Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

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Shark Patrol
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Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#11 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:05 pm

OGDCFAN99 wrote:What ever happened to CDages? He was a frikkin' wealth of knowledge.

He has been logged in as recently as last year.

Last active: Thu Jul 26, 2018

I think like all of us long timers of the site, and DC community at large, we tend to go through dry spells. I was out of the community for a while myself, mainly due to my Battlefield 2 total conversion historical mod projects, which I am working on mod number 3 now, as well as having a broken disc drive. Luckily last August I caved in and got a GDEMU. Smooth sailing for me since then.

Posts: 5

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#12 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:58 pm

Shoryuken.com is pretty harsh on the DC port saying:

"The Dreamcast version is the worst of all possible versions. It offers nothing over the Neo-Geo versions other than the unlockable image gallery and the arranged soundtrack mode. **Inputs are delayed, Terry's stage lags the game and some versions show problems with sound effects delaying as much as 2 seconds from when they should play.** Some of Terry's voice samples are also not the ones from the game, but from as early as Real Bout Fatal Fury Special. **If possible, select the original soundtrack option instead of the arranged soundtrack, and play on the original GD-ROM to lessen these effects. Even with these adjustments, this is the worst option for play; even playing on an emulator will be more satisfying.**"


Today, via GDEMU, I played some FF/Garou: Mark of the Wolves and particularly played on Terry B's level, and wasn't able to notice any input delay, lag, sound lag, etc. Perhaps the GDEMU makes it better by removing any restriction that the GDROM was creating due to/related to the sound lag? *shrug* I know the GDEMU does generally load games faster than GDROM. OR, perhaps I'm just not discerning enough... and on that note...

... anyone have a copy FF/Garou: Mark of the Wolves that they want to play (Terry B's level would be a good test according to the shoryuken post above) via GDROM and let me know if they see any issue, and exactly when/where/how so I can attempt to reproduce via the GDEMU?

Posts: 5

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#13 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:55 am

I can update that I have been playing the US release Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves ripped off of my own official disc, ON A GDEMU, and I believe I have noticed the sound delays. I can't comment on the input lag yet as I haven't noticed it.

I am going to try installing the DCRes release of FF: MoW on to my GDEMU (which I think might have addressed the issues) and do a comparison to my GDROM rip where I noticed the sound lag. I will post my thoughts here.

Prince of Persia
Posts: 352

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#14 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:26 pm

OGDCFAN99 wrote:What ever happened to CDages? He was a frikkin' wealth of knowledge...kinda like you Anthony.

I think he might be the same dude, who takes part, in dreamcast fighting game tournaments etc.
If he is, he might probably turn up, at the annual dreamcast anniversary, fighting game tournament, which will hopefully be held, in a few days. They normally air it live, on youtube.

Posts: 5

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#15 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:29 pm

I installed the DCRes release of FF: MoW on to my GDEMU... and unless I'm totally missing something, it still seemed to have the same issues with sound delay.

Does anyone know where the notes are for that DCres release about what was actually done/changed in regards to it??

Posts: 209

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Post#16 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:10 pm

I have a lot of NFO files here: https://git.teknik.io/deluxx_/

Wow DCRES did alot for this game.
Echelon's release of this game had a serious problem. Ignoring their logo that crashes emulators and makes game start annoying, during the game sounds lag a lot. It happens because there are 2 sound AFS files: one huge for music and a small ones for voices, sounds, etc. During the fight, both files are accessed at the same time (have you noticed that the reader keeps moving all the time?). So background music is playing, and when you kick your opponent, for example, reader must stop a little, go read voice file, and then go back to keep streaming music. The result is that the kick sound plays late. In GD, a lot of factors contribute to make game runs fine, but not in Echelon's version. Although they put a little dummy file, it's not enough to make reading fast enough. Well, it was time to try some alternatives, but first I had to hack binary to make the game play on a CD-R. It was a hard to crack game (protection probably), and I had no idea of how to do it, so I examined Echelon's binary and saw how they did, and just copied the different bytes. Hacking credits are all theirs. After some tries it booted fine. So I tried on my DC shrinking AFS, maximizing dummy and using correct file order (of original GD). SNK dudes made a nice work on file order, it's very optimized. They put the music and voice files where Dreamcast reads faster, and that's a factor that makes it run okay on GD. Well, with this technique results were better than in Echelon's release, but not enough to make sounds play 100% correctly. In GD, files are more condensed, so files are closer to each other. In CD, even with dummy and file order, seeking time (noisy sounds) was still messing reading speed. Time to give up? Not really. I wondered that if I downsampled the music, I could cut music pack at least half size. It would mean less data to stream, and music file would be closer to voice file. Downsampling voices would be stupid for some reasons: 1) It's a too important part of the game, 2) Voices are already in a very low quality (that's another reason that makes sounds play right on GD), 3) Voice pack is already too small, so the gain doing this would be minimal. Well, so I worked on music pack. I monoized sounds, cutting size of it by half. Testing on Dreamcast... no more sound lag! Reader moves were minimal during fights, and everything played at the right time. Just one problem: mono music only played on left speaker, wow. In fact, it played right if you select "Mono" in options, but as I know no one in earth would read instructions before playing (if you're reading this you're an alien), I tried another thing. I downsampled music to 22khz stereo, the bitrate is the same of 44khz mono. Tried and that's the final version. No more sound lag! I doubt there is another release with this feature around. And before you blame me, downsampling was the only way to get rid of the problems. And you'll hardly notice the difference anyway.

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