Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11 2015 12:13am
by Special T
Something interesting I stumbled across over at romhacking.net

paul_met is making a hack that increases the viewing area of some Saturn games. It's easier to identify in the STHA images, look at the top of the mountain and the board at the bottom.

He is also the creator of the the Shining Force Deluxe version
Youtube link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvA2KAvqUTk
Website link - http://psxplanet.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=104927
Romhacking.net link - http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.p ... .1000.html

I don't speak / read Russian so I'm not overly familiar with the deluxe version is but it looks interesting.

Shining Force 3
Image Image


Shining Holy Ark
Image Image

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13 2015 6:23pm
by legalize freedom
I wonder if this is only in Yabause. I believe that one has a robust support for game shark type stuff, but SSF does not.

Anyone know if Yabause has caught up and/or is currently the more active of the two?

The SSF site isn't coming up for me. Has that effort been abandoned or did they change sites?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13 2015 11:18pm
by Swalchy

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16 2015 4:49pm
by legalize freedom
I guess I had an old link. Thanks for the new one!

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22 2015 4:06am
by knight0fdragon
I wonder if this is just for NTSC versions, since PAL offer more scanlines, it is natural for them to make the viewports to be the size of PAL. and then just translate it to show on NTSC screens, could explain that tiny difference we are seeing

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06 2015 10:15pm
by paul_met
legalize freedom wrote:I wonder if this is only in Yabause.

Hack working on SSF too.

knight0fdragon wrote:I wonder if this is just for NTSC versions, since PAL offer more scanlines, it is natural for them to make the viewports to be the size of PAL. and then just translate it to show on NTSC screens, could explain that tiny difference we are seeing

PAL version of the 1st scenario is similar to the NTSC version - I mean, has the same size of the image + black stripes.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22 2015 2:48pm
by Pappets
Does this hack remove those fat black bars in the action scenes of scenario 2 and 3?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22 2015 4:20pm
by paul_met
Pappets wrote:Does this hack remove those fat black bars in the action scenes of scenario 2 and 3?

I have not looked yet scenarios 2 and 3. But the engine is the same. So, all that is fair for the first scenario, it will be fair for the others.
Image

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22 2015 6:24pm
by Pappets
That looks great! I feel like playing shining force 3 already! :)

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28 2016 4:37pm
by paul_met
Patch for Shining the Holy Ark is available for download:
Link: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30 2016 9:24pm
by knight0fdragon
wow I never even heard of the deluxe version, looks good paul_met. Was there no way to fit all 3 discs onto 1 CD? (Premium disk and other content going onto a 2nd disc would have been fine) I know the sizes were around 240MB a disc I would like to say, and I am in the works of trying to make a new translator that is bases off of Cue's compressor for legalize freedom and team to use, which will make the translation files smaller.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31 2016 5:03am
by Special T
paul_met wrote:Patch for Shining the Holy Ark is available for download:
Link: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450


Thanks for the update. You are doing great work! :thumbsup:

knight0fdragon wrote:wow I never even heard of the deluxe version, looks good paul_met. Was there no way to fit all 3 discs onto 1 CD? (Premium disk and other content going onto a 2nd disc would have been fine) I know the sizes were around 240MB a disc I would like to say, and I am in the works of trying to make a new translator that is bases off of Cue's compressor for legalize freedom and team to use, which will make the translation files smaller.


Glad to hear your working on a new translator tool I'm sure the team will greatly appreciate that!

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31 2016 3:36pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:wow I never even heard of the deluxe version, looks good paul_met. Was there no way to fit all 3 discs onto 1 CD? (Premium disk and other content going onto a 2nd disc would have been fine) I know the sizes were around 240MB a disc I would like to say, and I am in the works of trying to make a new translator that is bases off of Cue's compressor for legalize freedom and team to use, which will make the translation files smaller.

