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Gil_Hamilton
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Yuber wrote:That was copy/pasted from some random site while I was searching for the exact conversion, so it's not directly from me. Because of the file sizes of SNES games, 8mbits=1mbyte is generally faster to calculate, but 1byte=8bits is the simplest exact conversion as a whole

Umm... they're exactly the same calculation?


I'm guessing companies started using bits as a marketing strategy to make games seem larger in size than they really were, but that's just a guess on my part.

ROM sizes have ALWAYS been expressed in bits. It has nothing to do with marketing.
...
Except when they were expressed in words. But the size of a word varies with processor, so no one wants to go there.

32 mbits sound much bigger than 4 mbytes to people who don't know what those things are, and as a kid, 32 megabits sounded HUGE to me. When I first read about Tales of Phantasia in EGM or Gamepro(forgot) as a kid, 48 mbits made it sound like a massive game. It was an effective marketing tool.

And it WAS a massive game, in context.

It's kinda like calling LCDs with LED backlights LED TVs, although I know that's a weird comparison.

Except while one is using a standard unit in a standard way, the other is lying to customers.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by odditude »

plus, RAM/ROM chip capacities to this day are listed in Mbits.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

I didn't know that at all; I'm pretty much just a casual fan of emulation. I love using emus to play old games that were either never released here, rare and expensive, or on a system I don't have, namely arcade hardware. There's nothing quite like playing the actual arcade version of a game I loved as a kid, especially if it's emulated accurately. I don't understand why games like the Simpsons and X-Men arcade games were never released on the SNES and Genesis, because although they'd obviously have to cut animation/effects I'm sure it could've been pulled off. Hell, MK2 for the SNES is a pretty awesome arcade port all things considered. Those 2 Konami beat-em-ups gave me a lot of joy back in the early 90s, and it's a shame they were never ported to consoles until the 360 and PS3.

Gil_Hamilton wrote:Umm... they're exactly the same calculation?


I know that. My point is that it's faster(for me) to calculate size using the 8mbits=1mbyte scale(other than simply looking at the file size) with games that are 8+ mbits while 1 byte= 8 bits is faster/easier for me to use when calculating the relative size of 4mbit and smaller games. I'm incredibly out of practice when it comes to math and it's by far my weakest subject. When I was in school, I was never bad at it, but I always disliked math so much that I never achieved a competent level of skill, and being VERY out of practice now makes the situation even worse. Different people, different talents and all that stuff.

Having never researched the issue, I always thought that using bits to advertise ROM sizes(especially during the SNES/Genesis war) was a marketing tool, but I was surprised to find out I was wrong. Maybe it's both? I remember seeing the mbit size listed on some game boxes, and devs and magazines marveled at the size of games like SF2 Turbo, SSF2, FF6, CT etc. I paid $80 for CT back in 95; it was released close to my birthday and I spent most of my bday money on it. I have zero regrets and CT not only still holds up, but imo it surpasses all the more recent games I've played so far. The DS version and the Doctor L retrans makes CT as close to a perfect game as we'll ever get.

Also, TOP was massive at the time, and having that much speech in a SNES game was pretty impressive. By today's standard it's all horribly compressed and distorted, but I bet it amazed people in Japan who didn't have a PSX or Saturn. The spell effects are pretty damn good too. I should play the PSX version with the un-dubbing patch if I decide to replay it. I wish more modern Japanese games had dual audio, because English dubs of Japanese games are usually anywhere from mediocre to shit with a few exceptions. I bet it's very difficult to make the dialogue sound natural because the mouths of the characters are synched to the original Japanese voices. I know basically zero Japanese, but it's so different that I bet translating it is ridiculously hard, especially the expressions.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Yuber wrote:
Gil_Hamilton wrote:Umm... they're exactly the same calculation?


I know that. My point is that it's faster(for me) to calculate size using the 8mbits=1mbyte scale(other than simply looking at the file size) with games that are 8+ mbits while 1 byte= 8 bits is faster/easier for me to use when calculating the relative size of 4mbit and smaller games. I'm incredibly out of practice when it comes to math and it's by far my weakest subject. When I was in school, I was never bad at it, but I always disliked math so much that I never achieved a competent level of skill, and being VERY out of practice now makes the situation even worse. Different people, different talents and all that stuff.

I don't understand how divide by eight is faster than divide by eight, is all I'm saying.

