Download Final Fantasy VI - Sound Restoration hack and few framerate drop ROM Hack

Final Fantasy VI - Sound Restoration hack and few framerate drop Game
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Parameter Info
Console: GBA
Original Game: Final Fantasy VI Advance
Type: Improvement
Genre: Role Playing
Modifications: S
Creator: Bregalad
Date Created: 04/10/2016
Last Modified: 04/10/2016
Parameter Info
Filename: ff6a_sound_restore_v2_1.7z
Downloads: 4
Requirements: No Special Requirements
Version: 2.1
Rating:

Final Fantasy VI - Sound Restoration hack and few framerate drop 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 VI - Sound Restoration hack and few framerate drop Read Me

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* Final Fantasy VI) advance : Sound Restoration Hack  *
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** By Bregalad **
April 10th 2016
Version 2.1

1) Introduction

While Final Fantasy VI advance is a pretty decent port of the SNES game Final Fantasy VI, it's pretty much agruable that the sound port was bad. I find it's really not acceptable to ruin this soundtrack like that.

Since version 2.0 of this hack, everything has been done again from scratch. All songs and sound effects were converted directly from the SNES sound data into something the GBA understand, instead of songs being reproduced by hear or taken from various sources like in previous version. In other words, the music is 1:1 to the SNES original. Thus not only the sound effects are restored as well, but the music sound better and more accurate to the SNES original.

A new sound mixer is used, which is faster and less noisy. This greatly reduces framerate lagging in the game.

Because this freed up so much ROM space (due to the music being sequenced in a efficicent way) that there was a lot of free ROM space created. Added with a lot of ROM space which was already unused, it allowed me to insert some streamed songs. So that way I was able to remplace original opera songs with the ones that were played by Tokio's orchestra. All the solo parts are sung by real opera singers (instead of the poor synthetic SNES/GBA voices)

2) Changes that make this hack.

This hack changes the following things :
- All non-opera songs of the game sounds identical to their SNES counterparts
- All sound effects sounds idential or close to their SNES counterparts
- The major part of the opera is played by a real orchestra. All the voices part are sung by real singers.
- A surprise awaits for you in the "music player" you get if you beat the game

3) Known Bugs (those won't be fixed)

There is many known bugs, but unfortunately those were introduced in TOSE, aren't directly part of the sound engine, and won't be fixed. Please don't request for them to be fixed.

- Sometimes the music has a short gap when it should fade in and/or does not stop to play when it should fade out. Those bugs are already present in the GBA original.
- A section of the intro and ending song do not repeat when they repeat in the original. This is to compensate the fact the game plays faster in "mode-7" sections thanks to the faster sound mixer.
- The sound is not synchronizeed properly with some version of Visual Boy Advance. IT IS HOWEVER SYNCHONIZED PROPERLY WITH THE REAL GAME BOY ADVANCE HARDWARE, THUS THIS IS A BUG IN VBA AND NOT IN MY HACK IF YOU WANT THIS TO BE FIXED THEN COMPLAIN TO THE VBA GUYS.
- Celes can be hidden behind a pillar during the "duel" section of the opera. This bug is already there in the GBA original, and has nothing to do with the music or sound engine.
- If the language is set to German, the "Opening 1" phase of the opera has the sound in advance to the visuals. This bug is already there in the GBA original, and I cannot do anything about that.
- The "punch" sound effect is used for most attacks with knives and swords, instead of proper knives and swords sound effects. This bug is already there in the GBA original, and I cannot do anything about it, without also affecting the "punch" sound effect used with punches.

4) Notices

- It is recommanded to play this hack on real hardware. To play FF6 emulated, it is recommanded use the original SNES version which is largely supperior
- To play this hack under Visual Boy Advance, it is strongly recommanded to use a geniune BIOS file rather than the default settings
- This hack applies to the european version ONLY. The reason for this is that the game is available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, so more people are targetted by the hack. I did it on a file I dumped myself with my GBA linker, and it should be compatible with ROMs floating arround the undernet. It won't work with a USA or Japanese ROM (but saves seems to be compatible, although don't blame me if they aren't).