The total volume of 3 scenarios of SFIII is about 880 mb and it does not fit on a normal CD.
My early build (not deluxe) fits all 3 scenarios on one CD, but it had to cut videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQmoJJO50oI).
Then I gave up this edition and moved on 2 CD version of the compilation.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31 2016 4:36pm
by legalize freedom
paul_met wrote:
legalize freedom wrote:I wonder if this is only in Yabause.

Hack working on SSF too.


Good deal. If you are patching the image directly then I guess it doesn't matter which emulator you use...

I don't see a link for the SF3 patch anywhere. Has it not been released yet?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31 2016 9:13pm
by paul_met
legalize freedom wrote:I don't see a link for the SF3 patch anywhere. Has it not been released yet?

Yes, it is under development yet. There are some problems with the SSF - game crashes after the first fight in any scenario. This problem can be partially solved by special patch only for SSF (in this case, the game will not work on yabause and likely on the console). Such an option I do not really like, but If I do not find any other way, then I will have to do so.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01 2016 6:52am
by legalize freedom
paul_met wrote:Yes, it is under development yet. There are some problems with the SSF - game crashes after the first fight in any scenario. This problem can be partially solved by special patch only for SSF (in this case, the game will not work on yabause and likely on the console). Such an option I do not really like, but If I do not find any other way, then I will have to do so.


Once you get this sorted I would be glad to include this as an option with the SF3Patch (with your permission of course). As long as you don't add any files that aren't on the original disc, we should be able to simply place these files in with the translation patch files and they would be replaced in the process. I would need to test first to be sure, however.

I would want to make it optional, so the end user would need to put the files in the patch directory(s) as needed. This would certainly need to be optional if there were multiple versions, depending on what hardware you were playing it on and/or if there were crashing issues some may not want to deal with.

Here's hoping you get all the kinks worked out. It would be a great addition to the SF3 experience. :)

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02 2016 1:26pm
by knight0fdragon
paul_met wrote:
knight0fdragon wrote:wow I never even heard of the deluxe version, looks good paul_met. Was there no way to fit all 3 discs onto 1 CD? (Premium disk and other content going onto a 2nd disc would have been fine) I know the sizes were around 240MB a disc I would like to say, and I am in the works of trying to make a new translator that is bases off of Cue's compressor for legalize freedom and team to use, which will make the translation files smaller.

The total volume of 3 scenarios of SFIII is about 880 mb and it does not fit on a normal CD.
My early build (not deluxe) fits all 3 scenarios on one CD, but it had to cut videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQmoJJO50oI).
Then I gave up this edition and moved on 2 CD version of the compilation.



Hmm, How does this work? Do we need all 3 images seperately? I believe a lot of files are duplicated between 2 and 3 (as well as pd) so I am curious if we can use that to our advantage and cut down on file size.

Does Saturn support symbolic links?

For some reason. That openning looks familiar, but I can't put my finger on it. Are you using a demo disc with altered binaries, or did you code all of that?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02 2016 7:33pm
by paul_met
legalize freedom , Soon I can provide a patch for SFIII for testing.

knight0fdragon wrote:Hmm, How does this work? Do we need all 3 images seperately? I believe a lot of files are duplicated between 2 and 3 (as well as pd) so I am curious if we can use that to our advantage and cut down on file size.

Does Saturn support symbolic links?

In the compilation all the scenarios should be placed in separate folders. I do not know whether it is possible to do the same files common to all Scenarios.

knight0fdragon wrote:For some reason. That openning looks familiar, but I can't put my finger on it. Are you using a demo disc with altered binaries, or did you code all of that?

Yes, I modified the demo disc.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02 2016 10:19pm
by knight0fdragon
It seems ImgBurn and create symbolic link files with an optimize option when creating ISOs, I do not know how you create the ISO, but maybe you can use that to your advantage

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 12:55pm
by legalize freedom
paul_met wrote:legalize freedom , Soon I can provide a patch for SFIII for testing.


Killer!

paul_met wrote:In the compilation all the scenarios should be placed in separate folders. I do not know whether it is possible to do the same files common to all Scenarios.