Having never researched the issue, I always thought that using bits to advertise ROM sizes(especially during the SNES/Genesis war) was a marketing tool, but I was surprised to find out I was wrong. Maybe it's both? I remember seeing the mbit size listed on some game boxes, and devs and magazines marveled at the size of games like SF2 Turbo, SSF2, FF6, CT etc.

Size started coming up as the market became more technically aware, and understood a bigger game meant they could do more(though I saw complaints that Super Metroid didn't seem to do anything with it's ROM size, so clearly they didn't understand TOO well).
It was not handled any differently than people bragging about their 3-CD monstrosities later on.

Though it's worth noting that Sega made a big deal about ROM size on the Mark III/Master System, with Mega Cart and 4-Mega Cart and such proudly proclaimed on the packaging.

SNK, of course, always bragged about ROM sizes because they were SNK. They also claimed the NeoGeo was a 24-bit system because 16-bit 68000 plus 8-bit Z80 = 24-bit. And encouraged developers to perhaps be sloppier with their programming than they might otherwise be to inflate ROM sizes.

I should play the PSX version with the un-dubbing patch if I decide to replay it.

Someone dubbed the PS1 Phantasia?
Squall_Leonhart wrote:
You have your 2s, 4s, 8s, 16s, 32s, 64s, and 128s(crash course in binary counting!). But no 1s.
DirectInput represents all bits, not just powers of 2 in an axis.


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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

My mistake; I was thinking of the GBA version. The PSX version was only released in Japan and the patch is a dialogue translation. I probably got them mixed up because the last version I played was the GBA version.(the dub is hilariously terrible) I'm really tired right now too.

Regarding bit/byte conversions, I only recently learned the exact conversion(from posting here) so using different scales depending on game size was just a weird way of doing the calculations in my head. The only games I had calculated before were SNES and Neo-Geo games, so I only had a rough idea of how to convert game sizes and I didn't know it was as simple as dividing/multiplying by 8 for everything. For example, my non-patched CT ROM is 4097 KB so I didn't think dividing by 8 was 100% exact; Square just rounded it to 32 mbits because listing it as 32.776 mbits would be silly. Basically, I was just randomly guessing and didn't care enough to look it up.

EDIT: As a side note, I didn't know about the Singing Mountain theme that was "cut out" of the game until playing the Crimson Echoes hack. It's one of the most beautiful songs in the soundtrack and it's a shame it was never used in the final game.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by paulguy »

The ROM is really 4096KB + 512 byte copier header so 4096.5KB rounded up to 4097KB. Just something to make note of with SNES ROMs is they may or may not have a copier header, which is pretty much vestigial on modern emulators and wasn't part of the original cartridge.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by grinvader »

Gil_Hamilton wrote:
I'm guessing companies started using bits as a marketing strategy to make games seem larger in size than they really were, but that's just a guess on my part.

ROM sizes have ALWAYS been expressed in bits. It has nothing to do with marketing.
...
Except when they were expressed in words. But the size of a word varies with processor, so no one wants to go there.


@Yuber: it's a matter of definition. A bit is something that's clearly defined. A byte is just an arbitrarily large pack of bits. A word is an arbitrarily large pack of bytes that fits in a processor register. Depending platform, you can have wild differences in the latter two, so talking in bits removes any ambiguity.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

I see. I have almost zero tech knowledge other than knowing how to use basic software like emulators, and I'm totally out of my element when talking about specific technical norms and hardware in general. I need to start reading up on tech; I know what parts I need to upgrade this computer, but that's about it in terms of hardware knowledge.

Also, I can't believe I didn't try this before but in 9x, I set the shader to 5XBR 3.7a and turned off the other filters and it really looks fantastic. When I compared HQ4x(alone, no BF) to 5XBR, the latter left in almost all of the small details while HQ4x warped/distorted the pixels quite a bit, and the edges are fairly rough with HQx filters as well. Bilinear filtering simply blurs the image, so 5XBR alone is the best option unless I learn how to apply 2 shaders at the same time, which I feel is not needed. This was all tested in windowed 4:3 mode, with no bilinear filtering on any of the images. All I did was use SnippingTool, so the sizes are a bit different. For some reason, the image is a bit buggy in windowed mode, but it's bug-free in FS 4:3 mode.

