Download Final Fantasy IV - Sound Restoration hack ROM Hack

Final Fantasy IV - Sound Restoration hack Game
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Parameter Info
Console: GBA
Original Game: Final Fantasy IV Advance
Type: Improvement
Genre: Role Playing
Modifications: S
Creator: Bregalad
Date Created: 04/04/2015
Last Modified: 11/07/2015
Parameter Info
Filename: ff4a_sound_restore_v13.7z
Downloads: 1
Requirements: No Special Requirements
Version: 1.3
Rating:

Final Fantasy IV - Sound Restoration hack Description

Don’t think this is gonna be a 100% Gold Remake, it’ll have its differences. Extra battles (some’ll be optionals, tough but rewarding), Hoenn Pokemon (in every area, and hard to find) New areas, Remapped some dungeons (so your old guides wont work) , Extra recurring characters (some’ll hate you, some’ll help you)

Note that the hack is incomplete but feel free to enjoy the hack as-is.

Final Fantasy IV - Sound Restoration hack Read Me

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* Final Fantasy IV advance : Sound Restoration Hack  *
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** By Bregalad **
April 4th, 2015
Version 1.3

1) Introduction

Final Fantasy IV has been remade literally a million times. Then why care about the Game Boy Advance remake ?
Well first of all it is rather truthful to the SNES original, as opposed to the US SNES version which has been heavily modified, or the DS remake which basically completely changed everything.  Second, it made some significant improvements on the graphics (they are in fact from the Wonder Swan Color remake, but in all honestly, who outside of Japan has a Wonder Swan Color ?). Third, it's probably the "easiest" version of FF4 ever released, and some people do not like level grinding, and would like to avoid resorting to cheat codes.

When it comes to sound, while it's not as bad as Final Fantasy V and VI Advance, and definitely not as terrible as FF4 DS, Final Fantasy IV Advance still has mediocre music compared to the SNES original.

After restoring the music of Final Fantasy V and VI Advance, I finally didn't resist the urge to do the same treatment to good old Final Fantasy IV, even though I said earlier I wouldn't. Just restoring the music by hear as I did in FF5 and FF6 wasn't an interesting challenge anymore, therefore I decided I would make the FF4 hack better. I decided I would completely remove anything related to sound from the original game and re-do everything by scratch (instead of preserving sound effects like I did with FF5 and FF6).

I made a script that was able to rip all music and sound effects from FF4 directly from the SNES ROM, and after some modifications I had to do by hand, I was able to re-insert the sequences "as-it" in the GBA version. This time, the music and sound effect porting has not been made by hear, but is 100% accurate to the original.
This didn't mean this was easy to do though - the GBA driver only updates at only 60Hz while the SNES sound driver updates at 222Hz - in other words the GBA allows for much less precision in rapid pitch changes, and because of this some sound effects were tricky to port to the GBA, and doesn't sound exactly like their SNES counterparts. I still tried to make them sound close enough.

NOTE : This hack was meant to be played on real hardware. It will work in emulators, but the GBA sound tends to be very poorly emulated.

2) Changes that make this hack.

- All 55 musical tunes were "imported" directly from the SNES ROM
- All 131 sound effects were "imported" directly from the SNES ROM
- A fully orchestrated music, preformed by Tokyo's philharmonic orchestra plays during the first part of the ending
- Sound effects in the intro specific to the GBA version were changed to silence
- The sound engine was configured to use less CPU time
- There is another surprise

3) Known bugs

Sometimes the game plays the wrong sound effects. For example when the village of Mist is destroyed at the beginning of the game, the SNES version plays sound effect 0x5E, but this version plays 0x5F instead.

These are errors in the programing of the original game, and since I only have the knowledge to change the sound effect themselves - not what sound effect is used when - I can't fix this.

4) FAQ

Q: I've never played the SNES version of FF4, or even any SNES game, should I use this hack ?
A: Yes. Most of the instruments of FF4 advance sounds bad anyway. Even if SNES instruments doesn't sounds incredibly good by modern standards, they definitely sound better. Even if you never played the original SNES game and want to play FF4 advance, I strongly recommend you apply this patch on your ROM. However, to fully hear all sounds, you must use headphones that are able to reproduce bass sounds that the small GBA/SP/DS speakers can't.
Original GBA's and DS have a headphone jack, but for the SP you'll have to use a stupid adapter (stupid because mine broke).