This would be a no go. There are some files with the same names, but different data in multiple scenarios.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 5:33pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:It seems ImgBurn and create symbolic link files with an optimize option when creating ISOs, I do not know how you create the ISO, but maybe you can use that to your advantage

I did not find the necessary option for this in Imgburn settings. But something like that I think I've seen in UltraISO.
---------------------------
I think I solved the strange problem with the emulator SSF. At least now the game does not crash after the first match. And now there is no need for a separate patch for SSF.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 5:53pm
by knight0fdragon
Do you use ultra ISO to make your images? If not what are you using? Right now we have an issue with how ISO's are built in the newest version of windows 10 and the little front end I made to make the translation discs. I currently use mkisofs to make the ISOs because we need a free distributed solution for people to use to make ISOs, if you have an alternative that is free and distributable that I can use, I may make a new program for them to use.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 6:04pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:Do you use ultra ISO to make your images? If not what are you using? Right now we have an issue with how ISO's are built in the newest version of windows 10 and the little front end I made to make the translation discs. I currently use mkisofs to make the ISOs because we need a free distributed solution for people to use to make ISOs, if you have an alternative that is free and distributable that I can use, I may make a new program for them to use.

I am using mkisofs library too, but with my custom GUI called SIR (Saturn Image Rebuilder). UltraISO has been used after the image was created.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 6:12pm
by knight0fdragon
do you have issues with the latest windows 10?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 6:24pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:do you have issues with the latest windows 10?

What exactly is these issues?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03 2016 6:46pm
by knight0fdragon
well I did not build the library into my app, I am just going off the executable, but for some reason, it seems to just crash. If you look here viewtopic.php?f=34&t=26590, you can see what the users are posting

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04 2016 7:36am
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:well I did not build the library into my app, I am just going off the executable, but for some reason, it seems to just crash. If you look here viewtopic.php?f=34&t=26590, you can see what the users are posting

I have no problems with Isomaker under Win10 X64.
------------------------------------------
Added patch for Shining Force III - Scenario 1: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04 2016 1:48pm
by Swalchy
The issues only started to present in Build 10586 - if you're using any previous build, then it works fine :)

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 10:11am
by paul_met
Now patches for all scenarios of Shining Force 3 is available for download: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 3:33pm
by knight0fdragon
Paul met, I am a little confused here, how is the resolution 352x240, with the black bars removed? I thought you were adding to the vertical, but it seems you are only making it wide screen at a weird aspect ratio (22x15)

Hmm, I think I see what is happening, the old resolution is probably something like 320x216 after the black bars, and you are giving the video and extra 32x24 pixel (to meet the 4:3 requirements.) and that makes it 352x240.


The only thing I would be worried about is the overscan. I like playing my classics on a CRT, so I wonder how this will work with my TV's overscan

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 4:23pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:Hmm, I think I see what is happening, the old resolution is probably something like 320x216 after the black bars, and you are giving the video and extra 32x24 pixel (to meet the 4:3 requirements.) and that makes it 352x240.

The native resolution of SFIII is 320x240. But with the black bars viewing area is 320x224 (in battle mode even less).
I not only removed the black bars. I increased horizontal resolution, which in VDP specifications can be up to 352 pixels horizontally.

knight0fdragon wrote:The only thing I would be worried about is the overscan. I like playing my classics on a CRT, so I wonder how this will work with my TV's overscan

It will works as the rest of the games for Saturn with 352 pixel by horizontal (for example, almost all the games from Capcom).

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 4:56pm
by knight0fdragon
I am just more curious if the text will get cut off from the top and bottom of the scene, I know with XMen CotA the life meter is almost right up against the edges of my TV, so I can see the same thing happening to this. After I finish up the new tools I will try out this and let you know if overscan is a problem. This way if anybody asks on your post, you will have an answer for them,

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 11:09pm
by legalize freedom
paul_met wrote:Now patches for all scenarios of Shining Force 3 is available for download: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450


Successfully tested S2 in SSF and this can indeed be included with the SF3 translation patch.