Raw:
Image

HQ4x:
Image

5XBR:
Image

I think the 5XBR image looks fantastic, and it retains most of the little details. It's by far my favorite way to play SNES games on a 1080p monitor, and while it's not perfect, it beats the shit out of HQx filters. The smooth edges make blurry ass BF unnecessary. Gil, even you have to admit that 5XBR looks infinitely better than Super2XSAI, which is what you compared it to in an earlier post. I don't care if the image is accurate to the real console, though. I like to enhance the image quality as much as possible while leaving as many of the small details visible as I can.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Quite honestly, I think they both look terrible in this scene, but would choose HQ4x just because of what 5XBR is doing to the character sprites. That Crono is TERRIFYING.
Squall_Leonhart wrote:
You have your 2s, 4s, 8s, 16s, 32s, 64s, and 128s(crash course in binary counting!). But no 1s.
DirectInput represents all bits, not just powers of 2 in an axis.


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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

The sprites are just smoothed out, and I prefer that look over 4x or no filters at all. Of course it doesn't look nearly as nice as a real SNES on a CRT, and certain details are lost with both filters. The faces are warped, but that's just because the pixels are (I think) rounded and smoothed out so the image isn't so jagged and pixelated. I think 5XBR looks much better overall because having no rough edges and an incredibly smooth picture looks better on my monitor than HQ4x. The 4x filter destroys a lot more area details than xBR; compare the rocks in the 4x image to the ones in the 5XBR pic, and you'll notice that while it's VERY smoothed out, the color variations are much more apparent in the latter image.

It's really just a matter of taste. Both filters warp the image, but I like the silky smooth IQ of 5XBR a lot more than the rough, jagged, and blurrier(the environments) picture 4x has to offer. The faces are undoubtedly fucked up, but due to the overall superiority of the last image(imo), it doesn't bother me too much. The pics look shitty because I deliberately took snapshots in a place where the different warping effects of the 2 filters are more obvious, like the cliffs I mentioned earlier.

The faces, especially the eyes take some getting used to, but I prefer the smoothed out look overall, especially the environments and spell effects. You want the picture to look authentic, while I just want a smoother picture that isn't too jaggy/pixelated. The portraits in the menu screen look MUCH better in 5XBR than in 4x, and the world map looks significantly better also. The faces are the only things that are significantly damaged compared to much less detail overall in HQ4x, but I'm used to it. High resolution LCD monitors are not good if you want the picture to look like a real SNES on a CRT.

Having said all that, I'd love to play this hack on a real SNES if possible. With the retrans patch, it's a little over 6 mb so it's similar in size to TOP.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Yuber wrote:The faces, especially the eyes take some getting used to, but I prefer the smoothed out look overall, especially the environments and spell effects. You want the picture to look authentic, while I just want a smoother picture that isn't too jaggy/pixelated. The portraits in the menu screen look MUCH better in 5XBR than in 4x, and the world map looks significantly better also. The faces are the only things that are significantly damaged compared to much less detail overall in HQ4x, but I'm used to it. High resolution LCD monitors are not good if you want the picture to look like a real SNES on a CRT.

It's a great illustration of why I don't like pattern recognition filters outside of certain specific circumstances.

I prefer the HQ4x look across the image, the 5xBR is eating more fine detail, though it's only blatantly obvious in the character sprites. But both of them are doing terrible things to that image.
The only thing RIGHT with either of those images is that they aren't stretched to a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
Other than that, they're both pretty horrifying. Chrono Trigger isn't supposed to look like Van Gogh painting. Very few things on Earth are.


And high-res LCDs are better for authenticity than lower-res LCDs, because you have room for a more accurate simulation of the original display. Or just smaller scaling artifacts.

Having said all that, I'd love to play this hack on a real SNES if possible. With the retrans patch, it's a little over 6 mb so it's similar in size to TOP.

Tales of Phantasia is 48 Mb. That's not comparable.
IF you mean 6 MB instead of Mb, it's identical, but I have to wonder what they've done to need that much extra space.

Metric abbreviations are case-sensitive. Big M is mega, little m is milli. Big B is byte, little b is bit.
Nothing is measured in mb, because you literally can't have a millibit.
Squall_Leonhart wrote:
You have your 2s, 4s, 8s, 16s, 32s, 64s, and 128s(crash course in binary counting!). But no 1s.
DirectInput represents all bits, not just powers of 2 in an axis.