Q: Does this hack affect anything else than the sound in any way ?
A: Not really. Like FF5, the original game was lagging, and I reduced CPU usage for sound, but the game still lags in a lot in battle when you have 5 characters in your party. Programmers in charge of porting this game definitely sucked hard at making efficient code. Hopefully the change removed one lag or two though.

Q: Will you make a hack that restores the font/dialogue boxes/translation/etc.. of the SNES game ?
A: No I won't and I'm unable to. If you want that you should as well play the SNES original.

Q: Will you make a hack that restores the music of any other game in the Final Fantasy Advance series ?
A: I made hacks for Final Fantasy V and VI too. They don't restore the sound effects though, and I currently have no plan to make hacks that does.

Q: Will you make a hack that restores the music of any other SNES game ported to the GBA ?
A: Most likely not, I've already made 3 of them and I'll probably want to move to something else.

Q: I want to improve this hack/make my own hack for another GBA game. How do you do it ?
A: Before contacting me read my GBA sappy sound engine document, available on http://www.romhacking.net

Q: Will you send me a ROM ?
A: No, it's a IPS patch for legal reasons. You should be big enough to find a way to get a ROM by yourself.

Q: I can't apply your IPS patch to my ROM / It crashes when loading.
Q: On which ROM should the patch apply ?
A: 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.

Q : Will you do a similar patch for FF4 DS ?
A : Good question. It's a matter of opinion, but personally I absolutely can't stand FF4DS. If the music port in the GBA version was cheap, the DS version is an insult to the original game and to Nobuo Uematsu. At least the GBA version got the music correctly - it just sounded cheap. The DS version got wrong notes all the time in the harmonisation, baselines and melodies, and it makes it sound just horrible (and I only tried the game up until Kaipo - I gave up past this point because my ears were bleeding and because it was even much harder than the SNES hard type, level grinding is not my cup of tea).
The game would most certainly need such a patch - but I feel it's so horrible it doesn't even deserve this anyways. That and I'm not experienced with sound engine on the DS platform, buy I suspect it's similar to GBA's. In the first place what is in Square Enix' mind to release two ports of the same game at only 2 years of intervals between their releases ? They really have money to waste ! They could make brand new games instead - oh no I forgot that Square was basically dead and will never make good games ever again. Instead they order TOSE to remake FF4 for the 324th time and every time it comes out worse.

5) Versions

1.3 (April 4th 2015) :
Fixed a bug from the previous version, now the marimba sounds correct, as well as the drums in one particular music.

1.2 (March 29th 2015) :
Significant update. The ROM now uses the ipatix high quality mixing engine that was originaly used in my FF5 hack, the sound quality has now less noise and the reverb is identical to the SNES original.

1.1b (November 25th 2012) :
I messed up the patching in v1.1a. This time the Tornado spell SFX is fixed for real.

1.1a (November 24th 2012) :
Fixed a bug introduced in version 1.1 which would make the music stop when you call the "Tornado" spell. -- Ah I fixed a bug somewhere (when the giant of babel appers) so that the earthquake sound stops -- only to introduce another major bug. Oh well, this sound engine sucks.

1.1 (November 22nd 2012) :
Fixed a few sound effects which would play wrongly : The "enemy physical attacks you" sound effect, the earthquake sound effect and the Babil's giant walking sound effect
Fixed timing for the ending songs which was wrong in the original release.
The streamed ending is of slightly better quality now since I re-made it from a FLAC instead of an MP3. (The downgrade of the GBA quality is still way supperior that the downgrade of MP3 compression, but at least this avoids double-downgrades of quality).

1.0 (July 6th 2012) :
First version to become public

6) Special thanks :

- Square for making the Final Fantasy series

- Nobuo Uematsu for composing the music of this game

- Whoever at Square Enix who decided to implement the cool music player available once you beat the game (this hack wouldn't have been possible without it)

- Authors of Audacity

- Tokyo's orchestra for the streamed intro

- ipatix for supporting me in reverse engineering the sappy engine and for providing a better mixing engine than Nintendo's

7) Special non-thanks :
- TOSE for sucking at making ports of Final Fantasy games

- Square Enix for releasing dozens of cheap remakes instead of releasing brand new games like back when they were Squaresoft.