5) FAQ

Q: I've never played the SNES version of FF6, or even any SNES game, should I use this hack ?
A: Yes. Most of the instruments of FF6 advance sounds horrible anyway. Even if SNES instruments doesn't sounds incredibly good by modern standards, they definitely sound better. So even if you never played the original SNES game and want to play FF6 advance, I strongly recommand 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 supid adaptator (stupid because mine broke).

Q: Does this hack affect anything else than the music in any way ?
A: Yes, the original game had frame rate drops during many battle animations (Holy, Flare, ....) and when using vehicles on the world map, due to terrible programming. My hack mostly fixes the problem by reducing CPU usage for sound. Unfortunately the problem is not 100% fixed, because the speed up is not enough to suppress the frame droping in all cases, like it was in FF5. One of the reasons for this difference is that FF5 used less IWRAM so the sound mixer could lay entierely in the very fast IWRAM, which is not the case anymore for FF6.

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: As this hack is released, the whole series of FF4/FF5/FF6 advance is finished with 100% restored music and sound effects, with new mixers simulating SNES' echo buffer. I don't think I could do any better :)

Q: Will you make a hack that restores the music of any other SNES game ported to the GBA ?  / I also want to make a GBA music hack. How should I proceed ?
A: Many GBA games use the same sound engine as FF5 and FF6 advance. I doccumented the sound engine in a detailed doccument for people interested in reverse-engineering it. If you want info about the engine, go to www.romhacking.net, and search for "sappy sound engine" info on the GBA.

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. PS : The .IPS file is large because of the streamed songs. The ROM is not expanded by the way (size is 16 Megabytes).

Q: Which IPS file should I use ?
Q: On which ROM should the patch apply ?
A: Since version 2.1, all 3 releases of the game (Europe, Japan and America) are supported. The orchestral opera is optional for the European version, and is not available for neither American nor Japanese version.

Versions
2.1 (april 10th 2016) : Fixes bugs with sound effect in version 2.0/2.01. The american and japanese ROMs are supported. This version is also a tiny bit faster than even version 2.01

2.01 (march 8th 2016) : Basically the same as version 2.0, but faster, as the IRQ routine has been changed to be faster. Unfortunately some themes like the intro and ending themes had to be replayed faster so that it remains in sync with the video, but the framerate drops in battles are greatly reduced with this adjustement.

2.0 (march 6th 2016) : Re-did the hack from scratch, all music and SFX are 100% coming from SNES data, new faster mixing engine and sounds more faithful to SNES original sound. Opera is the same as in version 1.1.

1.1 (march 14th 2011) : Fixed synchronisation issues in the intro, opera and ending. The opera streams were completely remade. A few small but significant fixes in many songs. This is likely to be the final version of the patch.

1.0 (august 17th 2010) : All music tunes are fixed and sound very close to their SNES counterpart, opera stremed songs are instered in the ROM.

7) Special thanks :

- Squaresoft 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)

- Autors of Audaciy, amazing free audio editing software without which this hack would not have been possible

- Autors of MIDI-editing program Calkewalk Express

- Lovemu for his custom-made akao2midi ripper for FF6 sounds

- Tokio's orchestra, whoever conducted it, and the solists for the opera songs.

- Dwemu, for providing a friendly hacking environment that allows to use assembly programming easily while patching a ROM

- TheZunar123 and Spooniest, for beta-testing version 2.0 of the patch, giving very helpful feedback, and very helpful .sav files as well!

- Last but not least ipatix, for greatly helping by providing a custom mixer for the GBA which is faster than Nintendo's original. Without him this hack would be stuck at version 1.1 which sounds terrible in comparison with version 2.0.