having trouble with the SNES version or something. Admittedly I enjoy the interface for BoF1 a lot more on GBA than the SNES. Menu's were less annoying to navigate.

I kind of get that it was somewhat intentional to have GB-quality sound for MMBN. I think it sounds pretty cool for the most part in that regard. Not sure I agree with that on Harmony of Dissonance though after hearing what some of its tunes sound like with higher quality instrumentation. I will say though that while I really like Megaman Battle Network 5's GBA music, the DS port's music is actually pretty awesome as well. Hard for me to choose between the two, which one I like better changes depending on what mood i'm in at the time lol! Sometimes 8bit really does sound awesome!

MMBN5 GBA-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVccKxcoFpE
MMBN5 DS-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R83U7hPCsh0

Bregalad

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 01:26:33 pm »
The DS remixed MMBN5 music sounds very cool indeed ! I didn't know about it. I'll have to look forward for downloading a mini2sf collection :)

TimeSpaceMage

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Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy IV Advance - Sound Restoration now available
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 12:23:51 am »
Now the orchestrated part is in the ending, huh? It might take me a little longer to make a demo vid for Youtube this time... *sweat*
Great to see this though! I'll have to play through it sometime.

Oh, and hi Tomato! I've loved M3 so far and can't wait to get through the whole game with that amazing dialogue.
Tinker: "You're going to go where no one has gone before!"
Hero: "We've actually been there before."
Tinker: "Oh. Well, you've never been shot out of a turret, with only a minimal chance of survival!"
Hero: "That's true."