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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by odditude »

that xbr is nice, if you want your games to look like they've been redrawn with oils or pastels. personally, i think the background looks kinda nice, and the sprites look abysmal.

ntsc for me, plskthx.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by blackmyst »

Yuber wrote:5XBR:


oh god here it comes, gonna hurl






Well, better out than in.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

When it comes to my own tastes, that's about as good as you get get on a high-res LCD monitor. I own CT and have a working SNES, and the xBR image isn't even close to as nice looking as my SNES on my CRT(even though it's through composite, plan to get S-video cables), but other than the character faces the 5XBR look MUCH better than any of the HQx filters.

odditude wrote:that xbr is nice, if you want your games to look like they've been redrawn with oils or pastels. personally, i think the background looks kinda nice, and the sprites look abysmal.

ntsc for me, plskthx.


That's the kind of image I was going for, because it's not too pixelated on a high-res LCD. I think it's my shit GPU(or maybe my old monitor), but all the NTSC/CRT filters(including extra shaders) are very buggy on my monitor; the scanlines blur the screen more than they should and are way too fat compared to legit CRT scanlines. If I could find an authentic looking CRT/NTSC filter that isn't really buggy on my computer, I'd definitely use it. I actually like the oil-painted look, but it's VERY far from an accurate representation of what CT really looks like.

Also, like I said, I took those pictures in an area that exasperates the flaws of those 2 filters; it's supposed to look shitty so people can easily pick out differences and flaws in the 3 setups. 4x doesn't distort the characters as much, but 5xBR shows much more detail/color variation as a whole and really smooths things out. The best way to play this hack would be to have it made into a cart and play it on my SNES via S-video on my CRT, but that's not an option right now.

I'd love to see images of others' setups, preferably using CT as a benchmark as well. Maybe someone could help me find a filter that actually looks like a real SNES. For now though, other than the characters' eyes, 5xBR is absolutely superior to any HQx filter, imo. To those who hate the filter I'm using, please show me your own setups.

EDIT: Other than the characters' eyes, I see nothing wrong with my 5xBR image. It bugged me a bit at first, but everything else looks so much smoother and more detailed than my previous HQ4x setup. I'm sticking with it until I can find a really good CRT filter. Is there a site I could visit that ports ROM hacks like the Doctor L CT hack(bit over 6 MB/48 mbits) to carts so I can play it on my SNES? If so, I'd pay good money for that.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by grinvader »

Gil_Hamilton wrote:Nothing is measured in mb



1 mb
Image
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

I know that's Mother Brain in the US, but because Metroid was made in Japan, are you sure that's not supposed to be some evil scrotum-torture device in the Japanese version? The stem looks like it could be...ow ow nevermind!

Seriously though, MB looks disgusting in the NES version. SM has a ton more detail and it looks much more like a brain in that version, plus its giant beast version is an awesome boss fight.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Grinvader: I stand corrected.

Yuber: Yes, we know early NES games didn't have the best art. Heck, Samus looks like he's wearing a jumpsuit, not a bitchin' rad power armor.
Squall_Leonhart wrote:
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DirectInput represents all bits, not just powers of 2 in an axis.


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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Johan_H »

Gil_Hamilton wrote:Yuber: Yes, we know early NES games didn't have the best art. Heck, Samus looks like he's wearing a jumpsuit, not a bitchin' rad power armor.

eeeehm...







you know robots aren't gendered right
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

It all makes sense now... hot blonde bounty hunter taking out the gargantuan, evil ballsack master, blasting it with her estrogen pellets of glory! Those sneaky Nintendo feminist extremists!

In the next game, maybe Samus will have to fight the galactic cannon of doom and escape from a rather sticky situation ;)
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

Johan_H wrote:
Gil_Hamilton wrote:Yuber: Yes, we know early NES games didn't have the best art. Heck, Samus looks like he's wearing a jumpsuit, not a bitchin' rad power armor.

eeeehm...

you know robots aren't gendered right

Cyborgs aren't robots, though.

I suppose next you'll tell me the manual was lying to me?
Squall_Leonhart wrote:
You have your 2s, 4s, 8s, 16s, 32s, 64s, and 128s(crash course in binary counting!). But no 1s.
DirectInput represents all bits, not just powers of 2 in an axis.


