Thursday, December 27, 2007

New PCSX-df and ToP Translation

I compiled a newer copy of the pcsx fork: "PCSX-df is a GNU/Linux fork of the discontinued PlayStation emulator "PCSX". It currently has support (including dynamic recompilers) for x86, x86_64, and ppc32 CPUs."

The Tales of Phantasia PSX translation has been completed! Got to love dedicated fans. :)

The groups custom patcher, Phantasion, works perfectly in Wine (I used version 0.9.51)

There it is. The translation also works on authentic hardware.

Beautiful. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Some ZSNES tips

ZSNES is a Free, multi-platform, Super Nintendo Emulator.
Here are couple of little tweaks I would like to share (last used with zsnes 1.51.)

Using Keyboard and Joypads

Sometimes you might use the keyboard, other times a gamepad.
ZSNES offers a nice feature, (useful if you only play 1 to 2 player games, like I do)
Tick the box Use PL3/4 as PL1/2

So, if you set your keyboard for player 1, and gamepad for player 3. Both will be useable for player 1. The same applies to player 2, for the player 2 and player 4 settings. This way, you can switch from gamepad to keyboard any time, with no need to reconfigure your settings.

Crackles and Pops

If you experience any sound issues.

gedit ~/.zsnes/zsnesl.cfg

On line 178, change "auto" to "sdl"

Close the file.
The other settings can be changed from the GUI under Config -> Sound.
48000HZ with High Quality low pass filtering (you'll notice if you have a sub-woofer.)

Wide screen Aspect Ratio

So you have a wide screen, and do not want any distortion when full screen. As far as I know, zsnes doesn't offer full aspect ratio correction.

Enter a custom resolution
My monitor is 1920x1200

Take the vertical monitor resolution,
divide it by 448

Take that number and multiply it by 512
round down

1371 x 1200

Enter that (click the lower SET button) then choose CUSTOM OD F

At that point press SET (the top button.)

Now zsnes should be full screen. Click the FILTERS tab, untick Use 4:3 ratio.

Note the larger vertical black bars, the emulated game screen is now proportionate.

If you are a true purist, keep the final size you choose a multiple of 256 x 224.
If you have a 1920 x 1200 screen, 1280 x 1120 are the largest multiples it can accommodate.

Experiment! Choose something that meets your tastes!

Alt + Enter will switch from full screen to windowed mode.

Have fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Backing up a non-PC CD

For the most part, under Gnome anyway, backing up a standard data CD is usually a right click away, Copy Disc, and choosing File Image.

How about a CD that wasn't made for a PC?

In this case, I'm backing up a Playstation game.

1. Find out where your CD/DVD drive in terms of /dev
grep cd /etc/fstab

It should return something like this:
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec 0 0

2. Now we have what we need, mine is /dev/scd0, make sure the CD is inserted ;)
umount /dev/scd0

I am going to name the files top.bin and top.toc, rename to whatever you prefer

cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile top.bin --device /dev/scd0 --driver generic-mmc-raw top.toc

Then just wait. :)

Then enjoy!

I use pcsx, and it is nice that some games can be run without the Sony bios... I chose to backup Tales of Phantasia due to this fan translation.
Their site provides a link to where you can purchase a copy of ToP.

I have been waiting a long time for this version to be translated... This group has been working on this for over 7 years now... Their dedication is amazing. I am not sure what the patch will look like, but it is easy to covert a .bin to an .iso using bchunk if need be.

More on that later ;)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Keeping an eye on Mother 3

Earthbound is one of my favorite RPGs. In Japan it is known as Mother 2. The prequel was never officially released outside of Japan, and neither will the sequel. :( That's where the fans come in.

It takes a lot of work to do a translation.
Even harder due to reverse-engineering, no source code, no help... These are very talented people doing it out of love (mushy isn't it?)

Here is a video showing progression of the translation and hacking:

I thought this would be a good way to introduce, by introducing a translation. Highlighting the effort and inspiration required. However, there are some hacks that change the graphics, text, levels, music, to create a new game.

It is important to note, this site does not contain these games... Just patches containing the differences.

For the games, if you don't already have them, or do not know how to dump the data, please use Google!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A little fun with KQ

I've been trying out KQ lately. No, not King's Quest, although I do enjoy that series (never played II & VIII though...)

KQ is basically an old school style RPG, similar to Final Fantasy I. Enough said! ^_^

It's plenty fun, so I suggest giving it a try. It is available in the Ubuntu Repositories, just go to Add/Remove and it is under Games.

One thing that caught my attention was the intro music. It is available in module format and is stored in

I use Audacious to play these files, and it does a wonderful job!
The intro theme is called aa_arofl.xm. The title: Archons of Light, and with a little magic from Google, voila!

The Mod Archive. I never knew this site existed, and loads and loads of um... mods. Mmm!

If it's your style, give it a listen. If not, time to find out!

Fran out.

P.S. I highly recommend Oxford-Suite. And waterw.xm, however this one is not available at their archive, just bundled as a free download with KQ... I'll have to investigate this a bit ;)