I'm wondering if there is any reason this shouldn't be the default. If it works on SSF, Yabause and the real hardware, I don't see why not. Are there any drawbacks or tradeoffs?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 11:28pm
by knight0fdragon
I already mentioned one lol

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 2016 11:53pm
by legalize freedom
knight0fdragon wrote:I already mentioned one lol


Yes, I'm obviously interested to hear what you find.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 12:14am
by knight0fdragon
Well either way it should't be included by default because of overscan on TVs vary greatly. My 50" LCD uses overscan and has a bug that does not allow for it to be turned off, but perhaps paul_met will be kind enough to make a new version of ISO maker for us, or provide the source to his builder, and we can make it an option to the end user to decide

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 12:31am
by legalize freedom
knight0fdragon wrote:Well either way it should't be included by default because of overscan on TVs vary greatly. My 50" LCD uses overscan and has a bug that does not allow for it to be turned off, but perhaps paul_met will be kind enough to make a new version of ISO maker for us, or provide the source to his builder, and we can make it an option to the end user to decide


It could be as simple as just providing the files outside of the s1, s2, etc. directories and a couple of lines of instructions for the end user to put them in the related folders to be included in the patching process.

But yes, a new patcher could provide a check box to include or not. That would be sweet :spliff:

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 2:20am
by knight0fdragon
paul_met, I am just writing a new front end since I am now motivated, with your permission, I would like to add the option for your patches when done.

legalize_freedom, I am adding an autoscan feature, should no longer need to select version

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 4:42am
by Special T
paul_met wrote:Now patches for all scenarios of Shining Force 3 is available for download: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450


Quick question regarding the progress percent of each patch you released. The Shining Force III scenarios are at 90% does the patch have bugs or is there something still left to do?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 7:10am
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:paul_met, I am just writing a new front end since I am now motivated, with your permission, I would like to add the option for your patches when done.

Ok. It will be nice.

Special T wrote:Quick question regarding the progress percent of each patch you released. The Shining Force III scenarios are at 90% does the patch have bugs or is there something still left to do?

I can not test my hack by 100%. To do this, I need to fully complete the game. I have no time for this. For this reason, I write the approximate percentages, because somewhere may appear bugs.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 10:52am
by knight0fdragon
is there anything fancy I need to do? or are the files just renamed that are to be patched

nevermind, I see they are very tiny. How does it work, is the first part the address and the second part the word that I need to write per line per file?

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 2:01pm
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:is there anything fancy I need to do? or are the files just renamed that are to be patched

nevermind, I see they are very tiny. How does it work, is the first part the address and the second part the word that I need to write per line per file?

What are you trying to do? Do you want that your tool patch the necessary files? Simply use the already patched by placing them in a different directory or renaming. When you build an image of the game your tool should simply replace the desired files, if necessary.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 3:24pm
by legalize freedom
Correct, we will have the patched, ready-to-replace game files in a separate directory (maybe "resolutionfix") and the patcher can grab them there if that option is selected.

If new versions come out, I'll re-patch the game files and we'll be good.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 2016 4:49pm
by knight0fdragon
paul_met wrote:
knight0fdragon wrote:is there anything fancy I need to do? or are the files just renamed that are to be patched

nevermind, I see they are very tiny. How does it work, is the first part the address and the second part the word that I need to write per line per file?

What are you trying to do? Do you want that your tool patch the necessary files? Simply use the already patched by placing them in a different directory or renaming. When you build an image of the game your tool should simply replace the desired files, if necessary.


My goal is to make this new version as simple as possible for the team. Basically I would like it so that all the team would need to do is update your patch files, instead of them having to go through the process of using multiple tools to get a job done

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09 2016 9:00am
by paul_met
There's a strange problem with the premium disc. With increasing image resolution, there is a bug in gallery - pictures or not displayed at all (it often occurs on Yabause), or do not appear correctly (on SSF). Other menu items work fine.
But I was able to increase the size of the cursor in the gallery. I think it is useful.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09 2016 3:38pm
by knight0fdragon
hmm, I wonder how it works on console.