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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by odditude »

Yuber wrote:Seriously though, MB looks disgusting in the NES version. SM has a ton more detail and it looks much more like a brain in that version, plus its giant beast version is an awesome boss fight.

eff that. the NES MECHANICAL LIFE VEIN looks awesome. when i got to mb in sm i was really disappointed that it just looked like a brain with an eye and a few spikes. ditto with [jb plug your ears]zero mission[/jb].
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Gil_Hamilton »

odditude wrote:
Yuber wrote:Seriously though, MB looks disgusting in the NES version. SM has a ton more detail and it looks much more like a brain in that version, plus its giant beast version is an awesome boss fight.

eff that. the NES MECHANICAL LIFE VEIN looks awesome. when i got to mb in sm i was really disappointed that it just looked like a brain with an eye and a few spikes. ditto with [jb plug your ears]zero mission[/jb].

You didn't close that tag correctly. :P

And honestly, I had no problem with Ma Brain's LOOK in Zero Mission.


To be fair, I'd been filling in the blanks in the original design so long that I'm always a little shocked when I see the NES version again and remember what it ACTUALLY looked like.

That said, I really love the pulsing effect on the NES 'Brain. And the tusks and mecha-trunk. Gives it a more inhuman feel.
I guess the lack of detail could be attributed to some sort of protective sheath(seems to be implied by contemporary media, as well), which would help explain why the brain doesn't just stop working when the jar breaks, all the juices leak out, and high-explosive missiles start raining into it's frontal lobe.

I find the eye as questionable on the NES version as I do on the SNES and GBA versions, though the NES version has two eyes(implied by sprite, supported by contemporary media). I'm not really sure how I actually FEEL about a biocomputer having eyes, though if it has them, it may as well have two of them.
Two eyes is useful enough that just about any creature on Earth(sadly our only reference) that has eyes has (at least) two of them, regardless of complexity or orientation. That, along with the tusks, implies the brain was repurposed from something else, rather than purpose-grown.


Damn, they put a lot more thought into the original Mother Brain design than "stick a brain in a jar" once you stop and THINK about some of the elements.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by grinvader »

Yuber wrote:I know that's Mother Brain in the US, but because Metroid was made in Japan, are you sure that's not supposed to be some evil scrotum-torture device in the Japanese version? The stem looks like it could be...ow ow nevermind!

It's mother brain in moonland too (right page, bottom panel).
The mechanical floating eye is just a remote unit. It's the fat ol' brain we all know and shoot the fuck down. There's a translation on the same site if you get curious.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by Yuber »

You guys couldn't have taken the ballsack comments seriously, right?(although she does kinda look like a spiky nutsack) My first Metroid game was actually Super, although I did have an NES when I was a kid. It's one of those classic games I need to play sometime, although I doubt I'll have the same appreciation for it now that I would've if I had played it when I was much younger. SM is the only Metroid game I ever really got into; I've never owned a GC or Wii and while I also beat Fusion, I just did 1 quick run and didn''t really get into it like I did Super Metroid. It's been a very long time since I've played SM, but back in 94-96 I played it like 5-6 times and got addicted to it. The music, animation and environments in SM are still fantastic even by today's standards. Before I got a SNES, I was addicted to Mario 3 and Dragon Warrior.

I'm guessing you guys are going to overwhelmingly recommend playing the original over Zero Mission. I've only used ZM to test out emulators and same goes for the 1st NES Metroid. If I still had a working NES I'd love to buy and play it on a real system, but for now emulation is the only option, and I have a small(but long in # of hours it'll take) backlog of RPGs to play or replay before I commit. If I'm not fully focused on a game/ready to go all in, it's best for me to not play it because if I play a long or longish game on a whim without any passion, I probably won't finish it.

From the very little experience I have actually playing OG Metroid, the gameplay and controls feel very smooth and responsive. I don't have the experience to say anything else about it.

EDIT: odd, I doubt you were disappointed with the 2nd and 3rd stages of the SM MB fight, though. If her 1st stage was the whole boss fight, I could see being disappointed, but that fight is fantastic overall. Design-wise, what did you expect? It's a gigantic pulsating brain.
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Re: ZSNES is not dead - Still in development

Post by odditude »

that's just it. it looked like so much more than just a brain in the original; it looked biomechanical, like a brain/heart/computer.
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