BTW, I was able to apply your patch files with our translation builder, so when we release it you should see a lot more people testing with it.

Do you have any plans on explaining how the Deluxe set was built? I know you said you used a demo disc, but from the videos I read, you are swapping out the IP.bin? does this mean that I need to extract them from all the discs? Because as of right now, the translation project uses the same IP.Bin for all of the scenarios

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10 2016 6:26am
by paul_met
knight0fdragon wrote:Do you have any plans on explaining how the Deluxe set was built? I know you said you used a demo disc, but from the videos I read, you are swapping out the IP.bin? does this mean that I need to extract them from all the discs? Because as of right now, the translation project uses the same IP.Bin for all of the scenarios

The structure of the demo disc is: IP of the game should be in the root directory and the directory with the same name as that of IP shall contain the game resources (files and folders).
When assembling the Deluxe version I used the IP of your disks.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10 2016 2:55pm
by knight0fdragon
ok sounds good, I will have to play around with this and see if symbolic links are supported

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11 2016 9:54am
by paul_met
Patch for Shining Force 3 Premium CD is available for download: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450. Need to test on console.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11 2016 2:33pm
by Special T
paul_met wrote:Patch for Shining Force 3 Premium CD is available for download: http://www.emu-land.net/forum/index.php/topic,73826.msg1157450.html#msg1157450. Need to test on console.


Thank you for putting so much time/effort into these hacks. I no longer have a modded saturn to test this on but I'm hoping someone who does will help.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11 2016 6:37pm
by knight0fdragon
Awesome job, I will get this into the build, hopefully when legalize freedom gets back to me with the people having trouble on Windows 10, we can proceed to release the combined works and get some tests going for you.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12 2016 5:12am
by paul_met
Special T, knight0fdragon, thanks.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12 2016 1:33pm
by legalize freedom
knight0fdragon wrote:Awesome job, I will get this into the build, hopefully when legalize freedom gets back to me with the people having trouble on Windows 10, we can proceed to release the combined works and get some tests going for you.


I PM'd mesmer since he was the one who started the topic, but I don't know who all else was having the issue. He hasn't yet replied. I don't believe he has been a steady visitor for a while. We will probably just want to do a public test of the new patcher once you're happy with it.

I'll test the PD res patch tonight. :thumbsup:

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12 2016 2:51pm
by knight0fdragon
Yeah sounds good, I will throw the patch into the build when I get home from work, and send you up a new version. I think I will create a github account for this so it is manageable.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22 2016 3:28am
by arflech
I realize this thread isn't about the Deluxe Collection, but I wasn't able to post in the PSX Planet forum thread where those download links were posted; it looks like the links were last updated in October 2013 (to Yandex Disk, yadi.sk), and now they're dead: http://psxplanet.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=104927

I hope that paul_met reads this message here, if he doesn't get my PM on that forum.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23 2016 9:15pm
by paul_met
A new version of SFIII Collection Deluxe (if interesting):
https://youtu.be/r-VdJchkfzA

arflech wrote:I realize this thread isn't about the Deluxe Collection, but I wasn't able to post in the PSX Planet forum thread where those download links were posted; it looks like the links were last updated in October 2013 (to Yandex Disk, yadi.sk), and now they're dead: http://psxplanet.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=104927

Link updated.

Re: Shining Force 3 / STHA Hack

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25 2016 1:48pm
by Special T
paul_met wrote:A new version of SFIII Collection Deluxe (if interesting):
https://youtu.be/r-VdJchkfzA


Thanks for keeping us up to date with the latest on your SFIII deluxe project.

knight0fdragon wrote:ok sounds good, I will have to play around with this and see if symbolic links are supported


Just checking to see if you have any news about the symbolic links and whether or not it will allow the games to be combined onto a single disc?